March 30, 2012

Made Something from Pinterest!

Gingerbread "Larabar" Balls -- from here (she made hers into gingerbread men, but I made mine into little balls. :)). I found them on Pinterest, and they are definitely tasty.

Sorry for the blurry! My camera is being rotten.

I made the gingerbread ones, but the girl had recipes for lots of flavors. Most of them were girlscout cookie flavors, which I don't really like. But these gingerbread ones were SO yummy! I think I added some extra spices, but I left the other proportions as is. Oh, and I soaked & roasted the almonds to make them more digestible. I am definitely going to make these again! Next time I might try switching out some of the dates for a tarter dried fruit, because Ryan thought they were a little sweet. But I was really impressed that they didn't taste very much like dates!

Anyway, if you like Larabars, you should try these... :)


Snack Fix

I get a pretty decent case of the munchies between meals but I seem to have a hard time resisting the bad-for-you stuff. However, after watching a video about the crazy stuff that's in processed foods yesterday I was feeling inspired so I made (drum roll, please!) Kale chips! And they weren't half bad. Haha, I mean if I was able to munch down a baking tray of them they really must have been pretty good! Although I attribute most of their eatability to the garlic. Also they shrink up a lot so what started out as a single layer of leaves filling a baking sheet cooked down to a teenie-tiny amount. (Note: To watch the video you sign in with your name and email but I haven't gotten a bunch of junk mail from them, also, the video is only up for another day or so... eh heh)

Here is the recipe I used:

1 bunch curly kale
1 TBSP cold pressed olive oil
1 clove garlic
(Optional: Sea salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, or chili flakes in you want some extra zip.)

1. Preheat your oven to 175. (or 200 if that's as low as your oven will go, mine goes to 160 surprisingly)
2.Cut out the woody inner cores of the leaves and discard.
3.Tear or cut remaining leaves into bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl combine kale, olive oil, and garlic. Make sure all the leaves are coated. (Because the leaves are curly I used my fingers to spread the olive oil into the nooks and crannies.)
4. Arrange kale in a single layer (no overlapping) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until crisp, approximately 2 hours.

(Notes in italics are mine.)

Happy Snacking!

March 23, 2012

Will Cook For Food

   I really enjoy cooking. I do. It's just that lately it seems like it takes *all* *day* to get dinner on the table on time which kind of sucks the fun out of it. I'm usually more of a "start dinner at five be ready to eat at six" kinda gal, and I've been cornered into starting prep work at two or three in the afternoon! (One time I chopped stuff up at noon. Ugh.) But! None of that complaining changes the fact that I still like tasty food! So here are some new and some not-so-new meals I made recently! (I promise, we do eat more vegetables, I just never manage to photograph them.)

This one is new! I found the recipe in one of the R.R. magazines that I cut up and put into my recipe binder (a project I finished, btw! whoo!). Ours was not spicy though, since ground turkey was on sale that week and regular sausage was not. I tried to pep it up by myself but I'm afraid I erred on the safe side of spicy. All in all it was fairly easy and pretty yummy! Funny story though. *ALWAYS* go by weight of potatoes as opposed to body count. I ended up with twice as much mashed potatoes as I needed, but thankfully I was able to reuse them in another meal. (I'll eat mashed potatoes twice in a week if you twist my arm hard enough. ;-P) 

Mom's chicken gravy over mashed-potato-biscuits. 
This recipe is not so new, but it is still delicious! I was very proud of myself for thinking to shape the leftover mashed potatoes from the previous dinner into biscuit shapes and then broil them until they were nice and golden on top. (The crisped part tastes just like french fries. Yum!)
                                         Fried Egg Sandwich
Also not new, but we do love a good homemade fried egg sandwich. I like to put Dijon mustard, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and lettuce on mine in addition to the egg and what ever breakfast meat we have floating around in the fridge. (We adore regular bacon, but the Canadian kind will do in a pinch!)

                                     Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls
Now this isn't a meal per-say but it was a quick weekend treat I whipped up on a Saturday morning. I love JoyTheBaker, I follow her blog and listen to her podcast, she is *awesome*. I really enjoy her style of writing. I'm not quite sure if I did these quite right though, as they weren't as cinnamon-y as I was hoping. But who knows, maybe I'll have better luck next time!

 I will try to do a better job of taking photos of our meals  next time so that y'all don't think we exist solely on white flour and mashed potatoes. Because we don't. I promise. 

Happy Meal Time!

March 14, 2012

My List

It's the Courtney edition of Reading:Listening:Watching. :)
(Here is a picture of what I spend most of my time listening to and watching. ;))
--Total Church by Tim Chester. This book is presenting a "new" (Biblical, so not exactly new ;)) view of church community, and presents some practical stories about how that is working out in this guy's church in England. We're working through this in a book study with some of our friends and it is really good so far! Very challenging and thought-provoking as we try to figure out which of the book's principles we agree with, and what to do with them once we agree with them.

-- A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O'Nan. This book is described by the author as "a Christian existential horror novel," which I wish I'd known before reading it, haha. I probably still would have read it, since it was for a book club, but I would have been more prepared. Yikes! The book was SO well written, and very gripping...but very horrible. I don't think I'll read it again, and I don't exactly recommend it unless you're up for cannibalism, necrophilia, and general craziness. But I will definitely read other books by this guy, cause they're not all horror, and he's a good writer.

-- The Warden by Anthony Trollope (free for kindle or e-reader!). I just started this last night, even though Kaitie has been telling me about Trollope for a long time! So far I *love* it. I guess it's a dual commentary on hot-headed young reformers (like us ;)) and stodgy traditionalists. We'll see how it turns out!

-- Matt Maher, at my brother's suggestion. Very fun!

-- Sermons from Mars Hill, particularly the Real Marriage sermon series. Too funny, Noble, that you've been reading the book! I haven't read it yet, but I've been loving the sermons. They're encouraging and challenging at the same time.

-- Frasier. This is a 90s tv show that a friend of mine talked about on Facebook the other day, and now I'm hooked. It cracks me up, it cracks Ryan up, and it's set in Seattle. Definitely not from a Christian worldview, but still so funny. (Another plus, it's available on Netflix InstantPlay!)

-- Miss Marple. 4 new episodes just made it onto Netflix InstantPlay, and I just can't resist a good mystery show. :) I was telling Ryan the other day that I've probably learned most of my modern history through mystery shows...I realized I can name a mystery show set in pretty much every decade in the 1900s.

March 12, 2012

The List

You know, *the* List. The list of all the fascinating educational stuff I've been reading. And listening to. And watching.

  Dear Reader:
Give Them Grace by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson - This was a very interesting half-read; it was due back to the library before I could finish and someone else had a hold on it so I couldn't renew mine so I'll have to wait to review it. Not sure I totally agreed with the part I read though so it should be interesting to go back and see how it turns out.

 Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll - I know there was a big hub-bub over a bit of the Q&A section of this book but the rest of the book was*excellent*. Noel and I both really enjoyed it and it gave us some good stuff to talk about.

Management In The Home by Lillian Gilbreth - This book was really fun to read since I *love* the Gilbreths' story. And (of course) there were some really good ideas about organizing your home and your time to accomplish things more efficiently. (I would love to have a "baking station" in my kitchen someday.)

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott -  Seriously, this comic makes me laugh till I cry. Every strip is excruciatingly and hilariously accurate. The best.

How To Be Free From Bitterness by Jim Wilson - The ladies' book group is reading this right now. It's so good and so convicting!

   Music To My Ears:

 Walking With The Wise by Sovereign Grace Music - I stumbled across this really cool CD for kids while listening to one of SGM's other albums on Spotify. I really like it, the songs are fun and not weird!

 Risen by Sovereign Grace Music - This is the other SGM album I was listening to. I really like the first song, "Alive".  (Momma, I've been practicing the harmony part!)

It Will Rain by Bruno Mars - Somehow this song keeps making an appearance. So does Adele's Set Fire To The Rain. What is is with these songs? I have no idea but they're kinda stuck in my head.

   Visions of Splendor:

Pysch - I have to say I was a little skeptical of this show when I first started watching it but four seasons and five episodes later I am totally into it! This is my go-to show when I have to bounce Addie to sleep. (Which is several times a day.)

The King's Speech - A super fascinating movie about George the VI and his speech impediment. (Disclaimer: There's one scene with an abundance of bad words but other than that it's pretty clean!)

The Young Visiters - Hilarious! And it was fun to see a younger Hugh Laurie.

And there you have it! As you can see I'm  a very easily entertained busy lady and I would love to hear your recommendations for, well, anything! Books, music, and movies, I'm all ears!

Can I get a "Lol!"?

March 6, 2012

Projects from Last Month -- Noble

What month was it? Oh yeah, February. Whew. 

 We did finally bite the bullet and move *everything* around in our apartment so that Noel and I could stop going to bed at 8 o'clock at night when Addie went to bed. (That's not every night, but it is a few.) So one fine Sunday we moved everything around and put all of Addie's stuff in the room with a door, brought the shelves up off the far wall to create a screen for half of the living room and turned the other side into our bedroom! 

Our newly rearranged living room. Nice and cozy.
 Our side of the screen. That wall sticker is actually my other project of the month. Don't let it's imagined simplicity fool you! It came in several pieces that had to be aligned *juuuuuuust* so (which never did happen). And it's even trickier without stable footing; all told I think it took me the better part of an hour.

 Someday there will be a picture of the nursery/office but of course that room is the one that never quite recovered from the move. (Funny how that happens.)

And here is a picture of my other (slightly more time-consuming, but definitely worth-while) project! Ain't she sweet?

March 5, 2012

Projects from Last Month -- Courtney

So this week we're all (cross your fingers!) going to share the projects we worked on last month, so that we can see what's been happening! Not that we don't talk to each other on the phone, but sometimes you forget to mention things on the phone...and you can't really share (good) pictures over the phone.

So my big project from last month was our new house! In fact, I really didn't work on anything else all month (except maybe 1/2 hour total on poor Ryan's pair of socks that will probably be ready in time for next winter). This is our house at this exact moment! You are sharing in our winter sunlight, and our brown Boise lawn. If you were coming to visit me, you could walk right up our driveway (don't step in the oil...since we moved in two of our friends have had their cars break down in our driveway and pour oil), and up the sidewalk...

Stop and admire our cute doormat, and then come in!

This is the view from our front door (sorry for the washout :)).

If you look to your left, you'll see our kitchen:
(I could not make my camera focus for the life of me, but you can still see that the cabinets are beautiful!)
This is the kitchen viewed over the bar. Our shelf is helping out, since the cabinets are scarce. I think the metal gives us kind of a steam punk feel.

And here is a closer picture of our living room area:
See our new brown couch! It was cheap, and comfortable. Also see our new ottoman, which we got instead of a coffee table after my in-laws cautioned us on the hazards of coffee tables for just-learning-to-walk kiddos. :) Not that Blaze is walking yet, but I see it in his future!

If you were actually coming to visit, I would have cleaned the bathrooms, and then I would let you see if you want to see the bathrooms, you might just have to come visit! We also have a study, our bedroom, and the baby's room, but you'll have to wait on those for another day...


March 1, 2012

Mairzy Doats?

If you are needing a little pick-me-up try to find this album on Groove shark or Spotify! You won't be able to help yourself when you belt out Polly Wolly Doodle, Let's Go Fly a Kite, Mairzy Doats and Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. And, of course, Burl Ives and his distinctive voice only add to the fun. And if you want something a little more contemporary  My Flea Has Dogs is very catchy by Casper Baby Pants on their Sing Along! album. What was your favorite kid's song? I loved to sing Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah at the top of my lungs while swinging on the swing set in my back yard. Ü