Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sunsets and strangers

Not a bad beginning to a glorious four day weekend.

Earlier in the day, the Peanut kicked off his mini-vacay by playing a rousing game of peekaboo with the dump truck driver sitting next to us at a stop light. He whined "dum truuuuuuck" when his playmate had to pull away and spent the rest of the car ride waving and trying to catch the eye of other drivers. Thank God he doesn't know about candy yet. But if someone with a van down by the river offers him green beans and graham crackers we're screwed.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pretty as a peacock

I bought the most amazing stationary while in New Mexico. You will know I really like you if you receive correspondence on it. That correspondence will probably be asking for money to support my new fancy paper habit.

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Something that pretty don't come cheap.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Herbed potato and pea salad

Why didn't anyone ever tell me how tedious it is to shell fresh peas? The food world "oohs" and "ahhhs" over these tiny green pearls but no one mentions how annoying it is to spend 20 minutes shelling a handful of peas. I'll probably lose my foodie cred (if I ever had any), but I'll admit it - next time I'm using frozen. Fresh peas are tasty but too much work. And you're looking at someone who actually enjoys picking crabs. Regardless, this is another great summer side. Just a tiny bit of mayo, which you could probably skip if you are anti-mayo. I actually used vegan mayonnaise (the Peanut has an egg allergy). All the glory is in the fresh herbs anyway, in my opinion.

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Herbed potato and pea salad
Inspired by White on Rice Couple & Melissa Clark
Serves 4-6 as a side

  • 6 medium yukon gold potatoes
  • 3/4 fresh (or frozen! Try frozen!) peas, shelled
  • 2 tbs of a light vinegar (I used rice wine)
  • 2 tbs finely minced vidalia onion
  • 3 tbs whole grain mustard
  • 2 tbs mayonnaise
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tbs fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper

  1. Bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water. When the potatoes are nearly cooked through (10ish minutes), throw in the peas. Cook for a just a minute or two more, drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Douse the potatoes (the potatoes end up mostly on top when you drain) with the vinegar. Transfer to a bowl and mix in onion. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Mix mayo and mustard in small bowl then combine with vegetables. Add fresh herbs, mix and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I give you a one-eyed chihuahua wearing a tiny sombrero.

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Why? Because it's Sunday. And because without accessories, a one-eyed chihuahua is just sad.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday bliss: Sweet Maryland wine

Tonight it's Joe's Cool Red from Layton's Chance Winery on the Eastern Shore. Probably entirely too saccharine for a more serious wine drinker, but after so many dreary winter months of dry reds, this cold sweet liquid is like a summer elixir.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Animals in inappropriate places

Meet Walter. He is the neighborhood rabbit and he likes to chill on our curb while our dogs bark vehemently behind the picture window. I want to love him and pet him and make him mine. Except that he belongs to the folks two doors down and they seem to think the free range lifestyle is appropriate for domesticated rabbits. Me and the loose cats on the street disagree. Poor Walter (I named him that, btw. His real owners probably don't expect him to last long enough to need a name).

Speaking of random animals in urban/suburban settings, look what I saw on the street today!

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Okay, I don't really think horses in downtown crosswalks are inappropriate. In fact I wish I saw them everyday. But you know what I do think is inappropriate for downtown crosswalks?

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Six inch heels! Six motherfather inch heels, y'all. DUDE. Although, I must admit she was indeed working it, so good on her really.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Grilled zucchini

Grilled veggies are a summer staple in our house. I don't think I could survive the season without our much-used grill basket. This is a typical side, often switched up with yellow squash, eggplant or whatever is on hand.

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Just zucchini, onions, red pepper and artichoke hearts tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, dried Italian herbs and fresh basil. Put the grill basket on a piping hot grill and stir frequently, until the veggies are cooked through and soft with some nicely blackened edges. Top with parmesan cheese, if you like.

(Jeez, as soon as it gets warmer everything gets a little more casual -- including my recipe posting style. Lazy days of summer indeed.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Heart Faces: Let's hear it for the boys

So, this is my first time entering a photo blog challenge. I saw the theme at I Heart Faces this week was "Let's hear it for the boys" and immediately thought of this photo:

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Lather, rinse, repeat

Have I mentioned how much I love summer?

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Little goofball loves his sunglasses.

(I named that one on the right Mellow. Mellow Yellow, get it? I am SO good at this!)

Le sigh.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy dearest

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Surprise, surprise. We spent most of Father's Day weekend at the beach.

Got to play in the waves with Grandpa Bob.

And then we topped it off with a visit to a winery on the way home. We are predictable folk.

And since I didn't snap a pic with Grandpa Don today, here is the Peanut (when he really was a little peanut) with Daddy and Pop Pop last year:

Happy Father's Day! Especially to these big three in our lives.

More beach pics to come, including PONIES! I didn't get to name any of them though. Hurumph.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Motivation, milestones and other junk

You guys! As of May 23rd, Martha Envy 2.0 has been more successful than my first attempt at blogging back in 2007! Hooray! I was really excited to hit that milestone (six whole months!). That's a lot of cheese and a lot of photos of my kid. Thanks for putting up with both for this long : )

And yet, for reasons that I can not explain, this random steak post continues to be the most frequently hit according to Blogger's statistics. It's not much of a recipe (and even less of a photo), but I'm not the judge of you, Internet -- so thanks for clicking people!

As for motivation, well for those of you interested (and I don't presume many are) my Shredification is going . . . okay.

Week 1 : I met my goal.
Week 2: I half met my goal and blamed it on travel.
Week 3: I'm still on track but have a weekend of debauchery right around the corner that could derail me.

I feel a lot less lazy in general and that was the main goal so I'm calling it a win thus far. Plus, I can now hold a killer plank without thinking I'm going to die. See? Winning!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

In praise of caprese

Summer means salads and the one that I am currently obsessed with is caprese. That perfect combination of fresh tomatoes, spunky basil and mellow mozzarella. One of the best meals I had in Albuquerque was actually a vegan caprese salad at the Mint Tulip. Kind of a weird choice in a city known for it's amazing Mexican food, but it was a refreshing break from chile rellenos. And the "mozzarella" was a revelation in fake cheese. I'm told it's called "Teese".

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So, last night I tried to recreate this tasty salad, but with, you know, the addition of tasty, artery-clogging animal products. Grilled steak and buffalo mozzarella, to be exact. Just a bed of spinach, diced tomatoes and cheese, a sprinkling of chopped basil and a few slices of rare rib eye all drizzled with the simplest balsamic vinaigrette. I can not wait to try again in a few weeks with actual home grown tomatoes (Uh, Dad? Hi! Tomatoes, please!). Summer on a plate.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Bawlmer tradition

Honfest in Hampden, y'all! A fantastic celebration of the grand tackiness found in and around Baltimore. Also, a great excuse to eat street food and wander around with open containers and wear spandex.

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Why do I always take pictures of port-o-potties?

What the hell kind of bird was that and how big was the cat?

Did you see how big her hair was?? Wait, was that a dude?

Our favorite hon.

Stroller tray = trough.

Enjoying a "velvet Elvis" concoction.

The crab cone from Gypsy Queen Cafe.
Up yours, Coldstone. (I don't really mean that.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bienvenido de vuelta

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The haze here is not editing - it's smoke from Arizona.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Boy genius

Chris sent me this while I was away. Soon he'll be able to do our taxes!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Checking in

Hello from sunny and sometimes smokey Albuquerque. So far I have discovered two awesome things about the southwest:

1. Chihuahua-sized sombreros. I want to bring a crate of these home:
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2. My hair is amazing. It is digging the low humidity:

And for your viewing pleasure, the two combined:

I've taken some real photos too but they are stuck on my camera since genius me started shooting in raw and the laptop I have with me doesn't have a program to open the files. Whoopsie. Yesterday was a loooong day of travel followed by an underwhelming look at Old Town. The most remarkable (and probably carcinogenic) thing was the amount of smoke blowing in from the Arizona wildfires. It was unbelievable. I think we're a few hundred miles from the fire and yet smoke and ash filled the sky last night. Crazy.

My training/conference starts today and I'm really looking forward to it. So far the organization of the event and the accommodations have pretty much sucked, but the topics and speakers should make up for it, I hope.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Don't mind me - my blogging app ate my Friday bliss post (no big loss, it wasn't all that interesting), yesterday I was too busy chasing the Peanut at a party full of POOLS! MOON BOUNCES! And BLENDERS! I know that last one may not sound worthy of all caps and exclamation points but the toy kitchen with working toy blender blew the Peanut's mind. To be honest, I didn't really have to chase him that much because he spent most of the party blending me some imaginary margaritas. Which I actually prefer on the rocks, but whatever.

Anyway, I'm off tomorrow for exotic Albuquerque and will check in periodically but just wanted to explain my half-assed posting schedule for the next week. Anyone care to to explain the difference between red and green chiles to me?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Key Lime Pie

I know this is a funny post to follow one about rededicating myself to working out, but what can I say? I'm a funny gal.

And I am so glad I now have this recipe in my summer entertaining repertoire - simple, tangy and sweet, it hits all the high notes. The use of regular old limes may seem like sacrilege, but seriously? Have you ever juiced a teeny tiny key lime? Those things can give you carpal tunnel. It's a welcome (and totally indistinguishable, taste-wise) substitution, in my opinion. Plus, you're already using vanilla pudding mix, so cut yourself some slack. Don't worry though - it's  honestly as good, if not better, than recipes that take twice as long.

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Key Lime Pie
From Cook's Country


For crust:
  • 8 graham crackers, broken in to large chunks
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 5 tbs melted butter

For filling:
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tbs grated lime zest
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 c. instant vanilla pudding mix (don't ask me what to do with the remaining powder. Making pudding will now involve math.)
  • 1 1/4 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 c. fresh lime juice (from 6-8 limes)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a springform pan with a circle of parchment. Pulse crackers and sugar in food processor until fine. Process while adding butter in stream through tube of processor. Carefully press crumb mixture evenly into bottom of pan. Bake for 12 minutes, until brown at edges. Cool completely.
  2. For the filling, process zest and sugar until fine and bright green. Add cream cheese and process until smooth. Add condensed milk and pudding. In a small bowl, combine gelatin with about 2 tbs of lime juice. Stir until dissolved and then add that to the processor and blend. Continue blending while pouring juice and vanilla through tube. Scrape down sides once or twice along the way.
  3. Spray inner sides of springform with non-stick spray. Pour filling in and refrigerate for at least three hours. Remove from pan and serve.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


And unfortunately, this time I'm not talking about delicious roasted pork. I'm talking about the 30 Day Shred workout from Biggest Loser guru Jillian Michaels. My friend Kim and I have challenged ourselves to get back in shape over the next month or so. I'm not a thin person (if you couldn't tell by the fat content of my recipes) and I've come to terms with that, but I do like staying relatively fit. In the past few months I've grown increasingly slack and lazy. I still take weekly yoga and pilates classes that I love, but it's just not enough to combat the amount of cheese I eat. So, back on the workout wagon I go.

My goal is five workouts a week. Kim and I have decided that either running or pilates (the class I take at Flow is pretty ass-kicking) can take the place of a 30DS workout. While I would love to lose weight , my main objective is to not feel so flabby and apathetic. Plus, I leave for another jaunt to Key West in seven weeks and it certainly wouldn't hurt to look a little more toned in my shorts and dresses.

Of course, I started this plan without consideration to the fact that I'll be gone most of next week at a conference/training. My schedule is tightly packed for five days - with seminars and discussions during the day and group dinners and receptions at night. I've identified two little pockets of time where I can probably fit in a run, so that is my plan. Plus, two 30DS workouts on the weekend when I get home.

I officially began on Monday, so I am three days in. And I can barely move. It hurts to lift my water bottle. But, I'm taking that as a good sign and am going to keep on trucking. Wish me luck!