Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A little behind on Menu Monday and a blog feature

I have had my days all mixed up this week with the Memorial Day holiday on Monday. I know its already Wednesday but here's our menu for this week.

Monday: Stout-glazed pork ribs with grilled asparagus and pasta salad
Tuesday: Grilled mahi-mahi with roasted broccoli and rice pilaf
Wednesday: Chicken and veggie kabobs
Thursday: Talipia with sauteed zucchini and tomatoes
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we have plans with my parents and brother.

The ribs were amazing. We used a Guinness in the marinade and I was really worried it would taste strongly of the beer but they didn't. They were perfect and very juicy.

Also, I'm super excited because one of my posts was featured on another blog today. Go check out Sugar Bee Crafts and take a peek at all the amazing projects out there.

Sugar Bee Crafts

I'm looking forward to posting about some projects I'm working on for the nursery soon. I'm really excited about them and hope to share when I complete them


Monday, May 20, 2013

Summer Fun and Menu Monday

We decided instead of getting Lily a bunch of toys she didn't need for her first birthday we would make her an outdoor play area. I started looking for inspiration and found a ton of ideas on Pinterest. We knew that she was going to get a little swing/slide set from my brother and we knew we wanted to build her a sand box. So we started there. I had seen several ideas about a chalkboard. I really liked the idea of having a chalkboard outside so I wouldn't have to deal with the chalk in the house. Making a chalkboard is so simple. We bought a board from Home Depot that was already the right size and simply sanded it down and painted it with chalkboard paint. I also found an idea for an outdoor finger-painting station which I thought was genius. We found a small piece of plexiglass and Daniel made a stand using a 4x4 that he cut in half. We finished out the area with a water table (another gift from my brother) and a little grill set from my parents. We decided to add a canopy over the sandbox. We have zero shade in our backyard so we definitely needed something. I found some outdoor fabric on the clearance rack at Joann's. It was perfect. We used some metal fence posts covered with some PVC pipes for the canopy. It worked out great. Here's a picture of the finished project

I love the way it  turned out. There's still a few little decorative things I want to do but all the important things are done and ready for some summertime play.

It's also Menu Monday. Here it is:

Hummus-crusted Chicken
Chicken, Bacon, Avocado Chopped Salad
Grilled Steak Fajitas
Crab Leg Boil
Grilled Mahi Mahi

I wanted to follow-up to last week's menu. We tried a few new recipes and I thought I would share my opinions. The pizzadillas were great. Daniel and Lily loved them. These were so simple and yummy. We tried grilled Mahi Mahi for the first time last week and as you can probably guess we loved it. It made the list again this week. Unfortunately, the spaghetti squash cakes that we had with the fish last week will not be making the cut. The pictures looked so good but something went horribly wrong with mine. They were a big, gooey mess. We love spaghetti squash but it just didn't work out this time. The crispy chicken fingers were great. Very simple and very tasty. They turned out nice and crunchy. We also loved the cheeseburger salad. There were several steps but overall it was pretty easy and fairly quick. I'm horrible at not fully reading the instructions before starting and sometimes the timing gets all off but it worked out. Overall, we had a great menu last week. I'm really looking forward to this week's menu as well.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ireland Trip Part 2 (Finally!)

It's been almost 2 years since our trip so I guess I should finish the posts about our trip. It was an amazing trip. I shared some of the photos from our trip on a previous post

Daniel at the Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Scenery from the Dingle Penisula drive
We flew into Shannon, Ireland and drove up to see the Cliffs of Moher before heading to our first of many B&B's. We stayed in Tralee the first night and drove down to Dingle on day 2. The drive the first day was pretty hard for Daniel. We left New York City at 6:30pm and got to Shannon when it was 5am Ireland time. It was really hard to sleep on the plane so we were pretty much going on about 36 hours of no sleep. We made it to the B&B in Tralee though and took a much needed nap. We ate at a little pub in town and I had the best BLT I have EVER eaten. The bacon in Ireland is more like what we would call ham (kind of). It's really thick and really, really good. We left Tralee on day 2 to drive through Dingle on our way to Waterville. Like I mentioned in Part 1, we loved, loved, loved Dingle. It was so beautiful.
Scenery from Ring of Kerry drive

Puffins on Skellig Michael
Waterville, Ireland
On the boat after seeing Skellig Michael
Going back down the 600 steps we climb to get to the top of Skellig Michael

On day 3, we took a trip out to Skellig Michael just off the Southern coast of Ireland. If you ever make it to Ireland, you really should consider going out to the Skelligs. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip. The trip out to the Skelligs takes up pretty much the whole day. We didn't plan for this when I made our reservations at our Bed and Breakfasts. We ended up having to drive to Kinsale after leaving the Skelligs. We got there much later than I had really planned. This was probably the only part of the trip when things got a little heated. We were exhausted from our excursion and we had a hard time finding B&ampB. Needless to say, we were both pretty flustered by the time we actually checked in at our B&B. Kinsale was a lovely little town and after we calmed down and rested a bit, we had a great night. We ate at a pub and one of the best meals and conversations of the entire trip.

Pub in Kilkenny that was built in 1400s
Daniel at pub in Kilkenny
Rock of Cashel

Day 4, we headed to Kilkenny. It was the only day during our time there that the weather was bad. It rained almost everyday but it would only last  for about 10 minutes and the sun would be out the whole time. On our fourth day there it was overcast and gloomy for most of the morning. So it was nice that we were just driving for that time. By the time we reached Kilkenny, it had cleared up. We spent some time walking around the city and visited a castle. We had some time to waste before we could check into our bed and breakfast so we decided to drive out to see the Rock of Cashel. I recommend visiting this as well. It was a spur of the moment decision to go and I'm so glad that we did. It was very interesting. After getting back to Kilkenny, we went to eat at a pub that was built in the 1400's. It had a very interesting history. It was established by a woman who was later accused of being a witch and ended up fleeing country. We had the most amazing dessert. It was a toffee pudding and it was delicious.

Daniel outside the Guinness brewery
View of Dublin from the top of the Guinness brewery
On day 5 we headed to Dublin. We stayed at a hotel that was built in part of an old castle. While in Dublin, we visited Trinity College and the Guinness brewery. We did a lot of walking around the city and we were so exhausted from the trip that once we got back to our room we decided to call it an early night. I was not overly impressed with Dublin. I'm glad we got to see the city but if we ever make it back to Ireland, I don't think I will visit Dublin again.

It was a whirlwind of a trip and I truly hope I can make it back there one day. There are so many areas that we didn't get to stop and see while we were driving through. It is such a beautiful country. If you ever get the chance to go, take it.

Monday, May 13, 2013

What's Cooking

So it's Menu Monday. Here it is:

Monday: Pizzadillas (pizza quesadillas)

Tuesday: Spaghetti Squash Cakes with grilled Mahi Mahi

Wednesday: Cheeseburger Salad with Oven-Fried Potato Latkes

Thursday: Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps with chips and salsa (ended up not having these last week)

Friday: Crispy Oven baked chicken strips with baked sweet potato fries

Saturday: Baked Crunchy Chicken Tacos with guacamole rice

Sunday: Cajun Tilapia with sauteed zucchini and tomatoes (another dish that we ended up not having last week)

The pizzadillas were a big hit with Daniel and Lily. I'm excited to try the cheeseburger salad and the baked crunchy chicken tacos. Of course, I will have to omit the cheese from mine so I guess I'll just be having hamburger salads.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Menu Monday on Thursday

I plan on starting Menu Monday next week but we had some of my favorite recipes this week and I wanted to share. I'm not always the greatest at planning a menu and sticking to it but I've gotten a lot better recently. It really does help you stick to your budget if you plan your meals ahead of time.

Growing up my family always went out to eat on Friday nights. A lot of times it was just to Pizza Hut or Long John Silvers. Sometimes we would go somewhere fancier. When we ate at home, we would make our plates and gather around the TV to watch our regular shows. We rarely ate at the dining room table unless we were eating at my grandparents house. After Daniel and I got married not much changed about how I did dinner. We would usually eat in the living room. Honestly, most of the time the dining table was covered in mail and what ever else we dropped on it as we came into the house. Now that we have Lily, we have started eating together at the dining room table every night for dinner. I enjoy spending this time together as a family.

We ate out probably more than we really needed to as well. Truth be told, we probably still do. We have really started cutting back on how often we eat out and when we do we usually choose the less expensive options. Honestly, if you asked either of us where we would want to go out to eat on any given day, you would probably hear Firehouse Subs or Bariola's ( a local pizza place). Occasionally, we will splurge and go out for sushi. I can't remember the last time I ate sushi though.

Now that we are a one income family, we are really trying to stick to our budget. So, I'm really trying to plan out our meals for the week and stick to it. I've been doing a lot of searching on Pinterest for new recipes to try. Like I mentioned in my last post, we are attempting to eat healthier and add more veggies and fish to our diets. I recently created a board on my pinterest account called "Winning Recipes." I decided that I needed a place to repin the recipes that we've tried and really liked. I've found that sometimes the recipes we like get lost all the pins on my normal recipe board. This week, I went back to that board when I was making out our menu. Here's what I came up with:

Monday:Chipotle Butternut Squash and cilantro lime rice bowl (new recipe)

Tuesday: Tropical Chicken Burgers with pineapple and watermelon

Wednesday: Salmon Cakes with roasted asparagus

Thursday: Bacon Avocado Pasta

Friday: Sweet Potato Burritos 

Saturday: Skillet Cajun Spiced Tilapia  (the recipe uses flounder)

Sunday: Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps (new recipe)

I made the tropical chicken burgers for my bible study group on Tuesday and they were a big hit.  When I made these the first time I posted a picture on Facebook. I've gotten so many people ask me about them.This time I added some Dijon mustard. It was a nice addition.

I can't take credit for any of the recipes. However, I rarely follow them exactly and I never measure anything unless I'm baking. So I guess you could say that I use the recipe for inspiration and then do my own tweaking. There's only been a few times when the not measuring thing didn't work out for me. The first time I made the Skillet Cajun Spiced Flounder I didn't measure the cajun seasoning. I just sprinkled it in until I thought it looked like enough and then I sprinkled a little more. (I like spicy foods.) It was good but it was definitely cajun spiced. I promised Daniel that the next time I made it I would just use what was called for in the recipe. I'm slowly getting more comfortable with just making recipes up and trying out new things. I'm just lucky because Daniel seems to like most of the things I've come up with. If he hasn't liked it, he's smart enough to not say anything and just eat it. :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wow!! It's been almosts 2 years!

So I've decided to start blogging again. It's been almost 2 years since I've posted anything. I realized that I never finished my posts on our Ireland trip so I guess I should close that out eventually. There's a lot of catching up to do.

Twenty-twelve was a big, big year in the Worthy House.

We were blessed with a baby in 2012. Lillian was born on April 12th.

I can't believe that she's already a year old. Time just goes too fast.

After having Lily, I left my job to become a stay at home mom. It's one of the best decisions I've ever made. I have absolutely love being home with Lily and I'm so lucky to have the opportunity. I really struggled with leaving my job. I had worked since I was 16 years old. So, it was odd to think that I would not have a job and be contributing to the family income. After a year of being home, I have to say, I think I work harder at home than I ever did in any job. But, this is absolutely the greatest "job" ever.

More about all that later.


In addition to writing about my life with my family, I hope to post about all the new recipes I've been trying lately. We have started trying to really limit the amount of red meats we are eating and incorporating more fish and veggies in our diets. I love looking on Pinterest for meal ideas and I have tried several new recipes that have been big hits. I have to eat dairy free for my sweet girl and that has sometimes been a challenge. She has a cow's milk allergy and I'm still nursing. Daniel as gotten pretty used to never having cheese in the house these days. It hasn't been as difficult as I had initially thought it would be. I've been eating dairy free since Lillian was 4 months old. Daniel asked me the other day what I missed most and I couldn't really think of something I missed. I guess I miss the convenience more than anything. However, it has gotten pretty easy to find dairy-free alternatives these days, even at Walmart or Target. I really only go to the natural food store in town for yogurt for Lily. I can get everything else I need at my local grocery store. I'm hoping they will respond to my request to start carrying either a soy yogurt or coconut milk yogurt. I guess I could just make my own. I haven't tried that yet.

I'm looking forward to reconnecting with the blog world and hopefully if I have any readers out there, you all will enjoy a little look into life at the Worthy House.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ireland Trip Part 1---Skelligs and Dingle

So to say I've been slacking on the blog thing is probably the understatement of the year. Its been almost a year since I posted. I can't believe it. Time just flies.

Anyway, so what have we been up to this year you may be wondering... Not too much really. Guess we are just kinda boring. We did get back recently from an amazing vacation to Ireland.

My husband posted his favorites and his disappointments on his site and I thought maybe I would share a few of mine.

I would have to say that one of the highlights of the trip for me was seeing the puffins in their natural habitat. I've always thought these were the cutest birds and I have always wanted to see one in real life. I spent a summer in Maine one year and they have puffins there but I never got to see one.

We went on a day trip out to the Skellig Islands off the southern coast of Ireland on our third day there and I finally got to see the puffins. They didn't disappoint. The Skelligs are home to thousands of birds. The country has established these islands as a nature reserve and they only allow so many people to visit per day. It was a 45 minute boat ride out to Skellig Michael. This is the larger of the two and they only one that they allow people to visit. There is a monastery at the top of the island that was founded in the 7th century by Christian monks. The huts are very well preserved and it was definitely worth the trip out and the climb up the 600 stone steps.

These are some of the huts at the top of Skellig Michael.

And yes, we climbed up 600 of these steps to make it to the top. Definitely know now just how out of shape I am.

Here I am with some puffins. We were able to get pretty close to them before they would fly off. There were hundreds out that day. The weather was amazing. I guess we were lucky because prior to our trip, Ireland had had horrible weather for like a month or so.

We left out of Portmagee for the Skelligs and on our drive into town we saw this amazing rainbow. I didn't get a picture of the whole thing but we could be exactly where the rainbow started and stopped. It was beautiful. We saw about 8 or 9 rainbows during out stay.

Another favorite part was simply the driving through the countryside. The views are beautiful. The next couple of pictures are from our drive down the Dingle Peninsula. If you ever make it over to Ireland, definitely do the drive to Dingle. Definitely one of the best parts of our trip. I know most people will drive the Ring of Kerry and we did this drive too. It had some wonderful towns and beautiful scenery but in my opinion, it didn't live up to the drive to Dingle. Stunning.

For the sake of not making this post forever long, I'll split up our trip and leave it at this for today.

Happy 4th!!!!