Archive for May, 2009

5 Year Old Dinner

We were so productive this afternoon! We got this piece of carpet from Nick’s sister and her husband and wanted to put it in one of our rooms downstairs, so we had to measure and cut it to fit, then move the furniture out to put the carpet down. I love it! It looks so different in that room and I love the colors in the carpet.

After working on the carpet, I finished the laundry and started cleaning the house while Nick cleaned out his “work room”. We got everything done this afternoon….except running. We both forgot until just a few minutes ago. Too late now, but we’ll be able to get in a few runs this week before our race on Saturday.

So, the 5 year old dinner. I bought a package of cremini mushrooms last week and have no clue why I bought them. Since I needed to use them up this weekend, I decided to make a special meal.


I somehow remembered the very first meal Nick and I made together in this house, after we got back from the wedding/honeymoon. So I made that tonight!

Marriage Mushroom Pasta – 4 servings

  • 7-8 oz. whole wheat pasta
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • pepper
  • salt
  • garlic (fresh or powder)
  • crushed red pepper
  • soy parmesan
  1. Heat pan over medium until hot. Add a little olive oil to pan and sliced mushrooms.
  2. While mushrooms are cooking, start the pasta water and add pasta when water boils.
  3. After the mushrooms have browned, add in seasonings and diced tomato. Cook 2-3 minutes.
  4. Once pasta is cooked, put into pan with mushrooms/tomatoes, along with a little of the pasta water.
  5. Stir in about 1/4 cup soy parmesan (or real parm if you have it) and let it melt into the pasta.
  6. Let pasta warm through with veggies.
  7. Top with extra cheese and parsley.


We had ours with some roasted broccoli – I just put the broccoli on a sheet pan with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and cooked at 425 for about 15 minutes.

Then we had these:


My newest “healthy brownie” recipe topped with some vanilla ice cream and a little drizzle of chocolate syrup. Perfect way to end this weekend, I think.

Don’t worry – the recipe is coming soon  🙂



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I feel like this weekend is super long for some reason – I hope it keeps going for the rest of the day. We have a bunch of stuff to get done in the house so I hope the time doesn’t go by too quickly! I have some other fun plans for dinner + dessert tonight, too  🙂  This has just been a super fun weekend!

Ever since I saw this recipe in a Rachael Ray magazine on our road trip a few weeks ago, I’d been waiting to make it. Today was the day!


Strawberry Chicken Club Sandwich

We didn’t make ours triple deckers and I only used about 1 Tbsp olive oil mayo in the avocado mayo mixture, but the rest is pretty much the same!

I had one and a half slices of bacon on mine, broken into pieces. We also used romaine instead of spinach and rotisserie chicken.


Mashed avocado is so good on sandwiches. I need to remember to use it more. We both loved the strawberry + avocado + bacon flavors on this sandwich – definitely a keeper recipe.

We also cooked up some fresh corn on the cob I got at the store today – I had one half and went back for more.


 I can’t wait to make this sandwich more – this was a great summery meal.

 I guess I’ve got to get off my butt and do something – we’ve got to move all the furniture out of one room to put a rug down, plus clean the house and finish laundry.

See you for a fun and special dinner and dessert!


What’s your favorite unusual sandwich item?

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Thundering Hunger

I was woken up last night a couple of times by the loudest, closest thunder I have ever heard. It honestly sounded like our house was about to be ripped in half – the house was shaking, it was pouring outside, and there was lightening. This storm came out of nowhere! Yesterday was beautiful and we weren’t supposed to have any rain or storms last night. It was crazy – Nick told me this morning that he woke up at one point, heard the super loud thundering, said he thought “well, maybe this is the end of the world” – and then just went back to sleep! I guess if you’re gonna go, you might as well be comfy in bed  🙂

Our dinner was pretty early last night (5:30) and I usually have a snack at night if we eat that early but I was still full when I went to bed. That usually means that I’m going to be starving in the morning when I get up. And I was.

Nick made me some coffee this morning, for starters. We both missed it yesterday!


They had a little coffeemaker at the cabin, but we weren’t sure if they would also be bringing some with breakfast so we waited to find out. They didn’t, and by then, we were just too lazy to make any since we needed to get home. The coffee was good this morning.

All I could think about was a humongous bowl of oatmeal to fill my belly this morning


  • 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water, pinch salt
  • 1 whole banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup or so frozen mixed berries
  • cinnamon
  • flax


I always forget that I have flax in the house – I love it, but never remember to use it.

I’m trying a new sandwich combination at lunch – it should be good and I’m excited 🙂


What’s your favorite way to use flax?

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A Sweet Farewell

Dinner was fantastic but it was a sad one, as well.

My parents set up reservations for us to go eat at The Bank tonight! Yes, we’ve been there many times before, but it is our favorite place. The sad part? Tonight was their last night. The chef and his wife (the pastry chef) are moving to Houston for new jobs, which is great, but we were so upset to find that out. It just made it better that we were able to get in for tonight and enjoy our last meal there! Thanks Mom and Dad!

We decided to go all out tonight since 1. it’s the last time we ever get to eat there, and 2. it’s our anniversary dinner! I got a Malibu sunset  to drink and it was so tropical and pretty.


This was orange juice + Malibu rum + grenadine.  Nick got a mojito, because, well, they make the best ones we’ve ever had.

Of course, they brought out their amazing focaccia bread and the oil/balsamic to dip. I could make a meal out of this and this alone.


It’s always piping hot and super oily, but in a good way  🙂

I started with my normal salad : mixed greens, tomato, red wine vinaigrette.


For dinner, I actually got something different! I usually get their salmon but I decided to try a new dish I hadn’t seen before: Blackened Tilapia with a Cream Shrimp Sauce, along with their mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli and tomatoes.


This was the best blackened fish I have ever had in my entire life. It had the best seasoning and was cooked perfectly. The sauce wasn’t too rich and it went really well with the spicy blackened seasonings. Man, I am going to miss this place.

And…then there was dessert. I honestly thought of trying their dessert special tonight, which was a berry parfait with sorbet and toasted almonds, but I couldn’t imagine not getting the bombe on the last night.


I could not resist – how could you when it looks like this and tastes even better?


Perfection. I love dark chocolate and raspberry together.


My days are so confused! I keep thinking  tomorrow is Monday since we were gone last night – I feel like we were gone the entire weekend, so it kind of feels like I get an “extra” day off tomorrow!

What’s your favorite restaurant?

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Country Bumpkins


Happy Saturday!

This weekend has been so much fun so far, and we still have one more super fun plan for tonight.

Last night, Nick and I stayed at a cabin in Galax, VA and had a nice, quiet evening.


We arrived to see a little cabin, with a nice front porch, including rocking chairs!


The inside was perfect: cozy, warm, and the perfect size for a night away from home.



I think my favorite part was that the bedroom was up in the loft of the cabin! It was so open and bright and welcoming.




We had a little kitchen (that we didn’t even use) and a nice sized bathroom with a whirpool tub!



After we checked in last night, we drove into the downtown area of Galax and ate dinner at a little barbeque place that is actually pretty well known and has won some big awards! No pictures from dinner last night – Nick and I were just enjoying our time together  🙂  I got their smoked chicken with some green beans, corn on the cob, and a few hushpuppies. Nick tried their brisket and pulled pork, and I had a few bites of each – everything was great!

After dinner, we walked around downtown a bit more, went into a few antique stores, then stopped in a little coffee shop for some coffee + dessert. Nick got a chocolate eclair and I tried a bite, but it wasn’t that great. My coffee, on the otherhand, was awesome! I wish this coffee shop were closer to us! They make frozen lattes with NO PREMADE MIX – I have never been to place that makes the frozen/blended coffees without a premade/sugar filled mix. I watched her make it, and they just take tons of ice, espresso, milk, and the syrups you want and blend, blend, blend, until it’s nice and creamy. Yum.

It started to rain just as we were leaving town, and we went back to the cabin, opened the windows, and read for a couple of hours. It was so nice and quiet out there – you could just hear the wind rushing through the trees, the raindrops hitting the roof, the birds chirping. Then…like every other Friday night….we watching What Not to Wear  🙂  It was a nice night.  The only bad thing? I did NOT sleep well at all! I woke up at 3 am and layed awake until 4 before going downstairs to lay on the couch with the tv on, hoping I could fall asleep. Not the best night of sleep I’ve ever had, but oh well.

We got breakfast delivered to us this morning!



We got this quiche type thing? It had this crust that was not greasy at all – I’m not sure what it was, but the filling was eggs, cheese, onions, peppers, and some sausage, but this wasn’t greasy at all! Nick ate about 2/3 and I had 1/3. I wish we had more – both of us did, actually. By the time we got breakfast (around 9), we were both starving! I ate all the cantaloupe since Nick doesn’t like it and it was perfectly ripe.


I had the last bite with about a cup of orange juice to finish off breakfast. Then we hit the road to come back home.

Something was wrong with the air conditioning in the truck, so we needed to get back into town to pick up a part. We got back in time, picked up the part, then came home – Nick worked on the truck, and I’ve been working on laundry.

Around 1:30, we broke for lunch:


I made some egg salad for lunch and had some on an arnold sandwich thin with lettuce and tomato and some pickles.


Plus a banana


Nick is cutting the grass, and I’m finishing laundry before our fun dinner plans – I can’t wait!

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5 years ago today, Nick and I were married. I cannot believe that 5 years have passed, but they have been the best 5 years of my life.

There won’t be many words in this post, but I did want to look at my wedding photos, so I’m posting a lot – sorry some of them are blurry! I had to take pictures of actual pictures since I can’t find the cd. And I promise to tell our story another day!


Mom doing my makeup


My supercool Dad waiting for me to get ready – always waiting on the girls, right Dad?  🙂


My sister Melissa and one of my best friends Alicia helping me get ready


My mom, my two sisters, Nick’s sister and me


Dad walking me down the isle


The Exchange


The Release



My Favorite


We’re legal!


The start of a family I cannot live without.


My new sister!


Me and my sisters, with their big country hair  🙂


The Wedding Party, minus Alicia who kept me sane and Sara who took the “official” pictures





and we’re off for tonight! I’m pretty sure where were going has no internet, but I’ll be back tomorrow  🙂

Have a great Friday!

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A Happy 5 Years

Good morning and happy Friday! This morning has been nice so far – we got up and made breakfast together before I have to leave for work. I’m only working a 1/2 day today, but Nick’s not going in so he can take Roxy back to the vet for another check up.

What else to have than one of our favorite breakfasts?

Eggs and oatbran for me, plus a piece of unpicturese lean sausage


A big bowl of fruit: cantaloupe, kiwi, strawberries, raspberries


and a cup of coffee for me to take with me to work.


and I’m off! See you at lunch for a fun post  🙂

Any fun plans for this weekend?

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Run, Rain, Repeat

Thursday is over! I am so happy this weekend is almost here – we have some fun anniversary plans for this weekend and I can’t wait!

The weather stayed pretty decent most of the day – it was really cloudy all day, but of course, it started pouring as soon as we got home. Thankfully, it stopped not too long after so we went out for a run around 6:30. The sky still looked pretty scary, but it only drizzled a few times while we were out.

Weather wise? Pretty good.

Run wise? Blech. This was probably the worst run I’ve had in a while. I had pretty bad side stitches for most of the run – I didn’t stop, and I’ve still been just trying to breathe through them and they do go away, but they just kept coming back today. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great. It did feel good to be outside, though.

Dinner tonight was a repeat of last night with a few changes.


I had Nick grill 2 steaks last night (about 1 lb. total) so we split one steak last night and split the other one tonight for our salads. The only thing we had to do tonight was put the rest of the salad together – easy!

Tonight, mine had:

  • 2 cups romaine
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1-2 Tbsp red onion
  • 4 oz. or so of steak
  • Thai dressing from recipe
  • orange slices
  • scallions


I liked this salad even more with the tomato and avocado – I think I’ll use those on this salad from now on. And yes, those are my pajama pants  🙂  I am not going to get into a different outfit after running/showering. Don’t pretend you don’t do the same thing.

I’m off to work on a special post for tomorrow and then have some of this:


It was so fun reading about your gifts! They were so sweet, and it’s awesome to see what things people have really cherished.

With all this anniversary stuff, my mind is on all things wedding!

What is one thing you’ve always dreamed about for your wedding? (whether you’re already married or not!)

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As The Ziti Turns

I’m not sure what happened with the weather here, but it is nice outside right now! There are still tons of clouds in the distance, so I’m they just pass on through. We have had so much rain lately, and I would really like to be able to run when I get home.

I was really happy when I got to work this morning because this was waiting for me in my fridge!


This is called “The Favorite” and is from a local coffee shop here. I bought it yesterday at lunch but then was too warm in the office to drink it! No problem – I had it this morning, and it was perfect. This was a fat free latte made with sugar free white chocolate and caramel syrups. For some reason, most sugar free things do not agree with me, but I have no problems with the sf coffee syrups.

Work went along like normal this morning and I was ready for lunch around 11:30 – I was just counting down the minutes until Nick got over here to eat.

I had a serving of the baked ziti on top of another cup or so of spinach


And yes, I apparently ate it sideways. This picture comes up right when I open it on the computer, but then shows up like this? Oh well – you get the drift. There was a ton more spinach in the bottom of the dish that got a little wilted when I heated this up. Yum!

I also had the last of the green/yellow beans


And am now chomping on this apple


I am going to miss this ziti once it’s gone! I think there’s only 1-2 servings left, so you won’t have to see it too many more times  🙂  It was such a great recipe.

T minus 12 hours until our 5 year wedding anniversary! I am beyond excited and cannot believe it’s been 5 years. I’m going to have a fun post tomorrow, so look out!

One of the sweetest/coolest things Nick has done for me:

When I was in my junior year of college, Nick was already back in Virginia and I was still in Arkansas at school. It was long distance the entire 8 months we were engaged and planning our wedding. Needless to say, we talked on the phone – a lot. I was having a really hard year that year at school, and being away from him and my family while trying to plan the wedding was tough.

He sent me a package one time while I was at school that was an entire box of the Hershey’s Cookies’n’Mint bars! They are my favorite candy bar and I’m so sad they don’t make them anymore. I guess they were out again a few years ago for a limited time and he sent me an entire box. 🙂  He knows the way to my heart is through chocolate, usually.

What’s the most fun gift you’ve ever received?

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Good morning! I can’t believe it’s already Thursday – and tomorrow is a very special day  🙂  This week will be gone before I know it!

I didn’t mix up a breakfast cookie last night, and I’m kind of sad I didn’t – I woke up wanting that cold cookie right out of the fridge. My breakfast was still good, but I may have to make another breakfast cookie soon.

This may be the most upscale pb & j combination I’ve ever had.


I had oatbran again for the first time in a while and it was good.

  • 1/3 cup oatbran, 1 cup water, pinch salt
  • 1 really ripe banana, sliced
  • handful strawberries and raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp fig spread!


I loved the combination of the almond butter + fig spread! Those flavors go so well together. It was nice addition to my breakfast.

A lot of people were asking about the fig spread, so here it is:


I got this in a prize package from Sweetie Pie a few weeks ago – and it looks like it’s from Whole Foods (you can see the words on the tag). So, if you have a Whole Foods, buy some!  It’s good.

I’ve got to finish watching Saved by the Bell and hit the road  🙂

Do you watch tv in the morning?

We usually watch the news while we’re eating breakfast, but lately we’ve been listening to our favorite radio show in the house. I’m not sure how it happened today, but we found a Saved by the Bell re-run on so that’s what we’re watching. It’s a great middle school episode with Ms. Bliss! I know way too much about this show  🙂

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