April 28, 2012

Hubby turned 27!

Aaron is awesome.  And he turned 27 this month!

He loves angel food cake, so that's what I made for him.  He's such a goofball and I love him lots!
Aaron with his presents

His new apron

This card sings too...

What a cutie :)

Angel Food Cake


Happy birthday Aaron!

April 27, 2012

Easter Fun

Every year, Aaron and I decorate eggs for Easter.  And then Aaron is stuck eating all of them since I don't like hard boiled eggs.  But this year we tried marbled eggs and they turned out pretty cute.

Aaron and I decided to host Easter dinner this year.  I was a little nervous since this would be my first holiday dinner, but it turned out great!

I didn't get any pics of the food- oops- but we made ham, potato wedges, and brown sugar glazed carrots.  And my parents brought a lemon cake dessert.

It was a windy day so after dinner we went to the park down the street to fly kites!

And of course we had to have a little peep war!
Hope you had a good Easter too!

April 25, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Loaf

I've got another recipe to share with you today.

We are part of a produce share group.  So every 2 weeks we get our batch of produce for half as much as we would pay at the grocery store, plus the produce is usually more fresh.  We always get regular stuff like lettuce, carrots, apples.  But sometimes we get really good stuff like blueberries too!

So I decided to try this recipe I saw on Pinterest, but I made a few changes.  Instead of grated lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, I just used lemon juice from the store.  (I think I used about 1 tsp lemon juice instead of the 2 tsp zest.)  We also opted to skip the lemon syrup and cut the lemon glaze in half.  I'm sure the syrup is good, and I know the glaze was good, but I felt like it was sweet enough and lemony enough the way we did it- maybe in part because we replaced the zest with actual lemon juice.

(My photos aren't as good as the ones on the blog where I got the recipe, but hey- I never said I was a photographer!)

For the Loaf:
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed
For the Lemon Syrup:
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
For the Lemon Glaze:
  • 1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
  5. While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.
  6. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
  7. To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

April 24, 2012

Pasta Primavera

I just uploaded the last month of photos from my camera and found some pictures of the pasta primavera we made about a month ago.  It's so good- and fairly healthy too, since there are lots of veggies in it!

We used sea salt in ours, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly.  We didn't realize though, how much it would make!  Aaron and I ate this for dinner the night we made it, and had the leftovers for lunches the rest of the week.

  •  3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 2 medium zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
  • 2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
  • 1 pound farfalle (bowtie pasta)
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  4. Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.
(I got the recipe from mom... but she got it from this site)

April 5, 2012

Finishing Work and Making (short term) Goals!

Tomorrow is my last day at my job!  (I know I was supposed to be done at the end of the month, but my replacement fell through and they couldn't get someone new to start until this week so I agreed to stay for this week to train the new girl.)  I actually ended up working a full 4 weeks since I put in my notice.  That was not part of the plan, but oh well!

I'm super excited!  I keep thinking about all the great things I'll have time for now- like getting in shape, writing, reading, scrapbooking, sewing, etc.

But I also worry a little bit about my self-discipline.  Writing is a lot of work and it takes a lot of time.  Setting aside that time might be tough.  Working out is so great and I always feel awesome after doing it, but being motivated enough to put on my gym clothes and head over there is not so easy.

So I think I need to set some goals for myself.  Here are my goals for the time I have between now and the cruise:
  • Work out at least 4 times per week/get back on track with weight loss
  • Read a book
  • Play around with the book ideas I have, and figure out which one to really work on
  • Get caught up with my scrapbook pages
  • Make dinner at least 4 weeknights per week (so Aaron doesn't have to!)
I think these are reasonable goals.  I mean, I'm sure I could do more (and I'll certainly try to do more than this) but I'm also excited to have some flex time that I can use for other things that come up.

And with regard to my workout goal... This is so true, and it's exactly why I hate using the exercise machines that face the mirrors:

Happy Easter weekend!