"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?" - Kathleen Kelly (You've Got Mail)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spinach Quiche

1/4 c. butter
1 small onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
6 oz. package herbed feta cheese, crumbled
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. milk
salt and pepper to taste
9 inch pie crust, unbaked

Preheat the oven to 350 and place pie crust in a pie plate and set aside. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until tender and fragrant. About 8-10 minutes. Stir in spinach, stirring well to break it all up. Next, mix in the feta cheese and 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into the prepared pie crust.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and salt and pepper. Pour over the spinach mixture and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Top quiche with the remaining cheddar cheese and bake an additional 35 minutes or until set in the center. Let stand for 10 minutes, slice and serve. Makes 6-8 pieces.

Recipe adapted from here

Notes: Whenever Randy is out of town I make quiche for myself because it's one of the few things he won't eat (and I love it!). I think the feta makes it great! It gives it an extra little zing :)

Cinnamon Ice Cream

1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. sugar
5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, whisk together the above ingredients until well combined. Pour into your ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer's instructions. Makes 8-10 servings.

Recipe adapted from here


Notes: This was super easy and really yummy! I'll be making it again and again :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chicken Fried Rice

I have been dying to make fried rice for a long time now but haven't gotten around to it. I read a lot of different recipes and finally came up with something of my own and I am really pleased with how it turned out. This recipe is super versatile....you could use pork or shrimp in place of the chicken or make it vegetarian by adding a couple extra cups of veggies and leaving out the meat.

Chicken Fried Rice

2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into very small cubes
6 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ginger
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. oil
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 1/2 c. frozen veggies (I used peas and chopped carrots)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used brown rice)

In a container with a lid, whisk together the soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Add the chicken and stir well to coat. Cover and marinade in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet or wok. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to get tender. Add the frozen vegetables and saute until heated through. Once heated through, scoot the vegetables to the edge of the skillet and scramble the eggs in the center of the pan, stirring constantly. When the eggs are half way cooked, incorporate the vegetables and continue stirring until the eggs are fully cooked. Next, add the chicken and rice. Stir and cook until everything is heated through. Makes 6-8 servings.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kitchen Update

It's been a while since I've posted about progress on the kitchen. Probably because it seems like this project is NEVER going to get finished! I've heard people say how incredibly hard and time consuming kitchen renovations are (especially if you're doing it yourself!) but I had no idea HOW hard and time consuming it would actually be.

It's the cabinets that have me going crazy! I ordered cabinet door and drawer fronts from a website I found and I am really happy with them! I primed, painted and polyurethaned them (sounds easy, right?? Ha!). The existing cabinet bases were degreased, sanded, primed, painted and polyurethaned. This took weeks!! It's not easy getting things done with a 1 year old crawling around :)

Next I installed the hinges and hardware (knobs on the doors, handles on the drawers) and when we went to hang them up, they didn't fit! They were all over lapping either other. After about 20 minutes of FREAKING OUT and wondering what the heck went wrong, we realized the hinges that the cabinet door company sent were the wrong kind. So...we spent more money and bought all new hinges. Ugh!

And I hate even admitting this but I completely forgot to order one of the cabinet doors! I don't know how it happened because I double, triple and quadruple checked everything before I placed my order. But it was my fault. I looked back in the invoice and this cabinet wasn't listed. I tried to go back and order this last door but the website will only take orders with a minimum purchase of $300. Thank God our good friend Eric was willing to make a door for us! He came over last week and took measurements...yay!

These are only a couple examples of the stress this kitchen renovation has brought on! I could go on and on! Not to mention my kitchen has been torn apart for months now. I feel like I'm never going to get it back! Right now about 1/3 of the cabinets doors are hung. This would have been finished a while ago but it's a two-person job and Randy hasn't been around much to help me out. He's leaving this Sunday and will be gone for a week and I made him promise to help me finish hanging all the doors and installing the drawer fronts before he leaves. We'll see! ;)

Another little dilemma I had was choosing a back splash. I was set on using these cool faux brick tiles because I really wanted a warm, cozy coffee house feel. The way the cabinets are turning out (bright and crisp) it just wasn't going to work. I even bought a few of the tiles and set them in the kitchen for a few days to see if I could make it work. It won't! So we decided to go with the oh-so-popular 1 inch glass tiles in "Salt and Pepper". It's going to cost almost twice as much as the brick would have but it's going to look a million times better! Here's a little sneak peek at it:

So anyways...that's the latest! I bought all the tile from Lowes today and I'm ready to go! This turned into a really long post. I haven't really had anyone to talk to lately so I guess I needed to "unload" somehow :) So thanks for listening. If anyone is actually reading this!


M&M Rice Krispie Treats

1/4 c. butter (plus additional for the pan)
10 oz. bag large marshmallows
6 c. Rice Krispies Cereal
1 1/2 c. regular M&Ms candy

Grease a large pan (I used an 11x16) and set aside. In a large sauce pan, melt 1/4 cup of butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add the marshmallows, stirring continually until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the Rice Krispies. Next, quickly stir in the M&Ms so the colors don't start to "bleed". With butter on your fingertips, press into the prepared pan. Allow to cool for at least and hour and then cut into 24 squares.

Notes: I'm making Randy and his band some treats to take on their week long trip to Illinois...this is one of four things I'm making. These are simple and yummy and should hold up well during their travels.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


6 ripe avocados
1/4 a yellow onion, very finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
3/4 tsp. salt
1 large tomato, diced (optional)

Peel and pit the avocados and scoop all the greens into a medium bowl. Add the onion, garlic, lime juice, salt and tomato if using. Stir well, mashing the avocados (I've found that using a pastry blender works the best) until ingredients are combined well. 

Notes: I LOVE avocados and guacamole is one of my favorite foods of all time! My recipe is fairly simple because I like to be able to taste everything and don't want the flavors to get over-powdered by spice. Which is also why I like to dice the onion very finely.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Margot Is 1!

One year ago today at 6:55pm I gave birth to our beautiful baby girl, Margot Faye. It has been the hardest, most life changing (and best!) year of our life. Margot has taught us so many things and we are blessed to have her in our lives. She is such a fun, goofy and strong-willed little person. It's hard to believe how quickly this year has gone by...having a child really teaches you how precious our time is. Here is a look at each month over the last year:


1 Month

2 Months

3 Months

4 Months

5 Months

6 Months

7 Months

8 Months

9 Months

10 Months

11 Months

12 Months 

Happy birthday, Margot! We love you!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Coleslaw for a Crowd

3 16 oz. bags coleslaw mix
2 c. Mayonnaise
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. white sugar
3 tbsp. white vinegar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. poppy seeds

Place the coleslaw mix in a large bowl. In another bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour dressing over the coleslaw mix and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stir again and serve cold. Serves 25-30 people.

Notes: I made this for my brothers graduation party so I had to make a lot! You could easily cut this recipe down 1/2 or 1/3 if you want to make less. I'm not the biggest coleslaw fan but I actually really like this stuff!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. crunchy peanut butter (creamy would be fine)
1 c. white sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. white flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
36 miniature chocolate candies (I used Brachs Chocolate Stars)

In a large bowl cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. In a smaller bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into the batter. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 and grease a couple baking sheets and set aside. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and press a candy in the center of each, folding the dough around it. Place dough balls on the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Notes: You could use any small chocolate candy or fun-sized candy bars in these. I've used Snickers before and they came our really yummy!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cherry Chip Bars

1 box Cherry Chip cake mix
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
5 drops red food coloring (optional)
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 13x9 pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, water, brown sugar, butter and eggs. Mix for 1 minute on low spread. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread in the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Notes: My mom used to make these when I was little and I loved them! Chocolate and cherry is one of my favorite flavor combos and these bars are so easy to throw together so they're wonderful! 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fiesta Quinoa

1 c. dry quinoa
2 c. water
1 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. frozen corn
1 10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1 15 oz. can black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. sour cream

Combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and quinoa and fully cooked. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add garlic and saute about 5 minutes. Add the corn, Rotel and beans. Cook, stirring occasionally until heated through, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Combine the cooked quinoa in the skillet with the vegetable mixture. Add the sour cream and stir until creamy. Makes 6 servings.

Notes: This was my first time making quinoa and I have to say...I'm a fan! This stuff was awesome and so easy to work with. And I love how versatile it is. We're definitely going to be eating more quinoa in this house!

I can't remember where I found this recipe, but it was from someones blog. If you're reading this and you know who's recipe it is, or if it's yours, please let me know so I can give proper credit!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Back Fence

I can't take the credit for this project because we hired someone to do it for us. We contemplated the idea of doing it ourselves but it just seemed like it would take too much time and we wanted to make sure it was done really well and we weren't quite sure how to do it. I'm still posting about it because it was a major thing to break down and get done.

The fence we had was there for 20 years and it had broken, fallen over multiple times and had many boards missing, so it was time to go! Plus is was only 4 feet tall, giving us no privacy at all. And every person that walked down the street behind our house was barked at by Buckley and Truman...now they won't be able to see over our nice, new 6 foot fence :)

Here are some before and after pictures for you:

Look at what a huge difference it makes! We're so glad we finally got this done. And please excuse the messy yard! I know it isn't much to look at for now but next summer we're really hoping to landscape.