Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back in Louisiana

I have to say that this has been a good and bad thing for us. As much as we both are glad to get back to our seemingly quiet neighborhood, unlike the apartment in Petersburg, we are sad because we are back to where it takes a good drive to get anywhere. We both have felt as if over the last 3 months we were spoiled with the restaurants we were able to visit. Our date nights were full of variety. I am going to try and recap some of them for you now...I know I should have been doing this over the last 3 months..lol!

Chinese food at the mall!


Sushi at Wabi Sabi (went here a bunch)


Bottoms Up Pizza in Richmond....


Mexican Pizza


Chesapeake Pizza - Crab on a pizza...Need I say more!!!


Peanut Butter Smore's Pizza


Creme Brulee

All of the above are from Bottoms Up Pizza

Our last date night in Virigina.  We went to The Bistro and Market and Grove.

If you are ever in the Petersburg, VA area you really should check these places out.  Great prices and super yummy food!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Don't Mess with the little kids!!!



I had seen this amazing art work on a website (not sure who created it but I give them unknown credit).

The area makes me think of Petersburg where we are living right now (well until tomorrow).  I have to say though...Don't mess with the little kids!!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Please meet Abigail Mae


On July 2nd we had decided to take our 6 year old Lab to PetSmart on an outing.  We NEVER thought we would leave with another "dogter".  Once we walked into the store we could hear the sound of dogs carrying on.  I personal thought that they were holding some sort of class and that is where the noise was coming from.  Daniel , of course, headed towards the noise...lol.  Harleigh and I followed and when we got to where the noise was originating we were greeted with polite hellos from the volunteers of S.A.F.E.  Before that day I had never heard of S.A.F.E but I believe in what they stand for.  S.A.F.E. = Saving Animals From Euthanasia.  They told us they are there every Saturday with hopes of finding nice homes for the cats and dogs they had.  Well it did not take long for Daniel to fall in love with this little girl.  I of course was close to follow.  We took her to the back and let Har and her sniff it out and see how things would go and within just minutes they were playing.  This was such a happy sight to see!  We filled out the paper work and gladly brought this little bundle of joy home with us.  In less then a month she has proved to be a perfect match to our family.  Abigail Mae is full of life.  Her and her big sister, Harleigh, play so well and Harleigh has been teaching Abigail so much.  I am sure that I will be posting many more photos and stories about both of them so stay tuned for it :)


Eggplant Lasagna




Ingredients:

Two 1/4-inch-thick eggplant slices (cut lengthwise from a long eggplant), patted dry
1 egg white or 2 tbsp. liquid egg whites
1/2 cup fat-free ricotta cheese (or alternative below)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
Additional salt, black pepper, to taste
2 sheets oven-ready lasagna noodles (like the kind by Barilla)
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp. reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping


Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spritz both sides of each eggplant slice with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through, until browned and softened.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine egg white(s), ricotta cheese, basil, garlic, salt, and nutmeg. Stir well and set aside.
Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add mushrooms and, stirring occasionally, cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir mushrooms into ricotta mixture and set aside.
Add Italian seasoning to crushed tomatoes, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
Spray a large loaf pan (about 9" X 5") with nonstick spray. Pour 1/4 cup tomatoes evenly into the bottom of the pan. Top with 1 lasagna sheet. Spread half of the ricotta-mushroom mixture on top, followed by another 1/4 cup tomatoes. Top with 1 eggplant slice.
Repeat layering with 1/4 cup tomatoes, 1 lasagna sheet, remaining ricotta-mushroom mixture, remaining 1/4 cup tomatoes, and remaining eggplant slice.
Evenly top with mozzarella and grated topping. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until cheese starts to brown. Serve and enjoy!

MAKES 2 SERVINGS

I have to say this is one yummy dinner to have.  This not only is a quick lasagna to create but it is low cal also.  Romantic dinner for two? Add a nice tossed salad and maybe a nice desert of some fresh fruit.

recipe can be found here http://www.hungry-girl.com/newsletters/raw/1358
Yes Hungry-Girl Rocks!!!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lawn 911! Pet Poisonous Cocoa Bean Mulch


Lawn 911! Pet Poisonous Cocoa Bean Mulch

dog with cocoa bean mulch
If your dog likes to spend sunny days lazing in the garden, his treat-seeking nose may lead him to one danger in particular: sweet-smelling cocoa bean mulch.
Many gardeners are familiar with the use of cocoa bean shells, a by-product of chocolate production, in landscaping. It’s especially popular for its attractive odor and color and eventual degradation into organic fertilizer. But many pet parents don’t realize that cocoa mulch, if eaten in large quantities by mischievous dogs, can be toxic.
“Dogs are attracted to the fertilizer’s sweet smell,” says Dr. Steven Hansen, ASPCA Chief Operating Officer, “but like chocolate, cocoa bean mulch can be too much for our canine companions.”
Ingestion of large amounts of cocoa bean mulch may cause a variety of clinical signs, including:
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • elevated heart rate
  • hyperactivity
  • muscle tremors
  • neurological disturbances
Dr. Hansen recommends that the gardeners among us consider using a nontoxic alternative, such as shredded pine, cedar or hemlock bark, to beautify their yards. These will keep your pooch and your garden happy and healthy.
If you suspect your dog has ingested cocoa bean mulch, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

I read this on the ASPCA's web site and I thought I would share it with all of my readers.  Our pets health is important to us as I know your pets health is important to you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Too-EZ Fish Taco Supreme



Too-EZ Fish Taco Supreme

1 serving = 258 calories (believe me it is a bunch of food)
Ingredients
4 ounces of raw tilapia (or other low cal fish you like)
1/3 cup thinly sliced onion
1/3 cup thinly sliced bell pepper
½ teaspoon taco seasoning mix
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 large corn tortilla (we used low cal flour ones instead)
¼ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place fish and sliced veggies in a bowl and spray with a light mist of nonstick spray. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and lime juice, and toss to combine. Set aside.
Lay a large piece of heavy-duty foil on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray. Transfer fish and veggies to the center of the foil.
Fold up and seal the foil creating a pouch.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes r until the fish is cooked.  Allow the packet to cool for a bit then carefully open it up.
Warm your tortilla a little, place your beans and fish mixture in the center and fold up the sides.
Eat and Enjoy!!!

This recipe is for 1 serving
Adapted from Hungry Girl 300 for 300 cookbook.

Let me say this is one super yummy recipe.  I do not think you will be disappointed…well unless you don’t care for fish that is.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

S'mores Oatmeal - HG style!




Can you believe that this yummy goodness is oatmeal?  How about can you believe that it is around 300 calories? I have to admit that I was also very surprised.  When I first came across this recipe in the new cookbook I was shocked for several reasons...
1. who puts hot cocoa mix in oatmeal,
2. who would put marshmallows in their oatmeal, and
3. Graham crackers - really!

I am a newbie to cooking oatmeal but low and behold it is quite simple (just takes about 15 minutes).
The recipe calls for a diet hot cocoa mix (25 calories), almond milk vanilla flavored, old fashioned oats, marshmallows, graham cracker, chocolate chips.

Put it all together and you have yourself a delicious treat.  When we had it for the first time I felt like I was consuming a bowl of fresh cook pudding.  I am a sucker for warm chocolate pudding.

Yummy!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hungry Girl Cook Book



I was surfing the net (go figure right) and several times have come across things referring to Hungry Girl.  I decided to search on Amazon and find a copy of one of her cookbooks.  With Hubby and I wanting to eat better and try to shed the pounds (again) I was like lets go for it.  We came up with the idea that we would try to make each recipe at least once...and with that being said I plan on blogging my experiences and thoughts about each one.

So please come with us on this culinary journey while we explore the world of Hungry Girl recipes (oh I will still be posting about other things too - just to keep you on your toes)!

Smiles :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Our Local Coffee House


Here in Petersburg there is a local coffee house...Demolition Coffee.  We have been here on several occasions and for the exception of last night it has been a wonderful place to get a cup of joe.  I guess on Friday nights there is a band playing and last night, not knowing this, ventured inside.  The music was so loud that we had to yell our order and it still was not right.  The girl making our drinks was in a mood and that also made it our visit a rough one.  We got our drinks to go and when we arrived home I realized how gross my drink was... I think the girl must have tripled the flavor/sweetener.  It was so sweet I got a belly ache.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Watergate Salad recipe

I could not believe this recipe was in my inbox from Kraft just a minute ago. This treat brings back many yummy memories for me as a child. I think this was the first thing my Grandmother had ever shown me how to create. I have made this salad for many different occasion and I hope you do also!

Watergate Salad recipe

What You Need

1 can (20 oz.) DOLE Crushed Pineapple, in juice, undrained
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Pistachio Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans
1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Make It

MIX first 4 ingredients in large bowl until well blended.

STIR in COOL WHIP.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour.


ENJOY!!!!

Petersburg Court House - Virginia

One of the many things we have had the honor of seeing while here in VA is the Petersburg Courthouse. I have to say that the photo does it no justice.

This is one of the great things built that have been around for a very long time. This was here during the Civil War in 1865 and to think it is still standing today amazes me.
This is what the City of Petersburg website says about it -

"The Petersburg Courthouse, built between 1837 and 1839, was the official Confederate headquarters during the Siege of Petersburg. On April 20, 1861, local volunteers formed in its square to enlist. On June 9, 1864, its bell sounded the warning for the local militia to meet the advancing Union cavalry.


During the Siege, soldiers from both sides could see the courthouse clock from the trenches and they set their timepieces by it. The clock tower was a favorite target of Union artillerists, who poured an estimated 20,000 shells into the city. When Petersburg fell on April 3, 1865 a Union flag waved above it."
More to come so keep checking back...my three month trip has only begun!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

OMG!!! It Has Been Awhile

Boy I have been super busy so sorry for not posting..lets see what has been going on...



My daughter came to visit us in Louisiana.  We had so much fun.  The above pic was taken while we were on an outing to the coast and getting in some alligator watching...woohoo so much fun.  I promise to post more pictures soon.

After she left and went back to Kansas we had to get super busy with packing.  Yep we are taking a bit of a holiday of sorts in VA for three months while hubby is attending school.  Super busy I tell you.  We are here now in beautiful Petersburg, VA.  There is so much history from this and surrounding areas, I am very excited to experience all I can...food too!

I will be posting more later with kinda flash backs on what has been going on so check back often to read all about it :)

Smiles

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Sauteed Veggies

I was reading my April issue of Fitness magazine and came across this incredible recipe for chicken and a side of veggies. I was amazed at the fact it was so low in calories.




Lemon-Thyme Chicken with Sauteed Vegetables
Recipe adapted from Fitness Magazine

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 whole lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped garlic, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound chicken breast tenders, lightly pounded
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
2 medium zucchini


Directions:
1. In a ziplock bag, combine juice from 1/2 of lemon, 2 teaspoons garlic, and 2 teaspoons thyme; season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add chicken tenders, seal the bag, and gently turn to coat. Set aside.
2. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot, remaining garlic, edamame, and tomatoes; saute 4 minutes.
3. Use a vegetable peeler to slice zucchini into long ribbons. Add zucchini and remaining lemon juice from other half and thyme to vegetables in skillet; saute 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
4. Add remaining oil to skillet. Remove chicken from marinade and saute 2 to 3 minutes a side or until cooked through. Serve with vegetables.

Nutrition facts per serving: 327 calories, 28g protein, 16g carbohydrate, 13g fat (3g saturated), 5g fiber

*** the calories are most likely less then what is listed due to the fact that the original recipe called for feta cheese and I omitted it****

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes


I know, I know I am suppose to be on a diet of sorts...well healthy eating and I went and made cupcakes anyway.  I am sure I burnt calories didn't I cooking?  Well I have been having a cookies and cream craving so I decided why not try and create a cupcake.

I did try to alter the products I used to make them a tad bit better for a person. 

*** I did upload this to Spark recipes also...that way I could get the nutrition info for it***

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes


Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 12
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 182.2
  • Total Fat: 6.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 31.0 mg
  • Sodium: 132.2 mg
  • Total Carbs: 30.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 2.8 g

    Ingredients

    1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup of Move Over Butter
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 cup skim non fat milk
    5 oreo cookies - crushed

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan (12)

    Combine flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl

    In a large bowl cream the butter and the sugar together...be sure to mix well.
    Add the eggs (one at a time - mixing well between each one)
    Add the vanilla - Mixing well
    Now add the flour mixture and the milk.
    * you need to alternate between these...start with the flour and end with the flour.

    Place 5 oreo cookies in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Add the cookie crumbs to the batter and mix well.

    Fill the cupcake holders 2/3 full.

    Put in preheated oven and bake for 23 - 26 minutes.

    remove from pan and cool on rack.

    Number of Servings: 12

    ___________________________________________________________________

    I will be trying to convert all of my recipes to healthy ones and to also include the nutrition info for them.

    Enjoy!!!!

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Thursday...

    So today I think I will post a couple of layouts.  I am also hoping that the weather holds up and tomorrow is a nice day cuz if so we are going to the zoo.  I am so excited for that.  I have not been to a zoo since spring of last year.  If we do go I promise to take a bunch of photos.




    Thanks for stopping by!

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Thursday...

    Yesterday I said that I would share with you the ABC's of photography so here it is.

    A: Angles
    B: Backlit
    C: Chronology
    D: Diagonal Lines
    E: Everyone
    F: Frames
    G: Groups
    H: Hands
    I: Individuals
    J: Juxaposition
    K: K-9's and Kittens
    L: Little Details
    M: Mirrors
    N: Natural Light
    O: Outdoors
    P: Playtime
    R: Reactions
    S: Self-timer
    T: Toys
    U: "U"
    V: Values
    W: Weather
    X: "X-treme" Close-up
    Y: Youthfulness
    Z: Zoom

    I hope you enjoy this list. I challenge you to go through this alphabet and take a photo for each letter. As an incentive I will create something to give participants...not sure what it will be yet, maybe a digi kit or it could be a blog layout. I will post it later when I figure it out...so what are you waiting for...go on get your cameras and start snapping those pictures!

    I decided to create a new desktop for my computer. I thought I would share it with you.


    If you would like to have it for yourself click on link and then right click on image and save as.  If you do download it please leave me some love.
    Click here for desktop!!
    Thanks!

    Wednesday, February 09, 2011

    Wednesday...

    With Daniel out of town again I found myself with time on my hands...of course this was after I came up with a site redesign for a client on Monday (design complete - just waiting on fresh content). I figure with my girls out of the house (taken over by their love for Kansas)and Daniel on a field exercise the house will stay pretty clean. Of course do not get me wrong, my lil girl Harleigh will chew up a toy I am sure and shed her loving fur all over the house but for the most part pretty clean. I should be able to get quite a few layouts completed before he gets home next week.

    So here are some layouts I created today.



    above layout created with random pieces from SweetshoppeDesigns


    layout created with Adoration kit by Kim Hill


    Mix and match pieces from IM-Loveable
    photo booth strip created by myself.

    layout created with random pieces by JadyDayStudio.



    I think tomorrow if all goes well I will post the ABC's of photography. I think it will be fun to share it with all of you.




    Smiles:)

    Wednesday, February 02, 2011

    New layout

    I finished another layout and as you can see I also gave this blog a makeover.  I am going to try and give my blog a new look every once and awhile.  What do you think?



    This layout is of our Christmas tree this past year.  We have since purchased a new one and I am pretty excited to put it up next year.  The small picture is of  my favorite ornament the tree.  It is a Hallmark ornament with my dogters picture in it.  While Daniel and I were shopping the after holiday sales I was able to find a kit to make an ornament out of her paw print so I am excited about that too!

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Layouts...

    I was able to get some layouts completed today.








    I am hoping to get more completed but we will see how time goes...


    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Some Layouts

    I thought that I would show off some of my latest layouts.










    I created these for the monthly challenges at Inspiration Lane.  I used Inspiration Lane products.

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