Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Today I found these adorable tea towels, sold by the British company To Dry For.

I dare you not to giggle.

Easy Crock-Pot Gumbo with Brown Rice

Here I am without a camera again. Oh well, pictures or not, a girl's gotta eat. Last month, I had gumbo for the first time ever at Cafe Max, and it was so good! Since I didn't want to pay $10 a quart every time I was craving yummy soup, I decided to come up with my own approximation of the recipe. I use brown rice instead of the traditional white, because I think it has better flavor, and I like to think the the rice I am eating is at least somewhat nutritious.

Easy Crock-Pot Gumbo
serves 4-6
2 chicken breasts
1 can tomato sauce
1 can cut okra, drained
2 3oz andoulle sausages, sliced
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
brown rice (I use Lundberg), prepared as directed, to serve 2-3 (1/2 cup dry)

Several hours before meal, place chicken breasts in crock pot with tomato sauce. Check in approx. 2 hrs, shred chicken with a fork. Add sausage, okra, and oregano. Let these all cook together for 1 hr (you can use this time to make your rice, if you like). Add cooked rice, salt & pepper to taste.

This makes a nice, hearty stew. You could also add diced bell pepper and/or cocktail shrimp to make it extra yummy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lemon & Thyme Game Hens

I guess I need to start taking pictures of the food I make before we gobble it up. ;-)
Anyway, here is the recipe I made last night. It is so good- perfectly juicy and mild herb and citrus flavors.

Lemon Thyme Game Hens

time: prep=15 min, cook=1-1 1/4 hrs.
serves: 2- adjust by adding more birdies

2 Cornish game hens (thawed if previously frozen)
1 medium or large lemon
2 generous tablespoons thyme
olive oil for basting
a baking dish with at least "1 sides- this makes lots of juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut lemon in half, then divide one of the halves. Stuff the quarters into the body cavity of each game hen, then sprinkle most of the thyme in. Slice remaining lemon fairly thin. Using your fingers, gently separate the bird's skin from body; do not remove, but rather leave a "pocket." Carefully slide lemon slices into pocket, sprinkle hen with remaining thyme. Spritz or baste hens with oil, and bake for 1hr. (1hr. 15-20min. if you birds are bigger than 1lb. 2oz.) Remove from oven when juices run clear when pierced. Let rest 5min. and carve.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


In a few days, I will be "officially" in the third trimester of my pregnancy. It really has gone by so fast, and I can't believe that, in three months (+/-) we'll get to meet Sean for the first time.
So far, I've had excellent luck finding maternity jeans, and still am wearing non-maternity shirts. I have yet to get a dress that fits well, so for church I just go with separates.
I've begun planning a shower with my Mom, which will probably be in late July.
Overall, things seem to be going smoothly.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lazy Cooking

Count me in!
I've read quite a few recipes for oven-fried chicken that require dredging in flour, cornflakes, etc., but here is my recipe for the easiest oven-fried chicken ever. We eat this a couple times a month, and it always turns out moist and flavorful. It's also easy to cook some potatoes with the chicken, or have green beans or salad for a side.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, one per person
small dish of milk
bowl of finely crushed potato chips- any flavor works, I've used original, sour cream & onion, and BBQ, all with great results
Pan suitable for number of chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each chicken breast in half, dip each half in milk, then press in chip crumbs to coat on both sides. Arrange in pan, and bake for 30 minutes.

Couldn't be easier, and gets rave reviews from Ridge every time. Almost makes me feel guilty...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Home Again

We are home now, and had such a lovely time in Spokane & Moscow!
Ridge and I left early on Thursday morning, and arrived in Spokane shortly after lunch. We discovered that, in spite of Ridge's dread hatred of city traffic, we make a pretty good team of pilot & navigator (Megan might be surprised to learn that I am actually gaining a sense of direction. Inside joke.). We had a great time at Riverfront Park, and afterward went to Riverfront Square, which I think is the very most wonderful mall in the world. I'm not much of a mall girl, but who can resist Williams-Sonoma, Banana Republic, and criss-crossing escalators? Not I. And Ridge was mighty impressed by the three-story theater, too.
Then we set off to find the Lincoln Center, which it turns out, Google maps gave us directions to a statue of Abraham Lincoln, not the hall where Fernando Ortega would be playing. After a frantic call to my parents for help, we finally found it in the nick of time. After all these years, we got to see him in person, and for the cherry on top, he sang his version of "Great is Thy Faithfulness," which was the recessional at our wedding. We were tickled, and I think Sean liked it, too. :-) He's gotten very active of late.
In Moscow, we had a wonderful time with Rayia, Jonathan, Titus, and Adeline. In the course of our stay, we attended a really neat Renaissance fair in the park. It was far from authentic, but had lots of fun activities for kids. That night, we went out with Rayia & Jonathan to Nectar. It's a little restaurant with a limited seasonal menu, but soooooooooo yummy! Ridge & I split the Gruyere mac n' cheese & the nectar salad. Mmmm....
Sunday marked one year since the first day of our courtship, so we went out alone to walk around downtown Moscow, where we got hot bagel sandwiches and ice cream. Here I go about food again! We also got to attend Adeline's ballet recital, and that was fun!
So, now we are home again, and there are dishes and laundry and such to attend to, but we now have fond memories of a lovely vacation!