Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to the grind

Oh man, what a week....

Just let me give you a brief run down....

I had 14 400-word articles due for one of my jobs and a 1,250 word article due this morning.

On Monday, I left Tulsa at 6:40 a.m. and stayed in Stillwater until 7 p.m. I got back home around 8:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, I left my apartment at 8:15 a.m. (although I am going to start leaving at 6:40 a.m.) and jumped on a bus at OSU's Tulsa campus at 9 a.m. and rode the bus to Stillwater. I only had to be there for a couple of hours, so I was back home a little after 2 p.m.

On Wednesdays, I would usually leave my apartment around 8:15 a.m. and get back home at 9:20 p.m., but Chase's mom was in the hospital so we went to see her. We left a little after 8 a.m. and got back home around 7:30 p.m.

Yesterday, I left my apartment at 11:45 a.m., jumped on a bus at 12 p.m. and got back home by 7:30 p.m.

This commuting thing is going to get old very quickly, but luckily it's only for a few months! Every free moment was spent writing and I felt "go, go, go" all week. I asked Chase a couple of weeks ago when things were going to slow down and he replied that they probably wouldn't. He was so right.

It is probably going to take me a few weeks to get adjusted to everything — I love living in Tulsa, but every time I leave Stillwater, I drive by my old apartment and I can't help but think, "I would already be home!"

But, oh well. Today has been spend finishing the article, drinking coffee, watching daytime TV and I just baked an original pound cake —one pound of butter, one pound of sugar and one pound of flour. Yikes! It's good, but the texture isn't quite like a pound cake.

Tomorrow, I have to go back to Stillwater for a class, but Sunday, I plan on relaxing and grilling with my husband! :)

Have a great weekend everyone!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wife Status: Things I've been making

When I lived at home, my mom would implore me to join her in the kitchen. She would try to teach me how to cook things and no doubt was a little upset that I had no interest in such things.

"Brittany, what's going to happen when you get married?" she would ask me.

"Well, Mom, that's what takeout's for and if he wants something cooked, he can cook it for himself," I would always reply.

Fast forward to 2013 and three weeks into my married life. I am (strangely) loving spending time in the kitchen. I've made chicken enchiladas, roast chicken with gravy and roasted potatoes and sautéed zucchini, bacon and chicken macaroni and cheese and chocolate shortcake with fresh strawberries and blueberries. Recipes def not paleo or low carb (and I'm starting to pay for it!), but all delicious!

Yes, many of you reading this are probably like, "Ooooh, big deal."

But, for me, it's a HUGE deal! Especially because I'm enjoying it. Today, I wanted to bake and use my KitchenAid mixer I received at my wedding for the first time. I am still working on building up the supplies in my kitchen (knowing what I need, should always have on hand, etc.).

I went to Supercook and entered the ingredients that I had on hand, which included flour, butter, eggs, milk, strawberries, unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, and baking powder. The site brought up more than 500 matches, but I chose to make this one. I had never made shortcake before. I was going to make plain shortcake, but I don't have vanilla or lemon zest, so I added cocoa.

The result was a crumbly, yet pleasant slightly sweet cake that Chase described as "chocolate cornbread." It wasn't until I started writing this blog that I realized I forgot the milk. Read the instructions; they leave it out! Haha Anyways, it turned out pretty good, especially when paired with the fresh fruit. Chase enjoyed his with a glass of milk.

As far as the mac and cheese, I received a very pretty casserole dish at my wedding shower and told Chase that I would make a macaroni and cheese topped with bread crumbs, simply because I thought it would look neat in the dish. Somehow, the recipe evolved into including chicken and bacon and Pinterest was kind enough to find this recipe for me.

 I couldn't find straight monterey jack cheese and my hot Betty Crocker mom told me it was usually mixed with cheddar. So, for this recipe, instead of a half pound of cheddar and a pound of monterey jack, I used a half pound of cheddar and a pound of monterey jack/ cheddar mix. For my chicken, I boiled it in chicken broth (I prefer how that tastes over boiling it in water).

This recipe calls for a pound of bacon and, I made the mistake of not following the instructions and frying the first half in strips. It was much easier to cook so much when I cut it up before frying it in the pan. The recipe makes a lot, but Chase has had no problem with the leftovers and I've loved it, because my husband has a home cooked meal that I didn't have to cook!

I'm thinking I'm going to start doing some bulk cooking and freezing on the weekends so we have good food to eat during the week since we're both so busy. It's great to be able to go into the kitchen and pull out something homemade. Of course, our health can't handle us eating chicken and bacon mac and cheese all of the time, but life is short and it was delicious and definitely going into my "indulgent recipes" list.

I love chicken (free range, organic only! After tasting this stuff, the conventional stuff just doesn't taste good) and am always looking for different ways to cook it. I suppose it's also a comfort zone food for me because I know how to cook it. Anyways, while perusing Google for recipes, I came across this recipe for baked chicken. I followed the instructions, but just used two chicken breasts, still with the skin and bones in. (correct term? haha)

It was good, but I may had flour to the gravy next time to thicken it up, per the hubby's request. I also roasted some potatoes in the oven that were coated in olive oil and rosemary and sautéed zucchini and mushrooms. It was a great, simple (Paleo!) recipe that will definitely be in our dinner rotation.

The enchiladas were also Chase's request. My mom pinned the recipe on Facebook and I followed it exactly. I served them with Mexican rice and chips and salsa.

White Chicken Enchiladas

10 soft taco shells
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used a Mexican mix...really, any cheese mix that has monterey jack will work!)
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilis

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan
2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.
3. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
4. Stir in sour cream and chilies. Do not bring to boil, you don't want curdled sour cream.
5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
6. Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.

So yeah! That's what I've been cooking. We've also been doing our fair share of eating at restaurants, but we're loving exploring Tulsa!

We went to the farmer's market this morning and purchased farm fresh eggs, heirloom tomatoes, okra, and cucumbers. The tomatoes are to die for! I'm loving living in a city with so many options and places to shop.

Farmer's market haul!

And, I am soooo terrible with taking pics! My blog looks super boring because it's all text! I apologize — I will be working on that!

Do you cook? What have you been making?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday #1 [is mac and cheese paleo?}

A couple of years ago, I had another blog and sometimes did "WIAW" or "What I Ate Wednesday." This weekly blogger shindig is hosted by Jenn from Peas and Crayons and it's so much fun to see what other people are eating. Swing on by her site to check out what others have been chowing down on and keep reading to see my eats for today which are, admittedly, not the best!

I've been trying to get back on the wagon after the wedding, but I haven't been too successful! And, when my hubby requested homemade bacon and chicken mac and cheese, what kind of wife would I be if I told him no?

Can't start my mornings without it!

I wasn't super hungry this morning, so I just started out with my usual coffee with coconut oil and cinnamon. So good. So addicting. I'm dying to try bulletproof coffee (coffee with butter!), but when I went to Sprouts today, they were out of Kerrygold butter (grassfed butter, a vital component of bulletproof coffee). 

Ketchup added after pic

Lunch was leftovers from dinner I made the other night. I had an unpictured roasted chicken breast and this bowl full of roasted potatoes and sauteed zucchini and mushrooms. I had some kombucha to drink. 

Bacon = love

And then, for dinner....let's just say dinner involved a pound of bacon, a stick of butter, a pound of macaroni, and 1 1/2 pounds of cheese. 


It was super good and received the hubby's approval. I forgot to take a picture of my plate, we also had a salad with romaine, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and cucumbers from Sprouts. I love having health food stores and farmers markets to buy produce at. The cucumbers were so good — Chase laughed at me, but I hate Walmart's cucumbers. They taste like water and the skin is smooth. Sprouts' cucumbers had bumpy skin (which is why I purchased them) and they were so good. Even my non-veggie lovin' man commented on how good they were.

And, it looks like we're going to be eating macaroni for a long time!

Chase bought me a car yesterday and all I want to do is drive around. I've been begging him to go for a ride to get some ice cream, but I don't think it's going to work. There's a place down the road that advertised key lime custard and I'm dying to try it out!

What did you eat? Anyone have tips on cooking for two?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Wonder Woman Myth

It's a career woman, it's a wife, it's a, it's Wonder Woman!

I absolutely love the month of September. Yes, it's my birthday month, and cake and presents are awesome, but I also love the September issues of magazines (which ironically come out in August) and the beginning of fall.

I bought Glamour's issue last night and have been reading it intermittently since last night, going back and forth between magazine and a freelance article I was working on. I had every intention to blog today about adventures in new wife-dom, but then I read a great article and decided to write about that instead.

Let me preface this by saying that I do consider myself a feminist, yet I've also realized the negative implications that feminism has had on modern American women. It has been both a liberation and a burden. Feminism has opened the door for women to do anything and everything they want — but, it's also added pressure to the already busy woman.

Let me explain.

As a newlywed, I've already kept myself up at night with the mounting pressures of being a woman, especially as I ready for my last year in graduate school. Many of these pressures I have not yet faced, but I'm worried how I'm going to handle them all. For example, I am expected (not by my husband, but society) to have a career and bring money into the home, be an amazing wife, be Susie Homemaker and prepare delicious dinners every night and keep an impeccable home, to (maybe someday) be the perfect mom and attend every school play, class party, soccer practice, ballet recital, etc., all while maintaining a tight and toned body and perfectly manicured nails and coiffed hair and keep my face poreless and flawless. Pretty sure that last sentence was a run-on, but you get the idea.

Meanwhile, my husband is pretty much expected to bring money into the home.

The author, president of the business school at Harvard, wrote an article called, "Stop That Woman!" that perfectly expressed all of my fears and woes.

"You know that girl who 'has it all' — perfect job, relationship, body? No, you don't, because she doesn't exist," the article begins.

The author examines different standards society places on women (and women on themselves) including the beauty standard, the marriage standard, the motherhood standard, the homemaker standard, and the work standard.

Some of my favorite quotes from the article:

"We have opportunities today — to choose our educations, careers, spouses — that would've stunned our grandmothers. But now we're dazed and confused by all of the choices. Feminism was meant to remove a fixed set of expectations; instead, we now interpret it as a route to personal perfection. Because we can do anything, we feel as if we have to do everything."

"...women today face towering expectations: a pileup of the roles society's long heaped on us, plus the opportunities feminism created."

"...oddly, as women have gotten more culturally liberated, we've also gotten crazier about our bodies."

"In the 1960s women needed their husband's signatures to open credit cards; our grandmothers couldn't hold mortgages unless they married...We have more options today, but we've also raised our expectations of marriage."

"We want to be fully involved in our children's care — without compromising time at work, with spouses, and for ourselves. We want men to love our independence and gas up the car. We want to achieve pay equity with men, but we prefer our husbands to earn more than we do. And whether we're working as truck drivers or consultants, we want to be good homemakers, mothers, and wives."

"You'd think that as we work harder at all these new goals we'd at least have cut ourselves some slack on the home front. But no, housekeeping standards have actually risen since our grandmothers' time...women today spend twice the time on housework me do."

And, my absolute fave: "Only Wonder Woman can do it all, and all at once. And she isn't real."

Now, admittedly, I am nowhere near to being good at any of those standards. I went into the grocery store the other day and walked out with hardly anything. It's easy to shop for myself, but difficult for me to meal plan and shop for my husband as well.

Anyone that knows me knows how much I adore my mother; she's pretty much perfection in my eyes. She's gorgeous (and always has been!), an awesome wife and mother, and an amazing cook. She also likes her house to be clean and her laundry to be done. I've often worried that I will never be anywhere near the caliber of my mom, but even she didn't always have it together all of the time (sorry, Mom!)...just most of the time.

She wasn't afraid to ask for help and my dad had no problems making dinner if he knew my mom was busy. Still, she always put those pressures on herself discussed above. It's really not fair to women!

The author of the article said she spends nearly 300 hours on beauty a year (is that all???), while her husband spends only 30. Over the course of her 40-year career, she said she will spend five years on beauty. So, those are five years less that she has then men, but she is still expected to perform as well as them in the office and do more than them in the home.

Something's not right!

Maybe women do it to themselves. I mean, if I just wanted to be a stay-at-home mom (there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, btw!), I feel as though the pressures would be alleviated a little bit (there are still so many things expected!), since all of my responsibilities would lie in the home. Yet, I feel very strongly about having a career.

Feminism is great and all and I have enjoyed the fact that anything I wanted to do, I could do it. But, placing even more pressure on top of what is already expected of women is just. not. fair.

Women are expected to have it all, but really, that's just not possible.

How do you feel about feminism? Does society place too many expectations on women? How do you plan to deal with those expectations?

Friday, August 9, 2013

It's official....I'm a Scott!

Well, yesterday I changed my name on my social security card and driver's license. I messed up at the DMV because I signed my maiden name first — I told the old man behind the counter that I was going to have trouble remember that my name changed. He told me he (Chase) would have trouble too. The man wasn't wearing a ring...soooo, I'm not sure what that means!

The last month has been such a whirlwind. On July 3, Chase returned from his job training in Houston. On July 8, he went to Tulsa to finish his training and we found a place to live on July 9, found out we were approved on July 10, and we moved most of our stuff on July 12. The next week, I was back and forth getting items that we had left. On July 21, we were finally able to get everything out of Stillwater! My besties (one being Lindseyyyyy) flew in on July 24 and we were married July 27 and left for our honeymoon on July 28.

Whew! I get tired just thinking about it. My mom said one day, we will look back and laugh on everything, but I'm still not laughing! I keep hoping things are going to slow down, but I'm afraid they're not going to. I've started some new freelancing projects and have begun looking at my schedule for the upcoming semester (one week!). Because I will be commuting, it looks as though I will be leaving my apartment around 6:20 a.m. and I won't be getting home around 10 p.m. (if I drive) or 12 a.m. if I ride a bus that goes between the two campuses. Man, oh man.

But, even after all of the craziness and stress, the wedding was amazing and I'm so happy to be married to my best friend! I plan on doing a wedding recap once I get my professional photos!

It was so, so good to see Lindsey and Jeannette. I hadn't seen Jeannette in four years or Lindsey in six!!!! But, you never would have guessed it. It was as though there had been no time apart...buuuut, it went by way too fast and I miss them!

Anyways, here are a few pics with Jeannette and Lindsey.

I plan on blogging on the reg now, so posts on the wedding, honeymoon, cousin's wedding, first weeks as newlyweds (haven't burned anything yet) etc to come!

I'm sad to see the summer winding down. Usually about this time, I am so excited for fall! I'm not yet though...maybe it's because it feels as though I haven't had much of a summer (time wise, not quality wise!). 

But then I think about everything being flavored with pumpkin and I'm like hmmm, OK!

How was your summer? Are you excited about fall?