Hope this brightens your day! I apologize for the weird quality, I shot it using my iPhone.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
How has your weekend been? We’ve had another lovely one around here. The weather has been really nice and the eats delicious. Here is my weekend through pictures and a few words:
Friday, Kaylin worked on her sitting & playing:
After teaching pump in the morning and food shopping at Trader Joe’s, we met Ms. Mandi for lunch at Seabiscuit café. They had awesome black bean soup on the specials board:
Friday was also Frank’s birthday! He spent most of the day lounging:
And then he and Josh had filet for dinner:
He waited patiently
and then devoured!
Saturday, Kay and I went for a quick and easy run, ran errands, and then made her up a batch of pea and apple baby food:
I was really surprised that she liked it!
Saturday night, J and I went out to eat with the peanut.
Kaylin slept through the night, but decided 5 AM seemed like a good Sunday wake up time…
At a more reasonable time, we joined my parents & Aunt/Uncle for breakfast at Applewood. I got the parfait with an English muffin:
Now, I have CPR training, am hoping to get Kaylin out for a stroll, and make some yummy dinner. How has your weekend been?
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Waffles of Insane Greatness
I love breakfast for dinner…love! And I have a fabulous Belgian waffle maker that my Mom gave Josh and I at my bridal shower (almost 5 years ago- crazy!).
And Belgian waffles? So good. BUT, I do not like cleaning the waffle maker. THIS recipe changes all that. I made the waffles of insane greatness, based on this recipe. The waffles get nice and crisp (no soggy waffles here) and, as long as you spray the waffle maker well, the batter doesn’t get stuck! I made a few adjustments to the recipe (Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, almond milk instead of regular milk, and extra vanilla).
Waffles of Insane Greatness
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- add the milk, sour cream, oil, egg, sugar, and vanilla and mix well.
- cover with plastic wrap and let the mixture rest on your counter for 30 minutes.
- when the batter has ten minutes left to rest, preheat your waffle iron.
- when the batter is ready, spray your waffle iron with non stick spray. divide batter evenly amongst four waffles and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions.
I usually go for Chobani or Oikos Greek yogurt, but Fage was on sale- so Fage it was!
The batter (pre-rise):
Ready to cook:
Ok…so I didn’t spray the waffle maker well the first time through:
But I nailed it the second time around:
Waffles are amazing:
Give these a go!
I’m excited that its Thursday. Do you have any plans for the weekend? Tomorrow is Frank’s birthday- so he will get special treatment all day, including a nice steak! Sunday, we’re doing brunch with my parents and I have CPR training for the gym. Otherwise?? Enjoy!
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Lighter Cream of Asparagus Soup
This past weekend was a mixed bag of emotions.
The low: JoePa passed away. I graduated from Penn State and this makes me incredibly sad. That man dedicated his life to Penn State. He will be MISSED. (Edited to add: If you have a minute, read this article…it highlights what an incredible person JoePa was. “He was a humble, funny and giving man who was unlike any other coach I ever met in college football. He rolled up his pants to save on dry cleaning bills. He lived in the same simple ranch house for the last 45 years. Same glasses, same wife, same job, for most of his adult life.”)
- The Patriots are going to the super bowl (wahoooooo!)
- Most importantly, Kaylin said her first word! Dada . I almost fell on the floor when I heard her say it. So cute.
- The cream of asparagus soup I made Sunday night
After an indulgent dinner Saturday night, I wanted something lighter and greener. I have made cream of asparagus soup many times before, but I have made a vegan version from Tal Ronnen’s, the Conscious Cook. Since I didn’t have any raw cashews for the cashew cream, I tried to make a dairy version.
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bunch of asparagus with ends trimmed off, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
- 2 cups of spinach
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat for ~1 minute. Add asparagus, celery, and onion. Cook for ~10 minutes or until celery is softened up.
Add stock and red pepper. Turn heat to low and let mixture simmer, covered, for ~30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter over medium low heat. Add flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, turn the heat to medium, bring to a boil and continue to whisk until mixture has thickened.
Add milk mixture and spinach to vegetable/broth mixture. Cook for 5 additional minutes. Puree using an immersion blender or blend in batches.
The soup was VERY tasty! Everyone enjoyed it- Josh even went back for seconds. We also had a simple salad (bad picture) on the side of spinach, almonds, Chinese noodles, tomato and cucumber. We also had sourdough bread and fruit:
Yum Yum! Have you had any highs or lows this week?
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Restaurant Week: Halls Chophouse
Hey guys! How was your weekend? Ours was very nice. J and I had a date night with Kaylin on Friday. Saturday, I took Body Step, ran errands, VOTED, and then we went to Halls Chophouse for restaurant week. I’ve written a few posts about Grill 225, one of the other steak restaurants in Charleston that both Josh and I love (and I don’t even eat steak). After hearing rave reviews about Hall’s, we knew we had to give it a try (Christina has given Halls a lot of props).
We got all dressed up for the event. Kaylin wore an adorable Ralph Lauren outfit (that girl has way better clothes than me ):
Walking into the restaurant, you’re instantly greeted by the Halls family (very warmly- hand shakes, hugs, etc). We also heard the chatter of many dinner guests (the place was PACKED) and piano music. The restaurant is two floors and is stuffed full of tables to accommodate the many guests (maybe packed a little too tightly). The lighting is very dim, so a lot of my pictures are stinky (sorrrry!)
At our table, a few people went for the restaurant week menu, and a few of us ordered off the regular menu. Delicious drinks were also ordered. I got a diet coke, which was served from a mini glass bottle:
The waitress brought a basket of sourdough bread to the table, which was yummy, but doesn’t compare to the amazing bread basket at 225. They have a variety of salad offerings. Christina lovessssss the beet salad. A few at our table got the wedge salad that came with a giant piece of bacon and reminded me of something Jessica would love. This salad got rave reviews:
Josh got a Caesar that was a little meh. The dressing was very mustardy (which Josh isn’t a fan of). I actually liked the dressing and their croutons:
I got the simple greens salad (mixed field greens, goat cheese, pecans, tomatoes and a sherry honey vinaigrette). I’m a huge sherry fan, loved the dressing. Maybe some day I will edit my pictures before posting them haha:
The table also got three appetizers that I didn’t get pictures of: calamari, oysters rockefeller & a fried green tomato salad. They all got the thumbs up. I think the fried green tomatoes was the most popular.
For dinner, Josh got a filet and I got a crab cake. They place the crab cake on top of a salad which contains walnuts. It was a tasty crab cake, but seemed to contain a lot of filler. I also disliked the sauce on the outside…:
Josh liked how his filet was simply prepared, but again prefers Grill 225. The highlight of the meal…which sadly was not photographed…was the sides! The pepper jack grits were out of this world. I would come back to the restaurant for the grits alone. The table also really liked the lobster macaroni and cheese, but I wasn’t a fan…tasted like bacon to me .
Overall, I think Halls has some great dishes. However,I think our hearts still belong to Grill 225.
Kaylin slept through most of dinner and even pulled the blanket over her face near the end
What did you eat this weekend?
Friday, January 20, 2012
Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Jack Pizza
I always wanted a pizza stone. I finally got one for Christmas and was super excited to give it a go.
Unfortunately, I didn’t read any of the reviews online and didn’t know this stone really needs to be “broken in” before the dough doesn’t stick…fail. Instead of giving up, I let the stone cool, scrapped off the pizza dough, and started over. I placed a piece of aluminum foil sprayed with non stick spray on top of the stone. This worked beautifully. I can already tell the stone is breaking in and will be ready for the dough to be placed directly on top soon.
For my first pizza on the stone, I made a buffalo chicken pizza with jalapeno jack cheese. I preheated the oven to 450 degrees with the stone in the oven. Once the stone was ready, I placed the dough on top of the aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray and baked for five minutes.
In the meanwhile, I prepared the toppings. For the sauce, I mixed hot sauce in with pizza sauce:
I also sliced up jalapeno jack cheese, and set aside a few slices of Boar’s Head buffalo chicken and artichokes:
Once the dough had baked for five minutes, I topped the pizza:
The pizza cooked for another ~15 minutes and was nice and crispy:
On a side note, a BIG thank you to Lee for sending me chia muffins from her local farmers market. She talked about them on her blog and I SO wanted to try them. She was sweet enough to pick up a pack for me. They have the perfect amount of sweetness and moisture!
I ate one after I taught my new Body Attack class last night- it was heavenly!
Thank you Lee!!
What are you up to this weekend? We have a date night tonight (probably date night in) and are going out for restaurant week tomorrow. Otherwise? Maybe teaching attack and getting a quick run in. Enjoy!
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I’ve been slacking (again) on cooking up new dishes (sticking to old favorites). I did try Maria’s amazing potato soup (sans feta since Josh isn’t a fan) on Sunday and absolutely loved it!. BUT, no pictures. So, I decided to play along with the 20 questions post a couple of my favorite bloggers have done.
1) What is one of your favorite ways to spend a Saturday?
- Gym! Either a nice run outdoors or Body Step
- Brunch at one of my favorite spots
- If its summer, going to the beach or pool. If its winter, watching a movie or college football
- Lots of time with Josh, Kaylin & Frank
- Easy dinner at home
2) List your top three favorite TV shows.
- White Collar
- Junk on Bravo (Real Housewives, Million Dollar Listing, Millionaire Matchmaker…you name it. I know you’re with me Julie)
3) Would you rather be in pictures or take them?
- I think I like both equally. I love to take pictures to capture memories & places, but I think its important to celebrate yourself through pictures too! I definitely love to look back at pictures of myself at different times in my life.
4) Why do you blog?
- To have a place to store and share recipes
- To have a place to document whats going on in my life (I think it will be awesome to look back at later on)
- To meet other wonderful bloggers
5) If you could have lunch with one person from your Twitter list who would it be?
- I don’t twitter or really facebook either…I know, how do I survive?
6) List a few of your favorite snacks.
- Apples & nut/seed butter
- Rice cakes & nut/seed butter
- Baby carrots and mustard (yup)
7) Share five websites that you visit regularly…
- Google Reader
- Fox News
- My company's internal website
- Time card website for the company I work for (lame ).
8) Do you have a pet? If so, what kind?
- Franklin Beans, English Bulldog
9) Which three material possessions would you struggle to live without?
- Phone (I think these three are everyone's staples)
10) What’s your favorite drink?
- Coffee-specifically soy mistos from Starbucks
11) Do you enjoy cooking?
- I am assuming this question set didn’t start on a food blog….
12) Do you have children?
- 1 peanut! Kaylin
13) What are your favorite hobbies?
- Teaching group fitness classes
- Baking & cooking
14) Would you consider yourself to be shy or outgoing?
- I’d say I’m right smack dab in the middle
15) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?
- I’m not a big fan of this question- all the little things make me, me! I guess if I’d have to choose, I’d want my hair to be the same color it was when I was younger. Trips to the salon are fun, but expensive .
16) Who is your favorite actor/actress?
- actor: Marky Mark
- actress: Reese!
17) What’s the coolest thing you’ve done this week?
- The coolest things: Taken care of Kaylin, played trivia at Mellow Mushroom & taught some kick butt classes at the gym
18) Do you live near your family or far from them?
- Close to some:
19) List three of your talents.
- I think I’m a pretty decent group fitness instructor
- Making cookies
- Changing a diaper haha…jk…I’ve just been doing a lot of that recently
20) What is your greatest attribute?
- I always try to do as much as I can for those that are important to me