Friday, March 16, 2012

happy friday!




Ryan Seacrest introduced me to this song during my commute this morning, and I was cracking up the whole song. So, I thought I would share it with you this morning.

I hope that you all have a nice weekend--especially since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day (I can't believe it's been 3 years since this trip)! It's supposed to pour rain down here for the entire weekend, so we'll probably stay in and catch up on some Netflix watching (I'm hoping to get our TV connected to the internet and finally get in on this Downton Abbey craze!), and I'll take advantage of the cool weather to do some [savory] baking.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

1 week of healthy meals for 2 in 1 day

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A week's worth of ingredients!
Lately I've finally been able to get my act together on Sundays, and I've been preparing our whole week's worth of meals in one afternoon. It gives me a lot more free time during the week. It also assures us that we get to eat healthy meals during the week and avoid spending a lot of money on takeout. And...since I've no longer really had time to prepare meals everyday, I have found myself missing cooking which I had previously claimed that I did not enjoy. Oops...

Anyway, my mom thought that I should post my menu and recipes for preparing 1 week's worth of healthy dinners for 2 in 1 afternoon. I typically take leftovers for lunch the next day, and then we usually end up eating leftovers one day in order to avoid throwing food away. I also usually only make 4 meals for the week because I do like to go out to dinner on Saturday nights for our date night! Here are the recipes--I will work on updating this post with nutrition information later this week: 
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Day 1: Roasted chicken with Roasted Cumin-Lime Carrots
 Day 1: Roasted Chicken (recipe adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow, found via my friend Rebecca)
Serves 4
  • 1 whole chicken, 3-4 pounds washed and dried
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1/2 head of garlic, peeled
Gwyneth's recipe calls for slow-roasting this chicken for 9 1/2 hours. When I say I have my act together on Sundays, I do not mean that I give myself 9 1/2 hours to roast a chicken. This is where my "adaptation" comes into play.

Preheat the oven to 425°. Place the chicken in a rectangular roasting dish breast side down. Squeeze the lemon halves over the chicken in the pan. Generously sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper all over, front and back, inside and out. Tuck the thyme and the lemon halves and 5-6 cloves of garlic in the cavity. Place the remaining garlic cloves around the pan. Wrap the roasting dish tightly with aluminum foil and put in the oven for 1 ½ hours or until a meat thermometer reaches 180°.

Let the chicken cool slightly, then carve and serve with all of its lovely juices.

Roasted Cumin-Lime Carrots (recipe from Family Style Food, found via my M-I-L)
Serves 2-4

  • 1 lb. carrots
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice and fresh grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 t. agave nectar
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1/4 t. ground coriander
  • 1/4 t. smoked paprika
Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss carrots on a baking sheet with the olive oil, lime juice and zest, agave, salt and spices.

Roast about 20 minutes, depending on size, until the carrots are just tender. Transfer to a plate and serve.
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Day 2: BBQ Chicken with Grilled Asparagus
Day 2: BBQ Chicken with Grilled Asparagus (this one is pretty straightforward--let me know if you have any grilling questions for me!) 
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Day Three: Cajun Salmon Tacos
 Day 3: Cajun Salmon Tacos

Serves 2-4
  • 1 lb. salmon filet, skin-on preferred 
  • Emeril's Essence
  • corn tortillas
  • ripe avocado
  • shredded cabbage
  • cheese
  • Pico Pica hot sauce 
  • lime
Heat grill on high heat. Sprinkle Emeril's Essence on the salmon filet to taste and pat to form a sort of crust with the spices. Reduce the grill heat to low and place the salmon filet on the grill, then close the lid. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until salmon is done but not over-cooked. Remove salmon from heat, then grill the tortillas until warm and slightly "toasted." Place 1 oz. of salmon in each tortilla and add other toppings as desired. Squeeze a lime wedge over the tacos and enjoy!
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Day 4: Spicy Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
Day 4: Spicy Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
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Day 5: Chicken Curry with Vegetables
Day 5: Chicken Curry with Vegetables (one of my easiest and favorite recipes!)
Serves 4
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, large florets cut in half
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 4 whole carrots, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
  • 2 cups Trader Joe's Thai Red or Yellow Curry Sauce
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over med-low heat. Place the chicken pieces in the pan and cook thoroughly. Transfer the cooked chicken to a large bowl and set aside. Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet over med-low heat. Place the broccoli and carrots in the pan and cook until the color of the vegetables begins to look rich. Add the snow peas and the bell pepper and saute until all of the vegetables can be pierced with a fork. Add the Trader Joe's Thai Red Curry Sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes. Pour the vegetables/sauce mixture over the chicken, mix, and serve over the cooked brown rice. Wasn't that easy?

If you made it to the end of this post, let me know if you'd be interested in seeing me post these weekly menus on a regular basis. I will be sure to add the nutrition information for each recipe over the course of this week!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

birthday

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brunch: eggs benedict + mimosas

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birds on broadway
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laguna beach
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it was a perfect day
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I discovered that my camera has a widescreen mode...
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we have got to start asking people to take pictures for us...
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Richard Diebenkorn (via OCMA)
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Ocean Park No. 114 by Richard Diebenkorn (via Richard Diebenkorn)
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Richard Diebenkorn (via Google Image Search)
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Untitled (View from Studio, Ocean Park) by Richard Diebenkorn (via artinfo.com)
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protein style cheeseburger w/ fries
This past Sunday was my birthday, and Justin made sure that it was a lovely and relaxing day. We started the day out with brunch at The Cottage in Laguna Beach where I indulged in my absolute favorite--eggs benedict. The weather was just perfect (low to mid 80's!), so after brunch we walked down to the beach and walked along the boardwalk. Laguna Beach has to be one of the prettiest places in the world. After our little walk, we hopped in the car and cruised up the PCH to the Orange County Museum of Art where we saw an exhibit of Richard Diebenkorn's Ocean Park Series. I fell in love with Ocean Park No. 114 which you can see above. Wouldn't that look amazing in our living room [once we get a new couch]? Justin and I also both loved a painting called "Rialto" by Chuck Arnoldi which was hanging in the museum's lobby. Unfortunately I can't find an image of it anywhere on the web, and we weren't allowed to take any photos inside the museum. But, it reminded me of this dress from the last season of Project Runway. After all of that excitement, we went home and I took advantage of the weather and spent a little bit of time by the pool, and we ended the day with something I've been craving for awhile now: some protein style cheeseburgers from In-N-Out while watching Midnight in Paris (which I loved!).

It was a wonderful day...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

around the house: soap dispensers

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the kitchen sink
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the sink in the guest bathroom
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master bathroom
I've been refilling Method hand soap containers at all of our sinks for the past year and a half. As much as I love Method, I do not love the way those plastic soap dispensers look. I found these beautiful (& useful--in keeping with The William Morris Project) soap dispensers at Target. This is such a small change, but our counter tops look so much lovelier and so much more finished to me.

Now I just need to paint both of our bathrooms!