The Perfect Grilled Cheese

So the secret to the perfect grilled cheese is really quite simple. It’s patience. And butter. There should always be butter.

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You start with a skillet on low-to-medium heat (we have a scale of 10 with 5 being “medium” and 10 being “hottest” and I usually heat the skillet to a 3 or 4). This is where patience comes into play. Butter one side of a slice of white bread (yes, white bread. This is one of the few times I’ll buy white bread instead of a whole grain type) and lay it buttered-side down on the skillet. Lay a piece of Colby Jack cheese (yes, this is important – it’s the best type of cheese!) on top of the bread and then top with another slice of bread. Butter the top slice as well. Now we wait as the cheese slowly begins to melt. Usually 8-10 minutes for my stove.

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So how do you know when to flip it? Well, that’s quite simple. When the top side begins to look like this. See how the butter is beginning the melt on top of the bread? That’s a good indicator that the cheese is melting! Let’s check the sides…

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Yup! The cheese is definitely beginning to melt! Time to flip it over for sure!

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Look at that beautiful golden crust now that we’ve flipped our sandwich over! Low and slow really does win out! Let the bottom side crisp up a bit (about 1-2 minutes). You can check the bottom by gently reaching under the edge of the sandwich with a spatula to get a peak underneath to see if it’s done. It should be ready soon!

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Look at all that melty cheese and that beautiful golden, buttery crust! YUM! You can use most different types of cheese for this, but I’m telling you – try Colby Jack. It’s the best.

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And now it’s time to enjoy your grilled cheese! Trust me, it will absolutely be worth going the low & slow method of cooking in order to get this delight! And if you have a big enough skillet (or even a griddle), you can easily cook several at once. We had these for dinner last week and I could make 3 of them at a time in my large skillet. Mhmmm YUM!

Love Rach

Celebrating 60 years!

This past weekend we celebrated my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday!

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For her birthday we decided to surprise her by gathering notes from people who love her and putting them together in the scrapbook. I’ve mentioned it before on this blog, but I definitely got lucky as far as mother-in-laws go. She has never been anything but kind to me. Always so loving and supportive. And that has meant the world to me. So putting this scrapbook together was a delight! I loved reading each note as I received them because it’s so cool to see how she has had an impact on so many people over the years.

Isn’t her reaction precious?! Ah! I just love it! I’ll be totally honest with you guys – my father-in-law (who has suffered from early onset dementia for many years) has been in the hospital a lot lately and he isn’t doing well. We have had a lot of hard visits over the past two years (especially the last year) and these past few months have been the hardest yet. Saying this sort of slow goodbye to a loved one is just heart wrenching. So bringing her this little bit of tangible joy that she can turn to over and over again in between our visits was the best way we could think to bless her right now. Seeing her reaction made us so glad that we did this for her!

We also gave her a little homemade coupon book full of things she loves to do. Her face when she saw that “mini golf” was included was priceless! We were so glad to be able to bring a little joy to her over this weekend. Happy 60th to my mother-in-law!

Love Rach

Portraits {Photography Favorites}

Portraits are such fun for me! When I first started out, I found that people often feel very uncomfortable posing by themselves. Have you had photos taken of yourself by yourself before? It’s so different than posing with another person (or even taking a selfie). I can’t tell you how often I have a client look at me with panic in their eyes and say, “but what do I do with my hands?!” Haha! But with a joke here or there and a few encouraging comments, people are usually put at ease pretty quickly. 🙂

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 Love Rach

Chocolate Chip Beer Bread Muffins

Yesterday was Fat Tuesday! So we had gumbo and other Mardi Gras inspired foods with our friends. I was in charge of bread for the evening so I decided to make a loaf of beer bread which is the bread I bake most often because it’s just so simple. My favorite way to make it is with Strawberry Abita, which you can read all about here. But I decided to make a second batch of beer bread for last night and decided to make them in muffin form… and add chocolate chips. I mean, why not go all out on Fat Tuesday? 😉

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Chocolate Chip Beer Bread Muffins

Ingredients:

3 cups self rising flour
1/4 cup sugar
12 oz beer
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 12 count muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk together flour and sugar. Then add beer and stir with spoon until combined.

3. Add a small amount of melted butter to bottom of each muffin cup. Pour batter into muffin cups. Pour remaining melted butter over each one.

4. Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown on top.


Like Beer Bread, these are incredibly simple to make and yet taste so delicious! All that buttery goodness!

And now today Lent begins. I don’t talk much about fasting on this blog, but I did write a little about it two years ago and I loved re-reading that post today. If you are interesting in fasting or want to know more, that post is a great place to start. 🙂

Blessings on this Ash Wednesday. Easter is coming, my friends. 🙂
Love Rach

Winter Jam 2017!

Over the weekend Christopher and I went to Winter Jam here in Memphis!

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10 bands for $10 at the door. Always an awesome night of worship! I love it every year!

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This year my favorites were David Crowder, Colton Dixon, 10th Avenue North, Newsong, and newcomer Sarah Reeves. I’d never heard of Sarah before, but her voice was gorgeous and her lyrics were so powerful! I loved her songs “Details” and “Faithful”! SO good!

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Christopher’s favorite was definitely David Crowder because he loves that style of music. This is our 3rd time hearing him perform and I think it was my favorite of the three. He played a couple of his songs acoustically and the whole crowd sang along. It was beautiful. And powerful.

On a funny note: there were a couple of hip hop/rap songs performed by different artists complete with crazy strobe lights and every teenager around us rapping along… those songs officially made me feel like an old person. We have mentored teenagers for over a decade so I tend to keep up with trends in music, social media, and fashion pretty well (even if I don’t follow along – I still “get it”). But during those songs I had flashbacks to my mom walking into my room when I was a teenager and asking me what on earth my loud rap music was. I told her it was a Christian group called POD and she just kind of looked quizzically at me and said “okay…” I didn’t understand it at the time, but I totally do now. How do these teenagers understand any of the words? It just sounds loud! Yeah, I’m officially an out-of-touch-with-today’s-youth’s-music old person. 😉

Love Rach

Family Photos {Photography Favorites}

Another post of favorite photos from 2016. For those of you who are loving these posts, there are still two more coming! For those of you who aren’t that into photography… there are only two more coming. 😉 And for both groups, thanks for all of your kind words and support on these posts whether photography is your thing or not!

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Love Rach

Ohio Trip

We spent this past weekend in Ohio visiting my oldest sister’s family. For those who don’t know, they live in Prague (check out this post for our recent trip to visit them there!). However, thanks to a business trip, they are hanging out in Ohio for a bit so we went up to visit them!

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This is us with our niece, Katka and nephew, Marek. They are so fun to spend time with! Melissa (their mom/my sister) and I have talked a lot about parenting over the years and this weekend I started asking her oldest (Katka) what she thought of her parents parenting. It was fun hearing her perspective (turns out she thinks her parents are doing a pretty good job). 🙂

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Katka is very excited to meet her cousin the next time we see them! She loved feeling my baby bump and offering name suggestions. 🙂

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My sister’s family! As always, we had a wonderful visit with them! Even though they live in Europe, I’m so thankful we’ve made an effort to see each other as frequently as we can!

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We did plenty in Columbus, Ohio over this weekend (including visiting the zoo, walking around the Ohio State campus, walking around downtown, eating lots of delicious food, and playing at parks), but this is the only other photo I have, haha! We ate at Skyline Chili and it was delicious! Though, I’ll be honest, half that cheese came off before I ate it, haha! 😉

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I’ll leave you with this shot from yesterday at the airport. Baby Girl has POPPED! I can’t figure out if this is because I really have grown this much or if this is the first Baby Bump photo we’ve taken near the end of the day versus in the morning. I definitely ate a lot of dairy this weekend which tends to bloat me. So I’m not sure how much of that is Baby V and how much of that is the cheese I had for lunch. 😉 But either way, Baby Girl is growing and making sure everyone knows she’s here! This is the 4th State she’s visited while in utero, but her first flight! I’m excited for all the adventures we’ll have with her on the outside too! 🙂

Do you have far-away family that you still get to see on a regular basis?

Have you had Skyline Chili? If so, did you actually eat all that cheese?! 

Love Rach