Saturday, August 30, 2008

Loving my Library

I know I have said this before, but I love my library. The staff is very friendly and the library itself is kept up well. I came home with a bunch of books that I can't wait to read. Here is what I got:

Jeffrey Steingarten is my favorite judge on Iron Chef America. I've never read his work before though so I am looking forward to reading this book.

I stumbled upon this book while on my way to check out. I haven't heard much about it however the story sounds compelling. I love memoirs, biographies etc.

I feel I have been on a 1960's kick--with watching Mad Med, Doris Day movies (okay that is more 50's but stay with me here), Across the Universe. This looked like an interesting read and I like the female perspective.

I'm no fine dining expert by any means, but I've enjoyed my fair share of dining at some pretty fancy schmancy places. Was it always the best meal I had ever had? Not in the least, but the experience is something I enjoy from time to time.

Elie Krieger is one of my faves on Food Network. I like that she educated you on the nutritional aspect of the food she prepares--like what vitamins are present etc. Plus her baked onion rings recipe (with some slight modifications from me) is my favorite non junky junk food.

I'm deciding what to read first. I'll probably start with the Starbucks story! Have any of you read these books before?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Blogger!

Hello dear readers! MartiniGirl is a new blogger who is sharing her life as she approaches 40. She is just getting started, so if you get a moment, please stop by her blog!

Okay, off to watch Mad Men (Andie, hope you are watching too!!)

Passing Time during the storm

My boss told me not to come in on Friday due to high winds from Tropical Storm Fay. What does one do with unexpected time off?

In my case, I try out new recipes! I picked two very easy recipe based on what I already had in the refrigerator or pantry.

The first one is Baked Zucchini Sticks. I had picked up some lovely zucchini from the market last week and wanted to try something other than the normal Zucchini boats I usually make. I also had half a large can of whole tomatoes leftover and decided to make a homemade marinara to accompany the "sticks". Here is how it turned out!

Since we were eating something somewhat healthy, I wanted something sweet to go with it. I had half a bag of leftover frozen peaches and some pie dough so I decided to make this. I love pies since they are not as labor intensive as cakes :)

I didn't have enough filling or peaches for the original recipe, so I ended up folding over the pie crust and it ended up looking like a rustic tart. See for yourself:

The only major substitution I made was vanilla extract for almond. This turned out to be pretty darn delicious!

Other than trying new recipes, I was pretty low key over the weekend. The hubby and I ventured out on Saturday to pick up groceries. We made a very nice dinner on Saturday night, complete with amazing ribeyes from Fresh Market. Yum and definitely a once in a while treat! I also cleaned, did laundry, etc etc.

Today I went to Target to pick up the newish Emily Giffin book "Love the one you're with". I tried to hold out and check it out from the library, but it is always on reserve for someone and I couldn't wait any longer. It is an easy read and a good story. I can see it appealing more to married women than the twenty something single. However, I recommend it for a quick read.

Time to get ready for the new week. I hope you all have a great one!

Edit: on the zucchini recipe, I substituted Whole Wheat Panko Breadcrumbs for the regular italian breadcrumbs. I tossed in some garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, oregeno and basil to jazz up the pankos.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I <3 fresh produce

for the past month, I've been getting the majority of my produce from the local Green Market held in a local park near the beach. At first, I used to go with specific goals in mind (like I have to get 2 tomatoes). However, going to a local farmer's market with a shopping list is not very productive. It's better to wing it and make decisions based on the selection. Then based on what you get, develop your menu. I feel that I made out with some superb produce yesterday, spending a grant total of $18. I came home with:

1 huge green bell pepper (which was used today to make beef fajitas)
6 ears of sweet corn (3 of them were served for dinner tonight)
6 medium zucchinis (2 served this evening -- using my favorite stuffed zucchini recipe)
6 huge tomatoes (1 used yesterday to make a tomato sandwich on italian whole grain)
2 lbs of green beans
1 huge italian eggplant (will be used tomorrow along with the tomatoes to make roasted eggplant, tomato and mozzarella stacks---and also to be used on Tuesday to make paninis)
1 lb of Muscadine grapes (I had never tried these before, but very good!)

Can't wait to see what I will get next week!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

So good to be back!!

I'm blogging today from a River North hotel room...getting ready to have tea with 2 of my favorite ladies! We did make it to Bongo Room for Brunch and it was well worth the wait. Shopped a little in Lincoln Park..enjoyed the gorgeous and perfect weather...pretty much having the perfect Sunday! Details about tea to be shared later!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I'm a bad blogger

I know, I've been quite the neglectful blogger! Work has been unbelieveably crazy and I've been working hard just to keep my head above water. However there is a reprieve. I'm headed to Chicago this weekend! Well in actuality, I will be in Indiana, however I get one blissful day in the city. I am excited to soak up a little Chicago flavor. I'm hoping to drag my sister to brunch with me at the Bongo Room. I want to have high tea at the Peninsula Hotel. Some of you may remember my high tea experience at the Drake. So excited!!

The main purpose of my trip is to celebrate my bestest cousin's wedding! My cousin is 3 months younger than me and we grew up together (albeit we were separated by many miles). Love that we both got married in the same year we turned 30! :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!