Thursday, October 14, 2010

If You Love To Cook...

...then you'll loves this!!!! Check out this blog!

My friend Lindsey is hosting a giveaway over on her blog that I would LOVE to win! The chances are slim and, frankly, I never win anything! But you might so go to her blog and register! Or don't....and maybe I'll have a better chance :) Kidding!

And just because he's so incredibly adorable.....
Our sweet boy Casper watching a bird through the window! If you look closely you can see the bird on top of the table on our back patio!
XOXO


Peppered Chicken Alfredo

This is another new recipe that I just couldn't wait to try! It comes from the All Recipes website and we were so pleased with it! The actual recipe calls for shrimp as the meat instead of chicken, but most of you know of my feelings toward shrimp.....disgusting! So here's my version of their Peppered Shrimp Alfredo!

PEPPERED CHICKEN ALFREDO
INGREDIENTS
1 lb. penne paste (cooked according to the package instructions)
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced (we used onion flakes)
2 cloves garlic, minced (we used 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
1 red bell pepper, diced (we used roasted red bell peppers from a jar)
1/2 pound portobello mushrooms, diced (we omitted these)
1 lb. chicken breasts
1 (15 oz) jar Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste
salt
pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dene, then drain.
2. Heat 2 tbsp canola oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces or strips.
4. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder.
5. Cook chicken in skillet until the juices run clear and the chicken is no longer pink in the center.
6. Melt butter together with olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat
7. Stir in onion and cook until softened and translucent. (We just let the onion flakes cook for about a minute, stirring constantly)
8. Stir in garlic, roasted red bell pepper, and mushroom; cook over medium-heat until soft, about 2 minutes.
9. Stir in the cooked chicken, mixing well.
10. Pour in the Alfredo sauce, Romano chese, and cream; bring to a simmer stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes.
11. Season to taste with cayenne, salt, and pepper.
12. Serve over freshly cooked pasta.
13. Top with Romano cheese and parsley.

Aaron and I really enjoyed this dish! The roasted red bell peppers are delicious! Using a jar of alfredo sauce as the sauce base makes the sauce really easy, but then adding the other ingredients definetly steps up the flavor a few notches! Enjoy!
XOXO

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Our Mailbox Meets A Stranger's Bumper

Oops! Feel bad for the man :(

XOXO

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Sick Husband Equals Baked Potato Soup!

Sweet Aaron has been feeling a little under the weather. He doesn't feel completely ill, just seems to feel really tired. So what's his number one request when he's not feeling 100% and Fall weather is upon us? Baked potato soup! So that's what I made him for dinner tonight! This recipe comes out of the Sharon Missionary Baptist cookbook from Mrs. Sheila Nalley. My first time to ever try it was years ago on a ski trip. Its been love ever since!
BAKED POTATO SOUP
INGREDIENTS
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
7 cups milk
4 large baking potatoes (baked, cooled, peeled, and cubed)
4 green onions, sliced (we leave these out!)
12 bacon strips (cooked and crumbled)
1 and 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz. sour cream
salt
pepper
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DIRECTIONS
1. Melt butter in large pot.
2. Stir in flour until smooth.
3. Gradually add milk in small amoutns, stirring constantly until thickened.
4. Add potatoes and onions, bringing pot to a boil and stirring constantly.
5. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until cheese is melted
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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I love to serve this soup with warm, homemade cornbread. Its perfect for a cold day or, in this case, when your husband is sick and the weather is starting to cool off! Its also great served as left overs, though you may want to add milk when you reheat it to help thin it out to your desired consistency. We like it thick though!
XOXO

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Razorbacks, Dallas, and Tusk

Last weekend we traveled to Dallas with our great friends Ben and Maggie to watch the Razorbacks take on Texas A&M. We had a great time and are so blessed to have such great friends that we have so much in common with. Plus, they are some of the funnest people to be around!
Aaron and I had never been to Cowboys Stadium, but it did not disappoint! Everything was huge and extravagant!
These pictures were taken after the Razorbacks won, as they received the Southwest Classic trophy. Yay!
We had one more tag-a-long join us on our weekend adventure to Dallas! Tusk is Ben and Maggie's little baby and we just adore him! He got to play with Maggie's family's dogs while we enjoyed Dallas!
Isn't he the cutest thing ever?!?! Such a sweet, well-behaved dog! And its so apparent how much he adores his parents!
Have a great weekend!
XOXO

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Celebrating Another One!

October is such a fun month with lots of things to celebrate and do! Last Thursday we celebrated my sister's birthday, but today we are celebrating my amazing mother-in-laws birthday! This picture was taken last weekend at the Sharin' Sharon get together.
We are so sad that we aren't with you today to celebrate, but we hope you know how very special you are to us! You have been more than an amazing mother-in-law to me and I appreciate you so much! Thank you for always being there for us and for always being open, honest, and real. We love you so much! Happy Birthday!!!
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Today we are in the Big D watching the Hogs play with some great friends of ours! Hope you are having a great weekend!
XOXO

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Another Year Older!

Happy birthday to my sweet, sweet sister today!!! Last weekend, we celebrated her birthday with a surprise party and family at a local hibachi grill restuarant in our home town. Everything came together for her and I think she had a great time!
Her birthday cake from Rick's Bakery, of course! Though next year, I will remember to get her chocolate! Oops!!!
My sister and her husband. Leah was such a good sport!
We all just adore these two girls so much!
Mom and Dad
The grandparents had a great time!
What my sister walked in to, plus everyone yelling surprise and the entire room of the restaurant singing "Happy Birthday" to her!
Enjoying the hibachi show! They did their usual tricks with the onion volcano, egg toss into their hat, etc. Our chef offered Leah several attempts at catching tossed food into her mouth. No success though!
Opening her gifts and VERY excited about them! Love her expression in this one!
Sweet, sweet dad with his daughter. Melts my heart!
These two girls never cease to crack me up! It is so difficult to get a good picture of them together lately! (Mainly Ashely!) When you ask them if you can snap a picture they either strike a pose or give you the most forced, uncomfortable smile you've ever seen! Its hilarious!The birthday girl got together with some of us for some quick pictures outside! It was cold and windy that night when we came out of the restaurant! Finally, Fall weather is here!
We all had such a great night, but most importantly, the birthday girl had a fabulous time. We were all so happy to get together to celebrate my sweet sister! Happy Birthday, Leah! We just love you to pieces!
XOXO

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What I'm Loving Wednesday and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!

I'm loving lots of things right now, mainly because the seasons are changing and it gets me all excited for the holidays! Here's a list of the things that I am especially loving today!
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1. My sweet, sweet husband. This is true EVERYDAY, but he went out of his way to make me feel ridiculously special yesterday. For no reason at all, might I add, which is just out of this world thoughtful! I just love him!
I came home from work to find "the perfect pumpkin" (which we had picked out the night before at our local grocery store) sitting on our front porch with our mums. Why didn't we buy it then? Because we forgot! We unfortunately forgot to run outside the store to grab it while we were checking out. So we left it sitting outside the store with all the other pumpkins :( But when I got home, it was waiting for me! Sweet of him!
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2. Also, waiting on me when I got inside the house was a little gift for us on the coffee table! Yesterday, Disney re-released Beauty and the Beast. This is my all time favorite Disney movie. I just love it! We even went to see the play twice! But the second time was an accident although we loved it just as much! We are watching it tonight :)
When I got in last night after my womens' bible study, this is what I walked into...
3. Ridiculous right??? Tons of candles lit, a fresh vase of flowers, my most recent copies of Southern Living and Better Homes and Gardens, and a bubble bath.Aaron and Casper watched tv in the living room, so that I could enjoy a very relaxing hour by myself with my magazines! The bible study I am in has given me lots to think about, so it was perfect timing for me to sit and reflect on what God has been showing me.
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4. Sitting on the ledge of the bath tub was also this Autumn Harvest Woodwick candle with the acorn top and all! It smells divine and the topper couldn't be any more precious! I'm definetly loving it right now!
5. And lastly, I'm seriously loving the Pioneer Woman's recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. They are out of this world delicious and perfect for this time of year! I made a simple glaze to drizzle over top which made it even better! Its been a while since I've shared a recipe, right? There's more to come!
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INGREDIENTS
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4 whole eggs
2 cups sugar
16 ounces canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups oil
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
12 ounces milk chocolate chips
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DIRECTIONS
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1. Mix together the first 4 ingredients.
2. Mix together the remaining dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips.
3. When both are mixed well, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
4. Add half of the chocolate chips to the batter.
5. Fill well-greased muffin tins 2/3 full of batter.
6. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top of the batter, allowing the chocolate to be spread throughout the muffin.
7. Bake at 400 degrees for 16-18 minutes.
I cooked mine for 20 minutes as determined by the handy, dandy toothpick test! For the glaze, I just combined powdered sugar with milk and cinnamon until I liked how it tasted. Its especially good if you drizzle it over a warm muffin or even heat the glaze in the microwave. Yum!!
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So these are all the things I'm loving right now! I really HOPE you try out these delicious muffins. You will not be disappointed!!!
XOXO