Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Benefits of Lemon Water

What a soggy day it’s been here in Maryland.  We feel like a bunch of drowned rats over here.  Traffic was horrible getting home and by the time we walked through the door there was NO WAY I wanted to cook dinner.  We decided to order from one of our favorite local restaurants….Hempen Hill BBQ.  Don’t let the name fool you.  You can really get some great non-meat items at this joint.  Andy even commented tonight about the eclectic group….meat and potato guys and hippies.  Who would have thought they’d frequent the same establishments. 

My dinner was the Rainbow De-Lite sandwich with a sweet potato on the side. 

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According to the menu, the Rainbow De-lite is a Panini pressed ciabatta roll layered with fresh sliced cucumbers, red onions
and tomatoes topped with pepper jack, cheddar and bleu cheese.  Hands down this is my favorite sandwich to date.  The bread is so chewy, but a little crisp and the combination of blue cheese, cheese, and the veggies is phenomenal. 

Since I’m going low sugar I took my sweet potato with just a bit of butter.  Surprisingly it was…..sweet….very sweet! 

I also had a few bites of Brunswick Stew.  This is a traditional Southern BBQ soup that is tomato-based and dates back to
the 1800’s.  It resembles a thick vegetable soup that’s chock full of BBQ meats, beans and veggies.  This stew is delicious and very filling.  Perfect for a rainy night! 

The boys enjoyed Smokey Mac’N Cheese and cooked carrots.  I think they enjoyed it!

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I’ve been doing something a little different for my weeknight night cap.  Warm lemon water. 

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I’ve been researching the benefits of drinking lemon water and I was kind of surprised at all of the information I found.  According to various sources it helps with fat burning, brings the body’s pH into balance, cleanses the liver and kidneys, helps with skin problems, helps stomach problems (such as bloating and heartburn), helps with throat infections, acts as a blood purifier, helps with constipation….the list goes on and on.  I have to admit, my research had me at “helps with fat burning”, but with all the other benefits, who wouldn’t squeeze some lemon in the water twice a day?

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There are many more lemon remedies published by author Jethro Kloss in his book Back to Eden.  I have to say that lemon was a lifesaver to me during both of my pregnancies.  I was blessed and rarely had any nausea or vomiting, but in the first few weeks when I felt nauseous I would suck on lemons constantly.  I shared this with one of my favorite bloggers recently.  I think she found this to work as well. 

Plus, there’s something very soothing about a warm cup of lemon water right before bed. 

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Does anyone else do this regularly?  I’m curious to see if you’ve noticed any health benefits. 

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Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Today was my birthday….the big 33!  Why is this one bothering me more than 30?  I don’t get it.  To prove that I am still young and spry I did a quick treadmill workout this morning.  Only 20 minutes, but at a high intensity.  I did 2 minutes of 12% incline, 2 minutes sprinting as fast as I could and 1 minute recovering.  I repeated this 4 times.  I admit it kind of kicked my butt.  I’m old!  Then I did some light weight training and abs.  Not a bad start to this fine day considering it’s quite dreary outside. 

According to the weather man this will be our attire for the next few days. 

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The temperatures are definitely dipping here in Maryland.  It’s starting to feel like fall!  I love it! 

My day was filled with good stuff even though I had to work and all (why isn’t there a law that we get our birthdays off?).  I woke up to all 3 boys singing happy birthday to me.  It was wonderful.  Then I got cards and presents.  There was a special delivery at work…flowers from my two little guys.  How great they are (and way to go Daddy Andy).  Andy took me to lunch which was nice.  We ate at Glory Days.  I had a turkey wrap (I ate half of it) and a bunch of steamed vegetables.  After work I rushed to church to work on my sunday school classroom.  And now I’m home.  I’m about to enjoy the last few moments of my birthday snuggled with my pups in bed.  The best part of the day by far! 

But, before that, I had to throw something together for our Toys for Tots fundraiser tomorrow.  We’re having a Fall/Harvest Party and I wanted to bring a dish.  Enter Crunch Cole Slaw.  So easy and so yummy. 

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Crunch Cole Slaw

1 lb bag of cole slaw mix

1 cup of sunflower seeds

1 cup of almonds

2 packs of Chicken flavored Ramen noodles

1 cup of oil

1/3 cup of white vinegar

1/2 cup of sugar

Mix together the cole slaw, sunflower seeds, almonds and the noodles (crunched up) of both Ramen packets.  Combine with your hands.  In a separate bowl mix the 2 chicken seasoning packets of the Ramen noodles, oil, vinegar, and sugar.  Cover and keep both bowls in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Right before serving, mix the dressing over the cole slaw.  Enjoy!

I’m telling you this is so good.  It will impress all of your friends but it’s incredibly easy.  My kind of dish! 

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Redneck Kind of Weekend!

Whew…what a weekend.  I think I’ve sat down a total of 20 minutes today and that was during the sermon at church.  Lets start with yesterday.  Andy and I took the pups to The Great Frederick Fair.  It’s a tradition! 

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Tractors are always the favorite.  Along with pony rides.

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Pigs, goats, ox…oh my!

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Then came the food.  What can I say?  We tasted lots!  Dogs and root beer for the boys.

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Pulled pork and fresh squeezed lemonade for Andy and I.

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And we ended the day with one ride.  The pups picked the race car.

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We rushed home for a quick nap and then Andy and I headed out for a “date night”.  Another tradition…gun dinners.  Yes, I said it.  GUN DINNERS….it’s an all you can eat and drink dinner where they raffle off shot guns.   I do it for love folks…seriously, I do!   Words just don’t do these types of functions justice.  See for yourself….

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I kid you not….this was what we got to look at while enjoying fried turkey, green beans, baked beans, potatoes, and cole slaw.  What?  Did you expect classiness?   Good thing there was pumpkin pie!

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After a crazy Sunday of church, Sunday school, and soccer games.  We relaxed this evening with a home cooked meal with the family.  Fried chicken, rolls, baked beans, and red potatoes.  Now that our bellies are full and our team lost (boo Redskins) we’re heading upstairs for warm showers and comfy PJ’s. 

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And I’m ready to get back to civilization tomorrow! 

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Blondies and Redheads…Oh My!

TGIF!  What a long week.  I was excited to come home tonight, cook a nice dinner, and relax.  The boys wanted sweet potatoes and I wanted to chop up our last squash from the garden.  We added baked chicken and we called it dinner.

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I normally do sweet potato medallions.  I chop them (skins on) and toss them into a Ziploc bag with olive oil, salt and pepper.  I give it a good shake and squish.  Then I spread them on a tray and bake them for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  Today I did something a bit different.  I sprinkled them with cinnamon.  Yum!  The boys love them dipped in ketchup.

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Nice and crispy.  Then I sautéed the squash in some olive oil with some Seasoning Salt that I got from Tastefully Simple.  I love this stuff….so versatile. 

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I cooked them until they were mushy.  The boys tried them, but that’s where it stopped.  Oh well, one day!  More for Andy and I.  While I cooked, the boys played cowboys and truck drivers.  Apparently times have changed.

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Eventually dinner was ready.  My plate looked like this.

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I ate most of this…I left 1/3 of the chicken.  I was listening to my hunger…plus, I knew we were planning on a treat later. 

Enter Blondies.  I made the recipe that Jenna posted a few days ago.   Hello sugar and butter! 

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The boys helped.

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Occasionally I’ve have to wrestle a cooking utensil away.  Who invited Buzz Lightyear?  Why did I spend so much money on Halloween costumes.  Who knew we had all the accessories in our kitchen? 

Eventually the buzzer went off, the boys came running, and I cut these babies.

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Jenna was so right.  These are amazing.  Super sweet and super chewy.  The boys dove in and demolished this faster than I could snap a picture.  I really like the simple and short ingredient list.

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Thanks Jenna!  Great recipe! 

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Sights and Sounds of Fall

Welcome fall!  My favorite time of year.  I’ve officially immersed myself in the season.  I’ve put out my fall decorations.  Pumpkins, scarecrows, crows, mums….

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I’ve dusted off my leggings and boots.

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The boys have taken to the backyard with a football in their hands.

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And I’m planning a weekend menu full of comfort food!  This evening was deer fajitas with corn on the cob.

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My favorite part of the fajitas is always the fried onions and peppers….see….I could totally be a vegetarian!

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All together

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with all the fixin’s…grated cheese, hot sauce, sour cream, guacamole. 

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And the very last of our fresh corn on the cob (anyone sick of the corn pictures yet?)

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Plus, a little Xanax in a glass….crisp Pinot. 

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I’m perfectly satisfied after that meal.  I don’t even have a hankering for a piece of chocolate which is odd.  Hey, I’m going with it…these things don’t happen to me often. 

I’m looking forward to a weekend of soccer, watching football, finishing my fall decorations on the front porch and cooking up a storm.  Stay tuned…I know these guys will!

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I’m Back!!

Sorry for the short hiatus. We’re still trying to get into the swing of things for fall around here. Lots going on. Soccer, church, sunday school, cherub choir, work…whew! Anyway, I made the best Sunday dinner this past week. Andy baked a smoked apple flavored pork loin and it had the best flavor…perfect for fall. DSC_2028

It was so tender and juicy.  The boys gobbled it up.  And I actually ate some too…being the non meat eater of the family I think that says a lot. 

I cooked some fresh cut green beans to go with it.  I boiled them in water for 15 minutes and I added some chopped ham for flavor.  I admit I mixed in a bit of butter at the end.  Perfection!

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A no sunday dinner is complete without potatoes, right?  I made my red parsley potatoes.  Sometimes I add some garlic and a bit of sugar to these, but Sunday’s were just salt and pepper, parsley and butter.  Yum!

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Golden and delicious! 

I had to make a special dinner for my little guy since he played his first ever soccer game.  He did so well…he even scored a goal…for the other team, but that’s okay!  His reaction was priceless.  He ran off the field, gave me a high five and a big hug.  I’ll never forget it!   He was so proud…and so was I. 

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He was all smiles the entire game!

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He even flirted with the competition!

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GO GREEN has a whole new meaning to me now!  🙂  As a special treat I made his favorite for dessert…peanut blossoms.

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They sure didn’t last long in our house.  Next time, I need to make a double batch!

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And you know fall is coming when our Halloween costumes start to arrive.  Here’s a preview!  Can you guess what this little pup is going to be?

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Nite!

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Stuffed Peppers

After a long week at the beach eating a lot of meals out that were rich and caloric, I was craving a slow cooked light meal for dinner.  One of my favorites lately is stuffed peppers. I got the recipe from our church cookbook and it’s a winner!  The only downside is that it takes a while to cook…well, it seems like a while to me since we get home so late in the evening.  So, to speed things up I always prepare these the night before and then cook them the next night. 

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Stuffed Peppers

2-3 large green peppers (I always use 3)

1/2 lb ground chuck (I used venison)

1 sm. onion, minced

5 crushed crackers (1/2 cup)

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 c uncooked rice (I used jasmine)

1/4 c water

1 1/2 c tomato sauce

1 small clove garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut green peppers in halves lengthwise, remove seeds and cores. 

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Mix raw ground chuck, onion, crackers, salt, pepper, uncooked rice, and water. 

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Fill pepper halves with meat mixture.  Place in buttered casserole dish. 

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Mix tomato sauce and garlic. 

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Spoon over peppers.

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Bake covered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Uncover and bake 15 more minutes.  When the peppers have about 2 minutes to go, I like to sprinkle some cheddar cheese on the top.  I tried one with pepper jack cheese this time, but I have to admit that I liked the cheddar ones better. 

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A great and filling dinner.  These are also yummy warmed up for lunch. 

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On a different topic, I just finished the book Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson. 

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I loved it.  I highly recommend it to anyone raising children (not just boys) and want to instill morals and discipline in.  My favorite parts were when Dr. Dobson discussed the importance of male role models in boys lives from the very beginning.  A great read…definitely check it out!

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