Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Meal by Meal Guide. Kind Of.

Forgive the lack of originality, but I LOVE Christmas.  Family, togetherness, presents, and of course, Baby Jesus!

At the beginning of our celebrations, I decided to attempt to photograph all of the meals we enjoyed.  I sort of failed, but I did remember enough times to rationalize a post dedicated to them.. 

These are just another perfect example of why Pinterest is so wonderful.  Devils food cookies stuffed with Rolos.

My mama's specialty--Coquilles St. Jacques.  It's basically scallops and mushrooms with white wine, cream and cheese.  It's ridiculous.

I was in charge of the main course and decided to go with a classic Coq au Vin.  It's a french chicken dish cooked down with veggies, herbs, and red wine.  So comforting and tasty!

I served the Coq au Vin over garlic whipped yellow potatoes and with green beans.

A couple appetizers we had were my pumpkin, sausage, and cheese stuffed mushrooms and my dad's meat and cheese stuffed jalapenos.  Apparently we like our foods stuffed in my family.

For Christmas dinner, I marinated a round steak overnight in soy sauce, sesame oil, hoison, ginger, and a few other goodies.

We grilled the steak and made a spicy brown rice and veggie stir fry as side dishes--so delicious!

What's your favorite dish/holiday tradition?!

Friday, December 14, 2012

MORE Exciting Than Christmas!

GREAT news.  My husband and I have officially booked a mid-winter trip to Mexico!
Come February, we'll be enjoying the all inclusive life here:


If you could die of excitement, I think I might.

That being said, this calls for an 8-week diet and exercise program!  Boo.
My goal is to get to my wedding weight, which was only 7 pounds ago.  

Yeah, this thin-armed chick.  I miss her.

I know it doesn't seem like much, but A) I have limited time and B) I carry 7 lbs pretty obviously...
So far, I'm 3 days in and have worked out every day.  Good start, right?

I'm also focusing really closely on my diet.  Generally, I eat pretty healthy, but I'm trying to get SERIOUS about it.
I've been starting with my amaze Greek yogurt and fresh fruit breakfast shake.  

For lunch, I try to keep it high-protein and low cal.  This was today's creation.  I even subbed out the mayo in the chicken salad with Greek yogurt.  It's fat free, high-protein, and I promise you don't miss the extra calories!

Finally, I'm letting my love for list-making take over and am planning out dinners in advance for the next 8 weeks, which means my husband gets to go on a forced diet!

I have also taken before photos, which I have no intention of posting unless my after pictures are just that impressive.  But don't count on it :) 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Just dropping in..

To make sure you all know about this AMAZING giveaway!

Check it out!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wedded Bliss Wednesdays

If money were not an object, what would you buy your husband for Christmas this year?

There are so many things I wish I could get for him.  He's really not materialistic at all, so everything he "wants" are actually really necessary.  I think I'd get him a new car for sure.  He's driving my old SUV that I drove in high school just so I could drive our newer car.  Seriously the sweetest man in the world.
  I'm leaning towards these:

2013 Ford Explorer

2013 Ford Edge

And if money seriously wasn't an object..this one :)

And, of course, I'd love to take him to Italy!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Food Blogging Fail

Let me start this out with a very sad story.  Okay, not that sad, just SUPER obnoxious.

I taught a cooking class last week.  It was awesome.  My mom was my sous chef, we made olive tapenade, sweet onion tart, brie and caramelized onion beef sliders, orange scented chocolate mousse, and spice cake and cream cheese cake pops.

And, let me tell you, we took a whole bunch of pictures.  But, guess what?!  LOST MY CAMERA.  I don't have the slightest clue where the damn thing is, but the awesome food-filled post I had planned has gone to..well, you know where.

So I'm hoping it'll turn up and I'll be able to at least share some of the fun pictures from that night.

I did make some lemon-blueberry cupcakes for Women's Lifestyle Magazine's holiday party, planned by my moms.

(Photos by Two Eagles Marcus)

Also, I had my first cavity filled this morning.  I was nervous!  I'm not super freaked out by needles/pain (3 tattoos..), but I do have a fear of the unknown.  So I was "that girl" acting like a 12 year old having the dentist (who by the way, is SO attractive.  It wasn't just the numbness making me drool..) verbally talk me through every move he made.

It was a piece of cake.  However, being the genius that I am, I decided to run an errand to  Hobby Lobby in all of my numb-tongued, word-slurring glory.  Not my finest hour.

BUT, I'm in the middle of a crafty phase and made this gem while waiting for the Novocaine to wear off.

I know, I'm obsessed with my dog.  I mean, I'm no artist, but I think it turned out kind of cute in a homemade sort of way, right?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wedded Bliss Style

What is your husband's style?

I just asked my husband what to say in response to this question, and his response was "Just say I don't have any."  I didn't say it!

When Scott and I started dating, I was a bit concerned.  He picked me up for our first date wearing a multicolored striped polo buttoned ALL the way up, a beaded necklace, cargo shorts (those were fine), and those weird looking brown man sandals that hook in the back of the ankel.  Bad.  And, yes, I still remember over 5 years later.

Since then, he's taken my advice in the fashion department..for the most part.  He now knows that sweatpants are not acceptable for holiday gatherings, that you should not wear a Budweiser T-shirt to the office, even if there is no dress code, etc. 

So, basically, his style is what I ask him to wear.  Again--he'll say the same thing!  I'm seriously not that much of a controlling bitch.

Jeans/shorts and a t-shirt is his every day wear.  He'll throw in a polo or a button down when he's feeling extra fancy.

What is your LEAST favorite piece(s) of his wardrobe? 

Don't even get me started on this one..

What would you love for your man to wear?

Dark wash, fitted jeans (I just bought him some and he claims he'll wear them...we'll see)
Something other than tennis shoes
Non-Cosby sweaters (He gets too hot)
Well-tailored suits
Those are my top four..

BUT I love him for who he is. I also love how much of an effort he makes for me, because let's be honest, he could literally care less.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Social and T-Gives Update

Sunday Social

It's been awhile since I've linked up for Sunday Social, so I thought I'd jump back in this week!

1. Name 4 jobs you’ve had in your life: Waitress, Prep Chef, Corporate Chef, Personal Chef/Caterer.  Apparently I like food?

2. Name 4 movies you would watch over and over: Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, any Harry Potter, and Pride and Prejudice.  So many more than that!

3. Name 4 places you have lived: Grand Rapids, Dewitt, East Lansing, and Long Island.

4. Name 4 of your favorite foods: Scallops, Pasta, anything Thai, and Pizza.

5. Name 4 things you always carry with you: iPhone, Chapstick, Wallet, and Gum.

 6. Name 4 places you have been on vacation: My top 4 are Paris, Austria, Maui, and New York.

 Forgive the photo dump, but I wanted to give you an update on my Holiday weekend!  Enjoy :)

Made this yummy sweet onion tart with goat cheese.

Made my first apple pie of the season.

Ate some awesome food--thanks Mom!

Went to visit my honey at the tree farm (his 10th year working there on weekends!)  Bella loved it.

Bella was kind of over the photos at this point..

Went out with some friends.

Watched Home Alone, drank wine, and decorated.

 Not pictured--waking up in the middle of the night for my first Black Friday shopping experience with my sisters in law!  The whole morning was a blur, but I found it strangely enjoyable.

I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was as wonderful as mine!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wedded Bliss Wednesdays-Thankfulness!

In the spirit of the holiday, let's talk about what I'm most thankful for in my marriage! 

Where to begin?

I'm thankful for the possibilities.  We talk about our future and our retirement dreams a lot and the fact that we get to work towards and share these things together is amazing.

I'm thankful for the constant support and unconditional love.
I'm thankful for how hard he is willing to work to make sure his family is taken care of.

I'm thankful for the possibility of having children in the future because I know he'll be such an amazing father.

I'm thankful for the amount of trust in our relationship.  In 4 years, my trust in him has never been shaken.  I truly believe a relationship without trust isn't a relationship at all.

I could most likely go on for about 3 hours, but I'll keep it short and sweet :)

I hope everyone has a beautiful Thanksgiving.  Eat lots and enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The week I went without sleep

The past week of my life has been, in a word, ridiculous.  Until yesterday, I literally felt like I didn't stop for 6 days straight.
I feel so blessed to not only have a job, but to be self employed, but holy cow, things got crazy!

Monday and Tuesday were spent at my "other" job as a corporate chef.  We had a big meeting with some fancy buyers all day Tuesday, so it basically consisted of 2 meals, and 20 display plates.  A couple of long days, but well worth it!

Wednesday-Friday was spent in Chicago conducting store trainings for a new croissant product we have in Meijer stores.  The trainings themselves went a bit less than smoothly, but it was an excuse to go into the city for dinner one night!  And my mom was able to tag along.

 At dinner at one of our favorite Chicago spots, Le Colonial

 This was just the appetizer.  It was a Vietnamese free form mushroom and chicken ravioli with ginger and basil.  Yum!

In three days, I kid you not, we ate nothing but Asian and Mexican inspired cuisine.  Apparently we don't have enough of that when we're not in Chicago?  

 I made it home on Friday afternoon and got to work prepping for a wedding I catered on Saturday.  It was a small reception at the church with just desserts, coffee, and tea, but still a lot of work!

 They requested a small, simple cutting cake.  For the record, I am NOT a cake decorator.  So I was very upfront about the homemade look they could expect.  I think it turned out cute though!

 I ended up prepping until 1 in the morning on Friday and worked 8:00am-7:00pm Saturday, so by the time Sunday rolled around, I was ready for some relaxation!

For fun, I made a healthy batch of granola to replace my obsession with cereal.

And finally for dinner, we had homemade BBQ chicken pizza topped with arugula salad.  Yum!

Looking forward to reading about everyone's Thanksgiving celebrations :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WBW-Daddy talk

It's no secret that I absolutely cannot wait to have kids.  We've agreed that it's in our/our future children's best interest to wait a few years.  You know, paying off that pesky student debt.  And of course, allowing our fur baby, Bella to enjoy her spoiled, only child status for a while longer.  You decide which of those reasons is the actual priority. 

1. What will be your husband's best trait as a father?

"Don't marry a man unless you'd be proud to have a son exactly like him." 

I think my husband is the kindest, best man I know and I know he'll be the most amazing example to our children.
I think the fact that he's kind of an overgrown child himself helps too.  He'll be wonderful about finding the fine line between playmate and parent.
2. What will be your husband's favorite thing to do with the kids?

Play!  Also, he's very passionate about sports, so I think he'll love if he can pass down that passion to at least one of our kids.  I think of him taking our kids to their first Tiger's/MSU football game, and I actually think that will be the proudest day of his life.
3. How will your husband help out with the kids?

We've had this talk and I know raising our kids will be a team effort.  I know we won't always agree about everything, but coming off as a united front is going to be so important for us.
4. What do you hope your children learn from their dad?

How important it is to be a hard worker.  I've never met someone who works so hard to provide for his loved ones and I really hope that quality will be passed down to our kids.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pleading guilty.


I have officially earned the worst blogger award.  I have to admit, the craziness of life has seriously caught up with me.  I'm hoping a few updates on life lately will be consolation!

This was a fun night of experimental cooking.  I made a citrus-maple glazed chicken breast, caramelized brussels sprouts, and herb infused parsnip puree.


In this house, we love Thai, Chinese, etc.  I'm always searching for ways to have all the flavor of my favorite dishes without all the calories.  This one (inspired by a Pinterest recipe, but spruced up so it's "my own") was a baked sweet and sour chicken dish with brown rice and asian vegetables.  So good!


And, in honor of Sunday-funday, I squeezed some fresh pomegranate and lemon juice and made myself a little vodka martini :)  Using fresh squeezed juice really makes a difference in the flavor!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week.  I'll be working a Chicago for a few days, so I will most certainly be dining out--expect some photos when I return!