Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Food

Are there special things you eat at Christmas?
My family eats mostly the same things at Christmas and we do basically a Christmas breakfast no matter what time of the day we eat it.  Mom takes care of most of that so I tend to not have to do the cooking for that meal, thankfully.
MK however grew up eating some non traditional foods, and by non traditional foods I mean, non traditional southern Christmas recipes, (which to me rain supreme over all recipes, but I digress).
Friday  MK took a big BIG test that determined him keeping his job. He passed with flying colors! Yay!  
We were very excited!  So I cooked him Kung Pao Chicken from scratch in his Wok he got for his B'day.  No, this is not a part of the Christmas foods BUT it was during the Christmas weekend so I'm including it.  It's fairly easy to make if you have all the items.  Good news is once you buy all the ingredients they last a really long time cause you only use a dab here and dash there.  I made it quite spicy and will probably cut back on the chili paste but non the less it was delish!

Saturday Morning - Christmas Eve
As I'm sure many of you eat at some point during the Christmas holiday I got up and made MK's favorite breakfast casserole.  Now - this isn't my recipe and isn't my favorite, I was raised on the bacon crescent roll variety BUT MK likes it so I make it, he eat most of it anyways.  I also knew I'd be getting my favorite the next night when we celebrated with my fam.  

Saturday Evening - Christmas Eve
MK's family across the country, according to him ALWAYS eats clam chowder on Christmas eve. So we've been making clam chowder on Christmas Eve for awhile now.  I decided this year to make it completely from scratch.  The recipes I've been given use canned clam chowder as a base.  I thought "Hey, lp, you can do this completely from scratch."  And so the experiment began.  It turned out really well and really wasn't all that labor intensive and MK was happy. 
Served up with slices of cheddar and oyster crackers of course on Christmas dishes too.

Christmas - 

I didn't really have to cook for Christmas and I failed to get photos of all the yummy food.  But I can assure you we had some of the best breakfast foods around! We had a great time at Mom and Dad's Sunday evening and loved watching our little bug open presents.  She is TONS of fun!

Day After Christmas -
Included the baking of homemade biscotti from scratch.  YUM.  No pictures because it is basically devoured!  We had treats this night at Em's.  Lots and lots of yummy goodies!

-Christmased and Cooked out lp

Monday, December 19, 2011


What speaks to your heart? 
I often wonder what touches other people's hearts.  
There are many things that make my heart flutter but I always wonder if that's because I lean more to the artistic/free spirit side of things. 
 Do analytical people have their heart flutter over colors and photos and paintings?
It's not just art that makes my heart skip a beat and yes often brings a tear to my eye.  I'll never forget viewing Monet's Le Nymphae (Water Lilies in the Round) in Paris at L'Orangerie.  I could barely breath and wished with all my heart that Mom was there with me.  

Lots of things speak to my heart, here are just a few:
A beautiful photograph
A lovely painting
Interesting Architecture
When beautiful soprano and alto voices hit a high D and B flat (sends chills down my spine)
The Beatles - Let It Be, Lady Madonna
Lovely colors blended together
The Florida Sunset specifically from the west coast - there isn't much to top it.
Paris - studying there for a summer did me in for sure, I'm addicted.
A beautiful bass voice hitting those low A's and G's...whoa.
When MK just stares at me - my knees go weak too
An awesome drummer, I have one memory of MK on a drum kit and man I love that memory.
Well - pretty much everything about that man - he just makes my heart sing. Just look at him.
People doing things for the greater good.
My grandmother's things that are now mine.  Sometimes just her rings send my heart spinning.
Good tasting food - I'm a foodie, can't help it.  Symptom of the job.
Listening to little ones say little prayers - it just pulls at those heart strings.
Heartfelt hymns sung to our Lord and Savior
Weezer - deal with it I'm weird
Friends laughing - not much does more for my soul than laughing with my girlfriends.  In fact a text message convo with a friend last night had me in tears I was laughing so hard.

Well this a longer list than I intended but I'm wondering still what speaks to your heart?  Am alone in loving beautiful sites, gorgeous paintings, incredible music??  Do these kind things make your heart skip a beat? If not what gets your right at your core?  I'm really curious.
- lp

Friday, December 16, 2011


6 years ago today MK and I got married, on a Friday.  Just like today it was a beautiful December day in Tampa (Tampa has the best winter weather around...personal opinion of course).  We set out on this journey together and I'm so thankful we're still walking it side by side.  I don't know what I'd do without him next to me holding my hand and pushing me to be better and do better everyday.  He makes like fun, interesting, exciting and FULL of surprises.  There's no one I'd rather be on this journey with other than him.  
I know God made him for me.

We've learned lots of different lessons through these 6 years of marriage and 9 total years of being together.  It seems we've always set out a plan and things never go according to that plan.  BUT that's life and that's God's way of telling us he has much bigger plans for us than we could ever plan for ourselves.  I know we needed the 6 years of it being just us and our dogs in order for us to be able to cope with life lessons God has brought our way.  We're a stronger couple together because of it.

We've also learned a tough lesson this week from some friends and it's a lesson I need to take to heart.  We lost a friend at the age of 43 this week.  He and his wife had been married 20 years and have 3 beautiful children all in those teenage years where having both parents is so important. I'm sure they had plans too and now their whole lives have changed. I can't imagine continuing my walk alone.  So I'm thankful that at the moment I've got a hand to hold and strong arms support me and I know that is only by the grace of God and I pray it continues.

So let me tell you just SOME of the reasons why I love MK so much and why 6 years of marriage means I've laughed A LOT.
He's Funny - no matter where we are, what situation it is, how somber or serious the occasion MK can always find something funny and of course makes me giggle (which is not always appropriate).

He's tall - have you ever seen him in person?  He's giant size.  Have you ever seen me in person?  I'm quite close to midget size. Sometimes it makes for a pretty comical situation whether it be trying fit us in the same picture, to having to stand on the steps to be able to hug him around the neck, to being able to walk right under his arm and not having to duck.  I like that he is tall I think it's handsome when men are tall (no offense to those of shorter stature out there - I'm sure you're handsome too).  

He's Friendly - MK will be anyone's friend.  He is genuine to the core.  I'm not always the friendliest person (shocking I know) and I've learned a lot of lessons from him in this case.  He has taught me to be more outgoing and nicer to people I don't know.  He has taught me to be more thoughtful to my friends I already have. Also - I know that if there is someone who rubs him the wrong way it's probably best I stay away from that person because it's not often that MK doesn't like someone.
He's Hardworking - He works a lot.  Between his corporate job and his store he is always working.  For example:  He got up at 5 AM to work before he went to work today.   I tell him work like that now so you don't have to later in life.

He Loves God - He does.  God is always on his mind and in his heart and he is always looking for a way to serve.

In short....MK is the best and I love him!

- lp