Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Veggie, Bacon & Cheddar Frittata

Hi friends! Boy, do I have a super delicious recipe for you. I realized we had a crazy amount of eggs in the fridge, plus tons of veggies, and I got to thinking of a frittata for some reason. I've never made one, but I figured I could do it while using up all those eggs and veggies. After lots of internet researching I finally gave up on finding a recipe, and I decided to just go with it.

The result? John walked past the kitchen while it was cooking and went, "Whoa! Come smell this! It smells gooooood!" I agreed with him, but when he "mmmm'd" about 5 times in a row while eating his first few bites, I knew I had a winner. I was quickly told I needed to make this again "very soon," and I'm looking forward to all the variations I can play with. You can make this as healthy or indulgent as you like, but it's super easy and a great way to sneak protein and veggies into your diet. Try it! And tell me if you come up with a good variation, please!

Veggie, Bacon & Cheddar Frittata
Recipe by Call Me Mrs. Rapp
Serves 3-6, depending on portions*
*add more eggs for more servings - up to 18 eggs total - plus more veggies/additions

WIAW: Girls Dinner!

Well it's safe to say that I've been pretty absent from my normal weekly posts, including What I Ate Wednesday and my Fit Fridays post. If any fellow teachers are reading this, you probably understand my lack of time has been due to all the crazy end-of-the year events and projects to finish. We're done a week from tomorrow, but I feel like there are a million things to do before then - field day, 8th grade graduation, report cards, curriculum orders, class lists...I could go on.

Anyway, I thought I'd jump back on the bandwagon so here goes. This is from yesterday (as most my WIAW posts are from my Tuesday eats). If you're looking for more good eats, head on over to Jenn's blog and see some of the others!

Breakfast: I was dragging this morning. Like whoa. So, I didn't get a nice egg sandwich. Instead I grabbed a yogurt on my way out the door. It was tasty as always, but I've become quite attached to my egg sandwiches.

Lunch: Thank goodness for leftovers! Lunch was a breeze to grab since I already put leftovers together from dinner last night. We had some rockin' salads, with lots of goodies. The salad included: baby spinach, romaine, tomatoes, bell peppers (red, green and yellow), avocado, cucumber, pine nuts and feta. I topped with my favorite homemade dressing (olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic & dijon mustard), and it was just packed with flavor. I had some sliced strawberries on the side to satisfy my ever-present sweet tooth.

Snack: Grazer alert! I had a handful of pretzels and almonds sometime after getting home from changing my blow out of a tire. I will post a picture soon, but right now it's not on my computer, and I'm too tired to find it!

Dinner: One of my favorite nights of the month! My Indy girlfriends (and sorority sisters) get together once a month for a "girls dinner." We rotate hosting duties each month, and a different girl brings sides, dessert, appetizers and/or wine/beer. We talk, eat, laugh and have a blast together. It's one of the highlights of my month! Love, love these girls!

Ally hosted tonight's dinner, and it was a fabulous spread. You can see all I noshed on, plus her amazing decorations and hosting skills at work. So grateful for my wonderful friends!

appetizers! boursin + gouda + table water crackers | cucumber + feta + deliciousness wraps

Beautiful table spread!
The fabulous dinner! Chicken (will make and post recipe ASAP!) + roasted potatoes + sauteed veggies |
plus salad with homemade greek yogurt dressing...and the CUTEST owl salt and pepper shakers!
Ally loves salt and pepper shakers ;)

some of the lovely details


Jourdan's delicious strawberry shortcake!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Indy 500...aka Hubby's Christmas

I awoke to John jumping up and down shouting "It's Christmas! It's Christmas!" bright and early Sunday morning. Yes, my husband owns a calendar. And, no, we do not celebrate some other Christmas, if that even happens. However, the Indianapolis 500 is John's Christmas. He looks forward to it all year, and May is pretty much amass of everything to do with the race.

So, Sunday I went to my 5th Indy 500 with John and his family. We have a deal that I will continue to go until I'm pregnant/we have babies, as I would not find the day enjoyable in that situation. It will probably become my Christmas, too, once it's also known as "Mommy's Day Off." ;)

This 500 was particularly memorable as it was the hottest 500...ever. Sit on that. The temperature was 93, but with humidity the heat index was a cool 105 degrees. Glorious, glorious weather to sit and watch race cars (hello, sarcasm.) In spite of the blaring heat, we had a really good time, and I'm grateful I was able to go, especially to sit in such wonderful seats that were in shade.

Here are some photos from our day. I hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend, and that you remembered those who have fought so hard to preserve our freedoms. Thank you to all our soldiers!

Rocking some cool shades

Marco Andretti's pit stop

JB with doubly awesome sunglasses
I like to call this "Like Father, Like Son"

Staying cool thanks to Kelsey's fan!!
Kelsey and JB

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Creamy Dill & Tartar Sauce

Have you ever seen the frozen crab cakes at Trader Joe's? They're surprisingly tasty - and cheap! I bought them on a whim a little while ago, and saw them staring at me from the freezer the other night. They sounded really good - and easy! - and I figured I could whip up a sauce to go with them.

I know that crab cakes are often served with a cream of tartar sauce, but I was under the impression I didn't have any. So, I started mixing some ingredients that I thought might taste good. Turns out? I had the cream of tartar. I added some at the end, but I'm actually really happy with the sauce I wound up with. It was packed with flavor, and seemed to compliment the crab cakes so well.

If you make this, I'd love to hear how it turns out for you and what you serve it with. New ideas are my favorite!

Creamy Dill & Tartar Sauce
Recipe by Call Me Mrs. Rapp
Yields about 1/3 cup of sauce

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dijon & Herb Panko-Crusted Salmon

John and I splurged last week and bought some fresh salmon for the amazing Crispy Salmon BLT Sliders with Chipotle Mayo. Well, it was so good, that I splurged again this week and bought some more fresh salmon. I wanted to make a new-to-me salmon dish, so I did some internet cruising and found one by Ina Garten that seemed tasty. However, hers seemed to involve a lot more steps and ingredients I wasn't the keenest on. Am I the only one who is not a fan of parsley? Just wondering.

Anyway, I got to playing around in my kitchen and whipped up this super fast, easy and tasty dish. I kept her suggestion for dijon and panko, but that was it. This was a really great weeknight meal, and John and I ate loved it. A little fresh lemon juice at the end really took it up a notch and brought out all the flavors. If you're looking for a quick and light meal, I think you'll really enjoy this.

Dijon & Herb Panko-Crusted Salmon
Recipe loosely adapted from Ina Garten
Serves 2-3, depending on portions and size of salmon filet

*Salmon filet, with skin (mine was about .7 pounds and we had leftovers)
*1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
*1 tsp Herbs Provence
*1 tbsp dijon mustard
*1 tsp minced onion
*1/2 tsp garlic powder
*1-2 tbsp olive oil
*lemon for garnish and/or juice

*Combine bread crumbs, herbs, minced onion, garlic powder and olive oil in a small bowl. Mix well, with just enough olive oil to make the mixture hold together.

*Place salmon on a wire rack over a pan, or on a pan itself (skin down). Coat with dijon mustard. Place bread crumb mixture on top, spreading it evenly.

*Place in oven at 450 for 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness of salmon. Or, use the broil setting at 500 for 8-13 minutes, depending on thickness of salmon. (I broiled mine, but it makes the top extra crispy, so it's up to your personal preference).

*Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top and serve hot!

ready for the oven
out of the oven
time to eat!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wedding Season is Here!

Happy Monday, friends! I finally feel like I'm starting to get caught up on posts. After last week I definitely fell behind, but slowly but surely I'm making them up. Anyhoo...

Over the weekend John and I went to our first wedding of the season! Our friends John and Andrea had a gorgeous wedding, and you could just feel the love between them. John and I started dating around the same time they did, so it's fun to be able to see how far we've all come since college. I will never forget going to dinner with them while in St. Louis for a formal, and John's (not my John) wine tasting "skills." Oh memories...

John and Andrea's wedding was so special to be a part of, and we had a blast catching up with John's fraternity brothers and their significant others.

Here are a few photos from the lovely wedding. Please pardon the general "fuzziness" of the photos. My camera was not being my friend and several are iPhone pictures. What can you do?

After this wedding we are one down, with 5 to go, plus 4 showers. It's going to be one busy summer/early fall around here!

How was your weekend?

Hubby and I :)
Rocking some cool shades they passed out as dance favors
Love this girl!
The beautiful couple!
Dance party!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

NYC: Part II

Continuing my NYC recap, it's time to chat about Saturday! After a late night everyone slept in a bit. We asked the wonderful hotel for brunch recommendations, and they sent us down the street to Bubby's, a local place that was super crowded. While we we waited, some of the girls ordered beverages from the bar. When Jessie ordered a spicy bloody mary, we learned they used jalapeno vodka to make it. Bleh! The bartender convinced these two to try it, and they were not happy after...So glad I only took the pictures.

Once we were seated, most of us order the Bubby's Special, which came with eggs, meat, toast and about a tablespoon of fruit. I had high expectations, but honestly my scrambled eggs tasted like they were sitting on a lamp for awhile. Not cool.

The mother's day menu...Jessi making fun of me for pics for the blog...and food!
After brunch we hung out at the hotel for a bit before deciding to take the subway to the Staten Island ferry. Did you know it's free?? We took it to Staten Island and back, snapping some pictures along the way.

The bride-to-be! | When push comes to shove...

Some of the ladies headed to a restaurant for a few drinks after the ferry, but I went back to the hotel to get ready for our awesome, fancy dinner at The Hurricane Club (thanks, Annie!).

Saturday outfit!Navy BCBG strapless dress via Nordstrom (about 2 years ago)
Kate Spade Purse
Color block earrings via Arden B
Before heading to dinner we played the standard bachelorette "panty game." If you're not familiar, each guest buys the bride a pair of panties. The bride has three guesses to determine who gave them to her, and it usually involved lots of laughing (as did this one!). Deborah fared pretty well, and some of the panties were more amusing than anything.

Impromptu photo shoot waiting for a cab
Dinner was absolutely phenomenal! The Hurricane Club is a fantastic restaurant, and the food was to-die-for! Check out this menu and some of the amazing food we enjoyed...

After dinner, we stopped at Rif Rafs, a tiki bar next door. It was so crowded that the waiters were literally pushing you out of their way, so we soon left. Our group of 16 split up, and I went with three of the girls to a dance club close to our hotel. Rachael's boyfriend had a table next to the DJ booth, so we were able to dance and relax and really enjoy our time.

And this, my friends, is a little segment I like to call, "Close your mouth, Lauren." Seriously?? What is up with me in all these pictures?! Apparently I thought that was a good idea...who knows. I was having fun though, so that's all that matters, right? :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Crispy Salmon BLT Sliders w/ Chipotle Mayo

Let me tell you something. You need these in your life. I mean, you really need these.

After not cooking or doing much after work the past few days, I was finally ready to jump back into my routine a bit. My heart is still heavy with issues of late, but I know I'm doing no one any good, especially my body and bank account, with all this laziness and eating out. I saw this recipe on Jessica's blog, and immediately sent John to the store for the ingredients.

Besides John complaining about all the "specialty" ingredients on the list (you'll laugh when you see these so-called exotic ingredients), he was a huge fan of this meal, as was I. I gobbled up two, and was so glad he bought extra salmon for leftovers. These are a breeze to whip up, but so full of tasty flavor. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Crispy Salmon BLT Sliders w/ Chipotle Mayo
Recipe by How Sweet It Is
Makes about 6-8 sliders

*1 pound raw skinless salmon
*salt and pepper, to taste
*2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into thirds
*2 tomatoes, sliced (I used roma tomatoes)
*lettuce for topping (I used Romaine)
*1/2 cup mayonaisse (I used light mayo)
*1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
*6 multigrain slider buns or dinner rolls, toasted if desired (I used Hawaiian rolls)

*Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy and fat is rendered, then remove and let drain on a paper towel.

*Preheat the broiler in your oven and place the top oven rack as close as it can go to the broiler. Cut the salmon in to squares pieces that fit the size of your buns, then cover both sides with salt and pepper. Place on a broiler pan (or nonstick baking sheet) and broil for 5 minutes. Gently flip and broil for about 5 minutes more. Note: time may depend on thickness of salmon; mine was 1-inch thick. 

*In a small bowl, mix mayo with adobo until smooth. Spread some on each bun, top with a square of salmon, a slice of bacon, a tomato slice and lettuce. Eat!

Bacon + Fixings + Toasting Buns

Sandwich Assembly

So cute and tasty!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

NYC: Part I

Hi friends! I'm back from NYC, and I can honestly say I had the best time. I think I forgot how much I adore NYC - I lived there 5 years ago while interning at a global PR firm. I felt so happy and at ease walking around, and I soaked up every bit of the city I could. I must go back again soon, but this time with the hubby!

Anyhoo, I have lots to update you on, and I'm not entirely sure how many posts I'll actually need to do so. I figured I would start here and see where it takes me. Sound good? I hope so!

I flew in Friday morning with my friend Jessi, and I was thrilled when she agreed to take a fitness class at Physique 57 with me! I asked the rest of my friends and was met with a resounding "NO!" from each of them. The class ended up being a blast, and my muscles were burning like crazy by the end of each "sprint." If I lived in NYC I would definitely make this class a habit!

After showering and getting settled at the hotel - which was fabulous! (I'll save that for the last post!) - we were off to explore SoHo a bit. After checking out some cute street shops and the like, we found a great little cafe on the street, Sanctuary T, which was perfect for people watching and relaxing. We split some fresh bruschetta (sp?) and truffle mac 'n cheese for a late lunch, and we sipped on some mimosas, too. Annie, our dear friend from Colorado, met up with us too.

After a few drinks we went shopping (window for me!) in SoHo. Annie found an adorable dress from TopShop, and then we saw this...Only in NYC would a bride walk down the streets of SoHo in her wedding dress.

We headed back to the hotel and sat at the hotel bar with the bride-to-be Deborah and her family. As our friends slowly got into town they trickled in and joined us. Girls had a few drinks and appetizers, and I headed up to the hotel to relax and freshen up.

The meat packing district was calling our name as a big bunch of girls loves to dance! We went to a few spots, including The Standard, and ended up at Kiss and Fly, where we danced the night away. I love nights out dancing with the girls! By the time I made it home I had been up for almost 24 hours, and was completely exhausted. The bed screamed my name and I slept blissfully for 7 hours.

Outfit for Friday
Dress: Forever 21
Blazer: Land's End
Nude pumps: Chinese Laundry via Macy's
Purse: Kate Spade via Nordstrom (sold out - same version but larger found here; same version but canvas found here)

Silly girls...
in meat packing district
Friends since Freshman year of college! (soph year college pic on left, obviously!)

More to come!
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