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I believe we have found a keeper.

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In spite of the fact that it contains Brussels sprouts.

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Seriously – the sprouts give it a very authentic taste.  And they’re covered in sauce anyways, so even if you hate Brussels Sprouts, you won’t even know they’re there!  Give it a try.

Plus, there is a jalapeno to lend some heat…SONY DSC
  And the final product is a delicious bowl of rice and sweet & spicy chicken.

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You can find the recipe here.

The changes I made:

– I doubled the sauce.  And I think I may make even more next time.  We are serious about sauce.

– I used a jalapeno pepper as I could not find a red chili pepper at Wegman’s.  I have a love-hate relationship with that fabulous/terrible store.

– I forgot the peanuts.  Bummer.

– We used brown jasmine rice instead of white.

I will admit that it seemed to lack something, and I’m not quite sure what it was.  But I am going to keep trying stuff until I find out what it’s missing.  Maybe some of Trader Joe’s amazing sweet chili sauce?  Yes.  That could solve the problem.  Glad I thought of that now, at 9:52 at night, instead of when I was actually cooking.
  In the meantime, it’s definitely tasty enough and is worth adding to the menu rotation.

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Real Simple has done it again.

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I’m not quite sure why I couldn’t come up with such an ingenious idea on my own…but then again, maybe that’s why they’re the magazine and I’m not.  Maybe it’s also why they chose the company name that they did.

They call it Romaine Salad with Bacon and Tomatoes.
I call it BLT Salad Style.
Because, after all, that’s exactly what it is.
I also made the Creamy Parmesan Dressing they suggest.  Super good.  I picked up a Garlic Parmesan Baguette at Trader Joe’s to go along with it, and it made the perfect summer meal!

And, ummm, if you read the comments on Real Simple’s site for this recipe, please have a laugh for me.  I was too lazy to make a user account, so I’ll just spout my thoughts here (which is what a blog is for, not what recipe comments are for).  If you don’t like the recipe because you didn’t like the taste, fair enough.  That’s understandable.  If you don’t like “grocery-store” bacon, then simply buy organic or grass-fed.  And if you don’t like bacon (and bacon-eaters, such as myself), then that is perfectly fine.  I don’t like you either. ;)  I pity you, but please go on your merry way and just don’t make the recipe.  It’s real simple. 😉

I love this shirt.

What does that have to do with Valentine’s Day, you ask? I will tell you. Real Simple sent me this recommendation as a festive top for Lover’s Day. It can be found at Charlotte Russe. I love when national holidays revolve around fashion advice.

I really like it. Although, not so sure how it would look with a baby bump??

Also, on the topic of Valentine’s Day….I need some ideas. I am not very creative when it come to V-Day. And last year, I believe I even started a fight directly following the fabulous (and expensive!) dinner that Mike so lovingly treated me to at Avalon. I need to improve my Valentine skills. Any ideas???? Besides those chalky hearts candies??

So what do you do when you’ve accumulated years of issues of Martha Stewart, Everyday Food, and Real Simple and you no longer know where to find that awesome idea you saw….once….in one of those issues……in September?  Of 2007?  Maybe?DSC05037 

You ORGANIZE!  Because that is the solution to ALL of life’s problems! 😉

See, I don’t like all the ideas I see in these wonderful magazines.  Only some.  And I tried post-it flags, but that proved to be a fruitless effort.  I simply transitioned from flipping through thousands of pages to searching through hundreds of tabs.  And I could never find what I needed.  At least not in a timely fashion (which means…I wanted to cook that recipe I saw BEFORE 10 o’clock at night.)

So I went out to Barnes & Noble and picked up these Moleskines.  Can you tell it snowed today and I had plenty of time to find more ways to organize my life?

I gave them three categories:

1) Hospitality & Presents – gift and entertaining ideas

2) Food – recipes that either we would eat or that I would make for events

3) Home Life – household tips + decorating & organization ideas

And then I decorated them.  Because they were a boring cardboard brown and needed some lovin’.  And, again, because it snowed today.

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So, it’s SIMPLE!  When I go through an issue, I clip what I want to try and leave what I don’t.  Then, using photo tabs, I paste them in the book along with any notes I may have.  Such as which of the following chicken ideas Michael would eat for lunch.  I convinced him pesto was a good thing, but had no such luck when it came to parmesan cheese.  (The extra space also comes in handy if you want to write any helpful hints you discover along the way of trying out your new idea.)

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Never again will I have to page through tons of gross recipes that make me gag (remember, I’m pregnant, pot stickers, for example, make me want to lose it all…) and waste eons of time searching for that one tablescape I saw for Easter in….2008???

I admit, it’s a bit time consuming to get it up and running.  But if that dissuades you, try doing it while your husband reads to you by a fire, or while you watch 27 Dresses, or while you ignore the chores that pile up and up and up.  And drink tea.  Plenty of tea.  And pray to God that it snows.  🙂

Collective Reminiscings

The Smittys

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