Saturday, July 31, 2010

Last night, Daniel had to go to Mark's for a work dinner (no fair)! I was going to go get some take out at Barnaby's, but after watching Oprah, I changed my mind! Oprah had a feature about "freegans" (rhymes with vegan), people who get most of what they own for free....from the trash! It is amazing how much food is wasted at grocery stores simply because the produce has a scratch or the meat expires in the near future. Freegans literally get all of their food- milk, produce, eggs, meat- from dumpsters! So...I canceled on Barnaby's. No, I didn't dig around in the Kroger dumpster, but I did cook with food that I already had. It turned out REALLY good, too! Click here for Greek Grain Salad. The only grain I used was a whole box of barley.
So, my dad is in a new band, The Charlie Poe Band (clever name, right?). Anyways, tomorrow he is having a show at my cousin's bar, Jumps. I think it will be a lot of fun and I am excited to see family and friends. It is a free show and the drinks are great. Let me know if you want to go and I will gladly give you directions!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Last days of summer

I finished this book in less than two days. I really love the author Emily Griffin. Her books are mostly classified as Chick Lit, but I feel like her books are not typical of that genre. Her characters are all 3 dimensional and her endings are never predictable. I do not want to give any of the book away, but it is written through two different ladies' point of view, Tessa and Valerie. I can relate to different aspects of both of these characters. Although they have never met, their lives become intertwined through a tragedy in Valerie's family. If you choose to read it, be prepared to do nothing else until it is finished!

Also, I woke up extra early this morning to start painting our porch. It is not finished- I still need to do the trim around the pillars and steps, along with a second coat of paint. I will do this either tomorrow or this afternoon. It feels nice checking this project off of our list of home improvements- makes me feel like I wasn't a total lazy bum this summer! I still want to add a nicer looking mail box and address numbers, but I think that I will save that for when Daniel and I sand/ stain our new front door. I feel like I am on that show Curb Appeal (I love HGTV!).

Funny story- before I started painting our porch, I made a mental note that I must unlock our back door, seeing as we will not be using our front door until the paint dries. So, I unlock the back door, and go outside to make sure that I can easily open the backdoor from there (the door is very old and always gets stuck). It opens, and I literally say out loud, "do NOT lock this door again." OF COURSE, my dogs need to go outside, so I let them out, do some chores, let them back in, and get started outside. About two hours later, I am finished and bring all of my tools to the back door. I go to open the door, and it won't budge! I try everything I can to open the darn door, but it is either stuck or locked. By this time, I am covered in sweat, paint, and dirt and just want to go inside. I have to use all of my flexibility (thanks, yoga!) to lunge over 3 paint-soaked steps, with the front foot balancing on the 1 inch thick trim of the pillar and the back foot sunk in a flower bed. By the grace of God, I am able to get through the front door without messing up my work! And, despite all of my intentions to not lock the back door, it was, indeed, locked!

I think that's about all of my news. I hope everyone has a great Thursday!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A little bit of everything

My favorite thing about soup is that it provides me with lunch leftovers for days, not to mention that it is a great way to get in some veggies. I made this soup last night. I subsitutued black beans for chicken, veg stock for chicken stock, and added bell pepper. Here is the recipe!
Daniel hated it, but I loved it. It definitely wasn't filling, though.

I ate steak Thurs-Saturday. I couldn't help it! On Thursday, Daniel and I went to Hugo's for lunch. I LOVE their steak almost as much as I love their margaritas. Then, on Friday night I went to this new Benihana-type restaurant with my family in the Brazos Bend Town Center. TOTAL DUD, but I did forgo my first choice of sushi for hibachi filet mignon. THEN, on Saturday Daniel and I went to a friend's house for dinner. Their steak seriously rivaled that of a 5 star steak house, so I couldn't resist :) But, now I am back to no more meat. I am only cutting back, not forsaking it completely!

At work, people make fun of me because of my love for Greek Yogurt. At 20+ grams of protein per serving, it is seriously one of the best snack choices, especially now that I am not consuming as much protein as usual. A tub of fat free is HUGE, but only 140 calories. I get the plain kind because I try not to eat any added sugar. Today I added blueberries to it after my run/ yoga regimen. Very filling and nourishing!

Supposedly a potential landscaper is coming today to give me a quote on my forest of a front yard. They have already canceled on me once and rescheduled for today...they are already 10 minutes late!

If they do not come (and it doesn't rain) then I am going to paint my porch! My house is yellow with white trim. Can't paint the porch white because it would show all of the dirt. I am thinking a sage green with some gray under tones.

Landscapers here!!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Good books

This summer, I have done a ton of relaxing. Yoga everyday, an embarrassing amount of HGTV, and a hefty bill towards due to the amount of books I have downloaded on my Kindle. I have read several great books. The Lovely Bones (yes, it was a movie, whateve) was probably the most thought provoking..but my two favorite books were Something Borrowed and Something Blue, a series by Emily Griffin.

Regarding the first book, I read it in less than 24 hours while at The Bond's lake house. In theory, it was a book that I should never recommend, about a 30 yr old woman's relationship with her self-involved best friend's fiance. I cannot believe how obsessed with this book I became, considering how much I value loyalty; however, I think every woman could relate to the main character's own insecurities and desires.

The latter book was basically the same story as the first book, along with the aftermath, according to the self-centered best friend. It was probably my favorite book- I loved seeing how Darcy, the shallow, wordly BFF evolved into a likeable character.

WELL, imagine my delight when I came upon the author's fan page to see that my beloved books were becoming a movie! Let's just say that I cannot wait until 2011! Here is a sneak peak:

Is it the deepest of books? NO. Is it a fun read? Absolutely!

BTW, I am open to any of your book recommendations!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Later is better than never!

I know it has been a while, I wanted to share something (small and a little superficial) but still something still fun and worth sharing.

This week, despite the fact that I have only been off for 2.5 weeks, I have been planning on going back to work. Last year I felt like I always had to sacrifice something during the week, whether it be the gym, chores, cooking, or sleep. It might sound silly, but a lot of what consumes my time in the kitchen is preparing meat! Defrosting it, cooking it thoroughly, cleaning up the mess afterward. On top of the health reasons that had already caused me to lower my meat-eating, plus the costs of meat, environmental reasons for avoiding meat, yada yada, I have decided to stop cooking meat and truthfully, try to stop eating it as well. To be honest, I do not like meat that much (chicken is so boring unless it is doused in olive oil) unless it is a nice, juicy filet mignon. Why waste my calories on something I do not really enjoy? I was only cooking it for us because I thought my husband wouldn't want a plant-based meal.

So, this past week I have cooked strictly vegetarian meals, and my husband has rated all of them. Here they are (BTW, there are only 4 meals because for 2 of them I had Amy's and for one my husband and I went out to eat).

Daniel rated these on a scale of 1-10, with 9.9 being Mark's Restaurant worthy, and a 1 being inedible (he says a 10 is simply unattainable). Anything that is a 6 or above is something he would want to eat again :-)

Day 1: Feta, Walnut, and Spinach Pasta salad- rated a 7
1. Boil whole wheat rigatoni pasta to al dente (I did the whole box to have lunch left
2. Drain it and chill in the fridge for about 10 min
3. Mix it with toasted walnuts (1/2 cup) several hand fulls of spinach (used defrosted
frozen spinach because it is already wilted), 1/2 of a chopped red onion, and about a cup of feta cheese and some salt/ pepper.

Day 2: Bean soup (courtesy of my mama, tweaked by me)
1. In a crockpot, mix a lb of dried black beans, 2 chopped carrots, 3 chopped stalks of celery, a chopped white onion, 7 cloves minced garlic, 1 chopped green pepper, 2 4 oz cans of green chiles, 5 cups of water, 3 cups of vegetable stalk, a Tablespoon of cumin and a Tablespoon of Thyme. Cook on high for 8 hours. Once it is ready to serve, top with some cilantro and avocado.

*Daniel did not rate this, but loved it so much that he came home from work to eat it for lunch- and he ALWAYS goes out!

Day 3: Pasta with goat cheese, fresh spinach, and roasted red peppers- "solid 7.5"
1. Cook whole wheat pasta shells in salted water until al dente
2. Once cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water
3. Mix cooked pasta with about 1/2 cup of goat cheese, 4 roasted peppers, and 4 handfuls
of fresh spinach
4. Top it off with the 1/2 cup of reserved water. This melts the cheese and creates a
creamy, yummy sauce. It also wilts the spinach.

Day 4: Egg, spinach, and feta "quiche" (turned more into a pizza)- rated a 7.8
1. Set oven to 350 degrees
2. In a bowl, mix 10 oz of defrosted frozen spinach (make sure you squeeze the excess
water out), 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 cup of feta (I also mixed in some goat cheese).
3. In a seperate bowl, whisk 3 eggs with 1.5 cups of skim milk, plus a pinch of nutmeg,
salt, and pepper.
4. In a pie pan (about 9-12 in), place 4 halves of whole wheat Orzo sandwich thins
5. Spoon the spinach mixture on top of the thins, and then pour the egg mixture on top.
6. Cook for about 30-40 min
* This was not very eggy. If you want it to be less pizza-like and more quiche-like, add
some more eggs/ milk. For every egg added, also add 1/2 cup of milk*

All of these recipes took barely any time to prepare. Daniel and I are both pretty health-conscious, so we liked that we didn't hate ourselves after eating these meals. Anyways, enjoy! I think I will be posting the recipes I cook this week, as well!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...