And we are back for more fun down South! We left you in our last post with some very yummy bbq. Next day we took a day trip down to San Antonio to see the Alamo.
This was arguably our favorite part of the trip. It was so beautiful and peaceful. I mean it was crowded and there were people everywhere but the whole mood around the church was so respectful. It reminded me a lot of our visit to Westminster Abbey.
After that we booked it back up to Fort Worth and crashed in our hotel.
The next day brought an early morning trip to the Fort Worth Zoo. Guys this zoo was fantastic! If you even remotely have the chance to visit you should totally do it. The animals were so well cared for and the zoo was well maintained.
After lunch we headed north of the city to the Stockyards.
We ended the night with a steak dinner and another movie and crash at the hotel. The next day we flew home. It was a great trip!
This trip was amazing! The weather was beautiful the entire we were there. The food was amazing and of course we got to do all the things!
Our trip included a visit to Fort Worth, Dallas, and San Antonio. We went to the Depository, the Dallas Science Museum, the Alamo, Fort Worth Zoo and Stockyards. A very packed trip as per usual when I plan them. I am always very ambitious.
We also of course visited my big brother(the whole point of the trip) and his school TCU.
Fort Worth was very pretty! And like I said earlier the weather was perfect. Mid-70’s during the day and nights got down to the mid-40’s.
And then there was the ginormous monster that was Dallas, TX. And we’ll have to do the rest of the picture recap tomorrow! See ya then!
Did I drop off the face of the earth? I might as well have- I am so sorry I have been absent from the blog scene. My life went from on direction to another and another in a matter of weeks and I am still reeling. But this is my attempt to catch up and put all my runaway thoughts in order.
The last you guys heard from me was that my sister and I were taking a trip to Dallas/Fort Worth to visit our brother. And that trip(though is had it’s ups and downs) was fantastic success. And I will be doing a recap of it next week. So stayed tuned!
I will be doing a wrap-up next Monday, the challenge is coming to an end. I will be replacing it with a new and exciting content but I simply don’t have time for it. I will of course still cook and bake for fun. But for now the Culinary Cooking Challenge is on an indefinite hold.
That’s right I am starting a bakery!!!! (Internal freak-out) Right now I am strictly doing local pies for Thanksgiving, but I am opening my bakery’s full menu(breads, rolls, cookies, scones, muffins, hand pies, etc.) up in December. So if you guys live in the south-Eastern WI area get excited! I will be doing a full post in the coming weeks.
Lastly… Er fourthly…
(More internal screaming!!! And maybe some external) This rapid development is what really threw me for a loop! My parents(who are moving to WI) and I bought a house together! They’re gonna live upstairs and I am going to live downstairs. And I am so excited and so happy! And I just can’t wait!!
I know that’s a lot- it’s a lot for me too. Just a lot. (Stress and excitement in equal measure) Anyway obviously more will come in the coming weeks but yes- God is good and moving and just all kinds of things. Until next time…
Welcome back to the culinary cooking challenge! And this week we tackled Sleepy Hallow. Let’s get to it!
I mean it’s creamy and fishy, so yeah it was amazing. Not the best clam chowder ever(that I got while visiting Door County, WI. read here) but still very good.
And it was even better with these ginormous rolls. They were absolutely fantastic!! Like so fluffy and perfect. I will be making these again and again and again.
I mean it was a good spinach salad…. But nothing spectacular or anything. Definitely a pretty salad.
Speaking of spectacular this is probably my new favorite cake. It is extremely sweet and moist. I think ate most of this by myself… *oops*
First off make sure you really, really grease your pans. These babies stick like crazy. They are also amazingly tasty and uniquely different from my normal breakfast go to fare. So yes I liked them. (Tay did too in case you were wondering)
So I botched this recipe(hence why there is no pretty crow on my bread) but it was still a delicious bread. I can’t wait to try this recipe again and do it correctly.
Someone say yay! I love baking scones. Probably next to bread in my favorite things to make. These Pumpkin Scone got better with age and the maple icing was by far the best part.
So this chicken+veggie sheet meal was not nearly as good as other chicken dishes I have made. Just another run of your mill meal.
Last but not least were theses “okay” gingersnap cookies. I love gingersnap cookies! They’re probably my favorite after snickerdoodle and that’s why these were kinda disappointing. Super cute but in the end lacking.
And that is it! We are out of town this next week, so we will be back with another cooking challenge the week after that. But what did you guys think of our Sleepy Hallow recipes? Let me know in the comments down below.
And welcome back! Or at least welcome back for the next two weeks. After that Tay and I are off on vacation(more on that later) But for this week’s culinary challenge are word was picnic. So basically anything that could get packed in a picnic basket. Here we go!
Not exactly the most healthy potato salad but I mean what potato salads are healthy. (Answer not many) High in calories and bacon, this was not bad. I can’t say I’ll be in a hurry to repeat it. But it wasn’t awful.
So these would have been amazing if I had put holes in all of them. The donut nuggets were not cooked all the way through(pretty much cooked just very slightly underdone) Which was distressing. But the proper donuts were fantastic!
These were buttery and delicious! They were really good two days after and reheated. I will be making these again and again and again.
The first night was definitely the best night for this soup as the noodles absorbed all the broth making it more like chicken and noodles. But of course that was tasty too.
I made my own authentic French puff pastry!!! It took 3 days to make it but oh was it worth it!! These completely homemade hand pies are the bomb. As a friend told me and I quote:
That pastry – the apple one DIVINE! Better than in any bakery I’ve been to or tasted! Truly. Sublime! 🙃☺️
So this salad wasn’t necessarily bad it’s just my Mom makes an absolutely amazing crab salad and this one wasn’t very good compared to it. That being said Tay enjoyed it.
So I did get my crackers thin and crispy enough that they made the cracker crunch. Unfortunately my spices were off just a bit so they weren’t very “tasty”. They didn’t taste bad they just didn’t taste much anything.
And that is it for Picnic Week! We will be back next week for a new week of cooking and baking. Our word is very appropriate for this time of year… Sleepy Hallow. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
I know, I know- Remakes are awful. But hear me out on this one. So let me first say I love this movie to obsession. I mean I have-
An goldfish named George.
Because of this I was super hesitant to come up with a dreamcast. But once I got started I found I couldn’t stop.
I think I should also take a moment to mention how much I dislike the 1995 remake. It’s trying to be too much like the original and in that failing awfully. That’s why with my reboot I would change the story ever so slightly. Again trust me! (By the way here is my dreamcast for Mansfield Park)
So this movie’s success and failure depends solely on it’s namesake Sabrina. A role made iconic, timeless and elegant by the one and only Audrey Hepburn. Recasting Audrey is a monumental task. One might even say an impossible one. Her looks and style, her nativity and sophistication are hard to find recapture. But I think I might have gotten there by casting Olivia Cooke the lead role. Have you guys seen her in Vanity Fair? She is awesome! I think her spunky, fun attitude would endear her to the audience and make her a different Sabrina from Audrey.
Talk about another tough casting!! Humphrey Bogart is my all time favorite actor. And is this movie he is fantastic! Going up against William Holden’s ever-lovable David and stealing Audrey from underneath his very nose is a task a lesser actor would have fumbled. But even an older, a little more awkward Humphrey pulled it off. He made you believe in love in the end. In casting a new Linus I wanted an actor who could capture the screen and provide the wit and humor and intelligence needed for the role. That’s why I chose Ben Mendelson. He fits the age requirements and is a very fun actor to watch on screen. I think he would be fantastic!
Oh David! If I ever have another dog his name shall be David. (I told you I was obsessed) Anyhoo William Holden was terribly charming and adorable as David Larrabee. Even though we pleaded for Sabrina to get over David we understood her fascination. In recasting the playboy we need someone who is handsome and charming and yet not cruel or totally brainless to get with the program at the end. To achieve this I assigned Richard Madden to the role.
Daughter of a tycoon, Elizabeth Tyson is a multifaceted character, who despite his lack of interest in her genuinely seems to care about David. In the 1995 version she is credit with helping David at the end set up Linus and Sabrina. In a attempt to give her character more of a role. Instead of doing this however, as I like David’s character growth and how his final acts show how much he loves his older brother; I’d make Elizabeth a little bit older and an almost a mirror image of Linus. Where she is the tycoon(or works jointly with her father) and is all for the merger. And despite herself maybe she has been in love with David for a while. They grew up together kinda thing. I also like how since she’s more Linus age and sped Sabrina might see her a rival for both her first fascination with David and her later love for Linus. Anywho I have casted one of my favorite actresses ever Carrie Mulligan as Elizabeth.
Probably my favorite character in the original film, I struggled to find someone to play Sabrina’s father. I while I love the idea of Dustin Huffman playing Fairchild I feel like he may be a little too old. What do you guys think? I did think the fantastic actor would be able to intimidate Ben Mendelson’s Linus and go toe-to-toe with Mrs. Larrabee(see below)
Okay this is probably my favorite casting- so I think this remake should combine Mr. Larrabee and his wife Maude into one character. Imagine Mr. Larrabee died long ago when Linus was in college, which required Linus with the help of his financial savvy mom(Maude) to take over the empire. Her strong will and deep love for her sons is a running theme throughout the story. She wants to run Sabrina out of town when she comes back after David, but is convinced by Linus’ logical mind to hold off. Never dreaming her eldest son would be in danger from the pretty Sabrina. For this strong woman I have picked the ever intimidating Glenn Close.
So what do you guys think? Any casting choices you disagree with? Would you ever like to see another remake of this movie?
Happy fall! Yes I am still on that kick and will be till December(or just right after Thanksgiving)
This weekend I made a much needed but quick visit down to my Mom and Dad’s. We relaxed by eating and watching old black and white movies; and going to the Apple and Pork Festival in Clinton, IL.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day! Sunny and warm but with the customary stiff breeze of rural Illinois. We had an absolutely amazing time.
We of course got a pork chop sandwich and apple fritters. Though it wasn’t a very “apple-ie” Apple and Pork Festival. We would have thought there would have been more apple related stuff… Apple pies, donuts, cider etc. Oh well!
Oh man! I knew French cooking would be fantastic, but I didn’t realize how absolutely amazing it was going to be. Without further ado, here is French Week.
Umm this is probably my favorite bread ever- it’s flaky, buttery crescent roll layers just got better and better as the days progressed. It tastes amazing with soup, jam and of course all by itself! (And as you will see later it makes great French Toast as week)
I also think this may be my favorite soup ever! This is absolutely fantastic! I literally could eat it every day and not grow tired of it.
I did it!!!! I made buttery, fluffy, heavenly croissants!!! I laminated the dough and everything! I am so, so, so, so, so proud. And yes they were totally worth the work of two days. And I would do it again in a heart beat.
Not the first time I have made this veggie delight(my mom and I used to make it often) and it will definitely not be the last. I was fortunate to use veggies I bought at the local farmers market. Making to taste infinitely better.
If I was scoring this dish from a technical standpoint I would say I did an amazing job! And while
Yes Deuxie thought the French toast it was good too! Made for a very yummy Monday morning.
These were the perfect balance of nutty goodness and sweetness. I could make madeleines all the time. These delicate French pastries were a huge hit with everyone who tried them.
A very yummy and easy to make salad. Would make again for sure.
And we finished the week off with a very sweet and rich treat one chilly fall night. We both agreed we could get used to finishing everyday with a pipping hot cup of French Hot chocolate.
And that is it! It was a beautiful and delicious week. I am going to say it again… Probably my favorite week so far. (Lol) So I am out of town this next week and therefore will not be cooking. Just digesting and remembering French Week.
Nothing says fall like visiting a local apple orchard. Even if the Sunday afternoon you choose to go is the one Sunday in the whole month where it was 90 degrees… oh well we still pretended it was fall with hot apple cider and warm apple donuts.
Oh how many apples!! Did you guys do this every fall as a kid growing up? Being homeschooled if was one of our field trips we took. I still remember running from goats and chickens and getting all sticky from the amazing donuts.
This was the first time visiting Peck&Bushel Orchard in Colgate, WI. But it was beyond cute. From its organic orchard to it’s very impressive gift shop(Christmas gifts anyone?) and locally sourced- everything. I can’t wait to go back!
So will you be heading to any orchards this fall? Or to a pumpkin patch? (Which we will be doing too!)
Welcome back my lovelies for another soaring week of food! We took the Highlands for our culinary inspiration and came up with some interesting success and surprising disappointments.
These milky buns were truly delicious. Because if their soft taste I could easily see why they are favored by the Scott’s at breakfast. Though they’re good any time of day if you ask me.
This soup was yummy but not earth shattering, which was kind of disappointing. It’s been a while since we’ve had a soup knock it out of the ball park.
This harvest salad however was the bomb. I had no idea what farro was but I have quickly decided I love it. and can’t wait to have it again.
Speaking of something Tay and I can’t wait to have again is a Hot Totty. It definitely warms you up from the inside out and it was perfect for a chilly fall evening.
Oh okay why do we not have these as mainstream in a America?!? It’s an egg, surrounded in sausage and deep fried. It sounds exactly like something we would eat. I highly HIGHLY recommend.
So these were disgusting. In my personal opinion. As Tay described, “They were too sweet. Too naturally sweet.” So yeah… Yuck!
However this was spectacular! Taylor said it was one of her favorite things we have made yet. Which is high praise indeed. She’s still stuck on Italian week when we made homemade Shrimp Scampi.
You can’t have a pot pie without potatoes and these creamy version there of were pretty good. Not bad at all.
This however was bad. Just bland as all get out. We did not enjoy it. Like at all. I’m not sure if I made it wrong or what.
And that is it! So yeah it was kinda a mixed bag week. But this coming week… We’ll let’s just say I have been looking forward to it since we started this crazy adventure. That’s right it’s finally French week! (Swoon)
Happy Labor Day! (Or by the time you are reading this post-Labor Day) My sister and I had the day off, which since we both work for the same family does not happen often. And with adventure calling we headed north to Door County.
Our main goal for the day was to explore Cave Point County Park(a County park inside of a State Park) and paddle board up the coast of Lake Michigan.
We accomplished our goal! It was an absolutely gorgeous day with a warm sun and cool breeze. The water wasn’t freezing, which it normally is and it was crystal clear.
After our paddle board adventure we are our packed lunch(Swedish leftovers of course) and then hiked the park.
By 2pm or so we were headed north for coffee and some shopping in Sister’s Bay.
We enjoyed our visit immensely. And after some our light shopping we continued northward for some Ice-cream!!
We kept heading north all the way to Gills Rock. Before we turned around for the long trek home. We stopped in Egg Harbor at Shipwrecked Brew Pub for some much needed supper and we were home by 10 pm.
Welcome back to ole blog. I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend and are ready for fall. I personally have been ready for the last month or so. But now I no longer look like a crazy person with her pumpkins out in August. Now I am perfectly normal again. (She said sarcastically)
Our word this week was Swedish and it was very yummy. Let’s jump into it!
So at first I disliked this Sourdough(though I ended up making it a fake sourdough) loaf. I mean it smelled absolutely fantastic, but it was a lot of work(it had to rise all freaking day). However this bread gets better as it gets older. Both Tay and I agreed that by the third day it was at its peak.
Buttery, boiled potatoes with a turnip? Yes please!
I. Am. Never. Making these again. The construction and frying of meatballs is an absolute pain! It is so much easier to buy the meatballs frozen. That being said these tasted like Swedish meatball perfection.
Oh my gosh!! These were fantastic! So do you guys know those ginormous tins of short beard cookies sold at Sam’s Club around Christmas? The pretzel looking ones? So these cookies are like those but infinitely better. Like a thousand percent better.
I really loved this soup. Tay not so much. It wasn’t the best soup we’ve made during this challenge, but it made for a week of yummy lunches.
This salad literally needs to be eaten the day it is made. It does not keep well at all. It wasn’t bad tasting though. Basically a vinegar bath with dill. So very light.
A spicy, heart warming drink- Yum! It was nice to have a different drink than apple cider, which I would drink on continuum if ya know… that was healthy.
And that is all we were able to cook this week with the holiday. Do any of these Swedish delicacies look yummy to you? Our next word(which Tay is super excited about) is Scottish. Look out Highlands here we come!
Welcome back! Hope you guys are hungry this week, because Pizza week was a tremendous success. Everything was delicious and not one thing went sideways on me. (Lol)
Umm so this bacon and egg Keto, Gluten free breakfast pizza was probably the most delicious thing ever! I would make this/eat this again in a heart beat.
An interesting concept, when I looked for this recipe, but oh my if it isn’t amazing! Like the perfect marriage of tomato soup and pizza sauce drowned in cheese and topped with absolutely delectable homemade croutons. Frankly I don’t think I’ll ever be able to have store bought croutons again. They have gone the way of Pumpkin Pie. (I can not stand store bought pumpkin pie after making homemade last year- so gross!)
Yeah this unfortunately was too good and way too easy to make. Graham cracker cookie crust and a s’mores topping… Yummy!
Welcome to a very special edition of the Culinary Cooking Challenge! Over twenty weeks ago(read here) my sister and I started on a grand adventure of cooking. And while we have missed a week here or there for various reasons for the most part we have stayed on task and created some amazing dishes!
With this being a milestone of epic proportions!(I mean come on! Twenty weeks is pretty impressive) We both decided to do something extra special and have Tay do the cooking. But before we get to Tay’s creations let’s do a brief recap of our weeks so far…
I’m not saying that’s a crap ton of food- but it is… It really is. And now for the recap of-
Taylor is the unofficial queen of mixing nonalcoholic drinks. Remember Caribbean week(here)? Anyway these shirleys were no exception. Very yummy.
Okay so in all honesty I made these- it has been a crappy week here and I needed baking release. So this streusel muffins were a necessity.
If you could only smell it! Steak strips, yeast rolls and steamed broccoli. All the things that make me happy. Tay’s meal for the week was very delicious.
Again I made the bread because that was thing Tay was not comfortable attempting.
Yeah so this was an epic cookie fail. Don’t let looks deceive you these chocolate chip cookies were actually… not the greatest. But In her defense she’d had a wonky evening and is super stressed about college starting up when she made these, so I think she did pretty darn well.
Last weekend was the 50th Annual Arts Festival in Oconomowoc, WI. and my first time visiting the event. Oh boy did we have a blast!
Giving you some background; Oconomowoc is probably the cutest town in south eastern Wisconsin(in my personal opinion) Situated in the heart of lake country this classic American small town always has something going on. And this charming collection of local and far flung artists is no exception.
So one glorious Sunday afternoon Tay, her baby beardie and I headed out in search of culture and the unexpected,
The event did not disappoint in either category. There was so much unique talent represented and displayed.
We were told that normally the event is much bigger and yet given about a hundred vendors it definitely was well attended. These pictures are just a few of the works that stood out to me.
And of course I couldn’t go to an art event without coming home with a friend. Isn’t he glorious?
So first off I want to apologize that my regular content has been lacking this month. It has been a crazy couple of weeks and my hands are up in the air as to what will happen next as far as life goes. (Anyone’s guess at this point) But hopefully I can get my content back up to scratch. Again super big apologize.
Anyway we are getting super close to the twentieth week of the culinary challenge and we are so excited for the extra special week! But more on that later for now let’s get to the blueberry inspired food.
At first I was on the fence about this salad, but seeing as how I practically ate all of it in four days I don’t think I can claim indifference. A very simple and delicious dish.
So not as good as the Rosemary Focaccia we had back in Italian Week. But I mean with focaccia I feel like you can’t ever you dislike it.
Umm these ribs were amazing! Like I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to have bbq ribs any other way but smothered in blueberries. This is something I could see making again and again.
Speaking of something I would most certainly make again this cheesecake is fantastic. Taken from a recipe by Half-baked Harvest(one of my fav culinary queens) I highly recommend this deliciousness! In fact it desires another pic.
I forgot how messy it is to make biscuits. I haven’t made them since week four(here) My hands were covered in flour, batter and dyed blue by the berries. It was all worth the fuss and mess as these were so lovely warm covered in honey.
This was almost a perfect, 10-for-10 week and it was crazy delicious! I probably gained like five billion pounds.
And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for! For our twentieth week Taylor is doing the COOKING!!! Everyone get excited. Until next time…
Oh my gosh we are two weeks away from the 20th week!!! We might have to do something special when we get there… Until then here(a day late) is a bunch of very delicious Hungarian food!
This was probably my favorite thing of the week! Salted cucumbers covered in sour cream, chives, hot pepper and paprika. All the good things in life.
Oh look my second favorite dish of the week. I mean baked sour cream, how can you go wrong?
Not as good as the Icelandic Donuts a few weeks back, but these deep fried cakes were definitely interesting. I can see why they’re a staple street food in Hungary.
So much like the cinnamon rolls I made(again Iceland week) but less sweet and more breakfast-y. This particular recipe made four(yes four!) loaves and thus a few of my friends and family were gifted rolls.
Not pictured this week are the crepes that I tried to make one morning… I have made French crepes before, which one would think would not be too different from Hungarian crepes. However the recipe for Hungarian crepes was no good and we ended up with uneatable, burnt goo patties. Yuck!
We used to have these every Christmas(my elder sister is the queen of Kolaches) And these were fantastic as all ways!
You’re lucky I took a picture of this before we threw it away. This was the worst. Plain and simple.
As you can tell Hungarian week was a pretty even mix of really good food and just the worst. A very interesting experience to say the least. From here we leave globe trotting as our next word is ingredient based. Everybody get ready for BLUEBERRY week!
So my week of “leftovers” (a.k.a. a week I wasn’t supposed to cook) turned into a very heavy baking week. Who am I kidding I am an obsessive baker and cook at this point.
Above is a very yummy French toast bake I made. Mainly because we had a whole loaf of gluten free bread that no one was going to eat. But as I have learned you put sugar on it and they will eat it.
For the more… adult eaters(those who are willing to try new things) I added strawberries- Delicious!
My garden tomatoes all became ripe at the same time so I made fresh salsa. Everything except the onion was from my garden.
So for her birthday, Tay requested homemade Mac’n cheese. I didn’t have time to actually make that for her birthday, but this week I did. This was my second time attempting homemade noodles and it was so much better than the first time.
And this Parmesan based mac’n cheese was very good. Even to me and I am not a great lover of the staple comfort food.
These homemade oatmeal creams however were the bomb. It was a rainy afternoon and the twins wanted to bake something, so we went a little crazy and made like twenty of these massive sandwiches. Do I regret it? No… no I do not.
I also cooked breakfast for Tay one morning: eggs, sausage links, homemade white bread(that I had frozen and thawed in the fridge- which worked perfectly) and of course fresh salsa.
As you can see I didn’t cook at all this week and I am super, super proud of myself- LOL Make sure to check back next week, when I am going Hungarian and actually cooking.
Ah it’s getting to be that time… my absolute favorite time of the year… fall!
With the return of chilly days, crisp smells and crunchy leaves comes the return of Hobby Lobby’s seemingly endless fall wreaths. All drool worthy and all horribly overpriced. Okay well maybe not all of them. Some are worth the buck. And yet why would one drop $80 on a wreath, when you can drop $10 at Good Will and get the same results? I ask you, why?
Growing up my Mom was the master recreator. Any sign, wreath, floral arrangement, etc. you saw in store or on Pinterest she could recreate. Naturally having daughters she taught us also the fabulous art of DIY.
One of my favorite diy tasks was to redo my Mom’s ginormous wreath on the side of the house every season. We would cycle it through spring, summer and fall (a giant snowman head replaced it during Christmas and winter) and then back again.
My Mom was ever thrifty so we shopped clearance racks and garage sales for those perfect sprigs you finish off the decor.
It’s been a while since I have truly diy’d anything and I loved it! It brought back all the memories. So which style was your favorite? Comment down below!
So this past week was Tay’s 23rd Birthday! So we deviated slightly from our chosen path and I let her pick the food. It had its ups and downs. Here we go!
You all might remember this amazing bread from our Harry Potter Week. This has been Tay’s favorite breast creation since the beginning of the Culinary Challenge. And I have to agree it is a yummy one.
This was a refreshingly light meal that was just right for our week of sweets(keep reading) While we both enjoyed it I am not sure I will use this particular recipe again.
Okay still not sure how I feel about this yogurt based, sweet broccoli salad. The more I eat it the more I like it, but I don’t know. How do you feel about sweet veggie dishes?
This were fantastic!!! Absolutely the winner of the week. Yes the decoration is a bit… childish, but the flavor? Heavenly! The red icing is raspberry and the blue blueberry; while the green and white are plain. I will be making these again.
I am so sad about my cake… it had a blueberry candy collar(that melted) and my sad attempt at a clock face was… Well sad. Plus the cake(which I feared would be too dry) ended up being a dense pound cake- Only the icing and raspberry filling is worth mentioning. Oh well there is always next year, right?
And that’s a wrap for the week! It didn’t go exactly like I had planned(unfortunately) but at least the cookies were fantastic! So next week we are super busy and will be enjoying some leftovers(might do a leftover week post if you’re interested) and then we’ll move on to Hungary for our next culinary challenge. Who’s excited?! Once again it is me!
Another week has passed and the votes are in… Iceland was a very interesting place for our palettes to visit. The word I kept coming back to describe their cuisine was earthy. And I mean that is the very best sense possible. It wasn’t overly spiced and yet it wasn’t ballad. It was hearty and geared to the colder months, but wasn’t heavy. I don’t know if that makes sense at all.
Let’s get to it!
This was probably the favorite recipe of the week! A very thin stew with just potatoes and cod fish, but it was delicious. Again not super spicy or flavorful and yet it left you wanting another bowl.
This was amazingly weird. It acted kinda like a pallet cleanser. It’s berry notes and tart aftertaste complementing whatever dish it was paired with. Great over salads, fish or all by itself. Such a unique way to prepare cabbage.
So I liked this bread, Tay not so much. It’s definitely different and stands away from all the other breads we’ve made this far. Dense and earthy(there’s that word again) are the two best words I can think of to describe it.
On second thought these were the best part of this week! The absolute perfect combination of donut and funnel cake!! We were in heaven. The only downside of course for anything fried is that you have to eat it hot and right out of the oil. No leftovers(ah the sadness) But man did we eat well that night.
Kind of like the cabbage these sugar coated potatoes added a cleansing sweetness after some yummy baked fish. Such an awesome idea to pare so much sweetness with a traditionally savory dish.
Speaking of savory, this baked cod was pretty good. Not earth shattering good, I have had other fishy recipes I enjoyed more. But not bad. Again on the bland side without ever actually being considered bland.
These were arguably the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had in my life!! Soft, gooey, totally bad for you rolls from heaven. They were gone in a day(spilt among eight so don’t everyone freak out) and I miss them already.
And that concludes another exciting week of eating. What has been you’re favorite week so far? Have you given any of these amazing recipes a try?
Next week is my little sister’s birthday so I am letting her pick the food! She can pick from old recipes or something new and daring. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with.
So last week I shared with you a growing new interest called Bible Art Journaling. This week I thought it would be cool to share with how you can use art journaling not only for yourself, but to help the kiddos pay attention and grasp what the Lord is saying through His precious Word too!
This particular project we did while reading through Jonah(I know shocking right?) I always have little projects, or just simple coloring pages ready, when I do the morning devotions with the youngsters. They art while I read.
This project was especially fun as I didn’t critique they’re color choices or placement of their shadow box characters. I simply showed them mine and then read the Bible, while they, completely unchecked, decided how they wanted their masterpieces to look.
The below projects we used to keep interest in a rather boring part(to the kids anyway) the Genealogy of Christ. So we made family trees. We also used it as a review on the stories and characters we had already learned about(we’ve been reading through the Bible for about a year now). So don’t be daunted by “hard” and/or “boring” passages of Scripture.
In the end all that’s really important is that you’re spending time with your kids, rearing and training them in the way they should go. And the most important thing is that they are hearing God’s Word and seeing the importance you’re putting on it by making it a priority.
And welcome back! Last week(read here) Tay and I journeyed to a magical island(Greta Britain) and this week we continued that theme by island hopping to the Caribbean. Get ready for the tropics!
First up is this island cabbage slaw, which though very good was not my favorite… yeah it was missing something.
These were fantastic!!! So buttery and fluffy and soft. The only thing is they don’t keep very well. Just make sure you eat them all in the first two days and you’ll be fine. Which isn’t hard by the way.
Speaking of eating it in two days… yep we inhaled this soup. Probably my favorite soup during this whole culinary escapade. (Seconded only by the Cioppino Soup in week one)
These were also amazing! Again super buttery and the sweetness of the coconut paired with the spice of the rum was to die for. I’d definitely make these cookies again.
Okay so there is a whole story that goes along with this breakfast… experiment. So I wanted to make Ackee and Salt-fish a traditional Jamaican breakfast. But for the life of me I could not find either ackee or salt-fish. Like anywhere. What is ackee you ask? Why it is the national fruit of Jamaica and is highly poisonous if not prepared right. Therefore it is illegal in the U.S. except in its canned version. That supposedly Walmart and Target sell… Yeah not any of the Walmart’s and Targets by me. Anyway instead of a traditional Jamaican breakfast we ended up with a tuna helper style… thing.
This was just okay. Nothing special, but when in the tropics one must have fancy drinks right?
Yes it tasted as good as it looked. I love all things pineapple and I love cake… so win win.
The rice and the pork and the salsa(pineapple again) were pretty good, but the beans… were an absolute disaster! It’s the first time I’ve ever tried my hand at using dry beans and I am not sure what I did wrong. I soaked them over night. I followed the cooking directions but still they were hard and disgusting… I’m so sad. I guess I’ll have to stick to canned beans.
I absolutely loved these(and they were super fun to make late one night after work) Tay wasn’t as crazy about them but that’s okay- MORE FOR ME! (Insert evil laughter)
Again I enjoyed these(didn’t love but liked) and Tay didn’t even finish hers. Not a fan I guess.
And there you have it! Our week in the Caribbean had varying degrees of success. But in the end we enjoyed it. We are going to keep our theme of island hopping as we head north to Iceland for our next culinary treats. Until next time…
We’ll look at this I have another new hobby! When will I have the time?
So a friend from my church Bible Art Journaling(and frankly her Bible is gorgeous!!!) And she introduced me to it and roped me into an art event my church is hosting next month. Yikes! I will be giving a 15 minute presentation on how to do Art Journaling with your kiddos as part of your devotions to a projected 100 people… Only slightly nervous.
So what is Art Journaling?? Glad you asked! It is exactly what it sounds like. Taking something you learned in your Bible Study and transforming into Art!
Obviously I love water colors so that’s primarily what I use, but you can use any medium you’d like! The church event is going to cover how to inductively study the Bible and then give you examples on how to express that throw art. To the glory of God and the encouragement and beautification of those around you.
It’s only slightly addicting as you can tell. And it amazing how once you start looking at what you’re learning as a device to meditate and shape the Scripture into “masterpieces”. (I use the term loosely for my work) And yes kiddos can do it to! (I will be doing a separate post about that)
What do you think? Have you ever tried Bible Art Journaling?
Hello, hello, hello! Who’s ready for a very magical round of cooking? (A very magically delicious week if you ask me) let’s jump to it!
Broccoli, turkey bacon, raisins, feta cheese and sunflower seeds covered in nonfat Greek yogurt, olive oil and rosemary. Yummy!! Yummy!! Yummy!!
So soft and sweet and buttery, loaded with bacon and cheese- So basically the perfect loaf of bread!
Our first recipe of the week this one is amazing! Such a hearty, comfort food. Thicker and spicer than a soup this beef and noodle concoction will definitely be made again in the future.
This was good but we both agreed not- wow material. Pie crust was heavenly(obviously- do you like my attempt at pie art? Uneven lace work is my specialty) but the thin tart filling was just okay.
Honestly I don’t know what I was expecting from Shepherds Pie but this version tasted a lot like sloppy Joes with mashed potatoes on top. So delicious just not what I had envisioned. Plus it makes a crap ton! We might be eating Shepherds Pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
These are so soft and delicious! Especially considering I almost ruined them by almost forgetting the egg- Yeeks! But thankfully these amazing little buns(which are perfect for breakfast by the way) turned out perfectly.
Thicker than oatmeal, but basically oatmeal. This vegan, pumpkin porridge covered in fruity goodness makes a very filling breakfast.
We ended our week like any good British cook and threw all our leftover bits and bobs into one yummy meal. I mean is sausage, gravy and mashed taters… Can’t really go wrong here.
(Also not pictured here, because I forgot to take a picture is Pumpkin Juice. Which Tay makes every year around Halloween time. So an obvious 10! I am so happy to get a pre-taste of fall.)
And that’s it guys. A day late and yet so worth it. Super excited about the coming week of cooking! Our new word is Caribbean. Just perfect for the summer heat.
Welcome back to the ole blog! I cannot believe that this weekend is July 4th. It frankly doesn’t even seem possible. And since weather in Wisconsin has been the equivalent to the rainy season in the tropics it doesn’t exactly feel like summer.
I realized I have never done a post dedicated just to nannyhood in the summer. It looks a lot different than nannying at other times of the year. Super busy and yet somehow laid back and more at ease. (Note: I have done a few nanny related posts last summer here and here but not one totally dedicated to the summer perspective) So here are four easy tips/tricks/things I have learned going on 4 years of being a professional live-in nanny!
#1 Never Ending Activity
I feel like summer is misleading. You naively think, “Oh, school is over! The calendar will empty!” Yeah no. Swim lessons, swimming, dance lessons, family visits, community events(outdoor movies, water shows, live concerts) and the list seems to go on and on and on.
For me personally this month next month and August are booked solid as far as work goes, which quite honestly has spilt into my personal life. So much happening!
My advice is to go with the flow as much as possible, but do not let yourself get burnt out. If it is getting to be too much say “No.” No I can’t cover an extra hour. No I don’t want to come the fifth pool party this month. (I mean seriously?!) It gets to be much. Even for people who are super sociable, which I am not. LOL
So allow yourself the grace to say, “No.”
#2 Don’t Forget to Have Fun
That’s my philosophy this summer. Whether I am working or not I intend to enjoy every second of this season. (I’ll let you know how it works out) so yes you’re gonna be crazy busy and the endless stuff can easily become overwhelming(remember it’s okay to say no) but instead of looking at the list of “to do” look at all the crazy, amazing opportunities you have!
One of the greatest benefits of being in this kind of profession is having the access to life experiences you might never have gotten to enjoy otherwise. I for one am extremely blessed for all of the things I have learned, heard and seen in my tenor as a nanny.
#3 Give Grace
To the kids, to the your boss, to your friends, to you… to the kids… to the kids… Emotions can run high in the heat and remember the overwhelmed feeling you have in your chest when looking at the calendar is the same exact feeling everyone else has. The kiddos especially are feeling the strain of long, hot days packed full of adventure. So allow yourself and them days where you do nothing. And if you can’t do that allow for mistakes, frayed emotions and quick tears. It’s gonna happen.
#4 It Won’t Always Be This Way
My final bit of advice is to remember that life is constantly changing. Moving. So enjoy this time, it’s ups and downs and quick turn around while you can. You have no guarantee of tomorrow. So have fun with those kids and yes go for that late night paddle board ride with your sister. This summer is going fast!
Hello peeps and welcome back to culinary challenge!! (Cue upbeat theme song) So this past week as you will recall from last week’s post(read here) Tay was on vacation and my Mom came up for visit. So I had her pick a few recipes that she has seen me make(she’s a faithful subscriber to my blog) and I would recreate them for her.
That being said we did eat out locally quite a bit and then a friend of mine gave me a ton of fresh strawberries so I had to create some yummy treats to use up those.
Without further ado let’s get cooking!
These were incredible!! Like some of the best scones I’ve ever had. And that’s most likely due to the fact that the strawberries and the rhubarb were fresh. Everyone who tried one of these fell in love with them. Even the kiddos who dislike fruit in their sweets.
As you can see I am on a pie kick(again refer to last week’s Key Lime Pie) This is actually an old recipe of my Mom’s paired with my flaky pie crust, which is getting better every time I make it. These pies were so yummy! Or as my niece would say, “Nummy, nummy.”
A fav from Italianweek, this bread of course again was a smashing success. So crunchy and soft and oily and flavorful. My Mom took the rest of this home with her. (Lol)
Also from Italian week these peas were a triumph as well. Go figure right?
Well that’s it for this week’s cooking challenge. Tay is back and we are ready to go for the coming week. Or coming word is… drumroll please…
This is totally coincidental, because guess where Tay just went on vacation at? Universal Florida and the Magical World of Harry Potter(here is a post I did on my experience at the park three years ago). We couldn’t have planned it better if we tried. Until next week!
Hello my friends. Yes I know I am a week late(oops) but we really did do our culinary challenge BBQ! And here’s the proof.
This was an interesting combination, but not our favorite and it didn’t keep very well. Still not awful.
I mean it’s buttermilk bread so you can’t really go too wrong here. It did bake funny, which made the middle very dense. The flavor was spot on though!
These grilled chicken skewers were amazing!! So good in fact I made chicken thighs for a party with the same recipe. They were a big hit.
I mean you can’t BBQ without corn on the cob, right? Right.
When starting this culinary journey I had a few things I wanted to make that were on my “bucket list”. Bagels were one of those things(pie and cinnamon rolls another) well I can now say… I can make bagels! And man are they good. I will be making these again… probably often.
I mean you can’t have bagels without cream cheese and I have been on an orange kick. So yeah this was tasty.
Last but not least was this amazing, amazing pie. Sooo many calories and yet worth every single one. I had been hankering a key lime pie and this hit that spot nicely. (oh I can also make pie now!)
So that’s it guys. Maybe not a traditional BBQ ascetic but we enjoyed it.
Tay is going on vacation this week so we won’t technically doing a culinary challenge. Though my Mom is staying with me and I am cooking for her some of the yummy things she has seen me make and not been able to taste. This is Mom’s Picks week. Ooo exciting!
How is everyone doing? Well summer is in full swing here now. This whole week has been upper 90’s in temps and the sun has been blazing down. Which has made swimming every day, all day an absolute necessity.
With summer comes an extra sort of busyness. Every night this week I have had an event or a party or something going on. Add that to work and meeting with friends, chores, cooking, writing- Ah! My calendar is booked!
That is why I wanted to write this brief post for you(and mostly for me) It’s okay to say no… it’s okay to have nothing to do… it’s okay to breath…
It is so easy to get swept up in activity and life that we loose sight of the important things. Quiet Bible study time with the Lord. Time spent with family where you’re not running somewhere to get something done. Sleep. And the list goes on.
So my encouragement to you this summer is just to slow down and take it easy. Don’t let the busy business of life distract you from the important.
And remember it’s okay to have some days where you have absolutely nothing planned.
Well a day behind, but the week got away from me. And as you can tell I made a lot of food. This next week I’m gonna attempt to tone it down a little bit… Maybe…
So just right off the bat the flavor and texture combination of Vietnamese food is super interesting. The mix of cool and sweet spices and smooth textures makes all the food light and clean. I loved Vietnamese cooking. And this salad was super yummy! Didn’t keep very well but that’s the only downside.
Again these didn’t keep very long, because they’re just cheat pickled veggies. But they were very yummy and apparently the Vietnamese put them on everything. Which I heartily approve!
So they don’t look like baguettes, but they tasted amazing! So when the French governed Vietnam they left behind the love of the baguette. Which the Vietnamese people took and stuffed with all they’re amazing food and made…
These were awesome!! The pork was understated in taste so the pickled veggies and dipping sauces could shine. Sandwiched between to crunchy and toasted baguettes. So yum!
Our two dipping sauces for the week, which we dipped everything into, one on the left being minty and the one on the right being slightly spicy.
So they slightly burst their sweet pastry, but these steamed bao were fantastic. And I was super worried as I have never used a bamboo steamer before. However despite my worry the dumplings turned out well. We dipped them in the sauces in case you’re wondering.
Again a unique flavor combination this soup was subtly spicy and very light. Which makes it an absolutely lovely summer soup. This is probably gonna be the last soup for awhile since it is very hot.
Probably my fav of the week. This light dessert topped with sesame seeds and coconut. Very yummy for breakfast too topped with fresh fruit.
These were weird… not gross just weird. Not overly sweet- in fact they didn’t taste a whole lot like anything. So yeah… weird!
And that’s it guys. I liked Vietnamese week a lot more than I thought it would. Lots of unique and delicious finds that I will be making again I’m sure. But for now we are getting in with the swing of summer with our next word: BBQ
Happy Memorial Day everyone! Hope you are enjoying your long weekend. So this week’s word was Italian and because I went a little crazy with the crazy good cuisine let’s jump right into it.
I mean just looking at it make me wants another bowl. Even Taylor, who does not like salads loved this one. So good!
So this a work in progress photo of the soup. I just realized I forgot to take a finished product picture and since we already ate all of it… You’ll have to imagine a slightly spicy, creamy tomato soup.
This got better the longer it sat in the fridge. We liked it okay at first and now we love it! Basically a breakfast pizza and so pretty to look at.
This was INCREDIBLE!!! Like beyond beautiful and delicious and there wasn’t enough of it! I could make this every week and not get sick of it.
Yeah I couldn’t find an actual pizzelle maker l, so I got a mini waffle maker instead. Thus we ended up with pizzelle waffles instead of cookies. Still tasted amazing just not the wafer thin cookies I was hoping for.
These were so easy and fun to make and filled the trailer with unbelievable smells. The cracker like breadsticks were crumbly goodness.
Simply the pretties, best tasting cake I think I have ever made. So the layers were olive oil cake, lemon curd, mascarpone cream, blueberry syrup, black berries, second layer of cake, rest of blueberry syrup and mascarpone cream. And garnished with black berries… yeah it was amazing!
I loved these! So easy and yummy! Will definitely make it again and highly encourage everyone else to too.
Our one low point of the week. Now these were exactly what they were “advertised” to be. But the flavor combination was just not Tay and I’d cup of tea.
Okay this turned out so good, but not without a few hiccups along the way. By hiccups I mean it took me three tries to make these noodles. I have never made noodles before so I guess in hindsight the experience is not so bad. Though I did decide to start making them like at 7pm and thus was not done till 9:45pm… which was awful. And yet now I can say I can make noodles with success- they tasted so good!!
Okay so that’s it guys! Italian week was by and far my favorite so far. Though this coming week may change my mind as we take a total turn and cook Vietnamese food. See ya same place next week.
No I didn’t move, get fired or in anyway change lifestyles; unless you call living in a small trailer on my boss’s lake house property for the next six months a change in lifestyle… Which maybe it is come to think of it. (Lol) Anyhoo yes I am officially trailer trash! My parents are so proud. No but seriously I am actually super excited to show off my new lake hideaway.
As you can tell we are all fully moved in and organized. The trailer provides my sister and I just a little more privacy than we had last year at the lake, which so far I am loving! And even though the bathroom is unusable the house is less than five feet away and so far it hasn’t been an issue. (Besides the bathroom got beautifully repurposed as a green house/George’s own private jungle)
Though it is small it mighty! And has a crap ton of storage for all our stuff. The real test will come this week, when I start cooking. Things might get interesting. On kind of a related note here is my apartment tour I did not too long ago.
So there will be no culinary recap this week as we moved to lake house this past week and there was absolutely no time to cook. Be on the look out later this week for a post on the move. (Yay!) We are so happy to be back amongst the lake folk. Here is a link to last week’s food post so you can go back and get your fix on all the nummies we’ve made so far.
Can you believe we’ve been doing this for eight weeks now? Man it’s crazy! All the yummy things my sister and I have gotten try. We’re just getting slightly spoiled. (Here’s a link to our very first week, which will take through to the series) After missing last week due to traveling(see here) we were excited to get back to baking, cooking and creating culinary magic.
Or I should say I was excited. Our word this week was vegan and Tay(lover of all things diary) was not as excited. To clarify we didn’t go vegan for the whole week; but rather all our recipes had to be vegan. If that makes any sense.
Let’s dig in!
So I’m not the best at making pancakes in general and that is the main reason why I was pleasantly surprised by how these turned out. Still not the greatest as far as pancakes go, but not any worse either. Definitely keeping standard with my… standard.
Nothing super special here folks. Just a good old fashioned cabbage slaw with some toasted sunflower seeds and a light olive oil dressing. I like one of my Mom’s recipes which is similar to this much better. Still it was pretty good.
Ummm… yeah these were awful. Just plain and simple. I couldn’t even get children to eat them, though they were kind and said they were “okay”. However on being pressed they admitted that they were in fact gross. Yeah we got a lot of laughs out of this one.
Kinda like the slaw above these were nothing special. Just sort of… eh!
Yeah I was pretty sure these were going to be another disaster, but they actually were really good for a first attempt at any kind of pretzel. They could have baked longer and I probably rushed them for fear of doing them wrong. I will try again!
I love black bean burgers! I mean as long as you go into them not expecting them to taste like a burger you’re good. Thus preparing my sister she actually really liked these. So yay!
Not bad… not salty enough… but not bad.
Yum! This is exactly what it sounds like and was fairly easy to make. Hay this week I’ll take any win I can get.
Speaking of winning this cake was the perfect way to end the week. Very sweet it tasted more like a glazed donut- but who doesn’t like donuts?
And thank goodness that’s all for vegan week. Not my strongest week, but not a total disaster either. Would you have been brave enough for these creations?
Our next word(which we will be getting to either this week or the following- moving to the lake house) is… ITALIAN!!!!!!!!!! Who’s excited for this one?!
I’m finally on the move again. Traveling- ah how I have missed you! So every year my sister and I try to plan a fun get away for the two of us(though others have been dragged along with us) and this year was supposed to be a driving tour of Iceland. However due to COVID this trip has been postponed to maybe next year. Instead we decided to plan a trip to New Orleans(which was to be last year’s trip-) Though we might shuffle it for a different trip… still deciding.
So when my Mom suggested a quick trip to Tampa over Mother’s Day I was ready to sign up! Here’s just a quick recap of our adventures in the sun…
Madeira Beach, FL.
So we stayed at an Airbnb rental across the street from the fabulous white sands of Madeira Beach. Neither of us had been to this particular beach before and kinda went in blind. And we were in love- Like we’re already planning next years trip!
Was the dreaded(just because it’s exhausting) flight from O’Hara Airport to Tampa. We got into our rental at like 7:30pm and decided just to stay in and order delivery from Glory Days Grill. Which was very yummy. The main reason we ordered from them is we wanted a gallon of ice tea to keep at our room and which lasted our whole trip.
Our second day was gorgeous! (In fact weather for the whole trip was fabulous! Upper 80’s no humidity and a very pleasant breeze) We started our day by walking down the street to Sweet Brewnette Coffee Shop for coffee(obviously) and breakfast.
After breakfast was a walk down the beach…
Then we dashed back to the room, threw on our swimsuits and packed a cold lunch for a day on the sand and in the water.
So we may have gotten a little too much sun but after a brief nap and pool swim back at the room; we walked down toward’s John’s PassBoardwalk. Basically a super cool village of shops and restaurants. We popped into a few shops, but then headed to Mad Beach Bar and Grille for supper.
The next morning we once again headed for Sweet Brewnette where we got their Tropical Smoothies for breakfast and then trolled the beach.
After our beach walk we went shopping!!
For a lunch break we head to Pirate’s Pub for some gator bites.
Then we headed back to our room for a swim and a nap. With plenty of leftovers for dinner we did walk down the street to The Candy Kitchen for something sweet.
To end our day we headed back to the beach to watch the sunset.
Keeping with tradition we once again made our way to Sweet Brewnette.
And then back to the beach for some sun time. And a few surprises!
After the dolphins we did some last shopping and then headed to the Friendly Fisherman on the broad walk for lunch.
Then it was pool and nap time. Before we headed down to the Candy Kitchen for ice cream and the beach for the sunset.
We had a mid morning flight home, which allowed one more trip to Sweet Brewnette and a stroll on the beach.
And now we’re home and I miss the sun and the sand, but it’s nice to be back. This trip was absolutely perfect. Everything from the flights to the stay to the food; was just what we had imagined(even better) And I can’t wait for the next adventure!
Well hello again… we keep meeting here a lot. (Wink, wink) welcome back guys to another post. We are again going down the fashion lane, because apparently my blog has zip structure and I write about whatever pops into my head. And yet we have such fun doing it!
If you haven’t seen my other two fashion posts this spring(here and here) than I suggest you go check them out. They’ll help you get a better picture of what I mean by “maturing style”.
Basically I have gone the minimum, Parisian inspired vibe. This look is very typical of what I am wearing for everyday life. The Liz Baker Essential dress slacks offer some chic lines to the Keds loafers and Banana Republic striped tee. Finished off with the unruly mess that is my hair and this super old, oversized Old Navy black jean jacket and you have a very cute, comfy, practical look.
I have recently started revamping my wardrobe one piece at a time. Finding pieces/styles and cuts that I like regardless if they follow popular brands or trends. Essentially I am trying to break the impulse buys and stick with an end goal of what I want my closet to look like. This has meant selling or donating old pieces that no longer fit my style evolution. Or replacing items with an updated version thereof. Which is all super exciting, since it gives me a chance to plan and scheme, and set those ever lovely goals that I shoot for.
And that is all for right now! I have one more post coming out tomorrow and then an exciting one next Thursday hopefully.
Hello my lovelies! And welcome back to the cooking extravaganza that is my life. I think this past Thursday I just cooked the whole day and it was glorious! Probably becoming too obsessed… Or maybe it’s just because this past week our word was coffee and y’all know how I feel about coffee(and in case you don’t here, here and here)
Let’s get to it…
Ummm yes it tastes as good as it looks and sounds. The bread is that perfect balance of sweet and yet the coffee glaze on top balances it out. Will be making this again someday.
Basically just cooked spinach to go with the below meal. (Keep reading) Not sure I will make this recipe again it was almost too lemony. But not bad.
I really liked these, which surprised me. The coffee and cinnamon and salt seasoning was actually really good together.
These were yummy and were just an added side to pair with…
STEAK!!!! Okay so this was more Tay’s benefit than mine. I am not a huge fan of steak- I know, “what’s wrong with me?” But I’m just not. But the coffee rub was yummy and I have a bit extra I might try on some chicken.(lol)
(Ignore the dirty scale… I apparently didn’t clean up from baking the coffee bean cookies) These were so cool! The perfect little short bread cookie. I couldn’t exactly taste the coffee(probably because I drink really strong coffee) but they tasted amazing with coffee. And they’re just so cute, aren’t they?
Can someone say delicious? So they weren’t exactly that flatly cinnamon roll I was expecting but they tasted amazing. I don’t know if it was the recipe or me that made the dough too… doughy. I’ve never made cinnamon rolls before so(shrug)
Bacon, chocolate, coffee and chili equals one great combination! As our final meal of the week this was an awesome way to end it.
Yahoo! Coffee week was amazing and I am sad to see it go. Seriously this was some good eating. Anyway we are taking a one week break because of traveling but will be back and our new word is vegan! I am excited but Tay thinks she might die.
For this post I decided to give you guys a brief tour of my apartment/suite in the basement of my employers’ house, where I have lived comfortably for the last… three and 1/2 years. Yikes time flies! I’ve never done a full tour so this should be fun.
We’ll begin at the beginning… I know shocking. And then just follow the room around. As you will see my decorating style is basically lots of stuff and dogs and quotes… lol!
Yeah so this is my own private domain! Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I move with the work family to the summer lake house and where I stay while there. So excited about that post.
It’s good to be back! After a week missed by sickness I was so ready to get back to cooking and baking(and thus eating really good food) It’s funny how accustomed you get to always having some homemade bread or baked good in the fruit basket(which occasionally houses fruit as well). Or some yummy leftovers in the fridge. My sister was constantly asking me what was for dinner and my sad answer was… frozen chicken tenders… again. Well we’re back and eating actual food! I mean there’s nothing wrong with frozen chicken… but real food is better.
This week as you will remember(and if you don’t here’s the last post in the series) our word this week was Redwall, based on the children’s series of books by Brian Jacques. A collection of epic adventures by rabbits, mice, moles and the like.
We actually cooked from the official cookbook written by the author himself! Which was fun and the recipes, since they’re geared more to children were simple and sweet… and vegetable based. No meat what so ever. But I guess a mouse wouldn’t eat pork now would they? So here’s what we made:
We started off with this layered veggie casserole. The layers were made of potatoes, carrots, leeks and a turnip, topped with more potatoes and a breadcrumb cheese mixture. A very simple yet tasty meal.
Basically a strawberry ice cream float. Tasty but not exactly wow worthy.
Soooo yummy and spicy! I used a vanilla, blueberry green tea for this recipe and it really lent it a sweet bloom to another wise dense bread. This is amazing toasted with marmalade- Yum city!
So this was not from the cookbook, but I saw them at the store and just couldn’t resist. I feel any respecting badger or hedgehog would gladly partake of these brown sugar and buttered roasted acorn squash.
A very, very simple blueberry crumble recipe that tasted exactly like it should. Though if I make it again I’d add my own spice combination for the crumble top to make it a little more exciting.
Our stand out recipe for the week was this amazing veggie stew topped with parsley and oat dumplings. I love this soup so much. Again simple flavors yet in this particular dish it’s so charmingly plain. Like in a good way.
So that’s it! Week #6 is all wrapped up in a pretty bow and we’re on to week #7!! Our new word is… coffee. Oh man! Guys it’s my week- lol!
So if you want just a random, rambling post about nothing in particular then keep reading, because this post is for you! I have a couple of actually interesting posts in process and will try to get those out in the next coming weeks. But this week has been a catch up week for me.
Last week I had the stomach flu and was out for three days. While I was only sick one of those days I was so zapped of strength and bloated to be of any use for anything other watching Netflix and napping. Because of that I feel sooo behind on everything. I don’t seem to have enough time to do anything and it’s driving me nuts. Or maybe I am just organizing my time badly… Anyhoo with all this anxiety I am trying to give it to the Lord and just do what I can do.
That being said what have I been up to? My church had a revival series this week, which was utterly amazing and very encouraging. It was good to get my eyes off myself and back onto eternity and the Lord. To get back focused on spreading the Good News unabashedly and with unbridled joy. I mean I know the secret for joy(spoiler it’s not a secret) how can I not share it?! For those of you who don’t know Jesus Christ is the only source of peace and joy. (Here’s a full post on that)
With improved health I got back to cooking/baking and this coming Monday I will have our next installment of the Culinary Challenge ready(read series here) Which I am so ecstatic about. Nothing as comforting as making and eating good food. Lol.
Speaking of relaxing I am in love with doing art projects along with Emily Jane Lefebvre! Like I could waste all time doing this. All of it.
Yeah so that’s it I guess. I know totally random and super brief look into my life and thoughts on this spring day. I hope you are all doing well.
Welcome back, welcome back. Who has been missing the culinary challenge? I have. I have missed the cooking and baking and trying new things(here’s a look back at our last post) And with this week’s challenge being Jane Austen we were in for some unique dishes. Here we go!
While enjoying these elegant-ish meals my sis and I also enjoyed watching Sense and Sensibility(swoon over Colonel Brandon) and Emma (2020 so pretty to watch- the colors!) just to get in the mood.
So to recap the running theme was a clean, complicatedand yet subdued meals. Which if that doesn’t sum up the regency period I don’t know what does.
As you can tell it was a very posh week of meals and the coming week is keeping us in England but taking us into the countryside… Redwall style!
Hello all! I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter. It has turned out to be a very wet week here in Wisconsin, but I personally love the spring showers. One, because they mean green and growing things and additionally they remained me of fairy tales, an English countryside and simpler ways. Which as I find I am more and more drawn too. Anyone else?
While I am super excited to get outside once the rain has passed; rainy days are practically made for arts and crafts. Below are four of my all time fav crafts that I have done with the kiddos.
I guess I should have said these are the top four projects we’ve done in the last six months. And most of them tie into whatever we’re learning in school, but are still fun and simple crafts you could do with your littles.
First up are these awesome Greek shields(we were learning about Greece obviously) and they were very fun to make. The easiest way would be to take pizza cardboard circles, then google Greek shield patterns and paint. I outlined the designs for the kids and then let them paint in the blank spaces. It was loads of fun.
Next is this visual representation of the Four Seasons by Vivaldi(again school related) that turned out a lot better then I thought it was going to. Using oil pastels and then coconut oil on q-tips to blend the colors. We “arted” while we listened to Vivaldi’s composition. It was a really relaxing Saturday morning. Again I drew the tree and then let them have at it. Just directing them to think of the colors of spring. And what colors make other colors. We talked lots about color and picking them with purpose for this project(A color wheel is very helpful to have handy)
This project was from last year but was also school related and was just so much fun to do! Using painting tape you cover up the bridge and then just using acrylics and our fingers we blended like Monet. Once dried we coated it with Modge Podge to give it the nice sheen.
Finally if you want endless rounds of laughter grab your favorite Barbie Doll, dress her in her best and roll her in t.p. Make sure you do the recommended three wraps(like the Egyptians did) and then wrap her in a blanket(or felt sheet) before taping on your carefully colored death mask. If you aren’t in stitches at this point burry your mummified Barbie in a cardboard box sarcophagus, which you can also decorate. One of the littles took this project even further and buried his mummy under his bed with treasures, statues and extra clothes for the afterlife. I unwittingly stumbled upon the burial ground when cleaning a few weeks ago. Let me just say it made my day!
So there you have it, some fun activities for you and your littles to do. Let me know if you do any of these projects I’d love to hear how they turned out for you.
So I had an interesting conversation a couple of weeks ago from a mother, who was considering homeschooling and what that would look like for her family. When she found out I was homeschooled and am now helping to homeschool two first graders, she had many, many questions. I thought it would be fun to do a quick interview with myself based off what we talked about and share it here.
What has your experience with homeschooling been?
So I and my siblings were homeschooled from kindergarten all the way through high school. Some families choose to let their kids to go to public or private high school, and while we were all given that option none of us chose that route. Which I think speaks volumes about our experiences.
So you enjoyed being homeschooled? What do you think you gained by being homeschooled?
For myself I loved being homeschooled! Yes it was super nice to not have to go to school(and therefore get dressed) And it was nice to have your school day go from 9am-1pm. What kid wouldn’t like that? Plus we followed a traditional school year from Labor Day to Memorial Day with a nice long summer break.
However if I was to pick one thing as my chief advantage, or take away from being homeschooled it would have to be: the ability to learn. If I don’t know something both in an academic and practical sense, I know I can learn it. Because I’ve done it before.
Homeschooling requires discipline on the student’s part to sit and get your work done. Especially as we got older our school work became a list of required reading, tests and worksheets, papers written and essays turned in. Our Mom(and Dad) didn’t sit there beside us and make sure we did it. On Mondays we got our assignments for the week and then on Fridays we had to turn it in. This taught us time management and organization in addition to the discipline to learn. I now have the ability to be like, “Yeah I don’t know anything about this subject but I know the steps to learn it.” This is undoubtedly the greatest strength homeschooling taught me.
So what was the biggestdisadvantage?
With homeschooling your topics can play(and normally do play) to your parents strengths. So for instance I can’t play musical instruments or read music, but I’ve written six novels and I wrote three of those in high school. (One for school and two just cause) My history and language skills are very cemented. Can you guess which were my parents’ strengths? Yep history and language. Neither of my parents are musically talented and so we had a disadvantage there. These of course can be supplemented outside the home.
What’s one stereotype of homeschoolers that you’ve run into the most?
Do you feel like you’re socially inept? I have been asked this sooo many times.(which frankly I find the question quite rude) And the answer is no… Do you think I’m socially inept? Being a homeschooled kid doesn’t mean I was locked in the basement until I turned eighteen. We went to church, AWANA, I was a Girl Scout, my sister played softball, etc. So no I am not socially inept.
Anyway I hope this was informative! If you have any additional questions please feel free to ask me.
Week #4 is in the books and I have to say I think this has been my favorite week yet! A lot of these recipes are actually ones I grew up on as my Mom(growing up in Southern Illinois) was constantly making. So yeah I think everything this week averaged above a 7 out of 10 rating. Prepare for all the comfort foods!
Yeah might have gone a little overboard with the food this week, but at least we’ll have amazing leftovers. Since this next week is super busy for us and then it’s Easter we will be waiting till the first of April for our next challenge. However because we can’t wait here is our next word: Jane Austen!!
Here is another spring look for y’all! I don’t know why(probably the changing of the seasons) but I have felt super inspired with fashion again. Yay! I’m not totally sold on the look below. Not sure all the pieces go together that way I envisioned, but maybe you guys have some suggestions. I don’t know. Maybe just let me know if this look is a hit or not.
So the cardigan I have had since I was sixteen or something, and it’s from Old Navy. I bought the navy t-shirt from Christopher Banks during a store closing sale. The same with these Express jeans and then the booties I have had for several years and I bought them through Royal and Reese, which is an online boutique. I paired the whole look with my silk scarf that I got as a gift from Turkey(yep the country) And my Michael Kors “green” billfold. Also my necklace is my Mom’s high school crest.
Oh how many things have happened since this time last year. (Read last year’s post here) How many things have come to light since COVID intentionally peeked its ugly little head over the horizon. I think we can all agree that we were naive at first and now life has taken on that jaded “so what else is new” attitude.
Since last year I have stopped watching the news(so much more peace) I have deleted all my social media accounts except Instagram(again I don’t miss it) and I have come to realize the immense gift of God’s peace. Without the knowledge that He is in absolute control, without His Word comfort in pointing out His sovereignty; I know I personally would be terrified of tomorrow.
I don’t know what this coming year holds for us. What exciting(to use the term very loosely) adventures lie in store. But I do know God is good all the time. And if you don’t know His peace or the security of having your eternity safe in Christ, then please read the following:
2,000 years ago Jesus Christ the one and only Son of the one and only God, died on a cross. He died the way sinners do and He bore every single one of your sins on Himself. He took the full weight of God’s wrath, so that you wouldn’t have to. And then three days later He arose conquering the grave and securing eternity. No matter who is president, no matter what disease is raging across the planet- God is Lord. And He loves you so much that He did this while you were still a sinner. He offers you this gift of salvation and security “by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone”.
But don’t be deceived. If you reject this gift, if you push off accepting it(so you can live your life) and you die in your sin, you will spend an eternity separated from God in hell. God is a gentleman and He will not force you into a relationship with Him, but He is holding out His hand for you to accept. He is knocking at the door.
If you have any questions please send me a message!
Hello all! Hope you had an awesome week. So this week’s word was favorites and Tay and I decided to go easy on ourselves(which isn’t technically cheating… it isn’t!) So we pulled a meal/soup from the freezer. But I did make a bread(I can’t live now without a fresh loaf of bread on my counter) a dessert and a breakfast dish. Yes I am totally justifying the freezer meal. Anyway let’s get to it!
So a really quick and easy week, but still fantastically delicious.
But guys I am super excited about next week’s menu as Tay and I journey south for some soul food. That’s right- all the comfort food fried, battered and soaking in butter. I can’t wait!
Well our second week is finished and I think we can label it a tremendous success. When life gives ya lemons… make these incredible foods and enjoy!
Literally the prettiest bread I think I have ever made! (And it doesn’t taste too bad either) Rosemary is one(of many) of my favorite spices paired with that fresh, minty lemon is a nice combination. The crust around this loaf is to die for and the middle is so light- ah perfection! (Here is the recipe)
Another great salad(recipe) Top it with walnuts and blue cheese.
I mean ya can’t go wrong with sugar snap peas. Top with some of the lemon mayo from below and you will love it.
The spices were almost too strong and yet we kind of liked the “minty, clean” combination. Maybe next time we’ll just tone down the spice.
Such an interesting combination of egg-ie, lemony broth. Yeah super weird but not disgusting. I’ll probably never make it again but hay.
If you like crunchy, sugary oatmeal cookies this recipe is for you! The only thing I have against them is that the lemon is too subtle.
This was our last recipe for the week and what a way to end the week!! So warm(you eat it straight out of the oven) and easy to make. And in Tay’s words “the perfect blend of lemon”. Here is the recipe for you to enjoy!
It wouldn’t be a proper lemon week without lemonade would it? No I don’t think so. This particular blend of herbal spice and lemon was just okay. Not the greatest, but not awful.
Well that’s it for lemon week! Any of these recipes trip your trigger? Our word for the coming week is Favorites. (Roughly translated recipes we’ve already tried and know we like) So stay tuned for that.
Man the weather here in ole Wisconsin has been marvelous! Super sunny and a balmy 32-45 degrees. Trust me after going through weeks of -35 this is like heaven. Anyway I thought I would do a fashion post, which I haven’t done in… I don’t know months. But the look below is probably as near my style and perfection that I can get. So I hope you enjoy.
So Outfit top to bottom:
Sunglasses- Kate Spade(I bought these like five years ago and I can’t remember the style 😬)
Lips- ColorPop Disney Villain “Evil Queen” (which they don’t make anymore- yikes sorry guys)
Scarf- Harry Potter Official Merchandise “Ravenclaw”(which I bought in London)
Jacket- Ralph Lauren(again I bought this years ago- though this might be it’s last year since all the zippers are broken)
Bag- Michael Kors(this was a Christmas gift… two, three years ago)
Top- BB Dakota Steve Madden(can’t find it anywhere… wow)
Bottoms- Liz Baker Essentials(purchased at a thrift store- score!)
Shoes- Bamboo ???(I bought these probably six years ago at a garage sale. I’m actually hoping to update my black boots this year)