… shaking it off… and heading out in search of balance…

Archive for the ‘dinner’ Category

pond scum

it’s that time of year!

it’s been beautiful in portland the last few days

(i’m sure even just mentioning this will cause the skies to darken, the clouds to roll in, and the rain to pour, but i digress)… so yesterday, after breakfast…

a fitnessista inspired egg puff on dave’s killer bread dressed by frank

we decided to uncover the scummy pond that’s been stagnate since winter and crank it up…

we discovered the koi are in fact still alive (minus ralphie, who i believe we lost to a predator of some sort before winter)… after a trip to the pond store, too much money spent on replacement parts, and lots of “help” by porter (interpretation: standing right next to us, chewing on pond parts, and splashing in water), we hooked it all back up…

we still have a lot of yard work to do (i have no idea why the previous owners kept a dirt outer ring of the yard), but i’m already excited with how it’s looking so early in the year!

the backyard is one of the big reasons i bought this house, and i can’t wait to be able to sit on the upper deck and have dinner overlooking the yard.

between our own yard work, swapping out guest room beds, helping nikki cut down five large bushes in front of her yard and digging out the remaining stumps *insert flexing of muscles and girl power here*… we were TIRED, and i needed a green monster

enjoyed on the upper deck with my best friend

(sporting the one ear back look… i wonder if this will become a trend like the one strap of the overalls unhooked???)

in the green monster:
1/2 c. almond milk
couple dollops 0% plain greek yogurt
2 c. organic baby spinach
frozen pineapple
frozen mango

i liked the hint of tangy that the greek yogurt gave the smoothie…

i won’t get sick of these any time soon

speaking of sick, anne is nursing a nasty cold (clearly she needs more green monsters), so i thought i’d make a veggified dinner for all of us.

i started with vegan stuffed mushrooms:

1 lb. large mushrooms
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 7oz. package firm tofu
8 sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt/pepper
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. dried breadcrumbs

remove stems from mushrooms and put the caps in a baking dish

preheat oven to 375

toss everything, including the mushroom stems, except the olive oil, parsley, breadcrumbs into food processor and chop/mix it all up


heat oil in skillet, and toss in the mixture for about 5 minutes or until tender, obviously making a big mess on your stove top… then mix in the parsley and breadcrumbs

stuff mushroom caps with mixture and shove into the oven for about 20 minutes or until browned on top

i’ve never made stuffed mushrooms without drenching them in cheese, but these were really good, and the tofu provided smoothness to the mixture. i would definitely make these again, and experiment with other ingredients like italian seasoning, or giving them an asian flare…

speaking of asian flare

no, not that kind

i also made a pretty good stir fry to round out the evening


today i’m hoping to tackle the yard a little more, hit the gym for an overdue elipticizer interval workout, maybe some weights if i’m feelin dangerous, and then get ready for the oscars.

what’s your favorite thing about your house/condo/apartment??
what’s the one thing you would love to have in your dream home??

my favorite parts of my house are the backyard, and the huge window in my living room that takes up one whole wall and looks out onto the upper deck and over the backyard. i always feel like i’m part of the outside.

i’ve always wanted a big home theater. i LOVE movies, and would love a big screen and big comfy couches or chairs to watch lots of movies in…

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we be rollin…

in veggies that is!

i’m excited because today i officially signed up for a CSA (community supported agriculture).

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way to create a direct connection between people who like to eat fresh, local produce and the farm that grows it. The CSA model is an economically viable way for small scale farmers to produce a wide variety of high quality vegetables in an earth-friendly way. CSA fosters responsible relationships between the grower, the consumer, the food, and the land on which the food is grown.

(source)

you pay the farm up front for your share, then each week the farm fills a box with fruits and veggies of their choosing, and we pick up our box at a location in portland.

our family is going to share a “harvest share” with my friend at work and her family. there are so many farms to choose from in the portland area!! we decided on one whose program goes for 26 weeks, and offers vegetables and fruit.

go here and scroll down for a sample of what a season looks like.

we love the farmers market, but i’m even more excited about having a “share” of a farm b/c we will get a variety of fruits and vegetables each week. i know this means we will constantly be trying new things, eating organic, and supporting a local farm. of course we will still go to the farmers market for extra fruits/veggies, meat, and eggs.

although the veggies won’t start rolling in until june, NOW is the time to sign up for your share, as many places sell out quick… so if you’re interested, i would highly recommend looking into the CSA offerings in your neck of the woods!

all this food TALK… how bout some photos!?!?

i finally restocked on spinach, and all the green monster talk at caitlin’s “house” left me with a serious craving!! so as soon as i got home from the gym this morning, i went to work!

secret green monster on the left (with cocoa powder so the teen doesn’t know he’s getting spinach)
green monster w/ chocolate protein powder for anne in the middle
and my “sludge” on the right (1 c. unsweetened almond milk, 2 c. spinach, lots of frozen cherries, ice) YUM

while i was swirling around the kitchen, i also managed to pack my lunch, which was actually last night’s leftovers:

salad = more spinach, roasted red pepper, baby carrots, mushrooms, feta, and deliciousness

entree = brown rice cooked in light coconut milk and extra firm tofu “planks” that had been marinated in tj’s “island soyaki” and thrown into a saute situation

i wasn’t full, so a couple hours later i inhaled (thus, there is no photo) a fuji apple and small dollop of PB

while i nursed a headache this evening, anne was kind enough to make a pretty scrumptious dinner and even played photographer!!

tj’s cucumber potsticker things anne wanted to try…. FAIL! they were just… weird!
roasted brussells and asparagus that were so good (we are fans of the skinny asparagus up in here)
boca burger with mozz, roasted red pepper, spinach, and avocado on a sandwich thin.

and that’s that…

but before you go…

i spy…

doxie bootayyyyy!!

hahahaha

given that my foggy/achey head is not getting any better… i think i’ll take a page from this dude’s book…

and pass out!

i’m just so excited about owning a “share” of a local farm… is this something you have done? or would do?
i’m a little nervous about getting veggies that i don’t know what to do with, but i’m guessing in the internet age, i’ll be able to find plenty of recipes for everything they throw at me…???

spanish nights

heyyyyyyyyy!!

i love the “i’m so not impressed” look…

a couple weeks ago our friend JR was hiding out at our place while his wife studied for the bar exam (ughhhh those words still make me cringe!! BAR EXAM = HORRIBLE) anywayyyy… we all got caught up in watching a Throwdown, where Bobby took on the “Paella King of Northern California”

ever since… we have all been talking about getting together to make paella… so last night… we did it up spanish style!

Nikki and JR had been remodeling their kitchen, so i was excited to test it out now that the remodel is complete!

it’s such an amazing transformation, and it’s so THEM (interpretation: JR got a “pot filler” above the stove and nikki got completely organized shelves)

who wouldn’t want to cook in this kitchen!?!?

as soon as we walked in, JR got the sangria flowin…

we wanted to really do the paella fresh and from scratch.

while anne and JR got right to work…

nikki and i ran some errands in preparation for anne’s birthday party in less than TWO weeks! we have some big fun planned… but are keeping the details a secret. trust me though… it’s going to make for a killer post!

by the time we got back to the house, it was clear that anne and JR had been enjoying themselves…

but despite the sangria induced shenanigans… the spanish masterpiece was coming right along!

as they put on the finishing touches…

i tossed together a salad…

the paella was SO flavorful, and while i probably would have taken a shortcut, nikki and JR were so smart to get the fresh seafood!! it was hard work, but fun, yummy, and actually… such a pretty dish!!

it was a successful spanish night!!

do you try to buy fresh seafood or are you ok rolling with the frozen stuff?

and as for some trashy tv… bachelor thoughts? new bachelorette thoughts??

let’s go let’s go let’s GO!!

that’s what farley was saying this evening, when i strapped him into his harness for his FIRST WALK since having back surgery!!

we went for a short walk (although he wanted to cruise the entire city of portland)… i noticed after about a block that he was trying to go too fast, so he would kind of skip and pick up his right back leg b/c it couldn’t keep up. i decided that meant it was time to head back… baby steps little boy… baby steps.

if you look close, you can see the scar down his back… it’s no joke!

but that was this evening…

i really need to start with last night…

which is when some dudes came to deliver my new bed. once they got it set up i was thinking, ummm i’m not sure this is the bed that i ordered, but i second guessed myself, and didn’t say anything. so i went to bed last night, and immediately knew O MAR COD, this is NOT the bed i bought! it was as hard as a rock! i was SO annoyed, didn’t sleep well, and woke up this morning with a totally achey body!

i know, i know, such dramatics! but i am a soft bed girl, and simply cannot stand hard beds!

waking up on the wrong side of the bed on a wooden plank, i knew i needed two things:

SPICY OATS

COFFEE W/ ABE

work was nutso, so by the time i escaped to make the trek to khao man gai, i had no idea where my phone was, and never took a photo… but you can read all about nong and her vietnamese street food crack HERE, and it’s worth it… it was IN-CRED-IBLE, per the usual!!

i’d like to wipe the rest of the day from my memory, sooooo moving right along…

when i left the building today i was so excited to see some color sprouting from the bare wintery trees…

it’s mind bottling how you can see this…

then right next to it…

spring is a comin and there’s nada like spring in PTizzle!

i got home to find the bed fairy had solved our problems, and my SOFT heavenly pillow top bed was in the room and made… i seriously contemplated going to bed at 6 p.m.!

the new bed is significantly higher than the old one, so the side tables look lame, and the new bedding doesn’t really jive with the picture anymore (i know challise, the pictures screams IKEA)… so that needs to disappear too. it’s ok though… i am so excited about my new slumber zone!

farley on the other hand… he and monkey are NOT happy about the new bed height!

anne was one of the lucky ones today, and didn’t have to work, so she was kind enough to make dinner!

while she was doin her thang, my lunch was loooong gone and i was starvin, so i snacked on two sticks of crack

and some new baked chips anne scored today, with surprisingly decent health stats… for chips!

serving size = 20 chips
calories = 120
fat = 3
fiber = 2
protein = 2
(given the flavor is SALT n vinegar, we won’t talk about the sodium content… mmm k?)

i only had a couple chips b/c i wanted to make sure i was sufficiently hungry… anne was makin a bomb ass dinner!

from the new “cooking light“… anne made mine with feta (i don’t dig the blue fuzzy cheeses)

the buffalo “sauce” (anne made it more chunky like a pico/salsa) was SO good… and the brussels went perfectly with it (just cooked on the stove with a tiny bit of olive oil and salt/pepper)

delicioso!!!

well, that’s it! duty calls… i finally finished season 2 of Damages, so now i’m going to get a little closer to caught up by watching the first episode of season 3…

if you do not watch “Damages“… you need to get seasons 1 and 2 PRONTO. it’s genius!! and glenn close RULES!

peace

you saved my marriage!!

a lot of people don’t know that i moonlight as a superhero to marriages on the brink of disaster! last night, duty called!! my good friends nikki and jr have what i lovingly refer to as a “shit show” going on in their lives right now! jr just took on major responsibility at work, nikki is taking an incredibly stressful class, AND they are remodeling their kitchen!
no, i mean a SERIOUS remodel…

yesterday after talking to both parties about the fact that they had to put cabinets together so the contractor could install them, but they had just brought the cabinets home the night before, and if they aren’t done the contractor will fall behind schedule, and then, basically, the world ends… i realized that the bottom line is, they are both too stressed out to think rationally!

SO i told jr if he took me to see farley after work we would help him construct the cabinets.

i got to see my son for the first time since friday! he was doing pretty well, but i’m not gonna lie, the 12 staples down his back were a little hard to see.

(just a small photo… didn’t want to gross anyone out!)

and we went to work on the cabinets… apparently when you’re 6’10″… you work better lying down???

and a sample of the finished product…

this morning i was greeted at work by a beaming and more relaxed nikki, and a “thank you haiku” in which she expressed her gratitude, complimented my cabinet constructing skills AND informed me we saved her marriage. pretty good for one little haiku!

tonight there was less drama, and fewer heroics. however, we did have a pretty bomb ass dinner, so i figured i would share it with you!

we are french dip fans at this house… but i am less and less interested in any kind of red meat
so i haven’t had french dip for a while, but i have been craving it… DILEMMA!!

then it came to me… turkey dips??

so at the grocery store over the weekend anne helped me pick out an uncooked turkey breast (i wanted nothing to do with already cooked turkey, and especially not turkey “lunch meat”), but the only turkey breasts available were big hunks of skin on turkey breast.

ok, i realize i’m 29 and should be over it, but i’m not gonna lie, any skin on meat immediately activates my gag reflex upon me laying a hand on it, so a compromise was in order! as we’re standing over the turkey section in the grocery store i said, “OK, you skin it, i’ll do the rest”

right! DRAMA!

she agreed… so this morning before work, anne removed all the skin from the turkey breast, then we put that in the crock pot with the following additional ingredients:

– 1 jar peperoncini rings (peppercinis, banana peppers, whatev!!!)
– 1 packet dry italian dressing
– 2 packets dry au jus (we use lawry’s)
– we eyeball the water but basically until it comes about halfway up the slab of meat… less water obviously means stronger au jus, more water, weaker au jus… very scientific!!

we set the cock pot on low and headed out the door

on our way home form work the teen called and said the delicious smell coming from the crock pot was making it impossible for him to study for his finals. i have NO idea where he gets his dramatic side….???? wha? don’t look at me!!

when we walked in the door and lifted the lid…

the whole house smelled like french dip… it was intoxicating to some of us.

anne sliced up the turkey breast and put the slices back into the crock pot with the au jus and banana peppers.

jack tried to get someone to explain to him why we gave him a home haircut that resulted in a mullet…

while i made some salads

we toasted some whole wheat rolls, put a little horseradish on them, and served it with the salad and a toddler size serving of straight mashed potatoes

these little dippers are SO FREAKING GOOD!! i loved having the banana pepper rings in there so i can eat them on top of the sandwich.

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OH pardon me… i was wiping my drool off the keyboard!!

sometimes i forget how easy the crock pot can make my life… toss the goods into the crock in the morning, and when you get home… dinner is ready!?!?

do you use the crock pot? what’s your favorite crock pot recipe??

the buffalo un-wing

FARLEY UPDATE! the little dude had his surgery early this afternoon… the doctor called me right after and said he came through with flying colors!! the doctor said he had to remove “a large amount of debris from the spinal canal”… yikes!!

I’m sure farley boy will be up to his old antics in no time… including keeping all the toys for himself…

SO given that there was a big football game on last night, i was craving “hot wings” but didn’t want to leave the house, didn’t really want chicken, and wanted to be healthy… so what i really wanted was buffalo wing FLAVOR.

thus, the buffalo un-wing was born!

(tofu cooked in buffalo sauce)

i grabbed what seemed like it would make a good sauce…

the frank’s could have been the sauce on its own, but i wanted to add the sriracha to make it spicier, the worchesterrrrshiiiirerer to thin it out a little bit, and the garlic, well… b/c everything is better with some garlic.

but really, i think whatever your favorite hot sauce/bbq sauce will do!

i tried to press as much water out of the tofu as possible b/c i wanted a more dry, less squishy consistency, so i put it in paper towel between two plates with a book on top for about 1/2 hour

then sliced it up, laid it in a baking dish, and smothered both sides of it with my sauce…

then we all chillaxed for an hour… the tofu in the fridge, and the rest of us…

(ok this photo is old, but i thought it was appropriate)

then i shoved the tofu in the oven at 400 for 15 minutes, then flipped them (why is tofu so hard for me to flip without destroying it??) and let it go another 15.
the flavor had permeated the tofu really well… but i wanted it to be crispier, so i tossed it in a pan on the stove, letting each side cook for a few minutes.

this was the clincher! the final sizzle in the pan gave the tofu the crispier/caramelized outside i was looking for!

anne finished up the teen’s steak (every couple months he begs and pleads for A PIECE OF REAL MEAT)

he was just so happyyyyyy

and the un-wings!

served with mashed potatoes (skin on and just some light sour cream added) w/ frank’s on top, and a quick romaine/carrot/cuc salad w/ a light ranch drizzzzzzle

the flavor of the un-wings was really good… just spicy enough to make ya lips burn, and totally satisfied the hot wing craving!

FINALLY… roll on over to one of my most favoritest new friends’ blog, holly, the everythingtarian, and you might could win a blender!!

so does anyone have good tofu tips?? i really like it, and think it can be good a zillion ways, but man oh man i am seriously weak sauce when it comes to handling it!?!!?!?

going off the deep end

so is it weird that i wanted to watch a show tonight just b/c the previews include the brandi carlile song, “dreams“??

the new show is “the deep end” and i guess it’s supposed to be about first year attorneys in a big firm in LA. so far i’m not very impressed.. but i suppose i’ll give it another shot next week. i just don’t understand why these shows about firms/attorneys are so far from reality… no one in the firm is nice to the new people? all the attorneys are rude to the staff? every person is a slut???

tangent right out of the shoot?!?!? NICE!

anyhoooo… i dont have that many comida photos b/c i posted breakfast this morning

and the lunch i was supposed to eat yesterday, was also already posted.

wow, cool blog post tonight, huh???

have no fear! being short on words is seldom a problem of mine. so of course, i have a few other things to say!

first off, i realized last night that my chip drawer is so full it’s embarassing! and then i thought, heyyyy i know someone who will be impressed.. ALLI!!

apparently we’ve been into buying healthy-ish chips lately…

another thing i’ve been into buying… is nut butter! and here’s where i go off the deep end again… for some reason when i attempt to eat healthy and get things in order i have a huge fear of fat!! now obviously i don’t always have this fear… b/c if i did, i’d probably be too thin, which is clearly not the case.

but when i attempt to make better choices and go on, say… a healthy binge!??! fat freaks me out!!
so after reading some healthy living blogs and starting my own journey, i was intrigued by how many people love nut butters… i thought i’d give them a try, and as it turns out… i too love them!

but then suddenly… TOTAL PANIC!! nut butters have quite a bit of fat!! i can’t eat those AND lose weight! i know people say the nut butters are healthy, and that they actually lost weight when they started eating them… and i know this all takes eating anything in moderation into account… but i just can’t stop fretting and worrying about a single bite of nut butter going down my pipes and immediately latching onto my ass!!!!!

to conquer fear, i did this last night:

(there were also pretzels involved)

and how do i feel you might ask???

TERRIFIED!! i spent the whole day today wanting to eat peanut butter but being too scared…

like i said… off the deep end!

so after freaking out all day about fatty nut butter i jetted home after work, knowing i promised to make my friend JR breakfast pizza for dinner, spiralized some potatoes and then hit the gym for a quick/intense workout before he showed up!

you can’t see me, but trust me… i have my proud face on! normally i would have said, well, i have company coming over, there’s simply NO time for a workout. good grief, what has 2010 done to me!??!

breakfast pizza got the thumbs up!


for the masses:
– an italian herb flat out
– TJ’s pizza sauce
– spiralized yukon gold potato pre-baked (they stuck to the pan, so this needs a remedy)
– pancetta
– scrambled egg
– sprinkle of shredded cheese on top

then some franks to top it off… b/c everything is better with FRANK

for me:
– flat out
– TJ’s pizza sauce
– scrambled egg
– spinach
– artichoke hearts
– sprinkle of shredded cheese
and… FRANK

served with a basic salad (mary’s crack makes great added “crunch” to a salad!!)

and to tie it all together… a bogle chardonnay in the good ol’ WUPILP (willamette university public interest law project) auction glasses. back from my days of saving the world one unpaid legal internship at a time!

i even packed up a dinner to send with JR for his wife Nikki b/c she was taking a class and couldn’t join us for dinner..

i’m being healthy AND nice?? someone check my temperature!!

after dinner we lounged…

some of us with our tongues out…


some of us without…

and some of us still on bed rest due to back injury…

poor little dude!

SO… not that it’s worth going off the deep end for, no matter what the answer is, but… my fear of fat… mainly nut butter fat… is it rational? are nut butters reserved for people who are already at a healthy weight?? or can i eat nut butter and still lose weight??