Tuesday, September 25, 2012

All The Trim

When we put an offer on our new house someone asked us what the outside of the house looked like and I couldn't remember. Therefore, I decided a top project was to pick a new paint trim color and a new door color for some style.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Out of the Jungle

We began looking for a new house in January of this year. We found a house in February while there was still snow on the ground. We then closed in mid-April and moved beginning of May. When we finally got settled, we started paying attention to the landscaping needs. One side of our house was a jungle. We had honeysuckle overtaking the steep hillside, weeds up to our knees, and a permanent deer path. It was awful.


Because of the steepness of the hill, I was slightly concerned with tackling the project ourselves. We hired a local landscaper, Outside Image.

I'm happy with the outcome. I really like how this layout will allow me to add my own touches over the years.

Contractor's AFTER

Of course, Andy and I didn't last long leaving the landscaping alone. We spent Saturday morning wondering around a nursery picking out deer resistant plants and a few more shrubs. Once we got home we set to work  digging holes and planting the new additions.

Howley's AFTER

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

High Level of Cheesiness

In the last post, I mentioned that we had visited Cheese Haven in Port Clinton, OH and bought 2 types of cheese (Red, White, and Blue Cheese and White Stilton with Mango and Ginger). We used the Red, White, and Blue Cheese on burgers so I needed to find some ways to use the White Stilton. We picked up the White Stilton with Mango and Ginger because on the list of my favorite food is cheese, mangoes, and ginger.  By itself, in small bites, the cheese is good but not quite the awesomeness I had anticipated, so I began to look for recipes that called for this cheese.

I found a UK recipe from The Stylist for White Stilton with Mango and Ginger Savory Biscuits.

White Stilton with Mango and Ginger Savoury Biscuits
Serves 4

7/8 cup flour
1/2 cup white stilton with mango and ginger
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp milled pepper
Pinch smoked paprika
1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
2 eggs yolks

Place the butter, cheese flour, paprika, and pepper into a bowl. Mix with a mixer on a medium speed until it forms a smooth dough. Roll the dough into a log shape approximately 3 inches in diameter.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap,place in the refrigerator, and chill for 60 minutes. Slice the chilled dough into 1 cm thick coins. Place onto a baking tray.

Mix the egg yolk with a little water and brush the top of the biscuits. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds and crumble some extra cheese over the top. Place in the preheated oven at 375°F. Bake for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.

The biscuits are a rich snack perfect for an afternoon tea. When you pick one up to eat, it immediately crumbles. Andy's first attempt ended with all but one crumb on the kitchen floor. The second and third both made it entirely into his mouth.

Since I don't usually have White Stilton with Mango and Ginger on hand, I think I will try making these again with blue cheese or cheddar.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cheese Please

Last weekend we were up in Port Clinton, OH for a wedding at the Catawba Island Club. Located very near the hotel we stayed is Ohio's Largest Cheese Shop, Cheese Haven. For as often as Andy and I frequent this area, we have had trouble finding time to stop while it is open. Not this time though. I walked in and it was as if the angels starting singing. Just Kidding. There is a section dedicated to Ohio Wines, a section for sweets, a section for jams, jellies, mustards, and a long cooler full of cheese.

I managed to decide on 2 different cheeses (Red, White, and Blue Cheese and White Stilton with Mango and Ginger).

Red, White, and Blue Cheese, Limited Edition

This Red, White, and Blue is a Blue Cheese with Red Jalapeno Peppers. We cut this cheese into thin slices and added it to the top of burgers, Andy's specialty.

The combination was amazing!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cooking School

Recently Andy and I went on vacation.  We flew down to Savannah to spend a few days with Em then headed to Amelia Island, FL.

It was a greatly needed relaxing time away from Ohio

On vacation I was given the opportunity to be a part of a cooking school at a the restaurant Salt.  It was a very hands on, help the chefs make our lunch class.  Our lunch turned out to be 5 courses!  Chef Rick showed a group how to make homemade pasta and prepared a small pasta tomato bruschetta dish. Chef Niko taught a group how to make vichyssoise with marinated mushroom in a puff pastry cup. Chef Heidi had the largest group because she was teaching  them how to make chocolate cake with homemade coffee ice cream.  Finally my group was in charge of the entree. We prepared Salt Encrusted Beef Tenderloin with Spring Succotash, Red Quinoa Risotto, and Carrot Purée.

The meal turned out delicious!

One recipe that I am excited to try is the Carrot Purée. Yes, from that menu I choose the carrots. I only foresee one problem with this recipe.  It calls for food saver bags.  Is it worth investing in one or should I just forget about the recipe entirely?

Here is my dilemma.  I hate cooked carrots.  I hate how mushy they get and the how the flavor changes.  I love fresh carrots and the crunch that comes with them.  To be honest, I choose crunchy over mushy textured things every time, that includes mashed potatoes.  I know, blasphemy! The sous vide carrots taste just like they are fresh and there are TONS of possibilities and it is super healthy.  This method lends itself well to all vegetables except the green ones.

Carrot Purée
5 Carrots
2 Tbsp Honey
4 Tbsp Butter

Peel and slice carrots.
Cut into 1/4 inch slices.
Place carrots, honey, and butter into a vacuum seal bag in one layer.
Remove all the air from bag and place into boiling water.
Cook until carrots be ome soft to the touch.
Strain excess liquid from carrots into a sauce pan.
Reduce liquid until thick.
Purée carrots and thickened liquid in a blender.
Season to taste.

Monday, May 14, 2012


When we were in the process of selling the house and moving, I came across a book that I had bought off amazon a couple years ago. For some crazy reason I had yet to pick it up and read it. It is a memoir slash cookbook from blogger Molly Wizenberg, Orangette. Her book, A Homemade Life, is so full of great recipes that it was torture to read and not be able to make a mess in the kitchen.

This recipe immediately caught my attention because banana bread is one of Andy's favorite foods and I LOVE ginger. Yesterday, I talked Andy into to letting me change up his traditional banana bread and make this. It is awesome! I may have had 2 slices for breakfast this morning plus more with dinner.

Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger
Makes 1 loaf or 1 8-inch round cake
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup well-stirred whole-milk plain yogurt (not low or nonfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350F. Grease a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan or an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray or butter.
2. Melt the butter on the stove or in a microwave and set aside to cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and cystallized ginger and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides as needed, until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter with be thick and somewhat lumpy, just make sure all the flour has been incorporated. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top.
5. Bake into the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 mins to an hour. If the loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with foil.
6. Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then tip out onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing. The loaf freezes well wrapped in plastic wrap and again in foil to protect from freezer burn.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Always Sunny

We are slowly unpacking boxes and getting organized. I have gotten numerous requests for pictures of the new house, so here is one room at a time.

This is my favorite room and what really won me over. When we put an offer down, I couldn't remember what the front of the house looked like but I could describe the sun room in detail. This is where I get to drink my Saturday morning coffee and curl up to read.  Shego loves the windows and spends hours basking in the sun beams.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Hello, My Name Is...

I've been thinking about starting a blog for the last few months. My sisters both have amazing blogs that are impossible to top or match. Em is a graphic designer and currently finishing up grad school at SCAD. She is extremely trendy and creative in ways I can only dream to be. Hanna is in Chicago working in publishing and is always witty and creative and unique. She is always posting the latest music she is loving, books that are must reads, latest amazing projects, and of course Chicago is just a great town to live. I am an engineer in Ohio. Yawn. As you can see, it seems that I am the only left brained Scott girl. I am constantly trying to prove that I am just as creative as my sisters. And yes, in my own way I know I am creative too and just as interesting...   

Anyway, I will be 30 in just shy of 6 months. It has gotten me thinking about the things I want to accomplish. Everyone has heard of the 30 before 30 list. I've contemplated it, but I realized that I have had a very full and busy past couple years and many of the items would have made the list had I written it on my 28th birthday. Just a few being:  get married to the most wonderful guy on an island, go on an adventure honeymoon (New Zealand), start nesting, and fall in love with the 2 most adorable boys ever (Ryan and Mark). I also realized that there are numerous things that I don't want to squeeze into the next 6 months to just get done so they can be crossed off a list.  

Don't get me wrong, there is 1 thing that has to happen before my 30th birthday. Until it gets accomplished, I am not going to share but I promise tons of pictures and full details later.  

But, back to blogging. Andy and I recently moved into a new house that will hopefully be "the one." It was built in '84 so there are various projects already started and renovations slated for the future. I thought this would be a good time to start documenting our life for family and friends that are interested.  

Photo by New Day Photography
Napier, New Zealand