Oct 15, 2018

Cookbook Review: Cooking with Scraps by Lindsay-Jean Hard

Cooking with Scraps is a creative resource for using every bit of your food and ingredients. From artichoke leaves to tortilla chip crumbs. I loved how it was organized by ingredient alphabetically so that it can be an easy reference. There were some obscure items: shiso and bacon ends you might not come across in your daily cooking, but overall most recipes featured common ingredients. I tried several different recipes and they were both good and were easy to prepare when following the directions. There are several more I bookmarked to try another time. Great book to add to your collection.

Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read an early copy. All thoughts are my own.

Jun 6, 2018

Cookbook Review: What Can I Bring? by Elizabeth Hiskell

I thoroughly enjoyed cooking through this book for the last month or so. What can I bring? is a question most of are faced with at least several times a year, if not weekly. I enjoyed reading her suggestions for the various situations. The book is divided into chapters of scenarios in which you might bring food. Everything I made (which is listed below) was great and simple to prepare. Directions were clear and easy to accomplish. My one criticism is that it would have been nice to see more healthy sides included. Otherwise a solid cookbook to add to your collection.

What I cooked:
Yoste Roast, p. 24 - Similar to the famous Mississippi Roast floating around the internet. Simply delicious. (Side note: I was brought a similar dish after having my second baby and we thoroughly enjoyed it with a couple of healthy sides.)
Pimento Cheese, p. 48 - Great. I'm forever in search of the best pimento cheese recipe and this one is one I will try again.
Crack Crackers, p. 78 - I actually took these to a family as they were packing to move.
Roasted Vegetable Pasta salad, p. 84 - great side dish. Especially for the spring/summer months.
Chicken Enchiladas, p. 104 - awesome. I will for sure be making this again.
Refried black beans, p. 105 - also awesome.
Tossed Green Salad with Tequila Lime Dressing, p. 110 - Served this with the above two recipes. Great.
Pasta Jambalya, p 165 - Delicious
Hangover Sliders, p. 190 - good.
White Bean and Kale Soup, p. 207 - delicious. One of the more healthy dishes I tried from this book.
Turkey, Brie, and Apple Sandwich, p. 240 - Great. I didn't make the hot mustard sauce because I was short on time and ingredients.
Cola Cake, p 257 - A classic.

There are still many more recipes I'd like to try from this book and I will be turning to it again and again.

May 8, 2017

Garden Start of 2017!

It's officially garden season! Hooray! 

Months ago I started my tomato and pepper seeds. A few weeks ago I transferred them to individual, slightly larger pots. And I had also started cucumber and squash seeds. 

They've been living on the driveway for about a month now. 

On Saturday we packed up the car and headed to meet my grandfather at our Shelby Farms plot. 

Bryan tilled up the plots for us. We were only able to get the squash and cucumbers in the ground as we forgot to pack a hoe! Doh! 

Back at home I got our raised beds planted. 

We've got lots of herbs, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, zinnias, squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. 

My garden helper checking on the progress. 

So excited to watch everything grow this year! 

May 3, 2017

Laundry Room Countertrop

In the new (how long can I keep saying that?) house we have a laundry area between the kitchen and the half bath. It is sort of in our pantry, mud room, garage entrance area. I don't mind it being in the open so much, but I've always wanted to put a counter over our washer and dryer so that we can use the space more effectively. Soooo many things had fallen behind the washer. 

Here's what we were working with. See how we liked to store things on top? 

We needed to find a work around the water hookups and the electrical outlet. 

I pinned a bunch of images and had an idea in my head. Fortunately, Bryan was patient enough to see out my vision. 

First up a trip to Lowe's where we purchased this:  

We also purchased crown molding for the guest bedroom that day. 

Bryan and I installed 2x4's to be the support. 

Make sure you tell the Lowe's employee the right measurements. Doh!

Another trip to Lowe's we got the right size board cut. 

This is post staining, pre poly.

And here she is! 

After taking these photos we decided that the counter was too pretty to store our recycling, so it's been bumped to the garage. 

I definitely need to work on styling, but we are so so happy with the finished results. The cost was around $70 total. Not bad for such a large counter. 

May 2, 2017

Pruning the Azaleas

Our house came with some beautiful, mature azaleas bushes. We adored them from the beginning and couldn't wait until the spring to see them bloom. They were gorgeous, but were way way way overgrown. So after the blooms had died off it was time to prune. Who doesn't love a good before and after?!

In the driveway:

It's hard to tell with the shade, but there is a ton more play and parking space now! 

And in the front: 

You can tell we have windows now! It's amazing the difference in person, both inside and outside. 

While it doesn't look amazingly better right now, when they start putting out new growth they will be more manageable. The mail lady can actually use the walkway now and get to the front door. 

May 1, 2017

April Life Lately

A few snapshots from April 2017:

We opened the pool early in the month. This is what it looked like under the cover. It didn't take very long for it to start looking swimable. 

C loves reading at the library. 

Charlie's first popsicle, another first: an ER visit. He was fine, just had a really high fever. 


Getting some pine nuggets for the play area. 

C's face after he conquered the climbing mountain at the park. 

He had just gone tee-tee in the potty for the first time. 


It's time to potty train this kid!