Thursday, July 28, 2011

Veggie Packed Jambalaya

After reading a gazillion blogs yesterday (a normal day) I came across a recipe for Jambalaya.  Usually when I think of jambalaya I think of this heavy rice dish which is super spicy, and has a mix of meats.  Call me strange but I don't like when one bite of food has pork, chicken and shrimp in it.  That's just me though.  After I made a few changes this is the recipe I came up with and I loved it! I considered calling it "quick" jambalaya BUT it took about a hour from start to finish...so you need to set aside a little time.  It is one of those dishes that you can't really leave the kitchen when it is cooking. 

Veggie Packed Jambalaya
(serves 4-6 or more)

Ingredients

4 chicken sausages, sliced (I used Aidell's Hanbanero and Green Chili's Chicken Sausage)
2 large red pepper, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 chicken broth

1 cup brown rice
3 cups water

Boil the water and add brown rice.  Cover and let boil for about 30 minutes or until the rice absorbs all of the water.

In a large skillet spray cooking spray of your choice (I used PAM because it is what I had in the pantry) and add sliced sausage to saute for 5-8 minutes.  Add chopped onion, red pepper and celery and let cook for another 10-15 minutes or until all vegetable are soft and onions are transparent.  Mix in chopped garlic and oregano and cook for about a minute.  Next, add in the fire roasted tomatoes and chicken broth.  Let simmer until most of the broth cooks away, probably about 10 minutes.  Turn off heat and add cooked rice. 

In recipes that I read it stated that you could add Tabasco or another hot sauce for taste but I don't think this needed it at all.  It had a spicy, smoky flavor and was the perfect blend of vegetables.  I will most definitely be making this again.

Sorry for no pictures....I am still getting used to this cooking and blogging about it thing! :-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

OLD(er than me) ;-)

Happy Happy Birthday Les!

Memories of our years as friends:

Lester/Armando
Keith Sweat Songs
Driving around Laurel with absolutely nothing to do
Spying on Naomi because she had a "real" relationship when we just had boyfriends :-) (Love you Nay!)
Being Roomies
College Visits
The Leslie/Amanda Summer
Hot Dogs
Face Planting in the Grass
PASTA PLUS (enjoy that today)

And so many more.......

Have an absolutely perfect day, with lots of cake and ice cream (and maybe some chips with ranch dip, chocolate milk and a few waffles with peanut butter) and hopefully a little bulldog puppy to call your own ;-)


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vin Disel Cooks?

I am addicted to The Next Food Network Star. 

Every Sunday at 9 pm I am perched on my couch ready to watch.  It is the perfect combination of everything I love:  Challenges, Drama, Cooking, Bobby Flay..... ;-)

My absolute favorite this year is:


Vic.  It may or may not be because he resembles Vin Disel.  The Food Network could use a little extra badass on the station.  I also LOVE that it would be an all italian, homestyle cooking show that he would start. 

My other fave is:

Susie.  She is from mexican decent and would love to start a show fancy-ing up the normal mexican dishes!

If you have never watched...start now! It is great! I never thought I would get so hooked. 

For a recap of the season thus far look no further than right here!

Dog Days of Summer

I feel like this explains how hot it has been the past week:


Don't get me wrong. I would MUCH rather it be hot than cold.  I will take 100 degrees over 20 degrees any day of the week.  But when the heat index is 121 degrees, you have to find creative ways of getting cool. 

This is my favorite:


In other news it's Tuesday and I am already looking forward to the weekend :-) That is pretty normal though.  It is a rare week when I am not planning for the weekend before Wednesday.

Friday, July 22, 2011

White Towel

I am throwing in the white towel and admitting to myself that I need help.....

WITH MY DOG :-(

He is too old to get by with just being cute.  He is not well trained.  He does not listen.  And he is just becoming plain annoying to those who are around him.  I don't know what to do. And that is why I am enlisting the help of others.  I MUST be positive. I MUST be serious.  And I MUST get him trained. 

Any and all suggestions are always welcome. 

What are you talking about? I did not just try to eat a bottle of allergy medicine, your favorite flip flop or any dryer sheet I can get my paws on?!?!

On a better topic today is FRIDAY! This weekend we get to celebrate not one, but TWO birthdays.  I know a lot of people who were born in July...atleast 8.  Three out of my Four girls have birthdays this month. That is pretty crazy! We are splitting our saturday between Baltimore and DC, midaswell do a tour of maryland while we are at it ;-)

Tonight I plan on drinking a few of these:


While hiding from the heat (103 degrees today, woah).  Stay cool!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July Babies

Today is a double birthday day :-)

Happy Birthday to miss Colleen Jack DeClue....I will never get used to that! (secrect, I have yet to change her name in my phone, I am scared I will not answer if she calls because I will forget...just kidding, kinda).  I owe you happy hour one of these nights soon! Have a wonderful day (of teaching summer school and taking a final)! <3


Also...Happy Birthday to Kara!! I am jealous that you get to spend your summer birthday at the beach every year! As someone who spends a winter birthday in the snow I think that is a reasonable thing to be jealous of! Enjoy your orange crush (sub sprite and triple sec for club soda) and a beautiful bay sunset! xoxo




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Protein or Sugar??

There are a few foods in life that I believe people LOVE or want absolutely nothing to do with.  Three of the main ones, hands down, have to be yogurt, cottage cheese and oatmeal.  Personally I like all of them.  But I know many people who don't like any of them (it must be a texture thing). 

Lately I have been trying out new yogurts, because I know the ones I really love are probably filled with sugar and zero nutrition.  My favorite, that I am trying to ween myself off of is dannon light and fit (key lime is my flavor of choice): 

I have been trying to join the greek yogurt bandwagon but I just don't dig it like my delicious nonprotein-filled-sugary-goodness.  I have started trying to incorporate Stoneyfield:


It is from the same makes of Oikos Greek yogurt and it's organic (and I found it at wholefoods and it is much more expensive).  So I figure it SHOULD be more beneficial.  I haven't found that go to flavor yet...but I keep trying out new one's so I will hopefully get there.


Does anyone have a favorite yogurt brand? Suggestions are always welcome! :-)


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Love/Hate Relationship

Grocery Shopping...I love it and hate it at the exact same time.

I love going and picking out fresh produce.

I hate spending the money.

I love having all my dinners mapped out for the week so I can just grab what I need.

I hate when I am in aisle 23 and I forgot something in aisle 4.

I love finding things that are on sale that I need for the week.

I hate buying spices that I am out of (or need for a new recipie) and they are $8 a pop.

I love picking out a new cereal, especially if it is something that I have never tried before.

I hate waiting in line at the deli/bakery/seafood counters.

I love the self checkout (if I am there with someone to help me with bagging so it doesnt get all backed up).

I hate carrying the groceries in the house.

I love sorting through them and putting them all in their correct spots, getting rid of old stuff, etc. 


My mixed feeling led me to spend $124 last night (after saving about $30).  But I have 5 awesome dinners to make this week, veggie burgers everyday for lunch, and more fruits and veggies than anyone probably really needs for a week. 

My dinners include:

Monday: Steak Salads-nothing too fancy, just romaine, cucumber, red onion, roma tomatoes, green pepper, and whole grain crutons. 
Tuesday: Tilapia (on sale!) with brown rice and roasted broccoli
Wednesday: Curried Chicked Salad in Red Peppers and cous cous or corn.....
Thursday: Summer Veggie Lasagna
Friday: Chicken with a new to me make at home marinade, green beans and mashed red potatoes

The days may change but thats dinner for the week ;-)

Anyone have any good recipes to send my way??

I think I may be attempting to make pbfingers almond butter granola tonight!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Watch Out Drivers!

Random thought day...

I don't really have anything exciting to talk about, so I am just going to list some random thoughts that I have. 

1.)  Lately I have been having a bit of a listening issue with this guy:

He seems to think that he runs the show.  HOW DO I CHANGE THAT? He can sit, lay, stay (sometimes).  But omg, if he chews his leash one more time while we are walking I MAY lose my mind.  Please help :-(

2.)  Why oh why does the radio play the same 7 seven songs all summer long.  I know there has to be more songs out there...right? I am so tired of them all.  I find myself listening to old music or scratched cds that are laying around in my car.

3.) Ummm...on days when you have no time to go to the gym, why do you want to go so bad? And the days where you can go, it's a struggle to push yourself out of the door? I have started to play a game with myself to motivate (explain later). 

4.)  My favorite...where does money go? I swear, my the time it's payday I am amazed at the amount of money that can be spent on rent, groceries, GAS (ugh), and other random bills, student loans...etc. 


I need one of these in my backyard ;-)

5.)  I have been having a bit of a career identity crisis lately...I know, you don't have to do what your degree is in...but I atleast want to make use of the time/effort/money all spend in my years at UMBC.  Why did I read 5168432 novels if I am never going to use those skills again? I am working on this...

6.) Last, but not least....why does iced tea always taste better at a restaurant than it does from home? I just don't know how to brew it like they do.  In a restaurant I can drink like 5 glasses while I eat lunch (addiction) but at home I can barely choke down my tea concotion. Help?! Any suggestions?


Here's a special shout out to my sis! CONGRATULATIONS on getting your learners permit!!  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I didn't forget!

Yesterday was one of my faves birthdays! Nici and I met about 5 years ago and became even better friends after working together for 2 of them. My favorite thing about this girl us that she always, no matter who you are, will tell you exactly how it is. She is kind and will do anything to help others out . And it is SO wonderful to see her so happy on her birthday!



So happy birthday, blog style (a day late). You would never expect anything less (since we can depend we will both be atleast 30 min late to any event we attend). <3 you!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Crazy Girl

This has become my new favorite song at the moment.  I think that it is pretty accurate of a relationship fight.

Example:

Boy: (Yelling) I am so mad at you.
Girl: (crying)

Girl to Girlfriend: I think this boy doesn't like me anymore.
Girlfriend: It's ok, we will go out tonight, and have fun. Then he will know what he is missing.

(Phone Rings)

Boy: Let's talk, I shouldn't have yelled. Don't be crazy.  I still love you. I was just mad.

I mean we all know in most scenarios girls are always right. right?!? ;-)

I love crockpots almost as much as the weekend

This weekend I plan on doing as much NOTHING as humanly possible.

This morning started off like every friday morning, I hit snooze 3 times.  Then I remembered that I have 3 extra things to do before leaving for work (snooze was a bad idea)...needless to say I was slightly late. But thankfully traffic was nonexistent so my normal LONG drive was about 10 minutes shorter more reasonable (a nice little start to the weekend). 

Today I promised Brent pulled pork for dinner.  I attribute his addiction to it to our trip to Florida and Christime's amazing pulled pork that she made.  I believe it was the size of my head before she started. I will not be making that much since it is just for the two of us.  And I talked him in to letting me make roasted broccoli as the side (and baked beans).  What a delicious summer meal. 

I want to add the picture of Christine
and I holding the pork together,
But my computer is not working
correctly (SHOCKER).  I will add
it in this space later for you to enjoy!

My recipie for it was so easy...

1.5 lbs. pork loin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large onion
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 cup light beer

Cook in crockpot for 8-9 hours on low.  This is why I love crockpots. 

Other than pulled pork sammys, my only other plans this weekend are do normal errands that I have put off for weeks, go see my little sisters swim meet, and hopefully lounge at the pool. All easy stuff!  Oh, and sleep in!

Quote of the day:

"I think our friday night is going to consist of going for a short jog and then hitting up the grocery store? LOL, POSS DATELINE, NOT SURE IF WE WILL HAVE ENOUGH TIME." -Ms. Shrout

And this my friends, is the perfect friday night after many weeks months of absolute craziness!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mood Nose Dive

This morning I woke up in a great mood! It is friday eve, I get to see a bestie tonight and I wore jeans to work today. 

Then I got in the car...and this song came on: 


I love this song. But for some reason this morning the tears started flowing.  It's always so weird to me the times that things start bothering me.  I guess that while sitting in traffic in the morning I do a lot of thinking and that is why songs can make me so emotional.  I think this is a song that anyone who has lost a grandparent (or anyone clase to them really) can relate to. 

Then, once I got over my sob fest (and made sure there was no make up running down my face) I noticed this weird shaped yellow light on my dash.  Oh, yea NBD, thats just the CHECK ENGINE LIGHT. Ugh.  What a morning and I havent even started anything for work yet.  I am going to take the baby in to get an oil change tonight and see if they can give me any advice (without charging me $5000).  Please with me luck!


Mine may or may not be missing a front hubcap?!

The dreaded light


I would appreciate any car knowledge that you would like to pass along :-)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cupid Shuffle Day

I LOVE that the local radio station that I listen to at work plays cupid shuffle around 8am every friday morning! It just puts you in the mood for the weekend!

This weekend is a LOOOONNNGGG one and I am super excited!

I plan on wearing this all weekend long:

Just Kidding :-) But it would be awesome!

Plans for the weekend:
  1. Relaxing Friday night, hopefully sit outside, have a few summery drinks on a patio somewhere.
  2. Go HIKING...I am super excited about this.  I will probably be less excited after the fact when I am covered in bug bites.  I haven't been hiking since I was like...10 maybe?!?
  3. Take Jaks to get a PAWdicure. 
  4. Cookout with some of my favorite girls, and the boyfriends!!!
  5. See our Floridians again (twice in a month?!?)
  6. Watch FIREWORKS
  7. Be more exhausted going back to work on tuesday than I am right now...(hopefully not, hopefully I can plan some sleeping in too).
What is your favorite thing to do to celebrate the 4th??

Happy long weekend to everyone!