Something New

Monday, August 16, 2010

Right before I bought my Hyundai Santa Fe, I test drove an Audi A3 and absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, the one I test drove had a ton of miles on it, which is why I ended up not purchasing it. Since then, Adam has been researching and has been on the look-out for a nice A3 at a good price.

Last weekend, we found one. At first, I thought it was crazy to even go look at another car because being spontaneous is totally not my personality. However, he talked me into going and looking at the car on Saturday afternoon after I was done working overtime.

Well, I fell in love and so... we bought it! I know, it's crazy! We even traded the Santa Fe for what I bought it for!

Since we drove it home on Saturday evening, we've had a blast driving around with the sunroof open, singing to the radio and figuring out our new toy. Rest assured, I WILL NOT be trading this one for something else anytime soon.



Recipe Rut Solution #5

Sunday, August 15, 2010

This week's recipe rut solution was a real winner! Last summer, my mother-in-law gave me a bunch of Cooking Light magazines. Last weekend, I sat and went through all of them to see if they had any good recipe rut solutions. I gave Adam some options, and he picked lamb-burgers for tonight. They are a healthy version of a Gyro and they were incredibly easy and tasted great!

Here's the recipe:

  • 3/4 lb. ground lamb
  • 3/4 lb. ground turkery
  • 1 container feta cheese
  • 2 tsp lemon rind
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pack of pitas

Mix all of these ingredients together to make the burger mix, then form them into patties and they are ready to grill! For me, it made eight patties and I wish we would've invited people over to help us eat all of them, but we will take them for lunch tomorrow and I'm assuming they'll have good lunchability.


For the Tzatziki Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tbsp grated peeled seeded cucumber
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
Mix all of these ingredients together and it turns out to be really tasty sauce.

Once your lamb-burgers are done, shove them into a pita with some lettuce, tomatoes and sauce and you're ready to go! I paired them with french fries and some homemade pickles that Adam's grandma sent us home with a few weekends ago.




Total Meal Cost: $25.00

Adam's Rating: 12 out of 10

Things I Saw Today

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Today I saw the inside of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. We were only there for six hours, and yet I saw so many things that really affected me.

I saw a soldier be medically discharged, ending his military career.

A veteran took her first steps on an artificial leg.

I met a hopeful quadruple amputee that is one month younger than me.

I learned how doctors at Walter Reed are able to reconstruct soldier's skulls in 4 hours, when it used to take 12.

I saw pictures of double amputees who were able to do all of the things that they used to do, including hunting, fishing and skiing.

I met the mothers, fathers, wives, husbands and siblings who give up everything in their life to stand by the soldier that they love.

I heard stories of toddlers taking their first steps as their mothers and fathers begin to walk again.

On the way out, one of my coworkers said that on the way home, we should really stop and a church and pray for all of the healing that is going on in that place, and he was completely right because it really is a remarkable place.

We are so incredibly lucky to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, but it's so easy to forget that people fight for that every single day.

Jacob's Baptism

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Today we celebrate my nephew Jacob's baptism! He was perfect throughout the entire church service and Sally and Andrew hosted a wonderful lunch for everyone.




Recipe Rut Solution #4

Last week was crazy and I can't believe I wasn't able to post my recipe rut solution. I kind of flaked on the recipe this week and did two deserts for my nephew Jacob's baptism. I made vanilla cupcakes with strawberry icing and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. I promise this week I will do another dinner recipe!

For the cupcakes, I made a basic yellow cupcake batter (you could use boxed cake mix). The frosting was REALLY easy, light and fresh for summertime.

  • 1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy.

3. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined.

4. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended.

I didn't take any pictures while I was making them because I was making them at 6:30 AM on a Saturday morning, but here is the final product:



Here is the recipe for the white chocolate macadamia nut cookies (which also happen to be Adam's favorite):

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 package white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

    1. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.

    2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy.

    3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

    4. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

    5. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

    6. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

    7. Bake at 350 degrees until brown


Shoe Explosion

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The entry to our apartment can be quite hazardous by the end of the week, due to none other than the SHOE EXPLOSION!!!

Since I ride the metro everyday, I usually wear sneakers on the metro and then change into sandals/heels when I get to work. Therefore, I am usually carrying a pair of shoes in my work bag.

Each morning, when I'm getting my bag ready, I toss the shoes that are in there from the day before into the small entrance way of the apartment and put in the pair of shoes for the current day. Of course I never think about picking up the shoes later and putting them back in my closet.
By the end of the week, the entrance to the apartment looks like this:

DSC_0677 - Copy - Copy

Perhaps a shoe rack would be a good Christmas present this year?

Recipe Rut Solution #3

Monday, August 2, 2010

All of the craziness from last week prevented me from posting my recipe rut solution! Adam LOVES chicken, so I am always looking for ways to spruce up a plain chicken breast. The recipe for this week is called Roman Chicken.

Here's the recipe:

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 package Fontina cheese


1. Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a heavy, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.


2. Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the peppers and cook until the peppers have browned, about 5 minutes.


3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add the tomatoes, wine, and herbs.

5. Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.


6. Add the capers. Stir to combine and serve. If making ahead of time, transfer the chicken and sauce to a storage container, cool, and refrigerate. The next day, reheat the chicken to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the capers and the parsley and serve.


Total Meal Cost: $20.00

Adam's Rating: 8 out of 10

Next Day Lunchability: Still good the next day, just a bit dry.