Tag Archives: celebration

Going to the Chapel…

Happy Tuesday!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July and that you are staying cool during this tremendous heat wave!

I, for one, had a fantastic weekend!  Larry and I drove to VA Beach for our friends Beau and Gen’s wedding, which was a spectacular soirée. 

On our way to the beach we sat in just a little bit of holiday traffic,

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but we simply could not complain about this view!

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Or the weather!  It was a truly beautiful weekend!

My camera broke right before the ceremony, so I don’t have pictures of the actual wedding. 😦

However, I do have pictures of the rehearsal!  The wedding was held at a country club on a very green golf course with rolling hills. :)  The site was absolutely breathtaking!DSC03553

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Right before my camera broke I was able to grab a couple of shots of the reception decor. 

Gen is a very artistic and amazingly creative gal!  She handmade these glass paper weights using sand from the beaches of both Virginia and Florida.

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She also named each table after something beach-y.  Larry and I sat at the Nags Head table 🙂

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Weddings are so much fun.  Not only is it an honor to share in the bride and groom’s special day, but it is also a great way to catch up with friends you may not get to see as often as you would like. 

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We are so happy for the beautiful couple!  Congratulations, Beau and Gen!!!  :) 

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~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Clean Eating on a Dime

I have discovered something wonderful that I simply must share. 🙂

Each month, Clean Eating Magazine features Five Fast Dinners for under $50.  Usually I pick and choose from these five meals and make them randomly throughout the month.  However, this month I decided to devote one entire week to these Clean Eating meals, and I tell ya, dinner has never been easier, or healthier!

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The menu also includes a shopping list, so you won’t forget anything!  (You can also download the lists here.)

Last night I made Steak Tacos with Avocado Cream Sauce.

Larry had steak that was seasoned with taco seasoning, cumin and cinnamon. 

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I used black beans with the same seasoning and the juice of one lemon  instead of steak and it was fantastic. 

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Rather than being full of fat and calories, these tacos were full of veggies and fresh flavors.  We used romaine lettuce, red, yellow, and orange peppers, cilantro, and tomatoes to fill our tortillas.  It was comparable to Chipotle’s fresh flavors.  No joke!

If you don’t know what to make for Cinco de Mayo tomorrow, this would be perfect!  I almost wish I’d waited just a couple more days.   😉

Well, I’m off to read another few pages of The Sound and the Fury.  After struggling to find a new book to read (I just finished The Help.  It was wonderful!), I decided to go back to the classics.  Faulkner sure knows how to make you work for a story!

Happy almost Cinco de Mayo!

How do you plan to celebrate Cinco de Mayo???  Meg and I are planning a 6 mile run before going out for a drink and some comida de Mexico!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Vegetarian Halupkies

You can crack as many Polish jokes as you wish, but I’m telling you these vegetarian halupkies were amazing… but, more on that later.

As many of you may have noticed, I took a computer/internet break yesterday.  I did not check email, Facebook, Twitter, or my blog one single time all day long.  I did not read the news on the computer.  I did not check my bank account, or pay any bills online.  I took the day off completely.

I have to admit, it honestly felt pretty good!  Not that I don’t love posting daily, or catching up with old friends via the internet, but sometimes you’ve just got to take a break from the daily grind.  We are always so “connected” in a cyber kind of way.  Yesterday I took time to connect with my family sans the computer on a more personal level. 

We finally celebrated my Pop-Pop’s 85th birthday, and my dad’s 49th birthday (yes, my parents are very young).

Every year for Pop-Pop’s birthday, we eat a polish dish called halupkies (pronounced ha-loop-keys).  As as a young boy growing up in a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania, this was a dish his mother often prepared for special occasions .  They are stuffed cabbage rolls filled with a ground beef and rice mixture, and then boiled in a tomato juice broth.

This year my mom found a wonderful Vegetarian Cabbage Roll recipe for me that was actually quite easy to make.

4 ServingsPrep: 30 min. Bake: 15 min.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 6 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, combine the first 10 ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off head. Set aside eight large leaves for rolls (refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use). Cut out the thick vein from each leaf, making a V-shape cut. Overlap cut ends before filling. Stir 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and lemon juice into vegetable mixture.
  • Place a heaping 1/3 cupful on each cabbage leaf; fold in sides. Starting at an unfolded edge, roll to completely enclose filling.
  • Combine tomato sauce and hot pepper sauce; pour 1/3 cup into a 2-qt. baking dish. Place cabbage rolls in dish; spoon remaining sauce over top. Cover and bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving (2 cabbage rolls) equals 142 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 675 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 8 g protein. Diabetic exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 starch.

Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls published in Light & Tasty October/November 2001, p37

We sautéed the vegetables and bulgur,

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spooned the cooked veggie mixture into pre-blanched cabbage leaves,

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carefully rolled them up and tucked in the outer edges,DSC01296

then piled them high in a baking dish.

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We covered them with the tomato sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese and baked them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. 

I don’t have any fantastic after pictures, because once everyone arrived the focused then turned to the celebration!  But here is a picture of the leftovers, cold from the fridge, that I plan on heating up and devouring for lunch tomorrow 🙂

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Larry and I were planning on spending the night at my parents, but decided at the last minute to come home, so we could spend all day Sunday cleaning the house and running errands.  We have a tendency to put things off during the week, and they really pile up by the weekends!  Oops! 

We slept in, had chocolate blueberry pancakes for breakfast (recipe to come!), and cleaned our tushies off!  Now, our house smells and looks clean and beautiful! 

Tonight we are planning a Sunday Date Night ;)  We’re going to grab a healthy-ish dinner out and then go see Percy Jackson! 

What traditions does your family have to celebrate special occasions? 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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