Tag Archive | Cooking

Five Question Friday on Saturday!

Oops! I’m a day behind….

What’s the last thing you spent too much money on?

By far my biggest purchase ever has been my car even though I’m still paying on it now and will be for a few more years.   The down payment for her (yes, my car is a she) was the largest amount of moolah I forked over to anyone at any given time for any reason.  The other thing that I am indebted to would be my school loans… BLAH!  As if my undergraduate work didn’t cost me enough, I had the idea to start graduate work a coupla years ago so there’s still lots to be paid out on those.

As far as actual physical items that I paid for in their entirety I would say that my laptop, which is now currently hooked up to an external monitor, keyboard and mouse because the backlight went in it when it was less than two years old, is the most pricey.

On a whole though, I would have to say my crafty supplies cost me a small fortune.  While I’ve accumulated them over the course of many years, each purchase has surely added up to a lofty grand total if I surmised correctly. I could seriously open my own supply shop with all that I have.  From ridiculous amounts of decorative paper to the insanely absurd amount of clear rubber stamps to all the gadgets you could think of…. I’ve got ’em.

This is only a LITTLE of my stash!!!

2. What celeb chef would you want to make you dinner?

Celeb?!?  Ummmm, I’d settle for a hot, handsome, dreamy fella cooking me dinner… doesn’t have to be a celeb.  Hell, I don’t care who it is…. Who wants to make me dinner????? Come on over!

3. Where do you hide things when visitors pop over or do you let them see the real deal?

There is no hiding my mess.  I blame it on my creative personality.  🙂 Just ask my cousin who lives next door… You may not be able to see my living room floor if I am in the middle of a crafty project…. which tends to become an issue because, well…. I am always working on a crafty project!!! 🙂

4. Who is your oldest living family member?

That would be my Great Aunt Lyna… Although I can’t remember her exact age (I know mom would know), she is the last of my great aunts & uncles on my mom’s side of the family. She is the tiniest of ladies with a spunky personality… She’s always been the spitfire in our family.

5. What is your favorite DQ treat and/or Sonic drink combo (ie: cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper)?

I have never been to a Sonic before!!! EVER!!!  Now, DQ, that’s a whole different scenario.  My absolute favorite would be a sundae with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and raspberry sauce.  I haven’t had one from DQ in YEARS!!!!  It’s best that it stay away. 🙂

Your turn!! Follow the blog hop and add your link below!!


Wonderfully Awesome Weekend

Hello friends! How are you all? Hopefully doing well since I last posted!

It certainly has been a while since I’ve posted. Quite honestly I’ve been dying to post but between my crazy, busy schedule, my laptop still on the fritz & some situations that have rattled me & ruffled my feathers I haven’t had much of a chance to breathe let alone blog as of late.

Tonight though, I decided to put everything aside and make time to write and catch up with my blogging friends … I’ve missed you guys!!! Seriously missed ya!

Hmmmmm. Where to start?

Work is keeping me on my toes & keeping me more than busy. Between our end of year picnic & graduation this coming Friday for which we are expecting nearly 300 people and preparing for our huge summer program that begins next wrek I’ve got about 5 to-do lists going at the same time. Super busy time of year for us with the littles & then quickly transitioning to welcome a bunch of school-aged kids for summer. Lots of work but looking forward to seeing all the planning come to fruition.

Family has its way of keeping me busy lately too. Between lil bro’s graduating from CMU with a masters degree in English/Rhetoric to P-Dub’s upcoming 1st birthday to get togethers to Relay for Life fundraisers to home parties… you name it we’ve had it going on.

Life my friends, is good. While it has its way about throwing you some curve balls at times you learn lots about yourself and those around you. Some good, some not so thrilling. Pray on it. I have & will continue. Sometimes a prayer can be answered & you end up getting caught up & a lil hurt in the process; in a way you didn’t expect. The answered prayer, even though it was prayed and meant whole heartedly can still cause a tiny bit if hurt depending on the situation; a tiny bit of conflict within leaving you confused by being disappointed & happy at the same time. It’s a weird thing to experience. All I can do is listen to my heart, learn and continue to believe & pray that all things will work out in time. Not my time…not in your time either. Only in his time.

Anyways… forgive my digression there! Moving on to this most wonderfully awesome weekend I had.

A very positively poductive weekend indeed. From getting a special order of 12 frames completed on Friday to writing this blog from the comfort of my deck (on my teeny tiny phone keyboard I might add!) it was a pretty bang up good weekend to end a busy week while also ushering on an even busier week ahead.

The best part about it was the weather men were wrong! We had 2 absolutely gorgeous days this weekend in spite of a partially rainy forecast. Woo-hoooo!!!!!

Yesterday was filled with a good bit if outside time… hit up some yards sales with Jaime early in the day followed by a trip to the Goodwill Outlet Store. That place was an experience in and of itself & deserves its own post which will hopefully come in the nezt couple of days. Good deals including three pairs of brand new name brand shoes! Score for sure.

After our bargain shopping adventures I was beat but somehow managed to resist the urge to take a nap. Decided instead to wash my car & clean the interior as well. Miss Serendipity looks stunning if I do say so myself! I was saddened a tiny bit upon seeing the little nicks & scratches my pretty little car accumulated since her last washing. Two dents on the hood from the hail storm we had a while back and little chips I can only assume are from stones coming up off the road. Nicks and all I love my little car! 🙂

I picked up the 2 flats of flowers I ordered from B-Shane at mom’s house and brought them home to plant. My little deck looks positively bright & cheerful with the addition of fushia Impatiens, white Vinca and purle and yellow pansies. A new addition this year was a tiny step ladder (yard sale find) to hold 3 pots… looks adorable!

Today was the day they were calling for rain. I myself didn’t see, hear or feel a drop though I was told it had briefly this morning. The sun shone beautifully pretty much all day! After church I decided to go tanning, using a gift certificate I was given as a birthday gift LAST year for my 32nd birthday. Yep…about to be 33 in two months & I just used the first session today!

After tanning I came home & laid down for just a bit & then headed to work for a little while getting some items crossed off of my to do lists.

Went for a much needed walk with my cousin & chatted the miles away in the evening sun. Exhausted by the end but rejuvenated by the fact that we made it up the last hill without falling over!

Ran to the grocery store to pick up a few things for salads for the week. Dinner was exceptionally delicious if I do say so myself. A salad made of sweet butter lettuce, cucumbers, fresh raspberries, dried cranberries, and green olives with fat free raspberry vinaigrette dressing. I bought a new brand and I LOVE it!

So here I am now winding down the evening; enjoying the cooler air outside instead of my warm apartment … thinking about an ice bath for my knee…. mentally preparing for the week ahead.

Thankful for such a nice weekend in the midst of all the business that’s behind me and all that is yet to come.

Glad I made the best out of it considering curve balls that were thrown my way… got lots done that needed done; not too shabby given that I wasn’t feeling so hot in recent days either. Sometimes being a girl can be rough… just sayin’.

Keeping my head up & looking towards the goal… a promise of days to do what I want, when I want. VACATION, my friends. Thinking about that word gives me the tingles! Less than two months away with no major plans for 10 days I can hardly contain myself just thinking about it!!!

So that’s enough about me… now it’s your turn! What’s been going on in your neck of the woods?

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Julia Child, I am not!

Try as I may I am not too graceful in the kitchen.  Even with the best of intentions of having recipes collected, grocery lists made, ingredients brought home, and new kitchen gadgets, my skills in the kitchen just don’t always pan out.

I will say that my cooking adventures do make for quite the humorous of stories… It’s much easier for me to laugh at myself in the kitchen versus getting completely distraught and frustrated.  Even if a few choice words end up falling off the tip of my tongue at some point during a kitchen “fiasco” I do somehow end up laughing at some point during or immediately after.  I’ve come to learn that I just can’t take myself seriously in the kitchen!!! 

My motto in the kitchen... and life in general!

My lack of  success in the kitchen has not stopped me from volunteering my “skills” to others. 
For example, a fellow director and myself decided we were going to make lunch for all of our teachers last week in celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week.  Keeping in mind that both of us are extremely busy, we kept the menu quite simple.  I was responsible for making Ham BBQ Sandwiches, baked beans and brownie cupcakes while my partner in crime was to make hot dogs, potato salad and pies.  Sounds like a pretty easy task, don’t ya think?  It WOULD have been if it were anyone other than this girl!!! 
Making Ham BBQ for 21 people was a little bit tricky… How many pounds of chipped ham should I buy?  What would you say?  I opted to buy 5 pounds and was unsure if it would be enough.  
I have no recipe for the sauce… it’s sort of a hodge -podge concoction that ends up being a little bit different every time I make it.   This time I did add a special ingredient that really made the sauce just a bit more delicious!  Who woulda thought that a jar of sweet hot pepper mustard would have been such a fabulous idea?  Mmmmmm.   
Did you know that 5 lbs of chipped ham won’t fit in my largest pot with the sauce?
Did you know that 4 lbs. of ham BBQ won’t fit in my largest crock pot?
Did you know that 3 lbs. of Ham BBQis enough to feed about 14 people for two days?
Did you know that I ate Ham BBQS for days straight and still had some left over with a lb of chipped ham in the freezer?

Disclaimer... this is not my Ham BBQ! Can you believe I didn't even take a picture???

Next up to make were the brownie cupcakes…  These are DELICIOUS!!! And I’ve made them a million times before so no troubles should be had at all; especially because I just use boxed fudge brownie mix, pour the batter into cupcake papers and then bake for about 30 minutes.  Piece of cake!  That was until I went to ice the cupcakes… I had returned Jaime’s pastry bag, piping tips and couplings a while back so I decided I would use a large Ziploc baggie.  No, worries right?!?  I’d done it before.  but, no large Ziploc baggies were to be found. So, I decided to get extra Martha Stewart-y and attempt to use a small (dollar store brand) Ziploc. NOTE TO SELF:  Very important to not overstuff small Ziploc baggie with icing and then squeeze hard to get the icing to come through the hole I made.  END RESULT:  The bag explodes with chocolate frosting all over myself, the stove and my wall…. Yes, my friends.  That’s what this girl did…
After having said a few choice words, I began to laugh at the sight that was to be seen.  Only choice left was to clean it up and pull the back-up icing out of the cup board.  GOOD TIMES!  And I must say they must have been pretty good because they were surely eaten.
The next minor fiasco related to the teacher appreciation lunch dealt with baked beans…  As it was already late in the evening and directly after the icing debacle I decided not to doctor up the baked beans… they’d be just fine without it.  Took the can to work only to find that the two can openers we have at the school didn’t want to work.  I was left fighting with the can openers and can when preschool parents arrived looking at me most perplexed because 1.) surely the Executive Director knows how to open a can of beans… what’s the big deal? and 2.) How many people did she think she was feeding needing to the institutional sized can???  A grandfather cam to the rescue and pried open one side wide enough to get some beans out… Only a quarter of which fit into the crock pot that I brought.  Another note to self:  Don’t take the advice of my dependable partner in crime on buying the institutional size!  Upon cleaning up, I clearly LOST the battle with the can as I sliced my finger on the edge of the can.  Can – 1 Meg – 0.
Reminding myself to just laugh….
In the midst of all of this I volunteered to “host” Mother’s Day at my house on Sunday in order to give my mom a break from cooking.  She LOVES to cook and is amazingly good at it!  As I’ve said before, I didn’t inherit “cooking genes” from her.    I decided to keep it simple… Chicken, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and taco dip (a long time family favorite that makes it’s appearance at EVERY holiday gathering).  I don’t recommend using McCormick’s bag/seasoning combo for chicken… It smelled yummy but the flavor just didn’t do it for me or most of my family.  I forgot that my sister doesn’t like cream of mushroom soup so the green bean casserole was a partial bust.  Everyone was gracious for the meal, but I’m thinking I shoulda just made two pans of the taco dip and called it a day! 
All in all I do enjoy my experiences in the kitchen… They could only be made better with continued “practice” and perhaps a better kitchen set up.  An apartment sized kitchen doesn’t lend itself well to cooking large quantities of food, but I make do.  I’m not gonna give up.  I’ll just keep on plugging away.
So if I offer to cook for you, keep in mind that while I may be more closely identifiable with Martha Stewart because of my crafting tendencies, Julia Child, I am not!

A Mother’s Day First


Image via Wikipedia

Happy, happy Mother’s day to all the fabulous women out there!  All you do in the day-to-day truly makes you amazing!

My mom is no exception… she’s a strong woman; strong in her faith and heart.  Dedicated, loving and giving. This woman can do it all… and pretty much has for as long as I can remember.

Soooo, today in hopes of giving her a MUCH deserved break…. I volunteered to host Mother’s Day at my house!  I know right?  You read that correctly.  I am cooking a meal for my family and am quite nervous about it!  Nothing too fancy, just some chicken, potatoes and veggies yet nervous none the less.

 No matter the outcome of the meal, all that matters is that we’ll be together celebrating my momma… and my little sis too.  Good mommas for sure.  Someday I hope that I can be at least half as good at mothering as these two ladies. 

HAPPIEST of Mother’s Days to you all!  Enjoy your day… today, we celebrate you!

And to my momma… Love you bunches!!!!!!!  You’re the best!

Let there be lights….

Pampered Chef logo

Image via Wikipedia

Ya, so the rain has made a return appearance in my neck of the woods today, actually started raining last night… A Storm rolled through not long after I got home from work but before getting ready for my cousin’s Pampered Chef party; thunder, lightning and a little bit of wind.  For some reason though, my hatred and fear of storms has started to dwindle more recently and found myself enjoying it a bit… Weird, huh?

So with the rain last night came the flickering of the electricity.  And with the flickering of electricity comes the beeps of the printer and microwave turning off and on and the tv turning off and on… Pretty subtle sounds excepting when one is trying to sleep.  So needless to say I had a little bit of a restless sleep and ended up settling in for the night on the couch.  So much so that I apparently forgot to turn on my alarm clock for this morning. 

I did however wake to the sound of an alarm on my phone that was set for Monday… A whole hour later than I was supposed to get up today!  NICE! 

Thankfully I took a relaxing bath last night so I quickly started running around my place like a crazy lady… This would be one moment I wished I ironed my clothes the night before; pulling out the only pair of pants and shirt that were not wrinkled… Didn’t match super well, but they’d just have to suffice.  So I now sit down to curl my hair… what do you think happens???? The electricity starts flickering again… NICE!  Quickly gave up on my hair and started putting my face on and what should happen??? The electricity flickers again.  By this point I am now applying my face by the light of a flashlight… easier than the eyes adjusting and readjusting to the lights coming on and off….. NICE!

Today my friends I looked a bit like a ragamuffin… A bit disheveled all around!  Which, in turn didn’t matter much any way because the rain stayed and helped me to look even more like a ragamuffin by day’s end. 

I was very happy to find that the lights were all on upon returning home from work…needing to freshen up a bit for the Pampered Chef shindig.  I am happy to say the lights were on and remained on for the remainder of the evening… Even through the slight storm that rolled through… The P.C. party was a nice weeknight evening out where I enjoyed good eats and purchased  a few necessities for the kitchen.

Now sitting here by the light of my laptop winding down my day… A little off kilter, but all in all it was a good day my friends!

And now in sticking with the “Lights” theme… I’d like to send a little birthday shout-out to one of my blogging buddies who is celebrating the big 4-0 today!  Happy Birthday Buddy!!!!  Hope you’ve had a wonderfully awesome birthday!  🙂

What throws you off in the morning?  How do you deal when your routine is interrupted?  Any other milestone birthdays coming up soon?