July 30, 2012

New Things Monday

My husband requested these late last month when I went to the grocery store.  I finally tried one the other day and they are pretty good.  There are all sorts of flavors from Apple Cinnamon, Caramel Corn to Buttered Pop Corn.  Something for everyone, I suppose.  :)

At the beginning of the month I tried these rice snacks.  My favorite of these are still the Kettle corn.  I tried the chocolate ones and I didn't really like them.  The cheddar ones don't appeal to me either but my husband loves them so he's gonna keep some at work for snacks.  :)

July 29, 2012

Garden Progress- Day 99

I've had my little patio/deck garden going for 99 days.  Tomorrow will be 100.  :)

So far I've had: 
*19 tomatoes come off my patio garden tomato plant....mostly eaten by me, a few given away to friends
*I've killed 2 pepper plants (red bell and green bell)
*Had a starter basil plant that took off and keeps on giving fresh basil
*Had some cute red zinna's that dried up and died

What's left:
*Tomato plant, with a few tomatoes still growing
*Green Bell Pepper plant
*Basil plant
*Yellow Marigolds

So, this evening I decided to check my plants.  This pepper plant has been very healthy.  It's got a lot of leaves and small peppers.  Lately, I've noticed that the leaves look like something is eating them.  And the plant is getting so heavy now that it's leaning.  I gently straightened the plant and try piling more soil around it to help it.  Then I noticed a fist size pepper.  I hadn't even seen him before.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I called Nate to come look.  He was amazed and as excited as I was.  

Then we saw something else and I wanted to puke.......

A nasty huge horned caterpillar.  GROSS. GROSS. GROSS. This is the dirty culprit!  He or she has been eating the leaves on my tomato plant and now my pepper plant too.  Hmmmmm.......Maybe that's what killed my other pepper plants?  Well Nate, plucked off the thing and then we found another, that he plucked off too.  He said they were on there pretty good.  Gross.

From the internets, it seems that these caterpillars come out in the  late evening.  They are a gardening nuisance.  Most people pluck them off and squish them or give them to the birds.  I've never checked my plants late into the evening, so that's why I've never noticed them.  And they blend in with the plant.  Sneaky little things.

Here's the backside of the patio garden.  Look at that pepper!  :)  He is healthy as of right now.

Here's the frontal view......My tomato plant is looking really pathetic.  :(  It's got to be from the stupid caterpillars.

I guess all I can do is to hope for the best for my little garden and just keep plucking off those pesky caterpillars.

Stuffed peppers with Chicken

I made stuffed peppers for dinner tonight.

To make that way I did you will need the following:

2 large peppers (washed and the top cut off and the seeds taken out)
2 packages of Spanish Rice (90 second packs)
1 package of Chicken shortcuts (heated up and cut smaller)
Bacon Strips (cooked in the oven)
Half an onion (chopped)
Medium size tomato (chopped)
2 small tomatoes (chopped) (These are numbers 18 and 19 from my patio garden)
minced garlic
olive oil
black pepper
pinch of salt
parsley flakes
mozzarella cheese (optional)

Once chicken was heated through, I added it to a bowl with chopped tomatoes and cooked rice.  When bacon was done, I cut it up into pieces and added to rice mix.  I also sprinkled in a little mozzarella cheese.  Set this bowl aside.
Add some olive oil and minced garlic to your favorite cooking pan.  Once the pan is heated, add chopped onion and cooked for about 2 minutes.  Add your rice mixture to your pan, and mix everything together.  Add in some black pepper, pinch of salt, and parsley flakes.

Put your peppers on a baking sheet or place them in a deep dish.  Then, fill your peppers with the rice mix.  Sprinkle some cheese if you'd like on top and bake for about 15 minutes.

I also made some cheddar biscuits to serve with dinner.  :)

Surprise Party.....

For a year and about 2 months, my husband had been working on a goal to lose weight.  His major goal was to lose 100lbs. Last weekend, while I was in Florida he reached his 100lb weight loss goal.  This is a huge accomplishment for him and I'm so proud.  :)

Nate mentioned a while back that he wanted a party once he got to 100lbs.  So with the help of some close friends, (Kristen and Sharon) we pulled off the surprise party last night.
I messaged family, friends and Nate's coworkers earlier in the week about meeting upstairs at Wegmans at 6pm to congratulate Nate.  So many people came out to tell them how proud they are of him.  :)  To get him to Wegmans without knowing he was getting a party, I pretended he had an interview with the local newspaper.  Kristen and Sharon had what I got from party city (napkins, plates, utensils, trays).  They also got to Wegmans early to get a list of food (sushi, fruit, veggies, cake, water) and to set up the upstairs.  
Little did Nate know that he was walking into a trap.  We stepped off the elevator and he immediately sees balloons and then Kristen.  haha  :)  S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E!

I trusted Kristen and Sharon with my vision and they did an awesome job.  Our friends, Crystal & Eddie came a little early to help set up too.  :)

These trays, we tried to make look like 100.  I think they are awesome and they will come in handy at future cookouts etc.  :)

Here's the cake......Just a simple, "100" on it. :)

Nate hugging and excited to see everyone who was there for him.

Nate and his dad.  :)  Love this picture.  It's so in the moment.

Nate with his Mom, Linda and his brother, Dan.  :)

Nate hugging some girls he used to work with.  He hasn't seen them in quite a long time.  He was so happy to see Brittney.

Nate giving a little speech and telling everyone thanks for their support over the last year.

Kristen printed some of Nate's before and after pictures (picture at top) and put them in frames for the tables.  She also printed this awesome poster with a ton of pictures from his weight-loss journey.  She had it set up for everyone to sign.  Some more signage for the basement in Nate's workout area.  :)

Sharon got these balloons.  You can't really tell from the picture but they are HUGE.  Wegmans didn't really like that we had balloons and I kinda got in trouble, but it's not my fault.  They were a gift.  :P

Thanks again for everyone who helped me pull this off.  And thanks for everyone who's been supporting Nate through his weight-loss journey.

July 28, 2012

Cupcake Bake-off

A few weeks back I saw an electronic billboard for a cupcake bake-off.  I finally found information on it here.  I decided I wanted to do it, so I did.

I decided to make Cookies & Cream cupcakes from a little book I got from Jessica last year for my birthday.  I added a few more crushed cookies to the batter than what the recipe called and I also added a cookie to the bottom of the liner.

Here's the icing which is from the book too.  I added a few more crunched up cookies.  :)

Here's the cupcakes baked and being iced.

How cute?  I wished I'd put a mini oreo on top but I didn't have any so I didn't worry about it.

 Taste test......I tore that cupcake apart.  It was awesome!  The cookies gave it a little crunchy texture but it was good.

For the next cupcake, I made DC Cupcakes Chocolate cupcakes.

Here's the cupcakes done baking and cooling....

For the frosting I used this PB frosting I've used before and love.

I added crushed up peanut butter cups to the frosting and then topped with chocolate sprinkles.

 Taste test:.......this was my favorite of the two.  It's a perfect mix of chocolate and peanut butter.  What's better than that?  :)

I packed up my cupcakes (the best looking ones).  I needed 6 each.

I took them up to the fairgrounds.....

Other cupcakes checked in.

I took a picture of my cupcakes.  The glass cases they are sitting on is where they were going to be put.  The cupcakes in the clear container were a hot mess.  Looks like they were tossed around during travel and they looked melted.  BLECH  I found out the judging was 7/27 at 10am.

I got a free ticket for participating in the cupcake bake-off so I decided to stop by earlier this afternoon to see if my cupcakes placed.

My cupcakes are on the bottom right.  No ribbon.  :(  One weird thing I noticed......every cupcake display has 4 cupcakes.  My PB ones only have 3.  Then I see there are 2 on the top shelf for another kind which has a ribbon.  I'm guessing the judges liked them and ate more than they should have???  I still think the PB ones should have gotten a ribbon.

Yeah I took this picture with purpose.  :P

Here was the best in show.  Done by a 10 year old girl.  Pretty cute.

Now you know I can't go somewhere without seeing the SHEEP!  :)

The animal barns were soooooooooooooooooooo hot.  All the sheep, pigs, rabbits and chickens were panting.  :(  Have you ever seen a chicken pant?  It's so sad.  Poor things.

This little piggy seemed content laying out in his water trough.  LOL  :)

Love tractors....they remind me of my Grandpa Runyon.

I pretty much left after that.  It was way too hot outside so I got out of there.

July 25, 2012

Spotsylvania Farmers Market: Trip 3

I went to the Spotsylvania Farmers Market today for some fresh locally grown produce.  :)  I had a $10 bill and some toll quarters.  I had to stick to that b/c that was my budget.

First, I find it best to walk around all the tents and price check everything.  The first deal I saw was on the peppers.  They were 5 for $2 or .50 cents each at the C&T Produce tent.  I wanted to make sure that was the best deal so I walked around and checked all the tents.  Why not right?  Every penny counts especially when you have a set amount to spend.  I found some peppers priced at $1.50 per pound, .75 cents each or $2.00 per pound.  I figured C&T had the best price.  I also scanned the zucchini and squash prices. I wanted big ones for dinner tonight so I took notes in my head on the sizes and those prices as I walked around too.

I bought my zucchini which ended up being $3.00 for both of them.  (I don't remember name of booth, but it's the same booth where I got cherry tomatoes, and purple peppers last week)

I then stepped up to Nancy's and got 3 Sea Salt Chocolate Chip cookies.  They were 3 for $2.50, plus tax which made them $2.62.  :)

I walked back over to C&T and got my peppers.  A lot of people noticed this deal and were grabbing a bunch too.  I overheard one lady say she was going to make stuffed peppers with them.  MMMMM  :)  I might do that tomorrow night.  Some of the ones I got were huge and would be perfect for stuffed peppers.  I got 10 peppers total.  I will probably end up freezing some of them so they don't rot before I get to them.  I was disappointed that there were no purple peppers.  Guess pepper season is almost over.  I also got a little squash for .60 cents.  I spent $4.60 total for my peppers and squash.

The total spent:  $10.22   (awwww 10-22 is my wedding anniversary....what perfect numbers)  And I still have some toll quarters left.  :)

July 24, 2012

Beef Ravioli with Fresh Basil and Fresh Tomato

For dinner last night, I made Beef Ravioli with fresh basil and a fresh tomato.  I boiled some water and added a bag of Wegmans, Frozen beef ravioli.  I also added some fresh basil to the pot with the ravioli.  In a separate pot, I added my tomato sauce.  I sprinkled in some black pepper, Italian Seasoning, W sauce, and some fresh basil.  I let the sauce heat up with a lid on while the ravioli was cooking.  Once the ravioli was done, carefully strain the water.  Layer your ravioli in a bowl with sauce and cheese.  One you have a bowl full you can add some more cheese on top, shredded fresh basil and sliced fresh tomato.  Enjoy!

Garden Progress- Day 94

Here's my patio/deck garden on day 94.  (7/23)

Tomato number 15.  I washed him and put him in dinner I made last night.  As well as some fresh basil.

New Things Monday (late)

New Things Monday......And it's not FOOD.  :)

Nissan Versa

This car was my rental while in Florida.  I loved the way it drove.  Nice and smooth.  I drive a Toyota Corolla.  I would say this car is about the size of my corolla and drives very similar.  I found it to be very good on gas too.  The only thing I didn't like about this car was between the driver and passenger seat there was no arm rest.  I felt like anytime, I got in the car and moved around it was empty there and I always found myself putting my right arm there and then nothing.  It was weird.  LOL  I was happy with this car.  It was roomy and got me where I needed to go with no complications.  :)