Marvelous in my Monday #4


Thanks to Katie at Healthy Diva Eats for hosting our weekly “get together” online!

It’s Monday again? How is that possible? Time just seems to be flying lately… It’s already the middle of October, the heat has kicked on in my house, and I’m all about cuddling up on the couch with my blanket on this rainy night!

The cannelloni I made last night from the cover of this month’s Clean Eating Magazine turned out AMAZING! Check out my post here.

Today was a super stressful day – I had a major deadline for work, and I got to the point where I stressed myself right into a migraine. When I get them, it’s really an awful experience. I get auras – which basically means I get a squiggly line across my eye and partially lose my vision. It’s pretty scary – even though it’s been happening to me for years, and I know it will eventually subside. It has happened to me while driving, which is really freaky. Today I was lucky enough to be in my office, so I just sat down for a bit, took a few deep breaths, and sent my friend across the street to Starbucks for some coffee. Since I didn’t have my prescription meds, the combination of ¬†couple of Advil and a good strong dose of caffeine helped me get through the afternoon – and finish my work with time to spare. So I guess the marvelous part of that adventure is that I have a friend nice enough to make a Starbucks run for me! It also felt pretty marvelous to put that Express Mail envelope on the counter at the post office and get it out of my hands and on its way to its destination!

The other marvelous part of my day is my awesome hubby. He knew I was stressing about this deadline and checked up on me during the day, and offered to make me tea with honey tonight. So, I’m going to make this a super quick post and go enjoy my tea with honey with my honey.

Hope you all had a marvelous Monday!

What made your Monday marvelous today?

What’s your favorite way to de-stress after a crazy day?



Marvelous in my Monday #3


Welcome to Marvelous in my Monday! Many thanks, as always, go to Katie at Healthy Diva Eats for hosting!

This Monday is marvelous for many reasons, but the biggest one is that I HAVE THE DAY OFF!!! ūüôā I’ve been working practically non-stop for the past several weeks, so to have a three day weekend is a real gift! Granted, most of what I’m doing is catching up on laundry and cleaning up around the house, but at least I have some time to do that! My laundry pile has not been completely tackled for weeks. My poor hubby even ran out of socks yesterday!

The weather is pretty marvelous today, too! It’s beautiful and sunny here in Southern CT today after a couple of days of overcast skies and a combination of drizzles and downpours. The leaves are starting to turn – but I think we’re a good couple of weeks from peak foliage. I really love this time of year – the mornings are chilly, the days are still warmish, and it’s cool enough in the house to start baking!!

Speaking of baking…I made some marvelous muffins yesterday, and I wanted to share that recipe with you today! I got the recipe from Jenn over at Peas and Crayons. She calls this recipe Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Zucchini Brownie Bread – definitely a mouthful! I followed it to the letter, but without the glaze. This was the first time I had ever used flax seeds to sub for eggs. Here goes…

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Zucchini Brownie Bread
1 cup of zucchini [1 used 1 1/2 small zucchini]
15oz pureed pumpkin [one can – not the pumpkin pie mix]
1 box of devil’s food cake mix
2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
6 Tablespoons water
3/4 cup of chopped walnuts [optional] plus extra for topping
1 cup of dark chocolate chips [I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips]

The ingredients…

Preheat the oven to 350F and get started on your flax “eggs”. ¬†You’ll need two of them for this recipe, so simply scoop 2 tablespoons of ground flax into a small bowl and add 6 tablespoons of water, whisking to combine. ¬†Place in the fridge for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. ¬†When you remove the “eggs” from the fridge, stir gently with a fork. Once it reaches an eggy consistency you’re good to go! They should look like this:

When you “whip” these, they should have the texture of beaten eggs.

Coarsely grate your zucchini with box grater (I used the small side), gather into a pile, and chop into teeny pieces. ¬†Pat dry with paper towels to remove any moisture. (This is important…there’s a LOT of water in there! I let it sit for a bit, then squeezed it in the towel.) Next pour your cake mix in a large bowl [make sure you use chocolate cake mix, not brownie mix!] and add your can of pumpkin, flax eggs [see above] and zucchini. ¬†Stir until just moistened, then fold in your chocolate chips and walnuts.

I don’t see pumpkin or zucchini…do you?? Just chocolatey goodness!

Pour batter into paper lined muffin tins or foil loaf pans spritzed with a little oil.  [Fill each a little over half-way] Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes for muffins, 35-45 minutes for mini loaves [my favorite!] and approx 45-55 minute for a giant loaf.

Ready to go in…

As always, insert a toothpick in the center to test for a fluffy center and keep your¬†oven’s variation in mind. ¬†Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. (Note: I used the paper lined muffin tins and got 18 good sized muffins out of this recipe. They took 30 minutes in my oven).

The finished product…YUM!!

I have to say, these are YUMMY!! They are moist and very brownie-like. Even the husband – who despises both pumpkin AND zucchini said he really liked these. He was really surprised to find out that there was no oil, and especially no eggs! According to MyFitnessPal‘s recipe calculator, these have 176 calories, 25 g carbs, 9 g fat, and 3 g protein each. Not bad considering the fact that they could easily take the place of a much more calorie dense, fat laden dessert!

Hope you all have a marvelous Monday! Now for today’s questions…

What are you up to on this marvelous Monday?

Have you found a healthier substitute for a favorite dessert?

Have you ever hidden fruits and/or veggies in a recipe?

Marvelous in my Monday #2


Happy Monday!

I spent most of my weekend sleeping…stupid cold! I’ve been taking Emergen-C, trying to drink orange juice (doesn’t really agree with my stomach), and trying to rest up. I have been running myself ragged for the last few weeks with my new job, so I’m not surprised that the icky germs finally took hold and knocked me out!!

I got out for a while on Saturday night to help some dear friends celebrate their new home – it’s such a cute, cozy place and I’m sure they will enjoy many years there! We had a great time – drank some wine, ate some yummy food, and laughed the night away!

With all this, I did manage to get some laundry done, and of course I went grocery shopping! My goal for this week was to make it out of the store spending less than $100. I did it! I spent $90.03 and I got all this stuff…

I think that’s pretty good for a little over $90! I used half of the beef to make stew using my favorite recipe from Mark Bittman last night (yummy!). I just do the “regular” recipe, but last night I used garlic infused grapeseed oil to cook the beef. It smelled soooooooooo good in my kitchen!! Of course I have mushrooms, greens, and mixed veggies to make my favorite funky fried rice! The turkey will most likely become chili later in the week, and the chicken will get grilled for salads. I always buy a few different kinds of salad greens – this week was baby spinach, romaine, and a baby arugula mix. I typically have at least 10 Greek yogurts on hand (one for each of us for each day), and I bought some baby cucumbers for snacking. There’s just something refreshing about cucumbers!! I found a new Thai Tomato Coconut soup that sounded interesting, and given my current situation (sick with a cold!!) soup sounded really good to me yesterday. That will probably wind up being lunch tomorrow.

I had another busy day today, but enjoyed a lunch meeting with some colleagues this afternoon at Le Pain Quotidien. I’m sorry now that I didn’t take pictures, but it would have been pretty awkward! Only one of them knows about this blog, and I didn’t think it was really an appropriate time or place to explain! I had gazpacho – which I usually don’t like. I felt like having soup, but the only other option was lentil and I wasn’t in a lentil kind of mood today. The gazpacho was really fresh – and came topped with a few chunks of avocado and a drizzle of basil olive oil. It was delicious as well as pretty! I also had a warm Moroccan chicken salad that had spiced chicken with harissa¬†(a paste of chilis, garlic, herbs, spices, and olive oil), chickpeas, and arugula. It was different from anything I had ever had before, but it was really good! I washed it all down with some green tea, which felt really good on my sore throat.

Well, that’s about it for my MIMM post for this week! Hope everyone else is having a Marvelous Monday! Thanks again to Katie at Healthy Diva Eats for hosting! Have a great week!

What is your comfort food when you’re not feeling well?

Any ideas for how to get rid of this (stupid!!!) cold faster?

My First “Marvelous In My Monday” Post!




Want to find out more about #MIMM? Visit Katie @ Healthy Diva Eats! 

Although today was FAR from marvelous, I felt like I should post anyway! This has been a crazy few weeks at work Рand this week is turning out no different! I worked all weekend on a project, and believe me РI would much rather have been outside enjoying the beautiful weather! At least the deadline is tomorrow afternoon to get everything done, and then it will be OFF MY PLATE for a while!

I have to say, despite all the craziness, there were a couple of marvelous things about today. One was this:

A friend who also spent the weekend working on the same type of project managed to get out and go apple picking for a couple of hours with her kids. She left these for me on the table in my office this morning. What a sweet (and healthy…not to mention yummy) gift!

One of the other marvelous things about today is that one of my friends knew how stressed out I was and asked if I wanted to go for a walk. It was the perfect thing to clear my head, get out in the fresh air, vent some frustration, and refresh my brain cells! We did about 3 miles, and also managed to find a little “fitness playground” to mess around at! It had a two-person airwalker, a cross-country ski machine, and some other fun fitness equipment. We will DEFINITELY be going back there again!

The other marvelous thing about today is my hubby. Although we have both been under a lot of stress and pressure at work, we’ve been working hard at making time for each other – even for the little things. Last night, we shared some tea with honey while planning out the next few weeks and talking about going bike shopping – yay!! Tonight, we’ll have dinner together when he gets home, and decompress a little. I’m really lucky to have him to share my life with. (Cue sappy music here…) This December will mark 19 years that we’ve been together! We’ve had our ups and downs, but we always get through it together.

I guess today wasn’t so bad after all! Hope you’re having a Marvelous Monday!!