I’m not a huge sweets fan, but I absolutely love to bake. I think its the joy that it brings people when you give them a huge plate of chocolate chips cookies or a big slice of pumpkin cake.
Chocolate chip cookies are one of my all time favorite treats to make. They’re the perfect balance of salty and sweet. This recipe includes extra flour because I like very puffy cookies.
I’m posting my Monday meal just a little bit late this week.
This soup is so perfect for the chilly fall temperatures we’ve been having. It warms you right up. My favorite thing about this soup is that it is not heavy. You can eat three servings and not feel too full. This is probably due to ingredients like ginger and coconut milk.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pot. Add mushrooms, pepper, ginger, and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chile paste and cook for another minute.
Add chicken stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken to pot and cook 1 minute, or until heated through. Pour soup into bowls and garnish with green onion and cilantro.
This recipe of courtesy of Tessa from Handle the Heat. I hope you enjoy!
I’m going to try to start sharing a few of my recipes on here. I love the idea of starting my week off with a great, home cooked meal. I have always loved to cook and it really is a creative outlet for me. It’s also the perfect way for me to de-stress after a day of work.
Tonight I made chicken parm. There is nothing better than cooking a simple meal with ingredients you already have in your pantry.
I used my cast-iron skillet for this recipe. This most important tip I can give you about cooking with a cast-iron skillet, is that you always want to properly heat your pan. I set my skillet over medium heat for 5-10 minutes before I’m ready to start cooking. Once the pan is nice and hot, you can then add your oil.
Next, I crushed up the bread to use for the coating on the chicken breast. I mixed the bread crumbs with a little bit of Italian seasoning and parmesan. I wish I knew moe specifically how much of each but I never measure anything!
When I have chicken breast, I like to slice them in half or butterfly them so that they cook a little bit faster.
I made an easy egg and milk mixture and added a little bit of salt and cayenne pepper. We like spicy food in our house. I dipped each piece of chicken in this liquid and then moved them to the bowl of breadcrumbs. Once the chicken was nice and coated, I added some olive oil to my cast-iron began searing the chicken.
In order to cook all the way through, the chicken needed about three minutes on each side. When I could tell that it was done, I moved the chicken to a plate to rest while I cooked down some cherry tomatoes. I dumped about 10 small tomatoes into my cast-iron and let them blister on medium heat for about 7 minutes.
I then added the chicken back into the pan along with half a jar of store bought pasta sauce. While these ingredients got to know each other, I set my broiler.
Finally, I topped everything with some mozzarella and another sprinkle of parmesan and transferred the whole thing to the broiler for about 8 minutes.
In my opinion, the finished results were not only delicious but also very pretty. You know what they say! Our phones always eat first.
Below you can find a list of ingredients and simplified instructions. Enjoy!
I’ve been wanting to write about our engagement for a while. Mainly because I am a memory collector and I always want to be able to peek back into this part of my life. It truly has been the sweetest time of my life so far. I am getting ready to marry the love of my life!
Quentin and I got engaged on December 16th, 2017, seven months after we graduated. We met at Rockhurst University in the fall of 2013.
It was truly the most perfect proposal. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better day.
That morning, I went with my mom and sisters to go and get my nails done. I was a little bit suspicious but my mom did a really great job of throwing me off. I got my nails painted Christmas-y red. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year.
That afternoon we got dressed and ready to head down to Top of the Rock (one of my all time favorite spots in the Ozarks). My parents, Paige and John-David all left about 20 minutes before us to go pick up John-David’s friend Joey.
30 minutes later, I was starting to get stressed. Claire was taking so long to get ready. I was beginning to think that we would miss our reservation. We finally left the house and just as we got to the highway, Quentin realized that he left his wallet at home. I was so frustrated! We were definitely going to miss out reservation.
Little did I know that Q was timing everything perfectly. We finally arrived at Top of the Rock. It was a beautiful, unseasonably warm December night. The sun was just beginning to set over the lake. Quentin and I strolled around looking for my family who had beaten us there.
We walked out on a patio with a stunning view of Table Rock. I realized that no one was around. Somehow, we were the only two people around. We took in the view for a few quick minutes. It was enough time for me to realize what was about to happen. I turned towards Quentin who was getting down on one knee.
He pulled the ring out from under his shirt. He drove the entire way to Branson with the ring hidden in the armpit of his sweater! Haha!
He said a few things that neither of us can remember, but I’m sure they were so sweet. And then finally the words, “Will you marry me?”.
I burst into tears and feel onto my knees. I was wearing huge shoes and was worried that I would trip from excitement. Quentin pointed up to a balcony above us. His family had traveled all the way from Kansas City to celebrate with us that night. Both families had a perfect view of the proposal. It was the best night of my life.
We had dinner in a small, secret room. You had to enter through a false bookshelf! I remember not being able to eat. I’ll never forget the feeling of gratitude I had that night; celebrating with the people I love, cozy in a small room lit by the fireplace.
We are getting married on June 15, 2019 at the same church where my parents were married 27 years ago. Quentin, I cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives together!
Reading is one of my favorite past times. There’s nothing better than, for a few hours, escaping to someone else’s world.
For the past few years I have been keeping a running list of which books I’ve read throughout that year. It’s fun to look back on each one. It almost serves as a little time machine into who I was in that small phase of my life.
One of my favorite weekend activities is going to Half-Priced Books and browsing the clearance section. One time I left with 10 books for just $30.
Sharing with others is a such a huge part of who I am so I thought that I would release my lists out into the world.
If you have any book suggestions send them my way!
The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of year. There is nothing better than the pure joy that fills my heart when the season rolls back around like an old friend. So much joy in fact, that sometimes it can be hard to stop and enjoy- truly savor the most important aspects of Christmastime.
Tonight I felt that I had a lot on my plate. Which is silly because I only have 2.5 days of work until I get to head home for a (much needed) 11 day break. I needed to clean up my apartment, do laundry, cook my self a healthy meal, make a packing list for home and wrap up any last minute Christmas shopping (no pun intended!!), all while trying to soak up every wonderful drop of Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas in the glow of my Christmas tree.
I decided I had to make a choice. I could either allow myself to continue to be overwhelmed the rest of the evening, or I could prioritize and focus on staying calm. I don’t know about you, but the first thing I want to do when I’m feeling stressed is to curl up under my king-sized heated blanket and watch about 10 episodes of The Office.
I made a list that looked something like this:
By being intentional with my evening, I was able to accomplish the tasks that I needed to in order to feel prepared for my trip home. This created the time for me to enjoy a Tank 7 and write this blog post 🙂
I hope this quick read can serve as a reminder that the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, as long as we don’t pressure ourselves to get everything done perfectly.
Have that glass of wine, watch The Santa Clause for the 3rd time, and indulge yourself in the cheesy Holiday novel. Your sanity, and your family will be grateful!