Tag Archives: food

You know those friends…

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The very best ones? The ones that always laugh at your jokes. They enjoy partaking with you in fun girly activities or just siting with you, lounging in comfortable silence. They know how to how to be classy – even at a dive bar and they know the exact right time and way to deliver compliments to you to touch your soul?! Really, these are the friends that just make your life better because they’re in it.

Well, those girls came to visit me this weekend. I laughed. Oh how I laughed. Hard, with gusto and a few really good snorts – the. entire. weekend. And throughout the whole thing, they just reminded me of how lucky I am to be blessed with some seriously rock star, fantastically wonderful, high achieving, amazingly talented friends.

We ate. We hiked. We ate. We dressed up. We ate. We shopped. We ate. We lounged. We ate.

And kids, we ate good.

Real good.

In an amazing geeky foodie way that I haven’t gotten to experience in a long time.

My goodness I love these friends.

I showed them around my new town. We saw the sites. They saw the new place. They loved on my pets. They were up for anything and everything.

And they brought me Runza.

RUNZA!!

And then they told my new friends all of the same things I’d been saying about my home state since I moved here:

  • Runza is great. If you don’t like it, we don’t understand you.
  • Nebraska IS a panhandle.
  • Chili and cinnamon rolls as a combination is legit.
  • People from a state should know geographically the border states and where they are positioned.
  • Elevation on a city sign is weird, it really should be population.
  • Measuring distance should only be noted in time… not miles, that means nothing to us.
  • Shopping is an art form.

Okay, that last one is maybe not a serious lesson, but it is true.

And these girls appreciate the beauty in that art form. 110%.

If you’re not catching on… long story short… I adore these girls.

And I already miss them like crazy.

And I love having visitors. And I blog about them. And I totally tour guide them around the entire city… You know… Just something to keep in mind…

So to my AMA ladies: I love you for visiting. I love you for listening. I love you for sacrificing time out of your crazy hectic schedules for our together time. I love you for being flexible and rolling with the punches. I love you for asking the hard questions. And I LOVE that you bring me so much joy.

And be ready for the “Girls on Rocks” 2014 calendar. It’s happening. And it’s going to be magical.

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The Knife Set

Let me set the scene for you here.

I’m in the kitchen with four friends. We’re making meatloaf. There’s about 100 vegetables that go into the meatloaf that need to be diced. I have zero cutting boards and about two (maybe three?) knives that can be used to cut something. Neither is strong enough to accidentally cut off a finger nail while chopping (don’t lie – you’ve totally done that).

I hand the two semi-decent knives to two girls (who happen to be sisters – which is awesome). With two rounded (almost bowl like) plates for them to chop on. Both are perfectionists and both are laughing in hysterics at the near impossible cutting conditions.

All prevailed – and although I may have razzed them at the time for their slowness – the meal came together perfectly (as we saw a few posts ago).

Fast forward to yesterday when I sent out the email about our next Pinterest Challenge Dinner evening.

Here was my response from one of the cutting friends:

Fact: I have a present for you at my house.

 Spoiler: It’s cutting boards. Also the knife set I’m letting you borrow til you get a better one for your birthday.

First – how could we not immediately love her? She’s sweet, she’s generous and she speaks in a near identical tone to mine. We were meant to be friends.

Second – She is so kind as to give me her ENTIRE knife set. She lives in a house with two other girls who both have what’s she’s referring to as “far better” knives. But seriously, her knives are the sharpest and most amazing knives I have ever used. These suckers WILL cut off a finger nail. How’s that for new best friend status? I’d say pretty good.

Now on my counter resides my fancy pants loaner knife set and my new spice rack. It would appear to a stranger that would walk into my house (no, I don’t allow strangers to walk into my house – but let’s all just imagine in this situation that I did) I might be the type of person that would actually use the kitchen. Which, my friends, is a first and I am so excited about.

I’m also excited because we’ve got a cooking night tonight.

Who would have ever imagined that I might be excited about cooking? Whoa life change.

So thank you to my lovely friend for such a sweet and thoughtful gift. I’m tempted to call her Knife Girl, because of this fabulous gift, but that will seem weird in future posts as I’m sure I will talk about her more and more. But really, the more I think about it, the more I think she seems like the perfect Knife Girl…

Yup. Knife Girl it is. Sorry dear, sometimes you just can’t shake the perfect nickname…

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Pinterest Challenge – Potato Pizza

I feel like everyone complains of a full Pinterest board – but no time to try anything.

Guess what folks? This girl has time. And plenty of it.

So each week, I’m going to make/bake/cook something off of Pinterest. And I’m going to invite friends over to help me try it, because let’s face it, I absolutely can’t eat a whole crock pot full of enchiladas… and I love dining with friends (and their dogs, but that’s a blog post for later).

This week, I was inspired by Liren and Roxana over at Roxana’s Home Baking Blog by the tempting and amazing potato pizza that Liren made for Roxana. Back home, my absolute favorite restaurant has a to die for potato rosemary pizza. I miss it like crazy and I thought this guy might be the solution to that craving.

Bad news: I was reminded that no one can compete with the amazingness that is Bread & Cup. The pizza, the dessert, the simple salad, the wine, the friends… but I digress. Good news: thanks to Liren, I have a pretty tasty runner up!

So here’s the recipe (with a few of my edits):

Ingredients:

  1. Pizza dough (yeah, I bought it from the store, and it was still wonderful)
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1/3 2/3 cup gorgonzola cheese (oh please,  I adore cheese and if you’ve got it, use it)
  4. 2-3 SMALL potatoes (if they are large, use 2) –  thinly and evenly sliced (get a good knife)
  5. Kosher Salt (sea salt, whatever salt you have in the back of your spice closet…)
  6. Freshly ground black pepper (yeah, or the kind from the can)
  7. Fresh thyme (if I was doing it again, I’d consider using Rosemary instead...)
  8. (I made two pizzas and on the second one, I put chopped Walnuts, a tasty additon)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place an oven rack in the lower half of the oven.
  2.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to your desired shape, about 1/4 inch thick.  Transfer the dough to an oiled baking sheet and press the dough with your fingertips, creating dimples and a 1 inch border around the perimeter. Take a cookie sheet, spray some cooking spray on the pan and roll your store bought dough out. Pinch the corners up about an inch to create the crust.  Sure, it’ll be a rectangle, but guess what? It’s still tasty.
  3.  Top with the cheese and potatoes. Brush the potatoes and the crust bordering the pizza with olive oil (turns out, if you don’t have a brush, a spatula will work nicely!). Season with salt and pepper, and scatter the thyme (or rosemary and walnuts!).
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes (mine took 25), or until the crust is golden brown and the potatoes tender. Remove from oven and let it sit for about 1-2 minutes before slicing. Serve it with a salad for lovely and simple dinner.

And for my “real life” photos of the project:

I’ve owned a potato peeler for years. First time I’ve used it. There’s pride in that.

Yes, it's from a can. Yes, that's the cheaters version. But guess what? It was delish.

Yes, it’s from a can. Yes, that’s the cheaters version. But guess what? It was delish.

I suppose the continous opening of the oven may be the reason it took a bit longer to cook...

I suppose the continuous opening of the oven may be the reason it took a bit longer to cook…

It looked amazing. Probably helped by my super fancy photo taking skills. Well, that and Instagram...

It looked amazing. Probably helped by my super fancy photo taking skills. Well, that and Instagram…

It was tasty, it was fairly easy (prep time 25 minutes, cook time 25 minutes), it was inexpensive (total cost for two pizzas: $11.95 – with extra potatoes and thyme) and got rave reviews from the five people it fed. I’m calling it a win and I’ve officially pinned it with positive reviews on Pinterest.

So tell me, are there Pinterest projects/recipes that you’re dying to try? Let me know in the comments section and I’d love to add them to my weekly Pinterest Challenge board!

It just got cold here. Real cold. And blizzardy. And I’m thinking after Christmas celebration next week, a nice easy meal of crock pot something or other might do the trick…

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The Power of a Runza…

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I think one of the most incredible things about food is the power it has to bring people together. A meal is a wonderful way to spend an hour of your time catching up with an old friend, laughing with close girlfriends about your weekend adventures, or on a date with your special someone. Because no matter how much time you have… everyone has to eat. Grab a quick lunch, spend hours dining at somewhere special, whatever it is – I adore having a meal WITH someone else.

Which, conisidently, is one of the strangest parts about moving somewhere new. You instantly cut out all of your dining partners. But what I’ve learned, if you’re cooking for one, you might as well cook for four… and asking people to join you for a meal is an amazing way to try out new friends (and inspire people to want to spend time with you)!

So last night, I decided to go big or go home and invite people over for a meal. And my dining entree of choice? Frozen Runzas.

Here’s the thing, if you know me, you know I adore Runza. It’s a Nebraska thing that I’ve always had a hard time describing – because – well – it’s a Runza. But all of my new friends had never had the pleasure and so I threw a bunch in the oven, got a few snacks and put on a Christmas movie. The best part of the night (besides finding out I did in fact have friends that would come over for a meal)? The reactions to the Runza.

“It’s like hamburger helper in a hot pocket.”

I would never have considered that as a description… but… it’s maybe not too far from the truth!

It was a night of comfort food, new wonderful friends, and a little White Christmas. I think it’s maybe my favorite night to date in my new city! Next time, my goal, is to make an actual meal… 🙂

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And so it begins…

I’ve always said I like life a whole lot. Because it’s true. I have an amazing family, I have the most wonderful friends and I am abundantly blessed by Jesus.

I’ve always led a hectic life. The word ‘no’ has never been in my vocabulary. But even further than that – I thrive taking on new tasks. I love going on new adventures. I love meetings, boards, and spending time with people. I enjoy operating on a full schedule. I spring out of bed, conqueror the day without taking a break and crash into bed at night. Those people who have free time? I didn’t understand them. Not in the least.

Until recently when my day after day crazy hectic life came screeching to a halt and my schedule became WIDE open after moving to a new state and leaving the familiar behind.

With all this free time I was left to ponder, what do I WANT to do with my time? Not – what are you required to do this evening? Not – what obligations to someone or something do you have? But – what is it that you truly want to spend your time doing? As someone with a full plate, I’d never consider what I would do if I were handed free time. I finally had all the choice in the world, what would I spend my time doing?

And I had no idea. None. Zlich.

After a bit of soul-searching, I found that among my amazing and abundant blessings, there are a few areas in my life where I was less than blessed… Mainly domestic and mainly consisting of baking, cooking, cleaning… and organizing.

But here’s the beautiful thing about free time. When you have time, you can spend an hour making a meal. You can take the extra time to color coordinate your closet. You can spend 5 minutes a day wiping off the counters. And suddenly, you’re an organized person.

Do I still take my coat off and throw it over the chair in the dining room? Absolutely. Do I sometimes leave a pan in the sink overnight because I just simply don’t want to wash it? Of course.

Because life is a journey. Why jump from complete chaos into absolute perfection? That can’t be right. I want to enjoy every step of the journey. I want to learn to bake. I want to enjoy making food. I want to find the absolute best way to organize my socks.

And then I want to share it. All of it. With those that have less time. And for those that want to laugh at my missteps and my failures with me. Because even miles away from my home, I want to connect.

I can’t promise it’ll all be funny. I can’t promise every post will be worth it. But I can promise it’ll be a heck of a journey!
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