Showing posts from May, 2011

Thirsting for God

Warning: This post is coming from the brain of a nursing mother and may not make any sense whatsoever.

I have a hard time remembering to drink water.  Do you?  I go about my work all day and I put off drinking water until I'm absolutely parched.  I mean, how hard is it to just go and get a drink of water?

Now that I'm nursing Ian, I'm aware that it's really really important for me to be drinking water all the time, but sometimes maybe two, three glasses a day.  Then I wake up in the middle of the night and HOLY COW I'm THIRSTY!

The other thing I want to tell you about is my secret addiction to Coca-Cola.  I say "secret" because on a normal day, I act like I'm too good for it.  I never order it when we're eating out and I never buy it at the grocery store (pretty much because we're cheap and because Tedd always says something like "it's just a big glass of corn syrup").

(oh yes, but such a big cold glass of bubbly…

Show Me the Dough! (and Giveaway!!)

I love dough.  Doughn't you?  (I couldn't resist) No, really, I love it.  Big risey fluffy soft stretchy yeast dough. I like kneading it out all over a floured countertop.  I like how it bounces back when you poke it.  I can't get over how soft it is.  And the smell...oh! the smell of it!   I want to stick my head in this pot and smell this dough all afternoon. but I can't because it needs to be covered and left alone so it can do its magical rising thang...and because Ian would be wondering where mommy went.
I also like this... and how it can do this... ...among other things like slicing a pizza, chopping veggies, scraping all the gunk off your work surface, and fighting ninjas
In honor of how much I like dough, and how much I like my bench scraper, AND how much I like y'all...
I'm giving away a bench scraper!  (crowd goes wild) That way you can chop things and play with a big ball of yeast dough.  Go make dinner rolls or'll think of an exc…

Ian Walsh, 11 Weeks


Weekly Menu: Week 14

simple veggie spaghetti w/ basil
Monday:  frozen dinner (spinach stromboli from Philly - yum!)
Tuesday:  Carrot Spinach Soup w/ Dil
Wednesday:  Spaghetti w/ fresh basil 
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  Our 4th Anniversary!  Eating Out?
Saturday:  I so want to make this Crisp Chicken Salad w/ Apple & Basil
Sunday:  Venison Tacos

Carrot & Spinach Soup w/ Dill

This soup is so tasty and really good for you too!

(This recipe makes about 8 servings)
Boil 10-12 peeled carrots in 6 cups of water

In a separate pan, sauté 1 chopped onion in a tablespoon of butter or olive oil.  Mince about 3 cloves of garlic and add to the onion that is cooking, just as the onion is turning translucent.

Turn the boiling water with the carrots down to a simmer and add the onion/garlic mix to the pot along with 4 cups of chicken broth.

Let it simmer for about 15 minutes.  Then add two handfuls of fresh spinach (or more if you like), 3 shakes of dried dill weed, some fresh dill if you have it on hand (as much as you want), and salt to taste.

Add 1/2 a cup (or 3/4 if you like it thicker) of heavy whipping cream (or whole or 2% milk) to the pot.  Let the soup simmer on low heat for a few more minutes.  With a hand blender, puree the contents of the pot.  You can also scoop out the contents into a blender or food processor (once it has cooled!) if you don't have a…

We're Coming Out of the Closet

That's what I said to my mom on the phone around midnight.  We'd kept in constant touch throughout the storm last night and, to our great relief, it had passed.

Tedd and I were watching a movie when we heard the loud whistling at the doors.  We paused the movie and listened to the house creak under the weight of the wind.  The sirens started going off; Tedd checked the weather channel online and we were under a tornado warning.  "Time to go to the closet!" I said in a panicked voice, holding Ian tightly next to my chest.

I've grown up in Arkansas all my life and been through dozens of tornado warnings, sirens and all, but I'd never felt as afraid as I did last night.  Something about having an innocent sleeping baby in your arms changes everything.

We stuffed ourselves into the only space in the house that doesn't touch an outside wall.  We prayed.  I called my mom and the mood was solemn...the wind was howling and all I could think about was Joplin.Jop…

I Had a Good Weekend

Just wanted to share some highlights from a great weekend!  :)
First, Friday night.  Tedd & I went to the Greenwood Auction, our first real date together since Ian was born.  It was so. much. fun.
I love the pace, I love the good ole boys in overalls holding up fine antique furniture.  I love how the auctioneer says "now you talk about nice!" about every piece that passes in front (in a perfect Arkansas accent of course), I love the thrill of raising my hand, and I love winning a little treasure for a steal. 
(The only thing I didn't love was being outbid on a Fire King Primrose dish collection (above)...isn't this set incredible??  I have the snack set at home (left), so I came ready to win.  I couldn't pay any more than $50 though b/c we just don't have that kind of cash right now for dishes, (at the end of the day they're just dishes, ya know?) but my opponent (grrrr) won them for $55!!!!  I have a feeling she wouldn't have stopped had I kept bi…

Fort Smith Gems: R&R Curry Express

If you're a local, you may have passed this joint a half a dozen times before ever noticing it.  Nestled up next to an old gas station downtown,R&R Curry Express is a hidden gem worth digging up!

Tedd and I are Indian food fanatics.  Seriously.  Having been to India (Tedd a couple times now; I once), our love of Indian food and culture has solidified.  Eating with your hands, party-in-your-mouth spices, and sitting on the floor?  Yes, please!
We cook it often for our friends and if we're eating out, Indian food is at the very top of the list.  Only problem was that, for quite some time, Ft. Smith had nothing to offer in the way of Indian restaurants.  After we heard about R&R Curry & saw their website, we were so excited to check it out!

So here's my honest review...the tikka masala's tomato-based sauce really tasted like spaghetti-o's sauce to me (not that I think they use that, of course), so I wouldn't order that again, and I genuinely like our…

Wainscoting & Other Queen Updates

Also known as fancy wood that goes up the walls, and in this case, bead board!  I'm such a fan of bead board and it's been a dream of mine to have wainscoting at least somewhere in the house...I dunno, I just like it so much!  So Señor Practical agreed to putting bead board up in the guest bathroom upstairs, despite it's being very un-practical (he's so cool like that).  (I do admit, I tried making the excuse that it helps to protect the walls ;)  Here you can see it in progress.

And in other news...Teddster has single-handedly cleared out the creepy basement.  Here's a concrete step he's made to repair some damaged floor (see it there on the right?)

A funny side note: Tedd plans to use that old non-working fridge as a big tool chest!  Pretty creative, I thought :)  It should keep stuff dry down in the basement and he can use the shelf space to organize his stuff.  That's one way to recycle an old fridge, huh?

And I'm still feeling nervous about how ou…

Weekly Menu: Week 13

Last week's Argentine Lentil Soup
Monday: Coconut Curry Soup w/ Rice Noodles
Tuesday: Family Dinner Party
Baked Pasta (like Lasagna, only with different types of noodles)
Broccoli Salad, Garlic Bread & some Mini Strawberry Shortcake Bites?
(kinda like this recipe, only w/ poundcake mix?)
Wednesday: leftovers 
Thursday: I've got fresh basil in a planter (YAY!!  A dream come true!!) & I wanna make these Caprese Paninis

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: Carrot Soup
(I really love this soup!)

Sunday: Venison Chili

Virgin Sangria

Tedd & I went to a fun shindig the other night & it was the perfect excuse for making Virgin Sangria!  I think it looks so so pretty as a party drink/punch and it's so yummy!  The best part is, you can get pretty creative with the ingredients that you have on hand.

I'm sharing what I put in's the recipe I used for inspiration!

1 bottle of Arkansas Muscadine Grape Juice (the fancy stuff - it tastes soooooo good!)
1 bottle of Apple Juice
2 liters of Sierra Mist
1 plum
1 gala apple
2 lg lemons
1 lg orange
half doz key limes
fresh mint!

Let it all "marinate" in the fridge overnight and serve it up cold.  My pal Kacee served it in big glass mason jars - so fun!

My First Mother's Day

I am so thankful to God that I'm a mommy.

I believe it will take an entire lifetime to soak in the awe of motherhood, and that's totally alright with me.
I couldn't help but think yesterday of all the women in the world who are mommies at heart but aren't able to have children.  I have absolutely no doubt that the Lord sees them and their hurts, and I pray for them the promise Jesus makes when he says, "God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh."  

Yesterday our Pastor, Phillip, challenged us: "If you were absolutely convinced, in every circumstance of your life, good or bad, that God is right there with would you respond to your circumstances?"

My prayer for the childless, and whoever else may be in a tough place in their lives, is to find contentment and trust in God and who He is for you and not in what He does for you.  As I was convicted yesterday myself, I prayed that God would prep my heart and equip me to handle what…

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie

And that's sayin' a lot.
I feel sure that this recipe will not let you down.  I didn't jump the gun in writing this blog post because actually, I've been on the look-out for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe for years now.
I have a lot to say about chocolate chip cookies - it's just one of those topics for me.  :) So here goes:
This week I pulled leftover cookie dough out of the fridge (left over from the best batch Tedd & I have ever tasted) and I plopped the chilled dough ball in the toaster oven.  10 minutes later I was in chocolate chip cookie heaven.
The outside ring was crispy, brittle-crispy (not hard-crunchy), and it had a buttery caramelized flavor.  The middle was gooey and soft and full of warm chocolate.  It was perfect..even more perfect than the "perfect" cookies we'd made up two nights before (and it was from the same batch)!  Could the chilled dough have made a difference??  Yes.
As a part of my grand quest for the perfect …

PeanutButter-Chocolate Cookie Bites

(Maybe y'all can help me come up with a better name for these!)
Yesterday I suddenly had a hankerin' for Reese's and I started daydreaming of how I could make cookies taste like a Reese's PB cup...and these little guys evolved. Smooth dark chocolate ganache sandwiched between little rounds of salty peanut-buttery cookies!
Tedd asked me later why I didn't just make PB cookies and add chocolate chips to the batter...well, sure, if you're all practical and everything.  But I stubbornly spent an extra hour or two making them pretty b/c I'm not very practical.  Truth is, you can probably just add chocolate chips to your PB cookies :), but the pretty version would make a good party cookie!
PeanutButter-Chocolate Cookie Bites  For the cookie: adapted from Betty Crocker recipe 1/2 c sugar 1/2 c brown sugar 1/4 c butter 1/4 c shortening (yep, you heard right) 1 egg 3/4 c creamy peanut butter
Preheat the oven to 375 Mix the above ingredients in a mixer until well-combi…