Saturday, July 31, 2010

Our Friday night

Last  night, hubs and I decided to have a mini date-night and check out the pizza place near our new house.  Pie in the Sky Pizza has three locations in Nashville and has been repeatedly voted best pizza place in the area.  We sat on the huge outdoor patio and the fans kept the 95+ degree temperatures feeling reasonable.  We shared a spiral breadstick stuffed with cheese and a delicious deep-dish pizza with lots of toppings. 

We devoured half the pizza before I remembered to take a picture.  Oops!  

For dessert we decided to try a recipe for S'mores cookies. (Another recipe from here) They were so fun!  I couldn't believe how they tasted exactly like s'mores. Next time I'd either not soften the butter or refrigerate the dough before baking as the dough was a little too soft and flattened out a little more than desired when cooking. 

2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 Hershey's bars, chopped

Beat butter and sugars till fluffy.
Mix in eggs and vanilla.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, salt and soda.
Combine flour and butter mixtures.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Use 2 T scoop to drop dough onto baking sheet.
Bake ~6-8 minutes at 375.  Remove from oven.  Push in a few marshmallows and pieces of Hershey bar.  Bake 3-4 additional minutes. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Some eye candy for your enjoyment... :)

Catchup: CMA Music Fest

Not blogging in a few months means failing to share with you some of the more exciting things we've been doing lately!  One of my favorite things about the summer came in the form of ridiculous amounts of country music.  Living in downtown Nashville means being surrounded by endless live music by some of the country's greatest newbies hoping to get discovered.  CMA Music Fest, however, is 4 days and nights of all the biggest names in country music.  And it is ah-mazing.

All day long, Thursday-Sunday, there are about 10 concerts per day at Riverfront Park.  It's open seating and free to anyone.  According to their site, the concerts drew crowds of nearly 65,000 people each day.  I loved getting to see some old favorites like Clay Walker, Mark Chesnutt and Neal McCoy and some new guys like Josh Gracin, Craig Morgan and Jake Owen.  Only downfall: 100+ degree temperatures every day with full sun!!  (We just might have consumed 15 sno-cones in these 4 days.) 

The headlining concerts were held Thursday-Sunday nights at LP Field and included Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Martina McBride, Reba, and on and on!  They sold out each night with 49,000 people in attendance.

In case you didn't get it by now... you should totally be marking your calendars for next June to join us for another fabulous year of music fest!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Skinny Chef Spinach Stuffed Meatloaf

Mike and I are big meatloaf fans so when I found this recipe I was very excited to try it out!  It was really delicious and I recommend you add it to your menu for next week.  The best part: super healthy but tastes amazing!

-2 cups packed spinach leaves
-1 pound ground turkey (I used lean ground beef as I thought a meatloaf of all turkey would be a little dry)
-1 cup oats (it says not to use quick cooking but we did anyway and didn't notice anything wrong!)
-2 egg whites
-1/8 cup low-sodium soy sauce
-1/4 cup skim milk
-1/4 cup parsley
-4 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
-1/2 tsp paprika
-1/2 cup grated part-skim mozzarella
-2 TBS ketchup or BBQ sauce (we used ketchup but Mike commented he thinks a marinara sauce would go really well with the rest of it and I totally agree!)

Preheat oven to 350.  Heat a large skillet over high heat.  Add the spinach and 2 TBS water.  Cook 1-2 minutes, until wilted.  Set aside.  Place oats into large bowl, along with eggs, milk, and soy sauce.  Stir well to coat and soak about 10 minutes.  Add ground beef, parsely, garlic, worcestershire, and paprika. Mix well.
Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray and smooth half the meat mixture into the pan.  Top with spinach.  Sprinkle over cheese, then press the remaining meat over top and cover with ketchup or bbq sauce.  Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until meatloaf is no longer pink in center.  Rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.
Meatloaf with rolls and steamed zucchini and squash!
Hubs pulled through with the study food by bringing me my favorite Publix sugar cookies.  I guess I can give him some credit if I got an A!  Yum!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The past two days have been super busy for me.  The summer semester is winding down and my time has been sucked up by studying, trying to finish up my summer clinical work, lab report writing, and monthly QA at the clinic.  After 11 hours at school yesterday, I was not being very productive at anything so I decided to squeeze in one of my favorite short workouts before heading to bed to study fall asleep way too early.   The first time I did this one was right before CMA music fest where we had to climb to the tippy top of the Titans football stadium.  Mike made fun of my struggle to the top the first night.  I made him do the workout the next day so he could see how incredibly sore it makes you!  You can find it here.  The maneuvers take a bit of figuring out the first time around but there are pictures to help you through!  All you need is a set of 3-5 pound weights. 
I'm off to review for tomorrow's brachytherapy test!  Let's hope Hubs pulls through with his ritual of making me cookies when I study because I'm really craving some oatmeal deliciousness right about now.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kitchen experiments

It's a well known fact that I'm known to be a pretty picky eater.  I've actually come a LONG way in the past few years (Mike gives himself credit for this) but I still have lots of room for improvement.  I try to make at least one or two new things every week in an effort to broaden my horizons.  After seeing our favorite food blog make fried green tomatoes, Mike has been dying to try it out.  We went to a farmer's market yesterday and found the biggest green tomato I've ever seen (for only $1!).

We decided to combine the dish with another food new to us both: acorn squash.  I'd had a recipe I've wanted to try for awhile now and it was definitely worthwhile!  We served them both with a fresh halibut filet for a unique dinner combination.
We made the acorn squash by halving it and digging out the "pumpkin innards" and slicing it into 8 pieces.  I recommend an awesome knife and strong boy for this job as it didn't appear to be easy.

We placed them on a baking sheet, covered them in foil and baked them for 35 minutes at 400 degrees.  When the time was up I covered them in brown sugar and stuck them back in the oven (uncovered) for about 20 more minutes.  They were served with crumbled bacon on top (we used Morningstar Farms veggie bacon which tasted far better than it looks!).  They had a great mix of flavors and we were both fans. 

Mike was in charge of the tomatoes.  He sliced them up and coated them lightly with salt, pepper, and flour before dredging them in eggwhites and cornmeal.  They were fried for a few minutes on each side until crispy and golden on the outside.  He really liked them but I was not a fan of their slimy insides!  
Mike can't leave a recipe alone so these have red pepper flakes thrown in the mix.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Run

I decided to take advantage of the not-quite-as-miserably-hot morning today and the fact that I found a slightly less hilly area nearby to get in a good run.  Most of the streets immediately around us are major roads with no sidewalks so I was excited to find a large, new neighborhood filled with sidewalks and trails about a mile from our house.  For those of you from Gainesville, it reminds me of Haile Village Center with lots of shops and a mix of single family homes, townhouses, condos, shops, etc.  Mike dropped me off a little before seven (the road to get there is STEEP and I didn't want to be burned out before I even got started).  This was my first run with my Garmin GPS watch that we got back in May.  Apparently tall, city buildings are really good at blocking the satellites and it never worked well downtown.  I was pleasantly surprised by it's performance today!  I didn't use any of the advanced features for my first go, but enjoyed knowing my exact pace, time, distance, etc.  I planned on doing 5 miles and then walking home but a little way into my walk home I got bored and decided to just run it out.  The watch tells me my total stats:

and my splits:
Mile 1 - 9:54
Mile 2 - 10:15
Mile 3 - 9:52
Mile 4 - 10:07
Mile 5 - 10:16
Mile 6 - 10:51
Pretty cool!

When I got home, I wanted something cold for breakfast so I decided to make a new smoothie I'd been wanting to try.  It was amazing!  Mike, who is a self-proclaimed smoothie master, admitted it was the best he's had too.

~5 ice cubes
3/4 cup frozen strawberries
1 banana (I couldn't get the frozen one out of it's peel so I used a fresh one)
handful of fresh blueberries
half a handful of frozen chopped spinach
1 scoop stawberry Whey Protein powder
Splash of vanilla flavored almond milk (if you haven't had this stuff, go to the store now and get some- it's life changing.  I could seriously drink a carton of it every day. mmmm!)
1/2 a cup regular milk

Blend it all up and enjoy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another move

As of today, we are officially moved out of our downtown apartment and into our new rental house in the 'burbs.  The move was relatively uneventful and we are loving our new space.  Our house is located in a neighborhood about 10 miles out from downtown, close to Brentwood, TN.  It's surrounded by lots of new restaurants we can't wait to try and the staples I need to survive: Publix, Target, Panera, (and the greatest TJMaxx/Homegoods ever which I've already been to like 5 times).  The area is really pretty and extraordinarily hilly.  I know I'll miss the convenience of our downtown spot to the excitement of lower Broadway but we're loving having a third bedroom and huge deck and backyard.  Plus, we have a completely awesome flagpole to hang our Gator flag come September 4th (priorities, people!).  Here's a few pictures Mike took before we moved in.  We are busy decorating and finding places for all our stuff.  I'll snap some more pictures of the place once things are a little more organized!

Quick Cardio

Because of our recent move (more on that soon!), I'm forced to adjust to life without a gym and get creative with at-home workouts that can be done with little to no equipment.  This morning's comes from How Sweet It Is and is a quick but challenging workout. Hubs thought I was insane when he woke up to me jumping around like a crazy person. 

50 jumping jacks
20 alternating lunges
10 tuck jumps
20 squats
60 sec high knees
10 squat jumps
10 burpees
60 sec jump rope
20 sec mountain climbers
25 pushups
60 sec plank