October 31, 2009

Our First Halloween

Well, when you're newly married, you can't always get along. Tonight was one of those nights. I got frustrated with dinner and in a hormonal fit of mini-rage I walked away from dinner (in addition to slamming down the skillet and making a mess of noodles all over the stove top.) Matt made a comment that hurt my feelings so I told him I was going to take a walk around the neighborhood.

When I got back home he was not there. The front porch light was on, because it was dark out and the two of us were wandering around the neighborhood. Well, it was also halloween, and the front porch light let all of the trick-or-treaters know that they could get candy at our house. So, the doorbell rings and I hear this little voice say, "trick or treat?!" Oh no. I opened the door and said, "hey buddy! I can't find my husband and I can't find the candy. Give me just a second to see if I can find it." Sampson entertained the boy while I raced around the house looking for our one bag of halloween candy. Any candy! Nothing... I had to go to the poor little trick-or-treater on our first halloween as a married couple and tell him that I did not have any candy for him. I said, "I'm sorry buddy, I can't find the candy," as his mom hollers from the street, "come on sweetheart, it's okay." Sigh, haha. Matt came home shortly after carrying the bag of candy. We didn't get any more trick-or-treaters.

**Update! We found my retainer while cleaning house this morning. My cats were not to blame. I had set it on top of a seldom-used barstool. I left a message with the ortho hoping they can cancel the new one. We'll see!**

October 27, 2009

A Stumper

This weeks math puzzle:

A rectangular sheet of paper is folded so that two diagonally opposite corners come together. If the crease formed is the same length as the longer side of the sheet, what is the ratio of the longer side of the sheet to the shorter side?

Neither of us were able to figure this one out on our own.

Steaks on the Grill
Steaks on sale
Mrs Dash's spicy pepper seasoning

I don't know whey we're eating so much steak lately... we got these because they were on sale when we walked by. We seasoned them with Mrs Dash's spicy pepper seasoning (a light sprinkle on both sides for Matt's, and a thick coating on the one side of mine) and tossed them on the grill for 7 minutes.

Loaded Baked Potatoes
2 baking potatoes
olive oil
sour cream
shredded cheddar

I just poke my spuds with a knife (a few pokes on each side), coat in a little olive oil, wrap in a paper towel, and toss in the microwave. Do you know how long these guys take to bake in the oven?! Not worth it. I nuked them for 6 minutes, gave them a squeeze, and cooked them for 3 minutes more. They were perfect, and done by the time Matt had the steaks off the grill.

Spiced Shrimp
Prepackaged, peeled, seasoned, and cooked. Just heat them up and go... a well-spent $2.50.

Grilled Corn - see post from July 19th.

I'd Lose My Head

I think one of our cats got ahold of my top retainer. Matt and I tore the house apart yesterday looking for that thing. I really don't think there is anywhere we did not look. All couch cushions, dirty laundry piles, trash cans, under the stove, washer, and dryer... you get the idea. Nothing. I'm afraid if too many days go by my uppers will start to shift, so I don't really have a choice but to get a new one. I went today to get my impressions done and the ortho put a "rush" on it so hopefully it will come next week. Meanwhile I walk around trying to hold my front teeth in. I'm going to be one sad monkey if I pay for a new retainer and the old one popls up again. This happened with my glasses once. I had lost them for at least 4 months when I broke down adn got a newp pair. When the next winter rolled around and I was searching through my rarely visited scarf drawer, I found my lost pair of glasses.

October 26, 2009

2 Peter 1:2-3

Today I read 2 Peter 1. I really have to read Peter very slowly to come close to understanding what I'm trying to learn from him. I can easily get the gist after a whole chapter, but if I'm not careful, I'll skim past verses I don't understand, figuring I'll get the overall idea anyway. 2 Peter 1:2 "May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." How are grace and peace multiplied? By a growing knowledge of the character of God and of Jesus. Many times I want grace and I want peace and I want all those gifts that God is waiting to pour out on me, but I want them without having to put in the time and energy it takes to know Him and have a relationship with Him. The irony is that grace and peace aren't even given to us because we have done the work to get to know Him, they are the fruit of knowing Him. 1:3 "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him." This is the way we access God's wonderful blessings for us. Why are we so dense to the fact that he so desires this relationship with us? And he's so available and we're so often not.

Penne Pasta with Caramelized Onions, Portobello's and Goat Cheese
This is an amazing vegetarian dish. Cook the pasta the way it's directed on the package. Scoop out a little bit of the hot pasta water (and set aside) before you drain the noodles. After you drain them, put them back in the pot. Meanwhile, thick slice an onion (I prefer yellow sweet onions for almost everything, but white onions remind Matt of his grandmother's cooking, so I used white ones for this... beeeeecause I love him). You want to cook this up until it caramelizes really really well. A little olive oil and medium heat works best for me. Don't stir too often, keep an eye on them and adjust the heat if you need to. A tiny bit of sugar helps this process as well. Just a little though! Scrape them into a bowl and set them aside while you cook up the sliced portobello caps in a little more olive oil. Add the onions back in with the mushrooms to warm them up. In the pasta pot, add about 2 oz of goat cheese (if you break it up first it will go smoother). Stir it in with the hot pasta adding the hot pasta water a little at a time until you get a nice creaminess. Dump in the mushrooms and onions, top with parsley if you wish. I also sprinkle parm after I've served my bowl.

October 25, 2009

A Typical Fall Sunday

After an amazing message at church and lunch with some other newlywed friends of ours, we drove around a little and took picture of the autumn leaves. I don't remember a fall this pretty since I was in Blacksburg, or since I visited the Smokey Mountains one October several years back. The leaves this year seem so much richer, so much more vibrant, and they seem to be staying that way for longer. I can't seem to get over them. In good fall fashion, Matt and I spent the rest of this Sunday being lazy on the couch.

Spiced Pork Chops
Sprinkle the chops with spices of your choice - we have a mix we use that contains a fair amount of cumin. Cook them for 6 minutes on each side over med heat with a little bit of oil.

just used stove top and followed the box directions, I'm not fancy.

Brussel Sprouts
I have to say, I really want to like brussel sprouts. I don't generally have a problem with green vegetables, and they are very lovely and quite cute. They just taste like feet, and I can't seem to overcome that. I made them for diner tonight and Matt said, "this is definitely the best brussel sprout experience I've ever had." My response to this was, "but unfortunately they still taste like brussel sprouts." He agreed. If you like them though, I really think this was a great recipe for them.

Blanch the sprouts for 3 minutes then half them. Roast them at 400 for 20 minutes with olive oil, the juice of 1/4 of an orange, and sliced garlic. When they are done, sprinkle a little parm to melt over the top. They really were quite good... for brussel sprouts.

October 17, 2009

Learning to Prioritize

I woke up this morning to find the hubs creating a program on his laptop that would help us prioritize our to-do list. He was playing with formulas involving importance, time to complete the item, urgency, and effort. Even though we agreed that finishing the Thank You cards from the wedding needed to be done two months ago (ie. important and urgent), the time to complete and the effort involved kept it down to 5th or 6th on our list. He played with his formulas until the Thank You cards were finally tied for first with an important and time sensitive, but quick and easy email to a friend. I was finally satisfied with these results. We grabbed the cards, headed to Panera, and finally finished them! The funnest part about this software was that "completing scheduling software" remained at the bottom of his to-do list now matter how he weighted the factors.

Maple Salmon
I got these recipes from "The Next" magazine that I'm unsure exactly why I'm receiving in the mail... changed it up just a little.

Preheat oven to 425. Combine 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar in a bowl. On one side of a roasting or baking pan, drizzle veggie of your choice (they used carrots, broccoli, and zucchini; I kept it simple with just zuccs) with olive oil. Place salmon fillets on the other side of the pan. Season with salt and pepper and brush with the maple syrup mixture. Bake 15 minute, check it, back for another 5 if needed.

Walnut Couscous
In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of chicken broth to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of couscous and 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts. Cover and let sit for 5-7 minutes until broth is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.

October 16, 2009

Today's Mail

I got my new drivers license in the mail today! I'm excited that it looks like me... looks pretty good, actually. I can't wait for the next cashier to ask to see my ID, with my new name and my new signature. Gone are the days of being hassled by airport security because my drivers license picture (with a younger, fatter face and shorter hair) didn't look much like me anymore.

I also got my new check card in the mail. I had to cancel mine the other day after a random charge from Pennsylvania showed up on my bank statement. The whole card is bright ugly stop-light red... and gray. Red... and gray. Ew! And it says DEBIT CARD in two separate places in really cheap-looking font. It looks like an ATM card or some cheap temporary card. Actually, the temporary card that Matt got when we merged accounts that even said "Valued Customer" in place of "Matt Meitl" looked better than this guy does. I'm thinking about losing it and ordering a new one in hopes that they rotate designs at random and I'll end up with a prettier one next time.