What a Wonderful Day

Happy Friday Eve everyone! Not being in my normal work routine right now kind of throws off my sense of days. It’s like being a kid during the summer, you know? This morning I woke up though and realized it was September 29, SEPTEMBER 29. Okay, I realize that doesn’t mean anything to anyone except the few people I am about to write about (and I accidentally missed one of the anniversaries by a few days, whoops!) First of all, it was on this day 4 years ago where I saw my best friend get married to her high school sweetheart. My friend Jessica was the one who helped me get through PT school, who stayed up all night studying with me, who climbed through the trunk of my car to get my iced over door open when I had to get to work, who let me stand by her side on her big day, and who stood by my side on mine.  You could definitely say that my life would not be the same without her.

View More: http://creativeconceptsiowa.pass.us/nickandtraci

Jessica has the greatest heart, and her husband Steven is just the same. They had a beautiful wedding in September of 2012, and I know that they have a marriage that is just as wonderful as that day.

View More: http://creativeconceptsiowa.pass.us/nickandtraci

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other wonderful thing that happened in September (technically the 25th) was my husband proposed to me exactly one year ago. To quote my mother-in-law, it was “one of those best days of my life”. I don’t tell this story often, and I don’t know if it’s because I like to keep things like that close to my heart or if it’s because it gets me emotional, maybe a little bit of both.

Flashback to one year ago: I was just getting home from work on a Friday afternoon, running late as usual, and probably slightly grumpy from a long week. Nick and I had tickets to the Chicago Cubs game that weekend so we were going to leave as soon as I got home. When I pulled into the driveway, Nick met me by the door, which wasn’t unusual, but he said “put your bag down and come inside”. I walked in, and he had strung white Christmas lights all around the living room, and he had a sappy song playing over the speakers. At first, I thought maybe he was just being sweet and wanted to show me how romantic he could be. Then he started to tear up (sorry Nick for telling everyone that) and tell me how much he loved me, and before I know it he was reaching for the ring and asking me to marry him. I thought I couldn’t love him any more than that day, but I was wrong. It’s been a crazy year, but I wouldn’t change anything.

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Engagement day!

I don’t have an overly exciting recipe for you today, but I’ll leave you with a quick snack idea for days when you feel more like day dreaming about those great days than you do cooking. 🙂

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Print Recipe
Quick and Easy Granola Bites
Easy 10 minute healthy snack. It will last in the freezer for up to 3 weeks (before drying out) and up to 10 days in the refrigerator. Kids will love!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
bites
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
bites
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Grind walnuts in food processor
  2. Mix all ingredients together
  3. Form into golf ball size balls and place on wax paper lined cookie sheet
  4. Freeze for up to 1 hour or until firm
  5. Enjoy! Refrigerator or freeze remaining bites.
Recipe Notes

*Not safe for anyone with a nut allergy.

I used chocolate PB2 for the peanut butter component, and it worked great 🙂

You can probably substitute almonds or pecans for the walnuts, but I have not personally tried this so I'm interested to see what you all think!

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French Dip (Serve on Buns)

Happy Tuesday everyone! We survived Monday, and now that it is over I can say that it wasn’t that bad after all. Before I jump into the details behind the mouth watering pictures below, I’ll give you the short and sweet version of the how and why of Midwest Mash.

Colorado newbie and Iowa native. Those are the basics. My husband got his dream job out here in Boulder so we jumped ship from West Des Moines and planted roots here in the beautiful foothills about a month ago. We also recently got married on May 21, so we have had a wild ride the past few months – wedding, honeymoon (Turks and Caicos – I highly recommend), job quitting, job getting, selling house, sleeping on air mattresses, and fitting 1700 sq ft of crap totally necessary things into a 2 bedroom apartment.  I am a physical therapist waiting semi-patiently on my lovely license to get transferred, so in the meantime I am grateful to finally be able to spend time doing things that I have neglected since graduate school such as writing and cooking. Commuting 2 hours every day for work the past two years left me with gobs of time to day dream about cooking and exercising but very little time for the actual execution unless you count doing kegels and glut squeezes in the car while reaching for a bag of Chex Mix. Bear with me while I brush off the cobwebs on the writing and cooking fronts.

Our crazy fun wedding party. Professional Wedding Photography by Creative Concepts Photography

Our crazy fun wedding party. Professional Wedding Photography by Creative Concepts Photography

So my husband really wanted this blog to be called “Serve on Buns” so this first post is an ode to him. Plus, who doesn’t love a juicy, cheesy, makes your house smell like a restaurant, French Dip sandwich? We are lucky enough to get our beef directly from my grandparents’ farm in Nebraska which in my opinion always wins against store bought. The only downfall is having to blindly pick a roast from a stack of white paper lumps in the freezer. The odds were in my favor today because I picked an excellent, low fat hunk of meat. I’ll be honest, all it said was “roast” on it, so I have no idea what type of roast this is, but really, any kind will do for this recipe. You can even use sirloin steak if that’s all you have on hand.

french-dip-edited

(Recipe for Hidden Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes coming soon!)

Please head over to my about me section to get to know me and I would love for you to follow along with me on this crazy journey of food, exercise (when the motivation hits), and any other project or traveling venture I decide to take you on. This is my outlet for sharing my ideas and adventures as I get acquainted with my new Colorado life, so enjoy!

Print Recipe
French Dip (Serve on Buns)
Meaty, cheesy, onion-y goodness on a bun
Cuisine Sandwiches
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4-6 hours
Servings
sandwiches
Ingredients
Red Pepper Mayo
Cuisine Sandwiches
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4-6 hours
Servings
sandwiches
Ingredients
Red Pepper Mayo
Instructions
  1. Apply olive oil generously to outside of roast. Coat with your seasoning mixture (feel free to ad lib here with flavors you enjoy).
  2. Sear roast in a skillet on all sides 30-60 seconds until a nice brown crust forms.
  3. Place your 2 cups of hot water and the onion soup mix into the crock pot. Transfer browned roast to crock pot.
  4. Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3 hours. NOTE: check the temperature often if able - you do not want to overcook your roast. For a medium roast, take it out when at 135 deg and let it rest until 145 deg. Thinly slice the roast against the grain OR pull apart with fork.
  5. In a skillet over medium heat, caramelize onions and mushrooms in 2 Tbsp of butter. Once finished, place a serving of meat with a serving of the vegetables and cover with a piece of cheese. When cheese is melted, transfer to your hoagie.
  6. For an added twist I use a red pepper mayo on the sandwich. It adds a nice kick of sweetness. (see recipe above)
  7. Your au jus should be waiting for you in the bottom of the crock pot! No additional work needed for this. Indulge and enjoy!
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