29 December 2010

Wednesday already?! What's on your plate? G!

Get it? G, like Home Slice or Diggety or something like that?
Ok Ok, I'm swamped so let's get on with it. :o)

This week's yummer is
Greek Salad

Mmmm ... The first time I had this was at my inlaw's house.
My mother-in-law doesn't mix the ingredients she
lines them up on an oval shaped dish so we can pick and choose
what we want. Umm, I normally pick everything.
Yep I do.

Ingredients

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise (triangles people) 
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 small sweet onion, halved and sliced
1 jar kalmata olives (you can use black olives if you prefer) 
5 tablespoons CRISCO® Oil
2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
6 cups assorted salad greens, washed, dried and chopped
-Keep in mind you can add as much ingredient as you wish. The more veggies the better-

Some Directions
Whisk CRISCO® oil, vinegar, oregano and lemon peel in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour dressing evenly over vegetables and let marinate for about 30 minutes.

Add salad greens, toss to coat and sprinkle with feta cheese. Serve.
 
I wanted to use our family recipe but I didn't grab it on my way out today .. DANG IT.
This one is pretty close though.
 
Απολαύστε!
(translation: Enjoy!)

28 December 2010

How are you shedding those Holiday lbs?

It never fails ... I gain a few extra 'friends'
over the Holiday season.
Hello mashed potatoes. Hello prime rib.  Hello pumpkin pie.
Hello stuffing.  Hello chocolates.
~Geesh, I am not even a big sweets eater~
I am ignoring you full tummy because I want to put more in my mouth.
Do you know what I am talking about?
Of course you do.

Luckily this year I didn't gain too much.
I don't think. {winking my eye at you}

This is what I do:
I have committed myself to do at least a mile at least
5 days a week on the elliptical. I also do stretches
and lunges with my 7lb weights in hand.
And don't you know, I still do those squats while blow drying my hair.
(Don't laugh. This is serious) :o)

I found these great ab exercises today and
also, this interesting article on cutting calories.

Remember, exercise isn't hard once you find what works for you.
Good luck!



27 December 2010

A Christmas on the coast.

Relaxing.
Peaceful.
Great food.
Lots of family fun.
Just a few things that come to mind to describe this Christmas.

Santa (aka Daughter) led the way on our walk along the bluffs.
We had a beautiful view of the ocean.

Daughter was up at her grandparent's house all week.
She had a blast and she got to spend time with Aunt Staci & Uncle Tim too!
They did lots of cooking and baking ...
cookies, fudge, chicken pot pies, the annual gingerbread house
and monkey munch, just to name a few.
They went on walks and to the movies.
They read books.  She had an amazing time.
Daughter is a lucky girl.

This year's gingerbread house.

Every year Daughter and her Gramdma and Grandpa make one.
It's a tradition.

Of course there were presents too.  This year Daughter
wanted to open all of her packages on Christmas Eve. She said she would 
have her stuff from Santa on Christmas morning.
We agreed and allowed her to open her gifts that evening. 
I think she was a weee bit excited. 

Daughter with one of her gifts on her head.
No it's not a hat, although it does look pretty cute!
This is a case for her new ipad. Knit especially for Daughter
by Grandma Flossie.
~Yesterday, she had the idea of having a pocket added to her case.
She ran over to Grandma Flossie's to ask if she could
'knit a pocket really quick'.
It was so cute. Of course she got her pocket added.~

On Christmas day we had my Hubber's amazing prime rib.
(mmm I think my mouth is still watering)
His sister Staci requested the yummy. Thanks Staci!
This is so good and so easy it may just be a What's on your plate? post in the future.
Keep your eyes peeled for this one!

Well, that pretty much sums up our Christmas on the coast.

Now on to the New Year!

New Year's resolution #3: Make more time in the mornings on the weekdays. 







23 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

We absolutely LOVE this Holiday and plan to
enjoy every moment of it.

Daughter and I decorated our tree then her & Daddy added the topper.

I LOVE this picture of Daughter in the tree.


Daughter enjoys taking pictures.
She was running all over the house this night taking pictures.


Ahh our stockings again. Have I mentioned that
stockings are my favorite part of Christmas
morning? :o) Yes I have but I can't help it.

May you all have a very Merry Christmas!
I'll be back after the weekend.



PS, New Year resolution #2: Do more cooking.




.

21 December 2010

F is for Fish is What's on your plate? today ...

I love most fish. Salmon being my favorite.
I can have it grilled or I can have it smoked.
I can have it baked. I can have it cold and on a salad.
I can have it marinated. Mmm ... teriyaki!
I am really not picky when it comes to salmon.

Give this grilled salmon a try ...

salt, pepper, lemon juice, bbq
season and grill
simple
(remember to make enough to make a yummy
salmon salad the next day for lunch)

Grill your favorite veggies too. I prefer asparagus but
really, I'll eat whatever Hubber is cooking. :o)

What do I like most about salmon?
Oh that's easy, it's light. I can eat a good size filet and
not feel stuffed.  It's as easy as that. 

Do you like fish? What's your favorite?


PS ... New Year's resolution #1: Keep the momentum.  Keep running. 





20 December 2010

Less than a week ...

That's it, less than a week until these get goodies in them ...
WEEEEE I can't wait!

I love LOVE love stockings. This is the funnest part
of Christmas morning for me.  The excitement on
my family's faces as they pull out each item is just priceless.

Ahhh ... less than a week.
I can be patient. I think.

17 December 2010

Uh oh! It's Crunch Time!

This is it my peeps … The start to the last shopping weekend before Christmas.
(insert stress overload here)
Or not!

Here are a few tips that are sure to get you through crunch time:

*Make a list by store, by item.
*Check off your items as you get them.
*Have a plan.
*Map out your route.
*Look for sales, coupons, door busters ahead of time.
*Don't waste time in the stores. Grab and go.
(you must pay first but you get the picture)


Shopping should be fun, not stressful.

Good luck!

Ps ...
Oh yes I am and I am ok with this.

Tootles! :o)



(photo credits - 1, 2)



15 December 2010

What's on your plate? E is for Enchilada! {YUM}

and YUM again!
Mexican food is one of my absolute FAVORITE cheat, comfort,
what ever you want to call it, food. Yum!

I have discovered that a lot of my peeps
feel this very same way ... woot!
Heellooo ... it's because we are cool like that.

Moving on ...
As we all know this is a busy, very hectic, time of year.
Whether you are working. Shopping. Decorating.
Hosting or all of the above there just isn't time to do
those dinners that take a lot of prep work or take a lot of time.

Here is a quick and easy enchilada recipe for you to enjoy.
Tip: use a rotisserie chicken from your local market.

Prep Time: 15 Min * Cook Time: 30 Min * Ready In: 45 Min
(approximately 6 servings)

Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped green onions
 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
(I might change the mushroom soup to something non-fungus) 
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast meat
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
6 (12 inch) flour tortillas
1/4 cup milk
 
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Lightly grease a large baking dish.
 
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the green onion until tender (about 3 to 4 minutes).
Add the garlic powder, then stir in the green chiles,
cream of mushroom soup (or not) and sour cream.

Mix well.

Reserve 3/4 of this sauce and set aside.
To the remaining 1/4 of the sauce in the saucepan, add the chicken
and 1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese.
Stir together.

Fill each flour tortilla with the chicken mixture and roll up.
Place seam side down in the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl combine the reserved 3/4 of the sauce with the milk.
Spoon this mixture over the rolled tortillas and top with the
remaining 1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

Per Serving Calories: 619 * Total Fat: 27.1g * Cholesterol: 60mg

Enjoy! 


14 December 2010

Just add ice skating to her talents ...

That's right my peeps, daughter now knows how to ice skate.
Did you think it was me? Oh heck no you sillies.

This past Sunday one of her dear friend's, Sam, had
her birthday party at Skate Town.
They put on a good party by the way. So good that daughter
wants to celebrate her birthday there next year.

I haven't been to Skate Town since my brother-in-law played
hockey there. Gosh, I don't even think he was driving then.
He is now, oh, 25ish and a dad, but the place still looks the same.
Clean. Fun. Cold. Yep that sums it up.

Anyhoo ...

She stuck to the buckets for a while then decided to just 
go for it! She did great!


I just LOVE this shot! She was coming off of the ice and
I had the camera literally about 6 inches from her face when
I snapped the pic. I wasn't even aiming or anything.
Needless to say she was a little upset with me that
the flash went off inches from her eyeball.
Sorry hunny! Momma wanted a pic! :O)

Maybe I'll give the skates a try ... next year. :o)





10 December 2010

Organized Chaos + A few Tips

Are you a busy person?  If so, do you like being a busy person?

Oh boy I sure am a busy person and I must say, I LOVE it.
Keeping my long time job and my real estate biz has me running.
weeeeeee!

We are a busy family actually. Going here and there.
Doing this and that and a little somethin' somethin'.
Work. Sports. Life. And oh ya, maintaining a home. 

I am not sure what we would do with ourselves if we slowed down.
Hmm ... actually {??? quick day dream}

So here goes it ...
Yep, those are real files that I am working.
Nope, that's not all of them.

Tip #1 ~ Post-its. I love the things {thinking about Romy & Michelle's
High School Reunion ... ha ha ha * favorite} Every file has one that
lists my list for that account and completed items are checked off (scribbled).
I do this so questions can be answered if I am away. (hopefully)

I am a note taker.  My ideas, thoughts, to-dos. They get jotted down
as I think of them.  At the end of my day I put everything in my Blackberry
and throw the paper away.

Tip #2 ~ Always be organized. Take notes. 
I don't rely on notes I have written on paper. If it's of importance
it goes in my Blackberry. If it's not, the paper gets shuffled to the
bottom of my oversized purse & eventually thrown away which is why
I don't rely on paper. HA! 
He hem ... I love my oversized purse.
Blackberry calendar and notes keep my mind straight.


I do at times still use a real life hang on the wall calendar.
Mainly to note things for the entire family to see whenever needed.

Tip #3 ~ Communicate. Make sure everyone impacted knows
what, where, when.
We are good communicators.

I sometimes put things on my calendar like,
do laundry, clean kitchen, pack lunch.
I know this may sound silly but it works.  After working those 12 - 14 hour days
I let my mind go into relax mode before I get home. I forget
the little things easily. 

It's best for me to not sit down until I have done my at home 
stuff for that day.  I will walk in, put my stuff down, then
start a load of laundry, get Daughter's lunch ready for the next day
and see if Hubber needs help with dinner.
Clean the catbox, check their water, exercise - not the cats. Me. :o).  

Tip #4 ~ Don't fully indulge in the relaxation mode until your daily to-dos are done
or started (like laundry).
This works for meIt may seem hectic at first but
once you get in your groove you will realize it's a piece of cake.

Tip #5 ~ (Most important) DON'T STRESS. Seriously. When I feel like
I have hit a wall I sit back, I don't say anything (no frustrated grumbling) and
I reflect on the good in my life and what I am thankful for
and how things could be worse.
I am sure that sounds silly to some but it works for me.  This little one-on-one
I have with myself reminds me to not let the little
things get to me.

Understand?  Great! Now go practice over the weekend.

Tootles :o)













08 December 2010

It's Wednesday sooo What's on your plate? D is for Duck

Yepper! You are reading that right
D is for Duck.

It seems we all either get fed fancy or make fancy food around
the holidays
(I am a getting fed fancy person)
and to me, a duck dish seems fancy. Well not a normal
night of the week dinner dish anyway.

Have you ever heard of a Turducken?
It's a chicken stuffed into a duck which is stuffed into a turkey.
Sounds a weee bit hectic to me but to each their own right?

 quick jaunt down memory lane ::
When I was younger I had a friend Haley. Her dad would go duck hunting
every year and oh boy, he would bring home a lot of them. 
Haley's mom would make us duck nuggets. You know like chicken nuggets.
I remember them being so very good.

I went ahead and searched high and low for something a bit easier to tackle ::
(actually I just went to my favorite recipe site but whatever) :o)

Roasted Duck
  Prep Time: 10 Min * Cook Time: 2 Hrs * Ready In: 2 Hrs 10 Min

You will need
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 (5 pound) whole duck
1/2 cup melted butter


You will do
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Rub salt, pepper, and paprika into the skin of the duck. Place in a roasting pan.

Roast duck in preheated oven for 1 hour. Spoon 1/4 cup melted butter over bird, and continue cooking for 45 more minutes. Spoon remaining 1/4 cup melted butter over duck, and cook for 15 more minutes, or until golden brown.

Makes about 4 servings
(per serving) Calories: 625 * Total Fat: 45.1g * Cholesterol: 280mg  

Seems easy enough.
Mmm ... check it out. Give it a try. Let me know what you think!



07 December 2010

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree ...

... oh how I love thee eee eeeee
sung in a voice-cracking vocal because that's how I do it
Seriously.

Gosh I just LOVE this holiday.
I lOVE it for many reasons.

Highlighted today is ::
Christmas trees!
Large. Small. Charlie Brown style.
Ok, maybe not so much
that last one to look at but I do like the idea of it.

Decorated and all lit up is what I like to see.

I like the ones that are color coordinated. 
I like them themed.
I like the trees with a mixture of ornaments (this is how ours is).
As long as there are lights on the tree it's beautiful to me.

I like them all.

I just love the Christmas trees.

Please visit again for more holiday posts.
Yes I said ... more holiday posts. :o)


03 December 2010

Just a simple little list

This year I have one request: A sewing machine.
It's true ... stop laughing.
(fingers crossed)

I like getting gifts (who doesn't?) but don't really care what they are.
As long as there was meaning and thought behind each one
then that's good enough.
*this is important*

Handmade. Purchased. Re-gifted - no biggie.
Add a little love and I'm good.



If you aren't going to put any meaning or thought behind a gift
then why even give it?
Just to say, "I bought you something?" ~ Bah humbug!

I take Christmas pretty seriously.
It's true. Just ask Hubber.

PS, Don't mess with those stockings! :o)


02 December 2010

I Sure Do Love Those ...

Candy Canes and Christmas Lights!
Yeppers, these are a few of my favorite things of Christmas.

The cany canes make great stir sticks for those warm
and cozy drinks ... mmm.  I also like just a 
plain old pepperminty candy cane all by itself. YUM. 

Christmas lights are so pretty to look at.
I LOVE going around looking at the
fancy smancy ways people hang their lights.
So festive. So colorful. So cheery.
Every house makes me smile every time.

The holiday is rapidly approaching.
Can you believe it?

30 November 2010

Under Construction ...

Please bare with me as I play with my blog design.

So many things are changing.
New. Happy. Fresh things.
I figured this is the perfect time to change my blog as well.
I have been wanting to for a while but I have been
so very busy with work that I haven't had time.

Now I am making time so stay tuned ...

I am hoping to be done by the end of the week.

22 November 2010

I am Thankful ...

WOW! Can you believe how fast this year flew by?
I mean really, it's already Thanksgiving week.
I look forward to the holidays every year because we
get to see the families. 
We are lucky to have amazing people in our lives.

I am Thankful for our fabulous family.


I am thankful for our good health.
I am thankful we have jobs.
I am thankful we are loved.


I love all of the holiday decorations.
I love getting ideas for the next year.
I love the creativity people express during this time of year.

I am thankful we are able to see these things.

I also love LOVE love all of the delicious food.
There is so much to enjoy.
Diet? What's that?
This time of year I have a special diet.
It's called the eat what you want now ~ run it off later diet.
Yep, I like the way that sounds. As a matter of fact
I am going to do just that on Thursday. Well, the first
part of course!

I am thankful I can run.

I look forward to lots of dishes but there are two
that I can really mound my plate with ...
Moist turkey and garlic mashed potatoes.
(mmm ... mouth is watering)

I am thankful I can taste good food.
I am thankful I can eat good food.

Getting a moist turkey can be challenging ... so I've heard.
So here is a tip I found & wanted to share ...

Brining
Why Brine?
Brining makes it moist. Why are brined turkeys so juicy?
Salt causes the meat tissues to absorb water and flavorings.
It also breaks down the proteins, resulting in a tender-seeming turkey.
This means that--despite the moisture loss during roasting
and the long cooking time--you end up with a juicy bird.
Wahoozie! Just what I like.

How to Brine a Turkey
The real trick with brining is finding a container that's large
enough to submerge the turkey, yet small enough to fit in your refrigerator.
Try a stock pot, a bucket, or a roasting pan;
if you use a shallow roasting pan, you will need to
turn the bird periodically so that each side rests in the brine.
Place the container on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator
(so spills won't reach foods below).

The basic ratio for turkey brine is two cups of kosher salt
to two gallons of water. Some recipes include
sweeteners or acidic ingredients to balance the saltiness.

Dissolve salt (and sugar, if using) in two cups of hot water.
Stir in remaining gallon plus 3 ½ quarts of cold water.

Remove giblets and neck from turkey.

Immerse turkey in brine and refrigerate for at
least eight hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Good luck.

Have a wonderful Holiday!
gobble gobble



photo credits






19 November 2010

I heart WINEing

I often shop for wine by the label.
It's true.  If the label is cute, I'll try it.
There are so many fantabulous labels out there.
Have you noticed?

Last night I didn't even have to search.
This little cutie just popped out at me.  I'm lucky.

So cute. So simple. Such a great name to boot!
AND, it was on sale! wahooozie! {doing the happy dance}

I recommend this grocery store wine to anyone who is a red fan like me.
It's yummy.

Have a wonderful weekend!

17 November 2010

What's on your plate? C is for Celery

Good afternoon!
Who doesn't like celery?
I mean really, you can actually burn calories while eating it.
Can't go wrong there now can we.

Did you know?
Celery is:
High in Dietary Fiber
High in Vitamin A, B2, B5, B6, C, K
High in Minerals, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium
Low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol

Celery health benefits include having acetylenics which prevents cancer. Combine with phenolic acids (chemical which prevent growth of abnormal cells) It is a much better cancer fighter than other vegetables.

On top of the above celery health benefits, celery is known to be a negative calories vegetable. Which means that the body uses more energy to digest than absorb calories from it. WAHOOZIE!

As an estimation, a medium stalk of celery contains around 10 calories, 2g of carbohydrates, 1g of protein, zero fats and cholesterol. Nice!

Some ways we like to eat our celery are:
Stuffed with peanut butter
Stuffed with a cream cheese and chopped olive mixture
Chopped and added to tuna
Sliced in a salad
Just plan. This is only me actually. Yep, I like it plan.

Enjoy!






15 November 2010

Sometimes It's Just the Simple Things ...

... that make me smile.

I like the simple things. The little things.
Nothing to fancy (most of the time). :o)
Just the things that make me smile in an instant.

For example ...
How cute are these two little chubsters?
Really cute. I know.
The two of them sleep by each other all of the time.
You can't not smile at this ... in my opinion.

And ... of course
Holiday flavor goodness in a cup.
Ahh ...
I don't splurge on this too often but when I do I am
definitely smiling right on through the last drop.
mmm ...

Just a few simple things today.

12 November 2010

Cold Weather = Knitting!

One of my most favorite things to do in the winter
(besides ski) is knit. I love LOVE love it.
I can make lots of stuff too. {pat pat on my back}
Hubber's mom and grandma are master knitters - I just gave them
this title and boy does it fit perfectly.
You should see the stuff these ladies can crank out!
Staci (sister-in-law) and I are thankful for their abilities especially if we
attempt to make something that may be a little on the
tuff side (he hem ... a sweater).  Yes, Staci has made a
sweater but I am to chicken la la to take on that task right now.

SO ... my first project of the year is going to be this, most likely in a
different color.  Isn't this such a cute tote?

I may be casting on more than I can knit initially but
I'm sure I'll be fine.  Afterall, the Master Knitters are always available.

Project to start Thanksgiving weekend. I'll keep you posted.


10 November 2010

What's on your plate? ... B is for Broccoli

Mmm ... Broccoli ... one of my favorites!
I really like most veggies really, but this one is a super yummy.

Did you know ...

*The best broccoli will have dark green tops with lighter green stems?
*Buds should be tightly closed, with no mushy spots or signs of yellowing?
*The stalks should feel firm and crisp, never limp or wobbly?

How about a recipe? Yep, sounds good.

Let's make this:
Easy Broccoli Quiche
Sounds good to me so here you go ...

Prep Time: 20 Min ~ Cook Time: 30 Min ~ Ready In: 50 Min
6 servings - WOOT! 4 for me, 1 for Hubber and 1 for Daughter.
~just kidding~

Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter . 1 onion, minced . 1 teaspoon minced garlic . 2 cups chopped fresh broccoli . 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust . 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese . 4 eggs, well beaten . 1 1/2 cups milk . 1 teaspoon salt . 1/2 teaspoon black pepper . 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Directions
. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
. Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onions, garlic and broccoli. . Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft. Spoon vegetables into crust and sprinkle with cheese.
. Combine eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in melted butter. Pour egg mixture over vegetables and cheese.
. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until center has set.

Ta da! Enjoy. You're welcome. Tootles.