Category Archives: Chow & Bevs

Finally ready for October!

love decorating for any holiday! Last year I was pretty busy with wedding planning (and realistically, no room to bring one more box out of storage) so I didn’t do a whole lot of decorating.

Well – wedding is over, time is all I have (haha) and I got in the decorating spirit!! (which translates to: I have a lot of work to do and this is an awesome way to procrastinate). 

So – here’s some pictures of how we are celebrating this October – fall and Halloween!

Fall wreath! Love it!
Fall wreath! Love it!
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Just a little fun 🙂

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Porch close up!

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front window

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kitchen table
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kitchen table 2

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This picture really isn’t the best – but there’s a surprise Stella!

Anyone else think it’s weird I was able to up-cycle a ton of my wedding decorations as Halloween decorations?? 

 

Finished off the night with some warm soup, beer bread, and a Woodchuck Pumpkin cider. Delicious!

2013-10-07 19.38.02-1Soup:

Started with a soup mix, then added more!

  • Bear Creek Cheddar Potato Soup
  • 3 potatoes, diced small
  • 1 can white kidney beans
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 package bacon bits
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Sat in the crockpot for about 7 hours! So easy to manipulate and make yours!

Bread:

Started from this recipe, very easy!

  • 3 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder (make sure it’s fresh!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt – (as I wrote this up, I realized I forgot this – makes a lot of sense…)
  • Garlic powder
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning (no, I didn’t measure any of these)

Bake in oven at 375 for 45 minutes, let cool for 10!

 

Yummy lunch!

It’s no surprise that I will do just about anything to avoid actually doing my work.  I mean, people can’t be productive all day, right???

While perusing the internet, I inspired (and my stomach started grumbling) as soon as I saw the amazing pasta salad posted by the Fitnessista! I love pasta salad in the summer but don’t necessarily think about making it a whole lot when it comes to fall/winter.  But, like typical Indiana – our temperatures have been in the 80s, which I think is hotter than it was all summer.

So, I made my own little delicious lunch! I didn’t follow the Fitnessista’s recipe, but made do with what I had! The best part about pasta salad is that it’s delicious right after it’s made, and it’s even better after it has sat for a day in the fridge!

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Here’s what I added:

  • a mix of noodles to finish off what was already opened…
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • half of a GIANT green pepper
  • a can of chickpeas (drained and delicious)
  • 2 pieces of chicken breast (leftovers)
  • 1 T of ranch dressing
  • 3 T of italian dressing
  • Bragg’s organic sprinkle seasoning (no measurement, spread til I was done)
  • Fresh basil off my plant

So easy, delicious, and [relatively] healthy! The unhealthy part is that it’s so delicious I can’t stop eating it. Everything in moderation, right? Ha! 🙂

Have a great rest of your day and weekend! Try out some pasta salad and let me know how it goes!

I’m BACK on my Blogiversary!!!

WOW! I’ve been gone for quite a while… I know I’ve been missed, right? 🙂

I had a pleasant surprise last night while I was checking on my favorite blogs that yesterday is my ONE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY! 🙂 How exciting!!! I have incredibly enjoyed writing on my little space of the internet. My posts might be super random, get a lot (or very little) hits, and/or just be my way to talk about my life – I appreciate this little slice of heaven.  It has been a great escape for me, a great way to boast or to talk about hard times, and to track the healthy life I am seeking.  Thank you to anyone who has read this blog over the last year – I love sharing my thoughts with you all and can’t wait to continue to do so!!! Maybe one day I’ll become popular enough to have give-a-ways on my future blogiversaries…. Instead, you get a story. 

I didn’t post too much about my absence, but my husband and I were finally able to take our honeymoon!! We were traveling for 2.5 weeks – insane right? But, we figured that before (God-willing) we have kids and life gets in the way, this would be our one chance to take a long trip for just the two of us!

I am not going to go into full detail of the honeymoon, yet.  I haven’t adjusted to the time change, haven’t uploaded all of the pictures, and started 2 more jobs this week (plus school full time, but who’s counting that?)

We flew from South Bend, Indiana to San Francisco.  We only spent one night in San Francisco but managed to get in a great few hours of sight-seeing and experiences! After San Francisco came Sonoma Valley…yum, wine! We spent 2 nights in Sonoma before heading to Napa Valley…yum, more wine!!! We left Wine Country and headed to Northern California, driving straight up 101 North, along the coast, AMAZING views.  First stop was Eureka, California.   After a night stay in Eureka, we went a little further north to Crescent City, CA… hellllloooo Redwood Forest!!!!! After Crescent City came our uneventful transition into Oregon where we stayed in Coos Bay, OR.  Next stop (after the unbelievable Oregon coast) was Lincoln City, OR. We took the next day to make a little bit of a longer trip and went to Elma, WA. Let me tell you, Elma was the cat’s meow. ;-)…. Elma was our transition to our 3 day trip to Seattle, WA where we spent some quality time with one of M’s friends and groomsmen, Ryan – and where I got to spend my birthday! 🙂 After our stay in Seattle, we headed to George, Washington (yes, that’s a real place) for a 3 night camping stay at The Gorge Amphitheater to see our beloved Dave Matthews Band.  

We had an UNBELIEVABLE time.  This post is meant to just give you a little bit of an update on the trip – my plan is to be able to go through the places we stopped and ate and really give some good reviews! Hopefully I’ll be able to get to it this weekend – my Higher Education Law book is calling my name!

Enjoy the pictures, more to come! 

Thank you for all you do to support my little sweet slice of heaven!

Oops! Wine Wednesday!

Good evening!! It’s Wine Wednesday already!!

Tonight I want to brag about Mad Housewife Merlot… We have gotten this wine before and I just love it! The label is adorable, the name is catchy, and the wine is delicious.

I picked this wine tonight because oops! We were surprised to realize that, as of yesterday, we have been together for two years!!! We totally missed it…. But I guess that’s what happens when you’re old and married 😉

We celebrated our night tonight the best way possible….. Wine, Monsters Inc. macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, and Brother vs. Brother on HGTV.

Couldn’t have asked for a better night, a better 2 years, and a better husband. I am so lucky and blessed!!!!

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Wine Wednesday!

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted about Wine Wednesday!!

It definitely doesn’t mean that I haven’t been celebrating HUMP DAY with wine, just means I ain’t been blogging.

So, I’m cheating a little bit.  We had this wine with our celebratory dessert the other night, but it was just too good to not boast about today.

Jefferson Vineyards 2009 Johannisberg Riesling

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Jefferson Vineyard is located in Charlottesville, Virginia – such a magical place.  The cool thing about this wine is that I bought it on our 4th date….when we made a trip to Charlottesville.  We went to a bunch of wineries while we were there…got a little buzz and I fell in love with this wine.  I went to check out and realized that it was this tiny bottle and it cost $22.  The buzz was phenom, so I bought it anyways. And haven’t dared to break it out.  Until we celebrated one month of marriage.

This was is phenomenal….according to my mother-in-law it’s “tongue sucking good wine”.  It is sweet, but not too sweet.  A perfect dessert wine to pair up with a sweeter dessert, like this cobbler I made.

I wish I had more.  I guess we’ll just have to make a trip back to Virginia. 🙂

Breakfast of CHAMPIONS

Breakfast of CHAMPIONS: I usually use this to describe my favorite types of breakfast – you know, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, etc.  All the non-healthies. ((Sorry bout it – you all know it happens once in a while. Say it with me…moderation).

BUT this boast is actually about my breakfast of champions… My FAVORITE cereal plus bananas and what else, blueberries.

2013-07-28 08.31.06Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran.  Phenom.

This has been one of my favorites for a VERY long time. I don’t buy it often because it’s expensive and comes in a small box.  However, when we were grocery shopping last I saw it was on sale and threw it in the cart. I’m not even sad that we spent $4 on a small box of phenomenal cereal. 

To be true to my vow of making all things blueberry, I added in some fresh fruit and skim milk. And enjoyed every last bite. 

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If you haven’t tried this cereal and are looking for a good, relatively healthy breakfast – treat yourself to some Cracklin’ Oat Bran, hopefully you won’t be disappointed! 

 

 

Lots o’ Blueberries

We went on a shopping trip this weekend…and I just COULD NOT pass this up….

2013-07-27 20.41.06That’s right, 5 pounds of delicious, plump, healthy blueberries. 

Now, let’s be serious. There’s no way I could eat 5 pounds of blueberries before they went bad.  Well, I guess I could, but it just wouldn’t be a good situation.  Soooo I froze the majority of them and kept some fresh.

My goal for this week (and probably next) is to try out some new recipes with all my blueberries! 

I started by making a lovely dessert.

My friend Kim is a dessert expert.  She has her PhD, and it might as well be in baking.

So, of course I asked her for a quick and easy dessert recipe and she sends this one my way.  Because I trust her oh so much, I literately just started reading the recipe and not even looking ahead.  Well, to my surprise (not), we have different definitions of quick and easy.  This recipe had a lot of steps to it, took more ingredients than I had, but ended up being delicious.  So, in the end, Kim really didn’t fail me.  However, I am sure she will be happy to know that I think I measured about 2 things and eyeballed the rest…. Perhaps this is why I am not a really good baker?

Blueberry/Peach/Strawberry Cobbler

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2013-07-28 20.06.59Would have been much better if I had some vanilla bean ice cream to serve with it, but the dessert wine will do 🙂 I’m definitely going to post about this wine on Wednesday, so be on the lookout for it!

This recipe was majorly adapted from Clean Eating Mag as I didn’t have almost any of the ingredients.  Additionally, I halved just about everything since it was just the two of use eating….but here’s what I used:

Ingredients: 

  • Olive oil
  • frozen fruit – peaches, blueberries, strawberries
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp honey (okay, I think I used 4 because I ended up putting in at the wrong time, and then the right time)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of skim milk
  • 1/2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour (use it at a different time from above)
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder (I did measure this one)
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp of salt

Steps to make this delicious dish:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and mist the dish you’re gonna cook it in – I used a 6 in round casserole dish
  • Combine fruit, the little bit of flour and honey in the baking dish together
  • Whisk together the rest of the flour and oats in a food processor (like my amazing, orange Kitchenaid mixer!).  Mix in the baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and milk.
  • Add scoops of the batter on top of the fruit (doesn’t have to cover the whole thing)
  • Pop that baby in the oven! I cooked for about 45 minutes and then let it cool for a little.

YUM YUM YUM! ((And relatively healthy too!))

 

 

Farmers Market Trip!

I just love the farmer’s market! I love shopping local and being able to support local farmers. I wish that we had more money to be able to spend at the market, but we didn’t go to the ATM before we went, so we had just $3 to spend!

We are lucky enough that we have the town’s farmer’s market just 2 blocks away from our house!

We didn’t have much time to head in on Saturday because I had to work, but I told Mike I wanted to find something different to make with our “special dinner” – yes, we celebrated one month of being married. We’re those people.

So for $3, we got 2 zucchinis and 2 summer squash.

2013-07-28 08.32.54Yummmmm 🙂

I was going to keep it simple and just make chicken breasts and slice up the veggies and bake them.  But, lucky for us, the dogs got up early on Sunday and so I was able to enjoy coffee and Pinterest.  The perfect early Sunday morning, really.

I decided to make halved, scooped, baked zucchini.  I found the recipe on the Kayotic Kitchen and adapted it for what I wanted!

Ingredients needed:

  • 2 zucchini (we had one big and one little one)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • cheese – I used extra sharp cheddar and parmesean
  • Parsley (snipped outta my little garden)
  • bacon bits (or regular bacon, I was just lazy)
  • Ranch seasoning packet
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

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I scooped out the zucchini, cut up the guts plus the tomato and onion, and then mixed all the rest of the ingredients together!

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I’m showing off this amazing cutting board – we got it for our wedding and it’s THE BEST.  It fits right over the sink and has the strainer attached that I like to use for my little garbage bucket as I’m cooking.  The little things in life are so amazing, aren’t they?

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This is what the zucchini looked like after I had scooped, chopped, and filled! Looking back, the only thing that I would have done differently is cut the bottoms of the zucchini so that they laid flat on the tray.  They were slip sliding all over the place. I baked them in the oven for about 35 minutes at 350 degrees.  I added a little extra cheese, some snippets of parsley, and…

2013-07-28 19.01.14voila! DELICIOUS!

I gotta figure out how I am going to cook the summer squash now that I didn’t use it for this meal! Hellloooo Pinterest! 🙂