Monday, May 13, 2013

Basic Marinade Ratio

It's officially grilling season!! Nothing says Summer cooking like firing up the Komado Joe! Mark does all the heavy lifting (grilling) and I have time to play in the kitchen and focus on fresh salads, sides and tasty cocktails! I came across some great marinating tips in the June issue of Cooking Light and thought I would pass them along. This marinade formula is what I typically stick to and results in perfectly marinated meat every time.

Basic Marinade Ratio
Cooking Light, June 2013, pg. 13

one part acid (vinegar, citrus juice or yogurt)
one part oil 
two parts aromatics (fresh herbs)
salt or soy sauce

The chef in Cooking Light recommended canola oil as a neutral oil but I always tend to use olive oil. For the sugar component, I like to use Grade A Maple Syrup or honey, but sometimes I leave this part out all together. I try to keep salt to a minimum and unless I am using soy sauce, do not salt the meat until right before it goes on the grill.

Happy grilling to all!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pink or Blue!?

...we will find out soon! Little Lovie's due date is officially ONE MONTH from today- we cannot believe it! Time is flying by and it's hard to comprehend this new adventure we're about to be on. 

It's been a bit of a challenge to stock up on newborn clothes not knowing if our little baby is a boy or a girl but thanks to Baby Gap and Target, we have some sweet pieces to start off with. I also discovered the gem of all gems for parents who don't know the baby's gender- a reversible clothing line! TwoTara makes darling clothes that are pink on one side and blue on the other! I ordered this striped bubble gown and matching hat. Any of the cute pieces from TwoTara would make wonderful gifts for friends who may not be finding out! They would also make a thoughtful gift to give someone who has just announce that they have a bundle on the way.

Let the final countdown to baby's arrival begin!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Health + Fitness Friday: Staying Hydrated

It's time for another dose of Healthy + Fitness Friday with my good friend Jen! This week, I want to focus on hydration, because pregnant or not pregnant, making sure you are drinking enough water is so important. I drink tons of water normally and have found that during this pregnancy, I can't seem to quench my thirst enough! Like most people, I get "watered out" and some days it just doesn't go down as easily. I've found that adding fresh fruit to my water helps to mix it up a bit! The Ballantyne Hotel here in Charlotte always has ice cold fruit infused water in the lobby and after a spa day there several years ago, I was inspired to create my own infused waters. These are so easy to keep in a pitcher in the fridge-  Lemon, orange and lime slices are my go-to favorite, but lately I've been experimenting with other fruit infused waters! 

strawberries + mint
watermelon + strawberries
raspberries + oranges
pineapple + mango + mint
lemons + limes + oranges + grapefruit

I'm also a huge fan of keeping a water bottle filled and with me at all times. I still use my trusty Nalgene bottle that holds 32 oz. of water, but lately, I have found that I drink even more water through a straw!! I'm convinced it's a mind trick. I keep my 24 oz. Tervis Tumbler filled with ice, water and a few slices of lemon. I pop a straw in the lid and I'm drinking water all day long. Much better than any sweet, fake, zero calorie drinks with artificial sweeteners and God knows what other chemicals.

Wine, Limearitas and Arnold Palmer's made with Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka are the usual suspects around 6pm this time of year, but since I'm still on happy hour lockdown, I've been enjoying the same fruit infused waters made with sparkling water! We got a SodaStream for Christmas and it's nice to have bubbly water to mix things up.

Drink your water, everyone!!

Now, as for my health and fitness goals for May...let's just say I'm more concerned about keeping this baby snug as a bug in my belly at least until 37 weeks! That counts, right? Other than that, I plan to keep up moderate activity like taking my crazy doodle pup for long walks and continuing with light strength training. Staying active has been so important to me while pregnant!

Enjoy your weekends, everyone!