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Showing posts from February, 2011

Menu Recap

Last week's meals were as follows:
Monday Dinner: Chicken Cordon Bleu and Roasted Brussel Sprouts  {Recipe adapted from Kevin and Amanda}
Tuesday Dinner: White Bean, Sausage and Spinach Stew  {Recipe adapted from Real Simple's recipe for White Bean and Andouille Sausage with Collard Greens} Wednesday Dinner: Chipotle Steak Fajitas Thursday Dinner: Orange Shrimp with Rice and Black Beans  {Recipe adapted from Apple A Day} Friday Dinner: We ate a BuenaVistas with friends. I had a Shrimp Chimichanga and Daniel had Beef Enchiladas.
Saturday Lunch: Baked Grilled Cheese
Saturday Dinner: We hosted a pizza/game night.

Sunday Dinner: Visiting at my sister and brother-in-law's house. My BIL made baked chicken, mashed potatoes and salad.

Sunday Dessert: My brother and I made Brownie Sundaes.

Pizza and Games

When we have people over, I am most likely going to try out some new recipes and tonight was no exception. As the "social chair" of this household {Daniel's words} I had Daniel invite several of his co-workers over for a small dinner party. I thought homemade pizza and games would be a great way to end the week.
When planning the menu, I decided on spinach dip and bacon-wrapped jalapenos for appetizers.
Spinach Dip
Recipe from SkinnyTaste.com
Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman
Then I decided on BBQ Chicken, Supreme and Chicken Florentine pizza. All turned out great {even my store-bought crusts}. 

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Recipe from All Recipes
Supreme Pizza
Recipe from All Recipes

 Chicken Flortentine Pizza
Recipe from Yummy Mummy

Finally there was the dessert: I tested a S'mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. These cookies were quite the mess to make, but tasted amazing. 

Gigantic S'mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe from Picky Palate
In addi…

Runner's High

I think I finally experienced my first runner's high. This afternoon, while our husband's worked on fixing their motorcycles, my running buddy and I decided to go try out the cross country course at the local high school. 

The course is made up of various trails allowing you to do up to 3 miles at once. We ran a portion of the trail counter clock-wise and then turned around and ran it in reverse. According to MapMyRun we managed to get in 3.58 miles
The trail is composed of several hills and decent scenery {in and out of the woods}. Towards the end I found myself slowing down on the hills and I kept thinking that I needed an AC/DC song to come on my iPod. Right before the last half mile, Back in Black came on and I found myself picking up the pace. I flew down the last hill and was almost sprinting. It didn't matter that I was dead tired. I felt strange, tired but also somewhat euphoric. I think Laura was surprised that I was picking up my pace, but she picked it up too. We…

Post-Workout Smoothie

After a tough workout I need a snack. One snack that I love is a cup of chocolate milk and a banana. Recently I have been experimenting with smoothies – this helps me to get more fruits into my diet. This is my favorite so far:
Ingredients: 1 banana, sliced 3 fresh strawberries, sliced 1 handful of blueberries {I use fresh, but you could use frozen} 1 scoop fat-free frozen yogurt {I used the Homemade Vanilla flavor from Blue Bunny} 1/2 cup 1% milk 1 tsp orange juice 3 ice cubes
Directions: Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth.

52 Books: Book 11

Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch is the sad story of a brother {Palmer} and sister {Hannah} who lost their father to a boating accident when they were children. The story centers on Hannah and her inability {even as a grown up} to believe that her father actually died. The only proof of his demise was a fishing boat found at sea with the family dog.
As the story progresses, we learn that both Hannah and Palmer grow up to be very messed up in their relationships. Palmer believes that it is his fault his father left and subsequently died. Hannah believes that their dad just left. It is a sad coming-of-age story. They both finally learn some truths and to accept what they don't know. 
This was a book I picked up at the local library after searching for an hour for books I actually wanted to read. Unfortunately I live in a small town and the pickings are slim {and it cost $3 to request a book}. Anyways, while I thought the story was fairly well written, I didn't really care for it. Thi…

52 Books: Book 10

My ninth book to read this year was A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I confess that this is the second time I have read this book {the first being several years ago when my husband and I read it aloud on a road trip}. I loved the book then and I still love it now.
I guess it is my personal desire to walk the Appalachian Trail that makes this book so endearing to me, but it is also Bryson's witty writing that I enjoy so much.
The book follows Bryson and his long-time friend, Katz, as they attempt to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. The book is quite comical and gives a great overview of what it is like to hike for days on end in the woods. Whether or not you love to hike, this is a book worth reading.
Excerpts from the book: All 2,100 miles of the trail... are maintained by volunteers – indeed, the AT is said to be the largest volunteer-run undertaking on the planet. It remains gloriously free of commercialism.
Woods are not like other spaces... their trees surround y…

52 Books: Book 8, Part III

If you have been following along with the online book club, Book Beginnings and Bookends, this is the final set of questions/answers in regards to the book, Ape House.

Question/Answers for Chapters 25-Epilogue How would you describe the relationship between John and Isabel?
The first 12 chapters set us up to believe that John and Isabel would have some type of romantic connection. While I didn't want John to cheat, I found it odd that so much effort went into making us believe that a romance would happen.
What was your reaction to finding out Peter's role in the explosion and capture of the apes?
Peter was a creep. I am sure he had no intention of hurting Isabel, and that his decisions were based on greed, but he should have come clean to Isabel. Both John and Amanda ended up achieving their professional goals. Amanda ended up getting pregnant and John is excited about having a baby. Do you think this is the end to their problems? Can John and Amanda be happy?
I think John a…

Menu Recap

Last week's meals were as follows:
Monday Dinner: For Valentines we went to BuenaVista were we shared fajitas {our fave}.
Tuesday Dinner: I spent the day running errands in Huntsville and was late getting home, so I picked up Papa John's pizza for dinner.
Wednesday Dinner: Layered Mexican Chicken Rice Bake {Recipe via Picky Palate}

Thursday Dinner: Salmon Tacos {Recipe adapted from Aggie's Kitchen}

Friday Lunch: French bread pizza with a side salad
Friday Dinner: For date night we went to Geno's pizza where we split a medium supreme pizza.
Saturday Lunch: We headed to the Sipsey Wilderness to for a quick overnight hiking trip. On the way there we grabbed Sonic for lunch.
Saturday Dinner: We split Backpacker's Pantry Wild West Chili. Unfortunately the packet had expired and our fuel ran out before the water got to a full boil so the chili did not fully hydrate. It was ok, but we have definitely had better.
Sunday Lunch: After coming out of the woods, we stopped at Longhorn …

Sipsey Wilderness Area

This weekend Daniel and I decided to go on a quick overnight backpacking trip. After researching various trails in Northern Alabama we decided on the Sipsey Wilderness in Bankhead National Forest.

Our route was an 11-mile circuit that started at the Randolph Trailhead. We took the Rippey Trail {201} down into the Sipsey Gorge where we camped. We then took the Sipsey River Trail {209} and then the Randolph Trail {202} back to our car.


Since moving to Alabama, we have found it intriguing that roads {and trails} are often numbered instead of named...


202 was a well-maintained trail. 209 included two river crossings and plenty of downed trees to climb over or under or around. As well as several small gully crossings. 202 included climbing back up the ridge and then following a logging road back to our car.


Our campsite was next to the river, right above an entrance to a cave. I was a little concerned that an animal might live in the cave and disturb us during the night, but thankfully that wa…

G.E. Convection Toaster Oven: A Review

Earlier this week I mentioned that Daniel bought me a toaster oven for Valentines. This was not a completely true statement. He did go out and make an impulse purchase on a toaster oven {to replace our old one that caught on fire back in November} and he did happen to make the purchase on Valentine's weekend. However, it was not explicitly a Valentine's present. I just thought it was funny since you are not supposed to buy small appliances to show your love. 
We generally don't buy gifts for each other {for any occasion} so it was a very sweet gesture that he picked up something that I {we} needed for the kitchen.
The G.E. Convection Toaster Oven is larger than my old one. This is good because it holds larger dishes/more food, but bad because it eats counter space. The best thing about it is that the bottom doesn't drop out and spill crumbs like my old one did. It's great for making toast or smaller dishes or dinner for two that don't require cooking for very lo…

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon... I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of b…

Quilting Material and a Confession

I have to take a moment to confess that I like to think I know everything. As in I am a complete know-it-all. This is a flaw and I am working on it. If I have ever offended you by acting like I knew better than you, all I can say is that I am sorry.

This flaw makes it difficult when I am venturing into unchartered territory. Like say, making a quilt for the first time. Going into a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft store and looking at all the different options was daunting, but also exciting. It got my creative juices flowing. But having to walk up to the counter and ask someone to cut the material and have them in turn ask me what I am making, well, I felt like a deer caught in headlights.
I nonchalantly told them I was making a quilt. They wanted to know more. All of my terminology was wrong and I felt like a complete fool. What is worse is that the women working at Jo-Ann's are women that quilt. I should be asking them for advice, but all I can do is admit that I am a novice and pretend l…

Running

When I decided to start running longer distances {specifically training for my first half-marathon} I figured it would be a pretty straight-forward workout. I already owned shoes, socks, workout clothes and an ipod... what more could there be to it?
Well yesterday I ran 5 miles for the first time and I felt really good, however when I got home I realized that I had some pretty bad chafing on my inner thighs. I was not expecting to deal with the chafing and it definitely concerned me. 
This morning after kickboxing, I decided to talk to one of the girls who is a long-distance runner. She was so sweet. She told me to use Bodyglide Anti-Chafing Skin Protectant and she even had an extra in her car that she gave me {I am sooooo using it on tomorrow's run}.  She also had advice on running with a visor and showed me her Garmin Forerunner that she uses to track her pace and distances.

Hopefully the BodyGlide will save me some pain. I am also considering getting some compression running short…

Menu Recap

Last week's meals were as follows:

Monday Dinner: Chicken Scallopine with Whole-Wheat Spaghetti, Sauteed Asparagus and a Side Salad {Recipe via Lauren's Kitchen}

Tuesday Dinner: Beef Stew {Recipe from Suzanne Somers's cookbook: Eat, Cheat and Melt the Fat Away}

Wednesday Dinner: Pan-Fried Tilapia with Baked Butternut Squash and a Side Salad
Thursday Dinner: We had a dentist appointment in Chattanooga and ended up eating a late lunch at Chick-fil-a and skipping dinner

Friday Dinner: BBQ Chicken Pizza {Recipe via All Recipes}

Saturday Breakfast: I made Daniel breakfast in bed – Strawberry-Stuffed French Toast {Recipe via Annie's Eats}

Saturday Dinner: Bacon and Spinach Quiche {Recipe via Food.com}

Sunday Lunch: We went to Sante Fe after church in Huntsville. Daniel had a steak and I tried the Fajita Quessadillas
Sunday Dinner: Leftovers

Greeting Cards: Valentine's

Happy V-Day!
*This is the second in my series of twelve "I Love You More" cards 
that I have designed and will be posting throughout the year.

© Cheree Moore

52 Books: Book 8, Part II

Below are my answers for Part II of the book Ape House, for the online book club Book Beginnings and BookEndings
This was a difficult section for me. I found the storyline of what was happening with the apes to be very disturbing. Also, the glimpse into the horrific practices of companies that were using apes for "scientific testing" made me want to put the book down for good, but I stuck it out.
Question/Answers for Chapters 13-25  {I am used to reading one book per week, so I ended up finishing the book this week. I will keep my answers specific to this section as to not give anything away} 
Would you watch or be tempted to watch a show like Ape House? I strongly dislike reality TV and avoid watching it at all costs. I find documentary-type shows to be interesting and informative. I might {initially} be tempted to watch a TV show about great apes, but in general I was turned off this type of a show. Do you think John did the right thing by quitting his job and moving to L.A.? …

Valentines

So I have this problem. About twice a year, I get annoyed with Daniel for not doing more romantic things. We aren't a lovey dovey couple {which is OK with me}, but every once in a while, I get it in my head that it is his fault that we are this way.
Anyways, I got to thinking that on romantic "days" like Valentines and Anniversaries, it generally falls on the guy to be romantic. He should bring me flowers and plan a night out because he is the guy, right?
Well, recently I decided that it was unfair to place that responsibility completely on him. We are a partnership and we both should bring a little romance to the table. For our 8th anniversary, he bought me flowers and I bought him chocolates. For Valentines, I got up on Saturday and made us breakfast in bed. It makes me feel good to actively do something instead of just getting mad at him for not meeting my unfair expectations.
I made Strawberry-Stuffed French Toast {recipe from Annie's Eats}  with maple syrup and a si…

52 Books: Book 9

This year I have every intention of growing a vegetable garden. Half of my grocery bill is from purchasing fresh produce and I currently have the time to devote to a garden.
To that end, I have been reading books about how to garden. I guess it is the intellectual in me... I want to know what I am getting into before I jump into it.
I just finished the book Gardening When It Counts by Steve Soloman. Soloman takes a slightly different approach to gardening that other books I have read. His focus is more on how to get the most out of your garden with less work. He takes inspiration from the early Native Americans and how they grew their gardens without the use of extensive irrigation that we have available to us today. He also goes into great detail about how to give your plants lots of room to grow and how to create your own fertilizers and compost. This is a book I plan to purchase and use as a resource when I actually begin my garden.
Excerpts from the book: Gardening magazines, garden c…

Curtains

We have been working on little projects around the house. Today we hung curtains in our bedroom. We still need to find some artwork we both like and I would really like some reading chairs to go under the big window. For now we have decided to stick with our queen-size bed.
before
after