Friday, January 29, 2010

Five Question Friday: January 29th Edition

Whoa Dang! These weeks keep FLYING by, guess that's what happens in the real world. Well, it's Friday...again but at least that means it's the weekend and time for Five Question Friday!

My Little Life


Don't know what this fun little blog carnival is? Well, here's how to play.... copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, grab the MckLinky code, and link up and of course link back to the Queen of 5QF Miss Mama M.!

Questions for Friday, 1/29/10:
1. Would you ever vacation alone?
Um no, I will fly on a plane by myself or drive by myself to a vacation destination but I would always meet someone there. Why would you want to go on vaca by yourself, it just doesn't make sense to me, what all would you do?

2. Do you go the speed limit?
Well here's the thing, I don't really pay attention to them unless it's a school zone. I usually just 'go with the flow' I assume everyone else is doing the speed limit so I just keep up with traffic. But those speed traps where the speed changes in 50 ft to something like 10 mph slower, I have been a victim of a speeding ticket and man oh man are those pricey these days.

3. Why did you start blogging/following blogs?
One of the girls I worked with was planning her wedding and would send me blogs where she got inspiration from and one click led to another and I ended up on SmittenKitchen. From then on I was hooked to cooking blogs and then to every other kinda blog. It's so addicting and there's so many great blogs out there! Oh and I started my blog last summer :)

4. Where do you shop for yourself?
J. Crew (best t-shirts ever!), Forever 21, Macy's (gotta have my Guess? jeans, they are the only ones that fit 'just right' and aren't super expensive)

5. What was the song that you danced your first dance with your spouse to at your wedding...or...what song would you like your first dance to be to?
I haven't gotten married yet but I would love to dance to Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy, such a beautiful song.




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Well, this weekend I'm going to my parent's house to spend time with my mom for her birthday (it was yesterday). We're going to dinner at an Asian Fusion resturant that's on top of a hotel, it's one of my favs and then heading to some new fancy wine bar. It should be a lot of fun, I just need to start packing...nothing like waiting for the last minute! Hope you have a great weekend as well! :)



And don't forget to join in the Blog Hop! :)


MckLinky Blog Hop

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tomato Salad

Some call it "chunky salsa", "Pico de Gallo", a topping for bruschetta, or just "chopped tomatoes and onions", whatever it is, I like it and so does my boyfriend. Almost to the point of us arguing over who gets to make it! We each have our own take on it but it's mostly the same, just different amounts of spices. He eats it with toasted pita bread or with crusty slices of baguette, most of the time that's how I eat it, but sometimes I go for the tortilla chips (usually blue corn, they are my fav).

Here's the basic recipe, just remember this is kinda a "whatever taste good to you" approach to measurements and it switches every time we make it.

5 Plum Tomatoes-roughly chopped
1 medium red onion-diced (or use a hand chopper, I got one at Ikea for $8 and it works great!)
1 clove garlic-minced
a few leaves fresh basil-roughly chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
about 2 teaspoons fresh oregano-minced (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
Salt and pepper to taste
Splash of vinegar (any variety is fine)
Splash of extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in bowl or container if you want to save for later. Mix well and refrigerate for about 15 minutes so the spices can soak in. Mix well before serving. ENJOY :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Planning Monday January 25th

I skipped last weeks Menu Planning Monday since I was sick and knew I wouldn't be up to cooking. So now that I'm back at 100% I'm ready to take on this week with a great menu-plan. Here's what we are having this week:

Monday: Tilapia Piccata
Tuesday: Appetizer Night - trying a few new aps plus some old standbys like stuffed jalapenos!
Wednesday: Homemade Pizza- this is a first for me, using Sarah's Pizza Dough Recipe
Thursday: My Mom's CrockPot Beef Stew
Friday-Sunday: Out of town visiting my parents for my Mom's Birthday :)


Head on over to I’m an Organizing Junkie’s Menu Planning Monday for other menus and tips to get started on planning your own menu plan!



Friday, January 22, 2010

One Benefit of Living in Florida

It's January 22nd and we have the most beautiful weather.
75 degrees, sunny with a slight breeze!

(eastern view from my office window, that's the First Baptist Church)


I've been stuck at the office all day today but I can't wait to be off work and enjoy this weather, hopefully it stays for a bit! It would be nice to spend a Saturday outside or have a Sunday afternoon picnic. This weather is such a BIG change from yesterday's nasty storm, that included tornadoes in the county south of us (thankfully they never touched down) and also a pleasant change from the frigid weather we had a few weeks ago, seriously did you see my post about Florida Snow, I wouldn't call it snow but still it was kinda cool. Oh weatherman please keep this sunshine here for at least another day. Well, now to finish up some last minute things at the office then home free to enjoy the rest of the evening!

Happy Friday yall! :)

Five Quesiton Friday - January 22nd!

Do you know what time it is? It's time for Five Question Friday! Yay! I've been feeling a lot better today, so thanks for all the well wishes! I think it helps that it is a beautiful day, 72 degrees and sunny, gotta love Florida weather!

My Little Life

So here we go.... Questions for 1/22/10 are brought to you by Casia, the Unkept Cook, Renee, Liz, and Kate, thanks ladies!! And, it's really easy to join in... just copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, come on back and grab the MckLinky code -if you want and add your link! Oh and be sure to go visit Mama M. she's the amazing woman behind this fun party!


1. What is better, growing old with out money or dying young and wealthy?
Well money isn't everything and memories are priceless so I'm going to go with growing old without money. And yes that is my final answer

2. Who takes out the garbage at your house?
We have an unspoken rule of 'if you make if full, you take it out' so whoever realizes it's full first wins the lovely price of trash duty.

3. Have you ever had the same dream many times?
Not that I can remember, I have had those all too real dreams where you know it's a dream but can't wake yourself up when something terrible has happened.

4. Can you play a musical instrument?
I took piano lessons from the moment I can remember all the way through high school, so for about 14 years. I can read sheet music and play by ear.
I wish I could play guitar or something cool like the drums, but I guess that's why I have RockBand :)

5. If you owned your own store, what would you sell?
I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to own a boutique store that sells custom home decor, homemade bath items and candles, and has a small cafe with a menu that changes based off what is fresh/in season that day.

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Have a great Friday :)



MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not Feeling So Hot

Today, I'm battling a cold and have been for 4 days, and it's still winning. I have that lovely cough that makes me sound like a seal, along with the lovely body aches, and fever but enough about that. I have a few things that make me feel better that will taste good even if your taste buds are outta wack! Here's my favorites:

Hot Tea
I love hot tea, (my favorite is RedRose brand)with about a tablespoon of honey and a splash of milk. So good!




Chicken Spiral Soup

1 lb of skinless chicken tenderloins (or 2 boneless-skinless chicken breast) cut into small pieces
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 carrots, sliced into rounds
7 cups chicken broth (homemade or store bought)
1 cup corkscrew/spiral pasta
salt & pepper
dash of thyme-to your liking


Coat large stew pot with olive oil and set stove to medium-high. Add chicken, onions, carrots, (celery if you want-I don't like it at all) and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth and bring to a boil. Finally, add in your pasta and reduce heat to medium. Cook until pasta is done and season with salt & pepper, and dash of thyme. You can also add in chopped bell pepper, garlic, and/or celery (I am not a huge fan of celery) to your liking, I switch it up each time.





Chicken Soup on FoodistaChicken Soup

Friday, January 15, 2010

Five Question Friday: January 15th

My Little Life
It's that time again, which by the way is something I look forward to every week... and yes I think the weeks are getting shorter and shorter, where does the time go?!

So, here's the deal... copy and paste the following questions to your blog, answer them, then head on over to Mama M.'s and link up! Oh and rumor has it if we break 100 this week she's gonna have a 5QF Giveaway, how awesome is that!?! So what are you waiting for... do it to it!


1. Worst trouble you ever got into as a teenager?
My junior year I skipped school with my best friend and we went to Steak-n-Shake and to the mall to go shopping, I would have never gotten caught until someone cut me off right before a redlight and I rear-ended them. My dad is my insurance agent and I had to call him since the lady I hit was in a rental car. I lost my car for a month and was grounded that whole time, I couldn't go anywhere except for school, cheer practice, or my soccer games.
2. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Def not a morning person, but if I have to get up before 9am I am functional. I'm a night person, and have been most of my life. :)
3. Are you a one-handed or a two-handed Texter?
I can text one handed but I have a phone that has the whole keyboard so it's easier to text two-handed.
4. Democrat, Republican, or Independent..or maybe even Green Party (whatever that is).
Registered Republican, but I work with politics and they all are corrupt. I have my own set of beliefs that are a conservative mix of both.
5. Are you a pet person?
Yes, I love animals. I have dogs and fish. I'm allergic to cats but I still like them as long as they are outside and I feed the stray that lives in the woods next to my house. I would probably adopt every dog that is homeless if I had the room and finances :)




MckLinky Blog Hop

Time To Try: Pioneer Woman's Penne a la Betsy

I do know about you but I love The Pioneer Woman, Ree always makes some delicious recipes and for weeks I've been eyeing her recipe that she made with her sister called Penne a la Betsy. I had a mad craving for some shrimp and I had most of the ingredients on hand so with a little tweaking I made a smaller version of her recipe that served two generous portions that literally blew my tastebuds away!


Ingredients
1/2 box Penne Pasta
1 lb Shrimp
3 Tbs Butter
3 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 red onion
3 cloves Garlic
White Wine (probably about 1/2 cup)
1 8oz can Tomato Sauce
1 cup Heavy Cream
Parsley, Basil, Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook the penne pasta al dente.
While that's cooking peel, devein and rinse shrimp, (I had a bag of peel, deveined frozen shrimp from Publix that already had the tails removed so I skipped that step.)

Heat about 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and saute for a couple of minutes, don't overcook them. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. (Her recipe calls for chopping the shrimp into smaller pieces but I kept mine whole.
Finely dice one small onion. Mince two cloves of garlic.

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and saute, stirring occasionally. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit add your white wine. Let the wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add an 8-ounce can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.

Add your chopped shrimp back into the tomato cream sauce, mix in spices, and finally combine with the pasta.

It looks so yummy and it was so delicious! I will defiantly be cooking it many many more times :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: January 11th


Well it's Monday again, last week flew by and so did the weekend and I'm blaming it on the cold. It was 15 degrees last night and as a lifelong Floridian I am not used to having the heat on all the time and running out of firewood. This year we really are having a real WINTER. Now not only is this unusal but my parent's had 'snow' in Central Florida. However, here's a picture of Florida snow on a palm fron.l So, in honor of this cold weather, I'm making a menu that will warm everyone up!

Monday: Guy Fieri's Beer Can Chicken with Coleslaw & Potato Salad
Tuesday: Crockpot Texas Chili from Kelly at Faithful Provisions
Wednesday: Chicken & Dumplins or this white chili recipe I found online
Thursday: Lime-Honey Salmon from Dreamy Dish (Moved from last week)
Friday: Aaron McCargo, Jr's Mini Shepherd's Pie
Saturday: Chicken Salad Sandwiches and Soup (not sure what yet)
Sunday: leftovers of course!

Stay warm everyone! :)

Remember you can always join in our menu planning and find inspiration for your menu at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Friday, January 8, 2010

TGIF!

Happy Friday!
Wow! I'm running a little late here, this week has flown by for me, and I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not... oh 2010 please slow down at least enough so I can keep my days straight! And by the way 2010 will you please speak to the weather and remind it that Florida is the warm sunshine state, not this Arctic tundra you are turning it into, I hear we are supposed to get snow over the weekend...weird! Oh and I almost forgot that it's time for Five Question Friday!

My Little Life

1. What's your "comfort food"?
Well that's a tough one but I'm gonna go with either made from scratch mac & cheese or baked ziti, I LOVE my pasta dishes. Oh and homemade queso dip made with chorizo :)
2. Do you send Thank You's (handwritten or email)?
I do send them, handwritten of course because personally I love getting mail and I think the handwritten note makes it special, plus I get super cute thank you cards from my Mom for my birthday so I might as well use them :)
3. If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which show would you choose?
True Blood, as long as I'm not one of the people who dies or is a victim.
4. What is your favorite online recipe site?
I love getting recipes from other bloggers so I try to search my google reader first. But I also love allrecipes.com, epicurious, and of course foodnetwork.com
5. If you had to choose: "Friends" or "Seinfeld"?
Seinfeld or Friends, um can I pick both. No, well then I'm going with Seinfeld, my family is big fans and I like that kind of humor.... Festivist, Soup Nazi -no soup for you, Technicolor dream coat, haha.

Head on over to Mama M.'s to join in on the fun and see all the other fun answers!


~IN OTHER NEWS~

Guess what... I received my FIRST blog award, The Sugar Doll Award, from one of my favorite blog friends! The lovely Miss Dot from Saving the World One Cupcake at a Time, who also has another blog dedicated to cupcakes and baking that's full of delicious cupcake recipes like Brown Sugar Pecan Cupcakes (yum!) over at Miss Dot's Cupcake Spot . I'm honored, truly honored!

I'm passing this cute little award over to Krista at The Double Dipped Life who has a delicious recipe for White Chocolate Lemon Bars :)



I'm Feeling Toasty: A Few Recipes for Toast

Today I'm talking TOAST. I'm not a big breakfast person during the week, usually because I'm too busy running around the house like a mad woman trying to get out the door to head to work. You see, I'm always late. I have to set all my clocks ahead 15 minutes so I can be ready on time, which works until I remember that I have 15 minutes to spare. But since it's the New Year I'm pledging to be on time to all events and eat breakfast in the morning as part of my quest to get in shape (I heard skipping breakfast actually makes you gain weight, yuck!). Anyways, back to TOAST. Toast is a versatile breakfast sidekick, it goes well with an egg dish, yogurt, or even just plain fruit. Here's a few of my favorite ways to spice up your toast and add something more than just jam and butter. And I'm even adding my mom's fancy grilled cheese recipe that is to die for! Now I'm not saying these toppings are healthy but they sure are tasty and you can use any bread of your choice!


Easy Cheese Toast

Lightly spread butter onto one side of bread, top with a slice of yellow American Cheese. Place in toaster oven or conventional oven heated at 180 degrees for about 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted. I like my cheese toast by itself but it goes well with eggs on the side or topped with scrambled eggs as an open faced sandwich.


Easy Cinnamon Toast
Lightly spread butter onto one side of bread, mix together cinnamon and sugar in equal proportions in small bowl, sprinkle mixture onto buttered bread. Place in oven at 180 degrees for about 3-4 minutes until bread is toasted. Serve with fruit and yogurt :)

Mom's Fancy Grilled Cheese
Stir together 1/4 cup butter and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Spread the mixture onto one side of each slice of bread (she does 2 sandwiches at a time). Put two slices butter side down on wax paper, top each with a slice of provolone and mozzarella, then place the other slices of bread on top (butter side up). Cook on a griddle for about 4 minutes on each side and enjoy!



Thursday, January 7, 2010

You Can Win: A Waffle Maker!

Oh My Oh My! The coolest giveaway ever! Jen at 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven, 365 Days of TV-Free Toddler Time, and Mega-Family Blogs is giving away a flippin' waffle maker...




These things are so cool, I know I've always wanted one. I stayed in a few hotels that had these in the breakfast area and they make waffles fun (and easy) to make! Jen has a post where her son made some yummy waffles using this and she gives us the recipe! And, lucky for us she's giving one away! I know how AWESOME is that! To enter, go HERE! and GOOD LUCK!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Menu Planning Monday: First of 2010



WOW, it's 2010... mixed feelings here, I feel like this last year has flown by and things are already picking up speed here. I blame it on being out of college and in the real world, and I heard when you're married and have kids time flies even more... eek! good thing I'm not in that boat yet maybe I can still save a little bit of time! Anyways back to Menu Planning since I've been out of town for a couple weeks... oh and I'm sticking with this time theme and going for quick fix meals this week!



Monday: Taco Night with Queso dip of course!
Tuesday: White Bean soup (it's in the William-Sonoma catalog)
Wednesday: Stuffed Chicken with Caesar salad
Thursday: Ground Turkey & Ricotta Pasta Bake
Friday: Lime-Honey Salmon (from Dreamy Dish)
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: Leftovers or Pizza



By the way, you should make your New Years Resolution to participate in I'm an Organization Junkie's Menu Plan Monday. I promise that it will be worth it :)
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