Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekend Eats!

Hello!  I hope you had a great weekend :)  I had a weekend fit for a foodie!  I just didn't get much sleep - I am way to hot at night and I keep waking up :(  Not good for a teacher who has to be up at 5:45AM in the morning!  And I couldn't sleep in Saturday because I forgot about being in my Barre instructors certification video at 8:00AM!  I did need the workout though - I am still sore!  I love feeling the ache in my glutes!  

Anyway,  I spent the weekend with my family!  We went to the grand opening of the Parma Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.  The library is amazing - a technology/iPad wall, quiet study rooms, a teen room, a large children's room, meeting and conference rooms, a computer room, a room with a fireplace and much more!  If you are around the area, please check it out!  I love it :) 

After, the grand opening of the Parma library, we went to the Little Polish Diner for a late lunch.  My mom, sister, and I shared some apps - we all like to order shareable items so we can sample lots of menu items.

I started with a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup :) 

Pierogis - I had one potato and cheddar pierogi

Cheese blintzes - delicious!!

Pyzy - Potato dumplings filled with meat and cooked with onions and bacon.  I loved it!

Afterwards, I fell asleep :)  Luckily, I woke up to get ready to meet my best sister/friend that I've known since I was 2 for a later dinner at Humble Wine Bar in Lakewood - owned by Deagans (check out both places)  I have been wanting to try this place for awhile - I just love how wine bar food is so shareable!

Charcuterie board - Brillat Savarin, Bonne-Buche, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar with honey, fig jam, nuts, housemade crackers and mini baguette

Shrimp Neapolitan-Style Pizza - roasted garlic, calabrian chiles, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil (they have a floor-to-ceiling, wood-burning stone pizza oven)!!!

Pumpkin Creme Brulee - walnut cake and pumpkin seed brittle :) True love!

On Sunday, I went to see I'm In Love With A Church Girl with my dad - Please go see this movie!  It is an independent film and only in the theaters for a couple more days.  The movie is touching and really makes you think.  And after the movie, I went to The Oak Barrel in Valley View with my mom, sister, and her boyfriend.  Again, we got items to share :)

Earl Grey Lavender Tea - I'm not sure if my 26 kids are getting me sick, so I will be a hot tea junkie :)

Tomato Basil Soup - I am such a soup person, especially when it is fall and winter!

Pumpkin and Apple Crostini - my two favorite fall flavors in one - how awesome!!

Devils on Horseback - Medjool dates, bread cheese, fresno chile, applewood bacon

Wood Stone Oven Pizza: Croque Monsieur - house smoked pork belly, gruyere cheese, béchamel, local egg

Roasted Turkey Sandwich - pita toast, muenster cheese, crisp falafel, sprouts, LTO, applewood bacon

As you can see, I love food - good food that is as local as possible and non-chain.  And even though I had a non-restful weekend with little sleep, the food definitely helped make up for it :)  I can't wait to get done with this week to get to the Dia de los Muertos Festival for some delicious food and for my studios grand opening for some vegan food samples and to spend time with my family and friends! 

Have a great week and I will see you all for WIMBW and I am hoping to post it on Wednesday ;)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

WIMBW - even though it's Saturday!

Hi!  I am so sorry that I am posting my WIMBW on Saturday - I had to coach Wednesday night in the freezing rain, on Thursday I had a Pilates mat workout and lesson planning, and Friday I ran up to the varsity game, grocery shopped and fell asleep.  So, this is the first break I've had since before Wednesday!  Anyway, this week's WIMBW is not out of my usual cookbook - I had a visitor spend the night, so I only had time to throw my usual together, but I did bake it like most of the WIMBW recipes.

Jessica's Healthy Baked Banana Peanut Butter Cup


1/2 cup steel cut oats
1/2 tbsp flax seeds
1/2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 scoops protein powder
1/2 tbsp cacao powder
drizzle honey
1 banana, sliced
1/2 tbsp all-natural peanut butter

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350

Step 2: Add 1/4 cup steel cut oats to oven-proof bowl

Step 3: Add 1/2 tbsp flax seeds and 1/2 tbsp hemp seeds

Step 4: Add 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Step 5: Add 3 scoops protein powder and 1/2 tbsp cacao powder

Step 6: Add drizzle honey

Step 7: Add banana slices and bake for 30 minutes
Mix in 1/2 tbsp all-natural peanut butter

Well, I am sad to say that I did not like this version of my healthy peanut butter cup.  The steel cut oats did not soak up all of the milk the way I prefer.  I had to add so much protein powder, that it turned very gritty.  I will only make this recipe either by cutting back on the milk or only with rolled oats.  I still ate it because I have limited time in the morning and was starving!  I cannot wait to make up for the recipe this week.  So, I do not recommend this version at all - but if you look back to previous posts, you will find the real and amazing version that I love so much!

School Lunch

Melrose Apple from Mapleside Farms

Vegan Pad Thai from Johnny Mango with a cage-free fried egg in coconut oil

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Soup - so yummy and I want more!

Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Roasted Vegetable Pizza - I was starving and when I remembered it was Wednesday, this was all I had left ;)

Newman's Own Organics Super Dark Chocolate Cups with Raspberry Center

Game-Time Snack
Wild Garden Traditional Snack Combo to go Hummus Dip + Multi Grain Pita Chips - I ate this huddled under blankets in the freezing rain!

Oh!  And I received my winnings from Heather Speaks Out blog's Newman's Own Organics giveaway!

Newman-O's in vanilla cream and chocolate and Ginger-O's

Super Dark Chocolate Cups with Raspberry Centers and Peanut Butter Centers

Licorice - Sour Strawberry, Sour Mango, Sour Cherry and Sour Apple

Chocolate - Milk, Mocha Milk, Dark and Orange Dark - mmm!!

Honey Wheat Minis 

Salted Rounds

High Protein


I am excited to sample all these items and provide my feedback :)  Everything looks delicious and I am always in need of some new and better-for-you snacks!

I am glad my lunch and dinner made up for the crumbly breakfast I had!  I am just happy that I finally had time to share the yummy food I had for lunch and dinner.  I also cannot wait to share my weekend with you!  I was up early this morning filming a fitness certification video with my barre instructor :)  

Now, it's lesson planning time and girls night later!  Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Time!

Hi everyone!  I just wanted to share my excitement of pumpkin with you - like you haven't seen or heard about pumpkin enough already!  I recently stopped at Trader Joe's and Mapleside Farms Pumpkin Festival.  I bought many pumpkin items at Trader Joe's and a 20 lb pumpkin (and some Melrose apples, apple butter and apple BBQ sauce) at Mapleside Farms.  It was very nice to have such an amazing afternoon outside :)

Hay bail jack-o-lantern at Mapleside

Trader Joe's has their limited-time pumpkin products lining their shelves - I bought a few items: pumpkin soup, pumpkin spice chai, and pumpkin cranberry crisps.  I bought Honey Chèvre for the pumpkin cranberry crisps.  I also sampled the Pecan Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal - delicious!!  I cannot wait to share how I feel about each item - I can already assume that I will love them :)  I am also looking forward to heading back out there for a few more fall items:
  1. pumpkin spice rooibos tea
  2. apple cinnamon goat cheese
  3. pumpkin pancake and waffle mix
  4. pumpkin cranberry scone mix
  5. pumpkin spice granola
  6. nonfat Greek yogurt flavored with pumpkin
  7. honey roasted pumpkin ravioli
You should also try to head out to your local Trader Joe's or any other grocery store that may have seasonal (pumpkin) items.  I am so pumped to get my pumpkin on :)  I will also be trying to bake something with pumpkin at least once a week!  I am so excited!!

Have an awesome evening!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike!  Guess what day it is?!  It's Hump Day aka WIMBW!  I love Wednesdays for two reasons now - obviously, WIMBW/WIAW and because it means that my school week is almost over :)  Yay!!!  We got the bad boy back in our class today, so I am glad this week is almost done with.  I also sat in major traffic today because of some drizzle - one thing I strongly dislike about Cleveland is the fact that most drivers can't drive in rain or snow (even though it rains and snows here more days than it doesn't some years)!  My 10 minute commute turned into a 50 minute commute - crazy, right?  So, it is safe to say that I am very happy I started my day off with an awesome oatmeal bake!

I remember picking up some peaches at Trader Joe's this Sunday and I was sure they were not all eaten yet ;)  And since I never know what fruit will actually be in my fruit drawer week by week, I decided to try Jenny Grothe's Peach Cobbler Baked Oatmeal on page 101 in 75 Ways To Love Your Oatmeal.  I am not usually a peach person (I like berries, apples and bananas the most), but I do enjoy baked fruits.  I figured it might be similar to baked apples :)  I also decided to try baking with my steel cut oats - I kept my fingers crossed the entire time!

Jessica's Peachy-Keen Baked Oatmeal


1/4 cup steel cut oats
1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tbsp flax seeds
1/2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp raw coconut crystals
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
drizzle honey
1 banana, sliced
1/2 peach, chopped
1/2 tbsp all-natural peanut butter

Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 350

Step 2: Add 1/4 cup steel cut oats to an oven-proof bowl

Step 3: Add 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 tbsp flax seeds, and 1/2 tbsp hemp seeds

Step 4: Add 1 cup Silk PureAlmond Unsweetened Almond Milk Vanilla (or milk of choice)

Step 5: Add 1 tbsp raw coconut crystals and 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Step 6: Add drizzle of honey

Step 7: Add one sliced banana and half a chopped peach

Step 8: Add 2 scoops of protein powder and bake in oven for 30 minutes

Step 9: Spread 1/2 tbsp all-natural peanut butter on top

I really enjoyed this oatmeal - what a surprise!  It was creamy and filling and nutty.  I just loved the peach and banana together - the cinnamon and peach were also very delicious together.  I really like spreading the peanut butter on top and having it mix around in every bite.  The protein powder definitely helped thicken up the mixture - I think the baked oatmeal would've been very soupy if I did not add the 2 scoops.  I will be trying this with canned pumpkin and apples next time :)


Dan Dan Ramen - spicy garlic oil, nama ramen, seasoned nuts, sweet soy and basil - from NoodleCat - I am all out now :(

Frozen grapes - my mini popsicles!

Whole Foods 365 Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel

Afternoon Snack


Autumn Grilled Cheese - Rudi's with Honey Chèvre, pumpkin butter, a slice of GoVeggie cheddar, and an egg fried in coconut oil and a bowl of tomato basil soup - sweet and savory in one meal = perfection!

Another successful WIMBW/WIAW in the books!  Well, I need to get started on the lesson plans for tomorrow - I can be very good at finding "more important" things to do than planning :)  Have an awesome night and great Thursday - I am hoping to post tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Hi all!  I am still getting used to this crazy hectic schedule of mine!  Teaching is definitely even more work than I thought - I knew that I would be taking work home, but this extra-tough position I have been put in just exhausts me.  I feel like I never have a time to rest, but I still am somehow able to manage some time for some delicious eats and getting out of the house and classroom!

Lately, I feel...exhausted, overwhelmed, and ready for a vacation - our first day of "no school" is Election Day - actually we have no kids, but our first real day we have no school is Veteran's Day, then two weeks later Thanksgiving break and in two more weeks Christmas break!!

Lately, I have been eating...
Frozen black grapes and concord grapes - like mini popsicles! 

So, I made black beans as part of my food prep - I wanted to add something to them, so I went for a slice of GoVeggie PepperJack Cheese, a fried cage-free egg (in coconut oil) and added some red pepper flakes

Lately, I can't get enough of...pumpkin!!

Pumpkin Pie Sundae from Sweet Moses - the cutest little old-fashioned ice cream shop and soda fountain!  Perfect for a sweet, little date night!  And no, I did not eat this on my own ;)

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Latte made with unsweetened coconut milk - mmmmmm!

Pumpkin Pie Frozen Yogurt from Menchie's!  I am not a super Menchie's fan, but I really wanted a limited-time color-changing spoon :) And their pumpkin pie fro-yo was awesome!

Lately, I am packing...pretty healthy lunches - with a small indulgence for a perfect ending to my meal ;)

Mixed greens with blue cheese crumbles and Avocado dressing 

 Spicy Garlic Noodles from noodlecat - super spicy and super delicious!  I have made three lunch out of this :)  I love eating good and saving money :)

Whole Foods Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel - this is the best thing ever!  I have ended every school lunch with this for the past week and a half - probably the best part of my school day ;)  Apparently, I am eating half the serving-size!  Go me!

Lately, (today) for dinner... I have been using leftovers (score for the money-saver!)

Today, I made a grilled cheese sandwich - fried egg, GoVeggie Mozzarella slice, Chèvre with honey on Rudi's multigrain brushed with coconut oil - to accompany my mom's tomato basil soup - best combo!

Lately, I have been looking forward to...the weekend more than ever!

Lately, my workouts consist of...reformer, springboard, and barre classes!  I will be trying an equipment combo next week and cannot wait to share that with you!

Lately, I am thankful administrators - for our staff meeting, we were all celebrated and provided with some nice "teaching resources"
How thoughtful and useful ;)

Well, I really need to get ready for bed for another crazy school day!  I am also making muffins tomorrow evening - I am thinking a banana muffin and some sort of chocolate muffin.  I really wish I could make some sort of nut muffin, but too many allergy risks.  

And, I almost forgot!  There will definitely be a WIMBW post tomorrow - I made no workouts or, lucky you!  It will be delicious and I prepped most of it tonight so I can have it tomorrow morning!

Good night and have a great hump day!