Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 In Photos

2010 has come to an end.

And what a year it has been! I can't even begin to think about doing a wrap up (see my 2009 wrap up post here), but I thought I would put together a photo montage, dooce-style, to tell the story of 2010.  So sit back, grab some popcorn and tissues and take a 12-month journey with us.  I thought about putting captions in to explain the photographs, but then I realized that my CPE supervisor told me I need to learn how to sit in silence - so I'm letting the photos speak for themselves, sans words (gulp).

However - if you would like an explanation, shout it out in the comments section and I will explain.

(I'm sorry, I have a perpetual need to talk.  I'm working on it.)

Speaking of talking (ahhh, there I go again!), I have to say one more thing.  Thank you.  To everyone who stops in and reads my ramblings every day - thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my aortic pump (ten bonus points if you caught that Friends reference).  The friendships I have made, the friendships I have held onto, the support I have received and the love I have felt as a result of this blog mean the world to me.  I love the comments, emails, messages and calls I get in response to my posts.  Keep them coming - they make my day.  I cannot wait to see what The Strength of Faith has in store for 2011. Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve everyone! See you all next year.

2010 In Photos from Sarah Weaver on Vimeo.

Countdown to 2011: Dessert

Morning!  It's New Year's Eve!  When did that happen?!

Breakfast was a two-egg omelet with sea salt and pepper, served with dry toast. 

And black coffee. :)

Today is the last down in Finding Joy In My Kitchen's Countdown to 2011.  I have had so much fun going through my recipes from this past year - thank you to Sno White for hosting!

On the menu for today: Desserts!  Yummmmmmm.  Here were my favorites ...

WARNING:  These dishes are not low fat.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm convinced it's like having a big bowl of oatmeal.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

This was my Thanksgiving pride and joy!

Dad's Peanut Butter Pie

My dad pulled this recipe out for Christmas and my-oh-my where has this pie been in my life over the past few years?!

Head over to this post to see more dessert recipes! 

I'm working on a photo montage of 2011, so come back later and cross your fingers that it works!

My Other Countdown to 2011 Posts:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Eve Eve

We've been hanging out with this girl all day ...

Love her.

I took some leftovers from yesterday's veggie rice bowl and warmed it up in a wrap.  It was delicious!

I skipped the cheese, because I try to watch my dairy intake and I had plenty with my cereal at breakfast.

The snow is starting to melt!

Bruce and Gabi didn't eat lunch, so they heated up a frozen pizza mid-afternoon.  I snuck a piece, but only because it smelled good - not because I was actually hungry, ha.

Later in the afternoon, I attempted to make granola first the first time - I wasn't hungry at all, but I munched a little bit to taste.  It was good, but it still needs ... something.  How do you make granola with the clumps in it?

We brought Gabi back up to my parent's house for dinner.  My dad made Hungarian Kolbasz with Potatoes and Carrots!

Mmm, I love it when the Hungarians are in town.  We always eat so well.

My plate.  I had a very small helping - I'm so full from everything else!

Post-dinner, Bruce and my dad and I challenged each other to a game of "Pounce" - it got intense!  Sadly, the card game was as intense as the UCONN/Stanford woman's basketball game.  And it did not end well for UCONN. :(

Time to pack up and head home.  Tomorrow is New Year's Eve!  Wow oh wow, where did the year go?  I'm currently working on a photo montage of the year - so cross your fingers that the technology works!


Veggie Rice Bowl

How about a simple recipe to tied you over while I'm off playing with the Hungarians?

Veggie Rice Bowl

1 cup Rice
2 cups Water
1 tablespoon Butter
1 teaspoon Salt

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Water
4 cups Frozen Vegetables (your choice!)

Shredded Cheese

This recipe takes 25 minutes from start to finish - such a quick lunch!

Start by preparing your rice.  Bring the water to a boil, then add rice, butter and salt.  Stir mixture a couple of times (you don't have to wait for the butter to melt), then lower your heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

While your rice simmers ...

Combine the Cream of Mushroom with one can of water and heat on Medium/High.  Season with pepper (this is too taste, but it doesn't need a lot of it).

Once the soup is warm, add your veggies, give it a quick stir and cover them so they cook.

But don't forget about it!  Make sure you give it a quick stir from time to time because you're still cooking on higher temperatures.


Once the rice is cooked, add it to the soup.

And stir everything together.

Serve in a big bowl (because otherwise the dish would be called a Rice Plate and that just doesn't quite have the same ring to it).

And garnish with some cheese!

Because, let's face it - everything tastes better with cheese.

This recipe is perfect for the child in you.

Literally. :)

I love making rice bowls because they are really versatile in terms of what type of "cream of" soup you can use and what kind of veggies you have in your freezer.  Enjoy!

Countdown to 2011: Main Dishes

Morning!  Look what I found on my camera this morning ...

Not bad for a fourth grader, right?  I was explaining depth-of-field to her and she picked it up immediately.

I have several boxes of cereal with a little bit left, so I combined them this morning for a big bowl of "Cinnamon Toast Cheerios".  Can I trademark that?

It's time for this morning's episode of Countdown to 2011!  Today Finding Joy In My Kitchen is featuring Main Dishes.  Here are three of my favorites ...

Christmas or Thanksgiving Day Leftover Pie

This was my pride and joy a few days after Christmas - a delicious way to use up your leftovers!

Stuffed Shells

I had always been intimidated by Stuffed Shells, but these were so easy!  Take a look at the step-by-step tutorial and give it a shot in the new year.

Pasta Chicken Stir Fry

A delicious blend of juicy boiled chicken, fresh veggies and hearty pasta is bound to tickle your taste buds.

I'm sorry, that was really cheesy.

Head over to this post for more top 2010 main dish recipe posts!

Have a great day everyone.  Bruce and I promised Gabriella we could make a snow fort today!  Though I'm pretty sure it's my young-at-heart husband that really wants to make one ...


Past Countdown to 2011 Posts:
Soups or Stews
Vegetarian Options

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A DIY Project Gone Wrong

Guess what?! The Hungarians (aka my mom's family) are in town!

And someone has discovered a love of my dSLR ... :)

But let's back up, shall we?  I've had quite a day.

Lunch was a big delicious veggie rice bowl.  Have you guys ever tried something like this?  Simple, quick and delicious.

With lots of leftovers - my favorite.

After lunch, we went up to my parents so Bruce could help my dad retrieve this -

Apparently their swing (their really heavy and bulky swing) went flying during the last storm.  I'm still trying to figure out how that happened.

The poor pool has seen warmer days.

Doesn't their house look so cute in the snow?

After that, things got a little ... dark.  Literally.

This sums it up:

What started off as an innocent attempt to DIY dye an IKEA chair cover that was stained turned into two hours of me scrubbing my deep, dark purplish-black hands with Bruce looking at me, repeatedly saying, "I'm so sorry."  It's a long story.  But I'm happy to report that my hands are ... well ... not AS purplish black as they were before.  I think it's a work in progress.

I'll spare you the photo.  It wasn't pretty.

We made our way back up to my parent's house for dinner to see my family!

I started with a glass of red wine because, let's face it, I died my hands black today.

My dad made a big batch of fried chicken and all sorts of delicious sides!

I am sooooo stuffed.

It has been such a wonderful night - full of food, family, football, stories, laughter, tears (and photobooth).  I couldn't ask for anything more.


Countdown to 2011: Vegetarian Options

Good Morning!

Something has been tracking through our yard!  I thought deer, Bruce thinks it is several different animals, including deer, turkey, dog, cat and possibly mouse.  Thoughts?

Breakfast was a three-egg tomato and cheese omelet.  So delicious!  I've recently discovered that if you cook omelets on lower heat, they cook slower, but much more evenly and turn out looking nicer!

Are you enjoying the countdown to 2011, food blog style?  I'm loving it!  Today Finding Joy in My Kitchen is featuring some of their favorite meatless meals.  While I've been cooking without meat a lot lately, most of the recipes haven't ended up on the blog.  But here are some of my favorites!

Summertime Rice and Beans

This was one of those meals that cost $4 to make and fed me all week.  I was working in the hospital when I made it, so I separated everything into tupperware and brought it for lunch.  It was also fabulous with some melted cheese in a wrap as a vegetarian burrito.  Cilantro would be a delicious garnish.  So many options!

Creamy Cream of Mushroom and Veggies

This dish is actually more suitable for winter.  It's so hearty, yet so simple!

Simply Fancy Spaghetti

I am a sucker for a good Italian dish and this hit the spot!  Full of flavor and no meat.

I can't wait to see what everyone else comes us with.  I've found that cooking without meat can actually be much more inexpensive - and often faster - than cooking with meat.  Head over to this post to check out the other vegetarian options that people have linked up with.

My Other Countdown to 2011 Posts:
Soups and Stews

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas or Thanksgiving Day Leftovers Pie

Oh my goodness.

If you still have any leftovers from Christmas dinner - make this pie.  Please.  It's for your own good.

Christmas or Thanksgiving Day Leftovers Pie

(This is the only part of the pie that actually requires effort - but trust me when I say that it is well worth it not to buy a pre-made crust for this pie)
Miscellaneous Christmas or Thanksgiving Day Leftovers
4 cups Gravy

Start by pre-making your pie crust so it has time to chill overnight.  I made mine on Sunday night with the intent of making the pie yesterday, but obviously that didn't happen. :)

Note:  This recipe makes TWO pies.  So you can either make two pies or cut the crust in half and freeze what you don't use.

 I chose to freeze the half I didn't use, but my mom and I are already thinking that we want to use it to make another pie!

Using a lot of flour, roll out the dough nice and evenly. 

Then very carefully roll the dough around your rolling pin - and then roll it back out onto your pie plate.

Make sure you leave enough to pinch the crusts!  But also make sure that you have enough extra for the top crust.

Now it's time to make your pie!  Start with the lighter foods on the bottom.  I layered the bottom with green beans, then added cubed turkey.

Then I threw on the rest of the stuffing, corn and mushrooms.

Meanwhile, heat the gravy on the stove so it is a thinner consistency when you pour it on the pie.

Then pour roughly three cups of the gravy onto the pie.

It is also helpful to heat up any potatoes you use in the pie so they are easier to spread.  I went with the mashed potatoes first ... 

... and then the yams.

Then roll out the extra crust ... 

... pinch the edges and cut four slits into the top (all the way through) for ventilation.

Bake at 375 for 40 minutes, or until the crust is a nice golden brown.

Like so!

Cut and enjoy.  Afterward we realized that we should have drizzled some of the leftover gravy on top of the slices after we served everyone - that would be an excellent addition!

With the exception of the fact that you have to make the crust ahead of time, this pie is so easy and quick!  I hope the fact that I uploaded 15 pictures doesn't deter you from trying it - I just like to be thorough.

I can't wait to hear what you all put in your leftover pies!
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