Sunday, September 27, 2009

80's Party!

Our 80's party was last night and we had a blast. We had a good turnout and lots of great costumes. A guy Greg works with burned us a dvd of 80's music vidoes, short clips from tv shows, like "Alf", and the opening song for a couple of 80's shows, like "Facts of Life" and "Charles in Charge". It was great to not only have the 80's music but also to actually see the videos and outfits to go with it. We had a 80's trivia game with girls-vs-guys. It was close, but the guys ended up winning by one point. We gave out a prize for the best dressed guy and girl, which was hard because everybody looked great! At the end of the night, our kitchen table had been moved into the living room and our kitchen had been turned into a dance floor. It was so much fun. Greg's hurting a little bit today, but it was well worth it. Here are some pictures from our party. I posted more on our Shutterfly page.

Greg dressed up like an 80's rocker with a mullet, bandana, eyeliner, and a Def Leppard T-shirt. I put my hair in a side ponytail, big bangs, big hoop earrings, a shirt a wide collar hanging off one shoulder, bright plastic bracelets, and some bright pink leggings.

This Madonna costume won her "Best Dressed Girls" at our party. She created this entire outfit for $13.00! He decided to go a different route and dress up like he was in his 80's and he pretty much stayed in character the entire night. It was so funny.

Cyndi Lauper & Miami Vice. I love her hair!
I love her belt & side ponytail.

He even put a police light in his car to go with the "Miami Vice" theme.

Her son even dressed up. He came as Joey Lawrence. One of Greg's favorite 80's personalities!

Look at her bright pink shoes--so 80's. And I'm loving the headband.
He kept those sunglasses on the entire night. Perfect when "I Wear My Sunglasses at Night" came on, one of our favorite 80's songs.

I love her vest, I'm surprised we didn't see more vests since those were so popular during the 80's. And they're making a comeback.

I thought they looked great. He won for "Best Dressed Guy". Everybody LOVED his boots.

Our go-to rocker pose for the night.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sante Fe Ravioli Soup

This recipe calls for ravioletti which are little miniature ravioli. It's actually called "Sante Fe Ravioletti Soup" but I could not find ravioletti. I looked for it at two different grocery stores and ended up deciding to just use regular ravioli. I really enjoyed the soup and so did Greg. He ended up having 3 bowls of it.

Sante Fe Ravioletti Soup
Points: 4
Servings: 6

* 2 (14oz) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
* 1 (7oz) package three-cheese ravioletti
* 1 (16oz) container refrigerated fresh salsa
* 1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 (10oz) package diced cooked chicken (I used leftover rotessiere chicken)
* 1 glove minced garlic
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* Reduced-fat sour cream (optional)

1. Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add ravioletti, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in salsa and next 3 ingredients. Cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally; stir in cilantro.
2. Ladle soup into bowls; stop with sour cream, if desired.

I got this out of Weight Watchers Five Ingredient, 15 Minute Recipes

Show Us Your Life- Go To Desserts

This week for Show Us Your Life over at Kelly's Korner, it's "Favorite Go To Dessert". I had no problems picking this recipe. It's Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes. They are so delicious and easy to make. I first tried this recipe when Greg & I first started living together in 2001 and it's been one of my favorite desserts since. Every time I take it to a party, there are no leftovers. I think these cupcakes look perfect for fall parties when they are topped with brown and orange sprinkles.

Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes
* 1 package spice cake mix
* 1 can (15oz) Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
* 3 large eggs
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 1/3 cup water
* 1 container cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven to 350. Paper-line or grease 24 muffin cups.
Blend cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and water in large mixer bowl until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.
Bake for 18-23 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Spread cupcakes with frosting. Decorate with assorted sprinkles, if desired.

Marinated Asparagus

This recipe really makes plain old asparagus taste great. It tasted so fresh and delicious. We will definitely be having this again. The only bad thing is it has to marinate for 8 hours, so it's something you have to plan ahead for.

Marinated Asparagus
Points: 2
Servings: 6

* 8 cups hot water
* 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
* 1 (2oz) jar diced pimiento, undrained
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring 8 cups water to boil in a Dutch oven; add asparagus, and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus with a slotted spoon. Plunge into ice water; drain. Pat asparagus dry with paper towls. Place in a large zip-top plastic bag.
2. Combine oil and next 9 ingredients ina small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour marinade over asparagus in bag. Seal bad, and refrigerate 8 hours.
3. Transfer asparagus to a serving dish; drizzle remaining marinade over asparagus.

I got this recipe out of WW 20 Minute Recipes

Broccoli with Garlic and Ginger

I served this dish with the Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo that I posted yesterday. It's so delicious and only has one point.

Broccoli with Garlic & Ginger
Points: 1
Servings: 4

* 1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
* 1 tablespoon less-sodium soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
* 2 teaspoons cornstarch
* 2 teaspoons canola oil
* 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
* 2 garlic gloves, minced
* 4 cups broccoli florets
* 1/4 cup water

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic: saute 1 minute or until lightly browned. Add broccoli, and saute 5 minute or until crisp-tender. Stir in broth mixture. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time; cook until liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Serve immediately.

I got this from Weight Watchers 20 minute Recipes.

Bacon & Sun-Dried Tomato Alfedo Pasta

This is a Weight Watcher Recipe that I got out of one of my WW 15 Minutes or Less cookbooks. I have never made anything with sun-dried tomato or bacon in it before. I wanted to try something different and I'm glad I did. It was very delicious. I served it with a side salad and Broccoli with Garlic & Ginger which is another WW recipe I will post later.

Bacon & Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Pasta
6 Points
Servings: 5

* 8 ounces of uncooked mulitgrain penne
* 1 (10oz) package refrigerated light Alfredo Sauce
* 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil and cut into julienne strips.
* 10 slices precooked bacon
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
** I could not find sun-dried tomatoes packed without oil, so I just rinsed mine with water to get the oil off**

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm.
2. While pasta cooks, combine Alfredo sauce and sun-dried tomatoes in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until thoroughly heated and tomatoes are juicy and plump. While sauce cooks, microwave bacon according to package directions. Crumble bacon, and set aside.
3. Combine cooked pasta and Alfredo sauce mixture in a large serving bowl. Top with crumbled bacon, basil, and black pepper.

I got this recipe from Weight Watchers Five Ingredient, 15 Minute Recipes.

Weight Watchers

So, I joined Weight Watchers almost 2 weeks ago with 4 girls from work. We go to the 8:00 meeting on Saturday mornings. I like WW because the way it works is each food has an assigned number of points and you have a certain number of points each day that you are not supposed to exceed. The number of points you get depend on your gender, age, weight, etc. There are many foods that have zero points, such as broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc. I like this diet because you can basically eat what you want, you are just held responsible for the decisions you make. If you have a donut for breakfast, you have to arrange the rest of your day accordingly, like having just a salad for lunch. It's common sense, but it's nice to write everything down and have a specific plan to follow. I also like the weigh-ins and meetings each week, I feel that I'm held accountable for my progress. I also love the girls I'm doing it with. They are so nice and make it so much easier to eat healthier at work. It's hard to eat healthy in a doctor's office-everyday our patients, pharmaceautical reps, and medical supply reps bring us pies, donuts, cookies, lunch, candy, etc.

I absolutely love to cook. I think it's so much fun to find new recipes to try. I love reading through Paula Deen's latest magazine and picking a fun recipe to try on Sunday afternoons (which is probably the reason I need to go on Weight Watchers in the first place) So, I couldn't do a diet that didn't allow me to still try new recipes. Weight Watchers has several recipe books out and every season they come out with a new Weight Watcher recipe magazine that is packed with easy and healthy recipes to try. I have been looking through them since I started on Weight Watchers and have tried several new recipes and have many more that I plan to try. I will post those recipes on here and let you guys know what I think.

Another thing I like to do is read blogs and I've found a couple blogs written by women who are doing weight watchers and some others by girls that are into fitness or eating healthy. Here are the links to the blogs I really like: Weight Watchers Changed My Life, The Weight Watcher Chick, On My Way From Fat To Fab, Not Just a Pretty Face, and a blog completely dedicated to Weight Watcher recipes- Weight Watcher Points Recipes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Show Us Your Life

It's "Show Us Your Life" Dinner Recipes at Kelly's Korner this week. I've been looking forward to this week's post because I love to cook. It was really hard to pick just one recipe, but Baked Ziti is definitely our favorite recipe. Sorry I don't have any pictures to go with this.

Baked Ziti

* 1 pound dried ziti pasta
* Kosher salt
* 3 1/2 cups Quick Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
* 1 pound fresh mozzarella, half cut into 1/2-inch cubes and half thinly sliced
* 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* Pinch red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and boil the pasta until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. Drain.
Toss the cooked pasta with the marinara sauce, cubed mozzarella, half the Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Transfer the pasta to an oiled 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Cover the top of the pasta with the sliced mozzarella, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake until lightly browned and hot, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Quick Tomato Sauce:
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 pound sweet and or spicy Italian sausages, casing removed and crumbled
* 1/4 medium onion, diced (about 3 tablespoons)
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 3 1/2 cups whole, peeled, canned tomatoes in puree, (one 28-ounce can), roughly
* Sprig fresh thyme
* Sprig fresh basil
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and the herb sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper, to taste

***So after I originally posted this I looked back through my past blogs and decided I couldn't just post one recipe for this. So, some more of my favorite recipes that I've already blogged about before are Ginger Flank Steak, which is the best steak marinade ever. I use it every time we have steak. Two recipes I got from Pioneer Woman Asian Noodle Salad and Lasagna. And a tip I got from Kevin and is to thaw out some boneless chicken breasts and marinate them overnight in Italian dressing (fat free works fine) and then grill them. I promise you will like them. It sounds too simple, but it is the best chicken! In March, I also posted several weight watcher recipes along with the points they're worth if you are interested in healthier recipes.***

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall Shows

Today is the start of the TV fall season. The shows I'm most excited about premier tonight- "Survivor" and "The Community" with Joel Mchale. I love Joel Mchale and I watch him on The Soup on E! every week. Normally I don't watch shows on tv, I wait until they come out on dvd and then watch them, but I've got into several shows by watching them on DVD so this fall I'll have a lot to tivo like "Heroes", "How I Met Your Mother", "The Office" and starting September 30th, a new Real World/Road Rules Challenge. I know I'm way too old to be watching things on Mtv, but I can't help it. The challenges are so addicting and I can't stop. The preview for the upcoming season looks so good, I can't help but watch it.

I can't wait to see the new season of Survivor. I get so into it and I hope there's a good cast this season. I usually know the person I like the most on the first episode and pretty much stick to it for the whole season. And I usually know who I don't like immediately. Last season, it was Coach. He was the biggest jerk and I hated him from the first day. We'll see if there's anybody that awful on this season. I know a lot of people are burned out on Survivor and don't watch it anymore, but I didn't get into it until recently, so I still love it. Here's this season's cast.

I will definitely post a review of Community later this week and let you guys know what I thought of it. I hope it's good!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

80's Theme Party

So, Greg and I have decided to throw an 80's theme party. We've been talking about it for years, but never got around to it. One night we were talking with some friends of ours and the topic of 80's music came up and we decided that we were finally going to do it. I'm so excited. It's going to be on Saturday, September 26. I've already downloaded over 200 80's songs to play, bought some bright pink leggings, a bright blue top, and some jelly bracelets. I'm going to try on the outfit tonight and see what else it needs. I plan to cut the collar of the blue shirt so it goes over one of my shoulders and wear a brightly colored tank top underneath. We ordered some candy ciggarettes and are going shopping for an 80's trivia game this weekend. I looked online for fun 80's refreshments and it looks like candy was big, so we'll get plenty of that as well as some Barltes and James wine coolers. We're going to have 80's movies playing on the tv on mute, like "Top Gun" and "Sixteen Candles". If anybody has any other ideas, please let me know. I cannot wait to take pictures of everybody's fun 80's outfits and post them on here. This a picture I found online of 80's style. Oh my, that hair is something! I can't wait to see if anybody comes to the party with some big, 80's hair.

Exciting news! My friend Emily gave birth to a baby boy, Aiden Christopher, last night. I'm so happy for her. Congrats Emily!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Been Awhile

So, it's been a while since my last post. I've been staying busy. I started an online anatomy class, this is the second time I'm trying it. I signed up for an anatomy class last January but ended up dropping it because it was just to difficult to work and then attend class 6 hours a week at a campus that takes 1/2 an hour to get to. So, I started an online class at the end of August. I thought it'd be much easier to take an online class, and I was WRONG! It is so much more work. It a difficult class anyways, but even more difficult without the lecture, but it beats trying to attend classes. It will definitely help me at my job since I work in healthcare.

Greg's parents came our for a week for Labor Day. They came out the Wednesday before and left the Wednesday after. We were able to do a lot of fun things while they were here. We went to Starr Hill Brewery for a free tour and beer tastings, which was so much fun. I've decided we're going to take everybody that comes to visit us to this brewery. It's only 20-30 minutes away and it's a lot of fun.

We also went to a UVA football game. It was the first game of the season and it was a lot of fun. The energy was great when we got there, everybody was pumped for the first game of the season, but unfortunately they lost to William & Mary. :( I hope to go to some more games this season. I would really love to go to a UGA game this season, but it's just too far away.

We also went shopping for plants with Greg's mom. I got some pretty pots for our front porch and some great deck pots for our deck. It's the season for mums, so we bought 6 or 7 of them. A nursery less than a mile from our house had big ones on sale for 4 for 16.00.

It was a nice visit with Greg's family, but it is nice to have the house to ourselves again.We finally broke down an bought a laptop. We should get it on Friday and I'm very, very excited. Other things that I'm excited about are right now are: college football season- Go UGA!!, my friend Emily due with her first baby this week, The Community and Survivor premiering this week, our upcoming trip to Philly, this incredible weather we're having, fall, and our upcoming 80's theme party. I can't wait to write more about some of that stuff later.