Sunday, January 31, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
The first weekend of January was spent in Sugar Land. The Broadduses got a fabulous new game that they had been talking about for quite some time. We learned how to play and became hooked.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
4 slices whole grain bread
1 teaspoon olive oil
whole grain dijon mustard
2 ounces low fat cheddar cheese, finely grated
granny smith apple (I used honey crisp) very thinly sliced
Brush one side of each piece of bread with the olive oil. Turn bread over and spread mustard on each side.
Arrange 1/2 of the cheese on one slice then layer of apples and then the remaining cheese. Top with the other slice of bread, oil side up.
Heat griddle or grill pan over medium low heat. Place sandwiches in pan and cook until light golden brown on bottom. Flip and continue to cook until cheese has melted.
*I had the day off yesterday. Yay! I didn't know until Friday at 5:00 so it was a great way to start my weekend. I started my day off with a trip to the dermatologist and then spent the whole day lounging and doing nothing. I enjoyed it and needed it.
*I am LOVING clementine oranges right now. Been loving them for a couple months now. I love that you can get them this time of year (when other fruit isn't quite as good) and they are only 40 calories each!
*The weather is supposed to be in the 70s this week. I am SO EXCITED! This little North Texas girl is quickly adjusting to the South Texas weather.
*One of my favorite things right now is an amazing website called Rue La La. You may have heard of it. I got several Christmas presents from this site. It is a sample sale site of all things designer. Everyday they have new boutiques to check out and you can get some amazing deals on their stuff. But it is By-Invitation-Only. But don't worry, I am inviting you to join...
Rue La La is a By-Invitation-Only Sample Sale site. Click Here to sign up using my personal invitation link. This link will grant you immediate access to the site after you sign up. (FYI - If you just sign up the regular way you will just be put on the waiting list.)
Happy Tuesday friends!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
When I made them I simply sprinkled them with powdered sugar because I didn't want to take the time to decorate. I was making many things that day and wanted something quick. But I can't wait until next year when I can make them again and create little people. Oh it will be cute! And the recipe I used was the recipe that came with the pan. It was SO GOOD. I don't think I will be trying another.
A daughter who was there for a school trip. Her parents got a message, "I'm okay" and they are rejoicing.
A family in Seattle waiting on final paperwork so they can bring their 2 adopted children home. They are relieved to find out their children are okay.
Photo credit here.
Hundreds of thousands dead. So many hopeless. Homeless. Hungry.
An orphanage owner this morning said that the people of Haiti are in the streets PRAISING GOD.
Praising God that they are alive.
There are so many ways to help.
Update: Pioneer Woman is doing something pretty amazing over at her blog...go help her out!
Text "disaster" to 90999 to donate to Compassion's disaster relief program.
Text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate to Red Cross.
Texting is such an easy way to help. It will take you less than 30 seconds to help. It will be billed to your phone bill.
Buy a t-shirt from here. (Thanks Sean and Ashley.)
Every little bit counts.
And join so many in praying for the people of Haiti and those who are there already helping and those who are on their way.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
And it's so chocolatey! So rich and yummy! I made one batch for gifts to friends and then had to make a second batch because my husband really hates it when I make things for other people and don't save any for him.
2 vanilla beans
4 cups granulated sugar
1½ lbs. good quality semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups Dutch process cocoa powder
Split and scrape the vanilla beans. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the vanilla beans, sugar, semisweet and Dutch process cocoa powder. Process in 4-second pulses until the chocolate is very finely ground and the mixture is well combined. Store the mix in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Combine 2 tablespoons cocoa mix with 8 oz. of very warm milk and stir to combine until well blended.
This is so wonderful and rich all by itself. Perfect for a cold wintery night. Or..
Topped off with a little whipped cream. This is the stuff from the red can but feel free to make your own. This was just easier. Or...
Top with Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows! They melt a little and are just divine.
Either way, it's going to be one of the best cups of hot chocolate you've ever had. Promise.
A goal of ours this year is to buy a home. And we'd really love to take advantage of the first time homebuyers tax credit that goes until April 30, 2010. Or June 30, 2010 if you have a contract by blah blah blah....
I spent quite a bit of time researching last night about all this home buying stuff and it's pretty overwhelming, confusing and way over my head. But the more I read the more I understand so I guess I'm..what do you call it? Oh learning. Yes, I guess I'm learning.
It's exciting and crazy scary all at the same time.
We started back up with Netflix again. We thought it would be a good way to save money on going to the movies. As long as we watch 2 movies a month (which is way easy to do). I love movies and it's so fun to set up your queue. There's even an app for that. (Apple should pay me to be on their commercial.) It's called iPhlix.
We purchased a sound machine last week and it came in the mail today. It is going to be so nice because what we have been using as "noise" is so tacky. A fan. Not the ceiling fan, but a dusty plug into the wall fan. When it's in the teens at night and we are so cold that thing is still running because we like the noise. I can't wait to use the sound machine tonight.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Triple Chocolate Clusters. White chocolate, milk chocolate and semi sweet chocolate. Yes. Yes please. Once again, so simple yet so delicious and amazing. The key here is to use quality chocolate. Not the most expensive out there, but don't skimp either. I use Ghirardelli and it's very good.
1 cup milk chocolate morsels
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups broken pretzels
Melt all of the chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. (You do not want it to burn so low and stir constantly!) Stir in pecans and pretzels. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate until hardened. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 month.
Monday, January 11, 2010
This year we went with the youth group to Port Aransas for their mid-winter retreat. The beach on NYE. Almost 100 youth. So fun!
On our way down, we had these sweet sweet girls in our car. They were troopers as we got lost, turned around (even though we had a GPS) and even as John got pulled over in a crazy-should be-illegial speed trap! (he got a verbal warning because we were on a church trip.)
We spent all day Thursday doing all kinds of fun games. First was a scavenger hunt and each team had a Flip video camera that they used to capture all the shenanigans. Then we headed down to the beach for games only a youth pastor could come up with!
I really think the purpose of this game was see how long it takes to make a bunch of youth tired!
But they never figured that out. They loved it and had a blast.
Okay, so this game. I'm not sure if it was part of the regularly scheduled games or if it just happened. But the goal is to get people out by having them touch the trash can. The guys were so rough. You have to keep holding hands the whole time.
So they just pull each other so hard until someone touches the trash can. This guy was pretty good.
But he eventually crashed into it and he was out.
Oh my, then the girls tried it.
They weren't quite as rough and brutal as the guys, but pretty close. And it doesn't help when a surprise trash can gets thrown in.
For ringing in the New Year we had a 50s Sock Hop. It was pretty fun. Complete with bubble blowing contests.
This girl was awesome. She got gum in her hair and didn't even let it bother her. She kept going!
Oh yes, even I participated and posted this so not cute picture of myself as evidence.
And LIMBO! What is a Sock Hop without Limbo!?!
How low can you go?
Okay, I must explain. These were 2 of our college leaders and they dressed up as if they were from the year 2050 because "they never said what 50s!" And they're Aggies. It explains a lot.
My hubs on the drums. Yes, we were some of the few who did not dress up.
I hope you all had a Happy New Year!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
I made these twice this season. Once as part of the gifts for John's co-workers and again right before Christmas when John's mom and sister came to visit. Why twice? Well they are delicious and EASY!
The Best Pecan Bars Ever
Friday, January 8, 2010
The idea started last year (I just like saying that..really November) when my mom and I were talking about eating healthy again after the holidays. She mentioned to me that a friend of hers had done this. So we talked about this for a couple months. Really getting ourselves pumped up to start in January. What we are following is The Eat Clean Diet.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small shallots, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
..take at least one picture everyday. my goal is a 365 project and even have a blog for it. i actually created this blog 1 year ago attempting to do the same thing but it never took off. i'm going to try again.
..continue with my weight loss journey. i lost 40 pounds last year and gained some back after we moved to victoria. i want to finish this journey and hopefully my resolution next year will be to maintain.
..keep a clean and organized house.
..buy our first house this year.
so that's my list.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
2 pounds ground sirloin
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium-size red onion, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients. Shape into a 9- x 5-inch loaf, and place on a lightly greased wire rack in a baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes; increase heat to 425 degrees, and bake 15 more minutes or until done. Let meat loaf stand 10 minutes before serving.
Roasted Poblano Mac n Cheese
1 pound uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 4 ounce package goat cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
Broil poblanos on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet 5 inches from heat about 5 minutes on each side or until poblanos look blistered.
Place chiles in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins. Peel chiles; remove and discard seeds, and dice. Set aside.
Prepare macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in cream and milk; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
Stir in 2 3/4 cups Monterey Jack cheese, goat cheese, and salt until smooth. Stir in roasted poblanos and macaroni.
Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top evenly with Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese.
Broil 5 inches from heat about 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.