Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Training for a 5K????

Hurry, get to Target. Bob Harper's new workout DVD is on sale and with your purchase you get a subscription to Fitness magazine. Normally, I stick with Jillian (she's my fav) but I read that Bob's new video is a really good workout and decided to give it a try. It is INTENSE! My arms were shaking and I was sweating like a pig within 20 minutes. If you try it, let me know what you think.

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I received a sample of Kellogs new cereal. I don't usually have cereal in the morning, but if I'm in a hurry I pack some for work. I sampled it the morning and it was tasty. I like my cereal to be sweet and without the fibery cardboard taste. I normally buy Kashi Strawberry Fields (which has 9g sugar per serving) but I might be tempted to switch to this one (8g sugar per serving).

Get Well Soon cookies for a little boy who just had eye surgery. Say a prayer for him that his vision is restored. These are baked from the Nestle TollHouse recipe but instead of chocolate chips, I used M&Ms. I may have swiped one...yum!
I've decided to try out my first 5K and I'm nervous. Any advice for my training? I'm not a big runner but I've always wanted to try one. I have until October to get my booty in gear. Have you ever run a 5k? Was it really hard? Also, do people normally run with their iPods? I don't think I could make it without music.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My New Favorite Toy- Magic Bullet

Yay, a new toy!

Organization before play.

One of the perks of being a blogger- giveaways and contests. I won a Magic Bullet by entering a recipe contest from A Feast For Your Eyes
Please check out her blog. She takes the most beautiful photos.
A few things about the Magic Bullet:
-The box it comes in is HUGE and there are many many parts. I bought a special basket at Michaels to put everything in. I must have an organized pantry or it makes me crazy trying to find anything.
-Read the directions carefully before you try to use it. I spent a frustrating half-hour trying to figure it out on my own. Why do I do this? Saves more time by actually following the instructions.
-Malibu Rum, Pineapple Juice and Ice blended in the Magic Bullet is pure bliss. I even topped my cocktail with a little umbrella and took it to the pool with me.
-Less cleaning than using your blender. Since it's a compact version of your blender, it takes less time to clean, and since the cups are plastic (important for a clutz like me) there's no fear of breakage.
So far I have made lots of cocktails and pureed tomatoes for spanish rice.
Do you have a Magic Bullet? What do you make with it?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Few New Recipes

I love grilled cheese so I fancied this up. It is sourdough bread from Sprouts (so yummy) with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil and a little mayo. I pan-fried this in EVOO then had a little balsamic on the side for dipping. Delicious.

I tried this recipe from Cookette's blog
It is quite spicy but tasty. I hope you check out her blog.

Still cooking my way thru the Barefoot Contessa cookbook. This is her Mexican Chicken Soup. Really yummy and great to make a lot and freeze some for later.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Root 246 in Solvang

Root 246 in Solvang
Brunch Menu

Dill Cornbread Muffins, delicious. One question, 2 people, 3 muffins, hmmmm? Can we have one more please? Thankfully, we had a really nice waiter who kept us fully stocked with muffins while we waited for our food.

Peach & Apricot Sangria, couldn't taste either fruit and had an odd licorice taste. It was also really strong so I followed it up with some coffee.

Strawberry souffle pancake. A little bit of heaven.

Steak & eggs in desperate need of salt & pepper. Fancy, snobby restaurants, do not put shakers on the table and then look at you funny when you ask for some.

Guess who had to pee on the way home and just happened to stop at McConnell's Ice Cream in Santa Barbara. Best peach ice cream in the world.

Time for a day trip. I surprised my hubby with a massage at the Chumash Casino in Santa Barbara while I did a little gambling. If you've never been, try it. Their spa is amazing. The casino is really smokey but I don't mind since the slot machines put me in a trance. I usually stick with the nickel slots, but I had a little birthday money and tried the $5 machines. BIG MISTAKE. $40 later I was a loser for the day.
On to brunch. I have always wanted to try Bradley Ogden's restaurant Root 246 in Solvang. We sat outside and enjoyed watching all the tourists take tons of tons of photos. Then I whipped out my camera and embarrassed my honey by taking my own set of photos. You'd think he'd be used to this by now. LOL Food was good but I don't think I'll be going back. It was a little too pricey and snobby for me.
On the way home, I desperately needed a potty break. Even though we only live an hour away. So where did we stop? McConnell's! Best ice cream ever. The bathroom is in the back and the owner was kind enough to let me use it. I got to see where all the ice cream is made and can I just say, very clean and smells amazing. Love the cream-sugar scent combo.

Moroccan Bisteeya by Padma Lakshmi

Anyone else a fan of Top Chef?

Bisteeya all wrapped up and ready for the oven.

So pretty I almost didn't want to cut into it.


For my birthday I received a gift card for Williams & Sonoma. Please tell me I'm not the only one to be completely overwhelmed in cooking stores. I wanted to buy everything. Shiny new knives, maybe an ice cream maker perfect for a hot summer, more cooling racks for my cookies, the cutest apron ever with matching oven mitts....ok, ok, I needed to pick something and then my eyes landed on the sales table. I'm a sucker for a sale. One of my purchases, Padma Lakshmi's cook book. I'm a fan of Top Chef and Indian food so I was really excited to get it home and try it out.
In her book she describes Bisteeya as the most daunting recipe in the book. I figured if I made it correctly, everything else would be easy peasy. First of all, try finding anar dana and anchoor in your local grocery store. Otherwise known as dried pomegranate seeds (irritated to find them on the "new" items shelf at Trader Joes a week after I made this) and dried mango powder. Luckily, after asking a few friends and coworkers, an Indian market was located and they had everything I needed. Second of all, working with filo dough is really really frustrating. I had the hardest time keeping it from drying out, sticking to the other pieces and getting it to lay flat without cracking while I brushed it with butter. I may have cheated a little and started dousing it with butter rather than brushing it nicely. I'll try and have more patience next time. Yes, there will be a next time as it's sooooo pretty when you take it out of the oven and tastes very homey and comforting. Although, I have found I'm not a fan of dried pomegranate seeds. This dish will definitely be on the holiday recipe list.
So, if you like a challenge check out Padma's recipe for Moroccan Bisteeya (Curried Chicken Pie) and let me know what you think. But don't tell your spouse it's a savory dish dusted with powdered sugar, he'll make a face when you ask him to try it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stonefire Grill and Birthday Fun

Salad that comes with the meal.

BBQ Tri-tip Salad that is HUGE. This could have fed our whole table.

Aloha yummy.

BBQ Chicken and Tri-tip, tasted dry like it had been sitting under a heat lamp.

Breadsticks which were only good dipped in ranch or marinara. I was hoping for better as I love love love bread.

I'm not sure what type of pizza this was, but it looked good.

Cupcakes made by my friend's wife. So good.

Last night we celebrated a friend's birthday at the Stonefire Grill. I'd never been before so I was excited to try something new + have something to blog about. Yes, I made everyone crazy by taking pictures of all the food.
The food was good, but I didn't really care for the atmosphere. Seems more like a lunch place. Very busy, noisy and you don't have a waiter (different people randomly check on you throughout your meal).
I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there, but it would be worth it for take out.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hey, it's OK Tuesday

I got this idea from this hilarious blog, If you've never seen her blog, check it out. It's too funny. I thought I'd take a little break from food posting today and use her idea.She got this idea from Glamour magazine. They have a section called Hey, It’s Okay and will list a bunch of things to be okay about. You're welcome to join in and do something like this on your blog.

Hey It's OK......

To scream and run from bees. I'm sorry, but they hurt when they sting and I don't care if you laugh at me for running from them.

To let your kitties sleep with you and carefully maneuver around them so as not to disturb their slumber. They're just soooo cute.

To love Cup O', hot, delicious, goodness.

To prefer a real birthday card in the mail as opposed to an e-mail or Facebook greeting. It's nice to get something instead of bills at least once a year from the postman.

To accept a friend request on Facebook just to look at their photos and then later delete the friendship once your curiosity is satisfied.

To be super excited every time you see a comment on your blog. As long as it's nice.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pooch Parade & Tacos.

Maui is ready to walk.

Carne Asada

Crunchy chicken tacos.

Beautiful flowers along the walk.

Typical Ventura beach weather in the morning.

Pooch Parade!

My friends have the most adorable puggle named Maui and every year we walk in the pooch parade to help local animal rescues. It's so fun. Tons and tons of dogs and their owners come to walk 3 miles along the beach in Ventura and raise money for our furry friends.

Once we finished our walk, we ate at the Beach House on the Ventura Pier. Yummy, cheap and my favorite mexican food.

What charities do you support? Animals are my soft spot. If I could adopt them all, I would.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Swedish Strawberry Cream Cake

I'm a follower of the blog One Perfect Bite which is where I found the recipe for this cake. Here is a link to her blog
I made this cake for a 4th of July BBQ yesterday and it was a huge hit. I think next time I will also add some blueberries. It was so easy to make and looks beautiful when it's done. I hope you give it a try.
Did you make anything special for this holiday weekend?

Friday, July 2, 2010


As a member of the FoodBuzz Tastemaker program, I get to sample new products and give my review. When Buitoni sent me a coupon to try their new Riserva pasta line, I was a little skeptical. I don't usually like prepackage pasta. It tends to be rubbery and have way too much salt. However, Buitoni surprised me. It was really yummy. I could actually tell there was mushroom in the pasta filling and the sauce was garlicky and delicious. It was so quick to make that I'll definitely be buying again when I'm in need of a quick meal.
Have you tried any of Buitoni line of products? What did you think?