copycat.

by Janetha on September 28, 2010

in meals,moves

wow, i am blown away by the feedback on my fast food story.  thanks to all who chimed in and shared your feelings on the subject as well as your own fast food story.  if you have time, i suggest you check out the comments.  i love all the feedback on all my posts, but this one was particularly fantastic.  thank you for your participation! i want you to all know i replied to a bunch of comments on the post’s comments section directly. i know i usually don’t do it that way, but i did. i am trying that method out.

i wanted to share a few of the great ideas you guys left about fast food swaps:

callie said: “Sometimes if I’m craving an ice cream sundae but don’t want to go all out, I’ll get a plain soft serve from somewhere like DQ and then top it with fruit, natural chocolate syrup, etc. at home, like this night: http://www.callieflowerkitchen.com/2010/06/27/cheezy-cheese/

susan said: “One thing I do now sometimes is go to Subway and order a veggie sub – then put my own can of plain tuna on it!”

erica said: “I like doing at home chinese takeout. Beef and broccoli (http://itzyskitchen.blogspot.com/2009/12/beef-broccoli.html), Sweet and sour chicken (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/eating-well/sweet-amp-sour-chicken-with-brown-rice-recipe/index.html

sami said: “i used to LOVEEEE taco bell. i use hungry-girls crunch wrap recipe to recreate them at home…SO GOOD! http://www.hungry-girl.com/chew/chewdetails.php?isid=1647

mary said: “I used to love getting the Pollo Bowl at El Pollo Loco and was craving one last week… Sooooo I made my own version :D Sure, it didn’t really taste the same, but isn’t that the point ? http://whatscookinwithmary.blogspot.com/2010/09/marys-el-pollo-bowl.html

caroline said: “I like to re-make Chick fil A sandwiches with vegan chik patties, lots of pickles, and K + M. They taste pretty close to the real thing. I also like to make my own “chicken” fingers with tofu and wheat germ.”

great ideas! thanks for chiming in, everyone.

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i have been really busy at work (month end will do that to ya!) so i haven’t been taking regular photos of my breakfasts, lunches & snacks.  instead of a regular post, i want to share a few things i have been up to in the kitchen & the gym.

i am constantly impressed and inspired by the recipes, meals, workouts and other ideas i read on all of your blogs.  i have bookmarks a mile long when it comes to recipes i want to try and workout routines that i need in my life.

you hear me mention other bloggers’ recipes and workout routines all the time.  i am always copying their meals & moves.

this week in particular, i have put a few of those recipes & workouts into motion!

i am a copycat and proud of it.

copycat #1: danica’s baked cheesy turkey ziti

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ingredients (my changes in italics):

  • 1.5 lbs 1.25 lbs Lean Ground Turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (i used red)
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 c 1 cup sliced mushrooms (i only put it in half.. marshall hates the fungus)
  • 1 can organic diced tomatoes, drained (i used the kind with basil & garlic seasoning in the can)
  • 2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce (i used prego)
  • 2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
  • Garlic Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
  • 6 oz uncooked Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
  • 3 oz low fat mozzarella cheese 2 sticks of string cheese, chopped up and put on marshall’s half
  • 3 Tbsp 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

you can see the preparation directions and a step-by-step photo tutorial on danica’s recipe page.

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i served the ziti with steamed veggies & garlic bread.

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my plate..

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a little of everything.

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can you believe this HUGE serving of ziti is only 250 calories?  here are the stats off danica’s page: Calories 250.0, Total Fat 9.5 g, Saturated Fat 2.1 g, Cholesterol 71.7 mg, Sodium 183.2 mg, Potassium 113.0 mg, Total Carbohydrate 16.3 g, Dietary Fiber 1.3 g, Sugars 7.8 g, Protein 26.3 g

needless to say, we had leftovers. i had them for lunch and i think that it was even better the second time around! this ziti is extremely easy and flavorful.  it is going to be a staple in my dinner rotation.

thank you for the recipe, danica! by the way, her recipes are always DELICIOUS and she is very thorough in explaining how to prepare them.  she often suggests how you can make a recipe vegetarian or vegan and she always posts the nutritional information for her recipes.  i highly suggest any of her recipes, you can check them all out on her blog, danica’s daily, here!  her recipes and photos will hook you and her positive energy, upbeat attitude and hilarious husband will keep you coming back for more!

copycat #2: erica’s oatmeal peanut butter flour chocolate chip bars

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i halved the recipe because i knew marshall wouldn’t be eating these. why, you ask? because i added protein powder. and he despises protein powder. hey, you can’t win them all.

ingredients (my changes in italics):

  • 2  1/4 cups 1 1/8 cups old fashion rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup 1/8 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup 1/4 cup Peanut Flour
  • 1 serving (30 grams) vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 2 TB splenda brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds (raw) didn’t have
  • 1/2 cup 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or applesauce- unsweetened) omit
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs or egg substitute i used 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • enough water to moisten/make stir-able

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together dry ingredients (first six). Add in wet ingredients and stir until combined. Spray pan (I used a Pyrex dish), press mixture into bottom of pan.

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pre baked.. my phone is there to show you size comparison. don’t mind the streaky screen…

Bake for 28-30 minutes. Let the bars cool completely, cut & serve.

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these are DELICIOUS. thanks for the simple recipe, erica!

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i cut them into 6 bars and tallied the nutritional information per bar (using thedailyplate.com):

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awesome, right? i had one for dessert last night with a small glass of skim milk.

erica has a few more recipes using peanut flour that i really want to try, including these biscuits and these cookies.  she always has yummy baked goods on her blog and a lot of vegetarian meal recipes.  you can see a whole compilation here! erica also is in great shape and shares her workouts on her blog regularly. i highly suggest you give her blog, itzy’s kitchen, a visit.  if nothing else, just to stare at frank the bulldog ;)

copycat #3: lisa’s awesome incline treadmill routine

when i saw this engaging routine on lisa’s blog last week, i knew it was made for me.  i have ADD on the treadmill and this really kept it interesting.

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stats: 30 minutes, 2.86 miles, max HR 180, ave HR 147, calories burned: 254

killer. thanks for the fun routine, lisa! and thanks for typing up the table for me ;)

if you haven’t had the chance to check out lisa’s blog, i’m an okie, you simply must.  there is not even one specific category for her awesome ramblings.  she discusses food, fitness, finances, real life experiences and has a couple cute pooches thrown into the mix.  if you want a fun, informative and refreshing look at life, check her blog out! you will be entertained for hours on end.

well, this has been just three of the many ideas i have copied from fellow bloggers.  i sometimes don’t even want to make up my own meals & moves because i want to spend time trying all of the ones i see!  however, i have come up with a few original meals & moves this week, i will share those with you soon.

something to do!

if you follow me on facebook, you may have noticed the giveaway i posted today.  it is open to facebook followers only and it is for TEN single servings of my favorite protein powders.  i list the flavors and brands on the giveaway post, but you can expect some tera’s whey, BSN lean dessert and syntrax flavors.  click the icon below to follow meals & moves on facebook and make sure to comment on the giveaway wall post to get your entry!

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good luck!

Qs~

1. this one is a given: what have you done lately (meals, moves or otherwise) that was inspired by the blog world? (feel free to leave a specific link!) it is impossible to name everything i have tried lately, but a couple that stick out: i have been using a lot of susan’s workout routines and making several of mama pea’s treats! i also find inspiration for themed posts from other bloggers. i recently starred paige’s “fill in the blank with a photo” post.. great idea! i am going to copy you, paige.

2. where is your favorite place to find recipes? (ie: blogs, magazines, cookbooks, your head) if i am not making a recipe up in my head, my favorite places to find recipes are my favorite blogs, because i can trust that they are tasty. i also love oxygen magazine and cooking light magazine for healthy recipes!

xo. janetha g.

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica September 28, 2010 at 8:31 pm

oh my gosh- you so rock :) Thanks for the sweet shout outs ;) And I’m glad your bars came out great…I am totally adding protein powder to mine next time! The ziti also looks fantastic. Pasta bakes are one of the best week night meals because you can eat them for days (and sometimes the leftovers are even better.

1. this one is a given: what have you done lately (meals, moves or otherwise) that was inspired by the blog world? (feel free to leave a specific link!) I made Krista’s butternut squash soup (http://kristaskravings.blogspot.com/2010/09/few-different-things.html) and it was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!

2. where is your favorite place to find recipes? BLOGS for sure. Like your protein coffee cake :)

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janetha September 28, 2010 at 9:27 pm

i have never worked with a butternut squash, i checked that soup out and it looks great! thank you for the link :)

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maria @ Chasing the Now September 28, 2010 at 8:35 pm

My favorite recipe source is probably cooking light. I’m not trying to lose weight anymore, but I am still mindful of what goes into my body. I love that I can make “classic” or “comfort food” recipes without stressing about the calories!

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janetha September 28, 2010 at 9:26 pm

cooking light has great options that don’t seem “healthy”~ i have found lots on there that marshall likes!

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simplyshaka September 28, 2010 at 9:01 pm

I have so many bookmarks on my computer of recipes I want to try, exercises, green monsters to make, etc that are inspired by other bloggers. The most recent one was my dinner tonight :)

I usually go to myrecipes.com for recipes but I also love flipping through magazines for them as well. Lately I’ve been tearing them out from each magazine (which soon I will be creating a binger of all of them) in hopes that I dont end up like one of these people on Hoarders—eek.

Happy month and quarter end–meh!

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janetha September 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm

i love myrecipes.com! and haha, i am for SURE a recipe hoarder! good thing bookmarks dont take up room in my house ;)

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KaraHadley September 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm

I ate pumpkin for the first time!

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janetha September 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm

did you like it?

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Faith September 28, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I love getting recipes from blogs but I also enjoy cookbooks a TON…I mean, I sit and read them like a novel and mark off the things that sound interesting! I do trust bloggers more than a cookbook though for sure.

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actorsdiet September 28, 2010 at 11:43 pm

i think for the most part i get my recipes from the food network – i learn the method, and then when i’m ready to cook i look up on blogs, and then make it up combining the two.

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Heather September 29, 2010 at 12:09 am

Tonight I was inspired by David Leibovitz to make chocolate sauce….it was one of those days! http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2005/12/the-best-chocol/

I wrote about making it here http://tartandheathered.blogspot.com/2010/09/love-can-be-bitter.html

I have also been adding pumpkin to everthing! I thought it was fantastic that you added it to your pasta the other day! Last night put it in Angela’s cheesy oats from http://ohsheglows.com/2010/03/03/youre-so-cheezy/ Amazing! I think I may be turning orange!

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Stefanie @thenewhealthy September 29, 2010 at 12:10 am

I honestly think that the blogworld is like an amazingly healthy and diverse cookbook online! I am constantly bookmarking recipes that I want to try. Most recently I tried THREE blogworld recipes in one night and posted about them here: http://thenewhealthy.blogspot.com/2010/09/heaven-times-three.html

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 29, 2010 at 12:19 am

Erica is the best! Love that girl and never miss a post! Ive seen her PB bar recipe and have wanted to make it. I think I will, just skip the egg and real flour and Im sure it will work. I cant believe Marshall can taste 1 lil scoop of protein powder in that whole recipe?! He’s got tastebuds to beat the band. That’s how i am though w/ garlic, onions, curry, that type of thing.

Susan, also awesome. Love her workouts and her spirit!

Dannica…won a tshirt in a give away of hers like a year ago…will never forget that :)

I am inspired by bloggers who are honest, have heart, give back to others, act humble, act REAL, basically are stand up people and strive for excellence in everything they do but are compassionate and friendly and real, along the way :) Pretty much the blogs I read and comment on encompass all of that :)

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Susan October 1, 2010 at 10:43 am

Thank you Averie!! You just wait till we’re together some day having girly drinks ;)

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MelissaNibbles September 29, 2010 at 3:15 am

The ziti looks great. I know a lot of people don’t like her, but I like Hungry Girls recipes. I just replace her fake ingredients with more natural ones. I also like Real Simple for recipes.

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lisaou11 September 29, 2010 at 2:44 pm

agreed. thats what i do with hungry girl recipes.

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Lauren September 29, 2010 at 4:58 am

I look at The Food Network’s Website every single morning to see all of the recipes for the day. I also watch The FN every time I run so I get a lot of ideas from there. But I also love looking at great cooking magazine like Rachel Ray, Cooking Light and Eating Well.
But my favorite way to find good recipe is to do a Google image search (I can only look at recipes through pictures) and then stumble upon some of the most amazing creations on others websites or blogs.

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inmytummy September 29, 2010 at 6:04 am

As I type this, I’m eating a smoothie in a bowl. That’s definitely blog-inspired.

I get my recipes from a myriad of places, but I do use allrecipes.com a lot.

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thedelicateplace September 29, 2010 at 7:10 am

1. i tend to make my own moves but some days i just feel like running or biking more than others
2. i get very inspired by other bloggies in the food dept. however, i ALWAYS end up tweaking the recipe, can’t help it! :)

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Naomi(onefitfoodie) September 29, 2010 at 7:11 am

I have to say that I have NEVER had pumpkin oatmeal and by reading all of these blogs with peeps using pumpkin i just had to try it so I know if I will like it or not. I tried it this morning!! I do like it, not love and not obsessed but I am glad that I finally tried it!!!

I love looking at recipes in health magazines like womens health or oxygen and also DUH blogs! the peeps here are so freakin creative I love it!! for instance your turkey garbanzo bake is one of my FAVORITE dishes I had ever made from a blog…just sayin….

xoxo

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Talia @ Texas Gunslinger September 29, 2010 at 7:23 am

It’s so hard to name just one blog that I learn a lot from, but for brevity’s sake, I love April’s blog, Foods of April, and get lots of ideas for strength training workouts and nifty ideas for protein-packed, lower-carb recipes for building muscle and staying lean.

Also, Mrs. Janetha G, it was YOUR blog that I originally began reading (the first one ever!) that inspired me to do Body-for-Life and then to start my own blog. It’s been a while since I first e-mailed you for advice, but you were the catalyst in my decision to start a blog. Thanks so much for that!

Have a spectacular day! :)

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Shannon September 29, 2010 at 7:38 am

Mmm, how about your taco soup! it inspired some cornbread croutons :) need to play with my protein powder!!

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Freckled Foodie September 29, 2010 at 7:45 am

thanks for the shout out, doll! i love danica’s recipes too.

well, at least you know what you have to use in a recipe if you don’t want marshall to eat any! just throw in some protein powder or some fungus & you’ve gota meal all to yourself. lol. my boyfriend ALWAYS steals food off my plate. lol. anytime i want something to myself i just put onion or tomato in it. haha.

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LMG September 29, 2010 at 8:20 am

Um…I made your taco soup the other day – it is SO good and SO easy! My husband thanks you. :0)

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coffeeandthepaper September 29, 2010 at 8:34 am

Okay this is nothing that you posted about but HEYO I GOT A DROID! And I’m obsessed and now that I know that you have one I love you/it even more!

I love blogger recipes. They always seem to beat out cookbook ones.

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lisaou11 September 29, 2010 at 8:37 am

Thanks for being a copycat and taking my workout! I am glad you like it! I love it bc it involves fast sprinting, but also slower hard incline walking which is a killer as well.

And I think I’m going to copy you who copied Danica! THAT DOES LOOK GOOD! And the stats–wow!

I copy tons of people–you for workouts, I’ve copied some How Sweet Eat’s workouts and I have gotten recipes from just about everywhere!

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Danica September 29, 2010 at 9:14 am

You are so creative – I LOVE the Copycat title and I have to say everything you copycatted turned out pretty darn delicious looking. The thing that makes the Ziti so delicious low in calories is lean turkey, whole wheat pasta and lots of veggies that bulk it up. I am all about BIG portions for low calories :D

I agree with you – the leftovers are even better. I froze some and had it like a month later and it was just as delicious. Food for thought if you get tired of it before you can eat it all :)

I think I need to try those bars out – they sound so easy and completely delicious!

Maybe the workout too when I am done with Bootcamp and Jazzercise – my two upcoming favorite things!

Thanks again for the link love and the sweet comments ~ Love ya!!!

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Julia September 29, 2010 at 9:26 am

That ziti and those bars both looked fantastic!

I made a frittata the other day inspired by another blogger. I also have lots of other recipes I want to try, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

I love blogs for recipes, as well as epicurious.com and myrecipes.com. I enjoy cooking light, but I get frustrated with how many ingredients some of the recipes have. And of course I have a small collection of cookbooks that I turn to regularly.

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edenseats September 29, 2010 at 9:42 am

Ok, its time i confess….I look at blogs like yours for meal idea. Even as a trained chef, i sometimes get clueless as to what I should make myself to eat. A quick check at your “meals” tab, and I’m good to go. A lot of the time, i just try to be creative with what i have in the fridge, but i rarely use cookbooks. I just like looking at cookbooks…like as in the pictures.

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Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) September 29, 2010 at 10:15 am

I recently (Monday) did the fittnessista’s work out and really, really liked it. I have my own ‘home routine’ with free weights and ball, but it was so nice to do something totally different. I added in a few of my own moves, but it was so nice to just ‘do what she told me to’ and not have to thing about it. She even included links so you could see how to do the moves if you weren’t sure. She rocks!
http://fitnessista.com/2010/09/who-stopped-the-cardio-bus/comment-page-1/#comment-108668
The most recent and almost only recipe I have tried with out ANY tweeks recently was your pesto chicken bake and let me tell you, I was not dissappointed. I don’t have a link, but I really enjoyed that one!

I love cooking light magazine and blogs for recipe inspiration. I spend a lot of time reading and commenting on blogs and it tends to spill over in my cooking. It was one of the main reason’s I started readong blogs regularly… It was like I was part of a group of like minded women (thank you all!) who inspire me daily. When I’m acutally going to do some cooking though, it comes straight out of my head. For me, creating recipes is like art… I am such a food nerd. hehe.

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Clare@ Fitting It All In September 29, 2010 at 10:55 am

The most recent blog recipe I made was Beth T’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies. I got the recipe from Jenna’s blog and they had a great caramel flavor!
I also tried the refried beans on a baked sweet potato thing – liked it, but greek yogurt on top is more my style.

I get most of my recipe inspiration from blogs or from Cooking Light!

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julie September 29, 2010 at 12:12 pm

copying is the most sincerest form of flattery! atleast that what deejy always tells me haha. that ziti baked sounds FABULOUS but is it wrong that i hate all things lasagnay/ziti-like? i think its the weird sound. i feel the same way about mac n cheese haha

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Sweet Cheeks September 29, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I saved that ziti recipe and having drooled once I finished looking through the pictures. MUST make!!!

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Stacey Heald September 29, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I have to be a copycat, otherwise I would eat peanut butter and jelly for every meal. My cooking skills are seriously lacking. In fact, bought the ingredients for the mac and cheese you made yesterday. I am not going to tell my husband that it is anything other than what he’s used to (full fat, all cheese, butter and cream) and see what he says after he’s tried it.
Those oatmeal peanut butter bar may be next on my list!

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Bridget September 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Janetha, check this out: http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct-biz-mcdonalds-decay-sep29,0,7787508.story
Totally reminded me of your fast food post. Yuck! You are right — people need to make themselves more informed about what they are putting in their bodies!

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Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) September 29, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I love reading blogs simply because I get tons of fun ideas for delicious meals to try out! It’s awesome. The ziti and the bars look really good. I always look on blogs first for recipes.

I have a ton of things bookmarked to make. I’ve got to get on it!

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Elina (Healthy and Sane) September 29, 2010 at 3:26 pm

These meals (and workout!) look fantastic. I think bloggers are an amazing resource. I probably make more blogger recipes than other ones. I’ve saving these ones too :)
Hope you’re having a good week! :D

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Dana September 29, 2010 at 6:26 pm

1) I was inspired by Susan at the great balancing act to do Waffle Wednesday today on my blog (which you can find here: http://www.mylittlecelebration.com/?p=874). It was such a fun midweek idea and I plan to do it every week now.

2) My favorite places to find meal/workout inspirations is Women’s Health and Self magazine, iowagirleats.com, and tons of other blogs, including yours : )

Great post! I can’t wait to try my hand at those oatmeal chocolate chip bars. Yummy!

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BroccoliHut September 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Totally craving garlic bread now. Mmm.
1. I made oats in a jar this morning–blog-inspired all the way.
2. I love finding recipes on blogs or in magazines–I feel like they’re more accessible that way, as they usually have pictures:)

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runningaroundnormal September 29, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Erica’s bars look so amazing! I just don’t know that I’m ready to delve into peanut flour yet! I’m sure I could adjust, right? They look gooood though.
Thanks for the shout out girl:)

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Heather September 29, 2010 at 9:54 pm

I’ve recently made a lot of recipes from Allie’s blog at: http://www.livelaugheat.com/recipes/
I’m totally in love with her Banana Avocado Bread that I make into muffins. I have a bunch in the freezer cuz I got a little carried away with my own variations ;) And I’ve also started drinking Green Monsters!

I subscribe to the Food Network magazine and do a little dance at the mailbox each month when it arrives. But my go to for most meals is just a quick Google search. Most of the time what happens tho is that I can never find a recipe that I have all the ingredients for so I usually take a bit from a bunch of different ones and make it up as I go along!

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Susan October 1, 2010 at 10:49 am

Weellll I was recently inspired by YOU to make meat muffins! And I’m planning on making Madeline’s (Greens and Jeans) beer bread tonight for the upcoming project food blog challenge.

I get recipes from everywhere!!! Most recently I’ve been bad for tearing recipes out of the free newspapers I get on the subway. There’s a butternut squash chowder that is pretty high on my “to make” list right now that I got from a Metro paper. Some other current favourite are theppk.com, thepioneerwoman.com and tastykitchen.com. And of course, as always, my mom is an excellent recipe resource :)

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janetha October 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm

i <3 ppk and pw. i havent checked out tasty kitchen, great, just what i need. another recipe website. ;) excited to read your PFB entry!

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