Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Fright Night!

I'll be the first to admit that Halloween is not my favorite holiday. Don't get me wrong, I really do understand the hype. But it tends to sneak up on me every year leaving me with an incredibly lame costume and last minute plans.

Last year I actually planned for Halloween, I even had two outfits!

One for Friday,

and one for Saturday.

This year it was back to normal - the details fell into place completely and utterly last minute with little thought put into plans or attire.  I'm hoping to redeem myself with lots of candy for tonight's trick or treaters and possibly an orange and black wreath on the door. And hey, there's always next year, right?

P.S. I'm laughing thinking back at the year that my dad went to Sam's Club to buy Halloween candy for the neighborhood kids. He literally bought a box of 100 king-sized Snickers bars. Needless to say, it was a huge hit.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Get up, stand up

{I'm taking this Saturday morning to post a shameless plug for one of my favorite companies. But don't click away now, you're going to want to see this video...}

BOTE is a stand up paddle board company based out of Destin, FL that has it going on. The company was started in 2009 by Ross' cousin Corey and his wife Magda.  In just a few years BOTE has evolved into a major player in the fastest growing sport in the United States. 

The brand was recently featured in a promo for Fly Nation TV, showcasing the versatility {and beauty} of the boards.

{Featuring Intro by The XX}

Fun fact: Most people refer to stand up paddle boards as YOLO boards, when in fact YOLO is just another brand.  I like to refer to BOTE as the Apple of the stand up paddle board world. They're sleek, attractive and just better than the competition, no matter which way you look at it.  So hats off to YOLO for coining the term {you only live once}, and cheers to BOTE for taking the stand up paddle board industry to the next level.

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's 5 o'clock somewhere.

I'm just a little excited right now thinking about what will be happening today 5:00pm.

Ross and I have a hot date at The Boathouse, tossing back oysters and a pitcher or two of beer to kick off the weekend.

{ oh the perks of living at the beach... :) }

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pita Pizza

It's so simple. The perfect portion. The salad goes on top.

It takes no more than 15 minutes from start to finish.

Oh yes.

Spoon your favorite smoky chipotle salsa {or bbq sauce} onto a pita and spread to the edges. Top with shredded rotisserie chicken then sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350° for 5 or 10 minutes {until the cheese has melted}, then top with arugula salad {arugula + a splash of greek salad dressing}.

Friday, October 19, 2012


It never fails. After taking a few months to get settled into my new home, I'm ready to go

No, not to up and move to the next city or town on my list, but to travel and explore. {To be inspired by cultures I've yet to experience, or to revisit those which inspired me in years past.}

It's not that I don't love where I live, or that I haven't loved where I've lived in the past. It's that I love traveling as much as I love food, so staying put for too long just won't do.

{Insert reality check here.} As much as I'd love to be a jetsetter, continent hopping and dining beneath La Tour Eiffel, I haven't the time off work nor the funds to make it happen. So rather than physically traveling the world, I'm thinking a tour of my favorite worldly dishes will have to suffice until my money tree hits a growth spurt. 

{Thai Red Curry} Something about the sweet coconut milk takes this dish one step above its Indian counterparts.
{Croque-Monsieur} A hot ham and cheese topped with béchamel and more cheese. Yes, yes, yes. A thousand times yes.  Avec un coca light s'il vous plaît!
{Fried Plantains} Just say yes and never look back.
{Paella} One of the many things I love about Spanish culture, paella packed with seafood and saffron, then comes the siesta...
{Belgian Waffles} When in Brussels, one of the most adorable cities in all of Europe, you must walk the cobblestone streets and nosh on belgian waffles. You can find these delectable treats on every street corner, making them impossible to pass up.

I can safely say that writing this post has not helped at all with my craving to be leaving on a jet plane, but it will just have to do for now. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A word from Julia...

100% agree with my dear Julia.

P.S. Take a moment to watch this video which compares Meryl Streep's Julia Child to the woman herself. Quite amusing. and who doesn't love Meryl Streep anyway?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Saltwater Sunday

Yesterday was all kinds of perfect.  Ross and I went to brunch at Harbor Docks with his parents, then the two of us spent the afternoon lounging on Crystal Beach with nothing but two good books mine and his and heavily applied sunscreen.

Dinner simmered away in the crock pot all day while we basked in the sun at our leisure. 

I desperately needed this restful and unplanned day after weeks and weeks packed full of work and community events.  But the cherry on top of this spectacular day was the hour long conversation with my bestie, catching me up on her love life and bonding over current food obsessions and how much we love our daily routines. 

Yes, it's the little things. But aren't these little snapshots of life what make it so wonderful?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Currently Obsessed: Pistachios

A tasty snack the does the body gooood.
Photo courtesy of I am food blog
This crunchy, salty afternoon snack is full of vitamin E {protects skin from UV damage, providing the body with defense against premature aging and skin cancer} and vitamin B6 {helps the body fight again infection + a million other health benefits}.  Pistachios can also reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease, as well as aid in preventing diabetes. 

Can you say superfood?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Culinary Roots

I have a mixture of family roots that influence the way I cook, eat and view life, which is why {I think} what I whip up in the kitchen every week is relatively interesting.

My dad is from Akron, Ohio. This man loves a steak and potatoes like none other (and the same could be said for both of my brothers.)  He likes a plate that is divided three ways: protein, starch and greens. But he has also traveled the world and will try (and enjoy) just about anything - even {gasp} my vegetarian chili.

My grandfather was born in Lockhart, Texas, where many German immigrants settled just south of the state's capital. He loves pork sausage and gravy, beans and greens cooked all day with a ham hock or a thick cut of bacon, and of course a plate of good ol' Texas bar-be-que. {He will also keep the coffee pot  hot and full from 8:00am until 8:00pm - there is absolutely no lack of caffeine at the Kirchhof household.}

My mom is all about down home, hearty and family friendly foods. She'll make chicken and rice casserole all day long and the best beef stroganoff you've ever had. She's the woman in charge of the grill, cole slaw, beans and potato salad, not to mention cobbler or pie to finish.  She's the epitome of a "one woman show" - she can do it all.

Which leads me to: What's for dinner?

{Ah, yes. It all comes full circle.}

Chicken Pot Pie

{Ingredients for: Filling} 

2 tablepoons canola oil
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped white onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups cooked green beans
2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

{Ingredients for: Biscuit Topping}
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup milk

{What to do: Filling}

Pre-heat oven to 400°. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and bay leaves then season with salt, pepper and oregano. Cook until carrots are tender, about 7 minutes.  Add cooked green beans  and 2 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Mix cornstarch with the remaining 1/2 cup broth; add to the pan and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and stir in chicken and sour cream. 

{What to do: Biscuit Topping}

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients then stir in melted butter and milk. 

Drop biscuit topping onto the filling by the spoonful. Bake (without lid) for 30 minutes, then turn on the broiler for a few minutes (without removing the dish) to brown the tops of the biscuits.


These are all ingredients you most likely have in your pantry but just haven't thought to combine into a "one pot" meal. And although milk and butter are key components, this recipe is so much lighter and lower in sodium than if you were to replace the home made biscuit topping with a prepackaged version and the sour cream, vegetable broth and corn starch with a condensed soup.

It's easy to see that my love of hearty, down home cookin' comes from somewhere. I tend to "lighten up" the foods I love from my childhood to fit my current lifestyle, which is basically just trying to form healthy habits without giving up foods I love {or rather trying to maintain energy to keep up with my hectic schedule}.
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