Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Feeling the love

My friends are so cool. Monica and Breanne (and Grayson, too) came to visit for a few days. They surprised me with treats from "home." One of which was a cooler full of Shakespeare's. We did a LOT of eating at home, played some Scrabble and went to the mall one afternoon. We also went to the Chicago History Museum to see a special exhibit. Fun times! Tomorrow Joe and I are headed to the Puget Sound for Thanksgiving and will be gone for several days. Happy Thanksgiving!

Crustless Spinach Quiche

Monica asked for this recipe so I thought I'd share it for everyone. It turned out to be a very easy and very good breakfast.

2 large eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
4 green onions
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup whole milk (I used skim)
1/2 package (5 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 to 3 drops Tabasco sauce

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, whisk egg. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Spread into a lightly sprayed or oiled 9-inch glass pie plate. Bake until set and bubbly, about 55 minutes. (Mine took much less time.) Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Cut into wedges to serve.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This is a short week for us. We are leaving on Thursday for our Thanksgiving which will take us to the Pacific Northwest for several days. Until then, we do have company (yay!) for a couple of days. I also made a spinach quiche for breakfast today (more on that later) and Joe made an awesome chocolate cake for us to nibble on.

Monday: chicken curry with jasmine rice
Tuesday: beef and noodles with homemade rolls
Wednesday: pizza

Friday, November 21, 2008


We had Spinach Enchiladas tonight and I was quite pleased with the results. Below is the recipe:

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10 ounce) package of frozen spinach, thawed,
drained and squeezed dry
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
10 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 (19 ounce) can enchilada sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; cook for a few minutes until fragrant but not brown. Stir in spinach and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in ricotta cheese, sour cream and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese.

In a skillet over medium heat, warm tortillas one at a time until flexible, about 15 seconds. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture onto the center of each tortill. Roll up and place seam side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cup of Monterey Jack.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven until sauce is bubbling and cheese is lightly browned at the edges.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thoughts about Matt

It was terribly cold walking from the train to the venue. And I spent waaay too much for a drink. And, no, I wasn't as close to Matt as I'd been in the past. But when he started singing Jesse's Girl and talking about poop, I felt strangely at home. I laughed at his crazy hair. I swooned. I reminisced. I remembered that the last show I went to was when my sister was in labor and I kept checking my phone, waiting for the call. I thought about all the guys I knew who had played his songs on their acoustic guitars. Then there was that time I met him and he told me I was cute. And when he yelled at the crowd I laughed and thought about all the times he'd done that before. It wasn't until he said, "Are you ready Chicago?" that I felt like an outsider. Is this really my town? Do I really live here? A lot of days I still feel like a visitor. It's really a strange feeling. There are days I think it's about time for me to head back to Columbia and go back to my old apartment and job...and then I remember - I live here. It's crazy. I like it. I'm just not quite used to it yet. P.S. I missed you, B.

Something to look forward to

I get to see one of my very favorite people/concerts tonight - Matt Nathanson! (Props to Alison for the sweet hook up.) I've seen him six, seven times? Anyway, it will be a little weird for me to not be seeing him in Columbia. I wonder how the vibe will be tonight. I'm used of his intimate little shows and his banter with the crowd. Hopefully that still happens.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Calling all moms...and buyers of all things cute

Looking for a Christmas gift? Gift for a new baby? Something to keep your kids warm? My very talented friend Cristin has homemade items for sale. Go here for more details.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekend update

Saturday was Joe's birthday. His mom and stepdad, Ed came into town for the weekend festivities. We had a great time with them and I planned on taking pictures but managed to forget my camera when we went out on Saturday...and then I just kept forgetting. In typical Joe-fashion, his only request for his birthday weekend (aside from the cake) was to eat pizza and see a movie. We did manage to have a fabulous dinner on Saturday night. And surprisingly enough, the dogs were very well-behaved for our guests. It was a very nice weekend.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: fajitas and spanish rice
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: bacon, eggs and toast
Thursday: tilapia and sweet potatoes
Friday: spinach enchiladas
Saturday: leftovers
Sunday: (company) chili, creamy avacado dip with veggies, cornbread

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pineapple upside down cake

Um, I made this. That's it. Just wanted everyone to know.

Just something to think about

Nichole shared this, What I'd Like for You to Know link today from Rocks in My Dryer. After reading it I had to share it, too. While it's true that I'm married, I am a newlywed and still can identify strongly with what the blog says. I got married a month and a half shy of my thirty-first birthday and spent most of my adult life thus far without a significant other. Even when Joe and I were dating and engaged we spent most of that time six hours apart. No, I wasn't longing for motherhood but could relate on so many other levels. Yes, I've heard the "What's wrong with you?" or "You must be picky." I remember being told once, "You go out too much" as if that was such a horrible thing. Without the movies, concerts and dinners with my friends I would just be home alone. All by myself. And after those two-hour movies, concerts or dinners I was alone enough - most of the time. I have been so lucky to have amazing friends who let me tag along with them and their husbands/boyfriends/kids, blessed to have other awesome single girlfriends and just awesome friends in general. (You know who you are.) Anyway, my point is, I really hope everyone reads this blog. I found it very touching and true.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Trying to look on the bright side

Remember this? Just a week ago, my car was in the shop. Yesterday we took Joe's car in after smoke started coming out of the hood. The garage called today and said the problem was much bigger than they can handle so this afternoon we're off to pick up the car and take it to the dealer. I know that there are people out there who have problems far bigger than I will ever have but I can't help but be down about this string of bad luck. The car trouble, the job trouble, the lack of income trouble...I need help being positive. I'm afraid I'm turning into a Debbie Downer these days which is probably why I haven't been blogging as much this week. Sigh.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

It's a special week here. Joe's mom is coming to town this weekend and it's Joe's birthday. I will also be making a pineapple upside down cake for the ocassion. Wish me luck!

Monday: potato curry
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: red beans & rice, cornbread
Thursday: butternut squash soup
Friday: pizza (out)
Saturday: dinner out (Joe's birthday!)
Sunday: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A day that would make Martha proud

In a quest to meet new people and to cultivate my "Martha" skills, I went to a luncheon hosted by my church today. (Alison came, too.) It wasn't just a regular luncheon though. There was an expert guest speaker who gave cooking demonstrations and talked about how to cook the perfect turkey. And then there was a segment on napkin folding and another on flower arranging/table decorating. Anyway, it was a very nice time. And the luncheon? Delicious. And I even met a few new people and have all sorts of new recipes to try out. I also feel very motivated to cook a turkey now. I came home to find my husband cleaning the house, baking dinner rolls and accomplishing all sorts of things. It's time to put my feet up and enjoy the rest of this Saturday!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A healthy night

I'm always on the lookout for tasty vegetarian options and try to make sure we have a vegetarian night at least once a week. Joe gave extra kudos to tonight's selection.

Quinoa and Black Beans

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.

Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Woe is me...and my car

I went to the mall today to drop off an application (yes, I'm applying for part-time jobs, too, now) and when I pulled in the driveway I heard a weird sound. I listened. It seemed to be coming from my car. That's when I noticed green liquid spilling out from underneath my car all over the driveway. I pulled my hood and decided to take a look (yes, I even surprise myself sometimes). It was my antifreeze. I decided to take a closer look and took the cap off. (I managed to lose said cap - never to be seen again.) And I called my dad for some help. Finally the car cooled down and was almost empty of coolant so I added water and headed to the nearest garage. Long story short - it doesn't look good. And I need a job. Desperately.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Adyson the bee

Adyson was a bumblebee for Halloween. Here are a couple pictures of the cutie.

Election excitement

Don't forget to wear your "I voted" sticker to your local Krispy Kreme today and pick up a free donut...or get your free cup of coffee at Starbucks...or your free scoop of ice cream at Ben & Jerry's. Wow - there are a lot of incentives today. Yes, I did vote. And I did get my Starbucks.

Four years ago, I voted absentee and was off gallivanting around Italy with my friend, Monica. I felt really out of the loop on election day. We went to an election watch party (or so we thought) in Bologna to watch the election happenings. Granted, there was a huge time difference but even still all the coverage was in Italian. I couldn't understand a thing and Monica was only picking up a few words and phrases here and there. The place was so packed we were sitting on the very cold floor and I was shivering and falling asleep in public. Sometime in the middle of the night we went back to someones house (an expat who was a friend of a friend of a friend or something like that) and fell asleep on the floor of a strange Italian apartment in Bologna before getting up a couple hours later at the crack of dawn. I remember us picking up an Italian newspaper that morning at the train station and trying (or Monica trying) to decipher whether or not we had a new president. We got the gist - no. By the time I got home more than a week later, all the election excitement had died down and I saw none of the coverage.

This election will be different. Joe and I will be home watching and snacking in the comfort of our own home. This is a very exciting time in our history but I'm also ready to move on. I'm kind of tired of all the election excitement.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: hamburger/macaroni/tomato casserole
Tuesday: corn chowder
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: quinoa and black beans
Friday: pot roast & veggies

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