Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Let's Talk About Soup

I. Love. Soup.

Why you ask? Oh, just a few reasons.

1) It's easy to make.
2) It warms me up on a cool day.
3) It's easy to make a healthy and filling soup.

And now that the weather is cooling down, I can actually eat soup without sweating.

This past Labor Day was cool, dark, and rainy. It was glorious. So, I naturally dusted off my crock-pot and put together one of my favorite soups: Slow-Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup.

It is so good. And, the soup alone is less than 300 calories. Score. Now, if you add all the delicious toppings like avocado (healthy fat, and a super food!), cheese, and tortilla chips, it won't be quite as healthy. But it'll be so worth it.

Below, is one my favorite version of this soup. I combined a few different versions to make this one. The lovely thing about most soups is you can really just put in whatever you want!

2 skinless chicken breasts
1 can Rotel
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce ( i love the trader joe's brand!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bayleaf
1 can black beans

Throw everything into the crock pot and cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs or high for 3-4 hours.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

I just ate the most amazing stuffed peppers. Beautifully color bell peppers from the market loaded with lean beef, brown rice, onions, garlic, and a tomato cream sauce. And we can't forget the basil and mozzarella. YUM. Recipe here. I used much less cream than the recipe calls for.

I saw The Help last night. I don't say this often, but it was just as good as the book. Some minor difference, but it really captured my attention. I also think I was the only one in the a theatre full of middle-aged women that did not cry. Not sure how that happened since practically I bawled my way through part 2 of HP 7.

Tonight I helped my husband study for his licensure (you can think of it as boards for pastors). He is brilliant and it blows my mind how well he knows the Scriptures. I think I could learn a few things from him. :)

Fall is almost here!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fall is Near

The weather has started to cool, and ever since I have been highly anticipating fall. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Apple picking- Every fall Adam and I talk about going, but we've just never made it happen. Well, we are finally going to do it next year. There is a place about 45 minutes away from our home, and I am so excited to go. I can already smell the apple scones, pies, and cakes that will be made out of all the apples just waiting to be picked!

2. Boots. I have a pair already, but it never hurts to have choices right? :)

3. Sweaters, cardigans, leggings, scarves. I just love fall clothing. Fall clothing is both trendy and comfortable. I've been having fun searching clothing websites and stores trying to find the perfect additions for my closet. Pinterest and polyvore have been helpful guides.

4. Pumpkin spice lattes! The barista at the Starbucks in the hospital told me they would be selling pumpking spice lattes in the beginning of September. The "true" sign that fall is truly on its way!

5. Celebrating my wedding anniversary. I loved having a fall wedding, and it has been fun to celebrate so far. This year we will be heading to Charleston the weekend after our anniversary. We'll be staying at a little bed and breakfast right in the historic district, which means we'll be able to walk anywhere we want to go. Bliss.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Farmer's Market Fun

I went to our local farmer's market last weekend for the first time in awhile. I met up with my sweet friend Dorothy, whom I hadn't seen in ages. Not only did it provide for good company, but I left the market with a lovely supply of fresh fruits and veggies, including heirloom tomatoes, grape tomatoes, blueberries, and a gigantic bunch of beautiful basil.

I unfortunately did not take any pictures of my goodies, but I can show you what I did with the tomatoes.

One of my favorite cookbooks these days is Cooking Light's, Cooking Through the Seasons. It is an amazing cookbooks and it's divided into the 4 seasons, filled with recipes based on the foods unique to each season. I haven't made many recipes from it. But I do love looking through it, mouth watering, wanting to make everything I see immediately.

I was trying to find a new recipe to use the tomatoes, and I found a flatbread recipe, topped with tomatoes, basil, and goat cheese. I didn't have goat cheese, so just used mozzarella instead. The dough was a cinch to put together, and only needed 2 hours to rise.
Lovely tomatoes.

Here's the finished product.

We paired it with a simple chicken, topped with honey-roasted tomatoes. It was absolutely delicious, and I'm pretty pumped about making it again. Check out this cookbook and make sure you try this recipe.

Snippets of Summer

This summer has been very hot and busy. Full of long days at work, but plenty of fun times.

Favorite flowers.
Incredible used book store in Asheville.
Spa at the Grove Park Inn. Pure bliss.
My sweet niece Ally. Can't wait to see her baptized this Sunday.
This building used to be a Saks 5th Avenue. I'm quite glad it's now Forever 21.
Delicious vanilla cupcake at Baked bakery in Charleston. Checkout their cookbook
Best place to get breakfast in Charleston.

My niece and Adam's mom. Isle of Palms, SC.

Margaritas at Juanita Greenburg's. Most amazing quesadillas. Period.
Isle of Palms. View from the balcony.
Homemade pizza and beer.

I'm not ready for summer to be over. I am ready for this heat to cool off a bit though.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The weekend is upon us. Good things will be happening.

Dinner Friday night at Pomegranate. Hopefully on their back patio. Hello pomegranate martini.

Cooking out with friends from work on Saturday.

Celebrating Mother's Day with my sweet parents at their lovely house on the lake.

Saturday morning, I will be heading for the Greenville Saturday Farmer's Market. I have been waiting for its return pretty much since the last Saturday of the season in the fall. Cannot wait for those fresh fruits and vegetables, and fresh pasta!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Today, I made muffins. Delicious, fresh from the oven muffins.

There was whole wheat flour and strawberries. There was a little bit of lemon zest involved in the goodness also. But, before you start thinking these are healthy muffins, there was definitely butter and sugar involved too. I wanted to add some oats to them too, but the husband thought that would make them too healthy.

Church, and baking is how I've spent the first day of the month so far. It's May! It feels like the year is practically over! Okay, not quite, but it does seem that the months are passing rather quickly. Which makes me think about all the things I'd like to do before the year is over. I have an ever-growing list in my head, but I thought it would help to actually put them down in words. I suppose some are resolutions, but most are just new things I want to try before the year is over.

Here are just a few items on the list:

1. Host a wine and cheese party - adam and i have been wanting to do this for over a year; it's time to make it happen!

2. Make homemade cinnamon rols- i'll definitely be using pioneer woman's recipe.

3. Make fresh, homemade pasta.

4. Complete Couch to 5K so that I can .....

5. Actually run in a 5K, and finish it!

6. Introduce myself to people I don't know at church - I am soooo bad at this.

7. Plant some flowers in our yard. I've been a little resistant to this since we're just renting, but it's time to make this place a bit prettier.

8. Hike a new trail - I've done several here in the upstate, but there are still so many more beautiful trails to hike, many with waterfalls!

9. Visit a winery.

10. Go apple/strawberry/blueberry picking.

This is a short list, but I hope to keep adding to it a little at a time. Knowing myself, if I add much more to it at once, I'll just get overwhelmed. So we'll keep it here for now.

Happy Sunday!

Monday, April 25, 2011

This Weekend I....

- slept in

- made from-scratch waffles for saturday morning breakfast

- explored new cookbooks at barnes and noble

- read some of this book in cleveland park

- heard an amazingly, complex and convicting sermon here

- celebrated the resurrection of my Savior

- watched The King's Speech (amazing movie, and bonus: it stars colin firth!)

- went for a bike ride

- hosted Sunday lunch for old and new friends

A wonderfully fun and relaxing weekend indeed.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
~Isaiah 53: 10-12

He is Risen!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Roasted a Chicken!

For the first time. Ever.

Oh happy day!

Thoughts of roasting a chicken have been in my head for the last couple weeks. I had never done it before, and I was a little nervous. Finally, I decided I was going to roast one this past Sunday.

I used an Ina Garten recipe - she had never failed me before, and she didn't this time either. The chicken was amazing - it was so moist and tender. Yummmm. The veggies I cooked up with it had amazing flavor from the chicken juices. I am definitely planning on making this again in the near future. It was super easy, and produced fabulous results!

The part I was most nervous about was cleaning out the chicken. I got our chicken from Trader Joe's and to my happiness, the insides were already cleaned out - all the gross stuff had already been removed. Number 547 why I love Trader Joe's.

And for once in my life, I actually took pictures of the preparation and cooking process.

Veggies that I chopped and roasted with the chicken - onions, celery, carrot, sweet potato, and my fav, mushrooms!

Garlic and lemon that I stuffed into the chicken cavity

Preparing to lather the chicken in butter - hellooooo treadmill!

Chicken covered in salt, pepper, butter, and thyme. I think next time I'll add lemon zest.

And the final result

And onto my plate - so delicious and I can't wait to make this again!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I recently just read a blog post where there was a list of some of the author's most favorite books. As I've said in previous posts, I love to read. Because of work, I often don't have time these days to read much more than journals. I used to spend more summers growing literally glued to my stack of library books. That was the highlight of my summer - going to the library every few weeks to get a fresh batch of books to read. Nerdy, yes. But oh man, the stories I've read.

I love to reflect on the books I've read, and it's always fun to put them in list form :) So, here are some of my all-time favorite books. Some of these books I've read several times, and this is a list that is constantly being added to.

The Counte of Monte Cristo - this is my all-time favorite, i don't even know how many times i've read it. and the movie, although well-done, does not even come close to the amazingness of this book.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Pride and Prejudice
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Pact - really, every Jodi Picoult book I've read has been amazing
The Ragamuffin Gospel
Beach Music
Harry Potter
The Hunger Games - this is a 3-book series, I've read the first two so far. these books are fiction, and have a very interesting story line
Bel Canto - i was hooked after the first sentence
I Capture the Castle
The Blind Assassin

Just thinking about these books and all the amazing books that are out there that I have yet to read makes me want to become part of a book club. Anyone???

Sunday, March 20, 2011

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babes and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that your are mindful of him,
and the son of man that your care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the bets of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

~ Psalm 8.

Oh how I needed to hear these words this morning.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One thing people may learn quickly after being in my home is that I love to read.


Books, magazines, medical journals, cookbooks - we have an abudance of these.

I enjoy fiction in particular -there are shelves filled with all sorts of fiction. From Harry Potter to Edgar Allen Poe's short stories.

But I digress. What I really want to talk about is my obscene love for Pride and Prejudice. I'm pretty sure every girl in my 8th grade English class has a mild obsession with this book. Near the end of the year, our teacher used the entire week to show us the 5 hour BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth.

I have loved it since, but did not actually read the book until high school. Jane Austen writes beautifully and the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy are one of the most complex in all literature. If you have not yet read this book, or seen the movie, you must. And soon. If you don't have time for the BBC version, the Keira Knightley version, is also very well done.

But seriously, why would you not want to watch a movie with Colin Firth in it?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I am loving...

1. My husband. He blesses my life.
2. The pretty pink flowers he surprised me with after a long day of work.
3. Our new MacBook Pro - it just makes blogging so much more fun.
4. That I ended my Real Simple subscription ( i was a faithful subscriber for several years - it was finally time to let go)
5. So I could start subscribing to Food Network. And the first magazine I received? The Italian Issue. Food Network, I love you.
6. That in just a few short days I will be boarding a ship headed for the Bahamas and Key West. Hellooooo vacation!
7. My nook that my generous parents bought me as a "bon voyage" gift. And it was already pre-loaded with Pride and Prejudice!

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Few Things

Well hello there. Life is busy, and work is crazy. Per the usual. So, I haven't really blogged in awhile.

Oh well.

But now, I have a few things to share.

Nothing truly witty or profound. Just some things that are going on in my life.


1. I recently started the Couch to 5k running program. There was a time when I could run 4 miles, without passing out. Then residency began. I'm supposed to fit exercise into 14 hour days, or 80+ hour work weeks? Uh, no thanks. So now, I can barely run a mile without having to rest.

The problem is, I just don't feel healthy without doing some sort of exercise, whatever type it is. And I love to eat things like this.

So, I've really just started the program. I've only done two days so far. What I love is that when you first start, you alternate walking and jogging for 30 minutes. If I were to start running on my own without some guidance, I would try to push myself to hard and run for a full 30 minutes, feel terrible afterwards, and not run again for weeks at a time.

I don't want to become obsessed with exercise. I just want to feel healthy, and to feel like I'm taking care of myself. And I'd like to be able to do a 5k again.

2. Very soon, my sweet husband and I will be going on a cruise! I haven't had a vacation since October, and I am more than slightly pumped for this trip. We are leaving out of Charleston (my second love), and will be headed for Key West and the Bahamas. Just the thought of sunning, beaches, and lounging by the pool with a margarita or daquiri in hand makes me smile.

Neither of us have ever been on a cruise, so I've been doing a lot of searching to know what to expect, and what to bring. Obviously there are no brainers like - sunscreen, sunglasses, magazines, swim suits, etc. But will I really need my crossword puzzle and sudoku books (don't hate!), or my ipod. What about my long black semi-formal dress? Or my exercise clothes and gym shoes? Adam is skeptical that I'll actually use them - I'm determined to show him wrong.

So, with all my searching for the ultimate cruise packing list (i love lists), I have made an overwhelmingly long one, including the items stated above. It'll be interesting to see what I actually will and will not use (such as the already mentioned running shoes...HA!)

3. The Lord has been teaching me much these past few months about patience. Patience has always been something I struggle with. I can be impatient with people, specifically my husband and the parents of the little kiddos I take care of. I'm impatient with lines, crowds, etc. These last few months at work have been incredibly challenging. The patient load has been overwhelming and leaving me exhausted. I have seen many sick children this winter season, along with their very worried parents. Even if it is a simple infection, such as a cold, parents don't necessarily know that - that's why they're coming to the ER! I'm not exactly sure what has changed. I still have moments where I feel like I'm gritting my teeth and going through the motions just to make it through the day. But, I do feel like the Lord has been changing my heart. He has been faithful to give me the strength and the ability to patiently explain to parents what is going on with their child, and how to best take care of them. He has also helped me to love them better. There is much growing to do, but I am thankful that the Lord is showing me where I need to change, and that He is helping me to do so.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yesterday when I left for work, I was locking my house door when I realized I still had my slippers on.

I need a break.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

6 Reasons

Why I want to go to Bonnaroo this year:

1. Arcade Fire
2. Robert Plant
3. Mumford and Sons
4. Alison Krauss
5. Amos Lee

Who's in??

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Why this weekend has been amazing

So far....

1. I got to sleep in. Score.

2. After a quick breakfast, Adam and I walked to Starbucks for some coffee and reading. I live so close to downtown Greenville that I get to walk to places like Starbucks. Or the Saturday market when it is in season. I love it. And, a friend of our's was working at Starbucks this morning and was kind enough to treat us to our coffee. The Lord continues to surprise me and amaze me with people's kindness. Plus, relaxing with free coffee and a good book. It doesn't get much better.

3. Meeting my parents for a movie. My parents are some of the most gracious people I know. They are constantly showering Adam and I with love. We all went to see the movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis' Voyage of the Dawn Treader. When I read through the Narnia stories a couple years ago, this was my favorite of the tales. This movie is a beautiful story depicting the power Jesus has over defeating sin and evil. I yearn for Heaven and for the day there is no more pain, no more evil, and no more sorrow.

4. Baking this amazingly delicious blueberry crumb cake. Once again, thank you Pioneer Woman. I cannot wait to have some tomorrow morning with a cup of coffee.

5. This evening, Adam and I spent a gift card that his boss gave us for PF Changs. When we eat out, we don't typically go to chain restaurants. Mostly because there are so many unique places to eat here in Greenville, and we love supporting local restaurants. However, I cannot deny that PF Changs has some very tasty food. And, I love going out to eat. It makes me feel fancy.

It has been such a relaxing, fun weekend so far, and I am so thankful for that. Work has been crazy these past couple weeks. The winter time is always busy in the pediatric world and this year did not prove wrong. I am hoping for it slow down a bit. But until I go back to work on Monday, I'm going to continue enjoying this lazy, rainy weekend.

Happy New Year!