Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Break

Spring Break was awesome. I spent the time in the 90 degree heat of Arizona. It was great fun to spend the time at the pool and at Chase Field. Unfortunately, I was enjoying myself too much to take many photos. Here's the only moment that was captured on film.

Me & Mary at the D-backs/Giants Game.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Recipes

So, at the beginning of the year I wrote that I was going to start cooking more often. My first attempt didn't go over too well, but I didn't give up. After my attempt at not-so-good taco soup, I found a new taco soup recipe that was delicious. I also have found a pretty good corn chowder recipe. It's not a super strong corn chowder and requires quite a bit of salt and pepper to flavor, but it's might tasty on a cold day. Anyway, here are the two recipes:

Taco Soup

1 lb hamburger
1 onion, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies (do NOT drain)
1 can corn (drained)
1 can kidney beans (drained)
1 cup water (approximately)
1 package dry taco seasoning
1 package dry ranch dressing
  1. In a large pan, brown hamburger with the chopped onion.
  2. While hamburger is browning, place remaining ingredients in large pot. Heat on medium heat.
  3. When hamburger is cooked, drain and add to pot.
  4. Simmer 5-10 minutes.

A-Maize-ing Corn Chowder

12 slices bacon (and bacon drippings)
1 onion, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled & cubbed
1 can chicken broth
1 pint (2 cups) whole milk
1 Tbs corn starch
2 cans cream-style corn (do NOT drain)
2 cans corn (drained)
salt & pepper (lots!!)
  1. In large pan, fry bacon. Crumble and set aside.
  2. In same large pan, saute chopped onion in the bacon drippings.
  3. Add chicken broth and potatoes to onion mixture. Cover and simmer until tender (15-20 min).
  4. In a separate pot, place cream-style corn and regular corn. Heat on low.
  5. Add pan contents to pot and turn up heat to medium.
  6. Set aside about 1/2 cup of milk. Add the rest to the pot.
  7. Combine corn starch and 1/2 c. milk. Whisk, then whisk into pot.
  8. Simmer all contents 5-10 minutes.
  9. Top each bowl with a generous amount of crumbled bacon, salt, and pepper.

Monday, April 11, 2011

She's Definitely a George

Despite the lack of hair, Amelia is definitely a George. Although she was surrounded by an array of toys, she went straight for the Diet Coke bottle.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Pedicures

With all us girls in town and most of us flying to Phoenix next week, we decided it was a good time for spring pedicures. Here are pictures of my mom, sister-in-laws, and me at the salon.

Mindy, Jackie, and Me

Megan & my mom

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Top 10 Things in my Future

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm so done with work. All I can think of are the fun things I have planned in the near future. Here are the top 10 things I'm excited for, in no particular order:
  1. Family - Kyle, Megan, and Amelia are coming into town this weekend. I haven't seen them for awhile so I'm pretty excited. We shall see how big Lil' Mil' has grown.

  2. Arizona - I'm going to Arizona in 10 short days. My time in Arizona is split doing one of three things - laying out and reading by the pool, going to baseball games, and watching movies. Can you think of any better ways to spend your time? I know, I can't.

  3. Baseball - I know it was already covered, but it needs to be mentioned all by itself. I have desperately missed Chase Field. It's one of my favorite places on Earth. I love the people, the hot dogs, and of course, the baseball. Ten more days until I'm once again wandering the stadium's corridors. I have tickets to two upcoming games - Diamondbacks vs. The Giants. I'm way excited. I love the Diamondbacks out of loyalty, but love The Giants out of awesomeness. I'm crossing my fingers, in hopes that Lincecum is up to pitch during one of the games and that Posey hits it into the pool.

  4. Europe - Nine more weeks 'til I board a plane and set off for two wonderful weeks abroad. Destination - Italy and Greece. I love Italy and Greece. They are my favorite vacation destinations!! Last time I went I spent 10 days in Italy and 4 days in Greece. This time, I'm switching it and plan on spending 4 days in Italy and 10 days in Greece. No new sites are planned for Italy (St. Peters, Sistine Chapel, Coliseum, Pompeii), but I have lots of new sites planned for Greece (most excited for Rhodes and Santorini).

  5. Sleeping In and Watching TV- I love not working. Most of the days during my summer are nicely planned and scheduled, but there are quite a few that are not. On those days I sleep in and spend the entire day in my pjs lounging on the couch. I'm looking for a good TV series to watch this summer. Last summer, I re-watched all six seasons of LOST. This year I'm thinking of re-watching The X-Files or maybe something new like, Greek. Any suggestions?

  6. Ruth - My annual trip to see one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world!! Spending time with her uplifts my soul. I spend the entire week laughing and have a permanent smile on my face while I'm in her presence. Plus, she's in Hershey, PA and that entire town smells like chocolate. Sweet!! (Literally)

  7. Home Improvement Projects - I've been in my house for over 5 years. During that time, I've accumulated a lot of junk. This summer I want to de-junk my house, organizing my storage room, garage, office, and craft closet. Lots of work, but since I love to organize, this is going to be fun!!

  8. Baseball, again. I know, I know, I already mentioned it, but my dad and I are going to this year's MLB All-Star Game!! First of all, I love that I'm going with my dad. He's the best dad and the best person to attend baseball games with. Not only does he buy me bottled water, pretzels, and sunflower seeds, but he and I get pretty worked up when we're together. Second, it's the All-Star game!! And honestly, it's not just the game, it's really an entire week of events - Fan Fest, Legends Game, Homeroom Derby. It's going to be awesome. Tickets were a little steep, but I figure it's a once in lifetime opportunity.

  9. Book Club - So, I'm loving being in a book club. This month I choose the book - The Know-It-All: One man's humble quest to become the smartest man in the world by A.J. Jacobs. I'm way excited to read it and plan on doing so pool side in AZ. Last summer I lounged by the pool and read Jacobs' other book, The Year of Living Biblically: One man's humble quest to follow the Bible as literally as possible. Book club will be at my house at the end of the month. Stay tuned to see how it turns out.

  10. Road Trip - Lesli, Alina, Christi, and I have a tentative road trip planned this summer. We still have to work out the details, but right now we plan on driving to Northern California to see the Redwoods, then up through the Oregon Coast to Vancouver, WA. While road tripping, we plan on doing a lot of hiking and general outdoorsy things.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Spring Fever

Spring Fever is here. How do I know? I don't want to be at school and when I am, I'm having the hardest time focusing on work. I have a few things I could be doing at work, but because they don't have to be done right away, I've been procrastinating. Instead of actually doing work before/after school and during my conference period, I've been watching episodes of The Daily Show on hulu. Is that so wrong?