Gifts and a Home Cooked Meal

The almond butter fairy decided to visit me this afternoon!


I can’t wait to try these!!!!!! Thanks Barney Butter! 🙂 The 90 calorie packs are seriously the best thing since sliced bread for my lunchbox…we shall give it a go tomorrow! There also might be some serious almond butter cookie baking going on in the near future to put these jars to good use. You can never have too much almond butter!

I got a lot done this afternoon, primarily in the kitchen department. I made food for the week and tupperwared it up in the fridge for easy access during the next few days. I also finished Water for Elephants. LOVED it! I almost cried at the end just because it was over. If you haven’t read this one you better get your hands on it soon….it will suck you in for sure!

Midday I made a little snack of an apple with peanut butter. Haven’t had this for awhile and it was delicious. I try to eat more tropical fruit in the summer and save my crazy apple eating for fall but I couldn’t help myself when I saw these beautifully crisp Red Delicious apples at Whole Foods yesterday.


And…I finally got around to making those turkey meatballs from “The Eat Clean Diet”. They are very simple to make—just lean ground turkey, fresh herbs, whole wheat bread crumbs and an egg to bind it all together. This is why having a food scale is helpful—I made exactly five servings (3 meatballs per serving, 4 ounces total) and froze two of the servings to be baked later.

I also made the sweet potato risotto recipe from the same book. This recipe had my name all over it. I looooove sweet potatoes and go crazy over risotto (heck, I have a special risotto pot from williams sonoma). However, there were definitely a few quirks in the recipe. The original recipe claimed to serve four but judging from the calorie count per serving (171 kcal), I knew that the amount of rice was too much (original recipe called for 1.5 cups rice for 4 people). So, I made half the recipe and used only 1/2 cup arborio rice and 2 chopped sweet potatoes, but I needed about 8 cups of chicken broth when the recipe said I would only need two. Now, not that I’m a professional risotto maker, but I did made it a ton back when I was in culinary and I know how to make a good pot of it. You need tons of liquid for the rice to soak up. Two cups is nothing! So, in the end, I halved the recipe and got three good sized servings out of it. It was worth it—–it was freakin’ amazing!!!

So, here’s my homecooked meal: 3 turkey meatballs with organic roasted garlic marinara sauce, a scoop of risotto and a spinach salad with balsamic vin. I was so stuffed after the meatballs and risotto that I couldn’t finish my salad. It’s okay though. I think I got all my veggies in at lunch today!


But of course I had room for a dark chocolate square (obviously!):


And I’m bringing a half soymilk/half water protein shake for later in the night…


Tonight is really not a night I’m looking forward to. Actually I grimace when I think about it. We are making petit fours, opera torte, madelines and linzer cookies. Now this doesn’t seem like too big of a deal but each thing requires about 500 steps and is very intricate and time consuming.  Hopefully it’s not too late of an evening!!!

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  • Becca A
    August 4, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    I want the almond butter fairy to visit me!

    Best of luck tonight! You’ll do great!

  • Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food)
    August 4, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    I LOVE Ghirardelli chocolate. I’ve also been eating the Twilight Delight ones the past few days. The Mint Bliss chocolates also taste awesome!

    Good luck tonight!

  • VeggieGirl
    August 4, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    I need a visit from the hazelnut-butter fairy – I’m starting to run out!

  • ModelBehavior
    August 4, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    You have me curious about these protein shakes, I may just have to give them a test run!

  • Kath
    August 4, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    OMG I want those almond butter packs!!!!!!! That would be perfect for traveling. To the website I go…

  • smjohnson30
    August 4, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    LOVE the single packet servings of pb; wish my grocery store carried them! I really need to find a health food store around town…

    All your cooking looks great! I don’t know if I’m the only one who’s noticed this, but it seems like the other bloggers out there are adding more protein too. I definitely thought it was more than coincidence; just kind of cute how everyone reads each other’s blogs and gets ideas and then everyone kind of incorporates them into their own lives/blogs…

  • alicia
    August 4, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Almond butter sounds amazing, especially when it’s free 🙂 I adore petit fours as they are so pretty but can imagine the hard work that goes in. That is why I always try to eat my petit fours no matter how full I am, which can be tough since some restaurants bring out the petit fours when I am already so stuffed with dessert. Not every place serves petit fours so it’s always a sweet and pleasant surprise. 🙂

    You will have a great practical tonight. Have fun!

  • HangryPants
    August 5, 2008 at 12:37 am

    Yum on the risotto! Don’t you had when you love a book so much and then it ends. I always feel sad and miss the characters.

    – Heather

  • Andrea
    August 5, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Barney Butter is THE BEST! I ordered a free sample from them almost two years ago before any stores were carrying there products. They are finally in my region so I’m just waiting to finish up what I have and then get a big jar for myself! You’ll love it!

  • Erin
    August 5, 2008 at 2:37 am

    The ending of that book is SO original, I thought. I’m so glad you read it. Everyone should read it! It’s life enriching.
    You can give the almond butter fairy my address if you want! 😉

  • runjess
    August 5, 2008 at 2:51 am

    I love risotto too. My fave is Black Soybean Risotto with Spinach: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1536665

  • Greta
    August 5, 2008 at 4:11 am

    I’m about start Water for Elephants – I’m so happy it has your seal of approval! And if you are looking for a good book, The Secret History is an excellent choice.

  • Caroline
    August 5, 2008 at 4:13 am

    Oh yum! I’ve heard about Barney Butter, but they don’t sell it around here…I was actually contemplating getting my uncle who lives in CA to send me some. Hmm I guess I have a bad almond butter addiction…

  • Victoria
    August 5, 2008 at 4:22 am

    I love almond butter… Lucky you! That risotto sounds great. Hope class went well for you tonight!

  • Grounded Fitness
    August 5, 2008 at 4:44 am

    ok, seriouly eating peanut butter out of the jar right now.

    i think i need the individual packets.


  • Ansley
    August 5, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Are you a smooth or crunchy kind of gal? My vote, today anyway, has to go to Mr. Crunchy.

    It changes often, however.

  • Trina
    August 5, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    I am jealous about the individual packets of almond butter, too…I will soon be moving to a town large enough to have more than 1 grocery store (and actually has a Whole Foods! Yay!!)!! Can’t wait 🙂

    Also, have ya’ll ever heard of bookmooch? It’s this online book trading site where you can exchange books with other people It’s pretty cool and a good way to get more books without going out and buying them!! I just thought I would mention since everyone was talking about books 🙂

  • haya
    August 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    the lisa loeb peanut butter and jelly cookie recipe (with whole wheat flour!) recently featured on epicurious was absolutely awesome with AB. i highly recommend it.

  • Tosca Reno
    August 5, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    I’m glad you are enjoying the recipes from my book. The turkey meatballs are a hit at my house, too. My kids just love them, including my university-aged daughters who make them every week. Thanks for mentioning my book and my best to you.

  • Natalie A
    August 5, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Wow! All that in one night? I made an Opera Cake and it took me about 5 hours just for that. Good luck…and have fun with it 🙂

  • Eat, Live, Run » Enough With The Crack!
    August 26, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    […] front of me I would want it and I feel a ton better after I ate. Last night I defrosted some of the lean turkey meatballs I made a few weeks ago from Tosca Reno’s cookbook “The Eat Clean Diet”. These […]