Saturday, August 30, 2014

From the PA in PA

Hi, readers! I'm pleased to announce that the frenzy of test week is over, and everything went well. To celebrate, I've got a great post for you, from my beautiful friend Brooke! She's a PA student at Marywood University in Scranton, PA and my very best friend. In fact, I'm excited for her to be my maid of honor at our wedding in December. She is multi-talented as a student, daughter, violinist, cook, sister, disciple, and friend. So without further ado, here's the lovely Brooke from This PA in PA !


I guess I will start off with a short introduction. I’m Brooke Bennett, currently a PA student at Marywood University in Scranton, PA. I’m an Army kid, but call Manhattan, KS home. I first met Kristin when we moved in with each other (well, technically a couple times before that, but we were both awkward). It took very little time for us to figure out how our passions and love for the Lord aligned; we just meshed well. I have been on the receiving end of a lot Kristin’s delicious cooking experiments and still find myself craving a certain coconut curry chicken she once cooked for me.
This week I came back to school, after one glorious week in Manhattan, realizing I had no money, ate awful the week before, and very little food in my fridge. I made a low-budget trip to Wegman’s (the most beautiful grocery store in Scranton) and picked up some locally grown veggies.
One night after a particularly rough day at school, I needed a satisfying meal. So here it is, low-cal, low-budget deliciousness:

Zucchini and Squash Medley

2-3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 small-medium sized onion, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 Squash, sliced
1-2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

I threw all of this in a large skillet and let it cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring on occasion. Once the squash is soft, it’s good to eat. As far as seasoning, I’m very pro-seasoning so I used 2 Tbsp. but less can be used too. This makes 4 servings.

I find myself scanning pintrest for recipes and what usually happens is I find something delicious looking and I’m missing like 4 ingredients… that’s when the improving happens. I’ve seen this same recipe baked at 350, added parmensean, or roasted red peppers. All of those sound great and something to consider when I make it again.

Chicken and Wild Rice (I’m not creative with names, wait until I have kids)

1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 Large boneless, skinless, chicken breast, squared
Seafood Seasoning from Sundown Rubs & Seasonings

1 cup of Trader Joe’s Basmati Rice Medley (or really any wild rice with herbs)
2 cups of water

Cook the chicken with the seasoning in olive oil over medium heat until cooked all the way through in a small skillet.  In a large saucepan, bring rice and water to steady boil, stirring occasionally then lower heat and cover with lid and alloq to simmer for 15 minutes. Once cooked, stir in chicken. This makes about 3 servings

I tend to fear recipes with more than like seven ingredients. So after just throwing this together, I was seriously impressed with all the flavor from the very few ingredients and the ease of preparation of both of these. 

So I have to put a plug in for Sundown Rubs & Seasonings. I may be partial because I’m the daughter of the owner, but I put the seafood seasoning on practically everything. There are other seasonings as well and they all add significant taste enhancement to any meal. The seafood seasoning can be purchased at many Kansas and Nebraska grocery stores or here:

So thanks, Kristin, for inviting me to write for you blog. Enjoy!


Sounds super yummy! I [Kristin] can attest to the quality of Sundown Rubs & Seasonings-- they're sooo good. Try the chicken rub on popcorn sometime! It's outta this world.

Also... Brooke... I totally forgot about that coconut curry chicken. If I can find the recipe, it'll be my next post!

Until next time, friends.

Kristin & Brooke

"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
    and the pleasantness of a friend
    springs from their heartfelt advice." -Proverbs 27:9

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Quick Little Update


The musculoskeletal test is tomorrow and I'm in a study/cram/second-guess-myself frenzy! However, I've got a short little tip for ya: 

Soft-Boiled Eggs. Yes, soft-boiled! I love me some over-easy eggs in the morning, since they're such a great source of protein and a few healthy fats. I've finally gotten over my temporary distaste for eggs after our trip to Bolivia in July, where we ate eggs [EVERY] day, so it's time for a new batch-- to wake up my brain for the test tomorrow AM.

The instructions are as follows...

  • Boil 3/4 a medium pot full of water, with about 3 capfuls of white vinegar added
  • Add 5-6 eggs, boil for 4-6 minutes, depending on how runny/firm you like your yolks
  • Immediately after they boil, add the eggs to a nice ice bath

After they cool, these are ready to enjoy-- add to a salad or toast, make huevos rancheros (mmmmm, salsa), or just sprinkle with salt and pepper!

The aftermath. Can't wait to eat these later.
The puppies wanted some eggs, too! Or they're just attention seekers (definitely the latter)

Stay tuned for more posts after test week. I'm prepping for a major fitness adventure, so you'll get to know me reeeeally well as I post the highs and lows of that for the next few months! Praying God does big things in my heart-- did you know taking care of our bodies is an important part of honoring Him? I'm learning that.

Enjoy your eggs, eggheads! [Heehee, med students are major eggheads!]


"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Last night's gorgeous sunset. Don't worry, I had the car stopped.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pizza Rolls and "The Great Fruit Salad Experiment"

Hello again! Somehow blogging (and coming up with ideas to write about for all... 3... of you) is de-stressing me for our musculoskeletal test in 5 days. So, I interrupt this study session to bring you:

Homemade Pizza Rolls!
These were pinned from Steph at Plain Chicken {Recipe Here} and they are great! Other than cutting each crescent roll in half (to double the total amount) I made no changes to these-- they're simple and delicious, and they taste twelve times better than the frozen ones.
Did I mention pizza is one of my most favorite things? Mmm.

Of course, with some junk-like food for dinner, I decided to try and keep dessert somewhat nutritious. I had peaches, I had raspberries, and I had a banana, and thus was born "The Great Fruit Salad Experiment". Has anyone ever improvised a simple syrup before? I now have. The dregs of a Minute Maid pink lemonade bottle got combined with what little grenadine miss Rose had to offer. Toss in about a half cup of sugar and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Whisk. Boil. Remove from heat. Cool. Add to pre-cut fruit chilling in the freezer. The result?A runny mess. I should've done equal parts liquid-sugar, like the instructions {here} say to do. Hmmmm. I think I reduced the sugar amount since the grenadine and the lemonade are already so sugary. Guess that was a bad idea! Oh well, the fruit still tasted great!

I don't think the bananas envied their brother in the pool of syrupy despair...

Do y'all have stories to share of failed kitchen improvisation? I should try my old kitchen-sink-lasagna again next time I need to clear out the pantry. That should make me feel better! It has always ended up tasty.

Until next time, folks! I mentioned making Kevin's favorite, Bruschetta chicken, so I can tell you all about it. Must be fine with him, because he said, "as long as I get to eat!" Whatta man. :)

"The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?"

Psalm 27:1

P.S. Making fruit salad reminds me of this little ditty. It's an earworm for sure; don't say I didn't warn ya.  
The Wiggles

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My First Post! "Better-than-Restaurant" Salmon

Well hello there, readers! 

I'm glad you're here because it means I actually have some readers. Sweet! I'm Kristin, and these are my spiritual, culinary, medical, and engagement adventures. Today, since I've been studying for a test, I'm reviewing a recipe I made for its ease and potential "yum" factor! 

Yum factor, indeed. My fiance, Kevin, reports that this salmon was better than at a restaurant-- high praise, for sure! He's promised to always be honest about the new recipes I try, so you know this one was good and he's not just saying so to flatter me :)

In all its paper-plate glory. Also, Velveeta mac n' cheese is a specialty of mine!

The original recipe belongs to Sara, over at Mom Endeavors. View it here (and if you're pinning, pin hers from her page please!) 

One Pan Baked Salmon and Vegetables 

This recipe was SO easy. I made a few tweaks, though! 

1. I used asparagus and squash, since I love both, but they were a tad underdone. When I do this one again, I'll saute the veggies first, then add them to the salmon pan.

2. Sara suggested making your own compound butter, so I did that! I used some spices from another salmon recipe. If you want to duplicate it, here is how I made it:
1.5 sticks of salted butter, softened (almost melty)
4 tsp salt
4 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp paprika powder
4 tsp onion powder
2 tsp ancho chili powder
4 tsp black pepper

Soften the butter in a bowl, then stir in the spices. Return to the refrigerator to harden, and you've got your compound butter! This made enough for 4, fairly hefty fillets, which brings me to my next tip...

3. Since the salmon fillets were so big, they ended up cooking at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. I added some foil on top of the pan, which kept them nice and juicy.

What a great way to get in some omega-3s! Thanks, Sara!

Let me know what you think of the blog and of the recipe, y'all!

Also, I'm sure my food-photography will improve. Tips, anyone? Ha!


"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

Proverbs 31:30