Off and Running

One of the great things to come out of these cooler temps we’ve been having lately is my running season is off to an early start. I don’t like to run in the summer. Temps above 75 are just not for me, which is odd because I spend at least two to three times a week in hot yoga with temperatures between 95F and 105F degrees. Anyway, today was my first morning run of the season and it was a good one. Temperatures hovering around 60, not a cloud in the sky, sun shinning, flowers still blooming – it was perfect. In fact it was so perfect, I ran farther than I ever have before (without stopping to walk) and was just getting to the point of winding down when I looked up and saw a coyote about 100 feet from me. Needless to say, my run did not wind down, but rather picked up to a speedy pace (amazing what a little adrenaline will do) and I ran back toward civilization (thank goodness for early morning golfers).

I know that coyotes are probably more afraid of us than we are of them, but I wasn’t about to hang around to find out. He never came closer, but did run parallel to me, tracking my moves until I came within range of the golfers and golf carts. Then he disappeared and I ran on home. So now that I’m all wiped out (but mentally exhilarated from an exciting first run), I’m going to turn today’s post over to Mr. N. He had a “write a blog post” on his list of things to do this summer. Take it away Mr. N… Continue reading

The FTC Romanian Style

By the “FTC,” I’m of course referring to the French Toast Challenge and would you believe when I was searching for Romanian recipes I came across a Romanian French toast? It was meant to be and so it was…our anniversary breakfast.

Mike and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this past weekend. I can’t believe it’s already been 12 years. We’ve had our ups, we’ve had our downs, and I can honestly say, I love this man more today than ever. We celebrated our anniversary in style (Eva – I wore my pink and orange stilettos!) with a delicious dinner, a great bottle of wine and a lovely late night walk (not in the stilettos). I may try to recreate one of the appetizers from our dinner soon. It was too delicious not to – bacon wrapped dates, stuffed with blue cheese and topped with a balsamic reduction. Oh, my, my, my.

But I digress. Back to the Romanian feast of the day. While the Ciuperci pe Friganele doesn’t exactly scream romantic breakfast, we figured it was best to whip up the mushroom laden French toast while the kids were at Nana and Papa’s. We are slowly converting them, but mushrooms would not have screamed breakfast of the year to the kids; plus Mike and I like making breakfast together while the kids are out. It’s a little something reminiscent of days gone by. I still remember the first time Mike made me breakfast. It was of course French toast; however, it didn’t start with chopped mushrooms. Continue reading

All Stuffed Up

Stuffed up with goodness that is! Just you wait and see.

We’re back a bit early this week for two reasons. First and foremost to express our gratitude to Deborah over at Taste and Tell Blog for featuring Eat, Play, Love in this week’s Blogger Spotlight. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Deborah’s blog, it’s a wonderful and delicious little space in the blogosphere. Deborah is a blogging veteran, a pro. She creates simple and tasty recipes and shares them through an honest writing style and tantalizing photos. To say we were honored would be an understatement. Thank you Deborah!

Now for the second reason we’re posting today – Blueberry Stuffed French Toast. It’s our latest contender in the French Toast Tourney and if this doesn’t end up as one of the final four, well you can butter my buns and call me a biscuit. In other words, you may not want to wait for the winner next March. This one is a must try, at least in my book.  Continue reading

Another Tourney Contender

Don’t you just love a good idyllic day – especially in the midst of chaos and stress? The kids and I had one of those days today. It was just a sweet, happy and an all around good day. Nothing particularly of note happened, we didn’t travel anywhere exciting or do anything out of the ordinary. It was just one of those good days that reminds you what it’s all really about.

I had one of those moments in Hawaii too. I went for a run one morning and on the return trip I was running toward the ocean. The view, as you can imagine, was breathtaking. I was soaking it all in when a whale jumped out of the water right in my line of vision. It was incredible and again one of those moments that serves as a gentle reminder that while it’s the little things in life, life is also so much bigger than my daily stresses and hurdles. After that run I sat and stared at the ocean for quite sometime. It was a perfect morning.

My perfect morning was then followed by a trip to our favorite breakfast place where I enjoyed some delicious Hawaiian-style French toast. So what better recipe to include as our next contender for the best French toast, but Hawaiian French Toast?! We first gathered our ingredients which included eggs, milk, vanilla, fresh pineapple and macadamia nuts. So far so good right?!  Continue reading

French Toast Madness

By Mike
Thanks to all of you who tuned in for our Banana Bread quest that wrapped up this week, and congratulations to Doree, Sally, Sweet Caroline, Dawn, and all the other fantastic recipes we tried last year. With every end comes a new beginning, and we’re embarking on our next quest with our final recipe from Hong Kong, a Hong Kong-Style French Toast.

That’s right, this year we’ll be breaking down the world’s best French Toast recipes, culminating in an NCAA Basketball Tournament-style Final Four. See, with French toast, it’s not exactly simple to just make it, freeze a slice, then break it out when it’s time to pick a champion. So in the great spirit of college basketball, we’re going to test recipes throughout the year, then when March Madness rolls around next year, the selection committee is going to hole up in some secret location, armed with spreadsheets, data, stats, photos, and years of expertise. We’ll choose our Final Four entries, seed them into our tournament bracket, and square them off in a winner-take-all series of head-to-head matchups in a quest for that One Shining MomentContinue reading

The Non-Dessert Dessert

Happy Saturday everyone! We hope your weekend is off to a good start. We got our first snow of the season this week, so today we’re headed off to sled! While I prefer warmer temperatures and clean sidewalks, I have to admit that sledding makes the snow a bit more tolerable. I’m not a skier, but I LOVE to sled. And of course, the kids are loving it too!

Incidentally this next Nicaraguan recipe,Maduros, would be a great meal or snack to serve after coming in from the cold. It’s technically a dessert recipe, but I ate mine for lunch, the kids ate theirs for an after school snack and Mike had his for breakfast the next day.

Maduros is a sweet dessert featuring the plantain, and it just so happens the plantains we picked up at the store are actually from Nicaragua. Miss A was very excited about that. Continue reading