Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Green Bean Casserole

This isn't the traditional GB-Casserole with the canned soup and canned/frozen green beans, this is what I consider to be 100% homemade or as close to it as you can be.  I guess you could always make the fried onions yourself rather than out of a can.  But anyways this was delicious and while I was eating I heard a couple people ask who made them and comment about them.  And the best thing about them is they don't really take long to make. 

Green Bean Casserole
2 pounds Fresh Green Beans, Ends Cut Off
4 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/4 Inch Pieces
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
½ whole Large Onion, Chopped
4 Tbsp. Butter
4 Tbsp. All-purpose Flour
2-½ cups Whole Milk
½ cups Half-and-half
1-½ tsp Salt, More To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
⅛ tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 jar (4 Ounce) Sliced Pimentoes, Drained
Extra Milk For Thinning If Necessary
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs or French's Fried Onions

Boil green beans and then drain them and set to the side.  Add bacon to a skillet and cook for a few minutes and then add the garlic and onion and cook until the bacon is done but not crisp. 

In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat.

Add the onion mixture and the pimentos then pour over the green beans and stir gently. (you can do this is the dish you plan on baking it in or feel free to dirty another dish and do it in that.)  Sprinkle either the Panko bread crumbs or the onions over the green beans. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Adapted from Pioneer Woman.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jalapeno Popper Dip

FYI-I doubled the recipe, so if you want this much then double the recipe!
A couple weeks ago or so we went to a friends house and she had made this dip and it was absolutely wonderful, between the four of us I think we ate the whole batch.  After having it there I knew I wanted to take it to Thanksgiving.  At my friend's house we ate it with baguette slices and so I served it with the same, only thing is when you toast them in the oven make sure you get them crispy enough, I thought I did but when I ate some they didn't taste that great because they needed to be toasted longer.  I took the leftover dip to my family's get together on Friday and they ate them with Ritz and said it tasted really good!  This would be a perfect dish to serve at any get together-large or small, football parties, Christmas parties...you name it, take it!

Lee was being my hand model!

Jalapeno Popper Dip
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (4 oz.) can diced jalapeno peppers, drained
½ cup shredded Mexican style cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2-4 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix the panko and Parmesan in a small bowl and set to the side.  Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl till well blended, spread in a 9x9 baking dish.  Sprinkle the panko mixture over the cream cheese mixture and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until topping is golden and mixture is hot.  (If you had mine at Thanksgiving then you should know I forgot to spray mine with cooking spray therefore it wasn't golden.) 

Adapted from Annie's Eats & got the wonderful idea from my friend Kirbe to add BACON!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Basic Pie Dough

I made Annie's Basic Pie Dough a couple of weeks ago but I never took any pictures and so I decided just to provide you with links to Annie's recipe along with her tips and tricks.  Also here is a link to learn how to make a lattice pie crust.

I think this will be my shortest post ever!  Anyways Happy Thanksgiving, I will be making a few things today and tomorrow morning to take to my in laws house!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sopapilla Cheesecake

I've been wanting to make this for awhile now and I finally did!  I have a stack of recipes waiting to be posted but since Thanksgiving is this week I wanted to post this ASAP for those that are still looking for a dessert to make.  This was one of the easiest desserts I've ever made, I think I prepared it in 10 minutes.  And it was really good! 

Sopapilla Cheesecake
16 ounces cream cheese (2-bricks)
2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.  In a 9x13 dish lay out one can of the dough and spread the cream cheese mixture on top, then lay out another can of dough on top.  Melt the butter and pour on top followed by the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes. 
Adapted from Pillsbury. 

Baby Shower Cake & Update

Well I had all intentions of posting Monday through Thursday last week but I didn't create my posts ahead of time (even though I have about 10 or more recipes/pictures to be posted) and I was so busy with making cookies and a cake for a shower plus getting ready to be out of town Thursday-Monday that keeping up with my blog was impossible.  But I'm so sorry and this week I will be posting Monday-Wednesday.  I'm kind of sad because I was wanting to have quite a bit of holiday recipes posted so you all might be able to try out some of my recipes for your Thanksgiving Dinner but that didn't happen, but tomorrow I will post a Pie Crust Recipe and after Thanksgiving I'll get some stuff posted that could be used for Christmas!  I'll go through my recipes and if I have any other thing ready to be posted that is Holiday Dinner food then I'll double post tomorrow, or later today. 

Anyways below is a picture of a cake I did for one of my best friends baby shower.  I learned to decorate cakes when I was 10 and I haven't done a cake since I was 19 or 20.  Lately I have been really wanting to get back into it, possibly even make some for money, but I need to update my portfolio and practice so I saw my friends shower the perfect opportunity.  I wanted to make the cake 100% fondant but since I hadn't ever made a fondant cake I was scared to start out on a cake that had a deadline so I decided to ice it with Buttercream and accent it with Fondant.  I think it turned out pretty good considering it's been 4-5 years.  Oh and case your wondering the bottom was chocolate cake and the top was white cake with strawberry filling. (I'll post the strawberry filling recipe soon!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I was in the mood for Chili so I went to searching for a good recipe, until now I had only used the package spice stuff but I will never do that again.  It was so easy and tasted really good.  I ended up going with my friend Kirbe's recipe and I'm glad I did.  Now if you don't like spicy Chili or if children are going to be eating this then I'd play around with the Chili Powder, I used 5T. and Kirbe estimated she used 5-6 so I would think that maybe cutting it to 4 would be childproof but since I didn't try it that way then all I can say is to play around with it and maybe only add a tablespoon at a time. 

 *Gift Idea-You could combine all the spices and bottle/package it up and give it away and include directions with it.  I think this combo of spices is much better than buying one of those packages at the store.  I plan on making homemade taco seasoning and giving some away this Christmas so I don't know why you couldn't do this the same way. 

2lbs ground beef
1 large yellow sweet onion, diced
2 cans of beans, drained & rinsed (I used pinto & kidney but next time I'll only use pinto)
3 cans of tomatoes, with juice (I'd suggest using Chili Tomatoes or fire roasted tomatoes)
2 tbsp. oregano
2 tsp. ground cumin
3 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. chipotle chili powder
2-6 tbsp. Chili powder (depends on how spicy you want it, I used 5)
salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot combine your onions, beef, and seasonings and cook on medium high heat until your meat is browned.  Add your tomatoes and beans and bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. 

Adapted from my friend Kirbe and her blog, Mama's Kitchen

Monday, November 15, 2010

Beef Sandwich Spread

I have a stack of recipes to share with you guys but instead of choosing from that stack I decided to post the most recent new thing I have made because it was amazing!  This is pretty much the same thing as a Tuna Salad Sandwich but with beef.  And you can make it with leftover steak (that's what we did) or leftover roast.  Maybe you have ate it or heard of it but I'm 24 and my husband is 26 and neither of us ever had so I thought it deserved a post ASAP! 

*I'm not really going to put exact measurements because it all depends on how much beef you have and what you like but just imagine your making Tuna Salad. 

Beef Sandwich Spread
Steak or Roast, grind up in the food processor
boiled eggs
sweet pickle relish
white vinegar

Chop everything up and throw it together, mix & spread on bread!  As easy as that! 

*If you would like picture instructions or exact amounts please see my source, Pioneer Woman

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rich and Thick Hot Chocolate

When it's cold outside I have a SMALL obsession with homemade hot chocolate.  I haven't had hot chocolate in packets since I was probably 17 and even then I used to use milk instead of water.  My senior year in high school I lived with my grandparents and my grandfather would make a batch of hot chocolate made out of cocoa, the recipe that is on the side of the cocoa, and he would put it in a pitcher and I could heat me up a cup at a time whenever I wanted it.  I kept doing this for many years and last year I found this recipe, so this will be my 2nd winter with it.  Also I have substituted some of the milk for cream and it didn't really change the taste so I don't think it's worth the extra calories, do it if you wish but to  me it's not worth it.

Rich and Thick Hot Chocolate
1 cup water
2 squares  Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups  milk
1 tsp. vanilla
In a medium saucepan cook water and chocolate on medium heat until melted.  Stir constantly.  Add sugar and bring to boil.  Add milk and continue stirring constantly.  Turn down heat and add vanilla, continue stirring until heated through.  *You can also pour the mixture in a pitcher and heat up one glass at a time and store in the refrigerator for a couple of days.  I don't have the patience to let the stove heat it so I always heat it in the microwave once I had the vanilla!
Adapted from Kraft Foods.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

Potato Soup in a bread bowl from Panera Bread is my usual after surgery!  My hospital in Richardson has a Panera Bread on the way to the hospital from our old apartment so every morning Lee would bring me a smoothie, bagel, and cream cheese and after surgery he'd bring me potato soup in a bread bowl with a half of a turkey sandwich.  I'm not sure which turkey sandwich it is but I know it has Gouda cheese on it, still to this day that is the only thing I have ever ate with Gouda cheese and I love it!!!  Oh and a couple of times after surgery my dear friend Kourtney brought me my usual from Panera that way Lee could sleep.  Those were afternoon surgeries so Lee had to stay up all day and I wanted him to go home and get sleep.  I know that probably sounds odd to some of you that I stay at the hospital all by myself but I actually prefer it that way, most of the time.  But I'm lucky to have had my friend nearby that could help us out!  Anyways enough about the hospital, more about food!  This was really good but I was missing green onions because I forgot to buy them and a bread bowl because I didn't think about one till it was too late...actually scratch that I prolonged going to the store by making this because I had all the ingredients at home already so I figured I could go without green onions for the sake of staying at home in my PJ's!

Baked Potato Soup
2 tbsp butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup flour
4 1/2 cups milk
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
4 baked potatoes
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
For garnishing
sour cream
green onions, chopped
bacon, cooked & crumbled

Bake the potatoes in the oven or the microwave before you get ready to make soup, this can even be done the day before if you don't have time to bake the potatoes the same day.

In a large pot melt butter and add garlic and saute for a minute.  Add the flour and mix together and then slowly add the milk and whisk together until smooth.  Once smooth add chicken broth and bring to boil and heat until the soup thickens. 

Turn it on low, scoop the potatoes out of skin and add to soup.  Mix it together until you get the desired consistency of soup.  I like mine completely mashed so I used a potato masher, but if you like chunks then a wooden spoon would work.  Turn the heat up if you need to warm the potatoes and cook for 5-10 minutes. 

Add 1 cup of the cheese, salt, and pepper.  Serve and add sour cream, bacon, green onions, and more cheese for garnish. 

Adapted from Recipe Indulgence.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pepper Steak

I had this meal years back when I was with my exes family and it was really delicious so I had to get the recipe.  Of course when I was at the store buying the things for it I went to get the Bell Pepper and Lee looks at me and says NO, he will not eat it if I put the pepper in it so I had to leave that out.  I don't always eat bell pepper's but I do like the flavor it leaves so I usually always add it if it's in the recipe but that day Lee caught me before I could.  But hopefully one day I will make this dish for company and Lee will have no choice in the matter.

Pepper Steak
1 pound of round steak-1/2 inch thick
1 tbsp paprika
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp margarine or butter
2 cloves of garlic
1 can  or 1 1/2cups of beef broth
1 cup sliced green onions with tops
2 green (bell) peppers cut in strips
2 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 large ripe tomatoes cut in wedges
3 cups already cooked rice

Pound steak to 1/4 thickness and then cut into 1/4 inch wide strips. Sprinkle meat with paprika, salt and pepper and allow to stand while preparing other ingredients.

In a large skillet, brown meat in butter. Add garlic and broth, cover and simmer 30 minutes.  Stir in onions and green peppers, cover and cook 5 more minutes.  Blend cornstarch with water and then blend it along with the soy sauce into the skillet with the meat.  Turn up the heat and stir until mixture is thick, then turn down the heat.  Add tomatoes and stir gently.  Serve over rice.

Adapted from The Brinegar Family. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Spinach Dip

I'm not sure if this even deserves a post because you can easily get this recipe on numerous packages of food, like a package of either Lipton or Knorr Vegetable Soup and and Dip Mix.  But it's really good so it does belong here because just in case you have never made it or you have had this dip at parties but never knew the recipe, well here it is.  Or I almost forgot about the people that have never tried it or think that they don't like spinach, I thought I didn't like spinach till I tried it and now I'm addicted and open to all kinds of recipes with spinach.  And it is VERY easy to make!  I chose the Lipton Mix because it was cheaper and the only difference I believe in the recipe was how much sour cream and of course the mix.  But if you choose the Knorr and the recipe isn't on the back of the package then go to Knorr's website and look it up.  Personally I can't tell the difference in taste so I say go for what's cheaper! 

Spinach Dip
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Vegetable Soup Mix
8oz. sour cream
1 Cup Real Mayonnaise
1 pkg. 10oz. frozen chopped spinach
1 can 8oz. water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)

Thaw the spinach and drain all the excess water out with your hands.  In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix.  Chill for 2 hours and then serve. 

I suggest serving them with something like this, I had it once at my Sister's with I believe this brand and it's the best thing I've ever had dipped in it.

Adapted from Lipton Recipe Secrets Vegetable Soup Mix.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm thankful for...

First I wanna say that I have planned on NOT posting on Friday's till after my 2 surgeries.  (I'm having 2 surgeries sometime before the end of the year, the dates isn't set yet)  I figured if I'm cooking like normal now and build up recipes and maybe skip posting on Friday's then while I'm out recovering I can still keep posting!  Ok enough about that...

So the reason in my post is I want to make a list of 40 things I'm thankful for.  Alot of people on Facebook are posting a status everyday of something new they are thankful for but I wanted to write it on my blog so I can always have it to read.  Sometimes I get down about my situation and I think it'd be a good idea to have a list where I can look back at it anytime I need cheering up and I can be reminded of good things in my life, if I posted it everyday as my status it'd be hard to look back at it.  Also November is a hard month for me, for some reason it seems like November is the month that my life is always turned upside down...my parents split when I was 13 in November (which ended up being the best thing for all of us) and I was diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri on November 29, 2008.  I gotta say though I rarely ever think about my parents divorce anymore as a bad thing because it did turn out to be better for everyone but as a kid I would say that was the most traumatic event and as an adult my diagnosis was.  Anyways enough about that I'm ready to list all the stuff I'm thankful for. 

1.  I'm thankful for God.  I've never been much of a religious person but in 2007 my life was saved twice, one time I should've died in a car wreck and another time I should've been diagnosed with a horrific disease but I was saved.  And then regardless of what anyone else thinks about mine and Lee's short engagement and dating time (married 7 weeks after our first date) I believe God brought Lee to me a little over a month after I was diagnosed with PTC because I needed someone to take care of me!  And I feel like it was God's plan for us to marry so quick.  But without God none of those things would've happened. 

2.  I am thankful for my husband, Lee.  He drives me crazy sometimes but at the end of each day he is the one I want by my side.  I love him so much it's unreal.  We have our ups and downs be we have an AMAZING relationship and knowing that he'll always be by my side makes life so much easier!

3.  I am thankful for my family!  My family has been by my side through alot in my life, I have made quite a few mistakes but they have always been there.  I would love to list all the wonderful things each of them have done for me in my life or tell you about each of them separately but you would be here forever reading.  But from my Great grandparents to my Aunt's and Uncle's...they have all played an important role in my life. 

4.  I am thankful for my Sister and her family!  Okay I know I just said I wasn't going to list them individually but I only have one sister so I can't hurt any one's feelings by listing her.  But I am so thankful for our relationship, she is and always will be my best friend.  And her husband is amazing as well!  Bart, my brother in law has been there for me since I was in high school.  He came into the family and saw me at my worst but I don't think he's ever really judged me.  And his family is awesome, his parents have always treated me as one of their own when I am around and when I got married they treated Lee like part of the family as well!  And then there is my nephews...I never cared much about having kids until Hayden was born.  The first time I held him I knew I couldn't go through life without being a mother! 

5.  I am thankful for my in-laws.  I am a little sad because I have not spent the amount of time I wish I could with them since getting married because of my illness but I love each and every one of them and look forward to getting to know them all better than I do now! 

6.  I am thankful for my friends.  I have 2 really close friends, Michelle and Kourtney.  Kourtney and I have been friends since we were little girls and we grew apart once I was in middle school and then reunited when I was 21.  We picked up right where we left off and I am so thankful to have her back in my life.  And Michelle and I have been running around in the same group of friends since 5th grade but didn't become best friends till 8th grade (I think, or 7th).  We we're always together in high school, we even both worked at the same place, they just couldn't separate us!  And I am so thankful to report we are still very close even though we rarely get to see each other.  Though I'm sure that's changing because she did live in Austin and I lived in the DFW area and now she lives in Whitney again.  Anyways so to these two wonderful ladies I am very thankful to call both of you my best friends, y'all both bring out the best in me and have always been there for me and I love both of y'all! 

7.  I am thankful for my doctors!  I have a opthamologist, neurologist, pain management, neuro surgeon, PCP, gastroenterologist, and physical therapists; I am very thankful for this team of doctors that have gotten me to where I am today and are not giving up on getting me pain free. 

8.  I am thankful for my PTC family!  I started off on a support group online in Jan. 09 and I have known some of these wonderful people since then.  And now there's a circle of people on Facebook that I am friends with.  I am lucky to have wonderful friends and family that understand my pain but I feel a special connection to all these wonderful people I have met, they truly know how I feel.  I have 2-3 really special friends but I want to say I am very thankful for Kirbe coming into my life.  She is a very close friend and I have so much in common with her, I couldn't decide to put her in this column or in my best friend column.  She doesn't live too far from me so we have met and I hope to be able to hang out with her more!

9.  I am thankful for my Health.  I know my health is bad but it could always be worse.  I never even thought about my health until I got sick.  I pray that one day my health is better but for now I'm just going to be thankful it's not worse.

10.  I am thankful for my disease.  As oddly as this may seem that I am thankful for this, it's true, I am thankful because I was a different person before.  I know I am not the greatest person now and I still have faults but I think I am a better person now!  I see so many people on facebook complaining about working and this and that and it's like REALLY?  Get over it!  Or they complain about their kids...GET OVER IT!  I wish I had a kid to cause me stress!  Yes I know everyone handles problems differently but so many things I see people complain about are a result of something they did.  Do something about it...change your life, get a different job, etc.  It's your life, your in control...if you don't like something about it change it.  You may be wondering why I'm writing all this in this spot but it's because I used to be one of those people that complained about stupid things that I could change.  So in the end I am thankful for my disease because I am now thankful for life in a totally different way!  And I know I still complain about stupid things like other people because this paragraph is proof I do cuz I'm complaining about the people that complain about stuff haha but I really do try not to and complaining about lil things that won't matter in a year really does push my buttons.  And I'm glad to now be aware of it all.

11.  I am thankful for my insurance!  I am so happy to have insurance and to be able to go to my doctors without having to worry about how I'm going to pay for this and that. 

12.  I am thankful for my dog.  If you don't have a dog or animal you might not understand this but there is a reason why hospitals have dog therapy, maybe the real reason is different than why I think it is but my dog cheers me up when I am down and makes me so happy!  He actually doesn't like me crying...it doesn't matter what he is doing or where he is at but if he hears me crying he runs to me and licks my tears away and gives me a hug!  Yes a HUG, he puts one paw on one shoulder and the other paw on the other side and puts his lil face right up next to mine!  It's so sweet! 

13.  I am thankful for the internet.  Oh my without the internet I would be so so bored!  It passes so much time by for me and it has so much valuable information! :)

14.  I am thankful for my cooking and blog!  I have been cooking since I was little and I am so glad to now have a husband to cook for.  And my blog is a way for me to make my contribution to society...and to give me something to do and be proud of!  I have lots of hopes and dreams for my blog!

15.  I am thankful for Mavis Beacon.  hahaha...as I'm typing this thinking of things I'm thankful for I was thinking WOW I'm glad I can type fast and the correct way.  And well good ol' Mavis Beacon is how I learned how to type, would say Coach Wimberley but nope I learned how to type before then. 

16.  I am thankful for all my other friends and Facebook friends.  Don't think I forgot about you...I know I mentioned my PTC friends and my 2 best friends but I am so thankful for ALL of my friends!  Over the past 2 years yall have prayed for me and many of you have even had your churches praying for me and I cherish each and every one of yall's relationships.  I know alot of my friends on FB are people from high school that I didn't even talk to much but some of you have really turned into great friends! 

17.  I am thankful for other food blogs!  I pass so much time by--by looking at food blogs and finding recipes.  And then I get such wonderful recipes to add to my blog!!

18.  I am thankful for Hip2Save & my Mother in Law.  My mother in law told me about Hip2save and gave me a printout about couponing so I learned about a whole other world of couponing and blogs that taught you how and matched coupons with ads for you and saved you lots of time and money!

19.  I am thankful for my job.  Even though I no longer work I did have a wonderful job before I became sick and I am still considered an inactive employee so maybe one day I'll get to return. 

20.  I am thankful for medicine.  Even though there is no cure for PTC I have hope that one day there will be, hopefully in my lifetime, but I am thankful for inventions like Shunts & Ports....and also all the medicine in the world that helps cure people or take their pain away!

21.  I am thankful for my Port.  I have never had the greatest veins but since my veins have so much scaring now they are even worse.  And now with my port doctors and nurses can access it for either an IV or to get blood with only one stick! 

22.  I am thankful for my Iphone.  Best device ever invented!  Everyone should get one. 

23.  I am thankful for all of my kitchen appliances.  Okay so this is getting hard to think of things I'm thankful for, but really...I love my kitchen stuff.  When we moved we had more kitchen boxes than any other room and that was the first room that I unpacked.  I love my kitchen stuff and I am thankful to have all of it.

24.  The last one led me up to...I am thankful my Mom sales Pampered Chef.  I love all my Pampered Chef stuff.  I use atleast one PC item a day, if not more!

25.  I am thankful for the lack of money we have.  Yeah I know another strange one but I am thankful for it.  When I worked and even when I was single and working I had a very good job and pretty much bought whatever I wanted.  Yeah of course I couldn't go out and shop at Saks or things like that but if I wanted new clothes I would go, if I wanted a new appliance I'd go, if I wanted to go get my hair done, go get a pedicure, go buy someone a present, and the list goes on I would just go and do it without much thought into it.  Bottom line I was bad with money even though I had it.  I should've been saving money and had a set budget but I didn't.  So I am now thankful that we do have to have a budget and we do have to think about every dollar we spend because even though it really sucks right now it's teaching us a lesson and one day when we do have money again we will know how to set a budget and stick to it and not buy useless stuff!  And I'm glad to be learning this in my 20's rather than in my 40's. 

26.  I am thankful for all my husband's t-shirts!  haha!  So again the popular phrase..."before I got sick" all I pretty much wore was dress pants and semi dress shirts that I wore to work, I don't even think I owned jeans.  Ok I think I did own one pair.  So when I stopped working I wasn't going to dress up to go to the store so I started wearing all of Lee's shirts.  He gained weight after we got married so he had to go up a size so that left me with a bunch of shirts to myself.  And considering all I do is sit at home, cook, go to the store, and go to doctors offices/hospitals then all I need is t-shirts!

27.  I am thankful for my furniture!  The only furniture we have ever bought together was our couch/sectional.  Besides that Lee had bought a TV and a TV stand prior to me and I had bought a TV stand and side tables, other than that everything was given to us.  Of all the stuff I was given, furniture wise I am most proud of my great grandparents bedroom suite.  It was very well taken care of and very nice!  And not out of style.  I wish it was a bigger bed but hey it was free so it'll work for now!  I also have another bedroom suite that was my grandmother's and both of those bedroom suites I plan on keeping forever or passing down to my kids.  I like furniture that means something!  Anyways but bottom line I am thankful that my grandmother and mom gave me furniture when I was moving out!

28.  I am thankful for past relationships.  Rather if you realize it or not or want to acknowledge it or not we all learn something from our failed relationships.  Hopefully we take something good out of it rather than something bad.  But I am thankful to have had them, some of them I wish I would've been smarter and ended them sooner...but I wouldn't of learned the things I learned.

29.  I am thankful for my memories!  I think I would be a very sad person if my memories we're erased.  I have lots of good memories with lots of wonderful people. 

30.  I am thankful for pictures!  I love looking at pictures, some pictures when you look at them can take you back to that exact moment.  For one second you feel like you did when you  had the picture taken!  I am so thankful for pictures!  I wish I would start taking more of them! 

31.  I am thankful for my Nannie, Pappy, Meme, Mom, and Mema for teaching me how to cook/bake growing up.  And for my Mema teaching me how to decorate cakes!   

32.  I am thankful for my husband's job.  I am glad my husband has such a great job to support us! 

33.  I am thankful for my education.  Even though I chose not to continue my education past high school I am thankful for my high school education.  Now I just wish I would've listened a little more in English class because I'm sure there are so many errors on here and for all you people out there that are correcting me in your head and your reading, I'm Sorry!!!  But if you think this is bad you should hear me talk.  :) 

34.  I am thankful for hair.  Though it really wasn't that bad shaving my head and being bald.  I really enjoyed not having hair, considering what I went through it was much easier going without hair then.  But now that I have it back I am so thankful to have it a normal length again.  I no longer have to explain to people unless I want to that I had brain surgery.

35.  I am thankful for Redbox.  Even though we tend to get one and keep it for days and it costs us even more, it's nice to be able to go to a machine in numerous locations and be able to rent a movie for a dollar and even better be able to take it back to any location! 

36.  I am thankful for cars.  I was one of those brats that had a brand new car at 16, well actually I got one at 15 and then another new one at 16.  Then I had another new one at 20.  That's the one I wrecked and even though it was horrible it did have perfect timing because I was just promoted and got a company car.  Since I wrecked my car and got a company car I saw no reason to replace my car.   I was lucky and got to keep my company car while I was out on short term disability (for 6 months) but then when I went to long term disability they came and took my car.  There was no reason to replace it and buy me another one since I don't work, so me and Lee only have one car.  At first it was hard mentally because I have had a car since I was 15.  But now I don't care, no point in paying insurance for another or having a car payment!  Actually this is another one of those things I have learned a lesson on...if you can make it on one car them share a car and save money to pay cash for a 2nd car and new cars are over-rated, had 4 of them.  As soon as I'm able to work again that's what we have intentions of doing!  Why finance something when you can save and pay!  But I am very thankful for the car we do have! 

37.  I am thankful for my attitude.  It does suck sometimes and I do have an attitude and opinion on some things but overall I am thankful for my POSITIVE attitude!

38.  I am thankful for skillets, chicken, and sweet tea.  Three of my favorite things that involve a kitchen.  I have a bad sweet tea addiction but it's okay because it's cheaper and healthier than Dr. Pepper.  I love skillets...I'm not sure why but I get the urge to buy one every time I see one.  I have 5 skillets already but I would love more!  And chicken, well it's my favorite dish.  I always have some in my freezer and I am always on the look out for new chicken recipes. 

39.  I am thankful for coupons!  We kind of have a love/hate relationship though because I love to use them but I hate to cut them.  Right now my coupons are not organized in their binders like they should be, I am actually changing up the way I organize them but I just haven't done it yet!

40.  Last but not least, I am thankful for LIFE!  That explains itself! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Crock Pot French Dip

Growing up one of my favorite things my Mom made was Au Jus sandwiches, she didn't make them much but when she did it was a big treat for me.  And I think when I was 17 or 18 I discovered Quizno's french dip type sub and I fell in love.  I used to eat one of those all the time, still when I go to Quizno's that is one of my top choices.  I always see those Au Jus packages and I don't know why I haven't ever made it before now but when I ran across this recipe I had to try it.  It was really good.  Lee just ate it as a sandwich without dipping it in the juice but I dipped it and it tasted really good. 

Crock Pot French Dip
1 2.5-3 lb. beef roast (you can use a frozen roast if you want)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 1-ounce packages dry onion soup mix
2 c. water
2 cans beef broth
6-8 large buns
Swiss, provolone, or mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced.

Heat the oil up in a skillet.  Salt and pepper the roast and sear all sides of the roast.  (your not cooking the meat you are just browning it to lock in the flavor)

Place roast in the crock pot and pour the soup mix, water, and broth into the crock pot and cook for 8-10 hours on low. 

When done shred the meat and place on your buns and top with your cheese.  You can stick in the oven and broil for a minute. 

Adapted from Our Best Bites.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jiffy Corn Casserole

This might be what I consider a "classic" dish that you all have had, I'm really not to sure though because I hadn't had it till last year for Christmas and then I made it again a couple weeks ago.  It's very easy to make and really really good.  This is another dish that would be a good item to make for your upcoming Holiday dinner.

Jiffy Corn Casserole
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
2 eggs, beaten
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 stick butter, melted (or 1/2 c. oil)
1 c. sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a 9x13 casserole dish.  Bake for 30-45 minutes or until done. 

Adapted from Cooks.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Cupcakes

Well there's not really a recipe with this at the moment, later on I will give you the recipe for the icing but for now I just want to share with you the cupcakes!  So this was supposed to be my post on Friday and it was really long telling you all how awesome of a mother my sister is but then it got erased! 

Well I'll make this much shorter than what it was but I stayed the night with my Sister and every time it amazes me.  She is so patient with her children and to me she really is the best mother I have ever seen.  And after seeing my nephew at daycare interacting with other kids and being the most well behaved kid there I think my Sister's mothering skills are working.  I guess bottom line she spends time teaching them things and being with them and stays up late at night after they have gone to bed doing other things that she needs to get done instead of doing them while they are awake and abandoning them.  Oh and for the record she's NOT a stay at home mom, she is a high school math teacher and her husband is a high school head basketball coach/teacher so really as a friend recently put it, she's a single parent 9 months out of the year.  Anyways I'm going to stop going on and on about my Sister but I hope one day I am as good of a mother as she is.  I love her and her family so much!  Oh yeah her husband is a really good Dad as well and a terrific husband, me and my Sister hit the jackpot on husbands!

So here are some Halloween Cupcakes that we made together, I made the cupcakes and icing and iced them but she did the hard part and made the chocolate bats a couple of days before hand. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Maple Brown Sugar Ham

First I want to apologize for my lack of posting on Thursday and Friday, I had gone out of town to my Sister's house and I didn't have time to post Wednesday night or Thursday because I was packing and getting ready to be gone all weekend and then when I tried to post at my Sister's house on Friday my internet connection went crazy...I don't know what was wrong it would allow me on Facebook but not on here.  Anyways I'm back and I already have all my posts ready for the week.  :) 

I've been trying to come up with and post holiday recipes and I'm not about to cook a big Turkey before hand so I figured I'd do a Ham.  I really liked the flavor of this Ham I just made a mistake and bought the wrong cut of Ham so it had entirely too much fat for me.  I couldn't even tell you what kind I bought I just know it had a bone and next time I will buy one without a bone.  And next time I will be asking either my Dad, Mom, or Grandparents which cut they buy because I want one like I've had at their houses not like this one.  But regardless of the cut of Ham this recipe is wonderful and the flavor was really good!  Enough babbling here's the recipe...

Crock Pot-Maple Brown Sugar Ham
7-8lb. ham
2 cups pineapple juice
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup REAL maple syrup

Place your ham flat side down in the crock pot.  Rub the brown sugar on all sides of the ham.  Whisk together the maple syrup and the pineapple juice in a bowl and then pour over the ham.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours.  An hour before serving, baste ham with the collected juices from the bottom of the slow cooker. 

Let your ham rest 10 minutes on the carving board before you cut into it.

Adapted from This Mommy Cooks.