Friday, June 22, 2012

What I'm Reading Now - NOTHING! (darn you Bachelorette!)


Because, I admit, I've been catching up on this show on Hulu!  I haven't watched the bachelor....since the first season, I think.  The cattiness of the women DRIVES ME CRAZY!  Usually the guys are much more chill (although this season is challenging that in my opinion).

But let me share some things that have me intrigued:
 - how do you pack to be in North Carolina, Bermuda, London (wherever else they go) IN ONE BAG?  This goes for the guys because I notice they don't show what Emily is packing!  I need to pay more attention to what they are wearing to see how they mix and match.....

 - these dudes wear a lot of v-neck t-shirts.  One scene has 2 in regular t-shirts and everyone else is wearing a v.  Not knocking - I like the look.  Just interesting (maybe guys have less choices in necklines?!)

 - I have heard more country song in the first 4 episodes of this season than I have heard in maybe the last year....

 - "We were on the beach and nothing."  Exactly how many guys does she want to kiss in one night?  Just sayin.

 - Life experience is different for everyone.  But I also agree that everyone that is over 30 knows that life is way different between 20 & 25 and 25 & 30.  It's a fact - no need to ruffle feathers.

I've just finished the Bermuda episode and I'm 90% sure of the guys that aren't going to make it to the final four.  I am less unsure of who will be the final 2....give me an episode or two more ;-)

Who's your favorite?  Anyone surprised by the apparent "change" in Ryan (or has he been like this and it's just editing?)  Who do you think has the best "connection"?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's Cooking Wednesday - Superfood Salad!



This recipe had a bunch of modifications by me.  So below is how I found the recipe and I'll outline my changes after.

1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1 orange, peeled and segments chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup pomegranate arils (about 1 pomegranate worth)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
salt & pepper

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
2 lemons, juiced (1/4 cup)
2 garlic cloves, microplaned or finely minced
dash of sweetener
salt & pepper
6 Tbl extra virgin olive oil

Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Set aside to cool.

Combine all the ingredients for the lemon vinaigrette in a jar and shake.  Or add everything but the oil into a bowl and whisk the oil in.

Combine cooled quinoa with red onion, orange segments, avocado, beans, pomegranate arils, corn, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Pour lemon vinaigrette over the salad and stir to combine.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

I skipped the orange (allergy) & the pomegranate (cheap).  When I got home from the grocery store I discovered that I was actually out of black beans - so I substituted chick peas.   I didn't add any salt or sweetener.

This was delish!  I'd make it again and maybe serve with some lettuce to make it a main dish.  mmmmm - good summer salad!

Friday, June 15, 2012

What I'm Reading Now - The Provence Cure



This book starts in Florida (but it took me 3/4 of the book to figure that out...for some reason I thought they were in Boston!), but quickly moves to France...in the summer.   Is there a better time to read a book about southern France than in the summer?! (Def on my list of places I still need to go).  The book follows a woman named...Heidi...so it was a little weird to read at first.  Luckily it was written in first person so her name is not used often!  Heidi is working through the grief of losing her husband years ago so her mother thinks it a good idea to send Heidi & her son to the family house in France to rebuild it.  A fire had destroyed the kitchen.  The traveling group also includes Heidi's 16 year old step-niece (is that a term?).

They spend some time touring Paris before going to southern France and the small village/town that the house is in.  This book is about healing, it's about coming together as a family, it's about accepting things as they are now while not forgetting the past.

This was a semi-quick read for me.  I enjoyed the book - it made me want to go to Southern France!  But it also made me stop and think about life now - about letting go of some of the things in the past, about embracing the here and now and about living in each moment.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What's Cooking Wednesday - Salmon, Tomatoes & Chickpeas

I found this recipe on LaaLoosh.  While not on Weight Watchers, I enjoy seeing what she comes up with.  And since her picture is so much better than mine, click the link above to go to the picture and her thoughts on the dish.



Ingredients

  • 1lb skinless salmon filets
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Rub salmon with salt, pepper and paprika, and set aside.
  2. Spray a large, nonstick skillet with non-fat cooking spray.
  3. Sauté garlic until softened , about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in salmon, then top with remaining ingredients.
  5. Cover and let simmer on med-low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)


I thought this was a great way to cook salmon (and kept the fishy smell down too!).  I cut the cumin as I didn't have any, but everything else was there.  For some reason mine turned out a bit more soupy than hers (maybe because patience is not a strong suit?).  I'd def make it again, but I might through in some zucchini or spinach to make it a one-pot meal of sorts!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Im the Third...and I am an anglophile.



What do you do with a used cabinet door that you bought at a thrift store for $1?

There was only one, so unfortunately, I cannot replace the cabinet doors in my kitchen.

At first, I thought I would paint it, distress it and paint some crazy sign to sell at the Antique Show.

But then, I thought I had one more space on my wall that I could use a sign.

I am an anglophile. I love most all things British (though in fairness, I also love the Irish. I also consider "British" in this sense to include Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.) I have visited many times and can never get enough. And yes, I think often of visiting my pals in Northern Ireland. I enjoy the traditional music, the culture, the people, the food, the styles, many of the authors, and the ease of travel (with or without a car).
So lots of sanding took place!

 And what is better than using my favorite phrase while showing some British love at the same time?

I started with the white background and added a red stripe.

Can I just say, thank God for painter's tape? :-)


Then I added some fun blue stripe and added and antique knob.

Then came the fun part. Stenciling on the phrase!

For those of you that know me: "Keep calm and carry on" is often my go to phrase. I like to repeat it to myself as a comfort in stressfull situations. As an event planner, it comes in handy.

The stenciling phase saw me stenciling one letter at a time, whiping it off if it didnt look right or letting it dry if it was straight. Then, moving on the the next letter.


It shows up better in person than here in the pic, but it is really a nice little thing to have. Many of you may notice a missing crown that goes above the phrase in most prints. I do not have one for two reasons: 1. I could not find a stencil of a crown that looked right and was the right size. 2. I tried to make one and it failed. I tried to hand paint it, and I failed. :-)

I still love it as it is.