Thursday, April 19, 2012

spring cleaning: the pantry

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Ah. Cleaning, weeding, organizing, and taking inventory of our pantry cupboard has been on my mental to-do list for quite some time. I'll be honest--I had no idea what all was in there!

Justin and I have been trying to be creative with our meals each week so that we use up the food that we have, buying and wasting less.

While I had everything out on the counter, I created an inventory list on my laptop with each item in that cupboard and the date that it expires. I intend to use this when I'm making my weekly meal plans so that I can use things up before they expire (and use things that we already have on hand each week!). Justin brings home a lot of snack samples from meetings at work, so we had LOADS of sunflower seeds in the cupboard. Justin's aunt and my brother both love sunflower seeds, so I'll be sending out some mail to them this week!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

healthy shrimp tacos

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I tried this recipe a couple of weeks ago, and it was so good that I will probably start making this at least once a month. I have some shrimp in the fridge right now, and even though we had chicken tacos for dinner tonight, I'm kind of thinking about making these for dinner tomorrow... The recipe comes from this great site called Clean and Delicious with Dani Spies which has tons of healthy, clean, and delicious meals.

Healthy Shrimp Tacos (Source: Clean and Delicious)
Serves 4
  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 6 oz. fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1 t. cayenne pepper (the original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 5 cups shredded cabbage
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 4 t. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Heat tortillas over medium heat in a dry skillet until warm and starting to form small brown spots. Set aside on a plate covered with a clean kitchen towel.

Mix yogurt, cayenne, lime juice, cilantro, and salt in a small bowl, set aside.

Heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet and add cabbage. Cook for about four minutes or until the cabbage is just barely wilted. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Cut shrimp into thirds, so you have little bite size pieces. Sauté in two teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper over medium heat just until done. They cook up in just a few minutes… so be sure to watch them!

Build your taco! Place a scoop of cabbage on the warmed tortillas taco, then top with shrimp, and cilantro sauce… enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

spring flower baskets

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When my parents were here the other weekend, my mom and I had planned to make this headboard for our bed, but after reading the directions way too late in the day we realized that we needed a staple gun. So, we headed to my favorite department in Home Depot--the garden section! We replanted my dead hanging flower baskets with pretty spring flowers. This time I just need to remember to water them!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

creamy red-pepper dipping sauce

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I found this recipe in the first ever Fitness magazine that I received in the mail. I cut it out and saved it, and have somehow managed to save it for about 4-5 years, and then I finally got around to trying it. I grew up dipping artichokes into melted butter. This Creamy Red-Pepper Dipping Sauce is a much healthier alternative to butter or mayonnaise, and you won't even miss the fat! I guarantee that this will be your new favorite dipping sauce for artichokes. 

Creamy Red-Pepper Dipping Sauce
Serves 4

  • 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Salt and pepper
In a blender, combine all ingredients except salt and pepper. Puree until smooth and adjust seasoning to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING: 37 calories, 1 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 0 g fiber

Monday, April 9, 2012

la brea tar pits + the counter

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Last weekend my parents were in town visiting, so we decided to make a rare trek up to LA for some touristy activities. First up was the Page Museum which is all about the La Brea Tar Pits. While the museum would have been a lot more fun to go to with children, I still had a lot of fun learning all of the history of that neighborhood of Los Angeles. I also loved the garden in the center of the museum, even if we did think that it seemed a little random (as in, not at all Ice Age related).

When we finished at the museum we crossed the street to have lunch/dinner at The Counter which is LA's "build-a-burger" restaurant. We had been to the Irvine location with Justin's parents, and when I saw one right next to the museum I knew that it would be a fun place to take my parents. It's a pretty cool restaurant concept--you can build your own burger from a wide selection of proteins, toppings, buns, and you can even turn any burger into a salad (as my mom and I did as seen above!).

The main event of the day was the TMZ Hollywood tour! Probably just about the touristy thing that you can do in Los Angeles, but even if you are a long-time Southern California resident, you should go do this! Justin and I love TMZ, and we have  been talking about doing this tour since they started doing them! We had so much fun on the tour, and I even won a t-shirt for knowing what TMZ stood for!

We had a great weekend with my parents, and I'm glad that we had a chance to take them up to spend a day in Los Angeles!