F&F Friday Favorites: 01.30.15

Time for another round of Friday Favorites! Last week, one of my friends told me that she loves reading F&F Friday Favorites when she wakes up on Saturday mornings. Another friend of mine opens all the links that interest her when she gets to work on Friday mornings, and then slowly reads them throughout the day.

I’m wondering, when do you guys like to dive into my weekly link love roundup?

Just curious. ūüôā

Friday Favorites

 

Fitness

Foodie

Recipes

Blogging and Social Media

Self Image, Life, and Inspiration

Readers, let’s chat! What links are you loving this week? And as always, what was the best part of your week? What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Best part of my week was being snowed in! Had so much fun just being at home. This weekend we are hosting a party for our bridesmaids and groomsmen + their dates so they can all meet and mingle ahead of time. This way no date has to worry about not knowing anyone on the shuttle and our maids/men can get to know each other before having to link arms and do some awk dance move into our reception. As a self-proclaimed professional wedding goer, this is very important. I can’t wait!

Mediterranean Stuffed Mushrooms

Whenever I go to a party that I’m not hosting, I make sure to bring something on the healthier side with me. This doubles as a 1) a nice gesture, and 2) a backup option for when there aren’t a lot of foods being served that I want to eat. Successful moderation and healthy eating is all about being prepared, and I find that being ready with a healthy dish in social situations helps me balance out the not so great for me snacks and indulgences that I know I’ll have too.

So while everyone else is posting recipes for nachos and chicken wings this week, I want to post a different kind of recipe for you. These Mediterranean stuffed mushrooms are the perfect healthier appetizer to make for whatever Super Bowl party you are going to this weekend. I think stuffed mushrooms are a crowd pleaser too. Don’t people always seem to get weirdly excited about them? Just make sure to call them Mediterranean stuffed mushrooms instead of quinoa stuffed mushrooms, and you’ll be all set. Nobody will judge you for not bringing along a ranch dip or 4 bags of Doritos.

Mediterranean Stuffed Mushrooms

Mediterranean Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes a dozen stuffed mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 12 large cremini mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp paper towel and with stems removed
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked per package directions
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, cut or crushed into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray of choice

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, then arrange the mushrooms with the holes facing down. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the mushrooms, and season with salt and paper. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • While the mushrooms are baking, mix the cooked quinoa, the diced red onion, walnuts, white wine, parsley, dill, sun-dried tomatoes, crumbled feta, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  • When the mushrooms finish cooking and have cooled, stuff them by scooping a spoonful of the quinoa mixture into each cap. Top with extra feta if desired.
  • Bake again in an oven preheated to 350 for 10-12 minutes or until heated through.

Mediterranean Stuffed Mushrooms

Although stuffed mushrooms are made with a veggie base, a lot of the time they use a creamy filling to bind the stuffing ingredients together. I like that this recipe is light and doesn’t need that. The lemon zest brings out a nice flavor among all the other Mediterranean based ingredients, and the quinoa is a healthier protein-packed substitution for bread crumbs. Plus, you can never go wrong with feta! I made these for Friendsgiving at Slesh and Will’s apartment last year, and everyone gobbled them right up.

Mediterranean Stuffed Mushrooms

This recipe yields 12 stuffed mushrooms, but just a warning, it definitely makes more stuffing than necessary. I ate the leftover stuffing up for lunch the next day as a Mediterranean quinoa salad, and it was delicious! You could also double the amount of mushroom caps if you want to use up the rest of the stuffing and bring a larger quantity of stuffed shrooms along.

Enjoy!

Readers, let’s chat! What are you doing for the Super Bowl this weekend? What’s a must have Super Bowl food or snack in your home?

If you’re looking for more Super Bowl food ideas, check out our Super Bowl party menu from when we hosted two years ago.

On Living in the Moment

I think it’s obvious that the best part of my 2014¬†had nothing to do with this blog, fitness, food, or work.

Engagement in Gloucester

Engagement in Gloucester

July 4th 2014: Cake

Engagement BBQ: Girls

Engagement BBQ: Me and Tim

Tim and I got engaged smack in the middle of a year we’ve dubbed as our year of weddings. Even though we had 6 weddings in 2012 and 7 weddings in 2013, we had 8 in 2014 (one was in Missouri that only Tim could make it to). So much of last year was spent celebrating eight amazing couples, including some of my best friends in the whole world. It got a bit crazy at times, and I’m still not quite sure how we did it, but I wouldn’t change it. We are lucky to have so many wonderful friends in our lives, and we created so many memories during all the showers, bachelorette and bachelor parties, rehearsal dinners, and weddings that filled our latter part of the year. I’m only sad that I didn’t have the chance to recap each wedding and wedding related event how I would have liked to on F&F!

2014 Bridal Showers

2014 Bachelorettes

Weddings 2014

Weddings 2014

Aside from all the wedding fun, some of my other favorite parts of last year include:

A winter weekend getaway with Perfect Vermont,

Perfect Vermont: Tim and I

my April trip to Chicago with Ashley and Jen,

Chicago Bike Tour2

tons of other gym friend fun,

Gym Friends Hike

Gym Friends at BoMa

Gym Friends at Jen's

Gym Friends Pink Party

Mango Porch Friday

Studio Empower

running my first obstacle 5k,

AHA 5k Heart Challenge 2014

a Memorial Day getaway to Falmouth,

Falmouth + Memorial Day 2014

multiple New Balance Girls Night Outs with blog friends and all the other fun blog stuff I got to do this year,

New Balance Girls Night Out

New Balance Girls Night Out

going to the Boston Magazine health and wellness retreat,

Boston Magazine's Health and Wellness Retreat

having a week off over the 4th of July to spend at home with each other,

Staycation: Kayaking

Staycation 2014: Wingaersheak Beach

becoming an official wellness coordinator at work,

Wellness Coordinator

spending my 29th birthday in Newburyport,

29th Birthday in Newburyport

picking our wedding venue,

Zorvino's

and spending some time in our happy place.

Maine Vacation: Cape Porpoise

That’s what comes to mind first.

The time spent with Tim.

Valentine's Day 2014: Snowy Seaport

Homemade Pretzel Night

Hopster's Brews and Boards

Apple Picking 2014

Tim and Me on a Fall Hike

Somerville Harvest Fest 2014

Five Year Anniversary

The Lion King

Portsmouth NH 2014

Christmas

The time spent with all our friends.

Reuniting with Jess and Eileen

Erins 30th Birthday

Matt's Birthday

Jeff's Birthday

Boston Marathon 2014

Wilmington Friends

Coach of the Year

Harpoon Brewery Tour

Staycation: Geoffs 30th

Staycation: Pool with Slesh

Gather Boston

Halloween 2014

Wes's Baptism

Cate's 30th Bday

Thanksgiving 2014

Shannon's Christmas Party 2014

Wally World Christmas 2014

NYE 2014

And the time spent with family.

Layla's 5th birthday party

Papou's 85th birthday party

Greek Easter 2014

Mother's Day 2014

Gregs 15th Birthday Party

Red Sox

Father's Day 2014

Engagement BBQ: Lexa and Layla

July 4th 2014: Summer Shanty

Dads 60th Birthday

Oaktoberfest 5k Race & Taste

Thanksgiving 2014

New Bedford Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

The things that DON’T¬†come to mind right away when I think about last year?

–The nights worrying about getting everything done

–The time spent feeling anxious about my messy apartment

–My type A to do lists

–All the stress and frustration from work

–Feeling like I *should* post something on F&F every day

You guys get the idea. And yet, I know that I wasted so many nights just worrying, worrying again, and then worrying some more. I get so wrapped up in this idea of perfection, being able to do it all, and being able to do it all RIGHT NOW. It’s crippling sometimes.¬†When you look at someone else’s highlight reel and think they must have their shit so perfectly together and organized, let me tell you, it’s not always the case. So many people ask me how I do it all, and you know what? I don’t.¬†I make sacrifices. I have bad days.

I mess up. 

So many of the pictures from last year¬†capture the feelings we were feeling at the very moment the camera went off. They show us¬†living in the moment. And I want to do more of that for the rest of 2015. I want to stop thinking about the next place I have to be, the next meal I need to prepare, and the next thing I have to do. I don’t want to feel bogged down by too many commitments, emails, and¬†too many people asking me to do things. I want to put my phone down. I want to leave work undone if it’s too stressful at the moment. I want to leave the dishes in the sink and a let a blog post go unwritten.

I want to create more space and just enjoy being present. 

I want to plan our wedding and actually relish in the experience together, not rush it.

But I know¬†I can’t have everything and do everything at the same time.¬†

I just need to remind myself that when I look back like I enjoy doing around this time each year, it’s not all the time spent worrying I’m going to remember.

Engagement in Gloucester

What I’m going to remember are all the times truly spent living in the moment.

Readers, let’s chat! What are your tips for being present and living in the moment? How do you control endless worrying or always thinking about what’s next on your to do list?