Well, it has been awhile since I have been able to get on here and post about anything. This last month has been absolutely nuts. March was filled with birthdays (mainly mine), baby showers and so many other random events. My birthday came and went pretty quiet. Pat was out in the field, so it was just me and the dogs. After that I headed to Florida for a baby shower. I did have a blast being able to go home for a few days and catch up with my friends and family. Meredith is super special and I am excited to meet Ellee (who it due to arrive any day now). That would make 11 friends of mine who have/are delivering over the next few months. Last weekend there were 3 born on all the same day. There is something going on with the water down in Florida 🙂
I had the chance to visit my old roommate and their newest addition to the family. Hunter has been in NICU since January. Here he is with the stuffed giraffe I gave him while I was there. Hunter has done remarkably well and his parents have been incredible through this entire ordeal. It’s nice to know that Hunter is now home and able to start having a “normal” baby life.
Since the Florida trip I have also been on a diet. After hopping on a scale while I was down there I decided enough was enough and it was time to do something. So far I have dropped 12lbs and I am sticking this out till I drop at least 15 more. Not doing it for any particular reason other then just wanting to feel better all around. It has been pretty easy to stick with it since Pat has been gone out in the field pretty much since I got back from Florida. Always makes it a little easier when you are only having to worry about cooking for only one person. Instead of having to make two separate meals.
The other day I did also notice that we have three weddings in the next couple of months that we will be attending. Thankfully, Solomon reminded me that his wedding was THIS June and not next year. We would have really been up a creek. Their wedding is in Charleston and the guys have a four day weekend, so we will hang around there and scope things out. I attended a bridal shower this past Saturday for our friends John and Crystal. They will be getting married towards the end of June. The following weekend two very close friends of ours will be getting married in Wilmington. So exited for Matty and Danielle. Especially since Matty is one of the first people I met here, and I always love being at that very beginning of relationships and seeing them get all the way to being married. So basically as I type this out I am now realizing there is a wedding every weekend once we get into mid-June. Get out you running shoes, Patrick. It’s going to be a busy few weeks.
March was also the start of a new career path for me. I have been very excited to be back in the medical setting and getting back into the groove of everything. One perk to working for dental and oral surgeons…half-day Fridays!!! BONUS!!! It is amazing how just a few extra hours one day a week can make such a huge difference. There is more time for me to enjoy the weekends with Pat then trying to get the house straitened up. Thought Pat has been gone so much over the last few weeks the house hasn’t gotten all that untidy. Talk about cutting down your laundry load…whew! He did come home for a day last weekend and also brought home the new MultiCam uniforms that deployed Army units are currently wearing. It looks like a bomb went off in the office and upstairs. I seriously have got to get some sewing lessons and figure out what to do with all the retired uniform patterns we now have in the house. Of course it always happens that while Pat is out in the field I get bit with the decorating bug. Mostly I do it to just stay busy and not get too “depressed” he is gone. My latest project took a little bit of time to complete just because I had to find the corks to complete the project. It took some doing but here is my finished product. Basically what you are looking at is a tray from Hobby Lobby, corks (that I split in half which I would NOT recommend doing), and hot glue to attach. Next time I will just make sure to have enough whole corks for whatever project I am doing. I about took off a finger in the process of splitting the corks.
Along with the projects I have also been baking a little here and there. I made some oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies last weekend that came out really good! I ended up substituting the butter for Kelapo coconut oil. YUM! It helped keep the cookies so moist. I highly recommend checking them out. One of my close girlfriends works with them and it’s awesome to support a smaller company. I also mastered the art of using pyhllo. Yikes, what a learning experience. I made 100 phyllo cups using this spinach dip recipe for the bridal shower I attended last weekend. The only reason I keep making them it they turn out great, but if you don’t have the patience of Job then I recommend buying the premade cups instead of making them on your own.
For a number of year growing up as a kid Sunday was pot roast day. The family would all go to church in the morning then come home to the house smelling of mouth watering pot roast. By the time you got done eating you had just enough time to take a quick nap and get dressed to go back to church. Over the last few months I have tried to be due diligent about planning out my meals for the week. I find that it makes my life so much easier when I am not coming home and having to figure it out right then and there. It also greatly helps with my spending at the commissary because I only go for those specific items and don’t deviate off that list at all.
Since the crock pot has been slightly unused in my kitchen lately I decided to search for a amazing pot roast recipe using the slow cooker. I was also planning to have this meal on Valentine’s Day since it seemed a little more fancy. Course we could have eaten tun fish sandwiches and Pat would have been just fine with that too.
Crock Pot Pot Roast
1 onion, sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (2 1/2 pound) boneless beef chuck roast
1 (1.2 ounce) package dry beef gravy mix
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1/2 cup water, or as needed
5 whole peeled carrots (optional)
I seasoned the meat with about half the packets mixed together and wrapped the meat in plastic wrap and let it sit for about 2 days. I don’t know if it made a big difference, but it helped to prepare the meal quicker the morning of.
Spray the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread the onion slices out into the bottom of the cooker.
Place the seasoned roast into the cooker on top of the onions. Whisk together beef gravy mix, ranch dressing mix, and Italian dressing mix in a bowl, and whisk the mixes with water until smooth. Pour over the chuck roast. Distribute carrots around the meat.
Cover the cooker, set to Low, and cook until the roast is tender and the gravy has thickened, about 8 hours.
*I know it seems like next to no water going in, but it really does work out just fine.
*Another side note is I did put aluminum foil on top of the crock pot then placed the lid on that. It helps to seal in all the moisture from being able to escape.
*I will also try adding potatoes next time too.
Yes, I know the title is a tad morbid, but it worked for me. The other day I was craving chili. We had gotten a pretty gnarly cold snap here and all it made you want to do was curl under a blanket and eat something warm. Now, for me to say I was craving chili means a lot. It’s never been a recipe that I would make on a continuous basis. With that being said I needed to find a recipe that would satisfy both Pat and myself. He isn’t the biggest veggies in recipes person, so I have to go about that differently. After a bit of hunting I landed on a Paula Deen recipe and another recipe from a site I can’t recall.
I had printed up the two recipes and then chose from each what I thought would mix well. I also did add Chorizo to the recipe. Cause, well, yum! Went over really well and highly recommend trying it.
So here is the recipe in proper “English”. I had to write down what I did cause I knew if I didn’t repeating it may be a bit of a challenge. I know it looks like this would have a lot of kick to it but it really was the perfect amount of heat to be a good bowl of chili. Of course you top it with diet food like shredded cheese and sour cream 😉
Chili con Aubree (yes, I am dubbing this after me)
1lb ground beef
1/2 tsp butter – Or more if you wanna make Paula proud.
1/2 white onion – I don’t like to be overloaded so add more if you like.
2 cans of light red kidney beans – Drain and rinse these please. That goop that is in the can is nasty.
1 1/2 can tomato sauce
2 tbsp chili powder – If you like is spicier go nuts with this.
1/4 tsp garlic salt
pinch of garlic powder – Course if Pat ruled the world this would be in everything.
pinch of sweet paprika – HIGHLY recommend buying from this company. The product is great!
Texas Pete Chipotle Hot Sauce – just so you know what to look for. I just use a bit.
1 bay leaf – Course Pat always asks “what’s with the leaf?”
Now, if you like chunks or bits of tomato in your chili add that as well. I just don’t like the texture so I leave them out. I just toss everything into the Dutch oven if I am making it that evening. Otherwise, make it in the morning and put in the crock pot on low till you get to it that evening. Enjoy!
If you have ever seen My Big Fat Greek Weeding the title to this blog would make sense to you. I love that movie for so many reasons. Where I am from in Florida there is a town about 10 minutes down the road that is a pretty famous Greek community. The Sponge Docks, as they are known, is one of the world’s largest producers of sea sponges. Next time you see a sea sponge for sale and check to see if it is from Tarpon Springs. The Sponge Docks is where I got my very first job. I worked at this little private aquarium and it was a blast. I loved being down there. The Greek culture is a very proud culture and it is evident there, but above all I fell in love with the food. If you mention Saganaki, Spanakopita or Greek salad (it has to have potato salad in the middle though) to me and I feel my mouth start to water.
Since moving up here it has been very hard to find a decent Greek restaurant, and I find myself craving a Pappa’s Greek salad from time to time. I found the following recipe in a Family Circle magazine a couple months ago and tried it the other night! OPA! It was amazing and it even came out pretty too! Unfortunately, the picture I tried to take did not come out so I had to find one online, but it did look exactly like this. If you love spinach, feta and bacon try this. You won’t be disappointed!
Spinach Feta Chicken Breasts Wrapped in Bacon – recipe from Family Circle magazine
1 pkg (1o oz.) frozen chopped spinach,thawed
8 oz feta cheese
1/2 c lt. mayonnaise
1 clove garlic,finely chopped
6 thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 oz. ea.)
1/2 tsp paprika
6 slices bacon
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place rack in large baking pan.
- Drain and squeeze liquid from spinach.
- In medium bowl, combine spinach, feta, mayonnaise and garlic.
- In batches, place chicken breast between sheets of waxed paper and pound to 1/8″ thickness
- Lay a couple slices of bacon down and then the breasts on top.
- Place about 3/4 c of filling down the center of each chicken breast. Roll up and secure each with 2 toothpicks.
- Sprinkle with paprika.
- Bake at 325 for 55-60 minutes or till chicken is done . Run under broiler for a minute or two if desired.
There are so many reasons I love Pinterest, but with this love comes a little resentment. For those of you who have been blessed to join the realm of Pinterest you understand the wealth of knowledge that the site holds. I can’t even begin to explain the recipes, crafting ideas and holiday decorating ideas that I have gathered from this site. The other night we had out Company FRG Thanksgiving potluck (whew, that was a mouth full). We were asked to bring a side item, so I went to Pinterest to scout out some ideas. This is what I came up with…
Just melt Hershey’s kisses (I did half regular and the other have the white chocolate ones) onto tiny twist pretzels (275 degrees, 3 minutes). Remove and immediately press a single m&m (I used the peanut butter ones) on each. Refrigerate until eating to make sure they are
This recipe went over really well because it’s a good mix of sweet and salty and pretty easy to manage. But this brings me to the “resentment” part of Pinterest. WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?!? Half the time I am on this site I find my self slapping myself in the forehead going “Seriously, how did I not think of this?” For instance…
Seriously, look at this. It’s a frame, ribbon tacked on and BAM you an instant card holder for Christmas. I need this in my life.
I like to think of myself as a pretty creative person when it comes to some things but maybe not..haha. I keep trying to think of a “brilliant” idea to get on there but nothing has come to me so far. I did have a recipe come out fantastic the other night but when I tried to take a picture and post it – fail. Picture didn’t come out. I will post the recipe soon because it really was awesome.
Have any of you seen or had any great ideas on Pinterest that you have either tried or getting ready to attempt? If so please share!
I feel a bit betrayed. Not going to lie. Here I think I am finding some nifty crafting ideas, home recipes, and other interesting tidbits in the blogging community. Do you know what I discovered? I was wrong. I happened across a friend’s Facebook status today and she mentioned Pinterest. Um, what it that? I had no idea, so me being me I Googled it.
Pinterest.com is like a Mecca for blogging ideas. Literally everything from crafts, recipes and so so much more. I spent half the afternoon on sensory overload. I felt like every time I refreshed the page there were 10 more crafts I had to “repin” on my board.
If you are into finding some awesome creative home decorating ideas this is the place to be. I have hardly had time to explore other areas yet but so far I am thrilled.
Once you sign up you really should check out this tutorial about how to use the site. It definitely helped me. I just sat there for the first few minutes and had no idea where to start or what to do. Also on the right hand side of this blog there is a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button in which you can see ideas I am saving to my boards for later use.
Now, go! Have fun!
Have you ever had to deal with the “other” woman? One thing Pat and I love to do is cook together. Last year when I moved up here I looking for a job for about 3 months and had a lot of downtime. I started getting hooked on to cooking shows. It was getting so bad I could literally schedule my day based on what cooking show was on.
I have several favorites that I make a point to either watch or record for later. I love love love anything with Michael Symon. I found out about this old 70s show, the Galloping Gourmet, which is totally cheesy but still good. The link I just gave to you is a clip from one of his shows. Seriously, watch it and you will see how goofy it gets.
I started catching reruns of Julia Child’s cooking show. How can you not love this woman? She is probably one of the most ungraceful people (besides myself) but that is why I love her. She is real. She made mistakes and moved not. Her shows were rarely edited cause it was just “her.”
And then we come to Paula Deen…Miss “Throw Another Stick of Butter and/ or a Cup of Mayo” with it. This woman has created an absolute empire around Southern drawls and comfort food cuisine. My parents went and ate at her restaurant a couple months ago and they both ordered pot pies. Mom said when they came out they were literally pie sized versions of the dish.I do have to say I do like the fact when she is cooking she uses Publix products. So shout out to Publix and if you don’t know what that is…sigh.
I had started scrolling through my TV guide regularly and making sure I was recording recipes Paula was doing that interested me. Okay, the woman frys just about everything so I recorded a lot. I remember the first time Pat came home from work and I was watching an episode of Paula cooking. Holy moly! All of sudden Pat was imitating the way she spoke, her mannerisms and anything else he could think of. He is OBSESSED with her. Calls her a Silver Haired Fox. There are times you almost feel like you need to leave the room when she is on. Have you ever paid attention to some of the things she will say when cooking? Next time if you see her on watch her and tell me there are moments you are going “Really, Paula? Did you really just go there?”
Thus, why I refer to her at the “other” woman. I guess there could be worse people Pat could be obsessed with. She does give me good cooking recipes that Pat is all to willing to test out for me, great one liners and a whole bunch of laughs from Pat. So in the end, just add another cup of mayo and smile 🙂
I plan on making this for dinner tonight Paula Deen’s – Baked Spaghetti recipe.