Friday, September 30, 2011

BBQ Chicken Thursday

On Thursday night, Amy came over and I made BBQ Chicken Sandwiches. So good. She also brought this awesome ice cream, Straus Family Creamery.

It was the perfect mint chocolate chip ice cream. I don't like chocolate that much and hate when there are big chunks of chocolate in ice cream. This had itty bitty chocolate chips and not too many of them, which was great!

We also had some of Erik's Oktoberfest beer which is yummy!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pretty Cool Watch

Remember how I wanted a hot pink watch? Well I got one! My co-worker has a friend who has a watch company so I got an awesome deal on this one. And the name of the company is...Pretty Cool Watch. ha!

In other news, two of my co-workers and I are signing up for a 10K Race. It will be my first 10K and was something I really wanted to do this year.

The race is on November 12th so I started running again this week. It has been soooo nice here & warm, in the 70's - 80's. It's also a tease because I know I will have to be out there running in the dark, fog, & wind soon enough.

This week has been pretty chill. We are gearing up for tomorrow - Hocus Pocus & Decorating Day! woohoo.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

4 Alarm Fire

Yesterday, there was a fire in an apartment building just a few streets away from us. I got off the bus from work and saw the helicopters which means something newsworthy is going on. A quick google search told me that the building caught fire at 4pm and they were still dealing with the aftermath at 6pm. I walked Evie for awhile & then dropped her at home so I could go for a run. I went out and finished my run near the fire so I could see what happened. I was so shocked, I literally said "Holy S&*T" outloud. The fire was out but the house was charred & there were onlookers on the sidewalk watching everything.

The smoke from afar

The apartment building up close.

It really is so sad to see a fire and know that someone lost their home. Although we have renter's insurance, I started thinking about what we would do if this happened to us. Would we stay in a hotel? Do we have any friends that could accommodate all 3 of us? Can we afford to hurry up and rent a new place ASAP? Just because you have renters insurance doesn't mean you are all set. It could take weeks to get that insurance money to replenish everything. It's also a reminder that material things really cannot matter that much to you. They could be gone in an instant.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bingo Drama

Well Bingo was drama filled last night. As you know, there are a few key ladies who don't wear their hearing aids and have a hard time hearing. The rest of the ladies get mad that I have to repeat myself like ten times. We also have Miss Sunglasses who likes to laugh in disbelief when a number is called multiple times or she loses by just one number. She also speaks in Russian, under her breath, which is annoying.

Well last night, my favorite Bingo lady got up and gave a speech before we began. She told everyone how they must behave at Bingo. I couldn't understand her but I got the overview from Bella, the Bingo Leader. I'm sure she told Miss Sunglasses to get it together!

Well, Miss Purple (I will call her that bc her hair is so white, it is indeed, purple) showed up AFTER the speech. Wouldn't you know, she did NOT wear her hearing aids? She sat right in front of me and still could not hear. I had to show her the ball when I called it so she could read the number. Then, she still was asking me what it was. The lades were getting sooooo annoyed.

At least Miss Sunglasses kept quiet all night. Some nights are more trying than others at Bingo!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Relaxing Weekend

This weekend was fun & relaxing. After my late Wednesday night, I was ready to chill. hah
On Friday, we just hung out, got take out, and watched....Friday Night Lights. We will be watching this non-stop until the series is over. There seem to be a few good new shows starting so we are going to check those out, too.

On Saturday, I went to the gym to the weight class and we also went to Sports Basement. I was able to get new sneakers for a great deal!

After that, I headed east to see my friend Tiffany. Her boyfriend is away for work so we had a sleepover! First up, we went to dinner and had....chicken & waffles!

After that, we had a beer at the Pyramid Brewery.

You know by then it was 10pm and we were tired. haha. Since we are both Gilmore Girls fans, we went back to her house and watched an old season.

The next day, we hit up the Outlets. We went to a few stores but I only picked up one sweater on sale for $20 at the Ann Taylor Loft outlet.

After the outlets, we had lunch at....RED ROBIN. I haven't been to Red Robin since college. Man I loved that place and remember the shaker of seasoning on the table. I had an amaaaazing burger: Turkey Burger with mushrooms and swiss cheese. Delish!!

I headed home to see Erik & Evie. I know I wasn't gone very long but I missed them. Took Evie for a nice walk and went to our storage unit to get the FALL DECORATIONS. This Friday is my absolute favorite day of the year - September 30th aka fall decorating and Hocus Pocus watching day!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wild Wednesday

Last night, I tried a new restaurant called Locanda here in the Mission neighborhood. I was with two of my co-workers and our rep from a vendor company we work with. It is an Italian restaurant with a great menu. The portions are small though so this is a great place to try a few things as a group and share everything.

Here's what we had...

JEWISH STYLE ARTICHOKE (They were Jewish style because the Chef learned to make them in the Jewish district in Rome)

EARLY GIRLS – leccino olives, friarelli, fennel (Salad)

CARCIOFI CRUDI – grilled ricotta, wild arugula, avocado (Salad)

FIORELLINI – ricotta, fiorelli, squash blossoms (Pasta)


The Fiorellini pasta was verrrry good. The pasta was filled with ricotta and the there were squash blossoms, pine nuts, and this delicious lemon sauce. Very clean and light for a pasta dish.

After dinner, we moved onto Range for dessert. We shared two desserts here and also had some drinks....

strawberry ice cream puffs with chocolate sauce and candied meyer lemon

cornmeal crêpes with blackberries, crème fraîche ice cream and rose geranium

After Range, we had to finish the night strong so we stopped at...THE MINT to sing karaoke! haha.

I did not get home until 1am. I never stay out that late let alone on a weeknight. haha. It was very fun but it was hard to get up this morning!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Honey Mustard Turkey Burgers

Last night, we had very yummmy "Honey Mustard Turkey Surprise Burgers" which was my own recipe!

I had planned on making grilled honey mustard chicken for dinner but a strange thing happened to my grocery store this weekend. The distribution plant caught fire and a ton of shipments were not made to the stores. So, my store was completely out of chicken! Instead of hopping in the car to go get chicken, I thought, well I have ground turkey so how about honey mustard turkey burgers.

OMG SO good!! The surprise part came because I put cheddar cheese in the middle of the burgers. Deeeeelish. ALl I did was mix up half a pack of turkey meat with salt, pepper, some bread crumbs, and honey mustard. The burgers were soooo moist and flavorful. Now, I am thinking, what other types of sauce can I put into a burger - teriyaki, soy, the list can go on and on.

A quick and easy deviation from the plain old turkey burger!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tea and Jam

Erik Stewart was at it again yesterday whipping up some homemade bread and JAM. Actually he made iced tea from tea bags, bread, and jam. Tea with Jam & Bread. Anyone get it??? Sound of Music?? haha

Bread was nice & crusty on the outside and warm & soft on the inside...

The jam was sweet but not overly sweet. So good!


It is also HOT here. If you recall, we have 3-4 day stretches of 'hot days' where it is 75-80. We don't have air conditioning and people can't handle it. We say "it's so hot" like 20x per hour and are useless! hah.

I think the heat makes the dog crazy too. Check her out when I showed her bubble wrap yesterday. She was running away from me but then I think she got over it it quick.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Turkey Stroganoff

I made a delicious dinner on Sunday night - Turkey Stroganoff. I remember eating beef stroganoff as a kid but since I don't eat beef anymore, I wanted to try this recipe out. It did NOT disappoint!! Easy to make and delish! This is another great recipe from Eat Better America.


tablespoon olive oil
lb turkey cutlets, cut into thin strips
large shallots, thinly sliced
box (10 oz) cremini mushrooms, sliced
cup baby carrots, sliced
clove garlic, finely chopped
teaspoon hot paprika
teaspoon salt
cup Progresso® reduced-sodium chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
teaspoons tomato paste
teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
teaspoons cornstarch
cup fat-free sour cream

In large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over high heat. Add turkey; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until no longer pink and just cooked through. Remove to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium-high; add remaining 1 teaspoon oil and shallots to skillet. Cook and stir 1 minute or until shallots begin to soften. Add mushrooms and carrots. Cook and stir 4 minutes or until mushrooms soften. Stir in garlic, paprika and salt; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Remove skillet from heat.
In small bowl, stir chicken broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and cornstarch until blended. Return skillet to medium heat; add broth mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens and boils. Simmer 2 minutes. Stir in turkey; cool 1 minute longer or until hot. Remove skillet from heat; stir in sour cream.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Warm Weekend

Our weekend has been so chill and the weather has been so nice!! It has been sunny and in the 70's all weekend.

On Friday night, picked up sushi from our favvvvorite place - Domo. We ordered some great sushi including:

Rainbow Roll
california roll with sashimi outside

Crunchy Spicy Tuna
tempura spicy tuna, avacado, with spicy mayo, scallions & tobiko

ebi tempura, unagi, avocado & crab

Salmon, Avocado, Lemon

Fire Cracker Balls
panko crusted spicy tuna roll with spicy mayo, unagi sauce, scallions & tobiko

Take out sushi + wine+ Friday Night Lights on Netflix = amazing Friday night. Love Love Love nights like this!!

On Saturday, we did something fun & went to look at wedding bands!! It was so much fun but we just went to get an idea of different styles and prices. We probably won't order anything until next year. I did learn a valuable lesson though. The jeweler said to not wear my engagement ring to lift weights because repeated heavy weight on the ring can actually change the shape of it! 

After ring shopping, we did a few more errands like stopping at Bed Bath Beyond. That store is SO crowded and hard to be in so we made it a quick trip. Erik hit the beach to surf and I did some laundry and other chores. 

We walked down to the Bean Bag Cafe for Saturday afternoon happy hour. It was nice to just get a beer and hang out in the warm-ish weather.  We made a delicious BBQ Chicken pizza for dinner, too!

Today, I went for a run and Erik surfed. We went to the Farmer's Market and then I did some errands at Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics, and Target. I have some new ideas about fall decorations this year so I had to pick up some supplies. There were a lot of sales!

It's so warm here today - in the upper 70's, no fog, or wind. Amazing! Evie was so hot that Erik set up this little fan for her to lay in front of. haha

 I'm trying out a new recipe tonight, watch the Emmy's and of course, probably some more Friday Night Lights. We are on Season 2!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In-A-Hurry Tamale Pie

We've been trying to make a big dish at the beginning of the week so that we have leftovers for lunch throughout the week. So far, I've made turkey chilli, veggie lasagna, and now...In-A-Hurry Tamale Pie.
Of course, I made some adjustments to the recipe. I have found that you can find a recipe that looks good but then you have to tailor it to your needs & liking. For example, the recipe below calls for using a 9-inch pan, which we don't have. So, I used a bigger pan and added more ingredients. Below, is the recipe, and what I added to it. This recipe is from Eat, Live, Run blog.

(This photo is from Eat, Live, Run)

1 polenta roll (I used 2 in a 9x11 pan)
1 15-oz can pinto beans (And 1 can of black beans)
1 cup mexican cheese blend
1 ear corn (or 1/2 cup frozen corn), kernels shucked off the cob (Used double the amount of corn)
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
cilantro, sour cream and additional salsa for serving

Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or 9-inch square pan) with a little olive oil. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl combine the corn kernels, salsa, pinto beans (and their juice—just dump the can in) and spices. Stir well to combine.
Slice the polenta into 1/4th inch slices. Cover bottom of skillet with overlapping slices. Pour bean mixture on top. Top with cheese.
Cover and bake for 15 minutes then remove and bake for an additional 15 minutes uncovered. Serve with minced cilantro, sour cream and salsa.

Very yummy but watch the amount of spice & salsa you put in here or it could be verrrry spicy!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pumpkin Beer

Yesterday, Erik brewed us a Pumpkin Honey Beer. Yummmmm! Can't wait for this one to be ready next month! He used canned pumpkin in the mixture and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. I think it's going to turn out reallllly good!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Tonight, I made a great tasting dinner from Rachel Ray's Sweet & Sour Chicken recipe. Pretty quick to make & delish!

    Salt and pepper
    .5 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained, 1/2 cup juice reserved
    2 tbsp. white vinegar
    2 tbsp. soy sauce
    4 tsp. cornstarch
    1 tbsp. ketchup
    2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
    1 1/4 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
    1 tbsp. canola oil
    1 red/green/yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
    I also added some broccoli into the mix. 
In a small bowl, combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, 2 tsp. cornstarch, the ketchup and ginger. In a bowl, toss the chicken with the remaining 2 tsp. cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pineapple chunks and reserved chicken.

Whisk the pineapple juice mixture into the chicken mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.

A Winey Saturday

Saturday was a very fun day. We went to a wine country area that we have not been to before. Our friends are members of a winery, Vino Noceto in Amadour County which is out near Sacramento. Our first stop was for lunch at Dos Coyotes Border Cafe. It was a perfect place to stop for lunch before wine tasting because we were able to fill up on burritos and tacos!

Our first stop was Vino Noceto, which is known for their Sangiovese. Amadour County serves a lot of Sangiovese and Barbera. Very different from what you will see in Napa & Sonoma where there are a ton of Cabernet and Merlot. 

We tasted some great wines including some limited editions, thanks to our friends being wine club members!

 Tiffany, Me, and Kelsey
 Tiffany, Me, Erik, Brett & Sean

My favorite was the 2008 Sangiovese. All of there wines were priced around $20 per bottle AND they were having sale on a case of this wine for only $100! That is quite a deal. We bought a case and split it among the three couples.

 Next up was the Renwood Winery. Great wine including some Zinfandels and my favorite was the Primitivo.

We also picked up some awesome plexi, stemless, wine glasses. Erik calls these 'Heather-Proof' glasses since I have a baddddd track record of breaking glasses. These are perfect for all types of drinks, not just wine!

Our final stop was R Winery which was awesome because a)they served bread and cheese and b)a lovely Golden named Pearl was hanging out at the winery.

 Delicious wines but we did not purchase anything here.

 Awwwww Pearl - a 15 year old Golden Retriever

 The vines are full of grapes & it's almost time for the fall harvest. Of course, I plucked a couple and tasted them. Soooo sweet!

After our day at the wineries, we went back to Kelsey & Sean's house and had dinner. They were so generous and made us grilled chicken, potatoes, and bruschetta made with tomatoes from their garden. A great way to end the day!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Easy Pita Dinner

Last night, I made a very yummy dinner. This recipe came from the Eat Better America website. This recipe calls for pork but we changed it to chicken and it was delish!

Peppered Chicken Pitas with Garlic Spread

1/3cup fat-free mayonnaise or salad dressing
2tablespoons fat-free (skim) milk
2cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2lb boneless chicken breasts or strips, cut into thin bite-size strips
1tablespoon olive or canola oil
1teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1fresh red pepper, grilled
4pita fold breads (7 inch)
1.In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, milk and garlic; set aside.
2.In medium bowl, mix chicken oil and pepper. Heat 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken cooked. Stir in bell peppers; heat until warm.
3.Heat pita folds as directed on package. Lightly spread one side of each pita fold with garlic mixture. Spoon pork mixture over each; fold up.

The sauce you make for the pita is ammmaazing. It tastes like a really light garlicky, ranch sauce. We topped these with lettuce & tomatoes, too.

I also made Ina Garten's Baked Sweet Potato Fries


  1. Preheat oven to 425*F.
  2. Cut sweet potatoes in wedges or like french fries.
  3. Place wedges on large baking pan or cookie sheet. Pour over olive oil, and toss to mix.
  4. Now sprinkle over brown sugar, salt, and black pepper. Toss to coat wedges.
  5. Spread out in a single layer. Place pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes, then take out and turn wedges over.
  6. Place back in oven and bake another 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on the outside.
  7. Sprinke with extra kosher salt to taste. The cooking time will depend on how big the wedges are. Enjoy!

Delicious Dinner!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday Update

Well, Dunkin Donuts just came out with K-Cups and that solidifies my desire for a K-Cup machine! We have one at work and I just love it. I hate making coffee and we actually do not make it at home anymore. I just drink it at work. I have been surfing Amazon to find a machine. Anyone have one that you recommend??

I also looove watches and recently found this hot pink one. I can find this watch for $20-$30 which I think is perfect because you know this is a fun watch, not something I will have forever.

In other news, can you believe it is September? My FAVORITE time of year!! I found a new place to possibly go pick apples that does not involve driving almost 1.5 hours so that we can stop at On The Border on the way home. haha. I've already looked up pumpkin recipes & Erik is making us a pumpkin beer. Yippeee!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

This weekend was very chill, relaxing, and fun. Erik and I spent the whole weekend, just the two of us which was great.

We made a drive to Santa Clara(where it was nice & warm) so Erik could pick up a little beer fridge. I went back to the gym for the first time in about a year and got my butt kicked at my first Body Pump class.

We watched a few movies including Sleepers(which I think would be a better book) and Rise of Planet of the Apes. The Apes movie was not my speed but I was up for going. It was pretty funny to see SF in the film and see these Apes going crazy on 3rd street. haha

We went out for drinks, heard a fun DJ, and had a great time just being out together.

Did the usual chores like go to the Farmer's Market & finally got the car washed after wayyyy too long.

Watched A LOT of tennis including Serena sailing her way to the Quarters, Roddick staying alive, Nadal cramping during a press conference, the longest tie breaker ever in a major between two women, and Federer assasainating an unranked player in three sets. My favorite sporting event of the year!!

We went to Cinnaholic in Berkeley to meet up with our wedding photographer. She is awesome! We are doing really well and have most of the wedding stuff in place. Our goal is to get everything locked down so we don't have to worry about anything for a few months!

Fun weekend & so happy it's a short week. :-)