Funny stories... tales from the road... life with us.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Interesting Outlook on Life Today

Go here and watch this Conan guest talk about how ridiculous we are today... "We live in an amazing, amazing world, and it's wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Recipe Sharing: Pan Seared Scallops

I mentioned that we made these for my Mom's birthday dinner last weekend, so I thought I'd share the recipe.

Pan Seared Scallops
Yield: 5-7 scallops per person is good, depending on the size. I like ones that are about 1.5" in diameter.

Fresh scallops (we've used thawed, previously frozen, but fresh are best)
Flour, salt and pepper
Olive oil

Rinse and remove the muscle from the scallop (little fleshy part on the side that will pull right off). Dredge in flour and top with fresh ground pepper and kosher or sea salt. Heat olive oil (estimate about 2 tbsp. per serving of scallops) to hot (almost smoking). Add scallops and sear for 2 - 2.5 minutes on one side; flip and sear for 30 more seconds.


Sonic Coming to D.C.!

WASHINGTON, DC-Sonic, a drive in restaurant franchise, is looking to open between 40 to 50 stores in the Greater Washington area over the next several years. The franchisee for Washington will be touring sites in Maryland and Virginia this week for initial investments... more.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy birthday to you...
Happy birthday to you...
Happy birthday, dear Mom...
Happy birthday to you!

Today we are wishing a very happy birthday to my Mom!! Here's to hoping that you have a very happy day -- thanks for all that you do!

(This photo was taken last summer. Everyone says we look alike, but we don't really see it. Funny enough, we made my Mom a Wii Mii last weekend when my parents were visiting, and when we put it next to my Mii, they looked so much alike it was laughable. What do you think??)

Oscars in Review

I love, love, love to watch the Oscars (and any other awards show, really), so Sunday night's show was on my calendar. I even took a nap in the afternoon so I could stay up until midnight and not be wiped out Monday.

Here are a few thoughts on this year's show from your armchair critic (I seriously considered live blogging during the show, but we DVRed and I thought it would be too tricky)....

  • Disliked the 30-minutes of red carpet with the hosts from GMA and Tim Gunn. More Ryan Seacrest, please.
  • Loved Hugh Jackman's opening sketch, song and dance. He's got chops! Anne Hathaway's Nixon impression was so funny that Hugh had a hard time not cracking. And I love the techno dance and ditty about not seeing The Reader. (Did anyone see The Reader?)
  • So sick of Brad and Angelina. Do what you say you are going to do and please go away.
  • Everything came to a grinding halt with five boooooring past supporting actresses. Geez. Have a little pep already!
  • Love Tina Fey. Love Steve Martin.
  • About halfway through the Hugh Jackman/Beyonce duo, I said to Rob, "What's this for again?" A little odd, but better than interpretive dance any day. Nonetheless, that was 10 minutes of my life I'll never get back.
  • Rob laughed like a loon during the James Fraco/Seth Rogan comedy review. Potheads or not, you have to admit that they are funny.
  • Sean Penn takes himself too seriously. And what was with the shrug-off to his wife's congratulatory kiss and neglect of mentioning her in his thanks? Hmmmm.
  • Montage before Best Picture was wacky. Mixing old winners/movies with nominees was confusing! Am glad Slumdog Millionairre won. If you haven't seen it, you should.
Did you watch the Oscars? Share your reviews!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wrapping Up the Weekend

We had a great weekend with my parents in town! They got here Friday afternoon and we ran around to a few shops. Mom treated me to a cute new Vera Bradley purse (thanks, Mom!), and Dad and I headed to pick up some good bbq for dinner. I made a new macaroni and cheese recipe to go with, and dinner was yummy. Friday night we were all wiped out and headed to bed pretty early.

Saturday we decided to visit National Harbor. a new mixed-use development on the Potomac in PG County. I'd been there for a project tour back in the summer, and more retail and restaurants are open now, although the pickings (and frankly, the crowd) were slim. We did enjoy going in the Stonewall Kitchen, since Mom and I'd spent too much time and $$ there during the trip I took with my parents to New England a few years ago. Terrific kitchen and gourmet goodies. After lunch, we headed back across the river to Old Town Alexandria for antiquing and geocaching for Rob.

Rob and I whipped up a great dinner of pan-seared scallops, roasted red potatoes and a blue cheese squash gratin for dinner, followed by a ridiculous dark chocolate raspberry cheesecake from a local bakery. Mmmm mmmm mmmm!

Sunday we headed to church, then drove downtown for brunch and more chocolate. I had the citrus ricotta hotcakes and a peanut butter hot chocolate. Rob's french toast s'mores, Mom's cheese souffle and Dad's flatbread were all delicious too. I love that place.

Just a journal of the weekend, and apparently a TON of eating. Hope your weekend was enjoyable too!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Weekend Ahead

It's Thursday night, our house is clean and we are ready for the weekend! My parents are coming down tomorrow, and we are spending the weekend together. We don't have any big plans... trying to decide if maybe we should go to the Newseum or something fun. Any ideas??

My Mom's birthday is Tuesday next week, so I'm picking up a delish cake from a local bakery for after dinner Saturday, and we are going for brunch at a chocolate lounge in D.C. after church on Sunday. Yum! Rob and I went there for my birthday last November, and it was ridiculous.

Before dinner tonight, we hung up our newly hemmed brown silk curtains in the living room -- our last step in all of the renovation/home improvements we started last weekend. I have to brag on my husband -- he was a trooper and really took charge of doing all of the cabinets, patching and painting the wall, and hanging the curtains. He's a keeper!

Wishing you a happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Recipe Sharing: PB Granola

Found this recipe in Southern Living in January and made up a batch this weekend, with a few variations noted below. It's good! After it cooled, I bagged it in 1/2 cup servings in snack-sized ziplock bags for easy snacks or breakfast yogurt/oatmeal toppings. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Granola
Yield: 6 cups

  • 3 cups uncooked regular oats
  • 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut (I substituted pecans here)
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I used light PB)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter (I used light butter)
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°. Toss together oats, peanuts, coconut, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Cook peanut butter, brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat 3 minutes or until smooth. Stir peanut butter mixture into oat mixture until blended. Spread mixture in a single layer on a lightly greased, aluminum foil-lined 17- x 12-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly golden, stirring after 10 minutes. Transfer to wax paper, and cool completely (about 20 minutes). Serve with vanilla yogurt and sliced bananas.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Color Me Suprised!

What a nice surprise to come home yesterday to a beautiful bouquet of roses from my favorite Valentine! We shared a nice dinner and enjoyed our evening. In between coming home from work and heading to dinner, the installation man put up our new wood blinds!

Today we ran some errands, and we've been busy with some home improvements, including spackling and sanding where Rob took down the old window treatments and putting new hardware on our kitchen cabinets. The old handles were bronze and, well, gross. We bought stainless ones this morning at a local hardware place going out of business. I removed the old handles and cleaned the fronts of the cabinets while Rob spackled, and then we both put on 23 new cabinet handles and drawer pulls. We are seven into the 33 hinges to be replaced -- that's much tougher! Nonetheless, it's looking sharp in there. Now if only I could get that new dishwasher... :)

Tonight, crispy beef and chicken lomein. Yum! Hope you are having a great Saturday!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Creatures of Habit

Maybe it's because I'm getting old and set in my ways, but I've found myself really noticing my rituals lately. It's not that they are bad habits (although they aren't all good, either), but they are just how I do things. I've often thought I have a touch of OCD... and it really shows up in a few of the routines I follow daily, like:

1. I head to our work kitchen every day at 8 a.m. to retrieve my packed breakfast. Not 7:59 a.m. I must wait until the tiny clock on my computer says 8 a.m.

2. I drink two mugs of green tea every morning. The first one I fix with my breakfast, and the second is about an hour later. I only skip the second mug on Tuesdays. I'm not sure why.

3. In the mornings, I shower, partly dress, dry hair, apply make-up, brush teeth, finish dressing, add jewelry. In that order. Otherwise, I forget where I am in my routine and end up taking way longer than normal.

4. I measure close to everything I eat. I measure the cream in my coffee (2 tbsp.), the pasta per serving (2 oz.), the cereal to top my yogurt (2/3 c.), etc. This is definitely a good habit I've developed during the past year, although my co-workers give me wacky looks when they see me scooping out one tsp. of mayo to mix in my tuna or washing exactly 12 strawberries for a snack.
Hmmm. Maybe I'm weirder than I thought. What are some of your habits/routines?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Recipe Sharing: Zesty Chicken BBQ

My friend Lee shared this recipe via Facebook. We've had it and I've passed it along to many - so good and so easy!

Zesty Chicken BBQ
Yield: 6-8 servings


  • 6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Spray crockpot with PAM. Place chicken in bottom of dish.
  • Mix together bbq sauce, salad dressing, brown sugar and Worcestershire. Pour over chicken.
  • Cover, and cook 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.
  • Shred it (I used tongs to tear it apart) and serve.
I served it over baked potatoes (with shredded cheese, diced green onion, sour cream, etc.) the first time, and we had leftovers on sandwich buns. Also, it made a TON, so we ate it for two meals, and I froze three additional meals for easy dinners in the near future.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Catching Up

Wow, it's been too long since I've blogged. It's been a busy two weeks, with me at a conference Sunday-Wednesday of this week. I'm home and exhausted. And stuffed. Hotel/conference food is never great, but constant.


New fave show: Trust Me on TNT. Watch it. Also, Medium is back. Love it too.


Valentine's Day is Saturday. What are you doing? We are getting Chinese take out. The restaurants will be a zoo, so we actually have a reservation for Friday night and plan to stay in Saturday. Plus, "wintery mix" is headed our way, so they say. I'll believe it when I see it.


Our new window treatments are being installed on Friday afternoon. Whoo hoo! Rob took down the old rickety blinds in the kitchen so I can clean the frame, and it looks so odd in there without something on the window.


Keep thinking of the Salza family and their new baby boy, Leonidas. He's doing so well! Lots of prayers for this sweet family.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


It's halftime in the Super Bowl and we just watched the much-hyped 3D commercial. Rob ran out to snag us some free 3D glasses today. Did you see it?

At this point, the Steelers are winning (yay!) and I have yet to win a end-quarter score in our office pool (boo!).

Okay... commercial overview... I'm not a fan of stock-talking babies or horses in love. I did, however, like the Bob Dylan/Will.I.Am commercial. Wonder what's in store for the second half?

Time for pudding and one of LeAnn's chocolate chip cookies (made with real butter!).

Next up, Bruce. Oh, and I thought Jennifer Hudson did an excellent job with the National Anthem.