Boozy Baking + A New Years Countdown Workout

Just wanted to check in quickly before 2013 draws to a close. Apologies for the lack of posts, but I’ve been taking the holiday season to figure out a few things going on in my life right now.

I planned on sharing a recipe for Champagne Cake Truffles with you, but unfortunately, there was a slight mishap with the batter. Hopefully I can share with you later this week, as it will be perfect for Valentine’s Day as well!

Here’s a quick preview.

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And for those that are interested in baking with champagne: Simply take any cake mix (though the white cake mix bases allow the champagne flavor to cook through more), mix with 1.5 cups of any ol’ champagne and bake according to package instructions.

Warning, batter will be bubbly, seriously. You might also consider adding a touch of Chambord for a little raspberry kick. Next, consider mixing some canned pink frosting with a touch of champagne, and you’ve got yourself a nice little boozy cake for New Year’s Eve.

The best part? You can just drink the rest of the champagne while you bake. Look for the full recipe later this week!

Hopefully, this fun countdown workout will make up for the absentee cake truffle balls.

New Year Workout

Ya don’t have to yell “Happy New Year!” at the end, but personally, I find that it’s more fun that way.

I hope to make some big changes in the New Year and eventually be able to share them with all of you. I may even make a few resolutions (hey, why not?)!

In the meantime, I’m off to the gym to bust out this countdown workout before the festivities begin. Wishing you a healthy, happy AND safe New Year!

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Peppermint Gingerbread Truffles + A Jingle Bell Rockin’ Workout

“Twas 6 nights before Christmas, and all through the house,”

The smell of chocolate was everywhere, and the dog was staring like a hungry mouse…”

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“The gingerbread treats were formed, covered in peppermint chocolate, and sprinkled with care,”

In hopes that this second batch would have the right amount of holiday flair.”

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“The hard-working baker was far from ready for bed,

As visions of the Snowball Pizza from earlier that night danced in her head.”

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“She pulled the treats from the fridge and felt oh so merry,

Red, green, white and delicious, they had certainly been blessed by the holiday fairy.”

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Continue Reading →

WIAW: Let it Snow



Happy “What I Ate Wednesday” (WIAW) to all! I’m looking forward to exploring all of the healthy living eats across the blogosphere in between my freelance PR work today. 

I’ll jump into my eats, but first, please enjoy the view from my gym yesterday.

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Seems like the entire country, including upstate NY, is coated in mountains of snow! On my Monday post about beating the Winter Gym Boredom Blues , one reader asked if getting outside counted as a way an option? Wellllll….yes, my reader friend, but unfortunately sometimes Mother Nature literally won’t allow it – and that’s why it’s helpful to have a few tactics for enjoying your winter time in the gym!

And with that, let’s hop into breakfast. With the snow pounding down outside, I wanted a no-frills comfort food breakfast. After considerable thought (yes I generally but a lot of thought into breakfast…it is my favorite meal of the day after all!), I decided upon a healthified breakfast sandwich with a side of apples and honey.

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Continue Reading →

5 Sometimes Healthy Ways to Beat Winter Gym Boredom Blues

You wouldn’t know it if you looked at me, but I’m definitely your quintessential gym rat. I may not have bulging biceps, carry around a giant milk jug filled with protein powder or grunt when I lift weights, but I am most certainly as close to a gym rat a woman can be. As I mentioned in last week’s post, other than the kitchen, it’s sort of my happy place.

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So, it’s not surprising that most cold winter days, you can find me warming up at the gym with one of my circuit workouts. Over the years, I feel like I’ve perfected the art of getting myself to the gym whether it’s below zero or blizzard conditions. Some people complain that the gym bores them, so that’s why I use a few tricks to ensure that I’m never bored at the gym during those frigid, snowy winter months where exercising outside just isn’t an option.

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(I’m freezing my a** off…he’s getting exercise. Lucky dog.)

5 Sometimes Healthy Ways to Beat Winter Gym Boredom Blues 

1. Plan Your Entertainment: Sometimes all you need to make the time go by at the gym is some simple entertainment. For some, that may mean a good trashy magazine and a date with the elliptical machine. When I go to the gym, I like to read one of my favorite healthy living magazines, such as SELF and Shape, while I’m on the elliptical. I’ve also been known to schedule my workouts during primetime tv shows. Biggest Loser is a GREAT motivator for running ya’ll. It’s like having a trainer in your ear for free! Finally, if your gym has internet, bring your hand-dandy iPad and catch up on your favorite healthy living blogs (especially mine!). If it’s fast internet, you can catch up on your Netflix/Hulu shows OR, you can download a couple shows to your iPad through iTunes. While this does cost money, you can ask for an iTunes giftcard as a holiday gift or stocking stuffer!

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(Food Network Magazine and The Voice are great gym time entertainment)

Currently, I’m barreling my way through Parenthood on the ol’ iPad on the stairmill. I’m glad that I sweat so much on that machine because then people do not notice the buckets of tears that usually fall from me during every single episode. Continue Reading →

Baked Challah Egg Nog French Toast + the BS Workout

I have been waiting to share today’s recipe with you for almost an entire week, and anyone who knows me well knows that patience is not necessarily one of my virtues.

I love this new recipe for Baked Challah Eggnog French Toast for many reasons:

1 – It is topped with a  delicious Cranberry Strawberry Compote that takes the festive dish to another level

2 – It has just enough eggnog flavor to be sweet and tasty, without being too overpowering.

3 – It combines 2 great foods from different religious customs: us Jewish people eat “Challah” bread on Shabbat and special holidays, and of course, the entire world drinks copious amounts of eggnog to celebrate Christmas (or make lots of holiday family time a bit more tolerable). Indeed, it’s a Chrismukkah miracle dish!

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Baked french toast is one of my favorite dishes to make when I have friends over for brunch or guests in the house. There’s nothing quite like waking up to the aromatic scent of maple syrup and baked bread. Well, add to that the scent of nutmeg, cinnamon and cranberries, plop it on top of sweet egg bread, doused in eggnog, and you’ve got yourself a pretty irresistible breakfast. In the spirit of Sometimes Healthy, I used lowfat ingredients as well. Merry Christmas!

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Sometimes Healthy Friday without a little workout to take into your ridiculously busy pre-holiday weekend. Over the past week, I’ve had the pleasure of knocking off a lot of my workouts with my best friend, Becca. She seems to like my workouts, and I love having company when I work out! The other day, she mentioned to me that she really enjoys my workouts but doesn’t think she would want to do them on her own. As a working mother of two, she’s one busy woman, and while she does a great job of squeezing in that 45 minutes to an hour to work out, when she does, she wants to do what she likes! So, my dear friend Becca S. (BS ya’ll), this workout is for you. I know you like your cardio, so I kept this circuit workout to 15 minutes, so that you can squeeze in at least 30 minutes of straight cardio!

Let’s start with the long-awaited recipe.

Baked Eggnog French Toast with Cranberry Strawberry Compote
Serves 15
A sweet and hearty simple french toast casserole that brings together some of the holiday season's best flavors and places them on top of sweet Challah (egg) bread.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
French Toast
  1. 1 loaf Challah Bread
  2. 1 1/2 cups Egg Beaters
  3. 2 cups lowfat eggnog
  4. 1/2 cup fat free half and half
  5. 3/4 cups sugar
  6. 2 TBSP vanilla extract
  7. 1 TBSP ground nutmeg
  8. 1 TBSP cinnamon
  9. pinch of salt
Cranberry Strawberry Compote
  1. 1 bag fresh cranberries
  2. 2 cups strawberries, diced
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1 cup water
  5. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  6. 1 TBSP cinnamon
  7. 1/2 TBSP nutmeg
For French Toast
  1. Slice Challah Bread into 15 slices, about 1 inch thick.
  2. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and arrange slices in 2 rows, overlapping.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the Egg Beaters, eggnog, half and half, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and whisk until blended.
  4. Pour mixture over bread, ensuring all pieces of bread are covered evenly; spoon mixture between slices as well.
  5. Cover and refrigerate overnight (2 -3 hours will be sufficient).
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees the next morning, and bake for 45 minutes, until french toast is set and slightly golden.
For Cranberry-Strawberry Compote
  1. While french toast is cooking (or the night before), pour cranberries, water, sugar, lemon juice and spices in a medium saucepan and cook on medium high until cranberries begin to burst.
  2. Stir cranberry mixture and add in diced strawberries.
  3. Cook on medium to medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fruit is cooked down but still a little chunky, about 10 - 12 minutes
  4. Remove from stove and serve warm or, if prepping the night before, cover and keep in refrigerator.
Notes
  1. It is not necessary to steep bread overnight; if making early in the morning, 2-3 hours should be sufficient.
The Sometimes Healthy Living Blog http://www.sometimeshealthylivingblog.com/
I probably could have eaten the entire dish of french toast, if given the time. It was just THAT good. And, it was even better when topped with bananas and whipped cream. Continue Reading →

WIAW: Never too Cold for Ice Cream


Good morning! Lots to do today and not a lot of time, as I am leaving for New York tomorrow. Thus, this post will be mostly pictures of food and less mindless rambling. Welcome to another edition of “What I Ate Wednesday,”  (hosted by Jen from Peas and Crayons) where hundreds of healthy living bloggers across the country share their wacky, random and occasionally disgusting eats from the previous day. When I first started blogging, I had no desire to become involved with this “party,” but now I’m hooked! I enjoy chronicling my eats (for one day only – more than that feels like way too much work) and sharing them with the world (or the small audience that reads my blog..).

Breakfast was leftover Challah Egg Nog French Toast from my snow day holiday bakefest on Sunday

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The Strawberry Cranberry Compote definitely takes this recipe from good to great! The nutmeg, cinnamon, egg nog and cranberries combine for a little taste of Christmas for breakfast! This would be the perfect dish to make for holiday brunch or the morning after a holiday party.  And guess what, you lucky readers you: I’ll be sharing the recipe this Friday! Continue Reading →

What Is Your Happy Place?

Yesterday was the first big snow of the season here in Omaha, and it was kind of a big deal. 

Nope, actually it was all anyone could talk about! The lines at the grocery store were extremely long, as everyone prepped for Winter Storm Dion to unleash his “fury.” Rumors swirled of the potential accumulation amount, and I heard everything from 4 inches to 2 feet. For your information, the final total was a whopping 3 inches. 

Given the fact that this storm was all anyone could talk about for 5 days, I was actually shocked at how poorly the roads were plowed. Perhaps the plows on the East Coast are just better?

I was able to make it to the gym to meet my good friend Becca for my Winter Wonderland circuit workout, and then I opted to avoid the slick roads for the remainder of the day. I holed up in the kitchen until dinner time, cooking up a warm, cozy meal, as well as a fun breakfast option for the blog. As I looked outside at the beautiful snowy landscape, I couldn’t help but feel very peaceful.

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Since I had nowhere to go, I didn’t feel rushed and  decided to simply enjoy my time in the kitchen, listening to a Pandora country music station, as I buzzed around the kitchen. A couple hours later, I decided to throw on a classic Christmas movie to play in the background, Love Actually.

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Once again, I forgot how much I love this movie – definitely put me in the holiday spirit! It might have helped that I was testing out a recipe for the blog: Egg Nog French Toast with a Cranberry Strawberry Compote.  Continue Reading →

Hot Chocolate Donuts + A Winter Wonderland Workout

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Did you know that it’s extremely cold in the middle of America? I always thought temperatures in upstate New York could rival the frigid winters of my hometown, but after being here for 2 weeks, I now remember that nothing compares to an Omaha winter. Currently, my iPhone tells me the temperature is a whopping 1 degree.

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But hey, at least it’s mostly sunny and the temperature is going to jump 17 more digits to 18 today. WOW.

Anyway, since Omaha isn’t really a “walking city” like other places I’ve lived, I can deal with these cold temperatures. I just bundle up, blast the heat and sprint to my car. Oh, and I drink lots of my Sometimes Healthy hot chocolate, which is generally two parts hot cocoa, 1 part whipped cream and a ton of marshmallows. 

My love for hot chocolate inspired today’s recipe, Hot Chocolate Donuts with Marshmallow Creme Topping. I also created a Winter Wonderland Countdown Workout that promises to warm up even those residing in the coldest of temperatures!

Let’s talk about the sweet stuff first! Donuts were huge on the Sometimes Healthy Living Blog circa 2011. That was about the time the donut pan became big, and I just couldn’t get enough of baking donuts: chocolate chip donuts, cinnamon pumpkin donuts, blueberry donuts, red velvet donuts and more! The good news is, whereas it appears cupcakes are on a downward trend, donuts continue to capture the hearts of everyone. In fact, a little cupcake shop near me in upstate NY recently closed and turned into a donut shop. Whether it’s with your morning coffee or as a fancy schmancy dessert at an overpriced restaurant, I have yet to meet a person that doesn’t covet the donut.

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WIAW: Post-Thanksgiving Health Kick?

Hi Friends!

Long time, no talk. As I mentioned in my previous post, over the next few weeks, my posts may be a bit less regular as I try to make a few big decisions in this crazy thing called life.

Until then, it’s always fun to document eats and treats in the “What I Ate Wednesday” party. It’s been a couple weeks since I joined the “party,” so it’s good to be back!

Before jumping into the eats, check out this picture from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, which I was lucky enough to watch this year. Santa + a Dreidel! The parade was amazing, and after years of living in NYC, I’m glad I got the chance to witness it.

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After the indulgences of Thanksgivingukkah, I have been looking to make some healthy decisions in daily eats. However, for breakfast yesterday, I had a big-time craving for the french toast roll ups that I made a while back.

For those that don’t remember, take some firm bread, spread some fun fillings on top (like marshmallow fluff, PB & J or Nutella), roll up, dip in egg/milk wash, throw ’em on a skillet and dredge in cinnamon n’ sugar. Please make these the next time you host a brunch. You’ll thank me later!

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For yesterday’s breakfast since the roll ups clearly weren’t sweet enough, I cooked up a blueberry compote to dip them into. Look at me jumping straight into healthy right after Thanksgiving: carbs, fruit and PB. That’s healthy right?  Continue Reading →