So Much To Say


I feel like I have so much to tell you!

1. I’m still cavity free! :D

2. Since I have been absolutely frozen to the bone at work lately, I bought a tiny little space heater to put at my feet. I was toasty warm all day today – bliss.

3. Last night, while my Mom and I were out shopping, I bought a cute little faux-fur coat and some leather gloves to go with!

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This jacket – originally $120 and bought for $45 booyah – makes me feel like a mixture of J-Lo and a snow bunny. :)



And these gloves are insanely warm. :)


4. I had soy milk for the first time today! After the dentist, I swung by Starbucks to grab a latte on my way into work, and on a wacky impulse, ordered a skinny vanilla latte with soymilk. Verdict? The texture was SO creamy! The flavor was…different, obviously, than cow’s milk. It was at times almost gaggy, but I think it’s because it was my first time trying it. I’m going to give it another go another time to see if I still feel the same way about the taste – but the texture is spot on. What’s your verdict on soy milk?

5. This is a torsion spring. This tiny spring is the only thing that is keeping my hands in the dishwater instead of in a bag of popcorn. Apparently, one half of it busted off and, without it, the handle of the dishwasher won’t latch. Oh, and, nobody sells just the spring – only the complete dishwasher handle unit that has the spring inside it. The handle unit is $100. The spring would be approx $.01 if we could find it. But we can’t, so we have to order the entire unit. Bleh.

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6. The Amy’s Light in Sodium Mexican Casserole bowl from lunch the other day was totally bomb. Cheesy, saucy – and that corn masa was incredible. Fabulous frozen meal!


7. I am in a rut. I think it’s 70% weather related, 30% me related, but I just have no motivation to workout. I have extended a personal challenge to myself, though, to get to the gym everyday for the next three days. Yes, Friday, Saturday AND Sunday. Totally doable – totally doing it. Is anybody else feeling the funk?

8. Dinner was ah-mazing tonight – Surprise Broccoli Pasta!


Surprise Broccoli Pasta is based off a recipe that I’ve made again and again from Giada’s De Laurentiis’ Everyday Pasta cookbook.


Her version is called Faralle with Broccoli, and while it is absolutely mouth watering – it also has 1/4 cup of both butter AND olive oil in it. Too rich for this chica!


Here’s my lightened up version…

Surprise Broccoli Pasta

Serves 2


2 servings dry pasta

2 heads of broccoli, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 anchovy filets, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


handful of spinach

1/4 cup chicken broth

parmesan cheese


1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to directions. At the same time, steam broccoli using whatever method you prefer.


2. In a large skillet, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat until butter melts. Cook garlic, anchovies and seasonings for ~2 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.


3. After garlic is golden brown, add in spinach and let wilt. Add chicken broth into skillet after spinach is wilted to make a sauce.

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4. Drain pasta and broccoli, then add to the skillet with the sauce. Toss to coat and serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

I personally guarantee that you would NEVER miss the extra butter and oil in this dish – it is absolute savory perfection!


In case you hadn’t guessed, the “surprise” in the name of the recipe is anchovies! Cue the ew!

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Seriously, you would have NO idea that there are anchovies in this dish if it wasn’t in the ingredient list. They literally melt in the butter and oil and give the whole dish such depth of flavor. They are absolutely key and you must not be scared of them!

My other surprise is that I used Hodgson Mill Brown Rice Pasta in place of regular pasta.


This pasta is gluten, dairy and egg free – and is an excellent source of omega-3 oils from the flax seed that’s in the pasta.


See? Ben and I really liked this, but make sure not to overcook (only needs about 4 minutes!) and give it a good rinse afterwards. Other than that, it’s really good pasta, without the bloat that I sometimes feel after eating regular pasta!


The whole dish, topped with a sprinkle of salty parm and a silky drizzle of olive oil, was absolutely Heavenly.


You’ve got the freshness of the broccoli and spinach,


And the deep flavors from the butter and anchovies. Oh. Yum.


Wish I had some leftovers!!! ;)


Well I’ve officially told you everything! It’s all out there – oh, except for one piece of exciting news that I will relay to you sometime in the next couple of days. Those boots that were made for walkin’ are going to get walked in real soon! :D

Have a great night!


Do you eat any “replacement” foods? Ie soy milk instead cow’s milk, brown rice pasta instead of regular or wheat pasta?

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  1. 1. Your coat is adorable!!
    2. I’m in a funk too :(. My entire run today (there was only two miles of it) my legs felt like lead and I walked three times.
    3. Your pasta looks YUMMY!! I’m gonna try it. :) I need to actually cook more, instead of rely on my microwave all the time!

  2. Evan Thomas 01.07.2010

    Space heaters are miracle workers.
    I don’t think I’ve had soy milk, but I’ve had soy egg nog, and that was fantastic. I also love soy yogurt if it’s a good brand.
    I always use vegan butter instead of the real stuff.

  3. I am glad to hear that I a not the only one in a workout funk! I think it is because it has been so COLD!

    My favorite replacement product is unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze. It is excellent on cereal!

  4. dana828 01.07.2010

    I *always* use soy milk in my coffee! Used to use vanilla, but now I just use the “light plain” kind. There is a big difference between brands–I definately prefer the 8th Continent brand over Silk. I also use it on my oatmeal and in cereal, but if I’m going to drink a glass of milk, it’s plain old skim cow’s milk. :)

    White bread/rice/pasta never enter my kitchen! For about the past 3+ years we have been almost totally whole grain. White stuff just seems like a waste of time! We?e even gone to spelt pretzels (Paul Newman makes a good one!) Instead of regular.

  5. Katie 01.07.2010

    Totally feeling that rut… I’m trying to motivate myself right now, but it’s soo cold I don’t even want to deal with walking to my car. That’s pretty lazy, huh? I’ll tag onto your mini challenge and get back to you on Sunday! And your dinner looks fabbb.

  6. Cat 01.07.2010

    Um, raises hand! I’m in a workout funk too. If it were truly up to me, I’d wrap myself up in a blanket, lay on the couch, & watch mindless tv after work. Thankfully, I’ve forced myself to go to two body pump classes at the gym this week. I’ve had the best workouts so it’s keeping me going!

    Love the pasta!

  7. That coat is so adorable!!! :)

  8. Super cute coat!

    I’m a soy milk girl… but only “Silk Soy” any other brand I won’t drink :)

  9. sheila 01.07.2010

    1. I looooove your jacket – sooo cute! Too bad it doesn’t get TOO cold here for me to own one. :(
    2. Suprise broccoli pasta looks delicious. I loooove all your recipes! I’ve tried out a couple of ’em already. This is the next on on my list.
    3. I like to drink soymilk more than regular milk. This is weird but I like the taste a lot better than cow milk. I guess I was lucky to like it the first I tasted it. It takes time to get use to the taste. I’ve tasted almond milk and I hate the way that stuff taste. Have you tried it?

  10. I have never liked the taste of cow’s milk. I always, always drink vanilla soymilk. It makes cereal taste soooooo good. :)

  11. VL 01.07.2010

    Don’t be surprised when you get to the gym that it is VERY crowded. Way too many new years resolution people. It’s annoying!

  12. chelsea 01.07.2010

    If you normally drink vanilla lattes from Starbucks I recommend trying a plain soy latte! I can’t remember the brand (I know it’s not Silk) but the soymilk that Starbucks’ uses now is so deliciously creamy and vanilla-ey on its own that I don’t even miss vanilla syrup. Oh, and I second the almond milk…plain is great with peanut butter Puffins cereal!

  13. Lauren 01.07.2010

    I used to get kinda grossed out at the thought of adding anchovies to recipes… but they really do add an incredible amount of flavor! Dinner looks great, simple and delicious.

  14. Your dinner looks gourmet!:)
    I’m vegan so I guess you could say I eat a lot of replacement foods! Even when I ate meat though, I still loved the taste of soy milk! It’s so nutty

  15. I drink almond milk instead of cows milk most of the time since I don’t digest dairy well.

    I also tend to eat other grains instead of pasta because they digest better.

  16. Love soy milk, try Vanilla Silk, they often have coupons so look out! I think you’ll enjoy it more than the original that Starbucks uses, which does have a bit of a grainy texture to it. Also give almond milk a try, it has a naturally sweet taste and I think a slightly better texture.

  17. Brynne 01.07.2010

    I have a jacket exactly like that! It keeps me so warm with its furry hood. And your broccoli pasta looks seriously amazing!

  18. lindsey 01.07.2010

    i drink lactaid and eat soy cheese because of lactose issues, and they taste wonderful to me! i’m not a fan of soymilk though, it tastes like thicker water…just wrong :)

    ♥ lindsey

  19. adriana 01.07.2010

    Im a SILK girl too . . . idk . . . i’ve never really enjoyed the taste of cows milk but I love soy milk.

  20. katie 01.07.2010

    JUST got caught up on your blog love!! YOU are so freaking cute and that dinner looks amazing!!! love brocc and pasta.

  21. Molly 01.07.2010

    This girl is in a 3-week funk. Gross. No gym, no motivation, but oh, plenty of overindulging. Back on track starts now. Good thing I moved the bag of chocolate away from my desk at work. Now, if I could just get to the gym. Your dinner looks fabulous- I wish Japan had more (or any?!) whole wheat products…like bread and flour. Maybe I just don’t know it’s there, b/c I can’t read. Hmmm.

  22. Amanda 01.07.2010

    You should try the Light Vanilla Silk soymilk – I think it tastes like a milkshake! And since it’s light, there’s a little less of that weird creaminess.

    Also, I have been finding myself in an exercise funk, too! I think it’s because it’s too icy to run outside, so I am stuck going to the gym over and over! I have started to take advantage of my gym’s classes and rekindled my love for spinning!! The time goes by so fast and it’s so motivational! Does your gym have classes?

  23. Niki 01.07.2010

    I hate ruts!! I get in them mostly due to weather, too cold or too hot!! If the weather here doesn’t start cooperating soon, I know a rut will be coming on!!

    I like the taste of soymilk but it makes my tummy hurt:( Not sure why though. So, I usually stick to skim.

    Dinner looks great! I’ve never used anchovies, but they don’t look so bad!

  24. Carrie 01.07.2010

    I don’t find myself drinking much milk of any variety, but chocolate, Silk soy milk is really good. I used to mix it with my chocolate soy protein powder–very creamy.

    The weather is making it hard for me to work out. While it’s below zero, I’m trying to avoid being outside as much as possible, which means I do a less sweaty, weight-training work out over my lunch break. I’d love to get a long run/cardio in there, but with only an hour, there’s no way I could really work out, shower/get ready and eat. If only I could get my butt up early to work out.

  25. Daniela 01.07.2010

    I feel ya on the workout rut- the crazy snow we’ve been getting here has made it a pain to even step outside! I used to LOVE 8th continent chocolate light soymilk, but it started giving me weird hives so unfortunately I had to stop. But I was a big chocolate milk fan as a kid and since I cut back as an adult, i loved the sweetness of the soymilk AND it was healthier so that was a score in my book. Your recipe looks delicious! I may even conquer my fear of anchovies and try it.

  26. Hannah 01.07.2010

    I literally just started using soy milk three weeks ago. I don’t know if this brand is available in Iowa but Silk organic vanilla soymilk is amazing in coffee. Every morning I have to have it!

  27. Jenna 01.07.2010

    Pasta looks amazingggg

  28. I recently switched to Silk Soy milk. I agree there is a richer, creamy taste to it. However, I won’t drink a glass of soymilk like I would drink a glass of 1% milk. Soymilk in my house is strictly for mixing in stuff like coffee, cereal, or recipes.

  29. Kelly 01.08.2010

    Soy milk is very yummy Best brand I have found is Silk and the Light Vanilla is to die for
    I made your salmon last night thank you –and def going to try your pasta
    I am in a funk too because all the resolution people are taking up MY 2009 gym space I I am more boycotting until they go away than in an actual funk
    I like your jacket and your teeth are crazy straight!! =)

  30. Courtney 01.08.2010

    AHHH! Giada is my favorite!!

  31. Run Sarah 01.08.2010

    That jacket looks super warm! I am jealous of your cavity free status, sighs. Broccoli & pasta go so well together! As for soy milk, it’s always tasted good to me, but I can’t stand regular milk.

  32. LOVE LOVE LOVE the coat! I love anything with faux fur on it, and that looks so cossssyy :)
    I like soya milk, I think it’s waay nicer than regular! Only downside is it splits :( but it’s definetly creamier.
    Have a good evening :)

  33. Natalie 01.08.2010

    I love soymilk! As a past starbucks employee however, I can tell you that the soymilk they use is NOT “skinny”. In terms of sugar and fat it’s worse for you than whole milk! I prefer to drink Silk Light Vanilla–so yummy with cereal!

  34. Mary Ann 01.08.2010

    I use vanilla soy milk in my coffee and in smoothies. That’s pretty much it, but I will never go back to regular milk in lattes! I’m not vegetarian, but I for “sausage” I only eat Morningstar Farms veggie sausage. So good, without the grease and with some nice protein. I sprinkle on Montreal steak seasoning or something similar and it makes it taste much more “sausage-y” because of the caraway seeds I think.

  35. Paige 01.08.2010

    Loooooove the ghetto fab Kristin picture!

  36. Allison 01.08.2010

    I totally hear you, I am in such a funk. The midwest during the winter is the worst! We just got burried under more snow and that leaves me with ZERO motivation to get to the gym. As soon as I get home its sweats and under the blanket on the couch. blahh Im such a coach potato during these next couple of months!! Youre brocolli pasta looks great but I have a quick question…is chicken stock the same thing as chicken broth?

  37. Emily 01.08.2010

    I was never a cow’s milk fan…a few years ago I switched to Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original. It’s really tasty for cereal and in tea, but as a major drawback it is pretty low in calcium. On a whim this year, I bought organic cow’s milk and I LOVED it! (with some products I really do feel that organic tastes better) Since cow’s milk is a little pricier, we alternate cow’s milk and almond milk around here. :)

  38. Looks good! I don’t think I have ever even tried anchovies!

  39. […] Just soreness, not painfulness, but I’ve never had that happen before.   Iowa Girl mentioned yesterday that she was going to challenge herself to 3 continuous weekend gym days and I jumped on that […]

  40. Sarah 01.08.2010

    I LOVE that you and Ben tried a gluten free pasta! As someone who eats completely gluten free, I’ve often adapted some of your dishes to work with my diet. It’s exciting to see a product I have to use featured on a “main-stream” blog! How did you guys like the pasta? I haven’t tried that particular brand before…

  41. Mikael 01.08.2010

    I’m a soy milk addict… but only if it’s chocolate. The vanilla doesn’t quite cut it for me (except for in cereal). My favorite is Silk Light Chocolate. Definitely worth trying! ;)

    And again–I’m glad you invested in a space heater (so my suggestion! haha) and you’re enjoying being warm at the office!

  42. Sarah 01.08.2010

    What a cute coat! This was such a great post – I definitely have days where I’m just bursting to blog! I enjoy a soy latte occasionally but generally don’t drink soy milk. I did in college but have switched to local/organic/hormone/antibiotic free cow’s milk, I don’t drink a ton of milk – usually just use it to cook with and have a tall glass after a long run (I know, weird cravings) but I have noticed that after making that switch I don’t get any of the unpleasant dairy reaction I used to! Yay for the spaceheater!! My office is OK in the winter, but I need to get a desk fan before spring!

  43. Stephanie 01.09.2010

    Totally in a workout funk too, no clue what’s going on but thinking that much of it may be cold weather related too? As for “replacement foods” – u must try Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla almond milk!!!! It is life changing, seriously :) On cereal, in oats, baked into bread, it is SOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!

  44. Ambarr 01.11.2010

    Hey!! On the soymilk subject, I worked for Starbucks for a good amount of time making every recipe known to man; trust me you will love soymilk lattes if you try this delicious drink: Soy Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte with extra foam! …the Cinnamon and the soymilk mix perfectly together; Creamy. Sweet. Heavenly. :-) Hope you enjoy if you get a chance!

  45. Matt 01.12.2010

    Soymilk…awesome on cereal and absolutely perfect for protein shakes(using the vanilla soy). In fact, my wife hates soy milk, but will only have protein shakes if we have vanilla soy milk in the fridge. Do your workout and then have a good protein shake with vanilla soy milk!!

  46. […] roads around my house were cleared pretty quickly, so this afternoon I bundled up in my very favorite Eskimo coat and hightailed it to the gym to complete this butt & ab blasting treadmill […]

  47. Jeri 10.10.2011

    I use soy milk in my Starbucks, also. I’m hoping that it adds some needed protein. I also think it’s sweeter, so therefore I can use the no sugar vanilla instead of the regular.

  48. Jeri 12.14.2011

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE soy milk in my lattes. I get the sugar free vanilla (is that what skinny means?) in my lattes and I swear that the soy milk adds a bit of sweetness, so I feel like I’m actually getting the good stuff!

  49. […] Annoyed at having to buy a whole tube or tin of anchovies for just this one recipe? Use the extras to make Tomato Cracked Pepper Pasta with Olive Oil and Broccoli or Surprise Broccoli Pasta! […]

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