Saturday, August 30, 2014

Let's Go Bowling

I forget sometimes how fun bowling can be. I just don't do it very often to remember in between. But every time I go I always have a lot of fun (and not because I'm a good bowler. I don't think I've ever broken 100). 

So earlier this summer my staff decided we needed a little team-bonding and scheduled a "staff retreat". We've done a variety of things in the past - from pedicures, food tours, laser tag, glow in the dark mini-golf, etc. So this time I suggested bowling! 



Yes, those are my black and white stripped knee socks with red and black bowling shoes...stylish no? 

My boss found a Groupon for 2 games at a really fun local bowling alley. I mean anyplace that has a disco ball and plays Elvis and Green Day is aces in my book. 

So "The Boss", "The Betty", "The Doctor" and "The Beauty" all strapped into our rented shoes and bowled our hearts out. No one got over 100....but we had an amazing time. 


And yes....I (The Betty) won both games! That would be MY strike in the picture above. ;)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Caramel Stuffed Snickerdoodles

It's great when there's a day of cool weather in the mix of a hot streak. The first thing I did? Jumped into the kitchen and baked cookies!!

Caramel Stuffed Snickerdoodles to be exact...I didn't want to go to the store for anything and I just happened to have all the ingredients in my cupboard. Which was great since I had family coming over for dinner.



Ingredients:
2 and 3/4 C flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon, separated
1/2 tsp salt
1 C butter, melted
1 and 1/4 C granulated sugar, separated
1/3 C light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
12 (or so) wrapped caramel candies

Directions:
1. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, 1 C granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the egg and vanilla, combine well.
3. Pour the dry ingredients slowly into wet, use large spoon or rubber spatula because dough will be heavy/thick. Chill dough in refrigerator at least one hour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Unwrap caramels and cut into 4 pieces. Remove dough from fridge and roll into 1 TB balls. Cut/break apart balls and place 2 pieces of caramel into the center and reform the balls.
5. In small bowl combine 1/4 C granulated sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Toss dough balls in cinnamon/sugar mix.
6. Bake on lined cookie sheets for 10-11 minutes each. Let cool completely before enjoying (the caramel will get very hot inside).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Perfect Patty

Sometimes what you want is a nice flat, juicy patty. But no matter how hard I tried I just could never get them flat enough....until now!


video


Use a large dinner plate and squash the patty between parchment paper. Once cooked (with nice char on both sides) it was juicy...dribble down my arms juicy... I'll never make burgers any other way.

Friday, August 22, 2014

My First Kiss

I'm sure by now most people have seen this video of 20 (actors) strangers kissing...



Which has also spurred a number of homemade variations.

The video got me thinking about my first kiss.... and not the first time, in junior high, I was kissed with fish-face lips

source

I mean my first "Real" kiss....parted lips, tongue, etc. Now I don't know about you but for me it was far from any Hollywood kiss of passion, coordination and absences of awkwardness.

source


My first kiss was more like this:



He walked me home, leaned in for a kiss and then drooling commenced. It felt like he licked my face from forehead to chin....I needed a bath afterwards.

First kisses are never like those on Hollywood screen kisses...but one thing is for sure, they are memorable. Needless to say it was my first and last time kissing him......

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mediterranean Style Cauliflower

I'm improving and developing a Moroccan style Apricot Chicken (once I get the recipe right I'll make sure to share it).....this last time I made a Mediterranean spiced roasted cauliflower to go with it and is was so delicious.


Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower
1 tsp roasted minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 TB Opa Dill/Feta salad dressing
1 TB olive oil
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
 1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt & pepper

Directions:
1. Cut away leaves and chop cauliflower into florets.
2. Combine next eight ingredients into a bowl, mix well (you don't want clumps of herbs)
3. Drizzle over cauliflower and toss florets in sauce.
4. Dash slight salt and pepper over entire florets.
5. Place cauliflower onto large cookie sheet (you're going to be mixing it and need space) and into a preheated 400* oven
6. Occasionally toss the cauliflower so it roasts on all sides. Roast until cauliflower is tender.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

My Best Friend Is...

I never have understood the concept of "A" best friend....I have many. Each fulfill a completely different part of me, a different need and side of me. I love them all and would never be able to choose one over another.


They range in people I met in elementary school, junior high, high school and college. Friendships that range from 23 to 10 years old. I love each of them and know that they're always there for me, as I am for them.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Greek Style Beef Pita Wrap

The weather has been so warm lately that we've been living off salads and sandwiches lately. Last night we made Greek Style Beef Pita wraps. Super easy and very yummy.

Ingredients
1/3 C Opa dill and feta salad dressing
1/3 C olive oil
2 TB lemon juice
1 TB garlic
Pitas or your favorite wraps
Thick sliced roast beef lunch meat
Sliced tomatoes
Lettuce
Olives
Cucumber
Really any salad or sandwich toppings you like

Directions
1. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and Opa dressing into a bowl. Use this as your "spread" or dressing.
2. Toast pita lightly. Layer meats and vegetables on pita. Drizzle dressing over.
3. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Favorite Holiday

Only 82 days until my FAVORITE holiday!!

Found here.
Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, carving jack o'lanterns, hot cups of spiced apple cider, and more DIY projects than I can count.

Here are some I'm hoping to try out this year

Found here.

Found here.

Gonna DIY this Etsy

Found here.


I can't wait. I'm already putting together supplies to start making these great decorations. Eeeee!! Can't wait.





Friday, August 8, 2014

Story Behind My Name

As more friends are having babies and trying to find that "perfect" name I thought it'd be fun to post about the story behind my name.

Morgan...was the name of a friend of my mother's. My mom always said that Morgan (or "Big Morgan" as she was called when I was younger) was one of the most talented women she knew. Morgan could play a dozen (plus) instruments, sew beautifully, sing, dance.....you name it Morgan could do it..... No pressure right? Haha.

Morgan looking lovely
I do like to think that my own artistic talents and abilities stem from my namesake. After all I had artsy-big shoes to fill.

Kathleen....is the name of my maternal grandmother. That's right...family got second bill next to a family friend. Haha. But I do love having my grandmother's name as my middle name. And recently a cousin gave her baby girl "Kathleen" as a middle name as well.

My grandfather, grandma, uncle, Mom and aunt

I believe I got my love for cat's eye glasses and Elvis from her. Haha!

So there you have it. Morgan Kathleen. That's me. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dream Vacation

A few weeks ago, towards the end of a fairly (unproductive) staff meeting, I may have been ordered to take a vacation.

Okay so maaaaybe I was stressing out a little. And maybe I was twitching as I talked about the upcoming (giant) projects we have due the beginning of September. And sure it was more of a "strong suggestion" than an actual ORDER......

But still she had a good point. It's been MONTHS since I've taken a real vacation (and not just an extended weekend at home)....and my next vacation wasn't planned until October. So I agreed.

The day this posts (hint hint: writing this in advance) I'll be far from home taking a short mini-vacation to visit one of my BFFs.

So while I'm somewhere far from home on a little R&R....I thought I'd post about one of my dream vacations....

There are a few big vacations I've wanted to take - New Orleans (which I'm doing this October), France, Italy....but the one place I've dreamed about for years are the Greek Islands.







Someday..... *sigh*

Where is your dream vacation?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Body Image Study Final Week

Since I'm on vacation this week I'm going to keep this short and admit that I didn't complete the third week of the body image podcasts. If you remember I felt the first week to be very disappointing and bringing more self hatred to the surface than I expected bringing up all the reasons that women today hate their bodies, myths and the like. Talking very little on the HAES concept and community. Week Two was much better giving positive affirmations, quotes and mantras for us to remember. Tips and ideas on not only embracing but finding ways to love your body. This week, in my opinion, was a serious step backwards. Instead of focusing and building on the work from last week the podcast focused once again on the pressures of media, the stereotypes and loneliness that comes with media's perceptions of fat people. I listened to the whole twenty minutes and never listened again. After weeks of listening to the podcasts 3-5 times a week (as instructed) I just couldn't bring myself to listen to this again. To listen to what I've known, listened to what I've experienced for years, what I've fought so hard to over come. Truly I think they should have thought the podcasts and resources them: Week 3 becoming week 1 -describing the stereotypes that exist and struggles of hardships out upon fat people. Week 1 becoming week 2 -introducing us to the concept of HAES. Week 2 closing out the the weeks by giving tips and suggestions on how to find a little more self love. I don't think my sheets to the closing survey are going to vary much at all.if anything I may be according my self image lower than before - having to now fight to fix what their unorganized messaging has done. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad to have helped and have participated if only to give feedback for their future "studies".

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Strawberry and Balsamic Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless/skinless chicken tenders
1/2 C plus 4 TB balsamic vinegar
1/2 C plus 2 TB olive oil
1 tsp roasted garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 TB sugar
1 pound strawberries, sliced
Fresh salad of your choice
Favorite salad toppings (bacon, cheese, sunflower seeds, etc.)

Directions:

Marinade chicken in 2TB vinegar, 2 TB olive oil and roasted garlic; let sit five minutes. As chicken is marinading heat a skillet with teaspoon of oil in bottom. Once sizzling hot cook chicken (approx 5 minutes each side). Add sauted onions.

While chicken is cooking, slice strawberries. Sprinkle with sugar and 2 TB balsamic vinegar.

Take remaining vinegar and olive oil. Compose salad and drizzle vinaigrette over salad.