Saturday, November 30, 2013


I am working on a new look for my blog. I have been considering this FOR-EV-ER...but always get too nervous to actually make the change. Along with my new design I would really like to change my blog's title. I never loved "," but I was worried I didn't just choose something I would never just start writing the blog. I am taking suggestions. I would really like something with a food in the title. So please friends...rename my blog. Bear with me as I attempt to make my blog look and sound like what I have pictured in my head :)

Turkey Turkey

Happy Belated Thanksgiving blog friends! It has been an eventful few days in Western Pennsylvania. Matt and I are spending Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh with my family, after spending the previous weekend in Boston with Matt's family. We had a pretty uneventful drive up on Wednesday evening. I can only hope for an equally uneventful drive back to Virginia tomorrow!

Thursday morning Matt, my sister, my mom, and I got up super early to participate in the Pittsburgh Turkey Trot (race number one in my half marathoning quest). Some of us did the 5K and others did the fun mile. The most exciting part was getting to cross the bridge, and finishing. The least exciting part was the part of the route that was downtown...since mostly everyone was on the North Shore part of the route. My aunt, uncle, and cousins met us at the turkey trot as well. It was a chilly morning, but after the race started I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly I warmed up. After our race we came home and got ready to go to my aunt's house for Thanksgiving. I was super hungry so it was kind of nice to be able to get some exercise in in the morning and then be hungry for my favorite holiday meal!

At the starting line hiding from wind.
Cold Turkeys
We spent all day Friday helping my sister and brother-in-law move into their new house. It was slightly less daunting than moving into your own house, but a great reminder about how happy I am we now don't have to move for a long time. I spent a good deal of Friday night and Saturday morning cleaning some of my things out of my parents' house since we now have space to keep it in Virginia. Among my favorite things that I found are a letter to the tooth fairy (with my tooth still taped on) asking that she leave my money in quarters and informing her that I was sleeping over at my friend's house. It has been a fun and productive weekend in Pittsburgh. I can't believe we will be back in only a couple of weeks to celebrate Christmas!

Congratulations to Mike and Caitlin on their new house!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Recipe of the Week!

Soft Pretzels
I've never really loved soft pretzels, but over the years we have developed a stronger bond. And these are amazing. I made them for our Oktoberfest a few weeks ago, and then last week when it was my turn for game night to accompany chili. I would one hundred percent make these again. They are super easy and even a little fun. I want to make them some other time and do fun shapes :)

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons butter, melted
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well. Return the dough to the bowl, and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil.

In the meantime, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Love


RunKeeper. In case you haven't heard...I registered for that half marathon I was considering a few weeks ago. I'm actually kind of excited about it. I have been run/walking/training a few days a week. Things are going pretty well. I have the RunKeeper app on my phone that I really like to use. It tracks time, mileage, calories burned, and you can coordinate it with music. I really like it. I suggest it if you have a use for it.


Fantasy Football. For the last few years I have been involved in a fantasy football league with my dad's side of the family. My team is always awful. This year things are actually going halfway decent for my team. It makes things a lot more fun.


Kids React to Gay Marriage. Have you seen this video? Normally when I see a YouTube video posted on FB, I skip over it. Especially if it's 15 minutes long. I must have been bored and decided to watch this, but I'm glad I did. I loved it. Their reactions are just so genuine it kills me.


Pat Collins. If you are a DC area person reading this should know who Pat Collins is because he is the most ridiculous newscaster of all time. He can make any news story the most dramatic piece of television you have ever watched. I seriously can't stop laughing any time he is featured. I can't even pick a clip to post here he's so outrageous. Although, the grape suit might take the cake. Hard to believe he works in the nation's capital.


Jeans Day. It basically gets me out of bed every Friday. It really does...I wish every day could be jeans day!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Eleven Eleven Eleven

Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

Two years ago today, Matt and I got engaged. Our engagement post on the blog is still one of my favorites because we each wrote our perspective of the day. We talk about our engagement day a lot...Matt constantly reminds me that one of the first things out of my mouth after he asked was that I thought I was dying (and I was serious, I was so sick). Above is a reading that was done at our wedding. I just love it and thought it was a fitting post for today. I hope you like it too :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Recipe of the Week!

Last week I posted about my second Oktoberfest. I mentioned in that post how the day of Oktoberfest was also the day that I realized that I could never cut it as a German housewife. Spaetzel was the recipe that brought me to this realization. Have you ever made spaetzel? If you have...I commend you. If you have and you enjoyed it...I think you might be insane. If you haven't, don't....just go to a German restaurant. Please. I do have to say it was one of the more interesting recipes I have ever followed. I used a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. She makes it sound entirely too easy and pleasurable. The recipe to make the spaetzel itself is simple. It's the process that is the killer. I really wish I would have had Matt video tape me pushing the batter through the colander. I also wish we had video of the ice bath process. There was spaetzel (in various forms) everywhere. It was crazy. I do not suggest this, unless you really love spaetzel and cleaning every surface of your kitchen area.

2 cups flour
7 eggs 
1/4 cup milk

Combine all three ingredients. Refrigerate for one hour or overnight. 

Prepare an ice bath. Bring a large pot of well salted water to boil. Set a large colander with holes anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2-inch wide over the pot. Pour 1/4 of the batter into the colander and press it through the holes with a spatula. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes then use a slotted spoon to fish spaetzle out and drop it in the ice bath. Continue with remaining batter in 3 batches.

When you’re done with the batter, drain the spaetzle well and toss it with a small amount of olive oil to keep it from sticking. You can use it right away, or keep it in the fridge for a day until needed.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Love


No-School-November! This might be a horrible {love} to broadcast, but I love the school month of November because it goes by so quickly. We have a teacher work day, conference day, Veteran's Day, and Thanksgiving break. I will say it's chaotic, but there's no days off from the beginning of the year until Veteran's Day so I am always happy to see November come!


Halloween in the suburbs. Remember when I had my mini-meltdowns over moving to the suburbs? Most of the time I'm over it. I do have an occasional pang of sadness when I think about our first house together, our old neighborhood, and our more adventurous lifestyle, but suburbia has grown on me. Thursday we actually got to have the suburban Halloween experience. I was strangely looking forward to this. I was somewhat disappointed at our turnout. I was expecting a million kids, but we really didn't get that many. I'm chalking it up to a little bit of rain and my lame neighbors not participating. Seriously, I have never seen so many dark houses.




Google Chrome. Everyday when I go to work and have to use my HP laptop (that takes an eternity to start up and half the time after it's started up I have to restart it because my novell applications won't open) I miss my Apple. But what's worse is we are still living it up in the dark ages with internet explorer to boot. I just really wish that every time I want to google something I could just have the luxury of typing it in the spacebar. Google Chrome...thank you for being efficient.