Midnight Rambles

The months are flying by! I started to berate myself for not writing blog posts, and then I remembered I’m doing this for fun. The holidays consumed my life the moment after my post about the magic of pumpkin seeds. After New Years and unloading a Uhaul in ice and snow (finally got my bookcases up here from MS!) I have been hard at work on the regeneration of my business…. Sarah Shotts Storytelling. Yep, just like the Doctor my brand is regenerating. I’ve been freelancing as a wedding photographer since my early college years, but now that I’ve settled down in one place I’m taking it seriously. And adding cinematography to the mix with wedding films!

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Not making any excuses, but that’s what I’ve been up to for anyone who’s curious. I’ll post a link to the full regeneration when I get the new website done. (Have I mentioned building websites has changed a lot since the 1990′s? Sure is handy having a computer programmer for a husband who can help me troubleshoot.)

We’ve been doing some nerdlywed things over the past few months, just not with camera in tow. Here are the highlights…

  • We made these GORGEOUS Irish Nachos, but they were WAY more trouble than they were worth. Nathan came home to find me juggling three or four different elements in a panic and helped me finish it up, but the payoff was not worth the effort (and cleanup!) involved. I think we used almost every dish in the kitchen. But a Pinterest recipe in a cast iron skillet will get me every time. Plus, who doesn’t love nachos? (Consider yourself warned.)
  • On a lighter note this Chicken Pot Pie recipe as Pioneer Woman is as easy as that…pie. (If you buy a rotisserie chicken from Walmart and your husband de-bones it for you that is.) Highly recommended. Cooked it for the second time yesterday. (And did I mention I cheated and used the frozen Pillsbury pie crust. Tasted just fine.)
  • We’ve also fallen for Pioneer Woman’s Rigatoni & Meatballs and Chicken Quesadillas.

Can’t wait to get back to the food blog thing, but busy busy busy with work from all sides right now. (Did I mention I’m also co-founding a Shakespeare Theatre Festival at my alma mater? Go follow us on FB if you’re into that sort of thing.)

Don’t forget to be awesome.

I’m a believer!

I have a Pumpkin Seed Success Story to share with you. I almost didn’t post this because it’s a bit late for the season, but then I remembered that I started this blog as a way to keep track of my recipes and I thought why not?

Today I did the final clean sweep in the kitchen before family starts coming into town for Thanksgiving. That meant finally dealing with the pumpkin seeds I’ve been saving since I carved that Dalek Pumpkin in October. (Terrible I know, but I’ve been writing a novel in a month people!) Anyway, it was toss them or roast them and I wanted a snack!

This isn’t a recipe perse, but here’s how I did it…

I used the boil and then roast method by Oh She Glows. She says they’re crunchier if you boil them first and I believe her. Also, since they’d been sitting out for a month, figured it couldn’t hurt to add a little moisture back in. ;)

I didn’t have the Herbamare she used (anybody know what that is?) so I seasoned them with a generous coating of olive oil mixed with minced garlic, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Nathan & I gobbled them up in no time flat! Crunchy and delicious! Tasted kinda like popcorn in a way. Healthy too! Will have to see if there’s a way to get these off season? Any suggestions?

Cheers!

November 2013

This has been a big month. Just finished my 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month. (YAY!) Planning my first Thanksgiving as a nerdlywed. Finished Christmas shopping. And…

I met Ree Drummond…the Pioneer Woman. :D

If you haven’t heard of her, take a moment to be sure you aren’t living under a rock. ;) She is an epic-ly amazing food blogger. One of the first I started following and a big inspiration for what I’m doing here. She also has a pretty awesome TV show on Food Network. Definitely go check her out!

Last Saturday I took a break from noveling and went to a book signing at Walmart (I’ve learned big stuff like that happens when you live near Walmart headquarters…gotta keep an eye out!) and got two cookbooks signed! Yes… this does call for a lot of exclamation points. It was very exciting. I even woke up early to get a good spot in line.

Ree took time to talk and take a photo with everyone in line. She’s just sweet as pie! We even spotted her husband, deemed the “Marlboro Man” coming into Walmart while we were heading out. Perfect timing.

Can’t wait to try some of these recipes out. So far our favorite is Chicken Quesadillas. Nathan said they tasted “restaurant quality”, which probably means we’ve been watching too many cooking shows. ;) But it’s definitely a recipe to repeat. Might even try it next week when the family rolls into town. Still trying to decide what to cook for the crew before turkey day. Any suggestions?

See y’all on the other side of November!

Cheers!

Sarah

So This Month I’m Writing a Novel…

Or a first draft of one anyway… November is National Novel Writing Month celebrated worldwide by budding novelists and published authors alike. The point of it is to knock out a first draft without letting your inner editor take over and tell you it isn’t good enough. You do this by writing 1,666 words a day and end up with a minimum of 50,000 words by the end of the month.

As a Nerdlywed (I can start sentences with a preposition if I want! Language rules change people!) I am trying to manage 2,000 words a day so I can finish before our families come into town for Thanksgiving holidays. So far I’m doing pretty good, but it’s kept me from having time to blog or cook fancy dinners. (Lotsa chili and taco soup this month.)

My novel plops the Olympic Games (or a variation thereof) right down into a fantasy setting. Complete with spiffy new magic system. Funnily enough my “world map” ended up looking more like a planet than a typical fantasy map so know I’m not sure if I’m actually writing sci fi. ;)

I got behind last weekend between impromptu date night to the new Thor movie and a few video shoots. So this week has been a little laggy. Finally managed to catch up some with the sugar rush from a piping hot Butterbeer I ordered at Starbucks this morning. Now, I’m not a Starbucks fan, but this was GOOD. You have to know the secret recipe if you want to join in. ;) I highly recommend it. Be sure to tweet me a pic if you do!

So now you know where I’ve been all month! I’ll probably drop off the edge of the world again soon, but I have exciting plans for tomorrow so I’ll try to blog that at some point! :D

Cheers!

Kaylee Costume!

As promised a Kaylee Frye “Firefly” costume tutorial! Just in time for Halloween!

I got a sweet gig with Quirk Books as a freelance blogger and they picked up this blog post! So cool! Read it there!

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If you make a Kaylee costume be sure to tweet a picture to @sarahdrue!

Cheers!

DIY Dalek Pumpkin

First autumn as Nerdlyweds means it’s time for a geeky pumpkin! Who wants to carve a run of the mill Jack o’Lantern when you could carve a DALEK? Here’s how I did mine in case anyone is curious. The mini plunger is the part that almost stumped me, but I figured it out in the end. ;)

First off we’ll gather the materials for the Dalek props…

This is what I used, but see what’s laying around your house and improvise.

- Book Light

- Whisk (or you can use an Egg Beater)

- Pencil

- 2 Bobble Water Bottle Caps (wondered why I had been holding on to these…)

- Ear Syringe (from the Dollar Store)

To make the mini Dalek plunger (aka Face Sucker)…

Cut the ear syringe along the middle line. Then paint with black acrylic paint.

When dry use E6000 glue to attach the “plunger” to the pencil.

Now you’re ready to carve!

YOU’LL NEED…

- Pumpkin Carving Tool (get the cheap one from Walmart…you don’t need the whole set)

- Large Knife

- Large Spoon

- Large Bowl for Scraps

- Writing Utensil

- Paper

- Tape

1. Draw the elements onto your pumpkin. Use paper and trace around a circular object to make a stencil.

2. Use your knife to cut off the top of the pumpkin. (Make sure to leave room for the two “lights” to stick out the top!)

3. Scrape out the insides with a spoon. (Save the seeds. You can roast them for a healthy treat.)

4. Carve the details with your pumpkin carving tool.

5. Size up your props and carve holes large enough for them to fit into.

6. Add props and voila!

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I also uploaded a video of the pumpkin carving to Swot Sisters…

Pop in a candle and you’re ready to give candy to children! :D

Have fun carving your own pumpkins! Tweet a picture of yours to @sarahdrue!