Friday, October 25, 2013

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

This week, we were blessed and surprised with some warmer weather - the afternoons reached the high sixties, and Jeff and I took Bear on a date last night and ate dinner outside! On Monday, the temperatures drop to what I consider to be freezing (40 degrees), and rain and sleet will be close behind. The changing season means so many good things - boots and sweaters, hot tea in the afternoons, curling up while the rain falls outside, holidays and family, weekend walks in the leaves - but it also has the tendency to get me down. I tend to fall into the pattern of pajamas at seven, crawling into bed to read long before lights out. Sometimes, nights like these can be a welcome break from the constant energy of work and life, but I am hoping to keep myself busy this fall and winter with some new activities and hobbies. The idea of a cooking class came to mind, starting or joining a local book club, trying my hand at a few new craft projects. Stay tuned, and until then, here are a few things I'm loving, and looking forward to, this weekend...

 Photo booth pictures from our wedding

sweet potato pie for the next dinner party

A new spin on pumpkin decorating

Curling up in the coziest of sweaters


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cheesy Shepherd's Pie

Fall has arrived in Boise, and that means that the leaves are on fire, the mornings are brisk, and cool weather recipes are on my mind. Earlier in the week I christened my new crock pot with butternut squash soup, and last night, I whipped up a shepherd's pie with a few twists. Jeff had two and a half portions, and asked three times while eating if we could have this every week. I think it's safe to say that it was a success! My favorite part was the cheesy, tangy potatoes - my dad's famous mashed potatoes include lots of sour cream, which I've replaced with plain Greek yogurt, and the cheddar gives it a zing that complements the hearty filling. 

(Serves 4)

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered (about 4 large potatoes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
2-3 cups frozen veggies (peas, corn, carrots, string beans)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup milk
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. 
In a large, deep pan, head olive oil and sauté onion over medium heat until soft.
Add vegetables, turkey, and 1/2 cup broth. Cook, breaking up with a spoon, until turkey is no longer pink.
Add an additional 1/2 cup broth, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce, and mix well.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, when potatoes are soft, drain water and return to pot.
Mash potatoes, mixing milk, yogurt, and 1 cup cheese as you go. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Set oven to 400 degrees.
In a large baking dish (I used a 9x13 ceramic dish), spread meat and veggie mixture to fill the dish. Spoon potatoes on top, and spread them out to cover the meat and veggies. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Cook for 20-30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and top is browned.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Sneak Peek!

So I'm a complete broken record when it comes to taking breaks from blogging, but this post is coming from a newly married gal! Our wedding was on Saturday, October 5, and it was a dream. We were in California for the week before the big day, taking care of details and running last minute errands, and then we hustled back to Boise soon after the wedding for work. Ten days later, I'm still recovering from all of the excitement and celebration, and I'm not completely ready to recap everything and pretend to move on. Newlywed life has been amazing so far - even though we already lived together and have been dating for years, our bond feels stronger and my stomach takes a little flip whenever I think about my husband. Our incredible photographers are in Italy shooting engagement sessions, but Christin sent me a sneak peek that I couldn't wait to share. Vendor reviews and a big post (or three) filled with pictures coming soon!

(all photographs courtesy of Timepiece Studio)