Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

In case you don't remember, we take pumpkin carving pretty serious around here. This year we actually had a stoop to put pumpkins on so we decided to fill it out. The other side didn't turn out as well in pictures but Casey carved another pumpkin on the other side and I painted a white pumpkin with our house # (not very well, but it got painted). I might try to take a picture tomorrow during the day if I remember. I'm sure you can probably tell who did the face and who did the transformers pumpkin, but just in case you can't, I did the face. We're pretty excited about our first year in our house at Halloween and getting to hand out candy. We would get a handful of trick or treaters at the apartment but nothing overly exciting. Our neighbors have already warned us to come prepared with lots of candy. We live in a pretty family friendly cul de sac and there are a ton of kids in the surrounding neighborhoods, so I'm pretty excited.

I wanted to add these two pictures that I took with my phone. They're shots I snapped on my lunch break behind our house (that's our driveway in the picture). We have a gorgeous shelf of mountains behind our home that provide a great view from our deck. I was so excited to see the colors change and you can kind of see it in these pictures.

I can't wait until they're covered in snow, but I won't get ahead of myself. Everyone have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dining Room

I've hesitated posting my dining room as finished b/c I have two sets of blinds on backorder for one set of the windows. I know, I know.. I have issues.

Anyway, we didn't have to do much to this room at all. It got the outlet overhaul and we didn't mind the light fixture so it was just a matter of paint, window treatments, and furniture.

Here's a picture from the listing

Here's afterwards

Bamboo Blinds - JCP
Sheers - Bed Bath and Beyond
Black wooden curtain rod - Lowes
Dining room furniture - Havertys
Runner - Etsy
Paint - SW Humble Gold

It was really important when we were looking at houses to have a dining room. We've lived in apartments for a long time that have always had an open concept and not really a designated place for a table. Having a space like this is one thing that actually makes me feel like I have a home, if that makes sense. It's good for entertaining or when we have family over and we actually have a space to lay stuff out now if it's needed.

I'm getting close to calling my closet finished as well but we still have to patch and paint the ceiling so that will be coming up soon!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hello Kitty.

Hello Kitty.

We had no intentions of keeping you.

But then you found a friend.

And now you're almost inseparable.

Even though you fight sometimes.

You're a part of our family.

Meet Pineapple/Sookie. My sister found her outside of her hom and she was *tiny* (She was 1 lb and 5 ounces at the vet last Wednesday). She was going to take her to the SPCA, but I told her to give me a week and I would keep her and try to find her a home and then she could take her to the SPCA. That week has passed and she's still here and we think she's here to stay. Tuck is entertained by her and she's already figured out how to outsmart him at the ripe age of 7 weeks. We weren't really looking for a cat and still had our hands full with Tuck but I think you can kind of tell when something has found you.

My niece named her Pineapple (although I think she calls everything a 'pooabble') but we never call her that. It's almost always Kitty, but we're trying Sookie on for size and that seems to fit her more. Tuck scratches the door to her bathroom (where she stays at night and during the day) every day when we get home to see her and he plays well with her but his 'playing' sometimes can be a little rough, but she seems to hold her own. She can certainly serve it as well and it's funny to see her hop sideways down the stairs and do crazy martial arts moves in front of him and then take off with a ball in her mouth. There will be a day where she's his size and he will get what's coming to him. Hah. I forgot how funny cats were...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Simple Sesame Noodles

P-dub came through with another win. We really like any kind of pasta with sauce and we love anything asian so I knew we would like these. You could easily add shrimp or chicken in for some protein!

I also apologize for the horrible lighting. Casey and I eat pretty late and my lighting is starting to suffer with the change of season. I'm really starting to long for a DSLR and a lightbox but we've got other financial focuses right now, sooo maybe one day.

Simple Sesame Noodles
(Source: Pioneer Woman)

12 ounces thin noodles, cooked and drained (angel hair, thin spaghetti, or Asian style)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons pure sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon hot chile oil (more to taste)
4 to 5 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons hot water
3 to 4 green onions, sliced thin

Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat. Sprinkle with green onions and toss. Serve in a bowl with chopsticks. Yummy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chicken Gyros

This recipes has been floating around in my Googlereader on a ton of blogs so I figured it was worth checking out and we both really enjoyed it. I really debate on whether to post recipes that I kind of like so I always stick to recipes that I intend to make again so I'm not a liar when I tell you guys I enjoy everything that I post :) This recipe is actually healthy too so it's a win/win and I ended up using the leftover chicken the next day on pitas with salsa and sour cream and it worked pretty good with both but the tzatziki sauce definitely gives it a little something different!

Chicken Gyros
(Source: Ella Says Opa!)
Servings: 4

1.25 lbs. chicken pieces (I used breasts)
4 cloves garlic, smashed
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping Tbsp. plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper
1/2 batch of tzatziki
sliced tomatoes
sliced onions
4 (pocketless) pitas

Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, yogurt, and oregano in a bowl. Add the chicken and rub the marinade in. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

Preheat the broiler (we used the grill). Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, and then broil until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side, depending what size/type chicken you are using. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips.

Meanwhile, heat your pitas. We just heated up a skillet on medium-high and heated the pitas on both sides to soften them up a little bit. Top the pita with the chicken, tzatziki, tomatoes, onions. Roll up and enjoy.

Tzatziki - I copied these instructions straight from Ella Says Opa since she seems to know the ways of tzatziki :) 1/2 of this recipe is pretty sufficient and I think we only did 1/4 and it was good for us.

1 32oz. container of plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt which you don't have to strain)
1 hothouse cucumber or 2 regular cucumbers, seeded
3-5 cloves garlic–depending how garlicky you like it, crushed
1-2 tsp white wine vinegar
salt and a little pepper
squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Strain yogurt using a cheesecloth over a bowl (if you don’t have that, a strainer lined with a coffee filter will work) for several hours or overnight to get out as much moisture as possible.

Peel and seed the cucumber. Shred the cucumbers and then squeeze the life out of them to get rid of as much excess moisture as possible. I use a towel to do this, and you will get a lot of liquid so don’t skip this step! Yes, there is a lot of straining and squeezing–and it’s all important! You don’t want a runny tzatziki

Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumbers, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice (if desired). Salt to taste. It’s best to refrigerate for 30 minutes or more before serving, so flavors can meld.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the top.