Tuesday, October 22, 2013

{...from my kitchen}

Marked another 2 recipes off of the list tonight! 
I wasn't really in the mood to slave away in the kitchen so I picked some simple ones.
Shrimp boil and cocktail sauce....
The (ginormous) shrimp came out beautifully...and the hubs liked the sauce. I'm more of a ketchup girl so that's what I used instead. I thought about using Martha's recipe for french fries, but then I thought "ugh...that's a lot more work than I'm in the mood for." So frozen crinkle fries were baked instead.
I served it all exactly as you see it. We sat side by side on the sofa and shared. Romance y'all.

Monday, October 21, 2013


I was reading an article today at Apartment Therapy about using the 5 senses to decorate your home... since I'm taking the night off from cooking (dinner on this chilly autumn evening was soups & sandwiches from Panera Bread) I've got an evening free to do laundry daydream. Okay so I'll be doing some laundry too...
The sense of smell: I've already got this going. Vanilla. Home to me smells like vanilla. I have 2 scentsy burners and a few plugins making that happen. Our little home also smells like whatever is cooking. Sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes...not so much.

The sense of sight: This is a major "needs improvement" one... our home currently looks like chaos. Boxes everywhere full of random stuff. Either junk, goodwill donations, papers to be filed/shredded/burned when it's time to light the fireplace... I want it to look clean. Maybe even a little sparse. I want the walls adorned with long wood shelves and meaningful art. I also want to tone down some of the natural light just a smidge.

The sense of touch: This is already in progress... our furniture is pretty comfy. I want more cozy blankets and pillows though. And I want our bed to feel like Heaven. I want textures. Cotton, chenille, cable knit, fleece, wool...all the good ones. I also love burlap and canvas. We just need a doggy door so that one of our sweet girls (who shall remain nameless) will stop ruining the rugs. and the hardwood floors :/ Oh, and I want a comfy reading chair.

The sense of sound: I love it when the windows are open and I can hear the tinkling of my windchime, so definitely more of those.  And when the neighborhood birds are singing. I should give them some garden to play in. And I love it when it rains. We have vaulted ceilings and windows all over....so a good thunderstorm always sounds amazing. Music...always music. I want to build a record collection. and dance while the vinyl spins.

The sense of taste: I'm proud to say this one is already a go, with the Martha cooking project and all. Our kitchen is quite small but after I get the right tools and hone my skills some more... this little house will be filled with wonderful tastes.

Okay...time to get started on that laundry.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

{...from my kitchen}

Let me begin by saying this~ we are not squash people. At least...not pureed squash. It wasn't terrible, and there are probably people that looove it...but we are okay with it being marked off the list now.
We are steak people though. In fact, we are lucky to eat steak usually once a week, sometimes twice. Martha's pan-seared strip steak was pretty perfect, and the mustard cream sauce was delish. We had some mixed green salad and used up some of the cucumber ranch from last night. Washed it all down with some ice-cold Lone Star Beer. If only our Dallas Stars hadn't got their ass kicked while we ate :(
I also made a pear galette for dessert and it was SO GOOD. Woulda been even better fresh outta the oven (it had cooled while we ate dinner) with a scoop of some vanilla ice cream. Mental note: don't forget the ice cream next time!

...now, go create something!

{...from my kitchen}

Okay so last night I had the pleasure of cooking for my big brother and his wife, who just happens to be my bestest best friend. That's right, I'm one of those super lucky girls who's BFF became her sister. I LOVE IT.
I loaded up about half of my kitchen (I've been in theirs enough to know what they do and don't have for food prep...) and away I went.
 The menu: Martha's "Perfect Roast Chicken", vegetable tian and a mixed green salad with a homemade (duh) cucumber ranch dressing.
 The movie: Julie & Julia. I thought it was appropriate even though it's not Martha...

I completely took over their kitchen and spread my ingredients over the entire counter. They have more counter space than me...and I'm a little jealous of it.
I started by making the mayonnaise that was required for the dressing. We were all a little surprised that they actually had a bottle of sunflower oil in the pantry. Good thing though, because I had forgotten to get some at the store :/ The mayo came out a little more runny than expected, but seemed to be just fine in the dressing. I guess the buttermilk and sour cream helped it out a bit, huh? Anyhoo...with the dressing chilling in the fridge, and the bird still warming to room temp, I moved on to slicing vegetables. I was supposed to get veggies roughly the same size in diameter...but Target isn't known for their extensive produce section. So I was stuck with various roundness. Oh well. I made it work. Oh, and for the record, I HATE ONIONS. They make my eyes burn like Hades and then turn into Niagra Falls. Just thought you should know.
 I constructed the tian and set it aside. The chicken was ready to be buttered and stuffed with yummy. So I obliged it. We were too busy being chatty/hilarious to take a ton of photos, but here's a few for you!
sweet Lucy...
I set my elbow right smack down on the pan handle...fresh outta the oven :/ 
I forgot to get a photo of the beautiful chicken before we carved it up...oops.

Up next: pan-seared skirt steak w/ winter squash puree and some more salad. and a pie.

...now, go create something!

Friday, October 18, 2013

{It's Official!}

The MCSC (Martha's Cooking School Challenge) has begun!

I left work early today with an extremely upset tummy and crawled into bed for about 6 hours.
I then woke up because that same tummy was growling from emptiness.
In the book, it has stocks as the first chapter but I had already decided to save those for the weekend when I'll have more time to knock them all out. So on to chapter 2: Eggs. We love eggs in this house. Boiled, scrambled, fried, poached...it doesn't matter. I've been making them my whole life...and according to Miss M, I've been making them wrong. So, here goes lesson 1: how to hard-cook (never "boil") an egg.

{place eggs in pan and cover with cold water an extra inch of water}
{bring water to rolling boil ~high heat}
 {remove from heat, cover and let sit for 13 min.}
{move eggs from pan to icewater bath to stop cooking, this only takes a minute...unless you want them completely chilled}
{salted, peppered...perfect!}

...and now, scrambled:
{Miss M might not like me giving away all her instructions....but there's butter in these! and milk!}
{waiting for the ham to finish}
{breakfast/dinner is served.}

So far, so good. 
We'll return with poached, fried and omelets. 
now, go create something!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

{Becoming a Proper Lady.}


Recent pop culture events (ie: Miley at the VMAs...reality t.v...countless other "celebrity" antics) have left me scratching my head. 
What has happened to our society? I mean seriously. I don't know about you, but I've had enough. I may not be a mother but I am an Aunt and knowing that this is what my nieces are growing up with...it makes my stomach turn. 
I'm not saying that I am the perfect example of a proper lady, but I damn sure try. I want to give these girls someone to look up to. I want to live a life to be proud of.