Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Happy Monday Everyone!

I’m kind of dragging today so I’m glad the first day of the work week is over and done.  I had a nice and relaxing weekend, so I should have been a little more upbeat today, but that just didn’t happen.  Steve and I spent most of our weekend watching Dawson’s Creek episodes and enjoying the nice weather.  We actually never watched the show when it came on over a decade ago, so it’s been fun jamming along to the awesome ‘90’s soundtrack and reminiscing about our middle/high school dances and generally just feeling very old.  I’ve also learned that I definitely want to name my first born son Pacey.  Not only does it rhyme with my name, but I (and dare I say Steve too) have a major crush on Joshua Jackson’s cute-as-a-button character, and the name Pacey is just so fun.

We got our CSA from Atherton Market on Saturday and along with the usual veggies, we picked up some homemade butter and a gallon of strawberries.

I haven’t used the butter yet but I’m interested to see how differently it tastes than the much less expensive butter we normally buy from the grocery store.  I’ve been eyeing the butter for a while now but have been put off by the $4.50 price tag for a half pound since that’s what we normally pay for a full pound of organic butter at Earthfare or Trader Joe’s.  I like that I can talk directly to the farmer and find out about the cows environment and diet, and I was finally swayed to try it out when the farmer told me about how the cows were grass-fed and led a super happy life.  I admit it, I’m a sucker for buying eggs/milk/butter, even if they are more expensive, if I can know for sure that the animals are happy and treated well.  I’ll probably continue to buy butter from the farmer’s market regardless of the cost.  Maybe it will encourage me to use less butter and voting with my dollars and supporting local businesses is always a good thing in my book.

On Sunday afternoon, Steve and I went to see The Five Year Engagement so that we could snatch up the cheaper price of the matinee ticket.  I remember when movies used to be $7, and now a regular showing at our local movie theater is $10 or $11 (hey, that’s over a pounds worth of farmers market butter!).  Being the poor couple that we are, we went to the 1:00 showing and got in for $7.50.  It’s always a bit odd coming out of a movie theater in the middle of the afternoon.  There’s just something inside my brain that expects it to be night time when I leave so I wasn’t ready for the blinding sun when I stepped outside.  The movie was awesome, but then again, we both love anything with Jason Segal in it.  I generally love going to see a comedy with Steve because he pretty much laughs at everything and always laughs significantly louder than anyone else in the theater…yeah, he’s that guy, and I love him for it!

I did a bit of baking and ice cream making this weekend too.  I made whole wheat snickerdoodles, which were okay, but not nearly as delicious as they look in the picture.  I need to try them again before the recipe is post worthy.

I also made some whole wheat banana nut muffins since my bananas were about to go bad.  The most delicious item of the weekend was the strawberry ice cream that I made from the gallon of strawberries we bought at the farmer’s market.  A gallon is a lot of strawberries, so we’ve been in strawberry heaven all weekend, and I’m actually munching on a few as I type this (my keyboard is turning a nice shade of pink).

This is the first time I’ve made strawberry ice cream, so I do have a few changes I’ll make next time around.  This ice cream was really good right out of the ice cream maker, but once we froze it overnight it was frozen solid and nearly impossible to eat without sitting it out on the counter to thaw for 15-20 minutes.  Steve says that it’s probably due to the water content in the strawberries, so next time I’m going to drain the juice from the chopped strawberries and just pour in the actual strawberry pieces.  We still have some strawberries left so I think I’m going to try out a recipe I found that uses coconut milk and roasted strawberries (this should take care of the water excess issue).  I’ll let you know how it goes but in the meantime, here’s the recipe I used for my first shot a strawberry ice cream.  You’ll notice that the recipe uses maple syrup instead of a refined sweetener like sugar.  I used this Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker where you make the ice cream in a freezer bowl.

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food

Ingredients:

– 3/4 cup heavy cream

– 3/4 cup full-fat milk

– 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (add a tablespoon or two more if you like your ice cream on the sweeter side)

– 15-20 fresh strawberries

Directions:

1. Combine the heavy cream, milk, and maple syrup in a measuring cup and mix together

2. Chill in refrigerator for at least a few hours

3. Chop strawberries according to how chunky you like your ice cream

4. Pour the milk mixture into your ice cream maker, then add the strawberries (if you’re eating your ice cream right away, pour it all in.  If you plan on freezing some for later, strain some of the excess juice out of the strawberries)

5. Once the ice cream reaches your desired consistency, turn off the machine and enjoy.  For me this took about 15-20 minutes

I was too excited about the yummy ice cream to try to snap a good picture, so hopefully this picture will entice you enough to give it a try!

I think that’s all for the day, especially considering I came home to this note:

And here’s what I found:

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Stacy Eats: Tales of CSA Cooking

One of my favorite blogs is Kath Eats Real Food where she basically takes pictures of her breakfast, lunch, and dinner and blogs about it three times a day.  As silly as it sounds, it’s actually given me a lot of inspiration in the kitchen, and good for Kath because she gets paid to do it (seriously, her blog is her job, how awesome!).  Our dinners were pretty simple this week so instead of blogging about the recipes, I thought I’d just share pictures of some of our eats for the week.  We’ve been getting a huge bag of veggies each Saturday from our CSA, so it’s fun to open the fridge and make dinner out of unique local veggies that we normally wouldn’t buy at the grocery store.

Mixed Green Salad with Homemade Croutons, Candied Pecans, Sunflower Seeds & Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Sauteed Kale, Onion, & Scrambled Egg Sandwiches/Pitas

Lemony Swiss Chard Pasta with Parm & Toasted Walnuts

Veggie Fried Brown Rice

Strawberry Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

We still have some beets and kale to use before we get our fresh bag of produce tomorrow, so I’m thinking of trying to perfect kale chips and maybe making some red velvet cupcakes with the beets (you can’t taste them, it’s just a way to make the cake red with using food dye).

My favorite dinner of the week was definitely the strawberry salad.  I’m so happy it’s finally strawberry season, and even though I’m going broke buying an extra pint or two a week, they were certainly a tasty addition to the salad.  I figure this salad was too delicious not to share, so the super simple recipe is below.

Strawberry Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

For the vinaigrette:

Mix 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon mustard, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and a clove of minced garlic in a bowl.  Slowly stream in 1/2 cup of olive oil and whisk until the mixture thickens.  Add salt and pepper.  Store any leftover dressing in the fridge.

For the salad:

Toss the dressing with the salad greens.  Top with toasted walnuts and strawberry slices and enjoy!

And of course a food post wouldn’t be complete without a couple Socrates begging photos:

Two Memory Projects: Wedding Idea & Daily Calendar Journal

If you asked me what I did last Friday, you’d probably have to stare awkwardly at me for about ten minutes while I racked my brain to figure out what in the world I was doing a week ago. I admit it, I’m horrible at remembering things, big or small, and that’s part of the reason I started this blog. I can remember big life events pretty well, but when it gets down to the details, I simply just forget (maybe I need to eat more blueberries –aka brain food, or something). Luckily my friends and family are pretty good a remembering things, so they fill me in whenever I need a little extra hint. Lately I’ve been trying to take a few more pictures in an attempt to at least document the memories in a series of images, but I’ve also created a few more memory keepers along the way that I’m going to share with you today.

Wedding Ceremony “Love Letter Box”

Wedding Photos by Fresh Photography

The idea came about when Steve and I were brainstorming about the unity part of our wedding ceremony. We’d seen many weddings where the bride and groom lit a candle or poured sand into a vase to represent “coming together as one,” but we both had a few worries about those ideas. I had nightmares about the wind at our outdoor wedding blowing out the candles mid ceremony or having the vase of sand spill or break while we were out of the house and coming home to find Socrates finishing up a gritty, memory filled meal. After doing a bit of research and finding some unique ideas ranging from tying an actual knot to broom jumping to a salt and water ceremony, we finally stumbled upon an idea of a “love box” and sat down to put our own twist on it.

Here’s how it worked:

Steve and I wrote love letters to each other before the wedding, saying why we were getting married, what we loved about each other, and all that sappy stuff. We had a very talented member of our family make us a beautiful wooden box that was perfectly fitted for a bottle of wine, two wine glasses, and our letters. The box was placed on the altar before the ceremony, and already had the wine and glasses in it. The love letters were residing safely with the maid of honor and best man.

During the ceremony, the minister told everyone about the love letters that we had written to each other and about the wine and glasses that the box held. He explained that if we were ever having trouble in our marriage, before we did anything drastic, we would need to sit down and open the box, pour ourselves a glass of wine and read what we wrote to one another to remind us of why we wanted to marry in the first place. We hope to never have that problem, so he also explained that we will open the box on our 50th wedding anniversary. The thought of opening that box with Steve as a little old married couple in our 70’s is the reason I fell for this idea immediately. As a surprise, our parents also wrote letters to us that they put into the box before the ceremony, so when we do open the box, not only will we have the love letters that we wrote to each other, but we’ll also have the words and memories from our parents letters.

Okay, back to the ceremony – once the minister explained what we were doing, we took the letters we’d written from our MOH/BM and placed them in the box and that’s where the symbolic gesture came into play, just like you get with the unity candle or sand. After everything was in the box, we took a nail and hammer and nailed the box shut – basically sealing the deal :). Being the not-so-handy-girl that I am, it took a while for me to nail my part and after an extended amount of time and giggles from our friends and family, I finally had to have a little help from my almost husband and we eventually got it nailed down.

This part of the ceremony was one of my favorite things about our wedding and it’s nice to know that we have a little piece of our younger selves to look back on when we get all old and wrinkly (but still cute!).

A Lazy Persons Daily Memory Journal

Adapted from Design Sponge

I’ve tried what seems like a dozen times to write in a daily journal to have a keepsake of my thoughts and adventures over the years, but it never fails that after a couple of entries my interest fades and it becomes one of those awkward yet highly amusing things that you find years later while digging through a closet. I love writing about news or food or adventures, but writing about feelings and deep inner thoughts just isn’t my thing (and I generally remember feelings more than actual events anyway). So that’s where this project comes in; pretty much the lazy girl’s version of a daily journal.

I cut up some index cards and used a date stamp to make a card for each day of the year and separated the months with cut pieces of pretty paper I found in my desk drawer. Each day I write a few words (really, like 5-6 words max – hello, easy!) about what I did, things like “had lunch with mom” or “went slacklining with Steve.”  Next year on today’s date, I’ll start on the next line of the same card and write 2013 along with something I do that day. It doesn’t really pay off much in the first couple of years, but once 3-4 years pass, and eventually even 20 years, it will be such a treat to reminisce about what I did on that day however many years ago. It’s an easy project to make and requires 10 seconds at the end of the day to jot something down, so that’s definitely a worthwhile memory saver in my book.

This is also a great gift to give at a wedding or baby shower. I actually put a box together to go along with the Crayon Monogram Frame that I gave to friends of mine and their sweet baby boy. It’s a nice way to document things for babies since they learn and do so much within those first years, and how awesome would it be to be a 16-year old kid filling out your card for the day and looking back to see that on that day 14 years ago you potty’d in the toilet for the first time or something (okay, maybe I’m just weird).

So, those are a couple of ways I try to compensate for my lack of a good memory. What about you, do you have any fun ways of saving your memories?

And one more wedding photo, just for good measure!

B is for Brody: How To Make a Crayon Monogram Frame

While trying to tackle the hugely messy task of organizing pictures on my computer, I came across a few shots of the crayon letter frame that I made a friend of mine for her baby shower.  It’s always hard to personalize a baby or wedding shower gift since the couple normally creates a registry of things that they need, so I was excited when I saw a few ideas on Pinterest that used the crayon monogram as a gift for a teacher.

Inspiration from Disney Family Fun and The 3 Rs Blog:

  

I thought the crayon monogram frame would be perfect for a baby shower gift, and would make a nice personalized addition to the registery items that I’d already bought.  Clothes, blankets, bottles, and toys normally make up the bulk of what you see on the gift table, so I thought having something that they could use to decorate their sweet little baby’s nursery would be quite useful.

It would have been nice if little Brody would have been named Logan or Isaac, because the curves of the “B” really made cutting the crayons a challenge.  I opted to cut the crayons on a slant so that the curves of the B would be crisp (sort of like the first inspiration picture from Disney), but it would certainly be easier to cut them straight across (like the second inspiration picture from The 3Rs Blog) and just space them out to mirror the curves of the letter.

Steve actually helped me a lot on this project, as I get frustrated easily, and once we finally perfected the process for cutting the crayons, the project went much more quickly. Here’s how we did it:

How To Make A Crayon Monogram Frame

(insert picture)

Supplies:

– Letter printed (or drawn) on piece of paper (size depends on size of your frame, we used a thick 8.5 x 11.5 paper)

– Picture frame

– 1-2 boxes of crayons (depends on how particular you are about the color crayons used)

– Super glue (or a glue gun, we just aren’t that fancy)

– Blow dryer

– Serrated knife (we used a bread knife)

Instructions:

1. Print (or draw) your letter on a piece of thick paper.  Make sure the font size you choose fits with the frame you’re using and keep in mind that the size will be different if you’re using a matte in the frame.

2. Arrange crayons over the letter so that you have an idea of how the crayons will line up and how long or short you’ll need to cut your crayons to be proportionate to the frame.  If you’re creating a letter with curves (like B) and want a clean crisp look to the inside of the letter, use a pencil to trace the curves onto the crayons – this will represent where you’ll cut the crayons on a slant.

3. Start with the straight line of your letter.  Cut by scoring each of the crayons, one by one, all the way around with your knife (don’t just try to cut straight down) and then snap in two.  This will give you a clean edge.  Only use this technique with crayons that you are cutting straight across (not on a slant).

4. As you cut, line your crayons up to mirror the printed letter, don’t glue yet!

5. For the curvy parts of the letter, use your pencil marks as a reference on where to cut (this is really tricky – just double and triple check to make sure things line up before cutting).  Using the blow dryer, heat the knife for 20-30 seconds.  Once the knife is hot, cut the crayon in line with the pencil markings, sawing back and forth for a clean and crisp cut.  Line up the crayons as you go to make sure you’re getting a clean and even curve.

6. Once all of your crayons are cut (for our project, that meant about 3 days later!), start gluing the crayons together from the bottom of the letter and work your way up.  I glued mine in three sections – the straight line of the B, the top curve, and the bottom curve.

7. Once your crayons are all glued together (or glued into a couple of sections), coat the back with super glue and transfer to the paper.  Let dry for a few hours before standing the frame up to admire your work!

Creating the crayon letter was definitely a lot more work than I thought it would be, but it’s such a fun project and sentimental gift idea.  I did leave a bit of room at the bottom for Brody’s name, and I actually printed it out on the computer since I can’t write in a straight line to save my life.  Brody’s room was also painted a neutral color with different shades of blue accents, so I painted the frame a dark blue to give it a little extra color and make it pop when hung on the neutral wall.  I really want to make my nephew one for his room, and I even have all the supplies ready to go, it’s just that his name is Jake and those darn curves still haunt my dreams!

This would also be cute to make with buttons, like this one from Spearmint Baby , and would make a great DIY wedding gift.  I’d really like to make one for Steve and I to hang up (of course our last name would have to start with a “B”) and use buttons in a chevron or ombre pattern.

It’s been a while since the shower, and little Brody has now been welcomed into the world.  I’m sure he is enjoying his crayon letter as he naps in his cozy crib.  I’ll leave you with a picture taken by Defining Grace Photography that is sure to be “awwww” inducing, and I’m pretty sure he’s dreaming about all the work his Aunt Stacy (and Uncle Steve) put into his awesome nursery art.

Hey Girl…

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

The weekend went by so quickly, and since Steve had to work the majority of it, I found myself lounging around the house devouring the third book of the Hunger Games series.  I read the first book on the Sunday after the movie came out.  I was so tired of hearing people talk about it that I decided to jump on the bandwagon and see what all the fuss was about.  Needless to say, I read the book that morning and then went to see the movie that same night.  It. Was. Awesome.

And I also enjoyed finally understanding (and laughing hysterically) at some of the Hunger Games parody creations that are lurking around the web.

I think I read the second book in a couple of days, and I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I started and finished the third book, Mockingjay, all in one day.  It may sound silly, but I get very anxious when I read, especially if it’s a really good book, so I pretty much sit in one spot and read the entire book, just so I can know what happens at the end.  The downside of this is that I’m so ready to find out what happens that I sometimes skim over some of the pages.  I do go back and re-read just about every book (some several times), which Steve thinks is really strange, but it gives me a chance to read slowly and soak in the details since I already know what happens anyway.  Weird, I know, but it works for me!

After Steve finished work on Saturday, we went to see a bike race that was happening Uptown.  It’s some sort of criterium where about 200 professional cyclist participate.  The top prize for the women’s division was $25,000 and the top prize for the men’s was $50,000, so I was really bummed that I didn’t bring my cruiser bicycle along and get in on the race action.  That $25,000 sure would have been nice, and I could totally ride 25+ mph while racing 3 inches away from the other bikes (kidding, I can barely pedal in a straight line).

If you watch the video below, just excuse Steve’s small slip of the tongue at the very end.  We were sitting on the edge of the street while filming, and he somehow knocked his water bottle onto the street where it proceeded to roll towards the race path.  Luckily all the bikers had just passed; otherwise Steve would have had the pleasure of being responsible for a major bike crash via water bottle.

The next day we indulged in our Sunday breakfast tradition: Belgian waffles.  Waffles are my favorite because you just dump the batter into the machine and go lounge around until you hear it beep.  No pancake flipping (aka – burning) for this girl.  I also can’t get over the fact that our waffle maker cost an enormous amount of money, so using it as much as possible helps to validate the purchase.

Socrates waiting patiently for his breakfast

I whipped up a batch while Steve was out walking a few miles with a 50-pound backpack on (seriously, the guy is crazy), and surprised him with some homemade blueberry syrup to add to our waffles.

While recovering from our waffle coma, Steve blurted out this beauty: Hey Girl, I wish I were a tangent and you a parabola so that I could lay beside your curves.

It’s okay, you can be jealous of my awesome husband.  I love that he incorporated our love of Ryan Gosling (that’s right, our love, not my love, Steve pines over his strong jaw line and raw sexuality too) as well as his impeccable calculus skills to form the funniest/dorkiest Hey Girl! line ever.

I really wanted to put up a shirtless picture of Steve with his Hey Girl line written on it, but since I would like to spend the rest of my life with a husband that talks to me, I figured that wasn’t really a good idea.

Steve had to work that afternoon, so I tidied up the house, browsed online for patio furniture (love this set from Target), and essentially became the personal pillow of a little bichon named Socrates.  I think he is quite possibly the most snuggle-loving dog ever.

When Steve got home, we scanned the fridge and brainstormed possible dinner options.  We settled on making pesto pasta since it seems like we have parsley growing out of the walls.  Unfortunately, I can’t say that my pesto was the besto, but it did make for an…interesting dish.  Steve and Socrates gobbled it up, but I’m not sure if it was the pesto made with parsley instead of basil or the texture of the mung bean noodles that I wasn’t used to, but it just wasn’t a hit for me.

Clearly Socrates didn’t share my opinion, he attacked the bowl before I could put it on the floor:

Since I was still hungry and didn’t feel like cooking dinner 2.0, we headed down the street to our local bakery to grab dessert (triple chocolate cupcake for me, orange hazelnut scone for Steve, lots of sad begging puppy dog expressions for Socrates).  While sitting in the car enjoying our treats, Steve decided to try and distract Socrates from his get-some-or-all-of-their-food mission by rolling down the window and letting him stick his head out.  It worked!  Socrates was enjoying the breeze and joy of hanging his head out the window and we were left enjoying our treats without his sad eyes lurking up at us.

All was peaceful (and sugary), until Socrates decided in a split second that he wanted revenge for our anit-sweet sharing attitudes.  He jumped out of the window and bolted towards the road full of oncoming cars.  After having a minor heart attack, Steve and I jumped out of the car just in time to see Socrates getting distracted by a bush right before the street.  In the time it took him to grace the bush with his presence, Steve was able to chase him away from the cars and back into the parking lot where I demonstrated some ninja moves to scoop him up and return him back to car confined safety where we immediately implemented a no-open-windows-unless-holding-on-to-the-crazy-dog rule.

Have a good week!

Double the Delicious: Two Recipes with Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter

I’m back with two posts in two days.  I guess things are looking up, or shall I say, looking productive.  After professing my embarrassing level of love for my new food processor in yesterday’s post, I decided to use the maple cinnamon almond butter I made to make a couple of chocolatey treats.  Let’s face it, nut butter + chocolate = the best combo ever/love/God’s gift to us as humans (Sorry Socrates, no choco for you).

I’m basically drooling all over the computer while trying to upload these pictures, so let’s get on with the recipes!

Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter Cups

Adapted from Edible Perspective

These almond butter cups are the fancy, adult version of your typical Reese’s.  They are made with dark chocolate, so obviously they are healthy, and the almond butter is homemade, so you shouldn’t feel bad about sneaking a spoonful (or ten) while putting these little pieces of heaven together.  Yield: 12-15 mini cups

Ingredients:

– One batch of maple cinnamon almond butter*

– One bag chocolate chips**

– 1 tablespoon coconut oil

– Optional: 2 plastic squeeze bottles – I didn’t have these but they would be very helpful in keeping things mess-free and making sure the chocolate and almond butter are evenly spread.

Instructions:

1. Line a mini muffin tin with cupcake liners

2. Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and add the coconut oil.  Heat for about two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chips are melted

3. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the chocolate into the bottom of each liner

4. Spoon a little less than a tablespoon of almond butter on top of the chocolate

5. Top the almond butter with 2 teaspoons of melted chocolate, making sure the almond butter is completely covered

* You don’t really need an entire batch of the almond butter, but having a sample here and there while making the recipe will be a nice treat to break up the monotony of licking melted chocolate off your fingers every few seconds.  Also, you could just pick up a jar of almond butter from the grocery store to use, or be a square and substitute peanut butter.

** I used Ghirardelli 70% dark chocolate chips, but you could use semi-sweet or milk chocolate.  The almond butter is already sweet from the maple syrup, so I definitely think dark chocolate is the way to go.

Chocolate Covered Almond Butter Frozen Banana Bites

Yes, the title of the recipe is a mouthful but these treats are super easy to make and actually taste like ice cream once they’ve  been in the freezer for a few hours.  I was inspired by this recipe, but decided to substitute almond butter for the peanut butter, and add it right into the banana and mix it all up to give off a more creamy texture.  The result?  Success, and a much more inexpensive and healthy alternative to a container of ice cream.  Yield: 2 dozen

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup of maple cinnamon almond butter (or whatever nut butter you have on hand)

– 3 ripe bananas

– 1/2 bag dark chocolate chips

1. Using a food processor, blend the bananas and almond butter together until creamy (you could stir it all together in a bowl, just make sure the mixture has a very creamy and smooth texture)

2. Chill the mixture in the freezer for at least a few hours, you want to be able to scoop it, so it shouldn’t be frozen solid or too liquid-y

3. Line a baking or cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the banana mixture onto the parchment paper

4. Place the banana bites in the freezer and chill for 20-30 minutes

5. While the banana bites are in the freezer, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth

6. Drop one banana bite at a time into the melted chocolate and stir around until fully covered.  Using a fork, gently pick up the chocolate covered banana bite and place it back on the parchment.

7. If you are using toppings, now’s the time to sprinkle them on.

8. Once all the banana bites are covered in chocolate, transfer the cookie sheet back to the freezer.  Once they are frozen solid, about 2-3 hours later, transfer them to a freezer safe container, or just stand by the fridge and eat them all (just kidding, don’t do that!)

These will last a couple of weeks in the freezer, and they really do get better as they freeze longer.

We’re off to a gym-warming party at Steve’s Crossfit gym tonight, so we’ll probably be indulging in leftovers for dinner.  We used a few items from our CSA to make the delicious sandwiches below, and we also have some leftover veggie spaghetti, so I’m excited to eat good food while avoiding the dirty kitchen and sink full of dishes that normally goes along with it.

Sauteed chard, apple, and cheese panini

Have a happy weekend!

Life According to My iPhone

Obviously my three posts a week goal isn’t being met, but what can I say, life got in the way.  Hopefully I’ve gotten over my I-just-want-to-watch-Friends-and-play-on-Pinterest-all-day streak, and after being called out by two people about not posting (seriously, my blog is so popular!), I thought I’d stop being a slacker and get on with it already.

In between watching Friends and pinning things, I have squeezed in a few activities that could actually be described as productive.  Instead of blabbing on and on about my past few weeks, I figured I’d participate in a little “Life According to My iPhone Photos” action (with a little babble mixed in, of course).

In the few minutes it took to sort through my photos, two things became very clear:

1. Random puppy dog pictures seem to be way more important to me than documenting other life events like birthday’s, Easter, etc.

Socrates rocking a fresh cut courtesy of his Daddy.

Socrates enjoys being lazy too.

Watching friends is obviously very tiring.

2. Taking pictures of my food seems to be way more important to me than random puppy dog pictures and documenting other life events like birthday’s, Easter, etc.

French Onion Soup is delicious - especially since I stood over the stove for 3 hours caramelizing the onions.

Cinnamon Honey Popcorn - had to have a snack to compliment all the Friends action going on in the Bentley household.

Lazy Dinner #1 - baked potatoes and veggies

Lazy Dinner #2 - Sweet Potato Wedges & Zucchini Boats

We also celebrated Steve’s birthday – yay 23!

23!

Berry yogurt frozen into hearts and 23's = the lazy wife's way of making a birthday cake

We took advantage of the nice weather and put rocks down on our patio that was starting to look like a jungle.  Now all we need is some patio furniture, which for those of you who don’t know, costs ALOT of money!  For now, if we want to go out there, we’ll just take the “romantic” route and lay a blanket down for a nice cozy picnic.

Before Picture - we had actually already pulled up a lot of weeds by this point, I just never squeezed in a picture of the real "before" jungle.

We were growing onions and didn't even know it.

After - goodbye jungle, hello rocks

We also celebrated our 7th dating anniversary!  Does anyone else think it’s so unfair that you have to start all over in year counting once you get married?  Since it was also Easter weekend, we celebrated our 7th year of being in love (aww!) by meeting Steve’s family for a breakfast at IHOP (how Easter relevent!), and then participating in some other Easter festivities.

This is the only picture we took the entire day. Clearly I need to get my photographing priorities in order. People > Food

Here comes Peter Cottontail!

We celebrated Easter back home with our family.  Of course I forgot the actual camera, so I had to improvise with a few iPhone photos that I snapped here and there.

Pretty much the cutest Easter suit (and toddler) you will ever see!

Whole wheat bread bunny for Jake - he bit off a piece of his foot, and then proceeded to make a face like I had just fed him dirt and then spit it out on the floor. Mental note - children want candy for Easter, not whole wheat bread bunnies.

Dad hiding Easter eggs for Jake

Sweet picture courtesy of Maggie, who is basically responsible for documenting Jake's entire life.

Two things happened this week that have pretty much changed my life.

One, I was gifted with a 12-cup food processor from the Easter Bunny.  Seriously, I could have cried with happiness.  I’ve  been nagging anyone who would listen for the past few months about how much I wanted one, and apparently the Easter Bunny (aka. my lovely mommy) took note…or maybe she was just tired of me talking about it.  I pretty much stole a line from Carrie Bradshaw and exclaimed “hello lover” when first learning that this fine piece of machinery was mine.  I’m not sure if saying this to shoes or a food processor is more sad/pathetic, but what can I say, I love what I love.  I could literally write thousands of words about how excited I am about the food processor, but you probably don’t want to read all that, so I’ll just leave it with a picture proving that even Socrates is excited about our new addition.

Socrates bonding with his little brother, Mr. Food Processor

The second awesome thing that happened this week is not all the continuous spring weather but the wonderful fruits and veggies that have come along with it.  We received our first CSA share of the season this week, and I could have cried again with happiness as I unloaded what seemed like a never ending bag of strawberries, asparagus, swiss chard, kale, lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes, spring onions, eggs, rosemary, parsley and sweet potatoes.  What I love most about getting our CSA each week is that it gives us the opportunity to cook with things that we normally wouldn’t pick up at the grocery store.

Yummy #1

Yummy #2

Yummy #3

Some items on the menu this week include:

– kale chips

– sauteed chard, gruyere, and apple paninis

– caramelized balsamic beets & carrots

– corn tacos with zucchini-radish slaw

I’ve already broken in my food processor by making some maple-cinnamon almond butter that I’m going to use to make a few treats.  I’ll be sure to share the recipes in between my continuous trips to the refrigerator with a spoon in hand to make sure the almond butter still tastes good.

Oh – and Steve participated in Toms “One Day Without Shoes” and came home with disgustingly dirty feet.  Needless to say, he had to crawl up the stairs and scrub those things for a good 15 minutes before he was carpet-walking ready.

See you later!