Mar 24, 2013

Attempt at a photo shoot

My husband isn't too keen on allowing me to take Brayden to get photos taken at a studio where they charge an arm and a leg.  It's understandable, but sometimes you just want those cliche holiday or milestone photos.  I have experience in photography myself, but not studio photography.  Today we gave an attempt at an Easter photo with Brayden.  Aside from a toddler not wanting to sit still for more than one third of a second, my "backdrop" was a white bed sheet (which works pretty decently) except when you have it hanging from the mantel by Yankee candles setting on it.  Yeah, you can picture that.  Of course they came tumbling down after ten minutes along with one of my hand made pottery bowls, which shattered.  I wasn't too broken hearted.  I was more broken hearted that it just didn't really work out.  Maybe we will give it another shot some other time.  Here is what I came out with...still a handsome guy!

And the last one is where it all came tumbling down! Love my boy!

Mar 9, 2013

E-meals- pork ribs and dandelion

I've always been a fan of ribs out at a restaurant but it never crossed my mind that I could buy and make my own at home.. And so easily too!! These were delicious. Rubbed with salt, pepper and chili pepper and just baked for a couple of hours. The meat fell right off the bone. So yummy!! And I dipped mine in some bubba gump bar-b-q from my Memphis family :) The dandelion on the other hand.. I'm not sure about that. I think that maybe I should have gotten more and used only leaves and not stems. They just tasted funny. Maybe because it was dandelion? Haha!

Mar 6, 2013

Emeals- spicy beef and red pepper stir fry with sesame broccoli

Yum yum yum yum yum. Give me something spicy and it almost doesn't ever matter what it is.. I love it!

In all seriousness, this was really good. Flank steak is never my first choice but I used it to stick with the recipe. It just seems tough and not very juicy. This beef stir fried with green onions and red peppers and then topped with a sauce made from soy sauce, hot sauce and arrowroot .. It's almost like we ordered it right from a Chinese food restaurant! So good! The broccoli was just basic steamed broccoli with salt, pepper and poppy seeds. Zach says he would've tested positive for opium. Psssh..


NYC - Wicked!

This past weekend was eventful to say the least.  Our original plan was for our friends Kim and Seth to come to our house Friday evening to stay, and then we would all take the train into the city on Saturday morning.  Wouldn't my luck have it that I woke Friday morning and promptly barfed.  Pregnant, you say?  Not this time.  I wish that was the reason.  I have no idea what it was, but I was so sick all day.

Kim and Seth decided to stay in Bethlehem Friday night with plans to meet Zach and I in the city Saturday morning if I was well.  If I was not, then Seth would take my ticket and they would go to Wicked without me, and our hotel would just go to waste as it was nonrefundable.

My mom and aunt arrived in Avon around 1 p.m. Friday and I was still sick in bed.  Momma's present always makes her child better.  I threw up one last time, stuffed some pretzels down my throat, showered and forced myself to go out for some fresh air.  Saturday morning I woke, not feeling the best, but enough to hop on the train to the city.

Zach and I took the New Haven train into grand central station at about 9:30 a.m.  We dropped our bags at the hotel, grabbed a coffee and did a little shopping until our friends arrived.  Then, we all did a little more shopping, found a place for NYC pizza, and headed to the show.  The boys dropped us at the theater and went on over to the Brooklyn Brewery. 

Once Kim and I sat down in our seats, fifteen minutes didn't pass before I was scolded three separate times by the same usher woman.  First, my coat was hanging too far off the back of my seat.  Next, my bag was supposed to have been stuffed "airplane style" under my seat and not at my feet.  And finally, the strap of my purse should be off the floor or someone might trip.  Good grief lady.

WICKED...was WICKED!! We just loved it.  I was nearly crying by the end, and Kim was!  Magnificant.  There are not more words for me to describe how amazing the show was. 

Note to self:  see more broadway.

Later, we had dinner at a perfect little Italian restaurant right down the street from the hotel, and found a Penn State Alumni bar from there.  Here, on two different occasions, a passerby came crashing into our table, one more memorable than the other.  The fellow ended up buying a round of drinks and our appetizer to make up for soaking our boys with his beer.  He preceded to stay for a game he invented where he asked us "couples" questions to see who knew who better, forgot his debit card, and when we thought he was gone for good, bought us another round of drinks from the street! 

All in all, we had a great time.  Zach and I were both under the weather.  He had a terrible cold and I was still recovering from my "24 hour bug."  I'm so happy to be so close to the city.  It's always an exciting time for short trips.  Here are a couple of photos from the weekend..

Feb 22, 2013

Starting the day

I've never really been much of a breakfast person and everyone always tells you this is the most important meal of the day. Generally speaking, breakfast for me is a cup of coffee.

My new favorite thing to have first thing in the morning is vanilla flavored yogurt mixed with granola and fresh fruit. I found this granola the other day at stop and shop and absolutely love it!! I've paired it with the store brand Greek vanilla yogurt and fresh strawberries.

Jan 5, 2013

EMeals- juicy baked chicken and elegant spinach

This chicken was very like any other shake and bake chicken you might make. Brushed with mayo and shaken in a ziploc with panko bread crumbs mixed with Italian seasoning, the chicken was juicy like the name and yummy. I pounded it thin so it baked quickly which is nice.

The elegant spinach was not my thing. What is "elegant" spinach anyways? What makes it so elegant? Weird name. Anyway, basically sautéed mushrooms and spinach and then simmered in a teeny but of lemon juice, Worcestershire, and sour cream. I'm just not sure about the sauce. It tasted sour or something. I didn't like it. Oh well :-(

Jan 3, 2013

EMeals- chicken soup

This meal was a crockpot meal, so super easy to throw together and it was probably the most perfectly sized "two person" recipe that I've ever made. I actually cooked it a whole hour less than the recipe said but I think the chicken would have been over done had I let it stew longer.

It's just chicken broth, bite sized chicken pieces, cannelli beans, a little tomato paste, roasted red peppers, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Once it was done, I stirred in spinach and topped it with Parmesan cheese.

This was incredibly hearty. Zach scarfed his bowl down real quick and I couldn't finish mine. Very good.

Jan 1, 2013

EMeals- morraccon flank steak with garlic and olive oil couscous

This steak was seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon and sugar. The combination seemed strange to me but the flavor was yummy. I didn't let it set for 30 minutes like the recipe suggested so I don't know if that took away from the flavor. I don't, however, think I'd ever buy another flank steak. The seasoning was delicious but the steak itself was lacking flavor and quality.

I've never had couscous before but it was good. Definitely a quick and easy side prepared just like rice. I don't actually know what couscous is. I'll have to do some research. It comes in many different flavors.

I figured I would give an update on my first cleanse day. The 30 day cleanse I'm doing is mostly shake days with four cleanse days once a week throughout the month. On these days you eat no food except maybe an apple, some almonds or any of the isagenix snacks approved for this day. You drink different things throughout the day. It was brutal. By the end of the day I was nearly vomiting and had a killer headache. I don't do well when I don't have food. But I did wake up the next morning feeling great and not hungry. Lost three pounds on the cleanse day and went back into the shakes and normal food the next day.

All that makes this cleanse sound really terrible but its not :) the first cleanse day was hard, yes, but it was worth it and I feel great. It's great because I can eat real food and nothing is really off limits. More updates on all this later.