Hearty Breakfast Bake

I am a huge fan of breakfast. I can eat it morning, noon or night. There are just so many options between pancakes, eggs, sweet, savory, meats, veggies, fruits, etc. This dish is a hearty breakfast bake I assembled the night before eating. I went on a long run, returned home, popped this in the oven and by the time I drank some water and showered it was ready to be devoured.

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I call it hearty because I used some super thick, sturdy bread I got when I was in Fargo. I try to make it a point to visit the Breadsmith store there (on 32nd Ave S by Hornbachers) and purchase this bread, called Marathon Multigrain. It is full of seeds, dense and filling. I also really love their whole wheat pizza dough – it freezes beautifully, making it easy to transport. They have a lot of great sweets, breads, buns and even biscuits for your 4-legged friend. Stop by if you get a chance. Anyway, all of this to say you want to use a thick bread that will soak up your eggs. Over the counter, nasty, thin white bread won’t be the same. I am a bread snob when it comes to this dish anyway. Combined with eggs, venison bacon and fresh herbs and veggies, this was a special treat. If you don’t want meat or want to sub out veggies you prefer, feel free!

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Hearty Breakfast Bake, recipe by FeistyEats

  • 3 slices thick bread, cubed into about 1” pieces
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Pepper, garlic powder, garlic salt and red pepper flakes to taste
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade cut
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced (red, green, yellow – whatever you want)
  • Cooked venison bacon, diced (sub real bacon, sausage or ham; just make sure it is cooked), equal to about 8 oz. or so
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese, divided

Grease a 2.5 Liter baking dish. Scramble your eggs with milk and spices in a large bowl. To this bowl, add in cubed bread, red pepper, onion, bacon and 1/4 cup cheese. Stir to combine. Place in baking dish, cover and store in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 400F. Bake for 35 minutes, uncovered, remove and top with the reserved 1/4 cup of cheese. Place back in oven for another 5 minutes until cheese starts to brown up. (Of course, be sure to check yours has cooked fully as well. Oven temps vary and depending on your bread, it might take longer or cook quicker.)

Let cool for 10 minutes. Cut and serve. We topped ours with hot sauce. The leftovers store well in the fridge and heat up nicely in the microwave. This made 6 pieces.

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This is how mine looked right before I put it in the fridge for the evening.

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Out of the oven at 35 minutes and then topped with cheese. I used pepperjack cheese.

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This stands up beautifully and makes a wonderful, savory breakfast treat. This is particularly nice if you have overnight guests and you don’t want to make a big fuss or loud noises the next morning.

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I had to take a photo of this side view. I really love the crispy edges and browned bits of bread on top. Enjoy!

Posted in Breakfast, Veggie | 1 Comment

Mo’s Snow Shack

After cruising on the Lewis & Clark Riverboat, my Mom was hankering for a sweet, cold treat. Well, though I haven’t heard much about it – THE BEST place to go in Bismarck-Mandan is Mo’s Snow Shack. Mo’s is a food truck located in the parking lot by Running’s / Dan’s / Papa Murphy’s area.

Mo's Snow Shack

This really is just a little shack. I was surprised to see quite a few people working behind the counter, quickly getting us our sweet treats. Mo’s serves SHAVED ice with flavors and toppings – you choose! The truck is open Monday-Saturday, Noon-9pm in the summer, in good weather.

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Pick your size first. I suggest a small for yourself. We got a small and shared it between 3 people! They don’t skimp on size. Next, pick your flavors, up to 3. They have several options. Third, choose your topping. Finally, you can get a scoop of ice cream in the bottom if you like. Who are we kidding – get the ice cream! Such a great treat on a warm day.

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Uhhh, how to choose? You order while the attendant writes down what you want, pay and wait for them to call your name. We went with a small pina colada with strawberry cream topping and an ice cream scoop base. Now to wait! This place was bumping.

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Oh my gosh! She went crazy with flavor. Yes, this was a small. Such a great treat and way better than the ones you get at the fair. The ice is shaved so fine. This is totally worth the sugar and fake flavors. It’ll take you right back to childhood. Now, I just need to make it back to get my own! Check this place out!!

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Posted in Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment

Lewis and Clark Missouri Riverboat

Have you ever taken a cruise on the Lewis & Clark Missouri Riverboat out of Bismarck? If you haven’t, I HIGHLY suggest you book yourself a spot and check out the beautiful Missouri River. My sister has been wanting to go for a couple of years (she lives in Fargo), and this year it finally happened after we were sadly rained out last year.

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You can find this beauty docked at the Port of Bismarck on River Road where it arrives and departs. There is plenty of free parking available. They offer a variety of cruises and prices to fit your needs. Their website is great and you can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

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All aboard with my brother and sister. We RARELY get together so this was lovely. I love those two turds.

We booked the evening cruise which was about $20 and went 6-7:30pm. They also offer a less expensive afternoon cruise, an evening cruise (also about $20) and a PIZZA cruise (pizza from Bruno’s) for about $25. So you have plenty of options. You can even charter the boat for a group event, party, reunion, wedding, etc. They have a full bar and snacks. Private events start at $650 per hour and go up from there.

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The boat has two levels. We enjoyed cruising on the upper level so we could see the sights. They have plastic chairs and tables if you want to sit. We mostly stood by the railing. The bar features great tap beer, including local brews. There was one bartender and a server. They were both awesome. Our captain was great and the cruise is narrated. It was quite difficult to hear him between the visiting and low sound speakers. He charters the river with his trusty dog. You’d expect maybe a Newfoundland, lab or other large breed, right? Wrong. We peeked in and it was a cute, little Chihuahua. Ha!

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Mmm, beer. The drinks are priced reasonably. The Lewis & Clark Riverboat is owned and operated by The Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation. The boat is open to all ages and runs roughly May through September, depending on our lovely NDak weather. They have a great Q&A section on their website but I wanted to touch on a few points that I thought were pretty valid.  

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We had a beautiful day for a cruise. Luckily, we missed bad weather that came in right afterwards. Dang t-storms!

  • I highly recommend making a reservation. Cruises fill up quickly and if you are traveling, you want to make sure you don’t miss out! You can get tickets at the boat as a walk-on if they are available. There is a small ticket counter just off the boat.
  • If you want to go on a ride that has a meal you DO NOT have to purchase the meal. You can just purchase the cruise.
  • Cruises do not go out daily depending on private events. Check out their calendar online.
  • Bad weather. If it storms, your captain will not take you out. Safety first! Your cruise will either be rescheduled, refunded or you will get tickets for another day. They are easy to work with in these circumstances.
  • No outside food or drink is allowed. Support the boat and buy drinks and snacks from the friendly staff.
  • Show up early if you want a certain spot. Generally the upper level will fill up first, especially on a nice day. The boat will load about 20 minutes before departing.

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I could float on a boat every single (nice weather) day. You are treated to some outstanding river views and you also get to see some beautiful riverside homes on your cruise.

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Before our cruise, we dined at Captain Freddy’s, a riverside restaurant in Mandan. We were treated to some great views and cold brews The food is nothing to write home about and service was so-so. The company, atmosphere and riverside seating are worth it though!

Posted in Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc | 2 Comments

Fruit Salad

I’ve eaten this wonderful fruit salad as breakfast, snack, dessert, side dish and I think main dish. Fruit alone, especially this time of year, is so good, juicy and sweet. But, add this secret ingredient and it’s over the top. Kids will love it.

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The secret ingredient? It’s simply sugar free, fat free, instant vanilla pudding!

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All you need is some fresh, beautiful fruit and the pudding. Easy. Feel free to use whatever fruit you have or what is on sale. Here is what I used for TWO batches. This worked perfectly to take one to a party and keep one at home.

  • 2 golden delicious apples, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • about 1 lb. purple grapes, sliced in half
  • 1 small cantaloupe, diced
  • 1 large container strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • about 3 pints of blueberries
  • 1 package instant, sugar free vanilla pudding

Again, this is for two batches. All of the fruit made probably about 30 cups of fruit! You can easily downscale this and use as much or as little pudding as you like. I think this is best prepared the day before so the pudding can work with the fruit juice to thicken up.

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I don’t have a photo of the finished product, but the pudding works with the fruit juice to create a shiny gloss on the fruit. Delicious! Enjoy.

Posted in Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Sides | 1 Comment

2015 quarterly goals, half time check in

Here we are, the middle of July (summer please slow down!) and time for another quarterly check in for my goal setting. I am pretty goal oriented and some might say stubborn, so I find it helpful to set goals to try and reach. Here is an update on my quarterly goals and at the bottom – some new goals!

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Finish Max30 and repeat T25.

A bit of a fail. I started doing a hybrid of T25 and Max30 but found T25 to be kind of easy. I started doing Max30 workouts back to back for an hour session. I really loved them but am getting a little burned out on it now.

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Bike. Get on my bike outside and do some workouts. I hope to find some online that will push me to get faster instead of me just riding aimlessly.

Oh man, another fail. I have gotten in some quality bike rides. I’d say about three a week and I try to change up my route. I recently biked Buffalo Hill between Hazen and Beulah and felt that was a big accomplishment as I have been intimidated by that. Luckily, a friend and online partner gave me the nudge I needed and you know what? It wasn’t that bad. I haven’t done any specific online planned workouts. Maybe I should research that a bit.

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Run. Keep running and take it outdoors. I’d love to try some new trails or areas to run other than just in Hazen.

I’ve done a good job at keeping up my running to three times per week and have done mostly all outdoor runs in the morning now it is nice outside. I haven’t done any trail runs but have run in Washburn which is VERY hilly compared to Hazen.

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Swim. This will be later in the summer but I’d like to join the Hazen Pool and work on my swimming. It is horrible!!

I completed two rounds of adult swim at BSC aquatics center. I’m proud of myself and it was definitely worth the (reasonable) fee and time spent with my friend Jen who also took the classes. I joined the Hazen Pool and try to get in to swim about 4x per week. I feel I am getting better endurance-wise and with my breathing. Not sure about if I’m getting faster though?!

Family. Keep doing fun things with my husband and enjoy ourselves and our summer. I have a few fun sister things planned too I am looking forward to.

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I have done A LOT of family activities this year. We had some family parties and gatherings and it was all wonderful. I have not done a lot of fun things with just my husband and I though. Hopefully we can get some time together, just the two of us. In general, we are social people and invited anyone and everyone when we do something. However, I really enjoy the times when it is just us two doing something new to us.

Enjoy the outdoors. I just want to be outside as much as possible to soak up our wonderful summer before it is gone.

Definite success! The summer so far has already been better weather wise than last year. I have been able to ride my bike outside a lot, enjoy a few boat rides and some long walks in the sun.

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Eating. Continue to eat healthy, little processed foods, sugar and junk.

A work in progress as I suspect it will always be. I eat quite healthy during the week. The weekends I relax and I am OK with that. I want to enjoy summer, parties and get togethers. I think I could work on all my “extra” bites during the week. That would include pretzels (love pretzels), popcorn and croutons. These are so easy to grab and I should try to grab some protein instead or at least in addition to these. I have cut WAY back on my sugar. I haven’t baked in a long time. I definitely still treat myself to ice cream or cake though.

Continue with less computer time to work on goals #1-7.

This has been a success. I got a new laptop about a month ago and have hardly even had time to play around on it. Due to being super busy with swimming, biking and running I haven’t hardly had time to cook or bake. So that is bad for the blog. I have plenty of exercise stories and tales to tell but I’m sure that is boring and I talk about it mostly on Instagram. Speaking of, Instagram remains my favorite social media platform. Everyone is nice and encouraging. I love Facebook because I know those people in real life, but get tired of the petty bickering, politics, religion and spam. I’m here to see photos of your pets, kids, food, family and vacations. Twitter is great but I don’t have a lot of time for it. I can’t imagine also having Snapchat, Periscope, LinkedIn and whatever else there is. I am obviously getting old. I am still hooked to my phone but have enjoyed some time away from the computer I must say.

3rd quarter goals

Keeping the same theme I have been with…

1. Figure a new way to cross train. Max30 is an awesome workout but it’s getting old to me and I need new moves. I think I’ll repeat Insanity as I’ve only done that once and the workouts are about 45 minutes. Or, if you know of any body weight cross training DVD’s to do at home, holla! I like high intensity workouts that really make you sweat.

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2. Bike. Actually print out some speed workouts and do them. Not just get on my bike and go like I have been doing.

3. Run. Keep running and work on speed. 6-7 miles seem to be a nice distance for me. I’d like to work on improving my 10k pace.

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4. Swim. Open water swim and keep up at the Hazen pool. I’d like to get in at least a half dozen open water swims by the end of August. Living so close to Sakakawea, I have no excuse – it is the best lake in the state.

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5. Husband time. Spend more one on one time with the husband. Date night, mini vacation, whatever. Life is so busy and if we don’t slow down it’ll pass us by.

6. Outdoors. Continue my workouts outside. I’d like to add in enjoy more free time outside – walks, boats, stand up paddle boarding, etc.

7. Eating. Cut out the crap. I have said this a hundred times here but I’d really love to lose these last 10 pounds. I exercise a lot but I don’t really utilize the best portion control. I am “okay” with my body how it is and just feel comfortable. I think if I could drop a few pounds it would help with my running.

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8. Keep up with less computer time while maintaining blogging. It’s a struggle. Between my full-time job, a side gig, my training/exercise I don’t leave a lot of hours for other things. I really need to sleep as well. I need to be smarter on what I spend time on. That said – I need to cook more meals. I am guilty of throwing stuff on the grill, pairing with veggies and a tater and done. That is fine and quite healthy, but doesn’t make for blog content. Maybe I need to determine if I continue blogging or not?

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Posted in Exercise, Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc | 2 Comments

Grilled venison sausage, peppers and onion hoagies

Hi! I am back with another dinner idea I kind of came up with when I had an abundance of peppers to use up. Considering some of you might have some peppers and onions growing in your garden, this is a timely idea. I don’t want to say recipe because I am using rough measurements. Make it to your preference. And, if you don’t garden – check out your local Farmer’s Market!

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We have only a few jars of the sweet and tangy marinara sauce my husband canned last fall. I just love this stuff and could eat it with a spoon. In an effort to eat up all the canned tomato goodies before this years’ harvest I decided to use them on hoagie sandwiches.

This is a man pleasing meal but isn’t too bad on your waistline since I grilled the veggies (instead of sautéing them in oil), used venison (instead of pork) sausage and hollowed out the whole wheat hoagie. More room for the good stuff that way. Serve alongside veggies and you have a great meal.

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  • Whole wheat hoagie rolls (hollowed out)
  • Several small, sweet peppers (or two large yellow, orange or red ones), sliced
  • 2 onions, slices
  • Venison sausage (or chicken, turkey, etc.)
  • Olive oil spray
  • Seasonings of your choice for onions and peppers (suggest pepper, garlic powder, dried Italian spices and creole salt)
  • 1 jar canned marinara sauce

Throw your sausage on the grill first as it will take the longest to cook. While it is cooking, season your peppers and onions by spraying them with olive oil and applying as much of any seasonings of your liking to the veggies. Throw them on the grill. In the house, warm your marinara on the stovetop. Lastly, crisp up your hoagies by grilling them in the last few minutes of everything cooking.

Assemble your hoagie with sausage, peppers and marinara. Top with some green onion if you like. Serve with veggies.

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Gorgeous veggies ready for the grill.

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This was towards the end of my grilling. I like to get a little char on my veggies – personal preference.

I don’t REALLY want to get into it here (but I kind of do but I am a passive person) but gluten is NOT BAD for you. Well, if you have celiac disease, it obviously is. That affects about 1% of the population so you are probably OK eating gluten. The big problem is likely you eat TOO much gluten. It will make you feel groggy, bloated, etc. just as eating too much of any food will do. Guess what? Those gluten free cookies and crackers aren’t “good” for you either. And even though I enjoy hummus (for example), it totally irks me when they label their packages gluten free. Well, it always has been, always will be most likely. That is just an annoying sales tactic. All this to say, enjoy your (whole wheat) bread, in moderation.

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You HAVE to love summer grilling. Enjoy!

Posted in Dinner idea, Grilling, Main Dish | Leave a comment

40th

On Friday, June 13th, 1975 my parents, Ronnie and Kate said I Do! I would say they have been blessed with a happy and prosperous life – including three great kids. Us kids, with the help of my Aunt Cindy planned a surprise get together with a few friends and family to toast them on June 13th, 2015 for 40 great years together so far.

Thank you to everyone who helped – all my aunts, my grandma and our family friends for stopping over to say hello on that beautiful day. Below are some snapshots of the party. Oh yeah, we also planned it at their house so had to get them away for a few hours. Our friends Carol and Wayne helped with that.

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This is a montage we came up with after Cindy snuck some photos away from my Mom’s keepsakes. What a great looking couple and it was especially fun to see photos of our family members who are no longer with us.

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I had fun hearing a few stories from back in the day.

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We had a gorgeous day weather wise and set everything up in the garage and outside. The colors were mint green (like they had on their wedding day) and ruby red for the 40th.

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As usual, there was no shortage of food thanks to all who pitched in.

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The beautiful cake made by Krause’s. I can’t say enough about this. It was a marble cake with buttercream and it was so delicious and moist. I could have eaten half of it and I’m usually not too crazy about cakes.

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Don’t forget the beer! The little wagon worked perfectly for this.

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Friends starting to show up just as things were starting…

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Winston found a spot to keep cool. Oh and eat anything that fell of course, too!

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The happy couple cutting the cake.

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And here is where we attempt family photos. My family IS NOT photographic and you can tell which one is the trouble maker. MOM! Here we are – the three kids, mom, dad and Grandma.

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Mom with her three siblings and Grannie.

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All the aunts and uncles and one grand niece who wanted in the picture too! I just realized we should have gotten a picture of all the little kids. I mean, they are the most fun. Whoops.

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I have to give a special thank you to this guy for helping with everything and putting up with my crazy family and my mental breakdowns. We were celebrating six years of marriage that day. Yep, we share the same anniversary as my parents!

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We have a ways to go but I hope one day to be celebrating our 40th anniversary like these two love birds. Happy anniversary to my wonderful parents. Love you guys.

Posted in Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc | 1 Comment