Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Puppy Birthday

Not only today is Audrey's birthday, but it's Marlie's birthday too.

Yes I have 2 dogs out of two different litters, in fact 2 different breeds (a Cocker Spaniel & a Yellow Lab) and they were both born on June 29, 1 year apart.  Craziness!

Happy Birthday Girlfriends!  (remember that's what I call them)

And they both came into our lives in September or October.  Crazy!  It's been a fun adventure from chasing them across the roof of my house to Audrey coming up missing for a week.  Did I ever tell you she was locked in a neighbor's barn?  He found her and brought her home to us.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Can't Died In The Corn-patch - PMM

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Can't died in the corn-patch?"
It's something my dad used to always tell me that his school teacher always told him.  And that phrase has stayed with me since I was a little kid, obviously.

So this last weekend was a busy weekend with baling hay at our house.  I'm sick of square bales now.  I much prefer the round bales, but that's totally not the point of this post.  Getting back on topic, square bales can weigh anywhere from 50-95lbs.  Very seldom do you get that higher end but you can.

Tbug was over this weekend.  Now she's seen the fun side of owning/riding horses and that's the whole, riding of the horses.  Giving them a bath isn't all that bad either, especially if it is hot and so are you!  But on the other end of that is the caring & feeding of horses.  It's always cheaper if you can bale your own hay or at least pick it up out of the field if you're buying it so you aren't paying someone else for their labor.  She's never been around any of those times though, until this weekend.

She got to experience all of the fun that went with it, from riding around on the tractor with her daddy mowing hay, fixing the tractor, raking hay, baling hay and even picking it up out of the field and putting it into the barn.  I'm not so sure she didn't go home Sunday night to her mom's and crash.

She was a lot of help too!  She rode around with her daddy on the tractor Friday night mowing the hay down.

Later in the evening when they were working on the air conditioner on the cabbed tractor, she was helping hand her daddy parts and helped me move all his tools from the broken tool box to the new tool box he got for Father's Day.

Saturday morning she ran to town with her daddy to get pallets to put the hay on in the barn, the parts store to get a piece for the AC, and to my parents house to get the rake.  Then her daddy sent me back after the flat bed trailer while they raked the field.  She even got to drive the tractor & rake for a few laps.  {No I didn't get pictures, I was getting the stupid trailer... lol :).}

Then she rode around with her daddy for a few laps to bale hay.  Later in the early afternoon she hopped off the tractor and rode around on the hay trailer with me helping load the hay.

Sunday she was a trooper again because she was back out there helping ride around on the trailer while we were loading hay up.  Then when we took a load over to my parents barn (after ours was full), she helped unload the trailer.  I would roll the bales to her and she would roll bales off to her daddy & Robert for them to take into the barn.  Then I had her switch places with me and she rolled them to me and I put them on the hay elevator to go up into the loft after the main part of the floor was full.

Every now and again she would tell me she "Can't" do something.  So I had to explain to her the difference between "I can't" and "I really could use some help."  I'm not quite sure she knew what to say when I told her You can do anything you put your mind to if you really want, but the only thing you "can't" do is pee standing up.  Yes, I said that.  Later her daddy pointed out that in fact she could, it would just be messy.  Ok so anyway, I hope she walked away from this weekend with an "I Can" attitude :).

Rotel Chicken Sketti

2-3 Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Can Rotel
1 tsp Lady & Sons Seasoning
2-3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 oz Velveeta - Cubed
8 oz Spaghetti

Cut Chicken into bite sized pieces.  Pour the extra virgin olive oil in the pan and cook chicken, season with Lady & Sons seasoning.

Stir in soup, cheese & Rotel.  Reduce heat & cook until cheese is melted, stirring often.

Serve over cooked noodles.

Rotel Chicken Spaghetti

2-3 Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Can Rotel
1 tsp Lady & Sons Seasoning
2-3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 oz Velveeta - Cubed
8 oz Spaghetti

Cut Chicken into bite sized pieces.  Pour the extra virgin olive oil in the pan and cook chicken, season with Lady & Sons seasoning.

Stir in soup, cheese & Rotel.  Reduce heat & cook until cheese is melted, stirring often.

Serve over cooked noodles.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Cheesy, Corny Side Dish (AKA Cheesy Corn on the Cob)

I've told you before that one of my husband's favorite side dishes is corn.  I might even go out on a limb and say he could make an entire meal out of corn, but it might need a bit of meat in it somehow.  Maybe this is something I could work on...

Back in 2009 when we first started dating, I was at his mom's house and we all got off watching Paula Deen cooking something on the Food Network.  By attempting to google and find this recipe for you, I found it on her website; I didn't find it on FN so who knows which episode it really was on, the main thing is this corn is to die for!

I still  have the note in my iPhone where I wrote down the ingredients and what to do - It is that simple!  Sometimes Simple=Fabulous, this time that motto doesn't lie!  But at the same time, I can't lie in the fact when we first watched her and heard her talking about this recipe, we thought she was out of her mind.

The ingredients:
Corn on the cob, shucked
Chili Powder
Parmesan Cheese

That is an interesting combo of ingredients, that's for sure!

So first up after shucking the corn out of the husks, you'll slather it with mayo.

Sprinkle it with Chili powder.  A nice thin coat.  That was the ear after I put the CP on it.

Some black pepper.  Trying to watch what I was doing through a view finder on a camera I got my black pepper a bit thick but it still tasted GREAT!

Some Salt.

Lots of Parmesan Cheese

And the best tip is to do this all over the aluminum foil you'll wrap it in, that way when you wrap it in nice and tight those flavors will all be there extra :).  Anyway as you can see you'll wrap it in aluminum foil.  Place it on a 350 degree grill or else in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

And viola!  Corn on the cob Paula Deen style!  And it's fabulous!

Have you ever tried it this way?  What did you think?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I Gonna Go be Old Now

I was wondering yesterday what I was going to blog about.... then:
Last night hubby and I sat down to watch Bunheads, the new tv show on ABC Family.  He went into the kitchen and grabbed a handful of cherries and brought them in for us to share.

All was going well.  We were sharing nicely.  Then I grabbed a juicy one, bit into it and shot my husband....

Do you see it?  He looks like he got shot with blood. hahahahahaha!  Oh you gotta love Married Life!

Cheese Ravioli Carbonara

I came home last night and hubby was laying on the bed not feeling the greatest.  I changed out of my clothes, turned on the tv and snuggled up next to my hubby.  We've been watching a Gilmore Girl's marathon.  We no more than turned the tv on got the dvd set and the power went out, came back on, turned off, came back on, turned off and came back on.  I turned the tv back on, got the dvd set and we watched an episode.  When the next episode started we had the power surges again.  Must be the heat.  When I got in my car it said it was 104 degrees.

We watched another episode of Gilmore Girls.  Around 7 we decided that we really needed to probably fix dinner.  I stumbled across this recipe on Sara's blog last week during her Recipe Round-up.  It was super easy to make.  It took less than 15 minutes. And look at this!

Cheese Ravioli Carbonara
Serves 2

2 tbsp light Italian dressing, 3/4 cup chicken broth in a pot.  Add 1(9oz)  package refrigerated or frozen cheese ravioli and cook about 5 minutes or until most of the chicken broth has evaporated.

Add 1/2 cup half and half (or cream in my case b/c that's what I had... I never said this was the most healthiest of recipes).  Add Parmesan Cheese & Basil.

And don't forget to add the 4 pieces of bacon (not to each plate, split it up between the 2!!)

And you get 100% Yuminess!

You know you want some!

Print here

Monday, June 25, 2012

I Need Monday to Recoup from My Weekend!

This has been a whirlwind of a weekend!  It started out with Thursday really.  We continued to move farm equipment to our house.  This weekends plans were to bale our field in square bales for my dad.  My car got left at my parents house so Friday morning hubby took me to meet my mom and she took me to work.  Then after work she took me to the store and then back to her house so I could get my car.  Just as we were leaving Walmart (or as you hear it Hellmart) I got a phone call from hubs that he needed new blades for the mower that were down at my grandma's.  Not a good start.

I pulled into our driveway and saw a little kid walking around.  This was our weekend to have Tbug but hubby's mom was going to pick her up after she got off work.  Instead Tbug's mom dropped her off at our house early, so she was hanging out with her daddy.  Once we got the mower back up and running they went and mowed our hayfield.  Then we started working on the AC on the cabbed tractor.  Have I mentioned it is still in our driveway kind of blocking me getting in and out?  No, well it is.  Oh well :)

Saturday we were up at the crack of dawn back out working on the tractor.  Actually hubby was, I was in the house, I got in the mood to make cookies and then banana bread since we had banana's going bad.  Finally we wound up going out and racking the hay, oh and guess who got to drive the tractor, if you guessed Tbug, you are correct.  Her daddy taught her how to rake and let her make a few laps.  Once the field was raked they baled it.  We wound up with 300 square bales.  Boy I'm sick of square bales by now!

Hubby had made a few laps around the field when I had my mother-in-law drive the truck and I loaded 2/3 of the trailer by myself.  I about made myself sick because it was so hot out.  Then hubby traded me places and I went to baling and he finished up that load of hay.  After that load was finished we came in for a bite to eat.  Then my father-in-law showed up.  As we went to put that load of hay in the barn, hubby's aunt showed up and jumped in to help us.  By the end of Saturday night we had 180 bales in the barn with more out on the field.  Everyone decided they were hot and tired so we called it a day.

We were sitting in the pool when it dawned on me we had to run to my parents house.  Then we went to see my grandma real quick, came home, made dinner and crashed.

Sunday morning we were back up at just shy of 7am to go load the rest of the hay.  I had to run to my parents house and then to Lowe's.  I walked in to Lowe's just as they opened and were finishing up their "team" meeting I guess.  That was a weird site.  Then back to the house I went.  Robert came out and by the time I got home they had the load pretty well finished up.  Hubby then made a few sweeps of the field trying to grab as much of the loose hay as we could and we got 15 more bales.  Dang!

We took it over to my parents house and put it up in their barn and then came back and crashed again.  Hubs decided that we were going to have ribs for lunch so he started them.  I walked in and asked him why it smelled fishy.  Turns out the ribs were bad,  darn, so we had sandwiches and corn on the cob!  Then we chilled in the house all afternoon watching Marley & Me (yes I cried) then taking Tbug home.  We finally came back home and rounded out the night with a Philly Cheesesteak pizza and watching Love Actually.

Wow, looking at all of that I'm pooped again!  Happy Monday!

So how was your weekend?

Gusano's Pizza - Joplin, MO

Typically a Friday night for us consists of eating pizza.  Ok, not always, but there for a while, yes that was the case.  When Gusano's in Joplin opened in December of 2009, we eventually wandered in there.  Now, this is our go-to place for pizza.  Yeah, it's that good.

And the cool thing is you can get Chicago style deep dish pizza. 

I watched a special on the travel channel where they compared Chicago style pizza to New York Style Pizza.  New York style is larger slices that are to be folded up and almost eaten like a sandwich because "New Yorker's are always on the go."  Chicago style was created to be a sit down and "eat with a fork and knife" style pizza.  I always found that to be interesting.

Anyway back to Gusano's... But you definitely don't have to get Chicago style pizza.  They have the thin crust as well, or I think it's referred to as original.  Either way, it's not Chicago style :).

Generally when it is my parents, my husband & my {step}daughter, we get a larger Carnivore Craze and a small Chaplain.  I eat a little of both, hubby, dad & daughter eat the Carnivore and my mom generally sticks with the Chaplain.

The Chaplain - An Oil Based Pie with Chicken, Artichoke Hearts, Purple Onions, Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Feta Cheese.
{Sorry about picture quality, it was taken with my iPhone}

This is the Carnivore Craze - Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Canadian Bacon & Hamburger

We have also tried their Hot Wings, the Pizzadilla & salads.  It's all pretty darn good, I must say! 

If you're in the mood for pizza and either in:
  • Arkansas
    • Bella Vista
    • Bentonville
    • Conway
    • Fayetteville
    • Little Rock
  • Missouri
    • Joplin
  • Oklahoma
    • Tulsa
I suggest you check this place out!

Check out their website
"Like" them on Facebook

**Again these opinions are all my own.  They don't know me.  Plus all pictures are mine taken with my iPhone unless otherwise stated**

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Enjoy Life

Snookums - She's gotten so big.  She's a yearling now :)

"Slow down and enjoy life.  It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why"  - Eddie Cantor

Friday, June 22, 2012

Crossroads In My Life

I swear I have hit a crossroad in my life.
In just over a month I'll be my last year of my twenties.
That's very surreal!
And almost terrifying!
I feel like I just graduated college (the first time).
I feel like I don't fit in with the younger 20's crowd.

I've never been a "party" girl.
I've been drunk 1 time in my life and it sucked!
I'll never do it again!
I've been tipsy less than a handful of times.
Definitely not worth it.
Actually going to parties (when I actually did), I was the Designated Driver.
I could actually go to a party and not drink.
And no that's not to say the younger 20's crowd parties indefinitely.
Just saying.

I may be a step-mother, but I don't feel like a mother.
My {step}daughter is only with us every other weekend.
I kind of feel like an aunt.
She calls me mom though.
I didn't carry her to full term.
I wasn't there when she was born.
I wasn't there for the first smile
The first step.
The first word.
The first day of school.
I didn't come into her life until she was 6 1/2.
I was there after that.
She's now 9.

I don't feel like I get to brag about my kid like other people do.
She is mine.
Ask her.
She'll tell you.
She claims me.
In fact a few weeks ago she was with us a few days longer.
I said to her something about going home (meaning her mom's).
She looked at me and said, This IS my home.
I still feel like people judge me for being a step-mom.

I'm not into my career, at least I hope.
I have work "friends".
We don't go and do things on the weekend.
We don't hang out.
In fact I'm a good 10-20 years younger than some of my friends.
A lot of them have kids my age.
I sometimes think they look at me like a kid.
Maybe I am.
But I don't feel like one.

I was older when I got married.
I was 27.
I doubt I could have gotten married any younger.
I wasn't mature enough.
Ok maybe that's not totally true.
But right out of high school, definitely not.
Couple years into college, still not.
Right out of college, maybe, but it would have been rocky.
When I got married, It was still rocky, but there was some solid ground to stand on as well.
Even if just a teeny, tiny bit.

I feel like I'm about 24 or 25.
My body thinks I'm 80.
I've been told I act like a 50ish year old.
Other times I could so be 16.
I think we're all that way at times though.

I don't know where I'll go next.
I don't know what life is going to throw at me.
I'm scared.
I know I should be.
I am though.
I do have God on my side.
He looks out for me.
Sometimes I don't understand his ways.
Oddly enough he see's the big picture I can't.
You can't.
None of us can.
But He can.

So I guess I'll continue on.
Please someone invite me into your group though!
I feel like a loner sometimes.
I'm nice.
I promise.
I'll take you horse back riding!
And if all else fails, I cook ;).

Snookums - She's really grown since last year!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Get Your Hair Out Of Your Face

So I remember back in the day when we all grew our bangs out so we didn't have them.  I was about 8 or 9 years old even.  It was right after the big 80's hair craze!
Now bangs are becoming cool again, but a lot of people either have the long swooping bangs or no bangs at all.  A couple years ago before I was in Tbug's life I guess she decided she didn't want bangs and her mom let her start growing them out.  But the bad thing then and even still today is she constantly has hair in her face.  It drives me nuts!

I'm constantly telling her to get her hair out of her face and once I can't stand it anymore I tell her to go pull her hair up in a ponytail.  And when she says she can't see things, it's generally because she has hair in her face, so at that point she has to pull it up into a ponytail.


She is such a pretty girl as long as she doesn't have hair in her face (ok and even then she is pretty but come on, the hair in the face doesn't help).

So anyway the other day I had my hair half pulled up (you know the sides up, the back down).  My bangs aren't quite long enough to stay back or tuck behind my ear but almost.  but my hair generally stays out of my face.  I've been without short bangs long enough I know how to keep them out of my face and they are fairly trained to stay back.  If that doesn't work out come the bobby pins.

So we were at dinner over the weekend and my bangs fell to just even on the side of my head with my eyes.  Like so (maybe a bit further toward my face, but not in my face):

This is generally where they tend to stay; remember if they fall in my face, I pin them back etc.  But Tbug looks at me and goes "Get your hair out of your face."

We all just about died laughing.  I guess we know what I'm constantly telling her.  Although mine is nothing like hers!

Stocking up for Cake Decorating Part 1

I am not now nor have I ever been a professional cake decorator.  I have decorated my fair share of cakes when taking classes & practicing, but I just want to clarify I'm not a professional.  I'm not a beginner either.  Let's say Amateur.  Does that work?

I just thought I would share a few tips with you on how to make your life easier when decorating cakes.  Things I've learned that work for me, whether I came up with it on my own or the teacher I had showed me.

Let's start out with the basics - that would include bags, tips, & couplers.

Ok first off - Piping Bags.  You have many choices out there.  These reusable bags are fabulous, however you can see sometimes they get a little dingy looking.  As long as you clean them, they're great.  Dawn used to make a foaming soap, it worked great at cleaning them.

Next you need to choose size.  Generally a 10in is the best bet for the more intricate work you are doing.  If you watch Cake Boss, he has huge bags, well I'd love to learn his method but until he teaches me, this is what I use :).

Your next two options happen to be a 16in bag which is great for icing the cake.  You'll need the big tip which I'll show you in just a bit, but it works miracles when initially icing a cake.  One thing though, seems like it uses a bit more icing so you have to be prepared :).

Then you have the disposable bag option.  I like this option personally.  It makes for quick and easy clean up but sometimes depending on how many you use, it can get expensive :).  Just keep in mind and use what works best for you.  I keep both on hand because they all have their handiness (is that really a word?)

Next a good Rose Nail.  This helps you in making those fancy dancy roses to top your cake and make it look pretty.  Back in the day I sat and made 30 roses out of icing just to practice and then brought them to work for co-workers to eat on top of graham crackers.  Yup, I'm cool like that.

Ok so to coupler or not to coupler, that is the question.  For the reusable bags, generally you'll need to because you already have the holes cut.  For the disposable bags though, you can do with or without the couplers.  General experience though, the couplers are heaven sent.  If you need to switch out a tip they are handy, you just screw the cap off change the tip and you're ready to run again.  Plus, just as a suggestion, have many, many, many of these handy dandy bad boys! You'll thank me!

 Ok so moving on to tips.  I have a ton of tips, I should really count them sometime, but not tonight.  My suggestion on tips if you're buying them individually and want the best bang for your buck would be to get: 2 sizes of star tips.  They are probably the most commonly used tip.  Anyway I use them a lot.  Next get 2 sizes of just circles.  A smaller size, about a 5 (4 pictured, I couldn't find my 5) and a 12.  The 12 is used for making the base to your rose.  Speaking of that, you'll want the rose tip, number 104 (these are the Wilton numbers by the way, I'm not sure it makes a difference).  Finally you'll want number 67 which is the leaf tip.  When you get it, you'll notice that the tip is really close together.  Pry it apart just a bit... you can see mine isn't touching.  Trust me you'll thank me here too.  It makes a world of difference.

Now with the 16in bag, you'll want the very very large tip, number 789.  It is a flat tip that will be straight edge on one side and a jagged edge on the other.  It only works with the bigger bag.

So what are some of your favorite Tips to use in decorating?  What are some you recommend having?


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