Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shrimp Bread and running

The other night I made this shrimp bread by sauteing shrimp, zucchini, leeks, and tomatoes in olive oil.  I made a little sauce out of chicken broth.  Then, I toasted part of a French loaf with olive oil and some basil. 

Last Saturday David and I ran six miles, which was really, really hard for me.  I'm supposed to be running a half marathon this June, and after huffing and puffing over half the amount of miles as what is in the half marathon, I am sure that I will not be ready to run the entire thing.  It is amazing how far one can call after a winter.  Last fall I was running ten miles on the weekends with more mileage during the week and now I can barely run six miles.  I have a lot of work in front of me!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

R.I.P. Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012

Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/ca/Sendak_illustration.gif/220px-Sendak_illustration.gif
 I thought that this was really interesting: "It is only adults who ever feel threatened."


Purple potatoes

I found these at HyVee a few weeks ago.  Have you tried purple potatoes yet? 

Monday, May 07, 2012

Our weekend

We had a great weekend!  It was so great that I didn't take any photographs. 

On Friday evening we went to David's cousin's graduation party, which was a lot of fun!  His cousin lives in a house that reminds me a lot of David's college house.  It was really cute!

That evening, we went to First Friday and out to eat at a delicious German restaurant, which was a lot of fun.  On Saturday David and I slept super late and then went on a long run.  After that, we had lunch outdoors and then went to an art festival outside.  The day was perfect and hot, so it was a great day to be outdoors!  That evening we went to a friend's house for a BBQ.  On Sunday we spent most of the day cleaning amid the storms!

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Best achievement ever.

This game was SO hard, mostly because I didn't have the patience to win, but after many, many minutes of trying to get these tiny rings on the stakes I finally prevailed! 

I mean, this game was made for a three-year-old, but sometimes we have to celebrate the little wins in life, right?

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Little Arwen

Arwen loves playing with kitty toys and I love indulging her, which is why you can find approximately nine toys in your line of sight at any given place in our house.

Her favorite one, though, is this little gem:
It used to be covered in tinsel but as a result of all of the loving and playing its fur has disappeared onto our floor.  She often loses it under furniture and when I look under the furniture to find it, she meows and meows and purrs and purrs. 
I bought her a few new tinsel toys but this is still her favorite.  I find it so endearing that she loves a little ball of fuzz so much. 

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Spaghetti alla Bolognese

I love making a really great and slow-cooked pasta sauce, but I really can't stand to have a pot on my stove all day long because somehow it all comes out burnt.  Because of that, I decided to make a bolognese sauce in the crock pot. 

My mom gave us a pack of good sausage, so I cut up onion, carrots, celery, and added tomatoes and tomato sauce.  I cooked it for a few hours and then at the very end added a touch of cream.  The result was so delicious.  It was a great Sunday evening dish.

Do you have a favorite spaghetti sauce recipe?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Our weekend

We had a wonderful weekend.  On Friday night, we hung out with friends and David's brother came into town to celebrate our niece's First Communion!  On Saturday Peter and I ran a 5k and I got my best time in a 5k ever...26:50!  I was also the first woman to cross the finish line and Peter and I both got gold medals!

That afternoon I ran to yoga and then we went to David's sister's house where we hung out and began the festivities for the First Communion.  The next day was the big event:
After it was over we celebrated some more by eating some delicious food and enjoying each other's company.  Overall, it was a much-needed relaxing weekend for me, which was great! 

Did you have a good weekend?  I hope so!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend fun

My weekend was a ton of fun.  I went to St. Louis to visit my friends and enjoyed the company, exploring the City Museum and going down the 10-story slide late at night, Chipotle two times in twenty-four hours, shopping, new pups, and a lot of fun.

 Posting will be light or non-existent this week, but I hope to return to normal next week!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hot Bacon Spinach Salad

I remember my grandma making a delicious hot bacon salad when I was growing up, so I thought that I would try it a few weeks ago.  I cut up some bacon, cooked it on the stove, and drained some of the grease.  Then, I decided to add some onions and sugar.  I caramelized them and added them to spinach and beets.  The results were just as I remembered: delicious and a taste of spring!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Delicious Sub Sandwiches

I read this post by Pioneer Woman a few weeks ago and started to CRAVE a delicious sub sandwich. 

I didn't put french fries in mine, but I made a vinegar-and-oil based cole slaw recipe and made sandwiches of salami and pastrami.  They were SO delicious. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Potato Fail

I tried to make scalloped potatoes this week and it turned out to be a huge fail.

My recipe (that I just have in my head) involves a can of cream of mushroom soup (I know...I need to figure out how to make that from scratch in a timely manner), half and half, milk, and seasonings.  When I made this, I had ran out of cream of mushroom soup and milk.  I thought that I could sub the normal ingredients for half and half and...get this...chicken broth. 

Needless to say, it didn't work very well.  David literally had to fish the potatoes out of soup. 

Don't worry....I won't be sharing this recipe.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Songs I'm loving

Sorry if you think that they are overplayed, but I'm loving these songs right now:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Wedding, Rach!

My friend Rach had her bachelorette party last weekend, which was a ton of fun!  We had a great time celebrating Rach and her new groom. 

Rach is a vet, so we went to a wild bird sanctuary: 

That night, we went out together and had a blast!

Happy Wedding, Rach!

Monday, April 09, 2012

My Easter

An Easter lamb made out of butter
I had a wonderful, wonderful Easter.  On Thursday evening I drove back home to my parents' house and spent the entire weekend there.  I was in need of a relaxing weekend where I didn't have to worry about cleaning the house, making food, or doing any work and a holiday weekend was just the ticket! 

On Friday we went to St. Louis and picked up my brother from the airport.  His flight got in super duper early so we ate breakfast, ran some errands, visited some family, and did some shopping.  That evening we headed home and I went to Good Friday church (I don't think you can really call it a mass, right?) with my mom, which is my very favorite church service of the entire year.  That evening I hung out on the couch and read a book. 

Then, on Saturday, I ran and helped my mom decorate the house for guests.  Her side of the family drove in and we all did our traditional lamb cake decorating:
My cousin's cake

My cake

Lamb decorating supplies
That evening we hung out at home and visited and then I watched The Ten Commandments on ABC.  I even stayed up until the end! 

Then, on Sunday, we went to church and then to my grandma's for a very delicious Easter lunch.  It was such a wonderful weekend!  I hope your Easter was just as fabulous. 

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Easter break

I am going to take a little spring break from blogging this week.  I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Warioland!

Source
A few weeks ago I went home and stole our old Gameboy Pocket from my brother's room.  I remember opening that thing up for Christmas one year: it was supposed to be a shared gift but I'm sure that by the end of it my parents wished that they had just bought us each one becuase we probably fought over it more than we played!  Game boys were SO COOL back in the 90s and it was so fun to have one!

Anyway, my favorite game was Warioland.  It is kind of like a mario game except the player plays Wario, a greedy little man whose goal is to bank coins so that he can end up buying his dream house (what a hilarious end goal for a kid).  I've been playing again just for fun and it is so. much. fun. 

Did you have a Gameboy?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

BLT Lettuce Wraps

I don't really get into fad diets, but I do know that after days of eating carb-based dishes my body needs a break.  One of David's favorite foods is a good BLT sandwich, and I am happy to oblige his cravings on the weekends for lunch.  However, this weekend I was 1. short on bread and 2. tired of eating pasta/bread/carbs (the night before we had a huge pasta feast). 

So, I turned to Iowa Girl Eats...one of my favorite bloggers.  She devised this recipe for Chicken BLAT wraps.  I decided not to make these with the chicken, but rather just with the bacon. 
They were delicious.  You should try them sometime!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Since I don't have kids you get cute pictures of my dog

 Seriously, people.  Is there a cuter dog in the world?  I mean, look at that face.
 This face is why he got to explore outside all weekend and have pieces of bacon. 
Cute things that Paco has done lately:

- David has been studying again and he generally studies in one spot.  One time he called Paco and Paco ran right downstairs to David's study area and searched for David even though David wasn't there.  It was SO cute.
- Paco now barks and chases at Thorina when he finishes his walk.  If Arwen is there, he never barks at her because he tries to be polite to her.
-  When I get home before David, he sits and waits for David to get home by the garage door.  His little tail wags in anticipation. 

Dogs really are faithful friends.  Paco is no exception.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend run

I had a wonderful weekend.  It was very quiet: after work on Friday I barely left my house, which was completely wonderful.  The only things I accomplished was a short list of errands, going to mass, and going to yoga.

On Sunday morning I took a leisurely run through some nearby neighborhoods.  I love one in particular because it has a lake and I like to run around the lake:



On this particular morning I saw a lot of wildlife.  First of all, I saw lots of geese and ducks ducking into the water and quacking at each other.  The geese were fighting about something.

Then, I looked over and saw something strange swimming in the water:
It was a beaver!  He was swimming near the top of the water and then continuously ducked down into the water to get into his dam. 

Finally, on the way home, I ran along, minding my own business, when I neared a subdivision entrance.  I saw a little furball on the side of the road and grew sad because I figured that someone had run over a cat (it looked tabby).  After more consideration, however, I realized that the furball was in fact moving and unballing.  Eventually a raccoon head peeked out at me when I was about a foot away from it!  I bit my upper lip SO hard to keep from screaming and startling it and ran very quickly away.  I don't know much about animals but I do know that I did not want to run right into a raccoon.  Luckily, he was too drowsy to do much to me, so I escaped. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

David's sister made us this delicious recipe a few weeks ago and I had to try it! 

It is sooooo good....I usually don't love butternut squash THAT much (I would class it as my least favorite vegetable, but I really love all veggies), so I never buy it.  However, this recipe made me lick my plate.  I can't wait to make it again!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring has sprung!

We have some gorgeous flowers blooming in our backyard.  They are so very pretty....David has identified the tree on which they are growing as a white peach tree.  Love!
Spring also means that certain felines have been shedding like there is no tomorrow.  I combed them twice last week and had a friend over this weekend who is allergic to cats and she was simply miserable.  I think that the combo of the cat fur plus the pollen in the air made life not very fun for her, but still, I felt bad.
Why do cats have to shed?  Argh!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Purple Cauliflower

I bought this stuff a week or so ago...the verdict...it is AWESOME.  I. love. this. stuff. 

Have you tried a colored cauliflower? 

Monday, March 19, 2012

My birthday!

I had another wonderful, wonderful birthday.  My birthday is on St. Patrick's Day, which is fun just by itself but this year my college friends came to help me celebrate!  It was so much fun to see them, catch up, and just enjoy seeing them!

On Saturday we went to the St. Patty's Day parade for a bit, walked around in the sunshine, and grabbed a late lunch.  Then we headed home for some resting time, went shopping, had dinner, and then went out for St. Patrick's day fun!  It was all such a blast and I had a wonderful time with everybody.  Some pics from the day:
My corned beef and cabbage...in the form of sauerkraut.


Parade

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day....my favorite holiday!  Be sure to wear green!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Homemade Tortillas

Last Sunday I made tortillas using this recipe.  It was the first time that I have ever made homemade tortillas, and I must say that they were delicious! 
At first, I decided that they were not worth the work, but then we really enjoyed the leftovers.  All last week, I made a salad and put it on top of a toasted tortilla.  They were really tasty, but since they use shortening I am not sure if I will make them again. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shamrock Shakes!

Last week one of my co-workers mentioned getting a Shamrock shake.  While I enjoy the concept of a Shamrock shake, I do not actually enjoy the Shamrock Shakes from McDonalds.  To me, it tastes like a vanilla shake with green food coloring.  Therefore, I decided to try to make my own Shamrock Shake.  I bought mint ice cream, chocolate chips, and milk.  David and I combined all three ingredients to the shake drinker's specifications and enjoyed the creamy mint ice cream. 
As you can see, Thorina enjoyed it as well!  Delicious, and the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Cleaning

This weekend I started spring cleaning and actually got a lot accomplished.  I was supposed to have help from the animals, but this is all I got:
How is it possible that two adorable felines can produce so much cat fur and one sweet doggie can bring out so much dirt around the house?

I pretty much finished cleaning because I am having some guests next weekend.  There is nothing like having company to get you to clean your house!  It feels so good to have everything so clean, though.

Do you do spring/fall cleaning?  I feel like I pretty much have to in order to keep up with the animal fur. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Shrimp Pizza

I made this pizza a few weeks ago but I thought that I would share the recipe.  The night I made this, I really, really wanted pizza but was craving Cajun food (weird, I know).  I decided to combine the two of them!  

I made a few shrimps and sauteed onion in olive oil until the onion was nice and lucid.  Then, I added a tomato sauce that had some half and half in it.  I used Creole seasoning to season everything.  SO delicious.   Have you ever made a weird pizza that turned out well? 





Thursday, March 08, 2012

Important Announcement.

You must. go. make. this. chicken.  

Seriously, people.  I try not to be too bossy on this blog, but this stuff, is (pardon my expression) da bomb. 
SO flavorful and so good because you can actually control the chicken pieces (which I love!  I hate hate hate biting into chicken fat, which usually means that I do not order chicken out.  If I can cut it off of the pieces with which I cook, though, I'm all good to go!).  Also, who knew that sweet and sour sauce was so easy to make?

David and I always disagree about Chinese food.  I just don't love getting it from restaurants because I enjoy making it at home.  David, however, loves nothing more than a hole-in-the-wall Chinese place.  This was a stellar compromise because even David said that this chicken was as good as at a restaurant.  

Here is the recipe.  I promise you will love this!

Sweet and Sour Chicken from Life as a Lofthouse

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Beef Stroganoff


When I was little, my dad made the best beef stroganoff.  I loved it on deliciously cozy and cold evenings, when all you want is a little comfort food to stick to your lungs. 

We have not been experiencing such nights around here lately, but that doesn't stop me from wanting some serious comfort food.  So, a few weeks ago, I decided to make a recipe out of my head but very similar to this Beef Stroganoff recipe.  It was SO delicious.  Yum!  I used heavy cream rather than sour cream, since we never buy sour cream and I thought that it may be a waste of money to buy an entire container for one recipe.  It tasted delicious!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Our week and weekend

Things have been pretty busy around here.  David is studying again, which means that he is indisposed 99.9999999% of the time.  My work has been getting busier and busier, which is fun because I really enjoy my job, but it all just leads to a pretty busy lifestyle for us. 

Because of this, it is really fun to have a few weekends where we are just at home, knocking around, not doing much at all.  This past weekend was one of those weekends.  On Friday evening, we hung out at home.  I caught more than a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix (quick critique: I think that the show is funny and cute but I hear that after about the third season the viewer pretty much wants to know who the mother is and they don't find out).  On Saturday, I ran some errands, we went to mass, and that evening I enjoyed a delicious dinner at La Bodega with one of my friends.  After that, we had drinks at The Rieger Hotel, which were outstanding.  I tried the Blancadora and loved it.  


On Sunday, I had lunch with another friend and then Paco and I met up with his friend Leon and we went for a walk together. 
That afternoon, I made cookies (I shouldn't have...haha) and enjoyed the warm breeze wafting from our window. 

My batteries are definitely recharged for the week!  What did you do?

Monday, March 05, 2012

Olive Tapenade

I love olives and unfortunately, David really, really dislikes them.  Just this weekend we were playing a game like the Newlywed Game with one of our friends and she asked us about the other person's least favorite food.  Mine is definitely cheese, so the question wasn't as fun for me, but I guessed butternut squash soup for David (that is the only recipe I have made that he just flat out disliked).  At that point, he reminded me of his distaste for olives and I had to admit defeat. 

But how could you dislike olives?  I think they are one of the better foods on the planet:

Olive tapenade is a delicious olive dish that I love making every once in a while.  I eat it and buy David fancy cheese (this involves my staring for 20 minutes in the cheese aisle in the grocery store, not sure what to buy).  We grab a baguette, salami, and enjoy a satisfying and easy dinner. 
This time, I added grape tomatoes on the top of my pile and it was heaven.  I just adore simple meals like this. 

Olive Tapenade

 - One jar Kalamata olives or green olives (make sure you buy these without the pits)
 - one can artichoke hearts
 - olive oil
 - salt and pepper to taste

Drain the olives and artichoke hearts.  Process them in your food processor until fine.  Add olive oil, about 1/4 cup, and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve on hunks of bread or with your favorite crackers.