February 29th: Last February Post (Reflection…)

As I reflect on this month I have realized that writing a blog a day is not as hard as I thought it was going to be! Things like ‘taking and uploading pictures’ make it slightly more tedious but when I look back at those entries they happen to be some of my favorites… Who doesn’t like looking at pictures? My original New Years resolution was to blog 1x/week but I know after completing this month’s challenge that I can blog 2-3x/week. So I’ve decided to ‘name’ 2 days of the week where I will either dedicate to food or yoga/meditation and if I’m feeling extra ‘chatty’ I’ll include a 3rd blog about general Fitness or Mommyhood… So I’d like to formally introduce:

  • Foodie Friday – I will be sharing some of my favorite recipes, restaurants, tips on how to prepare meals, nutrition facts, healthy dining idea, and anything regarding food… Coming Soon!
  • Meditation Monday – This will be a refletction on either a motivating quote for the day to help you get through the hardest day of the week and/or some yoga poses to help you keep calm and relax… Coming soon!

Thanks for following this month!

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February 28th: Name Frame

I actually came up with this idea after seeing a friends wedding gift (Mrs. Dell) a few years back… She has it on her mantle and every time I go over to her place I think ‘I need to do that!’  Well recently I found a Flickr account on Pinterest (the site was unavailable at the time I posted this blog but I’ll update in the next few days with the link or go to my ‘for the home’ section on Pinterest…) with all different letter options to use.  I got lucky because my married last name is only 4-letters (vs. my maiden name which is 7-letters).  And so you would think it would be super easy to find a 4 sectioned frame, you’d be wrong!  It was much harder than I thought, until I found this beautiful one that fits my home decor perfectly from Home Goods.  I got it for $29.99.  I printed out different letters from Sam’s Club (total of $1.70) to see which would fit best in the frame and in the entryway where I hung the picture, here is my final result… I love it!  And the best thing is that this custom piece only cost me about $32.00!

I’m realizing more and more that I need to work on my photography skills… maybe its time to take a class!

February 27th: Tapas and Wine Pairing (Ladies Night)

I’ve given myself the task of planning a menu for a Girl’s weekend trip that is coming up, which will no doubt include lots of wine…  So therefore, I’ve decided to do a wine pairing menu with different varieties of wine and tapas (and we can’t forget dessert).  And with that, I’ve decided I’d blog my ideas in hopes that the other women will give me their reviews before the event that way we can make any adjustments if necessary.  The deal is we’ll be going up to a cabin a few hours away from Los Angeles for the evening, leaving the husbands and babies behind for a good ole fashion ‘Ladies Night’…

Here are the list of wine types that I plan on pairing, and I’m thinking 1-2 dishes per wine:

  • Prosecco
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Pinot Noir
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon

The first wine variety is Prosecco, this is a sparkling white wine served cold. Some of the flavors that go well with this wine are gorgonzola, brie, tomato, bruschetta, goat cheese, lemon, mushroom, almond.  These are the recipe ideas that I am proposing (click on the picture to find the URL link).

Bruschetta

Stuffed Mushroom

Stuffed Brie

Cinnamon Glazed Almonds

Next, Pinot Grigio, a white wine served cold.  Some of the flavors that go well with this wine are shellfish, chicken, mild Asian dishes, Gruyère, mozzarella. These are the recipe ideas that I am proposing (click on the picture to find the URL link).

Shrimp Cocktail

Mozzarella Sticks and Marinara Dipping Sauce

Vegetable Potstickers

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Next, Pinot Noir, a red wine served at room temperature. Some of the flavors that go well with this wine are goat cheese, brie, walnuts, chicken, dried fruit, figs, strawberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, white chocolate, tuna, mushroom sauce, filet mignon.  These are the recipe ideas that I am proposing (click on the picture to find the URL link).

Strawberry, Goat Cheese Salad

White Chocolate Brownie

White Chocolate Cinnamon Popcorn

Fig and Brie Pizza

Next, Cabernet Sauvignon, a red wine served at room temperature. Some of the flavors that go well with this wine are cheddar, gorgonzola, walnuts,broccoli, lavender, rosemary, tomato sauce, beef stew.  These are the recipe ideas that I am proposing (click on the picture to find the URL link).

Mac n' Cheese

Caprese Salad

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Apple, Walnut, Gorgonzola Turnovers

Next, Merlot, a red wine served at room temperature. Some of the flavors that go well with this wine are parmesan, Romano, tomatoes, mint, rosemary, dark chocolate, berries, fondue, caramelized onions.  These are the recipe ideas that I am proposing (click on the picture to find the URL link).

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Tomato, Basil, Parmesan Tart

Mint Chocolate Dipped Brownie Bite

Fondue - anything!

Okay Ladies… opinions?

February 26th: Tea Time

One of my new favorite things these days is party planning and I recently hosted a girls tea party for a few ladies which included decorating with a Valentine’s Day theme. Each lady brought a tea party dish to share and we sat around drinking tea, eating, and enjoying each other’s company. I love my dates with my girlfriends! Sometimes I find it necessary to get away from the husbands/boyfriends and the babies to have time to vent and relax without having to take care of anyone. Ladies you know what I mean! Now that most of my friends are married, the days of bridal showers and bachelorette parties are coming to an end, so we have to get creative on how and when we all get together. We also enjoyed a ‘pink’ elephant gift exchange where each lady brought a gift valued around $15 (not pictured), here are some decor and food pictures… Enjoy!

February 25th: Weekly Menu (last week of February…)

This week I’m only going to post Sunday – Wednesday dinner menu’s because, starting next month, I’m going to attempt to do a monthly menu vs. a weekly menu. Wow has this monthly flown by! I can’t believe we’re already almost in March… I’m loving this beautiful spring weather we’ve been having here in Southern California, it makes for some amazing produce and lots of choices at our local farmers market. I’ve been continuing to mix my menu’s with some of our classic recipes and a few new ones that I have pinned on Pinterest. This has been making menu planning so much more exciting and so far we’ve found some great new recipes to add to our collection.

Sunday – Blackened Mahi Taco Salad

Monday – Eggplant, Chicken, Goat Cheese roll-ups… New Recipe that I exchanged with a friend and I hope to blog about if it turns out as good as it sounds!

Tuesday – Organic Hamburger Salad

Wednesday – Asian Organic Beef Salad or lettuce wraps with sautéed bell peppers and carrots

Dinner Shopping List:

Mahi – Freezer aisle at Trader Joe’s

Organic spring mix

Tomato

Avocado (x4)

Coconut Oil (check refrigerator)

Carrots

Bell peppers

Cucumbers

Eggplant

Organic Chicken

Goat cheese

Pine nuts (check cupboard)

Marinara sauce

Low Sodium Soy sauce (check cupboard)

Olive Oil (check cupboard)

Ground Organic Beef

Organic Eggs Flour (check cupboard)

Salsa Paprika (check cupboard)

Thyme (check cupboard)

Onion Powder (check cupboard)

Garlic Powder (check cupboard)

Cumin (check cupboard)

Nutmeg (check cupboard)

Cayenne Pepper (check cupboard)

March Menu to follow on Friday’s Blog post!

February 24th: Friends and Growing Old…

This is going to be a short post, I almost forgot to post something today for the blog post challenge, but I’ve been running around all day and haven’t had the chance to stop and think…  I decided to talk about this after a conversation I had last night with one of my best friends…  So I just wanted to post about how you find your true friendships as you grow older… and what I mean when I say this is that the friends that you call today should be those that if you don’t see them everyday or maybe not even every month, you can meet up and fall right back into the last conversation you had.  These are the people that will grow old with you because your relationship/friendship is true and not based upon something fake.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t make friends as you get older, in fact I think its easier to make true friendships as we get older because you have real common interests vs. just the fact that you go the same school, play on the same sports team, or are in the same sorority, etc…  Thanks for listening to me babble on, here are so quotes I love and found on Pinterest!

February 23rd: Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Yes, we are continuing with the sweet potato recipes… This time we made baked sweet potato fries!

Ingredients:

2-3 sweet potatoes

1-2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp pepper

1/3 tsp salt

½ tsp paprika (or other seasoning of choice)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Peel the sweet potatoes (throw away peels) and cut into thin strips (that look like fries).  Then place all the ingredients in a bowl with a lid.  With the lid on, toss the ingredients till the potatoes are well coated.  Place a piece of foil at the bottom of the cookie sheet before putting the coated sweet potatoes on, this will make for less clean-up.  Bake for 15-20 minute but towards the end make sure to watch them as they will brown easily.

We served our fries with Dijon breaded fish and a side chopped salad – Yum!

I know its a bad picture (from my iphone) but thats the only camera I had on hand...

February 22nd: Sweet Potato Pancake Recipe

I love sweet potatoes and so does the baby, so I bought them at Trader Joe’s this week and figured I’d experiment with them and try out some new recipes.  Well, first off, we used them for baby food, and then we made the most delicious (and easy) sweet potato pancakes.  These paired really well with the chicken, avocado, and veggie wraps we made as the entrée for dinner.  Try them out and let me know what you think…

Ingredients:

2 sweet potatoes

2 eggs

¼ cup whole wheat flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

Oil for frying (we used coconut oil)

Directions:

Peel the sweet potatoes (throw away the peels) and shred them using a cheese grater.  Mix all ingredients together.  Heat the skillet and add oil.  Using wet hands, form pancakes and place in the oil (make sure they are flat to start with so it cooks all the way through).  Allow to cook for about 3 minutes on each side and serve warm.  We dipped ours in ketchup (like a sweet potato French fry) but you could certainly serve it as a dessert and top with maple syrup and maybe some whip cream and cinnamon.

Ingredients combined before being fried

Frying up the sweet potato patties

sweet potato pancake

My taste-tester

Washing it down with a Green Smoothie 🙂

February 21st: Fat Tuesday!

Happy Fat Tuesday! I’ll be enjoying my ‘day of sin’ with my 1 glass of red wine tonight with dinner… party animal!!! I’ll save the partying for the single, young people. Not, that I’m old, because I’m definitely young at heart (and technically still in my 20’s), but on a Tuesday evening where I have to be at work early the next morning, I’d much rather stay in with my family. Besides, we had a rough night of sleep last night, where our little one decided that it was time to wake up at 4am (which is very unlike him), and finally went back to sleep around 6am (conveniently about the time I wake up to get ready for work).

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and, while I’m not Catholic, I’ve decided to give up something that I have been eating all too often lately – Chocolate! I think the only way to stop my cravings is to stop indulging and give it up till Easter. Then maybe I can go back to drinking my nightly tea instead of having some chocolate after dinner. So as of tomorrow, I will no longer being eating any chocolate until Easter (April 8th). Are you giving up anything this year for Lent? Even if you aren’t religious, know that it takes about 3-weeks to break a habit, maybe this is the time to give up something in your life that is sinful…