Daydreams & a Happy Weekend

Do you daydream?  I do, quite often.  The Captain* daydreams too, but I’m far more guilty than he.

Some dreams are nearly tangible…we know when they’re coming and what they’re going to look like…

Some dreams come true on a week-to-week basis {if we remember to slow down!}…

Others already have a savings account attached to them…

And then there are those dreams that are so far away and evasive {for the time being} that while they don’t have names or faces, you know you already love them…

I hope you have a perfectly lovely Labor Day Weekend.  The Captain and I are going to be completely worthless…tonight we’re finally watching this movie and I’m making his favorite chicken pie.  Tomorrow we’re going to have a long, leisurely lunch at our favorite restaurant {and spend a least an hour browsing Target!}.  Sunday brings about church  and Monday will be completely perfect and lazy.

Happy Weekend to the lovers & dreamers!  XOXO,

Court

*I’ve recently come into the habit of calling Josh by a new nickname.  He rolls his eyes and puffs out his chest but secretly he adores being the Captain.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

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Today I needed cookies.  Instead of making a mad dash for Chick-fil-a {and don’t act like you haven’t done it}, I decided to make the old standby:  Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies.  When I was a little girl, we didn’t eat a ton of sweets…Mama was pretty careful about sugar.  The one exception was Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies–we’d make them together on Saturdays and then enjoy the fruits of our labor with a tall glass of milk.  You’ve probably got this recipe tucked into every church cookbook in your cupboard but it’s so simple and delicious that it bears repeating.

You’ll Need:

  • One stick of unsalted butter
  • Four tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Two cups granulated sugar
  • One cup of crunchy peanut butter
  • Three cups of quick cooking oats

Combine the butter, cocoa powder, and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Once the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved, add the milk and peanut butter and increase the heat to medium high.  Bring to a rapid boil for one minute, remove from heat, and add the three cups of quick cooking oats.  Mix until the oatmeal is well-coated.  Using a tablespoon, drop batter onto waxed paper.  Allow the cookies to cool for one hours.

And go ahead…lick the spoon.

Yields approximately three dozen cookies.

Brussels Sprouts Pasta

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Dear Little Brussels Sprouts,

I’m sorry that Americans have made you the butt of a lot of cruel jokes.  I for one can hardly resist your charms.  You’re delicious, nutritious, mild, and just plain adorable.  When paired with comfort foods like noodles, chicken sausages, and white wine, you really shine.

XOXO,

Court

We’re three days into the 2013-2014 school year and tonight we just needed something comforting and we needed it fast {15 minutes!}.  This pasta combines so many things that I love into one perfect dish.  If you don’t share my fondness of Brussels sprouts, feel free to substitute in cabbage or perhaps even kale.

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You’ll need:

  • 1 pound of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • One package of chicken sausage
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Prepared pesto {I used bought pesto but feel free to make your own!}
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta
  • Salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • Parmesan cheese {for serving}

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Begin by trimming and halving one pound of Brussels sprouts.  Mix with two tablespoons of olive oil and liberally salt and pepper.  Place on a cookie and roast for ten to twelve minutes {until cooked through and nicely caramelized}.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil and drop in the pasta.  While that’s cooking, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Slice the chicken sausage and cook through {eight to ten minutes}.

Remove the Brussels sprouts from the oven and add in with the chicken sausage.  Turn the heat up to high, create a “well” in the center of the Brussels sprouts and chicken sausage, and carefully add the white wine.  Immediately turn off the heat and place a lid on the pan.

In a pasta bowl, mix together the noodles, Brussels sprouts, chicken sausage, and pesto {I used an 8-ounce jar}.  Liberally dust with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

Hope you enjoy!

XOXO,

Court

By the Zebra, For the Zebra

I don’t think it’s a secret that Josh and I are big television fans.  When we still had a DVR, we would pore over schedules for all the major networks and cable networks to ensure everything would receive equal recording time.  Sunday nights were always the biggest problem, especially during February sweeps with Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead, Vikings, Once Upon a Time, and a handful of other shows all recording at once.  We’ve done away with DishNetwork in favor of Hulu Plus on our Apple TV and thankfully, that has solved our DVR conundrum.

Recently, we started a new {to us} show:  Hell on Wheels.  The acting is fantastic, the scenery is gorgeous, and we’re suckers for anything vaguely historical.  Hell on Wheels focuses on the construction of the first transcontinental railroad.  It has loads of tension and features the most beautifully tortured antihero, Cullen Bohannon.

Yes...that is Ben from Crossroads.

Yes…that is Ben from Crossroads.  Let’s all send up a prayer of thanksgiving because, WOW.

If you recall from American History, the federal government was indirectly involved with the building of the transcontinental railroad, so obviously there are several incredibly corrupt characters.  My favorite, Thomas Durant, delivers a stunning speech at the end of the pilot episode:

“Is it a villain you want? I’ll play the part. After all, what is a drama without a villain? What is the building of this grand road if not a drama? This business is not for the weak of heart. It is a thorny, brutal affair that rewards the lion for his ferocity. But what of the zebra? What of the poor zebra? Well, the zebra’s eaten, as the zebra should be. Make no mistake, blood will be spilled, lives will be lost, fortunes will be made, men will be ruined. There will be betrayal and scandals, and perfidy of epic proportions, but the lion – shall – prevail! You see, the secret I know is this. All of history is driven by the lion. We drag the poor zebra, kicking and braying, staining the earth with its cheap blood. History doesn’t remember us fondly, but then history is written by the zebra for the zebra. One hundred years hence, when this railroad spans the continent, and America rises to be the greatest power the world has seen, I will be remembered as a caitiff, a malefactor, who only operated out of greed for personal gain. All true, all true, but remember this: without me and men like me, your glorious railroad would never be built.”

That, my friends, is good television and great writing.  We’ll be sharing our must-watch list later this month.  In the meantime:

  • Do you watch Hell on Wheels?
  • Do you still have a satellite or cable plan or have you made the switch to digital streaming?

XOXO,

Court