Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ode to a Sweet Potato

Oh, sweet potato, how I love thee*
You are so bright, so delicious, so yummy

I can make you in so many ways,
Baked, mashed, fried or stewed
I can't believe there once were days
I thought you only holiday food

I bought you at the farmers market
(hooray for fresh and local!)
I wish your skin wasn't like carpet
'Cause through my skin I pokeled(?)

Okay, so I'm not much for rhyming, but I do enjoy mah sweet potatoes! Seriously, these are one of the best superfoods out there, rich in fiber and vitamins C & A, among others (wiki it, haters). Plus, they're really not all that sweet (especially if you don't make them with marshmallows and brown sugar!). Here's a recipe I made for dinner tonight (along with some delicious NY Strip Steaks*** and fresh asparagus over the fire, also from our local farmers market****):

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces of relatively the same thickness**
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic power
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste

Whisk oil & spices in a large bowl until well mixed. Add potato pieces and mix with your hands until each piece is coasted equally. Spread potatoes on a baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes (turning them after ten minutes). You can also stick them under the broiler for a minute or two if you want them extra crispy.

In other news, here's some pics of the new house with our own personal touches:

*thou, thouest, thine...whatever
**I totally suck at this, but it actually doesn't turn out too bad b/c some fries are crispier than others, so there is a nice variety
***Which we got from the butcher, who is literally down the street from our house & teeming with resh, local seafood, too!
****I got a hankerin' for these after reading my dear cuzins blog post. Thanks, RM!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Finally Here!

Well, as you may have guessed, we are finally here in Florida and getting settled in. We arrived at the house on Saturday, and our household goods arrived on Tuesday..not too shabby! We've already put most everything away. The only things left are our bedroom and the garage, which promises to be a nightmare. We downsized quite a bit in square footage, so many things will have to be stored in the garage and we have yet to figure out where everything is going to go. The kids are already loving the pool, and C will have her first day of school tomorrow. I elected to put her into a small Montessori private school since the elementary school we are currently zoned for (considered one of the best in Florida) is due to be closed down this summer thanks to budget cuts. I didn't want to put her into yet another school only to have her switch again next year and be bussed into the city to what promises to be a school of much lesser quality. At her new school, C will only have six students in her entire class! Plus, this school goes from toddler to middle, so both A and J will attend with her next year. Nice to be able to keep them all in the same place! We've also visited our community center and gotten our rec center id cards so the kids can start using those resources. There is a year-round competetive swim team that meets at our local pool, so I've contacted the coach to see if we can get C signed up. The community center also offers a gym that Hubs can use and many childrens classes for a low fee. I'll probably hold off on those until I know what my new work schedule is going to look like. Speaking of which, I still have another 6 days before I start work. I don't think I've ever gone without working for so long, and I still feel like it's going to be a squeeze to get everything done that needs to get done! Sorry so short for now, I promise to write lots of updates as soon as I get more time!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

First of Many Mexico Picture Posts

Okay, so you may have guessed by now that all the Bills postings are by a mysterious guest blogger ;0) But, I'm back now...back from Mexico! It was absolutely fabulous; we had an amazing time and it was very hard to come back to reality. Of course, now we're in the midst of packing everything up and getting ready to hit the road. My last day of work is tomorrow and then it's off to sunny Florida. We may be out of contact for a few days while we're in transit, so I'll leave you with some pictures of our long overdue vacation to tide you over:

Hotel Pics

El Cedral Mayan Ruins

Beach Pictures

Monday, March 09, 2009

Get Your Popcorn Ready!

Bills chief operating office Russ Brandon woke up sometime after midnight Friday morning and noticed there was a text message on his cell phone. So he reached over and looked. It was from Trent Edwards, the quarterback of the Bills. "T.O.'' That's all it said.Brandon shot back with this: "?'' "T.O. was released. Go get him,'' Edwards texted back.
Heck, at least were relevent now...and we don't have to wait until the 59th minute of a 60 minute sports program to see Bills highlights!!! However it plays out, it will make the 2009 season a lot of fun..

Thursday, March 05, 2009

House in FL

Hubs got back from FL last night with keys in hand, (hooray) we have a house... and right on the beach too!!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Life's Little Bits

Gah, too distraught about the Hosea win to blog anything about Top Chef. I think this has been the worst season yet. Carla was the only one to root for, but I could have dealt with a Stefan win since at least he was talented (as evidenced my his many, many wins). Hosea only won by default since the other two screwed up (oh, Carla, why on earth would you listen to Casey of all people? She done fucked up her own chance, why did you let her bring you down, whhhhy!!??) Plus it seemed really obvious to me that Tom did not like Stefan and this may have had some influence on how they picked the winner, which is pretty crappy IMHO. Stefan might be pretentious, obnoxious, and full of himself, but Hosea is all those things too, plus a kiss-ass...oh yeah, and he cheated on his girlfriend on national television, which makes him a tool & a douchebag on top of all that. What a very dissatisfying season!

For those of you I haven't gotten a chance to call yet, I'll have a few days off this week so I promise I'll try and catch up wtih everyone to give you all the specifics on the upcoming move. I don't think I've posted a recipe for a while, so here's what I made for dinner tonight (with fair warning that this is one of my favorite meals to make and also is not all that clean...lots of yummy carbs & fat!). I love this recipe because I can add whatever protein I want since just about everything tastes good in the sauce. Tonight, for example, I used leftover sausage and chicken breast.

Pasta w/Tomato Cream Sauce

1 pkg pasta of your choice
6-7 roma tomatoes, seeded & diced
2 tsp garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1/2-3/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a pan and saute tomatoes & garlic until softened (about 5min). Add cream & heat until the sauce starts to reduce slightly, then add the cheese and cook for another minute or so...just until the sauce thickens. If you choose to add a protein, do so before you add the cheese to thicken the sauce.

J is gets more and more amusing as she gets older and tries to explain the world in her own words. Today she was playing with her Thomas the Train pretend laptop (a gift from Grandma), so she told me, "I am the mommy because mommies use computers." Hubs replied, "Well, what about daddies." To which she replied, "No, daddies just sit there." Hah!

I am getting a little worried about A. He is already 20 months, but he still isn't all. I mean he says "mama" and "dada" every once in a blue moon, but that's about it. I seem to remember the girls talking much earlier than this. He seems to understand everything I'm saying. He follows simple directions, and he definately known what "no" means, lol! Am I overreacting here or do you think it's unusual that he's not talking yet?

So, I've been keeping steady with my current workout schedule and working on cutting down my portion size and that seems to be working out quite well. I am just one pound shy of my goal weight now, and I am feeling happy with my workouts. I am still using Tracy Anderson (her Mat and Post-Preg workouts) and doing 2 days of high intensity interval training (HIIT) per week (usually P90X Intervals 1x and another interval workout on the other day). I also have added in some Squeeze (I have Squeeze and Squeeze Stronger) and I am loving(!!) Kelly Coffey-Meyer's new 30 Minutes to Fitness series (I have her Bootcamp and Kickbox workouts). I cannot recommend these workouts enough. They are fun, versatile (there are two-30min workouts and an option to combine the two for 1 hour-long workout), and easy to modify (you can go high or low), plus I just love Kelly's personality & music choice (which is essential for whether or not I like a workout). Here's a typical workout week for me right now:

Feb 22 - Squeeze Stronger (70min)
Feb 23 - rest
Feb 24 - KCM Bootcamp (55min)
Feb 25 - TA Mat Workout (60min)
Feb 26 - Turbo Jam Fat Blaster + CLX Intervals (45min)
Feb 27 - KCM Kickbox (55min)
Feb 28 - Cathe Friedrich DrillMax (75min)
Mar 1 - P90M Cardio Intervals + 20 Sara Ivanhoe Yoga (75min)

Things I'm Thankful For:
- Bear Naked granola - This stuff is freaking amazing. In case you didn't know, most granola is actually chock full of sugar and not very good for you. If you look on a box of even Kashi granola, it lists sgars as high as 16-19g! Bear naked granola has just 5g of sugar and it s really, really yummy! I use it on my yogurt all the time.
- DVRs - C can't wait to show her grandparents her tv triumph (they have been on a European jaunt and thus missed the original presentation)