Posts

Showing posts from July, 2011

Friday Favorites - Backyard Oasis

Image
Lately, this is what Steve and I have been up to after work during these warm, summer evenings. Lounging is good for the soul, but prevents us from getting other chores done. Oh, you want me to cook a decent meal? You mean, you're tired of salami and cereal for dinner?

Daily Smile, no. 11

Image
In honor of Helya's upcoming bachelorette party...   See previous Daily Smiles

I am an ADULT

Image
As of today, I am officially the proud OWNER of my 2006 Mercury Mariner! That was a relatively painless 5 years, but now I have $329.29 more dollars each month to spend on a.......new car!!! JK everyone! You all know how I am going to manage this new influx of money...allocated responsibly to various departments at Target!! I am cracking myself up over here. Retirement account? New couch? Travel fund? Exotic cheese? We'll see.

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

Image
I wanted to do something different with my over-ripe bananas besides make boring old banana bread, so I decided to go for banana chocolate cupcakes! I used a recipe from The Cupcake Project  which also includes a home-made Macadamia nut butter frosting. I just used store bought cream-cheese frosting because I think its the yummiest frosting EVER. I also used semi-sweet baking chocolate instead of dark chocolate just because I already had it on hand. Next time, I think I will try the dark chocolate. 1 stick butter 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1/2 cup sour cream 1 tsp baking soda 2 cups flour 1 tsp vanilla 2 very ripe bananas, mashed 8 oz dark chocolate, melted Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream, flour, and baking soda. Add vanilla and mashed bananas. Stir in melted chocolate. (To melt chocolate, I used a pot of boiling water with a metal bowl sitting on top and let the chocolate slowly melt in the bowl). Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Cool c

Half a Century

Image
Yesterday was my step-dad's 50th birthday! Yeah, I know what you're thinking and you are right, he doesn't look a day over 40! Especially with my hot mama on his side! To celebrate, he bought himself a Polaris Ranger to take on his hunting and shooting trips. Perfect for an old man with aches and pains :)  And I will celebrate this wonderful person by sharing with you three valuable life lessons Phil taught me: You gotta be smarter than the _(insert inanimate object here)__ Sleeping in is a waste of the whole day (It took me 25+ years to learn this one) Hard work pays off Hope you had a happy birthday, Phil! And Steve let me ride the lawn-mower this weekend, so I think I am ready for the Polaris!

Daily Smile, no. 10

Image
Daily Smile, no. 9  Daily Smile, no. 8 Daily Smile, no. 7 Daily Smile, no. 6 Daily Smile, no. 5  Daily Smile, no. 4 Daily Smile, no. 3 Daily Smile, no. 2 Daily Smile, no. 1

Daily Smile, no. 9

Image
Daily Smile, no. 8 Daily Smile, no. 7 Daily Smile, no. 6 Daily Smile, no. 5  Daily Smile, no. 4 Daily Smile, no. 3 Daily Smile, no. 2 Daily Smile, no. 1

I am loving the guest judges

Image
I think the best part about this season of SYTYCD are the guest judges. I want to be BFFs with Jesse Tyler Ferguson. (If you haven't watched Modern Family, DO IT NOW and catch up before the new season starts. Best show ever.) Caitlynn and Tadd are still two of my original favorites  and I've edited my top 5 just one more time, with the addition of Ricky and the deletion of Jordan. Ricky is super cute and nerdy and his solos amaze the heck out of me. Bajillionuple pirouettes? I mean, come on! He is IN. SANE. And Jordan is OK but something about her bugs me. Maybe her face? Okay, that was mean. And what was with Mitchell's solo costume on Wednesday night? Why did he wear a diaper? What, he figured he'd just kill two birds with one stone and shit while he danced? I don't get it and I really did not connect with him AT ALL. NT, Mitchell! (But you're probably really nice so now I feel bad!) But really no one is standing out a TON. I am happy the All-Stars are b

Silly Steve

Steve wanders into the living room looking for something. Me: "Whatcha lookin' for?" Steve: "Oh, just trying to find where I took off my pants"

Daily Smile, no. 8

Image
Daily Smile, no. 7 Daily Smile, no. 6 Daily Smile, no. 5  Daily Smile, no. 4 Daily Smile, no. 3 Daily Smile, no. 2 Daily Smile, no. 1

Black Bean and Rice Stuffed Peppers

Some of you have asked for my other stuffed pepper recipe and here it is! I prefer this recipe over the last one, but they are both delightful! 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed 3/4 cup white rice, cooked 4 medium green onions sliced (1/4 cup) 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 2 Tbls vegetable oil 2 Tbls lime juice 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 1/4 tsp salt 3 large bell peppers cut lengthwise, seeds removed 1 roma tomato diced Heat grill. Mix beans, rice, onions, cilantro, oil, lime juice, garlic and salt together. Fill peppers with mixture. Wrap each half in a piece of foil (stuffed side up, duh), making sealed packets. Allow a little space in the packet for circulation and expansion.  Grill for 15-20 minutes or until peppers are tender. 

Food Allergy Chronicles

Image
Okay, most of you who know me know that I carry Benadryl with me everywhere I go (except for that one time in Long Beach!) The worst part about my food allergy is I don't know when its coming and it has ruined many a good night! FINALLY, four years after the first episode, I've decided to take my mental list and put it on paper (or the interwebs!) and maybe I (or you!) can figure out this mystery. (That, or I can go see an Allergist? Too easy!) I have had an unexplained allergy that started in the summer of 2007 and over the past 4 years has occured a handful of times randomly. So far, I cannot connect the dots between the different foods I ate, so I thought it would be wise to make a list and maybe the common denominator will jump out at me...or you! What I ate: 2007 - Homemade egg sandwich - a fried egg over medium, 100% whole wheat bread, and cheddar cheese. 2007 - Chicken parmesan at Vienni Vai in San Luis Obispo - menu says "chicken breast with fine chee

Daily Smile, no. 7

Image
Daily Smile, no. 6 Daily Smile, no. 5  Daily Smile, no. 4 Daily Smile, no. 3 Daily Smile, no. 2 Daily Smile, no. 1

Grilled Salmon and Stuffed Bell Peppers

Image
This dinner is mostly prepared on the BBQ which is a nice treat for a warm summer evening. It's also a little bit more time consuming than most of my dinners and also involved many ingredients which can be a bit overwhelming. But, don't worry - its totally worth it! These recipes are from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine . Grilled Salmon with Feta topping: feta crumbled fresh squeezed lemon juice fresh dill olive oil salmon fillets coarse salt and ground pepper In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, dill, olive oil and feta. Gently mix and put in refrigerator. Heat grill over medium high. Clean and lightly brush salmon with oil (I use PAM grilling spray). Brush salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap salmon in foil and place on grill about 6 minutes and flip for 6 more minutes. Check salmon - should be opaque. Quinoa Stuffed Peppers: First of all, did you know Quinoa is pronounced, keen-wah? Yeah, me neither! Also,

Daily Smile, no. 6

Image
Daily Smile, no. 5  Daily Smile, no. 4 Daily Smile, no. 3 Daily Smile, no. 2 Daily Smile, no. 1

Daily Smile, no. 5

Image
Daily Smile, no. 4 Daily Smile, no. 3 Daily Smile, no. 2 Daily Smile, no. 1

Daily Smile, no. 4

Image
Daily Smile, no. 3 Daily Smile, no. 2 Daily Smile, no. 1

Memory Maker

Image
One of the things I like so much about Steve is that he makes things happen. If he has an idea in his head, he always figures out how to make that idea come to life. I always have big ideas but most of the time I can't get my hands to do what my brain is picturing. Steve's hands can do pretty much anything he imagines and in this case, his hands made something very special. While we were in Hawaii, Steve found a little piece of wood from the beach where we rested after our kayak ride. I put the piece of wood in my bag and carried it all the way home without even thinking about it. When I unpacked, I put the little wooden rod on the dresser and forgot all about it. I knew Steve liked it for some reason or another, so I didn't get rid of it. The other day, Steve comes over to me with a windchime in his hand and says, "See what I made!" And at first I didn't even recognize the wooden piece at the top and then he told me it was the piece he found in Hawaii! He h

Daily Smile, no. 3

Image
Daily Smile, no. 2 Daily Smile, no. 1

That time Steve couldn't do any yard work

Image
"I've fallen so much in love, I can't get any work done because I always want to come see you."

Daily Smile, no. 2

Image
Link to Daily Smile, no. 1 

Flower Bed Before and After

Image
Over the past two years we (we as in Steve) have been working hard on improving the landscape around our house. Steve has been focusing on the infrastructure in order to get 2.5 acres running smoothly. Think sprinklers, piping, drip lines, water pump repairs, removing infested trees, planting new trees, composting, making a garden, shredding fallen trees, digging, mulching, weeding, mowing, pruning, stacking firewood, spraying weeds, cleaning gutters, burning brush, gopher hunting, rat trapping, stump removal, power line clearing, and the list goes on and on and on and ON!  While he is busy doing important things, its my job to keep the weeds pulled in all of the flower beds and lets just say I should be fired. I don't really enjoy spending my time weeding, so I rarely do it and weeding is the type of thing you have to stay on top of otherwise it gets OUT OF CONTROL. So, finally during the 4th of July weekend, we (Steve) decided it was time to put fabric down in the front flow

"Making Smart People Smile since 1985"

Image
Starting today, I am going to post a daily Anne Taintor caption for all to enjoy. These vintage images with Anne's interpretations make me laugh, sometimes hysterically, and I hope they give you a bright, cheery smile when you need it most. I first came across today's feature on my friend Kara's Pinterest board, which linked me to the joy that is Anne Taintor. Hopefully you all find these as humorous as I do.

Summertime Dessert

Image
This is my idea of a summertime dessert:

Friday Favorites - Garden Freshness!

Image
For the last couple of weeks, we've been enoying salads straight from the garden. Steve built two extra raised beds this year so now we have three that are jam packed with goodies. My favorite thing so far, as simple as it sounds, are the leafy greens! We have three varieties: romaine lettuce, bib lettuce, and spinach. I've never had lettuce straight from the garden before and it really makes a huge difference in the crispness of a salad.  These greens snap and crack and melt in your mouth and for the first time in my life, I enjoy the greens more than the veggies in the salad. Our stone fruit trees are also exploding with goodness and we've taken full advantage! The plums are out-of-this-world delectable and the peaches are..well imagine your favorite dessert...then imagine that dessert topped with your second favorite dessert! Yeah, THAT good! We've had peaches n' ice cream sprinkled with almonds for dessert, peaches with yogurt and granola for breakfast

What all this time was for

Image
John Mayer released his debut album, Room for Squares, in September 2001, just as I was heading off to college. Since then, every time I hear "No Such Thing" on the radio, it brings back all of the memories of starting my new life in San Luis Obispo. Memories like eating dessert before dinner and how liberating that felt not having a parent around to tell me how wrong it was. Yep, I was CRAZY during my freshman year of college. LOTS of dessert before dinner.  "No Such Thing" gives a perspective of what its like to leave the safe and sane harbors of high school and  why that first 10 years in the "real world" is where you'll become who you'll really be. The song made me question what I would be like in 10 years. Where would I be living? Would I be married? Would I be successful and enjoy my job? Would I still be friends with people from high school? And I knew that it would take 10 years in the LEAST to really figure out who I am and what my purpos