Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Working off the weekend

Hello Tuesday!

I hope you had a phenomenal Memorial Day weekend! Mine was full of family, big dinners, friends, and sunshine. Unfortunately, I think I had a little too much in the food category! Saturday night started out with a HUGE Chinese dinner with the boy's extended family. His dad's wife's family came into town from all over (including Taipei!) to visit each other. The result- a massive 8 course dinner that I couldn't recognize anything at haha. I wish I had taken pictures, but needless to say, I got adventurous!

The weekend continued with family BBQs and crab picking down in Chesapeake City. SALT OVERLOAD! I actually had a massive headache by Monday night from all the crab salty goodness paired with 90 degree temps.

I could eat these every stinking weekend.

Today, I had a little realization that my Tri is next Sunday. And I am NOT treating my body the way I should to get ready for it. I got back into spin class today and have been eating better (not fully "clean", but definitely better than what happened this weekend).

Of course, any good workout regimen requires motivation. Mine is a bikini. But it could very well be this sandwich.

Friday, May 27, 2011

get outta the kitchen!

Whew! It's 88 degrees here on the deck today and Weather Channel so kindly informed me that it feels like 91*. Super! Actually, I'm pretty happy after the long cold winter we have had. With the change in seasons comes a change in my eating habits. Once the thermometer goes past 85, I crave light, fresh, cold meals. Sometimes, that comes in the form of ice pops all day, but I'm being better this year!

I got the hankering for some fresh gazpacho Wednesday night and did a mental check on my fridge. Tomatoes? canned-check. Cucumber? check. Red onion? no- but dreamy red scallions! check! A quick stop at the market for some tomato juice, and I went home to hang out with my blender.

Doesn't it look yummy? And you can't go wrong with some fresh french bread to soak up the goodness.

My base recipe is off of the fantastic Ina Garten seen here. I'm a firm believer in figuring things out based on what you have already- so here's my more flexible and "my food processor doesn't work" version.

  • 1 hothouse cucumber, seeded, but not peeled
  • 2 bell peppers, cored and seeded (I like orange and yellow for color)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 4 red scallions*
  • 3 large radishes*
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or whatever kind you have!)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh black pepper
 *CSA veggies! woohoo!  


Finely chop the cucumbers, peppers, radishes, and red scallions. Put 1/3 of each vegetable into your blender along with the diced tomatoes and one cup tomato juice. Pulse until it is coarsely blended

Pour blender contents into a large bowl with chopped veggies, remaining tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. Convince your man that the soup gets better as it sits, so please don't eat it all now. 

This is pretty much all I have eaten for the past 24 hours (along with watermelon!). It's delicious and certainly doesn't last for long in our house.

What's your go to warm weather meal?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

CSA- Week 3

Happy Sunshiney Day! The rain/thunder/grossness has ended and I am so happy to have the sun back. Last night, I picked up our 3rd CSA share and dove right in!

Tuesday, May 24 - Half Share
1 Bunch Easter Egg Radishes - Certified Organic - Windy Hollow Organics
1 Bunch Red Scallions - Certified Organic - Windy Hollow Organics
1 Bunch Komatsuna - Certified Organic - Liberty Acres
1 Bag Baby Lettuce Mix - Certified Organic - Elm Tree Organics
1 Bunch Green Kale - Certified Organic - Autumn Blend Organics
1 Head Green Romaine Lettuce - Certified Organic - Riverview Organics
1 Pint Strawberries - Certified Organic -  Meadow Valley Organics, Sunset View Organics, Hillside Organic Acres, Sunrise Ridge Organics, or Maple Valley Organics

Usually, I pick up my share early in the day, before others have a chance to look through their boxes and "swap" an item out if it's not to their liking. Last night, I went later in the day for the first time- and boy was it worth it! I admittedly decided to be less adventurous this week and left the komatsuna for someone else to try. I just couldn't find a great recipe online in advance! Instead, I grabbed an extra bag of baby lettuce mix and sent it over to my momma's house (the bags were HUGE!).

STRAWBERRIES!!!!!!!! I had to restrain myself from eating the entire adorable pint on my drive home. Actually, I wouldn't let myself even TRY one before the boy got home, knowing I would inhale the rest asap haha

Also, aren't these radishes gorgeous? I can't get enough of them-even after hating them when I was little! Give me some buttered french bread with sliced radishes and I'd be happy for days.

Have a happy Wednesday! 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The beginning of the end...

...of my savings account.

Yup. After a months long dry spell of nothing quite working, I am finding more reasons to spend money than ever. Today's kicker- The Ann Taylor Loft $25 sale.


Here's what jumped onto my radar.

Pintuck Hem Skirt in Chic Lime (and intense blue)

Animal Polka Dot Skirt- usually, animal prints scare me. This one is MAJOR approachable.

Velma Sandal in Bronze (in store, they have SUPER cute orange ones! I wonder if they still do...)

Of course, I just splurged (post birthday) on 2 pairs of sandals from Gilt and a bikini during JCrew's 20% off sale. Depending on how work goes today, this girl might just earn herself a pretty new skirt for being awesome! Not to mention I have a "staff get together" at my boss's home tonight. I have to look put together, right??

Have any sales foiled your savings account lately?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sunshine in my step

This funky weather is supposed to break at some point this weekend, and I can't wait to break out a sundress and bright sandals. These are coming my way sometime soon via Gilt...
Source: gilt.com via Devon on Pinterest

The picture doesn't do the key lime hue justice- I just hope they fit! The one pair of Seychelles I own are a bit big in size 9 (I'm usually a 10), so I went with a 9 with fingers crossed.

I can already see myself pairing it with this dress:
Source: jcrew.com via Devon on Pinterest

And maybe mixing colors even more with this necklace I saw at J Crew today?! (it also comes in a pale beechwood neutral)
Source: jcrew.com via Devon on Pinterest

Later this weekend, I am going to try to muster up the courage to review the new swim sizing from J Crew. If you have ordered from them in the past- listen up! Their sizes have changed drastically!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

CSA- Week 2!

Hello hello! Week #2 of our CSA is here and I am so excited! We have managed to use up almost all of our week 1 veggies (I shared some with my momma too). Monday night, I made kale for the first time. And loved it! Hopefully, I will see it again in our shares in the near future.

Here's what came in our bag Tuesday:

Tuesday, May 17 - Half Share
1 Bag Arugula - Certified Organic - Farmdale Organics
1 Head Red Leaf Lettuce - Certified Organic - Railroad Organics
1 Bunch Red Scallions - Certified Organic - Sweetaire Farmdale Organics
1 Bunch Asparagus - Certified Organic - Rolling Ridge Farm, Orchard View Organics, Farmdale Organics, or Lancaster Farmacy
1 Bunch Easter Egg Radishes - Certified Organic - Windy Hollow Organics
1 Bunch Baby Sweet Hakurei Turnips - Certified Organic - Autumn Blend Organics
1 Bunch Green or Red Mustard Greens - Certified Organic - Maple Lawn Organics
I've never tackled Turnips or Mustard Greens- but I did pretty well with Tatsoi and Kale, so bring it on!

No picture this week. Riley was being...Riley. Every time I tried to lay the veggies out for a photo shoot, she would attempt to grab the radishes and run....

The asparagus looks SO delicious, and I found the simplest recipe over at Smitten Kitchen for a lemony asparagus salad. My rendition wasn't nearly as pretty as this picture, but it sure was delish!

For lunch, I made up a salad using the red leaf lettuce, arugula, turnips and radishes (with a few cucumber slices tossed in). Can't wait!

Have a sunny Thursday!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wedding Wednesday- Favors!

I have the weirdest details planned out for our wedding. So far, we have a venue, date, and caterer. No photographer, DJ, dress, etc. So why then, do I daydream about details like candy bars, signature drinks, and invites?! Tonight, we meet with our **fingers crossed** photographer! I hope she's as wonderful as she has been in the emails. That will be another great thing to check off :) In the meantime, I'm obsessing over our end of the evening snacks!

Our original plan was to hire a food truck to come in to serve street food to our guests as they left the venue. I had seen adorable shots of Carpe Donut, ice cream trucks, and taco vendors coming in to feed the masses- but I couldn't find the right fit for us near our venue.

Plan B was platters of chicken fingers, mozz sticks, and other finger food goodies- but our caterer gently reminded us of the massive amount of food we are already planning to serve early on (Family style dinner!! more on that later!)

So what to do? Soft Pretzels!

The boy is obsessed with them (as am I), and they suit our needs perfectly. Paired with a candy bar full of sugary treats, they will be the perfect take away at the end of the evening. Of course, we can't just pile them onto a plate and say "take one". Here's how I'm thinking of making them a little more special...

Piled on fancy plates

Fun dipping sauces (I loveee mustard)

Source: thekitchn.com via Ami on Pinterest

White paper take away bags with a pretty stamp

What details would you plan out first?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tackling the CSA veggies-Tatsoi

Well- Blogger is back! After last week's crash, I lost a bunch of my drafts. Then my image files wouldn't open. Thankfully, we are all back to normal now :)

Remember this little cutie of a vegetable?

Well, after a google search, I came across Backyard Farming's blog and found a recipe for browned butter pasta with tatsoi. It's "kid approved" so I figured, why not? Lucky for me, even the boy liked it! And he's the man that hates spinach in all forms.

Isn't it bright and pretty?

Here's the recipe {with my edits}

Browned Butter Pasta with Tatsoi
Serves 2
Your pasta of choice, preferably curved or with ridges {rigatoni baby!}
1/2 stick unsalted butter {smart balance}
Salt and pepper
Leaves of 2 to 3 bunches of tatsoi, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped sage {left this out, added chopped red scallions from the CSA}
Freshly grated parmesan
Lemon wedges, optional 

Cook pasta to al dente in salted water. 

When pasta almost done done, melt butter in a skillet. Swirl the butter in the pan as it foams. (At this point, remove pasta from the heat and drain well in a colander.) When butter begins to brown, toss in pasta and mix to coat with butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Add tatsoi and sage {scallions} and cook until slightly wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Plate and serve immediately with grated parmesan and lemon wedges on the side. 

This was definitely a winner. Non greasy (the butter was done just right), a little spicy from the scallions, and light enough for the heat. It made 2 new veggies approachable and was good enough that the boy took the leftovers with him for lunch! Next time, I am going to try tatsoi in a stir fry since the slightly bitter taste reminded me a bit of bok choy.

In a quest to eat a little healthier (my triathlon is only 30 days away!), I'm pretty excited for the adventure of cooking with new veggies. Any other recipes that you can suggest? My next project is Kale!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wedding Wednesday- I. Want.

I would like this photo to drive the inspiration for my entire wedding...

It scares me a little to stray from navy as a base, but *swoon*...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CSA- Week 1!

Yay!! CSA season is here and I am so excited to show you our first haul :)

As I posted earlier, this is what we received:

1 Bunch Asparagus - Certified Organic - Coyote Run Organics or Autumn Blend Organics
1 Bunch White Scallions - Certified Organic - Friends Road Organics
1 Head Red Leaf Lettuce - Certified Organic - Green Valley Organics
1 Bunch Tatsoi (Japanese Spinach) - Certified Organic - Hillside Organics
1 Bunch French Breakfast Radishes - Certified Organic - Green Valley Organics
1 Bunch Red Scallions - Certified Organic - Sweetaire Farmdale Organics
1 Bunch Green Kale - Certified Organic - Autumn Blend Organics

I already snuck a few radishes while packing everything away into the fridge. They are so good! Fresh, crisp, and they have a fabulous spicy finish. I know my farmer's daughter friend, Kemi will kick me when she finds out a threw away the leaves. ooops :(
Remember me being nervous about tatsoi? Look how cute it is!

I have a recipe in mind for tonight...tackle the scary things first!

To top it all off, our CSA pick up site coordinators are the sweetest. I am going to love going every week- veggies AND amazing new friends!

Have you done a CSA or tried any new veggies lately?

Monday, May 9, 2011

You've Got Mail

Happy Monday!

This weekend, my amazing little sister (and maid of honor!) teamed up with my parents to throw the boy and I a fantastic engagement party. It was wonderful to be surrounded by people we loved on such a pretty Saturday. The menu complimented the Kentucky Derby perfectly (which I think was a happy coincidence) with Tennessee iced tea, fried chicken, pulled pork, lots of salads and red velvet cupcakes. Riley was probably the biggest fan of the cupcakes. She ate 7! (oy.)

The boy and I have not registered yet, but were surprised to receive some lovely gifts from our guests. Immediately, our "wedding etiquette" kicked in and we made an organizational list so we can send thank you notes asap! Over the past 2 months, I've been picking up packs of thank you cards that the boy won't cringe at, but I think it may be time to go custom!

After receiving a note from our newly married friends, I was smitten with the idea of letterpress stationary with our names across the top. I haven't found our perfect match yet, but these are a few ideas...

Source: etsy.com via Devon on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Devon on Pinterest

Ideally, I would love to find a local vendor that does stationary- but etsy has some great options too! What do you use for thank you notes or mailed letters?

Friday, May 6, 2011

CSA- sneak peak, week 1!

Yay! CSA Season is here and I can't wait to get my first delivery! I was excited to get the "your pick up location is..." email and just got the surprise of another email telling us what is in our first share!

We elected to go for a half veggie share and will be getting a fruit share starting mid June. Here's what we can expect for the next week:

Tuesday, May 10 - Half Share
1 Bunch Asparagus - Certified Organic - Coyote Run Organics or Autumn Blend Organics
1 Bunch White Scallions - Certified Organic - Friends Road Organics
1 Head Red Leaf Lettuce - Certified Organic - Green Valley Organics
1 Bunch Tatsoi - Certified Organic - Hillside Organics
1 Bunch French Breakfast Radishes - Certified Organic - Green Valley Organics
1 Bunch Red Scallions - Certified Organic - Sweetaire Farmdale Organics
1 Bunch Green Kale - Certified Organic - Autumn Blend Organics

I am most excited for the asparagus!! I love love love it- especially on the grill.
I'm a little more anxious about the tatsoi and kale....I've at least heard of kale, but had to google tatsoi after taking some far ranging guesses. That's why we signed up though! Yeah, it's great to get tried and true veggies, but the fun part is trying new things! I have a few recipes gathered, so hopefully I'll have a great report for Wednesday.

This weekend, our engagement party and Mothers Day! Be nice to your mommy and have fun!