Easter Happenings

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!!!ย  I sure did! I ended up sticking around school and celebrating the holiday with the boy and relaxing.

Easter is such a wonderful holiday that often gets overlooked.ย  The happenings of Holy week and Easter are incredible, and I started the day with a run reflecting on the holiday and what Jesus did for us that very weekend. INCREDIBLE!

After my run I got all fancied up for church (I forgot to take a picture, but I can guarantee you would have been blinded by my legs… first dress of the season!) Then I refueled with some cinnamon raisin bread w/ peanut butter and chia seeds with a side of apple sauce

We headed to church and then went home to make our Easter dinner! But first we exchanged cards and Easter baskets!

I got him an iron skillet (I know weird, but he wanted one, and so did I. BONUS) which we ended up using to cook Easter dinner! He bought me a pressure cooker… can you tell we like to cook together ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s a keeper!

I quickly got to work on dinner, because both of our stomachs were growling quite loudly!

Sauteed green beans and mushrooms

Mashed Potatoes

Cast Iron skillet, used for his steak

His plate

My plate

It was a great meal and we had fun preparing it and eating together, celebrating the day! I may have eaten about 20 pieces of candy…..

I did some homework and may have napped…. okay I napped a lot, I blame it on the sugar coma.

It turned out to be a beautiful day, so we decided what better way to end the day than with a bonfire in his backyard!

And you can’t forget the smores!!!!

But, we didn’t have any chocolate so we had to improvise a little bit

I had my marshmallow inbetween two chocolate chip cookies

He used M&M's

It was a wonderful day! Filled with fun, way too much chocolate, and relaxation!

Which smore would you go with?

My favorite is classic a smore with PB on the graham crackers!

Secret ingredients

I am ready for all this gloomy weather to be done with. I need me some sunshine! We have had a few warm days here and there but this past Friday it was 32 and sleeting. This is after a day of sun and 72…

beautiful sunset after a warm spring day!

Now that you have the weather report for the northeast, we can move on.

I much prefer ‘summer’ foods to ‘winter’ foods… well when we get right down to it I just prefer summer to winter.

Summer food are so much brighter and prettier!

I love me lots of sunshine,ย  warm weather, sandals, sundresses, sweaty runs, birds chirping, grilling outdoors, the whole nine yards….. why didn’t I choose to go to school in the south again?

Summer makes for a prettier background too ๐Ÿ™‚

Well this past week I had, had enough of this rainy cold weather! I thought just maybe if I made a summery dinner I would feel warmer and maybe just maybe the weather would warm up, for good.Well I think it worked….. It’s been pretty darn nice all weekend long! Want to know the secret ingredients?!?!?

Open-faced Buffalo Burgers w/ mushrooms and cheese with a side of garden pasta salad!

It started with some veggie pasta

This stuff is tasty!

Lots ofย  veggies

I added the two together with a lovely sauce from this book

I’ve been meaning to make some dressing from this book for awhile there are some great recipes!

I decided on a light vinaigrette, it was quite tasty!

I made this in the afternoon, so that it could chill and ‘marinate’ before dinner….

I may have had a bowl or two for lunch ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was great with some fresh mozzarella chopped up and mixed in!

When dinner time rolled around I got to work on some mushrooms

Then the buffalo burgers! I love buffalo meat, but it is so hard to come by! My mom snagged these for me at a farmers market in Washington D.C. Thanks mom!!!!

The final dinner was delicious!

Garden Pasta Salad

1/2 box tricolor pasta

handful cherry tomatoes, quartered

5 baby carrots, diced

handful green beans, trimmed and halved

1/4 cup white beans

2 garlic cloves

Basil

Oregano

Vinaigrette

Adapted from: Cookery Classics- Cooper Wellness Program

2 TB olive oil

4 TB red wine vinegar

1 TB dijon mustard

1-2 TB lemon juice

1 tsp sugar

Black pepper

Salt

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions on box

Chop veggies and lightly saute in olive oil, add garlic and saute until fragrant

Prepare dressing in a separate bowl, whisk ingredients together

Drain pasta, add veggies, add dressing, and mix in herbs

Make this dinner soon, and hopefully warm weather will be on its way soon!!!

What foods remind you of summer?

Fresh fruits and veggies

Light vinaigrettes

Anything grilled

It’s Playtime!

Spring has just about sprung, school is almost out, and it is time to have fun! I am totally ready to unwind from the semester, it has been the most stressful one ever!

I’m known to get way in over my head with stress and am constantly stressing myself out even more than I should about anything…. school is the number one but I stress about the small stuff too.

As school is winding down I feel as though a load has been lifted off my shoulders and I finally feel myself. I’m happy, carefree, and silly once again ๐Ÿ™‚ That also means I’ll be blogging a TON more!

Andrew has been the biggest trooper this semester, A+ for him, and his patience!

This is a philosophy I swear he lives by! He actually unwrapped this lovely Dove chocolate wrapper and handed it to me the other night as I was finishing that last of my big assignments for the semester. I immediately laughed, because that is exactly how we are! We are ALWAYS making each other laugh, always playing pranks on one another (I’m usually the victim, but I still think it is funny), and he is constantly sweeping me off my feet by the little things he does to show his love for me. Aka twirling me around while holding my hand, randomly starting a game of tag around his house. He is one of a kind, and I’m sure glad I found him ๐Ÿ™‚

Sorry to get all mushy gushy, but it just makes me happy and I wanted to share.

Love doesn’t always have to be serious, Life doesn’t always have to be so serious.

We are supposed to have fun

We are supposed to take rest days

We are supposed to relax on the couch and eat our weight in popcorn sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

We are supposed to let loose, and not live every second by our planners

Sometimes you just need to put all plans aside and live in the moment.

I hope everyone takes this Easter weekend to unwind, relax, and just be with family!

” He has already arranged the events of your day!” – Jesus Calling<– How freeing is that to those of us who like to plan!?

WE don’t have to, because he already has!

What are you Easter plans?

I am staying at school and making Easter dinner for Andrew and I

Mushroom, Spinach, and Feta Risotto

School is almost out!!! I’ve calculated that I have 5 more days of classes, 2 assignments, and 3 finals until I’m running head on into SUMMER BREAK!! That being said I am currently trying to use up the things I have been stock piling in my cupboards for the last year or two…. aka pastas, rices, and other things that I always like to have on hand, but never really eat that often. I found a half opened bag of risotto this past weekend, and given that I had an almost finished bottle of white wine in the fridge I knew I had to make some!

First of all, when don’t these three ingredients taste amazing!

I started out sauteing some onions and mushrooms

added little of this

Favorite wine right now, sooo good!

then added some chicken broth and water, a little at a time

And then let it simmer, and I stirred, stirred, stirred….. I think I got my strength workout for the day

So much so that I had to take time for a mid cooking snack ๐Ÿ™‚

Love almonds!

And before I knew it, it was lunch time and my risotto was done just in time!

You better believe I ate this for lunch and dinner the day that I made it. The risotto paired perfectly with Sweet Italian sausage and Italian bread baked in the oven with Greek seasoning and olive oil! Perfect Italian meal, if I do say so myself!

Mushroom, Spinach, and Feta Risotto

1 tsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 container slice mushrooms ofย  choice

1 cup arbario rice

1 cup white wine

4 cups chicken broth

3 cups water

1 tsp basil

1 tsp rosemary

Salt and Pepper to taste

3/4 cup frozen spinach (or your could use fresh)

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large pot, with onions and mushrooms. Meanwhile combine water and chicken broth in a sauce pot and heat on low. Saute until onions are translucent, then add the rice and saute until translucent. Add wine and cook until the liquid is cooked off, then add (chicken/water), 2 cups at a time. Stir mixture often while cooking. Continue adding liquid and cooking off while stirring, until the liquid is almost gone, then add spinach, feta, and spices. Stir until combined and enjoy!

What is your favorite combination?

Feta, spinach, and tomatoes OR Hummus and balsamic!


Randomness

Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a pretty random person. I can be talking about school work one minute and then hiking and nature the next (see, random example).

I am totally the girl who takes way longer than it should to actually get a joke, the boy says I have my initial laugh that is timely with everyone elses laugh and then I have my real laugh, the one that occurs once everyone else is done laughing and I actually get the joke.

I often burst out into random song and/or dance. (its a treat when you get both)

AND I am always the one who always has a weird facial expression in a photo that everyone else looks nice in…..

Exhibit A

The boy likes to play along in my our randomness

The point of all that is to say….. this is going to be a random post…. I’ve been a little MIA, so I wanted to show you a bit of what I have been up to lately!

LOTS and LOTS of school work!

LOTS of school work

Source

Planning a vegetable garden for the summer

We are also planting tomatoes (3 varieties), corn, rosemary, watermelon, and pumpkins!

Planting the seedlings for our garden ๐Ÿ™‚

Finding and eating lots of delicious ‘quick’ foods, when I don’t have time to cook (aka: all this past week)

Sooo soo good!

Lean Cuisine Mac and cheese <-- best "healthy" mac and cheese topped with steamed kale, and TJs grilled chicken

Sauteed chicken breast with pinapple, teryaki sauce, and some spices!

Enjoying left overs

Pizza topped with sauteed kale

Leftover seasme tuna and rice from being out with the parents (I added teryaki sauce and pinapple to the rice) YUM!

Trying new things!!

Oats in a Jar!!! Ive seriously been missing out! In the mix: oats, milk, mashed banana, chia seeds, all cooked in the microwave and added to almost empty TJ organic PB jar!

Kombucha..... still not sure how I feel about it.

Real garlic bread..... roasted garlic on top of italian bread with olive oil, salt, and pepper

A little snap shot of my week! I could post so much more, but I will spare you all!!! This post is long enough!

SUPER delicious recipe to come tomorrow!!!

I hope you all are having a relaxing and blessed sunday!!!!

What new things have you been up to this week?

All the above….. trying new dishes and planting a garden!!

Banana Oatmeal Flax Cookies

 

I have tons of bananas in my freezer just waiting to be baked into something wonderful. I decided to sacrifice a few yesterday in order to make these fabulous cookies! It has been a long week and I still have a paper and an exam remaining for Monday, so obviously cookies are in order. In order to celebrate that the week I’ve been dreading all semester is finally over, and in order to power me through this last little stretch! So I obviously had to make some power packed cookies!

 

 

 

The only thing that might make them better are some dark chocolate chunks, but all I had on hand were some semi-sweet morsels, but chocolate is chocolate right?

 

I had made Christina’s Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip cookies awhile back and LOVED them! So I decided to base these cookies off of her recipe with a few modifications. You see a month or so ago my mom gave me some Flax flour, and I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to do with it for weeks now. So I decided why not, today is the day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry for the extreme color difference in my photos, I’m still working on figuring out my new camera, and the weather couldn’t decide whether it wanted to rain or be sunny every 5 min.

 

Banana Oatmeal Flax Cookies

Adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

 

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup flax flour (or whole wheat)

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 small- medium mashed ripe banana

1 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

8 ounces semisweet morsels

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.

In the bowl mix bananas, butter, sugars, vanilla, and egg.ย  Add flours, oats, baking soda, salt and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. The batter may be a funny color if you use the flax flour, because it is much darker than whole wheat.

Drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and just set, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets on wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy!

 

I hope you all are having a fabulous weekend! It finally feels like spring here!

 

What are you weekend plans?

Paper writing, studying for an exam, and hopefully a hike tomorrow!

 

 

I think I can… I think I can…

I feel like a little choo choo just chugging along, this is the longest week ever! I have so much work to do and so many exams to study for I think my head may just explode! I feel so disconnected from the blog world, because I haven’t had time to catch up on any of your blogs. It is okay though, I am getting it all done and still for the most part remaining calm, because there is only a month left of school! This semester FLEW!

I wanted you all to know I am still here and getting it all done! I thought I’d leave you with a quick dinner recipe that I threw together tonight, perhaps you should try it on your next busy night. On second thought, don’t wait, just make it!

 

 

Protein Pasta with Kale, Beans, and veggie sauce

Protein Pasta or favorite pasta (I used wegmans pasta plus)

2 handfuls of fresh chopped kale

1 tsp olive oil

3/4 can of dark red kidney beans

1 jar garden vegetable sauce

cooked frozen shrimp, thawed

 

Directions:

In a pasta pot bowl water for your pasta. While that is boiling and the pasta is cooking, throw some olive oil and the kale in a medium sauce pan and let the kale wilt. Add jar of sauce and beans to kale. Thaw shrimp and add to sauce pan as well. Let simmer until heated through and pasta is finished to your liking. Drain pasta and pour sauce/veggie mixture over top. I topped it with some feta cheese, because I had a tiny block left, it was a nice touch.

 

Sauce sans pasta

 

You can make this with or without the shrimp, I always keep them on hand because they are a quick and easy protein source but this pasta would have been fine on its own as well!

 

 

 

 

The boy surprise me with these beautiful flowers to brighten up my week! I LOVE tulips and flowers in general! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

I have a jam packed weekend of studying and paper writing, but I promise to be back soon! I hope all are having a wonderful week!

 

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17

 

What is your favorite kind of flower?

Tulips!