Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Most of what I did turned out great. I am now dubbing myself a Domestic Diva. Not only did I make all of the recipes below using mostly ingredients from our garden, I also did four loads of laundry, tons of errands, and went running. We also had neighbors over Saturday night. Outside of catching up on personal email and blogging (which I am still working on), I did a heck of a lot of stuff in two days!
On Saturday, I used up all of our old frozen bananas to make three loaves of Banana Chocolate Chip Bread. I highly recommend this recipe. It was so good! I think Todd liked it, too, since we ate 1.5 loaves in three days!
I also boiled, peeled, and cut up about four dozen tomatoes. We have so many in our garden and I wanted to be able to use them. So, I decided to make homemade marinara sauce. I looked around for a recipe I liked, but didn't find just the right one. So, I combined two different recipes to come up with my own creation. It was pretty good. Todd loved it because it was sort of a spicy marinara.
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons crushed garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper powder or chilli flakes
- ~2 pounds ripe tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoons dried basil
In a large pot, bring 2-3 L of water to boil. Place the washed tomatoes with cross slits in the water. Bring to a boil. After 5 minutes, switch off the gas. Remove tomatoes from water and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel of the tomatoes and quarter them.
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and saute the chopped garlic for a few seconds. Do not brown. Put the chilli flakes/powder in the oil and immediately put in the quartered tomatoes. Season with remaining ingredients. Stir around the contents of the pan until the moisture has evaporated and continue to cook until the tomatoes make a nice thick sauce. If it is too runny, you can add tomato paste. This recipe doubles well. You can add other ingredients to taste if you like. Examples might be mushrooms, onions, meat, etc.
And then I made even more stuff...
Sunday night for dinner, I made Stuffed Green Peppers using more vegetables from our garden. Todd wanted them without meat, so filled them with chopped mushrooms and tomatoes instead of meat. The turned out okay, but not great. If we make this as part of a meal again, I would definitely try a different recipe. Below is a mixture of the stuffed pepper before they were baked. I added the marinara and some cheese just before putting them in the oven.
On Sunday night, I boiled, peeled, and cut up even more tomatoes to make salsa. I wasn't sure how this would turn out, but it is freaking awesome. I feel like I could sell this stuff to the local Mexican restaurants. We made tacos for dinner this past Monday and had chips and salsa, too. Between the two of us, we ate almost 3 cups of salsa. I highly recommend the recipe for D's Famous Salsa and if you don't want to use fresh tomatoes, you can even buy the canned kind to make this.
Todd with his Grandma (she turned 102 in June!!)
Me nearing the finish line at the Bix (and not looking very pretty after 7-miles)
Ben playing in the pool (Todd was having fun throwing the kids)
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
On Sunday July 20th, we decided to get a couples massage. Todd had gotten a gift certificate for me to one of the local spas back in February. He didn't get me anything for my birthday (not even a card), so he decided to try to find something cool for Valentine's Day. I had been wanting to try Spaah and he decided he wanted to try it, too. Anyway, we called and made an appointment for the afternoon. After my experience at the French Lick Spa with Lana, I had high expectations. Apparently too high, because I give Spaah two thumbs down!!
At French Lick, we were given fluffy robes and relaxed in chaise lounges with water and fruit before getting a massage. The person who gave me my massage was awesome and brought me water when the time was over. After that, we sat in the sauna before taking showers back in the women's locker room area. Everything was provided - shampoo, soap, deodorant, hairdryers, etc. It was very relaxing and serene. Spaah, however, was a bad experience for me. There were no locker rooms, at least any we were allowed to use. So, we had to hang all of our clothes on two small hooks in the massage room. Todd had no where to put his glasses, so we stuck them in my purse hoping they wouldn't get scratched. I requested they do my shoulders and neck, but she spent 3/4 of the time on my lower back!?! She did not really even do a hard massage, so nothing felt "worked-out" when she was done. There were lots of things that made this a less than memorable experience, but the two most annoying things were that we did not have a way to shower off after they were done. We were covered in massage oil and had to put our clothes on to leave. The final straw for me is that the building sits on a busy corner, so we listened to cars speed by and motorcycles rev up at the stoplight. Not relaxing at all.
So, to my Bloomington friends: I recommend trying to find another spa in town. Or better yet, make the drive to French Lick. It costs a little more, but it is totally worth it for a true spa experience.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
(Note: Our parasailing pictures did not turn out at all. We should have asked someone to take pictures of us on our camera, but we bought them from the boat instead. Big mistake - they were all half black. I don't think they loaded the film right and the lens they sold us on less than stellar since all the far away pics are really blurry. Lesson learned. I croped a few of the better ones.)