Monday, August 29, 2011

Cooking Lately!

So I haven't been doing as well with consistently cooking as I had hoped, but I have made several real efforts in the last week or so! I've found that when I research my meals and get excited about them, I have a much better attitude about coming home from work and cooking. I have this odd hatred toward random meals that are not thought out and instead just thrown together. Example: grilled chicken/fish, broccoli, and baked potatoes. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, and sometimes I even end up liking it, I'm always in a bad mood when I'm cooking/eating these type meals. Maybe it stems from my random eating in college....who knows!

Last week I made a huge pot of this crab corn chowder. Delish! Not exactly perfect for August, but it was delicious nonetheless and made multiple meals, which is an added bonus! I combined ingredients from several recipes based on the reviews (what did we do before reviews/comments??)

I was also craving some homemade bread and remembered my lifelong friend, Whitney, blogging about an easy and tasty recipe a while back. You can find the recipe here at her super cute blog. Even if you're not interested in the bread you should check out her blog Harvest Home, she's a real life farmer's wife and shares great recipes and cooking tips! She's also a great photographer, an elementary school teacher,a pampered chef consultant, and runs her own online boutique, Park Street Market. She's also an Aggie, but that's neither here nor there ;) The bread turned out scrumptious just as she promised; I made several little loaves to share with my co-workers.

This past weekend I was really wanting something sweet and remembered my friend Robyn posting some amazing recipes to cure a sweet tooth. Again, even if you pass on the brownies, Robyn's blog is a must see! She's an awesome photographer,she post excellent recipes, she's super creative/thrifty when it comes to decorating, she sews!, and she has two ridiculously cute children. She also happens to be an Aggie, what can I say people, I pick good friends. ha! Anyway, I went on over to her blog, The Farmer Family and found this little beauty! Cookie-dough brownies! Originally I read this as chocolate chip cookie brownies, but after reading the recipe closer, I realized the middle layer is actually non-cooked (egg free) cookie dough.....heaven! Warning they are very very rich, but should definitely cure your sweet tooth, or leave you needing a root canal, either way, mission accomplished!

Tonight, I made this tomato pie. It was verrrry tasty and equally filling! If I could describe it in one word I would say "southern". I mean, we are combining pie crust, mayonnaise, cheese, and tomatoes (if that doesn't scream southern, heart attack, obesity and diabetes, then I don't know what does)! I was a little nervous about Hubs reaction to having no meat options, but after one small slice of this baby trust me you'll need a couch and a nap! I was planning to make my own crust, but got home from work an hour later than expected, so I used a frozen one, and it turned out fine!

Here's the recipe:

Tupelo Honey Cafe's Tomato Pie

* Pie Crust (I used deep dish)
* 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 10 ounces cheese)
* 1 cup mayonnaise
* 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* 2 chopped green onions, white and green parts
* 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 cup panko bread crumbs
* 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick

Roll out a 10-inch pie crust and place in a 9-inch pie pan. Preheat the oven to 425F. In a bowl, combine the cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, parsley, green onions, Parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs, mixing completely. Layer one-third of the tomatoes in the pie pan, covering the bottom of the pie crust. Spread one-third of the Parmesan cheese mixture on top of the tomatoes and repeat, making 2 more layers of tomatoes and cheese and ending with the cheese mixture. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top of the pie is bubbling and browned. Serve warm.

Makes 8 servings

There you have it, that's what I've been cooking up. The rest of this week I am planning some quick and easy (I hope) pasta dishes from The Pioneer Woman!

Happy Monday and Happy Cooking!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Our Savannah Bungalow - Part 2

Hello again!

In case you missed part one of this "series" (read: I was too tired/lazy to finish it all in one sitting). You can scroll down a little to read or just click here! Anyway, on to the rest of the house...

Guest Bedroom #1

Finley doing a little squirrel hunting from inside of course...

Notice the sign above the bed that I blogged about here? Well thanks to Hubs it was an easy and fun project! I think it looks great in the room, and we love the sayings we picked for it. Side note: The saying "Ignore Inhibitions" was supposed to end with "and pursue your dreams" but I ran out of room; I don't encourage people to ignore all inhibitions just most some ;)

This chest I got in April at Warrenton/Round Top with my friend Camille. It was mint green with hideous hardware. I love how imperfect it is i.e. uneven drawers that don't close flush.

Guest Bedroom #2 - The daybed was mine growing up, and still has the trundle, so it is great for guests that don't want to get too cozy ;) The wood side table was my grandma's.

The ladder I also got a Warrenton/Round Top for $10.

I didn't want to spend a fortune on the linens/pillows because I don't know how much longer we will actually use this bed. So, the bedding is a fitted sheet and the bed skirt is a top sheet. ha! The shams are from Target and are a much cheaper alternative to PBs pick stitch shams. The flowered pillow is from IKEA. The others are just pillow cases.

Drew's Mom gave me this desk my sophomore year in college. I almost got rid of it a few moves ago, but decided to re-finish it instead. I'm so glad I did, I love it now!! The wreath I made last year out of book pages from this tutorial.

I found this antique wooden stool at an antique store in Navasota, TX. I drove by it two times everyday when I worked in Brenham. One Friday I got off early, so I stopped in, and found this little beauty! The top quilt on it, is one that my great-grandmother (Nana) had began sewing but never finished. A couple of Christmases ago my Mom took the part that my Nana had finished and the rest of the scraps, and had it completed - such a special gift!!

Guest Bathroom

The Kitchen (I could definitely live without this tile!)

Breakfast Area

Curtains I made with no-sew glue..haha!

Love these jars!

Inspiration for curtains. First picture's from PB, second off pinterest (not sure of original source) and third, is from The Lettered Cottage, I liked the pattern.

We also have a formal dining room, but it has nothing in it, so no pictures. Hubs said he was going to make me a farmhouse table...but...that hasn't happened, YET ;)

I also love this little telephone table in the hallway and the transoms in a couple of the bedrooms!

That's all for now, hope you've enjoyed the tour :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Our Savannah Bungalow - Part 1

I've been meaning to do a post about our house in Savannah for a while. Unfortunately, we can't just invite our family and friends over for the night, so a picture tour will have to suffice.

We got very lucky in finding this house, especially in this neighborhood. There are lots of charming and historic houses in the city, but many of them are in very sketchy places. While on our house hunt we had a map of areas that we considered good/safe zones to live in, and when we saw this place and found it to be on the "good list" I said sign us up!

This house was built in the 30's/40's, which is one thing I love about it! It is full of character and old architecture, but it also has its fair share of issues. Oh well, that's why I'm glad it's not permanently ours! We also think it's haunted!! (Ha. Not really. But maybe.) When we first moved in, we were putting Christmas stuff in the attic, and discovered the attic was full of stuff. Old letters. Old clothes. Junk. Old books. Anyway, we discovered that most of the stuff belonged to someone named Thomas Puckett. He apparently lived in the house in the 60's and paid $85/month in rent. We found a letter to the landlord complaining about the roaches. Which is funny because we have a problem with roaches too (but apparently all of Savannah does)!

Anyway, on to the picture tour.

I Looooove having a front porch! I'm really looking forward to having it in the fall!

Of course we have to display our Aggie and Texas pride!

A wreath I made last spring

Come on in Y'all!

Entry Way - Clearly I need to put a picture in that bottom frame. Ha!

I made the mossy "E" out of foam board and moss for $5. My inspiration was this Pottery Barn
letter which is $80 before shipping!!

Living Room - If I could ever make it to the IKEA in Atlanta, maybe I could get some more curtains. Ha!

View from master bed room through french doors to the living room

We've never had a TV in our room, so we were pretty excited when we discovered we could lay in bed and watch TV (Though we've yet to do this because we decided not to get cable until football season..haha!)

Master Bedroom - The quilt came from Home Goods and was very reasonable, while those awesome lamps came from Hobby Lobby and were 1/2 price (Thanks Mom!)

The yellow pillow I found 1/2 off at Home Goods and the small monogrammed one is from Pottery Barn (I did wait for free shipping though!)

Jax wanted to be in all the pictures, so I will let him, just because he's so darn cute!!

Check back tomorrow for the rest of the tour!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


"There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won't, and that's a wife who can't cook and will." - Robert Frost

Overall I really don't hate cooking and truthfully, I'm not all that bad at it. But, I do hate the idea of getting home from work at 6 pm and everyone (Hubs and me that is) is starving and saying "What's for dinner?" There's just so much pressure that comes with that statement.

The last thing I want to do after working all day is sweat in a hot kitchen just so we can have something to eat. Not to mention, if I do want to cook, then I probably don't have the right ingredients. (I know I could make this easier by meal planning, but I just don't feel like doing that right now, maybe later when kids are involved:)

Therefore, we usually go out to eat. This habit of our has gotten increasingly difficult since moving to Savannah, which surprisingly has FEW good restaurants. There are lots of 'touristy' restaurants which cost a small fortune, but they are seriously lacking on your every day run of the mill restaurants. We were so frustrated the other night that we made a list of our "regulars" that we miss back in TX:

1. Mexican Food (Ninfas, Los Cucos, On the Border, La Bodega, Fuzzy's Tacos, Abuelos, Rosas, Fuego, Jose's, Chuy's) and those were just our regulars.
2. Freebirds or Chipotle (the bigger franchise version of Freebirds)
3. Cheddars
4. Good Barbecue
5. Pizza Buffets
6. Pei Wei
7. Genghis Grill
8. McAllisters
9. Fish Daddy's
10. Johnny Carinos
11. Layne's or Canes (the franchise version of Layne's)
12. Kolaches (I just had to throw that in there, because I miss them so!)

I purposefully included mostly chain restaurants, because I don't expect Savannah to have the local joints. But seriously people need to start some restaurants around this town! So, I guess this has inspired me to start cooking again.

This past weekend I whipped up some homemade banana, almond pancakes for breakfast on Saturday. Then made an eggplant parmigiana from this Food Network recipe for Saturday night. Sunday I made some homemade chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache. And Monday I made this cajun chicken pasta from The Pioneer Woman.

All the things were great, which makes cooking much more fun! Monday at work, I actually found myself thinking about cooking, and I was excited. Funny how changing your perspective on things can change your mood! Anyway, hopefully I'll keep this up! Tomorrow I plan on making fire roasted corn guacamole and chicken enchiladas. (Maybe I'll remember to take a picture to share)!

Happy Cooking!