Monday, January 18, 2010

Jerm is 30

Jeremy turned 30 this weekend.

We did a lot of celebratin'.

We ate Japanese one night.  We ate out after the basketball game on Saturday night.  We went out to eat with his family.

Finally, for a special birthday treat, I made dinner for him tonight (I just realized how funny that sounds...I make dinner sometimes...but I haven't been able to as much here lately).  Steak, potatoes, yeast rolls (I didn't make those...those frozen Sister Whatever-Her-Name-Is Rolls are ah-maze-ing and sooooo bad for you) and Cindy Mac n' Cheese.

Amelia joined in on the fun, too.  Thank goodness for Bumbos and pillows! :)

I love this sweet face!

Anyway, my one meal this year turned out pretty good (heh. heh.). 

Happy Birthday, Jeremy!  Love you!  Here's to many, many more. :)

"Tony says..."

Jeremy started P90X last week.

Yes, that's right.  P90X.  You may have seen it on 5.2 million infomercials.  Know what I'm talking about?

P90X is an exercise program made to "transform" your body in 90 days.  You do everything at home, using DVDs and a few pieces of equipment.

It isn't for the faint of heart.  P90X is tough.

Jeremy really thought this decision through.  I guess the big 3-0  sent him into some weird, mid-life crisis sort of mentality.  He wrote down his plans.  He made me take pictures of him.  He brought me a (hehehe) metal tape measure to use to take all of his measurements.  Then, he went across the street and got real measuring tape to take his measurements.

When Jeremy told me that he was going to start the "P90X Revolution," I tried to convince him that he should wait awhile.

Jeremy's response?

"Tony says that people are going to be negative and try to talk you out of P90X!"

Tony is the ambitious fellow who created P90X.  He hocks his product on tv relentlessly.  He's around 50 years old and can do all of the workouts, including one where you do the chair squat against the wall and hold yourself up with only one leg (and I am not being sarcastic here, folks).  Apparently, he's a pretty motivational speaker.

After Jeremy gave me one of Tony's "responses," I tried again.   I told Jeremy that he didn't have time for P90X.
His response?

"Tony says that people are going to try and tell you that, too.  Tony says that there's always time to improve your health."

Thus is my life.  Most of our conversations these days center around Tony.  He's causally mentioned in conversation like the weather, a grandparent, or a co-worker.  At dinner tonight, Jeremy mentioned that, "Tony says you should wait an hour after eating before you work out," because apparently P90X is akin to going swimming.

Tony also says that Jeremy needs to "bring it!" every day.  I wish I had a recording of Tony saying other things, like "take out the trash," or "go get your wife some chocolate."

Alas, I just have the P90X Tony, our resident philosopher.

Welcome to my family, Tony.

Try not to kill my husband.

My New Love

I started eating Baked Lay's Southwestern Ranch potato chips around the time Amelia was born, and I can't quit eating them.

They are soooooooooooo good.

They aren't that bad for you, either.

They probably lose some of that "low-fat" appeal if you eat the whole bag.

Hmmm.  Oh, well.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cold Saturday Night

It has been so cold. Yuck.

It has been so cold in Georgia that I can't even think of a day when I might be able to wear my Chacos again.  That makes me sad.

Honestly, I like cold/snow/misery for about ten minutes, and then I'm over it.

Babies + Cold = I don't think so.  

Amelia and I spent last Saturday evening alone.  Jerm went to go coach a basketball game.  I could have gone somewhere to eat, but I honestly didn't want to get Amelia out of the house.

So....what was I to do??

Well, I decided to make French Toast, of course (of course!  Isn't that what you always do when when are alone on an icy Saturday night?)!  What else was I supposed to do with my snow stash of milk, bread, and eggs? 

I dug around my pantry and kitchen this evening and decided to make Caramel Apple French Toast.  It turned out great!  Amelia looked at the French Toast with a big grin, but she had to settle for her bananas and rice cereal (yuck!).  I made a version of this before with a Tyler Florence recipe, but I just improvised tonight and made my own.

Here's the recipe:

Caramel Apple French Toast
This dish serves two - perfect for a little breakfast in bed!

1 Granny Smith Apple
Four slices bread (or 2 croissants)
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
whipped cream (optional)
caramel topping (optional)
handful of pecans (optional)

Peel, core, and slice the Granny Smith Apple in thin slices.  Set aside.

Mix together the French Toast batter - the eggs, milk, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and vanilla (I'm a vanilla fiend....I always add more in than is probably necessary...add as much as you'd like).  Beat together the mixture and set aside.

Heat a skillet on medium low heat.  Place butter in the heated skillet and melt.  Once butter is melted, add the brown sugar.  Add in 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Mix the mixture together until smooth.  (The consistency should be very smooth - feel free to add more butter/sugar if you feel the mixture needs it).

Add the apple slices to the mixture gently.  Coat the apples generously with the brown sugar/butter mixture.  Reduce the heat to simmer and let the apples cook in the sugar and butter mixture.  This will take about five to ten minutes, depending on how firm you prefer your apples.

Heat a skillet on medium for the French Toast.  When the skillet is warm, coat the bottom with butter.  Place two pieces of bread into the mixture, coat fully, and place on hot skillet.  (You want a hot skillet - you don't want to burn the toast, but you want to make sure your pan is heated.  No one wants soggy French Toast!  You want toast with caramelized edges!)  Once both sides are finished, place onto plate (or in the oven to keep warm).

Once the toast and apples are finished,  coat two pieces of the toast with the apple mixture, whipped cream, and caramel topping (Starbucks makes some fabulous caramel sauce).  Serve and enjoy!

Pecans would be a nice touch if you would like a little crunchiness.  You could top the toast with toasted pecans or throw in some pecans to the apple mixture a few minutes before serving to warm them through.

Croissants work really well with this recipe.  Just make sure you do not soak them too long, or they'll be too eggy and a big mess.  

Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's Snowin'! Call the Severe Weather Team!

Ah, Georgia.

We go nuts at the very sight of snow.

We stock up on milk, bread, and eggs if we hear reports that the white stuff is coming.  We're not too sure what we think we are going to make if the power goes out/Armageddon hits/all roads become impassable.

Breakfast in a fireplace, perhaps?

We dust off our sleds that came out of our basements and attics.  We stare at the television and hope beyond hope that our schedules will be cleared for the day.

We close everything down if the roads become too icy.  We can't handle it.  Atlanta had a thirty-car pileup on Friday - isn't that proof enough?  In our defense, our roads weren't made to handle the ice.  Our cars do not come with snow chains.  Our driving skills do not encompass the art of gliding over a sheet of ice (my driving skills encompass very little, actually).  

Southern snow transforms the oldest soul into the essence of youthful vigor.   We dance in the snow, catch it on our tongues, make snow angels, throw snowballs, make snowmen (if there's enough snow to do so), and sled like there's no tomorrow (because, most likely, there is no tomorrow that involves snow). 

We know the Yankees laugh at us.

Our naievte, however, is pretty understandable.  Waking up to a powdery white wonderland is a rare treat for us down south.  We don't get to enjoy snow like those up north (just like those up north don't get to enjoy our glorious humidity in the summertime - hahaha).   And honestly, most of us down here are grateful that the snow only comes our way on very special occasions.

Because somewhere, between our panic and our playtime, we create snow-filled moments that we do not forget.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Party Like It's...Oh, Geez...Are We That Old?

We celebrated Kathi's 25th* birthday last week.  Kathi rounded up her sister and some of her best buds for a trip to Atlanta.  It was uh. maze. ing.  :)

I was probably very loud the whole time, which is the way I get when I'm very hyper and happy...but no one said anything.  I was just so excited to be in Atlanta with some of my favorite women on the planet!  It was just too much fun. (I mean, you have to understand that my version of fun these days involves a baby, some take out, and falling asleep by 9 pm).

There were some moments to remember.  Kathi and April's tea debacle, Kathi and Kristi's hilarious stories (it is pure craziness and magic when the two Hart girls get together!), and Kathi's insane birthday balloons that assaulted nearly everyone at Cheesecake Factory.  Of course, I can't forget the perfect dessert at Cafe Intermezzo that involved a huge glass of milk for the birthday girl (yes, she really got milk - no bad stuff involved!).

I cannot think of anyone who deserved a great birthday celebration like that more than my beautiful friend.  Anyone who knows Kathi knows that she is the epitome of class and grace.  Her humor, spirit, and laughter brighten so many people.  Her faith speaks volumes about her life.  She is beautiful on the inside and out, and I honestly love my "bestie" to pieces.

Happy Birthday, Kathi!!  Love you!!

* The age has been changed to protect the innocent.

Friday, January 1, 2010