Well, I’m off again tomorrow for another trip out to Chicago. Long story, but there have been some pretty awesome things going on and possibly some very exciting things ahead. I have to fly out this week for a few meetings and to tie some things together for 2013. I’m stoked!
I have been traveling so much lately, that I feel I’ve become rather seasoned at packing. This is coming from the world’s worst packer, so it’s truly a commendable statement. As I was putting together my suitcase this afternoon, I started to think about a few tricks I’ve learned when it comes to packing. Allow me to share….
- Roll your clothes– I can’t remember who told me this golden rule, but I can’t imagine any other way. Not only does it save a ton of space, but it ensures that your clothes won’t wrinkle. It’s a God send!
- Plan your outfits around 1 or 2 pairs of shoes at the most – Shoes are my problem. I like to have a few costume changes, but the shoes are what get me. In order to have more clothing options, I have to cut down on my shoe selection, so now I try to pick one or two pairs that I can utilize with a few different outfits.
- Bring cross-train shoes over sneakers for workouts– I always bring my workout clothes, but my running shoes take up a lot of room, not to mention, they’re not in the best state of cleanliness. Unless I’m traveling for a race, my cross-training shoes are perfectly suitable for hotel workouts. They are much lighter and since I don’t run outside with them, they are a lot nicer to throw on top of my clothes than my dirty Asics.
- Buy travel size toiletries in EVERYTHING– I don’t know why anyone feels the need to travel with full size bottles of shampoo but trust me on this, the little 2oz bottles will save your life. I keep a cosmetic bag full of travel size items and restock when necessary. That why, when I’m ready to pack, I have all of my toiletries ready to go without worry that I forgot anything.
So I’m set. My bags are packed, my boarding pass is printed, and by 3:00 p.m. tomorrow, I’ll be settling into Chicago for the week.
Since the trip came up rather quickly, I didn’t have a chance to put together any pre-scheduled or guests post, but I will try my best to post as often as I can.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a nice partying gift….
dinner for tomorrow night!
Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas with Spinach and Feta Cheese
- 4 fajita size whole wheat tortillas
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1 in cubes
- ½ cup black beans
- ½ tsp dried chili powder
- ¼ tsp cumin
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup baby spinach
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place cut potatoes on a baking dish and spray with cooking spray. Season the potatoes with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- In a small bowl, place the black beans and mash with a fork. The beans will be roughly mashed, but enough to spread onto the tortilla.
- Take one tortilla and spread half of the black beans in the center. Add ½ of the roasted potatoes and top with spinach and feta cheese.
- Place the other tortilla on top and gently press down.
- Repeat this process with the remaining ingredients.
- Place each quesadilla onto a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until tortillas start to brown and cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and cut into quarters.
This is by far my favorite quesadilla recipe. Black beans and sweet potatoes are a perfect match, and the strong salty feta gives this dish so much character.
They also couldn’t be simpler. Once you have the sweet potatoes cooked, it’s really just a matter of assembly.
Feel free to serve them with your favorite condiments of choice, but allow me to suggest some homemade guacamole for a perfect addition. Just plain old mashed avocado with a touch of lime juice and salt is my go-to guac recipe that never fails me.
If you need an easy and delicious dinner idea for the week, put this one on your radar!
Have a great week everyone! I’ll see you from Chi-town!
Do you have any great travel tips? Feel free to share your best traveling advice in the comments.