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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summertime Smoothie Series: Sunrise Smoothie

I found this particular smotthie quite refreshing.

Sunrise Smoothie:
8oz Orange Juice
1 C Strawberries
1/2 C Raspberries
1/4 C Peaches
1/2 C Pineapple

I used frozen fruit and it got to be a bit thick so I added a few tablespoons of water. For added nutrients and to get in a serving of vegetables, I added 1 C fresh Spinach and 1 heaping tablespoon of grated carrots. I also added 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder since this was my post workout treat. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summertime Smoothie Series: Pumpkin Pie

I've noticed my recipes have been a bit ordinary so I thought I would experiment a little. This one may need some tweaking to suit your taste but I thought it turned out pretty good.

Who says Pumpkin Pie should only be around during the holidays? It is my favorite pie so why not give it a whirl?

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:
8 Tbsp Canned Pumpkin*
1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice**
2 Tsp Sugar
8oz Milk
* If you use "Canned Pumpkin Pie Filling" you can omit the Pumpkin Pie Spice
** If you don't have "Pumpkin Pie Spice" you can mix a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, all spice for a similar taste.

This recipe isn't perfected yet but it is definitely a good start.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summertime Smoothie Series: Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana

I kind of feel like this recipe is an oldie but a goodie. I've never had a Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich and I don't know if I ever will but the combination works within the smoothie realm.

If the three ingredients together make you cringe a little, adjust it to your liking. Do Chocolate /Peanut Butter or Chocolate /Banana or  Peanut Butter/Banana.

Chocolate/Peanut Butter/Banana:
1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
1 Ripe Banana
8oz Dark Chocolate Almond Milk (or us regular milk)
**or you can use chocolate syrup or chocolate protein powder to achieve the chocolate flavor**

Drink up!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summertime Smoothie Series: Strawberry Banana

Sometimes keeping it simple is the best thing to do. This one is a tried and true recipe. Easy. Delicious.

Strawberry Banana:
3/4C Strawberries
1 Ripe Banana
1/2 tsp sugar (if the strawberries aren't quite ripe)
8oz Fat Free Milk (or water)

Next time I may add 4 oz of yogurt or some protein powder to make it just a little thicker.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I don't understand death. I know it is a real part of life but the "why" is never fully explained. It is a question that only God can answer. It is an answer only God can fully understand. 

Yesterday our Unit, City, State and Country lost a true hero. Colby was a fire fighter for Cal Fire and a Marine in the US Marine Corps. I can't say I knew him all that well but I am thankful I knew him. He was part of a family. Not just his wife and kids but the Fire Service family. A family that stretches across the state and across the country. A family structure that isn't always understood by people outside of the fire service.

I've had to shroud my badge many times in my (almost) 5 year career with Cal Fire. Too many times, in fact. But this time is different. This time I know the person, even if it isn't all that well. His will be the first department funeral I will attend, when the time comes.

My heart is so sad for his family and our Cal Fire family. It is a reminder that life is precious and we shouldn't take anything for granted.

New Cookie Cutters!

One person probably shouldn't be this excited about something as simple as Cookie Cutters. But.. I am!
I follow the blog of Sweet Sugarbelle. She is so inspiring and has great tutorials.I'm starting to get the hang of "flooding" cookies.It is time consuming so I can't do it as often as I'd like plus it has been so blasted HOT! Even an avid baker like me can't stand turning on the oven for an hour to make cookies.

Last week I was reading another blog I follow and it linked up to a website that sells cookie cutters. I decided to check them out and I fell in love. Big Time.

Depending on where you go, cookie cutters can range from $2-$4 or higher. A couple years ago I got a set of 101 cutters and it has every letter/number possible and a few shapes for each holiday. Sweet baking Supply has a few (ok, a lot) of different ones. And they are cheap!! I made a list of all of the ones I want. I will order some here and there until I have all of the ones I want.

I got the box in the mail yesterday and I was so excited. I opened it and found this:
They were wrapped neatly in tissue paper and sealed with their logo sticker. So cute. It felt like an extra special personal touch. The cutters themselves were tied in a simple bag with red and white stripe string.


I can't wait to start making cookies with them. This round I got a Puzzle Piece, Elephant, Lab Dog, Potted Flower, Cherries, Strawberry, Bee, and Ice Cream Cone. The site also has every color of sprinkle you could ever want so I ordered a bottle just to see how much you actually get. It is a little bigger than the bottle of sprinkles you can purchase in the grocery store but a lot less expensive. I think they were around $1.35- $1.50.

Now, if the weather would only cooperate, I could actually use these things.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Celebrating Two Years: Part 2

For dinner Jared decided we would go to Troy's. A Greek restaurant in the Allied Gardens area. We had our favorite appetizer of "Soggy Nachos" (the real name is Saganaki)

Fresh Pita bread and sizzling hot cheese...oh so good

We enjoyed Gyros, Rice Pilaf, Chicken and Beef too. I love that place.

Since Jared and I each planned half the day, he was in charge of planning something after dinner.
Jared hasn't had the greatest track record when it comes to planning stuff. He's not a planner by nature so it really means a lot when he plans something. Unfortunately things just happen when he does. He planned an outing to Balboa Park for Valentine's Day, it rained. He planned a trip to the zoo, he got a flat tire. This time... he planned a bon fire and smore's on the beach after dinner.

He may or may not have forgotten a blanket to sit on and skewers to roast the marshmallows on. Oops. We stopped by the store to get the ingredients for dessert and we were certain we would find a couple beach towel and metal skewers.It is summer after all and those are staples for just about anyone , right? We struck out at Vons but we just knew Rite Aid would have what we needed. We did one lap and found nothing. We split up and searched every aisle. Nothing. We finally settled on wooden skewers and Jared promised to hold mine so I wouldn't catch on fire. There were no beach towels or blankets anywhere in site so we settle on a couple of $10 beach chairs. If I hadn't been wearing a dress, we would've just plopped down on the sand.
45 minutes later we were on our way to the beach. When we got there we found there were no fire pits available. We saw one from a distance so we high tailed it over there only to be beat out by a couple of guys that were about 50 yards ahead of us. Darn it.

Dessert plans set aside, we walked along the boardwalk for a while and stood by the jetty. It was the same place we went after our first dinner date. I was still in the mood for dessert so we walked through Belmont Park and found an ice cream shop. The lady scooping  ice cream was quite generous with the servings. I kid you not, we each got about 4 large scoops. We could have  shared one. regardless, it was delicious.

We couldn't help but laugh about the fact that when Jared plans, something goes wrong.
On Saturday we did a bit of a do-over date at my place. We made dinner, watched a movie and made ghetto smore's.. aka roasting marshmallows over a candle.

They weren't fancy and they weren't on the beach over a bon fire but boy did they taste good! We decided next year we are just going to stay home and chill.
Happy Anniversary Jared. Thank You for everything you have brought to my life. I love you!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Celebrating Two Years: Part 1

On July 1st Jared and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary. Two years... wow. Where has the time gone? We decided to split up the planning responsibility so I planned the first half of the day and did the last half.
I wanted to plan something I knew he would really like.

Much to my dismay elation, there have been an abundance of comic book movie that have come out this summer. Thor, The Green Lantern, X-Men First Class, and soon Captain America. We've seen the first two and I knew Jared wanted to see X-Men so I looked up show times and we went. I will be honest, I didn't love it as much as I did the first ones. I was confused on who was who. What is it with doing the prequel after the other movies? For those of us that don't follow comic books, it is a little frustrating. Oh well. I am sure I will watch it again some day... 20 years from now.

After the movie we headed to the Birch Aquarium. Jared has always enjoyed the aquariums at Sea World so I knew he would like this. I thought the place would be bigger but we enjoyed ourselves. We saw a lot of strange things like:

Rock Fish

Entirely too many types of jelly fish...

An Octopus:
It is in the top Left corner

Leopard Sharks and a Giant Sea Bass:

And some really beautiful aquariums and tide pools:

 We also had a great view of the ocean:

We were only there a couple of hours but we definitely had a good time!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Reptile Show

You know you really love someone when you go to a place that hold your worst nightmare withing its four walls. I don't like reptiles. Especially snakes. They scare me and creep me out. Unfortunately I have a boyfriend that really likes reptiles. Joy.

A couple weeks ago the "Reptile Super Show" was in town.. exciting, right?...

I knew Jared would want to go so in an attempt to be a good girlfriend, I told him about it. Surprise of all surprises... he wanted to go.

So, we went.

I did find this ginormous Iguana kind of facinating. Simply because of its size. I couldn't tell it was real at first. Then it moved.

Rest assure I did not get as close as this picture seems. Thank you Lord for zoom.

I stood well back while Jared investigated the many many many MANY (too many!!!) species of snakes they had on hand.

I didn't even bother going down this aisle. Talk about my worst nightmare...
Yeah, those are all snakes. That's not ok.
I didn't want Jared to rush through the show on my account so I hung back near these guys so Jared could take his time looking around.

If you can't tell, that's a tortoise of some kind.

It wasn't all bad. Aside from the hundreds of snakes and huge spiders, There were a few things that were sorts of  cool to see.
Like this:
And these little guys (so cute!)

Jared had a great time to it was well worth the couple hours of torture reptiles. If I had the chance, I would do it all over again simply because I love him.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tuscan Garlic Chicken

I made this last week for Jared and I. He's not a fan of bell peppers (weirdo) but he just picked them out and went on about the business of eating. I cheated a little bit with the one I made so I will post my version for you.

Original Recipe can be found here.

Here's my re-vamped recipe:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 4-5 cloves)
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips or chopped
6 ounces fresh spinach
1 Jar pre-made Alfredo Sauce (I used Classico Foiur Cheese Alfredo)
3 TBsp Milk
1 pound fettuccine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a shallow pie plate or similar dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Dip each chicken piece in the flour mixture until both sides are well coated.

In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Carefully place the chicken breasts in the pan, cooking them for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden and browned but not cooked all the way through.
Place chicken on a foil-lined, lightly greased baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. I let it sit for about 5minutes then cute the chicken into pieces. It was easier to eat that way.

While the chicken is cooking, heat a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles, cooking until al dente. Also, wipe out the skillet with a couple paper towels and return it to medium heat, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and bell pepper, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.

Add Jar of Alfredo sauce to the garlic/peppers skillet and stir. Slowly add the milk. Add more milk if you want the sauce to be slightly thinner. Add the Spinach and let it simmer about 5 minutes, stirring often so it doesn't curdle.

Drain the past and return it to the pot. Drizzle with olive oil so it doesn't stick together
Top with breaded chicken the douse with sauce. Enjoy!

Summertime Smoothie Series: Strawberry Lemonade

The word "Lemonade" exudes Summer. An even better version? Strawberry Lemonade.
My mouth is watering already.

1/2 Tsp lemon Zest
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
8 oz Lemon Yogurt (Fat Free)
3/4 C Strawberries
6 oz Water (or fat free milk)

Garnish with a whole strawberry and bendy straw and enjoy out on the front porch while watching the kiddles swim.