Thursday, March 31, 2011

the day after hump day means...

I'm lazy and un-imaginative.  And so ready for the day after the day after hump day.  What were you expecting me to say? 

In the blog-o-sphere there's a thingy (yes I said thingy because my brain hurts that much to come up with a better word) going around and I decided to hop on the wagon.  I'm pretty sure this has made its rounds on Facebook too...

the ABCs of me

A - Age: 31...but that's only my physical age...mentally I think sometimes I'm a bit stunted

B - Bed size: King...just enough room for Latte to sleep horizontally in the middle and Hubster and I to get the edges of the bed.

C - Chore you hate: washing dishes...I blame this on my mother.  Love you Mom!

D - Dogs: can you forget her?

E - Essential start to your day:  does hitting the snooze button 4 times count? no? ok then showering I guess.  It's a way I can multitask...get ready for work while sleeping standing up.

F - Favorite Color: green or yellow...right now it's a color that makes me think of spring and warm weather

G - Gold or Silver: just looks better with my skin tone.  Although I prefer the value of gold

H - Height: sans shoes 5'2".  With shoes, add anywhere from an inch to 4.

I - Instruments you play: I took piano lessons when I was really young then I stopped when my piano teacher moved.  Then I played the flute in middle school and stopped when I realized that I wasn't as good at it as I thought I was. 

J - Job title: clinical trial manager/hopeful lotto jackpot winner

K - Kids: remember this?  Not just yet.  But I'm hoping when we do have them, they've figured out a way to make it so that they come out tiny and once they are out and hit the air they 'poof!' plump up.  Scroll on down to 'N' and take a gander at one of my nicknames...I'm screwed.

L - Live: Stockton, NJ (or is it Sergentsville...I dunno)...too far from NY and too close to PA for my liking...but it's where I call home and it's cool

M - My mom's name: Mommy

N - Nickname: technically Cindie is a nickname (points if you know my real name!) but otherwise, Lala, BabyBigHead (because of the enormity of my noggin) and of course there's these.  I wish I could say Hubster calls me SexyMcCutiePants or something like that but no...I get BabyBigHead. FML

O - Overnight hospital stay: When I was in the 4th grade I had to stay in the hospital for a week because of my asthma.  I think I thought it was cool because my class made me 'Get Well' cards, then they (the doctors, not my classmates) had to stick a thermometer in my butt to read my temperature because of my breathing problems and I didn't think it was cool anymore...what? TMI?

P - Pet Peeve:  Fork spokes down in the dishwasher, toilet paper rolled under not over, water puddles around the sink, PA drivers, people who yawn loudly in public, leg shakers, people who can't park, people who drive in between lanes, when people don't use blinkers, when people who use blinkers don't turn their blinkers off after changing lanes...are you or aren't you moving over?!, when wiper blades don't get turned off when there's no more I sounding neurotic yet?

Q - Quote from a movie: What is this? A center for ants?

I actually own this tshirt and it's awesome

R-  Right/Lefty: Righty

S - Sibling: An older brother.  He's awesome

T - Time you wake up: My alarm goes off at 6:35...I get out of bed 20 minutes later...if I'm feeling daring...30 minutes.  Yah I'm a rebel

U - Underwear:  bloomers.  The kind that Strawberry Shortcake wears.  Not really but I think it would be kind of awesome if I did.  I don't think Hubster would share the sentiment tho.


V - Veggies you dislike:'s a texture thing.  Oh and those potato impersonating sweet 'potatoes'...and lima beans.

W - What makes you run late: usually it stems from my love of sleep but often it's my indecision on what to wear

X - Xrays you've had: Hmmm...teeth, knees, hip (hip! seriously?! how many 31 year olds have had a hip x-ray?) but thankfully never a broken bone...knock on wood

Y - Yummy food you make: what isn't yummy? oh the SND fail from two weeks ago...otherwise I think most of what I make is pretty yummy

Z - Zoo animal: Giraffe!!!  I just love them!

why hello there!

and turtles...mainly because of this kid

{ cindie }

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

confession #387

Confession #387

As much of a foodie as I am, one of my favorite guilty pleasure meals is....

spicy ramen!
...with cut up hot dogs...


 No lie...this stuff is the shiznitz (do people still say that?  well...apparently I do)

Also, when I enjoy this sodium rich meal, I must enjoy it out of my big green bowl with what looks like simplified chinese characters on it using chopsticks and my yellow chinese soup spoon..what?  Go hard or go home...

What's your favorite guilty pleasure meal?

{ cindie }

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

one potato, two potato...


One of my best friends once gave me the nickname 'My little potato'.  

Hubster has called me more than once 'Queen of Potatoes' and refers to potatoes as my subjects.  

While some might think that a nickname like 'potato' or being referenced as 'Queen of Potatoes' might be an insult because potatoes are round and stumpy, I actually embrace those nicknames.  Because I love potatoes that much.  I love them so much that had I thought of it before our wedding 'theme' was established, I would have wanted a Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head in tux and gown as our cake topper.  To be honest...I still totally want them just to have and display in our house.

As promised, here's the recipe for the yummy potato and cheese croquettes!

Potato and Cheese Croquettes with Chipotle dipping sauce

Chilled mashed potatoes (I use Yukon gold potatoes because they are super creamy!)
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 TBS chives chopped
1 TBS worcestershire sauce
1 small shallot finely diced
3 eggs
1 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup Panko
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Peanut oil (or other oil with high heat index)

*Dipping sauce
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced
1/2 cup light mayonaisse
1/8 cup ketchup
juice from 1/2 a lime
1 garlic clove finely minced
salt & pepper
fresh parsely, chopped

Combine the first 6 ingredients and 1 egg.

Using a spoon (or a cookie drop scoop as I did), scoop golf sized balls of the potatoes.  If you have time, chill the potato balls for at least 30 minutes.

Heavenly balls of potatoes and cheese!!!

Prepare three bowls for breading the potatoes.  In one bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper and chipotle powder.  In the second bowl combine the remaining 2 eggs and milk.  In the third bowl combine the Panko and seasoned bread crumbs.


Dredge the potato balls (hehe) in first the flour mixture, then the egg, then the panko and breadcrumbs.

Once you have been breaded all the potato balls, heat the oil in a small pot over medium/low heat.  In batches, carefully drop the breaded potato balls in the hot oil.  Adjust the heat as needed.  Transfer the cooked croquettes onto a paper towel to drain (or if you have a handled strainer you can strain them over the pot of oil).

Whip together all the ingredients for the dipping sauce, saving the parsely to garnish the finished sauce.


{ cindie }

Btw...I HATE sweet potatoes.  Loathe them.  They are only distant cousins to the potato and yet try to impersonate them by taking their last name..sneaky sneaky yam.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

fried goodness

wow...I've been a bad blogger this week.  Hope you're still hanging around...

...all five of you lol (I don't count Hubster since he's only following cuz I told him as a good husband he has to)...subliminal message..follow me mkay? please? pretty please? I'll make you something yummy :)

Anyway shameless begging aside...I was bad this week.  I made a horrible SND last week and it soured the whole week for me going forward.  Needless to say my dinners consisted of ramen, lean cuisine and one night a semi-inspired meal of chorizo and spanish rice.  The term TGIF never meant more to me than it did today.  Bad week done, time to start fresh.

And by fresh I of course mean yummy fried goodness!

A couple of weeks ago, a dear friend suggested an evening of appetizers and board games.  With an emphatic 'yes!' I hemmed and hawed over what 2 appetizers I would make.  I dug deep and came up with fried wontons with dipping sauce and potato cheese croquettes (because I love potatoes and well what's better than a crispy pocket filled with creamy potatoes and cheese?...well maybe the creamy potatoes and cheese with bacon...mmm).  Anyway, here's the recipe for the wontons

Because you can't spell Friday without FRI-ed wontons

1/4 lb ground pork
1/4 lb ground turkey
1 small onion chopped
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp white pepper
3 TBS low sodium soy sauce
wonton wrappers
1 can water chestnuts
1 egg
Peanut oil (or other oil with high heat index)

Dipping sauce recipe from here
12 oz apricot preserve
4 tsp yellow mustard
4 TBS teriyaki sauce

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground pork, turkey and onions until the meat is no longer pink. 

Drain and transfer the cooked meat to a heat safe bowl.

Chop the water chestnuts and add to the meat.  Stir in the ground ginger, soy sauce and white pepper.

Now it's time to wrap!

Crack one egg and separate the white from the yolk.  Using your finger, brush some egg white onto the edges of one side of the wonton wrapper.  Spoon a small amount of stuffing into the center of the square.  Be careful not to put too much or else when you fry them the stuffing will burst out.

Fold the bottom corner up to meet the top corner so you're left with a triangle.

Make sure the ends meet and seal don't want any of that yummy stuffing escaping!

You can either leave in these triangles and cook, or you can wrap the bottom corners of the triangle around and fold into a shape that kind of resembles some Georgia O'Keeffe paintings.

In a small pot, pour enough oil so that the wontons will be submerged and heat over a medium high heat.  Once the oil is hot enough, drop in your wontons, a few at a time (depending on how small your pot is).  Fry until golden brown and then transfer to a towel.

For the sauce, just blend all the ingredients together. Serve the sauce alongside the wontons and enjoy!

I will also be posting the recipe for the potato and cheese croquettes.

Oh it's good to be back!

{ cindie }

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


You know it's going to be one of those weeks when you feel totally uninspired. 

This pretty much sums up how I feel.....

I'll be back later this week when I find my inspiration

{ cindie }

Saturday, March 19, 2011

confession # 86

I decided the other day that I wanted to start a series called 'Confessions'.  I thought it might be a fun way to reveal a little something about myself that my readers might not know.  I'll try to post one confession a week and depending on what you guys think I'll keep it going.

So without further adieu....

Confession # 86

I get really excited by the dumbest things.

For instance, years ago when gas prices were at an all time low of under $1 a gallon, I was driving with a friend when I all of a sudden let out this screech of delight....because I found a gas station where gas was 97 cents.

Then there's the time I was going with Hubster to watch a hockey game from his father's company's suite.  It was pretty amazing being there because I never experienced any venue from the comfy cushioned seats of a suite.  But what I was most excited for and couldn't stop talking about (and maybe lost a couple winks of sleep over)  up until we got there.......eating chicken fingers (which sadly there were none)

Or the other day, when a friend (also known as Twinnie) and I were on our way to Wegman's for lunch.  She was driving and I'm pretty sure we were midst conversation when I looked out the window and all of a sudden squealed

before realizing that I did so out loud and not in my head where it was supposed to occur.

... yeah, um...I'm 31.  One can only wonder what I was like as a child....

{ cindie }

Thursday, March 17, 2011

oh yeah, I'm not in my 20's anymore...or...time to get my lazy ass off the couch

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Since it's a workday and unacceptable for me to go to work drunk (or is it?) I'm celebrating by wearing green.  Yah..I know. LAME


You know how people tell you that when you're planning a wedding try not to diet too much because you'll loose weight due to stress?  It's so true.  At our wedding, I lost so much weight the week of, my dress was falling off at times.  It's the best diet a girl could ask for really.

So where are those people after the wedding to tell you that you'll most likely gain that weight back...and then some!

Since our September wedding, I've put on a whopping 15 pounds. Fifteen.  Granted, that's only 5 pounds more than I weighed before the whole wedding planning process began but it's also the most I've ever gained in a 6 month span.  I partially blame the awesome all-inclusive honeymoon we went on as well as marital bliss, but the truth is, I can only blame myself.  And my love of food. And wine. And beer. Oh and I think I might have a small degree of Prader Willi Syndrome (that or I'm just a glutton looking for a scapegoat).

Rather than throw myself a pity party I decided something had to change.  I won't join a gym again because we all know how that works out and I sadly have not been using the gym at work nearly as much as I should.  I was doing P90x for a bit, but then my urge to punch Tony Horton in the face grew stronger than my yearn to be cut like 'Pam the Blam'.  I don't believe in dieting...I believe in moderation.  And truth is, when I'm hungry...I can get crabby.  You remember the SNL Gap skit with Chris Farley?  

Yah...that pretty much sums it up.  And anyone else notice the name of the girl Farley plays? Coincidence? Hmm...
Now don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm fat...I'm just out of shape and not nearly as toned as I used to be.  I have a whole wardrobe of clothes that I love and can't afford to replace.  And my pants feel tight some days...which is often why I prefer to wear dresses.  Ok, so I won't join a gym, I don't use the gym at work (cuz I spend enough time at the office already), I want to punch Tony Horton, and I won't diet.  Sounds like a good fitness plan, no? No.  Enter solution

Fat Blaster!!!

Yup, we bought a brand new shiny elliptical trainer.  I've used it four times already and burn an average of 600 calories each time!  I'm not going to turn this blog into a fitness one, but I will update you on my progress to a more-fit me.  Just knowing that I'll check in every now and again will help keep me on the right path.

Bring it on summer, I'm ready for you!

{ cindie }

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

feeling hot! hot! hot!

I have a secret.

Sometimes I like nights where I cook for just myself.

Why? Because I love spicy food.  I love food that is so spicy it puts you on the brink of pain...just on the brink.

Hubster can't handle my spice.  Can't even come near it.  That makes me sad 


This is Hubster & I enjoying a spicy meal.  Note the flames coming out of his mouth and my blissful smile (from the meal...not the fact that my hubbers' mouth is ablaze).  Also note...even in cartoon form I have a large head.
Umm...too spicy?

cest la vie...the sacrifices we make for love.

But on the nights where it's just me and my belly I like to play a little game called 'I like my food hot and I can't drink milk to counter the heat so how many chilies can I take' ... ok I'm working on the game title.  Anyway here's a recipe I like to call:

Quickie Spicy Bowties
(because it's short and to the point)

Recipe inspired by the pantry and my hankering for something spicy


1.5 cups dry Farfalle pasta
3 TBS olive oil (plus extra if you like)
fresh basil
3 cloves garlic
handful of mini sweet tomatoes on the vine
dried chili de arbole (optional)

Cook pasta until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, thinly slice the garlic cloves, wash and halve the tomatoes, and chop the basil.

If you're using them, decide how many chilis you want to use.  Remember, you can always add heat, but it's not so easy to take away.  Ok, you've been warned.  For reference, I used about 6 chilis.

Once the pasta has cooked, drain.  Add a little bit of olive oil to the pasta so it doesn't stick together.

In a sautee pan on medium high heat, heat the olive oil.  Add the garlic and stir around for about 30 seconds.  Then add the chilis (if you're using them).  Let the chili, garlic and oil mixture cook for about 45 seconds.

smells soooo good!

Lower the heat, add the cooked pasta, halved tomatoes and chopped basil and toss to make sure everything gets coated with the garlic and chili oil.  If it looks a little dry to you, drizzle with some extra olive oil.  Let cook for a few minutes to warm everything.

Salt to taste.  Spoon yourself a bowl, open up a beer (or beverage of your liking) and enjoy!

Mmmm...spicy goodness!

{ cindie }

Monday, March 14, 2011

take me to Brussels...sprouts

I feel bad for brussel sprouts.  They always seem to get a bad rap as the red-headed stepchild of the cabbage family.

You poor cancer-fighting mini cabbage...don't worry, I love you

One of Hubster's favorite side dishes to one of his favorite meals is Brussel sprouts.  So for SND this week that's what we had.

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts and Onions
*Hubster wanted me to ensure to give props that it was his idea to add the onions

Pretend the olive oil isn't even there

 1 package Brussel sprouts
1 clove garlic
1 small yellow onion sliced
3 TBS butter
1/2 lemon
salt & freshly ground pepper 

Wash and trim the ends of the sprouts.  Cut shallow cross-hairs into the ends of the sprouts.

Bring approximately a quart of water to a boil and add the sprouts.  Cook for about 7 minutes until they are a nice bright green.

Drain and put the sprouts into an ice bath to cool and stop the cooking.

While the sprouts cool, slice your onion and roughly chop the garlic.  Set aside.

Remove the sprouts from the ice bath and halve.  Seriously, how freaking cute are these little cabbages?!

In a sautee pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter.  When the butter has stopped foaming, add the garlic.

Butter? Garlic? Yes please!!!

Cook the butter and garlic (mmm) for about 30 seconds then add the onion slices.  Let the onion sweat a bit before adding the halved sprouts, face down.  Once all the sprouts are in your pan, add the remaining butter.

Cook for about 7 minutes and then squeeze in juice from your lemon (the lemon juice helps to cut some of the bitterness of the sprouts).  Continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the bottoms of the sprouts have a nice golden brown color to them.  Off the heat and salt and pepper to taste.

I usually serve these as a side dish to steamed rice and panko crusted chicken breasts.  They're a hit in our household...even Latte likes them!

Hey! Where's my plate?!
{ cindie }

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Let's get serious for a minute.

The power of the internet and social networking never ceases to amaze me.

Some moons ago, when I was planning my wedding, I belonged to an online community called Weddingbee.  If you don't know what it is, it's a site where gals (and some guys) in all stages of relationships can go to seek advise about their relationships or bounce ideas off each other on their wedding planning.  If you're planning a wedding, I highly recommend checking it out.  It's amazing how just 'talking' to people you've never met on the internet can make you feel so connected to them. The women there were so helpful to me in so many ways.  And they've done it again for a fellow member.

Here's the evidence.  Scroll down take a look at that banner to the right of this post (go ahead, I'll wait.  You back? ok good)  It's for a site called Operation Layla.  I highly recommend you check it out to read about Layla's story.  You see, Layla is a fellow Weddingbee alum who has fallen on difficult times.  When some members of the community heard about Layla's story, they created Operation Layla.

Internet friends.

They created this.  As more community members heard about Layla's story thru the site and other bloggers, something incredible happened.  More strangers and internet friends emerged to help this woman they never actually met.  And help we certainly a mere 48 hours. 

While the immediate goal might have been met, there are still other obstacles to consider.  So the site remains active and will be evolving in the future to help others in need.  

The truth is, it doesn't take much to make a huge difference in someone else's life.  For Layla, it was a community of internet friends.  

And I am so incredibly proud to be a member of that community.

{ cindie }
I intentionally remained vague about Layla's story and Operation Layla in hopes that you would visit the site, if not to help than just to read about how truly amazing the site evolved so quickly.

Friday, March 11, 2011

thursday night special

*Edit: I started writing this post yesterday evening and woke at 2am Friday morning to learn about the tragedy in Japan.  My heart breaks for all those affected by this disaster.  I personally do not know anyone in the area, but if you do, I pray that they are ok.  Tsunami warnings are still in effect for the Pacific so please stay safe.  
I debated publishing this post in light of what occurred, but decided that it was too important not to capture the emotions that were felt before these horrific events (not that what I did was important, but my joy).  Terrible things happen around the globe daily, and if we don't allow ourselves to be happy about the things in our lives (whether great or small) than life will be pretty glum.    

What in the world could possibly elicit an insanely ridonkulous reaction such as this?

Simple...three things:
  1. It was a Jersey Shore night (what?! I delight in the mindless dribble of these people...let's not try to fool each other that you don't enjoy it too)
  2. A rarity occurred.  Hubster was able to go in to work early AND come home early so that we could actually spend some time together...and have dinner..
  3. which Hubster was making for me!
So yeah...I was beyond the moon happy.  So happy that I wanted to document the amazing meal I was being treated to.  We'll call this meal

Special # 7

To be honest, I don't really know how much of what (and exactly what) went into creating the meal.  These are best guesses

Brown Rice
Some roast pork I think
approximately 3/4 gallons of 93 octane or higher gasoline
Menu for chinese takeout

Present menu.  Indulge your wife as she feigns indecision on what to choose (when really I knew two days ago when I originally planned to get takeout)

hmm...what should I get...oh just tell them the cindie special

Place order.  Use the approximate 3/4 gallons of gas to pick-up order.  *Important* make sure not to dillydally on the way to and from picking up order.

Return home with bag o'goodness to a very excited (and hungry) diner.

I swear I did not change, I took this pic when I first got home from work

Present your meal.  Plate and enjoy!

I had my egg drop soup, egg roll and shrimp egg foo young (apparently I like foods that start with the word 'egg') usual and Hubster had beef and scallions and an egg roll.  I was a wee bit too excited about the food to take a pic of it and this pic <~ was taken after the carnage.  Mmm...I can't wait for tomorrow to have the leftovers for lunch!

*Disclaimer...Hubster for real did offer to cook dinner, but before I knew he was going to be home I had decided that I was going to get takeout this night.  Hubster's a pretty good cook, but where he excels is on the grill and it's not quite grilling season yet.

Oh how I love lazy day dinners.

And, just because she likes making appearances in my posts...
I got to lick the plates! So happy!

{ cindie }

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

watching what I eat

And I don't mean me watching what I eat.

A foodie watching what they eat just means they look at it and marvel at the pure beauty of the creation in front of them.

Sometimes they have a ridiculous look of excitement on their face.

only THE best mushroom ravioli in a sage butter sauce EVER

Or they just plain old take pictures of their food...


or with their food...

that's a big paella! matter where they their own wedding (I.have.problems)...

photo by Allure West Studios

or they will even go so far as make out with their food (serious.problems.people)

I heart you Mr. get in mah belly!

So, yah...that's how I watch what I eat.  Oh and I am totally not nekkid in that ~> pic I swear...although it would be funny considering I'm making out with my food...but I digress...

I'm talking about almost everyone else watching what I eat...or rather how much I eat.  And how I dress (I like flowy styles), and what I do.  You see, we still live in a world that believes for the most part, the order of adulthood is as such:

Go to school ~> graduate ~> get a job ~> fall in love ~> get engaged ~> get married ~> buy a house....have a baby.

Here's the thing about that timeline, the things that come after graduating school and getting a job are choices, not requirements (ok maybe falling in love is not a choice we make).  And they happen not according to anyone's 'plan'...they just happen when they happen.  Moving on...

So we've done all of the above, except for the baby part.  And for some dang reason, people are starting to watch my eating habits and waistline a bit more closely.  Here's a thought, maybe I just like food and am getting fat (ok, time to start running again!). Honestly, I don't really mind, I actually find it kind of funny.  For instance, this past weekend we went to another couple's (who happen to be preggers - so excited for them!) house for a party and here's how some of my conversations went:

Convo #1
Friend 1: Hey
me: Hey.  Oooo chicken wings! Yum!
Friend 1: So how are you guys doing?
me: (snarf...munch munch) We're good. mmm chicken wings (less talk, more eat!)
Friend 1: So...(looking at me funny as I devour a chicken wing nearly whole)...
me: (pausing to notice this glance)...ummm....hold on, let me chug this beer

Convo #2
Friend 2: How are you guys? Haven't seen you in awhile!
me: We're good.  House is good, keeps us bacon and cheese dip! mmm bacon.
Friend 2: So what are you drinking there?
me: Beer...see watch me chug it!
Friend 2: that really beer, are you sure you didn't put water in there?
me: (grabs friend's beer) chug...chug..chug

Convo #3
Friend 3: Hi!
me: Hey...going out for a smoke*.  Toss me a beer will ya?

This is pretty much for reals the conversations I had.  I chugged A LOT of beer that night!

Now don't get me wrong.  We want to have a baby.  The itch crept up on me quickly after my birthday and around the time most of our house was furnished.  And maybe that itch has meant I've been talking about babies more.  OK, so maybe I'm ready...Hubster, on the other hand, is not quite there yet.  And since it's so important that both people are on the same page...we're waiting a bit.  And I'm OK with that.  In the meanwhile, I just treat our Latte like she's our baby.  Our furry, spastic, bark at anything baby who may or may not be wearing one of Daddy's shirts like it's a christening gown (again, problems). crazy with a capital 'C'

But until I actually am preggers, I might need to walk around in spandex with a glass of wine in one hand and a Starbucks in the other.  Or a T-shirt that says, 'Nope...Not Yet'

*it's a nasty habit I partake in when I drink a lot

{ cindie }