Friday, April 30, 2010

Thursday Five

I feel like I'm in a blogger slump these last few days. I have so much going on but can't seem to figure out what to blog about. I swear Keely over at Mannland5 has been saving my tush all week with her fun little survey things and what not's. So here's one more for the week!

A quite beach. There's nothing better than relaxing listening to the ocean, feeling the sun on your body.. and not having people walk all over you because it's so crowded.

This guy for sure :) He's so good to his mama.

Payday of course!! Now if I can find a job.. two pay checks will be even better.

These two annoying little brats. Ironically they were in time out in this picture! No surprise there.

Making my way to the top of a hill after not thinking I was going to make it, and then taking in the amazing views. An awesome natural high :)

What are the 5 things that make you happy?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday

I've been jumping on the bandwagon lately with these kind of things. I think they're fun, and love reading what others have to say.. so I finally joined in :) Hope you like them?

So my top 2 summer must haves????

The beach for sure. I spend as much time as possible laying in the sand and listening to the waves break. It's my heaven...

This year my other must have has changed to hiking. Now that we live somewhere that has LOTS of places to do it, even if it's just a walk we're there. Talk about a fun way to get a work out!

So what are your top 2 favorite summer things?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Getting to know me

1. If you could star in any movie genre..what would it be..romance..horror..comedy..suspense or action?
A romance/comedy for sure!! They're my favorite :)

2. Do you recycle?
Of course, I'm a green Chickie.

3. Have you ever been to a strip club?
No, but I'd like to check one out in Thailand because they're more like circus' and sound crazy!

4. Do you have a nickname?
Not really, family used to call me Emmy when I was younger.

5. What's a name you can't stand to be called?
Em! I don't know why but I ALWAYS hated it.

6. What are your Summer staples?
Anything that involves the beach!!

7. What was the last thing you bought for yourself?
Frank is so proud of me for this... shirts! I never do anything for me, it's always for the house, for him, for the dogs. So when I told him I bought myself shirts (which I desperately needed) he was so happy for me. Sad huh? Being me I of course got them for a good deal.

8. Are you happy with your boob size?
Ehhh... so so. It would have been nice if they were perky, but I guess I'll have to pay for that.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mmm mmm good

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dry mustard, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk (or you can substitute it for evaporated milk)
1 3/4 cups low-sodium broth
1 pound Colby cheese, shredded (4 cups)
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and toss with the breadcrumbs.
Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot for the macaroni. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the macaroni and cook until almost tender but still firm to the bite. Drain the macaroni and leave it in the colander.
Wipe the pot dry, add the remaining 6 tablespoons, and melt over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, mustard mixture, and cayenne. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the flour and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and broth. Bring to a simmer. Cook. whisking often, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 6 minutes.
Off the heat, whisk in the Colby and cheddar until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the drained macaroni, breaking up any clumps, until well combine.
Pour into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs. Bake until golden brown and bubbling around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I want more. NOW! :)

Ultimate Fudgy Brownies

5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil (making a foil sling), then coat lightly with cooking spray. Melt the chocolates, butter, and cocoa in the microwave, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly.
Whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour until no streaks remain.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes.
Let cool completely on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, before removing the brownies from the pan using the foil sling and cutting into squares.


Parsley-Nut Pesto

3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 cup pecans, walnuts, or whole blanched almonds, toasted
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Toast the garlic in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and spotty brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer the garlic to a plate and let cool before peeling.
Process the peeled garlic, nuts, oil, parsley, and Parmesan in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
When tossing the pesto with pasta, add some of the pasta cooking water as needed to loosen the consistency of the pesto.

Uhhh... SO SO...

I started really using the agave syrup lately, and LOVE it!  So much better than regular sugar.

All these recipes came from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


It's crazy the amount of things you can do in a matter of 4 days. I've been working on this blog for 2 days now because I'm still trying to catch up around the house and with getting back to the gym. Emily overload!

I picked Nicole up at LAX (I made GREAT time getting up there, made for a nice start to an amazing weekend!) then we headed over to the LA Live center which is where the Staples Center is for those of you who don't know. I parked in the parking garage there since I don't have the best of luck just parking at any old parking lot. I wasn't happy about having to pay $25 but it was worth it to keep my car in one piece. We had a few hours to spare so we went and saw 'The Last Song'. SOOO good! I want to read the book now. After the movie we started walking around the area looking for something affordable to eat. Out of the corner of my eye what do I spot? California Pizza Kitchen! Oh CPK how I love you :) Nicole had never been there. WHAT!? How is that possible ha There isn't any up her way at home, but the first time I had it was at home. I went down to Bellevue because I loved it that much.

After dinner (which she loved!) we headed back to the Staples Center for the concert. Man is Taylor Swift a cutie or what. She is such a sweet heart, any little girl who has her as a role model is very lucky. Nicole and I agreed that we needed to see her in concert some more.

We got lucky because Katy Perry was in the audience, so when Taylor did a cover of Hot and Cold Katy came up and sang with her. Fun times we had that night.

Friday morning I was suppose to go up to Pendelton for the opening of Coco's, but was unable to make it up at the last minute. I was sad to miss it, but will try it out next time we're up that way. So instead Nicole and I went down to the San Ysidro outlet mall so Nicole could look for a dress for her friends wedding. I love going there because we ALWAYS find great deals. I got 3 shirts and a belt and the most I spent on one item was $13 which was at Lucky. It also helped that I got military discount at every store :)

Nicole had been told to visit Coronado Island by a friend. Not hard for us since Frank works there. Since we were down south I went through Imperial Beach then up Silver Strand into Coronado so Nicole could see all it's beauty. We stopped and walked around Hotel Del Coronado, then drove around looking at houses we wish we could afford... one day!??? I showed her around base a little then we headed home to snack since we were starving.

Once Frank got off work (super early by the way which was so nice!) we headed to the Russian place for dinner with a bunch of people he works with. I liked the veggie appetizer but that was it. There was only 2 things I could eat that didn't have meat, so I went with the potato and cheese dumplings. Yuck! Hey at least I can say I tried Russian food. I'm sure it will be the only time though.

After dinner Nicole and I went back home and Mike and Mikey came over with the pups for a fun time. I am way to addicted to Uno because that's all I wanted to play! Yet I never win. Sad.

This was the day we were suppose to go to Sea World, but that didn't happen. So instead we took Nicole around San Diego. We took her into Frank's work to show her the Helo's he works on. She got to sit inside and get her picture taken. Lucky girl he's never asked if I wanted to do that! ha. Then we headed over to Balboa to walk around. I really only wanted to check out the Botanical Garden. It's my favorite thing there. Can you guess what Frank's least Favorite place to visit at Balboa is? He puts up with it for me. I'm such a lucky girl.

After Balboa we took her out to Sunset Cliffs. Too bad it was overcast all day. Thankfully it's still beautiful there no matter what. Nicole really enjoyed it, but we had to leave because she was freaking out about these kids that were climbing the cliffs. I'm pretty sure drugs or alcohol were a factor as to why they were being so stupid, but Nicole was about to have a heart attack so we thought it'd be best to leave. We needed to rest before dinner anyways. Frank, Nicole, myself, Ashley, Tony, Mike and Mikey all went out to The Spaghetti Factory in the Gaslamp District since Nicole hasn't seen Ashley or Tony in years. I just wish I would have known that the Padres had a game that night. Parking was a nightmare!!

Sea World! Now I am still very against whales being in such small spaces and doing all these tricks.. I mean they're wild animals! However. The trainers took amazing care of them, treated them very well and the whales were much smaller than I thought they would be. Either way I still felt guilty for watching the show.

Such beautiful animals...

One thing I did want to see was the dolphins! I love them. One day I would love to swim with them, they are just such amazing creatures. They have a new show with them opening, but not till late May. Boo we went too early.

This was one of my favorite moments. It looks just like Molly and Ellie sunbathing :)

Now this show is something to be proud of. Most (if not all) of the animals in The Pet Show are adopted from the shelter! How awesome is that. They had dogs, cats, pigs, ducks, birds.. I think that was it. I want to see this one again and again!

Monday morning Frank dropped Nicole off at the airport on his way to work. We were sad to see her go, but so happy to be back into a normal routine eating home cooked meals... for a few days at least. Vegas is a week in a half away! Yay.

I know I left quite a bit of little stuff out here and there.. but man we did way to much in that short of a time. I'm ready for someone to come down for a whole week! That way we wont be so rushed, and can relax San Diego style.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's a date

Tomorrow afternoon I'm picking up this lovely lady in LA...

And then we'll be enjoying a little of this...

Then Nicole is taking me on a date to see HER!

What a day it will be. I can't wait :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Did I get your attention!? :)

How cool is this, Coco's Bakery & Restaurant is opening up on Camp Pendleton! This is pretty historic since it is the first sit down restaurant to open up on a US military base. The grand opening is this Friday April 16. I'm pretty excited about this. Now if Frank and I are up visiting Ricky {Frank's cousin} once he gets back from Afghanistan we don't have to worry about leaving base to grab a bite to eat. And if it has the word bakery in the name, Frank and I will be there!

I'll have some fun pictures up this weekend from the opening, so make sure to check back soon. Unless you see it for yourself! Yea that sounds like a better idea.

Can't wait to hear what you all think about it. I'm already getting hungry thinking about all the yummy pies and other desserts :).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Shrimp Fra Diavolo and Mikey's best banana bread!

Shrimp Fra Diavolo. This came from 'The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook'. I've had this cookbook for a few years but for some reason I forgot about it. When I was doing some spring cleaning a few weeks back I was about to put it in my give to Mikey pile, but decided to sit down and browse through the pages. I'm not sure why I forgot about this book it has lots of amazing dishes, and it shows you how to do so many things with cooking. Which if I remember correctly, is why I bought it in the first place.

{Sorry for the poor quality of picture, I should have turned the light on. I was being lazy.}
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cognac or brandy
12 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon sugar {I left this out and it was just fine}
1 pound linguine or spaghetti
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot for the linguine. Meanwhile, toss the shrimp with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp to the skillet in a single layer and cook, without stirring, until the bottoms of the shrimp turn spotty brown, about 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir the shrimp. Sprinkle the cognac evenly over the shrimp. Wave a lit long kitchen match over the skillet to ignite the cognac. Return the skillet to high heat and shake the skillet until the flames subside. Transfer the shrimp to a medium bowl and set aside. Let the skillet cool for about 2 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the remaining oil and 3 tablespoons of the garlic to the cooled skillet and cook over low heat, stirring often, until the garlic foams and is sticky and stray-colored, about 10 minutes.Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, the tomatoes, wine, sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 8 minutes.When the water is boiling, stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the linguine. Cook, stirring often, until the linguine is almost tender but still a little firm to the bite.Stir the remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, the parsley, and the reserved shrimp with any accumulated juice into the tomato sauce. Continue to simmer until the shrimp are heated through, about 1 minute.Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the linguine and return it to the pot. Stir in the shrimp sauce and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the reserved pasta cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce before serving.

Mikey's Best Banana Bread!
The original recipe is called Best Banana Bread but Mikey added in a half cup of white Chocolate Chips which made it AMAZING! So we started calling it Mikey's Best :) I have no picture because mine pretty much spewed over in the oven. I used 3 banana's instead of 1 1/2, too much butter because I wasn't paying attention (I tend to do that a a lot!), and I was using Agave syrup for the first time. I love the agave much much more than regular granulated sugar, I just need to learn the hang of it. The banana bread still turned out tasting awesome. You can check out the original recipe here, just make sure to add in the half cup of white chocolate chips!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cucumber Soup with Sourdough Bread

Cold Cucumber Soup
4 cucumbers, peeled, halved, and seeded
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups buttermilk
Salt and pepper

Cut 1 of the cucumber into 1/4-inch cubes and reserve. Process the remaining 3 cucumbers, sour cream, dill, sugar, mustard, and garlic in a blender (or food processor) until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl or container. Stir in the buttermilk and reserve cubed cucumber. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes (or up to 6 hours). Season again with salt and pepper to taste.

You can add in a pound of cooked shrimp, which I did, for a great addition. Make sure to eat this all the same day as it does not save well.

This soup wasn't that bad. I really think it would have been better if I used actual buttermilk rather than the milk and vinegar substitute. I think using buttermilk would have made it a little more thick and not so bubbly. The shrimp went perfect in this and was my favorite part!

I had planned to make a rosemary focaccia bread to go with, however.... this simple soup turned into a great TV episode of me making a fool of myself. There is a reason we have directions, so that people like me will follow them! I had put the buttermilk in the processor when I should have poured the soup into a bowl and THEN add the buttermilk. Well since I hadn't read all the way through the directions I went ahead and tried processing the milk with the soup. It didn't even all fit. I'm sure you can imagine what happened. It was like a scene out of a movie.. the kid forgets to put the lid to the blender on, milkshake everywhere. Or in my case, cucumber soup. Did I learn from this? Of course not. I did it 2 more times. Oy vey!

By the time I cleaned this all up and put the soup in the fridge to cool, I was spent. So instead of the goodness that is known as focaccia bread I settled for sourdough bread and butter. A little too much sourdough bread! But man to I love my breads :)

Anyone else gone through cooking experiences like mine!?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

25 Randoms

  1. I'm a vegetarian. Well I'm more of a cross between a pescatarian and a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I eat sea food on occasion and consume very little dairy with the rare exception of eggs if I'm not able to use liquid egg white beaters.

  2. EVERYTHING has to be organized. Even the cart when grocery shopping.

  3. I can't do math to save my life.

  4. I'm trying to make running a passion, with a little help from d.a.r. over at Just another day in {our Midwest} paradise I'm hoping to make that a possibility.

  5. I wanted to learn to drive a manual because I thought all the cool kids drove sticks. That and my mom made me :)

  6. I'm a bit of a clean freak.

  7. I MUST always sleep on the side of the bed that's away from the windows because I used to think somebody was watching me at night through the window, and now it's just stuck.

  8. I love love love to travel whenever possible.

  9. I can pop my hips in and out. I never knew it was disturbing until I was standing in line for food in high school and freaked a bunch of people out.

  10. I love to volunteer any chance I get.

  11. I have no idea what I want to do for a career.

  12. I love photography

  13. Even though I have been bit twice by dogs (once in the face and the second on the arm) both requiring stitches, it has never changed my love for them.

  14. I have lived in 3 states.

  15. I have been to almost every US state, and for some reason that makes me feel special!?

  16. As a child I wanted to be married to Micheal Jackson and had people use his last name as mine.

  17. I absolutely hate talking on the phone, unless it's to Frank. Or my mom sometimes.

  18. I have 7 tattoos

  19. I lived in Seattle for 3 months and loved every minute of it.

  20. I'm a tad obsessed about my teeth!

  21. When putting on clothes or shoes I have to put my right leg in first, never the left! Either it's because I'm a righty, or I'm just crazy.

  22. I love to sing. I just wish I was good!

  23. I never thought I'd get married, especially this young. Now I wouldn't change a thing about it!

  24. I would love to live overseas at least once.

  25. I've never had a job that I truly loved. Maybe one day!
Go ahead and try for yourself. It's not as easy as it looks!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tree Hugger

In the past I've mentioned how I'd been wanting to make my own cleaning products. I knew it was easy. I knew it was cheap. I was just being lazy about it. A few months back I started with an all purpose cleaner, then it just went from there. I have become in love with making my own cleaning supplies! As of now I have non-chlorine bleach, dusting spray, Pet deodorizing room spray and the all purpose cleaner. Next up on the list is dish soap, I'm just waiting for my bottle to run out so I re-use the bottle I have. Window cleaner might also be added to the list in the next few months, but I need to do some more investigating into different recipes.

All Purpose Spray
  • 32-ounce plastic spray bottle
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure castile soap
  • 3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 20 drops tea tree oil
  • 20 drops of lavender or lemongrass essential oil
{Courtesy of 'Gorgeously Green' by Sophie Uliano}

Non-Chlorine Bleach

Equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide with 3 tablespoons lemon juice. You could use less lemon juice if you make a smaller amount.

Dusting Spray
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
I found this spray here while searching the Internet.

Pet Deodorizing Room Spray
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 6 drops cedar wood essential oil
  • 3 drops tea tree oil
I love the site I found this one at, they have a long list of many many different sprays you can use around your house. I've been wanting to get lavender oil so I can make a spray for my bed.. one day. For now you can check out all the options here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bailey Rae

Last week Mikey and her husband Mike added another member to there little family. They got a 10 week old Puggle they named Bailey Rae. I want to steal her.

How can you not love this face!?

Molly loves her.

She will fall asleep wherever she can find a spot. So cute.

Attached to Molly by the hip {literally!}.

This has to be my favorite. We went over to Mike and Mikey's the other night and all the dogs passed out on there couch while we played the Wii.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Random Nothings

I had hoped to do a food update but when I was going through all my pictures, I realized that I did a horrible horrible job of documenting everything. I seriously need to get better at it. Coming soon will be Mikey's banana bread, mint chocolate chip cookies and fudge brownies :) yum.

You ever run out of EVERYTHING like a week before pay day? We got lucky and had that happen last week. No fun! I ended up spending a butt load today stocking back up on everything.

Because of all the errand running we didn't have time to go to the gym today. I was really wanting to run since I didn't get to yesterday. Pooy, tomorrow for sure.

Tomorrow Frank checks out of his class and goes back to work. Neither of us are looking forward to that, we've loved his easy schedule the last 3 weeks.

Glee starts back up soon, I need to look it up so I don't miss it. That would be sad.

I've gotten addicted to making my own cleaning products finally. So far I have made a room spray to help with the smell of pee in the spare room thanks to the dogs. An all purpose spray that I use to clean the entire kitchen and bathroom, a dust spray and some non-chlorine bleach :) I just can't stop myself ha. I love it, the only thing I've spent money on is having to get more peroxide and vinegar.

Hope you love my little bit of nothings.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Picture Picture

I thought I'd finally share some pictures from Haysel's visit. We took the kids and dogs out to Fiesta Island for some play time. It was a bit windy making us cold, but we still had fun!!

Check back tomorrow for my food update!