Thursday, August 23, 2012

my psychotherapist and her medication...

I won't go into detail, but it's been a bit of a rough summer. 

I probably haven't dealt with everything in the most excellent manner... but it's going to take a while to deal. This heart is a little messy and it's awfully loud, so if you've been one of the poor unfortunate souls who has caught the repercussions, I apologize and will apologize right now for your next encounter because I can guarantee it's not all out yet.

Part of the dealing process has been incredible friends, lots of margs, and ample amounts of dancing. In all honesty, it's taught me that even (and especially) in the hard times, there are life lessons to be learned, growth is a good thing, and people and communities' true character shine through - through this it's been incredible to see such gorgeous people step up to help out and support others.

Los Cabos has muy excelente margaritas - my psychotherapist prescribes these when I freak out...
she then advises hours of crazy dancing.
I generally oblige pretty easily... I like to think I'm her favorite client/patient.
 Los Cabos got to be pretty familiar with our woes as well... they were and always have been absolutely wonderful. Their friendly faces and genuine conversation always provides comfort and satisfaction on a night out! (Not to mention, they've got banana margaritas - REAL bananas! They're like smoothies... with tequila!)

Pump Haus didn't argue with fueling the madness when we requested Fruit Loops shots
to share with our new friends celebrating their engagement and birthdays.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Las Margaritas Cantina y Restarante

I've noticed that I have this tendency of forming habits and routines, I like to tell people I'm a free-spirit, but in all reality, I'm definitely a lot more routine than I'd like to admit... sometimes it's not so bad though. One of my routines is having a marg or two before line-dancing on Thursdays. :)

Las Margaritas makes it pretty painless too! It's extra fun though when you get to hang with the 'local celebrities'! This is a photo of the GEORGE ORIGINAL MARGARITA. Or, at least, it's a photo of the photo in the menu.

George is married to my momma's best friend. They're such an incredible couple, but more on that in a moment...

I've only ordered this marg one time... it knocked me off my feet!! It comes in a shaker and is honestly, more like 2 and a half margaritas. At least, that's how many times I filled my glass when I ordered it. The alcohol content might even be more than that. Regardless, it's too much for this lightweight!

On to how amazing Susan and George are. :) Here's a picture of us at Las Marg's: 

Like I said earlier, Susan is my momma's best friend and George is her wonderful other half. These two are CRAZY about each other. And they're nearly inseparable! They're such a great team though, they are regulars at Las Margaritas. They have a way of making people feel so special and validated, it's part of why they're so great. :) They have become part of the family at Las Margaritas either by housing some of their family or by making a point of meeting some of the extended family to those working there while they're off vacationing and exploring faraway places, like Mexico and the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

I could gush about these two for days, but I'll leave that to you. I suggest going to Las Margaritas and keeping an eye out for these two. I promise you'll be insta-friends, just tell them I sent you. :)

Moral of the story: 

1) great margs are found at Las Margaritas (and they're great for assisting in line-dancing)
2) Susan and George rock and are one of the coolest couples you'll ever meet

My most recent trip to Washington, I found this gem in Issaquah.
Apparently it's owned by a brother of the same family!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Animal's Punk Pink Pasta

So, here we are in a drought, and the weather man says it's supposed to rain. WHY do I believe him?! I guess I'm just gullible like that. Anywho, it worked out alright because we did a lot of fun indoor activities, this being one of them: Jim Henson's Muppets ->, Animal's Punk Pink Pasta . I have come to the conclusion that whenever the day comes that I have children of my own... they will surely go hungry if they choose to be picky eaters. I wanted to introduce beets to the kids I've been watching and what better way to do so than with a plateful of bright pink pasta?! I thought it was completely delicious and, the kids did alright with it, although I think I dished up too large of portions for them. Oops. Try for yourself! It's pretty simple. Entirely fresh. Delicious. And nutritious!

Beets are the secret to this magical dish - they give the pasta a subtle sweet, but nutty flavor and the incredible, electric pink/red color. This dish is intended for getting picky kids to eat their veggies. 

You'll need:

For beet sauce: 
     -2 medium beets, peeled and quartered
     -1/2 of a small yellow onion, thinly sliced
     -1 tablespoon olive oil
     -1/4 teaspoon salt
     -4 teaspoons salt
     -2 tablespoons Ricotta cheese

For Animal:
     -cooked spaghetti
     -puréed beet sauce (see recipe above)
     -cherry tomato 
     -Mozzarella cheese
     -yellow pepper
     -Italian parsley
     -pitted black olives


1. Peel and quarter the beets. To keep the dye from staining fingers, peel beets under cold running water.

2. Place peeled, quartered beets in a medium saucepan filled with cold water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until tender, approximately 15-20  minutes

3. While the beets cook, heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the thinly sliced onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté the onions until they are soft and lightly golden, approximately 10 minutes.

4. Strain the beets and let cool.

5. Purée cooled, cooked beets and sautéed onions in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of Ricotta cheese. 

6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

7. Cook and drain spaghetti.

8. Place cooked spaghetti in a sauté pan with beet sauce. Cook, stirring constantly over low heat until the sauce is heated through and the pasta is coated in sauce.

9. Place the pasta in the center of the plate.

10. Cut mozzarella 1/2" thick and then cut two oval shapes for the eyes. Trim the scraps of cheese into tiny teeth.

11. Lay Italian parsley on top of the pink pasta, as eyebrows.

12. Place mozzarella eyes topped with black olive pupils on top of the eyebrows.

13. Use cherry tomato for Animal's nose and a sliced yellow pepper for his mouth.

14. The mozzarella teeth should be placed above the yellow pepper mouth. 

Feel free to serve with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Guilt-Free Buffalo Chicken Rolls

Of all things, I only really crave Buffalo Chicken... anything. 

When I say this, I mean, I have cravings... fairly often, but when I have cravings, they're almost always for something to the tune of Buffalo Chicken Dip or wings. Generally not the best option I could go for, so I went on the hunt for something to a similar tune, but that I wouldn't have to feel bad about afterwards. 

I came across Buffalo Chicken Rolls on Pinterest, of course, and it states they're only 100 calories each!

You will need:

12 egg roll wrappers (roughly 4 square inches)
1 cup cooked and shredded chicken (6 ounces)
1/2- 2/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1 cup crumbled blue cheese (4 ounces) (I've tried with goat cheese and this photo's with cream cheese! Probably not 100 calories...)
1 cup broccoli slaw or cole slaw (dry)
Small bowl of water
Nonstick cooking spray
Blue cheese dressing, for serving (I go with ranch!)
To make: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay egg roll wrappers on a clean work surface. In a small bowl, stir chicken* (see note below) and hot sauce until well coated, using more or less sauce depending on your spice preference. The meat should be moist with sauce.
Begin by placing one tablespoon of the broccoli slaw on the diagonal of the bottom right corner of one of the wrappers. Next, place 2 tablespoons of shredded spicy chicken evenly on top of the slaw. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the blue cheese crumbles over the chicken. Do not overfill.
*again, cream cheese is probably not the best choice I could have made,
but it was already purchased and just waiting for me to use up!

To fold: Fold the bottom right corner over the stuffing mixture so that it covers it completely, with the tip of the corner now pointing to the center of the egg roll wrapper. Fold in the bottom left corner, followed by the right, so that you now have formed an envelope. Roll the wrap upward one time, leaving the top left corner open. Wet your index finger in the small bowl of water and press to moisten the top left corner. Now fold that down on top of the filled roll, sealing it like you would an envelope.
Repeat with remaining rolls.

Place the rolls on a wire rack set on top of a cookie sheet (or just on a greased cookie sheet) coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spritz each roll evenly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the rolls crisp and turn a light golden brown.

*Note: To make the chicken, place 1/2 lb of uncooked chicken breast in a small pot and fill with enough water just to cover it. Bring to a boil on your stovetop, reduce the heat slightly, then simmer for about 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and let cool before shredding with two forks, pulling against the grain of the meat.

Monday, August 6, 2012

alphabet walk BONUS

I thought I had this brilliant beyond brilliant idea of creating an alphabet book with the kids I've been watching... unfortunately their attention span didn't last quite as long as I'd hoped and we didn't quite find all the letter of the english alphabet... we did, however, find a Scratch cupcake or two!! 

I cannot believe as many photos as I know I've taken of them, that I haven't posted any photos of cupcakes from Scratch! For those of you unfamiliar to this incredible treat, let me enlighten you... I am a girl with a major sweet-tooth, HOWEVER, I'm pretty particular about texture and flavor... I don't much care for cake or cupcakes. 

Scratch somehow found the best concoction of sugars and flour and every flavor imaginable to create these little pieces of wonderful treats. 

As if Cedar Falls Main Street wasn't wonderful enough to begin - a few years ago, it got even better with the addition of Scratch. 

(I think it's especially wonderful with such cute little fingers next to it!!)