Wednesday, April 23, 2014

141.4…Taco Tuesdays

I'm thinking about instituting Taco Tuesdays. We had leftover chicken tacos last night and they were a huge hit. All leftovers too!

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Chicken tacos from this past weekend along with Creamy Cole Slaw and Mexican Bean Salad.

The kids went back to school today. As much as I like a little peace and quiet around the house, I don't like the early mornings. :(

Breakfast was scrambled egg beaters with chicken sausage, salsa, cheddar cheese and cilantro.

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The chicken sausage was leftover from our barbecue this past weekend. That was the last of it…too bad…it's really good in the eggs!

After dropping the kids off at school, I went to a PTO meeting, followed by my hair appointment. Lunch was at Luna Grill.

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I ran some errands and now I'm home. I guess the homework has to start again too. Ugh.

Do you do Taco Tuesdays? Meatless Mondays, etc.?

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

141.0…Pizza Hype

Last night, we finally made it to Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria in Encinitas for dinner. We had tried going awhile back with Joe & Alicia but the wait was too long. We had heard so many good things about it. We got there super early for dinner and got a table just in time before a line formed outside. 

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My husband and I split the LIttle Gems Caesar Salad (with garlicky bread crumbs & parmigiano reggiano) to start:

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It wasn't the best Caesar salad but it was good. 

I was most excited to dig into the pizzas! The four of us ordered four different pizzas to try. I chose the "Red Oak" (tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, San Daniele Proscuitto and arugula):

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It was good but I felt the arugula needed to be tossed in a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was missing something.

Alicia chose the "Classic" (tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, fennel sausage and crimini mushrooms):

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This one was probably the best of the ones we chose. 

My husband chose the "Blue Ribbon - Extra Blue Ribbon" (with cherry tomatoes and parmigiano reggiano):

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This was the only one my husband would eat (picky eater) so I didn't try this one. Wouldn't want to steal pizza from him. :)

Joe chose the "Signature" (lemon EVOO, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, parmigiano reggiano, lemon zest, red onion and basil):

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This one had a unique flavor which I enjoyed. Overall, I liked each pizza but I couldn't quite understand all the hype. I think Alicia and Joe made better pizzas when I was over there for dinner last time

Here's where Blue Ribbon redeemed themselves: dessert. I had heard many wonderful things about their Butterscotch Pudding (with sea salted caramel & fresh whipped cream):

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This definitely lived up to the hype. It was incredible. I would go there just for the butterscotch pudding. Delish!

Breakfast this morning was scrambled egg beaters with chicken sausage, salsa, cheddar cheese and parsley. 

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I took Arnold in to get spayed. Poor girl. She's going to have to have a cone around her head for two weeks. 

I went to the gym and came home. Today is the last day of spring break for the kids so I'm trying to get the house cleaned up a bit before all the madness starts again.

Lunch was a repeat of yesterday. I can't help it….it's so good and filling! Tuna salad, veggies, ranch dressing and Mexican Bean Salad.

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When was the last time a restaurant didn't live up to it's hype for you?

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Monday, April 21, 2014

141.4…Cooking Up Some Favorites

I've been cooking up some of my favorite recipes over the past few days. It started Saturday night when I whipped up my favorite salmon recipe: Amazing Salmon

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Alongside the salmon, I steamed some broccoli and cooked up some orzo pasta mixed with a wedge of herb cheese. Brilliant!

Breakfast yesterday morning was scrambled egg beaters with salsa, parsley and cheddar cheese. 

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Then it was time to get ready for some friends to come over for a barbecue! I made My Favorite Guacamole. It was a pretty good batch. I really upped the spice factor on it. 

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Lunch was grilled hot dogs with Creamy Cole Slaw and Mexican Bean Salad. 

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Those are two of my favorite salads ever and I love them together.  The kids swam (Arnold too!) and we just hung out. DInner time rolled around and I fired up the grill again. This time it was chicken tacos to go along with the two salads. 

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These chicken tacos are my favorite thing to barbecue. I buy pollo asado add it to some corn tortillas and top with chopped white onions, cilantro, lime juice and Cholula hot sauce. Best tacos ever.

Dessert was brownies (Ghiradelli mix) and Rice Krispy treats. I was full and happy.

Breakfast this morning was pineapple Chobani yogurt, Applesauce Granola, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. 

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I went to the gym and came home. The kids are still on Spring Break until Wednesday. I'm enjoying it while it lasts. 

Lunch was tuna salad, veggies, ranch dressing and Mexican Bean Salad. 

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Both salads keep very well for a few days. 

Is there a favorite recipe(s) of yours that you've made countless times?

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

140.8…Trying To Behave

We took the kids to decorate Easter eggs at our club last night. They had tons of pizza for the kids. I have a very little control around pizza. Somehow I managed to have only one piece. 

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I decided to order my own salad which also helped.

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This morning's breakfast was Honey Nut Cheerios.

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We took Arnold to puppy class then came home for a bit. Lunch was at Souplantation before my son's basketball game.

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Souplantation has this pizza bread that I think is amazing. Again, I behaved myself mostly…I only had one piece. 

My son won his basketball game. Yeah!!!! Tonight we have nothing on the agenda. I think I'll do some relaxing and baking. Enjoy your weekend!

What food do you have a hard time behaving yourself around?

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Friday, April 18, 2014

142.2…Fresh Herb Ranch Dip

The final recipe from my son's party last weekend that I want to share with you is Fresh Herb Ranch Dip. I served it with veggies and it was a nice, fresh change from the powdered ranch dip mix that we normally use. 

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Fresh Herb Ranch Dip (Makes 3 cups)

Recipe courtesy Diane Phillips 

Ingredients:

2 cups sour cream

1/2 cup buttermilk

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

2 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano

1 1/2 chopped fresh tarragon

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest

Directions:

1. In a medium-size bowl, stir together the sour cream and buttermilk. Add the herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon zest and stir to blend.

*At this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 5 days to let the flavors develop.

2. Stir the dip before serving with crudités. 

Printable Recipe

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Wednesday we celebrated my son's 9th birthday by taking him and a couple of friends on a hike at Torrey Pines, followed by dinner at PF Chang's, his favorite restaurant. My meal started with a cup of Egg Drop Soup:

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Followed by lettuce wraps:

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My husband and I shared Dan Dan Noodles:

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And I enjoyed the Moo Goo Gai Pan:

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Yesterday's breakfast was a Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich with a little ketchup.

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I went to the gym for an hour then ran a couple of errands. Lunch was tuna salad, veggies and ranch dressing. 

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My sister and law and her kids came over for a bit. Then it was off to my son's basketball practice. Dinner was at Sammy's Woodfired Pizza. My husband and I shared our favorite salad, Original Chopped Chicken.

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I had the Tomato Basil Soup as well.

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Last night my husband and I finally finished the "Breaking Bad" series. I can't believe I don't have another episode to watch! We really enjoyed it.

Breakfast this morning was scrambled egg beaters, salsa and pepper jack cheese.

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I went to Cardio Muscle class, an errand, then home for lunch. Same as yesterday:

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Did you watch "Breaking Bad"? What should we watch next?

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

142.6…A Re-Gifting Party!

It was off to Lisa's house last night for Bunco! Lauren hosted it, just at Lisa's house. 

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I OD'd on pita chips and white bean hummus. 

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All the ladies:

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Lauren made a delicious (and healthy!) dinner complete with chicken, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes and salad.

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Her desserts were awesome too!

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*Brownies courtesy of Lisa.

This wasn't just any Bunco. Lauren requested that everyone bring one or two home or accessory items from home that you don't want anymore and "regift" them. We did a gift exchange similar to the one we do at Christmas and it was SO fun! 

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I ended up with a beautiful glass bowl for my kitchen, courtesy of Cathi. 

Thank you Lauren (and Lisa!) for a fabulous evening!

Breakfast this morning was scrambled egg beaters with salsa and pepper jack cheese. 

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 The kids and I took Arnold for a walk. I was going to go to the gym but I thought the walk would be more fun. :)

Today is my son's 9th birthday! He gets to choose where we eat lunch and dinner today. Lunch was McDonald's of course.

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Tonight we are doing my son's normal birthday dinner routine: a hike and dinner at his favorite restaurant, PF Chang's! Happy Birthday to my little man!

By the way, the shirt I had on last night was from Stitchfix.com. You sign up and tell them your style, size, and budget preferences and they send you a box of clothing/accessories just for you. If you keep everything, you get 25% off it all or send back what you don't like. I recently received my first box and everything was pretty cute but I only decided to keep that shirt. It's hard to tell from the picture but it's black and sheer on the back. Anyway…I can't wait to see what comes next month! 

 

Are you a re-gifter? 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

142.8…Mock Boursin Cheese

One of the appetizers that I made for my son's birthday celebration this past weekend was Mock Boursin Cheese. I love how easy it was to put together (you can do it ahead!) and it tasted like the real deal!

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Mock Boursin Cheese (Makes about 1 1/2 cups)

Recipe from Diane Phillips 

Ingredients:

Three 4-ounce packages whipped cream cheese, softened

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. chopped fresh chives

2 tsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. In a medium-size bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add the remaining ingredients, stirring until they are incorporated. 

2. Turn the cheese onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a ball, or transfer to small ramekins and cover with plastic wrap.

*At this point, refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days to let the flavors develop, or freeze for up to 6 weeks. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature before serving.

Printable Recipe

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Last night we attended Passover dinner at a friend's house. It was such a nice evening. 

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There was so much attention to detail. Check out the flower arrangement in matzah. Love.

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The camera was put away for dinner but everything was delicious, I assure you.

Breakfast this morning was Honey Nut Cheerios again. I've been sleeping in a bit since the kids are on vacation so cereal seems to be a light meal to have right before working out. 

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After breakfast, I went to spin class, then headed over to Lisa's house for a special skincare focus group. We had breakfast (number two for me) and got to try a new cream that claims to reduce wrinkles (think Botox without the needles). 

Lisa made her delicious egg casserole.

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We answered some questions from the representatives there then put on the cream and waited 10 minutes before rinsing it off.

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Results are supposed to peak at about 8 hours so we'll have to see what happens!

Later on, I decided that I still needed lunch so I made a roast beef sandwich using the Mock Boursin Cheese. Delish!

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I'll be back at Lisa's tonight for Bunco! 

Is there a certain skin care product you couldn't live without?

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