WIAW: Magical Mexican Soup

G’day eaters!

I want to start off by saying a big ole Congratulations to Jenn, the host of WIAW, for getting knocked up!

Everyone around me seems to be getting pregnant. It’s awesome and all, but…

I really hope it’s not contagious.

Pre Crossfit:

Half an apple. A lot of pb. A vanilla whey protein shake.


#PROOF of my 105# floor press PR!

#PROOF of my 105# floor press PR!

PRs are my favorite.


Scrambled eggs with bell pepper and avocado, and a pair of cuties.

Scrambled eggs with bell pepper and avocado, and a pair of cuties.

This is my new typical breakfast.

Yup, I’m still on the scrambled eggs and cooked veg breakfast.

Side note — these are the smallest, cutest clementines I’ve ever seen. I finally feel like I’m getting “cuties,” not like those small-ish oranges I’ve been calling “cuties” all these years.


A Cobb salad of sorts — bib lettuce (my favorite!), rotisserie chicken, bacon, bell pepper, cheddar, avocado, and balsamic dressing.

A Cobb salad of sorts — bib lettuce (my favorite!), rotisserie chicken, bacon, bell pepper, cheddar, avocado, and balsamic dressing.

Look! I did something “healthy living blogger”-like and made my lunch the night before while I was making breakfast. Let’s ignore the fact that I ate it at home.

Another pair of cuties.

Another pair of cuties.

Having it ready was still mighty handy.


Let’s play the game where you don’t scold me for buying a giant bag of Twizzlers because it was $1 and I won’t pretend I only ate one serving.


This meal knocked my socks off! That’s real talk, eaters. Real talk.

A pork tamales and a pair of salsas, because I was indecisive.

A pork tamales and a pair of salsas, because I was indecisive.

First, I made the pork tamales over the weekend as part of my thesis. And while they were good on the day I made them, they were so much better a few days later when the exhaustion of making them had worn off.

Second, this soup was pure magic. I wanted to make some sort of lazy tortilla soup so I mixed a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and then leftover “broth” from the tamale meat (which was the pork cooking water pureed with cooked garlic and cooked onion). I added a little bit of spice and pureed the whole deal again.

The most magical of all Mexican soups, topped with cheddar and tortilla chip crumbles.

The most magical of all Mexican soups, topped with cheddar and tortilla chip crumbles.

And by the grace of the Mexican food gods (who I imagine have heads made out of grilled cheese sandwiches) it ab-so-freaking-lutely rocked!

The end.

Your turn, eaters:

What was the last winging-it meal that turned out magical for you?

What’s your favorite candy?

Later eaters!

Multi Purpose Dough

G’day eaters!

So…I know I said I’d pick the GoodBelly probiotic giveaway winner on Wednesday or Thursday, but that, obviously, didn’t happen. Other things happened and now suddenly it’s Sunday.

So here goes:

Georgiana, you are the winner of a 12 day supply of GoodBelly shots! Email me your mailing address at kara_h_thomas @ yahoo.com.

And another thing that I said I would do, but haven’t yet is to share a recipe I created for my thesis. And since I have my first full draft due in a week or so, my mind is thoroughly saturated with thesis things.

So here goes:

Do you know the crappy pizza buffet restaurant CiCi’s Pizza?

When my brother and I were much younger my mom used to take us there a lot. We all loved pizza. It was cheap. And there was a huge TV that always played cartoons. So understandably, it was the perfect place for my mom to take us kids when she didn’t feel like cooking.

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been to CiCi’s, but for some reason I remember them having these really great cinnamon rolls on their dessert buffet. They also had some kind of goopy chocolate dessert pizza and maybe something with apples, if I remember. But for some reason the idea of cinnamon rolls really stuck out to me.

More importantly, the idea of cinnamon rolls made out of pizza dough really stuck with me. Because, ya know, I’m positive that if there were cinnamon rolls they were made out of the same dough at the pizzas.

So with that in mind…

One Dough Two Ways

1 packet (2 ½ t) dry active yeast

1 ½ c warm water

2 T honey

2 T oil, plus a little extra

2 t salt

2 ½ c whole wheat pastry flour

1-2 c all purpose flour

Mix the honey into the warm water and then add the yeast, giving it a quick stir to break up any big clumps. Let this mixture proof for 5-10 minutes, or until there is at least an inch of foam at the top.

In a large mixing bowl stir together the whole wheat flour and 1 c of the AP flour with the salt. Once the yeast has proofed add in the oil and then pour all the liquid into the bowl with the flour. Stir the mixture a few times until it starts to form a ball and them use your hands to mix it until it forms a cohesive ball. Add more flour, about ¼ c at a time, as needed.

Once the dough has become a slightly sticky ball, remove it from the bowl and place it on a well-floured surface. Begin kneading the dough, adding flour as needed to keep it from sticking, for 10 minutes.

Line a bowl with a piece of plastic wrap. Drizzle a little oil into the plastic wrap. Place the ball of dough into the bowl and cover with a towel. Leave the dough to proof in a warm spot for 1-2 hours, or until it has about doubled in size.


The pizza part, which is made using half of the dough you just made, is pretty self-explanatory. Make it and then bake it at 500^F, on a pizza stone if you have it, for 10-13 minutes.

Cinnamon Rolls

½ batch of dough

¼ c butter, melted

3 – 4 T sugar

1 ½ T cinnamon

Bring the dough to room temperature. Lightly flour a big, open surface and a rolling pin and roll out the dough into a rectangle. Pour the butter onto the dough and, using the back of a spoon, spread it evenly over the rectangle. Sprinkle the sugar and the cinnamon evenly over rectangle.

Then roll the dough by slowly and evenly rolling the long end furthest away towards you. Once the two long ends meet, gently pinch the seam closed. Them using a sharp knife cut the roll into ~2” segments and place an inch or so apart in a buttered cake pan.

Let the pan of rolls proof for an hour in a warm spot, until the rolls are touching.

Bake at 375^F for 7-9 minutes, or until the tops are just barely golden brown and the outsides are firm, but not hard.cinnamon rolls1

I ate a few of these rolls plain, but then Leon suggested they needed a glaze. So I whisked up some powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, a glaze similar to the one I made for my pumpkin donuts, which is why I didn’t write down any measurements.

But glaze or no glaze, these were really good cinnamon rolls. They become amazingly good when you consider how complicated normal cinnamon rolls are — lots of scalding milk and excess sugar — and how simple these were.cinnamon rolls2

The trick in these rolls really is to not over bake them. A minute or two too long and you’ve got cinnamon-y dinner rolls.

And then eat them within a day or two.

And eat them warm.

Maybe with a side of bacon. Or after pizza.

Or just eat them at every meal, like I did for a day or two.cinnamon rolls3

Your turn, eaters:

Do you have an unconventional way of making something?

What’s a meal you remember loving when you were a kid?

Later eaters!

GoodBelly Probiotic Shots Review

G’day eaters!

Are you still feeling that Monday/end of a weekend where you were lazy and ate too much junk push to be healthy?

Yes? Good!

Because I’ve got a health product to talk about and I like us all being on the same page.


How do you feel about probiotics?

If you’re reading you’re probably tuned in enough to the “healthy living community” to know that probiotics are a bacteria that keep your gut healthy (and you pooing regularly) and that yogurt is a good source of them.

And frankly, that’s about all that I know about probiotics aside from a rumor that adding honey to yogurt helps boost the amount of probiotics you can get.

Yeah, I’ve still got no clue if that’s true. If you know, please tell me. Until then I’m going to continue adding it to my yogurt because it’s tasty.

But I digress.

Of course we know that probiotics are good for us and we should probably take some kind of probiotic supplement. But we should probably do a lot of other things everyday that most people don’t.

I’ll be the first to admit — I don’t take any vitamins or supplements. I dislike the act of swallowing vitamins. It’s also hard for me to justify spending a lot of money on oils and pills that don’t provide me tangible results.

Sure, they’re doing good things for me on the inside, but if I don’t see results I’m not going to continue.

With that being said, when GoodBelly, a probiotic juice/supplement company, reached out to me to take their 12 Day Challenge I was skeptical. But, let’s be honest, I’m almost never going to turn down a free sample.goodbelly3

So I picked up three packs — a 12 day supply — of GoodBelly shots and committed to tossing one back everyday. Even if I didn’t see any results.

Luckily, these babies were little and tasty, so it wasn’t a painful process in the least.

And even more luckily, about halfway through the 12 Day Challenge I actually started to notice a difference: less bloating.

We all know that probiotics play an important role in poop, but poop…ahem…isn’t a problem for me. Bloating is, though, and before this little Challenge I had no idea that probiotics could help with that.

So I was very happily surprised when I started to notice my stomach retaining its flatter form long and longer into the day. The probiotics didn’t completely erase all my bloating, but I got a ton of bloat-reducing bang for my effort-buck.

I’ve been without these little probiotic shots for about a week now and I can definitely tell a difference. I’m bloated all over again and constantly trying to suck my gut in. And I miss my fruity little shots already.

But all of this good stuff doesn’t mean a darn thing if it’s not worth the money. So the million dollar question: Would I spend my own money on them?

You bet!

It’s about $4 (I think) for a 4-pack of shots. And each pack has a coupon on the inside for 50¢ off 2 4-packs. And it’s worth every penny.

But don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself!goodbelly collage

GoodBelly has generously offered to give away a 12 day supply of their probiotic shots to one lucky eater.

To enter:

1) Leave a comment below telling me about one vitamin/supplement you know you should take, but don’t.

2) Tweet something about wanting to win free @GoodBellyDrink probiotic shots from @KaraHadley.

I’ll pick a winner later this week (probably Wednesday or Thursday), so be sure to check back.

Later eaters!

PS — GoodBelly did provide me the products for free, but all the opinions are my own. 

Valentine’s Treats! And Sprinkles!

Sup eaters?

I’m going to make this a quick one because it’s all about Valentine’s Day, which means you have roughly 48 hours to make these before they become unseasonable.

First, I f’ing love Valentine’s Day! Seriously, it’s great.

You give people candy/flowers/stuffed animals/cards. You get candy/flowers/stuffed animals/cards.

And I’m not just talking about trading gifts with your better half. Until this year I’ve only given treats to my friends and that hasn’t made it any less fun.

It’s a not-so-subtle reminder to tell people you appreciate them (and to feel appreciated!) because chances are you don’t tell them enough and who gives a crap if you’re telling them on the same day as everyone else in the world.

And seriously…did I mention the cutesy, girly treats? And the sprinkles?!

valentines candy5

Sorry for the poor photos. I was too impatient to eat them to wait until the morning.

Oh the sprinkles!

So if you’re not the V-Day equivalent of a Scrooge, I HIGHLY suggest you take the less than 2 hours it took me to whip up about 5 dozen peanut butter cups and about 3 dozen pretzel bites.

I used this awesome little tutorial to make the peanut butter cups.valentines candy1

A few little fyi-s about the recipe:

A whole bag of Wilton chocolate melts will yield roughly 5 dozen chocolates.

I only used ½ c powdered sugar and used coconut oil instead of butter, which worked great.

Also, I definitely suggest you buy two candy molds.

And beyond that, make sure you let the chocolate in the bottom of the mold harden a little before you put the peanut butter in or else it’ll show through the bottom.

Oh, and don’t forget to add sprinkles as soon as you put the top layer of chocolate on.

valentines candy3The white chocolate pretzel bites are even easier than that.

All I did was crush up some pretzels in my grubby little hands and put a few pieces in the bottom of the mold. Then I spooned a bag-worth of melted white chocolate over the pretzels and added sprinkles!valentines candy2

Have I mentioned that I love sprinkles?

Because I really do.

I made all of these little cuties on Saturday and then passed most of them out that night. And while it did take me about two hours from start to finish it certainly wasn’t a grueling two hours.

You could easily do this after a day at work when you brain is a little mushy. Which means…you have no excuse not to make something cute for Valentine’s Day.valentines candy4

But if for some crazy reason you actually have other things to do — like cleaning or having a social life — and you don’t make these little cuties by Thursday then just swap the sprinkles for something more all-occasion and you’re golden.

Like Willy Wonka’s chocolate.

(That worked in my head. Just go with it.)

Your turn, eaters:

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day?

Which chocolate will you keep for yourself — peanut butter cups or pretzel bites?

Later eaters!

Hear Me Whooo!

Hiya eaters!

This is going to be a quick one.

I have a headache. Between school and work I was going non-stop — as in eating a sandwich in my car at a red light non-stop — for a solid 8 hours. My eating has been pretty shit today, as it is every day off from the gym.

Oh, and I currently have a pile of books to read for school that would make a librarian blush.

But even with all this crap I am still on cloud 9.

Because, m’dear darling eaters, yesterday I did a 93 lbs clean & jerk!pr1

93 beautiful fucking pounds!

For those of you not in the Crossfit-know, here’s what a clean & jerk is.

And yes, I looked exactly like that guy — jumping and whooo-ing included — except I wasn’t wearing a unitard.

Mine was dirty.

But back to my ah-maze-ing new Personal Record — it’s super freaking amazing!

I’m beyond jazzed about it. I’m beyond shocked at my ability to move such a massive weight — a weight that not too long ago I couldn’t even deadlift — off the ground and over my head. Twice in a row and then once more for good measure.

And without getting all Crossfit Kool-Aid on you, this is one of the main reasons I love Crossfit.

Sure, the people are nice and the workouts keep me in tip top shape. But what I really and truly love about Crossfit is that it constantly allows me to do super freaking amazing things that I never in my wildest dreams thought possible.

And than those nice people give me a big hug because they know how great this feeling is.

So yeah, I am superwoman. Hear me whooo.

Your turn, eaters:

Right here and now I NEED you to brag about yourself. Do it. It feels good.

How has your week been?

Later m’dear lovely eaters!

Leftovers, I Love You

G’diggidy day eaters!

I’m coming to you live from my very comfortable bed after a very long day of school and work and general, all around hustling.

This is my life and I’m not mad about it.

And tonight I want to talk about a very big part of my life: leftovers.leftovers1

Yes, leftovers do count as a big part of my life. #ThisIsMeHavingItAll

I know I’m not the first person to extol the virtues of having a fridge full of leftovers. Everyone who has ever lost a pound will tell you that they did so by cooking a little extra at dinner and bringing the leftovers as lunch. Every busy mom and lazy college student will tell you they save loads of pennies by eating dinner’s extras.

So obviously my love of leftovers is nothing new or extraordinary. But I never promised to post anything new or extraordinary, so let’s push forward.

Eating leftovers does save you money. Yes, you pay a little extra to buy all this extra food to make, but it’s a lot cheaper to have self-made convenience food on hand than to buy a meal out.leftovers2

Example: This is a meatloaf sandwich I made this past Sunday with leftover meatloaf from the night before. I was a little hung over and craving greasy food. Instead of going to the grocery store and buying a frozen pizza and chips (my usual hangover cure), I toasted some bread, heated up the meatloaf, and went to town.


Eating leftovers also keeps you from eating junk food because, once again, after you make the food the leftovers become your convenience food instead of burgers and fries and Jimmy Johns subs.leftovers3

Had I not eaten this sandwich on Sunday I would have packed the meatloaf with a side of roasted veggies and eaten it between work and school (so I can use a microwave). A healthy meal on its own and made all the more healthy when you compare it to what I eat when I don’t have convenient healthy lunches — a turkey bacon and egg white breakfast sandwich that I pick up from Starbucks while I grab another coffee.

Moral of the story: Embrace leftovers. Buying handy Tupperware and a fun lunch box helps.

Your turn, eaters:

How do you feel about leftovers?

What did you eat for lunch today?

Later eaters!