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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Newlywed in the Kitchen Recipe #6: Glazed Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bread

Y'all.  This is a Pinterest win if I've ever seen one.  I saw this recipe and thought it sounded really good, so I printed it off of Lovely Little Kitchen and away we went.  It was quick, easy, and seriously so good!  I would have given it a 5, but you know, I'm not the one scoring here.  The Boy from Texas informed me he will probably never give a 5 because nothing is perfect.  Kinda wanted to kick him in the shins and tell him to fake it and make me feel like a gourmet chef, but I reserved that desire.  Anyway, on with it.

The Boy from Texas Rating:  4

The Boy from Texas Comments:  (1) We're not having those apple dumplings I asked for? (2) Are you sure you know what you're doing?  This looks complicated.  (3) Hey, this stuff is good!

Sidenote....The Best Man from our wedding spent the night at our house last week.  He rated this bread a 5.  Just for the record.

Glazed Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bread
For the bread:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • For the glaze:
    • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/4 cup applesauce
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease two loaf pans. {I used there a difference?  Apparently not, because my loaves slid right out of the pan.}
    In a large bowl, mix by hand flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Set aside.
    In another bowl, mix sugar, oil, eggs, yogurt, applesauce, and vanilla, then stir into dry ingredients by hand until just combined.
    Divide batter between the two loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    Remove from the oven and let cool.  {I removed mine from the pans and set them on this cake server thing I got for a wedding present.}
    Whisk together the powdered sugar and applesauce for the glaze.
    When the bread has cooled for a bit, remove from the pan onto a cooling rack and spoon the glaze over the top. Allow the glaze to set before slicing.  {That stuff is pretty runny and will make a big mess if you're not careful.}

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014

    One Month Anniversary: Thoughts So Far

    We have officially been married 1 month as of today.  In light of this milestone, I figured sharing a few thoughts on this topic might be in order.

    I absolutely love being married to this man.

    It is so much fun being able to see each other every day....this living in the same zip code is all that it was cracked up to be!

    I really enjoy cooking.  Usually he comes and sits in the kitchen and we chat while I make dinner.  It's probably my favorite part of the day.  Good thing, because that guy likes to eat.

    Apparently boys put off a lot of body heat while they sleep.  As someone who is always (and I mean always) cold, it's like my own little space heater!

    But, there have been some bumps in the road. 

    We've learned that when one of us gets dressed (in what she perceived as being a really cute outfit), the other should not respond with, "You really  need to learn how to buy pants."

    I quickly figured out that I am a much, much happier person when I gain some exercise endorphins.  Because it has been like -5 degrees around here, that meant a gym membership was required.  Best money I've spent in a long time.

    He mocks Chicago Fire.  I'm pretty sure there was something in the vows about not speaking ill of your wife's favorite tv show.  However, three weeks into it, he now knows everyone's back story and he was even giggling at part of it last week.

    Two people create a LOT of laundry.  Seriously, I feel like the washer and drier never stop.

    Then, there was the butter incident.  I made some yummy apple dumplings (recipe coming up tomorrow!)  He tasted them and said, "They're good, but they are really buttery, you might should have used less."  Well, I wasn't happy with that comment, got my feelings hurt, and pouted for a while.  However, when I went back to look at the recipe.....turns out when I halfed it, I forgot to half the butter.  So he was spot on right.  I hate it when that happens.

    Life in the Panhandle

    It's cold here.  Like, for multiple days the high was not above freezing.  This girl had sort of acclimated to College Station winters and this took so me major readjustment.  And lots of warm sweaters!

    I now drive 45 minutes one way to work each day.  I thought I might hate it, but actually, I kinda love it.  In the mornings, I pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet on my way to work.  I'm terrible about getting "busy" and not making time for that, so this is the perfect opportunity to pray.  In the evenings, I get to see the most incredible sunsets.  I've probably pulled off at least 5 times in the last month to take pictures.  It also allows me ample phone time with my friends.  As a girl who spent so long single, I have a routine of long phone conversations to keep up--particularly with the girls--and the drive allows me to do that then, instead of when I'm at home with The Boy from Texas.

    Post-Wedding Life

    I thought that I'd have so much more free time now that I'm not doing any wedding planning.  I was wrong.  I am writing thank you notes.  Loads and loads of thank you notes.

    Super Mom has been kindly emailing me a photo a day or so to keep me going while I wait for the entire set to be done.  It's so much fun to see what she was able to capture with her camera (and cat-woman like maneuvering) on the wedding day.

    We still have wedding gifts trickling in, which makes it like Christmas several times a week.  When boxes stop appearing on the front porch, I am going to be a little sad.

    Monday, November 24, 2014

    Newlywed in the Kitchen Recipe #5: Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Well, I kinda blew the prep for this one.  My intent was to make this recipe by Super Mom.  I whipped out all of my materials at 6:00 pm, only to realize I was supposed to start 6 hours before dinner time so that it could cook all day.  New wife fail.

    So, I improvised.   I wound up using sauce from a jar and baking the meatballs in the oven.  Still turned out pretty good, but if you're paying attention, I'd follow Super Mom's recipe above!  If you're behind on life and don't pay attention like me, the recipe below will work.

    The Boy from Texas Rating: 3.5 (3 for the spaghetti, 4 for the meatballs)

    The Boy from Texas Comments: (1) It's spaghetti, what do you want from me?  (2) Do NOT pour that sauce over the leftover meatballs and let it sit all day.  I will NOT eat that for dinner tomorrow night.  (3)  I'd like this better if you covered it with Mexican cheese, because that would taste more like a burrito.  {You can't make this stuff up...}

    Spaghetti and Meatballs

    1 lb. ground beef
    1 lb. pork sausage (I use Medium)
    2 eggs
    1 3/4 C. breadcrumbs (I use Italian)
    1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
    1.5 T. dried parsley
    2/4 t. garlic salt
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    Jar of spaghetti sauce (I like Prego Traditional Heart Smart)
    Spaghetti noodles

    Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray baking pan with Pam.

    Combine first 8 ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Prepare small meatballs--approximately golf ball size  (I  had about 30 of them).  Place in baking pan.

    Bake for 45 minutes.

    While meatballs are baking, cook spaghetti noodles and heat spaghetti sauce on the stove.  When meatballs are cooked, toss them with the sauce.  Serve over noodles.  Sprinkle parmesean cheese over the top.

    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Family Farm Friday #92: Milo Watch 2014

    My dad and his trusty iPhone camera have been helping me with a little project for the last 5 months.  Today, we have the results of this project, Milo Watch 2014.  As I've mentioned before, it had been 5 long, hot, dry, pretty miserable years on the farm.  The drought was record-setting.  We were allotted no irrigation water.  So not much farming was going on.  But this year, things turned around and we got rain and irrigation water and well, my dad went to work.  He planted milo (also called maize and/or grain sorghum) this spring.  And we've been photographing it's progress ever since.
    This is how things looked back in June. 

    And this is where we were in July.
    And next up we have the first weekend in August (and some of our engagement photos helping to show off that crop!)

    Here's where things stood mid-August.  Look at those colors!

    Next up, we have September's shot.  Starting to see some red.
    Then came a photo in late October.
    And then, in early November, it was time to harvest.  The grain is cut using the combine, then it is put into the grain truck, where we take it to our storage bin.  Over the next year, we'll be grinding this grain up, mixing it with hay, and feeding it to our sheep.


    Farming is hard work.  You're dependent on the weather--will it rain enough?  Will it rain too much (usually not an issue for us....)?  Will the hail or wind damage the crop?  What will go wrong with the tractor/combine/grain truck?  What is the moisture content of the grain so we know when to harvest?  Are there any issues with weeds or bugs in the field?  I could go on an on all day.  But all of the work and sweat and worries aside, my dad has put up a great crop this year.  That gives us one more thing to add to our list as we celebrate the harvest this Thanksgiving!

    Thursday, November 20, 2014

    Wedding Recap Post #1: Rehearsal Dinner

    Last week, my dad made the following statement.  "I'm really sick of all your blogs about the wedding.  Can we get back to some Family Farm Friday stuff now?"  I had to break it to him that I had only written one blog that was only tangentially about the wedding, and that there would likely be a couple months worth of blogs discussing details.  I appeased him a bit by promising a Family Farm Friday post tomorrow, but I've been told he will not be reading along until all of this "wedding crap" is over.  So, warning to you readers without ovaries, you may want to just take a little break for a while.

    Anyway, where better to start than the beginning, huh?

    Meet Ag Teacher Annie.  She was one of the three wedding photographers we conned into
    helping us.  She was in charge of the rehearsal dinner, the boys getting ready, balcony shots at the church,
    and people at the reception.  And she knocked it out of the park.  I mean, seriously.  OUT OF THE PARK.
    Thank you so much, Ag Teacher Annie, for everything you did!  All of the pictures below came from her.

    On Friday before the wedding, we had a rehearsal for the wedding party at the church.  Because our preacher is awesome, this went smoothly, quickly, and we were free to go and chow down at the dinner.

    Getting all organized.

    GBaby is growing up....quite the flower girl pose!

    I love this one!

    Time for another "thank you."  This is Teacher Friend, who I have known since we were 9.
    She came and basically  handled everything, made all the decisions, helped avoid
    disaster when we forgot to get the flowers and didn't have the elements for communion....
    Plus she showed up with a scripture to share with me while I was getting ready. 
    I seriously felt zero stress on my wedding day because I had no doubt she had it under
    control.  Being friends for over 20 years will do that for you.

    Our neighbor so kindly agreed to play my Gran's favorite song on the piano
    for the seating of the grandparents.  Then I sent her the music and she probably
    regretted that decision.
    Ths ushers....BFF and Cousin Sean....standing at attention.
    The bridesmaids patiently waiting.

    This picture has a story.  Poor Ag Teacher Annie, had to deal with our rough-starting
    engagement photo session where the handsome fella sitting next to her had a fit
    and a bad attitude.  She managed to turn that around, however, and has now been deemed his
    "favorite photographer."  The other morning I was asleep and he was looking at his phone.
    I hear him say, "Aww...."  I figured he saw a picture of me and him, so I roll over to look.
    He saw this picture.  Him and his photographer.  Sigh.

    I know that most folks invite only the immediate family and wedding party to the rehearsal dinner.  Well, my family does things differently.  It all started about 5 years ago when my cousin got married in Santa Fe.  They invited the entire family--aunts, uncles, cousins, the whole shebang to the rehearsal dinner.  We ate a lot of pizza and, well, the bartender may have come over to "tell those cowboys that they have to slow down on the Coors Light because we are running out of beer!"  Guilty.  The bottom line is that our family is fun, and anytime we get together, we need to be sure we have ample time to visit, harass each other, and tell war stories.

    So when it came time to plan our rehearsal dinner, I knew I wanted to carry on the tradition.  So, we invited our families to come.  We invited the wedding party.  The preacher.  Out of town guests who had already arrived.  My paralegals and secretary from the law firm.  The saint who moved me to College Station, only to come back in less than 2 years to move me back home.  The Hepburns and Ski Trip Jerry's crew.

    We ended up with about 85 people at my parents house for the dinner.  Yep.  85 people.  The size of many weddings.  The driveway looked like a parking lot.  There were people everywhere.  And it was awesome.

    The chow line.

    The girls....and poor Adam.

    Cousin Sean and his Date.  If you follow me on Facebook, you've been looking
    for this picture after the complete insanity that erupted after it was announced
    he was bringing a date.  Sorry, poor Date, for that!

    Three of my favorite ladies.

    The entertainment, as I call them.  SoulMate Friend and Tuba Boy came from
    Oklahoma and both sang during the ceremony.  She also wore the cutest outfit to
    the rehearsal dinner!
    My mom's family, as if there were any question we're related.

    The Boy from Texas' mom and aunts took care of the food---God bless them.  By the time we showed up, everything was done and ready for people to dig in.  My brother and some assistants he rounded up cooked fajitas on a bunch of gathered up disco cookers. 

    With The Boy From Texas' Mama.

    The dog was apparently supervising.

    The brain trust.
    Everyone sat around my parents front yard visiting and eating and (hopefully) enjoying the evening.  We took kids to see the horses and sheep.  A fire was lit in the fire pit once it got a little chilly.   It was exactly what I wanted.  Fun, chill, great food, everyone just hanging out.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2014

    Newlywed in the Kitchen Recipe #4: Tex-Mex Chicken Fiesta

    The Boy from Texas has been talking about a chicken, cheese, and rice recipe that his mom makes for a couple of weeks.  My mother in law was so kind as to share her recipe and I whipped this baby up on Sunday night.  It's super quick, easy, and it was really good.  To me, it tastes like Spanish rice with chicken and cheese.  All good things.  Anyway, here we go with the fourth recipe in our little series.

    The Boy from Texas Rating:  4 stars.

    The Boy from Texas Comments:  (1) *I suggested maybe we could add some spinach or broccoli.*  "Don't you dare add any vegetables this.  If you do that, I won't eat it."  {This is likely a foreshadowing of an argument I will have with a kid one day...}  (2) I mean, it's really healthy, except for the cheese.  (3) You could wrap this in a tortilla and really have something.  {This is just a standard comment with every meal I make apparently.}

    Tex-Mex Chicken Fiesta
    1 can condensed cream of chicken soup (10.75 oz)
    3/4 cup cold water
    2 teaspoons chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    2 cups Minute Rice
    2 cups chopped cooked chicken  {I just bought chicken breast, chopped it up, and cooked it with some garlic salt and pepper.}
    Diced green chile  {As I mentioned before, I don't really measure how much, I just eyeball green chile.  It's in my genes.  I counted tonight though, and I diced up 4 chiles.  My mother in law uses a small can of green chile.}
    2 cups shredded mixed cheese (cheddar and Monterrey jack)
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Mix together soup, water, chili powder, cumin in large sauce pan.  Cook 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
    Add all remaining ingredients except 1 cup of cheese.
    Spoon mixture into 10 x 6 baking dish.  {I sprayed mine with Pam.  Habit.}
    Top with remaining cheese.
    Bake for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. 
    Serve with sour cream, salsa, and cilantro if desired.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Big Win

    Last weekend, we got a big win at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky.  It's a huge show.  Over 1,200 lambs from all over the country.  Winning here is a big deal.

    One of our favorite showers (am I allowed to say that?) took a crossbred lamb to the show.  She works hard, shows extremely well, and is a blast to be around.

    When all the dust settled, she ended up the Champion Whiteface Cross. 

    It was a huge win for her and a huge win for our family.  It's amazing to think how far we've come. As we head into lambing season, which occurs in the middle of the freezing cold winter and requires a lot of hard work at the barn, it's pretty nice to have this as motivation.

    Be sure to check out our website to see some pictures of the ranch, the rams that we use, and to see our winners, check out our website.

    Monday, November 17, 2014

    Newlywed in the Kitchen Recipe #3: Mom's Green Chile Chicken Enchilladas

    Another recipe has been successfully attempted.  This wife thing is not so bad.  Far less chaotic than the single thing where I was constantly having kitchen fires break out and such.  For our third recipe, The Boy from Texas selected one of my personal favorites, my mom's green chile chicken enchiladas.  I bet we ate these once a week growing up (it was also the only time we ever ate chicken for dinner).  They are easy, fast, and really good!

    The Boy from Texas Rating:  4 stars.

    The Boy from Texas Comments:  (1)  You are really good at making these.  Must be your Mexican ancestry coming out.; (2)  I'm half tempted to give this a 5.;  (3)  I'll have seconds, but make it with more meat, less sauce this go 'round.

    Sue’s Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

    1 can Cream of Mushroom soup1 can Cream of Chicken soup1 large can chicken {My mom uses light and dark meat combined, I use only white meat.  You could also do this with chicken breast or a rotisserie chicken if you wanted to avoid meat in a can.}
    1 can Chicken Broth
    Chopped Green Chile {Now, let's all take notes.  The best green chile is that which was roasted, peeled and frozen.  If you aren't from New Mexico and don't have that, your next best bet is to buy Bueno frozen green chile at the grocery store in a little tub.  If you don't have that, you can use canned green chile if you must.  But for the love of all things New Mexican,  if you can't get one of these three options, skip the recipe.  Oh, and green chile is not a bell pepper!}
    Grated Cheese
    Corn tortillas 
    Vegetable oil 

    In large pan, whisk Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Chicken, and Chicken Broth together. Add desired amount of chopped green chile {really just depends on how hot your chile is and how hot you like'll have to play that by ear.} Stir well.
    Drain the canned chicken and add it to the pan. Heat mixture. If it seems too thick, add a little of the broth you have drained off of the canned chicken or add a little water.  {When I cooked this, it was actually a bit too soupy, so looking back I might have added only 1/2 a can of the broth and see what happened.}
    Once the mixture is hot, fry tortillas to freshen them, and stack tortilla, mixture, grated cheese and repeat. {I eat two layers--meaning two tortillas.  The Boy from Texas ate 4, just to give you a serving size idea.}
    Warm to melt cheese in either microwave or oven.  {Stick the plate in the oven on broil.  It's so much better!} 
    Trim with lettuce and tomato.

    Friday, November 14, 2014

    A Tribute to our Alma Mater

    The girls and I sort of have a signature photo.  A tribute, of sorts, to the school that brought us together.  We've taken this picture in a variety of situations.  Drunken nights at the Copper Penny.  Wine tasting trips in Napa.  Post-half marathon races.  On top of Lombard Street.  At birthdays.  Bachelorette parties.  And, as of late, the post has appeared at a lot of weddings. 
    Homecoming - Stillwater - A long time ago...

    Girls Weekend - San Francisco  - 2008

    My birthday weekend - Albuquerque - 2010

    Half Marathon Weekend - San Francisco - 2012

    LOKG's Wedding - Tulsa - 2012

    College Roomie's Bachelorette Party - Santa Fe - 2013

    BOKG's Wedding - Oklahoma City - 2014

    My Wedding - New Mexico - 2014

    I'm a believer in the idea that you find your best friends at college.  These girls are the reason why.  Go Pokes!