Quarter Century

I love waking up to a blown up Blackberry, full of birthday love! Aww!

Granted, I didn’t like that it was 4:45am but I can overlook that minor detail.

We got our booties to the gym right away and I did 30 minutes on the elliptical then hit the aerobics room for push-ups (knees), lunges, leg lifts, and bicycles and lots of stretching! My hamstrings are super tight! I felt really good at the beginning and about 15 minutes in to ellipticizing, I kinda crashed. I’m thinking I’m going to need a little bite of something in the morning for a wheee bit of energy.

Today’s playlist was Electronica & Dance – complete with BT, Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Interactive and a bunch of other ridiculously loud techno to wake me up! Techno is my absolute hands-down favorite thing to work out to!

I wasn’t sure how this morning was going to play out with the new routine and all so I prepped overnight oats in advance just in case.

I added too much soymilk to my muesli. 😦

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Topped with blueberries and half a banana!

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I promise there is muesli in there!

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This bowl did a great job filling me up and keeping me full! I was wary of my hunger levels spiking with the AM workout but it seemed mostly normal! Around 11:30, I tried a new soygurt.

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This is my first time with soy-yogurt and I must say, I didn’t really like it. I can’t put my finger on it. Central Market didn’t carry Yami so I decided to try a dairy-free but this ain’t gonna work for me. I think I need to load up on Yami next time I have to run to the Safeway. I only ate half the cup.

Lunch at 1!

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Leftover chicken, roasted potato, and green beans (they are hiding!).

Plus banana and HB egg.

Egg was consumed at 2, banana went untouched.

I scooted out of work a tad bit early and made a pit-stop on the way home!

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Yay! Not only am I excited to actually read the book, I’m also very excited that I can support a fellow blogger! I’m so excited to dive into this book!

When the boy got home, I opened some presents!

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(I adore this badass shirt. Must get you a better picture at some point!)

Among the cute gifts, the best thing EVER was this:

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A poem my darling husband wrote when he was 12!

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His mother sent it. We had gotten into a debate over the wedding weekend about what his favorite color was!

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The boy totally rocked my socks off this year.

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LADY GAGA TICKETS FOR HER SHOW IN 2 WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Oh, and the Remix CD AND Fame Monster!)

He kicks butt. I’m stoked out of my mind.

More champagne ensued.

Jodus was in charge of dinner tonight!

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He said he wanted to make me a birthday dinner but didn’t know what to make so I just picked out one of the recipes I was planning to make this week and gave it to him to run.

Except I can’t just ever leave anything alone! Last night, I roasted the chicken for the recipe. At lunch, I made the wild rice. And I nagged him about a bajillion times to read the recipe in advance so he knew what he was getting into and could plan it out. (He didn’t.)

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BUT I let him put it all together on his own! While I relaxed on our new barstool with a glass of CHAMPAGNE! 25 years on this earth is something to celebrate!

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So dinner. Cooking Light – Chicken & Rice Casserole. Yeah, yeah, everyone makes chicken and rice casserole. So why did I want to try this recipe?! SQUASH!

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  chopped onion (x2)
  • 1  (8-ounce) bone-in chicken breast half, skinned (x1.5?)
  • 1/2  teaspoon  black pepper, divided
  • 1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (drippings from roasting)
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1  (8-ounce) zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1  (8-ounce) yellow squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2  cups  cooked long-grain white wild rice
  • 1  teaspoon  minced fresh rosemary (x2)
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  cups  2% reduced-fat soymilk
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon pepper; add chicken, meaty side down, to pan. Cook 6 minutes or until browned; turn chicken over. Add broth to pan. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan, reserving broth in pan. Let chicken stand 10 minutes. Remove chicken from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a large bowl.

3. Bring broth to a boil; cook, uncovered, until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 10 minutes). Add broth mixture to chicken. Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add squash to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add squash mixture, rice, and minced rosemary to the chicken mixture, and toss gently to combine.

4. Place flour in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; let stand 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup cheese; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, milk mixture, and salt to chicken mixture; stir to combine. Spoon chicken mixture into a broiler-safe 8-inch ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese over rice mixture; bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove casserole from oven.

5. Preheat broiler.

6. Broil casserole 5 minutes or until golden.

So I we put the kibosh on a large part of this recipe by using leftover roasted chicken breast instead of doing the chicken part. It worked out to being like a chicken breast & a half.  And we used the casserole dish as the mixing bowl and didn’t care about orders of things going in which worked out nicely (aka lazily)!

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I got to watch my sexy beast of a hubby cook while I sipped champagne! Doesn’t get better than that!

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I guess while we are here, I’ll show you the kitchen!

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(New stools!)

It isn’t much but it’s a heck of a lot more than what we were working with before!

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(New ice bucket aka utensil holder!)

(Normally, the rice cooker is not out on the counter. We just hadn’t put it away from yesterday yet!)

(And we also want to get a shelf for over the stove.)

While dinner baked in the oven, we squeezed in a 20 minute Gentle Hatha Yoga session! It rocked!

Dinner smelled fantabulous!

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It was pretty much perfection! I’m glad we subbed wild rice – it gave it a little more chew, I think! And using the leftover chicken breast was handy (and broth!).

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We could have done with an added green side but oh well.

(We also made it into 5 servings instead of 4 like the recipe calls for because we increased some of the measurements.)

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What would a birthday be without dessert?

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My first attempt at banana soft serve!

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I  liked it a lot! The flavor was great – and it was actually filling, unlike ice cream!

And a spelt cookie from Central market – these are so good!

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Poof! Birthday over!

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8/9/10 will never ever happen again!

24 was a big year for me – a wedding, a move, a new job. *whew* I’m hoping 25 is a little quieter. 😉

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3 Responses

  1. happy birthday!!! looks like you had a great time…lady gaga tickets?! awesome!

  2. Happly Birthday! Looks like Jodus did a good job taking care of you!

  3. Whoaaa, that’s so cool your birthday was on 8/9/10 this year!!! We’re close to the same age – I’ll be the big 2-5 in five months, but am still refusing to grow up 😉

    LOVE your kitchen!!

    Try experimenting with eating a 100-200 calorie snack before the gym. When I did early morning workouts, a banana or piece of bread with a smear of PB always did the trick. Oh, and guzzle about 16 oz of water so you don’t get dehydrated 🙂

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