Two Lives, One Lifestyle

Egg McGrownUp by Katie
July 27, 2010, 8:19 am
Filed under: Breakfast, Eggs, Katie

Sometimes, we have to act like grown-ups.  And when it comes to food, that is usually not a bad thing.  Wheat toast spread with smashed avocado on one side, a few pieces of sharp cheddar on the other, with a fried egg and briefly fried tomato in the middle.

This would be great with some bacon, or some hot sauce, or maybe some spinach.  What classic do you like to update?

Love is in the Air by Katie
July 26, 2010, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Katie, Kelli

Just wanted to shout out a happy anniversary to Kelli and Stephen!  She has been MIA from the blog because she’s making crazy amazing changes to her new house- like ripping out entire shrubs and planting nice trees and flowers.  The first time Kelli announced that her and Stephen were planning to get engaged, I was in shock and it took me awhile to not be freaked out that one of my best friends was getting married!  I still have no idea why I was so weirded out?  But now… I mean, obviously they made the right decision.

Still such little lovebirds, these two!

The Spaghetti of Mexican Food by Katie
July 26, 2010, 2:04 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Katie

John’s favorite meal when we go out is a big plate of cheesy enchiladas.  Since my mom had never made enchiladas and I learned to cook mostly from her, by default I assumed they were complex.  I reserved them as a indulgence worthy of a restaurant trip (we rarely ever went out to restaurants growing up, it’s pretty impressive on my mom’s part now that I realize what cooking every night after work and driving around 3 kids would take).

Anyway, tangent over.  Enchiladas are to “Mexican” food as spaghetti is to “Italian” food in terms of  easy pantry items.  All you need are tortilla shells, meat or beans, cheese, and enchilada sauce.  Just like spaghetti sauce, you could make your own more time-consuming enchilada sauce.  However, many jarred enchilada sauces have the same minimal ingredients as tomato sauce.

First, cook some chicken. This could be done ahead and then marinated in a bit of enchilada sauce.  Use a little thinned out (add water) sauce to coat the bottom of a baking pan.  Then, roll a bit of chicken with a tiny sprinkle of cheese in a tortilla and place seam-side down in a pan.  Cover with the rest of the sauce and sprinkles of cheese.  Put it in the oven.  Since the chicken is pre-cooked, decide when the cheese is melted and bubbly enough for you.

Making enchiladas at home where you can control the amount of cheese and oil makes them infinitely healthier than most restaurants.  Unless your home is with Paula Dean. I used a few tablespoons of guacamole and Greek yogurt (sour cream) to finish mine off.

On the side I made black beans.  I saw some delicious looking black beans at the Whole Foods hot bar recently and instead of buying them, read the ingredient list. Here’s what I used:

  • 1 can black beans
  • few shakes of chili powder
  • ~1 tsp of cumin
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion, sauteed
  • 2 Tbsp chopped jalapeno, seeded and sauteed
  • 1/8 c. orange juice

I brought it to a boil and then reduced it to medium to simmer.  The orange juice is what I remembered from the WF ingredient list- it gave the beans a really nice citrus sweetness!

John said that the meal looked like it was from a restaurant which I took as a great compliment!  So glad I have leftovers for lunch too!

Reason #2 and #36 I Love Colorado by Katie
July 25, 2010, 12:25 pm
Filed under: Colorado, Katie

That blue sky and a valet bike park at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival.

Who wants to come visit?

Little Droplets by Katie
July 23, 2010, 4:31 pm
Filed under: Katie, Photography


And rain drops.

Enjoy your weekend!

The Key to a Salad You Actually Want to Eat by Katie
July 23, 2010, 10:12 am
Filed under: Katie, Lunch, Nutrition, Salad

The key?  Use just as many toppings as lettuce.  This salad base had spinach and romaine.  Toppings included: tomatoes, cucumber, sundried tomatoes, celery, roasted red pepper, chopped hard-boiled egg, and a bit of crumbly blue cheese (between the red pepper and blue cheese my mom is probably shocked and proud). Oh and a little bit of dressing.

If there isn’t enough toppings, it gets boring. If there isn’t enough protein or fat, it isn’t filling.   Poor salad and it’s bad rap.

The other night, I ordered a salad at a restaurant that had strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, goat cheese, toasted slivered almonds, and grilled shrimp.  Berries and goat cheese cannot ever be wrong.

[After I ordered this salad I told John that I’m like a bear. He gave a blank stare. I explained: I eat hearty foods in the winter and gain a little weight and then in the summer I eat lighter and shed a little weight.  That’s like a bear, no?]

What’s your ideal salad?  What animal are you like?

Roasted Veggie Tacos by Katie
July 22, 2010, 12:03 pm
Filed under: Katie, Lunch, Mushrooms

Why do they sell tortillas in packs of approximately 1 billion?  The more authentic, delicious varieties at least- not the low carb blah-blah ones. I’ve made fish tacos, chicken tacos, veggie tacos, egg tacos, you name it.

I had a bunch of leftover roasted veggies (balsamic, olive oil, S+P) and only a million tortillas leftover so voila.  First, mashed up some avocado to add some fat for staying power.

And then topped it off with warmed up vegetables- cherry tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and peppers.  They weren’t that oily in reality but they sure are shiny!

After the picture, I topped it with a dab of Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.  Definitely more delicious than a side salad for getting those vegetables in.

Tomatoes and Rice by Katie
July 21, 2010, 6:01 pm
Filed under: Cravings, Dinner, Family, Grilling, Katie, Original Recipe

Simple, straightforward name for a simple dish.  This was my all-time, hands-down, ultimate favorite dish growing up.  I still love it, though I find it tough to decide on a single favorite now.  Outside of my family, I don’t know anyone or anywhere that eats this so let me know if you have because we are probably soul mates.

The steps are simple enough: find good tomatoes and dice them.

Then cover the tomatoes in Italian Dressing and refrigerate.

To make it “perfect” use Wegmans Parmesan Italian Dressing.  But of course with Wegmans far away from me, I can’t always achieve perfection.

The Newman’s Own just did not have enough zesty flavor for tomatoes and rice, though I like it in a salad context.

While the tomatoes marinate and chill, make white rice.  Another key to tomatoes and rice is white rice.  I prefer brown rice for just about anything else except this.  It’s the childhood favoritism coming out.

Finally, cover the hot white fluffy rice with the cold marinated tomatoes.  Enjoy.

To really live it up, have some grilled zucchini on the side.  This was my requested birthday dinner for many years (until I discovered Mexican food and margaritas).

The zucchini was marinated in ground pepper, salt, balsamic vinegar (nice caramelizing), and a really small touch of oil.

What would your “birthday meal” from childhood be?

Strawberries and Cream* by Katie
July 13, 2010, 9:47 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Katie

*Not quite cream… but the title worked.

All winter, I could eat oats everyday.  Now? There is no way. I hate sweating when I’m just sitting there, eating. My hair sticks to my neck and my shirts get ruined (yeah I sweat a lot..).

Oh wait, I was talking about food, oops.  Fruit and Greek yogurt is my summer breakfast lover.  My favorite fruits to eat this way are strawberries and peaches.  In-season fresh strawberries don’t even compare to the middle-of-winter guys!

A little honey drizzle on top.   What’s your go-to summer breakfast?

Mango Fish Tacos by Katie
July 9, 2010, 11:28 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Grilling, Katie

Up front, let me apologize about using my BlackBerry for these pictures.  My camera batteries were charging and I had to take some pictures.  This dinner was so easy, delicious, and great for summer since there was no stove or oven usage.

There is a little cafe in Fort Collins with fish tacos that I’ve become borderline obsessed with. I could eat them for lunch daily.  Since that would get expensive, why not figure it out on my own?

First, I made some guacamole- I think that part is self-explanatory? Avocados + tomatoes + garlic + cilantro + spices.  Then into the fridge it went for flavor marrying purposes.

Next, I made a simple marinade a la Bobby Flay with oil, lime juice, chili powder, and a jalapeño.  I placed a mahi-mahi filet in the marinade and turned on the grill.

After 15 minutes of marinating, the fish went on the grill until the flesh was solid white in color.  This was my first time grilling fish- not too shabby.

Then, John warmed up some corn tortillas on the grill and we topped them with flaked fish, mango salsa (mango, corn, peppers, black beans, garlic… it was made the other day), and guacamole.

Perfect flavor combination!  And since the grill was used, cleaning up was simple. More time to enjoy some porch wine in this perfect 75* weather.

PS- If I were to make this for Kelli, imagine it with shrimp. I do believe shrimp, guacamole, and mango make her top ten favorite foods ever list.