Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm Grasping at Straws for Post Ideas

Well, sort of. I was looking through my old posts and realized that I posted this and it included me indicating that Jonathan Rhys Meyers was "somewhat handsome" and that I preferred Wentworth Miller. While I wouldn't kick Mr. Miller out of bed, I was crazy. I've come to my senses, don't worry. I absolutely love JRM. So hot (want to touch the heiny) and I fell in love with him in August Rush. I was going to review the movie, but then I looked for pictures of this hottie and decided that I would instead provide a post of hot guys, other than my beloved Brad Pitt Mircea. Mind you, these are in no particular order because really, is that fair to anyone?

yes, yes I will marry you I've already mentioned how I feel about him. Let me say, seeing him running towards Central Park in the movie August Rush almost made me die. DIE I tell you. And I know Robyn agreed with me on that one. The entire movie was spent in a transition between crying and lust. It was awkward for all involved.

look at those eyes I loved him in Stop Loss. I think I saw him in something else too, but it barely matters. He's just plain hot and can rock a wife beater like no other. Those eyes, those eyes.

I've tried so hard to push this tool out of my life, but I just can't. He's just so freaking good looking that it kills me. Such a tool though...so he wins the award for "hottest toolbag".

He actually puts me over my Romanian quota, but I love Adrian Mutu. He may have had a coke problem, and likes cheating on his wife, but darnit, I still love him. He's not my husband.

Oh he's so hot like fire. Burn baby burn. I've never seen more than 10 minutes of Burn Notice, and I only saw that much because I was capitvated by Jefferey Donovan. When we hit the commerical break, I was gone-but my love for him remains. He was very good in Changeling as well.

Winning the award for "hottest regular old guy" is John Krasinski. I feel like he's got to be a perfect guy. So it's hard to know if I like Jim or John better, but I say "I'd give either a chance". On a sad note, he has recently announced an engagment. I guess he heard about Mircea proposing and gave up all hope. It's probably best.

Still love you Brad. I even stuck by you with the Jennifer Aniston divorce when I felt that you were a terrible man for falling for Angelina's sexy pout. I forgive you. And I fell in love with you all over again in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. You're on of those guys that I can't help but love-and I'll love you when you're old and gray. You'll be my Paul Newman. Larry Mullen Jr., drummer from U2 wins the award for "Man (other than my Dad and Papa) that I've loved the longest. But I'll tell you, I loved him way differently than the aforementioned men in my life. I don't care that Larry is pushing 90 (ok, 50) he's still the love of my life and I'm so happy that I found this picture because this my favorite frame in the entire Electrical Storm video, which is my favorite U2 song of all time. Mostly because of Larry.

The puffy kitty, teddy bear hot guy award goes to Yukon Glink-Reed-Ighian. He's the most beautiful boy I ever seen in my life, looks AMAZING in a Santa Hat, even looks cute in a Steelers bandana, and it adorable all times of his life, but mostly while sleeping. This little guy almost stole my heart.

I said I wouldn't rank the "hottie guy" list, but Mircea comes in number one. He's got that Romanian charm, perfect teeth, scrubby enough to feel like he's a bad boy, and cleans up well enough that you know your mom loves him as much as you do. So yeah, I lust for all the guys on the list, but luckily, the hottest guy I've ever met (notice the modifier there) loves me too, so I guess I'm pretty lucky.

**On a side note. While looking for pictures for this post I managed to see the following: A picture of Channing Tatum in undies with what is best described as a terrifying package; tons of lists from other bloggers about their hotties and who their husbands will let them sleep with; a lot of homosexual men that share the same love of these hotties; a great interview in Men's Health with John Krasinski. This was fun.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I think I made a comment on one of my posts awhile back that I was eating meat in preparation for the trip to Romania. I made this decision with very mixed feelings, namely that I would probably enjoy the convenience of eating meat and just go back to it, but knew that I had to as the Romanian countryside isn't filled with convenience foods or people that are willing to tweak recipes for the ugly American (me, by the way).

It's been a little over a month since I started eating meat, and only in the last week have I really pumped it up so that I have eaten meat actually more than veggies-and I'm feeling it. Not to be gross, but bowels work so much better without meat. Lily and I are going through the same thing, only I can manage it a little better than a sweet calico.

I'll tell you what works for me-bacon. And by "works for me" I really mean "scares the shit out of me because I try to find every excuse to get bacon into a meal and let's just say I haven't lost any weight since I started eating meat". I'm posting some recipes that have meat in them, but mostly I can really take or leave meat.

Having said that, I'm in a rough spot. Considering I have probably eaten a total of 10 meals that have meat in them over the course of 40 days, I'm not sure that 'giving it up' again is really what I want to do. Since we have a friend that has a small farm, he's really helped us out by giving or selling us organic, free range, grain fed meat, and frankly, I've never had a problem with that kind of meat. Yes, I still feel that it isn't right to slaughter animals for meat, having said that, this is the world that we live in and me not eating meat isn't going to stop the market from existing. So instead of avoiding it altogether, I may choose to support it as needed (or desired really) but when doing so make the best choices, supporting the local agriculture of Southern Maryland.

So sound off, what do you guys think? I know that most of your are omnivores and support meat consumption, and I'm interested in your take on the whole thing.

The post is almost over I promise. One last thing. I don't want to eat meat. I am just so sick and tired of everyone saying things like "oh, we'll make something special for you" or "oh we didn't think you could go out to lunch with us b/c you don't eat anything at the restaurant". I don't know, it was harder being vegan and I'll tell you, being a vegetarian is like a cheese-filled dream.

This topic is far from over for me. I've got a lot of soul searching to do on this.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recipe Thursday: Rebecca's Salmon Salad

Rebecca's Salmon Salad Recipe


Salmon fillets, without the skin :)
Something to put on the salmon, I like this vegan garlic paste or olive tapenade or something similar
Organic salad mix
Pine nuts
Feta cheese
Pitted Kalamata olives
Lots of pepper (I love pepper)
Girard's Greek Feta Vinegarette
I also someties include some red onion

Just broil the salmon on high for 15 minutes or so. Mix all of the salad ingredients together while the salmon is cooking. Then cut the cooked salmon into pieces and add it to the salad. Be sure to eat it with some great-tasting white wine; Chardonnay, Voigner, Riesling, or something similar. Enjoy!

Rebecca is a champ with this salad. She and I made it while I was up in DC visiting her and it was amazing. I used a different, reduced fat salad dressing and it wasn't as good as what she made, but I felt a little less guilty. (Mine was a Greek feta vinegarette from Kraft) Mircea really enjoyed this salad too and I think we'll make it a household staple.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

P90X: Not Just for Beefcakes

At the end of May, I started doing Tony Horton's P90x workout video series. I'd heard about it a lot, and figured "there is no way I can do this", but I figured wrong. I could do it, and I enjoyed the hell out of it, for about a month, when some issues with medication and knee pain forced me to stop. Laziness persuaded me to not pick back up, but Mircea and I have been doing a random P90x workout here and there the past several weeks and have agreed that when we return from our trip we will complete the entire p90x program together. I really hope we do follow through because it is a lot of fun.

A little bit about the series is that there are several different workouts, to name a few, there's a core class, cardio, kenpo karate, a grueling 90 minute yoga, a fantastic stretch, great chest and arms workouts, as well as a legs workout that pretty much killed my knee. The abs workout is great too, but it's only 20 minutes and it's completed after a 60 minute workout so it can be a real killer. As Tony says "Ab Ripper X; I hate it, but I love it", and I echo those sentiments exactly.

I urge anyone who is even slightly interested in P90x to go out and spend the money because it is totally, totally worth it. I do a lot of modifications for things that mostly my knee doesn't let me do, and yeah, sometimes I use 5 lb weights while they are using 30+ but the point is to do it, not shy away from it or become a muscle man or woman.

I started the workout with a woman that I work with, who is about 45 years old and not in very good shape. Neither of us could even do a push up when we started (I can do knee pushups, but that isn't saying much) and in the first 30 days (the only days I stuck with it) I could do 5 regular pushups-something I couldn't even do when I was in high school. Linda, however, as she's completed the full 90 day workout, is able to to do one armed push-ups, and plyo-pushups (where you clap when you come up). She's a freaking powerhouse, and it's funny because she pretty much looks the same. She was laughing that she's far from the super-ripped people they show on the infomercials, but she feels fantastic and is so proud of herself for all she's done. She's going to complete it again and maybe she'll get ripped this time-but either way-she's got a great accomplishment under her belt.

The other funny thing is that when I started this I was getting up at 5 to do the workouts, and I'd get done about the time Mircea came downstairs in the morning and fed the cats. He'd give me so much shit for grunting, etc as I completed my workout, or for lying in a pool of my own sweat sobbing. I kept saying "ok, bigshot, you try it". Well, recently he did try it, one of the easier workouts (Cardio) and he about died. It was hilarious. HILARIOUS!!! The next day we did the tricep and arms workout and he stopped halfway through with a soaking wet shirt (mind you, he was using 8 lb weights). During a set of pushups (i was back on my knees) he basically collapsed and I said "You haven't said it yet", and he turned to me and said "yeah, yeah, I was wrong. I'm sorry I gave you so much crap for this"...cracked me up.

It's definitely a challenge but I dare anyone to try it. If "knees McGee" can last 30 days (and I should have lasted longer) and middle aged Momma can do it, anyone can give it a try. Modification is key, and I often did other exercises when there were knee-centric workouts, and there are options instead of pullups when you're just starting out. Go ahead-try it!

A note on Tony Horton: I couldn't love this guy more. To "know" him on your tv is to love him and he just has a great attitude and even at 5 in the morning I was thinking positively the whole way through the workout. He's far from just another "beefcake". Check out his personal blog. Great guy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Recipe Thursday: Pesto-Chicken Burgers

Open Face Pesto Chicken Burgers

1 lb ground chicken or turkey
4 Tbsp. basil pesto
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 slices ciabatta or rustic italian bread
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
2 cups fresh basil leaves, arugula, or spring garden mix salad
8 small tomato slices
ground black pepper

1. In a bowl combine chicken, half the pesto, the Parmesan cheese, garlic and salt. Shape in four oval (bread) shaped patties.
2. Horizontally halve cibatta. Brush cut sides of ciabatta with olive oil; set aside.
3. Preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium.Place patties on grill rack over heat and cook approx 10-13 minutes covered until chicken is no longer pink. Turn over once halfway through and cover with mozzarella cheese to melt. Place bread on grill rack and grill 2-3 minutes to toast.
4. Arrange basil or greens on toasted bread. Top with chicken patties, tomato slices, and remaining pesto. Sprinkle coarsely with ground pepper.
These burgers were fantastic. I was craving them days after we had them-and this coming from someone who is eating all meat but bacon grudgingly.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bubble Tea Lovin' : Chicago Part Deux

The trip to Chicago was fantastic, other than the fact that poor Patty was sick. That turned out to be in my favor though as she picked me up for Midway and we spent the afternoon playing Sing Star, which by the way is almost worth buying a Playstation for. Let’s just say I rocked out several times to Foo Fighters Best of You until I thought my vocal chords might bleed. I also tried to entertain myself and Patty with country music renditions of all the rock songs, and pretty much choked myself with laughter when I turned all the “Isn’t me, Isn’t you”s from STP’s Vasoline into “Ain’t it me, ain’t it you” that I finally had to stop.

We went out to grab dinner and pick up a movie at Blockbuster. I saw a Jimmy Johns and I had to run over there and get a sub. Man, I miss that place so much. (I've just found out that there is one in College Park and one in Alexandria-I see a short road trip in my future) I could have eaten there every meal while I was in town and been perfectly happy. Patty also introduced me to Bubble Tea that night, and until today, I’ve had a Bubble Tea every day since I learned about them. So addictive, but I’ve decided I’m making them at my house since the local place here makes them worse than I think Fernie could make them given opposable thumbs. We watched some good movies over the weekend, including Penelope, Knowing, Push and Pineapple Express, the last one making me laugh my ass off though I’m not really a “pot movie” kinda girl, it certainly wasn’t glorified so I was ok with it.

On Saturday we went up to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where I lived my first year out of college. We went to what used to be our favorite restaurant for beer cheese soup, but they must have changed the recipe because it was abysmal so I have to bid adieu to the Chancery. It’s right next to the newly expanded outlet mall, so we got lots of good shopping in and I bought two beautiful dresses at the Black House/White Market outlet store for a total of $60 (with sticker price being about $360). Very very happy. We rounded out the day with mani/pedis and enjoyed a fantabulous dinner at a Kenosha sushi place. Best sushi I’ve had outside of Florida or California. Sooooo good-a surprise hit in Kenosha! After we stopped at home for another Bubble Tea (just me this time) we watched some movies and fell asleep.

Sunday was great too because we were super lazy waiting for Nikki to join us and then we took her for a bubble tea and then head over to Kuma’s Corner, a heavy metal burger joint that Nikki was interested in visiting. It was super loud so we waited for an outside table and the food was spectacular. We all ate our weight in waffle fries smothered in cheese and pulled bbq pork and then tried our best to eat our huge burgers on pretzel rolls. Incredible. I definitely want to go there again and I think Mircea would love it. They have veggie burgers too, which is fantastic when I regain my veggie sanity.

It was such a great weekend with great friends, great food and funny moments. I always enjoy my time with Patty and it was so nice to see Nikki after all this time that I know we’ll make an effort to keep in touch a lot better from now on. Until the next time we get on our boots girls…

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baby Baby Baby, Light My Way: Chicago Part One

I’ll have to divide my Chicago trip into two posts, one being about U2, the other aptly named for all the foods we ate while I was in town. I packed a lot of calories and deliciousness into a very short time but you’ll have to come back for that.

The concert was…amazing. It’s funny, I had been looking forward to it and yet by the actual day I felt like I could take or leave it, which is ridiculous. I was just enjoying my time with Patty and Nikki and didn’t need “the boys” to interfere. Nikki couldn’t have been pulled away by wild horses, so we went.

We got gouged $45 to park at Soldier Field, which is insanity. INSANITY. It was very close though and we walked right over to the stadium and started looking for a place to buy shirts. Nikki found a place and Patty and I walked over to check out Snow Patrol, which was very very good. We were on the main level center stage and when Nikki came back she was like “why don’t we try to stay here”. And “stay here” we did. We basically stood behind the $250 seats for the concerts and got an unobstructed (except for a 6 foot tall guy right in front of me) view of the concert. It was awesome.

The concert was great. They played all kinds of different songs from many of their albums including The Unforgettable Fire (the song has the same title) and even played Ultraviolet, a song that Nikki and I had performed at one of my birthday parties (I vaguely recall Chantelle being in our group but annoyed b/c she didn’t know the song and Nikki and I were bossy) and performed for Patty at the concert. It was just great. Great I tell you! I think all of us agreed that our favorite was the remix of “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” that had the guys as bobbleheads on the big screen. It was just so much fun and it was so worth the flight, the days missed of work, etc.our bobbleheads

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Recipe Thursday: King Ranch Chicken

King Ranch Chicken

1 whole chicken (boiled and deboned)
1 diced large onion
3 diced cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can rotel
9 corn tortillas (cut in 1/2 or 1/4s)
1 1/2 cups mild cheddar cheese

1. Boil and Debone Chicken. Reserve 1 cup broth.
2. In a skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil, add both cans of soup, rotel and broth. Keep on low heat.
Preheat oven to 350.
3. In a lasagna pan, layer tortilla, chicken, sauce, cheese and repeat.Cook in preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese is brown.

I used reduced fat cheese and soups for this recipe and it was still delicious. Soooooo good!! I got this recipe from Robyn's mom, Jeanne Birrane. This is really good served the next day too as it allows the flavors to all mesh together.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

My Spidey Senses Said "Run!"

I was sitting at my desk on Sunday morning trying to catch up on some blog posts for the time we're in Romania (because when I get back it will be all Romania, all the time for awhile) and looked out our front window to see a big honking spider. I went out to take pictures of the thing, and I'll tell you the entire time I was taking the pictures I was thinking "what if this is a trap set by a WAAAY bigger spider?" and I kept looking over my shoulder as though an extra-wombo spider was waiting to pounce.

At least this wasn't as scary as my last spider experience. Ugh, I shudder just thinking about it.

The boy was irritated with me and wanted to come outside. He probably just wanted a big spider meal. Double-ewww!

(yeah, I know this post was boring, but come on, what else do I have going on in my life?)

Monday, September 07, 2009

My Poor Lily-Monster (sort of a pathetic rant)

It's funny how life works out-Lily was never my favorite cat. She was my Mom's cat, her best friend, her favorite "daughter". When my mom died I couldn't bear to part with Lily so I brought her to live with me and Courtney at Purdue and she and Fernie instantly became enemies. They only band together in the dislike of others, and while they do give each other baths, it always ends in a fight. But after being bedridden with my knee surgery, Lily was by my side every second of the day, keeping me company and actually licking my tears of frustration. She and I are wildly in love these days, and I guess that's good because it seems like we're getting closer to the time in our lives where we have to say goodbye. She's really not doing well at all. She has something called "loose knees" so the back part of her walks sort of independantly of the front of her (like a bus with the accordian middle). Lately she's been struggling with the restroom, and it appears she's terribly constipated, so we've been treating that the best we can. I just feel for her so much and I'm not sure what to do. I don't believe in keeping cats alive just so they can be my friends, but it sucks because her mind is there but her little body is failing her. I'm getting especially nervous because we're about to leave her for 16 days. She'll be here at the house with a friend stopping in every couple of days, but I'm just worried that 1.) she'll think her mommy abandoned her and 2.) she'll be sick and die alone...and Fernie will freak out. I'm not crazy enough to think that I would comfort Lily if she was sick and dying, but at the same time, I don't want her to be scared or alone if she's in pain. As I sat with poor Olive several months back, I think she actually did get some peace knowing that someone was comforting her. I'm just worried. Please pray for my little sweetie. I either want her to feel better and live forever, or somehow communicate to me what she wants me to do.

I'd do anything for this kitty to keep her out of pain. Man, I already miss her and she's not even gone yet. I don't know what my life will be like without my "girls" as little Fernie is getting so old too. The joy of geriatric pets-but at least I've had this time with them.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Greek Quinoa and Avocado Salad Recipe

Greek Quinoa and Avocado Salad Recipe

I haven't taken a picture of this recipe, mostly because I've had the spoon in it ever since I finished preparing it. This recipe was "banging" as Mircea would say. Last time I work with quinoa (keen-wa) I had some trouble with it-it seemed a little crunchy. It shouldn't be. This time I let it cook longer and it's delicious. All of the ingredients in this make it great, and at the suggestion of another BHG.com commenter I added pine nuts and they really made a great addition. Other than the feta, this is vegan, and I think it can be enjoyed without the feta as well, though it does add a nice tangy twist to it.

I know everyone gets mad at me when I just post a ton of recipes, but I am going to be sharing a couple in the next couple of weeks-in fact, I should probably be sharing them on Stephany's Realistic Eats blog, which years ago she made me a member of and I've only posted one recipe. This lives up to her realistic eats standards though!