Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kane, Sarah, and Sammy

I used to hate morning radio talk shows. Seriously awful if you asked me. I mean who really wants to hear all this talking when you are trying to get yourself pumped up for a long day of nonsense...I need pump up music. All this said, my opinion has changed. I am one hundred percent obsessed with The Kane Show. I'm not exaggerating when I say it has changed my life. If you know me, you know that I can get a little upset about having to go back to work after winter break, or summer, or really the weekend, but then I get a little excited when I realize that my favorite morning show will be there to greet me after my leave of absence. Bottom line - I couldn't live without my Kane Show. Slight exaggeration, yes, but it really does make a difference every morning during my 45 minute drive. (Side note the afternoon guy is terrible and I want to make a plea to Kane, Sarah, and Sammy for help, but for now I just change the channel when he starts talking).

The Kane Show stars Kane, Sarah, and Sammy with a little bit of Eric. Matt will tell you that I'm crazy about these people. He regularly asks "How was Kane today?" when I come home from work. My friends and I reference them in conversation. I text into the show hoping I will get mentioned on the air. All this from a person who would do anything to avoid a morning show in her past. I've gone to a whole new level of stalk with Kane. I'm blog stalking his wife and children. I will sit in my car in the parking lot at school just to hear the end of their banter.

I highly suggest you start tuning in (HOT 99.5). You may enjoy the occasional "Confession Wednesday" during which people admit a deep dark secret about themselves or someone close to them. My personal favorite is "War of the Roses" where Kane or Sarah call and try to catch people cheating on each other. Then the topics are just ridiculous and can range from child rearing to Kane's bout of road rage with a local news anchor. Take it from a convert...The Kane Show will be the highlight of (some) of your days, and definitely all of your morning commutes :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recipe of the Week!


We eat stir-fry a lot. All different kinds of stir-fry; vegetarian, chicken, and the occasional beef. I start with a very large skillet and a little olive oil. If we are having a stir-fry with meat I cook the meat first. I then add all kids of vegetables. Typically I have broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, mushrooms, red onion, red pepper, and lots of garlic. Cook them until they are tender and then add your choice of stir-fry sauce. FYI...I once tried to make my own sauce and it wasn't as good, or as easy, as just buying it at Wegman's, so now I just buy it there. My favorite is the Szechuan Spicy Stir-Fry Sauce, but I live with a spicy food hater so I buy just the regular and then add red pepper flake to my portion. I dump all this over rice and it is very delicious!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cherry Blossoms

Yesterday kicked off DC's 99th annual Cherry Blossom festival. We decided to make an appearance despite the temperature. It was in the upper 40's here yesterday, but the sun was shining so it turned out to be a pretty nice day. The first year I lived here I went to the cherry blossoms with my friend Melissa on the most gorgeous spring day. I should say I went to the cherry blossoms with Melissa and the rest of America on that day. I think yesterday's temps scared some people off so all around it was much more pleasant walking around the Tidal Basin. As you can see the blossoms are beautiful!

Later Matt and I went to dinner at Mad Fox Brewery in Falls Church. Both of us purchased a living social coupon a while back and we decided to try it out last night. We both bought it because it's a restaurant that specializes in beer and pickles. If you know me, you know pickles are pretty much my first love and beer isn't so bad either :) I really like this restaurant. The ambiance was great. You could see the brewing tanks, and it was really open, and had a cool bar. We couldn't even decide what we were going to eat there were so many good options. We got the fried pickles (the whole reason I bought the living social), fig and balsamic pizza, and ribs. Everything was delicious. I can't wait to go back to try all the other stuff we wanted.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Recipe of the Week!

Cincinnati Chili

Tonight I made this recipe for it's final hurrah (I hope) before warm weather returns. It's surprisingly delicious and I do a few variations on it depending on spices and other supplies on hand. This is another where I don't think you can do wrong. Like tonight, we were short on onion, and we had garbanzo beans in the cupboard instead of kidney so I substituted and it was still good. Since it's Cincinnati chili you are supposed to eat it over pasta, but we rarely do that. Although, it is good when we do. I hope you enjoy!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon cider or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 19-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Grated cheddar cheese for topping


Heat the oil in a medium heavy pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and the garlic and cook until soft, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, cayenne and cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the beef and cook the mixture, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt.
Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bay leaf and 1 1/2 cups water; simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thicker. Add the chocolate, vinegar and Worcestershire and cook until the mixture is thickened but still soupy, about 15 more minutes. Add the beans.
Discard the bay leaf and season the chili with the freshly ground pepper and top with cheddar.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Spring :)

Today marks the first official day of Spring! Yay! And miraculously it has actually felt like Spring here in Northern Virginia, allergies and all, this weekend. Friday was the best. It was almost 80 degrees and sunny. The bad news got in the way and I didn't really get to take full advantage of the lovely weather. I did take a nice run/walk around my neighborhood once I got home though. More on the agonizing walk /run event in the future. Saturday turned out to be nicer than predicted and inspired my makeover of our outdoor space! My parents had got Matt the little grill that you can see in this picture for Christmas. I put it together and set it up outside and then, of course, I had to go to Target for some furniture. I'm so thrilled about this. In fact I'm so thrilled that I'm blogging from that one chair right now, and trust me it's not warm yet. I think you may also be able to see the heartwrenching lemon tree in this picture. Please note that after it bloomed and was the prettiest lemon tree ever for about 2 weeks, it has dropped all but two of it's leaves and is very bald. Tempermental. This tree is a diva, no joke. Apparently all lemon trees have an attitude. At least thats what the internet said. I hope everyone is enjoying some nice weather today! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Erin Go Bragh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day friends! In lieu of a recipe of the week, I'm posting a treat of the week. I guess you could simply make this also if you feel compelled. I think everyone needs to purchase themselves a Shamrock Shake today. Now for those of you living in the dark, like my boyfriend, a Shamrock Shake is a delicious seasonal rarity that comes from McDonald's. It's a green vanilla-mint milkshake. I have to warn you...I don't know if when you run out after reading this post to purchase yours if you will be able to in fact get one. During my unmentionable days at William and Mary shamrock shakes were very unavailable. Although, I was always offered a sweet tea to make up for their lack of Irish pride. I guess they only have them in certain regions. Unfortunate. I just googled shamrock shake and found this website. It may be helpful in your quest.  I will tell you the McDonald's in Vienna has them, but the one in Fairfax did not last year. Makes no sense really. So good luck friends! And here is a recipe if you would like to try making your own:

2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 tsp mint extract
8 drops green food coloring

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a cup. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  • Tuesday, March 15, 2011


    This past weekend Matt and I went to Boston. For those of you who don't know that is where Matt grew up. Unfortunate, I know, that he is a Patriots fan. And technically he grew up in Andover a suburb of the big city. It was a very nice visit, especially since we don't get there much. This past week was his mom's birthday. To celebrate we all went to the Melting Pot. We had never been there before and it was a lot of fun. We were there for a looooong time. The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant with a lot of courses, and I think my favorite course had to be dessert. We had 2 types of fondue; one dark chocolate (my fave) and one creme brulee. I love doing fondue. Growing up my family and our neighbor's  family had a "Fondue Day" every New Years Day. It was my favorite holiday. We would make our dinner and watch the Penn State tradition EVER.

    Matt also had plans to go to a Celtic's game with a friend so his mom, sister, and I went outlet shopping for the day on Sunday. And before we left on Monday we went Candlepin bowling. Apparently, this is a New England pastime. It's that bowling game where the balls are really little and then of course the pins are thinner than usual. Naturally, I won. Beginners luck maybe, but I definitely think it's way easier to keep the little balls in the middle of the lane. It was definitely a little more difficult to get up for my new bright and early Tuesday mornings this morning, but hopefully the week will go quickly. It looks like we have a beautiful weekend ahead of us!

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Recipe of the Week!

    Ravioli with Sage-Butter and Walnuts

    This was seriously beyond yum! Its probably one of the best things I have made in awhile and it's great because it was soooo easy.

    1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
    2 teaspoons honey
    1 bay leaf
    6 tablespoons butter
    1/3 cup sage leaves
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    1 pound ravioli

    Combine balsamic vinegar with honey and bay leaf in a pan over medium heat. Cook until syrupy. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sage and walnuts and cook about 3 minutes. Toss the butter sauce with the cooked ravioli. Drizzle with the balsamic sauce and eat!

    Easy, right? I highly suggest this. I will definitely add it to my somewhat regular list.

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

    Each year I read this story to my 2nd graders. It's one of my favorites because I always get some interesting commentary and parents also tell me about how bucket dipping arguments have ensued in their household, and obviously its sends a lovely message. The story is about how every person in the whole world has an invisible bucket that they carry with them all the time and how what you do and say to people can either fill their bucket (positive thoughts and feelings), or dip into their bucket (negative thoughts and feelings). As a class the students then have to fill their class' bucket (which you can kinda see in the background above).

    This year I had one of my little groups of 2nd graders make their own buckets. They LOVED it! I have never seen people so thrilled about tin foil and construction paper. First we made little buckets by wrapping plastic cups in tin foil and then each student decorated theirs. Then I hot glued some pipe cleaners on as a handle. Each student then wrote a bucket filling comment for every other member of the group. It was a lot of fun. So friends, I ask you, have you filled a bucket today?

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Top 5 Friday

    This blog post is dedicated to my wonderful friend Sarah. She is the inspiration for this post, maybe even my blogging role model. Sarah and I use to work together. She taught Kindergarten, but she has left me for warmer climates and a baby girl. Anyway, while we were working together we had a special "top 5" that we collaborated on all year last year. She also occasionally posts a top five Friday on her blog. So I thought I might give it a try this Friday. I'm classifying it as a random top five. So here goes:

    1. Netflix. My family does a grab bag each year for Christmas and this year Matt participated. He received a subscription to Netflix from one of my cousins. I really didn't think I would like it, but its great. We've been able to see lots of movies we probably would have never see and its soooo convenient.

    2. The things 5-11 year olds say. Sometimes (meaning like at least 9 times a day) I find myself thinking is this seriously why I have a master's degree? When in the middle of a riveting lesson on tattling this week the conversation took a natural turn to Justin Bieber and marrying him. Seriously?!  Or another example... the meeting I had containing an explanation of how the bruise on the head was from hitting it on the toilet.

    3. The Neti-Pot. If you don't have one, get one.

    4. Living Social/Groupon. If you live in a major city you may be familiar with these wonderful deals. Each day you receive an email containing a deal from one of these companies. I, at this point, get about 5 emails a day for my area between the different companies and all the areas around me that have deals. I really do look forward to opening my email each day! I think they are wonderful. The deals are mostly for 50% off different restaurants or places in your area. Between the two of us I'm not sure that we have actually full out paid for going to eat in quite some time.

    5. Jeans on Fridays. I love being able to wear jeans on Fridays. Mostly, I hate deciding what to wear every morning these days and this makes it like 10 times easier to just put on a pair of jeans and a shirt thats actually somewhat comfortable. It's the little things.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Recipe of the Week!

    Balsamic Chicken with Spinach and Couscous:


    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
    • 8 ounces baby spinach
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 cup low-sodium canned chopped tomatoes with juice
    • 2 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked


    Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove the chicken and set aside. To the same pan, add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Lower the heat to medium and add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook 3 to 5 minutes.
    Place the couscous in a serving bowl. Top with the spinach, chicken and balsamic-tomato sauce.

    My Review

    As you can see in the picture above I substituted real tomatoes for the canned. I wouldn't do this again, I didn't like it because the vinegar stayed to watery and the tomatoes didn't taste good. Everything else was excellent. The chicken was the best part. I would make this recipe again but follow the original recipe for the sauce, or just cut it altogether. Either way would be excellent, I'm pretty sure!