Monday, March 28, 2011

Nice Lil' Weekend

I got off work on Friday and just had this feeling that I needed some seafood. I headed to Costco and picked up some mussels and prawns. Yum! My mom and I had been wanting to peek in this new thrift store I had seen open up so we stopped in there. They had some interesting things, one that I wanted to get but I walked out and just plain forgot to pick it up. I may run over today and see if it's still there.

I headed home to shower and enjoy the sunshine with an open back door and wait for Hub. He got home a little early, we visited, watched some basketball, caught up on our shows, well one in particular, Top Chef. I was sad to see Antonia leave because I had really grown to like her and thought she had a lot of talent. We can't wait to see Mike and Richard duke it out this week.

We then began our cooking of our feast. Well, just prawns and mussels. We steamed the mussels with white wine, lemon, parsley, garlic and onion. They were delish. Hub made a curry dipping sauce of the prawns and the sauteed  them with garlic, butter and some pineapple. They were also delish.
On Saturday we got up leisurely, I made a breakfast sandwich which I just have to share because it was SO good.
Bagel+egg+bacon+colby jack cheese=love.
I then got to cleaning the house because we were expecting company. Hub headed to Lowe's to pick up a few more things for the chicken coop. Our friends showed up and the guys were out in the garage for a bit while we were inside. We found out some great news in that they are expecting their first child in October. Super excited for them!

We headed out to use a LivingSocial deal for the movies and saw:
We all agreed that the movie was okay. It was a good cast and I could see how it had the potential to be a good movie but kind of a let-down. We then headed to dinner at Claim Jumper. Hub and I split the Tri-Tip Dip and it was really good. We headed home, relaxed for a bit and our friends headed home.

Sunday we got up leisurely, talked to the Hub's family in Texas and then went about our day. Hub worked on the chicken coop, I relaxed, made a potato salad and then we checked out the new Super Target in our area. I don't know how impressed I am. The grocery area seems really crowded and definitely like it is just shoved in there. I will see how it goes when I actually need to price compare. We had dinner with my brother and parents and then turned in for an early night. It was a nice, relaxing weekend and the highlight--the chicken coop is almost finished!

Have you seen any good movies lately? What do you and yours like to snack on on Friday nights? What are your opinions on Super Targets?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday's Random Thoughts

We were supposed to go salmon fishing this weekend with my parents. We are not going now due to poor reports and really bad weather. We are all very disappointed.

Since we are not going fishing we will hopefully make some more progress on our chicken coop. Maybe we will even finish it.

I ran five days last week, in addition to other workouts, and took advantage of no rain the past couple of days and ran outside for the longest distance I have done this year. Proud of myself.

The being lighter later thing is really weirding me out. I love it, don't get me wrong, but I am by no means used to it yet.

I am reading The Girl who Played with Fire and it is kind of like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in that it has been a slow start. It is definitely one of those books that I can't read a few pages and then put it down. If I read 20+ pages at a time, I am in good shape and am getting back into the plot. I just don't have a ton of time right now to read for long periods of time which is unfortunate because I really do like the book.

These "sprinkles" of sun we have been having sure have been big teasers of what is hopefully to come. I can't wait to get our garden going, some flowers planted and the yard back in shape. Oh, and grilling, reading outside, eating dinner outside, and more running outside. I. Can't. Wait. For. Summer.

I have finished painting the office, am in love with the color and am in the process of purging some junk getting it put back together and will post pictures soon.

I love Adele and Florence and the Machine. Such great music to relax to and have on when I'm home alone. I think Hub may like them sometimes if I introduced them to him when he was in the right mood for some girl music.

I don't know if I will be watching Dancing with the Stars this season. I kind of faded out toward the end of last season and don't know if I am really into it again. 

I do love watching Bethenny Ever After right now. How about in the last episode when the priest kept calling her Brittany?! I loved it. And I love her.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: A Myriad of Baked Goods

Since I have slacked off a bit over the past few weeks with my Tasty Tuesday postings, I thought I would post a few recipes here today that I have experimented with and have definitely been successful with. I figured they could all be posted together because they all have one thing in common. They go in the oven. Who doesn't love sweets, savories, pastries, etc. that come from the oven? If you don't, you may want to shy away from this post.

First up we have a Dutch Baby. I am going to credit my friend, L, with this recipe. The same L that I borrowed the Irish blessing from. This recipe is in her family cookbook and I owed Hub a breakfast one morning {due to some bet I lost, which for the life of me I can't even remember what it was now....} and she showed me this recipe. Isn't that a great idea? A family cookbook. They compiled recipes from everyone and had it bound and everything. I loved it and maybe someday may think of doing one for our family.

Anyway, back to the Dutch Babies. In her grandma's recipe, they are to be baked in separate dishes, however I did not have enough of the right size oven-proof dishes, so ours ended up in one dish. A pie plate.
I know. It looks a little crazy. Exactly what I thought when I pulled it out of the oven. But, oh, so delish. And oh, so easy! Heres how you can make your own Dutch Baby. Or babies. Whatever your kitchen supplies allow.
Preheat oven to 425. Place 1 tbsp. butter in 4 oven-proof ramekins with 1 1/2 cup capacity. Or one pie plate. Place the dishes in the oven so the butter melts while the oven is warming. Don't let it brown.
1 cup of flour
1 cup of milk
Mix together in a blender or with a wire whisk.
4 eggs. Add one at a time beating well after each addition.
Add 1/8 tsp. salt and 1 tbsp. sugar. Mix.
Pour batter into containers or pie plate and bake for 25 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN!
Top with lemon juice, powdered sugar, syrup, fruit, or whatever else you like to top your pastries with. You won't be disappointed.

Next up, we have Beer Bread. I have always wanted to try it so I decided, why not? I had read a couple of different recipes but found this one and decided it was best for me. {Mostly because it lacked self-rising flour, which I had none of.} I found my recipe here  and this is what I came up with:
It was so yummy, so easy and is a great accompaniment to dinner, breakfast or heck, just a mid-afternoon snack! But if you go with the amount of butter they tell you to top it with, you may want to head to the treadmill after that mid-afternoon snack. Hub couldn't stop raving about this bread. 

Last but not least for today I have Blondies for you to drool over. I was perusing one of my favorite sites Simply Recipes and found myself in the Cookie section and decided a short baking project was what I needed for five o' clock on a Monday evening. Out of the oven popped these bad boys.
Gooey, rich and oh so yummy topped with some ice cream. I highly recommend the ice cream. Here is the recipe and my mix-ins were semi-sweet chips, white chips and walnuts.

So there you are, my friends. Sorry about the absence on Tuesdays but I hope this at least makes up for it a little bit. I mean, a good apology comes with baked goods right?

What are you baking lately? Any quick-breads, cookies, or breakfast pastries that you care to share?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Holy Madness!

Image: Goole Images
I admit, I do not watch college basketball all season. I catch a couple of games here and there but not every one. I always wish I had once the tournament rolls around but as Hub pointed out yesterday, it may almost be  beneficial to not watch all season and then to fill out a bracket with no bias or knowing who the "big" names are {cough, cough, Jimmer Fredette} or who is predicted to win or lose or whatever.

I didn't enter any bracket pools this year and Hub only did one for work. However, I did fill one out just to have a little more drive in who I would want to win games. Its especially fun when Hub and I have chosen different teams to win. Puts a little friendly competition between us. I like it. 

For some reason for both of us this past week felt a little long. We felt like being a little lazy. So we planned to watch a lot of basketball, eat some pizza and relax all weekend long. Well, good ol' Pacific Northwest weather had a slightly different plan for us. It was sunny Saturday morning when we woke up. That means we were starting to feel guilty about our lazy plan. So we decided we would get a few things done and then resume our plan in the late afternoon. After working on the chicken coop, cleaning out and washing cars, and even going for a run, we settled in for a night of more college basketball.

It is just such an exciting sporting event to get into. Any team can win at anytime. Hence the outcome of the Butler v. Pittsburgh game. Wow. Or Morehead and Richmond advancing. These kids {yes I know, sad to say that but each year my age moves further and further from being close to the college-kid age} work so hard, are student-athletes, and have so much talent and their dreams of a national championship are either made or broken with each passing game. 

So exciting, gets the adrenaline pumping and is just plain fun to watch. I hope you got to catch some games this weekend!

Do you get into the Madness? Did you fill out a bracket and who are you favoring?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's Here!

Happy, Happy First Day of Spring!
The days are becoming longer, bulb flowers are popping up everywhere, I hear birds, there are blooms on trees and it just smells like spring. I. Love. It.

And a sunny day to accompany spring has greeted us here in the Pacific Northwest. I'll take it!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patty's

I sure hope it has been a luck-filled day for all! I would like to share an Irish blessing courtesy of my friend, L.

"May you always have walls for the wind, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring Fever

Last week was my best friend's birthday. We don't make a big thing out of gifts but I always like to get her a little something. My thing about gifts is that I don't usually set out to find a specific something, I just get a feeling when I see it. Little Miss Momma put up her Spring collection on her Etsy store the other day and let me say I was taken! All of the items are so bright and cheery and made me want it to warm up to about 70 degrees right now.

As I said, I wasn't looking for a gift for my friend but I came across this necklace and it just screamed her neck name.
MYA -- Mustard Yellow Mum on a vintage style setting and chain.
Going through the items, I really wanted to order them all. So darn adorable. Simple, elegant and so springy! Good prices too. So, I just had to get myself a little something too. I didn't set out to by myself anything either.
TIDE POOL -- teal mum on an antiqued filigree band
I love this shade of teal. This antiqued band is so cute and it will go with a lot of my outfits! I would also like to sing the praises of dealing with the shop. I had my loot within a week with an email prior telling me when it had shipped. It came in a darling box wrapped in a cute teal and white twine including a LMM business card. Overall, a stand up job and I would recommend these pieces to anyone and dealing with Little Miss Momma!

{All opinions expressed are my own and I was in no way compensated to talk about these items or the Little Miss Momma Shop.}

Happy Jewelry Shopping!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Shoppin'

With all this dreary rain we have been seeing lately, it is always nice to look ahead to the nice weather that is to hopefully come. So what do I do? Start peeking online at some spring attire. I found all the looks below and then I checked my blog reel for the morning. 
BP. 'Veda' SandalVigoss 'Brooklyn' Roll Cuff Bermuda Shorts (Dark Wash) (Juniors)

{Click on any picture for the source}
Little Miss Momma decided to showcase a great website and a giveaway! There is nothing like oogling over some items and realizing that they are a little out of the ol' price range and then seeing LMM's post and discovering that there are good prices out there. La Posh Style has some adorable items for great prices. I'm not going to give you any sneak peeks here, you will just have to head over to La Posh to see for yourself. I just love looks that can interchange, mix and match and be worn for multiple activities. 

LMM had a great blog about her life, her creations and featuring other bloggers and shops. Go take a look at her blog as well as the giveaway. Time to gear up for spring!

What are you eyeballing for spring attire? What is your favorite go-to look for spring? 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Five Minute Friday: I Feel Most Loved When...

When I was reading my blog reel this morning I couldn't help but take a peek at The Gypsy Mama's Five Minute Friday post. So here I am participating.

I Feel Most Loved When...

My husband has had a long day of work and after dinner, relaxing and time for getting stuff ready for the morning he looks at me and says, "You don't have to do everything."

I have this thing about taking care of my husband and our house. It is MY thing. I love it, actually. I feel so accomplished when our house is clean, dinner has been made, the house just feels plain cozy. However, it is so nice once in awhile to not have to be the one to get the small things ready for the morning. Especially after a night that I have worked.

Our nightly routine consists of getting both of our breakfasts ready for the morning since we don't eat at home, lunches ready and the coffee pot set. Oh yeah, and we usually put dinner away and try to clean dinner dishes. I usually do most of this and don't mind. The other night though I may have been dragging and little bit and the husband looked at me and said those magical words. My initial response was "Yes I do."

But, really, no I don't. Isn't that why I have a partner? To help me, comfort me, assist me, carry part of the load? I sure like to think so!

Head on over to The Gypsy Mama's Five Minute Friday and check out the "rules" and link up! I thought this was a nice, fun way to end a week. Being thankful and feeling loved. 


...Of a new bed frame.

Right now, we have no bed. Just a mattress and box spring on top of a metal frame. To some that may be unfathomable. To us it's just normal. As I was skimming blogs one day, I came across the bed that Bower Power found and put together. Hub took a look and thinks he can do it. However, until then, these are what I am dreaming of.

I like that it's not a big-take-over-the-bedroom type of frame, but still holds its own. It is modern yet made of wood, which we tend to favor. Also, Hub is pretty tall and likes his feet to hang off the end of the bed. This looks like it would allow that.
I don't know what it is about "cushy" looking beds that I love so much. Maybe it's that they look like a couch and that makes it cozy? This bed looks just plain classy to me. Done in a linen fabric with pewter studs on the top? Beautiful. Again with the feet-hanging-off-thing.
Um, hello best of both worlds. Wood with upholstery?! Love. And those matching drawers for extra storage. Wow. This was made for our bedroom, I am sure of it.
Universal Platform, Full, French White
This is a little plain for me, however, I do like how they platform can be paired with any headboard. In fact, the headboard pictured above is quite regal looking.
{Click on any of the above images for their sources}

Just a few pics to show you what I am coveting lately. No big deal. Not like I am headed out to buy a $2500 frame tomorrow. {I kind of lost my breath just typing that amount for a bed frame.} I just like getting ideas for the future. Or ideas to add to Hub's woodworking list. Don't worry, he likes it.

**I will sleep well tonight in my bed, thankful for my home, my bed and my many other blessings. My heart goes out to those in Japan and any here on the West Coast who may be being uprooted right now due to any Tsunami warnings. 

What are you looking for for your home these days? Any big purchases in the near future? How long do you shop before you make that BIG purchase?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Oregonians for a Weekend

This time of year, Hub is really busy with work. Like, gone from the house for 14+ hours from the house kind of busy. Regularly. Anyway, we try to do extra things to let the other know we are thinking of and missing each other. But, none of it makes up for lost time. This year, I decided we needed a little getaway and sure enough, I came across a Groupon  for a hotel in Portland. Hub and I have seen different things on TV pertaining to Portland and mentioned that we may want to trek down there but hadn't gotten around to it yet. I decided, "Why not," and purchased that Groupon.

I kept hinting to Hub that I had a surprise for him. He hates when I do that. So after what seemed to be a particularly awful day at work for him, I told him he could look at the Groupon. He got really excited and I think he was pretty surprised that I splurged on something kind of big like that.

Hub and I are kind of funny because we really love good food and we don't eat out a lot. We like to think we make good food. However, we love trying restaurants as well. So I did some research and found a few places I thought we could visit. I was determined to have stuff for us to do and see. We had an amazing time and I am so happy that we had this little, two-day getaway. There is nothing like just being "away from it all," with no plans, no agenda but just time to spend with each other.

Hub got home from work Friday night and we were both practically bursting at the seams with excitement. It had been a while since just the two of us had gone anywhere alone together. Probably since our honeymoon, come to think of it. We had a quiet evening and hit the sack pretty early in anticipation of our early morning departure. We left about 6:30am and arrived by about 10am. We navigated our way to a small cafe we had seen the night before on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Thank goodness we saw this because it was delicious! Check out Pine State Biscuits if you're ever in Portland. And yes, the picture on the homepage is what we ate.

After that we headed to the west side of the Willamette River and ventured into the Pearl District. The area had tons of shops, bars and restaurants, antiques, and even food carts! We came across the food carts and of course had to do some sampling. We had a lamb gyro and a Korean Bulgolgi Beef Burrito. Heaven. Both. Delish. As you can see.
Pretty sure I have mentioned multiple times that Hub is from San Antonio. Well, to our dismay, we came across this at one of the food carts:
Hub got to pay a little respect to his favorite team's coach, Greg Popovich. One of his favorite stops in Portland. Go Spurs Go!

We wandered around for a good part of the afternoon and ran into the Rogue Pub.

Right when we walked in the door we were blasted with the scent of the strong ales served there. Luckily we found a couple of stools in the crowded pub and ordered a couple of beers. We looked at their book that explained the ales and talked about ingredients and competitions won and then of course, ordered a couple more beers.

By this time, it was time to go to the hotel to check-in so we did that. We stayed at The Mark Spencer Hotel  and although it is definitely an old hotel, the ease of getting around the Pearl District from it and being right downtown was so nice. It was clean and perfectly suitable for what we needed for our one night in town.

The hotel was having a wine reception when we checked in so we had a glass of wine and relaxed for a little bit. We then decided to Yelp a pizza place after trying to go into Henry's on 12th, which is obviously the "happening" place to be because it was packed. Yelp took us to a small Italian restaurant called Ristorante Roma that actually didn't even have pizza on the menu. However, we had clams as an appetizer and shared a pasta dish and a bottle of wine. The pasta was handmade and delicious and it was all we could do to drag ourselves back to the hotel we were so tired and full. Oh yeah, we had a canoli for dessert also. Hub looked at me during dinner and said, "I'm pretty glad we didn't get into that crowded 'single's' bar and are actually able to sit hear and actually hear each other talk." How cute, is he?

We woke early after having fallen asleep pretty early and went across the street from our hotel to Kenny and Zuke's and had breakfast. I had Challah french toast and Hub had a Lox omlette. We then headed just a block away to:
Hub and I love to read. And this was a whole city block filled with books! Heaven. Could have wandered forever. Both of us just kept saying, "I can't believe there are so many books."

We then wandered, slowly, back to the hotel while drinking a cup of coffee and headed back to the other side of the river to check out one more restaurant that we saw on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. {We must like Guy. Or just the food he finds.} We found Pok Pok in a weird quaint part of town that was slightly residential but with some businesses. And a homeless man that kept yelling at us about the president trying to stop drinking alcohol and his (the homeless man) doctor putting him on too much pain medication. Slightly weird.
The menu was sure different than many Asian food menus we have seen, however we were eager to taste. Hub had a version of Phad Se Ew which we love. This was my meal:

Some sausage with spices, a green chili dipping sauce and Thai pork rinds. Kind of weird, but good. Both of us agreed it was good but not life changing. 

We hit the road after this and had a nice drive home. We arrived home and went to my parents' to get our dog. We missed her and she was tired out from her playing time. At this point, the evening began to grow somber with the impending "Monday Morning." We had a great time but as always with a "vacation" coming to close, it is sad to see it end. We would highly recommend Portland, the hotel we stayed at, all of the places we visited above and basically just weekends away with your love. That's what it's all about right?!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Flatout Pizzas

Welcome for another edition of Tasty Tuesday. Sorry, I missed last week's. I don't know what happened. Fell off the earth for a week. Or so. I don't know.

Over the weekend {more to come on this tomorrow}, we wanted some pizza but we never ended up getting any. Hence, my idea for dinner last night. I spoke about Flatout Flatbread here and how they make delicious wraps. Well I decided {with a little help of their website as well as my friend} that I would make some pizzas.

Flatout Pizzas
Flatout Flatbread
Pesto {I just had a hankering to make some yesterday}
Olive Oil
Fresh Spinach
Ground Turkey, cooked
Orange Bell Peppers
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush both sides of Flatbread with olive oil. Place on a rack and bake for 9 minutes. Remove from oven and layer toppings however you desire. I put cheese on the top because I like it a little browned. Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes depending on how "done" you like your toppings.

I thought this was a healthy alternative to the usually greasy pizza we get. Hub isn't always as "into" health food kicks as much as me because he thinks everything that is "healthy" tastes bad. Well, he sure didn't think these pizzas tasted bad! Enjoy!