Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Save-The-Dates & Website....Check!

Today, I finished our save-the-dates & website. Paul & I decided to skip the postage & we are just emailing & facebooking our save-the-dates. Then people can also receive information off of our webpage which we will be updating through out the year!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Le Cordon Bleu

Last Friday night, I decided to finally use one of my dinner recipes off of Pinterest. It was Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll-Ups which came from Cinnamon Girl Recipes: Modern Comfort Food's blog.
Once I collected the ingredients I realized this recipe wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. The full recipe can be found in my De-Lish Dishes tab or by clicking here.
The chicken breasts are easier to roll up if they are thinner... ha! This was my version of a meat pounder.

Worked just as good too!
After my chicken was pounded out, I had my ham, cheese, & dipping mixtures all ready to roll! (haha, no pun intended :)

I used just a Virginia ham from the deli, which I had them slice thicker then a normal sandwich slice. You want to be able to taste the ham & cheese! I also tried out two different cheeses, Swiss & provolone. I know traditional cordon bleu calls for Swiss, but I LOVE me some provolone!
 After I tightly rolled it up, I shoved some toothpicks in it to secure the roll while baking.

 What they looked like before hand.
The final, melted cheesy goodness!
This recipe I would have to say was a huge success to me and my taste tester ... Paul.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Jan. 20th: Cheese Lover's Day!!!

 When I noticed it was National Cheese Lover's Day I was ecstatic! I LOVE cheese & so I thought I'd post a little entry devoted to this love.

A little history & facts that you may not know:
  •  Long, long time ago: The first cheese made can't really be pin-pointed to a certain location, however  some of the oldest cheesemaking comes from Europe, Central Asia, Middle East, & even Egypt. Some say it began around the time of the domestication of sheep & goats in 8000 BCE.                           Point being...Cheese has been around a while.
  •  1848: The term 'Cottage Cheese' was first used as the cheese was made in cottages from the milk left over from making butter.
  • 1872: The first American cream cheese was made in New York.
  • 1880: 'Philadelphia' became the brand name for American cream cheese. Currently, the USDA requires it has a minimum of 33% milk fat... YUM!
  • 1903: J.L. Kraft started a wholesale door-to-door cheese business in Chicago. His first year of operations didn't go so well as he lost $3000 & a horse. As we all know that didn't last long. In 1914, there were 31 varieties of cheese in Kraft's company. Today, Kraft has expanded to 150 brands & more than 40 of those brands are 100 years old.
  • 1911: Processed cheese was invented by Walter Gerber of Switzerland only in...
  • 1916: J.L.Kraft had a patent on his precessed cheese method in America.
  • 1918: Velveeta was made! Hello non-refrigerated cheeses!!!
  • 1930s: That famous, yummy Kraft Macaroni & Cheese came along
  • 1950: Packaged, sliced cheese
  • 1975: The can for Easy Cheese was invented by a Swiss engineer, Jean Hardt. It's not an aerosol can either, there's a whole other process for which this can squirts that star shaped string onto crackers.
  • Korbaciky from Slovakia
  • 1980s-1990s: String Cheese became a popular snack it the U.S. & it's base is mainly mozzarella & comes in that 6inch tube shape & when you pull it, it strings!!! When looking up this wonderful snack I found other 'string cheeses' that I had no idea about. For instance, in Slovakia, a traditional string cheese is called Korbaciky. It is made with sheep milk & by hand pulling steamed sheep cheese into strings & braiding them. In Armenia, traditional string cheese is made with a white base & milk from an older goat or sheep. It includes a black cumin & a Middle-Eastern spice call mahleb & it comes in the form of a braided endless loop. It's also made by being pulled in processing. Another cheese that's processed this way comes from Syria. 

How many cheese are there in the world? This question, no matter where I looked the answer was always different. There are so many things to take into consideration in determining a cheese.... the age, the milk, the processing, etc. Needless to say the world of cheese is endless & I LOVE IT!

What's my favorite cheese? Oh buddy, that's a good question. Well, my top two would have to be Muenster (a soft-washed, cow milk cheese from the U.S) & Provolone (a semi-hard, cow milk cheese from Italy). I also like Havarti (a semi-soft, cow milk cheese from Denmark). Then again who doesn't love a good ole Cheddar (a semi-hard, cows milk cheese originally from England). I like any cheddar, smoked, mild, sharp, yellow or white.
One story I have of a cheese is from when my friend Kelsey & I were in Switzerland. The people we were staying with took us to his grandmothers house in the valley. She was very old fashioned, had her cows living right next to her, which gave her milk for her home made cheese, milk, & butter.  She sat us down for drinks, bread, & cheese...even though we couldn't understand a word she was saying, I will never forget that amazing experience.

I could go on & on about cheese. If you want to learn more about cheese or just want to look up a certain flavor, go to www.cheese.com. This site is great! You can search cheeses by milk, country, or name. It also has other processing information & they are starting to add a recipe section!

What's your favorite cheese or cheese story?!?

I got my information mainly from Wikipedia

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

First Embroidery Project

Back in December, I completed my first embroidery project! The idea came from a pin on Pinterest. The original blog it came from was a blog called The Modern Lady: A Twenty-Something's Foray into the Domestic Arts. It was actually really simple.
All I needed was:
- The pattern
- Fabric pen
- Embroidery floss
- A circle frame
- Fabric
- Frame
My final product!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

THE Dress, Ladies, & Christmas!

 I know it's late but I have some catching up blogging.

This year Paul & I celebrated our first Christmas as an engaged couple! Not only that but my mom & sister made it to town, for Christmas and for.... WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING!

I made sure to tell the doctors that I had to be home on Thursday because I had dresses to try on! Mom & Tess headed out of Colorado the day of a pretty intense blizzard. Their normal 9 hour drive took 12 1/2 hours! I may have had a bag hanging out from my belly but I still made it home Thursday afternoon. Friday, Mom, Tess, & I went to Manhattan to Celebrations of the Heart to begin the search for the perfect dress. The assistant & I put on my very first wedding dress, I looked in the mirror, & the walk down the hall I had to calm my self & held back tears. I knew if I were to start the waterworks my mom would too. That feeling between all of us was amazing. Then I was onto the 2nd dress, I almost had a 'Bridesmaides' moment. Once you see the movie you'll understand, only mine was the vomit feeling. I just sat down, drank some water and I was on to dress number 3. As she clamped it shut I realized this was it, I LOVED IT! I tried on some more just to see different styles but everyone I seemed to, I kept hearing in my head "it doesn't have this like #3 or #3 has this, etc." I put #3 back on and decided.... "I said YES, to the dress!" I am super excited!!!  No pictures though, I love the tradition of the groom not seeing the dress, especially since Paul has only seen me in one dress ever (& that was for Halloween). I was also beat and had to get some grub. McAllisters it was for some awesome soup & sweet tea. I recommend them if you ever see one. We also stopped my girl good friend Lori's house to introduce her to the family. It was nice getting to see her, her mom, & the remodel they're doing. Also getting to see her most recent jewelry, shoutout to Home on the Range Exchange!
For Christmas, this year I got a little crafty (thank you Pinterest once again) and made a card hanger & all my friends University bulbs. I had KSU, OU, KU, & Michigan bulbs. Needless to see it looked like a fairy exploded in my living room. There was glitter everywhere, or as my friend Misty says, "Glitter is the crabs of crafts, it's everywhere & you have no idea how it got there" :)
The card hanger was kind of last minute, but it was extremely easy. A ribbon bow with two strands of hanging ribbon & some clothespins & wallah!
The weekend before, Paul & I picked out our very first Christmas tree together. We got it from the Topeka Optimist club, which they got the trees from Wisconsin. It smelled amazing!

Our first ornament! :) ... I painted it too!
On Saturday, we took mom & Tess to our wedding ceremony & reception location. They loved it! It was also very special as my mom says holding back tears, "it's where I get to see my little girl walk down the aisle to get married." That night I introduced them to Pinterest and now they are hooked! Let the planning really begin!

After the weekend, Mom & Tess made it back safely & under 9 hours. I hope that all of you had wonderful Christmas & New Years as well!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Different New Years ...

For those of you who don't know, last night I just returned home from the hospital.... yes, again.

In December, my co-workers noticed I was turning yellow, eyes & parts of my skin. I went in to have my liver values checked. Who woulda thought jaundice in an adult, right? And no they didn't stick me under a UV lamp. My liver values were elevated, met with a GI doctor, CT scan, MRI, & set up with a liver specialist. On December 21st, I went in for a colangiogram (patient sedated, go into liver take pictures, insert bag to drain bile if needed). I woke up with a bag coming out of the left side of my liver (so just below my sternum). Since they go into your liver you have to stay they night due to infection purposes. The following week I went in for another, only into the right side. I was in an extra day as there was more pain because the tube for this went through my ribs & obliques. Friday night Paul & I were having a Sons Of Anarchy marathon, an all nighter! Only early Saturday morning no amount of pain pills was helping the pain I was in. Eventually, I fell asleep & woke up in a sweat. My temperature was up so ER bound on New Years Eve. Luckily we arrived before all the crazy drunks. This was my first new years I never had any champagne, however I was pretty high on pain pills singing & working on my turkey calls to Paul.
The left bag wasn't doing anything so it was pulled & my fever eventually broke. The following Wednesday I transferred to KUMed in KC, I chose this to see a more experienced liver specialist (if I was an old fellow I would've stayed w/my Topeka doc b/c he seems amazing just doesn't get many complication cases in young livers). Basically, all the pictures have shown is my liver is a wreck... but we are having to take it one step at a time because they ran cultures on my bile and I have 3 bugs (like staph, a fungus, & another - all names I can't pronounce). My doc had me get new liver pictures & a new right bag put in. Good news is this one is a lot less painful. For now, plan is to send my bag & me home with lots of antibiotics & observation instructions. I feel like Ms. B from Grandma's Boy. In 2 weeks I follow up with my infectious disease doctor & liver surgeon to find out what's next.
Until then my fingers are crossed.

Note: If you are in the Topeka area I recommend Dr.Challa at Kansas Medical Center for Gastroenterologist stuff; and any surgeon on Tallgrass surgical center (go specialists!)