My Reading Nook and an Amazing “New Food”

I discovered an amazing “new food.”

It’s not totally new, since I am familiar with all the ingredients.  But the combination is new.

Are you ready?  Two words:

Stuffed Onions.

That says it all.

They are one of the most amazing things. Ever.  So simple and delicious.

I hadn’t really thought of onions as a side dish on their own until recently, when Mom was chatting with someone at the grocery store who would just serve sautéed onions with dinner, as a side.  I wanted to try that sometime – a big pile of onions.  Mmmm…

Then the other night I had some time, and I remembered the stuffed onion recipe that I had seen several years ago (I know, I know) in a cookbook I own, and I had to try it.

I altered the recipe a bit, since it originally called for bread, and I didn’t want to add any.  Well, really since I wanted to eat an onion.

They are SO TASTY.  The outside is a baked onion – cooked plain, not to talk it down – and the filling.  Oh the filling.  It is a combination of the centers of the onion that have been scraped out of the onions that have been sautéed, along with some bacon and cheese.  Delicious.

Stuffed Onions
Adapted from Fresh Flavor Fast (an AWESOME cookbook)

3 large onions (mine were very big), peeled
1/2 lb. bacon, cut into one-inch pieces
1/2-3/4 c. shredded cheese (I used Monterey Jack, which was very, very good)
1/2 c. chicken broth.

Preheat the oven to 400*F. (See note)

Using a melon baller,  hollow out the centers of the onions, until the sides are about 1/4-1/2 inch thick (I just hollowed mine until the cave in the middle looked sizeable).  Place the onions in a pan (I had to split mine into two pans – an 8×8-inch pan would work, as well as a 9×13-inch pan.  Whatever your onions fit comfortably in).  Pour the chicken broth in the pan (not inside the onions), and cover the pans with foil.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until the onions are soft when pierced with a paring knife.

Meanwhile, chop up the onion middles that have been scooped out.  Fry the bacon over medium heat until started to get crispy.  Add the onion, and sauté until soft, 10-15 minutes.  Drain off the fat.  Right before you stuff the onions, mix the cheese into the filling, reserving some to top the onions.

Pour the chicken broth out of the onion pans (reserve this, especially if it is bone broth!  It is now onion flavored).  Fill the onions with the filling, and top with cheese.  Bake at 450*F for 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and browned.

Notes:  The original recipe had you bake the onions (before they are filled) at 450*F.  I baked two of my onions at 450*F, while I baked the other one at 400*F.  The one that I baked at 400*F had a much better color, and I liked how it came out more than the other two.  Either temp should work.

Next time I think I will stir some parsley flakes into the filling.  I was going to this time, but forgot. 🙂

 

On Thursday I cleaned up my room.  This wasn’t just a straighten-up-the-stuff clean up, but a real cleaning.  Going through drawers, and relocating accumulated junk stuff that has just been sitting around for WAY to long, and just needed to be put away.

(Really, there is a point to this.  Just bear with me.)

I cleaned out my vanity and moved it downstairs.  In the corner where it used to be I put a chair and a small table.  It is my new little reading nook! A comfortable spot to do my schoolwork.  Drake and I are sharing the chair, so I get it part of the week, and he gets it the rest of the time. I am really enjoying it!

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My cozy reading nook

 

Have a lovely Lord’s Day!

~Allison

What I Want to Eat When it’s February (and More!)

Hi!

It’s me, Allison!

(It feels like so long since I have been on here that feel like I need to reintroduce myself.)

I’m still here.

Really.

What’s up?

Not a whole lot exciting or new here.  Just school.  And my midwifery course.  It has been so wonderful!  I love it.  I am wrapping up (or should be – but I am blogging :)) the first nutrition module, and enjoying it heartily.  It’s been great.

A few days ago I came down with a little bit of a cold (this is starting to sound like the story of my life, isn’t it?  It really isn’t, though).  I have a little sore throat and a little congestion, and a LOT of tired.  So this afternoon I ended up taking a nap.  Hopefully it will help me feel better faster.

When I woke up, I glanced at the clock, and it was time to start dinner!  Still rather groggy, I got up to head to the kitchen.

Then Mom came in.  And she basically said, “We have all these leftovers.  I would be so much happier (and I think it would be better) if you didn’t make dinner and we just ate those.”

So I am not making dinner.  Which makes me really happy, since I am still a little groggy.

So I thought I would post.

 

I have been thinking.  (Again, I try to do this once in a while.)  About what I want to eat when I am back to eating “normal-ish” things.  After I introduce the things I haven’t been eating slowly.  And these are some of the things I have been craving/wanting/thinking about.

1.  Brownies.  A whole pan (NOT!).  There is an AWESOME looking recipe in Practical Paleo.  I really want to try it (both making and eating!)

2. Baconaise.  Again, another recipe that is in Practical Paleo.  We went to a friend’s home, and they made an AWESOME broccoli salad with it.  And I want it again.  And it might be fun to try some other things with baconaise. (Tuna salad?  Egg salad? Any suggestions?  It has to be grain-free.)

3.  Egg casserole.  And quiche.  Something different for breakfast.  I’m getting a little tired of leftover meat.

4. Cheese.  Cheese sticks.  I miss it.

5.  Sun-dried tomatoes.  I have a jar in the fridge, and I think they would be good on a salad.

6.  A faux-Chipotle meal.  Keep thinking about it.  And I really want to try to imitate their steak.  I will say it again:  I LOVE CHIPOTLE!  Especially the cheese.  Don’t ask.

7.  Zucchini linguine noodles with tomato sauce.  And cheese!

8.  Cake.  Not sure where this craving is coming from, because I usually am not that big on cake.  Maybe because I want a baked good?

9.  Paleo French toast, like I made 2 days before I started this.  It was good.

10.  Chocolate chip cookies.  Need I say more?

11.  Peanut butter cookies.  Maybe with chocolate chips added in.

12.  A peanut butter spoon.

13.  A large peanut butter spoon with chocolate chips.

14.  Quinoa.  I want it again.  This has been even longer – several months since I had it last.

15.  Cookies, in general.  I haven’t made that many grain-free cookies.  And I need some.  (Yes, I do know the difference between “want” and “need.”  This IS a need.)

16.  Some sort of really good bar thing with a bunch of ooey-gooey toppings.  With caramel.

Well, that is it for right now.

If you have ANY suggestions of things that I should make (and eat!) when I get off this diet, I would LOVE to hear!

Well, off to work on that nutrition module.

Love,

Allison

Frost. Ice. Books.

The theme for yesterday’s 6 Lenses photo was favorite book.  So I took a large stack of books and all the necessary extras out to the-trees-in-the-pasture-across-the-road to take a picture.

Now the distance from the gate to the trees seems quite long when you are hauling a wagon containing 2 bags stuffed with books, a thermos of tea (for the pictures, not to drink), a camera bag, a quilt, and a teacup, with the other hand holding the camera.  Also, the tall grass covered with ice didn’t aid my journey.

Basically, after hauling out there and back, I was tired.  And cold.

So when I was done, I went inside and started a pot of coffee.

Then I went back outside with just my camera and macro lens to take a few pictures before I went in to have my mocha.

 

These past few days have been normal, or as close to normal as my life ever comes.  Just the norms.  School.  Chores.  Dinners.  Nothing all that exciting.

Something a bit more exciting is that the first part of my midwifery correspondence course came last week in the mail.  Mom and I ordered the first group of books that I need for it on Saturday, and I started it today.  I can’t wait for my books to arrive (the earliest I can expect them is the 18th).  Oh, I am SO looking forward to reading and learning!

I am not currently planning any desserts this week – but I am hoping that we will be able to pick up another of my favorite chocolate bars (Lindt 90%).  I finished the one I had today.  It was really good.  And now I want more.

I am planning a few new dinners for later this week, from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  We’ll see if they make it on here.  I haven’t been posting that many savory things lately – mostly just the sweets.  🙂

Oh.  I just remembered.  I will be making Mom some coffee chocolate chip coconut milk ice cream this week, and I will hopefully make Dad some chocolate peanut butter frozen yogurt.  I also owe my brother Noah a chocolate cake.  (For Christmas, I let both of my brothers choose any recipe they wanted, and I would make it for them.  Noah requested a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  Drake wanted Brazilian Black Beans.  I think I am going to make Drake’s when I come off this diet, so I can eat it.  I really like Brazilian Black Beans.)  But I probably won’t make his chocolate cake until next week.  (I need to add all three of these things to my schedule.)

Well, that’s all for now, folks!

And now, a few pictures.  (You can never tell beforehand how long this section is going to be.)

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The frozen grass I was trying to plow through

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Frost

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I should have tried to get this shot horizontally, but I guess I forgot.  Plus, this blade of grass was very close to the ground.  And normally I am not very close to the ground.  This made photographing it rather difficult.

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Thistle

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Hate these things.  Vehemently.  I was VERY careful to walk AROUND them.

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This is the photo I posted on 6 Lenses yesterday.  Couldn’t decide if I liked the vertical one…

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…or the horizontal one better.  What do you think?

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(Said with an accent) A spot of tea!

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Throwing out the tea

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Ice is SO FUN to photograph.  It has all the benefits of photographing water, except it stays much more still.  The only downside is that it is cold out.  Freezing cold.

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There is a slight focusing difference between these two photos.  Which one do you like better: 1…

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…or 2?

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SPARKLES!

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Branson, Winter 2012–Part 2

I really need help with post titles.  They can be SO CHEESY.  Man.  I don’t think they even come close to qualifying for tacky (one of my favorite words).

Anyways.  Now for the rest of the photos of our trip to the lovely Branson, MO.

Where did I leave of?  Oh yes.  Saturday morning.

On Saturday, I woke up and was lying in bed for a while, and then I must have dozed off again.  Cause suddenly I looked around it was 11!  I have only slept in this late once before, and that was because I had stayed up until 2:15 with a friend (not sure if I told you that, Gloria, but I did sleep in that late).  So I exited the room, expecting to be immediately greeted with “Oh my!  Look who finally got up!  Sleeping Beauty!”  or something like that.  Instead, nobody said anything.  Dad and my siblings were sitting around the family room, eating breakfast and watching Animal Planet.  That is NOT normal.  At all.

I then went and made myself some breakfast, which was topped of with with not one, but TWO Pop-Tarts (ah, the awesomeness!).

Later, we all went to the Vigilante Zip Rider for the boys to ride the zip line.

You though I  would ride the zip line?  No.  Not at all.  If I go to an amusement park, I usually only go on tame rides, like the merry-go-round.  And I will only usually ride one or two rides.  I go more to take pictures.  🙂

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The view from the observation tower, where the zip line that the boys rode is

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Drake and his faces

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All the zip line riders

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“Make a scared face!”  Dad’s call  🙂

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The challenge

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Waiting to see the boys go

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There they go!

The boys really enjoyed the zip line.  I’m glad they did.

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This made me laugh.  Ha!  “A high speed cable ride with a sudden abrupt landing.”  That could make the ride sound unattractive to just about anyone.

We were planning to go back to our condo to have dinner before going to see Joseph, but there was such a line of cars going to Silver Dollar City (and that was the direction that we needed to go), that we just went out for dinner instead.

And I forgot to…but you probably know what I forgot (to take a picture of my food).

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Waiting for dinner

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Me and my Drake

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Siblings.  Friends.  Partners in crime.  🙂

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Window shopping (a few family members had gone to the other side of the window)

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After that was Joseph – enjoyed by all.

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The Sight and Sound Theater

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Excuse the odd lighting

Sunday was spent quietly at our condo.  In the afternoon we went for a walk.  And I took pictures. 

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Drake and Meiling had run ahead

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Self-portrait time!  I need to work on pointing that camera.

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The (second) observation tower.  This one wasn’t surrounded by glass.

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The view

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The other observation tower, where that boys had ridden the zip line

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Meiling running ahead

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Like father, like son

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A flower, in December

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Look!  They have weeds in Branson, too!  And I have a picture to prove it.  So there.

We also had chicken wings for dinner.

I LOVE chicken wings.  I know I have never ever discussed this extreme love here, but it is true.  I get so into eating them, and then end up making a TOTAL mess of myself (wing sauce all over my face and hands) and then my hands smell like wing sauce.

Dad always says that he likes watching me eat wings ‘cause I make such a royal mess.

But I just love wings, so I keep eating them and making a royal mess anyways.

We went home the next morning, after breakfast.

And that’s that.

Thanks for reading!

Love,
Allison

The Trees in the Pasture Across the Road

I love the trees in the pasture across the street.  I know I’ve said that before, but they are so beautiful I had to say it again.  And you will probably hear it again at some unknown date.

Anyways.

The in the past week, when I have gone out to get the mail, I stop and look at them.  Sometimes I run out with my camera when the light is really great.  Here are some of the shots from the last few days.

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I know that these are basically all pictures of the same thing

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But bear with me

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‘Cause I love them all

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And I’ll try not to be to repetitious

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And annoying

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But I really like these trees

 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope you have a lovely day, like the one I am looking forward.  A day full of friends, family, and food.  And thankfulness.

So, what are your plans?

Love,
Allison

Sunset, Blue Sky, Bare Trees, Beautiful

I know that I just posted a few hours ago, but I can’t help it.  I need to post again.

About an hour ago I looked out the window, and noticed that the sky looked lovely – deep blue with the white clouds streaked against it.  So I decided to go sit out on the deck and take a few photos.

I went and sat there and started snapping away.

Then I saw a part of the sky that I really wanted to take a picture of.  But I needed to get up to take it.  Once I was off the deck, I went for a walk.

And I was richly rewarded.

The wind was (and is) quite busy.  It was mostly warm, but suddenly I would feel a bit of cold in it, making me thankful that I had worn a jacket.

And it reminded me that, although it was 80 degrees out today, winter is still coming.  It is not far off.

I watched the sky slowly change from bright to dark, and the clouds drifting across it.

The sunset wasn’t a beautiful, colorful, amazing sunset.  It was just a quiet going-away of the sun.  The sky stayed mostly blue, with some yellows and golds near the sun, and just the faintest tinges of pink here and there.

I decided that I needed to visit one of my favorite places – the clearing (if that’s what you would call it) behind the pond.  It is so open and beautiful.  The thick grass is framed on all sides by the trees.  This time of year you can see through them all the way past the pond to the road, but in the spring and summer it is more difficult.

It feels very secluded back there, even though it isn’t.

I took Meiling and Noah with me to the clearing-behind-the-pond.  Meiling told us a bit of a story on the way.  It went something like this.

“Once there was a man named Mr. Mashmallow.  He liked dogs.  So he bought a dog.  It was a hound dog.”

(I immediately started singing “Hound Dog.” Once I finished, she continued.)

“They also had a green buffalo in their yard.”

“A green buffalo?” I asked, “In their yard?”

“Yes,” she responded.

I think that is far as she got.

On the way back home, while we were passing two conifer trees growing closely together, she said, “I am going to check if there is a bear.”  She used her flashlight to check if there was.

She then calmly informed me, “You have a baboon in your jacket.”

At this time my jacket was tied around my waist.  Not sure exactly what was meant by this.  I don’t think she was referring to me.  No, she doesn’t do that yet.

She then informed me that she was trying to “freak me out.”

She makes me laugh.

And not long after that, we were home.

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On the deck – the sky through the tree

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Relaxin’

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This caption goes for the next few pictures: I LOVE the bare tree limbs against the lovely sky!

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LOVE the clouds

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An airplane flew by 🙂

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I LOVE THE CLOUDS!!!!

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Leaving the deck

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Somebody’s excited about her bone!

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These trees are my favorite.  They look so beautiful all the time – in spring, summer, winter, and fall, in fresh green, bright sun, soft rain, and snow

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The sky in front of our home was particularly striking

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SO beautiful

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So BEAUTIFUL

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Lines

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My feet, or lack thereof

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Were does it lead?

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A lovely wooded walk (I went this way, in case you were wondering)

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Walkin’

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This make me smile

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On the way to the clearing-behind-the-pond with Meiling and Noah

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Following the path

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Meiling thought she saw a bunny, so she went to look

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It turned out to be only waving grass

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Heading back home

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The warm home-light beckons

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