Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A weekend of eating and great friends

Hello lovely people! I hope you all had a great weekend. My weekend was filled with lots of hugs, catching up with great friends and family, lots of eating and celebrating. 

Spent my Saturday afternoon with the cousins and my daughter wandering around the Farmers Market (no pictures) before hitting up the EuroTrash Food cart and filling our tummies with these goodies.

As if we weren't stuffed enough, we decided to head out to Mojo Crepes and pick up some yummy crepes and boba tea. Which I totally forgot to whip out my camera for.

Sunday was a special day for me. August 26th was the day I made it official, I was ready to take my life onto a completely different level with the one whom has time and time again given me unconditional agape kind of love. The greatest love I have ever known. Yes, This day was a day I would cherish and remember and hold dear to my heart; the day I got Baptized! Although I have had many opportunities; those times never felt right. Perhaps it wasn't my time and I wasn't ready for such a commitment. This time I knew and felt it was only right. Thank you to my Church family whom was so supportive and loving to me on my special day.

We were also celebrating August birthdays in Sunday School downstairs, and to top off my special day... my daughter runs up to me and hands me this cupcake. She wanted me to have it because it was also a new birth-date for me =)

Afterwards, some of my family and friends came home and we had a mini pool party. The kiddos all had fun swimming around, while the parents sat around chit-chatting and enjoying the beautiful day and each others company.

My daughter doing a handstand

The kiddos had the pool all to themselves after the bigger kids left the pool =)

Evening came around and it was time to have a ladies night with my girlfriends and celebrate one of their birthdays as well; so we went out for dinner and had a grand ole time just catching up on each others lives. Fun night of just laughter and sharing words of encouragement =)

No, my life is not full of glitz and glamor, travels around the world and nice shiny expensive things, But what my life is full of is, the love of family and friends, cherished memories, laughter, joy. I wouldn't want it any other way; I am truly blessed. Thank you all for taking the time to read my humble post. I lead a boring, but fulfilled life of love. I couldn't ask for more.

What makes you humble?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ciabatta Brat Sandwich w/roasted tomato burger sauce

I love to cook, and I've been on a cooking spree lately. I don't have much time to slave over a stove, but when I do... I try to take advantage of it. This wasn't one of those slaving over the stove meals, but it was a pretty darn good lunch.

Burger Sauce Recipe

1/2 cup mayo
2 tablespoons french dressing
4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon finely minced onion
2-3 roasted tomatoes minced
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate for a few hours or over night until all the flavors mingle and get to know each other well. You now have your very own burger sauce!

Spread it on your ciabatta bread (or your bread of choice or even your burger!) Then pile on your brat of choice (I used Johnsville's spicy brats) your cheese of choice (I used swiss cheese) and your favorite leafy greens (I used a spring salad mix w/ spinach) and tomatoes. You could most certainly add avocado and anything else you like. Enjoy!

Wash it down with the Peachy Blueberry Iced Tea


This weekend, I am going to have a life changing event occur. I'm anxious, a bit nervous, and excited. I'm ready to take my life into the next step =) 

What's one thing you look forward to on the weekend? 

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hide the Zucchini!

There are some Vegetables that my daughter will eat, and some that she just plain out refuses to eat. One of them being Zucchini; no matter how enticing I try to make it look, she pivots and runs the other direction... I can not for the life of me get her to eat it; that is until... last night! Okay, so I didn't exactly make it noticeable or have it in plain site in a dish that she would willingly eat it and love it, but the point is that she gobbled it up, and deep inside my loving motherly self, I was thinking "muhahaha got ya!" 

Here's how I hid the Zucchini; she requested to have Mac & Cheese for dinner and I obliged with a bit of a twist. I knew I couldn't just shred or chop up some Zucchini and add it in her Mac & Cheese... so I cheated *gasps* Yes, I pureed it and added it into my favorite Mac & Cheese recipe; then sprinkled it with some more cheese and baked it until the top was golden brown. It was oozing of gooey yummy cheesy goodness and not a site of Zucchini to be found; except in every bite but she didn't seem to notice or care. 

mission accomplished w/a bit of cheating =)

To celebrate my success, I decided to make this yummy peachy blueberry iced tea. Super simple and refreshing. Here's some simple ingredients and instructions .


1/2 -1lbs of fresh peaches pitted and sliced
1 cup of simple syrup 
5 tea bags of your choice 
Blueberries (optional)


Steep your tea bags for about 5 mins. then set aside to let it cool. Puree the peaches in a blender until smooth. Pour into a jar and add simple syrup and stir.
Once tea has cooled down, pour into the jar with your peach puree and stir. Add a few peach slices or chunks or just leave as is over ice and you're done!


If you like your tea sweeter or less sweet, you can always adjust the sugar/simple syrup. Feel free to add blueberries or anything else you like. Add a sprig of mint to make it more refreshing! Use honey, agave or other sweeteners in place of sugar. Sit back and enjoy a cup of this peachy blueberry iced tea!

What is one of your favorite Summer drinks?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Braised Chicken w/baby portobello mushrooms and onion

My daughter has been complaining about how she's tired of eating chicken; however she was singing a new tune after I made this for dinner the other night. She said "Okay Mommy, I admit... you make the best chicken EVER!" 

So here I present to you; what my daughter calls "The best chicken EVER" It's a pretty simple dish, with yummy flavors and satisfied little tummies. My daughter likes most vegetables; however there are certain ones I just can not get her to eat... two of them being mushrooms and onions. She ate the chicken and skipped out on those two things. I will try to sneak it in one of these days, and she WILL eat it and love it =) 

Recipe for Braised Chicken w/baby portobello mushrooms & onions

4 chicken thighs (I used a whole cornish hen cut up into quarters) 
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt & fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
3 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups oraganic low sodium chicken broth
1 large yellow onion (or 2 medium onion)
1/2 pound of organic baby portobello mushrooms 

 Pat dry the chicken thighs and season with salt and pepper.
In a large pan or dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium high heat.
Brown the chicken thighs on both sides, then transfer onto a plate.
Discard some of the juices in the pan, leaving some of that brown gunk of goodness, then throw in your onions and baby portobello mushrooms and sauté until onions are translucent and mushrooms are soft, add tomato paste and cook for a minute before adding red wine to deglaze; bring to a boil until reduced by half. Add in the chicken stock and chicken thighs making sure the browned skin side is not fully submerged. Reduce the heat and cover with lid for about 40-45 mins. until chicken is cooked thoroughly  and the sauce has thickened. 

The only other thing I did differently was (because the asian in me told me to do so) use a 1/4  cup of oyster sauce and thinned it out with a 2 teaspoon of water, and brushed it on my chicken before putting it back into the pan, and then brushing it one last time just before I turned off the stove to get that glistening affect.

Tips: You can most definitely skip the red wine and just use more chicken stock. You can also choose to throw in some spices to kick it up a bit.  Chop up some cilantro and throw it on the top for a pretty presentation. Place it on a dish of pasta or brown rice. You can even had some spinach into this dish; I most certainly would have if I had it on hand. 

I hope you try this out and enjoy it. Let me know if you do decide to give this a try =)

What is one vegetable you can not bring yourself to like?

(for me it's Brussels sprouts)  



Monday, August 20, 2012

A fun filled all girly weekend!

I don't consider myself to be too girly; I mean... I like pretty and cute things, I love makeup and clothes, shoes, purses etc. but I can get down and dirty when I need to without worrying about chipping a nail or getting dirty. I'm not always in heels or prancing around in dresses, and cute skirts (although I do like to look pretty and well put together in my eyes)

So over the weekend, I had the pain... oh, I meant pleasure! of taking a few of the youth girls from my Church and my  daughter out to do some fun girly things together. It was a super fun (long, money spending, hair pulling, girls squealing, tiring and exhausting) day full of laughter, and good company bringing out my inner still pretty darn young and fun self =)

We had a picnic in the park; cooling off in the shade, then we went to get our hair did, we had mani and pedi's  and eyebrow waxing done, and went window shopping like there's no tomorrow! After a long hard day of being girly... we stopped by to get some frozen yogurt to top off our girls hang out day.

Thin Mint Frozen Yogurt and Berries YUM!

If I had one word to describe my weekend with these girls; it would be "Bankrupt!"
Just kidding; I enjoyed my weekend with them, and I'm happy they still find me "Cool" enough to want to hang out with me and drain my energy and pockets =D

How do you spend your girly days with your girlfriends?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Oh no she didn't just tweet that?!

Ah... well... I did it; I have signed onto the Tweet bandwagon. Won't you follow me and Tweet me the way? Follow me at: Twitter

Teach me the way to Tweet!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Disappointing food adventure

For my hour lunch; I decided to venture on over to a food cart pod about 15 mins. away from my office. I had pretty high hopes in getting something delicious; so when I got there I was a little disappointed because only about 4-5 of them was open so there wasn't many options. I decided to try out this Pupusa place since there seemed to be a line, and that usually means it's something to check out! The people who worked there were super nice, and the lady recommended a dish she said was pretty popular amongst the regulars there. So I decided to give her suggestion a try. As I was waiting for it; I decided to walk to the next cart over which was a Filipino cart, and get some Lumpia and Halo Halo dessert since it was such a super HOT day again.

After getting my food; I skipped along back to my car excitingly anticipating about the goodies I had in hand. First up was the Pupusa; right when I opened the to go box up... I was quite disappointed; nothing exciting about this one; no flavor. I wouldn't get this again.

The Lumpia's came next and quite honestly; I was not impressed either... It was also quite bland, and the sauce was mediocre.

By this time; I wasn't really excited about the Halo Halo dessert now... The ice was chunky, and like the other two; it was bland and nothing real exciting. The only thing enticing about it was the ice cream on top (which was melting rapidly due to the HOTNESS!)

I wasn't a happy foodie after this food venture. I was quite surprised as I haven't had much bad experience with food carts before; I guess you win some and you lose some eh?

Owell; at least I had a yummy breakfast this morning when I made a Veggie bagel w/tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, fresh cracked pepper , and homemade cream cheese w/chives on a multi grain bagel YUM!

Have you experienced bad foodie adventures?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Food should taste good!

It's 11:00pm and it's still 80 degrees outside; I'm grumpy and I have the munchies! Luckily; I went grocery shopping for veggies and what not earlier, and I picked up a bag of these tasty little chips. These are my favorite; they're Gluten free Multigrain Tortilla Chips made with flax, sunflower and sesame seeds, quinoa, soy and brown rice, and YES they do taste good =)

Yummy in my tummy

There's nothing like a bottle of ice cold water to wash it down with, and plus it keeps me nice and cool; which makes me less grumpy. My freezer has about 4-5 frozen water bottles in it every day now; It's a must have for me lately since it's been so HOT! I am not a hot weather kind of gal... don't get me wrong; I do like sunshine just not triple digit weather that brings out the grumpy old man in me RAWR! (My apologies to all the grumpy old men out there)

Trusty o' thirst quencher and hot weather reliever

What are your favorite late night snacks and does hot weather make you cranky too? Or is it just me *sighs*

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hot Summer days...

Yesterday I was sheltered from the summer heat for half the day because I was at work; however I came home right smack dab in the middle of the day when it was at it's hottest. So what does one do when she is hot and no longer has central air? Pack up a couple of ice cold water bottles; and head on down to seek some natural cool air by the creek?!

The water drastically went down, but it's ok... it was just enough to cool off and hide from the Sun.

I chose to play hide and seek today with Mr. Sun; I hid under this gigantic tree. I don't think he found me; until I accidentally stepped out into his view.

Happy Monday everyone! Have a fantastic week and try to stay cool and drink plenty of H2O!

Tell me; how do you escape the dog days of Summer?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Guilty but oh so good...

As promised in my previous basil post; I made this lemon basil chicken pasta dish w/tomatoes for dinner last night. It turned out pretty delish I would say; No heavy cream or cheese for this one. Just a light and refreshing dish (well, minus the butter) I would of liked a little shaved Parmesan on top as well, but I was being lazy =)

I think tomatoes and sweet basil flavors mesh so well together ;)

I picked up a carton of ice cream the other day, and have been eating it religiously ever since (I know it's so bad!) Caramel Pecan is my favorite! I literally have to pry myself away *sighs*

What's your guilty pleasure food?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Why don't I grow some...

I have been so busy this Summer, and have not had the chance to grow any of my favorite veggies/herbs; however I did mange to grow some indoor sweet basil in a mason jar =) 

I will be using this in my lemon basil pasta dish for dinner tonight. I'll let you know how the results turn out (hopefully good)

Are you a green thumb? What do you love to grow in your garden?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Yummy Strawberries!

My auntie stopped by to bring us some fresh yummy strawberries from her farm. Ah... I love locally grown fruits and veggies; so I was super thrilled to see a giant bowl filled with strawberries. I don't think I can finish them all before they go bad and, I'd hate to freeze them; so instead... I think I'll put them on my face!


Did you know strawberries are excellent for face mask/cleanser? They're full of antioxidants and they have salicylic acid which is great for scrubbing off dead skin cells on the face. Here's a simple DIY strawberry face mask below:

5-10  organic strawberries w/their tops off and halved
3 spoonful of organic honey 

In a bowl; mash strawberries and add honey (don't mash too much or else it will be too runny) with a clean face just apply the mixture and leave on for 10-15 mins and then rinse off. Enjoy!

Ahh... I think I'll make some strawberry iced tea to go along with my strawberry face mask? My skin is in much need of some TLC from all the dry/hot weather we've been having. 

Best days are with family

Just got back from a family camping trip down by the beach, and I had a wonderful time just relaxing; enjoying my family's company; eating good food together; sharing lots of laughs and making memories together. There's something about the beach... Once I'm there; I never want to come back home to reality. 

The love called this a "Family Dollar" He meant to say "Sand Dollar" haha... That will go on the list of stupid, but cute things he says =)

Our last day; we went for a super early walk down by the beach. No matter how many times we come here; I never get tired of it. One of the places I can be free from the hectic city life and rush hour traffic; slow down the time and unwind. I love our beautiful beaches.

"Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts." =D