On my way to work the other day I drove through this beautiful, thick fog. I've always loved stormy, foggy, or rainy days, especially in the summer, and we've had a lot of them the last few weeks.
In other news, the (thankfully) ordered chaos continues in our home. We're definitely accomplishing things that need to be checked off, but I rarely know what day of the week it is. And after more than six months of logistics and waiting....I have my Texas RN license! Receiving that little paper certificate in the mail made the whole transition seem even more imminent. We move in less than two weeks!
Moving is disruptive, but I'm learning to appreciate how it (and any other big transition) provides countless opportunities for Nicholas and I to serve and love one another. When we're at higher stress levels than normal, we have the opportunity to encourage each other better, particularly through acts of service. He's taken care of so many moving tasks (scheduling trailer rentals, taking the car in for a tune-up, etc.) and I'm impressed. This burden-sharing is one of the aspects of marriage that I love so much, and it makes me so glad that I'm going on this adventure with a partner :)
A friend sent me this quote recently:
We are called to channel God's love and kindness to all, but marriage calls us to do it in a special, intentional way toward someone with whom we will partner in life.
We were thankful for a night away from the "packing zone" and time spent outside in the sunshine with his family on Sunday. We did a little park-strolling near Octave Grill, arguably my favorite restaurant in Northwest Indiana. (Can you believe how cute it is?)
In other news, we're still trying to get creative with our meals around here, and use up food we have around the pantry. I had almost a whole loaf of bread that was full of whole grains, but texture-wise wasn't our ideal bread. So tonight, we used up most of the remaining loaf to make French toast. It's not a "real" recipe, but these are the general guidelines I follow. And if you have a cast iron skillet, you really should try cooking your French toast in it. Those dark, crispy parts were so good!
Cardamom French toast
- 4 (or more) slices of think, whole grain or gluten-free bread (we had some leftover whole grain bread with pumpkin seeds from a local bakery—the grains and seeds in ours lend to a really good texture for French toast)
- 2 eggs (per 4 slices of thick bread)
- generous dash of cinnamon
- dash of ground cardamom (I think this was my brother's idea initially; it changes everything!)
- splash of milk (any kind you want)
- dash of raw sugar (optional)
- maple syrup, for serving
In a small mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, cinnamon, cardamom, milk, and sugar (if using). Pour the blended mixture onto a large plate. Then, take slices of bread, one by one, and dredge them in the liquid, pausing for a few seconds on each side to ensure each slice gets enough of the egg mixture. Set aside "soaked" bread slices on another plate.
Heat a cast iron skillet (ours in a 12") to medium heat. Add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil or butter to the skillet. When the oil/butter is melted and bubbling, add the bread slides, one by one, and cook until desired crispiness/toasted consistently. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy.
I am certainly not a food blogger, and it has been some time since I shared a recipe on the blog. However, I wanted to share a "recipe" or method, if you will, for our very favorite beef roast in the crockpot.
I love the cooler months for the feel of them, in every way. I love cold-weather clothing, and candles, and the idea of slower, soothing months, where life doesn't feel so hectic. I love the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I love a good comfort food meal, that you can start in the afternoon, and let it simmer while doing laundry or a pre-dinner tidy of your home. This chili is that food for me. It's not altogether pretty, but you could always add some color by way of green pepper or jalepenos, etc. It's very mix-and-matchable and well-suited to whatever you have in your pantry. For us, that's chickpeas and lentils, since Nicholas isn't a huge fan of pinto/navy beans, etc. These ingredients afford a "traditional" enough chili for me, with a texture he enjoys as well.
Baked PB oatmeal or just "PB oatmeal" as we fondly call it, serves as our breakfast at least 300 mornings of the year. I've mentioned it about one million times on the blog, since I've been making is for us ever since Summer posted the recipe almost exactly five years ago, but I've never actually shared the recipe and how I make it. Over time, I've adjusted a few things and tweaked it to it's current state. I adore recipes like this that I can make again and again. We eat a lot of eggs for any meal of the day, and so it's nice to have an egg-free breakfast option. And I really love the idea of a make-ahead breakfast that will reheat easily and fill us up with both protein and carbs.