Friends, I am such an awful blogger. I'm barely averaging once a month now. How pitiful. I've been a complete slug, otherwise, too. While I'm loving my new job, it's really kicking my butt. I work through lunch and stay late MOST days. And that is starting to take a toll on my fun time. I haven't baked anything. I haven't really taken any pictures. My book reading is suffering. Oh well, here is what has been going on lately...

1. I've lost 15 pounds! The Jillian Michaels program is definitely a winner for me. I love the recipes in her books, I love her workout DVDs. I love that I can work out and be done in 25 minutes. I also love that I can make dinner, and most of my meals for the next day, in about the same amount of time. We also got a spin bike and have been using that pretty frequently and I love it! That 15 pounds has me down a dress and pants size. Go me! Still have more to go, but at least I've made it this far.

2. I start grad school in about 3 weeks. I'm nervous but excited. And nervous. I hope I do well. Did I mention I'm nervous?

3. We're having a baby...doggy! Haha, almost got you! We recently started the process of adopting a puppy from the Middle Tennessee Golden Retriever Rescue organization. We've passed the application and home visit portions, now we just have to wait to see which pup we get! I've got my eye on a gorgeous little golden girl, but it depends on how many people are in line for a puppy. Hopefully good news on that soon!

4. We're going to paint the house. We noticed that the wood around our windows needs some TLC. Which then led to our porch, and the brick columns, and then the porch floor, and eventually the actual siding of the house. Now we just need some time and to actually do it. Big job.

........I thought I had more to update on than that. I guess not. You probably don't want to know that I have bronchitis and have been hacking up a lung for over 6 weeks (thanks, Bonnaroo) and annoying anyone within earshot of me--like my husband and work people (sorry!!).

Anyway, that's all for now. Until next month!


Out in the backyard

Hello strangers! Things have been busy around here lately. We've been tinkering around the house, working on little details and trying to get things cleaned up and decluttered. Part of this little operation included sprucing up the backyard a bit.

I knew I wanted more color out there and more lighting so I devised a little plan, and I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money.

Let me first say that I had THE best idea for a lighting solution in the history of the universe. I was so proud of what I had thought of, so we headed down to Home Depot to start picking up our supplies. We got some skinny wooden posts (2"x2", I think), some terra cotta pots, and those little bistro lights from Target.

My fabulous idea was to anchor the posts in the pots with pea gravel, then screw a small hook into the top of the post and hang my lights in perfect swoops across the patio...
This is where my idea went south. I had the posts in the pots and pots filled with the gravel. Everything seemed pretty secure. I placed my pots where I wanted them on the patio. We started to open the light packages and get ready to string the lights up. I get one in on one post and go to string the other end on the other post....and POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP!

...the weight of the strand of lights was too much for the top-heavy pots. The pots tipped over. My lights broke. Cue sad trumpet sound.

So then, my brilliant hubs, Mr. Goat, suggests that we string the lights in the trees! We get to work on this by drilling small holes into 2 trees and in the boards on the two corners of the house and screwing the little hooks into the trees and boards. We string the lights (carefully!!) and secure them with cable ties. A quick 2nd trip to Target and Home Depot and a few trips up and down the ladder later, the lights were hung!

All in all, my lighting solution (well, plan b) worked out really well. Since we no longer needed the pots for stringing the lights, we put tiki torches (that we already had!) in the pots. This means MORE light!

Now to infuse some more color back there. Green grass + green house = A LOT OF GREEN. I need some pink! Some red! Something! Other! Than! Green! So I found some pillows and some flowers...

Here is the lounge area on the right side of the patio with the new pillows...nice eh?

Care to lounge?

And of course, the hammock. This is actually a new hammock net because some hood-rat in our neighborhood decided to creep in our yard and steal our old one.
Oh well, this one is new and clean! And it needed a pillow, too...

To add more color, I decided to use every piece of real estate I could. I put some flowers and other plants in the top of my pots! These are Petunias, the tall grass is Mondo Grass, and the other plant is Sweet Potato Vine. I have no idea if it actually grows sweet potatoes. I think it turned out rather nice!

I love my lights!

I don't think the billy goat minds them one bit, either...

I think we created a really nice little outdoor space. We had our friends over for a Memorial Day cookout they all seemed to enjoy the fruits of our labor. It was really nice being able to SEE...the only light we used to have out there were 2 motion lights on our house and our neighbors house. Talk about being blinded by the light...and then 2 feet away you couldn't see your hand in front of your face! This was a definite upgrade. I would say the whole project cost us about $150--I'm not that great at keeping receipts and that was two weeks ago so I've totally forgotten everything other than the fact that we fixed up the patio.

Bye for now, and I hope to not have another whole month before my next post. Stay cool!


She Works Hard for the Money...

So hard for it, honey. She works hard for the money so you better treat her right!

And now that that's out of my system...

Wednesday marked the 1-month anniversary of being at my new job! I have to say, it is very challenging and very fulfilling. I definitely made the right choice in accepting that position. Everyone is great. Aside from all that and everything being great, we have been BUSY. So busy that I come home at least a few times a week and crawl straight into bed for a short nap. I's tired.

It's definitely been a transition, going from working at home to working in an office...8-5. It's a job in itself to get out the door and to work on time, but I'm making it work! I like being around people and it's nice to get out of the house.

HOWEVER...I must say that I can't help but feel behind in every other area of my life. I've been trying to do something to keep the house up at least every day, but like I said, I's tired. I'm so thankful to have a husband that keeps up with MORE than his share of the housework. I'm truly blessed, indeed. Also very behind in the blog world--reading and writing. But, as I check my Google Reader for what seems like the first time in weeks, I also notice that some of the blogs I subscribe to have only posted 1 or 2 times in my absence, so I try not to feel too bad. And then I decide I'll take a page out of my friend Jill's book and just subscribe to the belief that good enough is the new perfect. Fine with me!

One thing, however, that I'm happy to report that I'm NOT behind on is my health/fitness/weight-loss goal. I officially kicked Tony Horton out of my sandbox and invited Jillian Michaels over for a visit. And now we are BFF for real. I've been following the meal plan on her website and am on about a 1,250-calorie-a-day plan that was the result of a little quiz on the website. She breaks things down into different oxidizer groups (Slow, Fast, Balanced) and that determines what you eat and the breakdown of carbs, fats, and proteins of each meal. I was surprised to discover I was a Balanced Oxidizer and to find out what all that entailed since I was sure carbs would be banished from my life forever. I haven't really touched pasta or much bread since I started, but I eat a LOT of fruit. Fine with me, though. I'm always satisfied and the meals on this plan are GREAT! Most of them are 5-10 ingredients and take less than 30 minutes to make. We do our best to prepare at least breakfast, lunch, and our snack the night before so there is no guess-work the next day. I've discovered that, left to my own devices, I make horrible food choices. This plan has been great. I work out a couple times a week (JM 30-day Shred), follow this meal plan....and I've lost 8 pounds so far, and 2 inches off my hips! A steady 2-pound-per-week weight loss. Color me a happy camper. I have a ways to go, but I've finally found a program that I love and that works for me, so I'll be sticking with it.

BG is pretty much eating what I eat, not working out, and has lost about 15 pounds so far. What an a-hole.

The garden is going well--still waiting for some things to mature a little more since most everything is being raised from seed. Billy brought home some blackberry plants the other day, so I'm excited to see if those will work out. Blackberries are my faaaaaaaavorite. Some people I know are already harvesting squash and zucchini, but my zucchini plants are not quite there yet, so I'm just trying to be patient.

And finally, not sure if you've heard, but we are having an emergence of the 13-year cicada. A cicada is a gnarly-looking insect...kinda like a grasshopper that doesn't jump, with wings. They come out of the ground every 13 years, mate like crazy, lay eggs, and are LOUD. They are all over the place here and it is GROSS. There were two in our house tonight, which led to my drinking two extra glasses of wine just to calm my frazzled nerves. If they're not dead on our driveway, their shells have been shed and are everywhere, and they are all in the trees. I contemplated relocated myself temporarily for this 6-week period. Why Nashville, why must you do this to me??

Time for bed. I's tired.



So sorry to keep you waiting on pins and needles about the new job (ha). Turns out, just a day later, they extended an offer and...I accepted! I start this Monday. My mind is swirling with anxiety and excitement, not to mention worries of "what am I going to wear?!" and "I hope they like me!". Oy. New chapters are so exciting, but I can't help make myself sick with nervousness right before. I guarantee I will not sleep a wink on Sunday night. So very thankful, though, that I am able to jump right into a new position and not have the added fear of not being able to find a job in today's economy. Ack! That's just stress I'm so glad I don't have to deal with.

As for the clothes issue, since I can't really roll up to my new job wearing my trusty "work at home" uniform of yoga pants and Old Navy $5 t-shirts, I think a shopping trip is in order. I hate to shop. Especially while trying to lose weight and get fit and all that. Luckily, my BFF Kara LOVES to shop and personal shopping/styling is a service she provides to clients of her new business, she's throwing me a bone here and we're going shopping on Friday. I don't even want to think about the damage I'm going to do financially....I may have just given Dave Ramsey heartburn. I hope we find some good stuff.

Speaking of style, I was super lucky last night because I went to go see Tim Gunn lecture at the Langford Auditorium at Vanderbilt with Kara and our friend Jen. He is just delightful! He just has the greatest advice: be nice, never assume, always take the high road, etc. He mentions many other points like this in his new book Gunn's Golden Rules, which I plan on purchasing ASAP. Oh, and I smuggled my camera into the lecture and managed to take a picture of Mr. Gunn, even though I totally brought the wrong lens. Meet Tiny Tim...

In other uneventful news, I went to the dentist this morning and am proud to say I had great appointment and came out unscathed and un-cavitied. No cavities allowed!

And finally, a gripe...mainly to myself. I know a goal I set for myself this year was to do and FINISH Power90. Well, after some unplanned breaks in the workout program, I'm around day 60ish, and while I can feel a significant change in my body muscle-wise, I definitely cannot say that I've lost any weight. I weigh myself regularly and fluctuate a lot. I had a goal to lose 5 pounds by April 8, which is Friday. So depending on what my body plans on weighing that day, I may or may not have hit my goal. I'm just frustrated. I watch The Biggest Loser like it's gospel, and this people are amazing and lose SO MUCH WEIGHT, and I can't lose 20 pounds. REALLY. I know I need to cool it with the pasta. It is my #1 weakness. I've been out to eat twice since Saturday and got pasta both times, both time with a creamy sauce. I KNOW these are not good food choices. And today I was so hungry when I left the dentist that I picked up some McDonald's--which I rare. I'm sabotaging myself, I know.

So, I know I need to get real and just have some self-discipline. I know I need to make better food choices and maybe get to treat myself once a week (preferably not in a way that involves food...maybe a pedicure or new book?), and I think I'm going to switch up my workouts. I'm burnt out on the Power90 and P90X. I'm breaking up with you, Tony Horton. I'm taking my toys and going to play at Jillian Michaels' house. I plan on picking up her 30 Day Shred DVD today, and may even use her online weight-loss tool on her website. Enough is enough. I can do anything else...why can't I do this???

Sorry for the Debbie Downer moment, but I'm just in a rut and beating myself up about it.

I need to go take a chill pill.


What a week!!

Holy cow, y'all. This has been a roller coaster week. To give a little background information, the company I work for is going through a bit of a transition. Let me walk you through my week...and it's only Wednesday!

  • Talk to my boss, looks like my days are numbered. As in, less than 10...
  • As you know I've applied to an MBA program. I get a call from the admissions counselor. He tells me that my admissions test score was probably the highest he's seen since he's worked there. I aced the math and writing sample, and matched the highest-ever score on the critical thinking portion. He tells me on the spot that I'll be part of the program that starts in August. Hot diggity!
  • I started my job search early (a few weeks ago) with the anticipation that I wouldn't be around much longer. Got an email Sunday setting up a phone interview for Monday. I speak with the recruiter, she thinks I'm overqualified. The I speak to another person in another office. Not sure I like what I'm hearing about the job responsibilities. Email "no thanks", but get an email back requesting that I go ahead and come in for an interview...
  • Have the interview and boy am I glad I did! Have a totally different understanding about the job. Love what I hear, love the people, love the office. Love!!
  • Current boss calls. My last day with current company will be next Friday. Not feeling so doomed after the good interview.
  • Email back from owner of company setting up another phone interview with CEO (did I mention this company is small??). Very excited.
So that's where we are right now. I am a mix of emotions. Sad that my current job is ending. I adore my boss and the folks that I work with. Excited about grad school (holy cow I got into grad school! and I rocked my exams!). Nervous about finding another job. Excited that I might have found another job. Nervous about grad school. Sad that going back to work in a real office means I won't get to hang out with Murphy all day. In my pajamas.

So, my insides are knots. Cross your fingers and throw up a prayer that everything works out. I know it will. I always manage to land on my feet. I'm so lucky to have a husband that supports me in whatever I do, bless his heart. I cannot help but freak out a little bit though.


Sorry, had to get that out.


The Nooky Nook

Hi friends! I wanted to tell you about a project that Billy and I tackled last weekend. We have this very random nook thing in our kitchen. A real waste of space. We decided that before our house was remodeled back in 2004, it must have been a fireplace, because there is a chimney right above where the nook is in the attic.

Up until now, it's just been a catch-all for random kitchen objects. Here is that corner last Sunday morning...

Here's the nook close-up: There's a wine rack, the food processor, a basket of stuff that goes to my food processor and stand mixer, and some candle holders that currently have no home.

Something had to be done! I could stand it no longer. I've seen in magazines where people have made little appliance garages to house all of their kitchen gadgets. And since I'm the QUEEN of kitchen gadgets, I thought that was exactly what I needed!

Here's husband, after we removed all the junk, preparing to paint. We chose to go with the same wall color, Behr's Garden Wall, to make it cohesive with our pantry and the rest of the kitchen. And we had some of the paint left-over.

Here's the nook after it's all painted...looks a bajillion times better already!
Did I mention the nook also has random green tile?
It has random green tile. Not bad though, I don't hate it.

We are huge fans of the ClosetMaid white wire shelving at Home Depot. We've used it in our pantry when we redid it, and the closet in my office. Since it matched what we've already used in the pantry, we decided to be consistent and use it again here.

There are 4 components: the main support bar, the vertical supports, the shelf brackets, and the shelves. We measured the width and depth of the nook and decided that the 12" deep shelves would be best here. The shelves come in all different lengths, so we grabbed 2 4' shelves and they cut them right in half for us at the store. You could also cut them yourself, but we're nothing if not lazy.

So, you mount the main support bar in the wall above where you want your top shelf to be. We used some heavy-duty drywall anchors here since the shelves are going to hold somewhat heavy and expensive things. Then you slide in the vertical supports and screw those into the wall using more drywall anchors. Then you just decide where you want your shelves, hook on the shelf brackets, and place the shelves! Super easy! I think this project took us about 2 hours total, with painting and everything.

Here's the finished nook, will all of my goodies in there...

I use these items quite a bit, and this makes them super easy to get to
and also freed up a LOT of cabinet space for us.

Here's the nook, blending in nicely with the rest of our kitchen,
looking nice and neat and actually cute!

Oh, and one more thing...see that light fixture? We've named it "the squid lamp".
I've hated it since the day we moved in.

It's gone. We've replaced it.
And on that note, I'll say that West Elm is a very dangerous place for me.

As far as cost goes for this project, here's the breakdown:
Paint: $0, we used leftover paint
Main support bar: $7.27
2 4' Vertical Support bars: 2 x $8.32 = $16.64
6 shelf brackets: 6 x $4.57 = $27.42
2 4' shelves: 2 x $4.86 = $9.72 (we only used 3 of the cut sections, so we have a 2' section leftover)
Shelf cutting was FREE
Total: $61.05

I'm sure there are less expensive options out there, like if you live near an Ikea (which we don't, the closest one is in Atlanta...boo hiss), but for the quality of the shelving and how easy they are to install, I think it's totally worth it. And since then, every time I pass our made-over nook, I yell out "I love my shelves!".

I hope everyone's had a great weekend. It's been just lovely here in Nashville!


The Best Baking Tip EVER!!

Even though this is a month late, I definitely wanted to share with you a few things I learned while making Billy's birthday cake...

This was a recipe I got from Barefoot Contessa recipe for Pineapple Carrot Cake...which is pretty much just a carrot cake with a little more natural sweetness from the pineapple. Carrot cake is Billy's absolute favorite...and he actually bowed out of having a groom's cake at our wedding because he said he liked my cake more than any carrot cake we could get...tee hee. I just thought the fresh pineapple was an interesting addition, so I tried it out! I even "butchered" a pineapple!

While the cake looked and tasted absolutely delicious, the main thing I wanted to share is the little trick I learned recently. To take you back a little bit, I made a scrumptious chocolate-chocolate cake for New Year's Eve/our friend Blair's birthday, but I have been having a heck of a time getting my cakes to come out of the pan easily. I literally used my chocolate buttercream icing as glue to piece my cakes back together since they fell apart while I was getting them out of the pan. Arg. Talk about frustration. Was it my pan? The oven? ME? Color me perplexed.

Enter Martha Stewart. She has a new show on the Hallmark Channel called Martha Bakes--it's pretty much just her in an amazing kitchen sharing some of her secrets on how to get perfect baked goods. A definite must-watch for any baker. On the very first episode, I learned how to solve my problem...

First, grab the pan you're going to use, some parchment, a pencil, and scissors.

Trace around your pan on the parchment with your pencil. See my awesome tracing skills below. Make sure you trace a circle for each pan you have. 2 pans = 2 traced circles.

Next, cut out your circles! Side note, you can actually BUY pre-cut parchment circles for your cake pans. Who knew?

Next, butter your pan with softened butter and a pastry brush.

Place your parchment in the pan and shmear some butter on that, too.
Now flour your pans. Put about a tablespoon of flour in one pan, roll it around and tap out the excess into your other pan. Continue for each pan. Make sure they are coated really well.
Fast forward to cake removal. Enjoy your perfectly non-stuck cakes!

I was so pleased with how my cakes turned out! Martha really does know her stuff, but we knew that already. No more wasting icing piecing things back together, although that was one of my finer MacGyver moments.

One thing I don't like is how my pans have a tapered side, so my cakes aren't perfectly squared off (I know, I know...where's your tiny violin...). I have my eye on some of these: Fat Daddio's aluminum cake pans. I've heard aluminum pans are the best and this particular brand got great reviews. I believe you can order them directly from the Fat Daddio's site, but I've seen them on Sur La Table's site and on Amazon. I will definitely be getting two 9" ones VERY soon.
So that's that. I actually have a pile of unwatched Martha Bakes on my DVR. They are REALLY informative! I have another tip about icing, but I'll save that for later!



Hi friends!

Today is a bit of a day of reflection for me, as it is my 28th birthday. My facebook wall is flooded with birthday wishes (thank you all!!) and my heart is full of love. Part of me can't believe that I'm thisclose to turning the big 3-0, but at the same time, I find myself liking the person I've become more and more with each year that passes, and welcome each new candle on my birthday cake.

What did I accomplish as a 27-year-old?
  • Started a very fulfilling photography hobby
  • Quit a job that made me miserable and got a new job that I love, working with people that I adore (who knew it would be at the very same company!)
  • Celebrated 1 joyful year of marriage with Billy
  • Watched my little brother graduate from college AND get married
  • Improved my baking and cooking (because that's important, right?)
It was a great year! Honestly, though, I hope that 28 is somewhat uneventful. I'm so happy with how things are in my life right now, that I couldn't possibly think of a single thing to change. However, I will (hopefully) add another role to my growing list (wife, friend, daughter, sister...): Grad student! I'm applying to an MBA program and should start this August if I get accepted...

Speaking of school, this year will be 10 years out of high school and 6 years out of college as well as 6 years of living in Nashville.

As far as updates go, I've been a little busy these past few weeks and have to apologize for not sharing all of the things swirling around in my brain:
  • I visited our big office for a big team meeting in Herndon, VA last week. Surprisingly enough I had some GREAT Mexican food (I'm very picky about it since I'm from Texas), got some great feedback on the work I've been doing, and won one of these. It is super cool and would be a great gift, especially for a techy husband or dad. It's BG's fave new toy.
  • I learned a new baking trick while making Billy's birthday cake a couple weeks ago. It has changed my life! I promise to share SOON!
  • Still trying new recipes...like a Caprese Panini. OMG delicious.
So that's about it for me today! Time to finish up some work, maybe work out (I'm on day 52 of Power 90--and BG gave me a birthday pass for today so I could take the day off, but I feel like I should work out anyway...oh the guilt!) and then go have Happy Birthday Happy Hour at Eastland Cafe with some friends.

Did I mention that my husband, the man that does not read directions or pay attention or do things in order, is making me a birthday cake? This should be interesting...


Yummy Dinner!!

Things have been really busy around here the last week or so--last week was Billy's birthday and we've just had a lot going on around here! But we just had the yummiest dinner and I just had to tell you about it.

I've been trying to plan our meals ahead of time and shop according to the menu plan, while also keeping things light and healthy to work with our fitness and weight-loss goals. Something we really like to eat is tilapia and we tend to buy it in bulk at Costco every few weeks, repackage it into 2 filets in a freezer bag, and just pull it out of the freezer a day or two ahead of when we plan to cook it.

I came across a tilapia recipe in Bon Appetit (I think in the January or February issue) and it looked easy, quick, and tasty so I gave it a shot tonight and BOY, WAS IT GOOD!! So good, I ate it right up before I could get a photo, but here's what it looks like:

Image from BonAppetit.com

Doesn't that look good? All you do is pat the tilapia fillets dry and sprinkle salt on both sides. Whisk an egg white until frothy, and brush the fish with the egg whites--I suppose you could dip the fish in the egg whites, too, if that floats your boat! Then you dredge the fish in the panko breadcrumbs. Cook in 3 tbs of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet for about 2-3 minutes until the panko is golden brown and crispy. Put on paper towel to drain any remaining oil on the fish. That's pretty much it!

I did a little steamed broccoli with our fish and the whole thing was done in less than 15 minutes. It was light and fresh, healthy, and EASY. Perfect for a busy night after work or if you really just don't feel up to the whole production of making a big meal.

I also made a little lemon aioli with it--sort of like a fancy tartar sauce. I don't really measure the stuff, but I guess it's about a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise (we use the light version), a bit of lemon zest, juice from half a lemon, a clove of garlic (minced), and salt and pepper. Some fresh dill would be good in there, too. Stir until combined and add more lemon juice if it looks too thick.

Trust me! Try it! It is so good!


My Valentine

In honor of today's totally ridiculous commercialized holiday, I thought I'd share some pictures of my very special Valentine.

My Valentine is funny, goofy, quick to laugh...

My Valentine is kind, sensitive, caring, and thoughtful...

My Valentine is silly and fun and always puts a smile on my face...

My Valentine loves my family like they are his own...

...and loves my friends as much as I do...

Happy Valentine's day to the most amazing man, my best friend,
my husband, my partner in crime.
I love you!

And then there's this guy...

I love you, too, Murph!


Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper

A few weeks ago I was at Costco and guess who hopped in my buggy?

The Barefoot Contessa.

I just love her cookbooks. She actually hopped in my buggy twice--I also got her newest cookbook How Easy Is That? One of the many things I love about her food is how simple yet elegant it is. So, I flipped through and decided to try:

The Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper. So, I got all my stuff ready...

This recipe actually calls for egg noodles. I've never cooked with them before and I can't recall that I've ever had them before, but you just cook them like regular noodles.

Now, if there was a tricky part, this would be it. Once you get the noodles back in the pan, you have to work quickly. Reading the recipe before hand, it seemed that having all of my ingredients ready to go would be super helpful here, so that's what I did, and it worked great. You throw in the cream, butter, salt, pepper, cheese!, and parsley and toss it all together.

And this is what you get...

The creamiest, most perfect and delicious bowl of pasta! The egg noodles were tender and definitely had a different flavor to them than the regular whole wheat pasta I normally cook with. A nice departure from the norm, and I think I'll cook with them more in the future. I've not cooked with Pecorino much either, and it seems to me like it's a softer version of Parmesan. Nutty flavor, kinda salty. Coming from someone whose favorite pasta dish is anything involving Alfredo sauce, this was definitely a very simple yet elegant (and yummy!) recipe.

That Ina doesn't disappoint!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday and a fun time watching the Superbowl! I don't really have a preference to who wins today, but I'm looking forward to our friends coming over and spending time with them. On the menu: Taco Soup (since it's easy and feeds a lot of people), spinach dip, and chocolate chip cookies!

And just an FYI--"buggy" in the south is the same thing as a shopping cart. ;)


The Best Tuna Salad.

A post two days in a row? Someone check my temperature!

I wanted to share my lunch with you today. I made a yummy tuna salad sandwich. I grew up on them. They are comfort food for me, and probably for my brother, too. We ate so many growing up, I'm kinda surprised we didn't turn into a tuna sandwich at some point. Anyway, let's get down to the nitty gritty...

I make my tuna salad...in the food processor! I tried it once and it was so light and creamy that I will never make it the regular old way (in a bowl) again. Today, I started with 3 cans of plain old albacore tuna in water, and dumped it in the food processor.

Then, I add mayo a few tablespoons at a time and pulse until it's the right consistency. And here's my little secret: lemon juice. That's what really lightens it up and gives it a super fresh flavor. Keep adding the mayo and lemon juice and pulsing until it's the consistency you like. I used the juice from 1 large lemon.

Now for the goodies. Here are my favorite pickles. If you live near a Trader Joe's, go get some now. If you don't, let me know and I'll send you some (only kidding!). These are the best pickles! I even try to sneak drinking the pickle juice, it's so good. And I know it's pretty much just vinegar. Let's ignore that fact, shall we?

So, I like some onion in my tuna salad. I usually use red onion, but today I had a sweet Spanish onion. I dice it up real small because I don't like a surprise mouthful of onion when I bite into my sandwich.
Then I dice up a few of those pickles, about the same size as the onion...
Throw'em both in the bowl. Add a pretty good bit of salt and pepper...
Mix it up. It's ok to sneak a few bites while you're stirring. You're just making sure it tastes great, right?
And now it's time to make your sandwich. I did two perfectly toasted slices of Honey Wheat. And another trick: I spread on a little Miracle Whip on both pieces of bread before I put the tuna in it. I know, you're thinking "Mayo AND Miracle Whip? You're crazy!" Trust me! You get a little tangy zip from it and it is delish!

Apparently I couldn't control myself and had to take a bite.

It was worth it.