Friday Food Round-Up!

We cooked so many new recipes this week.  Five to be exact.  I don’t know what possessed me, but it was fun to have such a variety.

Friday – Chorizo and Sweet Potato Hash

Friday

The first time I ate this dish was at Hannah’s wedding, just a little over a year ago.  It was just to die for and I remembered it forever.  So I was super surprised when she started making this dish for our girls’ brunches.  She had the recipe!  And it was just as delicious as the first time!  After our most recent feast, I demanded that she share the recipe.  I ended up actioning it with homemade breakfast sausage for the last night of Passover and even though I don’t think I make it quite as well as she does, it was still pretty darned good.

Monday – Chicken with Indian Spices and Yogurt from How To Cook Everything, Rice, and Roasted Broccoli

Monday

I don’t know why I was flipping through How To Cook Everything.  I think it had something to do with the fact that there are just so many recipes and so many possibilities.  This dish is the one that came up for this week!  Once all of the spices were measured, it came together in a snap.

Tuesday – Salmon with Honey Mustard Glaze, Sweet Peas with Red Onion and Mint, and Couscous with Melted Leeks from The Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook

Tuesday

Marcus is not a big time salmon eater but I sort of begged him to let us work a few recipes into our rotation here and there.  The recipe called for Ritz crackers and hand to God I had some ALDI brand ones hiding in our pantry.  I have No Idea where those came from, but it was perfect timing.

The peas were fine, but the couscous with leeks?  Stunningly delicious.  This is a recipe we will make again.

Wednesday – Chicken with Tarragon, Mustard & Pretzels from The Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook, Oven Fries, Steamed Asparagus

Wednesday

I will be honest, pounding chicken breasts into cutlets is not my favorite thing.  Even after I have wrapped them in plastic wrap, I still feel like I have to disinfect my kitchen after the fact.  But I am not deterred!  I continue to pick out recipes that involve cutlets!  This chicken dish was actually fairly identical to the salmon dish except with tarragon and pretzel chunks and it was just as delicious.

Have you tried any new recipes lately and loved them?

Fair Weather Date Night

Last summer, Marcus and I started walking to the local Dairy Queen probably once a week for ice cream.

Walk 1

Since the shop itself is just a little over a mile away from our house, it’s really the perfect activity because the whole adventure lasts an hour from start to finish and we walk just enough that it is a no guilt ice cream treat!

It sort of reminds me of when I was a little pup, these after dinner treat-walks.  You see, the house we live in now is a mile or so from the house I lived in until the age of four.  And on the evenings when the weather was good, back in 1990 (AKA The Day), Dad used to take Billy and I on walks to the PDQ gas station next to the Dairy Queen to get free cookies.  I would get an M&M cookie and it was just so excellent.

Well, the PDQ gas station is now a BP and there are no cookies in sight, only cookie dough.

Walk 2

Even though we walked and ate gelato all throughout Italy, this was our first (American) ice cream walk of the season.  It might have been just a bit brusque with the wind and the sun setting behind the trees, but we couldn’t be contained any longer.

Spring Cleaning For Real

Happy Sunday, y’all!

We have been enjoying just a gorgeous spring weekend in Minnesota.  I mean, pretty much any spring weekend where it does not snow qualifies as “good,” but sunny with temperatures in the 60s/70s?  So delightful.

I think we all need to take a moment to give thanks for Amanda because she had the presence of mind to take this photo of Marcus and I last night, when we were out on Our Breaking Passover Adventure.  Otherwise we all might have to survive yet another post without any photos.

Look.  There we are.

Marcus and I

Good times, right?

So, what have I been up to today that has not been worth photographing?  Spring cleaning.  I cannot usually plan when, specifically, spring cleaning will take place.  But, when I was applying my make-up and I noticed how dusty the light fixture in the bathroom was (I don’t think it has been wiped down in six years), I knew that today was my lucky day.

Note: This is the point at which I reveal a bunch about our current living conditions, and you get to A) Thank God because your house is cleaner than ours or B) Thank God because you are not alone.  Your choice.

So it started with the one problem light fixture and from there it turned into cleaning the kitchen sink, and suddenly I was dusting the entire main floor and casually purging the odd possession.  I feel like last year we did a massive purge (medicine cabinet, laundry room shelves, etc.) so this year there is simply less to manage there.

But.  BUT!  As a result of this ever-casual review of things, I’ve now started another bag of things to go to the Goodwill. I also have a pile of old electronics that I need to combine with another pile of old electronics so that we can figure out how to appropriately discard them.  Please tell me that we are not the only ones whose home is overrun by old laptops/phones/digital cameras/chargers.  All of it must go.

Disappointingly, none of the projects I tackled today are things that I can cross off of our 2015 Home Improvement list, but I am hopeful that some of these things will bring us closer to a few of them.

Friday Food Round-Up!

Passover started last Friday, it ends tomorrow night.  I tried to be a little bit creative with our meal planning, since pretty much the entire holiday revolves around eating some variety of meat and potatoes on the daily.  Sephardic Jews can eat beans, rice, corn and seeds, which are known as “kitniyot.”  We are Ashkenazi Jews and so we do not eat these things because they could be confused with the prohibited grains (wheat, spelt, barley and rye).

With that in mind, between two Seders worth of leftovers, Easter festivities on Sunday, and a family dinner for Marcus’ birthday on Tuesday, we really did not have to cook a great deal.

Monday – Tomato Glazed Meatloaves with Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes from The Smitten Kitchen and Steamed Asparagus

Monday

Y’all, we really love these meatloaves.  I did modify the recipe by using one pound of turkey to make four meatloaves instead of two pounds of turkey to make six.  Plus, with the amount of veggies in this dish (one carrot, one onion, one stalk of celery), you end up what I would describe as REALLY generous portions.  The extra kick of nutrition from those veggies doesn’t hurt either.

Where the mashed potatoes are concerned, obtaining a potato ricer (even if it is a holdover from what looks to be the 1960s) has really changed our mashed potato game.  Potato mashers are fine if you want smashed potatoes, but this thing makes the real deal and it is just so darned easy!

Wednesday – Chicken with Greek Herb Sauce from Nigella Kitchen, Roasted Potatoes and Garlic Green Beans

Wednesday

This is another recipe from a Nigella cookbook that we haven’t made in ages (August 2012!) which is absolutely a shame.   The “Greek herb sauce” is just to die for and you know that I have yet to meet a crispy chicken skin that I don’t love.

Workshopping

Hi, party-kittens.

Can you believe how quickly this week has gone?  Seriously, I feel like it was Easter yesterday and tomorrow it is Friday already.

Be forewarned, this is another blog post without pictures.  I feel like blog posts without pictures are kind of like trying to dry swallow pills.  But the amount of effort it would take to take pictures and stuff is just way too much right now, so we’re just going to have to muscle through all of this text together.

Today is one of those spring days that actually feels like late fall.  I am compensating by wearing a wool sweater, my favorite Texas flag shorts, and by drinking a mug (or two!) of hot chocolate.  No complaints here.  There’s a 99% chance that I’ll end up reincarnating this ensemble throughout the summer, because this is the state where you can wear all of your clothes in one day.

Also, I know that I am really late to this party, but I started watching Married At First Sight last night and I cannot look away!  I feel like we’ve covered a lot of topics on reality TV, but I am truly astonished that there is a show With A Second Season where people get married to total strangers.  I have no idea what channel it is actually on (I’ve been watching it the lazy way – on On Demand), but You Must Watch!

Finally, when I was at Target earlier this week, I grabbed a few new candles for the main floor.  Some of you might remember this post that I wrote about a year and a half ago.  For those of you who don’t, there was a point in time where I once declared, I really want to learn how to decorate with candles.  Well, 14 months later, I finally managed to burn through my first candle purchase of two candles.  This might be a world record for Longest Amount Of Time Needed To Burn Two Candles.  But, naturally, I had to purchase two more.

As you can see, suburban life just continues to be thrilling. ;)

Free HRCI Recertification Credits

If you haven’t figured it out from the title of the post, it’s a really exciting week on The Blog, people.

I got an e-mail today from the HR Certification Institute.  Apparently they wrote an eBook that is available for free here.

Titled The Rise of HR, it’s composed of 73 essays by HR thought leaders.  Yes, seriously, I just invoked the phrase, “thought leaders.”  I’ve flipped through a few of the essays already and it seems to be fairly interesting.

The real kicker, besides the fact that you can read the book for free, is that if you read it, you can receive three business credits toward recertification of your HRCI designation.

Y’all know that I am always working to find free ways to get recertification credits, so that’s a pretty great deal in my opinion.

Happy reading!

What I’ve Been Reading

Oh man, you guys.  I wish I had something interesting to share but That Awful Cold I Got Last Week?  Got worse, actually.  And then Marcus caught it.  And now we’re both recovering and it is slow and I am mostly just extremely glad that I am no longer actually trying to cough my lungs out.  It was a bad thing.  It goes without saying that the parts of the holiday weekend that were not spent with family, were spent napping and such.  I’m so glad that we’re all caught up now.  ;)

Anyhow, here are more books that I read.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale

Leaving Before The Rains Come by Alexandra Fuller

Leaving Before The Rains Come

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

The Last Anniversary

Sweetland by Michael Crumley

Sweetland