Thursday, March 29, 2012

Recipe time!

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe, and I have TWO for you today that are quick, easy, and oh-so-tasty. And! They're beautiful meals. Dishes you want to look at for a good long minute before you consume them because they're just that good looking. Ready? Let the mouth watering begin!

First, one from Real Simple that I discovered just a couple of weeks ago. It was probably in an issue from July, but I finally got around to reading my magazines and found this little gem:

Rigatoni With Roasted Sausage and Broccoli
(my changes/comments in green)



  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ¾ cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli and onion with the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Nestle the sausage among the vegetables.
  3. Roast, tossing once, until the broccoli is tender and the sausage is cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes.
  4. Toss the pasta with the broccoli and sausage mixture, butter, and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water (add more if the pasta seems dry).
  5. Sprinkle the pasta with Parmesan before serving.

The other recipe is one I've had for years from Rachel Ray from the "Take Five" section of her magazine. The best part: there are only FIVE ingredients, and it still tastes fabulous. Feast your eyes on this puppy:

Grilled Salmon, Bacon, and Feta Packets
*When I'm short on time, I actually bake these in the oven instead of grilling them and they're just as good!

4 6 ounces 1-inch-thick salmon fillets, skin on and at room temperature
1/2 cup ranch dressing
slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 crumbled feta cheese
tomatoes, chopped

Preheat a grill to high. Cut four 8-by-12-inch sheets of heavy-duty foil. Place each salmon fillet skin side down on a sheet; top each with 2 tablespoons ranch dressing, 1 tablespoon bacon and 1 tablespoon feta; season with pepper. Fold up the sides of the foil, leaving the top exposed. Place on the grill, cover and cook until almost opaque in the thickest part, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve topped with the tomatoes. 

*TO BAKE: Follow all directions except instead of putting packets on the grill, put them on a baking pan in the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily. 

We're talkin' easy, affordable weeknight meals here, people. Let me know what you think if you try them! What's on your menu this week?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pictures, as promised

Hanging out on the bed, just having a lazy morning 
My latest favorite picture of Moo

Hanging out with Daddy

Loved holding this boy close all week!

That's right: no makeup, workout clothes, and my favorite little guy. A perfect vacation.

Family pic (Pardon the wet hair. Hey--at least I showered!)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring BREAK

Remember that vacation I needed so desperately? 
Well, I got it. 
And, OH MY, it was all kinds of wonderful.  
We spent four relaxing days in the North Carolina mountains, 
just the three of us, 
and for four days I didn't:

wear makeup
check my email
make any phone calls
leave the house where we were staying
leave my sweats (except to put on workout pants for a walk)
read other people's blogs

We hardly even watched TV. The goal of this vacation was to simply BE as a family, and I wasn't bored for a moment. I was able to journal, take a bath, play lots with Moo, take family walks, play games, read together (book reviews to follow), eat an entire half gallon of my favorite ice cream (Edy's Slow Churned French Silk anyone?) by myself (!), catch up on the growing stack of magazines I hadn't had time to read, spend lazy mornings in bed getting Moo to try to roll over, and just talking and catching up with the best husband a girl could hope for. 

Mark Buchanan wrote a book on the Sabbath called The Rest of God, and in it, he argues that "the Sabbath is a day in which no other day has any claim." I love that. And this vacation felt like a relational Sabbath for us--a time when no other relationship had any claim (even though we LOVE our relationships with friends, family, and coworkers). It was just us. And it was so good. Pictures to come! 

A preview of blog topics to come:
  • Another round of book reviews
  • My latest addiction (besides Edy's French Silk ice cream) :)
  • Moo's milestones
  • Monthly recipe update (and a few recipes too!)

Thursday, March 15, 2012



I need a vacation, like, yesterday. I'm so depleted that I put my child down for a (possibly) unnecessary late afternoon nap (one I will most likely regret when he won't go to bed later on tonight) just so I could eat dinner in peace....

...and wouldn't you know it, the boy awakes while I'm mid-meal...

...and I'm back.

It's been one of those I-don't-have-time-for-lunch-and-I'm-so-stressed-all-I-want-is-a-milkshake-but-I-can't-even-make-that-because-we-have-no-food-in-our-fridge kind of days.

So, I've resorted to eating chocolate chips out of the bag and ignoring the bag of tests I have to grade.

And here I am, blogging, so I can feel like I've accomplished something for myself today this week.

And there it is: my idol of productivity that God is so gently and regularly redefining. A good day, I'm learning, isn't how much I accomplish or how much time I get to myself. A good day is a day in which I know Jesus better.

This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it (Ps. 118:24). It's good because it's His.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Moo's baptism

It was like a wedding there were so many people. Twenty, if I'm not mistaken. Every one of my siblings and their families came and most of Phil's family was able to be there as well as my grandparents. After it was all over, I had flashbacks of the hour of photos at my wedding ceremony: "Okay, now we need the grandparents. Okay, good. Now, let's get all the siblings, not spouses just yet, etc." I had to laugh. But how appropriate that the baptism of my son--his engagement to Jesus--felt like a wedding.

And the dress. Let me tell you about the baptismal gown. I get that he's a boy. I really do. And I get that we go to a more contemporary church, one where there are probably people who have never even seen a baptismal gown on any baby. But don't judge.  I have my reasons. You see, that baptismal gown is 122 years old. It belonged to my great-grandfather (Moo's great-great-grandfather) and pretty much everyone on my side of the family has worn it. I love the heritage of that gown, and the reminder that God often works through families to expand the Kingdom. I love that for generations, on both Phil's side and mine, our families have claimed the name of Jesus, and our prayer is that we will continue to live Him to our child. In fact, on the day of his baptism, four generations were represented--amazing. 

On a funny note, our pastor commented that Moo was "so mellow." Little did we know, he was getting sick (hence the flushed cheeks). Oh, well. I'll take mellow over fussy when he's sick!