Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
This weather is STILL getting to me, so I do what I do best….eat. My Taco Soup recipe is an adaptation of the famous “Weight Watchers” one. Like every recipe, I always tweak it here and there to my liking. I’ve also included my Sour Cream Buttermilk Cornbread recipe. This soup recipe is super easy and you can throw it all together in a crock pot in the morning, then make the cornbread when you get home.
- 1 lb. ground turkey (or beef if you prefer)
- 1 tsp. cooking oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 can pinto beans (drained)
- 1 can black beans (drained)
- 2 cans light red kidney beans (drained)
- 2 cans whole kernel corn (drained)
- 1 can Original Rotel
- 1 can petite diced stewed tomatoes
- 2 pks. 1 oz. Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix (powder)
- 2 pks 1 oz. taco seasoning mix
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 2 cups water
- Optional: sour cream and shredded cheddar for topping.
- Heat oil in medium skillet. Add ground turkey, breaking up with back of spoon.
- When turkey is about 1/2 way done browning, add chopped onion.
- Finish cooking until turkey is no longer pink, and onions are translucent.
- In a crock pot or large cooking pot, add turkey & onions.
- Add the rest of the ingredients.
- Add more water if you want a thinner soup.
- Cook on low in crock pot for 4-6 hours, or on stovetop for 1 –1.5 hours.
- Top with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and/or diced avocados and tortilla chips.
*Don’t add extra salt….the seasoning mix has a lot in them.
*This soup freezes really well. In fact, I think it’s better AFTER it’s been frozen. I usually double this recipe, and freeze the other half.
*We like to eat our soup with cornbread….here’s my recipe…..
Sour Cream Buttermilk Cornbread
FYI-This is not a sweet cornbread like the Jiffy mix, and it ain’t low fat girlfriends.
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 Tbs. mayonnaise
- 3 Tbs. butter (the real deal butter)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Put butter in a 10-inch iron skillet and put in oven.
- In the meantime, mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Add rest of ingredients and stir thoroughly until mixed.
- Let rest a few minutes.
- Check skillet and make sure the butter is completely melted and starting to bubble. You don’t want it to start to brown too much.
- When a drop of water sizzles in the pan, add batter.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden on top and a toothpick in center comes out clean.
*You can also make these as muffins if you don’t have an iron skillet. You don’t have to preheat the muffin tins, just spray with cooking spray.
Monday, December 28, 2009
I am seriously dying in this cold weather. Here’s our 5 day forecast. Look at Friday!! 8 degrees. My Florida peeps, please, please come get me. My lips are chapped, my hands are cracked, and my toes are numb.
Doc Lancelot mentioned planning our ski trip for February. I told him I couldn’t even talk about it. Right now, that’s not my idea of a vacation. Spending a week packing ski clothes to go spend another week in more snow. Um, no thanks honey. I always love skiing, and I know once I get there, I’ll love it.
If I had a weatherman like this to deliver the bad news, I might find it a little (just a little) more bearable. I just want to squeeze him. God love him, he’s probably laughing at something totally inappropriate…which is why I like him even more. Enjoy…..and please come get me. Please. Now. Go On. Scurry. NOW!
Friday, December 25, 2009
I've been trying to find a way to convey the story of Jesus' birth to my daughters. I think at their ages, just reading the Bible verses would be too hard for them to understand. I came across this interpretation and decided to share it with the girls (and you).
I plan on printing this and reading it to the girls. Hopefully it won't be too long and they'll get the meaning of it. I thought it was a great way to share the story of Jesus' birth.
"The Greatest Gift of All"
By Jennifer Leigh Edwards
(The Story of the Birth of Jesus)
A long, long time ago, in a town very far away, there was a man named Joseph who dearly loved a young lady named Mary. Mary had been told by God that she would be the mother of a very special baby boy. She was so excited! She just couldn't wait to hold her baby in her arms. She would make clothes for the baby, and Joseph, being a good carpenter, would make things the baby would need, like a cradle and special, child-sized furniture. They anxiously awaited the birth of their new son. It seemed that the day just couldn't come soon enough.
One day they received news that the king wanted everybody to be counted. He didn't want to just count all the people in one town, or two towns, or even three towns. He wanted to count all the people in the entire kingdom. And the king didn't think it would be good enough to simply go from house to house to determine how many people there were. No, he wanted every person to go back to the town in which they were born in order to be officially counted.
Mary and Joseph busily packed their clothes and other necessary items for their long journey. No one had cars or any type of vehicles back in those days, but they did have a donkey to help carry their load. Sometimes they would walk on the dusty roads, and sometimes Mary would ride on the donkey to rest her sore feet. Day after day, night after night, they kept moving. When nighttime came, they would try to find a room at an inn, so they could get a good night's sleep. But sometimes, since so many people were being forced to travel, it just wasn't possible to find a room, because all the rooms were taken.
It was a very long, very dusty, very tiring trip. Finally one night, they saw the small lights off in the distance. "We are almost there," Joseph told Mary. Then they started to go slightly faster. "What a beautiful city Bethlehem is from here!" Mary exclaimed. "I wonder if it is just as beautiful inside?"
Once inside the city gates, Joseph tried to get a room at the inn. Unfortunately, the inn keeper had to turn them down. "I'm sorry," he said. "There just aren't any more rooms."
"But we have been traveling for days, and we are so tired. Are you sure there is no place for us to stop and get some rest?" Joseph asked as calmly as he could. It was getting very late and he was getting quite frustrated, but he tried to be kind and patient.
Seeing the problem and feeling compassion, the inn keeper said, "Well, there are still no rooms, but I could offer you the stable." Now, a stable is actually a barn. It's a place the inn keepers kept the animals that were traveling with his guests. It wasn't a very good place to sleep. There were no beds, and it had a bad smell because of the variety of animals, but it was a shelter where they could lie down for the night.
Joseph thanked the inn keeper for his kindness and led the donkey to the the stable. Mary gathered piles of straw to make a semi-comfortable bed. They laid down for the night and were finally able to sleep.
But, suddenly, Mary woke up. She turned to awaken Joseph. "What is it?" Joseph asked sleepily. "I think the baby is coming tonight!" Mary said with excitement. Joseph bolted upright, forgetting how sleepy he was.
That night the special baby that had been promised to them was born. Mary cried for joy and cuddled him closely. Joseph took his turn holding the little baby. They didn't take long to decide what they were going to name the baby, because God had already told them the name. Joseph held the baby up and said "His name will be JESUS."
They wrapped him in a soft cloth to keep him warm, and Mary made a bed of straw in the manger, which was usually used for the hay that the cows eat. What a wonderful night it was there in the small stable! Baby Jesus, the GREATEST GIFT TO THE WORLD, was born that night.
I wish you a blessed and joyful Christmas. My prayer for you is to be safe and remember those less fortunate than yourselves. Even at our lowest times, there is always someone in a worse situation than us. Peace be to all of us!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
- Without a doubt, my family makes me happy. I am so blessed to have the husband that I do. Boy, he tolerates a lot with me. I can't imagine being with ANYONE else. My girls are my life! Everyday is a new adventure with them. I love seeing them grow and explore. I especially love to see how much they love each other. The even choose to sleep in the same bed every night. They are such sweet cuddle bugs. Having my mom and my sister and my hubby's sweet family in our lives is wonderful too!!!
- A clean house makes me pretty darn happy. I feel totally unsettled when things are messy and dirty. With children, my house is never "exactly" the way I want it, but them being here is what makes it a "home".
- Talking to girlfriends is more helpful to me than therapy. I talk to my best friend in Chattanooga at least a couple of times a week. I still don't know what we manage to talk about after 20 years, but I always look forward to talking to her. Oh, and let's not forget my blogger/Twitter friends. I never dreamed I would meet lifelong friends by blogging, but I have. I am still in awe of how close we've all become. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!
- Getting pampered is high up on my happiness chart. I love mani/pedis, massages, facials, and gettin' my hur did. I honestly would take a good massage any day over a piece of jewelry or flowers.
- The beach---aww, the beach makes me super, duper happy. No explanation needed, right?
- Being creative not only makes me happy, but really is necessary for my everyday life. Whether it's interior design, flower arranging, entertaining, or photography, I need some sort of outlet.
- Being healthy and feeling well are good indicators of how happy I am. I've had some health problems the last year, and let me tell you....I am not happy, spunky, or fun to be around when I'm feeling bad. If I'm tired and haven't had enough sleep.....I can be downright awful. Sorry, my dear family. Sleep makes me want to frolic in the fields and chase butterflies and rainbows.
- Going to church makes me extremely happy. We've finally found a church where we're growing and meeting new people. Doc Lancelot is singing with the worship ministry, so it makes me happy to see him doing what he loves and serving God in such a great way.
- Eating good meals is like taking a little "happy pill" for me. It can be at a good restaurant or at home. Yummy food, particularly if I don't have to clean up, is the bombdiggity!
- Last, but not least.....blogging makes me happy. Everything about it is great. Coming up with topics to blog about, reading other blogs, and the actual writing process is therapeutic and fulfilling to me. Even if I don't have time to make "one-on-one" connections in real life, I have a way to express myself, vent, and share with others.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I have several tried and true party recipes. I enjoy trying new recipes, but when I need to make large volumes for parties, I always go back to my favorites. These Mushroom Puffs are one of my "go to" make-ahead recipes. It's adapted from the Jackson, Mississippi Junior League cookbook, "Come On In!". I have found so many good recipes in this cookbook. Those Mississippi girls know how to entertain!
- 2 pkgs Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls
- 1 pkg 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 can 4 oz. mushrooms, drained and chopped (I do mine in the food processor)
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 3/4 tsp. seasoned salt (like Accent)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 Tbs. poppy seeds-I never measure this. I just "eyeball" it. I like a lot of poppy seeds!
Friday, December 18, 2009
I'm going to put in a box with these gloves I got for $8.00.
I stuffed the fingers with tissue paper. Isn't this a cute way to present a gift?
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
No one told me, and I didn't see anyone laughing, so I just assumed that those were the most flattering pants EVER. I was alone and didn't try other clothes on, or I would've caught this mishap. This goes to show you.....don't be thinking you look all fine and sexy.....you could have tights hanging out the back of your pants.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I've been having some serious static and fly aways with the yucky cold weather. I've tried all the tricks, but nothing has worked. When I saw the article, and what a great bargain it was, I thought I'd give it a whirl. What did have to lose? I already have 7,349 other flat irons.
I came home and immediately tried my new little "Frizz Therapy Friend". I have to say.....I love it. It heated up in less than a minute, and instantly smoothed my hair. I'm hooked.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (almost 2 lbs.)
- 1 small onion or 3/4 to 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 (15 oz.) can of artichokes, drained and chopped
- 1 tablespoon cooking sherry
- 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup Panko Japanese-style bread crumbs (for topping)
- salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large glass baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Mix together the artichokes and rest of ingredients, except the Panko breadcrumbs.
- Salt the chicken breasts and sauté in a pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Cook until done, but not browned.
- Put chicken breasts in glass baking dish. They can overlap.
- Spread artichoke mixture over chicken breasts. *Warning* This dish ain't purdy.
- Bake uncovered 30-45 minutes or until artichoke mixture is bubbly, thickened, and starting to brown slightly.
- Turn oven on broil.
- Take chicken out and sprinkle the top with the Panko crumbs. I added this because I thought it would a nice crunch to the chicken.
- Put chicken back in oven and brown the Panko. This is important.....don't walk away during this step. The Panko crumbs will brown very quickly. The top can burn...I'm telling you stay right there. Trust me on this;-)
- Take out and enjoy! *My husband didn't get the memo about needing a pretty picture of the finished chicken for the blog. He jumped in and got a plate before I got back with the camera. Those men and their hunger!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I can see so many uses for this organizer. You could store crafts, toys, shoes, cleaning supplies, spices, socks/lingerie, etc. You could even put guns and ammo or Velvetta in it. Just kidding. I was seeing if anyone actually reads this.
Friday, December 4, 2009
- It saves time trying to coordinate an outfit in the morning when everyone is tired and often rushed.
- It allows your kids be a part of the planning process.
- It helps them take responsibility for making decisions in their everyday appearance.
- It helps them select weather-appropriate clothing.
- It lets you have a "preview" of what an outfit will look like when it's all put together.
- Most of all....it's fun for the kids! You can start this as early as 2 years old, and give them a few "choices" and let them put an outfit together. *Disclaimer: As mothers, you know you'll want to make it "match", so narrow down the choices to 2 outfits that you pick out. Giving the children free closet reign can come on days you stay home or if you are feeling like, "What the heck! They can dress like a homeless person or Pippi Longstocking today."
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I keep seeing a fashion trend that I rocked in the early 90's....knee socks. We all know Britney became famous for her outfit and knee socks in the video "Hit Me Baby One More Time".