Friday, July 31, 2009

A Little Something

Moving into a new house is great fun. It is a blank canvas just waiting to be decorated! There is just a teeny little problem. My decorating wish list is thousands of dollars long. Since we won't be tackling that list for a while, I thought we needed a little something to brighten up our space for not a lot of money. So, we still have empty rooms, but this little corner of the kitchen is now cute! It was a blank area that I've been wanting to fill for a while. I tried to tie in patterns and colors from our adjoining breakfast area and living room. I think it turned out pretty good! Everything pictured is from either Marshall's or Pier 1. I love to look at it while I cook.



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lunch Love

As much as I love being a teacher, I do NOT love lunch. Lunch as a teacher is a hurried 25 minute affair involving waiting in line for a microwave, sitting at cafeteria tables with kids, monitoring the lunch line, and scarfing down your food in less than five minutes before you have to teach again. It's not glamorous. I know all you business people out there are taking luxurious hour long lunch breaks eating good food at good restaurants with good friends. And that's why we teachers are insanely jealous! I try to be creative, but my lunches usually consist of leftovers, a sandwich, or a Lean Cuisine. Needless to say, when I have a day off, I want to eat a good lunch! I usually like to go out, but if I can't, I like to make myself a really nice lunch. Today was such a day, and I decided to make myself a fresh salad. I tossed together butter lettuce, chopped red and yellow tomatoes, and avocado with a little ginger dressing to make the salad. Then I added a crab cake from Whole Foods. Delicious! Instead of monitoring children, I sat on the couch and watched DVR-ed So You Think You Can Dance. And it took me more than 5 minutes to eat, thankyouverymuch!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thanks, Aunt Sandy!!

About four and a half years ago, Brent and I got to register for wedding gifts. It was super fun - as many of you have also experienced. Well, one Saturday, we came home to find a Foley's box on our doorstep. We had registered at Foley's, so we knew it was another present! I eagerly opened the box to find: a food processor. The card said "Love, Aunt Sandy". There was no return address, and the packing slip simply had the name "Sandy Norwood". I was a little perplexed because I had memorized everything we registered for, and we hadn't registered for a food processor. It never really occurred to me to register for a food processor. My mom never had one, and I honestly could not think of one thing I would use it for. But, I guessed that Aunt Sandy just wanted to get us something different.

I held up the present for Brent to see and said, "Look! Your Aunt Sandy got us a food processor!" There was a moment of confused silence and then Brent said, "Um... I don't have an Aunt Sandy." I was like "Are you SURE??? Of course you have an Aunt Sandy!!" Brent assured me that, no, he had never heard of Sandy Norwood in his life.

Well, people, we do have a conscience, so we took the food processor back to Foley's and told the salesperson what had happened. We figured she could look up Sandy Norwood in her little computer and send it back. She could not. The present had been bought and mailed at the store, and there was no record or contact information for Sandy. The salesperson suggested we just enjoy the gift.

...AND ENJOY IT WE HAVE!!! I have to say, four years later, I LOVE that food processor. Aunt Sandy must have been our wedding guardian angel. She knew we needed it. I now use that food processor at least once a week, sometimes every day, like today. And every single time I get it out, I say out loud, "Thanks, Aunt Sandy!" It's a joke that never gets old. Poor Aunt Sandy. She must have gotten us confused with her long lost niece and nephew that were undoubtedly getting married at the same time somewhere else. She must be so mad at them. I mean, they never sent her a thank you note for her lovely gift - the NERVE of them!!!

So, Aunt Sandy, if you're out there... THANKS!! We LOVE your gift and remember you all the time. You're the best!

Here are my favorite recipes that I have made with the food processor in the last week. Enjoy!

Faux Cheesecake from Bethenny Frankel
In a food processor, mix:
1 small container reduced fat ricotta cheese
1 small container fat free cottage cheese
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
Spoon part of cheese mixture in a bowl. Save the rest for later. Mix the cheese mixture in your bowl with honey, sliced almonds, and mini chocolate chips. Stir and eat - way healthier than cheesecake and just as delicious, in my opinion!

Fire Roasted Gazpacho from Rachael Ray
In a food processor, mix:
1 thick piece of bread, toasted
1 garlic clove
1 28 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 red onion
1/2 cucumber
2 jarred piquillo peppers
2 celery stalks
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 t. hot sauce
1 handful cilantro


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