‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, painting all through the house
No furniture to speak of, except the one yellow couch.
Our stockings had been packed in the truck with such care,
We just hoped things didn’t get broken in there.

Winnie and Haley, all stressed,wouldn’t sleep in their beds
Hoped they had visions of the Rockies in their heads.
And Mike in his heady hat and I in my vols cap,
Had been prepping for the move, we just wanted to nap!

Our skis were awaiting, season passes were ready,
Just needed to make the 25 hour drive nice and steady.
Away to Denver we were driving, bought a house in a flash,
The mile-high city was calling & we were making a dash.

The townhouse had rented and I told my work,
I’ll continue remotely as an added perk!
Our friends and family we’ll miss so much so,
We’ll try not to cry as we ski in the snow.

Our Denver adventure is finally here,
We can’t wait for what awaits in the new year!
So while this holidays weird, we’re like nomads alright
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

My First Time

I recently went to a nutritionist, just to see if my newly pescatarian diet was providing me with the correct stuff. It was my first time visiting one and I was extremely excited! Our new diet had opened up so many doors, it was hard to sort all the information, so figured I’d treat myself to a session.

Prior to my appointment, the nutritionist, Jeff, asked me to complete an evaluation form, asking several questions pertaining to my dietary habits. Do I have any allergies, any medications I was taking, how serious was I about my goals. Many of the questions were geared towards fitness goals, even diet goals. I’ve never been a calorie counter, have always loved food and don’t believe in depriving myself of something due to the caloric count. That being said, I’ve always been mindful of the goodness of my food. Yes, that’s a very official term. What I mean by goodness is, the nutritional value of it; how much salt, fat, sugar it contains and how fresh it is. Having gone without land-animal meat for the past 7 months (can’t believe it!), plus having cut way back on dairy (omitting cow’s milk, sour cream, cream cheese and cutting way back on yogurt) and eggs (try to substitute in baking) along with moving more towards natural sugars (agave, dates, pure maple syrup) and limiting processed foods, I was extremely curious to put my diet under the microscope.

I had a great experience, although I found that much of what I had already read/researched had answered them. This information is out there, tons of it, and often there are different schools of thought. Soy milk vs. almond milk vs. organic cows milk. There are a number of factors that play into it, so I realized it boiled down to my personal choice. I don’t believe cows milk is good for you or the environment and the mass production of it, well, basically tortures these animals. But, that’s my personal opinion. So, again, you need to find out your goals before heading to a nutritionist. Do some research before and arrive armed with questions. My goal was to make sure Mike and I were consuming the right mix of stuff to fuel our bodies. With his job being so physical, and my working out/running on a regular basis, I thought, Why Not!? Let the experts take a peek into our nutritional journey to see if we were on the right path. So, I did my homework and went to my appointment with an open mind and two pages of questions.

Here are some of the more interesting ones I had in my 1 hour consultation, along with the gist of Jeff’s answers (Jeff has his nutritional certification and degree from a school in Rhode Island, so is legit- I’d recommend asking where your nutritionist got certified/studied before making the appointment. It’s not cheap and you want to be sure you’re talking to a trained expert.) Hope you find some useful info!

Me: When is the best time to eat vitamins? Should you eat certain ones with food?
Jeff: No, the time of day doesn’t matter, although you should consume them without food if possible, so they’re absorbed better. Eating a small amount of food is ok.

Me: Are supplements the only way to get certain vitamins or are there plant based alternatives to load up on vitamins, such as b-12, D, glucosamine (I have knee problems, but love to run).
Jeff: as a pescitarian, b-12 is essential, so taking a supplement is great. And the best way to get vitamin D is to spend time outside. Chia seeds have also been said to help with joints, although the best resolution for that is to build up the muscles around the knee – stretching after a workout, doing lunges helps too.

Me: What is the best thing to eat post an intense workout?
Jeff: Your body has just used up its reserves of carbs, so replenishing directly after with a piece of fruit is good. An hour or so after, it’s good to replenish your protein with a supplement or smoothie.

Me: How much protein should we actually be consuming?
Jeff: The recommended amount of protein is directly related to your body weight. (Here, he did a calculation, that honestly I forget, but the outcome was a bit shocking: he said I should be getting 75 grams of protein a day & Mike should be getting 135 grams. I have mixed feelings about this, as I don’t believe I need quite that much, based on my desk job…but, I’ve definitely made a conscious effort to consume more.) animal protein, a single serving of fish, has 23 grams of protein (these numbers may be a bit off, as I don’t recall his exact sentiment. My takeaway was to eat a serving of fish a day!)

Fun Facts I learned (or got reinforced)

You should keep all seed & nut based oil in the fridge. Once oxygen hits them, their molecular/chemical composition changes.

Sesame oil has a high burn rate, so you should only use it for sauces or finishing, never for sautéing.

Soy milk has a lot more protein than almond milk, so if you are conscious of that, opt for soy.

Complete amino acids are important, so eating whole grains with plant-based proteins complete a meal. Think rice and beans.

Eat a rainbow everyday and your vitamin and mineral consumption should be juuuust right.

I enjoyed my hour session with Jeff and definitely thought it was worth the time. If anything, it made me examine what we were eating, the food we were buying, and my mindset around food and nutrition. Before the appointment, I had done research on several websites (a few to note: nomeatathlete.com, onegreenplanet.com, thekindlife.com) and will continue to do so in the quest for happy food! Everyone’s journey is different and there are many ways to peel a carrot. I’ve come to the conclusion that knowing what I put in my mouth and how it will affect my body is just as important as how it tastes.

Happy cooking!

Kale & Sweet Potato Crepes!

Sunday’s are usually a favorite day of mine, the last hurrah of the weekend wrapped up into a day that usually lays wide open. This past weekend was full of close-to-home activities – Mike working in the shop and me cooking up a storm. We also had the usual grocery shopping, tidying of the house, wash – all the stuff you don’t really have time for during the week. All the really, really fun things. But, we did find a few hours to go hiking in the Wissahicken with the dogs, which always makes the day better. The trails wrap for miles, and for the majority of the trek, it’s just us. It’s gorgeous!

So, with August in full force, Mike is incredibly busy. It’s his ‘crazy time’, a time known to the carpenter as get while the gettin’s good. So, with him glued to the shop all weekend, it left me to get creative in the kitchen. An easy, yet hearty fancy-lookin’ meal I thought of for Sunday night didn’t take much prep, was different than what we normally go for, and hearty enough to fill Mike’s belly. Win-Win-WIn!

 

Kale and Sweet Potato crepes

 

Kale & Sweet Potato Crepes

3 tablespoon of olive oil
3 gloves garlic
1/4 cup feta cheese (more or less to taste)

4 hearty handfuls of kale leafs
1 cup string beans
1 big sweet potato (diced into cubes)

Crepes
1 cup wheat flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk (or regular)
2 eggs

1. Mix all crepe ingredients together with a whisk, the butter being last. Put in fridge for 20 minutes to let bubbles die down.

2. Mix sweet potato with 1/2 the oil and roast at 375 for 15-20 mins

2. Sauté garlic with oil, then add kale & green beans. Sauté 10 min.

3. Add 1/4 of the crepe batter to a very hot frying pan (sprayed with olive oil) – flip after 3-5 minutes.

4. Once crepes are done, fill with sautéed kale & green beans, some sweet potato and a bit of feta and roll up.

Remember to work hard & cook hard!

Happy Sunday!

 

Roasted Red Peppers & Homemade Pesto

In Mike’s line of work, there are ups and downs – busy seasons and slow seasons – and the summer months are definitely busy. He’s in the peak of his busy season, meaning working almost 7 days a week, giving me a lot of down time. In other words, it’s busy season in the kitchen!

This past weekend, knowing Mike would have to work Saturday, I planned a me day. This typically involves Yoga or running, some sort of girly-thing (pedicure, eye brow waxing, haircut) paired with an hour or so flipping through Cooking Light, Pinterest or cookbooks to see what fun things I can cook.

I chose to make a roasted red pepper & tomato sauce that I could pour over grilled portobellos paired with a side of orzzo with homemade pesto. YUMMM!

First, to roast the red peppers and tomatoes. Suuuuuper easy. You slice them in half, rub them with a tad of olive oil, and put them in the over/toaster oven for about 20-35 minutes.

Roasted Red

Recipe

2-3 handfuls of fresh basil
2-6 small garlic cloves (more or less depending on your taste)
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
2 red peppers (home grown if you have them!)
3 small-medium tomatoes (homegrown if you have them!)
6 tablespoons of olive oil
4 portobello mushrooms, stems cut off
3-4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Orzzo pasta

Homemade pesto is an easy make too, especially if you have an abundance of basil. It’s such an amazing flavor, the fresh basil picked right from your windowsill or garden.

1. Pick about 2-3 handful of basil leaves, wash, set out to dry.

2. Put 2-4 garlic cloves into the food processor, along with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and chop. Add pine nuts, chop. Add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil, parmesan, then the basil leaves. Chop until pesto is creamy. Scrape out of food processor and set aside for cooked orzzo.

3.. Wash portobello caps, marinate in olive oil & balsamic and put in fridge for about 10 minutes – until goodness soaks in. Meanwhile, boil water for orzzo.

4. Put sliced peppers and tomatoes (rubbed in a pinch of olive oil) in oven at 400 for about 20 minutes. Peel off skin of peppers and put in food processor, along with 2 cloves of garlic and salt & pepper to taste. Blend.

5. Heat grill or grill pan to piping hot. Pull mushrooms out and grill on both sides for about 5 minutes.

6. Mix pesto with cooked orzzo. Top grilled mushrooms with the roasted red peppers. Enjoy!

Homemade Pesto

Here’s another meal, similar to the ingredients in the above, just instead of blending the roasted red tomatoes into a sauce, I stacked them on the marinated mushroom/grilled mushrooms, then topped with homemade basil. I paired this meal with a lemon, garlic and olive oil orzzo. So many variations, so little time! That’s why, I like to work hard and cook hard.

Happy Cooking!

Veggies: Through the weeks & Beyond

Just found an old, unpublished post! It’s now been over 5 months…what a journey!

It has been 21 days since we’ve sworn off four legged friends and it has been quite an adventure. While there have been a few mishaps, for the most part, we have both found our choice to go vegetarian rewarding and delicious! I’ve meant to document the daily meals, thoughts and findings, but guess I’ve dropped the ball. Better late than never though!

So, the past few weeks have been enlightening in several ways. First, we both feel great. Lighter. Clearer. We are not ingesting the antibiotics, steroids or hormones that are pumped into most of the meat we consume. Plus, replacing meat means finding healthy alternatives to fill us. Tofu, seitan, vegetables. Plus, side dishes consist of mostly greens as well. So, we’ve dropped the toxins and doubled up on the dosages of vitamins through veggies.

Another way this experience has opened my eyes is to the plethora of recipes out there that are just waiting to be made! It has been challenging, exciting, delightful. Really, the most fun I’ve had in the kitchen. To make meals that are full of protein, don’t involve too much work, and don’t taste like cardboard so Mike will eat them, well it’s been fun.

Going out has been somewhat of an adventure. Actually, it’s been awesome. Everywhere we have gone has had meatless options that have been super tasty. We’ve not felt like we were settling once. Ok, yes, there has been times when we’ve perused the menu and lingered over a meat dish, pining over the days of carnivore delight…then it fades, and we remember how good we feel, how compassion has outweighed every taste bud hesitation & how happy we are to know we’re doing our part. No matter how small. One meal at a time.

Veggies Out: Day 3 & 4: My accidental Meat Meal!

During the past few months, I’ve really given a lot of thought to the food I’m putting into my mouth and how it’s used. Not in an over complex way, but more obvious – If I eat a sugary snack at 3pm, it will feed my addiction for sugar (and I definitely have one) and I’ll just want more. Simple and obvious, but I still want something sweet. Probably out of boredom the dreaded desk job brings.

I can’t seem to cut out all sugar though, but being aware of its effect helps limit my intake. Plus, do you know how long it takes to burn off 100 calories?!

So, in this challenge, I’m not just focused on omitting meat but really focus on what I am eating and how it makes me feel. Fresh ingredients with little preservatives, fresh herbs to season food, limited salt, oil, sauce. Let the flavor shine through organically, so to speak.

So, ontoDay 3 of our meatless challenge!

I worked from home, so had a bit more time in the morning. I made scrambled eggs (no cheese, yogurt or milk, we eat way too much dairy!), on 1/2 a toasted sundried tomato tortilla, topped with a fresh, hot, salsa. And of course, Tapatilo sauce! And all the pills, daily vitamins we’ve taken for years: B12, C, glucosamine and chondroitin (for my running & Mike’s physical job), a womnen’s daily and a b complex. Kind of ironic that we had just received the TIME magazine with the highly discussed Bitter Pill article. A must read about how medial bills are killing us, although the food to health relationship wasn’t mentioned….makes you scratch your head!

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Now, the food. The salsa, which I bought at Weis Market for $4, is fresh and super tasty. And wouldn’t you know, I recognized all the ingredients!

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The remainder of the day consisted of a salad topped with a lentil and rice pilaf mixture I had made over the weekend (it’s good to have easy-to-serve protein around). I topped off the salad with plain balsamic vinegar and paired it with a garlic and onion pop cake. A tangy, crunchy, nutty meal. Mike, who is home making a wood cabinet, ate granola and Greek yogurt. Probiotics!

Later in the evening, I cooked shrimp with garlic and cilantro mixed with spicy Thai rice noodles. Yummmmmm. It was delicious! And remember, Mike and I are not giving up fish or seafood. For those strict vegetarians, I commend you in your journey. I’m taking it one ecosystem at a time.

That being said, day 4 took a surprising turn as I ventured out in the evening to a Vietnamese restaurant with a girlfriend. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The day started on a positive, clean note. Mike and I had discussed if either one of us had been feeling any different. The general consensus: not really. I felt a bit more alert, not sluggish, but I have freakish amounts of energy, so that may have been a normal thing.

I went off to work, eating my pop cake, banana and chunky peanut butter breakfast. I’ve cut down my coffee intake (knowing caffeine is an inflammatory agent) so had my one coffee-to-go cup (as Mike calls it) and washed down my desk breakfast with lemon herbal tea and water.

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Lunch consisted of a 30 min spin class, followed by a 39 min core max class (kicked my arse!) with the main course consisting of leftover orzo & tofu parm. After that kinda workout, I would eat anything, but damn this was good!

That evening, I was meeting a girlfriend at Pho & Beyond, a little Byob in Willow Grove. My first time here and I could tell by the aroma that hit us in the face it was gonna be good. We walked in, opened our bottle of wine and looked at the huge menu. It was full of meat!!! DAMNIT! The did, however, have quite a bit of tofu options, veggie dishes and meatless appetizers, so all good….or so I thought!

The traditional Vietnamese dish is Pho, so naturally I wanted to try that. Searching the menu, they all contained meat. Except the homemade wonton noodle dish, Súp Hoành Thánh. Perfect! We ordered the vegetarian spring rolls to start, so we were set. They came out and were huge, ridiculously chocked full of fresh ingredients and served with a peanut dipping sauce. Oh, I was happy!

Onto the main dish…

0306131823Served with a side dish of bean sprouts and jalapeño peppers, plus two sauces (one sweet, one a bit spicy) the dish came out pipping hot. Egg noodles, scallions, cilantro, fresh line, homemade wonton. FILLED WITH CHICKEN! I bit into one and immediately realized the meat mistake. DOH! It was delicious though, so as not to be a food-waster, I finished that one, and ate around the rest.

My first slip up in the Veggie challenge and it was only 4 days in!! Mike has let me know that he is winning the 30-day without meat challenge. Touché Mike. Touché.

Veggied Out: Day 2 of Our Month without Meat

Mike and I wanted to see if we could go without meat for a month. To lose some weight, embrace a more peaceful way of eating and in some ways, I think to challenge ourselves. On a regular week, we’re pretty healthy eaters to begin with…salads, lots of water thought the day, and plenty of veggies to accompany the main dish, which three to four times a week was sans meat anyway. So, why not see if we could do it full-time, for a month? Game on!

Thing is, I wanted to be realistic. The feelings and in-humaness of the animal treatment around meat consumption, well, I had never had them before. I love meat, love food and believe that creating food that bursts with flavor is a beautiful thing. Having watched Vegucated and Food Matters, I truly feel I want to adopt a lot of these principles – educating myself on the products I’m ingesting, treating my body as a machine, being conscious of how animals and humans are sharing this planet and asking why we are allowed to treat them in such a way, without much thought. It’s terrifying the way the meat-industry is allowed to operate, truly upsetting. On the flip side, I believe in supporting local farms, farmers who are making their living treating their livestock as humanely as possible, without steroids and the brutality of mass-production methods. It got me wanting to do something about it. The tears cried over these movies is sweet and all, but I told myself, ‘Ok, so take action, because all crying does is mean I feel something. Big deal!’

Admitting to myself that I wanted to change, but being realistic about my ability, I wanted to turn these feelings into viable, proactive actions. I started looking into a food-coop (haven’t settled on one yet, but am considering Weavers Way, as it’s close), I researched skin cream that doesn’t test on animals and found Pangea which uses all organic, sustainable products and has a really cool philosophy. Little steps taken are better than no steps at all I guess. Sometimes I get ahead of myself, so wanted to keep it realistic, but keep it moving.

Day 2 of our challenge:

For breakfast, I had my usual banana, peanut butter and rice cakes, although I did treat myself to these really tasty blueberry rice cakes. At 16 calories per cake, it’s an awesome alternative to bread. They’re a bit more expensive, but I love them, even though Mike thinks I basically am buying air. What does he know!?

Mike went for the homemade quiche we made this Sunday. Diced tomatoes, sautéed shallots & portabello mushroom, with a bit of Greek yogurt mixed in with the egg. Pour it in a pilsbury pie crust and top with some sliced Swiss and it was on!

For lunch, I had 45 minutes of spin class, followed by a bag of raw green beans and a half of a veggie wrap. Portabello mushroom, roasted red pepper, lettuce and mozzarella. I polished that off with a 100 calorie pack of dark chocolate covered blueberries (best find at BJs ever!) Mikes lunch consisted of peanuts. He was busy in the garage making a cabinet, so who has time to eat while woodworking is going on!?

That being said, by the time I got home, he was ravenous and already worried that his hunger was caused by lack of meat. All in his head, I told him. Eat some lunch tomorrow, then tell me how starving you are. Men! Dinner tonight was delicious and super easy, as I had prepared the main dish on Sunday. Feeling pretty good and taking little steps.

Snap peas, goat cheese, dates and mixed green salad

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Carrot & Ginger soup

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Garlic & pea purée toast topped with some cheddar cheese

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Veggied Out: Day 1 of Our Month without Meat

One of my favorite things to do is cook, wether it be after a long day of work or on a Sunday afternoon. My love affair of food has been a long time in the making, developed over years of budding tastes, refined palette, and branching out of my comfort zone. Food has always interested me, especially the eating part of it. When I was young, the four main food groups came into play in almost every meal and eating my fruits and vegetables wasn’t negotiable. In fact, my love and appreciation for fresh, healthy food began at a tender age and has only grown throughout the years, especially now that the grocery shopping happens when I write out the list and round up Mike.

Lately, I’ve been even more conscious of what I’m consuming, making healthier choices as I’ve started to think of my body as a machine. Why wouldn’t you want to put only the best fuel in, especially if you want the best performance? Makes sense. And with very little effort, I wove in 3 -4 vegetarian meals throughout the week. With Pinterest, my Cooking Light subscription, and the Internet, finding meatless dishes is fun, a challenge even and so much healthier.

So, after a night in, after we ate homemade chicken kiev, we settled in to watch the movie Vegucated, a documentary of a New York Vegan who recruits three other New Yorkers to take a 6 week Vegan challenge. No meat, dairy, animal bi-products. Plus, an education on the cruelty of animals used in the meat and dairy industry. Needless to say, I had to watch in installments, as the documentary is quite upsetting. Once the movie ended, I knew I wanted to increase the plant based foods we were cooking and eating and decrease if not eliminate the animals I consume. Mike let me know that no one turns Vegan in a matter of moments and realistically he was right, but something had to change. And that brings us to the 30 day challenge.

30 days. No meat. All vegetarian, with the exception of fish. I mean, I’m just trying to be realistic here, so figured it was a start to cut out meat. It’s going to be a challenge for us both, Mike even more so, but think we can definitely do it.

Day 1 Dinner: Tofu parmesan with a side of Mushroom & Shallot Orzo in a tomato basil sauce.

Dining Hungry

One of my biggest pet peeves as a frequenter of restaurants is leaving hungry.    Sounds obvious, right, absurd even, but it happens all the same. Not only do you enter an eating establishment with the notion that you will leave fed, you hope to leave satisfied on certain levels, those being different for every person. For me, those levels include: quality, service, taste, and the obvious one, filling of your belly. Seems reasonable I think. Although, I will admit the average American’s idea of portions ie what will constitute full borders on disgusting. That being said, I don’t consider myself an average American in this way (and most ways, but that’s another story).

There are other factors that I’d consider icing on the dining-out cake, the things that make an establishment sparkle, so to speak.  Ambiance, good water service (I’m freakishly thirsty, as is Mike), BYOB, reasonably-priced, enough to take home. These are not required, however, to make an impression; I’ve eaten at many a fine restaurant that lacked in one area or another.  But, oh how these things help!

So, tonight’s venture led me to Rittenhouse Square, where my beautifully food-obsessed girlfriend had selected a dining experience for the girls to partake in. Location, location, location. Mike was left home, to fend for himself meaning he would be eating peanut butter crackers for dinner.

The Rittenhouse address alone knocks several of my usual factors off the list instantly, before even walking through the doors. Out goes reasonably priced & BYOB. No biggie, some of the other big guys promise to stand up in their place. It’s almost guaranteed there will be ambiance, good service, quality. I don’t like to assume, but like to go in with an open-minded dinner’s palette.

Rittenhouse Tavern, located at 251 South  18th Street, dazzled with its ambiance, and we sat out in the lovely courtyard, despite the scorching heat.

The service, impeccable, with our waiter promptly bringing water and giving us just enough time to decide on things. Quick & plentiful water service, our cups never dry. So, there’s always that. Now, onto the most important things…the food & drink!

My girl had researched the cocktail list and ensured me they were worth ordering. All three of us ordered the Tavern lemonade, a quenching homemade tartness with rum & mint. The reputation proceeded the beverage! Delicious!

The menu (littered with delectable goodies) boasted extremely high prices which I tried to skim over, as I had brought my appetite. I tried to set my frugalness aside. Bar snacks & starters were selected:

White Bean Toast

Pickled Vegetables

Roasted and Fresh Baby Beets

The taste, delicious. Perfect blend of select ingredients that were fresh, prepared with care and beautifully presented. The portion to price ratio, however, left much to be desired. For even one person, these meager portions would have been questionable.  I’ve had dishes elsewhere that rivaled, if not out-ranked, for half the price and twice the portion. Just leaves you wondering if the location really overshadows it all.

For entrees, both girlfriends got the chilled soup, while I ordered something I thought would be more substantial; the Arctic Char. Once again, the meals tasted great, and I noted the presentation and art of preparation; it   just left our wallets quite a bit lighter than when we waltzed into the beautiful space. In this quaint garden, in one of the highest-priced neighborhoods in Philly, I paid the check, got up to walk to the train, and tried to visualize  what I could make for dinner when I got home.

I’m a firm believer in paying for quality, creation, good food. I don’t believe they need to be synonymous.

Next time, I’m picking the restaurant!

Snap Happy

It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the week, letting the trivial work, chore, errand messiness fog your happy goggles, especially if you’ve had a doozie of one. More and more these days I think about how happiness should permeate every area of your life, no matter what, although I’m not quite sure how to completely block out the messiness that spills into our happy. Realistically we get pissed. Let’s be honest, we’re human and things have a way of working in, no matter how positive we try to stay. One thing that I’ve taken note of as having an everlasting positive affect on my well-being: pictures. It’s a way to capture a moment of enjoyment, of deliciousness, of creation, of love and carry it with you.

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Little things are snap worthy, as long as enjoyment follows. Take this shot, from last weeks menu selection. In an effort to eat vegetarian one to two times a week, I made white bean burgers, with jalapeño cheddar, baked zucchini and Omaha Steak potato cakes. A pretty simple meal that we cooked together, which happens to be the best way, in my opinion, to end your day; creating a meal with someone who enjoys the art of feast ad much as you. Then we have the below, yet another tasty meal caught in image form, cause sometimes you just need a little spice! (Spicy Thai shrimp with rice noodles & snap peas!)

Sometimes, it’s a moment that takes your breathe away, something that stops you in your tracks (and not much does now a days, lets be honest!). If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t have to look hard for these moments, you can find beauty in the simple things…a bleeding sky from a sinking sun, a rainbow after a short rain storm, the fabulous meal you just prepared.

Revel in the small moments that bring a smile to your lips and if you’re lucky, your camera will capture a portion of that!