Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Must Read

I finally bought The Help by Kathryn Stockett last week and I am LOVING it! Just a little over the halfway marker and it just keeps getting better! Although the last chapter wasn't the most pleasant reading, very unexpected... If you want to know what I'm talking about go out and get the book! Or order it on Amazon like I did! Here's the link! The Help on

Monday, June 27, 2011

30 Minute Meal

No, not like Rachel Ray. Better Homes & Gardens take the credit for this recipe that I have been meaning to share for quite some time. I've been cooking this oldie but goodie since I bought the cook-mag in 2007. Michael loves it. If you guys ever see any of their Special Interest Publications I recommend purchasing them because I always find awesome recipes in them.

This is a perfect go-to recipe when you want something quick and easy that isn't going to make you feel guilty after eating. Personally, Michael and I LOVE anything that has balsamic on it so I double that part of the recipe. Finishing off the dish with the fresh tomato really adds a nice cool and refreshing feel to the meal.

I took my own photo originally, but the presentation didn't do the recipe justice.

Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables

Start to Finish: 30 Minutes
Makes 4 servings

1/4 cup bottled Italian salad dressing (I prefer Kraft Zesty Italian)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or 4... it won't hurt hehe)
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 t0 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound chicken breast tenderloins
10 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup purchased shredded carrot
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped

1. In a small bowl, stir together salad dressing, balsamic vinegar, honey and crushed red pepper. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink, turning once. Add half of the dressing mixture to the skillet; turn to coat chicken. Transfer chicken to a serving platter; cover and keep warm.

3. Add asparagus and carrot to skillet. Cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender; transfer to the serving platter.

4. Stir remaining dressing mixture; add to skillet. Cook and stir for 1 minute, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Drizzle dressing mixture over chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle with tomato.

Hope y'all enjoy! Let me know when you give it a try!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Proud to be an American

I was so happy that after the Budd's Creek MX race Michael and I were able to spend some time in Washington, DC. It was a great experience showing MB our Nation's capital. Sometimes I forget that he has only lived in the US for 10 years and he isn't really familiar with DC, its monuments or history.

Of course, the highlight of the trip for me (being I'd already been to DC 3x) was getting dinner Saturday night at this AWESOME restaurant called Founding Farmers. It's always a good sign when you walk into a restaurant at 9:30 pm and it's still poppin'. For this place, poppin' is probably an understatement. It was PACKED with a long wait list and the food was crazy good! Happy I made a reservation weeks in advanced.

After dinner even though we were both practically walking zombies we managed to head to the Lincoln Memorial/Washington Monument to see them lit up at night.

So, one of my favorite things about these two places is that it always reminds me of that scene in Forest Gump the movie, when Forest is at the podium and then Jenny goes running through the Reflecting Pool and then they run and meet each other in the middle of it. I was pretty bummed when we got here and the pool was empty because it was under construction. I was so deliriously tired I would have probably reenacted it all for shits and giggles.

Michael's favorite part of our trip was not seeing the actual White House, but seeing the spotter on the rooftop of the White House checking us all out with his sniper rifle... Boys and guns... a boy after my own Father's heart.

Us walking around checking out the Smithsonian Museums.

Put the Hope Diamond on my wishlist. #Diamondsareagirlsbestfriend

I definitely feel blessed that we have the opportunity to travel to fun places like this all the time. Even more blessed that my husband puts up with/fuels the fire to the tourist inside of me :-)

Our next stop will be in August when we go to NYC after a race we have in Syracuse, NY. We've never been to the Big Apple so we can't wait to check it out!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I love story time with pictures!

So, I'm about two weeks behind on posts. Over the next couple days be prepared for blog posts/picture overload. Especially in this one, I couldn't narrow down the pictures for Michael's birthday weekend. Looking back, I can't believe how much stuff we stuffed into one weekend! Yikes!

June 10th we celebrated Michael's 32nd birthday! Like we always say, you're only as old as the woman you're with! (Which would make him 6 years younger :-p) June 10th fell on a Friday this year, which kind of sucks for us to have a birthday on because 99% of the time we're flying on Friday's. So I let Michael open his presents Thursday night after our weekly Thursday-Chicken Parm-Night.

One of Michael's gifts was the new Garmin watch. I'm not into health-techy things, but this watch is pretty cool. Touchscreen, GPS... all the good stuff. I definitely recommend it as a gift for your active special someone. Michael is loving it!

Celebrating with a little Ponte Beverino. Our most favorite favorite red.

So, Friday we flew to Pittsburgh. We fly into PIT twice a year. Once for Highpoint Raceway in June and then for Steel City in September. It has become a tradition that no matter where we are going, we take a 30 min detour and make a pitstop at one of my childhood favorite places, the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe. Michael has grown to tolerate my unhealthy eating habits...

I always order the same thing: 2 hot dogs with sauerkraut, cheese fries, wedding soup and rootbeer. Yes, and I eats it all!

Coincidentally, one of my good friends from growing up Bridget was in town (her parents live about 30 paces from the Hot Dog Shoppe) so she and her husband Chris joined us for lunch!

Eventually we arrive in Morgantown, WV where the race is held. Michael always checks out the track the day before the race while I unpack and usually end up having a drink with my buddy Sheena. We usually would stay and cook some salmon with Brett and Sheena on their RV for dinner but since it was MB's birthday we joined up with friends at a restaurant called Madeline's. If you're in the Morgantown area ever you should check it out. Michael's friends own the place. I've always thoroughly enjoyed myself and their wine selection there.

On our way to dinner.

Thought this was just a cool idea! Wish all restaurants had it so we didn't need to put your utensils on the table!

Saturday always rolls around very early. We usually start our day on the road at 7 am. We get to the track and cook breakfast before Michael's rider's meeting at 8am.

Nick, MB's mechanic, and his bike all ready to go!

Highpoint is always a great track for spectators because you can see almost the whole track!

After the race the fun continued! I was so excited that Sunday morning I got to meet my new baby cousin Hunter James. He is such a cutie! I am so happy for my cousin Beth and her husband Brent on their new bundle of joy!! Can't wait to see him again in September!

Sunday night, after we got home from the airport we had a little birthday party for Michael. Poor thing, he was so tired he only drank 1 beer LOL. But we were all so excited to try my GF birthday cake I whipped up Thursday night before we flew out! I was pretty impressed with myself. It turned out great... the chocolate layer more so than the vanilla. But practice makes perfect!

Note to self: It's probably a smart idea to use the the firework candles outside considering you can't really blow them out.

A peak at the inside of the cake.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day for the Dogs

One of the best things about where we live is that we are in prime location to so many great things. Just under and hour to the beach and to Disney/Universal. Just depends on whether we want to head North or South. Last Friday, we decided to pack a cooler and head South to Fort deSoto Dog Beach for the day. It's just south of St. Pete Beach. Zeus and Nina had never been to the beach before so we thought - What the heck!, we had the weekend off from racing might as well spend a little quality time with our babies.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day...

The beach is great for taking your pups. There's plenty of room for lots of pooches importantly so, because this is one of the only leash-free dog beaches around. We were able to put a decent bit of space between Zeus and Nina and the bigger dogs that were there.

Going near the water with Daddy. Keyword: near. LOL We quickly realized they weren't very excited to get into the water. Whenever we would wade out in the water carrying them the second we put them in the water they swam straight to shore.

Nina, our brave little girl, had a little bit of courage but wasn't a big fan when the tide came in.

My little man :-)

Someone always has her eyes on Daddy.

Meanwhile, Mama's boy never strays to far from me.
(My favorite pic of the day BTW)

After a while they did enjoy a little sand under their paws. On a little sprint.

Finally, the hubs and I before we left ♥

Not sure if we will be taking the dogs back to the beach anytime soon. But Michael and I will definitely be exploring Clearwater/St. Petersburg a little more!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

denim Addition

(Let's hope my husband doesn't read this post! LOL)

So here's the new addition to my denim family. I've had these bad boys in the "Saved for Later" part of my shopping cart for quite some time. Months actually. So I was pumped that they went on sale from $165 to $99 during the recent half-yearly sale. Even more pumped I actually got to them while they still had my size in stock... I always get there to late it seems. Well, not this time! Can't wait to wear these out. Hudson always makes a killer pair of jeans and I love the way they are cut.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Greek BBQ Feast

So one of my absolute favorite things to do on a day off is watch Food Network. I usually only pay close attention to Barefoot Contessa and Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and just keep the other shows on for background noise while I do things around the house. Today though, the key word Greek sparked my interest on 5 Ingredient Fix. It's a good show because all the recipes only have 5 ingredients which means 1) The meals will usually be affordable and 2) Pretty simple and easy to make.

I really loved Claire Robinson's lineup today for a "Mighty Aphrodite Meal" so I thought I'd share it with you all.

The burgers, or sliders, would make the perfect appetizer to start the meal off right. All you need for a topping on it would be a generous dollop of the tzatziki sauce. And for the main course, the grilled chicken and salad with... TA-DA a side of tzatziki! My only addition to the salad would be some some feta cheese and kalamata olives. YUMMO.

If you've never had tzatziki sauce, don't be frightened. Give it a try! I'm a big fan on this creamy, cucumbery-greek yogurt goodness.

An interesting tip she shared was to soak the red onions in some ice water for a few minutes before adding it to the cucumbers and tomatoes to take the oniony/sharp edge off. I'm hoping it works. I'm really intimidated by raw onions. Not that I don't like the way they taste, they're usually just to strong. So maybe that might just be the trick to make me a raw onion eater.

Let me know if you give it a try! I plan on making this for some company soon!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted!

Because it's been like a year, I'm opting out for catching everyone up. Not really in the mood to write a novel tonight LOL so basically, to some the past 6 weeks (or so) up, it's been crazy busy with working, racing, laundry, cleaning and cooking.

Michael's motocross season started the 3rd week of May and so we are 2 rounds into the last season of the year. 10 rounds to go! Currently he's sitting in 11th, just 4 points out of the top 10 and I have a really good feeling for this season.

I had a very exciting weekend. Aside from Michael's race in Wortham, TX, m
y family was blessed with a brand new addition. My cousin Beth had her baby, Hunter James. He's a beautiful baby boy. I can't wait to meet him next weekend!

Then on Monday for Memorial Day not only did we pay our respects to our troops (Shout out to my cousin Jimmy who is my hero who serves in the Marines) we also had a little birthday party for one of our bestest friends, Ellie. Ellie, her hubby Chad and baby Tate are living with us anymore, but moved just down the street so we went to her house to celebrate. They just finished builidng a b!t*hin house on the lake in our subdivision. Here are a few pics:

Getting the toys out

Poolside with a lake view :-)

Michael and I with lil Taters

Crystal, Jenna and I

The boys catching a little air

Anywho. That's it for now. Pats on the back to me. I'd been meaning to brush the dirt of ma shoulders and get some more blogging going.