Cold Day, Hot Dinner

Today marks the coldest day of December in Florida. Brrr!

I’m writing this post in my warm pajamas, socks and slippers, with a hot-bodied dog on my lap. Comfy, cozy!

After work I headed to the mall for some last minute Christmas shopping. How is it possible that I am still not done?

Are you done with your holiday shopping?

As I was running out to my car with several shopping bags in hand, I shivered in the cold breeze. I knew a hot dinner was in store.

Warm-the-Belly Dinner

Warm-the-Belly Dinner

Keeping my promise not to go to the grocery store this week, I assembled a dinner using food we had on hand.

I wanted everything to be hot to warm up my belly, so tonight’s dinner featured a grilled cheese sandwich (on a honey wheat Arnold sandwich thin), Campbell’s Select Harvest caramelized French onion soup and steamed broccoli and carrots.

Grilled Cheese and Steamed Veggies

French Onion

My Bowl

I adore simple dinners. 

I see a nice cup of hot chocolate in my future…

“Heeere Fishy, Fishy, Fishy”

Name that movie!

It’s Deuce Bigalow – a classic, obviously. 😉

My lunch today was quite fishy!

Tuna Salad

I prepared tuna salad using light Miracle Whip, mustard and relish.

I am trying to make it through Wednesday without going to the grocery store since I’ll be heading home for Christmas Wednesday night. Throughout the week my meals will be made of food I have on hand. I actually enjoy these little self-challenges!

Along with my tuna salad, I ate tasty lavash chips.

Lavash Chips

I cut up a Joseph’s lavash bread into chips, sprayed them lightly with cooking spray and sprinkled them with salt before baking them until they were crispy.

Monday's Lunch

This lunch was waaay more filling than I anticipated! Phew.

Stinky Foods

I seem to really enjoy stinky foods. I love tuna, hard-boiled eggs and basically anything with garlic. To avoid office hatred, I always prepare my smelly meals outside of my workspace so people do not have to smell the stank all day long.

During my first week at my current job, I made the mistake of bringing egg salad to work and opening the container at my desk. The place stunk to high heaven! Great first impression, huh?

What’s the stinkiest food you absolutely love?

Fluffy Pancakes and Cinnamon French Toast

Did you miss the events from this weekend?

Go Knights!

Saturday was one of those days I wish I could re-live because it was so fun!

Sunday was a recovery day full of lots of relaxation. I made a big pancake breakfast for me, my family, Ryan and Ross to enjoy.

Sunday Breakfast Spread

Along with big, fluffy pancakes we enjoyed a bowl of fresh strawberries and blueberries and mandarin oranges.

Fluffy 'Cakes

Fresh Fruit

Mandarin Oranges

We had a wide variety of syrups available so everyone got to use their preferred syrup. We also topped our pancakes with whipped cream for an extra treat!

Sugary Sweet

We enjoyed our breakfast and hung out at the table for a while after we were finished. Aren’t leisurely Sunday breakfasts the best?

For lunch we enjoyed more hot dogs and hamburgers that were leftover from the pre-tailgate party the day before. I ate a lot of homemade pasta salad which is possibly the easiest side to make in the world.

Italian Pasta Salad

I made this salad in an attempt to imitate the pasta salad my friend Kristen’s mom would make all the time when we were growing up. It’s so tasty!

Easy Italian Pasta Salad


  • 2 boxes tri-colored pasta
  • 1 can black olives, sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 bottle light Italian dressing


Prepare the pasta as instructed on the box and refrigerate until cold. Top with Italian dressing, olives, tomatoes and cucumber. Toss until the pasta is coated and the vegetables are evenly dispersed.

Christmas Cards

During the afternoon my sister and I addressed lots and lots of our family’s  Christmas cards to send to loved ones to spread some holiday cheer.

Family Christmas Card

Does your family send out holiday cards?

I love looking at everyone’s holiday cards! I told Ryan he better be ready for us to send out our first one next year! 😀

Since I was clearly in the Christmas spirit, I made a cup of hot chocolate to share with Ryan while I addressed more cards. Ryan  drank the vast majority and I ate most of the fluff on top. I wasn’t a huge fan of the cocoa mix I used so I’ll have to make another cup soon so I can really satisfy my desire for a good cup of hot cocoa!

Hot Cocoa


Today I woke up and it was freezing! I could actually see my breath on the way into the gym this morning (I know all you northerners are hating me because you’ve probably been experiencing this for the past three months now).

Apparently the cold scares Floridians because the gym was practically empty. I had a good workout though! I took a BodyPump class before doing 25 minutes of light cardio on the elliptical. Sadie and I enjoyed a chilly walk together afterward. Her poor lil’ body was shaking!

After such a cold walk, I wanted a hot breakfast!

I made French toast strips using Joseph’s lavash bread and lots of cinnamon.

Lavash Cinnamon French Toast Strips

With a hot cup of tea and some syrup, this breakfast hit the spot!

What’s your favorite breakfast on a cold day?

BSI Winner!

Thank you mucho to everyone who entered the Blogger Secret Ingredient competition this week.

Nutmeg was the ingredient of choice and multiple yummy-lookin’ recipes were sumbitted. Let’s get right to the good stuff:

VeggieGirl entered an adapted recipe from Gourmet magazine for applesauce pecan cake with nutmeg.

Applesauce Pecan Cake with Nutmeg

VeggieGirl said, “This cake was proclaimed by my family as ‘the best thing you’ve baked yet!'” Check out the recipe on VeggieGirl’s blog.

Jessica submitted these colorful fruit cake cookies.

Fruit Cake Cookies

Jessica said, “We loved them so much (before) that this year I purposely bought enough extra ingredients to bake a whole batch.” Check out the recipe for these fruit cake cookies on Jessica’s blog.

Naomi created a creamy-looking recipe for a pumpkalicious shake.

Pumpkalicious Shake

Naomi said, “a few shakes of Nutmeg and you have yourself one delicious shake!” Check out her recipe for this shake on Naomi’s blog.

Taylor emailed me with a recipe for carrot soup with coconut milk.

Carrot Soup with Coconut Milk


5 carrots, chopped or shredded
1 onion, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1 can coconut milk
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon curry
1/2 teaspoon NUTMEG
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil and the chopped onion to a soup pot and cook over high heat until onions are soft.

2.  Add the garlic and carrots for a few more minutes, then stir in the spices, quickly followed by the stock and coconut milk.

3.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes. Blend in a blender or food processor, return to the pot and add the chopped cilantro.

Kelly’s recipe submission of a pumpkin gingerbread trifle definitely caught my eye.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Kelly said, “My favorite holiday dessert is my Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle! It is AMAZING in taste AND calories!” You may find the recipe for Kelly’s pumpkin gingerbread trifle on Kelly’s blog.

Biz submitted an awesome recipe for chai tea mix.

Chai Tea Mix

Biz made this recipe to include in a gift box for her brother and sister for the holidays. To see her recipe for chai tea mix, check out Biz’s blog.

And the Winner is…

Kelly with her pumpkin gingerbread trifle! Seriously how good does that trifle look?

Kelly, please email me at with your address so I may send you a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ for your big win.

I really did have a hard time chosing just one winner since every recipe submitted made me drool worse than Sadie when we’re eating chicken for dinner. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Be sure to head on over to Mellissa’s blog for next week’s BSI competition. 😀