Sunday, May 31, 2009

Whote Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Yesterday I baked this yummy Irish Soda Bread, and since then Jeremy's eaten a tuna sandwich sliced from it, we both had toast for breakfast this morning, and had peanut butter sandwiches on it for lunch. I think it would be a great bread to serve with a pot of soup or stew, especially if some garlic and/ or herbs were mixed into the batter.

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

-4 cups whole wheat flour

-1 teaspoon baking soda

-1 teaspoon salt

-2 1/4 cups low fat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with oil and flour. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk. Using one hand, stir in circles until all of the flour is incorporated. When it all comes together, turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Clean dough off of your hand.

Pat and roll the dough with floury hands, just enough to give it a round shape. Flip over and flatten to about 2 inches. Transfer the loaf to the prepared pan. Mark a deep cross in the center of the loaf.

Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Lower the oven to 400, and bake for 30-35 more minutes, until it is brown and the top sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Maque Choux

Last night I decided to try making some creole food to experience the flavors of New Orleans. I read several recipes, and then took what I liked from each, and eliminated what I didn't. Several recipes called for bacon (or some type of meat flavoring) in it also, but since I don't eat meat I left that out. I also saw several recipes that called for scallions and/ or celery, which would probably be a nice addition, but I wanted something simple for last night... the less prep and ingredients the better. To be truly fresh and authentic it should be made from corn sliced off of fresh ears, but this is my "I got home at 7 pm and tried to throw dinner together so we could settle in" version. We liked this so much that it will definitely be a regular side dish in our home.

Maque Choux

-1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (enough to cook the veggies in)

-one medium or large bag of frozen corn, thawed (I threw away the bag without thinking to check how many ounces it way)

-1 yellow onion, diced

-1/2 green pepper, diced

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes

-2 tablespoons sugar

-1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used about a half tsp, but that may make it too spicy for some people)

-1 teaspoon salt and some fresh ground black pepper

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Saute green pepper and onion until starting to soften. Add corn and saute 1 more minute. Add garlic and saute 1 more minute. Add spices/ seasonings and stir to combine. Add tomatoes, then reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes to combine flavors (even longer would probably taste even better, but again, I was in a hurry).


Monday, May 25, 2009

Halfway House Beans

Tonight with our dinners I made this side dish that is a recipe from my mother-in-law. It was absolutely delicious, so I thought I'd share it. Since I generally don't eat meat I left the bacon out of it (that is listed below) and it turned out just as well as it does with it.

Halfway House Beans

-3 (10 oz) packages french style frozen green beans (or use canned)

-4 slices bacon

-1 onion

-4 medium tomatoes (I used canned diced tomatoes instead)

-2-3 tablespoons sugar

-dash of salt and pepper

Cook green beans and drain. Fry bacon and drain. Chop onion and saute in fat. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer until soft, about 20 minutes. Add beans and crumbled bacon and stir together. Serves 8.

Friday, May 15, 2009


this wednesday i was feeling the need to take a break from the usual routine and for jeremy and i to do something random, spontaneous and romantic. while i love routine, i tend to become a doer when i'm in routine mode, rather than taking the time to appreciate what is going on around me and truly interacting with others. after having shared a house with several other people for the past few months i wanted an opportunity for us to enjoy a romantic evening, with deep conversation to reconnect our hearts (meggan and randy if you're reading this i'm sure you're laughing right now at my use of buzz words :) ). right now jeremy and i are spending more time together than we ever have, since we have a one hour commute each way, plus go to the gym together as well, and while we enjoy this time, we can become complacent and take the time for granted and just go about our days and ways without truly taking the time to find out what is going on in each other's hearts, lives and days. when we're disconnected then i find that we're much more prone to being negative, critical, bitter, and selfish with each other. so we try to make efforts to stay on the same page with each other, or get back there quickly if we notice we're not there. all of that said, the only way for us truly to have unity in our marriage is through christ, who unites us, humbles us, and serves as the center of our union... it is only through him that we can find the desire to serve each other and love each other.

so wednesday evening we skipped the gym, walked to a local bar two blocks away from our home and sat outside on a patio surrounded by plants and vines while jeremy drank a beer, i had a glass of wine, and we spent time communicating with each other in a purposeful way. it was wonderful and much needed.

doing something special and out of the ordinary is a great way to fan the romance in a relationship. however, the more i've thought about this subject, and tried to brainstorm ways to add more romance into our marriage the more i've realized that while ooey, gooey romance is fun, there's a different type of romance that goes on in a marriage as well. it may not provoke the same butterflies and emotions that dates, flowers, bubble baths and walks on the beach induce, but it's a more mature, steady kind of romance. my daily life is filled with romance, i just need to choose to see it, acknowledge it, and be thankful for it. every time jeremy and i lock eyes it's romantic, every time we put each other before ourself or serve each other it's romantic, experiencing unconditional love is romantic, taking communion together at church each week is romantic, discussing our passions, interests and future is romantic, praying together is romantic and so on. all this to say i've realized that i don't necessarily need to scurry around all of the time trying to create moments that the movies are filled with, i just need to open my eyes and heart and relish in the romance that's right in front of me right here and now.

what do you do to bring romance into your marriage?