Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy One Year Anniversary!

August 19, 2012

One year ago today I married the love of my life. I can't believe that we're already celebrating our first anniversary! It's truly amazing how time fly's. We laugh about nothing and he humors my 1,000 plus ideas about life and the house. I'm looking forward to spending many more years together.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our wedding day.

And I now pronounce you.....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mini Eggplant Pizzas

I'm back in the kitchen and have a super easy dish! Not sure about you, but I love eggplant -- plus who doesn't love pizza? This is a healthier version and if you have kids, it's a dish that's just their size. Bonus subtract the cheese and now it's paleo.


Mini Eggplant Pizzas 

(Makes 3-4 servings or 6-8 appetizer servings, recipe adapted from one found in From Julia Child's Kitchen.)


1-2 eggplants
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons Avocado Oil
teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, oregano, parsley or thyme
10 large basil leaves
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan 
1/3 cup finely grated low-fat mozzarella blend 

Sauce Ingredients:
2-3 teaspoons avocado oil
3 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped 
8 oz petite diced tomatoes with liquid (or use 3 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning blend
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 


Pre-heat oven to 375. Cut off both ends of the eggplant; then cut it into 3/4 inch thick slices or long wedges depending on the shape and size of your eggplant. Lay the eggplant pieces on paper towels and sprinkle both sides generously with salt.  Let the eggplant sit with the salt on to draw out the liquid, about 30 minutes

While the eggplant sits, make the sauce. Heat 2-3 teaspoons of avocado oil and saute garlic just until it becomes fragrant. Add diced tomatoes, dried Italian seasoning, and dried oregano and let the sauce cook at a low simmer until it's thickened, breaking up the tomatoes as it cooks.  (Add water as needed) Keep the sauce hot by simmering at very low heat until it's needed for the eggplant slices.

After 30 minutes, wipe the eggplant dry with paper towels. Spray a roasting sheet with a non-stick spray (or use foil), lay eggplant slices on, brush the tops of the eggplant with avocado oil, and sprinkle with dried Italian seasoning.  Roast the eggplant about 25 minutes (but not so long that the slices become mushy and lose their shape).  

While the eggplant roasts, thinly slice the fresh basil leaves and combined freshly grated Parmesan and low-fat mozzarella blend. After 25 minutes or when eggplant pieces are done, remove eggplant from the oven and turn oven setting to broil. Spread a few tablespoons of sauce on the top of each eggplant slice, sprinkle with thin basil slices and top with a generous amount of cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve hot.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hiking Lake Tahoe -- Lake Winnemucca

Living in Tahoe we have the great outdoors at our fingertips and being minutes away from hiking, biking, skiing and the lake means the adventures are endless. This past weekend I finally took a few days off and enjoyed a mini staycation. Thursday, I took my brother on his first mountain bike ride and Friday Nick and I went for a short hike to Lake Winnemucca. We packed up the car, picked up sandwiches from Lira's Supermarket and headed out to the trailhead.

Lake Winnemucca Details:
LocationCarson Pass -- about 30 miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe. The trailhead is next to a parking lot on Highway 88. 
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Length: 5.0 miles (600 ft of elevation gain)
Duration: 1-3 hours (It took us about two hours with lunch)
Dog Friendly: Yes, but they must be on leash at all times. ($75 fine)
Parking Fee: $5 

We were a little late for the wildflowers, but the views didn't disappoint. 

Almost there!

First glimpse of the lake.

Of course I had to snap a photo of Roxy and I at our destination. Once at the lake we found a spot for lunch and Roxy went for a swim.

Until next weekend.

Psst: Check out Schue Love's post about hiking Lake Winnemucca with her one year old, hubby and golden reteriver.