"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." -Laura Ingalls Wilder

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Baked Apples

I don't know about you guys, but I am a big fan of what is called the "pitch and throw" method of cooking. There is hardly a recipe I have followed to the T. Today I'm feeling a little under the weather because of allergies so I wanted something sweet and comforting. So I fired up the oven on this eighty degree day (because I'm insane) to turn some granny smith apples that have been sitting on my counter into something magical.

First of all, get out your small (8x8) casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 350. Core your apples (I made three apples because that's what I had but I could have stretched the filling for four), leaving the bottoms intact. I used a paring knife to remove the stem and top of the core then dug in with a spoon to remove the seeds. Now in a small bowl go crazy with the filling! I had a tablespoon or so left of the real deal maple syrup so I threw that in. Then I found about a 1/4 a cup of walnuts I had lying around that I then chopped and added. Then add a few dashes of your favorite spices. I used cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Now get out your brown sugar and add about a 1/2 cup. Mix and then stuff the apples, pressing down with a spoon to really pack in that brown sugar mixture. Now put a small pat of butter on top of each apple, and put about a cup of water in the casserole dish. You can cover the dish in foil if you want, but I didn't. Now just let them bake (about 30 minutes to 45 minutes) until the apples are soft but not mushy. Enjoy warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Or eat them unadorned like I do!

The mixture can easily be changed to incorporate your nut of choice and you can add raisins if you're so inclined. I looked up a few recipes to make baked apples online and I didn't have some of the ingredients so I made it up as I went along. It's definitely a much healthier way to get the warm apple-y spicey gooodness of an apple pie. Yum!

Are you a fan of the "pitch and throw"? Or are you a stickler to the recipe rules?

Until next time,

xoxo Stacie

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Art of Cooking For One

Someone should teach a class on this. How in the world am I expected to cook for ONE PERSON when I usually cook for four (yes, there are only two of us when my husband is home but he eats enough for two, three on a good day)!?

I know there's always the easy-peasy solution of buying prepackaged meals but that is just not my shtick! I've become a big fan lately of what I like to call "scrambled mess"; two scrambled eggs mixed with whatever is in my fridge that isn't a) expired or b) pickles. Tonight I had Mexican "scrambled mess" which included two scrambled eggs, sauteed onions, bell pepper, and mushrooms as well as a chipotle in adobo, salsa, and Mexican shredded cheese. I never had the knack for omelets so this is my substitute!

I gotta tell you though, I'm getting sick of eggs. So I'm asking for pointers. What do you cook when it's just you at home?

Until next time,

xoxo Stacie

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

On The Road Again.

I'm finally in my deployment groove! Last deployment I hit this spot fairly quickly but I also had time to prepare myself for Mr. Marine leaving. I've already started taking up the whole bed while I'm sleeping and watching lots of Bravo shows. I haven't heard from Mr. Marine since he left the states but it'll happen in time. He knows I don't need much attention while he's gone so he'll probably wait a bit until he calls.

Today after my dentist appointment (YES YES YES!) I'm starting my seeds. I called my dad one Saturday while starting at the seed packets and asked him what I could grow in containers on my balcony. So that's what I got! We've got tomatoes, bush cukes, mesclun mix, sweet peppers, purple basil, and petunias. The petunias I picked up yesterday just because I thought we need some color on our balcony. I'm excited though! It'll be nice to can something that I grew myself. I'll still frequent the farmer's market (gotta visit "my people").

A few days ago I went on a crazy cooking rampage. I baked morning glory muffins, bread, pizza, and made stuffed peppers. Morning glory muffins are probably my new favorite thing. They're really easy (minus the fact you have to grate tons of carrots), healthy, and super yummy! I got the recipe off of King Arthur's Flour here;
The best muffins ever.
Cooking is very much like yoga for me. It helps me relax even in the wake of a crappy situation. Also, I get to eat yummy food which also makes me feel much better.

That's all for now! I'll post again soon (and hopefully in a less rambling way).

Until next time,

xoxo Stacie

Friday, March 4, 2011

Oh me, oh my!

I find it funny that when Mr. Marine is off saving the world, etc, I turn back into the person I was when I was 16 (only with much better hair). My Pandora switches to pop-punk stations, I stay up late, and I read Charles Bukowski poems. Basically, I turn into an emo teenager. Depressing right? Unfortunately, Mr. Marine is the tape that keeps my crazy parts together.

My friends all tease me because I always do the same thing when I'm down; 'Bridget Jones Diary' goes into my DVD player. Do you guys have something that you do to comfort you when something like a separation has you down? I also drink Merlot (but I do that anyway, hee hee) and want for random crap foods. For example, I woke up Wednesday morning and was seriously craving cupcakes. I am mostly a healthy eater but literally cupcakes were dancing in my eyes. So, because I have the best friends a girl could ask for, Ms. Nicole bought me some at the commissary and dropped them off as a surprise. I could have cried it was so nice of her. I have absolutely no idea where I would be without the crazy ladies I'm friends with. Probably in a padded cell somewhere.

On another note, my hair has been chopped. Mr. Marine's reaction? "I like the front, but the back will grow out." He likes my hair Rapunzel length. Here's a crappy web cam photo to show the beauty that is my shorter, styled by a professional hair.
Don't worry, it's back to looking like a lion's mane.

I think that's all the randomness I can bore you with for now.
Until next time,

xoxo Stacie

Milspouse Friday Fill In #32

1. Do you or your {spouse} ever wish your {spouse} was in a different branch of the military? submitted by The Turner Family

Not a different branch (although we have talked about it with his EAS coming up) but ABSOLUTELY a different MOS. I am very proud of him for being a tough ass-kicking Infantry Marine but it's not so good for my mental health.

2. What duty station(s) are on your “No Way, Hell No, Not Going, Have Fun Unaccompanied” list and why? submitted by Every Branch

I'd always go where my husband went but I'd certainly kick and scream the whole way to California. I'm an East Coast girl through and through.

3. If you could be one age forever, what age would you choose and why? submitted by Three Krakens

I'm not afraid of getting older. I'd never want to stay one age forever.

4. If you were a breakfast cereal, which one would you be? submitted by the C.W.
Fruity Pebbles, hands down! Wild crazy rainbow colored sugary cereal...bet you can't have just one bowl!

5. What is your morning beverage of choice and why? submitted by NH Girl Displaced

Coffee. I'm hardly even considered a human being without it. Many times I've tried to give it up and it's just best for everyone that I don't.

Well, that's the fill in for this week. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend! I have a date with a beautiful Marine wife and her cute-as-pie daughter that I'm looking forward to. Anything special on this weekend's agenda for you guys?

Until next time,

xoxo Stacie

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming....

I can spread out on the bed
Less dishes, less laundry.
Less picking up in general.
I can watch trashy TV without any sighs from the peanut gallery.
I don't have to cook unless I'm hungry.
More reading time.
I don't have to share the computer, or the car.
Save money.

Yeah, still not worth it. See ya later, sexy man. You'll be back sooner rather than later. Until then I'll try to remember the few positive aspects of this spur of the moment deployment and remind myself that I'm a tough broad.

Until next time,

xoxo Stacie