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Greek Turkey Burger Recipe and other things

I had a request for the recipe for the Greek turkey burgers and sweet potato fries that I cooked yesterday and was more than happy to share. The original recipe I found on All Recipes.com (love that site!) and I modified it slightly.

Greek Turkey Burgers

You will need:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-2 cloves fresh pressed garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)
  • ground black pepper and salt to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat the grill for medium high heat.
  • In a large bowl, combine turkey, feta cheese, olives, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix together, and form into patties.
  • Lightly oil the grate. Place patties on the grill. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, turning halfway through.

I usually serve them on whole wheat hamburger buns with fresh spinach, fresh sliced tomatoes, sliced english cucumber and a sprinkle of any leftover feta cheese. Makes four to six burgers.

The sweet potato fries are the easiest ever! Simply scrub the outside, slice into thin fries and place on a baking sheet. Coat evenly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes, turning halfway through. Yum!

Anyway, today was a fun day. We drove up into Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. I was really excited to see the world’s biggest trees but unfortunately tire chains were required to drive more than 14 miles up into the mountains which is where the biggest sequoias are. *sad face* We drove up as far as they would let up though and then got out and hiked around a little. There were even some young sequoias which were really neat to see. I’ll post pictures when I get home. It was still a really fun day and we saw some beautiful views. I can’t wait until I can go back and see the actual big sequoias. I’m hoping that Joel, Phoebe and I can come back some time when it’s warmer so we can go camping with Liz, Brandon and Hunter. I think that would be a lot of fun.

Brain Ache

This is both awesome and nauseating at the same time. Not in a, it’s gross way but in a motion sickness kind of way. I kind of love it. I found it easier to play in “night mode” because the picture distracted me. Try it out and tell me if it makes your brain ache too.

First-Person Tetris

An Apple a Year?

Joel and I took a trip to the Apple store today to get his computer fixed. While I was there I got a seriously awesome case for my iPhone. It’s the iSkin Solo FX. It’s cute and red with circles plus it’s non slip so I can set my iPhone on smooth surfaces without worrying about it getting knocked on the ground. Look how pretty!

The best part is, when the phone is asleep, the screen protector turns into a compact mirror! Can you say genius? Well it is for a girl on the go like me. It’s the simple things in life that amuse me, ok?

I seriously love my phone. Joel and I both got the 3G iPhone when it came out a year and a half ago. Unfortunately, Joel was mugged very shortly after getting his but so far I’ve beaten off all attackers and gotten hours of use and enjoyment out of mine. Before I got it I had to lug my heavy laptop along with me on all my trips. It wasn’t easy finding wifi that I didn’t have to pay for and pulling it in and out of my bag at security was a pain. The iPhone eliminated all that hassle.

When the 3Gs came out last summer we briefly considered getting Joel one but when they announced the features we were less than impressed. Let’s see, $299 (because the $199 price is for new customers. Don’t even get me started on customer loyalty, ugh!) and the main difference is video and a compass. Yeah… not that exciting considering dozens of cell phones already offer video and I already have a pretty good sense of direction. Just didn’t seem worth spending almost $300 plus signing another 2 year contract with AT&T (especially since we’ve become less and less satisfied with their services).

It’s just so frustrating because when the first iPhone came out it was groundbreaking. Apple has always been on the cutting edge of technology and the first iPhone was no exception. The thing is, I think Apple got greedy. Seems like their thinking was to release new upgrades little by little so that people have to have a new iPhone every year. Why give the customer the full product all at once when you can make them pay for five or six? Why else would they wait to add something simple like cut and paste? Or Flash (which the iPhone still doesn’t offer)? Or video? The maps application, while helpful, is definitely not turn by turn GPS. (One of my favorite things to do while Joel is driving is to yell at him to get out of a lake or a building since that’s where my phone says our “current location” is. It doesn’t amuse him much.) You can pay $50-$100 for the Tom Tom app if you want to add GPS to your phone or AT&T sent me a text that said they offer GPS service you can pay monthly for.

I understand there may be more to it than just greed. It just feels like they’re pushing things a bit too far. Consumers aren’t stupid, especially ones that buy Macintosh products. *wink* There are lots of other phones out there that offer just as much, if not more, than the iPhone. The iPhone is starting to not be that special. Joel and I are waiting until our contract is up this summer. Hopefully the new iPhone will be out by then and is totally awesome. Because I love Apple, I really do love my iPhone and quite frankly I’d rather not have to get used to a whole new phone.

So Apple, consider this your notice. I don’t like feeling like I’m being jerked around. The next iPhone better be the best thing out there. I know you can do it.

Plus, how many phones can I find that turn into a mirror?!

My New Favorite Song

I have an obsession with dance music. I’m not sure exactly when it began. Probably during my first trip to Amsterdam when I was 14. It also helped that I moved to Europe when I was 18 and that’s basically all they play in the clubs there. I didn’t know any different. When I finally turned 21 I was sorely disappointed by the music they play at most of the clubs in the states. Just not the same.

Anyway, a local radio station plays Dance Factory Radio late at night and Joel and I enjoy listening to it on our drives home from visiting my family. Tonight while listening I discovered my new song obsession. It puts a giant smile on my face. Seriously, listening to it makes me so happy. So, I needed to share with all of you what will, no doubt, be on repeat on my iTunes for several days.

Ravers in the UK by DJ Manian:

Please ignore the random girls in soapy bikinis. Just turn your speakers up and enjoy the awesome sound.

p.s. I’m pretty sure I even understand the lyrics to this song… Pretty sure.

Embarrassing Facts About Me: Volume One

Singing is in my blood. My dad is an amazing tenor and passed down that talent in some form or another to all his kids. When we were little we would go around like the Von Trapp family singers and perform in nursing homes or churches. I loved it. I am not the best singer in the world but I can carry a tune fairly well. One thing I have problems with though is understanding lyrics. I don’t really know what is wrong with me. Maybe I’m slightly deaf… or just a little special. There have been songs where I was sure I knew the lyrics only to find out they were actually completely different than what I thought. A recent example: You know the song Now I’m That Bitch? If not here it is from Lala.

Yeah, until I downloaded it the other day I thought the words were, Now I’m Bad-ish. (I actually kind of like my lyrics better but whatever.) While I can’t remember any more examples off the top of my head I know there are dozens of other songs like that. I just can’t understand lyrics for some reason. Here is a visual of what I sound like when I try to sing a song.

Minus all the awkward dedications of course.

I felt bad the first time I watched this video because I could not stop laughing. I am never one to advocate bullying or teasing but her social awkwardness was not what I was laughing at. It’s because that is how I sound when I try to sing along to pop songs! I may be a bit more on key but it’s mostly mumbling until I come to the main catch phrase of the song. And even that I can’t get right all the time!

It’s ok, you can laugh at me. I’m laughing right along with you.

Boys from Jersey for our Birthdays!

Today was my sister Bekah’s birthday. She turned 17 today which kind of blows my mind since I saw her be born. Anyway, my birthday is on the 17th so we decided to take each other to a musical for our birthdays.

We took the train downtown so we got there about two hours early. That left us plenty of time to grab some Starbucks and Rebekah tried her first white chocolate mocha.

She approved.

After we warmed up and got our little caffeine buzz we grabbed some lunch. Bekah wanted a burger but the only places my iPhone could find within several blocks of us that served burgers were McDonalds, *gag*. There were three within a block of us. Three! Who needs that many McDonalds? Anyway, we settled for Corner Bakery which was another first for Bekah. After we ordered and sat down we noticed the sign on the table and were horrified that neither of our choices were on the list…

because it was a list of choices that were under 600 calories. Dude! Our meals weren’t under 600 calories?! It did say on the bottom that there were more choices under 600 calories online. I haven’t checked… I’m a little afraid to be honest.

After our delicious but possibly incredibly fattening meal it was finally time to see the show.

Yay, Jersey Boys!

The show was fabulous. It was lighthearted and fun. The audience amused me because most of them were in their late 70’s or older. They bobbed right along to the music and some even sang along. It was cute. The whole cast was incredibly¬† talented. My favorite by far was the actor who played Frankie Valli, John Micheal Dias. That dude has an amazing voice. I would recommend you go see it but the Chicago run ends on the 10th so you’d have to really hurry.

Happy birthday, Bekah. Thanks for being so awesome and going to the show with me. Let’s make this a tradition. *smile*

Ten Things I Should Like but Don’t

I saw this on a friend’s blog and thought it was an interesting idea. So here it is,

Ten things I should like but don’t:

1. Cilantro

I love Mexican food. Love, love, love it. It’s one of my favorite ethnic foods. However, I can’t stand the taste of cilantro. There are very few flavors that make me feel nauseous and that is one of them. Thankfully there are many Mexican dishes that don’t use cilantro heavily.

2. Girly movies

I am not really a girly girl. In some ways I suppose I am but for the most part I’m perfectly happy in jeans, a t-shirt and tennis shoes. This extends to my choice in movies. I would much prefer so see a gory horror movie or an exciting thriller than a formulaic chick flick any day.

3. Thongs

I hate feeling like I’m walking around with a wedgie all day long. They may look sexy and I do own a few but I much prefer, er, full coverage.

4. High heels

See number 2. I need my shoes to be comfortable.

5. Wine

I really try. I would like nothing more than to be one of those classy ladies who relaxes with a nice glass of merlot or knows what kind to order with any entree. I just can’t get over the flavor. Yet. I’m working on it.

6. Make up

Who invented make up? I have a thing or two I’d like to say to them. Seriously, it cakes, it runs, it gets in your eyes, it clogs your pores and if you forget to take it off before you go to bed you wake up feeling like your face is going to crack off. Ugh! I swear if I wasn’t cursed with dark circles under my eyes I would never wear make up at all.

7. Waking up before noon

I am not a morning person. I would love to be but, despite my best efforts, if left to my own devices I never wake up long before noon. It doesn’t matter how many mornings in a row I get up early or how early I go to bed. If I don’t set an alarm don’t expect me to wake up before at least 10:30am.

8. Stubble

Some women think a five o’clock shadow is sexy. I admit there are some men on whom it actually does look pretty darn good. It’s not actually the appearance I don’t like, it’s how it feels against my face. I hate it when I start to really get into a kiss only to be snapped out of the moment because it feels like my face is rubbing up against sandpaper. Shave please!

9. Ring tones

I used to think ring tones were pretty nifty. I often downloaded the themes of my favorite shows or one of the hits off the radio to my phone. I don’t really know what happened. Maybe I sat next to that person on the train one to many times. You know the one whose top 40 ring tone is so loud you practically wet yourself when it goes off. Or maybe I had my own ring tone go off in an embarrassing setting one too many times. I don’t remember. At some point I decided that vibrate was a perfectly good way of being notified my phone was going off and now if anyone’s ring tone goes off, even my own, I feel annoyed.

10. Internet surveys

Ironic since I’m doing one, no? I don’t hate all of them but I think I got burned out on the endless bulletins on MySpace. You can only hear about someone’s first kiss, what color shirt they’re wearing right now, and have them coyly not answer if there’s someone they’re interested in so many times.

So there you have it.

People whose answers I think would be hilarious are:

Ex Hot Girl

Okay Seriously

Baby Rabies

Ineke

Zahara

Liz

and

JewliaGoulia

Plus, anyone else who feels the urge to post their own answers I would love to read them. If you do, please leave me a comment so I can enjoy your post. *smile*

The Decade in Seven Minutes

I found this video so interesting. It really made me think about and remember the last decade. It’s amazing how short a time things that I take for granted have been around, like Facebook or iPods. In 2000 I had barely entered my teens and I was a bit of a nomad because of hard times with my family. I thought I knew so much about the world and life. I guess all teenagers think they have it figured out. I’m now old enough to know I don’t have it all figured out but I’m excited to try. I almost can’t believe how much I’ve changed in the last 10 years, I know my 13 year old self would be quite surprised at how things turned out. Throughout the decade I grew up, graduated high school, became an adult, moved to Europe, got married and became a flight attendant. All in ten short years.

This last decade was good but it was also really hard. I have made great friends and lost other great friends, ones I thought I could never ever lose. I have learned so much about life and people. I’ve become a lot more cynical and I don’t trust as easily as I used to. I haven’t lost my love for life or my optimism though, in fact I believe I love life even more. I do appreciate my family now, they are the most important people in my world. I am more loyal and love more fiercely than ever.

I am very hopeful as the world moves into the new decade. I hope that people will learn to love their fellow man no matter what their beliefs. I hope that people will learn to put aside politics in favor for doing what is best for the country and the world. I hope I learn and grow more than ever. I hope hurts will be healed and wrongs can be forgiven. I hope to make many new friends and to grow closer to the old ones. I hope for prosperity for myself, my family and the world. More than anything I hope that I never stop hoping.

I will always remember the 2000’s both with fondness and sadness. It was an amazing decade. Hopefully the 2010’s are far, far better.

New Year

I hope everyone had a fabulous time bringing in the new year. I had a really fun night with people that mean the world to me. Everyone should be as lucky and loved as I am.

Since it’s the new year and all I’ve decided to change how I blog a little. I’m a perfectionist. It’s a blessing and a curse, but mostly a curse. Now, it may not be obvious to those who read my blog, but when I put together a post it has to be something major or interesting (to me anyway). I generally spend ages getting the content together, resizing and editing pictures, finding links or videos, rewording things so they’re just right etc. A lot of my posts take me hours to put together and I have a whole list of posts in draft mode that are waiting to be finished. This is why I don’t blog more often, especially when there has been an event in my life that I want to blog about. I get stuck working on a “major” post and it takes me so long I lose interest. However, I don’t want to post anything else because my “big” post isn’t done yet and there would be continuity issues.

Ridiculous, I know. Well, I’m done with that. Not that I won’t be putting together “major” posts anymore, because seriously I’m still me but I’m going to try to get on here and talk about the every day a little more. I figure, I enjoy reading blogs like that and my life and thoughts can be fairly interesting (at least I think so), so why not? This blog is ultimately for me anyway. Sure, I’d love it if someday I’m one of those bloggers with lots of friends that I don’t know irl and who gets interesting discussions going in the comments section.  Until then I’m going to use this as what it is, an online journal. I’m going to be who I am regardless of who is reading. I’m going to document my life, if for no other reason, than to be able to someday look back and see how much I’ve grown and changed.

I’m always excited for a new year. While I’m not one to make a list of resolutions on January 1st, I am excited about what this new year will bring. It’s going to be a year of getting used to being a grounded flight attendant, finding a new job while I wait for the economy to improve so I can start flying again, but most of all I hope this year is a year of learning, changing and growing. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about my life journey in 2010.

My beef with Peta

I was listening to talk radio the other day and they were discussing Peta’s recently rejected ad campaign.


‘Grace’: PETA’s Thanksgiving ad

All that stuff in the ad? It’s true. The way animals bred for food are treated is disgusting. I say this because there was a caller that said if that stuff was actually true she couldn’t enjoy her Thanksgiving turkey. Sorry lady, it’s all true. The meat we eat comes from animals that are so mistreated it’s almost unbelievable. I literally could not finish watching certain videos. It was that sickening. And Quentin Tarantino is one of my favorite filmmakers. Just saying.

Not to mention the fact that our food is pumped so full of hormones and chemicals it’s causing all kinds of health problems. Plus, these animals live in so much filth that they actually consume their own feces. *gag* If you really think about it, eating meat is disgusting and actually pretty bad for you.

Well Abigail, you must be a vegan or at least a vegetarian if you truly feel this way, right? Actually no, I’m not. It’s not because I love steak so much (although I do). Or my cravings for cheese pizza are so overwhelming (sometimes they are). I could get over that. Actually, Joel and I both went vegan for 30 days. During this month period I realized why I can’t be a vegan and why Peta has it all wrong.

The problem with Peta is they’re focusing so much on the mistreatment of animals. They hope that, just by presenting people with the facts, it will change their minds. Then people will see the light and magically love all animals and move into a forest and skip around singing happy tunes while birds perch on nearby branches. Right.

Some people won’t care at all. Others will. Those that feel guilty will try to cut out some of their meat dishes. Maybe eat more salad for awhile. But I think we all know, one can only live on salad for so long. Eventually they’ll crave protein and head to their local Whole Foods (if they’re lucky enough to have one). When they get there they’re going to take one look at the price of tofu and decide maybe hamburger isn’t so bad for them and their 7 kids.

Because in the end money talks. For the average person budgeting their time and money, a vegetarian (or dare I say vegan) lifestyle isn’t that realistic. This is why more people, including myself are not vegan. It’s hard. Especially if you do any kind of traveling. I did it as a flight attendant and, unless I planned ahead and cooked my meals in advance, I found myself at the airport eating a side salad, potato chips and juice. Again. I’m sorry but I am not good at planning ahead, especially when it comes to food. I do cook from time to time but, the closer it comes to ready made, the better in my opinion.

Joel and I eat out a lot. Definitely too much. It’s a fault and it’s something I’m working on. However, no matter how much better I get at planning meals and actually following through and cooking them, I’m positive there are going to be times when I’d just rather order in. Or we’ll be on a road trip. Or whatever. Fact is, it’s tricky to find good, filling vegetarian options that are quick and easy. God forbid you’re trying to find something that’s vegan! Now, Whole Foods has a bunch of vegan options that are actually really delicious. But every time we shop there I do a double take at our bank account as to whether I just went grocery shopping or made a car payment. We are not rich. And if we shop at Whole Foods too often we might actually have to choose between food and a car.

What I’m trying to say in the longest way possible is, if Peta is truly serious about animal welfare, they need to stop trying to treat the symptoms and focus on the disease. Stop trying to shut down the slaughter houses. It will never happen as long as the quickest, easiest food options come from there! They need to focus on making vegan food accessible to everyone. They need to find a way to make it cheap. I’m talking McDonald’s cheap. Because seriously, do people eat at McDonald’s because it tastes good? No, they eat there because it’s fast, easy and dirt cheap. Only then will veganism become mainstream. Until Peta figures this out, veganism will continue to be only for the rich, self-sacrificing or ultra organized.

Unfortunately, I don’t fall into any of those categories.

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