What are Wednesday's for?!

Since Joshua was gone this weekend we wanted to go out at least 1 night this week. Unfortunately hubs had a lot of work to do so we only went out Wednesday.
We went to a place called Flowers. They have super tasty food- I had a grilled eggplant sandwich he had penne sausage.

& good drinks- the Brooklyn and Blood & Sand were our whiskey drinks of choice.
The place is small, dark, lots of windows that you can see out but they can't see in, and a fully mirrored ceiling
It kind of oozes intimacy which we loved.

Besides that we spent the week working, watching Alias all night [it's due back to the library soon we had no choice]  :), & eating random frozen things we got from Trader Joe's.
But I love the simplicity and comfort of that, especially when it is doing nothing but raining.
I love that we can find quietness with one another and still find tons of joy in it.
It is these weeks and these moments I know God sent us here and that here we can become a stronger US and here we are learning to be a stronger team for Him no matter how long we stay in Seattle.

mangos and blueberries + whiskey = awesome idea that we stole from our friends Liz and Daniel


Bloggy Friends

I don't like facebook that much. As a kid I wasn't allowed to us AIM or instant messaging and never really was able to catch back up to internet socialing ever since. I blame my dad :) I'm kidding!!
BUT blogging I like,
-I love that it forms a timeline and that it isn't a status or random photo.
- I love that it can have emotion and create support through people's comments or with what people do or think about what you've said.
-It seems more like a real piece of me, less edited and shiny, a place to be real because people choose to look at it, it's not shoved into updates every 3 seconds.
-Also I love that even when I can't talk to my friends and family all the time that by sharing something on here I won't forget to tell them and that I feel like they are closer and more involved in my life.

So after that rant I wanted to really say that I'm so excited that some of Joshua and I's other friends also have blogs or just started up blogs to show everyone where they are after graduation and what is happening in their lives. Which makes me excited. I don't want to see a status I want to hear the story and know how you're really doing and what's on your mind. Which is why I'm excited.

Here are our friends blogs! They are all fantastic in their own way and their personality is so evident, love it!:

Jasilyn Albert: About her teaching experiences and life after graduation

Adrienne George: about moving away, her new life with her husband Nick, her struggles

Jennifer Becker: about keeping memories around and her life with her husband James

Jake Erbscorn: about where he's been and what he's been up to since graduation

Katy Dietz: about her journey working with Navigators and showing students how to love Jesus

Kristen Wohleber: a journal of her life and her adventures

Kristen Dake: about her paper company and inspiring things she finds on the web

Kevin Laughlin: on his world views and how being a believer impacts them

Check them out, they are all fantastic people with fantastic hearts and great things to say!

& because posts are always better with pictures...

on our honeymoon in Yellowstone

Cranberry ginger mini bundt cakes

I got mini bundt cake pans that I've been dying to use! They are adorable and at the store their cuteness pulled me in so now I've had them for awile and finally settled on a recipe that I deemed worthy of their christening.
I had intended them for our small group but the snow cancelled that but then instead we had chili with our neighbor and brought them up for dessert- turned out quite perfect. Plus then we handed off some of the leftover bundts to our neighbor who is always willing to take some baked goods off our hands :)

Cranberry ginger bundt cakes with lemon glaze:

(the picture had a chocolate glaze but that really didn't suit it so now it's lemon :)
bundt cake: (recipe from always with butter)

3 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda (when making min bundt cakes you have to lessen the
             leavening agents a little so that they don't bubble over the tops)
1 tbs. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter; melted and cooled
1 cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
12 oz of dried cranberries

preheat oven to 350 degerees F

1   sift the flour, ginger, nutmeg, and salt
2   in another bowl beat the butter, molasses, brown sugar, buttermilk and eggs
3   gradually mix in the dry ingredients until incorporated and fold in the cranberries
4   bake for 15-20 minutes (time changes once your tins start to get hot) until a toothpick comes out clean
5   once they are cooled drizzle the glaze over them and enjoy!

glaze:  (you have to use the glaze the lemony-ness really makes this tastey)

juice of 1 lemon
powdered sugar

1   mix them together until they form a good glaze consistency, start with 1/2 cup of
     sugar and keep adding until it is thick enough to hold itself from running too much



...at least that's what everyone called it.

the flowers hubs brought home to me- playing in the snow

I got 2 days off work (didn't know I could get big kid snow days!) and hubs got to come home early those days!! In Cincinnati the weather may have given kids a snow day but that's about it. But Seattle is a scardy cat when it comes to snow plus we have big hills downtown. (I actually saw a car slide down a hill and t-bone a bus; everyone was fine)

fogged up lens =ed awesome photo of hubs sliding

our second snowman together

What was incredible about the storm though was that for 2 days it consitently fell from the sky. The snow wasn't coming down overly hard but it never stopped coming. All day I watched it pile up on the table outside on our patio wondering how it had already gone up an inch

The first day off I went into work and then it was cancelled so that one didn't feel as fun but I went home and did things on our January list. We also went up to our neighbors and had chili and mini bundt cakes and played with her cats. It was nice to just relax and chat with her over comfort food.

But Wednesday felt awesome! I got to do my dream job for a day- bake and cook all day and edit my photos and organize them.

We now have 12 meals already made and ready to take to work - three bean chili, chicken and dumplings veggie soup, and mushroom tomato soup! We're really excited to have it all made and ready to go. Winter just feels like soup and chili and now we don't have to have sandwiches again for over a week!

Then that night our friends Jessica & Kenneth came over for dinner. We were so happy they braved the crazy snowy streets to come eat with us. After dinner we lounged around trying to convince Jessica whiskey was good and ate pastries. Perfect kind of snowy night in with people you love being surrounded with!

Bean and Beef Chili:

1 tbs. olive oil
1 onion; chopped
6 stalks of celery; chopped
5-7 carrots; chopped
4 cloves of garlic; minced
2 red peppers; diced
1 jalapeno; minced
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 lb of ground beef
2 cups of water
28 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 cans of black beans; drained and rinsed
1 can of garbonzo beans; drained and rinsed
kale; chopped

1   in a large pot heat olive oil with the onion, celery, carrots, peppers with lid on for about 10 minutes
2   once the are tender toss in the garlic and spices and cook for 1 minute
3   then put in the ground beef and cook on high until it is no longer pink at all
4   pour in the water and tomatoes and kale, simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes partially covered
5   put in the beans and cook for 20 minutes partially covered

chicken dumpling soup:

1 tbs olive oil
3 chicken breasts cooked and cut into bit size pieces
5-6 cups of chicken broth
6 carrots; chopped
6 celery stalks; chopped
1 onion; chopped
2 cloves of garlic; minced
kale; chopped
basil (I used 2 cubes of basil that I froze in ice cubes from the summer)
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp paprika

the dumplings are the same as for chicken and dumplings

1   put olive oil in a large pot and cook veggies until tender
2   pour in broth chicken and kale along with the spices and simmer for 30 minutes
3   while it is cooking make the dumplings
4   drop them in the soup and cook for 15 minutes (if there isn't enough liquid add more broth or some water)

yes it really is that easy! And it tastes pretty amazing!


12 hour sunsets

I don't remember the site but there was a post on how Seattle is better than your city. It gave me a chuckle a few mornings ago. But one of the ones I like the best was when it said something to the tune of- yeah well our city has 12 hour sunsets.

It's funny because some days it feels like we do, if the sun is out for 12 hours, probably more like 8.
But the sky is a pretty pink in the morning and then fades through to a happy blue but by the afternoon the happy blue still feels like a morning sky. And since the sun is gone by  4:30-5ish the sunsets start early. Plus they feel so much longer and more consuming than in Cincinnati. The sunsets happen overtop of you instead of only at an unreachable distance. Plus the hot pink is unreal!

One day I brought my camera to work and took snapshots throughout the day- our office has the BEST views!

8-12 hour sunset- go:

photo by Christi Mosher from work... I didn't have my camera on Friday


Gigantic Gorgeous Snowflakes

It snowed in Seattle this weekend! On Saturday morning it went rain-sleet-snow-hail-sunshine. Joshua and I grabbed some delicious tamales, pastires, and cider from the farmer's market and ran home to drape ourselves in blankets and eat. Then the rest of the afternoon we played Lego Harry Potter for the 1st time :)
double face size naan

right when we got back from running

pre-church croissants and coffee

But Sunday held the real snow. We woke up before church and went running in the snowflakes to the lake- Which was really beautiful and refreshing until we had to run back with the wind and hail pelting us. But then all through chuch the snow came down in the most chunky glorious snowflakes imaginable! The best part was that it was our friend Liz's Birthday celebration that day so we drove through it getting to see all the roofs clothed in white and the tall pine trees draped with the snow. It was slow moving traffic but beautiful! At one point we were going under overpasses and there was a crack with ivy hanging down and snowflakes slowly seeping through and floating in the light to the ground. I truly looked magical! Our destination was the Internationl District. We had Dim Sum for the first time, broke out into a snowball fight!, and shopped in the Asian food markets! Then we went back to Liz & Daniel's place later for some games, movies, enchiladas, and wii games.
Fantastic weekend and I'm so thankful for the snow!

Birthday lady!

O and I made Cocoa Nib Brittle for Liz's Birthday:

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water1/4 cup cocoa nibs
2 tbs butter
pinch of salt

1   place parchment paper on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray
2   place sugar in pan and stir in water making sure to get all the sugar wet
3   then turn stove on medium and don't touch it until the sugar mixture begins
     to get an amber hue after it begins to boil; about 4-5 minutes
4   then swirl around the mixture so it cooks evenly and add in the cocoa nibs
5   once it has cooked for a few more minutes and the whole mixture is amber-brown
      remove it from the heat and stir in the butter and salt
6    immediately pour it onto the baking sheet and wiggle the pan so it spreads evenly
7    let it cool and then break it into pieces!


Chicken & Dumplings

This is one of my favorite dishes my mom makes. For our birthday's we get to choose any meal we want and I've frequently choosen this one. It feels like one of those meals you have to sit around the dinner table for. Cozy and delicious. Plus it has been pretty gray & chilly in Seattle so I thought it would feel nice and fitting.

I made a bunch of it for Joshua and I this week and then we got to take leftovers for lunch- which rocked (until someone from work threw away the other 1/2 of mine for no good reason, in one of my glass ball jars no less! Yes, I'm a little bitter about it!!)

My Grandma Agin just told me this recipe came from her grandma and that I'm the 5th generation to make it! Super cool!

Chicken & Dumplings:

I tripled this recipe (madre's recipe with a few additions)

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 12/ tsp baking powder
1/2 cup water
2 tbs oil
6-7 cups vegetable broth
white onion; chopped
handful of chopped parsley
1/1-1 tsp. cumin
salt & pepper

1-2 chicken breasts; cooked and cut

1   mix flour, salt, powder together and then add the water and oil and mix until incorporated
2   knead it on a floured surface and add additional flour if needed to make it into a soft dough
3   roll it out and cut with a pizza cutter into small rectangles
4   boil broth, onion, parsley, cumin and s&p
5   drop in the dumplings and coodk them until done; 8-12 minutes
6   the remove the dumplings and shake some flour and cold water together and dump
      it into the broth to thicken it up into a gravy-lik consistency
7   then place the dumplings back in and add in cooked chicken

I also made Black & White cupcakes for our small group Potluck I already have the recipe HERE!

Double Date Dinner!

Daniel & Liz are in our small group and they live like 6 blocks away! They had us over for a great dinner one night and we're very excited that they came over for one at our place!
It turned out to be a lot of fun and we got to bust out our sipping chocolate and give it a try.

Kale & White Bean Kielbasa Soup:

I've wanted to try a kale soup for awhile. It is supposed to be really healthy and it has made me curious. Plus when our friends were over they said it is a Seattle winter staple if you're trying to eat local :) 

1 lb. dried white cannellini beans
2 white onions; chopped
4 cloves garlic; minced
5 cups vegetable broth
2 qt water
1 parmesan rind (necessary!)
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 lb smoked kielbasa
8-10 carrots; chopped in circles
1 lb lacinato kale; chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley; chopped

1   place beans in a pot, cover with water 2 inches above beans and bring to a boil.
     Once they  re boiling immediately remove them and let sit for an hour; then drain them and rinse
2   cook onions with a little bit of oil in a giant pot for 4-5 minutes, add garlic and cook for 1 more minute
3   then add the beans, broth, 1 qt water, parmesan rind, salt, pepper, cumin, bay leaf,
     rosemary and simmer uncovered for 50 minutes
4   cut the kielbasa into pieces diagonally and simmer until browned; then add to the soup
5   also stir in the other 1 qt of water, kale, and parsley
6   simmer for another 10-15 minutes and then serve

we made the soup the day before we needed it because soups tend to have better flavoring if they are left to sit a bit first. then we just warmed it back up on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. Top with grated parmesan and parsley

I also made Parmesan Black Pepper Foccacia from the Flour recipe book I got for Christmas! Flour is a bakery that I loved to go to when I worked in Boston and I've been dying to get my hands on her cookbook. Now that I have it I think I page through it almost every night trying to decide if I have time or the ingredients to make something! This bread rocks and it makes a good amount so we froze 1/2 of it to pull out later since the we only needed 1/2 of it to serve the 4 of us with the soup.