Thursday, December 29, 2011


     It's Christmas break and I am in Missouri, I will update on all of my gifts when I finally get back to them and my computer.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dog Cookies


    This time of year I tend to go through a lot of butter, like Julia Child amounts of butter but the other day I baked a dish that was in fact butter-less. It is a hard biscuit made of wheat flour, pumpkin and peanut butter, healthy. Plus I made up a frosting for it using ricotta cheese (because I didn't have cream cheese) and peanut butter with a bit of honey. The ending result some something like a dog treat!

Recipe for cookie:

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees
  2. Using a wooden spoon, mix together all ingredients in a bowl. The dough will be dry and using your hands is unavoidable. Add a bit of water if you need.  Roll into a 1/2 inch thick sheet and cut out shapes. Place on a baking stone or cookie sheet. 
  3. Bake until hard, about 35 minutes. 

Recipe for doggy frosting:

1/2 cup cream cheese or ricotta
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey

   Mix all ingredients together and frost. It will crack if it dries, I like it, you may not.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Something for everyone

   But maybe nuns and monks...

New Weight Lose Plan

      This is a proposal for anyone wishing to lose a couple pounds, not because you are fat or anything just because you are just looking to be a little more healthy. Okay so here it goes;
       - Cook the fatty foods that you love and crave, so that you get that smell and possibly some of the flavor from cooking your other foods in it. ie: BACON
       - Next feed it to the dog, sneaking just a couple bites for yourself.
       - Finally, take the dog and yourself for a walk/jog at least two miles because you both are gonna need it.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Weeny Memorial.

      Oscar, I will always remember the day Mom and I picked you up to take you home. It was something like what you might expect from a heart warming movie trailer. I didn't want you because I thought a Dachshund was a wire-haired breed that looked something like Toto, so naturally I figured you would be an ass.

     But when I saw that you were just a tiny little weenier dog I instantly fell in love. You were barely taller than the grass that you were hoping around in and I could fit you both of my hands. I have to admit that I didn't catch on right away why your name was Oscar, because we didn't name you, I just figured it was because of Oscar the Grouch, which made perfect sense.
     Because you loved trash and were really grouchy if we tried to wake up or get you out from under the covers. That you burrowed was one of my most favorite things about you, I had never had a dog want to sleep in my bed with me until you came along and you have changed the way I feel about dogs forever.

     I lots of great memories of you and I will never forget you. I am so sorry that you suffered before you went but hope that now you may rest in peace without anyone bothering you with their feet.

Super Breakfast


      This is why I tend to complain whenever I go out to eat. Because at least 90% of the time I can make it better at home. I'm not saying that I am better than everyone at their job just most every chain restaurant.
      This morning I am having a super food, super breakfast. Inside my EGG omelette is SPINACH, TOMATOES, cheese and BACON ( not technically a super food but I count it because they left it out on accident.) I'm paring it with Greek YOGURT, RASPBERRIES and clementimes and a slice of WHOLE GRAIN toast that has HONEY BUTTER ( again butter is not on the list but was forgotten.)
     So just to recap I prefer to eat at home over a franchise. But hole in the wall ma and pa restaurants out do me every time, their craft is their own and I will always treat it with respect.

Monday, December 19, 2011

German style

Red cabbage, sauteed golden apples and brats with mash potatoes and mustard reduction.

Cook books

Went to the thrift store for cook books and this is all I find.

I almost bought this just the other day, I would still rather the unbroken one.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

If you ask me what I'm doing tonight...

     I'll reply that I am staying home! Finally I don't have to plan outfits for a weekend at my parents or wonder where I will be sleeping. This is such a relief because I havent slept well since thanksgiving. Also I don't think my stomach can take anymore fast food.
     How wonderful it will be to live out normal every day tasks again. I can go to the store whenever I feel like, not limited by lack of car or need to fill a kitchen. Just think, me cooking again! It's only been nine months since I last used my kitchen.
      I am so excited that I am literally losing sleep over which store I plan on going to first, thoughts of washing the dog and what coupons to print. You know you have over done the traveling when you get excited about seeing your vacuum cleaner again, not that it isn't a great vacuum.
      Oh, what a house wife I have become.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


    Lately I have been so occupied and worried about Christmas gifts for my family in Idaho that I completely forgot that I am turning 22 in just twenty days! Yes, that is right, the day after Christmas. It is the worst birthday of the year anyone could have.
    Why is it the worst? Well for one, even I forget it, which as you might have guessed, many others do too. As a kid I would get amazing Christmas mornings and my mom would say things like, "now this one is for Christmas and your birthday." I would think, "then why am I opening this now?" Is it really that hard to save me a present for my birthday and wrap it in birthday paper, not candy canes?
     I know it is pretty hard on everyone to give more than gift for a person around this time, it seems like for the last three months of the year everyone is tapped out from all of the holidays. You would think that who ever made the calendar would have thought it through a little better, or I guess we could all just celebrate the true holiday and not the commercialized ones.

But where is the fun in that Charlie Brown?
      Many people with a similar problem to mine have half birthdays, so that means that you would celebrate in June rather than December. I could see that being pretty fun but its just not the same, plus I would feel like an even bigger asshole asking for a birthday on another day that isn't mine. Thats like telling the Cheesecake Factory its your birthday when its not so you can get a free slice of cake, which doesn't work... I have tried.
      So I am just going to keep my birthday but I wont like it! In the future, when it is my time to have babies I am not getting pregnant after March, NO WAY! Unless of course it was an accident like every other pregnancy...  Can some one please explain to me how it can be called an accident when a person consents to sex without any form of protection other than the ole pull out method or a condom which everyone knows breaks? If you can't afford birth control, you can't afford a baby.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Castle Rock

    Yesterday Ryan change the mini's oil and I helped, kind of. It had gone 18,000 miles without one and the computer finally told him it was time, crazy. I have never changed oil on my own before so Ryan quizzed me what I might do if I had to change my own oil. Apparently taking it to a dealer or looking up what to do on youtube are not acceptable answers when you are in a zombie apocalypses.

    Ryan dropped his multi tool in the pan of oil. I told him to move it. After dinner we went for a trip to Castle Rock but about 20 or more miles in realized that the roads would more than likely have ice on them and the mini is in desperate need some snow tires. It was a really nice though, we turned a corner and there were the snow covered mountains, hiding.

Fooled you, its a water bottle. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Future of Hills

   After re-watching the first three series of, "King of the Hill" I have come to realize my future is leading in a very similar direction of life that Hank and Peggy live and I am not that upset about it. Sure its a comedy cartoon show about hicks who drink beer in the alley but it is deals with real family lessons.
    I see myself in Peggy, I see myself in Peggy a lot, except I can cook, thats the main difference.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Loaded Baked Potatoes

    Tonight's dinner will feature my favorite ingredients of all time; butter, garlic, and bacon, the chosen delivery vessel will be an equal favorite, the potato. I have never done what I am doing as we speak however, I am fully confident that it will not go wrong.

    Firstly, I washed some russet baking potatoes and then got out my bacon strips and wrapped them like tatters in a pig blanket. I added some pepper that I had stolen from the breakfast buffet at the hotel and some crushed garlic cloves, thats it.

    Next I wrapped those babies up in some aluminum (British pronunciation) foil nice and tight.

Side note: this looks good enough to tattoo on my body. NOM
   Then I stuck them in the crock pot on high for the next six hours I guess. I super enjoy crock pot cooking because it seems that you just can't mess it up.

     I am going to top these off with crispy bacon, green onions, cheese, butter and yogurt (have to be healthy somewhere).  Also, one more side note, I made a pumpkin cheesecake in the crock pot for Thanksgiving, it turned out great! I cooked it on high for six hours but I think five would have been better. Try it out with any cheesecake recipe you have.

End result after six hours was some tasty caramelized garlic cloves and the entire hotel hallway smelling like garlic. 


Friday, November 18, 2011

A Holiday Tradition

     This year, like most every year, people will be lining up outside department stores in the early hours of Black Friday. We shoppers will welcome the often cold, horrible weather that comes along with this somewhat unhealthy tradition, choke fatigue with coffee and step on the weak, in hopes to score on AMAZING deals!
    Last year, Ryan and I got everything we wanted and it was all because we had a plan. Carefully coordinating the time the store opened with value of savings and multiplying that by pie, yes I mean pumpkin.
We mapped out the area where the goal was most likely to be and ran straight to it, not stopping for anything, except Pam, we didn't leave her behind.
    This year I hope to do the same thing, we are going to be in Boise so I know the layout pretty well however, I haven't really found what I am looking for in the ads online. It's kind of upsetting because without a target item, I don't know if I will still get the same adrenaline pumping through my veins. Hopefully when the ads come out on Sunday I will find what I am looking for.
    And just what am I looking forward to fighting for if need be? I thought you would never ask...

Harry Potter bluray complete box set 1-8. Problem is, its only out in the UK from what I can make of it. 

Surely you saw this coming, Harry Potter hard back book set 1-7

A cuisinart hand mixer in a funky color or stainless.

And a Les Creuset dutch oven.

     I just have not seen these items in any ads what-so-ever. I guess that I will just be coming along for the ride this year and possibly seeing what is doing on Black Friday, they promise movies will be on sale so I am keeping my fingers crossed for the blurays.
     Is anyone else going shopping this year? What's on your list, I would love to know.
   Oh and as a side note, all of these gifts are things that both Ryan and I want. I know you might be thinking why would Ryan want a mixer? Well I have a very simple answer to that, cookie dough, cake batter, whipped cream, whipped potatoes, and so much more. It's Ryan's birthday today, I didn't get him anything, not even a home cooked meal, he didn't want to do anything but it looks like we are going to have to go to dinner and someone is going to have to give him a birthday cake anyway...

Thursday, November 10, 2011


    I had to share this. This video is appropriate for all ages and should be be downloadable on iTunes if it isn't already. Seriously, this lady should get a contract with KFC or maybe Chick-fil-a because I really feel like she has discovered something that should be shared with the world.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thrift Store Score!!!!

    Today I took a quick trip to the neighborhood community thrift store to look for ugly Christmas sweaters for some family photos I plan on making. I didn't find any sweaters but I did find the books that I have been searching for for a very long time, finally!

I don't even care if its not Mastering the Art, its Julia Child!!!!!!!

Rival cookbook next to my Rival crock pot, this was right next to Julia Child, luck, fait, a miracle? No thrift stores!

This book is perfect for Ryan and me. All the recipes are four servings and sound delicious! 

I want to eat a rainbow!

Past Week

    I am sorry for not keeping this updated for a while. However, I am confident that you will forgive me when I tell you just exactly what I have been up to. About a week ago, Ryan landed in Birmingham and his work told him that he would likely be there for a few weeks, which usually turn into a few months when we are talking about his work so we decided that it was time for me to drive home. I said my short good-byes and started the three day journey to Alabama.


    On the way there I entertained myself with new recipes and dinners I planned on making for our friends when I got there. BUT as soon as I got there we had to leave because one thing you can totally count on Ryan's work to do is exactly what you don't want and what you never expected. It felt like getting a puppy only to find out that your landlord doesn't allow them so you have to give it back to a meany poo face that is totally going to give your puppy a different stupid head name. So we drove the 2,000 miles back to Idaho.

     On the last day there was a snow storm the night before we got to Cheyenne, WY. The mini got a black eye from a road block and just twenty minutes later got stuck in a snow bank on an onramp which ended with a really fun tow cable ride from Big Al's. No one was hurt except I think Ryan was a little heart broken and mad at the snow.
     We spent our first weekend in Idaho up in Boise with Kat. She and Ryan finally got to meet each other for the first time after hearing about one another for over a year, I don't think we ever stopped laughing. First we played with poodles, then we went to Sockeye brewery and took the tour. We proceeded to get tipsy from le tour of 12 or more delicious brews. Next we went to the Piehole for a slice of potato bacon and pesto alfredo pizza. We walked to Urban for some cheap laughs and I drew a picture.

Only public bathrooms downtown.

    We filled a part of our day with grocery shopping in the bulk section at Winco for spices and Kat teasing Ryan about the bees in the honey. Later on we all embarrassed ourselves at a dive of a karaoke bar and then ate away the pain at West Side Drive Through. Nothing heals the pain of embarrassment better than hot mash potatoes. It was a great day.
    At the hotel I have been making dinner in the crock pot every night, basing a lot of my recipes off the what supplies I can take from the morning breakfast downstairs. Surprisingly they really do have a lot of things that come in handy.  The only spices though are tiny salt and pepper packages.

    Since we have been here I have made meatballs and cooked the pasta in the microwave, lemon basel chicken with wild rice and pumpkin soup, it tasted like butternut squash soup.

   I also made a pumpkin pie in the crock pot, well just the filling and then put that in a graham cracker crust but it turned out really good. Today I am making pot roast with red potatoes and carrots. I hope it turns out alright, I don't know anything about cuts of meat except what my grandma told me which is she just buys the cheapest roast and cooks low and slow, works for me, hopefully.

     Since crock pot cooking tends to not need your help, I fill the remainder of my day with projects. I have been down in the hotel office trying to hook up their printer to my computer so I can print off coupons because in order to print off the coupons you have to install a program to your computer which is a little weird but I think its because they keep track of what you print so you don't print a bunch of them. Ryan thinks its because they want to install spy wear on your computer which I am beginning to believe because my computer is slower than it was in Abu Dhabi but that could just be a combination of being on the far end of the hotels modem and cold weather.


    Taking matters into my own hands I have decided that it is high time I clean out my computer. I own a macbook and it does some extremely weird things when it comes to saving and organizing. I started in my iTunes yesterday and got through the A's only and had already cleaned off 15Gs of free space. When really all I deleted were songs that didn't play and duplicates of songs. While doing so I rediscovered Against Me!
    Apart from my battles with my computer and printers I also battle with dishes and a small sink that you would expect to find in a bar. I decided to make a reversible apron with all of my scraps to help with the splashing of soapy hot water on my clothes.
I used only really ugly fabrics, as a direct result of this decision this apron will end up being my favorite one. 

     The plan to run everyday has been going really well, we did it once and then Ryan hurt himself on his run and we haven't gone since. We do take the stairs though, three flights of stairs, go us! haha.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall harvest dinner.

   This is a dinner I have planned in my head for around five months. Come this next week I am going to make it happen for real. I really just needed a place to right down my ideas for each course so I don't forget any one incredible idea. I'm excited to cook in my kitchen again and use all of my new goodies. Who's excited with me!?

   First course- wilted spinach salad with roasted pumpkin, goat cheese and maple vinegarette.
   Second course- creamy pumpkin soup with a ricotta nutmeg
   Main course- nutmeg roasted chicken with carrots and garlic knots
   Dessert course- beer floats, stout chocolate mousse or hard Apple cider tart. Anyway it goes down we are getting drunk off dessert.

   So yeah, thats it. It sounds like a winning dinner to me. I am going to test it all out on Ryan and Connor soon, probably for Halloween so ill let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Long Distance Relationship

   The distance between my heart is about to decrease in 6,859 miles, two continents, and one ocean. Although Ryan will still be about 2,000 miles away from me I will still be able make a call to him and talk to him in person, rather than in email chats. Finally we have a chance to not get into fights because we read or typed something wrong. I will be able to talk my way out of responsibilities by using a baby voice. The very same voice my family has become so fond of ;)
   As happy as I am for Ryan to have a working phone, I still wish mine only received calls from him and I could make calls out, like telemarketers but less annoying. Not having a phone was a blessing in disguise, also not being able to check my bank account was a blessing to, although very annoying, it kept me from spending money. I think its a good lesson or refreshing experience to take yourself out of being so technology dependent.
   I think putting lots of space between technology, family and Ryan at times, really helps us. I know what people say about how long distance relationships don't work because of how hard they are but nothing worth working towards is easy. Absence makes the heart grow founder, getting uprooted, watching my love leave on a plane, and also leaving to more remote countries, I have learned that those words are more true than any other.

Map - Shortest path between Baghdad and Birmingham
This picture shows the distance between Iraq and Alabama. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dear Home,

   Lately I have been listening to a song by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, quite the name, it's called, "Home." To me the song is about the need in our hearts for a home, the place where you feel most comfortable and welcome to be yourself. It speaks to me not only because it has a great rhythm but because the message is, "home is whenever I'm with you."
   Ryan and I bought a home in Alabama, a year ago this month and we have lived there for a total of four months, Ryan only spent two months there. We often joke about not remembering where home is, even though we have an address. It makes me really anxious knowing that we spent so much time cleaning our house and putting it together just to leave it unfinished. The hardest thing I have had to deal with is moving back into my parents, its very hard for my mom and I not to clash and realize that the two of us are now adults.
   Thankfully I have music to ground me and the message in this song has helped me to realize that, "home is where ever I am with you." "You," being Ryan of course. I love you Ryan, I am thrilled to be spending another couple months with you in a hotel. Until we reach, "The Beautiful," we always have Lynard Skynard to keep our spirits up.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wallet, Do Want

    This here is a smart wallet, it helps you to visualize electronic money leaving and coming into your hands by vibrating, inflating and clamping shut when you don't have money to spend. If Ryan was ever going to replace his wallet that he has had for over ten years, this would be the one.

Mother Bear hinged wallet open