Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pinterest is My New Cookbook

Pinterest is seriously awesome for finding new recipes. I have always been a photo cookbook type of gal. I like cookbooks, but I am very unlikely to choose a recipe unless I see a picture. Or the title sounds scrumptious. But I'm much more likely when there is a photo.

In the last several years, I have most oft turned to the Internet when I want to find a recipe. Usually I come up with some sort of idea of something to cook and I google the best recipes.

But Pinterest...

Oh Pinterest...

You have changed my life.

When I see these awesome looking photos, I can't help but pinning them and adding the ingredients to my grocery list. I have pinned several recipes that I have found on my own. But more often I have repinned something that I someone else pinned on Pinterest. Thanks to all the people that have pinned so many delicious recipes!

This week I have made several recipes from Pinterest. It is so easy to find something to make before I go to the grocery store because I just click on my "In the Kitchen" board and check out what looks good!

Now I will share with you what I have made this week:

Actually I made this Lemon-Garlic Spaghetti 2 weeks ago, but I thought it would fit here.

I followed the recipe pretty exactly. Did you know pine nuts are uber expensive. For serious.

We both enjoyed it and would definitely make it again.

I made these Parmesan Roasted Potatoes on Wednesday night.

Target didn't have the right potatoes so I used smallish Yukon gold potatoes instead. But since they were bigger than the ones the recipe called for, boiling them for such a short time didn't quite cook them enough. So they were a little hard.

Other than that I followed the recipe and they were delicious (minus the hardness of course). Reheated they were really good too and they softened after being put in the microwave.

I made these Easy Parmesan Knots along with the potatoes on Wednesday night.

They were actually VERY easy and SO yummy. I highly recommend them as an easy yummy addition to a meal. Though knotting them was no harder than rolling croissants from the tube, they look all fancy!

I made these White Chicken Enchiladas on Saturday night. I have been eyeing them for a while, but wasn't sure how Adam would react. But he really liked them!

I made half with chicken and half with black beans and garbanzo beans.

Obviously the beans were for me.

I didn't find green chilies at Target (as you have probably noticed I don't make multiple grocery trips) so I bought the tomatoes with green chilies Rotelle. It gave a slightly different flavor, but I liked it.

Also, I added some mozzarella cheese because 2 cups of cheese for the whole thing just didn't seem like enough to me.

The sauce calls for chicken broth, but I make an easy vegetable broth with warm water and a bunch of seasonings. But for the life of me I can't find the website where I found the recipe.

The enchiladas were yummy! The sour cream gives the sauce a different taste, but it was really good!

So Pinterest,
Thank You.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Vacation Food Needs its Own Post

I figured that the our vacation food deserved its own post. I love taking pictures of yummy food. Another thing that Adam is used to now!

We went to the Grand Wok at MGM one night for dinner. There was nothing without meat so I asked the waitress. She made me tofu pad thai and it was great! We mentioned it was our anniversary and she brought us out some sort of mango dessert. It was very different, but yummy!

The night we went to Lion King we went to T&T (Tacos and Tequila) at the Luxor. I had AMAZING cheese enchiladas. They were truly yummy!

The next day while walking the strip we stopped for some self-serve frozen yogurt. I have never been to a place like that, but it was great! You picked your frozen yogurt and whatever toppings you wanted. They just weigh it and that's how much you get charged! I loved my vanilla with fruit tasty treat!

Our last night for dinner we went to the steakhouse in the Luxor, Tender. We normally would not hit up such an extravagant restaurant (I can be more than a little frugal), but because we sat through a timeshare presentation (we said no) we got $150 in dining and gambling vouchers (also how we got the cheap tickets to terrible Criss Angel).

I started with a spinach and arugula salad that also had feta and craisins with toasted almonds. Yum!

Adam had a sirloin steak. he also got mashed potatoes and asparagus (you know, $10 each extra). The potatoes and asparagus were yummy too!

But the coup de gras of the evening (possibly the whole trip) was my cheese platter.

Oh the cheese platter....

When we decided to try out the restuarant we looked at the menu to see if there was anything I could eat. A cheese platter? I have always wanted to try a cheese platter! I was excited about it for days!

I got to pick out 5 kinds of cheese out of about 8 chocies. The waiter helped me make my choices. I have never met a cheese I don't like, so I was pretty confident I would like anything I choose!

My choices:
-Purple Moon Cheddar: Fiscalini farms, San Joaquin Valley, California – cabernet sauvignon soaked and moderately sharp sweetnes
-Mine Shafts Blue: Cedar Ridge, Rocklin, California – savory, full flavored, gold-mine aged Roquefort style bleu-vein
-Bermuda Triangle Goat: Cypress Grove Chevre, McKinleyville, California – soft-ripened, double-rinded with earthy yet mild truffle-like finish
-Marieke Gouda: Holland’s Family Farm, Thorpe, Wisconsin – slightly nutty and creamy
-Mouco Colorouge Camembert-style:Mouco Cheese Company, Fort Collins, Colorado – washed rind, soft interior with complex flavors

As you can see I enjoyed my cheese platter quite a bit! I would definitely do that again. I loved every single one of them.

I didn't mean to post this yet, but I hit post, so I guess here it goes!

I loved everything we tried in Las Vegas! Even if it is a bit pricey, we got some yummy foods. And I love yummy food!

Friday, July 22, 2011

My New Best Friend

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter or have hung out with me anytime recently, you are well aware that my house had no air conditioning. Had you ask? Yes. Had. As in the past. Which is the whole point of this post because I HAVE AIR NOW AND MY LIFE IS NOW COMPLETE. (Yes, caps were completely necessary).

Until this week, we had no AC at our house. It was pretty much miserable.

See that guy above? That is how I felt all the time.

We couldn't even have a bunch of window units because our electrical service was so old and couldn't support them. But that is where having an electrician for a husband comes in handy. He has been working all summer to make it compatible.

We are also very lucky that Adam's great-grandpa, back in the 30s, decided to put in forced air heat instead of the standard radiator heat that is usually in old houses. If he hadn't done that with all the duct work, etc, we never would be able to even consider central air now. Glad he took on that remodel project. Thanks Great-Grandpa T!

How do you know when your house is the hottest ever?
When the heat index is over 100 and it feels better to go OUTSIDE than it does to walk INSIDE.
When you look at your garden that makes you money and say, "Sorry little plants" because there is no way you are going outside and watering them.
When you hate to have air movement on your skin and you have a fan blowing straight on you from about 6 inches away.
When you don't sleep for 3 nights straight because it is too hot to do anything and the 1 window unit you have sounds like a cross between a bad refrigerator and a motorcycle.
When it is pointless to put makeup on because it melts off within 5 seconds.
When you look across your dining room and this is the mirage you see...
This week, however, my every dream came true! WE GOT CENTRAL AIR! It was Wednesday morning. I had just woken up from the 3rd night in a row of oh about.....3 hours of sleep. I was crabby and hot and had a project to work on. But then this wonderful man came and knocked and the door and said his work was finished. He pushed a button....

...and it was magical.

Cold air was coming out of my vents! I literally stood on top of one for a few minutes.

It was truly glorious.

This is my new best friend:
Along with the man who installed it. I texted Adam and told him I might have to kiss the man on the mouth and he'd just have to be OK with it.

This is how I feel now:

Yes, when it is 115 with the heat index, it only gets down to about 82 upstairs. But 82 feels glorious to me!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Las Vegas Part #2

Here is the second part of our Las Vegas trip!

The night we went to go see Lion King, we also walked around the casinos and hit up Excalibur. Throughout the trip Adam told me about the "inclinator". I thought it was a made up word. I kept laughing at him. But then we saw this sign:

It is an inclined moving walkway! inclinator!

I also wanted to show you the very creative stand I made to take pictures of us before we headed out for the evening. I needed just a little more height than I was getting from the overturned garbage can, so the book helped!

We aren't huge gamblers, but we enjoyed throwing $10 or $20 in the slot machines here and there throughout the week. I don't mind losing so much if I actually get a good amount of play time out of it. When you lose it all right away, then it is sad.

We like those penny and quarter slots because you get that much more play time out of it!

On our last day there, we walked all the way from the Luxor to the Mirage. Quite the walk! When we walked past the Bellagio we were bummed to find out the fountains weren't working. So I made Adam make a sad face since he was excited to see them.

I also made Adam take this picture of hanging out with a naked woman woman in Vegas!

When we were walking around that day I got a call from my sister in Cairo! Wael had proposed! They were on a boat on the Nile and he got down on one knee and asked her. Doesn't everyone get asked on a boat on the Nile?? SO EXCITED for them!

We really did enjoy staying at the Luxor. It is at the very end of the strip, but we didn't mind. We were really close to several casinos and the walk really wasn't so bad. It was the best hotel for the best deal we found and we were really happy with it. We also thought it was cool that my sister Erin is in Cairo right now and we were both near pyramids!

Enjoying the sun while reading my Baby-sitters Club book for my twitter discussion!

We went to go to Criss Angel Believe on our last night there. It was honestly one of the most terrible shows I have ever seen. We both agreed. Adam really wanted to see it because he likes illusions/magic. It was absolutely ridiculous with how stupid it was. No one should ever waste their money on it. The effects were amazing: lights, smoke, pyrotechnics! But illusions? None! There was not ONE point during the show that we said, " did he do that?"

Also, our last night we had $20 to play for my Grandpa in the dollar slots. He sent me with $20 and instructions to stop at $5 and take the money for our troubles or stop at $60 if we are up. So I was playing and was down to about $11 when suddenly I hit something! I don't know what it was but the numbers were flying. The LED read 103 and I was doing math in my head to see how many dollars that it was (I thought we were still doing quarter slots!). Adam saw me cocking my head to the side doing math and he said, "THAT IS DOLLARS!". So Grandpa won $100 and we won nothing all week!

On the way up to our room the last night I was still in amazement about the terrible Criss Angel show and Grandpa winning $100 and Adam stopped at a pop machine and was excited he put in $2 and won a pop!

We really had a blast in Las Vegas! Though it is expensive with everything you do, it really was a blast. We enjoyed doing a variety of activities being busy with shows and walking around and also just relaxing by the pool and drinking frozen drinks in a huge glass in the casino!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Las Vegas Part #1

For our first anniversary we decided to take a trip to Las Vegas. I have only been once before. My parents took me for my 21st birthday that summer. But Adam had never been. We also thought it would be neat to go to LV because we could also go to the Grand Canyon.

Our flights in were pretty difficult. I was NOT feeling well at all. In fact on the last flight from our layover at LAX to LV, I even got to make use of the air sick bag. It was totally awesome. Probably ranks up there with one of my most embarrassing moments. Adam was totally awesome grabbing the bag for me and making me feel better. Yuck.

When we finally arrived it was pretty cool to see the Luxor from the runway!

When we got all checked in to our hotel, we walked around a bit and checked out the hote and casinol. We were also very hungry! We also got a fun surprise in our room that night, but I will show you pictures of what it was later!

The next morning we decided to exchange gifts for our first anniversary.

I got Adam a certificate to go on a hot air balloon ride. It is something he has been talking about for a long time. He talks about it every day. I tried to think of something more personal, but then decided this is what he really wants! What he really wants is to own one, but we'll see about that. For now the two of us are going to go on a ride. (Check out who is in the basket of the balloon on the picture).

Adam got me tickets to go see Lion King! I have been wanting to go for AGES! He also made a card for me with photos from our wedding. I love the thought he put into it! Also can't believe he was able to find the CD of our photos in my desk and figure out how to upload them online to make the card (this type of thing usually isn't him!).

The first day walking down the strip, suddenly we were caught in a quick rainstorm. We were out on a sidewalk no where near anything and we were SOAKED! We ran for it and then finally made it under an overhang.

We walked around to several casinos the first day, threw a few dollars in and enjoyed the sights.

I enjoy taking pictures with statues. I also make myself last!

One of my prerequisites for going on vacation is time in the sun. Looking online I loved pictures of the pool! We enjoyed laying by the pool with our big frozen daiquiri!

Though I got a little annoyed because....see that cool column thing in the back? It has water shooting out of the columns and it is a neat pool. have to pay for access!!! $25 a chair. No WAY! They should really say that on the Luxor website. So we used the free pool.

I always like to take pictures before we go out for the night and Adam is totally easy going about When we went on our first trip together to NYC Adam wasn't so thrilled about my nightly photo. Now, he knows he anticipates it!

When we got back to our room we celebrated with the surprise Mom and Dad sent us. Champagne to our room. And it was a really yummy champagne!!!

Back at the pool! When we were at the pool this day, that is when I got the call from Wael my sister's boyfriend to ask for my blessing to ask her to marry him. I was so excited! I, of course, spent the next 45 minutes on the phone with my mom making wedding plans....even though she didn't know she was going to be getting married yet.

That night we went to go see Lion King! I was just giddy with excitement!

Our first seats were in the first row of the second section. They were really good...except for the railing blocking our view! So we said something to the usher and he got us new seats on the aisle. It was SO awesome. When the "animals" were parading in, they came RIGHT by us. It was super awesome. Neat-o!

The rest of our trip will be coming in a few days!