Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summer Dance Camp - Jazz Songs

Lots of summer dance camp happening this month!
Here's a list of my favorite tunes for Jazz class & combos...


I looove anything pickled.  I need to try to make some of these this summer.
Directions here by A Beautiful Mess

Arugula Peach Salad

The Hollidaysburg Farmer's Market can not start soon enough for me.  
I'm dying for some local produce!
I tried to sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box this year and they are already sold out for the summer season (which is a great thing for them, not so great for me).
I might try a fall CSA and see if I like it... it's just such a summer thing in my mind.

This week I tossed a honey-mustard glazed pork tenderloin (I followed this recipe from Southern Living) and served it up with an arugula salad topped with fresh peaches and goat cheese tossed lightly with a white wine vinaigrette.  Tastes like summer.

Speaking of Community Supported Agriculture ... My mom recently went to Horn O Plenty, a Farm to Table Restaurant in Bedford and has been raving about it for a week.
It's on my must try list for the very near future!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Diet Coke Brownies

This is too weird, I had to try it.

mix 1 box of low-fat brownie mix with a 12oz can of diet coke and bake according to box instructions (don't add any other ingredients).
They turned out ooey-gooey... not too bad!

Homemade PB&J Frosty Paws

I was recently at a picnic and had a great conversation with a dog owner who makes a lot of her own doggie treats, food, etc. 
(She also did not have kids, ha, imagine that!)
She told me how easy it was to make homemade Frosty Paws and of course I had to try it.

I read a few recipes similar to this one and decided to wing it from there.

*32 oz Low Fat Organic Yogurt - I used BaNilla flavor
1/2 Cup Organic Smooth Peanut Butter
2 Containers of Organic Banana Baby Food (you can use real banana, but I wasn't sure I could get it smooth enough to pipe through a baggie, so I went for the baby food)
2 Tablespoons of Honey
8oz Container of Organic Blueberry Yogurt

Mix together all ingredients except for the Blueberry Yogurt.
At this point you can fill paper dixie cups with the 'ice cream' if you have a medium-large dog.
I decided to make Elwood bite-sized 'ice cream' nuggets.
I filled a ziplock baggie with the mixture, snipped the end and pipped 'coins' onto a foil lined cookie sheet.

Then I filled another ziplock with the Blueberry Yogurt and drizzled it over the 'coins'.
Pop the cookie sheets into the freezer and remove after 6-8 hours.

Store in a Tupperware container in the freezer for a PB&J summer time puppy treat!

*This made a LOT of little treats.  I filled 4 trays.  If you have a tiny dog, you might want to 1/2 the recipe.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Salsa Garden

I usually plant a medium sized garden with lots of different veggies.

This year, since my yard looks like this, my garden is nonexistent

I opted for a mini Salsa Garden in a Whiskey Barrel

Tomato, Cilantro,  Jalapeno & Cayenne Peppers

I also have a Potted Strawberry Patch that I started last year... 
it has already produced about 20 big yummy strawberries!

Monday, June 11, 2012

DIY Make-Up Fixer-Upper

What what WHAT??
How did I not know this trick... 
I carry my make up around in my car/purse/dance bag etc.  
This happens to me all the time!

Summer Dance

Back to dance this week.  

3 week-long camps in a row (at different studios), 
plus my weekly technique classes are all starting.
That 2 week break always goes so fast... but I'm excited to get back to it.  
Summer classes and camps are always lots of fun :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Let's Go

... I'm ready for a real vacation

Strawberry Spinach Salad

I had leftover balsamic glaze in my fridge from last night, 
so I threw together a delicious salad with whatever we had in the fridge.

Baby spinach
Grilled chicken, sliced
Strawberries, sliced
Shelled pistachios
Blue cheese, crumbled

Toss as much as you like of each ingredient onto a bed of baby spinach.
For the dressing, I diluted some of the balsamic glaze with olive oil and added salt & pepper.

I also made beer bread (from a box)... dump & stir style.

Perfect week night dinner! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Grilled Tomato Basil Pizza

I could eat this all summer long... one of my favorites!

To make 2 pizzas, you need:
1 package of Garlic Naan (there are 2 Naan per pkg)
(or be amazing and make your own)
2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 per pizza
1 vine ripe tomato, sliced and divided
6 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, divided
8 basil leaves, roughly chopped and divided
Salt & pepper to taste
Place each flatbread on a sheet of aluminum foil.
Top your naan with the olive oil, tomatoes, basil and cheese.
Add salt and pepper.
Balsamic Glaze
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
combine and cook over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes
allow to cool before serving.

Fire up your grill (I set mine to 'high') and pre-heat (mine takes about 15 minutes)
Turn the grill to low and place your pizzas on the grill (still on their foil)
Close the lid and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from grill and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

By the way, the fence construction started tonight.  So while I was grilling pizza, this is what was going on around me...

Yikes!  No looking back now...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DIY Drip Vase

Super easy DIY Drip Vase tutorial at You Are My Fav...

definitely making these soon in mixed metallics and maybe neon

Green Machine

I have a juicer, this is just so much easier...
(and tastier and actually cheaper when you buy the big bottles!)

I slug down 8oz of Green Machine in the morning for breakfast.
Makes me feel like Popeye...
Makes Eric want to gag. haha

Shrimp Tacos

Another weeknight dinner I can make in 15 minutes... always a plus!

Extra large raw shrimp, peeled, devained and tail off (plan on approximately 3 per taco)
1 small zucchini, sliced into strips
1 small onion, sliced into strips
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup hot jalapeno salsa
1 avocado, sliced
1 lime, sliced into wedges 
flour tortillas, taco size
olive oil

Over medium heat, cook zucchini, onion and garlic in appx. a teaspoon of olive oil until tender.  Salt and pepper to taste. 7-10 minutes.
Remove zucchini mixture from pan and return pan to heat.  
Add shrimp and cook through. 3-4 minutes.

Combine sour cream and salsa to make a spicy jalapeno cream.
Arrange toppings in small bowls.

To assemble tacos, spread a tablespoon of the spicy jalapeno cream on a flour tortilla.
Arrange some of the zucchini & onions on the taco and top with 3 shrimp.
Place avocado slices & cilantro on top.  Squeeze a lime on the taco to finish.
Fold over and enjoy!

Water Bottle Chandelier

Now that's just impressive.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mod About You

My new summer love ... it goes with everything.

Mod About You Salon Effects Nail Polish by Sally Hansen

Note to Self

Junk Yard

I had my first experience at a junk yard this weekend.  Never. Again.  
Eric needed a part for his car.  I wanted to go to Target.
I ended up in a junk yard.

The highlight of the trip was when Eric yelled at the top of his lungs 
he had found a beer token in one of the cars to a local dive bar.


Dirty Dozen

When to buy organic produce (strawberries) and when to skip it (onions)... 
I use this guide a lot when I'm shopping.

12 Most Contaminated
Peaches, Apples, Sweet Bell Peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Pears,
Grapes (Imported) ,Spinach, Lettuce, Potatoes

12 Least Contaminated
Onions, Avocado, Sweet Corn (Frozen), Pineapples, Mango, Asparagus, Sweet Peas (Frozen), Kiwi Fruit, Bananas, Cabbage, Broccoli, Papaya

Rockstar Puffed Pancake

I haven't made one since the weather turned summery, 
but with the rain and cold on this Sunday evening, I had to have one for dinner.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pie plate in the oven

Mix together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup flour a pinch of salt and a pinch of cinnamon.
Pour batter into pie plate and return to oven for 10-12 minutes.

I love it with a squeeze of lemon and a dusting of powdered sugar or sliced strawberries.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Panera-ish Thai Chopped Chicken Salad Knock-Off

While we avoid chain restaurants when we can*, 
there are a few that we just can't resist due to some specific menu items!  
We triple heart love the Thai Chopped Chicken Salad at Panera.  
It's spicy and savory and plain old yummy.  
Last time we had one, I was all like, "this is so easy, I can make this" ... so I did.

Make a bed of lettuce, I used Leafy Romaine
Grill & sliced chicken breast, I totally cheated... then toss in a saute pan with a drizzle of Tonton Japanese vinaigrette (really easy to find) and a squirt of Sriracha and cook over medium heat for a minute or two until the dressing/hot sauce is absorbed.
Combine thawed, shelled edamame and chopped roasted red bell pepper.
Add chicken and veggies to bed of lettuce.
Top with chopped peanuts, a few wonton strips and a drizzle of vinaigrette.
Toss and serve.

It's not identical, but it's darn good!

It would be great with tofu to make it veggie too!

*we do our best to support small businesses whenever we can.  We're not super strict about it, but we do believe in shopping, eating and thinking locally... hey, we live here, why not!

Birthday Gifts

By now everyone knows that Eric and I are not big gift givers.
I think it's because we were on the dating 'fast-track' and were living together after less than a year of 'real' dating we always channeled our energy (and money) into making our home and our lives better.  Plus, who needs another something.
(I don't like him to pick out my jewelry.  He doesn't like me to pick out his tools.  The end.)

For Birthdays, I still like to get a little crafty and occasionally 
toss in a fun something that I think he'll like.

Over the years I've made him the most amazing mixed 'tapes' ever, handmade cards and I've had parties of every variety for him from clam-bakes to salsa throw-downs.   

Last year I taped 28 envelopes to the wall and filled each one with a reason why Elwood and I think we are lucky to have him in our lives (probably my favorite to date).  
For a sample of why we love him, see below.
This is a cute idea in a book too.

I need to get crackin' on this year's grand plan!
Maybe a redneck pool party.

Create your own words of love and adoration, cut out each one and stuff it in individual envelopes taped to the wall (flap side out).  Cover the wall in crepe paper, balloons, glitter and have the best birthday gift ever to give.
Here is a sample of what I wrote...
We are so lucky to have someone as kind as you in our lives.
Your heart is gargantuan
We are so lucky to have someone as funny as you in our lives.
Your wit is unparalleled
We are so lucky to have someone as handy as you in our lives.
Your Bob Villa runs deep.
We are so lucky to have someone as wise as you in our lives.
Your brain power is colossal.
We are so lucky to have someone as grizzly as you in our lives.
Your knack for the outdoors baffles us.
We are so lucky to have someone as opinionated as you in our lives.
Your outlook is cherished.
We are so lucky to have someone as motivated as you in our lives.
Your attack and drive git shit done.
We are so lucky to have someone as patient as you in our lives.
You are a saint.
We are so lucky to have someone as special as you in our lives.
You make us feel loved each and every day.

Hello, Summer!

Between recitals every weekend, the worst flu since 4th grade, plans to renovate the backyard and my full time position as a headless chicken... the blog has taken a back seat. 
(more like it's strapped to the bumper).

BUT, it's my official start to summer this weekend, so I shall try :)

Big summer plans:
Brand-spankin' new fenced in back yard project starts this weekend
(cue the sunscreen and bud-light)
(possibly followed by the instillation of a 'redneck' pool if I can 'get over it' or I'm out numbered... tbd)

Dance camp-a-palooza starts in a 2 weeks
(cue the jazz hands)

Eric's Birthday

Salsa garden
(cue the tortilla chips)

Elwood's Birthday

Cape May Trip
(cue the harps, it's my heaven)

My Birthday

Grilling, grilling and more grilling
(cue BBQ deliciousness)

My Sister's Birthday

Lots & lots of workin' at the shop
(cue the pick-up truck for everything I want to buy while I 'work')

Lots of cruising Youtube, iTunes, the million post-it's I scribble and tapping into my creative brain to come up with award-winning dance concepts to one-up myself from last year's competition season.
(cue the impossible props and Eric's looming headache)

Cheers to summer!