Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Recipe Wednesday

Chicken is boring. It doesn't taste like anything unless you add flavorful stuff to it. But, this chicken that Mark made me the past two Valentine's Days (why am I letting him make it only once a year?) is so not boring. It's the Lady GaGa of chicken.

Southwestern Chicken Baked in Foil (from The Joy of Cooking):


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 oz. mild goat cheese at room temperature
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 sun-dried tomato halves in oil, minced
  • 2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lime wedges


  • Make an incision about 3 inches long and 2 inches deep in the middle of the thick sides of the chicken breast to create a pocket.
  • In a small bowl combine the goat cheese, jalapeno peppers and sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Spoon the filling into each of the pockets of the chicken breasts. Press to seal the edges. Generously season each breast with salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile combine the black beans, onion, cilantro, olive oil, cumin, red wine vinegar, and cayenne pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut squares of foil big enough for the individual chicken breasts.
  • Spoon 1/4 of the black bean mixture on each foil square and top with a chicken breast. Fold the foil over and fold the edges all around to close the packet tightly.
  • Set on baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes until packets are puffed. Serve with lime wedges.
  • Say goodbye to dry, tasteless chicken.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm back!

We had a great time at our 2nd annual ski trip to Bear Valley in Northern Cal. Warning: This is a picture-heavy post. I feel like I always cram too many pics in my posts, but you have to understand that I take hundreds (really, no exaggeration) of pictures just about everywhere we go, so this really is edited.

The boys building a sled track in the yard of the cabin:

Mark testing it out. You can't tell from these pictures, but it was pretty long, and you went really fast.

And this little guy was throwing snowballs at you as you went by:

My first attempt down the Icy Slide of Death was less successful:

Maybe I won't be going pro after all. I could win Olympic gold in tubing, though. It's my thing.

I'm screaming in the above picture, btw. Since me skiing is just tragic, I went snowshoeing instead.

In addition to snow fun, there was a lot of eating. And I have to show you this appetizer my sister-in-law Kim put together, because I want to eat it for every meal, every day. You take a piece of lavash bread, pile on a slice of feta that's been drizzled with olive oil, a piece of sweet onion, and a basil leaf, and roll it up. Insanely delicious.

Nights were spent talking and Olympics watching, which I actually didn't hate.

Good times.

The drive is 7 hours for Mark and me, but it's beautiful, and you pass through lots of old, little Gold Rush towns. We stopped in one to take a few pictures:

We decided we're going to take an extra day next year to hit a couple more of the towns. There were just too many missed picture opportunities in our mad rush to get home before an expected storm came in.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The year of fun continues...

We're headed north for a ski trip, in which I will not be skiing, but snowshoeing with the fogeys. Last year's attempt at skiing didn't go so well. Mark will be tearing it up however. I'm very good at sliding down little snow hills on those plastic saucer thingies, though. I'm confident I could go pro.

I had every intention of stockpiling some posts, but I've been preparing for the trip and time got away from me. I'm a terrible multi-tasker. I think next trip I may try some guest bloggers.

Back on Monday with some good stuff for next week. See you then!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Losing it

Our internet connection has been coming and going for the past couple of days, so I haven't been able to post. And when we called to see what the problem was, we were told they were having an issue in our area and working on it, and it should be fixed by the end of the day, and blah, bs, bs, bs. Go to hell, Time Warner Cable.

We've had nothing but problems with our cable tv connection, but now they're messing with my internet. You've passed the point of no return, TWC. I can't live without my internet. So some nice gentlemen are coming on Tuesday to set up Verizon Fios. I'll be back in business then, and possibly with a faster connection!

I hope you're all having a happy, love-filled, Time Warner Cable-free weekend!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Recipe Wednesday

I brought this dip to our Super Bowl get-together, and everyone loved it. It's a heart-stopper, but that's ok occasionally. It's party food, people! And a super easy recipe.

Reuben Dip

(I forgot to take a picture of the ingredients. I was in a Super Bowl frenzy.)

  • 1/2 lb. diced corned beef (bought sliced at the deli counter)
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, drained well
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbs. ketchup
  • 2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
  • rye crackers (my mom informed me there's a rye Triscuit)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a casserole dish. (I used an 8x8 glass Pyrex)

In a medium-sized bowl, mix all ingredients until well blended. Spoon into casserole dish.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve warm with crackers.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine Decor

I couldn't help but do a little Valentine decorating. I don't have any specific "Valentine's Day" decorations, except for a couple of dishtowels, because between our Christmas and Halloween decorations, there isn't an inch of holiday storage space to spare.

So, I shopped our house and came up with a couple of suitable Valentine vignettes, I think. First, the mantle...

With the candles lit...

There hasn't been anything on our mantle since I took down the Christmas decorations, because I'm still not sure what should live there between seasons. So first I started with a couple of framed photos from our wedding. Then I added a couple of cute vintage-y looking Valentine's cards...

Some mercury glass candle holders on either side and flowers in egg cups and a milk glass vase...

I also hung a garland I made out of felt circles...

All together again...

Then I focused the rest of my energy on our entryway table. As much as I love decluttering and constantly purging "stuff", one thing I never get rid of is letters and cards. I have a box full of letters and passed notes from jr. high and high school. Half of them don't make sense anymore and some are just embarrassing, but I'll never throw them out. While decorating, I remembered that in that box were also a bunch of valentines I received in grade school. Jack pot!

So I borrowed a mirror from our guest room and stuck the little cards in the sides...

How creepy is this one?

I also gathered books with either red or pink spines for the bottom shelf, and put some roses in a little vase...

And hydrangeas in a pink candy dish...

That's it. The only thing left to decorate is our dining table for the day itself. Then it will all come down so I can decorate for Mark's birthday party at the end of the month.

I hope you all have a sweet Valentine's Day! I'm linking to

Blue Cricket Design's Show Off




Sunday, February 7, 2010

Valentine Pretties

Mark and I have discussed it and we've decided to do the same thing for Valentine's Day this year that we did last year. He's making me the same yummy dinner and I'm in charge of dessert. I'm leaning toward cupcakes because they're his favorite.

But I'm only eating one, and I told him not to buy me candy this year in honor of my get healthier resolution...which has been hit and miss so far. The average person would keel over and die just by looking at what I ate yesterday during the Super Bowl (yay Saints!). Two steps forward, a hop, skip, and a five-mile jog back.

Valentine's Day is not a big holiday for us, but that hasn't stopped me from looking at inspiration pictures. And I did a tiny amount of decorating, which I'll post tomorrow. Martha always kills it...



Do you have any surprises planned for your significant other? Give me some ideas!