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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

NEWS FLASH

News update!

(Yes, I am still alive!)

We are moving to Texas!!!

And you can follow along with our last weeks in Chicago, my attempts at becoming a Texan (my husband has a leg up on me; he lived there for several years!), and our new adventures in the realms of possible puppy parenting, hopefully homeownership, and general fun.

Texanification

The blog doesn't look particularly pretty right now, but I think it's worth documenting these next few weeks--I'll have plenty of time later to beautify the site!

xo Katie

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Easiest dinner ever!


Last night, my mom and dad swung by the apartment to pick me up on the way to go watch Bryan play in his Ultimate Frisbee league.



Bryan has played since college, and he plays with some friends every summer. This was the first game of this league in which I'd gotten to see him play, but I also saw him play in a beach tournament earlier this month.

I love cheering him on, and it was awesome to have my parents there too, who had never (I think) seen an Ultimate Frisbee game before. Luckily, Bryan played pretty well, and their team won handily.

(Photo credit to my dad!)

The bad news? The game ended around 8:30, and the field where they play is fairly far away from our apartment. Normally, when the game ends, Bryan takes public transportation home (about an hour and a half trip for him), and I have dinner waiting for him when he walks in the door. But last night, since I'd been there cheering and watching, I started making dinner around 9:15 (thanks to Mom and Dad for giving us a ride home!).

Usually, this wouldn't be a big deal, especially in the summer, but for anyone who follows me on Twitter, you know that I was running on about three hours of sleep. Yikes!

Luckily, I tried a new product that made a flavorful, healthy, and completely easy dinner possible--quickly!


When at the grocery store earlier in the week, I was intrigued by this little box, hiding out near the salad dressings:



It's a pairing of a sauce to add to chicken, and a salad dressing, combined to make an easy meal.

And oh man, these sauces were GOOD!



Twenty minutes of sauteeing the chicken later--well, plus a few minutes of assembling the salads--and the meal was ready. We shoved it down with barely any words, except to talk about how good the sauces were, watched a Breaking Bad episode, and promptly passed out in bed.

There was only one other flavor I saw at the grocery store (Caesar salad dressing and peppercorn--I think--sauce for the chicken), but this one definitely looked the best out of those two. It was quite yummy, and it quickly added a kick to our late night meal last night. Recommended for sure!

(Disclaimer: I am in no way being sponsored or asked to write this. I just liked it so much!)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Serving Sizes

We are going to The Dark Knight Rises at midnight tonight.
But though I am on summer vacation, my poor husband has to be at work at 7 am tomorrow morning.
So I bought one of those PF Chang’s Meals for 2 for something quick, easy, and cheap, so we could have dinner at about 4:45, then sleep for several hours before getting up to head to the theater in plenty of time to secure popcorn and good seats.
Our kitchen smells so good right now, but seriously:
In what universe is this a full dinner for two people?
I feel like this happens to us regularly. We make a recipe that says "Serves 6," planning on having leftovers for the rest of the week...and we eat the whole thing! Or we buy a prepackaged frozen meal or something like that (shocking--I'm not a perfect-homemade-dinner-cook-housewife all the time!) and, like is currently happening, Bryan downs his serving in a solid three minutes and stands in the kitchen eating a banana or cereal or sandwich.
I can't imagine what's going to happen when we have more than just two mouths to feed!
Anyway, time to finish my serving so we can curl up in bed before our movie showing! I can't wait to see it--and I promise not to spoil it!

Does this happen to anybody else? Any of your favorite recipes that you know you have to double?
Is anyone else going to see The Dark Knight Rises tonight--or this weekend?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Italian Meatball Sliders

Now that I have this meatball recipe under my belt, I will certainly add meatballs to basically every dish I ever make. Even if it doesn't really make sense.

Because they were so simple, and this method of cooking them is way easier than anything I've ever tried before. And so yummy! For such little bites, they were packed with tons of flavor.



I adapted a recipe from a fairly recent issue of Cooking Light--but, I will admit, I didn't use every light ingredient that they called for.

Italian Meatball Sliders
adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients:
*1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs (one of my favorite discoveries since I started cooking!)
*1 1/2 tablespoons minced basil (though the recipe calls for fresh, I only had dried)
*1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*approximately 12 ounces of ground beef
*1 large egg
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*a dash of garlic powder
*a dash of onion powder
*12 slider buns or small hamburger buns
*cooking spray
*12 slices of mozzarella cheese
*1 cup marinara sauce

Directions:
Preheat the broiler to high. (This was my first time ever broiling something, and I will definitely use it more often! Even our temperamental oven cooked these meatballs flawlessly!)

Combine the bread crumbs, the basil/garlic/powders, the salt, the ground beef, and the egg in a large mixing bowl. Mix it well so that the ingredients get evenly distributed throughout the beef. I wanted to make sure to avoid one ball combined solely of garlic and bread crumbs, so I spent a little extra time on this. It paid off!


Form the mixture into 24 delightful little meatballs, and place them on a broiler pan that's been sprayed with cooking spray. The original recipe called for splitting the beef into 24 equal parts first to make sure that it gets divided evenly, but I thought that sounded pretty redundant, and I did a pretty good job just by eyeballing it.



Slide them in the oven and broil them for about three minutes or so. When time's up, take them out and turn them over. Stick them back in for about two minutes or until they're as done as you want 'em to be.

Put two little meatballs on each set of the bun bottoms. Put a cheese slice on top, and broil for about one minute, or until the cheese is melted.


(I really diverged from the recipe here, because I wanted to get the tops on too, so I broiled them as complete sandwiches, missing only the marinara sauce, which I ended up putting on top of the sandwich. It wasn't as messy as I expected it to be, and I loved having the cheese really melt into the bun and the meatballs. )

Then, take them out, and top with the bun top and the marinara sauce--either in the regular order or in my crazy order of things! Either way, it's delicious!!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Our First Anniversary!

Our wedding anniversary is July 3, and this year, to celebrate our first year as a married couple (and our exit out of newlywedhood), we adventured to Arizona for a nice little vacation.

We started by exploring Scottsdale...in crazy heat! However, the blood orange margarita I had at dinner was perfectly refreshing!





The next morning, we headed up the long drive to the Grand Canyon, stopping to hike around a volcano...




...and some ruins...


...before we reached our final destination.


We imitated some Native American drawings...



...and forged our own path away from the crowds.




We did some more walking and exploring...



...before driving back to our hotel about an hour a way (so much cheaper than the hotels right near the canyon!).

Bryan set his alarm for 3:30 am the next morning, and I reluctantly made the drive back to the canyon to see the sun rise. It was completely worth it.


On our way back to the car, we made some new deer friends.


I also embarked on my first ever real hike--about a mile and a half down into the canyon, then back up! It was crazy, and I'm so proud of myself for doing it. (Although my back wasn't too pleased with me!)


It was truly breathtaking to see the Grand Canyon from a different perspective. I couldn't believe that we could look up and see the walls of the canyon!

We then got on a shuttle bus to take us to some of the other sights along the way.




Wiped out, we headed back to the hotel to relax and grab some dinner. And by dinner, I mean pie. We had pie for dinner.


The next morning, we headed to Sedona, one of the most beautiful places I have ever, ever visited. We started our morning with a hike up Bell Rock.





We then had a super lazy rest of the day--napping, hanging out around the hotel, swimming in the pool, driving around downtown and grabbing some prickly pear ice cream...



We then headed to our actual anniversary-night dinner at one of the fanciest resorts, where we took this picture in the perfect light. You probably can't tell because it's so small, but we're holding one of our wedding photos!





The next day, on our way back to the airport, we stopped by Montezuma Castle to see some more ruins.


And now we're back, settling back into our summer routine.

I can't believe it's already been a year since we walked down the aisle. One of the things that we said in our vows was that we promised each other to make "I love you" mean a little more every day. It's one year later, and I can honestly say that those three words mean way more now than they did last July 3.

We've had some amazing times and some rough times, but overall, it's been a fantastic first year of marriage.

We have the words "Let's keep it up" engraved on the inside of our wedding bands. And that's absolutely the best phrase I can use to describe how I feel thinking about our first year of marriage and heading forward into the future.

Let's keep it up!

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