and now, back to our regularly schedule programming

Well, I would love to say we've been so busy I haven't had time to post, but really I've just been taking a little break.  And it has been SO nice, especially having my husband at home with me the first week we have our new puppy.  He is SO cute, but quite the handful.  

Oh and uh, he does things like fall asleep like that - see his little paws over Darrell's legs?  

There have been lots of naps, lots of tea, and lots of movies.  I'm the weirdest girl ever and I went to Django instead of Les Mis, but it's on my list!  However, Django Unchained was AWESOME.  

Also, there have been lots of cookies.  Until yesterday, when I went for a great run, and made a really delicious and very healthy dinner.  

Lettuce Wrap Veggie Tacos 
(I tried hard to think of a way to make that sound more appealing.  I came up with nada, so just trust me on these.)  


a few sprays of cooking oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 package yves ground veggie beef, or morningstar veggie beef crumbles, or match ground "beef" (you get the idea, you can use real lean beef as well if you aren't vegetarian)

1 can of rotel tomatoes, with about half the liquid drained from the can

head of lettuce, peeled apart into cups - the key is the pull from the base of the leaf

1/2 cup fat free cheddar cheese

1/4 cup fat free sour cream

1/2 cup salsa (jarred is fine)

1.  Spray the pan with cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat.  Add garlic cloves and sautee until fragrant.  Add the "beef," and cook until either warmed, or browned. 

2.  Add cumin, coriander, a little salt, and the half drained can of tomatoes.  Stir and cook until all the liquid from the tomatoes is absorbed.  

3.  To assemble your tacos, fill lettuce cups with beef mixture and topping of your choice. 

Each serving of three tacos has about 200 calories, so feel free to make this dinner for two if you're really hungry!  I found it pretty filling and we had leftovers.  


wish list/etsy prints

I love a good print, perhaps more than the average joe due to my day job as a home decor design manager.  I'm constantly trolling my way through Etsy's latest offerings for inspiration, and this has led to my walls being pretty full, because that's my solution to covering up rental apartment walls.  Here are a few recent favorites!  I may have already snatched up the "Eat Cake for Breakfast" print....


breakfast for dinner/lox eggs benedict

I am a big fan of breakfast for dinner.  As a vegetarian/pescatarian, it's really one of the easiest things for me to eat, and me and Darrell usually devour a stack of pancakes or a few eggs at least one night a week while the rest of the world is eating, say, spaghetti.  

Eggs Benedict is one of my favorites, and as a person with a well-known affinity for lox (insert shoutout to my Jewish college roommates for introducing me to this magical food) I like it with with a smoked salmon twist.  

I am going to make one thing easy on you, and one thing kinda hard.  

Let's start with the easy - by God do not attempt to make your own hollandaise.  Trader Joe's carries some that comes in a tub, and it's very inexpensive and delicious.  

As for the hard, well, you are going to need to poach your own eggs and PUH-LEEZ do not use one of those plastic microwave egg poachers.  It really isn't that hard to do it on your own.  PROMISE!  

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
(recipe by me, not adapted from anywhere, so if you steal it credit please!)

serves 2

2 english muffins
4 eggs
4-6 big slices of smoked salmon, Costco's is the best in my humble opinion, but you can also get it at Trader Joe's & Whole Foods
Trader Joe's hollandaise sauce (find it by the eggs)
salt & pepper

1.  First thing to do is get the water for the eggs going.  The most important thing is to get the water to that almost-boiling-but-still-not-quite-simmering point.  It's a toughie, and really tends to go best if you're using a gas stove.  If desired, you may also put your hollandaise in a little saucepan to get it slightly warmed at this time.  

2.  Once the water is there, salt the heck out of it.  A lot of people add white vinegar here too, but I don't ever find that necessary.  Then crack in two eggs (unless you have a REALLY wide pan, it's really best to only do two at a time).  When you crack the eggs, you want to hold them down close to the water and do it SLOWLY.  That way the egg WILL stay together in the water.  

3.  If you need to, slowly coax the white to form around the yolk.  Let the eggs cook for 3-4 minutes, I'm good with 3 but it's personal preference.  Then lift them out with a slotted spoon.  I usually pat mine dry with a paper towel.  

4.  While you're doing the second round of eggs, pop the english muffins into the toaster.  Butter them lightly when they come out.  

5.  To assemble, top your english muffins with a few slices of smoked salmon.  Then put on a poached egg and pour hollandaise all over.  Salt & pepper lightly!  


this weekend...

This weekend we have so much going on.  It's one of those perfect holiday weekends where the whole thing is a celebration of all the people we love.  Tonight we'll head for Charleston, the college town where we used to live because Darrell's little brother (well, I suppose OUR brother now)is graduating.  So excited to see him walk across the stage - I'm a sentimental one so I love stuff like that.  

Tomorrow after the morning's events we'll head back to St. Louis because we are hosting our annual Christmas party.  I suppose I can call it annual because we hosted one last year as well, except this year is even better, because I recruited a partner in crime to help.  Right now it's difficult to get to the yogurt in my fridge because it's stuffed full of champagne.  

A few of my favorite things this week:

this hairstyle looks easy and adorable

a heck of a deal on some beautiful mint julep cups

my dining room table isn't my favorite right now - i've got a nice inexpensive one picked out to replace it, but wouldn't it be amazing to have a little nook like this?

love this beautiful arrangement for a christmas party, and they have these for a few bucks at Trader Joe's right now!  

finally did this in our bathroom and I'm loving it - our bathtub has ugly blue tile all around it and this is the perfect solution


tis the season - incredible fruit crumble

Before you read on to the recipe for this pan of deliciousness, I feel as though I should let you know that it is a big deal I am sharing this with the universe.  This is my one true, fail-safe, pleases anybody and everybody recipe for the best dessert I ever have and ever will make.  If it's a holiday, it doubles as breakfast.   It can be made gluten free.  It can be made vegan.  It's incredibly hard to believe I found this  recipe in an old issue of Glamour Magazine (article titled "20 things every woman should know how to cook" or something like that...) but I did.  

It's always been sort of my secret recipe, but I got to thinking, why keep secrets?  It's Christmas, and this just screams Christmas to me.  So um, here's my Christmas gift to the internet!  

1/2 cup flour (use bob's red mill all-purpose gluten free flour here if gluten free)
1/4 cup rolled oats (use bob's red mill certified gluten free oats here if gluten free)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt - don't skimp on this, i may even go a tsp.  the salty/sweet thing is the best part about this crumble
10 tbsp. chilled butter or earth balance, cut into small bits
1 cup chopped pecans

4 cups fresh fruit (i like a mix of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, but just peaches, or peaches and blueberries, or just apples would be great here.  okay anything goes, you get the idea.  whatever you do, DO NOT use frozen fruit.  it'll be all kinds of watery if you do.)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
pinch of salt

1.Preheat oven to 375°F. Place first 6 ingredients in food processor and pulse to combine.
2.Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times until mixture has pea-size pieces of butter mixed in. Toss in pecans and pulse a few times to chop. Refrigerate in a bowl for 15 minutes.
3.In a large bowl, combine fruit, sugar, corn starch and salt, folding them together. Place in a round pie dish or 9x9 baking dish.
4.Sprinkle chilled topping over fruit. Bake until fruit is bubbly and top is golden, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving (best with vanilla ice cream!). Makes 6 servings.


wishes & wants/cable knit socks

There are about a hundred picture of cable knit socks like this all over the internet, and yet I seem totally unable to actually find them to buy!  Anyone want to let me in on the secret of who sells these cozy things, or (as i presume to be the case) are people ACTUALLY knitting them??


first world problems

It has been one.  of.  those. weeks.  

Mostly in relation to my car.  Which, to some people, would not be much of an annoyance at all.  I, however, drive frequently if not every single day and pretty much feel like I can't accomplish anything without being able to drive.  

Here's a little breakdown: 

Sunday the 25th I get hit by somebody not looking where they're going in a parking lot.  Car still drive-able, so we move on with life and pray that the insurance company sees reason and calls it their fault.  Still waiting...

Tuesday the 27th I'm driving back from working out of town all day and I get a flat tire.  In a town where there's just been a bank robbery, and the robber is on foot, and he's still not been caught, but sure has been spotted right by where I break down.  I wait terrified with the doors locked until my sainted father-in-law and brother-in-law come to change my tires.  Praise the lord I married into a family with lots of handy men!  

Thursday the 29th I go out to my car and it's totally dead.  I get jumped by my parents a few hours later, because luckily they were in town on business, so then I go to the shop and buy a new tire to replace the spare.  

Today, December 4th, I wake up and my car won't start but makes a funny buzzing noise.  I need a new battery, an oil change, and a new filter.  

Lots of money later (our poor emergency fund...) I think I'll spit on my car if anything else goes wrong with it but I am strangely unstressed.  

I mean, talk about first world problems.  If anything, all kinds of stuff going wrong with my car just shows me how awesome all my people are.  

Because when my car got hit Sunday, Darrell made me hot chocolate and just cuddled with me all night because he wanted me to smile.  
And when my tire went flat Jimmy & Dylan came to the rescue right away, smiles on their faces, and let me sit in the warm car while they fixed it.  
My Mom picked me up for work the next day because she didn't want me to drive on the spare.  
My Dad & Mom jumped my car when it died, and he had no time to have breakfast because of it but he came out anyways.  
My job was just fine with my being late to work today because of my car trouble.  

So I think, for now, I'll just get over all my problems because they aren't really that big.  
I'll realize that stuff happens, and I should just be grateful I could afford to fix the "stuff."
I'll say a little prayer of thanks for all the awesome people in my life.  
And maybe while I'm watching "New Girl" tonight, I'll re-sign up for AAA.  
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