The Cuban Missile

Let me preface this blog post by stating that I’m NOT trying to compete with my husband’s blog.  If you want to read more about sports then you are on the wrong blog, check out http://www.battleforohio.com and that will surely give you the sports fix you are needing.  I’d like to categorize this post under “Rant a little Wednesdays” and you will soon realize why I did that!

George and I watched the Reds game last night after eating at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, El Pueblo.  I have to admit that before this season if my husband ever wanted to watch the Reds game on TV I would silently groan a bit because I really just didn’t ever want to torture myself with that kind of boredom.  But last night I was actually excited to watch the game and I’m glad I did, sort of.  I think we turned on the tube at the 6th inning and LeCure was pitching.  The game was pretty exciting and at this point the announcers were hinting that the “Cuban Missile” was to make an appearance at the pitchers mound, Aroldis Chapman was to make his MLB debut.

Chapmania was happening at the GABP while Aroldis made his way to the mound, everyone was super stoked and stood for the entire time he pitched (one inning).  I was also extremely excited BUT there was this one super annoyance I have with Mr. Chapmania…..the way that man chomps on his gum.  GROSS!  It is so disgusting, like the way a horse rolls hay around in its mouth or like my brother, Brian, chews his gum.  Have you ever seen Brian chew gum?  Don’t even try it near me because I make him spit it out as soon as he gets it in his mouth.  Totally annoying.  Want to see  for yourself Aroldis chomp on gum?  Check out the first minute or so of this video: 

I know, I know, I’m pretty judgmental but I couldn’t help not talking about this because it bothered me the entire time he was throwing pretty “sick” pitches.  I’m excited to see his career as a Redleg but I hope that no one hands him a bag of Big Chew before he leaves the bullpen.

HOLY Guacamole

Let me go ahead and preface this post with the following statement, I am not a food blogger nor do I claim to be one with this post.  If you are looking for a more professional food blog you could hit up The Food Hussy, she has a fabulous food blog that is updated all the time with great foods and places to eat.  I’m merely trying to give my opinion on one of the best foods that I’m in love with right now, guacamole!

Why am I writing a post about guacamole?  I’m not a guacamole connoisseur but I have had my fair share of good and bad guacamole and yesterday I found a new one to try.  I was walking through Whole Foods in Rookwood looking for an old favorite of jalapeño hummus and pita chips but then in the produce section when you first walk in was this sample of guac.  I’m not one to sample foods especially when it isn’t manned but the guac was calling to me and I was dying to give in, so I did.  WOW, taste buds were happy with my decision and I threw 2 containers in the cart (little did I know they were over $4 a piece).

You must try this!

When I got home I had to dig in and now today at work this container was packed with my lunch.  I know I know, I’m obsessed!  But this isn’t the only great guacamole I’ve had, let me list out the other great guacs that make my MUST EAT list.  In no particular order:

1. Chipotle – there is something about their guacamole and lime chips that I can’t get enough of in one sitting.  They have the perfect proportion of lime, onion, salt, guac and whatever else is in there that makes this guac so tasty.

2. My Bestie’s – no, this is not a brand you don’t know about this is my bestie Kendra’s recipe.  Kendra claims that she got the recipe from Chipotle but part of me thinks she added her own flavor because this guac is damn good.

3. Nada – Have you ever been to Nada downtown Cincinnati?  Their combo of guac and homemade chips is mouth watering.  One of my favorite places to go if I’m feeling swanky Mexican but on the cheap because I can get an order of the guac/chips and a drink and walk out of there with tummy full and not breaking the bank.

Do you have a favorite guacamole that you want to share?  Or maybe you have a recipe?  If you leave me a recipe I’ll try to make it or maybe I’ll send it over to Kendra because she owes me a batch!  Leave me a note!

Got BLUE?

Yummy!

To me it feels like Christmas is coming early because blueberry season is just around the corner. Typically, blueberry season at Rouster’s Berry Patch doesn’t start till the last weekend in June or the first weekend in July. Not this year! This year blueberries will be ready for you to pick this Saturday, June 19th.   Here’s the scoop:

{What} Rouster’s Berry Patch has blueberries and thornless blackberries that are U-Pick. Literally, you (and the whole family) pick them! Don’t worry this really isn’t back-breaking hard work but you will want to get there early for the easier picking. Most bushes are right at eye-level height and picking these ripe berries with the whole family makes for a great outing. Don’t worry if your kids eat the berries while they are out in the patch….we weigh them and will just charge you as you leave, haha!  This weekend is the start of the Blueberries only, the blackberries won’t be ready just yet.

{Where} Rouster’s Berry Patch is located on State Route 131 across from the Apple House which is located at 1986 State Route 131, Milford, OH 45150. If you are coming up through Milford on 131 the Berry Patch will be on your right side. Look for the flaggers as they will direct you where to park.

{When} Rouster’s Berry Patch will have its first U-Pick weekend on June 19, 2010. Typical time you will want to get there will be by 7:30/7:45am because the patch will be open from 8am to noon. I do NOT suggest getting there by 11 if you expect to get the best berries or the “easiest-to-pick” berries.

{How} Once you get to the patch and get the family SUV parked then what?  You will want to stop in at the Berry Barn to pick up your buckets.  These white buckets will be lined with Rouster berry bags ready for you to fill.  You will want to dress ready to pick out in a patch with the possibility of getting a bit wet from the dew in the grass.  My suggestion would be an old pair of sneakers or cute golashes with a t-shirt and shorts/pants as you could go far out in the patch with some distance walking.

{Pricing} U-Pick Blueberries are $2.50 per lb and U-Pick Thornless Blackberries (when they are in season, possibly July) are $3.00 per lb.  Payment can be made via Cash or Check (with a valid drivers license) only.  Sorry no Credit Cards out in the country!

{Other} For some general rules or slight reminders:

~ Look for your “Berry Guide” to give you directions on which rows to pick in.  We try to keep the masses all going down specific rows to pick so that we can ensure all berries are picked well enough to grow back for the week after.  We will keep you all in one direction but there will be plenty to pick from.  Your “Berry Guides” for the season will be Me (Jesy), John, Carol, Karen, Dan and other helpful volunteers.

~ Please be friendly to your neighbor U-picker.  If you are picking on a bush and a fellow picker comes along and also picks on “your” bush, it is okay because there are plenty of berries to go around.

Do you think this looks like a blueberry?

~ You can purchase water bottles and Cider Pops (my personal fav!) from the Berry Barn to help cool off from all the picking!

~ There is a pond on the property so please keep an eye on your little ones.  We don’t let kids near the pond unless they are with a parent.

~ Have FUN!

We hope you join us this summer at the patch and if you see me (I made a t-shirt on Cafepress.com with my name on the back) make sure to come say hello.

Woah Nelly!

Ever feel like the world is spinning way faster than you can manage? That is where I am in my life and I’m trying to find ways to slow it down and smell the roses. I am beginning to think that I’m just not wired for that type of lifestyle though. My opinion is when God was thinking about sending me to my parents he was putting together a recipe that would be like this; 1/2 cup of Tasmanian devil, 3/4 cup of Disney-like Princess……and 1/2 cup attitude! Just kidding on the attitude part (sort of). But seriously, I need to take control of my schedule and organize a bit better. Any ideas?

Brands with ‘Mayorship’ Benefits

Finally a brand that I really care about is offering a benefit to their beloved Foursquare “mayors.” Starbucks announced mid-day today they will be giving $1.00 off their Frappucinos to Foursquare mayors, their first promotion on the geo-location service.

What does this mean for me who has gleefully taken mayorship at two Cincinnati Starbucks?  At first I was thinking nothing, have you seen a Starbucks Frappucino?  Those things look like they could just cling to your hips, butt and thighs in 2.5 seconds after you take that first sip.  But then I actually looked up the nutrition facts and noticed the Grande, Non-fat, Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino Light Blended beverage was only 170 calories.  That aint too bad, only 40 calories more than my daily order of a Grande, light foam, Skinny Vanilla Latte.  With the $1.00 off promotion I’ll be giving the Frappucino a chance tomorrow morning.

My next question, how much effort will I need to put into protecting my mayorship?  I live near two locations that are rarely discovered by other Cincinnati Foursquare users and now I’m really going to need to “check-in” each and every time I’m going through the drive-thru.  No matter if I get the lovely “force-close” message on my Droid or not, I’m committed to keeping my mayorship and I look forward to other incentives for the Starbucks Mayors.

What about you?  Are you on the Foursquare bandwagon or are you reading this post thinking of the game you played on the blacktop at your elementary school?  Let me know!

Today is a great day!

33 Years.....and they still got it!

How many of us can say Happy Anniversary to our parents for being married 33 years?  That’s right, I’m a lucky daughter of two parents that love, respect and adore each other.  To this day I still see my parents make important decisions together, love each other and truly have fun and enjoy each other.  Matt, Brian, George, Jami and I are blessed to have such great role models.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, Love you Both!

Oh No, she is Cooking Again!

For the past few weeks my schedule has been a bit crazy with vacations.  And you know how it is, before the vacation you have “pre-vaca” madness then your on the vacation and after the vacation there is the “catch-up” madness.  After we had a minor lapse this weekend, Hubs and I are getting back on track this week and eating more meals at home.

Friends have been asking what types of meals I cook since they know I’m always crazy busy.  My answer to them is that I have a few staple-item dinners that I most always have all the ingredients for plus a few others that I like to try from the Betty Crocker website.  In this blog you will find a few easy recipes that Hubs and I eat pretty regularly.  I’m ALWAYS looking for the fast prep meals so if you have any to share, that would be wonderful.

All recipes below may have been altered from the original and I’m sure you will find other creative ways to make them a family-friendly food in your house too.

The Famous Taco Pie (Thanks to my mom for this one)

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 packet of Kroger brand low-sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 package of Kroger brand reduced fat crescent roll
  • 1 cup of Kroger brand reduced fat sour cream
  • Approx. 1-1/2 cups of Kroger brand Mexican style cheese
  • Approx. 1/2 cup crushed tortillas (I save them from the bottoms of tortilla chips bags or left over tortilla chips)
  • 1 pie plate

Cranck up the oven to 350 degrees to preheat while you are browning your ground turkey.  Once turkey is browned add the packet of seasoning and then let is simmer.  Press your crescent roll into your pie plate covering the plate in full.  Add a few crunched up tortilla chips to the bottom of the pie dish then go ahead and pour your meat on top.  Once your meat is in the pie, spread your one cup sour cream then top it off with the cheese.  Let it cook for about 25 minutes until cheese starts to brown!

Baked Ziti (Thanks to Kat for this one)

  • 1 box Penne Pasta – I use the Smart Pasta brand
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce – I use the meat flavor
  • 1 bag of Kroger brand mozzarella cheese
  • 9 x 13 pan

Cranck up your oven to 350 degrees to preheat.  Add your box of pasta to the pan, then dump your jar of sauce over the pasta.  Take your jar and fill it up with water then dump that over the pasta and sauce.  Mix it up a bit then cover the whole pan with foil.  Put it in the oven for 30 minutes.  Then add cheese and recover with foil for 10 more minutes.

*sometimes I add either ground turkey or turkey sausage to the recipe (I cook the meat then add)

Easy Cheesy Chicken (Modified but thanks to the Betty Crocker Website)

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 pkg. Kroger brand Shells & Cheese Dinner
  • 1 cup milk (I use skim)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup broccoli florets

Cook chicken in a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray until done.  Then add the shells, milk and water and mix it up.  Bring it all to a boil then cover.  Keep on simmer, covered for about 10 minutes.  You can add your broccoli (I add mine to my portion only) and cook it in for 5 minutes uncovered.  Then stir in the cheese sauce.

I hope you enjoy these three fast prep easy meals, don’t forget to share some with me!  P.S. My husband is picky!