Saturday, February 19, 2011

Eat your greens

I feel like I've been posting a lot, but you don't have to read unless you want to.
This latest project is very exciting!
And it is all Nate.
He took advantage of the awesome weather today to do some work outside.
Last weekend Nate picked up some scrap wood from work to start on a project we had been talking about. I went in to Lowe's to get the finishing touches on Friday and he finished it today. I am beyond excited about it. I was cleaning up the house and doing laundry while he was working on it and kept going outside to ask him how it was going.
It went something like this:
Me: Hey, how's it going??
N: It's good
M: It's looking great! I can't wait!!
repeat every 15 minutes until project is done.
Annoying? Nah.

This is the finished product sitting in front of the house. By the sweet daffodil. Do you know what's inside?
Vegetables! In a cold frame! Growing right outside the kitchen! Aren't they cute? Little tiny plants waiting to be eaten!
This is iceberg lettuce. A classic.
This is romaine lettuce.
And this is broccoli!! The broccoli is not very practical for our climate this time of year, but since I found young plants so early in the season we thought we might get a little out of them before they get fried in the oppressive Southern heat. We'll try it again when it cools off in the fall. We're also going to put seeds in here for the rest of our garden.
Ok! I'm off to try a new recipe! Can you guess what's in it?
It is a synonym for smash and it rhymes with posh and mosh.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A pretty day

Here's what it looks like:

That's a s'more, in case you couldn't tell.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Dinner

We decided to have dinner in for Valentine's Day. This is not out of the ordinary for us, but we tried to make it a little fancier than usual and I think we succeeded.
I won't go into all the details, but I'll give you the highlights.
I saw this recipe from the Pioneer Woman and had stuck in my head that we HAD to have pasta. I almost made that (and I'm sure I will one of these days), but I found another recipe in the Joy cookbook for pasta with fresh herbs.
We used chives, oregano (that came from outside and had survived the terrible weather), and lots of fresh basil. You toss the herbs in plenty of olive oil and Parmesan cheese, then throw in the cooked pasta with some of the cooking water. I imagine you can use any pasta. The recipe calls for fettuccine, but Nate doesn't like that so we used whole wheat angel hair. So it was healthy, too! ...

The other highlight.
We got our latest Cook's Illustrated and they had an updated version of the Boston Creme Pie. It's news to me, because I've never made it, that the "traditional" recipe is outdated and produces a gooey pie, with runny creme, and the chocolate on top cracks. So one of their contributors took the recipe and reworked it. Nate saw the recipe and was really excited and said, "Mmm, Boston Creme Pie is one of my FAVORITE desserts." (this was news to me)
So I said, "I'll make it for Valentine's dinner!"

It worked, and it was awesome. I made real pastry cream, like you would have in an eclair from a fancy pastry shop. If you need me I'll be sitting on the kitchen floor eating it out of a bowl with the cat. Or fighting with Nate about who gets to lick the bowl.
The finished product only uses 9 eggs, so its a good thing we had that healthy whole wheat pasta.

I only have a picture of the finished product to share with you. Mom told me that I should take process pictures, but it was too involved. Way to much constant stirring, and medium then low then medium heat, and whisking for 8 minutes straight. It was not possible. But here is the finished product on Grandmother's china.
I took a picture of the table, but our house was such a wreck that night that I cannot share it with you. But I'll tell you that we used our nice dishes!

So here's my first blog giveaway. I'll make one of these for the next family member who visits. Tempting, I know.

What did you do for Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today is my first Valentine's Day as a Mrs. and my second with my honey. I am making him dinner tonight, and he gave me a sweet card this morning.
I never felt particularly special about Valentine's Day day, but we went on our first (awesome) date a few days after Valentine's Day 2 years ago, so now it just makes me think of our first date, and I think we both knew where things were going after that date.
Our courtship took a lot of work, planning, and organization. That's what happens when you seriously date long-distance. Although we had to be organized and plan everything, but I don't think it never felt forced. It just felt intentional, and I think that's how life should be. It was a good lesson in romance for me. We have the rest of our lives for surprises and spontaneity. I now see the romance in sacrifice, plans, and doing what you intend to do so that you can be with someone you love.
Other than being honest and making serious decisions about being together, it truly took a village to keep this thing going. Since our Valentine's Day celebration is between him and me, I thought I would write a Valentine to some who helped make it all happen.

Nate asked me out because he wanted to, but also through the encouragement of his friends. I was flattered to have received their recommendation. David and Laura housed Nate on many of his trips to see me and David performed our wedding ceremony! He did such a great job, even though I interrupted him a lot. Everyone talked and talked about how meaningful his comments were. We love them!
My cousin Sarah and her husband lived about halfway between Nate and I when we were dating. Their home served as a "love nest" and rendezvous point for us on many weekends and we are grateful that they made room for us some weekends even as they made room for their sweet baby boy last year (oh gosh, it was the year before last). We shared a Valentine's dinner with them last year and it was so fun! We love and appreciate them too.
My Aunt and Uncle lived close to Nate while we dated, so they let me stay with them two summers ago so that Nate and I could be closer while we dated. We appreciate them so much, and had a great summer with them. We may not be where we are now if it weren't for them. Here they are with my mom. We love Paul and Mary!Here are some hearts for you for Valentine's day. Recipe from the Pioneer Woman, and VERY tasty. Homemade ice cream too!

So, there it is! Happy Valentine's Day! We will enjoy it and each other, thanks to our little "village!"
photo by Rima Cambpell

Monday, February 7, 2011

For my brother

My brother's class thinks our cat is fat, so I wanted to show some of the things he does to stay in shape and alert.

Dear students,

My cat does not just lay around. And he is not that fat.
Sometimes he works really hard for lovin's. He is reckless because sometimes he falls over backwards while trying to get pets and scratches behind the ears.

Sometimes he plays with string. And he makes his claws come out with the ferocity of a wild animal.

Sometimes he helps me write blogs. Sometimes it hurts when he does that, but its because I'm weak, not because he's fat.

He does, admittedly, spend a lot of time sleeping like a dragon on the couch. But even wild animals need their rest.

Love, Molly (and Loki).

PS. I did check online though, and maybe kitty needs a little diet.
PPS. I am not a "cat" person, just a Loki person.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Supreme meat

I made a vegetarian pasta dish two nights ago.
It was excellent.
It contained: whole wheat pasta, humus, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, lots of pepper, paprika.

Me: Do you like it? Do you really? Would you choose to eat it again? (I ask this stream of questions at least once every time I make something new. It sounds as insecure out loud as it seems when you read it.)
Nate: This is really good.
And later: It would be really good with pepperoni.
Me: Duh, everything is better with pepperoni.
Nate: Not ice cream.

I think he's correct.
But I bet you could do an awesome ice cream with bacon in it.
And that's why bacon remains the supreme meat.

This is how the kitty sleeps.