Monday, January 31, 2011

sunshiny weekend

It was truly beautiful this weekend. The sun was out, the breeze was gentle, and the temperature was perfect.

There was much lazing about in the sun on Saturday, with the sliding patio doors wide open.

Breakfast outside in the sun.
Lying on the carpet with sun streaming through the open door, reading about Caesar Augustus.
Blowin' in the wind

I like this picture because I unwittingly caught my reflection in the glass patio door as I was messing around with the camera trying to capture the bright sunny perfection of the day.

This is a weird angle because I was lying on the floor, but I like the sunny rays...

Feet being warmed.
This picture is blurry, but I like it because it captures our day nicely... lazy and sunny, with the shadows growing longer in the late afternoon.

Sunday was more busy, but just as perfect weather-wise. We went for lunch at a taco place with our small group after church, and we sat out on the restaurant patio in the sun while we ate.

I'm soaking up the good weather, because this week a cold front is coming in. Texas weather is so unpredictable. It was 75 degrees Fahrenheit this weekend, and they're predicting ice and snow and temperatures below freezing from Tuesday through Friday. I don't mind it though, because I know it will only be a little while before the happy warm temperatures are back.

{I just realized I got through a whole blog post and only barely mentioned food!}

Friday, January 28, 2011


For those of you who might not know, a "panini" is a fancy Italian name for a toasted sandwich of deliciousness. We have a shiny new panini press/grill [which was a wonderful gift from Uncle Mark and Aunt Cathy Driver - thank you!], and I have been dying to try it out all week. Today I got my act together and made some Italian bread (ie. I put my bread machine to work), so we could have authentic paninis for dinner.

{Sidenote: I might just change the title of this blog to the Congdon Food Chronicles, because let's be honest, it's pretty much all I write about}

Assembly station:
Tomatoes, chopped kalamata olives, garlic, sauteed cremini mushrooms, avocado, chopped fresh basil leaves, some feta cheese, and shredded mozzarella cheese.
And, of course, the still-warm loaf of Italian bread fresh out of the bread maker.

All loaded up.

The panini press at work, toasting the sandwiches.

Dinner is served.

And it was very good. I felt like I was eating dinner in a cafe in Italy. Not really, but it did taste wonderful.
[I wish I was in Italy. That would be lovely.]

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

{mini burgers}

We had veggie burgers tonight. I decided to make my own burger rolls, so I found a nice recipe for whole wheat kalamata rolls and my bread machine did all the work. All I had to do was shape the dough into rolls and put them in the oven. I misjudged the size of the rolls, however, and they came out rather smaller than I thought they would. So we had to have mini burgers. I grilled up the veggie burger patties and cut them into quarters in order to fit on the rolls.

The rolls were really good... the recipe included herbs de provence and kalamata olives. I only put the olives in half of the roll dough for Thomas's sake (my resident olive-hater). The veggie burgers were also surprisingly tasty.

The burger fixings... cheddar cheese, onion & tomato & avocado slices.
Mini burgers are awesome. Way more fun than normal burgers.

Monday, January 24, 2011


We had a lovely little weekend. It started out with a little outing for drinks and appetizers with Craig and Emily on Friday night, followed by a hilarious comedian movie back at their apartment. Wish I could remember the guy's name, because I'd probably subject you to a youtube clip of him.

On Saturday, we had Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast. And lunch. And snacks. Then we met some friends from our small group out for dinner.

On Sunday we had church, did grocery shopping, and watched wayyyy too many episodes of "Lie to Me" on Netflix. And then I cooked Thai red curry. Because it is our new favorite food.

Today, Thomas had to go to work. That's the thing about Mondays, really... back to work. I had to work on my classes, and I did some crocheting. 
But this Monday wasn't so bad, because Thomas's Uncle Mark and Aunt Cathy are here from Oregon and we got to spend the evening with them. They took us out for a delicious dinner, then we drove them over to explore Central Market. Aunt Cathy had heard lots about this magical place and wanted to visit it... and I was happy to oblige and show them my food heaven.
If you ever come to Dallas, I'll probably take you there as well. Central Market should really pay me for all the free advertising I do for them, haha.

It was a full but relaxed weekend. Just happy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

{bruschetta & roasted asparagus}

Ever since I watched Julie & Julia I've been wanting to make bruschetta. Last night I finally got around to it. I even made my own french baguettes, with the help of my fabulous bread machine which mixed, kneaded and rose the dough.

My cute little baguettes

I sliced up a baguette, brushed each slice with olive oil and toasted them briefly under the broiler. Then I put some of the tomato mix [recipe here] along with some mozzarella cheese on each slice and put them back under the broiler until the cheese melted.

 I lightly roasted some asparagus with olive oil and garlic to go with the bruschetta, and dinner was served.

I'll definitely be making this again.

Monday, January 17, 2011

{weekend road trip}

We took off on Friday at 4pm for Centerton, Arkansas to visit our good friends Matt & Haley Boyd before heading to Mitch & Rachel's wedding in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday evening. We pulled into the Boyd's driveway at 10:30pm, and they had both just arrived home from long and busy workdays. Our tiredness did not stop us from staying up until 2:30am chatting away. The next day we had lunch with them at PF Changs and wandered around the outdoor mall in Bentonville until we had to leave for the wedding.

It was so great to see them again!

The wedding was just beautiful... congratulations to Mitch & Rachel :)

At the wedding we saw some more J.B.U. friends, and we had a lovely time at the reception catching up with them.

The Merciez's and the Blantons watching the dancing.

I snapped a picture of them dancing later on :)

Christina hijacked our camera and took a picture of us :)

We ended up deciding to drive through the night back to Dallas, so when the reception was over at about 11:30pm we took off. Thomas drove the whole way... I have no idea how he does it. I told him to wake me up to drive if he got too tired, but he made it all the way to 5:30am when we pulled up to our apartment. We slept all morning and when I woke up I made pancakes and lattes.

Just what we needed.

What a fun weekend. It was wonderful to see some old friends, and to get to celebrate a beautiful wedding.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kitchen appliances. I love them.

Our dinner last night was made entirely by kitchen appliances. [OK, I might have helped a little].

The vegetable & lentil chili was cooked by the crock-pot.

The three-cheese bread was mixed, kneaded, risen, and baked by the bread machine.

All I had to do for either of them was thrown in the ingredients. And dinner was made.
And it was good. So good, in fact, that we finished the entire loaf of three-cheese bread. [It was a small loaf, in our defense]. And I am currently making another loaf.

Like I said before: Kitchen appliances... I love them.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mundane miscellaneousness...

... in the form of a weekend recap. We had a lovely weekend. On Friday night I cooked up a mish-mash of a dinner. I rummaged around my fridge and pantry and pulled out whatever struck my fancy. I ended up baking some yams, roasting some butternut squash, and steaming some asparagus and then tossing it in olive oil and garlic. I also made up an avocado-tomato-feta cheese-spring leaves salad.

We had Tusker [a Kenyan beer] with our [very random but delicious] dinner, thanks to our good friend Roland Tedder who found some in Kansas City and sent it down to us.

On Saturday we were in organization mode. We shopped for some organizing totes to store things in and spent most of the day cleaning and sorting things out. It was very satisfying, and we have a clean house to boot.

Sunday was freeeeezing cold, and it snowed. {You can see a picture of that here.} We went out to lunch with some friends from our small group after church, and then had a relaxing afternoon watching the snow from the comfort of our living room. In the evening some very good friends [John & Susan Iseminger] from my childhood in Mozambique stopped by to visit in the midst of their travels, and we went out for Ethiopian food. I forgot to take pictures [sad face], but it was so wonderful to see them. It was like a piece of "home".

And that was our weekend. We lead a very exciting life... * slight note of sarcasm *... but we happen to enjoy it :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Anniversary date

We decided to wait until we got back to Dallas to celebrate our anniversary, since we had such a short time to be with Thomas's family in Oregon. So last night we went to the Melting Pot for our anniversary date night [we went there for our birthdays and liked it so much that we decided to go back.]

We had a great evening talking about the year to come... hopes, plans, dreams, goals. Neither of us can believe that we've been married for two whole years... it has gone by so quickly, yet at the same time so much has happened. Lots to process, and lots to look forward to :)

And, of course, the food was amazing. We had a cheese fondue, salad, main course, and a chocolate fondue.

It's the next morning now, and I'm still completely full from dinner last night. Yummmmm.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We are family

Robert [the resident photographer of the Congdon family] got some family pictures while we were all together. I thought I would put some of them up here :)

Round 1: In front of the piano

Paul & Thomas: "oh my gosh, are we done yet?"

Family picture, featuring Stephen

Last attempt in front of piano before we decided to move.

Round 2: In front of the fireplace. Better.

What's going on?

I think we're missing someone. [and haha, Timo]

Smile for the camera, keep those eyes open Paul!

Old school serious one

Smiling again, this time Paul has his eyes open.

Round 3: We decided the lighting inside wasn't good enough for a picture, so we moved outside. These are the best ones in my opinion.

[Going through everyone's mind: please let this picture work!]

With Grandma Driver

The next day, Robert took some pictures of Thomas and me [Thomas and I? I can never figure that grammar rule out]

Don't I have the most handsome husband in the world? I think so, anyways :)


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