Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Beer and Lime Marinated Flank Steak

Woo wee - I have a lot of catching up to do!  In a nutshell, I turned in my notice at work and my last day was May 29th.  I have enjoyed the last 5 1/2 weeks playing wife and mommy with LOTS of pool and play time.  It has been Heaven!

In that time (and really since my last post in April) so much has happened.  But in honor of summertime, I thought I would bring you up to speed on one of our favorite summer dishes.  We grilled this meal out with my brother-in-law a few weeks ago.  I will apologize in advance as I am using my new mini iPAD and trying to figure out how to upload my pictures properly.

Beer and Lime Marinated Flank Steak with Roasted Vegetables

2 cups Corona
2 cups lightly packed cilatro leaves (fresh)
1 cup lime juice (use fresh limes and not the green bottle - it is worth it as I have tried to cheat)
1 cup veggie oil
6 garlic cloves
4 pounds flank steaks
salt and pepper to taste

Process beer, cilantro, lime juice, oil and garlic in a food processor until ingredients are finely chopped.  Place steaks in  gallon zip lock bags and divide marinade between bags.  Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 8.

Bring steaks up to room temprature by removing from marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper on each side.  Prepare your grill (medium high heat).  Grill to your preferred doneness (approx 6 minutes each side).  Transfer to cutting board and cut across the grain.

Serves 10
Recipe courtesy of Essentially Lilly:  A Guide to Colorful Entertaining

The grilled veggies can be done to your preference - we used corn, tomatoes and zucchini and I made cilantro  butter to roast them in on the grill.

Cilantro Butter
1/2 cup of margarine
1/4 cup minced cilantro
4 garlic cloves
stir together - yields a cup

And with that, I am back to packing for the beach.

Happy Day!

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Taste Testing Weekend

I am back on track with working my way through The Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook, which I love.  This is a great cookbook as it offers a lot of lighter dishes and loads of soups, salads and sandwiches.

The hubby thinks I am nuts for posting our meals, but I am excited to test all my recipes and compile them into one personal cookbook so I know exactly where to go when I need something.  Here are the recipes we knocked out over the weekend.

Friday's lunch was her Tomato, Mozzarella and Pesto die for yummy.  I paired it simply with a  mixed greens salad with balsamic vinaigrette. 

For dinner, we enjoyed her Lemon Fusilli Pasta.  This was so light and refreshing.  The hubby thought it was more of a side dish; but it was perfect for me.  It would make a great lunch in the courtyard!  I'll have to remember that for this summer. The best part of the dish was that it served for leftovers on Saturday - woo hoo!

After Church on Sunday, I whipped up her California BLT sandwiches (which is basically a BLT with avocado - yummy in the tummy!)

And for dinner, we grilled out her Blue Cheese Hamburger.  This picture doesn't do it justice but it was amazing.

And with that, I'll be in the gym all week and eating salads until we fire up the kitchen again on Friday.  Can't wait!!!  You can get her recipes from the fabulous cookbook or via Food Network. 



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More Easter Fun

Now I have heard of "Booing" your neighbors (a fun idea I plan to do this fall) but was completely delighted to come home last Thursday to find this waiting for us.  Who knew getting "egged" would be so fun?!?!

12 eggs were hidden in our yard for the kiddos to find.  They were over the moon at the idea of an extra egg hunt.  It warmed my heart when Harrison found the empty egg and said, "Look, Mommy, it's Jesus' empty tomb."  I love that he understands Easter and I love, love, love our super, sweet neighbors!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter at Biltmore

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!  Ours was a blast as we headed up the mountain to Asheville to spend the day at Biltmore Estate.  Here is a quick recap of our fun Easter weekend.

Saturday was the annual Egg Hunt at our club, which was a complete wash out!  But not to fear, fun games were taken inside and the Hunter's Luncheon still occupied our time.  However, come to find out, Spencer is NO fan of the Easter Bunny.  Harrison cuddled right up to the beloved animal that brings goodies and sweets...........but Spencer kept his distance. 

This was as close as I could get.  I am pretty sure this picture will crack me up for years to come.

The wee ones woke up on Easter Sunday to their baskets waiting for them by the door.......
.........that they quickly tore into.
Then we got dressed and headed off to Asheville.
The wee one didn't want brother hanging on him....

Just your typical mountain house......
......with an 8,000 acre backyard.


My picnic dates

The sun bothered Harrison so I let him borrow my sunglasses. 
Spencer thought he looked silly - his face shows his feelings pretty well.  HA!

It didn't take long before Spencer needed to.........well, water the lawn.
Life with boys....
We visited the new Antler Hill Village and played, played and played some more.

All this fun offered some well earned naps on the way home.


This was the first holiday in a long time where I didn't host family and cook a feast.  So the hubby and I just enjoyed a festive ham steak with roasted asparagus with parmesan grits.  For dessert, we enjoyed store bought Carrot Cake and with that - two tired Easter Bunnies went to bed.

Biltmore Tips:
Biltmore offers a slight discount if you order your tickets online 7 days in advance and children 9 and under get in free. Of course, pre-ordering tickets for an event like an egg hunt can be tricky; but we lucked out with the weather.  We also splurged for the $15 valet parking.  Parking is free but about a half mile walk if you get the one closest to the house.  The further parking lots offer a shuttle but with a 3 and 5 year old in toe, we felt the valet was the best $15 we ever spent.  We literally drove right up to the front door!
For Easter, they offer several hunts.  We opted for the 11AM hunt.  We arrived by 9:30 AM to register.  They had music, a story teller, a magician and crafts prior to the hunt.  The only thing I didn't like was that 2-4 year olds were on one side of the lawn while 5-9 year olds were on the other.  So the hubby and I divided and conquered. 
While there are several dining options on Biltmore, we decided to pack a picnic.  I was very glad about this because while ordering a cup of coffee in the deli, I noticed that a turkey wrap was $12.
Your ticket offers you a tour of the house (I think we set a record for the fastest tour - the wee ones were not interested but I was NOT going to visit the Biltmore and not go inside!!!), all day access to the gardens and grounds, a tour of the vineyard and a wine tasting.  We didn't go to the vineyard with the littles but can't wait to go back.  Fortunately, for us, Asheville is an hour away from where we live so I think we will be spending more time there this summer. 
Happy Spring!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Luck of the Irish

Having married into a good Irish family, I have decided to start celebrating St. Patrick's Day.  We kicked off our celebrating last night with a hearty Sunday Supper of Shepherds' Pie. I got the recipe from The Lodge Cast Iron cookbook that the hubs gave me for Christmas. You can find it here.

And of course, I just love having the wee one's wake up to a special breakfast. I told them that if they were good and slept well, a lucky leprechaun would come and leave them a special breakfast.  Well darn if those little turkey's didn't take me at my word!  They usually come down around 6:30 - 7:15 AM EVERY MORNING - without fail.  This morning, I had to go wake them up at 7:45!!!  But this is what they came down to.

 And to my delight, they didn't notice the green die in the glasses that.............
turned the milk green as it filled up!  They squealed with delight to see the white milk come out of the container and turn a magical, lucky green color. And I have to admit, this Mama Bear thought it was pretty darn cool too.  Oh, thank you - thank you, Pinterest!
Sadly, I learned of a cute St. Patrick's Day tradition a little late this year via Dixie Delights.  Read about The Naughty Leprechaun here.  I'll be ordering  my book today for fun next year.  I have to say, I love that this is from an Atlanta Mama (so is The Elf on the Shelf) maybe some of that creative magic will rub off on me.  haha - yeah right.  I am so not creative but a super awesome copy cat.
Here's hoping you have a Magically Delicious, Lucky and Happy St. Patrick's Day!



Monday, March 3, 2014

A Suessical Surprise

I have been a working fool lately and decided it was time to get back to having fun with my wee ones.  And what better excuse on a sunny Sunday, than Dr. Suess' birthday?  For years, I have watched my friends with older children get their kids geared up for Dr. Suess Day at school - so I took my turn with a surprise lunch after Church.

This turned out to be harder than I thought - seeing as my children's diet consists strictly of macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, corn dogs - and a smattering of fruit and veggies.  Serve them anything else and a revolt of epic proportions will break out.

So here is my version of Green Eggs and Ham............

Green Egg Salad with prosciutto for the adults

Hot dogs with green deviled eggs for the wee ones

An attempt at a cute tablescape - but the boys starting bringing the plates to the table.  I do love their help - but I am learning that hungry boys have no patience for decorations.
A fun jello dessert....... for my Thing 1 and Thing 2
And to be clear, they do not like Green Eggs with Ham.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Taste Testing and a Great Sale for Kids

We have been enjoying recipes out of Barefoot Contessa at Home and Southern Living Easy Week Night Favorites cookbooks.  We still have some left overs from our Valentine's meal, I've been selling Kelly's Kids clothes all weekend and I am flat tired from a fun night out with good friends last night at a Dueling Piano event.  Cozy PJ's and clearing out food in the fridge is what is on tap for tonight. So I thought I would catch you up with our yummy taste testing since we won't be having a big Sunday Supper. 

During the week, I make something quick and easy and here are a couple of examples.


Weeknight Enchiladas
1 pound ground chuck
1 small onion, chopped
1 10 ounce can tomato soup, undiluted
1 10 ounce can mild enchilada sauce
8 8 inch flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
sour cream

Cook beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat until meat is browned, stirring until it  crumbles; drain and return to skillet.  Stir soup and enchilada sauce into the meat mixture.  Spread 1/4 cup meat  mixture onto each tortilla, sprinkle evenly with one cup of cheese.  Roll up tortillas; place seam side down in a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish.  Pour remaining meat mixture over the tortillas.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese; bake 5 more minutes or until cheese melts.  Serve with sour cream.

I served this with a can of refried beans and a packet of Spanish rice. 

Three Pepper Pork Cutlets
1 pound pork tenderloin (I opted for 4 pork chops)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
vegetable cooking spray

Cut pork crosswise into 12 slices.  Place each pork slice between two sheets of heavy duty plastic wrap, and flatted to 1/4 inch thickness, using the heel of your hand or meat mallet (or do what I did and buy four  pork chops).

Combine paprika and next 9 ingredients, rub over both sides of pork slices.  Place pork on a broiler rack coated with cooking spray, place rack in broiler pan.  Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat with door partially open for 3-4 minutes on each side or until done.  Keep an eye on this part as broiling can be tricky and you need a clean oven.
*this can be expensive if you don't already have the spices on hand, which I did.

* I served this with cheddar broccoli and a mashed potato packet.

From Barefoot Contessa at Home, we enjoyed these yummy recipes:

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo - find the recipe here

Chicken Piccata - find the recipe here that we paired with her Mixed Green Green Spring Vegetables - find the recipe here

We also enjoyed her Cornish Hen with Cornbread Dressing but I did not take a picture - boo hiss.  It was delish!!!

As you can see, we have enjoyed some yummy meals and I need to find my way back to the gym pronto!

Now, as I mentioned earlier, I sell clothes for Kelly's Kids.  There is a great sale going on through midnight.  If you are interested, you can place your order at with Party ID 19247.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Be Mine Breakfast

My wee ones could care less about Valentine's Day at this point (although they did have fun helping me make their classmates presents) - but this Mama still took advantage of a special day to fuss over them.  However, I was outsmarted by the little cupids as this is what I woke up to.

Swooning. How did I get so lucky?

After I enjoyed my breakfast, this is what I treated my love bugs to.

With happy, full bellies, we are off to enjoy another snow day.

Happy Valentine's Day!