Friday, September 25, 2009

The House Hunt Continues...

Well, Rob and I have been spending almost every free moment lately working on the house search. Only a week and a half into the process, we've met with our realtors 4 times, have seen 16 houses, and lost our top house on the list to another bidder who clearly makes faster decisions than we do. When we're not meeting with our realtors to tour houses that we have found online, we are constantly browsing Zillow, Trulia, and for new listings. We've looked at single-family homes, some with large yards, some with small yards. And we've looked at a few townhouses. I think Rob is more of a fan of the townhouses than I am, mostly because there are less "projects", but I happen to think working on such projects would be good for expanding our skill set, and maybe relationship too (the only time we argue, usually, is when we're working on home improvement projects together). I can usually see past the terrible carpet and wallpaper choices in most homes, but one place we looked at last Saturday was like stepping into a strange world of a cross between the land of the Smurfs and That 70s Show in the bedrooms, with faux exposed wooden beams made out of Styrofoam (gross!) in the living room/kitchen. Sorry, Buchert Road, we just couldn't see the potential. Rob even said, "It's like these people aren't even TRYING to sell their house."

So, here are a few photos I snapped of one of the bedrooms, thanks to my trusty iPhone, even though this is a house I would really like to forget. Sorry, the lighting's poor...
The room had 2 different kinds of wallpaper, and this one was velvety to the touch... eek!
Here's to hoping the homes we see this weekend are a little better than this one...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ROTW - Crab Puffs

Last Friday evening, I had 13 gal-pals over for a Pampered Chef party. Somehow, we all fit into the living room of our smallish apartment. It was a bit warm, but I think everyone had a great time! I made a few appetizers/desserts for my guests (I think of myself as having the gift of hospitality, after all), and my mother-in-law swooned over the crab puffs. A recipe passed down through a few generations of our family from the Methodist cookbook published by the church my mom attended growing up in Yorkana, PA, there couldn't be a simpler, tastier treat!

Unfortunately, they were all consumed before I had a chance to take a picture... and in case you didn't get it ROTW will from here on stand for "recipe of the week"...


1 pack of english muffins
1 jar (8 oz. I think) of Old English Cheese*
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 can of crab meat (6-8 oz.)
a few pinches of garlic powder and sea salt

* Can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores.

Best if made in advance! Halve english muffins and lay out face-up on non-greased cookie sheet (or baking stone if you've recently been to a PC party!). Cream together butter and cheese. Stir in crab meat and seasonings. Spread evenly on english muffins, cover cookie sheet with foil, and place in freezer. Once frozen, this can be easily stored in ziploc plastic bags or something similar in your freezer. When you're ready to heat and serve, turn on your oven's broiler, and broil frozen (not thawed - they get soggy if you thaw first) crab puffs until golden brown on top. Remove, rest, and cut into quarters for a triangular, tasty treat for your next party. Great snack for football watching parties!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let the House Hunting Begin!

Well, we got our mortgage pre-approval letter last night, so now we can officially begin the house hunt. It took Rob and I 3 hours at The Dump to agree on a couch that we liked, so we'll see about the house. We're just both indecisive I guess. But I am sure the journey will be fun, and we'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gluttony Night

One evening a few weeks ago, our friend Lisa had free tickets to the a Reading Phillies game (a AA-level farm team for the Philadelphia Phillies we love so much). So we went with Lisa and another friend Chip for a warm summer night of baseball. On the way to the game, we got a flat tire, which Rob and Chip changed in record time, while I documented the occasion on film.

Other than the tire, the night was perfect, especially since it was Gluttony Night. What a great name, huh? For $10, you got a wristband that provided you unlimited access to all-you-could-eat hot dogs, cheeseburgers, french fries, pizza, soda, ice cream, and funnel cakes. What a great deal! Usually at a game, Rob and I would spend that much for a sandwich and a drink. So we took part in the festivities (after all, the tickets were free!).

Some of our leftovers...
Rob (pretending) to lose his gluttony goodness...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In the Kitchen

Inspired by seeing Julie & Julia this summer (I would HIGHLY recommend it if you haven't seen it yet), I am going to try to cook one new recipe every week. Yesterday, I was inspired by some leftover pieces of filet mignon from a cookout in the Poconos and a recipe I had recently seen on one of my favorite websites, The Pioneer Woman - Grilled Ribeye with Bleu Cheese-Onion Sauce. With only needing to reheat the filets, and cooking the sauce which took 10 minutes and four ingredients, it was a wonderful meal for the end of a holiday weekend.

Here's the recipe for this VERY delicious sauce:

4 tbsp. butter
1 large yellow onion
1 c. heavy cream*
1 c. bleu cheese (crumbled)

*Our grocery store was out of heavy cream, so I used whole milk instead. It still turned out lovely, and just a little bit healthier.

Melt the butter in a heavy pan over high heat. Cut the onion in half from top to bottom, then slice (but not too thin). When the butter is melted, toss in onions, and stir occasionally until onions are a nice brownish-black color. Turn heat down to medium-high, pour in milk to heat and let thicken for about 3-4 minutes. Then toss in crumbled bleu, and stir until melted (this will not take long at all). In about 10 minutes, you have a yummy sauce, a great addition to a great steak that packs in TONS of flavor. I put my sauce as the bed, with the steak placed on top - no side dishes needed. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pictures from Abroad


From top: rock formations at the Giant's Causeway, a yummy mocha, sheep in Carlingford, gorgeous tile floor of Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin, Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland, the London Eye, LE & Parliament at night, Parliament & Big Ben, guarding of the crown jewels

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

August Update

It's been over a month since my last post (probably to the dissatisfaction of my THOUSANDS of followers), so I thought maybe I should update finally. August was a busy month.

We left at the end of July for our big shi-bang honeymoon to England, Ireland and Northern Ireland. I'll be sure to post some of our favorite pictures soon. Our first stop was London, and after a delayed flight and almost not being able to get to the airport due to storms and subsequent flooding in Newark, NJ, we made it across the pond and were surprised that we actually slept on the flight. We spent a whole day trying to fit in as much sightseeing as possible because we bought "The London Pass", which gave us access to over 55 historical sights, but we only bought a one-day pass, and got our money's worth! St. Paul's Cathedral, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Cabinet War Rooms/Churchill Museum, and cruise on the River Thames were all included. While in London we also rode the London Eye, which provides a great view of the city, and also watched a couple in the pod next to us get engaged... Rob found that very entertaining. In Ireland, we met up with our friend Kathryn and spent a few days in Dublin, followed by a few days along the Northern Coast of N. Ireland at the Erskine holiday home. The North Coast was beautiful, especially the Giant's Causeway. We toured Belfast on a rainy day, but still had a good time and stayed dry on the tour bus, then did some shopping in Belfast. The last few days, we headed back to the Republic of Ireland to Galway and surrounding towns. We had a great visit with Kathryn, and really enjoyed our first visit to the Emerald Isle.

Once we returned in early August, work was very busy for me getting ready to welcome all of the incoming students at Eastern. All the paperwork came together from Rob's summer class for his official Special Ed certification, and he was offered a permanent position at CAT-Pickering where he worked last year teaching Social Studies and Special Education. Classes started for Rob yesterday, and he has a lot of the same students he had last year, so he is looking forward to his second year of teaching with hopes that like many people say, the first year is the most difficult.

We spent one weekend a few weeks ago in the Poconos at the cabin, and had gorgeous weather, and were able to swim across the lake without freezing. We're going back this weekend for the long weekend, and hope the weather will be just as nice! I've also seen a few good films in the theaters, and would recommend The Time Traveler's Wife and Julie & Julia. I read the TTW, and even though the book was better (like most books made into movies), the movie was well-made and stuck close to the book. And now that I have seen J&J, I have been cooking more and trying recipes out of my Martha Stewart Cooking School cookbook. I have mastered roasted chicken with white wine reduction sauce... and it's delicious!

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