Sunday, November 2, 2014

Chopped Birthday Party

This year for my birthday I decided I wanted an interactive event so I had a Chopped themed birthday party.  Have you ever watched Chopped on the Food Network?  It's pretty easy to get addicted.

We modified the format based on the fact that I only have one kitchen at my house and am not a professional chef.  We had 2 teams of three and both made a main dish.  We each had separate secret ingredients and took turns.  

Team 1 aka Team Gingersnaps- My Team.  I had been mentally preparing all week and was ready for anything.  Until the second I opened my basket.  I froze.  

Secret Ingredients - Cooked rotisserie chicken, pineapple, baby potatoes, and ginger snaps.  

After a brief discussion we decided to grill the pineapple, add some bbq sauce to the chicken, roast the potatoes and figure out the ginger snaps later.  After the most intense 40 minutes of my life we presented our dish.

Final Dish - BBQ chicken over baby potatoes roasted (and microwaved) with garlic, cumin and chili powder between grilled pineapple with a gingersnap butter glaze.  We had such high hopes for our plating but ended up being a bit rushed while also enduring tons of smack talk from the other team.    

Team 2 aka Eat My Grits - The OTHER team. 
Secret Ingredients - Raw organic chicken breasts, asparagus, pre-cut butternut squash, and jalapeno pepper jelly.  

Final Dish - Spinach and Goat Cheese stuffed chicken breasts with asparagus over a butternut squash, parmesan cheese and grit puree with a balsamic jalapeno jelly glaze.  I knew we were doomed when I caught my first glimpse of those stuffed chicken breast.  

Team Gingersnap - In my heart, this is the most beautiful  Chopped dish ever created because it was made with love and ginger snaps.

Team Eat My Grits - I guess if you favor a classically beautiful southern dish, you may think this looks good.  Although it's missing the beauty of the bbq sauce smears.  
Even though Team Ginger Snaps suffered a crushing defeat, this event was very fun.  My husband did a great job organizing it and playing the role of Ted.  He purchased tons of "pantry" items so we had things to use in our creations and he created a numerical voting system so we could all vote for each other.  We also had 3 "show" judges who gave feedback.  
Ok, Team Eat My Grits, we'll see you at Chopped - The Ultimate Revenge (after I take some courses at my local community college culinary school).

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Run

Wow.  I almost forgot how to do this.  I quit this blog.  But I still like making stuff and I've still been making stuff.  I just haven't photographed it extensively and written about it.  That takes the pressure off.  I've also gotten busy with other stuff.  I got pretty passionate about running, well at least talking about running (sometimes I actually hate running, but still).  So this year I trained for a 1/2 marathon which consumed a lot of my time over a few months.  The whole process was a great experience and I'm going to do it again.  But after my 1/2 marathon I ran my funnest 5k of the year (and set a new PR, I'm still not very fast FYI).  It was Halloween themed so I decided to make an easy/cheap costume that wouldn't interfere with my running.  I didn't even enter the costume contest.  (Zombie Progressive Flo won for the record).

How to make a pumpkin running costume.....
1-Buy an orange shirt.
2-Buy a sheet of sticky felt (felt that has a sticky side)
3-Cut 3 triangles out of sticky felt.
4-Cut a jack-o-lantern style mouth out of sticky felt.
5-Stick it to your shirt and hope it doesn't rain too much.

And great news.  You can remove the felt at the end (if it didn't fall off) and still have a lovely orange t-shirt.  So if you're running any Halloween themed 5ks you can enter the Halloween costume contest.  I'm thinking of making myself a Christmas tree t-shirt for my Running of the Balls Holiday 5k in December.

Oh also, we got a second dog...a year ago.  We are BFF (mostly because he likes to wear matching t-shirts with me).  Hobie kind of hates him.

Friday, March 29, 2013

California Pics - March 2014

San Diego Zoo

La Jolla Coast in San Diego

Paley Fest, How I Met Your Mother, Dolby Theater of Oscar Fame

Dolby Theater-Paley Fest

Outside Jimmy Kimmel Live, Walk of Fame

Ferry to Coronado in San Diego


La Jolla Coast

La Jolla Coast

La Jolla Coast Seals chilling on the beach

Warner Bros. Studios

Retired Friends Set, Central Perk, Warner Bros. Studio tour

Hollywood sign from Griffith Park Observatory

Griffith Park

Bike ride from Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach

Parks and Recreation Paley Fest panel

My gurl, Amy Poehler

Parks and Rec Paley Fest Panel

Biking to Venice Beach

Rodeo Drive
Brandon's Favorite Meal, Carnitas tacos, triple pork sandwich

Fish Tacos

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-Mountains and Donuts

I guess I've just been too busy to blog because I've been doing neat things like riding a train up a mountain to 14000 feet...
...then eating a donut as my reward (as though I actually hiked up it instead of rode a train).

Monday, August 13, 2012


This is a little late but we had an Olympic Opening Ceremony Party a couple weeks ago.

Special guest Mo Young arrived from Las Vegas with this awesome gymnastic t-shirt for me and her own Olympic themed outfit.  I forgot to take pics of everyone else but there were some track and field stars and a very American themed baby. 
I totally could have helped the Fab Five win that gold.  Ok not really, but I can still do a roundoff.
We served Olympic themed food.  This is a really easy bean dip that I stole from my sister's Pinterest.  I added the American flag tortilla crumbles on my own.
 Shanzie brought Olympic Ring cupcakes.
 Mo made this almost American Flag Caprese salad.
 And Curly T always comes through with the fruit, this time British style.
Did you do anything to celebrate the Olympics?
What was your favorite part?

I love gymnastics and I got pretty in to swimming this year.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Salsa Competition

This past weekend my friends invited me over to participate in taco night and a salsa competition.  Once I made sure it was the food and not the dance I was psyched.   Since Farmer Gene has access to a lot of fresh veggies from his garden, I decide to try to win in creativity.  So after perusing the Internet, I decided to go with Watermelon salsa and a Mediterranean style salsa.

My watermelon salsa came from this recipe.  I eyeballed most of the ingredients (instead of measuring) and used red onion instead of green onion but everything else was the same.

I found the watermelon salsa to be really refreshing.  It was good with chips but probably not something I'd put on a taco.

For the Mediterranean salsa, I just made it up.  I thought of as many Greek/Mediterranean things as I could and put them together to make salsa.  (Sorry, no Kalamata Olives, since I'm an olive hater).
I'm not great at measuring but here's what I used in this salsa.

Mediterranean Style Salsa-
Cherry tomatoes
Red Onion
Green Pepper
Jalapeno Pepper-just a little
Pepperoncini Peppers- chopped (I used 2)
Chick Peas-chopped into smaller pieces, not too many
Italian Parsley
Dried Oregano Leaves
Feta Cheese-Crumbled
Lemon Juice
Red Wine Vinegar (just a couples splashes)

B and I arrived to table of salsas with an assortment of chips.  Everyone really pulled out all the stops.  Ingredients beans, avocado, corn, peaches, strawberries, etc.  It was a great variety.  And we were super full before we even started eating tacos.

In the end, Farmer Gene took the top prize with his tomato, corn, peppers, onions, herbs, etc masterpiece.  Seriously there were like 20 ingredients in his salsa and it was amazing.  I won for most creative though.  Holla.

This was an awesome idea and everyone had a lot of fun.  I think everyone should have a salsa competition with their friends during the summer and maybe we'll do another one next year.

Friday, June 29, 2012

June Was Busy...

I'm-a Back.

It's been a busy June.

I travelled to Charleston, SC to see my parents' new home.

I visited our nation's capital and went on an awesome free walking tour.

I became BFF* with Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler.

I achieved one of my running goals (running a 5K in under 30 minutes!).

And I will probably die this weekend as I attempt my first ever 10K, being as the high for Saturday in Gboro is 104.  Please, please, please, please let it be in the low 70s at 8am.  Please.

If I survive the 10K, I'm competing in a very serious salsa (the food, not the dance) competition on Saturday night so I will update you on that and all these other June events next week.

*became BFF=saw from a distance