Friday, July 29, 2011

Fab Food Friday: Pasta or Pizza?!

In preparation for this Friday's post I had a recipe I wanted to try out, but since we were already planning on doing pizza today for our Friday Night Pizza Night I made it yesterday...

Every once and a while I check in on The Pioneer Woman's blog (if you haven't discovered "her", you must! I find her fabulous in many ways...) and a few days ago she had posted a PESTO pizza recipe with a link to a recipe in June where she had made a Creamy Pesto Pasta. Pesto...mmm...I knew I liked her! Deciding that I had about a third of a jar of pesto in the fridge that I needed to use up this week I decided to make her Creamy Pesto Pasta. Only I tinkered with it of course to make it a little healthier :) Anyways, I say all that to say this: We made it. It was good......but tonight's pizza was better! So instead of doing a long drawn out blog with one recipe, I am going to do two condensed recipes!

First Runner Up: Creamy Pesto Pasta

9-12 ounces pasta (I used whole wheat rotini)
3 Tb butter or margarine
2-3 Tb of flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2-3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pesto
1 whole tomato, diced

1. Boil your pasta
2. Meanwhile in a large skillet heat your butter over medium heat
3. Using a whisk mix together your butter and flour, should be clumpy
4. Pour in your milk and whisk until smooth and thickened
5. Mix in your pesto and about 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
6. Turn burner to low and add diced tomato to the sauce and let simmer for a few minutes
7. Drain pasta and rinse
8. Toss pasta and sauce together in a large bowl and top with remaining Parmesan(this makes it by the way!)

I LOVE this huge pasta bowl! Perfect for tossing :)

Grand Prize: Leftover Pizza (you'll understand in a minute)

This pizza, which was amazing, was topped with, well.....leftovers in our fridge :) In order to jazz up our pizza tonight I looked in our fridge to see what we had. I started with the basics:

Home-made whole wheat pizza dough(we use the PW's recipe but use WW flour or use your own fav dough)
large tomato, cut in thin slices
2 oz block of cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz block of mozzarella, grated
about 1/3 cup of pesto

Then I continued with some of the leftovers from the Hawaiian Chicken we made the other day(don't get grossed turns out REALLY yummy!)

 green bell pepper slices that were cooked on the grill
diced red onion
pineapple chunks
and to top it off, grilled terriaki (marinated) chicken (this was my hubbs idea, and a GREAT one!)

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F
2. Roll dough out onto your pan (we use a pizza stone)
3. Spread pesto onto dough
4. Top with tomato slices
5. Spread a little cheese
6. Top with bell pepper, onion, pineapple and the rest of the cheese
7. Because this was a last minute add-in, top with chopped chicken
Chicken, the hubbs is a genius!
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes
I heart pizza...especially from scratch

Oh my heavens, this was tasty! I LOVED all the veggies(my hubbs picked half of his off and child #1 took all of the veggies off....BUT I tried!), but I will say that the chicken was the cherry on top.

What did I learn about the secret to making good pizza? Make Hawaiian Chicken two days before.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How Beautiful

This morning our alarm clocks(aka our boys) went off around 5:30. About an hour and a half too early. Luckily we got child number 1 back in bed, but child number 2 wanted to play. I was tired and not thrilled about getting up at this hour, but decided I was going to be positive about this (a lesson I have learned from a good friend to enjoy even the not so glamorous moments of being a mom because there are so many who would give anything to have this opportunity). It wasn't anything a cup of coffee (and a little under eye cream) couldn't fix...

I was surprised by a sight that I have not seen in quite sometime...a sunrise. Peaceful and beautiful, I was given this gift. Another gift was the sweet smiles of my youngest, getting to spend some one-on-one time with his momma. I felt pure joy and even though I was awakened earlier than normal, I felt at peace and rested. God is Good.

The beautiful sight outside my window reminded me of this song and I wanted to share it....

How Beautiful

How Beautiful the hands that served
The Wine and the Bread and the sons of the earth
How beautiful the feet that walked
The long dusty road and the hill to the cross
How Beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ

How Beautiful the heart that bled
That took all my sins and bore it instead
How beautiful the tender eyes
That choose to forgive and never despise
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ

And as He lay down His life
We offer this sacrifice
That we will live just as He died
Willing to pay the price
Willing to pay the price

How Beautiful the radiant bride
Who waits for her Groom with His light in her eyes
How Beautiful when humble hearts give
The fruit of pure love so that others may live
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ

How beautiful the feet that bring
The sound of good news and the love of the King
How Beautiful the hands that serve
The wine and the bread and the sons of the Earth
How Beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ

Here's to hoping your day will be filled with joy......and if you woke up as early as I did, maybe even a nap later on in the day :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Girl: Gilmore Style.....

This last weekend I was soooo over this heat and decided to transport myself into a quaint and quirky northeastern town named Stars Hollow. Whenever I am watching this show it just screams FALL and cool weather...quite the lovely notion in this 100 degree weather. Gilmore Girls is one of my all time favorite sitcoms for so many reasons, mainly because not only does it scream FALL but it also exudes GIRL. My husband can appreciate the show for it's humor but ultimately does. not. get. it. I understand and relate to it perfectly :) I decided to share with you 10 reasons why I ADORE this show.....

Gilmore Top Ten

1. As previously mentioned, the weather! No matter the season it always seems pleasant and manageable. And let's face it, Fall in the Northeast is BEAUTIFUL and it stirs up feelings of "home."
Thinking of this makes me want to go to a pumpkin patch and make fresh apple cake...torture, sorry.

2. Lukes. Small town diners have a special place in my heart. I enjoy "Lukes" because it represents great, REGULAR, is a place that still keeps sacred the notion that it is rude to be on the phone while you are in the company of others... fabulous, yet simple, food(he is passionate about that one)And I must say I love the owner's stubborn, "I'm not going to put up with that" attitude.....(not to say one should be like that all the time, I mean, I'm still a lady).

3. Kirk. Strange, multi-talented, sleepwalking...Kirk. Everyone needs a friend like him.

4.The Dragonfly Inn. I believe Inn's were made for girls. Homey, quaint, fantastic food by Sookie, and it seems like there is always something interesting going on there. And let's face it, they have the most interesting concierge...

5. The Town Square. If they are looking for someone, where do they go? The town square. If something crazy is going on, where is it usually taking place? The town square...because the town revolves around it. I love that. They don't write it off as the "old part of town," it is important and considered the "core." (Okay, I get that it could just be the studio's efforts to save money by using the town square set repeatedly, but dream here with me....)

6. Lorelai's parents. They care, right? Pushy, loving, and let's face it, they are loaded. I'm not going to dive deeper on this one...

7. Yale. Love the school pride. Love Rory's college years. Love the coffee cart that seems to be all over campus. Love that darn cute bulldog.

8. Mrs. Kim. Wow, she's a lot to handle. She's like the Soup Nazi of antiques. Props to Lane for surviving in that house. And I love finding out the quirky and surprising side to Mrs. Kim in season's 5-7...just sayin.

9. The lack of food in the Gilmore household. Correction, there is leftover pizza, Chinese, burgers and, of course, Pop-Tarts. But what I mean is food that you can actually make (not just order) a meal out of. Lorelai is dead set on not cooking, which honestly is kinda lame, but at the same time pretty funny and understandable considering she had maids and personal chefs doing everything for her while growing up. They are lucky they have Sookie and Luke in their life.....

10. The quick, witty, and straight-forward banter they ensues not only between Lorelai and Rory, but between most of the characters on the show. The characters don't take themselves too seriously and at the same time seem comfortable with who they are. They don't hold back..If only we had the kind of courage to be who we really are without reservation.

Now I know there are more fellow Gilmore Girls addicts out there, so I'm wondering what is your reason for adoring this wonderful show? And yes, men are encouraged to dwell on this as well....

Here's to hoping cool weather comes soon.......

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fab Food Friday: Perfectly Peachy!

Today in our house it is Friday Movie and a Pizza night! We try to do this whenever we have a Friday where we don't have to be anywhere. We always make our own pizza(tonight's will include our yummy pesto from last Friday!) and usually we do popcorn and movie theater candy, but tonight we're going to mix it up a bit.....We are watching the movie Cars and in reference to the old time Route 66 in the movie we are having "Root" Beer (I guess that play on words only works if you pronounce "route" with a southern accent...)and a Peach Cobbler with an Old Fashioned topping! Yum, especially since it is the perfect time of year for peaches! What else says "southern" best like peach cobbler?!

To get your peaches ready for the cobbler you need to begin the night before. This is way I make filling, you gals and guys may do it differently......

Peach Filling
about 1 1/2 pounds fresh peaches(heavenly!), peeled, pitted and sliced
1/3 cup sugar(can use more if you chose)

1) After washing, peeling(I want to say here that my hubbs like some with their skins intact, so we did not peel 2 of the peaches--makes it more colorful also!), pitting, and slicing your lovely, in season, peaches put them in a zip lock bag.
2) Pour your sugar in the bag, close it and work it in good(just cause!)
3) Leave in fridge over night until you are ready to use them in the next day or two...
***I like my peaches to still taste somewhat fresh after they are baked, so I do not boil the filling to soften them. You may chose to do this if you like!

This next part includes the EASY Old Fashioned Cobbler Topping that is based off of my hubbs' Great Grandmother Cook's recipe. We have modified it slightly over the last couple years...

Old Fashioned Cobbler Topping

1 cup flour
3/4 to 1 cup sugar(depending on your taste)
1 cup milk
dash of salt
dash or two of baking powder
1/2 stick of butter, melted
cinnamon to taste
nutmeg to taste

To assemble cobbler:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2) Grease a 2 1/2 quart baking dish
3) Retrieve your peaches from the fridge and empty the bag and as much of the juice as possible into the baking dish
4) Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over the peaches(I go light on the nutmeg because it is pretty strong)
5) Using a whisk, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and milk and beat until smooth
6) Pour mixture over peaches

for some reason this is not horizontal like I had hoped...oh well, use your imaginations!

7) Drizzle melted butter over cobbler

8) Pop in the oven for 30 minutes!

The reason I like this cobbler topping is because it works its way through all the fruit while it's baking, making no separation between filling and topping....thus making a perfect proportion of topping and fruit in each bite! Who ever said gals weren't good at Math?!

Get out your favorite vanilla ice cream to serve along side your fresh tangy-sweet cobbler!

You can also whip up one cup of whipping cream with 1 TB of sugar to serve with it instead of ice cream.Y-U-M! 

Happy Peach Season!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Opposites attract....

This blog was mainly created to celebrate "girlness" of sorts....but today I am going to highlight the beautiful boys in my life and just a few funny/interesting things I have witnessed lately that make me love them even more. I say funny because I have no choice but to find humor in some of these things!

Our almost 3 year old is our "original cutie" and now just has a little "extra flare" to him due to his age :) He is definitely creative, a lot to handle, but extremely....let's just say, awesome. Some of his moments lately:
  • When eating pasta the other night I look over and he is crinkling up his nose and saying "ouch, momma, ouch." I ask him if his nose hurts and he said, "yes, I put a noodle in my nose." My response(laughing perplexedly inside), "well yes, that would make your nose hurt." After exhaustively trying to blow, etc the noodle out and it doesn't resurface, I begin to wonder and just give up. Caden tells us that he needed a band-aid....and sure enough it felt better after that. Crazy how that works out, huh?!  And yes, he did insist on wearing it like this the rest of the day despite Dad's efforts to remove it(I wanted it to stay on mainly because it was pretty darn awesome). We'll call him Rambo.

  • I call this the "summer of the dinosaur" for Caden.  He loves the show "dinosaur train," has many shirts with dinosaurs, has perfected his incredibly loud T-Rex roar(which he likes to "surprise" people at church with from behind), and the never-ending "stomping around like a BIG T-Rex." So I decide to be a cool momma this week and teach him how to paper mache when making a dinosaur. We were doing good....made the body out of balloons, sticks, etc...and were almost finished with the first layer when my always learning boy looks at the dino and asks, "this a boy, momma?" My response, "yeah it can be a boy." Caden's conclusion, "he needs a p****, momma." I busted out laughing and then he exclaims, pointing to a piece of paper that was sticking out in a VERY convenient spot, "OH! He already has one!" And here I had already named "him" Eleanor...oops...
  • A shout out to the Fourth of July....Tonight while my husband was giving Caden a bath, he started *tooting*(I hate saying that btw)--which, LADIES don't do of course ;)-- and told his dad, "that's just fireworks, Dadda..." Normal, of course! And also normal was the streaking that followed while wearing only his Green Lantern mask..... :)
This little guy, well, is just cute....and I am loving finding all the things that make him laugh....and inevitably finding the things that don't. Loves: Caden's horse, girls(typical!), the trampoline, the song "chicka chicka boom boom," and....being held....a lot :) Dislikes: sleeping, being put down(I will admit that I am partly to blame for the not liking to be put down thing...he's just SO huggable!), having toys taken away by the toddler in the house, and rice cereal.

My husband: Well...I love him, and am understanding him better which each boy we add to our clan. We'll leave it at that :)

I LOVE, stay bewildered, and am constantly amused by this COMPLETELY opposite sex....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

If you don't like it, get rid of it!

No, this is not my motto for life. BUT it is my motto for my household objects this past week.

In true, Tasha fashion (I say "Tasha" fashion mainly because I'm not sure if this is necessarily just a "Tasha trait" or if it is an innate quality of all girls), I took a quick look at my kitchen and decided, "I don't like it." So what do I do? I strip it bare of all decor and decide we're having a garage sale(and I may have also striped our bedroom as well of some objects in preparation of my *project* next year). And yes, I informed my husband of all of this after the fact. Surprise!

I decide to start with only the colors I love (which involves many...), green, yellow, red, and some browns. I just happened to be going into one of my favorite boutiques that day the pick up some things that my in-laws requested when I happened across some dishtowels that also, coincidentally, have those same colors in them! Deciding I had some of my "fun money" to use anyways, I purchase them (pretty darn FUN to me!). It was somewhere to start.....

Later that day when staring at my kitchen again trying to think of where in the world I was going to go with this "operation redecorate," I realized that a rug I have had my eye on for a while would go perfectly with the colors I had in mind and would be a great place to start.  The rug: beautiful, perfectly colored, and yes, girly(g****).

Cute, right?!

My husband on the other hand was completely perplexed as to why I would ever think of putting a "flowery" rug in our house.....apparently that is not manly or something. I told him, "because.....I like it, that's why" (deep, I know). He then tried to talk me into getting a rug that also had the colors I wanted in it, consisted of.....SQUARES. I then went on a long explanation that that is sooooo not the look I was going for because, a) that is contemporary in my opinion, and anyone that knows me knows that I am anything but contemporary....squares signify straight edges and "in a box." I am fluid, a little wild, and, well, a little loud. Squares did not say that to me! b) he wasn't going to be looking at it as much as I was anyways and c) I AM allowed to have some g**** in the house... and because I think he was simply tired of hearing my rant, he gave in :)

So now my kitchen consists of a rug, dishtowels, and lately, me, because I am usually in there trying to think of where to go from there (We also put away our toaster oven because it took up tons of space thus making room for my looovely, red Kitchenaid mixer and a lot more counter space to create incredibly yummy and craving-satisfying food). Somewhat blank, but I like it. It looks clean and gives me a *new* project.

My poor husband doesn't understand this urge, but does like the fact that it inspired me to shed things that we don't use any more...I feel so much lighter! It's almost as good as losing weight.......okay, not that good.

Any suggestions, or decor ideas that you have or come across would be greatly appreciated :)

Next year:  "Operation Redecorate Bedroom." Somehow I am going to try to convince my hubbs that we should have zebra print and giraffe print in our room(TASTEFULLY of course).......I could argue it as an educational experience for our children--"no need for that expensive trip to Africa on safari, honey! Look! We could have it right here in our bedroom for the smaller price of..."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Being Bold and Beautiful...

Recently in our Sunday morning class at church we have been studying the book of Esther in the Bible.
Frequently I refer to it as the "Girl Power" book of the Bible (rolling eyes of my spouse). I have always loved the book of Esther for many reasons, and if you haven't read it through I really suggest it!

--Chapter 2 describes Esther as beautiful in form and in face. Who wouldn't love that description?!

One of the initial reasons Esther was chosen as Queen was her outer beauty, but I think the way she ultimately "found favor"(2:15) was because of something that most could not put their finger on...a beauty on the inside that was radiating outward.You can tell when a woman feels beautiful because she is usually glowing. One of my favorite things to see is a woman, or a person in general, radiating. Often I wonder what it is that is making that woman radiate and have come to the conclusion that one woman's idea of beauty is frequently different than anothers (I kind of love celebrating those differences in people). In Esther's case I like to think that she had pure joy within her that made her "radiate."

WE are daughters of a King, which makes us royalty just like Esther. God sees each of us as beautiful, not because of our outer appearances, but because of our hearts....the pure, passionate, and absolutely beautiful heart He created us with. Unfortunately the world hardens many of our hearts and we end up having a difficult time letting this beauty break through, or even understanding that we have a beautiful heart to share at all! 

--Another thing I love in Esther is that she displays boldness, passion, and strength....She is called to do something that obviously takes her out of her comfort zone, but is needed to be done. Can she be graceful, poised, but also brave and courageous? Of course. Women everywhere have this strength in them, they just need to recognize it and use it when the time is right(I'm speaking to myself also here!).

My prayer is that each of you discovers the heart that you were created with...beautiful, pure, strong, etc...connect with it, and use it for God's glory.

I've rambled enough for one day :) I hope each of you can begin the week knowing that God is with you, loves you, and finds you completely Gorgeous!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fab Food Friday: Pesto Please!

My little helper today

The "foody" in me has been craving some homemade pesto for some time now. While reading my *always reliable* June edition of Southern Living I wandered across a multitude of recipes for PESTO! I was one happy girl and began dreaming of all the ways I could use this wonderful many possibilities!

Today is the day to celebrate the mixture of herbs and olive oil that we call Pesto.

I chose the Herb Pesto because I love mixing as many Italian herbs that I can as often as I can.

Herb Pesto

2/3 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts(can also use walnuts which are cheaper and easier to find!)
1/4 cup cold water
1 to 2 garlic cloves
2 Tb. fresh oregano leaves(except we couldn't find any so dried worked fine!)
1 Tb. fresh rosemary (YUM)
1 Tb. lemon juice (it didn't specify fresh, so I figured my Real Lemon would be acceptable!)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

  1. Get out your food processor(or blender)! My 4 cup processor was the perfect size for this recipe.
  2. Roughly measure out your herbs(I tend to over estimate on herbs rather than under, I figure better more flavor than too little!) and pull the leaves off of the stems as best as you can. I did not use a knife in this recipe and was VERY happy about one less thing to clean, so pulling the leaves off was fine with me!
  3. Use a garlic press to slightly "loosen" your garlic clove...Our cloves were HUGE so I only used one. I broke up the clove into about 4 pieces...just because :)
  4. Put it all in your food processor and process until smooth. 
  5.  Taste it....just because :)
  6. Pour into a canning jar or other container.
Yum! This will be going on our mozzarella and sun-dried tomato burgers tonight! <3

Ready for the freezer!

This recipe made 2 cups of pesto for me and after some research I have learned that fresh pesto, at best, lasts about a week in the fridge as long as it has a layer of olive oil on it. 2 cups is A LOT to use in a week, so I looked into freezing. I found out that you CAN freeze it in a canning jar OR pour into ice cube trays, freeze, and then pop cubes out into a freezer bag and freeze.....for a long time...

If you want more recipes for pesto, they also had a cilantro pesto...which we thought would be good on Mexican dishes(And yes, we will be making this later). You can check out their website: 

***Also, since it's Fab Food Friday, I have to throw in there that we also tried a recipe from this April 2011 edition for Grilled Chicken Tacos with a mango salsa and blackbean side....Let me just tell you that it was taaaaasty! And also worth the makin :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The History of Aprons...

My mother-in-law just gave me one of the beautiful aprons that she made for each of the gals in our family. Along with it she gave us the "history of aprons." This reminded me of Beverly's addition to my list of g**** that was posted a week or so ago and I decided to share it!

"The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that......... served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow.

Bent over a hot wood stove, chips and kindling were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.

After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the Fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the menfolks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes."

To be honest I forget to wear one all the time and am then left with yet another outfit to add to our never ending pile of laundry. BUT, two of the reasons that I love aprons are.....

~First, and foremost, they make me feel cute...yup that's right, I consider it the lipstick of the cook.

~And second, as aforementioned, they save me an outfit. Especially if our son #1 wants to cook with me...which means I have the cutest helper and the biggest mess :)

So I would like to know, what is the purpose for your apron? 
That is, if you remember to wear one....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fabulous Food Friday......On Tuesday

Our first born loves the farm
It has been a while since my last post. We have been "deep in the heart of Texas," without much Internet access, visiting my hubby's family on his grandparent's farm. We had a busy, but great time on the farm. And let me just say that this is not a place for dainty dames...this is where the tough ladies hang out. It is hard to maintain your "frou frouness" when grasshoppers, etc... are jumping on you left and right (for the record, I only had one minor flip out due to these creatures) and dust reigns supreme.

I say all that to say this......I have been wanting to keep up a "Fabulous Food Friday" part to this blog and decided to go ahead and cook last Friday despite not being able to post it until today. Chance's grandmother was gracious enough to lend me her kitchen for a little while :)

I decided to make the green bell pepper the star of this recipe because it has become a recent fascination of mine. I started thinking of all the things that I seem to enjoy that involve bell peppers and created a stuffed pepper recipe.....We have named the recipe based on the location of it's conception...

Lone Star Stuffed Peppers

5 large green bell peppers
2 packages of cream cheese(I used a slightly figured friendly reduced fat), softened
1 lb. hot sausage(can sub. turkey sausage or a mild sausage, the hot was HOT, but we like the spice)
1 small onion, diced
Sun dried tomatoes, a few handfuls, diced (or fresh if you prefer)
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup crushed pineapple
garlic powder
Crusty bread
1 cute apron...(g****)
(minus the sausage)

  1. Begin by browning the sausage. While the sausage is browning, dice the onion. Add the onions to the sausage mixture until the sausage is completely browned.

Love the cutting board!

2. While the onions and the sausage are finishing cooking begin hollowing out the bell peppers. Cut the tops off of the peppers and using a spoon, scrap the insides out (getting rid of all the seeds). The sausage should be done at this point. Turn off your burner and let it cool while you get the rest of the mixture together.

3. In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, pineapple, garlic powder to taste, and then your sausage-onion mixture. I'm guessing that, if you wanted, a can of rotel would also taste good instead of the sun-dried tomatoes and for an added kick...just a thought.

Although you may be tempted to eat it straight out of the bowl, it's worth the wait!

4. At this point you can begin filling your bell peppers with the mixture...I want to mention that if you like really soft bell peppers you can blanch(boil) your hollowed out peppers for a few minutes before you fill them(thanks for the tip, Patty!)...
Happy lil' fellas, aren't they?!

They may need crutches, and if so, toothpicks work quite nicely

5. Bake the peppers at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.
And this is how we found them...BUT we weren't deterred...
6. Serve with crusty NOT leave this is necessary to clean up all the gooey goodness that spills out when you cut into the pepper...the bread kinda makes the meal, just saying. I guess you could also use tortilla chips if you wanted....

Caution: Ours was spicy (we loved it)


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ode to Coffee...

On a day that I looked forward to welcome--mainly because I had zero set plans for the day (a complete joy considering the past week has been packed--of wonderful things of course)--I felt....blah....nothing. Determined to not waste this "beautiful day the Lord has made" in a sleepy fog I set out to rev my (I would say engines, but that is utterly NOT girly, so...) dancing feet (make sense?).

Goal 1. Jog....successful. My eyes opened and saw a gorgeous day

Goal 2. Play with kiddos, finish some projects, pack for upcoming trip........UNsuccessful.

I had NO idea what the problem was. Usually jogging will wake me up and send me on a energy induced morning (I usually crash once the wild things take a nap), but that definitely wasn't the case today. Call it complete exhaustion from the prior week or the fact that we wake up 3, 4, 7 times during the night because of an infant and a toddler who hears alligators in his room...I was tired AND was getting irritable.

All of a sudden a light bulb went off..........I hadn't had my COFFEE yet. WHOA, stop everything, that was the missing piece! I forgot that usually I wait till after our jog to make my coffee(obviously a necessity in my day). As quickly as possible, coffee is made, sugar and creamer are in my pretty (a must), pink, black, and white mug (that was given to me by a wonderful old friend) and it is sipped (ladies don't chug, right?!) VERY quickly.  Minutes later, my senses were awakened and all of a sudden I found a game of catch with both of my kiddos(yes, a 5 month old can play catch...he actually liked it...well chewing on the ball anyways...) extremely entertaining and reveled in the sweet laughs of both boys.

Excited again about my day of possibilities I begin to feel an urge of girly(g****) again. In that instant the word, "naaaiiil polish" whispers through my head. "I want new (teal) nail polish!" I decide. Such spontaneity, such fun, soooo summer! Typically this "girl" sticks to dark colors and the occasional pink, but Teal sung to me for some reason. I called up my very pregnant friend(deciding she needed to walk to induce labor anyways) and off to the store we were a little while later.

The lovely find,  "Teal or No Teal" by Wet n Wild, a brand, by the way, that I haven't purchased since High School...mainly because it's cheap and I figured that if I didn't like it, I would be out much $$. A bold choice, yes, but bold is good, right?!

I have yet to adorn my toes with this lovely color because, well, a quick trip with a good friend, turned in a loooong, and much enjoyable, 2 1/2 hour trip ending with a wonderful fashion show of cheap, bug-eye sunglasses. Which, admittedly, I am now the proud owner of not just one, but two pairs...$5 dollars each! Great deal, AND I was still sporting a (cheap) pair all the way from college that I managed to not lose. It was about time. I digress....

Needless to say, my husband was quick to laugh and give me the "look" as soon as I admitted to the female-exuding loot I was smuggling into the house.....

The day that started off slow turned into a spirited and very colorful (literally) day.....Also a day that resulted in the quickest I have ever packed a family of four, a dog, and a fish for a road trip. Here's hoping we didn't forget anything! And yes, I am considering painting my toes in the car....Please drive steady, babe!

Coffee, how I love thee...let me count the ways.....

Sunday, July 3, 2011

To: Men

To the wonderful men who fill our lives,
After spending the time to make incredible homemade, dark chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin cookies, every last bit of cookie dough MUST be utilized. DO NOT immediately clean the beater in the sink. God gave us the utensils to thoroughly rid the beater of all it's dough.....our tongue. While I REALLY appreciate your helpfulness and realize that not every male will even think to clean a beater at all....please, please at least take the time to savor the goodness that was left (most often strategically left) on the beater (bowl, spoon, etc...). Waste not, want not :)
Those who love food....and chocolate

Saturday, July 2, 2011

What is this?

Starting about a year ago (around the time we found out we were having another boy to add to the clan) I noticed myself being drawn to activities of the "girly variety." Things that I typically wouldn't do because,

a) the men in my life may not accept it as easily as I would hoped they would,
b) I'm stubborn and just didn't want to be classified as "girly" (a 5 letter word in some situations) and
c) lets face it, it just doesn't come natural in homes where you have to be on the look out for falling objects and tackling toddlers 26 hours a day (2 hours added because of the hour before bedtime and nap time that just seem like an eternity!).

Slowly but surely I began to be okay with it (g****) and I found myself, gulp, LOVING it (g****).

This list is some of the things that I discovered are a must in (my) girl world...

  1. Cooking...from scratch (so rewarding!)
  2. Drinking out of glass goblets or just plain old glass cups if that's what you have (pinkie up is optional)
  3. Animal prints, tastefully please
  4. Listen to your favorite music. This may not be "girly" to some but in a house full of boys my vote usually gets outnumbered quickly...(even better, your favs from H.S. or college--bring on the boy bands!)...and belt it! My current fav
  5. Sew....a nod to my grandmother and considered a thing of the past to some...but having the ability to create new things is empowering! And, if you don't tell anyone, they won't know how many trys it took you to get the final product looking half-way decent ;)
  6. Dare I say it, PINK......I've been slightly against it most of my life, until lately it has been slowly creeping into my life.....and I really can't forget TURQUOISE....kinda quirky, kinda love it
  7. Girly, frou frou, foods...the stuff my husband handles at an arms length and what kiddos wouldn't even think of touching. Keep an eye out for Fabulous Food Fridays on the blog...all I have to say is YUM
  8. Indulging in your favorite magazine. Yes, even if you have stacks of laundry to put away, it's OKAY to take a break! Two words, Southern Living. I'm of the opinion that southern girls have it all right anyways ;)
  9. Another nod to the older gen...EARRINGS! Always a must!
  10. Gardening, also very rewarding. Even if only one plant survives...that one plant was meant to make you smile :)
  11. Surrounding yourself with beautiful colors....yes I get the whole neutrals trend in decorating, BUT they were meant to have color added to them! So pick your favs and don't limit yourself too much
  12. Going along with my whole glass goblets fascination......drinking coffee(or tea...) out of BEAUTIFUL mugs...and throw a tea pot in there every once and while for added loveliness (Again, pinkie up is optional)!
  13. Last but not least......don't always buy for function! Throw a little friv (frivolousness) in there! It makes things more fun!
Feel free to let me in on some of yours...
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