Monthly Archives: September 2011

I can make meatballs! (And manage to not be a total dummy at soccer.)

After a pretty bad week last week, my goal this week has been to just be positive and try to enjoy the time I have right now to try new things.

Despite the fact that I complain about being bored, I also enjoy the time to cook. I really enjoy creating new recipes and tweaking ones from all my new cookbooks. And I’ve made a lot of delicious dishes and really improved my grating, slicing, chopping, peeling, steaming, and searing skills.

My mom certainly makes some great meals, and she has all sorts of recipes that my family considers favorites. But she didn’t do a ton of “from scratch” cooking. Which is fine, because the creativity that comes with taking some pre-made ingredients and combining them with special touches is a huge influence on my cooking.

(Ask Wyatt, he knows how creative I am with the idea of a “semi-homemade” meal.)

So I was pretty proud of myself for deciding to tackle the homemade meatballs we had on Wednesday.

I know, I know, it doesn’t sound that hard. But to someone who has always eaten pre-made meatballs with homemade sauce, it was a big undertaking.

So, I thawed the hamburger and found a recipe.

And dug in with both hands. (It was my first time feeling that distinctive raw-egg-and-raw-hamburger-squish. And as expected, it was equally fun and gross.)

About twenty minutes later, I had a full pan of meatballs, all sauced up and ready for cooking.

Ready to pop in the oven! My hands were a huge mess right about now.
After I got those in the oven, I got ready to slice, bread, and fry the eggplant. Yum. (I think I may love eggplant an unusual amount.) Still though, last time Wyatt was home in time to help me with this process, as it’s hard to do all on your own. Between keeping an eye on the ones in the pan and getting the next ones ready to put in the pan, and the sticky cracker-and-egg-mush-mess that tends to build up on my fingers, it was a challenge. I was also trying not to over cook the steamed vegetables on the back burner of the stove at this time.)
But I made it, and by the time I was done, I had a huge mess!

It's a good thing we have a small kitchen, because I always manage to make a mess of all the cabinet space!

 And Wyatt seemed to like the end result. (I liked it as well. I’d for sure tweak the sauce if I was going to make this recipe again, but overall, it was a success.) (He even brought leftovers to work the next day, and shared with some coworkers, and since they approved, too, I’d say it was an absolute success.)

My first meatballs!

And don’t forget the eggplant! An important part of the meal.

I ate way more than 2 pieces of eggplant, this is just the first helping. Maybe not the healthiest meal ever, but the vegetables count for something, right?

So, all in all, despite the number of dirty dishes I had to wash later, it was a good meal. And we used up the eggplant. So, that’s good. I hate wasting fresh vegetables.

Last night we had soccer, which went better than last week.
(Despite the run-in I had with the Brita pitcher before we left that left water ALL OVER the inside of the fridge. Man, I hate that thing.)
 I still feel like a total goof most of the time and wonder how those guys can be THAT much faster than me, but I managed to have a few good passes and some other non-sucky stuff like that.
And Thursday nights are usually Wyatt’s night to cook because he lets me take the first shower when we get home. (He knows me well–when it’s chilly outside and I’ve been running around in shorts, that’s the fastest way to make me feel better. There’s just something magical about a super hot shower.)
We had hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. Cheap, fun, and though I could take or leave hot dogs, I had more than my share of the macaroni.
All in all, this Thursday night was WAY better than last Thursday. (More about that later, I’m still sorting out my feelings about why last week was so hard…)
And I’m ready to head into the weekend, which is turning into a much busier time than we expected. But, other than the time I’m here during the day, life tends to do that, right?
Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Can YOU resist the temptation? And other thoughts on hypothetical babies.

To recap, I stay home all day in our little one bedroom apartment. I’m looking for work, with no luck yet, and more often than not, I’m bored. Yup, I said it. I admit it. After a jam-packed and turbo-tracked college career of a double major in three years, I now have nothing to do but cook, clean, and search for work.

So yea, I’m a bit bored.

Yesterday at my most bored time of day (2-3pm), I got an email. (woohoo!)

As a newlywed, I’m subscribed to’s email newsletter. It’s a cute little website with all sorts of resources for newlyweds like me (and maybe you if you’re reading this!). But this one in particular seemed to border on the “crazy-girl” side of things.

It seemed innocent enough. It was about babies, as many of the emails are. And babies are cute and sweet, right?


(at least in this case…)

Because this email wanted me to upload pictures of my hubby and I to get a picture of what our future baby will look like!

If I’ve learned anything from movies like “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days,” and “He’s Just Not That Into You,” it’s that doing something like that is the easiest and fastest way to freak out whatever guy you’re trying to convince to have a baby with you in the first place.

Let’s face it.

Most guys think babies look funny, smell funny, and cost a lot. (All of which are a little true, or a lot true, if we’re all honest here.)

So showing them a picture of your future hypothetical baby? Not the best turn on you could come up with.

Don’t get me wrong. I want babies. My husband wants babies. Just not right now. And I agree.

So why was I itching to push that button and upload my images?

Does it mean I’m secretly one of those girls?

Does it mean I have “baby fever”?

I’m going to go with the idea that it’s just because I’m so bored here by myself.

And…I’m going to post the link. Just in case you are tempted too.

So let me know what your babies will look like, because I KNOW not all of you will be able to resist the temptation.

Or at least I hope so, because I’m still holding out on giving in, but I’d really like something new to look at around 2:00 today.

Categories: Laughs | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Honeymoon Memories

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Is it too early to take a second honeymoon?

I’m not sure if it’s because of the amazing weather today or the fact that it’s Fall and I always get vacation fever this time of year. Maybe it’s because I saw some fun pictures from a trip my best friend and her boyfriend just took to D.C.

But I want to go on a trip, dangit.

Fortunately, I’m (sadly, still!) not working, so having the time is not a problem for me.

Unfortunately, Wyatt (thankfully) is working, and thus, can’t take off so soon after we took our honeymoon.

And then of course, there’s the fact that trips cost money, and well, we’re trying to save all we can right now.

But I don’t care. I want to go somewhere. Somewhere fun.

Somewhere now.

But alas, Wyatt has to go to work tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. And I have to look for a job tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that…


So I guess for now I’ll settle for a drive in the city. And since the city still doesn’t feel like my “real” home, maybe that will do something to help cure my vacation blues. And hey, then we’ll get to come home and sleep in our own bed in our own apartment, which is definitely where I feel most at home, and thus is better than any hotel, vacation or not, right?

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dinner out of Nothing…Round Two

So, last night I wrote about our Cheesy Fiesta Rice.


Today, since we had so much left over, which often happens when it’s just the two of us here eating, I decided I’d try a little “round two recipe” for lunch.

So I reheated the rice and ripped off a few layers from a head of lettuce. I put a dollop of rice, a bit of ranch dressing, (you could add tomatoes, peppers, or any other fresh veggies you like) and then rolled it up in a simple little wrap. (I made four little ones, and it was the perfect size for lunch.)


I think I liked this even better than the first time we had it. It tasted so light and fresh, but was cheesy, meaty, and filling, all at the same time.

I still have some left, so let me know if you have other ideas of how to use up our “tex-mex” rice!

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Dinner out of Nothing

Yesterday we got a bunch of hamburger from Wyatt’s parents, which is great. Except that our freezer is pretty little, and right now, it’s stuffed pretty full. Of hamburger.

So tonight for dinner, it was hamburger. For sure.

But, I waited to go to the grocery store until after Wyatt got home so he could go with me.

Which means that I needed to make something for dinner out of hamburger…and not much else.

This is what I came up with. It was pretty good, I think, and Wyatt approved.


Cheesy Fiesta Rice “Homemade Hamburger Helper”

1 lb hamburger

2 cups water

2 Tbs butter

1 package Mexican rice mix

1 small onion, diced

1 cup salsa

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning

4 slices American cheese, ripped in small pieces

1 tomato, diced

Brown hamburger in a large skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Add water, rice, onion, and butter. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in salsa, chili powder, lemon pepper seasoning, and cheese. Simmer while stirring for another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and mixed throughout.

We served it burrito style with the fresh diced tomatoes in soft flour taco shells, but there are also other ways I’m sure it will be great.

 (I’ll let you know as we’ll be eating it again tomorrow as leftovers!)

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Not Lost

Today I had to make my way to Liberty to get an estimate for our car repair after our fender bender a few weeks ago (Yes, we are dragging our feet a little in this process).

As usual, I was nervous that I would get totally lost, stranded, and well, have to call my husband at work to come rescue me.

(Which wouldn’t be SOO bad, except that I’d NEVER hear the end of it.)

And of course, that would be a worst case scenario. Most likely, I’d just be really, really late to whatever I was trying to get to.

You’d think that after close to 3 months, I’d be getting better at this driving in the city stuff, but really, as I drive around, I still don’t get the feeling that I really live here. I mean, our apartment feels like home, and I’m getting better at finding my way around the strangely unfamiliar set up of our local Wal-Mart (you’d think they would be more similar from town to town…), but overall, I think I still feel like I’m visiting, or just pretending to live here.

Is that weird?

But today I made it there and back, no problems. At all. I was even feeling confident enough to disagree with the directions on the gps, and go my own way. Go me.

(On a side note, thank goodness for GPS. I’d like to hug whoever invented that wonderful little piece of technology.)


Of course, that doesn’t mean I’ll be any less nervous the next time I go out, so I’m sure there will be more “lost” posts in the future.

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Advice from you: Groceries

Categories: Advice | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

Almost Lost

Yesterday morning I had to ride into work with Wyatt because we left a car there over the weekend and I needed to pick it up and bring it home.

I have driven there before so I didn’t think it would be too bad. But it was early, I was tired, and well, to be honest, it’s me.

And I ended up exiting off I-29 and onto I-35. Oops. Considering our apartment is on I-29…that was a bad move.

So…I panicked for a minute. (But, a short minute, to my credit.)

And luckily, but what could have been very unlucky had I been more lost, the car was low on gas. (Wyatt had instructed me to find a gas station on the way home.)

So, I found a gas station on my little detour. (Thank goodness for those little signs on the exits that tell you about the food and gas and lodgings…)

And I filled up, turned around, and got back on I-35 south, all as if I had done it on purpose, (When of course, I didn’t) and then, luckily, and handily enough, that got me right back onto I-29.

And then home.

Keep in mind that when I answered Wyatt’s “Did you get home okay,” I really downplayed the “lost” part of this story.

Still, I got home, and found a gas station, so I’d say, all in all, not a bad trip, right?

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Ice Cream Cure

It all started with a night full of paying bills. Add in Wyatt not paying attention because he kept getting sucked into the episode of American Choppers that was currently blaring from the TV, and I was grumpy, pouty, and well, just unhappy. After I sat stewing on the couch for a long enough amount of time for Wyatt to notice my frown and ask a few times what the heck was wrong with me, the following commenced.

“Wyatt, cheer me up,” I said in a whiney voice. (Hey, I’m not proud of it, but sometimes I’m just salty.)

“Can I get you a bowl of ice cream?”



So we had ice cream. And it was yummy and nice. And I was a little cheered up.

A little.

“Wyatt, now what?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the ice cream was a good start, but I’m still not cheered yet.”


“Well, you can’t just give me ice cream and expect me to be all happy the rest of the night.”


“Well what?”

“That’s all I have in my toolbox!”

And then we laughed, and we kissed, and I was suddenly aware that I was standing in my kitchen with a husband who genuinely loves me, and knows me oh so well. And what could make me happier than that?

Categories: Love Stuff | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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