Monday, January 31, 2011

Manic Monday

May the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows. 

Happy Monday everyone! Hopefully you had a fantabulous weekend. Although Mondays are usually hated, I began to think "why don't we do something to spice up our outlook on this dreaded day?" Sure, getting up at the crack of dawn after sleeping in all weekend is killer, but if you give yourself things to look forward to maybe we can learn to love the day.

Tonight I invited Chris' mom and step-dad over for dinner and game night. My trip last week to Whole Foods was a success! I found whole wheat naan and decided to create tonight's dinner around that. For those of you who aren't familiar, naan is an Indian flatbread that you typically grill and use to soak up your curry sauce or dip into hummus. It is delicious! 

While getting lost in WF I picked up some garbanzo beans (chick peas) and roasted red peppers to make my first homemade hummus. It couldn't be any simpler.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
1 can drained garbanzo beans
1 roasted red pepper (1 jar, only the peppers)
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil (instead of tahini)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of olive oil (I used the oil from the red pepper jar)
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pulse/blend until smooth. You may have to stir it a few times to break up the beans and pepper. Done! 5 minutes top.

Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus :)

I suggest serving with the whole wheat naan. You could also serve with pretzel thins... either way is amazing! To go with this Indian influenced meal I sauteed some yellow and green zucchini in olive oil with salt pepper and garlic and paired with brown rice and oven roasted cauliflower. The cauliflower was by far the nights show stopper. Here is how I made it...

Oven Roasted Cauliflower:
Serves 6, 94 calories per serving
1 head of cauliflower 
About 1/4 cup olive oil
3 minced garlic cloves (or garlic powder works well)
salt and pepper to taste
About 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Combine cauliflower, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper well so all the florets are coated and seasoned. Place in a large shallow roasting pan and place in the center of the oven. Roast for about 25-35 minutes. Remove from oven and top with Parmesan cheese and additional salt and pepper if needed.

Tandoori Chicken:
Serves 4
1 to 1.5 pounds chicken breast, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry
1/2 to 1 tablespoon cumin
3 tablespoons tikka marsel (could omit)
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1.5 containers non-fat greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Add all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Cook on medium high until chicken is fully cooked. Serve over rice.

Let the chicken hang while you prepare your sides.
Chicken cooking, duh.
Grilled Naan
Sauteed Zucchini
An Indian Feast!

I recently was included on a recipe swap. I have included the two recipes that were e-mailed to me so far... I can't guarantee they are tasty or healthy but you should definitely give them a go! If you have any great, filling, healthy recipes send them my way! I love mixing things up and am always down for something new at my dinner table (hence my Indian night). I completely forgot to photograph my grilled peaches with honey greek yogurt but totally recommend you stealing the recipe from my list! It didn't last long on our plates, which is probably why I didn't snag a photo!

You might notice I love changing the look of my site. It's cheaper than changing the look of my house, and personally just as fun! If you are ever in the Mt.Airy or Frederick area you should check out the store Retro Metro. It is filled with unique gifts, kitchen ware, home decor and furniture. The prices are reasonable and you won't be disappointed. Again, the site does it no justice so you have to check it out for yourself! Go, now!

Also, if you love reading my blog but hate checking back to see when it is updated - subscribe to my blog! (It's on the right side of my blog). You will receive all my posts in your e-mails inbox. How perfect is that?!

Since I was lazy at posting this weekend here are day two, three AND four in my 30 day blog challenge.

Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name

After thinking long and hard about what I would call my blog (Vintage Age or Cara Lou Bella) it doesn't take a genius to guess what I chose. ;-) Cara Lou Bella is a nickname my best friend Brittney started years ago. Thanks to her I have a title for my new obsession!

Me and My Best, Brittney
Day 3: Your first love

I think there are different types of first loves in a persons life. My first young love would have to be an ex we will call Bob. Although things ended poorly (he cheated on me, I know right?) he taught me a lot about being in a relationship. I wouldn't be the person I am now with Chris without the things I learned from his and my ups and downs. However, I have to give him credit for always practicing romance. I would walk out of class to notes on my car, surprise visits to my work with thoughtful gifts and someone who let me be me (young and crazy).

My first grown-up love was with Chris hands down. We have been dating for 3 years, know who we are as individuals and partners, and support each others dreams and aspirations. We moved in together after a short 5 months and our relationship is always growing. I think the difference between young and grown up love is your sense of what is real and what is fantasy. I know my future is with him and I no longer have to fantasize about my fairy tale Prince Charming, because lucky for me I am dating my real life Prince Charming.

Day 4: Your parents

Even now that I have entered my "grown-up life" both my parents check in on me through my work email and phone weekly. They have welcomed Chris into our family as the son they never had and I couldn't be more thankful for that. My mom was always the loudest parent at my field hockey games and has always been my best friend. Although my parents haven't always had the best relationship, they have never given up... even if that was the easiest road to take. Relationships aren't easy, they take work. They both loved my first dog, Princeton, and were there in ways I didn't even know I needed when he passed. I am so lucky to have parents that would do anything to take away my pain.

My sister, dad and mom on my graduation day
Tomorrow's blog challenge is a song to fit my current mood...hope it's a good one!! Talk to you guys tomorrow!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

and I had the most wonderful day with you...

As most of you already know, yesterday was Christopher's and my 3 year anniversary... and I couldn't be more thankful and lucky to have him in my life! I'll forewarn all those who hate hearing about couples in love, this post probably won't be for you. 

Me on the other hand, loves to hear love stories. I am always asking people "how did you two meet?" or "how did he propose?". And I'll tell you one thing. People do enjoy telling those stories because they are some of the happiest memories in their life. 

Don't you hate when you take a day off from work - only to wake up at the same time or earlier than you normally do?! In college I could sleep in until noon, no sweat. Now, I can't sleep past 9:30 it feels like! Well, that was the case yesterday. I woke up earlier than planned and hopped out of bed to let Chris sleep. He is on a completely different schedule than myself and could sleep til 6pm if you let him.

That's okay though... I woke up to these gorgeous roses in my kitchen and a full fridge packed with breakfast foods. Didn't I go out the night before in search for breakfast ideas?? We think too similarly! Although when I woke up he said he was making me breakfast in bed, I really do enjoy cooking and he needed the extra sleep!

So, here it is. I made a delicious brunch for two. Whole wheat waffles with a few fresh blueberries tossed in, grapefruit, egg whites and bacon. To all of you who burn pancakes like myself, invest in a waffle maker! You never have to worry about burning or flipping and they come out perfect every time! Add a tablespoon of brown sugar and a splash of vanilla extract and they turn out delicious! Or, if you are feeling extra fancy, I like adding in a couple splashes of caramel Baileys liquor. YUM-O!

After brunch, Chris rushed me in the shower saying we had an action packed day ahead of us. I had to pack long socks and gloves! I am horrible at keeping secrets like gifts... to the point where I beg you to let me tell you what it is. But this time, I kept my mouth shut and ears closed.

Surprise, surprise! Both times we went to Boston I was dying to go to Frog Pond lake! It is this huge pond in the middle of the Boston Common where you can ice skate outside. The first time we left the day before it opened. The second time, my dyslexic self, completely screwed up the hours and we got there too late. Totally bummed to say the least. But, Chris did his research and found an outside skating rink in Glen Burnie. We were the only ones there and it couldn't have been a better surprise. Plus, it was still snowing out. God couldn't have made better weather for a better memory.

My hair was ruined after an hour or so of skating!
We found someone to take our photo!
Showing off his skating skills!
Next we were off to another stop. We ended up at the Vitamin Shoppe. I had been saying how I wanted to start taking protein before I work out or substitute my breakfast for a shake when I am in a rush. Luckily for me I have a boyfriend who is a good listener. We picked up a container of my favorite Oh, Yeah! protein in vanilla creme. So, you guys will have to stay tuned! I'm going to find some awesome recipes to put this to use too!

After leaving the store we stopped at the Columbia Association, picked up some movie tickets and headed to dinner. Chris made reservations for dinner at the Melting Pot. I had never been before, but for my "our first apartment warming gift" Chris bought us a fondue kit. For our second anniversary he set up a huge fondue spread at our apartment.

So, it was only fitting that I tried this place out. The food was good, wine better. I have a love hate relationship with my hair. It wanted to try out every dip apparently, so I left with crusty hair and sauce on my shirt. haha FAIL.

I almost forgot to mention! After reading Tori's blog I was dying for a Magic Bullet. I could use it for homemade pasta sauce, making dips... you name it, I'll make it. Welp, my awesome boyfriend got me one too! I can use it to make my protein shakes in the morning or on the way to the gym, hence why I also got a huge tub of my favorite protein. So thoughtful!! Now I'll be making his protein shakes in the morning too, I can see it now. haha.

Not a day goes by where I don't think of how lucky I am. Chris truly is my best friend and we have been through things most people wouldn't expect. I always say how lucky we are to have grown together then apart while growing up and it's the truth.

Our 1 year Anniversary
Our 2 year Anniversary
Our 3 year Anniversary
Alyssa recently started a 30 day blog challenge that I am going to try to keep up with! So stayed tuned.

Post One: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts.

As most of you know my name is Cara. I am 23, have two Chihuahua's (Chance and Maggie) and live in Annapolis with my boyfriend Chris. I work as an Interactive Project Manager at gkv Communications and am a part of the Baltimore AAF's program committee. I have recently started this blog to put my thoughts into words and to find healthy meals to not only inspire you, the readers, but also myself. 

As you can see from today's post I have plenty of recent photos and refuse to take one of myself in my pj's with hair gone wild.

1. I am afraid/uneasy/nervous of escalators. When I was in 8th grade I tripped and fell down one at the mall. Ever since I have always dreaded them! 
2. I am dyslexic. I am always mixing things up and have to read a books page twice before it sticks in my head. I get it from my mom, thanks!
3. My eyes turn blue when I cry. How perfect! I have hazel eyes, so like most of us they change based on what we are wearing, how we are feeling or the day.
4. Cooking calms me. 
5. I have a weak stomach. Almost every restaurant upsets me. Probably because I was born lactose intolerant and threw out the Lactaid Milk and pills once I hit middle school.
6. I am awesome at finding job postings for people. I am always keeping an eye out for friends who still haven't had any luck.
7. I am such an indecisive shopper. I am always looking at prices and will make 3 stops to different grocery stores in a week if I have to. (this week was whole foods, TJ's and Safeway).
8. I worry about money too much. I can't wait until I have a career where that doesn't happen.
9. I love long hair Chihuahuas. I have had two. I used to always want a Pomeranian, but we read Chihuahuas usually only get along with their kind. Since we had Princess Moo we decided on a long hair. Best. Decision. Ever.
10. I love kickboxing class. It is my favorite class to take at the gym.
11. My favorite flowers are orchids and lillys. 
12. I once got a D in gym class. Even after running an extra credit 5k. Hmmm, I don't even know how that one happened.
13. I used to wear heals every day until I went to Salisbury. 
14. I used to work at a gym and miss the free membership, free protein drinks (from vendors) and free tanning. Powerhouse please open in Columbia!
15. I hate chocolate. It tastes like dirt. I have since I was born. Ask any of my family.

Tomorrow is about the meaning behind my blog title! Stay tuned.

Love often.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Day Bliss

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.

I might be exaggerating a tad lot when it comes to my post title. We were hit hard with snow (photo compliments of my fmil [future-mother-in-law] Kelli). It stole my kickboxing class, my satellite tv and my boyfriend for an extra three hours... and didn't even give me a delay or closing at work! I think I am in a bad relationship with this weather! Just when I am loving and welcoming it, the snow turns around and plays me!

The tandoori shrimp last night was surprisingly so good! Too bad I bought the smallest shrimp possible, so I added half of a chicken breast and it did the trick! Chris likes to refer to my "trying new food" habit to that of a 5 year old. I pretend I don't like it the second it touches my lips, then a couple tries later down the road it is my favorite thing in the world. True. I used to hate avocados and curry, and now I am in love. 

Tonight I am going to hit up Trader Joe's. I am a virgin to all things TJ (shocking, I know). I need an inspiration for tomorrow's anniversary breakfast. Is the girl supposed to cater to the boy on anniversaries and the boy caters to the girl on valentines day? Either way, I will be continuing my breakfast habit tomorrow while having off from work ;-) I made my banana walnut oatmeal again this morning, it just tastes so good! Probably my new fav flav combo.

Obviously I didn't want to go to work this morning...
Who would ever want to leave their house with this button nose at home?
Last night I was searching the web for low fat dessert recipes. Alyssa's blog always has great ones, but I am not a chocolate lover and sadly she is. If you love reading my blog, you will love hers. I have made it part of my daily routine (just don't leave me for her!). We are having some company on Monday night and I wanted to make a dessert, knowing that we all are trying to have a healthier lifestyle it needs to be figure friendly!

Here is what I found...

Grilled Peaches:
131.5 calories per whole peach
4 medium ripe peaches, pit removed and cut in half
1/2 cup honey flavored fat free Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons honey
Cinnamon to your taste
Place peaches cut side down on the grill. Grill on low or indirect heat until soft, about 2-4 minutes on each side. Combine yogurt and cinnamon. Pour 1 tbsp yogurt over each peach half. Drizzle with honey and enjoy.
Sounded delicious to me, especially with my new love for Greek yogurt and I saw peaches in Safeway the other night (and I think they were on sale).

Although I don't like chocolate, my favorite cake flavor (besides funfetti) is red velvet. I don't like challenging desserts with tons of ingredients for me to buy which I most likely will never use again. SO, while at TJ's tonight I am going to look for a red velvet box cake and make this recipe...

Diet Soda Red Velvet Cupcakes:
85-90 calories per cupcake (not including icing, so go light)
1 dry box red velvet cake
10 ounces of diet cream soda
2 egg whites
Baking Spray

Preheat oven according to box directions. Spray cupcake liners with baking spray. Beat cake mix, diet soda and egg whites. Pour into liners. Bake as directed on box, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Personally I dislike soda. I don't like the way I feel after I drink it (BLOATED!) and it really doesn't contain anything natural or healthy for you. But, if you are going to have it, mine as well be inside of a cupcake that holds about .5 ounces of it. Plus, you are skipping out on the oil and butter. I'll let you know how these turn out but I have read nothing but great reviews!

I'm off to the gym to try step circuit tonight! I'll let you know how these desserts turn out! I am going to make my pea soup and freeze for my grandmother. Lots of well wishes for her since she is having spinal surgery today!

Happy it's almost Friday Bloggets!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tandoori White

My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.

It's a snow day here in Maryland! It's days like this where I ask myself, "why didn't I become a teacher?". Then snow days would actually mean more than driving slow and wearing rain boots to work. But, we closed the agency at 3 so that was a little bit of bright news!

If you are looking for a good pair of rain boots that don't fit the cookie cutter image try out Laila Rowe. Their online selection, quite frankly, stinks but if you are in the Annapolis area hit up the mall and check them out! They are all under 30 dollars and have at least 20 different styles! PLUS they ALWAYS are having killer sales on shoes, accessories and jewelry.
My Sperry Rain boots
The time has come. The holiday that is as equally loved as it is hated; Valentine's Day. It is just around the corner! Geez where has the time gone?! If you are looking for the perfect dress for a night out with that special someone, try They have links upon links of dresses that are easy on the eyes AND your wallet. Who doesn't love an excuse to go shopping?

Welp, the snow got in the way of my kickboxing class. I couldn't be more bummed so I am going to attempt to do a pilates sesh in my living room. Thankfully, I just found out they have kickboxing on Fridays also :-)

I finally made my banana walnut oatmeal this morning... and it was fabulous. Think of banana nut bread without feeling guilty. I added a tablespoon of brown sugar, half of a sliced banana and a handful of chopped walnuts to my 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal. I highly suggest! Plus, it is mega filling!

Last night we hit up the grocery store! I picked up all the necessities for my tandoori shrimp, plus we found ridic sales on fresh wild salmon. Safeway is going crazy on sales right now... I suggest you go... and before you do check out their website where you can add coupons to your club card ;-) 

Chris' family is amazing at cooking fresh Indian style meals and I never realized how healthy they truly are until I started looking at the nutritional facts. This tandoori shrimp meal is only 122 calories, 1 gram of fat and 21g of protein. Holy moly! You definitely won't feel bad about having seconds!!

Tandoori Shrimp for Two:
1/2 pound of fresh/frozen deveined shrimp
1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic 
1/2 onion thinly sliced

Pat your shrimp dry. In a bowl combine shrimp, yogurt, lime juice, curry powder, garlic and salt to taste.  Cook onions on medium heat (add a little vegetable oil or non-stick spray) for about 8 minutes, or until they are lightly brown. Move your onions to a serving bowl. Add shrimp to your pan and sauté until fully cooked. About 2 to 3 minutes. Add on top of onions in your serving bowl.

I bought some fresh zucchini that I am going to grill with olive oil and garlic. Serve with brown rice as a healthy and delicious side. Who said cooking healthy had to taste bad and take extra time. This whole process will only take you 20 minutes tops! (well, only if you can multi task). 

Non-Fat Greek Yogurt. Use for marinade and also for dipping!

Toss all ingredients together.

While shrimp are hanging out in the bowl, slice your veggies thin.

DONE! Easy meal in under 20 minutes. Healthy and simple.

I added half of a chicken breast to the pan after the shrimp cooked. (I bought teeny tiny shrimp!)

Photos are now up! If you missed it - I added photos to my better burger post! Check out how delicious everything turned out! It honestly tasted like a taco burger with the cumin and chili powder.

Happy Snow Day Bloggets!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Better Burger

“The most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love them, and others you don’t. But, in the end, they’re the people you always come home to. Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into and sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself.”

I can't believe I haven't posted anything since Friday!! I would love to tell all of you I had such an amazingly busy and hectic weekend, but sadly I would be lying. HA! It was more of a relaxing, nap taking sort of weekend.

Friday after work I headed to Fed Hill for some hot yoga with the interactive ladies. If you haven't tried hot yoga yet because you're afraid you might die of a heat stroke, try out Charm City Yoga. The room isn't insanely hot (I wore a jacket and leggings the entire time) and the community classes are only 6 dollars for a 90 minute session! You can go here to look at the schedule. I suggest bringing a towel, your yoga mat, an icy cold water bottle and a few of your most awesome friends! The classes aren't over crowded, but I do suggest getting there a little early so you don't miss out! The instructors are always super nice and willing to help out the class beginners. 

I am proud to say I made it to the gym 5 out of 7 days last week with Tuesday and Sunday being my days to rest. If I am not participating in a class, I try to do an hour on the elliptical and 20 minutes of abs and weights. Have I mentioned how excited I am for tomorrow's kickboxing class!?

You may notice a few changes happening to my blog! I'm trying to make it more user friendly! I have now included an About Me and Recipes tab. All new recipes I write about in blogs can be found under the Recipes tab, no more searching!!

I almost forgot to mention that Safeway is having a killer deal on grapefruits and blueberries! Only a dollar each! Which means my (and your) mornings are now complete with blueberry oatmeal and half of a grapefruit topped with burnt brown sugar for a mid-morning snack! I found this out while stopping at the grocery store Sunday night to pick up a bag of salad for my work-week lunches (if i pack it i have to eat it).

Tonight is burger night! Our once a week, red-meat meal! I think I can make a burger dinner in 20 minutes flat from beginning to end. You don't have to use the seasonings I chose for tonight. Sometimes I use French Onion Soup Mix (2-3 tablespoons), garlic and onion powder or chili seasoning (2-3 tablespoons). Each burger is only about 350-400 calories too. My new obsession is sandwich thins! They are only 100 calories (top and bottom) and make you feel better about eating your juicy burger!

Cara's Better Burger:
2 Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins rolls
1/2 lb. 96% lean ground sirloin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
ground pepper to taste
2 slices reduced-fat cheese
sliced tomato, red onion, avocado and lettuce 

Combine chili powder, cumin, pepper and ground sirloin in a bowl and mix with your hands. You want to make sure you evenly disperse the seasoning. Shape into two burger patties and place on the grill (I use a George Foreman Grill). Cook until your desired temperature. Top burgers with cheese, tomato, red onion and avocado (replaces mayo). That's it! You are done! Serve with grilled veggies or a salad. 

Steamed Broccoli, Chili-esque Burger and Baked Red Potatoes
Delish! I grilled some onions, used light mayo with olive oil (out of avocados), reduced fat american cheese and spinach

Tomorrow I am going to make Tandoori Shrimp, yuummm-o! It's my night off from the gym so I am going to make the most of it hanging with Chris and pups. I still haven't decided what I want to do for Valentine's day, but Friday keeps inching closer and closer and PTO is calling my name!


Friday, January 21, 2011


 TGIF! If you must have motivation, think of your paycheck on Friday.

It's sad that I wish some of the week days away so quickly. I'm going to be 24 this year and I can't help to think "where has the time gone?!". Most people have a hard time with 25, being a quarter of a century old... and don't get me wrong I probably definitely will! 24 is the age my parents got married and the age my cousin and his wife had their first kid. It definitely makes me sit down and think where I am in my life. No where near these things! But it is a new year and I can happily say I am happy not to rush life. I am happy that my relationship is healthy and strong and I still have a lot of growing to do myself! So take that 2011! Maybe I'll only have a mini-breakdown come September!

I know I said I was going to make banana walnut oatmeal this morning, but I completely forgot we had a work breakfast scheduled! Being the thinker that I am I found a peanut butter banana recipe that I made a few tweeks to and it turned out DELICIOUS!

Cara's Oatmeal, Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins:
1 cup of skim milk
2 tablespoons of honey
2 mashed up bananas
1/2 cup of organic peanut butter
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3-4 tablespoons oatmeal

Preheat the oven to 375. Mix your dry ingredients in one bowl and the oil, milk, bananas, honey, peanut butter and eggs in a separate bowl. If you are like me, your bananas might not be as mushy on their own... to help them out I put them (skins on) in the microwave for 40 seconds. It did the trick! Combine the dry with wet ingredients and mix well. Add to lined and sprayed (PAM) muffin tins. Sprinkle the tops with oatmeal. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean. This will make 15-18 muffins. I made 6 heart shaped muffins for Chris and I and threw the rest in a bread tin to take to work!

My dry ingredients. I sifted these just to make sure there weren't any clumps!
Mix well! The last thing you want is some flour spots in your muffins!
The finished products! look good huh?! And NO butter! I have better photos of the heart muffins Ill add later.
My little chef, Chance! He always is helping me in the kitchen. Look how big he is getting!!
Who needs oatmeal when you can have it in a muffin! I got the idea for "Fill in the Blank" Friday from another blog and who doesn't love reading above other people's lives and their perspectives! I mean that is why you visit my blog right?! I finally showed my boyfriend my blog last night and he LOVED it. He has always been my rock and so supportive of everything I do. 

BTW, does anyone have any good suggestions for a sentimental anniversary gift? I already have something in mind but wanted to give him a gift he doesn't already know about! If you do send me an email....

1.   My favorite quote is There are sooo many!! I have always loved "knowing is better than wondering, waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beats the hell out of never trying."

2.  A bad habit I have is  -  Leaving for work on time! No matter if I wake up an hour and a half before I have to leave I am always in a rush!

3.  The first time I felt like a "grown up" was - when Chris and I moved into our first solo apartment together, no roomies. It was my senior year of college. Also, the day I started paying for my own health insurance. I've always paid my own bills, but this was a hard adjustment planning for a 401k at 23.

4.  Weekends are - oh so wonderful! I get to catch up on sleep, always make it to the gym, hang out with friends and lay on the couch doing absolutely NOTHING. Although they would be better if Chris didn't work all weekend.

5.  When I was a child I wished my name was this is a hard one. I have always loved the name Avery though! My full name is Carolyn, but I have gone by Cara for about 10 years now. I am always wondering when I will go back. I'm not ready to grow up yet!

6.  I wish - I could make enough money in my career to not worry about money. Be able to travel, buy a house and go out on the weekends without counting my pennies. One day!

7.  A secret I have is - I used to wake up my dog Princeton every morning with the same song. "Good morning, good morning, good morning to you. Good morning to you Mister Princey-Poo!" I still get upset and miss him everyday.

Remember to always follow your heart <3
Much love and I hope your Friday at work goes by quickly!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Faux Chipotle Night

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.
Chipotle who?! Of course my sister has to tell me her and my mom were going out to eat at only one of my favorite places tonight... and right before I was heading to the gym! UGH!! Being a grown up  is okay great, but sometimes I miss living at home! 
After the elliptical kicked my butt for an hour I did some abs and arms. I forgot how sore I am the day after kickboxing! This year I refuse to have an anxiety attack before trying on my bikini for the first time since last summer. (I feel better dancing in my skimpies at night-time too).
After the gym I came home and decided to make my faux chipotle meal I came up with! And luckily for you I measured everything that went into it and took pictures :) You might notice I make a lot of chicken... welp! that's because we try only eating red meat once a week.  You can find my recipe for my cilantro rice here.
I only used 3/4 cup of uncooked rice this time
How good does that look?! Probably just as good as my corn salsa ;)
Cara's Corn Salsa:
1 can of drained whole kernel corn
1 roma tomato diced
1/3 cup diced green pepper
2/3 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon fresh diced jalepano
1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
small handful of chopped cilantro
salt and cumin to taste

Add all ingredients together! Did you know that roma tomatoes are the cheapest, but in my opinion, tastiest tomatoes you can find in the grocery store?! AND they are perfect for making homemade pasta sauce. Red onions also have more nutrients than your regular yellow onion! Bet you didn't know that either ;)
No chipotle bowl is ever complete without the chicken! I am picky when it comes to my chicken breasts. Even when I get the lean cuts I always inspect them for strings of fat... I have always hated the texture in my mouth. Am I the only one out there?!
Cara's Faux Chipotle Chicken:
2 chicken breasts cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (NO trans fat people!)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
handful of chopped cilantro

Pre-Cooking all ingredients combined
Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Make sure the chicken is fully covered with oil and spices. Cook on medium-high heat until fully cooked. Top with some more freshly chopped cilantro!

Finished Product! YUM!
Now I just have to wait for the bf to get off work and we can dive in! I made the smoothie for breakfast but I forgot how many seeds are in blackberries! Next time remind me to only use raspberries! Tomorrow I am going back to old oatmeal! But since it is Friday I am going to mix it up using walnuts and bananas with honey instead of brown sugar. Sounds good huh?!

Remember tomorrow is FRIDAY!! Thank goodness! I thought it would never get here! AND tonight is the finale of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills! CHA-CHING!

Have a great night bloggets!