Saturday, May 31, 2014

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

One of my favorite things to do each spring is to make a trip to the strawberry fields and nearly pick my weight in fresh berries. It's something I've done with my mom very year since I was a small child. We always make some sort of a fresh and light dessert with our berries, and a huge batch of mom's famous strawberry jam, but this year I wanted to get creative with a few of the extra berries.

As soon as I made my Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, I knew I wanted a strawberry version. This recipe is also inspired by Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Makes around 8 ounces


1/2 cup cold pressed olive oil
3/4 cup fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
1 teaspoon dijon mustard


Add the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth and well incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to use.

What are your weekend plans? 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lemon Pepper Rosemary Salt

My friend Jennifer gave me a jar of Lemon Pepper Rosemary Salt a while ago and it was so good! She and some friends got together and made different seasonings and this was one of the combinations they made. Now that it's officially grilling season, I thought I'd share the recipe with you. This is one you need to try!

This seasoning salt would taste great sprinkled on grilled meats, fish, streamed vegetables, and roasted chicken. I've used this seasoning on grilled chicken and roasted veggies and it tastes amazing. It has a great flavor that pairs perfectly with everything. I especially love the hint of lemon paired with the rosemary; it tastes so fresh. I'll definitely be making more of this seasoning when I get fresh fish this summer.

Lemon Pepper Rosemary Salt

Makes about 1 cup of seasoning


Grated zest of 2 lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
Fresh rosemary leaves from 2 (5-inch) branches (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup coarse sea salt


In a food processor, add the ingredients (minus the salt) and process until finely chopped, about 1 minute. Add the salt and pulse until the salt forms smaller crystals and the mixture is blended, about 30 seconds. Pack into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and store in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months for optimum flavor.

Lemon Pepper Rosemary Salt Grilled Chicken

Coat chicken in teriyaki sauce and sprinkle seasoning on the top of the chicken. Grill chicken (turning chicken over after about 5 minutes) until the internal temperature reaches 165*.

What is your favorite go-to seasoning?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Spring/Summer Workout Playlist

Happy Memorial Day! I hope this day finds you at the beach with beautiful weather. 

I'm so excited that summer is just around the corner. It's time for beach season, cookouts, and all sorts of warm-weather fun. Oh and sweaty workouts... can't forget those. To help get you motivated for your next sweat session, check out my Spring/Summer 2014 Workout Playlist below.

What type of music motivates your workouts?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Brownie Fruit Pie {Memorial Day Dessert}

Hello, hello! I'm so thrilled that it's finally the weekend. And what better way to start the weekend than with dessert???

Memorial Day is just a few days away and if you don't already have a dessert planned for your family, you should definitely consider making this Brownie Fruit Pie

It's easy, delicious, and serves a crowd. And it looks festive; you can't beat that!

This dessert starts with a boxed brownie mixed, prepared according to the directions on the package. Preheat the oven to 350* and lightly spray a pie dish with nonstick spray. Pour the batter into the pie dish until it's 1/2-3/4 full. 

Pour the remaining batter into a small loaf pan. Extra brownies = brownie sundaes for later. 

Bake the brownie pie for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Now for the fun part! The frosting is really simple and is not at all overly sweet. It's a cream cheese frosting and it pairs perfectly with the brownie and the strawberries. 

In a small bowl, combine 8 ounces of low-fat cream cheese (or regular) with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix until smooth and creamy. If it's not sweet enough for your liking, add additional powdered sugar as needed. Spread the frosting over the brownie pie and garnish with sliced berries. Feel free to cover the entire brownie pie with fruit and use a variety of fruit. 

Refrigerate the brownie pie until ready to serve and store left-overs in the refrigerator.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a safe and happy holiday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

It's that time of the year when I crave salads and ice cream. Or anything of the cold variety, really. And what could be better with a salad and ice cream than homemade Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Strawberries are in season where I live and I'm loving it. Most people wouldn't think that strawberries grow near the beach, but they do and they're bountiful. My mom and I picked buckets full of strawberries a few weeks ago and I'm going back with a group for work tomorrow. I'm thrilled to learn that my favorite strawberry field will soon produce blueberries... they'll be ready for picking in July. I'll definitely be back to pick my weight in blueberries and make more of this amazing dressing in a few months, but for now, frozen blueberries are doing the trick and I can't get enough salad with this liquid perfection drizzled atop!

Try this dressing today! You're going to love it :)

Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Recipe makes around 8 ounces

This dressing was inspired by Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean


1/2 cup cold pressed olive oil
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
heaping 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed if frozen)
1/8 cup agave


Add the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until well combined. Chill until ready to serve.


Monday, May 19, 2014

The Famous 2-Ingredient Pancake

Hello, hello! I can hardly believe that it's Monday already. I hope you all had a great weekend and that you're rested and ready for the week ahead. I have a fun breakfast recipe to share with you today...

I've been seeing and hearing about 2-ingredient pancakes for a few years now. They are everywhere! I finally got around to trying them and after the first bite, I couldn't understand why it took me so long to try them. Now don't go make these and think that they're going to taste like regular ol' pancakes... you will be a little disappointed if you do. 

BUT they do taste great. They taste sweet (depending on how ripe your bananas are) and a bit eggy- like a crepe. You could top this pancake with syrup or even add a scoop of nut butter, which takes it to a whole new level of amazing! 

Make a 2-Ingredient Pancake:

In a small mixing bowl, lightly beat an egg. Add a small to medium ripened banana to the bowl and mash with a potato masher until the mixture is mostly smooth and well combined.

Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray and turn on the heat to low-medium (my stove heat goes from 1 to 10, 1 being low, and mine was set at 3). Once the pan is heated, pour the mixture into the pan and cook for several minutes (at least two minutes or until the batter seems to be set and the pancake is golden brown).

Flip the pancake over and continue to cook for an additional minute or so, or until this side is set and golden brown. Serve the pancake immediately and enjoy with your favorite toppings.

And seriously, add some nut butter! Amazing!!

Have you tried these things yet? If so, what did you think?
They've found a place in my breakfast rotation for sure.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Full Body Resistance Band Workout

Good Morning!! I hope all of you are off to a great start for a fabulous weekend.

I have a fun workout to share with you today and the only piece of equipment you will need is a resistance band (and a chair for one of the exercises). This means that this workout is perfect to do in small spaces and while you are traveling. You can use a flat band (like Thera-Band) or tubing with handles at the end.

I've been using resistance bands a lot in my fitness classes lately- our facility has them, so why not use them? I used to think that these bands were kind of silly and not as effective as dumbbells, but I was so wrong! These bands really can work every muscle group in your body and they're available in many levels of resistance. 

Try my Full Body Resistance Band Workout today!

*As always, please consult your physician to determine whether or not you are able to exercise. Listen to your body and take breaks as needed. Always start with a warm, 

The details...

Standing Bicep Curl

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with your feet placed over the middle of the band. Grab each end of the band, starting with your arms down at your sides. With palms facing in front of you, pull your arms toward your shoulders by bending at the elbow until you get a good bicep contraction. Slowly lower back down and repeat.

Tricep Kickback

Hold one end of the band in one hand and place your hand at the top of your opposite shoulder. With your other hand, pull down the band, keeping your arm close to your body, while extending your arm backwards to form a straight line in a slow and controlled movement (just don’t hyperextend the arm) Finally, bring the arm back in to the starting position and repeat. After you finish the set, switch arms.

Lateral Raise

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with your feet placed over the middle of the band. Grip each end of the band with your arms down at your side and palms facing in. With a slight bend in your elbows, raise your arms straight out to the side to shoulder height. Slowly lower your arms back down and repeat.

Forward Raise

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with your feet placed over the middle of the band and grip each end of the band at your sides with palms facing in. While keeping your elbows soft, raise your arms out in front of you to shoulder height. Slowly lower back down and repeat.

Bent Over Row

Stand over the center of the band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your knees soft and hinge forward at the waist with your back flat, keeping your hips back. Grasp each end of the band and with your elbows bent, pull the band up toward your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together until your elbows form a 90-degree angle

Seated Upright Row

Sit upright in a chair with your feet planted on the floor. Take your band and place it under your thighs. Take each band and cross it over to the other side to form a “circle” with your hands holding onto the middle of where the bands are crossed. Lift your arms up, leading with your elbows, until the band is nearly at your chin. Lower the band down to the starting position and repeat.

Front Squat

Stand on the band with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and the center of the band between your feet. With one end of the band in each hand, bring the top of the band over each shoulder into a shoulder press as you squat down. Proper squat form: sit straight down as if you were sitting in a chair, keep your chest up, abs engaged, and being mindful as to not let your knees pass your toes. Rise back up to start position, while lowering your arms, and repeat.


Secure a band around your legs just above your knees. Lie on your back with hips and knees flexed to 90 degrees. Pull your knees apart while engaging and squeezing your glutes for 2-3 seconds. Slowly return to starting position and repeat.

Do you ever use resistance bands in your fitness routine? If so, what are your favorite exercises?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Skinny Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I'm a huge fan of broccoli and cheddar Soup. I've love the Broccoli Cheese Soup at Panera and I've even had my fair share of it at Subway. It became one of my favorite comfort foods last winter and I couldn't seem to get enough of it. However, I can honestly say that I had no idea how much fat was in my beloved soup, but I guess that's why it tastes so great!

If you're looking for a lighter version of broccoli and cheddar Soup for your dinner or to serve as an appetizer, you need to try this recipe! It's very easy to make, delicious, and you will have fresh hot soup on your table in less than 30 minutes.

Skinny Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Makes 4 servings


3 cups unsalted vegetable stock
4 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 chopped carrot
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 + 1/8 cup fat free half-and-half
4 ounces shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese


Combine the first seven ingredients in a large saucepan on high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the broccoli is tender. Turn off the heat and with an immersion blender, blend the soup until it's creamy. If you don't have a hand blender, use a regular blender. Once the soup is blended, return it to the pan. Stir in the half-and-half and cheese. You will not need to turn the stove back on, as there will be enough residual heat to melt the cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe from

What's your favorite soup?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Orange Glazed Chicken

I've mentioned before that I love Chinese food. Every now and then, I just have to have it and that craving doesn't go away until I get my fix. This Orange Glazed Chicken is delicious and it really hits the spot. It has a deliciously sweet and slightly tangy taste, but it also has a little bit of a kick! And it's pretty inexpensive to make. Overall, this dinner is a win in my book! Serve over brown rice for a delicious meal.

Orange Glazed Chicken


1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon water


In a small bowl, stir the first four ingredients and set aside. In a skillet, heat the olive oil on high and stir in the chicken and pepper slices (If your chicken is slicked thicker, you might want to add the chicken prior to adding the pepper slices. I typically cover the chicken while it's cooking; I've found that it stays more tender this way--oh and it browns beautifully. Once they are cooked, add the sauce to the skillet. Combine the corn starch and water in a small bowl and add the mixture to the skillet. Continue to cook the chicken mixture until heated through and the sauce begins to thicken.

*A note about the sauce: I would have been more than happy with half the sauce. When I make this again, I will either double the chicken and broccoli or halve the sauce.

Recipe adapted from La Choy

What's your favorite take-out fake-out recipe?

Friday, May 9, 2014

"Good Moms" Printable

I made this print last year and gave it to my mom along with her Mother's Day goodies, but I just realized I never shared it with all of you. I didn't make up the saying {it's all over the Internet, everywhere}, but it's something that I knew my mom and many other moms out there could relate to and enjoy. 

Feel free to use this print for your personal use and gifting. It would look great printed and framed or on a card. The possibilities are endless.

Hope you all have an amazing weekend!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spinach and Cheese Lasagna

There's something about Italian food that makes my heart sing. It's fabulous. Truly. But sometimes I'm in the mood for something other than spaghetti or traditional lasagna. This Spinach and Cheese Lasagna was the perfect solution. It's full of spinach and delicious cheeses... what more could you ask for? And the no-boil lasagna noodles equals fewer steps involved. 

Babe declared that it was the best dinner he has had in a long time. I take that as a huge compliment! Make this lasagna for your family this weekend-- you won't regret it.

Spinach and Cheese Lasagna


2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup shredded 3-cheese blend, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1 jar (25 ounce) jar of your favorite pasta sauce
9 no-boil (oven ready) uncooked lasagna noodles


Preheat the oven to 350*. In a large bowl mix the ricotta cheese, half of the mozzarella, half of the 3-cheese blend, egg, spinach, salt, pepper, and oregano. In a small bowl, combine the remaining cheese. Set both bowls aside. In a 13" x 9" pan or baking dish, layer 1 cup (or 1/4 of the jar) of the pasta sauce, then a layer of noodles (3), and then 1/3 of the ricotta-spinach mixture; repeat 2 more times. Top with the remaining sauce and and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Pour 1 cup of water around the edges of the pan. Cover tightly with two sheets of aluminum foil and bake for 1-1.25 hours. Set aside and let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.

*To test if the lasagna is fully cooked, fork the noodle to see if it passes through easily. If it does not, increase the cook time. If you are using regular lasagna noodles, omit the water and reduce cook and cook for 45-55 minutes.

Recipe from Whole Foods

Hope you all are having a fabulous week.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Strawberry Pretzel Parfait {150 Calories}

Hello, hello! Hope you all had a great weekend. We had gorgeous weather yesterday-the perfect temperature with a nice breeze. I wish it was like that year-round!

I've said it before, but strawberries are my favorite fruit. I have fond childhood memories of sitting in strawberry fields, eating perfect vine-ripened strawberries when I was supposed to be helping my mom pick them so that she could make her famous strawberry jam. Even to this day, Smuckers is a total disappointment. 

Anyway, back to the strawberries... they're glorious. Strawberries are perfect on their own and even more perfect when added to treats. This Strawberry Pretzel Parfait is a refreshing and light snack that is sure to leave you satisfied. My version calls for Greek yogurt, which is packed with protein, and it's the perfect combination of salty and sweet. At 150 calories (more or less depending on which ingredients you use), you can't go wrong!

P.S. Mother's Day is Sunday. I bet she would love this!

Strawberry Pretzel Parfait

Serves 1


1- 5.3oz cup of Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla Greek Yogurt
8-10 mini pretzels
4 medium strawberries


Wash and slice the strawberries into small pieces. In a cup or bowl, layer 1/2 the cup of yogurt, followed by half of the strawberries, and then half of the pretzels. Repeat the layers. Serve immediately and enjoy!

What's your favorite fruit?

Jam: store-bought or homemade?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

10, 20, 10 Workout (15 Minute Total Body Blast)

Hello, hello. Happy weekend!!! 

It's been a while since I've shared a workout on here. This 10, 20, 10 Workout is quick (around 15 minutes) and doesn't require any equipment! BUT, don't let that fool you... it totally kicked my but! If you do the workout as written, you will have completed 50 burpees, 100 squats, and 50 lunges. Your legs will be crying for mercy in the best way possible :)

Give this workout a try today. Remember to honor your body and take breaks as needed.

Oh and maybe take a bath afterwards...

to relax those muscles.

And catch up on your guilty pleasure...

mine being Devious Maids.

What's your guilty TV pleasure??

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mother's Day Etsy Finds

It's officially May (where has the time gone?) and that means Mother's Day is right around the corner. It's a special day just for Mom, where we tell her how much we love and appreciate her. I tend to make my own gifts for Mother's Day, but with so many wonderful and thoughtful handmade gifts out there, this year might just be different. 

Some of the best gifts can be found on Etsy. Below, you will find a few of my favorite picks for Mother's Day. If I were a mother, I'd love to get any of these gifts! Click the links below to browse the individual Etsy shop.

p.s. I'm not affiliated with any of these products or shops; just sharing some of the things that have caught my eye!

Mother's Day gifts: homemade or store-bought??