Saturday, December 22

Friday, December 21

Thursday, December 20

Wednesday, December 19

lastest needlepoint creation!

kelly helped me whip this up one day last week! so glad to be knocking things out of my stash!

Tuesday, December 18

BBQ Meatloaf

bbq meatloaf
what you need...
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 onion, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup ketchup
bbq sauce of choice (i used Robert Rothschild Farms Hot Pepper Raspberry Chipotle Sauce)

what to do...
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg, salt, pepper, and 1 cup ketchup. Form this mixture into a loaf and place it in a shallow pan. Pour bbq sauce over the meatloaf. Bake for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes with the pan juices.

Monday, December 17

pasta chicken broccoli bake

This is one of those "invite your neighbors" over meals as it is so filling and makes a huge pan! You can also make in 2 smaller portions and freeze the other half

pasta-chicken broccoli bake
what you need....
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (i left this part out)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated cheese-and-spinach tortellini (not cooked)
  • 4 cups chopped fresh broccoli (not cooked)
  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 15 round buttery crackers, crushed (reduced fat ritz works well!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (i skipped these too)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted (i skipped this)

what to do...
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onion and next 2 ingredients, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until tender.  Add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in broth, half-and-half, and white wine. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.

Remove from heat; add 1 cup cheese and next 2 ingredients, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in tortellini and next 2 ingredients. Spoon into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Stir together 1/2 cup grated cheese and next 3 ingredients. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Sunday, December 16

Friday, December 14

southern living cover worthy!

although i did not have the amazing fondant snowflakes pictured here this cake was AMAZING! it was made for early Christmas with my in-laws earlier this month. Leftovers were quickly devoured and enjoyed by all! one change to my recipe vs what is stated below was that 9" pans were used vs. 8" pans which only means you have to watch the cakes time wise and check a few minutes before the 8" times.

Mrs. Billett's White Cake
what you need...
Parchment paper
1 cup milk (i used skim)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 cups cake flour  (note that this is cake flour that comes in a box at Publix)
1 tablespoon baking powder
5 egg whites (check the container if you are buying egg whites in a carton--only few brands whip up for baking)
vanilla buttercream frosting (see below)

what to do...Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 3 (8-inch) round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper, and grease and flour paper.  Stir together milk and vanilla.  Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Sift together flour and baking powder; add to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.  Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form; gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 350° for 20 to 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; discard parchment paper. Cool completely (about 40 minutes). Spread Vanilla Buttercream Frosting between layers (about 1 cup per layer) and on top and sides of cake.

for the icing...
what to do....
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (32-oz.) package powdered sugar
6 to 7 Tbsp. milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

what to do...
Beat butter and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar alternately with 6 Tbsp. milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition. Stir in vanilla. If desired, beat in remaining 1 Tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until frosting reaches desired consistency.

back from the dead!

take a moment and welcome me back to reality! as i have been without a macbook for a week i have been relying on my generous husband sharing his iPad with me but that does not lead to blogging that is for sure! more posts to come and i cannot wait to learn all the new features of mountain lion osx! 

ps....can you believe its only 10 days till Christmas Eve?!

Thursday, November 29

Tuesday, November 27

its all about the butt

so i cooked an amazing boston butt all day was so fragrant and the house still smells like christmas tree or home cooking (depending on the room youre in) all began with a great Publix boston is the recipe below! I had the pork frozen from a previous week when i thought i was going to be able to come up with the recipe but was unable to get things together. in total, my pork went in the oven around 7:30am and was perfected by 5:30pm. as long as there is liquid (which will be a good amount) you will not over cook the roast. i put mine in the oven for the 1st time ever in a Calphalon dutch oven/stove top cooker that was oven safe.

amazing pulled pork
what you need...
for the pork...
3-5lb Boston butt pork roast (whatever size looks best)
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup water
your favorite bbq sauce, mine is sticky fingers carolina sauce

for the rub...
3 tablespoons paprika
1-1/2 tablespoons salt
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne

what to do...
Preheat the oven to 225°F. Prepare the rub by combining the paprika, salt, sugar, mustard, cumin, pepper, garlic and onion powders and cayenne in a small bowl. Trim any large pieces of exterior fat from the pork if desired. Pat the rub mixture on all sides of the pork and place uncovered, in a dutch oven. Roast uncovered for 1 hour.

Remove the pork from the oven, brush with the olive oil, add the water, cover and return to the oven for approximately 5 hours longer. At this point the pork should be very tender and pull apart easily with a fork. Total roasting time runs between 90 and 100 minutes per pound.

Transfer the pork to a large platter and allow to cool enough to handle. With two dinner forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, removing any large chunks of fat in the process.

Monday, November 26

Thursday, November 15

Wednesday, November 14

Tuesday, November 13

Monday, November 12

Sunday, November 11

Saturday, November 10

Friday, November 9

Wednesday, October 31

Friday, October 26

Wednesday, October 24

new apple cobbler recipe

here is a great new cobbler recipe we just tried last weekend with Patrick & Rachel!
apple cobbler
what you need...
7 to 8 large (9 cups) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4-inch (use more if you have them!)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, melted
Ice cream, if desired
what to do...
Heat oven to 350°F. Place sliced apples in ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan. Stir together 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle over apples.

Combine remaining cinnamon, flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over apples. Pour melted butter over topping. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until lightly browned and apples are tender.  Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

Tuesday, October 23

a good read

i feel my bedside table says a lot about me as yours may too. at any given time it seems you can find a 1/2 charged iPhone, my Bible, a few photos of my grandmother, immediate family & besties, various devotional books, stray bobby pins & hair ties, random ends of needlepoint threads from past projects, and an article by gary thomas, how to appreciate an imperfect spouse.

i may be partial to gary thomas right now as i am knee deep in 2 of his books (sacred influence & devotions for a sacred marriage), but something about this article seems to get me every time...or maybe its the sticky notes tacked on top with the last exercise in the article, my spouses strengths and my weaknesses. what i love reading even more on those lists are the various additions after the first time i read the article of additional strengths of joe and weaknesses of myself.

when you're short on ideas or prayer motivations...take a read...its bedside table worthy!

Monday, October 22

the faves: week of 10/23

#1: Pioneer Woman Photography & tricks plus cute photos & contests!
#2: Yogitoes yoga mat...finally got mine in stone! apparently the crazy colored ones tend to bleed in the laundry, so i opted for a more neutral color
#3: Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Color...I just got this last week in 2 colors-Red Carpet & Tawny Pink

#4: Jesus Calling daily devotional book. It is pretty great & for those who cant remember to do a devotional each morning, there is always the iPhone app or for those of us who have stacks of devotional books still waiting to be caught up on, a blogger (not me) recaps on a daily basis the book as well. what a great lunch time read! there are many controversial reviews on this one, however if you read it less as the words of God and more on the inspirational lines, you can avoid the controversy & enjoy the motivating words & great verses! 

#5: we love our carved pumpkins! too bad they are getting moldy but we are enjoying our last days of preciously carved pumpkins

Friday, October 19

Monday, October 15

the faves: week of 10/15

the faves: week of 10/15
#1: knitting...yes I do have a lot of small sub-hobbies! 

#2: embossing & handwritten notes
#3: drying hydrangeas...with 38+ hydrangea plants, we have a lot to dry!
#5: preggers tights & no, you dont have to be pregnant to enjoy the luxurious preggers tights by therafirm! if you weren't aware, compression tights are great for varicose veins too (pregnant or not)!

happy birthday linds!

Friday, October 12

sweet wilson

sweet wilson's cast came off yesterday...hes such a cutie (even when he's hurt)

Thursday, October 11

Happy 400th Post!

I am so happy to have posted my 400th post! Who would have ever thought I could keep up with such a blog!? Although its not been as active, with the holidays coming & my new monday fave feature, you can expect to see lots more!

Also (& more importantly) for my 400th post its great to say that there is a new blog you should also go follow! One of my besties, Landrum, has just started her own!

Go check it out & follow her directly or see the side right of my page and check out other blogs I follow & recommend as well!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 10

oreo truffles

this is an easy kraft recipe, but pleaes enjoy making something so good that is also so simple! tonight we made these for Wilson's big paw-ty last month.

oreo truffles
what you need...

8oz reduced fat Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (15.5 oz.) oreo cookies, finely crushed (about 4-1/4 cups), divided
2 pkg. (8 squares each) bakers Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
what you do...
mix cream cheese and 3 cups cookie crumbs until well blended. shape into 1" balls (makes about 4 dozen). Dip in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs. Put in the firdge for1 hour or until firm. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Tuesday, October 9

happy birthday steph!

Happy 23rd birthday Steph! 

Monday, October 8

the faves: week of 10/8

so my favorite things this week are unbelievably random but equally great (& in no particular order)! this will be my running monday series for a while so i hope you find at least one thing each week you like too!

#1 Hot Yoga!!!  (sorry no photo) just over $2 a box, these make a great snack & at 4 grams of fat beat a 3 Musketeers! 
#3...joe's makeshift wine fridge for our napa wines until we find "the one" loot from trader joe's this week! mini pumpkins and goofy gourds! new portrait of wilson from ejoye & gill! what amazing, amazing, amazing friends!