Thursday, March 26, 2009

Budget Recipe

So I hate grocery shopping with a passion...but even more I hate spending money on groceries. So I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I can make dinner for cheap and spend as little time at the grocery store as possible. My latest discovery is a recipe from It's called kalua pig. Here's the recipe: 1 4ish pound pork butt (pork shoulder), 1 tablespoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon liquid smoke. That's it, really. Now I bought a 10ish pound pork but for about $10, so I cut it in half and froze one half (hence, shortening grocery store trips). Liquid smoke is cheap...and will last forever. Nice sea salt can be expensive, but that will also last you forever. Here's how to make it. Put the meat in the crock pot, sprinkle the salt and liquid smoke over the pork, cook on low for 12 hours. You may notice that the meat looks pretty fatty, so after it's cooked I actually take the time to get all the fat off the meat. I also pour all the juice into a bowl so I can skim all the fat off the top. Then I shred the meat, put it back into the crockpot and add the juice. And I've fed 8 people with this recipe. I've so far served it two ways: on hamburger buns with BBQ sauce and as tacos with a chipotle BBQ coleslaw. You have got to try it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the quilt from Rwanda

read the post below and this will make sense.

Dinner at the Airport

Jordan and Jessica had a 2 hour layover in Atlanta today so Chris and I took Marta (the train) to the airport and met them for dinner. It was so great to see them and I also was able to give them their slightly late wedding gift...okay almost a year late. I made them a quilt from authentic fabrics from Rwanda (thanks Barb for getting me the fabric). Rwanda is a very special place for them and it was exciting to make the quilt for them. I know Derek, I copied your photo...

Just Finished

The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton. This is a book based on the true story of the mobile library that travels via camels in Africa. You can read more about it here.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Chris and I took a trip to Helen, GA today. It's about 1 1/2 hours from our house. It is a Bavarian town, I imagine alot like Levenworth, WA. This man was playing a crazy instrument that he had handmade. It reminded me of a dulcimer.T There was even a cute little wedding chapel.We also played miniature golf. Chris won by 3 strokes. We had a bavarian dinner.Of course we had to stop at the fudge shop.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pioneer Woman

I came across this blog today and spent a great deal of time reading. She's hilarious and has some great ideas. Check it out here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thank God for Health Insurance

So the statements have started coming in from all the testing I had done in the last few weeks. So far we're into this $6500!! And that's only for the chest xray, CT scan, and the ultrasound. We haven't even gotten any bills from my primary care doctor or my oncologist. It breaks my heart to know there's people out there that don't have health insurance.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Serve the City

Today I (Caitlin) spent the day with our church for Serve the City. Chris was unfortunately unable to go because he is trying to get all of his photos printed because critique is this week. We went to Cross Keys High School to help them redo their band room. Nothing has been done to this room since it was built in the 60s. One of our jobs was to paint their logo onto the wall. It took us about 7 hours, but it the end it looked great. Thanks to our good friends Ian and Jenny who are both amazing artists.

Sleepwalking Dog

Maybe THE funniest thing I have ever seen...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Now What are We Supposed to do with This?

Neither one of us can read Chinese, so we hope Farmers Insurance wasn't sending us anything important.

Restored Energy

So now that I know I have mono, it sort of makes sense why for the last month or so I've felt extra lazy. It hasn't been uncommon for me to come home from work to go directly to the couch and take a 2 or 3 hour nap. In the last week I have felt an increase in energy, which makes me very happy. One task that I decided to tackle was to go through my pantry and find all those little bags of ingredients that pile up in the cabinets. You know, that recipe that you needed 1/2 cup of lentils for, but wasn't good enough to make again, so now you have a bag of lentils. Well, I scoured my cookbooks and the internet and found recipes to try to use up all of these ingredients. Here's a list of the ingredients and the recipes I plan on trying:
  • jasmine rice, cashews, canned pineapple: Thai Pineapple Chicken Curry. I actually made this the other day and it was amazing. Sweet with coconut milk and pineapple, but alot of spice with the curry paste. In our house if leftovers get eaten, the recipe is a keeper.
  • apples, puff pastry: Apple Turnovers. These were amazing!!!! And so easy.
  • diced tomatoes, risotto, and parmesan cheese: Gourmet Mushroom Risotto with Braised Balsamic Chicken.
  • diced tomatoes, couscous: Balsamic Chicken with baby spinach and couscous.
  • lasagna noodles, bacon: Pierogi Lasagna
  • quinoa: Quinoa Cakes with Eggplant Tomato Ragu
  • egg noodles: Swedish Meatballs
  • orzo: Orzo Stuffed Peppers
  • polenta: Polenta and Roasted Vegetables with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
So as I make these, I will let you know which ones are keepers. By the way, I still haven't found a recipe that looks good to make with lentils...maybe I just don't like lentils.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Where have we been?

So I haven't written in a while, mainly because this past week has been a bit eventful for us. I know alot of you have been kept in the loop, but for those of you that haven't here's the recent events in our lives. I proceeded to my primary care doctor 2 weeks ago today with night sweats and a lump in my armpit. She sent me for a chest xray which showed an enlarged spleen, bloodwork revealed some abnormal liver function tests. Because of the enlarged spleen she sent me to have a CT scan of my pelvis and abdomen. After follow up with her, she sent me to see an oncologist/hematologist because the biggest concern was that I had lymphoma. He saw me last week and we did alot of bloodwork and a bone marrow biopsy. Just a side note, bone marrow biopsies are one of the most uncomfortable things to ever go through. He also send me for an ultrasound of the enlarged lymph node in my armpit. We went back to the oncologist today and got our results. The bone marrow biopsy was all negative, so he can rule out leukemia and advanced lymphoma. He is still a little concerned about the enlarged spleen, night sweats, and enlarged lymph node, however this is all explained by what they did find in my bloodwork...I have active mono! Now how I got this I cannot tell you, but according to him it's a little more contagious than we thought. So he's still going to follow up with me in a month just to check things out again, but we think we have an answer. Now I'm waiting to get clearance from the people at the CDC to go back to work. So thank you to all who have been praying, I have truly felt a sense of peace over me this week as I waited for results.