Monday, August 03, 2009

OK - I've Been a Giant Slacker

Sorry peeps! The entire month of July was dedicated to my job so no time for writing or socializing or breathing. I've been working about 50 - 60 hours a week and let me tell sucks! I know I should be glad to have a job and I am, but I don't know anyone who enjoys working that much! I recently worked a week in Dallas. It was super hot there but it didn't really matter. I only saw my hotel room, the hotel shuttle, and the conference room I was working in. I traveled with my own bottle of wine. Every night, I'd have a bubble bath and a glass of wine. How lame am I?

I did have one escape - Simon and I headed to Wheeling a few weekends ago for my 15-year
high school reunion. I can't believe I'm that old! I was super nervous about it. I kept visualizing the prom scene from Carrie. But luckily, everyone was super nice.

I also got to have DiCarlo's Pizza, which I hated growing up (they put the toppings on cold after the pizza is out of the oven.) For some reason, I love it now. I'm going to have to go to Hilliard and get some. They opened up a restaurant there a few years ago.

Movies, Festivals and New Restaurants...Oh My!

My weekend was pretty fun! I went to see the movie Funny People on Friday with Kelly and Stephanie and Kelly's co-worker Adam. Kelly and Adam hated it; Steph and I loved it. Go figure! Even though the funniest people on earth are in this movie, they're playing awkward characters, the plot is about a very serious topic and the movie is super long. It's not 'ha ha ha' all the time. Still, I thought it showed life as it truly is. There are high points, there are low points and sometimes you realize that the one thing you think would've changed your life wouldn't really have made much of a difference.

On Saturday, Simon, Kelly, Stephanie and Kelly's high school friend Tammy and I all went to the Dublin Irish Festival. Yes, poor Simon was the only dude. I got him a hat at the festival - it says 'Guinness' on it and has a bottle opener on the lid. That way if you're at a party and someone says "Does anyone have a bottle opener?", you can just whip off your hat.

On Sunday, Simon and I went to Cantina Laredo, a new Mexican restaurant that just arrived at Polaris. We lucked out because it was Training Day so our food was half price! We ordered queso laredo as an appetizer (meaty cheese). Simon got the Monterrey as an entree. It was three yummy enchiladas - spinach-mushroom, chicken veracruza and chicken mole (pronounced mo-lay, not mole like I always thought. We didn't have that sauce in West Virginia!) I got the soft tacos with chorizo and eggs. We concluded our meal with a tasty Mexican brownie served on a hot skillet and topped with ice cream and brandy butter sauce. After all that, we had to stop and get some Pepto!

In My Kitchen

Working long hours means I've been eating a lot of fast food. My pants no longer fit without Spanx. I'm officially on a major diet and workout program. I need to lose as much weight as possible before my schedule gets crazy again in October. I'm planning to work out for at least a half hour every day and do more cooking. On Saturday, I went to water aerobics for an hour and on Sunday, I rode the bike for 15 minutes and walked on the treadmill for 15 minutes.

I also made some keeper recipes this weekend! Mark Bittman featured 101 salads in the New York Times. My plan is to make all of them. I started with the first one on the list:

Cube watermelon and combine with tomato chunks, basil and basic vinaigrette. You can substitute peach for the watermelon or the tomato. You can also add bacon or feta.
I substituted peach for the tomato (I couldn't pick out a good tomato if you held a gun to my head) and added feta.

I also made Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs. Here's the recipe:

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs
from Cooking Light

2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika (I accidentally put in 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (I added tons of this)
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Cooking spray
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar (I only had red wine vinegar so I used that)

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.

Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

I cooked the thighs on my George Foreman and they turned out perfectly! I kept the same cooking times. Simon really liked these, so it's a boy-friendly recipe.

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