Friday, April 30, 2010

Kentucky Derby and Mint Juleps!

In honor of the Kentucky Derby this week, I thought I would add a fun recipe for Mint Juleps! My sister gave me this beautiful mint julep cup as wedding gift, which I just love! The idea was to put flowers in it for the house, and I'm thinking of getting it monogrammed in the near future.

But for now, I think a mint julep cocktail would be great for this festive weekend! I adopted this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, as it looks to be a hit!

2 cups lightly packed fresh mint
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups bourbon
granulated sugar
crushed ice
fresh mint sprigs
halved orange slices

1. Place mint leaves in bowl and set aside. In medium saucepan, combine water and 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, pour over mint leaves. Stir in orange juice.

2. Cover and let stand at room temp for one hour. Strain mixture through mesh strainer. Stir in bourbon. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.

3. Place granulated sugar in shallow dish. Wet the edges of 8 glasses and dip into sugar to coat. Add crushed ice to glasses. Divide bourbon mixture amoung the glasses (about 2/3 cup per glass). Garnish with mint and orange slices.

Makes 8, 5 oz servings.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Roasted Asparagus

First, I apologize for the photography recently. I'm trying to figure out why everything is so blurry on my camera, so this is the best I could do.

I feel like I've been saying this a lot, but really, even the hubby ate asparagus when I doctored it up with this recipe from The Eat Clean Cookbook.

1 pound asparagus
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic
sea salt and ground pepper to taste
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Break off woody stems of each asparagus spear. Rinse well under running water.

2. Toss spears in olive oil, vinegar and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Lay in a single layer in a shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake 6-10 minutes until done.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Great Gift Idea!

Marye-Kelley frames are some of my favorite gifts to give. They are so beautiful and make a great personalized gift. To see all of her wonderful creations, you can visit her site here.

These are just a few of my favorites:

This one is the one I gave my sister for hosting such a beautiful bridal shower for me. I changed this script to say "sisters" and the color to green, as it matched her bedroom perfectly, and just so happened to be the colors of our wedding!
This beautiful and colorful frame was given to my hubby and I from my sweet sister-in-law. She had the script changed to read "Hawaii" so we could put a picture in it of our honeymoon.

This particular frame comes in many different colors. I gave a bunch of these frames to many bridal shower hostesses, each in a color to match their homes. I changed the script to say "family," as they were family members who hosted the event, and that way they could frame a picture of our whole family together at the wedding.

And I just ordered this one! It's a new design that I just had to have! I'm planning on using one of our black and white engagement photos to place in it.

And last, but not least, this is next on my list to order in the near future! You know my love for a monogram!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Gran!

Happy Birthday to the BEST Granny EVER!!

My grandmother is such an inspiration to me. She has not only been a loving wife, devoted mother, generous grandmother, and wonderful friend, but she is also one of the two women in my family who I looked up to as a caring nurse for many years. Even though she is now retired, this woman is on the go! It's hard to catch her in between all of her fun activities with her many friends, but she is always there for us. If you are ever lucky enough to meet Granny, ask her to do her "Michael Jackson Moon Walk," its quite comical!

"Grandmother hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever." -Unknown

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tuesday Treats:Caledon Baked Oatmeal

Tuesday Treats this week is coming to you a day early because tomorrow is a very special someone's birthday!

I tried this recipe on Saturday morning, and since its so sweet, I thought it would be great for Tuesday's Treats! I found this recipe in The Eat-Clean Cookbook. I love this cookbook because its full of wonderful, healthy recipes and this recipe is extremely easy to do! It would be great if you had guests over to serve in the morning.

2 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried unsweetened fruit of your choice (I was looking for cranberries, but couldn't find any that were unsweetened so I used cherries)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large unpeeled apple, grated
4 Tbsp maple syrup
cooking spray (the book called for a homemade cooking spray, but I'm not eating that clean quite yet, and just used olive oil spray)
*Next time I might add a little cinnamon for some extra flavor

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat large casserole dish or baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine all ingredients in large bowl.
3. Place mixture in dish. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

That's it!!! ENJOY!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

This week we had a little cookout for our dinner. I cant remember where I originally found the turkey burger recipe, but it's delicious and is a staple around here. Even my red meat and potato hubby likes them!

Turkey Burger
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp basil
1/4 tsp salt
1 can drained diced tomatoes

Whisk egg in large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hands. Form into 4 patties.

Sweet Potato Fries
2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and blotted dry
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cummin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground black pepper
enough rosemary sprigs to cover baking sheet
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread rosemary sprigs on sheet in a single layer. Mix together all other ingredients, except sweet potatoes, in small bowl.
3. Square off potatoes and slice into "steak fries." Lay strips of potato on rosemary in a single layer. Sprinkle generously with seasoning mixture. Spray generously with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes.
4 Spray again. Return to oven for about 25 minutes more or until fries are golden and puffed.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day? Today I went for a run in the beautiful park by our house.
Ok, so the park in Baltimore City does not look like this, but I swear the sky was just as beautiful today and so were the trees. It was a fantastic way to start the morning!

Later today, I'm heading over to Nick's Fish House to sit outside and enjoy some fun drinks with some of the best coworkers! Nick's has such a fun atomosphere for this time of year and I just can't wait to enjoy it!

In honor of Earth Day, I will continue to drink tap water instead of bottled water and the new change I will plan to make is to get some reusable grocery bags next time I go to the store (I've been wanting to do this since I visited one of my very best friends in California...they have such cute bags there!).

Happy Earth Day! ENJOY your day!

Chicken & Rice

I made this recipe for dinner the other night for the hubby and I and it was great! Pretty easy to make, and very little clean up.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked (hubby put them on the grill for me)
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
salt and pepper
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups brown rice
3/4 pound fresh broccoli florets
1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into penny slices, then parboiled
1/2 cup edamame, frozen

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium temp. Add oinion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and salt. Cover and cook over low heat until onion has softened (about 10 minuts). Add chicken broth and stir in brown rice. Cook uncovered over high heat for 5 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occassionally.

2. Place the chicken over the rice in the skillet. Cook for another 15 minutes, until chicken is heated through. Remove chicken from pan and cover with tin foil to keep warm.

3. Add broccoli, edamame and parboiled carrots to rice mixture. Heat for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Serve immediately.

From The Eat-Clean Cookbook

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Bananas are one of my favorite fruits, so I try to add them to everything! A breakfast I made for my hubby on-the-go is a whole wheat english muffin, natural peanut butter, and sliced banana. He loves it and its so easy to pack and take with you to work!

I recently added them to my plain oatmeal with cinnamon and vanilla...YUM!!! This will definately be a staple breakfast around here. I also have a love for Banana Bread (I will share my recipe with you soon) and a wonderful snack of banana with natural peanut butter!

Here are some fun facts on bananas:
1. A cluster of bananas is called a hand and consists of 10 to 20 bananas, which are known as fingers.
2. As bananas ripen, the starch in the fruit turns to sugar. Therefore, the riper the banana the sweeter it will taste.
3. Bananas are a good source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber.
4. Bananas are America's #1 fruit.
5. Bananas are available all year-round. They are harvested every day of the year.
6. Bananas are great for athletic and fitness activity because they replenish necessary carbohydrates, glycogen and body fluids burned during exercise.
7. Bananas are one of the few fruits that ripen best off the plant.
8. Bananas have no fat, cholesterol or sodium.
9. In Eastern Africa you can buy banana beer. This beer is brewed from bananas.
10. Over 96% of American households purchase bananas at least once each month.

Why bananas are good for you

Bananas provide energy to help with working out, help prevent a number of illnesses and conditions, aid in the supportive treatment of depression (because it contains tryptophans), PMS, Anemia (high in iron), hypertension (low in sodium), constipation (high in fiber), and heartburn (natural antacid effect).

After all this, maybe it's really the banana a day that keeps the doctor away!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Treats: Sweet Southern Tea

OK, I'm not making sweet southern tea, but I was reminded of one of my very best friends who lives in Nashville today and decided to name the post for her!

When I first arrived in Knoxville, Tennessee for college, I heard everyone ordering "sweet tea." Growing up my mom always made "iced tea" at home, but I wasn't quite sure what sweet tea was, as I thought everyone just called it "iced tea." Thankfully, I met one of the sweetest girls I know who has become one of my very best friends, and throughout my college years I not only learned that in Tennessee they have tea, or sweet tea while us "yankees" had iced tea, sweetened or unsweetened, but I also learned what a buggie was, what "fixin' to" meant, and so much more. I have a much broader vocabulary now after college, thanks to my southern friends!

Anyways, I never thought I liked iced tea, but yesterday it was so nice out, that I ordered iced tea, yes, "iced tea, unsweetened" instead of coffee when meeting with a friend. Added a little lemon and splenda and what do you know, it was great! So after two cups, I decided I would try to make it myself at home. I realize most people know how to make iced tea, but in case you are like me, and this will be your first time, here are the easy to follow steps.

Things You Will Need:
Tea Bags
Sweetener (optional)

1. Pour 4 cups of water into a pot and let it come to a boil.
2. Remove from heat and add 4-5 tea bags and let sit for about 5 minutes.
3. Fill pitcher half way with ice. Fill with tap water half way. Add tea and fill pitcher with water to top. Stir and refrigerate.
4. Pour a glass, add some lemon, sweetener and any garnish you desire.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sweet Strawberries

I got a huge container of strawberries from Trader Joe's this week and let me tell you, they are TO DIE FOR!!!! I just cut them all up and put them in a big bowl for some healthy snacking. Will definately be picking more up later this week!

Friday, April 16, 2010

My New Love

Even though this guy is a Florida Gator (it's absolutely unforbidden for a Tennessee Vol to love a Florida Gator), I still am in awe of his music! I just bought his cd the other day to listen to in the kitchen while I'm cleaning up, and I can't turn it off! I'm hoping there is some way I will be able to hear him in person at a summer country concert somehow!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mmmmm....Smells Good in Here!

I think its always nice to have a candle lit in your house. That way, if anyone stops by, your house always smells nice! Today I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and there was a selection of candles on sale. I then used my additional 20% off coupon that always comes in the mail and bought this lovely smelling candle! It smells so nice in our house with this candle lit and the windows open! Don't you just love spring time?!?!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Wellness: Like Walking on Clouds

My favorite running shoes: Asics! I love them! To me, they are like walking on clouds, especially after a 12 hour shift at the hospital. Yesterday was my first day running in a very long time. I had to walk part of the top of the hill, but my goal is to run the full 2 mile hilly park without walking by the end of the month. Wish me luck!
"I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing."
-Marsha Doble

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ginger Jars!

Look what I found on one of my visits to HomeGoods the other day! I was so excited, as I love ginger jars and this was a mere $14! Then, to my surprise, I came home and the hubby said he liked it!!! (Probably because it was blue and white and not pink and green or floral or anything like that, but I'll take it!). So this is our new inspiration for our future master bedroom! I'm so excited. We are not moving any time soon, as we have to put the house on the market and are planning on doing that next spring, but now I can get ideas and plan a little! I'm thinking of a yellow, blue and white theme with beautiful blue and white ginger lamps on the nightstands and some yellow, blue and white toile curtains, bedskirt, and pillows.

This ginger jar was given to us as a wedding gift. We also received a beautiful multicolor smaller version. I cannot wait to put these around our house!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A New Day!

Today is the best day to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle. The hubby and I cleaned out the cabinets and refrigerator and are trying to get healthy again! Here's to all the yummy fruits and veggies we will be eating!! Hope you will enjoy my upcoming healthy recipes!
"The greatest wealth is health." -Virgil

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hope You're Enjoying this Weather!

Something about fresh flowers makes me smile! I stopped by the store on my way home and picked up some beautiful flowers to help bring spring inside with me! My favorite flowers are from the farmer's markets, however I will have to wait until they are open in May and June for my Sunday Fundays!

I also stocked up on some lemons and limes (and lots of fresh fruit) at the store and placed some in my new Longaberger basket from my MIL. Reminds me of summertime!

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

What a great way to get your veggies in! This recipe was super easy and very delicious...even the hubster ate it and he is NOT a fan of cauliflower!!!

2 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large head of cauliflower, washed and seperated into small florets
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp parsley
salt and pepper to taste, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease baking sheet or casserole dish. Place olive oil and garlic in resealable bag. Add cauliflower and shake well to mix.

Spread onto baking sheet.
Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Top with parmesan cheese and parsley. Stick back in oven for another 3 minutes.
I should have put this on a pretty plate to look more appetizing, but the hubby came home late from golf that evening and I just couldnt wait! It tastes delicious, though! Give it a try!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

It's an absolutely gorgeous day here in Maryland! During my morning run, I came across some beautiful yellow flowers that lined the park and it just made my day! I love this time of year, and I love having fresh flowers in the house. I will be sure to pick some up at the store when we return home from our Easter vacation at the beach!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Smooth as Silk

Who gets chapped lips when its a beautiful spring day? ME! But I have the ultimate solution!!! First, I rub some Philosphy lip scrub all over, which feels just wonderful!

Then, I wipe off excess lip scrub and apply Burt's Bees....and I'm a brand new girl in 24 hours max! And of course, I hydrate with lots and lots of water!

Love these two brands and don't know what I would do without them! Just thought I would spread the wealth a little bit!