Rainin on Sunday

Oh the joys of a rainy Sunday afternoon!  This weekend has been great - I would say relaxing would be the key word. :) 

Friday, I left for a leadership retreat for First Pres college ministry at the Tombigbee River.  It was a great time full of prayer, reading the word, preparing for ministry, food, and games.  We have a very eclectic group this year on LT, so it was really fun to spend time with people who aren't like me.  We stayed at a beautiful river house owned by a couple from church and had lunch on Saturday at the "Down Yonder Cafe".... yes, it is exactly as you picture in your head just now. I had fried catfish, green beans and macaroni and cheese. Yum!

I got home Saturday afternoon and was greeted by my very hospitable puppy and my sweet husband doing laundry. Jesse and I just spent the rest of the day together - which was amazing!  I'm dreading the semester getting busy, but alas, I know for him it will.  As we are still not fully settled, we mainly worked in the guest room (which has become the "Where does this go?"  "I don't know, just put it in the guest room" room).   Why, you ask?  Because we are having our very first house guests this weekend!  Becca and Brian Page will be staying here at the English Bed and Breakfast in the Lodge Room Thursday night and my parents will be here on Friday/Saturday.  I'm super excited about house guests and MSU Football kicking off! Go Dawgs!

As for today, we woke up to a steady rain, went to church where Olin preached on Psalm 51, and had a lunch date at Bulldog Deli (be jealous)!  This afternoon has consisted of the rest of the laundry, some schoolwork, and Jesse's NFL Fantasy Football draft.  In honor of a rainy Sunday afternoon, I decided to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  Yumm.  Since I'm such a nice person, I'm going to share the recipe with you. ;)  

Vanishing Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 4 dozen)

2 sticks butter, softened
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. oats (uncooked- quick or old fashioned)
1 c. chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Beat butter and sugars until creamy
Add eggs and vanilla - beat well
Add flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt - mix well
Stir in oats and chocolate chips
Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet
Bake 10-12 minutes/ until golden brown
Cool 1 minute then remove to wire rack.

Too bad dogs can't have cookies, because Maggie sure wanted some! 
 Here's my "little baby puppy", as Uncle Kyle says, in Memphis 2 weekends ago:

And here she is today!  I think she's grown. :)

Much love from the Englishes!


Amazing Dinner

Hello Faithful Readers!

Things have been crazy in the English household recently  - now we half way settled, but are at the point in a move where you are sick of looking at boxes, are ready to be settled but are just SICK of going through everything.  Blah.  I'll post pictures of the house once everything is settled...the goal is by the 1st footbal game.  Also- expect a post coming up about our recent trip to Memphis!!!

In the meantime, I HAVE to share our amazing dinner last night.  Jesse picked the menu and it was awesome.  
Summer Pasta with Basil, Tomatoes, and Cheese
courtesy of allrecipes.com


  • 2 pounds vine ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced  (we used 1 1/2 lbs of Roma)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (from our garden!)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves (from our garden!)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cream sherry  (we used balsamic vinegar and it was amazing)
  • 12 ounces spaghetti (we used whole wheat angel hair pasta)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
  • 2 cups fontina cheese, shredded (we used Gruyere - also amazing)


1. In a medium bowl, toss together tomatoes, garlic, basil, mint, salt and black pepper, hot pepper flakes, olive oil, and cream sherry. Let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, but firm to the bite.

3. Drain the pasta, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Drain 1/4 cup of the liquid from the tomato mixture, and toss with the pasta to coat. Add cheese, and toss until it begins to melt. Add the tomato mixture, and toss until mixed.

We topped ours with fresh parsley and it was amazing!  With it we had homemade  herb bread (made by Jesse's mom) dipped in olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.  

Talk about AMAZING.  Love the fresh herbs for our garden.  I wish I had taken a picture because it was very colorful.


Now, if this wasn't enough.... (and at this point, we pretended we weren't full) we made Alton Brown's recipe for Angel Food Cake.  I had some strawberries in the fridge that needed to get eaten so of course we made homemade angel food cake with real whipped cream!

If you have ever watched Alton Brown on the Food Network, you know how particular he can be...

Angel Food Cake
courtesy of foodnetwork.com


  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted 
  • 12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract, or extract of your choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.
In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, orange extract, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to a hand mixer. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).
Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan.
Cook's Note: Since they're easier to separate use the freshest eggs you can get.

Oooooeeeeeee.  We topped this cake with fresh strawberries and real whipped cream.  Ok, I think we consumed enough calories for the week.  No more eating for us!

Now.... get your grocery list started and include everything you need to make this pasta.  I promise you won't be disappointed!


Husband. Puppy. Wedding. Moving.

Wow, I have so much to blog about, I don't even know where to start!  This past week has been amazing with so much going on.  I guess I'll start with what happened first.  Jesse was due to come home on Friday, July 30 but surprised me by calling at lunch on Thursday to say that he was headed home!  He got off work early in Asheville on Thursday.  Last week I felt like Friday would NEVER come, so I was so excited to receive the good news!  Jesse's homecoming was already special to me but to make it even better, he was able to meet up with Kristian to pick up our puppy (a day early)! We were thankful since our plans changed so last minute.  Around 9:30 that night, I got two of the best things in the world -- my husband home for good and our dog. (Big news! - at least to us.... our puppy slept through the night (and has every other night since).  We were totally expecting to be up with a barking puppy multiple times through the night.)  If you are wondering why I keep calling her our puppy and not by her name, its because she didn't have a name at this point!

As exciting as all of this is, the story doesn't stop here!  Jesse, Laura, the pup, and myself  loaded up the car on Friday and headed to Jackson for Anna and John's wedding weekend.

What a reunion!  We spent Friday evening rehearsing, eating, toasting the couple, and looking forward to their wedding day!

Saturday morning came earlier than expected with a puppy cry at 6:30 am.  Jesse took her outside and then went to speak to my dad, who was fishing in the backyard.  She laid down on the seawall for a good ole' scratch - but little did she know when she leaned back to scratch, she fell in the lake! Jesse said she popped right up and just started swimming!  That's a lab for ya, I guess. :) We decided to give her her first bath after this incident.... but as much as she enjoyed the water in the lake, she wasn't too fond of the water in the sink. haha  At least she smelled good and clean afterwards - and was in a TOTAL cuddling mood, which I LOVE.

Not too long after all of this, I headed to Byram to continue celebrating Anna!!! (Jesse stayed at my parents and did manly things, like chop down a tree. :) ) The bridesmaids luncheon was wonderful and the food was amazing! After we stuffed our faces, the girls went to Anna's house to hang out before it was time to get ready....which came before we knew it! I so loved this time... getting to hang out with great friends and prepare for one of our best friend's special day. Anna looked stunning and incredibly happy. The wedding was beautiful and the reception so much fun!  I'm super jealous because they are spending the week in the British Virgin Islands... you'll see what I'm doing this week very soon.   Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Clemmer!

The puppy finally got named on Sunday morning  ---- MAGGIE!  It was so nice to actually call her a name, instead of "here puppy!"  Sunday was another early morning for us, due to Mags, but she is totally worth it.  We loaded the car again and headed back to Starkville.  My parents followed us home to help us start packing, because we are MOVING into a house this weekend!

This week has been crazy, trying to work, finish up my summer term class, potty train a puppy, hide a puppy (bc we aren't supposed to have one in our current place), spend time with Jesse, stay on my running schedule, pack, and check about a million things off our list that you get to do when you move...

Maggie goes to the vet in the morning for her 9 week shots. Then we will contine the packing process!  We are treating ourselves to a rest night tomorrow night- dinner and a movie (Inception) with friends, while Maggie gets to meet a new friend - Lucy!  Sara Renfroe and Lucy are puppy-sitting (again, since we aren't supposed to have a puppy at our current place - we were afraid to leave her for fear of barking).  I know they are going to have so much fun together.  First puppy playdate of many with Lucy!

Friday will be the last day of packing before the big move Saturday am.  Jesse's family is coming up to help us move, so the extra hands will be much appreciated!  I'm guessing my next post will be when we are settled! Better go to bed since it is now..... oh hello, midnight.

Drowning in boxes,
The Englishes