Fish Tacos

Friday, August 11, 2017

I have this terrible habit of eating worse during the summer than I do during the school year.  It's really strange, but for whatever reason I meal plan better and follow-through more often when I'm already following an otherwise structured schedule.  I find it odd because I have my summers off, and thus have a lot more time to meal prep, research new recipes, and spend more time on the execution.  We've jumped on and off the healthy eating wagon a few times this summer, but we're doing our best to keep the momentum going.  Recently, I've added fish tacos + chicken fajitas to the mix (and both were big hits!) so I wanted to share :)

I N G R E D I E N T S 
1lb tilapia (you could also use catfish or cod)
2+ limes
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
Corn tortillas
optional: FF mozzarella (or other cheese)

M A K E it H A P P E N
1st: marinate your fish in the following concoction (~15 mins or more)...  lay the fish flat and top with 3tsp EVOO, 1/2 lime, chili powder, oregano, garlic clove, salt, + pepper... flip/coat both sides evenly

2nd: in a small bowl, combine cilantro, onions, and 1/2 lime (set aside)

3rd: in another bowl, combine yogurt, 1/2 tsp. sriracha, 1/2 lime, salt, pepper to taste (the "white sauce")

4th: fire up the grill on med-high heat.  place fish on foil lined grates and cook each side for ~3-5 minutes (check your temp to be sure your fish is done)

5th: assemble your tacos (with as much fresh lime squeezed atop the tacos) and devour!!  

Please let me know if you try these + if you have any alterations!!  


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

We celebrated our FOURTH (wow!!) anniversary a few days early this year and decided to bite the bullet and finally commit to visit Boston!  I had mentioned our desire to travel to Boston at the very end of this post 2 years ago and we almost made it happen in April, but plans fell through.  Thanks to expiring airfare credit (we had lots of trouble getting back home from our trip to Austin last year) and no summer schedule, we had a bit more motivation to get the ball rolling... we booked two tickets, an Airbnb, and were off.  

We stayed in the North End one stop from the airport.  I didn't know the area well enough to commit to other parts, and with an early departure time when we left, I wanted to be as close to the airport as possible to essentially roll right out of bed and hop through TSA pre-check without having to wake up at 3:30 am like we did on the way to MA.  Our Airbnb was very quaint and just what we needed.  We got in around 9 in the morning, checked in, and took the train into the city.  It was so misty/rainy and pretty darn dead for the better part of the day and in an odd way, made it perfect for our welcome to Boston.  We didn't have to fight crowds and just wandered aimlessly around the town.  Nick and I had a few stops on our must-do list, and knowing that our trip was only going to be 48 hours (really, less!) we got going.  

The food:
We ate our faces off and loved every last delicious bite!  We ended up getting cannoli (original, mint, & chocolate mousse) at Mike's Pastry, a lobstah roll/oysters at Neptune Oyster, pizza/pasta at Quattro, grab-n-go lunch on day 2 at Quincy Market, and dinner outside of Fenway Park.  Let me just tell you, the lobster roll was the most incredible lobster I've had.  Serious heart eye emoji right here.  The cannoli also ranked as equally as amazing and I wish we could have boxed them up and taken them with us in our carry-ons.  

The attractions:
The first day we were there, we just were little wanderers.  We wound up at the sight of the Boston tea party, little Italy, downtown, and Harpoon Brewery (see: drinks) to name a few stops.  Day two, I woke up with the WORST blisters on the bottom of both of my feet.  Serious #rookiemistake - I wore flip flops the previous day like a total amateur.  Nick was wonderful and walked the half mile there and half mile back to/from the closest Walgreens and bought out all the supplies for me.  There was no way I was sitting through day 2!  Once I was all patched up, we found the start of the Freedom Trail and did a self-guided tour of all the stops.  It was pretty neat seeing all these historical landmarks...  We were eating it up and reading up on every stop along the way.  The weather wasn't warm/sunny, but the rain had cleared up and made for beautiful walking weather.  Once we got to the end (the location of the Battle of Bunker Hill), we decided to head over to the Fenway area and pregame the game.  The Red Sox were playing the Yankees in their first game return from the All-Star break, which made for some added excitement.  Admittedly, I am more of a football fan and neither of us are Red Sox/Yankees fans; however, it was really exciting to root for the home team without the pressure/stress of being a diehard fan!  It was a late game and we had an early flight, so I tried to convince Nick to leave early (the Sox were down), and he shut me down lickity split.  He has this thing about staying until the last second of every sporting event... and he was completely right- the Yankees closer blew it!  He walked the last two batters, which ended with a game-winning walk/run (?? not sure what to call it??).  The other VERY exciting part about our visit to Fenway Park?  Running into a former student of mine!!  I knew he was interning/on the grounds crew for the Sox, but wasn't sure if we'd see him or not and lo and behold - we did!  After his shift, he met up with us for an inning, took us up on the Green Monster, and caught me up on his life!  I work with/for his mom, so I knew to be on the lookout and was so excited/proud of his accomplishments!  

The drinks
The drinking part of the trip was also noteworthy...  I could have lumped this in with "attractions," but figured it could handle it's own category.  On Thursday (day 1) we ended up at Harpoon Brewery per recommendation of friends of ours that frequent Boston.  We did their $5 brew tour and sampled way more beer than our $5 fee probably bargained for ;)  I'd say both of our favorites was the Wannamango and would definitely recommend the stop.  We tried to go to Trillium Beer Garden, but because of the rain, they didn't open it up that day.  When we were in Fenway on Friday, we made the rounds at Boston Beer Works (Watermelon Ale + Blueberry something or other are must-tries - they have fresh fruit garnishing and/or in the beer itself!), Game On (dinner + more Wannamango), and The Bleacher Bar to watch batting practice at eye level "in" the bleachers - must stop/see!  We were off to Cask n' Flagon to end our little bar crawl before going to the game, but there was a long line, so we opted to return to Game On...  the upstairs was packed, so we headed to the basement bar to ride out our time prior to the game.  The reason I mention this, is that all of a sudden, Nick looks over to the side and sees an old coworker of his from back home in VA!  We couldn't believe that we were in Boston, but were running into people we knew :)  It was a really neat experience and further contributes to the mantra that, "it's a small world."  

I would absolutely love to go back and see more of the city - I feel like we saw a lot, but I know that we likely didn't put a dent in all the things that Boston area has to offer (the aquarium, Harvard area, Boston University, etc. just to name a few!).  If it were closer, I could see it as a convenient/fun weekend destination!!  

Who knows where our travels will take us... but hopefully we'll be able to maintain this annual tradition of visiting somewhere fun to celebrate our anniversary!  What I do know; however, is that I love this guy and am so grateful to be able to do life with him!!  Here's to many more anniversaries to come!!  

May | June | July

Monday, August 07, 2017

Is. this. thing. on?!  

I seriously searched "blogger" and hit the login button and wasn't sure what I was going to come back to...  I find myself neglecting this blog year in and year out; however, I greatly enjoy looking back at all the memories I have had since this little side hobby of mine got started.  There are so many things that have gone on in our lives since the last update, and many many things that I am not interested in documenting (for now); however, it feels almost cathartic to "check in" and reminisce about the summer.  I don't want to come across as ominous or as if I'm withholding some deep dark secret, but I am interested in focusing on positive memories at this juncture :)

Rewinding back to May makes me think of how overwhelming the 2016-2017 school year was for me.  May was the first month that I truly saw the light at the end of the tunnel and knew that even though I struggled to get by, I was going to make it!!  A couple mini getaways didn't hurt, either...!

First up, I was so so lucky to be reunited with my best friends from college in Pittsburgh.  We are in such different walks of life right now with our careers, spouses, families, etc., so it's so nice that we set aside at least one weekend a year to get together.  The neat thing is, all of our spouses really get along so we all make the trip together to wherever the destination may be.  It cracks me up, though, because when we first get together it's almost like a middle school dance; the guys leave to go golfing, hang out by the fire pit, etc., where the girls split off to catch up and gossip about all the comings and goings in our lives!  

We then celebrated Memorial Day Weekend with Nick's family and spent 4 days on the lake.  I was coming off of a nasty sinus infection, so I wasn't 100% (and you could hardly understand what I was saying in my frog voice haha), but it was a great pick-me-up.  It's another circumstance where we're all over the place (then: Texas, VA, PA), so being intentional about meeting up for holidays and then at least for one getaway a year is so special.  Everything was so much fun, but seeing our nephew was our favorite part!  Fishing, boating, swimming - he loved it all.

June quieted down a little with the travel (we still had work until June 20; then I returned to work a week later for a few days to end out the month), but in July we traveled to celebrate my mom's birthday, a housewarming party for close friends of ours, BOSTON (Finally!!  A post dedicated to our trip is on the horizon...), and the wedding of my college roommate amidst working part-time summer school.

Now we're counting down the days until my sister graduates from Penn State and moves within an hour of us!!!!  I am so so excited that both of my sisters are drivable within an hour (ish - thank you so so much interstate traffic UGH) and love that they are in good places with their careers and their love lives ;)  It is a little bittersweet that the youngest Marino daughter is graduating; however, because this will be the first time in 11+ years that I didn't have a free place to stay on college football weekends!!  The end of an era, I tell ya...!  

We're also willing the last few weeks of August to go nice and slow because the kiddos come back to class right after Labor Day.  No major plans to wrap up the summer for now - maybe a couple little house projects to keep us busy.  

Thanks for stopping by + get ready for a Boston recap... coming soon!  

Kennedys take on ATX

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hello, long time no see!  No excuses here, other than we've been living life to the fullest and I've kind of been taking the lazy way out of documenting our day to day.  However, we just returned from a 5-day trip to Austin, Texas where we were hosted by Nick's brother.  It is impossible to cover all that Austin has to offer, but we did our best to pack a full trip in!

We arrived in Austin around 9am and my-oh-my was it HOT!  I knew we'd be in for a sweat show all weekend, and we weren't disappointed.  Bob took us on a nickel tour of the city as we drove by everything from Zilker Park to Dirty 6th.  We swung by the famous Franklin Barbecue (people wake up to get in line around 6am to get this BBQ and essentially "tailgate" the wait! It doesn't open until 11, and is usually sold out by 1, so we put it on our bucket list), only to find out that they were on vacation for the duration of our trip!!  Fear not, we ended up getting BBQ another day, and will add it to our list for the next visit!  Instead, we found our way to the food trucks in Barton Springs Picnic and gave The Mighty Cone a try (chicken + avocado, please).  We toured a bit longer, then did a casual night in at the apartment on the patio overlooking downtown.  

We woke, had breakfast, and did a little stroll around the west side so that I may stop into two of my favorite places: Trader Joe's & Whole Foods.  Yes... we went to Texas and I went to grocery stores.  Judge away :)  For lunch we stopped back at the same food truck park and gave Hey!... You Gonna Eat or What? a try.  Between the 3 of us we ordered 3/4 of the menu (it only has 4 items on it) and picked at each.  Incase you aren't aware, we had a lot of food to plan our trip around!  Given the heat, we decided to head to Barton Springs and LOVED it!  Aside from it being the coldest water in all the land (okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little) it was a great way to spend the afternoon!  Dinner was spent at Second Bar + Kitchen and we ended the night with rooftop drinks and music at HandleBar.

We got a late start on Saturday which was absolutely wonderful!!  I don't remember the last time I slept in that late and I loved every minute.  However, we didn't want to sleep the day away because the river was calling our name.  After a little drive south to New Braunfels, we spent the day floating the Guadalupe River.  There were TONS of people from our subdued foursome to large bachelor/bachelorette parties throwing a rage fest.  It was a unique and fun way to spend the day and I'd recommend it for anyone interested in a good time.  After a long day in the scorching sunlight, we took to Rudy's BBQ for dinner (I recommend the turkey) before we headed home for game night in.  

It was only appropriate that we dubbed day four "Sunday Funday" and kicked it off with coffee at Jo's followed by a patio brunch at Taverna (I tried the eggs Benedict w/ smoked salmon & $4 mimosas).  We mural hopped, saw the University of Texas, and lounged poolside for the better part of the afternoon, then headed to Lake Austin for a sunset dinner at Hula Hut.  Nick and I then snuck away to do a mini bar-tour of Steampunk SaloonRustic Tap (life-size beer pong, y'all!), Parlor & Yard, & Little Woodrow's.  

For our last full day in Austin, Nick and I decided we wanted to bike around the city a bit.  We started off with brunch at Walton's Fancy & Staple (it was the cutest spot with yummy avocado toast!) then rented bikes at Mellow Johnny's (Lance Armstrong's bike shop) and took them around Lady Bird Lake.  Admittedly, I didn't last as long as I'd hoped I would in the 100+ degree heat (only a few hours, really)... however, we did enjoy our bike date!  We cooled off with a dip in the pool, packed up, and grabbed dinner to-go at The Violet Taco (do the shrimp taco!!!!!!!!!) just as a thunderstorm was making its way into the city.  It was the perfect ending to a great trip.

We then woke early to travel home (albeit rather slowly after multiple plane delays), and made it back safe and sound!  I can see another ATX trip in the future and already have a million more bucket list items to try when we go back :)  Thanks are in order for our gracious host and my favorite brother-in-law!!  Until next time... 

Four Weddings and Other Updates

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Hello hello and happy Saturday (auto-corrected from Faturday which is what it really feels like thanks to game day food choices such as cheesy ranch fries and pizza #sorrynotsorry...)  We're just snuggled up on the couch enjoying football games as it continues to rain outside and I'm starting to wonder if we'll ever see the sun again!?  Joaquin hasn't hit us quite as hard as originally anticipated (thank goodness), but it has left us cooped up in the house ready for it to completely pass.  I was in the process of updating my iTunes and figured I'd do a little update here, too...

We were quite busy in August and September - we finished off our 2015 wedding season with 3 weddings in the span of 7 weeks ranging from PA to FL and back to PA again amidst Nick going back to grad school and both of us kicking off our 5th year as educators.  I love weddings and love and celebrating two people who were made for one another, butttttt I was happy to hang up my dancing shoes (and revive my bank account) until our 2016 wedding season kicks off in January.  Extra special congratulations to all of our friends who got engaged and/or married this year!!!!!!  We love all of you to the moon and back!!!!!!  And special shout out to my forever wedding date, this hunk right here:

Oh, I also joined a 20 team all girls fantasy football league.  The verdict is still out on that one... on paper my team should be doing much better than it actually is, but that's football for you!!  #AnygivenSunday.  Or Monday.  Or Thursday.  It's kind of cute because Nick has been helping me learn and it's just a different "bonding" experience for the two of us :)

And even though I haven't had a ton of extra time on my hands, I snagged a copy of What to Eat When You're Pregnant: A Week-by-Week Guide to Support Your Health and Your Baby's Development.  Before you get too excited let me just get one thing way out of the way here: NO, we are NOT pregnant, and NO we don't expect to be pregnant any time soon.  However, I have had quite a few friends get pregnant and/or have babies lately, and it piqued my interest just a teeny tiny bit.  I figured, if this book could provide recipes and insights that would be beneficial when pregnant, it couldn't hurt to look into it even if I'm not pregnant, right?  So I started to get into it, and am happy I did.  

Dr. Avena does a nice job setting up explanations for those of us out there that have ZERO idea about the development of a fetus over the gestational period.  What I found to be most intriguing was how your pre-pregnancy weight can have major impacts on how your pregnancy evolves.  As someone who has always struggled with my weight, I realized I need to kick it into high gear both before trying to conceive as well as while pregnant in order to provide our future child with the best opportunities for development.  I quickly realized that I am not in a place where I should yet try to get pregnant, and accept that some changes are in order.

What I liked best about this book was the detail; I have no idea where B12 can be found in my diet, nor did I realize how essential folic acid was.  She outlines specific times during pregnancy when certain vitamins and minerals are essential and explains how to incorporate them into your diet.  I like that I could easily develop a meal plan based off of her recommendations.

All in all, it was totally bizarre that this was the book that I went for, but I like having it on stand by for when the time does come to bring little baby K's into the world.  Although I know I'll never feel 100% ready for kids, every little piece of info helps!!  I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review, but you can find it available for purchase here, here, and here.  

Until next time :)
All views expressed in this blog are my own. Powered by Blogger.