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Thursday, December 30

artichoke dip

a picky eater i may be and this recipe encompasses two things that i dont like but somehow the combination i love! i just pretend like they aren't in there...the first time ann hughston ever made this for me i think i said "there's mayo in this isnt there?" haha...enjoy her artichoke dip as we will be enjoying it at the lake this weekend for new years! 


what you need
1 can of quartered artichokes (chopped up)
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup of Parmesan cheese
Just enough mayo to cover the artichokes when stirring
paprika for garnish

what you do
put butter and onion in microwave safe bowl.  cook in microwave for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. heat more/less depending on your microwave until onions are soft. mix onions and artichokes in bowl--add mayo slowly by the spoonful until covers artichokes.  add parmesan cheese.  Put in a casserole dish and sprinkle with paprika.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes/until hot

Wednesday, December 29

ranch and black pepper cheese ball

this weekend we are headed to gill's lake house on lake marion. in charge of some appetizers, i'm trying some new recipes that i hope are a success! today i am making a chocolate chip pound cake (go figure) and trying out a new cheese ball recipe which hardly sounds like it could be bad! 

ranch and black pepper cheese ball

what you need
2-8oz packages of light cream cheese
1 package hidden valley ranch powder mix
cracked black pepper
2 dashes hot sauce

what to do
in a food processor mix cream cheese, ranch, and hot sauce until well blended. then form into a ball on wax paper.  finally roll in cracked black pepper.  wrap tight in saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.  serve cold with crackers. 

our snow bunny

Saturday, December 25

merry merry merry Christmas

merry Christmas! 
who would have ever imagined there would be this many stockings on our mantle? hopefully you have a good Christmas full of lots of fun things, family bonding, while remembering the true reason we celebrate the holiday...it is so interesting to hear about everyones family Christmas traditions and how Christmas was done when you were little...


for me however i still request that santa comes every year and no presents appear until the christmas morning...santa still gets milk and cookies and wraps every single one of our presents as well as the contents of our stockings.  sid still sits in his chair and is on wrapping paper clean up duty with his cup of coffee dictating when we take breaks from the festivities. 


monica and jeramy will be here soon and the gift opening will begin.  what a fun year to add in 2 dogs, a husband, and fiance to the guertin mix.  i secretly think sid is just thankful to have 3 boys [including wilson] home for the holidays...merry, merry, merry Christmas! 

Friday, December 24

the most wonderful time of the year

today is one of my favorite parts of Christmas! despite the fact that we have to deal with hectic traffic, heading to Mt. Pisgah for Christmas Eve service is by far one of my favorite things! for some reason the cute sermons always stick with me throughout the rest of the year and seeing how they play joy to the world and hark the herald angel sing how can i resist!?
the Compton's are coming over this year to join us for Christmas Eve church and dinner too!  Percy meets her new "squeaky toy" Wilson for the first time as Sid says! can't wait to open up our traditional Christmas Eve presents...a new Christmas ornament to add to the tree as well as our Christmas pajamas!

Thursday, December 23

play date with joe's besties!

joe's 2 best friends from growing up sanders and william are bonding with us today in montgomery! what a special treat that we get to have some play time with them while we are in town!  hope everyone is enjoying the countdown to Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 22

safe travels

safe travels to everyone who is heading out for the holidays! we are finishing up our last minute packing and heading to montgomery for a few days before coming home to spend Christmas with my family in atlanta.  this will be joe's first guertin holiday which should be lots of fun in itself! wilson is pumped for a car ride and napping in my lap which won't last much longer as he's gained over 2 pounds since we got him weighing 15 lbs on monday at the vet! 


i cannot wait to delve into my "thank you for having me presents" of the typical christmas tree chocolate covered pretzels from fresh market that have been staring me in the eyes for the last few days now! 

Tuesday, December 21

happy tuesday

so there hasnt been lots of cooking [hence slacking recipes] lately with the puppy around...we've been lucky to get dinner in whatever form we can! he do LOVE wilson though and he keeps us on our toes.  he sleeps through the night and hardly makes a peep in the morning which we love too!

tonight at 7:15 he starts puppy school although he's already an expert at sit and lay down with the proper treat incentives! we'll be sure to let you know how his 8 week training course goes! 

for 2011 we are getting back into cooking mode and i cannot wait to try out my slew of new recipes and share them too!

Monday, December 20

happy 1st birthday percy

last year the compton's [germs fam] golden had more puppies and the little one with the pink ribbon around her neck, miss pink, stole mom's heart!  our whole family is so excited to have percy as part of our life! i will take credit for the coercing of my mother and reassuring her that this was a great idea! it really has proven to be and i hope that wilson is half as good as she is.  she is a great mind reader and knows how to "come hug me like i like it" with her head on my shoulder and will let me pull her into my lap like she was before she got to be 70+ lbs.  


happy birthday little miss percy pink!

my favorite baby pic of percy!
percy comes home last year! love that her tongue is out! 

Thursday, December 16

wilsons first week home

good morning!  its been one week since wilson arrive and wilson is loving his first days home.  despite advice that he should only meet one person a day he didn't mind meeting lots of friends all last weekend! grammie and gramps came by and monica and germ had a sleep over! he met ann hughston and aunts carrie & rachel too! the little girls i babysit for down the street [own the girl wheaten we fell in love with] came over and played for a little bit on saturday evening and on monday, taylor and katie were added to his list of besties!
 monday morning he goes to this second vet appointment and if i may recommend to any one in atlanta with a pet, buckhead animal clinic was amazing! they are a walk in vet clinic so that they reduce the need for appointments, cancellations, etc and are first come, first serve. wilson gets his s-h-o-t-s [we spell the bad words haha] on monday and hopefully can get them all in one day and we won't need to come back for any more. he can't wait to play with his pet friends percy and ted!

he wins us over every day and there is no puppy [percy ties with him i guess] that is so lovable and hugs and kisses on you all the time. i would have to say the best part of the day is getting ready for work in the am, blow drying my hair with a puppy curled up at my feet.

we love wilson!

Wednesday, December 15

exhaustion sets in...


so this is what exhaustion feels like! although i am loving every second of wilson time i wish it wasn't a mommy and daddy effort every single time he needed to get out of his crate in the middle of the night. it is funny though how fast joe and i are able to jump out of bed at the mere whimper.  he is such a sweetie and how can you mind getting puppy kisses at 3am although waking up for walks in 15 degrees windy weather at 6am i could really do without but he loves them so much!
us watching sunday night tv haha
we are very excited though because next week he gets to go on some road trips and has an exciting week! to montgomery and then to meet percy and christmas only followed by new years at gill's lake house.

Tuesday, December 14

dinner night with katie and taylor

dinner night yesterday with katie and taylor was a success [despite caroline not being able to be there].  katie brought a yummy goat cheese, avocado, and mixed greens salad with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette and i made the joye family recipe of chicken divan [no mayo...no butter]
wilson has nothing to do with this meal but is so cute!!!
chicken divan

what you need...
4 large chicken breasts cooked
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
16 oz. light sour cream
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 oz. broccoliettes

what you do...
mix together soup, sour cream and cheese. pour mixture over chicken and broccoli in a 9 X 13 pan. bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Sunday, December 12

red velvet cupcakes

katie and caroline are coming over tomorrow night for dinner to celebrate katie's birthday as well as meet wilson! for a birthday treat [what a good excuse!] we are having red velvet brownies! 


if you don't get southern living magazine, you should...though it may be "stuffy" at times the recipes are to die for!  in the december issue there were tons of great ideas! below is red velvet brownies with home made cream cheese frosting...amazing! 


what you need [for the brownies]...
1 (4 oz) bittersweet chocolate baking bar chopped up
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 oz bottle of red food coloring
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt


what to do...
preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  line the bottom of a 9x9 pan with foil so that you can get the brownies out of the pan.  lightly grease the foil.


microwave the chocolate and butter in a large bowl for 1-2 minutes or until melted/smooth stirring ever 30 seconds.  whisk in sugar.  add eggs one at a time.  gently stir in flour and next 4 ingredients.  pour mixture into the pan (foiled and greased).


bake for 44-48 minutes.  cool completely (2 hours) before removing from pan (if you rush this part they fall apart completely).


lift brownies from pan and frost with frosting (see below)...then finally cut them brownies and garnish if you'd like with white chocolate curls. 


what you need [for the frosting]...
8 ounces of softened cream cheese (1/3 less fat will do)
3 tbsp butter (softened)
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract


what to do...
beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy.  gradually add powdered sugar and salt until blended...stir in vanilla.  works best with the hand mixer vs. kitchen aid stand mixer!

Thursday, December 9

welcome home wilson

thankfully carrie had scissors or wilson still may have been in the box! 
our airport friends and as carrie says, the lady was the pediatrician comforting wilson and the man was the ob/gyn comforting mommy! 


a quick pit stop to daddy's office!
mom...can we play now?!

Wednesday, December 8

humble yourself

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
~Ephesians 2:8-10

Tuesday, December 7

on the first day of christmas...


educational moment [for me]... the 12 days of Christmas are the 12 days between the birth of Christ (Dec 25) and Epiphany (Jan 6) when the wise men came!

Monday, December 6

besties


pig and kent leaving in the getaway car! 
i still cannot get over just how amazing this past weekend was!  pig & kent's wedding was so beautiful [including the bride!] and so much fun! she did an amazing job planning everything and had so many special details! 

the newlywed on sunday am!
so thankful for my besties and such amazing people in my life!!!

besties

Saturday, December 4

pig gets married!

the excitement over the past months has all boiled down to today! cannot wait to be part of pig's & kent's wedding! bridal luncheons, hair appointments, photos, and of all leading up to her perfectly planned wedding! cannot wait for 6:00pm to get here! 
pig and kent--last year at an engagement party of mollie and jay's
to pig and kent--what a beautiful bride she will be! 

Thursday, December 2

peanut butter pie

too good of a recipe not to share--i made this last week as well for the various thanksgiving celebrations we had going on...


jif peanut butter pie


what you need...
1 cup jif creamy peanut butter (reduced fat is fine)
1-8oz. package of 1/3 less fat or fat free cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1-12oz container of cool whip (choose the lite version--also most containers are only 8oz so you may have to get the big version)
1-pre made pie crust
a bottle of chocolate syrup


what to do...
beat together peanut butter, cream cheese, and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well combined.  slowly add the cool whip.  spoon mixture into pie shell. drizzle some chocolate syrup on the top of the pie and then spread topping over pie covering entire peanut butter layer. refrigerate until set and drizzle with chocolate syrup before serving.

Tuesday, November 30

its christmas at the davis house!

its christmas time and if you didn't know that you'll be well aware when you come to our fully festive house! don't worry, we don't have blow up santa snow globes in the front yard though after halloween in our neighborhood, i'd be surprised if i didn't see at least one blow up snowman in the neighbors yard.


if life is all about who you know then i won the lottery! i have been so blessed to have great friends in atlanta and very talented ones at that! carrie ["the designer"] & rachel ["the event planner"] stayed over after greer ["the trainer"] monday night and helped me with the christmas decor.  though i had the tree up, i had many pages of southern living tabbed for them to help me replicate!  



rachel & carrie did the bows on the wreaths as well as both saying "a little to the left...little more...little more" as i was standing on a white slip-covered chair [thankfully washable!]  needless to say there is now a festive wreath on our front door and one hanging from our gold leaf mirror that both look amazing!  



after rachel left, carrie did some more magic and strategically placed tree trimmings on our mantle, placing fresh frasier fir, some of my new silver candlesticks as well as some various ornaments to be the finishing touches.  needless to say, i have an amazingly spruced up, christmas'ed house! 


Monday, November 29

wilson!

cannot wait for wilson to get here! these are probably the last photos we'll get before he actually comes home! next thursday "aunt carrie" and i go to pick him up from the airport [pet jets]...

i am so cute! 

Sunday, November 28

sid the great

not everyone is fortunate enough to have an amazing father but i most certainly have the best one around. aside from being able to scare away under the bed monsters he also is an expert in all things handy and makes them seem completely effortless. he has made me countless pieces of custom furniture over the past years and somehow always manages to perfectly combine my pottery barn catalogue page tear outs and amateur sketches into the perfect piece of furniture.

our most recent need has been a dining room table and boy oh boy has he delivered.  when we stopped by to drop of grandma and have dinner last week we also got a sneak peek of the dining room table.  i couldn't have been more picky in my table criteria but nonetheless daddy delivered!
preview of our new table in sid's workshop
sid the great [father, yard man, furniture builder, plumber, electrician, builder, home inspector, painter, backsplash installer, gutter cleaner, solver of all problems handy]...so grateful to have such an amazing father

Saturday, November 27

Friday, November 26

joy to the world!




its officially after thanksgiving so we can now all listen to christmas music and put up decorations without getting nasty looks from people!  i think everyone has that one song that gives them chill bumps when you sing it at church on christmas eve or in the car on the way to work...for me the second joy to the world starts playing my tone deaf self starts singing! normally i get some weird looks from people [sid] when i start belting it out but it is by far my favorite christmas song ever [tied with 12 days of christmas if you do the special e.joye dance]....

to davis family thanksgiving i brought my mother's [mueller pasta box] home made mac and cheese--it tastes so much better when she makes it so thats just what i had her do before we left for highlands on wednesday am! 

mac & cheese (amazing!)
what you need...
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp pepper
2½ cups milk
2 tbsp butter
2 cups shredded cheese
8 oz elbows, cooked 5 minutes and drained

what to do...
In medium saucepan combine first 4 ingredients; stir in milk. Add butter; stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil one minute
Remove from heat. Stir in 1¾ cups cheese until melted. Add elbows. Pour into greased 2 qt casserole. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake uncovered in 375 degree oven 25 minutes.

Trick is not to over cook the noodles! Might take more then 5 minutes, but DO NOT cook them till they are soft.  Also milk burns if you don't stir it constantly! It will taste burnt if you don't watch it!

he rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love, and wonders, wonders of his love......JOY TO THE WORLD!!!

Thursday, November 25

gobble gobble

happy thanksgiving!

some of my many things to be thankful for this year [and always]...

amazing people in our lives
 
our new home
an amazing husband


a great family

the best friends a girl could ask for

a pup on the way

a great group of junior league friends
percy pink
fun trips and special memories

Wednesday, November 24

good morning


is there ever something that you see or do that makes your mind flash back and think of someone...well today is a sunflower [kate] kind of day...


carrie pulled together some of the most beautiful flower arrangements i've ever seen for our party last friday--she comes in with my 2 bottles of wine from trader joes, a bouquet of flowers and a wad of sticks and branches from our yard. she's used to me giving her crazy looks by now but i just watch in wonder as she put together arrangements that put professionals to shame! can't let them go to waste--bringing the arrangements [minus bowl of leaves] to my parents so that someone can enjoy them while we are in highlands...


happy almost thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 23

the crazy mom

yes i am the crazy mom to be...wilson is going to be so spoiled rotten though with all the planning! i do not really know how people get their first dog totally on a whim! this has been a very thought out experience to say the least! his monogrammed collar and leash is waiting for him in his puppy play date bag with his fleece blankey grammie guertin made him!

i have my final 4 dog books to finish reading as well as books on cd to bring to highlands this week for thanksgiving to take final notes on the "wilson" legal pad [joe feels sorry for him for that].  he's already enrolled in puppy class and is going to be the cutest, smartest, doggie out there [aside from percy my mom reminds me or he will be the cutest boy and percy the cutest girl]...

anyway hope you enjoy seeing his cute pics as much as i do...these are from saturday (11.20.2010)...one of his brothers was off to san diego yesterday and hopefully wilson doesn't realize that we are delaying his arrival! at least we know tandy will be his entertainment until wilson comes home in just over 2 weeks! 

hello wilson! over here!

sid's latest comment--did you get a dog without eyes?

hes already losing some of his puppy color! he'll be wheaten color in no time!

Monday, November 22

my new favorite lounging outfit!

yes, i may be in a constant state of amex probation but scarily enough i'm the queen of card not present transactions aka online shopping(thank you to my BAMS job for my credit card lingo)...lizzie called the other day saying she found an ornament that fit me perfectly "on dasher, on dancer, on visa, on mastercard"...pretty sure i need that too! 

my new recent find that i am officially in love with is from "Bloomies" [thanks gabby] aka Old Navy for those of you who know the story behind that one! of course this is a justified purchase as i needed some sort of  "take wilson out on AM walks" outfit.  although some people on our street run down the driveway in towels with a towel on their head, i refuse to be the crazy neighbor in the pajama dress walking the dog! 

especially for those of you who are tall--get the tall version of these old navy fleece drawstring pants (there are 2 types online...these are NOT the 100% fleece pair as I would be one static ball).  They feel like sweatpants and have a little fleece in them on the inside.  mine are about 4 inches too long which i love! 


when they go on sale (like today) 30% off and free shipping, hit it up and give them a try!

Sunday, November 21

holiday count down

happy silver sunday! tonight this family is having a fresh shepherd's pie, asparagus, and garlic bread on china and silver--it has been the first day that i have had in a really long time to just lounge!  who knew watching tv and eating kettle corn could feel so productive. it really is that time of year again...elf, home alone, and the holiday on three times a day!  tomorrow my [paternal] grandmother flies in and i am doing the honor of picking her up from the airport. we are then going to come back to our new house and show her around before heading up to my parents.  i cannot wait to see her and this is what i have really been looking forward to about this week.  


for an after dinner treat, i am going to be bringing a new recipe...


Coconut Dream Bars

1 cup flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup softened butter or margarine
2 eggs
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/3 cups Coconut
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts


Combine 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Add butter and mix until well blended. Press into greased 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat eggs until thick and light in color. Slowly beat in 3/4 cup brown sugar and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Mix 1/4 cup flour with the baking powder & fold into egg mixture. Mix in coconut, vanilla and nuts. Spread over baked crust in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars (about 2 dzn)

i'll let you know how they turn out! 

Friday, November 19

au revoir mes amis

today we are wishing the pruitts [thomas & sallie] farewell as they take the next step in their lives and move to richmond, virginia. their journey begins with thanksgiving and once they depart for that will not be coming back with the exception of fun vacations & weekend getaways.  we are so sad as they are two of our best friends and we will really be missing them bunches. 
thomas & joe at our wedding
so to go out in style, we are hosting a little bon voyage party at our house tonight!  I have let go of some control (ha) and sara, whitney, and nicole are brining over some appetizers and desserts to share. for dinner though we are having a recently bonnie inspired shepherd's pie! 

tried to think of something that was easy enough to make so that all i had to do was pop it in the oven when it was time and not miss out on the bonding! i'll put in parenthesis what ideally i would want to use too since this is for boys and they don't appreciate me cutting out the "good stuff" normally haha
joe & pat's birthday...which reminds me, we still have a door to fix!
shepherd's pie

what you need...
1-1/2 pounds ground beef (ideally i would like to use extra lean ground turkey)
1 onion chopped
2 cups chopped veggies (i buy frozen of these...mixed veggies & yes i do pick out the lima beans)
1-1/2 pounds potatoes (russet potatoes please!)
1 stick of butter (you can use light butter here)
1/2 cup beef broth (99% fat free and low sodium kind is what we use regardless)
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
salt/pepper
parm cheese (optional)

what to do...
-clean (scrub well), peel, and quarter potatoes and then boil in salted water until soft (depending on how many in the pot...about 20 min)
-precook the veggies in the microwave or on the stove according to the freezer bag for about 1/2 of their time to give them a boost so you aren't over doing the onions
-saute onions over 1/2 a stick of butter and then add veggies--cook for about 3-5 minutes
-add ground beef (raw) and saute until you dont see any more pink--drain the grease out of the pan well
-add salt/pepper if you like that sort of thing, the worcestershire, and 1/2 cup of the beef broth and cook for 10 minutes uncovered (if the broth dries out, add a little more...you want it to be moist)
-mash potatoes and season according to taste with butter and milk (gradually adding)
-put beef/onion/veggie mix at the bottom of the dish and then cover with mashed potatoes (lumpy is better so that it can brown)
-sprinkle if you like with Parmesan cheese lightly
-coke for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. you may have to push broil to get the tops brown if you like it that way for about 3 min

Thursday, November 18

grazing day at kha

its grazing day at joe's office today and i'm not sure if he really thinks my cooking is that good or if its just more convienent than him doing it himself but either way we had an "urgent" need for him to bring a breakfast item into work.

i immediately thought of my favorite thing for breakfast (greer stop reading this now!) breakfast casserole! aside from the 8 eggs and 2 pounds of sausage i am convinced that it isn't "that bad" for you! its super easy to make and i'm probably even more excited because i am using one of my favorite wedding presents for the first time! if you don't have one of these [travel corningware dish] you need to get one! it is great for this so that i can pop it in the oven and joe can take it hot to work without worrying about managing a hot dish while driving!

kate, bomar, and linds
this is a reciepe from linds and is in our besties cookbook too if you have that no need to write this one down...its pretty sad i could make this and chocolate chip pound cake blindfolded...here you go!

breakfast casserole

what you need...
2 lbs. sausage, mild-hot cooked  (i use one mild and one hot...both i get 40% reduced fat)
6 - 7 slices of bread w/ butter, cubed and no crust (using wheat bread is just as good as white...yum!)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (now that 2% costs the same as full fat cheese...there are no excuses as to why you are using full fat cheese!)
7 - 8 eggs  (okay...so use the 2% cheese and throw in the extra egg)
2½ cups milk (skim works)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp dry mustard

what to do...
this reciepe isnt rocket science. beat together eggs, milk, salt, and dry mustard. grease pan, layer bread, sausage, cheese. pour beaten mixture over dish. chill 8 hours (overnight..this part is critcial...you want the bread to have egg really soaked in there).  when its time...cook 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees.