Internet pirates are *so* much less exiting than the fictional world of the kindly dastardly sea-faring type. I had a Groupon/LivingSocial/DealoftheDay thing for Pirates Dinner Theater.

After a super stressful day driving all the heck over the county, this was the perfect way to end the day. Giant strong drinks, good friends, explosions, people dressed up in costume who don’t break character even when you try…

A great night.

Both of us were chosen as volunteers, so our team won, of course. My game was throwing bags of fake gold up to the pirates, and he wore a vest and pirate hat and carried stuff up to the ship. I wish I had better pictures, but it’s kind of dark in there.

Pirates Dinner Adventure in Orlando and California.





My first attempt at slow cooker-ing

Update at bottom!

I got a slow cooker for Christmas!!

Yes, that was two months ago, and yes, it’s been living in my trunk because I wasn’t sure where to put it. My roommate very sweetly opened a space in the pantry so that it will have a home.

Real Simple magazine did a whole slow cooker set in the February magazine, so I clipped the recipe to my Evernote account and hit the grocery store after choir rehearsal.

Here’s the recipe.

Here’s the before picture:


This is raw chicken, leeks, new potatoes (!), salt and white wine.

By tomorrow evening, hopefully it will be a delicious compilation of flavors. I’ll take the chicken out, add cream and tarragon, and mash some of the potatoes before serving.

Ooh I can’t wait!

I suppose it means I’m an adult being excited about a slow cooker. If it tastes good, I won’t care 🙂

*Update: The slow cooker is making my kitchen smell yummy, but I can’t see into it to check if the meat is done and the instructions say not to lift the lid because you release heat and make your food take longer to cook so I’ll have to be patient.

*Update: The slow cooker chicken was different than I’m used to, but was moist and tasted a little of leeks. Turns out I rather like leeks.
Overall it was yummy and I will for sure make slow cooker meals again! Plus it makes the house smell great.

I think I did the sauce wrong though. It wasn’t as thick as the picture in the magazine.


V-day lovin’

Whew! Glad that week is over but I had an amazing time and enjoyed singing with new people!

Since every day is like Valentine’s Day (cheesy, yes, but true!) and because I’m weird and don’t really want to do V-day any way… Last night was perfect.

It was pajama pants and slippers, cod, Mac n cheese, wine from the cellar (by cellar I mean the cardboard box in the closet under the stairs, lest you think I’m classy) great conversations, and Bones and New Girl. The perfect night!

My man got my favorite sweet, chocolate covered pretzels, and picked me up a muffin for breakfast 🙂 He’s the best.

And I used the faux holiday as an excuse to gift — I made a hardcover Shutterfly book of our trip to Japan! It came out gorgeous, and I love the way the pics on the cover and backcover look. Super happy about that! I think he liked it!

Tonight I return to the gym. My self esteem requires it.


These are the biggest asparagus I’ve seen. Holy steroids, Batman!



Dinner returns!

It feels like a week since I’ve had dinner at home!

It has been, sadly, if you don’t count eating take-out on the couch while watching Samantha Brown and Petty Little Liars as ‘dinner at home.’

I hadn’t seen my boyfriend since Sunday night, when we went to the jacuzzi after I ate my weight in chips and dip, full calorie beer and Super Bowl cupcakes. Not the most flattering time to put on a bikini.

Tonight he brought the salmon, I the asparagus, and we cooked dinner together.

This week is turning out less stressful than I had anticipated. I really hope it lasts!

This is salmon cooked in olive oil with lemon pepper. Really good.




Just like Thanksgiving dinner

In my winter-long quest to find vegetables other than zucchini that might take place as the standby vegetable, I pulled out this recipe from Thanksgiving.

A few years back I made the standard Campbell’s soup mushroom and green bean casserole. It was delicious but not quite healthy and people really seemed to like it..

But this year I wanted to try NOT to add to my family’s high blood pressure and cholesterol, so I found a much better recipe that actually turned out tastier than the canned soup version! And in this one, there’s only one canned ingredient – French fried onions.

You cook green beans on the stove or boil them in water. In a separate pan, saute sliced mushrooms in a little oil and add seasoning (I used garlic salt and Italian herb mix). When you’re ready to eat, combine the two and sprinkle some French fried onions on top!

Voila! And there you have a really yummy veggie side dish that is not zucchini.

Only a couple sad green beans remained at the end of this meal.


As you can see, we had other food too. Really, really good fish and the quick cooking risotto!

This, sir, is trench coat weather

It’s been all grey skies, drizzly clouds and a chill in the air the last few days. This is wonderful because it’s a great reason to wear all the long sleeved shirts and sweaters I unpacked from storage BUT for whatever reason I have been Just. So. Tired. lately.

When I wake up, I’m groggy and just want to cuddle back under the sheets, comforter, and quilt I’ve got piled on the bed. My fuzzy rainbow slippers are never far from my feet, and I’ve been burning apple orchard candles every day (right now, in fact).

I’m not sure if my recent extra-sleepiness has to do with the weather, or daylight savings changes, or maybe I’m B12 deficient again? No idea, but it sucks getting sleepy early and not being able to get out of bed like a normal person.

Also, my camera is broken, so you’ll have to settle for old photos for a while until my shiny new gadget is returned to me.

This is also cookin’-at-home weather… below are the pictures from when I made Basil Cream Chicken.

Basil in a bowl.

This recipe is a good excuse to use up the big basil leaves on Vincent’s plant. That thing is HUGE. And has lots of tasty leaves to contribute to my food.

You can see the bugs like it too — gross.

Pimentos. Colorful peppers!

I just love all the bright reds, yellows and greens of the pimento peppers I bought for this recipe. And I love that the peppers aren’t spicy at all.

Funny story — when we accidentally ordered pad Thai and forgot to say ‘mild’ I didn’t make it past a few bites before my face turned red and my tongue started burning. I am definitely a ‘mild’ anti-spicy girl.

The finished product is just heavy enough to be filling but not so much that I feel fat for the rest of the night. You know the feeling, yes?

The colors don’t really come through but since I took this under bad lighting with a cell phone camera with no flash I’ll let this one slide 🙂

Basil Cream Chicken