Checking In

Posted by Megan | Misc

Whoa. So life has gotten way more busy than I anticipated it would, despite knowing the work hours of a full-time job. I think what makes it seem so busy is that I’m incapable of scheduling in any sort of “down time” for myself. Chalk it up to my mother arranging my after-school hours during childhood to be busy enough that I would never say “I’m bored.” I don’t like to leave an empty calendar. As a result, my before and after work hours and lined up with workouts, teaching piano, and other random time-consuming activities. That’s why at this precise moment I’m sitting in the parking lot of my yoga studio using sketchy free wi-fi to type up a post. I’ll take any second I can get to work on the blog. Because it’s not like my weekends can be useful either — between planning a wedding and doing yoga teacher training, my weekends are booked solid through the time I’m married. Only then will I have one “normal” unscheduled weekend. And it’s been that way for a couple of months. Let’s just say Monday mornings can be a bit rough.

I figured since I hadn’t posted in about a week, that I would present you all with a fun dessert recipe, instead of one of our delectable dinner dishes! Once again, Sally gave me a great recipe that turned out super delicious and created probably one of the most fudgy/brownie-like cookies I’ve ever made. When I originally looked at the recipe and saw that it called for milk, I have to say I doubted the recipe. Who would put milk in a cookie? Especially after I mixed the dough together and it looked uber-sticky and gooey, I really lost all hope for these little treats. However, I left enough time to chill them for 24 hours before needing to bake them and while the dough was still pretty sticky, it was still shape-able into cookie dough balls. While I got a lot of batter on my hands, it was a lot less than I anticipated!

Well folks, life is happening right along! As of late, we feel like we’re constantly on the go, barely even having time to get home and enjoy a meal together each night! However, all the constant “going” isn’t bad. This past weekend we spent a few days hiking and camping in Shenandoah National Park, which is happily re-opened after falling prey to the already-forgotten government shutdown. We had an awesome time camping with Will’s parents and spending some time in the chilly fresh air will fall colors surrounding us. Certainly a nice change of pace from the last couple years in Florida where fall was not a real season and leaves didn’t exactly change colors. Besides taking a little time to enjoy the season, Will has been crazy-busy being a rockstar in his grad program and I’ve mostly been busy planning the details of our Vermont honeymoon. Talk about a foodies dream! I can’t wait to eat at all the wonderful looking places we’ll be visiting during our time there. We may or may not also be staying at Vermont’s culinary inn….who’s surprised? But despite our shameful tendency to grab a bite on the way home or stick a frozen dinner in the microwave, we do have a backlog of recipes to share with you, beginning with this one.

Weddings are time-consuming! I know that’s kind of one of those smack-your-forehead, “no kidding” things to say, but as the big day creeps closer, my time is starting to feel a little thinner and I am afraid things could go ricocheting out of control if I relax for one second. That being said, it’s getting exciting how soon the wedding is coming up and how beautifully it’s all going to come together! I had the most wonderful weekend this past week, because it was the opportunity to do one of a few pre-wedding celebrations. Since three of my bridesmaids don’t live in Northern Virginia (nor do I) and we’re all in our young 20s (and poor), I knew months ago that it wouldn’t be reasonable to ask them to fly into the DC area for multiple pre-wedding events. Therefore, I figured one exhausting weekend of “bride team” (that’s what I call them) activities would be the easiest way to get everyone together to celebrate and have everyone be there.

A few weeks ago, we had the great pleasure of going on a camping trip with my best friend and her boyfriend, in the Shenandoah (pre-government shutdown). The trip had originally been planned to celebrate her birthday, but ultimately ended up celebrating much much more. Not only had my bestie scored a great new job that week, but to her surprise, her boyfriend proposed the first night they were camping! He even made her a beautiful wood ring engraved with silver (he’s a blacksmith) with a special message for her 🙂 Will and I went up on Friday and spent the evening celebrating with them, which definitely included the consumption of lots of libations. So what better to have the next day than a huge dutch oven full of tasty breakfast food, cooked over a campfire? Not much is really better than that, particularly if it’s a cold, rainy mountain morning like we had.

Man, life is busy when you’re a “real person!” I feel like I have no time to keep up with some aspects of my life–blogging, perusing Facebook, Pinteresting…you know, the essentials! By the time I finally get around to sitting my butt down at the computer, it’s usually about 9PM and I still have other things to be doing. Granted, with the wedding coming up in just a few months, as well as frequent weekend trips, my time has become limited by myself as far as my “normal” activities go. Instead of grocery shopping Saturday and doing laundry Sunday, those things are getting squished in on weeknights after long days of getting up at 5:30 to hit the gym, going to work 8-5, teaching piano/being yoga ambassador right after work, and wrapping most days up with a yoga class. Phew! Then throw in a bunch of random wedding projects, managing to catch a few minutes with Will each day, and now adding yoga teacher training and you can see why I’ve dropped off the face of the earth.

This recipe was an experimentation: we had never made tofu before and I had never even tried it. We had purchased the green beans at the farmer’s market on a whim (similar to our eggplant) and looked through our Simply in Season cookbook to see if we could find anything. Most of the green bean recipes were side dishes, but we really wanted to make something where the green beans were a little more featured. After some searching, we finally found a Thai recipe that was primarily green beans, with other vegetables and tofu as options. We decided to try that one, throw in some carrots we already had in the fridge, and to try adding the tofu, because why not? It turned out to be a great decision.