Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween and More Pictures

Scary, right? You mean a flaming 'X' and a goofy looking spider with one tooth doesn't scare you? It probably shouldn't, but behold, this year's pumpkin creations. I went with the spider and Casey started with a skull and cross bones until he realized that he was in over his head and decided to do the XBox 'X' and use some whittling skills he saw on the pumpkin challenge on Food Network. The more complex the better in his eyes. In the Almarez household around this time every year there's a pretty consistent theme. I can't find something that's cute and not scary and Casey can't find something that's complicated enough (we won't mention the pirate ship of 2005 that maybe got 1/120 of the way completed before Casey realized it wouldn't be finished in time for Christmas, let alone Halloween). Last year he did complete a pirate ship and it looked very nice. I decided to do a bat with huge eyeballs.

In 2006 we did baby pumpkins seeing as how we were still in college and usually pumpkins didn't make it very long outside. I did the one toothed monster and Casey did a little tribute to JMU.

This past weekend we watched movies and my best friend Kara and I made dinner on Saturday and we hung out with her and her husband. Sunday my father-in-law was nice enough to take some family pictures of us with Tuck. I'm kind of embarrassed of wanting more pictures when I haven't printed out a single wedding photo :-\ but I had my reasons. Tuck got his long coat cut off yesterday and I was feeling a little sentimental about losing his puppy fluff and asked him if he would do some pictures of us with him before we got it cut. We went to the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped at an overlook and we really got some cute shots of him. Here are some of the ones he did of just Tuck.

He looks so proud =) my little man. This week is just another work week. We have Halloween coming up on Friday and I still need to put together a costume for work and figure out our plans for Friday night. Well, tomorrow is Thursday... maybe I should get on that...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TWD: Pumpkin Muffins

This Tuesday's recipe was chosen by Kelly over at Sounding My Barbaric Gulp!. I haven't participated in the last two recipes so I was due to bake and I was glad to see it was a seasonal recipe and one that I was looking forward to. I really enjoyed these muffins a lot. I had one for dessert tonight and the texture was really good and the pumpking flavor came through nicely. I ended up skipping the nuts, raisins, and sunflower seeds and just added chocolate chips. I have a lot of recipes in my reader that include pumpkin and chocolate but I've never tried it so I figured these muffins would be a good excuse to give it a go and the flavors actually go together really well.

I could definitely see myself making these again. Good choice Kelly! You can find the link for this recipe in Kelly's blog that I linked above.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Barbequed Pork Chops

I'm trying to expand my pork chop knowledge since I usually bounce back and forth between chicken and lean beef. I tried this Cooking Light recipe that I saw over on Erin's Eats and I really enjoyed and it's fairly healthy too. I was thinking if we wanted to make it more healthy we could try Splenda's brown sugar next time.

(Source: Erin's Eats)

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup of ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

Remaining Ingredients:
6 (6 ounce) bone-in center cut pork chops about 1/2 inch thick (I used 4 boneless chops)
1 teaspoon dried thyme (I used rosemary)
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Cooking spray

Prepare grill or broiler (I used our cast iron grill pan).

To prepare sauce, combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Place 1/4 cup of sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

Trim fat from pork. Combine thyme, garlic salt, and ground red pepper and sprinkle over chops. Place pork on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray (I use olive oil on my grill pan). Cook 6 minutes on each side, basting with remaining sauce.

Serve porkchops with remaining 1/4 cup of sauce.

Erin's link has the nutritional information for this meal as well.

Shoot a Mother-Humpin Moose Eight Days of the Week

What have I been up to?

NOT updating my blog for one. I haven't been incredibly busy. I've just been a slacker. I'm taking some pictures off of my digital camera so I can post some different things we've done these past couple of weeks.

Two weekends ago we went to a VT football game with a couple of our friends and we had such a good time. I'm not a big football fan, but I'm always up for tailgating and socializing.

Last weekend one of my friends came in for the night and brought her boxer. I got to have a girl's night and Tuck got to have his first sleepover. She thought he made a good pillow.

Speaking of my little buddy =)

Last week we also got to go to a wine tour/tasting and lunch for a work celebration. Our budget season is finally over (hallelujah). The drive was about an hour and a half away but we got to take a scenic route through the Blue Ridge Parkway to get there and it made the ride worth it. I was trying to take quick pictures during the tour but it doesn't really do the place any justice. This was the inside where we were herded to begin our tour. It's a dark picture but you can kind of see some of the detail. All of this wood is recycled and it was absolutely gorgeous.

I took this one when we were leaving just because I love when the leaves start to change and it reminds me why I love living in the mountains.

Just in case you're not tired of pictures of my dog. Here's another one. In my lasagna dish. That was a wedding gift. I promise if you come to my house for lasagna I'll wash it first. Also if anyone has a recommendation for a dog bed that's similar to a lasagna dish I would appreciate it.

This weekend we went to our hometown for our second Fall Festival and stayed at my parent's house on Saturday night. It was good to spend some time with my family and to see how much my niece has grown. She's crawling now and she refuses to let me hold her like a baby anymore. Independent little woman.

Now that you're caught up on my life I feel at peace and I'm going to take a nap.