31 October 2011

Three Pieces of Greek Food Knowledge and Some Love...

 Hallo everybody!

This is Demie from Paraphernalia and I am guest posting for Hannah, who is on her lovely holiday (lucky girl!). I am a Greek living in Norway for a long time now. Long enough to know that grilling is a very special Norwegian habit (especially in summertime) but also during other seasons. Everybody grills in Norway! Our neighbors grill, the pensionists grill, kids grill, our King grills and of course we grill too, a lot!

Three things I brought from Greece , or better three pieces of food knowledge match grilled food in a perfect way!

The first is the one and only Greek salad. I always get surprised when people ask me how to make a Greek salad. It is so easy! Here's what you need:

3-4 big tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 red onion
Feta cheese (preferably Greek)
Olive oil (preferably Greek)
Salt and oregano

Cut the tomatoes into boats, peal and slice cucumber and cut the onion into thin slices. Mix togetehr in a deep dish  with feta and olives. Pour plenty of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and oregano. If you have guests, and they are many, mix in some lettuce cut into thin strips and the salad will go further but still be very Greek!

The other is the Tzatziki! Jamie Oliver said once in a T.V. program of his that those who invented tzatziki must be a genius... ok, I don't know about that but it is easy peasy to make and tastes delicious! You will need:

1 tub of greek yogurt
1 cucumber
1-2 cloves of garlic
Olive oil (preferably Greek)
Salt and Pepper
Olives (for garnish)

Peel and grate the cucumber and then squeeze as much of the liquid out of the cucumber as possible. Grate the garlic and mix it with the cucumber and yogurt. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Garnish with olive. This sauce is great with grilled food or on bread!

This one is supposed to be a secret. It is my Mom's Good Seasoning Mix. I'll only give you four of the ingredients, since I don't even know the fifth! Still it tastes almost as it should. You will need:

Black pepper
Garlic powder

You can either mix them all together and keep it in a jar for seasoning meat (lamb or pork) or just season as you go. It tastes even better when mixed with olive oil to create a marinade!

The fifth ingredient is still unknown, but I am sure that love can be used instead.

It can make miracles you know (yes, in making food too)!

Good luck and Kali Oreksi!

28 October 2011

Come Sail Away

There are so many cruise-y type songs in my head right now to remind myself that I'm only a day away from one week of bliss on the high seas! Styx is, of course, in the lead at the moment. I've also been singing the Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffet and Garth Brooks' "Two Pina Coladas."

                                                                                     Source: images.google.com via Julienne on Pinterest

We set sail tomorrow at 4pm and will be back on Saturday, November 5th! We are stopping at Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and the Disney island. As you may know, there's a storm brewing in the south so that may put a damper on my sun tan, but there's plenty of fun to be had on a boat rain or shine so it should be a great time.

I've lined up some great reads for while I'm away. Here's a preview of what's to come:

Three Pieces of Greek Food Knowledge and Some Love... By Demie of Paraphernalia
If I Were On a Cruise...   By Gentri of Gentri Lee
Confessions of a (Not Quite) Wine Connoisseur... By Amy of Amy Around the Corner
The Perfection of a Norwegian Sandwich... By Megan of Suitcase and Stilettos
Anniversary Gift Round Up... By Tamra of Walks With Bella

See you guys in November!

                                                                                            Source: travelise.com via Danielle on Pinterest

Sing it with me now! Aruba, Jamaica, oooooh I wanna take ya.....Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty momma!...

27 October 2011

The Shop House

I stumbled upon a lovely Etsy shop, The Shop House, a few days ago and just have to share it with you. Tell me, how exquisite are these bookmobiles? There's something so beautiful about the written word, especially in this digital age, and these bookmobiles capture it...


These would just be lovely in a nursery, or hung in a study somehow. I just love them, and wish I could make one of them my own. They are so dreamy!

Question of the Day:
Do you read books on a nook or are you still holding on to the paperbacks?

26 October 2011

Seriously, These Girls...

                                                                              Source: stumbleupon.com via Hannah on Pinterest

When it comes to clothing, I dress pretty modestly. It is true that I have tons of goodies, but only one man has the key to my candy shop, we'll say. When I'm in public I err on the side of caution, nothing is hanging out of or squeezed into my clothing. I don't feel frumpy and I don't feel unfeminine. On the contrary I think modesty in public makes me feel even sexier in private with my husband, and it brings him honor when I don't let it all hang out for others in public. I also dress modestly because I wouldn't like it if some tramp walked past my husband, and I don't want to be that tramp for someone else.

But you know, no matter how much effort you put in to respecting other women, their husbands, and their marriages there's always some chick out there ready to jump in where you fell short. You know what I'm talking about...here comes Flossie with her thong hanging out of her hot pants with nothing more than a couple pasties up top. (Well, not literally, but it might as well be...)

                                              A semi-example. This is actually modest compared to some...Source: google.com via Cate on Pinterest

Seriously...these girls. I take personal offense.

But I thank my lucky stars that I snagged a good one because while I'm walking past these women with an all out death stare, my husband trots happily along, diverting his eyes to my own so as not to be enchanted Ms. "I think I'm Playmate of the Year."

Seriously...these girls...

But in my dreams at night, that's not always how the story goes. Every now and then I have a dream where John and I are walking down the street or through a store and some floosey comes walking by and John turns his head and starts a conversation with them. They, of course, are flattered and before you know it it's "Hannah who?" The nerve!

I wake up angry every time. Then I realize it's just a dream, roll over and give my guy a big 'ole hug for being so good to me in real life!

Question of the Day:
Do you have bad dreams like this?
Or if this happens in real life do you need to get a gang together to beat on your husband a bit? 'Cause I'm in!

25 October 2011

Vegetable Tian

 Isn't this dish so beautiful? I waited with anticipation as it cooked, so anxious to set it on the table because I knew it would be impressive. Even after a year of cooking for John I still get excited to cook for him, and he still gets excited to see what's for dinner. I knew I had it beat with this dish. And it's not just pretty folks, it is tasty to boot!

I found this recipe on a blog called For the Love of Cooking. Really great recipes there and I'll definitely be going back after trying this one! Go check it out!

Vegetable Tian

2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
1 large sweet yellow onion cut in half and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 russet potatoes, unpeeled
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
3 large Roma tomatoes
Sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Dried thyme, to taste
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet and saute onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook a few minutes more until the onions start to brown and caramelize a bit. While your onions are cooking slice the potatoes, zucchini, squash, and tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Spray a tart dish or pie plate with cooking spray and pour the cooked onions into the bottom of the pan. Spread evenly.

Arrange the vegetables (potato, zucchini, squash, tomato) in order in a ring around the plate (as shown in picture). Sprinkle with salt and pepper, thyme, and drizzle with last tbsp of oil. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.

Uncover and sprinkle with Parmesan. Place in the oven, uncovered, for an additional  25-30 minutes.

Question of the Day: 
Have you discovered any great new food blogs? If so, share a link!

21 October 2011

Friday Replay- Dutch Baby Pancake

Friday Replay is where I get a chance to replay some of the posts that I wrote back when the only people reading were my mother and husband. So many of them mean a lot to me, and show my heart a bit more, so much so that I want to share them with the many readers I'm blessed to have now!


       Ah, the Dutch Baby. Or as John and I call it, "the Dutch Babe." While searching for a quality recipe I unknowingly typed "Dutch Babe" and to my surprise Google provided me with many a near-nude blonde and not a single pancake. 

This is a great breakfast for a lazy Saturday morning. It is easy to make, impressive to look at, and delicious!  I found this recipe from William-Sonoma. The caramelized apple and pear topping was created by yours truly. The recipe can be found here.

Bob's Dutch Baby

  • 2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • A little powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 450 and adjust a rack to the upper 3rd of the oven. 

Melt the butter
Put the butter in a very large (12-inch) skillet with an ovenproof handle. Set in the oven for 5 minutes to melt the butter completely (okay if it begins to brown).

Make the batter 
While the butter melts, measure the flour into a large bowl. Add the eggs, milk and salt. Beat until smooth, using a whisk, large spoon or handheld electric mixer.

Bake and serve
Pour the batter into the hot pan. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sides are puffed up and dark golden brown. Remove from the oven. Loosen the Dutch baby from the sides and bottom of the skillet, then slide it onto a serving plate. Serves 4 to 5.

20 October 2011

Real Men Do Dishes

                                                                           NOT IN OUR HOUSE!  Source: None via Leah on Pinterest

It is a well-known fact that when it comes to dishes, I rarely have to lift a finger. My husband comes from a long line of dishwashers and it has come to my attention that most other men do not. Apparently, we really push the boundaries of gender roles in our house. ;-)

Last night I was sitting at the dinner table finishing up a glass of Reisling when John walked over to grab a few more dishes off the table and said "you can just keep sitting there, I'll finish things up." Of course, I translated this as "you can keep sitting there if you want to be a lazy bum who doesn't pitch in and help around here." So I responded in suit- "FINE! Sorry for enjoying a drink!"

"Whoa," he said, "I was totally serious. You can just keep sitting there and I'll take care of everything for you.You really thought I was being sarcastic? Malone men do dishes! You just keep sitting there...you cooked dinner!"

Man, am I spoiled or what? 

For the last year of marriage (and years before as we were dating) John has always washed my dishes for me. I still can't believe that he doesn't harbor some kind of secret hatred for me because of it. So every single time he takes care of it I sincerely worry that he thinks I'm lazy...and then every single time I'm blown away by the fact that he genuinely loves to serve me in that way.

And it is always funny to watch the reactions of people that come over for dinner. How many houses do you visit where the man of the house gets up after the meal and starts clearing the table?

Ok, I promise I'm not trying to brag here, really I'm trying to shower John with a big thank you for being so sweet to me, and to poll the audience with the following questions:

Questions of the Day:
How do you divide up chores in your house?
Who does the dishes?
Will you be sharing this post with your husband??? ;-)

19 October 2011

Flipper Heels

Did I mention I'm going on a cruise in less than two weeks? I can think of nothing more appropriate than these shoes to complete my formal dinner attire. It's sexy, and it keeps the nautical theme going.

Oh yes.

I will be the most fashionable person on that boat...

18 October 2011

Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheeze

It's no secret that I love the vegan recipes from Oh She Glows. I've reposted a number of them on here, but never fail to give credit where credit is due. Angela is a cooking machine, and her kitchen produces some of the best healthy recipes I've ever tasted. This is just another one of those, perfect for fall, and a perfect comfort food without all the "bad for you" things we typically find in mac and cheese.

Butternut Squash Mac n' Cheeze

1 fresh butternut squash (peeled and chopped)
Extra virgin olive oil
Dash of salt and pepper
1 tbsp Earth Balance (or butter if you choose, but will no longer be vegan)
3/4 cup unsweetend and unflavored almond milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
6 tbsp nutritional yeast, or more to taste
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2-3/4 tsp kosher salt (or to taste) & ground black pepper, to taste
8oz whole wheat or brown rice pasta of your choice
Mix-ins of choice (I used spinach and leftover chunks of roasted butternut squash)

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Spray a casserole dish with PAM. Mix chopped squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes, uncovered, or until tender.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the cheeze sauce in a pot on the stove top. Add Earth balance/butter over low-medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together milk and cornstarch until clumps are gone. Add into pot and whisk. Stir in remaining ingredients (nutritional yeast, Dijon, garlic, salt and pepper) and whisk over low heat until thickened (about 5-7 minutes or so).
3. Cook your pasta according to package directions. The sauce makes enough to cover 4 servings of pasta.
4. In a blender, blend the sauce with one cup of roasted squash.
5. Add cooked, drained, and rinsed macaroni into pot, along with cheeze sauce & mix-ins. Heat and serve.

Question of the Day:
Does the idea of eating a vegan meal scare you/turn you off? If so, why?

17 October 2011

Weekend(s) Update| October 17, 2011

Well hi, friends! Do you know that I have missed you? I sincerely have. A few of you have been kind enough to send me sweet tweeter notes letting me know you are thinking of me and praying for me. They seriously warmed my heart and came at the most perfect times in my week. Bottom line- you guys are awesome. And even though I really truly enjoyed my break away, and even considered extending it, the thing that keeps me coming back is the community here.

I just want to give a little update here on the last two weeks while we were moving and such...

The week before we packed up and changed homes John went to Arizona to do some recruiting for the Edge. Can you believe he went to the Grand Canyon without me? I've never been there, and it is safe to say that my jealousy was at an all-time high. But look at this beautiful picture. I plan on having him do a little guesty post soon to share all the beautiful shots he got. Man, you can see God in those rocks. I swear it.

I also did some cooking. I've been having a hard time getting shots of my food at the new place. Out windows sit north and south so I miss out on all the beautiful lighting for photos like I had at the old place. But I'm bound and determined to figure it out.  I've been trying to try my hand at squash. So far I've worked with butternut and acorn. Of course butternut is a favorite of mine, but trying acorn squash was a first and I can't say I'm too impressed. This here's a butternut squash vegan mac and cheeze. Recipe to come tomorrow!

Two weeks ago we packed all our bags and boxes and said goodbye to our first home together. Moving was a whirlwind. I don't know if you remember that crazy storm that blew through the southeast two weeks ago, but we got all of it. We had plans to move on a Saturday morning, but after looking at the forecast we decided to cram it all in to a late Friday night move. We owe a big "thank you" to everyone that helped us pack up in the drizzle and carry boxes through the deep dark of night.

We were happy we did it in the end, we set up our whole house by Saturday night and enjoyed a beautiful Sunday together celebrating our first anniversary!

Sunday morning we went to church and then to one of our favorite restaurants, Jason's Deli! (Healthy and cheap!) We picked up some things for the new house and then I got to work on a special meal for us. I made a Turkey Cranberry Wreath (one of my favorite Pampered Chef recipes), a greens salad, a homemade cherry pie, and opened a bottle of my new favorite sangria!

I'll spare you details of the rest of the night, but let's just say it was beautiful, and special, and exactly what I had in mind.

This past week I've been settling into the new place and working every day. John has been out of town recruiting in Chicago all week and I'm so so ready for him to come home today! He lands in Orlando in approximately 2.5 hours and I couldn't be more excited!

That's about it! I can't wait to give you that mac and cheeze recipe tomorrow and hopefully a little tour of our new casa on Wednesday!

Question of the Day:

What have YOU been doing the last two weeks?

04 October 2011


                                                                                                   Source: veezzle.com via Holly on Pinterest

Dear ladies and gents,

I was going to try so hard to blog this week...to set aside time where it can't be found to post a few good bits of food and perhaps a travelogue or two. But, despite my greatest efforts to plan ahead and work hard I haven't been able to do any of it. John just got home last night and now it's time for a major pack-up before our move this Friday.

When it came down to it, having the time to pack-up without any added stress made more sense. So I'm going on a bit of a hiatus this week and will report back with a weekend update about our journey to the new townhouse on Monday.

I miss you all, and am so sorry I've been neglecting you lately. I hope you are all well and can't wait to catch up with you next week!


03 October 2011

Weekend Update| October 3, 2011

So John has been out of town this past week, leaving me to a weekend all by my lonesome. I made sure to fill up my schedule though, and had lots of fun with family and friends despite the fact that my husband was exploring the beauty of the Grand Canyon without yours truly. 

Saturday morning and afternoon I went wedding dress shopping with both of my bride-to-be friends. Kayla got some good ideas and Becky actually found "the one!" Saturday night I spent sitting on my butt on the couch.

Sunday I went to church with my dad and we had an awesome time. It is days like yesterday that I know we made a great choice on our church home. The sermon was hard-hitting, honest, uplifting, and came with a challenge. It was one of the best Sundays I've had in a while. After, my dad and I went to the farmer's market and had a picnic. Also one of the best days I've had with my dad, too!

This week, I'm severely lacking on pictures. But I did want to close out with...

 "10 Things I Do or Don't Do When My Husband is Gone."

1. I don't shower...like, at all. (see above picture...) I mean, why bother when there's no one around to smell you?

2. I eat meals of random things. Why yes, popcorn, carrots, gouda cheese, and almond milk go together perfectly!

3. I narrate my cooking with various accents as if I was being recorded for a Food Network special.

4. I watch 50% more T.V. when I'm home alone.

5. I don't clean. I mean, the kitchen stays neat, but everything else was a disaster area.

6. I don't sleep as well when he's gone.

7. I imagine horrible things happening to me while I'm alone...like horror movie stuff, folks!

8. I wear the same outfit for the entire weekend because I can...

9. I get to have more time with friends than I normally would.

10. I miss him terribly.

Question of the Day:
How do you handle your spouse being away?