Green Beans With Pistachio Pesto

This weekend we made some of the most delicious green beans that I have ever tasted. Let me tell you, these are not your granny's veggies.

On Saturday we downloaded a new app called "yummly". Have you heard of it? It compiles a ton (thousands and thousands) of internet recipes into one app. You can choose the recipe you want to try, add the ingredients to the in-app shopping list, and head to the store to collect everything for all the recipes you want to try.

I'm seriously in love. This week we sat down and chose a bunch of the recipes from the app for our dinner menu, and did all of our grocery shopping. It is a breeze. Check it out online {here}.

Our first recipe was Green Beans with Pistachio Pesto. (Find the recipe {here}.) It was quick, easy, and really tasty - my top recipe requirements. 

We started with fresh green beans (I guess technically you could use canned or frozen, but the fresh is so yum.) In the boiling water we tossed in the snapped beans and garlic.

While the beans were boiling we used our Ninja processor and blend the pesto ingredients. Note: I had no idea I could use pistachios in a pesto--I love it!

When the beans were cooked through we added a few tablespoons of the water to our pesto to give it some liquid. It was as simple as tossing our cooked beans with our easy-blend pesto mix.

I can't use enough words to describe how delicious these green beans were. I couldn't get enough of them, really. They had so much flavor and tasted so fresh. AND they were a vegetable - BONUS!

I will definitely be keeping this recipe up my sleeve for the next time I am invited to  a dinner and asked to bring a side. And, yes, that is an invitation to ask me over to your house. I'll say yes. And bring green beans. Win, win.

Not-So-Tender Mercies: Part II

After my inbox filled up with sweet e-mails and comments  in response to last week's Not-So-Tender Mercies post, I knew that it was a topic that rang true for someone(s) other than myself. I knew that I needed to revisit it when I woke up in the middle of the night thinking of all the parts I didn't say the first time around. So, if you'll allow me, let's do it again. Let's talk about the yucky stuff. And maybe we can reap the benefits of our collective experiences, strengths, and hopes.

A Day in Prague: Orloj

I loved my time in Prague. There was great shopping, a lovely apartment, and one of the most dramatic train rides I've ever experienced. It was one of my first ventures into Old World eastern Europe.

Today We Gardened

Today I came home and found that not only had my husband beat me home (that never happens) and that he was hard at work in one of the beds alongside our house. We decided that this would be a good place to plant some squash, zucchini, and maybe a couple of other things. I was thrilled to see that he had started on our project.

I wish I had a proper "before" picture to give you the full impact of the clearing, but I wasn't there to get one. Please oo and ah anyway.

I threw on a pair on his work gloves and we cleaned the bed up nicely. There is a bush, some irises, and a few tulips from a previous gardener, but for the most part it is clear and ready for our veggies.

[Another one of our favorite produce loves is Bountiful Baskets. Worth it. Every time.]

 Please excuse my sweaty ponytail hair. 

In other news: our quack friends have been visiting lately! I love it when they come over.

Tomorrow: A Day in Prague.

Today's Happy Things

What do you do when you have a stinky, rotten day? After a great weekend my week got off to a bumpy start. The thing I love most about bumpy starts? The smooth road that (typically) follows.

When I have a terrible day I typically have two choices: A) sit, mope, and do nothing, or B) get a grip and do something that makes me happy. Let's be honest; sometimes I choose option A. Sometimes the effort it takes to pull myself out of a funk seems like too much work, so I let storm cloud linger. More often than I let the storm cloud linger, however, I make the effort to choose happiness.

I think that choice can change everything.

So, today after the yuck-fest I did things that made me happy in order lift my spirits. I went to the library. I texted my mom. I talked to my sister.
I made myself a quesadilla for lunch. I asked my husband to bring me a slurpee. For dinner I chose comfort food: Sloppy Joes, tater tots, and green beans. And for dessert? Chocolate Chip Cookies. (Why is 75% of this list food?)

I first had these amazing cookies when I was living with my BFF Sue. This is her mom's recipe and they are the most delicious cookies that will ever cross your lips. I'm convinced she adds a little bit of magic when she makes hers, because they somehow always seem to be even more delicious when I don't have to make them.

Tonight I will sit in my comfy chair in my comfy robe. With me I will bring a mug of Chamomille and a glass of Perrier--and maybe a cookie or two. I'll do my sudoku puzzles and read my new library books until my eyes get droopy and it is time for bed. To me, that sounds like a picture perfect evening (in other news I am 70 years-old).

I chose happy things today.

Maybe it wasn't such a stinky, rotten day after all.

Not-So-Tender Mercies

We talk a lot about the "tender mercies" of God, the wonderful things He does for us, and the ways we can see that in our lives. But what happens when these mercies aren't so "tender"? What about when life gets hard?

A Day in Washington, D.C.: The N.A.S.M. (& other places)

Washington, D.C. remains at the top of my list of "favorite places I've lived". There is always something to do, people to see, museums to explore, and just about anything else you could imagine. Some of the best summers were spent with a metro pass and countless trips to the National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, and the National Archives as we spent time in some of the United States' most beautifully historic places.

My top three favorite museums to visit on the National Mall are the National Air & Space Museum, the National Museum of American History, and National Museum of American Art.