Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Margherita Pizza

Fun fact about me: I hate tomatoes. I try them every year and each time I do, I walk away slightly disappointed that they are still just as disgusting as the year before. There is one way I will eat tomatoes in a heartbeat though - on a delicious slice of Margherita Pizza.


You would never think a pizza with no marinara sauce could be so good, but trust me - this pizza will change your life!

IMPORTANT NOTE: This recipe is for 2 pizzas. If you don't feel up to making two, (which I highly suggest you do, because they're that good and you're going to want leftovers) then just half it.

Ingredients:

For the pizza dough:

  • 1-1/2 cup hot water (as hot as you can run it from the tap, but NOT BOILING or you will kill the yeast)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dry active yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour (or all-purpose can be substituted)
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • olive oil

For the toppings:

  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves sliced garlic
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 6 fresh basil leaves

Directions
  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let sit for five minutes until yeast blooms.
  2. Add the olive oil, sugar, and salt to the yeast and stir.
  3. In a separate, medium bowl, measure out flour and add yeast mixture to it - stir until well combined. (The dough may appear very gooey, but this is completely normal. Don't add flour because it makes for a much more tender dough.)
  4. Spray a separate bowl with cooking spray and place dough in it - cover and set aside in a warm location for one hour. (Warm location suggestions: above the refrigerator, above the cabinets, or on the stove as it preheats.)
  5. After dough is done rising, preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Roll out half of the dough onto a flat surface to about 3/4 inch thick. (Use some extra flour if necessary, to keep from sticking)
  7. Place rolled out dough onto a pizza stone or pizza pan.
  8. With a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of olive oil over pizza. 
  9. Thinly slice two garlic cloves and spread evenly over pizza.
  10. THINLY slice 2 tomatoes (the thinner they are, the less soggy your pizza will be) and spread evenly over pizza.
  11. In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and spread HALF of it over pizza.
  12. Slice basil into thin strips and spread evenly over pizza.
  13. Finish it off with the rest of the cheese mixture.
  14. Cook in oven on the lowest rack for 11-13 minutes. (Make sure to keep a close eye on it during the last couple minutes so the cheese doesn't burn.)
  15. Repeat for other half of dough.

Time to enjoy a taste of traditional Italy. I hope you enjoy this little slice of heaven!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Man Mondays: Cambodian Kung Pao Chicken

The moment you all have been waiting for:  the first post featuring Zach, author of Man Mondays!! *Zach patiently waits for the fan-fare to die down*  Thanks everyone. That was nice. I'm honored to present to you, my first post!

A couple of disclaimers for any smart-alecs out there: I know, I know, Kung Pao is Chinese, but with my limited Cambodian skills, I don't know how "palatial guardian" translates... so you can deal with it... or leave (don't tell Sarah I said that).  Additionally, this recipe has nothing to do with a grill.  You will find a lot of the recipes that I put down on Mondays are grill-less.  High Heels & Grills was merely a way to cleverly explain the symbiosis that is Sarah and I via a blog title. As clever as it may be, it isn't as literal as some of you might hope. Sorry for the disappointment.

For those of you who are wondering, I do know Cambodian.  Well, a little light on the "know." Let's just say I served a mission for my church and learned the language, sort of.  I digress.  To the point: I love Cambodian food.  You don't need to learn the language or even go to the country to fall in love with the food.  So, this recipe is my tribute to Cambodian food and dedicated to you folks, who may never have tried anything Cambodian in your life.

Now, on to the recipe.  I derived this fantastical meal from a recipe in a Cambodian cookbook.  However, I felt it had many flaws, so I made it my own.


For your convenience and weight-watching needs, I have also included the calories per serving of this meal.  You are welcome.

Ingredients:
  • 5 dried red chili peppers (for the small-fries), or 8-10 (for extra PAO... get it? Okay.)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips (for calorie watching, make sure it's about a pound of chicken)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 in fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 zucchini, halved (hot-dog style for those who need everything spelled out...) and sliced.
  • 1/4 cup of oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (low sodium is what we used, and there was still plenty of salt - promise)
  • (Optional) Cilantro for garnish
  • (Optional) 2 cups, uncooked white rice


Directions:
  • Soak the dried chilies in warm water for 30 minutes or so.  Make sure they are completely submerged... they like to float.  You can use the superbly scientific method of placing a mug on top of them to get the job done, like yours-truly did.
  • If you want rice, put it in the rice-cooker/pot now so it's nice and ready when everything else is.
  • While the chilies are soaking, prep all the other ingredients. If you are like me, it will actually take 30 minutes... OCD or not, it's how I do things. Exhibit A:
  • Heat the oil in a wok or large (very large) skillet and sauté the sliced chilies and cashews until the nuts are golden brown. Beware: this happens pretty quick!
  • Add the chicken, garlic, and ginger and fry until the chicken just barely starts to brown. Add the zucchini chunks and bell pepper niblets and cook for another 3 minutes or so.
  • It may look dry, DO NOT MESS WITH IT, because now you will add the soy sauce and oyster sauce. Dryness-crisis averted. Note: don't be alarmed by the funky smell of the sauce... there's a reason it's called oyster sauce. It will still taste awesome!
  • Simmer until the sauce has reduced a little and the veggies are cooked to your liking.
This recipe is fantastic for left-overs and is pretty low on calories if you ask me. *Zach pretends you did ask him...* Here are the calories if prepared exactly as noted above:

Servings: 6 (about 2/3 cup of prepared Kung Pao per serving)
Calories per serving: 220
Calories per serving with 3/4 cup of cooked white rice: 374

Enjoy!

-Zach

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Last year, Zachary and I discovered cinnamon roll pancakes and were instantly hooked. We loved them so much, that we were determined we would have them for breakfast when we went camping over Labor Day weekend. We bought an adapter, so we could use our car to plug in our griddle and we hadn't been at the campsite much longer than ten minutes before the adapter broke. We were irritated beyond belief, but luckily we had brought along a small frying pan. We put that over the sorry-excuse-for-a-grill that was provided at our campsite and somehow, we were able to have cinnamon roll pancakes that morning. Those were the most frustrating pancakes I've ever made in my life, but one bite, and it was totally worth it.


You definitely get the best of both worlds with these - pancakes and cinnamon rolls. Mmm-mm good. Thank you Recipe Girl for sharing this recipe with us!

Ingredients:

Cinnamon Filling:
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze:
  • 4Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • milk (optional)

Pancakes:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil

Directions:

For the cinnamon filling:
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Pour into a zip lock bag and set in the refrigerator until further use.
For the glaze:
  1. In a small bowl, combine butter and cream cheese, stirring until smooth and well combined.
  2. Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla - incorporate well. (I found it to be somewhat stiff at this point, so I added a couple teaspoons of milk to make it feel like more of a glaze than a frosting.) Set aside.
For the pancakes:
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Whisk the milk, eggs, and oil in to dry ingredients until well combined and add to the flour mixture.
  3. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  4. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and add batter to the skillet, making about 4-inch pancakes.
  5. Retrieve cinnamon filling and massage so as to incorporate any butter that may have separated.
  6. Snip the corner of your baggie and squeeze filling into the open corner.
  7. When your pancakes begin to form bubbles, add the filling in a swirling manner.
  8. Cook pancakes 2-3 minutes or until they begin to turn golden-brown and then flip.
  9. Cook 1-2 minutes until golden brown again.
  10. Flip pancakes onto a plate and serve with a drizzle of glaze.
They may seem like a lot of work, but they really are well worth the reward. Enjoy!

-Sarah




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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lemon Crumbles

Here's an easy take on the all-too-famous lemon bars!


Wanna know the secret ingredient? Sweetened condensed milk. Just add that to a little lemon and voila! You have your filling. These are ridiculously easy to whip up. Like ridiculously. But you would never know by how good they are! I got this recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything and am I ever glad I did.


Ingredients:
  • 1/2 up butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon (optional)

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farhenheit.
  2. Mix butter and brown sugar until well combined. 
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and oats.
  4. Add oat and flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture and combine well.
  5. Press half of the resulting mixture into the bottom of an 9x13 inch pan. (Or for thicker bars, put it in an 8x8 pan)
  6. In another bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest - spread on top of oat mixture.
  7. Spread the remaining oat mixture over the sweetened condensed milk layer evenly. (Do not pack down, just sprinkle it all on.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown
These are served best cooled, so the condensed milk has time to set up and doesn't get all over the place. Either way though, they are delightfully delicious!

-Sarah

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Breakfast Pizza

I just need to take a moment and tell you that I have a really great mom (and a great dad too!), but I'm talking about my mom today. Every time we go home, she makes it a point to be sure we have clean sheets, enough snacks to last us our entire trip, and that we are always well fed. I honestly think Zachary's favorite part of visiting my parent's house is breakfast time - particularly, my mom's breakfast pizza.


I really can't blame him though. This stuff is the bomb. It's super easy to make too! My best friend and her husband just stayed the night with us and this is what I made them the next morning. You can whip it up in no time!
Ingredients:
  • 1 package of Pilsbury crescent rolls
  • 7 eggs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 lb. sausage, cooked
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread the crescent rolls on the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. (Six of them fit just fine for me. The other two, I tore up and piled evenly on top of the other six.)
  3. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add enough salt and pepper to your liking - pour on top of crescent rolls.
  4. Spread the sausage evenly into the eggs.
  5. Top it off with the mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
  7. Cut into squares and serve.
It got the title of Breakfast PIZZA because we really have seen everything in it from pepperoni to canadian bacon and pineapple. We are just lame and like it plain and simple. Don't be afraid to get creative with it though! Enjoy.

-Sarah

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Homemade Twix Bars

Want to know my all around go-to dessert recipe? I present to you, the homemade twix bars.


I don't care where you take these babies, they'll be a definite crowd-pleaser. I come home with an empty dish every time. I've made these more than a handful of times and I think this was my best batch yet! Don't mind me as I stuff my face with them while I type this up. (P.S. I found this recipe at King Arthur Flour.)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (Optional)

Directions:

For the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a 9x13 in pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour - at first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together quickly.
  5. Take the dough and press it evenly into the pan. (Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking.)
  6. Prick the crust all over with a fork - this allows steam to escape so the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.
  7. Bake until lightly golden brown on top and edges - about 30-35 minuts.
  8. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set aside to cool completely.
For the caramel layer:
  1. Melt the caramel and cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.
For the chocolate layer:
  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave using ten second increments - stirring every time.
  2. If the chocolate seems too thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. (Just know that this will leave your end-resulting chocolate a little softer than normal. I don't use it for this very reason. )
  3. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread until it covers the entire surface.
  4. Return to the refrigerator (or freezer) until the chocolate is well set.
  5. Cut and serve.
For some added fun, you could even cut the crust and caramel layer into bars and DIP them in the chocolate instead, to make them resemble the real Twix candy bar. I hope you love them!

-Sarah

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Knotts Berry Farm Cookies

Does anyone else love the Knotts Berry Farm cookies as much as I do? I would have to say that they are some of the best store bought cookies on the market. The only problem is that there are never as many as you want in a package. I feel like I'm always reaching for more, just as they're gone. Well, good news - I'm bringing you an amazing Knotts Berry Farm Cookie knockoff, so you can enjoy them whenever you want!


Be careful though, these are dangerously delicious - as in I ate 6, (yes 6) of them within a 20 minute period. This was after I burned my tongue because I was too impatient to wait for them to cool. I found this recipe in the I Do Cookbook and it's to die for!

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 cup bread flour (Or all-purpose works just as well. Bread flour will just make your cookies more chewy.)
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam (Or other jam of your liking)

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine butter, sugar, almond extract, and flour in mixer bowl.
  3. Mix until well blended and forms a ball. (Mine was kind of dry and crumbly, so I added about a Tbsp. of milk.)
  4. Roll into 3/4 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Make an indentation on top of each cookie and fill with 1/2 tsp. of jam.
  6. Bake 9 minutes.
  7. Let cool and enjoy.
The recipe says it should make about 3 and 1/2 dozen cookies, but I found that it only made a little over 2 dozen. So if you fee like you want just a few more, go ahead and double the recipe. Don't worry, I won't judge. :)

-Sarah

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The Mandatory Moochmade in a dayLove Bakes  Good Cakes

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Banana Bread

We love bananas here at our house, but for some reason, the last bunch I got seems to have sat and sat on our counter without being touched. This means that I have 5 bananas that will probably be thrown away since they are almost completely black. That was until I thought, "Duh, why not make banana bread?"


This recipe is from Alyssa at The Recipe Critic and she made it look and sound so delicious that I just had to give it a try. She is a new food blogger like me, so be sure to go and show her some love too!
Banana Bread
Print Recipe
Recipe from The Recipe Critic
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 c flour
  • 3-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup mashed banana (About 3)

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a bread pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix sugar, shortening, and egg thoroughly. Stir in milk.
  3. In a separate bowl, blend together dry ingredients and add to mixture.
  4. Blend in bananas. (Make sure to do this part by hand.)
  5. Batter will be a little lumpy, which is just how we like it! Pour into pan.
  6. Bake for 50-55 minutes, using a toothpick to check center.
  7. Slather on some butter and enjoy this scrumptious snack!
For some added flavor, you can also add walnuts. Enjoy!

-Sarah

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Pretzels

There's a little candy shop near my hometown that is one of the best places in the world to console your sweet tooth. Every time my mom goes there, she makes sure to bring me back one of my favorite treats - chocolate caramel pretzels.


These are like a little slice of heaven, nestled in your mouth. I'm not sure what it is about chocolate, caramel, and salt, but they marry together perfectly! This recipe is very simple and is easy to whip up in no time. We are going to make the caramel using the recipe we had for caramel popcorn, except with not as much butter. I'll just let you read for yourself below.
Chocolate Caramel Pretzels
Print Recipe
Ingredients:
  • 1 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup karo syrup
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 bag of pretzel sticks
  • 2 bags chocolate chips (I used white chocolate and dyed it)
  • Shortening
  • Wax paper

Directions:
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar and karo syrup. Stir until sugar dissolves and let boil one minute.
  2. Add butter and let it melt completely. Let boil for one minute again.
  3. Add sweetened condensed milk and stir well to combine. Bring to boil and let boil for one minute again.
  4. Dip pretzel sticks in resulting caramel (careful not to burn yourself!). Set pretzels on wax paper to let cool. (If you need to, feel free to put them in the refrigerator/freezer.)
  5. In the meantime, melt 1-1/2 bags of chocolate chips with a tablespoon of shortening in the microwave in 10 second increments - stirring each time it stops. (If your chocolate isn't runny enough or it has seized up, add more shortening.)
  6. Once melted (if you're going to dye the chocolate, then do it now by adding a few drops of food coloring until desired color), dip the cooled caramel pretzels in the chocolate and place on a new sheet of wax paper.
  7. After they're cooled, melt the remaining 1/2 bag of chocolate chips and use to drizzle over the chocolate caramel pretzels. (I like to just put it in a Ziploc bag and cut a small hole in the corner to make my own homemade pastry bag. Awesome, I know.)
These are not only delicious, but they make the greatest gifts - which is what we are going to use them for to give to a boy in our Sunday School class whose birthday is today. Hooray!

-Sarah

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Skinny Alfredo

I've cooked a fair amount of homemade alfredo in my day - some good and some bad, but I think I've found my favorite recipe for it thus far. And do you want to know what's even better? It's low calorie too! That makes it sure to be a family favorite in our house.


We've had this twice in the last week or so and it serves up some great leftovers as well. Try it out yourself!
Skinny Alfredo
Print Recipe
Recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny
Ingredients:
  • 1 13.25 oz. box of pasta (I like Dreamfields Penna Rigate)
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated low-fat Parmesan cheese

Directions:
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. Add garlic and saute until golden brown.
  3. In a small saucepan, stir together milk, chicken broth, 3 Tbsp. flour, salt, and pepper over low heat until thickened up. Stir into garlic. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the sauce is thick. 
  4. Add the last Tbsp. of flour for additional thickness and stir in with Parmesan cheese.
  5. When sauce is to the desired thickness (remember it will get thicker as it cools), pour over pasta noodles.
I was very surprised at how much flavor was present for how healthy this meal really was. Hope you enjoy it just as much as I did!

-Sarah

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sweet Corn Bread

As a kid, I hated corn bread. I thought corn bread and sourdough bread were an abomination. While I still haven't grown out of my dislike for sourdough, the exact opposite is true for corn bread. I love it now! Give me a piece of warm, freshly made corn bread, with a slab of butter on top, and I am perfectly content.


My husband and I were recently introduced to a growing food storage company. We haven't bought a whole lot of food yet (meaning that we don't have all the ingredients to make very many things), but we noticed we did have everything to make corn bread. So we thought we'd give it a go. I'll be honest, I was expecting it to taste a little funny. After all, the ingredients we used were all freeze-dried! Boy, was I wrong though. This corn bread turned out to be amazing! We seriously can't stop eating it. We got this recipe from the Thrive website and although the ingredients we used were freeze-dried, they can still be equated into regular, everyday ingredients - which is what I have written up for you below.
Sweet Corn Bread
Print Recipe
Recipe from Thrive
Makes 1 - 9x13 pan
Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs, whites and yolks seperated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and melted butter and stir.
  3. Mix in cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt - stirring to incorporate, but do not over mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold them into the batter.
  5. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure it is cooked through.
This corn bread makes the perfect to side to just about any meal. Try it with our personal favorite - a hearty bowl of chili!

-Sarah

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nutella Cookies

While my husband was at work last week, I thought i'd put my housewife skills to the test and make these little beauties:


The words nutella and cookies have proven to be very dangerous when put in the same sentence. And the best part is? There are only four ingredients! The original receipe calls for sugar in the actual cookies, but I left out the sugar and rolled the dough in it instead. If you like really rich cookies, go ahead and put it in, but I thought they turned out great without it.
Nutella Cookies
Print Recipe
Recipe from Tasty Kitchen
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup nutella
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Combine the nutella, flour, and egg and mix well. Form into 1" balls.
  3. Roll the balls in the sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Press down firmly with a fork or spoon.
  4. Bake 7-8 minutes or until set {they won't seem set, but take them out anyway!}
  5. Let cool and enjoy!
I loved that these were so easy and still created such a delicious end result. Go ahead and try it and let me know how it goes!

-Sarah

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lunch