Archive for October, 2009

Tricks and Treats

Time got away from me today, but it was nice.

We all got up – with no alarm clocks – and ate breakfast at the house while watching Young Frankenstein. Have you ever seen that movie? It is so funny – we actually have 2 copies on DVD…not sure how that happened.

I did another trial run of my Pumpkin Stuffed French Toast for my family this morning! I wanted to make sure I had the recipe down and I tried changing one step to see how it might work for next weekend at the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival.


It turned out great!


We each had one “french toast sandwich” and some apple slices my mom cut up for everyone. And lots of coffee  😉

After everyone ate, we headed into town to the farmer’s market. We bought a bunch of apples (from our county – yay for local food) and I got some acorn and butternut squash.

My mom wanted a sweatshirt, so we took her over to the bookstore to find one before heading over for my hair appointment. I chopped my hair off! It feels great, and I needed a haircut really badly. I also needed to make sure I didn’t look disheveled next weekend in SanFran!

Nick and Dad had gone up to Buffalo Wild Wings to wait on the girls while I was in the salon, so we went to meet them and have lunch before they headed out of town.


I got their veggie burger and fries. Eh…it was okay. The bun was really dry, so I ended up just eating the burger with a fork and most of the fries.

After we said our goodbyes, Nick and I went over to Kroger to get the rest of the groceries for the week before coming home.

I was actually really productive this afternoon! We came home, put the groceries away and went up to the store to get Halloween candy for tonight. Nick cut the grass when we got back and I finally switched my summer/winter clothes. I love having all my sweaters upstairs  :) 

Then we had our normal Halloween ritual here: We sit outside in our fold up chairs, and our neighbor, Clayt, comes over to talk to us. He’s lived here all his life and knows just about everything there is to know. It’s amazing how many stories he has about this place from growing up here, and we get to hear everything when kids aren’t coming up for candy. Tonight we learned about the local money they used to use here, since Clayt had some in the shirt pocket and showed it to us. He was also telling us how to really train and discipline a dog, and talking about how his family used to take a train for less than $4 total (round trip) and a cab for $1 to go visit family.

We sat out there for about 2 hours tonight, talking to Clayt and passing out candy to the trick-or-treaters. As soon as it got dark, it started raining and we were out of candy so we came inside for dinner.


I knew I had to use these tiny butternut squashes – or squash? – I bought at the market today.


Nick said I’m funny for buying food  because it’s “cute”, but I couldn’t resist! They’re the size of my cell phone!!!


I roasted 2 of the mini squash, heated up some leftovers and steamed some broccoli for a quick dinner.


On one of my squash halves, I just sprinkled some salt. But on the other…I took a hint from Nick and sprinkled on a little cinnamon sugar and a pinch of salt. So good! Just enough sweetness and salt.


We’re cuddling Roxy and about to heat up some of those cookie-brownies I made last night –



Can’t beat that.


I know I complain about the lack of good shopping here, but there’s nothing like living in a small town. People are proud of their history here, and it shows. And I’ve never known people with so many stories and memories and the willingness to just sit and share with others.

Maybe I’m turning into a small town girl.


Happy Halloween!


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Oldies and Goodies



Football this weekend, if you’re not doing too many Halloween things  😉

No. 21 West Virginia at South Florida


12:00 PM ET
Indiana at No. 4 Iowa

3:30 PM ET
Georgia vs. No. 1 Florida*

3:30 PM ET
No. 19 Miami (FL) at Wake Forest

7:45 PM ET
No. 22 South Carolina at Tennessee

8:00 PM ET
No. 3 Texas at No. 14 Oklahoma State

8:00 PM ET
No. 5 USC at No. 10 Oregon


Okay, now where do I start? We’ve had a fun day today.

Our bank appointment ended up taking over an hour (!), but at least it’s done!

The only bad thing that happened today happened right as were trying to leave the bank. We got in the van, my Dad went to turn the car on….and nothin’. The battery was dead.

Thankfully, we got one of the bank employees to come out and jump start the van. Of course, by this point, it was after 10 am and we hadn’t had breakfast or COFFEE!!! We drove over to an AdvanceAuto parts store so they could buy a new battery for the van, and finally went to get some food.


We went to our favorite little greasy downtown diner, Joe’s. We actually waited in line for about 15-20 minutes – there were a bunch of people still in town after the game last night and they all had the same idea.


2-3 cups did the job.

I ordered a veggie omelet with a biscuit. Their biscuits are so good – I’m not sure if it’s something about the actual biscuit, or just the fact that they split them and heat them up on the griddle for a minute. Yum.




After finally getting some food in our bellies and laughing the entire time we were eating, we headed over to Best Buy to pick up a webcam! My little sister and her husband talk to my parents and sister every week on Skype, so my dad bought us a webcam so we could talk to them tonight!

My dad has also become quite the antique lover lately (I know you’ll love hearing that Anne!), so we found a few antique places to visit. That actually turned out nice because the weather was kind of overcast today.

Melissa and I found a bunch of cool hats – those kept us busy for a while.


Scarlett O’Hara and Mary Poppins


The Mad Hatter and Flapper Football Helmet. Maybe we should sell antiques – we know nothing about these hats, but we did have fun  🙂 Ooh! Also see that red chair/table in the background behind Melissa? That’s the kind of kitchen I want someday. Totally retro, 50’s, glittery vinyl table and chair, black and white tile floor….something reminiscent of I Love Lucy.

My dad bought an awesome old top hat that I am convinced was Abraham Lincolns and a really cool chandelier to take back home.

We got home, let the dog out, and then went to get an early dinner. That was definitely needed since we had no lunch. Breakfast ended up being “brunch”, so I’m fixing that by making dessert right now for our “third meal of the day”. I’m not used to only having 2 meals, so my stomach has kind of been growling most of the day, but it’s working out fine.


We took my parents to our local place, The New River Grille, and I had to try their new onion ring recipe. I didn’t get my burger, but the onion rings were definitely worth the trip. I got some blackened flounder, the onion rings, and a salad that I shared with Nick.

Then we Skyped!

We just talked to my sister for about an hour, and it was so cool! It was like 2 am in Spain, so we didn’t talk for too long but it was pretty awesome.

I’ve got a batch of those Cookie Topped Brownies that I just pulled out of the oven, and we’re all on the couch watching a Sinbad comedy DVD.

I’ve got to get to those brownies…they smell amazing! Then more laughter and some sleep – I’ve got a lot of french toast to make in the morning 😉




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It’s Friday!!! I’m totally confused as to what day it is…I took the day off today since my family is here, so I keep thinking today is Saturday.

It’s also 6:30 in the morning and I wasn’t in bed until almost 1 am, so we’ll see how well this post turns out 🙂


Yesterday afternoon, while finishing up some cleaning and waiting for my parents to get here, I broke out the Nutella.



and took another small spoonful right of the jar.

It’s a good thing I don’t have any pretzels in the house – those and a jar of Nutella can be trouble.

When my family was almost to the house, I ran over and picked up some sandwiches for everyone to eat before heading over for the game. sandwich

My favorite from this place:

  • wheatberry bread
  • turkey
  • ham
  • spinach
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • red onion
  • sun dried tomato spread


It’s probably the same way for every college team, but if you’ve never experienced a Thursday night home game…you’re missing out.

The crowd is intense the entire time, and it is usually louder in the stadium than at any sold-out Saturday afternoon game. The most fun games I’ve been to (wins and losses) have been on Thursday nights.


Sadly, our game did not end well. My heart was breaking for the Hokies last night…but football season goes on. We have another game next week.


See the VT? 


I’m not sure what the plans are for today – Nick and I have to go into the bank this morning at 9 to sign some papers and then we’ll get breakfast out in town. Other than that? The day is up in the air. It should be fun!


Happy Friday!!!


Favorite condiment?

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Muffin Memories

Thursday is halfway over! How is this possible? The day that I need to go by SLOWLY is flying by!

I had a lot of coffee this morning, so please excuse any typos or caffeinated randomness.

  • One load of laundry is washed, dried, folded and put away. I have one more to do today.
  • Goodwill stuff is ready to go. I’ll be taking as soon as I finish eating.
  • New pots/pans are put away.
  • Dusting, cleaning the bathroom, and vacuuming will be happening this afternoon/during lunch?


For lunch today, I let the fridge decide for me.

If you’re thinking “How many more times am I going to have to see this mac’n’cheese?”….you’re not the only one.


Thankfully, this is the last of it! I heated up some extra broccoli we had and mixed that in and topped it with some salt + crushed red pepper.


You know what I wish I had to finish lunch?



Nick and I went to our favorite local bakery (Our Daily Bread) yesterday during lunch, and I got this vegan pumpkin chocolate chip muffin.


Why didn’t I buy 2?


I split it with one of my co-workers yesterday, and it was the best afternoon snack. I already want another one!


I had a couple questions about my eggs this morning – here’s how I make them!


AND football tonight!!! Virginia Tech vs. UNC – guess who’ll be at the game?  ;)  Pick your winner in the comments!


Have you ever made or had a vegan baked good? What’s your favorite?

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Shiny and New

I woke up this morning to Nick’s alarm.

Apparently, I never turned mine on last night. The only good thing is that I  work from home today, so I don’t have to leave the house right now. I’m happy I’m not rushing around this morning, but that’s what I’m going to be doing all day!

My parents + sister arrive later today, so while working from home, I’m going to try to get the house in order.

I’m going to need a lot of coffee today  😉

For breakfast, I couldn’t decide between pumpkin oats and eggs, but a shopping trip last night decided for me. Nick and I bought a stainless steel pan last night to replace our biggest non-stick skillet. The non-stick layer was scratched and starting to chip off and we’ve been wanting to get a stainless steel pan for a while.

If you’re looking for one – go to TJMaxx! We got a great one for only $25. They have some there that are still over $100, but there are also some great deals.

Since we had the new pan to use, eggs it was.


I cooked Nick the last few pieces of bacon we had while my oatbran cooked and I got started on the eggs.


2 over easy eggs, oatbran, and crushed red pepper + salt.


Plus my half of an orange.

I haven’t had eggs like this in a while! It’s a good way to start my day.


What are you looking forward to this weekend?

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Favorite Job So Far

I am seriously happy today is Wednesday, but again…the day is just dragging.

One thing that brightens my day? Food!


I brought more of the mac’n’cheese leftovers, with some extra peas + broccoli.



And some crushed red pepper for a little heat.


An apple to round out lunch.


Work has been extremely frustrating today, to say the least, so I thought we should have something fun. The week is halfway over, thank goodness – and we should be celebrating in some way.

Cookbook giveaway over at The Daily Balance!

– Click here to give free food to abused and neglected animals – such an easy thing to do. Send it around!


What was your best or favorite job growing up?

I would have to say my favorite and most lazy job was working as a pool attendant one summer while I was home from school. Not lifeguard – pool attendant. I got up every morning, put on my bathing suit/shorts/tshirt, and basically laid out and read books (and napped!) all summer. And got paid for it!

You see, the pool never opened that summer. They had some work that needed to be done before it could be opened at the apartment complex, so I just made sure the chemicals were at the right level and cleaned the pool every few days.

I read so many books that summer and had a killer tan. They did have me help with other things in the office if the weather was bad or if they needed me to do something, but it was basically laying out and reading.

Oh…to be back there…


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Back to Oats

Thank goodness it’s Wednesday – now just one more day until my family gets here!

Since I hadn’t had oatmeal in a few days, that’s all I could think about. I already planned last night what I was going to have for breakfast this morning.


I actually wanted pumpkin oats today, but I didn’t have time to get all of that stuff out, so I just went with a simple banana + almond bowl.


  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (I always use these)
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch salt
  • lots of cinnamon
  • 1 small banana, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp raw almonds for some crunch


I like having the raw crunchy almonds with the smooth almond butter – the best of both worlds!


Do you miss your “normal” food if you’ve gone without it for a few days?

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Plan or No Plan

You know when you have something fun coming up, and the days leading up to it just pass by super slowly?

That’s what’s happening to me this week.

My parents and sister are coming into town this week, we have a fun Thursday night planned, the day off on Friday and it’s just taking forever to get here!

My lunch did a good job of filling me up, but I was excited for my 3 pm snack today  🙂


I brought one of the Oikos Strawberry yogurts I got last week. I’ve tried the blueberry, but haven’t been able to find the strawberry here. Needless to say, I was excited to try it.


Texture: Great. Same as the other flavors and the plain Oikos.

Taste: Yum!

It’s not the same as putting summer-fresh strawberries in yogurt, but I really liked it! There were chunks of strawberry at the bottom, and it was fun to pull up a little bit of fruit with each bite.


I added a bit of granola to it, too.

The weather today ended up pretty nasty, so I’m really glad we went running yesterday.

We came home and watched the news for a bit (…or I watched an Office rerun while Nick took a nap) before I started on dinner.


Do you ever start making dinner with a plan and end up making something that looks nothing like your original dish?

I love when that happens  😉


I was going to make stuffed peppers, but once I got everything out, I just wanted dinner to be ready in less time. The best way to do that? Put everything in one dish!

I’m not sure what to call this, but I’ll tell you what’s in it:

  • 1/2 lb. ground bison
  • 1/2 orange and red pepper, diced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pkg. Uncle Bens Santa Fe 90 second whole grain medley 
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • ancho chile powder
  • smoked paprika
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper

– Saute peppers and mushrooms.

– Add in ground bison with veggies and cook until meat is done. While meat is cooking, heat up grain packet in microwave.

– Season with salt, pepper, ancho chile powder, smoked paprika, onion and garlic powders.

– Stir in grain packet.

– Mix in 1 can drained/rinsed kidney beans.

– Check seasonings, add more if needed.  Garnish with cilantro and serve.


I had the Uncle Ben’s packet and wanted to use it tonight. Originally, I was going to mix that with some veggies and the bison and stuff the peppers.

But…since I sat on the couch for so long watching the news and The Office, I didn’t want to wait that long for dinner.


It turned out great!

We had more steamed broccoli on the side. I don’t know what it is, but I like broccoli for dinner sides a lot. It’s just so easy to make.

This would also be a great vegetarian meal.


I think there may be some pb puffins consumed tonight…


What’s your favorite “fall back” veggie – the one you have the most?

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Easy, Delicious Meals

Tuesday, Tuesday…why do you go by so slowly?

Nick and I both brought some leftover mac’n’cheese from last night for lunch today, and I added some extra peas to mine for more veggies.




Quick, easy, good.


I love Real Simple, so I was extremely excited when I was contacted last week to check out and review their new cookbook.


Real Simple, Best Recipes is a collection of some of the most popular, delicious, and easy-to-make recipes from the magazine’s ten-year heritage. I was excited to learn that because I have only been reading the magazine for a few years, and now I don’t have to miss out on their best recipes over the past decade!



I love the clean pages – lots of white space and not too much going on.


The pictures are all beautiful, and I love these information pages. I like having pages like this with all of this information in one place – it makes it easier to find when I’m just looking for one tip or suggestion.


I also love hardback cookbooks – I hate when paperback cookbooks won’t stay open while I’m trying to cook, don’t you? It’s so frustrating, and then I end up getting food on the pages, too.

This book also has a bookmarker attached!


One of the things I like the most about their recipes are that they are simple but still fun and tasty and make great meals. Their “simple” isn’t opening a can of soup, but most of their recipes don’t have very many steps or ingredients – you just end up making a great meal without spending too much time or money.

I actually just received the cookbook yesterday so I haven’t had the chance to make anything yet, but I do have a good amount of recipes marked already.

I will hopefully be reviewing the actual recipes soon, but I wanted to post this today because it is on sale starting today! If you like Real Simple magazine, you’ll definitely love the cookbook.

Thank you again, Kala! I’m excited to start cooking.



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Cinnamon Raisin Squared

I totally crashed on the couch last night at like 9:30 – I just could not keep my eyes open! I wanted to stay up to watch the new Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, but I only saw a few minutes of it in between my closing eyelids  😉 Oh well! I guess I needed the sleep.

And I got up on time today, unlike yesterday.

I was hungry when I woke up today and was excited to try these new Alvarado St. bagels I found at Martin’s this weekend.


I loved their flaxseed bread I got a few months ago, but this was the first time I had ever seen their bagels.


I toasted up one cinnamon raisin bagel and topped it with a Tbsp of cinnamon raisin pb. I know some people would think cinnamon on cinnamon would be too much, but I love it. I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much cinnamon.


With a sliced local gala apple on the side, this should keep me full for a while.


Off to work!


What’s your favorite type of apple?

I love galas, honeycrisp, and pink lady, but I’ll pretty much eat an apple as long as it’s good.


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