Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Laura’s Cheesy Jalapeño Turkey Sliders

A few weeks ago I bought a huuuuge package of ground turkey that was on sale. We use turkey for tacos, nachos, chili and bolognese - pretty much anything you would normally use ground beef for. Now I can sliders to the list! My favorite part about these flavorful burgers are the little bits of melty cheese. :)

For someone who is sensitive to spicy foods, I’d say these are medium-spicy. For people who love spicy food, these are mild (but still have a satisfying subtle kick). We use pepper jack cheese to make them even spicier, but you can use cheddar or provolone.

I like to top the sliders with a dill pickle slice and a spread of equal parts mayo, bbq sauce and ranch. Side options are endless — but in the summer, you can’t NOT serve these with corn on the cob! (Did you know you can microwave corn in its husk?)

“Martins 12 sliced potato rolls” are the perfect size for these patties. Depending on how hearty my side dishes are, I eat 1 or 2 sliders while Andy eats 2 or 3. We LOVE leftovers, but you can freeze the uncooked patties for a month. Thaw them overnight in the fridge and you’re good to go!

these sliders love to slide...

Laura’s Cheesy Jalapeño Turkey Sliders
makes 12 sliders
total time: 15 minutes

1 1/2 lbs. of ground turkey
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/4 cup diced jalapeños (you can use a raw pepper or canned/jarred. I use jarred.)
1.5 oz cheese, diced into tiny cubes (about a one-inch piece from a block)
1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Mix all ingredients together and form into patties. If the mixture is too sticky, add more bread crumbs. 
2. Heat a nonstick skillet to medium. I don’t find the need for any oil or spray.
3. Cook the patties over medium heat for two minutes, then flip and cook for two more minutes.
4. Cover the skillet and cook for one minute, then flip the patties, re-cover and cook for one more minute.
5. Turn the heat off and let the patties sit in the covered skillet for one final minute. Overall your cook time should be 7 minutes. 

Serving suggestion: top burgers with a pickle slice and a sauce made from equal parts mayo, ketchup and ranch.

Monday, August 27, 2012

look for less: peplum

What do you think of the peplum trend?

Emily at Cupcakes and Cashmere was skeptical of peplums at first, but after giving it a shot she noted, "When balanced properly, like with a fitted floral skirt, an understated ruffle creates a surprisingly sleek silhouette."

It took me a while to warm up to peplum tops, but now I'm itching to get my hands on one! Here are a few affordable options:


Piperlime navy skirt- $49  is this even a peplum? whatevs it's cute.

I like the shape of the leather tank and polka dotted tee better than the other tops. The leather would be my pick, but in my dreams I'd hop across the pond and grab this gold sequined top.

Friday, August 24, 2012

post-moving thoughts: five months in

A friend of mine might be moving this fall and her mind is running in a million different directions. Her husband has applied for several jobs, all which would require them to move to another state. She has a great job, great friends, a great church and she's involved in activities that she feels passionate about. Knowing that she might be moving has made it hard for her to make plans and continue investing in work and friendships, but the alternative (cutting herself out of situations) is just as hard. She wants to look up jobs and houses but also doesn't want to get her heart set on anything that might not become reality. Boy can I relate.

We knew we might have to move when Andy was hired by Kellogg's last July. I chose to stick with my job and become a new small group leader even though I had no idea what the future would hold. It was tough! I felt like I couldn't really commit to anything. If you've been reading for a while you might remember that last fall/winter included five months of living apart from Andy, me quitting, re-taking my job and quitting again, almost signing the lease to a house I LOVED in Warrenton, Virginia and ultimately moving to Maryland.

Ugh, just writing all of that makes me feel sick to my stomach. I hope we never have to go through anything like that again! Moving is rough. Just like everything else in life, though, it gets better. Five months in and...

- I've unpacked every cardboard box (plastic bins don't count, right?)
- I've borrowed something from our neighbor
- Both of us have made a few friends
- We found a church home and are currently in the process of becoming members
- I've found a small group to attend as well as a new group to help lead (yay for college ministry!)
- We know which grocery stores we prefer
- I know which nail salon has the best prices
- I've been to the MVA (DMV) a jillion times (blegh!)
- We know when to avoid the highways

and the big one... we feel at home here! 

Come visit any time. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

a little youtube nugget

reason number 298 for why I love the Internet: I can YouTube "Harry Connick Jr" on a whim and come across absolute gold like this:

and then there's this. haven't we all at one point in our life wanted to smack dakota fanning?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

how often do you...?

I'm curious. How often do you...

Watch tv? Probably an average of two hours a day. We just finished watching "Prison Break" for the second time and I'm re-watching "Mad Men" on my own.
Read a book? Every day! I'm currently reading the "Harry Potter" series (better late than never).

Vacuum? TOO OFTEN! Occasionally I'll go three days without vacuuming, but by then we're practically wading in dog hair.
Go without shaving your legs? Two, three days. One of my new mantras is "No one is really looking."
Eat your fruits and veggies? I used to be better about eating fruit than veggies, and now it's the opposite.

Laugh? All the time. I'm married to Andy Rennie. 
Bite your tongue? Constantly. I nanny and I live with another person, so my selfishness and impatience is constantly tested! I still say things I shouldn't, but I think I've improved.
Invite someone over? Once a week or so.
Eat out? Once every other week, sometimes twice in two weeks.
Go outside? During the week I play outside and at the pool when I nanny, but I don't often go outside on the weekends unless I take the dog for a swim or read a magazine on the deck. It's been such a hot summer!

Buy clothes? Probably twice a month, usually 1-3 things per trip. 
Talk to your mom? Every day, sometimes more than once a day. On the rare occasion that we miss a day I feel like it's been ages!
Search for a job/different job? A couple times a month.

Show physical affection to people? All day long. It's my love language!

Monday, August 13, 2012

GIVEAWAY - win a free *custom* ring from Sparkling Creations!

UPDATE: The winner is James Oates! Thanks to all who entered!
Capri Blue Crystal
I'm so thrilled to share with you the gorgeous jewelry handcrafted by my friend Stephani Moore, creator of Sparkling Creations. Stephani works at Massanutten Resort by day, but by night she's brainstorming new designs, filling orders from her Etsy site and prepping for upcoming craft fairs. Not only does she run her own business, she also owns a hedgehog. How cool is she?

From now until midnight you can enter to win a custom made wire-wrapped ring. Stephani has beads in every color and will communicate with the winner about the ring size.

HOW TO WIN: Comment on this blog post OR on the link to this post from Facebook and tell me what your ring pick would be.  *Guys - you can enter to win a ring for your lady - just comment "HEDGEHOG!" (Remember, you can request a color not shown on the site and if Stephani has it, she'll use it. You can pick silver or copper for the band.) I will pool the comments and randomly pick a winner. The winner will be announced tomorrow and I will then put the winner in touch with Stephani so they can get their custom ring!

I bought the Capri Blue ring (pictured above) last winter and have received tons of compliments about it. If I were entering, I'd pick one of these two. They're both stunning!

Jet Crystal
Tiger Eye Gemstone

Be sure to check out the other types of jewelry Stephani makes! How gorgeous is this bracelet?

Friday, August 10, 2012

look for less - scalloped shorts

After taking several weeks off from doing a "Look for Less," I'm back with one of my favorite trends - a scalloped hem! Ah. J'adore. Anything with a scalloped hem is undeniably adorable. I decided for this look that I'd do a loose interpretation of the pic below combined with some of the ideas I received on Pinterest.  I was surprised to see how many types of tops you can pull off with scalloped shorts: polka dot, chambray, striped, loose, structured, etc.

Free People model
scalloped shorts

Depending on the dress code at your work, you might be able to get away with wearing these shorts to the office. If not, swap them out with your skirt or pants at the end of the day for a summery evening out. The top I chose is longer than the one in the inspiration photo, so it would look best tucked in (my fav). Wouldn't it look amazing under a blazer? When the weather drops you could slip on some tights or leggings under the shorts and swap out the sandals for flats or booties.

Do you wear oversized rings? I can't stop admiring the yellow one in this set.

H&M top - $13
Total - $124

Thursday, August 9, 2012

what to do with cauliflower

Cauliflower soup from The Pioneer Woman
Cauliflower fritters from Skinnytaste
Cauliflower pizza bites from Damy Health
Cheesy cauliflower puree from I Breathe... I'm Hungry
(I make a lighter version using a touch of butter, skim milk and sour cream)
Mexican fried cauliflower from Chef-In-Training
Popcorn roasted cauliflower from Yummly

Monday, August 6, 2012

books and biscotti

I'm getting back up. Slowly but surely. I've been trying to put my finger on what this funk is all about, and  I think it's a combination of hormones, job searching and friend-seeking. You may have noticed I've been a bit absent from blogging - I can't tell you how many times I started to write a post and then stopped, simply because I just didn't feel like writing. WHAT HAS BECOME OF ME?

Life has been good, though. Our weekends are filling up with fun plans and I've started to meet more people at Grace (our new church). Our home is currently filled with the aroma of cinnamon spice biscotti and coffee and I have a stack of books I'm excited to read. Summers were made for reading. I just finished Bel Canto and The Art of Racing in the Rain.