Thursday, October 30, 2014

November Fitness Challenge

You asked for it..... Here it is! It's time for the November Fitness Challenge. Who's ready?!

I've been putting together these Monthly Fitness Challenges since the beginning of last year. The idea behind the monthly fitness challenge started because I needed a way to be held accountable for strength training exercises on a daily basis (not just telling myself "ok Self, today we do 100 sit-ups"). So I made up a calendar with a list of exercises I had to complete daily... and the first Monthly Fitness Challenge was born! Before long, the idea had grown, was shared on Facebook and Pinterest, more people joined the challenges, and now we were all getting the the challenge and push we need to get fit together!

The great part about the monthly fitness challenges is that they are made up of strength training and core conditioning exercises... without any equipment! You can use you own body weight, in the comfort of your home! If the workout is too easy, you can add more reps or do a harder variation of the exercises. If the workout is too hard, you can decrease the reps or do easier, modified versions of the exercises. You are in charge of your workout... and you can make it your own!

The November Fitness Challenge focuses on toning and strengthening our arms and upper body using simple, standard, body-weight exercises. NO WEIGHTS NEEDED! Those exercises will also be working your midsection, strengthening your core and legs, while burning some calories at the same time. This daily exercise routine is fast and simple, so there should be no excuses this month!

Are you with us?!

For best results, make sure to add at least 30-45 minutes of cardio to your workout routine at least 3 days a week. :)

Click on the calendar to see full size and print.

To get updates and information on the challenge, make sure to go to our Facebook page and "Like" us:

You can find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest too!
@sistersdofoodandfitness #sistersdofoodandfitness


- Janel

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sweet Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

Yesterday was the definition of a perfect fall Sunday! It was a cool morning, Amy and I got up early to run a Halloween-themed 10k with a friend. So much fun! Then we came home to carve pumpkins, watch football and make a big batch of chili and cornbread.

I have a fantastic go-to recipe for my chili, Easy Slow Cooker Turkey Chili (although this time I used lean ground beef), but I wanted to try a new cornbread recipe this time around. Amy suggested something with a kick, so I went with Sweet Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins.

I thought these cornbread muffins would be the perfect balance of sweet and spicy; a great compliment to my hearty, flavorful chili. Plus... we love jalapenos!

These Sweet Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins did not disappoint. Not only are they sweet and spicy, but they are also buttery, moist, and addicting! They have the perfect cornbread texture. This recipe makes a BIG batch of cornbread, so I decided to make two different sizes of muffins... a regular cornbread muffin and a mini cornbread muffin! You could use this recipe to make a 9x13 inch pan full of cornbread instead of the muffins too.

Heat up a couple of these sweet and spicy cornbread muffins, top with a little butter, and serve on the side of your favorite chili! YUM... Fall dinner perfection.

Sweet Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
recipe from
makes 24 muffins (or 48 mini muffins)

2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 2/3 cups milk
1 cup chopped fresh jalapeno peppers, or to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray two muffin (12 or 24 muffin) baking tins with non-stick cooking spray.

Beat butter and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl. Stir eggs and milk in a third bowl. Pour 1/3 milk mixture and 1/3 flour mixture alternately into margarine mixture; whisk until just mixed. Repeat with remaining ingredients and stir in jalapeno peppers.

Pour mixture into prepared baking tins, filling each cup about 2/3 of the way full.

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes**. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

** Bake mini muffins for 14 to 16 minutes


Don't forget to check out our chili recipes:
Slow Cooker Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili
Easy Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Ohhhhhhh Fall.... you make my tummy so happy!

- Janel

Despicable Me Minion Sugar Cookies

Recently, I started a tradition of making fun, creative desserts on Friday nights with a couple of adorable taste-testers! Over the last couple months we have made (and eaten) candy sushi, Ghosts in a Graveyard, Bears in a Bubble Bath, and Worms in Dirt. So far, all my desserts have been a total hit and are kid-approved!


Last Friday night I decided to make a batch of my Soft Sugar Cookies so we could make adorable Despicable Me Minion cookies. Who doesn't love a minion?!

Not only are these Minion cookies easy to make and fun to decorate, they also taste DELICIOUS!!! This is my all-time favorite sugar cookie recipe... these cookies are so soft, sugary and buttery, they will melt in your mouth.

These Despicable Me Minion Sugar Cookies are a super fun and delicious food project your whole family will enjoy!

Despicable Me Minion Sugar Cookies
adapted from a cookie recipe by Cheryl E on
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

For cookies -
2 large eggs
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cups flour (plus extra for rolling)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For decoration -
1 container white/vanilla frosting
Yellow liquid or gel food color
16 large marshmallows
32 brown candy-coated milk chocolate candies
2 black licorice wheels (optional)
black decorating gel

1. Beat together eggs, butter, vanilla and sugar; add flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.

2. Refrigerate dough for at least 15 minutes (this is a MUST)

3. Drop by heaping teaspoon approx 3" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, then flatten dough with bottom of glass moistened with water and dipped in sugar.
Roll out cookie dough out on a floured surface with a rolling pin (or floured glass), then use cookies cutter to cut dough into desired shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet 3" apart.

4. Bake at 400°F for 6-8 minutes or just until lightly golden. Cool on rack.

5. Reserve 2 tablespoons frosting. Place remaining frosting in medium bowl; tint with yellow food color. Frost cookies with yellow frosting.

6. Use kitchen scissors to cut 1/4-inch circles off both ends of 16 marshmallows to make 32 total rounds.

7. Use reserved frosting to stick milk chocolate candies to marshmallows. Place marshmallow eyes on cupcakes, placing two eyes on some cupcakes and one eye on others. Cut 2 small pieces of licorice rope for each cookie. Place licorice rope pieces on sides of eyes. Use black decorating gel to pipe a mouth onto each cookie.


So much fun...

You could use purple food coloring and make the Evil Minions too!

Kid tested. Kid approved. :)

- Janel

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Red Wine Cream Cheese Brownies

STOP - Don't pour that leftover bottle of wine down the drain! Did you know you can make delicious desserts like these Wine Cream Cheese Brownies with your half-empty bottle of wine? What's a half-empty bottle of wine you ask?! Yes it happens...

But there's no way I'll let a good bottle of vino go to waste! Last time I baked with red wine, I made an amazing Chocolate Red Wine Cake. Tonight I wanted to try a new wine dessert recipe so I whipped up a batch of these boozy brownies...


Yeah, these Red Wine Cream Cheese Brownies are just as delicious as you would imagine they would be. In fact, I can't stop eating them!

These are fudgy, chocolaty, boozy, moist brownies with a hint of cream cheese flavor that breaks up the richness. WOW, yum! These brownies are much more dense, fudge and sponge-like than your regular cake-like brownie. And the best part... the red wine flavor really shines through!

Red Wine Cream Cheese Brownies
recipe via
makes about a dozen brownies

1/2 cup butter (we used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces light cream cheese, at room-temperature
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8x2 inch pan.

Melt the butter in a small pan over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the melted butter into a large bowl. Add cocoa powder and mix to combine. Add sugar and mix well. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, and blend until incorporated. Add vanilla, wine, flour, and salt. Combine until just mixed in.

In a separate medium bowl, blend cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, and remaining egg.

Pour half of the brownie batter into the pan.

Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter. Pour remaining brownie batter on top of the cream cheese mixture. Swirl with a knife.

Bake for 30-35 (I did 30 min.) minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

You can really taste the wine in this dessert... I am definitely a fan of "booze brownies"!

These Red Wine Cream Cheese Brownies are the perfect way to use up any leftover wine you might have hanging around the kitchen! And if you don't leave bottles of wine half empty (wink, wink), then go ahead and open a new one. :)


- Janel

Ahi Tuna Mac 'n' Cheese

Something about fall makes me crave a big warm bowl of comfort food... and I can't think of anything more comforting than good 'ole Mac 'n' Cheese! Like most people, we have a box of Mac 'n' Cheese stashed away in the cupboard for cheesy, comfort food emergencies. Tonight I decided to give into my craving and whipped up a batch of the "good stuff"...


To make my Mac 'n' Cheese more of a hearty one-dish meal than just a bowl of cheesy deliciousness, I added steamed broccoli and some of our ahi (yellowfin) tuna we caught over the summer. Just look at that beauty of a fish!

We are very lucky to have a freezer full of tuna steaks right now; it was an epic fishing season in San Diego this year! But don't worry... if you don't have ahi tuna steaks, you can always just use two cans of light tuna (drained) in this recipe.

Ahi Tuna Mac 'n' Cheese
makes about 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
6-8 oz. ahi tuna steaks
salt and pepper
1 cup broccoli, chopped and steamed
1 box (6.4 oz.) Macaroni and Cheese mix
6 cups water
4 tablespoons butter (we used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
1/4 cup +  2 tablespoons fat-free milk
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat (optional, for a cheesier dish)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of tuna steaks with generous amounts of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook tuna steaks until browned on each side and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side (it's helpful to break the tuna steak into smaller pieces to speed up cooking process). Let cool.


In a medium saucepan, prepare macaroni and cheese as directed on the box. 

Stir in tuna and broccoli.  Add shredded cheese (optional), 2 tablespoons milk, and black pepper. Stir until additional cheese is melted and all ingredients are combined.

Note: You could substitute any vegetables in this dish. I think peas would be a great option!

YUM! Sometimes food doesn't need to be complicated. This Ahi Tuna Mac 'n' Cheese is so easy and so satisfying....

I love grown-up versions of a childhood favorites. Mac 'n' Cheese never tasted better!

Enjoy :)

- Janel

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Edamame Fried Rice

Every time we make a batch of brown rice for dinner we end up with a huge amount left over! And since we hate to waste anything in our house, the left over brown rice went into a new recipe...

By adding protein-packed edamame and eggs along with a bunch of healthy veggies to the brown rice, I was able to create a satisfying one-dish meal. This Edamame Fried Rice turned out delicious! 

What's better than a bowl full of warm fried rice? A bowl full of warm HEALTHY fried rice!

Edamame Fried Rice is a great option for a Meatless Monday dish! You could add cooked chicken or shrimp to this dish for a heartier fried rice too. YUM!

Edamame Fried Rice
Based on a recipe from
makes about 4 servings

3 cups leftover brown rice
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1/2 cup carrot, chopped
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper, to taste

Seasoning - 
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2-1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 dashes white pepper

Break up the left over rice with the back of the spoon or fork, or with your hand. Mix all the ingredients for the Seasoning in a small bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok over high heat and cook the eggs first. Use the spatula to break the eggs into small pieces. Set aside. Reheat the wok with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and stir-fry the garlic until aromatic (be careful not to burn it!). Add the edamame and chopped vegetables. Stir to combine well.

Add the rice into the wok and use the spatula to stir-fry continuously until the all the ingredients are well blended. Add the Seasoning into the wok, mix well with the edamame fried rice. Return the eggs into the wok and combine with the rice. Dish out and serve immediately.

Top with some more soy sauce if desired!

You can get shelled edamame in the veggie freezer section of your grocery store.



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blueberry Lemon Bread

We have had to make room in our freezer for all the fish we've been catching lately... which means finding ways to use up everything else that's in there! We have a bunch of blueberries (taking up valuable fish room) in the freezer from my parents trip to Washington this summer. Mom and Dad actually went to a place where you hand-pick the blueberries from bushes by the bucket! They brought the blueberries home and then vacuum-sealed them so we could enjoy them anytime of the year...

Well it looks like that time of year is NOW! Since I love blueberries in my baked goods, I decided to use my fresh-frozen Washington berries to make a batch of Blueberry Lemon Bread.

I have had plenty of blueberry muffins, cakes, and pancakes... but there is something about a slice of warm, sweet blueberry bread topped with a little butter that takes my tummy to a happy place. The lemon flavor really shines through in this recipe; the hint of lemon tartness cuts through the sweetness of the berries perfectly. And the lemony-sugary glaze...Yum!! Don't skip the glaze! This Blueberry Lemon Bread is incredibly moist and flavorful, it will definitely be a crowd-pleaser!

Blueberry Lemon Bread
recipe from
makes 1 8x4-inch loaf pan

1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup white sugar
1 lemon, juiced
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup fresh blueberries

Glaze - 
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8x4-inch loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating well after each addition. Mix in the juice of 1 lemon. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Fold in the lemon zest and blueberries. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the glaze, combine 1/4 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Drizzle over bread while still warm.

Tip:  Let the bread sit in the pan for 20 mins. or until cooked down and glaze has hardened.

Great for breakfast, brunch, or even dessert!

Maybe it has something to do with the fact the Washington blueberries used in this batch were hand-picked with love, but this blueberry bread is GOOD STUFF.... 

- Janel

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi

Well, it's October... and we are still trying to eat our way through our freezer that is full of fish from this epic fishing season. Thanks to the weather phenomenon called El Nino, warm water from Mexico holding lots of dorado, yellowfin tuna, and other exotics such as marlin and wahoo made it's way up to California. The mahi mahi (also known as "dorado") used in this recipe was caught on one of our off-shore fishing trips a few months ago, right off the coast of San Diego!

Tonight we decided to thaw out some of our beautiful mahi mahi fillets and crust them with the delicious macadamia nuts we picked up on a family trip to Hawaii. This Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi looks and tastes like it came out of a professional kitchen... but it's actually very quick and easy to make!


Mahi mahi (dorado) is super mild fish... and the great part is, it's available all year long! It has a larger, moist flake and can be prepared many ways: baked, grilled, broiled, pan fried, poached, or smoked. The texture is tender-to-firm and taste is sweet with a mildly pronounced flavor.

The nutty, sweet, crunchy topping on this oven-baked mahi mahi is the perfect balance of flavor and texture with the fish. The addition of the sweet, salty, spicy dipping sauce really takes this Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi to the next level!


If you are looking for other ways to prepare your mahi mahi, check out our recipe for Honey Ginger Mahi Mahi!

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi
recipe from
makes 4 servings

Fish -
5 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) coarsely ground, roasted macadamia nuts
1/2 cup panko
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
cooking spray
4 (6 to 8-ounce) mahi mahi fillets
Kosher salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten

Sauce - 
1/2 cup soy sauce, reduced sodium
2 tablespoons brown sugar
red pepper flakes

For fish - 
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir together the nuts, panko, flour, and butter. Set aside.

Place a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and spray liberally with cooking spray. Place the mahi mahi on the foil and sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper on both sides. Bake for 5 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and brush each fillet with the egg. Divide the nut mixture among the tops and bottoms of the 4 fillets, patting the mixture to spread and adhere to the fillets. Return to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

To make sauce - 
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add soy sauce,brown sugar, and red pepper flakes; whisk until combined. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low to 5 minutes.

YUM... this was such a delicious way to prepare mahi mahi! I'm sure you could try the same recipe with any mild white fish.

Enjoy... :)

- Janel