Thursday, October 21, 2010

We've Moved!

Come visit us at our new address:


Lisa & Jeromy

Sunday, October 3, 2010


This is one of the most delicious soup recipes I've ever had.
The only adaptation I made was to add a can of tomato juice because it was really too thick after I blended it and then I ran it through a sieve (really just a strainer and a ladle--I'm resourceful) and it is delicious. Totally makes me want a grilled cheese sandwich to dip in it.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I have always avoided okra. The description just never sounded appealing--crunchy on the outside but slimy on the inside? No thanks. This summer, my opinion completely changed. We received 9 okras (okri?) from the CSA and I asked what the best way is to prepare them. I knew I could deep fry them, but was looking for a healthier way to cook them. Another CSA member told me he likes them sauted with tomatoes. I decided to take his advice.

Without pictures, here's what I did:

1) Slice the okra into thick coins.

2) Mince garlic (for 9 okra I used 2 cloves of garlic).

3) Heat some olive oil in a large pan.

4) Add the garlic and okra, saute for 5 minutes.

5) While the okra and garlic are cooking, chop up some tomatoes. I used one yellow and one orange from the CSA.

6) Add the tomatoes, stir and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

It was delicious! The tomatoes were perfect and the okra was crunchy. I didn't notice too much slime, maybe because I had mixed the tomatoes in. Either way, I am no longer afraid of okra and will look forward to next year when it's back in season (good thing I froze some this year!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

BBQ Chicken

As I was grocery shopping last weekend, a craving struck for BBQ'd chicken. Ordinarily, I would just grab a bottle of sauce at the store, slather it on chicken and throw it on the BBQ. But of course, that's not my style anymore. I want to make everything from scratch. I'm probably just glutton for punishment.

I visited my go-to recipe site for inspiration and found exactly what I was hoping for--Ina Garten's homemade barbecque sauce. My only problem was I did not have enough hoisin sauce on hand so the sauce was not as sweet as it should have been, but it was still delicious.

I paired the chicken with a chopped caprese salad with fresh tomatoes and basil from the farm for a perfect summer evening dinner.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Climbing Back on the Wagon

When I started this blog it was to chronicle my training experience for an Olympic triathlon. I had completely 2 sprint tris before that and went on to do one more after.

Iron Girl 2007

NJ State Tri 2008

Capital of Texas Olympic Tri 2009

NJ State Tri 2009

Just over a year ago, which was 3 weeks after the last tri, I went to Yellowstone National Park on a work trip and hurt my foot hiking. I laid off of running for about a month, thinking that some cross-training and resting would do the trick, but it didn't help. After many doctor visits, sessions of physical therapy and an MRI, my doctor figured out that I had a hidden fracture in my foot and I'd have to wear a walking boot for 6 weeks. 6 weeks became 8 weeks and I was finally rid of the boot at the beginning of March.

I know it's been almost 6 months, but I have had an incredibly hard time motivating to get back to the gym. Truthfully, I really miss running. I've done a few 3-4 mile runs here and there, but my foot still gets sore and I don't want to push it before our wedding. I feel lazy and that is just not me. I don't know where all of my motivation went, but I want it back! I am making a conscious effort to climb back on the wagon now. I am going to stop saying, I'll do it tomorrow. I am going to run, little by little, I am going to build back up until my foot is okay. I hate injury recovery, but I know it's necessary.

My goal is to run the Arlington Memorial 5K on September 11. In 2006, this would not have seemed like a big deal to me. A 5K was an easy recovery run but after being sidelined for the past year, a 5K sounds a bit daunting to me. I've missed racing so much, I can't wait to get out there. Hopefully this won't backfire and I'll start being able to race again and I can start writing more about the sport I love so much. Stay tuned....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sage, rosemary and thyme. If only we had parsley....

With 74 days to go, I thought it'd be fun to share our DIY centerpieces. I absolutely love flowers, but hate the idea of killing so many for the sake of centerpieces. Of course, I looked around at blogs for inspiration and at what my friends have done at their weddings and decided that potted herbs would be perfect for us. Our deck is covered in potted herbs that we use when we cook so using them to decorate our reception venue fits.
I started looking around for the right size terra cotta pots, but could not find the right size at an affordable price. I came across the ones below at Lowe's. They are 10 inch plastic hanging pots but without the hangers they look great as centerpieces. The only other problem was the color--plastic terra cotta is really not my thing. With a can of spray paint, that was an easy fix! Spray painting the pots.

Pretty pots all in a row!

We decided to go with sage, rosemary and thyme because they are hardy plants that have come back for us year after year. That way our guests that take the centerpieces home will be able to use the herbs for at least a few years, as long as they care for the plants.

Jeromy ready to plant!

Ode to Simon & Garfunkel.

That is a lot of plants!

Ready for watering.

The pots have all filled in considerably, hopefully they won't outgrow the pots before the wedding.

There are just a few finishing touches that the centerpieces will receive the week of the wedding, hopefully it'll be here before I know it!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Meatless Meals (while J is away)

I stopped eating red meat and pork for 6 years between the summer before junior year of high school and right before graduation from college. Even when I was living in Italy, I resisted what looked to be the most delicious prosciutto I could ever taste. To this day, I kick myself for not eating it while I was there.

I remember the day, practically the moment, that I decided to eat meat again. I was at a reception at the President's house for seniors at Trinity and I saw this appetizer that had a medium rare piece of beef on it. And I wanted to eat it. I looked at my friend Jen's brother Kevin and told him what I was thinking. His response was, but you don't eat meat. And I thought, yeah, I'm kind of done with that. So I ate the beef. The next day, I had bacon with my eggs. And I forgot why I stopped eating meat in the first place (it was because we had to read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair in high school).

As time has gone by and I've become more aware of where the food we eat comes from, (thank you, Michael Pollan) I've wanted to move a bit away from eating a lot of meat. At least once a week I try to make a meatless meal and I try to keep red meat, pork and poultry out of my diet during the day. It doesn't always work, but I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

The challenge is, my fiance thinks that every meal should involve meat. He begrudgingly eats the meatless meals that I make and always makes sure to let me know that he knows "what I'm doing and it's not going to work." No, honey, I am not trying to make you a vegetarian :-) I enjoy meat too, but I also enjoy meals that do not involve meat. Since J was out of town this weekend, I have not had any meat in any of my meals. Granted, I also didn't eat a proper breakfast or lunch yesterday, but that's neither here nor there. Friday night dinner was chana masala from the Smitten Kitchen:

I've never cooked Indian food before, though I LOVE to eat Indian food. I was really excited to try this dish and have had it bookmarked in my mind since I saw it in February, just waiting for the opportunity to make it. Here are my ingredients assembled:
I had to make a few substitutions. I completely left a green chile pepper off of my grocery list, so I substituted a green bell pepper from our CSA share this week. I also could not find ground cayenne pepper, so I subbed half ancho chile power and half chili powder. I used smoked sweet paprika instead of regular paprika because I prefer the smoky flavor. I did not include amphoor powder and increased the amount of lemon juice, as Deb suggests. My last adjustment was to increase the amount of ground cumin because I did not have cumin seeds. I was pretty nervous that with all of these changes the dish would not taste anything like what I've had at restaurants, but I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong!

Oh, the spices!

Saute of onion, garlic and green pepper:

With the addition of all of the spices--the kitchen smelled delicious at this point:

The tomatoes and water added to the pan:

And the chickpeas:

Combine and let simmer for 10 minutes:

Chana masala:

I would have served this with naan, but I was too lazy to make any :-) So I ate it over rice. I was surprised at how delicious this was, it was as good as takeout to me, even with all of my substitutions. There was still a good level of spice, despite leaving out the green chile pepper.

Saturday night's dinner was zucchini and eggplant pasta with tomato and mushroom sauce. I found this recipe on The Front Burner. The only change I made was to add eggplant ribbons to the zucchini ribbons, since I had a nice long eggplant from this week's farm share.

This was remarkably good. I loved the zucchini and eggplant as pasta. I love pasta and I didn't even miss it in this dish. The flavors were amazing, I think because the majority of the ingredients came from the farmer's market or our CSA (with the exception of the mushrooms and the parmesan cheese).

J will be home tonight, which means that meat is back on the menu :-) I enjoyed the last couple of days of meals, but am very happy that J will be here and who doesn't love pulled pork?

Versatility Cowl

I finished this scarf right after my tonsil surgery, way back in April. Despite the massive pain meds I was on, I managed to muddle through the very end of this scarf. Luckily, it was a very simple pattern, but the results are just beautiful. My mom loves it too!

I LOVE how this scarf is wearable in different ways because of the buttons at one end. Thanks to my mom for being a wonderful model--I hope this scarf keeps you very warm!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We certainly look the part....

Only 172 days to go!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Topsy Turvy

When Jeromy's grandparents came to visit us last year, they could not stop talking about the Topsy Turvy tomato grower that they saw on tv. Jeromy and his grandfather even went searching for it at Home Depot and Lowes without any luck. It's designed for people that have a small outdoor space and can't grow things in the ground--it grows tomatoes upside down! Jeromy stumbled upon a generic version of the Topsy Turvy this spring and upon examining the contents of the box, realized that he could make a Topsy Turvy with materials we already had in our house.
We had 2 empty hanging pots that Jeromy spray painted bronze, potting soil and we picked up some tomato plants at the store--some cherry ones to put on the top and larger tomatoes to put through the bottom.
Conveniently, the pots already had holes in the middle.

And now we have our very own Topsy Turvys hanging off the side of our deck! There are already 3 tomatoes in this one and our fingers are crossed for many more to come!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oh, baby...

blanket. Baby blanket. Don't get carried away, we have to get married first!! ;-) It took me just over a month to finish my first baby blanket. I went with a fairly straightforward pattern--the Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch n' Bitch. Turns out, however, that I was purling backwards! No matter because I did it consistently throughout the entire blanket so you can't tell that it wasn't intended.

Here's the blanket blocking on the bathroom floor (I needed a place I could close the door and keep Dixie away).

And below is Sarah, the recipient of the baby blanket at her baby shower! I spent the majority of my time working on this blanket while on the metro. It's remarkable how much knitting I can get done while commuting!

I've started working on the next baby blanket, which I will reveal when it's finished and delivered to the recipient. I'm also working on several other projects that I won't be able to reveal for quite some time. Fortunately, I also have a list of new recipes to try and Jeromy and I have a very long list of home improvement projects to share. Our style is DIY so I should have some pretty good stories and before and after pictures.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Jeromy's Feast

Jeromy went all out about a month ago for a dinner for four. It turned into a dinner for 5 and we STILL had way, way too much food. And lots of leftovers. I didn't get pictures of every course, and the pictures I did take did not come out so well, but you'll get the idea....

We started the evening with deviled eggs--both chicken and duck. Both were delicious! I couldn't really tell a flavor difference between the two but the duck egg was definitely meatier. Very good. Along with the deviled eggs, Jeromy prepared ceviche with tilapia, red onions, lime and cilantro. We've always been big fans of ceviche and this recipe was fantastic.

Spicy sweet potato peanut soup was our first course (pictured below) followed by homemade goat cheese raviolis in a creamy mushroom and sundried tomato sauce. I was so busy scarfing them down that I did not take a picture!

The main course was pan-seared grass-fed ribeye steak. Neither of us have ever had grass-fed beef, but we've been dying to try it. Especially after watching Food Inc. and reading Omnivore's Dilemma. And truthfully, it was fantastic--I don't think I'll ever eat non grass-fed beef again, it was that delicious. Jeromy cooks an amazing steak and this one was no exception. It was served alongside my contribution to the meal, wild mushroom risotto. Again, I was too busy eating to take pictures of this course :-)
We ended the night on a sweet note, of course, with our favorite dessert--tarte au citron. I've only made this dessert twice once was a smashing success and the other time was a massive fail. Jeromy, however, has never failed at this recipe, and the leftovers do not survive long in this house :-)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Signs of Spring....

Right outside our door!

Jeromy has spent the day preparing quite a feast for dinner tonight, if I remember to take pictures before digging in, I'll post them!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Taking Stock

My soon-to-be mother-in-law's Christmas present:

Clare's Christmas present:
My sister's Christmas present:
I've finished 4 scarves since November, one of them was ruined in the washing machine and I've started that one over again. So that's #5. I am trying to teach myself how to knit a hat, which is project #6. I am working on a gift for a friend that I started today, #7, a scarf for mom, #8, and I have yarn for a scarf for myself, another gift for a friend and another scarf for my mom. That's #9, #10 and #11. Currently, I have 4 of these projects on needles. Phew, it sounds like I have some work to do! The good news is that watching the Olympics and knitting go very well together :-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Not your average Peeps

I'll admit it. I love Peeps. My dad fully supports my love of Peeps as evidenced by the mostly eaten box above. My mom came down a couple weeks ago to go wedding dress shopping and my dad sent this down for me. 1) Can you believe Easter candy is already out? 2) Can you believe there are still some left in my box? Thanks,Daddy!!

There's really no way of telling what kinds of unnatural, processed ingredients go into Peeps that for me, make them so addicting (and I fully believe that the ducks taste better than the rabbits. Perhaps because I had pet rabbits as a kid?) I've seen recipes for homemade marshmallows and they always look a little daunting--they involve a candy thermometer for goodness sake! But the string of snow days and an upcoming weekend in Wintergreen that will involve s'mores convinced me that it was time. Time to make marshmallows and I have to tell you, it was not nearly as hard as it seemed to be. Visit for the recipe!

Mise en place:

The recipe called for a metal 9x13x2, which I don't have so I improvised.

Bringing the sugar, corn starch, water and salt to a boil (while the gelatin softens in another bowl).

The mixture is almost at the 240 degree point--look at how clear it is, the sugar is completely dissolved.

Bottom layer is the gelatin, water and mixture from the stove whipped together for about 10 minutes. On top is two egg whites whipped just until stiff peaks are formed and 1 tablespoon of vanilla. This is when you can add whatever you want to flavor the marshmallows. I think mint extract would be delicious in marshmallows in a tall cup of (spiked) hot chocolate!

I only ended up needed two of the pans and I took Deb's advice on Smitten Kitchen and did not try to get every last bit out of the bowl.

After sitting overnight in the refrigerator, I cut the marshmallows into squares and rolled them in more confectioners sugar (I guess you just can't get enough sugar in these). I think I was supposed to sift the sugar, but I had not yet had coffee so this is unsifted sugar.

I can't wait to get these into some s'mores!

And yes, it is still snowing. I don't want to talk about it.
Lisa :-)