January 31, 2012

101 Update

As promised - here is an update for my progress on my 101 goals in 1,001 days. Started January 1st, and I don't think I counted on how motivating it would be to publish these goals for the public to see - I definitely want to complete every.single.one.

15. Get an office chair for my desk - Completed 1/15/12 - I am using one of the chairs I brought back from my grandma Alice's house.

37. Actually use one of the coupons I save - Completed 1/16/12 - Tanning sessions, yes - I know it's horrible for you, but I don't want to be the palest bride to ever get married in California.

40. Create a mail center and calendar spot in the house – Completed 1/13/12 - I caved and bought the pottery barn mail center. I'm in love with it.

53. Go to the zoo - Completed 1/8/12 - Mike saw this on the list, and we went the following weekend!

55. Buy Abby a new collar - Completed 1/6/12 - Hers was starting to fall apart, so it was time. Her new one is yellow and says "good DOG" on it, it's so cute!

56. Stock up on grain free treats for Abby for training purposes - Completed 1/6/12
- I picked these up when I picked up her collar, she hears the bag open and she comes running.

68. Learn to make a mean pad thai dish - Completed 1/23/12 - Check it out - so yummy.

72. Make a hot breakfast every day before work for a week - Completed 1/13/12 - This is so much harder than I thought it would be! I made a lot of eggs!

92. Leave a 100% tip to a deserving server - Completed 1/12/12 - This was fun for Mike and I to do!

96. Watch an award show – Completed 1/15/12 - I watched the Oscars and quite frankly... I still don't get the appeal. Ricky Gervais was funny and all, but I don't really care enough about all the categories, etc. to watch awards shows all the time. 

Overall, 10 down.... 91 to go!   

(Sorry, boring post - I know!)

January 30, 2012

Tangerine Beef Over Linguine

My mom is a food network addict, which means we are always eating what she either sees on one of the shows, or one of the recipes she finds on their site. She made this one for Mike and I last week, and served it over brown rice. We loved it. Since we had just made pad thai on the way home we were both talking about how the sauce and the flavor of the meat would go great over pad thai noodles.

Now, I know, I didn't do that and the reason is because I went to a different grocery store than I normally would, and I couldn't find them. I know they have them, but as I will fully admit about myself I'm not very patient. So, I left after trying for a few minutes and didn't even bother!

This is a twist on one of Guy Fieri's recipes that you can find here. It's kind of an odd recipe, just meat and sauce... not over rice, or noodles or anything! I didn't change much; added jalapenos, crushed red pepper flakes, added a couple of extra scallions, omitted dry sherry, and added cilantro. Which sounds like a lot of changes, but it's not I swear! I think that serving this over linguine was the perfect touch!

Mike loved this one... to the point where he asked if I could make it weekly. Soo, I'd say I did good!

Ingredients:
1/2 box of linguine 

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 pound flank steak, sliced thinly

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce 
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon chili sauce 
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 jalapenos, minced and de-seeded
1/4 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice - you can use orange juice, it won't hurt
A few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes - or a few more than that
2 tablespoons ginger, grated

Garnish:
1/2 of a bunch of scallions
1/4 cup of cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

In a large bowl combine the soy sauce and cornstarch and mix well. Add beef, cover, and let marinate for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Start the pasta in a large pot, and make sure to salt your water well.
 
Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. When the pasta is almost done, heat up a large skillet with a little bit of olive oil in it (about a tablespoon). Add the beef, cook for about 2-3 minutes, until just browned. Add the sauce and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain the pasta (I reserved 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water and added it to the skillet, up to you if you want to do the same). Add the pasta into the large skillet with the flank steak and sauce, toss to coat and heat through.

Garnish each plate with a few chopped scallions, cilantro and sesame seeds.



 Enjoy!

January 26, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes

I am happy to announce that Brit and I got together to bake something and IT WORKED! We made awesome chocolate cupcakes for Valentine's day!

Ingredients:
1-2/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2/3 cups cocoa powder
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 cup water
1 cup mayonnaise - I know it sounds awful, but seriously it makes for an insanely moist cake.

Mix all the dry ingredients first, then add the wet. Use a hand mixer for this one because you don't want any lumps in the batter. Line your cupcake pan with liners, and fill 3/4 of the way up. It's usually about two heaping spoons full of batter - depending on the size of your cupcake/muffin tins.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

When the cupcakes are ready, we let them cool for a bit. Then we cut a few of them in half and with a heart shaped cookie cutter punched out a heart in the tops of each. Filled them with frosting (pink frosting from a can to be exact) using a piping bag - which Brit is actually insanely good with! Covered in sprinkles and little chocolate hearts we made.




Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day!!

January 25, 2012

Pad Thai

This is another recipe I found on Pinterest - and once again, Pinterest did not fail me. I love pad thai, a lot. My very dear friend Brit and I somehow managed to eat at Big Bowl once a week in college, how our wallets (and waistlines) could afford it - I'm still not sure. But, it was and still is our spot! Anyway, I always ordered pad thai. I have tried making it before without a whole lot of success, the recipes just didn't seem right. Check this one out - I tweaked it a bit, I added shrimp, fish sauce, a few more scallions, crushed red pepper flakes and another clove of garlic.

Ingredients:
8 ounces dried rice noodles
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
3 tablespoons soy sauce - used low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 squirt Sriracha - I used way more than this, add more or less based on how spicy you like your food
2 teaspoons olive oil
6 scallions (green onions), white and green parts, separated and thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large eggs, light beaten
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts
1 lb. of shrimp, deveined, cooked and tails removed
A few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes

Soak noodles according to package instructions, drain them and run hot water over them so they don't get sticky.

In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce and sriracha. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Add eggs and cook, scraping skillet with spatula until eggs are almost set (still wet looking, but almost completely cooked through). Transfer eggs to a plate. Cook the shrimp in a skillet, then add noodles, scallion greens, and sauce. Cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft. Add egg mixture and toss to coat, breaking eggs up gently.

Serve noodles with lime wedges, topped with cilantro and peanuts. I groaned when I realized I forgot the bean sprouts!




Enjoy!

January 24, 2012

Chocolate Bark

It's rare that I can get through an entire day without eating something sweet - so, I run, and lift weights, and attempt to keep the sweets small. This recipe helps keeping the portions small - assuming I have enough will power to only eat one piece!! It is so easy to make, and it's stored in the fridge.

Ingredients:
1/2 a bag of chocolate chips
1/4 cup of salted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup of craisins

Melt your chocolate chips and pour them onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Spread the chocolate out thin, and attempt to make it so that the chocolate is the same thickness throughout. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds and craisins over the chocolate. Pop it in the fridge until the chocolate is set (no longer glassy) cut it with a pizza cutter into small pieces. Store it in the fridge and enjoy at will!

Come up with your own combos - orange zest and dried cherries, or something with cashews, etc.


Enjoy!

January 23, 2012

Pumpkin Smoothie

I know what you are thinking... it's not the right time of year for a pumpkin recipe. Well, technically, you're right. But, I was craving it - so I'm posting this protein shake I came up with anyway. This makes for a great breakfast!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup of pumpkin pie filling
1 individual size vanilla yogurt - I used one thing of Activia
1/2 cup of milk - I used soymilk
1 frozen banana
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
A few shakes of pumpkin pie spice
A few shakes of ground cloves

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Top with brown sugar and a few pecans!


Enjoy!

January 19, 2012

Avocado Toast

I have noticed a trend with avocado toast - toast, avocado, salt maybe pepper, etc. for breakfast. I love this idea, and I love avocados, but without the protein I'm starving in about 2 hours - sometimes less. So, one morning it seemed kind of perfect that I was bored with cereal and we had just a couple slices of ham left in the fridge. Pop those on top with the other ingredients and it made for a perfect breakfast!

I tend to have this as a snack when I get home from work, but it works for breakfast or even a light dinner depending on your mood! Make your own version, add a piece of cheese, or bacon. Mmmm... bacon.

Ingredients:
1 slice of bread, good and toasted
Butter
4 slices of ham
1/2 an avocado
Fresh cracked pepper

This should be pretty self explanatory - toast the slice of bread, and butter it. Layer the ham on the toast, and the avocado on the ham. Then grind some pepper on top, and eat.


Enjoy!

January 18, 2012

Tortilla Soup

This is another recipe that belongs to my grandma Alice. I have talked about her before here, she passed away this past July, and it's been a rough couple of months realizing over and over again that she will not be attending my wedding.

I write this post feeling very humbled, you see this past weekend we went to her house, and packed up her things and brought them home with us. Between my aunt Monica and my step father Marty I ended up with far more of her things than I thought possible or fair to them for that matter. It's hard to see her things around my house, because I would so much prefer to give them all back just to have her here. I write this post on the kitchen table I have inherited from her, it's beautiful. Mike and I just keep staring at it, because in all honesty it changed the whole room.

Since I've talked about her before I know that I have talked about the fact that she knew how to live. While I was walking around her house I kept thinking about the last time I was in it while she was alive. It was a birthday party for one of her sisters. It was a huge pot luck, and nothing but women - great women. We ate and laughed. It was this soup that kept coming to mind though. Alice kept offering up her "Tequila Soup" and there were no takers, she finally asked why. Everyone looked around and explained that tequila soup sounded just awful! She of course meant tortilla soup - there was no tequila.

When I looked up the recipe, I thought the ingredients looked a little strange. Then I went to the grocery store and every single ingredient was on sale, which was just so perfect. Alice LOVED a good deal. I put my own spin on this, but I still give her the credit.

Ingredients:
2 can rotel tomatoes and chilies
1 can of black beans
1 (26 oz.) jug of unsalted chicken stock - it exists, and I've never been so excited! You can use regular stock if you want, I just try to cook low sodium!
1 shot of tequila - just for Alice! 
1 Anaheim pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 lb. chicken, cooked and shredded
1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 avocado, sliced
Sour cream, for garnish
1 tortilla
2 tablespoons of olive oil


Pour the olive oil and tequila in a large pot, add in the Anaheim, garlic, red pepper, onion and jalapeno. Start cooking until fragrant - just a few minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. In another pot, cook the chicken and shred it. Add the chicken into the pot. Salt and pepper as needed - to taste.

Slather a tortilla in butter on both sides. Bake it at 400 degrees, flip it after about 5 minutes. Cook on the other side for another 5 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it cool. When it's cool and crunchy, crumble it and use it as a topping! I added an avocado, a spoonful of sour cream, the tortilla and a pinch of extra cilantro on top.

I slurped this down a little quicker than I care to admit.



Enjoy!

January 12, 2012

Roasted Tomato Soup

Well, Christmas came and went without any significant snow. It was the first Christmas for as long as I can remember where we didn't have any, it was weird. And totally awesome. I loved not having to worry about the roads when trying to get to all of our family Christmas events. This year we even got to play outdoor games - bean bags, and ladder golf. It was a great time.

Now that it's January... it's getting colder. Winter is totally going to kick our butts when it finally gets here... and summer won't start until July... not the point. It's been cold (not even THAT cold) just cold enough to where I'm craving SOUP! Something that warms me up from the inside out.

So, I made an old favorite - roasted tomato soup.

*Recipe adapted from Ina Garden

Ingredients:
5 giant tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1 large white onion, diced
1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of adobo sauce - you can skip this if you don't like things spicy
3/4 cup of basil, chopped.
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups of chicken stock
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Chop your tomatoes haphazardly however you see fit, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay them out on a cookie sheet, and roast at 400 for about 45 minutes.

While those are cooking, prep the rest of your ingredients. When they have about 10 minutes left, put a little bit of olive oil into a large pot and cook your onion, garlic and red pepper flakes until the onions are translucent. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Stir them up, and then use an immersion blender to combine all the ingredients. If you don't have one just transfer the soup to a blender, blend it up and add it back to the pot. Bring to a boil, and serve.

I garnished with a little bit of cheese and extra basil.


Enjoy!

January 11, 2012

Cucumber Boats

I am always searching for quick, healthy and easy snacks - aren't we all? This one works... for the most part. I can't see myself packing this one for work and whipping it out at my desk, so we'll say this is a good weekend snack or when you get home from work snack. Well, now that I think about it I guess you could just chop the cucumber and mix it in with the cottage cheese and take it to work..? I digress.

If you like cottage cheese, and cucumbers then this will be a little slice of heaven for you. Once I made this and ate it I realized that the cottage cheese mixture would work plain, or with melon or berries, etc. So mix it up however you want!

Ingredients:
1 cucumber, peeled, halved and seeds scooped out
3/4 cup cottage cheese
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Salt and Pepper - to taste

Peel a cucumber - all the way if you want, or just some. I tend to only peel about half of it. That sounds weird. What I mean is that I only take off about every other half inch of skin on the cucumber. Even that sounds weird. You'll just see in the pictures. Anyway, slice it in half and using a spoon scoop out all the seeds.  Think ants on a log when you are doing this.

Mix together the cottage cheese, basil, salt and cilantro and fill the hollowed out area. I topped mine with the cracked pepper.



**I get a LOT of questions and comments on this one - Yes, it would be awesome with tomato and celery, or dried spices, and greek yogurt would be aweomse! I'm sad I didn't think of this first! Make it your own!

January 10, 2012

Mexican Pizza

As per usual at our house, too many things sound good. Yet, we always come back to Mexican food or pizza. This week I chose to combine them and was pleasantly surprised by how it went!

Ingredients:
2 naan pitas - you can use pizza dough
Your salsa of choice
Black beans
Corn
Avocado
Tomato
Cheese
Cilantro
Sour cream
Lettuce

This recipe is going to drive some people crazy, so I apologize up front. I made this to taste - you should too! Preheat your oven - 350 will do. I opened our package of naan bread, drizzled olive oil on one size and tossed it on the grill. I let it sit for about 4 minutes. Then I covered it with salsa (as my theoretical sauce). Scooped out black beans and corn... from a can and spread them out over the salsa. Diced a tomato, minced some a lot of cilantro, and sliced an avocado. Added them all on top. I sprinkled a little bit of cheese on top - I was trying to keep this somewhat light. Then I baked them on a cookie sheet until the cheese melted. Took it out, topped it with a handful of lettuce and some sour cream! Soo easy!

Add red onion or chicken or whatever, make it yours!

Mike loved this one and told me to add it to the list of ones he for sure wants repeated... at some point I'll have to start making that list, since it's getting long!



Enjoy!

January 8, 2012

MINI Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

I have raved about Pinterest in more than one post here, so I won't do it again. BUT, this idea came from Pinterest, and now that I have made them this particular way I believe this is the only way to eat pineapple upside down cake... made in a muffin tin... so you get your very own mini pineapple upside down cake.

I love pineapple upside down cake for so many reasons, and I have made about a zillion of them. I tend to eat slices for breakfast - is anyone surprised at this point? Didn't think so. Interestingly enough I found out that when they are made in muffin form, they are better. The topping to cake ratio is far more favorable, and the brown sugar and butter mixture make the outsides slightly crunchy, which just makes every bite even better. Hence me deciding this is the only way to ever eat this cake again.

I was also thinking that these would be awesome for a brunch, or a party that required small bites. These would definitely impress, and they are really no harder than a normal pineapple upside down cake!

Ingredients for the cake:
4 eggs
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup of milk (I used soymilk - use what you have)
1 stick of butter, melted or really soft
1 tsp. vanilla

Ingredients for the topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar (maybe a little more)
1/2 stick of butter, melted
Maraschino cherries, one for each
Pineapple rings, one for each

Grease a cupcake/muffin tin pan (the larger sized ones - 6 each, not 12) and preheat the oven to 350. With a mixture combine all ingredients for the cake batter, and set aside. Then mix together the ingredients for the topping, making sure that all the brown sugar is covered in the butter (no dry spots remain). Scoop a little bit of the topping mixture into the bottom of each muffin spot, just enough to cover the bottom completely. Then add a pineapple ring to each, and in the middle of each pineapple ring add a cherry. Pour the batter over top of the pineapple ring - making sure to only fill each one about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for about 25 minutes. When they are still hot from the oven, run a knife around the outside edge of each mini cake so they won't stick to the sides. Then place a large pan on top of the muffin pan, and flip them over - carefully! Viola! You have this fab treat...

*Note: this cake batter recipe will make an entire 9 inch round version of this, or about 12 mini cupcake versions!


{Seriously thinking these are the best things I have ever made.}

ENJOY!

January 5, 2012

101 in 1,001

In the spirit of New Year's resolutions I have been working on a list of things I would like to accomplish. There is a thing bloggers do called the 101 in 1,001 - 101 things you want to accomplish in 1,001 days. Which puts you at about 2.75 years and since it's just shy of 3 years 101 things doesn't seem so bad. So, here is my list - I will update it as I complete items off the list!

Start Date: January 1st, 2012
End Date: September 28th, 2014 - Check my math people - I think I did that right!

Travel:
1. Vacation in Italy
2. Go on a honeymoon 
3. Vacation in Las Vegas
4. Vacation in Seattle
5. Take Mike to meet my grandparents
6. Visit Washington D.C.
7. Vacation in New York city
8. Take a “staycation” – stay downtown at a hotel for a weekend, eating and hanging out in places I have never been - Complete
House:
9. Set up our guest bedroom – alarm clock, lamp, dresser, etc. - Complete
10. Paint the hallway
11. Re-tile the mudroom floor
12. Find the perfect chair for the mudroom
13. Start the kitchen re-model - new microwave, new knobs for cabinets, counter tops were installed! Still need to paint, hang the new pot rack and add backsplash - Complete 5/31/12
14. Have the side door replaced - Complete
15. Get an office chair for my desk - Completed 1/15/12
16. De-clutter office closet
17. Donate 20 things to charity we no longer use - Complete
18. Remove swinging gate from fence
19. Replace two broken boards in our fence
20. Buy darker fabric for café curtains in the front room - Complete 3/21/12
21. Organize storage room - Completed 4/15/12
22. Buy a label maker - Completed 2/19/12 - someone actually bought it for me, but I'm counting it anyway! Thanks Shell!
23. Organize kitchen cabinets – Completed 2/20/12
24. Replace broken blind
25. Add hooks for the blind cords so another one doesn’t break - Complete
26. Paint or Wallpaper main floor bathroom - Decided to paint - Completed 5/31/12

Holidays:
27. Decorate for Christmas – a tree, outside lights, etc.
28. Send out Christmas cards
29. Carve pumpkins in time for Halloween
30. Host a Thanksgiving dinner for friends
31. Contribute a side dish for Thanksgiving
32. Go to an apple orchard in the fall
33. Start a new holiday tradition
34. Hand make an ornament
35. Create an ornament out of our first house key
36. Make a holiday wreath
Miscellaneous:
37. Actually use one of the coupons I save - Completed 1/16/12
38. Use up all the gift cards in my wallet- Completed 2/15/12
39. Complete 5 DIY projects around the house (3/5) - I spray painted a 5x7 picture frame and hung it around my thermostat - it's so cute! Homemade wreath, calendar
40. Create a mail center and calendar spot in the house – Completed 1/13/12
41. Consistently take my vitamins every day for a month – seriously, osteoporosis is no joke people! - Completed 9/12/12
42. Follow an entire season of hockey – MN Wild of course
43. Get another tattoo – Completed 9/9/12
44. Go skiing
45. Get a fire safe
46. Buy a new pair of glasses
47. Buy a bike
48. Learn to knit something
49. Go to a farmer's market - Complete
50. Go ice skating
51. Go paintballing - even though I know it’s going to hurt
52. Have a pajama day – Complete
53. Go to the zoo - Completed 1/8/12
Abby – our goofy French Bulldog:
54. Save up and send Abby to puppy boot camp – she’s so stubborn
55. Buy Abby a new collar - Completed 1/6/12
56. Stock up on grain free treats for Abby for training purposes - Completed 1/6/12
57. Take Abby to a dog park
58. Work with Abby on liking other dogs – seriously, she hates them all
59. Consistently walk Abby at least 3 times a week for a month - Completed 4/30/12
Food/Blog:
60. Eat at 5 new restaurants (5/5) Bar Abilene, Kinsen noodles and bar, Smack Shack, Phsycho Suzi's, Tilia - Completed 4/16/12 - this number should have been so much higher, oh well.
61. Be consistent with meatless Monday for one month
62. Blog every day for one month
63. Cut out dairy completely for a month – I am allergic after all!
64. Attend a food blog conference/forum - Mixed Conference 11/30 - 12/3
65. Get 20 of my pictures on FoodGawker (8/28) at 14/28 as of 3/31
66. Take at least 3 cooking classes with a friend
67. Cook beef wellington
68. Learn to make a mean pad thai dish - Completed 1/23/12
69. Grow my own herbs – Completed 2/15/12 lots of cilantro, little bit of basil they grow completely different!
70. Make homemade ice cream - Complete - Brown Butter Ice Cream
71. Don’t eat out for a month
72. Make a hot breakfast every day before work for a week - Completed 1/13/12
73. Learn to make pizza dough
74. Make a fruit pie from scratch
75. Make a key lime pie from scratch – Mike’s favorite
76. Do/Make/Have fondue - Complete
77. Make something with biscoff spread –Complete - Biscoff Banana Bread
78. Make a cocktail for a party - 1 bottle of Orange Muscat from Danza Del Sol Winery, 1 can of raspberry lemonade, serve with fresh raspberries - Completed 6/2/12
79. Make another strawberry fraiser cake - Complete - see the recipe here
80. Make a batch of truffles
81. Cook something with venison - I made my grandmothers venison meatballs - turns out the secret is butter! Check it out here. - Completed 4/13/12
82. Re-make some of the the original recipes on my blog and take new photos if necessary – there are some pictures that are really bad! - Complete - 3/24/12 Some are still not great, but I'm satisfied for now!
83. Create a wordless Wednesday post – this means LOTS of pictures - Completed (with wedding photos) 5/9/12 Check it out here.
84. Install Photoshop and learn how to use it - Installed, now I just need to learn how to use it!
Personal:
85. Frame some of our wedding photos - Complete
86. Get married - Complete 3/10/12 - pictures to come I swear!
87. Throw a party – seriously, we never have people over
88. Change my name – Complete - seriously, that took forever!!
89. See a movie Mike wants to see without complaint
90. Run the torchlight 5K - Complete 7/18/12
91. Send a care package to a friend out of state - Complete
92. Leave a 100% tip to a deserving server - Completed 1/12/12
93. See Phantom of the Opera with my mother on broadway
94. Create a birthday chart – help keep track of everyone’s birthdays - Complete
95. Pay for a beverage for the person behind me in line - Complete
96. Watch an award show – Completed 1/15/12 - Oscars
97. Buy a sewing machine
98. Read 50 books (29/50)
99. Go to a pricey salon and get a new haircut - Complete 3/13/12 - First real haircut since the engagement!
100. Get a wedding picture framed with our first dance lyrics written around it

101. For every item not completed on this list at the end of 1,001 days donate $5 to charity – see even if I fail I win!

January 4, 2012

Citrus Salad Dressing

It's diet time for many out there, including at our house. We are getting married in just over two months and we didn't hold back on a thing over the holidays. We are both feeling a little guilty about everything we have eaten, so we are attempting to eat light for a few weeks here - attempting is the key word here. (I won't count the donut I had for breakfast if you won't.)

This is a salad that comes from a local restaurant called Wildfire. They have this great chopped salad on their menu, we had this one a couple of weeks ago, and I had to make it again. I fudged it a bit to my tastes (as you all should when you make something). Below is my version.

Citrus vinaigarette:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 jalapeno, minced
1/2 teaspoon honey mustard
1/8 teaspoon honey
1 pinch of cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons of minced cilantro

Optional:
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of lime juice

For the salad I used spinach, and mixed greens. I topped with grilled chicken, baby tomatoes, celery, and craisins. This time I squeezed a lime wedge over top and added additional cilantro, I love that stuff. I always add fresh ground pepper, and parmesean cheese as well. Add whatever you would like - blue cheese crumbles, avocado chunks, walnuts, almonds, etc.

Mix up the dressing and you will have an awesome lunch or dinner. Easy enough huh?



Enjoy!

January 3, 2012

Fajitas

Fajitas are always a winner at our house - they are quick and easy for me so I don't mind whipping them up whenever they are requested, and they do of course fall into the mexican category which is a particular favorite at our house. These were previously on the blog, but I made them again while I was on vacation for the holidays and took new pictures, so I'm bringing it back to the top.

I cook the veggies in the cilantro and lime mixture so that I don't have to marinade the chicken. Lazy or genius? You decide!

1lb. chicken, cooked and sliced
1 red pepper, sliced thinly
1 red onion
1/2 can of corn
Cilantro - a lot of it!
1 lime
Shredded cheese
Tortillas
Avocados or guacamole
Any other toppings you want!


Fry up a pound of chicken in a skillet, add a little bit of pepper and olive oil. Cut the red pepper and onion into thin strips, quarter a lime, and squeeze one piece into the skillet with the vegetables, add the corn, and 3 tablespoons of cilantro.

 
When the chicken is done, cut it into strips. The veggies are done when the onion is slightly translucent, and everything is heated through.

 
Heat your tortillas if you want and load them up!



Enjoy!

January 2, 2012

Homemade Wreaths

I believe I have said this before, but I'll say it again. I am obsessed with Pinterest. I have a board on my Pinterest account full of DIY projects I hope to someday accomplish, and I have a board for things that I would love in my house. The other day I was feeling crafty - which seriously never happens. So, I opened my boards and went to town.

I decided to make two wreaths - one for the front door of our house, and one for the back door of our house. They were easy, and look how they turned out!!


For the front door wreath you simply buy a grapevine wreath from your local craft store, some fake flowers, and some wooden numbers (if they have them). Paint the numbers, and use your hot glue gun to stick everything on. Viola! You have an adorable wreath for your front door that includes your house number!


For the back door wreath I bought styrofoam balls, colored yarn, a plain wreath, burlap, and an "O". I wrapped the plain wreath with the burlap, then wrapped the styrofoam balls in the yarn. Then you glue the balls of yarn onto the burlap. Hang the "O" with ribbon around the top. This one is a little more putsy, but seriously - so cute.

I got the ideas here and here.

Hopefully I will get to the other items on my DIY board for our house too!

As I go to post this I realize that it's my 100th post! 
 
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