Friday, March 28, 2014

5 on Friday {3.28}


Another week finished up. This one has been so much better then the last few that is for sure! I finally feel like myself again. Thank the lord. The living room is no longer my second bedroom, the bathrooms are cleaned, the backyard is beer bottle free, and the kitchen is sparkling. I love a productive week that sets in a good mood to start the weekend.

   I discovered another of my favorite childhood/teenage movies on Netflix this week. Steel Magnolias. Oh this movie makes me tear up just thinking about it, but it is such a great movie. A true chick flick. I give it a 5 Kleenex rating. No matter how many times you have watched it, you will cry a little every time.

   To keep up the Southern hospitality feel, I ordered this gem on Wednesday. I don't know if it is just the area where we live now or the suburbs themselves, but we have had a lot of people come by trying to sell things or asking for money. Don't get me wrong, I like giving to charities that I know and respect; but when a 20 year old man comes by asking for money to send books to third world children, that earn him points to get him to Rome with no paperwork verifying the company. Yeah, no thank you. I hope this little sign does it's job, and does it well!

   Hubby and I are starting to finalize arrangements for my youngest sister's college graduation in May. It is still so wild to me that all of my little sisters are growing up. One is living in New York, applying to grad schools for something she has had a life long interest in and dating the sweetest guy. Another is in Texas building her dream business already at the age of 23. And my baby sister is graduating college this year, moving to California were she will no doubt set up shop and settle down by the beautiful coast. I love my sisters and I love this season of our lives, but I miss them so much. Come visit me little ones! 

      I am patiently waiting for the weather to get a little warmer and less rainy to try out the Margaritaville Hotel. Hubby and I snuck onto their pier and I quickly snapped these before we were spotted. They have a little, quiet beach. Not at all what you think a place like Margaritaville is going to be like, but it is so relaxing. You can bet, come a few weeks from now, I will be laying under one of those blue umbrellas. 

   Last but certainly not least in any way shape or form, two of my favorite people in the whole world gave birth to their beautiful babies this week, less then 48 hours apart! My super-mommy Navy wife friend Audora gave birth to her fourth baby. A third, gorgeous little girl with reddish hair just like her older sisters & brother. Then two days later, my Norfolk front door neighbor & amazing Navy wife friend Christine, gave birth to her and her husband's very first baby. She is a little doll with so much dark brown hair and the chubbiest little cheeks. They are both so adorable. Congratulations friends! I cannot wait to cuddle your little darlings! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Recipe Day

For some reason, when I get over an illness, I want the wildest food combinations. Enchiladas and General Tso Chicken. Yum. French fries and Pancakes. Nothing like carbo-loading. This time it was Fish Tacos and Bruschetta. I know... I am weird. Don't worry I don't combine them or anything like that. I just like a wide range of flavors when I can finally taste again.

I love bruschetta. This recipe is as simple as it gets. No ovens to heat up an already toasty summer kitchen, and minimal stove use. This recipe makes about 4-6 large slices, enough for a very filling snack for 2 or lunch for 1. 

Yum. Fish. I wanted to fry this up so bad but I am attempting better eating habits so baking really is the best. The pico in the recipe is more of a lime pico. Definitely for lighter foods like fish and shrimp. If you want to add some kick to it, add in the jalapeno without the seeds. For even more of a bite, keep the seeds. Remember, you can add whatever want to jazz it up or take out anything that isn't to your taste. Just make it yours and make it delicious!

 Just look at these beauties:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

One late, late post day

Hey y'all. Sorry I didn't get a chance to post yesterday but it has been a messy few days 'round these parts. (Did you just say that with the southern twang I intended. lol. I hope so) So Saturday we had our Housewarming Party. I think it was a huge success! In fact, I didn't get the chance to take one picture the entire afternoon or night. Which now, I regret, but at the time I couldn't care less. I was just enjoying having people over at our new home and enjoying the fruits of Hubby's labor. He woke up at 3am on Saturday to begin smoking all of the delicious meats for the party. Yeah, can you tell he takes this hobby very seriously? But you know what, it totally paid off. Brisket, beef ribs and spare ribs were the highlight of the festivities for sure. Well that, and his new butane torch that the guys loved playing with in the fire pit. Oh men.

Some of the guys were still here when I passed out cold around midnight, so of course nothing got put away or cleaned that night. Those boys and their scotch, I swear. So I have spent the last few days alternating between party cleanup and Whataburger runs. I have this massive peeve about cooking when the kitchen is already a mess. I can't do it. The idea of making food with only one pan or with spices & food strewn about is just so frustrating that I don't even attempt it anymore. So in honor of me finally getting the kitchen back in working order, tomorrow will be a recipe share day. Remember my Fish Tacos & Bruschetta pics {here}, well y'all are getting the details on how to make them yourself manana. Ole and Salute!

Friday, March 21, 2014

5 on Friday Happiness

This week has been a rough week in our house. Sick, then feeling great, then being knocked out cold with sinus headaches again. Overall, it has been a harsh week and a half.  What's that saying: 'When mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy'. lol. To keep my spirits up, I have been relying on a few of my favorite things. Here are the top five that have kept me from holding up in my bedroom with a tissue box and a sound machine full of whale noises to keep me asleep.


   One of my all-time favorite movies is now on Netflix. I found that fun fact out at 1 am last Tuesday when my stuffed up nose was keeping me up and I couldn't sleep or breath. Totally worth it.

   Bruschetta and Fish Tacos. When I start to feel better after being sick and having no appetite, I crave the weirdest combinations of foods. This time it was Mexican and Italiano. Yum. I'll give y'all the recipes for these goodies next week. You will love them! 

   I might have made some delirious purchases while I was out of commission but I am glad I did. This gorgeous print came in last week and it really perked me up. I have been searching for a place of honor for it in my craft room ever since.

   Canada Dry Ginger Ale. Oh how I love thee when I am feeling so, so bad. 

   Rehab Addict, Property Brothers, House Hunters and Income Property. HGTV is my lifeblood during the day while I am all alone and feel like total crap laying on the couch waiting for Hubby to get home. I love that channel. It makes me feel better. Thank you Canada for your delicious drinks and fantastic television programming. I owe y'all a lot for these past few days. 
   My 'get better' inspiration :) 

Friday, March 14, 2014

I'm Alive!

Well, I went to the doctor Wednesday and found out I have sinusitis and a touch of tonsillitis, just for good measure you know. Thanks body. 'Yuck' is the only word I could think of when she told me my diagnosis. I think my seasonal allergies mutated into some weird hybrid sickness because of the weather changing so much this past week. 70s to 30s all in one week is enough to make anyone go crazy, let alone my stupid allergies. So naturally, they rebelled. Thankfully my Doc gave me the good meds so hopefully I'll be back, good as new, by next week.

So this weekend will probably be just as mellow as last weekend was. Hopefully I'll be conscious for more of this one, it is St. Patrick's Day weekend! But instead of green beer, I'll probably stick to green tea :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

What Weekend?

There was a weekend? I am pretty sure I slept away the past three days on the couch. I remember waking up at some point and making a lasagna. I think that was Friday. Maybe Saturday. At least I had the for thought to leave something in the fridge for hubby to eat while I was comatose. I am not sure if I am getting a sinus infection or of it is just some ungodly tree blooming away its evil pollen just for me. It looks like a doctor's appointment is in my future this week. Boo on sickness. Boo.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

4 Years and Loving It

My gorgeous marriage-aversary flowers. 
Yesterday was our 4 year marriage anniversary! I cannot believe four years have gone by already. They literally flew by, granted one of those years we weren't on the same continent. But even then, it doesn't feel like three years have gone by. Too fast, too fast.

Before I move on I should explain "marriage-aversary". It is not uncommon in the military to get married before you Get Married. We actually got married in the Court House in Milton, Florida before our big wedding that was later that year in Texas. The Paper Wedding. Get it? lol. It makes moving, insurance, doctor's appointments, base access, everything a whole lot easier (or even possible) when you are married to your military man. We decided to do a paper wedding when we found out we were moving from Florida to Virginia before our wedding date. I did not want to take the chance of him being shipped off before we were married and I would be left in information limbo during an entire deployment.

Lucky for us, Hubby didn't get shipped off for almost an entire year after we arrived in Virginia. Whew. But I did not regret getting married before the wedding, not even a little. It was this fantastic secret we had just between the two of us. I loved calling him my husband behind closed doors and my fiance to everyone else. Now we celebrate the day we became secret Husband and Wife as our marriage-aversary. I love that man more every day we spend together and even more when we are apart; because that is when you truly realize how much you love someone.

Thank you US Navy for teaching me that! (only minorly sarcastic)


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Octopus Soup Recipe & Octopus Cooking Tips

Don't be frightened, cooking with octopus is definitely not as scary as people think it is. This recipe is one of the easiest to follow and really tasty. It is based on a recipe I found a while ago but I tweaked it a bit so it is more flavorful and hearty.

This recipe is about 6-8 servings, large servings. 

I like a hearty soup, more like a stew. So I added the entire box of orzo. But if you would like a more broth like soup, keep the orzo at 8oz.
Be sure you do not over cook the octopus in the beginning of the recipe. It will continue to cook when you put it back in the stock pot for the last 20 minutes.  

Some Octopus Cooking Tips:

  • Don't do the cork thing, it doesn't work. Just an old wive's tale.
  • Octopus is like shrimp in its cooking form. When it is done, the octopus curls up and is an opaque/dark pink in color. I use baby octopus because it is easier for me to cook then the larger variety,and it has a significantly shorter cook time. 1.5 pounds of baby octopus cooks in about 3 minutes in a rolling boil where a 1.5 pound single octopus takes anywhere from 15-25 minutes.
  • If you cannot find cleaned octopus, it is pretty simple to remove the bits you don't need. Since I do not cook the heads I don't worry about removing the insides or the eyes. But if you would like to cook the heads; take a small, sharp knife and cut up into the heads from the bottom, removing the insides. You can remove the beaks by either spreading the tentacles and cutting them out or by squeezing the sides of the head by the beak from the underside and it will slide out. Simply cut it out from there if it will not ease out. You can remove the eyes using the exact same technique as the beak, but I prefer to simply cut them out using kitchen scissors. Be sure you rinse out the octopus really well to get out all of the insides, (possible) ink and bones that look like fish scales.    
  • Octopus can get very tough the larger it is. Those are older octopus and therefor not as tender. I recommend brining the larger ones if you have time. 3 tbsp regular table salt in 1 qt. warm water, add the octopus and let it sit for a few hours before cooking. Brine makes everything tender and delicious.

I hope yall like the recipe and are a whole lot more comfortable giving octopus a cooking-try with the tips. You never know if ya like it until ya try it! Bon Appetit! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Weekend of Chicken, Flowers, and Beer

It sounds a little odd, but those were our highlights of the weekend. Chicken and flowers and beer! Saturday and Sunday were some of the most beautiful days we have had in Pensacola so far. It had been chilly on and off all week so I never had the chance to start my biggest project in the new house. A garden. I have always wanted a garden, but apartment living doesn't exactly align itself with open spaces to dig up some ground. Now that I finally have a patch of grass to call my own, I dug it up and planted some gorgeous goodies!

Thankfully, whoever lived here before us did attempt a garden at some point so there was a nice sectioned off spot in the front yard just begging for some beauty. Naturally I obliged :)

The soil was surprisingly in really great condition but there were a few surprises hiding below the top layer, like fake flower bits! I kept on finding fabric leaves and yellow silk petals while I was digging in the dirt. I think someone took the easy way out a few years ago when it came to pretty-ing up the front of the house. lol. I love it.  But now the garden is a real garden again with dainthus and japanese snowball seedlings that are hopefully growing some strong roots. The little flower bed is fast becoming one of my favorite places in the house. Now all I need are two rocking chairs and I will finally have my southern bell front porch.

My fresh little garden wasn't the only good thing to happen this weekend, oh no. Check out Doug: 

That's Doug the chicken. Yes, we name our food. What can I say: We are weird, weird people. Hubby beer-can BBQ'd on Saturday night and it was a huge success. Just look at how golden it is! Yum. I cannot BBQ. I have tried and it always turns out blah. Since I am not the grill master in the family, I do not know what the exact recipe is that Hubby follows, but {this one} is the closest in time and temp to make that gorgeous chicken. Honestly, the only thing I contributed to this recipe was the stand.  

Williams-Sonoma. 29 bucks. Can't go wrong. I can seriously get used Hubby using the grill as often as possible this summer. And cooking with fire wasn't the only thing he did this weekend. Oh no. He made beer. He finally broke open his Christmas present and made beer.

One of my guest bathrooms is a brewery for the next few weeks but I cannot wait to sample the end result.