The Slow Cooker :: A Mother’s Best Friend

Before I start in on my Ode to the Slow Cooker, I will check in with you all and let you know that I am, in fact, still running. NOT as often as I would like, but I am doing it nonetheless. It is still hard, but getting a touch easier every time. And I *think* I am going a little faster, but to be honest I don’t really care too much about speed, considering when I run I am pushing what feels like 75 pounds of baby and stroller.

On to my latest best friend : The Slow Cooker.

I have an older slow cooker. Crock Pot brand. Given to me by a friend when hers was upgraded. It is revolutionizing dinner in our house, especially now that it’s hot and River is a wild 11 month old man.

I honestly can’t remember the last time we picked up Jorge’s instead of making dinner at home. But now that I mention it, I could really go for a crispy beef taco and soup.

My favorite thing about the slow cooker is that you do all the prep work HOURS before you eat. Which means that even when you are slaving away over dinner, you don’t have hungry people or a grumbly belly staring at you, waiting to be fed. Victory!

I tend to gravitate toward slow cooker recipes that still require a little legwork, but not too much. I find things end up tasting a lot better when you do more prep/sauteeing before putting it all into the giant pot.

Here are a few recipes I have made recently and been very pleased with. As I type, I have some salisbury-steak meatballs cooking in there, but I haven’t tasted them yet so I will have to wait to tell you if they are good. 🙂 Let me know if you have others I should try!

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa

Moroccan Chickpea and Turkey Stew

Kristin

Proverbs 31:15 “She gets up while it is still night, she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.”

 

Testing Recipes :: The Chocolate Chip Cookie

Glenn and I are on a little getaway in Santa Barbara this week! A dear friend of mine offered up her home while they are out of town! We couldn’t say no, and are already having a blast exploring town and chillaxin. Despite my vay-cay, I HAD to take a minute to post and tell you all about the chocolate chip cookies I made a few days ago.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you already know I was testing out a couple of chocolate chip cookie recipes. I kept seeing this recipe for The NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies come up on fellow food lover’s sites and photo streams, so I wanted to test it out and compare it to my favorite Thomas Keller Chocolate Chip Cookies. Really, I just wanted an excuse to make a ton of cookie dough, so this worked out perfectly.

The ingredients vary slightly.  We’ll start with the Times recipe, which makes a monstrous amount of dough for a monstrous amount of cookies, so I froze about 3/4 of it and will bake them when you come over for dinner. I weighed the ingredients out for this recipe, and I am glad I did. If you have a food scale, I would highly recommend weighing your ingredients so you know your measurements are accurate!

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This recipe has cake flour, bread flour, baking powder, baking soda, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, dark chocolate (I used 72%), eggs, vanilla, and sea salt. Don’t mind the tomatoes. Those are from my garden (GLORY! THEY GREW!!) but they don’t taste very good (HEARTBREAK!) so I canned them when I was done with the cookies. Hoping they make a good marinara sauce.  Back to the cookies: the dough came together nicely, and looked very similar to your classic Toll House dough – light and fluffy.

The Thomas Keller recipe makes what I would consider a decent amount of dough for a decent amount of cookies. I learned a few years back that, for a household of two, I could easily freeze half the dough after shaping it into balls, and have cookies at the ready for months! I love this trick.

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This recipe has all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, dark muscovado brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter that has been cut into little pieces, two types of chocolate (72% and 55%), and eggs. The thing that makes these cookies unique is the dark brown sugar. If you haven’t tried dark muscovado brown sugar, I would highly recommend making these cookies at least once. It is a special ingredient, that is for sure.  It can be found at specialty stores like Whole Foods, or online. Pricy, but oh so worth it for the complexity of flavor and depth it adds to a basic chocolate chip cookie. Because of the dark muscovado sugar, the dough is very dark compared to the traditional Toll House dough. Do not be alarmed.

I tasted each dough side-by-side and both were delicious. I liked the blend of chocolate and depth of flavor in the TK recipe, but I loved the creaminess of the Times recipe dough. I think if you were a real cookie-dough fanatic, you would probably lean toward the Times dough over the TK dough…. but you will have to tell me once you try them both.

After a cool 24-hour chill in the refrigerator, it’s on to the baking! Both cookies are baked at 350. The Times cookies require a bit of a longer baking time than the TK ones, so I made sure to bake them separately. Also, as soon as the Times cookies come out of the oven, you sprinkle them with sea salt. I used Fleur de Sel because that’s all I had.

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I mean….these NY Times Cookies look incredible. I’m trying to decide if they would look as good without the salt, and I really don’t think they would. Just imagining the hint of salty aftertaste is making my mouth water.

Here are the Thomas Keller Cookies.

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Wow. Again. Based on the look of these, I feel as though they would be chewy and have that “fresh out of the oven” melty chocolate taste even a few hours later.

Here are both cookies cooling side-by-side so you can compare.

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AND NOW, the most important part : tasting and opinions.

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New York Times Recipe: This cookie is fluffy, buttery, and tastes like an incredible version of a traditional chocolate chip cookie. My favorite part is the salty bite on top and how that blends in with the buttery sweetness. I don’t love the dark chocolate, and would want to try this with a more traditional semi-sweet as opposed to the dark I used.  I also want to try it with walnuts, as I am a walnut-in-my-cookie kind of gal.

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Thomas Keller Recipe: This cookie is soft, chewy, and full of depth. It has similarities to a traditional chocolate chip cookie, but not many. The molasses from that dark sugar, as well as the blend of chocolates, give it something unique that keeps me coming back for more. This cookie does not taste good with walnuts (I have tried), but could use a little added salt – maybe I will double the salt in the recipe next time I make these and see how that goes.

Overall, these are both awesome and delicious versions of the chocolate chip cookie, and I would highly recommend them both! I think my heart is still won by Thomas Keller’s version, HOWEVER, I am going to make a few quick tweaks (mainly lowering the intensity of the chocolate I use and adding walnuts) of the NY Times recipe and could easily see that becoming my new favorite.  For those interested, here are the recipe links:

The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie

Thomas Keller Chocolate Chip Cookie

Hope this was a fun end-of-summer post for you. Let me know if you make either recipe, and what your thoughts are along the way!

~Kristin

Pizza

I have been making a lot of pizza lately, and it’s really good. Like, REALLY good.

 pizza

I used to not really like homemade pizza. I am a crunchy-crust gal, and when you make pizza in the oven, the crust just never gets thin enough or crispy enough for me. One thing I don’t like my pizza to be is soggy. Soggy pizza sticks to the roof of your mouth. Yuck. Crispy crust, all the way.

So anyhow, I used to think I couldn’t make a decent pizza at home, so we would eat at “artisan pizza shop” after artisan pizza shop. And then I realized two things. First off, HELLO… these people are making a killing off me. It’s dough, Italian stewed tomatoes, and some fresh mozzarella. Why am I paying fifteen dollars for this? Second, my friend Matt, husband of Jessica, told me about grilling your pizza dough.

That’s right. GRILLING. On a Weber. Charcoal or gas. Works great. So far I’ve done it twice myself, and it has turned out perfectly both times. Including a couple of those “artisan” trademark charred bubbles on the crust. Here’s how you do it.

1. Make your favorite pizza dough. OR, if you are really opposed to making dough (even though it’s super cheap, super easy, and super delish when you make it yourself), buy yourself some dough.

2. Roll out the dough into the size you want. I like to make mine as thin as possible without feeling like it’s a tortilla. I, personally, also prefer making a few smaller pizzas instead of one large one, because then I can eat the whole thing. Yum.

Insider tip: the last time I made these, I actually rolled the dough ON the pizza wheel, which made for very simple transport of the dough from kitchen to grill!

3. Heat the grill to HOT. Scalding hot. I’m talking burn-your-face-off. The highest my grill will go is 500, so that’s what I set it to.

4. When the grill is flaming, throw the pizza dough on there. Watch it as it cooks, it should only take 1.5 to 2 minutes per side, maybe even less depending on how thin you rolled the dough. You want it to be almost all the way cooked, but not FULLY cooked, because it will go back on the grill when you add the toppings.

Grill both sides, and repeat with remaining dough.

5. Turn DOWN the grill to approximately 300 degrees.

6. Bring the cooked pizza crust(s) inside and top with whatever you want. My personal favorite these days is to do San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, a couple slices of fancy prosciutto or salame, and super thinly sliced lemons. So good.

7. Place the pizza(s) back on the grill (now at 300 degrees) and cover. Allow the cheese to melt and the crust to get nice and crisp. This should take no more than 5 minutes.

8. Remove the pizza from the grill and marvel at your creation! Then eat it up because, wow, is it ever good.

Happy Wednesday, friends. Hope you enjoy pizza night!

~Kristin

Cold Brew Coffee :: A Step-by-Step Guide {along with a story}

Once upon a time there was a recently-turned-thirty-one year old gal who loved to live it up and get fun drinks at places like Starbuck’s, Peet’s Coffee, Nordstrom E-bar, Pannikin, Bird Rock Coffee Company… you get the idea. Iced beverages were her favorite. It started with freshly brewed and often flavored {but never sweetened} iced teas. From there her obsession moved toward the occasional nonfat latte. Then, in an effort to save a little cash and eliminate nonfat milk from her life {whole milk! all the way!} she switched to iced coffee. This opened up a whole new world to Little Miss Live It Up, a world in which she discovered that Japan was even more obsessed with iced coffee than she was, and that her favorite type of iced coffee was brewed cold.

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Cold brewed iced coffee was smoother and less acidic, but it was also a little harder to come by.  Little Miss Live It Up only treated herself to it once or twice a week. At $2.15 a glass, she felt good about living in moderation while still enjoying a hint of the luxe life.

Enter the fiscal cliff. Nope, not THAT fiscal cliff. This fiscal cliff was a little more personal, impacting only the fun-loving Little Miss Live It Up and her fun-loving-but-slightly-more-sensible hubby.  Iced coffee had to go. Not forever, but for a little while.

Whatever was Little Miss Live It Up to do? What would the world think of her if she didn’t have a brownish beige beverage to sip out of a straw while running errands in workout clothes?!?! Not to worry, my friends, she figured it out and started cold-brewing her own iced coffee at home.  Phew. That could have ended badly.

Here’s the How-To:

Start with 1 1/2 Cups of coarsely ground coffee. I bought whole beans and ran them through the grinder at my local grocery store. You could also have them ground for you at a coffee shop, just make sure you ask for them to be ground coarsely.

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Place it into a French Press to make life easy, or just pour it into a medium-sized bowl.

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Add 3 1/2 to 4 cups of cold, filtered water.

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Cover with plastic wrap and let sit either in the refrigerator or at room temperature if your house feels like a refrigerator. Allow it to sit for 12-24 hours. It will be very sludgy and kind of look like mud.

If you used a french press, press it on down and pour the liquid into a carafe.  If you used a bowl, use cheesecloth to strain the coffee grains out of the liquid, then pour the liquid into a carafe.

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The rich brown liquid you are left with is your iced coffee concentrate.  It is FULL of caffeine.  Don’t be tempted to drink it as-is or you may never sleep again. Trust me.

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When you are ready for an iced coffee, I use a 1 to 2 ratio of concentrate to other liquids. You can experiment and see what you like best, but here’s how I make my perfect iced coffee: 1/2 cup coffee concentrate, 1 cup cold filtered water, 2 tablespoons half and half or whole milk, 2 packets sugar in the raw.

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Put a lid on it and slurp!

~Kristin

An Ideal Hamburger

An Ideal Hamburger – by Kristin Murdock

The basis of the hamburger, especially an Ideal Hamburger, is the meat itself. Ground beef, from a butcher, with an 80/20 ratio of meat to fat.

To maintain the integrity of an Ideal Hamburger, the handling of said meat must be kept to a minimum. A simple formation and “smack” to flatten the patty will do.

An Ideal Hamburger becomes one with its bun, cheese, and condiments making the following the only acceptable toppings:

1. Buttered, toasted bun – classic hamburger, brioche, or potato are all acceptable. Stay away from whole wheat.
2. American cheese. It shouldn’t even be allowed to contain the word “cheese” in its name, but, nonetheless, it is the only acceptable milk product to add to an Ideal Hamburger.
3. Sauteed onions.
4. Crisped bacon.
5. Iceberg lettuce. Preferably shredded.
6. A slice of tomato.
7. Ketchup.
8. Yellow mustard.

If you are so inclined, you can add a toothpick with a pimiento olive to the burger, just to prove to everyone around you that you are eating — say it with me now — AN IDEAL HAMBURGER.

*these ideal hamburgers were brought to you courtesy of Glenn’s Thirtieth Birthday Party where it became all too obvious that we are in the bambino stage of life — just look at this photo as proof!*

Happy weekend, all!

~Kristin

Turkey Tacos… with Lettuce!

This week is cray. And by this week I mean last week and this week and the week after and the week before. Cuh-ray-zay. With all that has been going on, and the Murdock Weight Loss Challenge still looming in the background, I needed a simple, healthy, delicious dinner I could make in approximately 10 minutes.

Done.

Turkey Tacos… with Lettuce

Cook one pound of ground turkey over medium-high heat until well-done. Add a combination of cumin, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt, and pepper OR a packet of your favorite taco seasoning. Cut up 4 tomatoes. Shred or crumble some sharp cheddar. Grab a lettuce “cup” {my recommendation would be the “living” lettuce you can find at most supermarkets, but iceberg would work as well}. Fill with 2 spoonfuls of turkey, a handful of tomatoes, and a sprinkling of cheese.

As Ina would say — “How easy is that?!”

~Kristin

Grilled Porterhouse, Seasoned Shrimp, and Summer Panzanella

As I mentioned in my post yesterday my favorite night in Atlanta was Sunday. We made dinner at the Reynolds’ house, the boys smoked cigars {gross}, and I sipped on a crisp French Rose {the best}. The meal was inspired by ease, warm weather, and fresh ingredients we picked out at the farmer’s market.

Here’s what you’ll need to feed 4 hungry adults:

2 porterhouse/T-bone steaks – the thicker the better
1/2 lb large raw shrimp – peel the shells off but leave the tails in tact
1 small zucchini
2 small yellow squash
1 bunch asparagus
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1/2 basket cherry tomatoes
1/2 Italian or French loaf – cut into 1 inch cubes
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
Lawry’s seasoning salt
5 fresh basil leaves

Got it all? Let’s get cookin’!

I started with the panzanella – which is basically just a bread salad. If you haven’t had one, I would *highly* recommend it. It’s simple and delicious. Plus you’re eating bread IN your salad. How can that be bad?! I decided to grill some of the vegetables but not all, to play a bit with texture and flavor. Since we were grilling the steak & shrimp also, I wanted each element of the meal to have a somewhat outdoorsy flavor.

The bread is actually the most time consuming part of this meal, but oh so worth it. Drizzle the cubes of bread with olive oil, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and heat it over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot throw in about half of the bread – be sure not to overcrowd the pan as we want each cube of bread to have plenty of space to get nice and crunchy.

*side note* This is a great way to make super basic meals delicious. These “croutons” are fabulous with a roast chicken any time of year, and would make a great addition to a bowl of soup or gazpacho, too. *end of side note*

Turn and flip the bread cubes so each side gets cooked. I like to try to have a handful of bread cubes that are real crunchy and a handful that are less crunchy – it adds more texture and flavors to the panzanella.

While my bread cubes were finishing up, I threw some of the vegetables on the grill. Here are the asparagus, zucchini, and yellow squash as they were cooking. They were drizzled with a touch of olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I tried to keep each of the salad ingredients roughly the same size so it would look good and also be easier to eat.

While those veggies were on the grill, I cut up the bell peppers and tomatoes and set them aside. I also removed the steaks from the refrigerator, patted them dry with paper towels, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and let them rest at room temp for about 20 minutes.

When the vegetables were off the grill, I had the boys crank up the heat. This steak will change your life if you cook it right. It’s simple and delicious, but you have to start it out on HIGH heat. Close the grill and get that sucker HOT. 500 degrees at minimum. When your grill is hot hot hot, throw each steak on the hottest part of the grill and let it sit for 45 seconds. After 45 seconds, rotate the steak and let it sit another 45 seconds. This will create those beautiful grill marks you see in commercials but can never quite figure out how to make on your steak. You will notice that our steaks’ grill marks weren’t super amazing. We had some grill miscommunication so our heat wasn’t quite as high as it should have been when we threw those bad boys on.

After the second 45 second sear, flip the steaks and do the same thing again – 45 seconds, rotate, 45 seconds. Turn the heat down to about medium-high, move the steaks up to the 2nd level of the grill {away from direct heat}, and let them hang out up there for 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes, take your steaks off the grill and cover them in aluminum foil. Let them rest for another 10-15 minutes while you get the rest of the dinner together. They will be perfect. I promise.

While the steaks rested, I peeled the shrimp and sprinkled them with Lawry’s. Why is Lawry’s so magical? I mean honestly, it’s delicious. Shrimp cook really fast, so we threw those on the grill as we were pouring the wine. For the salad, just combine all of the vegetables and the basil {chopped or chiffonade} with the bread.  Toss and serve with your favorite vinaigrette. I decided to make one because they really are so simple. Don’t let the thought of homemade dressing intimidate you. You can do it! Mine included a touch of dijon, champagne vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. It was crisp and a little sour which was the perfect change of pace from the sweet caramelization of the grilled veggies.

Overall: a simple but delicious early summer meal, made even more delicous because we had sweet friends to share it with.

Here’s to summer!

~Kristin

The Tangerine Margarita

I know it’s not Cinco de May anymore, but these margaritas are a spring-into-summer treat worth drinking almost every day.

Almost.

Because if you start drinking them every day — you may have a problem.

Tangerine Margarita
makes one margarita

ingredients:
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed tangerine juice {1-2 tangerines}
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice {1 -2 limes}
1/4 cup pure agave tequila {silver}
1.5 tablespoons agave nectar
coarse salt, for the rim {optional}

If you like a salted rim {who doesn’t??!!}, run a slice of lime along the top of your glass then dip in salt.

Combine the tangerine and lime juices, along with the tequila and agave nectar. I like my margarita a little on the tart side, but if you prefer a sweeter drink feel free to add more agave nectar. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and shake the ingredients — OR fill a large glass with ice and stir the ingredients together. This is what we call the poor man’s cocktail shaker.

Fill your salt-rimmed glass with ice and strain the margarita into the glass.

Take a sip, imagine yourself on the beach in Mexico {minus that whole drug cartel thing…}, and enjoy.

Adios,

Kristin

Catching Up

It’s been too long. Far too long.

I’m sorry, internet! There’s just so much going on, I simply can not stay on top of it all. And I want to share every. single. second with you but that is simply unrealistic and unhealthy. Oh, and you might not actually be interested in every moment of my life. SOOOO my friends, just like I did a while back in this post, here is an update from each category. And then some.

Arkansas – I am no longer there. If you didn’t know that, I am sorry. I would have thought the weekly posts about running on the beach would have given it away.If you want to read a little about the move, you can click here. If you want to read a little bit about our dreams coming true, you can click here.

Fashion – I have new running shoes. And new running clothes. Because all I do is run.

Ok that’s a lie, I work, I hang out, I sleep, I eat. But a lot of what I do is run, so all the new clothes I have purchased recently are super cool running clothes. Are you interested in a running/workout fashion post?

I am also *trying* to dress cute whenever I leave the house, especially if it’s for something professional. This is what we call “classing it up”. I will do my best to post pictures. Actually, here’s one of my outfit my first day of work. My favorite part of this outfit is that a stranger stopped me at the mall to tell me how much she loved my top and ask where I got it.  Goodwill. Awwww yea!

Work – I have a job! I started working right before we moved down to San Diego from LaLa Land. I am working at the University of San Diego again, different department but same division as before. I LOVE being back on campus. And I LOVE working part time. And I LOVE getting a paycheck. It’s been a while.

Favorite Things – Alright people, here’s the deal. Everyone is doing something favorite-thingsy. And even though like one of the basic definitions of life and human existence is that we are a strange combination of copy-cat and original — I am just not that into doing what every other blogger I read is doing. Or maybe I am. And maybe that’s why I’m blogging at all. Blurg. Bottom line: I need to get over myself. Favorite things post to come in the future.

Friends and Family – My baby sister is on crutches, #3 is moving out here at some point in the near future, the 2nd in command is dominating the hotel industry {and hooking me up with awesome hotels to stay at!}, and my parents are going on dinner dates where my Dad tells my Mom how he believes aliens are everywhere. As for the married-into family? I am living with them. And I like it. Keith-As-I-Live-And-Breathe {which is what I call my father in law} kills the spiders in my room, Janice makes me eggs. It’s awesome.

Los Angeles – I kind of miss it. Don’t crucify me. I am an eternal San Diegan and would never sell out for LA, but LA was fun! I loved driving 40 minutes to the coolest places on the West Coast. I loved meeting up with Matt and Sandy almost every weekend. I loved riding bikes in Santa Monica. I loved having 4 Lululemon shops within 20 miles. I loved that Ryan Seacrest was my local morning show. I seriously loved LA.

Personal – What does this category even mean?? The most personal things happening right now: my husband is gone and I really miss him, I have blisters on my toes and skin that’s been rubbed raw from all of my running, and I’m struggling with setting up healthy boundaries {ie. I say YES too often and NO, well, never}.

Recipes – I have not cooked in months. I can not WAIT to get all my stuff back and cook up a storm! I recently acquired two new cookbooks and I’m reading through them eagerly. This weekend I came up with a recipe for a tangerine margarita. Here’s a teaser photo.

Restaurants – Are my second home.

Running – I completed The Five Experiment! It was great! I ran 100 miles in a month and I enjoyed {almost} every mile. I am keeping up my 5 runs a week, but am not being as nitpicky about the distance. Last week, for example, I ran 3.5 miles one day. I have decided I really like the 5 mile distance, though. It’s long enough to be a good workout no matter what, and short enough that you don’t feel like you can’t make plans at night.

San Diego – Love it. It’s as good, if not better, than I remember. May Grey is in full swing, and is a great reminder of the Ah-mazing climate we have and the fact that this blessed marine layer keeps our temperatures so moderate all year long. Last night I practiced skateboarding at the bay with the fam, and then we ate fresh fish at Point Loma Seafoods. How could I complain when this is just an average Sunday afternoon in San Diego?

Travel – Here’s what is coming up this summer: a trip to the ATL next week to celebrate the completion of Glenn’s Operator training — aaaand to celebrate the fabulous Kelly Reynolds’ birthday. BAAAH! I can hardly wait!

In mid June we are going on a Murdock Extravaganza to Las Vegas. I am pretty sure we are going to try to all fit into one car, and I know for a fact we will be eating at some serious buffets. Then later in June, Glenn and I are going to Scottsdale, AZ for a Family Life conference called Weekend to Remember. We will be staying at the Firesky Resort and I’m puuumped.

Weight Loss – I lost 1 pound during the Five Experiment, and have lost another pound since. Two pounds. Boo ya!

Phew. I’m exhausted.

Happy Monday my friends!

~Kristin

 

An Update from each Category

Arkansas: Yep, we’re still here! The weather is crazy, the people are chatty, Boulevard Bread is still my favorite, and we have made some fun friends, which we are so grateful for.

Fashion: It is difficult to take stunning fashion photos of yourself. It is especially difficult to take stunning fashion photos of yourself when all you have been wearing lately is running clothes or a mummy-bag winter jacket. I will try to get into something blog-worthy soon.

Favorite Things: My favorite things have all come from the thrift store or the Dillards clearance rack this past month, and sometimes I feel bad blogging about things I have that are awesome but were just lucky finds at Goodwill, because what if YOU want to buy it for yourself and can’t??!! Argh, these are the things that keep me up at night, people!

Friends and Family: I love my friends. I love my family. I love that I have friends and family all over the place. Sometimes its sad, like when you want to see them and can’t, but more often its awesome.

Personal: My sister told me the other day that I had bad breath, and now I’m totally self conscious about constantly having bad breath. I would just pop in a piece of gum, but my Costco box of Orbit Wintermint just ran out. Woof.

Recipes: Fruit Tart, Bran Muffins, and Thomas Keller’s vegetable soup have been my latest kitchen creations. Mmmm.

Restaurants: Tomorrow night I am going to a new one! In Memphis! For steak! I am really excited! I will tell you all about it when I get back!

Running: OH EM GEE I love my Little Rock running buddy Keri. I don’t really understand how God or His timing work, but I am just grateful that I get to be Keri’s running partner even if its only for a short season. We meet 2-4 times a week in the wee small hours of the morning and run and talk together. I love basically everything about it, except for the time when my jacket was stolen.

San Diego: Two of my closest friends at home are having babies like RIGHT NOW {or very soon! Hi Jess and Sheri!} and its sooo weird for me to think that I won’t be there to meet the little munchkins right away, let alone that I will never live in the same city as them again without them having children. I am, however, VERY excited for the baby boom that has taken over my social circle back home, and can’t wait to hold all the little bambinos.

Travel: We head to Memphis tomorrow to celebrate our anniversary, then next weekend we are grabbing Kimberly and meeting up with the Reynolds in Nashville where I will turn 30! AAAAH! I! AM! SO! EXCITED!

Weight Loss: I lost the 5 pounds that I had gained over the holidays, and am working on more. Yippee! I have also been drinking an EXCESSIVE amount of water. I always thought I drank a lot of water, but wow, now I really drink a lot of water.

The end. Bless you for reading all of this. I love your face. F’real.

~Kristin