I haven't had the option lately to make dinner because I've mostly been working nights but last night I had the night on and recipes in hand! I was very excited to get in the kitchen again, cooking that is. I've been doing plenty of baking for the holidays!
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Carmelitas! New recipe...family and myself loved!
Yesterday I started my cooking in the afternoon because the soup slow cooked in the crock pot for most of the day.
Bean, Spinach and  Tomato Soup
15 oz. can of white beans
42 oz. of vegetable broth
15 oz. tomato paste
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 can diced tomatoes with diced onions
8 cups coarsel chopped spinach
Parmesan for topping
1. Combine the broth, beans, paste, onion, basil, salt, pepper, garlic and 1/2 can diced tomato and onion.  You can also add brown rice, which I did, but I would suggest waiting a couple of hours to not over cook the rice.
2. Slow cook on low for 6 1/2 hours or on high for 3-5 hours.
3.  Add the spinach right before you are ready to serve and top with Parmesan cheese.
Before...
After!
After seeing a matinee showing of Les Mis with my mom, grandma and friend Rose, I set out to finish dinner.  Everyone go see it! It was really good!! Now for part two of dinner...Portobello Parmesan Mushrooms!
Portobello Parmesan Mushrooms
4 large Portobello Mushroom heads
1/2 cup italian style bread crumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Paprika
2 tbls. Parsely
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. marjoram leaves
1 tsp. garlic powders
1 tsp. oregano leaves
1-1/2 cups mozzarella
1 15 oz. can of light tomato sauce
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine all dry ingredients and 1/2 cup parmesan in a medium sized bowl.
3. Pour egg substitute in a low glass pan, big enough to fit a mushroom in.
4. Dip mushrooms into egg substitute and coat in dry ingredients.
5. Put mushrooms on tin foil baking sheet stem side down, and spray tops of mushrooms with cooking spray.
6. Cook in oven for 20 minutes.
7. Remove and turn oven up to 450.
8. Turn over mushrooms, top stem side with about 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce and split the rest of the parmesan cheese and mozzarella between the four mushroom tops. 
9. Pop mushrooms back into over for about 6-8 minutes, enough so the cheese is melted and mushroom is fully cooked through.
Before...
After! They were quite yummy I must say. Before I became vegetarian Chicken Parmesan used to be one of my favorite dinners. These could easily take it's place though! They were baked too taking away from the usual fried part of the chicken parmesan dishes. Just another way to make a meal healthier, and it wasn't very hard at all!

Now I am off to enjoy a couple episodes of Glee before I have to venture out into the snow to work...
Enjoy the snow friends and be safe!
 
 
Christmas has come and gone and I am so happy to be home! I got home almost two weeks ago now and I've been thrown back into work like its my, well, job. I am thrilled to be home after a long week of studying for finals and I am happy to say I made it out alive! I am happy to report my hard work paid off cause I made the deans list! Now it is a deserved 6 weeks off then back for another tough semester. I am blessed enough to love my major and minor so I don't mind putting in the work, most of the time.

Other exciting news from the end of the semester is that I officially have a house for my junior year with three of my friends Diana, Mary and Stephanie. We are so excited to live in a house and with each other! An exciting tidbit is that my one future roommate Diana is also a vegetarian. I don't get to share my vegetarianism too much with others, but I'll get to share it with a roommate which is encouraging and exciting!

Back to the reason for the season! Every year the Christmas season seems to be taken more and more over by the media and the retail industry. Sometimes it's hard to see the true meaning of Christmas through it all. We all owe it to ourselves to continue to show others the true reason for the season and not just live it out the month if December but everyday of our lives! I am lucky enough however to have a family who is blessed to provide my brothers and I with a pretty awesome Christmas!

One of my favorite traditions at Christmas time is getting together with my dads side of our family every Christmas Eve. I really love my family and am so blessed to have them in my life. After a night with the fam we cut out for midnight mass at our church. We started going to midnight mass a handful of years ago and I just love it! Then we try to sleep in but it still doesn't work, one cause I have a young younger brother and two because I just can't sleep in past 9 ever anymore.

I was excited and thankful to open and recieve my gifts. I was doubly excited to have a relative fitness centered theme to my presents! My parents and Santa really get me! I was given awesome workout clothes including new under armour running leggings! Also, I got an interval timer for working out and triathlon car magnet.
I also got a balance disc and kettlebell.
I tested out the kettlebell this morning and I love it! I'll be sure to post workouts with these soon when I get the hang of how to use them all!

Did I mention we had a white Christmas too?! For most of the day at least. And it's been snowing again all day again, giving me an excuse to sit and watch my new Glee season three DVD set.

Well I think I've left you with more than enough. Hopefully I'll be posting more in the next couple of weeks! God bless you all and merry Christmas!!
 
 
I know I know I am a bit over due on a Thanksgiving post.  I have been so busy with school and I still am, so this will be brief.  This is what I made for Thanksgiving:

Pumpkin crumb cake for breakfast!! It was so good and crumbly!
Pumpkin cheesecake! Talk about decadent! It was a huge success!
My plate! Some green bean casserole, stuffing, squash, sweet potato casserole and salmon! Yes, I had salmon instead of turkey.
Lastly, I made this delicious Butternut Squash Augratin! I really enjoyed this dish especially since it was something a little different than I am used to.
 
Thanksgiving was delicious and I am so thankful to have spent it with my family!

A side note towards Christmas...advent has officially started today!! It is time to start preparing for His coming! This gets me so excited!

Now it's back to studying