Saturday, January 21, 2012

Here I Am...

Finally, at long last! Well, I've been here all along, just not writing much about it, apparently! I'll try to sum up the past 10 days in a not-too-awful-long post.


I have a few new pictures so I'll start by posting them...

I cleaned the oven. Like, spent all day IN the oven, inhaling copious amounts of Easy-Off, and acting very silly afterwards. Jake said I should've had a mask on. Oops. Seriously, I used Easy-Off, and it didn't get nearly everything off, so I used the plastic scraper, which didn't get everything off. I used SOS pads, which didn't get everything off, and I finally resorted to a metal spatula, which got everything off. That, and a few hours of elbow grease. It was a BIG job. I'd post a before picture, but someone would probably report us to some government was dirty.

It's been snowing some...Philip decided to go with a Russian look one day, and the snow really helped the look he was going for! No, I really have no earthly idea WHY he wanted to be Russian. Just one of those things, I guess. Everyone wants to be Russian at some point in their life, right???


With four coffee-drinkers in the house, our 12-cup pot just doesn't last long enough, or go far enough. With our new 36-cup coffee maker, that really shouldn't be a problem. Like, ever.

Yes, we love snacking on nuts.

I've been sewing a LOT in the past week or so. Rylie does everything with me, and sewing is no different. She stole my ruler, as you can see, if you look close.

Let's see...I have a few pictures from today but I'm trying to remember what else we've done in the past week and a half. Sewing...that's about it, I guess! This past Wednesday, Dave had a business trip planned to Berea, KY...nearly two hours away. Dad was going to go with him, but Dave said that if we wanted, Jacob and I could go instead and we could all spend the day together. Jacob and I talked about it (ok, so I asked him if he'd pretty please go with me...) and he said he could go.

We went out to lunch, then Dave did his meeting thing while Jake and I walked around, then we went to get a coffee. We bought Jacob his first coffee-shop coffee (:) ) and Dave got a couple pictures of us, but all I had with me was my iPod and they didn't turn out so well. We stopped at the Berea Arts Center on the way back and walked around for a little while, then came home for supper. It was a really fun day. :)

Today Jacob got here a little earlier than usual, which was nice. :) I made pizza, which was good, but took a long time. But it was fun...I had help. ;) I know this one's fuzzy but it really captures what we do best...laugh together!

Um...I *like* this guy.

You know, I've read courtship stories. I've seen courtship pictures. And I've come to a conclusion. I'm just not going to have the perfect pictures where I look nice. It just ain't gonna happen. I'm going to laugh and look goofy, but I guess that's just me. Lucky for me, Jacob likes me like I am. :) He thinks I look nice even when I laugh my head off. :P That's a really good thing. We'll have to try for more serious looking pictures something. Hahaha. Right.

I need to wrap this up for now. I just realized something the other day...I never did post any more pictures from our GA/FL trip! Shame on me! I need to work on that...

Jake's job at the sawmill was short-lived, lasting just over a week. We were pretty bummed about that, even moreso because we'd (at least, I) had gotten in our heads he was going to be close to my house during the week, making weekday visits convenient. So needless to say, I was a little down when I found out Monday they let him go. (such a nice way to say such a rotten thing!!!) However, my guy thinks I'm important enough to drive 25 miles in the middle of the week, for no other reason than just to see me. Well....and eat the food, I guess. ;) I told him I was going to start cooking yucky stuff to see how strong his devotion was. ;) So, at least this past week, we still had a mid-week visit. :)

If I blogged more often, I'd just talk about Jacob more, you know. So maybe it's a good thing I'm not updating more often...what do y'all think?!

Talk to y'all later!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Roasted Tomato Soup

I'd been dying to make this soup for a long time now...the weather is perfect for soups, and it had been a while since I made this soup. I love it, and it's soooo much better than store-bought tomato soup! Like, a gazillion times better. And then some. It's hardly even the same soup.

I start out with a can of diced tomatoes. I know, fresh would've been better, but all I had is canned. So, canned it was. I roast the tomatoes first, hence the "roasted tomato soup." Brilliant, huh? I used a big can (28oz or something I think...don't want to get up and go look!) and I drained it first, reserving the juice in case I needed it earlier. I'd advise you to do the same.

I sprinkle the drained tomatoes with salt, pepper, and a generous bit of olive oil. Then I roast at 450* until caramelized....15 minutes or so. (I was in the process of cleaning the oven so I used our toaster oven thing instead of the real oven)

While that roasts, I chop up onion, garlic, celery, and carrot. I used 2 smallish onions, a few cloves of garlic, 2 stalks of celery, and enough baby carrots to equal 2 regular size ones...roughly. No big deal about measurements here!!!

I sauteed them in a skillet, with plenty (precise measurement) of butter and olive oil.

Until I thought they looked done enough...cooked through and yummy looking. :)

Now add the roasted tomatoes...

2 cups of chicken broth...

And 1/4 cup of butter...

Now let it simmer...

Until everything is cooked nice and soft. You want all the veggies to be done...

Now for the fun part! Blend it up in the blender until it's smooth. Be's really hot! Then pour it into a soup pot. The logical thing to pour it into, if you ask me.

Add 1 cup of cream...

And a little basil. What I wouldn't give to have had some fresh basil!!! (Yes, the soup color is strange...don't ask me why!)

And now you can adjust the thickness of the soup with the reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, or cream...

And it is incredible served with a grilled cheese sandwich. Just saying.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Who's Graceful?

Jacob came Friday, as I mentioned before. He got here around 4pm and the weather was so great, we got to go on a walk. It was in the 50s, I guess...certainly not expected for the first week of January! It was dry enough to walk on our property, which is nicer than walking on the road, I think. We walked down our creek for a little ways, and on the way back, I shattered every idea of being graceful at all. You know, it's the one time I'd really love to be able to be at least perceived as graceful...well, I guess real life steps in and helps out just when we need it most. Our creek is pretty low right now and there's not much of a bank sometimes, so we had to walk right on the edge of the rocks on the side of the creek at times. Those rocks can be a little slick...

So, yeah...I slipped. I fell. My feet just shot out from under me and I landed right square on my rear, mud and water and boyfriend all around. I just thought running into the Walmart door while teenage guys were watching was embarrassing. Nope. That was nothing. Jacob had been walking in front of me so he came back asking if I was ok...physically, pride was pretty injured though! Oh stinkin' well.

I made Chicken Nachos and that new dessert I was talking about. Nobody really liked the dessert, but Jacob asked for a second piece...I think he was just trying to make me feel better after everyone else said they didn't like it! ;) We didn't really do anything...just sat around and talked, which was nice. Actually, I didn't even talk all that much...the rest of my family kinda took over, which happens. ;) I still have a cold and I just wasn't my usual self...not like my usual self talks that much anyway, but...

Dave did get some pictures but they sorta turned out blurry. We need to use my camera instead of Mom and Dad's because their flash is broken and it seems like we can't get really good pictures with it. I want to get more random pictures...these were supposed to be random but Jake and I knew what Dave was doing so it made it really hard to act natural. This is pretty natural though, I guess...we just laugh a lot together. :) (Dave was behind Mom in the first picture...) We were just hanging out talking to Mom and Dad in the kitchen here.

This is the dessert I made...Espresso Cheesecake Brownie. Nobody liked the sour cream mix on top...

I took this one, and I think it's adorable and cute and all that. ;) :) :D I like this. (Not just the picture..he he!)

Just having fun and eating dessert...with my eyes closed. Sigh.

Jacob got a full-time job at a sawmill pretty close to our house, so he'll be dropping by during the week sometime, as well as our Saturday visit. :D Jake and I already talked about Wednesday being the middle of the week and all, so we settled on that, at least for this week. (It'll depend on what we're doing during the week.) Today I was talking meal plans with Mom, and I mentioned what I was planning for Wednesday since Jacob was coming. Mom said "why is he waiting til Wednesday to come?" I said "um...well, it's the middle of the week..." She said "he could come like Monday or Tuesday, then Thursday...and Saturday!"

I think they like Jacob, too. What do you think?

For now, he'll be here Wednesday and Saturday this week. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Just for Laughs...

My family made plans for tomorrow so I asked Jacob if he could come today instead of tomorrow. He said yes, so I'm cooking for him. :)

I'm making this dessert right now, so it's ready for this evening. I usually do as much as I can with my cooking before he gets here, so we have more time together. Anyway, so I'm cooking right now.

The recipe says to use a 9-inch baking dish, but I really like the look of the round one. I knew we had a springform pan somewhere, so I dug it out. I didn't know how big it was, so I got a ruler out and measured. I said something like "oh, that's good!!" out loud, even though I'm the only one in the kitchen. Yeah, I'm weird like that. Anyway, Mom's at the table in the dining room, doing school with the boys. She heard my exclamation, so she said "what?"

You know what I said?

"I was worried it wasn't going to be round!"

Seriously, that's what came out. What I meant to say was "I was worried it wasn't going to be 9 inches" but that's not what came out.

Not to worry, the pan IS still round.

I'm blaming it on my cold.  My poor guy has had a cold for a couple weeks now and it's turned into a sinus infection, so we'll be quite the sick, sniffling pair this afternoon. Oh, well...real life! :)

Or maybe it's the excitement/anticipation that always precedes our visits...

Whatever it is, it was a less than brilliant moment for me. I guess I thought y'all might enjoy. ;)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

GA/FL Part 1

Ideally, this is where I'd link to my posts from this same trip we took last year. However, as most of you probably know, our website is still down so I can't access my old blog archives right now. Aggravating, to say the least.

As I mentioned in my overview post, we left KY on December 14. This year's driving went much better than last year...last year we left a day early in order to escape an ice storm that was on its way. We ended up getting stuck in North Georgia in the same storm we left Kentucky to escape. We sat (as in, in park, not moving at all) on I-75 for 5 hours, I believe (after we slid into the median once.) Our trip that normally takes 7.5 hours ended up taking something like 15 or so, if I remember correctly. Even when we were able to drive, we had to go so slow, because of all the ice. But what am I doing...this is a blog about this year's trip!

The weather was nice for driving. There. I didn't even take any pictures, it was so uneventful.

The next day, December 15, we headed to Florida. This year we got there a day earlier and stayed a day later than we have in previous years. It's usually pretty tough to fit seeing everyone in when we're there, so we stayed a little longer this year. I did take a few pictures of the driving that day. Very silly ones.

The boys watched movies: (they had to rig up a sports coat to keep the sun didn't work.)

Mom dozed. And then wondered why her neck hurt.

Dad drove.

And I took very silly pictures of myself and texted. It's not an easy thing to do, the taking pictures part, obviously. The only thing harder was taking a picture of myself on my cell phone to send my guy. I tried that the whole two weeks we were gone and never did get good results. I need a better cell phone if I'm to be texting pictures. Mine makes my hair look purple...I think he was slightly concerned when he received a picture that looked like I had purple hair. :D (He sent me an awesome picture of himself halfway through our trip and made me miss him even more.) But, geez...I'm still on day 2 here!!!

As I was saying, an awful picture, posted only because I got everyone else too.

Yeah. yuck.

It's a thing with us...we have to listen to Christmas music on this trip. We usually scan the radio the whole time, but that gets old. And we don't even really DO Christmas songs, as we don't DO Christmas. But....we do DO Christmas music on this trip. It's just...right. So, I bought a CD at a Starbucks somewhere in northern Florida.

It was good. :) The guys are NO fun whatsoever...they would only let us play it twice in a row. I guess they got sick of singing Feliz Navidad. Party poopers.

At a gas station, also in northern Florida...a chicken??? A dog, a cat, maybe...but a chicken???

Ok, that was day 2. Let's see....Day 3....we spent Friday with my grandma.

These birds hang out in the neighborhoods around St. Pete. Weird, I think.

We drove to Madeira Beach.

We went to John's Pass...

We ate at Sculley's...

And then we walked and I took a ton of miscellaneous pictures...

I got a kick out of this one...

We walked down under the bridge, and then down the beach a little...

Lots of this... ;)

People in Florida have odd pets, if you ask me...

I had lots of fun with shadows...


I think a puzzle made out of this picture would be..interesting.

Then we walked back...

Then we had coffee. :) A very good coffee, at that.

That's enough for now...covering 3 days at a time is going to be pretty slow! I didn't get so many pictures every other day, I don't think!