Tuesday, November 30, 2010


After checking out one of Iowa Girl Eats Stir Fry meals, I couldn't wait to make it. After all of the heavy eating from this past weekend (Thanksgiving, Andrew's birthday, and road trip food), I couldn't wait to make something that's main ingredient was vegetables.

But before we get started.... This is a mess. I can't take it anymore. I'm usually such an organized person! Tomorrow, I'm heading to Wal-mart and soon this messy cooking/baking/spices cabinet will turn into a kitchen dream.

Ok. Let's get going! Chop up some veggies. I just used what I had on hand. Water chestnuts, carrots, green pepper, mushrooms, and broc.

Make some rice. Mine took about 20 mins to boil and fluff which turned out to be the right amount of time to make the veggies tender.

Before I move on, let's talk about this genius little thing I picked up at Trader Joe's. Crushed garlic in a jar is my new best friend. This should be a staple in ANY kitchen.

Heat up a small amount of olive oil and crushed garlic in your wok (aka my pot).

Add your veggies. I didn't put the mushrooms in right away because mine came from a can. If you have fresh mushrooms, now would be the time to include them.

After it has heated up, add 1/2 cup of broth. Iowa Girl Eats used chicken broth. I only had beef broth on hand, and I think it worked out nicely.

Steam (maybe 5 mins or so), add mushrooms, serve, and gobble up! (Please don't mind my overly late Thanksgiving pun)

Friday, November 19, 2010


I know, I know... It's been a long time since I have done one of these. Thankfully, I was able to snatch some older pics from my parents house!

Sarah K. and I before heading out for a night on the town. I miss how random we were. Really? Facial hair? Odd. 

Me, Mikey, and Chris. Easter - 1989. Chris - Please don't tell me we got rid of those glasses. I bet you were the coolest kid on the block. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Today was a good reminder to be thankful for the job that I have. It was a crazy day!

I felt like I was being pulled in a million directions with an ever growing to-do list. This afternoon as I was talking to a coworker, I changed my whole attitude about today. I realized that alougth it might have been stressful, it sure was interesting. There is always something new and exciting happening! And I am so ever thankful!

The other day was probably one of my favorite days. Not only did we get to go to Trader Joe's for the staff meeting (my boss is the coolest!), but I got to be a witness for a baptism of the cutest little boy. He had such an interesting story and his life will be changing dramatically over the next couple of days. His story touched me and his current family has inspired me to do great and wonderful things to help others.

I want to give a BIG thank you to all of my coworkers, my supervisors, our volunteers, and everyone who has said a kind word to me during my time here at the church. You are all so very wonderful! At the end of the day, it isn't necessarily what you do but how you make others feel. I have to say that I am blessed to be around people that are supportive, positive, encouraging, kind, and happy! THANK YOU!

The pictures in this post are some pictures that I took at the church over the last couple of days for our new website. I can't wait to show it to you once it launches! Yippee!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I think Andrew was a little hesitant about this recipe. I'm sure the whole time he was thinking "Where is the meat?". I got this recipe from the blog, For The Love of Cooking. Her recipes are not only unique, but they look so delicious!

Vegetable Pie with a Zucchini Crust
Recipe by Lori Smith

4 zucchini, shredded and patted dry with paper towels
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups of mozzarella, divided
2 tomatoes, diced
1 green pepper, diced
4 oz of mushrooms, sliced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded
4 basil leaves, chopped
Dried oregano, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a casserole dish with cooking spray. - Ok, so I totally forgot to spray the bottom of the pan. Oops! Also, I need to invest in large casserole dishes. I do not recommend using the 9x13 like I used.

2. After you grate the zucchini, pat it dry with a few paper towels, removing as much moisture as possible. She is not kidding. DO this to the best of your ability. I was hunger and impatient - another oops. I think next time I will grate onto a towel, pat dry, and then let it continue to air dry for a bit.

3. Combine the zucchini with the eggs and 2 cups of mozzarella. Push the zucchini firmly into the casserole dish, forming a crust. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, if desired. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

This is what happens when you are impatient.
4. After the zucchini has baked, layer the casserole with green pepper, mushrooms, green onions, tomatoes, fresh basil, and finally top it with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the top with dried oregano, to taste. - I used all my moz cheese in the crust and instead topped the casserole with some colby-pepperjack. If I were Emeril, this is the point where I would say BAM!

5. Place into the oven and bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Clean up your mess, you slob!

6. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy. - She isn't kidding here either. Enjoy this! It's good!

I think I would def. make this recipe again! But maybe add some chicken next time....shhh, don't tell!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Last week, I was reading one of my Pen Pals blog post (good idea Brittni!) about thankfulness and thought I would join in. I think November is the perfect month to remember all of the things that bless us in our lives. So every Thursday this month, I will be making a post about something I am thankful for.

I feel very fortunate to have good health. Having good health is something I take for granted most of the time. I don't exercise as much as I should. I don't eat healthy all of the time.

Over the years, my body has been very good to me - very little illness and no major surgeries. My body is strong and enables me to not only do daily tasks, but it also allows me to do some things I didn't even know I could - RAGBRAI!

I think it's about time I return the favor. I was looking at some pictures on a blog I follow from a recent marathon. In the background, someone was holding a sign that read "One day, you will not be able to do this. Today is not that day!" How inspiring!

What are some things you are thankful for?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I feel like I haven't done much "wedding" stuff over the last couple of weeks. But, I'm still way ahead on every to-do list that I can find so that's a plus.

In my original budget, I had originally decided on fabric flowers that we could make to replace real ones and hopefully cut down on costs. But after doing some research on bulk flowers, I think I will do yellow roses in the milk glass vases. Who knew Sam's Club had such good deals on flowers?

I'm still undecided about what to do for the bouquets. There are so many choices. And they are all so expensive!

Last weekend, Andrew and I had our engagement pictures taken in Ames. I LOVE the sneak peak pictures Cassie has already posted. You can check them out here! I can't wait to see how the rest of them turn out!

Cassie is an awesome photographer, and I would recommend her to anyone! You can check out her whole portfolio here.

This weekend, I'm hitting the shopping scene with my sisters, Mikey & Lindsey, to hopefully hunt down their bridesmaid dresses. I'm so glad they wanted me to go with them. I'm sure we will have a lot of fun! And maybe I can finally get them to California Tacos... YUM!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Although I'm officially from Nebraska now (at least that is what my license plates say), I'll always hold a special place for Iowa in my heart. Here are a few of the CUTEST Iowa finds on etsy. And in case you were wondering, I will be putting one of each on my wish list.

1. Iowa Cutting Board

2. Bag made from Malone's Seed Sack- Atlantic, Iowa

3. Des Moines Artcrank

Monday, November 8, 2010


Sometimes I think I follow too many blogs, but there are some I just cannot part with! Today, I'm going to introduce you to a few of my favorite food bloggers. These are the people and blogs that I turn to when ever I'm in a bind. Don't know what's for dinner? These people always have the answer!

1. Iowa Girl Eats

2. Our Best Bites

3. The Food In My Beard

4. For The Love of Cooking

5. A Year of Slow Cooking

Because I love to cook so much (and I'm sick of just drooling over their creations), I will try to make a recipe for one of these sites every week! If you know of any other blogs, please let me know! I'm always looking for new reads and eats. I think Andrew is going to like this little project...