Up Up and Away….Again!

by Lauren on December 3, 2012

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….

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

 

 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas with Spinach and Feta Cheese
Recipe Type: Entree, Vegetarian
Prep time: 40 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 fajita size whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1 in cubes
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Take one tortilla and spread half of the black beans in the center. Add 1/2 of the roasted potatoes and top with spinach and feta cheese.
  5. Place the other tortilla on top and gently press down.
  6. Repeat this process with the remaining ingredients.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!

Question:

Do you have any great travel tips?  Feel free to share your best traveling advice in the comments.

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