Busy in the Kitchen and Gym

My kitchen has been a very busy place lately.  I’m waiting for my oven and dishwasher to go on strike.  And for certain family members who have lectured me to “clean as I go” (you know who you are) I can proudly say that there’s been some progress.  Where to begin!

How about with my latest read:

It’s a little difficult to describe this book but the main character, Rose, can taste the feelings of the people who cooked and prepared the food.  I’m a few chapters away from finishing it and let me tell you, it is not a predictable read.  I highly recommend it!

Every night, as I settled into this book, it made me crave lemon cake.  Like a lot.  And I really like lemon baked goods.  So I finally broke down and made extra lemony lemon cupcakes.

On a recent visit to Crate and Barrel, I picked up these adorable cupcake papers.  I’d been saving them for a “special occasion” and as far as I was considered, lemon cupcakes fit the bill.


These are delicious and fluffy.  And yes, it involved a box mix.  I have no shame.  It was incredibly simple and sometimes, simple is best.

Extra Lemony Lemon Cupcakes
(adapted from allrecipes.com)

1 (18.25 oz) yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) package instant lemon pudding mix
1 c. water
3/4 c. lemon juice (for less lemon flavor, add less juice and more water)
3 egg whites

3/4 c. nonfat milk
1 (1 oz.) package sugar free vanilla pudding mix
1 (8 oz.) tub whipped topping, thawed (Sara, this is for you 😉 )

1. Preheat oven to 350*F.  Spray your pan or add your cupcake papers.

2. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix and pudding mix.  Pour in water, lemon juice and egg whites.  Beat on low for 1 minute, then on high for 4 minutes.  Pour batter into prepared pan.
**Side note, don’t forget to remove the spatula before you turn on the mixer or cake will fly!  I’m lucky that I didn’t ruin my Kitchen Aid**

3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool completely.

4. For “frosting” beat milk and pudding mix on low for 2 minutes, then add whipped topping.  Yum!
Makes about 24 (assuming you don’t “taste” the batter or splatter it all over your kitchen!)

I also made Irish soda muffins a la Can You Stay For Dinner.

*Warning!  Raw turkey coming up next!*

Successfully roasted a turkey breast for the first time.

And used the leftovers for a turkey pot pie.  Take THAT Marie Calendars.

Have you made How Sweet It Is baked parmesan spaghetti?  You won’t regret it.  I recommend a side of beets.  Beets go with everything.  I really need to find my baby picture where I am devouring beets.

I made shrimp and grits.  My husband told me that was weird.  I sparked the great grits debate on Facebook. In the words of my Alabama cousin, “it’s a regional delicacy”.  Then he asked where one buys grits in Idaho.  Apparently, the good grits come from Mississippi.  In case you’re wondering.

After a long hiatus, salads are back in my life.  Well, two specific salads:

Strawberry. Plus spinach, walnuts, feta, dried cranberries and Annie’s raspberry vinaigrette.  I’ve never eaten the exact same salad so many days in a row before this.

Greek courtesy of Pioneer Woman.

Like the title says, I’ve been busy in the gym.  Regular exercise keeps me sane, literally I am happier, eat healthier and handle stress better.  Sometimes, it can be hard to break back into a routine or I’ll get bored.  Luckily, fellow blogger Linzi has been attending some classes at the gym with me.  It’s helped me be accountable as well as motivated to try out classes on my own.  In case you’re wondering, I’m still using stickers to track my progress.  It’s working.  More on that next week. 🙂

I’m starting to realize that planning my week ahead of time makes it a lot easier not to procrastinate and keep variety going so I don’t get bored.

Sunday: rest
Monday: went to pilates
Tuesday: went for my first 3 mi. walk/run of the year with Hunter
Wednesday and Thursday: rest
Friday: Body Pump
Saturday: another 3 mi. walk/run with Hunter and Linzi!

Hunter was thrilled to get to go (car ride! new people!) was pooped afterward.  What a champ.

I thought that running the day after body pump would be brutal, but it actually felt good to stretch those muscles!

Do you prefer running alone or with other people?  I could go either way.

How do you avoid boredom or keeping an exercise schedule?


8 thoughts on “Busy in the Kitchen and Gym

  1. Hahaha Don't you taunt me with that whipped topping reference! I've finally banished Cool Whip from my life and have married myself to True Whip. It's just not the same though, and that makes me sad. BUT just because Cool Whip is no longer in my fridge doesn't mean I'll turn it down in other people's homes. So, how about you make a batch of those LUSCIOUS cupcakes when I'm in Boise this summer and invite me over for tea?! ;-pI love those Crate and Barrel cupcake wrappers! So cute for spring. And congrats on the turkey breast! A roast chicken is on my to-do list…Every woman needs to know how to roast a chicken, right? Heh.I love running with people when I'm looking for a relatively easy workout. But solo is the way to go when I'm aiming for a sweat fest. 🙂

  2. You bet I'll have you over for tea and cupcakes! 😉 p.s. there's a recipe in Glamour (I'm sure you could find it online too) for "Engagement Chicken" and the recipe looks fantastic!

  3. Wow, you HAVE been busy in the kitchen!!! 🙂 And you're not alone, I'm the WORST at cleaning as I go haha. Awesome. Oh and not only do I love those cupcake liners, but lemony cupcakes sound so delicious right about now.

  4. You have been such a busy girl in the kitchen! YAY! I am loving those lemon cupcakes..gonna have to give them a try. Also i am SO excited for the race for the cure next weekend. It's going to be so much fun! Let me know if you wanna meet for another practice run this week before the big race! 🙂

  5. I prefer running with others when running outside and running alone when doing intervals/speedwork so I can crank up the tunes :)Those cupcake liners are absolutely ADORABLE! The recipe looks really yummy too!

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