Friday, July 13, 2012

Exercise: I am not

I had gotten my butt back in gear this summer with my fabulous plan.
I dropped my kids off at their respective summer activities and then I strapped on my iPhone and went for a run. I averaged 4 very slow miles up and down Chattanooga's famous hills. I was doing great, feeling fine, getting my legs back. My knee was only bothering me on occasion and I was sweating like a beast. I didn't mind that it was 8:30 and 92 degrees. I just thought about running when it was cool.

I was back.


We started renovations and I started a new job.

Exercise became more sporadic. 
This week....
It died.

I was feeling guilty, but then I thought about it.

I can take a week (or 10 days) off and not fall off the wagon.
I can eat healthy and maintain my weight. (The real reason comes to light!)

So what, I am getting bat wings. 
Big deal,  I feel slug like. 
My life will not fall apart.
I don't get back to it on Monday.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gratituesday: Silliness

Silliness will get you through the toughest times. Silliness breaks the tension, builds comradery, keeps the monotony of everyday life at bay.

I am a member of a very silly family.

4th of July called for a supergirl cape

even the dog is not immune

Mom created this silliness words

reindeer silliness

Grandkid silliness
Uncle silliness

getting cousins in on it
For that I am ever so grateful.

Cooking: quick and easy

We finally have power and better yet, AC after a few days of not.
Luckily we left town and went to Steve's family reunion for most of the time, but our house was over 90 degrees inside when we got home.

So, today, while it was cooling back down to a reasonable 73 degrees,
I ran errands and bought replacement groceries.
Dinner was thrown together and easy peasy delicious!
 Grilled chicken, homemade pesto with pasta, tomato and cucumber salad, and roasted broccoli was thrown together in a matter of 45 minutes and dishes are DONE!

*I am lucky enough to have a garden full of treats to go and forage from. Basil is my number one producer this year, so pesto was in order.

Here is a quick recipe to tide you over until I get myself back in order.

Easy Fresh from My Garden Pesto

25 basil leaves
1 tbl. garlic, chopped
2 tbl. olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup walnuts 
salt to taste

In a food processor, blend all ingredients until  desired consistency. Serve over pasta, chicken, fish or like me, over roasted veggies.

For additional healthy, add a handful of spinach to the mix. If your pesto is too thick, add a little olive oil. I use walnuts  sometimes because they are full of fiber and make my pesto a little chunkier. I also use roasted pinenuts when I make a lot of batches. I don't eat a lot of dairy, so nutritional yeast is my go to for that. You can find it in any health food store.

how we roll at Casa Swann

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Eating: Southern Kings


Well, the novelty has worn off the renovation.
I am sitting in my office surrounded by makeshift clothing racks. Essentially, I am sitting in a closet.

Last  night, however, we escaped the madness that is three beds and a spin  bike in our  bedroom and went over to our buddies' house for Sunday-Funday. We ate like southern kings and even had peach daiquiris from a real daiquiri machine like the ones you see in bars in New Orleans. They are fancy, these Sunday-Funday friends of ours.

Stacey is the hostess with the mostess and we had bbq, homemade macaroni and cheese, fabulous basil and tomato dip with fancy crackers and potato salad. I brought roasted green beans and tomato,cucumber and feta salad along with semi-frozen homemade strawberry ice cream. Oh, and had this, which was delicious and quite refreshing, I must say.
       Source: via Annie on Pinterest

We had met at the Chattanooga Market yesterday for a quick (and extremely warm) trip away from our families. A full shopping basket, a glass of sangria and we were back in our AC cars in about twenty minutes. In that twenty minutes, in addition to lovely sangria, I acquired two different kinds of tomatoes (Holy Land being my newest to try), patty pan squash, zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, peaches, blueberries, green beans and strawberries. Oh, and Rio Grande spicy goat cheese. Summer is the best time for eating, in my opinion.

I guess yesterday was a food day. This week however, is my favorite week of the year. 
Independence Day is my very favorite holiday and I am working hard to make it my kids' favorite as well. So, this week, we will eat like southern kings, we will light things on fire and we will enjoy the freedoms that come with being Americans. Including sitting in a makeshift closet while blogging.
 Casa Swann Best Week of the Year Menu 

  • Salad with grilled chicken, blueberries and avocados
  • Grilled patty pan squash, chicken/veggie  pita sandwiches
  • Happy Birthday, AMERICA! Roasted veggies, shrimp, cucumber, tomato and feta salad*
  • Pesto pasta, kitchen sink salad

* I have two recipes to share with you this week. 

The first came from my sweet and oh so super cool friend, Amy who lives the cooler version of my life in Charleston, SC. She and I have the same sense of humor and sensibilities about things, but she is less mean and has better clothes.

The second I got from Pinterest and made last night for Sunday-Funday.
Delicious and EASY!


Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad
  • about a pint of halved or quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium field cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and diced to about 1/2-inch
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp  red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp turbinado sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste

  1. Combine cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, basil and feta cheese.  Toss to mix. 
  2. Whisk olive oil, vinegar, sugar, pepper and salt in  small bowl.  Taste dressing and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  3. Drizzle dressing over salad, whisking as you go.  Toss salad to coat evenly with dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings.  Serve immediately, or allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes for the cucumbers to soften and the flavors to blend.
Serves 4 as a healthy side portion.

Roasted Green Beans

  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut in half 
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbl. Olive oil
  • 1 tbl balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Roasted green beans with mushrooms and balsamic . Marinate in ziploc bag, spread out on cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 30 minutes,  turning once.Sprinkle with Parmesan and roast for 5 minutes more.