Wedding card artwork

Just need to get this out there prior to my first non food post – I AM NOT AN ARTIST! I try and mostly fail, but once in a while I’ll make something I’m happy with. But, for the most part, any artsy thing I try, I fail.

Scott and I have been married for almost 2 years now. We got married at the Inn at Park in Louisville KY. It was just us and our 10 favorite family members and friends. It was PERFECT – no stress, no having to go around and say hi to everyone, just our favorite people in the world who came from OH, NH, CA, DC to celebrate with us. Here’s one of my favorite photos

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We also had a fantastic party at my parents house in NH that year. Between those 2 events, we got some cards…a lot of cards. Being the emotional sap that I am (my nickname was cornikens growing up) I kept all of them…in a pile…on a shelf…taking up lots of space.Then I saw this on pinterest from http://veronabrit.blogspot.com/2013/04/diy-transform-your-baby-shower-cards.html

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Cute artwork made from baby shower cards. I decided to use this idea for our wedding cards.

I decided to just do 2 smaller, 8×10 frames because I still am not sure where I want to hang it. Also, instead of a white backdrop I printed out our wedding vows onto card stock and glued the cards right to that. First I printed out a heart on powerpoint and cut it.

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Then used that as a template on all of the cards

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This is more fun at the end of the day with a cocktail :)

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Then I arranged a bunch of them randomly (basically, I didn’t trust myself to make even rows) on our vows and used a glue stick to glue them down. Scott made fun of my glue stick use and told me I needed to use elmers glue with a popsicle stick- he better get used to it. And voila, the final product!

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I’m really happy with how they turned out! Scott likes them too. Now we just need to figure out where to hang them. We have a spot in our hallway and above our bed. We tend to wait until there are a bunch of things that need to be hung up and then have a hanging day. These are going in the pile for the next hanging day!

On a side note- I went to buy some tulip bulbs yesterday for another fun pinterest find and who know you could only buy them at certain times of the year? Oops, guess that project will wait until fall!

Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Lime Quinoa

Last night was not a fun night. My little one has decided that her goal in life is to see every hour on the clock at night. Well, maybe it’s not her goal in life, but it certainly seems to be. I have be up and working around 7 each morning (I mostly work from home) and am currently watching Clara on the monitor and enjoying a coconut milk latte to try to wake me up.

Last night we had a fantastic dinner. The only bad part was there were only enough leftovers for 1 lunch and I let hubby take it. I may moan that he gets to take it and I’ll be having  turkey on a corn tortilla, but It secretly makes me happy that he always takes leftovers of what I cook for lunch the next day and I will always let him have them. Unless the leftovers involve frosting – I always get the last frosting.

I pinned this recipe over the weekend and had to try it so I bought the ingredients that day. It’s a honey chipotle chicken bowl with lime quinoa from a great blog – howsweeteats.  http://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/01/honey-chipotle-chicken-bowls/

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It’s healthy, It’s got everything (except gluten, dairy, soy, nuts!) – spice, sweetness, protein,and there’s an avocado. I don’t think anything can be bad when there’s an avocado involved. Here’s the recipe which includes my tweaks and the original in parenthesis.

ingredients:

honey chipotle chicken
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 2 breasts. I never weigh meat – is that bad?)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons adobo sauce, from a can of chipotles in adobo (I never know what to do with the leftover chipotles from the can – a recipe always only calls for a little. Any suggestions?)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 garlic cloves, minced

salad
6 cups spring greens
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup torn fresh cilantro
4 green onions, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 lime, juiced (I only used 1/2 lime – Scott doesn’t go gaga over citrus)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon honey

lime quinoa
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 vegetable stock
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 lime, juiced and zest freshly grated ( I left out the zest and only used 1/2 lime)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

I added a dash of cayenne pepper and cumin to the quinoa as well – I liked those flavors and the addition of the heat.

directions:

Add the chicken breasts to a baking dish or ziplock bag and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, adobo, honey, mustards, cilantro and garlic. Pour the marinade over the chicken, covering it evenly. Place it in the fridge and marinate for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.

When you’re ready to make the meal, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tiny bit of olive oil and add the chicken, then cover the skillet and cook until the chicken is deeply browned on both sides and cooked in the center, about 6 minutes per side. (I wish I didn’t cook it on such a high heat – the marinade is fantastic and the extra burned and stuck to the pan – i would have liked to be able to coat the chicken in it. )

To make the salads, add the greens in a large bowl and toss them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the chicken on top along with the quinoa, the tomatoes, cilantro, green onions and avocado. Drizzle the bowl with the lime juice, olive oil and honey. Serve! (I used the lime juice, olive oil, and honey to make a dressing instead of drizzling. I actually had some leftover dressing from the Asparagus, Tomato, Avocado salad from the previous night, so I just added the ingredients to that and tossed the greens with it. I’d do it again that way.)

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Add the quinoa and stock (or water) to a saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the coconut oil (you can swap butter), lime juice, zest, salt and pepper.

Here’s my result!

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Again, this was absolutely delicious. This will become a regular in our rotation. I think the marinade will also taste really good on seafood or pork. I may add some mango next time.

I promise my next post will be on a non food pin. I have a pinterest art project I’m finishing, will be trying a pinned camera technique as well as looking for some dry hand cures. Time go get to work!

Asparagus, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

Yay! My first real post and first pinterest PhD project. So, my household is currently gluten, dairy, nut free. My little 5 month old is allergic to something in my milk and we’re trying to figure it out. It sort of sucks, but this face is worth it.

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I just added soy back in – never been so happy to be able to eat soy. I love to cook (and think I’m decent at it) so it’s been a fun project to try to find recipes that fit my diet and sound good to hubby. We are currently trying to save money for a mudroom remodel (that I will blog about when it approaches) so I try to plan meals around what’s on sale. Steaks were 1/2 off at the local organic store and Scott loves steak (me, not so much) so he was having that, I was having salmon and we needed a side dish. This week, asparagus was .99 a pound. So, off to pinterest to find an asparagus side dish. I found this – asparagus, tomato and avocado salad from something sweet something salty.

http://somethingsweetsomethingsalty.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/asparagus-tomato-and-avocado-salad/

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Looks delicious and healthy! Here is the recipe I used. (I’m really bad about measuring, but I’m trying to be better)

1/2 a bunch of asparagus

1 avocado

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes

Dressing

1/4 cup Olive oil

2 tsp dijon mustard

Dash of white wine vinegar (recipe called for red wine, but that wasn’t one of the 15 vinegars we have in our pantry and I refused to buy another one)

Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions

The original recipe included a really neat trick that worked great! After washing the asparagus, bend one spear until it snaps an inch or two from the stem end. Use this as a measure for cutting the rest of your spears. I didn’t have any of the stringy pieces – do it!

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After asparagus is cut, Cover the bottom of a medium skillet with water and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add the asparagus and cover for 3-5 minutes until cooked but still firm. It took me 4 minutes but I probably could have taken them out at 3. Put the asparagus into a pan of cold water to stop the cooking. One it’s cooled, dry and cut into desired size pieces

Wash and cut the tomatoes (or leave them whole). Cut the avocado into desired size as well.

Mix asparagus, tomatoes, avocado in a bowl

Whisk the dressing ingredients together, taste until you like it, then mix in with the veggies. It makes a good amount of dressing so don’t add all the dressing at once. Taste…taste again…taste again and again until the rest of dinner is ready, just because it’s yummy.

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Scott and I really liked this and will have it again. We found it made too much dressing, so we saved the rest for another night. Scott ate this with a rosemary garlic steak and I had my favorite salmon recipe (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Grilled-Salmon-I/Detail.aspx?evt19=1)  I substitute sesame oil for the oil in that recipe. I also take the extra marinade and reduce it to make a glaze. It’s always a hit. Because we like veggies, we also had some grilled eggplant (diced and tossed with olive oil. garlic salt, crushed red pepper and grilled in a grill basket). So, here’s the end result of our delicious dinner. Definitely a winner!

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Who am I and what am I doing?

I’m Anne. I’m a 30 year old wife, mom, and full time research engineer with an inner homemaker I’m ready to unleash. I am ready to try anything and everything I find on pinterest. I am NOT artsy, have no innate talent, but I want to see what I can do. I will try whatever looks interesting – crafts, workouts, recipes, makeup, etc. I will share all of my successes and failures – there will be many of both.

Most of my projects will be for my 5 month old girl, Clara, the love of my life. Others will be for the home I share with my husband of 2 years, Scott, in a suburb of Dayton, OH. Finally, some will be just for me – because every woman needs to find time for herself!