Monthly Archives: June 2013

Grilled Flank Steak Marinade

We’ve been on a super delicious dinner kick lately. Don’t look at me! It’s all Joey. The two of us, we make a good pair in the kitchen. Oh, and in life too. 🙂

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Despite the glorious intense heat outside, we love the grill too much to neglect it. I whipped up the marinade and prepped all the food indoors with Gabs while Joey manned the grill. In less than 14 minutes (not including marinating time), dinner was born.

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Maybe it’s because we were both starved? Maybe it’s because it’s summertime and everything is better in the summer? All I know is, we are making this again. And next time, we are having s’mores afterward!

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The marinade was quickly thrown together in about two minutes and not measured, but here are my rough calculations.

-1/3 cup olive oil

-1 TBSP minced garlic

-2 TBSP red wine vinegar

-1/2 cup soy sauce

-1/3 cup honey

-1/2 tsp black pepper

(plus salt and pepper on the steak)

We marinaded the steaks for about a half hour (it’d be even better overnight!) and then continued to coat it throughout cooking. For ultimate yum factor, serve alongside zucchini straight from the garden and roasted sweet potatoes thatsomehowtastelikemarshmallows. I’m not sure how that happened, but they seriously tasted like CANDY. And I like candy.

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Anyways, hope ya like it! I’m writing this post in the evening(now yesterday) and planning to wake up at 4:45 tomorrow(today) am for a early run. I still can’t believe I’m planning on doing it- and the only way I think I’ll follow through is if I make it official on the blog so looks like I’m gonna be taking an afternoon nappy tomorrow! It’s just too hot to go running any later and my jogging stroller has a flat. So… until I pump that up, I go solo and before the Gabby dearie awakens!

Eek!

~M

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Filed under Baby, Family, fitness, Food Stuffs.

Lately

Lately… I’ve been trying to blog, but… life happened! Here’s a couple things that are happenin’ around here and that I’m loving lately.

1. She’s 4 months old, and chock full of smiles and personality. We have the best time together. I just get all excited when I think about how I get to be her mom forever.

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2. My sister-in-law and her family moved here from Texas. Can you say… EXCITED!!?

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3. Gabs got to meet her other cousins this week too.. twin girls and Riley!

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Riley was too busy taking all the pictures to be in a shot- and can you say cutest onesies girls, ever?! Their mom told me she got the outfits here! The twins’ names are Aubrey and Avery- Aubrey and Gabs couldn’t stop holding hands. BFF’s already!

4. This nail polish makes me happy.

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5. I thought maybe whitening my teeth this morning would fool my dentist into thinking I am a fanatic about flossing. I was sorely wrong (no pun intended). Don’t question my logic please.

6. I need these.

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7. And Gabby needs this outfit.

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8. I had a WAY amazing birthday ( I don’t typically put huge emphasis on my birthday but this year was AWESOME!) and so I needed some chic thank-you’s to send to my peeps.

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9. You guys all know my obsession with s’mores- so you know I’m obsessed with these!

Enjoy your summer! I’ll be back tomorrow with the best flank steak marinade I’ve ever had.

~M

 

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Filed under Family, Fridays, Uncategorized

Happy 24th Birthday, M!

Happy Birthday, Mon!
I am so happy to be one of your sisters. You are one of the most Godly women I know and you set such a wonderful example for me, Lindsey, and your baby girl, and many others I know. Philippians 1:3 says I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Paul talks in his letters to the Philippians about his thankfulness to them for their help, to talk to them about his circumstances, and to unify and humble them as well. It’s so important to have people in our lives that do this for us, and I am blessed to have M as a confidante and support. I love you, sis, and I hope you have an amazing day today 🙂
Love, K

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Homemade Nut Butter

Who in the world falls asleep while a food processor is whirring in the same room??

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My daughter, that’s who! This girl can nap anywhere- she gets that from her uncles. This morning I woke up and was going to head out for a run bright and early, but my tummy needed some fuel first. I popped some Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread {the stuff is ah-mazing.} in the toaster and rummaged around in my fridge for some crack almond butter to spread on it.

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None left. The horror!

So, I made some. The timing wasn’t quite right, as the toast took about 45 sec and the nut butter took about 25 minutes, but its totally worth cold toast to make this stuff yourself. I even added some pure maple syrup to give it that extra wow factor and make me feel better about pushing off my run until 10 am.

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You can really use any nut you prefer, and toast them before processing to add some extra depth. You could add syrup & salt like I did, as well as cinnamon or vanilla! The possibilities are endless. It’s really more of a technique than a recipe- just dump a few handfuls of almonds into a food processor and let er rip. Add the extras a little later in the game and just let the processor do it’s thang for about 13-15 minutes. I followed HEAB’s instructions!

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My favorite has always been maple almond butter. It’s so worth it to make it yourself, as raw almonds are $14 for 3 lbs at your local fruitstand, whereas a small jar of prepared almond butter is $7! Yikes. You could make a gallon of almond butter from a 3 lb bag of the raw ones!

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Your choice. Just give your food processor a few minutes to breathe every now and then, otherwise it could get tired and quit. Not that that happened to me or anything… 😉

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Enjoy your Thursday!

~M

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Father’s Day

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Ah, man. These two just make my heart pound.

It’s hard to describe your love for two people at the same time, one whom I’ve known since I was 14 and the other I’ve known for 112 days.

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All I know is, Joey has taken my heart and kept it. Since he became the daddy of our little Gabs, somehow that has made me love him even more. Knowing that our daughter will be the apple of his eye for the rest of her life does something for my own heart, and gives me a settling feeling of utter contentment and joy.

That is a gift that will make all the difference to her, and I am so in love with my husband for giving her that gift. God gave Gabs and me a good, good man.

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Happy Father’s Day to my best friend and man o’ the house.

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~M

P.S. Also, a very Happy Father’s Day to my own dads. I love you all, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without each one of you.

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More Almond Butter, please

Well, lets start with the good news!

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I’ve been working on improving my average pace and sub 8 minute miles have been a goal for a while now- Joey watched Gabs for a bit this morning so I could leave the stroller behind. I don’t mind running with the stroller, but sometimes it’s nice to run & be able to move my arms!

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I was back around 7:30 and now we are awaiting the Internet guys to come fix us up. Until then, let me tell ya- Gabs is getting sooo big. And loves to talk. And loves to have her cheeks squished. And loves stories & songs. Actually, sometimes she sings along!

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Not sure she’s a true fan of baking yet, but we’ll get there. Apparently the dish soap seems more fun so far- maybe she’ll volunteer to do the dishes? For now, you can just enjoy your pretty little reflection, pumpkin.

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She sat with me in her Bumbo while we whipped up a batch of scones a few mornings ago- my little sister was staying with me for a couple days while Joey was in Washington D.C. for a dairy politics trip, and I wanted to wake her up to the smell of something delicious. Is there a better way to wake up, I ask you??

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Linds didn’t think so, either. These scones are so flaky and melt-in-your-mouth that its hard to tell that they are pretty low-fat in the scone world. Ok, maybe I just tell myself that to condone having one with almost every meal, but hey- I ran fast this morning ok?

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Check these out and tell me what you think! Only thing I’d change about the recipe is to add more almond butter, please!

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What’s your favorite way to wake up in the morning?

~M

Whole Wheat Almond Butter Scones

Ingredients
1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 stick COLD butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3/4 cup almond butter (original recipe called for 1/2 cup)
1 bar (chopped) Dove dark chocolate (original recipe called for 1/2 cup choc chips)
Optional: 1 TBSP butter’ melted with 2 tsp almond butter for brushing on scones

Make your own healthy buttermilk!
Mix 3/4 cup almond milk with slightly less than 1 tbsp lemon juice. Let sit for 5 min before using!

Directions
Preheat oven to 400, and grease a large cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cut the butter into chunks and put into flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it looks like pea-sized chunks. You want the butter to stay as cold as possible, so touch it with your hands as little as possible! The colder the butter, the flakier the scones.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter milk and 1/2 the egg (half the white, half the yolk) until combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry flour mixture and add the almond butter. Mix til incorporated, and add chocolate. Mix but don’t over knead!

Pat into a large circle on a floured surface and cut into 8-10 triangles .

Bake for 18-22 minutes and enjoy warm!

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Filed under Coffee, Favorite Things, fitness, Food Stuffs., Fridays

Coffee Date and Les Misérables

Sorry for M and I being more absent than usual. We are both experiencing some technical difficulties with our Internet, so we are communicating on this blog 100% via our phones. I thought I was tech savvy til now. Ha! We’ll see how this goes.
Mom, Linds, M, and I have decided to do a book club this summer and read Les Misérables ‘together’. We have all seen the old movie, most of us (everyone except me) have seen the new movie, and none of us have read the book. Coming from a family of ‘the book is always better than the movie’, this is kind of illegal- so! We are reading. And discussing. And the first discussion was so cool!
For any of you who do not know the story of Les Mis- Jean Valjean is a good man who served 20 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. He is released from prison, but cannot find honest work anywhere. Valjean receives mercy from a very humble and truly godly bishop only to be pursued for the rest of his life by a so called ‘godly’ man named Javert.
Since this was the first meeting, we got sidetracked sitting outside Starbucks just catching up on each others news and also got into a conversation with a man walking by who was telling people about the mission he is running for men and he asked what Les Mis was about. After mom explained it, he said,’ it’s kind of like a parable isn’t it? An earthly story with a heavenly message.’ And it’s true! The first chapters cover nothing but how the bishop came to be such a disciple of Christ, and such a humble man, and we each had different views of it but we were all amazed at how this man chose to have absolutely nothing in order to give everything to those who needed it. Made us reevaluate our needs and wants a bit. Funny how ‘stuff’ we think we need and ‘stuff’ we think will solve all our problems can get in the way of doing what God has planned for us.
I think this book reading and discussing is the start of a really good thing…can’t wait to see what we learn next!
😉
~K
P.s. a man walking down the sidewalk with two 7 week old pit bulls allllmost had Lindsey convinced she’s an animal person. Allllmost.

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Filed under Books, Coffee, Family, Favorite Things, God, Pets

Goat Cheese Brie Stuffed Mushrooms

Goat cheese Brie, bacon, and rosemary. These flavors belong together. Ill begin with that. The mushrooms were so delish. and Girls Wine Night was so fun 🙂 there was so much good food, good wine, and good conversation so I would definitely call it a success.
We had a wonderful range of yummy-ness to choose from: fruit pavlova, ‘crimp’ salad, chocolate covered strawberries, avocado/salsa bruschetta, pasta salad, and crackers and cheese.
Even though I’ve just had dinner, writing this makes my mouth water. I also now want to try my hand at making meringues! If you’ve never had pavlova, try it. I don’t know if the recipes vary, but this one began with meringue made into a bowl with fruit fruit and whipped cream in it. Delectable! All of us girls had a hard time not snooping all evening until we decided that snooping is totally okay and calories don’t count on wine nights. So next time I think I’ll recruit M to make me some of those cookies….
Wow. I have got to stop thinking about food now. Girls night is over- so calories count again. 😥
Make these mushrooms!!!!
~K

Goat Cheese Brie Stuffed Mushrooms
-two boxes whole button mushrooms
– 1 small wheel goat cheese Brie
– a couple (6/7) strips of thinly sliced bacon
– about a tablespoon of rosemary
– about 2 tablespoons minced garlic

Preheat oven to 350. To prepare mushrooms, pull out the stems and arrange in a baking dish upside down. In each of the mushrooms, put a bit of the garlic in the bottom. Then, on top of the garlic, put a good pinch of the cheese. Then sprinkle some rosemary on top! Once this part is done, set the mushrooms aside to start the bacon. Fry the bacon so it’s good and crispy. Then break the bacon apart into about dime size pieces and stick into the cheesy center of the mushroom. Bake until the juice is seeping a little from the mushrooms into the pan… And enjoy!

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The Plum Tree by Ellen Wiseman

I feel like all the book reviews I’ve done have started with ‘This is the best book ever! Read it!’. But it’s so truuuuuue! This one was a great, great book. It’s a love story between a German girl and a Jewish boy living in Germany during World War II….and it just totally sucked me in. Isaac and Christine are falling in love just as the war is starting and very soon their world is shattered by all the new laws separating the Jews from the rest of the world. The story follows Christine throughout the entire war, and the ending was completely not at all what I had expected. I listened to it through my  Audible account while I was at work which was, let me tell you, a huge mistake. Everyone knows you don’t listen to World War II love stories in public, let alone while working. Naturally, I cried. I can just see Linds rolling her eyes at my lack of control over my emotions. 😉

I’m already listening to a new book, ‘The End of the Affair’ which is written by Graham Greene and narrated by Colin Firth. Totally chose is cuz Colin Firth narrated it. I’ll letcha know how it is 🙂

Anyways! I’m off to make some Brie Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms wrapped in Bacon for a Girl’s Night that I’m hosting, so I need to get moving. Keep your eyes out for this recipe, if it turns out as well as Bacon Wrapped Figs Stuffed with Goat Cheese I will be a very happy girl. And maybe M and I will figure out a name for these things that flows a little smoother off the tongue…I’ve tried it both ways as you can see and my tongue gets tied every time.

Happy Reading!

~K

 

 

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Filed under Books, Food Stuffs.

Cookie Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Remember how my Internet was getting fixed this weekend? Turns out my idiot darling dogs chewed through the cable outside again- so we had the Internet guys come rewire it. After they fixed it, I duct taped over the cord AND painted it the color of our house to avoid that happening again. THE NEXT DAY THE CORD WAS RIPPED OUT AGAIN!! $210 later, we decided to wait to reinstall the cable until we have an indestructible pipe to cover the wire. Therefore, my blogging will continue to be sparse and from my phone & most likely riddled with grammatical errors. Dogs, you are standing on thin ice, I tell ya.
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Onto sweeter, much happier things.
First though, a warning. If you are one of many getting ready for bikini season, this post will be cruel to read. I’m in the process of shopping for a bathing suit for my post-pregnancy bod and these cookies just set back my shopping date another month! Just kidding.. But seriously.

I made these cookies in a weak moment, er, half hour last night when Joey and I were talking about this past Sunday’s sermon which involved an analogy using chocolate chip cookies- I tried hard to concentrate on the message despite my watering mouth.

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Anyways, we were talking about it tonight and ten minutes later we were clawing through the cupboards looking for chocolate chips and flour!

No chocolate chips! but when has that ever stopped me? All we could find was white chocolate almond bark so thats what we used. White chocolate chips would have been better, but when a cookie craving hits, you just surrender to the contents of your baking cupboard.

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My sister-in-law sent me a care package just before Gabby was born that was full of all sorts of goodies, including apple strudel coffee (swoon) and speculoos cookie butter. Into the batter it went! (Not the coffee, although apple coffee is my love.)

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Speculoos are Dutch cookies best eaten with coffee, and are a special treat. Some genius decided to make a sort of peanut butter-like spread out of them, thus completing my life. And these cookies!

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Speculoos + white chocolate= bikini season can wait.

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Gabs really wanted one, but her little fingers were apparently tasty enough for her liking!
Make these tonight 🙂

~M

White chocolate Speculoos butter cookies

Adapted from original tollhouse recipe

Ingredients
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cookie butter
2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a mixer, beat sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla until combined. Slowly incorporate the dry mixture until combined. Add cookie butter until incorporated. Stir in white chocolate.

Chill dough for 30-45 minutes in fridge, then arrange into balls and bake for 9-11 minutes. Serve warm and melty!

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Filed under Coffee, Cookies/Bars, Dessert, Food Stuffs.