Monday, April 25, 2011

Red Velvet Cheesecake

I baked it in a water bath to avoid cracks.

I was trying to find something an interesting dessert to make for Easter and came across this Red Velvet Cheesecake that I couldn't turn down.  As a huge fan of both red velvet and cheesecake (seen here and here), combining the two was genius.  It was the perfect end to our Easter meal.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Almost Easter

As I mentioned here, there's something about Easter candy that's so much better than the sweets offered for other holidays.  I can't seem to get enough of the huge Reese's pieces eggs, Cadbury caramel eggs, and the enormous Reese's peanut butter cups.  And this year, Lindt has joined the club with their incredibly rich and delicious Lindor truffle eggs.  I'm looking forward to a long weekend of splurging on candy, cooking some new recipes, time with friends, and dinners with Gabe.  I'll be back on Monday to tell you about it.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vegetable Challenge

baby heirloom tomatoes
salads with lots of colors and texture

roasted brussel sprouts and zucchini
After watching Oprah's episode about the vegan challenge, I've been trying to incorporate more vegetables into my diet.  I'm certainly not cutting out meat or seafood, but I do see the benefit of adding more greens to my meals ("leaning in" as Oprah calls it).  I do love vegetables, but I generally eat the same ones over and over and get tired of them quickly.  Here are a few ways I've been trying to mix it up with new varieties and recipes (as seen here with my spinach and mushroom enchiladas).  What are your quick/delicious ways to prepare vegetables?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Favorite Product: The Microdelivery Peel

A few years ago, I received a sample of this product with my Sephora order and have been hooked ever since.  I've used countless masks/exfoliants in the past and nothing compares to Philosophy's Microdelivery Peel.  It's simple to use, takes only a few minutes, and leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth, and instantly refreshed, as if I just had a professional facial.  I use it weekly and have seen a noticeable difference in my skin.  Stock up now through April 21st at Sephora and get 15% off by entering coupon code chic.    

Monday, April 18, 2011

Scenes from the Weekend

Our walks by the beach
Gabe's enjoying the view

a crystal light slurpee, my favorite
Taco night
Thai Spring rolls at Bangkok West
I had the most relaxing weekend, filled with long walks, beach side bike rides, Thai food, tacos, and a movie night at home (we finally saw The Fighter and loved it).  It feels like Spring has finally arrived and we took full advantage of the 80 degree weather by spending most of our time outdoors.  How was your weekend?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Map My Run

Nicole introduced me to MapMyRun years ago and I've been hooked ever since.  Running is one of my favorite ways to exercise and relieve stress and I'd usually prefer to be outside versus on a treadmill.  But I also like knowing exactly how far I'm running and where I'm going before I get started.  Enter MapMyRun.  This site helps you find favorite running paths in your area, lets you create your own runs, log your workouts, and even find running groups in your city.  They even have an iPhone app that I use when I'm on vacation.  If you're a runner, you should definitely check this out.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Enjoli's Bridal Shower

the beautiful bride-to-be

Becca and Enjoli

I had the best time celebrating Enjoli at her bridal shower on Sunday.  The black and pink decor was so pretty (as was the bride-to-be), the food was excellent, and everyone was overjoyed to be there.   I'm so happy for Enjoli and Mike and can't wait to celebrate again at their wedding in June!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chicken, Spinach, and Mushroom Enchiladas

Gabe and I are always scouting out new Mexican restaurants in our area and for some reason have continually been disappointed.  The biggest problem is that Santa Monica tries to make Mexican food "fancy" which is not generally what we have in mind.  Since I usually order enchiladas, I decided to try making them at home and they were surprisingly easy and so delicious.  I added the spinach and mushrooms to my half and left Gabe's half with just chicken and cheese.  He was happy about that.  

Chicken, Spinach, and Mushroom Enchiladas
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small white onion diced
2-3 cups cheese (I used cheddar and pepper jack)
1 10oz back fresh spinach
10oz chopped mushrooms
3 chicken breasts
10 tortillas (I used La Tortilla whole grain)
2 bottles enchilada sauce (I used Trader Joe's)

-Place chicken breasts in boiling water for 20 minutes or until cooked through.  Drain, cool, and shred with two forks. Pour about 1 cup of enchilada sauce over shredded chicken and mix until blended.
-Sauteé onions and garlic over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add spinach and mushrooms and sauteé for another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain any liquid.
-Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and a thin layer of enchilada sauce.  Spoon a few teaspoons of chicken, spinach mixture, and cheese into each tortilla.  Then roll and place seem side down.  Continue until pan is filled then top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Michigan Recap

downtown Birmingham
the lobby of our hotel (The Townsend)

On our way to dinner

breakfast biscotti at our hotel
Henry Ford Hospital
Gabe and I are back from Detroit and had a fantastic trip.  We actually stayed in Birmingham, which is about 30 minutes outside the city.  We checked out the suburban areas and were pleasantly surprised with how much we liked it there!  Birmingham and its surrounding towns were charming and quaint with cute little downtown areas, neighborhoods with huge beautiful homes (and spacious yards), tree lined streets, great restaurants, and friendly people.  Here are a few pictures from our trip.