Wednesday, November 30, 2011

deck these halls

When you're on a budget like we are, it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend money on Christmas decorations. That said, Anders and I both love having the house decorated for the holiday. I got creative this year and decided you don't actually have to spend a lot of money to make your home festive.

I wrapped gifts in good old fashioned newspaper, but tied them up with pretty fabric I had on hand. 

I also made garland by tying red and green fabric scraps to green twine and hung it across our fireplace.

And let us not forget homemade snowflakes for the windows!

Our only cost was the Christmas tree, but it was worth it.

The Millers are ready! Bring on December!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

what to do with all that leftover turkey

It's cold and rainy in Seattle today, so it felt right to make something warm and hearty for dinner. While I was in Illinois, my Mom gave me a few recipes to take back home with me including her version of chicken cacciatore. While in college, my Mom and her roommate created this take on the classic Italian dish, so it has been in her recipe box for awhile. Since we had a ton of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, I figured it would be just fine to substitute it for the chicken in an effort to use it up. I suppose this would make this recipe my take on my Mom's take of chicken cacciatore, but, regardless, it came out great!

Mom's Chicken Cacciatore

1 whole chicken cooked (or leftover Thanksgiving turkey!), shredded
2-3 T. of ghee or butter
1 yellow onion, sliced in rings
2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
1 cup of chicken broth
spices (oregano, thyme, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes or chili pepper)

Saute the onions, mushrooms and garlic in the ghee or butter until soft.
Place the onion mixture into a deep casserole dish.
Add the 2 cans of tomato sauce, shredded chicken and chicken broth to the dish and sprinkle with seasonings (no need to measure here, just add as much as you like!). 
Stir it all together.
Heat in the oven at 350 degrees until heated through. About 20 - 30 minutes.
Serve over rice, pasta or cous cous.

*I'm thinking this would also be good with diced green bell pepper and fresh chopped basil. It's one of those recipes that is easily adaptable.


Speaking of Chinatown, check out this crazy fruit I found in the Asian grocery store. It's called 
Buddha's hand because it looks like it has fingers. It didn't occur to me at the time to buy it and give it a try, which is totally unlike me since I have a history of trying different kinds of Asian fruit (as seen below with the awful smelling durian fruit). I might have to make a trip back!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

i'm back

I spent all day traveling on Friday to get back to Anders and Seattle after the holiday. Anders was supposed to work today, but he ended up getting the day off, so I woke up to find him at home. I was so happy! I had planned to spend the day catching up on laundry, but that was quickly abandoned when I discovered him home. Instead, Anders and I went on an adventure to Chinatown, and I tried my very first bubble tea. Despite the odd (and rather squishy) tapioca balls in the bottom of the drink, I really liked it! 

Nothing says you're back in the city quite like odd drinks.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

scenes from a thanksgiving

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I had such a nice time spending the week with my family and enjoying the holiday in Illinois. I ate hearty soup, played card games, laughed a lot, enjoyed close family members and my beautiful nieces and ate my weight in pie. I also rode a three wheeler in a skirt because, well, that is what holidays are about out here on the farm. The only thing missing was Anders!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with empty calories too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

while i've been away

Anders has sure been keeping himself busy while I've been gone. Apparently he ran a 5k Thanksgiving themed race, and then came in second place in a mashed potato eating contest! I missed all the fun! When I asked him if he won a prize for coming in second he replied, "yeah, indigestion."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

a day at the office

It's too busy at the market for Anders to leave Pike Place Fish and come home with me to Illinois, so we'll be apart this Thanksgiving holiday. I understand, though. Somebody has to be there to get you your oysters for oyster dressing! *It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.

*That's a total lie. My family has never had oyster dressing for Thanksgiving, but I hear it's a very popular menu item!

Monday, November 21, 2011

korner cafe

Went to lunch with my Dad and Brother today to a tiny cafe in a nearby town where the plates don't match, pumpkin or lemon pie is on special and local farmers drink bottom-less cups of coffee. We even walked out with out paying because my Dad has a running tab there, and they know he'll always be back.  The man sitting next to us described the cafe as "pure Americana," and I couldn't think of a better description myself.

down on the farm

Drove from our house in Seattle to the bus stop - .6 miles
Took the bus from the stop to downtown Seattle - 7 miles
Took the light rail from downtown to the Seattle airport - 15 miles
Flew from Seattle to St. Louis - 1400 miles
Drove from St. Louis to our farm in Decatur, IL - 144 miles

All to go visit my family and the farm for Thanksgiving. I think they're pretty worth it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

what's for lunch

I spend a lot of time making lunches. I make Anders a lunch every day that he works, and one for me too. It's cheaper and much healthier than buying your lunch downtown, but it does take a bit of work and creativity to come up with inspiring lunches 

I originally saw this idea on Pinterest (here), and I thought it was too genius not to try. Anders and I eat a lot of salads, and I always have the issue of what to do with the you put it on the salad and let the lettuce get soggy, or do you find a separate container to store it in? This idea puts the salad in a jar with the dressing on the bottom keeping the lettuce crunchy! (in this particular case, I put the kale next to the dressing because kale needs to be softened in advance, but you can see the regular lettuce on top). Problem solved!

P.S. This is a kale, squash and pomegranate salad, and I highly recommend it. It's so delicious and healthy and a great thing to eat mid-day.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

thursday night ramblings

1. Now that Thursday Night Football is back in full swing, this random weeknight becomes a little more special. 
I love having a reason to not leave the couch.

2. Speaking of football, I am currently in second place in our fantasy football league. 
Anders is in seventh. That's all I'm going to say about that.

3. Whenever we buy a roasted chicken from the store, Anders likes to take the leftovers and make soup. 
I like to eat soup, so this works out well. We are having said soup tonight.

4. Is it just me or does Anders' too-big beanie look familiar?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

coffee date

One of our favorite things to do is to drink coffee...especially on cold, rainy, November days. Lately, I've been meeting Anders on his afternoon breaks, and we stop in at DeLaurenti for a quick cup. Anders only gets 15 minutes a break, but that's just enough time to drink a cappuccino, have a chocolate treat and talk about the weather.

Monday, November 14, 2011

italian night

Anders and I are SO excited because we finally bought plane tickets to Italy for a trip next year, so our friends, Jake and Dina, suggested getting together and having "Italian night" to celebrate. We don't actually go on our trip until September of 2012, but Anders and I never, ever turn down an opportunity to have dinner with good friends, drink wine, eat pasta and celebrate...anything.

Okay, so maybe this doesn't relate to Italian culture, but Jake and Dina had on matching cowboy boots and that is just too rad to not include on my blog.

I really love a good theme night.

P.S. After dinner, Dina was on her way to drop off soup to her day 14 recipient. We got a sneak taste of the soup she made, and it was really awesome. We literally took soup shots of this deliciousness.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

sunday in pictures

All about the Seahawks today since the team was home. They managed to defeat the Ravens, which is very exciting since it's only their third win this year (we still love you). We followed up the amazing game with tacos and DJ Patrick at Madison Park Conservatory. Excellent way to spend Sunday if I do say so myself.