Thursday, January 29, 2009

Turkey Teriyaki Meatballs with Edamame and Rice

This recipe has been raved on by Cooking in the Heartland and On My Mind, so I had to try it.

1 lb. ground turkey
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
A few generous splashes of soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil for cooking up the meatballs
1 cup rice (I used whole wheat couscous because it had more fiber and therefore less points)
1 cup edamame, shelled

Combine turkey, garlic, brown sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce in mixing bowl. Shape mixture in to meatballs. Heat oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs and cook thoroughly.
Serve over rice and steamed edamame. YUM!
This came to 9 points for 1/2 cup couscous, 1/2 cup edamame, and 5 meatballs. I thought this would be a lighter dinner based on the ingredients--next time I will try to find leaner turkey(I used 7%), but it was very filling--I ate early and then hit a spinning class and wasn't hungry all night.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Check out my cute Valentines door sign--Thanks Scribble It!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Kevin and I have been blogged!

Dana over at Once A Bride, made us her Real Wedding today. She had done an inspiration board of purple a while ago so I sent her all, well not all, of my beautiful purple details! Check us out.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Did we move overnight?

The view outside our apartment this morning was more San Fransisco than Grand Junction.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese

Saw this on Rachael Ray's talkshow. Kevin and I enjoyed it on a rainy gray Saturday afternoon!
1 pound cavatappi pasta (I used whole wheat elbows--high fiber=lower points)
1 pound ground sirloin (I used lean ground turkey)
1 tablespoon (about a palmful) grill seasoning
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup yellow mustard
3 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium red onion, chopped Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (I used 1 coup milk and 1 cup chicken stock)
1 1/4 cups grated yellow cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/4 cups grated Swiss cheese, divided
3 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 deli-style pickle, chopped
Yields: 4 to 6 servings (Approximately 8 points per serving with the substitutions I made)

Preheat oven to 400.
Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add pasta to boiling water and cook just shy of al dente, according to package directions. Drain the cooked pasta and reserve.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the ground sirloin with the grill seasoning, ketchup and yellow mustard. Grab about a tablespoon of meat in your hand and roll it into a small ball. Place the mini meatballs onto a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of EVOO and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and turn on the broiler.

While the mini meatballs are in the oven, heat a large saucepot over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon, and the butter. Cook the red onion with some salt and pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over top and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, season with salt and pepper, and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Remove sauce from heat and whisk in 1 cup of each cheese. Add the drained pasta to the cheese sauce along with the baked meatballs and toss to combine. Pour everything out into a casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheddar and Swiss cheeses.

If serving immediately, toss the mac under the broiler until the top is golden brown and bubbly. Top with the chopped tomatoes and pickles, and serve.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blog Love!!

I got a little blog love from a new blogging friend, Dana over at Once A Bride, who lives the philosophy that once you are a bride you change your life for the better and she is trying to start her own business in Denver!
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs who show great ATTITUDE and/ or GRATITUDE
3. Be sure to link to your nominees in your post
4. Let them know they've received this award by commenting on their blog
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received the award

Blogs I love to read for their author's ATTITUDE and GRATITUDE!
1. An old high school friend with great musings on life--Wandering Jennie
2. Shelley over at Single Stone Studios, great etsy stores but also frequent expressions of gratitude for her life!
3. Chelsey over at On My Mind a fellow June 08 knottie who has great recipes and such style.
4. Another high school friend, who is a wonderful stay at home mom who homeschools her kiddos and tells great stories about life as a great wife and mother! Laina over at When a Picture Just Isn't Enough.
5. Melissa, another June 08 Knottie, posts great recipes over at Hot Stuff in The Kitchen, and inspired me to show my gratitude by joining Baking Gals.
6. Renee over at a Taste of Life, had a great reflection this week on the Inauguration and what it means.
7. Lori, over at Life in High Altitudes, posts great stories of how she is inspired by people and places. She is also my assistant principal who I share my etsy finds with!
8. Spoiled Pretty--love her attitude and humor when writing about beauty products, and when she writes about her family as Mr. SpoiledPretty and Mama SpoiledPretty! She is like the best friend you hit the Sephora with and emerge hours later laughing!

Thanks Ladies for the inspiration!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Biggest Loser Weigh In

Down 2.3 pounds since last Monday!! So I bought myself a little treat!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies!

Now before you say "what about Operation Thong and your Biggest Loser contest?" I made these as a reward for my student teams who won my Law Firm Challenge 2 weeks ago and to thank the teachers who volunteered to help me with Honor Society applications. Inspired by Bakerella , whose beautiful blog always makes me want to bake, I sat out this morning to make these treats. The picture is from her blog as well, I will post pictures of mine after they are done! The chocolate ganache is still cooling. I might have to try just one---tomorrow after weighing in of course!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jewelry Motivation

Of course when I woke up this am at 6 am, there really wasn't much on TV so in between my Morning Joe fix, I flipped channels and stopped on QVC--they had their Tacori for Epiphany collection of simulated diamonds on. As much as I would love a platnium real diamond Tacori ring--i wouldn't mind this one on my finger! Maybe after reaching my Operation Thong goals?

Mediterranean Fish Tacos=YUM-MO!!

After seeing this episode of Rachael Ray, Kevin turned to me and asked, "Can you make those?" So tonight we did!
* 3 lemons, zested and juiced
* 2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves finely chopped
* A handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 pounds halibut or mahi mahi
* Salt and pepper
* 12 (5 to 6-inch) flour tortillas {I used La Tortilla Factory Low Carb High Fiber Whole Wheat Tortillas--which are actually 0 points for 1 tortilla!!)
* 1 heart romaine, chopped [we used a bad of Romaine salad}
* 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
* 8 pepperoncini peppers {we didn't buy any so we skipped these}
* 2 roasted red peppers, patted dry
* 1 cup Greek yogurt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 cucumber, peeled and grated

Heat grill pan over medium high heat or preheat outdoor grill.

Combine the juice and zest of 2 lemons, oregano, parsley, 2 cloves garlic, olive oil and add fish, turn to coat and season with salt and pepper.

Wrap tortillas in foil and place in warm oven or directly on grill to soften and warm through.

Shred romaine lettuce and combine with sliced onions.

Slice hot peppers and reserve.

Combine red peppers and yogurt in food processor. Add cumin, 1 clove garlic, zest and juice of remaining1 lemon, cucumber and process until smooth, transfer to a bowl.

Grill fish 6 to 7 minutes until firm and cooked through then cut into cubes.

Serve fish to wrap in soft tortillas with lettuce, onions, hot peppers and sauce.

Great dinner-- for 1 taco made with the Whole Wheat Tortillas it is only 3 points! Of course I didn't eat just one so I recorded a 10 point meal for 3 tacos--not bad for a dinner!! And before Kevin was finished he informed me I could make this again!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A great week!

My friend, Beri, over at the Red Bullet, is inspiring everyone with Operation Thong. Although I have never met Beri, we talked on the Knot in the months before our weddings in June and she offered great makeup advice which led me to a great makeup artist. So my first week of Operation Thong/Biggest Loser contest at school went like this:
Tuesday: Body Pump and 20 minutes of sprint intervals on the elliptical
Wednesday: Abs Class and Spinning
Saturday: Body Pump and 40 minutes of sprint intervals
Stayed within my points all week and enjoyed my flex points with great meals and even went out for Mexican food on Friday night--weigh in for the contest is Tuesday am--I will post the results then!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Show the Love

I ordered a cute hugs and kisses sign with hearts from ScribbleIt last night! Can't wait to put it up. I heart vinyl stickers when designing in an apartment, you can peel them off with no damage!! I might just have to order these conversation hearts as well!

Grilled Garlic Skirt Steak with Bread Salad

A quick and easy dinner from Rachael Ray Magazine
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP EVOO
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 large tomatoes, cored(I also added a red bell pepper0
2 pds skirt steak
2 kaiser rolls, split(we used a half loaf of whole wheat french bread)
1/2 tsp rosemary leaves, chopped

1. Preheat grill to medium high(we used our George Foreman). In a small bowl mix together the garlic, EVOO, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 pepper, and cayenne.
2. Brush tomatoes with the oil and grill until charred about 12 minutes.
3. Meanwhile brush the steak and rolls with the garlic oil. Grill the rolls, turning occasionally about 2 minutes; grill the steak, turning once, about 4 minutes total for medium rare. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes and then thinly slice.
4. Coarsely chop the rolls and tomatoes and toss in a medium bowl; add the rosemary and season with salt and pepper. divide the steak slices among 4 plates and top with the bread salad.
I am estimating 6-8 points per serving based on how much steak and bread you eat.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Want this Valentino bag?

My new internet addiction--thanks to Spoiled Pretty--is ideeli. A site that has designer sales and awesome giveways. You can join by invite only. Click this link if you are interested.

Monday, January 12, 2009

How To Do Makeup

Want to know how to recreate some of those Golden Globe hair and makeup looks? Check out one of my favorite blogs (Spoiled Pretty) Can't wait to try the tarte 24/7 Lip stains a la MaryLouise Parker.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rachael Ray's Mom's Spaghetti!

So I used almost every dish in my kitchen--well a slight exaggeration--3 different pots, 2 baking sheets, a variety of spoons and other utensils, and our food processor--and quite a mess when my sauce boiled over! But it was so worth it, I have been looking for a good homemade spaghetti sauce and I might have found it. The recipes are a little long so I put links. And sorry no pictures--it was a frenzied food preparation and way too good to stop and take pictures!
Spaghetti all'Elsa
Roasted Sausages, Peppers and cheesy Bread with Black Pepper


So Kevin and I used our Christmas money to buy RockBand 2 for the wii. We searched in vain for months and finally found the bundle at our local Blockbuster when we went into rent a movie. Since the weekend after Christmas we have been trying in vain to find the way to unlock all the songs--and we have finally done it! And now my shins hurt, my hands are still uncurling from the drumsticks, and I feel like everything on TV or on a page should scroll past me with colored notes! Now we are waiting for the online store to open so we can buy some songs we really want to play! And for our Junction friends to head on over to party!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Tom!!

It is my cousin Tom's birthday!
What I love about Tom:
gets the party going on the dance floor, is so confident about his life, tells the greatest stories about the "neighbors", has interesting conversations about almost any topic, I think he used to look up to me--but I am sure he will surpass me:) Love you Tom--I hope this year brings you tons of fun!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 in Review

I saw this on a blog I read (Heather Drive) and thought it would be a great way to reflect on the year that was.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Got married! Rode in a helicopter, dog sledding on a glacier, and did a zip line course, went on a cruise.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Almost! My resolution was to get out of credit card debt--but our wedding and my brother's wedding kept me off course a little--by the end of January I will be out though.

I will make more promises for 2009--to save enough to have a down payment for a house.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yep, my friend Rebecca had a beautiful little boy at the end of November. She and I survived coaching middle school basketball together! I know she is going to be a wonderful mom!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No thankfully. One of my students lost her mother unexpectedly in October.

5. What countries did you visit?


6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

a puppy

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 14--our wedding day, November 4--election day(I believe it is a landmark for our country), December 18--my brother's wedding and mini family adventure in Vegas

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Becoming a wife and getting a job in a new school district

9. What was your biggest failure?

cliche but I can't really think of any.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had sinus surgery in May and feel so much better now!!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Matching necklaces for all the important women in my life.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
my sister--she took care of me after my sinus surgery--she would even let me get up for a glass of water--and planned an amazing shower and bachlorette party and a surprise slide show for our reception--and now that we are adults has become one of my best friends!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Large companies who my taxes now go to support

14. Where did most of your money go?

Paying off debt and parts of our wedding

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Our wedding, our family cruise, starting a new school, my brother's wedding

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

The One that I Love by David Gray

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter?
Happier and a little fatter(darn cruise!)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Talked with Friends live instead of online

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Kevin and I surprised my family by showing up in CA--we had planned on just being together here in the Junction.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Deeper in love with my husband!

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Morning Joe! Love the conversations they have with a wide variety of guests from the whole political spectrum.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Not really

24. What was the best book you read?

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and the Twilight series(I came to it late)

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

That my students think I am hip because I still listen to some of the same stuff.

26. What did you want and get?
A teaching job in Grand Junction

27. What did you want and not get?

A puppy

28. What was your favorite film of this year?


29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was in CA for spring break and I was 32!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not having to stress about finding a new teaching job--but it all worked out in the end!

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Ann Taylor Loft, jewel tones, and flattering lines and sometimes being too dressed up for my new school.

32. What kept you sane?
My husband and the gym

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Bobbi Brown--if I could have her do my makeup every day!!

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The bailout and talking about the whole election process with my students.

35. Who did you miss?

My colleagues from Henry--I don't miss the hard work but I miss our lunches!

36. Who was the best new person you met?


37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

That family and friends are the most important things to hold onto. My life was so blessed this year by friends old and new and really appreciating my family, especially my siblings as adults!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Friends and Family!!

My brother Keith got married in Vegas on December 18! After some stress--my family coming from LA almost didn't make it--they spent 29 hours trying to get through closed roads and snow(in Vegas!) in what is normally a 5 hour drive--arriving an hour before the wedding. Luckily Kevin and I made it OK through Utah and were able to spend some time with Keith and Lorena in their massive party suite before the wedding. We also went to Cirque de Soleil sow Ka which was amazing and hung out at the Piano Bar in New York New York before heading to CA to surprise my family for Christmas!

My husband and little brother Opie getting down at the wedding! Here is Kevin and I with Mick and Rachael at the reception.

The "girls" of the Johnston family--me, my new sister in law Lorena,my mom, and my sister Karen.

The wedding in Vegas was a great chance for me to catch up aith my old friend Jeff from high school. He does the hair and makeup for Mama Mia at Mandalay Bay--he prettied up my sister and I for the wedding with great hair and makeup!!

My best friend from college--Tracy--drove up for the wedding--we had a blast--especially the next day when we went to the piano bar and had way too much fun--those pics are to come!!