Friday, February 26, 2010

Jupiter Wind, Rockin' the house.

I think that most of you know that my husband is the bass player for a band called Jupiter Wind. Tonight they are performing for a chance to be artist of the year with their record label. If they win it could be really big for them. The label will put a lot of money into pushing their single and album. The competition is in Oklahoma City so unfortunately I won't be able to be there to cheer them on. The good news is that the concert will be on the label's website. can't wait to watch it tonight.


They have been getting the VIP treatment since Wednesday. Last night they were treated to dinner at a place that requires a suit. Yes, we had to buy Matt a suit for one meal! LOL.

Their album came out a couple weeks ago and if you are interested you can purchase one for $10 on their website: I was the photographer for the CD cover and booklet which was exciting for me.

I'll let you all know who wins the competition!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Number 69, Done!

I got to cross number 69 off my list and it has been one of my favorite's so far! I got a new couch and recliner. I know that most of my readers are also my friends on Facebook so this may be old news! But, I have to blog about each item, (it's on my list!)

Here are pictures:

New recliner:

we opted to get a recliner instead of a loveseat, more comfy!

and new couch:

we got leather because we figured it would be easier to clean, the kids hands tend to be constantly covered in peanut butter and jelly or some other substance you don't want to get on upholstery.

and just for fun, a pic of me lounging on my new couch. :)


this was our old furniture, just so you have some perspective on how badly I needed new furniture!


what you can't see from here are the holes in the cushions of the couch and that the middle back cushion was ripped at the seam. You can really tell from that glider how old it is. I put the loveseat in my bedroom. It wasn't used as much as the couch and was in better condition. I liked the idea of a sitting area in my bedroom and I like having it in there so far. The couch got picked up by a bulldozer this morning. I watched them drop it in the back of a dump truck and beat it into submission with the claw of the bulldozer. I am contemplating what to do with the glider. I think it will probably end up on the road for trash pickup next week. (unless somebody wants it)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I get to keep a cookbook! Linguine with Shrimp, Garlic, and Lemon

I absolutely adore America's Test Kitchen. If you've never been introduced to them, let me tell you about them. They take a food, let's for this example say brownies and they try every possible recipe they can find and they test it and tweak it until they come up with the absolute best possible brownie recipe you can imagine. They do all the hard work for you! They also test different products and find the best tomato sauce, paring knife, barbecue sauce, etc.

I have several cookbooks from them and I have never tried a recipe from them that didn't come out as delicious as I wanted it to be. You know how sometimes you'll take a gamble and try and recipe and it just doesn't taste good at all? I hate that because, one, you just wasted a bunch of money to buy all the ingredients for something that you aren't even going to bother saving the leftovers of because they're nasty. and two, because you feel jipped, why did someone even bother to write down this recipe and lead you to believe it would be a good idea to cook it? It's disgusting!

I love using the recipes from their cookbooks because I know that whatever it is, it is going to come out great. I used to subscribe to their magazine, "Cooks Illustrated", which I need to do again. The subscription is a little pricey because they have absolutely no advertising in the magazine. They have a show on PBS too. (check your local listings :P)


Anyway the reason I'm mentioning this is because the first recipe I tried was from "The Best 30 Minute Recipe" It is Linguine with Shrimp, Garlic, and Lemon and it is divine! I made it for our special Valentines day dinner, I also had leftovers of it last night and it heats up great too. I wish I would have taken pictures for you but I didn't, sorry! I'll try to do better next time!

So, If you are interested, here's the recipe:

Linguine with Shrimp, Garlic, and Lemon

Serves 4 to 6
The key to moist, tender shrimp is to finish cooking them off the heat, so be sure to follow the visual cues in the recipe.

1 1/4 pounds (31/40) shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon sugar
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, minced
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water
1 pound linguine
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup minced parsley

1. boil water for pasta
2. Saute' Shrimp: pat shrimp dry with paper towels, then season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and sugar. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to brown. Add shrimp, spread into single layer, and cook without stirring for 1 minute. Stir shrimp and continue to cook until spotty brown and just pink at edges, about 30 seconds. Transfer shrimp to clean bowl, cover and set aside.

3. Make sauce: Add 2 more tablespoons of butter to skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth and dissolved cornstarch mixture and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, cover, and set aside.

4. Cook and drain pasta: Add linguine and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water, then drain linguine and return linguine to pot.

5. Toss pasta with Shrimp and sauce: Stir remaining 2 tablespoons butter, lemon juice, parsley, sauce and reserved shrimp, including any accumulated juices, into linguine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding reserved pasta cooking water as needed to loosen sauce. Serve immediately.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Valentine

So, I'm not usually the sappy type. I love my Husband so much but I don't usually speak it in public so much as to him in private. I don't like when people are so loudly shouting about how much they love their significant other. To me, they are really just trying to cover up for the problems they have in their relationship. If you constantly have to tell people how much you love your boyfriend are you really just saying it to convince yourself of it? I figured since it's Valentines day I would write a blog and declare my love for my husband, my Valentine.

33 / 365

Matthew (as I like to call him), Matt (as others call him) Hawk (as his bandmates call him) is my best friend, truly. He understands me, he knows when I need to be left alone and he knows when I need a hug.

He is not afraid to put me in my place when I get out of line. He lets me yell when I'm angry, cry when I'm sad and he listens when I need someone to talk to. He truly completes me. I know it's so cliche to say that but he really does. I'm so emotional, I go from highest highs to lowest lows and he is constant. He is so level headed. When we first started dating that was one thing that really attracted me to him.


Matt loves me, he treats me like I am the only woman on this earth. He makes me feel like I'm special, I'm the one woman who he wants to be with. If someone told me that Matt was unfaithful to me, I think I'd laugh at them. I've never trusted anyone as completely as I do him.

Matthew is a wonderful partner. He is willing to do anything for me, all I have to do is ask and he is there to help. He is a wonderful father, very involved in the lives of our children, everything from changing diapers to preparing meals and getting up in the middle of the night to change sheets that are covered in throw up.

I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful husband and life partner. Thanks for loving me Matthew, I look forward to growing old with you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cookbooks anyone?

I have been working on de-cluttering my kitchen this week and like many women in this country, I have too many cookbooks! Don't believe me? Here's a picture of them.
That blue ceramic planter is filled with the little cookbooks that you can buy in the checkout lane in the grocery store.

I have several cookbooks that I bought for some fundraiser or another, and I actually have a few more cook books that aren't even pictured here. These are just the ones that were in my kitchen cabinets. I have decided to make a deal with myself. If I make one, yes only one recipe out of a cookbook in the next 4 months I can keep it. So if by June, I haven't picked out a recipe from a book to try, it's getting donated to Goodwill. I have SEVERAL books here so I'm gonna be trying a lot of new recipes between now and June if I want to keep these books! If I try one that I think is really good, I'll share it on here.

There are a couple exceptions to my little game here, my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (The red gingham one) gets used a lot! so if I don't use it in the next four months (which I doubt will even happen) I still get to keep it. Also the red America's Test Kitchen cookbook is an old standby, so it stays!

Wish me luck!