A couple month hiatus!

Wow, is all I can say.

First off my computer was getting a little weird so I was using it a little bit less and less. First it was acting up/ getting slower and slower. Then my fiancé cleaned it out and found 50+ viruses in it. Then after we thought he wiped it out completely there was still a pesky root kit virus  (whatever that means) so I had to completely say bye to Windows or get a new laptop. So I chose to switch to Linux (which I love even better than Windows and my computer runs faster than ever). Linux reminds me of a Mac in a way, or at least the version I have. I can still do everything I want on Linux that I did on Windows which is a good thing :).

Second, Its been an exciting couple of months for wedding stuff! I bought the dress of my dreams. It is beautiful and the perfect dress for me and my personality. Everyone who was there to see me try on dresses said it looks like it was made for me! And everyone I have shown a picture to say the same thing. It’s crazy to because the size off the rack fit like a glove. It was nice a snug but not too snug. Now I just have to maintain my body for the next two years. I look at it as motivation to keep on exercising and actually sticking to it. Because I have definitely realized how blechk I feel when I don’t work out for more than two days. Even two days feels like a long time without working out.

Third, I have found the wedding venue/reception site as well. My mom and I are going to visit in a couple weeks. I am so excited for that. When I saw pictures of the place online I started to get tears in my eyes because it was so beautiful/affordable.

Fourth, We’re going to LAS VEGAS on Wednesday this week! I can’t wait because I have never been there! It’s going to be quite the adventure!

So in my next post I will have a lot more pictures and fun things to tell!

Have a great Sunday!

End of March already, say whaaaat?

Hey!

I can’t believe it’s the last day of March! The weather is beautiful today in New England, I even sat outside in the sun for almost a half hour with just a sweatshirt on. And I’ve had one of our windows open all day to let the fresh air in. It’s such a nice feeling to know that warmer weather is on the way. The month of April brings lots of fun activities that I have been looking forward to doing. Easter will be the first thing I’m looking forward to, I love getting together with family so Easter weekend will be nice, getting to see everyone I don’t see often. Then the following weekend I’m going out for a girl’s night that will include Paint Nite and then dinner out afterwards. Then that Sunday I will be trying on wedding gowns for the first time. I booked the appointment back in February, so I am SUPER excited for this.

It will be fun trying on the dresses and truly getting the feeling of OH MY GOD I’M GETTING MARRIED type of thing. Of course my mom will be there, along with Sean’s mom, my godmother/aunt, my cousin/flower girl, and my best friend/MOH Andrea! It’s going to be quite a time and one that I won’t forget. April will be a busy but fun month. Then in May we’re going to Las Vegas. I’m also reallyyyyyy excited about that too! I’ve never been so it will be QUITE the experience. I can’t wait! Well I have got to go. Have a great day!

Kelly 🙂

Side note…. I think I’m going to make home made sauce tomorrow so I will definitely blog about that soon.

When guys think they got fat.

So the other day Sean realized that he gained like 10 pounds in the past four to six months. With this realization he proposed we have a weight loss competition to see who can lose the most weight until Vegas in May. And whoever loses has to buy the first dinner we eat in Vegas. I have a feeling he may win for weight lost but I will be able to tone up even more than I have already and be able to rock that bikini even better. Then we will see who the real winner is 😉

I may have more fitness themed posts, I’m not quite sure what I feel like doing. What I do know for myself is that this little competition is already helping me want to pay more attention to what I food I put into my body. For starters I am being strict again with not eating dairy and gluten. I find that when I eat dairy and gluten, it causes my asthma to act up to the point where I need to use my inhaler to help out my airways. Last week I wasn’t caring about what I ate because we had a couple family events that involved food so I didn’t want to limit what I ate. I know it’s not the best thing to do but I did it anyways. I wound up paying for it in the end because I had to use my inhaler. Blehk. Then the next thing I will be doing is cardio. I have been a major slacker in that department and only focusing on strength training. I look forward to see how adding more cardio will help improve my body.

I usually try to go to the gym and strength train 3 to 4 times a week. I alternate lower body and upper body workouts. I do that so I am able to strength train multiple days in a row. From now on I will incorporate cardio at the end of my upper body workouts and on my off days for strength training I will also do some form of cardio as well.

Well I’m off to go have some lunch, here’s a picture of my lunch from yesterday! It was delicious!

The salad I had for lunch yesterday. It has baby greens, cucumber, tomatoes, organic strawberries that were on sale :), salami, and crushed cashews. This was the tossed in a  blood orange vinaigrette.

The salad I had for lunch yesterday. It has baby greens, cucumber, tomatoes, organic strawberries that were on sale :), salami, and crushed cashews. This was the tossed in a blood orange vinaigrette.

Happy Thursday!

A mish mash of things. 

Hey! 

So I’m away in NH with Sean celebrating our two year anniversary. I can’t believe we’ve been together for two years now and that we’ll be getting married in June 2017. It just feels so awesome. I’m looking forward to going out to eat tonight at this funky and eclectic restaurant where everything is so fresh and bursting with flavor.  

Being up here reminds me of when we first started dating, which feels like it was just yesterday. Especially right now because I first visited in March two years ago. It’s nice being able to get out of Woburn once in a while and escape to the mountains. 

I have a few random pictures to share from today and the past week or two 🙂 

  this is the view from our balcony up here. 
  I went out to dinner last night to the the Cheesecake Factory with my future cousin. I tried the Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps and they were soooo good!

  These are my cousin Dj’s two bull dogs Emma and Lucy. They were very sleepy from all of the company they’ve had the past couple days.  

 I discovered a 20 year old bottle of my favorite rum at my cousin’s house and couldn’t believe how old it was. Cruzan is the best rum I’ve had 🙂 I got hooked on it when we went to St. John last summer because it’s the only brand of rum they use down there. 
I know this kind of a scattered post but I was just in the mood to write about whatever came to mind. 

Homemade Pad Thai and a fitness accomplishment :)

Hey!

Well,  yesterday I got a craving for Pad Thai after getting Thai food take out for lunch but they accidentally gave me super spicy drunken noodles (I originally wanted drunken noodles but mild). It ended up extra spicy because Sean wanted his Basil Fried Rice and Yellow Curry as hot as they could make it. The restaurant then assumed I wanted my noodles the same. Ooops.

So I started searching for homemade Pad Thai sauces to make my own last night. So I decided on a combination of two recipes. My sauce had fish sauce, coconut aminos, lime juice, peanut butter, brown sugar, tamarind chutney (they didn’t have paste at Whole Foods), some left over Thai chili sauce from take out, and chili powder. The end result was rather delicious. I didn’t measure much, I kind of just went with it and tasted it as I stirred up the sauce. I would add more lime juice if I thought it was too salty or more sugar if I thought it needed more sweetness.  It even heated up well this afternoon with a touch of water added to it for some extra moisture.

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I’m excited for myself, I have made it to the gym three days in a row to do strength training this week. Usually I get there about twice a week or three times but not in a row. I am getting more into the swing of things and it is definitely a habit now that I have going on. It’s just an awesome feeling when you can feel your body getting stronger and noticing the visible results. Your muscles getting more defined and just feeling tight in a good way. That sore feeling is a reminder that my muscles are repairing themselves and building up more. I have fallen in love with strength training.

I have never noticed such a change in my body with going to the gym until I started lifting weights back in October/November. I’ve gone to the gym and stuff before, but always did cardio and just abdominal exercises. I never made up a routine and planned it out until I asked Sean for help and he made a routine up for me. Then when I got bored with that I found “The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises”. That is a great book that has so many ideas with great illustrations and directions and general fitness info. Then, I designed my own plan using the template in the book. It also includes pre-designed workouts as well. And since then I have just been changing up  my routine every 3-4 weeks.

Have a great week!

Kelly 🙂

That time when I deleted the pretty pictures of my tomato soup recipe. :(

Hola,

Yikes! I definitely just deleted the pictures I took of my finished soup all dressed up in the bowl. I can’t even go to the recycle bin because I deleted them from my SD card. Ugh oh well, now the pictures will just be so so I suppose. 😦 I really need to wake up and be more careful.

But now onto the most delicious tomato soup I have ever had! I’m not even making that up. This recipe is so simple too. It only has three ingredients. The others are just what you would like to put on top to fancy it up. But to be honest, all I added was a few shavings of Parmesan Reggiano cheese. And I wouldn’t even miss the cheese if I didn’t have it. The soup is that good. There is a secret to this recipe…. I use fennel and caramelize it until it’s golden brown, sweet, and super mellow tasting. The fennel acts as a sweetener for the soup and helps to cut the acidic nature of tomatoes.

This recipe started from a few years back when I tried a friend’s tomato soup that I couldn’t get enough of. Yesterday I got a craving for it all of a sudden and had to make it today. I didn’t remember the recipe, so today I went with what sounded right to me for amounts.

I used San Marzano canned tomatoes becuase that is what I had on hand and they are know to be the best of the best canned tomato. When I tasted them as is they were sweet and I could have eaten them straight out of the can for a snack.

I used San Marzano canned tomatoes becuase that is what I had on hand and they are know to be the best of the best canned tomato. When I tasted them as is they were sweet and I could have eaten them straight out of the can for a snack.

Fennel. The secret ingredient to the soup.  This has a licorice scent and taste to it raw but it mellows out a ton when it's caramelized with butter. So yummy!

Fennel. The secret ingredient to the soup. This has a licorice scent and taste to it raw but it mellows out a ton when it’s caramelized with butter. So yummy!

This is the fennel almost ready to have the tomatoes added. See how it's getting nice and golden brown and almost breaking down. That's a good thing. It means they are getting really good.

This is the fennel almost ready to have the tomatoes added. See how it’s getting nice and golden brown and almost breaking down. That’s a good thing. It means they are getting really good.

The soup after I blended about 3/4 of it. I like to leave a little bit of texture in it by not blending all of it. But if you like it souper smooth blend all of it. Did ya catch that? :)  Corny I know :p

The soup after I blended about 3/4 of it. I like to leave a little bit of texture in it by not blending all of it. But if you like it souper smooth blend all of it. Did ya catch that? 🙂 Corny I know :p

The Recipe

1 28 oz can tomatoes

1 bulb of fennel

4 tablespoons of butter (this gives it a rich flavor so use a brand that you really enjoy the flavor of)

about 1/2 cup to 1 cup water

1. Cut top part of fennel of so you are only using the white bulb portion. Remove any tough outer layers. I didn’t have to because mine seemed tender enough. Slice the fennel thinly.

2. Melt the butter in pan on low to medium heat. Then add sliced fennel.

3. Cover the pan and let the fennel soften and start to caramelize in the pan for about 5-10 minutes before stirring. This lets the steam build up and really soften the fennel.

4. After the 5-10 minutes remove lid and continue to caramelize fennel until golden brown and soft enough to mash/break apart easily with cooking utensil. Stir every minute to couple of minutes being careful to not let it burn. (The way I tested it was that I tasted the fennel and it was nice and mellow and sweet tasting. The way sweet caramelized onions taste)

5. Add the canned tomatoes to the pan and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

6. After the soup has thickened up a bit, it is time to make it smooth. I put about 3/4 of the soup in the blender and let it whirl. (Please be careful and put a towel over the blender to make sure the steam released doesn’t burn you). This is also where an immersion blender would come in handy.

7. I also added about a cup of water the blender to make it a touch thinner. This is personal preference so do as you please.

8. Bring soup back up to a simmer and serve with a grilled cheese or croutons or whatever crackers or cheese you enjoy!

This recipe makes two hearty servings. About 1 3/4 cups each. You could easily double this recipe but I just wanted a small batch to have for myself.  Enjoy!

Farmer’s Market Withdrawals

Today I am so wishing for summer and weekly farmer’s market trips. I’m lucky because in the surrounding towns and cities around me there is always one happening during my days off. I just wish it was here already. I’m craving to see green grass and trees full of lush leaves. Colorful flowers and vegetables growing in the garden are the best to check out. Sitting by the water in the mornings and watching the ducklings feed on the bird seed that falls into the water. Yup, I think it’s withdrawal happening. Spring is almost close but quite close enough for me right now.

A lazy Sunday with The Language of Flowers

Today I did something I don’t usually have time to do. I lounged in bed all day reading except to eat. Then I proceeded to even eat in bed. The best part was that I had left over pancakes that heated up well for breakfast and left over Thai food for lunch from last night.

I started “The Language of Flowers” at around 5:30 this morning after Sean left for work and didn’t stop unless I was hungry. I finished tonight at around 5ish tonight. The story consumed me from the very first page. I couldn’t stop reading it and frankly didn’t have any plans today, so I enjoyed the feeling of just being super comfy in bed and let the story engulf me.

My goal this summer is to be in a field of flowers described in this book. I love the feeling I get when gardening and could feel the excitement building as I was reading. I want to let you know that this story is not only about flowers but also the life of a girl who grew up a ward of the state and had misfortune in life but did what she had to. There is romance with the main character but she has to also overcome abandonment issues from childhood. In doing so she uses what she has learned about the meaning of flowers to help her through life. It’s just an incredible story that I can not even put into words because they will not do it justice.

Have a great week!

Pancake cravings…Gluten free ones too!

Hey!

Lately I have been in a pancake groove in the morning of my days off. I have been craving pancakes for some bizarre reason. The last time I had pancakes so many times in two weeks was when I was in the USVI. The little restaurant at the campground had the best pancakes. If I didn’t get them I felt like I was missing something. But this time around my pancakes are gluten free, fluffy, and delicious. I found the recipe via pinterest where it took me to Laura Fuentes’s lovely blog. The link is after the pictures 🙂

Today I added a little variation by using a quarter of a banana for some added flavor instead of the applesauce. I always use full fat coconut milk as the milk for the recipe and King Arthur Gluten Free Flour Mix. Then I always add the appropriate amount of xanthan gum. Instead of using the flax seed in the recipe I use 1 egg.  Then I follow the rest of the recipe exact.

Today I added a little variation by using a quarter of a banana for some added flavor instead of the applesauce. I always use full fat coconut milk as the milk for the recipe and King Arthur Gluten Free Flour Mix. Then I always add the appropriate amount of xanthan gum. Instead of using the flax seed in the recipe I use 1 egg. Then I follow the rest of the recipe exact. Oh yea today I even added a couple scoops of my favorite protein powder just to give them a protein boost. 

These cook up well in the pan and just as fragile as a normal pancake would be.

These cook up well in the pan and are just as fragile as a normal pancake would be. The batter can be thick sometimes but just spread it a bit after the initial amount is in the pan. (Do so right away though) I liberally cover the pan with a bit a butter just to be safe but they don’t stick easily if there is only a very thin coating of butter/oil in the pan. 

The finished product! Serve with some warmed maple syrup or fruit or both and enjoy! There you have fluffy gluten free pancakes.

The finished product! Serve with some warmed maple syrup or fruit or both and enjoy! There you have fluffy gluten free pancakes.

These pancakes really are spot on. Even my fiance Sean enjoyed them and he’s not the biggest pancake eater. Enjoy!

Here’s the link to the recipe: http://www.laurafuentes.com/easy-gluten-free-pancake-recipe/

Indian Curry Round 2

Hey!

Sean decided to make Indian curry for dinner. It was delicious. He added about 8 green chilies this time versus 5 last time. We are progressively working our way up to 15 chilies in the recipe (he could handle the 15 right away but he’s hinking of me so he is taking it slow with the heat). That was the number one of his friends told him to use. His friend’s family runs an Indian restaurant, so he knows his stuff. I didn’t have to do much of the cooking for a change because Sean loves to experiment in the kitchen and cook when it comes to hot and spicy food. All I had to do was cut the raw chicken because I am neurotic about raw chicken and preventing any cross contamination. I’ve had way too many classes about salmonella and all those other little buggers.

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The chicken in the hot curry bath ;)

The chicken in the hot curry bath 😉

Sean is too cute and caramelizes the onions before hand for me because he knows I hate if the onions are crunchy.

Sean is too cute and caramelizes the onions before hand for me because he knows I hate if the onions are crunchy.

All the veggies we used for the curry. Broccoli, carrots and mushrooms. I know it's not typical but we like to mix it up. And lets face it...anything smothered in curry sauce is delicious.

All the veggies we used for the curry. Broccoli, carrots and mushrooms. I know it’s not typical but we like to mix it up. And lets face it…anything smothered in curry sauce is delicious.

The ghee we use :)

The ghee we use 🙂

The finished product! So delicious! A recipe will be coming soon, I promise.

The finished product! So delicious! A recipe will be coming soon, I promise. We’re still tweaking it. 

Have a great night!