May 28, 2010

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You rushed to my rescue when I fell on the stairs yesterday morning.

2 - You brought me a wet towel, rubbing alcohol and band-aids
3 - You gave me lots of hugs
4 - You gave me kisses for my boo-boos
5 - You made sure I made it down safely the next time ;-)

May 25, 2010

I Have Friends All Over The Place

A little over two years ago I discovered Weddingbee, became obsessed and started my own blog in hopes of one day applying to write for Weddingbee myself. I had no idea at the time I would meet so many fantastic, smart, funny and gorgeous women in the process. Even before I became Miss French Bulldog (now Mrs) aka ‘Frenchie’, I’d already made several ‘blog friends’ through comments and discovering other blogging brides.
When I was accepted to blog for Weddingbee, in April of last year, I was thrown into a whole other world of ‘blogging friends’. I count the ladies I’ve met threw the ‘bee like sorority sisters…. only closer.

And the girls I’ve met through blogging and 'Bee Meet-ups' – ditto!

Some, okay a lot, of my friends and family don’t get why I would meet up for lunch (or drive out to Las Vegas) with a bunch of women I “don’t know”. But, I do know them and if you’re a blogger you know what I mean.

After our wedding, without a wedding to plan, I began blogging about my other obsessions her on His Birdie’s Nest and I’ve met a couple more ‘blogging friends’.

To all of you, I wish you a very happy Blogging Buddy Appreciation Day!

Thank you for being a positive influence in my life and encouraging me to be a better blogger :)

P.S. If you would like to stalk my Blogging Buddies you can find them here.

May 21, 2010

Tempeh Veggie Tacos

Some of you maybe thinking, “Ali, what the hack is tempeh?” Well, according to, Tempeh is a fermented food made by the controlled fermentation of cooked soybeans with a Rhizopus mold (tempeh starter). The tempeh fermentation by the Rhizopus mold binds the soybeans into a compact white cake. Sounds appetizing, no? I know it doesn’t, but trust me it is. The first time I ate tempeh (that I know of) was when I went to the Veggie Grill a few weeks ago and since then I’ve been itching to use it in a recipe. I’ve also been itching to make veggie tacos for like forever because I love the ones at Islands. However, their tacos have bell peppers in them and Hubs can’t eat bell peppers so I couldn’t just copy their ingredients.

Where is this going? Early this week, Jen over at My Kitchen Addiction posted a recipe for Grilled Vegetable Tacos. Thank you Jen! Turns out this was the perfect recipe to kick my butt into combining tempeh and veggies into a taco.

It was also the perfect opportunity to highlight the awesome veggies I can get from our location CSA Farm, South Coast Farms. All the vegetables in this recipe are local and organic, purchased from South Coast Farms. Except for the corn *hangs head in shame*, that I got pre-roasted in the freezer section of Trader Joes because I didn’t have time to grill ears of corn last night. Trader Joes is also where I purchased the tortillas and tempeh.

Now for the recipe…

(Click Recipe to Enlarge)

P.S. Do NOT lick the chiles! Yes, it smell sweet, but it they spice ;-)
P.P.S. Yes, I did lick a chile :-/

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You will eat entirely vegetarian meals, and not complain that there isn't any meal.
2 - You like stereo equipment
3 - You fixed my car bumper
4 - You always give me a kiss good-bye
5 - You love ice cream cones

May 18, 2010

How Joyful!

Remember when I told you about Joy, and how she redesigned my blog? Remember how I told you how super talented she is and she has an Etsy shop? Well, Joy is back from her honeymoon and has re-opened her shop!

She is still making her super cute hair accessories… 
But now, she’s also added Bolero’s and sashes… CupcakeBolero


Run, don’t walk over to her shop to check them out!

May 14, 2010

Save the Sea Turtles

Starting at about twelve years old, I’ve been obsessed with all things turtle. Land or Sea, I’m not too picky. My old AOL screen name was TurtleAli. Need visual proof? Check out these turtle items around Hubs & my apartment.

“Turtle Card” is the card I gave Hubs for our first dating anniversary. Do you know how hard it is to find anniversary cards for someone you’re not married to?
”Teddy” was a Christmas present from Hubs a few years ago.
”VCR Turtle” is a wooden turtle that sits on our TV stand, next to the speakers. He used to sit on our VCR, hence the name “VCR Turtle”.
”Turtle Ring Holder” is a Sea Turtle ring holder my Bestie, Felicia gave me to hold my wedding rings.
And last, but not least, “Larry” is a hand blown Sea Turtle I purchase from the winery where Hubs and I were married.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you may have figured out where this is going… the recent oil spill. I don’t get political or preachy here often, so please bear with me because I’m sad. I’m sad for the Sea Turtles and other helpless sea creatures affected by this spill.

Last Friday, I mentioned Hubs wanted to save the sea turtles affected by the oil spill. He has been all over the internet the last week and a half search for things we can do from all the way over here in CA. We’d like nothing more than to fly over there and help out in person, but unfortunately that isn’t in the cards.

Through his search we found this video below about The Turtle Hospital in Florida.

According to their website

The Turtle Hospital was opened in 1986 with four main goals: 1) rehab injured sea turtles and return them to the wild, 2) educate the public through outreach programs to local schools, 3) conduct and assist with research which aids the sea turtles (in conjunction with state universities), and 4) work toward environmental legislation which makes the beaches and water safe and clean for sea turtles.
Hubs and I were really moved by all the work this Hospital does to save turtles, not just those affected by the oil spill, and we decided to donate money.

However, we know not everyone can donate money. Most people already have charities and causes they give to. Don’t worry there is something you can do that doesn’t involve money or more than five minutes of your time. On the Sea Turtle Restoration Project website they have pre-typed, form emails you can send to different organizations or the President, showing your support and encouraging them take action to protect sea turtles. I have to give them props, because this is honestly the easiest form email ever. All you have to do is fill in your information, click a button, and they do the rest.

Thank you for taking the time reading about a cause close to Hubs and my heart :)

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You like cereal with your (almond) milk
2 - You don't kill spiders, I do
3 - You've started putting your dishes in the dishwasher
4 - You're going to make my headlights look clear as new
5 - You don't tickle me feet

May 12, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

For a couple months now, the Hubs and I have agreed that if we eat chicken we will only eat chickens that were Free Range. (The same also goes for eggs).

My mom used to make a rather tasty Weight Watchers Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe when I was in High School. However, I haven’t been able to find it. After Googling and finding several different recipes, I made this up. Meaning, I didn’t come up with this out of thin air, but it’s not a variation on a specific recipe, rather several recipes making a common dish.

How do you make it?

(Click Recipe to Enlarge)

Are you making an effort to buy free-range chicken and eggs? Do you local markets carry it?

May 11, 2010

Adventures in Dining Out: The Crow Bar & Kitchen

One of my favorite Orange County restaurants is The Crow Bar and Kitchen in Corona Del Mar. My Dad’s business partner lucked into it through American Express about a year ago and took us “office ladies” to lunch. There I had one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant, second only to the burgers at Park Ave.

The Crow Bar also has a special place in my stomach because they incorporating local, regional and sustainably-grown ingredients. A restaurant with a conscience is something I can get behind!

Okay now for the food. The last time we went there for lunch I finally remembered to take pictures. Truth be told, the photo above of their chargers is from a different lunch where I forgot to take pictures once the food came. D’oh!

We started with the Blue Crab Deviled Eggs…
Next, I copied my Dad’s business partner and got the clam chowder…
You can barely see it, but those are clams, in the shell. On nom nom!

Along with the clam chowder we both got Meatball Sliders…

The other two ladies in my office got the Grilled Hanger Steak Sandwich…



I’m pretty sure I’m going to get that next time, YUM!

If you would like to check out their entire menu, you can find them here. You can also follow The Crow Bar and Kitchen on Twitter to hear about their daily specials.

May 7, 2010

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You want to save the Sea Turtles affected by the oil spills
2 - You like to have plans every Friday night
3 - You love having dinner at the Harbor and watching the boats and birds
4 - You've been making pirate references all day... aarrg!
5 - You want to explore the US with me :)

May 4, 2010

Cinco de Mayo: Easy Peasy Queso Dip

I know I haven’t done an ‘Easy Peasy’ recipe in a while but I’ve actually attempted to blog about this dip a couple times but the pictures are always so ugly I give up.


See? Ug-ly... and my camera is sucky.

Lets just say this – this dip is not pretty, but it is tasty! My MIL made a variation of this dip for us at Christmas time and Hubs couldn’t get enough of it. It’s seriously the easiest dip in the world to make… besides adding onion soup mix to a container of sour cream.

How do you make it?

(Click recipe to enlarge)

Anywhoodle, if you need a quick dip or appetizer this Cinco de Mayo, this is ready in a snap :)

Do you have any Cinco de Mayo plans?

May 3, 2010

Cinco de Mayo: Margarita Cupcakes

This past Saturday Hubs and I went to an “Uno de Mayo Fiesta”. I’d seen a recipe for Margarita Cupcakes on Confessions of a Foodie Bride and thought this was the perfect opportunity to make them. I mean really, is there a better time for Margarita Cupcakes than a Cinco de Mayo party? I think not.


This was my best pic :( I'm definitely asking for a new camera for my 30th Birthday!

Her recipes if based on Martha Stewart’s lemon cupcake recipe, just swapping the lemon for lime. I used a different icing recipe based on Sprinkle’s Cupcakes’ Lemon Buttercream Frosting, only I substituted tequila for the vanilla to make them more Margarita like… OlĂ©!

(Click recipe to enlarge)

What is your favorite Cinco de Mayo Recipe?

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