Friday, May 31, 2013

Spring California Trip: Congratulations Kelly & James!

More pictures to come later...

Spring California Trip: Going To Prom

Spring California Trip: Greetings From The Surface Of The Sun Simi Valley. 

Spring California Trip: Best Game Ever!

We started to play the game from the Ellen Degeneres Show called Heads Up. A couple observations... Mom gives out way more clues than Ian. I suck at guesses celebrities. :P

Kitchen Adventures: Falafel Wraps with Grilled Veg and Salsa

This was stretch for Ian but I happen to like Falafels.

Ingredients: Mixed Beans, Chickpeas, Lemon, Harissa, Allspice, Flour, Cilantro, Olive Oil, Red and Yellow Bell Pepper, Green Onions, Whole Wheat Tortillas, Chili Sauce, Tomatoes, Red Chili, Garlic, Lime
Normal falafels are deep fried.. but this being another 15 Minute Meal - "Delicious, Nutritious, Super Fast Food"... these were not. It was still a fantastic vegetarian meal. The base is mixed beans and chickpeas. The salsa definitely adds to the wraps. You get two wraps, 2 falafels each for 602 calories. :)

Spring California Trip: SUSHI!

Cho Cho San is a must while in California. It was a good dinner on the lighter side as it was around 11:00pm our time. Now it is time for bed. ZZzzzzzzz. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spring California Trip: Yes, I'm 12!

I got my ears pierced a looooong time ago. I let them close for whatever reason but lately I've been wanting the option to wear earrings. So, on a whim while walking through the mall, we stopped by Icing By Claire's and got them repierced. Ahhhhhhh pain! 

Spring California Trip: Gladstone's Visit

We stopped by Gladstone's on the way home from the airport. :)

The selection of fish on a board...

Ian cutting us some extremely good sourdough bread. 

Me :P

Mom. :)

Ian's Swordfish. 

Mom and I's Mussels. 

And dessert. :)

And another shot of the beach. Such a beautiful day!!

Spring California Trip: Yeah Baby!!!

Spring California Trip: Riding In My Mom's Spaceship

Spring California Trip: Landed


Jolly Ol' England! (Mug #55)

I benefit from traveling coworkers. :)

Spring California Trip: Bye Bye Virginia!

We are about to take off. It was fun - kind of. But Cooper will be better in 4 days. Anyway, California here we come! 

Spring California Trip: The Only Way To Fly

Virgin America is an awesome airline. So happy we get to fly it again!!

Spring California Trip: Ian's All Set

He got his drink for the flight. 

Spring California Trip: Sad Morning

Cooper was looking a little worse for wear. Or, as I would like to think, he got the Beverly Hills touchup! Hopefully when we get back on Monday he will be looking and feeling a little bit better. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spring California Trip: GET UNCLE IAN

Spring California Trip: Clean Bill of Health

Cooper took a spill into a tub and hurt his front teeth. Quick run to the ER and he's ok. 

Spring California Trip: Chips & Salsa!

Spring California Trip: Peekaboo Max!

Spring California Trip: Ian Likes Trains

Don't let him fool you.

Spring California Trip: Helloooo....


Spring California Trip: Virginia Bound

We may be late but we are on our way!

Spring California Trip: Sad Face

Our flight is delayed at least 30 minutes. This is probably because it's coming out of Chicago O'Hare. We had a super fast lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. But I didn't think to check our flight status. :( 

Spring California Trip: Let's Play...

...guess where we are? :)

Spring California Trip: At The Border

We were hoping it would be quick but there was a huge backup of trucks and a few cars. Now we're sitting idle waiting for another gate to open up. Come on US, let US in!

Kitchen Adventures: Grilled Cajun Prawns

Full title: Grilled Cajun Prawns with Sweet Potato Mash and Holy Trinity Veg. What the heck is Holy Trinity Veg? It's a Cajun or Creole term for a specific combination of vegetables - onions, bell peppers and celery. This dish was simply amazing. Flavors. Textures. Ahhhh-mazing. :P

Ingredients: Sweet Potatoes, Cheddar Cheese, Shrimp, Garlic, Cajun Seasoning, Olive Oil, Thyme, Lemon, Green Bell Pepper, Red Bell Pepper, Celery, Green Onions, Red Chili, Frozen Corn, Smoked Paprika
I don't "do" prawns. They have eyes and legs.. and yuck. We did large shrimp instead. The sweet potatoes are cooked and then mixed with some cheddar cheese. The holy trinity is sauteed with some spices and herbs. It was spicy but so good. 594 calories gets you a lot of food... potatoes, veggies and shrimp. Sprinkled with some lemon juice. Extremely good. Highly recommended.

Spring California Trip: Waiting To Leave

We are all packed up and ready to go! :) One episode of Breaking Bad and then we'll hit the road. It's raining pretty good here.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The 3rd Xbox Is Called Xbox One

My Out Of Office Message

I went with a graphic representation of my vacation. :) ≈29 hours.

YES, that's a car. Shut up. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Kitchen Adventure: Mushroom Farfalle

This was paired with a Blue Cheese and Apple Salad. It also had us purchasing one of our most expensive ingredients - truffle oil. :)

Ingredients: Dried Porcini Mushrooms, Olive Oil, Garlic, Dried Chili, Cremini Mushrooms, Thyme, Farfalle, Truffle Oil, Lemon, Flat-Leaf Parsley, Low Fat Cottage Cheese, Baby Spinach, Apple, Blue Cheese

The pasta was good... but without the salad the meal would be lacking. The salad is dressed only in lemon and olive oil but it was still fantastic. Light. Tart. Moldy (Ian's word. He has issues with Blue Cheese). The pasta felt like it could use something else.. spice.. herb... something. It was still delicious and at 586 calories per serving of pasta and salad.. can't go wrong. [Apologies for the picture... it was super bright in the backyard]

Friday, May 24, 2013

Kitchen Adventures: Crackin' Crab Briks

A foray into Moroccan cuisine.

Ingredients: Preserved Lemons, Green Onions, Cilantro, Crab Meat, Harissa, Phyllo Pastry, Olive Oil, Caraway Seeds, Couscous, Sun Dried Tomato Puree, Fennel, Mint, Lemon, Pomegranate, Tomato, Ginger Root
Meh. Yet another lesson in letting the food cook through. I didn't put enough oil in the pan and they didn't brown up as much as they should. The flavor was interesting but I was looking for some heat. This dish will be probably redone at some point. I wasn't a huge fan of the fennel salad or the couscous. Disappointing but the briks were still pretty tasty. For 1 brik and some of the fennel and couscous, it was 457 calories.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

So Yeah, This Happened

Nothing happened apparently. Carry on. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mass Hysteria

At this exact time, in 1 week we will be taking off from Buffalo Airport to begin our fantastic voyage. /queuemasshysteria

Kitchen Adventures: Chorizo & Squid

Full title: Chorizo and Squid with Greek Style Couscous Salad. Another squid dish!

Ingredients: Green Onions, Baby Spinach, Mint, Couscous, Lemon, Squid, Chorizo, Olive Oil, Red Bell Pepper, Yellow Bell Pepper, Honey, Sherry Vinegar, Garlic, Feta Cheese, Harissa, Fat Free Yogurt
I was a little familiar with Chorizo but I was really surprised with how well it work with the squid. It calls for a little side dish of yogurt and harissa. Neither of us felt that this was really necessary because it doesn't end up being very hot. But for 634 calories.... yum!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Köszönöm (Thank you)! (Mug #54)

One of the field staff at my work came in house to cover a maternity leave. She is Hungarian and recently made a trip back with her kids. She picked me up a Budapest mug!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Kitchen Adventures: Chicken Dim Sum

Full title: Chicken Dim Sum with Coconut Buns, Cucumber Pickle and Hoisin Sauce. This was another 15 Minute Meal but honestly... it is sooo not possible in 15 minutes. You make buns from scratch... yes, it's two ingredients but handling dough takes time! Either way.. I would do this recipe again in a heart beat.

Ingredients: Light Coconut Milk, Self Raising Flour, Chicken Breasts, Mixed Mushrooms, Hoisin Sauce, Limes, Broccolini, Cucumber, Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, Cilantro, Sesame Seeds, Pickled Ginger, Red Chilies
The first part is to make the coconut buns. Jamie Oliver mixes his in a food processor... I did it this way but I think next time I will just use my Stand Mixer. They needed more flour... but they still turned out really good. You steam them in a bamboo steamer along with the chicken and vegetables.

They were light, fluffy and a little bit coconut-y. The chicken turned out perfect but the cucumber pickle stole the show. Using a speed peeler, you peel the cucumber into ribbons, cover it in soy sauce and vinegar and then squeeze the water out of them. This pickles the cucumber so they are extra crunchy. For 795 calories, you get 2 of the buns to make little sandwiches with the chicken, vegetables and pickle. Dip it in the hoisin sauce, sesame seeds and you have a really delicious dinner. I'm a fan. :)