Connect Menu


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Roasted Green Beans

I like my vegetable dishes to be fresh, simple and seasoned. I believe some people dislike vegetables because they have only had unseasoned or mushy vegetables which is exactly what you get if you just steam them or cook them stove top too long with no seasoning.

I was in charge of 2 vegetable dishes for Thanksgiving and quickly chose Roasted Green Beans from Skinnytaste for one. First of all green beans are a staple at a big Thanksgiving but traditional green bean casserole is so last year. And second I think vegetable dishes should at least be pretty healthy... there are plenty of other dishes in the unhealthy category so gotta balance that out.

We will definitely be adding this to our list of frequently made veggies sides.

Roasted Green Beans
by Skinnytaste, serves 4, 62 calories per cup

-12 oz green beans, trimmed - I used more since this was for Thanksgiving with 12 adults and 4 kids
-2 tsp olive oil
-kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
-1/4 tsp garlic powder
-1 1/2 tbsp shredded parmesan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil. Lay out green beans and and drizzle olive oil over them. Instead of drizzling olive oil I sprayed using my oil mister so it was an even coat. Seriously one of the best tools in my kitchen. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Feel free to change up the seasonings to what you like. Toss to coat evenly and spread out green beans. Place on lower third section of your oven. Bake 10 min, shake pan to turn and bake another 5 min. Remove and sprinkle with grated parmesan.

Since this only took 15 min in the oven it was great to pop in during the time when the turkey was resting on the counter and being carved so it did not take up oven space while the turkey was in.

Many people there were very interested in what I was doing with the green beans. I guess roasting vegetables is not as common as I think. You have no idea what you are missing... start roasting your vegetables (with seasoning of course)! They will be tender and crisp!

This was the only side item where there was not enough left to even save. Mission accomplished!

I will definitely share my other vegetable side dish with you soon!

Linking up at these fun parties

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Clemson Family Weekend

At the beginning of October my parents came to visit and we went down to Clemson for the Ga Tech game for what has now become an annual tradition of having both our families go to a game. Hopefully Keith and Megan can come next year.

We stayed at the usual condo we rent right near the interstate in Anderson. On Friday afternoon we walked around downtown for just a little bit because I wasn't feeling super awesome. I had come down with a cold 2 days before. Perfect timing I know. And to top it off I forgot my camera. I was not happy about this because yall know how I am about my camera and taking pictures but luckily we got Eric's parents to bring their point and shoot so I could still get some pictures.

This is the jacket getting smashed. I love when they paint the store windows downtown.

We arrived at the tailgate around 9am. We always tailgate at Strom Thurmond for my Clemson reunion weekend so we have done that for family weekend too. Our niece, Abby, was a ball of energy at the tailgate and that's an understatement Apparently she woke up Mimi and Papaw at 5am saying "aren't we going to Clemson today?". She was super pumped just like last year.

Abby also drew a picture for me and spelled my name "Emule". Pretty funny. In all seriousness I know it's kind of a thing (definitely not my kind of thing) to spell kids names different than the traditional way so it wouldn't surprise me if somewhere out there someone named their baby girl Emily but spelled it like that. Sorry Emule, blame your too trendy parents.

Other than getting a few photos I mainly just relaxed (due to aforementioned cold) in the nice weather in the shade. We did breakfast food (pumpkin bread, fruit, ham biscuits) and later lunch food (chips and veggies with dip, pasta salad, turkey wraps, brownies) since it was a 3:30 game.

It actually got fairly warm in the game but not unbearable like some of those September games especially with the clouds. As far as the upper deck goes, our seats were great. Not too far up and on the 45 yard line.

And Abby lasted until halftime which was impressive since she refused to nap. Last year she only made it through the first quarter barely before she was ready to do something else. Maybe next year she will be able to last the whole game.

We had a great time especially with a Tiger win!

We were so glad my parents were able to come up to visit and they were also able to see our new lot since we had just signed the contract to build. Can't wait for the 3rd annual family Clemson game!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to make easy cloth napkins

This is a great project for someone just starting to sew or anyone wanting a simple sewing project. The sewing is not hard and the only hard part is the time consuming ironing. Not kidding on the ironing.

How to make easy cloth napkins

You need:
cotton fabric - amount depending on how many napkins and size (read step 1)
usual sewing tools: scissors, ruler, pins

Here are the steps to complete a napkin. Repeat each step for however many napkins you are making.

Step 1: Cut your fabric for your napkins accounting for seam allowance of 3/4 inch on all 4 sides. I cut my fabric 14 inches by 14 inches so the finished napkin would be 12.5 inches by 12.5 inches. I think napkins that are much smaller than that are not really very useful but you can go bigger if you want.

Step 2: Time for ironing. With the wrong side facing up, fold back 3/4 inch on each side and iron well. Then turn the raw edge of the 3/4 inch under 1/4 inch so you are left with 1/2 inch and no raw edges. This is easier than doing the 1/4 and then the 1/2 because you can be more precise with your first fold and it stays in place a little better (tip from my mama).

3/4 inch

then turning the 3/4 in by 1/4 to get your 1/2 inch

Step 3: Pin in place. I pin each side after I am done ironing before moving onto the next side to better hold it all in place.

Step 4: Now you get to use the sewing machine! Sew each side with a straight stitch along where you have it turned under twice so it catches all the layers... so more than 1/4 inch from the edge but less than 1/2 inch. It doesn't have to be perfectly exact on each side... no one will be scrutinizing your napkins or if so maybe you need some new friends :)  Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of each side.

pardon the lighting.. I was sewing at night

Step 5: Cut all your stray threads and you now have completed napkins to enjoy!

Make some for every season! I haven't made these in other fabrics besides cotton which is usually most affordable but I'm sure linen and outdoor fabric as well as some others would work too... just ask the people at your fabric store.

A set of napkins would be a great holiday gift or hostess gift along with some baked goodies or wine. And you are reducing paper waste too! And after using the cloth napkins you can have some fun playing Mr. Napkin Head. That part of the The Holiday cracks me up every time.


Hope this helps you make some great easy napkins!

Linking up at these fun parties

Monday, November 19, 2012

3 Days in Seattle: Day 3

This was our final full day in our Pac NW adventure.

Day 1  Day in Vancouver  Day 2

That morning we grabbed a bus over to the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Seattle's most populated residential area, to stroll around. We quickly came upon the famous Dick's Drive In on Broadway that has been operating since 1954. No, we did not eat there because gallbladderless Emily + any greasy food = never a good combination. But I did snap a picture and smell the delicious burgers and fries.

The neighborhood was quaint and had lots of interesting shops and restaurants we walked by.

There was a "best walk" suggested in a travel guide of taking (from Broadway) Roy St. to Harvard Ave to Highland for a nice stroll among gorgeous trees and homes. Some of Seattle's millionaires live in that area.

Wonder who lives here...

Lots of luscious greenery. And check out my fun new hat and new tunic (well not actually new but new to me from my mama)! Great for a day of exploring.

We then walked through Volunteer park and took a quick break there before heading to the nearby Volunteer Park Conservatory. It was filled with tons of beautiful flowers and plants. I can't imagine how awesome it must be in the spring.


Then it was about time for lunch so we took a short walked to Volunteer Park Cafe. It was a cute little place and was pretty busy. I had the chicken salad sandwich and Eric had the herb roasted chicken arugula mozzarella panini. Both were yummy and just the right amount.

Next we walked to the bus stop and took a couple of buses to get to the Space Needle. You didn't think we could visit Seattle without doing that right? And what is better than 1 trip up... 2 trips up! We went ahead and bought the twice in a day pass for just a few bucks more so we could visit again that night.

We easily spotted the apartments we were staying at to the north of the space needle.

Great 360 degree views. We were so thankful for a clear day.

After taking it all in and looking around at the rest of the outdoor Space Needle area on ground level, we decided to walk back to the apartment. It was not far but it was uphill the whole way. We stopped part way to get a shot of the Gates Foundation.

We relaxed the rest of the afternoon and got ready for dinner.  During my research seeing that Little Water Cantina was voted Best Neighborhood Restaurant and Best Place for Outdoor Dining it was an easy decision especially since we love mexican. We took a couple of buses to get to an area above Capitol Hill called Eastlake where the restaurant was.

All the food was wonderful but they had the best guacamole we've ever had at a restaurant. And we have sure tasted a lot of guacs. Yep those are green onions on top... may just have to add those next time I make some. The homemade chips were different than any we had ever tasted too. They were crispy and light but sturdy and nothing like tortilla chips. They somehow tasted a little like the leftover pie crust my mom use to bake during the holidays for us to snack on. Whatever it is they do, they were amazing!

Then we were off to the Space Needle again for our night visit.

Different but equally great view and feeling at night.

We are a little bit bright in this picture but I still like it to show it was pretty windy and chilly up there at night.

The next morning we flew back to Charlottle so this concludes our wonderful extended Labor Day weekend trip! We successfully avoided all Democratic Nat'l Convention craziness. Hope you enjoyed reading and that this helps anyone planning a trip to Seattle (with a day trip to Vancouver)!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

LaForce Likes #26

For inspiration for our new home, I have been watching HGTV while I workout using our cycle bike. I have been watching a lot of Property Brothers and while the same plot is repeated over and over, I like it just for the designs they come up with. I like seeing the end product with the perfectly designed layout, furniture, paint and accessories.

One episode included a great bold painted powder room so I did some searching to figure out the paint color. I stumbled upon a resource guide for every episode! It has details about all the products from flooring to paint to art. So happy to see they are sharing this information so I thought in this LaForce Likes I would pass that onto you!

I couldn't find a picture of the bold powder room but I found a picture of the kitchen they renovated from that same episode that turned out great! Love the white cabinets!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

3 Days in Seattle: Day 2

Previous Days:
Day 1
Day in Vancouver

On day 2 in Seattle (day 3 of our overall trip) we grabbed 2 buses to get from the Queen Anne area where we were staying to get to the Ballard area. One note about the buses in Seattle is that they are consistently different from the schedule. If you have to be somewhere at a certain time I would allow extra time. For the most part we did not so it wasn't a big deal.

Upon arriving in the Ballard area we headed straight to the Ballard Locks which is free. We walked through a nice park on our way to the locks. At the time I had high hopes of hubby merging these 2 pictures so we were actually standing side by side in the same photo but I haven't remember to ask him about it since.

It was neat to read about how the locks separate the Puget Sound and the lakes. It is there to prevent the mixing of the salt water and fresh water and to maintain correct water levels of the lakes and move boats from the lakes to the Puget Sound. Here you can see boats lined up waiting to cross over.

Salmon also migrate through the locks through something called the fish ladder. They hatch in lakes and migrate to sea and then later return to the lakes to starting the cycle all over again.

We saw a seal and named him Sammy. We hoped he would come closer so we waited awhile taking in the view but he didn't return. Camera shy little guy.


After that we rode the buses back to the apartment and had lunch there.

Then we took the bus downtown and walked around for a bit and stopped to get Trophy Cupcakes! I had Snickerdoodle and Eric had a Chocolate Salted Caramel. This is where the new lens really shined! They were heavenly! I am a sucker for cinnamon flavor :)

Of course Eric found a nearby penguin sculpture thingy.


Then we hopped on another bus to the International District area of town.

Jackson St.

I wanted to see the Panama Hotel. This hotel was around during WWII and separated the Chinese and Japanese parts of town which was a large part of the Seattle population.. During that time most Japanese were forced to leave and stay in camps in other states until the war was over due to fear of their loyalty to Japan even though many of them were American born. If you have read the book The Corner of Bitter and Sweet you will know what I am talking about with the hotel being important.

From there we walked to the docks to board the Ferry to West Seattle. One of my to-do items in Seattle was to ride on a ferry.

This ferry was just a 15 minute ride. I had read about a park in West Seattle with spectacular views of the city close to where this ferry dropped off.

We did have quite the hike uphill but Hamilton Viewpoint Park views were amazing. Yes I used the tripod.

I wish we could have stayed til the sun completely set but we wanted to catch the last ferry back and go to dinner. Especially since Eric tried to eat the city.

I did get a few good shots on the ferry back too.


Earlier in the day we made reservations at an Italian place east of downtown recommended by a coworker, La Spiga. I had gnocchi and Eric had lasagna. It was very delicious and I would recommend it. Even worth the 20 minute seriously uphill walk from the ferry dock, and that was with us hustling. At least we didn't feel bad about eating carbs after that :)

After we took a cheap fixed fair cab (buses weren't running as frequently in this area) back to the Queen Anne area to take a few night shots at Kerry Park with the tripod. What a pretty night!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...