nourishing & unapologetic
We went from job searching and newly engaged to new hires and wedding planning fiends to 1 year of employment and newlyweds. it's been pretty much a whirlwind. It seems almost impossible that the end of July marked one year with a Wichita address.
In January 2013, when Nicholas began interviewing for school psychologists positions we didn't quite know where we would end up. But as luck would have it, he aced the interview of the position he really wanted and we were headed to Sedgwick County. We were fortunate enough to have family with an available house that we could rent. We officially moved in the weekend before we started our jobs and the rest is history.
Albeit belated, in honor of our 1-year Wichitan anniversary, here's a recap of a few of our random favorite discoveries about the town, ourselves, and our life:
Since this is a post about our address anniversary, we should celebrate with something sweet. Ice cream pie seems like a natural fit. This quick and simple recipe starts with Oreos. Not just any Oreos, but the ones with the Reese's Peanut Butter cream filling. I must confess I was sorely disappointed in these cookies. I think my high expectations of their wonderment left me accordingly underwhelmed. But, their redeeming factor: they make a kick butt crust. Once the crust is made, the rest just falls in place in no time. It's certainly a dessert with a lot of cool factor (ba dum chh).
Reese's Oreo Ice Cream Pie
makes one 9-inch pie
1 box mini-Reese's Oreos
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 container of cookies and cream ice cream (or your favorite flavor)
1/2 cup-3/4 cup chopped Reese's Minis (or more if you please; and use the unwrapped minis- easy and delish!)
1. Finely crush Oreos in food processor (or put in a Ziploc bag and crush with rolling pin).
2. Pour Oreo crumbs in a medium bowl. Mix in melted butter until well combined.
3. Spray 9-inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.
4. Pour moist crumbs in pie pan and pack/smoosh into an even layer including the base and sides of pan.
5. Refrigerate crust for at least 30 minutes. When you put your crust in fridge, take your ice cream out of the freezer.
6. Once crust is set, spread ice cream into crust.
7. Sprinkle the top with chopped Reese's Minis. At this point make it your own! Fill free to top with some hot fudge or more.
8. Freeze again for 20-30 minutes. Cut slices and enjoy! Store in freezer, but the pie won't last long.
Dang, I wish I had a piece of that pie right now. Oh well. Here's to the next year of adventures in Wichita! Talk to you soon!
We like things pretty hot around here. Conveniently, Nick's garden is producing plenty of peppers, jalapenos, specifically. Recently, the Pioneer Woman showcased a recipe for jalapeño cheddar scones. Yes, thank sweet serendipity. It brought you these babies.
When we got back from our great vacay, all I wanted to do was cook/bake. I really missed being on the kitchen. I realize vacation is meant to take you away from what you do routinely, but man, 7 days with little to zero cooking, made me a little bonkers. Upon arrival back in Wichita, I was relieved to find the buttermilk I'd forgotten to freeze hadn't expired quite yet and the garden was chock full of bright, corked peppers. (*Corking is apparently the optimal stage for a hot pepper. We don't see corked peppers in the store because honestly they're a bit ugly.) I'd pinned PW's recipe earlier that day. Her recipe doesn't call for buttermilk but if you read my last post, you know I am proponent of this dairy product, plus I had peppers and cheese and I know how to substitute.
I couldn't not make them. And, you shouldn't deny yourself either. If you're not a heat lover, you can dial it down. But trust me, you don't want to miss this buttery, cheesy, spicy pastry.
Jalapeno Buttermilk Scones
Recipe Slightly Adapted of the Pioneer Woman
3-1/2 cups all-purpose Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
12 tablespoons cold butter, cut Into small cubes (PW calls for unsalted butter, but use what you have on hand)
1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (PW used 1/3 pound sharp cheddar cheese, cut Into small cubes but I didn't have that on hand)
1/2 cup fresh jalapeño slices (more or less based on preference; PW used jarred jalapenos))
1 cup buttermilk (PW used 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk, but I had neither of these)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon jalapeño juice (from the jar), optional
And there you have it: easy peasy, savory scone.
Nick was unsure but was pleasantly surprised by the scone. He thought they'd be a great appetizer or side of sorts. I agree though I ate my fair share for breakfast. They are great alone with just the butter that was brushed on top of them. To take them to the next level, I suggest topping one with a spoonful of strawberry jam. No, really, it's the perfect complement. Kind of like a nod to hot pepper jelly.
Hope these bring a little heat to your kitchen! Talk to you soon.
PS take some time to stumble over to The Pioneer Woman's website or peruse one of her cookbooks. She's fascinating and oh so talented.
It's Friday! It's Friday! And you know what that means? My current favorite things, of course! Here's the totally biased rundown.
1. Renewing an old hobby: reading!
When I was younger, I lived for Saturday mornings. This was when my mom would take me to the public library to exchange the books I'd previously checked out and load up on new ones. I don't kid when I say load up. Man, I was a reading machine! But as time has passed, I have let this hobby slip away somewhat. I still love the pastime but I let others things get in the way. On our recent vacation, I had the time to actually read. I read three books and made it into a 4th only reading on the beach and on our return flight. I think I am going to make it a point to actually read for pleasure more.
Nick will tell you my favorite "pleasure-reading" genre is ridiculous. And, I'll admit, it is, but I just love culinary murder mysteries. (Yes, there is such a thing!) It combines my two favorite things: food and mysteries. What more could I want? So on this fine Friday, I want to introduce you to my two favorite authors in this genre:
2. DIY Car Music Videos
Recently, I've been a bit (embarrassingly) obsessed with a few "lip-syncing" videos that have been in my Instagram and Facebook feeds. They are just a few seconds/minutes of joy. Both videos I share below feature couples on a road trip using a a GoPro to film their shenanigans. This gadget is definitely on Nick and I's list of wants. Talk about so fun!
I've watched over and over just seem to be filled with happiness. Check them out, I promise you won't be able to help but smile.
3. Produce from the Garden
Remember the post about Nick's front yard garden...well, it's done pretty well. We've had more tomatoes than we can count and almost as many jalapenos and chilies. Needless to say, #BornGarden2014 is a win. It's nice not buying tomatoes for an inflated price at the story and super nice to just have hot peppers when you need them. (We eat a bunch of both of these items on a regular basis.) Check out the fruits of his labor. (PS some garden related recipes will appear on the blog soon!)
This near downtown Wichita Mexican restaurant is SOOOOOO good. Seriously, we've been at a loss for good Mexican food. Loss, no longer--this is the place! Nick and I went there this week with a couple near and dear to us. The food was incredible (plus our company was outstanding!). I was so wrapped up in chatting and eating that I complete forgot to take any pictures. Hubby recommends the fish tacos (his go-to test at a Mexican restaurant) and I had the gorditas and some elote. We left well-served and stuffed. Check out, Molino's if you're looking for an easy, casual, authentic joint.
5. That I actually own something similar to something I pinned to my fashion board...
It's not a secret that I love Pinterest. My fashion board was the second or third board I created. I've always adored clothes. I wouldn't say I am particularly fashion-forward, but I am aware. I like a good trend, but I like it better when I can make my own way with my wardrobe. I'm a little bit hippie, a dash of preppy, and skoosh old-lady.
So this fashion board, titled with a nod to the glamorous SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker), has about a bazillion items of clothing that I really like but likely won't ever own. But, this morning I realized, I really do own something similar to a pin. It's a miracle! Okay maybe not a miracle, but close. Check it:
6. Quotes on Pinterest
I've always been a quote junky. I've been known to clip words out of magazines, take pictures of random signs, or jot words of wisdom down. The "Quotes" category on Pinterest is a must review for me. I love finding excellent phrases, inspiration, and advice there. Some are generic while others i come across totally hit home. This quote in particular gives me a perspective check.
I confessed in my introduction that I am a worry-wort. It seems to be as natural as breathing to me. (I grew up with asthma and still have a just-in-case inhaler, so maybe that's a bad analogy...) Anyhoo, I do make mountains out of molehills (sometimes, er often, unnecessarily). It's a constant battle between being considerate and prepared AND flexible and spontaneous. Since I met carefree, predictably happy-go-lucky Nick, he's challenged me to relax and not plan or anticipate so much. Nearly three years in, I'm still a novice non-worrier. But, to my credit, I am working on it. Little by little, I'm learning to let go. So this quote is one of my mantras. (Can you have more than mantra?...)
If you are suffering from worrying, may this forcefully direct, simple statement provide you the motivation, strength, and/or inspiration to be carry forward without anxiety. Warrior is awesome self-proclamation.
Thanks for letting me share some of my favorites! Enjoy some of yours today too.
Cheers to Friday and a new month. (Someone explain how it's August already!?).
Until next time.