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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Adding PAGES

OK, I am trying something new! I have changed the background, font and look of my blog but I also decided to add PAGES at the top to organize all my posts! Hope you enjoy!
I have always said I hate to bake, especially in Denver because of the altitude. So, I decided to grab a high altitude baking cookbook and slash the saying, "I hate to bake" from my vocabulary. I made blueberry muffins and donuts and after 1 hour, loads of sugar and flour later, I can safely say...... "I STILL hate to bake." :(

So, in light of hating baking I decided to redeem myself the only way I know how and make some yummy meals instead. I made Brett a breakfast sandwich fit for a king and I made myself a nice Italian dinner.

Brett Breakfast Sandwich
  • Cheese bagel from Costco... toasted (so amazing)
  • Pepperjack cheese
  • A veggie burger (yes, Brett will eat veggie burgers)
  • Fresh spinach
  • A dab of ranch
  • Scrambled eggs... my way (it is a very specific way... trust me)

Caprese Sandwich
  • Fresh buffalo mozzarella... the best I have had outside of Italy (imported from Italy to our Costco)
  • Bruschetta bread... toasted with olive oil and garlic
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Thanks to those of you who are reading! I am sure you would like to know what is going on with Brett and I's lives and not just what I cook. Brett is slowly recovering from his bike accident. He is feeling fine but his knee is giving him a bit of grief. He plans to see a sport med. doc sometime soon to get an idea of how bad the injury could actually be. In the other areas of life you would never know anything happened to Brett. He is still studying like crazy, getting great grades, loving his clinical experiences and hanging out with his friends, although they are mostly studying.

I have been working, cooking and relaxing. I am applying like crazy for teaching positions, think 40 application just yesterday. However I am not counting on this being my year for my first year of teaching. Our newly elected Governor just announced a $365 million dollar budget cut to Denver Public School so the chances of getting a job probably went right out of the window with all the money. Example: I sent a principal my resume and cover letter yesterday for a job I had applied to online. I got a response back, which I was excited about but he informed me that the 1st grade position I applied for is no longer available because they simply wont be hiring anyone... at all. They are only going to have ONE 1st grade classroom at their school. All I can ask is, "How many kids will be in that class?" Kind of scary.

Despite the negativity on the job front all is well here! We are enjoying lots of sunshine and even some warm days! It was 65 yesterday and we were in shorts and sitting on porches enjoy the sun! Sorry to rub it in. However, despite the warm days outside I am sitting in our dinky basement apartment freezing my buns off so please excuse any grammar errors, it is probably because my fingers feel like icicles.

Thanks for reading and love to you all!
B and K8

Monday, February 21, 2011

I got home late last night after traveling to the Midwest to visit my sisters and brother-in-law. Amy and Zach have lived in Cleveland for the last 4 year but they are moving home in May and could not be happier about it! They had their first little girl in December so I got to meet my second niece, Violet! She is perfect: sweet, happy, loving and very cute! While it was a great weekend away the flying always gets to me. I also changed my flight to come home a day early, we all heard about Brett's little crash, but unfortunately a storm rolled through the Midwest yet again and delayed my fights. I got rerouted through Dallas several hours later and made it home around midnight. Thankfully I have president days off!

Pictures from my visit to Cleveland!

Enjoying the proud sister, Mini!

Pete enjoying his treat from his cousin Mini!

Hanging out with Violet!

Always sharing the backseat with Miss. Violet!

Sorry for the poor picture quality. They are from my iPhone!

Thanks for a great weekend Amy and Zach! While I always love coming to Cleveland to visit you guys I am happy that that was the last time :)


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I decided to try something new for dinner tonight! Brett was gone hanging out with some buddies so I decided to experiment a little! I headed to Asia for this meal. Homemade spring rolls with a cilantro pesto for dipping! They were super yummy and I also realized it will be easy to try mix it up next time such as different veggies, a different sauce or even the fresh rolls instead of the fried one. My goal tonight was to make the fresh rolls but I accidentally got the wrong wrappers at the store. As frustrating as that can be it is also really fun because it forces you try something else!

Homemade Spring Rolls
egg roll wrappers, cucumber, cilantro, green onions, green peppers, mung bean noodles, tofu and cilantro pesto for dipping!


During... (make the cilantro pesto)


Try these at home because they are super easy and fun! People can make then whatever way they want!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What we have been doing lately

Brett and I have been busy busy busy! We celebrated Valentine's Day, which was a fun-filled day of creating, eating and playing. Brett also started med surg 2, which is his last clinical rotation! I cannot believe how fast it is going! We have also been enjoying the spring weather Denver is having! I am headed to Cleveland this weekend to meet my new niece, Violet, while Brett will be studying and probably hanging out with the boys a little! This always includes Pete!

One of my Valentine's Day gifts to Brett was a chance to paint our own artwork!

The final products! Can you guess who's is who's?!?!?!

For dinner I made short ribs with horseradish mashed potatoes! I think we have to come realize we are not a meat and potatoes kind of family because we were both so uncomfortable stuffed afterward. Don't get me wrong, they were delicious but much more filling than what we are used to!

Brett made me dinner one night a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing! Stuffed peppers all by himself! I was blown away!

I made ground turkey, arugula and ricotta stuffed cannelloni shells with homemade red sauce one night!

I hate seeing stuff go to waste so I made fresh salmon cakes out of a left over salmon fillet! These were delicious with homemade bread crumbs and big chunks of salmon!

Thanks for following and reading about us!
B and K8
Alright, I may be speaking too soon but it seems that our winter weather might be starting to let up! It was 67 degrees on Sunday and it is 62 today! All the snow is melting and the sun is shining so I thought I would bring my blog out the winter motif and add some color and spring flare to it! For those of you that don't know, the background pink is my favorite color! Anything bright and pink... think fuchsia.... makes me a happy girl!

More recipes and adventures to come!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One of my favorite parts of being Brett's wife is that I get to cook for him. Now, this may sound strange but rest assure this is important. I LOVE to cook/experiment, test and practice and thankfully Brett loves to eat! Not only does he love to eat but he is always willing to try my creations and then give me gentle (if needed) critique or large amounts of praise! Last night I decided to venture in a world of making something that I grew up eating out of Marie Callender's box. Now, this is not to say my mom is not a fabulous cook because she is! Actually the best cook I know. She has taught me everything I know! But with 4 girls, multiple sports practices during the week and working full-time I can see why every once awhile she went for something easy! Now that I am a wife and cooking the meals I have decided on one very important thing, to me at least! If it comes in a frozen box, we don't need it because by gosh, I can make it! I like knowing what exactly is in my food and if I cannot pronounce something in the ingredients I am pretty sure we don't need it! Now, lets not be totally irrational and not admit that Brett does have a frozen pizza, hotpockets and bagel bites in the freezer along with a few boxes of the beloved Blue Box mac and cheese in the pantry but honestly I will never be able to kick Brett's midnight snacking habit. The above are his usual choices! (Don't worry, he has had his blood checked and he doesn't have a single mark over the normal level, even with all the frozen snacks and homemade cookies!)

Ok, finally, the reason for this blog!
Yesterday, I decided first what I wanted to make for dinner, then I headed to the grocery store for my regular items for the week as well as my "creation items" and came home and started preparing. Now, let me just start by saying I do not cook off a recipe. I did however look up 3 different ones and created my own version. I am only saying this because if you ask for the recipe I probably cannot give you the exact measurements because I truly do not measure but I can give sort of the idea! Sorry...

OK, seriously here is the reason...!!

Oh my goodness it was so amazing yet so easy!

1. I made the crust but added some Parmesan to make it extra yummy and flaky
2. The filling is: onion, carrot, peas, corn, parsnip (awesome addition), celery, mushrooms, parsley, cooked chicken, a dash of cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, a touch of heavy hipping cream, no sodium chicken stock and garlic.
3. I topped the crust with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper while it cooked and topped it with fresh grated parm when cooling.
4. It took me 25 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes so cool!!! How easy is that. I am sure you could even make it ahead and cook when ready.
5. I really wanted to make individual pot pies but my lack of dishes is proving to be more painful than I thought. (oh well, like Brett says, all our wedding present will be like new when we finally get then again- always keeping things in a positive light!!!)

The veggies doing their thing!

Letting the parm melt on the warm flaky crust

I let the edges of the crust drape over the for looks and as extra crust to peel off!

Dinner if never complete without a glass of vino- this one was intended for a hearty meal!!!!

I always have a batch of cookies in the freezer for the nights when Brett is needing something sweet! This recipe is awesome! Replace the brown sugar with 2 tbsp of honey and leave the rest the same! So delicious and so much less sugar! I also do half flour and half oatmeal! I learned this from Peggy- the cookie queen!

Proof that Brett has stuff, just in case there is "nothing in the fridge!"

Thanks for reading and I hope you are inspired to cook as well!
B and K8

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I love when the weather totally outsmarts me! All last week we had bitterly cold weather (think -16), snow on and off and really icy conditions. However, the weather report did not predict any more wintry type conditions for a few days but of course mother nature tricked us again. Today, Saturday, I am enjoying a day off and getting my usual weekend routine completed... grocery shopping, cleaning the house, returning my library books and getting new ones and just simple other errands when it starts dumping snow. I have never seen snowflakes so big! It snowed all afternoon and let up just before it got dark! After enjoying a big cup of my favorite tea, Market Spice, and a magazine I decided to go and try to capture the day plus I always like to practice with my camera! Enjoy~

Thanks for reading!
B and K8