Thursday, January 31, 2013

{Recipe Recap} Nutella Cocoa Krispie Treats

I sent a box of treats up to Michigan on Monday.  I remembered when we visited there in May that Kevin was a big fan of the dessert pizza we had on our last day there, and I recalled that it was made with Nutella.

Since I wasn’t sure how long it would take the treats to get to Kevin, I wanted to make something that I was fairly sure wouldn’t be stale by the time it arrived at its destination.  Extra gooey Rice Krispie treats seemed a logical choice.


I doubled the recipe.  Well, most of the recipe.  I think I might’ve only used 1.5 times the Cocoa Krispies.


I cut the edges off so that the treats I sent to Kevin would be nice, even little squares. Unlike with brownies, however, where edges are less than desirable in my book, these edges tasted just fine and I was happy to share them with the McHusband’s office.


Jenny was kind enough to snap a few pics and send them to me so I could include them with this post.

The birthday boy with his box o’ treats.


Good dad that he is, he made sure to share with Chase and Leah.  I hear they like Nutella, too.


I’m very happy that what I chose to make for Kevin’s birthday treat was such a hit.  This is the third birthday treat I’ve sent (cookies to my mom and brownies to Bri), and I love surprising people with something I think they’ll really enjoy.


What I’m liking about these treats?  The leftover Cocoa Krispies.  A cup of those with half a cup of skim milk makes for a great late-night snack.

{Recipe here}

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Scenes from an ice storm









Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I’m reading a magazine I stole borrowed from the Y tonight and watching Bones


Mondays are now also my late nights because my Power Hour Extreme class moved to 6:30, which means I don’t get home until 8:00.  I was supposed to make a couple salads for lunches this week and do a real blog post, but that’s not happening.

So back to my TV and magazine and I’ll catch you later!

PS  Happy Birthday, Kevin!

Monday, January 28, 2013

{Recipe Recap} Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Brownies

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make these brownies.  I lovelovelove the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate at Starbucks but thankfully for my hips, they don’t sell it any more.  You can, however, still get the mix in the grocery store.  I happened to still have four packets leftover from some hot chocolate cookies I made almost exactly a year ago so that’s what I used in these brownies.


These brownies have both caramel bits and marshmallows baked in them.


They had a really good texture: fudgy and chewy just the way I like them.


However – and I hate to say this – the brownies just weren’t that great.  There just wasn’t any wow factor.  The chocolate flavor was watered down and they weren’t particularly salty or caramel-y.  Probably the best thing about them was the marshmallow bits on top.  They taste like those magically delicious Lucky Charms marshmallows.


I wish I could rave about these brownies, but they just didn’t do it for me or the other people who sampled them.  Oh well, can’t win ‘em all…


{Recipe here}

Friday, January 25, 2013

Our hairy houseguest

We watched Cody while Chelle and Jeremy were out of town last weekend.


Jeremy dropped him off soon after we got home from boot camp on Saturday.  Shortly afterward, the McHusband settled on the loveseat for a little catnap.  Cody followed suit.


When the boys woke up, the McHusband had a little fun at Cody’s expense.


What a sweet puppy.


That afternoon, we took Cody out in the backyard for a little frisbee fun.






After a few more throws, Cody did what Tucker would do.  Instead of bringing the frisbee back to be thrown again, he took it to the shade and laid down with it.



I headed inside and Cody followed me, darting ahead up onto the deck.


I went inside and had a small breakdown.  It was bittersweet to see the McHusband out there throwing Tucker’s frisbee for Cody.


(And I know I still need to do a Tucker tribute post but if it’s this hard to write about a frisbee, I can’t imagine how difficult it’ll be to write about our Tucker-bud and what he meant to us.)

But back to Cody.  I think it took him until 6:00 Sunday evening to settle down and be willing to lay on a bed and keep an eye on me through half-shut eyes rather than being so close that he was actually touching me.


Cody is a very sweet, well-behaved dog who is welcome to stay with us any time.


TGIF!  Our area’s supposed to get snow starting around noon today so we’ll see what kind of mess that makes.  Schools are already scheduled to get out three hours early so hopefully once the kids get home, the roads won’t be so crowded and I can make it safely home without sitting in traffic.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

{Recipe Recap} Honey-Orange Tenderloin

The McHusband and I eat a lot of chicken.  A lot.  So I wanted to make something different for our dinner this past Sunday.  It still needed to be relatively lean, and I hoped to make something that would provide leftovers for the McHusband to eat for a few more days.

Enter the pork tenderloin.

I searched my Google Reader for any tenderloin recipes I might’ve starred and this one was at the top of the list.  It was also the only recipe for pork tenderloin; the rest of the results just happened to mention tenderloin.  Guess it’s not something I’ve been all that interested in.

We’ve grilled pork tenderloins, but I’ve never baked one before.  I wasn’t positive this was going to work out, but it turns out I should’ve been more optimistic.

First I had to sear the meat in my oven-proof skillet then I poured half the marinade over the meat.  I baked it for 10 minutes then pulled it out, turned the meat over, added the rest of the marinade, and put it back in the oven.


I put my potholders on each handle so I wouldn’t accidentally grab hold of them barehanded to put the skillet back in the oven.


Those yellow things are orange peels from the orange marmalade.


I used my meat thermometer to ensure the tenderloins were cooked enough without being overdone, and I think I took them out at exactly the right time.  The meat was tender but not so much so that I worried for our health.


Our sides were yam patties and Steamfresh peas.


So what’s the verdict on the recipe?  I didn’t love the orange flavor.  I’m not big on fruity “real” foods.  Actually, while I like fruit a lot on its own, I don’t love it as either a dessert or as part of a main dish, and it’s especially wrong in salads.


I searched MFP and this was already in there.  According to the website, a 3-ounce serving is 275 calories.  I honestly have no idea if that’s right or not, but I didn’t feel like putting the recipe in myself so I decided to trust the database.

If you like citrus flavors in your foods, then give this tenderloin a try.  I do like the method for making the tenderloin since I could see when it was ready so I’ll try some different marinades and rubs but cook the meat this same way.  Hopefully I’ll find a go-to recipe for when we want to switch things up at the dinner table.

{Recipe here}

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I’m loving lately

Just wanted to share a couple things that I like that maybe some of you would also be interested in.

I have to warn you, they go from one end of the spectrum to the other.  But that just supports my “everything in moderation” mantra.

First up are these workout capris.  They are by Fila, a brand I haven’t had much exposure to.  I bought my first pair of these in early December, and just this past weekend I bought two more pairs of the same exact ones.


I have two pairs in the color combo above and one pair in a solid dark gray color.  I like the wide band at the top, and I like that the waist doesn’t taper way in so the band sits against your skin rather than fitting tightly and squishing in. 

No one likes how that feels.  Or looks.

Another thing these capris have going for them is the weight of the material.  It’s just right; Goldilocks would wear these as they aren’t too thick nor too thin.

I got my pants at Kohl’s, not sure where else you might be able to find them.

Okay, the other thing I’m loving these days is a wine.  (I told you I was going from one extreme to the other.)  I had the Jacob’s Creek Moscato at Outback the night before my marathon and I LOVED it.  The menu didn’t say it was sparkling, and it barely was, but the bubbles were there and I loved them.  Well, I found a Jacob’s Creek Moscato Rose at Harris Teeter on Friday and drank the bottle over two nights (thank you, boot camp, for allowing that) and I can’t wait to run, burpee, and jumping-jack my way into another bottle.  Good thing I’ve got some new workout capris to help me with that endeavor.


This is a sweet wine, but not syrupy-sweet like the Duplin wines I love so much.  I think it was $7 so it’s priced right, too.

So there you go.  If you’re looking to upgrade your gym duds or wanting to try a new wine, I hope my quick reviews have helped.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The McHusband’s Birthday

December 26th started much the way December 25th did – with excitement about gifts.  But this time it was all about the McHusband although his pile of gifts was about the same size as the pile the day before.  His big gift from his parents was a new weight bench, which got delivered to our house the week before. 



Not pictured is the 16-lb medicine ball I got him that he opened at home literally right before we headed to Charlotte. Space was at a premium in the Jeep, and we didn’t really need to lug that with us just to put it back in the car and lug it back home.


Did you notice the yellow-faced watch on the McHusband’s wrist?  That was a combo Christmas-birthday gift from Kevin and Jenny.

That night, we had dinner at Maverick Rock Taco.  Bill and Veerle were able to join us and it was wonderful to have a little time to catch up with them.




Kevin, Jenny, the McHusband and I went bowling after dinner.  I suppose that since it was the McHusband’s birthday, we should’ve let him win.  But I know deep down he wouldn’t have wanted that.  So instead, we girls kicked the boys butts.


You probably can’t see all the X’s, but Jenny got a turkey (that’s 3 strikes in a row for you non-bowlers out there) early in this game.  Pretty impressive even if she did claim dumb luck.

I, however, had to prove that my good-for-me score wasn’t a fluke and get another decent one.


The boys redeemed themselves in the second game by breaking 100, but we girls still came out on top.  That was fun, wasn’t it, Jenny? Open-mouthed smile

So there you go, the final installment of Christmas 2012.  Sorry it took me so long to get it all recapped, but maybe it worked out okay.  I mean, I can’t be the only one who’s kinda holiday-ed out by  January 1st.