Watch [LIVE]

2: watch [LIVE]

What movie did you see this year that you would recommend to a friend?

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

The movie was captivating in so many ways.  It highlighted the amazing world and culture of sushi.   Seeing well made, quality fresh fish prepared in the most delicate of ways made me reflect on what kind of sushi I eat, where it comes from and what sort of effort it takes to make it to my plate.  I never understood the delicacy of smoking fish, knife techniques or the subtlest of flavors imparted into each piece of fish.  Now I feel as though I understand it a little bit more.

Most importantly though, the film was about a man who strives every day for perfection at a job he absolutely loves.

Jiro: “Once you decide on your occupation… you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success… and is the key to being regarded honorably.”

That’s a life motto I would love to achieve.  That want and yearning to be better at what you do, to love what you do.  Although right now I cannot fully identify feeling that way about my work, I can identify with wanting to.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s available streaming on Netflix.  I promise you won’t regret it.

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Compose [CREATE]

1: compose [CREATE]

Write a haiku for 2012 (bonus: write one for 2013)

2012:

Full of promises

Washes over me with love

Still striving for it

2013:

Building two to one

Growing as a family

Finding what it means

Making It Work

Committing to getting healthy, that first step, can be the absolute hardest.  I’m the queen of tomorrow, Monday and later.  I can do anything tomorrow.  Tomorrow morning I’ll wake up and go to the gym, Monday I’ll start eating better, just let me get through this week and then I’ll focus.  I had those excuses and a million more.

Then yesterday, I declared that it was time.  That today is tomorrow, and Monday is not a special magic day for weight loss to begin.  So instead of waiting until tomorrow (which would technically be today), I logged my food and dragged myself to the gym last night after work.  (Only done after a HUGE internal debate about the fact that I could always go tomorrow morning (today)).

A sweet note from Dan helped my mood and motivation.

Of course, as it always goes, once I actually made it to the gym, my attitude changed.  I was there and was going to make the most of it.  So I worked out and came home feeling much better than if I had just started tomorrow.

I spent some time with this beauty.

And this one too.

Generally whenever Dan is either eating dinner late or not home for dinner, I use it as a wild excuse to order food not only in excess, but poor quality as well.  Although I think it’s great to occasionally treat yourself, our “occasional” was becoming habitual, a practice that I’ve noted was not good for our weight or our bank account.   So an in effort to change my habits, I threw together a fun comfy dinner at home.

I tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, something that I stayed away from this summer, either by factor of having no time, or sheer laziness.   Last night I changed that.

I cooked and prepped some food for today.  There’s absolutely a sense of accomplishment that comes with creating healthy meals in your own kitchen.  (Although my meal was a little carb heavy, in the end it was a MUCH better choice than what I was contemplating.)

I settled in for the night, proud of my accomplishments and ate my warm bowl of carbs on the couch while watching The Real Housewives of New York (Reunion, Part II) and Married to Jonas (so ashamed I love that show).  I hit the hay early and Chance and Pumpkin kept me comfy and cozy all night.

This morning I threw some carrots, celery, onions, garlic, broth, salt and chopped tomatoes in the crockpot to simmer into a sauce while I’m at work.

(French Vanilla Creamer, Coffee and Wine not included!)

Turkey meatballs are on the menu for Dan tonight and Ill be enjoying Lentil “Meat”balls with my dinner.  Hoping they turn out yummy, if so I’ll have a recipe to share tomorrow.

Off to work and get in a run or the gym later today.  Have a Happy Wednesday!

Busy as Busy Can Be

2012 has been a busy year for us.  I’d actually venture to say that the last 12 months have been a whirlwind.  Our lives brought us a new job for Dan and I began settling into my new job as well.  Many friends of ours got engaged and we attended six (6!) weddings in the past 6 months.  I was Maid of Honor for my sister and Dan was part of the bridal party in 2 weddings.  We danced away the nights, ate copious amounts of cake, laughed, drank and spent much of the past 12 months (and more condensed, the last 6 months) running around with hardly a moment to breathe.

We celebrated birthdays both big and small and spent time with family and friends.  We loved every single event we were a part of, and couldn’t ask for a more loving and caring social circle and family.  But as the dust settles, I think it’s time to admit a major problem I’ve created and allowed to perpetuate–

I’ve gained weight.

Not a couple swing pounds, but an absolutely positively without a doubt noticeable difference on my frame.   “Tighter” doesn’t even seem accurate to describe the condition of the clothes in my closet.  I feel uncomfortable and angry at myself for not taking time to stop.  For not taking the time for myself.  For constantly going and ignoring the scale rising and my pants tightening.

I think I used our busy schedule as an excuse.  There were fabulous dinners to eat, bites at cocktail hours and family parties, cocktails to be enjoyed.  Then there was the exhaustion that came, inevitably, with spending weekends out of town.  Instead of enjoying myself on the weekends and eating healthier during the week, I gave up entirely and constantly used my exhaustion as an excuse to order take-out or cook an unhealthy easy meal.  I would tell Dan I was tired, that I couldn’t possible cook, so we’d wisk up an unhealthy meal or just go out to eat.  Both our wallets and our waistlines suffered.

But the dust has settled.  Aside from normal social activities and family outings, there are no more excuses.  No more excuses for laziness, no more excuses for poor eating.

There comes a time where you have to stop.  Where the reasoning fails and all you’re left with is the truth.  It’s time to change.

I’ve decided to start being serious about what I eat and how I move my body.  The bottom line is, I don’t have much of a choice.  I can’t stay at my current weight.  It’s not healthy and most importantly–above all else–I’m not happy.

I love to cook and I don’t think that will change much.  Maybe my portions will be smaller, or I’ll reserve the really fun cooking for the weekends.  Working out will be beneficial as well, since eating less, well, hasn’t worked quite frankly.

It’s hard for me to put out on a blog, on the great and vast internet the fact that I truly do need to lose weight.  I am hopeful the honesty I’ve provided will motivate me to succeed.

Cheers (with water) to success!

Weekend Happenings

This weekend was a weekend for us.  Daniel and I said to each other all week “Just make it to the weekend”–we were just so excited to FINALLY have a weekend that didn’t include traveling, weddings (though we loved every one!!) or commitments.  Happy as we were to spend a summer filled with friends, family and love, it felt as though every weekend was filled to the brim with packing, driving, hotels and constant trips to the ATM.  Although we really did love every moment celebrating with loved ones, it exhausted us individually and as a couple.  It was nice to finally have breathing room.  To wake up on a Saturday morning and not *have* to get out of bed.

Friday night Dan and I had a date, which is a bit of an oddity since we live together (and have for over 2 years) and we’re over 4 years past the point of him picking me up for a date filled with nervous butterflies and sweaty palms.  Although I still get butterflies when I see him (bedhead, sweatpants and all) it’s nice to find time to rekindle the love that brought us together in the first place.  Our original plans were to go to an amazing sushi restaurant out of town, but the weather was just perfect, so we canceled our reservations and decided to spend a night hopping around town.  We hit up happy hour for a drink, and then mosied across the bridge for some appetizers.  What used to be late nights out on the town turned into conversations over candlelight and an evening spent cuddling on the couch.  It was exactly what we hoped for.

Saturday morning found us on the couch, sipping coffee with blankets as the cool weather continues to roll in.  We were also greeted by a CRAZY cat who looked like she had gotten into some nip.  We have no nip in the house (due to a prior unfortunate incident) so I’m not exactly sure who Pumpkin hung out with last night but whatever happened sure did a number on her.

Attack/Love The Bag

I’ve never seen her go so crazy for the camera bag before.  One minute she was rubbing up on it, and the next minute she was batting at it as though it had done something fiercely evil to her.

Too Much Energy Expended

And after that, she was done for the day.

Eventually we made our way over to a friend’s house to celebrate his 30th birthday.  It was a great time with wonderful friends and delicious food.

Although there was talk of hitting up the town to continue the celebration, Dan and I opted to head home, where we hosted the birthday boy and friends for a drink before they headed downtown.  Our evening was tame and we fell asleep before SNL’s Weekend Update.  Years ago that would have sounded like such a bore, but time spent just Dan and I has become my absolute favorite and I savor every uninterrupted moment we get together.

After a solid night sleep we celebrated FOOTBALL SUNDAY with a delicious breakfast (Whitefish and Lox on a bagel for me, Porkroll Egg and Cheese for Dan).

I ran a quick errand for a forgotten ingredient at the store and managed to hit the train running through town.  Always happens to me.

I returned home to get busy in the kitchen, making us snacks for game day and generally just enjoying the day.

Bread and Cheddar Braid, Spinach Dip and Wheat Thins, Cauliflower Hot “Wings”

Red Zone Overload

I made some soup for the week and let that simmer in the crockpot all day while I cooked, cleaned and napped on Dan’s shoulder.
Our night was capped off with Pizza Hut Pizza (you MUST make it) and wine.

Now we’re settling in to watch the Emmy’s and once again capture my coveted spot on Dan’s shoulder.

Although I always wish the weekends could go on forever, it’s times like these where I truly appreciate all I have and the time I get to spend doing absolutely nothing.

Meal Planning-What We’re Eating

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!!

Get Excited!

Tomorrow morning you get to do this.

Don’t Wake Me, It’s The Weekend.

Here’s our meal (mostly dinner) plans for the week:

Friday: SUSHI Date (At a fabulous restaurant.  We’re going to get all gussied up and bat our eyes at each other)

Saturday: BBQ

Sunday: Pizza Hut Pizza (found a recipe online–it has been the talk of the Harmony House all week), Broccoli Cheddar Bake, Cauliflower Poppers, Spinach Dip (repeat of last week’s menu)

Monday: Butternut Squash Lasagna with No Knead Bread and Lemon Parmesan Broccoli

Tuesday: Crockpot Taco Pasta

Wednesday: Red and White Cauliflower Bake

Thursday: Chicken Burger (for Dan) and Tilapia (for me) with veggies and potatoes

I only plan until Thursday because I send Daniel to the store on Friday since he works from home in the morning and has the afternoon to run all the errands I don’t feel like doing.

The nice thing about this menu is that Dan has leftovers (Pizza and Taco Pasta) to take for lunch during the week.  I’m going to spin up a new recipe on Sunday (tentatively: Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale) to enjoy during the week.

Have a Great Weekend!

PEACE OUT BITCHES!

Don’t Trust The Electronics

My camera is being just absolutely awful.  Like put it in timeout and ground it for the weekend bad.

My computer is being equally as fussy and not uploading pictures.  It’s also about 6 years old and I treat it horribly, so I can’t say I’m sitting here in shock that both are rebelling against me.

I wanted to post a recipe and a review of Trader Joe’s Green Curry Simmer Sauce, but that will have to wait until tomorrow until we’ve all calmed down.

So, here’s a picture from our wedding weekend:

Image

Dan was in the wedding party so I had a lovely lady (whose significant other was also in the wedding) to hang with all day and ride the party bus over with.  Lovely day, lovely friends.

Image
Chance is all snuggled in for the night and my computer just pulled a nasty little move, so for the sake of sanity I’ll be handing the laptop to Dan demanding he “fix it now”.

Have a great night and steer clear of anything with batteries.  Shifty things.  Not to be trusted.

Bravo, You Have a Problem

Obsessed.

That’s probably the one word Daniel would use to describe my love for anything Bravo tv related.  In fact, last year we cancelled our cable in an effort to save money.  At first Dan was all “We’ll be able to watch everything, just a day later.”  What I didn’t know was that didn’t extend to everything.

When I found out I couldn’t get Bravo re-runs via our Roku box I threw.a.fit. not fitting of a mature adult.

But how will I know Caroline’s feelings towards Theresa?????????

Pumpkin was disgusted.

You’re a stupid LIAR.

I stomped around for months, lamenting that there was NOTHING to watch on TV.

I’m in TV hell.

And all Dan wanted to do was spend quality time together, instead of me planting myself in front of RHO___ (fill in the blank).

I’m cute, just look at me and you will never need television again.

There’s only so much a man can take, and not so soon after we called Comcast and stuck it to them, I came groveling back.

I watched hours upon hours of On Demand RH marathons.  I watched it all..New Jersey, New York, Beverly Hills, Orange County, Atlanta.  I flipped for Flipping Out and declared Andy Cohen my new best friend.  You couldn’t pull me away from Top Chef and I was obsessed with James Lipton’s brand of serious/off beat humor.  Bethenny was my imaginary BFF while Jeff Lewis and Co. told us what was up.

I shhhhhhhhhhhhh’d Dan every time he talked.

And then I met Gallery Girls

Eeep.

Love hate tv.  That’s what they are.  But I just can’t walk away.

BRAVO TV…how bad will it get.

And will I ever stop watching?

NO.

What’s your favorite secret channel?  What’s a guilty pleasure show you would sadly (or gladly) shun your family to watch?

Also, WTFFFFFFFF is up with Aviva from RHONY?  Crazy be crazy.

 

 

Stuffed Serrano Peppers

This recipe came to pass because I was, for some strange reason considering the fact that I’ve never had them, craving Chili Relleno.  I must have seen a picture, which implanted in the back of my mind cheese stuffed deep fried peppers.  That’s the sort of stuff my subconscious holds on to.

Once I investigated, I had a hard time committing myself to stuffing chilies full of cheese, coating them in a whipped egg bath and then frying in oil.  There are loads of food I’m willing to deep fry or consume an unwordly amount of calories on, but I thought for the sake of no special occasion, maybe it would be best if I dialed back the glutton.

I present Stuffed Serrano Peppers.  There’s cheese, beans and spice–the holy trinity of dinner.

Stuffed Serrano Peppers

Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side

Ingredients

4 Serrano Peppers

Olive Oil

1 cup Refried or Black Beans (I used a combination)**

6 oz Queso Fresco, crumbled

2 oz Pepperjack Cheese, shredded

Cilantro, to taste

1/4 cup chopped raw onions (if you do not like, they can be omitted)

Pinch (or two) of cayenne pepper

1 egg (or two egg whites)

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

**Dan believes these would be “unbelievable” with chorizo.  But I didn’t have any, so too bad for him.  Feel free to make them with chorizo and let me know how amazing they are.  I’ll pass the info on to Dan**

Directions

First things first: roast some peppers!  We don’t have a grill, so I roasted my peppers in the oven at 400 degrees.

I lightly coated (with my Misto) the peppers in olive oil, then slid them into a 400 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes, then flipped and roasted them for another 15 minutes.  When they’re done, they should look like this:

Nice and wrinkled

Place your pretty peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  This step is especially important if you chargrilled your peppers.  The heat contained in a bowl by wrapping them will make it easier to peel the skin off.

While the peppers set for 10 minutes, turn your oven down to 375 and prepare your stuffing.

Mix together your beans (or other cooked protein), queso fresco, pepperjack, cilantro, onions and chili pepper (if desired).  At this point you can taste the filling and decide if you want to add any extra spices (salt, pepper, cumin, garlic or onion powder).

Smash/mix them all together.

Your peppers should be steamed by now.  Pull your first victim out and begin to pull the skin away from the pepper.

Slice the pepper open down the center and across the top.  Be gentle, it’s the peppers first time.

Scoop the seeds out of the center, leaving some if you want to burn your dinner partner’s mouth (not that I did…).

Once you have defiled all 4 peppers, begin stuffing them.  I divided my filling into four (scoring it in the bowl) and picked up the filling with my hand and formed it to fit into the pepper.

When you stuff the peppers, it’s easiest to place the filling in the middle and carefully fold the sides of the pepper over the filling.

Once all your peppers have been stuffed, assemble your breading station.  Whisk your eggs in a bowl and pour the panko onto a shallow plate.

Dip each pepper in your egg wash and then cover in panko.

Finish your peppers and place on an oiled baking pan.  I always cover mine with tin foil as well because I’m lazy when it comes to clean up.

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until the insides start to creep out.

Enjoy with Sour Cream and Salsa.

The best thing about this dish is that it looks (and sounds) harder than it actually is.

Enjoy!!

BEHIND THE SCENES:

Ugly creepy pepper that I fed to Dan.

Why even bother asking her for help?