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 ...

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.


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~

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

. 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.

09 November 2010

A Muddy ... Down & Dirty ... Muddy Sunday

I'm back and oh boy! I've got lots of posts to catch up on ... yahoozie!
I am definitely not complaining. I have been so busy doing what I love that
I haven't had much time to update this little bloggy, which I also love.
(3 extra hours per day. Please and thank you!)
Ok ... ok ... wishful thinking.

Anyhoo ... let's get on with it.
A while ago my long time friend, Misti, posted she was
going to do the Merrell Down and Dirty Mud Run on Halloween and asked
if anyone wanted to join her.
Umm ... he hem ... me! me! me! and I roped in Carmen too.
Please keep in mind that I have never done anything that
even comes close to a run, obstacle course type of exercise do-dad thingy
but I figured what the heck, it's got to be fun right? HA!

Well, even though this was by far the hardest thing I have done
I am so glad that I did it.  With Misti's encouragement during the entire 5K,
I was able to push myself to lengths I didn't know I could do.

Guess what? I want to do it again next year.
Goal :: Go faster.

Here are a few photos courtesy of Hubber:

Before the start ...

 Misti & I after the first mud pit ... yes there were 2

In the lake ... we could see the finish from here ...

Rope wall ... Misti was speedy

Here I come ...

Next year I'm going in like this ... I promise

 Hmmm ... 

Me & Misti ... After the finish

Me and Carmen ... after the finish

Too bad there is not a scratch-n-sniff feature because
I know you are wanting to smell that mud ... HA!

Good times for sure.

I've already started prepping for the next one.

While I wait for next year's event
I want to do a few 5 & 10k runs just to keep me going.  I have gotten to LOVE
exercising but I still need a motivator from time to time.
I think running is the trick.

Can't wait!

03 November 2010

So many posts to do ...

I'll be back posting like a bloggy pro again on Monday. :o)
Liz Leppanen, Realtor (916)275-5511 VGC Real Estate Group #01820535