Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sick day

Yesterday, was a bad day! I left work before noon and came home to curl up in a ball on the couch. I did not feel well at all! Standing made me feel worse, so Huck decided to cook me dinner. I asked him if he wanted to guess host my blog last night, but with it being the end of the month, he said he needed to work.

I spent last night looking at wedding venues in Georgia. I really do not know what I want to do (if you haven't figured that out yet)

Yesterday, I wanted a real wedding, today, I'm like screw it. It is too complicated. I found some really great locations. I want a venue with lots of character and lots of character means lots of money.  I found a few farm houses and barns I really like. I emailed a few to find out more about price and catering requirements. I want to be able to pick my own caterer. It is a turn off to have to use a specific company.

Huck is all for Eloping! Who knows! We are hoping to get our wedding bands when we go home in the next few months, so maybe we will just run off for the weekend. You never know!

So back to last nights dinner.

Huck made his famous Cowboy Mac.

Cowboy Mac is spaghetti with green peppers and onions in it. I love that when I am not feeling good, he makes me dinner, and cleans up the kitchen.


 "Look at me! I'm putting food in the oven. WOW"

 I didn't have the heart to tell him you have to close the oven for food to cook faster. He was so excited to watch it brown :) 

 See the onions? 

He will make an awesome Husband! 

Dinner was great! I did a few more chapters of my insurance license class before calling it a night. 

Tomorrow is WIAW and me and Huck are competing in our own Chopped Challenge... Against each other. It should be fun!! 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lazy Sunday

For breakfast this morning, I made Rainbow Chard Omelet for breakfast.

Rainbow Chard Omelet

  • 2 Leaves of Swiss Chard- Sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Bell Pepper- Diced
  • 2 Slices Turkey Bacon- Diced
  • 2 Tbsp Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese- Shredded
  • 4 Eggs
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Cooking Spray
    • Heat pan to medium. Spray pan with cooking spray and add turkey, peppers, and chard. Saute until greens are wilted and bacon crispy. 
    • Remove from pan. Mix together 2 eggs and season with salt and pepper. 
    • Heat pan to medium and spray pan with cooking spray and add eggs.
    • Stir eggs and allow to set. Route pan to allow raw eggs on top to cook on pan. 
    • Add veggies, bacon, and cheese to center. 
    • Fold eggs over 1/3 of the way. 
    • Pick pan up and roll omelet onto plate and serve with extra cheese, salsa, or hot sauce if desired.
Alton Brown's Recipe explains how to cook an omelet better than my recipe has. You can also watch videos on YouTube for additional help. They are really easy. I use to be intimidated by omelets, but then I realized if I messed up, I can just tell everyone I made scrambled eggs for breakfast :) Either way, it will taste great!

Today, we enjoyed the gloomy weather by riding our bikes around the beach. It was really windy out, and the kite surfers were all over the beach.

So were the Man O' Wars

Just a few of the Kite Surfers.

For lunch, we ventured to downtown Abacoa. We decided to try Rooney's Public House. It is an Irish Pub. I ordered a cup of Potato Leek Soup and a Side Salad. I wasn't that hungry and trying to be cheap :) 

 The soup was great. I wish I would have just ordered a bowl of this.

 The salad was good. There house dressing was great. It was a Balsamic Vinaigrette but had a spicy aftertaste. Of course Huck loved that.

Huck ordered the Shepherds Pie. It was really good. The potatoes and meat were well seasoned. 

After lunch, we came home and spent sometime talking to our family in Georgia on Skype. Skype is the greatest thing ever. We used it when Huck was working in Florida, and I was still living in Georgia. I wish I knew about Skype when I was in Italy. I could have saved $800 in phone calls to Huck and my parents. 

I really enjoyed seeing my parents face. I miss them and putting a face with the voice made me feel like they were not that far away. I talked to my mom and dad for an hour before Huck talked to his mom. I'm hoping my sister Tabby will set up an account this week so I can see her too. 

Huck's mommy

London was tired from all the attention he got from our parents today. My mom loves her Granddogs. :) 

What toppings do you like on your omelets? 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Who brings a dog to a cooking class?

For lunch today, we went to Rumba Island Bar and Grill in Tequesta. I ordered the Seafood Lafitte which said it came with Mahi, Shrimp, Crab meat over a bed of rice, topped with Bienville sauce and Parmesan cheese. I did not taste any crab. There was ONE piece of shrimp and maybe 3 or 4 pieces of very small fish. The rest of the dish was a little rice and way to much cheese. It was gross. I was hungry and ate most of it ONLY because I was so hungry. I was angry with how bad my lunch was. I felt sick after eating.

The salad that came with my meal was good. It was a tropical salad with mango and walnuts. I enjoyed the salad and the corn muffins.

Huck ordered the Filet Mignon K-Bob which was skewered peppers and onions topped with chimichurri sauce. He ordered the red-skinned garlic mashed potatoes and Jamaican greens as the sides.

His lunch was good. He enjoyed it. 

This afternoon me and Huck went to Whole Foods for a cooking "class". When I called about the class they said, it was hands on. The class was a Vegan Southwestern menu. They made veggie burgers, avocado and edamame sauce, and black bean salad with lime and avocado dressing, but we did not get to help make anything. 

I really enjoyed the burger, or I was still hungry from lunch. Huck did not. The salad was very bland. For all the different components in the dish, I expected it to taste better. 

It was something different, but we will no go back again. One of the ladies in the class brought her dog and we thought two other ladies were going to get into a fight when one of the woman shushed the other. It made for nice blog stories if nothing else. 

It really is a different world down here. 

 Me and Huck split a spicy chocolate bar for dessert. It was sweet at first and left a spicy aftertaste. I enjoyed it. 

Well that was our day. Now time for bed! Eating all day is tiring! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

How long does it take for Spaghetti Squash to Explode?

15 Minutes and 36 Second :)

I cooked Spaghetti Squash in the microwave for the first time tonight. I googled information on how to cook the squash and a couple of sites said 10 minutes for a whole squash. After 10 minutes it still felt really hard, so I started the microwave for another 10 minutes. After an extra 5 minutes and 36 second, as I was standing by the door, I heard a huge bang! After screaming out loud, as I was running out of the kitchen, I realized it was just the squash. I thought a bomb went off in my kitchen.

 I needed to clean the microwave anyways. 

I made meatballs for dinner to go with my squash.

Meatballs Florentine with Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 Jar Marinara Sauce
  • 1 Eggplant- Diced
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey Breast
  • 1/4 Onion- Finely Chopped
  • 2 Large Cloves Garlic- Minced
  • 1 Cup Frozen Spinach- Thawed, Drained and Finely Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese- Grated
  • 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs (This is all I had, but they added a great texture to the meatballs)
  • 2 Tbsp Ketchup 
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1/2-3/4 Cup Cheese (I used Mozzarella and Parmesan)
    • Cook squash in microwave for 10 minutes (NO LONGER). Allow to cool and cut in half remove seeds and fibers. Using a fork scrape the squash out.  
    • Mix together turkey, onion, garlic, spinach, Panko, Parmesan cheese, ketchup, worcestershire, salt and pepper. Do not over mix the meat mixture. Form the meatballs to golf ball size.
    • Heat oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs. I like my meatballs crispy on the outside, so I cooked them longer and at a higher heat. If you do not like them as dark, cook at a lower temperature. 
    • Cook meatballs until the inside is no longer pink. 
    • Remove meatballs from pan and add eggplant. Cook for 2-3 minutes. 
    • Mix together squash, salt, pepper, eggplant, and marinara sauce. 
    • Add to a baking dish. 
    • Top with meatballs and sprinkle with cheeses.  
    • Bake in the oven at 450 until cheese melts and cheese starts to brown. 
      • Serve warm
 The master at work.

 Scrapping the squash into strands.

 All this from one squash.

 Topped with meatballs and cheese. Can't go wrong there!

 You may think the meatballs are burned. I think they are perfect. Moist inside... Crunchy outside!

 Lean Protein. Lots of veggies! A little bit of cheese. All the basic food groups on one plate!

Dinner tonight was followed by Chocolate Pudding for dessert! 

Now time for Pretty in Pink and bed! Goodnight! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What's for dinner?

It is that time again! Another WIAW Veggie style!! I have been trying to incorporate more veggies in our diet over the past few weeks and trying to try new vegetables, like Swiss Chard and Bok Choy

For breakfast, I had Mango Chobani topped with blueberries and my Homemade Peanut Butter Granola Bars crumbled up. 

I LOVE the Pineapple Chobani. I was not really a fan of yogurt and didn't think I would like Greek yogurt but decided to try it and LOVED IT!! I also enjoy the Lemon flavor too. I like Mango but was not a fan of the Chobani Mango. The mangos had a funny texture to them. I will probably just stick to Pineapple and Lemon! 

Lunch today was full of veggies and flavor. My leftover Cashew Chicken was just want I needed after a boring morning. 

I added Bok Choy, Green Beans, Bell Peppers, and Mushrooms.

For dinner tonight, I could not figure out what I wanted for dinner. Huck laid out Skirt Steak. I have never cooked skirt steak, and personally do not like tough meat. We finally decided on Fajitas. I made a Fajita and Bean Burrito since we only had large tortillas. 

Skirt Steak Fajitas
  • 2 lb Skirt Steak
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Red Pepper (We like this stuff!)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic- Chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper- Sliced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper- Sliced (This is the one from our trip to the garden)
  • 1/2 Large Red Onion- Sliced
  • 1 Cup Mushrooms- Sliced
    • Mix together all seasons and rub onto steak. Allow meat to marinate for 20 minutes while you slice veggies.
    • Heat grill pan over medium heat and add oil.
    • Add peppers, onions, and mushrooms to pan. 
    • Saute for 5 minutes. Remove veggies from pan and add steak. 
    • Cook steak for 2-3 minutes per side. I like my steak medium rare. Cook longer depending on your preference. 
    • Remove steak from pan and allow to rest. Add peppers, onions, and mushrooms back to pan to warm. 
    • Slice steak on a bias, against the grain. 
    • Mix steak with veggies and serve with your favorite fajita toppings.

I really like these Tortilla. They are only 71 calories, high in fiber, and taste great.

For my burrito, I added refried beans with my fajita mix. I added lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and salsa. I could have just ate the peppers and onions. They were cooked perfectly!

I enjoyed a beer Huck brought home from his buddy Justin's brewery in Tampa, Seventh Sun Brewing with dinner tonight, as well. The Beer was called Midnight Madness. It was a German Berliner Weisse style beer (A sour Wheat). Justin and Devon, the owners, are very passionate about beer. Seventh Sun offers a tasting room that is open Wednesday-Sunday. If you are ever in Tampa, make sure to check them out!!

Well that ends another WIAW! If you like these recipes, check out my recipe tab. You can find other veggie filled recipes! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

It made my day!

Huck is great about doing little unexpected things to make my day. He will leave me notes on my pillow, tell me I look nice on a day when I feel horrible, and little surprises in my car, like today.

I eat lunch at the picnic tables outside at work everyday, but today, it was too windy. I was talking to Huck as I got in my car and was really confused. There were all these pictures all over the steering wheel, dash, and ceiling. I asked him if he put those there before I left this morning (Like I could have missed that). He laughed at me and said he came by my work and decorated my car to help make my day a little better. I sat in my car for a while before noticing the balloon and card in the passenger seat.

How can you have a bad day with surprise pictures, balloons, and cards in your car? Be jealous ... He is all mine!! :) 

 Really how did I miss this? 

He is beating me right now in sweet romantic stuff. I have to catch up!!   

For dinner tonight, I tried something a little different.

Cajun Shrimp

  • 1/2 lb Shrimp- Peeled and De-veined
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 Bell Pepper- Chopped
  • 1/2 Red Onion- Chopped
  • 1-2 Cloves Garlic- Chopped 
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Can Ro Tel
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper
    • Heat oil over medium heat. Add peppers, onion, and garlic for 2-3 minutes. 
    • Add tomatoes and Cajun seasoning.
    • Add salt and pepper to taste and cook for 15 minutes. 
    • Add Shrimp and continue cooking an additional 3-5 minutes or until shrimp is pink and cooked through.
      • Serve over Cheesy Grits
Cheesy Grits
  • 1/2 tsp Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic- Chopped
  • 6 Tbsp Quick Cooking Grits
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1/3 Cup Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Goat Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper 
    • Heat another pan over medium heat and add oil and garlic. 
    • Stir in grits and add water. 
    • Whisk in cheeses. 
    • Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover with lid and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes or until desired thickness. 
    • Check seasonings and add additional salt and pepper as needed.

I used the goat cheese because I wanted to add some creaminess to the grits. It actually tasted really good! I hope you try this. It was simple, yet so good! And would be a great way to celebrate Fat Tuesday, tomorrow. 

If you do not have shrimp or do not like shrimp (Jennifer), fish or chicken would work great too. 

Now time to relax and watch some House Hunters International. Because of this show, I want to live everywhere! Am I the only one?  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bok Choy

Today was another hot day in South Florida. It is Winter, right?

 London made a friend today too!

London looking cool in his shades!

For dinner tonight, I used some of the Bok Choy from the garden yesterday, for stir fry.

Cashew Chicken
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic- Minced
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger- Minced
  • Crushed Red Pepper to Taste
  • 1 Cup Chicken- Diced
  • 1 Bell Pepper- Sliced
  • 3 Cups Bok Choy- Chopped
  • 1 Cup Mushrooms- Chopped
  • 1 Cup Pineapple- I used can 
  • 1/4 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Corn Starch
  • 1/3-/12 Cup Cashews- Whole or Chopped 
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
    • Heat pan to medium heat. Spray pan with cooking spray and add chicken. Season with salt and pepper and cook through. Remove from pan. 
    • Heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minutes. 
    • Add peppers, bok choy, mushrooms, pineapple to pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until bok choy is wilted. 
    • Mix together orange juice, vinegar, honey, pineapple juice, soy sauce, and corn starch.  
    • Add mixture and chicken to veggies and cook until sauce starts to thicken. 
    • Add cashews and serve. 
      • Serve with white or brown rice or noodles. 

We do not use the word stir fry in our house. I fail every time I try to make one. Huck told me it was the one thing I'm not good at. People I know that can't cook, can make stir fries. Not me!! They always taste Bland... Salty... Mushy... Soy Saucey... Gross... I can keep going :) 

I did not call this a stir fry when I told Huck what I wanted to make for dinner. I told him I was going to saute the veggies with chicken in a sauce... he said "So a stir fry??" "No. Not like stir fry. Like sauteed veggies with chicken in a sauce."

This recipe is my first successful STIR FRY!! :) I can safely call it a stir fry now!! 

I hope everyone had a nice weekend... Back to work tomorrow.     

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A day of great food!

For this blog post, I must start in the middle before starting at the beginning.

For lunch today we went to Leftovers. All the reviews say it is the best and everyone I have talked to recommends it.

I ordered the sweet potato crusted Wahoo fish over a salad with mixed greens, green beans, mango, and onions with a key lime garlic dressing. Weird I know. I almost didn't order it because I thought the flavors seemed strange. It turned out to be one of the best salads I have every tried.

Huck ordered the parsnip and onion crusted fish with mixed greens, pears, and an apple dressing.

We both agreed they were both incredible and we will go back again. SOON!

After lunch we went to the beach. We brought Oopie with us, today. 

"I'M FREE!!"

We let him run free today, and he did a great job staying with Huck. I wasn't surprise. He follows Huck every where! 

He started paddling his feet as soon as Huck picked him up. 
Now back to the beginning. 

This morning we rode our bikes to the Abacoa Community Garden. We helped plant Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, remove weeds, and make wood stakes to hold up the tomato plants.

I enjoyed talking to the people in charge of organizing the garden about ideas for my articles and recipes. They all seemed really excited about my idea. They also talked about me doing cooking demos for up coming events. 

The best part of the morning was getting to harvest some veggies to take home with us. I picked some Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, green onions, bell pepper, 3 different types of eggplants, sage , orange cherry tomatoes, and regular tomatoes. I will work outside for 2 hours for fresh food any day. 

  I used the swiss chard and Japaneses eggplant for dinner tonight.

Swiss Chard

  • 3 Cups Swiss Chard- Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic- Chopped
  • Crushed Red Pepper to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
    • Heat pan over medium heat. 
    • Add oil and garlic. Make sure not to burn the garlic. 
    • Add crushed red pepper and chard. 
    • Saute until greens are wilted. About 5-10 minutes. 
Panko Crushed Baked Eggplant
  • 1/4 Cup Fat Free Italian Dressing
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Japaneses Eggplants- Sliced 1/4-1/2 inch thick
  • Cooking Spray
  • Jar Pasta Sauce
    • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
    • Mix together dressing and salt and pepper. 
    • Coat eggplant in dressing and coat with panko. 
    • Add to a lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. 
    • Spray tops with cooking spray and cook for 15 minutes. 
    • Serve with sauce. 
We enjoyed our dinner with steaks with mushroom and onion sauce. 

Mushroom, Onion, and Beer Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Al Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Beer
  • 1/2 Cup Water or stock. 
  • 1/2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Cup Mushrooms- Sliced
  • 1/4 Large Onion- Chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
    • Remove steak for pan and add mushrooms and onions. 
    • Mix together A1, beer, and water.
    • Add mixture to pan and stir up all pan drippings on bottom of pan. 
    • Add butter, salt, and pepper and allow to reduce and veggies to soften 3-4 minutes. 

I'm not sure which was my favorite... The eggplant or swiss chard?!? Both were great! 

Now after a long day, it is time for bed! Goodnight! 
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