Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hazelnut Blondies

I often clip out recipes in magazines and stuff them in my recipe binder to make in the future. We had cousins night* last Saturday and went into my recipe clipping arsenol and found Martha Stewart's Hazelnut Blondies.

They were so good, I'm making them again right now. They are dangerously good, so I'm not making them for the sake of making them. I'm making them for a party my department is hosting tomorrow at work. The plan is to get them out of my house as soon as possible. I can honestly say in the two batches I've made, I've only had dough equal to the amount of half a tablespoon. I learned my lesson last weekend after indulging in brownies and pizza and waking up with a 1.5 pound weight gain.

I was originally reluctant to share the recipe because they are easy to make and oh so delicious - but that wouldn't be fair to you.

Luckily for me, Martha posted the recipe on her website so I don't have re-type it. Go here for the recipe:

I found this website helpful on how to toast the hazelnuts:

Toasting the nuts is easy, de-shelling them is when things start to get interesting.

*cousins night = pizza + movie + cousins

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Let's Talk Scallops

It's no secret, I'm not a fan of seafood. There are a few things I like: tuna (as in tuna fish sandwiches), calamari (as in fried calamari), fish and chips (as in fried fish with french fries), you get the point.

I had scallops awhile ago at PF Changs and I thought the sauce was really good and the scallops didn't have a fishy taste. Dorothy told me "scallops are the bubble gum of the sea" because they are chewy. I agreed.

Then, we went to Hawaii last year and I had the most wonderful scallops I've ever had. Granted they were the second ones I've had but they were really good. I said "I like these, they aren't chewy." My mother in law said "they aren't supposed to be chewy if you cook them right." Aww, ok, I get it now.

Lately I've been craving scallops and decided to give them a shot. I was nervous of overcooking thus resulting in bubblegum type fish. Plus, this is the first fish I have cooked, ever. I called my mom on the way home from work last night to ask her what I put on scallops. She recommended capers and garlic so off to Trader Joe's I went.

I decided to serve the scallops over pasta. All you need is

and follow the instructions on the scallops package. My package said to dip each scallop in salt, pepper and garlic powder before cooking. In the end, the scallops were so non-bubblegum-ish that I was able to cut them with the side of my fork. I have to say I was quite impressed with myself!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Don't Bother Me, I'm Etsy-ing.

I'm addicted to Etsy. I wasn't sure if my friends and family knew what Etsy was so I wanted to share. is a website for people to sell their handmade stuff. They sell stuff like clothes, jewelry, toys, ceramics, candles, photography, wall decals, handbags, etc. and I'm slightly obsessed with it.

I made my first purchase last summer but its only been recently that I go on about every day. I have my "favorite sellers" bookmarked but on the front page they also have featured sellers and if something strikes my fancy, I'll check it out. I think in the past few months, I've bought 6 necklaces, among other things.

Here are some of my favorites:

Charm Design:

The Silver Dog Jewelry:

Pink Purl:

Jen - this is the bird necklace I bought and wore on superbowl Sunday. I know you'll hate it because you hate birds but I thought it was cute. Dorothy also wasn't impressed. She said "Can you explain that necklace to me?" :)

My point of this post is to create awareness and to ask you to go out and get something pretty for yourself AND help someone with their business in this crappy economy. If you can't figure out who to buy for or what to buy, you can get me this:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines '09

I hope everyone had a great Valentines, however you define it. We had plans to go down to Aptos for the night but unfortunately Rob woke up not feeling well. We decided to stay home so he can rest up plus the weather was supposed to be nasty and wanted to stay off the roads as much as possible. Rob was worried he "ruined Valentines Day" but I assured him he did not. We ended up lounging around all day which was pretty darn fun if you ask me. We got our sweats and warmest socks on, and cuddled up on the couch to watch a movie. Since we were planning to be out of town, our Sunday was freed up as well - gotta love that!

Yucky weather outside:

I wanted to make dinner for Rob and after reading him the titles of about 7 recipes in my weight watchers cookbook, he only reacted to the "Beefy Chili". Beefly chili it was. Nothing says Valentines like kidney beans and beef. I served the chili over polenta.

Beefy Chili (weight watchers Easy Weeknight Favorites book)

1 pound ground round
1 1/4 c chopped onion (medium onion)
1 c chopped green bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced (I used three because I'm crazy like that)
1 16-oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/4 c water
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Cook first 4 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until beef is browned, stirring to crumble beef.

Add kidney beans and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 7 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings
Points: 4
Calories: 244
Fat: 4.6g
Fiber: 7.5g

If you want to add polenta,

I suggest the Trader Joe's polenta. I gave a quarter of it to Rob and a quarter for me. If you use the same amount, add 2 points.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Supper Club - Mexico Style

At the last Supper Club, Rob mentioned he wanted to make tortas at the next Supper Club. I "ran with it" and dubbed the next Supper Club, Mexico Night! I tried to get everyone in the mood by sending out the evite in Spanish. I think all it did was cause confusion - I mean why would Flan translate to Pudding? Shouldn't the translator know that Flan is a spanish word (it is, right?) and it shouldn't be translated? It makes sense for us to say "we will not be serving flan" (because it's nasty - sorry Mom, I know you like it), but instead our evite translated to "we will not be serving pudding."

Rob didn't end up making tortas, but he did make chicken enchiladas and sopes. They were delish. As Rob was making the sopes,

the boys were watching tv

and the girls were checking out flights to Cabo for our upcoming Friend-Cation. Buddy was giving his input on best places to stay in the area which were dog friendly.

Yes, it's Mexico night and we were planning our trip to Cabo. I couldn't have planned it better had I actually realized the coincidence.

Did I mention Buddy got a haircut on Saturday before Supper Club? This is Buddy saying "how you doin'?" a la Joey on Friends.

Once everything was ready,

we all congregated to the kitchen.

As promised, I did not serve flan or pudding. I did however have the proper ingredients for an old fashioned s'more. Today my trainer told me in Spanish its pronounced "s-more-ay". I started thinking how I didn't know s'mores were spanish/mexican, and then he starts busting up laughing. Yes, I'm that gullible.

Some people cheated and used the microwave (ahem, Brian) but others did it proper by using the stove top since our fire pit outside is currently not to code.

Another coincedence was that I made brownies that morning and guess what the ingredients were? Ok, I'll tell you:

Yes, the ingredients were brownie mix and black beans. Black beans = mexican decent, right? No oil. No butter. No water. Nothing. Just the two ingredients. And you know what? They were good! To get the recipe, go here:

Thanks everyone for a fun Supper Club! We missed you D'Amicos, see you next time!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Apparently you can't put popcorn seeds in the garbage disposal (or apricot pits).

Last night Rob and I shared a bag of popcorn and when I was done with my bag, I poured the unpopped kernals in the sink. I figured they were small and it was ok - I figured wrong. My first lesson on what not to put in the disposal was the day we had our final inspection on our townhouse when we were selling it. I remember Rob saying "Are you kidding me? The inspector is supposed to be here in 5 minutes!" Luckily I was able to get the pit out in the nick of time. I sent a note to my dad this morning and I hope he can fix it otherwise Rob thinks this will cost us $200. :(

I hate wasting money on stuff like this. Just a month or so ago we had to pay $60 for a man to tell us our washing machine was NOT broken and that water was NOT spilling out the sides, I had just not stuffed the duvet down in the washer enough and water was spilling out because the duvet was in the way. We also had to pay for another duvet because ours was sitting in our water filled washing machine for a few days and was a little smelly.

I feel extra bad because Rob just agreed to go on a Cabo vacation in April despite the fact that he'd rather apply the money towards our mortgage or add to our savings.

So this is my long drawn out apology to Rob - Sorry Rob... :(

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

100th Post & Superbowl Sunday

Wow - this is my 100th post! Ok, moving on...

Superbowl Sunday holds a place in my heart - I wouldn’t say a “special” place. I got in my first accident on Superbowl Sunday in 1995 with my learner’s permit. I totaled my mom’s poor Rhonda (The Honda).

We had a Superbowl party on Sunday and I admit, I didn’t know who was playing. I found out it was Arizona Cardinals vs. the Steelers (I think it was the Steelers?). So after I figured out that mystery, I realized I needed to pick a team. I decided on Arizona for a couple reasons. 1.) I like Arizona, 2.) My sister went to ASU and 3.) I was randomly wearing a necklace with a bird on it – how’s that for fate? Dorothy was really torn because the coach on the Steelers was “hot”.

The game was really good. Ok, I confess, I only watched a solid 7 minutes of it but it was towards the end of the game and it WAS a little dramatic. At one point during the game Dorothy and I headed to Gilroy because she wanted to look at rugs at TJ Maxx Home Goods. So I took the opportunity to cruise down there with her in Keith’s new convertible. That’s more fun than any ‘ol football game in my eyes! I also admit I didn’t see 1 commercial. I didn’t even get to utilize one of the 200 3-D paper goggles Keith brought for us. But, they assured me after we got back from shopping, that it wasn’t that great (the commercial requiring the goggles). I also spent a good part of the game showing off my wedding album to anyone who cared. Anyone meaning all the ladies.

All in all, we had a great Sunday with friends, non weight watchers food and oh yeah, football.