Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Meet Perry the Pumpkin

He's the one on the far right with his mouth open. Isn't he cute?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mouth-wateringly delicious!

Subscribing to both Cooking Light and Rachel Ray Every Day, I have my fair share of new recipes to try each month, which I love. Typically I try to follow debut recipes to a tee so that I don't mess anything up, but lately, I've been putting my own spin on recipes, depending on what's in my fridge and in my brain. So, here was last night's concoction, based loosely on a Rachel Ray recipe:

Spinach and Mushroom Calzones

2 lbs fresh spinach leaves
1 package pre-sliced mushrooms
1/2 small onion
1 tsp. garlic
10-15 grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 roll refrigerated pizza dough
Marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 425. In a large skillet, boil 1/4 cup water. Pour in half of spinach. Turn until wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain. Pour in other half of spinach until wilted, and drain. Allow spinach to cool some. Meanwhile, in the same large skillet, saute mushrooms, onion, and garlic in a little olive oil. Press as much liquid as possible out of spinach and coarsely chop. Place chopped spinach in medium size bowl along with tomatoes. When onions are translucent, drain and add to spinach mixture. Add cheeses and Italian seasoning, stirring until all ingredients are combined. On a greased cookie sheet, spread out pizza dough. Fill half of the long length of dough with spinach/mushroom/cheese mixture. Fold dough over to cover the mixture, pinching edges to create a pocket. Make sure there is at least one ventilation slit in top of calzone. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into 5-6 slices and serve with marinara sauce. Serves: 3-4. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cloudland Canyon

Last Saturday, despite temperatures in the 40's and a fairly constant drizzle, Phil and I followed through on our plans to go hiking at Cloudland Canyon. We wanted to go while the leaves were still in the middle of their magical transformation and here are a few glimpses:

We've decided to try to hike in the mountains every autumn possible. It's too gorgeous to pass up!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This season's drink pick: Tazo Chai

I have to give my sister-in-law, Bekah, credit for introducing me to the deliciousness that is Tazo chai. I first tasted a chai latte when I was in high school at my favorite coffee shop in Chattanooga, Greyfriar's. With its black tea and spices, I excitedly concluded that it tasted "like Christmas" and couldn't get enough of it. However, my wallet could get enough of it, so I rarely bought it. Last year, though, Bekah introduced me to the cartons of Tazo chai that you can buy in the grocery store (specifically Publix and Target; Wal-mart doesn't carry it), and it has been my fall/winter indulgence ever since.

The best part (besides saving money) is that it's so easy to make. You pour half your mug full of the chai concentrate and fill the rest of the mug up with the milk of your choice (I prefer skim). Stir, microwave for a minute and a half, and voila! A perfect cup of chai that tastes just like it came from a coffee shop. If microwaves freak you out, you can heat it up on the stovetop in a saucepan, too. And at $3.99 a carton and eight servings per carton, each cup of chai runs me about 50 cents, which is a heck of a lot better than $3.50. It comes in decaf and regular, although I have to have regular.

With the leaves brightening and falling and the cooler temps outside, I have a carton of chai in my fridge, another one on deck in my pantry, and a hot cup of it in my hand. Tis the season to drink chai!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Say Anything

Today was a rainy Sunday afternoon, so Phil and I decided to watch a movie and found ourselves thoroughly entertained by the 1989 classic, Say Anything, starring John Cusack and Ione Skye. We had both seen pieces of it and, of course, knew the famous scene where Lloyd Dobbler holds up the boom box playing "Your Eyes" when trying to woo back Diane Court, but we had never really had the full Say Anything experience. It did not disappoint. We were entertained--not so much because of the movie's quality, but because of it's dated hilarity. If you need a good laugh, watch an 80s movie; the clothes, subpar acting (although I love John Cusack and think he's brilliant in most of his movies), and cheesy lines certainly had us laughing the entire hour and forty minutes! It's quite possibly one of the most quotable movies ever created. Here are just a few of our favorite lines:

Diane Court: Are you shaking?
Lloyd Dobler: No.
Diane Court: You're shaking.
Lloyd Dobler: I don't think so.
Diane Court: You're cold.
Lloyd Dobler: I don't think I am.
Diane Court: Then why are you shaking?
Lloyd Dobler: I don't know. I think I'm happy.

Lloyd Dobler: The rain on my car is a baptism, the new me, Ice Man, Power Lloyd, my assault on the world begins now.

D.C.: Lloyd, why do you have to be like this?
Lloyd Dobler: 'Cause I'm a guy. I have pride.
Corey Flood: You're not a guy.
Lloyd Dobler: I am.
Corey Flood: No. The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don't be a guy.

Lloyd Dobler: What I really want to do with my life - what I want to do for a living - is I want to be with your daughter. I'm good at it.

Lloyd Dobler: I'm gonna take Diane Court out again.
Corey Flood: Well, that's unlikely.
Lloyd Dobler: Is the movies a good second date? You know, as a date?
Corey Flood: Well, you never had a first date.
Lloyd Dobler: Yes we did. I sat across from her at a mall. We ate together. We ate. That's eating. Sharing an important physical event.
Corey Flood: That's not even a scam.
Lloyd Dobler: What's a scam?
Corey Flood: Going out as friends.
D.C.: No, it's not. Scam is lusting.

Joe: Dude, where'd she dump you, man?
Lloyd Dobler: In the car.
Denny: Oh man, your car? Man, Dissed in the Malibu. Thats your castle, man.

CLASSIC. To read more, go here. I think I'm going to go on an 80s movie kick. Any suggestions of ones I need to see?

Thursday, October 1, 2009


For anyone who read my last blog (now deleted), I apologize for its snarkiness. Not sure what got into me, but I hope I'm over it now. Any other recovering "snarks" out there?