Monday, November 29, 2010

Where Have I Been?

I will not flatter myself by assuming that anyone missed me but I will, none the less, tell you what I have been up to.

Tyler and I were blessed with the once in a lifetime opportunity to go to South Africa with a small group of our friends to attend a wedding of another friend of ours.

We left the Thursday before last and got back yesterday so needless to say, my mind is still mush! Tyler took a ton of pictures which they will take some time to sift through so as soon as we organize our stash along with my mind I will give you all the details.

More to come...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our New Cookbook

Sorry for the lack of posting but even now I don't have a lot of interesting news for you. We have been busy, but with nothing fun. I've got school and work and Tyler just has work and more work. Such is life, I suppose.

I will tell you this. Tyler bought the Food and Wine 2010 Annual Cookbook and it came in the mail on Saturday. The second it came to our door I started putting nice little yellow flags on the pages that I knew I had to come back to.

So Sunday came around and I was visited by what I think is the pink eye fairy during the night, gross I know! With that said we skipped church and headed to the grocery store instead so we could start trying out some of the recipes.

We started with the Tomato Jam recipe. It sounded so good that I had to figure out way to use it for lunch so we decided on paninis. Tyler roasted a whole chicken and caramelized some onions while I made some homemade mozzarella cheese and the Tomato Jam. We put it all on some sliced french bread with olive oil and pressed those babies until they were nice and golden brown! Delish! I realize after I had already taken a few bites that I should have had T take some pictures for the blog but it was too late. I was hungry.

Tomato Jam
28 oz can diced roasted tomatoes
1/4 c plus 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves (i forgot this part)
salt and pepper to taste

 mix together in a large saucepan, simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until thick and jam-like. (mine took about 30 minutes but I halved the recipe)

After Tyler pulled the rest of the chicken off of the bone he dumped the naked bird into a large pot with water, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, a bay leaf, some herbs, salt and pepper and boiled it for a few hours.

Of course we had to use our wonderful homemade chicken stock for dinner, right? You guessed it. We flipped through the cookbook and found a good looking Wild Mushroom and Red Wine Risotto recipe. Again, sorry for the lack of pictures. Use your imagination.

Wild Mushroom and Red Wine Risotto
5 1/2 c chicken stock, preferably homemade or low sodium broth
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil  (I never measure)
1 small onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 1/2 c arborio rice
1/2 c red wine
1 minced shallot
1 lb sliced wild mushrooms ( I used sliced baby portabellas, on sale at Publix)
1/2 c grated parm cheese ( I don't measure)
1 tbsp unsalted butter

1. In saucepan bring stock to a simmer, cover and keep warm over low heat.
2. In large saucepan, heat oil, add onion and season with salt and pepper, cook over moderate heat until softened.
3.  Add rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat with oil.
4.  Add wine and stir until all of the wine is absorbed.
5. Add one cup of stock to rice and cook until absorbed, stirring constantly.
6. Continue to add 1/2 c stock at a time until absorbed.
7. Risotto is done when rice is slightly al dente and has yielded a thick, creamy sauce. (mine took about 20 minutes or so)
8. While rice is cooking, cook minced shallot and mushrooms in a skillet with oil until soft. Add to rice when risotto is finished cooking.
9. Stir in cheese, butter (I omitted) and parsley for garnish and serve.

Enjoy and happy Tuesday!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Music Friday

My new favorite Band:  Matt and Kim

Check them out.

What do you think?!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Help Wanted...

Dilemma of the day: Black and white shedding dog sleeps with us on white bedding. Help!

Since Strongbow has been sleeping with us our white bedding has turned a lovely shade dinge and is now covered with dog hair at all times. Why not just make SB sleep on the floor or in is crate you ask? Well when he was in his crate he woke up at about 6:00 am every morning. With us, he will sleep until about 8:00 am and that 2 hours make it well worth it.

So what to do? I love the look of the white quilt but every time I wash it I feel like it shrinks a little more plus even with bleach I can't seem to make it look as good as is used to. Any ideas there?

Second, should I just get a new quilt? If so what color? Tyler's mom made our blue and taupe bed skirt and pillow shams which I really like so I need something that works with that.

What about this one? Ivory or Latte? Or what about going way out on a limb and getting chocolate? I wonder if the Latte would clash with the headboard or the taupe in the shams? They are from Overstock so I could always buy all 3 and send 2 back, right? Will the ivory be any better than white? Ugh, this is so hard!!

I still have lots of work to do in this room but this issue has made it's self priority numero uno. Please flood my comment box with suggestions!

Thank you in advnace!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


What a successful Halloween we had! 2 great costume parties and lots of trick-or-treaters made for great weekend and I thought our costumes were pretty "creative" if I do say so myself. When I say creative I really mean "No one knew what we were until we told them!" So, take a guess......

No, we are not Gumby and we are not Sleestack from Land of the Lost.

We are a family of cacti! Can't you see it?! Tyler did a great job spray painting our painters suits and we used pipe cleaners to make the spikes. Come on, you have to admit, it was a clever idea!