29 June 2010

trifecta tuesday: 5 ingredients or less!

I need to tell you how the post below is tormenting me.  It's just sitting reminding me of how I was hooked up to a pastry and gelato IV just a couple of weeks ago, all of which I am now banned from.

The Engineer and I decided we need to get healthier.  I need to not be such a sugar junkie and he needs to lose a few pounds mostly in the belly region or as he loving refers to it as his gut and FAT SACKS.  I know, fat sacks?  Isn't love handles so much nicer?  I always am polite and correct him "It's love handles, babe.  I need something to grab on to."  Since belly fat is the worst for your health and lots of sugar isn't ideal either, we decided to make a change.  And since we're not likely to go to the gym more, we started some form of the South Beach Diet last week and we're slightly dying here. 
The weekend was the worst.  We were both grumpy, snapping at each other...and everywhere we went all we could do was drool about what we couldn't have.  Ah look, there's Cold Stone.   I'd kill for a LIKE IT right now.  And there's Wendy's...mmm Frostys.  Noodles and Co., Chipotle...and really anything but what we're eating!  I was spending most of my days dreaming about ten brownies and chocolate chunk cookie dough ice cream with hot fudge, but oddly enough it's getting better.  I think we're over the hump, we'll see.  

In light of these recent changes in our life, today's Trifecta Tuesday will be a dessert that South Beach says we're allowed to have.

In Five Ingredients or less you can make CHILLED ESPRESSO CUSTARD.  That doesn't sound so bad does it?

South Beach Diet Chilled Espresso Custard with a Julie twist
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
3 eggs, beaten
4 packets of Splenda*
2 tsp of instant coffee and/or coco powder
1 tsp vanilla
Cinnamon for garnish (optional)

Whisk milk, eggs, Splenda, instant coffee/coco powder, and vanilla together until well blended.  Pour in to 4 ramekins.  Place these in skillet with water 1/2" from tops of ramekins.  Bring water to boil over high heat and then simmer covered for 15 minutes.  Remove from skillet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 3 hours.

It tastes like flan...a little watery, but quite satisfying (when no treats are allowed).

*I'm normally quite against artificial sweeteners (unless medically necessary), but am going all hypocritical/desperate for the time being.  Please excuse my negligence...

Check out Cupcake for Moose and In Wanderland for way more tastier 5 ingredient or less ideas!

23 June 2010

i'm hungry, let's go to tivoli

This is what my heart loved most, walking around and sampling food.  Here's a taste for you...


GREEK SALAD in Mykonos, Greece.  The Engineer's Greek co-worker gave us one piece of advice for traveling in Greece: "Find a hole in the wall restaurant with a grandma cooking in the back."  Excellent advice indeed, even the Engineer was loving this salad.

More FOOD from hole-in-the-wall-grandma-cookin.

Of course real Italian pizza had to be on the list.  MARGHERITA PIZZA for the Engineer and a CAPRESE SAMMIE for me.  Look at all that fresh mozzarella!

The Engineer and his GELATO.  Love at first site.


FRUIT TART - you make my heart sing, you make everything groovy...

*If you're local, there's this place in Rossyln (Arlington, VA) called Tivoli, it's right outside the metro.  They have the best desserts, reasonably priced, including my all time favorite fruit tarts!* 

**And if you need someone to join you...I probably could be bothered to go.**

22 June 2010

yes, we're tourists.

I would like to introduce you to TOURIST Julie and Marcus...

Please note earphone shoved in head with string around neck to hold audio set.  Now imagine an eccentric Turkish lady holding an umbrella with huge red flowers hot glued on top.  And lets go a little further with this...imagine that for some reason we pay her money to let us follow her around like baby ducks.

I'm allergic to sun.  The hat had to come.

The Engineer choose to stop in ghetto Rome to read our map.  We've got book smarts not street smarts... (My brother always told me I didn't have any "street cred".  I wonder if this is what he was referring to?)

Tourist Julie and Marcus went to Europe, as you know, and had a fabulous time. 

We learned that if you use the concierge on your cruise ship you can get free advice on how to travel around the different ports without paying for a pricey excursion.  It's amazing how much extra they charge you for drinks, activities, tours...  So be smart and do your homework.  We bought "European Ports of Call" by Fodor (BOUGHT as I am a DELINQUENT library patron) and picked up maps, city information, and train/bus times from our concierge every morning.  The Engineer estimated that we saved at least $700 just on transportation from the port to the cities/activities of interest just by DIY.  We also did very little that cost money on the ship.  No fancy drinks, gambling, yoga lessons, massages (that's what the Engineer is for, right?)...  We were there to see Europe and not to be entertained on the ship, so I guess budgets would vary based on what your expectations are for your vacation.  I was skeptical at first, but now am a believer - you can totally DIY on European cruises!

Moving on...

I peed here.  Not in the proper way where you go to a building with facilities, but the way where you plop a squat and go out of desperation behind a tree.  (Sorry mom and dad...I know this isn't your proudest moment of me.)  But how many girls can say they peed in a park in glamorous Monaco?  Or maybe it's more like how many want to say they've done so...? 

The Engineer finds my peeing in nature skills to be a little too developed.  "How do you know so many tricks for peeing outdoors?" 

Wilderness camp, OBVIOUSLY.  I know how to hug a tree when I pee, for a dribble free ending.  And there are select group of women out there who know exactly what I mean...

I'd like to leave you with a picture story of what our feet were up to on this vacation.  Next to come is a picture story of what YUMMYness entered our TUMMYies!

Cruise Ship at Sea.                         Villefranche, France.
Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy.

Mykonos, Greece.                                      Positano, Italy.
Acropolis, Athens, Greece.

If you'd like to see MORE of our PHOTOS please check out my facebook album!

16 June 2010

gelato and pastries

Hello!  We're back from our holiday (that's how the rest of the world says 'vacation', which I find to be a just plain confusing word choice).  It's been two weeks of eating gelato and pastries, swimming in the Mediterranean sea, staring at ruins, more gelato and pastries, and taking in absolute quaintness.  Did I mention gelato and pastries?  The Engineer had a two a day gelato habit, while I had a 3 a day pastry habit.  After breakfast snack, have a gelato, lunch, well eat your pastry, snack, let's get gelato, I'm tired, let's get a pastry-pick-me-up...and that was essential our days with some touristy stuff thrown in.

Do you think heaven will be a cobble stone road with pastry shop after pastry shop filled with fruit tarts and chocolate croissants?  All made by French people...I know they're rude, but they've got the food thing down! 

The Engineer and I love quaintness.  Put it by the sea (with pastry and gelato in hand) and add a dash of Italian romance and we're two happy campers.

I have much to tell you all, like how to do a cruise on a budget and how to keep you plants from dying when there is no one to water them for 2 weeks, but for now I'm trying to get used to not having the Engineer at an arms length 24/7.  I actually started to feel lonely when we got home and were in different rooms.  I had to call out from the living room to the computer room "You're too far away!  I miss you.  Come visit me on the couch."

01 June 2010

tuesday trifecta: sweet memories

You may not know this, but I'm an OHIOan.  And as an Ohioan, I guess I'm a BUCKEYE by association.  But please don't get the Engineer started on this, I'm lucky he married me, as he is a Penn Stater, afterall.  I'm pretty sure the only reason he let it slide was the fact that I can't stand football, or any sort of interactive competitive sport for that matter, and therefore am only a Buckeye by association, not choice per se.  Basically, if you come up to me and say O-H, I'm going to look at you confused for about 15 seconds before I respond I-O.  However, do picture the Engineer in your head trying to fall asleep in the guest room of the Enderle house with OHIO STATE DECORATIONS everywhere.  That was funny. 

Today my blog girls and I are sharing with you all a memory of food.  You know, grandmas secret recipe for dump-cake-pie or something along those lines.  As I was digging back to my roots, it hit me - I have to do BUCKEYES.  My mom always made buckeyes.  I could never just eat a couple.  I had to eat them until I felt sick, that's the only way to do it.  But you know this already, right?  Buckeyes are everywhere in Ohio during the holidays.  I love that about Ohio. 

Mom's Buckeyes
1 1/2 cups of Peanut Butter
1 stick of Butter (melted)
1lb of Powdered Sugar
1 bag of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 tablespoon of shaved Paraffin

Cream peanut butter and butter.  Stir in powdered sugar until well blended.  Take a tablespoon amount of mixture and roll in to balls.  Chill for 30 minutes.  Melt chocolate and paraffin in microwave or over stove top (I skip paraffin, because I don't have it). Dip chilled balls in melted chocolate mixture*.  Chill again and enjoy.

*TIP: A plastic fork with all but two spears broken off works well for this. Traditionally a toothpick is used for this; however, I don't have my kitchen stocked with toothpicks.  I'm slightly disturbed by them...when did picking one's teeth in any setting but the bathroom become socially appropriate?
Check out Mrs. Moose and Miss Wonderland's memory treats, you know they always have the sweetest photographs (literally)!

Now to avoid a tummy ache!