My Vacation in the Hamptons

July 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

For the past few days, I’ve been vacationing with my family in the Hamptons.  We had a really great time relaxing, going to the beach, eating at nice restaurants, and doing some shopping!  Even though shopping in the Hamptons is extremely pricey, I still bought one item I’ve been wanting for awhile.  Here are a few pictures from our trip Smile

Driving onto the ferry in Bridgeport, CT.

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Ferry ride pictures.

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My mom and I on the ferry!

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Getting off the ferry in Long Island.

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Kitchen in the house we were staying at in the Hamptons.

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Cool art gallery fudgesicles – they looked good enough to eat!

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I found Saratoga umbrellas in the Hamptons!

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This is a picture of mine and Troy’s new house – just kidding!  This was a huge house located right on the beach in South Hampton.

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Beach shots.

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Amazing dinner in Montauk, NY.

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Yachts in Sag Harbor.

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Heading back home to Saratoga.

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Stuck in traffic.

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What a fun mini-vacation!  Hope everybody is enjoying the rest of their weekend! Smile

Have you been on any vacations or long weekend trips this summer?  Where did you go?

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Homemade Pesto & Seven Links

July 27, 2011 § 9 Comments

Hey everyone!

It was pasta night at our house a few nights ago.  Instead of making the same red tomato sauce we usually do, my mom and I decided that homemade pesto would be perfect for summer.  Plus, we have tons of basil to use from our garden!  This recipe came from the Better Homes and Garden, New Cook Book.  The pesto may look a bit chunky and thick to you, but we just prefer ours this way.  If you like a runnier texture, then just add more olive oil!

Homemade Pesto Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped pine nuts
  • 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • A pinch of pepper

In a food processor, combine oil, nuts, basil, cheese, garlic, and salt.  Cover and process until nearly smooth.  Add pepper to taste.  Makes about 3/4 cup of pesto total.  The pesto can be kept frozen up to 3 months.

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We enjoyed sliced Italian bread and salad on the side.

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I don’t think I’ll ever go back to buying pesto sauce in a jar – this stuff is amazing and tastes incredibly fresh!

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My Seven Links

Recently, I was tagged by Alicia in the “Seven Links” Post that’s been making it’s way around the blog world.  So, here are my Seven Links!

Most Beautiful Post

4th of July Fun

Fireworks

Last year for my birthday, I got to spend July 3rd with my family and my actual birthday, July 4th, with a few of my closest friends.  This particular post recaps the 4th when I spent the day poolside with Troy, our friends, and their families.  We had a huge bbq that day and before we went to go watch the fireworks from the roof in downtown Saratoga, I was surprised with a birthday cake and pink candles!  Troy wasn’t able to celebrate my birthday with me this year, so it was nice to look back on last year’s fun celebration. Smile

Most Popular Post

Blueberry-Lemon Tea Cakes

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This post has been one of my most popular posts so far.  Although it is a pretty recent post, I can see why it is so popular!  This is a great summer dessert and you should probably go make it now. Winking smile

Most Controversial Post

Amy Baxter

I tend to stay away from controversial posts on the blog and keep things upbeat around here!  No, that is not my puppy…but it should be!

Most Helpful Post

Easy Bean Enchiladas

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I have had these enchiladas numerous times before and have loved them every single time.  I nominated this post as the most helpful because this meal is so quick and easy to prepare.  It is also an extremely versatile dish – you could substitute beef, chicken, or black beans into it and it tastes like you’ve spent hours making this delicious dish!

Surprise Success

Tomato Basil Pasta Salad & A Leaf Bug

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Time and time again, this post gets searched quite a bit on the blog.  I’m not sure if it’s the delicious tomato basil pasta salad, the scrumptious desserts, or the leaf bug that visited me for breakfast that captures everyone’s attention!

Not Enough Attention

Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

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I loved the Valentine’s Day cupcakes I made for Troy this past February.  I feel they deserve a second look because I’m really proud of the way I photographed them.  I think they came out beautifully!

Most Proud

First Day of Graduate School

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One of the proudest moments in my life so far was starting graduate school to become a dietitian at Syracuse University.  My first year went so well and I can’t wait to see what is in store for the upcoming second year!

Now, I get to tag the following bloggers to participate in their own Seven Links!

Have a fabulous day! Open-mouthed smile

Bean Enchiladas

July 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

Hey everyone and Happy Friday!  Smile

Today is a special day in Saratoga – it’s the opening day of the Saratoga Race Course!  I know quite a few people that attended the races today, but I opted out due to the high temps and humidity – 92 degrees F with a heat index of 100 degrees?  No thanks, I’ll stay in the air conditioning!  I started off my day by attending the Friday morning spin class at my gym then headed to the hospital for a few hours of interning.

Since it’s nice and cool in our house, we decided it would be ok to use the oven to make some delicious bean enchiladas for dinner!  These are seriously so good and super simple to make. My mom picked up the enchilada kit from Old El Paso at the grocery store and a can of refried beans.  The kit comes with tortillas, enchilada sauce, and a packet of seasoning.

All you have to do is mix the refried beans with the seasoning, place a little bit of the bean mixture on each of the tortillas.  Roll up each tortilla and place them side by side in a baking dish.  Then, pour the enchilada sauce over all the tortillas.  Sprinkle all the enchiladas with cheese – we used a Mexican blend of shredded cheeses.  Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes.  Simple as that. 😀

On the side, we had steamed zucchini and shredded lettuce and salsa.  I didn’t add my salsa until after I snapped my photos – oops!  I also sprinkled fresh chives on my enchilada and parsley on the zucchini slices.  Both the chives and the parsley were straight from our garden.

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Tonight officially kicks off the Saratoga racing season with the Hats Off festival in downtown Saratoga.  There is a ton of live music and lots of people!  Troy and I have gone the past couple of years and it’s been a lot of fun.  As of right now I’m not sure if we are going to go (since it’s still boiling outside and Troy spent the whole day at the races!), but we’ll see.  It’s nice to be low key on a Friday night – I’m all about relaxing at home (in the air conditioning of course ;-))

Enjoy your Friday evening and stay cool!

What kind of annual festivals or celebrations does your town or city have?

Barefoot Contessa Meatloaf Recipe

July 18, 2011 § 4 Comments

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!  Mine was jam packed with fun events including a blogger brunch and a bridal shower.  I didn’t take almost any pictures because I was enjoying the company of my friends!

Today was spent doing a few things around the house, hanging out with Troy, and eating a delicious dinner!  Tonight’s dinner recipe is courtesy of this Barefoot Contessa recipe.  The trick to making this meatloaf is to caramelize the onions before adding them to the meat mixture – it makes all the difference!

We enjoyed baked potatoes with fresh chives from our garden and steamed broccoli on the side.  Simple and delicious!

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Off to watch the season premiere of Hell’s Kitchen and then Masterchef – Troy and I love Gordon Ramsay and are obsessed with most of his shows including Kitchen Nightmares, Masterchef, and Hell’s Kitchen!

What TV shows do you have to watch every week?!

Radiatori Pesto

July 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

Hello there!

The past few days have been super busy with work, interning, family, friends, a birthday, and more!

This morning I started off with my usual breakfast – some type of oats, fruit, and peanut butter.  This morning I went with the never disappointing Mighty Tasty hot cereal from Bob’s Red Mill.

  • 1/4 cup hot cereal
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • 1 blob of melting Jif

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I also enjoyed a cup of chocolate glazed donut coffee from my Keurig coffee brewer and a slice of this heavenly loaf of bread I showed you a couple nights ago.  It’s my grandmother’s recipe for Irish Soda bread and it is one of the best quick breads around!  I’ll have to check with my mom first to see if I can share the recipe – I’m thinking it’s going to be kept a secret though!

After breakfast, I headed to the gym for a cardio warm-up on the elliptical followed by the WORST body sculpt class I’ve ever taken.  This instructor was seriously awful.  We had about 50 pieces of equipment to set up and she didn’t explain any of the exercises.  By the time I finally caught on to what we were doing, she was on to the next exercise! Awful…Thankfully, I had lots to do today and forgot about the horrible class before I even arrived home from the gym.  I spent the remainder of the day interning at the hospital and running a yummy food-related errand for the upcoming CDNY Eat, Drink, Blog Brunch hosted by the lovely Heather this Saturday.

For dinner, I ate the rest of my radiatori pesto pasta from Wheatfields in downtown Saratoga.  We went there last night for my brother’s birthday dinner and the pesto pasta is my favorite dish there!  Not to mention their delicious homemade bread and garlic butter. Smile

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My dad made me a special side salad!

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I also had 1/2 crab cake that went undocumented!

Tonight I had plans to finally see Troy after him being away for 2 weeks in Italy, but unfortunately, they missed their connecting flight back home and will now have to wait another 3 hours for the next plane Sad smile.  Good thing I have tomorrow off!!

Have a great night!

What’s your favorite pasta shape – I love radiatori because all the sauce gets stuck in it’s tiny nooks!

What is the worst group fitness class experience you’ve had?

Pizza Margherita

July 12, 2011 § 1 Comment

It’s pizza night!

My mom is having company over tonight so we decided to keep dinner simple and easy.  We topped a Boboli thin crust pizza crust with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, red onion, and fresh basil, then popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Time to eat!

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My plate

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Tomorrow is going to be a great day starting off with my typical Wednesday morning 6am spin class, followed by interning with a dietitian at one of my favorite sites.  Also, tomorrow is my brothers 25th birthday!  A group of us are headed downtown Saratoga for his birthday dinner and celebration tomorrow night!  Should be a great time!

Off to relax and eat some of this for dessert! Smile

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How do you like your pizza?  Simple or loaded with lots of toppings?

Peanut Butter Bar Recipe

July 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s 90 degrees and sticky outside!  That only means one thing for dinner – no cooking allowed!  Currently, we are not using our central air since we haven’t really needed so far this summer.  Our house stays pretty cool during the day since we leave the window fans on all night that bring in the cool breeze at night.  We decided to make salads for dinner with lots of delicious ingredients!

My salad included:

  • Lettuce from our garden
  • Mozzarella
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Leftover grilled chicken
  • Tomatoes
  • Newman’s Own Light Italian dressing

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Perfect for a summer night!

Now, onto that peanut butter bar recipe I promised you!  I started making these last summer when I saw them on Tina’s blog.  I made a few changes to the ingredients but followed the same cooking instructions.  The final recipe ended up looking like this:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used Jif)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg

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I’ve added 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in the past and they are even better than the regular peanut butter bars (obviously!).  I know what I’m having for dessert!

What is your favorite dessert bar?

*Of possible interest:

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