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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Biltmore Chardonnay

On of my favorite wines is now for sale in Oklahoma! It is the Biltmore Chardonnay.

It is on of my favorites for two reasons. One, it taste good. Two, Bond and I took our honeymoon to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina! It was so beautiful and interesting.  In addition to seeing the estate itself, we stayed at the inn built on the property, dined at several of the on site restaurants, toured and tasted at the winery.  I love historical homes and we did every tour of the house, including the roof top tour. Check out the view...

In case your not familiar with the Biltmore Estate, which has been featured in quite a few movies, here it is...

It currently sits on approximately 8,000 acres of what what originally 100,000 acres.  The house itself is 4 acres square foot!  It is full of amazing art and furniture and so worth the hike.  You have to make time for the grounds too, they are amazing...

It was wonderful to relax with a glass of wine and just enjoy the view (from our balcony)...

Every Biltmore wine we tasted was great, but I am enjoying Chardonnay's this time of year.  Stay tuned for more wine news as I prepare and plan for my trip to Napa Valley at the end of the summer.

Where is your favorite wine from?  Have you made a visit to the winery?

- Posted using my iPad 2

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I am Loving Wednesday

So my evening really got away from me and I can hardly keep my eyes open, but I wanted to let you know what I am loving this week.

I am loving new cook books and trying new recipes.

My wonderful sister gave me this new cook book and I think every meal I have made this week has been from a recipe in it, or based on one...stay tuned for lots of new recipes!

I am loving my subscription to Women's Health.

I order a subscription to Men's Health as part of Bond's anniversary present, and got myself one for half price! In the first issue I got a great new weight routine for toning my arms...they hurt so good!

That's all for this Wednesday...I have got to get some shut eye.

What are you loving this week?

- Posted using my iPad 2

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Picante Chicken

It has been a long time since my last post, but with good reason! My little sister graduated from Loyola in Chicago. So Bond and I made the trip. We love visiting Chicago, but this was not our normal trip. I actually drove up on Wednesday in my old car, a ford focus. I gave the car to my sister as her graduation gift. My mom and mother-in-law road with me, making it was a nice little girls road trip. Bond, his dad, and 2 buddies flew up and met us on Friday.

It was a busy weekend! One road trip, a graduation, two Cubs vs Giants baseball games, a late night movie, drinks, and a lot of eating later I had a great time, and no energy. By the time I flew home Sunday all I wanted was a nap!

I usually do my weekly shopping as part of my Sunday routine, but when I finally got home I was completely unmotivated so I relied on a staple recipe. After a full day at the office on Monday I did get myself together to grocery shop. This was mostly due to the great new cookbook my sister gave me in Chicago.

So here is the first recipe I used, with a few modifications of course...

1 lb chicken tenders cut in bite sized pieces
12 oz whole wheat egg noodles
1 cup picante sauce
1 cup roasted red peppers, diced
1/3 cup of water
1 tsp ground cumin
Makes 4 servings @ 415 calories per serving

Cook egg noodles according to package directions minus salt, oil, or butter
Heat a medium sauce pan with cooking spray on medium high heat.  Add the chicken and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.  Then add the picante sauce, roasted red peppers, water, and cumin.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heath to low-medium for about 10 minutes.  Sauce will thicken (but not a lot).  Then serve over pasta.

Bond's portion is below...

I added a little over 1/2 oz. of grated cheddar jack cheese to my portion.  This added about 65 calories to my total, but was so worth it!

How do you get inspired to try new recipes?  Cookbooks, internet, blogs??

- Posted using my iPad 2

Monday, May 9, 2011

Quick Tilapia Dinner

I have not always been a lover of fish. Ok I hated seafood! But as I grew up I slowly started to enjoy some seafood, and tilapia and salmon happen to be two of them.

Tilapia is one of my favorite go to dinners. It's is very low calorie and low fat. Plus it thaws really fast which is great for my hectic schedule. This is a simple, quick dinner I threw together.

Thaw 4 tilapia breasts. Boil water and add pasta according to directions, push start on the microwave to cook the steam fresh veggies. While the pasta and veggies cook, Heat a skillet. As the skillet heats up dry the tilapia, lay out the fish and spray with Pam, then lightly sprinkled with dill weed, onion powder and cumin. Place the tilapia in the skillet with the seasoning side down.

While it starts to cook spray the other side and season. Tilapia cooks really fast so it isn't long before it can be flipped to cook the second side.

Nutrition info
Tilapia @ 100 cal per 4 oz. filet
Whole wheat rotini @ 210 cal per 1 cup dry (about 2 cups cooked)
Steam fresh whole green beans @ 25 cal per 1 cup

I like to add a bit of grated parmesan too!

Have your tastes changed as an adult? What is your quick and healthy go to dinner?

- Posted using my iPad 2

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mango Sangria Anyone

When Bond became a vestry member at our church we also took on the task of revamping the young adults group. On Friday night we hosted our first event for the group. It's was just a simple get together at our home to meet interest people and get some feed back on the shape the group should take.

I planned a simple menu. Starting with a veggie tray, black bean salsa, chips, and crackers. Then Bond grilled turkey dogs and chicken sausages. Ending with white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. But the best thing I made was the drinks!

1.5 of white wine (riesling)
1 cup of absolute mango
2 cans of Jumex mango nectar
2 oz. Of strawberry pucker
1/2 bottle of champagne

The night before you serve dice up all the fruit and toss it in a large pitcher. Then add the first 4 ingredients and let it soak over night in the refrigerator. Before serving add the champagne!

It's a great summer time cocktail! Share your favorite cocktail recipe or ideas on what fruits to try for this one?

- Posted using my iPad 2

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I enjoyed this posting this last week so I am doing it again...

I am loving... The new spring colors for nail polish. I picked this one up for my most recent pedicure.

I'm loving... Spring dresses, like these

I'm loving... My wonderful hubby, a.k.a. Bond! I have been so busy this week preparing for a trial that began today and he has been so wonderful. This morning he made me breakfast, and brought me coffee, and got my briefcase packed up. All week he has been so amazing and helpful! Thanks honey, I couldn't do it without you!!!

- Posted using my iPad 2

Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Club: The Hour I First Believed

Last Friday was my ladies book club and we discussed The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb.  Overall I enjoyed the book.  It is a fiction as the main characters are imagined, but I felt it was more of a historical fiction based on the level of true information intertwined in the story.  Which I really like, as I am normally a huge fan of historical fiction.

It was a great book for a group discussion.  Lots of controversial elements and interestingly flawed characters.  The main character and narrator is a man in his third marriage, Caleum.  The basic premise of the book is that the married couple has been having problems and they relocate for a fresh start.  The settle in Littleton, Colorado prior to the Columbine school shooting.  He is a teacher and she is a nurse at Columbine.  The story follows their relationship as they navigate the aftermath of the school shootings, including post traumatic stress disorder, addiction, and death.  I did not really connect to any of the characters on a personal level, with the exception of remembering when the Columbine shooting happened and the general fear that existed in the aftermath.

I have never read Wally Lamb before and I enjoyed his writing style.  My biggest complaint about the book is the length.  It was over 700 pages, and in my opinion it could have been edited down a couple hundred without losing much of the story.  The story spans about an 8 year period in the couples lives.  But the length of the book really comes from the flash backs that trace the lineage of Caleum's family.  The flash backs are interesting, but go into more detail than necessary to make the necessary connections to the current events happening.

Overall on a scale of 5 stars I give it 3.5 starts.  Have you read this book?  or other books by Wally Lamb?  If so what do you think?