Monday, October 31, 2011

Brown Rice Tart with fresh tomato and feta

Have I mentioned yet that I love the new vegetarian cookbook I got in Nashville?! Because I LOVE it!

Paul works at the hospital and interacts with some interesting characters! A couple of times, some of the patients will bring things in for him. Last winter, Paul mentioned to one lady that I like scarves, so she knit me a scarf! How sweet is that?! This year, he has a patient who grows tomatoes and brings in bushels full. Paul brought some home over the weekend and I knew I wanted to use them for dinner one night this week.

And since it is Meatless Monday, I found this recipe in my new cookbook.

Brown Rice Tart with Fresh Tomato Filling

Rice Crust:
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten

Fresh Tomato Filling:
6 Roma tomatoes, halved or thickly sliced (or whatever kind you have on hand)
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 TBSP olive oil
8 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
2 oz goat or feta cheese, crumbled
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. To make rice crust: Cook rice according to box. Set aside to cool. Mix rice, cheese, and egg in a bowl. Spread over the base and sides of  lightly greased 10 inch quiche dish and bake for 15 minutes.

3. To make tomato filling: Place tomatoes, cut side up, and garlic on a non-stick baking tray, brush lightly with oil and sprinkle with pepper. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Remove skins from garlic.

4. Reduce oven temperature to 350.

5. Arrange tomatoes, garlic, lemon thyme, and goat cheese over the rice crust

6. Beat eggs and milk in a small bowl. Pout over tomatoes.

7. Bake for 1 hour or until set

Sunday, October 30, 2011

100th Post!

YAH! This is my 100th post! 

Thank you to all my followers and readers. I know I haven't been very consistent with my entries recently, but I appreciate those of you who do read this and follow along regularly.

So I guess it's only fitting and appropriate that this post be about my wonderful family - and my sweet nephew, Henry! I spent the weekend in Nashville with my family. My parents had gone to Nashville on Wednesday to spend time with my sisters. They spent Thursday in Hanna's 1st grade classroom decorating rice krispy treats and carving pumpkins (they came to my class every year as well, and it was always a treat to have them!). And then spent Friday with Meredith and her family. Since I don't get to see them as much as I used to (we now live a few hundred miles apart instead of 20), I drove up to Nashville Friday night to see them and everyone else! It was a great weekend, but was of course, way too short.
Friday we were able to have dinner together, and hung out all night. And then Saturday I was able to spend some quality time with my sisters! Nothing beats shopping for great sales and then walking in the crisp fall afternoon!
I found these pants at Anthropologie (my favorite store!) and I got a khaki pair and a black pair.

And also this shirt!

Hanna and I also went to this amazing used book store. I could probably spend ALL day and way too much money there. They had so many books, and also DVDs (movies, tv shows, documentaries!) It was incredible. But I restrained - and vowed to return every time I'm in Nashville - and only bought a great new vegetarian cookbook, and also my all time favorite series, Mark of the Lion by Francine Rivers.

probably the best vegetarian cookbook I own! 
LOVE LOVE LOVE these books! Read them if you haven't. 
And of course, pictures of my favorite nephew!! Henry is now 6 months old! He's the happiest little baby ever. He likes to talk and loves to laugh! I could play with him all day. :)  I love his big blue eyes! They're so gorgeous.

Henry and his proud Papa

I love you, Grammie!

It was a great weekend. I really value this time that I have to live closer to my sisters. Its only a three hour drive, and every minute is worth it. 

God Bless!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A taste of Tuscany

The other day I decided to go through all of my recipes on my computer and delete some of the ones I knew I would no longer use because either they had ingredients I wouldn't use (like packaged and prepared things), or because I just knew it wouldn't be something I would realistically try. I have been "collecting" recipes for a long time and I had A LOT to go through! The good part was I deleted a lot. The even better part was I found some that I have decided to try. I've also started a special recipe binder that contains only recipes that I've tried and know are good and keepers! 
This is a recipe for one of those that I found on my computer. I honestly don't know where it came from, but it turned out really good!

Tuscan Dinner
serves 3-4
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 zucchini, chopped 
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 (15oz) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary 
  • 1-2 cups chopped spinach
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat oil in skillet. Add zucchini and next 5 ingredients, sauté 10 min.
  2. Stir in tomato, beans, and rosemary, cook 5 min.
  3. Add spinach, salt, pepper to zucchini mixture. Cook until spinach wilts.
  4. Serve, and sprinkle cheese on top.
I served this with brown rice, and homemade whole wheat biscuits. It was a good, healthy meal. Oh - and I added some cooked sausage to Paul's - he still likes his meat. :)  

God Bless

Sunday, October 23, 2011

An experience


October 23, 2011 - Mark it down as the day Whitney Reid went to her first NASCAR Race!
We had special Hospitality Suite passes, so when we got there we were able to walk around where they had some cars out, and then had some of the drivers come and talk for a little.

Paul with Tony Stewart's #14 car 

Kyle Petty talking to a small crowd

Jeff Burton

Bobby LaBonte

Then we go to walk across the track and down to pit road!

Looking back at the grand stands - and at the This is Talladega sign. 

Inside pit road! We got to see the pit stops and crew areas. 

Looking down the race track! So cool to be standing on it. 

We had amazing seats. We were able to see the whole track really well, as well as being right in front of pit road. 

The pre-show included three paratroopers dropping in - this one had an American Flag

The cars all lined up ready to go! Waiting for those four magic words: "Gentlemen, start your engines"

Coming down the track doubled up for the first lap.

We had a great time! The whole day was so much fun. Paul was pulling for Tony Stewart and I was pulling for the new kid, Trevor Bayne, who actually did fairly well most of the race! 
It was an experience to remember, and one I might actually want to have again. 

God Bless

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Gift

You ever have those days when you wake up and just feel crummy - not necessarily sick, but just like you don't really want to do anything or go anywhere or see anyone? I woke up like this this morning. I have to go into the CDC to work from 10-6, which was looming over head; but all I really wanted to do until then was stay in my pajamas and watch GLEE all morning and then probably trudge through work. I've been going through some personal things that are just bigger than I am, and it's been tough.
But then as I was writing in my daily journal, I realized a couple of things. (Actually, I think God was speaking loud and clear to me - I love it when He does that!) When I get down or insecure, my mom tells me "to remember what I know". So I figured I had two options:
1. I could give into this gloom and doom feeling, have a pity party morning and a pathetic day (I've done this before, it's actually not so fun). OR
2. I could remember what I know, which includes Psalm 118:24

I think I'll choose option 2.
Each and every day is a gift from the LORD. So if you ever have a rough day, remember what you know.

God Bless

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Banana Bread

I had some left over bananas this weekend, so I made Paul some banana bread. My mom has an amazing recipe that everyone loves, but I didn't have it, so I improvised a little and found this one, that actually was pretty good. I did tweak it a little, to "healthify" it, but again, it turned out good!

Banana Bread

2 cups flour (I used whole white wheat)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2-4 over ripe bananas
1 cup sugar (I used agave nectar)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I found Cabot butter which only has cream as an ingredient!)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans, or chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt
  3. Cut up half of the bananas into small pieces, set aside
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk other bananas and sugar for 3 minutes to form a light and fluffy banana cream
  5. Add butter, eggs, and vanilla - beat well
  6. Add dry ingredients but do not over blend
  7. Fold in cut up bananas and pecans or chocolate chips
  8. Pour into pan and tap on counter to get bubbles out
  9. Bake for 45-60 minutes (toothpick test)
  10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then move to wire rack to cool completely
Serve warm with butter and honey! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You know what they say...

...time flies when you're having fun...or just staying busy. :) I had no idea it's been over a week since my last post. Goodness gracious. I didn't use to have carry around my daily planner, but now I think I would lost without it. Along with working at the church CDC a couple times a week, and babysitting two afternoons a week for a sweet little girl, I am now also babysitting one full day a week for another family with four kids ages 5 years to 2 months. And I actually thought this would be a year away from kids?! God must have laughed at that plan of mine! :)

Thank you to all my amazing friends and family who called, sent texts, sent cards, and more, for my birthday! I feel truly blessed to have so many close friends and family who care and remember my birthday. I was fortunate to have my sister Hanna here to celebrate with us! She came down Monday afternoon and we were able to go shopping and hang out around town before Paul took us out to a wonderful Italian Restaurant.

Last year I made some applesauce, which was amazing, and I'm so excited that it's finally apple season again! My aunt reminded me of it when she called to wish me happy birthday, and I can't wait to get to the store so I can buy bushels of apples to make applesauce. It's super easy and so much better than any store bought. I'll post pictures and the recipe soon! Thanks for the reminder Aunt Lucy!

God Bless!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Just for laughs...

Sometimes we just need a good laugh...these are just for fun!
Happy Tuesday!

 "...he was injured. Injured real bad"

How to pull a tooth out with a rocket! (not recommended by my husband the dentist, by the way!)