Monthly Archives: July 2012

Turkey Avocado Open-face Sandwich with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Garlic Aioli

We had a little experimentation going on in the kitchen at our house today and I thought I’d share it!

I present to you:

Turkey Avocado Open-face Sandwich with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Garlic Aioli

Let me tell you, it was GOOD.

Ingredients:

1/2 French Baguette, sliced lengthwise

1/4 pound of sliced roasted turkey breast

1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced

sliced sharp cheddar cheese

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

2 fresh garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes

olive oil

salt, pepper, and paprika

Slice baguette and avocado, and set aside. Preheat oven to broil.

Place sun-dried tomatoes in small container (we used a coffee mug) and drizzle with olive oil, adding salt and pepper. Allow to soak (this will plump up the tomatoes) over 10-15 minutes. Chop into smaller pieces and add back to oil.

Mince garlic cloves in another small bowl. Add mayonnaise, and a dash of salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix together.

Put baguette slices on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread garlic mixture on each side of sliced baguette. Add tomatoes and oil. Next, layer the turkey and top sandwich with sliced cheddar.

Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Top with avocado and s&p.

Serves 2 people.

Mmmmm…

A few amendments we’d have for the next time we make this:

I think baking the sandwich for 5-10 minutes at a lower temperature before broiling it would help to heat all of the ingredients better (and make it gooey-ier).

Place the avocado before the cheese. In general, we prefer raw avocado, but I think the cheese will protect the avocado from too much heat (and make it easier to eat).

I hope you make this. We will again. And soon. It’s so yummy. 🙂

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A Few of My Favorite Things…

Like raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles, warm woolen mittens…

Err, I mean some of my other favorite things. (Sorry, I couldn’t help it.)

Last weekend, we had the great pleasure of helping my sister, Jena, and her husband, Brian, move into their new house. I was really excited for them, and it was so much fun to make a lot of the decorating decisions (along with my sister-in-law, Merrill and approved by Jena and Brian, of course). I’m hoping to have some pictures to post for you soon! Their place is pretty adorable.

Anyway, thinking about the things I especially loved at their place got me thinking about the things I especially love about our little place. And I thought I’d share those things with you (in no particular order). 🙂

1. The coffee table we made out of an old door.

I made a whole post about this table before and you can read it here. We had a lot of fun designing and executing this project. (Meaning, it’s fun because it’s finished!)

2. The stripes we painted in our half bathroom.

This was a harder project than it probably seems like it would be (or, maybe, than we expected). You see, our walls were 1/4″ taller on one side of the room, which made it difficult to measure out evenly spaced stripes.

Even though it was somewhat of a mathematical nightmare, it was totally worth it. We love how light and airy it feels in this little nook. And, it only cost $1 in the end. (We used a quart of white from the Habitat ReStore along with our leftover paint from our den.)

3. This pen and ink from my sister-in-law and brother-in-law.

I seriously love this original artwork that they made for me! Merrill did the artwork and Michael made the frame.

The text was at my request, but I didn’t give them anything to go on style-wise. Isn’t the little cottage adorable?

4. Our dining room curtains made from a table cloth.

I found this tablecloth at Target and loved the print.

I bought one, cut it down the middle, and refinished the edging. Then, all I had to do was clip it to the curtain rings. Easy peazy. And I love how the browns in the fabric are highlighted by my grandmother’s dulcimer and great-grandmother’s rocking chair.

5. My front loading washer and dryer.

This really is on my list of favorite things in the house. I’m not totally sure why, but it’s so much fun to have a front loading washer.

It’s just so pretty. 🙂 I wish we had more than a closet for it to hang out in, but I’m super happy with it, nonetheless.

6. The handmade elephant mobile my (other) sister-in-law made.

Totally adorable, right?

I thought for sure Rachel bought these little guys. Not only did she make them herself, but she didn’t even have access to a sewing machine. Crafty lady!

I love having something so unique for the nursery, made especially for Liam. Not to mention, it was sent all the way from Kenya, which makes it even cooler.

7. The paint color of our bedroom.

I stressed a lot over the paint for our room when we were moving. The slate-y gray/blue I had in mind didn’t seem to be what we were putting on the walls, and it worried me to no end.

I guess it was wasted energy, though, because we love the serenity it gives to this room, and we get tons of compliments on it. Really peaceful.

And I’m really happy with the way it compliments the gray striped duvet cover I made (out of a set of king-sized sheets).

I guess compiling this list helped me to recognize that I really value homemade things that make a space completely original (and it doesn’t hurt when those things are made by people I love)!

At the risk of sounding cheesy, I really can’t list all things I love about this house without including the two people that really make our house a home.

They’re better than anything I own!

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Waiting in the Dark

I am a fixer.

I like to find solutions to my problems and make it so that they aren’t problems anymore. It gets tricky, though, when I’m faced with something that I can’t control. I realize that God has plans for those situations, but, truthfully, I don’t like being in the dark about why I am where I am.

Such has been the case lately at our house. Frustrating circumstances that seem to grow with each day. It’s hard to understand why. I love so many people that are also going through unimaginably hard things. I really don’t have the answers.

But these are a few verses that have been speaking to my heart lately. They first challenged and comforted me when we were going through a really difficult time in our marriage a few years ago. And now, here they are again:

“Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.” Isaiah 50:10-11

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s counter-intuitive to wait and trust when you’re in darkness. I like seeing (thank you very much). But, the promised result of conjuring up my own “light” isn’t exactly a great alternative. It’s in the dark, hard places that I learn who God really is and that he can be trusted.

If I choose not to wait, though, I may miss it. My self-made light may seem fine, brilliant even, for a little while, but it will end in ashes. You see, I don’t have the abilities and resources to provide myself with all of the wonderful things that God has planned for me.

His provision is enough. It’s more than enough. It’s perfect.

So I will wait in my darkness. Wait for His light to come shining through and light up my way. He will not abandon me.

My circumstances may not change in a day, but His mercies will be new with each morning. And so I can face them again tomorrow.

Easier said than done.

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Cheddar Beer Soup and Green Chicken Salad

It’s recipe time again!

First, let me say that I need a better camera for food pictures. I hesitate to even post pictures because my camera sucks. I’m just telling you like it is. Anyway, please don’t hold it against these recipes. I wouldn’t share gross recipes with you.

So, I know it’s been a hundred degrees and all, but I was thinking I’d share an excellent recipe for soup. Who’s with me? Just save it for later if you can’t stand the thought of eating soup in July. 🙂

I got this recipe from my friend, Sarah, and it’s a keeper at our house. I had tried a few beer and cheese soup recipes before, but this one is by far the creamiest.  (I said creamiest not healthiest, just to be clear.)

Cheddar and Beer Soup

4 Tbsp butter

1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

2 small (not baby) carrots, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup flour

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups whole milk

12 oz beer (any lager is fine, but nothing dark)

3 cups grated cheddar

1.5 tsp salt

0.5 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp hot sauce (optional)

Chop onion, celery, and carrots. Saute veggies and garlic in butter until soft and onion is translucent. Approximately 10 minutes. Add flour, stirring to make a paste. Next, add the chicken broth slowly, stirring to thin the “paste”. Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes on medium heat. Once broth is heated, add beer, cooking until there is no foam left (usually about 20 minutes). Then, pour the whole milk and heat (but do not boil). Stir in grated cheese until all is melted and soup is hot. Add spices to taste.

Feeds 4-6 people. This soup would be really yummy with some whole grain beer bread!

Okay, on to recipe #2. Think of it as an ode to summer. Sort of the opposite of recipe #1 (although, they would be tasty paired together).

This one comes from my neighbor (and friend), Lisa. It’s a delicious and refreshing take on chicken salad. The problem is, I don’t really have (any) measurements. Just have fun with it. Go crazy. Trust your cooking instincts. 🙂

Green Chicken Salad

shredded or chopped chicken (rotisserie, boiled, or grilled. maybe 2 cups)

ripe avocado, diced (1 or so)

green onion, chopped (from both ends: green onion and chives. maybe 3)

fresh cilantro, chopped (a small “bunch” or whatever)

mayonnaise (just a little. 1 or 2 Tbsp)

lime juice (not too much. 1 or 2 tsp)

salt and pepper (to taste…of course!)

I know those directions are clear as mud, but mix and enjoy!

Makes…however much you decide to make. Super yummy (and this one is healthy).

Alright, friends, let me know if you try ’em and what you think! Bon Appetit!

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