Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I am of the opinion it is better to be early, rather than a day late... and a dollar short! With that I am doing a father's day post now, because I am horrible about finding the time and the WIFI on the weekend! I have the most wonderful step father a girl could ask for. When the dog was dealing with all her surgery stuff, he called multiple times a day to check on her. He is always up for a 7AM phone call on my way to work. He makes us his special "Tampa Chicken" on the grill -even when he doesn't feel well. He picked out my first car, threatened my first date, and walked me down the aisle at our wedding!

Graduation Day 2006

Wedding Day 2007

Happy Father's Day Jer, I LOVE YOU :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Catch Up!

One would think that unlimited high speed Internet is available everywhere... wrong! Where we live our options are dial up and an air card. We have an air card, which does not have unlimited use- lame I know! This leaves my blog updates lagging because it uses so much bandwith to upload pictures?! I really have no clue what I'm talking about- I only know that 10 days into June we had used 1/2 of our 5 gigabytes.... again I dunno!!! Between vet runs and todo's I haven't gotten a chance to post, until now! Beware -its lengthy, but tasty!

After the dog had her surgery we made a fabulous dinner of Mahi Tacos and with a glass of White Hall Cab Franc. I love Virginia Wine!!! I did not always enjoy it! It wasn't until recently- after a couple of winery visits, and bottles from friends that I became a true believer in Va wine! YUM. This did not disappoint. It was excellent, and I will definitely get another bottle (or 2)!The fish tacos were very basic. While the 'hubs' was wrapping up a cold, and finally getting his taste back, I made everything extra spicy. It had a healthy dose of Cayenne Pepper, as well as garlic, cumin, and chili powder dusted on it before being seared on a hot stove top pan. I put it in a whole wheat tortilla, with red, green, and yellow peppers. A spoonful of greek yogurt and we were off to a good start for dinner!

The weekend came with much celebration planned! For a close friends' birthday we headed to Keswick Vinyeards. The tasting was scheduled to be held outside, but after about 10 minutes in the 94 degree heat, we booked it into the AC. We tasted 6 wines- 3 white, and 3 red. We split 2 bottles and did what every group of 10 girls does- chatted! It was such a great visit. I came home with the Trevillian Red Wine, and can not wait to share it with my dude.
That night, brought more fun with a cookout at a neighbors! I have never had smoked pork tenderloin taste so good in my life. I hope we get invited to more cookouts- the food was out of this world. I am definitely going to bug them for the baked bean recipe. It had multiple kinds of beans- pretty much rocked my world! No pictures though- didn't want anyone wondering "who invited the weirdo taking pictures of her plate?!"
Since then, dinner has been pretty epic! With my summers off I get to cookout and workout. I pulled out a flank steak and googled my options. The end result was pretty amazing. I found the recipe here and followed it almost to the letter. I beefed up the salad with leafy greens and spinach.Last night I went with Chicken- boring right?! It was, until I decided what I would do (thank you google). I marinaded it for 2 hours in this recipe. Again EPIC!!! I tossed together thin strips of raw zucchini with whole wheat fettuccine, olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. This will definitely show it's face again soon :)
My hopes are that after tomorrows vet visit we will get to stay home for more than 2 days, and I will get to post more!
"Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance."- Benjamin Franklin

Poor Pup!

What's not to love about a face like that! Clearly she is looking at her Daddy for pity. I had the unfortunate job of taking her to the vet for 3 visits. First one was her pre-op, second her tumor removal, and third was to clear up infection from the wound! Because her tumor was taken off of her hip, her stitches have pulled. YOWZA- vet trip number 4 here we come. We've been waiting to get her bump taken off during my summer break, because we know from previous experiences that it's not the easiest thing for her to recover from.

To aide in her recovery I decided to bake her dog treats. I know what's the difference... what's the point?! In my mind she likes them better! Here is the EASIEST way to show your four legged friends you love them! Happy Treat Baking.

3 cups oatmeal (ground fine in a food processor)
2 Tsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup peanut butter ( I used creamy)
1 egg
small amount of water to moisten
Mix ingredients together. Shape with love. Bake in an oven at 325, for 30 minutes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Yesterday after a quick shopping trip, I went to lunch with friend at Umi Sushi Bistro! We ordered Umi Spring Roll, seaweed salad and two lunch options. We shared shrimp avocado, spicy tuna, California, and spider rolls. Everything was excellent, especially with a glass of vino in the early afternoon! After a great lunch and a fabulous chat, I headed home to check up on a sick hubs and plan something tasty for dinner. After checking out this month's Cooking Light, I decided to use up some of the veggies in the fridge. The eggplant, zucchini, and tomato tian was created using sundried tomatoes and adding a layer of spinach to the veggies.

It was delish, especially alongside leftover pork tenderloin with a mushroom pan gravy, and mashed cauliflower with truffle oil and garlic.... nom nom nom.

The hubs enjoyed and loved that it was a healthy version of a hearty southern meal, what's not to love about that!? I'm just happy he could finally taste something, after 6 days with a vicious cold.

As for today's adventure, it's a waiting game to hear back from the vet to see if this lil' lady is ready to come home from surgery.

Our precious fur baby is getting a skin tumor removed from her hip! YIKES! She is trooper though, and bounces back pretty quick. When she is up to it, she'll be spoiled with cookies and toys!

With a relaxing view like this, the wait won't be bad at all!

Do you do anything EXTRA special when your pet is sick or injured!?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A bit nutty...

A few weeks ago I made oatmeal for breakfast with a handful of frozen blueberries. Ever since then I have been craving a slice of heaven in the form of blueberry pie! Not wanting to cancel out the extra effort I've been putting forth in the gym, I needed my sweet treat to be extra healthy. This inspired the birth of the following creation- Vegan Oat-Nut Tarts with fruit filling. I googled the crust and found it here- With my own tweaks the recipe looked like this:

1/2 cup whole almonds

1/2 cup whole pecans

1/2 cup white wheat flour

1 cup rolled oats

3 Tbsp agave nectar

3 Tbsp canola oil

1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Toast almonds and pecans for 8 minutes. Put nuts in food processor grind until fine, and put into a large mixing bowl with flour. Put oats in food processor and grind until fine, and combine with nuts/flour. Combine agave nectar, oil, and vanilla together. Mix in with dry ingredients. Once everything is combined, pop the mixing bowl in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
Press the pie crust into a well oiled 9 inch pie pan, or like I did this time, press into a regular sized muffin pan (creating 9 lil' tarts). I will play around with this and see what works best becuase the the muffin pan was not super easy to work with, but you work with what you've got! Pop in the oven for 9-10 minutes, keeping an eye of the crusts.
For the filling I used
2 cups frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp orange juice
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp agave nectar
2 Tbsp corn starch
Over medium heat cook berries, oj, 1/4 cup water, and agave nectar until nice a bubbly. Mix the remaining water with corn starch, and add to the warm berry mixture (I also made filling with 1 ripe peach instead of blueberries). Ladle the filling into the crusts. Put back in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Carefully remove the tiny tarts using a knife, fork, spoon, whatever you can pry them out with.
Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt!
I was curious about replacing the corn starch with arrowroot.
Does anyone have an tips on using a healthier atlernative to cornstarch?