Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Valentine's Day

On Thursday evening, a very handsome man picked me up at my front door, flowers in hand. We were off to enjoy a date together, of which he kept all the details a surprise! We headed to downtown St. Louis for dinner at Carmine's. It was a very nice restaurant and the food was great!

After dinner we went to Forest Park. This is one of my favorite areas of St. Louis. I have fond memories of going to the zoo as a child. I also love spending Sunday evenings at the Muny during the summer. The park is beautiful and a lot of fun, with so many things to enjoy.

It was a really great night for a walk around the Grand Basin. This is an area at the bottom of Art Hill with a pond and several fountains. It's beautiful to look at during the daytime, but even more so in the evening. We enjoyed a nice, quiet walk around the pond. Then we headed up the hill toward the Art Museum. The view from the top of the hill is breathtaking. It looks out over the Grand Basin area and other areas of Forest Park.

As we were standing there enjoying the view, Chris asked me to be his wife! I said yes, of course. I couldn't have asked God for a more wonderful man to be with and serve the Lord with.

We have set July 5th as the date for the wedding. The weekend was full of making wedding plans. We are so thankful to have two wonderful ladies, Tracy and Michelle, helping us plan the wedding. It has already been such a blessing and a huge help. The planning has already been a lot of fun!

Chris and I ask for your prayers as we continue planning for the wedding. More importantly, we ask that you pray for us as we begin our life together with the Lord.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Recipe 3

Kelly's recipe yesterday got me thinking about orzo. I had never tried orzo until I went to college, but the cafeteria at school makes some of the best orzo. A few months ago I went searching for a recipe that was close and I came up with the one below from allrecipes.com. I recently served it with cod, which is also a recipe from allrecipes.com.

Parmesan Basil Orzo

2 tbsp. butter
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 can chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I usually use dried basil)
garlic, salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and saute until lightly browned.
Stir in chicken broth and bring to boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
Mix in parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, salt and pepper.

Cod with Italian Crumb Topping

1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. cornmeal
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. garlic powder (I used more!)
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
4 cod fillets
1 egg white, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 450*
2. In a small shallow bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, cheese, cornmeal, oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper; set aside
3. Coat the rack of a broiling pan with cooking spray. Place the cod on the rack, folding under any thin edges of the fillets. Brush with teh egg white, then spoon the crumb mixture evenly on top.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and is opaque all the way through.

*Note: I didn't prepare the cod exactly this way. I dipped the fish in the egg white, then coated it with the crumb mixture before placing it on the pan. It seemed a little easier to me.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Recipe 2

Yellow Cake with Lemon Frosting

Yellow Cake:

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup milk

1. Grease and lightly flour two round baking pans

2. Combine flour, baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt

3. Beat butter about 30 seconds

4. Add sugar and vanilla, beat until well combined

5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each

6. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to beaten mixture, beating after each addition

7. Turn into pans and bake at 375* for 30-35 minutes

8. Cool 10 minutes on wire racks

9. Remove from pans

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter

2 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. lemon zest

1 tsp. vanilla

5 cups powdered sugar

1. Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy

2. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and beat until smooth

3. Add the additional 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until creamy

4. Frost cake and garnish with lemons

Monday, February 04, 2008

Recipe 1

Here's my first contribution to the recipe exchange. This is a chicken salad that is great served on a crescent roll on a hot summer day.

Polynesian Chicken Salad
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 1/2 cups pineapple tidbits or seedless grapes
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup toasted almond slices
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2. tsp. salt

*Makes about 6 servings

For best results, refrigerate at least an hour before serving.