Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Week of Salads

The Hubby and I have been feeling a little... weighed down after the Thanksgiving holiday. We ate great on Thanksgiving but it was downhill after that. On Friday, we ate lunch at a restaurant and pizza for dinner. On Saturday, we ate Friday's leftovers. On Sunday, we ate stadium food at the NFL game which included hamburgers, fries, soft pretzels, and more than one vodka drink. Ugh. Needless to say, we decided to detox our bodies after this horrible weekend of eating. Jerame suggested salads all week which I initially balked at but the more I thought about it, the more I thought 'Why not?'. So here we are. I forgot to take a picture of Monday's entree, but I made Chicken Cobb Salad. It was yummy not to mention full of the good stuff i.e. vitamins, nutrients, protein, etc. The recipe is from Cooking Light so I do have a professional picture of the salad.

Cooking Light's Chicken Cobb Salad
Tuesday night was Cavatappi with Spinach, Chickpeas, and Feta. I love a good pasta salad so I thought this was fantastic! And I did take a picture of this one.

Cavatappi with Spinach, Chickpeas, and Feta
This one is super easy to make. Here are the ingredients:

  • 8 cups chopped spinach
  • 8 cups hot cooked cavatappi (12 ounces uncooked)
  • 1 cup crumbed feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 (19 ounce) cans of chickpeas
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed

The directions are to mix all ingredients in a large salad bowl. And you are done! I did alter the recipe in the following way. Since it was for 2, I cooked about 8 ounces of pasta (I do like leftover pasta salad for lunch the next day). I also only used 1 can of chickpeas and added 1 large tomato, diced. I mixed the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper separately with a whisk and used that as dressing. I also included the zest of the lemon I juiced in the salad. At the end of the day this was light, refreshing, and pretty darn tasty. I highly recommend this one.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend Wrap-Up

Thanksgiving was fantastic this year. It was my first Thanksgiving in Kentucky and we had a great time with family, food, and football (My 3 F's of Thanksgiving). Some pictures to wrap up our holiday:

Pouring the oil in the pot
Lighting the turkey burner (appropriate name today!)
Jerame and Joyce
Me and the Hubby
Our little family
Jerame making the bread for dinner 
Rubbing the bird, getting ready for the drop!
About to drop the bird!
The bird is safely in the oil. 45 minutes later, that bird was done and tasty!
I wish I had taken a picture of the finished turkey! It was a gorgeous bird and it was delicious! The outside skin was crispy and flavorful and the meat was juicy, moist, and oh-so-good! My pecan pie also turned out fantastic!

First pie I have ever made!
The rest of our holiday weekend was jam packed as well. Friday, Jerame's cousin and his wife came to our house to visit and we had a great time. We went down to a local restaurant and enjoyed drinks and some food before coming back to our house to play games and drink some more. It was a fun night! On Saturday, we returned to Jerame's mother's house to help her get her Christmas decorations out and put up her tree. This took most of the morning and afternoon and by the time we got home, it was civil war time! It was the perfect civil war (if you are a Duck fan that is!) with the Ducks winning it. The Ducks will now play in the Pac 12 Championship game and should they win (and they definitely should!), they will go to the Rose Bowl. Not bad Duckies! On Sunday, Jerame and I were lucky enough to get free tickets to the Bengals/Brown's game in Cincinnati. This was my first NFL game and it was awesome! The Bengals stadium is so different than any college stadium I have ever seen and just the fact that I was seeing in person what I have been watching on TV since I was 10 was amazing. The hubby and I are definitely looking forward to attending more NFL games in the future hopefully. It was a busy weekend, I think you can see why it took me so long to get back to my blog :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gobble Gobble!

I have been meaning to blog for the last couple of days, but it has just not happened! To be honest, my to-do list almost always takes precedence over blogging and for the past week at the end of the day, the blogging has fallen by the wayside. So this morning, I put my blog on my to-do list! I have been running around like a crazy person getting ready for Thanksgiving. I am feeling a little bittersweet this year. Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays but this will be my first Thanksgiving in 28 YEARS that I have not been home with my parents. Wow. Like I said, bittersweet milestone. The hubby and I are having Thanksgiving at his mother's house this year. It should be a small celebration and I am ok with that! Jerame has taken on the task of the turkey, which he plans to deep fry. I volunteered to make my garlic mashed potatoes. Yum! I have adapted my recipe from a cooking light recipe and they are yummy!

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Here is my recipe. The ingredients you will need (this recipe serves 8 by the way):

4 garlic heads (you can use 2 but we like to really taste the garlic in ours)
2 1/2 lbs of red potatoes
1/4 cup of butter
1/3 cup of low fat buttermilk
1/4 cup of low fat sour cream
2 tbsp of minced parsley
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel the garlic heads and wrap in aluminum foil. When oven is preheated, place aluminum packets in oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool (this takes a while). Once cool, squeeze the garlic out of the heads and reserve roasted garlic.
Cut potatoes in half or if they are large potatoes, into fourths. Place potatoes in pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Salt water if desired. Bring water to a boil, then lower heat and simmer potatoes for 12-15 minutes. Pierce potato with fork to check tenderness. Remove potatoes from heat and drain water.
I usually then put the potatoes in a mixing boil. Add the reserved garlic and butter. Using a hand mixer, smash the butter and garlic into the potatoes. Add a little of the buttermilk and begin mixing on low. Once mixing, add in the rest of the buttermilk, the sour cream, the parsley, and then the salt and pepper. Be careful not to over mix. The mixing process honestly takes less than 1 minute. I usually taste test the potatoes at this point and add more seasoning if needed (I find that I never add more salt and pepper). 
You're done and you have DELISH potatoes.

I am also in charge of making pecan pie and my mother's clam dip. I will be making both of those tomorrow and definitely planning on taking pictures to blog about since it will be my first time making either! Eek! Hopefully all goes well.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Christmas Playlist

I was planning on making snicker doodles this afternoon and then blogging about it but the day slipped away from me! I guess snicker doodles will have to wait for tomorrow. I know it is not Christmas time yet but I am feeling it this year! I am quickly becoming very prepared to make Christmas cookies, I can't wait to put the tree up, and I already made my Christmas playlist! I only put 20 songs on there for now but I may continue to add as I come across more of my favorite Christmas songs.  As with all my music, there is no explaining why I like what I do, I just do. Without further ado, here is my Christmas playlist:

1. Last Christmas- Taylor Swift
2. All I Want For Christmas is You- Mariah Carey
3. Santa Claus is Coming to Town- Bruce Springsteen
4. Santa Baby- Kellie Pickler
5. Christmas/Sarajevo- Trans-Siberian Orchestra
6. Hey Santa- Wilson Phillips
7. Winter Wonderland- Brooks and Dunn
8. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer- George Strait
9. Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!- Jessica Simpson
10. Holly Jolly Christmas- Faith Hill
11. Deck the Halls- Relient K
12. Blue Christmas- Elvis Presley 
13. Rockin Around the Christmas Tree- Toby Keith
14. Baby, it's Cold Outside- Lee Ann Womack
15. Silent Night- Sugarland
16. My Only Wish (This Year)- Britney Spears
17. Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy- Travis Tritt
18. Jingle Bell Rock- Rascal Flatts
19. The Christmas Song- LeAnn Rimes
20. The Chanukah Song (1994)- Adam Sandler

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Best in the Tri State? Epic Fail!

I hold no illusions about the area in which I live. As a serious foodie, this area of the country is a little bit of a joke when it comes to fresh and delicious food. Ashland is chock full of the chain restaurants that serve frozen food. This is ok, but every now and then I want something amazing! Hard to find here. Well, last week I got a mini-magazine in the mail titled "Best in the Tri-State". I was skeptical but couldn't resist taking a look.

The first section of this magazine were the "winners" for restaurants in the area. I am not joking, but McDonald's was actually voted "Best Breakfast" in one county. Really?!? I should send that one in to SNL for Seth Myer's "Really?!?!" series.

Sorry, Kentucky. Photographic evidence does not lie.
The next item I was appalled by? Well, I mean other than having a buffet category! The chicken category. And who was #1 in 3 counties? KFC. Ewwww.

That Katie's Corner in Boyd county? Not a chain or fast food joint! Go Boyd County!
One more item before I throw this piece of trash out with exasperation. The pizza category. I will just post the picture and you can decide what's wrong with it :)

If Little Caesar's has the best pizza, it is indeed a sad, sad world we live in.
There you have it fellow foodies. I am sure this list does NOT inspire you to come visit the Tri-State area looking for fantastic food. I guess I will have to open my own restaurant to show people how good FRESH food tastes!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Good times in the ol' KY

Well, it has been a considerable amount of time since I last wrote. I am blaming the husband. Just kidding! Seriously though, we have been put through the wringer the last month! On Jerame's birthday last month (Oct 6!), he found out he had an interview for a really good job with a stable company. The interview was scheduled for October 13th. Needless to say, we prepared like crazy and Jerame was nervous as all get out. Anyways the day came and Jerame killed the interview, which began the waiting game. And did we wait! I really haven't been able to concentrate much for the last couple of weeks, much less sit down and blog. We found out last week however that the job was Jerame's! The company is now in the process of checking his background and we are hoping that Jerame starts at the beginning of December. This news couldn't have come at a better time! After struggling for the last year since we moved here, we both felt it was time for something to go our way! Hopefully my concentration will be back to normal this week. Seriously, my couponing suffered while I was distracted! That was a joke (actually, not really).