Thursday, July 28, 2011

why we can't keep hans.

Some of you know how desperately Jared and I have wanted a dog for a long time.

Our first year and a half of marriage, we lived in an apartment with the only nearby grassy area being across a busy road. Not fun to take a dog there to relieve itself in the dead of winter.

Now, we live in a more dog-friendly apartment with grass and trees around, and easy access to the bike trail. Our work schedules are even dog-friendly. I'm off during the summer and Jared works from home.

Naturally our desire to add a canine to the family has increased with our current situation.

We looked at tons of dogs, both online and in person.

We researched breeds that work well with apartments. People tend to think that only small dogs can do well in apartments. Not so. Greyhounds, Great Danes, and St. Bernards are a few of the many larger dogs that can handle apartments (with plenty of exercise, of course).

Our apartment limits us to a medium-sized dog at the max.

So, we found a precious Whippet mix named Hans at a shelter in Indy. Whippet was a breed we were very interested in. Whippets, similar to Greyhounds, are a medium-sized dog that can handle apartment life if they get plenty of exercise. They have bursts of energy, and then they crash. And they love to cuddle. LOVE it.
Cuddlefest 2011.


It was hard not to fall in love with him. He cuddled with us right away when we started petting him at the shelter! He had the most gorgeous puppy face, gentle demeanor, and he looked like he would be tons of fun.

However, that night Jared was reading more about Whippets and he read several horror stories of Whippets killing family cats! They're sight hounds that were bred to catch and kill little fluffy things back in the day, so sometimes even when a Whippet and a cat live together in a home for months and are used to each other, the cat might run for whatever reason, which can trigger that natural instinct that's bred in them to chase and kill cute little fluffy things.

This had us concerned. Naturally.

Honey is our baby. We would be devastated if anything bad ever happened to her. We had her even before we got married.

But for as many horror stories we heard about Whippets and kitties, we heard just as many positive stories of Whippets and cats living in perfect harmony.

I mean, you never really KNOW until you KNOW. Know what I mean? Sure you can say that these are the "typical" traits of the breed, but sometimes the breed isn't the be all end all of how the dog will behave.

We called the shelter and shared our concerns. They were very understanding, but didn't know Hans's cat history, so they took him around to all of their cats: ones in cages and ones that just always live there and kind of roam. They called us back and had great things to say about how he behaved. He apparently ignored them. Yet, they said if we wanted we could adopt him, bring him home, and we could take seven days to see if it would work out. If, within that seven days, he wasn't gelling, we could bring him back and get a full refund on our adoption fee.

That had us feeling a little better.

With that security option, we went ahead with the process. We didn't want to miss out on a potentially awesome addition to our family!

We bought all the doggy supplies you're supposed to have ready to go: crate, crate bed, leash, harness, treats, toys, etc. We were excited!

Sunday, we picked him up from the shelter.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were awesome.

We started teaching him how to sit.

We learned he's apparently housebroken. He had no accidents at all! But he farted a lot.

We took him for lots of walks and had him walking nicely on a leash by Tuesday.

He didn't know how to play with toys or fetch, but he started learning.

He was our shadow. He just wanted to be by us. And, of course, he wanted to cuddle.

For most of this time, we kept Honey in our room with all of her things (food, water, litter box, toys), but she's such a social cat that loves to be around people that she would just cry because she was lonely. We would go in and spend time with her when we could, but we felt really bad.

Everything we read about introducing dogs and cats said to keep them separate for a time until they get comfortable with each others' smells and stuff. And it can take time. Several weeks, or even months in some cases.

But I guess we kind of deviated from our plan and started introducing them in a controlled setting. Hans would be on a leash held by one of us, and the other would hold Honey. They would see each other from a distance. It was clear Honey was not thrilled but she would tolerate being in the same room with him if he stopped paying attention to her, which he did.

Wednesday, we had Honey out most of the day and she would lay in her favorite spots. We just kept a close eye on Hans, and thought things were going well.

I don't know what I was thinking.

They were having a stare-down. It was the first time Honey had been bold enough to approach him and see what he was all about. Well, I had this brilliant idea that during this little standoff, I would pet Honey as if to say to Hans, "She's a part of our pack. See?"

Well, the second I put my hand on her, he LUNGED at her, teeth bared, growling and trying to bite. Of course, she hissed and swatted at him a couple times, but getting swatted at by a declawed cat is like being beaten by a bag of cotton candy.

Instantly, I grabbed Hans and separated them, but he was in attack mode. I got him out of the room as quickly as I could and hoped that wouldn't happen again.

Jared heard it from the other room, but didn't realize how serious it was until he saw the same thing happen a few minutes later when he went to pet Honey.

By that time, the red flags were going up like crazy. It didn't take us long to decide that this wouldn't work for us. Even though we had both bonded with him and had been saying crazy things like, "Our kids will know Hans," we knew that he couldn't stay.

Kitty came first. We love her soooooo much. She gets first priority.

So with a very, very, very heavy heart, I loaded Hans in the van and headed back to the shelter. My friend Vanessa was kind enough to come with me since she had the afternoon off. That would have been way too hard to handle by myself. Jared had a ton of work to do (YAY!!) and going to this particular shelter and back takes an easy two and a half hours.

I had to fill out some paperwork explaining why I was bringing him back and I just cried. I felt like the worst person in the world. The worst.

My only consolation is that he went back to a no-kill shelter.

But I remember his sad eyes looking up at me. He was probably so confused.

Maybe I'm silly to be so emotional about this, but it's hard not to be. For just a few days, he was a member of our family.

And now I have a doggy-shaped hole in my heart.

We are still in the market for a dog. Not sure which route to go. On the one hand, we could get a puppy of a cat-friendly breed (maybe a lab), or we could get a dog that has a definite cat-friendly history.

Anyway, that's what happened. And that's where we're at now.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

the excitement/anxiousness/nerves of a new doggy in the house

Well. It certainly has been a while since my last post, but Jared and I have been pretty busy lately.

Mainly, we have been preparing our lives, our home, and our Honey kitty for this guy:

Meet Hans! He's a 1-year-old Whippet mix. We're not sure, but we think he's mixed with some kind of terrier. He's a very nice boy... just melts into you when you start to pet him. I predict that he will be a cuddler :)

We have both desperately wanted a dog our entire marriage (2 years now!!!), and now we feel like we're in a good place to get one. Sure, we live in an apartment where we'll have to take him out to go to the bathroom, but we don't mind that. We've had a chance to practice with a couple of our friends' dogs that we "doggy"-sat, and I think having those dogs around gave us a good idea of what it would be like, and how Honey would feel about it.

Obviously our kitty is our first priority.

She's our BFF. 

Sunday is the big day we go pick up Hans from the shelter and make him a part of our family! I'm actually really nervous about the following things:

  1. He does not know his name. I've read that you have to teach them their name and practice it and eventually they will learn it. But what if he doesn't get it?
  2. He does not walk nicely on a leash. That's pretty normal I guess for puppies, but it's just another things we need to teach him.
  3. He may or may not be housebroken. They honestly don't know at the shelter if he is or not. We get to figure that one out on our own. Awesome??
  4. He may or may not chase our kitty. We have a pretty elaborate plan devised for introducing them so they are nice to each other when they meet face-to-face. I hope it works...
  5. She may or may not like him. Honey was fine with one dog, but hated another. I can't predict how she'll react to this one.
  6. He might not be crate trained. Again, we get to figure that one out. It's likely that he will hate the crate since it looks like the one he's been in at the shelter, so we have to figure out how to make him like it.
  7. He might not like getting a bath. I'm going to guess he's never had one. But that's our first order of business upon bringing him home. He is deer-TAY.

So that's 7 things I'm nervous about. That's kind of a lot. But I suppose bringing a new living being into your home (be it dog, cat, person, etc.) is a risk. It jumbles up your routine. The three of us Shofners have a nice daily flow to our lives. Hans is going to shake it up a bit. But I'm sure he'll fall into our rhythm in a short amount of time.

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm just fearful of this whole thing. I'm actually REALLY REALLY REALLY EXCITED!!! I can't wait to bring him home!! I think Hans will complete our family... for now. With our next addition having two legs and a lot less hair. But that's much further on down the road. 

I mean, come on, we have to train a dog first. Sheesh!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One Week Ago. Part 3. (a.k.a. Two Weeks Ago)

Oh no!! I left you hanging for WAAAAYYYY too long!!

Rudest. Person. Ever.

I hope you will forgive me and read the shocking conclusion to this dramatic saga.

We arrived back at the van and got the tire on just fine. By now, it's getting dark. We're all tired. We can't wait to just get home. Everyone piles into the van, Vanessa starts the car, and...





By the sound it was making, we could tell the battery was dead. But how?! 

The culprit was this: a converter thingy that you plug into your cigarette lighter that has a normal outlet on it so you can charge stuff.

Stuff like Tom's camera battery that he wanted charged for the girls' softball game that we never saw.


That thingy had been sucking the battery dead all while we were helping a man who needed medical attention and then finding a new tire to get put on the rim and then driving back.



So, someone jumped out of the van and ran back to Louis' car before he drove off to see if he had jumper cables.

Yes, he did. But they were back at his house which was at least 15 minutes away. We said, no problem. We could wait. He wanted to come back with his "fast car" that only seated four so that he could make the trip back to the van faster.

So Jared, Vanessa, the girls, and I waited in the van with the hazards on for as long as they would flash, which, as it turned out, was longer than I thought.

After the hazards were about done, we decided it might be safer to chill on the other side of the guard rail. And we were in luck, because there was already a clearing in the tall, tall grass for us to stand in...


This is Vanessa and the girls' feet standing in the spot where Stephen fell. Man, I still wonder how he's doing.

Anyway, after about 45 minutes, Tom and Louis arrived with jumper cables and got everything hooked up. This, of course, is the best time for me to stay out of things and let people who know better do their thing. So I just talked to Vanessa and the girls.

Several minutes have gone by and Tom has tried to start the van a few times with no luck. The van got some power (overhead lights came on when they didn't before), but not enough to start it.

They tried hooking up the cables different ways, waiting, etc.

Nothing was working.

30 minutes has gone by and Jared and I suggest we call AAA since we have a membership. At least whoever comes will have an idea of what's wrong... maybe.

Now here's where I learned a valuable life lesson. If you travel out of the state of your AAA membership (ex. going from Indiana to Ohio), make sure you tell the dispatcher the state you are in FIRST.

You will save a lot of time.

Anywhom, after about 10 minutes, I get a hold of someone who will get a tow truck out to us in about 45 minutes.

So we waited some more. It's 11:00 at night by this point. Yeah. Time flies when your night is one disaster after another.

The poor girls hadn't even had dinner! I'm sure they were starving. They had a gallon-sized ziplock bag of popcorn their mom had given them, but one of the girls demolished it and the other didn't get any. So I'm sure this was just as fun for them as it was for us.

When the tow truck guy arrived, he got to work right away hooking up his heavy duty jumper cables to the van. He definitely knew what he was doing, but we still couldn't get the van to start! At this point everyone knew there was a bigger issue here. The only option was to tow the van somewhere, and then we would have to figure out what we were gonna do from there.

Lots of options were thrown out there. Like...

"We could rent a car." No car rental in this town would be open until morning.

"We could stay at Tom's sister and brother-in-law's house for the night." Jared, Vanessa, and Tom all had to be at work the next morning.

The last one was our temporary plan as Tom, Louis, and the girls piled into Louis's car, and Jared, myself, and Vanessa crammed in like sardines in the tow truck.

The van was towed to Gary's. By that time, Louis had switched back to his large vehicle that could seat all 7 of us. He dropped us off at Tom's sister and brother-in-law's house and we went inside to figure stuff out.

It's well past midnight now. Pushing 1:00 am. We are all so exhausted we can hardly speak. To me, the thought of having to stay the night and still have stuff to figure out when we woke up the next morning did not sound restful. All I wanted was to be drifting off to sleep in my own bed.

Brian was awake and helping us figure everything out. It was decided finally that we would take his daughter's car back that night, and Tom and Vanessa would have to return it in a day or two.

So, for the last time, we all piled into a vehicle. This one did not comfortably seat six people. Vanessa, the girls, and I were squished in the back seat. But it didn't matter. We all just slept most of the two-hour drive back.

It felt so nice to see our town again. And for us to drive our truck back to our apartment from Tom and Vanessa's. I felt like our crazy night was finally over. I slept like a rock.

And it turns out, yes, there was a bigger problem with Tom and Vanessa's van. It may be that the jumper cables had been hooked up incorrectly the first time. I don't know. They did get it fixed, though.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this tale. Every bit of it is true.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One Week Ago. Part 2.


*Phew!* That was close.

If you haven't read Part 1 of this story (my previous post), go do that NOW! Otherwise you will be le confused.


You've been waiting for it. Pins and needles and all that. Here we go.

When we left off, Tom and Jared parked Stephen's car at a random farm with Brian, Vanessa, and myself in the car behind them. The guys threw the keys to Bob and hopped in Brian's car with us.

We're all still kind of processing what just happened. I said some prayers for Stephen as I'm sure others did. But we still have a major problem on our hands. Our only means of transportation back to Indiana has 3 wheels (the spare was rusted on after not being used for 11 years, so that wasn't an option).

As we drove the 10 miles to town, Vanessa turned around to me and Jared in the back seat and says something like, "Hey, you people with smart phones, can you call the Walmart tire department?" I hopped on it.

The tire department is closed.

Really??? It's 8:00 pm on a Wednesday. Not 3:00 am.


We tried Sears.






As I'm looking at the map of the town with all the little pins that pop up as auto service centers (iPhones rule), I realize our options are dwindling. But I tapped on one little red pin on the screen and it said, "Gary's Auto Repair." I thought, "Why not try it?"

I dialed and I got a sound I almost never hear anymore when calling people... a busy signal. A ray of hope! Someone is still at the shop!

I dialed again and it rang. And then, I heard it. The voice of an angel:


"Hi, um... how late are you open tonight?"

"Well, I'm just tryin' to wrap some things up and get outta here soon."

I frantically explain our situation. We need a tire! BAD!! And everywhere in this town is closed!!

At that point I hand the phone to Vanessa and let her iron out the details. Gary thinks he might have a used tired that fits. We just needed to bring the rim to him so he could see what size we needed. No problem! We had the rim in Brian's trunk and we were at Gary's in two shakes.

Well, he didn't have the right size tire.

NOOO!! Now what?? Every tire place is closed in the world until tomorrow.

But someone pointed out that at Walmart, even though the tire center is closed, the tires are still out there, accessible to anyone.

(I don't remember who thought of that, but good job!)

Would they let us just pick out a tire and bring it to the cash register? Was that possible?

Turns out, yes it's possible.

Oh thank the Lord! If we could get the right size tire to Gary, he would put it on the rim and balance it for us. He was already staying open longer than he probably wanted to. Angel. I told you.

Brian, Vanessa, Jared, and I drove out to Walmart. Tom stayed behind at Gary's and hung out with his friend Louis who had stopped by to maybe help us.

We got to Walmart, picked out the tire we needed, and then Jared carried it through the store, slapped it up on the register at the self-checkout, and Vanessa paid for it. I felt like we were out of the woods.

When we got to Gary's, Jared and I stayed with Tom and his friend while Brian and Vanessa went to pick up the girls from their game.

Yeah, the girls. Remember? The whole reason we came out was to see their softball games which was long over by this point.

As we waited for Gary to finish the tire, I snapped this photo:


And I thought, "How can you still manage to look stud-ly after all we've been through??"

I looked kind of like this:

The girls arrived. We told them everything. They were happy Jared and I had come to see them, but I still felt bad we hadn't gotten to see them play. But it was no one's fault, it just happened.

Gary got the tire on and balanced, but he showed us all the the rim was slightly bent, but would be good enough to at least get us home.

Hallelujah! We had the tire!

But now there were 6 of us. And Brian's car only seated 5 comfortably, soooo... Louis was still around and had a vehicle that could seat us all just fine, so he offered to take us back to the 3-wheeled van.

So now you're thinking, "Okay, so they get the tire on the van and turn around and head back home."

WRONG!! Folks, this story STILL isn't over.

I have to pick it up at this point tomorrow. Stay tuned for the shocking conclusion.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

One Week Ago. Part 1.

Some of you have heard this story already.

Some of you may have gotten the abridged version.

And yet some of you have not yet heard what happened to us last week.

Read on. You will not be disappointed. Here goes...

All we wanted to do was go see our friend Tom's 11-year-old twin daughters play a softball game. Jared and I adore the girls and I will be so blessed if my kids are as awesome as these two are.

Their game was two hours away in Ohio and Tom and his wife Vanessa were going to go to the game and then bring the girls back for a long weekend with them for the 4th of July. They asked us if we wanted to come and we jumped at the opportunity. We wanted to surprise the girls at their game because we knew they would love for us to see them play.

We were excited.

So last Wednesday, we hopped in Tom and Vanessa's van and headed to Ohio. We were about 10 miles from our destination on a semi-busy divided highway when suddenly, we blew a tire.

And really, saying "we blew a tire" doesn't really do justice to what happened to the tire. No, it's more like, "we SHREDDED a tire." Or, "we EXPLODED a tire."

And I'm kicking myself for not having a picture of it.

But it's safe to say that after we pulled over and examined this tire, we knew it was beyond needing a patch. It was done. It had no will go one foot further. It said, "I can't take it anymore! You've rolled me over one too many miles. Goodbye cruel world!!!"

So immediately Tom, Vanessa, and Jared get to work figuring out the jack so we can get the tire off (notice I'm just a bystander here. Not helping. As if I knew what to do... ha!). Meanwhile, we're also devising a plan to get at least Jared, Vanessa, and I to the girls' softball game while Tom gets a new tire. Tom was able to get a hold of his brother-in-law, Brian, to come get us. Yay!

I happened to glance down the road behind us and saw another vehicle pulled over and a man running across two lanes of highway to retrieve the van's hubcap that had flown off in a desperate attempt to survive. This nice man then drove up to where we were to deliver it and to help us.

This man had been driving behind us when he saw the tire erupt. As he passed by in the other lane, he saw Vanessa driving and went to the next exit to turn around, pick up the hubcap, and help.

He was probably in his mid-to-late 50s and was heavyset. He was able to get the van jacked up and proceeded to take the tire off. We all just kind of stood around and watched... any one of us could have done it and would have, but he insisted on just doing it.

So the job is done, we're all standing around, and then it happens.

We all watch as the man who stopped to help us walked over to the guardrail and leaned back against it.

(Now, those things aren't exactly made for you to just lean up against for total support.)

Almost in slow motion, we all see this man lean back, and back further...

...and then he just kept going...

until, before anyone could catch him, he flipped completely backward over the guardrail and his feet were up in the air over his head.

He had landed on his head/neck/shoulders and we all reacted as quick as we could.

Tom jumped over the guardrail to help him up.

We were asking if he was okay... and we didn't get a response for at least 10-15 seconds... I thought, "I just watched somebody die."

Finally, he was able to respond in this gasping-for-air sort of way. He was really struggling and we could tell he was in a lot of pain. Tom helped the man into a kneeling position and we just waited for him to relax.

We asked if we needed to call an ambulance.

"No, no... I'll be okay. I just need to catch my breath."

We asked if we should call anyone who might be expecting him. He had a wedding ring on.

"No, no."

Moments passed and occasionally the man would try to get up, but he just couldn't. He was complaining of back pain. Not a surprise considering the type of fall he had. Finally, we had been waiting with him for some time, when we finally convinced him that we should call an ambulance. Vanessa got right on that.

As we waited, we learned that his name was Stephen.

Gosh, we all felt so bad for him. How humiliating to stop to help someone and now you're the one that needs it. But at the same time, we all wondered if this happened for a reason. You know, did he have a mild heart attack that would have happened while he was driving if he hadn't stopped to help us? Did us calling for an ambulance lead the doctors to finding out that he has a medical condition he didn't know about?

We'll probably never know.

I guess hospitals don't just give out information on people to anyone who asks. Strange.

Brian, Tom's brother-in-law, arrived. And then a sheriff pulled up on this crazy scene. I almost had to contain my laughter when this guy stepped out. He was probably around the same age as Stephen, but he was in shape. I mean, he was a shape. He was a sphere.

Okay, on a side-note, why don't police officers have to maintain a certain physical condition? Just wondering.

Anyways, Bob the Sheriff wanted to know what happened, blah blah blah, so we told him everything. And then the ambulance showed up. The EMTs did their thing and then decided they needed to get him on a stretcher.

And watching that in and of itself was strange. There would have been no way they could have gotten it done without Tom, Brian, and Jared. But, long story short, they get him in the ambulance. Then the question becomes: "What about Stephen's van?" It's still parked with his hazard lights on and his window down.

Bob the Sheriff scratches his balding head and says, "Uhh... you wanna drive it about a mile down the road to this farm off the highway? It'll be safe there."

Uh, sure?

And he says, "Any one of you got a license?" Tom says, "Yeah." Bob says, "That's good enough for me."

So Bob led Brian driving his car and Tom driving Stephen's car to this random farm off the highway?? And then we hand Bob the keys. That was a strange scenario.

Now, I'm sure you're thinking, "Okay, so they get a new tire on the van, pick up the girls, and go back home."

Right. That would have been the happy ending we were looking for. But no, our fun had just begun. This post is way too long though for me to expect you to hang in here and read it. So I will continue this saga at a later time.

Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

i've got something you want.



(I know that's not really an appetizing picture, but it's what I had. Deal with it.)

I like to blog about it, you like to read about it.

Most of all, you like to eat it. Or maybe that's just me.

I've created a blog dedicated solely to my cooking adventures. It's called foodbaby and it's the next best thing since sliced banana bread. So check it out!!

I know, after 2 posts in a row about food you thought, "Oh! This is a food blog!" Nope. My bad. So sorry to confuse you. Amy in the World will chronicle the trials and triumphs of my blossoming adult life. High fives for that!

So I hope you stick around here to see what's going on in my life, but I equally hope you check out foodbaby NOW and also in the future so you don't have to, you know, feel bad that you too cannot make an angel food cake from scratch.

It's impossible. I don't think angel food cake from scratch exists. It's a LIE!!!


I just learned a new thing: don't blog when you're tired. You ramble. I mean, I ramble. Maybe you do too.

Ok this post is done.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Tasty Summer Dinner with Friends

Garlic Potato Wedges

One of my favorite things to do is cook for people. It brings a little joy into my heart. So last night, we had our good friends Tom and Vanessa over for a little dinner and gaming. I marinated some chicken breast and prepared some corn on the cob, both for Jared to grill. But I also wanted to try out a new side dish recipe, because I lack things to make in that department. So I found this one on

Garlic Potato Wedges


  • 4 pounds small red potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1/3 cup olive or canola oil, divided (I used EVOO)
  • 16 unpeeled cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (homegrown!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions


  1. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, 1 tablespoon of oil, garlic, rosemary and salt. Pour into two 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring every 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, sugar, pepper and remaining oil until smooth. Squeeze roasted garlic into vinegar mixture (discard skins). Pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle with onions.

So here is my criticism of this dish:
  1. If you like your potatoes crispy, plan on baking for more like 50-60 minutes. Or that could just be my oven. Just check on them every 10 minutes or so to see how they are browning.
  2. The topping you place over the potatoes after cooking, for MY tastes (and Jared's), was a bit much. So much so that the recipe should have been called "Vinegar Dijon Potato Wedges." If you like that flavor, great! It got great reviews on Allrecipes. And Tom and Vanessa really liked it. Here's proof:
Thumbs Up!

The Verdict:

It was super-easy to make. That gets a big YAY! from me. I will definitely make this again with a longer cooking time (for crispy potatoes), and without step 2. The flavor of the potatoes without the step 2 ingredients is fresh and light. More "summer-like" to me. Give this one a try and see which version you prefer!

So Tom gave a "thumbs up," and Jared...


...voted with an ear of corn. Here is what the complete meal looked like on a plate (because I'm cool and photograph my food, ok?):

Delectable Summer Dinner

The chicken and corn were fantastic, by the way. Chicken marinade was Lawry's Herb and Garlic. YUM! I hope you found this helpful and feel free to share your favorite summer meals!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Meal in a Flash! Amy's Quick and Easy Pizza Muffins

Great Pizza Muffin Recipe

One thing that makes my life more enjoyable is having a repertoire of quick and easy meals that are tasty and maybe even just a little bit healthy... sometimes. I'm kind of figuring out this cooking thing as I go, so if you consider yourself a novice/developing cooker, or even someone who dreads cooking, this is the place for you!

Here's a quick and easy lunch idea:

Amy's Quick and Easy Pizza Muffins

  • 6 English Muffins (or 12 English Muffin halves)
  • 7 oz. pizza sauce
  • 1 c. mozzarella cheese
  • Any pizza toppings you like. For this recipe, I used 2 medium-sized tomatoes, slicked, and 12 basil leaves (fresh from my deck!)
  • Italian seasoning to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Separate each English muffin and place on a cookie/baking sheet. When the oven is heated, pop the English muffins in the oven for about 5 minutes to toast them.

2. Spoon about a tablespoon of pizza sauce on each muffin. I've found that I use about half of a 14 oz. jar of pizza sauce.

3. Top each muffin with a shredded Italian cheese of your choice. Mozzarella is great. Today I used a shredded five-cheese Italian blend by Kraft. Very tasty! I typically use about half of a 2 cup bag. Use more or less to taste.

4. Pick your own toppings to finish this off, or just leave it! The tomato and basil toppings today were AMAZING! I placed a full basil leaf under each tomato on each pizza. Next time, I might rip up the leaves to spread out the basil love. Yummmm!

5. I also sprinkled on a little blend called "pizza seasoning" from my spice rack. You may choose to do something similar, but it's also good without any seasoning.

6. Place back in the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. ENJOY!!

I came up with this little number out of necessity one day (a.k.a. I was lazy), and Jared loved it! He asks for this all the time, which is awesome because it's so easy. I could probably train my cat to do it. I hope you've found this helpful! Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you!


Friday, June 17, 2011


The title is both for you AND me. I am new to the blogging world, so... Welcome, self! Thanks! I think I'll like it here.

I've been secretly wanting to blog for at least a year now. This was a little thought I kept tucked away in the back of my mind, just for me. I never really knew what I wanted it to be about other than EVERYTHING. And then one day out of thin air, my handsome, intuitive, schnazzy husband says to me, "You should start a blog."




Yes. Yes I should.

So here it is: Amy in the World. Fortunately, the domain name wasn't taken, so I snatched that right up! Unfortunately, I'm starting this on Blogger (while I wait for Mr. to design something for me), and was taken :( Sad day. So I have kind of a funky URL right now, which you can probably see at the top of your screen. I hope people can find me...

You did!

So why the name "Amy in the World"? Well, I'm glad you asked. Being a newlywed, newly college grad, and newly contributing member of society, I'm getting my feet wet in the REAL WORLD. And let me tell you, there is A LOT to learn! I'm 24, so numbers-wise, I've been an adult for a few years now. But some days I still feel like I'm 12.

Example: A couple weeks ago, my husband rented a car.

Did you catch that? He RENTED. A. CAR. That blew my mind! And he's 25, so we didn't have to pay extra. AND I got to drive it too! Legally!

Just a little adulthood milestone there...

There is so much for me to experience and figure out, and I can't wait to share everything with you. And even share some things I've picked up along the way that have made this journey into adulthood a little smoother. So I hope you keep reading and I value any feedback you might have!