Friday, May 28, 2010

stephanie's happy list

I sent Stephanie the forecast for sunny L.A. last week since we're going tomorrow (and I'm just getting around to posting this, so it's a bit dated) and in response, she sent me her happy list.

I love happy lists.
  1. Mariners’s game tomorrow with 4 of my favorite ladies! (2 of which are my mom and Nana who are riding the school bus down! You can guess the other 2). And yes, Petes is one of these :)
  2. Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale starts next Wednesday. I’ve already made a list of things I hope go on sale.
  3. SATC2 in one week!
  4. My new sundresses that I can’t wait to wear in LA
  5. The banana in my kitchen that is getting smooshier every day, making it the perfect candidate for banana pancakes this weekend.
  6. Regina Spektor on my Pandora (I'm so right there with her.)
  7. Possible date with potential future baby daddy
  8. Thisclose to finishing a 5-star Sudoku sitting on my desk.

For a little eye candy, I thought I'd also include this rad picture. First, because I love ballerinas and danced for YEARS. Second, because Stephanie danced for YEARS too. Danced right into my heart. (hehe)


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I've been a little MIA the last couple of days because I'm at a conference in DC for work.

Learning lots of cool things.

Some things about how the media is changing, which then included this new site. A model that might be replacing police blotters. Kinda weird, huh?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A winning dress?

The dress for the dozen weddings I'm going to this summer. I know it's black and not especially summery, but it's so darn cute. The sweetheart top kind of wins me over. Oh, and the straps can be tied in front (like above) or like a standard halter.

What do you think? Is it a winner?

Little girl gives herself a pep talk

Need a smile?

I think she's on to something.

<a href="" target="_new" title="Little girl gives herself a pep talk">Video: Little girl gives herself a pep talk</a>

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Petes Eats

In case you haven't noticed, I've become obsessed with trying new recipes these days. Well, obsessed with eating, in general. So I've decided to add a new post theme, which I have eluded to once before: Petes Eats.

One thing I'll note about this recipe is that the chives are a must. They really add a lot of flavor. Since chives are usually sold in packs that would feed Jon & Kate + 8, I've thought of a couple ways to use them in other ways - mix with cream cheese and slather on a bagel with some turkey or add to a weekend omelette. Yummm...

Also, I'd like to try and compare this recipe with Martha's Rigatoni with Goat Cheese Pasta.

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Roasted Asparagus

2 bunches asparagus (2 pounds total), tough ends removed
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
12 ounces cavatappi or other short pasta
1 small log soft goat cheese (5 ounces), crumbled
2 to 3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives, for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Place asparagus on a large rimmed baking sheet; dot with 1 tablespoon butter, and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, tossing occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes; cut into 2-inch lengths.

While asparagus is roasting, generously salt boiling water. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Set aside 1 1/2 cups pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.

In a medium bowl, combine goat cheese, remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 cup pasta water. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk until smooth. Add goat-cheese mixture and asparagus to pasta; toss to combine, adding more pasta water if necessary for sauce to coat pasta. Serve pasta garnished with chives.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Like kids in a candy store

About a month ago, my parents went to Hawaii for the first time. Since I had my first trip to paradise last summer, I was completely won over by everything to do with Hawaii... even the sun-induced blisters. (Mads and Autumn are going in the next couple months and I'm trying to think of a way to fit in their suitcases.)

Anyway, throughout their whole trip, I received dozens of texts along the lines of: That's it--we're moving here, we're buying a place, on our way to the LUAU, drinking a tasty lava flow, it's 90 degrees and sunny!!, etc. Needless to say, they were having the time of their lives.

Then I saw the photographic proof of all of the fun they had and I thought I'd share. Makes me want to go back. Like now.

Dear Expedia,
Please post another slammin' deal on air and hotel to Hawaii.
Thank you,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Simply a bowl.

I've been eyeing this bowl at Anthro for a couple months now. The blues and oranges would go perfect with my kitchen. I find it odd that I couldn't stop thinking about a bowl. So I went on down to U-Village this weekend and bought it. It was $10 well spent.

Do you ever find yourself eyeing something completely random?

Friday, May 14, 2010


I'm stoked for this weekend.

Why? Well, because after this weekend I won't have a stay-at-home-and-get-stuff-done weekend in a LONG time. The next three weekends will be taken over by work trip to DC, Memorial Day weekend in LA (visiting Suze with Stephers, yay!), then running my longest run ever, 20 looooooong miles. On top of that, the training schedule during the week is even starting to get out of control (10 miles on a Wednesday?!). Therefore, all of my errands will be taking the back seat the next couple weeks.

So what will I do this weekend, you ask? Hmmm, where to begin.
  • Get a haircut with Sofia. She's the best stylist ever.
  • Wash my car. Poor thing has had enough of the tree pollen already.
  • Change my oil, but never at Jiffy Lube. No fiascos needed, thank you.
  • Run.
  • Plant my garden!
  • Continue the hunt for a perfect dress for July weddings.
  • Date night. (any ideas?)
  • Maybe give this Stuffed French Toast recipe a stab? Steph said is was yummy. Yummm.
  • Enjoy the sun with a glass of vinho verde. I tried one called Casal Garcia once with a pretty lace label and it was delish. (If you've never tried vihno verde, you must. It's a little more tart and refreshing than white wine and has a slight effervescence. Or bubbly... got caught up in wine jargon :))


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fresh, flavorful and surprisingly filling.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should change the name of my blog name to Petes Eats. I think I'm showing my eats more than speaking these days. But I can't resist showing you this fresh and tasty salad I had for dinner last night. After my 8 mile run, my body was majorly craving fruits and veggies and this hit just the spot. I mentioned it last summer, but now you can see how it actually comes together.

(Please note: this is for 4-6 servings. I guesstimated for one serving.)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (Erika's note: I used very little salt and I think it came out quite nice.)
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil
4 ripe avocados
2 large red grapefruits

Place the mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.

Before serving, cut the avocados in 1/2, remove the seeds, and carefully peel off the skin. Cut each half into 4 thick slices. Toss the avocado slices in the vinaigrette to prevent them from turning brown. Use a large, sharp knife to slice the peel off the grapefruits (be sure to remove all the white pith), then cut between the membranes to release the grapefruit segments.

Arrange the avocado slices around the edge of a large platter. Arrange the grapefruit segments in the center. Spoon the vinaigrette on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


A couple weekends ago, I went north for my Grandma Pete's 83rd birthday! She's my grandma who I used to camp with at Thousand Trails (or Thousand Trailers, as I used to call it), beat me in breath-holding contests at the pool, make us dozens of swedish pancakes, play Skip-Bo for hours, teach me how to make grandma's flat bread or even just refresh my clog collection whenever I would outgrow a pair.

Basically, she's fantastic.

Back to story-- I showed up to the birthday party before she was back from lunch, so I was browsing through some of her old photo albums. I couldn't help myself from taking pictures of her pictures. I adore this picture of her and my gramps. Don't you love it?

Monday, May 10, 2010

I covet

It's WAY out of my price range, but a girl can dream, right? My hunt for a (much less expensive) dress for three weddings in July begins!

P-Town for M Day

This weekend I went down to Portland to visit my sister for Mother's Day. My folks and Kam went down on Friday, but I had plans Saturday morning (running over 17 miles!) so I took the train down in the afternoon. (Awesome train story to come.)

On Mother's Day, my dad and I took on brunch for a dozen. On the menu? Swedish pancakes with lingonberries or homemade syrup, scrambled eggs, riblets, fruit, coffee and juice.

Dad and I took turns manning the stove. He's really the pro at Swedish pancakes though. (Well, actually, my Grandma Pete is the pro. I don't know what it is, but there must be some magical ingredient in her pancakes.)

After brunch, Kam wanted to show off his AMAZING reading skills to his Mom. Such a smart kiddo. (P.S. Doesn't Richelle look beautiful?!)

My amazing, talented and beautiful Mom. I love you, Mom!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Little Letters, Friday Edition

Dear Martha,
How can it be possible that your cookbook does not have a single bad recipe? Last night, we made the Mini Greek Lamb burgers and they boggled my mind. The extra stop it took to find the ground lamb was WELL worth it.

Dear Joe,
Thank you for understanding that I like to take pictures of things for the sole purpose of posting on my blog, even if it means confiscating your food. I appreciate your suggestion of putting the cookbook in the set-up. Nice touch.

Dear Friday lunch,
I love leftovers, especially from Martha's recipes.

Dear Starbucks Frappy Hour,
Uhh, half price frappuccinos from 3-5pm? Yes, please. Combine a little frappuccino + fun people + sun + patio = Fab Friday Fun.


Mini Greek Lamb Burgers

1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup plain yogurt, preferably whole milk yogurt
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint (Erika's note: we skipped the mint)
1 small garlic clove, minced (Erika's note: we added more garlic)
Salt and pepper

1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1/2 small onion, minced (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and pepper
4 pieces pita bread (6 inches each)
Iceberg lettuce, for serving
2 medium beefsteak tomatoes, sliced, for serving
Feta cheese (Erika's note: The recipe didn't call for this, but I think it completes the burger. Definitely add.)

Heat grill or grill pan to high. Make tzatziki: In a medium bowl, combine cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, mint and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make burgers: In a medium bowl, use a fork to gently combine lamb, onion, parsley, and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Gently form mixture into 16 small patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Grill until medium-rare, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

To serve, warm pitas on the grill or directly over a gas burner, turning occasionally. Halve pitas, and fill with lettuce, burgers, tomato, and tzatziki.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

Yes, yes, I realize that it's no longer Cinco de Mayo. But I wanted to share with you why I like the holiday. It's because:
  • At work we decided to have a lunch fiesta with homemade pico de gallo, soy chorizo and other tasty stuff. Umm, who knew soy chorizo would be so good?
  • It's a holiday where a margarita is pretty much mandatory. (Which Stephers, Maddie and I got at Red Robin because every Mexican restaurant was packed!)
  • A pat-on-the-back moment, Maddie and I can run 8 miles and THEN go drink that said margarita.
  • Pinatas. What's not to like about swinging a bat, blindfolded at a festive animal that explodes with candy?
  • Autumn and RyRy's DTR: 5/5/06. I'm glad that that I was a part of that magical moment.
  • Sombreros are cool. I wish I wore one yesterday. (Why is everyone is looking at me funny for wearing one today?)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

If this doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will.

I really love his lyrics. It's like he and I are one in the same.

Bachy Party

Last Saturday, we took on Seattle for Laura's bachelorette party. Laura has left us in Seattle and now lives all the way over in Philly. She'll be there awhile since she just got into PENN STATE to get her Masters in Public Health (congrats!!).

The evening was filled with many twists and turns, but here's a sampling...

A stop at Cowgirls so the bride could ride the bull.

Laura's sister, Sara, planned a fabulous prix fixe meal at Barolo. (Advice: Order the gnocchi. Fantastic. I closed my eyes and found myself in Italy for each bite.)

Some ladies of the evening.

More ladies of the evening.
Overall, good times!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I thought I had found the perfect 15 mile run for us today.

Turns out I was wrong.

I found the perfect 16.6 mile run.


(Autumn and Maddie are going to ban me from mapping future runs.)
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