Category Archives: On Our Table

Transition

Summer has come and gone.

photo 2 (1)For most of you, summer is still in full effect, but for those of us that work in education, this season seems by far the shortest of the four.

Life and work in education is so very cyclical. Good and bad. For the most part, everything happens and functions on the same calendar from year to year. The good part is that you can be somewhat prepared and on top of things. The bad is that the mundanity of it all can and will, at times, wear down on your joy, on your motivation and on your heart. Surely this concept could be applied to any area of life and type of work.

I guess that’s why life happens in seasons. Fall. Winter. Spring. Summer. Seasons of growth, of life, of sadness, of waiting, of death, of disappointment, of hope and of joy. We are not guaranteed only the good ones. In fact, by the nature of this world we live in, seasons of death and life, good and bad, happy and sad are all inevitable. Seasons begin and end.

photo 1Jay and I are in a season of transition. A season of waiting, hoping, expecting and the seemingly inescapable feelings of sadness and disappointment. With all of that and no definitive answers or solutions for anything, I find myself looking back on the last year of our lives with a smile. Sure, we haven’t been blessed with pregnancy or a successful adoption yet; BUT we chose to LIVE and be present. Instead of obsessing over what we don’t have, we’ve celebrated the things we do. We’ve lived my 30th and Jay’s 35th year the best way we know how.

To mark the end of our summer season, Jay and I traveled to our favorite place, New York City, for 10 days. Beautiful weather, amazing food, great company. We witnessed the sweetest wedding of some of our favorite friends, enjoyed cocktails on rooftops, picnicked in the park, filmed a Travel Channel show (more on that later!), reunited with our soul sisters & brothers, made new friends and explored the city hand-in-hand. It was the BEST ending to this season.

photo 3 (2)So here’s my little confession and long-winded way to say I’m also entering a new season in life and on this blog. This place has been so therapeutic for me as we’ve dealt with infertility. Don’t get me wrong, we are still dealing with it and may be forever, but I want to write about more than that. This will officially be my transition to writing more about the things that bring joy and happiness, the things that make me smile…like dinner parties, cooking fun crazy recipes, beautiful adventures, community and our lives that go on…despite the sadness, despite the infertile elephant in the room (haha). I hope you don’t mind and I hope you don’t stop reading.

Snow Days

Living in the south, snow is a VERY rare occurrence. This year, 2014, Winter Storm Pax decided to descend on us and 2 days later, it is STILL snowing. We’ve got 10 inches so far and apart from the impending power outage, the shut-in status and the growing cabin fever…it is really beautiful.

Snow Day Pic

It’s pretty magical to look out of my window and see the wintery white landscape. Today, I’m slowly working through my Snow Day To-Do list.

Here’s what our snow day(s) have consisted of so far:

1. Play // Our beagle babies, Bella & Champ, have a love/hate relationship with the fluffy white stuff. Bella hates it, Champ loves it.

photo 41912138_10151914209315998_507359739_o

2. Read // I used to say I’m not much of a reader, but the truth is, I love to read. BUT I don’t just love to read, I love to binge read. When I start a book, I CANNOT stop…I MUST know how it ends. Knowing this about myself, I have to limit my book reading binges to 3-4 a year or else, I will ignore life around me. Yikers, sorry Jay;).

BookPhoto

3. Cook // Snow Days and weekends are when I actually get to take the time to explore recipes & new cooking techniques. I absolutely love to cook. In the last few years, I’ve had a growing passion for all things culinary.

When I’m cooking, I feel alive in a way I’ve never felt before. To take different ingredients & orchestrate them together – where each element sustains its own distinctive identity, yet perfectly combines & complements the others – and create a delicious, harmonious meal. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know this to be true by my constant food pic posting (sorry, not sorry). I am SUCH a beginner when it comes to food styling/photography, so I wouldn’t even dare qualify it as such just yet.

My recent food adventures: (my first ever) Perfectly Poached Eggs, Israeli CousCous, Curry Coconut Butternut Squash Soup from Orangette and Spinach, Andouille Sausage Strata

EggsPoachedEggs

CousCous PicIsraeliCousCous

SoupPhoto SpinachStrata

I’m so ready for warm weather and spring, but for today, I’m choosing to be present and appreciate these moments to do things I love to do – in the warmth of our home (which is something I’ll never take for granted on days like these when I know there are thousands of less fortunate) and to do it all with “my people”.

Today, my cup runneth over.

Been awhile…

Life has been pretty exciting the past few weeks. There are so many things “in the works” that I feel there’s nothing to update or write about YET. I WILL start blogging more…it is a goal and I intend on keeping it. I “gave up” Facebook and television for Lent, and I have to say…I don’t really miss either and this “free” time has given me a little more purpose than I had before.

Like I said…there are things in the works, just can’t say anything just yet…but HOLD OUT.

In the meantime, I’ve tried to devote time to cooking more and more…and not just “normal” cooking, I’ve tried to experiment with new recipes. I am glad to say that most of my cooking adventures turned out to be successes. Here is one that shocked me with it’s goodness:

Bacon Maple Glazed Doughnuts
Recipe via A Cozy Kitchen
Good LAWD these were delicious!

Speaking of A Cozy Kitchen…where has this blog been all my life?! Seriously LOVE Adrianna! Her blog cracks me up and the recipes are divine. If you haven’t seen her stuff, head over there after you’re finished here…seriously awesome. Another recipe (from ACK) was the zucchini fries.

It was a lazy Sunday around the Masanotti household and of a lazy, scrappy excuse/mix of food as well and this girl WAS NOT going to the grocery store. I had odds and ends and threw together beef sliders on english muffins (no other bread). I needed a side and had ONE….just one silly zucchini in the refrigerator. A Google and a few clicks later, I stumbled (yet again!) on Adrianna’s blog to find this DELICIOUS recipe for zucchini fries:

This week, I stayed close to my cooking roots and whipped up something on my own…sans recipe. I’ve been doing that a lot lately and it makes me happy that I am growing to “know” things about different foods, spices, combinations, etc. For dinner tonight, I made shrimp tacos. I wish I could give you the recipe, but Lord knows what I put in there. Hopefully these next few photos will be self-explanatory, but I’ll try to elaborate where possible. Enjoy!

I’ll pause here for a moment to tell you that I then mixed this salsa above {Fresh Mild Salsa from Trader Joes} with the onions and peppers before I put them in the skillet.

PS: I can’t tell you how much I LOVE my gas stove vs. our electric one before…how cool is that flame?!

The limes and this Cilantro Salad Dressing (also from TJ’s) were the “marinade” for the shrimp (for me) and chicken (for Jay). SO good.

Side note…All produce, chicken and shrimp were organic and the tortilla chips are mulit-grain. You feel full and content without feeling gross…AND it did NOT cost me a fortune. Trader Joe’s is my friend for life.

Side-Side Note…School/work purchased a Canon Rebel T3i for me and this is my first experiment with it…I think we are going to have a LOVE-LOVE relationship for sure.

Have a good week!