Cold temps and Comfort food!!

Well we went from summer to winter!! That’s usually how the weather works here in NC!!! But this northern soul is not complaining. Who doesn’t like being cozy in sweaters and UGG boots?! With the chilly temps, I had to plan my meals strategically. I knew I wanted some comfort foods on the list but without all the calories. So I made my list and checked it twice:-)

Its a good day when I can throw everything in a crock pot and let it cook! I love having home-made granola on hand. I was not eating yogurt for a while but with all the running I have been doing I knew it was time to add it back in. One of my favorite brands is the NOOSA! And they have a Maple one out right now. GO buy it. I buy the individual cups and toss a spoonful or TWO of home-made pumpkin granola on top for a little crunch. Yes, I made granola in the crock pot! I just set it on high for 2 hours and stirred it every 30 minutes. At the end I added all my nuts, raisins and cranberries and let it dry out until it was crunchy. Crock pot Pumpkin granolaIMG_5586

Two comfort meals. You would never guess by the flavor that these are filled with nutrients but not high in calories!! The only thing I changed with the Shepherds pie was the potato’s on top and I left out the cheese. I used the baby tri-color potatoes. And the stuffed acorn squash I just literally threw stuff together, this is what I love about cooking. No need to measure, just throw what you like to together and call it a meal!

I cut my acorn squash in half, baked at 400 for about 30 minutes until soft. I let it cool and took out some of the flesh and added that to my mixture. My mixture is apple chicken sausage, spinach, onion, garlic and apples. I cooked all that together until the apples were tender, threw it all inside the acorn squash and baked until golden on top.

Easy Shepherds Pie

Two great appetizers! With the holidays around the corner here are a couple healthy options. Again, the crock pot was used so that freed up space in my oven.

Now you want a CHEAT meal?? Make these!! It will kill that craving for something bad! Buffalo Cauliflower

And these meatballs are perfect for a get-together! And I made them GF, with simply just adding GF breadcrumbs. Slow Cooker Cranberry Meat-a-balls

And we can’t forget about the holiday treats!! I made these for Life group, making them again for a girls get together and then AGAIN for Thanksgiving! I have not made them GF, YET but that is on my list to try!! If you try this recipe and you do them GF please let me know how they taste and which flour you use! You can never go wrong with an Ina Garten recipe! And if you need another blog to follow check out The PB Runner I love following other blogs and especially those that are right here in Charlotte with me!! Not only did Ina inspire me to make these but so did Jenn!! Apple Pie Bars

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And last but not least. . . every girl needs a GOOD tinted lip gloss!! DoTerra strikes again with a limited edition of this tinted lip gloss! I am so glad I bought it. It makes your lips feel amazing and gives you just the right amount of color! Now lets hope they bring it back for good because right now its sold out!!!!

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Hope you are having a GREAT start to your week!!! Can’t wait to be back with you next week!! And here is the BEST news of the DAY. . . my Brother, SIL and Niece will be here visiting is VERY soon!!! I am SOOOOOO excited!!!!!

Ciao!!

Are you hosting Thanksgiving??

Have you ever made a Turkey??

Can’t wait to talk Thanksgiving with you guys!!!!

Grateful and Thankful!

Can you believe that its November? I would love to know what is ONE thing that you are thankful for?? This is always so hard for me to answer because I can never just think of one. If I had to answer right now, I would say I am so thankful for my friendships. My friendship with my hubs, my girlies (The besties), my family, and friends that we have met through church and having started to grow with. Community is so important. You can’t get through life alone. Cherish those you have around you even if they drive you crazy sometimes. I said to my hubby the other day, wouldn’t life be SO boring if you were married to someone else?!? He just laughed because he knows its so true but we wouldn’t have it any other way! Our marriage is not perfect but we TRY hard, push ourselves out of our comfort zone, we cheer each other on, lift each other up, forgive often and KISS and makeup!!! And we never forget to show each other how much we love each other not only with our words but with our actions too.

And with that being said, guess who came with me to the gym this morning?!!? VINNY!!! He knows my love language, quality time, so if that means going to the gym together then he spoke it well. I do not have proof but next time I will snap a picture!! And I thought I would beat the rain yesterday after my run but I got stuck in it. Its ok, the rain felt good after 5 miles!!

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Curious about that band on my head? That is a bondi band. They are the BEST! They keep the sweat out of my eyes, I can wash it in the shower and hang it to dry, super cute designs and colors and best of all, it stays in place! Go here Bondi Bandto check them out and snag one or two!!                                                                                            And use this code for a discount on your order: RUNCUCURUN

Can we talk about breakfast. . .I love breakfast. If I do not eat breakfast then my whole day is off. I have been getting into over night oats. They are so easy and delicious. I make them the night before and throw them in the fridge. If you like your oats warm you can quickly heat them up. I made this recipe Pumpkin overnight oats and if you like coffee a personal size French press is a MUST!

 

The crock is one of my most used tools in the kitchen. I work 10 hours days so the last thing I have time for is a gourmet dinner at night. I love walking in and knowing dinner is ready. I tried this amazing recipe,  Crack chicken

And the best thing about this meal we had leftovers for 2 days. So I served it 2 different ways for leftovers.

 

If you do not follow whole 30 recipes on IG you need to. They have delicious recipes on there and that is when I discovered this chicken. Bone-in chicken things, marinated them in olive oil and fresh garlic then made a rub to go on them. I baked them for 35 minutes then turned the broiler on just until they were crispy. Again, I did a large batch so we would have leftovers for lunches. If you double your recipes , you will always have leftovers and I promise you it will make your week nights so much easier. And can we talk about falafel for a second,  I love ethnic food. Thank you mom and dad for introducing me to different foods when I was younger but I really don’t think I appreciated it until I was older. I bought the falafel mix from Trader Joe’s and made this Tzatziki sauce. Again, I made a big batch and the next day I made salads and threw the falafel on top and used the tzatziki sauce as the dressing. You never know what new thing you will find at Trader Joe’s, I love that store!!

 

There is nothing like a good Bundt Cake. Can you tell I adore the kitchen?  And that is why I have to run!!!! I took some to my friend and some to our worship team at church. If you are looking for a great recipe try this one Pumpkin Bundt Cake

 

I hope you have a beautiful night and do not forget to turn back those clocks! YAY for an extra hour of rest! I challenge you to start making a list of what you are thankful for and again I would love to hear your thankfulness, please share away!

Off for a hot date and some sushi!!

Ciao!