WENT: Our family went for a gorgeous waterfall hike on Skyline Drive in Virginia earlier this month, and we toured the nearby Skyline Caverns. We ate at Joe’s Steakhouse near Front Royal after the hike — amazing service and a really fun atmosphere, with a live band. We also enjoyed a Saturday evening in downtown Frederick, Maryland. We ate outside at a Spanish tapas restaurant and listened to a band playing on the sidewalk beside of us. The moon was full, so it was a neat evening to be out walking around. Anytime I go to a downtown, I have to visit a bookstore and a tea shop. My son loves watching all the cars and people going by. He talks about “the city” the whole time.
COOKED: I came up with a really easy but delicious chicken recipe. I sauteed some mushrooms in a dutch oven and the set them aside, added more olive oil and chicken breasts to the dutch oven, and browned the chicken breasts for about eight minutes on each side on the stove top. Then I poured in a cup of white wine (Moscato) and let it go in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes until the thermometer read 165. I took the chicken out of the dutch oven and stirred in about two tablespoons of Dijon mustard and a generous sprinkle of dried thyme into the sauce. Then I added the chicken and mushrooms back to the pan.
- Jesus Always by Sarah Young: I am keeping this in my desk drawer for when I need some extra encouragement at work. Sarah Young has a deep, personal relationship with Christ, and she brings his voice alive in her short devotionals. If you have never read a devotional by Sarah Young, this new one could be life-changing for you. Here’s a little article she wrote about 10 tips for a joy-filled life, based on the new devotional. I received this devotional from Book Look Bloggers in return for my honest review; I am so inspired by Sarah Young’s writings that I would have bought this one even if it had not been sent to me for free.
- Victuals by Ronni Lundy: This is a gorgeous hardcover book about Appalachian cooking, including a beautifully written history and lots of recipes. The pictures remind me of home because they are home. I was born, raised, and still live in Appalachia, and I wrote my college thesis on Appalachian literature. Even though I grew up in Appalachia and have some of the traditions, I feel like there are so many food skills and practices that I never learned. This book has lots of recipes for greens, as well as some favorites like West Virginia hot dogs and pepperoni rolls. I have been to a lot of the places that the author talks about, including Staunton and Saltville, Virginia, and Asheville, North Carolina (one of my favorite places). Food, history, and heritage are so intertwined. When she writes about the English and German settlers of Appalachia, she is writing about my ancestors. I have been talking to my husband about this book all weekend. I plan on cooking a lot of the recipes. The way that Lundy intertwines history and recipes is really meaningful for someone from this region. I received this book from Blogging for Books in return for my honest review.
- Say and Pray Devotions by Diane Stortz: This cute little board book is perfect for my three-year-old son. He was so excited when we got it in the mail last night. Each page teaches some new words and then gives a little prayer and Bible verse. Want to win a copy for your little one? Just leave a comment on this post, and I will choose a winner. This book and giveaway were provided by FlyBy Promotions.
BOUGHT: I finally joined the rest of the world by getting a Smartphone this past month. I had rebelled against them before because I wanted to save money, and it drives me nuts how attached most people are to their phones nowadays. I do really like my Smartphone though, lol. I also bought a really cute plaid Martha Stewart doggie bed from PetSmart.
LISTENED TO: The new Norah Jones CD and Asheville radio
DRANK: Matcha tea. How can something so green be so yummy to drink? I mix about 1/2 tsp. matcha powder with enough warm water to fill the tea cup and then top it off with some vanilla creamer or vanilla soy milk.
Have a great week.