Friday, April 26, 2013

on a flashback...

Our two year anniversary is next month. I love looking back at photos of that day, it was utterly perfect in every way.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

on some messy thoughts...

Sometimes it's crazy how much people effect people. It can be as simple as a few words or actions. I effect people on a daily basis when handing them a cup of coffee. They smile and walk away with cup of happiness. I wish more people in this world would think before they speak or before they act on the things that they do. We all would be so much happier. I can be really great at not letting things get to me but sometimes it just does. 

Sometimes I wish for life to take things slow and some times I wish life will speed up. 

Sometimes I obsess over the future. One year from now or ten years from now. Where will I be? What will I be doing? What does my hair look like? I dream of the things we will have and the things that we will have done. I picture what street we live on and what house we will live in. I want to do all the things I love and be with all the people that bring the most joy to my life. I can't wait to touch it when it's real. 

Sometimes I want to sit down and write a book, the one that I have written in my heart. It's there but it's hidden. I know when the time is right it will make it's way out. I dream of it and when I wake it's like that hazy cloud you see in movies when they show something in a dream like state. It's a sad story with a happy ending and one that makes you wish it will never end. It will be unlike any story you've ever heard. 

Sometimes I miss things of my childhood. I miss karate and the way I felt when in that place with those people who became a sort of family to me. It's funny because in every chapter in my life I always create these families. Some of them are lost and others I'll keep forever. I miss the smell of the air I breathed when I was a kid, I can almost smell it when I close my eyes, like fresh dew mixed with earth. I wish I knew back then to inhale it and never let it go. 

Sometimes I want to walk up to the people that are no longer in my life and tell them why they are no longer in my life. Why I will never forgive them. Why even if they repent all their wrong doings that I still most likely would not forgive them because my forgiveness has been long forgotten. The trouble is, these people think that they have time. 

Sometimes I look at my son and know that he will be something great. I look in to those dark marble eyes and wonder what he sees. I hope to teach him to be kind and to stand up for his thoughts. For him to follow his heart no matter where it might take him because this life is all we have. I will teach him to be himself in this big world that is always trying to make us be something else.

Sometimes it's never enough. I want a banjo and learn to play it. I want to learn how to speak French, build a chicken coop and take pictures of real wolves in their habitat. I want to find beautiful places that are hidden and secret. And I want to sit on my porch next to my husband with my hand in his and watch the night wash over us. Night after night, after night.

Sometimes I want to be still.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

on who I am...

I am...

...trying to get back into the swing of things over here. Not sure why I haven't been around as of late. I have a folder full of photos and recipes to share while I've been absent so it's not like I've been slaking too much. Right? 

...still sad about losing our cat just the other day. It's been kind of eerie in the house since then. No cat pitter pattering around or always underneath my feet. You don't really understand how much pets can be part of your every day. Our cat wasn't the best sort of cat out there. She wasn't the cuddling type and she rarely let us pet her. She was just there. She got sick a few weeks back and we thought it was under control since it seemed like antibiotics were helping, but then she just stopped eating and that's ultimately what ruined her. We tried our best and that's what matters. Bobby had a pretty hard time with it because all along he's been a bit more attached to the cat then I was. Sebastian surprised me with how much he understood. We tried to treat the situation delicately until Sebastian goes to say Kitty cat is dying. Like whoa! The kid is like his mother in more ways than not. Straight to the point. He was content with it with a little sadness in his voice but out of all of us he's moved on the fastest.  

...excited about something splendid happening in just 42 days. Yes, I have a count down because that's how excited I am about this! I can't really say what it might be so you'll just have to wait and see. Many of my friends and some family know which helps. 

... loving Sebastian's age right now. He is feeling more like a tiny side-kick. When it's just me and him we always think of things to go do together. We'll go to the pet store and just walk aimlessly around looking at all the animals and fish. Sebastian is very keen to detail so it's fun to see what sort of things he picks out or shows me. We'll spend hours at the playground. I'll sit and read while he makes all kinds of friends. The other day he made a friend the same age as him (which is seldom since he always has a way of kicking it with an older crew) who had the hardest time keeping up with Sebastian. The other boy's father thought it was quite amusing, were as I just shrugged since really who are you kidding dude, my kid is fast as hell. 

...happy for my little herb garden that I finished planting last weekend. My mint stayed year round so that was interesting. It will be so nice to step outside to pick fresh herbs when cooking dinner. Love that!

...thinking it's pretty cool how much people are looking forward to us moving back home. I got so many heart warming comments. We even have had a few people already ask us to visit them over dinner. It's so exciting and stressful all at the same time. Bobby and I are already looking into moving companies. We aren't sure whether we are going to go with a moving box that's shipped or if we using a moving truck that Bobby will drive. There's so much to figure out and plan but we'll doing a little over time, which is the best way. However, I'm thankful for my family who are letting us bunk with them for a little while. Huge help! 

...amazed by how many people from high school I have connected with via Facebook or Instagram. People who you wouldn't of found me "hanging out" with in high school or even really having any sort of conversation with. My 16 year old self would have never imagined that a "popular" chick would be commenting me on how they love my style or discussing how fast our children are growing. Yeah, certainly not! It really goes to show you have much we all grow in the years that have past. Change is such a great thing and I love to think how we can all find similar grounds and relate to one another. It's sort of a beautiful thing!

...slightly obsessed with Pinterest lately. I know! It comes in spurts. I'll go months without pinning a single thing and then start it back up again. It can be a huge inspiration. Do you pin? If you do, add me!

...over-the-moon about the weather warming up. Although it's a double-edged sword because honestly I can't bare the thought of having to give up all my lovely cardigans buuuutt I still squirm in delight. Though, I know Summer will be here before we know it and I'll be wishing for Fall. So, there's that. 

....feeling more myself these days. My favorite thing lately is getting lost in a book and staying up late watching random movies on Netflix. 

...thankful for the wonderful people in my life who are generous, supportive and kind. Thankful for a husband who is patient and loving. A son who keeps me on my toes and repeatedly reminds me of how precious life is. I'm thankful for Pho and all that joy it bring me and my tummy. And thankful for this life we have, live it doing everything that you love!


Friday, April 19, 2013

on a move...

Now that we've told all our family I wanted to share the news here about our move to SEATTLE! It's been talked about for many months now and slowly we've been sharing the news to our close family and friends. Behind closed doors Bobby and I have been talking about a move to Seattle way before he even proposed to me. It's been on the brain for quite some time. 

Moving to Philadelphia for me was something I had to do when I did. I met Bobby and fell in love quick and hard and it was sort of my ticket to get away from some hard times. That moment in my life when I packed my tiny little VW Golf up with all my belongings and started to drive with Bobby by my side away from all that I knew and everyone I loved was something that I will never regret. Even with moving away from my home and losing the ability to create memories with my family and friends, I gained so many other memories equally precious. I've become part of another family who has done so much for me and my little family. Heck, how many of you out there can say you truly head-over-heels love your in-laws? I can! 

No doubt it will be hard to leave all these beautiful people here on the East Coast but in no way is it a goodbye more like a see ya later :) I want to live this life with open arms and following our dreams, hopes and hearts. For now I dream of Sebastian getting to know my father. I want him to interact and know the good man my father is. I want Sebastian to learn Hungarian and be around my culture. I want to go to Tony and Guy Hair Academy and becoming a hair stylist and then open up my own hair studio with my little sister. We have many dreams as a family but in the end it's just to be happy and things that we love. Not only all that, I just plain 'ol miss my family. Those dreams wouldn't be at all possible if I didn't have the most supportive husband in all the land! We are always learning new things about each other but one thing that will never change about Bobby is that he will always be right there beside me no matter what. I think he secretively loves my ambitious soul even if I can act all crazy sometimes. Bobby is great and wants our family to move forward and be happy. This move weighs a little less on us knowing that the company Bobby works for is letting him keep his current position so that he can work remotely out in Seattle. Huge deal and makes things easier for us once out there. We plan on staying with my family so that we can save a little money and look for our perfect house in the perfect school district for Sebastian.

So with that being said we are planning this move to happen at the end of this year. We still do not have a set date but hope to lock it down by the Summer. There's lots to plan and organize. We've already started sifting through things and boxing up belongings that can be put away for when we are ready to load up. I'm excited to start the next chapter in our lives and am super grateful for all our family & friends who are here to support and help us. 

Here's to new beginnings and fulfilling dreams. Seattle here we come!!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

on jasmine rice topped with tofu & chopped brussels sprouts...

This was a random spur of the moment dish that I made the other night. I had bought some extra-firm tofu last weekend not really knowing what I was going to make with it and so I ended up surveying what I had going on in the fridge and viola! Dinner is served. I love jasmine rice, it's my favorite and brussels sprouts have grown on me so adding them to this dish made me equally excited. It turned out great and even my husband, who actually thought the tofu was chicken for a hot minute, ate his whole plate and even took left overs to work. What? I know! Try it out and let me know what you think. 

1 1/2 cups Jasmine Rice
8 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups brussels sprouts, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
4 scallions, white & green parts, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil

1. Cook rice as directed on the box and set it aside with lid on the pot. Cook tofu on high for 10 minutes until it browns slightly. Remove tofu and set aside. In the same pan heat olive oil and add chopped brussels sprouts, garlic and grated ginger and sauté until they become tender, about 15 minutes. Add tofu back into pan with the brussels sprouts and add the rest of the ingredients. Cook dish for another 10 minutes. 
2. Spoon some jasmine rice onto a plate and scoop a heap of the tofu with brussels sprouts on top. Serve.

Happy Eating! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

on twice baked tex-mex sweet potatoes...

The title on today's post is a mouth full! Literally. My Twice Baked Tex-Mex Sweet Potatoes are not only a mouth full but also make your tummy full. These sweet potatoes are packed full of yummy goodness with things like black beans and corn. There's no meat but be my guest and add some ground beef or shredded chicken however don't be fooled because even without any meat we were filled to the brim with just one potato. Try them out!

4 sweet potatoes 
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans
1 (8.5 oz) can cream style corn  
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese + some a pinch on top of each potato, shredded
1 tablespoon butter 
1 tablespoon Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1/2 of an avocado 
1/4 cup sour cream 
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

1. Heat oven to 400°. Wash and clean sweet potatoes. Place potatoes directly on the oven rack. Place a piece of foil underneath sweet potatoes to catch the juices that are released as they cook. Bake potatoes for 45 minutes up to an hour until they are soft. 

2. Take potatoes out and let them cool for 15 minutes or until you are able to handle them with your hands. Cut out a canoe shape into the top of the potatoes skin. Peel the skin off and discard. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides of the sweet potato into a large mixing bowl and keep the potato shell. Add the first nine ingredients right into the mixing bowl. Using a spatula mix everything together. Spoon sweet potato mixture right back into the potato shell and place on a backing sheet. Sprinkle some more Monterey Jack cheese on top of each sweet potato and put them back in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, add 1/2 of an avocado and sour cream into a mixing bow. Mash avocado into the sour cream until it becomes creamy. Sprinkle cayenne pepper and mix well. Once the potatoes are done take them out and garnish with creamy avocado topping. Serve! 


Thursday, April 11, 2013

on baked egg in tomato chutney with raviolis...

I was inspired to create this Baked Egg in Tomato Chutney with Raviolis when I happened to see something similar on FoodGawker a while ago. For some reason I never bookmarked or wrote down the recipe so I just took it upon myself and created my own! It turned out fabulous. I bought a nice crusty baguette to dip with, which made this meal even more enjoyable. It's quick to make and you end up with something that has your taste buds singing and best of all it looks fancy! Don't you think?!

Ingredients: (serves 2)
8 oz package of three cheese raviolis (or any kind you like)
4 eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped into slivers
1- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
2 tablespoons grated parmesan reggiano

Directions: preheat oven 400°
1. Follow directions and boil raviolis. Once done drizzle a little olive oil and set them aside. Meanwhile in a sauce pan on medium heat olive oil to sauté onion, garlic and green peppers. Cook until they are tender, about 10 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes and turn heat to low. Add salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce and crushed red pepper. Stir everything together for another 10 minutes, just until is starts to bubble.
2// In two 5x5 baking dishes divide raviolis into both and then scoop tomato chutney over the top of raviolis. Crack two eggs on top of each dish and set into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the whites of the eggs are set and the yellow yolks are runny. Take it out of the oven, sprinkle the grated parmesan reggiano and serve hot with a crusty baguette. 

That's all there is to it! The dippin' is the best part. Yummm. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

on mexican chicken soup...

I made this Mexican Chicken Soup the other day when it was still a little cooler out. Soon soup is going to be something we look forward to eating in the Fall but I had to sneak it in and quick. My husband is not a soup fan and when I told him this soup was on our weekly meal plan, well let's just say he wasn't enthused. But alas, in the end he was praising how good this soup was and I quote I don't know what you put in here but I can't stop eating it! 
Even though this is a light soup it will totally heat things up!

4 cups chicken broth 
1 can red kidney beans
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
4 clove garlic
2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tablespoons chipotle chilies in adobe sauce, finely chopped 
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin 
1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
1 avocado, sliced
shredded cheddar on top

1// In a large pot heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic. On medium heat cook onion & garlic until it browns and then add chicken breast strips. Saute everything until meat is cooked through. Add chipotle chilies in adobe sauce, cumin and chili powder, stir for 2 minutes. 
2// Add red kidney beans & chicken broth . Cover pot and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. 
3// Add cilantro, juice of one lime and salt & pepper and all the flavors cook for another 10 minutes. 
4// Divide soup into bowls and top with sliced avocado & shredded cheddar. 


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

on skillet chicken with honey dill chipotle glaze...

Skillet Chicken with Honey Dill Chipotle Glaze was my first dish made in my lovely new cast iron skillet. It turned out wonderful and I have fallen in love with how this chicken dish turned out in the cast iron. I swear ever since I bought this skillet I've been making all kinds of things in it! 

4 chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup of vegetable oil

Honey Dill Chipotle Glaze
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons honey 
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

1// Combine four, salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic powder, paprika and parsley in a one gallon Ziploc bag. Place chicken breast in the bag and shake to coat chicken. Then in a mixing bowl whisk together egg, milk and lemon juice. Dip flour coated chicken into egg mixture and then place right back into the bag to coat chicken with flour once again. 
2// Heat oil and fry chicken until golden brown. 
3// Meanwhile in a small sauce pan add all the ingredients for glaze. Cook on low heat until glaze thickens and bubbles. Drizzle on top of chicken and serve.