Saturday, June 26, 2010

Way Too Long

It's been way too long since I have actually blogged a real blog. I hope you enjoyed the recipes I shared! Life has been crazy getting ready to move to Colorado! We are so excited about this new adventure!

We are packing this morning, then we are heading to a wedding of our friends Corey & Amy! So excited for them! Sunday is more packing and having lunch with my sister and brother-in-law. Rex is going to take some family pictures for us. We load everything in the moving truck on Monday with the help of my brother-in-law Rex, head to Amarillo on Tuesday and will arrive at our new home on Wednesday! Our friends are going to come down from the Denver area and help us unload! Thanks Matt & Tiffany! It's going to be a busy few days!

Eric has not found a job, but has some great leads! His boss here in TX called the El Paso County Assessor's office to see if they had any opennings for him! What boss do you know that would do that for someone who just said they were leaving? Please pray that Eric would not only be able to find a job, but that it would be a job he will enjoy!

In other news! A few weeks ago we took a trip to Frisco, to go to Ikea. We wanted to buy a new dining room set. We couldn't wait because the Ikea in Colorado doesn't open until next year. Here are a few pictures of Elise helping Daddy put the table together before bed. She was such a good helper!!

I wanted to take some before and after pictures of it, because we decided to stain it!

Here is the table.

Here is one of the chairs.

This was my first experience staining! Here is the finished table!

Here is one of the chairs. I have to put the last coat on three of the chairs.

I actually really enjoyed the process. It was very relaxing. I may have to find some other things to stain or paint. I found this great blog that gives you plans to make furniture simply and cost efficient.

Every Thursday, Elise and I have lunch with my sister. We had our last lunch before we move this week. I decided to take a few pictures. Here are a few cute ones!

I really liked her tongue sticking out in this one!

I'm not sure what she was clapping about here.

Look! She really does have hair!

Last night Elise kept sitting on my lap, she does it a lot if you sit on the floor. She really likes books! She love to "read" them! It is so cute! Last night she was "reading" me God Knows All About Me. A really cute book I got her before we took our trip to MI. It was so cute! She is growing up so fast!
Well, I may not have the time to blog until after we move. We haven't set up the internet in our apartment yet, so it may be a while before I am able to blog.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Neapolitan Baked Ziti

This one has a lot of steps, but it's delicious and well worth the work.


Serves: 4-6


1 lb ziti
2Tbsps extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 medium medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 can whole plum tomatoes (28 ounces)
4-5 basil leaves, torn
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsps butter
3 Tbsps flour
2 cups of milk
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
Grated nutmeg
1 large ball fresh mozzarella, diced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese


Pre-heat oven 400 degrees.

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to boil to cook ziti. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta, and cook just shy of al dente. Drain.

While the water is coming to a boil, start the red sauce: place a medium-sized saucepot over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pot of EVOO, about 2 Tbsps. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring every now and then until the onions start to get tender, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and smash them up into small pieces with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Once you have the red sauce working, make the white sauce: Place a medium-sized saucepot pver medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour, stir to combine and cook for about a minute. Whick in the milk, add the bay leaf and season with some salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a bubble, turn the heat down to low and gently simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.

Combine the cooked ziti with the red sauce in the pot the pasta was cooked in and transfer everything to a baking dish. Top with the white sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella and grated parmesan cheeses over the top, transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Grilled Chipotle Chicken Breasts

Grilled Chipotle Chicken Breasts

Serves: 2


5 Chipotle peppers, seeded and chopped by hand (I was not able to find these fresh, so I used the canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and it was still delicious!)
1/3 cups cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 medium shallots
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp salt
2 chicken breasts


Puree the peppers, cilantro, garlic, shallots and vinegar in a food processor or blender. With the machine running add the oil slowly and then the lime juice. This will be the marinade for your chicken.

Maridate the chicken for 1 to 3 hours or overnight. Remove chicken from marinade and grill slowly over medium fire, basting with excess marinade.

Asian Grilled Salmon

The Hubs and I have been trying out some new recipes. I wanted to share some of the keepers. These are not recipes that I wrote, just ones we found that we really enjoy! Here is the first recipe. There will be more to follow in future posts! If you try them, let me know what you think!

Asian Grilled Salmon (My aboslute favorite!)

1 side fresh salmon, boned but skin on (about 3 lb) (We usually only do 1 lb for our family of 3)

2 Tbsps Dijon mustard
3 Tbsps soy sauce
6 Tbsps olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic

Lay the salmon skin down on a cutting board and cut crosswise in to 4 equal pieces. Whick together the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle half the marinade onto to the fish and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

Place the fish skin side down on a hot grill (spray/brush grilling rack/fish pan with oil, to keep fish from sticking). Discard the marinade the fish was sitting in. Grill 4 to 5 minutes, depending in the thickness of the fish. Turn carefully with a wide spatula and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes. It will be slightly raw in the center, but don't worry; it will keep cooking as it sits. Transfer the fish to a flat plate, skin side down, and spoon the reserved marinade on top. Allow the fish to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

More Birthday & A Trip To Michigan

Here are pictures from the last 2 birthday parties for Elise, our trip to Michigan and a fun picture at the end!

Birthday Sign I made with my Cricut!

The only picture I was able to get with her bow on! I worked hard making that thing!

Grandma reading a birthday card and cousin John helping open presents.

Second birthday cake I made for Elise's Birthday!

Top of cake!

Just got to Michigan! Grandma & Grandpa took us out for lunch! She's talking to our waitress!

The bike Uncle Billy got Elise! She needs to get a little taller!

Posing for a picture before digging into the cake!

Having fun making a mess!

More fun!
At the pool with Grandma!

She loves water and coke bottles!

Swinging on Grandma & Grandpa's patio!

Back from Michigan! Elise loves this ride-on toy. She likes to lift up the seat, and get in! Here, Eric is pushing her around! I crack up everytime I look at this picture!