Life's Sweet Journey: domesticated
Showing posts with label domesticated. Show all posts
Showing posts with label domesticated. Show all posts

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Trader Joe's Top 5 Finds!

I finally made it to Trader Joe's!! One recently opened (and by that I mean a few months ago) in Winter Park and I have been dreading the crowds and the parking that I had heard were horrendous. However, a friends birthday led to a visit to Shake Shack (also a 'never-been-to-before' and yummy destination), which then led to an impromptu trip inside Trader Joe's. I also found parking right away (apparently Thursday at 11:30 is prime time for parking finds). I must admit I found Trader Joe's slightly intimidating. I had no clue where to start, but luckily I had a trusty Trader Joe's veteran who helped show me the ropes. She would mention something good, I would throw it in the cart. The only issue was, I was heading to work... but don't fear, I stocked those fridges up with my home groceries and they sat nice and cozy until I could to leave for the night. 

I have so far loved everything I have tried! It is amazingly priced and everything has been so yummy! But my top 5 happy choices were: 
1.) Trader Joe's Goat Cheese with Honey!! 
While I would have loved a more blogpropriate picture, I did not even think to get my camera out because this cheese-from-heaven was gone that quickly! The girl I was with said they had great cheese and my first thought was "I can't get cheese, I can't refrigerate it". Then I read 'cheese and honey', two of my favorite things already together in one one glorious package and the game was over. This little thing of cheese changed the whole trip from, "I will just grab a few staple, cabinet items" too, "load the cart, buy the whole store, work fridges here I come"!! 
2.) Trader Joe's Creamed Honey!! 
This should probably have been number 1, but I still have dreams about that cheese. The honey is still very happily sitting in the cabinet where I can partake whenever needed, therefore leaving the dancing buckets of honey out of my nighttime sleep sequence. I have been wanting to make creamed honey for a while (or attempt to anyways) so when I saw this little golden goodness just sitting there for the taking I didn't have to think twice. Honey speaks to my soul and someday I will have my very own bees, but for now, this shall suffice. I used it the other night when cooking chicken (recipe below). Some went into the skillet, mostly though I just ate it straight off the spoon. 
3.) Trader Joe's Organic Apples!!
One of the very best things about Trader Joe's is that everything is priced as each, not by the pound. I don't have to fill a bag full of fruit, walk it to a scale and add or remove items depending on how much I want to pay. So, there I was reaching to grab an apple or two when I saw a whole bag of apples... organic apples... for less than 4 dollars!! Why is the bag not full of apples you ask? Brought them home and they were gone in a day (there are only two of us in the house). 
4.) Speculoos Cookie Butter!!
I have heard about this, I think we have all heard about this. The cookie butter, the Trader Joe's wonder, that of course had to go in my cart. I must admit that I was not at first sold on this. In my mind I had imagined a chocolate chip cookie doughish tasting peanut butter. This has more of a snicker-doodle, cinnamon taste to it but the more I ate it the more I loved it. Yum!! 
5.) Green Tea Mints!! 
These I also had to warm up to. I grabbed them thinking they could be neat to try. I love green tea, so I thought I might enjoy them. At first I found them a little odd, but I think it was mainly thinking of it as a mint that threw me off. However, after the first one I found myself wanting another- and then another. Now I eat at least two each day. I keep them in my car and always eat one on my way to work and then usually again on the way home. They are refreshing and come with antioxidants included! 

My Trader Joe's Inspired Recipe! 
I haven't cooked in about 2 years, give or take! This may be a slight exaggeration, but only slight. I never have time to cook anymore. I enjoy it though. I enjoy trying new things. My newest fad has been to try anything and everything I can get honey into. Well, I used my new found "happies" as a reason to turn on the stove and here is the result. 

Creamed Honey Chicken 
Super easy and so very good!! 
- Chicken cutlets
- Creamed Honey
- Regular Honey 
- Flour
- Seasoning 
- Coconut Oil 
- Apples
Place coconut oil, spoonful of creamed honey and apples in skillet and allow to heat over medium-high. While heating wash chicken and smother in honey and seasonings of your choice. I used garlic salt, season all and onion powder. Then I spooned on the honey and added more seasoning. Dredge chicken lightly through flour and add to pan. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, turning once, until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy!! 
*I am not typically a measurement sort of person, unless I am baking I throw a little of whatever I want in, whichever way I want. I love honey so there was a lot of that and garlic. 

I accompanied the chicken with some wonderful butternut squash, also purchased from Trader Joe's. 
Peeled and cut the squash, placed flat on a pan covered in olive oil. Spread more olive oil across the squash and sprinkled with garlic salt and a bit of cinnamon. Baked at 400 degrees for 25- 30 minutes. Take out squash and flip halfway through, sprinkle a dash more garlic salt and place back in oven for the remainder of the time. 

I know it may be Monday, but I am linking up with the gals of 5 on Friday [darciaprilchristina + natasha]!! Nothing like a little Friday fun on a Monday! I had full intentions of having this posted before the weekend, but ya' know... life! They are doing an awesome giveaway to kick off the 5 on Friday being back in the swing of things, so hop on over and check them out! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blueberry Blues!

I have a confession!! I have the blues... the blueberry blues!!
Friends, let me tell you. I have never really been a huge blueberry fan, not since getting sick off of a blueberry muffin my freshman year of high school. That is all a thing of the past!! I am a blueberry freak and this morning finds me lusting after fresh, juicy, ripe, off-the-vine blueberries! Babe and I went by a blueberry farm that a friend and I heard about while picking at a strawberry farm. Well, it was AHHMAZING! 
Acres and acres of endless berries... and they even had honey bees!! I got as close as Babe would let me (dude kinda freaked a little). I was in blueberry heaven!! And after eating blueberries straight from the vine, and being able to be very selective as to the berries I put in my basket, this girl will never be able to buy another thing of blueberries at the store. Alas, blueberry picking season is now over. My little heart is crying! Blue tears! But in the meantime, I will simply dream on that last little bit of blueberry goodness and share with you this recipe that my mom makes every 4th of July! It was the only way I could ever eat blueberries for a while. And it is one of the most delicious things you will ever eat!! 
Apparently it was Gooding's recipe before mom had it, but for the sake of my memories we will call it...
Mama F's Blueberry Cobbler!!
 After acquiring all of the above ingredients the steps go as follows...
1.) Line the bottom of your pan with blueberries and cover with lemon juice. Mom typically uses one large 13X9 pan, but because I was baking with the kiddos I nanny for we used two 8in pans. I had to be able to take one with me!!
2.) In mixing bowl combine flour, sugar and baking powder with your one beaten egg. Use a fork (or your clean hands) to mash all of this together! I like mine pretty crumblie so that it spreads nicely but that is all up to preference. Really it just needs to be mixed so that there is no remaining flour/ sugar not mixed in. **side note- I usually like to add just a tad more flour and sugar (they just need to be equal parts) because the crust is yummmtastic!!
3.) Spread flour/sugar mixture over blueberries. It may not spread over completely as it will settle between berries. **I make more crust because I like mine pretty well covered!
4.) Pour melted butter over crust!
5.) Sprinkle cinnamon and light brown sugar over crust! **Feel free to use a dosh more of this then recipe calls for; I did!

6.) Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until you notice the top is starting to turn crisp and brown! *Bake time will be shorter for convection ovens. And of course it never hurts to open the oven up to take a whiff and a peek! Amp up the anticipation!!
 7.) Enjoy! So good we had to dig into that puppy before we even got the camera out!!
 Yummm!! Blueberry Beauty!!
 *** This is a great recipe to make with kids! The little girl I nanny for requested a baking day and this was perfect! It allowed her to be hands on with every step. I basically just supervised and snapped pictures with her sweet heart baked the afternoon (or 15 minutes at least) away! I love afternoons with her!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

All Domesticated Like, Just Read My Walls!

My post title has domestic in it... call the presses and alert the news!

I don't know where it came from but this last week had found me with a 'crafty, clothe-my-naked-walls' hair in my rear end. Considering it has been two and half years since we moved in and two and half years since I so much as placed an item on a shelf to look somewhat decorative you should probably not expect too many of these posts.  This mood may have come about because my dear friend Kalee was in town visiting from her new home in Birmingham. She is so good at all that 'planny, arrangey' type stuff and some of it may have rubbed off while she was here. Whatever the reason, since I have been in said mood lately I will share with you my fond little corner! My walls are so happy not to be naked anymore. Come and read them for yourself!!

I finally made the book wreath that I had found the idea for here.  Check Christina out if you want to know how to make it because, well, my step-by-step process talk would give you a whole lotta nothing! I could barely figure out how to roll the cones the right way. It took a handful of tries before Wally (who was helping me) finally figured it out and then a bazillion how-tos for me to finally catch on.  This is what finally began to commence after that tutorial.

It all started with a few ripped out pages. This part was the hardest thing for me to do! You do not rip books around this girl!!  Books are like babies, they need to be treated gently. I can get all kinds of be-nice-to-that-book crazy, but I felt that given the cover and the amount of love this book had seen it was time to be recommissioned for a higher purpose.

And that is when the pile began to grow...

and grow... (plus you can't beat some time with my main man Tim McGraw and the ever wonderful Sandra Bullock)

And grow! Until it was this glorious pile of Harry Potter happiness just waiting to be put together to adorn my wall.  It was actually pretty neat seeing the book piled up on my table like that, with the pages spread out and the cover atop them all.

And then all of those cone pages became this. It took the first movie (The Blind Side) to cone everything and then the second (Bedtime Stories) to get everything glued down properly.  I used a 12 inch wreath instead of 16 because I wasn't sure the book had enough pages to fill the bigger one up. 

Then the next day, in all the remaining crafty steam of the day before, I finally decided to display wedding photos.  And this was born!

I was so happy with myself for these little projects that I did a little jig (or two)! Babe has only been hinting for me to clothe our walls for what seems like years now (maybe because it actually has been).

I also figured I would share with you a lovely sandwich Babe and I ate when we went to dinner at a friends parents one evening. I now dub this sandwich the "Mr. Beaver" in honor of our sweet host (though he did get the idea from a sandwich shop somewhere in St. Pete)!

It is sandwich consisting of grilled tuna steaks, egg salad (made by a sweet friend I call Beave) and avocado. Considering I am not a huge fish eater (though I do love meatier fish such as tuna) and I do not typically like egg salad, I would say anyone should try this sandwich.  You will love it! It is so yummy! I loved each and every last morsel of it.  So, so very delicious!

Now that you have made it through my rant of domesticated, craftiness how has your summer kick-off been? 
Any sandwich ideas you love that I could try out this summer? 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dear Tidy Man I Married

Today's challenge topic to issue a public apology goes out to my sweet husband in response to a wonderful remark he made not that long ago.  Let me set up the scene a bit.  The laundry (my laundry) that had been cleaned was still sitting on the couch after about a week.  I had laid it out there after it got out of the dryer so it wouldn't wrinkle and ran out the door to go to some unknown location.  Then upon coming home I got busy and forgot all about it.  Babe didn't mention much about it, though I knew he wanted it put away.  My plan was to get it put up before he said anything, I had it scheduled and everything.  Well he got home early on said scheduled day and I had just made it into the living room to start it when he came in (as in I hear his car pull up and ran my behind in there to get started).   You could tell he was relieved to see it being done.  My response, "I'm sorry I suck at life".  He responded with a kiss on my head and an "Oh dear, you don't suck at life... just laundry." So here is my apology to him for sucking at life laundry and overall "wifeish" business.

Dearest Babe,

I apologize for the fact that laundry is something I have never been good at.  I am sorry that this leaves you to do your own because 1.) I tried to do yours once and you said it was ok that you would do it yourself (apparently wrinkles are not part of your laundry standards) and 2.) I only really do my own once a month and you need your clothes cleaned before then.  I am glad I can at least wash your boxers upon occasion as those can sit wrinkled when I forget that the clothes have been sitting in the dryer for a few days. 

I am sorry that the suitcase of clothes from our trip to Disneyland will probably sit unpacked by our bedroom door for days.  I promise to try to get it emptied (and the clothes put away in their proper place) by... Wednesday? Yes, I think Wednesday is a good goal. 

I am sorry that I forget to do things like wash the dishes and mop the floors when they need to be done because I have been busy with blogging and photos and sometimes a good book.  Thank you for bearing with me and pardoning my dust as I learn to do this acts of service thing, as that is your primary love language.

I am sorry that once each month the whole tidying thing gets even worse, need I say completely left by the wayside, as I moan on the couch while you bring me home Advil and reassurances that you love me because I get a little crazy and need the affirmation.

I am sorry that I get frustrated when, after having felt like I spent all day cleaning, you come in and hardly notice.  Mainly because, though I worked all day ("little" breaks of course), it doesn't really look like much was done.  At least not done like you would have done it and its something that should just be done so you don't consider it praise worthy (it isn't really but it's me were talking about).  You wouldn't require thanks for it and don't think about it but since words of affirmation is part of my love language I do and therefore get snippy. Sorry! It's just that getting the counters to shine without streaks is a feat against nature for me and I feel proud of myself.  I know it's silly!

Thank you for bearing with me.  For putting up with my crazy.  For being a clean and tidy man who picks up my very large amount of slack.  I love that we compliment each other and that where I will start a task and stop in the middle you will start and not stop until it is complete.  Our house truly sparkles when it has been cleaned by your hands.  I love that my "live-in-organized-chaos" soul met your "tidy-likes-everything-in-its-place" soul and that we get to live out our version of happily ever after.

Love Always,
Your Procrastinating, Laundry-hating Wife

See that smiling face? Cleaning makes him happy! I wouldn't want to take that from
him, would I?  And yes, he would be sweeping OUTSIDE.  He is insuring there will
not be leaves for people to track inside.