Remember when I told you about my New Year's Resolutions?  And how my friend Marnely from Cooking with Books and I had made a resolution to cook a live lobster (after humanely killing it, of course)?  Well, we set a deadline of end of January to do so, so I needed to find a live lobster ASAP.

I didn't even know where to find a live lobster, so I performed a google search and found a great lobster company out of Maine, Simply Lobsters.  I worked with Don, who was an absolute joy to work with.  He was so quick to respond to my email and sent me a lobster to review via overnight shipping.  I spoke to him at 9am on Wednesday and by 9am the next morning there was a fresh 3lb. lobster from Maine sitting at my front door (carefully wrapped up of course!)!  Keep reading to see how you can win the giveaway of two 1.65 lb lobsters for Valentine's Day! 

The lobster arrived alive, as it should be, and was carefully packaged with its claws wrapped in rubber bands (so it didn't attack me!).  Here's a sneak peak at the whole process:
 
 
I've been craving something for forever.  FOR.EV.ER. (Sandlot Style).  I've been craving some peanut sauce.  Any way I can get it.  I've had this Jade Peanut Sauce for a long long time and have been dying to use it again.  But I didn't want to make a noodle dish... I'm sort of "pasta'd-out" (yes, I know that's not a word).  So instead I thought I'd go with a pizza.  This pizza is so great because it is so easy to make, super versatile, and quick (and muy delicioso!).
 
 
Just a quick note to say that I am ECSTATIC to be featured on Cupcakes Take the Cake Blog!  I follow this blog religiously and to see my own cupcakes in my RSS Feed was pretty flipping cool!  So really just stopping by to say I'm happy!  Pop the champagne and make some cupcakes!

Here's the link!:   http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com/2012/01/kir-royale-cupcakes-with-recipe-link.html
 
 
Well.  I will just be upfront with you and tell you that I have a secret.  I am a hoarder.  Maybe not as bad as those on tv, but I have this issue with letting things go.  It's a sentimental thing.  I always think that if I loved it enough to buy it then I should probably hang on to it.  It's also easy to be attached to things that were given to me or I inherited, as they don't seem like my things to sell or donate.  So basically what ended up happening was this: EXPLODING cabinets with no organization and one overwhelmed food blogger.  Can you imagine loving to cook but hating your kitchen...this was me.  Too much stuff that I didn't need, so I couldn't access the things I did.  The kitchen just seemed way.too.small.  And yes, one day I will want a big kitchen, but I'm stuck with a smaller one for now so I needed to make it work. 

Enter Juli, Matt's sister.  I've talked about her before here and here.  She is an organizational queen.  Seriously.  If you need someone to help you organize your stuff, look no further, she can do wonders.  We spent Saturday evening and night working on this project and she basically turned my kitchen from an overflowing mess, to a place where everything I need is easily accessible.  Amazing.  I was terrible at taking before/after pics but I do have some of each and can't wait to share them.  Please don't judge me for being a messy hoarder, or if you do, please keep it to yourself... thanks :)

Here are some Before/During photos:
 
 
Well, as some of you may already know through twitter, my boyfriend surprised me with a trip this Christmas.  He also surprised me with a trip last Christmas (to VEGAS, and the Grand Canyon) but you probably don't know about that because I hadn't started blogging (or tweeting) then.  This year he decided to go bigger... a longer trip, a longer flight and an awesome location...

Here's a hint:
Also known as HAWAII:
I won't gush about all of the details of the gift (which includes a LOST tour) but I will say that it involved a slideshow. And that said slideshow was password protected with the code being: 4 8 15 16 23 42 (and then press EXECUTE).  I just love that man.  

So anyway, now that the time for resolutions is upon us, and my trip is happening in February, I am working to continue with exercising regularly and eating a bit healthier (ignore the fact that my last post was about cookies...I exercised restraint people, I swear).  So I decided to take a traditional winter classic and give it a healthy spin, and that's how this hot chocolate was born...
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The Elements:
1 cup non-fat skim milk
1 scoop EAS Chocolate protein powder (or an alternative if you have a favorite kind already)
A steamer of some sort (or you could alternatively microwave your milk)

Procedure:
Steam the milk, then mix the protein powder in to the hot milk, stirring until it is fully incorporated

The Verdict: 
Honestly I thought it was almost as good as the real thing.  Now when I say "the real thing" I mean real chocolate shavings and not the crushed powder that you buy at the store.  If you are used to the powder, than I would say that this is just as good!  Love it.  Easy and I don't have to feel guilty eating it.  Bring on the bikini! (Okay not quite there yet, but getting there!)  EAS powder is a great choice because it is 23g of protein with 130 calories and only 3 carbs!  Other protein powders may work just as well, this one I just love because it tastes fantastic and is very versatile (I also love to mix it in a blender with 1 cup vanilla or regular soy milk to make a healthy chocolate milk!)

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Here are a few of my other favorite healthy items*:
Greek Yogurt-- high in protein and low in calories and carbs
Uncle Ben's Whole Grain Ready Rice-- whole grain rice that's ready in 90 seconds!
Skim milk
Grapes
Bananas
Green Tea
Cottage Cheese (individual packs, fat-free)--still getting used to this one...

*The thoughts and opinions in this post are mine alone and no one has provided me with these items
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
What are your new year's resolutions??


These are some of mine:
  • keep working out regularly and eating smart
  • create more time for the things I really love, like maintaining this blog and developing recipes
  • make more videos for the blog, such as the one I did here
  • make the following things at some point this year: pork belly, foie gras, braised lamb, and attempt some surprises I have up my sleeve
  • try making some things I haven't done before--I'm currently working on a list of things to try in 2012 with my beautiful and talented friend Marnely from Cooking with Books.  So far we would like to do the following: pork belly (as mentioned above), pate, fresh lobster (meaning, still alive, not just tails), something involving molecular gastronomy, shuck oysters (and other shellfish), filet a whole fish, learn to perfectly cook steaks to all temperatures, and how to butcher beef properly.