maybe next year

It’s been a few days, huh? Well last weekend our siblings from Orlando (and I was going to type, but then didn’t, that Brandy Burridge Photography came to visit us but I retracted that because I thought they didn’t do any photography…. heh… my mistake. I forgot – they totally did.) SO… Brandy Burridge Photography came to visit us last weekend, since we live all alone out in the middle of Ag-land and no one ever visits us – so having people around was both foreign and fun.
Of course it goes without saying we cooked. And drove 4+ hours to and from Fort Myers……………. which became unsettling after awhile. Nonetheless, a weird ass Festival of Lights parade and free concert, + lots of beers later we made it back safe and sound. Thank God.

To my sheer delight, Food Network is hosting the South Beach Wine & Food Festival this weekend in Miami… right on the sand. Literally. Thursday I had the honor of using my “media creds” and attending a private affair for Chef John Gray. It wasn’t an official Festival event but lets pretend it was. AMAZING food and free drinks at a swank hotel in South Beach = good time!

My friend, Joel, was also in town for a few hours Saturday after his cruise made its arrival in Miami.. we scooped him and his boyfriend up and went to Espanola Way to have some Mexican food and lots and lots of margaritas… and other frozen yummy drinks.

As we walked onto the beach and the huge white tents with all the lucky, rich folk – taunting me with their huge Bordeaux wine glasses hanging from their necks – I made it clear that I will see the inside of those tents next year…..


valentines & mardi gras!

I am super duper excited to reveal pictures. Real ones. From a digital camera. THAT’S MINE!!!! 🙂
I am so a Libra. We went to Best Buy to purchase another wireless USB thingy. Well, the Geek Squad Nerd told us we needed to get the $85.00 one and I wasn’t pumped about getting an $85.00 USB plug thingy. So I started poking around the cameras – bad idea. I picked one out that was on sale and held it for oh, about 25 minutes…at least. I kept looking at it… looking at Shayne… looking at the sales lady…looking at the price… looking at the USB thingy… I asked Shayne about 10 times, “What do you think?” -and- “Do you think its a good idea?” It’s a good thing my husband is pretty cut and dry. “Just get the camera, you need it for your blog.” 🙂 🙂 🙂 Exactly!

Two years ago Valentine’s Day he proposed. It’s been crazy to see our life from then and now.

I actually told my coworker last Friday I wasn’t sure if Shayne had anything planned because I hadn’t sniffed anything out. No receipts lying around, no sneakiness. I was getting bummed. It always happens that whenever I am feeling like nothing is happening, something always happens. Its not that I don’t like surprises, I just don’t like being surprised. I like to know everything- all the time. Especially if people are trying to be sneaky and secretive. Saturday he surprised me with a 30 minute massage (never had one! it was amazing!) and dinner in West Palm Beach Sunday evening at Kona Grill… as Uncle Jesse would say, “have mercy.”

We had Sweet & Spicy Shrimp for appetizer.

Our entrees were food for kings! The portions alone were enormous but, being the bad asses we are, we almost finished each one. I had one of the restaurant’s self-proclaimed specials: Macadamia Nut Chicken with garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables. Shayne had the Kona Strip, medium-well with mushrooms, asparagus and mashed potatoes. De-lish!

After going through the delectable dessert selections, I suggested we get the passion fruit creme brulee. My husband is some kind of romantic and insisted we order red velvet cake because “it was our wedding cake” 🙂 And… don’t tell our bakery but this rivals our wedding cake – the butter cream tasted JUST like it! Amazing!

It’s Mardi Gras time! I got this cookbook from my awesomely amazing, wonderful Louisiana-native friend, Alex aka Cuz. She’s my soul mate from another time! She got me this as a going away gift when I moved to Chicago to go to school. I’ve made some excellent stuff from this book and cant wait to try the Crawfish Beignets. I’ve made the Shrimp Creole from this book before and it never lets me down! I always make it spicier and spicier each time, though. Keep Shayne on his toes….

I had to make a lil somethin-somethin for the festivities going down in other awesome parts of the country. And I couldn’t bear to serve with humdrum white rice. I made cheese grits!

enjoy your Mardi Gras!

rellenos nightmare

I don’t even know how to start this. Let me just delve right in…
During my 5-minute lunch yesterday, at my desk, I saw on my iGoogle homepage a recipe for stuffed peppers… and my wheels started turning.. mmm…Chiles Rellenos sounds yummy for din-din. I have all my recipes from culinary school and asked Shayne to find my Latin Cuisine packet that had the recipe for the Rellenos. He couldn’t find it. I printed one off Food Network and it looked/sounded easy enough… I mean hello, I did pass Latin Cuisine with an A, thank you.
It breaks down like this – I couldn’t get any fresh poblanos so in lieu of those, we bought cubanelles. Which, okay, apparently these are an exceptional substitute but I find that they totally are not. They were thin and frail and I am sure it is partly due to the fact that we didn’t buy them at a farmer’s market. I broiled them until charred, steamed them for 10 minutes in a covered bowl and scrapped the skin off. The pitiful peppers totally fell apart before I could get any Monterey jack inside them and I ended up just throwing it into the batter and we used a metal spoon to ladle it into the oil and fried it with the spoon nestled under it so the cheese wouldn’t leak out. Well, we are mentally retarded. The batter wrapped itself around the spoon – and so, what we had was a fried metal spoon-Chiles Rellenos. After scrapping the massacred chile off the spoon and getting black beans and rice cooked, we settled at the table. Great. Oh! and I also burned some whole-grain nachos I threw together as a savior dish to the pepper disaster. Awesome. I was going to take a photo of the destruction but I forgot to. The up side, the batter in which the peppers were dipped was phenom! It was flour, cumin, salt and 12 oz of lager-style beer.
I was hating life last night. I looked up and Shayne was eating away… I don’t know if he was eating because of hunger, liked it (a combo) or wanted to lift my spirits. Who knows. But seeing him sheepishly take more bites from the nachos kinda made me a little, tid-bit okay with the situation.
I sighed and said, “Well, that sucked.” And that was that.

I will find my recipe from school and Chile Rellenos, we will meet again.

grillin’ in the rain!

…what a glorious feelin’ I’m happy again!

I made it! Hump day! 3 days of cereal never went down so smooth. I am on my way, folks. 🙂

I don’t feel any different and I probably have not shed a pound.

Dinners were the highlight of my day pre-Special K but post starting this thing… dinner is what I LIVE for. I’ve gotten smart and bring plenty-o-snacks to work – carrots, pistachios, pretzels, oatmeal (all good stuff, mind you!)… I learned my lesson Monday. I was downright famished when I left work. I was driving up the Turnpike like a beast trying to get home to eat. Insane.

We bought a plump salmon fillet and some broccoli for dinner last night. I texted Shayne during the day in my hungry stupor, “I cant wait to eat some grilled salmon tonight” Whipped up some taters and dinner was served. (I also made a lovely white wine/honey mustard sauce that I drizzled on top…… hint of sarcasm..

I don’t measure these sorts of things, I just get an idea in my head and kinda throw stuff together. Literally. So forgive this Helter-skelter recipe: I had some Publix brand cooking wine, honey mustard dressing, red wine vinegar and flour. I melted butter in a small saucepan, add about 1 teaspoon of sugar. Melted the sugar until it was a light caramel color and added 1 tablespoon of flour. Brought that to a boil while whisking. Turned the heat to medium-low and whisked in roughly 3 tablespoons white wine, dash of red wine vinegar and probably 3/4 cup honey mustard, maybe a little more. Who knows. 🙂

Like that drizzle? I know I got a little heavy on the sauce. Big no-no.

Just look at this dedication. Grilling our feast, in the rain, with an umbrella. And seriously, it had been monsoon-ing right before I took this with my phone. He’s the reason I love making food

…enjoy your meals!


the d word

I am announcing to the bloggie world that I have officially started the Special K starvation, I mean “diet” today. (Is it even technically a diet? – I’ll read up). I am doing this as sort of an experiment and also to shed some poundage, which I have regretfully (but also kinda happily :)) put on as a direct result of being a newlywed and/or eating lots of yummy food with limited exercise. Oh what the hell, I sit at a desk all day and go home and cook and eat and then go to bed. My husband still loves me but I need some energy so I have also committed myself to vitamins and getting my servings of fruits and veggies each day. So all in all this is sort of the: Get-out-of-a-slump Project. I will hopefully be brave enough and committed to documenting my progress and how much I detest cereal after 3 days but.. like they say.. if you can make it past the 3 day hump….. 🙂
I also want to get a juicer in the near future, hopefully, and I am very interested in trying a juice fast. Just to see what happens. I kinda have a feeling I know… and it involves a lot of hurried trips to the toilet. And not the quick trips…. TMI? But we will cross that bridge when we get there and I can be the guinea pig.

And I have also drank so much water in the past 3 days I feel like I might leak my bladder all over my chair. I cant believe they expect you to live like this! 64 oz?! I mean, honestly, no one can tell me they do this every day…. It’s almost an annoyance, a burden at best, to have to pee every 20 minutes.

So the Special K thing is pretty limited (of course they only want you to eat their snacks and cereal…) so I have 2 very small bowls of any variety of the cereal with almond milk (because I have decided and self-diagnosed I am lactose intolerant)for 2 meals and my 3rd meal is on me. Almond milk is the reason I am even alive after eating cereal. I can’t drink milk, milkshakes, ice cream or anything with milk dairy (lactose) without my tummy hating me afterward. So, if this is you – please save yourself and get almond milk. It tastes sooooo yummy, too. And really, besides the calcium, we don’t need no stinking cow’s milk. Husband suggested we buy it and I have been singing it’s praises ever since.

No more fat kid treats 😦 (for now…… 🙂 ) I can hardly keep motivation or attention to a good thing (besides my husband) for too long. But I will try my best bloggies. I refuse to quit eating nom nom’s, though!

super bowl, schmooper bowl.

I am not an NFL fan whatsoever. Overpaid, Neanderthals.
..Let me tell you how I really feel. 🙂

BUT! Super Bowl parties/bbq’s are the exception. I made some straight-from-the-farm guacamole for a get-together we attended last night. There is nothing in this world like fresh, tender avocados and bright, earthy tomatoes. We live out in the middle of nowhere land, surrounded by endless farms so its no wonder we live about 1 mile from Bedner’s farmers market. They are in the process of opening a store of sorts and in addition to produce galore, I overheard the owner/manager(?) saying they’re going to have a (and I quote) “salad bar and smoothies.” Hm. I dont know how I feel about that.. but.. We will be going for the fruits and veggies. Anyway! Tangent and a half. So I made this wonderful, fragrant guac and I didn’t take a picture of it. I am so over not having a camera!!! 😦 I’ve only had the pleasure of going to a a few farmer’s markets in my life. One was in Chicago, which was, by far, the greatest and plentiful plethora of fresh ingredients that I’ve ever seen. I didn’t have even have any cash to buy anything. But what a difference fresh makes in a dish. It’s so convenient to go to the grocery store but I find it’s like buying fruits and vegetables that have had plastic surgery. It’s all plumped up and polished. To find a local market with real vegetables that actually may have dents and scuffs on them, take a few minutes to gander at this site, by clicking HERE. It makes sense: mother nature already gave us a menu.

I also find it funny that they call the victor, “World Champions” …. what other countries actually play football in the Super Bowl? Didn’t think so. Maybe I am missing a few bullet points.

enjoy your farmer’s markets!

the way to my heart…

Is definitely, undeniably through my tummy.

My husband knows this (as I am sure everyone else in my inner circle) and this could not have come at a better time. This week has been rough.

I came home yesterday and as I approached the kitchen table, I giggled… I get all twitterpated around cookies and flowers. 🙂

Ah, to be loved!