Wednesday, February 19, 2014

spicy thai noodles

hey there. happy wednesday. 

the snow is slowly melting. i only fell in the middle of the street/traffic once. i couldn't be more ready for spring. 

in the meantime, we're eating things that keep us warm. i try not to cook a lot of pasta, but this dish has become a favorite. and for pasta, it's a more healthy route to go. 

one box of brown rice noodles (i order these from amazon: )
1/2 cup oil (sesame or olive)
1 t red pepper flakes
6 T honey
6 T good quality soy sauce
1 heaping T PB2 or peanut butter (pb2 is peanut butter with 85% fat removed. 
it's in powder form and is GREAT)
here she is: 
shredded carrots, cooked slightly (about a cup or more)
green onions (about 1/2 cup or however many you like)
steamed broccoli, optional (about a cup or more, chopped fairly small)
cooked chicken, optional (however much you like)
cilantro (about 1/2 cup or more)
peanuts (a handful or so)

add oil to a small pot and turn heat to high. add red pepper flakes. let cook for 2 minutes. 
strain the oil into a bowl to get red pepper out.
add honey, soy sauce, and PB to the oil and stir. set aside.
bring pot of water to boil then add noodles. cook about 4-5 minutes, stirring gently a few times.
(ok, you've been warned)
drain pasta and immediately pour oil/sauce over pasta and stir. 
add chopped green onions, shredded carrots, broccoli, chicken, peanuts to pasta. 

dish onto plates. top with more cilantro and a few more peanuts. 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

life update. manly street. lola. more.

hello friends,

lots has been happening in our little family lately. here's a little update.

ryan finished residency in june and is a chief resident this year. that's a junior faculty position where he helps with scheduling and administrative stuff for the residency program when he's not on service, and is the attending when he is on service. it's been a great year for ryan. his co-chief is one of his best guy friends...definitely an additional perk to the job! (i.e.: they golf in the office and lead bus tours for applicants and other ridiculous things)

we rented our beloved little corona house for three and a half years, and during that time fell more and more in love with winston salem and our community here. we decided, with lots of peace, that we want to put down some deeper roots here in winston. we figured it would be a good idea to stop paying rent if we're staying a while. our friends julie and cooper let us know that the house across the street from them was going on the market soon. we weren't thinking we'd be that into it, but decided to go ahead and look. we both loved it right away. ryan likes cozy, tree-house feeling places. i like tons of natural light and outside hangout spots. it was the perfect combination of both. the house was tucked up on a corner lot, front porch, back patio, sunroom, lots of cozy nooks, skylights, great windows, tall ceilings, just perfect. we decided to put an offer on it, and that didn't go so well. so we waited. and waited. and figured it was a done deal and that a more perfect house would come along in due time. i ran over to the "dream house" about every day and would crouch down by the stone wall on the side of the house and pray. i remember one day praying, "lord, i really want this house, but i want you more, so please just help me be content with whatever it is you have for us." that was a freeing prayer to pray (mostly. a little scary too). we looked at other houses in the meantime, but always liked the "dream house" and our rental house about a thousand times more than anything else we saw.  about two and a half months went by. out of the blue ryan got an email from our realtor saying that the sellers of "dream house"countered our offer. we giddily went back and forth a few times. they accepted! and wanted to close in 2 weeks.

717 manly st. (before we painted. now the brown is a purplish-gray color)
we closed a couple days before going to the mountains for thanksgiving. we had the house painted, got new carpet upstairs, installed central air, and did a couple other little things. we moved in mid december. ryan's parents helped us reallllllyyyyy clean! and my mom came to help us get settled.

view from our new front porch the day we closed
on december 20th mom and i drove to florida to pick up our baby lola. yes, my mom does love me and tolerates my bad decisions like driving to florida and back in one day to buy a dog when lola just as well could have been flown to us. that's neither here nor there.
the ride home with lola girl

on december 23rd we flew to texas (with the puppy) to be with family for christmas.

january was a month of settling, waking up at night with lola, getting back into the swing of things with work, and getting used to a new home.

snowy kiss
the "dream house" is our house!! i still can't really get over that. it feels like home now, and is really such a gift.

work is going really well for both of us! i love reading instruction, working one on one with students, and getting to know so many wonderful families. ryan is in the process of figuring out the ins and outs of a job for next year. he's going to sign on with a group to do mostly outpatient pediatrics with a little bit of inpatient. he's also training for the boston marathon. and he turned 30 about a week ago.

happy birthday, ry 

thankful for this season of life, for friends, family, a home, a puppy, work, and so much more.

lots of love,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

crockpot chicken enchilada soup

I found this recipe on pinterest, and was a little bit skeptical. It’s slightly adapted from a blog called Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom. I used good quality chicken, and I really think that made it great! The enchilada sauce gives it a nice hint of lime flavor, and the little bit of cream cheese and rice makes it thick enough, but not too heavy. For a cold winter night when you don’t have time to do something fancier, this is a great go-to. J


28-32 oz. low sodium chicken broth (plus about a cup of water)
16 oz. organic air chilled chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts)
2 cans mild green enchilada sauce
4 oz. can diced green chilies
2 T cumin
1.5 T chili powder
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1 t garlic salt
ground pepper to taste (I used about a half teaspoon)

1-2 c frozen corn, defrosted
1 block 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
¾ c instant brown rice

garnish: avocado, cilantro, shredded cheese, and tortilla chips


Add broth, water, enchilada sauce, chilies, and spices to crockpot. Add chicken. Cook on low for 7 hours. Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Put chicken back in, along with corn, cream cheese, and instant rice. Cook about 30 more minutes.

Garnish with cilantro, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and avocado.


Monday, September 16, 2013

happy birthday, David!

I absolutely love birthdays. I love to celebrate, whatever the occasion, but birthdays are my very very favorite. It’s one day a year to make a huge deal about someone, to shower a person with love, prayers, and gratitude for their awesomeness. It’s a perfect day for good food, best friends, great drinks…and cake. I haven’t wished one of my favorite people in the world “happy birthday” in 5 years and although this feels vulnerable, and maybe even a little silly, I decided that it’s time to start celebrating him again. Sixteen days before his 23rd birthday we lost our David. Most people who read this blog probably know or know of David, but in case you don’t, David is my mom’s youngest sister’s son.  He is 9 months younger than me making him my “closest in age” cousin, and therefore a built-in best friend. When his parents died, my parents adopted him, so when I was 12 he became my brother.

Dave, you would be 28 today. If I could have it my way, you’d be coming over for dinner. I’d make you spaghetti and homemade meat balls, we’d have a craft beer, and I’d make you a salted chocolate caramel cake (that’s Ryan’s current favorite and you all are so similar it’s scary, so I’m gonna go ahead and assume you’d love it too), and of course you’d make me laugh until I cried. So much has happened since August 30, 2008…you’ve missed out on a ton. I married Ryan and we moved to North Carolina. I finally have a job I like. Carrie went to grad school in New York, bought a house, and is a dean and literacy specialist at a charter school in Houston…and a badass like usual. Layne is married to Mollie and moving to Dallas soon. Christian is about to finish college at A&M (you guys are also so similar!). I’m going to see Papa & Kitsie in a couple weeks. We put an offer on a house. Life is so full of joy. I wish you were a part of it all.

I miss you from my core and still feel disappointed that I don’t get to have it “my way”, but thankfully I can say with a ton of confidence and peace that God is good and that I know Him in a deeper way now than I did 5 years ago.  It comforts me to know that your body and mind are healthy and at peace now. My hope is that you’re celebrating your birthday in heaven today. Hopefully you have a guitar, mountain bike, and Lord of the Rings series up there…and maybe even some chocolate cake.

I love you! Happy 28th Birthday, David!!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

summer vegetable bake

Thanks to a new CSA-type thing that I joined 
(Homegrown Grocery---> 
and to my friend Nicole's garden, 
I may never have to grocery shop again :) 

Slight exaggeration, but I am so excited about all my fresh, 
local, organic produce, milk, eggs, homemade granola, etc... so fun! 

We're having this vegetable bake for dinner tonight, so it may be risky to post this before I eat it, but what could go that wrong with these ingredients?!

-a couple yellow squash
-a couple zucchini
-an onion 
-a few tomatoes
-2 cloves garlic
-red pepper flakes
-parmesan cheese 

Mince garlic and a little bit of the onion. 
Spray bottom of small baking dish with cooking spray and sprinkle a little bit of the
 diced onion and minced garlic along the bottom. 
Slice zucchini, squash, onion, and tomato thinly. 
Arrange vegetables in pretty rows, using whatever pattern you like.
 I did zucchini, squash, tomato, onion. 
Sprinkle the remaining garlic on top along with some sea salt, pepper, a few dashes of dill and red pepper flakes. 
Drizzle lightly with olive oil. 
Bake at a 400 for about 30 minutes covered. 
Uncover, sprinkle some parmesan cheese (or another cheese if you'd prefer) on top and bake uncovered for about another 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and it looks cooked and delicious. 

enjoy! :) 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

BBQ Chicken Quinoa

This is a fairly quick and very healthy summertime meal. 
It's great for dinner and almost better for lunch the next day. 
You can change it up or add more stuff to it if you'd like. 
Might be good with shredded carrots, peas, tomatoes, etc...

Happy cooking to you:) 

1 cup uncooked quinoa (I used organic white)
about 2 cups frozen organic corn
about a handful of snap peas, cut in half or thirds
about a half of a bunch of green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 chicken tenderloins, boiled and shredded
 BBQ sauce (I used Annie's Naturals 
Organic Sweet & Spicy BBQ sauce from whole foods)

1. Boil chicken 
(bring water to boil, add salt and pepper, 
drop chicken in and let cook for 4-5 minutes. 
remove from water, cool, and shred)

2. Cook quinoa according to package 
(usually 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water. bring to a boil then cover, 
reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 10-15 min. fluff with a fork when done)

3. In a sauté pan at about medium heat add a drizzle of olive oil, 
add minced garlic--watch it so it doesn't burn 

4. Add thawed corn and cook a few minutes

5. Add chicken, cook a few minutes

6. Add snap peas and green onions, cook for a few minutes 

7. Add chicken and vegetables to quinoa and add BBQ sauce  to taste (a little at a time so it doesn't overpower it)

8. If needed add s&p and/or more bbq sauce 

Garnish with cilantro. 


Sunday, March 10, 2013

light creamy mushroom soup

I think by now you know how much I love soup. 
I love mushrooms almost as much. 
I don't love really thick, overbearing soups though...
this one is perfect. 
Even the "carbs-loving" husband of mine asked me to make this again. 
Spring is almost here. 
Try this before it's too warm. 
Texas may already be too late for you. (turn on your AC and make it anyway)

I'll post a fish taco recipe soon to commemorate the beginning of spring. 

2 c mushrooms, roughly chopped 
(use a variety. i used half cremini, half baby bella)
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T butter
1 T fresh thyme (or 1 t dried)
2 bay leaves
1 t worcestershire 
1 c broth
1 T flour
sea salt
1 c fat free half & half
dash nutmeg
ground pepper
fresh parsley or thyme, for garnish

Heat oil in saucepan. Add butter and lightly sauté garlic on medium hear.
Add mushrooms, thyme, bay leaves, and worcestershire. 
Cook about 5 minutes.
Gradually add in broth, stir occasionally until boiling.
Reduce and simmer 10 minutes.
Add flour and stir until it thickens. 
Season with salt and nutmeg. 
Taste and adjust seasoning. Add "cream" and bring to simmer.
Turn off heat. Add pepper and stir. 

Garnish and enjoy :)