Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nonni's Chow Mein

Sometimes, you just need a big bowl of comfort food.  That's what I got on Tuesday.  Nonni's Chow Mein.  This dish is something that my mom used to make once in a while when I was younger, and I always loved it.  And somehow, in the move of my Aunt and Grandmother (temporarily) into my mother's house, we ended up with about 2 heads of celery in the fridge.  So that means.....Chow Mein!!

This is seriously a very easy dish to make.  In true Nonni form, there are no exact measurements for anything - it's all dependent on what you like.  But I tried to write everything down, and I can't wait to share it with you!

Nonni's Chow Mein

  • Sliced Onion (about 2-3, depending on the size)
  • Largely chopped celery (as much as you want, we probably used about a whole head)
  • 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 can bean sprouts, drained
  • 1 can mixed Chinese vegetables (or just a can of water chestnuts), drained
  • Black Pepper
  • Cornstarch
  • Soy Sauce

The Method to Nonni's Madness
  • Put the ground hamburger into a pan with a little bit of oil and break it up.  You don't want the mean to get overly browned - just so it's not pink anymore.  
  • Add in the onion, and mix together and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes
  • Add in the chopped celery, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the celery is softened.  
  • Add in the bean sprouts and vegetables, and black pepper.  Don't add in the sprouts until close to the end, because they really only need to heat up.
  • Mix together a little bit of water, a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch, and the soy sauce and add this into the pot.  This helps everything thicken up a bit.
  • Cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.  Taste it, and add salt if needed.

Serve the Chow Mein with either white rice, or the Chinese Crunch Noodles.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Can I tell you how exciting this weekend was for me???  My mother in law came over and helped me UNPACK MY KITCHEN!!!

All of my stuff has been in storage since July/August, and it was so nice to unpack it all and get it in the cabinets.

I have an obnoxious amount of baking stuff, so a lot of that stuff is still not unpacked, but all the shelves are lined, and at least some stuff is put away!!!

Check it out!

All of the dishes

Glasses, Mugs, and Shot Classes

Wine Glasses, Big Mugs, and Plastic Collector Cups

Mixing Bowls and Measuring Cups

Silverware Drawer.  I still have to find the organizer...

Utensil Drawer #1

Utensil Drawer #2

Lazy Susan - Currently used for Tupperware and Colanders


Cooking Utensils (Spoons, etc....I think this is the OXO Drawer ) :o)

Wooden spoons

Calphalon Utensils

Baking Sheets!  I love this cabinet!!

I found this when I took a drawer out of the kitchen.  When is the last time bread was only 37 cents???

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Matters

  1. I spent the entire of last week (Sunday night through Friday afternoon) in Charlotte, North Carolina.  It's a nice place.  I liked it a lot.  It's always fun when you go away for training and actually get something out of it (and not just boredom).

  2. While in Charlotte, I got to try a really awesome restaurant, Bad Daddy's Burger Bar.  It's a local place (with a few chains, all within NC), but it is SO good.  I highly recommend you trying it out if you're in the area!!!

  3. We did a ton of work at the house this week:

    1. The contractor finally started fixing the bathroom, and he got the vanity leveled (since the first contractor installed it with the entire right hand side 1/4" off the floor).  Because nothing can go smoothly for us, the back-splash cracked in half, so we have to buy a new one, but otherwise, that fix was successful.

    2. He also installed the linen closet, which looks terrific.  I bet it will look even better once the doors are on it.  HAHA

    3. He still has yet to fix the tub (it was installed incorrectly, with the side walls not meeting up correctly so there are spaces in between....Let's take a shower and get water inside the walls!!).  But hopefully that will be next on the list.

    4. The painter came back yesterday and touched up all of the woodwork that needed to be addressed after the floors were done - and they look great!

    5. We brought a few things over from the storage unit, and started thoroughly (again) scrubbing the kitchen.  I also picked up some contact paper and started lining the drawers and the shelves in the cabinets.  It's not a fun job!

    6. I'm really hoping to be in before Christmas.  I really think it might happen.  My plan is to go to the house every day this week after work and finish lining the drawers and shelves.  Then we can move the kitchen in!!  Then all we need is our bedroom and the bathroom, and we'll be able to sleep there!

    7. I do need to do research on blinds/window treatments, so if you have any suggestions about them, please let me know!!

  4. Scott and I went to breakfast yesterday before heading to the house.  We have been to this place a number of times within the last few months (including yesterday, we've been probably 3 times total) and yesterday I finally ordered the Eggs Florentine.  I seriously love this for breakfast, and hadn't ordered it in SO long.  I was very disappointed to find that with the updates they made to their menu, they also updated this dish.  Instead of cooked spinach, they just stuffed handfuls of raw baby spinach underneath two very undercooked poached eggs.  So disappointing. 

  5. My Christmas Cards are ready to go!!  I received them in the mail on Saturday, and I spent most of Saturday evening writing them out.  While they're not super exciting, they get the message of "Happy Holidays" and "We've moved" all in one card.  I was pretty happy.

  6. Speaking of Happy Holidays, I'm determined to be in the house before Christmas.  I don't think I can make it through the Christmas season without baking...Cross your fingers that we'll have good luck and make the move soon!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rhode Island-isms

I have spent the last week in North Carolina, and while here, I realized that I say stuff that makes NO sense at all.  Like, "I'm all set" instead of, I'm all done, I don't need help, etc.  I think it's a Rhode Island thing, because I know I've heard family and friends use the same phrase.

So I figured I would dig deep into the depths of my mind and put together a list all of the weird things that I THINK come from RI....Or that we at least say in RI...If you don't already know, us Rhode Islanders have a slew of terms and phrases that never made it to the other states....So enjoy the list!!
  • Wicked (pronounced wickit).  As in, "I'm having a wicked good time!"  OR "This is wicked awesome!"
  • Bubbler (pronounced bubblah).  It's a water fountain from which you drink.  They're often staged in hallways.
  • Are you serious?  I think I use this expression any time someone tells me something outrageous.  It's almost as bad as my complete over-use of I'm all set.
  • Idear.  That's an idea.  With an extra 'R' on the end.  We do that.  A lot.  With a lot of different words that end in a's.  Case and point:  my cousin Tina is often referred to as "Tiner"...
  • Gravy.  That's the red stuff that goes on MACARONI (not pasta).  As long as it has sausage and meatballs in it, it's GRAVY.  (And yes, I realize that this is a point of contention even within the boarders of the state....I suppose it's all based on what you grew up hearing, but this is in my dictionary).
  • Cabinet.  You would think it's something in your kitchen where you would put glasses and plates.  But I bet if you go to an ice cream shop and order a coffee cabinet, they would give you a coffee shake.  When I used to work at the ice cream shop in highschool, someone came up and asked for a cabinet and I promptly told them we didn't sell those.  Luckily my boss was standing right behind me and explained what it was...Since then, I hear it all the time.
  • Jimmies.  Some people call them sprinkles and put them on ice cream...
  • Coffee Milk.  You seriously haven't ever had coffee milk?  Go buy some autocrat coffee syrup and stir it into some milk.  You'll be amazed.  It's delicious.
  • Gagga.  Hot Weiner.  No, it's not a hot dog.  Go to New York System and try one.  Get two all the way.
  • Grinder.  It's a sandwich.  Would you like a meatball grinder?  We don't sell Heroes are these here parts.
  • Oh, please.  No, I'm not begging.  I'm challenging what you're telling me.  It's like saying 'no suh!!'
  • QUAHOG.  Previously being Quahogtales, it's important to bring this up.  It's just a large clam with a hard shell.
  • Stuffie.  It's a stuffed quahog.  And it's delicious.  
  • Scrod.  It's technically "Fish of the day" and is a white fish, typically cod, haddock, or pollock.  I can honestly say that there are very few places outside of RI where I have actually seen scrod offered on the menu. Most people who don't know what scrod actually is assume that when they are ordering it, they're getting a piece of cod.  As a side note, an acceptable pronunciation is SCHROD.  Not a lie.  Look it up in  They'll pronounce it both ways.
  • Doughboy.  Fried Dough.  I've said this term before with out-of-town friends, and they always looked at me like I was crazy.
  • Clam Cakes.  It's like a ball of fried dough with clams in it.  No, it's not a fritter.  It's definitely different than a fritter.
  • Cellar.  Basement.  My mom always used to tell me to bring stuff "down cellar"...
  • Supper.  As a kid, the term "dinner" was reserved for those evenings when we went out to eat, or the meal that we had on Sunday around 2pm.  Supper was an every day occurrence around 6pm.
  • Pocketbook.  Purse.  Same thing.
  • Awful Awful.  No, I'm not repeating myself.  It's a shake!!  From Newport Creamery.  And the description, shake, does nothing for what it actually is.  Get yourself to a Newport Creamery, and order one!!!
  • Dels Lemonade.  Frozen lemonade CANNOT compare.  It just can't.
Now, these are just some of the words that I know as "Rhode Island Slang" .... I researched some lists online and there are a ton of other words and phrases that other generations used that goes well beyond my list (Side by each, Throw me down the stairs my bag, Sangwidge, etc).  And I'm sure there is some overlap of these words into other states.  So if you've heard it, GOOD!!
If you're brave enough, take the 45 minute drive to drive across Rhode Island, drive up past the BIG BLUE BUG, take the IWAY to the East Bay, enjoy some gaggers and coffee milk, and visit often!!!  :o)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Matters

  1. I feel like I have been living in a whirlwind for the last few weeks.  Maybe I'm living up in the twister.  Look for me the next time you watch 'The Wizard of Oz.'

  2. I have missed blogging over the last few weeks, and while I often think 'this would be a great subject to blog about' throughout my adventures, I just haven't had the time. 

  3. Since April, I've been telling you all about my house, and all of the work that we've been doing on it.  I would love to be able to tell you that we have finally moved in, but alas, I can't.  As you know, we've had tons of problems with our first contractor, and while we found another contractor to do the work, he's super busy all the time, which makes finishing a project somewhat difficult.  And stressful.

    1. We had the floors refinished, and they look A-Mazing.  Seriously.  Amazing.  We decided not to stain the wood, and just finish it with a Latex Polyurethane.  The floors are light and beautiful, and look so amazing with the colors I picked out.


    3. We bought new door jambs (the right size - curiously enough, the size I wanted to buy in the first place), and the contractor has replaced two of the four doors that were previously replaced by the hack.  Note:  When he removed the old wrong size jambs, he noted that not only were the the wrong size, and put in incorrectly, they also did not have any of the required insulation.  Note:  Do NOT hire the guy who we did the first time around.

    4. We also have everything available so that the contractor can finish fixing the bathroom that the original contractor hacked up. 

    5. I spent about 3 hours cleaning the kitchen on Saturday and I can't even begin to tell you the difference it made.  My dad introduced me to Fabuloso - and while it may be the cheapest stuff out there, it is an amazing cleaner.  I know I'll have to wash the kitchen at least one more time before we move our stuff in (I still have to do the inside of the drawers for the first time), but it did an amazing job cleaning the dirt and grime off of all the surfaces.
  4. I'm travelling to Charlotte, North Carolina this week, and I am really hoping that when I get home on Friday night, that I can go to the house on Saturday and find that most of everything that is left (see above) is done.  That would be so awesome.  Either way, I think we'll be able to move our stuff in.  Maybe get a U-Haul next weekend and take all of the stuff that is currently at my mom's and dad's houses, and then call movers to move our stuff from storage to the house the weekend after.  That would mean that we're in by Christmas.  And that would be awesome.  Truly awesome.

  5. In non-house-related stuff....I have been continuing to attend the gym at work, and have been continuing with a combination of Tae-Bo, treadmill, and the stationary bike.  I haven't really lost any weight, but changing my diet a bit more will definitely help.  I wrote off the Zumba class at work because I just really just didn't enjoy it. 

  6. Thanksgiving was a fun event at my mom's this year, and I contributed by making Pecan Pie, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Stuffed Mushrooms.  I also got up super early with my mom and she went through the process of making the turkey with me.  You can ask Scott, and he'll verify that it was the best turkey.  Ever.

  7. Being that it's finally December, I have been in the Christmas Spirit.  Maybe it's because we've been staying at my mom's house, and growing up, my parents house always rang with Christmas.  But I'm excited to decorate and I truly hope that we're in our house and can celebrate Christmas there together.

  8. I've been listening to Christmas music in my car (mostly just Straight No Chaser) and I've watched a few Christmas movies (Mainly because of the 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family).  I'm hoping to get in at least 1 view of my favorite Christmas movie, Santa Claus the Movie (not the Tim Allen movie), no matter how much my husband makes fun of me for liking it.

  9. I've recently become obsessed with Dropbox.  If you don't have it, you should get it.  It's amazing.

  10. I'm hoping to blog on a regular basis again.  Hopefully with the house finally coming together, I'll feel more like myself again.  Keep on the lookout for more posts!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Welcome Back!!

Wow, I am the world's worst blogger.  I mean, seriously.  I haven't posted since OCTOBER.  Over a month since I have graced you with my stories of my unfinished house and baking adventures.

I sincerely apologize!  And promise to get back on the ball!!

Keep on the look out for Monday Matters this coming Monday, as well as (I hope) regular blog poasts thereafter.

Love and Smoochies,


Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Matters

  1. I have had a busy week!  There's so much to tell everyone....Although I think I already told most of you everything in previous posts.  Oh well, what's a little recap, right?

  2. Yesterday Scott and I, my mom, and my cousin Tina sat down to a few healthy games of Mah Jong.  I won two games and Scott won two games.  We are the rulers!!!  Normal process dictates that when you get your first Mah Jong, you have to take a picture...And since last night was the first time Scott or I won, we took pictures!!!

  3. Did you notice the beautiful curls in my hair?  I already blogged about it, but I made those curls with a straightening iron.  Yup.  It's probably the best iron I've ever used.  It's the One 'n Only Argan 1" Hair Straightener.  The ceramic pieces are infused with Moroccan oil and you don't need to put any kind of [stuff] in your hair prior to using the straightener.  It's amazing.  I love it.  I don't know if I'll use my hot rollers ever again.

  4. I made Fried Rice in the crockpot on Friday.  It was so easy (you literally just dump everything in), and it was delicious.

  5. Hurricane Sandy is currently barreling up the East Coast, and everyone is in a state of panic.  Including myself.  Sort of.  I didn't go in to work today (I'm working from home, because I can't justify trying to drive an hour each way in awful weather when I have the ability to do all of my work from the dining room table).  Rhode Island / Massachusetts is definitely going to get hit, but it seems as though New York and New Jersey are going to get it really bad!
  6. photo from

  7. Since the hurricane is supposed to hit us pretty hard, I made sure to go to the market yesterday and stock up on some essentials.  Like bottled water, and snacks.  I was surprised that the Stop and Shop wasn't like a war zone.  Granted, there was barely any bread left (there was not a single loaf of white bread left on the shelves), but there was a TON of bottled water (they clearly stocked up before the storm).  I got some non-perishables, but also bought a few things like cold cuts so we could have sandwiches.  I also bought a massive bag of ice just in case we need to switch everything over to the cooler.

  8. I'm hoping that Sandy doesn't interfere with Halloween.  I remember, as a kid, being so upset if it rained on Halloween.  Who wants to be all dressed up and get drenched while trying to hoard copious amounts of candy?  Not me!  We didn't eve celebrate this year - we were invited to a party but never made it.  Being that I was in New Jersey last week, I had no time to prepare costumes or anything.  I just wasn't feeling it.  We'll have to make up for our party poopishness next year!

  9. House update:  The bathroom is plumbed, with the exception of the sink.  We're still waiting on the contractor to fix the vanity.  After that, it's the doors (which can be done when we move in) and the hardwood floors.  I'm projecting a move in prior to Thanksgiving!!!  I can't wait to be there.  I can't wait to have a <30 minute commute.  I can't wait to cook in my own kitchen, have my piano right in the next room (and play it whenever I want), and I can't wait to sleep in my own bed!  Keep your fingers crossed for us!!!

  10. We had the gutters cleaned out at the house on Saturday, just in case we got a ridiculous amount of rain.  There is a [possibly diseased] pine tree in the front yard that has already shed a million needles, which were clogging up the gutters.  In an attempt to not have my basement flooded, we had the cleaned.  I guess we'll eventually have to take that tree out. Seriously, this house maintenance is never-ending.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Homemade [crockpot] Fried Rice

I decided to make fried rice.  No, I've never done it before.  But it's all about confidence.  And faking it.  "Fake it till you make it."  Right?  Right.  

Ok.  This was easy.  Like seriously, easy.  It took all of about 10 minutes to prepare.  And 2 hours to cook. Wait, what?  OHHHH.  I knew that crock pot was good for something!!

That's right, crock pot fried rice!

I got the idea from A Year of Slow Cooking.  Or really, I got the idea from Pinterest.  But whatever.
Everything all in the pot. 

Like I said, this was the easiest thing I've made in a long time.  Here's what I did:

The Ingredients

  • Rice (I didn't have any leftover rice, so I made some fresh.  I cooked 2 cups dry rice to make enough for about 4 people)
  • Vegetable (Once again, I didn't have any leftovers....So I chopped up some onion, carrots, and red bell pepper.  I also used some green peas).
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

The Method

  • Dump everything into the crock pot.
  • Mix
  • Cook 3-4 hours on low OR 2-3 hours on high


Note:  I made this for dinner and one of my friends needs to eat gluten free.  Well, the soy sauce I had on hand was not gluten free.  In order to not kill my friend, I used all Worcestershire Sauce (about 3 1/2 Tablespoons).  It was still really delicious!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fun stuff

Tonight I learned how to curl my hair with a flat iron. Yes, a flat iron.

I have a 2" iron, but it's really not possible to curl your hair with it, so I used a 1" instead. It really only took about 10 minutes to curl my whole head (and I have a lot of hair)!!!

Check it out!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hello from New Jersey!!

Hi All!  Greetings from New Jersey!  I've been here since Sunday evening for a work conference.  It's been really great!  A bit overwhelming because of all the info, but very informative.  I've been able to contribute a lot, and make a lot of new contacts.  Overall, a successful trip!

Tonight I drove up from where I'm staying (The Morris Plains area) up to my sister's house (Westchester County, NY) to have dinner with her and her husband.  It was a little bit of a drive, but we had a lot of laughs and a delicious dinner!

Steph made a sausage and feta cheese quiche, and it was so delicious!

Steph had a log of Jimmy Dean sausage, so we browned up half of it in a pan.  She used half a tube of Pillsbury rolls as the crust of the quiche.  She mixed together the cooked sausage, crumbled feta, onion and olives, and put that evenly over the un-cooked crust.  Then she added 4 eggs mixed with milk over the top.  Baked for about 20-30 minutes, and it was delicious!!!

My awesome sister, posing with her delicious quiche!!
A Masterpiece!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Matters

  1. I bring you this week's Monday Matters from Morris Plaines, NJ.  I honestly haven't seen much of the area, as I took the train in yesterday afternoon, and the most glimpse I got was the drive from Newark Airport to the hotel. It was dark by the time I got off the train, so other than the highway and the TGI Fridays right next to my hotel, I didn't see a thing (except for the last 3 minutes of the Patriots win in OT)...I'm here for work (I detest travelling for work on a Sunday, but sometimes you have to suck it up - 8am Monday meetings require Sunday travel), and I'll be taking the train back up to Providence on Thursday evening.  I am planning, however, on meeting up with my sister and brother-in-law for dinner on Tuesday, so that's something to look forward to!

  2. When I got to the hotel last night, the first thing I did was unpack my suitcase and IRON MY CLOTHES.  This is a point that needs to be shared because of two reasons.  1)  I never iron.  Like, never.  and 2)  My husband fondly calls me the Queen of Wrinkles.  But, I'm aiming to impress this week, so everything is ironed, hanging, and ready to go.  :o)

  3. Bonuses of travelling on the train for work?  When booking through corporate travel, it automatically booked my ticket in "Business Class."  When I got on the train yesterday afternoon, I assumed that Business Class was just regular, but to my pleasant surprise, it's a whole separate car, that seemed quieter than the Quiet Car AND by showing my ticket in the Dining Car, I got free non-alcoholic beverages.  Yup, so those two mini cans of Diet Pepsi and the mini bottle of water were absolutely free.  I wouldn't call it the highlight of my day, but it's definitely fun.

  4. So what's a gal to do with a shortened weekend?  My husband took me Pumpkin Picking on Sunday afternoon before I hauled off to the train station.  That was exciting.  We picked out a 25 pound pumpkin at Pippin Orchards Nurseries, got Donuts from Dunkin Donuts (not as exciting as getting caramel apples from the Sugar Shack, but as we didn't have enough cash, we opted for donuts instead), and took my picture with a cardboard cutout of Gronk for an entry to eat lunch with him.  The plan is to carve the pumpkin next weekend and roast the seeds.  Delicious.

  5. I didn't do much in the way of cooking last week.  I did make some Potato Leek Soup for dinner one night, which was delicious....I couldn't find the chicken stock in the pantry (I found it after) so I improvised and used beef stock, which tasted just as good.  I do feel like I used too many potatoes, even though I used 2 pounds, which is what I used last time.  I'll have to make it again and try with some adjustments.

  6. My cousin Carolyn starts a new job tomorrow at MOO.COM and I'm super excited for her.  I've actually ordered business cards from that website before, so I knew a little bit about what the company was when I found out she would be working there.  

  7. I have been fiercely reading through the "A Song of Ice and Fire" books.  I found everything through Book 4 really good but I was really annoyed with Book 5 (A Dance with Dragons).  As I read through Book 4, I didn't realize that all of the characters that annoy me hadn't really been POV chapters, until the end, when the author mentioned that Book 5 would be filled with their stories (running concurrently with the stories of Book 4) until everything was at the same time period.  I must admit that I found myself skipping over entire chapters due to my dislike of the characters.  Who did I skip over?  Jon Snow, Tyrion, Stannis/Melisandre/Davos, Daenerys, all of the chapters about the Iron Islands (I read Reek/Theon's chapters), and chapters about the Dornish.  I know that they're all integral to the story, but I found myself hating their stories.  I would rather read the synopsis online to make sure that I follow what's going on, and then at some other point re-read the entire series.  

  8. I posted during the week that I got new sneakers (that I love) and I got to wear them during a Personal Training Session.  They were awesome.  The next day (Thursday), I wore them during a Zumba Class and I almost threw them in the trash afterwards.  They hurt my feet SO much.  I think I'm going to have to use those shoes only for weight training, whereas I'll use my other runners for other classes.  I think part of the problem was that it was the worst Zumba Class I've ever taken.  The instructor had a TON of new dances, and she doesn't go through the moves at all before the song starts, she just dances and expect the people in class to follow along.  She also faces the class, which makes it super difficult to follow along because you're always trying to put everything on the other side.  At one point, she was facing us through a ridiculously complex foot dance, and we all just stood there and watched her until she took the hint and turned around.  Ahh well, I still burned 525 calories.

  9. On Saturday, we went up to my aunt's house because she's moving at the end of November and I had a few boxes of stuff in her basement from when my parent's moved about 8 years ago.  We went through my stuff and took the stuff I was planning to keep up to our house and stored it in the garage. It was a little upsetting, because some of the boxes were moved throughout the year and got ruined when the basement flooded.  I found a Portfolio that I made in my Italian Classes in highschool (it has about 4 years worth of work), and most of the stuff in the portfolio is ruined.  It was in a box with a bunch of books, and just about everything needed to be thrown away.  I saved the Portfolio, because it had a lot of projects that were a lot of fun to work on.  I even wrote a book about When I was Young, "Quando Ero Giovane" and included a book that I made in Kindergarten entitled, "We all Like Food"....From a quick glance, it looks like even that book is completely covered in black mold, but we put everything aside.  I'm hoping that it can somehow be salvaged.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Sneakers, New Workout

So I don't remember if I mentioned this or not....But I signed up for some 1 on 1 training sessions at work.  It cost $89 for 3 half hour sessions.  I figured I would do the three sessions, decide if I like it, and then do some of the work outs on my own, with the training sessions in between.

Well, today was my first session.  It went great.

In 30 minutes, I burned 323 calories.  Yes.  really.  I'm not lying.  

My workout today:

1 minute treadmill walking
1 minute Suicide Sprints
16 8-lb backward rows
16 10-lb alternating lunges
16 10-lb bicep curls
16 10-lb triceps extensions
16 10-lb overhead presses
16 10-lb side shoulder raises
16 count planks
16 mountain climbers

It was seriously a great workout.  I built up a sweat, and I burned the calories.  I also found that when I exercise, I eat better.  And I haven't been exercising over the last 2 weeks because of being sick, and therefore I haven't been eating well.  So it's time to exercise again!!  But today was a great start!!!

Plus, I got to wear these babies....

My new Reebok Real Flex Sneakers....They weight about an ounce.  Seriously.  So light!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Matters

  1. So I had a jam packed week last week/weekend.  Not lying.  

    1. I worked about 50 hours in 4 1/2 days trying to catch up after vacation.  It wasn't pretty.  I was working on a project that was put to me by someone who understood nothing about the scope of the project he needed me to do.  So yea, that was fun.

    2. Friday night, we went to Wrights Farm Restaurant (which I like to call Wrights Chicken Farm) for dinner.  Scott's brother had been in town and we went there with a few people from the family.  It was delicious.  All you can eat Salad, Chicken, Macaroni, and French Fries?  Thank you!

    3. Saturday morning, I went to the house and FINALLY mowed the lawn.  Seriously.  I say finally because I hadn't done it since SEPTEMBER.  Like, early September.  Like 6 weeks ago.  It took me about a good 3 hours and I had to do everything twice.  No lie.  The grass kept clogging the chute and I had to stop a million times.  So frustrating.  Never again will I wait that long!  The plan this weekend is to mow again (and pick up the clippings I left behind this weekend), and fertilize.
    4. That's 10 lawn bags.  Completely full.  
    5. Once I finished mowing, Scott's brother, mom, and aunt came over and we walked them through the house - Scott's brother hadn't seen the inside yet and it had been months since his mom had seen it.  They were pleasantly surprised with all of the updates, thus far.

    6. We then jetted back to Cranston (I had to make a pit-stop at the storage unit to pick up some shoes) and got showered and changed for a wedding.  We went casual to the wedding, and then came back home and changed up for the reception.  It was a beautiful night at the Squantum Association in East Providence.

    7. Yesterday was the only non-busy day.  And it was glorious.  I seriously sat at home ALL day in my pajamas and read a book.  I did run out to the market (in said pajamas) and I also baked some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.  But other than that, I woke up and went to bed without every changing my clothes.  AWE-SOME!!

  2. Speaking of Macaroni (see point 2 above)...My husband and I have been having a friendly debate forever now, and I found out that my mom sides with ME:  When I make macaroni, I like to mix all of the sauce/gravy into the macaroni so that everything is deliciously covered.  My husband prefers that you just put macaroni in a bowl and put a scoop of sauce on top.  His way is how they do it at Wrights Farm.  I find it frustrating because it allows people to take all the macaroni with the sauce and leave the last person to get gluey macaroni with no sauce.  No.  My way is the right way.  :o)

  3. Those Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins I made yesterday??  Delicious.  Although I have to admit that the first batch of muffins came a bit flat.  I think it's because I put some chocolate chips on top.  So I don't know.  But they were still delicious.  And check out the recipe....I wrote it out in 2nd grade!  :o) The funniest part?  My sister texted me today and said she made the same thing yesterday.  How weird is that??

  4. Check out that recipe.  Wrote it in 2nd grade!!!  I love the note about how all my papers should be that neat.  

  5. So at the wedding we went to on Saturday I discovered that my camera is even more amazing than I originally though.  I can change pictures to black and white and sepia and it saves a copy!  How cool is that???

  7. This weekend, I spent most of the weekend reading the third book in the Game of Thrones series.  I don't think I need to tell you that I"m obsessed.  I am.  I have found that I enjoy certain people's stories much more than others (I honestly can't stand Daenerys - she annoys the crap out of me), but I'm really enjoying it.  I'm going to have to go back and re-read all of the books once I finish, though.  I know there's a lot of stuff I'm missing.

  8. And my final point for today's Monday Matters....Someone recently tried to put me on a huge guilt trip and spelled "loose" instead of "lose."  The spelling error was nothing, but it infuriated me on accounts of the attempted guilt trip.  So I leave you today with a list of my biggest pet-peeves...It's a short list.  But it'll do for now :o)

    1. Loose - If your pants are too loose, then you should buy a belt.
    2. Lose - If you don't buy a belt, you're probably going to lose your pants.

    3. There - Go over there and get me a cookie.
    4. Their - Go pick up their dirty plates.  They just had cookies.
    5. They're - Go to the kitchen.  They're hungry for cookies.

    6. Your - What is your telephone number?  
    7. You're - What do you mean you don't know?  You're so forgetful!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday Matters....One Day Late

  1. I'm late in my Monday Matters Post this week.  We spend most of our day yesterday either on an Airplane or in the Airport, and I totally forgot about putting something together.  We went on vacation last week, and yesterday was our travel home day....

  2. Last week we visited my father in law, and we went to both Disney's Magic Kingdom and Islands of Adventure/Universal for one day each.  It was so much fun and I plan on blogging about everything with pictures this week!

  3. Let's talk about Disney for a minute.  Not the rides, not the ridiculous amount of strollers and how often they hit you in the ankles, not even the character appearances.  Let's talk about the bakery on Main Street.  Heaven.  Absolute heaven.

  4. During said day-trip to Islands of Adventure, I got to see HARRY POTTER!!!  I cannot tell you how exciting it was.  Seriously.  So Exciting.  I walked through Hogsmeade, Honeydukes, Zonkos, Ollivanders; I went to Hogwarts; I saw the Three Broomsticks AND The Hogs Head; I even drank some Butterbeer!  Everything about the day was just awesome.

  5. Hogwarts

    Me, posing in Honeydukes with a Chocolate Frog
  6. We headed down to Sanibel on Saturday and on the way there stopped in to visit one of Scott's friends in Fort Myers.  We visited with their family, and then went to a hockey game before heading west to Sanibel.  

  7. On Sunday we went to a wedding in Sanibel, which was a lot of fun.  The rain held out for a beach ceremony and then we danced the night away!!

  8. We are now home, and I am fighting a ferocious head cold.  I don't know what caused it, but my head feels like a balloon....And it's about to pop.

  9. So now back to the real world.  I'm hoping to do some more cooking and baking this week.  

  10. Speaking of the real world, it's time to make a regimented exercise schedule.  I had been doing really well before vacation (and before my awesome bout of Poison Oak), and I want to get back on track. Throughout vacation, I did some workouts with Scott (he does crossfit with a friend, so he and I did a couple of travels WODS together throughout the week), and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  But it's time to get serious again.  I cancelled my membership at the gym (even though it was only $15 / month, I hardly went at all, and always felt like I was in a 10th grade popularity contest when I went).  So now, it's home workouts and work workouts (you really have no excuse not to work out when work provides a free gym).  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Spinach Pie

I.  Love.  Spinach.  Pie.

It's one of those things I grew up on (I wrote a book in kindergarten, which I lost and need to find, called "We All Like Food" ...  It won an award, and I wrote about spinach pie).

My family has always made their own spinach pie - it's so easy to make...And much more delicious than a lot of those bakery calzones you can buy.

I love making these, and I can't believe I haven't blogged about them before!  I'm sure I've mentioned them....I guess I just never actually wrote about how to make them.  Well, here they are!!!

Once again, I used Homemade Pizza Dough, but you can use store bought dough, too.  Here's what you need to do:

For two loaves, I usually use 3 10-oz boxes of frozen chopped spinach (or 2 16-oz bags, whichever your supermarket carries).  Defrost in the microwave and squeeze out as much of the water as you possible can, once it has cooled down enough for you to touch.
Cooked spinach, cooling down before getting squeezed

While the spinach is cooling, I spread out enough dough for two loaves (this allows for some rising time).

Put the squeezed spinach into a mixing bowl, and add some seasonings:  Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Olive Oil (you can also add some red hot pepper flakes, if you want).  Also, I would strongly recommend adding some chopped black olives (I forgot to buy them, so these loaves were made sans olives).  Also, you can add some chopped pepperoni, too, if you want....

Mix the spinach and seasonings together, and taste as you go along to make sure there is enough salt, etc....

Squeezed spinach, in the mixing bowl, seasoned and ready to be mixed

Split the mixture in half and spread out over each of the two doughs.  At this point, you can also add some shredded mozzarella cheese (I only added it to one loaf).  Roll up the two loaves, and transfer them to a greased/oiled baking sheet.  Cut slits in the top to allow for excess moisture to escape (it will also prevent the spinach pie from getting big blowouts) and top with some oil for browning.  Bake at 425* for 20-25 minutes, until cooked and browned!!

Spread out and ready to be rolled!

Who can resist a cheesy spinach pie???

Cheesy spinach pie - ready to roll

Spinach pies, ready to bake (NOTE:  I put cheese on top of one of them,  and it  burned....If you want to put cheese on top, make sure you add it about 5 minutes before the loaves are ready to come out of the oven!!!)

Baked and beautiful (even with a bit of burned cheese...)

Cool, slice, and ENJOY!!!