Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Lovin'

The official start of summer is still 10 days away, but in my mind, Memorial Day kicks off the vacation season! Vacations are planned, pools are open, and it is HOT in the DMV (District, Maryland, Virginia). This summer is actually jam packed with vacations for me. I've saved up time off and I'm heading to the islands!

First up, Barbados for 12 days with my mom and Husband. Mom and I relaxing with my Aunt for the first few days and then trading an Aunt for a husband the last week. My mom has a timeshare for two weeks there, so this is the 6th year I've gone down there. I love the resort and the island. This year we're planning to try out some new adventures like zip lining!

We then are taking a long weekend with one of my Besties to go to NASCAR. Brian Vickers may be out for the season, but you can't keep me away from those rednecks!

The surprise addition to all of this was winning the annual Club trip from work. 5 days in the Bahamas with another Bestie (hubs can't go to vacation limits at work, sad)

I was accepting of my less than stellar post wedding bod because the only bathing suit wearing was with mom and hubs. No big deal. Now all of a sudden I have to put on a suit in front of co workers! Luckily the two other girls from my group going are awesome and totally non judgmental, but I should put in some effort, right?

This week I started watching what I'm eating and drinking, logging those WW points, and working out. I'm taking it super slow with the workouts since I have done absolutely nothing for about a year. I downloaded the Couch 2 5k app for my iPhone. Trying to make it out three days a week for a run and the other days basking in the AC of the gym and doing a little elliptical work. I'm not expecting miracles but I have over a month to make progress.

What are your summer plans? Has the thought of a swim suit gotten you to start busting your behind into workout mode???

Monday, June 7, 2010

#67 - aka What? I can cook?

When creating my 101 in 1001 I threw on Prepare a fancy five course meal. Why? I don't know. I was hoping I would become a culinary genius. I just started obsessively watching The Food Network a month or so ago. When watching a Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Steak Edition I was determined that even I could cook a steak. With a few extra moments this week I started contemplating what 5 courses I could plan around trying out cooking a filet. I started putting together a menu and a shopping list.

I had Friday afternoon off, so I started prepping food right away. First item of business, dessert of course! I would be baking Caramel-Apple Bread Pudding.

Up next was prep for the salad course. I made a Waldorf Salad, so I had lots of fruits and veggies to chop up. The dressing was super easy, so I just saved that until we got to the salad course to whip that up and add in.
and Wilbur figured out where to stand to catch the falling fruit from the counter...

Once Tony got home it was time to get him cleaned up and start putting out some food!!!

First course: Appetizers - Made a quick Spinach and Herb dip from Tastefully Simple and served on toasted french bread. Also put out some shrimp cocktail cause I love it so much!!!

Second course: Soup - Tomato and Basil. Used Progresso Chunky Tomato and added fresh basil on top. Definitely my easy out, but I love that soup and the basil was delish!(Sorry no pic)

Third course: Salad - Waldorf Salad. This could have been an awesome salad, if I had read the instructions for the dressing correctly. In my haste to whip it up mid meal I put in an entire teaspoon of Ginger instead of a 1/4 teaspoon. HUGE mistake and after a couple bites we threw the whole thing out. Sad, but I will try again next time!

Fourth course - Entree` - Filet Mignon with Sweet Potato Fries. Let me say, this was amazing! I managed to mess this one up too though, but will try to redeem myself tonight. I used EVOO instead of vegetable oil and when using a cast iron skillet, it gets WAY too hot for the EVOO. Vegetable oil can take much higher temps and will probably set off the smoke alarm fewer times. Despite the smoke filled house, the steaks were AMAZING, better than some I've had in restaurants. The sweet potato fries were amazing despite not quite being as crisp as I had wanted, but I rushed those out of the oven to make room for filets. I could have REALLY used a double oven for this meal and will certainly value that feature in our future home!

Fifth course - Dessert!!! Caramel-Apple Bread Pudding. YUM YUM YUM. It smelled like apple pie and was amazing. We had to let our big dinner settle for a while, but once we got to dessert it was well worth the wait!!!

Overall, it was really fun planning the menu and making everything. It was a fun stay in date night for hubs and I. I definitely would feel comfortable cooking for more people in the future and having a fancy dinner party at our house. Now if only we had a big enough house....