Too much of a good thing? plus Beef Goulash

Hello, hello!

Okay, okay, you had to see it coming. 🙂

Have you seen those AT&T commercials? Of course you have! Unless, of course, you live under a rock. You don’t live under a rock, do you? And, if you do and you’re still reading this, I’m impressed! And, thanks for stopping by!

Anyway, the AT&T commercials. LOVE. THEM. We actually rewind them to watch them over and over, especially if it’s a new one. Oh my gosh, they are so hilarious! This one is probably our favorite.

Hahahahaha! Hilarious.

Okay, I know you didn’t come here to watch commercials. I’m done. Really.

So, I read an interesting article yesterday from Women’s Health Magazine called 25 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight. And, they’re good reasons, too!

For example, skipping breakfast is a total no-no. The saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” didn’t come from nowhere, you know! You need breakfast to jump-start your metabolism. Don’t have time for breakfast? Plan ahead! Make overnight refrigerator oatmeal or make a peanut butter and banana sandwich or by some of those Jimmy Dean delights sandwiches. Do something! Just make sure you include protein and fiber to give you energy and help fill you up. This will help prevent you from being SUPER hungry at lunch/dinner time and overeating. Really! You just have to trust me.

Another interesting one is not getting enough sleep. How on earth can sleep affect your weight?! Well, apparently, get too little and you’re going to be hungry. And, if you’re tired, you might reach for sugary things to give you that “boost” which ultimately comes with a crash later. Just not worth it. Plus, you won’t have the energy to get through your workout! I usually hit the sack around 8:30 – early, I know! – and I’m up at 3:30ish each morning. I’m a total morning workout person. LOVE it! But, that gives me about 7 hours and, with usually one bathroom trip in the middle of the night, I get between 6 – 6 1/2 hours each night. That may not be enough for you and I have been known to turn in at 8:00 to get a little more but it works for me. You need to listen to your body and be your own judge. If you find yourself reaching for a Snickers bar at 2:00pm to prevent an afternoon nap at your desk, you might need to get a little extra sleep. And, you should pack healthy snacks for your afternoon hunger monster – veggies and hummus, celery and peanut butter, apple and peanut butter, yogurt and granola, you know…YUMMY stuff! 🙂

The first reason on their list is overeating healthy foods. Wait? There’s such a thing as too much of a good thing?! Unfair, right! You know what my downfall is? Nut butters. Oh. Em. Gee. I love me some nut butters. Peanut, almond, cashew – I dream about them sometimes. And, they’re good for you! Right?

Well, so long as you buy the natural kind without all that extra added sugar and nonsense. Seriously, if you are still buying Jiff or Skippy, I highly recommend you try a peanut butter or almond butter that only has peanuts or almonds in it – no palm fruit oil, no sugars, no hydrogenated vegetable oils. The flavor is out of this world YUM! Anyway, I love them. I put a spoonful in my pre-CrossFit protein shake, I put it in my oatmeal (both refrigerator and regular), I eat it on waffles, pancakes, toast, with apples, bananas, celery … a spoon.

When you were a kid, did your mom (or dad) ever tell you that if you ate too much of something, you were going to turn into it? I waited and waited and waited for my sister to turn into a green pepper. Never happened. Talk about disappointing! How cool would that have been to have a “change-o” machine?!? Then, I could have been like “here’s my green pepper sister!” Oh. Nope. Not as cool as a puppy brother.

I wonder what life would be like if I turned into a nut butter? I wonder which nut I would be?!

So, made this in the crockpot yesterday. Was delicious to come home to after a tough afternoon CrossFit workout. I love it when dinner cooks itself and all I have to do is eat it. Now, if only it would clean up after itself. Then, life would be perfect.


Beef Goulash
makes 8 servings

1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 cups diced peeled baking potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika (I used smoked but you could use regular if you can’t find sweet)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) can double-strength beef broth (I used beef stock)


1. Combine flour and beef in slow cooker; toss well to coat. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

2. Grab a bowl and gobble it down. Om nom nom!

Calories 304; Fat 8.3g (sat 3g, mono 3.4g, poly 0.4g); Protein 25.4g; Carbs 31.3g; Fiber 3.2g; Cholesterol 72mg; Iron 3.5mg; Sodium 744mg

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, March 2006


1. What’s your favorite commercial? Do you have one? Do you live under a rock?

2. How many hours of sleep do you get?

3. What are you in danger of turning into? How much fun would a “change-o” machine be?!


– jennifer

Marathon training day 1…. Chicken Goulash with Biscuit Dumplings

Marathon training day 1!


I started off this morning by sleeping in….until 4:30. Woohoo!


Seriously though, instead of a morning CrossFit workout, I’m meeting up with Carla after work and we’ll get our WOD on then! Then, tomorrow is our first Track Tuesday. Our workout is scheduled to be 3×1600 at a 7:00 pace with 400m rest. Okay, so Carla’s pace is supposed to be 6:51 and mine is a pokey 7:08 (remember that whole “different age group” business?) so 7:00 sounds like a good compromise for our first day. Compromise is good – maybe we’ll cry less. Haha!


So, I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for some time and it finally happened! I really wish I hadn’t waited so long because it was delicious! Basically a spicier take on the classic chicken and dumplings, this dish is high on flavor. If you’re not really a fan of the spicy, you could certainly use regular paprika or you could just do as my grandmother says – “pass the sour cream!” Verdict on this dish? My sailor said it’s the best chicken and dumplings he’s ever had. Win! Especially since it comes together quick enough for a weeknight meal thanks to store-bought chicken stock and boneless chicken thighs. Seriously, chicken and dumplings on your table in less than an hour. Don’t wait as long as I did to make this. You won’t regret it. I promise. 🙂


Chicken Goulash with Biscuit Dumplings
Makes 4 servings

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 cup sour cream
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons hot Hungarian paprika
3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon thyme leaves

1. Preheat the over to 425 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust lightly with flour. In a large deep skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter with the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate.

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pulse in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk 1/2 cup of the stock with 1/2 cup of sour cream and drizzle over the dry ingredients, pulse until a dough forms.

3. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet. Stir in the paprika and caraway and cook for 30 seconds. Add the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock and 1/2 cup of sour cream and stir until smooth. Add the thyme leaves and bring to a boil.

4. Scoop twelve 3-tablespoon sized mounds of the biscuit dough over the chicken. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the biscuits are cooked. Turn on the broiler and broil for 2 minutes, until the biscuits are golden. Serve the goulash in bowls, spooning the biscuits on top. Om nom nom!


Recipe from Food and Wine magazine, March 2008.