Friday, June 24, 2011

Letters on A Thursday!

Sweet Husband. You cleaned up every single dish last night. You clean every single dish pretty much every single night. Thank you for serving and loving me so well. Folks. The Felder's are heading your way in T-Minus one day. I can't wait till we dominate the Malone's in some basketball. Dear Pinterest, I think my never-ending headaches may have to do with my innate obsession of staring into the computer screen at your lovely website...I may be exaggerating a tad there. But really. I like inspired me to make some mean, delicious cinnamon bread today. Cinnamon bread that was so mean and delicious that I had no time to take a picture of it. Thank you. Merk.  The other night you sang everything you had to say to me. Thanks for making my life a musical. Love it and love you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thankful Tuesday.

I'm not sure why I made Thankful Tuesday on a Tuesday. It goes so much better with Thursday. Alas, I continue...

Brinner. It was a common occurrence in the Malone household. The Fisher's have certainly continued that tradition...mostly due to their eldest son (my nephew, Cade) thinking breakfast is the most wonderful thing in the world. I remember the moment Nana put a pile of pancakes in front of him for the first time. Since then, he hasn't turned back. Well, Cade, I agree with you. Breakfast sure is good. I am thankful for the times you can sneak in an occasional handful of chocolate chips into your buttermilk pancakes. That's what your Uncle Mark and I did last night. Brinner. Chocolate-Chip Pancakes for me. Blueberry Pancakes for him. And a delicious yogurt parfait on the side...

 {yes. bacon was included. it's a must have.} 
bacon was not included in that parfait.
it was on the side of the pancakes.
that would note have been appetizing. 

I'm thankful for traditions continued. Traditions such as "Brinner", a delicious coffee cake recipe from generations ago, or running down the stairs in your pajamas on Christmas Day...traditions such as Muster, the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band, or saying "Howdy"...

I'm thankful for the opportunity to begin new traditions with our new little family. {No, I'm not pregnant}. It's just the two of us. Who just started singing Will Smith's song? I did. Soon the two of us will have the same last name. We just got the marriage licenses in the mail a couple days ago, so I am off to legally change my last name to Felder.

Don't worry, Mom. Mark and I decided to carry on the tradition of the name Malone. Ashlee Malone Felder. Weird without a Nicole...but it will do : )

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Letters on a Thursday.

Dear Scrabble Master, while I am so blessed to be married to such a smart guy, sometimes I selfishly would love to just win one scrabble game. It's a good thing I dominate at settlers. Dear IKEA, you just put up a new giant sign for us to see outside our window each morning. I just may come check out your "It only happens twice a year" Sale. Thanks for changing the scenery for us. Sweet Parsley Plant, So sorry I had to let you go yesterday. The little bugs liked you too much, and I just don't like the bugs. Dear Husband, I have gotten to call you that for two months now...and I love it. Soon we will have a license to prove it to be true :) YAY! for 2 months and more YAYS for many months to come!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Where the Peaches Grow...

In honor of the Dad's birthday, I figured why not make a yummy peach pie? Better yet, why not make many yummy peach pies?

Joel Malone is an Aggie. 
He's a fighter pilot.
He's a dad
A son.
A grandpa. 
A husband.
Joel Malone is a native Texan.
Joel Malone is a Texan at heart.

*those are in no particular order...just saying*

Let's be honest, Dad. You may wear your wranglers, your boots, and your cowboy hat.... You may live in Cow Town at this moment. You may watch old westerns and you may know how to two step like a pro. In reality, though...

Joel Malone likes boiled peanuts.
Joel Malone is known to have had a Krystal burger once upon a time.
Joel Malone was born in Georgia.

I'm not saying that you're not a Texan, Dad. Don't you worry. You're as Texan as Texan can be. Texas is your home. But, you do like your boiled peanuts...and I am sure you like yourself some fresh peaches. So, in your honor, here's a little recipe for Mom to try out (or perhaps I'll whip some up for you when I visit in a couple weeks)!

Mini Peach-Filled Goodness, 
Gracious, Amazing Pies.

For this recipe, you'll need 6 ramekins that can fit 3/4 cup of goodness in it. You can find these at any little store. I am sure you can even make these in a large muffin cup pan.

Once you have that, friends, you are ready to go, and believe'll want to go and make these. They are incredible (especially with vanilla ice cream on top). 

There are four steps to making this pie these pies. It will take a total of about an hour and a half, with 50 minutes of that being baking time.

Here are the four steps:
1. The pie crust
2. The filling
3. The topping
4. Assembly and baking.

Let's start with Step 1!

The Pie Crust
This pie crust is a bit different than ordinary pie crust. It is buttery and creamy and so good. Here is what you need.

Once you have that, pull out a mixer, the paddle attachment, and get started. 

When butter is at a cool-room temperature, cut it into pieces.

Put those pieces into your mixer. Set your mixer on high. 
Real high.
Beat for about 2 minutes, until soft and creamy.

Turn your mixer down to low and slowly pour in the milk.
I poured in half, beat it for a while, then poured in the other half.
Once it starts to incorporate you'll want to put on high.
You may need to put goggles on for this.
Or put on the handy dandy plastic cover if you have a kitchenaid.

While the mixture is getting buttery, creamy, and frosting-like mix together all the dry ingredients (sugar, salt, and flour).
Then, with the mixer on low, gradually put in the flour mixture.
Put in about 1/3. 
Let it get incorporated.
Then the other 1/3.
And so on.

Once all of it is combined wait to take out the dough until it looks like this...

In case you can't tell, the dough is in a big clump on the paddle. It has completely cleaned off the sides of the bowl. This means it is ready! Take out the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface.

Knead it just a couple times.

Separate into 2 equal parts.
Make each part into about a 1 inch thick disc.
Tightly secure with plastic wrap.

 Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. 
It can also stay in the freezer for up to about 2 weeks.
Whenever you are ready to use it, just let it thaw out in the fridge over night.

While the dough is in the fridge, you can get going to Step 2!

The Filling
I decided to use a peach filling. Later on, I also made some with blueberries. You can do any fruit you would like! Just exchange it for the peaches. Here is what you need for the peach filling:

Once you have your ingredients, you will first want to pit, peel, and dice up the peaches into 1/4 inch cubes.

Then, you'll simply want to take the other three ingredients, and dump them into the bowl!
Gently mix it up to combine, then set aside.

Now, you are ready for to get Step 3 ready!

The Topping
The topping makes this dessert more into a cobbler than a pie. It's the crumbly goodness that all people love on pies. Here is what you need...

All you have to do for this is make sure the butter is very soft and cut up, put all the ingredients into a bowl, and use your hand or a fork to crumble up and combine....because I love cinnamon, I always add a bit more. You can do what you want on that though :) 

By now, 30 minutes have definitely gone by and you are ready to assemble these things!

Assembly and Baking
First things first, preheat that oven to 350.
Put the rack on the lower third of the oven.

Then, take out 6 ramekins and spray a whole lotta' Pam on it.
Or you could butter the insides of the ramekins and lightly dust it with flour.
I find the Pam to be much less messy and easier to do.
Place the Pam sprayed ramekins on a cookie sheet.

Now, finally, take out that pie dough from the refrigerator.
Depending on how long you had it in there, it may be a little hard and need some time to soften.
Use your discretion on that one.
I let mine soften a little bit, then unwrapped one of them and rolled it out on a lightly floured surface. I wanted the dough to be rolled out to be about 1/8 inch thick.

Then, I took a bowl from our cabinet that measured 6 inches across the diameter, grabbed a knife, and made "cookie" cuts. Each disc should be able to make 3 circles.

There is one circle being cut right now.
Once you have your circle, you'll want to put in the ramekin like this...

The dough should hang over the edges just a bit. 

Once all 6 are done, place them in the fridge for about 5 minutes to harden up a little.

Once 5 minutes go by, take them out and fill them to the top of the ramekin with the peach filling.

Then close it up as much as you can with the hanging dough.

Now, add that yummy crumble topping.

Pop those things in the oven at 350 degrees and set the timer for 50 minutes!

Once 50 minutes has passed,take them out and let them cool for around 15 minutes.
Don't let them cool too much, or they will be hard to take out.

To take them out you'll want to gently run a knife around the edges.
You can now either lift it up out of the ramekin, or simply turn it over to catch, put right side up, and then set on a plate.

Of course, you can always just leave them in the ramekin as well!

Here is a picture of the peach and blueberry mini pies! Don't you just want to eat ALL of those up?

One day I will have much better picture quality for you. 
Just trust me, these things look and taste real good. 
So good that you should be on your way to the grocery store now to make them...
Better yet, go by this cookbook to make them and tons of other delicious things.

Happy Birthday Dad!!! We didn't have a candle, so I made a little flag for you...kind of like golfing!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Letters On A Thursday!

Dear Marktopus, thanks for waiting on me hand and foot this week. I don't deserve it. Hey Amazon, I may have been seen doing a huge jump in the air because I was so excited to get the book above in the mail from you today. Can't wait to start this process of trying to learn how to sew. Joel/Bugsy/Dad/ Papa, Apologies in advance for not simply going with Dad. Tomorrows your BIG (fill in the blank). I'm not sure how old you are turning...but, I hope you have a grand ol' day. I can't put into words how thankful I am for you.  You taught me how to ride a bike, work a saw, give grace to others, cut a bell pepper, think before I act, ski down a black diamond, and even fly an F-16. Maybe that last one is a stretch...Dear Steph King, I just ignored your phone call. Please forgive me. And to my other half...could you teach me that dance move from SYTYCD? You know...the cat daddy. LU!

 {hey pops. i met you around this time. thanks for shaving off that mustache.}

{dad and his other half...way before the littles came}

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Mushrooms

Today was quite an adventure.

Here's what went down.

I went to the grocery store to pick up the things needed for tonight's supper (because I just decided this morning what we would be having). When I got there, I decided, why not take a stab at cutting open a chicken all on my own? It was an experience.

Here's what I started with...

And a good 20 minutes later, here is what I ended up with...

8 good pieces of chicken to work with all thanks to this book. I air sealed everything but the chicken breasts and started marinating the meat for tonight. In case you would like to try out this delicious meal, here's what you do!

Check out for the recipe we used and then go to the grocery store and get the goods. Instead of quartering the chicken, we just used the breasts. So, you can just buy some boneless, skinless chicken breasts (which you probably have on hand in the freezer). We also didn't get shiitake mushrooms because they were a little on the pricey side. We stuck with cremini mushrooms! Besides that, we followed everything to a T.

And here is what we ended up with...

Thankful Tuesday {on A Wednesday}

I start my job in August. Until then, I have my days free. I wake up when Mark does. He heads out for work and I am home to clean, cook, craft, read, and relax. The Lord blesses me with an insane amount of time to brew some good coffee, crack a couple eggs, and bust out His Word when I start off my day.

Despite the "insane amount of time" that has been given to me, this usually doesn't happen. Instead, I wake up when Mark does. I go back to sleep when Mark leaves. I wake up an hour or two later. I make a latte. I have some cereal... I definitely don't dig into the Word.

Isn't it funny how I was longing for this time when I had a job of teaching and planning a wedding; yet, when the time comes I don't embrace it? I am thankful for this time of rest the Lord has provided me, but this time needs to be used in a way that honors and glorifies Him...only in Him will I find rest that will sustain.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekend Peak

Crazy how the weekend flies when you're lying around your house.

I know. Normally the saying goes "...when you're having fun."

We did have fun...but most of it involved just laying around! It was our first weekend in a couple weeks to just spend time at the home. I loved it. Mark made it a great start to the weekend by bringing me a home a flower he picked from outside.

{love you}

We enjoyed a night of making pizzas and watching 127 hours. The pizza was delicious. All the veggies and meat are under that monstrous amount of cheese you see.

The weekend was made even better when I saw sweet Steph King for a minor moment at church on Sunday. Seeing familiar faces of people who know me is good for my soul. I loved it. Can't wait to see her more.

Hope all of you had a good weekend! Get excited for a good recipe coming on the blog later this week.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Woo-Hoo! It's Friday! I am so excited for the husband to get home and get this weekend started. This is one of the first weekends in the last month that we have nothing planned outside of Houston. Even though I have loved traveling and seeing friends get hitched the last couple weekends, I am excited to be at home with my other newlywed half :)

We finally got some frames up in the living room. I painted the last little thing to complete it today, so I figured I'd share. Sorry for the bad picture quality. I am using my i-phone for all the pictures...hence the  bad quality.

I bought the bike print soon after we got married. It doesn't quite fit in the ikea frame...but I still like it. One day I'll try and matte it myself so it fits properly. for now, this will do

{get this here}

the rental print was given to me by mom last christmas. i am so glad she figured out etsy and snuck into my favorites :) Once again, the ikea frame isn't perfect. I'm thinking of getting some blue fabric and putting it in the background behind the white matte. I'll chop off the white edges of the rental sign too. But for now...

{purchase this

chevron stripe was painted today on a little canvas then put in. it isn't completely perfect, but it's much more fun painting it yourself :)

this was our save the date for our wedding. it feels like ages ago that i sent this the mail, but it was just months ago. crazy.

and the last frame is a part of a card i wrote mark when he was in houston and i was in college station.
I love having things from the past up on the walls...
even if other people don't get it :)

I can't wait to add on to this!
I'm imagining a pretty fun collage on this wall. 
One step at a time though...
 Can't break the bank. 

So much of me wants to break down walls and put in shelving...I have to remind myself that this is just a temporary place. Rental Sweet Rental. While I am making it into our "home", I think I'll save the big renovations/projects for when we have a "home sweet home" that we own.

For now, I'll just keep collecting ideas and saving up money for said ideas :)

Have a great friday, friends!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Another Letter on a Thursday

 Hey Husband. Thanks for coming home from work early yesterday so we could die in spinning class together.

Dear Spinning Bike, Why does your saddle have to be so darn uncomfortable?  

Why hello there Cone-head... 
Thank you for always making me laugh....and for always including others in on the fun.

 Miss and love you big brother.

Dear CStat Folk. Most of you have moved away from Aggieland. But just for old times sake...I say let's repeat this.

Dear Milton Vincent, Thank you for challenging me. I'm sharing a little bit of your book, A Gospel Primer, to my 10 followers because my prayer is that this becomes my prayer and theirs as well. Madre, get out your magnifying glass. The print is tiny.

Preaching the gospel to myself each day nourishes within me a holy brazenness to believe what God says, enjoy what He offers, and do what He commands. Admittedly, I don't deserve to be a child of God and I don't deserve to be free of sin's guilt and power. I don't deserve the staggering privilege of intimacy with God, nor any other blessing that Christ has purchased for me with His blood. I don't even deserve to be useful to God. But by the grace of God I am what I am and I have what I have, and I hereby resolve not to let any portion of God's grace prove vain in me! And to the degree that I fail to live up to this resolve, I will boldly take for myself the forgiveness that God says is mine and continue walking in His grace. This is my manifesto, my daily resolve; and may God be glorified by this confidence that I place in Him (page 52).

A Gospel Primer is an incredible book. I highly encourage each of you to purchase it :) 

And to make it Today's Letters sandwich style again...

Boy Roomie, I love that the first thing you want to do when you get home is lay on the couch and just be for a moment. Thanks for reminding me that it's ok to take a moment and be still. In fact, it's good. Oh, and I love that I'm your roomie. Who knew having a boy roommate would be so fun?!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sauteed Shrimp and Scallops with Avocada-Mango Salsa!

Thank you Bon Appetit for always producing such delicious meals. 

Every time Mark goes to the grocery store he makes some comment surrounding scallops. He loves them. So, when I went to the grocery store yesterday I knew I had to do something with scallops...but they are just so darn expensive. So, I found this great recipe on Bon Appetit that uses both scallops and shrimp! Score!

Here is what the Mr. and I had this evening! Enjoy :)

As the title explains, this meal has two parts. Actually, I made it into three parts. I am just going to share part one and two though. goes!

Part One: the Salsa

Part Two: the Seafood Goodness

Here goes Part One! Get out those ingredients. Here's what you need, friend.

{mango. jalapeno pepper. avocado. shallot. some limes. fresh mint}

{step uno}
dice up the whole thing. there's a better way to dice a mango than how i did it. i wasn't thinking at the time.
here's a how to video on a simple way to dice up a mango. you won't even need a peeler. so great. 

{step dos}

{step tres}

the easiest way to seed out the jalapeno - cut jalapeno in half. take a spoon. scrape out the spicy seeds. then slice it vertically and horizontally to dice.

{step cuatro}

 you'll end up with around 2 tablespoons

{step cinco}

{step seis}

{step siete}

i added some salt and pepper to taste. 
mix everything up and set in the fridge to chill.
it can be in there up to 2 hours before eating.

  Part Two! 

Even though the chalkboard is oh so fun. I had to give it a rest. Mark was going to be home soon and I needed to get this dinner cooking. So, without the chalkboard, here are the ingredients you need.

2 shallots
2 limes
1/4 cup tequila
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp. ground cumin
olive oil
3/4 lb. shrimp
1/2 lb. sea scallops
green onions

{step uno}

 de-vein and peel the shrimp. if you're like me and can't stand the tail, go ahead and take it off.

  like that. 

all until you get a whole big bowl of your uncooked large shrimp...

set them aside for later

{step dos}

 clean those mussels.
those aren't mussels. 
but oh how i love mussels.
clean the scallops.
then, take off the muscle of the scallop
notice that hanging part of the scallop up there?
it's the muscle. you can eat it. but it's tough and chewy.
take it off. use a paring knife to start and then it'll rip right off.

Do this to all of them. I placed mine in a bowl as I did the shrimp.

set on aside.

{step tres}

Marinade making time. All of the following things will be whisked together to make a marinade. 

 dice up the shallot. you'll want to dice long ways, but not all the way to the end. 
then you'll have some love to still hold on to and keep it intact.

then carefully.
cut through the shallot as the picture shows. 
I did this three times.
the picture shows the middle cut made.

the final cuts makes those dices look amazing.

side note: this is the way to dice onions. it makes life so simple. but, yes. you still cry. onions just have a way of doing that. that's why shallots are fun. they don't make you cry. and they taste so darn good. 

 squeeze out the lime juice till you have a 1/4 cup.

smash that garlic up. I use a knife and the palm of my head to crush it and then put in a garlic press to do the work. you can always mince it yourself using a knife :) 

add in 2 teaspoons of ground cumin. 

pour in a 1/4 cup of tequila.

this tequila was a wedding gift to Mark from his sister and brother-in-laws wedding. So, thanks Omar and Joanna for stocking our cabinet with special Mexican Tequila...otherwise, I would have had to go buy some, which I probably wouldn't have done. 

And there you have your marinade.

{step cuatro}

take that marinade and pour it into your shrimp and scallop bowl.
mix it around a bit and let it chill in the fridge for 30 - 60 minutes.

{step cinco}

 take out the green onions. 
discard the darker green part.

slice up the white and pale green part.
set aside.

{step seis}
 take out the scallops and shrimp and drain them. you will want the drained mixture to go in a small sauce pan. 
put that sauce pan on the stove top and let it boil. once boiling, set it aside.
you'll want the drained and semi dry scallops and shrimp separate and set aside as well. .

{step siete}
heat some olive oil over medium-high heat in a sautee pan. place the scallops in.
keep them in for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side.

they should just be starting to brown.
take them out, juice and all, and set in a bowl to the side.

{step ocho}

drizzle in some more olive oil in the same pan.
over the same medium-high heat.
now toss in the shrimp and the green onions.
stir it around for about 3 minutes.

{step nueve}

put in the scallops and the boiled marinade.
let it simmer for about 3 minutes.

the kitchen is smelling oh so good.
the nueve steps are worth it.
you're ready to plate it up.
unless you just want to eat it out of the pan.
but, trust me.
it's so much better when it's plated.

i threw in a part three by cooking up some buttery, cheesy quesadillas. 
it went well and i definitely suggest it. 

please don't let the many many steps overwhelm you (i don't know why i put the steps in spanish. i just started to and then didn't go back.) this thing is so easy to make and oh so delicious! we didn't even have any leftovers. 

i have a feeling i will make that avocado-mango concoction quite a bit this summer.

any thoughts on what you think it would be good with? 

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