The First Meal

On Sunday a question was posed for an “ice-breaker” for each table to talk about. The question was “when did you know that your spouse was “the one”

It was a question I could answer very easily. And it was fun to reminisce about it with friends.  I also thought it might be a fun topic to ask my blog readers to answer – so feel free to write up your blog post and tell me where to go read it!

Here is our story:

We had been “officially dating” for about a week – but we had been talking pretty much every day for around 6 months.  We had spent the day before (Thanksgiving) meeting each others families and sharing lunch/dinner with the other’s families.  We had planned to spend the day together and not really do much.  The day started very early with me meeting Brian at a tire shop so he could drop his truck off to get new tires. We then went back to his house and watched an episode of Extreme Home Makeover that was filmed in the town he grew up in.   I honestly don’t remember much about that day with the exception of the first meal he made me, being goofy in front of a guy – and him liking that side of me, having chinese food for dinner, falling asleep cuddled up on the couch watching Back to the Future together, and what I was wearing that day (a pink peasant type top, and very light colored jeans.)  The day was just a normal, nothing special type of day.  But I knew that day I was falling in love with him, and that this relationship was going to go places.

I want to focus on the first meal that he made me just for a second – because I really think that this is what he used to live on before I came into the picture – even though I found out that he is actually a pretty good cook!

He made me Velveeta Shells and Cheese and we had a Snack-Pack chocolate pudding for dessert.

And it was delicious!  He has actually made me plenty of delicious dinners since then, but I still hold both of those things close to my heart.

Ok, it’s your turn – how did you know that your spouse was “the one”?

Make it a GRATE Day!




Korean BBQ Pork with Crunchy Wontons

Are you shocked? I’m actually posting a recipe! I figured that since I actually cooked last night AND remembered to snap a few photographs I would share with you all.  I can’t take all the credit though – Brian actually prepped all of the veggies for me.

This is a Pampered Chef recipe featured in the Fall/Winter 2012 Season’s Best Recipe Collection.   It’s also one of our favorites. It’s easy to make, packed full of veggies and it’s easy to change up if needed.

The recipe does call for a Pampered Chef BBQ sauce (Korean BBQ Sauce) but I have actually never used that sauce when I’ve made it – so maybe I should just call it BBQ Pork with Crunchy Won tons? It’s up to you.


16 Square won ton wrappers (3 in/7.5 cm)

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded

2 medium carrots, peeled (I use 3-4 to bump up the veggie content)

1 large red bell pepper

1 medium onion

1 pork tenderloin – about 1 pound, trimmed

3 garlic cloves

1 1/2 TBSP canola oil, divided (I used olive oil)

1 cup Snow Peas, trimmed (I don’t trim them, I throw them in the pan just as they are)

3 Green Onions (I use 4-6)

1/2 cup Korean BBQ Sauce (I use whatever I have on hand, Masterpiece, Sweet Baby Rays, homemade – use whatever you want! and I usually use closer to a cup of sauce)

1/4 cup Apple Jelly (I like the jelly that has actual chunks of apple in it – I think it’s a Smuckers brand)

Additional sliced green onion for garnish (optional)


1. Stack won tons and cut them into 1/4 inch strips. Separate strips and place in Small Ridged Baker (honestly I think any piece of stoneware will work – but I did use my small ridged baker)  Lightly Spray with canola oil and toss to coat – don’t skip tossing them!

2. Microwave strips, uncovered, on High for 3-5 minutes or until they begin to brown, stirring at the end of ever minute (don’t skip! they will burn!) Spread strips over parchment paper to cool.

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3. Coarsely chop jalapeno using a food chopper (I actually chop them pretty fine). Cut carrots lengthwise into quarters then crosswise into thirds (basically cut into thinner strips)

4. Cut off top of bell pepper and scoop out seeds. Cut into bite size pieces.  Wedge onion into 5 chunks, then slice in half.

5. Slice pork lengthwise into four strips. Cut strips crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces (basically bite size) Mix pork and pressed garlic in a bowl until meat is covered with garlic. You could do this step earlier in the day for a stronger garlic taste if wanted.

6. Heat 1 TBSP oil in large skillet over medium-high heat for 1-3 minutes or until shimmering.

7. Cook pork without stirring for 3-5 minutes or until browned. Stir pork and cook 1-2 minutes; remove from skillet.

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8. Add remaining 1/2 TBSP oil to skillet. Add all vegetables, cook and  and stir 2-4 minutes or until crisp-tender (don’t over cook!)  I love all the bright colors in the pan – isn’t it pretty?

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9. Stir in pork, BBQ sauce and jelly. Cook 1-3 minutes or until heated through.

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10. Divide won ton strips among serving plates and top with pork mixture.  Garnish with additional sliced green onion if desired. I like to actually serve this over rice – it makes it go farther, and it’s filling. When I serve over rice, the won ton wrappers go on top (pictured below)

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To change it up:

Instead of carrots use parsnips.  Instead of peas, use green beans.  Instead of pork use boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips.

This recipe costs around $2 per serving and is heart healthy.  It serves 6 people (without the rice)

Please let me know how you enjoy this recipe!

Make it a GRATE day!



Our Baby Journey…….Part 7

Ok, I realize that it’s been umm….several weeks since I wrote part 6, and yes, I realize that I am the worst blogger ever. For that I apologize.  But you want to hear part 7 right? Ok here goes!


May 31, 2013

This was the day I was going to go into the Doctors office and find out if I was pregnant.  The few days leading up to this day were the longest in my life.  The very few friends that knew what was going on told me I should just take a test at home and see if I was pregnant – but those tests don’t always show a pregnancy less than 14 days after ovulation, and I really didn’t want to get my hopes up.  AND I didn’t want to waste a $10 test – CHEAP I know!  But that morning I woke up around 4 a.m. having to use the toilet so badly that I had a decision to make.  I could take a home pregnancy test and find out knowing it could be wrong, and knowing that I wouldn’t go back to sleep that day if it were positive. Or I could use the toilet and go back to bed and wait for my appointment that morning.  I took the test.  Of course it took FOREVER to show the results. And then I saw it. I was in shock, in awe and was praying it was true.



I started crying and thanking God all in the same moment.  I couldn’t believe it.

I then had another decision to make. Do I wake Brian up right then and there and tell him, or do I wait another hour – hour and a half and tell him when he got up for work?  I decided to let him sleep, but to leave the test on the bathroom counter so he would find it when he got up.

I went back to bed KNOWING I wasn’t going to sleep anymore, but felt like I should at least try.  Brian rolled over and asked me if I was ok. I said yes, but if he was awake he should go look at the bathroom counter.  He did and came back to bed and we hugged it out and cried some more.

This was real.

I think we were both in shock.

This actually worked.

God had blessed us with a pregnancy that we had wanted and waited for, for 4+ years.  It was nothing short of a miracle.

Later that I day I went into my Doctors office and I saw Nurse Kim (she was AMAZING by the way – just as good as the Doctor!)  and she asked me if I had “cheated” – I told her I had and that the test was positive. She was excited for me, but gently reminded me that they were looking for an HSG level of at least 50 that day, and then they wanted it to double over the weekend.  She drew blood and sent it off to the lab and told me she would call me by 2 p.m. that afternoon with the results.

2 p.m. would not come that day – it seemed like it took FOREVER.

Finally she called. She said not to worry, but today’s HSG level was only a 47.  She scheduled me to come in on Monday for the same test. I knew that my numbers needed to be over 100. So we prayed all weekend.  And then left it in God’s hands.

June 3, 2013

Monday – same routine, draw blood, send it to the lab and She would call me by 2 p.m.  She called me before 2 (Thank God!) and said that my HSG level was a 102.   I was so so so happy!!

She scheduled us for a 6 week appointment, and an 8 week appointment.  After the 8th week we would be released from the fertility doctors care and we would have to choose a birth provider at that point.

This is the first picture of our tiny baby – not much to look at yet, but it’s the most beautiful little blob I’ve ever seen 🙂


So now you know where I’ve been, and why there hasn’t been much action on this blog – I haven’t been cooking much! Being in the kitchen with a hot stove is just not a good thing right now.  But hopefully soon I will be back cooking and baking up a storm – I miss it!!

I am now 16 weeks pregnant (well tomorrow) and it still doesn’t seem “real.” I feel like I’m living in a daze most days. We are just so thankful and we are super excited to start this next part of our journey.  The question that I get asked the most is “how are you feeling” well to tell you the truth, I’m tired of throwing up.  Yes, even at 16 weeks I’m still dealing with it. But I do use it as a reminder that my baby is still growing, and throwing up is a GOOD thing…..although when I’m kneeling at the toilet it’s hard to remember that!

I do want to mention that this isn’t the case for every couple going through infertility.  Some couples go through multiple rounds of IUI and IVF and they still have empty arms.  I don’t know WHY it worked for us, other than it was all God’s timing.   My heart still hurts knowing that we have several friends still on their journey to having children.  I wish I could wave a magical wand and fill their arms with a child, but I am not God, and I sadly have no control over blessing someone with a pregnancy/baby.  I do know that God makes no mistakes, and his timing is always perfect.

Make it a GRATE day!