Yearly Archive: 2010



November 2010



Lauren’s Latest Loves

Written by , Posted in Recipes

Man, I’m really milking the alliteration thing lately!  So things in the Lauren + Mike household have been pretty tame as of late…really, after Pittsburgh I think its necessary that we lay low for awhile.  Laying low, however, does not lend itself to great blog posting material so what you get is another dose of my latest eats!  Hey, they’re interesting to me!  Really, I have found a ton of new and interesting products/recipes on some of the blogs I’ve been following, so if you’re interested read on!

Trader Joe’s Blueberry Flaxseed-I sprinkle this on my Egg White Oats, it adds some healthy fats and a little extra crunch to my oatmeal in the mornings.
Nutritional yeast AKA Nooch to all the foodie bloggers.  I found this at Whole Foods.  Apparently this is used a lot by vegans because it packs tons of protein, vitamin B12, and other nutritional benefits in just a couple tablespoons.  I sprinkle this on my salads or on roasted veggies-supposedly people use this as a replacement for cheese as well, but I don’t know about that.
Peanut Flour.  Best find yet.  Bought this from Trader Joe’s and use it to make a peanut flour paste that is a great, lower cal sub in for peanut butter.  I just mix 1 tablespoon of this with 1 tablespoon of water and a few drops of liquid stevia and I’m good to go!  Only 50 some cals in 1 tbsp!
My yummy new dips!  Who says Tzatziki is just for gyros?!?  I dip all sorts of veggies in this stuff and it is delish!  TJ’s tomato basil hummus tastes like a pizza explosion in my mouth-yum!
Another one of my fav finds-balsamic glaze.  Its basically reduced balsamic vinegar-this makes it thick and just a little packs tons of flavor!  Its so good, I’m already a huge fan of balsamic salad dressings-I just drizzle this stuff on everything.
Naturally More peanut butter-oddly you can only find it around here at Walmart, but its really great peanut butter!
Trader Joe’s Parmesan Ranch Dressing-I’m a huge ranch dressing slut and am always on the lookout for a low cal option that doesn’t taste like crap-and I finallyyyyy found it!  So good, I don’t even notice its low fat!
Check out the nutrition stats on the ranch-not bad!
Ever since my mom and I made the Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Gratin at The Chopping Block, I have a newfound obsession for goat cheese.  These are perfectly portioned little chunks that I throw in my salads and it just takes it to another level.
I’ve used this for awhile but I just had to share my favorite mustard with you-tasty with a little kick of heat-so perfect, I love it!
The latest Laughing Cow flavor I’ve found-I smother this on my veggie burgers and gobble um down.
I got this little gem earlier this year and it might be one of my favorite kitchen gadgets ever-my Zojirushi rice maker!  Throw in some rice and water, press start, and a couple hours later you have perfect rice.  Love, love, love.
So the next few pictures are from my own little pasta recipe that I’ve thrown together a few times.  When I made it this time, it made 14 1-cup servings with 183 calories, 3.4 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs, and 11 grams of protein each.  Not too bad in my book, especially for a pasta dish.
First I chopped up and cooked a zucchini, yellow squash, and about 2 cups of asparagus
Yum, nice fresh veggies
Then I chopped up some sausage we’ve had sitting around at home-in the past I’ve always used some spicy turkey sausage, anything will work so pick your poison!
Then I cooked up a box of Barilla Plus rotini and added in 2 oz. of sun dried tomatoes to my veggie mix
Veggies + Sausage
All the goodies sautéing together
Add the veggies to the cooked rotini, dump in a bottle of spaghetti sauce and voila!  Dinner is served 🙂
Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!!



October 2010



26 Halloweens

Written by , Posted in Uncategorized

Sorry to keep you all waiting, but I’ve been laying low as of late.  I’ve been working, staying home, not doing much at all, and loving every second of it.  Fall is going by way to quickly and I am not happy about it.  I love fall for many reasons-football, cool weather, hoodies, the smell of fallen leaves, and of course-Halloween.

I love Halloween and I am usually way on top of my costume and my plans, but this year it has kind of snuck up on me and I’m contemplating not even dressing up this year.  Yea, I know, craziness right?  I don’t know if its me just being lazy, being worn out from all our trips centering around boozing, or trying to save money-maybe a little of everything but I may just be sitting at home on my couch this weekend.  I was thinking to myself, wow this would probably be the first year I haven’t dressed up, that would be a cool blog-my 26 years of costumes and will I break the streak this year.
Well…apparently I fantasized about my costumes as a child because I drove out to my mom’s in the south suburbs at 6am Sunday morning (that’s when I first started writing this-I couldn’t sleep, what better to do than drive to the burbs and wake my mom up before going to tailgate before the Bears game?) and was very alarmed to find that my mom did not dress me up those first few years of my life.  No baby’s first Halloween?!? It wasn’t until my brother was born that the costumes started popping up.  All I know is, my kids are getting costumes and there will be lots of documentation. And of course I forgot about my high school years-when you’re too old to trick-or-treat and too young to go get hammered at a party (I was a good girl in high school).  So here’s a look at my scattered history of Halloween costumes-the good, the bad, and the slutty.  Enjoy.


So this is the first picture I could find of me in a “Halloween” costume…really it was an old bumble bee leotard from a dance recital…


Devil and angel?  I’m not sure-but all I remember is that this costume had a super sweet sequined mask that I wore with it, I wonder where that went…
So the fat kid in the Cookie Monster costume…that would be me…

I decided to throw in some pictures of all the loot we took home….it was always an impressive  stash…except for the apples-really, old people?!?  
For those of you that know me, this may not be a surprise to you.  My brother and I would organize our candy as such.  We may have been a little obsessive.
So I like to refer to the 3 consecutive years in a row below as “the box years”.  I think you can figure out why.  My mom was crafty that’s for sure!
The Present
The Die
The Stoplight
Another good one…old crotchety housewife.  The parents really got a kick out of this one.  Again…my mom’s creation.

And so begins the college years…or maybe more appropriately, the “Halloween is an excuse to dress as slutty as you want and get away with it” years.

Cat ears?  Really??  I guess I was a freshman and still getting into the swing of things….
Oh Naughty Nurse, my best costume ever-and I’m sure the male population agrees with me.  I’m not one to toot my own horn, but this one was good-real good.  And so began the “naughty” years…
Naughty Cop
Naughty Devil
Naughty Pirate
Naughty Boxer

Those were some good naughty years…now onto the “couple” years…

Next to the naughty nurse, this has been my fav costume.  The spray painted hair was a little messy, but I loved the big necklace, Mike was an awesome Fred, and we were a hit!

Below is last year’s Halloween that we celebrated in Madison, WI.  Mike and I went as white trash and I think we did a pretty good job portraying just that!  Note that I’m pregnant, with a beer, and a baby named Chastity.  Solid.

So its Friday and I still have no plans to get a costume or go out to celebrate.  Just another sign that I’m old freaking balls.  I hope you enjoyed a little trip into my Halloweens past.  I promise that next year will be off the charts…I’ll have some making up to do.



October 2010



Nerd Alert-book worm

Written by , Posted in Book Reviews

So contrary to what some of my previous posts may lead you to believe, I do enjoy doing other things besides boozing.  One of these things is reading.  I just finished reading The Help and I loved it!

For those of you who haven’t heard about this book yet, it is set in Jackson, Mississippi during the beginning of the civil rights movement.  It is told from the perspective of 3 different women, 2 black maids and 1 white woman and it basically tells the stories of these maids and the difficulties they face living in one of the most segregated areas of the south.  For any guys reading my blog, this book and the others in this post probably aren’t for you-I’ve been on more of a “chick” book kick as of late.  For any women-if you haven’t yet already, I strongly recommend giving this book a read-I really, really enjoyed it.
As for my next read, I’m on to Every Last One by Anna Quindlen.  My mom recently read this book on vacay and passed it on to me.  I’d read some reviews on it a while back and it sounded pretty good so I’ll let you know what I think of it when I’m done!

Here’s a few others that are in my reading queue that I’ll be sure to update you on once I finish:

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls-I loved her first book, The Glass Castle, so hopefully this one is just as good.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford is a story set in Seattle during the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.  I’ve really enjoyed other books I have read that are set during WWII such as The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Zookeeper’s Wife, particularly because I learned a little about what went on in different areas of the world during that period of time.
I also need to get started on Dead Until Dark and Living Dead in Dallas-the first 2 books in the Sookie Stackhouse series.  Its about time I got my vampire back on!
So that’s it for now-I will post my thoughts on these books as I go through them.  On a somewhat related note-lately I’ve been thinking about getting a Kindle but am a little torn. It would be great because its super small and doesn’t take up as much space as most books and it also saves paper and space of all those books I’d be buying that then sit on my shelf.  But part of me just can’t part with the pretty covers and feel of a real book in my hands.  Any thoughts?  Does anyone that has one have any strong feelings on the subject?  Discuss.
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