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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Guest Post @ The Baloney Bug

Hiya! Today I'm pullin' double-duty. I'm also guest-posting over @ The Baloney Bug. While checking out a few of my favorite summer things, be sure to snoop around a bit and check out this awesome blog. Joan is a fantastic photographer, baker, and interior decorator who has landed her and her hubby's apt on Apartment Therapy...4 times! Did I mention we went to high school together?? It's a small world after alll. Joan has always been one of those girls who is impeccably dressed and always on top of the latest and greatest things. So happy to have her as a fellow blogging buddy & totally jealous of her baking abilities.

Broccoli and Bacon Pizza Bread

Broccoli is a veggie that I have grown to love. It was not always a loving relationship between me and the leafy tree-like vegetable. Like most kids, I would have my stare-down show-down at the dinner table whenever it was served as a side. But luckily my parents never forced it on me. They always nudged me to try new things, but it was never a huge issue if I didn't choose to partake.

Believe it or not, I was a SUPER picky eater when I was little. In fact for the longest time [just ask mi madre] all I ate was peanut butter crackers, butter noodles, olives, and pickles. Not all together [I hope]. But nonetheless, that's all I ate. I was a total salt feen...well was is an incorrect statement. Still have a ginormous salt-tooth, but I have certainly expanded my horizons when it comes to my daily diet.

Now as an adult and the "cook" for our family, I try to sneak in veggies whenever possible. Eating healthier doesn't mean you have to choke down yucky veggies that you dread -- with the right seasoning and marriage of flavors, any veggie can be quite deelightful.

Broccoli and Bacon Pizza Bread
serves 4
adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine 
  • 2 ciabatta loaves [6-8 inches], sliced in half lengthwise [making 4 open pizzas]
  • 2 cups skim-ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli florets, roughly chopped
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked & chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce  
  • 1 cup shredded cheese [I used Monetray Jack}
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 4-5 tbsp of EVOO
  • salt + pepper to taste
begin by combining ricotta, parmesan cheese, and pesto in a small bowl. season with salt + pepper.
  1. pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. lay out bread halves on a foil lined baking sheet. spread each half with 1-2 tbsps of pizza sauce. set aside.  
  2. meanwhile, in a large saute pan heat EVOO over med-high heat and add chili garlic sauce. swirl until ingredients are combined. add broccoli and saute until broccoli is tender, crispy, and a little golden brown. remove from heat.
  3. evenly distribute broccoli and bacon over pizza sauce on bread. top with shredded cheese. bake in the oven until cheese is melted and bread is crispy-crunchy, about 8-10 minutes.
This pizza is crispy, crunchy and so full of flavor.
Plus it was ready in about 20 minutes.  
Perfect for a yummy weeknight meal.
Hope you and yours enjoy it as much as we did!  

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's just sit.

I just spent the last 3 hours of my evening catching up on Bethenny Ever After re-runs via my DVR [bless you].  As much as I enjoyed this and needed this [and LOVE her], I am still sitting here half-way beating myself up about it because really, I had every intention of catching up on recipe posts from all the delicious things I've been cooking this past week/weekend. But you know what? Every once in a's ok to just sit. It's ok not to empty the dishwasher, and not clean the bathroom, or put away dinner dishes, or tackle posts on the blog or accomplish any of the other "tasks" you wrote out on your to-do list. It's ok sometimes just to...sit.

Not always. No no, that is how laziness creeps in. This kind of "just sitting" is therapeutic in my opinion. In a society that is always go go go, more more more, sometimes just sitting is just what the doctor ordered. And tonight was that night for me. As women, I feel like sometimes we hang ourselves out to dry when we don't accomplish those specific tasks we set out to do. Or maybe it's just me, but the guilt and the wrath of sheet we give ourselves is just not necessary. It all balances out. Breathe. Did I mention I just watched Bethenny go to therapy for 3 hours?? So in a way perhaps I felt I needed my own therapy session?!


Sometimes you just need to sit. Enjoy a cold drink, and sit. Especially when the moments present themselves. I'm a busy bee who cannot [usually] sit still, but I am certainly not as busy as say working moms who have little ones to chase after. So to all the ladies [and gents] out there who are feeling overwhelmed and pooped; give yourself a night or even just a moment to sit. Relax. Just be...still.

you know it's not about waiting for the storm to pass...
it's about learning to dance in the rain...yada yada yada.
[and all that jazz]


Friday, May 25, 2012

Instagram - Week in Review 6

Summer is coming! Summer is coming! Summer is coming!!!
Sorry, I'm a little excited...I didn't mean to yell. 
Things have been zooming around here.
Sometimes you just need a life-remote and 
a chance to hit that big 'ole pause button.
Instagram is that pause button for me.
Sometimes you need a mute button too, but that's a different story entirely... 

yes, I am smiling + loving life because on this day 2 years ago I said "heck yes!" 
I mean, "i do" to my man

oh snap, someone Googled traditional 2nd anniversary gifts. 
as he said; "cotton represents durability"
wow. I'm impressed, sir. 

waiting for the soccer-coachin' hubby to get home so we can go on our hot anniversary date. 
bubbleyum helped keep me preoccupied + patient. 

oh hay, hot anniversary date. 

had to get "the shoes" in the shot. 
they were my something blue for our big day. 
and may have been my most favorite part of my entire wedding ensemble. 

started year 2 of marriage with an incredible breakfast made by my mister.
uhhh...someone has been taking notes!
I contributed the avocado & tomato compote.
[mixed chopped avocados + sliced tomatoes with s+p and red wine vinegar. YUM!]

why yes, those are people flying/dancing on the side of a building.
and a very beautiful building at that.
::this would be Project Bandaloop::
they are an aerial dance troop who performed recently in DC.
my brother does video/photography for them &
many moons ago I got to perform with them at Wolf Trap.
incredible group. check'em out!

sweet students & sweet [handmade] accessories?

May really does bring flowers!

soccer game dinner
 err I mean snack.

this is the part of teaching they don't tell you about.
[data, data, data]

washing the car & making rainbows.
it's what I do.

no, I do not wish to stay calm.
sometimes I would like to [need to] completely freak OUT!
that's all.

just my gals flyin' in Philly!

want a winning combo?
try a simple ham + mustard sammy on Kings Hawaiian bread.

when waiting for the gals to use the ATM in Philly,
a man asked us if we realized we were all wearing wedges.
to which I replied, "yep! it's a wedgie kinda night!"
cue the giggles.

just in case anyone at the grocery store was wondering why was so relaxed,
I made sure to wear my massage table on my forehead.

 in Annapolis, MD

ooooh say can you see?
::Maryland State House::

dry inside the beautiful Naval Academy Chapel = happiness
misty-wet-hot-mess walking around Annapolis all day in the rain = meh.

blog meet Pops, Pops meet the blog.
'tis true, he does indeed still play with airplanes.
as a self-proclaimed airport bum, this pilot [my dad] was in the throws of completing the airplane's annual. which means he basically checks every inch of the airplane to make sure it's in top notch shape.

{nostalgic moment}
the airport holds so many sweet memories of my childhood.
including but not limited to;
completing my first cart-wheel, learning how to drive [ahem @ 14],
and after dinner sunset flights "around the patch" with my daddy.

so this is where my love of mechanical/technological things comes from.
makes sense.

a sweet bear loving her new anniversary blanket...
almost as much as her momma :)

happy hump day to me!

yep. then this happened.
when it comes to Taco Hell, I mean Bell.
you just gotta.


hoping May has treated you & yours well.
it's already the last Friday of the month!
cheers to safe + full-of-fun Memorial Day weekend.
sending a big shout out of thanks + gratitude
to my{retired}Sgt. Major father-in-law
this {Memorial Day} weekend for his time + service. 
thanks to all who serve/served our great nation. 
I am so humbled by your selflessness.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Apricot Butter Biscuits a la Mode

Ok here we are, in the in the third and final segment of my Mother's Day dinner made to celebrate my fabulous momma. This dessert is just right. Not too heavy but just enough sweet + savory to be the perfect ending to a deelicious meal! Best part is, while this dessert is lacking in labor, it is oozing with wow factor. These would be easy to make ahead of time for a big party and then warm up quickly in the oven just before it's time to scoop on the [you scream] ice cream! 

Apricot Butter Biscuits a la Mode
serves 4-6 
  • 1 tube of Pillsbury biscuits 
  • 2-3 apricots, cleaned and cut into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp of melted butter
  • 3 tbsp of agave nectar 
  • vanilla ice cream 
  1. first start by pre-heating the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. then combine chopped apricots and melted butter in a small bowl. 
  3. place individual biscuits in a greased cupcake pan and top with apricot mixture. 
  4. bake in the oven for 7-9 minutes, or until biscuits have risen and are golden brown. 
  5. serve immediately with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and a drizzle [or 3] of agave nectar on top. 

fruit, butter, biscuits, ice cream, and agave nectar??
what's not to like?
seeing my momma smile from ear to ear after this [trilogy] meal,
was the greatest gift of all. 
happy mother's day, everyday.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lemon Butter Seared Scallops

So this is the second installment in the the Mother's Day dinner trilogy. Scallops just so happen to be one of my momma's most favorite dishes, so why not treat her to something she loves on her day?! 
This would be perfect for a date night with your lovey 
or to treat your girls [or bros] to a deelish dinner any day of the week!
Scallops are in that seafood family that if over-cooked can quickly become like a rubber-band exercise for your jaw muscles. That's why searing is such a perfect cooking method for them. All they need is a couple hot-hot minutes with melted butter in a saute-pan to get that heavenly, tender, golden-brown perfection.

Lemon Butter Seared Scallops
serves 4 
  • 1 lb fresh sea scallops, cleaned well and patted dry with paper towel
  • 5 tbsp butter [watch out now]
  • 1 large lemon, peeled, 4 segments chopped, and remainder used for juice 
  • 2-3 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • salt + pepper
  1. season dried scallops with salt + pepper. 
  2. in a large skillet, melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium-high heat. 
  3. add scallops; and cook until golden. [about 1 1/2 minutes per side]
  4. transfer scallops to a plate. 
  5. brown remaining butter in same pan. add remaining ingredients and season with salt + pepper. 
  6. finish by spooning butter sauce over scallops. 
I served my scallops with my baked risotto,
and I have to say it was kind of a match made in heaven. 


come back tomorrow for the final installment in the Mother's Day trilogy. 
let's just say, it has a la mode in the title.
enough said?

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

[Fancy Pants] Caesar Salad

So a couple of weekends ago I celebrated my momma on Mother's Day. If you know me or are a follower you know by now she's a pretty special lady in my book {and that of many others}. I asked her what she wanted to do for Mother's Day, and she said she simply wanted a meal cooked by me. So!  No simple meal would do. I had to fancy it up a bit. C'mon, it's Mother's Day. So this post is a the first installment in a 3 part series [ahhh a trilogy!!]. We started with a [fancy pants] caesar salad. 

This salad is an adaptation of a salad I had when I was about 6 or 7 in Palm Springs, CA with my grandparents...and yes, I still remember it today [it was that good]. We were at one of the [fancy pants] hotels that my grandparents loved to take us to for dinner when we visited every March for Spring Break. Yeah, tough stuff huh? To say they were the epitome of what grandparents should be, would be the understatement of the century. And no, it wasn't just because they introduced me to what "fine dining" looked/tasted like at an incredibly young age. It was their being; their kindness, unconditional love, generosity, and the way they made you feel like everything you did or said was the most important thing they'd ever heard. I am so grateful I was so close to them and got to share their love.
ok, back to food.

this dressing ROCKS!! 
warning: husbands have been known to lick this out of the bowl. 

Fancy-Pants Caesar Salad 
  • caesar dressing
    • 2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
    • 2 tbsp light mayo [made with olive oil]
    • 1 tbsp EVOO
    • 1 tbso garlic powder
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
    • 1/2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
    • salt + pepper to taste
  1. combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl with a whisk. 
  • salad
    • 8-10 romaine leaves, cleaned 
    • 1/2 cup croutons, crushed 
  1. using a spoon layer 1-2 tbsp of dressing on each romaine leaf.
  2. sprinkle crushed croutons on top and any extra s+p or parmesan cheese.
  3. serve immediately, or let chill in the refrigerator.
  4. pick up and eat each leaf by hand [finger fooood!]

pretty simple, huh?
no one said fancy = complicated. 
this salad is great for a special meal for someone you love, 
or to take and stand out at the good out potluck dinner. 
either way, I think you're gonna love it!

me + the sweet lady I'm named after, 
in Palm Springs, right around time of the [fancy pants] caesar salad.

love you, Grandma.
always + forever

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Bloggy Boot Camp 2012

Shwew! Talk about a whirlwind. This weekend in Philly totally and completely knocked my socks off. I learned so much, met so many incredible fellow bloggers, people in the biz, and to top it all off--had a side-splitting, knee-slapping, party-rocking good time with some of my most favorite gals! No wonder I am pooped!

This conference was inspirational, motivational, kick-you-in-the-booty, set-your-brain-on-fire

Philly has put me under her spell. I'm just smitten with this beautiful city. 

I feel the strong urge to add some super-cheesy quote about the importance of girlfriends and how I wouldn't be where I am without them...but I'll resist that urge and just say thank you + you are loved!!

check out my sweet #swag from all of the Bloggy Boot Camp sponsors. 
I talk about it more in the video below :)

This post was quick and to the point, I know... 
I wanted it to be that way. 

There are many aspects of the this weekend that I want to keep near and dear to my heart. 
So without over-sharing, I did want to let you peek into what I've been up to lately!


To sum it up, this weekend excited me. 
I knew this weekend was going to be excite-ting, 
but was clueless to the fire it would ignite within me. 
It excited me about things that are possible...
things that I never thought/dreamed were within my reach.

let's do this.

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