Wednesday in Numbers

Happy Wednesday! Today was another fantastically fun day at camp… but heres the day, broken down by numbers:

Number of Campers in my group: 9

Average age of campers: 4.5

Average height of campers: 3′

Number of campers on one of 4 school busses today: 65

Average temperature for the day: 97 degrees

Number of trips to free soda/lemonade fountain: 6

Number of trips to the “potty ride”: 2

Number of rides ridden at KiddieLand: 12

Number of minutes spent on climber/ball pit: 36

Number of reapplications of deoderant: 4

Number of parents who asked “so how’d it go in that heat?”: ~30

Average speed on commute home: 34 mph

Number of minutes spent on commute home: 75

Number of ingredients in our house to create delicious, balanced dinner: 0

Number of minutes it took to decide to go to Panera: 1

Number of different dishes purchased at Panera: 4

Number for me: 2 (tomato mozzarella panini, chicken chopped salad)


Number of hugs before Adam noticed I stank: -1, he noticed before he could touch me!

Number of mosquito bites I’m now finding: 8

Hours spent awake: 16

Number of Camper Quotes of the Day: 1 “If we go on that roller coaster, will it fly?”

Tomorrow: painting flower pots and a traveling petting zoo!

Posted in dinner out | Tagged , | 21 Comments

Summer’s Here!

After the first week of camp was vaguely warm, Summer welcomed herself in the Chicago area with a 93 degree day with a 106 degree heat index! How did we spend our day? OUTSIDE!!! We got 2 hours of swimming, a treasure hunt, and lots of bug catching in, and I officially cannot wear a strapless dress without some serious self-tanner. While I felt like I was melting most of the day, one thing (oddly, I know, I’m a nerd) that really kept me going was the pound of wild Sockeye salmon I had in my fridge, just SCREAMING (no, not really) for a sesame crust and teriyaki glaze.

The color of this salmon was unbelievable, and I cooked it medium-rare, so that the true flavor came through. All I did was heat about 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan, sprinkled the sesame seeds on top of the flesh side of the salmon, then placed the fish skin-side up in the hot pan. I cooked it about 4 minutes on each side, then drizzled some teriyaki glaze on top. I ended up with this:

Apparently, I focused on the sesame seeds on top… this is kind of a weird picture! Sorry about that…

A quick little thing for all of you… I know my commenting has been next to nothing lately, but please know that I AM reading your blogs, and I just can’t comment while on the school bus at camp. I understand if you bail on reading my blog, but I hope you’ll stick with me through the craziness of summer! There’s so much in store! (wedding cake tastings, hair trials, great dinners, restaurant openings…)

Since I’m mostly melted from the day today, and have a fun day in similar heat at KiddieLand tomorrow, I’m heading out. BUT not before today’s Camper quote of the day! “One day, when I was at that store that has the milk and cheese and food and stuff there was this HUUUUUUUGE dog there shopping!”
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to go to that store!

Have a wonderful night, and a fabulous Wednesday!

Posted in fish or seafood, simple recipe | Tagged | 13 Comments

Buffalo Toad Food


Week 2 of camp is officially underway!! We had a blast today bowling, and two of my 4 year old campers got strikes! I can’t even do that well! It was also the very first time in 10 years of working at camp that I did NOT pig out on the snack food that all the junior counselors bought… I had 3 French fries, and was done! GO ME! Now, for a sentence that doesn’t end in an exclamation point: We had tofu for dinner.

Why the title of “Toad Food” instead of “tofu”? Well, when my sister and I were little, my mom would take us to this Japanese place not far from our house, and our meals always came with miso soup. Back then, I didn’t like the soup at all, but my sister LOVED picking the tofu out of everyone’s bowls. At one point, she started calling it “toad food” and it kind of stuck. As a matter of fact, calling tofu “tofu” is hard for me! It’s been toad food as long as I can really remember.

ANYWAY, when I got home today, we had a container of tofu that needed using up, so I sliced it up and got it under some weights to press out the water. Upon opening the fridge to concoct my usual Gliding Calm-inspired rub, I noticed that we had a HUGE bottle of Frank’s Red Hot just sitting there. Hmm… I wonder… buffalo tofu? I thought it could be done! THEN I remembered a simple recipe for buffalo chicken tenders, and decided to adapt it for tofu. Here are the steps, in numbered-list form (my second favorite, only to bulleted lists)

  1. Slice tofu and press out water.
  2. Sprinkle tofu with paprika and black pepper
  3. Melt 2 Tbsp. Smart Balance or other butter or butter substitute.
  4. Mix with approximately 1/4 c. Frank’s Red hot
  5. Bake or sautee tofu until crispy.
  6. Coat tofu pieces with butter/Frank’s mix.
  7. Enjoy!

I served ours on a bed of lightly sauteed spinach:

Now I remember how much I love Frank’s Red Hot. I’m not sure I like it quite as much as Green Dog Wine, but I do love the stuff! All this needed was a bit of bleu cheese dressing for dipping, and it would’ve been PERFECT!

And now, for the camper quote conversation of the day: Camper: MARA! I dunkded my head in the pool! Me: NO WAY! Show me again! (Camper dunks head) I never did that before and guess what? I didn’t drowned!

HOORAY for no drownding, and hooray for buffalo toad food! Tomorrow is a treasure hunt! (Sorry I’m so exclamation happy today)

Have a wonderful evening, and Happy Tuesday! Don’t forget you can still order your foodie charms here, and please check out my good friend Megan’s relatively new food blog, Meggie’s Munchies. She’s fabulous, and so’s her blog!

Posted in simple recipe, tofu, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Hot Diggity!

Yup, I’m going to announce the winners of the Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil (a.k.a. the best moisturizer EVER) but first you have to read through my dinner and the sushi salad recipe!

Dinner tonight was simple and light after our relatively light “streaker burritos” from Moe’s. What, you may ask, is a streaker burrito? Well, its a “naked” burrito, sans tortilla. SO DELICIOUS! We headed to the movies to see Up (a wonderful movie, by the way. Great job Pixar!) and then to the grocery store. What did we see on sale?

Overly processed, far from natural, yet oh-so-delicious fat free Ballpark hot dogs. Then we got not-so-natural, high fiber whole wheat hot dog buns. The best part about this dinner? It was a whopping 1 Point® per hot dog! I ate mine like a true Chicagoan: without ketchup! I made some oven fries on the side as well.

This was such a summery meal, and perfect for the first official day of Summer! The best part? Both the hot dogs AND the buns came in packages of 8!

And now, because my good friend Chanelle has been bugging me for it, the recipe for the sushi salad I ate for lunches this past week. I don’t have a picture of it, mostly because it wasn’t too pretty by the time I thought to take a picture. The recipe is simple though:

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 small package surimi (fake “krab” meat), chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar (rice vinegar is good, but I used red wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp. wasabi paste


Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Chill and serve!

Ok, now stop bugging me :) I told you it was easy!

**Drum Roll Please!**
After using and coming up with comment #25, the winner of the Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut oil is:
You’ll be getting an email from me soon, and I’ll get your information on to your benefactor! You’ll have to let me know what you think of the coconut oil!

There’s some cool stuff on tap for this week but I think I’ll keep you all in suspense!
Have a fantastic night, and for the few hours that are left:


¡Hasta mañana!

Posted in beef, contest/giveaway, giveaway, simple recipe | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Happy Father’s Day!

*Gasp* I’m posting in the morning!

I really wanted to get this post up early so that my dad could see it… as of right now, he’s in Cuzco, Peru between sessions of working with the Incan shamans down near Macchu Picchu. This is his third journey down there, and each time he comes back with stories and pictures that are the things of dreams.

Over the last few years, my dad and I have gotten closer, and I’m thankful every day for our relationship. Even when he moved across the country to Oregon, we’ve maintained our closeness thanks to modern technology. Last year, Adam called my dad and asked him to make my engagement ring! It was something I’d dreamed of since I was a little girl watching my dad make jewelry in his shop. So, Dad…even though you’re THOUSANDS of miles away right now, I wanted to wish you a Happy Father’s Day! I can’t wait to see you in August!

Happy Fathers Day!

Love you, Dad!

See you all tonight for dinner… and don’t forget to enter to win a 32 oz. jar of virgin coconut oil by leaving a comment here!

Have a great Sunday!

Posted in family | Tagged , | 12 Comments