Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ratty, Tatty and Torn

I've always been the type of person that whenever I buy something new, it sometimes takes me a while to use it. Makeup and makeup brushes, candles, craft supplies, new sneakers and boots and countless other things because I'm just that strange. Why you might ask? The answer, my dear fellow (and hopefully slightly weird like me) friends, is that I don't want to ruin it. I like to have that "new" look to it and I like to keep it that way. I don't want to use it over and over again and then it end up looking all raggedy and messed up. I want it to stay pretty! I don't want that "worn" look to my things. 

What I really have never given thought to is what the worn look implicates or implies. It means that something is so loved, used so often and that it is probably a favorite item in the house. It makes perfect sense. You don't buy something you've wanted for a while only to leave it in a corner collecting dust. I can't remember who exactly but when I was at Liberty one of our convocation speakers told us a story about a pair of inline skates he had wanted. He saved and saved his money until he had enough money to buy them. He bought them and what happened? He didn't want to ruin them so they sat in the box they came in and eventually they were too small for him (there was a religious message in there somewhere, but I can't remember what it was). Point is, use whatever it is. I'm like Phoebe from friends in some ways. If you have something and never use it, I end up thinking "It's not doing what it was made for! Its sad that it can't fulfill its potential!" Like her being disappointed in the Christmas trees. They get cut and not all of them get to go to someone's home and have lights and decorations placed upon it and presents laid underneath. I feel like I am getting off topic somewhat. 

Case in point: I have a pair of oven mitts I bought at Wal-Mart for traveling. Its a cheap pair of oven mitts. Obviously I am not concerned about them getting dirty or torn (unless it's a cute Pioneer Woman pair!). Anyway, I was looking at them the other day and thought to myself "Man, those are looking kinda dingy." They have stains on them and one mitt even got too close to a stove eye and got a wee bit singed. But then I got to thinking. These oven mitts have seen a lot of meals passed through them. They've seen one of the ways I like to show my love to my main squeeze. I love to cook. I use them often. And they have the 'scars' to show it. 



One of my most treasured things I have kitchen related is my grandmother's cookbook. This thing boys and girls. It has seen an infinite amount of meals passed over it as my grandmother cooked for my grandfather. It has seen muffins and cookies and casseroles that she and I have made together. It holds a lot of memories. Sure, a lot of pages are stained, some torn and a lot of pages written on, but it just means it was used to its full potential. 







"A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't" 
Charles Spurgeon

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sauce Heaven

Apparently my New Year's Resolution to keep up this blog is failing miserably. I haven't even posted our wedding pictures on Facebook yet! To say I have an issue with remembering this thing is an understatement. But enough about my scattered brain.

You guys. This sauce. Rachel Schultz has a recipe for a sauce very similar and her blog was one of the first places I saw this delicious and delectable recipe. Mine is a little different, having taken it from Alyssa over at the Recipe Critic. The sauce with her recipe is from the parmesan chicken one. I made this a few weeks ago when my main squeeze had the flu and he just wanted a simple pasta with some sort of tomato sauce. I used her recipe, but omitted the chicken because he wasn't super hungry. Thus, the sauce has been used multiple times and with countless varieties of pasta. Our favorite is bow tie, but you can certainly use fettuccine or maybe even spaghetti! I want to experiment with this sauce like I did with the Alfredo sauce, so hopefully that will happen soon!
But anyways. This sauce you guys. It's a tomato cream sauce and it has such good flavor! The good thing is that it doesn't take much nor does it take very long to make (bonus!). It's so delicious that I could just top some garlic bread with it and be a happy camper. I don't stray from Alyssa's recipe much. I add a pinch of crushed red pepper for a tiny bit of heat and I add a little more cheese (we're cheese lovers around here). Oh. And I omit the onions, because duh. Onions. A little time on the stove and you have a great tomato cream sauce! Enjoy my friends.


I know it's not the best picture, but trust me. It's delicious!

Tomato Cream Sauce


1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (I omitted)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (the canned stuff)
1 teaspoon McCormick Italian Seasoning Herb Grinder (I could not find this, so I just use regular Italian seasoning)
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

How to make said perfect sauce:

-Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes until tender. Add the tomato sauce, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste.
-Bring to a simmer until thickened. Serve over pasta of choice.

Note: The shredded parmesan cheese is meant to top the chicken with in Alyssa's recipe. If I am not cooking chicken with this, I just add it in with the sauce. I use fresh parmesan cheese, not the pre-shredded stuff. It melts easier!


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Kitchen Essentials

I'm telling ya, this blog stuff is harder to keep up with than I thought! My New Year's Resolution is to try and keep up with this a little more and post a lot more as well. We'll see how that goes!

I've thought about peppering in some posts about the multiple kitchen items that I use, why I love them and the uses I have for them. For some people, cooking is a brand new adventure to them. They don't know where to begin and all the gadgets and accessories and what not can probably be a little overwhelming when you're starting out. Whether you're newly married, out on your own for the first time due to going to college or moving out on your own, or you're simply tired of eating fast food or making simple box dinners, I wanted to share some of my favorites things I use in the kitchen to make meals for me and my main squeeze.

One of my favorite things (I'm probably going to say this about most things I use in the kitchen) is my Dutch oven. My dad got it for me one year for Christmas and I love this thing! It's so versatile. I use it at least once a week and honestly I could probably use it a lot more than that.


Things I use my Dutch oven for include:

-soups and stews
-one pot dishes
-pot roast
-frying things like boneless wings or pickles
-boiling pasta for dishes
-mashed potatoes
-pasta sauces like for lasagna
-making pretzels



Like yesterday and today for example. Yesterday I used it to make pretzels in the morning and fried boneless wings in it later that night. Tonight I made a one pot pasta dish. I love it! There's so many uses for it and it's oven safe. Mine is by Lodge and it's enameled cast iron so it's heavy. A good Dutch oven is essential to have in your kitchen arsenal! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Good Ol' Virginny

Well, we are back in my home state! We've been here for a bit now, got here in July (whoops!) and I have been enjoying being back home for a little while. Most of our time here has consisted of getting things ready for the wedding (gah!) and spending time with my family. And exploring of course too! I am working in Midlothian at one of the Bon Secours Hospitals called St. Francis. It's going good, there's only one ICU there so I'm working on that unit. Anyways we've had some good adventures so far being here in Virginia! Here are just a few pictures of the fun things we've done so far!





Appomattox Courthouse National Park 



Appomattox Courthouse National Park

 


Appomattox Courthouse National Park

 


Yorktown 



 Jamestown Ferry




 Jamestown Ferry




 Natural Chimneys




Skyline Drive



Skyline Drive

 



Cyrus McCormick Farm



Cyrus McCormick Farm



Black Bears on the Skyline Drive



North Entrance (we drove the whole 105 miles!)



Cyrus McCormick Farm



Cyrus McCormick Farm









These are just a few of our travels so far, we definitely have more planned for the near future! As far as recipes go, well I'm still trying out new ones and finding some that I love! Hopefully soon I can get on the ball and post some. 

Until then my friends

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Slacker

Geez. May! I absolutely SUCK at trying to keep up with this blog! I keep telling myself to post recipes, things my main squeeze and I have done and adventures we've been on but I plum just keep forgetting. Maybe one of these days I'll get into the habit and routine of keeping up with it. Anyways, my travel adventurs have brought my main squeeze and I to Springfield, Missouri. A lot of his family is from Seymour which is about 30-40 minutes away and I love being this close to his family. Sure I haven't met many of them yet or spent a lot of time with them but it's nice knowing that they're close and we can go do things with them. 

I was so happy this year because I got to spend Austin's birthday with him. Last year I was still home in Virginia and couldn't celebrate with him so I was happy as a clam to be here this year for it. He got a kindle and a cover for it (I was gonna get him Seinfeld as well but we'll save that for another time). 

We've had a few adventures since we've been here (not many as we haven't been here tooooo long). One place we wanted to go to was Silver Dollar City. Like Kings Dominion for me, my main squeeze grew up going to SDC every year and I was excited to finally check it out! They have some roller coasters and home girl here was a wee bit too large to fit into the seats (darn those childbearing hips!) I'm hoping to lose some weight so when we go back I can fit into the seats!

As far as the recipe world we've tried a bunch of new things since I've posted last (and even before then!) Hopefully I can get on the ball and post some here soon. I have one more night of work before I am off for 5 nights so we'll see!

Speaking of work I am working at Mercy Hospital in Springfield and I am in their ICU float pool. That means that I work on whichever ICU they need me in that night I'm working.

Peace and sunshine (well, moonshine at the present time since it's 0300) until next time!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Fluffy Pancakes

Merry Christmas everybody!

This Christmas is vastly different from any Christmas I have celebrated so far. 

This year I am in Oklahoma, away from my mom, dad and sister but oh so very thankful to be spending and celebrating it with my main squeeze.




Here he is trying out one of the gifts he got in his stocking. We had a very relaxed morning complete with coffee, presents, and these pancakes.




When I say "these" pancakes, I mean I used the boxed Hungry Jack mix. But, I have never made pancakes before in my life! I used some tips from Emily and wham! This pancake making newbie was successful in fixing Christmas brunch. Her recipe makes about ten servings (per her blog) and as much as my main squeeze loves pancakes, we could not eat anywhere near that much! Sure, I could have cut the recipe in half, but I wanted to use the box mix for the first time cooking them. Maybe someday when I have hungry kids in my house will I make my own batter.

I hope your Christmas has been merry and bright and that Jesus has been the center of your celebrations. I'm hoping next year my main squeeze and I can be home in Virginia with my family. 

On to New Year's!