Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Good Times Don’t Last Forever, But Neither do the Bad

I spent last New Year’s Eve drinking chocolate martinis and crying.

My hubby and I had flown back from our home state of New Jersey back to San Diego a few days before. I would have preferred to ring in the new year with everyone, as we had the year before at our wedding rehearsal dinner. But we had to come back to San Diego soon after Christmas because Adam was about to deploy the next week and had to work. He was working like crazy right before the deployment. In fact, he worked on New Year’s Eve, came home exhausted and worn out, and passed out really early in the night.

I was coming down from my high of being around my family and friends for the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life in SoCal as I did back then, but I always feel a bit bummed after going from being with everyone to traveling back to a place I adore but know less familiar faces. It was tough because not only did I just say goodbye to my family and girlfriends, but I was about to part with my Marine once again for another deployment. So instead of bringing in 2012 with celebration and happiness, I was feeling sorry for myself in my martini-induced haze.

With my siblings on New Year’s Eve in 2010

Though I didn’t feel it at the time, 2012 would turn out to be a fabulous year for me. As I write this blog post today, I’m sitting in my parents’ house where I grew up, ready to celebrate the New Year with my family and the love of my life by my side. While this New Year’s seems more joyous in a couple of ways – including the fact that I don’t have a looming deployment to think about – I’m reflecting on what got me through that deployment pretty damn well. I kept a positive attitude and continuously reiterated this idea in my head: The good times don’t last forever, but neither do the bad times. It reminds me that nothing in permanent, things are always changing. I’m thankful for the lows, because they make me really savor the highs. I think the best way to live life to the fullest is to remember that things aren’t always going to be amazing, but then there are those times when things seem simply great. If you can just push through the shaky times knowing this, you’re bound to come out on the other side.

So as we ring in 2013, I hope that you’re thinking about all of your blessings and looking forward to a new year with great aspirations and a positive mindset. If you’re happy and in a good place mentally, remember to savor it. If you’re struggling with your current situation, remind yourself that it won’t last forever.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 🙂

Peppermint Fudge

Hello and Merry Christmas from the East coast!

My time in Jersey so far has been tons of fun. We’ve gotten to spend time with both my family and Adam’s family, and I’m looking forward to a lot more great times this week. Here are a few of my favorite photos from this week thus far:

Christmas day photo with my parents, siblings, hubby, & nephew

Christmas with my hubby

With my grandma, aka Cookin’ Claus

Hanging out by my parents’ fire pit

I spent a good amount of time having fun in the kitchen the first few days of being back in NJ, especially since we spent Christmas Eve at my parents’ house this year. I made some yummy goodies to share with family and friends for the holidays:

My favorite dessert creation was peppermint fudge:

I found the recipe on a blog called A Spicy Perspective and immediately knew I wanted to try it out. This fudge did not disappoint! You can check out her original recipe here, but here is how I made it:

First I took a dozen candy canes and crushed them up using a meat tenderizer…

I then greased a square pan (I believe it was 9×9) and sprinkled half of the candy cane chunks onto the bottom of the dish.

Next I placed a medium pan with about 2 inches of water over a burner on medium heat. The recipe calls for placing a glass bowl on top of the pot, but since my mom didn’t have one, I used a microwave-safe bowl instead. I poured condensed milk and butter in the bowl and let it heat:

After the butter was fully melted and the condensed milk had heated and thinned, I added dark chocolate chips and a bit of salt to the bowl:

I constantly stirred the mixture until the chocolate melted and thickened – about 5 minutes. I cooked until the mixture was almost too thick to pour. I added peppermint + vanilla extracts and mixed well.

Next I poured the fudge into the pan on top of the candy cane pieces:

I then tapped the pan on the counter for 1-2 minutes to allow air bubbles to rise to the surface and smooth. Lastly I sprinkled the remaining candy cane chunks on top, and refrigerated for a few hours to set. I cut the fudge into small pieces and then had everyone taste test my delicious creation, which didn’t take much convincing. 😉

I also made peanut butter fudge following the above steps, but instead using peanut butter chips and drizzling dark chocolate on top.

The peanut butter fudge also turned out very yummy! Below is the exact recipe. If you’re looking for a fun dessert to make for New Year’s or to give to people as a holiday treat, you should definitely try out this peppermint fudge!

Peppermint Fudge
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12+
 
Ingredients
  • 1 - 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 lb dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ TSP salt
  • ¼ TSP peppermint extract
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
  • 12 peppermint candy canes
Instructions
  1. Grease a baking dish (around 9x9 in size).
  2. Crush the candy canes into small pieces (I placed the candy canes in a plastic bag and used a meat tenderizer to easily crush them up.).
  3. Place a medium sauce pan over medium heat with a few inches of water. Place a glass or other heat proof bowl over the top of the pot, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water.
  4. Pour the condensed milk and butter in the bowl and heat.
  5. Once the butter is melted and milk has thinned, stir in the chocolate chips and salt. Continuously stir the chocolate and allow it to melt and thicken, around 5 minutes. The mixture should be super thick and hard to stir at this point.
  6. Add the peppermint and vanilla extracts and mix well.
  7. Pour the fudge into the baking dish and evenly spread out.
  8. Tap the dish onto the counter for 1-2 minutes in order to allow air bubbles to smooth out.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces on top.
  10. Refrigerate for at least a few hours to set. Cut into small squares.

Rockin’ My New New Balance Sneakers

It’s officially my winter vacation!! I’m sure many of you are excited to get time off from work and to spend your holidays with loved ones. I know I definitely am! My evening so far has consisted of getting my apartment straightened up, packing for my trip, and using up the last of the perishables in my kitchen. I had a few lonely apples left in my fruit basket, so I threw together some apple chips to snack on:

My packing is kinda sorta done. I HATE packing, especially when winter clothing and breakable Christmas presents are involved. I started off nice and focused, figuring out outfits for certain occasions and days, but then I had a glass of wine and Adam and Harley started distracting me. It pretty much went all downhill from there, and now I’m not sure what the hell I have packed! Oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure it out. Here’s hoping my bag isn’t over the weight limit this time! 😉

Last night Adam and I exchanged Christmas gifts. My 2 favorite gifts from him are a Sega video game system and new sneakers that I picked out.

Awhile ago Adam and I were talking about video games we played growing up, and I was telling him that I loved playing Sega. My favorite games were on that system (anyone else love Sonic??). Keeping that in mind, he bought me an updated Sega system for us to play around with. It’s really neat because it’s the old games in all of their glory, but with a new system with wireless controllers. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun competing against each other playing the 60 games it came with!

My other favorite gift is a pair of New Balance 1290 sneakers. I was in need of new ones, and fell in love with these shoes online. I broke them in this morning and took Harley for a hike at a nearby park.

I love the color scheme of these and they felt super comfy – so far so good! I also love that the sneakers are both designed and made in the USA. I love to buy from local companies and big companies like New Balance who make an effort to produce their products in our country.

I’m glad I got a chance to take Harley on an outing today since I feel slightly guilty for her having to go to the pet resort for awhile over the holidays. Last time I took her there, she didn’t want to leave me and kept hiding behind my legs. She’s definitely a mama’s girl! A few shots from our hike:

I didn’t leave Harley out of my Christmas gift giving, as I got her a stocking full of dog treats and toys that she’s been enjoying all week. Last night she got to have a candy cane treat:

I love my [very spoiled] dog!

Well, I have more to do tonight and am starting to fade fast, so I better get to it. Safe travels to all of those who are going to visit loved ones this weekend!

Question: What healthy living products are/were high on your wish list this holiday season? 

Quinoa & Spinach Mac -n- Cheese

With my trip to Jersey and Christmas right around the corner, I’m starting to get super excited! My hubby and I are flying out to the East coast on Saturday, so food-wise, I’m at that usual point – when you’re about to leave the house for awhile and will need to clean out the fridge, so you eat random combinations of food in order to not waste things. Today I wound up eating quinoa twice. For lunch, I had a big salad with quinoa, feta, carrots, avocado and lettuce:

For dinner, I used a recipe I had ripped out from Shape magazine awhile ago for quinoa mac & cheese, and adapted it based on what I had open in my fridge to use up:


Quinoa & Spinach Mac -n- Cheese
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup [whole-grain] quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only
  • ½ TBSP olive oil
  • 1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • ½ TSP Italian seasoning
  • ¼ TSP salt
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ⅔ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup light garlic and herb cream cheese
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • 2 TBSP Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a medium pot, combine quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until broth is absorbed. Remove from heat and let it rest for a few minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, roughly chop the leek. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
  4. Drain the spinach and use your hands to squeeze excess water out from it. Add the chopped leek to the pan and saute for 2 minutes, then add the spinach and saute for 3 minutes more.
  5. Remove spinach mix from heat and stir in Italian seasoning and salt. Fluff the resting quinoa with a fork, then add to the spinach mixture.
  6. Heat the cream cheese and milk in the microwave in a bowl. Whisk together, then stir into the quinoa mixture. Stir in the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, and combine everything well.
  7. Coat a 8x11 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread the quinoa mixture evenly into the dish, then sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
  8. Bake in the oven until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 375, Fat: 15 g, Carbohydrates: 42 g, Protein: 18 g

I’m off to exchange Christmas gifts with my hubby!! 🙂

Three Thing Tuesday

Hi friends!

Today was a busy, productive day full of work, errands and exercise. Now I’m hanging out with my little family, feeling content and quite tired. I thought I’d share 3 highlights of my day with you, hence my title, Three Thing Tuesday:

#1 – 

Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador Badge

When I woke up today, I found out that I’ve been accepted as an Ambassador for Girls Gone Sporty, a fun group dedicated to sharing the top products, trends, and ideas for advancing the fit and adventurous lifestyle of  ”sporty girls.”  The GGS crew looks for Ambassadors who embrace their tagline,  ”Live the sporty life!” Women who work hard, play hard, compete, and eat, all with the intention of being their best, most positive selves. I feel that I fit this description pretty well, and I’m completely thrilled that the folks at GGS agree! I think this is a perfect time for me to become part of this great movement focused on living healthily and boldly. Once my injury fully recovers, I have some fun fitness goals for 2013 – so more to come on that! To read more about the Ambassador program, check out this link.

(source)

 #2 – The second most exciting thing of my day: I finished my Christmas shopping, WOOHOOO! I took one last trip to the mall to finish up a few errands, and now I’m all set to go for gift exchanging with my family and friends. I can’t wait!

#3 – 

I got a much needed haircut today. I chopped off 12 inches last year and donated it, and had been considering growing it out a bit longer and doing it again, but my hair has just been feeling too long and annoying. Even though I only cut a couple of inches off and got some layers done, it just feels much better.

Having my hair washed and scalp massaged, getting a nice trim, and having it blown out just felt like a welcomed, relaxing break from the busyness of my day. It made me think of how nice it is to indulge in life’s little pleasures, whether it’s getting your hair done, a pedicure, going for a quiet walk, soaking in a hot bath, buying a new dress for the hell of it, whatever. In the craziness of our lives, especially during the hectic holiday season, don’t forget to carve out a little ”me” time to decompress – even if it’s just a few minutes to meditate. Make yourself a priority, you deserve it!

Well I’m off to get some sleep, good night!

 

Remembering Those Lost at Sandy Hook Elementary

Like most people, I felt sickened when I heard about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. I get news alerts on my phone when important things happen, and the first notification about the tragedy stated that at least 2 people were killed. I thought that was scary enough, until just a few minutes later, when the new death projection rose to 25 people. Every time I begin to think about how scared those little babies must have been, my eyes well up.

When Adam and I saw The Nutcracker ballet last weekend, there was a little girl sitting behind us, wearing a tutu and tiara. She kept whispering to her mom in her little Minnie Mouse voice, asking her what was going on in the show. I started to have this sinking feeling in my stomach, and I realized that I was thinking about little girls like her in that elementary school, wondering what was going on as one sick man walked into the school and just started shooting people. It doesn’t help to try to make sense of it or attempt to understand how someone could do such a thing. Anyone who goes on a shooting rampage and murders innocent people, especially children, is mentally ill. Most of us could never understand the logic of a very sick person like that.

My best friend is a teacher at an elementary school; my father an athletic director at a high school; my brother a teacher and coach at a high school, and thinking about this ever happening to them is unimaginable. School is supposed to be a safe place where kids learn, grow, and develop, not a place where we should be worried of things like this ever occurring.

I’ve read a few blogs who have declared today a ”Blog Day of Silence,” a moment of silence of sorts for bloggers to acknowledge the horrible events at Sandy Hook.  It’s hard knowing that there’s nothing any of us can do about what has happened, but this sounded like a nice way to honor the adults and children that died, along with their grieving families and the community who are suffering so much. I hope that everyone takes the time to reflect on this horrible tragedy and think about the people they love. Hug them, kiss them, tell them you love them. Life can be cut way too short. Be grateful for the wonderful people you’re blessed to have in your life.

Veggie Lasagna

Hello there!

It’s been quite a holiday-filled weekend for me. The past few days have included seeing The Nutcracker ballet, Christmas shopping (almost done with my gift buying!), multiple holiday parties and listening to a lot of Christmas music. So much fun!

(via)

Unfortunately my weekend also included getting sick. I was feeling a little under the weather last week and had been fighting it. The Friday night party we went to was outside, but it happened to be pouring rain. Huddling under a canopy with rain splashing me in the face and leaving me damp the rest of the night pretty much sealed my fate of catching a cold. The upper respiratory bug is circulating in my household, and even Harley has crusty eyes today  (no joke)! I’m doing all I can to let this thing run its course as quickly as possible, since I’m flying to the East coast next weekend for the holidays and do NOT want to be sick for my trip. Plus I have too much to do this week to have a pounding headache!

Moving onto food, today’s recipe is a veggie-filled take on classic lasagna. I love Italian pasta dishes like lasagna, but don’t like the tons of calories and fat that can be involved. This dish includes lasagna noodles, but I reduced the amount used to make it a lighter meal. I also included a bunch of veggies to amp up the dish from a nutritional standpoint.

Just to give you an idea, an order of classic lasagna from chain restaurant Olive Garden contains the following nutrition info: 850 calories, 47 g fat, 25 g saturated fat, 39 g carbs and 68 g protein. A serving of this lasagna contains: 410 calories, 15 g, 8 g saturated fat, 41 g carbs and 24 g protein. The latter option sounds more appealing to me! 

With a good amount of ingredients, there was a lot of layering involved with prepping this dish. I was a bit indecisive about what to put where, but I wound up assembling my lasagna layers as follows:

First I spread 5 cooked lasagna noodles on the bottom of my baking dish:

My second layer was 1/2 of a red wine/diced tomato mixture I made:

Next I sprinkled 1/2 of my shredded carrots:

My next layer was 1/2 of a mixture of ricotta and shredded mozzarella and fontina cheese:

I then put 1/2 of my strips of sauteed green and yellow zucchini:

And then evenly spread diced red bell pepper:

Next I put the rest of the ricotta/cheese mixture on top:

I then layered 5 more lasagna noodles into the pan:

And poured the rest of the wine/tomato mixture on top:

The rest of the shredded carrots were spread on top:

Followed by the other 1/2 of the zucchini strips:

Lastly I sprinkled shredded mozzarella over top:

I baked the dish until golden brown:

This veggie lasagna will satisfy your pasta urge without causing you to feel bloated and stuffed afterwards.  Here’s the recipe: 

Very Veggie Lasagna
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 10 lasagna pasta pieces
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • ¼ red onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 large zucchini, ends removed and cut lengthwise into thin strips (I used 1 green and 1 yellow)
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup fontina cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ TSP dried oregano
  • ½ TSP dried basil
  • ½ TSP salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Boil a large pot of water and cook lasagna noodles until tender. Drain, and lay out on baking sheets coated with cooking spray to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, heat ½ TBSP olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion and saute until lightly browned.
  4. Add the red wine and bring to a simmer. Cook wine for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is reduced by half.
  5. Add diced tomatoes, oregano, basil and salt. Bring to a simmer again, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. In another large saucepan, heat the rest of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini strips and cook until softened.
  7. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta with the shredded fontina cheese and ½ cup of the shredded mozzarella. Mix together well.
  8. Coat an 8x11 baking pan with cooking spray.
  9. Layer the pan as follows: 5 sheets of lasagna noodles, ½ of the tomato/wine mixture, ½ of the shredded carrots, ½ of the ricotta/cheese mixture, ½ of the sauteed zucchini, the diced red bell pepper, the rest of the ricotta mixture, the remaining 5 lasagna noodles, the rest of the tomato mixture, the remaining carrots, the other ½ of zucchini slices, and the rest of the mozzarella cheese (1 cup).
  10. Cover the lasagna with tin foil, and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil, and bake again until lightly browned with bubbly cheese, 30-40 more minutes.
  11. Cool for a few minutes, then cut into 6 slices and enjoy.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice, Calories: 410, Fat: 15 g, Saturated fat: 8 g, Carbohydrates: 41 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 24 g

Horrors at the Dentist & Annoying Achilles Tendons

Hellloooo and happy Friday!

With the holiday season well underway, I know that you’ve all got parties to attend – from Hanukkah family celebrations and ugly Christmas sweater parties to end of the year gatherings with co-workers. I have 2 to go to this weekend, and I’m sure a lot of your probably do too! If you’re worried about how you’ll keep your healthy diet on track with so many unhealthy choices around, check out my article on FitKit: 7 Tips for Making Healthy Choices at Parties.

Now you’re probably wondering what the hell my blog title is about, yes? Let’s get to it…

Though eating well and exercising daily are huge components of healthy living, there are other important aspects of living a healthful life – from having strong, honest relationships to finding ways to keep your stress levels in check (you may need to revert back to exercise for that one!). Sometimes healthy living involves things that aren’t fun in the least bit, but are necessary to go through in order to be the healthiest you that you can be. A couple of experiences in my day yesterday made me think of this.

I had been avoiding going to a specialist my dentist referred me to for a sensitive, achy tooth I’ve had for awhile. After letting my dentist redo the old filling on the tooth and it not helping in the least bit, she suggested that I needed a root canal and referred me to another doctor. A ROOT CANAL! I might have been scarred from the not so fun experience I had last year of getting all of my wisdom teeth pulled. They needed to cut into my jawbone to remove one of the teeth, and Adam took care of me afterwards while I acted like the little boy from David After Dentist and whined, ”Is it going to be like this forever?”

Or perhaps my hubby’s hatred of the dentist is rubbing off on me (seriously, he despises it more than anyone I know!). Whatever it was, I avoided going to the specialist for months. I knew that I needed to get it taken care of, but I honestly just did not want to. I ignored it until a few weeks ago, when I started getting a constant dull achiness in my mouth (one that I’m feeling as I type…), at which point I knew that I needed to just suck it up and make the appointment.

Fast forward to yesterday, and I’m sitting in the doctor’s office bright and early, having a minor panic attack. The sounds of a root canal being done next to me brought tears to my eyes. That drill noise gives me the chills just thinking about it! I did not want to be there, but I knew it was the right choice in the long run.

Yesterday I also was reevaluated at physical therapy. I’ve been rehabbing my calf for a few months now, and thought that it would be almost as good as new by now. It’s not feeling bad, but when I try to do any high impact activity, it feels like something’s not right immediately. The docs think I still have tears in my calf and Achilles that are just healing slow and need more time to repair. So, even though I’d like to take a boxing class today, I can’t. What I can do is lower impact stuff, so I’m going to up my cycling time and continue to do things like yoga and easy hikes.

The point in me telling you all of this is to say that sometimes you feel like your body is failing you in small but annoying ways. I brush and floss, I don’t eat candy all day long, but I still need a dang root canal. I’ve been taking it easy, not pushing myself too hard with my workouts, and have been diligently rehabbing my calf, but it’s still not recovered. Maybe you’re trying to lose weight and the scale won’t budge. Or you’ve been working to set a new personal record for your half-marathon time, but you seem to have plateaued. Whatever it is, it’s frustrating. You might want to quit, avoid the dentist, stop rehabbing your injury, and so on. But living your best, healthiest life means that you take care of what needs to be taken care of. It means that you won’t give up, and you’ll keep trying to achieve whatever it is you have your sights set on. Would I like to go on a 2-hour hike with Harley this weekend? Absolutely. Did I want to run out of the doctor’s office and never look back? YES! Instead, I’ll be getting that root canal done after the holidays.  I’ll continue to work on getting my leg and foot back to 100%. And I’ll also remind myself to be thankful, because at least I have teeth and the means to get them fixed, and I have strong legs that work well…. but apparently just need to be worked on a bit more.

Potato Latkes with a Twist

Have you realized what day it is?

So if all of these extreme predictions are correct, the world is ending is just 9 days. Hmmm, now I’m no expert on all of the 12.21.12 hoopla, and I suppose you really can never say never, but I can tell you one thing: I am going to be really mad if I only have a few days left to live. There’s just too much I want to do!

In thinking about all of the attention surrounding our supposed impending doom, I started to ask myself, If I thought the world was ending, what would I want my last day on earth to be like? It would definitely involve spending the day with my hubby, family, girlfriends and Harley girl. There would be a lot of laughter, good food, and wine involved (There’d be no worries about a hangover the next day right?!). I think I’d want to spend part of the morning hiking a mountain, climbing to the top and taking in all the beauty around me. Or maybe I’d do something exhilarating, like bungee jump or skydive (I’ve done it once, but would love to do it again!). Question: If you knew it was your last day on Earth, how would you spend it?

Food

Moving onto a much lighter and less depressing topic, I got into the spirit of Hanukkah last night and made potato latkes for dinner. I’ve only made them once before and couldn’t remember the exact recipe, but once I Googled for one, I realized that I didn’t need it. Pretty much every traditional latke recipe I saw included just shredded potato, some form of onion, seasonings, egg, possibly flour, and some type of oil. I began prepping my dinner with no set measurements in mind, just kind of going with what seemed like good amounts. I decided to add shredded carrots to the potato pancakes to amp up its nutritional factor, and they turned out yummy!

I made the latkes rather large, which I prefer over baby sized ones, and topped them with apple sauce and sour cream:

Potato & Carrot Latkes
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large Russet potatoes, peeled (about 1.5 lb)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TSP salt
  • ¼ TSP ground pepper
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • Apple sauce, sour cream, or whatever other toppings you choice
Instructions
  1. Grate the potatoes using a food processor or box grater.
  2. Wrap the potatoes in a kitchen towel, then roll up jelly-roll style. Squeeze the water out as best you can. Let stand for a few minutes, then squeeze excess liquid out once more.
  3. Heat 1 TBSP of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, salt and pepper. Stir in the potato strands, carrots, and onion, and mix until everything is evenly coated.
  5. Stir in the flour and toss to combine.
  6. Form 11 patties. Put 5-6 potato pancakes in the pan, and cook for a few minutes on each side until browned.
  7. Place the latkes on a plate lined with paper towels to blot off any excess oil. Add another TBSP of oil to the skillet and repeat this process once more with the rest of the latkes.
  8. Enjoy with sour cream and apple sauce.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 potato pancake, Calories: 85, Fat: 3 g, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Protein: 3 g

An Afternoon of Wine Tasting

Yesterday afternoon my hubby and I headed up to Temecula, the wine region closest to us in San Diego. I’ve been to Temecula a few times this year while Adam was deployed, but we haven’t been up there together since last year, when we spent a night there over Thanksgiving weekend.

Wine tasting in Temecula last year

I had a Groupon deal at one winery, and we had free tickets for a tasting and bottle at another, so we thought it was a perfect, cheap chance to take a break from our normal weekend hustle & bustle and do some wine drinking and relaxing. It was a beautiful day outside, and the wineries looked so pretty all decked out for the holidays. The best part was that we hung out at a winery that was showing the NY Giants game – getting to drink wine while watching my team play (and kick some major ass!)? Pretty awesome! Usually wineries don’t show games so it was a nice surprise. Here are a few photos from the day:

The only bad thing about wine tasting on a Sunday was waking up on Monday morning not very refreshed and feeling slightly horrified that the weekend was over! 😉

”Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” – Benjamin Franklin