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Back in the Kitchen, Out in the Sun

This weekend was equal parts back in the kitchen and out in the sun. Our fridge is full, miles were run and walked, and productivity was had!

Have you entered the Whistle Dog GPS and Activity Tracker Giveaway?

Thank you to Katie and Erin for the Weekend Recaps, and Meghan for Week (end) in Review!

The past few days have kind of melded together, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t cherished–they were simply a blur of cooking and playing! Instead of going through the play by play like I normally do, I am going to hit the big moments.


Dinner with my little chickadee Ellen at Native Foods Cafe. I am more than a bit sad that they got rid of my favorite salad, the Caribbean Jerk Kale salad. Ellen and I both got the Chopped “Chicken” Salad, and we were both less than impressed, sadly. The faux chicken was delicious, but the bacon was meh and the salad overall was quite bland. Making up for the blandness of the salad, though, were the sweet potato fries–always perfectly fluffy on the inside and crispy.

Native Foods Cafe Sweet Potato Fries are so delicious

Even if the food had been as good as it usually is (I rook Erica here WAY back in the first months of the blog!), hanging out with Ellen was the real treat of the evening. And that is saying something, as I also got froyo (even though I was STUFFED. And they had “caramel delights” aka Samoas so let’s just say I was TREATED that night.


With Saturday dedicated to focusing on my Team Challenge runners, Friday is kind of becoming my long run day, or at least when I don’t have early clients. I looked outside, saw that it was a nice enough day, geared up in my appropriate layers, and headed out. 

Into a day that only Chicago can provide: strong headwinds from all sides. I actually got sand burn from running by the beach for .5 mile, and my pace slowed by about a minute at one point because I was making no forward progress. I made the choice to reroute. My solution? 

Run the approximately 1 mi circuit that I have created in front of my apartment. Six. Times. Also, about then it started sprinkling, which it continued to do the rest of the day. Fun stuff.Let’s just say that I was done by the time I was done! But great podcast listening (I have some new ones for you!).

After my midmorning client, I stopped by the grocery story and gathered up the majority of the ingredients that I would need for my weekend’s mission of cooking and baking and doing things with the people and the stuff. You probably saw the results on Instagram stories.

And I made myself a make your own 6-pack. Of beers I wanted. Alex can have a few sips. 

Slow Cooker Chili Powder Free Turkey Chili! Recipe to come!

Later on, it was time to cook. For the first night, I popped my slow cooker cherry (FINALLY) and made chili powder free turkey chili (yup, already writing up the post) and riced cauliflower for both no-dairy cauliflower pizza crusts as well as cauliflower rice (daring, I know).


Saturday’s weather made up for the ridiculously windy and temperamental weather of Friday, and after taking Ridley out for a romp, I headed off to coach! It was just me and the crew this weekend, so I tried to split up and hit everyone at least once. Coaching went a bit longer than I had anticipated, so I missed going to Sweatworking (even though I was pumped about the workout). What do you do when you miss a workout and are on a roll in the kitchen? 

No dairy Cauliflower pizza crust

You getchoself back in there. I made my quick baked oatmeal, shredded zucchini, made my cornbread muffins (a slightly different recipe this time), roasted acorn squash, made (and promptly consumed) cauliflower pizza crust, another style of flatbread, and then started writing up the recipes.

Socca flatbreads

I don’t know what I’m going to do about the pictures–I still haven’t replaced the background that Alex threw out when we moved, and I just don’t like the lighting in our place. It is good lighting for living, but not for photography. Which is a bit of a bummer. Such is life.

Ridley and I took a trip to the dog park, where she proceeded to be a little bully, so after that, we came home and stayed put the rest of the day. Luckily, that wasn’t too difficult, as she was totally worn out, and I was watching awesome Netflix shows (again, more new ones to share!).

Delicious turkey chili and zucchini cornbread for dinner!


Ridley sitting in my lap

This pretty much sums up my morning, lol. There was a little physical activity in there, but mostly it was about hanging with this kiddo, eating a Whole Foods salad bar creation the size of my torso, and creating hilarious pumpkin things.

Let’s see, I made pumpkin banana protein muffins (both with and without zucchini, which I still had lots of from the day before), and cocoa pumpkin oat bread (with zucchini) and cookies. My creations are tasty, but a) not pretty and b) not really “official recipe” status. Mostly me playing and seeing what could happen. And then eating the results, which I was definitely happy enough with to eat more than my fair share of when not hungry AT ALL.

Pumpkin protein cookies!

Will I rework and reproduce and reshoot what I made? Probably not. Not everything I make is for the blog. Sometimes, you just have to create with no thought of return on investment. 

I cleaned up a little bit, realized that I had just sent back something in the size that I actually need (typical), and then hung out. Oh, and I burned the top of my hand pretty well. SCORE ONE FOR THE SUZ

And that is about the extent of the wildness of my weekend. After such an emotional week and with Alex out of town for a conference, I needed to be a little selfish and just concentrate on self care and lighting the cooking fire underneath me once more.

If you are wondering, Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale is delicious, but O’Fallon’s Pumpkin is still superior, in my opinion. 

I have another light week client-wise this week, and I need to clean the apartment desperately. And do the laundry. And go shopping for the things that we actually need, like almond milk. Not just 10 different yogurts and a make your own 6 pack and sugar that I am never going to use.

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week? Then it will be December! EGADS.

Hope everyone has a fantastic week! Stay tuned for more giveaways this week–you know I love to make November all about giveaways 😀

When was the last time that you did something that you could use for blog/profitable purposes, and instead chose not to do so? Why did you make that decision?

When you are cooking or working, do you need background noise? TV or podcast or radio?

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