Saturday, October 31, 2009

What we've been up to this week

As I mentioned before, Tad and I made flags (for flag football) on Wednesday afternoon. We decided we're going to play flag football next week with the youth.

Here are a few pictures of us practicing.I tried a couple of new recipes this week. Here is a double-cheese spinach chicken pizza I made.
And here is a Caesar salad with homemade croutons.
Friday afternoon we had Kimberly (a girl in the youth group) over for lunch. We had a nice time!

Last night we went to the high school football game. It was senior night, so they recognized all of the senior athletes. It was a good game and we had a lot of fun being there!
Tonight is Hallowhim at the church. It is a trick-or-treat alternative for the families of the church. Everyone dresses up and plays games (and everyone goes home with lots of candy!). Tad and I helped set up for it yesterday and will be there most of the evening.

Off to make some lunch!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Angel Rolls

I made half a batch of these little angels on Tuesday... and they are already nearly gone! I promise... I didn't eat all of them. Tad LOVES them (in fact, every time I turn around, another one is missing and he has a suspicious grin on his face). Thought I would share the recipe with you all.

These rolls are a delicious complement to any meal, and are usually best warm or at room temperature. If you use olive oil, make sure you use the lightest kind, designed for baking. I didn't do that this time, so when warm, my rolls have a slight olive oil taste. Still very good at room temp, though!

You will need:
3 c. and 4c. bread flour
2 1/2 tsp. salt
2 pkgs. yeast (4 1/2 tsp.)
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk powder (find it in the baking aisle)
1 cup oil
2 2/3 cups HOT water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix 3 cups flour with all other dry ingredients. Add oil and water and beat just until moistened.

Add remaining 4 cups flour. (May need to add an extra tablespoon or two depending on how humid the day is.)

Turn onto floured surface and knead 4-6 minutes until smooth and elastic.Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out with biscuit cutter or glass.Arrange on an AIR BAKE pan (so the bottoms don't burn).Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes (less if they are small, like these) or until golden brown.These rolls should be served with butter or left plain (but don't you dare use margarine!).
These rolls freeze SO well. Go ahead and make a batch and freeze (in gallon-sized zip bags) what you don't eat in one sitting. As needed, pull out rolls and defrost!

P.S. I just made half a batch of little rolls, and it made 32. I think if you made the full batch and made regular-sized ones, you'd make about 40-couple.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lunch with my hubby

Just enjoyed a wonderful lunch with my dear husband. We had BLTs (well...I just had a BL), homemade steak potato fries, grapes, and sweet tea.

I love having time to spend with my husband right now. Yesterday I got to go to a tennis match with him and support one of the girls in the youth group. This morning I was able to go with him to the church and help get things set up for youth group tonight.

This afternoon I am working on a project for tonight. We wanted to play flag football with the youth tonight, so I'm going to make belts and flags! If all goes well, I'll post pictures later.

As you can see in this picture, I love fall decorations. It is my favorite season, and I just melt over little gourds, things that smell like cinnamon, red and orange leaves, and anything that tastes like pumpkin!

Tad bought me a cute little succulent plant on Monday. It has brought such joy into my life! Amazing how one little touch of green indoors can do that.

So thankful for my loving and caring husband.

P.S. Sorry I was having a problem with the commenting feature. I think I fixed it... leave a comment if you can so I know it's working!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mom's Chicken Soup Recipe

As I mentioned in the previous post, this recipe has always been a favorite of my family during the winter flu season! It's not a difficult recipe to make, and it's the ultimate comfort food!

Start by cooking chicken in a big pot. I used boneless, skinless, chicken breasts to make it easier, but you can certainly cook it with the bone and pick it off later. This is a good time to cook all the chicken you will need for the week. I cooked the chicken I will need for tomorrow night's dinner: double-cheese spinach chicken pizza. Sorry for the gross picture. Chicken just doesn't look that pretty while boiling.Okay. While the chicken is cooking, you will need to prepare the other ingredients.
You can either toss chopped onions (about 1/2 cup) straight into the pot along with minced garlic (3 cloves), or you can do what I did today and saute it first.

After sauteing, it will look like this:When you saute the onions and garlic together, you 1) get to use your new garlic press (hehe) and 2) add a more robust, "feels-like-fall" flavor to the soup. You can do it either way.

Next, cut up about a cup of carrots. I like to use baby carrots because they make cute little discs when you cut them. But you can certainly use big carrots too.Pull out the chicken (leave the broth simmering) and cube it or shred it with a fork. Today I used about two cups of chicken and saved about a cup for the pizza tomorrow night.

Throw the cubed chicken back in the pot and add the onion, garlic, and carrots. Oh, I usually add celery too, but Hubby doesn't like it, so I left it out this time.

Add a little salt and a few shakes of pepper.

Add chicken bouillon to taste. I think I added a few teaspoons today, but you may need more depending on how much flavor your onions and garlic add.

Feel free to add other spices and things at this point too. If I had had a bay leaf, I would have tossed that in at this point (or maybe with the chicken while it was cooking).

Let the soup simmer for a few hours. A little bit before serving, add about 1/2 cup of rice. (Trust me, you'll want to add more, but don't overdo it!) We also like to make this with egg noodles (yum!), but since I had rice on hand I thought I'd use it as much as possible this week.

Serve warm (but don't burn your tongue!) with hot rolls. If you didn't saute the onions and garlic, your soup will probably have a lighter color than this.Enjoy!

Menu Monday

I know it's Tuesday, but today is the first day we've had internet, so I'm posting my weekly menus today instead.

Before I do, here is a picture from our first home-cooked dinner together as a married couple.We made soft-shell tacos with all the fixin's as well as PEACH TEA (made with tea grown at the Charleston Tea Plantation we visited last week).

And here is a picture of the egg-spinach scramble I made for breakfast Sunday morning.
Breakfast: egg-spinach scramble; cran-grape juice; coffee
Lunch: at Tad's parents' house
Dinner: on the road

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and cheese; coffee; fresh pineapple
Lunch: cheese-spinach quesadillas; tortilla chips; salsa
Dinner: marinated and grilled chicken; rice; fresh green beans

Breakfast: eggs in muffin cups; coffee
Lunch: Mom's chicken and rice soup; angel rolls
Dinner: meal-in-one casserole

Breakfast: cereal; milk; toast; coffee
Lunch: BLTs; steak potato fries; grapes
Dinner: double-cheese spinach and chicken pizza

Thursday (meatless)
Breakfast: scrambled eggs; coffee
Lunch: broiled tomato slices; Caesar salad with homemade croutons; apple slices
Dinner: beans and rice; angel rolls

Breakfast: bacon muffins; apple slices; grapes; yogurt; coffee
Lunch: meal-in-one casserole (left over)
Dinner: all-day roast; rice; salad

Breakfast: French toast; coffee
Lunch: baked potatoes; chicken and rice soup
Dinner: Hallowhim (our church's Halloween festival)

There you have it! Tad and I had a great time grocery shopping yesterday (other than the fact that I was starting to feel poorly due to a cold). As you can see in the above menu, I really tried to use similar ingredients all week so we could spend our money in the wisest way possible. For example, we put spinach on our tacos, threw it in our eggs, used it in quesadillas, and will be putting it on pizza and tossing it in a salad! Our first grocery bill was a little high, but I think that was because we didn't have any "staples" (flour, sugar, olive oil, rice, etc.). Hopefully we will be able to do better next week! I did use two coupons, haha. I definitely want to get better at that!

This morning I have been making my mom's chicken soup recipe. This afternoon I might post the recipe for it. It's really easy to make. Mom always made it for us when we were feeling sick (or wanted to keep from getting sick!), so I made a pot today to help fight off my cold.

Today Tad is eating lunch with Pastor Travis and the revival preacher, Pastor Ungar. We missed the first part of the revival but were blessed to be there last night and are anticipating the work God is going to do tonight as well.

This afternoon, weather permitting, we are going to go watch Brittany's (a girl in the youth group) tennis match. I hope it doesn't rain, because I really want to go and I know sitting out in the rain is not the best thing for a head cold!

I'm off to make some angel rolls to go with my bowl of soup for lunch!I love being a wife.

Honeymoon Recap!

We are back from our honeymoon... and we officially live in North Carolina now! We had an amazing time together last week.
Wondering where we went?
Here are a few hints.

Give up?

We spent a beautiful, romantic week in CHARLESTON, SC!

Some of the highlights of our honeymoon are:

-the South Carolina Aquarium, where we saw everything from river otters to penguins

-America's only tea plantation, where we learned how tea is made

-Rainbow Row (pictured above) and The Battery, a GORGEOUS historic home district in the heart of downtown Charleston

-Boone Hall Plantation, where we got to see a beautiful oak-lined driveway (pictured above) and tour the historic home at one of the oldest working plantations in Charleston (and for you movie buffs, yes, it is where part of The Notebook was filmed)

-Middleton Place, another plantation we visited on our last night where we saw peacocks and ate the best meal we had all week!

-Paolo's, a gelato (Italian ice cream) shop we visited three times (and got to meet Paolo himself!)

-Aaaaannnddd.... the best part of our honeymoon, of course, was being able to wake up next to each other every morning :)

We are so thankful to be husband and wife! I don't think I'll ever get tired of telling Tad how glad I am that I married him!

Monday, October 19, 2009

On Our Honeymoon

We are on our honeymoon this week! You'll have to wait until we get back for the BIG REVEAL of our destination! We are having a fantastic time together.
Thank you to all who came to our wedding on Saturday. We felt so blessed by your presence and support.
Please visit our photographer's blog here to see a few pictures from our day!

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