Thursday, July 30, 2015

Healthy 'Microwave' Popcorn

Popcorn is my favorite evening snack, and I have experimented with several ways of preparing it, including popcorn makers, campfire popcorn pans, and various brands of microwave popcorn.

I have even tried cooking it over the stove in a skillet, which my family coined the "Little House on the Prairie method." Those techniques yielded edible popcorn but still left me in search of the perfect way to prepare my favorite snack.

One evening about ten years ago, my mom announced that she was going to make popcorn. When I asked how she planned to pop it, she told me that she had found a new method online. I was curious but skeptical.

The popcorn my mom made that night turned out to be the best I had ever tasted. I just have to share the recipe with you all!

Healthy "Microwave" Popcorn

1/4 cup popcorn kernels
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
Large glass bowl
Salt and melted butter to taste

Measure 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels. (I keep mine on the counter in a mason jar.)



Next, spoon out one tablespoon of coconut oil. (I buy mine at Aldi for around $5.00, and it lasts two to three months.)



Using a spoon, mix the popcorn kernels and coconut oil in a large glass bowl until every kernel is coated in oil.


Put the bowl in the microwave, cover, and cook for 2-4 minutes (until the kernels pop about two seconds apart). Add melted butter and salt to taste, and voila! Healthy microwave popcorn in less than six minutes.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Our Vows

Today is our one-month anniversary. (I would call it our "month-iversary," but Mr. Handsome says that sounds cheesy.) Several readers requested that I post our wedding vows, which seems to be a fitting way to celebrate.

Our vows are a combination of lines from Mr. Handsome's parents' vows and vows we found online, as well as principles we learned in marriage counseling. We each read them from a piece of paper at the altar.

My Vows
Today I take you to be my wedded husband, my faithful partner, my best friend, and my one true love. I promise to love you now and as you grow into the man God intends. I submit to you as the spiritual leader of our family and the head of our home, knowing that you will love and lead me as Christ loves and leads the Church. I will strive for oneness in our relationship, with the oneness of the Trinity as the leading example. I will be by your side as we serve the Lord together and set a solid foundation for a ministry-focused family. I will love and respect and be open and honest with you when we are together and when we are apart, when our lives are at peace and when they are in turmoil, when I am proud of you and when I am disappointed in you. I will pray for you and will compassionately encourage you to seek God in all things. Today I pledge my life and all that I am to you. With God’s help, I will keep these vows until my death or yours.

Mr. Handsome's Vows

Today I take you to be my wedded wife. I promise to love you now and as you grow into the woman
God intends. I will strive to love you as Christ loves the Church and to be the spiritual leader of our family. I will be by your side as we serve the Lord together and set a solid foundation for a ministry-focused family. I will strive for oneness in our relationship, with the oneness of the Trinity as the leading example. You are an incredible person, and I intend to treat you as such. I promise to respect and support you with encouragement and understanding, to share with you the joys and sorrows of life, and to be open and honest with you. I will pray for you and will compassionately encourage you
to seek God in all things. I recommit to serving Jesus Christ and know that a close relationship with him will be the most important aspect of our relationship. Apart from God, you are the most important person in my life, and I promise to stand by you as long as God gives us life.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Restaurant-Style Queso Blanco Dip

My husband is a big fan of queso dip. His favorite used to be Tostitos® Salsa Con Queso, until he discovered Tostitos®  Queso Blanco a few months ago. It is the only thing he will eat with tortilla chips.

During a Walmart shopping trip two weeks into our marriage, Mr. Handsome picked up a bag of chips and a container of Tostitos® Queso Blanco. I quickly glanced at the ingredients and cringed. I checked the shelf for healthier alternatives but found none.

A few days later, I set out to make a healthier, homemade version of this product that would have my husband drooling. After scouring the internet and taking bits and pieces from various recipes, I came up with this one. It takes about five minutes, and it's sure to make you drool (if you like queso, that is).

After one bite, Mr. Handsome was sold. He said it was the best queso dip he has ever tasted and that it knocks Tostitos® out of the park.

Restaurant-Style Queso Blanco Dip

Ingredients
1/2 lb white American cheese*
1/4 cup cold water
1/3 cup whole milk

Directions
Cut cheese into bite-sized chunks, and put in a microwave safe bowl. Add water and milk, and stir. Microwave for one minute, and then remove and stir. Continue microwaving (stirring every minute) until cheese reaches desired consistency (approximately 4-6 minutes). 

Dip can be refrigerated and reheated, but be careful not to burn it.

*I used Land O' Lakes, but it contains a few artificial ingredients (still much better than Tostitos queso dips), so I am on the lookout for an alternative.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Wedding Picture #1

Our photographer is still editing, but she sent us a preview of our wedding photos. I know you all are eager to see pictures, so here it is. More coming soon!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Simple & Delicious Blueberry Pie

It's good to be back to the blogging world. Mr. Handsome and I had a beautiful wedding. I am looking forward to posting pictures as soon as the photographer finishes editing them.

We have been husband and wife for two-and-a-half weeks, and we love married life. After a five-day honeymoon on Grand Cayman, we moved down to Tennessee so Mr. Handsome could start work as a dentist. When he returned home after his first day, I greeted him with a homemade blueberry pie.

That was only the second time I had made pie, so I was definitely not expecting it to turn out as well as it did. The recipe, compliments of Mr. Handsome's mom, was surprisingly easy to follow and required very little prep time. Give it a try, and let me know how it turns out.

Blueberry Pie

Crust:
1 3/4 cup flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup softened butter
3 Tablespoons shortening (or butter)
1/2 cup water

Cut butter and shortening. Add flour and salt. When mixed, add water, but don't stir with spoon. Instead, fluff with fork. (This will make the crust more flaky.) Chill dough until firm (10-20 minutes). Flour work surface and rolling pin, and then roll out dough for bottom and top crust.

Filling:
3 1/2-4 cups of blueberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons concentrated lemon juice

Stir ingredients together, and place in crust. Add top crust. Bake at 410F for 10 minutes and then at 350F for 20 minutes. A few minutes before taking the pie out of the oven, coat the crust lightly with butter.