January 26, 2014

Homemade Lemon Curd

It's official, especially after the last few days, I need a break. So as much as I love you, and blogging, I'm going to take February off. I'll be right back first week of March, I promise!! I just need to breathe, and clear my head. Come back with more fun ideas and enthusiasm! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement, you make me feel loved and appreciated. I'll leave you with a re-post (with MUCH better pictures!) of my favorite condiment, and one of my favorite FOODS of all time. 

See you in a month, dear friends and readers!

January 24, 2014

Lemon Ginger Scones

My house is coming together!! We are having SO much fun! Bit by bit, piece by piece... It's like a puzzle. Decide on a color, then pick a piece of furniture. Or vice versa! My bedroom was completely stumping me. Currently, it's hideous. We're getting bedroom furniture today, which is going to help a LOT! We bought a matching bed and dresser set, and found a small chest of drawers and a nightstand on Craigslist that I am head over heels in love with. I have a feeling once they actually get in the room it's going to make me want to paint the whole thing NOW! The hardest part is fitting furniture in there... it's pretty tiny. But it's coming together! And the Geologist is in heaven, buying tools and re-finishing furniture right and left. Hey, he gets a new toy, I get a new home puzzle piece!
Putting a house together is so much FUN!! Especially when you can do it while saving money. :)

January 23, 2014

Cheesy Skillet Potatoes & Onions

Dearie me, it's been a long week! And there is a long weekend ahead... I think I'm coming down with something. There's a bug going around the blogosphere... people are taking breaks here, there, and everywhere... I'm thinking about joining them. Not for long, maybe a month. I just haven't been quite "up to snuff" ever since the move, and the Christmas holiday. I think I might need a break to get back on top of life, re-start healthy habits, and refresh my mind. I want to be the best blogger I can be, for you guys! And sometimes that means taking a short vacation. What do you think? Think you'll stick around? I would hope all of you do, but as long as most of you do, I'll be a happy girl! :)

January 22, 2014

Mustard-Marmalade Glazed Ham

Nine years. It feels like forever, and it feels like no time at all!! Yesterday was our 9 year anniversary, and even though we technically had our early celebration back in December, with the office party and hotel and all, we ended up with a little extra this month and went back to Panzano, our new favorite restaurant, for lunch! The Geologist got the day off and we had a decadent lunch date. Now, I have to show you why this place is my favorite restaurant EVER.

First, the tapenade that converted me to tapenade. I am not a huge fan of olives. I would go as far as to say I just don't like them. But this stuff is YUMMY!! It's full of sun-dried tomatoes and capers and something else that just makes it tangy and addictive. I need to find a recipe just like it. Then there's my favorite dish on the menu: The deep-fried brussels sprouts appetizer. Crispy sprouts topped with an apple cider reduction, pistachios, rosemary salt and green apples. The salty, sweet, crunchy HEAVENLY flavor combination!! I could seriously just come here and eat plates and plates of these things!! AND when I raved about them, the chef sent me out a print-out of the recipe!! I can't wait to try making them myself!

Our entrees were spectacular too, but honestly these two are my favorite part. A little bread basket with a dish of tapenade, and a plate full of brussels sprouts. I was proud of the GEologist though, he tried scallops! He's very picky about seafood. He liked them, but they weren't his favorite thing in the world. My mushroom risotto with plate-lickingly good. Forget gifts, this is how we celebrate! He's still my best friend, and the love of my life, and my favorite person. I'm a lucky girl :)

January 20, 2014

Weekly Menu Jan 20

This week we have:
Maple-Marmalade Glazed Ham
Cheesy Skillet Potatoes & Onions
Homemade Lemon Curd
Lemon Ginger Scones

For today, Jan 20 ...

January 12, 2014

Strawberry Cream Cheese Loaf

I have a confession. I am an addict. I have a tendency to get addicted to foods, then eat them every day for weeks. Sometimes this isn't a problem, like ham and cheddar omelettes, or guacamole... Not exactly balanced, but at least it's real food! On the other hand, it's often not so healthy, like blue raspberry saltwater taffy or orange dream ice cream. Currently, it's just about as bad as it can be. Spicy Cheetos. Oh, they are so vile, and so addicting. My brother named them "Crack Cheetos", and he's not far off the mark. There's something dangerous in there. I thought I was done with them, but a moment of weakness... actually, grocery shopping at 3:00 in the afternoon while having eaten nothing all day... brought them back. I must break the habit! Gah!

January 11, 2014

Small & Wonderful Things 40

Homemade Caramel Hot Chocolate with whipped cream.

 Eaten with donuts, of course!

January 10, 2014

Allspice Crumb Muffins

I may have mentioned this a few dozen times, but muffins are my favorite food. Not too sweet, not too fussy, endlessly varied, good for a meal or a snack or even a dessert! I tried this recipe once before and failed on the streusel miserably, but this time I nailed it. I'm a bit exhausted and brain dead today, so on to the muffins!

January 9, 2014

Chicken Rice Soup

This morning, on our our way out the door to school, right smack on time, Joe slammed the door on his finger. Hard. That kid never does anything by halves. Luckily I am 98% sure it isn't broken, and on the way home from school I was thinking about how thankful I am for the random emergency medical knowledge I learned from my Mom. She certainly went through the ringer with the four of us, and whenever my kids get hurt or sick, she's the first person I call! We may have had a rough few years when I was a teenager, but I am so grateful for my relationship with my mother. I hated being the oldest when I was younger, all that responsibility and such, but as soon as Stephen was born, it was incredibly helpful to be able to call her up at any time and ask all kinds of Mommy-baby-type questions. If I had been the youngest, she might have forgotten all those details by the time I had kids! I love that we text all the time, I love that we both hate the phone. I love sharing random nonsense and life-changing decisions with her. Where would I be without my Mom? I can tell you this, I wouldn't be nearly as good a cook!

January 8, 2014

Crescent Sausage Bites

Well, the break is over, it's back to real life. As much as I enjoy having time to myself again (even if it is only a few hours!) I am always a little sad when Christmas break is over. I miss having my husband and my kids around all the time. I miss sleeping in and staying up late, being spontaneous, eating whatever I want... But eventually we have to be grown-up and responsible, right?

I promised you pictures, and here they are! It took us longer than expected (and we learned to have a flexible budget with home makeover projects!) but I am head-over-heels in love with my new kitchen! It's GORGEOUS!!

Before: Grey-green walls, brown trim...

After: White! Glorious White!

Look how bright and beautiful!! My super-studly Geologist spent hours and hours cutting out those sheets of beadboard, and all of that trim. I did 90% of the painting, which took me forever, since I am a perfectionist. :)

He ripped out the horrible tile windowsill and installed a frame around the window, same trim as around my pantry door, which just might be my favorite part of the whole makeover!

There are still some details to replace, like the hardware on the cabinets and drawers, the faucet, the light above the sink, and someday the countertops. I'm holding out for granite (that sample under my flowerpot), so it will be a while!

 What do you THINK?! Isn't it fabulous??

January 6, 2014

Weekly Menu Jan 6

Source: blissfulinallthings

This week we have:
Crescent Sausage Bites
Chicken & Rice Soup
Allspice Crumb Muffins
Strawberry Cream Cheese Loaf

No Daybook this week, we're too busy finishing up the kitchen! It's almost done though, so I'll show you pictures tomorrow. It's GLORIOUS!! :)

January 2, 2014

Top Ten Recipes... So Far!

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Sorry for the lack of menu this week, we had quite the winter-vacation-plans adventure. First we were planning to go to the cabin this week, but news from The Geologist's family convinced us to go to Missouri instead, so we relinquished our cabin dates... Then EVERYONE in Missouri got sick, so that was canceled at the last second, but someone had taken our former cabin dates, so we couldn't go back to Plan A... Needless to say, I had no blogging planned for this week. Which is just as well, because we're turning it into Kitchen Makeover Week!!! I am so excited to show you our project! 

Until then, I think I'll follow suit with a lot of my favorite bloggers, and give you a Top Ten list! These are my top ten most viewed posts. (I would do "of the year", but I've only been blogging for a year and a half, so... oh well!) Some of them are complete surprises to me, while some of them would definitely be on my personal top ten. Have fun!