Monday, October 28, 2013

Oktoberfest, Round 2!

This weekend we had another Oktoberfest! You can read about Oktoberfest, Round One, here. This round the food was a little more authentic. We held our festivities in conjunction with the Rimkus' turn for game night, so they did most of the cooking. There was a variety of brats, german potato salad, german chocolate cake, sauerkraut, and lots of non-German snacks. I made spaetzel and soft pretzels. Everyone provided a lot of seasonal beverages including Oktoberfests, pumpkin beer, and pumpkin pie shots. I still highly recommend this theme as a fall extravaganza. 

Saturday was also the day that I decided I would have never been able to cut it as a German housewife. I plan to write a whole entire post on spaetzel making, but let me tell you it is one of the craziest, most interesting things I have made in my life. Never, ever again, friends. The soft pretzels on the other hand, I can't wait to make again. We ended the celebration with some lovely American pastimes - football and baseball. We watched Penn State get demolished by Ohio State almost instantly, and then switched to the World Series where things didn't go too much better for the Red Sox. At least Matt and I were in good company :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Love


Birthday Breakfast. The last Friday of each month at my school is Birthday Breakfast. Each team takes a month and they make breakfast for the whole staff to celebrate the birthdays that were had during that month. It's the best. There is so much good food that you never have the time for any other morning. Great tradition.


Wegmans. I have written many times on my blog about my love affair with my Wegmans. It makes grocery shopping a pleasurable experience. Everything is just so clean and fresh looking in my Wegs. I also truly believe they have the best prices in Northern Virginia. This is a battle that Matt and I continuously have, but I think he's even come to my side at this point.


Fall Weather. This is the first week I feel like we got our first real week of fall weather. It was a little bit of a shock to the system, but I'm happy it's here. I enjoy the crispness along with the sunshine :)


Chick-Fil-A. Last Friday my school had a social outing at a local Chick-Fil-A. The music teacher at my school won a party for 50 people and graciously donated it to all of us. We got to order whatever we wanted to eat. We also got the opportunity to take a backstage tour. The owner of the Chick took us through the kitchen and showed us around. The most impressive parts were the pop machines that run under the floor all the way to the cash register area, and my favorite...I got to see the real chicken breasts that they use for their sandwiches. I have a "thing" about chicken breasts...and I'm still impressed with how good they looked unbreaded.



Thursday, October 24, 2013


A few years ago I was going through a little stage where everything ended in "sies"...half-sies is one of the "sies" that has remained in my regular vocabulary. For example: "do you want halfsies?" The halfsies I want to talk about today though is a half marathon. Yes, you read that correctly. I want to talk about a half marathon.

About a month ago I posted about looking into new hobbies. I decided to get better with my blogging. I taught myself to arm knit. Recently, I have been considering training for a half marathon. There's one problem. I don't run (really ever), and I don't like it every time I try it. So I can't decide...should I commit myself to training for this and completing the Pittsburgh half in May? Then there's the fact that I only want to run the half marathon in of the hilliest places ever. Maybe not the smartest, but it's probably the most motivating city I could pick. I also know my limits and wouldn't plan to run the entire way. I would train for a walk/run.

I think the pros would be exercise, something to look forward to, the training would last the majority of this ridiculous school year, and participating in a half marathon would be a big accomplishment. The cons...I don't like the sport of running, in order to not die on mile eight I would have to be serious about the training (even through the winter months), and not really knowing what to expect I guess. Some days I think the pros far outweigh the cons, but then others I think to myself....13.1 miles of terror. So, seriously, what do you think? To halfsies or not to halfsies. My goal is to make the decision over the weekend.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Recipe of the Week!

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers
I made these to take to our PSU tailgate. Prior to this weekend I had only had this recipe with the peppers being baked in the oven, so I was a little nervous about how this would go on the grill, but it worked out great. I prepped all the peppers in Virginia, meaning I had them all sliced and stuffed, and then just grilled them at the tailgate. So these are a great make ahead snack for any occasion. And if you choose to bake them instead, just place them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 425. They were a huge hit, so I highly suggest this simple recipe.

3/4 pound pork sausage
8oz cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
50 jalapenos

Brown sausage in a skillet until cooked through. Set aside to cool. Slice jalapenos in half lengthwise. Clean out seeds. Combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and sausage. Fill eat jalapeno half with cream cheese mixture. Place stuffed peppers on the grill until the pepper is soft and filling is bubbly.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Last weekend Matt and I joined my family in State College for Penn State's homecoming game. I don't think I have been more excited for a weekend away for a long time. It's no secret how much I love Penn State, but I was extra excited since we were all going for the same weekend and we were all going to the game. Matt and I also took Friday off so that we could go to the homecoming parade. That turned out to be a big flop, but I did get to do a little afternoon bar tour with my brother-in-law and his parents, eventually to be joined by my parents and sister, while Matt studied in the library. Worth the vacation day.

My aunt, uncle, and cousins also joined us for tailgating!
Saturday we spent all day tailgating. We had so much great food. This year our tailgate had the addition of a tailgate pizza oven. Tailgating is so interesting. I feel like the stakes get higher every year. I would love to be independently wealthy (for a lot of reasons) to be able to travel around and tailgate at different colleges to see what they do.

Tailgate pizza oven
This year for homecoming we played Michigan. After losing by 20 points to Indiana the week before I don't think people had a whole lot of hope. Naturally, being the Penn State football optimist, I knew they were going to win. What I didn't know is that it was going to be one of the best games I have ever attended. I would also like to note that during this game we were completely surrounded by Michigan frat boys. It was one of the most annoying situations I have ever found myself in. Things started looking up when we took an early lead and the frat boys quickly lost their luster. The massive amounts of alcohol they were drinking all day also started catching up with them and they were fighting falling asleep and/or vomiting for the entire second quarter. After we got through that, the game was awesome. It started looking bad at the start of the second half when Michigan caused some turnovers and took the lead, but Penn State never gave up. At the end of regulation they drove the length of the field to send the game to overtime (four overtimes really). Let me add that Christian Hackenberg is no joke. That kid is going to be ridiculous over the next few years. 

Blue Band at halftime
I was ecstatic they won! I am also so happy we took the weekend to go away for this game. I actually went back to work happy on Monday. I am currently ranking this as my third best game experience in Happy Valley. I will never forget one my first ever Penn State games in 2002 (my freshman year!) when we played Nebraska. It was by far the sickest football game I have ever attended. Beaver Stadium was so loud, and it was such a huge game to win, and I was in the student section which is the best place to sit in the stadium to get the full effect of Happy Valley if you ask me. A close second would be the PSU vs. OSU game in 2005 (my senior year!). Both teams were ranked. PSU had 2 rough seasons my sophomore and junior years...there was big hope in Happy Valley that we might get to BCS bowl. Again, Beaver Stadium was continuously loud. When they played zombie nation that year there was a constant feeling the stadium might collapse. I can remember each of those two games so well. 

While this weekend was so good, it was also nice to come home to a grown up house and lifestyle. I did find myself laughing a lot this weekend about the way life use to be. When we were out and about in town it was just so funny to look at and observe some of the things that you forget are so "normal" when you a college student. My favorite was seeing 3 girls come out of a single bathroom stall. At first I thought to myself "what the hell." Then I remembered I use to do that. When you are 21 that's where all of your most philosophical and profound conversations use to the stall of a bathroom, in a dive bar, at 1 a.m. I think I can happily say I'm enjoying my new higher standard of living, but having my biggest responsibility be getting to the football game on time, or making it to class would be nice. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Love

It has been such a busy week. I have a lot of catching up to do over the weekend...mostly cleaning, life organizing, and some blog posts. For now, though, I'm so happy it's Friday. Enjoy some love, and have a great weekend.


Pillows. You never really, truly know the importance of a pillow until you spend a weekend without one. This past weekend at Penn State we stayed in a cabin (I'm going to make this a shorter story than it could be. Just accept we stayed in a cabin.) Matt and my bedroom consisted of two sets of bunk beds. I remembered to pack linens and towels, but we forgot our pillows. Let me add the bedroom of our cabin contained no heat. After doing some creative arranging of the bedding provided, things were looking up, but I can tell you my quality of sleep would have drastically increased with the addition of a pillow. I have never been so happy to sleep in my own bed on Sunday night. I still wish we took a picture of that sleeping situation.


This article has to be one of the funniest things I have read in a while. I love facebook as much as the next person, and am guilty of some of the behaviors described, but I'm sure you can identify with all of the facebook personalities listed there. Seriously read it, or skim it, for yourself. I guarantee you will be laughing thinking of all your facebook friends. My favorite is "The Cryptic Cliffhanger."


Sparkly armpits. One of the great things about being an elementary school counselor is the great deodorant talk I find myself give a couple times a year. Well I found myself giving one of my best speeches yet Wednesday afternoon. Some of our lovely girls on the run were in need, who was I to say 'no.' Somewhere between me talking about working hard and running and trying to give them a free deodorant sample, I found myself preaching about sparkly armpits (mostly because these weird little samples they give my pubescent friends are now glittery). I don't know where it came from, but I think it made an impact. Everyone was leaving that day talking to their moms and even their dads about their sparkly armpits!


Squash. Yes, I'm serious. Squash. I love vegetables, but we were always eating the same ones. Mostly broccoli and asparagus, and the occasional brussel sprout. Well this summer I started with zucchinis and yellow squash and found a new love for them. Last week I went into the spaghetti squash realm...and am trying to like it, but it's not as easy. And yes, I'm still trying to like pumpkin flavored items.


I always am talking about how much I LOVE Katerina's, and how it's the only place worth eating in the suburbs. Well a few weeks ago Matt made us go somewhere else. We tried Nora in Gainesville. It was very good. I would definitely go back. It reminded me of making Lebanese grape leaves with my freshman year roommate. So good.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Friday Love

I got so carried away with number {ONE} on my list that I forgot to post {Friday Love} here's a little Sunday love! 


As you are reading this you should know that I am being reunited with so many of my greatest loves. Matt and I are joining my whole family in State College this weekend for Penn State's homecoming game against Michigan! I am seriously so thrilled. I am really, really hoping that I bring some of that Happy Valley air back with me to Virginia. I am sure this trip will warrant it's own post in the future, so enough on that for now.




In last week's Friday Love I mentioned my new addiction to New Girl. Well, another show I got addicted to through Netflix is Parenthood. Does anyone else watch this? I never hear anyone talk about it, but I think it's pretty good.


Pumpkin cookies. A great fall recipe. I actually made these last night to take for out tailgate at PSU. Let me tell you (again) I am not a pumpkin fan, but these cookies are ridiculously good.


Arm knitting. I saw a picture of scarf I really liked on Pinterest a few months ago, so I clicked on it. Turns out some chick "arm-knitted" it. I decided to give it a try. It turns out it's super easy. Again, I think I can write a whole post on this. Maybe I will quit my job and become an arm-knitter.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Recipe of the Week!

The Best Pork Marinade
Yay! I love this. We really eat it all the time. I use to make just plain pork tenderloin with maybe some seasoning salt or something, but this is way, way better. And it's super easy. Whenever I buy pork tenderloin I buy a big pack of them. Then I separate them and put them in the freezer. So whenever we have this it's already in a big ziploc for me to marinate it. I suggest overnight, but a couple hours will work too!

1⁄2 cups olive oil
1⁄3 cup soy sauce
1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1-2 tbsp parsley
2 tsp dry mustard
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 1-lb. pork tenderloin

I cook the pork with all the marinade in a baking dish in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 450. After it is cooked through, remove and slice. I then spoon the marinade from the baking dish over the sliced meat.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Love

In this first edition of {Friday Love} I am all over the place. Maybe we could call it a Friday of old loves and new loves. I hope to become more focused and planned as the Fridays go on, but for now enjoy the first ever Friday Love.


This past week I made Eggplant Parmesan. It's time consuming, but so worth it. When I went back through my blog to find my post about it it was 2 years to the day I was looking it up (also my sister's birthday). Must be the time of year that gets me thinking about it! It's funny to see my old plates and countertops too! I've heard a lot of people say that writing a blog is self-centered, or egotistical, and maybe it kind of is, but I think it's really cool to be able to look back over the last 3 years and see what I was doing during a certain period in my life...even if it's just remember what our countertops and plates looked like.


Yes, friends, my love-hate relationship with Girls on the Run is back in session. Our team started on Monday. We have our smallest team ever thanks to "strategic advertising." I am pretty excited about our small team. I think it makes the most difference for the girls and definitely keeps me sane.


Last Christmas my sister gave me a subscription to Birchbox. I had never heard of it. The concept is pretty simple. You receive a small box every month of different beauty products. It can be anything really...skincare, nail polish, make-up, small accessories, etc. Then you can review the products and accumulate points. The points add up to money you can use to buy products on the site. I am not huge into beauty products, but I did enjoy getting my box every month. My favorites were the nail polish and hair products.


At the end of the summer, when I was finished babysitting and had some free time, I became addicted to the show New Girl. I saw that it was recently added to Netflix and watch the whole first season. I had tried to watch a few episodes on TV prior to this, but never really got what was going on. It was so nice to just be able to watch the entire season at my leisure. Then I was faced with a problem: Season two was not yet added to Netflix, but season three was starting to air. The night season three began, season two was added to Netflix. I was so happy. I watched the second season in a week and am so excited I can now just watch the new episodes on Fox with the rest of Jess' fans...true story. I'm torn between being proud and ashamed of watching all of season two that fast. First world problems. There's just so many good episodes. My current favorites being "Menzies," "Pepperwood," and "Eggs."


How exciting is it that the Pirates have made the playoffs? Can I tell you that the last time this happened I was beginning 3rd grade in 1992...this is also the last time they had a winning season. Twenty-one years. This is serious. I grew up going to a plethora of Pirates games. I remember watching Three Rivers Stadium implode in 2001 when I was a junior in high school and the opening of PNC Park when I was a senior. I love PNC Park. It's one of my favorite stadiums...definitely in the top 2 with Beaver Stadium at PSU. I'm sure the sheer fact that I'm blogging about them will bring them nothing but bad luck.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Recipe of the Week!

You might know about my love affair with Wegmans. If you don't, it's serious. I drive past many grocery stores to shop there. I have since moving to Northern Virginia six years ago. It's far superior to any grocery store in my opinion. Well sometimes when I do my grocery shopping my Wegmans friends are giving food samples and just cooking away in the store. It's AWESOME! One lovely day during the Wegmans Hatch Chile Festival they were making this dish and they game me some. It was delicious so they gave me the recipe and I made it. It's a little summery, but I bet you could still find everything you need at WEGMANS! On a side note...I'm so happy it's October. I thought it would never come!

Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic
1 small sweet onion
2 zucchini chopped
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup corn
1 cup roasted green chiles
1/3 cup half and half
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese
salt, pepper, and cumin to taste

Heat oil in large skillet, add garlic, onion, and zucchini and cook until softened. Stir in salt, pepper, cumin, half and half, tomato, corn, and green chili. Cook on low for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheese to melt.