Willpower Rest Day – Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac

Bacon & Blue Cheese MacI try to eat green and eat clean, but sometimes I need to give it a rest! And, now I have the science to prove that it’s okay to indulge in my Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac recipe every once in a while. A recent study says that our willpower is like a muscle, after use it becomes fatigued and is no longer able to perform at peak levels. After a lot of use, your needs to take a break, just like you need to recover after a hard run or workout!  The scientists studying decision making called it “self-regulation failure,” and people in the food and fitness world call it a “cheat day” when these decisions come to food – I don’t like those terms and am rebranding the idea a Willpower Rest Day!

 sauce for blue cheese mac

This pot of cheesy goodness is about to be poured onto noodles.

I first developed this rich and creamy recipe for macaroni and cheese for Litehouse Foods using blue cheese crumbles from their Simply Artisan Reserve line of cheese. It’s become famous with friends, family and readers of the Living Litehouse Blog. And, also beloved by the thousands of people who have sampled it at Fresh Summit in Atlanta and recently the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. I’m not trying to brag (oh, who am I kidding?!), but I’m heard exclamations like, “OMG, this is the BEST macaroni and cheese I’ve EVER eaten.”

BAco

Smoky, salty bacon complement bold blue cheese – there is a lot of umami action going on with this fancy mac and cheese. However, the flavors aren’t so over the top that the kids will be freaked out. However, maybe you WANT to keep them out of it (more for you) so just double up on the blue cheese! Have I convinced you to give your willpower a rest day and make up a batch of this delicious baked macaroni and cheese recipe?  This baked pasta recipe can even be made ahead and then popped into the oven an hour before serving.

Bacon and Blue Cheese Mac

 

Also, check out these macaroni and cheese making tips from from Cooking Light — everything you need to know to satisfy your mac madness!

What is your favorite comfort food? Do you rest your willpower every now and then? Fan of blue cheese? Please share in the comments below, XOXO — Jennifer 

Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac
Willp
Print Recipe
Treat yourself to this rich and creamy baked macaroni and cheese made with blue cheese and bacon -- delicious as a side dish to steak, a casserole for your pot luck or just straight out of the dish.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac
Willp
Print Recipe
Treat yourself to this rich and creamy baked macaroni and cheese made with blue cheese and bacon -- delicious as a side dish to steak, a casserole for your pot luck or just straight out of the dish.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Bring water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions, but shaving 1-2 minutes off of the cooking time to keep al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. When butter begins to sizzle, quickly add flour and whisk constantly until roux is golden, about 2 minutes.
  4. Pour in milk and whisk constantly, stirring until the mixture slightly thickens.
  5. Reduce heat to low and add in white cheddar and blue cheese a couple handfuls at a time until cheese melts and sauce is thickened.
  6. Stir in Blue Cheese Dressing. Stir in Instantly Fresh chives and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add cooked pasta to baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over top, tossing to coat all the noodles.
  8. Cover top in panko bread crumb mixture.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is golden and crunchy and sauce is bubbling. Top with crumbled bacon
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Life of Party! 5-min Blue Cheese and Orange Gingersnap Appetizer

Blue Cheese & Orange Gingersnap BitesInvited to a holiday party, you dutifully ask “can I bring anything,” fully assuming the host will not want you to risk ruining her celebratory spread of nibbles and noshes. But this time (gasp) you to “it would be so lovely for you to bring an appetizer or dessert . . . if it isn’t too much trouble.” 

sweet treat personalityYou’re thinking –

“It really IS too much trouble, why’d I have to open my big mouth.”

 

 

 

As I see it, you have several options to this potluck-ish predicament. First, you could skip the party and save yourself the trouble. Second, you could show up empty-handed and blame it on the dog or dropping your dish on the way to the car. Third, you could attempt a fancy recipe seen in a gourmet cookbook and spend precious free-time hours in the kitchen with no guarantees of the results. Fourth, you could grab anything left on the store shelf like a bag of chips and onion dip and end up looking like an uninspired slacker. Or, fifth, and the obvious winning choice – make this proven to be insanely delicious app in a snap  — Gingersnap Blue Cheese & Orange Bites.

Gingersnap Blue Cheese Orange Bites

So many things to love about Gingersnap Blue Cheese & Orange Bites – the taste is insane with “pows” of sweet, spicy, pungent, salty and zesty citrus tastes with every bite. You also get pretty much every texture in the textbook too – crunchy, smooth, juicy and chewy. But, drum roll, one of the most amazing things about this appetizer recipe with a complex flavor profile yet simple presentation is that it can be made in 5 minutes or less. You don’t need a culinary school certificate to make this easy and elegant appetizer recipe — in fact, you don’t even need to know how to cook!

I originally made this hors d’oeuvre recipe for Litehouse Food as a way to feature their deliciously rich and creamy Artisan Reserve Center Cut Blue Cheese.

cooking light appetizer gallerLooking for more quick, easy and healthy nibbles for your party? Check out Cooking Light’s gallery of Top Rated Party Appetizers!

What is your favorite 5 minute appetizer? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

 

 

Gingersnap Blue Cheese Orange Bites
Blue Cheese and Orange Gingersnap Bites
Print Recipe
Razzle dazzle holiday guests with this 5 minute appetizer that mixes and mingles orange segments, blue cheese, honey and crunchy ginger cookies into a festive flavor experience worth celebrating any time of the year.
Servings Prep Time
36 appetizers 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
36 appetizers 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Gingersnap Blue Cheese Orange Bites
Blue Cheese and Orange Gingersnap Bites
Print Recipe
Razzle dazzle holiday guests with this 5 minute appetizer that mixes and mingles orange segments, blue cheese, honey and crunchy ginger cookies into a festive flavor experience worth celebrating any time of the year.
Servings Prep Time
36 appetizers 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
36 appetizers 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: appetizers
Instructions
  1. Lay gingersnaps out on serving platter. Top each with an orange slice and chunk of blue cheese. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with mint.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Pomegranate, Blue Cheese and Quinoa Caviar – Easy & Elegant Holiday Appetizer

Blue Cheese Pomegranate and Quinoa CaviarNow that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to refocus on the remaining festival of eating that spans now through the New Year!  There is more noshing and nibbling packed into the next 30 days than perhaps in the whole calendar year! With invited (and quite possible uninvited guests) dropping by with holiday cheer and hungry appetites, I like to have a few simple yet show-stopping appetizer recipes at my fingertips so that no one is disappointed.

Pomegranate Blue Cheese Quinoa Caviar is an easy and elegant appetizer for your next party or celebration. Leftovers are delicious sprinkled on a salad.

Blue Cheese Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar

My recipe for Blue Cheese, Pomegranate and Quinoa “Caviar” is an easy yet elegant addition to any gathering, whether you need sophisticated snacks to headline a cocktail party or as a prelude to a full-scale dinner party. Or, perhaps as an “I’m not cooking tonight” mini meal to enjoy with a bottle of wine in your fuzzy slippers after everyone heads home!

jennifer fisher pomegranate fresh summitOne of the treasures of this holiday hors d’oeuvres recipe is pomegranates. Pomegranates on their own are a quite festive fruit, the little arils inside resemble ruby-red jewels and taste decidedly more precious. When paired with a pleasingly pungent blue cheese and the almost nutty texture and taste of quinoa, you get a taste experience that I can describe no other way than Manheim steamroller for your Mouth – a modern orchestra of fa-la-la flavor!

Blue Cheese Pomegranate and Quinoa CaviarWhile this holiday appetizer looks like it spent all day getting ready for a food glamour shot, it’s actually embarrassingly easy to make. All the ingredients are just tossed together in a bowl and then molded into a standard 6-ounce ramekin dish. If you’d like to do individual servings, mold with a mini melon baller or cookie dough scoop.

I’ve served this Christmas and New Year’s Eve party recipe on one of my favorite cracker; the nearly paper-thin wafers from 34º Crisps.  However, you can use the cracker of your choice or even serve a dollop atop an apple or pear slice.

Blue Cheese Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar on Steak Salad

If you have leftovers, a big spoonful or two of Blue Cheese, Pomegranate and Quinoa “Caviar” is fantastic on a steak salad – especially with the Pomegranate Blueberry Vinaigrette. Enjoy!

 

Make a a quick and healthy appetizer platter with these 10 Easy and Elegant Ways to Top Crackers.PS – Need some other easy cracker-topping ideas? I’m your girl, I have a gazillion combinations of goodness. Here is just a sampling of my madness — 10 Easy and Elegant Ways to Top a Cracker.

So, what are your favorite things to put on a cracker? See if you can surprise me! Share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Blue Cheese Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar
Pomegranate, Blue Cheese and Quinoa Caviar
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 appetizer servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 appetizer servings 10 minutes
Blue Cheese Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar
Pomegranate, Blue Cheese and Quinoa Caviar
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 appetizer servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 appetizer servings 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: appetizer servings
Instructions
  1. Add blue cheese crumbles, cooked quinoa, pomegranate arils and vinegar into small bowl, stir gently to combine.
  2. Transfer to 6-ounce ramekin dish and use back of spoon to tightly pack down.
  3. Place serving plate on top of ramekin and quickly invert.
  4. Carefully lift up ramekin, leaving mixture in mold form.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme and walnuts along with reserved pomegranate arils.
  6. Serve with crackers, apple slices or on a salad.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Olive You! Easy Holiday Recipes and Entertaining Inspiration

As the holidays approach, I think fondly of all those who are near and dear – and also my loved ones further away. And, of course, the readers of my blog and friends and supporters on social media are on my mind and heart, what would I do without you all! I just want to let you know that it would be the total PITS without you . . .  OLIVE YOU! Because OLIVE YOU so much (bear with the puns please), I’m sharing some of my favorite ways to use olives in holiday recipes.

Olive You

First, it’s cocktail hour. Might I suggest skewering up a salty olive to complement a sweet drink – you’d be surprised at how well the combination goes. Because I fall on my face easily enough sober, I typically limit myself to ½ a drink. With just one “mini” drink, I can still wake up refreshed for the fiercest workouts and morning to-do lists, but can still enjoy a little taste of fa-la-la libations.

Cranberry Martini with Mezzetta Olive

Here, I’ve added a Mezzetta Olive to a Mini Cranberry Martini – it’s a tablespoon each of vodka and cranberry juice along with a splash of lime juice – and cranberries for garnish.

Mezzetta Olives for a Cheese Board

Holiday Olive TrayNo cocktail party would be complete without an olive tray and cheese board filled with delicious noshes –  olives, aged cheeses, seasonal fruit, artisan crackers and an array of almonds. It’s simple yet sophisticated as a focal “snack” for your festivities and also makes a lovely prelude to any holiday meal and creates an abundance of Mezzetta Memories.

 

Pasta with Blue Cheese OlivesSpeaking of holiday meals, think of all those busy-night dinners leading up to and after the BIG DAY where a huge roast or bird isn’t on the menu – yet you have a house full of folks who have worked up quite the appetite shopping, wrapping, visiting, caroling, baking or being on hall-decking detail. My recipe for Pasta with Blue Cheese Olives is the easiest, most amazing holiday meal that comes together practically in the wink of an eye – or as long as it takes to cook pasta al dente. If you’re making it after Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanza or whatever your holiday celebration may be, feel free to toss in any leftover main course protein such as beef tenderloin, pork roast or turkey breast!

Pasta with Blue Cheese Olives Recipe

  • 8 ounces uncoooked whole grain pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Mezzetta Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 12 ounces pre-cooked protein leftovers, like chicken, turkey, roast beef
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat up olive oil in large skillet and saute garlic and red pepper flakes for approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add olives and tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes until warmed.
  4. Toss with noodles optional protein leftovers (warmed) and a little extra olive oil, if needed. Season with salt to taste. Stir in blue cheese while still warm.
  5. Serves 4.

 

 

 

Pasta with Mezetta Blue Cheese OlivesBeing able to make a speedy yet special recipe like Pasta with Blue Cheese Olives which uses extraordinary ingredients I wouldn’t necessarily use every day (including gourmet olives, bold blue cheese and sun-dried tomatoes) frees up my time to make more meaningful Christmas memories with family and friends that will last a lifetime. Plus, I appreciate the fact that Mezzetta, a fourth generation family-owned company, also values holiday tradition, family and providing the highest quality olives available from the sun-drenched soils of California, Italy, Spain, France, and Greece. I like to keep quite a few varieties of Mezzetta olives stocked in my pantry for impromptu salads, pizzas, pastas, snacks and more — inspiration is just a twist away!

Mezzetta MemoriesPlease visit Mezzetta to find daily inspiration and enter the Holiday Memories Sweepstakes for a chance to win the holiday memories sharing pack. One winner will receive an Instant Print Digital Camera plus an Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket and ten others will receive the Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket – I have one, it’s fabulous! Expires Dec. 31, 2015 – enter here.

What are your favorite holiday memories that involve gathering friends and family around good food? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Jalapeno Havarti Cheese Bombs + Movie Night Entertaining #UnlockYourChef

I don’t know if I’m swooning more over creamy, velvety Castello cheese or the new Bradley Cooper movie, Burnt, that opened in theaters nationwide on October 30th. Which would you prefer, a hunk of Havarti or a sizzling hot chef?  I say YES to both!  Oh, and in addition to the movie night entertaining fun, there’s also a fabulous sweepstakes to enter – read to the bottom for details.

Bradley Cooper in Burnt

Castello® cheese is ready to “Unlock Your Inner Chef” and help you make everyday occasions delicious, indulgent and special. Bradly Cooper can do that too, but I think it will be easier to get your hands on Castello® cheese – it’s available in the fine cheese section of a variety of retailers nationwide.  Making cheese since 1893, Castello brings both innovation and tradition to the art of cheese making – Havarti, Blue cheese and Crème cheese are their specialty.

Castello Havarti with Jalapeno Cheese

Plan to go see Burnt movie on your next girl’s night out, that way you can drool at all the yumminess (and I don’t just mean food) without offending your date. In the meantime, I created a delicious appetizer recipe that will heat up your movie night entertaining at home – Jalapeno Havarti Cheese Bombs.

Jalapeno Havarti Cheese Bombs

close up gavartiThis recipe uses the Havarti with Jalapeno Castello® cheese. The mild, butter taste of Havarti is kicked up with spicy jalapenos and is yummy served on a cheese board in cubes or ooey-gooey and marvelously melty in my easy appetizer recipe.

 

The Jalapeno Havarti Cheese Bombs are super simple to make and take only five minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to bake.  Basically, by the time your “coming attraction” previews are over, these melted cheese stuffed rolls are ready to serve.

Jalapeno Havarti Bombs

Jalapeno Havarti Cheese Bombs Recipe

  • 6 ounces (approximately) Havarti with Jalapeno Castello® cheese, cut into 10 cubes
  • 1 can refrigerator biscuits, 10 per package (regular size, not “grand” size)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fine in a food processor or mini-chopper
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 10 jalapeno slices

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.
  2. Slightly flatten each biscuit with fingers. Place a cheese cube in the middle and wrap the biscuit dough around the cube, sealing the edges. Roll between palms to make uniform ball shape. Repeat with remaining cheese and biscuits.
  3. Roll the cheese wrapped dough with your hands to make a ball shape. Complete this step with all the dough and cheese before going on to the next step.
  4. In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave, approximately 20 seconds. Set aside.
  5. In another small bowl, combine the crushed tortilla chips, Parmesan and dried cilantro.
  6. Roll each cheese bomb in butter and then roll or dip in the crumb mixture
  7. Place each cheese bomb on the baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. Lightly press a jalapeno ring into the top of each
  8. Bake on the center rack for 14 to 16 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  9. Makes 10.

Castello and Burnt SweepstatkesVisit the Castello & Burnt site for more delicious inspiration and recipe ideas inspired by the film Burnt — and also to enter the Unlock Your Inner Chef sweepstakes for a chance to win great prizes. Prizes include a private cooking class for two and a year’s worth of Castello cheese.

So, what is your favorite thing to snack on during movie night at home? Who is your favorite hunky, heart throb actor? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Steak, Fig and Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate VinaigretteLooking for an easy yet elegant salad — a gorgeous plate of early fall flavors that will have co-workers peeking over the cubicle or neighbors knowing at the door? My Steak Salad with Fig, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette will have you running to the grill for some last minute steak-making before Jack Frost rears his ugly head. Honestly, in Austin, the fall is the BEST time of year for grilling!

Jennifer Fisher Vim & Vigr AmbassadorAnd, time to break out the compression socks, finally!

Check out my favorite brand, Vim & Vigr — I’m an ambassador for this fun, quirky and super stylish sock company!  Their Instagram profile also equally energizing!

Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

This salad features top sirloin steak, a lean cut of beef that packs a great nutritional punch for athletes and active individuals with only about 150 calories and 6.5 grams fat for a 3 ounce serving plus 26 grams protein and lots of iron and other essential vitamins and minerals. The beauty of sirloin is it’s versatility, convenience and (duh) taste – it’s a weekday AND weekend go-to for me. Because sirloin is already a fairly tender cut, there is no need to marinade except to add flavor — my simple pomegranate marinade adds a slightly sweet, super delish dose of that!  But, if you are rushed and need to skip marinating, the recipe will still be yummy.

Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Figs have been so great lately, you may want to make a few more fig recipes before the season is over. Check out the 5 Ways with Fresh Figs from the Simmer and Boil blog at CookingLight.com figs with prosciutto

What is your take on fresh figs, love ’em or hate ’em?  What are you doing this weekend, anyone have a race? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Steak, Fig and Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Enjoy the ripe, rich fruits of fall on a delicious steak salad that is kicked up with the aged tang of blue cheese and salty Spanish Almonds.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 25 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 25 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Steak, Fig and Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Enjoy the ripe, rich fruits of fall on a delicious steak salad that is kicked up with the aged tang of blue cheese and salty Spanish Almonds.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 25 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 25 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
For Marinade and Steak:
For Dressing
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add pomegranate juice, oil, molasses, vinegar, pepper, salt, and thyme to non-reactive boil and whisk together until ingredients are incorporated. Pour into heavy-duty zip-top bag and add sirloin steak(s). Seal top and gently toss a few times to coat meat. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 6 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare vinaigrette by simmering the pomegranate juice in non-reactive saucepan until reduced to 1/3 cup, approximately 9 or 10 minutes. Remove from heat. While still warm, stir in the honey, salt, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil; set aside to cool.
  3. When ready to prepare steaks, heat grill to 400 F degrees. Drain and discard marinade from steaks. Grill steaks for approximately 5 minutes per side, flipping once. Remove from grill when instant read thermometer reaches 135 F degrees when inserted at thickest part of meat. Let rest for at least 5 minutes while prepping salads. To prepare salad, divide spring mix evenly among four plates. Top with halved figs, pomegranate arils, almonds and blue cheese crumbles. Slice steak thinly across grain and top each salad with 3 to 4 ounces of beef. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve immediately.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Beef & Blue Cheese Mushroom Buttons & Burpees

With the Big Game this Sunday, there is guaranteed to be some snacking going on ‘round these parts. The kids always insist on a big bucket of popcorn and a bag of M&Ms – oh, don’t act like you don’t know how awesome it is to mix the two together. My recipe for honey caramel almond popcorn also satisfies that craving for salty-sweet goodness in a healthier way.

paleo beef stuffed mushrooms

The grown-ups are going to want something a little more substantial to snack on, shall we say . . . . something beefy? A beef and blue cheese stuffed mushroom recipe from my peeps at Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner is the inspiration for one of our Super Bowl snacks – these little babies are delicious and bursting with umami flavor thanks to the lean ground beef and robust blue cheese. The only swap I have made is to replace the whole-wheat bread crumbs with almond meal thus transforming them into gluten-free, Paleo-friendly (for those who do some dairy) finger foods. If you’re worried about having more than one of these delicious little buttons; don’t fret — they are surprisingly low in calories and fat.  Click here for the nutrition guidelines (doesn’t take into account I swapped out the bread crumbs for almond meal).

beef and blue cheese stuffed mushroom ingredients

thefitfork beef bluecheese mushroom single

Beef & Blue Cheese Mushroom Buttons Recipe (Gluten-Free & Paleo-Friendly)

  • 1/2 pound Ground Beef, 93% lean or better
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 36 to 40 small button or cremini mushrooms (about 1-1/2 to 2-inch diameter)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (for brushing)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 3 tablespoons minced chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon steak seasoning blend
  • Minced fresh chives (optional)

cooking beef stuffed mushroom recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove and reserve stems from mushrooms. Brush mushroom caps with olive oil and season with salt; set aside. Mince stems to yield 1/2 cup; discard remaining stems.
  2. Combine Ground Beef, minced stems, blue cheese, bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons chives and steak seasoning. Spoon beef mixture evenly into mushrooms.
  3. Place stuffed mushrooms on rack in broiler pan. Bake in 375°F oven 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with additional chives, if desired.

 

Clapping Push-up Burpees

Clapping Push-up Burpees

Okay, now that I’ve lured you in with the food, it’s time to talk BURPEES.  Even if you hate burpees, you have to love what they do for you – this exercise works every muscle group you’ve got and gives you a cardio workout to boot. Sometimes, if I’m stuck in a hotel or the weather is too bad to even get to the gym and treadmill, I’ll just knock out some burpees instead of a run. I think I get more wiped out doing the burpees! Just when I think I’m getting bored of burpees, I find a new variation to liven things up — push-up burpee, lateral box jump burpee, high tuck jump burpee, burpee to pull-up, and on and on!

Fitfluential burpee challenge

Check out the 1000 Burpee Challenge through Fitfluential. You could be in the running to win a great prize from Under Armour if you show your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #FFBurpee.  I’m committing to 50 a day for 20 days. Today, I made it through 50 clapping push-up burpees, it was fun — am I weird?  Maybe, but my friend Valerie definitely is- this is what happens if you go on a trip with her — BURPEES ON THE AIRPLANE!

burpees in aisle of plane

Burpees on a plane! This really happened!

A Real Breakfast! Artichoke & Spinach Blue Cheese Baked Eggs

This year I plan to start off every morning (okay, most mornings) with a healthy breakfast served on a real plate. I usually stay up too late and always wake up before dawn, making me so groggy and disoriented that the best I can often do for sustenance is a grab a protein bar or slurp a smoothie. While protein bars and smoothies are actually quite nutritious options for grab-and-go fuel, I aspire to slow down enough in the morning to actually have a conversation with the kids, give some attention to the dog, tune into current events (what year is this?) and enjoy a morning meal with all my senses. Then, after being properly fed, I can hit my errands, workouts and to-do list hard!

outdoor WOD

Pretty sure some eggs were eaten before (and maybe after) this workout at Ladybird Lake!

The incredible, edible egg is always one of my top choices in real breakfast food. Even on the busiest weekday mornings, it really doesn’t take that long to whip up a quick scramble or even microwave a 1-minute ramekin omelet.  With just a little planning on Sunday night, a big breakfast casserole can be baked ahead and portioned out for the rest of the week. I plan to be a better planner – I promise!

Blue Cheese artichoke spinach eggs

This is a gorgeous recipe for Blue Cheese & Artichoke Baked Eggs I created for the blog at Lighthouse Foods. Typically baked eggs are doused in heavy cream before sitting in the oven, but I reduced the fat in this type of egg dish by using the company’s OPA Blue Cheese Greek Yogurt Dressing which is, not surprisingly, light, tangy and healthy! Served in individual gratin dishes, this healthy egg recipe is elegant enough to serve to company. Please visit the Living Litehouse blog for more gorgeous photos, but today I’m going to treat you to the full recipe right here, right now!

Blue Cheese & Artichoke Baked Eggs Recipe

  • Baking spray
  • 3 to 4 ounces washed baby spinach
  • ½ cup Litehouse Food’s OPA Blue Cheese Dressing (so good!)
  • 2 Tbsp diced red onion
  • 1 Tbsp sipped fresh chives
  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 1 (7.5 oz) jar of quartered marinated artichoke hearts
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 oz blue cheese crumbles

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Lightly spray 4 ramekins or 2 gratin dishes with baking spray. Divide spinach evenly among dishes.

3. Drizzle even portions of blue cheese salad dressing over spinach and sprinkle with red onion.

4. Slice grape tomatoes in half and drain liquid from jar of artichoke hearts. Place tomatoes and artichokes around perimeter of dishes.

5. Gently crack egg over top of spinach mixture, taking care not to break yolk. Repeat for remaining 3 ramekins. If using 2 larger gratin dishes, use 2 eggs per container. Sprinkle tops with chives.

6. Place dishes on a rimmed baking sheet and place on center rack of oven. Back for approximately 20 minutes or until egg whites have set and yolk has achieved desired level of doneness.

7. Remove from oven and sprinkle tops with an even portion of blue cheese crumbles. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

 

egg skilled with beef eggs potatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My “Top of the Sirloin” Steak, Sweet Potato and Breakfast Bake is a proven winner, especially with my Paleo pals who can’t seem to get enough! I love how cheerful the sunny-side up eggs look atop this dish which is sautéed, baked and served in a country cast iron skillet.

thefitfork turkey spinach egg sandwich

Why not ditch the drive-thru and make your own yummy sunrise sandwich at home? My Spinach, Turkey & Egg Breakfast Sandwich offers loads of nutrient dense ingredients. Cook up the egg anyway you like – scrambled, poached, fried or in the handy-dandy Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich maker!

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com steak egg avocado sandwich

Oh, and I can’t forget the Steak, Egg & Avocado Breakfast Sandwich – the day will be a win-win-win thanks to these three powerhouse ingredients.