1 peter 3:4

"cultivate inner beauty--the gentle, gracious kind
that God delights in.the holy women of old were
beautiful before God that way.." -1 peter 3:4

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Crews' Kitchen: Meat 'n' Potatoes...'n' Asparagus

When I said I'd post more recipes, I meant it! Thanks to Pinterest for being the source of all things new and creative and fun and TASTY...I was able to dig up some good looking recipes to try. I picked THREE that seemed to go well together, and crossed my fingers that all went well...and guess what? IT DID. Joe loved it, I loved it, and it is being chalked up as a success in my short little book of recipes I've dared try.

I found recipes for no-grill sirloin steak {pinned here}, "crash hot potatoes" by the Pioneer Woman {pinned here}, and a self-proclaimed "best recipe ever for asparagus" {pinned here}. While I cannot take credit for the original recipes, I can give you my tweaked-to-fit-my-schedule-and-abilities versions! Without further ado, I give you "my" recipes:

**Please excuse my lack of/quality of/need for more photos. I was late coming home from work, rushing, and am currently using only the camera on my iPhone. Bear with me, people.**
{I thought the texture of this was very similiar to Outback steaks! Next time I will try a higher-quality cut and I bet it will be almost identical to their recipe!}
you will need:
- steak of your choice {I choose a mid-grade sirloin; not the nastiest of cuts, but not the cream of the crop either.}
- butter
- olive oil
- salt {I used garlic salt!} and pepper
1. Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put a few "dollops" of butter in a frying pan, and drizzle some olive oil in there as well. Sprinkle some pepper and some {garlic} salt in the mix. Turn the stove burner somewhere between "almost really hot" and "HOT." Allow the butter/oil mixture to begin simmering and bubbling.
3. Place your steak{s} in the pan. Allow them to sizzle and get a brown bottom.  
4. Remove from heat. Place the BROWN SIDE UP on a toaster oven tray, and place a "dollop" of butter on the top. Sprinkle again with {garlic} salt and pepper.
5. Put the steak tray in the toaster oven for approximately 6 minutes. *You may want to shorten or lengthen this time, depending on how you like your steak. 6 minutes gave me a light pink middle, with some very scarce deep pink/red. Shorten the time for more red; keep it in longer for less pink.*
6. Remove from heat and VOILA! Awesome steak.
you will need:
- small red skin potatoes {I bought a small, sealed bag of about 20 potatoes, about 2 inches long each.}
- water
- olive oil
- potato masher {The original recipe says if you don't own one, you can use the bottom of a cup! I used a masher.}
- salt and pepper
- toppings for potatoes {I used a package of baked potato toppings and some parmesan cheese sprinkles; the original recipe calls for herbs such as rosemary. I HATE HERBS. But more power to ya if you want to use 'em.}
1. Salt a pot of water and bring it to a boil. A watched-pot never boils, so occupy yourself by drizzling a baking sheet with olive oil. Go ahead and turn on your oven, and preheat to 375 degrees.
2. Toss in your potatoes and allow them to boil until they are very soft.
3. Lay them out on your baking sheet in rows, much like you would do while baking cookies, leaving some room between each potato.
4. With 1-2 "smooshes" of the masher, smash those little taters to make what resembles little cakes.
5. Using your fingers {carefully, because they are hot!}, generously dab olive oil onto the tops of the smashed taters. {The more oil, the less dry/crunchy your taters will be when you eat them!}
6.  Salt/pepper the potatoes, and sprinkle the toppings of your choice.
7. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes.
8. Remove and enjoy!
you will need:
- fresh asparagus
- olive oil
- parmesan cheese sprinkles
- salt and pepper
1. Cover a small baking sheet in aluminum foil. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. {I made this right after I put the potatoes in the oven, and set them in the oven after the potatoes had been in for 5 minutes, so that they'd be ready about the same time.}
2. Lay out the asparagus in a row on the baking sheet.
3. Drizzle olive oil, cheese, and salt and pepper all over; move the asparagus around to evenly coat the veggies.
4. Place in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes.
5. Remove and enjoy!

Is your mouth watering yet? It was SO GOOD. I had some A-1 on hand because that's just my go-to steak sidekick, but it didn't really need it! The potatoes were a little dryer than I would have liked, but I will put a little more olive oil on them next time.

Try it out and let me know what you think!


NOTE: Blogger's image upload system is not currently working; but you CAN see a photo of the finished project here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I've Been Pinned!

Y'all, I found out something really cool last night. Like, super cool. It got me a little giddy, probably more giddy than I'm okay admitting publicly.

Someone pinned my chicken chili recipe {found here} to Pinterest! And of course being pinned means it was repinned...and that's exciting. Poor Joe, he was on his way to being asleep when I squealed with excitement, "Baby! Someone pinned my chili recipe, and some other someones have repinned it!" Thank God for having a husband who understands me and my simple sources of happiness...oh, it's the little things in life. ;)

It got me thinking: I am going to make a point to post more recipes. Be on the lookout for some Crews' Kitchen posts coming soon!

I'm trying out some Pinterest recipes tomorrow night...no-grill sirloin, "smashed potatoes" {not be confused with mashed potatoes!}, and "the best asparagus you will ever eat." Yum!

Have a wonderful Monday evening, y'all.


*Sidenote: THANK YOU, thank you, thank you...to those of you who have pinned my blog. You guys are the BEST and I am super grateful for the opportunity to be heard!*

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Potlucks and Challenges

This week's post is a little late, and for that I apologize. It has been one long, crazy week! I have been brainstorming some ideas and think I have found some cool ideas for making this blog of mine a little more interesting, and I am very excited to get the ball rolling.

First off, I read the COOLEST blog today. If you haven't come across it already, GO BROWSE THROUGH IT. It is called The Pollock Potluck...and it is super cute. Ashley went to my youth group and was a few years ahead of me in school; I always thought she was just the prettiest, most put-together girl. But seriously, I remember she got a senior superlative in my freshman yearbook, and I thought she was like, the coolest. I barely knew her, but knew she was someone I aspired to be like one day. Her blog, in a nutshell, makes me STILL want to be like her. She is a dedicated wife, amazing mama, and sweet sister in Christ. Her posts are humorous, and her how-tos are super relatable {see the stove-top cleaning post}. Overall, its just a good read...so turn off the Golden Globes and go browse through.


On another note, I heard a really cool acronym {for lack of a better description} in church today. It was a review of what the students learned last week, but Joe and I weren't there. {Joe and I, after serving in youth for almost 4 years, are finally getting to attend our OWN adult Sunday school class, once a month! First Sunday of every month we get to connect with other young couples at our church, and I couldn't be more excited! :)} Our friend Tom had taught last week, and he shared with the students a challenge for 2013:

2 = Make TWO friends.
0 = Have ZERO tolerance for caplacency.
1 = Live for an audience of ONE...God.
3 = Share the gospel with THREE people.

I am excited to challenge myself with this! Are you willing to take the challenge?

Have a wonderful week, friends. Xo

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hello, 2013!

Hello, there!
2012 was a crazy one, was it not?
Was anyone else a little relieved when the ball dropped and a new year - a new start - was given to them?
If I could describe 2012 in one word, it would be this: change. Change in job, change in living situation, change in income, change in dating outlook, change in marital status, change in youth leadership, change in family, change in friendships, change in my relationship with God. Some of them were far more for the better, and some were far more for the worse.
If there is one thing that people can tell you I don't cope well with, it is change.
Ironically, our sermon on Sunday {taught by Gary Vaughan} was centered around the idea of a new year bringing the opportunity for new change. The statement was made that "change is not working hard and willing circumstances to be different...real change comes from submitting your life to Christ and living out of that relationship." Colossians 3:1 was referenced, which points us towards the idea that we are raised in a new life with Christ, and that real change begins with that new identity. It reminded me of II Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." It just brings such a renewed sense of hope for new beginnings - excellent way to view a new year!
Tonight, while assisting in leading the 11th and 12th grade girls' small group, we asked the girls what their spiritual commitments were for 2013. One said to get more involved with activities at church, another said to read her Bible more. I remember having similiar answers at their age, and I even have the same answers now.
But then I realized: without the real change that Gary spoke of on Sunday, aren't those resolutions just "working hard and willing circumstances to be different?" Is there a real change of heart when those resolutions are made?
Whitney {my co-leader} mentioned an example she heard in a Beth Moore study years ago: "What ugly wallpaper do I have on the walls of my heart, that needs to be removed before I can replace it with something new?" What steps do I need to take to empty myself of the bad, to make room for the good? Furthermore, what is the "bad" in my heart? We asked this question for the girls to answer, and their answers were insanely relatable: cussing, bad attitude, anger, impatience, laziness, and selfishness. What is the "good" I should replace those characteristics with? More good answers from my girls: compassion, peace, patience, selflessness, humility, gentleness.
I came to the conclusion that I will resolve to give my heart a makeover: too often do I lose my patience at work, or get irritated with my husband (still weird to say!), or allow a curse word to slip out in a moment of frustration or pain. Too often do I let selfishness win out over selflessness, and a negative attitude declare victory over a positive outlook.
2013 will be another year of change, that is without a doubt.
Here's to it!
P.S. I also am resolving to begin with a post per week...if I do more, that is GREAT. But one post per week is achievable, I think.
What are YOUR resolutions in 2013?