Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

Yes, I will post some Jamaica pictures soon. We had a wonderful time but are glad to be home. I miss the heat and the fact that I have people serving me day and night but oh well, back to reality.

I decided to do a post on 2011 and the highlights and lowlights. 2011 was actually quite boring. We traveled a lot but mainly it was low key. It was also a bad year because we lost a family member.

January 2011 started out with us being snowbound. I have lived in places where it snows for about 6 years now and I still cannot stand it. It is so pretty but such a pain to drive in. I keep hoping that we end up back in Florida. Believe it or not, I would take hurricanes over snow any day. Someone also went into the river in front of our house. Luckily, no one died.

February was uneventful. I turned 47! I am getting old. And we took a trip down to Ocean Isle Inn in Ocean Isle, NC. Luckily, Tom came with me and it was a lot of fun.

In March, I had to fly to Costa Rica on family business. It was so nice to see my family because they are so far away. Also, Spring started springing and I was so excited.

In April, I was invited to go to Miami as one of the Telemundo Digital Influencers. It was a blast and I got to see my good friend, Migdalia. Plus, I was back in my old stomping grounds, Miami!

May was the month we started our garden once again. And we were able to go back to Jamaica. We had such a wonderful time there and we were so ready for a vacation!

I got back from vacation and went into overdrive at work because we had a huge event in June. It was a success and it was fun. I even got to dress as a fairy. And our garden started coming in. We really had some mutant veggies this year.

July was crazy as well because I started planning for another event in San Diego for the BlogHer conference. In the meantime, our garden was growing and we were harvesting tons of veggies!

August was the suckiest month ever. It started okay with me going to the BlogHer conference but all the while I knew that we were heading toward a bad ending because our little baby, Shawn, was sick and we knew a decision had to be made. We made that decision and it was heartbreaking and devastating. She was with us for 15 years and she was my little girl.

September was boring with very little going on but Fall was beginning and that was a good thing. I finally hit 500 posts on my blog and wrote a post with my all time favorite posts. This is a good read. September was cool because I got to go see Rick Springfield in concert. I love me some Rick Springfield.

October I wished my little "brother" a happy birthday and focused on his new business. I am a proud sister because he is so talented. We also headed to South Carolina. And I posted Fall pictures and more Fall pictures.

In November, we headed off to Orlando and I got to visit Hogwarts! WOO! We also visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. November also brought shocking news about someone I knew when I lived in State College. Jerry Sandusky was arrested for molesting young boys. I worked at the Second Mile years ago and knew him. Weird and creepy.

December took us to Cleveland for my mother in law's surprise party. December also took us back to Jamaica. At least we didn't have snow the end of the year and that is a good thing.

Happy 2012 - hope it is wonderful year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

We are on vacation!

And Scout is none to happy about being left in the care of our house/cat sitter instead of being here in Jamaica with us but oh well sucks to be her. The good thing is she gets fresh food and water every day, so she can't complain.

Keep checking the blog because if I get motivated I might pot my usual: "Hey look at our hotel room" video.

Aside from that, Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ We will always have Shawn

Yes, we are creepy and morbid. I got a canvas with one of my favorite Shawn pictures and it now lives on our mantle with her ashes. I feel like we are the Addams Family or something.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce Recipe

Once again I was inspired by our local restaurant LuLu's to create my own version of their Red Bell Pepper Sauce.

They serve it on fish and the other day Tom ordered some walnut and cheese ravioli with red bell pepper sauce. It was delish. I am so ordering that next time we go.
At the grocery store, I saw some red bell peppers and decided to try and recreate my own version. I have never made roasted red bell pepper sauce but I figured it couldn't be that hard.

First I roasted some red bell peppers with olive oil in the oven. I roasted them until they got all black. I then let them cool. Once they were cooled the skin just peels off.

When I was about to blend the peppers with the other ingredients, I realized that I should have roasted not only the bell peppers but the tomatoes, garlic and onions all at the same time because that would have given the sauce a better flavoring. DOH! But it was too late for that.
I went ahead and blended everything including a little olive oil, salt and pepper with the other ingredients until they were all smooth and saucy.

Something went wrong because the sauce was overly sweet. I realized that it was the sweet onion I used. Although tasty, I wanted a little less sweetness in the sauce. To fix this, I decided to see what I could do to fix it. I am a whiz in the kitchen for fixing food gone wrong.

I added a little more olive oil. The oil didn't do much. So I figured that I would add some red wine and red wine vinegar to make it more tart. That worked wonders. It was perfect.

I then grabbed some Italian sausage from the fridge and cooked it up. I made some ziti and made a casserole. How easy is that? The roasted red bell peppers have such a unique taste.

I actually hate raw red bell peppers and I hate them cooked in any food except this sauce. How weird is that? But it is a great way to give your regular pasta sauce a different flavor. Next time I make it, I am so adding a little cream at the end to make a creamy sauce. This sauce is so good, you can even eat it as a soup!

Buen provecho!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Green Egg

I finally had the opportunity to eat one of my green eggs that I got from a co-worker. Many people wondered if they were different from regular eggs.

They are not and they are just as tasty! Yummo!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The easiest appetizer ever ~ Goat Cheese Dip recipe!

Okay there is NOTHING going on in my life right now so I won't be posting anything new or interesting unless something happens.
We are just holding out for Christmas vacation in Jamaica! Yippee. But until then we are just taking it easy and not doing anything else.

What I always do though is cook. You know cooking is one of my passions so I figured I would share one of our favorite recipes. It is perfect for any holiday party. It is fast and easy to make and delicious.

We have a restaurant in town called Lulu's and this is where I stole the recipe. We don't eat there often but when we do, we always order an appetizer called: The Frenchy.

The Frenchy is goat cheese, kalamata olives and olive oil served with fresh crostini. Well, this weekend I had some goat cheese in the fridge so I decided to recreate the recipe.

This is how easy it is. Take some goat cheese and add some olive oil. Then add kalamata olives. Lulu's serves it as is but when we get it, we mush it all up and make a spread. It is easier to spread on the crostini that way.

Let me tell you that is the best thing ever. If you aren't a fan of goat cheese you can even use feta or even cream cheese. Goat cheese is so good though!

Okay the final product doesn't look great but I can totally tell you that this is one really good tasting snack.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mostly Wordless Wednesday ~ Best Fast Food Ever ~ Skyline Chili

When we were in Cleveland this past weekend, we ate at our favorite fast food place: Skyline Chili. If you have never had Skyline Chili, I am sad for you. It is the best thing ever.

This is a 4 way and 2 cheese coneys! Yes, it is chili on spaghetti and mini hot dogs. YUMMO!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Our Quickie Weekend Trip

I haven't posted for a few days because I couldn't. On Friday we left to go to Cleveland for surprise party for Tom's mom. Because she reads the blog, I couldn't say that we were leaving town. So Friday we headed off to Cleveland.

The drive is about 10 hours. We left early but made it to Cleveland by 5 or 6pm. We got a hotel room and then went out to dinner and then crashed early since we were both tired from our drive.

Saturday we were able to sleep in a little then we went for a drive to downtown Cleveland. I hadn't been downtown for a few years. We didn't have time to do much since we wanted to have lunch at our favorite place: Skyline Chili.

Okay, if you never had Skyline Chili, I am sad for you. It is the best fast food ever. I remember the first time Tom took me there I was like WTF? what is this dump. But he said I would love it and I did.

Skyline serves a chili on spaghetti then topped with a pile of delicious cheese. It also has these tiny hot dogs called coneys. I was a little leery at first but then I tasted that delightful concoction and was in hog freaking heaven. Now we can't get enough.

Okay, my stomach was still a little iffy from the stomach virus earlier in the week but damn if I was not going to have my Skyline Chili. My tummy paid for it but it was so delicious. We even bought some canned Skyline so I can make coneys and spaghetti at home.

After lunch we headed to Tom's mom's house where some of the family members were already setting up. Her sister, Eileen, had taken her out to keep her away. When they returned, Jeanne was really surprised.

It was a nice affair. I hadn't been to Cleveland for a few years and
hadn't seen the extended family in a lot of years. It is always nice to see Tom's aunts and my new nieces and nephews (since we got married) because I don't have any nieces or nephews on my side of the family.

There is also a new baby in the family. I don't like babies but this little girl is the cutest thing ever. And there will be two weddings coming up. Family reunions are always a good place for new news.

After the party, we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep because we had to drive back to North Carolina. The drive was long but uneventful. We have done this drive so many times that it gets a little boring after a few hours.

I do have to say that we listened to the audiobook: Columbine by Dave Cullen. OMG what a fantastic book. I totally recommend it!

We made it home safely and our baby was good. I think she totally missed us though!