Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

I'm not quite a baker but these were excellent (and kind of good for you too...the real pumpkin part!)

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
serves 16
recipe found on - I think it's a Martha Stewart recipe

Pumpkin Swirl brownies....ummm...yum
1/2 cup butter
6 oz (6 squares) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or 1 cup chocolate chips)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F and butter an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch baking pan.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla for a few minutes, until fluffy; beat in the flour just until combined.

Divide the batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl) and stir the chocolate mixture into one bowl. Stir the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg into the other bowl. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan, smooth the top and gently spread with half the pumpkin batter. Drop large spoonfuls of chocolate and pumpkin batter on top, then gently swirl the two batters with the tip of a knife (just a table knife, so you don’t scrape the bottom of the pan with a sharp tip) to create a marbled effect.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until just set. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Makes 16 brownies.

Karl's reaction: You never bake. These are frickin good! I had two pieces for breakfast. So good.

My take: LOVE THESE. For one, they aren't super sweet. AND they are so moist. Really good. Will be baking these again!

Pork Loin with Apple-Cranberry Chutney

This was my favorite recipe of the week. Maybe even month. SO GOOD!

Pork Loin with Apple-Cranberry Chutney
serves 8
recipe found in Health Magazine - October 2011

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 (2 1/2-3 pound) boneless pork loin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 slices reduced-sodium bacon, sliced into 3/8-inch thick pieces
1 medium leek, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (1 cup)
3 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced (3 1/2 cups)
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon honey
1 small sprig fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Season pork with salt and pepper. Add pork to skillet, turning to brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet (reserve skillet); roast 45-55 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 155°. Remove from oven; transfer pork to a plate.

3. Meanwhile, add bacon to skillet; cook over medium heat until bacon begins to crisp and fat has been released, about 3-4 minutes. Add leek and cook, stirring, until tender (about 8 minutes). Add apples, cranberries, honey, rosemary, lemon juice, and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes or until apples and cranberries partially break down and sauce thickens. Discard rosemary. Slice and serve pork with chutney and green beans or broccoli.

Karl's reaction: "Holy cow this is good! What's all in here? Is there bacon in here? This is really good babe. Really good! Yummmmm."

My take: I love this. Tastes a little like Thanksgiving but better to me. I'll be making this again!

Fettuccine with Shrimp, Garlic and Broccoli

Fettuccine with Shrimp, Garlic and Broccoli
serves 4
recipe found in Fitness Magazine - November/December 2011 - by Anna Berman

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 garlic gloves, thinly sliced
3/4 pound frozen medium shrimp, thawed
8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
3 cups broccoli florets

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; saute 5 minutes. Add Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes; cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally. 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, peel shrimp and remove tails; set aside. Prepare pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli florets to the pot for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and set aside.

3. Add shrimp to the tomato sauce; cook 2 to 3 minutes, until opaque.

4. Serve shrimp and sauce over pasta and broccoli.

Karl's reaction: "Ohhh, you took the tails off the shrimp. This is good. I like it."

My take: I'd make this again. I'd add maybe basil or something...or cheese. Seems like it's missing some type of flavor. Or, maybe I made too many noodles.

Healthier Holiday Fish

Christmas Cod
serves 4
recipe found in Shape - December 2010 
Christmas many good flavors!
2 tablespoons plus
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 white turnip, peeled and diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1⁄4 teaspoon pimenton (smoked paprika)
1 bay leaf
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch kale (about 1 pound), stems and center ribs removed, torn into bite-size pieces
4 4-ounce center-cut cod fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high; add veggies and half the garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add pimentón and bay leaf and cook for 2 minutes, then add beans and cook for about 3 minutes or until just heated through. Add remaining garlic and kale and cook for 4 minutes.

Season fillets with salt and pepper. Heat remaining oil in a sauté pan over medium-high. Lay cod in pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until a brown crust forms. Flip, then cook for 2 to 3 minutes more; remove from pan.

Divide vegetable-bean mixture among four bowls and top with cod; finish with a squeeze of lemon.
Karl's reaction: "This is really good babe. Is this a turnip? This is good. Real good."
My take: I'll be making this again for sure.

Healthy Taco Salad

Flat-Belly Recipe that Packs a Punch

Taco Salad
serves 4 (depending how much you make...below might be just one serving)
recipe found in Women's Health - December 2010

Yummy taco salad - healthy too!
4 oz lean ground turkey cooked with taco seasoning
1/4 cup black beans
2 Tbsp salsa
1 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup chopped yellow peppers
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp guacamole

Mix together and serve

Karl's reaction: "I would have this for lunch every day if I could. Yum!"

My take: Right now I'm craving avocados so this was delicious. I will make again. Super easy to make.