Anniversary eats

On January 13th, we began the celebration of our 12th anniversary with brunch & ended it with an equally delicious dessert. We ventured out for dinner at a new restaurant in downtown A2 & were not disappointed – Vellum was a treat for the taste-buds!

by Valerie | 01.27.13 | Around our home, For Funsies | No Comments »

not quite pozole soup

This is loosely based on the Mexican soup pozole (it is important to note that no humans were harmed in the making of this soup). Ryan grew up going to friends’ houses where this would be on the stove all day long and after a night of drinking this spicy soup, much like menudo, would serve as a perfect hangover cure. I was never much the fan of hominy, but Ryan always liked the taste of it because it reminds him of tortillas. We struck a deal that I would try hominy again so this soup was a compromise between the two of us, a bit of hominy and a bit of yellow corn in a spicy tomato broth.


  • 20 tomatoes on the vine, roasted and cored
  • 3 serrano peppers, roasted (note these died in the roasting, but their “juice” mixed with the tomatoes)
  • approximately 3 tbsp chipotle infused olive oil
  • 1 purple onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dark chili powder
  • 1 oz package pozole spice mix
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 15.25 oz can yellow corn
  • 1 29 oz can hominy
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 425. Lightly coat the tomatoes and serrano peppers in some of the olive oil (about 1-1 1/2 tbsp). Place in oven to roast for about 30-45 minutes or until they begin to split open and brown. One quick thing to note, this killed our serrano peppers; that said, the mixture of tomato juices and slightly disintegrated serrano did add flavor to the tomatoes with just a hint of a kick. Remove from oven to cool. Once cooled core the tomatoes and place in a blender to puree. Set aside.

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add in the remaining olive oil. Add in the onion, garlic, and pozole mix, cook onion until it begins to be slightly translucent. Add the bell peppers and chili powder. Cook until bell peppers are tender, enough for a fork to easily go into them. Add the tomato puree and the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add in the hominy and corn. Let cook for a little while longer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pozole mix is meant traditionally for pork and most pre-made mixes make for a decently spicy pork rub long before it is added to the soup pot. So depending on what type of pozole spice mix you purchased or made for yourself it can make for a soup with quite the kick. If you are afraid of spicy things I’d check the mix or reduce the amount of spice mix you use. You can also let the mix soak and simmer in hot water for a little bit before adding  it to the pot and it might reconstitute some of the dried chiles in the mix.

by Valerie | 01.27.13 | Recipes | No Comments »


I was catching up on my blog feeds and came across this article about different forms of vegetarian diets. I am familiar with all of these terms and am a “flexitarian” myself. Personally, I’ve never been a big meat-eater (what little I do eat, I am very picky about too) and I feel that a person’s diet is a very personal and individual thing – to each their own. If/when I crave meat (admittedly, I have a particular fondness for very crispy, slightly burnt bacon), I include it in my meal. More often than not though this isn’t the case. Ultimately, I feel that my diet is a balance of both healthy and unhealthy items, so I don’t worry too much about what I eat; I definitely don’t want to make myself miserable and go on some crazy sugar or starch binge in a moment of weakness.

With the new year always comes that small voice in the back of my head that says I should think more about what I put into my body and that I should really spend more time in the kitchen cooking. I love to eat home-cooked meals, but I don’t really like being the cook myself (Ryan is an excellent cook and spoils me with delicious food when he’s feeling up for it). Also, because I don’t have much personal experience with cooking, I find that everything takes much longer than I think it should – which frustrates me. I remember chopping up some vegetable for a meal at home once and Ryan asking me why it was taking so long…it really was taking a ridiculous amount of time. Practice makes perfect, right? I find mixing herbs and spices, combining flavors, and knowing the perfect amount of which ingredient to add intimidating; the perfectionist in me is terrified! I love putting menus together, finding recipes, photographing home-cooked food, and of course I love eating good food. So how can I come to love cooking food too?

by Valerie | 01.23.13 | For Funsies | No Comments »


This Sunday, January 13th, we celebrate our 12th anniversary! I’ll keep this short and sweet… I love my husband more than I could ever express, life is good, and here’s to happiness, love, laughter, and another amazing year ahead and many more to come!

by Valerie | 01.11.13 | For Funsies | No Comments »

Serene Sunday

by Valerie | 01.07.13 | Photography, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

Perfect popsicles

Ryan bought me a Zoku Quick Pop™ Maker for Christmas & I love it! It’s easy to use & I love that you can create your own recipes that are both healthy & dairy-free – it’s also nice to know exactly what’s going into your frozen treats…with the right ingredients,  you can be sure there are no artificial sweeteners, color, etc. Last night we decided to give it a whirl & made some delicious eggnog popsicles by combining soy eggnog, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, & sprinkling in some crushed cereal bits for crunch – yum!

The Zoku blog has recipes & there is a recipe book available for purchase as well. We decided to wing it for our first try & it turned out good; after all, Ryan is a master at winging it & having things turn out great.

by Valerie | 01.05.13 | Recipes | No Comments »

2012: Week 52

2012: Week 52
Now is a good time for you to explore.

by Valerie | 01.05.13 | Photography | No Comments »

2012: Week 51

2012: Week 51

by Valerie | 01.05.13 | Photography | No Comments »

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