Who said this would be easy?

  In the last six months I have graduated, been engaged & married and moved half way across the country. No big deal really. I was not singing that tune while it was all happening at the SAME TIME. Now that it is all over, no more planning, studying, packing (unpacking), or even working I am eager to spend QT with myself... need to catch up on some cooking, crafting, and being a wifey.
  Since being in Virginia Beach ( for two and half days) I have already done so much. Our first day back we got my named legally changed and got all my ID and health insurance through the military taken care of. Spent the entire day yesterday emptying the remaining boxes which are still sitting by the door. It's surreal to know that just a month ago those same boxes were packed out with my things in my apartment. Bittersweet has been the buzzword but I can say that I am as happy as I thought I would be, if not more. I am currently unemployed, but will start looking for a job soon. In the meantime, we pick up a precious French Bulldog puppy next weekend, and let's be honest that will be more than a full time job for a while. I have always had dogs at my parents house but never have I been the sole caretaker. I'm excited and nervous and in love with her already.

  Yesterday I decided to cook, even know I really did not want to pull any pots or pans out until more of the house was unpacked and neat. But at 6am it struck me to cook a surprise dinner. Matt's first day back at work was yesterday from an almost six week leave period. Some work but not a lot due to the holidays and then the main event and honeymoon. After receiving our loaf pan we had a lengthy conversation about meatloaf and ultimately decided that would be our first meal as a married couple.
  Back to 6am, I searched Pinterest for a recipe and made my grocery list. I also decided on mashed potatoes which were very simple. The hardest part was peeling, but with my handy handheld peeler it wasn't even that bad. Planning a surprise meal is a lot of work, the pressure of a time limit, and not having room for error can be too much for just a simple meatloaf dinner.  I will never do it again in the  time frame I gave myself.  My nerves were shot from the start because on my way home from the grocery store I got lost.. it won't be the first or the last. I began by plugging in the new food processor to get onions and bell peppers chopped and it doesn't work, not so much as a light blinks. My mom says it was probably a safety feature. I had no time for safety.. So I realize my blender has a food processor bowl and blade attachment. Unplug the food processor, plug in the blender. I press the only button that I thought would not mush up my veggies. Well I was wrong and had a bell pepper onion paste. The taste would probably be the same so I threw them in the pan with some oil. While it heated I started to peel my potatoes. A potato is a tricky veg. The smaller ones I used gave me some trouble once they were wet. I ended up dropping, throwing and slinging potatoes for the first few minutes. (To avoid this do not wet your potatoes or your hands..... live and learn.) I definitely fished one out of the disposal. After peeling like a mad woman I look over to my veggie mush. It's a no go. I chunk it. The old fashion way, I chopped the onion and bell peppers by hand, and back in the pan. Potatoes peeled and halved in the pot, veggies slightly sautéed, now for the meat mixing (also by hand). In my medium bowl I place my ground beef. The recipe called for 'some' salt. At this point, my nerves are nowhere to be found so what happens next is not surprising. I pick up my salt shaker that is similar to my pepper grinder. I twisted instead of shook and 1/4 a cup of salt and the lid onto my beef, and on my phone and countertops. The thought of those high energy cooking competitions on Food Network crossed my mind and I literally laughed out loud. So what does a master chef like myself do? Rinse the meat a little bit. And then throw it out and start over. By now Matt has come home and caught me rinsing ground beef in the sink. As a new wife, this was a low point. Also by this point I had opened and chugged half a beer, you know for my nerves. So the meat was mixed with all the goodies and then placed in the infamous loaf pan for one hour. Back to taters. Placed them in the pot with water and 'some' salt, this time not such a disaster. On to the stove top for a nice boil. Nothing else too traumatizing took place after the salt mishap and it all turned out wonderful. Lucky for me Matt loves salt. Our first meal. Like most things that take place in my life, nothing ever goes as planned and maybe one day I'll just accept that on the front end. Until then I'll have this blog to share all the fun.
To all my friends and family who are reading, I miss you all... everyone. Wish everyone could come up here and hang out in my new place, on my sofa that still doesn't have legs on it. It's a low rider sofa. Keep reading and comment on these and it will be like I never left.
Also, once I figure out how to make these neater I will do that too.. This is confusing.
Stay tuned for Friday's episode of baking a pie.

----Mrs. B. Smith


  1. I already love what you got going, Brooke! And your style of cooking sounds like mine...I'm more of a baker anyways. I know myself and everyone here misses you dearly! And post pictures of that new pup of yours. She is adorble :)

  2. Ok, so apprently when I clicked submit on my comment, then your pictures decided to show up....haha