31 May 2011

How Gumby and I celebrated memorial day

To be honest, I had secretly planned on spending my memorial day napping, getting my netflix on, spending some time tweaking my blog design and just being totally lazy. (It was a long week, don't judge!) But on the drive to drop off the husband at work I noticed a whole bunch of people sitting on the side of the road just down the street from us. I had totally forgotten about the parade. AND I love parades! I rushed home, grabbed Gumby and my camera and off we went to join in the festivities.

I love how patriotic Americans are. I even get a little chocked up seeing waving flags, cheering crowds, military personal and brave veterans. The sun was out in full force and Gumby enjoyed the fresh air and especially being able to dig in the grass to his little hearts content. He was really popular and lots of kids came over to ask what he was and if they could pet him. Gumby was very tolerable of all the sticky hands pawing at him. What a good boy!
As soon as the parade was over we headed home to rehydrate ourselves with ice cold water. Our apartment was so hot (its on the 3rd floor, hot air rises... its science!) and all we had to keep cool were open windows and one lousy fan so after picking up the husband from work we headed out to buy an AC. PHEW! Just in time for the 80 degree weather all week!

30 May 2011

Red White & Blue

Happy Memorial Day!

God bless America... my new home.

27 May 2011

food obsessed and ITS THE WEEKEND!

Well someone is looking a tad bit obsessed seeing as my last 3 posts were about food. Despite what you may see... this is not a food blog, I promise. But I love cooking and if I make something good, you're gonna hear about it.

I have fallen in love with berries this week (alright there, weirdo!) This parfait was A to the M to the A ZING! I emptied out a container of Danon light&fit coconut&pineapple yogurt, poured in some koshi go lean crunch, cut up some strawberries and added a couple raspberries and blackberries. (total cal: about 200) YUMMY!

On another note: ITS THE WEEKEND! On a sadder note: Its my last weekend with my friend, Jen who is moving back to South Africa. :( But we are making the most of this sunny LONG weekend (yay for memorial day.)

26 May 2011

I will not eat green eggs and ham... but I'll take some of that spaghetti!

My husband is Peruvian. Well, he was actually born in California but everyone else in his family were born in Peru. I was first introduced to Peruvian cooking when Mike took me out to a local Peruvian resturant where he had been out to eat many times growing up. The menu was in spanish so with good recomendation from the hubby I ordered Tallerin Verde (spaghetti in a spinach and basil pesto sauce). It was tasty! I have eaten and tried lots of different Peruvian dishes since then and we even had Causa (another of my favorites) at our wedding.

The other day I asked my mom-in-law to explain to me how to make Tallerin Verde and I finally got to try it out last night.

I sauted 3 cloves of garlic (minced) and 1 small onion with a little oil until they became translucent. I then threw in 200g of fresh basil and 400g of fresh spinach and cooked it till they were wilted. I moved to greens into a blender and added 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 3 walnuts and 300g feta cheese (you should use queso blanco or queso fresco if you can find it). Add salt to taste, mix it all up and there you have it! Pretty simple.


I decided to serve it with chicken, so while the spaghetti was boiling i dipped 4 chicken theighs in an egg, garlic paste and salt and pepper mixture and then coated with breadcrumbs. I left them to bake (turning halfway) in a 375 degree F oven for about 45min.


Of course we had to serve the green spaghetti with parmisan cheese and Inca Cola!



25 May 2011

Who taught you how to eat an artichoke?

So this may seem weird, but last night was the first time I have ever eaten an artichoke. In my 24 years on earth I have never chosen to eat this odd looking vegetable, but last night we went over to my father-in-law's house and artichokes were on the menu. (along with a very scrumptious spaghetti and meatballs.)

I don't know how many calories are in those things, but Im pretty sure I burned more just trying to consume it. First you have to avoid the spikes. Who was the first person to decide that such a spiked plant was edible? I've heard people dip it in mayonnaise or melted butter, but we had a really tasty olive oil and red vinegar combo for dunking. Okay so you pull off a leaf and eat about 10% of it? Alright... I can manage that. You then have to avoid a whole bunch of prickly fibres. Is that where the name artiCHOKE came from? I can just imagine some poor kid named Arti who got over excited consuming his appetizer and forgot to avoid the menosing fibres. Poor Arti! You are then left with the heart. This greyish squishy part is suppost to be the best bit.

Who knew eating was such a science? This whole lesson was taught to me by my dear husband. Im almost sure he had to get his masters degree in artichoking beforehand.

And there we have it. Eating artichokes at the age of 24 like a big girl. I don't love 'em, but I don't hate 'em. I will be sure to give them another chance later down the line.

24 May 2011

The Summer Bucket List

THERE ARE 28 MORE DAYS TILL SUMMER! But whose counting? haha.

Growing up on the east coast of South Africa, I am still new to the fact that Summer is not an all-round season. In my small beach town temperatures would still be up in their 70's when winter rolled around, so I am still getting used to Seasons, but I love them!

Winter is so much fun for me because it brings snowboarding, sledding and snowmen. I get so excited when there is a blizzard and I don't even mind spending 20 minutes defrosting my car in the mornings. But Summer is so exciting! People climb out of their frozen depressions and are all in a better mood, there are sunny days spent in the park, hiking, BBQ's, sun tanning on the beach and cocktails on the deck to look forward to.

Summer 2011 has big shoes to fill. Last year was the best Summer of my life! I met my husband and fell in love, spent lots of special times with amazing friends, went on many road trips, explored California and helicoptered into the Grand Canyon with my mom, hiked, camped, rocked out at Warped Tour and just had a blast every day!

New York is a great place to be with so much to do. (obviously!) There are tons of parks, Long Island is close by for a day at the beach and there are some great mountains for hiking just a short drive upstate. So to make the most of this Summer I have constructed a list of everything I would like to get up to. I'm sure some things might change and there will be LOTS MORE added to it but without any further ado may I present to you... (drum roll please) The 2011 Summer Bucket List:

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  • Beach it up and get a tan (ummm... duh!)

  • Canoe on the Hudson River

  • Watch an outdoor movie. I have always wanted to go to one of those film screenings in a park. (just like in the movies)

  • Picnic at the Ladies Pavilion, Central Park 6/4/2011. This date will mark Hubby and my 6 month wedding anniversary. (WOAH! Half a year already.) We shall spend the day picnicking at the very spot we were married in Central Park.

  • Attempt to play tennis. The hubby has some serious tennis skills and is actually a tennis instructor. He tried to teach me how to play last year, but I failed miserably. Lets try again!

  • Bohemian Hall and Beer garden is the oldest beer garden in NYC and with them celebrating their 1ooth birthday this year, it just looks like a great place to hang out for an evening.

  • Central Park Summer Stage. Who doesn't love FREE entertainment?

  • Mountain Jam! My attempts to attend this awesome looking weekend festival last year failed so hopefully I can make it happen this year?

  • Lots of hiking. Its such a great workout and so much fun!

  • White Water Rafting. I have been dying to do this for ages!

  • Coney Island. I am not going to battle the crowds on the day of the hot dog eating contest, but I would love to pay Coney Island a visit.

  • Host a big 4th July BBQ. My family has doubled tripled quadrupled since December (Mike has a large family) and it would be so great to get everyone together for a big shindig this year. This will need a lot of organizing skills.

23 May 2011

Weekend roundup: Rapture edition

Well, it is Monday again. Congratulations on surviving the apocolypse! Despite missing out on being swollwed into the earth by a deadly earthquake, my weekend was pretty eventful.

Straight after work on Friday I raced up to Conneticut with my friend, Jen to a 3 Doors Down concert. We arrivd just in time to catch the opening bands Hinder and MOST
IMPORTANTLY the amazing South African band, Seether.

The Comcast theartre in Hartford is a pretty cool venue since its not too huge and although we had seat tickets there is a lawn area behind the seats which would be a great place to bring a blanket and chill with your friends. The show ended just after midnight and although I almost fell asleep at the wheel making the 2 hour drive back home, it was definatly worth it.

Saturday evening was spent at the roller derby. I've been wanting to check out a derby ever since I watched the movie Whip It. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen! Those chicks are awesome and it just looks like so much fun. As soon as I got home that night I started googling where I can get my hands on a pair of roller skates. I would love to do something like that, I just have to step up my roller skating skills (which have been pretty much non-exsistent since the age of 9).


21 May 2011

Lets vacate for a while!

You know that feeling where you can either just give into the fact that you are about to go stark raving crazy or go on vacation? Well that happened to me a while ago and before the madness set in, I booked me and the hubby some plane tickets outta here. Flights to Florida to be exact. So a couple of weeks ago we jumped onto our first ever airplane ride together and headed on our first vacation as husband and wife (besides the couple of days spent snowboarding upstate which we called our honeymoon).


After a full afternoon of flying and an awesome bird's eye view of a lightning storm we touched down in a tiny airport called Melbourne on the East Coast of Florida and began our relaxing 10 day getaway. For the most part, we stayed with my sister-in-law and I got to meet my gorgeous nieces and nephew for the first time. They are super cute! YAY for being Aunt Kate. Here is our little family portrait (the cat had to get in on the action too.)


A very welcomed change from New York's 50 degree and raining weather was the 80+ degree days spent on the beach and finally getting some melatonin action going on our pasty winter skin. Breaking out the shorts and flip flops is always a good feeling! We got to spend time hanging out with the sister and brother-in-law, which was special since we don't get to see them very often.



We rented a car and decided since we had wheels, we would do a bit of road tripping (road trips are my specialty). We drove all the way to the tip of Florida and then carried on, crossing the Florida Key Islands which are all connected together by one long bridge.


On the way we stopped by "Bobby's Marina" to feed the Tarpon. A school of 50-100 tarpon linger at the end of "Bobby's Dock" everyday waiting to be fed by the flock of visitors that come to hand them a snack. Armed with a bucket of bait, we went out on the dock and I was pretty amazed by the size of these giant fish. Sometimes a Tarpon will thrust itself right out of the water to meet its lunch halfway up in the air, its quite a sight to see. So after our bucket was empty and the fish (and a couple of pelicans who had caught onto the idea of a free lunch) were full we headed back on the road to Key West.




After a 6 hour drive through some really breathtaking scenery we made it to Key West and our hotel, but most importantly our bed. But resting would have to wait as we needed to get down to Mallory Square in time to catch the sunset. Lucky for us our hotel was not too far from the downtown action so we travelled on foot in order to be able to down a few Key West cocktails. Mallory square is the place to be at sunset with performers everywhere showing you their latest stunts. The hubby even got called to participate in a show and had to do 20 push ups in front of a big crowed. It was so fun!

The sunset was spectacular and made me want to permanently locate to a tropical island! We strolled down Duval Street and ended up having dinner at "Sloppy Joe's Pub" which entertained us with some really rocking live music. We then headed back to the hotel and passed out after a very, very long day!


We woke up in time for breakfast the next day and started making out way back North. We stopped on an island beach we had spotted on the way down and spent a few hours exploring a seaweed path and finding hermit crabs.


We were back in Fort Pierce for a day before did some more road tripping. This time we headed West to Sarasota so that I could meet Hubby's aunt and uncle. Before going to their house for a BBQ we spent the afternoon on Siesta beach. The west coast has some great beaches and this one in particular had such blue water and white sand.


The whole time we were there it was "love bug" season. YUCK! These little suckers were everywhere and after so much road tripping we managed to knock out a whole colony I think. I don't want to gross you out... but this is the result.


So that was our little vacation. We are back to rainy New York with the promise of a whole week of thunderstorms! THANKS. If you need me, I'll be cuddling up with my comforter dreaming of white sand and turquoise waters!