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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Recipe Writers: May's Fresh Flavors

Little did we know, It was just going to keep on with March weather all through April in Upstate NY. It was more like April snow brings May showers instead of April Showers brings May Flowers. If it didn't snow where you live this month, you are one lucky duck. We did end up with some amazing recipes being linked up last month, though. Did you see (or try) Fiddlehead Hash, Pappardelle with Summer Vegetables or these Veggies with Cous Cous
Anyway, May is here! May is full of lots of wonderful things. May 1st is Mayday, so don't forget to find some flowers to appreciate and bring them to your neighbor! We also have Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day and Memorial Day. We could have called this "Recipe Writers: Mother's May", but there are just too many other holidays and flavors that we would be skipping out on. So, I present to you this month's Recipe Writers Theme:
May's Fresh Flavors

We are crawling out of our winter habits here (for real this time). No more stews or heart breads. We are welcoming the fresh ingredients that are beginning to grow. We are firing up our grills and cooking up some kabobs! What are you doing to celebrate the warm weather with food?  According to the Farmer's Almanac, we will be getting some fresh spinach, asparagus and rhubarb this month! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

A busy weekend and a trip to Monkey Run

Hello, everyone.
I hope you all had a beautiful Easter weekend (if you celebrate it). We had a pretty wonderful weekend. We went home to the hills on Friday night, and went to Alec's niece's 2nd Birthday party. I personally can't believe that she is already 2 because I remember the phone call from his sister saying that they were pregnant like it was yesterday. I also remember how small she was when she was born...Alec refused to hold her until she was almost a year old because he was afraid to break her! Anyway, she is two years old already and absolutely adorable. She is all smiles and giggles. Please excuse the blurry i-phone photos, but trying to catch a fast 2 year old on camera proves to be quite the challenge. 

Grace was more than happy to have her Uncle Alec come visit with her in her toy house. Alec turns 24 today, too! He doesn't mind climbing into a tiny plastic house to please his niece at all. 

Grace got a little plastic cleaning set for her birthday. Alec and her went around "mop, mop, mopping" and "sweep,sweep,sweeping" the entire living room. Every few swipes across the floor, Grace would "rinse off" her mop in the bucket, complete with "swishhhh" sound effects and "slurp slurp slurps" while cleaning the floor. Needless to say, it was adorable. 

I helped Alec's sister, Melissa, decorate the cakes with fresh fruit. I definitely stole the fresh berry idea for Alec's Birthday cake.
I had to run back to the "city" for a bachelorette party Saturday night, where I proceeded to ride a mechanical bull (I lasted 45 seconds!) Then, I came back to the hills Saturday night so I could go to sunrise service on Sunday morning.

We got to spend a lot of time outside on Sunday. We all pitched in to get some yard work done. My mom and I did about an hour of yoga in the yard. We even all piled into my dad's new truck, went mudding through some seasonal roads and ended up with this view. I wore my little hiking shoes the entire day to try to wear them in before I leave for Peru. If you look way into the distance you can see the city skyline (an hour away). Now we're off to Canada to celebrate Alec's Birthday!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

As of Late

Hello everyone.
I have been busy over here. Like crazy busy.
I just wanted to kind of update everyone on what I've been doing so far this month, since I haven't been posting very much on my blog. 
As you know I'm a nursing student. It is also the "final stretch" of the semester. So, there's that. 
I also presented at my schools Scholar's Day this week and a Nursing Leadership Conference at a local hospital. It was so exciting to get to be presenting research at these events, and I learned a lot. 

On Monday, I got in a car accident. I am completely okay (aside from some soreness), but getting in a car accident is a very stressful situation. Luckily, I was found to be not at fault because an elderly woman hit me in a parking lot and ended up getting a "failure to yield" ticket. She is okay, too, thank God. I've been on the phone with insurance companies all week long, though. It seems like a never ending process to get all the details sorted out and the car repairs taken care of. At least we are both okay and my car is drivable, though. 
So aside from a very stressful week, we had our quilt guild meeting and my friend Marty brought me a jar of homemade cinnamon extract! It was so sweet of her to think of me and I can't wait to use it. 
Do you have any good recipes that use cinnamon extract that I should try?
I also roped Alec into going to a free quilt show with me down the road from our house. In hindsight, I shouldn't have worn my "Hooters" shirt to this show, but I don't think any of the nice ladies minded too much. In my opinion, any guy that will go to a quilt show with his girlfriend is a real keeper. 
I have also been getting outside more and trying to fit some exercise back into my routine for stress relief. I was going to post a photo of a pose I've been working on, but the Instagram website is apparently down today. So, you can just enjoy the obnoxious memes that describe my life, instead. 
Do you have any suggestions for other ways to relieve stress without taking so many breaks from actually doing your work that you get nothing done?

Enjoy the warm weather!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Recipe Writers: Spring Delights

Guys, we made it! Spring is officially here. We had fun baking Christmas cookies, enjoyed some Irish food (Shamrock Hot Cocoa or Irish Roasted Shallots, anyone?), and now it is time to embrace all of the freshness that Spring has to offer. March really went out like a lion, too. We ended up with another 6 inches of snow on Saturday! So, I am ready to move forward. Are you with me? Let's celebrate the changing of seasons with this month's theme:
Spring Has Sprung

This month is all about fresh food. We are transitioning from cold and cozy foods to crisp, light and fresh flavors. Maybe you have a new twist on a salad, or a family standby for when the weather gets warmer. I can't wait to see what spring foods you are cooking up in your kitchen!
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