Monday, November 9, 2009

So Much to Say When You Miss a Day

I must apologize in advance for this monster post that is about to take place. I really intended on breaking it up, but when you have a hubby who only asks to have full use of the computer on Sundays for his Fantasy Football leagues, who am I to fight him over the laptop?

So I left off in the midst of a fantastic weekend. Sunday was no exception, as the weather was even more fabulous than the previous day. Sunny and nearing 70*, it was such a treat to open the windows and let in some fresh air.

I kind of fell into an Apple Baking mood and it all began with an urge for Baked Apple Oatmeal.

I used my go to "baked oatmeal" recipe, only subbing some of the ingredients for the apple version. The oats came out delicious, kind of like a warm apple crisp for breakfast.

But just in case the oatmeal didn't fill my craving quite appropriately, a real apple crisp was sure to do the trick!

Now, if you know me at all, you know that I DO NOT bake! It's not even an issue of not liking the task, it's more of a terrible curse. Truly, I am indebted with the inability to bake and I have made peace with this over the years.

However, not being able to bake does not necessarily mean that one can not create any desserts. Dessert is my favorite part of the day; so naturally, I have found a few core items that I can handle. One of these being…the fruit crisp!

I don't really qualify this as baking, because I am able to throw together the ingredients without measurements or logic and it always comes out tasting sensational. (My kind of baking!)

The Apple Crisp couldn't be easier. Sliced apples, cinnamon, cider, brown sugar and topped with oats, crushed ginger snaps and a little granola. How can you go wrong?

I brought the crisp along to Family Dinner at my parents house. It's been quite some time since we've all gotten together, so it was lovely to spend the afternoon with my parents, my sister and her husband.

And the true gems of the family….

I really can't get over how Benny looks identical to Sammy. I need to find a puppy picture of Sammy to show you all because, if you didn't know them, you would think that they were twins separated at birth!

Dinner was spectacular! My dad whipped up a massive batch (because that's how we cook just about anything in the O'Neil family) of creamy crab chowder and my mom crafted one of her beautiful and delcious salads. We also had grilled shrimp, chicken and shrooms to top off our salads. Everything was scrumptious!

And everyone devoured the Apple Crisp! (Oh, by the way, does anyone else find it completely unreasonable that the serving size on most of these recipes is like a tablespoon? My crisp says it serves 12, but I assure you, the 6 of us had no trouble polishing off the entire dish! I'm sorry, but I'd like to enjoy more of a spoonful of dessert, especially when it's baked fruit. Amen?)

Such a nice evening. I love spending these Sunday afternoons with my family, it's always so heartwarming and relaxing to go home and be surrounded by loved ones.

Yesterday afternoon, I also had some time to make a recipe that I have been dying to try for weeks.

Mama Pea's Pumpkin Spiced Chic Peas!

Did you really think I would go long without my two favorite things on this earth placed into one bite? Pumpkin? Chic Peas? Hello gorgeous! These are incredible!

I made a batch yesterday and contained myself from eating every last one. They made a sensational lunch today, on top of spinach dressed in a little maple balsamic.

Mama Pea, not only are you one of my favorite irresistible vegans, you are also a culinary mastermind. I'm putting this one in the books for "MAKE AS OFTEN AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN!"

I've had the most unexplainable energy lately, but it hasn't been all a good thing. I feel like I've been on overdrive, very shaky, dizzy and anxious and not to mention ravenous! Now don't get me wrong, I'm usually always pretty hungry, but this is out of control. Like I can't get through a few hours without wanting to chew my arm off. I'm almost 100% sure its due to my recent change in prescription for birth control. I've been on the same brand for years, and all of a sudden my insurance changed their coverage and started to administer me a generic form. It's making me crazy, I'm sure. Has anyone else ever had any similar problems with their hormonal drugs or am I just crazy?

Anyways, due to all of the pent up energy, a fitting method to release some of this is to lift. I always find that strength work out makes me calm. So Toly and I proceeded to the gym for a lovely 30 min session.

Afterwards, dinner was way past due because I'm hungrier than a pregnant hippo these days!

Tonight, I made my famous Coconut Tilapia with a Cranberry Pecan Pilaf and sautéed Raspberry Balsamic snow peas

I would share these recipes; however, I fear that most of you have not even made it this far in this longer than The Nile River post, so if you care to know how I made them, just ask and I would be happy to send you my recipes! ;)
I'll just submerge you in the beautiful pictures….

Alright, that should do it. It feels good to catch up and its amazing how much missing a day can put one behind. I just love you all so much that it's way to hard not to share everything.

Hopefully, the rest of the week will be manageable. We actually have a day off on Wednesday for Veterans day so Toly and I are planning a little day trip!

Oh and one more thing that I am DYING to tell you all about!

I have been asked to represent my company in the 10th Annual Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race in Washington DC on April 11th! I could not be more excited for several reasons. One because this falls over my birthday weekend, so the hubby and I are going to plan a little weekend trip to DC to celebrate, two, my company is fully sponsoring me in the race and I feel honored that they have asked me to be support our name in such a worthy event, and three, 10 miles running in the beautiful DC area is going to be fantastic!

Okay, that's it, I promise. I'm out now!


  1. Awesome times and recipes :) You could've fooled me saying you don't bake, since the dessert looks STELLAR!

    CONGRATULATIONS on being asked to represent your company!! Fabulous!!

  2. So much excitement in this post! First off- congrats on being sponsored by your company! That is SUPER exciting! You guys are going to have a blast. Lots of yummy food- that apple bake looks awesome to me! Cute pics of the puppers too.

  3. that apple crisp thing looks so goodddd

    & aww cute dog!


  4. Amen! (the dessert part).

    Your apple crisp sounds delicious, Lauren ... I bet you can bake better than you think you can!! ;)

  5. very exciting about the race! i'm totally with you on the baking thing...glad your dish turned out so well. xoxoxo lynn

  6. Those apple oats look delicious! So does the crisp. And I think those serving sizes are crazy, too. Like, a cheesecake (or regular cake) has 16-18 servings. yea RIGHT! I can easily eat like, 5 ;)

    I just went off birth control (Yaz), and I'm afraid I'm gonna get some weird side effects. That's really weird about your side effects, though--I've never heard of that. Are you gonna be able to talk to your doctor? I wouldn't want something to happen to you :/

    Oh and that's awesome about the race! How fun :) Have a great night, girl!

  7. The same thing happened to me w.r.t. the Birth Control pills.I am getting them in the generic form now, which makes me hungry like a pig! Don't worry, it will go off after about two months. I am now well settled with my pills!!

    Congratulations about the race!

  8. Amen to apple crisp! So exciting about the race--that will be way fun! And so weird about the birth control. Whatever you do, don't switch to the nuva ring. Bad news bears.

  9. Wow! I don't mind a long post at all! There is so much goodness. And I agree - who the heck wants just one spoonful of yummy desserts? Ludicrous!

    Hmm... well I get that problem not because of hormones but I think my body is like Mighty Mouse or something. I'm small but I need a lot to keep me going. It could be the prescription change though.. have you tried looking it up on WebMD?

  10. yayy! youll love it! the cherry blossoms are GORGEOUS in april (hopefully they bloom during the time theyre supposed to this year) and running around downtown is just fun in itself! i have some recommendations for you as well if you want any!! :) congrats!!!

  11. Hi readers!
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