Friday, July 29, 2011

Eating: Amazing summer foods

Summer is case you hadn't noticed!
The heat index this week is 104 in the shade. I  am melting. 

Actually, I am staying inside. With the A/C and movies. 
We have eaten well all summer. Lots of smoked and/or grilled chicken for the carnivores.
My husband is the master with chicken.
I have been getting ready for KW and have been eating my staple
Kitchen Sink Salad.
one mornings harvest...
Anyone that has eaten at my house knows what this is. A mixed green or spinach salad with everything except the kitchen sink. Usually it has onion, mushrooms, bell peppers, avocado, cucumbers, some sort of fruit, tomatoes, and slivered almonds.
I have been known to splurge and add goat cheese.

This week, however, I am back with a vengeance and starving. I also do not  want to turn on the oven, so I have been grilling. We eat our main meal at lunch unless we have company, so we have been eating light fare at night with such things as egg salad and Caprese salad.
We have had several delicious meals and I have taken to reading cookbooks again. 
I have a garden bursting with yummies, especially tomatoes, and we have been eating them morning, noon and night.
I will be hitting the farmers market this weekend to stock up on the staples that my children devour
(2 pints of blueberries in 12 hours by one certain child). I think I will try my hand at canning tomatoes as well.
Here is a list of what we have eaten this week as well as two recipes you must try. Delicious!

W.W.E. at Casa Swann

  • Maple  glazed pork tenderloin, cashew broccoli, kitchen sink salad, Italian seasoned beer bread and peaches with ice cream (It was my parent's last night in town)
  • Grilled chicken thighs,  (from my) garden vegetable marinara pasta
  • Ground beef tacos with marzano tomatoes, veggie tacos with marzano tomatoes and avocados
  • Grilled tomato caprese salad, bruschetta with lots of garlic, baguettes
  • Egg salad, spinach and tomato salad (AMAZING!)

Grilled Caprese Salad
Feeds about 4 
I made this up from a recipe I read in line at the store

10 Roma tomatoes, halved and seeds removed (keep cores)
10 med or 8 large leaves of basil, finely chopped
 1 lb. Pearl Mozzarella
3 tbl Balsamic vinegar (I am guessing here, I never measure)
salt and pepper to taste

Brush the tomatoes with olive oil and place on a med. hot grill for 4-6 minutes. Prep remaining ingredients in a bowl. Remove tomatoes from grill and cool until you can handle them. Cut into bite size pieces and mix with cheese and basil. Adjust salt to taste. 
Serve with baguettes. Yum!

Maple Glazed, Garlic Marinated Pork Tenderloin
serves 5-6
2 tbl grain mustard
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 gloves garlic minced
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin

Combine ingredients in a plastic bag and marinate at least 5 hours or overnight in fridge. Remove from bag and if grilling, place pork on med. heat grill until  meat temp. reaches 145. Reduce marinade over med low heat for about 5 minutes.
If baking, place tenderloin and marinade in 400 oven for about 45 minutes or until temp reached 145. As a vegetarian, this is my favorite cut of meat to make...easy and always gets rave reviews.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Whatever: Birthday celebration has begun

Just got back from a fabulous kick off to my official birthday. 
  Only 41 days until 4-0! 
Had an amazing long weekend with four of my dearest friends 
and their husbands (also my dear friends)
basking like lizards in the heat of Key West.

The Crew...heading out for a sunset cruise

We ate and sunned and rode bikes all over the island. 
We were a dangerous bicycle gang...scaring chickens and losing bike locks!
We laughed and sweated and bonded and it was an amazing time.
I feel honored to have such great friends.
Especially ones that are such great sports.

The babes!

Can't wait to do it again!

Dinner for eight?

Southernmost point

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Exercising: Carrots

I am closer and closer to the 4th decade mark. And, as I have watched all of my girlfriends hit it themselves, I have been impressed by one thing. They ALL look amazing!
So, I feel the pressure to be in excellent physical shape when I turn 40.
I mean...the bar has been set and I have to work to meet it.

I just needed a carrot to dangle out there. 

I planned and scheduled a trip  that is actually happening about 6 weeks before my 40th birthday as summer is my favorite season and I could not wait to celebrate.

As a carrot to myself, I picked a place that requires little clothing and many bathing suits. Where people are weird and don't care if you act a little crazy celebrating your birthday. 

 And since gravity has had it's nasty way with me and things are...ahem, lower...than they used to be,
I have been busting my rear to get/stay in some sort of respectable shape. 

 I started training for this:

And I have been doing my version of this:

I call it T45Xish...

And I have been making peace with this:
It might take awhile to make peace with all of this...

 My goal has been bikini, but also pullup ability (I can now do three) and overall health and wellness. Just got back from seeing my internist and she declared me fit as a fiddle and  in excellent shape.
  I love her and she is my new best friend.

So, I am going on a trip that promises to be full of fun and laughs as well as a celebration of me and the person I am inside. That person is lucky, healthy and happy to be  surrounded by excellent friends and family. Should be a blast! 
Think I will celebrate by doing a little of this:

That's me...blowing a kiss after I bust it!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Whatever: My favorite holiday

My very favorite holiday is TODAY!