Friday, September 30, 2011

.sour cherry vodka.

For years, Peter and I have been making our infamous Sour Cherry Vodka, which is ready just around Christmas time.
It's Perfect for the holidays to be enjoyed by our Family + Friends {and us of course!}
And boy does it get enjoyed.
We pick the cherries fresh off of Peter's grandfathers cherry trees, and there's just something about this late summer tradition that slowly starts to get me in the mood for all the activities close at hand {you know what I'm talking about?....CHRISTMAS activities!!}. 
So the other day, when I was sick of staring at our massive box of cherries that was just sitting there, I decided that it was time to create our special brew.
And the trick to this delicious nectar is just to leave it alone.
Seriously, it's that simple {or hard depending on how you look at it, because just having it around makes me salivate. mmmm. mmmm.}
So yes, the trick is to just leave it alone. The longer it sits, the better it gets.
Absolutely Perfect for Christmas!!
A Box of Deliciousness!
Sour Cherry Vodka
Bottle of cheap vodka
Fresh {or frozen} Sour Cherries
1/4 cup sugar {optional, we don't use it though}
1. Add washed cherries to a clean jar or bottle. Make sure jar has a leak-proof lid.
2. Add sugar, if you are using it to the jar {obviously ignore this step if you're not using sugar}
3. Fill jar or bottle full with vodka.
4. Let sit for 3 months. Keep in a sunny windowsill to speed up the process.
5. Enjoy your sweet nectar, or Wrap with a pretty bow and give away as a gift at Christmas.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

.Spiced Red Lentil Dip.

For my momma's birthday {we hosted dinner at our house}, Husband made this dip for an appetizer.
And it was super delicious!
And super healthy!
I HIGHLY recommend trying this out the next time you have guests over OR if you just want something to snack on yourself {it's great for sitting in your fridge for a few days}. We served it with pita chips {recipe at the bottom}, but you could try cucumbers, crackers, carrots {the 3 C's! ha} or crostini toasts.
Spiced Red Lentil Dip
1 cup dried small Red Lentils {you can also use brown or green lentils...but it won't be as pretty}
1 Bay leaf
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 cup finely chopped Onion
2 tbsp Pine nuts
1 tbsp Tomato paste
1 tsp fine Sea salt
1 tsp ground Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp ground Cumin
1/2 tsp ground Caraway seeds
1/8 tsp ground Red pepper
3 Garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp fresh Lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. To prepare dip, place lentils and bay leaf in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above lentils. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Discard bay leaf.
3. Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and nuts; saute 5 minutes or until nuts are slightly browned. Stir in tomato paste and next 6 ingredients {tomato paste through to garlic}; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in juice. Combine lentils and onion mixture in a food processor; process until smooth.
Pita Chips {2 Ways}
4 {6 inch} Whole wheat Pitas
Olive Oil
a} Za'atar seasoning {found in your ethnic section at your grocers. This is what we use!! Sooo good!}
b} Fine Sea salt & Freshly ground Pepper
1) Preheat oven to 350F.
2) Coat both sides of each pita with cooking spray. Cut pitas into wedges.
3) Choose either:
a) Sprinkle wedges with za'atar seasoning on 1 side.
b) Sprinkle wedges evenly with salt and pepper on 1 side.
4) Arrange pita wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

.Clockwork Angel.

Another book review for the author Cassandra Claire.
This is for the series called The Infernal Devices and this is Book 1 of the series, called Clockwork Angel.
Book 1 of the Infernal Devices Series
This book was wonderful to read, I adore books placed in history, even if it's just fictional. There's just something magical about reading of the way things where done back then, and imagining how I would do if I was born in that time. And this book is placed in 1858.
Book 2 of the Infernal Devices Series. To be released Dec. 6th, 2011 
This is book 1 of The Internal Devices Series {there are 3 books in the series, Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess. At this time only book 1 is released}. As well, I should point out that this novel is the prequel to The Mortal Instrument series, that I did a review for previous.

Here's what Clockwork Angel is all about {without giving it all away!}: 
Tessa Gray {only 16 years old} crosses the ocean from America to England in search of her brother. He is the last living relative she has and she wants to make a new life for herself there with him. 
When she arrives in London, she is captured by the mysterious Dark-sisters and kept hostage. Will, a shadowhunter {part human, part angel} finds her and rescues her. 
Tessa finds herself living at the Institute, a place where she can be safe while she convinces the shadowhunters to help her find her brother.  They agree and a war ensues between shadowhunters and the downworlders {daemons, vampires, witches, warlocks}. Tessa also discovers a big secret about herself that is a mystery to everyone, and a secret that many want to get there hands on....
Book 3 of the Infernal Devices Series. To be released Nov. 2012
As I mentioned above, this book had me right from the beginning. There was no waiting for action here. Right off the bat Tessa is captured and forced to do things that she does not want to do. Then the handsome and dark, Will rescues her {don't we all want a handsome man to rescue us from the bad guys?} and the story goes from there.
There was never a dull moment, and at every turn a new twist unfolded. Action packed with many characters to play with. The author did a great job of writing about the slimy characters in this book too. You really find yourself upset at the cruel things that are done and you just want to right what is wrong. I enjoy when an author can play with my emotions like that.
Another part in this novel that I can't wait to find about is Tessa's mysterious power. What is she and how did she become this? What past does her mother and father have that affects this? So many unanswered questions!

Also, the book ended in utter suspense and is killing me to find out what Will is up too. I cannot wait for the 2nd book, Clockwork Prince to come out in Dec. and to find out if Tessa finally falls for Will or Jem! Or Either!! A love story if blooming and who will it be?
I will admit that this book is written for teenagers, but it's such an enjoyable read, adults can get lost in them too. It's easy, fun, and takes your mind off of the hectic day to day schedules that we have to meet. And isn't that what books are all about?

Next Book in the rotation is: Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter
As always, please leave your comments below. I love to see your opinions on the novels read, and am always looking for more suggestions on books to read!
Also, sorry about the voice-over in this video. It works at the beginning and the end, but I cannot figure out why it slows in the middle! Weird! If you can help, let me know what I'm doing wrong!

Monday, September 26, 2011

.Weekend Recap.

This weekend was nice and quiet.
It pretty much consisted of relaxing, catching up on some reading, watching some movies, and celebrating my momma's birthday.
And it was exactly how I wanted it to be.
Reading 'Cleopatra's Moon' before the Birthday Girl {aka. my momma} arrives.
My monthly subscriptions for October arrive {I wasn't kidding about reading}
The Birthday Girl.
Peter's delicious Red Lentil Dip {w/pita chips}.
My sister and her Boyfriend at dinner. We ate my 'Marnie's Meatloaf' at the request of the B-day girl!
Cake from "Vi's for Pies":
Sour Cherry Cheesecake, Chocolate Caramel Coconut CreamPie, Raspberry Lemon Cream Pie, and Carrot Cake.
My Step-dad goofing around.
Playing our new boardgame, the Settler's of Catan.
I hope your weekend was filled with some good food, relaxation and loved ones. xoxo

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Momma.

Hello Momma.
It's your Birthday today!
Woo Hoo!!
And I wanted to take the time to let you know just how fabulous you are.
'Cause you really are FABULOUS.
I also wanted to let you know that I am so lucky to have you as my Mom! You've set such a wonderful example to me my entire life; been with me through every faze of learning and growing and loved me and taught me everything I know. 
Just us girls goofing around.
And this may be weird coming from a daughter...but I'm proud of you, you know. I'm so proud that this beautiful, kind, passionate, enthusiastic and spirited woman is my momma. 
Thank you for continuing to set a great example to all of us of how life should be continually lived. 
I LOVE YOU! And happy birthday!!
Familia xoxo

Friday, September 23, 2011

.Miss Moneypenny.

For the last 4 months, my poor wallet has been hanging on for dear life. It's bulging at the seams, the leather is worn, and the card slots have stretched as far as they can go. I kept thinking that it was about to burst, but the trusty old girl kept hanging on. 
Until last week. 
She finally bit the dust. The zipper burst and is not too be fixed.
Now, I know I just bought two GORGEOUS purses a couple weeks back, so I couldn't really justify another purchase to the husband until old Ethel {seems like a good name for her} was officially dead, so secretly I was just waiting. And now the day has come....I can justify a new wallet! Woo Hoo!
And those other purses are for fancier occasions, right? I need something for everyday!
And then I came across this beauty from Matt & Nat.
And it was on sale! bonus!
Then I also saw her bigger partner and just had to purchase her too. {This one may be harder to justify to husband.....}
But it too was also on sale!! double bonus!
So now I am the loving mother to these two beauties and couldn't be happier. 
Did I mention that Matt & Nat are also environmentally friendly? The liner is made up of an average of 21 recycled plastic bottles! So I'm saving the planet and looking good while do so! Ahem!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

.Ginger Lime Shrimp + Chow Mien.

Yesterday, I bought a big bag of Chow Mien noodles and a big bag of Shrimp. 
It seemed so simple of a decision to make: Shrimp + Chow Mien noodles = a Perfect Asian meal.
So that's what I did. I made this.
Ginger Lime Shrimp + Chow Mien
{this recipe serves 2 - 3 people, but I doubled the ingredients because we like left-overs}
found here.
1 pound raw or cooked shrimp, peeled and deviened
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/2 Tsp freshly grated Ginger
1/2 Tbsp Lime Zest
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
1/2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
main dish:
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Red Pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup Mushrooms, sliced
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 cup Sugar Snap Peas
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Peanuts, crushed
Handful of Bean Sprouts
Handful of Carrots, julienne style {means cut up thinly}
1/2 pound whole wheat pasts, or Chow Mien Noodles {which I used}
1 tsp Sesame Oil, optional
1-2 tbsp Teriyaki Sauce, optional {I like kikkoman because it's thin}
Salt and Pepper
1. Combine marinade ingredients in a dish and whisk together. Add to a ziplock bag, along with the shrimp and marinate for 2 - 24 hours.
2. Once ready to cook, heat a skillet on medium heat and add olive oil. Add pepper, onions, and mushrooms to the pan and saute until soft, about 6 - 8 minutes.
3. Bring pasta water to a boil and cook according to directions, draining and setting aside until later.
4. Add garlic to the peppers, onions and mushrooms mixture and stir for 30 seconds. Add shrimp to the pan and cook on each side for about 2 - 3 minutes. Add snap peas, carrots,  bean sprouts and pasta, then soy sauce, thoroughly stirring until everything is mixed. You can add the sesame oil and teriyaki sauce now if you choose {we did}. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Yummy & Healthy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

.Love Language.

This possibly could be the sweetest thing I've ever watched and I needed to share it.
I even teared up those darn happy tears.
I'm such a swooner for all things love.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

.My Hard-worker.

My hard-worker is strong, he is loyal, and he is dedicated.
He works hard to provide for me and our little family.
He is good at what he does, and he learns quickly.
My hard-worker tries his best at everything, but is also pretty darn stubborn. And if it's wrong, he will work at it till it's right.
He is passionate, inquisitive, and thoughtful. 
And I love him for it all.
So today Husband, I wanted to let you know that I appreciate everything you do for me
All your time spent away working and then the hassle I give you for it, I just want you to know that I support you and love you.
After not seeing too much of you throughout the week, it's almost made me remember just how special you really are.  In a strange way I think it had made our relationship better. We have less time together, but because of that, the time we do spend together we try and make it really special. 
And that's what our time together lately has been.
Really, Really Special.
At the end of the day I am just happy I married someone who is such a hard-worker.
My hard-worker. You are pretty darn awesome.

Monday, September 19, 2011

.Music Monday.

Yeah, sorry. I've been slacking on the music monday's.
So here's a current favorite playing around the Trebaczkiewicz parts.
People Talkin'
Lucinda Williams

.The Settlers of Catan.

I'm just going to throw this question out there and see if I already know the answer:
"Am I the last person on this earth that's never heard of a board game called, 'The Settlers of Catan'?"
Because I'm pretty sure I am.
And what a shame, because we finally played it this weekend with my sister and her bf and I have declared it my new favorite board game. Better than monopoly people. Better than.
And we had homemade pizza. 
BBQ Pork Tenderloin + Spinach Pizza. And yes, I eat pizza with a fork.
Husband cooked it all by his lonesome, crust and all. Thanks Hubby. You're the best.
Husband even enjoyed it and he ONLY likes Monopoly.
The Winner Mikael! aka. The Shark.
My little sister.
A work of genius!
Husband's Cooking 'After-math'. The Usual Mess. Guess it's a small price to pay for a yummy dinner.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

.Tick. Tick. Tick.

Hi Friends.
I'm just going to start this post off by giving out a disclaimer: I am feeling a little sick, my bones have a little ache, and I may or may not be feeling a little sorry for myself today {I'm not peaches and cream all the time people}.
So if you don't want to hear a little whining, go to your next favorite blog {but then come right back because I kinda like having you around}.
So here goes.
Just a few minutes ago, I was browsing that lovely social media place called facebook. And as I was browsing {or creeping if I was being totally honest}, it was one of those days where every new picture posted was of some long lost friend showing off their brand-new pretty little baby.
And I just wanted to scream, "I GET IT PEOPLE. You make babies, and I am closing in on 30 and I still haven't made one of those little crying animals" {another disclaimer: I really do LOVE babies, so don't be scared of Auntie Erinn! I do not think of them as bad animals, but cute little panda's}.

See, I am beginning to feel the ticking of the Baby Time-Bomb and after watching a couple of my friends go through that I remember thinking to myself many, many, many times -  Erinn you will not do that to yourself. You will NOT!
But here I am. Ticking away. Tick Tick Tick.

And it's not like I even feel ready to have a baby. I mean, it scares the bejesus outta me!! First of all you brew this little booger inside of you. You have to make sure you are healthy and happy {no more indulgences in the liquor, caffeine, or sushi department} because this little nugget is depending on what you put in {and do} to yourself as it sits in its little cocoon and forms into a healthy little peanut.
Then you have baby and every ounce of your life is put into caring for it. Baby basically owns you and hubby 100%.
Little baby depends on you COMPLETELY.
How scary is that?!?! I can barely take care of myself some days! I mean, remembering to have clean undies around can be a chore.
Your life is changed about a bazillion ways with baby. And we really like our D.I.N.K. {double income no kids} life. Doing whatever we like, whenever we want too.
Am I ready for that??
Is Husband Ready for that?
Sometimes I think Yes. Sometimes I think No.
See, husband is a little younger than I. Not the biggest issue, but I truly don't want to take his youth away too soon. Now, don't get me wrong, P is no longer a child himself, he is responsible and works really hard, but I really have this fantasy of peeing on that little stick and seeing him smile from ear-to-ear when I tell him the news. I want him to be on-board 100% when I go through this emotional roller-coaster ride. I need him too be.  And I'm not sure he would be that smiling ear-to-ear man. Yet.
Another reason for my hesitation is some upcoming travel plans. Our friends are getting married in Europe next summer, June to be exact, and do I really want to travel with a bun-in-the-oven? Not getting to experience Europe entirely. Not tasting the Wine or Sangria in Spain or Italy? Not sipping on Sambucca in Greece. Not partying hard at their Wedding in England? And what if I'm sick? Everywoman is different when they carry a baby.....what if I'm bed ridden {yes, a little exaggeration, but who knows!}
Scary Wonderful Decisions.
When is the right time?
When will we ever be ready?
Now maybe I am just over-thinking this, or maybe I am just starting to feel sick. And when I get sick, I feel a little sorry for myself. And I hate feeling sorry for myself. But the questions of "when?" still looms....
One of our Engagement pic's by Pinksugar Photography
 So for the time being, I am choosing to think of all the Things I love about our No Babies life.
Things like sleeping in on Sunday mornings.
Things like late-night treat runs, movies, dinners.....basically anything late-night.
Things like spoiling our dog, Bella with all our love.
Things like having this wonderful happy anticipation inside of me of the day when it might happen and we are both ready and my pee-stick fantasy becomes reality. And we feel happier than we've ever felt before.
Things like lots {and lots} of free time all to myself.
Time to Blog.
Time to Read.
Time to Travel.
Time to Cuddle.
Time to just enjoy Us.
So for now, life is wonderful.
Just me, peter and bella.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

.Golden Red.

Yes Sireebob. 
These where picked right off our little apple tree in our backyard!
And the coolest thing is that this Apple tree actually grows 5 different kinds of apples {it's grafted, and each branch grows a different kind}.
You're impressed aren't you?
They are just scrumptious. 
Sweet, Crunchy, and not too shabby in Size either.
I cannot wait to get into baking for the upcoming season and if you're lucky enough you might even get to sample a little of the sweetness.
Now, what to make?? 
Any suggestions or great apple recipes hiding out there?
Isn't Fall just the Best?