Tailgate Recipe: Antipasto Kebabs

Antipasto Kebab

 

Last week, I talked about my theory on dressing for tailgating and football games (cute & comfy is the way to go). But you can’t talk about tailgating without talking about the food. People really go all out when they are tailgating – grilling, breakfast for early games, catered. You name it, you can find it. There is a fine art to the perfect tailgating recipe. It needs to be easy to make and easy to transport. It also needs to be a grab and go type food, preferably that doesn’t even require silverware. It also doesn’t hurt if it is something a little substantial so it sticks with you.

 

And I have the perfect tailgating food! My mom has been making these antipast kebabs for years, and they are a favorite around our house. I think this is adapted from a really old Southern Living recipe. They are really easy, don’t take much time, and the fact that they are on a skewer makes them the perfect pick up and go food, no utensils required! Plus they are really filling for those long game days. And the only cooking that is required is the cooking of the tortellini. It also is a great appetizer for any party or get together.

 

Antipasto Kebab

 

I like using the white and green tortellini, so you have more of a color variety on your skewer. The brand I use is Buitoni, and I use the cheese tortellini. For the artichokes, get the quartered artichoke hearts (or you can quarter them yourself) but not the ones that are marinated.I used cube mozzarella, but provolone would be really good too!  You can use your favorite Italian dressing, but I prefer to use the Olive Garden Italian dressing. Of course, if you want to make this vegetarian, just leave off the salami (although that is this Italian girl’s favorite part!). You can add other ingredients as well – get creative! If you don’t want to make them on skewers, you can always make it as a regular pasta salad.

 

And here is a PDF if you want to download and print the recipe.

 

Enjoy!

September Fitness Recap

September Fitness Recap

 

A quick update on the knee: Another month has passes and I still have the knee pain. I finally got in to get a second opinion, had a cortisone shot (which was horribly painful and made me really, really sick), had an MRI, and as it turns out, there is nothing wrong. I’ve had knee pain for 6 months, and they can’t find anything wrong. Needless to say, I am beyond frustrated. I am going to physical therapy a few times starting tomorrow, but I think they are basically sending me to physical therapy because they don’t know what else to do. I am just ready to get better and stop being in pain.

 

Moving on … while I was doing BBG, I came up with a quick workout that I could do at home, and it only requires a jump rope. It started because I was having issues last summer because it was SO hot which made running outside impossible, but we didn’t have a treadmill yet (and I don’t belong to a gym). I was having problems getting my cardio / HIIT in (with BBG, you need to do 2 – 3 cardio workout per week). So I made something up. It took me about 20 – 25 minutes to complete it. And for me, it is great when I want to get a quick workout in that involves a little bit of everything in it, when I wanted to do a little something different, or when I wanted to challenge myself more & extend my workout.

 

At Home HIIT Workout

 

I would do 2 sets of this workout, and do it as quickly as you can (while keeping good form of course). Between each exercise, you jump rope 50 times. If you don’t have a jump rope (or don’t have room to jump rope), you can either pretend jump rope or you can do something like jumping jacks instead. You just want something to get your heart rate up! If you need to make it easier, cut back on the jumping rope and cut in half the other exercises. And if you want to make it harder (or have more cardio), just increase the amount of jumping rope you are doing.

 

Hopefully next month my fitness recap will actually include me DOING something fitness related. Fingers crossed physical therapy helps because I don’t know what I am supposed to do otherwise.

 

August Fitness Recap

J. Crew New Balance Workout Outfit

Shoes: New Balance (similar); Pants: J. Crew x New Balance (blue stripe / solid pink); Sports Bra: Under Armour (solid)

Every month, I hope that my next month’s fitness recap will be better. I hope that my knee will be doing better, that I have been able to get back on track. I would love to say that my knee is doing so much better. It was getting better, very very very slowly. But it is now back to really bothering me. If you don’t remember, I had a knee injury in April, and it just hasn’t gotten better. My knee cap isn’t tracking right, and it is rubbing the cartilage, which is causing me a lot of discomfort / pain. I have been wearing my brace, doing my exercises, and now I seem to be back to square 1. I am in the process of trying to get a doctor’s appointment with a different doctor for a second opinion. Note – this has been incredibly difficult and frustrating. Who knew it was so incredibly difficult to get a second opinion. I keep hearing that they will look at my records and “decided” about an appointment. Shouldn’t I be the one to decide if I want a second opinion? But I am hoping to be able to go to the doctor next week. I pretty much had a nervous breakdown on the phone with a doctor’s office.

 

Up until about 2 weeks ago, I was doing my “easy” arm work out that I posted about last month, along with an ab workout that I came up with, which also involves absolutely no knees. I am not sure why I called them easy, because they really aren’t. I think my thought process was because it was at home and didn’t require much equipment. But I promise it is a pretty good little work out! So I thought I would share my “easy” at home ab workout today. The whole thing usually takes me about 20 – 25 minutes.

 

At Home Ab Workout

 

I do 2 sets of this workout. If my knee was healthy, I would add bicycle crunches, mountain climbers and a plank at the end, but at this point I don’t think that is the best idea. Honestly, right now I am not doing anything just to try to keep it happy. For the last one, I was using a 5 lb weight, but when I went up with my arm weights to 8lbs, I went up on this one too. I keep the weight stretched out over my head the whole time, and I am so sore after those!

 

I hope to report something better next month!

Recipe: The Best Meatloaf

meatloaf-recipe

I have a lot of food issues. I am aware of it, and I don’t have a problem admitting it. To start, I am allergic to nuts. So there are a lot of things I can’t eat, and I am a little paranoid about food, especially since I had an allergic reaction last year that put me in the hospital. I also don’t eat red meat. I used to, I just don’t any more. I have a wide array of food issues, such as I don’t like my different food to touch, I eat one thing at a time, and I can’t stand touching raw meat.

 

Another weird thing is that there are certain foods that I won’t eat unless it is my recipe (or my family’s recipe). One of those things is meatloaf. I have actually never ordered meatloaf in a restaurant, and I never would. If it isn’t the recipe I make, I don’t want it. My mom is the same way.

 

But to be fair, our recipe is really really good. I have no idea where it came from, but my mom has been making it for as long as I can remember. I know meatloaf isn’t the most glamorous food, but I promise you this recipe is really good! And a bonus – it is really easy!

 

So today, I am sharing our delicious meatloaf recipe. Even if you think you don’t like meatloaf, you should give it a try! This one has the perfect balance of ketchup and BBQ sauce for the sauce. It doesn’t have a lot of spices in it (other thing I am not a fan of).

 

The recipe calls for beef, but I use ground turkey, if you are looking for a leaner option (or are like me and don’t do red meat). Charlie is a big red meat eater (isn’t he lucky he married me?), and he loves this meatloaf and doesn’t seem to mind that it is ground turkey. In fact, I think if he put his mind to it, he could eat the whole thing on his own (or at least put a serious dent in it).

 

Meatloaf-Recipe-Card

 

And here is a link to the downloadable PDF.

 

 

So tell me, are you a meatloaf eater? If not, are you willing to give my recipe a try?

July Fitness Recap

J. Crew New Balance Work Out

Pants: J. Crew x New Balance; Shoes: New Balance; Tank: Under Armour

 

Another month has passed, and my fitness hasn’t progressed much. I talked about my knee problems in June (and in May). I am finally making some very small improvements, but it will be a while before I can get back to running and BBG.

 

For now, I am doing what I can, which isn’t a lot. I am doing light arms & abs workouts about 3 days a week and trying to walk a little. I am only walking about 0.25 mi right now just because I don’t want a set back, but I am happy to do that without pain. I hope to walk a little more this month!

 

So today I am sharing my easy arm workout. I have been doing 3 sets of 12 with 5lb weights (I use 5lb for BBG and it was all I had). I just bought 8 lb weights, so those will probably kill me. Maybe by the time my knee is in good shape, I will have great arms!

 

At Home Arm Workout

 

These are all exercises that use no knees at all which is what I have to do right now. I can’t wait add things like lunges and squats back in the mix! If I were able to use my knee, I would definitely add push ups to this. I am planning on also adding some bench presses to the mix as well soon. I have slowly added on exercises, since I am really trying to take it easy and not make my knee worse. I know these don’t involve my knee, but I just don’t want to take a step backwards!

 

I googled to make sure you could find these easily if you weren’t sure. The only thing I can’t find is the waitress pulls, which is something we used to to in my sculpt yoga class. You hold your arms out straight, fists up, at about a 45 degree angle. Then pull your arms in, elbows bent and pulled in tight to your side. Then straighten them out again and repeat.

 

How are your fitness goals going? Hopefully better than mine!