Wednesday, August 29, 2012

food lust

so i'm scrolling through our pics from past trips and it dawns on me just how many pictures i take of food.  i really can't help myself.

here's a little bit of what's making me happy & hungry tonight.




mid-bite (:

best cherry ice cream yet.

ham, cheese & tomato baguette.  yes.




happy wednesday, friends

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


this post goes out to my favorite middle sister emily, woop!

oh hey there

i didn't want to share anything before she gave the green light, but em has been going through some really tough times.  seeing however that she has started her own blog chronicling life and what's going on in it, i feel it's a good a time as any to send a little blog lovin her way.

so, next time you're 'surfboarding the internets' as my father in law believes all young people do, swing by sweetninnymuggins for an update.  you might wet your pants however, b/c one thing that this illness hasn't been able to touch is em's sense of humor. 

love you, em.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

asian noodle salad

healthy, easy and quick to put together: we love this salad.


 lettuce {any kind will work well, but i favor bibb or romaine}
rice noodles
bell pepper
red onion
steak, cooked to your liking {omit for a veggie version}

dressing ingredients {serves 2}
1.5 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
3 tsp brown sugar
dash chili oil {if you like it spicy!}
lime juice {to taste, we use about 2 limes}
lime zest, to taste
1-2 garlic cloves, pressed



cut the carrots, cukes, pepper, red onion and jalapeno into long, thin strips {cut the seeds out of the cukes}  if you don't like things too hot, take out the ribs and the seeds of the jalapenos.  add these to a big bowl.  mix the dressing ingredients together, mixing well to incorporate the garlic...keep the dressing in a smaller bowl for now.  cook the noodles according to direction- note: they usually cook very quickly.  as soon as they're done, pour the noodles into a colander and shock with cold water for about 30 seconds.  shake the noodles to get the water mainly off, then add to the veggies.  add the dressing and mix everything around, but be gentle so as not to smush the noodles.  arrange your lettuce on plates, top with your veggie/ noodle mixture and steak if that's your style.  add some scallions, cilantro and peanuts as garnish.

happy eating!

happy friday & a recipe

happy friday now...

recipe later  (:

hope everyone has a great day!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


hey there!

this is a favorite at our house- easy, pretty healthy, delicious.

happy eating!

spinach roll-up

what you will need:
1. pizza dough...here is a good recipe to make yourself, or you can always pick up a bag from trader joe's...their whole-wheat variety is what we used this time
2. marinara...a great staple recipe to keep handy...i'm forever making marinara and trying out new variations; this is a good thing to have stocked in your freezer
3. one box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed out {microwave the spinach to thaw it quicker}
 NOTE: i love veggies, so i try to get them in wherever i can...this time, i had 2 zucchinis in the fridge, so i grated them; on other occasions, we've added sausage or pepperoni...this recipe is very forgiving- try new things, see what you like
4. mozzarella cheese
5. garlic, lots
6. spices, olive oil, etc...

step one: roll out your dough into an oval shape.  try to get it thin, but not so thin that it tears {you will be rolling this later}...add a little flour to your surface to make transferring it easier.

step two: make sure your spinach is pretty dry after being thawed...add about a cup of mozz and a handful of garlic {chopped}, as well as some salt & pepper

ahh marinara...
 step 3: spoon marinara onto your dough, leaving about a one-inch border at the edge of the dough

step 4: my favorite: toppings.  add your spinach/ zukes/ sausage/ anchovies...whatever...add what you like, again keeping that one-inch margin. try not to load up the dough too much however, b/c remember you'll eventually have to roll this on top of itself

ok, the photo below is actually from when we made a sausage roll-up, but it shows how you get the rolling started.  start from one of the wider sides of the oval, you want a long thin roll-up

keep that up, rolling all the way to the end...when you get to the end of the dough, sort of pinch the dough to itself...then make sure the seam is on the bottom and transfer this to a baking sheet.

{TIP: use parchment paper under the dough when rolling- makes transferring it to 
the baking sheet oh so easy}

{don't forget to brush your roll-up with olive oil }

look at that baking beauty...about 350 degrees, for about 20 minutes, but since everyone has a different oven, just keep an eye on it.  you want the outside to be crusty...sometimes it helps to turn it around midway through cooking


this keeps well in the fridge for a day or two, but if you're like us, we don't have too many 
leftovers of this dish (:

let me know how this worked out for you!

new leaf

 i've been thinking a lot about this blog, and my purpose behind it.

i love that this has been an effective way to stay in touch with far away friends, and for that i feel ok about my random life posts, together of course with my love for cleaning {who knew?}...

but to be honest, i have felt that this forum lacked real direction.  and when i sit down to truly think it over, the things outside of my friends & family which get me going the most are food and where you eat it. 

so there might be a few growing pains {bear with me} as i transition to a more concise message.

to kick things off, please enjoy the new layout, together with a photo that upon closer review appears to catch me smooching my ice cream.  hey, it was delicious.  you would've kissed it too.

also, in keeping with the new theme, look out for a recipe heading your way later today...

stay tuned!! (:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

keeping it green

new green cleaning addition!

check out this article by national geographic...includes some good info and good recipes.

also, that article clued me into tea tree oil...
this stuff has natural anti-microbial properties, which i jumped on right away...why use chemicals when something natural can give you the same results?  i recommend reading up on it, however...you only want to use a little bit, and while some people will tell you they put it on scraps and cuts, i wouldn't advise that- once you get a whiff you'll know why - this is strong stuff.  {also, it goes without saying: not for ingestion, so keep this away from kids and pets...as with any cleaning supplies, green or not}

for my local friends, i price checked between trader joe's and the heritage market and tj's was the best deal by far: about $6.50 for an ounce.

i know it sounds like a lot for a little, but you seriously only need a tiny bit for this to work.  i use a straw and drop 1 or 2 drops into my cleaning solutions for an extra boost.  also, it makes sheets smell oh so nice if you add a bit to your laundry.   

let me know how this works for you!

Friday, August 10, 2012



it. is. OFFICIAL.

we bought our tickets earlier this week- we are really going!

i cannot tell you how excited this makes me!
{in case you can't tell?}

everybody has their happy place, where you feel at once comfortable but also energized, and very much yourself...for me that place has always been spain.

i visited twice while i was studying in belgium, then followed with an internship in madrid in 2005...and sadly that was the last time i have been to the fair country. 

luckily for me, my in-laws have not yet been to spain...which i saw immediately as a sign: i was meant to take them!  so this fall, early november, we're packing up {yes, i have already started my packing list: i love a list} and heading over!  

12 days.

3, 4, 5...however many cities we can squeeze out of our rail pass...

the food...the art!...the parks...the wine...i'm in heaven just thinking about it.

so this is where my mind has been for the past week, i'm more or less in charge of planning this shin-dig, so i've been hot to trot setting up a rough schedule, to be ironed out as the months progress.

have you been??  what are your favorite memories?  suggestions??
where is your favorite place to visit?