Meals on Monday: Cookbook Love

I keep getting these posted on Tuesday but Meals on Monday sounds so nice that it is just going to stay that way!

In other news I am going to start adding the cookbook name if one is attached to the meal of that day.

Lastly without a camera I am going to review cookbooks until I can document our food again to put with recipes!

Sunday – Sweet and Sour Pork – Joy of Cooking

Monday  – Tacos

Tuesday – Taco Salad – Made from leftovers and perfect for a chore filled day

Wednesday – Pork Paprikash – Everyday Food

Thursday – Chicken Jambalya – Joy of Cooking

Friday – Homemade Pizza – I cannot get enough!!

Speaking of pizza check out my guest post over on Jessica Lynn Writes!

See that top shelf it has my lovely collection of 25 cookbooks, which if I could help it it would expand to many many more.

It is hard to pick a favorite but I would have to say the book that everyone who loves to cook should have a copy of is Joy of Cooking. It has been invaluable to me learning how to use ingredients new to me in Sweden and expand my repertoire of recipes.

My aunt recommended it to me saying it is like the text book of cooking and you go to it to learn the basics and then you can expand to your own variations with a solid base. She was totally right and I feel so much more confident is trying out my own variations now and without the fear of wasting food cooking is more fun!

One consequence from using it that makes Mr. H laugh is now I am using the proper words for cooking techniques or sauces and well who knows if I am saying them right but I can make a mean béchamel sauce now!

What is your go to cookbook?


Being Aware for Smart Choices

As you saw from yesterday’s post Mr. H and I did some house sitting for his parents this past week. Well house sitting seems silly since his 18 yr old sister was still at home but she worked most the time and I think everyone felt better with us around.

It was nice though because Mr. H and I always talk about the future and where we see ourselves after he finishes nursing school and besides geographically we are never sure how much we want to change. We honestly like apartment living and as of now neither of us has a huge or small love of gardening or DIY nor do we have picket fence dreams. The thing is at 27 we keep thinking maybe we are just fooling ourselves and really a house is what we need. Well after these past days we are happy with our no home for a long time theory!

I thought maybe we would be in the house all alone and love the space or want to use the backyard yet none of that happened, we stayed close together and only went out back to bemoan the fact that there were creepy flying ant things. Then we discussed in detail how nice it is to not ever have to worry about creepy flying ant things.

Wednesday night was the real clincher though when all the fire alarms in the house decided to go off at midnight for no reason. So the dog went crazy, also something we confirmed we are not ready for, then the neighbor came over to make sure we were not in flames I guess, and then his sister freaked and called her parents in Austria.

After about 20 minutes of going up and down stairs and taking various batteries out while wearing ear protector headphone things it stopped. Now at home I really happy with our one fire alarm!

The couple of days there though really put everything into perspective for us though and it felt good to have a more aware sense of why we are making the choices we are right now.

Right now we are happy just the two of us in an apartment and there is going to be no more feeling guilty about it!

I Need Eye Cream and Other Ok Things

So this week It’s Ok:

To bring home a self made goodie bag after house sitting for my in laws

To never want to house sit for them again

To sleep with nine pillows between two people

To not want to go to the beach even though it is sunny

To buy some new shirts in the Forever 21 bogo sale even though we have to pay double rent in August

To only shave the part of my leg visible in my capri’s

To ignore what Mr. H said last week about rice and make Spanish rice for dinner (which he ended up loving)

To be happy that Mr. H’s baby fever went away (dog and house sitting wore him out)

To need eye cream after the lack of sleep this week

To plan a fattening dinner for Friday night while also saying we are not buying chips or candy when we shop tomorrow

To listen to a really old MIA album and want to go out and dance like a crazy drunk girl

To post this really creepy picture on Tumblr since it is the first real french braid you have ever done

Meals On Monday’s: My Favorites

We have boring circumstances this week leading to no meal plan yesterday so today I thought I would share some pictures of my favorite things to eat lately!

My first homemade lasagna. I just made it and I am sure I should wait a few months to make another but I am counting down the days! I used my ragu recipe and a basic béchamel with parmesan sprinkled between the layers making it way cheaper then one with ricotta.

Ok so I now this is not like a proper meal but it really is one of my favorite meals to eat. Also it took almost 4 years but I have convinced that fresh bread, good cheese, and some sausage really can be lunch! On this day I added a small tomato and red onion salad and while filling our stomachs it also brightened up the week. I highly suggest having a meal like this soon!

Rice pilaf, as pictured in the right of this picture, I grew up eating it all the time and this is my take on it. I have taken out the noodle pieces and added parsley. I love this so much I have been known to eat my portion and then some of Mr. H’s as well!

I am sure we have all seen taquito recipes on Pinterest and I have totally fallen for them. My mom always made them as a kid but fried them and I am just not into frying finding a baked recipe was great for me. I have tried a few variations just this week using a sweet chili cream cheese mixed in the the chicken but they are great since we always seem the have the ingredients around!

Lastly is homemade pizza, while I love Swedish pizza there is something about pepperoni and mozzarella that just makes me happy!

Sunday Sound Off – Late July Edition

I was looking back and it seems I have not done one of these for ages!

1. On Friday night we celebrated my sister in law’s 18th birthday, legal drinking age in Sweden, and it was so fun to watch her drink wine and try and contain her glee in being able to do it in front of family! We got her a mini bottle of wine and a mini bottle of cava along with a luggage tag from Cath Kidtson which she promptly stashed away.

2. Speaking of Cath Kidston I am totally obsessed with her stuff. When we are in Manchester I got the cutest tea towels on special and now I want basically all of the website!

3. We are now a month away from moving and I am slowly feeling a huge sense of dread at packing. I am fine with the books and what not it is the china that scares the dickens out of me, all those little tea cup handles seem they are mocking me in the china cabinet.

4. Mr. H’s dad brought us some beer they bought when they went to Germany and we were all excited to have free beer and how it would last so long. Well we drank it in two weeks! Yes we drank 48 cans of Carlsberg in 2 weeks!!!!! I blame it on the nice weather we have been having and my birthday. I also am fine if I do not have a Carlsberg for a long time!

5. I still have not found my camera charger so it looks like we are going to have to order a new one but I am bummed since it will not be a proper canon one but I guess it is better then nothing and I am getting itchy with no new pictures!

Meals on Monday – Anytime is a Good Time for Breakfast

Now that I know we are moving soon for sure this weeks meals are a bit of trying to use what is in the freezer or ingredients that will be used fast once they are in the house!

Monday – Mini Honey Mustard Meatloaves with Baked Potatoes

Tuesday  –  Homemade Pizzas

Wednesday – Beef and Kidney Bean Chilli

Thursday – Hickory Sausages with Rice Pilaf and Coleslaw

Friday – Italian Dressing Marinated Pork Loin in Chef’s Salad’s

Saturday – Shredded Chicken Taquitos with Refried Beans

Sunday – Kielbasa Hoagies with Grilled Onions and Peppers and Creme Fraiche Cucumber Salad


Whenever I read about people planning breakfast for dinner I imagine sickly sweet pancakes or crepes and my stomach feels ill. Last week however we had some cheese sausages in the fridge and I just could not come up with something to do with them, then I remembered how my grandma would always get them for Christmas brunch and I was inspired.

I baked the sausages then we had them alongside some fried eggs, bacon, and skillet potatoes.

It made for a nostalgic and filling dinner which we will be adding to our rotation!

For the potatoes I tried a different approach where I tried to mimic some amazing potatoes we had in Belgium. While I did not nail it on the head I loved it much more then my normal style!

Mr. H and His New Ink

On Monday Mr. H went under the needle again for some new ink. I think he secretly got it now to avoid any beach trips which he hates but I am still going to make him come and just sit in the shade while I get tan!

In addition to getting a new tattoo he also got his last two, the sparrows, touched up. Since he was all bloody like he was sequestered to the couch covered in towels and blankets with a washcloth for any run away blood.

Close up of the new piece, we decided the snake reminds us of Kaa from Jungle Book (the Disney version).

This is the point where I decided to do a full on photo shoot and was posing him, it lasted all of two pictures but I love it!

Meals On Monday: What We Have Been Eating Lately

I do not have a meal plan thus far for this week.

I blame…. ummmm I guess just myself as today I read all day in my pj’s and listened to Simon and Garfunkel but these are some things we have eaten lately that might inspire you!

The start of a pasta salad I made for dinner with my sister in law. I used zucchini, cherry tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, and red onion for the veggies and used the marinade from the salad cheese for the dressing with an extra splash of red wine vinegar, and bowtie pasta (not pictured) to tie it all together!

Pork loin marinated in soy sauce, Maggi, oyster sauce, sambal olek, garlic, ground ginger, and a dash of lime juice served with rice and shredded carrots. I absolutely love raw shredded carrots and carrot slaw mixed in with my rice!

Salmon filet cooked with a light brushing of olive olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper served over pasta dressed in homemade pesto!

Beyond Death and Taxes

We have all heard the saying that the only sure thing in life are death and taxes right?

Well I was thinking this morning that over the course of my 27 years and living in a few places I have found some other things that are just inevitable and I am sure are happening to people all over!

Dirty Dishes – As a kid my mom was always complaining about all the dishes and now I feel as if ours are genetically mutating in the kitchen to cover all surfaces while I sleep!

Periods – They will always come when you have something fun to do, like this weekend we are having a dinner party and surprise surprise I will be on my period!!

Tampons – Ok so this ones goes along with periods but I always seem to be out when I need them and am doing that awkward walk to the store with my legs held real tight together as if that will help!

Good Hair – Your hair will only look its best if you have no plans and are sitting around desperately trying to find something to do! If you have plans though you can just expect your hair to look like your finger and the light socket were on a date!

Shopping – If you have no money you will find the cutest outfit ever but say if you have a gift card everything in your size will be sold out or plain old fugly!

Laundry – Along with dishes dirty laundry never ever stops and even when it seems done for a moment there are socks lurking under the couch!

Mother-in-laws – No matter which country they hail from they will possess a special skill to drive you crazy for no real reason, even now I am trying to think of a specific example for mine but nothing huge comes to mind just a bunch of little things that add to a big annoyance!

Chocolate – It is totally true and ok with me that no matter where you are that a piece of chocolate on a crappy day is ooooo ooooo soooo good!

What do you think are life’s inevitabilities?