Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thank you, Arkansas

For keeping all us Arkansan's on our toes! Sunday it was 85 degrees outside...this mornin, it was 30. I sorta LOVE it! Also, E wore his coat today for the first time since last winter, and he found his ipod in his jacket pocket.....he's been looking for that all year! Also, I had Chic-Fil-A for breakfast. and am now drinking pumpkin spice tea...So far, today is a good Wednesday!

Except I forgot my phone at home.....therefore, no dinner pics. sadness

But i can tell you that dinner was stinkin' good. Remember that pasta I mentioned yesterday? well, we had that + fried tofu and broccoli (yes, I fried the broccoli. So?)  ..more on that later.  You know. when i have pictures..

in other news, I have RE-discovered pinterest. and it's amazing!! unfortunately, now i want to redo my whole house, buy a new wardrobe, etc, etc..the downfall of pinterest for many, i assume.

I do plan on getting my hands on this rug eventually.. it's just begging to go in my sunroom.

I can't stop staring at it ...

well, that's it for now...see you soon!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We didn't cook much this weekend..

This weekend we did many things. Cooking was not a big part of those many things....
Remember how excited I was about taco salad on Friday? I went to the store right after work, got everything we needed, made sure the kitchen was clean so we could start-a cookin' when E got home....and then we ended up getting pizza with a friend. Oops. Sorry beautiful, ripe, avocado! (don't worry, it lasted until last night!)

So that was friday. 

Saturday, I went to the craft fair with a few friends from work - GREAT fun! Pics to follow. Lunch consisted of a teeny tiny $4 hamburger. mmm.....yuck

We did grill that night, that is..E grilled. 
So that's home cooked meal #1 in 2 days - not cool, Holders.

 E grilled up some rockin' chicken that he marinated in A1, worchestire, and...vegetable broth(?), rosemary potatoes, and the rest of our brussels sprouts...which sadly turned out a little too chewy.
 But that's ok:) 

They still look pretty :) 

Let's see.. Sunday,  I woke up to bacon and french toast. Because my husband loves me. 
 Then we had an amazing dinner ( just a reminder, on Sundays thats lunch, yall) which consisted of TONS of chicken, roasted potatoes, purple hull peas, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, fresh peppers, and FRIED SQUASH. so good. I love sunday's at my parents house. Did I mention my Mamma's fried squash is ridiculously good?
 SO good, y'all......

If you're wondering how she makes them, I'm pretty sure all she does is cut them into thick steak fry-like sticks, coats them in cornmeal, a little flour, salt and pepper, and then fries them in a cast iron pan. it's possible that she uses crisco to do this. Just like she makes fried okra. You think the woman would be much larger......

not so much.
My parents are so stinkin' cute. This is them after i said "act like you like each other!" 

Sunday night......we went down the street for sushi. Geez!  Fail. 

We did enjoy some lovely tea that morning before lunch at one of our favorite coffee shops, 
Iron Horse Coffee Company 
I had irish breakfast - E Had sushi house green..and then he bought me a whole box of pumpkin spice!  <3

and that night we had a lovely chat by the fire pit ( did i just say lovely chat? wow.) 

......and then we went out and bought fancy pasta. Because I had had a sample of {overpriced} homemade pasta at the craft fair and suddenly REALLY wanted some. It was amazing...but seriously, Cassie?? whatever. it was worth it. 

..and that brings us to Monday night. Finally, the taco's!!

There's not much of a recipe for taco's. I mean taco's are taco's. right? Well just for fun, and for future reference for's what we piled into our taco salad bowls (which are amazing!)

*Ground beef seasoned to perfection by Mr Holder with who knows what...

*1/2 onion, 3 cloves chopped garlic,1 whole bell pepper,  - all sauteed - in that order, of course

*black beans


*sliced avocado

*chopped cilantro



*sour cream


and with that we shared a banana pepper that we grew in our garden. Literally the only one all year...darn heat.

Oooh yeah. I gotta start taking pictures with my real camera instead of my phone....lazy.

we <3 taco's!

and we love these taco shells-
They're so darn good its stupid!

And super awesome craft fair finds!!! Don't be jealous..
Find #1 - LOVE this sign for Christmas. Honestly, I'd like to put it up now...but someone won't let me:P

Finds # 2,3 & 4. The scarf is vintage and only cost me a dollar - the sweet little wooden guy was in a $4 "goodie bag" which consisted of a black seal...and a bunch of creepy animal-type things made of seashells....which i threw away because they freaked me out.  and that super cool zebra - well- do i need to explain? he's adorable. hand made- only $11( fyi -he's wooden- not stuffed. )  I love my new friends:) 

#5. i mean, come on! It's a vintage suitcase ( complete with Hawaii sticker on the handle) with a lovely saying....oh, and also. it's a table. yes those legs are attached. I may paint them, but how unique! Only $35.
And then there was this guy. sweetest little sunglass, visor wearin' pup ever.  He belonged to this super cool army vet who now makes and guessed it- doggy sunglasses and visors. we saw SO many dogs with these on halfway through the day. it was awesome

 So far, tonight's menu consists of that late-night pasta (garlic, parsley fettucini) most likely topped only with butter and olive oil because that's all it needs, maybe some garlic bread, and a vegetable. I'm thinking broccoli...but you never know!

Happy Tuesday! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Why food? (and some sexy chicken)

Well, that's an easy question!

E and I love to cook together. We always have - I know- we're awesome!

One of the first dates we had involved "cooking" in his tiny campus apartment ( the quotations are there because, well, the meal was Pad Thai from a box...but we tweaked it, of course!). Sure, we love eating out just as much as the next person, but we also really love spending our evenings together in the kitchen. and I love food. period. So, there you have it.

Thankfully our meals we make together these days have evolved from boxed thai, although that is still one of our favorite lazy night meals... Over the years we've picked up on each others strengths and weaknesses in the kitchen. For example...Any super complicated, precise, measure-heavy dish - all him. I'm more of the haphazard, throw in a little of this, and a chunk of that and see what happens kinda gal. 60% of the works EVERY time....

that doesn't make any sense.

SO -  long answer short- food make sense because I, we, love it. A LOT. Yep.

Side note: ( I had to have one..) The thing about our dinner that they're made early. Sometimes it's first thing in the morning, sometimes its sometime earlier in the week. I have the habit of going nuts brainstorming for thursday night's meal before we've even gotten to lunch on monday. which is great- less planning later....except the thing about those dinner plans ... is that they change with our mood. A lot..

thats why I got a call last night from E ...who went out to get chicken. Sadly his quest for chicken was blinded by an array of other possibilities...namely pork chops... pork chops? Such a guy..

Luckily for me he came home with chicken in hand..and an avocado...because he loves me :) 

So, dinner. here's the run down

Thursday: Roasted Butternut Squash and Sexy (yes, sexy) Chicken 

Let's start with the fun part. My all-time favorite side dish, and a sure sign that it's fall around these parts  - the butternut squash. I need more. Now. 

Roasted Butternut Squash (adapted from an array of other recipe's..but mostly my own noggin)


-1 medium/large butternut squash - peeled and cubed
( we only use the skinny part for roasting, the thick part we either cut in half and cook like a sweet potato or turn int soup..tmi?) 

-Roughly 2 TBS rosemary (we used dried. because that what we had)

-1 tbs autumn spice (or paprika, allspice, whatever sounds autumn-y to you. We found our "autumn spice" in a spice shop in colorado. Its' so good, I'm only allowed to use it during fall - details to follow) 

-3 cloves of garlic  - minced

-Enough extra virgin olive oil to coat

-Salt and pepper 


*Preheat oven to 400

*Add all ingredients to a bowl and toss to coat

*Spread squash out evenly on baking sheet

*Roast squash for 45 min. to an hour (turning occasionally) until crispy


These little babies are so STINKIN good. I told you, I was on a roasting kick this week. 

Alright, sexy chicken. I dont know what it is about chicken cooked in broth like this. but it is seriously sexy.  That's really all I have to say. and that sauce? It's also pretty darn good on the squash. and by itself...really.

Sexy Chicken


-1 Chicken Breast ( or however many you want to cook. we always try to split our protein..portion control!) 

-2 + cups vegetable broth

-3 cloves garlic, sliced 

-Autumn Seasoning (yep)

-Salt and Pepper

-2 TBS butter


*Add vegetable broth to a pot and season with lots of pepper, autumn spice and garlic -heat until boiling

*Add the chicken breast to broth - reduce heat to medium-high (
add extra broth as neeeded to cover chicken)

*"boil" chicken until fully cooked.

* heat skillet with 2 tbs butter

*remove chicken from liquid and add to hot pan 

*turn heat up on liquid until a slight bubbly-foam is created  on top (basically, you're reducing it into a sauce)
Like this!
* gradually begin to ladle the liquid over chicken 

*cook chicken covered with liquid about 5 minutes

*Serve that sexy chicken! 

Oh, and for anyone curious- this is the spice mix we use. the ingredients are at the bottom. super simple. super awesome. 

The final result...oh, thats a terrible picture...c'mon Iphone. It was dark pretty dark, but such a lovely night for dinner on the patio.

..and then my amazing husband made milkshakes for dinner, and the portion control  is thrown out the window!

There you have it! Thursday night dinner at the Holder hut. Tonight our plan is chorizo taco salad ..but you never know. .

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ahem.....let's talk about food

I know. I know- its time for my monthly post. whatever, Cassie..why do you bother? 


 I was thinking this morning about how sad it is that I start thinking about dinner around 9:00am... and so instead of trying to find something interesting to say about my every day life on my blog ( which obviously is a little difficult.),I'm going to start using this website as a dinner log. Partially to share any crazy or crazy-good concoctions that E and I try or create, and also so that I can keep track of the dinners we make.  

The best part is, I'm constantly taking pictures of my food that part is taken care of! 

I plan on doing this every day that we cook during the week ( stop laughing) but since today is thursday, I'll start with a run down of this weeks meals so far. NOT ALL posts will be 5millionparagraphslong.....promise.

Sunday: Roasted Broccoli and pasta what I like to call Stupid-Good sauce.
 Last sunday we had the rare task of making our own lunch. Typically sunday lunch is at my parents house, and it is always amazing. ALWAYS. however, this sunday we were on our own. So, we resisted the urge to go out for lunch and made THE. BEST. PASTA SAUCE. EVER. 
I'm not kidding. 
Stupid-good sauce
The sauce is LITERALLY a large can of whole tomatoes, one onion - halved- and BUTTER. Yes, butter. that is it. and it is miraculous

We also finally made roasted broccoli. I don't know why this never occurred to me before, we make broccoli at least once a week but have never roasted it. Holy. Cow. SO amazing..

 ( seriously, have you checked out this blog? I love her.) 

Here is the finished product. Complete with sweet tea, because it isn't sunday dinner (which means lunch, southern-speak) without sweet tea!

Oh, and that onion you throw in the sauce? sure, you take it out at the end, but DON'T throw it away! It's totally re-useable. we used it the next'll see.

Monday: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and E's Shepherds Pie.

Brussels sprouts are back in season, and I am SO happy about this! we'll probably have them again this week...different recipe of course. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

as many brussels sprouts as you want
olive oil
salt and pepper.

These are so easy its ridiculous. Just cut the cute little cabbages in half, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and LOTS of pepper. Roast them at 425 for 12-ish minutes on each side. Best thing ever.

 I think roasted vegetables are my new happy food. Srsly.

E's Shepherds Pie
* I had to email him to get the recipe. ALL him, guys..all him. I'm so lucky. I did have to make a few notes-for clarification- they're italicized. 

This was totally a non-recipe, whatever we had on hand, shepherds pie. And i wouldn't have it any other way. 

1lb of lean ground beef
1 yellow onion (Remember that onion i said NOT to throw away? oh yeah...) 
3 cloves garlic
5-6 red potatoes
½ stick of butter
1 cup (?) milk
Garlic salt 
Bam powder (?) ( he means Emeril's essence..or what we like to call, essence from the spice weasel. get it?)
2 cups chick or veg broth
1 cup red wine ( we used pinot noir, BC we had it..) 
1 cup each of moneray and chedder

*Boil potatoes until soft, mash and add butter, milk, and spices
*Sear ground beef and make space in middle of pan to cook chopped onion till translucent and then add garlic. cook until soft. Mix beef and veggies together till meat is dark brown and pan has a good layer of sticky stuff. (LOL! Sticky stuff?? well, okay..) 
*Move beef mix to 9”x9” casserole pan and turn stove heat to high. When the pan is just about to start smoking add broth and wine and cook till reduced by ½-1/4 volume then poor over beef.
*Layer potatoes on top of beef and cover with aprox. 2 cups of cheese
*Bake at 375 for 15-20 min.
*I think that’ll be good enough. ( I had to leave that in there..he's so cute) "

here's the finished product! I have no idea how to make shepherds pie look as good as it tastes....

Tuesday: My Mamma's Vegetable Soup and Pumpkin Cornbread.
I'm hesitant to share this recipe...because it is, after all, a family recipe. But that being said, it is a FAMILY recipe. Therefore theres not much of an actual "recipe" to go along with i'll give you the basic run down..

Mamma's Vegetable soup 

-about a half a cup each of frozen butter beans, peas ( we use purple hull), and Okra
-1/2 -1 lb of ground beef
-enough (yes, enough) potatoes, diced  ( I used 6 red potatoes because thats what we have. my Mamma usually uses baking potatoes which is just as good..probably better).
-1 large can of tomatoes, doesn't really matter how they're cute ( I used diced, BC that's what E bought) 
-1 can creamed corn. 
-vegetable broth as needed ( my ONLY tweak-sorry Mamma........)

Instructions( straight from my mamma..told you- not much of a recipe! hehe)
*Cook beans and peas in vegetable broth for 15 minutes
*Add other ingredients except corn, crumble meat as you add it, and cook 20 minutes 

( I added a little more vegetable broth at this point, and cooked it for about 10 minutes longer to get the right consistency)
*Add corn and cook 10 minutes longer.

really, you could cook this in a crock pot on low for a while and it'd still be amazing! Sadly, i don't have a picture of this soup..but if you're going to make it, just know that its not very..soupy. its a very thick, vegetable-y soup. and its amazing. trust me.

Pumpkin Cornbread

well. E made these. and he found the recipe here.... it was SUPER good (side note, i must try that pumpkin chili..)! He's planning on making a sweeter rendition for a bake sale soon. I'll share that recipe when it happens.

And finally, the plan for tonight ( oh, excited about tonight..)

"Boiled" chicken with butter and autumn spices with..ROASTED BUTTER NUT SQUASH!!!!
( yeah, I just "yelled" that. that's how excited I am. )

*disclaimer...we don't literally boil the chicken. Ok, we do, but not like you think. it's cut into small pieces and cooked in seasoned broth. We got the idea from cooking fondue and it REALLY is amazing. I'll have more details tomorrow. 

well, that was fun! 

(another) Side note: our favorite couple came to visit us last weekend and it was THE BEST WEEKEND EVER! Here's a happy toast to send off my first (hopefully not lat) food-heavy post!

and, of course, a puppy picture for good measure.

trying to be a lap dog.. he's so cute its not even fair.

well, in the words of my favorite chef Mr Alton Brown (yes. I'm that kind of nerd),  I bid you all good eats! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Ok. so, apparently I have somehow dislocated my..ribhead? making it incredibly painful to type. sit. lay down. recline. Its incredibly NOT cool!  Ive even had a co-worker ( who just happens to be an incredible massage therapist) fix it- TWICE- and it just keeps goin' back.. Anyhoo- so so so so sorry about leaving my second post hangin' hopefully next week i will be back with a vengeance..and with a post or two about refinishing our dining room table! ( assuming i can even work on it...sigh..) In the meantime, have a lovely thursday, and an INCREDIBLE weekend!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Well, shoot

I have yet to share pt two of my list! one crazy weekend plus one majorly screwed up back and shoulder have prevented me from typin it up....hopefully it will come tomorrow! in the meantime, he's a pic of me an  mah sweet pup chillin in the pool on Saturday!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Ten Things.

This post is inspired by the lovely Annie over at Turning Pages, which was inspired by another of my favorites,  C. Jane.  Such a fantastic idea, I cannot pass it up. They both shared ten things that make their life more enjoyable, more simplified, more in-control. What a great idea! I am sure we all have these things, but really stopping to think about it, to recognize these things, and to really internalize them so that they're conscious joys, turn them into a reliable source of happiness. How cool. Seriously.

So, without further ramblings, Here is part 1 my list. ( Following suit, and due to lack of posting time, part 2 will come tomorrow!)

My favorite tea {honey ginseng} at one of my favorite places
1. My daily tea break. I am not  a coffee drinker by nature. Don't get me wrong, I love coffee, but if I don't drink it regularly, I crash. I crash hard. Tea, on the other hand, is something that I can rely on to do good by me. I even carry a few bags with me everywhere I go, just in case.
Every day, I find a minute or two, sit in quiet,  drink my tea, and contemplate my day, have a quiet conversation with God, or just think about nothing. It gives me fantastic perspective and piece of mind.


 {The beginnings of our garden the day we planted it- SO TINY!} 
2. Watering my garden.  I love the responsibility of keeping our vegetable garden alive and well.  It's one of the few "home owner chores" that I haven't really tired of yet.  I  love going out into the cool morning every morning to water them, and watering them again as soon as I get home.  Sometimes, the dogs even help :)


{Making fondu for the parents, circa 2007}
3. Planning and Cooking Dinner.  I love dinner ( or supper, as it's referred to in my family). It's my favorite part of the day, I think. And I love cooking with E.  Sometimes I get to work in the morning and immediately start thinking about what we can cook for dinner. And then the emails start - recipe swapping- ideas - discussions over what we have in the fridge, what we'd need to buy, etc, etc..these can go on all day - oh the anticipation!  Over our two years of marriage, E and I have learned to work so well together when we cook-every movement throughout the kitchen is well-choreographed. We've learned each others  strengths and weaknesses in the kitchen, and we work with it.


{thats a LOT of groceries! (via apartment therapy)}
4. Grocery Shopping. What? Is that weird?  ( am so food oriented..) Goodness, I LOVE grocery shopping! And I don't just mean picking up a few things, I mean hardcore-groceries for a week- a list a mile long- shopping.  I love the feeling of heading to the store with an empty fridge and pantry, and coming home with car  full of groceries to fill it up with! Every time I fill my fridge, I remember how blessed we are that we are able to do  this every now and then. (we're actually going on a big grocery run this weekend- I've already got the list started!)


{on the trail in our neighborhood- it goes all around town!}
5. Daily Walks.  This is not something we're awesome at, especially when its still 100 degrees at 8:00, but we have been trying to get into the habit of eating dinner AT the table (the couch is our go-to dinner spot..hopefully one day it will be the back yard instead) and then after we clean up from dinner, we leash up the dogs and go for a walk. We did this quite a bit when we lived in the apartments, but now that we have a back yard, we tend to slack off a bit.. but I think it's so important to get the dogs out of their natural habitat once and a while! They love it, and we love getting to know our neighborhood a bit better.

Stay tuned for Pt 2!