Monthly Archives: December 2009

Happy New Years! Well a lil’ early isn’t it?

Hey hey friends…. well let me just cut right to the chase here.  I am very sorry to say that I am going to need to take a bloggin’ break until the new year.  I just really have been in down spirits with the wisdom tooth & being sick these past few days & think I need some time to ‘collect myself’ if you will.

I spent yet another morning at the doctors trying to figure out why my tonsil is still the size of a golf ball.  I thought I was doin’ well last night, sheesh.  Thankfully the bloodwork came back negative for mono, and she upped my prescription in hopes of killing this stuff before we depart for the cruise on Sunday.  I am just praying that it all works out….

And I hope you know that I hate to bail on you friends bc ya’ll are so fabulous and I love all your support… but I also really hate to bring everyone down bc I know I just won’t be my usual self until this is resolved.  I do hope that you understand 😦

For New Year’s we had plans to head to a small local bar with some friends, dinner and drinks included, but unfortunately you can see where that’s going… and I feel terrible bc The Man shelled out some cash upfront for this and I just feel like I am ruining everything.  But let’s not get started down that depressing train k?

That being said, I would love to hear about any fun new year’s plans that you have – tell me more!  This year I must live vicariously 😉

Well friends, told you I was no fun today 😦  I made it to work for a while so hope to at least get caught up a bit before the long weekend and our trip.  I will probably go home and rest much of the afternoon too – I tend to have “push myself type A” characteristics and sometimes need a reality check (or a series of them?)

Alright peeps, guess it’s that time…..

SEE YOU FRIENDS IN 2010!!!!!!!!! 🙂

Happy New Year to every one of you wonderful readers, ya’ll mean the world to me and I hope that you have a safe & happy holiday.

Cookin’ Creations!

Well look at this, I have made it back for a dinner post tonight!  This is goooooooood 😉 

Needless to say I have started to feel better throughout the day and can now actually get up and perform normal daily activities (i.e. cooking dinner) 🙂

However friends, I gots to make this quick since I haven’t spent hardly any time with The Man in a few days thanks to this wonderful sickness adventure!

After lunch today I knew that I was craving broccoli & cheese for dinner, and since I’m apparently on a “cream of ____” kick I wanted to include this too!  We are really trying to use up all foods in the house before we go away, so prepare to see some ummmm creativity in the next few days 😉

I also had some brussel sprouts that I knew I was ready to chow down on!  The other day I stumbled across a fabulous idea for roasting these as well, so I knew that was goin’ to be in the works for din tonight.

Up first, the cream of chicken creation – which I decided would become a casserole. I started with this:

I sauteed up some chopped chicken breast in a lil’ EVOO, salt & pepper. 

Then I added the frozen broccoli, which I had cooked first in the ol’ microwave

At this point I dumped in the can of cream of chicken soup and a sprinkle of paprika, plus more S&P 🙂

After a quick taste, I decided that some red pepper flakes & minced garlic were in order… love the “create as you go” recipes as ya’ll well know 😉

I also cooked up some rice and then it was time to layer up the casserole!

1. Rice

2. Chicken & broc mixture

3. Topped with some of that TJs cheese I was raving about earlier!

4. Popped into a 400F oven for about 15 minutes so the cheese could get all melty… and voila!

I also roasted up the brussel sprouts according to direction

And dinner was served – yea yummmmmmmmmmm!

 

I wasn’t sure how this cream of chicken concoction would turn out – however The Man declared that this dinner was a complete success and I think I’d have to agree.  The cheese really pulled it all together into just a warm, gooey tasty pile of yumminess 😉

Alright, well gots to run friends, see you tomorrow where hopefully I will be back in action (aka at work) and resuming some normal life activities!

Have a lovely night friends 🙂

Massive quantities of ice cream!!

Well hello there friends, how’s everyone doing today?! 🙂

I am saying hello to ya’ll fabulous peeps from my bed, which I have been stationed in for ohhhh the past 30 hours or so haha.  But I think that I am finally starting to get better wooo hooo!  Perhaps it was all your kind words that helped in that (ya’ll rock) !!!

Lucy Dog says that she is bored of all this bedtime!

I think I’m going to have to agree with her for once 😉

So after I saw you last my temperature decided to play tricks on me and spike to a lovely 100.5F for the remainder of the afternoon/evening which was awesome.  And by awesome, I mean miserable 😦  So needless to say I have been doing alot of sleeping! and eating ice cream (shhhh)

I would have posted dinner, except I doubt you friends were dyin’ to see a can of chicken noodle soup and half grilled cheese in the GF that The Man whipped up for me (he takes care of me <3) so I refrained 😉

I slept through the night sans Advil (a miracle!) and woke up today feeling a bit better.  After another morning of doing nothing around the house (besides eating massive quantities of ice cream gahh? why don’t I lose my appetite when I’m sick like normal people? so freaking weird!) I felt up to a somewhat normal lunch — good sign!

Eggs, Broccoli and Cheese were what I was craving…. so that’s how it went down.

Sauteed up some frozen chopped broc and hashbrowns

Added in 3 egg whites and some of this guy – which is quite possibly some of the best cheese I have had in “ages” (haha get it? I crack myself up sometimes… terrible)

All finished up with some S&P + ketchup (ya’ll know how I roll)

Plus a small leftover salad that I didn’t want to go to waste, not the most fun to eat in this sore throat condition I learned though hmph!

And then of course MORE ice cream (hello bathing suit wearing in 5 days… nice to meet you… my name is “I eat a tub of ice cream in 2 days”… how have things been?… can’t wait for our rendevous in Mexico, it’s sure to be swell ha)

Anywho, we won’t go there, K friends?? 😉

Well I am sure there is more of the same on the agenda for this afternoon… hoping I really make a turnaround into tonight and continue on this upswing!  I think I’m going to try to make a list of items to pack for the cruise too, does anyone else make detailed packing lists before vacations too?  I couldn’t pack any other way – call me anal retentive if you will 😛

I also want to dig a lil’ more into this fabulous book that my Dad got me for Christmas… so far it has been amazing and you better believe that you friends will be seeing these dishes in the new year!

I am in love 🙂

Alright everyone, plan on seeing another broc & cheese themed dinner if all goes well! 

Lucy Dog says goodbye too – she’s got more napping to do and we wouldn’t want to wake the princess haha 😉

She’s such a snob isn’t she?!

Have a wonderful day friends and see you soon 🙂

Oh Monday, here you go with your silly tricks again!

Well hello there my wonderful friends!  How are ya’ll doing today on this last Monday of 2009?  Hopefully better than this girl (whose luck apparently never runs out these days hahaha) — since I am home sick with some nasty tonsilitis and issues with the wisdom tooth extracted just last week.  Oh Monday funday. 

I spent my morning at the doctor’s office getting antibiotics for my throat which is swollen halfway shut, talk about a fun night of sleep that wasn’t 😦  I think it’s time for a certain someone to consider getting their tonsils yanked out, to put it nicely.  Then I went to the dentist around noon to find out actually what I find to be good news, the wisdom tooth is healing up great except for the massive ulcer that has formed around it – awesome.

Okay so anywho, enough of my troubles bringing you guys down, that’s not what we’re here for is it?!  As always – things could be worse 🙂  I am just praying to the sick Gods that I get healthy for our cruise departure in t-minus 5 days (who’s counting?!)

In honor of Holiday Cruise 2010 with the fanatic fam + The Man (this is a first! 🙂 ) I thought I’d do a lil’ photo montage of cruises from the fanatic past…. hope you enjoy!

Cruise #1:  Lil’ Sisters graduation present from Big Sis 🙂

Seriously don’t know how we survived that one hahaha 😉

Cruise #2:  Christmas Cruise round 1 w/ the parentals!

 

And a tradition begins!  Of course making friends with the waiters, they are the best 🙂

Cruise #3:  Spring Bahamas family tour!

 

Hahaha nuff said 😉

Cruise #4:   Holiday Cruisin’ round 2 w/ the fanatic fam!

 

Bravin’ the waters for the sake of Christmas tradition! 

Cruise #5:  The Man and Cookinfanatic set out for their first cruisin’ adventure together!

 

I think someone is hooked, no pun intended 😛

Cruise #6:  Holiday cruisin’ round 3 with the addition of The Man, I can’t wait!! Now tonsils – get better fast you hear?  Hey better now then later, I couldn’t even imagine….

And since obviously my appetite is all sorts of funk-di-fied today (think yogurt, rice pudding and ice cream as key staples) I’ll leave you with the most gorgeous pictures that my friend Wendy was kind of enough to send along from their recent trip to the Keys (The Man’s parents were there too!)

 

Her and her hubby are food lovahs just like most of us out here 😉 and can cook up some mean dishes if I must say so myself (hello famous brie & pork butt!)  Thanks so much Wendy for allowing me to pass these beautiful stone crab claw pictures along, now if only I was there to eat them ….. 😉

Alright friends, hoping the meds start working their magic and I can get back to work tomorrow (yes, who says that?) – typical Steph fashion….

I hope you have a most wonderful Monday and see you soon! 🙂

Roastin’ machine

Ah why hello there friends, how has your Sunday been?! 

The fanatic household has been busy busy today (!)  including:

  • ExerciseTV Yoga Works BodySlim sesh (can you tell I like this one? 😉 )
  • Adventure with the newly received Xagave !
  • Roasted Veggie Pasta dinner 🙂

A few days back you may remember (amongst the holiday chaos :P) that I received a fun package from the kind folks at Xagave, I just couldn’t wait to give this stuff a whirl!

For those of you who haven’t yet experienced this wonderful natural sweetener, here are a few quick facts & some specifically about Xagave 🙂

  • sweeter than sugar so you need less to achieve the same level of sweetness (a blessing for low cal baking!)
  • low glycemic index food, meaning it does not raiste your blood sugar levels (vs. sugar)
  • Xagave is made from organically grown plants
  • Xagave is derived from Blue Agave and White Agave plants and the premium blend provides the best tasting, best cooking qualities, most versatile and healthy products on the market.

So I decided what better way to get things started than by making some Coconut Rice Pudding?!  So that’s what I did!

Key players:

  • 1  cup rice
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 box raisins
  • Approx. 1 tblsp XAgave
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

I prepared the rice using a half coconut / half water combo, adding the raisins while cooking too so they could get all nice n’ plump.  Once cooked I added the remainder of the coconut milk, XAgave, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Voila!  Delicious served hot or cold 🙂

After taking Lucy Dog for a walk and lounging around trying to kick this random sore throat (??) it was time for some dinner.  Plans were for an easy baked pasta however I was really feeling an easy roasted veggie pasta dish by the time dinner rolled around, so that’s what happened!

First I roasted up some summer squash and an onion, tossing in a few teaspoons EVOO and salt/pepper before popping into a 425F oven for about 25 minutes (flip a few times) to roast up all purty-like 😉

Oh yes, and if you are wondering what the random foil ball is all about – it’s an almost full bulb of garlic that I also roasted up!  Why have I never done this before bc the results were incredible!  Channeled my inner Sandra Lee on this one, that’s who I remember seeing do this 🙂 

The garlic turns deliciously sweet and just squeezes right outta the skin!  Mmmmmmm

I also sauteed up some Trader Joe’s Italian Chicken Sausages while The Man boiled the pasta (he put some black olives up in the mix too, love it!)

Then we just dumped everything together with some TJ’s marinara sauce, black pepper & oregano and topped with crumbled feta…. oh YES, this was a keeper!

Alongside we continued the feta theme with a fresh and delicious Italian salad:  romaine, tomato, cucumber, black olives, crumbled feta, black pepper and oregano.

Great way to end the weekend 🙂  Add in a drive thru McDonald’s vanilla ice cream cone and make that “Superfantasticwonderful” way to end the weekend 😉  Gahhh weakness haha.

Alright friends, time to get some sleep and hope that I am feeling better come tomorrow morning.  I think I’m going to have to revisit the dentist too since ol’ Mr. Wisdom Tooth is not cooperating with me this time around grrrrr 😦 

Anywho, as long as it’s all straight before we leave for our cruise (1 week from today!!!) then it’s all good with me.

Hope ya’ll had a wonderful Sunday and see you for the start to the last week of 2009 tomorrow!

Here comes some more!

Hey hey hey! 🙂 

As promised, I’m back for a recap of the rest of the holiday celebration (!!) which continued from Christmas Eve at our house to Christmas Day at The Man’s parents’ house!

Bright and early we dragged ourselves outta bed jumped outta bed in our PJs and headed over there all packed up… Good thing I had my new Keurig single cup coffee maker to pump things up for the morning! 😉  (this thing is freaking sweet….!)

Upon arrival we found the house to be decorated beautifully!  Def looked “magazine worthy” if you ask me 🙂

 

We had some breakfast casserole & more coffee before unwrapping presents

Then Santa arrived to get things started haha 😉

Santa was very kind this year – both Christmas Day & Christmas Eve! – thanks so much boyfriend, fanatic fam and boyfriend’s family for all the wonderful gifts — I must have been a good girl this year!!!! 😛

After some lounging around the house to rest up for the evening’s events, The Man and I got all spiffied up for the festivities 🙂  Check out the new pearls ladies… I was freaking out when I got these the night before from you know who 😉 love them!

And of course things started to get set up for the Christmas parrrr-tayyyy!  Appetizers were out 🙂

 

And then the masses arrived (including these fave ladies!) 

 

Then it was time for way too many a cocktail a few cocktails & fun times to begin – bring on the Christmas joy 😉 !!

Dinner was so far beyond fantastic I can’t even describe it… many of the party-goers had brought dishes to compliment the main dishes being served and each one was a serious show stopper, no joke…. folks brought out their “big guns” for this event!

I don’t have a picture of everything, so I’ll do my best here to recap this fab menu:

 

 

 

Here’s a shot of The Man’s plate… and his lovely eating pose haha 😛

 

We just couldn’t stop saying how there was really not one “mediocre” dish and that everything on that plate was equally delicious… doesn’t go down like that very often and I think everyone was full and happy!! 🙂

After dinner we got serious about some Just Dance on the Wii… which we all made fun of at first of course and then ended up playing for HOURS late into the night haha.  It was superfun and worked up a pretty awesome sweat which I was grateful for after all that food, fun + exercise = A-OK in my book 🙂 

Let’s just say I have some major blackmail pics and videos from this event 😉 Not that I’d use them or anything mwuhahaha

 

We were sweating!  I had to change into shorts it was that intense haha… I want this game!  I really think it could be a legit workout if the songs were done consecutively, I love creative fun exercisin’!

Needless to say, it was such a most wonderful night and I couldn’t have pictured it any other way 🙂

Well friends, today was a major relaxing day in our house, as in layed on the couch all day and hit up Trader Joe’s and Tom Leonards was about the full extent of activity haha 😉  Tomorrow things should resume to normal & I am looking forward to a workout and healthy meal day!  It also marks the 7 DAY COUNTDOWN to our cruise vacation (yet another fantastic Christmas surprise woo hoo!) — ahhh life is sweet 🙂

Time to go hook up the new surround sound (!!!) and perhaps watch a movie with Mr. Man….  we are l-a-z-y!

I hope all of you guys had a great holiday and enjoy the rest of your Saturday night friends, see you tomorrow 🙂

Twas the night before Christmas…

Well hello there fabulous friends!  I feel like it’s been forever, no? 😉

The Man and I would like to wish each of you a Merry Christmas and we hope that each of you had a wonderful holiday celebration!!  

I must say that I am looking forward to reading all of your fabulous holiday recaps as the day moves on (woah Google Reader outta control wow ❤ it!!!)

As for us, our holiday was nothing short of spectacular 🙂  I couldn’t have asked for anything more – the company, the food, the entertainment, the generosity…. everything that Christmas should be and more and I am so grateful for all of it!

First up, a Christmas Eve recap from our side of town 😉

Twas the afternoon night before Christmas and all through the house…..

Cocktails were poured and enjoyed by the sisters

Presents galore were exploding with Christmas

The appetizers were set out for the family to enjoy

 

 

And the sisters were ready to start with the cooking

With a tap at the door there arose a small clatter, we sprang to the door to see what was the matter!  

 

Away from the doorstep he ran like a flash, the UPS Santa had come with a stash!

Side note:  So excited that the wonderful folks over at Xagave knew how to kick this Christmas Eve up a notch by sending me this fantastic package – surprise! – oh I can’t wait to try some of the recipes in the cookbook bc they all look spectacular 🙂

You will be seeing these adventures in the upcoming week…. stay tuned!

The rest of the family arrived with their eating caps on

Now Sharon, now Kim, now Steph and now Lucy (?) let’s roll to the kitchen!!

Homemade pierogi

Sauteed mushrooms w/ onion and garlic

 

Baked scallops w/ lemon, butter & worcestershire topping

 

The table was set and dinner was ready

 

Pierogi w/ green onion butter, sauerkraut and noodles, shrimp, baked scallops, sauteed mushrooms, salad = 6!  Plus 1 for the appetizer and 7 were served 🙂

Even Miss Thang wanted in on that action!

Once the dinner was over, the present unwrapping began…so I leave you with that friends… I hope you enjoyed!

I’ll be back later for a full Christmas Day recap spent at The Man’s family’s house which included presents, dinner for 18 (?!?!?!), Wii dancing and more!

Have a great day everyone, time for this lady to get outside and enjoy the weekend (Lucy says so too!) 🙂