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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rut-Busting

I have been in a food-rut. I think we all do it at some point-life gets busy, cooking drops to the bottom of the priority list and we resort to making whatever is fastest and requires the least thought and effort. On days when I stay late at school to tutor it falls to my husband to make dinner. This means we will have one of two selections-Papa John's Pizza or Kentucky Fried Chicken. Those are the two recipes in his cooking repertoire. Uh-huh. Both of which are fine in a pinch but as a staple of our diet, not quite doin' it for me. And, frankly I was getting really bored of eggs and bacon, crock pot roast and jambalaya that can be served in 18-20 minutes.

Here are my cookbooks. I collect them like I collect Halloween scrapbooking supplies. I may never use them but they are fun to look at. 
Which is a shame, on both counts.
It's got to change.
Change starts with me since I am the only one in the house that can read the mysterious language that these books are written in. Words like "saute," "deglaze," (no, honey that is not a fancy word for a plain donut) "simmer" and " boullion" might as well be French as far as my husband is concerned. Actually, boullion may really be French but that is beside the point.
I decided that this week I was going to pick five new recipes to try and I was going to come home every night and make them, come hell or high water. 
This week I selected recipes from a couple of my Pioneer Women cookbooks. Ree has never steered me wrong and I was confident that this would make my week a success thus pushing me to continue this tasty journey.
I did my online grocery shopping-which if you haven't tried you absolutely should- and made sure that I had all the ingredients so there would be no excuses or last minute pizza ordering.
Every night I do a quick check to see what proteins I may need to thaw or if I can chop something in advance.
You know what? I have loved cooking this week! My husband and daughter are excited about dinner. We are sitting at the table and enjoying our food and each other's company. My house smells amazing. Dinner has become a treat and not just a boring nightly routine like doing homework and taking a bath. My husband clears the table and loads the dishes. An added bonus has been that hubby and I both have yummy leftovers for lunch the next day which are so much better tasting than frozen microwave food.
Here's what I have made thus far. They all have been great. The chicken with mustard cream sauce was AMAZING. 
Chicken with Mustard-Cream Sauce



Meatballs with Peppers and Pineapple


Beef Stroganoff


On the menu tomorrow night-PIZZA.
THIS pizza-
Steakhouse Pizza
I hope you will give these recipes a try! I have already found some new favorites. Definitely domestic bliss! :)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pocket Letters

I have fallen in love with pocket letters! These nifty little things were created by Janette Lane and I think the idea was sheer genius! You create nine little Artist Trading Cards (ATC's), place them into a baseball trading card sleeve, add a few little crafty goodies in them along with a letter about yourself to your swap partner and send them off through snail mail to the recipient. It is a fabulous way to meet some new friends, use up your stash, and get some artistic inspiration. On a side note, for crafters that suffer with ADD like I do, it is wonderful because it can be done in very small bites-it is much easier than tackling a 12 by 12 layout or an entire scrapbook. Here are a few that I have created and sent off!




Craftiness

How can it be 2016 already, let alone APRIL of 2016? Time has flown by! Since my last blog post, we have moved AGAIN. We loved our previous house but let me tell you, all it takes it one rotten neighbor to take the shine off of a new house. Fortunately we were able to recoup everything we had put into it plus enough for a nice down payment on the house we are in. It all worked out for the better-we have a bigger house on a much, much bigger lot in a nicer neighborhood. In a weird way, I have to thank my rotten neighbors for all of that. :) Now, it looks like my husband may be transferred to Tampa,Florida or San Antonio, Texas and we could be making another move in the very near future. I am becoming a professional at this moving stuff, I tell ya!
In the middle of the last move, I finished my degree and passed my state exams! YAY! The best thing about that, aside from a job I love, is that I no longer have to spend my evenings doing homework-I get to CRAFT again and I am so very excited. Hubby bought me a Cricut Explore Air for Christmas and I have been craft crazy since then. I LOVE that machine. Here are a few of the things I have been working on!



And I couldn't quit there...