Friday, May 28, 2010

Big Day!

Today is a big day in the life of the Hoffman's. We are closing on our first home! We can't believe that we will be home owners in just a few short hours. We are going to be doing our final walk through of the house at noon, and then off to sign our life away at 1:00 pm. After we have the keys in hand, we are planning on scrubbing the house from top to bottom...then we will begin the painting! Bring it on! We are excited of what the future holds for the Hoffman's.

I know painting the whole house, putting in a new kitchen, moving...packing/unpacking, working on the yard, etc. will be a lot with us both working. I have already begun to remind myself that we will need a lot of patience in the next few months. I found a quote that I may put in our new house while we are busy doing home projects to remind us to have patience...

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew."
Saint Francis de Sales (1567 - 1622)

So long blog world! I'll try to update once in a while so you can hear about how things are going. Thank you all for your love and means so much to us.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Great Strides walk...Raleigh...list goes on...

Oh man. I don't even know where to begin, but life around the Hoffman household is pretty crazy. On Saturday I raised money to walk in the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides walk in Richmond. I did this for my wonderful, great friend Jenny. Jenny holds such a special place in my heart, and I would do anything for her. She is such an amazing woman, wife, mother and friend.

After the walk, I headed down to Raleigh to celebrate Daniel's sister, Elise's graduation from UNC-G. Congrats, Elise...welcome to the real world!!!!!! Such an exciting, big time in her life. I remember when I graduated from Clemson like it was yesterday. It's such an odd time in life...trying to figure out what to do, where to go, how to pay for things, etc. Elise, you will figure it may make some wrong decisions and go down wrong paths, but that will help you to learn and you'll grow from all of your experiences. You are a great person with a big family who loves you...dream big, dream will succeed in life!

I had a fabulous, much needed weekend in Raleigh hanging out with Daniel's family. It had been a few months since I last saw them because of my working on the weekends, and we had a blast. I had fun playing with my two nephews and "ooo-ing and aww-ing" over my adorable niece-Lily. She is the cutest little girl can tell she comes from two loving and great parents. Daniel took pics on his camera, so I'll have him upload those soon so you can see how CUTE she is! Speaking of Daniel's family, it's my mother-in-law's birthday today...HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSIE!!!! I hope you have a special, wonderful great as you are. :)

On our way out of Raleigh heading back to Richmond on Sunday, we stopped to meet Jenny, precious Maddie and Mike for icecream at Goodberry's! Yum! We had a great time seeing them...watching Maddie walk around and sharing our icecream with social Mads. We had the pugs with us and Maddie loved seeing them. Zeus and Maddie had an instant connection (Lily and Zeus loved each other, too) and Jenny was able to capture a moment of kisses from Maddie to Zeus. I love that little girl like she is my own...such a sweet, sweet family!

I started Personal Training this week and I LOVE it. If there were a greater word for love, than that would describe my passion for this job. This is what I went to school for and what I've always wanted to do. I am happy to say, I have found my dream and "call" in life. I couldn't be happier. I feel as if I'm making a difference in other's lives, and this makes me feel good, too. I am still working my full-time job, so nonetheless, life is's amazing though what one can get accomplished when you awake at 5 am!

Daniel and I close on our house next week on Friday the 28th. We are super excited and can hardly stand it. Beginning on the 28th, I will be taking a hiatus from my blog as I work two jobs and in the meantime fix house. Once the house gets in order, I'll be back to the blogging world. :)

I have been cooking as usual, but am finding many quick, easy meals to prepare. Monday night I had chicken tenders in which I coated in bbq sauce, then rolled them in panko...baked them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, and can we say "yum?" Served this with sweet potatoes, fresh corn on the cob and salad. Tonight we are having pork chops...if the recipe is a success---I'll share it with you.

So, that's my life in a nutshell...have a great rest of your week.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

Amazing pretty much sums up how these cookies taste:


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips


1. Heat oven to 350
2. Beat butter, sugar and peanut butter in medium bowl until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture, blending well. Stir in milk chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 12-14 minutes or until light brown. Transfer to cooling rack...

Enjoy with a glass of milk! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thai Tuesday

Delicious, quick, easy, healthy recipe you must try!

Thai Chicken Saute
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon oyster or fish sauce (or water if you don't have other sauces on hand---like me)
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 cup sliced onion
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong...or less if you don't like things spicy)
1 tablespoon Splenda (I didn't do this, but you can if you desire)
1 cup snow peas (I added this for some color and it was great!)
1 cup green onions
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 lime wedges
1/2 cup peanuts
Brown rice, for serving

Toss chicken with cornstarch and oyster sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add onion, green onions and ginger to pan; sauté 1 minute. Then add snow peas and stir fry for a few minutes. Next, add garlic.

Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until done. Stir in coconut milk, Sriracha, sugar, and juice; cook 45 seconds or until thoroughly heated.

Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro. Serve chicken mixture over rice with lime wedges.

*I served this with broccoli and fresh orange slices. These were perfect sides to complement the dish! Now, I'm enjoying a couple delicious peanut butter and chocolate chip homemade cookies...mmmm...will post the recipe soon!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Mother's are so special! On this Mother's Day I am especially grateful for my wonderful Mother. She is my role model...I hope to one day be as awesome as she is. :) Thank you, Mom, for everything you have taught me unconditionally...give me advice...and more. I could go on and on. I love you!

I cooked dinner tonight for Mom and Dad (and of course-the hubs). We had fish tacos, black bean salad and coleslaw. For dessert we had Sauteed Cherries in Zinfandel over icecream. Delicious, light, summery dinner! If you like red wine, I suggest you try the's super easy, fast and delicious.

Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema

Cumin, coriander, and paprika lend these fish tacos a delightfully warm, smoky flavor. They're the perfect foundation for the zippy sour cream sauce. For an appealing variation, substitute peeled medium shrimp for the snapper or romaine in place of cabbage.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 tacos)

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets (I used grouper b/c snapper was not at the fish store...grouper worked great!)
Cooking spray
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cabbage
Preheat oven to 425°.

To prepare crema, combine the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

To prepare tacos, combine cumin and next 5 ingredients (through garlic powder) in a small bowl; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over both sides of fish. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place fish in a bowl; break into pieces with a fork. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each with 1/4 cup cabbage and 1 tablespoon crema.
(recipe from Cooking Light)

Sauteed Cherries in Zinfandel over Vanilla Ice Cream

Adapted from a recipe found in Cooking Light
Serves 2

1 cup frozen pitted cherries
1/2 cup Zinfandel wine
3 T sugar
1 c. vanilla ice cream

Add 1 cherries, Zinfandel and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat until just boiling, then turn to low and allow the liquid to reduce. Drizzle cherries and sauce over a 1/2 c. scoop of vanilla ice cream.
(recipe from a friends blog, she adapted from Cooking Light)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Baked Mac n'Cheese

It's been a while since my last cooking post! Life is so busy between job(s) (yes-plural), buying a house, getting ready to move into the house, taking care of puppies, etc., etc., etc. Daniel and I were at the gym tonight (yes-on a Friday night---we lead exciting lives) and I just told him that I wish there were 40 hours in a day. 24 is just not enough! But, I guess I would fill the 40 hours just like I seem to fill up the 24...ugh. Other than keeping very busy, life has been good. I (we) are so blessed!

Tonight I actually got to cook a home-made meal. I was so happy to get in the kitchen (other than re-heating leftovers or making a super simple dinner) and take time to cook a good meal. Daniel is a huge fan of Mac n'Cheese, so I thought I'd make this for him. :) My stomach doesn't do too well with cheese, plus I don't really enjoy it...but I still love a good mac n'cheese and pizza once in blue moon. I just have to prepare myself for the pain later....

Anyways, we found this "Baked Macaroni and Cheese" recipe from Alton Brown in a "People" Magazine. We thought it looked good, so gave it a try. We both agreed that it was very good, but it was very different from any mac n'cheese we've had. It had quite a bit of onion flavor, and it wasn't as cheesy as I thought it may be. I was happy about this, but it was odd though because the recipe did have a good amount of cheese in it. If you'd like to try a different (but good!) mac n'cheese, I suggest you give this a try.

1/2 pound elbow macaroni (I used whole wheat)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard (I used 1 tsp. of reg. mustard, b/c did not have powdered on hand)
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

...That's it for now, folks. I am making a yummy dinner of fish tacos, black bean salad, and more for Mother's Day on Sunday. Mom and Dad are coming over for dinner and to give us updates on James since they are there this weekend visiting (well my Mom has been there all week). :) I've been up since 5:15 am and have to work 9-5 tomorrow, so it's off to bed for me...oh I'm so lame on a Friday night...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

James Carlisle Conschafter

Baby James was born on April 30th, 2010 at 1:12 am weighing 8 lbs. 5 oz. and 22 inches. James has a full head of's a light auburn color and blue eyes. Mom, Dad and baby are all doing terrific. James comes from my side of the family, as my Dad's name is James, and my brother Stephen's middle name is James. People call my Dad Jim though...I think they want to call the baby James and not shorten it. Carlisle comes from Amanda's side of the family.

My parents have been there since Amanda went into the hospital, so I've been lucky enough to get many details of the process. The family of three are coming home tomorrow, Sunday. My parents are such PROUD Grandparents...I don't ever think I've seen them so in love with a little child. I am a very happy and proud Aunt...I just wish I could meet him NOW! :( Daniel and I have been enjoying a very relaxing short vacation at my parents beach house in Pawleys Island. The next free time in our busy calendar is at the end of May when we'll head to Reston and meet James. I will be counting down the days! I am already in love with him as he is my brother's child...what a special, happy time for our family. :) Life is so precious...Life is so good.

Pictures to come!