Monday, May 17, 2010

Make It Work: Squash and Tomato Frittata

Scott and I, in an attempt to save more money, have dubbed one week a month a "Make It Work" week, meaning that we don't buy groceries for the week and instead "make it work" with what we have in the pantry and the refrigerator. Now honestly this has made for some very unusual, albeit tasty, dinners. For instance: broccoli and cheese with stir-fried radishes, poached eggs with tomatoes, pasta with mushrooms and tomato sauce.... to name a few of the better ones.... I am going to start posting our creations from said Make It Work weeks to encourage you all that you, too, can "make it work". One of this week's creations:

Squash and Tomato Frittata

-1 summer squash, cut in half length-wise and thinly sliced
-1 zucchini, cut in half length-wise and thinly sliced
-8 eggs, wisked
-2 scallions, chopped
-1 clove of garlic, minced
-1 c. parmesan cheese, grated
-1 small tomato, sliced
-Tony's Creole seasoning, or any other seasoning you enjoy!
-2 T. olive oil

*Preheat oven to 350
*Saute the squash, zucchini, and onion in the olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over med.-high heat until tender and a bit see-through (about 10 min.)
*Add the garlic and saute for a couple more minutes

*Combine the parmesan and eggs in a large bowl and pour into the skillet

*Cook the eggs as you would to prepare an omelet: take a spatula and gently drag the spatula from one end of the skillet the opposite end, thus separating the eggs and filling in the gap with runnier eggs. This method ensures that the eggs get evenly cooked. Continue this process until the eggs are about half cooked.

*Top the egg and squash mixture with the sliced tomatoes and place in the oven, skillet and all, for approximately 15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked all the way.

*Let cool for 5 minutes and slice like a pizza!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My cousin's wedding

This past weekend, May 8th, was my cousin Clayton’s wedding! In an effort to save some money, Scott did not go with me on this one. I drove a mere hour and a half to Bryan, TX and made the remainder of the trip to Searcy, AR for the wedding with my family. The wedding was perfect J Clayton could not have been more precious; like most grooms, he looked every bit of nervous, excited, and flushed. The women all worked together to help Shamini (his fiance) over the weekend, getting her bride’s cake ready, setting out gifts, arranging cupcakes, cutting cake, putting on the rehearsal dinner, etc. We had SO much fun! The ride there was a hoot. All of the women rode together in my parent’s suburban on the way up; I haven’t laughed so hard for so long in a good while! The five of us were so sleep deprived—it made for some hilarious conversations and memorable quotes! My husband was right, it would be good for me to go on this trip without him because it would give me the opportunity to spend quality time with my family, and make good memories.

The details of these hilarities are too long to type, but because I know my family reads this blog, I should briefly highlight a few just to relive the moments:

-What do you call people from Arkansas?

-The difference between Wal-Marts in Texas and Wal-Marts in NW Arkansas

-My brother and cousin asking complete strangers to empty their pockets in hopes of finding two 1988 pennies

-My uncle saying, in between snores, in his sleep, “It’s cheaper at Nordstrom’s.”

-My mother’s attempt at making the Strawberry Cake look normal, to no avail.

The following pictures were taken from my mom's AWESOME camera. You've heard me woo over this camera before, so I'll spare you. But I will say again, I want this camera. My mom was SO gracious to let me take over the use of her camera for most of the weekend and I got some really neat shots!

I obviously didn't take this one.

My grandfather's hands.

The CDs we made as a gift for the rehearsal dinner guests. I hand drew and wrote 40 of these puppies!

The center pieces at the Texas themed rehearsal dinner!

Geana, Gram, and Pop watching the rehearsal

My mom's sister, Geana, and my mom :-) Aren't they beautiful?

My cousin Clayton's new wife, Shamini (left) and her sister

Me and Momma

There was a large map of Texas laid out on one of the tables for people to sign

Crazy cousins..... Ethan (Clayton's younger brother), Me, and Chase

Shamini's siblings! Sham is in the middle (isn't she BEAUTIFUL?!)

Ethan and Clayton


The groom. Isn't he handsome!

You may now kiss the bride!

My brothers and I

The wedding cake stand was borrowed from one of my aunts and Shamini covered each box with a gorgeous jewel-toned fabric and ribbon! My mom arranged the cupcakes and placed the little vase of roses on top.

My mom and Gram made Clayton's groom cake: This is the famous and OH-SO-GOOD Strawberry Jello Cake. Despite this cake's wonderful, sweet, creamy, strawberry taste, it NEVER and I mean NEVER looks "normal". This picture is very deceptive. Proceed to the next picture to see my point:

Behold: The strawberry cake in it's true form. If the icing isn't hopelessly drooping from the layers, the layers themselves are..... well.... hopelessly drooping.

Momma and Gram cutting the groom's cake

Every last piece was eaten!

Daddy and Momma

Sending them off with bubbles!

After the wedding: Daddy and my brothers. I LOVE this picture :-)

My brother, Jim. I adore this picture :-)

Aunt Geana, making her way down Bubble Lane


I got to stay with my cousin, Ashton, during the time I was there and I SO enjoyed seeing her again! She is not only family, but one of my dearest and best friends :-) We sang karaoke, visited with her parents, ate good food, and did some fun work-outs!

Me and Ashton!

Well that brings us to this week. Our garden is looking so good! We have two tomatoes growing on our tomato plant, our bell pepper plants have budded, our herbs are thriving, and the green bean plants have created an intricate web of vines with buds spotting the strands. I have plans of redecorating our bedroom a bit, to make it look less like an exact replica of my room in college… Every time I go in our bedroom I think of college, which is good because college was wonderful, but odd because I think of a time when I was 18 and single. The room needs to feel more like it belongs to “us”.

Alright, my fingers are tired! As I’m sure your eyes are….. four posts is a lot to read in one sitting!

Blessings to you all.


End of the Semester, Camping, Weddings

I hope you enjoyed the recipes! They are two that I have been meaning to share with you for quite a while!

Well, as of Tuesday night, I am free of all school obligations!!! Can I tell you how relieved I am?! SO relieved. I think Scott is, too ;-) He said he could tell that I was a lot less stressed. Unfortunately, summer school starts on June 1st, but I am going to thoroughly enjoy these 2 ½ weeks of freedom! Scott and I are celebrating one year of marriage on the 23rd. ONE YEAR. Can you BELIEVE it?? I will do a more thorough post on our one year once it has approached, but for now, I will just give you a hint: It has been WONDERFUL J He is my best friend and I could not be happier.

The rest of this post will be a mere update. I apologize for the choppy-ness that follows….

Scott and I went on an All-Church Retreat the weekend of April 23rd. Destination: H-E-B Camp! The very camp that I grew up going to as a kid because my dad volunteered as the camp doctor there for several years. We met lots of new people and fellowshipped with good friends. Some activities included:

-A beautiful hike that overlooked the Frio River (rightly named: the temperature of the water was 65 degrees! Ah!)

Getting ready to hike!

Our friend, Katie.

-Excellent food prepared by our Art Pastor’s wife, Holly

-Swimming in the Frio River (yes, I actually swam despite the FREEZING temperatures)

My husband, playing King of the Rock

-Praying and singing

It was a much-needed weekend of nature's bounty seeping into my pores!

We carpooled with our friend Brandon and Rebekah. This was a stop we made in tiny-town Texas for lunch. This place was an honorable mention in the Texas Monthly's Top 50 Barbeque Restaurants!

My dear friend from college and roommate of 3 years, Melissa, got engaged a few weeks ago!! I could not be more happy for her. You always wonder who your friends will end up marrying, and you certainly hope it is someone suitable. Well, her fiance is just that. He is very patient, loving, generous, and overall a good man for my Mo J Congrats, Melissa! Love you, honey!

Celebrating with Mo

Speaking of future weddings… The month of May has Scott and I out of state every weekend for a wedding! That’s right, out of state! It started on May 1st, with the wedding of Scott’s dear friend, Travis. We drove to Siloam Springs, AR, arriving VERY late on Friday night, attended the BEAUTIFUL outdoor wedding on Saturday, then turned around and drove the 10 hours back to Houston on Sunday. It was a brief trip, but very worth the time. We enjoy car rides and seeing his college friends was certainly a wonderful reunion J

At the wedding

Okay, more to come in the next post. Don’t want to overwhelm you….

Momma's Strawberry Jam

Recipe: Strawberry Jam
How do you know it’s Summer? Aside from the SCORCHING Houston heat and humidity that makes you feel as if you were in drenching in a sauna after an intense workout….?
A local farm about an hour from Houston has been selling their strawberries in abundant quantities at our local H-E-B, making their sweet, ruby red cuteness practically irresistible! Scott and I took advantage of the sale (2 pints for 5 dollars!) and made my Momma’s homemade Strawberry Jam. It did not disappoint!
-3 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half
-3 c. sugar
-2 T. orange flavored liqueur
-1/2 c. fresh blueberries
-1/2 granny smith apple, finely diced
*Place the strawberries in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven
*Toss with sugar and liqueur
*Bring berry mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often
*Add apple and blueberries and continue to keep the mixture at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally, until the jam reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer. This should take about 25 to 30 minutes.
*Skim and discard any foam that rises to the top
*Okay, you have one of two options at this point:
1. Pack and seal the jam in canning jars, going through the canning process
2. Let the jam cool and place into jars and store in the fridge
Scott and I tried our hand at canning, with success! Since April 18th, we have gone from four jars down to just two....
This jam is perfect on whole grain bread with creamy peanut butter, or on toasted bread with a bit of butter and a glass of milk.

Mango Sorbet On A Spring Day

Recipe: Mango Sorbet
So, when my daddy came to visit us last month, he bought us a huge box of mangos! I LOVE mangos, so I was VERY happy J But, one girl cannot go through an entire box of mangos on her own! So…. What to do with mangos that are very ripe? Make MANGO SORBET. You will NOT be disappointed. The creamy texture of the mango and sweet, tropical flavor combined with the ever so slight tang of the lime juice make for a PERFECT summer treat! The texture of this sorbet is incredibly smooth and silky, dissolving in your mouth like a good chocolate. Have I convinced you yet?
This recipe comes from
-4 mangos
-1 c. simple syrup (see instructions below)
-3 T. fresh lime juice

*Peel and cut the mangos into 1” cubes and place in a blender
*Pour in simple syrup and lime juice
*Blend until smooth

*Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions
To make simple syrup:
Put equal parts sugar and water into a small saucepan over med.-high heat. Stir frequently until the sugar has dissolved and turn the stove off! If you leave this on the heat for too long, it will turn into hard, sticky candy.
I ate this up SO quickly! There is barely any added sugar, so this treat is actually quite healthy, considering its deceptive "dessert-like" appearance!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Two weeks, again.

Apparently two weeks is my norm for updating the blog.... Good news is, tomorrow night is my LAST final! Thank goodness! Followed by two weeks vacation, then back to school on June 1st. Hopefully I will be back to posting at least once a week after Tuesday.

Well, that said, I have to go study but be expecting a full post either later today or on Wednesday!