Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hamburger Stroganoff

Once upon a time, my mom gave me her recipe for hamburger stroganoff. This is one of those meals that I think of right away when pondering meals from childhood. I like making it because it isn't complicated, it smells like home and it tastes fairly delicious, if I do say so myself. Last year, right after we'd moved into our house, my parents came to visit. I got everything I needed to make this meal for them, but when it came down to cook time, I couldn't find the recipe. ANYWHERE. I was so disappointed. I wanted it to be perfect. I made hamburger helper instead. I'm ridiculous. 

I made this dish on Tuesday night. It was tasty. Here is my mom's recipe, with her permission:

1 pound hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 or 3 cups egg noodles, cooked

-cook & stir burger, onion & butter until meat is brown; drain
-stir in flour, salt, garlic & pepper 
-cook, stirring constantly, five minutes
-stir in soup
-heat to boiling, stirring constantly
-reduce heat, simmer uncovered 10 minutes
-stir in sour cream, heat through
-serve over noodles

Yum yum! I am excited because I still have leftovers in the fridge. I took some to work for lunch on Wednesday, too! Yay!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blackberry Cornbread

Friends, hello. It is time for me to tell you about the blackberry cornbread I made a couple of weeks ago. I made it on a whim on a weeknight, which is a pretty cool thing. I usually have little desire to do anything after work. Haha.

I got the recipe from (if you listen to Joy the Baker's podcast, you know how I say in my head). The recipe itself was quite easy. The finished product was tasty and Boyfriend really liked it. I mean, really liked it. My dad may have been a little jealous that he couldn't partake. I just had two problems with this cornbread. They're kind of silly, but still, problems. Here you go:

1. The middle didn't cook very well. I kept it in the oven a bit longer than was suggested but I had to stop that after a while because I baked in a glass dish and could see the majority of the bread was getting brown quickly. This did not deter the eating, thankfully.

2. I never like blackberries as much as I would like. They are good to eat in stuff and on their own, but I seem to be limited to three. Maybe less. Why is that? Seems unfortunate to me.

Anyway, if you're interested in delicious things, cornbread and blackberries, you should make this. I vote yes!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I turned 27 on Sunday. 27!! I don't really know how that happened, but it feels painfully close to 30. I usually don't mention this at home because Boyfriend is closer to 30 than I am and I think that it may be a sensitive situation. I usually forget how old I am, so I comfort myself with the fact that I'll probably think I'm still 25 by next month. That's fine by me.

Anyway, I was thinking that maybe my birthday would be a better time to make resolutions for myself than the new year. Something about reaching another birthday, becoming older and (hopefully) wiser makes me feel like I should be putting that grown up-ness toward my daily life. I was hoping to post about things that I am trying to be more motivated about soon, so I think I can safely combine that with my birthday resolutions and forge ahead. P.S. The following list is pretty similar to my list of goals for the month of August, so you can really see where my mind is these days... Haha.

1. Physical exercise/working out. I am not a fan of working out. I am not, and will probably never be, the type of person who goes to the gym on a regular basis. The only sort of exercise I have ever done consistently is dance. And marching band (that totally counts!). I do like to walk, though, so I think I need to get out there and walk several times a week. Every day would be cool, but let's be real. That just isn't happening. I kicked off my new year of life by going for an unintentionally long walk yesterday evening. I don't live too far from Frick Park in Pittsburgh, so I walked down to the trails (about half a mile) and decided to go on a trail that was listed as being about half a mile. This seemed like a reasonable way to get started. It would have been great if I hadn't gone onto another trail... I realized it was getting dark, so I ended up turning around and retracing my steps somewhat. By the time I got back to the house, I had walked about 4.5 miles. Oops. Haha. It was good, though. I'll do it again. Plus, the trails are really nice and well kept. A lot of people were making use of them with their dogs/strollers/bikes. 

2. Cooking/baking. I usually prefer to bake more than to cook, but I need to do more of both. I want to be more health conscious in my cooking habits, too, so that I have reasonably healthy things to take to work for lunch. Thank goodness cooler weather is coming. I like making soup a whole heck of a lot. Yummmm. I've been making a lot of baked goods from scratch recently. I'd be okay continuing that trend. Haha.

3. Cleaning. Ohhhhh, cleaning. It is, basically, the worst. It is literally never over and it doesn't last long at all. I need to think of a system. Right now, my cleaning is willy-nilly all over the place and I do what I can when I can. I need to come up with a system that works for me and do things on certain days and be consistent. CONSISTENCY. This, apparently, need to be my life theme. My mantra? I don't know. I just need to do it. I seriously don't know how people with children and full time jobs accomplish this stuff. Mom, how did you do it? It's just crazy.

4. Correspondence. I love writing letters. I love mailing letters! I love getting letters in the mail. I need to be better about sending things out in a timely manner (email, too, to be honest). If you have sent me a letter recently, I have it sitting on my mantle right now and I promise I will write you back soon. I want to! Your letter made me smile! It still makes me smile! You are awesome.

5. Photography. Boyfriend gave me a new camera for Christmas. It is a step between a point and shoot and a DSLR. Not super fancy, but a bit fancier than the point and shoot my parents bought me in 2006. I have used the camera, but not nearly as much as I would like. I also want to know more about the ins and outs of it. I take a heck of a lot of pictures of The Duck when we're with her, but I want to do so much more! Nature! Naaaaaaature!!!! You know. I'm going to get on this.

Okay, I realize now that this list could go on and freaking on, so I'm going to wrap it up now. I have a list (I love lists! Who doesn't?) of ideas for posts that I need to sift through, so look out for more posts soon! I'm a big fan of you reading this. I hope you enjoy it. 

Happy Birthday to me! Haha.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

By Myself

I love reading about classic Hollywood stars. I especially love their autobiographies, but have also read some good biographies. Recently, I read Lauren Bacall's first autobiography, By Myself.

Biographies by people such as Lauren Bacall are interesting to me because they are their stories in, presumably, their own words. In this book, Bacall was funny and poignant. Her words seemed honest and I appreciate that.

Oh, and Bogie & Bacall! I think that her romance with Humphrey Bogart was so lovely. Their wedding was idyllic, held in Ohio at a farm belonging to their friend.

By Myself documents just the first part of Lauren Bacall's life. She is 87 years old presently and seems to be going strong! Amazing. What a dream it would be to meet her. *sigh* Haha, I am pretty sure that I am just spewing gibberish right now. What I am trying to say is: I loved the book. Read it, please. And while you're at it, add Katharine Hepburn's autobiography to your list.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins

Friends, I'm just going to say it. You need to make these muffins. The recipe is courtesy of Joy the Baker (both on her site and in her book). They. Were. Awesome. I made them last Friday and they were gone by Sunday. Granted, I did take some to Boyfriend's parents so we did not eat them all on our own, but man. Delicious. I was slightly worried about the butter browning process, but the results were good and nothing bad happened. Hooray!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dancing Queen

This weekend I went to Detroit to see my dear friend/former college roommate/sorority sister get married. I drove to Michigan with my friend Annie, who came up from the DC area. We had a grand road trip and made it to D-Town with plenty of time to eat lunch and get ready to go to the ceremony. The ceremony was held in a small chapel right near the water and it was beautiful. The reception was held at the hotel, so many of us had a drink at the hotel bar before going up for cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing. 

I think the thing I liked best about Michelle and Phil's wedding (besides, of course, seeing two people I love become husband and wife) was that I got to see a lot of people from college I hadn't seen in a long time. I was fortunate enough to see some of my best friends/former roommates/sorority sisters that I see with some frequency. I also saw a few sorority sisters and other college friends I hadn't seen since graduation. FIVE. YEARS. AGO. Damn. It was really fun. They had a great band playing and the food was delicious. 

Here is one of my favorite pictures, courtesy of the band's photographer:

This is a shot of Michelle with all of the Kappa Delta sisters that were able to attend. So many!! It was really a special moment. We sang to the lovely bride, as is tradition, and then we did a KD cheer before taking this picture. Please notice how semi organized by color we are. Amazing, I know. We are too awesome. 

Overall, it was a really splendid weekend. I'm so glad I was able to go, so glad I was there to witness Michelle's special day and spend the evening dancing with my friends. I was super sore on Sunday (and, let's not lie, yesterday) from the seriously serious dancing that occurred, but it was worth it. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Wow. It's August. Is this year flying, or what? I can't believe it. 

Here are some things I want to accomplish this month:

-Start waking up earlier so that I can make use of the morning to do housework.
-Cook healthier dinners.
-Bake a pie! Peach sounds good. Blueberries would make it even better.
-Visit Phipps with my camera. If you haven't been there, you should go.
-Write more letters.
-Write a post about my family reunion.

I'm sure I could think of 600 other things to add to this list if I spent long enough pondering, but I think keeping it short for now is good.

What kinds of things are you hoping to accomplish this month?