Smoothies, Soups and Finding Myself in Felicity

It’s Friday, and it’s usually time for another kitchen adventure. I was very excited for this week’s adventure: homemade pie. Just in time for the 4th of July! I’ve never made a pie crust for scratch, and I’ve heard it’s quite difficult. However, I’m in a never-ending quest to become semi-Martha Stewart, so I wanted to give it a whirl.

However, instead of baking a pie on Thursday, I found myself practically glued to the couch with a sinus infection. I barely had enough energy to take the dog for a short walk, let alone make a pie. So, instead, I felt sorry for myself and waited for the pity party and violins to show up. Woe is me.

It never happened…and Cole glared at my all day, as if to say, “If you’re going to just sit there, don’t be useless. Play with me!”

Slide1For the past two days, I’ve done nothing but watch useless reality television, search for meaning in nostalgic 90’s tv shows and experiment with smoothies and soup. We’ll get to Felicity at the end, but first, let’s talk smoothies and soup.

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WIAW: When the Cat’s Away…

It’s that time of the week again! The time where I try (but usually fail) to make my meals look pretty and appetizing for WIAW.

The BF is away on business at the moment (but luckily I have lots of friends coming to keep me company in this big house!), so I decided that this week I would cook and bake all of the foods that the BF doesn’t eat. I also wanted to keep it pretty healthy after all of the fried food and candy we ate in Nashville.

Unfortunately, I’m a bit under the weather today, so this post may be uncharacteristically short (you’re welcome).

Let’s start with breakfast, where I brought back an old favorite…

Guess what these are??

Guess what these are??

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Nashville Recap: Country Music and Candy-Filled Dreams

Howdy everyone!

I’m back in the North part of the USA…does that mean I can’t use words like “howdy” and “ya’ll?” Indulge me for a while…

I had a great time in Nashville, but I sure am glad to be back to my Sometimes Healthy Life in NY. A girl can only drink so many beers and eat so much fried food before she’s itchin’ for a salad.

I stayed in the city yesterday after returning from Nashville, so the first thing I did when I arrived was head on over to Michelle’s apartment in Gramercy and throw on my running shows. I did a quick 6 miles on the east river path down to my favorite spot, the lower east side track. I’m accustomed to running lots of hills upstate, so my pace was almost 1 minute faster (8:15 per mile) on the flat ground!

Hello Special Place! I've missed you.

Hello Special Place! I’ve missed you.

But, let’s get to the Nashville recap, shall we. This is a lengthy post, so grab a coffee and make yourself comfortable, partner!

Saddle up!

Saddle up!

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A Natural Boy Meets an Artificial Girl

Howdy from Nasvhille ya’ll! We’ve been here less than 24 hours, and the city has delivered everything we had hoped for: country music, country music and more country music!

Hi from Music City!

Hi from Music City!

The level of musical talent in this city is truly unbelievable! Today we’re headed to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the famous Bluebird Cafe to catch a show. I’ll have a full recap on Monday, but for now, please enjoy this picture of my newly converted cowboy!

Yeehaw! Cowboy, take me away!

Yeehaw! Cowboy, take me away!

And they say you can’t change a man. Before we met, the BF hated country music and everything associated with it. Now, he’s rockin’ those cowboy boots and singing along to his favorite tunes at the top of his lungs. I’m a proud woman!

Speaking of changes for the better, today I’m going to tell you a story about two very different approaches to food.

When I met the BF, we did the typical thing that you do when you first start dating: you slowly reveal parts of yourself and let the other person in to who you REALLY are. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes, not so good.

I like goldfish pretzels and lemonade. Is that cool with you?

I like goldfish pretzels and lemonade. Is that cool with you?

After a few weeks of things going well, I decided it was time to tell him about the blog. Also, because I needed to bake cupcakes over the weekend for Cupcake Mondays, and I was always staying up at his house on Sunday nights!

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WIAW: The Return of the Egg Muffin

Back at Sometimes Healthy Living Blog (The First Edition), I wrote about egg muffins all the time. (Just for fun, let’s call this next chapter of blogging in the Hudson Valley “Second Edition.” Makes me feel special.)

Anyway, when I lived in NYC, there is nothing I loved more then throwing some eggs and toppings in a muffin pan, baking them for a few minutes and then marveling at my super-sophisticated breakfast. A studio kitchen could not hold me back!

Firecracker Egg Muffins: Beets, Blueberries, Cream Cheese and Raisins. A must-have for 4th of July.

Firecracker Egg Muffins: Beets, Blueberries, Cream Cheese and Raisins. A must-have for 4th of July.

Although I have heard that egg muffins are SO 2012, I just couldn’t resist whipping some up yesterday for old time’s sake. Perhaps it’s because I’m inching closer to my 30th birthday (more on that later) and feeling nostalgic for my “younger days.” I can’t think of a better way to kick off this week’s WIAW than with the classic, yet always reliable egg muffin. If you’ve never heard of egg muffins (still boggles my mind that some of you haven’t!), prepare to be amazed…

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Three Summer Grilling Must-Haves

It was another weekend of firsts for this Sometimes Healthy country girl in the Hudson Valley: first time manning the grill!

Check out that focus!

Check out that focus!

I always leave the grilling to the BF, even when I prep the food. Grilling always seemed too complicated for me. Also, I like our house, and I don’t think the BF would be too please if I set it on fire while I tried to figure out how to work the grill.

However, the BF did a couple of nice things for me this weekend, so I decided I needed to repay him with a tasty meal. And the weather was beautiful on Saturday, so it just had to be on the grill.

Here’s a quick rundown of the menu for our Saturday Night Sometimes Healthy Grill Out

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Kitchen Adventures: Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookies

It’s Friday, and I’m very excited to share my very first COOKIE recipe on the Sometimes Healthy Living Blog.

This is huge news. But you must endure a story before we get to the recipe (trust me, it’s worth the wait).

It doesn’t take much perusing on my little blog to see that I’m a big fan of cupcakes. I like them so much that I created a Cupcake Monday at my last job and served my lucky coworkers a different cupcake creation every Monday.

I HEART cupcakes. Big time.

I HEART cupcakes. Big time.

I am not quite sure why I have such an affection for cupcakes, but it has something to do with the fact that I love frosting, cake and sprinkles, all of which you can usually find on a cupcake. In addition, there is little finesse involved in mixing up a cupcake batter and then just plopping it into a muffin pan. You can get all pretty with the frosting if you want, but why bother? It will likely be smushed in transit.

Add some fruit on top, and poof, you've got an elegant creation (this particular cupcake pulled in some $ for Breast Cancer Awareness!)

Add some fruit on top, and poof, you’ve got an elegant creation (this particular cupcake pulled in some $ for Breast Cancer Awareness!)1

Anyway, for some reason, as much I as I adore my cupcakes, I have always had quite a distaste for cookies. I just never felt as satisfied after eating a chocolate chip cookie. Where is the frosting? Why is it so small? Am I supposed to eat JUST one? And when it came to making cookies, forget it. If ever I had a request, I would promptly go to the store, buy a roll of Nestle cookie dough and call it a night. (I would usually burn these cookies too). Or, I would make “cake cookies.”

Why? Because cookies are downright complicated. The measurements must be exact. The temperature must be just right and the dough must be the perfect consistency to achieve your desired cookie. Do you want your cookie to be crispy, chewy or airy? All choices require changing some tiny inconspicuous variable. And, this Sometimes Healthy Girl had no time for all of these variables.

Apparently cookies are kind of a big deal around the holidays. I'll eat them, but I won't bake them!

Apparently cookies are kind of a big deal around the holidays. I’ll eat them, but I won’t bake them!

Enter a boyfriend who hates cake and cupcakes and loves cookies.


Uh oh.

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WIAW: The Ultimate Salad

It’s that time of the week again!

I must admit I’ve started to look forward to this whole WIAW ritual. I’m not sure how all my favorite healthy living bloggers take pictures of every single meal they eat, but for one day of the week, it’s kind of fun. Feels like a bit of a novelty if you will.

Every Tuesday, I put just a little more effort into my meals and snacks (must keep it real here – I DO try a littler harder than usual), so that I can post the on my blog Wednesday morning.

Last week, in honor of June being sensible snacking month, I shared some of my most useful Sometimes Healthy snacking tips. I’m no dietician (that is for sure), but I am a snacker by nature, so I feel that this qualifies me as an “amature expert”.

This week, I decided to use WIAW as a chance to share some tips for something else I happen to know a lot about: Salads. If you are a frequent Sometimes Healthy reader, you will notice that salads tend to make a regular appearance on the blog.

Nothing satisfies me more than a big, veggie/protein packed salad. Again, like snacking, this food habit can be traced back to my childhood days. Back then, I ate more than my fair share of chicken McNuggets, but unlike most children, I also housed my veggies and salads too.

What a dream child I was! (My mother may disagree on this point).

Anyway, as per usual salads will be featured in my WIAW, but this week, I’m going to share with you the method behind the madness of my monster salads.

Salad Collage

First, let’s do a quick run-down of the day’s meals:

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40 Years and They’re Still Dancing

Today is a VERY, very special day. And what better place to celebrate it than on my blog and with some meaningful words (hopefully ;-)).

On June 10, 1973, at Chicago’s historic Drake Hotel, two young, native Southside-Chicagoans said “I Do” in front of all of their family and friends and then triumphantly walked down the aisle and out of the ceremony to the ever-classic love song, “We’ve Only Just Begun.” Oh, how fitting those words were! 40 years, 2 kids and 1 move to Omaha later, they’re still dancing!


Happy Anniversary to my mother and father, two of the kindest, smartest and most impressive people that I know! I have always felt lucky to have such a great example of a loving, lasting and frankly, entertaining relationship my entire life.

Before you go off thinking I’m the sweetest child in the world, I have a confession to make: I’ve forgotten their anniversary MANY MANY times over the years. But this year, for the big 40, I thought for weeks and weeks about the perfect present to celebrate this amazing couple.

And then of course, I read Julie’s blog and got the idea just a week before their anniversary…

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Kitchen Adventures: Just Call me Giada

Another Friday, another Kitchen Adventure to share!

I’m in Jersey City for the day, and it’s dreary as can be.

Rain rain go away!

Rain rain go away!

But let’s not small talk about the weather – let’s talk homemade marinara sauce instead.

I had always believed that only the true Italians could accomplish the delicious flavor profiles of homemade marinara sauce. I had thought that Prego and Ragu was for semi-homemade, cooking-challenged Sometimes Healthy girls like myself.

But, as I mentioned last week, my new REAL kitchen has spurred me to go places this city-living girl had never dreamed of a year ago.

Now that's amore!

Now that’s amore!

On Tuesday, I put myself in the “Giada” mind frame and cooked up my first ever homemade marinara sauce. Here’s how it all went down.

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