Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Smoothie Recipes +what I ate Wednesday

So, I am loving the writing propts the SITS Girls put up for October.

Today's prompt was to share your favorite vegetarian recipe. Since it is What I Ate Wednesday it is the perfect day to share a tasty vegetarian recipe...or two!
Pear-Banana-Orange Smoothie

1/2 cup pear juice
1 banana
1 orange
4 ice cubes or however many you want
Combine all in a blender and blend until smooth!

I love this one post workout with some pb toast. Really hits the spot!

Acai Smoothie
1/2 cup pure acai juice
1 banana
1 orange
4 ice cubes or to taste
Put all in a blender and blend until smooth! I cannot get enough of this smoothie.

It is amazing and so refreshing post workout with a couple of hard boiled eggs!

Now for a few other eats...

These are all from last Saturday when we had a friend move here and we decided to show him around the city via bike once he bought his bike. We had such a great day and it was fairly "typically Dutch" as they say hehe

A delicious caramel latte from Bagels and Beans. Check out my instagram (& follow me!) for a photo of this whole heaven and hell set! I got the hell plate and our friend got the heaven cup so we put them together for a picture! Super cute!

After a bike ride and a long walk through the market we headed to a cafe for lunch. We ordered croquettes. I am not a huge fan, but they hit the spot this particular day. If you don't know what a croquette is it is basically battered and fried really thick gravy that can have meat and veggies in it...usually you spread them out over the bread and eat them, but I knew my stomach couldn't handle that I could barely eat one!

Post lunch we decided we needed fresh stroopwafels. Previously I had only had these premade and packaged. However, on the market you can get warm fresh ones. It was really good. You get to watch the guy make the waffle, spread it with caramel, and then top it with chocolate if you want. I wasn't a huge fan of the chocolate on it, nor was I a huge fan of the fresh wafels. I thought they were a little too crispy...I love the prepackaged ones where the wafel is super soft and chewy, but still totally worth consumption!

This was the final meal of the day....honey bbq chicken wings with a little brown rice and pumpkin soup and water. 

So, do you have any yummy vegetarian recipes I should try? If so, leave me a link and a little description in the comments! 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Menu Plan Monday-Week 55, +my evening routine!

Last week I told you all about my morning routine, this week I want to share with you my evening routine.

The night time is vital to keeping my home clean, organized, and keeps the morning from being too hectic.

Evening Routine
  • After dinner: pack leftovers away, make sure all dishes are loaded in to the dishwasher, pots and pans are hand washed, dried, and put away.
  • Pack lunches and snacks, layout breakfast items for the morning.
  • Take trash out.
  • Wipe out sink.
  • Wipe down all counters and cabinets.
  • Vacuum/sweep/mop as needed.
  • After dessert: put dessert dishes in dishwasher and start.
  • Make sure all laundry has been folded and put away.
  • Everyone lays out their clothes for the next day.
This routine doesn't take an extremely long time to do, especially if you enlist the help of others. Even small children can help with tasks like wiping down the counters and cabinets, doing dishes, etc. My kiddo started scraping plates at 3 and was doing dishes by 6. So, as a mama or a daddy don't take on all the burden by yourself! 

I can't imagine my morning without this routine. I sleep so much better when I know everything is nice and clean and ready for the morning!

visit org junkie to party with the rest of us!
Breakfast Options:
Begin each day with Morning Lemon tea with lemon, honey, and cinnamon
Kiddo: oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, french toast casserole
Me: MWF: Big Ass Pancake topped with healthy fried apples, T/Th: Raw Buckwheat Porridge with banana and berries
Saturday: Eggs, toast, sausage
Sunday: Clean blueberry muffin tops with banana slices and faux fried apples

Meal prep: make individual oatmeal packets, the rest is in the freezer already; make 3 pancakes and a big batch of apples fried in coconut oil and cinnamon, prepare porridge and make parfaits. Make muffin tops and freeze at some point during the week.

Lunch Options:
Kiddo: Ham and Cheese Wrap with apple and chips, Th/Th: Sandwich kebabs with grapes and bread and butter
Me: Simple Healthy Chili with baked sweet potato(mwf), & zucchini pancakes
Saturday: Grilled cheese with apple slices
Sunday: Snack on nuts, cheeses, breads

Meal Prep: Make tortillas, and prep wraps, make kebabs and divide up grapes; make chili and bake sweet potatoes and zucchini pancakes

Monday: Omelets with toast or potato and broccoli
Tuesday: Taco salads
Wednesday: Glazed chicken with brown rice/zucchini pancakes and broccoli
Thursday: Teriyaki beef with homemade fries (regular and sweet potato) and veggies
Friday: Hamburgers/Spinach Burgers with brown rice and sugar snap peas
Saturday: Smothered chicken breasts with baked potatoes and 
Sunday: Treat day/Football day: Homemade pizza and chicken wings with leftover veggies and starch

Meal Prep: Most all my dinners are made fresh. I stay home and have that luxury. Plus, I recently learned if you marinate meat for too long it can break down the protein in it.

Kiddo: Fall trail mix, granola bars, fruit, hard boiled eggs, clean no bake cookies, 
Me: Hard boiled eggs and fruit, super food smoothie, chocolate covered banana slices, garlic Parmesan Chickpeas

Meal Prep: Make trail mix, and granola bars, cut up and divide fruit, boil eggs, make banana slices (cut bananas and dip in a mixture of cacao powder and coconut oil), soak and boil chickpeas and bake.

End each day with Sleepytime or Chamomile Tea with honey and cinnamon

I have it planned to cook each day this week as we will be in Rome next weekend and want to make sure I keep our eating in check...as I have a feeling Italy won't be nice to my abs ;)

So, what are you cooking up this week? Any new recipes I should try, leave me a link in the comments!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Brussels in a Day

A couple months ago our daughter was at a cheerleading competition in Germany so the husband and I took the opportunity to get away and check out a bit of Belgium!

We chose Brussels because it is a more well known city. Antwerp is closer and a big-ish city but I couldn't really nail down anything to do there that seemed ultra entertaining so Brussels it was.

Since we don't drive over here my #1 priority was getting us there...I secured passage via SNCB Europe. I liked this site best because I could see Thalys and the InterCity Trains, which is what we traveled on. We picked our tickets up at Amsterdam Centraal and the best part about using the IC Trains is that if you miss your train you just pick the next one coming in...easy peasy.

It was a quick ride over quite a bit of beautiful countryside to see....I don't think I will ever get sick of the windmills....

When we got there is was sunset so we were able to get some great pictures!

It was amazing seeing the sunset in Brussels. Such a gorgeous sky. We got to watch this as we wander to our hotel, which after some wandering we wound up grabbing a cab. We stayed at the Motel One Brussels...fantastic hotel. Great staff, great bar, and excellent rooms!

Once we checked in we headed in to the more downtown area and grabbed some dinner and wanted to see some sites:

This picture does not do the color of that sky justice. It was the most vibrant, brilliant blue. I wish we could go back to that night so I could stare at that color more. It was gorgeous!

We then headed over to Grand Place...the way to see this place is at night for sure, it is gorgeous!

We were shocked at how packed this square was a night, but it is so beautiful when everything is all lit up!

This is the Town Hall

This is one of the Guild Houses that surrounds the square.

We walked all around this area trying to orient ourselves so we kind of knew where we wanted to start in the morning. I had written out our itinerary so I wanted to make sure we could cover as much ground as possible, we did only have a few hours after all, most of this stuff closes at 5pm, as most European things do. As we wandered we managed to find some fantastic waffles:

'Cause ya know, we were in Belgium, so you have to get a Belgian Waffle, duh! 

After getting back to the hotel around midnight, we grabbed some drinks and enjoyed the patio and then got a good nights sleep and we started on our way about 9am...

This place was amazing.

Those spikes! Just wow!

Very mid-evil. From the moment you walked in you could just feel the energy, if any place could make you fear God, it was this place for sure!

This place is amazing and definitely a must see when you are in Brussels! They have oak confessional boxes, there were side boxes dedicated to Saints where you could go and light a candle based on your need. These boxes were well used so I did not take any photos as it is rude to disrupt someone in their prayer that way. Also, there is a place where you put in €2,50 and you can go down to the crypt!!!!!! We did not go down there as we weren't 100% sure at the time you could, and two, it is super, super, super creepy looking down there! 

As we left the church we found a waffle truck:

This was probably the best waffle I'd ever had. You could get lots of toppings and what not on it, but we opted for just the sweet waffle, it was so soft and warm and amazing.

We then strolled on down and visited the Grand Place again:

After we decided to check out the Palais Royal:

I loved the gardens....

...that gold work! I love, love, love it!

We continued up then to Coudenberg.

These are the ruins of the old castle of Charles V...

eventually this castle was torn down and flattened to create the royal district....

these ruins are still accessible, and have a lot of history to tell... 

I love walking through the halls of history and touching the walls where many important people who created history once went about their daily business...

There is a museum upstairs...honestly, it isn't really very interesting haha

I loved this staircase, the husband wouldn't let me get on it...probably wise lol

I just loved the roughness and the color of this brick!

Keys to the castle....

The Coudenberg was the final thing I felt we had to see. So, we just went wandering after that and got some food...

A church along the way...

We loved this garden...it was beautiful all in bloom.

My husband loved the statues outside this museum (I have no idea what the museum was, we didn't stop)

I love the statues in Europe.
They were restoring this piece, if we get the chance to go back I would love to see what they do with it. But, it was so cool to just walk through all these buildings then come to this. Amazing.

He is just like a kid...btw, those legs! <3 p="">

The street we ate on...weather was perfect for eating outside!

This place was delicious! ...and I sucked at taking the picture because I totally cut off the name! :-/

Au Gratin Potatoes....even the husband enjoyed these, so that is saying something!

After our late lunch/early dinner we walked around for a while so we could find some chocolate to take home ;)

We wound up at this mall...

Neuhaus....this is the cafe, next door you can buy many different types of amazing chocolates.

We got the frozen hot chocolate they offered...I found it delicious, thick, but delicious. The husband was a good sport and drank a bit of his, but he isn't a chocolate lover, but at least he tried it with me ;)

So, that was our first romantic trip away as a couple. It was so fun!

Have you ever been to Brussels? What was your favorite site to see?