Monday, May 15, 2017

What We Ate Last Week - May 2017 Week 2

So, this was kind of an exciting week on the job hunt front...

Brent was contacted on Monday by someone form DaVita and had a phone interview Monday afternoon.  The rep emailed him a couple things to study and then set up an interview for Thursday morning.  Brent said the second interview went okay.  He doesn't think he rocked it, but he thinks he might still be in the running.  They have other candidates to interview and then they'll (hopefully) get back to him about a third interview.  Fingers crossed.  Even if nothing else comes of it, it was nice to finally get a positive response back after all of the jobs that he's applied for with DaVita.  Also, nice to get a better idea of what the interview process is going to look like so it's not as nerve-wracking the next time.

As far as other leads, Brent is still waiting to hear about the Lacey/Olympia job opening back up, which would be awesome.  He never did hear back about his in-person interview, but we're not too terribly upset or surprised about that one.  Brent's instructors are also working with on a few internship options, so if he doesn't get a job right away he'll still be able to get some good experience (which could lead to a job).

We had plenty of leftovers this week, and we both kind of hit a wall energy-wise over the weekend.  So, we mostly did leftovers or stuff from the freezer for meals.  I did try a new muffin recipe this week though!  These Blueberry Almond Muffins were pretty tasty!  They're not very sweet, so I'd most likely add a little more honey next time I make them.  I liked how filling they were with all the oats, almond butter and almond meal.  I don't think Calvin was a huge fan of them though.  Ah well.

I hope you all had wonderful week and a great Mother's Day.

Keep giggling!

Monday, May 8, 2017

What We Ate Last Week - May 2017 Week 1

Brent had his interview in Seattle this week and it went okay.  It would appear that it's actually more of a data-entry position and less of an actual Biomed Tech job, so that's kind of a bummer.  Given that little detail, they're also not really wanting to pay as much as we would like Brent to make if he was working/commuting in Seattle.  He hasn't heard back from them one way or the other, but he did send them a thank you email a day or two after his interview.  So, it's back to applying for jobs all over the country and hoping/praying that the Lacey/Olympia job opens back up soon and wants him.  We'll keep you all posted and ask for your continued prayers and good thoughts. :)

In the meantime, here's what we ate last week!

Monday 5/1
Breakfast:  Fruit, Yogurt, Carrot Cake Muffins - These were pretty good, I think...  Calvin needed a diaper change while they were baking, so I ended up accidentally over-baking them.  They were a little dark and dry, but the flavor seemed good.  I'll have to try them again.
Lunch:   Leftovers
Dinner:   Salad, Garlic Bread, Pressure Cooker Split Pea Soup - I'm borrowing a pressure cooker from my mom and was really excited to use it, but then I read in the manual that you shouldn't cook split peas in it because they foam too much.  So, I ended up cooking it on the stove, which took forever.  My grocery store didn't have any ham bones and I didn't want to buy a whole ham, so I bought a package of smoked ham hocks from the freezer section.  The soup was good, but it was too smokey and not as good as my mom's.  Kind of anti-climactic after all the time on the stove and all the time/effort to get the meat off of the ham hocks...ugh.  I'd like to try making it again, because I do like split pea soup.  I'll just have to either plan a ham dinner sometime before I want soup, or find our nearest Honey Baked Ham and buy a soup bone from them.

Tuesday 5/2
Breakfast:  Fruit, Avocado Toast
Lunch:   Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit
Dinner:  Salad, Birdseye Frozen Fajita Skillet Meal - Love these things!  We've tried a few flavors and they're nice to have in the freezer for those nights you don't feel like anything else.

Wednesday 5/3
Breakfast:  Fruit, Yogurt, Muffins
Lunch:   Sandwiches, Fruit
Dinner:  Salad, Leftovers

Thursday 5/4
Breakfast:  Fruit, Yogurt, Muffins
Lunch:  Sandwiches, Chips
Dinner:   Toasty Bread, Grilled chicken, Strawberry Poppyseed Salad - This was super yummy!  Our feta was old and not so good, so we skipped that. 🙁 I'm sure it would be really good though!  I added a little avocado and that was delish!

Friday 5/5
Breakfast:  Scrambled eggs
Lunch:   Leftovers
Dinner:   Fiesta Friday!!  Tacos!

Saturday 5/6
Breakfast:  Pancakes
Lunch:   Leftovers
Dinner:   Fruit, Turkey Avocado Bacon Ranch Wraps - We ended up spending the afternoon and evening with family, so just had hot dogs and boxed mac & cheese.  Oh yeah! lol.

Sunday 5/7
Breakfast:  Pancakes
Lunch:  Car snack on the way to church
Dinner:   Salad, Fruit, Roasted Broccoli, Cheddar and Sweet Potato Stuffed BBQ Turkey Meatloaf - This was really good!  We invited Brent's parents over for dinner and we all enjoyed it!  I was worried about it being dry since the turkey was pretty lean and the only added moisture was from an egg and some bbq sauce, but it was plenty moist!  I'll definitely make it again!  In addition to what's already listed, we also had garlic bread since there was a loaf on the bakery clearance at Fred Meyer this week. :D

Well, it looks like we should have some more nice weather the first half of this week.  I hope you all get a chance to enjoy it!

Have a great week and keep giggling!

Monday, May 1, 2017

What We Ate Last Week - April 2017 Week 4 / And a Little Update! :)

I feel like we've been busy this week, but it was really only Friday and Saturday that were busy.

Brent had a random bonus day off on Friday, so we enjoyed having him home an extra day.  While he was home, he got a call from Fred Hutch in Seattle to come in for an interview!!  We've been kind of playing the waiting game ever since he found out that there's a hiring freeze for the job in the Olympia/Lacey area, so it was nice to get a positive response back after all the applications he's been sending out.  So, he's going in on Tuesday for a job interview in Seattle - any and all prayers/good thoughts/positive vibes/etc. would be much appreciated.  He's only got 5 more weeks of classes left and then it's off to work (hopefully) or an internship.
On Friday we also went down to Auburn to have a family dinner at Rio Blanco to surprise my Aunt Linda for her birthday, which was Thursday.  I love going to Rio Blanco - it's so yummy!  It's my family's favorite restaurant, so it's a fairly common pick for special family dinners.  It's nice to be able to live so close to extended family and be able to celebrate with them!  I'm really hoping that Brent can get a job locally so we can still be around the majority of our family.

On Saturday, we had a family BBQ to celebrate my Grandpa's birthday!  Grandpa is my dad's dad, and he turns 94 today (May 1st)!!  As usual, his birthday "cake" was strawberry shortcake - it's his favorite dessert!  We also brought some A&W root beer.  His mom used to work for A&W, so it's his favorite brand. :)
Saturday was also a special day in our little family!  6 years ago, on April 29, 2011, Brent and I went on our very first date.  It was half blind date since I knew who I was meeting up with, but Brent didn't.  He had suspicions, due to the mutual friend who set us up, but wasn't 100% sure.  Some day I'll have to put our story on here. :)

Here's what we ate this last week, enjoy!

Monday 4/24
Breakfast:  Oatmeal, Fruit, Yogurt
Lunch:  Salad, Fruit, Leftovers
Dinner:  Salad, Garlic Bread, Spaghetti Squash Casserole - This is one of my favorite ways to eat spaghetti squash. I crushed some croutons up and sprinkled those on top with the cheese that's called for and broiled it for a few minutes at the end.  Yummo!

Tuesday 4/25
Breakfast:  Frittata and Fruit
Lunch:  Fruit, Chips, Tuna Sandwiches
Dinner:  Fruit, Salad, Leftovers

Wednesday 4/26
Breakfast:  Avocado Toast and Fruit
Lunch:  Salad and Leftovers
Dinner:  Salad and Hawaiian Hamburger Steaks - These were pretty good, although I'm not sure how I liked the Italian seasoning in makes me feel like I'm eating meatloaf with pineapple, which is a little weird...  Still good though!

Thursday 4/27
Breakfast:  Fruit, Yogurt, Oatmeal
Lunch:  Fruit and Leftovers
Dinner:  Leftovers/Clean the fridge!

Friday 4/28
Breakfast:  Fruit, Yogurt, Oatmeal
Lunch:  Salad, Sandwiches, Chips
Dinner:  Family Dinner at Rio Blanco to celebrate Aunt Linda's birthday!

Saturday 4/29
Breakfast:  Fruit and Pancakes
Lunch:  Birthday BBQ lunch for Grandpa!
Dinner:  Leftovers

Sunday 4/30
Breakfast:  Fruit, Pancakes, Yogurt
Lunch:  Sandwiches and Chips
Dinner:  Migas!!

Well, we're off to a new week friends!  If the weather report holds any truth, we should actually start to feel like spring this week - there's even a chance of hitting the high 70s!  I hope you can get out and enjoy the spring, wherever you are!

Have a great week, and keep giggling!

Monday, April 24, 2017

What We Ate Last Week - April 2017 Week 3

Hey-a friends!

Just another week here at the Gunnell house.  Calvin has been enjoying the spoils of Easter with a little candy after almost every lunch and dinner (I'm not above a little bribery to get him to try "thank you bites" of what I make for dinner...).  We've also been watching a lot of Moana...  It's pretty cute to hear Cal walking around the house singing "you're welcome, you're welcome". 😍  Brent only has 6 weeks of classes left and then it's off to an internship or a job.  We're still waiting to hear about the Lacey/Olympia job opening back up, but until then he's continuing to apply for jobs back East and in the MIdwest.

We ate some pretty tasty things this week - I highly recommend the Thai Beef Bowls and the Apricot Balsamic Chicken if you're looking to try something new!  Here's the rest of the menu - enjoy!

Monday 4/17
Breakfast:  Avocado Toast and Fruit
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Fruit, Salad, Broccoli Bacon Mac & Cheese - This was pretty tasty.  I never really measure cheese out for recipes, so I'm fairly certain I used more than it called for.  Not a problem here though - we like cheese. 😁 My finished product looked a lot more brown than the pictures in the recipe, so it didn't look amazing...but it tasted good!  We served peas on the side and both ended up mixing them in, so next time I'll probably just add peas into the recipe.

Tuesday 4/18
Breakfast:  Fruit, Yogurt, Pumpkin Pecan Baked Steel Cut Oats - I know a lot of people view pumpkin as a fall only thing, but I love pumpkin all year round!😁  This recipe is super yummy and is freezes and reheats well.
Lunch:  Salad, Leftovers
Dinner:  Fruit, Salad, Leftovers

Wednesday 4/19
Breakfast:  Frittata and Fruit
Lunch:  Fruit, Thai Beef Bowls - holy yum, Batman!  This was really good.  I think it could use a little more peanut butter in the sauce (and the sauce is a little spicy), but other than that I think it's fine as is.  I used cilantro and basil for my fresh herbs.
Dinner:  Salad, Apricot Balsamic Chicken - This was tasty too!  I used spinach instead of arugula, since we prefer spinach.  I think next time I would use brown rice instead of couscous.  I don't feel like I'd be missing out on anything flavor wise and the texture of couscous is just annoying.  It's so small and it falls of your fork and gets all over the table and your lap and...yeah....brown rice it is, lol.

Thursday 4/20
Breakfast:  Fruit, Yogurt, Oatmeal
Lunch:  Salad, Sandwiches, Chips
Dinner:  Salad, Fruit, Leftovers

Friday 4/21
Breakfast:  Frittata and Fruit
Lunch:  Salad, Sandwiches, Chips
Dinner:  Salad and Baked Fish & Chips - I forgot to pull the fish out of the freezer and we still had lots of leftovers to eat, so we'll try this a different time.

Saturday 4/22
Breakfast:  Fruit, Panakes
Lunch:  Salad and Caramelized Onion Flatbread - This was pretty tasty!  I used Pilsbury Thin Crust and a tub of storebought pesto.  I think it would be better with a homemade pizza dough.  It also wouldn't be bad if you added a little rotisserie chicken to add some protein.  Still, pretty tasty and I'll probably make it again.  Oh, I also caramelized my onions WAY longer than the recipe said to.  I like my caramelized onions and lot darker and softer.
Dinner:  Fruit and Leftovers

Sunday 4/23
Breakfast:  Fruit, Yogurt, Pancakes
Lunch:  Sandwiches and Fruit
Dinner:  Easter Dinner 2.0 at Caitlin and Kyle's

Well, there ya have it!  I hope you like these recipes as much as we did, if you try them!

Keep giggling!

Monday, April 17, 2017

What We Ate Last Week - April 2017 Week 2

Hello friends!

It's been a pretty good week here.  My youngest sister, Sarah, was home for a few days on her spring break from BYU-Idaho, so we did a lot of family dinners at the beginning of the week.  On Monday evening we went over to Caitlin and Kyle's house (my middle sister and her hubby) for a soup and salad dinner with most of local family.  Then, on Tuesday evening, I picked Sarah up and she spent the night and spent all day Wednesday with us.  We went to Trader Joe's, Foley's (a local produce stand) and The Nutty Squirrel for gelato - yumm!  The rest of the day we just spent at our house hanging out.  Then we met most of the same group from Monday night at Rio Blanco down in Auburn.  It's our family's favorite restaurant and we go there for lots of birthday celebrations.  Their Carne Asada is so yummy!  Sarah went back to Caitlin and Kyle's after Rio Blanco and then she headed back to Idaho Thursday morning.  It was nice to have her home for a few days.  I sure do like that kid. 😁

Brent only has 7 more weeks of school left!  Whoop whoop!  He hadn't heard anything back about a job interview so he emailed the recruiter to follow up and she told him that they're actually in a hiring freeze right now.  She said that when it lifts they'll be hiring for two positions and she'll let him know when that happens.  We're still hopeful that it could work out, but kinda bummed that it's fallen through for right now.  So, Brent will keep applying for jobs and internships.  It sounds like he has a pretty good chance of getting an internship at Madigan (the hopsital on base) since he has a specialized biomed tech interest.  We'll see how everything pans out over the next two months!  

So, that's what we've been up to the last week, and here's what we've been eating!

Monday 4/10
Breakfast:  Eggs and Toast
Lunch:  Leftovers and Salad
Dinner:  Family dinner at Caitlin and Kyle's because Sarah is home for a few days between semesters!!! - We brought these fudgy brownies.  They are delicious and a top contender in my quest for the perfect brownie.  Highly recommend!

Tuesday 4/11
Breakfast:  Fruit and Broccoli Cheddar Spinach Frittata - It turns out that all of the flooding in Southern California is negatively impacting the broccoli crops down there and the broccoli has been really low quality.  Ours went bad really quick, so I didn't have any for this.  I just winged it and added orange bell pepper, extra spinach, a few quartered cherry tomatoes and a little bacon bits.  Yummo!
Lunch:  Salad and Leftovers
Dinner:  Fruit and Turkey and Butternut Squash Curry - This was really good!  I upped the curry powder a little and added some garam masala.  It was a little spicy so I'd add less cayenne powder next time.

Wednesday 4/12
Breakfast:  Yogurt and Apple Peanut Butter Toast
Lunch:  PB&J, Fruit, Chips
Dinner:  Rio Blanco with the fam to celebrate Sarah being home!! - Rio Blanco is my family's favorite restaurant.  It's a family owned Mexican place in Auburn and it's delicious.  The house I grew up in is a 10 minute drive/15 minute walk away.  We go there for lots of family celebrations.  If you're ever in Auburn and need some yummy food, check it out in the shopping center at A St and 41st St.

Thursday 4/13
Breakfast:  Fruit, Frittata
Lunch:  Salad and Chicken Spinach Meatball Soup with Rice - I was really looking forward to this, but Thursday was kind of a lazy day and it didn't happen.  I'll probably just make the meatballs this week and then freeze them.  That way it's super easy to pull it out for lunch sometime later this month.
Dinner:  Salad and Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Casserole - Lazy day prevailed again and we had leftover curry for dinner.  We had this on Friday instead since we fed the missionaries and I knew a casserole would be enough food.  We had fruit salad, an Asian salad kit from the store, and ice cream with strawberries and hot fudge for dessert.  I wish I had added the full amount of garlic, but I thought it sounded like a little much.  I think a sharp cheddar would've been nice too.

Friday 4/14
Breakfast:  Apple Peanut Butter Toast
Lunch  Salad and Leftovers
Dinner:  Chips, Guac, and Fish Taco Rice Bowls - We ended up feeding the missionaries on Friday and I didn't have enough fish, so we switched things around and had Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Casserole instead (but we did have this on Saturday).  I improvised a little since I didn't want to pickle onions and I didn't want to buy a jicama for such a small amount.  So, I cooked the fish as directed, made my own guac and made a homemade mango salsa with some spiced frozen mangoes.  We still served it over rice and had purple cabbage, diced tomatoes, and chopped cilantro.  It was pretty dang good!

Saturday 4/15
Breakfast:  Fruit and Whole Grain Pancakes
Lunch:  Grilled Chicken and Orange Strawberry Avocado Salad - lazy day again and leftovers in the fridge that needed to be eaten.
Dinner:  Fruit, Salad, and Leftovers

Easter Sunday 4/16
Breakfast:  Fruit and Pancakes
Lunch:  Sandwiches
Dinner:  Barrett Family Easter Dinner

Monday, April 10, 2017

What We Ate Last Week - April 2017 Week 1

Can you believe we're a quarter of the way through the year already?!  Time sure does fly - and the older I get, the faster it's flying...

Brent only has eight more weeks of classes and then it's off to an internship or a job!  He's been applying for jobs as a dialysis biomedical tech, but there's not a whole lot of openings on the West coast unless we want to live in the LA area, which we don't.  So, he's been applying for a lot of jobs back east:  North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin, etc.  He hasn't heard anything back besides the automated rejection reply, but we kind of expected that since he still has two months of school left and we're all the way on the other side of the country.  Last week he did hear back from a regional recruiter for one company though who wanted to talk to him about a job here in Washington.  After a day of phone tag, he talked to her for a bit last week and she said she'd pass on his info to a hiring manager out here and that he'll probably have an interview in the next week or two.  We're still waiting to hear back on the interview, but still!  We got a bite and it's exciting - especially since it would mean we could stay in state.  We're definitely willing to move where ever the right job is, but since the majority of both of our families are here it would be really nice to stay in Western Washington.

Also on the (potentially) exciting news front - we bought big boy underwear and a toilet insert for Calvin...he's not super interested yet, but he's starting to show interest and tell us when he needs a diaper change, so I'm pretty sure potty training is coming up soon for us.  Wish us luck!

Here's our menu for last week.  Brent finally kicked his cold and my back is feeling much better, so we actually stuck pretty close to our plan for the week.

Monday 4/3
Breakfast:  Leftover Muffins, Yogurt and Fruit
Lunch:  Grilled Turkey Patties and Salad
Dinner:  Salad and Baked Potato

Tuesday 4/4
Breakfast:  Yogurt and Grapefruit Yogurt Coffee Cake - This was okay.  It's a little underwhelming though.  The grapefruit flavor could be stronger and/or it could be a little sweeter.  I think if you upped the grapefruit it wouldn't need to be sweeter and if you upped the sweetness you wouldn't need to up the citrus because it would taste like cake.  I think I'd prefer more grapefruit.  I wonder if reducing the juice down would help...
Lunch:  Salad and Leftovers
Dinner:  Fruit, Chips, and Pesto Avocado Chicken Salad Sandwiches - These were so good!  I used butter lettuce instead of arugula since it's what we had on hand and arugula isn't my favorite.  It would probably be good on these sandwiches though.  I ate the leftovers the next day in a whole wheat wrap.  These will definitely make an appearance on the menu this summer when it's too hot to cook. :)

Wednesday 4/5
Breakfast:  Fruit and Avocado Toast
Lunch:  Tuna Sandwiches, Chips, and Salad
Dinner:  Salad and Migas - I forgot to get cilantro and jalapeno, which are key components of this recipe.  So sad!  We love these though.  Make them! :)

Thursday 4/6
Breakfast:  Yogurt and Grapefruit Coffee Cake
Lunch:  Grilled Turkey Patties and Salad
Dinner:  Fruit, Salad, and Leftovers

Friday 4/7
Breakfast:  Scrambled Eggs, Fruit, and Grapefruit Coffee Cake
Lunch:  Tuna Wrap, Chips, and Fruit
Dinner:  Salad, Fruit, and Avocado Tuna Cakes - We've had these before and they're tasty!

Saturday 4/8
Breakfast:  Fruit and Whole Grain Pancakes - The usual Saturday morning breakfast, made by Calvin and Brent as usual. :)
Lunch:  Fruit and Broccoli Pizza - We ran out of time for these on Saturday since we needed to go get some interview clothes for Brent.
Dinner:  Salad and Leftovers

Sunday 4/9
Breakfast:  Fruit and Pancakes
Lunch:  Sandwiches
Dinner:  Gunnell Family Dinner

There ya go!  I hope everyone had a great week!

Keep giggling,

Monday, April 3, 2017

What We Ate Last Week - March 2017 Week 4

Here's our menu for last week, although we didn't make everything.  I hurt my back on Sunday and that, combined with Brent still being sick and starting school, kind of threw  meals for a loop.  I'm working on our menu plan for April though, so most of the things we didn't get to in March will just be pushed forward to April.

Monday 3/27
Breakfast:  Fruit, Frittatas
Lunch:  Fruit, Leftovers
Dinner:  Fruit, Avocado Toast

Tuesday 3/28
Breakfast:  Yogurt, Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Toast - Another menu item lost to our stinky week. :(
Lunch:  Grilled Chicken, Orange Strawberry Avocado Salad with Citrus Poppyseed Dressing - This one is supposed to be inspired by my favorite salad from Panera Bread, so I'm really looking forward to putting this on the menu again and actually trying it.
Dinner:  Fruit, Chips, Guac, Fish Taco Bowls - Didn't get around to this one, but it'll reappear soon!

Wednesday 3/29
Breakfast:  Strawberry Cheesecake Toast - I was in too much pain to make/couldn't find brioche, so this one didn't get made.  I found a recipe to make my own though, so I'll definitely be making this soon!
Lunch:  Salad, Leftovers
Dinner:  Salad, Fruit, Rice, Slow Cooker Chicken Curry - This smelled really good while it was cooking in the slow cooker - my house (and fingers) still smell like curry!  Unfortunately, the curry flavor wasn't strong enough for me.  It was overpowered by the taste of jalapeno, which could be because I tossed it in the food processor with the coconut milk and spices.  Maybe I'll try it again, but cut the jalapeno in a few big chunks and fish them out afterwards.  That would probably help cut down the spice a little too.  it wasn't too spicy, but the leftovers will be spicier and we're kind of wussy when it comes to spicy things.  I'd probably up the curry powder and garam masala too...and the ginger.

Thursday 3/30
Breakfast:  Fruit, Yogurt, Grapefruit Yogurt Coffee Cake - I was all set to make this and realized I was missing the yogurt...whomp whomp.
Lunch:  Grilled Chicken, Orange Strawberry Avocado Salad
Dinner:  Fruit and Cottage Cheese, Baked Potatoes

Friday 3/31
Breakfast:  Yogurt, Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Toast
Lunch:  Salad, Leftovers
Dinner:  Pancakes, Fruit

Saturday 4/1
Breakfast:  Gunnell Family Brunch between sessions of General Conference
Lunch:  Salad, Leftovers
Dinner:  Fruit, Salad, Leftovers

Sunday 4/2
Breakfast:  Barrett Family Brunch between sessions of General Conference - We brought muffins over to my dad's on Sunday.  I made banana (I'll share my banana bread recipe on here some day...) and these Rhubarb Streusel Muffins which were quite good.  I think they need a little bit of tweaking though, mainly some spices in the actual muffin batter.
Lunch:  Salad, Leftovers
Dinner:  Salad, Fruit, Leftovers

Let me know what you think if you try anything!

Keep giggling!