Guest Post: Monday is Sandwich Day

Happy Monday, everyone! This is Mr. WIMMonday; my wife’s away at a friend’s wedding, so she asked me to post something for her. Of course, she makes all the good food around here, and I can’t cook!

So when she’s away, Monday… is sandwich day*.

* Every other day is also sandwich day. I miss food.


Here’s my recipe for the day:

Step 1: Get some bread.

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Step 2: Make the rest of the dang sandwich.

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There will be real food again next week.

I hope.

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Of Sinks And Change And Thoughts

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend!

This Monday was a very busy one for me, it was spent mostly running errands. But that’s quite alright, I got to spend some much-needed time with my husband. And we finally switched our driver’s licenses over! Wahoo!

In other exciting news, I finally have a kitchen sink! Well… Faucet. It was supposed to be replaced with the dishwasher last week, but something was wrong with it, so it was postponed until this morning. It is so nice to have running water in the kitchen again!

Upon having a new dishwasher installed last week I realized something about myself that I was rather surprised about — I actually enjoy washing dishes by hand. An incredibly confusing fact, since I’ve always been the sort of person to despise washing dishes. Not just dislike, not even hate — despise.

I think it’s that I like having the time where I’m forced to calm down and let my mind rest. I like that. And looking out onto the neighbor’s lawn (I’m really not a creeper), confetti-ed with autumn leaves… Oh, it’s beautiful! And all the little birds and squirrels. It just makes me feel so calm and relaxed and happy to be alive.

I’ll probably continue to wash dishes by hand, except for those times where there are just too many of them or too many other things to do. It’s nice to have something that needs to be done that forces you to take a step back and just breathe. So it is a thing that ought to happen more.

Little things in life. So simple, yet so meaningful.

It’s funny how irritable some people can be. I think that’s the reason why… They don’t take enough time to stop and enjoy the little things. When we were at the DMV, there were people there, but it wasn’t nearly as crowded as it could have been, or as it has been in my previous experiences with them.

There was this one guy who made a big deal over having to wait an hour. We arrived shortly after he did, and our number card said our wait time was two hours. So I’m guessing his wasn’t much different. Only one hour in, and he was complaining!

Here I was thinking we were doing pretty good. I obviously wasn’t the only one who thought so. The woman sitting in front of me turned back to me and we shared a smirk at the man’s impatience.

It’s amazing how one look can make you feel a connection with someone and have and interest in their life. After that I sat there wondering, “What’s her story?” I wondered that about a few other people today too. There are so many people in the world, and each one has a different story to share. It’s really interesting!

I didn’t get a chance to talk to any of them, but I did wonder. And I suppose that’s where good stories come into play.

Then, to top the day off, I came home to a lovely email from a very dear friend. The evening was then spent editing and writing.

For dinner I wanted something quick and simple, so I made the rice and beans from my margarita chicken.

So… My plan for Monday’s dinner has now become the plan for Tuesday’s. I wanted something to ring in the new season.Β  Cinnamon apple pork chops, orange autumn rice, brown sugar acorn squash, and apple crisp for dessert. Yum! I’ll share those with you sometime next week. This one’s a busy one for me!

Do you have any favorite autumn-y foods? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Have a wonderful day!

Hello Thursday! …And Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins.

Happy Thursday everyone! Here’s what I have for you today.

Muffins

I love autumn! (As if I haven’t said that enough already.) Thursday seems like an autumn sort of day, doesn’t it? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, and maybe I’m just too happy about it.

It’s just so peaceful, so refreshing, so full of hope… And good food! That always adds points in my book.

There are so many new beginnings. I know most people typically think of spring that way, and I do too I suppose, it’s just… There’s something about the cooler weather, beautiful, deep and rich colors. The smells, the crispness in the air… Ah! Love it!

There’s just something about it that brings people together. And I love that. As the weather cools down, people warm up. Maybe it’s the approaching holiday season, or maybe it’s that people feel the same way I do, or maybe it’s just that everyone’s more relaxed because they don’t have pressure to do something with the summer. Things are winding down, and with that, people’s minds are set at ease. Whatever it is, I very much enjoy it.

On this perfect morning I decided to try my hand at creating a new recipe–I know, daring, since my last attempt didn’t go so well… I’m not one to give up easily or let a little bit of a struggle get between me and good food. I wanted muffins.

I’ve been trying to find a good, simple, gluten-free muffin recipe for a long time now; I’m sure there’s one out there, I just hadn’t found it. They always have so many ingredients/fours, or a ton of nuts. And I’m not a huge fan of either.

So, I decided to look at several muffin recipes and make my own. These were exactly what I was looking for! They were a wonderful breakfast paired with a homemade vanilla chai latte.

(Random tidbit: I’ve always wondered why some recipes call for room-temperature eggs. So I decided to look it up a couple months ago. There actually is a reason behind it; it’s so that the eggs don’t harden the butter or other fats in the mix.)

Also, is it weird that I have a folder on my desktop titled “In my dreams,” and it primarily contains pictures of food? I guess it shows my priorities…

And I have three ways for you to try the muffins: warm with melted butter, or cooled with one of two frostings to top them off… Brown sugar cinnamon buttercream, or pumpkin buttercream.

Have you done anything festive this week to celebrate the changing seasons? I’d love to hear about it!

I also have new recipe cards for you! I’m very excited about that! Feel free to click to enlarge,Β  save it to your computer and/or print it out!

I hope you enjoy!

flours
Here we have the flours.

 

batter
The batter as it’s all coming together.

 

Fresh from the oven.
Fresh from the oven.

 

The brown sugar cinnamon buttercream frosted.
The brown sugar cinnamon buttercream frosted.

 

Pumpkin buttercream frosted.
PumpkinΒ  frosted.

 

gluten_free_pumpkin_muffins-recipe-card

brownsugar_buttercream

Pumpkin_buttercream

Oh Happy Day!

Happy Monday Everyone! I hope you’ve had a wonderful and relaxing weekend!

This past week has been one of growth and transition for me. My husband and I are finally really getting settled in our new place, making it our own. Embracing all the new opportunities.

My Monday was quite the eventful one. It was so good! Most of the day was spent shooting (photography). I did still have time to make a quick lunch though.

Warm pasta salad. Yum! I know what you’re thinking… That doesn’t sound too good. Trust me on this, it’s better than it sounds. This would be a great side at a late summer/early fall BBQ or cookout.

Transitions, right?

In other exciting news, Monday was also the day a magazine contacted me asking for permission to use one of my photos! I was so excited!

Enough about me, here’s the recipe! What exciting things have happened for you this week? I’d love to hear about it in the comments! Have a wonderful week!

Pasta_salad

Warm Pasta Salad

  • Box of macaroni (or whatever pasta you’d prefer, I used gluten-free)
  • Red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium green peppers, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (possibly more) Raw apple cider vinegar
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Pepper, oregano, salt, garlic powder, onion powder
  1. Cook and drain your pasta. Meanwhile, heat red onion and green peppers with olive oil in frying pan until warm and slightly soft.
  2. Mix onions and peppers in with pasta.
  3. Add apple cider vinegar and heat on low.
  4. Add in more vinegar as needed to coat pasta.
  5. Mix in spices as desired.
  6. Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

 

 

 

How I Failed Friday

Welcome to the pessimistic portion of this blog! How I failed Friday. Now, this wasn’t something I was planning on, but it happened to work out that way.

I was thinking on Friday that a cake sounded really good. So I decided to make a brownie, pudding, ganache, cake-like thing… With raspberry sauce and whipped cream on top.

It went… not exactly as planned. First, I burned the brownies. Then I ended up having to cut all the edges off because of it. Still tasted good, it was just incredibly hard.

The pudding was too thick… Not even sure what happened there, I may have cooked it too long…

The ganache was amazing, as were the raspberries and whipped cream.

The thing is, it wasn’t pretty. But just because something isn’t pretty doesn’t mean we failed. As long as we always learn from our mistakes, there really isn’t such a thing as failure. Maybe a failed attempt at perfection… But is perfection something that any of us can really ever have anyway?

I learned that next time, I need to cook the brownies for a shorter time (maybe the pudding too). And I’ll also make two layers of brownies instead of trying to cut a single one in half. It also reaffirmed my idea that baking isn’t really for me… But I’ll try it anyway!

Then there’s also this: I’ve been reading Start by Jon Acuff. Just the other day I got to the part where he says, “This too shall post.” I had decided to post about this failed attempt at a perfect dessert before I read it, but it’s still a powerful reminder to be open and share our weaknesses and failings as well as our success.

If we learn how not to do something, why not use that to share with others, or to better ourselves for the next time an opportunity arises?

It’s also important to be willing to get up, dust ourselves off and try again when we’ve approached what seems like a failure. I’m going to try this brownie cake again. And I’m going to do better next time… And hopefully have a recipe to post. And… If I don’t, I guess I’ll have another post to share with you on the importance of “try try again.”

Here are some pictures of my beautiful brownie cake. Nailed it!

 

where they beganedgesMasterpiece

Ahhchocolate waterfall

perfection

 

I really can’t contain myself! Cracking up at those photos. I hope you were able to get a laugh out of them as well.

So there’s my how I failed Friday. I guess it wasn’t so negative after all. Mistakes are an opportunity to grow, not an excuse for self-deprecating thoughts, comments or actions. What mistakes have you made recently that have actually served to be a learning experience? Let me know in the comments!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I’ll see you on Monday!

Easy Cheesy Broccoli Soup

Happy Monday Everyone!

This weekend was a particularly busy one. By the time Monday rolled around, I was ready for a comfy oversized sweater, a good book, and a blanket I could cuddle up in a chair with. Cozy time to reflect and unwind sounded perfect.

Autumn weather has begun to show its face, and I couldn’t be happier! All the pretty colors, warmer comfort foods–soups, pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon filling the air and our plates.

Just thinking of it made me excited! So I settled in to the idea of a steaming bowl of cheesy broccoli soup. When I was a teen, my two best friends and I would often spend afternoons at Tim Horton’s talking the day away with a bowl of broccoli soup on the side. (Of course, there was always a frosted cinnamon roll to follow.) I’ve been wanting cinnamon rolls lately, so that’s definitely something I’m going to need to remedy in the near future.

Those days are gone now, we’ve all gone our separate ways, but the memories remain and I’ll always treasure them.

Anyway, broccoli soup has been one of those comforts for me for a long time, I figured it was about time to recreate it at home. Normally I’d make it with chicken stock… And it wouldn’t necessarily be cheesy. But that’s what I felt like, so I decided to try! It turned out fairly well, I think.

I hope you enjoy! Have a safe and cozy week!

broccolisoup

Cheesy Broccoli Soup

1 pound frozen broccoli, thawed

2 cups light cream (or more depending on desired thickness)

1/2 onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon or so olive oil

1/2-1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, cubed (I also mixed in little bit of Monterrey Jack and a slice of white American)

Black pepper, salt, thyme

Combine broccoli and light cream in blender. Blend until no large broccoli chunks remain.

Saute (or carmelize) onions with olive oil in a medium sized cooking pot.

Add broccoli and cream mix to the onions.

Stir and cook until warm. Slowly add cubed cheese while stirring. Add remaining cheese until desired amount. Stir occasionally until melted.

Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. (Probably about 1 tsp thyme)

Margarita Chicken

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

This Tuesday I made a copycat of Chili’s Margarita Grilled Chicken. It turned out great! There are a few tweaks I’d make next time, primarily the addition of more margarita mix. (All my recipes are gluten-free, by the way.)

I also made pico de gallo to top it all off. I started in the morning, so I had all day to look forward to it.

The scorching onion of tears.
The scorching onion of tears.

It was quite the experience! First of all, the red onion I used was really strong! There’s nothing like crying in the kitchen alone, knife in hand, unable to see what you’re doing.

Then, when juicing the lime, some of the juice squirted directly into my eye. I take back what I said earlier… There’s nothing like the sting of citrus in cried-out eyes. Well worth it though!

My Tuesday proceeded to be highly productive, which is good because it means I actually can buckle down and focus when I put my mind to it.

Have a lovely day!

 

Pico De Gallopico de gallo

1/2 red onion

3 large, firm tomatoes

1/2 bunch cilantro

1 jalapeno

Juice from 1 lime

Salt to taste

Chop. Mix. Enjoy.

 

Margarita Chicken

2 chicken breasts

1/2 cup liquid margarita mix

Black pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder

Marinate chicken in margarita mix overnight. Fry chicken in pan covered about halfway in margarita mix (or grill instead). Season each side with pepper, garlic and onion powder.

 

Margarita Rice And Black Beans

2 cups cooked rice

1 can black beans (drained)

1/2ish cups margarita mix

Black pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, cumin.

Mix everything in a large skillet. Heat until warm.

 

The dinner that made it all worth it.
The dinner that made it all worth it.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Good evening everyone! Here’s the recipe for the chicken cordon bleu casserole I mentioned in my first post. Enjoy!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

3 large chicken breasts, cubed

6 oz gluten-free deli/sandwich ham (about 9-10 slices, chopped)

5 slices Swiss cheese

1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut in slices

1-2 cups crushed Chex (Magic Bullet works great for this! You could also use a flat meat hammer or a rolling pin)

Black pepper, salt (I prefer Himalayan pink salt), garlic powder and onion powder

Combine uncooked chicken, ham and butter in 9×13 glass cooking pan. Spread evenly across the pan. Combine Chex crumbs and spices to taste. Spread breading over chicken and ham. Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Layer Swiss cheese over the breading. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked. Let sit for 10 minutes before dishing with a serving spoon.

First Monday

Happy Monday Everyone!

I have a feeling I could become one of those super annoying morning (Monday) people who is way too excited way too soon. It’s exasperating! Anyway, if that does happen to be the case, you have my permission to wait until Tuesday (or even Friday) to read, if you so choose.

So… Here goes!

My husband and I just moved into a new apartment in the middle of a new town. So many things to do and see! I’m really excited about this! And now we’re closer to friends and family, yet another added bonus!

We’ve been here a week and I finally made my first real meal today. Breakfasts for dinner, salads, and pasta don’t really count, right? Hmm… I’ll have to think about that. Anyway, it was my first real dinnery meal since moving.

My plan was chicken cordon bleu (ironically, that was also the first meal I’d cooked completely on my own as a kid). We got chicken breast for only $1.99/lb. The cheapest we could find it at our previous location was $2.99/lb, and that was if we were lucky.

The chicken was huge! It didn’t take me long to realize that if I wanted to make cordon bleu I had some bigger issues… literally. I suppose I could have hammered it more, but I felt that I was already making too much noise and didn’t want our new neighbors to hate me.

So, new idea! Chicken cordon bleu casserole. (Recipe will follow shortly.)

It was a hit! My husband gave it “easily an 8 or 9” and said that I should make it when we have company. He then proceeded to eat the casserole without any sides. Nothing short of a miracle. I’ve never seen him do that before.Β  I had been planning on pairing it with some sort of rolls or pasta along with steamed carrots and a starter salad, but nope! He declined that offer. (I still had the salad though.)

Berry crisp with vanilla ice cream would have been a perfect dessert to follow, but we went out for ice cream instead.

All in all, our first Monday in the new place was pretty good. Oh, and I also made a mess. I should probably clean that up…

Have a wonderful week!

Making Mondays just a little bit brighter.

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