3.28.2012

What We Lost: {Food Processor}

I love everything about this picture. This was taken a couple months before we tied the knot. I remember my mom saying to us, "I don't have enough pictures of you guys together for your wedding video!" So anytime Mike and I would do something I would yell to my mom, "Mom, come and take a picture, we're doing something cute!" Anyways. Look at Mike's curly fro-like hair. Look at my skinny little arm. Look at my cute little brother...back in the day when he actually used to be shorter than me. Look at us making cookies. I know it, we are just the cutest.

Anyways.

Guyssss!

I can't find my food processor!

I know! Suuuupper strange thing to lose, right?

I have an inkling suspicion that Mike had something to do with it.

But heaven knows he says he has no idea where it is.

If I made the conscious decision to put it in another spot, I no longer consciously remember making that decision.

And let me tell you. My kitchen is TINY.

Tiny.

I was on the phone with a friend a while ago and she was telling me how if her husband doesn't know where something goes, instead of asking her, he'll just stick it somewhere, and she'll find it later in some of the most random places.

I fear that most women face this situation regularly.

In the beginning of our marriage, I would say to Mike, you live here too, you should know where things go. Pick your battles, women. If he doesn't use it at least once a day, it ain't gonna happen.

I found Mike's razor in the toothbrush drawer yesterday. He had no idea that he put it there. The guy really is losing it.

So who wants to come over and help me find my food processor?

3.27.2012

What We Ate: {Spinach Artichoke Pizza}

So I found something. For all you calorie counters/healthy foodies, I found a recipe analyzer. You literally just copy and paste the recipe, enter how many servings it makes, and it will tell you the nutrition content of each serving. Is this not the most fabulous thing in the world? Being healthy has never been so easy! {A little disappointed to find out the sliver of cake that I had yesterday was 350 calories! Sliver. No lie.} Click on the link here.

And now I will proceed to fill your minds with a super delicious {probably don't want to plug this one into the recipe analyzer} recipe!

You have to make this.

You must.

My mouth had never been at its happiest until it had this pizza. I should rephrase that. My TASTEBUDS had never been at their happiest until they had this pizza. {Nothing gets better than a sweet kiss from my hubby.}

The tricky part though is that the crust is really what makes this pizza come to life. Which means you have to make the crust. Which means you have to have some time on your hands.

But it's soooo worth it.



The Stuff: {Crust}

1 1/8 cups warm water
3 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

The Doing: {Crust}

{I did all of this in my Kitchen Aid, but you can do it the old fashioned way also.} In mixer bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Stir a bit and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour, salt, garlic powder and dried basil. Let mix, dough will be sticky. Continue adding remaining 1/2 cup of flour until the dough comes together, you may not need all of the remaining flour. Rub the bowl in olive oil and then turn the dough over in the bowl to coat. Cover with a towel and let rise for about 1 1/2 hours.

Once dough has risen, punch down and turn out on a flour surface. Use a rolling pin to make your desired shape and place on baking pan {cookie sheet, pizza stone...whatever tickles your fancy}. Place the towel back over the rolled out dough and let rise for another 10 minutes. Melt butter, and mix with garlic and Parmesan cheese. When dough has finished rising, spread the butter mixture all over, including the edges. Then add all your delicious toppings!

The Stuff: {Pizza}

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
6 oz fresh spinach
1 {14 oz} can of artichoke hearts
2/3 cup cottage cheese
8 oz mozzarella cheese
4 oz Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

The Doing: {Pizza}

Preheat oven to 375.

Drain artichokes and press with a paper towel to reduce some of the moisture. Place in a food processor and finely chop. Place in bowl and add cottage cheese.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, and some salt and cook until soft. Add in garlic and spinach, tossing until spinach is wilted. Add spinach mixture to bowl with artichokes and cottage cheese, add salt, pepper, half of the Parmesan cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese. Stir.

Cover the pizza dough with the spinach artichoke mixture evenly. Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. And then add more mozzarella like we did. Because cheese is pretty much the bomb.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until everything is bubbly and awesome looking!

3.26.2012

What I'm Thinking: {Confessions}

I like to wear my husbands shirts.

Photobucket

I've worn this shirt three days in a row.

Our goal to finish the Book of Mormon was yesterday. I'm currently in Alma. Don't fret, we are working hard to finish, and our reward will be seeing The Hunger Games.

I'm not nearly as excited to see The Hunger Games as I thought I would be. It better be worth the high theater prices I'll be paying.

I hate wearing sunscreen. Therefore resulting in quite the sunburn on Saturday.


Burning your hand sucks.

We don't watch General Conference. Okay, that's not entirely true. If we are home we do. But since living in OK, we have created the tradition of going to Dallas over conference weekend. We have family that come up from Houston to meet us. I know, shameful. But I do catch up on a fair amount of the talks later. Promise.

I'm going to Dallas this weekend!

Oh and I have a boyfriend.


He also happens to be Mike's best friend. Don't worry, Mike knows all about it.

3.23.2012

What Today Is: {FridayFreeForAll}

Normally I would start out my Friday post saying something like "Happy Friday" or "TGIF" but I don't really know how to declare this Friday. I mean, it's still Friday, which is great, but it's also the Friday at the end of Spring Break week. Which just simply makes me sad. It has been so fun to have all of Mike's attention.

That's okay. Graduation is only 50 days away. Yep, you read it right. 5-0

So in honor of becoming a full on grown-up in a mere 50 days, we are going to flashback to a simpler time.

Like when we roamed the neighborhood barefoot looking for someones trampoline to jump on.

Like when we went outside in a rainstorm and raced pieces of bark down the overflowing gutter.

Like when we used that pile of sand in your backyard to make a Barbie pool, which turned into a big pile of mud.

Like when the sod hadn't been laid down yet so we turned on the hose just so we could play in the mud.
Like after the sod was laid, we took the grass scraps to our Barbie village, so the Barbies could have grass, and then the bugs invaded our Barbie's houses.

Like how we put on our Summer dresses and road around the block on our bikes and people thought we were twins.

Like how we used to do makeovers.

Like how we used to plan our weddings and decorate our future homes by cutting out pictures from magazines.

Like how we listened to Oldies and every time we heard a song we liked, we recorded it on a tape and then we danced and danced in our room with our pretend boyfriends.

Today's FridayFreeForAll?

Our House
Madness


And don't forget...feel free to leave your own suggestions for the next FridayFreeForAll!
If you give suggestions, I will highlight you/your blog/and your video on next week's FridayFreeForAll...just make sure you give me all the details! {And you must be a follower.}
{Oh and all music videos must be appropriate. We are family friendly on this here blog.}

3.22.2012

What We Ate: {Lemonade Cake}

You know what is the worst?

Grabbing a cookie sheet after its been in a BROILing oven with your bare hand.
Now why would I do such a silly thing?

Well lets just say I took it out with a hot pad, set it down, went and did something else and then went back and grabbed the cookie sheet with my bare hand, apparently completely forgetting that I had just gotten it out of the oven 2 seconds earlier.

I guess we can call that a senior moment.

Luckily there was minimal blistering but I did spend the rest of the evening feeling like I was playing with fire, literally. It's not all bad though. It got me out of the huge mess that Mike and I were making in the kitchen. Cute boy finished cooking the meal and washed every last dish.

And today it's not so much on fire. Just tender to the touch. Don't worry, its not my 10-key hand.

Anyway, we had another work birthday last week and he chose this lovely Lemonade Cake. Everyone loved it so much, I'm actually making it again tonight. {Don't worry, I will use the hot pads tonight aaaannd I'll make sure Mike is there to babysit me.}


Lemonade Cake

The Stuff: {Cake}

1 1/3 cups sugar
6 tbsp butter, softened
The grated lemon rind of one lemon
3 tbsp thawed lemonade concentrate
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 egg whites
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

The Doing: {Cake}

Preheat oven to 350.

Beat sugar, butter, grated lemon rind, lemonade concentrate and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Add eggs and egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beat well after each addition.

Pour batter into to two greased 9-inch round cake pans.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

The Stuff: {Frosting}

1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 {8 oz} package of cream cheese, softened {1/3 less fat}
The grated lemon rind of one lemon
2 tsp thawed lemonade concentrate
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

The Doing: {Frosting}

Beat the butter, cream cheese, lemon rind, and lemonade concentrate in a medium bowl until well combined. Beat in vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Place frosting in the fridge for a bit to stiffen up.

When cakes are cooled completely, place one cake layer on a plate, and frost the top. Then place the remaining cake layer on top of it and use the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.

Keep cake refrigerated.

It's like summer in your mouth.

3.21.2012

What We Decided: {Brad}

When we go to heaven, we're going to be best friend with Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberly.

Oh and Will and Kate.

Yes, its been decided.

video

Forgive the screaming and the shakiness. Mike and I were pretty excited about having Brad Paisley serenade us with his guitar.

3.20.2012

What We Ate: {Chicken Bacon Ranch Taquitos}

If that title didn't get you then let me just say that this is seriously on the top five of the foods-made-from-Pinterest-that-are-pretty-much-to-die-for list.

And Miked loooooooved them.

We ate them warm. We ate them cold. And I kinda want to make them every day.




The Stuff:

1/2 package cream cheese, softened {1/3 less fat}
4 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken {we used thighs}
1/2 packet dry Ranch dressing mix
1 cup cheddar cheese
14 {6 inch) flour tortillas
Non-stick cooking spray

The Doing:

Preheat oven to 425.

Mix together cream cheese, bacon, Ranch dressing mix. Add in chicken and cheese and mix well. Spoon 3 tbsp of mixture into flour tortillas and roll it up. Place seam-side down on tinfoil covered baking sheet. Once all taquitos are placed on baking sheet. Spray the tops with non-stick cooking spray.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges of tortillas start to brown.

{Side note: I modify most of the recipes that I make from the original {this one I modified quite a bit}. I always put my modified version on my blog but remember, you can always see the original recipe that I pulled from {if there is one} by clicking on the title of the recipe {which is always italicized}.}

3.19.2012

What We Did: {Weekend in Pictures}

Hello Monday. And a dreary one here in the OK. But that's okay, I love the rain.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
We sure did. It's amazing the things we can do when Mike doesn't have to study.

Here is our weekend in pictures.
1. Saturday morning with a little bit of exercise and feeding the ducks/terrifyingly mean geese in the park.
2. We are finally down to one single wall in our countdown chain {this chain used to wrap around the room one and a half times}. Graduation, here we come!

3. & 4. Oklahoma City Museum of Art

5. The air mattress made an appearance in our living room yesterday.
6. I don't much like St. Patrick's Day {you can read about why here and here}, but I did pull out some decor and a little pot of our favorite gold, Reese's.

7. Baking.
8. Tornadoes {don't worry, they were 3 counties away}.

5 more days 'til we can do it all again!
{I linked up here}

3.16.2012

What Today Is: {FridayFreeForAll}

Happy Friday!!!
If you can't tell, I'm super excited about it {three exclamation marks, people}.
Mike has a final today, poor guy, but then its on to Spring break.
Unfortunately I have a job and therefore going on some lavish vacation to lay on some beach somewhere is not an option. But I will be soaking up every last bit of my husband.

Oh, and my bracket is still currently beating his bracket. Holla.

This song has been in queue for FridayFreeForAll since the beginning of FridayFreeForAll. It's been pushed to the back burner one to many times.

I first heard this song when it was performed on Glee {which did a spectacular version}. Then I saw it in a commercial. And now it finally plays on the radio. Which works out well for me considering this is my current go-to-blast-in-the-car-sing-at-the-top-of-my-lungs song.

Check out some other songs by these guys. They actually have quite a few that are awesome.

We Are Young
Fun ft. Janelle Monae


And don't forget...feel free to leave your own suggestions for the next FridayFreeForAll!
If you give suggestions, I will highlight you/your blog/and your video on next week's FridayFreeForAll...just make sure you give me all the details! {And you must be a follower.}
{Oh and all music videos must be appropriate. We are family friendly on this here blog.}

3.15.2012

What We Ate: {Sweet Potato-Cheddar Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies}

Well if that isn't quite the name for a cookie, I don't know what is.

But first things first.

The fun part of March Madness starts today!

Just a little about me, I hate watching basketball on TV {those squeaky shoes just drive me into madness}. If I'm going to watch it, I want to be in the arena. And even then, there are several other sports I would prefer over basketball. But there is a little thing called March Madness. There is also this boy that I live with. Therefore, whether I like it or not, every March, Mike's mind is nearly completely consumed by college basketball. And instead of fighting a battle that I will never win, I get involved. Because when there is a chance that I could beat Mike at something, I'm in full force. So the brackets have been filled out and so far, I'm winning by 1. Thank you BYU for coming back. You saved me.

Today is my shareadelicioussweetrecipe day. But unfortunately, I haven't made anything in the past week. Last night I started a cake, but it's not quite finished therefore it will have to wait until next week. So I had to dig into my archives. Yes, I have been taking pictures of the food I make for years now. So I give you a cookie and a post on my {private} blog from June of 2010.

June 27, 2010 {side note: living in Utah for the Summer for Mike's internship}

Last night I made Sweet Potato-Cheddar and Oat Cookies. Interesting idea, right? I know, that's why I just had to make them. (Side note: thanks to mom and mominlaw for letting me invade their kitchens and use their baking ingredients....you keep my hobby alive!) I have never ever in my life bought a sweet potato. We don't eat many potatoes in our house. Did you know that their are white sweet potatoes? Yeah I didn't either. And that is all that Smith's had so that is what I used. After the boiling the sweet potato and Mike's super awesome mashing skills, oh and Mike's super awesome cheese grating skills, the hardest part was over. (It sounds like I didn't do anything. I helped...I promise!) I try to always use mini chocolate chips because they seem to make everything more chocolaty. All in all, these cookies are fantastic. Super moist and soft. I had fun testing my family as to what they thought the two secret ingredients in these cookies are. You can't taste the cheese or the potatoes. Really, I am sure the potato just makes it softer and the cheese gives it a slightly more savory flavor but really it just tastes like a really good chocolate chip oatmeal cookie. If I made these again, I would probably just omit the cheese because you can't really taste it and it just adds a bunch of extra, unnecessary calories. Who knows though, maybe without the cheese, these cookies would taste awful. Either way, its fun to make a recipe with strange ingredients in it. It makes the outcome so much more exciting!

Photobucket

Sweet Potato-Cheddar Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

The Stuff:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup + 2 TB cooked & mashed sweet potato
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup quick oats
2 cups chocolate chips

The Doing:

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and set aside.
In a big bowl, cream the butter and sugars together. Add eggs, sweet potatoes, and cheddar cheese, combine. Fold in the dry ingredients; then chocolate chips and oats.
Place on a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

3.14.2012

What We Decided: {TV}

Isn't it funny how integral technology has become in our lives? All day I sit in front of a computer screen crunching numbers, then I go to the gym where I run on a treadmill, which has its very own TV, then its home, where Mike sits on his laptop studying, then the TV goes on, and between that and our phones, the night is pretty much shot.


Some days I would argue that going home and finding a cozy spot in front of the TV for a few hours is what we deserve. We work hard.
Other days I would argue that I have nothing else to do. I mean, I don't have any kids to take care of.

Mike and I have talked before of what kind of house we want to have when we bring children into the world. I knew that having the TV on all of the time wasn't going to work for our goals as parents.

Mike agreed. He knew of the opportunities that having less distractions could bring us. Not just for when we have kids, but the time that it would free up in our current lives.

So we dove in.
We made a list of our favorite shows that air Monday thru Thursday. Then we scratched a couple off the list.
We ended up with:

The Bachelor/Bachelorette
New Girl
Modern Family
Happy Endings
The Big Bang Theory

We decided that from Monday thru Thursday, the only times that we could have the TV on in the evenings would be when we were watching these shows. Other than that, the TV must be off. If we needed noise, music could be turned on. Morning television and weekend {Friday thru Sunday} television don't count.

We just wanted to free up a little bit of our time during the week, since it was already hectic enough.

We started on a Monday. And that first day was weird. What do we do with the TV off? How are we supposed to eat dinner if we can't do it in front of the TV? So what, now we're supposed to talk to each other?

But that first day really taught me something.

There were conversations going on that probably would have never happened with the TV on.
There were opportunities for learning things that we've always wanted to learn because now we had time without the TV being on.

For the sake of not completely losing our minds, we still allow ourselves other forms of technology throughout the evening. You simply just can't take away computer privileges from a law student and a blogger.

A few weeks later, and we're still strong.

And I even look forward to the quiet house when I get home. I relish the opportunity to focus completely on Mike, without having the TV blaring in the background.

And while I can't say that I accomplish a whole lot more each night, I still find that having the TV off more has been wonderful for my sanity and my relationship with my husband.

{My hiatus from Facebook is another post for another time.}

3.13.2012

What We Ate: {Spinach Salad}

There was a little bit of overconsumption of pizza going on at my house last night. I just couldn't help myself.

So for the sake of my suffering waistline, I bring to you today a salad.
But don't run and hide.
It's absolutely delicious!
{I can even get Mike to eat it, which is truly saying something.}


Spinach Salad

The Stuff:

8 cups of spinach {or enough spinach for two large servings}
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
7 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp honey mustard
1 tsp lemon juice

The Doing:

Whisk together honey, vinegar, oil, honey mustard and lemon juice in bowl. Take two strips of bacon and crumble into the dressing. Set aside.

{The next part is personal preference!} You can either throw all the ingredients {spinach, chopped green onion, diced tomato, diced egg, and remaining crumbled bacon} into a bowl, including dressing and then stir so everything is coated with the dressing. {I don't like doing that because it makes any leftovers soggy.} Or you can just prepare salads on plates and then spoon the dressing over the top. We like to do it this way because then we can choose what goes into our individual salads.

3.12.2012

What I'm Thinking About: {Today}

It's Monday! I hope that everyone had a successful daylight savings weekend. I struggled. Getting up for church on Sunday morning seemed easy. But man did I feel it later and ended up taking a twoandahalfhour nap. I hate naps. What a waste of time. Then we went to bed at 9:15 {don't gasp, that's quite normal for us} but I didn't fall asleep until 11:00. And getting out of bed this morning? Blah.

Let's talk about today though. Item of business number one. Today marks exactly two months until graduation. TWO MONTHS! Which means nine more weeks. Nine more Monday mornings. Nine more weeks of studying {for school anyway, don't even remind me that we have the bar coming up}. Nine more Sunday's with my Primary kids. Nine more Friday Accounting meetings. Nine more weeks until our folks come out for graduation!
Aren't they the cutest?!

Which may lead to item of business number two, what our plans are for after graduation. Well we are in the process of figuring that out. We have a couple different roads we could take but we want to make sure that we are making the right decision. Which means a heck of a lot of prayer. But don't worry, you'll get the scoop on that later.

And item of business number three. Today also means The Bachelor finale. I know, I know, for those of you who don't care, you can just skip this part, but for those of you who do......I totally hope that he picks Courtney. I know, she is crazy, but lets be honest, so is Ben if he has let her go this far. And the 'After the Final Rose' part will be so much better if he picks Courtney because of all the scandal behind it! Yes, you better believe it's a pizza occasion tonight. Pizza and three hours of juicy television? Bring.it.on.

Item number four? It's going to be in the high 70's today. Yes, you heard right. HIGH 70's!

Happy Monday!

3.09.2012

What Today Is: {FridayFreeForAll}

Happy Friday!

And happy FridayFreeForAll!

This is one of my favorite days of the week to blog because it's about music! I have a running list of songs in my phone that are awaiting their lucky day to be featured on FridayFreeForAll.

A few years ago I was introduced to this artist, and I have a couple of his songs on my iPod.
At one point, one of his songs was even my ringtone.

Then I just kinda forgot about my reggae rapper friend.

Then last night I hear one of his songs on a commercial!
And such a good song at that!

So here is today's song....

One Day
Matisyahu


And don't forget...feel free to leave your own suggestions for the next FridayFreeForAll!
If you give suggestions, I will highlight you/your blog/and your video on next week's FridayFreeForAll...just make sure you give me all the details! {And you must be a follower.}
{Oh and all music videos must be appropriate. We are family friendly on this here blog.}

3.08.2012

What We Ate: {Chocolate Chip Cookie Oreo Brownie Bar}

OMG, you guys.

OMG.

I'm the designated baker at work. If there is something to celebrate, I bring a treat. That's just how we roll in the Accounting department. And most the time, if the celebration is for you, I let you pick the recipe! I'm so nice.

So it was my coworker, Tori's birthday...
This is the birthday girls picture. {I know, I look suuuper awkward...}

Anyway, this is what she wanted.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Oreo Brownie Bars.

Whoa.

I would say I did pretty good because the original recipe topped it with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.

And as much as I'm trying to justify the fact that I've been munching on the leftovers all week, these really will put you in a sugar coma.

Be sure to have a large glass of milk handy.


The Stuff:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips
1 pkg Oreos
1 Brownie mix

The Doing:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Slowly incorporate flour, baking soda and salt to wet ingredients. Spread the cookie dough into the bottom of a greased 13x9 dish. Top with a layer of Oreos. Prepare Brownie batter according to the directions on the box. Pour Brownie batter over the top of the Oreos. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 25 minutes. Mine were still pretty gooey so I lowered my temperature to 300 and baked for an additional 20 minutes.

{My 2 cents...I liked these better at room temperature than while still warm out of the oven.}

3.07.2012

What We Wanna Know: {Spirit}

Question of the day:

How do YOU distinguish between the guidance of the Spirit and your own thoughts?

Readysetgo.

What We Did: {Dresser Refurb}

Happy Wednesday friends!

So sometimes.....but only sometimes.....Mike and I do something really cool.

Like the piano transformation that I did that you can read about here.

Well this was another one of those times.

When Mike is in between semesters, and isn't working full time, oh the money this man can spend. He would never tell you this but he loves to shop. Like a lot. Luckily, he is also quite stingy. So one of his favorite places is the Goodwill. Where he found this beauty.


I had been on the hunt for new dresser. New meaning old and paintable. Something with decent hardware so I didn't have to replace it {man that stuff is pricey}. And this dresser was the ticket. Yes if you look closely, one of the center handles is broken, but it was definitely something I could overlook.

Now to choose what color. Obviously, we wanted it to match our bedroom. So that leaves tan, brown, white, navy and green. Brown was out, because its already brown, duh. Navy was out because we wanted to do some glazing and navy would be too dark. White was out because our wall is white. And tan is out because that would just be ugly.

Green.

And the hassle we had to go through after that. Wow.

I just wanted to spray paint. I had checked out plenty of blogs to know that this was a viable option. More expensive, yes, but much easier. So we picked our color and bought a few cans. We sanded. And sanded. And primed.

We were ready.

Did I also mention that it was February at the time? Yeah, not a good time of year to spray paint.

It was way too cold and the paint was bubbling and wasn't sticking and it was just a nightmare.

So then the dresser sat in the garage. For months. Until it was warm enough to actually paint. But the spray paint still wasn't sticking.

But there was no turning back now. This thing was going to be painted green if it was the last thing that I did.

So we went old fashioned and painted the entire thing by hand. 3 times. I like me some good coverage.


And then it was on to the glazing. Which we had never done before. Yay for trying something new. And I'm slightly obsessed with the way that it turned out. {And no, its not purple glaze, its black, the lighting was a little weird.} We also did a clear coat or two to give it a shine and some protection.


Don't you just adore those handles?


Total cost: Less than $100.

3.06.2012

What We Ate: {The Best Homemade Breadsticks You'll Ever Eat}

Did I ever tell you that Mike is a master in the kitchen?

Especially when we're talking about bread.

He kinda has to be because 9 times out of 10, I kill the yeast. Yep, dead.

Plus, does he not look so good while in the kitchen?
Swoon.

So today we're talking breadsticks. But not just any breadsticks. The best ever breadsticks.

We like 'em anyway.


Twisted Breadsticks

The Stuff:

3 cups warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp yeast
1 tsp salt
6 to 8 cups flour
Melted butter
McCormick Salad Supreme seasoning

The Doing:

Combine the water, sugar and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes, until its nice and foamy. Add the salt and stir. Add half of the flour and mix. Add the remaining flour.

Shape your dough into a ball, place in a large bowl, and let rise until double in size.

Punch down dough and divide in half. Roll out one half into a rectangle (10"x12") on a floured surface. Use a pizza cutter and cut the rectangle into 12 strips, 1" wide. Take each strip and roll (ya know, like a snake). Fold the strip in half and then twist the ends in opposite directions. Lay on a greased baking sheet. Once all 12 strips have been placed on baking sheet, cover each in a layer of melted butter and then sprinkle your McCormick Salad Supreme seasoning over the top. (Obviously you could use any seasoning at this point, but the Salad Supreme is by far our favorite....and yes...we've tried others!) Do the same thing with the remaining half of the dough.

Let breadsticks rise for about another 30 minutes.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

3.05.2012

What My Weekend Was Like: {The Pizza That Brought on Some Deep Thoughts}

Yeah, did you read that title?

It's true you guys, I really got some deep thoughts along with my pizza order this weekend.

And now I'm about to get all serious up in here.

First lets say, if I haven't already said it a million times before....we love pizza. Like it's a love triangle type of love.

So because of our love for pizza, we eat it pretty regularly. And we know what we like. And that's where my deep thoughts came in.

Approximately At least 3 times a month, we decide on pizza for dinner.
We always order from Pizza Shuttle. Always.
We scour the Internet for coupons, first and foremost. Then Mike calls. {He tries to get me to do it sometimes, but I weasel my way out of it.}
He orders one large cheese pizza, and an order of cheeeesy bread {that's really how they spell it on their menu} with the garlic butter, instead of the marinara sauce. Always.
Then we go and pick it up. Together. Always.
I sit in the car, and he goes inside to pay. Always.
He brings me the order. I immediately open the boxes to make sure all is well. Always.
Then we eat exactly two slices of cheeeesy bread on our drive home. And it's not one for Mike and one for me. It's I take the biggest, cheeeesiest bite and then I give him a bite and so on and so forth until said two pieces are consumed. And it's not just any two pieces of the cheeeesy bread. It's the end pieces. And they have to be the exact same size. Always.
Then we get home. Always. {Thank goodness for this one.}
Then the routine really gets going. I take the box of pizza and the box of cheeeesy bread and put them on the coffee table. I open them and take half of the pizza and put it in the cheeeesy bread box {for me} and half the cheeeesy bread {the smaller half} and put it in the pizza box {for Mike}. We have to make sure that we get our share. Always.
All the while, Mike is in the kitchen, scooping out the two garlic butters into a bowl with a knife. Always.
I go to the fridge, get out the ranch dressing, and pour it into another bowl. Always.
Then I take the bowl of garlic butter and the bowl of ranch dressing and set them down on the coffee table. Always.
Mike gets napkins and drinks. Always.
Then we proceed to consume pizza to our hearts content while watching something juicy on television. Always.
And the entire time we eat I am paranoid about spilling on our newish carpet, and suddenly turn all momish on my poor hubby. Always.
Then the next day, there is always a little bit of leftovers. Usually some of my share. Mike isn't allowed to eat it. That is, not until I gift it to him. Most the time, I'll let him eat it, but so help him if I haven't actually gifted it to him first. And he knows this.

Always.

And we do all of this without saying a word to one another about it.

And it got me thinking. First off, I love pizza. Let's just say this is a constant thought throughout this entire process.

But this particular weekend, whilst going through all these pizza related motions, I had a moment of pure happiness. I didn't mention it to Mike. I just soaked it in. How rare is it that we enjoy the exact moment that we are in, instead of thinking of the moments that have passed or the moments that are to come?

I was able to take a step back this weekend and see how wonderful our pizza nights together are, while still actually experiencing it. I love that we have this tradition. I love that something that was never meant to be a tradition, became a tradition. And it's not just the pizza that's the tradition. It's eating it on the drive home. It's splitting it exactly even so we both get our share. It's doing something that I love with the person I love most. It's the sauces. Mmmm, sauces.

And it saddens me to know that this tradition will shortly end. That there will be no more Pizza Shuttle. That our coffee table will be in some other house in some other city. That our new pizza place probably won't spell it "cheeeesy bread". That one day there will be kiddos to chase around and this little tradition of who does what will probably be drastically altered {and altered, and altered...}. Not to mention, we'll probably be sitting around the kitchen table. No my kids won't be eating pizza on the new carpet. No way, dude.

But it also excites me. Yes, our current pizza tradition will change. But a new one will start. I do have hope that we will find pizza that is afforable and ohsotasty again {even though I am a little skeptical}. We will have kids one day and it'll be the best day ever. And we will still somehow have sauces and drinks and napkins and our even share of the pizza.

I am just glad that I was able to realize the joy that this tradition brings me, before it's just a memory.

3.02.2012

What Today Is: {FridayFreeForAll}

Happy Friday everyone!
It is March. {March!!} Which means a couple of things.

We've entered tornado season here in the midwest.

The two worst months of the year {January and February} are officially in the history books.

Spring Break! {Need I say more?}

Oh, and The Hunger Games comes out this month!

The Hunger Games series was another series that I read out loud to Mike.

And now the movie is finally coming out. {I'm sure hoping this doesn't turn in to another Twilight disaster...}

So today's FridayFreeForAll is brought to you by The Hunger Games.
{This song is from the movie.}

Safe & Sound
Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars



And don't forget...feel free to leave your own suggestions for the next FridayFreeForAll!
If you give suggestions, I will highlight you/your blog/and your video on next week's FridayFreeForAll...just make sure you give me all the details! {And you must be a follower.}
{Oh and all music videos must be appropriate. We are family friendly on this here blog.}

3.01.2012

What We Ate: {Cocoa Cake Cookies}

First things first.
Look at my new apron!
Handcrafted by my one and only amazing mother!
Normally she spends her time making beeauuutiful quilts, but she decided to take some time out and give me a little something to wear whilst in the kitchen.

Because I'm not gonna lie friends, this is what I'm usually sporting while whipping up some grub.
{Sneaky Mike, catching me at my best...}

Anyway, on to todays most recent baked item.

On a whim, sometimes chocolate chip cookies are a necessity in our household. It's sad really. But suuuper tasty.
This whim came along a few days ago. And it was a weekday, which meant that fromscratch was out.
But it's okay. Because I had a cake mix. But not just any cake mix. It was the Fudge Marble cake mix.
My mind starts reeling.
Now, we've all heard of cake cookies. That I'm sure of. But this particular cake mix came with a cocoa packet. And heaven knows there will be no chocolate in any form being thrown away in my house. Ever.
So just like a chocolate crackle cookie, I took it the opposite direction. And rolled my dough in cocoa. I was feeling brave. But not that brave. I only did half of them this way. In case it was disasterous.
But it wasn't.
They were awesome.
But just know, that cake cookies not rolled in cocoa are just as awesome. And so easy.

Cocoa Cake Cookies

The Stuff:

1 box cake mix {any flavor. obviously we used the fudge marble, but we love devils food.}
1 stick butter, softened
2 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips

The Doing:

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix in a large bowl cake mix, softened butter, eggs and chocolate chips. Pour cocoa in a small bowl. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough into cocoa and coat entirely. {This was pretty tricky as the dough is very soft.}

Obviously if you don't want to roll them in cocoa, just omit that part. Everything else works out the same.

Bake for 9 minutes.