Friday, May 18, 2012

One Oven Salmon, Asparagus and Baked Bananas.

Welcome to Foodie Friday! Everyone loves the weekend and everyone loves food, so I felt like this was a perfect marriage.

I cooked this up for Mother's Day and it was a huge hit. I found the recipe on a weight watcher's blog, and sadly it doesn't have pictures, and I forgot to take pictures!! But you're going to have to take my word for it-- best healthy meal I've had in a long time. With the dessert, (and I had a slightly larger portion of frozen yogurt) it topped out right at around 500 calories. What I also love about the recipe (which if you click on the link, there's very detailed instructions) is that you can change it up very easily. The fish can be chicken or pork; the asparagus can be Brussels sprouts or cauliflower or green beans.

So, without further ado...

One Oven Salmon, Asparagus and Baked Bananas
Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 15 -20 minutes (depending on your fish or meat)


nonstick spray (I actually used a little coconut oil instead)
1.25 lbs. Salmon fillet (or halibut or orange ruffy... any thin fleshed fish will do), cut into 4 equal peices
2 T plus 2 t Dijon Mustard
3/4 c. Panko Breadcrumbs (see note below)
1/4 c. minced red onion
1 T minced Parsley leaves or 2 t dried parsley
1 pound pencil thin asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed off.
1 t. salt
.5 t. fresh ground black pepper
4 medium ripe bananas, peeled and split lengthwise
1 T lemon juice
3 T packed light brown sugar
1.5 T orange juice
1 t. ground cinnamon
4 lemon wedges
1 and 1/3 c. fat free vanilla frozen yogurt (I like dreyer's yogurt blends)


  1. Position the rack in the center of a large oven or divide the racks into the top and bottom thirds of a smaller oven. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray a large, lipped baking sheet and a 9-inch-square baking pan with nonstick spray.
  3. Coat one side of each piece of halibut with 2 teaspoons mustard. Combine the Panko, onion and parsley in a small bowl; divide among the halibut pieces, pressing the mixture gently into the mustard.
  4. Place the halibut, coated side up, on one end of the prepared baking sheet. Lay the asparagus spears at the other end, making sure they’re in a single layer. Spray fish and asparagus with a light coating of nonstick spray; sprinkle the asparagus spears with salt and pepper.
  5. Place the bananas in the prepared baking pan; sprinkle with lemon juice. Divide the brown sugar among the bananas, then sprinkle with orange juice and ground cinnamon.
  6. Place the baking sheet (with fish and asparagus) as well as the baking pan (with bananas) in the oven. (If using 2 racks, put the fish and vegetables on the top rack and the bananas below.)
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the fish will flake when gently pulled with a fork. Remove the baking sheet with the fish and asparagus. Baste the bananas with any pan juices that the bananas may have produced.
  8. Transfer the fish pieces to four serving plates. Sprinkle the vinegar over the asparagus, and toss well on the baking sheet. Divide the asparagus spears among the plates; serve each plate with a lemon wedge.
  9. Meanwhile, continue baking the bananas until they’re soft and lightly browned, 5 to 10 additional minutes after the fish and asparagus come out of the oven.
  10. Place 2 banana halves in each of four dessert bowls; top each with 1/3 cup frozen yogurt. Spoon any pan juices into the bowls.
  • Serving size: One piece of fish, one quarter of the asparagus spears, two baked banana halves and 1/3 cup frozen yogurt.
Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese specialty; they cook up much crisper than standard breadcrumbs. Look for them in the baking aisle with the other breadcrumbs or in the Asian specialty aisle at your supermarket

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday.

This one comes straight from pinterest, and sadly, I have no link back to who put this together. (If you know it, let me know. I want to give credit where credit is due!)

I love the thought. I have to remind myself of this often-- be the better person. Love more. Think kindly and forgive everyone. It's my natural tendency to put people in this judgy box, but then I remind myself: they're trying to figure it out, just like you are. Give them a break. I think back to college with some of the best roommates I ever had, (you know who you are!) and I think the reason I loved them so much is that they took me for who I was, at face value: a little bit crazy disorganized walking mess of a person, who was trying to get it together. They were gentle friends, and they left me a better person, and much more tender hearted than I was before.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Woot Wednesdays: Welcome Edition!

So, Wednesdays are woot! Wednesdays. I don't know where woot came from, but urban dictionary cleared that up for me:

"Woot originated as a hacker term for root (or administrative) access to a computer. However, with the term as coincides with the gamer term, "w00t".

"w00t" was originally an trunicated expression common among players of Dungeons and Dragons tabletop role-playing game for "Wow, loot!" Thus the term passed into the net-culture where it thrived in video game communities and lost its original meaning and is used simply as a term of excitement."

So, from dungeons and here! I like to use woot! mentally, (I can't recall if I've ever actually said it out loud) when I've accomplished something, or done something I'm proud of. So, on Wednesdays, I'm going to be writing about goals and stuff that I've done, or am in the process of doing. 

This all came about by two different sources: my brother and my friend Jaime. 

A couple of weeks ago... or maybe a month ago, my brother tweeted the following:

I sarcastically replied that my life doesn't go without diet coke and sleep. (Just sleep now, say what! 2 whole weeks with no diet coke!!) But it got me thinking, what are things I do that constantly keep myself propelled in forward motion, in my life? I had a deep feeling of....well, maybe I've stopped what I used to do.

Then, my adorable friend Jaime, who puts nearly all bloggers to shame, by running an awesome craft blog, and then a couple of personal (private) blogs, posted about goal making. In fact, she specifically posted about goals for her life that had come about by taking a personal finance course from BYU, that I had suggested. I'm in the middle of the same course. Have I finished it? Nope. Did I make the goals? Yup. Did I tell anyone about those goals........ well, no. :/

On top of those goals, Jaime also has a happiness project going on, inspired by the book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben. (Haven't read this book? You should. Seriously.) Since I've met her, Jaime is doing something different every month, to inspire happiness in her life. It's so awesome and inspiring. Then on top of that she has her 26 for 26 goals. 26 goals or things she wants to do, in the year that she's 26. So awesome. 

So, with both my brother and Jaime as inspiration, I decided I needed to get back to the things inspire me the most to move forward in my life. I thought about the times when I've worked my very hardest to get things done-- and they were always centered around "getting in" to something exclusive, hitting a benchmark,  or being better than everyone else (ego much?). I realized that in college I started to let things slip when I no longer had something to get in to, or beat someone out at, and that in my adult married life, I've fluctuated where at times, I've wanted to do everything in my life 100% perfect, or on the complete opposite end, just survive the day, only I was just surviving the day, for weeks at a time. 

So, I need big goals that boost my ego. hahaha. I've got a bunch floating around, that you'll see some of next week. But for now, I want to tell you about the big goal that I'm working on right this second: weight loss!

I've struggled with my weight for the past few years, and I knew that I wasn't doing anything right for myself. It just takes a lot of courage to stop blaming and acknowledge, "No one force fed me the brownie. I put it in my mouth. I haven't put on my tennis shoes and hit the gym. It isn't anyone else's fault, it's mine." It just felt like a battle that I was always losing at. Then, something clicked for me: my husband decided to help me out and go to the gym with me....and my gym was doing this thing called TEAM weight loss. I signed up. It's 3 hours every week, 6 am, 2.5 hours of cardio and a half hour of a nutrition class. Then outside of class, it's 2 hours of strength training and an hour of flexibility. Plus counting your calories, and reporting those calories. I've gone for 2 weeks, haven't missed a day, and as of today I've lost 6 lbs. total!!! My goal for the remaining month and a half was supposed to be 10 lbs. but I think I'm going to shoot for 20! I feel I can do it. It's required a complete overhaul of what I've been eating, how I've been sleeping, what I do every morning...but I'm loving it. It makes life feel so full.

So, that's my first woot! wednesday. I'll be checking in next week and sharing some of my other goals. :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Paprika Recipe Manager

First off.... welcome to Tech Tuesdays! When I was deciding how I wanted to blog again, I realized that I needed to break up my posts from just life updates... so each day this week, you're going to see a different type of post.

Tech Tuesdays are all about the "Tech" things that make life easier. Have you ever had that one thing that you want to tell everyone about because its like, so awesome? This is my spot for that. And it might be actually technical-- like an app or a gadget or it just might be something really useful, like a book or organizational doodad.

Sooooo.... Tech Tuesday: Paprika Recipe Manager!

I found this app right around Christmas. I was browsing the app store for something that I could keep my grocery list on... and this one is such a winner. Not only does it keep track of your grocery list, but it's the ultimate recipe finder, keeper, meal planner, and grocery list. It's the perfect pairing for browsing pinterest for all those yummy recipes.

Paprika Recipe Manager is for iphone, ipad and if you have a mac, they also have a desktop app! If you've got it on more than one device, they sync wirelessly via the cloud!  So this mother's day, on Saturday, I already had the recipe I had in mind, I swung by the grocery store last minute, was able to get everything for the meal, with my grocery list in the app. Then, on Sunday, I just took my phone with me, and had the instructions right there while I cooked. Genius!

Here's the app on my phone with a list of all my recipes on the left, and the bookmarks page of food sites on the right.

The grocery list on the left, and the meal planning page on the right.

I admit, I like the ipad layout more for when I'm at home, browsing recipes, planning out meals, and cooking at home.

Top: See how the list of recipes is way easier to browse and plan from in the ipad?
Bottom: This is the best screen to cook from in my opinion. Plus, I love the timer feature.

Top: It's super easy to capture a recipe that's on a blog, that you saw maybe on pinterest.
Bottom: I love the meal planner on the ipad, because it's way easier to see what you're doing  in a given week.

The layout is just a little better for examining recipes, saving recipes from the web. If you're already at a recipe website, like food network, there's an easy button you just have to click once, and it grabs the entire recipe for you.

The only downside to this app is that it isn't cheap. It's $3-4 in the app store per device! At first I only had it on my ipad for a few months, but a couple weeks ago, I broke down and got it on my phone too. To me, with trying to lose weight, and keep my life sane in my work/life balance, the on the go syncing was a must. But it's been a real winner. You can email recipes to friends from the app, and import recipes emailed to you too... but I haven't done that yet. :)

If you end up getting Paprika, let me know and let's start exchanging recipes!

Paprika Recipe Manager,, $19.99 for Mac Desktop, $4.99 for iphone and ipad each.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend update....

Alright... so this is TWO weekend updates in one.

Last weekend, I did the coolest thing with my friends. We went out to Marble Falls and picked berries! Cute strawberries and big beautiful blackberries.

Om Nom Nom Nom.

Excuse my wonky hair. Jaime called it cute. Whatever.

These girls are awesome. Love em. I have so much fun with them.

Thisssss weekend, I had to work on Saturday, and much to my surprise, when I came into work, I had a package waiting!

My adorable wonderful husband had sent me flowers for Mother's Day and a sweet note-- "You may not be a mother this year, but hopefully by next year you will be." He's a keeper. (DISCLAIMER: We are in no way pregnant now. We'd like to be... but we're not)  We rounded out the evening by going out to our favorite restaurant, The Grove, and by watching War Horse at home. (Save yourself the misery-- don't see it!)

Finally we celebrated Mother's Day by hanging out with my family.

Crazy Argentine.
First we got a call from Ian, who's serving his mission in Argentina. He is still hilariously funny. Even with a strange sing song-y accent.

Lovely Lady. Great Woman. Awesome Friend.
Then, we cooked up dinner (recipe coming soon!) and celebrated Mom. And watched Battlestar Galactica.
Perfect evening, right there folks.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A New Commitment to Blogging

Hello, very few readers of my blog. It’s been what, six, eight months? Yeah, sorry about that. If you’ll allow it, I’d like just a sec to explain myself.

I got stuck in this rut of feeling like I had to blog and explain our lives, every eventful thing we’ve ever done for everyone who reads this blog. And it was kind of weird, because I had decide, what was worth blogging? Everyday occurances? Big events? Life altering choices? I didn’t know. It was very hard to decide. And before I knew it, in terms of chronicling our lives I was 3, 4, 6 months behind. The kind of blog posts that I wanted to produce were past the moment by the mere passage of time. I felt like I was failing at something I really enjoyed. And so I stopped. Didn’t think much about it really, just stopped, and continued living life.

Now, fast forward to last week. A good family friend passed away—Verter was 54, he was cycling, and was hit by an 85 year old man who wasn’t looking. It was really sad. My heart breaks for his wife and children. I went to his funeral on Friday, and while his friends and family mourned his loss, they also made it abundantly clear that Verter LIVED life. He was passionate about nearly everything in his life—from his family, friend and working relationships, to the hobbies he kept up, to the way he actually lived life. It was inspirational to say the least.

Also this past week, I read some really great blog posts by friends. Jaime talked about finishing and completing some of her 26 for 26 goals. Chelsea's post about her kids and life got me through work one day. Karly, whom I’ve never met but feel like I know because I know so many people who know her, wrote the most beautiful birth story I think I’ve everread. My brave friend Crytsal has blogged every step of her IVF treatment and reading it has been so exhilarating! I'm rooting for her every day. Rachel’s events of now balancing two adorable children, Leigh’s hilariousrecounting of a Ragnar race… you get the idea. This past week was a wallop of blog posts that remind me, this is why people blog. You blog for your own self, but also for others. This is the stuff of life—if you aren’t blogging it, or scrapbooking it, or doing something with it—what are you doing? I don’t particularly cherish sentimentality, but I love love LOVE to hear stories from my parents and grandparents about life growing up, and I wish a lot of them were written down. That makes blogging worth it to me.

So, expect to see more posts. They may be a little different that before, but that’s only because I’m trying to get a rhythm and a method that work for me.

And as for the past six, or eight months? We’ve been good. I’ve not worked, and now I’m working. I’ve made new friends. Arthur got fancy and went on an international business trip, even though it was only Canada (it was French Canada and that is foreign). That’ll do for now.