Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Suppers #3

I'm on a roll! Number 3! Here goes...

Since we are now working on really saving money after our very significant car expenses, I'm trying to work more with what we have at home. This week's theme happened to be ground beef (I had about four pounds of it in the freezer). Today I didn't have to do too much. I already had all the fruit washed so all I had to do was veggie bags and two main dishes. I made a bunch of tortillas to use in the mexican lasagna and for sweet pork tacos.

Next, I cooked up some ground beef and onions, then split it in half. One half got taco seasoning (I just learned you can make that from spices in your cabinet and you don't have to buy the packets. We'll be having Mexican much more often now), and the other half got pasta sauce and roasted red peppers.

The first dish I made was with gnocchi pasta, the pasta sauce and ground beef mixture, pepperonis, and mozzarella cheese. I layered it in a 13x9 and baked it for about 30 minutes.

Next, I made Mexican lasagna. I layered corn tortillas, salsa, seasoned ground beef, refried beans, sour cream, and cheese (then repeated all the layers) and baked it for about 45 minutes. It turned out pretty good too. And I'm really excited that I used my tortilla press sucessfully! YAY!

Also, should I put the full recipe on these things? Most of the time (like today) I either make up the recipe as I go or I look at a similar recipe and tweak it to whatever I have on hand. But I could write down what I do. Let me know!

Clayton's BIRTHDAY!

SURPRISE! Clayton has lived all the way to thirty! As he put it, it's all downhill from here. On the upside of things, I've decided to take up cake decorating. So, I bought new decorating tips and made him a black cake (since he's turning 30) with orange decorations. Here are some pictures:
Pretty smooth icing, huh?

Adding a licorice border. I almost wanted to take it off because it left a pretty cool design on the icing too. I may do that another time.

And playing with all my new icing tips. Clayton had to convince me to quit -- I wanted to keep finding more ways to add icing... It was so fun!

And since I couldn't find any nice looking number candles at Hobby Lobby or Wal-Mart, I though that the pinwheels were a nice finishing touch.

And the kitchen after I finished...Don't worry. I cleaned it up.

The party animals by the pool!

We had a lot of fun. Very successful thirtieth birthday in my opinion.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Meet me on Monday!

Yep, I just linked it up. I'm getting smarter!

1. What feature of the opposite sex do you notice first?

Their weight. I notice everybody's weight first. Don't worry...that includes my own too.

2. Do you talk to yourself?

Daily. I remind myself what I need to do, then I discuss with myself how I will do it. I have so many great conversations with myself, I just wish I could replicate them with someone else...

3. What is your current relationship status?

MARRIED! (and if you couldn't tell, I LOVE it!)

4. Do you have a garden?

No...we don't have any land at all - just a basement apartment. Clayton bought a potted flower for my birthday, but we gave it too much sun and water, and now it doesn't look so great. Here's what it should look like... (I'm obviously too embarrassed to put up a picture of what it really looks like :-)

5. What is your favorite licorice flavor?

Strawberry twizzlers. There's nothing better.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Suppers #2

Well, here I go, trying to establish my own blogging tradition. We'll see how long it lasts... Anyway, today, I laid down with Clayton to take a nap. He got up, but let me sleep for 3 hours! This resulted in not finishing the cooking until 10:15 -- super late for me! Oh well... he really prizes sleeping and cannot grasp the concept that I WANT to be woken up, even if it looks like I need the sleep. As for our vacation, it was great! I'm going to let Clayton cover it though. He put up pictures on facebook, and maybe, just maybe, he'll blog about it, if we all ask very nicely. :-)

So, for the cooking today, I had potatoes to get rid of. I made roasted red potatoes with butter, thyme, Tony's seasoning, olive oil, salt and pepper. YUM!

Next, I made a bruschetta chicken bake. I love this recipe, and I found it on the back on the chicken stove top box! All I do is marinate and grill chicken breasts, then sprinkle with basil and mozzarella. Next you mix stuffing, diced tomatoes, water, and garlic and pour it on top. Bake it and you're done!

Next came a potato casserole that I had growing up, and Clayton and I both really like it. First, make mashed potatoes with onion and garlic (adding milk, butter, salt, and pepper when you mash them). Then, I add diced sausage, shredded cheese, and parmesan cheese and put it in a dish. Decorate the top with sliced sausage, cheese, and thyme, and bake!

Finally, I made veggie bags. I make these every week. They each include: jicama, cucumber slices, red pepper slices, and baby carrots. That way I make sure Clayton eats his vegetables even when he makes his lunch in a rush!

Well, that's it! Happy Father's day! I hope this post didn't make you too hungry...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Meet Me on Monday (a few hours early)

And just to keep with my new tradition -- so that I don't miss a week after only two -- here is a quick meet me on Monday. Then I really will go and pack!

1. What is your favorite yogurt flavor?

Anything Wallaby's brand. SO YUMMY!!!!

2. Ankle or knee socks? and on the same theme, white socks or coloured??

Colored ankle socks. Except, I always wear white ankle socks because I'm hard on socks and I don't want to ruin my cute patterned socks. So, my favorite socks sit at the bottom of my drawer, unworn. Dumb.

3. How is the weather right now?

Mostly sunny. WAY too cold. Highs in the 70's. I'm still waiting for summer to come.

4. Are you a fast typer?

very. I can't remember the wpm. At least 70. I think it was 79 last time I took a typing test though. I also can't stand watching slow typers type. I just want to do it for them. Oh and when people right click to copy and paste instead of using keyboard shortcuts -- that is a huge pet peeve!

5. Red or White Wine?

I have no idea. In my year of it being legal for me to drink, I have not partaken. I'll always pick water. I guess if I am really in the mood for something other than water, it would be lemonade. I love a good lemonade with mint leaves! YUM!

Sunday Suppers

So, I've decided to come up with a type of blogging I might just like...talking about the food I make! YAY! In case you didn't know, every Sunday, I make about 3 big dinners for us to eat the rest of the week. I wash and cut all the fruit and veggies and bag it in one serving size bags. Then I put all the dinners into single serving size tupperware for lunches throughout the week. I know it's a little overkill, but I really like the kitchen. I do everything in the kitchen, and Clayton can do everything else. This week we are going to be at Lake Powell on a houseboat with friends! So, the cooking was a little different. We're in charge of bringing all the food for lunches all week and two dinners.

The lunch menu includes:
sloppy joes
grilled cheese
deli sandwiches
brats and hot dogs
string cheese
fruit snacks
assorted fruits and veggies

Pork chops, stuffing, green beans, and red potatoes
Pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, and corn on the cob

Here are some pictures:

There's pineapple, grapes, cucumbers, corn, and lettuce.

Sloppy joe filling, potato salad, jicama, and peanut butter cookies...

Chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, and peanut butter cookies! (I made three separate batches -- each of those stacks is seven or eight cookies...)

Yes, everything is in ziploc bags. I can hardly believe it myself, but it will be so much more convenient to pack in an ice chest than tupperware. So, that was my weekend! That, work, and running! And I am ready to go on VACATION!!!!

***Well, not really ready at all. Now I'm going to go pack...wish me luck!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Meet Me on Monday

So, I like to blog because it's fun, but I never have anything to talk about. Hence just stealing th questions off of my mother in law's blog and answering them myself. Someone needs to teach me how to link up correctly though so that I'm not plagiarizing... :-) Also, I just can't do the picture thing. Although I am a very visual person myself, I just don't have the patience.

1. What was the last piece of candy that you ate?
Yesterday, I ate a snack size york peppermint patty! YUM! But, I only ate that because I ran out of the European Kit-kats my sister brought home from England for me... sad...

2. Do you "read" in the bathroom?
Every once in a while, but not regularly at all. I rarely have something I find THAT interesting that it must accompany me to the bathroom. But I did just finish my SECOND book of the summer! First two books I've read just for fun in four years!!! Both were by Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted and Ever). I liked them both. They were just short enough to read in a couple days and very fun!

3. I can't stand when someone _________?
Leaves food on the dishes they put in the sink. Or leaves perishable food on the counter for more than an hour. GROSS!!!!

4. Do you do daily, weekly or monthly grocery shopping?
Weekly. Every Saturday. It's usually our date for the week. :-) I only get access to the car every so often. I do send Clayton down to the Creamery for milk during the week usually. They are over priced on everything in the store except for milk -- only $1.67 a gallon!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Questions for Wednesday

A Capital Idea-The Wednesday Hodgepodge Vol 29

1. Have you ever been to the US capital-Washington DC? If so, what's your favorite site? If not, what would you most like to see on a visit to that city someday in the future? Is it even on your list of places to visit?

Oh yes, I have! I have been a few different times to visit my dear friend Cindy Saunders. Personally, my favorite site is the Saunders home...but if that's not an option, then the Capitol Building. There's something magical about it. It has so much history and history (good and bad) is made there every day!

2. When did you last attend a wedding? Are there any weddings on your summer calendar? Were you a summer bride? If you're single, is summer the season of your dream wedding?

I last attended my friend Julie's wedding. She was a BEAUTIFUL summer bride, and I was a bridesmaid. I don't have any more weddings on my summer calendar...but you never know! Oh wait, my friend told me today that he's getting married August 9th. Looks like I do after all. And yes, I was a summer bride! I always dreamed of getting married in springtime so that I could have tulips at my wedding. I got married at the end of summer -- hardly tulip season, but don't worry, I had my tulips anyway!

3. What is your favorite way to eat strawberries?

This is a hard question, as strawberries are basically the best type of berry. (Except for fresh picked blueberries. I miss those.) Other than all by itself, I think a strawberry is best in a strawberry trifle. Or jam.

4. What is one thing you are especially looking forward to this summer?

Going to Lake Powell with my husband and a family in our ward that we're friends with. Two weeks!

5. Do you use/like the self checker at the grocery store?

NO!!!!!!! I hate them. It always takes twice as long as a human checker. And I would rather stand in line. I get very angry at self checkers and they often ruin an otherwise perfectly delightful trip to the grocery store (which is my favorite kind of store).

6. Share a favorite piece of common sense advice.

Don't curl your eyelashes while you are walking to class on campus. That is just strange. And unnecessarily dangerous.

7. Barefoot, flip flops, tennis shoes, sassy sandals-your first choice for summertime?

Flip-flops for everyday. Tennis shoes for running!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I LOVE SUMMER! I love HOT and HUMID weather (can't wait to get back to Tennessee). I love the sun. I love not having to lug a jacket around with me everywhere. I love being warm. And most of all, I love having time to spend with my cute husband!!! All I do is work for 40 hours a week. Then I get to come home and work out, make dinner, and do other fun things with my husband! Is this what real life is like? Because it is magical. :-)