Sunday, October 30, 2011


I don't know what it is... but it seems I'm often inspired to cook soup on Sunday nights. I guess on Sundays I just love snuggling in and spending the evening wrapped up in a blanket on my comfy couch as I prepare myself for another work week. You know what goes great with couch sitting and blanket snuggling? Soup. Yes, yes it does. And I think my favorite soup to make is a variation of Pioneer Woman's Mulligatawny. My friend Jessie actually made it first and gave me her alterations. I pretty much use her recipe but have done a few things to make it a little less healthy and a tiny bit more perfect for my gluttonous taste buds. Basically I added more chicken and brown sugar, and some rice. And I took out some of the spices that I don't have in my kitchen. Don't judge me... spices are expensive!

If you like curry, and you like soup, and you like me, you should try out this recipe. I love it. Hopefully you will, too!

Mulligatawany (Pioneer Woman's, then Jessie's, then mine)

-4 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite size pieces
-2 tbsp margarine
-1 large onion
-4 cloves garlic
-3 tbsp curry powder
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper/ground red pepper (you can use more, I've just toned it down a lot for my Momma)
-46 oz. chicken broth (go for the fat free stuff, it'll make you feel better when you add all of the brown sugar below)
-4 carrots, cut into tiny pieces (or you can do big pieces but it'll take 5 years to cook)
-3 red potatoes, cut into tiny pieces (any potato will do, we just always seem to have red around)
-2 cups skim milk
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Optional Side
-1 cup jasmine or long grain rice (optional)
-2 cups water
-1 tsp salt

Cook the chicken somehow. (Because I'm lazy I generally just boil the chicken for 15-20 minutes while I'm working on the rest of the soup.) Melt the margarine in a large "soup sized" pot on medium heat. Chop up the garlic and dice the onions and add them to the margarine. Let the onions cook until they brown a bit, stirring them occasionally, about 5 minutes. When the onions are nice and brown add the curry and cayenne pepper and stir constantly for about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, carrots, potatoes, and chicken (if you're like me and started boiling the chicken when you started your soup, the chicken probably isn't ready yet; it's cool to add it whenever it's ready.) Cook the soup until the carrots and potatoes are tender. I'd say about 20 minutes or so, it depends on how big you cut your carrots; PS I told you to cut them small, you slacker. When they're good and tender add 1 cup of the milk and the brown sugar and salt and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining cup of milk and the flour and whisk together until there are no lumps (I'm telling you, NO lumps, or you'll have nasty, cottage cheese looking things floating in your soup later, it's not pretty.) Add the milk/flour mixture to the soup and let it simmer for another 5 or 10 minutes. And you're done!

I like to eat the soup with a side of rice. Tonight I used the water that I used to boil the chicken with for my rice. It had to boil for 20 minutes so about 10 minutes into the "letting the carrots get soft" phase, I started my rice and they all finished at the same time.

And yes, your house will smell like curry for 3 days after making this. But it's worth it. I promise. (Above is Pioneer Woman's picture of her mulligatawny. Below is my beloved circular scarf that I knitted with mulligatawny colored yarn so I thought it'd be appropriate to show it off. You can also kind of see my bowl of soup. Hey, it's the best I can do! I'm no Pioneer Woman...)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scarves remain.

I've been a selfish blogger lately. Just blogging about my self. That's dumb. I'm sorry. Let's get back to the heart of this blog: writing about the beautiful things of the world. (Or at least the things that I think are beautiful. Ok, I suppose that brings things back to selfish ol' me, but I didn't mean to...)

ANYWAY, as many of you know... I love scarves. I learned how to knit in high school right around when scarves were becoming trendy (at least I thought they were trendy) and have been overusing the look since then. I dread the day that they go out of style. Sure, I could still wear them. But I don't want to be that person... wearing things that were once cool but no longer are cool (I'm talking to you "guy who wears his pants half way down his legs." Sagging isn't cool anymore...) Anyway, every year, I keep an eye out for the fashion magazines and TV shows to see if my beloved security blanket of an accessory is still around. This year I was especially worried... I saw a few in some stores here and there but thought, "This may be it. It may be time for us to part."

But guess what! They're still in! At least accordingly to some reliable sources (Gap, Pinterest.... I suppose their reliability/credibility depends on who you ask. But they're ok by me.) This morning I woke up to see an e-mail in my inbox with the above picture. And a few weeks ago I saw a cute look on Pinterest that included a similar look (below). So, I've been knitting up a storm making circular scarf after circular scarf (aka cowl aka the type of scarf that seems to be "in" this year) and I'm excited that the fashion world agrees with me. Just thought I'd blog (again) about something I think is great: scarves. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My dream job/Cuppies and Joe.

(The front of Cuppies and Joe. I didn't take this picture, but thought you should see it from the outside.)

Have you ever had an experience where you see something or feel something and you think: "This is exactly what I want to do with my life." I had one of those this weekend. Well, I have one of those every time I go to a concert, but I'm letting that dream go. Anyway, I had a semi-realistic one this weekend. While I was in Oklahoma City we visited this cupcake and coffee place called Cuppies and Joe and it was pretty much perfectly what I would love to do with my life.

It was in a quaint little house within this restaurant/business districty area of OKC(those are some legit words for you there...). It was cute from the outside (pictured above) and incredibly wonderful from the inside (picture below). The front counter looked like it was in the area that would have been the home's dining room. They had seats all around: some tables, some chairs, some comfy couches. The rooms were painted fun colors (there was even a mustard wall.) They had interesting art work on the walls. Fun music filled the space. Friendly staff. And most importantly: yummy cupcakes and coffee. I loved it. It was a simple depiction of what I want to do with my life.

So, I'm currently a "retirement education specialist" at JP Morgan. How do I get from where I am to where I want to be? Well... I asked my friend Alan to draft me up a 5 step plan, preferably including a husband, and here's what he came up with. It made me smile so I thought I'd share it with you, too... Straight from Alan's lips, or fingers, since he typed it out for me.

Step 1: Save up some dough so you can live comfortably without any income.
Step 2: While doing this, have an awesome time with friends and meet some new people. Perhaps find random dudes to hang out with. Preferably at coffee shops. You could use this time to do coffee shop research.
Step 3: During this time, also brush up on your guitar playing skillz (Alan spells skills with a Z, not me) and try some songwriting.
Step 4: After dough has been saved, leave the corporate world and begin seeking out the perfect coffee shop locale in downtown KC.
Step 5: Find the coffee shop/bakery, get a small business loan, paint it, set up a stage in it, make it a downtown haven for singer/songwriters and meet your soulmate in the process. You'll start a small group and set the world on fire.

Sound like a plan? I like it... First step: saving money. I can do this!
(Their counter... I like it! And they were selling cute t-shirts, too!)
(Cute front room... Don't you just want to sit down and enjoy some cupcakes and coffee?)(I mean come on, ya'll! It has a mustard colored entryway... Could it BE any more "Abby"!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Try-It Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie

After last's week flop, I decided that I needed to try a recipe that was a sure bet. So where did I turn? None other than the Pioneer Woman! My friend Jessie had borrowed my Pioneer Woman cookbook and returned it to me yesterday, so I picked it up and saw a recipe for Chicken Pot Pie and decided that I had to try it.

One thing about Pioneer Woman's recipes is that they always smell delicious during preparation, which I love. I actually made the filling and the crust last night so I had an easy, stress free preparation today after work. Well, it looked pretty tasty when I pulled it out of the oven, and smell yummy, too. I had high hopes... and then I cut into it... and it was crazy runny, the vegetables were a bit too crisp, and the overall all temperature was just warm (and I even cooked it an extra 10 minutes.) The taste was delicious and the crust was great! The whole family agreed that the taste was spot on. The texture though... was lacking. I don't know what it is... whenever I make PW recipes they are always runny. What is it? Do we use different cream? Or a different kind of pot? I follow the directions exactly... What am I doing wrong? So, the verdict: a do-over, I just need to figure out how to thicken it up.

A semi-successful Try-It Tuesday. Not a "ewwww, sick!" like last week, but for sure not quite the "two thumbs up!" that I'm going for. (This recipe was in Pioneer Woman's cookbook, here is a similar recipe for Turkey Pot Pie found on her website though.) (Also, the above picture is horrible. And we've got my brother Cory in the background making the face that he is because he doesn't like chicken pot pie... he had a turkey sandwich instead. Lame!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Octravelfast: Oklahoma City

(That's legit...)
This weekend completed the final installment of Octravelfest. I went and visited my cousins Julie and Anthony in Oklahoma City (actually a suburb called Bethany) and it was the perfect way to end my month of travel. They moved there this summer because Anthony got a job as a resident director and while I'm glad they are experiencing something new, I have missed them dearly and was so pumped to go visit this weekend. We had a great time! We laughed a lot. Talked a lot. Played a lot. Laughed a lot. Ate a lot (and when I say a lot, I mean a LOT.) Drove around and saw a lot. Baked a lot. Sang a lot. Danced a lot. And did I mention we laughed a lot? It was just a great, great time. There are some pictures of the weekend below...
(Sunset over the Flint Hills. I've said it once and I'll say it again, Kansas sunsets are the BEST. And yes, I know, I shouldn't have been driving and taking a picture...)
(Two of my favorite people: Julie and Anthony at Cuppies and Joe (more to come on that later...))
(Iced coffee and games... aka heaven.)
(Julie exposed me to Pioneer Woman's recipe for apple dumplings and it was amazing!)
(We finished the weekend with the Andrew Belle/Ben Rector concert. Yes, I realize the sign is for a different band, but I swear we saw Andrew Belle and Ben Rector.)

A few weeks ago I mentioned I was in kind of a funk. Well, we're all friends here so I'll just be honest with you: it was because of a boy. I had to end a relationship before it started because I knew it just wouldn't work out even though I really cared about the guy. I've never been the girl who becomes all insecure over a boy, but this experience, it kind of did it to me. The reason I'm telling you all of my junk is because this month of visiting all of these people that I love, it just happened out of the blue. I didn't plan it this way, it just happened (some would call it a "God thing," I would be one of those people...) Anyway, it couldn't have come at a better time. I was surrounded by people I love and people that love me (Joel in Austin, Dana and Marc in Sublette, my college friends in Columbia, and Julie and Anthony in OKC), and I feel like I'm back to my old self again. I'm just pretty thankful for the restorative month that I've had and the people in my life and the One who planned it all.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Octravelfest: Columbia

(The roommates back together again. Picture stolen from V.)

Octravelfest continued this past weekend. Some of my friends were headed back to Columbia for our alma-mater, University of Missouri's homecoming. I was going to decline the invitation to head that way so I could actually have a weekend at home, but then I heard my good friend and roommate from college Megan was getting engaged... and I knew I couldn't miss it.

The weekend was another good one. I got to spend time with my friend Katie: we ate some ridiculously cheap Chinese buffet and saw the movie 50/50 (so good... see it, asap.) Then I met up with my dearest friends Valeria and Jonathan for some walking around downtown and quality chat time on the patio of McAlister's sipping on sweet tea (or in my case... Diet Coke.) We got all dressed up, met up with a few more friends and then went to Megan's surprise engagement party which was the perfect way to end the evening.

Sunday was a lot more low-key. I had the morning to kill so I stopped by Kaldi's, the coffee shop I worked at in college, then walked around the quad. Then I drove out to see Big Tree, the tree outside of Columbia that sits all by itself in the middle of a big field. Later, I finished off the weekend with a delicious lunch with my good friend Colleen.

It was just a great weekend. I don't want to be that person that looks back on college and is like "Those were the days..." But those really were the days. What a special time in life... And what a great weekend catching up with all of the people from that time in life. I miss them dearly.

(Iced coffee and pumpkin bread from Kaldi's.)

(The beautiful Jessie Hall and the columns...)

(My beloved Big Tree...)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Try-It Tuesday: Southwest Chicken and Corn Chowder

Well, folks... Try-It Tuesday is back after a one week hiatus but I must say, after tonight's recipe, it should have taken this week off, too... It was bad. This is the week that I fess up and tell you: "So, I tried this recipe... and it sucked." Because it did. It sucked.

The above picture looks amazing right? Who can find that on Pinterest, see that it's Southern Chicken and Corn Chowder soup, and not try the recipe? Not I... the lover of soup. I had to try it. It started off well. There was a yummy pot of olive oil, onions, carrots, celery, garlic abrewin'. It smelled delicious! And then somewhere between that and the end result, something went wrong, very wrong. Because it was not good. Ok, so, I may have added too much water... (It's not completely my fault, I'm a baker, so exact measurements are a must, and they didn't give me one for the water.) Also, the recipe called for "frozen creamed corn, thawed," and well, we couldn't find frozen creamed corn, and you're going to thaw it anyway, so why not just get canned cream corn? ... Maybe it was my alterations. Maybe it was the recipe. Who knows where that dreaded finger should be pointed... but it was not good. Don't try it. This is not a Try-It Tuesday worth repeating...

(Ok, but if you do see the picture above and get the urge to try it anyway... let me know how it goes. Because I really do want this recipe to be delicious, I just won't be trying it again myself.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Apple picking and pumpkin... choosing?

Remember a while ago when I blogged about a fall list that I saw on Pinterest? It was a creatively designed list full of wonderful things to do to enjoy fall. I haven't been taking this list as seriously as the list that I made a couple of months ago of things that I wanted to do before I turned 24. But I have completed a few...

Things That I Have Already Completed:

-Make fall cookies - I made these Maple Butterscotch Cookies. I'm going to be honest, they were just ok. They had a nice flavor but the were a bit tough for my taste. Maybe it was the baker's fault though... not the recipe's...?
-Take a nature walk - About a month ago I got to hang out with some really cool guys named Liam and Eli and we went on a nature walk. If I wasn't at work, I'd show you some pictures...
-Bake pies - I made an apple pie a while ago, and I made an apple crisp last night, and I'll likely make other pies. So I'd say we can consider this one completed.
-Drink fancy coffee drinks - Ha! I have no problem with that. I've for sure ordered myself a Pumpkin Spice Latte and/or Salted Caramel Mocha from Starbucks this season.

I've still got a lot to complete. And I'm not going to lie, I doubt that I will complete it all. BUT, this weekend I did complete two more things on the list, and it was a wonderful time! We went apple picking and visited a pumpkin patch in good ol' Plains, Kansas. We picked Fuji and Granny Smith apples for 50 cents a pound and pumpkins for 20 cents a pound. That's a deal, my friends! PLUS, we had a great time! Yay for fall! Let's keep that list coming.

(My cousin Dana with the Granny Smiths.) (Me with the Fujis.)
(She's pretty cute...)
(I just love this...)
(My aunt Cindy with tumbleweed! Classic Kansas...)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Octravelfest: Sublette-style.

(Kansas sunsets are the best. Strong City, KS.)
So, it's Tuesday... and I didn't make a meal. It was just my mom and I again tonight so we decided to take a night off and go to Jose Pepper's instead. Man, I love Mexican... So I don't have any new recipe for Try-It Tuesday this week. But I do have another recipe that I want to share with you at the end of this post... so push through, you can make it!

It seems like October accidentally became "Go and visit the people you love!" month. (Did you like how I came up with Octravelfest. Pretty clever, eh? Ok, I know, it's bad, leave me alone.) Last weekend it was Austin to visit my brother Joel, and this weekend I went with my aunt Cindy to visit my cousin Dana and her husband Marc in Sublette, Kansas. (Funny story: these trips are like deja vu from last year because almost exactly a year ago I took a trip to Sublette and Texas (it was Dallas last time though) Strange...) It was a great trip! We did what the Burrichter family does: a lot of game playing. We ate great food. We went apple picking (more to come on that tomorrow). We shot guns. We talked about life. And we loved on each other. Because that's what we do. (Ok, minus the shooting guns and picking apples. Those aren't "regulars" on the family tradition list.) I had a great weekend and just wanted to show some pictures... just because I can.

Some days I just don't think I deserve to be blessed with as special of a family as mine...
(Another good one...)
(Like I said, we did a lot of cooking and eating.)
(Marc showing us how to shoot guns.)
(I know it doesn't look like she hit the target because there is another one to the right, but she hit what we were aiming for and she was pretty excited about it.)
(All of our shells. I've got my serious, "gun-shooting" face on.)
(ANOTHER great sunset...)
(Joy the Baker's apple crisp recipe. It was so easy and SO delicious. We used the apples we picked earlier that day... pretty cool if you ask me.)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pep talk.

I've kind of been in a funk the last couple of days (ok, maybe weeks and I'm just now catching on...) As you may know by now... change is hard for me. And some changes kind of creeped up out of nowhere and *BAM* many aspects of my life are different than they were before. My life is good, even with the changes... I have no excuse to be in a funk really. But some days you just are, no matter how many pep talks you give yourself. Do you know what I mean?

Anyway, today's pep talk includes this quote I saw on Pinterest. I suppose it's a bit cheesy... but it's inspirational and reminds me that life is about more than the silly little things I worry about...

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile. -Mother Theresa

Friday, October 7, 2011


As I mentioned before, I went to Austin last weekend to visit my brother Joel. He recently moved down there to go to law school (he won't pull the law school card because he can't brag on himself, but I can, he's awesome) so my brother Cory, my cousin Brad and I went for a visit.

I love Kansas City, right? But Austin, it's now officially my second favorite city to home. It's actually smaller than Kansas City, so it didn't feel too big, but it still had the big city feel. I loved that it had lakes and rivers everywhere so the water seemed to be a big component of the city. It has a great skyline. Good restaurants. Fun stores. And just an awesome atmosphere. I loved the time I spent there. I especially loved the company: I haven't had such a great time and laughed so much in quite a while.
(Cousins doing what we do: eating ice cream.)
(We didn't actually eat here, but I liked these signs...)
One of the things that we made a point to do, because we are awesome, was to drive around and see some of the locations where they filmed Friday Night Lights, because the show was filmed in Austin. We stopped by the Panther Fieldhouse, Matt Saracen's house, the Taylor's house, and my favorite stop on the tour: Tim Riggin's land. It was incredible. You know what was even more incredible? Driving around downtown Austin later that night, stopping at a stoplight and looking at the car next to us and seeing Kyle Chandler (the actor who plays the coach on FNL) driving the car. Yep, that happened. To say we were stoked to see him is an understatement.
(Tim Riggins' land.)
(Siblings at Riggins' land.)
It was a great weekend...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Things That I Wish I Could Blog About...

I don't know if you know this about me... but I love fall. Like, a lot. I've always enjoyed fall, but in college I met my dear friend Valeria, who is an even greater lover of fall than I, and she rubbed off on me. My love has never failed since then... for fall, or for Valeria (she's pretty great...)

The truth is that I have blogged about my love of fall a lot over the years. So all of the things that I have a desire to blog about these days, because I'm just soaking them up right now, I have already blogged about. (And I try to avoid repeats.) So, I decided to blog about the things that I wish I could blog about but can't because I've already blogged about them. You ready for it? Here goes...

1. Baking with pumpkin.
2. Scarves
3. The trees.
4. The cool breezes.
5. The idea of football even though I don't like the sport.
6. The fall holidays.
7. The fall-like drinks from Starbucks.
8. Cardigans.
9. Candy corn.
10. Apples.

I have either designated whole posts to these or mentioned them in passing... So I'll just leave it at that. I love all of those things. And I love fall.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Try-It Tuesday: Spinach and Ricotta Quiche

It's been a week since I've blogged... I went out of town this weekend to visit my brother Joel in Austin so I haven't had a lot of time. I need to blog about Austin though... It was amazing. More to come on that soon.

Tonight it was just my momma and I for Try-It Tuesday. I wanted more of a simple meal this week... Nothing with tons of chopping and ingredients. Something low key. So I made this Spinach and Ricotta Quiche that I saw in Rachael Ray Magazine. The verdict? It was really good! I'd say a do over for sure! It was pretty easy and had a full flavor that we really enjoyed.
(Rachael Ray's picture.)
(My picture. Quality dinner: the quiche, Diet Coke, carrots- straight out of the bag (we keep it classy) and my beloved honeycrisp apples.)

The recipe called for frozen puff pastry. I'd seen recipes use it before, but have never used it myself. I bought a package of two, and the quiche only called for one shell and so I had this other thawed puff pastry shell that I wanted to do something with. So I was thinking about it, and then... *lightbulb!* I remembered seeing a recipe on Joy the Baker that called for puff pastry and... *drum roll, please* ... peanut butter and chocolate!!! Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows. So I whipped those up while waiting for the quiche to cook and they were amazing! The star of tonight's show, for sure.

Moral of the story: buy some frozen puff pastry. Make the quiche... But TOTALLY make the peanut butter chocolate pillows. Yay for another successful Try-It Tuesday!
(Joy's picture... it looks a bit more appetizing than mine...)
(So amazing. Seriously.)
(If you can look past the disgusting Band-Aided, peely nail polished fingers, you'll see how flaky and wonderful this was!)