Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chipotle - Dr. Pepper Pot Roast

Like I said earlier, I'm trying to cook more and be more creative within my cooking repertoire. Yesterday I made a pot roast and mashed potatoes, but this wasn't just any pot roast... it was a chipotle/ Dr. Pepper pot roast. Now at first thought, those two ingredients wouldn't compliment each other, but as reluctant as I was, I decided to try this recipe and seasoning mix I bought in Canton. It turned out great!

The pot roast had a nice kick to it from the chipotle seasoning and the Dr. Pepper caramelized and brought a nice balance to the heat. Here's the Recipe:

Chipotle - Dr. Pepper Pot Roast

1 chuck or rump roast
carrots, celery, onions (these are the vegetables I like with my pot roast)
chipotle seasoning (I used a pre-packaged mix, but you could use any spicy chili or chipotle seasoning mix from the grocery store)
1 can Dr. Pepper or Coke (NOT Diet - sorry girls, you're going to have to eat the calories on this one)

1. Add a few inches of water to the crock pot, enough to cover the bottom of the roast.
2. Add seasoning mix and half of Dr. Pepper (do not add vegetables yet)
3. Cook on LOW for 8 hours (after 4 hours, add the remaining Dr. Pepper and vegetables)

Serve with mashed potatoes or rice!

So easy and great. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Emerging from my hole...

As wonderful as having a home is, and as blessed as we are to be able to create and personalize our home, doing "housework" has consumed our life for the last two months. This weekend, we saw the first glimmer of hope in getting to a place where we feel settled and officially moved in. As I've begun to emerge from the hole that has been working on my house, I've realized what a fun time of year this is... I love the Fall; the weather changing puts a pep in my step (well, minus the over 100 temps today and tomorrow), football season is under way, and the holiday season is quickly approaching. With all of this excitement lingering, it's motivated me to "re-evaluate" and give myself some new goals as I finish 2011. Kind of like "spring cleaning" comes with the change of seasons, this will be my "fall cleaning."

As busy as this time of year tends to get, I really want to be better about being intentional with my time. With all the changes this summer, Nate and I have completely gotten out of a routine. For some of you, that's normal life, but for a Type A person like me, I crave routine. Getting on a normal, go to bed and wake up around a certain time, schedule is first on the to-do list. However, as my alarm went off at 6:00 a.m. and I sluggishly pushed "snooze," I realized getting into a routine is the hardest part.

Another item on my list... cooking more. I love to cook, and I've been out of the habit, mostly because we didn't have a working kitchen for about six weeks, but now that we do, it's time to start. Fall foods and spices are amazing to cook with - pumpkin, butternut squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves - and now we can finally make hot things like chili and soup! So expect to see many more recipe ideas visit this blog and invites to dinner at the Kotschi house.

Lastly, I want to serve others more. Recently, I feel like we've had some great stuff going on, but all of my focus and attention has been on me and us - buying a house, fixing up a house, my new job, etc. I'm not talking about anything major, I'm just thinking of little ways to remind my friends and loved ones that I care... cards, phone calls, inviting people into our home. I want pouring into others and making time to love them well to become part of my new "routine."

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Well, this has definitely been the longest I've gone without posting on the blog. I did want to use this post, late as it may be, to talk about my husband. This past Monday, Nate and I celebrated our one year aniversary by going on a date night, reliving wedding memories, and some suprisingly yummy one-year old cake In some ways, it feels like it went so fast, and we can't believe we've already been married a year. In other was, it seems like we've together forever. Regardless, Nate and I experienced a lot of "life" in our first year - we moved into a rental house, Nate turned 30, we joined a new church, we bought, renovated, and moved into our first house, and I changed jobs.

When I think back on this year, I'm so thankful for Nate and how much we've grown, both individually and as a couple. We've learned so much about each other, compromising, and loving each other well; but the most important thing I took away from our first year was the importance of good communication and laughter. There are so many things about Nate that I appreciate and love, but right now, I appreciate how much he makes me laugh. Whether it's a joke, silly face, or just something random, no matter what each day brings, I know laughter will be part of it.

For my gift to Nate, I framed our wedding vows that we wrote. It was neat to go back and read them with each other again and be reminded of the signifigance of those words:

I love you, Nate, and I know that you love me. Because of this, I desire to be your wife. For years I have prayed that God will lead me to the man that He has chosen for me, and I am confident that His will is being fulfilled tonight. Through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you. I promise to love, serve, and respect you as long as we both are alive. Christ told us that the wife must submit herself unto her husband as unto the Lord, and I promise to honor and submit myself to you.
I love you, Amber, and I know that God has ordained our love. Because of this, I desire to be your husband. Together we will be vessels for His service in accordance with His plan, so that in all areas of our life Christ will have the pre-eminence.  Through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you. I promise to love, guide, and protect you as long as we both are alive. In accordance with Ephesians 5 and with His power, I promise to show you the same kind of love as Christ showed the church when He died for her, and to love you as a part of myself because in His sight we shall be one.