Moving Soon!

Monday, April 18, 2011

On Friday we headed up to Atlanta and sent our car off to Italy. We shipped it far enough ahead of time that it should be there by the time we arrive. We have another 3 weeks in our apartment, hubs told the front office we would be moving out on May 5th. They asked him why he didn't notify them earlier.
HELLO, he didn't get his orders until recently, not to mention we just figured out our moving dates and what not. This is a military town, give me a break. They also told us that our carpets need to be professionally cleaned before we leave.
Um, they certainly weren't cleaned before we moved in. We are also pretty clean people, and the carpets look as good as new. My feeling on this: let's don't and say we did. No way am I paying for that.
Our place is already a disaster area, stuff is just all over the place. The movers don't even come until May 5th. This is our first PCS, and I'm nervous about how well everything will be packed. Luckily I kept all of the wedding china and crystal glasses I received from our wedding in their original packaging. I knew we would be moving sometime this year, I just didn't know where.
I can't wait to go to Orlando and see my family. We are heading there right after the hubs tests for Ssgt next month. We have to return to GA for out processing, then it's back to Orlando until we leave for Italy on June 2nd!
Lately hubs has only been going into work for a couple of hours in the morning, for appointments and what not. We've been working out after lunch, then heading to the pool for a bit in the afternoon, and running errands if we need to.
Yea, it's a real tough life :)

Have twitter? I love following my friends from the MilSpouse blogs, so find me! @NicoleLeeay
I tweet a whole lot more than I update in here... :)

Nicole's Banana Nut Muffins

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I came up with this recipe because my husband and I are more likely to eat banana bread if its in muffin form, rather than just a loaf of bread. 
I wanted to create a healthy recipe that we could both enjoy. I'm not a fan of sugar in the morning, so I didn't want to make these too sweet. 
I think they turned out quite delicious, and my hubby agreed!

Nicole's Banana Nut Muffins
Makes 10-12 Muffins
1 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Milk (non-fat or soy)
2 Tbsp Butter, Melted
1/2 Tsp Real Vanilla Extract
2 Browned Bananas, Mashed
1/3 Cup Walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in bowl, and wet ingredients in separate bowl. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients, and add walnuts. Mix.  Pour mixture into cupcake pan with liners. Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 of the way full.
Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.

Italy Update

Monday, April 11, 2011

So I've been putting off writing about our Italy move because I just KNOW that as soon as I share information, something will change.
That's the kind of luck I have, but here we go.
As of now, it seems that we will be leaving the good ol' USA on June 2nd. Woohoo! It's a week or two later than we had originally thought, but hey I really can't complain about it.
Everything is starting to move ahead full speed, and time is flying by.
The girl who didn't even have a passport now has 2 passports, a Visa, and an international drivers license. As soon as we get to Italy I'll get my European drivers license as well. I'm ready to take on the world, or at least now I am allowed to travel around it. Lately our days consist of running errands and attending various appointments. We are shipping our car out on Wednesday, so hopefully it will arrive in Italy around the same time that we do. The movers are coming in the beginning of May to pack up our house, and we will be spending the majority of the month in Florida with my parents.
We still have what seems like a never-ending to do list, but things are starting to fall into place.

A Cooking Whirlwind

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This past weekend I was overcome with the desire to cook.
What brought this on?
One of the things I want to learn to do before Jacob and I start to have children is cook. I started cooking after we got married, following basic recipes. Some were good, some I will never be making again. Now, I not only want to learn how to cook, but learn how to cook healthy, nutrient rich foods. I want to be able to make the best food possible for my family (when we decide to start one, in the future), and a wide variety of foods at that.
I have been a fan of Bethenny Frankel for a while, and cooked quite a few of the recipes that she features on her website. Everything always turns out absolutely delicious. She uses natural ingredients, and makes substitutes for the unhealthy ingredients often found in classic dishes. The most important thing is everything is always FULL OF FLAVOR yet good for you. So last week I decided to order her book "The Skinny Girl Dish." It arrived in the mail Friday, and I instantly became inspired. Not only was it full of awesome recipes, but it also explained how to whip up easy, healthy meals on a regular basis. AND she explained the formula she uses for giving desserts a healthy makeover.
So this weekend I started cooking. Since I received her book in the mail I have made 10 of her recipes, and each one turned out AMAZING. I asked my husband what his favorite thing has been since my cooking frenzy began, and he couldn't decide on just one.
Here's a look at our delicious Saturday:
Whole Grain French Toast 
4 Egg Whites
1 Tsp Real Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp Real Maple Syrup
4 Slices Whole-Grain Bread
Strawberries for Topping (My hubs wanted powdered sugar, but I went with just a tad of real maple syrup)
These were so satisfying that 1 filled me up, and I felt great after.

Hearty Salad (I have to admit, this salad didn't follow a particular recipe in the book, I was just inspired and started throwing together what I had in the kitchen)
Baby Spinach Leaves
Shredded Carrot
Crushed Turkey Bacon
Slivered Almonds
Feta Cheese
Egg White
Dressing: Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Lemon Juice from 1/2 Lemon

Roast Chicken 
1 Roast Chicken, 3lbs
Salt and Pepper
1 Yellow Onion, Cut in Half
1/2 Carrot
1/2 Stalk of Celery 
1/2 Lemon
2 Cloves Garlic, Smashed
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
2 Sprigs Fresh Oregano
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Melted Butter
I also made mashed sweet potatoes (AMAZING) and almond green beans to go with the roasted chicken. Probably one of the best meals I've ever made. 

And of course you cannot forget dessert:
Moist Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze
1 1/4 Cups Oat Flour (I used Whole Wheat Flour)
1 Cup Raw Sugar
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Warm Water
1 Tsp Real Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar 
Peanut Butter Glaze:
1/2 Cup Raw Sugar 
2 Tbsp Canola Oil
2 Tbsp Soy Milk (I used Skim)
2 Tbsp Creamy 100% Natural Peanut Butter (There should be NO added sugar)
2 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 
2 Tsp Real Vanilla Extract
This cake was so moist and rich in flavor, I was completely blown away.
There were many more delicious recipes I cooked throughout the rest of the weekend, and I found myself feeling really good and satisfied after each one of them. NEVER overly stuffed.
So I took what I had learned and began making my own healthy recipes. I came up with a yummy recipe for banana nut muffins the other day that I will share soon.
My husband and I didn't each a lot processed food before, but there is always room for improvement. I have recently made tweaks, such as switching to 100% natural peanut butter (some peanut butter claims to be natural, but you have to read the ingredients), switching to whole wheat flour instead of white, and switching from packaged oatmeal to steel cut oats. 

I know I haven't been blogging a lot, and I'm hoping to step it up a bit for the rest of this month. Things are getting busy though, and it looks like we will be moving out of our place by the end of this month! More details on our Italy move coming soon :)