Le Madeleine is a great spot for eating good food, chatting and making fun of people and yourselves with your husband, and pretty much figuring out more how to do life together.

And it really is best over a cup of coffee and little treats

And of course, part of that discussion had to do with the mustache…

Yes. I love my husband.  And though he has said he would shave it for me, I told him not to…this is the one chance he’ll ever have to find out what it’s like to have one.  ever.  no more after January.

yup, we discuss deep issues.

So, I have this friend. Her name is Kate and she got married last week.  I think I told you about that already.  But I didn’t tell you about her photographer, Lydia.  Another friend of mine =) love her and her work to pieces.

I mean seriously, check her out, consider her for whatever you want pics for. And she’s posted more shots from the wedding, and the gorgeous bride on her blog =)  www.lydiajane.com

Here we are sitting in one of our favorite Baltimore coffee houses, Spoons.  Great time to think about this break we’ve been on, and looking ahead into the new year.

So the holidays are some of my favorite times:

– Because of getting good times with family and friends.  Like watching cute movies together like “Up”, cooking lots and lots of scrumptious food, and playing fun crazy games like white elephant with cousins, aunts and uncles etc — which is even better when you win a framed print of an old couple that says “Always Kiss Me Goodnight”. yea.

– Because sometimes is snows.

– Because Special things happen, like people getting married.

– Because I get to cook yummy foods, like this Pot Roast: Oh thank you Paula Deen.

– Because there are holiday sales:

– And because there are lots of bloggers blogging and holiday design and bringing inspiration (from some of my favorites: =)

Thanks Sherry for your beautiful work at Young House Love

Thanks for your inspiration Rachel, at the Urban Nest blog

And I love the earthy beauty that the Visual Notes blog brought from Eva Lindh (Images: Eva Lindh)

– And lastly (but of course not leastly), because we got to start off our new year with a wonderfully provoking sermon from Don Whitney on 1 Timothy 4:7 – check out this blog post (or listen to it).  It’s time now for me to think about this question:  Name one biblical spiritual discipline in which you would like to grow this year.  What specific and practical steps are you going to take to grow? (Should probably work on this resolution before determining the rest… what good is physical/practical resolutions that only last a short time, when spiritual disciplines and resolutions can have a permanent affect?)
Ok, so a Lot more happened these holidays. (there are a few more pics on my flickr) Ricky and I had such a great time on his break.  Now, he hits his studies and preaching and paper writing hard core.  Breaks are good, because the regenerate and re-energize one for the hard work meant for us to accomplish.  Here we come new year.

Happy Christmas and New Years all! (It’s not too late to wish everyone that, right?)

New years resolution #1 – update my blog more than 1x ea month….

But really, Happy New Years! There are so many of y’all I’m just so grateful for.  Family and friends, friends who are like family… You all are so dear to our hearts, and its around these times that we reflect on this more than usual, isn’t it?  So many exciting things have been happening in all of y’all’s lives, I don’t even know what to do with myself!  Dear friends getting engaged, married, pregnant =) God is so good, isn’t He?

Just this last week my dear friend and old roomie (or Boomie as we affectionately called each other), got married! =)

Girl, what an incredibly gorgeous bride! =) Thanks for letting me be a part of your day! =)

So, from Ricky and I, I just want to wish you all a wonderful new year, full of joy and experiences of God’s goodness and amazing grace.

God bless.

Thanks so much to my friend Sarah, I got to try a delicious, simple apple cake!

Thursday and Friday  nights are usually study nights for my hubby, so sometimes that means that I bring dinner to the Pastors College and pull him away to eat with me for a few minutes.

This past Thursday we had the amazing privilege to have a combined meeting with CJ and Carolyn Mahaney where we got to ask them any kind of questions we wanted to about life, marriage or parenting (most of the PC students have kids aside from us).  It was such a helpful time!  And because this meeting was at the church, I again brought him a little dinner and dessert =) Apple Cake!  And it was sweet goodness, so I wanted to share it with y’all.

And the grand thing that was additionally grand  about it is that it’s incredibly easy, and reasonably healthy for a dessert.  (Note, use applesauce instead of oil).

And it was even better experience because I even got home in time to make this and enjoy a beautiful sunset at the same time =)

The only adjustment I made to the recipe, is that I added a few more spices to the mix — a little nutmeg, a dash of ginger, and little bit of ground cloves.And then, it’s a better idea to cook it in a bundt pan…but I couldn’t find mine, and I wanted to make sure it cooked right, so I thought i’ll treat it more like sweet bread and cook it in bread pans.

They turned out great =) and didn’t take quite a whole hour to cook (so keep an eye on it).  Once you test it and your toothpick is clean =) that means yummy goodness is just waiting for your waiting taste buds to enjoy.  mmmm.

A Moist, cozy, light dessert to enjoy on a cold wet evening.  Thanks so much Sarah. =)

Pecan Pies were requested, so I looked for a recipe – and since she’s never failed me yet (and I have to admit, because she had lots of pretty pictures) I went for The Pioneer Woman’s recipe: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/11/pecan-pie/

Seriously one of those recipes I’ve always been intimidated by, and I’m not sure why.  I did cheat, but it was So easy, and so yummy (I cheated because I used a pre-made graham cracker crust) oh and I used extra Pecans, like 1/2c extra…mmmmm.  I think living in El Paso by all the pecan orchards (or whatever they’re called) converted me to be a pecan lover.

Seriously, try it.  It’s the holidays, eat up.



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Originally uploaded by jennmute

So we had a really great time on the weekend my love decided to take me to Disney World for our anniversary. Click on the picture above to see more of our adventures on flickr where all the pics are stored.

Now that Ricky has completed his research paper, Greek midterm and is almost ready to take his weekly exam – we are Free!! I can’t wait for the incredible FL weather and getting to spend 2 1/2 solid days with my love.  And I really cannot believe that it’s been a whole year already, 365 days of wedded bliss-as they say – so true.  AND my amazing husband is taking me to a magical place I’ve never been… DISNEY.

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Don’t worry, I’m aware that I am indeed spoiled.  Or to rephrase that, incredibly blessed by God for giving me such a generous, loving, thoughtful, spontaneous, good looking husband. 😉  Can’t. Wait.

Oh and today was a fun day on-the-job.  Huge bonus to being the production team administrator, I get to do things like help setup for in-house concerts – Steve Fee is here tonight. =) Good times.

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So now, we’re just going to spend the night studying (well, i’ll probably try and catch up on reading I’ve been wanting to do in Feminine Appeal and Susannah Spurgeon), Ricky will be reviewing his week of Apologetics class notes.  And tomorrow we’re off!

 

I love getting opportunities to make this recipe…I never dare make it just for Ricky and myself at home, I will end up eating All of it…which would not be a happy thing for my waist line ;0).  So thanks to my care group snack assignment last night, I got to eat it again =)  And just thought I’d share the recipe joy of it.

Note to CG: Thank you again all of you for praying for us last night after our car accident.  Praise the Lord we were both fine, and no one was hurt; I’m so grateful for the chance to get to pray with you all right after it happened, and to get a chance to pray for the salvation of the others involved.  You all and Gary and Betsy are Such a blessing from the Lord to us!

Ok, so here’s the Bread Pudding recipe:

Croissant and Chocolate Bread Pudding

(Thank you Real Simple for this delicious addition to my recipe binder – you can find basically this recipe and other great stuff at www.realsimple.com)

Hands-On Time: 10m Total Time: 50m

Ingredients

  • unsalted butter for the baking dish, at room temperature (13×9 works great, bakes in less time too)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I like adding rum extract or rum cream as well)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (you can spice it up by adding cinnamon and ground cloves too)
  • 6 croissants, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 pound)
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks (or reg choc chips will do…and feel free to be generous ;))
  • Optional – Coconut, dried fruit or berries of choice (I’m thinking of trying dried blueberries sometime, in the summer, topping it with fresh berries after it’s cooled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish or your 13 x 9.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg (and any other additions). Add the croissants and chocolate and mix to combine.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

MMMmm-mmm goodness

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aroma_logoThank you Restaurant.com for giving us a delicious dinner experience, allowing us to keep our budget for date night, yet getting to taste amazingly good food!  We saved $25!  And oh man was it delectable.

Aroma1Ricky enjoyed a Seared Mahi Mahi with a cold rice/quinoa salad with sauteed jicama on top.  So refreshing.  I went for the Ropa Vieja, shredded flank steak, rice, black beans and plantains.  As Ricky said, “that beef was marinated in magic”. And just to brag on restaurant.com for a moment, these two $18 dishes only cost us about $6 each.  wow.

And then to top it off, since we’d saved so much mula, we decided to splurge on a little dessert.  It was inspiring.  Pineapple cinnamon wantons with a little vanilla ice cream that had chocolate shavings mixed in. (It was inspiring because I think I figured out how to make them at home, I found wanton wrappers at our local asian market!)

Aroma2Folks, I definitely recommend this little urban place, and it’s right here in Olney! If you like light, fresh foods (not a lot of fried stuff here…and they bring in meat fresh from the market each day… I felt like I’d stepped out of the little country town into a sweet little urban-city restaurant…so good.)

And of course, this was Especially nice because Ricky’s been sick and we’ve finally been able to get out and get a little time together without him feeling miserable!