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Archive for October, 2012

FPP post September Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

Today is October Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day, and I for one Love Reveal day. So let’s get right to it! 

This month I received my Foodie Box from Stacey. Stacy is a reader of Healthy Living Blogs and is currently thinking about starting up a blog, and I certainly hope she does. I’m also hoping that she will Guest Post here on 40 Fit in the Mitt. Come on Stacey what are you waiting for? 

Stacey lives in Western NY and is a Teacher. She loves to cook, bake and shop, and I have to say this Stacey sure does know how to put together one amazing Foodie Pen Pals Box! Thank-you so much Stacey, I am just so excited to try all my goodies.

Stacey also sent me a wonderfully written card and her secret recipe for Artichoke Dip with a special ingredients twist.. I am sure looking forward to trying this recipe out. So now to the box. It was boxed up so nice in tissue paper and was so much fun to unwrap.

So I grabbed all my goodies and took them outside for a little photo shoot. Check out my loot.

So the first item was this super cool Vanilla Infusion Kit. I am so excited to break this open and Make My Own. I had no idea something like this was even available. All you do to make your own is split the vanilla bean and fill with vodka. Then you store for 4 to 6 months, and BOOM you have your very own 7 year supply of Vanilla.  I just cannot express how EXCITED I am to make my own.

Crouching Tiger Mix. Love a crunchy snack mix.

These lovely little cookies, I dug right into these, and each bite of these cutie patootie cookies had a nice peppermint mocha flavor.

Sweet Potato Chips, Yummy. They had a nice flavor, super crunchy.

I loved all the items Stacey picked out, and just love the Foodie Pen Pal Program, I so look forward to it so much each month.

This month I was paired up with Renee. Renee is also a Healthy Living Blog reader and lives in Illinois. I’m also hoping Renee will Guest Post here as well. Renee loves to cook and bake. I think the one thing I love so much about the Foodie Pen Pal Program is how much fun it is to see where your Foodie Box is going and where yours is coming from. You sure do meet some amazing people all over the USA.

Hey Fellow Foodie Pen Pals, let’s help Lindsay spread the word on the Foodie Pen Pal Program and all Tweet about our Boxes! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #foodiepenpals.

Want to become a Foodie Pen Pal? 

Here’s a detailed explanation of the program:

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

Check Ya Later.

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I am so loving fall so far, lots of good eats and easy meals. One of my favorite meals lately has been Spaghetti Squash. One squash goes a long way. I made several meals from this one squash. Check it out.

Here’s How I Baked the Squash: 

  • Cut it in half lengthwise (I found this to be difficult. Husband to the Rescue)
  • Scrape out the seeds and pulp as you would with any squash or pumpkin
  • Bake rind side up about 30 to 40 minutes at 375 F
  • Separate strands by running a fork through in the “from stem to stern” direction.

One of the meals I made was spaghetti squash with marinara sauce, kale chips and a side of garlic toast.

The next day I made gnocchi, kale chips, and piled on the left over spaghetti squash and the marinara sauce.

Happy Fall = Happy Eating.

Check Ya Later.

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coupons plural of cou·pon (Noun)

Noun:
  1. A voucher entitling the holder to a discount off a particular product.
  2. A detachable portion of a bond that is given up in return for a payment of interest.

stock·pile/ˈstäkˌpīl/

Noun:
A large accumulated stock of goods or materials, esp. one held in reserve for use at a time of shortage or other emergency.
Verb:
Accumulate a large stock of (goods or materials): “he claimed that the weapons were being stockpiled”.
Synonyms:
noun.  stock – store – supply – reserve – hoard – provision
verb.  store – stock up – stock – accumulate

Coupons and Stock Piles, Yes I use them, and Yes I have them. I stock pile cereal. I’m not embarrassed to admit it. My husband eats it every day and it has a great shelf life, and when I can get a box of cereal for .99 cents I sure as heck am going to buy multiple boxes.

On average I save $79 to $100 on my grocery bill. How? I use coupons, lots of coupons, but for food, not sodas and candy like you see on those coupon extreme shows. Another way I get my bill lower is I am very fortunate that my grocery store doubles coupons up to $1.00 so that really helps get the end total I am looking for. I also pre-load in-store coupons onto my rewards card for items I do not have a manufacture coupon for. My Kroger’s also has amazing Manger Specials throughout the store, and those add up to Big savings.

In the past I have made some killer shopping trips resulting in huge savings, check them out here, and here.

I don’t run out and buy 50 newspapers, I go online to my favorite printable sites and print out my coupons there. I exchange coupons with co-workers and I get special coupons from Facebook promotions. I do occasionally get the Sunday paper if I know there are going to be high value coupons that week for a special item, but these on-line sites have great coupons so I just stick with them. Another way to score great coupons is to email companies and ask them for coupons, most companies love to give out coupons.

Some of my favorite printable coupons sites are as follows;

Red Plum

Coupon Network

Mambo Sprouts – Mambo Sprouts has some great organic and health food coupons

Organic Deals – Check out the Quick Coupon Link on the right hand side of the page, for MORE coupon site options!

Smart Source

Coupons

Here’s one of my BIG savings receipt from August. I saved $79.93 off my total grocery bill! This shopping trip got us through 3 full weeks of meals.

Look at my stash of cereal.

and here are a few more boxes!

So my stockpile is small in comparison to those extreme shoppers we see on TLC. I feel mine is made up of  foods that are healthier options and foods my husband eats on a daily basis. This is about a 2 month supply of cereal and none of it goes to waste and I spent approximately $25.00 for all those boxes. So coupons can help stretch any budget.

So you can tell that I like a good deal, well I also love to prep foods to have on hand, my favorite food to prep is my OIAJ.

OIAJ is my #1 choice for breakfast. I buy bulk oatmeal and make up jam jars in advance to always have my favorite on hand. I do eat it almost everyday.

I just measure out my oats, I usually go for 3/4 of a cup, and then add a tablespoon of chia seeds, and a generous amount of cinnamon and seal up tight.

Then when the time comes, I grab my jar add a scoop of nut butter and fill up the jar with my favorite soy milk and leave in the refrigerator over night. In the morning I stir and microwave for one minute and there you have the magic of the Overnight OIAJ.

I love me some oats, whether it’s 100 degrees out, or 4 degrees below zero,  I crave them, they stick with me.

So I hope you find some great deals while using some coupons, and save some money when you grocery shop.

Check Ya Later.

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Sad to say, but summer is gone and into Autumn we go. So to ease into the change I made my favorite fall muffin, which happened to coincide with Spry Living featuring the muffin recipe on their on-line publication. I was super excited.

Click here, to follow the link for Toasted Millet Pumpkin Muffins.

This is the second time I have worked with Spry Living, back in July they featured my favorite Kale Smoothie. Click here, to follow the link.

kale blueberry fruit smoothie snack frozen treat dessert health spry

I really love Spry Livings site I have found so many amazing recipes and quite a few new blogs to follow, I highly recommend checking them out.

So back to the Pumpkin Millet Muffin, I love this amazing little muffin. It is packed with flavor and crunch, and as a bonus, they freeze well. I love foods that freeze well. I like to keep a few out a few and freeze the rest for another day. Plus their healthy, and who doesn’t like that?

These muffins contain easy ingredients I normally have on hand. Loving my huge tub of Chobani.

I love toasting the Millet, it smells so good and kinda pops and brown up.

Plus they are so easy to just plop a spoonful into the muffin tin because it’s a thick batter.

I’ve made these Pumpkin Toasted Millet Muffin before in an earlier post, I was still learning how to take pictures of food at the time, plus it was in the dead of winter and indoor pictures are a real challenge for me.

Pumpkin Millet Muffins

Ingredients:

Makes 12

These muffins offer an intriguing crunch, thanks to the toasted millet. Savor them warm from the oven, or freeze a batch to have on hand.  Allow muffins to cool completely before transferring to freezer bags. Thawed muffins may be reheated in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes or microwaved for 15-20 seconds to give them a little warmth.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup millet
1 egg
1/2 cup Chobani Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup soy or coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (to replace butter)
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
8 Packs Splenda
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin pan; set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add millet and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and just beginning to pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer millet to a plate to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Greek yogurt, soy milk, applesauce (to replace butter), pumpkin, Splenda packets and brown sugar; set aside. Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cooled millet in a medium bowl, then gently fold into egg mixture until just combined. Spoon batter into lined muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

I am already dreading taking indoor food pictures now that fall and winter are up on us. Having 90 percent of my pictures being taken outdoors in beautiful sunny weather has been a luxury for this beginner blogger and to go back to indoor food shots makes me sad, but I’m hoping to find a lighting solution by making a light box, or rigging a clip on light. I’ve been looking into some options.

So until then, I plan on taking as many outdoor pictures as possible! Natural Light Rules.

Hey, I also wanted to introduce you to a site I recently started to enjoy. Have you ever heard of SlimKicker? Well let me introduce you to them.

SlimKicker is an interactive website that helps you achieve a fitness goal or maintain your current one. It’s really fun to get your profile started. Once you do your off and running. On SlimKicker you log all your food and exercise and enjoy all the other features. One feature I really can not stop using is the challenges feature. I have a thing for challenges and this really keeps staying healthy fun. You can choose from tons of challenges, one I thought was perfect was the, Exercise before Facebook Challenge! Brilliant really.  It keeps you on track and accountable for all your actions and helps you make it fun and easy to stay focused. They also have a database with recipes and calorie counts for practically every food imaginable. Then add in all the support from the community and the blog with so many amazing posts that will inspire and support your health needs. Just thought I’d share, sometimes when you find a gem you have to share the wealth.

Check Ya Later.

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Today is the Day! It’s September Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day.

foodiepal stamp2 Foodie Penpals

Let’s meet Alek, he is a great young blogger who I meet some time ago via his blog. Alek and I commented back and forth on blog topics and then we lost track of each other. So when I received the email from him that he was going to be my Foodie Pen Pal, I was Super Excited! I immediately caught back up with his blog and was super impressed with how well he has been doing. Alek writes the blog RunServeCook. He has great recipes and loves to eat healthy foods. He runs track and I just love following his blog. So back to his recipes and cooking talents. Alek has one recipe that I was Super Impressed with: Indian Seared Scallops over Rissoto and Wilted Spinach and Curried Spinach Puree. Did I mention that Alek is still in High School!

So here’s what was in my September box from Alek:

Here’s a shot of the Nutritional bars he sent. Loving the variety.

Then I received a bag of Wonderful Pistachios and a Dove Silk White Chocolate and Milk Chocolate Swirl Bar.

Then there’s this little snack. Pure and Simple Bumble Bar, Organic Seed Cherry Chunk bar. I am saving this for a trip I have planned in October. I always hoard snacks and healthy treat for when I travel and this one looks like a tasty treat.

I had the same intentions for these Justin Nut Butters, but my will got the best of me and I ended up using them in my Overnight Oats. Let me say this, I love Justin’s. So smooth and love the Honey flavor.

Alek sent me a few cool packets and I look forward to trying the GU after a swim class I have planned. I am familiar with the Emergen-C packets, but have never tried the Joint Health. I love trying new products.

I am really excited to try the Mila seeds. I am a huge fan of Chia seeds and I love to try other varieties of this Super Food. I plan on making a huge berry and kale smoothie and incorporating the Mila. Doesn’t that sound yummy? I’ll let you know.

So I really have to thank my Foodie Pen Pal Alek for Hitting it Out the Park with this Foodie Box! Alek you did a great job putting together an amazing box of variety and delicious foods for me to try, thank-you so very much my Foodie Friend.

This month I sent a September Foodie Box to Colleen over at Secrets from the Cookie Princess. Go on over and visit her blog, she has some amazing cookie recipes. She is a serious baker and has so many recipes available. I am working on my baking skills so her blog has all the recipes I could ever need.  I plan on making her Chocolate Peanut Butter Yin Yangs cookies for Christmas. They are a thing of beauty.

Hey Fellow Foodie Pen Pals, let’s help Lindsay spread the word on the Foodie Pen Pal Program and all Tweet about our Boxes! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #foodiepenpals.

Want to become a Foodie Pen Pal? 

Here’s a detailed explanation of the program:

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

Foodie Friends I’m gonna,

Check Ya Later.

Hey, I had a question recently asking why I use the sign off Check Ya Later. Well here’s the reason.

Back in the day there was a movie call Dazed and Confused and there was a scenes from the movie with a charter named Slater who used the phrase Check Ya Later, and the other characters teased him for it. Well me and my brother use to say it to each other ALL the time and it just sort of stuck as our way to say good-bye! I love to quote movie line, it’s how I roll.

Urban Dictionary Definition:
Check Ya Later.
something you say when you‘re leaving someone;
this was also used in the movie “dazed and confused”
person 1:check ya later
person 2: alright byeee
Again,
Check Ya Later.

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