nourishing & unapologetic
Spring has sprung here in Wichita. That means more daylight, more evening activities, and more time outside. Downside, less dedicated cooking time. The upside of the downside, spring has me craving lighter or at least quicker meals. Maybe Mother Nature knows what she's doing after all?
Does this sound like spring in your homes? If so, you're in luck. I've got two quick dishes ready for your tables: Easy Korean Beef and Bubble-Up Pepperoni Pizza. Both are fun and filling and meet your suppertime needs.
Speaking of which, do you call your evening meal "supper" or "dinner"? I typically use them interchangeably. My dad usually called it "sup" or supper, as did Nick's late Pa...they're grew up in the same eras so perhaps it's generational distinction? I did some quick Googling and most equate whichever label you use to be the size of the meal and length of meal time; dinner being the heaviest and longest meal of the day (whether that's at midday or evening) and supper being in the evening and usually lighter fare. Maybe it doesn't matter... in the wise words of my dad, "I don't care what you call it as long as you call me to the table when it's ready." So, eat up, dearies.
First up: Easy Korean Beef
Love Asian flavors? Don't want to pay for takeout? Here's a takeout fake-out that will please your hungry crew. It's a bit sweet, a tiny spicy and super easy.
Easy Korean Beef
Original Recipe by Six Sisters Stuff
1 pound ground beef (lean, but use the 80/20, 85/15, or whatever your family prefers)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce (we prefer the light sodium sauce)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (trust me, this is an ingredient to have on hand!)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (or about 1-1.5 teaspoons of jarred minced garlic)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon crushed red peppers (use less if you aren't the spicy type)
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
Steamed rice (use your favorite--we're a plain jane quick white rice)
Next weeknight option: Bubble-Up Pepperoni Pizza.
Think of this savory monkey bread. Yes. I am advocating monkey bread for dinner. Dangerous? Maybe, Delicious? Absolutely. It's easy, cheesy, and full of familiar flavors.
Bubble-Up Pepperoni Pizza
No direct inspiration recipe for this creation. But you can find similar recipes here or here.
1 can refrigerated biscuits
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups shredded mozzarella (or pizza blend) cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mini pepperoni slices (or large slices, quartered)
2-3 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (a premade blend is easiest)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
pinch of salt
pinch of ground black pepper
This is a fine stand alone meal but does pair with a simple salad well. This could also make for a fun appetizer.
Cheers to spring! And to simple suppers! May your longer days filled with lots of sun, fun, and more time out and about. If you give these meals a try at your next dinner or supper, be sure to let me know. I'd love to hear you what you loved or changed to make it your own.
Until next time.
Thursdays have long been my favorite day of the week (Saturdays are a close second and by close I mean practically a tie.) Thursday is the day that I think my productivity peaks. It's the day that ushers in Friday and the weekend. Plus, back in the day, it was the day my fave CSI was on primetime. All around it's a solid day. So, what better way to honor this day than to highlight three ideas, trends, topics, articles, tips, or recipes? Ready?
Today's Top Three... drumroll, please... relationship articles. (some of you want to quit reading now and others are just going to keep reading to see if this is a train wreck of a post.) But, really as a newlywed I get sucked into the sappy, the self-help, and the silly articles about marriage, love, and life. I've come across the following articles this week alone and we've not discussed #MrandMrsBorn lately so what the heck...
1. If you've been on Facebook this week, you've seen lots of shares for this article, 5 Reasons We Can't Handle Marriage Anymore". It's a well written article that causes a twinge of sadness and a lot of introspection. Before we become unhinged about the state of marriage , let's read his article again. It's not bashing the institution of marriage, or those who let their unions dissolve; it's an honest account and theory on why we struggle and why it's still okay to abdicate true love. I think the author D'Ambrosio is spot on with the reasons he's selected to discuss. He prompted many to pause, to think, and hopefully to act.
Points three and five really resonate with me. I am so guilty of trying to capture moments rather than being in the moment. An Instagram photo might remind us of "the best day ever" but if we didn't take part, the photo is just a digital depiction with no depth. Memories are only as good as the time you had in the present.
What this article didn't iterate strongly: the undercurrent of personal responsibility that must be present in relationships. Technology and social media are not inherently bad and they're virtually moot unless we interact with the medium Figure out your own strategy to thrive. I am confident, this "generation of failed marriages" can stave off doomsday. Let us create our own integration and communication boundaries so we may live and love intentionally.
2. You might have also come across this article: How I Saved My Marriage. While the title alone might make a newlywed a little leery, it is a nice read. Think of it as preventative maintenance.
His core takeaway, take interest in your partner. Invest in them. And, success starts with a simple question "What can I do to make your day better?"
I bookmarked this article. I've read it a few times since finding it. While we are am fortunate we're not in the position the author found his relationship in, I like learning from those who have mastered how to be married. And, you can bet your bottom dollar, I'll be working to make Nick's day better each day.
3. A little Google search will yield you information on any aspect of relationship imaginable: picking the perfect partner, how to fight fairly, etc. If you know Nick and I, or you've read our first anniversary post, you know we're about as opposite as it can get. BUT that's exactly the way we like it. It works for us. I couldn't imagine it any differently. Somehow I stumbled onto this page that discussed how being in a relationship with your yin or yang can actually work. It's a quick read and it's pretty basic, which is exactly why I like it. It's about balancing each other and growing together to build a stronger unit.
Don't be afraid to be different. Find your complement. Opposites do attract.
Reading articles like this make me either a) grateful, b) inspired, or c) both. May they do the same for you.
The ol' hubby and I just reached the one and half year milestone at the end of March. Yeah, I know that's barely a ripple in the grand scheme, but I believe it's worth celebrating. I consider myself lucky to have found the man that challenges me to be me and can make my heart skip a beat. Here's to you, Lovebird!
Now, go kiss your sweetheart. Until next time.
PS If you have a Top Three you'd like to see, drop me a line and we'll see what we can do.
Holy Moly, it's Friday. Glorious Friday. I hope you've reveled in this day. And since it's still technically Friday, let's discuss some of my latest loves.
1. Lemon Water: yes, hot water with lemon juice. It may be trendy, but it's a totally legitimate habit to partake in. I started drinking a mug of hot lemon water every morning about a month ago. I'd read a lot about this simple idea and there was basically no reason no to. A quick Google search will yield plenty of positives for you. (In case you need some convincing, look here or here.) While I can't say scientifically that it's improving anything for/in me, but I can say I do feel better. I start the day with it and wait at least 15 minutes before eating or drinking anything else.
I gave up my beloved Diet Pepsi for Lent which left me yearning for a boost in the AM; this gives it to me. Seriously! We recently did a long weekend trip in California. Though I had good citrus at my fingertips, I didn't have my daily lemon water dose, and by the end of the trip I was feeling incredibly sluggish. I totally attribute it to the break in my routine. Now that I'm back on the wagon, my pep has returned. There are also a few other benefits I've noticed that bring us a bit too close to TMI territory for me, but think digestion, bloating, etc.
Try to add this to your morning ritual. Just do it.
2. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish: for many a year, I painstakingly painted my nails every few days. Then I went through a phase of acrylic nails and then shellac. But as we're trying to save and life gets busier, I have a difficult time to justifying and fitting it in. Then pre-California trip, I stumbled across this at Target. I am usually doubtful about claims of "long wear" polish. BUT. BUT. This polish does a pretty fair job living up to the purpose. It paints well and wears well. My first application did last 7 solid days before chipping. (that's through travel, hiking in CA, cleaning, and cooking!) Paint happy and don't worry for a bit.
3. This. This quote. I LOVE IT. Profoundly simple. Profoundly accurate.
I came across this on Pinterest (it's on my board among many others.)
When life gets chaotic or when we're not seeing expected results from our efforts, let's all remember this. We are our own best advocate. We're our own best champion. Go ahead, be your biggest fan.
4. Shutterfly Pet Tags: our pups were in need of an update. So when my coworker sent me a link for a free pet tag from Shutterfly, I jumped on it! Now, Shag and Gart are stylin'. Check them out and order your own. (Plus they have lots of options and you can customize to your heart's desire.)
Now, let us think all things Easter. I know it's Good Friday and there's not much time to dally. But fear not, I've got two treats you can whip up in no time, flat.
First up, BUNNY BAIT! The name itself is adorable. And it's gobbled up quickly. Feel free to customize it to your bunnies' tastes. (And, I must confess, I didn't eat any of this so I can't vouch for the taste. I am not a popcorn fan, but my coworkers said it was a win.)
This recipe isn't entirely original but I didn't have one I based it off of. There are many versions floating around Pinterest so you can certainly find one for your reference if you'd like exact measurements.
1 bag microwave popcorn (probably not buttered, but use whatever you have on hand)
Pretzels (I used broken up pretzel chips)
M&Ms (festive colors always welcomed)
Peanut Butter Chips
Half of block of Vanilla Almond Bark
1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or foil.
2. Pop popcorn according to package directions. Let cool.
3. Spread popcorn on cookie sheet. Add Chex. Add pretzels. Mix around until distributed evenly.
4. Sprinkle peanut butter chips.
5. Melt almond bark in microwave safe bowl, approximately 1-2 minutes, or until smooth. Watch it and stir after first minute.
6. Drizzle melted bark over mixture on cookie sheet.
7. Sprinkle with sprinkles.
8. Stir until well combined
9. Let it set on cookie sheet. Cover or place in a dish.
Chocolate Covered "Carrots"
1 pint strawberries, rinsed and dried
3-4 blocks of vanilla almond bark
Orange food coloring
1. Melt almond bark in microwave safe bowl, about 1 and half minutes.
2. Add about 1 and half teaspoons of shortening in the bark. (This helps keep the coating smooth and shiny.)
3. Squirt a few drops of food coloring. Mix to desired color.
4. Dip a single strawberry into the coating. Set aside on parchment.
5. Repeat until all strawberries are coated.
6. Let dry. Store in fridge.
These treats are nothin' fancy, but they're pretty festive, and they're pretty yummy. Hope they bring you some joy and satisfaction.
May your Easter weekend be full of fun, family, and blessings!
Until next time--