Tuesday, May 31, 2011

142.6…Casseroles, Oh How I Love Thee

Today sure felt like a Monday, didn’t it!?! That’s the only thing hard about three day weekends….the day after. Boo!

I made a little breakfast burrito this morning for breakfast using Egg Beaters, shredded cheddar and a little salsa all wrapped in a tortilla. I cut up an apple as well.

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After I took the kids to school, I grabbed a latte at Starbucks and got some work done while I waiting for my cooking class to start.

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Today’s cooking class at Great News was entitled “One Dish Wonders” aka Casseroles.  I’m not going to lie. I LOVE casseroles. I love how you can make them ahead and then just pop them into the oven like they were no work at all.  And aren’t casseroles always so comforting when you eat them!?!

The first recipe was Chicken Noodle Casserole with Leeks and Fresh Dill:

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Love. Reminds me of the old school tuna casserole but SO much better. The fresh dill was a nice touch.

The second recipe was Chicken, Tomato and Green Chili Chilaquiles topped with Salsa Fresca and Sour Cream:

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I loved this!! There were strips of fried tortillas in it which melded with the chicken and cheese so well!

The next recipe was Spinach-Artichoke and Chicken Ravioli Lasagna with Creamy Tomato Sauce:

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I know the picture looks weird but this was delicious! Instead of lasagna noodles there were ravioli! Love that!

The next recipe was my favorite: Pork and Poblano Tamale Pie:

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LOVE. It was like having chili verde and cornbread all in one.

Dessert rocked my world: Strawberry Jam Bread Pudding with Whipped Cream and Fresh Strawberries:

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Now you know I love chocolate. You also know that I don’t really like fruity things. But this was unreal. It was like “dessert crack.” I couldn’t stop eating it. The bread that was used was Challah bread. I love Challah!

After I waddled out of class, I went to pick up the kids from school and take them to their first swimming class of the summer. They did great! Usually my daughter whines and complains but today was great!

Now it’s time to get dinner going. Tomorrow I am going to Los Angeles for a work party for my brother’s law firm. I’m not sure if I’m going to have time to blog so I’ll catch up with y’all later!

Do you have a love for casseroles? Any favorites?

Do you like bread pudding? I never tried it until a couple of years ago because it always looked like mush to me. Boy was I wrong!

Monday, May 30, 2011

143.0…Happy Memorial Day!

In honor of this special day, I thought I’d share a few more fighter jet pictures!

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It took me awhile to recover from my fighter jet experience. I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that I got to actually fly the plane as well. A few years ago, I was trying to get my pilot’s license and was flying a few different Cessna airplanes so I have a bit of experience flying planes. :) This jet handled pretty well and it actually made me feel better to have control over the plane and fly it myself.

When dinner time rolled around last night, I decided that Mexican food sounded good so hubby went to pick it up for me. :) I ordered a chicken and guacamole burrito from Los Primos.

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I didn’t quite have my normal appetite back so I only ate half. 

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I had a hard time sleeping last night. I kept thinking about my crazy day! I will be glad not to repeat it again.

Something exciting (besides the fighter jet flight) came out of yesterday.  While my husband and kids were at the pilot’s house waiting for me to fly by, they were able to get fresh eggs from the chickens that the pilot had at his house. I put those eggs to use this morning for breakfast.

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I fried them up in a little butter, salt and pepper and put them on toast. So Amazing. I forgot how good fried eggs were. :)

Forgot to mention that on the only day I was able to sleep in (in a LONG time), the phone rang at 5:45am. No one was there. UGH. So I got up and brewed some coffee and started the day.

I forgot how good lazy mornings were. We just sat around this morning in our pajamas doing nothing. Love. Finally it was time to get ready to go to our club’s Memorial Day barbecue!

We were able to score great seats! I also scored a great glass of wine!

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Happy!

Lunch was a delicious cheeseburger and onion rings.

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I actually only ate one onion ring. The cheeseburger had my heart today. :) After a few hours at the pool, we made our way home.

I really don’t see dinner in my future. I’m still full from the burger!

Back to real life tomorrow……

How do you like your eggs?

How did you celebrate your Memorial Day?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

144.4…I Flew A Fighter Jet!

Today I had an experience of a lifetime.
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I flew in a fighter jet!

It all started at a charity event that my husband and I attended back in March. We won the auction entitled “Fighter Pilot for the Day.” My husband graciously allowed me to be the pilot!

Well, the big day arrived today! We drove out to the French Valley Airport in Murrieta, California. I bought my husband and kids, my mom and dad, my mother in law and a whole entourage of friends, including Lisa who took a TON of photos….which hopefully I’ll have soon! For now you can see the photos my husband and I took.

The actual pilot and owner of the the Aero Vodochody L-29 Albatross jet fighter plane, Troy, arrived and spent about an hour giving me all the safety information and run down on the plane. After hearing about how to EJECT and how to work the emergency parachute, I already felt like barfing.

We made our way out to the plane, took a ton of pictures (I can’t wait to see them!) and then it was time to climb aboard! Troy strapped me in he climbed in and turned the engines on.
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View of the wing from inside the cockpit:
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Self portrait: “Oh Crap! Here we go!”
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We took off and immediately pulled 2 G’s to the left and circled back to do a low fly by over the runway for everyone to see. I could see everyone waving at me! We flew by them…the plane can do Mach .85 (about 540mph)!  This time we pulled 3 G’s and made our way out to his vineyard home in Fallbrook.
Here are some pics I took from the plane:
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At some point during the ground school, my husband, kids and mother in law drove out to the pilot’s home in Fallbrook so that we could do low fly bys past the house.

Now at this point, all the maneuvers started catching up with me. I was not feeling especially well. The next maneuver was another low fly by past the house. My husband got some great photos. Check me out on the approach….I’m a little dot over the mountains in the middle left:
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And back up I go:
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We did another pass over the house:
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And then I barfed.

Yep. I already had my bag ready in my lap. Apparently, Troy has had many men barf and/or black out but I was the FIRST woman to throw up. I am proud.

That was it for the maneuvers for me and I was ready for my flight to be over. We made our way back to the airport and after a safe landing, I was back on solid ground….barf bag and all!

My parents took me back to my house where I met my husband. We baked some Costco pizza in the oven and after a few slices, I felt a bit better! It seriously took a few hours before I felt better. I still feel “off.”
Before I forget….we kicked off Memorial Day weekend last night by turning the grill on and cooking up some chicken sausages, corn and baked beans:
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Breakfast was an English muffin with almond butter and and apple…..
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….which I saw again later….during my flight. :(

Flying in a fighter jet was on my “bucket list.” I’m so glad I had the opportunity to do it! It was an amazing experience but one I’d NEVER do again. Not even if it was free. :)

Stay tuned for more pictures once I get them!

Have you accomplished anything on your bucket list?

Have you grilled yet this weekend?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

143.8…The Final Run

Friday night calls for a glass of wine.

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Well, let’s get real. Every night calls for a glass of wine but yesterday was Friday so we’ll just go with that.

I made pizza for dinner using the Garlic & Herb pizza dough from Trader Joe’s. I topped it with sauce, mozzarella, red onions and herbs.

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I really liked the flavor of the crust! Until now I had just tried their plain version. This will be a repeat buy for sure.

I had two slices and a salad.

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I really wanted another glass of wine but I didn’t because I had to get up bright and early today for my last run with Team in Training.

I got up at 5:45am, got dressed, grabbed my running gear and a quick breakfast of toast with peanut butter and headed out the door.

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I met the team at Kit Carson park in Escondido. After a few announcements, we were on our way. Today’s run was harder for me than usual. The congestion from my cold was bothering me. I also knew that it was my last team run and I just wanted to get it done.

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Mile 1- 11:50

Mile 2 – 10:42

Mile 3 – 10:56

Mile 4 – 10:31

Mile 5- 11:03

Mile 6 – 10:19

Mile 7 – 10:33

Mile .48 – 5:06

After the run we all sat down to hear all the information we will need for race day. They had breakfast burritos for everyone so I grabbed one with eggs, potatoes and cheese.

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My half marathon is next Sunday. That blows my mind a bit. I know I can do it and am excited to cross the finish line. I have learned that I don’t love running but I don’t hate it either. I don’t plan on running another race until running becomes fun again. :)

I came home, showered and took the kids to Michaels. I need to decorate my shirt for race day so I bought some iron-on letters to put my name on my shirt.

When we came home I made a tuna sandwich with some pickles for lunch.

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Now I’m icing my knees and trying to relax a bit.

Tomorrow I will be doing something crazy. I will be crossing something off my bucket list. I’m not going to say what it is…it’s a surprise. Guess you’ll have to wait and see! :)

Do you have a favorite pizza dough?

Any ideas what I’m doing tomorrow? For those who know….be quiet! :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

143.2…Indecisive

I normally know what I want to eat. I’m usually not very indecisive about food. My husband would disagree. Last night I was not in the mood to cook and had no idea what I wanted for dinner. Usually in these cases I make pasta. But boiling the water for pasta sounded too difficult. I needed something easier. Enter the quesadilla.

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With a side of sour cream and salsa (added after the picture was taken because it’s messy looking) I felt happy again. So happy, in fact, that I made a second quesadilla after I had finished the first. I love me some bread and cheese!

Staying on the bread and cheese topic was breakfast. A breakfast sandwich on a sandwich thin with egg beaters, turkey slices and cheese. I had some strawberries on the side.

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I had planned on running 3 miles after I took the kids to school but I’m still not feeling 100% and didn’t want to push it. My race is next weekend and I don’t want to mess anything up!

Instead I came home to get the laundry started, the fish bowls clean (ick) and showered. On the way out the door, I grabbed a new Larabar flavor: Apple Pie.

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Loved this flavor!!!

I made my way back to my daughter’s school because I was a driver for their field trip to the library. After the field trip, I had 30 minutes before I had to be back at the school for pick up time. I raced over to Quiznos for a quick lunch. Turkey, ranch and Swiss sandwich:

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I got the regular size because I feel like their small size does nothing for me. I was pretty hungry today….the regular size didn’t really fill me up today either. I am an animal.

I picked up my daughter and came home. I want a glass of wine like nobody’s business but I have to pick up my son from a playdate so it will have to wait. Patience.

Tomorrow is my last run with Team in Training before my half marathon next Sunday. After our 8 mile run we will be giving all of the information we need for the race. I cannot believe the time is almost here!!

What do you cook when you are feeling indecisive?

What are you doing this holiday weekend?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

143.2…National Wine Day

Did you know that yesterday was National Wine Day? I hope you all celebrated properly! I did! Not only did I unveil my new blog design (do you like it??) on this very special day but I also partook in some wine as well. Duh!

My husband and I met a few friends for dinner last night at Pacifica Del Mar.

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I love this restaurant. The view of the ocean from their patio is beautiful and the food is usually very good. We sat outside and toasted National Wine Day!

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The table shared calamari:

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It was overcooked and tough. Boo. We also shared the Ahi Tuna Tartare:

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That was much better! I love tuna tartare. For my entree I ordered the Pan Roasted Seabass with Soy Glaze, Sticky Rice, Bok Choy and Green Coconut Curry Sauce.

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I’ve had this before and loved it. Today though, the fish was overcooked. :( The coconut curry sauce was excellent though. Dessert made up for all the overcooked fish.

Mocha Semifreddo with Toffee Bits:

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We each ordered a different dessert so we could share but I basically dominated this one. Delish!

Dina and I:

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After dinner, we walked across the street to the L’Auberge Del Mar Hotel for a drink.

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I think I was extremely successful in celebrating National Wine Day. Can’t wait for it next year! :)

The picture I took of breakfast was actually the second breakfast I made. The first breakfast I made was a Vans waffle with almond butter and the rest of the cantaloupe. Well….I think the waffle was really old because it turned hard hockey puck. The cantaloupe was old too…it tasted weird.

Entering breakfast number two:

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Egg Nutrigrain waffle with almond butter and an apple. :) I took the kids to school and went to Starbucks for a delicious skinny vanilla latte.

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I love you latte.

I had another cooking class at Great News. Two classes in one week! Today’s class was “Burgers and Sides.” You know I LOVE burgers!!

The first recipe was Teriyaki Beef Burger with Ginger Sauce and Asian Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Cilantro Dressing:

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Loved this! The Asian flavors in the burger were great! The pasta salad was excellent. It would be a great thing to take to a picnic or barbeque! I have a feeling I’ll be making it this summer!

The second set of recipes was Caesar Chicken Burger with Red Onion and Basil on Sourdough Rolls with Caesar Coleslaw with Tangy Caper Dressing:

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Another winner! The Caesar style dressing was incorporated into the ground chicken and the coleslaw.

Next up was BBQ Pork Burger with Cheddar Cheese and Shredded Lettuce with BBQ Pinto Bean Salad:

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This burger tasted like a pulled pork sandwich. Love! The salad was good too…loved the combination of beans, corn, tomatoes and avocado.

Lastly was Southwest Turkey Burger with Pepper Jack Cheese with Chipotle Potato Salad with Fresh Corn:

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This was also amazing! I loved the spicy turkey burger and the potato salad was fabulous with the fresh corn!

Now I have all sorts of new burger ideas for summer. The cool thing is that all these recipes are interchangeable in regards to what type of meat you use. Each one would work well with either beef, turkey or chicken.

After class, I picked up the kids from school and took them to their “Dog Smart” appointment. My son is about ready to “graduate” the class….he is doing so well! My daughter is coming along more slowly but we are getting there. Eventually we will get our own dog. I’m not sure how excited I am about that. The way I look at it, it will just be one more living thing I have to take care of. ;)

Hubby has to work tonight so I’m not sure what dinner will be. I don’t feel very inspired. We’ll see what I come up with. Don’t be disappointed if it’s cereal.

Did you celebrate National Wine Day?

What’s your burger of choice? Chicken, turkey, beef or something else? :)