Friday, December 25, 2015

Fluffy Pancakes

Merry Christmas everybody!

This Christmas is vastly different from any Christmas I have celebrated so far. 

This year I am in Oklahoma, away from my mom, dad and sister but oh so very thankful to be spending and celebrating it with my main squeeze.




Here he is trying out one of the gifts he got in his stocking. We had a very relaxed morning complete with coffee, presents, and these pancakes.




When I say "these" pancakes, I mean I used the boxed Hungry Jack mix. But, I have never made pancakes before in my life! I used some tips from Emily and wham! This pancake making newbie was successful in fixing Christmas brunch. Her recipe makes about ten servings (per her blog) and as much as my main squeeze loves pancakes, we could not eat anywhere near that much! Sure, I could have cut the recipe in half, but I wanted to use the box mix for the first time cooking them. Maybe someday when I have hungry kids in my house will I make my own batter.

I hope your Christmas has been merry and bright and that Jesus has been the center of your celebrations. I'm hoping next year my main squeeze and I can be home in Virginia with my family. 

On to New Year's!



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Best Pork BBQ

"Holy shit"

These are the two first words my main squeeze uttered when he first tasted this BBQ. 

Followed by "this is damn good". 

This was my first attempt at cooking a pork BBQ. And this recipe, boys and girls, is an absolute keeper. When my main squeeze goes back for seconds, I know it's a great recipe. I thought about a crockpot recipe, but both of us like a dry rub, not cooked in BBQ sauce. 

OMG. Talk about delicious. And easy! This is most definitely the way I'm gonna fix BBQ from now on. I didn't take any pictures of the process; just the finished product. So I'm gonna send you over to Kevin and Amanda's website where I followed their recipe step by step. I even have a digital thermometer like she recommends and that thing is sweet! You can leave the oven door closed and not have to keep testing your pork. I love it! This is definitely the recipe I'm going to use from now on for BBQ. It's wonderful!


Monday, October 19, 2015

Changes...Part Two

Well boys and girls, it's a Monday and I have found myself in the middle of the U.S. in the Midwest. Oklahoma actually. Tulsa, to be exact. This plan has been in the making since the beginning of the year. My main squeeze and I have been looking forward to this since we first talked about it! I am finally doing what I have wanted to do since I found out about it, travel nursing. Those who know me know I can't still for long and travel nursing fits the bill perfectly. Plus, it's allowed me to come out here to be with my main squeeze! That's the best plus of them all. My first assignment is at Hillcrest Medical Center in downtown Tulsa on a burn ICU. That's going to be a huge learning curve for me! But I am looking forward to it and am excited to learn something new when it comes to my nursing skills. Enough of the boring stuff, it's picture time!




My mama drove out here with me (1,200 miles!) so I wouldn't have to make the trek alone. I'm glad she did! 1,200 miles is a lot to do without someone to talk to. Saturday my main squeeze took us around riding, out to Pawhuska and Ponca City and let me tell you. Absolute culture shock from what I am use to! I didn't think I would like the openness so much (us East Coast folks are use to A LOT of trees) but I actually really like it. Something super peaceful about it. But still, culture shock none the less.




 I mean, it's kinda growing on me. I enjoyed our drive very much!





Pretty babies. We were no doubt on someone's ranch (don't worry, we weren't trespassing!) but had no ideas whose. But we enjoyed seeing all the horses





And all the cows. They were walking everywhere and this baby here was like "Who are you and what in the world are you doing here?"




All the other babies didn't seem to pay us any mind. 

I mentioned earlier we didn't know whose ranch we stumbled upon.





We found our answer at the end coming back out on the main highway. I was so excited!! I had wanted to find her ranch but had no idea how, this just happened by chance!





My main squeeze and I. Stay tuned for more pictures and adventures!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

I have a love affair with eggs. Seriously! Something so simple can be made in so many different ways, has a center that's yellow that can ruin an angel food cake while using the whites to make stiff meringue for a coconut cream pie. Eggs are wonderful and that is why I must share with you my egg saga.

Eggs were the very first thing I ever learned to cook. My grandmother use to always tell me I started cooking as soon as I could reach the stove. And eggs were the thing she taught me how to make. I use to stand and wait until (by my grandmother's instruction) the outside portion started to get white and I could start moving it around the pan, thus making something very similar to an omelet. 

I always told my grandpa to separate my portion before he added any pepper to them because I could not stand pepper when I was little.

My mama would always cook me scrambled eggs in the morning and place it one of those old school round Tupperware containers (admit it, you still have them!) and I'd eat them on the way to school. 

My babysitter (mom #2, more affectionately known as Mom Sale) would always crumble sausage and mix it into the eggs before she cooked them. This was (and still is today) my most favorite way to eat them.

But nothing, NOTHING, can compare to how my dad fixes scrambled eggs. Breakfast is an absolute favorite for both of us. We could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. And his scrambled eggs are always kiss ass tasty. When I was younger he would sometimes add in a little maple syrup for some sweetness. He never had a "secret" to how he fixed them, and I've watched him numerous times. But there is always something delicious about the way he fixes them.




I think I have come as close as I can get to making them the way he does. Fried eggs? Don't stand a chance in my kitchen. I can fry an egg as well as I can pee standing up without missing the toilet. But I have finally figured out how to make my eggs taste just as tasty as his (well, almost!)

The key with his scrambled eggs is low and slow. I mentioned before my grandmother liked to get the edges white before she moved them around pan. Nope. Not happening. Medium heat (around 6) is about the perfect temperature. A splash of cream doesn't hurt either. And I finally LOVE pepper. So! Egg business. Scrambled egg business. In all their glory.



How to make said eggs

2-3 eggs (depending how hungry you are)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Splash of cream, milk or half and half

Scramble your eggs in a bowl, add salt, pepper and cream. Heat enough butter over medium low to medium heat to cover a small skillet but don't use too much! You want your eggs fluffy. Pour egg mixture in skillet and wait. Gently start pushing the mixture back and forth. Constantly moving the eggs is key, don't let them sit too long to get that omelet consistency. I always take my eggs out the pan when they're "almost done" You know, that shiny texture, white part might still be a tad runny. YUM. Not runny like medium fried egg, but shiny! Hopefully you can see what I am talking about in my picture. Eat up!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Birthday Love

Today a very special person has a birthday. 29 years ago my handsome cowboy was brought into this world. Words will never be enough to express my love and adoration for this God fearing man. We happened into each others lives simply by accident and I could not be more grateful for him. He has shown me love in ways I never thought possible. Even thought he's 1200 miles away I know he loves me with every ounce of his being. And I feel the exact same way. We have big plans for our future together and I am so excited about them. Hopefully this time next week he'll be getting ready to make his trek to Virginia! Happy birthday my handsome cowboy

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

It's been one of those weeks. Since last Wednesday to be exact. I've been on a night shift schedule since then, working every other night and it's made for one long ass week. On top of that, my main squeeze has his birthday tomorrow and I can't be there to celebrate with him which breaks my heart. So tonight I wanted major comfort food. And this fits the bill perfectly. This is one of those meals you should only eat about once a month because even looking at it will harden your arteries. 




But it is so. damn. good. Comfort food at its best. Well, for me anyways. I made Ree's version and it's spot on boys and girls. Best Alfredo sauce I have ever made. I used salted butter and just seasoned it with some black pepper, Cajun seasoning and a little garlic power. Fresh sauteed garlic would be good too but it's delicious enough as is. Loosen your belts cause if you're anything like me when it comes to good pasta sauce, you'll be licking your bowl and the saucepan clean. 




I grilled some chicken on my George Foreman and added some Cajun seasoning to it for a little kick. Do what you want. It'll be good no matter how you do it. 

How to make said recipe:

1 cup heavy cream
1 stick of butter (I used salted and didn't season the sauce with salt)
Salt and pepper to taste 
Cajun seasoning and garlic powder to taste (if you wish)
Fettuccine (I cooked a 12 ounce box)
2 cups Parmesan cheese (you can get fancy and use fresh. I used a mix of Italian shredded cheese)

Now Ree pours her cream/butter mixture over the cheese but I throw it in after the butter has melted. Do what you please. I don't know how much of a difference it makes.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a saucepan, warm butter and cream. Do this slow. You don't want your cream to burn. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper (and Cajun seasoning and garlic powder if your heart desires). Add in cheese after butter has melted. 
Drain pasta and serve sauce over noodles. Then I topped mine with chicken and more cheese 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Italian Chicken Bake

This week I have reverted back to day shift. All week. I have no idea how I did that and I must say I hate getting up early! But, at least it's only three days. I love having the "normal" feeling of sleeping at night and being awake during the day, especially when the weather is super duper nice! My nights have consisted of porch sitting, beer (well hard cider) drinking, Pinterest perusing, working out and talking about the future with my main squeeze. 

This recipe is something super simple! Though it takes an hour to cook it takes about 5 minutes of prep work, if you think cutting up potatoes counts as prep work! This dish was ok, lacking in flavor some but I didn't do two packets of the dressing seasoning like it called for. I have no idea why! There's different versions floating around on Pinterest and the recipe I used was from Ashley's blog. I saw one version where they used ranch packets instead of Italian. I might try that next time or I might just use two Italian packets like she did.


I used a bag of frozen green beans but I think next time I might try canned ones. The frozen ones always have that "blanched" flavor even after they cook for an hour. Anyway, I'll definitely make this again but with slightly different variations. Supper can't get anymore simpler!


How to make said dish:

Enough potatoes (peeled, unpeeled, red, yellow, whatever floats your boat) to fill one side of a 9x13 casserole dish
Same amount for the green beans (canned, frozen or fresh)
3-4 chicken breasts 
2 packets (I used zesty) of Italian dressing seasoning mix
3/4 of a stick of butter

This literally is a dump and bake dinner! Line one side of your dish with green beans, the other side with potatoes and fill the middle with chicken. Cut up butter in pieces and place all over previous said ingredients. Sprinkle packets of Italian seasoning over everything. Cover with foil and bake for one hour at 350.(You may want to spray just a bit of cooking spray on the side the potatoes. Mine stuck a little)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Skillet

A few months ago I was on the hunt for a recipe that was quick and simple. Working night shift, I don't always have the energy when I get up from sleeping to cook something for dinner before heading to work. This dish is simple and only takes one pan! I'm usually hesitant about one dish meals especially when there's pasta involved because the pasta normally likes to be a hog and suck up all the glorious sauce you make. This dish is not like that at all. The pasta is not a hog and it makes this wonderful, delicious, tomato and cream sauce. I got the recipe from one of my most favorite bloggers, Stephanie, from over at Plain Chicken. I made it again last night and I must say this one is a keeper boys and girls. I'm adding recipes to my binder (which will be in another post) to have and save for future meals I am going to fix my main squeeze. 


Stephanie said she used turkey sausage and I used polish kielbasa. You can really 
use any kind of sausage you want! This dish was simple and smelled amazing when cooking, especially the sausage. 


Look at all that yummy saucy goodness. It was even good leftover when I took it for my lunch at work. This dish is a definite keeper!


I ended up fixing me a few pieces of garlic bread to go along with it. Keep on the lookout for a post about my recipe binder soon! Happy eating!

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Skillet

1 lb smoked sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz tomato sauce
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
9 oz refrigerated cheese tortellini
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


In a 12-inch skillet, brown sausage in olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in  remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer on low for 12-15 minutes. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Changes

Boys and girls, I have an announcement to make.

I have met a fella.

A most handsome, honorable and humble fella.


One that I hope to one day make my husband.


To begin, I won't go into detail of who I was with before. That's in the past and I want to leave it there.


This guy here though. Oh my goodness. He has left me speechless. Words can't even begin to describe what I feel for him and how much I love and care about him. Austin and I met back in July online through a social media website. At the time I was with someone and wasn't looking for anyone, and neither was Austin. He messaged me one night out of the blue when I was at work. I was polite, responded back and that was it. The rest, as they say, is history. We have been talking every single day since then. We met for the first time in November and again last month and I have to say I am absolutely smitten with the man. He's kind, smart, has a heart of gold, handsome, can build things,  is a hard worker, has aspirations and goals for his life and he's a believer (total and complete bonus!).

No one has ever made me feel this way. Even though we've only met twice I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. He sees past my imperfections, accepts me for who I am, doesn't judge me about my past and truly has shown me what to love someone really means. God has blessed me beyond measure bringing Austin into my life and I could not be more grateful. I could go on forever about my feelings for him but I'm sure you don't want to sit here and read a novel.

With that being said, we have big plans for our future. I am going to try with all my might to keep up this blog once and for all! We plan to travel by the end of the year and I want to use this as kind of a log/compilation of our travels and adventures.

I mean seriously. I would post every single picture the boy has sent me but I don't think he'd like that. Nor would y'all I'm guessing. 

Until then, peace, love and sunshine.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Jute Wrapped Monogram Letter

This project is so cute! I love the simplicity of it but it's a super cute way to add some flair to your decoration. Once I figured out the hot glue gun issue, wrapping was easy. I made the mistake of using the glue on each side of the letter and that made it super messy and chunky. 


Once I started I got the hang of it. I messed up on the first one I tried and this time I only glued in one spot on each time around. There were some times I actually wrapped the jute around a few times before sticking some glue in a spot.


Super simple to do though. Start off with your jute in the back. All you need is a little bit of glue to hold in place. Wrap around once and dab more glue where you started. It's less messy and it won't look horrible like my first one did. Each letter you do is gonna be different. The only part that was hard with the Z was the slanted part but you can play around with how you want to wrap. Mine I ended up going over a few spots twice with the jute going the other direction but that gives it come dimension and character I think. Do what works best with your letter. Once I got it all wrapped I hot glued some flowers on I bought from Michael's and some ribbon on the back to hang it up with. I think it turned out quite nice! Once I really get the hang of wrapping the jute I think I might try and sell some at the yard sale my sister and I are having next month.


Happy wrapping!