Monday, January 31, 2011

Chili Verde

Steak and I finally decided what chili to make for our Chili Cook-off with Charm & Salt and The Carlson Chronicles. We decided to make a traditional Chili Verde. Steak loves Chili Verde and wanted to introduce a Western chili to our competition.

To go with our chili we made a red chili salsa, but instead of dried ancho chilies we used dried chipotle chilies for a little bit more spice. We also paired our chili with fried green onions, which were very delicious. We added a little chili powder to the breading in addition to the other ingredients.

For our chili we used this recipe. However, we replaced some of green onion with jalapeno and we prepared the vegetables with instruction from this recipe. Since we didn't use the suggested Mexican oregano we felt it was very important to blacken the garlic, chilies and tomatillos. We also used pablano chilies in place of the Anaheim chilies. And since we didn't have cumin seeds we used ground cumin and sesame seeds.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Friday!

Well, DC got a lot of snow on Wednesday night, but apparently not enough to give me a snow day. I was really hoping to have a day to play outside and take pictures of our winter wonderland. Unfortunately, DC got its act together this year and did not allow for that to happen. Here are some pictures from one of my many snow days last year during the snowpocalypse.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Disney Dream Inaugural Cruise

Today is the maiden voyage for the Disney Dream. My favorite Disney podcast creator, Lou Mongello, is at Port Canaveral waiting to board the ship. He just tweeted a picture of the line outside the cruise terminal. Apparently, guests have been waiting outside since 4:30 a.m. this morning in hopes of getting on the ship extra early. My thoughts are with them this morning since I cannot wait for my turn to sail.

Temecula, CA

As we prepare for DC's thundersnow today (and Steak and I get busy in the kitchen making chili) I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite pictures from my time in California this month.

Momma Steak and I walking to a winery in Temecula, CA.

If there's one thing I've learned in the last few years, it's that nothing beats family. I am blessed with a wonderful family and I am happy to be getting to know Steak's family as well.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stocked and Ready!

We just hit the local Whole Foods and we're ready to start trying out some chili recipes. Wish us luck!

PS: Hope Charm & Salt and The Carlson Chronicles like their chili spicy!

Baking Hour

Click on image to see the recipe and source.

Look at what me and my girlie friends are going to be baking next week! I can't stop dreaming about it. Maybe that's because I'm on a serious diet and this will be a real treat! Let's just hope I can contain myself and only have one (or two).

PS: I'll keep you in the loop on how our chili recipes turn out this week. In the mean time, anyone have any great suggestions on wine under $12? (It's the other half of the chili challenge.)

Chili Cook-off

Steak and I were invited to participate in a chili cook-off this weekend and we are flattered! I just ordered a gorgeous red portable Crockpot from Amazon to use on the big day. In the mean time does anyone have any amazing chili recipes? We're going to attempt to create our own recipe but will be looking for inspiration! Right now we're thinking about either a Cincinnati chili, a curry style, or a "island style" creation using some jerk seasoning!

Hope you have some good suggestions for us!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Social Weekend

I had a wonderful and relaxing weekend catching up with a bunch of my girlfriends! Friday night was wonderful: my BFF made me dinner at her place. She was nice enough to cook me an extra healthy meal since she knows I'm on a diet. On Saturday I met up with Two If By DC, Casually Defined and Georgia Belle, J.D. for coffee and tea at Northside Social. Then I met up with two of my girlfriends, A & J, for Restaurant Week dinner at B. Smith's. After a pilates reformer class on Sunday, I met up with my sorority family for dinner at Founding Farmers. It was wonderful to catch up with so many girls!

Here are some pictures I stole off of facebook from Casually Defined. She has an amazing new camera!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Disney Dream Christening

I assume most of you aren't as obsessed with Disney as I am. I understand it takes a... special person. ;) 

Remember when I went on the Disney cruise in August? Well I sailed on one of Disney's two boats, the Disney Wonder. Up until this month Disney had two sister ships the Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic. I've sailed on the Disney Magic once and the Disney Wonder twice.

Well on January 26th the brand new and much larger (about 3x the size of the old ships) Disney Dream will set sail on its first cruise! And yesterday was its Christening! The Christening ceremony was beautiful (no, I wasn't there, just saw it on the internet) and Jennifer Hudson was dubbed the Godmother of the Disney Dream. Apparently she got her start singing on the Disney Wonder and apparently I saw her perform in Hercules when I was younger!

In 2012 the Disney Fantasy will set sail. The Disney Fantasy will be the sister ship of the Disney Dream, just like the Wonder was to the Magic. 

BUT before that happens, Steak and I will cruise on the Disney Dream! Our sail date is February 17th and I could NOT be more excited. If you ever have questions about sailing on the Disney cruise line let me know! I'm happy to answer. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January Games

January's been a very tough month for me to get through so far. After all the excitement of December it's been very hard to deal with all the stress that has come my way. Steak has been keeping me sane with a good dose of fun. We've been playing games and watching funny movies and TV whenever we have the time. Tonight my girlfriend LR came over and we watched Jersey Shore and played some of my new favorite games. It was a much needed break from all of my chores.

Here are some of my favorite games that Steak and I have recently acquired:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Town & Country

Cherry Blossom Martini from the Town & Country

Like I said here, I went with BFF and Ali to the Town & Country bar at the Mayflower hotel to say goodbye before they closed forever. I enjoyed two martinis I had never had before: cherry blossom and strawberry. For my last drink of the night, however, I had to enjoy my all-time favorite martini, one that I've had many times at the Town & Country in the past: an extra dirty Bombay Sapphire gin martini. Delicious!

Me and the girls, courtesy of BFF's Blackberry.

Ali and I with strawberry and apple martinis. BFF and I with two Bombay Sapphire gin martinis.
The girlfriends and the boyfriends.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Goodbye Old Friend

Happy Friday! 

Tonight will be bittersweet for me. My favorite bar in Washington, DC is closing tomorrow and I am going tonight for one last celebration. BFF, Ali, and I are going to get all dressed up and have our lovely boyfriends buy us our favorite $13 martinis from the list comprised of 101 different specialties. 

The Town & Country at the Mayflower hotel was the bar Steak and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary. It's the place I took my dad when he was in town. It was my favorite sophisticated hangout during college. I'm very sad to see it go.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

PINK Photo Shoot

On February 13th, Steak and I will be running a half marathon in Jacksonville, FL. The race will raise money for breast cancer research. I'm extremely excited to run this race because I will be running alongside Steak, my Aunt J, my Uncle J, my Aunt K and both of my cousins M! My mom and dad will be running the 5k on February 12th alongside my cousins K, G, and S! I am beyond excited to cheer them on! And sister CJ, my grandma, and my Uncle T will all be in Florida with us! It's going to be the best kind of family reunion: sunny Florida, racing and a birthday bash for my Uncle J.

The other day I received an email from my Uncle J requesting that each of us take photos wearing pink for a project they're working on for race weekend. I'm not sure what they will be doing with our photos, but Steak and I obliged! We set up our tripod and got to work. Here are the two pictures we ended up submitting.

PS: Steak and I have shared so many photos with you these last few months that I actually had to buy more space from our server!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year's Eve

Steak's grandmother, me, Steak's mom and little Mika.

 This year Steak and I celebrated New Year's Eve at his grandparents' house in San Diego. They served us a home-cooked Mexican feast complete with fried cinnamon tortillas and vanilla bean ice cream. We drank champagne at midnight and toasted to the new year.  It was neat to wish my friends and family a happy new year hours before it struck 12 in California. I felt like I had more time to enjoy the end of 2010 than anyone else!

 The party hat that I refused to take off the entire night.
Steak posing with the "Victor's Special," an alcoholic milkshake in a fancy glass.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Missing Candy

Well, it's official. We broke up. 

Me and candy that is! 
I'm on a holiday detox, also known as dieting. So I've had to say goodbye to all my favorite sweets. I even had to pass up a Crumbs cupcake on my way home from work today.

 Me picking out my last sweet of the new year at the Sweet Shop in Temecula, CA.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I was here...

exactly one week ago. What a difference a week makes!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

If I won the lottery...

So Steak went out last night to buy Mega Millions lotto tickets and I couldn't have been more (falsely) excited! If I had won the lottery last night I would:

1) Buy a pair of Louboutins (just because I can)
2) Buy a Macbook Air
3) Buy a condo big enough for me and Steak and Sister CJ
4) Give a huge sum of money to my dad so he could retire
5) Buy a house for my mom and dad in Disney World (with a bedroom for me!)
6) Rent an apartment by the beaches in Greece for all my loved ones to enjoy
7) Get married in Disneyland or Disney World
8) Oh yea, and donate some money to charity: that's mandatory to keep good karma

Ah, it's always fun to dream! What would you buy or save or donate if you won the lottery

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year Resolutions

It's that time of year again where I pledge to eat better, exercise more, become more fashionable, and drop 10 lbs. These are not goals that are unique to January, but it seems to be easier to stick to my fitness and healthy eating goals after a decadent October, November, and December filled with Halloween candy, huge helpings of potatoes, and Christmas cookies.

This year (along with my goals of vanity) I want to be the happiest person I can be and in order to do that I need to change a few of my personality flaws.

1) I need to learn how to say no without feeling guilty. 
2) I need to learn how to tell people when they've upset me instead of just running to Steak or my mother to vent.
3) I need to be more honest with myself about what makes me happy and what no longer does.
4) I would like to be more thoughtful and remember to send greeting cards, call friends to catch up and wish loved ones happy birthday.
5) I also want to make charity a priority and volunteer more.
6) Above all else I want to learn to forgive quicker, because life's too short!

What are your goals for 2011?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Steak and I are just about finished with our holiday travels and looking forward to starting the year off in our little apartment in Arlington. It will be a rough adjustment heading back to work after having such exciting adventures in Illinois and San Diego, but we (ok, me) are looking forward to getting back to our regular routine, which includes getting prepped for a February half marathon!

Cheers to all! I hope you had wonderful New Year's Eve celebrations and had a wonderful first weekend in 2011.