Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

So, it's your basic salad with pears and vinaigrette. Seriously. But on a warm day or even as a lunch, it's the best thing ever. If you bring your lunch to work with you, I'd store the vinaigrette in a separate small container to shake just before pouring on your salad.
My favorite part about salad is making your own salad dressing. Generally the ratio is 3:1 but since oils are different (like sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, etc...), your ratio may be a tad off depending on how you like it. Make sure to taste.
So for the vinaigrette: olive oil, red wine vinegar, kosher salt, pepper, garlic (I used a garlic press on one SMALL clove). And that's it. You could add in some oregano, basil or lemon but I decided not to. I was lazy. Maybe not next time?
Then drizzle over your salad. I'd plate the salad first, then drizzle the vinaigrette.


Baked Cumin Chicken with Asparagus & Potatoes

Exactly what it sounds like.

2 - 4 chicken breasts
6 - 8 medium red potatoes, quartered
1 medium sweet onion, quartered
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
4 cloves garlic, crushed (doesn't matter if skin is still on)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt (dust the potatoes with more salt after baking)
1/2 tsp oregano
2 - 3 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Put everything except for the asparagus into a large baking dish. Sprinkle with the olive oil, then the spices, salt & pepper. Shove into the oven for about 40 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender. Turn everything about halfway through.

When potatoes are fork tender, drop asparagus on the top of the pile of baked food. Bake another 9 - 15 minutes. (I like my potatoes nice and soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside!)

Serve with salad and bread.

Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Detergent

Yep, we're talking dirty dishes here. I'm about to elaborate on my dishwashing skilz as well as reviews on what I've found so far. I've not been too impressed so let me tell you how I wash dishes and this is what I do with each load. Non-environmentally friendly detergents too.

My dishwashing process is:

1. Scrape the plate
2. Rinse anything nasty off
3. Load the dishwasher

So then, let's get on with this post. I've been searching for a fantastic dishwasher detergent for awhile now. I swear, whenever I want to find something eco-friendly, it takes me so LONG.

For example, I may be blind (ok, not really) but I had to ASK a TARGET EMPLOYEE where I could find phosphate free dishwasher detergent. She proceeded to take one off the shelf right in front of me. How embarrassing. But this is the one she gave me:

Colgate Dishwashing Gel
I was kinda irritated because not only did the Target in Indiana sell Seventh Generation dishwasher soap, but they ALSO SOLD MRS. MEYER'S CLEANING PRODUCTS. So I was disappointed. So far it's odd using a GEL but it works well. It smells nice. Gets the dishes clean but I HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH TO USE. It just says on the bottle to fill to line. There's several lines on my dishwasher's fill cups. Whatev...

Free And Clear Automatic Dish Soap - 32 oz. powder - BioKleen
This one is in the mail to me right now from Amazon. We'll see how it does.

Seventh Generation, Free & Clear Auto Dish Powder 75 Ounces
SO NOT IMPRESSED. This stuff didn't get my dishes very clean. I mean, I know its all eco-friendly and whatnot, but still, I like clean dishes (I don't let the MONSTER lick them and reuse them, gross). I would have to rewash some of the plates and cups because gross stuff would be left on them.

So, what dishwasher detergent do you use? Do you like it? Would you recommend it? Is it environmetally friendly?


The Kitchen

Seriously, at one point our kitchen was lime green. And no bother to move the fridge to paint either. I hope there's extra paint in the basement!
Mostly done, I uploaded these the opposite of what I wanted.
The color is Chartered Voyage by Freshaire from the Home Depot.
Just taped off.
Blech. We had a totally sterile kitchen before. Now it's a fun and inspiring color!


The Dining Room

The MONSTER. He likes to lay on stuff. Even paper. Here's the dining room, it's kind of boring.
The dining room again, looking out to the 3 season porch and the backyard. With the dog and more crap.
Same pic, no dog.
After painting it. The color is Midsummer Gold by Freshaire from Home Depot. It's environmentally friendly. Table and chair are from Ikea. We do actually have 4 chairs now.
The ugly light that I have no idea what I'm going to with yet...

If you have any suggestions, let me know!


Google Adsense

I've found your link and I'm suspending your ads! Okey dokey... I hope this solves the problem. If not, I shall be back to being hunched over my laptop searching for how to delete those ads!

Oh yeah, and I discovered the perfect ratio of Kona coffee to water. I think I can now make coffee.

Thank you ladies!!!

Have I Done It Yet?

Is the post footer RSS feed gone?

If not, then I'm not done googling... dang...

Oh, and no sign of the card reader yet. I may have to make a trip to Target. They're only $15. Seriously, if you don't already have one, get one. They're AMAZING!

Ok, Totally Trying This Again Today

So today might be a little random too - I'm still trying to get all the ads removed from my blog (please, 4 cents in one year? I don't think so!!! Take that crap away!! And it's annoying in Googlereader too).

So far it's posting after every other post. I want it gone and I shall be viciously googling again today to remove that post footer RSS feed!

Happy Thursday.


How Long Does It Take?

For a post to show up in Google Reader? I guess we'll see...

What's for dinner tonight?

On my menu it looks like it's going to be chicken with cous cous and salad.

I feel like this is Twitter... only on Blogger! HAHA!!

Still Totally Random

Yep, seriously.

I've peed 4 times today already trying to drink more water.

I feel like I'm in some sort of holistic detox program today.

Ack. I'm Trying to Get Rid of Advertisements

On the RSS feed post footer so I'm going to post a few random things just to make sure that I'm getting rid of advertisements!


I need the motivation to rise before 6 to actually exercise. Seriously, I mean if you wake up before 6, how the heck do you do it?

And what time do you go to bed?

Ok, Happy Hump Day!


Drumroll Please...

I passed the driver's test! On the first try! But I forgot to bring my marriage license and I've been married for two years.

Oops. At least I look good in my picture!

I promise, tomorrow afternoon I'll hunt down my card reader and upload some pics.

Oh yeah, and post a recipe too!

10 Random Facts

1. I lost my card reader. Surprise, surprise.

2. The only finished room in the house is the kitchen. Dining room is next, then master bedroom, then office, then family room, then the living room and the 3 season porch. Oh yeah, we'll have to get patio furniture too.

3. Owning a house is expensive.

4. I really like gardening and playing in the dirt.

5. Cottage cheese is a fantastic breakfast.

6. I feel so old with a home phone number. Who knew?

7. Changing your address gets you Pottery Barn coupons.

8. Clutter makes me stressed & crazy.

9. I have to take the MN driver's test today. It's known as the "knowledge" test. BWAHAHA!!!

10. I'm going to laugh if I don't pass the test...

Happy Tuesday!!


Ahh... The Beach...

Donkey Beach, K'auai - we rode there on rented bikes. I totally felt like a 12 year old.

By the way - these pics are for Bess Wess, Robyn, Spartacus' Momma and those that want to actually see our vacation pictures. No, I will not comment on each of them...
Donkey Beach - the waves were AMAZING. Between 8 - 10 feet tall. The surfers were just AWESOME.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA... I have to laugh. I don't think we've ever looked so dumb. I was totally freaking out (though I was silent about it) when I stopped concentrating on the steps and started seeing the ground 100 feet below me). Scary.
LONGBOARD. I'm looking for this beer. And I can't find it in Minneapolis? Anyone have any idea of where I could find a specialty beer?

Ok, promise... the new house will be next!


Coffee??? How do I make it?

I'm a horrible coffee maker. How does everyone make coffee??? I follow the directions - 2 tablespoons per 6 oz of water. BUT, it always turns out kinda gross. What the heck am I doing wrong? How do I perfect the art of coffee making?

In Hawaii we had the best Kona and K'auai coffee. It was amazing. So I bought some to make at home and um, I'm not doing it correctly!

BTW - we have a Krups 12 cup coffeemaker. It looks like this:


OMG. I'm back. Finally.

Geez, it's been a long journey.

We bought a house. Pictures to come.

I got a job. No pictures to come.

I'm gardening. OMG. I can't believe I bought dirt today. For $1.99. And I'm even going to plant bulbs, anyone got any good ideas for a shade garden?

We have internet. After about a week and a half. And DVR. Woo hoo!

And a home phone. That's way too weird for my generation.

I have a kitchen that's the color of the sea. Yes. And I also drink Kona coffee. And only coffee that's Hawaiian. Unless it's local.

And um, well, that's the news so far.

I still gotta upload my pictures of the house and some food that I've made so far.

Coming up:

1. My New House
2. Cumin Dusted Chicken with Onions & Potatoes
3. Help Me With a Shade Garden