pesto

Visiting the broski

Sunday was amazing. I spent the whole day with my whole family.

That’s my family…

My older brother, Billy, lives  and works just minutes from the main campus at Penn State and the rest of my family (mom, dad, me, & Hannah) live in Pittsburgh. I hate living 2 hours away from my brother because we have always been close growing up, with about 4 years age difference between us. I just miss him so bad sometimes.

My parents, sister, and I all woke up at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning and drove out to PSU to visit my brother. With one stop at Dunkin’ Donuts we arrived at his apartment around 9:45AM.

What my family did on Sunday:

  • Attended the church that my brother worships at, Penn State Church of Christ.
  • Had lunch at an Italian pizza pub (so, so good).
  • Checked out Wegman’s for the first time. It was pretty amazing! I got some pumpkin granola and had a soy vanilla latte.
  • Walked around the PSU campus and shopped in the little stores that sell clothing & such.
  • Visited the famous Penn State Creamery for ice cream.
  • Walked around the alumni gardens
  • Hung out at my brother’s tiny apartment with his cats.
  • Had dinner at Cracker Barrel (<— one of my favorite restaurants.. one word… CORNBREAD!).

Pictures from Sunday:

Portabella pesto salad from the Italian pub. I asked for chicken on top too ;)

The homemade herb bread that came with the salad and balsamic dressing.

I was so excited after this picture was taken because I realized that squash was growing from the “ceiling”

How do these not fall on people’s heads?!

Hannah playing with one of Billy’s cats, Simba.

Dinner at Cracker Barrel. Two fillets of rainbow trout, baby carrots, mustard greens, pinto beans, and (unpictured) corn muffins. I ate everything. It was amazing.

Thoughts:

  • It was so nice to spend a whole day with my whole family.
  • I haven’t smiled so much or laughed as hard as I did on Sunday in a while. Seriously, I couldn’t stop laughing sometimes.
  • I miss my brother so much. I really wish he didn’t live two hours away. I also feel bad that his apartment is so small. I know everyone has to start out somewhere and that he’s happy, but I know it must be hard to pay his bills month to month at a new job without any financial help.
  • I’m going to make a trip up to PSU by myself to visit my brother soon. We are going to get into so many shenanigans. He wants to show me his favorite running trails, have lunch (or every meal..) at Wegmans, and cook together like we used to when he lived at home.

I had a really special day with my family and I’m so happy that I could see my brother and just hang out with the family that God has blessed me with. No, we’re not the perfect family, but we all love each other so much and I’m so grateful for them.

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Bible verse of the day: Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

Summer Recipes

Okay, so it’s been summer for over a month now. Time for a recipe round up!

Here are some of my favorite recipes that remind me of summer:

Breakfast:

Blueberry Oatmeal Bread
Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Lunch/Dinner:

Baked Beans
Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus and Pesto
Polynesian Meatballs

Dessert:

Hummingbird Cake
Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
Raspberry Trifle
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

What are your favorite summer recipes and flavors?

Recent eats

Some recent delicious eats:

Hard boiled egg in my vehicle on campus. I promise I wasn’t driving and eating and taking a picture–I’m not that skilled!

Tuna sandwich! Just tuna, mayo, lettuce, and bread. Easy peasy.

A little side salad of spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and raspberry dressing.

Chicken station! I was going to fry chicken for my family’s dinner one night but my mom wanted me to bake it instead, so I did. Boo-hoo. I just dipped the chicken in milk and then in bread crumbs + flour + salt.

This was after I assembled the chicken. I forgot to take a picture after it was baked though. Bummer!

Shrimp! They were frozen and thawing in the sink. I combined them with homemade pesto, gnocchi, and asparagus. Pretty legit. The recipe is pretty simple.

I <3 gnocchi because they literally cook in 2 minutes! So easy.

This would be homemade pesto in the making. In the food processor: basil, parm, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Panera Bread! I usually get the fuji apple chicken salad but I heard the Thai chopped chicken salad was pretty spicy so I decided to try it. It IS spicy, but in a good way! I couldn’t taste anything for like an hour after though :p.

Plain old Swiss Miss hot cocoa! Perfect on a chilly night.

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What’s the best thing you’ve ate lately?!

Living life

Hey there! Ah, it feels really good to be able to have more free time to do things finally! This weekend has been full of… well living life. 

Saturday was such a fun day!

I took Jimmy on a day full of surprise dates. We went to a local lake, had a picnic, saw Harry Potter, walked around a campground, went to Eat n’ Park to see our favorite server, played mini golf, had a Bible study @ Starbucks, and went fishing. Oh ya… and I got sun burnt haha!

Ready for pictures?

Sandwich from Sheetz… I got bbq sauce & pesto on it hahaha.

At the lake on a Hello Kitty blankie!

The lake

Starbucks grande (decaf) iced soy vanilla latte

I pwnd him @ mini golf :)

Love him <3

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Other pictures from Friday:

Hahhaa I was so thirstyyy

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Today I am going to church and then the Pirates game with my family… can’t wait!

Tell me something fun you did this weekend!

Short on time dinner + dessert

Last night I was short on time for making dinner so I turned to an easy and super tasty recipe. When I first made it about 6 months ago, my mom and I were leery to try it because it took only 20 minutes seemed too simple. The best cooking can be the most simple though. Without further ado, I introduce:

Gnocchi with shrimp, asparagus, and pesto


Ingredients:

1 16oz package gnocchi

1 bag frozen asparagus

1 pound precooked shrimp

1 cup basil leaves

2 Tbs pine nuts

2 Tbs preshredded Parmesan cheese

2 Tbs lemon juice

2 tsp bottled garlic

4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Thaw the shrimp, boil the gnocchi for 2-3 minutes, and cook the asparagus in the microwave until just done but still crisp. Mix the gnocchi, shrimp, and asparagus in a large serving bowl.

To prepare the pesto, combine the rest of the ingredients plus 1 Tbs of the water from the gnocchi. Process in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Toss to coat and ta-da, dinner is served!

It can be served hot or cold :)

Since dinner only took me 20 minutes, I was able to put together blueberry bread. I didn’t have 1 hour to wait for it to cook because I head to head off to swimming, church, and starbucks so I did a little trick.

I separated the batter into 3 mini loaf pans and cut the baking time in half!

Bible Verse of the day:

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

 

I cannot believe today is already Thursday! I have a busy weekend coming up that involves a possible visit to Dave & Busters, a swim meet, and other fun activities!

For now I am off to walk Lola, head to classes, then off to swim practice.

What do you like to cook when you don’t have time?