Saturday, May 18, 2013

New Arrivals

We have some new arrivals here at our apartment! Check it out:

The furniture is thanks to Ryan's Grandma Durtschi. She finally was able to move into her new home and decided to buy new furniture. So we got these couches free of charge and the small table/cabinet that gives us more counter space as well as a place to put some of our baking dishes.

The couches are also infinitely more comfortable and give our apartment more space to entertain guests if needed. Not to mention that now BOTH of us can recline when watching a movie without getting in the way of each other :)

That's all for today! I have a couple of new recipes I might blog about soon as well as some more personal life updates, though nothing huge is happening in our lives for the next month.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Chili's Copycat Cajun Chicken Pasta

I'm not one of those people who blogs about food all that often. I'll instagram my meals just like everyone else, but rarely do I ever think that the recipes I make are worth blogging about. Plus, I don't have one of those savvy food blogs that I stalk for new recipes. I just have a half-hearted attempt at a blog. But I'm hoping to become better now that it's the summer (pfft, yeah right!).

But this recipe was SO easy, SO delicious and SO pretty that I couldn't resist sharing with my fellow family members and friends! This recipe was taken initially from Six Sisters' Stuff blog, but I've made a few adjustments based on my experience cooking it, which I've done about 3 times since discovering it in early April.

Chili's Copycat Cajun Chicken Pasta (Makes 4 servings)
8 ounces of Penne pasta (or your favorite kind of pasta), cooked and drained
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
4 tsp cajun seasoning
4 TBS butter
2 cups half and half (it was originally 3 cups, but that was WAY too much. 2 cups is still a bit generous...)
1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tomatoes, diced (I used roma tomatoes which worked well)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Cook pasta according to directions and set aside for later. Place thawed chicken breasts in a large ziploc bag and sprinkle in cajun seasoning. Seal the bag and shake it until all the breasts are evenly coated in seasoning. In a large skillet, melt 2 TBS of butter and sauté the chicken breasts over medium high heat, turning occasionally until cooked through. Set the chicken breasts on a cutting board and set aside. In a separate skillet, combine half and half, 2 TBS butter, lemon pepper, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When it starts to bubble, remove from heat and pour it over the cooked noodles. Slice the chicken breasts into long strips and serve over the pasta. Sprinkle shredded parmesan and diced tomatoes on top, and there you go!

When I cook this, I am juggling a lot of things at once to cut down on the prep time, but often Ryan will come in and help out, usually with the chicken. So it's a fun recipe to do with a friend or a spouse because it really is super easy. And good. Trust me.

Alright, I've gotta get back to my day, but I absolutely had to share this with you all. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spring is here!

It's the beginning of May, which means that school is out for us, work is in full-swing (Ryan is doing full-time, and I'm doing part-time while also kindasorta looking for another summer gig to get me extra dough), and our lives are taking on a different rhythm. It's the kind of rhythm I definitely don't mind seeing as it's slower paced, less urgent and overall a lovely shift from the chaos that is winter into the mellow sunshine of Spring. 

Since the beginning of last week, we've been living this easier life: my days consist of work from 8-noon as always and spending the afternoons working out, eating lunch, showering, running errands, really cleaning the rooms in our small apartment, and reading. Part of me really doesn't want to find that second summer job because my afternoons have been such a breath of relief for me. I can finally focus on improving myself in different ways than just furthering my education (which, don't get me wrong, is important and wonderful). Ryan's days are slightly less exciting: he works from 8-4:30 every day, comes home and eats whatever food I've prepared for him and then caters to my ever-present neediness (in a good way).

It's a simple life around here during the months we don't have school, but you know what? I'm okay with that. School is so rapid, crazy and stressful that I NEED these months to recuperate.

Those of you who are on Facebook have already seen the pictures I took when Ryan and I attended the Tulip Festival last week in Thanksgiving Point. But in case you don't do Facebook, allow me to shower this blog with the colors of all the pretty flowers we saw. The gardens at Thanksgiving Point are a little pricey ($10 a person, but for the WHOLE day), but I am always glad I splurged. They are quite amazing.

The following pictures are of some sculptures of stories of Christ that are in the process of being made by Angela Johnson. The full article of how they came about is here. But they were amazing to see!

Anyways, these photos make me so happy and full of joy for Springtime. I wish I had something more to blog about...but I don't as of right now. Saturday, I'm going to be trying to do a "Photo an Hour" type thing and blog about it. Lets hope it's an interesting day!