Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My first attempt at substituing in a recipe

I started a search on for green olives and ground beef as I was craving something salty and easy!

This recipe came up in my search:

As I was reading the reviews of things others did I tried to incorporate some of their suggestions. Here is what I ended up with with what I had on hand:

1 lb Laura's Lean Ground Beef and then 2 T chopped garlic cooked together.

I added lots chili powder, a tiny bit of chipotle pepper powder, and some cinnamon. I wanted to also add oregano, but I did not have any.

I cooked this all together, drained the beef (not that there was much grease) and added a 15 ounce can of Trader Joe's chopped tomatoes with jalapenos (the only can I had).

I chopped up about half a jar of pimento stuffed green pepper and most of the brine.

I started letting this cook down and continued my recipe reading. Apparantly, Piccadillo usually contains raisins. I love a sweet salty combo, so I added the only dried fruit I had. I chopped up a few dried plums (sounds better than prunes, right?) and simmered on low for about 45 minutes.

The results- fabulous! Probably a little more spicy than I read traditional Cuban food to be. I didn't want any extra carbs, but it is usually served with rice, beans, or plantains.

Lunch is going to be a little more exciting the next few nights.

Any great substitutions in recipes?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bizarre Collison of History

About halfway through our Christmas road trip, I noticed how history seemed to be intersecting everywhere. I am not a real fan of history in school, but seeing historical sights really make history so much more interesting.

Memphis is the unfortuante location of where Martin Luther King Jr was shot.

I was really intrigued by a photo of the furture President Clinton meeting the current President Kennedy at his library.

We visited the 6th Floor Book depository in Dallas. It was surreal, being on the Grassy Knoll and seeing the X's where President Kennedy was assasinated.

I was then really shocked when our carriage ride driver pointed out a school where Lee Harvey Oswald had attended.

Here is a photo of The 16th street Baptist church in Birmingham. I remember visiting the church during a high school trip and the impact of the story of the murder of the 4 girls during a bombing.

Passing through Montgomery, we stopped at Hank William Sr's gravesite. I remember the Alan Jackson song, Midnight in Montgomery and wanted to stop by and visit. I am hoping next time we are in Nashville, we can visit The Grand Ole Opry.
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I can't find my camera cord, so I will have to post about the Parmesean Pesto Sirloin as soon as I do. I did try two new things today. I mixed sugar-free cheesecake with Fage Yogurt. It did sweeten it up, but it tasted pretty chemically to me. After reading a chow hound post about popcorn cooked in duck fat, I had to try it. It was fine, but I prefer my popcorn cooked in coconut oil, which is a better fat anyway.

I also tried some pilates on demand- I think I will be sore tomorrow.

What is your favorite historical site you have visited?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crazy Weather

Weather is one of the "joys" of living in the Midwest. On this lovely January morning, I was awakened by a nice thunderstorm. The temperature has been dropping all day and now we are going to bed with snow and ice on the ground. The joke around here is, don't like the weather stick around a few minutes and it will change. Today it just went from bad to worse. How many days til spring?

I have been craving lobster rolls (pictured below) from The Lobster House in Cape May. I picked up some lobster and decided to attempt to recreate them. I checked out a few recipes on and did some substituting. I chopped up the lobster, substituted water chestnuts for celery (which I hate), substituted a packet of True Lime for lemon juice, and added cracked pepper. It turned out pretty good, we had it on a sourdough baguette. Next time I am going to make my own mayo- I need to do something with that vitamix I never use.

Speaking of travels, we just returned from a recent road trip, so I thought I would share a few pictures. We are not at state 27 our of 50!!!

The first picture is Grinder's Switch Wines (TN). I bought a bottle of the Blondie for my BFF and then a bottle of the Zephyr (the engine where Casey Jones so famously died with one hand on the horn and the other on the brake) to put away for a few months.

Then it was off to Memphis. Beale street was a lot of fun and we enjoyed our stay at The Peabody Hotel. We had dinner at BB Kings, while the music was awesome, the BBQ not so much. Below is the famous duck march. I had already been to Graceland so we skipped it this time.

Then it was off to Little Rock. We stayed at a nice bed and breakfast- The Empress of Little Rock. We had some awesome BBQ at Whole Hog Cafe. We were a little scared when we pulled up and I joked that they had probably purchased their trophies. Here is a picture of us at the Bill Clinton Library. I was a little upset to learn this was not the kind of library I thought it would be. I wanted to steal a book!

One of my favorite stops of the trip was The Old Mill, just outside Little Rock. It is the last standing structure from Gone With The Wind, which I have recently fallen in love with. No wonder that movie is a classic. The mill can be seen in the opening credits.

Next time, I will share more on the road trip and my other culinary adventure of the day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Goals

Here I am at the beginning of another year with pretty much the same goals that I have every year. Well 2012 is the year I plan on completing them!

I have lots of great ideas and plans, but lack follow-through and motivation. I am hoping that this blog can be help me organize and complete my objectives.

Here my list of endeavors

1. Blog here at least 3 times per week.

2. Read at least 1 non-text book a month just for fun and review it here.

3. Try and review atleast 1 new product a week.

1. Complete my MSN-Education in August 2012.

2. Obtain Low Risk Neonatal Certification by December of 2012.

1. Lose those last 10lbs to achieve a "normal BMI" by June and then maintain within 3 lbs of my goal weight.

2.Try at least 1 new activity a week until I can find a workout routine that I can maintain with a goal of a minimum of 3 workouts per week.

3. Try or develop one new recipe a week and review it here.

1. Reduce the amount I dine out- currently almost every meal to no more than twice a week (baring vacation and celebrations)

2. Stop using my badge in the cafeteria and pack my lunch, who needs that crap anyway?

1. Work on the 50 state quest by traveling to at least 10 states in 2012.

2. Vegas Vowel Renewal in August.

Now that I have put them out to the universe, I have to follow through!

Here I go blogging...

About me:

My name is Brittany. I live in Indiana. It has it ups and downs- right now it is winter, so I am scheming to relocate somewhere tropical. I love my family and you can't really beat the cost of living here, so moving is probably out of the question.

I am married to probably the only person who could put up with me, Jeremy. We are childless by choice, much to chargrin of many others.

I live to travel and work only to finance it. I can only function when I have the next trip in at least the planning stage. I pay for my travel habit by being nurse. I will always be regretful that I did not push myself out of my comfort zone to do travel nursing. I am hoping someday my husband will do something where he can work from home and we can move around the country together.

I love my Maltese, Preston, but have quite a love/hate relationship with my husband's bad little dog- Lilly. He says we don't get along because we are too much alike.

I am slightly princessy, a disorganized mess, and usually have to learn things the hard way. Follow along on my adventures in leaning to cook, organize, travel, wine and God knows what else.