Monday, October 8, 2012

New Blog!


It's been 10 months into marriage, and I thought it was about time to start a new blog, separate from my "single girl" blog, as a married person!


With Jeff's deployment is approaching, this was the perfect time to transition over to my new blog where people can stay connection on the both of our lives.




Please check it out and add it to your list of "blogs to follow" & daily/weekly reads!  Also, comments are always appreciated! :)

I am very excited about this new blog, and although it is a time commitment, my sincere hopes are that I will stay more connected with it and keep it updated a few times a week to keep it more live and active than I was on this here blog.  I know I haven't been the best at it in the past. 

Lots of love!

*If you're wondering how I got the blog URL, a few years into Jeff's and my relationship and friendship, I was informed I was saying his name wrong the entire time.  I was pronouncing it as GrUetz and apparently it's more like GRITSmahker.  Thus, I have updated my twitter, instagram, and blog name as follows to help others with the name pronunciation.  Hence, Annie Grits!

Come follow me!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!

Whoa!  Long time - no see.  I have had several comments from friends lately asking me to update my blog, so hopefully some of you friends and readers are still around and haven't completely given up on me yet!

As is the norm for everyone these days, lots of happenings are going on in my life as Mrs. G!  (Whoa, so crazy to say that! Can't believe I am a MRS!) Don't give up on me just yet - I plan on posting about lots of overdue things, such as:

  • Wedding - 12.18.11
  • Honeymoon - Jackson Hole, WY
  • Life in San Diego post wedding & honeymoon
  • Our new place, as of March!
  • Jeff's future, and unfortunately rapidly approaching, deployment with the Navy.

Also, a sweet friend of mine has been giving my blog a "face lift" throughout these past several months.  She has been awesome and actually did everything super quickly, but the process has been drawn out due to my sporadic replies.  I'm so excited to release it and I think it will help me come back with a good, fresh start!

Please welcome me back to the blogging world, friends!  See you soon!

XOXO.

Friday, April 27, 2012

One Year Ago Today...

One year ago today, my sweetness of a husband showed up on my doorstep, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  I said YES!  Today is a happy day.

Thank you for picking me to be yours forever!

XOXO.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Recent Reads: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand.




I found this when I was searching for the book cover.
I had never seen this cover before and I thought it was
too cute not to share it!


 Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
By Helen Simonson

This was one of those books that I kept on seeing everywhere, but kept on passing it up.  From past experience, it's the situations like these in which I end up finding some of my most favorite books (ie. Harry Potter series (before it was cool), Kite Runner, and Water for Elephants).  This has happened for me with so many of my favorite books & series that I hope I have finally learned my lesson.

The reason I was initially uninterested in Major Pettigrew's Last Stand was because it didn't seem too exciting to be reading about a 68 year old who is a retired Major, widowed, and living in a sleepy and small English town.  Typically, that would still probably ring true but Helen Simonson did an incredible job with the character development and making the book authentic and genuine.  It's a very well written novel and was such a fresh and original read to me that I was immediately captivated and delighted!  I think it's best to describe it as unexpectedly entertaining!

This is another English read with deadpan humor - which I love.  It's a modern day love story between two individuals who find their friendship developing into something more.  It's an "unlikely" friendship, but it stems from a shared love of literature and similar circumstances, the recent loss of their spouses. The Major, who is set in his ways, traditional, and proper falls for Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village.  On the surface, they couldn't be more different, but they realize that they have the most important things in common.  However, due to their cultural differences, the village locals and their family members aren't as accepting of their growing friendship.

As the summary asks on the back of the novel, "can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?"

Part of the beauty of this novel is that Helen Simonson touches on so many relatable themes & issues: prejudices, racism, grief, the relationship between father's and sons (and families in general), religious beliefs, the clash of culture, loss, disappointment, and love.

It's a worthwhile read, so take my advice and go get you some!


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Weekend in Review: Through the iPhone Camera Lens

I guess technically all of my "weekend in reviews" could be titled "Through the iPhone Camera Lens", but this post seemed to deserve it a little more.

The weekend started out splendidly, as do most of my weekends since I get half day Fridays.  Let me tell you - they are gloooorious and make the longer hour work days M-Th all the worthwhile.

I came home, and took advantage of the beautiful San Diego weather and spent an hour reading and relaxing outside in my backyard and eating a delicious and old-school snack of cinnamon raisin toast, with butter.  Nom nom nom.






Saturday started out with a bang.  We met up with 2 of our friends at The Mission - our favorite downtown breakfast/brunch spot.  Now that the Mr. doesn't live in downtown, it makes it slightly less convenient to get there so we jumped on the opportunity!  The Mr. and his former roommate, Adam, spent the rest of the morning/afternoon packing and cleaning up their high rise apartment.  Adam got deployed on Sunday, the following day, so the Mr. helped him pack up all of his things, bring them to Adam's storage unit, and get the apartment cleaned up since their lease ends at the end of this month.  I helped by carrying about 2 items...and spending the rest of the time reading my magazines and books.  Not very helpful, sadly, but I wanted to spend the day with my man and was bummed at the idea he was going to spend his our Saturday packing and cleaning all day, without me!  To clear that up, it's not that I wanted to pack and clean, it's more that I wanted to be with him, in his presence.  Hence, why I tagged along and hence, why he didn't expect/ask me to help work.  It was a win/win.  


I caught him at one point playing his electric
guitar.  He was in a band in highschool called
"Saturated Phat".  Phat with a PH.  I love to get him
on that. :)


Saturday night, Adam, Jeff's (former) roommate, Casey (you've seen her in several of my recent posts), Jeff and I went out to dinner for Adam's last meal, prior to his deployment.  We ended up eating at a restaurant in Seaport Village, and I captured a gorgeous picture of the sunset.  I realize how much I take it for granted that I get to live in such a stunning and picturesque place.  By the way, if ever you find yourself in San Diego, talk a walk around Seaport Village.  You won't regret it.








For the most part, Sunday was a lazy day - which I find to be the best.  We have somehow fallen into a Sunday ritual of hitting up the grocery store together to stock up on our weekly groceries, which is always fun.  I also found myself in the waiting area of his barber shop, while he got his haircut.  Imagine that happening vice versa.  Yea, it wouldn't.  But then again, his 15 minute haircut has nothing on my 4 hour+ hair extravaganzas.



Good thing we got our Girl Scout Cookies!



Also, whenever we get a chance, we always make time to squeeze in a little Friday Night Lights and, Tim Riggins (below).  I hope you follow me on twitter, because I tweet about Tim Riggins on a weekly daily basis.  I also hope some of you out there share my love & passion for Friday Night Lights!



Sunday, January 29, 2012

Finding My Inner Chef: Pioneer Woman Style

I've gone and done it again - I've cooked!  I'm just as shocked by this as you are, so let's enjoy it while it lasts.



I've always loved me some Pioneer Woman.  You may remember my blog post about her book (which I swooned over) here.  I also have her cookbook and couldn't wait to get after it!  Here is what I cooked up for the Mr. and I this week:


*One of Jeff's all time favorite dishes is a Chicken Spaghetti dish that he grew up with, which I must confess is delicious.  I know my man and his very limited food palate. I knew when I chose this recipe that I needed to hide the actual name of the recipe from him...or else he'd come in with his mind already made up (and it wouldn't be good).  I was able to keep it a secret from him until the day of.  I had the top of the recipe, with the name on it, hidden under my computer on the kitchen counter.  I remember coming downstairs at some point and seeing it pulled out, on top of my computer.  Darn.  He caught me.  I had hid it from him for a few days, referring to it as Mexican Chicken, which is what Pioneer Woman's Marlboro Man (her husband) calls it and I thought I had gotten away with it.  Even when we went grocery shopping together, I brought the cookbook with me, and had to show him a picture in the recipe because I was confused on something, and I covered up the name (in an unobvious way) before showing him the book!  Later, when I told him that, after my secret was exposed, he laughed and said he hadn't even noticed!  Too bad my secret didn't last long enough.  However, it didn't even matter because this dish was a hit!  Both the Mr. and I loved it and later he told me that they were both his favorites!  Time for a victory dance!



Ingredients

2 cups Cooked Chicken
3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup Finely Diced Green Pepper
1/4 cup Finely Diced Onion
1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1/8 teaspoon (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese


Directions

Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.  Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).


The Marlboro Man Sandwich
*To die for.  This was amazingly delicious and I can tooootally see how it is Marlboro Man's favorite dish!  The Mr. loved it too and I can pretty much guarantee you he'll be beggin' me to make it for him again soon!  We ended up adding a few slices of mozzarella to the sandwich which made it even tastier, and when the Mr. made it for leftovers the next day, he added mayonnaise as well!  It's great because it's completely and totally customizable by YOU!




Ingredients

1 whole Large (or 2 Small) Onions
2 sticks Butter (lots And Lots Of Butter)
2 pounds (to 3 Pounds) Cube Steak (tenderized Round Steak That's Been Extra Tenderized)
Lawry's Seasoned Salt (or Similar Seasoned Salt)
1/2 cup (approximately) Worcestershire Sauce
Tabasco Sauce, To Taste
4 whole French/deli Rolls (earthgrains Are Best!)






Directions


Slice onions and cook in 1/4 stick butter until soft and light brown. Remove and set aside.  Slice cube steak against the grain. Season with Lawry’s.  Heat 2 tablespoons butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown. Add meat in single layer. Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides.  Add 1/2 cup (at least) Worcestershire sauce, 5 to 6 shakes Tabasco, and 2 tablespoons butter. Add cooked onions. Stir to combine.  Butter halved French rolls and brown in skillet.  To assemble, lay bottom half of French roll on plate. Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonful of juice from the pan. Top with other half of roll, cut in half, and devour!


*I made this to go along with the Marlboro Man Sandwich and it was perrrfect!  I am still giddy over thinking about this dish. I snacked on it the next 3 days...and the best part is, you eat it with your hands!!


Ingredients

Garlic Croutons

4 cloves garlic
A generous 1/4 cup pure olive oil
2 packed cups 3/4" bread cubes, cut from a good-quality baguette or Italian loaf
Large pinch of salt

Salad
3 romaine hearts, separated into whole leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire
5 tablespoons pure olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat a 10-inch skillet over low heat. With motor running, drop garlic cloves through feeder tube of a food processor fitted with the steel blade to mince. (A blender works as well.) Scrape down sides of bowl and add olive oil through feeder tube as well. Continue to process so that garlic releases its flavor into the oil, about 30 seconds. Strain garlic from oil through a fine-mesh strainer; reserve half of the garlic for dressing.  Increase skillet heat to medium. Place bread cubes in medium bowl. Drizzle garlic oil evenly over bread, along with big pinch of salt; toss to coat.  Add bread cubes to hot skillet and toast, turning the cubes and shaking the pan often, until crisp and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Return croutons to bowl and set aside to cool while preparing salad.  Place lettuce leaves in a large bowl.  Whisk lemon juice, mayonnaise, half the reserved garlic, and Worcestershire in a small bowl.  Drizzle lettuce with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and toss lightly and carefully. (Clean hands work well.)  Drizzle lemon mixture over lettuce; toss again.  Sprinkle Parmesan over greens; toss again.  Sprinkle croutons over the salad; toss and serve, sprinkling each portion with a little more Parmesan cheese.


*Yum.  I am pretty positive that most of us have, if not made fruit pizza before then at least experienced it.  If not, then believe me when I tell you this - you're missing out!  It had been too long since I've been around a fruit pizza, and I knew I had to change that.  This dish brings up so many fun memories in my life, mainly revolving around college and one of my all time college besties and roommates, THE one and only, Bernadette Byars.  This was HER dish and I swear, there may have been a period of time when she made it on a weekly basis.  So, I guess I can thank Bernie for my college 30?  Eek. Also, what made Bernie's fruit pizza's so special was that she always made them patriotic: red, white, and blue.  And, even turned it into the American flag one 4th of July!  Personally, I have to say that her fruit pizza is still my numba 1 fave, but, Pioneer Woman's was a close second!

I really wanted to put kiwi's on it but there were
none to be found at my grocery!

Ingredients

1-1/3 cup Shortening (may Substitute Butter)
1-1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Orange Zest
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 whole Eggs
8 teaspoons Whole Milk
4 cups All-purpose Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 jars (13 Ounces Each) Marshmallow Creme
2 packages (8 Ounces Each) Cream Cheese
Peaches
Kiwi Fruit
Blueberries
Pears
Raspberries
Other Fruit Optional

Directions

Cream shortening (or butter), sugar, orange peel, and vanilla thoroughly. Add in eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the milk and mix.  Sift dry ingredients together, then blend into cream mixture. Slightly flatten between two sheets of waxed paper, then refrigerate for one hour (or freeze for 20 minutes).  Press dough into a sheet cake pan OR divide the dough in half and roll each half into a large round, then transfer to pizza pans.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until cookie dough is cooked and golden brown, but not overly crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, whip together marshmallow creme and cream cheese until light. Spread onto cooled "pizza" crust, then decorate the top generously with sliced fruit. Slice into squares or wedges and serve.



*All of these "food photos" were taken by yours truly.  Hence, the lack of perfection.  I am amazed at how the professionals are able to make their food look so wonderful and mine looks so ordinary when we're making the same thing!  At least both people's end results taste good!