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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Please excuse my absence...

I am in the process of training a new employee for the Catholic Foundation.  I have some new and exciting things happening in my life and I cannot wait to share them with you all!  But it will have to be next week...On top of the training I have also had a very sick husband.  I will not be sharing the details of that, because trust me, you do not want to know...

Everyone have a fabulous rest of the week, I will be here on Monday!


Xo-Wife of Wright

Friday, March 18, 2011

Erin no bra...

Is that not the correct Irish saying?  Considering the amount of women out last night that were dressed inappropriately I think it should be changed to that.  I had no idea that St. Patrick's Day was the new Halloween for girls to dress questionably on.  It is.  Trust me.  My dear friend Meghan even pulled a "questionably" dressed girl aside and told her that she was too pretty to be dressed like that and that her mother would be ashamed.  I believe the girl told Meghan that she "was just jealous" to which Meghan laughed in her face.  Poor sweet child, how wrong you are.  I also love the fact that at 31 my friends sometimes feel the need to tell younger women what they're doing wrong.  Can't save them all! 

We had a good time last night at McNellie's but I have to say it.  I am officially "too old" for that type of crowd.  I bet 1,000 people were there.  It was outside with tents, long lines for beer, no ventilation, 30 minute waits to use a port-a-potty in the dark (eww), lingering smell of b.o. a plenty, and questionably dressed women with drooling drunk men chasing them.  You know, the type of thing we all would have loved ten years ago.  Next year I will be getting there at 2:00 in the afternoon to ensure a spot inside at a real table, with a real waitress, and a real restroom.  I'll make sure we get a window seat so we can watch the poor saps outside.  People watching is great from a safe distance! 

We were there from about 6:30-9:00.  At that point us old folks were ready for bed.  Not like the good ole days, but still fun.  Here are some pics from the night.

First the crowd, a portion of it anyways...

I forgot to mention it up top, but it was also and un-official McGuinness reunion there.  I bet I saw 50 people I knew from high school.  Here's one lovely lad, John Erick, who stopped by our table with Ashley.

Also great to see Ms. Mary Green pictured here with Tyler and Joe.

The boys, Blake and James.

The girls, Meghan and Katy.

And of course a solo shot of Ashley.  Miss you bunches, wish you were home always...

So that's it for our St. Patrick's Day.  We plan on celebrating St. Joseph's Day tomorrow.  Italians celebrate St. Joseph's Day like the Irish celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  I will be making my Nonna's Pignolata's.  They are usually handed out to children on St. Joseph's Day.  They're fried sweet dough that has a honey glaze.  I'll share pics on Monday.  Yum.  Also going with the tradition I'll be wearing red tomorrow in honor of St. Joseph.  Join me if you think about it!


Xo-Wife of Wright

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bada Bing.

My sweet husband has been asking for meatball subs for over a week now.  Ever since we bought sub size baguettes from Cao Nguyen grocery.  They are 35 cents a piece and lovely.  I would say they're about 8-10 inches long, crusty on the outside, soft in the middle.  Perfect for any sandwich(I'm sure most people by them for Bahn Mi), but in Blake's mind destined for only one thing.  A MEATBALL SUB.  

When I got home from work yesterday he was asking for them again.  I told him that we would have to wait until I went to the grocery store on Tuesday because we didn't have any mozzarella for the sandwiches.  It's funny how fast husbands volunteer for something when they really want it.  Off he went to the store for mozzarella and I got started on the meatballs.  I have my go to meatball recipe that is my families, but I decided I wanted to try something a little different for the subs.  I remembered Giada making a mozzarella stuffed spicy meatball that I thought would be perfect for a sandwich.  She served hers with pasta, but I knew they would work great for this.  I looked up her recipe here and got to work. 

Here are the things I changed.  I used 85/15 ground turkey instead of beef and veal.  They were very moist, and I don't think you would know they were turkey unless someone told you.  I did not use and onion because I did not have an onion on hand.  I used regular mozzarella instead of smoked because again, that's what I had on hand.  Another thing that attracted me to these meatballs is that you cook them entirely in the oven.  No searing and splatering oil all over the stove as I normally do when making my families.  They cooked up super fast, about 15 minutes, and left no mess since I lined my baking sheet with parchment paper before baking.  While the meatballs were cooking I heated up some canned marinara sauce and split the baguettes.  When the meatballs came out I put them on the baguette (I take out some of the soft dough filling in the bread to make room for the meatballs), topped them with sauce and mozzarella, and slipped them back in the oven open faced for the cheese to melt and the bread to toast.  Check these bad boys out.

Here's another view.

And finally the center view.  It was funny watching Blake fidget while I made him wait to eat so that I could take this picture...

They were delicious.  I could only eat half of mine along with my salad.  Blake ate all of his and I had to roll him to the couch afterwards.  Okay, not really, but close.  He was VERY full. 

Try them soon, they were a cinch to make and would definitely be a croud pleaser.  I've already decided I'm going to make mini versions of these meatballs next time we host a party.  They would be great stuck with skewers for people to pick up and dip in sauce. 

On a completely different note, I discovered something exciting after dinner last night.  I went to close our curtains in the living room.  My seedlings are placed next to the back window in that room. I had just checked on them when I closed the curtains on Sunday night and thought "They're not sprouting, we probably did something wrong."  But guess what?  This is what I found last night...

Yea for sprouts!  All three varieties of tomatoes and the thyme have sprouted!  Yippee for our green thumbs.  I already feel accomplished.  Also, my dad informed me that the amount of sprouts we have going would be enough for a garden the size of our backyard.  We are not planning to "garden" the entire yard, just a section.  Whoops!  So when all of these are sprouted and ready for the ground we will be having an "Adopt a Veggie" Saturday.  Anyone in the OKC area that can promise a good home to our little sprouts is welcome to a sprout of their own.  First come, first serve!


Xo-Wife of Wright

Friday, March 11, 2011

No words.

It's gorgeous outside today.  It's also almost 80 degrees.  I cannot wait to get home and sit on my patio with a glass of wine.  A grilled burger sounds good also, but I'll have to wait until tomorrow for that.  BARG.

It's only been three days since Lent started, so I can't complain.  Two of those have been without meat maybe I can complain a little??  I'm still having a tough time deciding what to give up. I have a couple of things I'm going to work on, like complaining (whoops) and eating more whole foods, but I just can't seem to nail down something to give up. 

The new Archbishop sat at the table I was at to eat lunch today at work.  As everyone was talking about having been on the Atkins diet at one time or another I spoke up and said as an Italian I just couldn't give up pasta.  It goes against my very being.  I looked at the new Archbishop and he kind of looked at me curious.  I immediately made the connection that giving up pasta for Lent, and not the Atkins diet might be exactly what I have been looking for.  I spoke up and stated that giving up pasta for Lent would indeed be one of the biggest sacrifices I had ever made during Lent (I'm sure that impressed him). 

So MAYBE that's what I'll do.  No pasta.  For forty days.  Oh no, if I say it on here I will have to do it.  What will I eat on Friday's when I can't eat meat, so I usually eat pasta?  Do Asian noodles count as pasta?  I don't think they should...

Hopefully I can think of something else that would be equally as impressive to give up.  Help me Rhonda.

Xo-Wife of Wright

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Yes, I do know there is "black stuff" on my forehead.

It's Ash Wednesday and like any good Catholic girl I went to Mass today and received my ashes.  For those of you who may not be Catholic or need a reminder here is where that tradition stems from:

"Following the example of the Nine vites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told:

"Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return." "

You can reference this and more here.  Also, read Jonah, Chapter 3 in the Old Testament for a literal reference within the bible. 

I have received ashes most Ash Wednesdays from the time I was born.  I have always thought the symbolism and tradition to be one of the most powerful in the Catholic faith.  The day marks the beginning of Lent, a time in which most Christians prepare with penance, reflection, and fasting for Easter.  It's when we give things up that we like all in the name of a little sacrifice that by all means is modest in comparison to what was sacrificed for us.  Jesus was the man. 

Ashes are intended to be somewhat humbling, not embarrassing, but humbling.  There is a difference.  I can remember Ash Wednesday growing up in school.  I didn't think about being embarrassed about what was on my forehead because everyone had been marked just like me.  I can also remember starting college and when Ash Wednesday rolled around thinking, "I wish I was back in school where everyone had ashes on their foreheads."  It was a growing experience.  Now, I somewhat enjoy peoples faces when I am somewhere in public on Ash Wednesday.  There are always a few double takes, stares, and snickers.  There are also the random nods from strangers whose foreheads are smudged as well. 

So, to come back to where I started with this blog.  I went to Target over lunch with my mother...

and yes, I know there's "black stuff" on my forehead.  I don't mind the staring for a lunch hour, I'm really kind of proud.  I feel special.  I think that's how it was really intended to make us feel.  Special, chosen, connected, purposed.  I've enjoyed reading peoples posts on Facebook for the past week or so pondering what they should give up for Lent.  I like that it is on so manys peoples minds.  It feels good to do something "good" for 40 days.  If we could just get to 365...  Baby steps! 

More food and fun on the blog tomorrow...

Xo-Wife of Wright

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The not so Secret Garden...

Let's start by saying that I'm praying that I do in fact have green thumbs.  If I don't, we've already wasted some money getting this organic garden going.  Some of you might have seen on Facebook this past weekend that Blake and I started seedlings for the organic vegetable garden that we're planting this spring.  I found out as I started researching that some veggies need to be started inside before you can place them in the ground outside.  On Saturday morning off we went, list in hand to buy the seeds that needed a head start.  Here's what we came home with.

While doing research I also found out that your garden cannot truly be organic if you don't plant the seeds in organic soil.  If you put them straight into your ground outside, or into regular potting soil there are chemicals(fertilizers, incesticides, etc.) that are not present in organic soil and in turn they will "grow" into your food. So, with that being said the picture above shows Organic Seed Starter Soil, a variety of organic seeds, and jiffy pots for the seeds to sprout in.  Here's a closer look of what had to be started ahead of time.

We started with large tomatoes for salsa, San Marzano tomatoes for sauce, and sweetie tomatoes for salad and to roast.  Green and red bell peppers and jalepenos, yum yum.  In the herb department we have Genovese Basil, thyme, and flat leaf Italian parsley. 

After filling the Jiffy planter cups 2/3 of the way full with soil you dampen the soil and add 2-3 seeds.  Once the seeds are added you top the planter cups off with more soil and dampen them again. 

Blake topping the seeded cups off with more soil.  Yes, that is our Netti Pot that I used to dampen the soil.  Dont' judge.  What would you suggest using to water mini plants?

After this step we needed to pick a naturally lit location to let the seedlings hang out for a few weeks.  It was hard picking a place that wasn't completely in the way, so they ended up to the side of the chaise side of our sectional next to the windows.  It was also recommended that you keep them covered with thin translucent plastic to let the light through but keep the moisture in.  I didn't get a picture of that, but here they are all done and ready for their move to the window.

Blake used a leftover piece of our kitchen ceiling woodwork to place them on for easy moving but any piece of scrap wood or stiff cardboard would work.

This weekend we'll be staking out the garden and breaking up the soil.  We are building a raised bed so that we can fill it with organic soil and not compromise the veggies in the yard soil that has who knows how many fertilizer/chemicals in it.  When we are past our last freeze and can plant outside we plan on adding the following veggies to the garden list:  Summer squash, zucchini, okra, potatoes, garlic, shallots, carrots, arugula, peas, sage, rosemary, and dill.  I can't wait!  I'll update you as we get closer to planting time.


Xo-Wife of Wright

Monday, March 7, 2011

Springing into action.

This past Thursday was a beautiful day.  When I got home from work Blake and I decided to sit out on our back porch and share a bottle of wine.  Max was over, and as much as he loves being inside, he settled in at my feet and took in the fresh air.  He will be 13 this next month, so I cherish every moment we get to spend together knowing that they are somewhat numbered at this point.  Old boys body just doesn't want to cooperate with his spirit sometimes. 

This time last year Blake and I didn't own our home yet.  We closed on it at the end of April and went right into remodeling the inside.  Right after the hail storm and the air conditioner going out.  It's like the universe itself was screaming "Welcome to home ownership, you only thought you were going to spend that money you saved on furniture!" 

I am so excited to get to spend spring in our home this year.  Because we had so much work to do on the inside of the house when we bought it the outside has gone virtually un-touched.  There are a few things we have done because I could not stand to look at them, such as ripping out the scrolled iron posts on the front porch, the 9 foot tall bushes that lined the front of the house and the back porch, and painting the mailbox and front door.  Besides that though, it's been far down on the priority list.  I'm so ready to spend some time outside and make our house really feel like the home we've been dreaming of.  This is a shot of the back yard from last Thursday while we were enjoying the nice weather.

As you can see we have no fence along the rear of our yard.  The owner of the house behind us decided to tear it down last spring.  He told Blake he was going to put a new one up by the summer time.  It's almost summer again and there is still no fence.  I think it's time for a "Come to Jesus" meeting with the neighbor.  You break it, you buy it pal.  We are going to plant our veggie garden in the area in front of the green bushes on the left side of the picture.  I can't wait to dig in the dirt and have fresh organic veggies. 

This next weekend Blake and I plan on digging up any remaining roots from the bushes we cut down and rake and bag all of our leftover winter leaves.  I would also like to steak out the garden space and possibly build the raised bed if there is time.  Tilling and seeding the grass is also somewhere down the list.  Hopefully Blake will take on that job.  My goal is to spend a lot of time on our back porch relaxing and enjoying the fruits of our labors.  What are your spring goals?  Do you enjoy having useable outdoor living space, or are you more of a couch and air conditioner person?  Any tips for starting a garden?  I would love any feedback you may have!


Xo-Wife of Wright

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chair...not to be outdone by SHOES

I went to the TJ Maxx close to my work today over lunch to look at their furniture and some dress clothes for Blake.  We have been looking for a leather club chair with a bit of a modern feel for our family room and for some reason the $500.00 and up versions I'm finding in magazines and online aren't doing it for me.   I thought I would take a long shot and see if I might find something there.  Also, Blake needs some new dress clothes and TJ's is pretty good about having Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis dress shirts and ties for a good price.  I figured it was worth a look. 

I told myself I was going to walk straight to the back and then to the men's clothing avoiding women's handbags and shoes at all costs.  At first I halfway managed that.  I did spot a lovely Michael Kors bag on the way in.  I stopped and felt the soft leather and admired it's beauty.  I then admired the price tag and found it not quite as admirable anymore and made my way back towards the furniture completely skipping the shoes.  Yay me!

Lo and behold, look what I found in the furniture...

It's almost exactly what we've been looking at!  What's even better is that this chair that was once $399.99 was on sale at TJ's for $199.99.  But wait, there's more!  The chair has now been red stickered (find these at TJ's, they're a goldmine) down to $149.99.  Yippee!  Although we don't have the new couch and rug that are going to go with this little guy yet, we're snagging him up in the morning.  I put him on hold so that Blake can come back with me to check it out for himself and then load it up in the car.  Score!

After I had Mr. Chair taken to the back so that no one else could snag him I went to the men's clothing.  I found some nice ties and dress shirts and inventoried what I would show Blake when we came back for the chair in the a.m.  As I started to make my way back to the front door I spotted a rack of shoes.  They were at the front, totally seperate from the shoe section and wouldn't you know if one didn't catch my eye.  Look away if you're a size 5 and 1/2 because this is the one and only pair, trust me, I looked.

These pretty pretty Prada's.  Here's the kicker.

That's right, $349.99 on sale.  Sure, they were $700.00 to start out, but for some reason I must have left my spare $350.00 bones at home.  Plus, like I said, they're a 5 and 1/2.  My big toe isn't fitting in these.  So sad.  But these made me wonder, what is lying back in the shoe section waiting for a new home?

There were these fallen soldiers from Michael Kors.

Another Michael Kors victim.

These killer Jessica Simpson numbers are a P.O.W.  I wanted to break them out the most.

And these... Okay, I'm kidding on these.  They are another Jessica Simpson shoe, but the only thing they are falling to is a yet to be named fashion victim.  Sorry Jessica, you're right on a lot of the time, but these are just unfortunate.  It's like a boot, a sandal, a high heel, and a wedge all had a "special" baby. 

Anyways...I was a good girl and left empty handed, but for those of you on the hunt for some new shoes they have a lot to choose from right now.  All of the shoes I showed, minus the Prada, are well under $100.00, and a deal compared to their listed price.  Go shop for me, if you happen to be a size 9 that's even better, I'll take them on a test run for you.  I would hate for anyone to get a blister...

Xo-Wife of Wright

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Visions of a summer garden are dancing in my head...

Over the past couple of weeks I decided that I really want to get a garden started this spring.  What I didn't know until I started reading the Farmer's Almanac today was that I should already have some plants seeding indoors, and getting ready to get some planted outdoors.  Whoops!  So I printed a handy dandy chart off of the website and even though Blake doesn't know it yet, we're going to be diggin' in the dirt this weekend!  To start, I ordered this on Amazon:

The Old Farmers Almanac has a wealth of knowledge on topics such as the weather, astrology, and of course gardening.  It will tell you what time the sun will come up and set for the entire year, and where you can find a spiritual guide.  It's quirky like that. 

As far as what I would like to have in my garden this year that list is long and still growing.  I'm sure I'm getting completely ahead of myself and should only start out with a few things so that I don't set myself up for failure, but so far that's not what I have in mind.  In my mind I'm thinking about organic beans, peppers, broccoli, carrots, garlic, lettuce, peas, potatoes, spinach, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, basil, dill, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.  Too much?  A lot of these things should already be planted inside on my windowsill sprouting so that they can be transferred into the ground in a few weeks.  I did not know this.  So I'm going to sprout what I can, get the ground tilled and dug up this weekend, and plant what I can in a few weeks.  Hopefully I'll end up with these:

And these...

Don't forget these...

And bunches and bunches of this...

For any information you might need, or questions that you need answered reference the hysterical and helpful Farmer's Almanac website here.  You'll be amazed the information you can find.  

Wish me luck and pray for Blake's patience to stay in tact...

Xo-Wife of Wright 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No country for old men.

What that should really say is "No booze for old men."  Blake and I went with a large group of friends to Eichen's in Okarche, OK on Saturday evening for their world famous fried chicken and okra.  After we had been there for awhile I needed to use the ladies.  I asked Tyler if she needed to go as well, she did and thank goodness!  We walked and chatted through the crowds at the restaurant and finally came to the bathroom.  We pushed through the door and found this...

Yup, old cowboy in the women's restroom.  I would say that he just didn't know he was in the women's restroom, but as soon as we opened the door and saw him and we gasped he started saying "Sorry, sorry...Sorry, sorry..." over and over again.  We didn't initially take this picture, we ran out.  As we laughed in the hallway I said "You have to go take a picture of him."  I didn't have my purse, so in turn I did not have my phone on me.  So we both went back in, captured this, and ran back out.  (Sidenote:  That was a heck of a  long pee considering he was peeing the first time we entered and the second.)  As we waited in the hall for him to emerge Tyler kept her camera on alert.  She wanted to get his picture from the front as well.  As you can imagine Mr. Drunk Cowboy did not want his picture taken from the front.  Here is what was captured instead...

You can tell we were "in hot pursuit" by the blurred shot.  After this we went back to the ladies and accomplished was was first intended.  While we were washing our hands we were talking about what had just happened.  At that moment a girl came out of the stall that the drunk cowboy was in and said "You just let me pee where a guy did?"  I think she was really mad, but we couldn't help but still laugh.  Poor girl, I probably would have been grossed out too, but the funnyness of it couldn't get me to feel her pain. 

W.O.W. lesson:  Don't go to the restroom at Eichen's without your camera and toilet seat liners, you never know what you're going to find!

Xo-Wife of Wright

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

You say potato...I say Gnocchi

Happy March everyone!  I only have time for a quick post today, so I'm going to give you a brief look and synopsis of a dinner I made last week.  Anyone who is interested in making it just shoot me a message and I'll get it to you.  Here it is:

Smoked Mozzarella Gnocchi Bake

Here she is right out of the oven.  Gnocchi are Italian potato dumplings.  You can make them fresh with potatoes, or buy multiple varieties of them at the grocery store.  They cook very quickly (3-5 minutes) making them great for weeknight meals.  While my water was coming to a boil for the gnocchi I put a small sauce pan on the stove with a small can of tomato sauce, garlic, basil, and s&p.  While it was heating through I pre-heated the oven to 375 and dropped the gnocchi in the salted boiling water.  When the tomato sauce is warmed through add in a splash of heavy cream.  When the gnocchi are done (they float to the top and make it totally obvious) drain them and add them to the sauce.  At this point I add a cup of shredded smoked mozzarella cheese and 4 strips of crumbled bacon.  When the cheese is melted through pour the entire mixture into a sprayed baking dish.  Top with another 1/2 cup of smoked mozzarella cheese, bread crumbs, and some grated parmesan.  Pop in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly.  I served it with a little fresh flat leaf Italian parsley for garnish and a salad.  We were NOT disappointed! 

Comment on this post if you would like the recipe with the specific amounts, etc. although I think you could pretty much do it from the paragraph above. 


Xo-Wife of Wright