Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy Memorial Day - How to Cut a Watermelon

Memorial Day = food and fun.
It seems this weekend is the official kick off to summer activities....boating, pool, fishing and summer foods....burgers, corn, ice cream :)

I thought I would share one of my favs when it comes to summer cuisine...
You can't deny it, watermelon just hits the spot on those HOT, 100% humidity days.

It also hits the spot after a good long fact, I'm munching on and rehydrating myself with it now! Did you know watermelon is about 92% water!
health benefits:

Contains more lycopene than any other fresh fruit of veggie.

Vitamin A found in watermelon is important for optimal eye health, can help prevent night-blindness, and boosts immunity by enhancing the infection-fighting actions of white blood cells called lymphocytes.

Vitamin B6 found in watermelon is used by the body to manufacture brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which preliminary research shows may help the body cope with anxiety and panic.

Vitamin C in watermelon can help to bolster the immune system's defenses against infections and viruses and can protect a body from harmful free radicals that can accelerate aging and conditions such as cataracts.

How to select a good watermelon:
Look it over. Is it firm and symmetrical? Is it free from bruises, cuts or dents?
Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for it's size.
Turn it over. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

How to cut a watermelon: (I learned this technique after watching a vendor at the NCAA National track meet in DSM) very slick
1. slice the watermelon into two halves.

2. trim the bottom off of both halves.

3. slice down the side of the watermelon. just enough to trim the rind off and not waste a lot of the heavenly nectar.

4. slice through the watermelon so you have about 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick slices.

5. repeat going the other direction and you get these fries-like slices. J and I find it fun eating the watermelon like this...actually, anything you have eat with you fingers is fun.
6. if you would like more cube-like slices, simply take your knife horizontally through the middle of the watermelon. YUM!

You don't see these varieties everyday - square and watermelon. Man, I though it was a big deal when they came out with seedless!

Until next time...

look good, feel good, do good

Friday, May 28, 2010

First Grill Out of the Season!

Yesterday was the perfect day for J and I's first grill out of the season!
One the menu: seasoned pork chops and sweet potato fries

first, though we had to dust off the grill by burning out the wasp nest that had formed do you like your wasp? medium? charred?
and clearing out the birds nest underneath (don't worry, there were no birdies in it)

I seasoned the pork chops with Chicago Steak seasoning from Penzeys Spices
(see blog labels: spices)

I drizzled olive oil and Cookies seasoning on the sweet potato slices

Lightly spray pan and place sweet potatoes on the grill first as they take a little longer to cook than the chops

J's Kitchen

mmmmm.....a big side salad with white Northern beans and craisins. dressing: lemon olive oil, red wine vinegar and a sprinkle of Stevia.
Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Peyton's 2nd Birthday Party

Peyton's turns 2!

One of Mom's many cake creations!

Peyton helped her dad set up the bouncy pin....

she decided it was hard work and needed a break

Peyton shared her gifts with Neikco
she's ready to roll now with her very own 4 wheeler
Happy Birthday Peyton!
to come...strawberry banana smoothies and zucchini bread
Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Solon Track - State Champs

Coach Sands, Coach Dan, Coach Joe (not pictured) and I are proud coaches...........
Solon girl's track
Not only did the girls win, but the boys took the title as well! Talk about domination!
But first, the road to the title...
road trippin' and rockin' out with a van full of girls!
Cheering our Solon Spartans on!

4x200 after they won the relay! 4x100 went on to win as well!
my first track coach way back in 5th grade...Father Kirby (his team, Dowling, went on to place 2nd in 4A)
congratulating the girls after anxiously awaiting the final meet scores

chatting with the 4x400 who finished off the meet and helped bring home the title
this was a complete team effort and I am soooo proud of everyone!
oh...did I mention we TIED...can you believe it!?
Hey, we don't mind sharing the title with Gilbert as long as we don't have to share a trophy :)

Coach Sands congratulating Gilbert
the seniors, the hurdlers
of course Jeremy and my dad came out to support the team

Abby (my cooking buddy) and I

the hurdlers surprised me with a "We Will Miss You" sign :(

I can not express how proud and honored I am to have coached Solon girls track. It was beyond my expectations and am blessed to have had the experience. They are true champions on and off the track. I was impressed with how much class, work ethic, and unity the ladies and school displayed.
Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good