Saturday, October 31, 2009

Today's Special: Nov. 1-7th

Holy crap it's November! Here's the menu for this week...

Sunday: Chinese Pork & Vegetable Hot Pot- New Recipe

Monday: Steak & Blue Cheese Pizza- New Recipe

Tuesday: Spinach & Four Cheese Manicotti (or Stuffed Shells)- Uses the leftover spaghetti sauce from last week. I use giant shells instead of manicotti because they're much easier to work with.

Wednesday: Sauerkraut Chowder - Try this I swear it's really good!

Thursday: Leftovers

Weekend: Shrimp Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dry Cleaners

Is it just me or is the dry cleaners a little scary? I mean you go in there with what I would assume are some of your best clothes. You drop them off in a lump amidst the piles of other clothes and then leave, possibly to never see them again.

Who even knows how dry cleaning works anyway? They probably just scrape any chunky bits off with a fingernail, spray the rest of the item with Febreze, steam press and wha la... Dry cleaned!

And the whole atmosphere of the dry cleaners is a little creepy. I mean, there's all these clothes hanging up, covered in bags and they fill the entire place. They kind of remind me of that scene in one of the Freddy Krueger movies where the bloody dead chick drags herself down the school hall in a body bag. Gross.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Today's Special: Oct. 25-31st

First of all I just wanted to mention that a lot of the new recipes I tried last week were awesome. They were all healthy, but also some of the best recipes I've tried for a while. And I don't mean they were good healthy tasting... I mean really good as in "tastes like regular awesome food" good. Also, so incredibly easy to make. Those Summer Vegetable Crepes rocked and the Vegetarian Reubens were also surprisingly really really good. Oh! That Gnocchi almost made me pass out! So so good. I must have just had a really lucky week with the new recipes. It takes a lot for something to make it into my "regular recipe rotation" but I'm telling you, all 3 of those recipes are in. The Chilaquiles Casserole was just ok.... good, but didn't rock my world like the other stuff did. I highly recommend browsing the and especially the websites. I've found tons of new recipes from there and have not been disappointed.

Onto this week.. (Santa Maria Tri-Tip Roast & gyro meat from Snider's Family Meats)

Sunday: Santa Maria Tri-Tip Roast with Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Veggies

Monday: Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Tuesday: Salmon Chowder

Wednesday:  Jo Mama's World Famous Spaghetti

Thursday: Leftovers

Weekend: Bean & Cheese Enchiladas

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sexyterra is Mine!

You guys are never gonna believe this juicy new bit of information...

I'm a car owner! Yup that's right. Last night using my bonus from work, Seth and I finally paid off Sexyterra (the Nissan Xterra for all the laypeople). In all my years of driving, I've never had a car that didn't have a payment attached to it. It feels awesome! Paying off things is so much fun.

Oh and don't you worry. I made sure I spent some of my bonus money on something other than bills. We needed some new sheets so I found these babies (the "seaglass" ones) on 1500 thread count?! I had no idea they went that high. The ones we have now are 1200 and they've lasted forever, so I figure these new sheets are a sound investment. Right? Plus they're so cute.

And on one other completely unrelated note... I do my hair nice everyday. Today I threw my hair into a ponytail. Not two seconds after I walked into the building this lady exclaimed how 'adorable' my hair was. WTF?! The 2 times I've actually worn my hair in a ponytail to work I've gotten compliments on how cute it is.  I'm never doing my hair ever again. In fact, I think I'm going to start wearing baggy sweatpants, grubby oversized stained t-shirts, and fuzzy bunny slippers. Because they're way more adorable than my regular clothes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Today's Special: Oct. 18-24th

Sunday: Garden Tomato and Basil Pesto Pizza- New Recipe. Really good and super easy. Also, I got a great tip recently on how to get good tasting tomatoes from the grocery store. Buy the smaller varieties (i.e. cherry or grape tomatoes) because they let those kinds ripen more before they're picked. They are a bit more expensive and they don't last near as long, but they taste much better. Also, don't store tomatoes in the fridge, it kills their flavor.

Monday: Vegetarian Reubens with Russian Dressing -New Recipe

Tuesday: Summer Vegetable Crepes- New Recipe

Wednesday: Linguine with Basil Pesto Sauce (Uses leftover pesto from pizza on Sunday)

Thursday: Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter -New Recipe

Weekend: Chilaquiles Casserole -New Recipe

Hidden Talents

When I was a kid I had a hidden talent. This talent didn't come in handy very often and wasn't necessarily particularly useful, but it was a talent nonetheless.

I had the natural ability to spot a 7-eleven. Anywhere. Sure came in handy when I needed a Slurpee.

Don't hide your talents under a bushel. Let them shine.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Punk Ins

I'm really beginning to like Seth's Fridays off. Two weeks ago I was surprised by some kayaks. This weekend it was pumpkins! He went and picked out a couple of pumpkins for us to carve, so I thought I'd show you the results. Of course he picked out a really good big one for me. He knows me too well.

This one is mine...

This is Seth's... his looks cool with the lights off.

Gracie was watching us set up the pumpkins


I know I've already done a post on my fitness progress, but I wanted to do another one... this time with pictures. I took some 'before' pictures on May 11th of this year and took some pictures today so I could compare them. To date I've lost 11.5 pounds, 5" on my waist, 4" on my stomach and at least an inch everywhere else. I don't know that anybody can really tell but me. Also, after posting these pictures of myself on here, I've gained a new respect for others whom I've seen do the same. It doesn't ever seem like that big of a deal until it's YOU. By the way, I hate the 'before' pictures. A lot.





One last thing I wanted to share that has helped my progress is actually tracking what I eat. I always thought this was a huge waste of time. Just eat healthy stuff and you'll be fine, right? Well, I started tracking what I eat (I use SparkPeople) and I was astonished at how many calories I was eating. I swear I eat healthy stuff and try to be really good and I still have a hard time staying within my daily calorie allotment. No wonder I'd gained so much! I figured out that my body normally burns about 1700 calories a day. So I'd have to stick to that number just to stay where I'm at! I've been trying to stay a little below that and throw in some exercise to burn extra, but it's tough! Do you realize it takes a deficit of 3500 calories to lose a pound?! No wonder it takes so damn long to lose all this flab!

Anyway, I hope you all aren't getting annoyed with all my blah blah blah about fitness crap and running and other such things. I write this stuff because it's important to me and it's a way to keep myself motivated. That, and I think Seth is going to lose it if I talk about my awesome new muscles one more time...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Flaming Navajo Tacos

This past weekend was our last camping trip of the year (well, as far as we know). The Navajos invited us down to Flaming Gorge for a couple days of fishing and freezing our butts off. We figured, hey, why not?

It took us about 4 hours to drive to the camping spot Friday night so we got there pretty late. There wasn't much time to do anything but set up the tent in the dark and go to bed. Neither Seth nor I slept very well that night... our sleeping bags are getting kind of hammered and the zippers don't work very well for keeping the drafts out. Also, just as a tip, those little disposable hand warmers take a good half hour or more to heat up, so plan ahead.

The next morning proved much better as we started the day with a nice breakfast of pancakes and sausage. Seth and I went over to check out the fly fishing situation on the Little Hole section of the Green River while The Navajos (consisting of Ramona, Gabe, and Gabe's brother's wife's younger brother, Jerry. He was a very nice young man.) went to check out Flaming Gorge.

Sadly, Seth and I didn't do so hot. I got skunked.... which seems to be a trend lately, and Seth caught one and lost another one or two. However, we did have a delicious lunch of Asian Chicken Roll-ups. I highly suggest using tortillas instead of bread whilst camping. Anyway, the river was very beautiful and we had fun fishing anyway.

We got a little lost on our way back to camp (we were distracted by a gigantic pair of binoculars, missed a turn, and started heading to Wyoming...) but finally made it back about an hour late. Dinner that night was a combined effort and consisted of delicious authentic Navajo Tacos. Having Navajo Tacos has become a tradition on our Flaming Gorge camping trips. I didn't get a picture of them this year, but here's some photos from 2007. Doesn't that fry bread look delicious? The key is to have a real Navajo make the fry bread ( you HAVE to use Bluebird brand flour) and you HAVE to use Hormel chili, otherwise, they won't be any good. And don't ask me for the fry bread recipe because there isn't one. You just know what it looks like. Which is why I've never personally made fry bread.

That night we took a tip from Jerry and heated up some rocks by the fire to put in our sleeping bags. We also made sure to give our hand warmers plenty of time to heat up. We did not get cold.

The next day we had another pancake and sausage breakfast and then we all headed over to the Gorge together to do some more fishing. We were all using "the bling" this time and did much better. For all of you fisher people out there, The Bling is the only lure that consistently works on lakes. Never caught fish on any other lure (silver and gold both work). Seth and I caught 6 Rainbows and the Navajos caught their fair share as well. Ramona caught the super fish of the day... a 21", 3 lb. Rainbow. It was huge! Of course Seth and I knew she'd caught a big one just from the whoops and hollers we heard from her as she landed it.

As usual we had a great time camping with the Navajos. They've become some of our favorite fishing buddies. I guess freezing your butt off on a camping trip isn't so bad after all.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Today's Special: Oct 11-17th

Here's your food. Or my food.

Sunday: Had a Mushroom Swiss Burger at Cruel Jack's outside of Rock Springs, WY. Pretty good. I think I'm addicted to Mushroom Burgers...

Monday: Fresh Baked Rainbow Trout with Rice Pilaf and Steamed Broccoli
For Fish: Just gut 'em and take the heads off. No need to fillet or take the skin off. Bake at 400 deg. , 20 min. for every inch of thickness (i.e. 40 min. for 2" thick trout).

Tuesday: Shrimp & Broccoli Stir-fry with Brown Rice New Recipe UPDATE: This was just so-so. Probably won't make it again.

Wednesday: Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash- New Recipe UPDATE: This was delicious, very easy and fancy looking.

Thursday: Sweet & Sour Beef Cabbage Soup- New Recipe UPDATE: This was good and out of the ordinary. I think Seth liked it more than I did. Good, not great.

Weekend: Mediterranean Tuna Panini- New Recipe- UPDATE: This was awesome! Highly recommended.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

How to Get Shot During Duck Season

On Friday evening when I got home from work, I pulled into the parking lot and was surprised to find our XTerra loaded up with two blue kayaks. I raced inside and found Seth in the office tying some flies. "You rented kayaks?! Wahoo!"

Back in June when we went on our backpacking trip, we originally rented some backpacks and gear from Weber State. When Annie said we could borrow hers, we did so, which left us with a credit at Weber State. Seth and I had talked about using the credit to rent kayaks, but never got around to it. Seth had the day off on Friday and as he was driving around he suddenly had the idea to go pick up some kayaks. And thus the adventure begins.

Our plan was to drive up to Logan on Saturday morning to Cutler Marsh. Apparently that was everybody else's plan too. Well all the duck hunters anyway. The parking lot was completely filled, and gun shots could be heard at a steady rate. Yes it was duck season, a fact which I would never have known and Seth had forgotten about.

Seth was a little wary about paddling around amongst a bunch of hidden gun-wielding hunters, but I assured him we'd be fine. I'd been eyeing this marsh for a long time and I wasn't about to let duck season ruin my plan. So, we shoved off the bank and started exploring the area.

I have to say the marsh wasn't quite as amazing as I thought it would be. I think the birds and such were all hiding out because we didn't see much in the way of wildlife. The water level was lower than it looked and we spent a lot of the time digging our paddles into the mud. Makes for a great workout.

At one point we were gliding along when I loudly said to Seth, "IS YOUR LUMBAR SUPPORT WORKING?" (we had air inflated kayak chair cushions and mine was broken). Seth looked at me and put his finger up to his lips in the classic "shh" position. I looked up ahead and saw a duck hunter's boat up on the bank covered in grass. I couldn't actually see any hunters, but I'm sure they wanted to shoot me. I kept quiet the rest of the time.

After about a half hour I asked Seth if he thought maybe we could pack up the kayaks and drive over to Causey Reservoir instead. We'd thought about going there the night before but ultimately chose the marsh. Seth agreed and we booked it back the car. You can only see so many tall clumps of grass, hear so many gun shots and paddle through so much mud. We've checked the Cutler Marsh off our list of places to see.

We took a bit of a scenic route over the mountains to get to Causey. It was a bumpy dirt road, but very beautiful with the fall leaves. The beauty of the leaves combined with the loud hum of the wind blowing into the hull of the kayaks was magnificent. Ok, maybe the loud hum of the kayaks wasn't so great, but we made it to Causey without going crazy.

It was a little bit windy at Causey which made me kind of nervous. Nothing like a healthy fear of potentially rolling your kayak in deep cold water to keep you alert. But, after we got in and paddled up into one of the channels, it wasn't too bad. Causey was definitely a better choice for kayaking. It was incredibly beautiful and the lake was almost deserted. And our risk of getting shot was greatly decreased.

We paddled all the way up to the end of the middle finger of the reservoir and beached the kayaks. Seth jumped out of his boat and immediately sunk knee deep into the soft mud. He ran up to solid ground as fast as he could, but not before getting extremely dirty. Being the gentlman he is, he pulled my kayak way up onto the shore so I wouldn't get all muddy.

Now there was a little stream coming into the reservoir where we stopped and while Seth was running around in the mud he noticed a bright red salmon in the stream. As soon as he helped me out of my kayak, we slowly walked up the river looking for more. We found one other small salmon in addition to the larger one that Seth found. This was the first time I'd seen salmon during the spawning season and I couldn't believe how amazing they looked.

After I got back into my kayak and Seth pushed me off into the water, I sat at the mouth of the stream and waited. While Seth was getting into his kayak, I noticed one more large salmon trying to swim upstream into the little inlet. The water got a bit shallow so he was flopping around trying to get up into deeper water. It was really cool.

Our rental time was just about up by this point so we decided to head back to the car. I think it worked out about right because my shoulders and arms were pretty worn out from paddling all day. We had a really fun time and at $26 for a full day of kayaking, it was a cheap exciting adventure. I'm sure we'll do it again soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Today's Special: October 4-10th

I had to plan the meals early this week because we were all out of food. Now you reap the benefits.

Sunday: Asparagus & Chicken Carbonara This was a new recipe I got from Cooking Light. It calls for egg substitute but I don't ever use that stuff, so I just used 2 large eggs. I really liked this.

Monday: Grilled Eggplant Panini This is from If you recall I made this recently using portabello mushrooms. I found eggplant so I'm making them again. Plus they were really really good and easy.

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Beef Stroganoff- We never get sick of the stroganoff around here. I always add mushrooms.

Thursday: Tortellini Spinach Soup- Incredibly fast and easy. One of my favorites.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Why I Run

*I've wanted to do this post for awhile and finally decided I needed to after reading a post from Seth's cousin, Ashley. I was going to write a comment on her blog but it would've been way too long, so I'll just link you to her blog here so you know where this all came from.

I've never been a runner. I've never been one of those people who loves to work out or who has to get out for their daily run. I've never been one of those long and lean girls who look like gazelles and are naturally suited to the sport. Running is one of those things that is very hard for me and always will be. Which is probably why I've always wanted to be good at it. I run because my body tells me I can't.

When I first started my job I noticed this guy, probably in his late fifties, walking around the plant with a walker. The building where I work is huge. There are a handful of people who are not able to walk very well for one reason or another and they typically drive around the plant on motorized scooters. Anyone else in this man's physical state would use a motorized scooter. But no. This man has MS and literally drags one foot in front of the other with each step, slowly moving from one place to the next. I've never seen such determination and strength.

Whenever I saw this man I would feel a huge wave of guilt. Why? Because here I was, young and healthy,  letting my body go to waste. I bet that man would give anything to have a healthy body and be able to walk around easily like everybody else, let alone run, and here I was, with the greatest gift ever and I was wasting it. I finally realized what an idiot I was. This healthy body could be taken from me at any time and what would I do then? Sit around and wish I could do all these things that I was perfectly capable of doing for so long, but chose not to out of laziness? All these years I'd taken my body for granted and it was time for that to stop. I have a wonderful gift and I'm going to make the most of it while I still can.

I'm sure that man has no idea who I am or how much impact he's had on me. But his example has changed me. I run now. I run because of him. I run because I can.