Saturday, June 23, 2012

thursday.

here's my thursday:

figure out our electric bill. apparently we don't have to pay this month, and most of the bill next month. winning.
husband comes home from work. halfaday. sweet. so much winning.
call for an update on the maintenance people coming to fix our toilet. whatevs. can't get me down, right?
husband's napping, i'm watching rushmore and pinning. winning.

start on the pizza dough. cool. this is gonna be great.
hmm, pizza dough is kinda sucking, um what's going on here?
pizza dough is failing. okay, start over. no big deal. put this one aside, see if i can salvage it somehow... anyhow, time to redo.
get the yeast going, salt the flour... find a recipe to salvage the other dough with. husband finds a suitable one for wheat rolls while new pizza dough is rising.

we get started on this wheat roll business. . .
this batter seems waaay too thin for rolls or any sort of bread. but how would i know, anyway? just roll with it. [hah. see what i did there...]
husband plays video games and i iron my skirt while the pizza dough and bread/roll batter rises (?)...

fetch the dough from its resting place... divvy it up into two dough balls for two pizza pies. hmm. this dough seems awful sticky. add some flour.
add some more flour. keep kneading about.
add some more flour.
seriously, does it take this much flour? it's still so sticky?! [i have begun to get panickish at this point]
husband starts on second dough ball which is also so sticky. his seems to be taking a little better than mine, he begins to stretch it onto the pizza pan.
i glance over...

that's never going to stretch enough to fit the pan.
we'll have to combine and just make one individual pizza. which means we'll need to order a second pizza for there to be enough for us and our guests. . . . . now i'm perturbed.
why am i perturbed? i think there's a great quote from mrs. turner of "fairly odd parents" that goes along the lines of, "everything i touch dies"... here's a video for your enjoyment.

i get upset over things like this frequently.
i constantly feel like when i try new endeavors (in the cooking world or other aspects) it just fails miserably. and i get tired of that. it just gets old, you know?
i keep giving into the illusion of the perfect domesticated housewife, everything she touches comes alive with vibrance on the first try, everything tastes like euphoria in your mouth, and she never breaks a sweat.
i keep thinking i have to be her. . .

quickly we combine the dough, and i give husband the task of ordering pizza from somewhere. he does.
i prepare the pizza, dough, sauce, cheese, sausage, pepperoni, parmesan.
i also prepare the weird experiment rolls...
husband takes me aside for a moment and says "dear, stop being so hard on yourself. no matter how this turns out, enjoy the good time we had making this together. i think you've done a great job so far. *he holds me closer and puts my head on his shoulder* also, cry if you need to" <3
i make the decision not to cry, but enjoy the embrace. husband left to get the pizza, i put pizza and rolls in oven, and i get a chance to check my phone... turns out our guests didn't know if we had invited them to dinner or just to watch a movie, so they got some food [total miscommunication... the irony]...
i call husband to tell him our guests weren't having dinner with us, he says "oh well, we'll have a bunch of pizza for a while" ... "so how much is this pizza you got"... "thirteen dollars" ..."what?! thirteen dollars?! that's ridiculous! i never pay more than $8 for a large pizza! uggh. wait, i'm sorry, i didn't need to freak out over that. sorry" ..."thanks for apologizing. i'll be home soon"

so my pizza turns out with the thickness of 1.5 sicilian pizzas.
jason enjoys the pizza he purchased [and mine].
the rolls apparently turned out pretty tasty, i haven't tried them yet. jason just says they're good.
so, all these seeming fails turned into happy accidents.

and we still have a plethora of various pizza in the fridge.... :D

Friday, June 15, 2012

marriage, alone, boxes


Marriage doesn't mean you're always together. It means there are times when you're alone. Especially if one of the spouses is a military member. For annual training, Jason will have been gone for 16 days [the longest we've been apart so far in our marriage]. I visited him twice in those 16 days, which was really nice.

But with the aloneness comes some... out-of-the-norm behavior. Here's what me being alone for 16 days means:

- Bumming off of other people or constantly eating out because I dont want to make a meal just for me. Unless it's a TV dinner which makes me feel like crap afterward.

- Cupcakes from friends (Julianne, they were my true solace. you'll never know how much those cupcakes meant to me).

- It means getting to the verge of crazy.... when you're thinking its nice to have something waiting for you at home. Even if it is just dark chocolate klondike bars. Doesn't mean they aren't looking forward to being consumed, right??

- Being completely overwhelmed when it seems like a million bugs are invading your home. "How will I kill all these bugs?! *almost has a breakdown, starts breathing heavily*... "Oh! Vacuum! SUCK UP ALL THE BUGS! MUHAHA"
[ by the way, babe... the first item on your "honey-do" list will be to empty out the bug crypt... aka, the vacuum canister. I dont do dead bodies. That's your thing. ]

- It means having dreams of cuddling with your spouse, only to wake up and realize he's not there.

- It means soaking up sunlight with your best girl friends.

- And laughing at your the internet with your sister.

- It means grabbing random weapons when you hear odd noises.
Or even taking said weapons with you into the bathroom while you shower. I feel most vulnerable in the shower. Anything could happen.

- It also means getting to watch so many movies that your husband didn't want to watch... like American Psycho... The Machinist... hmm... prolly not the best choices when alone. No nightmares so far, so that's good.

- ...it also means binge movie buying... o.O

- It means considering trying to find a volleyball to put your handprint on to make friends with [maybe call him wilson?]... and creep your husband out with when he gets home.

Aaaahh, yes. Being alone drives you to a place of insanity.

But something serious I would like to say is - a lot of young couples who are considering marriage or are already married [like us] don't really realize how much of an adjustment it is to get married.

In talking with a dear friend of mine....a friend of hers recently got married and was saying what an adjustment was, she wanted to get my perspective on it...
I don't know how I came up with this analogy on the spot, but I'm thanking God for it, because it actually helped me understand marriage better.

When you're single you have all these boxes. One box for school, one for job, another for dating, one for family, and another for finances.

When you're married, all of those boxes go inside ONE BIG BOX labeled "marriage". Your boxes are not even yours anymore.
It's not just your problems anymore, it's our problems. It's not just your family anymore, it's our family. It's not just your finances anymore, it's our finances. And guess what... you have to COMMUNICATE about all this stuff properly.

So that's the adjustment.

Also, being married doesn't mean you'll be around each other all the time. Actually, you're really not around each other much unless neither of you have jobs or any hobbies.
Even when Jason and I do get to spend time with each other, sometimes we are spending that time together alone... if that makes any sense. He will be playing video games and I'll be on pinterest. He'll be reading a book while I'm blogging. He will be making mandalorian armor while I'm painting a lamp.
Marriage doesn't mean you'll automatically always want to do the same thing all the time with one another. You're still two separate individuals living as one flesh, one cohesive unit. You've gotta do whatcha gotta do to make that work. Sometimes that means taking a walk by yourself to sort out your thoughts.

But what marriage does mean is learning to love one another through the challenges. Learning more about yourself through another person. Learning how to better yourself, not try to change the other person. Learning how to work as a team. Learning how to help each other and help the people around you.

It's not easy by any means. There have definitely been times where I thought, "No wonder there will never be world peace, we can't even properly communicate with each other, and we're husband and wife! How would enemies possibly manage it?"

But nothing can replace marriage! Even when you're alone for 16 days.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

italian sausage, tomato & spinach pasta bake


sorry for the lack of posting. had a few things going on this past month... like a car dying and getting another. and our anniversary [listed here & here] and jason being at annual training [which means me alone and sad and trying to find things to do which generally don't include productivity for some reason or another].

this recipe originates from my mother-in-law who has a knack for creating tasty, healthy dishes on a small budget. she inspires me in the kitchen :] i have made a couple notes/small changes in a few areas, i've also done some research on the nutrition aspect of it. this is a meal for those trying to eat smart as it is low calorie, and a great source of vitamins A & C.

most would generally not think of italian sausage when trying to eat healthy, but this meal makes it work!

this meal has also been wholeheartedly approved by those who generally do not like eating vegetables [sources: john daniel].
ingredients (roughly):
(don't you love the pasta photoshopped in?)

one of my favorite activities is cooking with my husband. hearing him trying to pronounce neufchatel, wanting to combine all the ingredients, anxiously anticipating the dish to be finished ("is it done yet? i'm so hungry!")... it's just the best.
so you're gonna wanna get your water started for the pasta, then you're gonna wanna fry up the meat. if you're wondering why we're wearing mitts to fry meat... i have this dish that is used as the container for the crock-pot (not the base that heats it, which doubles as a griddle. i love multipurpose tools.) that can be used to fry and bake... not just crock. it's so amazing. so i used it to fry up the meat and be the container for the whole dish to put in the oven (oh, heads up, we use a toaster oven to save money!).
so as you saw in the previous image above, we were frying up the meat, and draining the fat. you should probably preheat your oven to 350 about now.
after your pasta is cooked and drained, add the pasta. also add cream cheese, tomatoes, spinach, spices, and a partial amount of your mozzarella and parmesan if you like. combine by mixing thoroughly.
if you don't have a cool multifunctional frying/baking/crocking dish like me, you'll want to lightly grease a baking dish and pour all your ingredients in at this time.
then put the rest of your mozzarella and parmesan on top.
aw, it's so cute, just sittin there!
then cover with foil and put in oven for 30 minutes, remove foil and cook another 5 minutes.
should look a lil somethin like this when you're done:

looks deeeelish, eh? serve it up after it's cooled a bit, and enjoy!

hope you all enjoy this dish as much as my husband and i do [as well as our guests, oh and my family-in-law... want to credit my mother-in-law again. she's just great!]. if you try it, let me know what you thought of it as well as any edits you made!
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the recipe: italian sausage, tomato & spinach pasta bake

portion size: this recipe is good for roughly 4-6 people. it may vary for your family!

what you need:
1lb pasta [rotini or egg noodles, i always choose whole wheat]
1 lb sweet italian sausage [you can also do 2lbs to make it meatier, i always love meatier]
1 can italian style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 10oz package of frozen spinach, defrosted [you could also use fresh, roughly 8oz]
1 8oz package of cream cheese [neufchatel is preferred to cut down fat content, you can make this richer by adding more cream cheese]
2 cups shredded mozzarella [or italian blend with parmesan]
1/2 cup parmesan
eyeball spices like salt, pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley, thyme, onion, garlic to taste

what you've gotta do:
first, get some water in a pot and begin to boil it [cook the other stuff while this is coming to a boil to save time], cook pasta according to cook time on package.
preheat your oven [or toaster oven!] to 350.
put some olive oil in a pan/skillet and fry up your sausage [do note, if your sausage has casings, you need to remove them from the casings]. drain the grease.
drain your pasta. add sausage and cream cheese to the pasta. combine. then add spinach, tomatoes, and spices - combine. add half of your mozzarella and parmesan if you like.
find a baking dish, lightly grease it if need be.
add ingredients to dish.
add the rest of your mozzarella and parmesan to the top.
cover dish with foil.
put in oven for 30
minutes. remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes.
let cool, serve, and enjoy!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

anniversary

sorry for the lack of posting. had a few things going on this past month... like a car dying and getting another. and our anniversary [listed here] and jason being at annual training [which means me alone and sad and trying to find things to do which generally don't include productivity because i'm pathetic].

may 28th 2012 marked our happy one year anniversary.

we were going to go out of town for an extended weekend, but our plans didn't go as planned... as they generally do not for us. so we had a nice staycation.

we mostly just did whatever we wanted to do when we wanted to do it. it was awesome.
sunday [which is one of the two days we did interesting things] we went to rocketts landing for their memorial day celebration called "rocketts red glare"... i love attending events with great titles. food, drinks, ships on the river, glorious sunsets, ruins, and fireworks!


we watched the fireworks from the back of our "new" RAV4, which was a great "breaking in" experience for that fabulous vehicle. it was a splendid evening. we would have avoided most of the horrendous traffic afterward, but we accidentally took a wrong turn... yeeeahh. but we got gelati celesti afterward, so it made everything "aaall better!"

the next day [our actual anniversary] we did something quite special [which only a handful of people know about, because i'm not quite sure if i'm ready for that to be on the internet... eh. we'll see if i make up my mind soon enough.]
after lunch that day, we enjoyed our anniversary cake. it was great! no freezer burn! huzzah!
that evening we used our gift card to olive garden, which was delish.
all in all, it was a great staycation for our anniversary. hopefully next year we'll get to do something more grand, but this did just nicely!