Pho & Brats

Hello friends!

Thank you all for sticking with me through all of my blog mishaps, it really means a lot to me :) I was going to write another post yesterday about Monday’s festivities but I thought four posts in one day was a bit too many.

Monday night we had an impromptu gathering at our local Pho place for dinner, and since we had just gone there Sunday night I decided not to get the noodle soup, but to get the vermicelli bowl.

The cucumbers in this dish make it amazing.

Have you ever had a Vermicelli bowl?

Afterwards we went to a French bakery

Hi Luke!

It was a really nice night. :)

Last night Erik and I made some beer brats, french fries and baked beans for dinner, and sat around watching Glee and New Girl.

We really need to go into the gym and get our new membership cards so that we are motivated to get up and go to the gym in the mornings. It has been a lazy couple of days around our house.

You all know how much I love Pinterest… (you can follow my boards if you want) well if you don’t now you do. I have been trying to figure out how to do the front hair twist that I see on Pinterest all the time, and I finally got it

woot! I love it, and now I “style” my hair like this every morning :) It makes it look like I actually took time to do something to my hair for work (I am super lazy in the mornings).

I hope everyone has a great day!

Cheers!

Back Blogged

Hello friends!

Sorry I haven’t been updating and commenting the past few days. I did something screwy with my blog last Friday and they have been working to fix it. But now we are back up and running and I wanted to let you guys know that I did in fact successfully complete my Pinterest Food Challenge and have put up 2 more posts about it.

Thursday night we had Emily’s vegetable Miso-Tahini pasta, and Friday night I made these incredible bubble meatballs. So go back and read those posts they are definitely worth making.

Now let’s move on to a regular Monday post… a weekend recap.  This was an amazing weekend.  Well Friday night we stayed at home and watched Smash, love that show, but on Saturday got up really early and knocked out all of our cleaning and laundry chores, played lacrosse in the backyard then headed out to Sean’s birthday dinner.

I looove how summery this outfit is! Oh yea I should mention that Anya (my youngest sister in law) made me an AWESOME Lemon cake.

We are trying to convince her to become a pastry chef!

You thought the outside was amazing.. check this out

O.M.G

Fabulous!  Last night she said she would make it again for me for my birthday! WOOT!

We went to a place called Extra Virgin, for dinner Saturday night and the food there was actually very good.  At dinner Erik got this

Ranger IPA, I might have found a new favorite…well not really nothing will ever be better than my Dogfish Head 120 min IPA. BUT this was a verrrry close second!

After dinner we went to Bungalows for some drinks and a massive amount of people watching…oh boy. Sorry I was too busy watching so I didn’t take any pictures.

Sunday morning all Ella wanted to do was lay around, but we had other plans, ha.

We met up with Philippe and Oriana for brunch in Dupont. We went to Sette Osteria, we had a great time chatting and filling our bellies with amazing food.  Then walked around DC (yes in the pouring rain), and visited a bunch of vintage clothing stores.  Philippe and Oriana are getting married in August and they are having a vintage themed wedding, so they were helping us find outfits.  I cannot wait until their wedding; it is going to be so much fun.  I am still looking for the perfect dress, but I have decided that I want it to be yellow, soo if you have any ideas, please send them my way!

Another great weekend in the books!

Cheers!

What did you do this weekend?

 

Pinterest Food Challenge Day 5

Hello friends!

Here it is.. the last day of my week long Pinterest food challenge. I am actually really happy with the way all the recipes turned out this week, and I will definitely be doing this again.  Last night I made Meatball Bubble Biscuits, to go along with our spaghetti.

Meatball Bubble Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 can Pillsbury golden layers biscuits – each pulled into 2 layers
  • 10 frozen fully cooked italian style meatballs – thawed and cut in half
  • 2 sticks string cheese – cut each into 10 pieces
  • 1 T. parm cheese
  • 1/2 t. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 t. garlic powder
  • 1 c. marinara sauce

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. Separate biscuits into 2 layers.
  3. Place 1 meatball half and one piece of cheese into each biscuit, wrap dough around it and seal edges.
  4. Place seam side down into 9 inch round cake pan.
  5. Sprinkle with parm cheese, garlic pwd. and italian seasoning.
  6. Bake 18-20 min or until golden brown. Serve warm with warm sauce.

This meal is perfect with a little bit of spaghetti, but you can use this as a pretty sweet appetizer or finger food for your next party

Cheers!

Pinterest Food Challenge Day 4

Hello friends!

Day 4 of my pinterest food challenge is complete!  Last night I made Emily’s Vegetable Pasta with Miso Tahini Sauce, and it was fantastic.  The only change I made was instead of Tahini I used peanut butter, mainly because I could not find Tahini in the store, but I wanted to save the extra calories too.

Vegetable Pasta with Miso Tahini Sauce

Ingredients (4 servings)

For the Pasta

  • 1 pound pasta (I used spaghetti)
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 pint sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 4 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 cup loose parsley leaves, minced

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance (or butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 cup pasta water (reserved)

Instructions

  1. Start by heating a large pot of water on the stovetop – bring to a boil for your pasta. Cook your pasta according to package directions.
  2. Mince about 1 cup of fresh parsley leaves and set aside to be used right before serving.
  3. Slice a large red onion into thin strips, and saute on medium heat until very soft. After the onions have cooked for about five minutes, add the mushrooms and zucchini – cook all vegetables until very soft and browned. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl.
  4. In the same saute pan, add 1 tablespoon Earth Balance (or butter) and heat over medium low heat until melted. Add garlic and saute until just browning.
  5. Add tahini and miso to the pan, and then carefully ladle some pasta water (which should be cooking by now), 1/4 cup at a time into the saute pan.
  6. Each time you add water, whisk the sauce together until combined – it will be very thick at first. Continue to add pasta water until you reach just about 1 cup, or your desired consistency. For a thicker sauce, use less (and for thinner, use more).
  7. Once your sauce is ready, drain pasta and add to the bowl with the vegetables. Add chopped parsley. Pour sauce on top and toss until well coated.
  8. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Thank you so much Emily for sharing an amazing recipe!

Cheers! One more day of my challenge!

Pinterest Food Challenge Day 3

Hello friends :)

Yesterday was the perfect day for my Day 3 recipe Thai Coconut Curry Soup! I am telling you these meals just keep getting better and better.

Ingredients

  • Two 14 oz (398 mL) cans of premium coconut milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon (15 mL) of Thai curry paste
  • Roots of 1 bunch of cilantro, rinsed well (Couldn’t find so I didn’t include this)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups (500 mL) of chicken broth
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 4 or 5 lime leaves
  • 2 stalks of lemon grass, halved lengthwise, woody leaves removed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of fish sauce (bleh.. no thanks)
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • A small knob of frozen ginger
  • A handful of bean sprouts
  • One 8 oz (225 g) package of rice noodles
  • Leaves of 1 bunch of cilantro, rinsed well
  • 2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • A sprinkle or two of salt or soy sauce

Directions

  1.  Scoop the thick coconut cream from the top of just one of the cans into a large stockpot set over a medium-high heat. Melt the cream, add the curry paste and stir for a few minutes until they begin to sizzle.
  2. Add the cilantro roots and chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut juice from the first can and all the contents of the second can along with the chicken broth, carrot, lime leaves, lemon grass, fish sauce and lime zest and juice. Grate the frozen ginger into the broth with a Microplane grater or standard box grater. Simmer for 20 minutes or so.
  4. Stir in the bean sprouts. Add the rice noodles, gently pushing them beneath the surface of the broth. Turn off the heat and let stand until the noodles soften, about 5 minutes. Rice noodles don’t need to simmer like pasta to cook; they simply need to rehydrate in the hot liquid.
  5.  Stir in most of the cilantro leaves. Remove the lemon grass stalks. Taste and season with a touch more salt (or soy sauce) as needed. Ladle into large bowls and garnish with the green onions and remaining cilantro leaves.

This is a MUST do again meal!  I would say that mine was a bit lime-y so I added more curry paste and it was awesome.  Next time I won’t be putting in 2 limes, and I think I will put in 2 tablespoons of the curry paste. I cannot wait to eat this for lunch today, I even brought enough to share with my friend Sarah :)

Cheers!

Pinterest Challenge Day 2 & Discovery

Hello friends!

Sorry this post is so late in the day, but my blog was being weird and I had to wait for them to fix it.

Yesterday as you all may have heard the shuttle Discovery was taking its last flight around the DC area, and we were lucky enough to spot it.

can you see the little dot? It seemed a lot closer in person than it does on camera. But not as close as some of my other friends who got to see it literally fly RIGHT over them. Either way it was awesome to see it.  After that spotting we decided to go back inside the office to get a closer look.

ha, it was awesome :)  Last night I wanted to make the Bubble meat balls, but when I got home I realized that I did not have any frozen meatballs as I had previously thought, so I had to make a different planned meal.  I was supposed to make this Friday but hey I had all the ingredients so I made the Mongolian Beef recipe I pinned from this site.  I absolutely loved it!

Mongolian Beef Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of flank steak, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons of canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger (about 1/2 inch piece)
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic (about 2 -3 large cloves)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce (I use low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 3 large green onions, sliced crosswise into thirds

 Directions

  1. First, make sure the steak slices are dry (pat them dry) and mix them with the corn starch. Using your hands or a spoon, move them around to make sure all pieces are coated. Place beef slices in a strainer and shake off excess corn starch.
  2. Heat half of the oil in a large wok at medium-high and add the garlic and ginger. Immediately add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper flakes.
  3. Cook the sauce for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl. Don’t worry if the sauce doesn’t look thick enough at this point. The corn starch in the beef will thicken it up later. 
  4. Turn the heat up and add the remaining oil to the wok. Add the beef and cook, stirring until it is all browned (this is a quick thing). Pour the sauce back into the wok and let it cook along with the meat. Now you can choose to cook it down and reduce the sauce or leave it thinner. Add the green onions on the last minute so the green parts will stay green and the white parts crunchy.  Serve it hot with rice.

Yummy :)

Have a great rest of your day!

Cheers!

Make anything new this week?

My Grandfather’s Memorial Gathering & A New Challenge

Hello friends!

I will warn you this post is going to be long, mostly because of all the pictures I want to share :) Yesterday I mentioned that on Sunday I was helping my mom with the memorial gathering we held for my grandpa, it was a wonderful gathering :) Thank you to all of my mom’s friends who came out to see her, I know that it meant a lot to her to have all of you there.

We spent most of the morning and early afternoon cooking and getting stuff ready for the event. And boy was all the prep worth it, everything turned out amazing.

My mom made the spanakopita,

and tabouli

and this amazing chicken salad that had pineapple and grapes in it, with a mix of teriyaki sauce.

we also put that chicken salad into little Filo cups

We got some Spicy Lime shrimp from Costco, which apparently if you like shrimp these were amazing (I don’t like shrimp)

as well as some meatballs.. you can see them in this picture.

I made stuffed mushrooms

Buffalo Chicken balls!

and the most amazing Mango Blueberry Quinoa Salad everrrrr

Everyone loved the food and the company, it was a great day, and I am so happy we got to get together to celebrate his life. Love you Baba Joon!

_____________________________________________________________________________

After making that Quinoa salad on Sunday I decided that I wanted to crate a new challenge for myself.  I have set out to do a Pinterest Food Challenge, this involves making a new recipe that I have pinned each night of the week. Last night I started off the week with this gem, A Quinoa Burger!

Ingredients

  • rounded cups cooked quinoa (see note below for cooking instructions)
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or other variety, if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 medium carrot, finely grated (OR 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 green onions, including white parts
  • 1 /2 teaspoon Splenda or sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Olive oil for frying

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan bring the 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat.  Add quinoa and reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the seeds are tender.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.
  2. In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, flour, green onions, Splenda, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.
  3. (To help them stay in patty form and not fall apart, I cook them on med-low slowly so they have longer to set-up without burning.  Makes them easier to flip, too.)  Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat.  
  4. Mixture will be slightly sticky, so using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2 inch thick.  Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side.   Makes approx. 10 burgers.

Per burger:  Calories 132; Protein 8 g; Fat 5 g; NET Carbs 12 g; (Fiber 2 g); Sugar 0 g; Sodium 200 mg

I added some red pepper flakes and Nando’s sauce to spice it up a bit and I loved it! Served with some french fries and some avocado = YUM.

Again sorry for the long post but there was a lot I wanted to share today. Stay tuned tonight I am making meatball bubble biscuits :)

Cheers!

Wanna join in on my Pinterest Food Challenge? DO IT :) 

It’s been Five Years

Hello friends!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Today marks the 5th anniversary of the shootings at Virginia Tech that killed 32 people. I won’t harp on it too much because I wrote my reflection on it back in December, so I think I got out a lot of my thoughts then.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Other than that I had a pretty good weekend. Friday night we went to Rockville (after sitting in horrible traffic for an hour and a half) to have dinner and drinks with Lauren’s boyfriend David.

I got a BBQ chicken flatbread, and it was soooo good.

After dinner we went to Bdubs and Hyojon “Iced” David.. If you don’t know what that means go here.

as you can see he wasn’t too happy about it.. Then proceeded to chug it and well that didn’t end well, ha.

Most of Saturday was spent cleaning, and playing around outside.  That night we went bowling with Lauren, David, Diana and Eunyoung.

Sunday I was at my momma’s house all day helping her cook for a memorial gathering for my Grandfather. I will post about that tomorrow, we had some really delicious food, my Grandfather would have been happy :)

Before I headed to my mom’s house.. I get out of the shower to this…

feathers… everywhere…

Ella had ripped a hole in an old down comforter… which was probably a good thing because we really needed to throw it away.

Well I hope everyone has a great day!

Cheers!

What did you do this weekend?

CIRCUS!

Hello friends!

Last night our family went to the Circus!

and we had an amazing time. I will let the pictures do the talking today. Thank you Lauren for getting us these tickets, I cannot wait until we can take our own kids!

super cute :) I was not a fan of the acts with the animals, especially after reading and watching Water For Elephants (which is not only a great book but a great movie).  I often wonder how they treat their animals, but I was trying hard not to think about it too much so that I could enjoy the show. The show itself was great, and I do think that they are slowly starting to take the animal acts off of the shows (I hope).

Have you ever been to the circus? What is your opinion about the animal acts?

I hope everyone has a great (and lucky) Friday the 13th!

Cheers!

New things :)

Hello friends!

I have the shopping bug…not always a good thing for the wallet but sometimes you just gotta spend some money. Retail therapy is the best kind of therapy!

My phone was in need of replacement, the connection for the charger was not working well and it would randomly restart every time I used it.  So on Monday I bit the bullet and went to the Sprint store and bought a new phone!

and I finally got the Instagram app! I also decided that I wanted to get some new outfits for the spring. I have been going on and on about wanting a pair of Coral pants so I went to Ann Taylor Loft to find some…

I was not successful, apparently everyone wears the same size pants as I do, so they were all out of my size, but that didn’t stop me from picking up a few things ;)

New Capri, can’t decide what top to wear with it though, suggestions welcome :)

New WHITE Capri and a sweet Hokie colored shirt!!!!

and the sweet outfit I am wearing today, the skirt is new and was on SALE!

Yes I do know that it was 47 degrees this morning, but I wanted to wear it..

We also tried out a new prepackaged Trader Joe’s Kimchi Fried Rice

Source

You must try this if you like Kimchi :) After I took that picture I realized how much rice I had on my plate and cut it in half, oopps ha.

And this morning while listening to my favorite Radio Station DC101, Elliott from Elliott in the Morning was talking to one of my favorite authors Brad Meltzer, who was talking about this new book. Hero’s for my Daughter, so I had to order that for my kindle, duh.

I obviously haven’t read it yet but the book is a culmination of stories that have lessons he feels are important for his daughter to learn when she grows up.

“Heroes for My Daughter” (Harper), by Brad Meltzer: Brad Meltzer’s follow-up to his amazing “Heroes for My Son” features more talented individuals who prove one person truly can change the world….“Heroes for My Daughter” is the perfect book to read aloud to your children. The discussions generated from talking about these individuals will spark creativity and provide concrete examples that prove a hero doesn’t have to be wealthy or pretty. It’s all about standing up for what’s right against all odds. Meltzer sums it up best to his daughter: “Always remember: The truth is what people say behind your back.”

Source

If you have a chance please go out and get this book, I think that it will get you thinking about what is important in your own life.

I hope everyone has a great day!

Cheers!

I love books, and would love to hear what your favorite book is (other than the Hunger Games, I have already read them).

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