Quinoa Burger FAIL


I like that my husband gets excited when I try new recipes, but I especially love it when he doesn’t complain when it doesn’t turn out like we had planned. Tonight’s dinner was inspired by recipe posted by my friend at Follow the High Line Home.

First of all I have to admit that I am horrible at following recipes when I cook. I only follow them closely when I bake because things can go south quickly otherwise. But when I cook I like to just make things up as I go. Still wondering why the word FAIL is in the title of tonight’s post?

Tonight I mixed up the following…

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • cilantro (just a few leaves, if that is what they are indeed called.)
  • 1 light string cheese stick (pulled apart)
  • 2 cans of pink salmon
  • 2 eggs
  • garlic salt (I usually stop adding when I think, “Oh no, I definitely over did it.”)

After mixing it all together Justin made patties. They were a little bigger than they probably should have been, but we proceeded. The patties were placed in a frying pan with a little garlic extra virgin olive oil. Side note: We are so happy the Stillwater Olive Oil Company opened up a store in White Bear Lake!



After letting them cook for 5-6 minutes we tried to flip them. It was a no go. We let them cook a bit longer and during our second try they started to fall apart. Eek! After a couple of attempts I decided it was time to just forget about them being in a “burger” shape and mixed it all together.

I also decided to bake the remaining patties. I put them in a muffin tin to ensure they stayed together. They basically are a larger version of one of my favorite snacks, Quinoa Bites.


And while those baked at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, I served my husband what turned out to be the best salmon fried rice quinoa ever!


It was so dang tasty that I don’t think I will ever feel the need to indulge in the real (unhealthy) deal again. We enjoyed it with a side of broccoli and peas. Justin said it was really good, but then added that he doesn’t think he is a broccoli kind of a guy. Hey, at least he had a couple of bites of a green veggie tonight!

All-in-all tonight’s fail ended up turning into something that more than likely will become a staple in our house.

Have you ever tried to make something that didn’t turnout right but was still amazing anyway?



He Who Never

It is going to be a long, icy commute into Minneapolis this morning, but I couldn’t ask for anything better to listen to on the way in. I woke up this morning to find a notification that He Who Never released his EP, Timing.


I quickly previewed it, while still cuddled up in bed, and it immediately gave me chills. And it wasn’t from the freezing rain that came down all night either. It is truly beautiful music from a very talented musician.

If you love supporting local artists and appreciate someone who writes and performs his own work,  I highly recommend checking out He Who Never. The EP also includes other local artists like Metasota and He Who Never’s older brother, Craig, who plays drums on the song, Pardon.

I would say this even if  he wasn’t a good family friend who I have known since his birth. Our parents may be besties, but this is kid is talented and awesome. I promise.

He Who Never’s Official Store: http://bit.ly/VkhcM5                                                            He Who Never on iTunes: http://bit.ly/125RzWx                                                                           And for all you cool Spotify users: http://spoti.fi/XbGZY1

Check it out, and let me know what you think!


Tonight was our first weigh in since starting a weight-loss challenge a week ago.  After receiving the results of our initial scan last week it felt like I was kicked in the gut and slapped across the face.  I think I have always been good at making excuses, but seeing the numbers and having someone explain to me what they mean really put things into perspective. If I didn’t change my habits, it could mean some serious health problems in the future.

It has also been something I have always worried about with my Mom as well. I am an anxious person in general, and my sister-in-law describes me as her “hypochondriac sister-in-law,” so naturally I have a lot more worry than the average person my age. Which means I often think of the health of my aging parents. (Sorry Mom, it’s true!) The news often reports people dying during normal, every day activities like shoveling snow (maybe not everyday, but you get the snowdrift),  due to heart attack or some other health related issue. And frankly, I often find myself calling my parents and checking up on them. Asking them what they ate for dinner and how much they’ve been moving. Man, that must be annoying, but hopefully a little charming too. 🙂

So this week my Mom and I checked in with each other each day to make sure we remained on track. We taunted each other a bit, “Hey, 49 year old daughter.” But most of all we encouraged each other. And luckily, the hard work paid off for week number one! And unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of us tonight. Bad blogger! So, I have to use older ones tonight.

Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 9.29.37 PMScreen shot 2013-01-28 at 9.36.42 PM

Not too bad for our first week. Now, we just have to keep the momentum going!!!

Gone Girl

After last month’s embarrassing book club fiasco, I made it a point to be better at book club. You could say it is a New Year’s Resolution of mine. Luckily the book for January, Gone Girl, was a breeze to get through. When our book club finally met last night, it felt like weeks had gone by since I’d finished the book. And typically I am frantically trying to finish it an hour before we meet. It was a nice change of pace.

There were mixed reviews between the women in my club. Some of the women really didn’t like it, while others enjoyed the read. The biggest complaint wasn’t writing style or anything like that. It was the fact that most of the characters, if not all, were not likable in their eyes. Therefore, they had trouble reading it. I don’t want to go into too much detail, just in case you plan on reading it, but most of the characters are manipulative and everything most people don’t like about the human race.


I agree that there were definitely times I wanted to crawl into the book and smack some of the characters. However, I still enjoyed it overall. It was a very quick story and it kept me engaged. The author wrote the story switching narrators every other chapter. It alternates between Nick, the husband and Amy, the wife. I prefer that writing style only because it makes me want to keep reading to find out what happens in the next chapter devoted to that character.

I am not typically into mystery novels, which Gone Girl is. I never felt like it was too scary or gruesome though. I felt more uneasy when we were reading, The Devil in the White City. The only thing I could have done without, which a couple of the other ladies mentioned as well, was some of the obscene and crude language used by the character, Amy. It wasn’t over the top, but it did occur more often than I prefer, and it didn’t seem to add to the story. It was just there.

I would definitely recommend the book if you are interested in reading a mystery/thriller. It kept me guessing and it wasn’t nearly as predictable as some other novels I have read. Just be prepared to not like a lot of the characters. 🙂

Next up…For Her Own Good, by Barbara Ehrenreich. I have already heard it is a very heavy read and the likelihood of me finishing it cover to cover prior to our next meeting is slim. Here goes nothing!



Tonight was our first meeting for the weight-loss challenge my Mom and I signed up for. We were both surprised to see a lot more people there than we expected. It instantly freaked my Mom out. She said, “If there are a lot of people there I am not going.” So I reminded her that everyone is in this together, and they will provide the motivation we need to get this lifestyle change started. She quickly replied, “I don’t need any more motivation!” Then, I kindly reminded her that if we didn’t need any motivation we wouldn’t be signing up for a weight-loss challenge. 🙂

There were a couple of men there who are nutrition coaches, but all of the participants are women. We are starting the challenge a week late, but we aren’t the only ones. We were welcomed and it didn’t even feel like we were “behind.”

Eager to Make a Lifestyle Change!
Eager to Make a Lifestyle Change!

We received our starter packet that included a questionnaire. It was about our food consumption, ie: How much pop do you drink? Do you eat more whole grains instead of white bread, white rice, etc. Needless to say it pointed out a lot of nutritional faults I have. Like the fact that I LOVE white rice. I have been slowly trying to phase it out for quite some time, but it is just so darn good.

After going over the questionnaire as a group we discussed carbohydrates. The good and the bad. It is always a good reminder to hear about how you can balance your carbs, and which ones you need for energy and which ones instantly turn into sugar.

After the class my Mom and I had to do our baselines. This includes a body scan that provides you with things like your basal metabolic rate, your body fat %, how much of your weight is water and muscle, and probably the one thing that shocked me the most, the age at which your body is given your stats. We also took measurements of my chest, waist, hips, right arm and right thigh.

First Night of the Challenge!

At the end of the challenge the top three people who lose the largest percentage of their body weight wins a cash prize. There is also a prize for the person who loses the most inches that doesn’t make it into the top three.

And like I mentioned before, the number that shocked me the most was the “age” of my body. It came out to be 49! Seriously, 49?! Now, if that doesn’t freak you out, given the fact that my body is actually only 27, I don’t know what will. My Mom’s number also didn’t equal her age. Not even close. So we left knowing that we had a lot of work to do, but we also left with the motivation that we need to carry us through the next seven weeks.


Hey Girl…

Tonight my Mom and I start an eight week weight-loss challenge. Technically, we are starting a week late, so it is a seven week weight loss challenge for us. (Justin hates it when I say technically, but I can seem to stop!) It is something we both need to do and of course it is a lot more fun to do with a partner. We will be able to hold each other accountable and hopefully reach whatever goal we set our sights on for this seven week challenge.

Nutrition Revolution, a nutrition club in Stillwater, focuses on HerbaLife products. They are hosting the weight-loss challenge and we meet every Monday to learn about the importance of exercise, portion control and proper nutrition (with and without their supplements.)

My Mom and I hope this will help us stay on task and motivate us to get our bums in gear, and smaller. Plus, I recently started an in-home workout program called, TurboFire. I think the nutritional side will complement it well. I will blog about our journey (provided my Mom agrees to this!) and share our ups and downs, but most of all our progress and achievements!

And to get the party started, here is a, “Hey Girl…” made just for me.