Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spicy Black Bean and Grilled Pineapple Tacos

Oh my. Oh my. These are FREAKING fab! I saw a recipe for Grilled Pineapple Tacos from and was intrigued. Of course, I had to add more to it: spicy black beans, fresh diced tomato, organic shredded white cheddar cheese, slices of avocado. DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY! What is not to LOVE?

Spicy Black Bean and Grilled Pineapple Tacos

*One can spicy black beans (or you can make your own spicy black beans if you are inclined)
*Pineapple rings (I bought mine fresh in the produce section. I wouldn't used canned rings, too syrupy.)
*Whole Wheat Tortillas
*One avocado, sliced
*One tomato, diced
*Shredded organic cheddar cheese
*Shredded lettuce (I used Mache but use whatever you like best)

Heat the black beans in a saucepan.

Meanwhile, while beans are heating, grill your pineapple rings. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Put pineapple rings on pan, grill for five minutes. Spray rings with cooking spray and flip, grilling for another five minutes. Set aside when brown and carmalized.

Heat tortillas.

Cut pineapple rings into tidbits. Assemble your tacos and enjoy!

Style Icon: Hilary Duff (AGAIN)

Before you all become alarmed that I am becoming obsessed with Hilary Duff, are right. I am obsessed with this woman's STYLE. I totally love the way she rocks a scarf in any season. In fact, I bought a scarf at Ann Taylor during a *minor* shopping binge incident last March (I have been clean ever since, however, but I digress) and get compliments every time I wear it. In fact, here is another scarf from Ann Taylor that is just delicious:

I LOVE! this! What a nice pop of color against a white T-shirt or tank, or black T-shirt or tank! The possibilities are endless! So that would totally justify a purchase, right?

Oh, okay, it doesn't and I know I will LIVE! without it. Kind of like the vest from Lisa Rinna's store I blogged about. Sigh.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sauteed Mushrooms & Fennel over Polenta

So Sara Snow had this recipe on her blog for polenta with local mushrooms and greens that sounded intriguing. I read through it, and of course, began changing it. You know, because I like to pretend I am Katie Lee/Giada/Other Food Network celebrity.

I added some fresh fennel, sliced thin, and some fennel seeds to the mushroom and onion mixture. I omitted the greens and leeks, favoring a fresh Mache salad on the side. Then I used prepared quiona polenta, the greatest invention ever, sliced it and baked it. Then I topped it with the sauteed mushrooms and fennel, sauteed with port, and viola! A totally vegeterian meal that, if you ask me, is restaurant quality.

People this one is easy. The only buzz kill is that you have to chop a lot but I promise it is not hard.

Sauteed Polenta with Mushrooms and Fennel

*1 tube prepared polenta (You can find this in the pasta aisle in many flavors. I opted for Quiona Polenta but regular/flavored polenta works just fine.)
*2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
*1 medium onion, sliced thin
*2 Fennel bulbs, fronds (fern part) cut off; bulbs sliced into thin strips/pieces
*1 teaspoon of fennel seed
*1-2 pounds of mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas)
*4 cloves of garlic, minced
*1 tablespoon of rosemary, chopped
*1/2 cup of red wine or port
*Salt and pepper

Slice your polenta into 1/2 inch thick slices. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 15-30 minutes, until hot and a little bit crunchy on outside. (I sprayed the tops of my polenta slices with cooking spray to achieve this)

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add onions, fennel, and fennel seed and saute for 7-10 minutes, until the onions and fennel are starting to brown and are soft. Add the mushrooms, garlic, rosemary and saute 5 minutes more. Season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Add wine and cook until almost entirely evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Serve over polenta rounds. Toss a green salad with olive oil, balsamic, and fresh parmesean cheese and serve on the side. Enjoy!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Seriously, how cute is Sara Snow?

This girl is cute. And she lives green. I'm totaly jealous.

This book is on my wish list. Perhaps it is possible to have Casa de Wendy be Green and chemical free? I'm going to pick up a used copy and see if I can get past Chapter One...

Giggle Better Basics Cleaning Products

So Giggle is like the hippest, coolest, baby store EVER. Modern pieces, organic clothes...and now natural cleansers for the home. While I am no Sara Snow (the cute, bubbly, go-green organic hostess of Get Fresh & Living Fresh With Sara Snow, I do want to reduce chemicals in my casa. We'll talk about eliminating the clutter and crap piles in another post.) And these products look great! This one works on carpets, bedlinens, etc. There's a cleaner just for toys, laundry soap, etc. Love!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Today's Recipe: Whipped Sweet Potatoes

So last night I tried a new recipe from Jillian Michaels' Master Your Metabolism Cookbook. It was for smashed, skin on sweet potatoes. I really wanted to like this--it had healthy coconut milk, skin on potatoes, etc. But sadly, I must report that I did not. I didn't like the texture with the skins on and chunks. Ick.

And I *really* do think sweet potatoes need some sweetener to taste really well.

But I got to thinking, what if I used coconut milk and added some maple syrup or agave to my whipped sweet potatoes? I made a second batch and these were so yummy. LOVE!

Don't have coconut milk? No worries--I have provided a substitute below.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

*Four medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
*1/2 cup plain coconut milk OR 2 tablespoons of butter
*Two tablespoons of agave nectar or maple syrup or brown sugar
*1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Put sweet potatos in saucepan of water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 15 minutes. (Test with fork for doneness--they should be soft.)

When sweet potatoes are done, drain off water and put the potatoes in a food processor. Puree. After they have started to puree, add coconut milk/butter, cinnamon, and sweetener of your choice.

Done. Easy. And you have a healthy homemade side in less than 20 minutes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH! Lisa Rinna's shop, Belle Gray, just posted this photo on Facebook. I want this. I really really really want this. My credit card is itching. I'm getting hives. What is an extra $162 on top of a mountain of debt? I would be fab in this! FAB!

Okay. Deep breath. Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breath. This is a WANT and not a NEED.

But if you all NEED it call Belle Gray fast!!!

I will live if I don't have this.
I will.
I will.
Repeating this and locking credit card in work drawer now....

STYLE ICON FAB FIND: House of Harlow by Nicole Richie

Oh, how I do *adore* the House of Harlow Jewelry collection by Style Icon Nicole Richie! Beautiful pieces (and some in Peacock designs, my newest obsession!) and Piperlime even has some on sale this week. (But not the neclace above, however, sigh.)

But cool pieces that are timeless? LOVE!

Monday, May 17, 2010

This Woman Kicked My Ass Tonight

This is Cathe. She looks all sweet and harmless, but she is a Grade A ass-kicker on this workout I did tonight! Oy vey! 51 minutes of cardio drills and ab work. So you are sucking wind for three cardio burst exercises, repeated twice, then you get to drop down to the mat for core work. I hung on until the last two minutes before collapsing on a heap on my mat, gasping for breath while my skin struggled to go from fire engine red back to the pale sickly color it is naturally. Wait. Let's just call that "Nicole Kidman" fair because that sounds more attractive.

Anyhoo, I was spent. So why do I let this woman torture me so?

A) It's a freaking fab workout. This WILL get you into shape.
B) It's cardio capacity building
C) I am a hypochondriac. I obsess about my heart health. Do you *really* think I work this hard so I can rock short shorts? Oh hell no. I'm way to old for that look anyway.

Farmers' Market Salad with Buttermilk Vinaigrette

I will post a picture of the actual salad later, but last night I ate the perfect summer salad (and yes, technically it is not summer yet but when Central Market is full of heriloom tomatoes? Oh yes it is summer in my kitchen!)

I used a mix of baby heirloom tomatoes, fresh greens, corn from the cob and made a healthy, lite Buttermilk Vinaigrette (adapted from a recipe found on Martha Stewart's webpage.) We had it with BBQ roasted chicken for a delicious Sunday meal.

Farmers' Market Salad with Buttermilk Vinaigrette

For the Vinaigrette:
*1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
*2 Tablespoons white whine vinegar (I used Pinot Grigio Vinegar)
*2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*Fresh ground pepper
*1/2 tsp coarse salt if you like (I omitted)
*1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (I think basil would be fantastic, too.)

*Whisk all above ingredients together. Done. Easy!

Now, make a salad with the following:
*Fresh organic greens
*sliced grape, cherry or heirloom tomatoes (the more colors the *prettier* the salad will be. Presentation is EVERYTHING people!)
*One orange bell pepper, diced
*Two ears of corn, corn scraped off the cob using a sharp knife.
*One avocado, cubed

Toss together. Put on plates. Drizzle with your vinaigrette. Grind fresh pepper over the top. Again, look at the veggie count--whooo hooo you have varied your vegetables like the USDA Pyramid tells you to. Don't know what the pyramid is? Here's a link for everyone who wants to learn:

And that concludes the health portion of the blog today. :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Style Icon: Hilary Duff

I am really LOVE!ing this look by Hilary Duff. Maxi dress, sandals, scarf, big bag...Ms. Duff really knows how to rock her accessories and this is a *perfect* look for summer. I.want.this.outfit. And this concludes my fashion public service announcement of the day.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Teresa's Salsa Cruda is Greatness

I freaking LOVE! this cookbook! LOVE LOVE LOVE! I made the salsa cruda (a raw sauce) and it is divine on top of a fresh salad. I tweaked the recipe from Teresa's a bit--used multi colored grape tomatoes; added black olives, left out the parsley and used some fresh oregano, substituted a sprinkle of garlic powder for fresh garlic. Enjoy!

Wendy's Version of Salsa Cruda

*Two cups of grape tomatoes, sliced in half (I used red and orange ones)
*1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
*2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh oregano leaves
*1/4 tsp garlic powder OR 1 garlic clove, minced
*1/2 tsp salt
*Couple of grinds of fresh black pepper
*1/4 cup olive oil
*1/4 cup black Nicoise olives, halved

Combine everything in a mixing bowl. Gently toss with your hands. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Enjoy over pasta, on top of a salad, etc.

The Bachelorette is BACK May 24

And color me stunned, she is not wearing yellow...

Ann Taylor has a *fab* Tote

This is FAB. And that is my public service announcement of the day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I need a Sangria Pitcher

I didn't know I *needed* a Sangria Pitcher until I saw this one on La Tienda's webpage. Cute, no?

La Tienda is a store that carries all kinds of stuff from Spain. LOVE! the catalog and website: Ole!

Fun Find: Lisa Rinna Dance DVDs

Okay, so I must say this upfront: I *heart* Lisa Rinna. I have ever since she appeared as Billie Reed on Days of Our Lives. She has hair...and a really kick ass body.

Which leads me to her DVD collection she made after doing Dancing With the Stars (another LOVE! of mine but that's a post for another day.) I found this one really cheap on like $4--and thought, why not? I got it and what can I say but FAB FUN FUN FUN! On this DVD, I have so far mastered the rumba and the paso doble (Oooooh really fun! It's a mad angry dance and what's not to love about that?) She breaks them down really slow and solo at first, then you go slow, medium, and fast with Lisa and a dance class.

Now, I have no illusions that this DVD will give me Lisa's body, but I broke a sweat and had a blast. I highly recommend this if you want to do something fun at home. Love you Lisa Rinna! Thank you!

You will need this for today's recipe

I am so in LOVE! with So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk! It's light, it's yummy, and it is perfect for the recipe o' the day today.

Berry-Banana Breakfast Smoothie

*1 scoop of whey protein powder (I used vanilla flavored)
*1 cup of Vanilla So Delicious Coconut Milk (you can save sugar by using unsweetened)
*1/2 cup of frozen cranberries (Can use any other frozen berry of your choice)
*1/2 cup frozen blackberries (ditto above)
*1 banana

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend.

So there you go. Now you have a very thick, filling breakfast shake. If you don't like your shake as thick, cut the banana in half and put the other half in the freezer for tomorrow's shake.

I love this because you can sip it while sitting on the freeway in hideous Dallas traffic. Or you can drink this one-handed so for all of my mommy pals, you CAN have breakfast while holding a newborn in the other arm!! No excuses. You know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So shake it up and start off with a protein kick. And now you have achieved a couple of servings of fruit, too. Well done!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Henry Cavill can come over for kuchen...ANYTIME.

Okay, so it might be completely wrong for a few weeks shy of 40 woman to think a man born in 1983 is HOT. (I know my younger readers are going "EEEEEEEEEEEWH" right now but an old lady can dream, right? Right!)Mr. Cavill is currently playing Charles Brandon on The Tudors. And I get this eye candy every Sunday night, hurrah!

Anyhoo, Mr. Paco knows he is on the approved marriage deal-breaker list. You know, in case Mr. Cavill has interested in a middle aged lady with tot in tow. It could happen. And if it did, he could have any kind of kuchen he wanted in my kitchen.

Ooooooooooooooooooooh I LOVE!

Okay, I totally lied. I am back before Thursday because I feel COMPELLED to share this with you all. (And it's a slow day at the office and I should be filing, but I digress.)

I LOVE! This Peacock Cuff from Anthropologie. It is FAB, yes yes? But being that I am on a financial diet after a complete binge this spring, it shall remain at Anthropologie. Sigh. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. Sigh.

I'm blogging!

Okay, so I had a blog before which I completely abandonded in 2009, I am starting anew with this one--Kaffee and Kuchen. Hopefully I will be able to stick with this like I am somehow able to stick with watching every episode of The Bachelor. (An amazing skill I have, I know.)

Speaking of The Bachelor, why do I even bother watching The Bachelor when I always go over to Reality Steve's web page, read EXACTLY what is going to happen, and then watch the show anyway? When I could be putting my time to better use like canning vegetables and providing my family with nutritious food?

Wait. I don't know how to can vegetables so that's probably why I watch The Bachelor. But I digress. I'm the girl who reads the last page of a book first. I've got to know what happens. GOT TO. Yes. I am that girl.

Have a fantastic Wednesday and will be back with a recipe tomorrow. But don't expect a photo with it, that's way too ambitious for me in the middle of the week. :)