Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Joe and I flew to Seattle on Friday and spent the weekend with his family on Whidbey Island. We ate some delicious family dinners, took the ferry around the San Juan Islands for some sightseeing, took the ferry to Port Townsend (where we got caught in a torrential downpour) and had fun visiting with family that we don't get to see often enough.

On the ferry to the San Juan Islands (clockwise: Joe, Uncle Will, Joe's dad, Joe's stepmom and Cousin Devin.)

Joe and I on the ferry.

Joe's dad and stepmom at The Captain Whidbey Inn. Yum! I was going to take a picture of the mussels but they disappeared before I could pull my camera out.

One of our delicious family dinners cooked by Joe's Aunt Judy and Cousin Nicholas.

Joe and his Grandma Dorothy.

(left to right) Joe's Dad, Aunt Judy, Grandma Dorothy and Uncle Will who made the trek from Arizona to visit.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Favorite Movies

Now that it's award season - my favorite season of all - it's time to announce my favorite movies. We've seen a lot of really great movies this year (and I know my husband's list would probably be a little different) but this is my best-of-the-best in 2011 in no particular order:

  • The Artist
  • Moneyball
  • Bridesmaids (yes, really, my husband and I still quote lines from this movie which automatically makes it a winner)
  • My Week With Marilyn

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Comfort Food

I am going on day 15 of being sick and Joe has had a week of bronchitis but I think he's mostly better now. I thought I was better at the beginning of the week and had my best day, ironically the day I saw my doctor, and then it went downhill from there. Anyway, this is a long way of saying we were both in the mood for some comfort food. The snow has finally hit us, it's very cold outside and neither of us feel 100%. Sounds like the perfect day for homemade chicken pot-pie. I got Joe involved in today's meal, too, by summonsing him to make the mashed potatoes to accompany the pot-pie. My recipe came from Pioneer Woman and it didn't disappoint...so good! This batch actually made two with my smaller pie plates so I have another in the freezer for another day.

Here's Pioneer Woman's recipe for the pie crust that goes on top of the pot pie. I made this yesterday and then froze per the instructions. I am not sure if I've ever actually made pie crust before but this was surprisingly easy. I will say that once I rolled it out and put it on top, it wasn't all that pretty (I need some practice here) but it tasted great.

Chicken Pot Pie
3 celery stalks
3 medium carrots
1 large yellow onion
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups cooked chicken
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
black pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Finely dice the celery, carrots and onion.
3. Melt the button in a large pan and add the onion, carrots, celery and peas. Saute for a couple minutes.
4. Add the chicken and stir to combine. Sprinkle flour evenly over the vegetables and chicken and combine. Cook for a couple minutes.
5. Pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly. Stir in the bouillon cube and wine.
6. Pour in the cream and stir. Cook over low heat to thicken for about 4 minutes. Season with thyme, salt and pepper.
7. Pour the chicken into a deep pie pan or small casserole dish.
8. Roll out the crust so that it's 1 inch larger than the pan. Place the crust on top of the chicken mixture and cut small slits on top. Press the crust gently into the sides of the dish to seal.
9. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, January 02, 2012

How We Spent Our Holiday

Aside from me being a little under the weather the last couple days, Joe and I have had a very nice, leisurely vacation.  We have been on a movie marathon over the past two weeks and have seen: Young Adult; Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol; Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (we liked it so much that we also watched the Swedish version); The Artist (technically, we saw it and then had to come back again and see the ending when the movie broke an hour into the film); and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. We also watched the second season of one of our favorite BBC shows, Luther. (I highly recommend this series if you have Netflix.) Also over the past couple weeks we've eaten some great food, visited with family and friends, and gotten into a routine of napping. Tomorrow officially marks the end of this life of leisure with Joe going back to work and school is on the horizon for me.

The Self-Compassion Project

Barb is one of my dear friends whom I've known for many years. I first met her almost twelve years ago when we worked at the same place. Upon meeting, we soon became fast friends. I've consistently been impressed with her ever since. Barb is a pyschologist and is always coming up with creative ways to help others whether it be writing books, appearing on television or using social media. Her latest endeavor is called, "The Self-Compassion Project." I hope you can check out her new blog and follow her on this journey in 2012.

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