Double Post

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Good morning, blog friends! :mrgreen:

Sorry for the lack of posting last night. Something not-so-great happened yesterday, so I wasn’t in the mood to blog. Basically, I put my heart and soul into a project and things didn’t turn out as planned. I was really bummed, so I took the night off. I’m sure you guys understand, right?

Anyway, I woke up feeling quite a bit better this morning. Sometimes, a good night’s sleep is exactly what you need! Let’s just say, when it comes to blogging (and life, in general), I’ve learned that you need to have a thick skin and be resilient if you want to succeed.


For breakfast this morning, I made a big batch of banana oats for Mal and me.


In the mix:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup spelt flakes
  • 1/4 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Almonds
  • Shredded coconut

Makes 2 servings


This morning’s batch was really dessert-like with sweet brown sugar and shredded coconut mixed in. We’re totally out of nut butter ( 😯 ), so I loaded up on the other goodies this morning. 😉


I also enjoyed some iced coffee with breakfast.

(Here’s info about my homemade iced coffee and where I got my stainless steal straws.)



Last night, Mal and I hosted “Family Dinner Night” at our house. Bertolli sent me a Pasta Party Gift Package to create an Italian meal in my own kitchen, so we invited our friends, Dave and Marie, over to enjoy it with us.


Bertolli sent me two coupons for their frozen meals, so I chose a couple of usual crowd pleasers: Chicken Parmigiana Penne and Meat Lasagna Rustica.


Marie and I went to Body Pump last night, so Mal was in charge of cooking dinner. He didn’t realize that the lasagna would take so long to cook (~45 minutes in the oven), so we started with the Chicken Parmigiana Penne dish first.

The Chicken Parmigiana Penne was actually pretty good. Frozen meals with meat sort of bug me out, so I avoided the chicken. (Everyone else seemed to like it.) I really liked the penne, sauce, and cheese though. The cheese, in particular, was excellent– it had a nice, strong flavor. (You know me and cheese! 😉 )

Unfortunately, these Bertolli Frozen Meals are sort of expensive ($7-8 dollars) and only serve 2 people. They’d be great for a special dinner, but as an everyday meal, they’re just too pricey for my budget.


With dinner, we also had Roasted Broccoli and Garlic Green Beans (olive oil + minced garlic).




While we waited for the lasagna to finish cooking, we dug into the rest of the meal. I started with penne, broccoli, and green beans. A little while later, I ended up eating another small serving of the penne– the cheese was so good!


The four of us started chatting away over dinner, so we totally forgot about the lasagna in the oven! When we finally remembered, it was a tad burned on top. 😳 Even still, our “Lasagna-Brulée” tasted alright.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the Meat Lasagna Rustica. Again, I loved the cheese (especially since it was a little burnt! ;-)), but the lasagna itself was just so-so. Basically, it tasted like a frozen meal– sort of mushy and a little bland. The guys, however, really enjoyed it, especially the meat sauce. I guess it just wasn’t for me.



For dessert, the four of us shared a bag of International Chocolate that I received from Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg at their Flavor = Taste + Mouthfeel + Aroma + “The X Factor” session. It was really nice dark chocolate. Mmm!


Bertolli Pasta Party Giveaway

To help promote the new release of the next Into the Heart of Italy webisode, Bertolli is giving away the same Pasta Party Gift Package that I received to one lucky CNC reader! :mrgreen:

In the next webisode, “The Secrets of the Pollaio,” Rocco, Marisa, and Dan track down Italy’s “Egg Man” and learn to cook a traditional rustic dinner. You can also see exclusive photos from the episode here.

The Pasta Party Gift Package (valued at $125) includes:

  • Imperia Pasta Machine
  • Emile Henry 12.5 Quart Lasagna Baker
  • A coupon for a free Bertolli Frozen Meal

All entries for the giveaway must be located in the US. Sorry international readers!


I love the lasagna dish! The color is so fun!


Mal was really excited the pasta machine! Who knew that he was dying to make pasta?! He’s so weird.


To enter: Leave a comment about your favorite pasta dish on this post. I will randomly pick a winner tomorrow afternoon.

Good luck!!! 😀

P.S. If you bring a reusable travel mug into your local Starbucks today, you can get a free brewed coffee!



  1. My favorite Pasta dish is a dish my dad came up with called PASTA DISH. It is loaded with red peppers, artichokes, tomatoes and all sorts of veggies and spices. The best thing is all the cheese!!! It is a friday night treat!!!

  2. I love Thai peanut butter noodles – I make them all the time! They’re so flavorful, and I love experimenting with different nut butters too! So far I’ve used chunky Barney Butter and Sunbutter in place of the peanut butter! The Barney Butter was sooo good!

  3. I love my Mom’s spaghetti sauce. I’m not usually a meat-eater, but I can’t resist the flavors of her meat sauce.

  4. my favorite pasta dish is my mom’s “meat sauce” with mushrooms. No matter how many times I try to make it, I just can’t recreate my mom’s taste! 😉 Sometimes I eat the meat sauce over rice too… yummy!

  5. I really dig Guy Fieri’s pepperoni-studded lasagna. I make it with my boyfriend- it’s definitely a “man’s” lasagna! But my go-to pasta dish is some whole wheat fusili with sundried tomatoes, garlic, and pine nuts. I throw in some cheese too, and sometimes chicken. Delish!

  6. well, i’m italian and nothing beats my grandmother’s recipe for plain old “gravy and meatballs”. put it on top of orecchiette pasta with a dollop of homemade ricotta and it doesn’t get much better.

  7. My favorite pasta dish is baked spaghetti. What’s not to like about a big chunk melty cheesey goodness doused in sauce? lol

  8. i’m such a pasta person (who isn’t, though?) that’s it’s hard to pick one dish. i had the best pasta Bolognese of my LIFE in a tiny restaurant in Venice, but I never knew what the restaurant was called, so i doubt i’ll ever get it again.
    but for an everyday pasta dish right here in america–ravioli all the way. ricotta and spinach, crab, butternut squash, you name it. if it can be lovingly wrapped between two pieces of pasta dough i’ll love it.

  9. I’ve never even considered making my own pasta, but as much as I (just recently) enjoyed making my own bread, I think I would love taking on the adventure of making my own pasta too! My favs……angel hair or ravioli!!! 🙂

  10. My grandma’s homemade ravioli…unfortunately neither my mom, sister, brother, nor I learned how to make them before she passed away.

  11. We make penne with grape tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar all the time. It’s amazing hot or cold 🙂

  12. I’m Italian what Pasta don’t I like!! But my favorite is Homemade Pasta fresh out of the boiling water with a little fresh Parmesan and a touch butter or olive oil! As kids we use to eat this for breakfast. I would love to replicate it with my very own pasta machine:]

  13. This pasta maker would be awesome – used to have my Nana’s, but it rusted and haven’t been able to find a new one yet! Hands down, fettuccine with a touch of pesto and ricotta – yum!

  14. I am definitely a sucker for fettucini Alfredo although I enjoy most anything with pasta. I mostly use pasta to make pasta salads with lots of fresh vegetables and spring greens! mmmm

  15. I love vegetable lasagna and also love to make rice pasta with a quick marinara sauce with a side of broccoli!!

  16. Actually last night I made my best pasta dish to date: sauteed sweet potatoes, artichoke hearts, kale and sundried tomatoes with whole wheat pasta and balsamic vinegar! Yum!

  17. I love pasta in so many ways but my favorite would have to be when my mother makes baked ziti. She makes it with very lean spicy deer sausage, cottage cheese, ricotta, and a bunch of other yummies

  18. Favorite pasta dish is one that is made on the fly using what’s on hand. The last pasta dish I made included chuncky bottled pasta sauce, garlic, onion, green pepper and crispy bacon.

  19. Stuffed shells – instead of meat and fatty cheeses, stuffed w/ spinach and a bit of ricotta. Amazing! Seriously. Not kidding. Amazing.

  20. My hubby and I have a favorite pasta dish that he actually had as a boy scout on a camping trip(boy scouts camping and eating pasta, weird- I know). It’s basically chicken, red and green peppers, onions, penna pasta and a cream cheese based sauce. So yummy and filling. It just reminds my hubs of his youth.

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