Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vegetarian for a month-Week 4

This weekend marks the end to our vegetarian for a month trial. Ultimately, like I've stated in other posts, we feel really good, but there were other factors involved in the 30 days as well-increased workouts, consuming less alcohol, and making better choices overall. I plan to weigh myself at the gym today to see if there has been any difference there, but I anticipate more change in inches-which I did not take at the beginning. I can see better definition in parts of my body which makes me happy even if it's not reflected on the scale.

Final week of recipes:

Monday: Broccoli, baby potato, and gruyere tarts in a saltine crust. Really, really good. Mom, Kelli and Kerri- it was surprisingly similar in taste to chicken divan (and I was shocked by liking it.) I added baby bella mushrooms for an extra bit of fiber though next time I'll probably make in a puff pastry crust, as the saltine cracker one did not set. It did not call to be cooked first is probably why, so it was quite crumbly.

Tuesday: Peri peri grilled halloumi with portobello and chili jam. I had the intentions of making this but what came out was its third cousin twice removed. First of all, apparently halloumi cheese is only available via which might as well have been the Amazon because I am not ordering cheese for one meal from the internet. Essentially all this turned out to be was grilled portobellas in a pita with leftover gruyere slices, alfredo sauce and shredded carrots and something green I can't recall. It was the epic FAIL MEAL this month.

Wednesday: Out to dinner with Zina and Andrew to Roman Cucina, had the special-mushroom stuffed ravioli with peas.

Thursday: Homemade white pizza. In my world, you can't go wrong with pizza. I topped with alfredo sauce, mushrooms, bell peppers and basil.

Friday: Spicy shrimp stir fry with Japanese soba noodles. (No link because I made it up). Cook soba noodles as directed. Stir fry vegetables (squash, asparagus, bok choy, red cabbage, sugar snap peas) with soy sauce, pinch of red pepper flakes, and few teaspoons of hoisin sauce. Meanwhile, marinate as much shrimp as you want in one cup soy sauce, tablespoon hoisin sauce, and tablespoon siracha sauce. When soba noodles are done, rinse, and add to stir fry, then add in shrimp marinade to heat shrimp through. Voila, spicy shrimp stir fry with Japanese soba noodles. Fancy.

Saturday: Luau! Welcomed chicken back into my life and it was quite good.

I still have two meals left, vegetarian tacos with goat cheese and quinoa with mushrooms, goat cheese and sweet potatoes that I'll use this week.

Thus ends our venture to vegetarianism. In going grocery shopping today I feel oddly timid about buying meat again, so perhaps the change will be a 50/50 split of meat/veg meals as opposed to 90/10.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Weekend SPENT

This weekend was all about finishing projects, large and small, mostly ones that I visualize while laying in bed at night and wishing someone would wave a wand and we'd be done. Not so much. That's what husbands are for.

So what did we do?

I finally painted our everything-including-walls-and-trim-and-closets-and-windows bisque bedroom, a few shades of tan. Still has some more dressing up to do with a new duvet that does not seem to exist outside my brain and within my very reasonable budget. I'm sure this service exists somewhere so I may promote the idea but I'm too cheap to actually hire people like this--a service that would do the painting prep work for you-TSP the walls, spackle, sand, tape, and prime the walls, all so you can get Sugar Kisses up in one day. I loathe painting prep.

I purchased a headlight oxidation repair kit a few weeks ago and went to do it this weekend when one of the three parts included-buffer, wash cloth, and solution was missing-the buffer. So we rode our bikes to Autozone and in my sweaty paint-clothed feminine way, I nicely asked them to swap it out for a complete kit-as I was sans receipt. Being nice gets you places people! After a 4:00 lunch I got to work to rectify my poor headlights.

I'm pretty bad about taking before and after pictures, so imagine my headlights looked something like this:

Thank goodness for Google images.

Since I am on the bandwagon of listing our hard work, I'll also add grocery shopping because that takes time and efforts that resemble the work of a burrow.

Scott hung our new porch light. I broke the orb that surrounded the white bulb MONTHS ago dusting away cob webs, and living the ghetto lifestyle of a solo bulb wasn't very inviting to our guests. Now, high porch fashion.

I also finally got rid of 6 keys from my keyring. Lessons learned the hard way in life-too heavy key chain can break your transmission and leave you stranded at a bridal shower for hours. Not really a big deal when you do it before or during the shower, but after it slightly cramps your Sunday evening plans. Also, it gives your assistant back aches hauling the set to and from the post office. But, I've ditched 6 keys to the tune of an intimate14. Now you might think-is this really laborious? Yes-because I walked between our two sides making sure I was getting rid of keys that really had no purpose.

Finally got around to filing/shredding/ditching/making a new pile of "requires further reading" mountain of paperwork that accumulates during the week on my desk. Nothing like organizing to help you find zen.

Finally, I capped my weekend off with vacuuming and washing both of our cars. Complete with final Febreze spritz.

The most laborious award this weekend goes to Scott, who helped his brother and sister-in-law move from their apartment to their new home and then came home to rip out the mile of pink geraniums on our parkway. I know people will be saddened, but every person getting out of the passenger side of the car will salute us for years to come. Though we will miss the small bouquets left on our doorstep by Vivien and Nathaniel too.



Next up: installing sprinklers. Scott will act as the ultimate in charge, I will supply beverages and In 'n Out to the laborers.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vegetarian for a month-Week 3

Well we've made it to week three, and I still hold true to the fact it has not been hard. Though, I did stray into old habits (accidentally) at a work lunch going through the buffet line. I picked up a piece of chicken, and upon sitting down and taking a bite my current brain instead of my 25-days ago brain, and actually thought "this is foreign, what am I eating?" To which I was horrified I'd slipped up. Oh well, it was one bite. It was hotel chicken anyway.

This week's recipes were by far my favorite-I definitely would recommend to all.

Sunday: Spaghetti and spinach balls. Scott said this could be on the regular rotation. What does that say?
Monday: Vietnamese summer rolls with mango and sweet chili dipping sauce, and asparagus. So tasty and easy!
Tuesday: Black eyed pea cakes with chipotle mayonnaise and salad. I could not locate black eyed peas so I used black beans. Still good.
Wednesday: Mango blueberry quinoa salad with lemon basil dressing. This may be better suited as a lunch entree as its rather light, but after having the stomach flu for two days it was perfect.
Thursday: Portobello mushroom and zucchini rellanos with ranchero sauce. Again, so good! Very hearty, will definitely make again.
Friday: Spinach and taleggio quesadillas and salad. I had four of these-Friday dinner and Saturday lunch. Used brie instead of taleggio.
Saturday: Went out to dinner, and we both had an entree featuring mahi mahi, as we left fish as part of the diet.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Possum v. Kitty

Thursday night while I watched the dishes, I looked outside and saw a possum on the fence. The vermin always elicit a lip curl from me.

I watched it for a while, with its pink tail swinging and it slowly walked the fence between our house and the neighbors, over to our gate, which was a little too close for comfort. Oliver, and his keen sense of smell, knew something was up and flew into the room and onto the couch. That possum came right up to the open window and put its snout on the screen as if to say hello.

Gross, gross, gross, gross, gross, gross. If I wasn't screeching I would have taken a photo. Instead, I slammed the window and blinds shut-party over.

Perhaps you had to be there.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Vegetarian for a month-Week 2

Week two and I am proud to say I remained a vegetarian diet through the OC Fair and Medieval Times. (Scott indulged at the fair, but this is our experiment so he can do as he likes.) The fair was the first time I genuinely missed meat with all of the turkey legs walking past me. Don't let me fool you into thinking I ate well though-cheese on a stick? I definitely didn't feel great the next day.

Monday: Goat cheese tart and salad (really good, will make again)

Tuesday: Lentil fritter pitas with red cabbage slaw (good, but I did not know you had to cook the lentils before using them. So these little patties were rather tough. Good workout for the teeth.)

Wednesday: Stuffed portobellos and caprese salad

Thursday: Fair

Friday: Medieval Times

Saturday: Cheesy penne and haricot verts (I upped the veggie factor on the penne, since that version is rather indulgent. I added spinach, arugula, and mushrooms to bulk up the iron and fiber. I also omitted the bacon from the haricot verts.)

All in all this continues to go well. Still feeling well, still working out 4-5 days per week with running/walking, Zumba, Piyo and yoga.

Luca Anthony

Lucy Anthony came into the world on Saturday, July 30 to two wonderful parents. I am overjoyed for them and this time in their lives.

Look at that hair!

So tiny. So precious.

Welcome to Medieval Times

I am almost 30 and I finally went to Medieval Times. I'm not sure why I had not gone up until now-it's in the theme park backyard that is Orange County. Better late than never.

We went in celebration of this guy's birthday:

Happy birthday Harrison!

The place is huge. I had no idea they had so much space-gift shop, dance hall(?), arena for the show, and bar. Kerri enjoyed a brew as her aperitif.

As you can see, we were assigned the red and yellow knight-can you say GRYFFINDOR!!!???

I did.

The whole thing is very kisch. I joked that the staff were cut from the Disneyland auditions but Scott was quick to point out they were more of the Ren Faire enthusiasts so perhaps its a dream position. Those serfs loved their "m'lords and m'ladies" greetings.

The food is served during the show, and as the guests watching you are to eat as the medieval kingdom commoners did-sans utensils. Since we are on our vegetarian diet for the month, I had looked ahead to see what the meal would be-stuffed portobellos, hummus and pita chips, and roasted vegetables--and we even had a knife and fork-HAH! Vegetarians were/are clearly civilized.

Our knight very gallantly died (thankfully, not first) but it was not the end of his flowing mane-the meet and greet at the end complete with DJ playing Usher allowed us the opportunity to catch up on the past few centuries.

Happy birthday, Harrison!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Vegetarian for a month-Week 1

Well the title pretty much sums this up-we've gone vegetarian for the month. In the grand scheme of things, it's a small amount of time to do a bit of an experiment-see how our bodies feel without the meat combined with an increased fitness routine.

This also presented an opportunity for a meal planning perspective change. No longer could I sit down and come up with 7 days of chicken/beef/pork/fish/veggie combination-this would be an entire shift in grocery shopping.

So we're officially a week in-and for anyone up for a food challenge or simply Googling around like myself for recipes, here's a glimpse of the past week.

Tuesday 7/26: Eggplant parmigiana and salad

Wednesday 7/27: Portobello burgers with garlic aioli and asparagus

Thursday 7/28: Grilled eggplant and sweet pepper sandwiches and salad

Friday 7/29: Sesame soba noodle salad

Saturday: 7/30: never ate dinner, went to LA Rising, had Cheerios at 1:15 a.m. upon getting home.

Sunday: 7/31: Veggie burger patties (purchased), corn on the cob, black bean salad

The important thing (for me) to remember is not to consume only cheese and bread and replacing the missing protein with other options, like legumes. Breakfast is usually an over-easy egg on toast, cereal, or Greek yogurt. Lunch last week were veggie sandwiches and plenty of leftovers. So far, we both feel great. Energy levels are good, and frankly I'm sleeping better-though the increased exercise could factor in as well.

Next week there will be no eggplant.

Mason is One

Where does the time go? It's been a year since Mason was born and in that time he's managed to build a city and become its sheriff, police chief, and city manager. Impressive.

Mason's Tiny Town. My mother-in-law is far craftier than Martha Stewart. Seriously, they should have a showdown.

Mason and Makenna enjoying pool time.

Birthday boy, caught in a bubble storm.

How you doin'.

We all know sometimes City staff can get into mischief.

He's a cowboy bay-bee.

Birthday boy, with his aunts and mom :)

Cake time!

The happy family!