Pasta Making Class

Happy Good Friday!  Did you have the day off today?  The man and I did – which meant that we were able to drive to my parent’s house in Ohio for a wonderful long Easter weekend with my family!  The drive only takes about 3.5 hours, but today it took about 4!  I guess a lot of people had the day off.

Last weekend was so much fun and I’m actually still recovering from pure exhaustion.  This week was pretty rough and I’m glad it was short!  My friend and I had such a great time at our pasta making class, I wanted to write a post dedicated to the company and the chef.

M found a Groupon (or Living Social, I can’t remember) for a creme brulee making class and we were both looking forward to it! Well, when we went to sign up, that class was full.  Then we saw pasta making!  As an Italian, I love fresh pasta but never made it myself.  My mom made it once when I was growing up and my great-grandmother didn’t know pasta could come in a box.  But she passed away when I was a little girl so I don’t remember it that well.  So, our original plan was derailed but to a better part of town!

The company, Flip Crepes, offers several types of classes, from creme brulee and chocolate mousse to Thai mussels and spring rolls.

 We anticipated the class all day and made sure to swing by Trader Joe’s for some 2-buck Chuck, which actually costs $2.99 but whatever!  And yes, we did spend more money that weekend on Sprinkles Cupcakes and macroons than wine, but you have your priorities!  We ended up picking up a bottle of Shriaz, which I have to say was quite smooth and tasty!

We arrived, signed in, hung up our coats and were greeted by a handsome chef name Chef Reed.  We talked with our table (who turned out to be quite fun!) and poured some wine waiting for the fun that awaited us!

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love vino

All the ingredients were on the table already and I was really excited to see what we were going to make.  Chef Reed announced that we were going to make orechiette or ear-shaped pasta.  I’ve never eaten this kind of pasta, as I’m normally a penne or rigatoni kind of girl.  But, here’s to new things!

Chef Reed said we were going to work as a table and start with the dough for the pasta and then make a sauce.  He was really fun, energetic and answered any questions we (I mean I) had.

To make oreccheitte pasta you don’t need that many ingredients:

  • 2 cups Semolina Flour – found at Whole Foods
  • 1 cup water – found at sink
  • Italian herbs, optional

That’s it!!  Isn’t that incredible?!

You pour out the flour, build a mound, then pour the water into the mound.  You kneed the dough, which means folding it over and then turning.  Continue until your wrists and body hurt from so much movement!  When you’re done, saran wrap the dough.

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Dough balls

Then, tear the dough, make long like a snake (like you did with Play-Dough as a kid) then cut with a kitchen butter knife into 1/4″ squares.  You flatten those squares and then shape around your thumb.  That’s it!!  It was pretty easy once you got the hang of it, but I think we added too much water because the dough was pretty sticky.  Well, live ‘n learn.

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Finished Dough

Then it was time to make the sauce.  We chopped some onions, cherry tomatotes and garlic while the water for the pasta boiled.  We added some olive oil to the other pot and then dumped in the onions until they were soft.  Then went the tomatoes, then the garlic.  If you add the garlic too soon or the pan is too hot, it’ll burn and taste bitter.  Then we added pureed tomatoes and stirred before adding some fresh basil, which smelled amazing!  I love fresh basil.

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The above photos: on the left: that’s Chef Reed and the right was our fun table!

We boiled the pasta and then added the cooked pasta to the sauce.  Then it was time to eat!  Besides the fact that the pasta we ate wasn’t the pasta we created, I’d say it was pretty good!

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All in all, it was a great night and something fun for us to do together.  The pasta was easy to make and something the man and I hope to do together!!

Now, it’s time to watch some basketball – I need Michigan to win for my bracket!

The Lately Eats.

Happy Thursday (or Friday!) everyone.  I’m writing this post from bed because I’m not feeling too great, but I do have to work today…but not tomorrow!  Do you have to work tomorrow?

This week has been really good for me eating-wise.  I actually started using Lose It, which is an iPhone app and a website where you can track what you eat and your exercise daily.  I’ve used it before but pretty unsuccessfully.  I would do it religiously for about 2 weeks and then I’d forget about it.  Or I wouldn’t track the weekends because I was afraid of what they were going to say!

This time – it’s going to be different!  Famous last words.  My favorite part of the app is that you can scan a barcode and it knows what you ate.  It’s great for my Kashi bars.

We’ll see how it all works out.

Now, let’s get onto the eats for the past week.

BREAKFASTS – Monday was yogurt, Tuesday was a Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte and a Kind Bar and yesterday was overnight oats with rolled oats, chia seeds, 1% milk, peanut butter and cinnamon.

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LUNCH – I went out to lunch with some co-workers on Monday and we all ordered salads.  I ordered a sesame-crusted dijon mustard salmon salad.  It was only over a bed of romaine lettuce, which wasn’t too much flavor but the salmon was good.  Tuesday I got sushi from Whole Foods – tuna and avocado over brown rice.  So yummy!  And then yesterday was a salad!

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SNACKS – I had 2 apples this week and a little bit of chocolate pudding over graham crackers that someone put in the break room.  It was so good!

DINNERS – Well, dinners were okay this week.  Monday was pizza because neither of us felt like cooking!  But hey, I went to the gym and did the arc trainer for 40 minutes!  I forgot to take a picture – sorry! Tuesday was chicken, rice and peppers.  Last night was Skyline.  Skyline is a Cincinnati chili brand that is oh-so amazing!  You pour it over pasta with shredded cheddar cheese.  AMAZING!

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And now, it’s time to switch computers and start working for the day!  Enjoy your Thursday! 🙂

The Windy City, Where Calories Don’t Count

As you can probably tell, I have been M.I.A. for a few days and it’s not because I haven’t been thinking about the blog, it’s because I visited my BFF in Chicago this past weekend!  The 2 of us really wanted to do a girl’s weekend and this past weekend worked out the best for both our schedules.  The men stayed home and watched the NCAA tournament.  #boyswillbeboys

I took the train from Ann Arbor to Union Station.  Even though it was an hour late, it was still a nice ride.  I finished reading my book for pleasure.  No, not the Brandi Glandville book (I wish).  I read There’s Cake in My Future by Kim Gruenefelder.  I borrowed it from my friend and wanted to finish it so I could give it back to her.  It was nice read, nothing too difficult, no twists or turns.  It was really nice to start and finish a book in one day.  I miss doing that.

When I arrived in the Windy City (which is my favorite city of all-time!), it was time to be ladies who lunch!  And where d you go to feel like kept women?  Why Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba for tapas, of course.

We dined on delicious bread, sweet potato wedges, shrimp and some Spanish doughnuts.  We also split half a pitcher of red wine sangria.  It was absolutely glorious.  The shrimp had to be my favorite because they were made with lemon drizzles!  The churros (Spanish doughnuts) were amazing!  They came with chocolate and vanilla with cinnamon dipping sauces.  Both were delicious!

PicMonkey Collage

We walked around, shopped, stopped at Starbucks before coming back to take a shower and prep for dinner wit some other girlfriends.  We went to Duke of Perth for a fish fry!  We had to wait a really long time, but it was actually pretty good!  It was great to see friends, chat and then walk to get ice cream at Bobtail!  I love Bobtail!  I ordered a Thin Mint cup.  Also, my friend Kellye was obsessed with updating her NCAA bracket.  She went to Indiana and is quite into basketball.  Her fiance was out in Colorado for his bachelor’s party and getting his updates were hilarious.  I can’t wait for their wedding in May!

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Saturday morning, we woke up, ate breakfast and then went to StudioFit Chicago for a Barre class.  I was really nervous about it and it was super hard!  The instructor was great – she was encouraging, yet pushed you to your limits!  I’m not sure if I would go back to a barre class because I am really tight in my hamstrings and couldn’t get my leg up there easily, but if I were limber, definitely.  I was a sweaty mess afterwards.  The studio was gorgeous inside with lockers and a room with mirrors and the bar.

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really bad cell phone photo

After sweating out our toxins (and calories) from the night before, we did what any normal girl would do: eat doughnuts!!

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Coconut Doughnut

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Glazed and Infused – amazing!

We quickly showered and then headed out to walk around downtown Chicago!  It was glorious.  It was windy and a little chilly, but it was so nice to share conversations and great buildings.  We swung by Sprinkles Cupcakes, picked up some macaroons and some nice 2-buck chuck wine for Trader Joe’s!  It’s cheap but really good!

We had reservations for a pasta making class, so we took the bus over!  It was so much fun!  Here’s some photos to capture it!  I’m going to write a separate post on our pasta class because it definitely deserves it’s own accolades!

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We slept like babies Saturday night after our pasta and chocolate (and our Hills marathon) but then woke up on Sunday feeling pretty obese…and sore from the barre class.  We popped over to get some coffee and do a little more walking before it was time for me to hop on the train.

Just a huge shout out to a great weekend!  Girls’ Weekends are always super fun, filled with way too many calories that don’t count, go way too fast and are too few and far between! I had a great time in Chicago and spent the majority of the train ride back putting together a speech to convince the man to move back.  We’ll see how that goes!

How was your weekend?

Lately.

Hi All!  Oh boy, what a whirlwind week.  I took off tomorrow to go to Chicago for a girl’s weekend (yay!) so 4-day work weeks always go so quickly!

I met my goal this week of setting up 2 meetings (ka-ching) and I’m so excited to have a nice long weekend and be a lady who lunches tomorrow.  With a cocktail!

Here’s what happened on Tuesday:

EXERCISE – I WOKE UP EARLY!  I got up, ate 1/2 a Kashi bar, got on the treadmill.  It was glorious!  I was so proud of myself.

BREAKFAST  – I had one of my breakfast sandwiches and a clementine!

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yum

I had a lunch meeting and was proud of myself for getting salad only.  But then I had a brownie.  Oops.  Hey, I worked out in the morning.  I didn’t take a picture (well, I thought I did and can’t find it on my phone!) for fear of looking like a crazy in front of all my business colleagues.

The positive of working out in the morning, I could come straight home (after a Starbucks!) and actually make dinner.

SNACK – While watching the finale of The Biggest Loser, I snacked on some celery and peanut butter.  What did you think of the finale?  SPOILER – I love that Danni won.  She looks fantastic!

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Celery AND Peanut Butter

 

DINNER – TURKO SALAD.  Again, tacos in this house are made with turkey, so the man will not call them tacos.  I had romaine lettuce, tomato, light sour cream, turkey and cheddar cheese.  Oh so good!

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I couldn’t eat all of this

But of course, there was room for these:

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Thank you, wonderful fiance!

I have to say that one week per month (ladies) there are no rules.  If I want chocolate, I want chocolate.  These sliced loaf double chocolate cakes were amazing!  I had 2 one night, 2 the next night, and then 2 today.  YUMMMY!

Wednesday was crazy and I won’t give too many details, so I’ll just give you some pictures!  Also, yesterday, I came home from a work event and didn’t want to go to the gym.  But the words: You’ll Never Regret a Work out were ringing in my head…or actually the man was literally saying them to me!  So, I went to the gym and did 30 minutes on the arc trainer! Yayy me!

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Strawberries, blueberries and hazelnut coffee

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Skinny Vanilla Latte – Aruba background on my computer!

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Leftover hamburger helper for lunch

Lunch wasn’t too filling and I had a work event with tons of fried food and drinks.  I was proud of myself for only drinking water and ate some veggies, but couldn’t pass up these fried mac and cheese balls!

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yummy veggies with balsamic vinegar

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chicken with green beans – I ate about half of what you see

Is it Friday yet?

A Great Customer Service Experience

Before I get into what happened on Monday, I wanted to share a wonderful experience I had with Amazon customer service.  Seriously, if you aren’t buying from Amazon, you should be!

I ordered the new Lean In book because I believe everyone without a Y chromosome should!  Have you heard about this book?   It’s about women empowerment in the workplace.  I can not wait to read it, and I’ll be sure to share a recap of the book with all of you!

So, I go to Amazon to order the book, which was so easy with the 1-click purchase I have set up with my account.  I love Amazon because it’s easy to order, my shipments arrive on time and if I have a problem, it will be solved!  Well, I ordered the book and it shipped to the saved address on my account.  Which, is in Milwaukee.  Oops!!

I noticed it when I went to see when my book would be arriving and it said it had delivered.  Well, no it hasn’t!  I don’t have it!  I look at the details and see….Milwaukee, WI!  I mean, I love you MKE, but not to house my books.

I called the customer service number and I spoke with Ace.  She was able to look into everything, called the shipper (USPS), confirmed that it had been delivered, but ordered me a replacement at no charge and set it up so it would be delivered tomorrow!!!  What?!?!  That’s fantastic news.  She said that since I’m a loyal customer, she was able to do a replacement order!  Alright, Amazon! I’m so glad I ordered from here and not somewhere else!!  Now I really can’t wait to read this book!

Now, onto the fun stuff!

BREAKFAST – I had one of the egg mcmuffins today!  And I’ve said before, so filling!

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Note to self: get jumbo muffin tin

I wasn’t hungry for quite a while, so when lunch time rolled around, I just grabbed a yogurt!

LUNCH – Light raspberry Yoplait yogurt with a 2 clementines and a piece of cantaloupe.

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IMG_0552While I may have been full for lunch, I came home pretty hungry.  So, I chomped on a Kashi bar (amazing) and some kettle chips.  I tried to convince the man not to buy these kettle chips because I’ll just eat them.  Exhibit A.  (I didn’t take a picture because I was ravenous)!

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love peanut butter

 I didn’t really work out yesterday.  Unless you count a 10 minute circuit work out as exercise.  I consider it stretching…I will not count it!  I was still pretty sore from Saturday, which means I need more circuit work outs!

DINNER – For dinner, I made hamburger helper.  I don’t care what anyone says, this stuff is delicious!  It included a side of asparagus, for health! 🙂

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Portion Control…until I went back for more!

I attribute my hunger to not really eating lunch, and you know what, I’m okay with it!

 

Not so Mc Egg McMuffins

EThe other day I posted about how I made some homemade egg mcmuffins, inspired by this recipe from The Yummy Life.

Well, I had one yesterday morning for breakfast and I was so full until 1 in the afternoon.  This will definitely make it into the breakfast rotation.  It so easy to make!

What You’ll Need: 

  • 8 Whole Wheat English Muffins
  • 8 Organic Eggs
  • 8 Turkey Sausage Patties (I used Jennie O)
  • 8 Slices of Cheddar Cheese (I used Sargento 45 calorie slices)
  • Pam-covered muffin tin

How to Prepare:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Separate muffins
Add cheese
Make sausage according to package
Break eggs into muffin tin and bake for 25 – 30 minutes
Add sausage to sandwich
Add cooked eggs
Roll in wax paper and baggie
Place in freezer!

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ENJOY!

Super easy to make, and super delicious and filling!  Thanks, Yummy Life!

 

 

Sunday Funday

Wow!  What a weekend!  Even today was a whirlwind.

The day started out with Mass at a new church.  We went to the church where we are taking our marriage preparation classes, so it was great to see the pastor in action!

Then we headed to the grocery store for our weekly shopping trip.

Here’s what we’re going to eat this week (in no particular order):

Menu with strawberries

 

What do you think of this graphic?  I thought the burst was fun…no?  Did you notice the turkos?  The man will not call them tacos if they are made with turkey meat….whatever!

I worked on the blog for some time, watching some Bravo and taking a nap!  Have I mentioned how much I love, love, love Bravo and Andy Cohen?  Well, if I haven’t, I love all things @bravoandy!

I played around with a recipe for homemade and healthy egg McMuffins, inspired by The Yummy Life!  I had one for breakfast today and it was amazing!  I’ll post the recipe later.

Then, I drank some tea while reading the latest Us Weekly!  Who else is ready for this royal baby?  Kate is the chic-est pregnant woman ever!

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I love that the steam was captured!

DINNER – When it was time for dinner, I didn’t want to make anything and we got pizza at the store!  The man will never say no to pizza and when I’m in the mood for pizza, he lets me pick the brand.  I chose margherita pizza from California Pizza Kitchen.  Yes please!  I had a salad on the side.

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Hey tomatoes!

My goals for work outs this week:

  • Do one work out in the morning (I’m looking at you, Tuesday!)
  • Do more circuit work outs
  • Run, Run, Run!

Here’s to a great week!