WIAW: Spinach Stuffed Shells

This morning didn’t go as planned.  Nothing bad happened, but nothing went how I envisioned in my head last night.  I planned to wake up, eat breakfast, write this post, go to BodyPump, stop by the grocery store, and indulge in leftovers from last night.

But instead…  I woke up, ate breakfast, made breakfast for Ryan, and then took a “nap.”  Are they called naps in the morning?  Or should I just say that I went back to sleep?  Oh well, I’m pregnant – that’s my excuse.  When in doubt, blame it on the baby because she’ll never know.  I’m kidding.

After filling up my gas tank {getting stranded on the side of the road is a real fear!}, I managed to go to the gym for 50 minutes of cardio and enjoyed a large plate of  spinach stuffed shells when I got home.  I suppose the day hasn’t been a complete wash, although I have no idea what I’m going to do after I publish this post.  Maybe I’ll see Melissa McCarthy’s new movie, Tammy.

While on summer break, I’ve been trying to make an effort to make/create new recipes.  Some days my stomach has been wonky and all I’ve wanted to eat is carbs  and drink ginger ale #pregnancyproblems, but yesterday’s eats didn’t disappoint.

Thanks Jenn for hosting another tasty link-up!

breakfast

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coffee, {farm fresh} peaches, & chocolate chip oatmeal pancakes topped with plain Greek yogurt + peanut butter + grape jelly

morning snack

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bite-sized {farm fresh} plums & an English muffin with horseradish hummus

lunch

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{farm fresh} corn, orange slices, a wafflewich with eggs + lettuce + ketchup + Parmesan yogurt spread, & pretzels

afternoon snack

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orange slices & rice cakes with {scraps from the bottom of the jar} peanut butter + grape jelly

dinner

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a simple green salad & Skinnytaste’s Spinach Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce

*I subbed dried basil for fresh, added a shot of Tabasco, & omitted the ground turkey because we didn’t have any*

dessert

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Cheerios + vanilla yogurt + dark chocolate chips + banana slices + whipped cream

Question:  Do you like stuffed shells?  I’m either experiencing an intense pregnancy craving or this is my new favorite recipe!  I typically don’t care for leftovers, but I ate them for lunch today and probably will have them again tonight for dinner.

Question:  What myths have you’ve heard about how to lose cellulite?  Dr. Oz just came on and that’s today’s topic.  By the way, his props are always so cool.  Mad “props” to whoever creates them ;)

— Allison

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Pick-Your-Own Produce at Hollin Farms

First, a couple of random tidbits from yesterday…

- I didn’t recognize Lady Gaga on Ellen {it was a rerun from 2013, I think?}.  She looked beautiful in a pink dress with her hair down, although her shoes were over the top.  Two things I learned: (1) her costumes are her way of coping and (2) she still hasn’t bought a house…  Because that would make her feel like a grown-up and she’s not ready to be a grown-up yet.

YES.  Exactly.  That’s how I feel too, Lady.  Except I’m having a baby in 4 months…

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- I love companies with great customer service.  Sunday night we ordered pizzas from Dominos and I was bummed that they messed up my order.  I ordered a veggie pizzas and requested the addition of bell peppers and jalapenos, but they must have read it as ONLY bell peppers and jalapenos because that’s all that was on it.  Imagine: dough, pizza sauce, a few bell pepper strips, and boat-loads of jalapenos.  After a quick tweet to the company, someone responded and the store owner called yesterday to apologize and graciously offered to make it up to me.  Thank you!

- Going to the movies by myself is one of my favorite ways to spend some “me time.”  Not only are movies cheaper in the morning/middle of the day, but the theaters are nearly empty so it’s like you’re at a private screening.  Yesterday afternoon I saw Begin Again with Keira Knightley and Adam Levine.  I wasn’t expecting much going into it, but it was surprisingly good.

~~~~~

On Saturday afternoon, Ryan and I drove west to a little town called Delaplane to a pick-your-own produce farm called Hollin Farms.  For the past two years, we’ve enjoyed picking apples in the fall so we thought we’d try picking some other produce.

Why You Should Pick-Your-Own Produce

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From the Hollin Farms website:

Hollin Farms is a four-generation family farm next to Sky Meadows State Park in Fauquier County, Northern Virginia, about 45 minutes from the Washington, DC Beltway.  We specialize in grass-fed natural Angus beef, hay for horses, and a variety of pick-your-own fruits and vegetables throughout the seasons.  Hollin Farms was started by the late Robert C. Davenport in the early 1950s.  The farm is named after Hollin Hills, an award-winning community of modern houses that he developed in Fairfax County in the 1950s and 60s.

When we arrived at the farm we were greeted by a few employees wearing bright yellow aprons and wide brimmed hats.  They informed us of what fruits and veggies were ripe for picking, pointed out where the different crops were located, and then let us free to roam the fields on our own.

We spent about an hour exploring and gathering – Japanese plums, sweet corn, peaches, cucumbers {only saw tiny ones}, peppers {couldn’t find any}, berries {weren’t ripe}, tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, and green beans.

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For just $20 we got all of the produce above {plus an ice cream for the road}.  All of the cherry tomatoes and plums {SO juicy!} have been eaten, half of the corn is gone, and the peaches are just beginning to ripen.

If you’re interested in finding a pick-your-own farm near you, this website is awesome –> PickYourOwn.org.  It provides a list of pick-your-own farms in the US, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and more.

Question:  Have a delicious recipe for pie?  Leave a link!  We’re hoping to go back to the farm at least once this summer and I’d love to bake a fresh fruit pie – not much beats a slice of pie with vanilla ice cream on a hot summer night!

Question:  Do you ever go to movies by yourself?

— Allison

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WIAW: White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Dear Readers,

It has been six weeks since my last WIAW post and these are my confessions.  HA!  Kidding.  But really…  It feels like I’m sitting down in a confessional since it has been over a month since I’ve joined Jenn’s delicious link-up.

I could remind you about how busy life currently is, but that would be redundant and I’m sure that others are equally as {or even more} busy.  But really…  Life is crazy, in the best possible way.  Teaching, conferences and meetings before/after-school, tutoring, working at the running store, running, getting ready for a fabulously fun bachelorette weekend, doctor’s appointments, yada yada yada.  I’ll save those rambles for another time because today it’s all about the food.

Salty, sweet, chewy, crunchy, doughy, fluffy, I don’t discriminate.  But I do get cravings and hankerings for things that I just have to have and couldn’t live another minute without.  

Breakfasts lately have been pancakes, but bagels are a close second.  I’ve eaten enough tuna fish to sustain a small country.  Trader Joe’s needs to sell their Sweet Apple Chicken Sausages in larger packages, five is just not enough.  I ate a whole bag of frozen peas after working at the running store {and yes, I had already eaten dinner}.  Wegmans real crab sushi rolls and organic soups are my favorite to get when Ryan and I go on weekend lunch dates.  I forgot how tasty doughy, white carbs are #wheatbrainturnedwhite.  And how delicious Annie’s White Cheddar Mac & Cheese is.  Actually, anything cheesy sounds absolutely divine.  PB&J will forever steal my heart.  And all days that end with ice cream are good days!

Now, onto yesterday’s eats…

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Breakfast:  It’s much easier for me to remember to take my vitamins when they’re gummies.  Two mini plain bagels topped with TJ’s creamy peanut butter + St. Dalfour Four Fruits Preserves with a side of {unpictured} frozen berries.

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Mid-Morning Snack:  School was delayed due to Monday’s snow, so on my way in I stopped by Starbucks.  A handful of dates and a grande Coffee Light Frappuccino minus the frapp base, plus a banana.  It has a mild coffee taste with a hint of banana.  The only thing that could make it better would chocolate.

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Lunch:  An apple, {unpictured peas and carrots}, PB&J sandwich on potato bread {current favorite bread!}, and  TJ’s honey pretzels.  More white carbs, swoon.  Oh, and a Diet Hansen’s because I had a stomach ache.  I suppose I do now have one confession to share since I was supposed to have given up candy and soda for Lent…

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Afternoon Snack {unpictured}:  In the car on the way to my chiropractor appointment, I ate a banana and a Luna Bar.  I used to eat a Luna Bar almost every day a few years ago and I seem to be getting back into the habit.  Hate to admit it, but Quest Bars aren’t doing it for me anymore.

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Dinner:  I’ll never forget when my momma first bought a box of Annie’s White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese back when I was in high school.  I was bummed.  Bummed because I was so used to the traditional blue box…  But oh my, I quickly realized that there was more than silly shaped coated in orange cheese and I’ll never go back.  

For dinner I sautéed mushrooms with salt + pepper, added a handful of frozen peas, and poured a little jarred marina sauce into the pan.  While that was cooking, I cooked a box of Annie’s Whole Wheat Shells & White Cheddar {according to the directions} and warmed up a few frozen turkey meatballs from TJ’s.  The mushrooms and peas made a great base for the mac & cheese + meatballs, plus {salted} sliced tomatoes.  Definitely worth remaking again and again!

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Dessert:  A generous scoop of Stonyfield’s Gotta Have Vanilla frozen yogurt with a few animal crackers + grapes.  Strange combo but it hit the spot.

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P.S.  Check back tomorrow for a recipe for PB&J Energy Bites!  They’re no-bake and gluten-free!

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Question:  What food{s} have you been craving?

Question:  What’s the strangest combo you’ve recently enjoyed?

— Allison

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