Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday is the new Friday.

Well it looks like Monday has officially made it's way back around.  The start of a new week for most and time to get back into the swing of things. When I worked Monday through Friday, there would be a very large, dark cloud that came over our home Sunday night around 6:00pm.  The time when you realize after a glorious weekend off that there are no clean scrubs and nothing to pack for lunch.  I would then find myself speed walking through the house tossing in scrubs, darks, and colored laundry all in the same load and then barreling out the door to the grocery store.  Grrrr!

Please don't be fooled.  We still have those moments in our house... just not always on Sunday nights.

However, today is a wonderful Monday!  Today, in the Kendrick household, we are welcoming Monday with open arms!  B was on call this weekend and I'm pretty sure he considered feeding his pager to our danes.  It is my last day of work before my "weekend off" and Brian gets to officially hand off the pager and let out a big sigh.  Well... sort of :-)

Last night I got home from work a bit late and B was already in bed.  I decided to throw together a loaf of Amish Cinnamon Bread and an encouraging note to sneak into his backpack.  I don't care how old you are it's always fun to get to work and find a prize in your backpack first thing in the morning.    Plus, I think it's so important to do things to remind the people you love just how much you love them!  In my opinion, the smallest gestures are the ones that mean the most.

No stationary? Takeout thai bag works just as well.
Wanted to say congrats to my sweet hubby for chiseling away yet another call weekend of his career as a vascular fellow.  One step closer to the finish line!!  Tomorrow he starts his LAST away rotation of fellowship and will be spending two months in Wilkes-Barre.  We are truly on the downhill slide and that, my friends, is really exciting.

Happy Monday, folks!


Amish Cinnamon Bread
(Adapted from Redfly Creations)
Yields Two Loafs

1 C Butter
2 C Sugar
2 Eggs
2 C Buttermilk
4 C Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda

Mix all together in bowl.

2/3 C sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Mix topping together in bowl.

Grease two loaf pans.  Pour 3/4 of the batter (divided equally in half between the two) into the two loaf pans.  Top with 3/4 of the cinnamon and sugar mixture (again divided equally between the two loafs).  Add the remaining batter to each of the pans and top with the remaining cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

This ended up being a perfect "coffee cake"!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mrs. B's Apple Butter

Fall is certainly one of my favorite seasons. What's not to love with the crisp cool air filled with amazing smells and the excitement of football!

Speaking of smells...  If want to fill your home with the sweet scent of apples and cinnamon without lighting fifty different candles, which I must say I am definitely guilty of having a candle lit in every room, I have just the way to do it! 

Crock pot apple butter is my new favorite hobby.  It requires about 10 minutes of chopping and peeling apples and then you're done.  The best part is that when your home smells delicious and mouth watering you actually get to eat it!

When working in the Emergency Department you run across all types of people and on a very special, rare day you run into one of those patients that just steals your heart.  Two days ago I had the pleasure of meeting the most sensational woman, who at 84 years of age is still climbing oak trees, cleaning her own gutters, and picking pears and apples from her own trees. She lives alone and has the sweetest soul and the most amazing stories.  She of course has no physician and has a medication list that is super easy to remember. NONE.  For privacy purposes, we will call her Mrs. B.

She is the perfect example of a woman who has worked hard every day, loved her family, and lived a full and rich life.  We talked about canning and cooking and somehow ended up talking about my desire to learn how to make apple butter.  We talked for quite some time about her family and her recipes and she walked me through her process of making apple butter!  What a treasured recipe that I will have forever in my mind.

 I brought her back yesterday for a recheck and as soon as I walked in the room I could smell them... APPLES!!  This amazing, sweet woman brought an entire bag of apples that she hand picked from her own apple tree.  This was one of those times in life that I thanked God for having the opportunity to work in a field that allows me to help people.  Little does Mrs. B know but she actually helped and taught me more than I could even begin to do for her.

You can tell the God lives deep within the woman's heart and it was such a blessing to cross paths with her.  It's crazy how you can come and go in and out of someones life so quickly and never really know how much you impacted them.   I'm sure she will never know it but she will be well known in our family... I packaged her butter in mini-jars to share! 

Mrs. B's Apple Butter

14 Apples
(I asked what kind of apples to use.  Her response,  "Whatever falls from the tree.")
Lemon Juice
2 Cups Apple Cider

Peel, core, and chop apples. Toss around in just enough lemon juice to give a very light coating.  Mrs. B said that she used to make her apple butter in a roasting pan. She now uses the new crock pot her daughter bought her.  Toss the apples in the crock pot.  Coat the top with cinnamon.  I used a pretty hearty dose of cinnamon.  Add 1 tbs of cloves 1 tbs of nutmeg (more or less to taste).

Turn on low and just let it do it's magic.  I started my crock pot at 6pm.  We headed to bed around midnight so at that point I propped the lid open with my wooden spoon to let some of the moisture out. Turn your crock pot off and then back on before heading to bed. Most have timer cut offs and will automatically turn off after a certain number of hours.  We were up with the sun to head to work and our butter was done right at 6am.  

Remove the apples from the crock pot.  Put them in a food processor and process until smooth.

And there you have... Mrs. B's apple butter.

This would be amazing paired with John's homemade biscuits!
Today, due to time, we tossed it on some wheat bread.

Serve with a steaming cup of Onyx coffee in your favorite Saturday mug.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kale Caesar Salad

I first heard the term "kale" on one of my best girlfriends blogs... Car was one of the bridesmaids in our wedding, is one of my best friends, and also happens to have an AMAZING food blog.  She inspires many of the meals around the Kendrick household.  I remembered seeing a recipe for kale sauté and thinking, "Sounds good... What's kale?".  If you're looking for some amazing, reputable recipes that are backed by an amazing wom then check out her blog.  You will not be disappointed!

After I read her recipe, the old Taryn instantly had no clue what kale was and moved on to something like a grilled chicken caesar on spinach.  Kale and I must have been meant to be soul mates because it popped up on another one of my favorite blogs last week!  Before I go further I'll just go ahead and admit it... I love watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.  There... I said it!

And so does my husband.  

I'm sure he's reading this saying "NO, I DO NOT!" However, there are the countless comments from his side of the living room that include but are not limited to:
"So who's the mean one this season?"
"Where's that one really good looking one?"
"Wait... What did she just say?"

Brian Kendrick... you are officially busted and I'm letting the cat out of the bag that you're a fan of The Bachelor.  He will continue to deny it I'm sure but luckily y'all are now in the know.

Jillian Harris is one of the former Bachelorettes and now has an amazing blog.  She is a designer for Love It Or List It (one of my favorite HGTV shows) and Extreme Home Makeover.  Fashion, food, and interior design... this girls got it all!  She also inspired my idea for Foodie Friday.

So getting to the point.  Foodie Friday this week included a caesar salad on kale.  Before I share this gem, I want to make it known that I did not take the photo of this salad nor did I create this recipe.  I'm a firm believer of giving credit where credit is due:

However, I have given it the old college try and it will rocked my world.  Promise yourself that you won't run for the hills when you read that there is anchovy paste in the dressing. I will be honest... it's in a tube that looks like it came out of a medicine cabinet, it's a really gross grey color, and it has the consistency of toothpaste. However, it's divine!  Trust me.


Serves 2-3

3 cups of fresh kale
1/4 cup - olive oil 
1 tbsp - white wine vinegar 
2 tsp - dijon mustard (I used stone ground because that's what we had on hand)
2 tsp - anchovy paste 
1/2 tsp - Worcestershire 
2 cloves garlic minced 
Salt & Pepper 
2 tbsp - grated parm 
2 tbsp - Miracle Whip
1 full lemon squeezed 
Fresh Baguette

Easy as 1, 2, 3:

1. Make Your Dressing:  Mix together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire, garlic, and anchovy paste. Then add S&P, parmesan, and Miracle Whip.  Squeeze the juice of one full lemon into the dressing and whisk together. You can alter the amount of lemon and add extra vinegar at the end depending on your taste.
2. Throw your bacon onto a cookie sheet (lined with aluminum foil) and toss it in the oven at 375 degrees.  You will smell it when it's done.  Tear your baguette into bite sized pieces, toss them in some olive oil with salt and pepper, and toss them in the oven on broil for some easy homemade croutons.
3. Toss it all together, top it with more parm, garnish with a lemon slice, and pour yourself a glass of vino.  

Cheers to kale!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Life As Newlyweds.

Hi Everyone!

It's been a minute or two since the last blog post.  Needless to say the past several months, ok really the past year, has been the most amazing whirlwind.  We finally got settled in to life in Danville, then got to plan our wedding (more details on that later), and now we're enjoying the sweet bliss of married life. It is SO GREAT!!

We've been saying for months that we're excited for things to slow down.  It has always been "after the move when things slow down" or "after the wedding when things slow down" but the truth is that I think we're pretty content with things not slowing down.  We like to be doing things, we love to have projects, and we love planning for our next adventure.

Here is the 'quick and dirty' of our life as newlyweds thus far:

We decided to wait to go on our honeymoon.  We talked about several places that we would love to go and for some reason we always came back to Europe.  I've never been and Brian has been once but it has been years ago.  Brian is finishing up fellowship and I'm still in the emergency department so the option of going to Europe right now was really not in the cards.  We're so excited to take some time to backpack through Europe after Brian finishes fellowship and I quit my job and before we both start working again. We're going for the true backpacking experience...literally!  We're having so much fun planning our trip and we're having a really hard time narrowing down where to go.  We recently purchased 50L packs and have already taken them for a trial run to California.  I was successfully able to fit a weeks worth of stuff, including 4 pairs of shoes, in my pack (they may or may not have been tied to the bottom... whatev!)

We made a trip back to Illinois to see my family.  My parents are now fully embracing retirement as full time Floridians.  They sold the house in Illinois and recently had an auction with proceeds benefiting organ donation.  I went home with the idea of helping Mom get rid of things that we just we don't need... it ended up with me and Mom sitting on the floor of the garage crying over old Christmas decorations.  Now we have a ridiculously large storage unit to hold all of the "memories" that I refused to let Mom get rid of.  I was little to no help in the cleaning out process.

We recently got back from Beverly Hills!  Brian went for a conference and I went for moral support. Packing light was actually REALLY nice. We successfully took our packs, spent a week in Cali, and loved every second.  It was so nice to get away for a few days and it was our first official trip as husband and wife.

I lost the blonde hair and went brunette while we were gone.  Why not, right??

Pennsylvania is gorgeous this time of year and we've been trying to really take advantage of living in this area for the few months that we have left.  We've done a few great hikes and have a weekend getaway planned to the finger lakes in New York.  Wine country of the north... enough said :-)

We made it to a Hogs game!  We met Nathan and Melissa Tyler in New Jersey to watch the Razorbacks/Rutgers game.  We had a very successful tailgate and I, of course, loved making new and creative tailgate food.  If we would have left during the third quarter I would say that the game was great (we took a turn for the worse in the 4th)... we'll get 'em next time!

This pretty much brings you up to date.

We're really enjoying and embracing married life and trying to appreciate every day.  I'm making an effort and so excited to get back to things that I love doing... blogging, cooking, running, etc.  I'm putting blogging back into my regular routine!  I plan on posting photos and recipes on a pretty regular basis.  We've started a new tradition in our house called "Foodie Friday"... though it doesn't always occur on Fridays at this point.

Have you ran in to a rut with your recipes and cooking?  I know I did for a while. Most of my issue was that I felt like I didn't have the time to spend cooking and then I realized we were going out to eat on all of our days off.  I would look at recipes and not know what some of things were or I was intimidated because I didn't know how to prepare them.  Not anymore!  Now I consult my trusty resources... wikipedia and you tube!

Foodie Friday is intended to be a fun cooking day filled with a trip to the grocery store (that isn't rushed!), wine, music, and new recipes that we normally wouldn't try.  Since Brian works on weekdays I pick one and have "Foodie Friday" and then he is able to come home to a really unique (I'm not saying it's always good!) meal... last week was tailgate food and this week was homemade pasta and ravioli.  I'll post some great recipes that we've been trying!  Next week is salmon week... I've always been intimidated of preparing fish.

I'm tossing around the idea of signing up for a marathon!  It's on my bucket list and I feel like now is probably just as good as any other time to do it.  Danville has a half-marathon and full marathon and it's already on the calendar for May 3, 2014.  I brought it up to Brian and he actually sparked a little bit of interest in doing it with me... fingers crossed!  The marathon route goes right past our home and we have the perfect porch for spectators.  Visitors would be warmly welcomed :)

We have a trip to Arkansas coming up which we're both really excited about!  We're so excited to see family and fall in Arkansas is like no other.

We're excited to start putting together the puzzle pieces of our future and will hopefully have some set plans in the near future.  Until then we're just enjoying the days of our new life together.  I know people said that "everything changes" when you get married.  Initially I thought they were crazy.  How much could change, really?  Now I realize that looking at Brian and knowing that he is my husband is definitely a change... it has made life so much sweeter!