Saturday, September 29, 2012

To everything there is a season

The other day, I was thinking about why most people chase leaves turning over from different shades of greens to vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. Or why most people are excited over pumpkin lattes making their way back into coffee shops....I know that I love new seasons. I think it portrays our lives as people living in the beautiful mess. Life can be full of great times and then you have your icky times. But doesn't each season of your life leave you a little bit stronger and more beautiful on the inside? Doesn't each trial and each blessing add depth to our souls?

After a season of rains in April, don't beautiful flowers bloom in May? Never be discouraged that life is too difficult. Look at it as a period of personal growth.

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; And a time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;.... Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2


Here are a few pictures from our last weeks drive through Steamboat Springs.

Monday, September 24, 2012

What's Cookin'?

I love writing about my meal plans because it's really challenging me to create new dishes! Sometimes the recipes are winners and other times, not so much!

My husband and I love brussels sprouts, and I just found this recipe! I am very excited to try it!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and  Cranberries with Barley 
from COOKIE + Kate
Shopping list:
1 pound Brussels sprouts
2/3 cup fresh cranberries (or 1/3 cup dried cranberries)
1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or goat cheese
1/3 cup freshly toasted pecans
1 1/2 cups cooked barley
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Photo from COOKIE + Kate

Blackened Chicken with Cilantro Lime Quinoa 
from Sarcastic Cooking
Shopping list:(an easy list)
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Seasoning - Paprika -Salt - Pepper - Cayenne Pepper - Onion Powder - Cumin
Olive Oil
2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 Cup of Quinoa
Juice and Zest from Two Limes

Photo from Sarcastic Cooking
Butternut Squash Soup
from a friend - (made this recipe last year, and it's quite delightful)
Shopping list:
Butternut squash
Chicken bouillon

Saute onions and add the squash along with water. Allow the squash to soften just bit. Once it's pretty soft, toss the squash and onions into the blender (I usually add a little bit of milk to help blend it better). And blend until smooth! Place the mixture into a large pot. Add chicken bouillon, milk, pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg. :)

I will serve this with a grilled cheese, but not your ordinary grilled cheese. I will try and make one with pears and gorgonzola cheese.

I'm excited for dinner this week :) What are some of your favorite dishes? I'd love for you to share them with me.

Also, stay tuned this week for give with JOY new items, pictures from our fall drive and sewing projects.

with joy,
Aneta Nina

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Aneta's Banana Bread

I call it Aneta's banana bread because I seriously threw in these ingredients together a few years ago. The whole time it was in the oven I was a wreck. I wanted it to turn out and well, it DID. Fast forward a few years and I'm finally sharing my recipe. It's pretty similar to other typical banana bread recipes - but my recipe leaves room for creativity!

Side note, I added pumpkin puree since I had some leftover from my pumpkin creamer (recipe included).

-- Recipe --
2 cups of flour (I use whole wheat)
** I also add flaxsee and oats with the flour - use your own discretion (see here's the 'room for     creativity')**
3/4 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 cup of applesauce
2 large eggsj
dash of vanilla
2 tbsp honey
1 cup of chopped walnuts
2 cups of chocolate chips
-- Use the following spices -- 
ground cinnamon
pumpkin pie spice
ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix wet ingredients and combine with dry ingredients. Spray loaf pan with a little Pam or whatever you have! And bake for about 50 to 60 minutes. Let stand to cool and ENJOY!

Pumpkin Spice Creamer!
I made pumpkin creamer this week too. It was quite delish. I found the recipe here:
but I had to make a few adjustments to fill my glass. Also, if you use this recipe I recommend that you don't add the pumpkin to the almond milk and sweet cream when heating. I found it to work better when I added just a little milk to the pumpkin before heating it. It was much easier to mix until smooth.

I tripled all the ingredients to fill this jug! I really enjoyed this recipe and creamer because it tasted more like a pumpkin without the fake sugar taste! 

with joy,
aneta nina

Monday, September 17, 2012

What's cookin'?

I'm taking it a bit easy this week because I just heard that my friend's mom is going to sell my cards in her antique shop in Kansas!! How cool is that?!? So, that means I'll be stitching away this week.

{by the way, if you haven't read last week's menu, then you should! the stuffed zucchinis were delightful}

What's on the menu this week? Glad you asked....

Spinach and Bella Bow-ties 
I was in the mood for another pasta dish (always a Stevie Storv fav)

Shopping list: spinach, baby bellas, bow-tie noodles and an onion. I'm thinking I'll saute the ingredients with some olive oil and top it with tomatoes. Easy and yummy!

BBQ Chicken and Arugula Pizza
I have leftover arugula from last week, so of course I am making my famous bbq chicken pizza - when I say famous I really mean that Stevie thinks it's the bomb! He's always requesting - but he should know that I am throwing in a twist this time and making my own dough. I'm thinking of trying this recipe from The Healthy Bites

Shopping list: bbq sauce, arugula, red onion, pizza dough and chicken

Grill the chicken and once it's cooked - cut the chicken into small pieces. Chop some onions and mix those with the chicken in some bbq sauce. Add sauce to the crust and disperse the onions and chicken. Bake it and then add your arugula (my favorite part).

Aneta's Banana Bread -- recipe to follow this week
I made this recipe in my first year of marriage. I am sure there's something similar out there, but I'm proud to say that I perfected my own combination of goodness. I will make my bread tomorrow along with recipe!! Can't wait to share the love!

Cooking is one of my many joys! It's another extension of art to me! Hopefully you feel inspired and encouraged to create a new meal this week.

with joy,
 Aneta Nina

Sunday, September 16, 2012

{photo journal} Hello crisp air....

This week in Denver, fall reintroduced itself - for the most part - it was pretty hot by the end of the week. But nonetheless, I embraced the crisp air! 

Here's a glimpse into our week! It was quite inspiring...

The week began with a give with JOY giveaway on my friend's blog - heart to heart. You still have time to comment on your favorite card. All commenters will be placed into a card giveaway....visit and post away!! You'll make my day.
a bike ride to the library was in order....I could spend a whole day there!
Oh, there's that card giveaway again...maybe I am hinting at you visiting Hannah's blog to post a comment!! :)

I added a ton of new give with JOY items...have you checked them out? With adding new items, comes a creative mess in my 'studio' (ok, it's really our spare bedroom)
Did you see the menu for this week? I posted recipes on Monday and tried them all! And let me tell you, the husband was pleased!! This was the Penne Butternut Squash dish -- it literally tasted like autumn - I kid you not.

I started my 10K training this week. I have never been much of a long distance runner, but lately it's become one of the ways I spend time with God - "Be still and know that I am God."

Saturday we drove into the mountains to embrace the wonders of changing seasons...the husband also searched for fishing spots. (silly boy thought I told him to pretend he was sleeping!)

This was my favorite dish - stuffed zucchini! Check out the recipe

And today, I sewed my curtains for our bathroom. Let's just say that I'm saving our little family a butt-load of cash by pretending to know how to sew....if you come over, please don't look to closely at my curtains :)

And I ended today by making homemade {natural} pumpkin spice creamer...I'm excited to go to sleep knowing that when I wake up - this creamer is waiting for me! Good night!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

What's cookin'?

This summer was a busy one - it literally flew past me. And now, we are all embracing the crisp fall air while drinking our pumpkin lattes (at least I am).

Fall also means a slower pace in my personal life. I am finally bringing back my "try new recipe" initiative that was placed on hold for a bit.

So, I am dedicating Monday's posts to FOOD and RECIPES. I want to share with you the new recipes that I am trying....try them with me! I'll be fun - I promise!

1. Chopped Autumn Salad -
This salad is easy and very yummy! It's our "welcome fall" staple. Ben and Sharon had a taste the other night....and well, they left with some to go :)

Photo from Espresso and Cream
 2. Stuffed Zucchini -
I have not made a stuffed zucchini, but I am pretty excited to cook this up....
Photo from Kayotic Kitchen

 3. Penne with Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese -
Tis the season for some squash...this will be a nice noodle dinner dish change up
Photo taken in my kitchen...
Happy cooking!

With joy,
Aneta Nina