We made it! Caleb and I made it! Today is our one year anniversary!
Can I get real with you for a bit? This year was really, really difficult, and I just want to let you know how thankful I am that my husband and I had this first year. I knew that things wouldn't be peaches and cream. Smushing two lives together into one tends to be a little sticky sometimes, and I'd heard many times growing up "The first year is the hardest." Well, I didn't know it would be this hard, and I didn't know it would be this hard because of these reasons.
I don't usually care for cookies, not often, at least. On Sunday, though, I got a hankering for a soft, wonderful chocolate chip cookie. Because I'm an adult with a kitchen, I realized I could make them myself instead of going out to buy them, and so I did!
I Googled "the best chocolate chip cookie" and landed on Handle the Heat and the "Ultimate Guide Chocolate Chip Cookies" Tessa has published there. (Check it out, she's got some really valuable information on her blog!) The recipe she uses in her guides is just the regular one from Toll House, so that's what I used, too. I guess the recipe isn't all the earth shattering, but seeing my cookies come out beautiful and perfect and biting into the most wonderful chocolate chip cookie I'd ever made was pretty awesome. Cooking them on airbake sheets with nonstick aluminum foil underneath allowed them to slide right off of the pan, which was a very nice surprise. And just look at how gorgeous the cookie bottoms are!
By the way, do you know how to make cookies ...less sweet? That's the only thing I would change about the batch I made. Call me crazy, but I wish they were less sweet.
Don't you love this measurement conversion chart? Sugar and Charm is giving away this beautiful goodness for free! I'm printed mine out yesterday, and it's going to be sticking to my fridge with a magnet for a while, but I'd like to get it in a standing frame for one of my kitchen corners.
A long time ago, it was like an online journal. Even later, I would write out long, drawn out, heartfelt letters on my life. In Korea, I would tell stories and share pictures of adventures. Now, I don't know what I have going on here.
When I read old posts of mine like this, I'm reminded of what I really want this blog to be. Genuine. I tend to be genuine by nature, I want this blog to be a reflection of who I am, and I want to be able to share my heart and growing thoughts. But then there are other things I want this blog to be, too. I love to research and to share research. My post on birth control is one that I'm very, very proud of. I'm also proud of my recent Job Hunt Series. Sharing helpful information is something I'm passionate about, and when I have an opportunity to do that in this medium, I just love it. I like sharing about the few things I've made, too, even if I've done a crummy job...
My boss, Diane, likes to throw dinner parties. We'll usually have two a year for the whole office plus dates.
Now, Diane is a part of high society here in Atlanta. To my embarrassment, I was not prepared for her high society dinner party. We arrived right on time and came empty handed, both major faux pas I was unaware of until I saw everyone else arriving "late" and bringing gifts for our hostess. Dear oh dear, I'm never letting this happen again.
To save yourself the same embarrassment, read this article from Dinner, A Love Story for the low down on proper etiquette. Then the next trick is figuring out what kind of hostess gifts you can bring after being invited over so many times. Don't want to seem repetitive, you know? Here are some ideas and tips.
I've got an awesome recipe to share with you. Slow cooker carnitas! I've made it twice, and it's a favorite.
Photo by me!
I got the recipe from The Noshery. I almost followed it perfectly. I used all the same ingredients exactly like prescribed, but I didn't cut the meat before hand. I actually just cut the huge pork shoulder in half and plopped it into the crock pot and continued with the rest of the steps. When it was finished cooking, the first time I made it I fried up some of the meat, but I found that took away the moisture, so the second time I made it, I didn't fry it, which makes the recipe that much easier.
Put meat in crock pot > Put ingredients on top of meat (you don't even have to mince the garlic if you don't want to) > Shred meat in its juices once it's finished cooking > Serve with tortillas!
My favorite toppings are pictured above. A little bit of sour cream, avocado, radishes, and fresh cilantro. It's the perfect bite of summer! (I'd love to have people over for an end-of-summer party and serve these carnitas and this cilantro lime shrimp I tried last week.)
Bonus: You can use some meat and its juices to make this great and hearty Puerto Rican soup called posole. See the recipe here.