What’s for Dinner?

Four Bean Salad

Homemade Four Bean Salad


The traditional Four Bean salad consists of a few things that I do not put into my own salad. First of all, a lot of the recipes used canned beans, which is great if you are in a hurry, but I prefer beans that I need to soak overnight. I feel as though they taste better. So, here is MY recipe for a Four Bean Salad:


  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 scant teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tarragon vinegar, or substitute cider vinegar
  • 14 onces of garbonzo beans (soaked overnight)
  • 14 ounces of Kidney beans (soaked overnight)
  • 14 of soy beans (soaked overnight)
  • 14 ounces of green beans (cooked)
  • one red bell pepper, chopped.
  • small jar pimientos, drained, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
Combine sugar, celery salt, olive oil and vinegars in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 seconds. Combine drained beans in a large bowl; add pimiento and sliced onion. Toss to blend ingredients. Pour dressing over beans and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.

Serves 8- 10 people.

Hints: Now, sometimes I like to add some edemame to the salad too. I like to use soy beans instead of wax beans because I really like soy beans and am not a real big fan of the texture of waxed beans. If you are a fan of any kind of other bean, go ahead and use it. If you like pinto beans or black beans…add ’em! I usually do not use as much sugar as 2/3 cup (I use about 1/3 cup). If there is too much liquid in the bowl, drain it.

Uncooked beans

Tastes great alone or a side to a protein dog and spinach salad. Even great with marinated tofu and some red potatoes. Or… if you are a carnivore  (I am a vegan, as of the January 1, 2011-and LOVIN’ it!) BBQ a shrimp skewer or a strip steak and some potatoes!



Thursday’s Thoughts


It has always bothered me that people always make resolutions to do something for themselves…loose weight, work out, stop drinking, stop eating ice cream, etc.

Why can’t people make a resolution for themselves to help others more, volunteer, etc. Why does it always have to be ‘all about me’.

My thought is… make two resolutions… one: loose weight and work out more, two: volunteer more. Or even better, to combine the two… take part in 5k’s or 15k races that benefit cancer causes or environmental causes.

This Sunday I am taking part in a 5k to help raise money for our environmental causes. The race is called the Revolution Run. This takes place in Mission Bay and Fiesta Island. No only am I burning the calories that I need to use up, I am also helping the environment. What a great way to give back and also take for yourself.

I know all of you have already made your resolution this year, but I challenge you to make one more… one that benefits someone else.


Color of the Week

Rosy Beige. 

Today I literally took my huge box of prisma colors, placed them on my desk, stuck out my hand, closed my eyes, and grabbed a pencil. Which ever color it was, that will be the color of the week. So, this weeks…Rosy Beige.

This color is definitely more in the pink family than the beige family. I would say that it is very similar to a pail Caucasians skin color.

Beige Family paint chips


Found Fun

While on my usual online ‘window’ shopping I found this cute and what appears to be a very comfortable and yet very fashionable wear on Nordstrom‘s online store.

I just wonder if a 5’3″ female, with longer legs than torso (such as myself) would be able to pull these pants off. The shoes…cute. The tank… I’ve got, and the sweater… HELLOO! Comfort!

I am all in!

Fab Fitness

This weekend I was at Costco stocking up for the month and I saw the Wii EA Sports Active 2. It was on sale and cheaper than any other place I have seen, so I purchased it.

I tried it out yesterday and man… it did a good working on my muscles. I can’t wait to use it again today!

Try it!

Thursday’s Thoughts

Socializing or what a lot of professional refer to as, Networking. IntoDesign has expanded itself into the networking realm of the internet. I never really liked Facebook or Twitter and LinkedIn but not too long ago I discovered Pinterest.

I admit that I have failed on keeping up with Pinterest or any other networking site besides the ever popular Facebook and Twitter. But, now that IntoDesign has invested in a Sony Bloggie and a nicer camera…I think that we shall spend a little more time in these areas of social networking and professional sites.

SO look out for more IntoDesign on the web!

Fab Fitness

One of my best Christmas presents this year was from none other than my beloved. He remembered that a long time ago (about a year) I had mentioned that I wanted a pedometer/heart rate monitor watch. Well, Christmas morning I had opened a very odd shaped package, and there it was!

This thing is AWESOME! I went to Disneyland on Monday and monitored my steps. Now keep in mind that in D-Land…there is a lot of standing in lines. But here is my number: 7066 steps. Not too bad. Yesterday I wore it to see how many steps I take on a average day…7123. Yeah! I am sure that my does not reflect a ‘normal’ day as I did go shopping yesterday with my brother and sister-in-law. Lots of walking at a mall and not much standing around. I measured my heart rate today while I did my morning spin bike…my high was 178 bpm. Not bad. At resting my heart rate is about 64 bpm.

This watch can  measure mph, calories, an alarm, stop watch, heart rate, and steps. It keeps your goals saved and when I first used it, it asked me my date of birth and weight!

As I had said before…This thing is AWESOME!

What’s For Dinner?


butternut squash
Vidalia onion
chicken stock
half and half (may use fat free)
salt and pepper


Peel 1 large butternut squash. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds and pulp. Cut into 1-inch chunks.Sauté 1/2 chopped Vidalia onion in 2 tablespoons butter until translucent.

Add cubed squash and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Add 6 cups chicken stock or low sodium bouillon.

Simmer for 25 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. Puree in blender. (Do not do this while squash is hot. Steam may crack the glass or cover of blender.)

Return pureed squash to a pot. Stir in 1 cup half and half or milk (more for a thinner soup).

Add 2 tsp. dried dill, 1 tsp. nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish each bowl with a sprig of fresh dill.

Serve with a French baguette.

FunDay! MonDay!

Welcome Back! Hope all of you had a great Christmas! I certainly did.

What is the Happiest Place on Earth?… DISNEYLAND!

Since my family is in town and even though we are all adults, we still love Disneyland. My whole (immediate) family only gets together once a year so we take full advantage of it. We always try to spend as much time together as possible and why not do it at Disneyland. My brothers and I grew up with good old Walt and can still remember (and quote) all the classics. One of my favorite areas at the park is ‘Down Town New Orleans’. The iron work and details to this area are astonishing.

Found Fun

Time to wrap all my gifts. Luckily I have found some great paper to use.

I try to make all my gift wrapping as individual as the gifts are. Here are some great inspirations for your gift wrapping…..

Container Store has all your needs for wrapping your gifts this year,  from bows, ribbon, tape, bags, tissue paper, stuffing, and wrapping paper.


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