Monday, September 5, 2011

Labors of Love

Better post to come soon, but I realized that we have been updating our other blogs a lot more routinely than this one.

Anyways, if you're curious about what we've been up to, the answer is probably cooking and/or eating, so follow us as we stuff our faces! I've been posting kitchen adventures at 7ate9 and David regularly reviews restaurants (and dabbles in sports and other fun stuff) at From the Ballpark to BBQ

Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Loco for Local

I haven't really joined the organic craze yet - it's expensive, I'm poor, and after taking an Organic Gardening class in college, I'm just not fully convinced that organic products are worth the price - especially since most of it is still shipped across the country or even the world.

That said, after growing some cute little peppers, basil, tomatoes and squash in our garden this summer, I'm pretty into supporting local business and trying to eat local produce. Roanoke has a really great farmers market every. single. day. downtown that features local businesses and it's always fun to stroll through.

If you're into buying local stuff too, there are a couple great chances today!

The first is a huge assortment of adorable accessories from Katydid Designs. Kate, the owner/designer, and her husband Jeremy went to church with us when we lived in Palm Beach and we were fortunate enough to get to know them. They are truly awesome people and Kate is an incredibly creative designer and sew-er (seamstress?).

I'm not the only one who thinks so, though! Tiger Woods' daughter, Samantha, was spotted yesterday wearing a Katydid headband and belt on Extra TV. I know that Tiger has made a few....debatable decisions....but apparently he (or his ex-wife) has good fashion sense! Check out the Katydid Facebook page for more info about her new products and a giveaway.
Another fun opportunity to buy local right now, is on Wine Woot. If you haven't used Woot before, you're missing out. Today is extra-special, though, because the Wine Woot isn't wine - it's 1,000 Faces Coffee. Which is based and brewed in Athens! The deal is for 4 16-oz bags of coffee and is a great chance to try out something a little different than your typical Folgers while supporting an Athens-based business. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Birthdays Galore!

Apparently July is birthday month, but since we have lived so many places over the past few years, most of the honorees aren't even in the same we don't get to do much celebrating.

One birthday girl, however, lives right next door. So...Happy Birthday, Mema!

We celebrated her big day by going to dinner last Thursday night at Red Lobster - there is nothing I love more in the world (after David, of course...maybe...) than crab legs, so I think I was more excited about her birthday than anyone else.

It was also a great excuse to bake a new cake. Mema loves coconut cake, but we have that for her every year, so after much research, I went with Pioneer Woman's Italian Cream Cake. This thing got rave reviews from a lot of different, well-respected food blogs that I follow, so I figured it had to be good. And it was! The cake was moist with a hint of coconut, and the icing was like German Chocolate icing collided with lots of butter and cream cheese. But best of all, it was a layer cake, which is my absolute favorite - what could be better than a cake with icing? Lots of cakes, stuffed with icing and stacked together. YUM.

**After picking at leftovers of cake for the past week, we finally discovered the one thing that could make this cake even more magical - a little blast in the microwave. The icing turns into a glaze and it all tastes like a huge, fresh Krispy Kreme donut.**

Italian Cream Cake (Adapted from Pioneer Woman)

For the Cake:
1 stick butter
1 cup oil (I used canola)
1 cup sugar
5 whole eggs (separated)
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup coconut (I used half sweet, half unsweet)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk (I used whole milk with a splash of white vinegar)

For the Frosting:
2 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 stick butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 package (2 lb.) powdered sugar
1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut (I used half sweet and half unsweet again)
a tiny splash of lemon juice (to bring out the cream cheese flavor, a la Dorie Greenspan)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans (I used 8.5").
Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, vanilla, and coconut.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
Alternate adding buttermilk and dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, then fold in egg whites.
Pour evenly into the three prepared pans, then sprinkle the top of each pan with 1 (at least) tablespoon sugar.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in chopped walnuts, lemon juice and flaked coconut. Spread between layers and outside of cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

More Balti, Please

Note: Please excuse the bizarre formatting. I have re-written this dumb blog about 6 times now because Blogger seems to hate pictures and likes to erase everything and then auto-save. Grrrr....

I have lots of blog posts/ideas sitting on the back burner but between our internet and my camera (which bit the dust by landing face-first in a coolwhip-topped "better than sex" cake - what a way to go!), we've had a little problem getting images online. I also got a new computer (hooray!), so I'm in the (slow) process of moving pictures, documents and music over from my crusty old PC to my sparkly new MacBook (tough life, huh?).

I finally have the pictures from our latest trip to Maryland, though! David's younger brother, Brent, is attending the Naval Academy this fall, and had to be in Annapolis at the beginning of July for what is affectionately known as Plebe Summer. To those of us with absolutely no self-control or life aspirations, it is known as 6 weeks of physical anguish and mental torture for incoming freshmen. The worst part of all of it is that after after Plebe Summer, the poor kids begin 4 years of incredibly tough college classes and military training and then commit to serve in the Navy. The toughest parts of my college career were choosing which dessert(s) to eat every day at Bolton, and whether I should go to Statistics class...or skip it and watch Selena with all of this is overwhelming to me, and I have a newfound appreciation for Brent, other smart kids, and everyone who serves in the military.

Regardless, since David and I are total bums right now, we went along to support Brent. If nothing else, I think we were inspirational to him because he knows that getting through Plebe Summer is the first step in not ending up back in his parents' basement.

I-Day is the official start of Plebe Summer - you can google it for a lot more information, but it is basically the opposite of the way I started college. I spent weeks and tons of money at Target making sure that my 10x10 cell dorm room was color-coordinated and stocked with the latest and greatest in electronics (just ask Mere about my amazing alarm clock/sound machine that woke us up to the sound of being attacked by Al Queda waterfalls every morning) and then leisurely spent moving day arranging it all between trips to Bolton (for the aforementioned desserts) and movie marathons on the UGA housing TV channel. By contrast, Brent was allowed to take absolutely nothing. No bed-in-a-bag, no new TV or amazing alarm clock...not even his fabulous new iPhone (and I'm pretty sure USNA doesn't have an on-campus, 24 hour movie channel). In fact, when he checked in, they took the clothes he was wearing and gave him a fabulous new white uniform (and hat!), shaved his head, and began screaming at him. My RA screamed at me a few times throughout my freshman year, but I'm pretty sure I deserved it.

Once we got Brent dropped off on Friday morning, he was gone for the day until his official swearing in ceremony that afternoon. David's parents and grandparents went to a picnic sponsored by the Alumni Association, so David and I spent the afternoon exploring Annapolis. Annapolis is beautiful and a really fun little New England town. It's right on the water (duh, Navy...) and it was a gorgeous day, so there were a lot of people out on boats or just wandering around. After our little jaunt around the world, we have become awesome at walking and walking and walking around cities, so we did what we do best and found a lot of cute little stores and cafes. Being the foodies that we are, we searched and searched for the best little local lunch place and ended up at....Moe's! Don't be disappointed in our selection - the closest Moe's to Roanoke is in Blacksburg, so we don't get to go very often and this particular location had one of those magical, touch-screen Coke machines (officially the Coca-Cola Freestyle). As a new carbonated drink drinker, this thing blew my mind and I'm pretty sure I had Sprite Zero with every flavor combination imaginable. I digress.

After our amazing Mexican lunch, we caught up with the rest of the fam and headed off to the initiation ceremony. People had been saving seats all day, so we got to see a few fights go down between disgruntled parents, and a woman next to us was completely trashed and spent the entire ceremony yelling for her daughter, crying, and trying to balance while she stood on her chair. It was a touching ceremony, and the people-watching wasn't too bad either.

Post-ceremony, we got to see Brent again for the first time since he was whisked away that morning, and say our official goodbyes. We'll see him again in August for Parents' weekend but otherwise can only hear from him in official letters or weekly phone calls. We are allowed to send all the encouraging letters and care packages we want, though, so if you are interested in sending a box of goodies or note to him, let us know and we can give you his address.

After saying goodbye to Brent, the rest of us decided to console ourselves with dinner (in Brent's honor, of course) at none other than the Cheesecake Factory. Nothing says "support our troops" like a giant chunk of cheesecake, so we were just doing our civil duty. We all fell into a sugar-induced food coma back at the hotel and then everyone got up and headed back to Roanoke in the morning - except David and I. We hopped in the car and headed to Baltimore for a few days of exploring.

The drive to Baltimore from Annapolis was super easy, and we got there with plenty of time to spend the evening exploring. Baltimore is a really cute city with lots to do and a very....diverse....population. We walked all over the John Hopkins campus, spent some time down at the waterfront, explored Little Italy, spent a hot afternoon at the (free!) art museum, saw the Orioles' stadium, took the boat taxi to Fells Point, and, of course, had lots of good eats! We also stayed at a hostel, which was a fun experience.

As always, pictures speak louder than words (and this is already way. too. long.) so check out some of our little trip:
The Baltimore Art Museum and lots of signs featuring the best 4-letter word in the English language.
These people were so excited about free art that they ran into the car in front of them. 
The real "welcome" to Little Italy is the amazing smell of fresh bread and basil. But if your sniffer happens to be out of order, there's a sign, too.

Little Italy
Nothing says "Italian" like little old men playing Bocce.

Dinner at our favorite restaurant ever. Do you recognize those little cheesy balls of goodness? No? Shame on you. Here's a hint:

We loooooove Fogo!

Call me cynical, but I think the graffiti here is much better than any of the "art" we saw in the museums. Here's an example of something that made it into the museum:

Really? What the heck is that?

The "World Famous Lexington Market" is quite the colorful place. It has some of the best fruit I've ever tasted served by some of the creepiest people I've ever seen. If you are looking for fried chicken for breakfast (a la South Africa), this is your place.

Hello, Orioles

David loves B.J. Surhoff from his days of playing Ken Griffy Jr. on Super Nintendo. If you think those day are over, you're wrong.

Baltimore from the water taxi (which isn't free on the weekends, apparently. They don't tell you this until they have already taken off, and if you don't pay they kick you off at the next stop. We learned this the hard way and ended up at....)
Fell's Point

Meatball sandwich from Isabella's Brick Oven in Little Italy. Crusty, saucy, amazing.

And for dessert....a Napoleon from the famous Vaccaro's Italian Pastry Shop. We tried the canollis and a giant, chocolate-covered cream puff too, but they disappeared before we could take a picture. Oops.

If there was a competition for the world's cutest Barnes & Noble store, this would definitely win.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Future Mrs. Kilch

There are a lot of milestones in life to look forward to - and I feel like I've already hit most of the ones I'm interested in right now (getting a dog was next on the list, but after this week, it's being postponed) - I did the college thing, got married to my very favorite person, moved around the world, got a full-time, big girl job, bought a house, and am currently mooching off my in-laws. Anyways...until the next big thing comes my way, I'm living vicariously through other people and hoping that exciting things are happening to them.

So, here's a big THANK YOU to Kyle for finally proposing to my sweet friend, Katie, last night. I have been waiting for this FOREVER - she was a huge help in planning my wedding, and I can't wait to start thinking about flowers and dresses and menus and all sorts of wedding goodness with her again!

Katie and I met in high school when we were both new to the area, and bonded in our technology class, where we played "Go Big Girl" way too much. We lived in the same dorm in college and she is a part of most of crazy college memories. We have had so much fun together and I'm so happy for and Kyle - he's a lucky guy!

To the future-Kilches. Here, here!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This Chocolate's Not for Eating

This week, David and I have been puppysitting for friends who are on vacation. I have had MAJOR puppy fever, so I was worried that spending so much time with Fenway, a 12-week old Chocolate Lab, would REALLY make me want a dog. Somehow, it has had the opposite effect - this boy is SO MUCH WORK.

He was incredibly hyper this morning and chewing everything he could find, so I took him for a short run around the 'hood. He hasn't mastered walking on a least yet, so running was a mess (his collar kept slipping off and he spent the first half mile trying to bite my heels) but when we came back he drank some water and has spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping. Mission accomplished!

Since we're watching Fen, we've been staying at his house, which is always an adjustment. Moving around the world over the past few years has taught me that kitchens are always the biggest variable between houses, and this was no exception. In fact, for some reason the oven  here would not heat up past 100 degress...which is no good when you are trying to bake bread!

So I had to bake it in the toaster oven.

Not ideal, but it worked, and I ended up with a (super delicious) loaf of dark Rye.

Here's the recipe I used (without the caraway seeds). I highly recommend it to any other carb addicts out there- it's slightly sweet with a little of that rye tang. Delicious!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action!

Have you ever met a famous athlete? Movie star? Local TV icon? If you know us, then you can claim the latter! Our lives seem to be full of random surprises, but I wasn't planning on adding "actress" to my resume anytime soon. Nonetheless, we have been in Roanoke for a few months and have already made the news more than a few times. Check out our 15 minutes of fame!

Our first little run-in with the media was for the grand opening of Chipotle. Roanoke is suffering from a severe lack of quality burrito restaurants (I miss you, Barberitos!) so we always made sure to hit up Chipotle for a little "crack rice" when we visited Blacksburg or Annapolis. When we saw a "coming soon" sign for Chipotle going up in Roanoke, our excitement mounted and we decided to go all out and "camp out" for the grand opening. David's mom and brother and a bunch of friends came out and we set up tents, had some snacks (thank you, God, for pretzel m&ms!), and played endless games of cornhole while we waited to get our hands on the cilantro-lime goodness that defines Chipotle.

However, apparently the only thing Roanoke is lacking more of than a quality burrito is a good news story, because the local media ate us up (ha ha ha). We made it on 2 different local evening news programs and had a pretty good article in the paper. We also roused some passionate comments from fellow Roanokers that thought we should have spent the evening (from 8pm to 11am) volunteering our time...? Who knew that anyone would be so passionate about us wasting time?!

WDBJ 7 Video: 

My favorite video (WSLS):

Then, last week David and I were strolling along downtown before he had to head to work (and I was craving Frogurt after Body Pump) when a man approached us with a news camera, and some pretty disgusting pictures. David put on his thespian (no, not lesbian) hat and had an eloquent little chat with the camera while I tried to hide my sweaty self from the camera. No such luck on my part, but David did great and got us on the 7:00 news. Again.

If you promise not to judge how disgusting I look, you can see David do his thing here:

Better go ahead and get our autographs now - we're just one bout with rehab away from becoming Hollywood's next "it" couple!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Who's Your Daddy?

Appropriately, I haven't written anything at all since Mother's Day. And now Father's Day has come and gone. I'll let you think that I did this on purpose, so we could sandwich all of our parents into back-to-back posts.

So here's a little shout-out to our amazing Dads. Thanks for everything you do - we love you! Check out these handsome fellas we are lucky to call our fathers.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Call Your Mother

David and I have had a crazy past year and are blessed beyond belief to have supportive families who have stood behind us as we have made all kinds of wild decisions and traveled all over the world. They may have been (okay, definitely were) a little skeptical of some of our wild ideas, but have encouraged anything and everything we could have dreamed of.

In particular, we are so thankful to have such wonderful moms! It would be impossible to list all of the thankless things they have done for us over the past 20+ years....or even just the past months. As we have adjusted to life back in the US and have been figuring out our next steps, our moms have been invaluable in taking care of our every whim. If nothing else, I don't know how I'd get through my 30 minute drive home from work without having my mom to call, or who I would stay up to judge the trash on Teen Mom with if David's mom weren't around :)

Traveling this year has given us the opportunity to see a lot of different families and family structures, and while we have been able to pick up a few pointers about what we do and don't want to do with our own future family, it has also made us so much more appreciative for our relatively normal families, and for everything our moms have done to get us where we are today.*

So, all you moms out there (and especially ours), thanks for all you do and know that it doesn't go unnoticed.

Oh and in honor of mothers day (and because we went to Sephora at the Mall of Georgia today), I'm wearing OPI's matte "Call Your Mother" on my fingernails. I think I'm a fan.

*Okay, we live in David's parents' basement, which is the epitome of loserdom but we're working on it...

Sunday, May 1, 2011


The past year has been quite the adventure for us. We felt called to Africa, and after a lot of researching, decided to apply to the US Peace Corps, seeing it as an opportunity to serve without raising support and with the safety of the government in case anything crazy happened.

We had lots of interviews. We went to Jacksonville to meet with our recruiter, and we were nominated to teach English in Eastern Europe, and later Asia (which we were convinced was Mongolia). To prepare, we had countless medical and dental exams, had a lot of shots and blood drawn, and volunteered at El Sol teaching English to Guatemalans in Jupiter.

Then, we made a big decision to hook up with YWAM and spend 6 months in Switzerland and Africa learning about how to share our faith and live in extreme conditions. DTS wasn't exactly what we were expecting and ended in quite a strange way, but we did it. It wasn't always fun but we experienced the life that much of the world encounters every day - life without electricity or running water, and we learned a lot about ourselves, our marriage, and each other. Our faith was stretched and our relationship was tested. We read a lot of books, ate a lot of questionable food, lived with a wild collection of various people, and had our fair share of outhouse incidents.

So now, after a year of waiting and planning, the D-Day of Peace Corps applicants has come. It's a day that we have been waiting for with anticipation. The day we receive our official invitation and learn our location and jobs.

This big day came last week, and David waited for me to get home from work to open the envelope. Our location is [drum roll, please]....

Rwanda. With a departure date in September.

We thought we'd be headed to Asia, so this is quite different. We have a week to accept or decline, and there is a lot that we are considering in making our final decision: the location, our prior experience in Africa, the situation in Rwanda, our current job situations, the time commitment.....the list goes on and on.

So, we are researching, thinking, discussing and praying over the decision. It's a big one and we'd love to have your thoughts and prayers as well, as we try to figure out where we are meant to spend the next 2.5 years.