Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's Here............Football Season Is Here

Guess where I'll be around this time on Saturday??!!!

That's right! I'll be getting ready to see the Tide's first game of the season! (OK, I won't be at the stadium yet, since the game doesn't start until 6, but I'll be pre-gaming which for me involves eating and talking...HA!) My sweet husband was able to get some tickets from a friend who had a pair of a friend's tickets(follow me?) that couldn't go, so now we're able to cheer on the Tide as they play San Jose State.....(who?), yeah, I know! Oh well, it will still be a good game...every game is worth watching. NOT that I'm saying it will be easy, you never know what you're up against and we have no idea what kind of team we have yet. I guess we'll find out in 4 days! There's nothing like being in that stadium, wearing my Bama gear, eating a messy hot dog, and cheering on my team with about 100,000 of my closest friends. ;-) I can't wait to see the completed expansion too. I hear it looks great!! BBQ nachos, here I come!!
Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mediterranean Chicken

Whoa!! I've been a blog slacker lately. Life has been pretty boring around here. Just working a whole lot. I'm looking forward to Labor Day for a day of rest and a long weekend that also consists of Bama's first football game of the season!! SO EXCITED!!

Tonight for dinner, I had NO idea what I was going to make. I had chicken I needed to cook, so I had to think of something to do with it. I thought about grilling it, but I'm out of the Moore's marinade that I use. I thought about making some poppyseed chicken, but I was out of the soups I need for that. SOOOOOO, I rummaged through the pantry and found a can of olives, a can of diced tomatoes, and a jar of quartered, marinated artichokes hearts. I decided to make Mediterranean Chicken. I kind of got the inspiration from a dish I had at The Cheesecake Factory a couple of months ago. It was Mediterranean Mahi Mahi and it was absolutely delicious! They serve it over mashed potatoes, so that's how I served my chicken. I was really afraid it would be a big fail, but it turned out so good!! Here's the "recipe". (I really just threw this stuff together and some of these measurements are guesses)

1 tsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts (although the amount of the topping mixture could have used about 3 breasts)
Italian Seasoning
1/2 small can of black pitted olives, chopped roughly
1/2-3/4 can diced tomatoes (mine were flavored with Basil & Oregano, which worked well)
1 small jar of quartered, marinated artichoke hearts chopped roughly(next time I'll either use more artichokes or less olives)
CAPERS would be good also, but I didn't have any.
Sprinkle of salt and pepper

1. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over about Medium heat.
2. Season one side of chicken with Italian seasoning....feel free to use this liberally. HINT: The chicken may have better flavor if marinated in a Greek dressing, or even in the Olive Oil Vinaigrette. I just didn't have enough time for that. :)
3. Put chicken seasoned side down into skillet and brown. Season other side while in the pan. Flip over and brown the other side. Take chicken out of skillet and put aside.
4. Add olives, tomatoes, and artichokes to pan and simmer for about 5-8 minutes. Here's a little something special I did. To add a little more flavor, I added a splash of the liquid from the artichokes, as well as maybe 2 tbsp of some Olive oil vinaigrette that I had in the fridge. It has a little balsamic vinegar in it, which works well with the other ingredients. You could also just use a touch of balsamic vinegar if you have that.
5. Add chicken back to pan and drop heat just a tad, especially if it seems too high(all stoves are different). Let chicken continue cooking in tomato, olive, and artichoke mixture. I scooped some up and put it on top of each chicken breast, then covered to finish cooking through.
6. I finished it off with a little basil on top when I served it for some color. I served mine over some Ore Ida Steam 'n Mash potatoes, and it was wonderful!! Here's the finished dish:

I will definitely be trying this again! Tomorrow is Friday! Woot Woot!! What are your plans? We plan on fixing up the front yard a little bit. We (I) trimmed the hedges last weekend, but they need a bit more cut off of them. I also want to re-mulch around the bushes and the tree in our yard. It makes things look so fresh with new mulch! I'm almost fully recovered from all of the weed pulling I did too. I did SO much pulling of weeds, with my bare hands!! (Gloves are on the Lowe's list also!) But, the bushes look so much better now, and hopefully after this weekend, they'll look great! We shall see. :-)

I hope you guys had a fantastic week, and you enjoy your weekend. Try to make it last! (Easier said than done, huh?)
Friday, August 20, 2010

I Don't Know About Y'all...But I Am So Glad...

It has been a very busy and interesting week around here! After being out of the office last week because of Baltimore, we've had to play a lot of catch-up. Not only at the office, but also at home....laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. When we left the house, we had like nothing in the fridge. I hate leaving a fridge full of groceries to go bad, so we let it get down real bare 'cause we didn't want to end up throwing food away. So, I am very much looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend with my hubby. Last Saturday he was gone all day to help out at his fraternity, and he's SO busy with work (like staying at work til 8 or ahem...10 at night!, then coming home and working on the computer til like 1 in the morning!), both insurance and social media, that we haven't gotten to spend much time together. YES, we work together, but Joseph is always busy. He's either meeting with someone, talking no the phone with someone, or out of the office at an appointment, so it's not like we're sitting beside each other holding hands and talking all day. Hopefully we can squeeze in a day or night date over the weekend to spend some quality time together.

I hope everyone had a great week, and I hope you have an even better weekend that will slowly creep by so you can enjoy it! Here's to wishful thinkin', right? ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Baltimore Trip Part 2: Warning! Lots of Pictures!

So I've talked about the delicious food in Baltimore. Now, I will show you some of my favorite pictures from Baltimore. Keep in mind, we didn't really have much free time to explore and take lots of pictures. These are mostly pictures from our hotel room, but the views are beautiful! Most of them are of the city, but there a few special ones with pictures of Orioles Park, Baltimore Ravens Stadium, our yacht and speedboat (yeah, right), the business school that I thought was pretty, as well as a funky sculpture, and a couple of pretty buildings. I'm going to shut up and just let you look at the pictures (if you choose to).

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I know I did! I didn't do much, but I got to have a "me" day on Saturday(which I greatly needed, to catch up on rest; I don't think I'm caught up yet, I'm so sleepy!) Joseph had to go to Tuscaloosa to help out with his fraternity. He was the president of Lambda Chi Alpha back in the day, so he likes to go down every year to meet the new pledge class. I cannot wait until football season!! I am so excited and want to go down to as many games as possible. There's nothing like being down there on game day. It's one of my favorite things! Bama's first game is in 2 weeks and 5 days! ROLL TIDE!!!! Fall/Winter are my favorite seasons. I am so ready for football games, Fall weather, sweaters, and holidays! Bring. It. On. Have a wonderful week, and hopefully Friday will be here before we know it! :)
Thursday, August 12, 2010

Baltimore Trip Part 1: It's All About The FOOD

So we got back around 11 (about 2 hours late!) last night from Baltimore. I managed to get to bed at about 12:30. Needless to say, I am running on fumes today. We had a great trip. I wish we had more time to walk around and visit places, but that's okay. We did manage to go to a few restaurants and walk around a little bit. Baltimore is a beautiful city, and it is so clean! They have really neat architecture, stone streets, etc. I managed to take about 70 pictures, most of which are of the city views and other landscapes. We only took TWO pictures of us together. TWO! We're really bad about taking pictures. I'm trying to get better about it, especially since I want such a nice (and pricey) camera in a few months. I've gotta use that thing! I've selected some photos to put in this post, but there are several, so I think I'll make this post about the FOOD, then I'll do another post with the city pics. The food IS the most important, anyway! ;-)

Our first night in Baltimore, we went to eat at The Oceanaire Seafood Room. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of our food. Bummer!(Well, I have a picture of our empty plate of lobster mac & cheese! It was delicious. We had crabcake for our appetizer (it was amazing!). For dinner I had the Mahi Mahi Louie, which was very simple and delicious. It had a beurre blanc with capers and was so fresh. Joseph had the seafood mixed grill with crab-stuffed shrimp, scallops, and some kind of grilled fish. We also shared the lobster mac & cheese. Do you think we liked it?
On our second night, we went to a restaurant that was suggested by our shuttle driver. Mo's Crab & Pasta Factory. He claimed that they had the best crabcake in the city. I'm not sure about that, but it was definitely good....and it HAS to be the BIGGEST crabcake I've ever seen!!! You can't really tell how big it is, but it was HUGE and tall! Here is the crabcake BEFORE we tackled it....
Crabcake (a little more than) halfway through....
And....what was left of the crabcake....
We also got King Crab Legs. Joseph got a full pound of them! I got 1/2 pound and a filet (which was horrible, I hate to say). The crab legs were awesome though. Here's Joseph's meal....
Get to work....
The next night we were so exhausted, and Joseph attended the bonus evening session they had, so we just ordered room service. That was nice..not having to get dressed up and go out. We ate on the bed, watching Wipeout, Minute To Win It, and Master Chef! HA! We ate at the hotel restaurant (which is nice) for lunch yesterday, but I have no pictures. We had a great time visiting different restaurants and trying their food. I'm a big foodie, and love to cook and try new things. And this isn't a picture of food, but we took it right after we finished eating ice cream by the harbor.....sorry it's so bad. Not sure what happened with my camera.

I will also show you pictures of our hotel. It was so nice, and it was right on the harbor. Beautiful views galore!! The TV was huge. In hotels in Alabama, you get a 15" TV straight from the 80s. HA! The bed was so comfy, and the bathroom was so nice. This hotel loved granite. I call them granite snobs! :) It was a great hotel, and the staff was so nice. If you ever go to Baltimore, try to stay at the Marriott Waterfront. Awesome place!

Stay Tuned....more pics to come! I hope you're having a great week....I think I may be passed out on my keyboard in a couple of hours. I may need some caffeine to get me through the day......
Saturday, August 07, 2010

I'm Leavin' On A Jet Plane......

And I'll be back again....Wednesday night! Joseph and I are leaving for Baltimore in the morning. He has a conference and wanted to take me along. Not sure how I feel about going on a business trip, but HEY, it's a trip! I'll take it! I've never been to Baltimore, and although it's never been on my list of places I must go, I'm excited about seeing a different place...even if it's just for a few days. I'm really hoping we have some down-time to explore and eat at some good places. I've already decided we're eating at La Scala in Little Italy, and The Oceanaire Seafood Room. They both look delicious, and I mean, COME ON, you've GOT to eat crab in Maryland, right? I thought so! Here's where we're staying.
It's the Marriott Waterfront. It looks beautiful and the rooms look really nice, so I'm excited about that. It looks like the views will be amazing, so I'll definitely be taking lots of pictures. Camera is charged up and ready to go! We'll be back late Wednesday night, so I'll try to post some pictures from the trip on Thursday.

I'm just glad to get away from home for a few days. A change of scenery is nice from time to time! It breaks my heart that we had to board the dogs though. I HATE dropping them off! I'm like a mom leaving her kid at daycare. I tear up EVERY time! But, I think they actually like it, and we always get them boarded together so I know that makes it a lot better. They love to cuddle....I know, I know...pathetic! Ha! I hope you all are having a marvelous weekend, and you have a wonderful week!
Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Something's Gotta Give!

So, I blogged a while back about my knee and how I hurt it at the gym. Well, about a month ago I finally went to the doctor. I went to a "Doc-In-The Box", as I call them to let them look at it. It had been hurting and swelling up anytime I would put any kind of pressure or weight on it. (walking, running, even crossing my leg on it) It even caused my calf right under my knee to swell and it felt very tight. So, I went and they checked me out, did an x-ray, which was fine, and scheduled me for an ultrasound the next day. I got an ultrasound done on basically my whole leg to rule out any clots. EIGHT FLIPPIN' DAYS LATER(I won't get started on this soap-box) I was notified that the ultrasound came back normal. Soooo.....they suggested I either come back in and be re-evaluated, or spend another $40 for them to tell me the same thing, or I would probably have no problem being seen by a specialist without a referral. The lady also suggested that I see a CARDIOLOGIST......really? Cardio doc? Ummm....my knee is hurting, swollen, and you think I should see a cardio doc over an ortho doc? Ummm, nothankyou! So, for the last 3 weeks or so I've contemplated what to do about this. Should I go back to the doctor to get it looked at once more? Should I get my films from the x-ray and ultrasound, along with the doctor's notes, and just go see an ortho doc on my own? It seems as though I've gotten used to having a swollen knee and calf. It happens pretty much every day, unless I'm laying around being huhummm, lazy....which NEVER happens...NO, NEVER! Pfhhh! I try to keep from crossing my leg over it, but it comes very natural to me to cross my legs so if I'm not paying attention, I'll do it all day while I sit at my desk. Like today.....for some reason I decided to be cute and wear some stilettos, AND have crossed my legs A LOT today....needless to say, THE leg is extremely swollen right now. Crossing my leg or putting some kind of pressure on it makes it really bad. Walking and running does no good either though.

I'm still trying to figure out what to do about it. I can't keep letting it go on, because I know something's wrong. I mean, things don't swell for NO reason. So, maybe in the next week or two I'll come to a decision and get this taken care of once and for all. Honestly, I'd really like to have a normal leg again. That's the latest on the ongoing leg drama. (not that I expect any of you to be concerned about it...after all, there are more important things in the world) :)

I think I may just be afraid of what the prognosis will be, and that's keeping me from going. The idea of surgery terrifies me, and I automatically think of the worst-case scenario. Bad, I know. I should be really positive and think, It's probably something really simple, but I don't. Shame on me, I need to think more positive...I know! I'll do better....and I WILL get this thing seen about...soon! Hope you all are having a fantastic week!!