Tag Archives: cooking

Birthday Present to You

March is my favorite month. Weather starts to get warmer. It’s the anniversary of Mr. A and I dating. Even more so, it’s my birthday!

I love birthdays. Love them. I always joke that I will be 90 years old, in a nursing home, and still excited about my birthday. I love the fun and the cake and the presents. Yes, presents. I KNOW it’s not about that, but it’s fun to get gifts that my loved ones thought about and put effort into.

But, this year, I’m not as excited. I don’t really know why.

It’s not a big deal number. We get to go home, and while I’m excited for that, there isn’t the level of anticipation that usually hits me on March 1st. Also, my actual birthday is a Sunday, so no real fun on the actual day.

So I thought I would do something different.

I’m giving one of YOU a birthday gift.

Yes, you wonderful readers have a chance to enter in for a giveaway from me.

So, what is in this fun little birthday basket?

First, you will get to choose between 3 different cookbooks. All focus on healthy eating, but I know people look for different things, so no point in me forcing one on you!

A. Bethenney Frankel’s The Skinnygirl Dish

skinnygirl (source)


B) Hungry Girl 300 under 300

hungry girl (Source)


C) Cooking Light Complete Cookbook

cookinglight (source)

All of these look great and I’m trying to share my new ways of trying to eat healthier. (Just ignore my tweet about the DQ tonight. I AM a girl after all…)

But a birthday package of just a healthy cookbook is lame. And I don’t want to be lame.

So, to add, I will throw in a $20 gift card to:

whole foods


You can use it for food for your new recipes in your new cookbook. Or if you use it on their awesome wine and dessert selection, I won’t blame you. Just tell me what you bought so I can make sure to get it next time.

If you win and aren’t close to one, we will chat and work something else out.

And because not everything should be about food, I shall throw in a…

iTunes (source)

$15 iTunes gift card!! Who doesn’t love new music? Or a movie? Or some apps for your fancy schmancy phone?

And knowing me, I might just throw in some other small treats just because…

I think it looks like a pretty awesome birthday basket. I hope you do too!

By now you are wondering how to enter this little deal. And I will make it simple for you.

All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me about your favorite birthday present/event/occasion/tradition.

You can get a bonus entry if you write a second comment with a link to your blog or Twitter account, even if I already follow you and read your blog. And if you’re new, it’s a good way for me to meet you! If you don’t have either, tell me one fun fact about yourself and we will call it even.

So you have TWO chances, but please put them as separate comments and please include an e-mail address in each so I can easily reach you!

I will use the random number generator to pick.

You have until 11:59pm Thursday March 24th to enter. No late entries will be allowed. And then, if all goes to plan, I will mail the package on Friday so the lucky winner will have their “birthday” present early next week!


Good luck!!



Filed under giveaway, Happy little posts

Food is my Favorite

Things have been hectic recently. Over Christmas break, Mr. A was home and I was working a lot, so we had a lot of pizzas and frozen things.

Then, I was working and trying to apply to grad school, which meant lots of library time to work on a paper and such, so lots of fast food.

And then last week happened. Which involved a lot of eating  out and junk food. We hadn’t gone to the grocery store in nearly two weeks, and with Mr. A’s limited diet last week, eating out was kind of our best option.

And when we got married, I was trying to cook more and work on my less than desirable skills in the kitchen.

So this week, I’m trying to get back to cooking more, eating more at home, and trying to be more domestic.

Sunday: I didn’t cook. BUT, my favorite brand of store bought garlic bread (Cole’s), has an entire meal in a box. Different pastas, sauce, and garlic bread. Was out of a box, but actually really delicious. You can’t really go wrong with cheese tortellini. 

Monday: Valentine’s Day!! I said it on Twitter, but our dinner was fantastic. We has baked asparagus, salmon pinwheels (one with lobster stuffing (AMAZING), the other with spinach and feta (VERY GOOD)), and then we had a French baguette with dipping oil. For dessert, Mr. A’s favorite, blackberry pie. We opened up our favorite bottle of wine from a local winery and it was a perfect dinner at home. The pinwheels may have been made from the seafood counter and all I had to do was bake it, but I cooked it and it was delicious.

Tuesday: Tonight we are having beer-braised beef, mashed potatoes, and broccoli. I found the recipe here and it looks pretty delicious. Also, we had some steak that needed to get used, so this was the way to do it.

Wednesday: I work until 6, so we’re just going to have spaghetti with spicy marinara sauce. Mr. A makes a fantastic sauce, so he gets to make that.

Thursday: We are having DuolyNoted’s bruschetta because it is absolutely wonderful. Favorite recipe we’ve found. We’re also having these stuffed crab shells from our grocery store. They are super cheap and delicious. They coem frozen, so we buy them and then just keep them in the freezer for an easy dinner. Yummmmmm.

Friday: Mr. A’s stepmom gave us her chicken and rice recipe. I’ll have to type it up for you all. So delicious. Basically chicken, rice (we use brown), cream of mushroom soup, broth, and some vegetables and you bake it. So delicious.

Saturday we will probably go grab dinner just because one of our favorite things to do is to go out to eat, we just need to do it WAY less often than we have been.

What are some of your favorite dishes? Any new one’s I should try?


Filed under Foodie, Married Life

Culinarily Inept

Well, I’m not that bad. I do know that a salad doesn’t belong in or near the oven. Right?

I love my mother. She’s great. But there are somethings I never learned from her. Such as, how to french braid hair or do makeup. I had to learn the makeup thing from friends and YouTube.

She did cook. And it was definitely edible. Somethings are still my favorite meals. Her pork chops? Delicious. Her biscuits and gravy? I dream about them.

My mom’s real skill, however, lie in baking. She could bake like none other. Cookies. Pies. Brownies. Cakes. All yummy.

Now, from reading my favorite things my mom made, can you see my food issues? My mom has the metabolism of a race horse. She gained 55 lbs. when she was pregnant with both me and my brother and lost it all to go back to being a size 4. She can eat anything. If she wasn’t my mom, I would be mad.

Also, I didn’t pick up the hobby of “let’s help mom in the kitchen and learn how she does this stuff.” I decided that it would be more fun to annoy my older brother and to play with my friends.

So here I am. Newly married to the man of my dreams and he is, by far, much more domestic than I am. He cleans better than I, can decorate (at times) better than I, and cooks better. I know I’ve mentioned that he worked in a bakery for several years and seriously considered going to culinary school. It’s a little embarrassing. The man in this relationship can do all the house stuff better than I can. I mean, I’m the new wife. I should be making dinners for him and making our little two bedroom apartment our new little home.

And I have gotten bit by, albeit a very small, bug and I want our place to not look like a glorified dorm room. Putting pictures up. Getting bookshelves and all that.

But in the kitchen? Other than making it look nice, the actual cooking is an issue.

I mean, I DO know how to boil water. I could survive on my own. It would just involve a lot of microwaving and food that comes in boxes with directions. I’m a champ with mac n’ cheese.

But I’ve been working on it. Even coming up with recipes in my head.

I made us orange chicken with veggies over brown rice the other night. It was good. Could have used a little more sauce. And I burnt the snot out of my hand when the oil popped. Who knew you weren’t supposed to put water on hot oil? I was just trying to cool down the pan….. (Please don’t tell me if everyone knew this. Husband acted like I had come from another planet when he heard the cussing and the insane bubbling/steaming noise.)

I even made a dessert after I saw it on the menu at our new favorite thai restaurant. It was banana, nutella, and peanut butter “egg roll”. Basically those 3 things wrapped in a wonton wrapper and pan fried. They were actually pretty darn good. If you like those things. Did I mention how much I love chocolate and banana?

So tonight I’m making jambalaya. Yes. The rice comes from a box with directions, but I have to cut up and cook the kielbasa on my own. That counts, maybe?

So what are some of your favorite recipes? What were some of your first recipes? I would love to find some new recipes that aren’t insanely complicated. Because that’s another problem. I find recipes, but they have about 943,382 ingredients and they have twice as many steps. That’s too much for a rookie to the culinary arts.

Off to attempt this jambalaya. I promise not to burn down the apartment. I have a fire extinguisher on hand, just in case.


Filed under Home Sweet Home, Married Life