Workin’ On My Fitness: Day 1

30-Day Fitness CalendarI know this post might seem a little strange right on the heels of my praline recipe . . . but I’ve decided to just get a little healthier around here! I’ve been pinning recipes on Pinterest for quite some time to my “Lighter Dinner Ideas” board but have been more focused on my “Sweets for My Sweet” board and that has just got to change. So, starting today I’m going to start being a little more active and eating a little bit better. I’m not going to try and kid myself and go all health-nut and never eat a cream-based sauce again . . . I’m just not going to make one 5 out of the 7 days of the week.

I came across these really neat “30-Day Challenge” calendars and decided to personalize one for my goals (I need my abs back). Thankfully, I have a partner in all of this and Taylor is going to start on the fitness calendar with me too. I know I couldn’t do it alone – and as an added bonus, Ella makes a pretty good running partner (I didn’t even have to carry her on the return trip today). So after getting some fun new running shoes, we started our first day with a quick mile run/walk and then came back and did day one of the fitness calendar with some Kanye West as a soundtrack . . . it gets you pumped!

For dinner tonight, we used naan to make Roasted Garlic, Chicken and White Herb pizzas and I made some Jell-O with fresh strawberries for dessert.I’m feeling good – just gotta keep up the motivation!flatbread pizza

To print your own fitness challenge calendar click here: 30-Day Fitness Calendar – Ab Challenge

For my pizza recipe inspiration, click here: Roasted Garlic, Chicken and White Herb Pizza

Vacation Inspired Pralines

Pralines

Last week, I headed to South Carolina with my family for a little vacation. I brought back some pralines from River Street Sweets and after they were gone . . . I immediately regretted not buying more! As usual, I decided to see if I could “re-create” some for myself. I’m not a huge fan of nuts so I poked around for maybe something a little different and landed on Pretzel Praline Bites from the “My Kitchen Addiction” blog! Instead of just mixing up a usual praline, you make your praline mixture and spoon it onto a butter pretzel round and then drizzle it with chocolate . . . Oh.My.Goodness.

The super delicous and super easy-to-follow praline recipe I used is located here: Pretzel Praline Bites

Chicken and Waffles with Maple Gravy

This week, we tried to recreate something that is becoming more and more popular – Chicken and Waffles with a Homemade Maple Gravy . . . “Healthy” might not be a good describing word for this meal but oh.my.goodness . . . it was delicious and super easy and well, sorry, I’m not sorry!
chicken and waffles

I’ll admit – we definitely cheated on the chicken preparation. It had been a long day and standing over a pot of oil and frying up chicken just wasn’t going to happen . . . so I let Chick-Fil-A do the heavy lifting and picked up some chicken strips on the way home. From here, all I had to do was make the waffle mix and heat up the waffle maker (which I may have specifically just bought with this meal in mind). I’ll give Taylor credit for finding the recipe and for making the gravy –  I’ll also admit that I had a few spoonfuls of this on its own (maple syrup soup?).

This recipe also got rave reviews from my favorite little taste-tester . . .
Ella and waffles

You can find the waffle recipe I used here.

You can find the maple gravy recipe here.

. . . and if you’re like me, you already know where all of the Chick-Fil-A’s are within a 25 mile radius.

The Perfect Meatballs

Monday is simply my “guilty pleasure” night. Usually, I’m so tired from coming back from the weekend that I end up on the couch watching “The Bachelorette” and eating some sort of comfort food. This week’s vice was a delicious meatball sub! I found a meatball recipe awhile ago but kept tweaking it until I got the flavor I wanted. I highly recommend trying these! You can add your own twists of course and spoon them over spaghetti, make a meatball sub or stick a toothpick in them for tiny appetizers! I added some provolone cheese and some fresh shaved Parmesan to the top.

meatballs

Take a peek at the recipe here . . .

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every time I’ve tried to make homemade chocolate chip cookies in the past, I’ve felt like they’ve just turned out all wrong – too fluffy/too flat/nothing to really shout about. Well, now I’ve discovered the secret ingredient: instant vanilla pudding. These cookies are everything you want them to be – moist, chewy and best of all, super easy to make! This recipe makes about 3 dozen small cookies and about 2 dozen larger cookies. I ended up taking a majority of them to the office where they quickly disappeared –  and there is no better food critic than a department made up of mostly men and summer interns. . .

Take a peek at the recipe here: Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies