Sometimes I have thought about what to open that night before 8am...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Snail's Pace

Lately life seems to be moving at lightning speed.

But I'm moving at a snail's pace.


I am lethargic. Which lends itself to feeling uninspired, and sometimes down right grumpy.  These are not things I am used to feeling.  Normally, I am energetic, creative, and fun. Or at least I think I am!

So what has caused this dramatic change?  After some reflection I think I may be struggling with anemia. I am a vegetarian. However, I have never been anemic before.  I eat a wide variety of iron rich foods.  Plus I take a multi-vitamin. I have been doing this for more than 20 years, so I am pretty in tune to what my body needs.

But anemia is the only thing that makes sense.

So I started an iron supplement today.  It is a liquid, and boy oh boy can it ruin your taste buds for an hour.  The very nice lady at my local vitamin store told me that she thought it tasted good. We obviously have very different palates. (Thank goodness I wasn't looking for a wine recommendation.) But if it can put a pep back in my step it will all be worth it!

Cross your fingers for me. Oh, and if you have any guidance, feel free to leave it below.

I am open to suggestions!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Consider Yourself Warned: It's Monday Morning ... and I'm Singing.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens;
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens;
Brown paper packages tied up with strings;
These are a few of my favorite things.
My three girls. Always my favorite thing.

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels;
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles;
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings;
These are a few of my favorite things.
What the morning looks like when everyone is home.
Have I mentioned this takes place in less than two weeks?
I haven't?!  Well let me tell you...
10 days baby! 10 days!!

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes;
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes;
Silver-white winters that melt into springs;
These are a few of my favorite things.
Wait a minute.  Wait a minute. 
Hold the phone.  
All of this singing was an advertisement?  This blog is sponsored? Do you even have enough readers for that?!  
Well, no.  
In fact no, no, and no.
I just love this tea.  
It is full bodied, has a terrific taste, and it will kick you in your butt at 5:30am.  All of which are requirements in my daily life.  So I am sharing my love for PG Tips with you.  If you are a tea drinker you should get some.  If you know a tea drinker, buy it for them! 
Now, before the kettle boils, I have two quick things for you:
When the dog bites,
When the bee stings,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel so baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!
You didn't really think I would leave without singing the best part, did you?
Hit play on this and then go about your morning routine.  I love John Coltrane, and this is a much, much better version of the song I was just singing.  
Happy Monday!

Friday, March 4, 2011

I Love France! And French Wine!

It is true.  Tim and I took the most amazing trip to France in 2004.  We traveled and cycled all over the country for 10 days following le Tour de France.  It was an incredible.  The food was spectacular, the wine was luscious, the people were charming, and the cheese... Glory be...don't even get me started about the cheese!

That trip to France changed my perception of French wine.  Prior to the trip, I always thought it was delicious, but expensive.  That may have been because I love Chateauneuf du Pape.  Or maybe it is just the aura that surrounds all things French.

However, on the trip there was wine with dinner every night, and most of it was just table wine.  It was decadent.  We are talking about wine that was between 3 and 6 dollars at the market, and it rivaled wine I had paid 15 to 20 dollars for at home!

For this very reason, I have spent a lot of time experimenting with French wines .  I have found many Cotes du Rhones that are both delicious and affordable.  But the one I am posting today, blows them ALL out of the water.  Especially, when it falls under that 10 dollar price tag!

Chateau Roudier
Purchased at Trader Joe's for $9.99
Fruity, but not light.  I picked up cherry and plum.  A bit tannic at first, it would benefit from being opened a little bit before you plan on drinking it.  But that said, this wine was delicious.  "Buy 6" delicious.  "Drink it all summer while you sit on the deck and your husband grills" delicious.  "Take this as a hostess gift to every party you attend" delicious.

This was another home run from Trader Joe's.  

If I wasn't married, I swear I would be flirting with their wine guy.    He definitely has my number!  It probably starts with $9.99...


Writing this post has made me sappy for our trip to France. So even though you didn't ask, here are a few pictures from what I consider to be the trip of a lifetime!
The very fun, very lively group we cycled with on our trip.

An old mill, converted to a hotel where we stayed one night.

The rest of these are pictures taken from my bike as we rode each day.

Well, except this one.
This is a picture of Tim and I at the inn we stayed in our last night.
It was an old Monastery converted to a lovely Inn.
The dining room was in the vault where the kept the wine casks.
I could have stayed there forever.
If you hurry, you still have time to get to the store and pick up the Chateau Roudier for tonight!  And if you want to go to France, TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chicken, Mushroom, and Queso Fundido Enchiladas

I love to cook on Friday nights.  It seems like the perfect kick off to the weekend.  There is no pressure to get people anywhere.  No rush for bedtimes.  Plenty of time to hang out, and cook.  If you get hungry earlier than I'm ready, get a snack.  

Queso Fundido is incredibly easy to make and delicious!

Chicken, Mushroom, and Queso Fundido Enchiladas

1 large chicken breast
2 large portabello mushrooms
9 flour tortillas
4 tbsp salted butter
4 tbsp flour
2 cups skim milk
8 oz shredded jalapeno jack cheese
Assorted Mexican Spices
Fresh Salsa

First you are going to sprinkle a little cajun seasoning (or Bayou Blast, or Seafood Magic) on your chicken breast and roast it in the oven.  If you have left over chicken from another recipe, feel free to substitute.

Then you are going to cut your mushrooms in half, and slice into thin strips.  Saute until well cooked in a mixture of Mexican spices and olive oil. 
I use cumin, Bayou Blast, Franks Red Hot, Oregano and Olive Oil.
Be careful not to use too much Red Hot because as it cooks down you may end up with salty mushrooms when it reduces.

This is about half way there.
This takes about 5 minutes.  While you are waiting for them to cook (be sure you stir them periodically), you can work on the Queso Fundido.

Melt 4 tbsp butter in a pot.  Stir in 4 tbsp of flour to make your roux.  Cook for a minute or two.  You don't want it to be brown, because your sauce is suppose to be white.  Add the 2 cups of milk and stir until hot and starts to thicken.  You need to keep an eye on this.  If you don't continuously stir it, it will stick to the bottom of the pan, or even worse... boil over.  You don't want to clean up that mess!  

When it is hot, and thickened turn off the heat, and stir in the jalapeno jack cheese.  Stir until completely melted and combined.  Set aside.

Pour a small amount of Queso Fundido into the bottom of the pan to keep the enchiladas from sticking.
Fill each tortilla with a few pieces of chicken and a few mushrooms.
Roll and place seam side down in the baking dish.
Pour the rest of your Queso Fundido over the enchiladas, cover, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until hot and burbling.

Serve topped with fresh salsa, and sliced avocado.
This is obviously not fresh salsa, and there is a glaring absence of avocado.
But it was Friday night, and I was not going to the store to get them!
And you should make these to go with it.  Cross my heart.
Blood Orange Margaritas

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Getting back into the swing of things.

This is our first week with Tim and I both working.  It means we have had to redistribute some household duties.  While it has been more hectic, I have to say... I prefer it this way.  I know it sounds crazy, but I love the crazy.  The more scheduled I am, the better I function.  I get more accomplished when there aren't enough hours in the day, than I do if I have a weeks vacation.  It could be because when I'm on vacation I like to spend all of my time drinking margaritas with my toes scrunched in the sand.  Or it could be that I thrive under pressure.  Truthfully? It's probably both!

Anyway, for what it is worth, I give you:

What's On My Plate - AGAIN!

Wednesday - Great night - Terrible Picture
We had friends over for dinner and made this.  I know it looks terrible.  I mean the camera takes awful pictures, but this Charlie?  You're really going to post this on your blog?!
 Thursday - The Goose had 3 dinners.  It was our first Thursday with an additional activity thrown in, and boy did it kick our butts! She had a bagel with peanut butter and a banana at 4pm.  Then she went to dance.  Then she had a Ham and Cheese Sandwich on her way from dance to jump rope.  Then she walked in the door at 8:10pm and ask me what was for dinner.  Dear lord.  Looks like I better stock up for Thursday nights!

Friday - We celebrated the end of Tim's first full week of employment.  We had Blood Orange Margaritas, and I made...
Chicken and Mushroom Queso Fundido Enchiladas
Saturday: The Goose had a friend over, and we cleaned out the garage.  Which meant that by the time we figured out that we had small people to feed, pasta was for dinner!
Mine is the one on the right.  I love pesto!
Sunday: The Oscars!  We celebrated with a platter of delicious goodness to be consumed while watching.  Have I mentioned how fun it is to live on the West Coast?  This was the first year that The Goose could watch with us, because they started at 5pm.  They gave out the award for Best Picture (Yeah!  The King's Speech!), and it wasn't cutting into Letterman.  Weird.

Lemon Ciabatta, Strawberries, Saint Andre, Chicken and Apple Sausage
 Monday- I've been wanting to do noodles for some time now.  Last night was the night!  It was so incredibly easy and delicious we will be making this quite often.
Udon noodles, with shitake mushrooms, bok choy, green onions, carrots, and yellow bell peppers.
So there you have it! Another week bites the dust.  I am loving the accountability that comes with posting my pictures each week!  Keeps me honest and on track!