Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to All! Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday and it has always been a relaxing, fun, and comfortable hang-out day in my family. My Mom cooks a very classic meal that we steal bites of throughout the day and then we all sit down together for the FEAST. We have a tradition (as I'm sure many people do) where everyone at the table says what they are thankful for. This year my parents drove down from OKC and stayed with Adam and I Wednesday through Sunday. It was amazing to see them and we were very happy to host them in our new apartment. Here is a brief summary of what we were all thankful for:
  • Adam: Me (how sweet!) and the fact that we are celebrating our 1 1/2 year anniversary this month.
  • Me: Adam (I know, we are cheesy) and the fact that we have delicious, healthy, and wholesome food readily available to us.
  • Mom: That someone in her family decided to come to America and start a better life many years ago.
  • Dad: Us welcoming him and my Mom into our house.
When I was in college I made a small Thanksgiving meal with roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, dressing, green bean casserole, and apple pie but this year felt different. As our first year to HOST a Thanksgiving I wanted everything to be perfect. I decided to make a roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing (including stuffin muffins, more on this later...) applesauce, green beans bundles, and gravy. Besides a late start due to a persistently frozen turkey, everything went extremely well!

Stuffin Muffins! This a fairly recent food tradition my family now has. We put the remaining stuffing that does not fit in the bird into muffin tins! The outsides get crispy and brown while the inside stays moist and a little soft. I put too much chicken broth in the stuffing...but other than that, it was fabulous!

Putting the bird IN THE OVEN! I thought we would be eating a Thanksgiving lunch around noon. I did not get the bird into the oven until 12:30...oops!

My Dad and I took turns mincing the apples for applesauce. I love how Thanksgiving is a family affair bringing everyone into the kitchen, my favorite place!
Green bean bundles! This consists of fresh green beans wrapped in bacon and drizzled in a delicious combination of chicken stock, seasonings, and brown sugar. The greens beans get a rich, deep, roasted flavor and the bacon becomes crispy and slightly sweet from the brown sugar.
Mommy and me. She definitely passed her love of Thanksgiving down to me.
I absolutely LOVE making applesauce. It tastes amazing and makes the house smell great! I knew it was an odd choice for the Thanksgiving menu but it was nice to have a sweet side dish amongst all the salty/savory side dishes.
This is an action shot of me adding the "Turkey Hat". After cooking the bird for a few hours at low/moderate heat I crank up the heat to 475-500 degrees F and put a layer of aluminum foil over the breast meat to protect it from drying out too much while the other skin gets nice and crisp!
Adding butter to the mashed potatoes..REAL BUTTER. We usually eat Smart Balance only...but I thought that if there was ever an occasion to eat butter, Thanksgiving is it!
The majority of the spread! I am wearing an apron that Adam's sweet Grandmother made for me! It is reversible and says "Caroline's Kitchen" on the front. I LOVE IT and feel very domestic when I wear it.
The helpers! My Dad is carving the rest of the turkey and my Mom is washing the mountain of dishes. Thank you for coming down to see us and thank you for all the help! We love y'all!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I realize I have been silent on my blog for a while. Oops :)
During the blog silence I was busy applying for jobs, interviewing, and mostly getting rejected. But luckily, it only takes one YES and all the other NO'S don't matter. And that's exactly what happened!
I applied for a Quality Assurance Technician position at the H-E-B Milk Plant in San Antonio. Most people that know me well know that I am OBSESSED with H-E-B. I applied for this job on a total whim, thinking it would end up like all the other jobs I applied for. However, a few days after applying I got a phone call to ask if I was still interested (um....YES!) and we scheduled a phone interview. The phone interview went well (despite me being a nervous wreck!) so we scheduled a face-to-face interview for the following Friday. That Thursday night I left after I got out of work and drove down to the Perry's to spend the night. They were SO kind and accommodating to me in letting me come on such short notice. ***On a side note, they have been very accommodating to both Adam and I throughout their entire summer! THANKS PERRYS!!*** The night before the interview I could hardly sleep for fear of oversleeping. I woke up around 5:15 AM to get ready and make sure I left with plenty of time to make it through traffic. I got the H-E-B Retail Support Center around 7:15 AM. My interview was at 9 AM....awesome huh? I preceded to sit in my car for an hour (thank goodness for my iPhone) and decided to head into the complex around 8:15 AM. I wasn't sure how long it would take for me to get to the interview because it involved getting a security pass, going through two receptionists, and taking a trolley to the interview location. I got to the actual milk plant around 8:40 AM and waited to be called!
The interview went well...I was pretty nervous but just tried to smile and convey how much I would love to work for H-E-B and always have. I left around 10:15 AM and didn't feel like I did very well..."good interview experience for the future" I thought. My HR contact for H-E-B called me at noon to ask how the interview went...and offer me the position! I was ecstatic! I called Adam, called my Mom, and starting planning our move to San Antonio. The following weekend Adam and I came down to search for apartments (Thanks again to the Perry's for graciously hosting us). We found one we really liked, signed the lease, and headed back to Abilene on Monday to pack everything and prepare to move...again...
The move went really well thanks to help from friends packing with us and lots of friends and family helping us load, unload, and unpack! So thank you Lindsey, Jordan, Eddie, Kevin, Tiffany, Pam, Carla, Robbie, Mitchell, Haley, Aruni, and Kaleb :).Moving is no fun at all and I've always said it's a true friend that is willing to help a friend move.
My first day is Monday Sept. 20...I will update more on what I will actually be doing. For now I just tell people "I will make sure that the H-E-B milk and milk products won't make you sick" but I know more will go into it.
The company Adam has been working for, Quick Roofing, has an office in San Antonio he can easily transfer! What a blessing! God has made so many transitions regarding this move very smooth and we are so thankful!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What I learned on Summer Vacation

  • Invest in a full body suit if you ever plan on going tubing for 5+ hours. Otherwise, you will burn the entire front half of your body. Including your feet. And you might not be able to walk for two days.
  • Take a note from the Peterson clan and pack 4 coolers for 11 people tubing 5+ hours. (We had more food than I have in my entire house. We had two kinds of sandwiches, 3 kinds of sandwich crackers, goldfish, cheez-its, pecan wheels, nectarines, plums, 2 kinds of grapes, cherries, and pineapple!)
  • Add cream cheese to everything. It will probably make it better.
  • Big Lou's Pizza is the best pizza on the PLANET! (It's a pizza place in South San Antonio that was featured on Travel Channel's Man vs. Food for having a 42 inch pizza!)
  • How to play Cadillac/31!
  • Time spent with family and friends is the best time.
These gems of knowledge were accumulated while Adam and I stayed in San Antonio for a 4 day vacation. My sister and brother-in-law came down from Denver and we all stayed at my sister's best friend's house outside of La Vernia, TX. It was a great vacation filled with food, fun, food, TOOBING (that's how I'm obligated to spell it) and food. Special thanks to Rachel and Ben for making it all possible! And thank you Pawelek's who graciously opened their home to all of us! Love yall!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Omnivore's Dilemma

I am reading the book "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. I HIGHLY recommend it! The dilemma he discusses is simply the idea 'What should I eat for dinner?' And since humans are omnivores we have the ability to eat pretty much anything. He examines the abundance of options American's have and how we have come to have all these options. Today while I was sitting on the couch reading this passage struck me and I wanted to share it. :)

*To give some context, he is discussing the French Paradox and the ability of Americans to latch onto any food fad as quickly as we do based on one man's ideas (Atkins...), one experiment, cookbook, etc. *

"Perhaps because we have no such culture of food in America almost every question about eating is up for grabs. Fat or carbs? Three squares or continuous grazing? Raw or cooked? Organic or industrial? Veg or vegan? Meat or mock meat? Foods of astounding novelty fill the shelves of our supermarket, and the line between a food and a "nutritional supplement" has fogged to the point where people make meals of protein bars and shakes. Consuming these neo-psuedo-foods alone in our cars we have become a nation of antinomian eaters, each of us struggling to work out our dietary salvation on our own. Is it any wonder Americans suffer from so many eating disorders? In the absence of any lasting consensus about what and how and where and when to eat, the omnivore's dilemma has returned to American with an almost atavistic force. This situation suits the food industry just fine, of course. The more anxious we are about eating, the more vulnerable we are to the seductions of the marketer and the expert's advice. Food marketing in particular thrives on dietary instability and so tends to exacerbate it. "

Pollan, Michael. "The Omnivore's Dilemma, A Natural History of Four Meals". New York: The Penguin Press, 2006.

What do you think?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rachel's Visit

I am lucky enough to have a wonderful relationship with my older sister. She has constantly been a great presence in my life and I am deeply thankful for her. She was kind enough to come down to Abilene to visit me for a few days while Adam was out of town. We had a blast!!

Big sisters are wonderful (or mine is anyway) because they help you do things that you do not have the confidence to do on your own. The biggest example of that during her most recent visit was with my gardening. I have had five types of seeds I have been wanting to plant but I didn't know how/what I needed to buy/where to put the seeds/how much water to give them/ etc etc etc. One day while I was at work Rachel was kind enough to buy me some soil and we determined that the next day would be "planting day". The next morning we made labels for each plant and planted them in their own little pots! I was thrilled! I'm not sure why the idea of planting these seeds terrified me so much...but I was very nervous about doing it wrong! Luckily, I have a fantastic older sister who is both smart AND experienced with gardening.

At the moment my green beans, purple bell pepper, and tigger melon have all sprouted and seem to be doing well! It's really fun to go check on them...I feel like a proud parent! When I upload my pictures I will share all the photos I have taken during this fun!

So thank you, Rachel, for always helping me, showing me new things, teaching me, and not getting too annoyed when I ask 1,000 questions. I love you!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Running update

Howdy! As you may know, I have started running. Many reasons have gone into this...including stress relief while Adam is away, tiring myself out so I can actually sleep while Adam is away, and of course...for the health of it! The main catalyst for this new hobby was a request to be part of a group of people running a marathon relay. Hopefully there will be five of us running the marathon...therefore dividing the 26.2 miles by five...and running 5.24 miles each. The marathon will be sometime in the fall...I'm not positive of the exact date (I should find that out huh?).
Although I ran the mile in middle school (that's a big deal right?) I have never been a big runner. I have never, EVER been one of those people that thinks "I didn't work out today, I feel so awful". I'm more like..."I want to work out...but can't muster the energy to do so....oh well." But I really love the way I feel afterwards... A combination of feeling very accomplished, proud, and healthy.
So now I have been jogging a few times a week for about three weeks. At first I could barely run 3/4 of a mile. I really wanted to stop running after the first 20 steps and say "Well, I'll just have to tell them I quit the relay team!" But now I run a mile fairly comfortably! My goal is to increase the amount I run by 1/4 mile every 1-2 weeks. I have started to enjoy it more and have a great motivational tool (more on that later).


Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Honeymooners

Thanks for checking us out guys!

(OK I gotta be honest, I didn't mean to add this picture and have no idea how to delete it without screwing up all my other formatting. I need blog lessons....but in the meantime, enjoy the random picture!)

Here we are listening to toasts at our wedding. Our wedding was a beautiful, emotional, intimate, and spiritual time. But this post isn't about our's about the WEEK AFTERWARD!

Adam and I got married in Bryan then drove to New Orleans, LA, spent one night there, then drove the rest of the way to Destin, FL. Here is a shot of our amazing hotel that we stayed in (called The International House) while we were in New Orleans, LA. It was one of those boutique-fancy-shmancy hotels. What a treat!

This was our FIRST dinner in Destin. We went to a place called Goat Feathers. It is a fish market on the bottom floor and an AWESOME seafood restaurant on the top floor. The best part about it is that it is within walking distance of the house we were staying at. My family has been coming here for years but I had not been here since I was in high school. It was DELICIOUS and we actually went there for dinner the next night also. :)

Here we are at dinner at the Melting Pot. This is a great restaurant for overly-mushy-newlyweds. The funnest part of dinner was that we got to make each others food using the fondue pot on our table. Another good aspect about this eatery is that, since you cook your own food, the meal can takes a very long time. Adam and I are BIG fans of meals that take a very long time so this was a great place for us.

Exploring of my favorite little towns! Adam is holding a gift bag from a shop where we bought OUR first Christmas ornament. This was exciting for us because then we could have a memory from our beautiful honeymoon AND have an ornament that belongs to BOTH of us.

Our last night in Destin :(. We went out for a casual, relaxing dinner and went out to see The Hangover!

Our last dinner in Destin...We enjoyed pizza and beer on a patio at a small pizza place by the beach. We are obviously very simple people...that enjoy simple things. :)

That was a basic synopsis of our beautiful Florida honeymoon. We can't wait to go back and do it all over again!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


This blogpost is dedicated to my absolute favorite things in the world: cooking and baking. Since Adam is out of town during the week, I find myself with a lot of spare time in the evenings. Don't get me wrong, some days I make something very simple/warm up leftovers. But other days, when I'm feeling adventurous, I venture into the kitchen and see what I can make based on what I already have. So far this has led to summer pasta (which is my 100% made up name for cold whole wheat penne with blanched green beans sliced roma tomatoes and homemade lemon vinaigrette ), blondies, baked macaroni and cheese, stove top macaroni and cheese, soy breakfast tacos, roasted eggplant and squash pasta, and a few other goodies.

This week I plan on trying to make chicken pot pie, my big fat Greek pitas, and homemade veggie patties (all from the hungry girl cookbook Also, it's long overdue and I NEED to try to make crock pot oatmeal. I am particularly excited about breakfast apricot crisp (from

So now there is yet ANOTHER reason for you to come visit us here in Abilene, I have an excuse to cook for more than one person!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Digs

I wanted to share pictures of our new house! We feel very blessed to be able to move into this cute old house. We look forward to having all our friends and family come stay with us because we finally have some room! BIG THANKS from the BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS to Pam and Eddie Wells (Adam's parents). The volunteered their time, truck, a sweet trailer, and Pam's endless energy and invaluable home-setting-up-skills. We began moving at 10 AM Saturday morning and were totally unpacked by 2 PM Sunday! It was a moving miracle!
Also, thank you to my Mom and sister for helping us hang pictures, make, and hang up curtains (I took these picture before we put up all the curtains). It really helped make our house a home!
If you ever find yourself in Abilene, TX (after you get over the initial shock and confusion at even BEING in Abilene, TX) please give us a call! We would love to see you!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Our First Post

Our First Post is coming at a new and exciting time in our lives! We are still in Abilene, TX and living in the "Front Porch House" of Highland Church of Christ ( We have been living here for slightly over a month and much prefer it to our former residence! We are anxious to see all God has in store for us in the future.
There have been many recent changes in our lives. Adam is no longer working at the State School (YAY!) and is currently in Dallas, TX as a full time roof salesman for Quick Roofing ( He is going to be heading north to Oklahoma very soon due to the extreme weather they have been experiencing lately. The new job is definitely up his alley! He gets to meet and interact with new people daily, spend lots of time outdoors (my lil' country boy likes this!) and potentially help people overcome something traumatic, like a storm or unexpected damage. I am very proud of him for all the work he is putting into this new venture and we both are hopeful this becomes his long-term career.
I am still in Abilene holding down the fort. I have been able to catch up with friends, bake and cook A LOT, and have started training for a part in a marathon relay! This is a very daunting task, since I had not (prior to Monday), been running in over a year. But I can do it!

Thanks for checking us out. This will become the outlet of our stories as we venture through our life and marriage together, attempting to live open hearted and open minded to all God is setting in our path.