Friday, September 30, 2011

4 things. .

Happy Friday everyone!! I don't know about y'all but my week has sure flown by and by golly I am soo thankful!!  BRING ON THE WEEKEND!!  I will be maxing and relaxing on the good ole coast of the Outer Banks!!  Minus the mosquito over-take I'm really excited!!  Now for the 4 things I am LOVING this week. . .

1. COWBOYS VICTORY OVER THE SKINS---woohoooo it feels good to be a cowboy this week!!  There have not been too many times that I can say that am not only loving Romo for his good looking self but rather for his skills on the field!! Lets bring on another victory this weekend boys!!!

2.  GOING HOME FOR THE WEEKEND-- ahhh its soo nice waking up to the sunlight shining in on my face and the greeting of wet puppy dog kisses!!  Here a few pics from this morning, don't worry LOTS MORE TO COME!


Little Roxanna

Roxy loves to fish with dad-- haha its so funny!

3.  BIG GLASSES-- they are all the rage these days! All the celebs are wearing them haha! So I thought I would try them out! My friends Annie and Shari ordered glasses from Warbyparker!! You pick out frames that you want to try, pay $5 and they are shipped to you in a matter of days.  You can do this as many times as you like.  Once you find the right pair you send in your prescription and you're in business.  Even though my 20/20 eyes do not require vision googles, it is sometimes fun to try them on!  Here are some pics of Annie and I-- I accidently deleted Shari's (sorry Bob) What do you think??

4. BLT's with FRIED GREEN TOMATOES!! Holy cow that little extra tid bit of the fried green tomato just adds the biggest BOOM POOW WOWW to your mouth!! It's down right incredible!!!  Ry and I had brunch at 3 in Clarendon-- AND THEY DONT SKIMP ON BACON EITHER!!! GOO AND GET IT!!


What are y'all loving this week?? Happy weekend to y'all!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Skinny Chicken Carbonara

I love finding ways to make my favorite recipes better suitable for my waistline :) Especially since working out lately has been non-existent!! GRR!

Last night Ry and I had a nice little dinner for two! I made Chicken Carbonara using all of our favorite ingredients but adding a slight twist that not even your taste buds would notice!

To start things off, I fried up some bacon, TURKEY BACON, that is! I let the grease drain off on a paper -towel.  Using the same pan, I diced up some mushrooms and garlic and let them sweat out.

While all of this was going on, I brought out my handy dandy george foreman (one of the best inventions for the kitchen, if you ask me, besides my kitchen-aide mixer ;)!  I grilled two small chicken breasts that I salted with garlic salt and fresh pepper.  I also boiled a pot of salted water to cook my broccoli and noodles.  The broccoli does not require as much time as the noodles so keep an eye on them. Once they are ready-- I roughly chopped them so you weren't munching on a whole broccoli stalk!

When all ingredients are fully cooked to your liking, throw it all into the skillet pan and thoroughly mix together.  The final touch is adding one can of cream of broccoli, one of cream of mushroom and a dash of the salt water you used to cook your noodles and broccoli.  Let the flavors combine and then serve it up with a sprinkle of your favorite cheese!!

This whole process takes no longer than 20 minutes, Rachel Ray thought she had found something with 30 minute meals-- please!!!

** I forgot my camera today but will post a pic of the beauty later!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I would like to start off by saying GOOOO COWBOYS!!! We beat the Skins last night- sigh.. so nice!

Now, back to the topic at hand-- I made this cake for my bday and have yet to put the recipe up... so here you go, I introduce to you, the TRIPLE SALTED CARAMEL CAKE!!  My friend Sara made this and referred me to this recipe They make cupcakes, but I was more in the mood for cake!  It's a bit overwhelming seeing it in recipe form but once you get started it turns out to be fairly simple!

Cake Batter:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.  Add vanilla.  Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.
Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color.  Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.  Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel.  Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).  Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration.  If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny.  If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Candied Salted Caramel Rounds
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup water
2-4 tablespoons of large-crystal sugar

Lay out a large piece of parchment on your work surface and spray with cooking oil (such as canola). Fill a large tub (or your sink) partially full of ice water.

Put sugar, salt and cold water in a heavy pan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat and bring syrup to a boil.  Lower heat slightly and swirl the pan once or twice as the syrup caramelizes so it will color evenly; do not stir.  When the caramel is deep amber, plunge the base of the pan into ice water for about 2 seconds to stop further cooking.

Working quickly, dip a spoon in the caramel and let it fall onto the parchment paper in a drizzle.  Move the spoon in a circular motion as the syrup falls from the spoon. Repeat 15 times.  When caramel has hardened (it will still be sticky) sprinkle on the large-crystal sugar.  Remove from paper and top the cake!  I had a a wee bit of a hard time with these -- Ry is more steady/gentle handed so he had to offer assistance! :) THANKS!

If you love or even like caramel highly recommend baking away!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend update

Hey there!! So after a fun filled weekend I thought I would update y'all on all the happenings!!

Friday night Ry and I ventured out to Annandale for dinner (thanks to Bibble and Brandon's recommendation).  We went to HONEY PIG!  It was AWESOME!! The best way to describe this place, if you have not heard the word, is a Japanese Steak House and Melting Pot had a baby!! Each table has its own grill to cook your food and they load you up on veggies and rice! Here are some pics from the night . . .

Saturday we headed down to the F-burg to watch Bryce play ball.  We treated ourselves to good ole pumpkin spice lattes :) YUMMM for the drive down! What could be better!

Bryce scored the only touchdown of the game-- don't worry the NFL will be calling him soon :)

It was so nice out when we got back we decided to sit outside, enjoy a beverage or two, and watch some college football!!  We ended the night at V's house for a housewarming/bday party extravaganza!! It was so much fun and great to meet new people!

Friday, September 23, 2011

4 things . .

1. Fall Sitcoms--so many of my favorites are starting back up and a few new ones I might just dabble with!! Here are a couple of my favs . . . What about y'all do you watch these?  What are your favs?

2. Thai Food-- for some reason this week every meal I have ate has some sort of Thai theme and shockingly enough I am not tired of it yet!! YUMM!

3.  My FEATHER!! Even though I've had it a while I've got lots of compliments from it this week  :) I'm going back to the beach in a week and will definitely add to my collection!!  My mom has one too!
4. BRIDESMAIDS the movie is out this week on DVD-- that movie is a down right HOOT!!!  Laughed til I cried in that one!! 

How was y'alls week??  What are y'all lovin this week?  I'll tell you one thing I am NOT loving is all this GOSH DARN RAIN-- GOO AWAYYY ALREADY!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

That's what friends are for

This past weekend we visited the good ole state of Connecticut more specifically Newtown!!  It's a small little gem that is tucked away on the southwest tip of CT!  We went to celebrate the life of Dave's mom, Nance!  She was such a wonderful lady that truly touched each and every person she came in contact with.  She always put others before herself and was the first one to offer a listening ear, words of encouragement or to throw down with a good ole partaaay!! She definitely set the precendent on how I hope to carry out my life!  Even in her last days she was the one that was signing praises for how grateful she was of all she had seen and done, dancing in her wheel chair, and more importantly she was still comforting and taking care of the people she loved the most.  I hope that if ever faced with a tough situation I can be half as strong and brave as she was.  Please learn more about Nance and how she lived her life here.  This is a site that Dave put together to keep others in the loop on Nance's condition and also as an outlet for Nance to express her emotions and feelings to the ones she loved and cared for.

For most this would have been a day of mourning, I will not lie and say there were not many a tear shed BUT I will tell you that we honored her life with celebrations and stories, all of which bring a big smile and laughter to everyone's face!  You will be forever in our hearts Nance!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

4 things . .

So I have a friend that does this in her blog and I love the idea, so, I'm going to steal it :)  She does 5 but since my favorite number is 4 I thought I'd stick with that!! :)

1. As much as I hate to admit this, I'm loving this FALL WEATHER!  As most of you know, I am a LOVER for the summer (some would say obsessed) but I forget how much I love-- snuggly clothes, boots, the changing leaves, football (most days :)), pumpkin spice lattes, running outside, the crisp of the air, the smell, and the list goes on.

2. Catching up with friends-- with everyone's busy schedules its so hard to coordinate, it used to be as easy as walking in the front door to hang out!!  Glad we got to catch up ladies!

3. Fall nail colors-- very different from any thing I've wore in the past-- very shimmery!

4. Road Trippin'-- tomorrow me, k.p. and Ry leave for a good ole 6 hour road trip to CT, more specific Newtown to be with our nearest and dearest D.A.!!

What are y'all loving this week?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Never Forget

Sorry this is a day or too late but I wanted to take the time to reflect on 9/11.  I, and I'm sure most of you, cannot believe it has been 10 years!!!  What were you doing when you learned of the attacks??

Last Friday a couple of co-workers and myself visited the Pentagon Memorial.  My friend Rachel helped raise the funding for the project and was able to see it basically from start to finish! How rewarding!!  Her last day at our firm was Friday, coincidentally it fell close to 9/11, so how fitting that she closed out by taking us to the memorial .  I am so glad she accompanied us. I would not have known half of the importance as well as the detail that went in to the memorial had she not been there.  Upon entering the memorial it looks like a bunch of benches that sit over a little pool of water, while in fact it is SO much more!!! There are so many intricate elements that you would never pick up on.  A lot of thought and thorough planning went in to the construction of this Memorial. I cannot believe it has taken me this long to visit!!  Learn more here

 The entrance to the memorial

 A quote from the board members and a list of the board members that helped make this memorial a reality.  All of these individuals lost a family member in the attacks; whether in the plane or working at the Pentagon.  They dropped everything to help raise the money to make this possible. 

They names of the deceased are not in alphabetical order; rather it is designed to walk you from the youngest hero to the oldest.  The rows indicate the age of the person and the spot on which they are placed signifies the month.  On the side of each row the year is engraved.  The youngest was a 3- year old little girl and the oldest was a 71- year old man.  No teenagers died in the attack at the Pentagon.  There is a gap in the benches that signifies this.

The direction of the bench signifies whether the person was on the plane or working in the Pentagon that day. 

Here is a close up shot of one of the benches.  The architects wanted to create a tranquil atmosphere with the water flowing and the gravel crunching underneath your feet.  In my book they did an OUTSTANDING JOB!

If you have not visited the memorial and live in the area I recommend stopping by and paying tribute to these people.  It is an awesome memorial that truly tugs at your heart strings! It makes me proud to say that I am an AMERICAN!! For those of you that have visited would you agree?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Just can't get enough..

of celebrating that is!!  Turns out my bday festivities weren't over just yet!  Rachel and my boss man treated me to one last bday celebration and it was FANTASTIC to say the least!!  Rach picked the place and coincidentally enough I had just read an article about the restaurant.  It's called America Eats, take a peek!  Have y'all heard of it??  If not, sit back and let me fill you in on this little secret!  It is such an awesome and interesting concept they are showcasing!! The main chef, Chef José Andrés’ is like a mad scientist with food as I'm sure you can tell by just glancing at the menu!  He turns food in to an art, it's like nothing I have ever seen before!  He uses his unique twist on traditional classic recipes, from simple favorites like pb&j, hushpuppies,jambalaya, to lobster and crab cakes, the list goes on. Through these dishes you travel through history learning how all these recipes became favorites that we love and enjoy today! The layout of the restaurant incredible!!   The bottom floor is a casual tavern setting and as you climb the stairs to the second and third floors you are welcomed by a more elegant atmosphere. It is only around for 6 months and proceeds are going towards the National Archives museum.  I know I say this a lot but I positively absolutely recommend stopping in to take a bite! You will NOT regret it!!  Oh one more last thing the cocktails-- out of this world!! Its the same concept as the food-- you travel through history from settlers coming over through prohibition and further.  Most of the cocktails are gin based. We learned that Vodka was not introduced until the mid 1900's.  Go NOW, what are you waiting for????

 This drink is called the Moscow Mule-- there drinks were the first to be used in advertising campaigns.  Photographers went in to bars and snapped pictures of people holding these mugs drinking the drink!

 We started with some yummmy oysters! This is Jose Andre's take on Oysters Rockefeller

 Tony with his grilled corn and She crab soup-- who knew that was really lady crab meat!

 Beet salad and Gazpacho with Lobster

 Us around the desserts which I didn't mention above but like everything else they were out of this world!  We got key lime pie and Vermont Snow-- not presented in your basic form by any means!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bday week happenings and such!

Heyy guys!! Last week was soo crazy that Im just now getting time to update y'all on all the happenings!! It was down right TERRIFIC to say the least! Lots of catching up and fun dinners! Monday night Ry and I kicked the week off with some PING PONG dim sum (preview for your liking) and I must say it was quite the experience!  For those of you that are new to the ping pong world let me tell you a little something about it! The restaurant is ALL dumplings-- fried, baked, steamed, chicken, pork, duck, beef etc. The menu is laid out on as a long check list type thing.  You check beside each dumpling and write how many of each you want.  Well for starters everything is in a foreign language so you really don't have half of a clue what you are getting haha!!  They bring the dumplings in rounds. So the first round were these puff pastries that were stuffed with different things, chicken, pork, beef or veggies-- they were delicious! They have a sweet sauce glazed on that is top notch!  Our second round was fried dumplings.  We had shrimp, duck, veggie, and I believe some sort of scallop thingy again SOOO GOOD (loved the duck)!  The last round was the most interesting.  The first two rounds we could decipher what we were eating but steamed was a different ball game! We had absolutely no clue what we were eating.  We would smell each one, take a bite and yet still have no clue :) Here's one of our steamed baskets:

 I forgot to mention the cocktails-- they are made with fresh fruit and quite the summer treat!!

Tuesday night I met up with my ladies and we treated ourselves to Cava Mezze!! Check it out It just opened in Clarendon-- HIGHLY HIGHLY suggest going!!  It was awesome!  They serve greek tapas and  have all the best offerings!  We ordered lots of different things and sat around the table tasting!! My recommendations would definitely be the lamb souvlaki, beef grilled meatballs and the spicy mussles!! Since it was my bday the waiter treated us to some FINE desserts!!! Defnitintely recommend challah french toast-- it just melts in your mouth!  They also serve brunch-- definitely am going to have to check that out!
Have y'all been to either restaurant if so any recommendations??  

To cap the week off I went home to celebrate with my FAMILY!!! It was such a great time yet sad since it official marks the end of the summer-- boooooooo!! From shopping, getting feathers, cornhole and pool tournements (DAD AND I were the cornhole champions!), karaoke, bbq (lots and lots of bbq), E and Tuttle's dancing fiasco, to sitting on the beach and enjoying everyone's company-- it was the best wrap up to my bday festivities!! Love y'all!!

What did y'all do for the Labor Day weekend??

One last thing-- I know this is a long post but good luck to Big on her first week at her new job and congrats to D for finding one-- they are soon to be NAGS HEAD residents!!! :) Im so happy for y'all!  Looks like I'm the only Pope that's still holding it down for VA!! :)