Monday, August 31, 2009

Pixie's Peach Pie

When my mom was in town she made a pie and in the process, made extra pie crust. She froze the crust for me and I decided to pull it out today to make a peach pie!

I bought the peaches from a produce cart right down the road from my house. They are Michigan peaches. 

First I blanched them, so I could get the skins off easily.

Then I rolled out the crust.

Added corn starch, brown sugar, cinnamon and other spices.

Toped it with the other crust and added a little decoration. Can you tell what it is?

How about now?

It's Pixie!

It smells delicious and the tasty dribbles are out of this world! I think I'll have to wait until tomorrow to dig in, it's getting late and I want to give it time to set.

I'll give you an update tomorrow!  Good night everyone!

Northern Illinois Horse Festival

I'm back from a super busy weekend at the Northern Illinois Horse Festival! A group from Harmony Horsemanship (including 5 horses) went down for the entire weekend.

My friend Judy and I arrived in Belvidere, IL on Friday evening just in time for dinner at a local Mexican joint. It was so tasty! We both had the three taco dinner special. 

And a tasty pineapple Jarritos to wash it down. 

Ted drove the horses down in the fancy Harmony Horsemanship trailer. Pixie didn't get to come this year, hopefully we'll be fearsome duo next year! 

The Harmony Horsemanship booth looked fantastic! We sold over 10 of the huge soccer balls.

We played two soccer games, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Unfortunately, I was so busy, I didn't have time to get pictures of the games! But here is a picture from last summer of me playing soccer on Drifter. 

It was an exhausting and wonderful time that was filled with a lot of junk food. I'm ready to get back on track this week!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


What do you absolutely love about yourself today? What are you feeling particularly proud of this week? Your smarts? Your eyes? A new outfit you totally rocked? Use the comments section to toot your own horn, pat yourself on the back, BE YOUR OWN BIGGEST FAN!

Catching Up

I love catching up with old friends! I had a wonderful dinner date tonight with my dear friend Cynthia at Bunky's Cafe.  I hadn't seen her in ages and it was great to fill each other in on the details of our lives over an Italian beer and fresh pasta (I forgot to take a picture of the pasta but I did manage to get the beer).

Nice, pretty friend:

One last piece of bread: (where's the pasta? in my belly)

Moretti, an Italian beer, perhaps something Tony Soprano might have indulged in:

The restaurant is only a mile and a half from my house, so I walked. And on the way home, I stopped at Red's to entice her into a gelato run. It wasn't hard. :)

Tomorrow I'm starting something new called, "BIGGEST FAN FRIDAY!" 

A few years ago I was chatting with some of my girlfriends and they were recognizing the fact that we are really our own worst critics. After thinking about it for a minute I said, "Well, I'm my own biggest fan!" And it's true! I was blessed with wonderful parents who gifted me a very healthy self-esteem. And while I am my own biggest fan, I think every woman and everyone should be their own biggest fan! So on Fridays I'm going to ask you to do just that. Stay tuned...!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Three Song Tuesday

Yesterday morning I got up, went for a brisk walk and followed it up with some yoga.

Then I made breakfast (can't get enough of those Ezekiel muffins). 

And packed food for the day: leftover shepherds pie, leftover pickled purple beans, zucchini bread with mulberry jam, a boatload of watermelon and a yogurt parfait (that I ended up mixing with a package of cream at wheat for an extra umfph before equine soccer).

After soccer, I returned to my cozy house where Mr. Z was having cocktails with a friend. It was 8:30 pm and he had prepared a beautiful steak dinner! My plate was waiting for me. AND he cleaned the kitchen again. What a great day. Sadly, no pics of the dinner.

This morning I got in a three-song run this morning. Soundtrack?

New Soul, by Yael Naim
Feel Good Inc., by Gorillaz
Hey Ya, by OutKast

Then I feasted on another muffin, this time with pb and mulberry jam. 

Isn't it irresistible? 

As a special treat to my Mister, who has made such yummy dinners lately, I whipped up a batch of green monsters. I'm bringing mine to work, but I put his in the fridge. He says one of his favorite things is getting up, looking in the fridge and seeing a green monster, just for him. 

I'm so grateful for him and for all of the little things I can do to put a smile on his face! 


Monday, August 24, 2009

"I'm the kind of woman I'm supposed to be!"

This was passed on to me by one of my favorite, favorite people in the whole wide world, Sister Bear - one of the most kick ass bruisas I know!

Love yourself ladies! LOVE YOURSELF!

p.s. Nana - they say "vagina" in this video... a lot... just so you know :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I could put Ruthy's jam on a shoe and eat it.

The zucchini bread came out a little overdone. The recipe called for it to bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes and I pulled it out just after an hour. It was done. Pretty, pretty done. Nothing a little butter and mulberry jam can't fix!

Mr. Z returned from the grocery store and started whipping up our delicious dinner.

He used a recipe from a cookbook but modified it quite a bit. That's pretty much how we do things around this joint. 

He made chicken enchiladas with green sauce. Que delicioso!

He also made a salad dressing that was to die for. Secret ingredient? Chicken bouillon. No joke.

AND to top it all off, my Mister cleaned the kitchen!! He was offended that I felt the need to document this occasion with a photo. But what else am I supposed to do when I don't have a kitchen to clean after dinner? I'm lost!

Ain't he cute from the back?


This morning started out with a small bowl of banana-cinnamon flavored oat bran. Pretty tasty, not too sweet, just right for a light snack before yoga and brunch.

After a short yoga session (I lost track of time!) Mr. Z and I headed over to our neighbor's house for brunch. I didn't bring my camera, but we feasted on fresh fruit, bacon, eggs and delicious, homemade challah bread. We also had coffee, juice and mimosas. It was a wonderful time!

My neighbor Molly and I traded our standby cookbooks: she lent me Joy of Cooking for my Betty Crocker. After seeing "Julie and Julia" I realized that I'd gotten away from cookbook cooking. The Internet is usually my first source for recipes. So I've made an informal goal of cooking more from cookbooks.

As I type, I'm baking zucchini bread from my Southern Living cookbook. An unlikely, but fabulous source for anything having to do with baking, cooking, steaming, frying, boiling... you get the picture. 

I'll let you know how they turn out. Mr. Z has been perusing cookbooks himself. 

Notice a theme? He's making a tasty dinner with this little bundle of tomatillos from last week's CSA. They've just been begging for some tlc! I can't wait to see what he cooks up!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Moving Day!

Mr. Z and I helped our friend Steve move into his first house today. I made green monsters for both of us as part of a tasty and filling breakfast. I also had coffee, Ezekiel muffin with pb and jam and a half of a peach.

Even though Steve isn't used to driving 14 foot trucks around, he did a great job (with Mr. Z's help of course).

I had to take a snap shot of Steve's fridge for this blog, since it is kind of a food blog. I loved all the meat sauces. Any kind of sauce or marinade for any kind of meat you could ever want!

We had beautiful weather for the move and finished the day at Broux Nellie's, a local establishment close to Steve's new place. I had a club sandwich and sweet potato fries. Oh, and a few bites of pecan pie. A perfect end to the day. 


Sweet little Emma Lou spent an evening with me on Friday. I met Emma twelve years ago when I was a freshman in college and she was ten months old. I was lucky enough to nanny for her and her older siblings, Henry and Sarah for five years. I loved being part of that family! 

The little baby that I lulled to sleep with late '90s country tunes like "Strawberry Wine" has grown up into a smart, intelligent and beautiful young woman. She will be 13 next month. We had a great night.

She got to meet and spend time with Pixie. 

And we got gelato from Java Cat on the way to pick out a movie. 

We decided on "He's Just Not That Into You," which is a romantic comedy that, at times (as Emma's older sister Sarah pointed out) made women look a little desperate. And for dinner we ordered  pepperoni and sausage pizza from Rocky Rococo's. Emma's choice. We never order from Rocky's because Mr. Z loves thin crust. So I forgot how much I really like that pizza. It was tasty.   

Friday, August 21, 2009

Mulberry Jam

This morning I learned that I really do need 8 hours of sleep. I stayed up until 11 pm last night, cleaning and reading. I really enjoyed that extra hour of awake time. I figured it wouldn't be a problem to get up at 6 am. Seven hours of sleep? No biggie. Boy was I wrong! I didn't drag myself out of bed until 7:04 am. Yikes! That meant I had to skip any sort of exercise. Poor excuse, I know.

The good news is, every morning I wake up, walk into the bathroom and see my special nightlight that I bought in Santa Fe this summer. It's a pink unicorn. Totally me. And my darling husband, Mr. Z thought the bathroom would be the perfect place for it! Isn't he a doll?

Yesterday, on a whim, I bought Ezekiel english muffins at the co-op. I read about them online all the time and thought I'd find out what the big deal is. Well the big deal is that they are T-A-S-T-Y! I paired my muffins with plain yogurt and berries. I'm trying to move away from vanilla yogurt to plain... less sugar, more versatile.

My mom's friend Ruthy made this delicious mulberry jam!

I LOVE homemade jam. Isn't it beautiful?

It was a perfect addition to the Ezekiel muffins and peanut butter.

Nothing beats fresh, homemade anything... especially jam! Thanks Ruthy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Peaches 'n' Cream

My mom and I did yoga every day while she was here. This was our setup in the living room.

This morning, I practiced solo. So sad!

For breakfast I came back to what I know I love, hot creamy cereal. Not oats. I've set myself free of the pressure to eat oats for breakfast and bought a box of Oat Bran. I cooked it with some wheat germ and flax and added some peaches at the last minute.

I topped it with a 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter, 1/2 tablespoon raw sugar cane and 1 tablespoon half and half. It was a delicious peaches and cream concoction. 

Tonight is our night to make dinner for the co-op and I'm thinkin' shepherd's pie.