Sunday, March 20, 2016

From New Construction to 3 Years

December 2012

3 years.

Well, technically it's been almost 3.5 years. But I digress. Can you believe it's been almost 3.5 years since I've done an update on the state of the homestead? Mercy. I thought we'd take some time today to remedy that. 

In case you were wondering, you can find the link to that old update here.

But for now, let's talk 3 years in!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lucky Mules

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Break out the green drinks, food, clothes, etc. and let's celebrate! I've always enjoyed St. Paddy's day. Granted, St. Paddy's day in college and the short time after graduating basically means you drink until you drop. This is not so much the point of the holiday as you get older, but it still holds a special place in my heart.  I may only have one green cocktail and one Thin Mint cupcake, but I'll be toasting my 21-year-old self who loved to come no earlier than dawn with green glitter in my hair and shamrocks painted on my face. Days long gone, but not forgotten. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Recipe Redux: Chile Garlic Shrimp

Ah, the shrimp. That tasty little crustacean that usually lives at the bottom of the ocean. 

Shrimp has always been, and will probably always be one of my favorite foods. It was tradition in our family home growing up to have a shrimp ring on special occasions. I can still remember sneaking into the kitchen, gazing into the fridge, grabbing a few of those suckers, and devouring them on the spot. Of course, growing up in Oregon and 60 minutes from the Pacific Ocean, there was way more access to fresh shrimp than here in landlocked Kentucky. I depend on frozen shrimp here, which isn't technically my favorite but I take what I can get. Not to mention that shrimp is expensive, so it's a once-in-a-while treat too.

I take it when I can get it, and I love it.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Chicken with Creamy Dijon Mushroom Sauce

I love a good saucy chicken. 

BUT- it must be done correctly. For one, it must be cooked properly. Overcooked, dry chicken takes me back to my college sorority days when the cooks would serve us dry, flavorless, season-less chicken. The kind where you chew, and you chew, and you chew. There's no end reward. You end up with a dry, ball of mush that you eventually force down your throat with a large gulp of water.

And then you never want to eat chicken again.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lamb Ragù

-with Orecchiette and Sautéed Garlic Broccoli Rabe

Oh, you guys are going to love me. Actually, let me rephrase that- if you have some ground lamb on hand or can find some at the store, you are going to love me. 

This sauce hits it out of the park! It's savory. It's spicy. It doesn't taste like my usual pasta sauce, thanks to ingredients seldom used such as lamb, coriander, and mint. I always, always, always think that I hate mint in savory foods. I think that's because mint has always tasted overpowering to me. I remember one year when the hubby and I were in Cincinnati visiting his cousin and his wife, and I ordered lamb chops with mint jelly at a fancy steakhouse. The lamb chops? Amazing and to-die-for. The mint jelly? It tasted like toothpaste on top of my lamb. Sick. Have no fear friends, there's not enough mint in this recipe to evoke any images of a masked man sticking sharp tools into your uncomfortably stretched mouth while simultaneously trying to engage you in conversation. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Vanilla Quick Bread

There is a strategic reason I'm posting this bread today. I'm posting it today because it is, officially, the perfect vehicle for my Blackberry-Nectarine Preserves. The two go hand-in-hand like chips and dip, or bacon and eggs. Although, I must confess, this bread is a great companion for pretty much any fruit spread. I slathered some Raspberry Jam on it, and my taste buds were equally pleased. Perfect for breakfast to serve alongside coffee, or a light dessert if you want to add some pudding and whip cream to the mix. Yummmmmm....

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Blackberry-Nectarine Preserves

Yeah, I know it's still winter. And preserves are probably the last thing on your mind right now. However, I was at Sam's Club a while ago and they had lovely bags of nectarines they were selling. You may not know this about me, but I have a compelling weakness for stone fruits. Peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries... I devour each equally. Seeing as how it was late February, one could say it had been a considerable amount of time since I'd had any stone fruit. And the nectarines looked amazing, I couldn't resist. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

February Findings: 2016

It's March! How did this happen? The days are flying by and I'm still way behind on my reading list for the year. Eep. 

February was a pretty jam-packed month. A snowstorm, the Super Bowl, Valentine's Day, bee school... February was pretty cool. I've got plenty of pictures from the month, so let's dive right in!