Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Love, Laughter, and Memories

There are lots of things in my life that I have had to learn at an early age.  I just had my 39th birthday 2 days ago.  I don't feel 39, I don't feel 29, there are days I think I should be back in high school. (I'm so gald I'm not though!)  I had a very scary epiphany after my 25th birthday; I realized my own mortality.  I became an orphan 4 days later when my mother passed away at the age of 49.  My father passed away 5 years earlier at the age of 44.  Part of my bucket list is to live past the age of 50.  Because of my parents passing away at such young ages, I took a hard look at myself. 

What I found was the need for love, laughter, and memories.  I know God said in 1 Corinthians 13 that 'the greatest of these is love', for a reason.  Love is the marrow of life.  When I let God's love flow through me, not only are others blessed, but I am too.  Laughter lightens your spirit and "increases your face value".  (that's from Steele Magnolias, one of the greatest movies of all time!  I cry every time I watch it.)  Memories...so important.  Memories are passed down from one generation to the next and help to link us to those who have gone before us.  Memories made with my family are my favorites.  That is one reason I have started this blog, so my children will have a written diary of my memories.  I'm a much faster typist that writer, plus I can edit my posts easier.

We went to the Auburn/Ole Miss game this year, and while in Oxford we stayed with my in-laws.  Peggy, or GiGi as we call her, has some great cookbooks.  I love to read them, as you already know.  While we were hanging out one night I found a new cookbook she was given as a gift.  It is one of the best ones I've seen in a long time.  The recipes are the kind I love:  easy to follow; not too many ingredients; and no weird ingredients.  But the best part of the book are the stories in it.  I was laughing so hard I was crying.  The name of the cookbook is:  Somebody Stole the Cornbread from My Dressing.  If you have a new cook, an old cook, a southern belle, a yankee doodle dandy, or a hard to buy for person, I highly recommend this cookbook.  They won't be disappointed!  Too funny.

As we approach the new year, may you remember only the good, and leave the bad behind.  I pray for you all to have a wonderfully blessed 2011, and that your year is filled with deep abiding love, belly splitting laughter, and the happiest of memories.

Be blessed beyond measure,

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Merry Christmas

It's another Christmas wonderfully celebrated with family, food, and SNOW!!!  If you say snow in the state of Alabama everyone goes nuts.  In a good way of course.  (well minus the run on bread and milk.)  I am weird, something which the fam reminds me of often.  I am cold natured, and really dislike being cold, but I love snow.  What can I say, I'm a walking paradox.

I have always dreamed of snow on Christmas.  The tree twinkling, a fire going, my family spending time together smiling & laughing, and then I look out and see the white stuff silently coating everything.  I have never had a white Christmas.  I have to say this one did not disappoint.  The last time it came close to being a WC was 13 years ago.  We had huge dollops of snow coming down in December.  The only reason I remember it is because my mother passed away two weeks later.  I was happy she was able to see the snow one last time. 

As I sit and ponder Christmas' past I can't help but to smile.  Times when the children were very little.  Times when I was little.  How some things have changed and some stayed the same.  Having a white Christmas makes me nostalgic.  My heart goes out to those of you who have lost loved ones this year.  It makes for a bittersweet day.  Those of you who have lost someone special know what I'm talking about.  On Christmas Eve, I truly missed our pastor's father coming out and  playing the piano for us.  He was so gifted.  I know his presence was missed this Christmas. 

So, today as I celebrate The Word becoming flesh, I am reminded of the promise that came to us.  Hope.  Hope for today, and the promise that I would not be forsaken.  Hope that this is not all there is.  Love.  Jesus modeled love for us, and offers His so freely.  As I was singing Christmas carols last night at church, I really thought about what I was singing.  My heart was so moved and humbled.  Go back at listen to them.  O Holy Night is amazing.  Get your bible out (or go to www.biblegateway.com)  and see the scripture that backs up the words of the beautiful hymn. How blessed I was and am.

If you don't know Jesus, know He loves you.  His mercy knows no end, and it's his greatest desire to be with you.  It's as easy as ABC.  I would love to give you a prayer to ask Jesus into heart and life...
...Jesus, I admit I am sinner.  I admit that I have done things my own way.  I believe you came to earth.  I believe that you love me and are the perfect Son of God.  I believe you died on the cross to save me.  Jesus, I commit myself to you as my Lord and savior.  Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice on the cross, and for loving me when I didn't love you.  Come and live inside me, and help me to draw closer to you.  In your name I pray, Amen.

Welcome to the fam!  God's family.  We are like most families; we have many different personalities, but love each other very much.  (even the weird ones like me.)  :)  If you accepted Christ, you have given him a wonderful gift.  All he wants for Christmas is you.  I hope you and your families have had a wonderful Christmas season.     

Merry Christmas and be blessed beyond measure,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Cooking has Commenced

I know so many of you are like me, scurrying around your kitchens making sure all your goodies are made for Christmas.  I'm so glad that I'm not the baker of my family.  My sister and mother-in-law are great at baking.  You have to have precision to bake, and I don't measure, almost never.  Amy is baking all the sweet goodies & I'm doing most of everything else. (Well I am making a caramel pie, but that is just simmering sweetened condensed milk for 4 hours, nothing too hard there.)

Yesterday I worked mostly on what we're going to be eating Christmas morning.  I like to have a lot of different foods that we can eat on all day.  (I'm a little selfish & don't like to cook on Christmas day.)

I'm including one recipe with this email and will include others later.  The one thing we have to have at both Thanksgiving and Christmas is homemade mayonnaise.  This is my grandmother's recipe.  I remember when I learned how to make it, I think I used at least 1/2 a dozen eggs getting it right.  The one key is that you make it when it is sunshiney outside.  Don't try to make it when it's cloudy, it will fall.  And don't use a knife to get it out of the bowl.  And don't let your brother-in-law use a spoon to stir it up before you serve it...I almost had a coronary.

I know you may be thinking it's gross, but I have to tell you if you like lemons, you're going to love homemade mayo.  My MeMaw used to make tomato sandwiches with homemade mayo with salt & pepper...heaven on earth.

Well, I need to go, I have some cheese straws that need to come out of the oven.  Again, my MeMaw's recipe.  I wish she was still alive so I could tell her how much I appreciate all the work she used to put into all the goodies she would bring us, it really was a labor of love, and I'm happy to pass it on to my children.

Sending you all many heartfelt blessings for Christmas!
Be blessed beyond measure,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

From messed up to marvelous

Me & recipes, I just don't know what it is.  I don't think I could follow one to save my life...well maybe my life, or my husband & kids, but not anyone else.  Sorry. 

I am a rule follower by nature, so you think I could follow a silly little recipe.  That is a big fat nope!  I start off following it & then either forget to refer back to it or just change it altogether.  Is anyone feeling me out there, or am I just wandering alone in the forest of doing my own thing?

Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, is a wonderful cook and posts many recipes to her blog.  The one I have been meaning to try since the summer is Hot Crash Potatoes.  Doesn't that just sound fun?   It is fun, you get to boil potatoes and then squash them before you cook them again.  It's a very easy (and very good) recipe if you follow the directions, but if you don't you're left with some funky potatoes that are a little dry. :/

I started off great.  I went over the recipe so as not to miss anything.  I did this as I was working out this morning at 5am.  (that could be fault #1)  I took the recipe into my bathroom after I worked out so I wouldn't leave it on my elliptical hence forgetting where I had left it.  (fault #2)  Well, there it stayed until after I had finished cooking the potatoes.  (and fault #3 not that I'm keeping count.)  Yep, I'm great at following directions.

What I noticed first was my potatoes were a tad dry except in places.  Directions say to take a pastry brush, which I have, and liberally coat the crushed potatoes with olive oil.  I drizzled, I didn't coat, I needed to coat.  I also didn't put enough spices on them, note to self, more spices on potatoes.  I cooked them the recommended time but they could have cooked another 10 minutes.

It's a good thing I did a dry run today b/c I'm going to be serving these to my supper club for our annual Christmas Party.  Needless to say, I will follow the directions on these a little closer on Sunday, or maybe not.  ;)  You'll be happy to know that I've taken my dry, funky looking potatoes and 1. liberally drizzled more olive oil on them; 2.  more spices have been added; and 3. placed them back into the oven to cook a little longer.  

What ever happens today, I know Sunday will be a marvelous dinner because I'll be sharing it with some wonderful friends & celebrating the Joy of Christmas.  Merry Christmas sweet readers!  I pray you will be blessed as you remember how 'the Word became flesh'.  Christ does make things that are messed up to be marvelous!

Y'all be blessed beyond measure & Merry Christmas,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cheese Grits that are just too Gouda

This is going to be quick because I have a meeting in less than an hour, yikes...I need to get a move on!

I signed up to bring some cheese grits to VHEC's teacher Christmas breakfast & I just couldn't do the same 'ole cheese grits that I always make.  So, the teachers got to be my guinea pigs.  Sometimes that can be a good thing...sometimes not.  Last week it was a good thing.

I decided to make cheese grits that had smoked Gouda cheese it them.  OK, I can't wait until Christmas morning because I'm making them for my family!  They were smooth and creamy and yummy!  Click HERE for the recipe.  They are super easy, that's a bonus.  I measured nothing, that's a bummer if you like to have a recipe for boiling water.  :) 

I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season!  What a wonderful gift we were given at Christmas.  Remember to keep Christ in your Christmas.  May peace and joy be yours!

Be blessed beyond measure,

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Just Need a little Adult Time

I am a huge proponent of adult time.  Now whether I get it or not is another story.  With a big active family it is not always possible to achieve this.  But...when it happens I am always glad I was able to be there.  Hopson and I are part of a couples supper club, and have more laughs than we can stand when we are there.  BTW, supper club, I have 2 words for you...Derby Party, be there...

I was trying to think of a different appetizer to take to last night's dinner.  Our group is crazy about Brie.  Ashley Stockard makes one of the BEST Brie appetizers I've ever had.  I really had a taste for that, but couldn't (and didn't want to try to) replicate it.  I also had a taste for a BLT dip that my friend Shannon makes.  What does someone like me do?  Well mix them of course!  When I was at the grocery store getting the Brie, tomatoes, and bacon, I knew it needed a special spice to go with it...but which one.  I'm standing there smacking my mouth trying to taste in my mind what different spices would taste like with the main 3 ingredients & you know what I came up with?  Smoked Paprika.  It's a spice that's a little crazy, but I'm pretty sure I'll use it again, so I didn't mind buying it.  You know how I feel about crazy ingredients

The group approved of the BBT appetizer, I think most of it was gone, and that's usually a good sign.  :)

There was a lot of laughter last night, with some talk about our crazy extended families, being groped at the airport, Thanksgiving and cabins, how to properly calculate how long you've been married, cotton bales, peanut oil on knees, youth sports teams, and how great Robert & Martha Cook's boys look wearing Auburn shirts, among other things.  Fun & laughter was had by all ~ minus the Rumplemints.

If you haven't had in any adult time lately, I highly recommend you get some.  It will make your heart fill lighter and your soul feel fuller.  If I don't get to post before next Thursday, Happy Thanksgiving!  How blessed I am!!!

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Twofer

I've finally gotten off my duff & posted the second recipe. 

I was a little nervous about serving it because my family is known to turn their noses up at soup. (and not just the picky one)  They want something that is meaty & hearty.  Something that coats their stomach's and doesn't make them hungry in 5 minutes.

This recipe came out of desperation.  It was cold.  Squirrel...  I'm cold natured & am not a fan of being cold.  I know you can bundle up to get warm, but I never feel warm!  I have to be in my bed with my:  electric mattress pad (I would love to kiss the person on the mouth who invented this), sheet, electric blanket (between the electric mattress pad & electric blanket I feel like I'm in a warmth burrito~it's heavenly!), polertic blanket & down comforter.  Even then it takes me about an hour to warm up & be toasty.  My family thinks I'm crazy & they call me a cold prickle.  I've come to terms with it. 

Anyway, like I was saying, it was cold outside.  I had some stew meat that I needed to find a way to eat, because I had cooked it a few days before & served it with rice, but I had a good bit leftover.  I hate for food to go to waste.  Sooooooo, I came up with the stew. 

The fam actually liked it.  They really liked it because I gave them each a huge hunk of bread to go with it.  (I love the bread you get at Panera Bread when you order their soup.)  Yum is all I have to say.  I ate some today for lunch & it was delish.

On the we gotta eat site I've included how to make this meal a twofer, so you too can cook the meat once, but eat twice.  No thanks needed, just throw money.  HaHa!  Just Kidding.  (I think that was in a movie from the 80's.)  We love to say random movie lines & see if others in the fam can figure them out.  I know, we're a little kooky!  :)

Y'all have a wonderful Veteran's Day!
Be blessed beyond measure,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hello again my friend...

Well hello blogspot, my name is Ashley.  I know it's been a few weeks since we've talked, but I just wanted to check in & say hey, and let you know that I'm doing fine. 

HaHa!  Just kidding y'all.  It has been a few weeks.  Sorry about that.  I've started working again & have been trying to break myself back into the working habit.  It's harder for me this time because I'm working from home.  There are things that call to me...laundry, cleaning, facebook, finding out that Cam Newton has stolen my day and deposited it into his growing bank account.  Just kidding about the last one.  I am part of the AU Family & stand behind Cam.  Innocent until proven guilty right? 

Sorry, I digress.

Working from home for me is like the dog in the movie 'UP' who will be talking & then all of a sudden in the middle of his sentence says, "Squirrel!"  It is easy for me to get engrossed in whatever I am doing & before I know it, the day is gone & it's time for me to drive carpool.  I'm getting better, I guess there's a learning curve.

I have 2 new recipes for you.  One I will post here because it's so easy it's shameful, and the other I will post to my we gotta eat site & send you the link.  Both have received high marks from the fam. except the picky one.  I don't know how that child doesn't float away on a stiff breeze. 

Last night I was in a tight for dinner because the closer we get to Christmas, the busier my days & nights get.  I know that's true for everyone.  I think Christmas is busier than May!  But it is the most wonderful time of the year!  See, I told you, squirrel! 

I had some poached chicken & didn't want to fix poppy seed chicken, again.  (one of the go to dinners)  I found some Pillsbury biscuits in the freezer, ok that's good.  I was trying to figure what would taste good with both of those...

...Squirrel!  I get on food kicks.  I will crave foods and will want to eat nothing else.  I'm back on my taboule (tabbouleh)/hummus kick right now.  I could eat those two things for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  (and I do)  I guess this is better than being addicted to drugs & alcohol, but wow.  Another thing I've found myself craving lately is...

...Gravy!  Not the gravy you get out of a can, but homemade.  Ok, yum!  Chicken, biscuits & gravy.  You're going to hate me, I didn't measure anything, just  poured until I think I had it to the right consistency.  My mother-in-law loves it when I do that, not.  She will tell you she has to have a recipe to boil water.  (BTW, have a great new cookbook I'll tell you about later.)  Anyhoo, the gang loved it.  So, here's the recipe.

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Sop it up Gravy with Chicken & Biscuits
1-1 1/2 pounds of chicken poached; shredded or cut up
6 Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits cooked
2 cups Chicken Broth
1/4 cups vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
1 onion chopped or 1/2 bag frozen onions
cracked pepper
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a skillet stir together oil & flour until mixed well.  Since I didn't measure it you may have to add more flour.  You will want it to be a little pasty.  Add onion, salt & pepper & cook on medium heat until flour mixture begins to turn light brown.  Add chicken broth & stir continuously until thickened & hot.  Taste to see if you need to add more salt & pepper.  I like mine to have a little pepper kick to it.

Spray baking dish with cooking spray.  In the dish, place biscuits either cut in half or cut into small pieces in the bottom.  Place chicken on top of biscuits & gravy on top of chicken.  Bake for 20 minutes & serve hot.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Joy Bubbles Up Part Deux

Ok...it's Monday; I think I've caught up on my sleep; & all I know is the more I look at the pictures from homecoming, the more I laugh!  I don't know if the children had as much fun as I did, but a girl can hope.  I am already starting to plan for what we're going to be doing next year.  But, before 2010 is over there will be a shaving cream war rematch.  It will be BYOSC, so if they want to bring 5 cans...who am I to say no? 

Abby, Hopson's homecoming date has entitled her picture cache on facebook, 'so my hair still smells like shaving cream'.  Love it.  I wondered if it make her hair shiny & silky smooth.  Yes, I'm very weird, and my family is aware of it also.  (they are just watching for when they may have to put me on medication...just kidding)

Henry could not wait to play with the shaving cream!  So he, Abby's little sister, Riley, our neighbor, Katie & another friend's son, Woodson, had a great time the next day covering the slide in the backyard with shaving cream & sliding down.  I've included pictures at the bottom.  :)

Enough about pictures, let's get to the good stuff...the food!  We had enough to feed an army!  The kids needed to eat a lot more than they did.  (I should have gotten down my 'to go' plates & made them each fix one.)  Needless to say, I haven't cooked a few days because my fridge is full.  I told you I would post my friend, Traci's, breakfast casserole recipe.  It is sooo easy & delicious.  It's a great all purpose recipe because it can be tweaked so easily without compromising the taste.  It is also easy to double, triple, quadruple, but very easy to make each one taste differently.

Click here to see the recipe. With Thanksgiving & Christmas coming up, I'm going to be posting some old family recipes to share.  (and of course the stories that go with them.) 

I am going to workout now because I ate so much this weekend I think I gained about 5 pounds...Yikes!

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Henry giving 2 thumbs up before sliding down the shaving cream slide
Riley (in the white) & Katie (in the blue) getting the slide ready. 

Riley up top, Katie in the red, Woodson in blue & Henry in white preparing the slide!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Joy Bubbles Up Part 1

First of all, let me preface this by saying I only had 4 hours of sleep last night.  Woke up at 4:45 am Friday morning; went to bed at 4 am Saturday & woke up at 8am Saturday.  Wow, sleep deprivation is a killer.  With that said, if I ramble, just laugh at me & know that when I reread this I'm going to be wondering what I was thinking.

Have you ever had an emotion have a taste?  Bitter sadness, maybe...I like delicious laughter better.  I had a huge helping of delicious laughter last night.  It was Vestavia's homecoming & after the dance we hosted about 36 teenagers for breakfast & games.  I have been posting pictures for the kids to see & they are hilarious.  I love it when you have a picture and you can feel the happiness in it.  It reaches out and grabs you & makes you smile too.  Joy bubbles up.  The next thing you know you're laughing because of their happiness.  You laugh because of your memory of what you saw and experienced.  I Love It!  It's no wonder they say laughter is the best medicine, have you ever noticed how you feel after you laugh?  I was able stand back and see memories being formed and relationships strengthened.  What a blessing for me!  It was a great night with some great kids! 

My brother, Cotton, had the idea of game playing after breakfast.  I give him all the credit, because oh my goodness...it was hilarious!!!  I am going to post a few pictures so you can share in the laugh.

There's no recipe in part 1, but I will post a wonderful breakfast casserole that my friend, Traci Parker gave me and the variation that she approved of. 

I'm going to drink something with caffeine. 

Y'all be blessed beyond measure!
Abby & Hopson

Hop after the games
Part of the group after the games
Abby & Hopson after the games
Harry had to join in!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sometimes it's the simple things

I should be embarrassed about posting this new recipe, but I'm not.  If you can turn on the oven you can make this chicken.

My hair dresser, Monika, who has been cutting my hair since I was 8, gave me the recipe.  She is a wonderful person and has seen my family through a lot of ups and downs.  We laugh about my mom & the things she would do or say.  My mom would go get her hair colored, and then decided she wanted it a different shade or color altogether.  Well, it would end up green, purple, orange, you get the picture, and Monkia would get a call the next day to see if she could squeeze mom in to fix the color.  Of course she would, and mom would be good for about 6-8 weeks and then do it again.  Too funny. 

Monkia has been telling me about this chicken for about a year, but I never had french fried onions when I thought about making it.  I made it tonight & every child has given it a thumbs up, including the picky one.

Click here to see the recipe.  I promise you will not be disappointed if you make this!

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Giving credit where credit is due

I submit myself to the Grill Masters....  For a mom who wants to cook something different for the fam, my ribs are not to shabby.  (Click here to see the entry.)  But, Mr. Steve & Mr. Robert are the Grill Masters.

Last Saturday Mr. Steve brought over some very yummy ribs that he made, the traditional way, and told me to 'blog this'.  Hopson thought it would be funny to tell Steve we fed them to the dogs, but in reality we scarfed them down.  They were very good.  The next time I make my crockpot ribs I'm going to tweak the recipe using one of Steve's ingredients & I'll let you know how they turn out.  I can't cook ribs again yet because it's still to soon after the last batch.  I'm trying not to have rib burnout.

Last night, Mr. Robert brought over grilled hot wings.  I have permission to give his recipe, and let me tell you, I could have eaten all of them.  (click the word recipe to see it.)  I loved them grilled and not fried for several reasons:  1.  less fat because not fried; 2.  different flavor yet very tasty; and 3.  I don't have as much clean-up.  He also served them without the sauce for the children & they were great plain too.

Thank you Steve & Robert for allowing me to taste & partake in excellence.  I bow to you 'Oh Masters of the Grill'!  :) 

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Friday, October 8, 2010

A new look for an old friend

I love Thanksgiving & Christmas.  Not just like, LOVE.  The smells, lights, food, music, and, ...memories.

I always imagine us as being the Norman Rockwell family.  I want it perfect.  (this comes with being an extreme type A personality.)  Unfortunately, we are not that perfect family, but a girl can dream. 

I remember the first Christmas after my dad passed away, it was horrible!  I didn't want Christmas.  It was my dad's favorite holiday & it wasn't the same without him.  There were many tears shed that Christmas.  My mom's last Christmas was hard too.  I knew she was towards the end, and I tried to make it a great Christmas, but I can't remember a time in my life that I have been so tired and overwhelmed.  I still cry when I think about it.  But, thank you Jesus for the promise and hope that comes with Christmas.  I am now listening to Hallelujah (Light has Come) by BarlowGirl.  Click here to hear the song on youtube.  God did not leave me in my tired, heartbroken, overwhelmed state, but He sent His most precious possession to rescue me and set me free.  Emmanuel...God is with me.  Job knew he had a hope even though Jesus had not come yet.   Job 19:25 "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth."  For all of  you who have had tragedy happen to you this year:  first, please accept my most heartfelt sympathies; second, the everyday sadness doesn't last forever, you will laugh again; and third, embrace your memories.  It can be so painful at first, but over time you'll be glad you did.

I still want that perfect Thanksgiving & Christmas, but one big realization I've made is that if all my family is with me, no matter their state, it's perfect.  Elizabeth, Henry & I were discussing how close we were getting to the beginning of the Christmas music on the radio & so we decided to listen to some.  Bing Crosby to you.  (it's not Christmas until I hear a little Bing.)  One of the staple foods I make for Christmas morning are sausage balls.  I'm about to shift gears a little here, but trust me, sausage balls & Christmas are involved... 

Our children are out of school today.  It is an in-service day for the teachers.  The hospitality committee at Central decided to have breakfast for the teachers.  A very nice gesture.  I thought I had only signed-up to bring doughnuts.  Luckily, I decided to read the reminder email all the way through, because apparently I also signed-up to bring 2 dozen sausage balls.  I know a lot of  you are laughing at me because 2 dozen of anything is nothing.  (big eaters at home)  It was not the amount, just the timing of everything.  I told myself to suck it up & quit being so selfish, and make the stupid sausage balls.  (The whole 'being a cheerful giver' thing ran through my mind!  Thanks God for that conviction.)  I decided to change them up a little bit.  When an opportunity presents itself....well, I had to take it.  :)  I received two thumbs up from most of the group; the picky one hasn't tried them.  Click here for the recipe.

I'm going to be posting some Thanksgiving & Christmas recipes after Vestavia's Homecoming.  I'm going to have a, hopefully very large group of sophomores over for breakfast. Sausage balls are on the food list...  Love those kids!!! 

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Here are what is left of the sausage balls that I made for the fam.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Heaven, I'm in Heaven

What do you say to your 8 year old, who still has a high voice, comes and asks you to make pancakes for breakfast on a football Saturday.  Well, you say:  "Yes, of course I would love to make you some pancakes for breakfast."  Then when same 8 year old says:  "make them the way you know, the big guy, Kalvin said to"; you say, "Well, Henry, I think that's a great idea"; and you do.  Kalvin is one of Hoppy's friends, who is ginormous.  (Or at least to our family he is.  He's a 6'4 sophomore, I think he's taller, and my kids love it when he comes over because he's a skyscraper to all of us.)  Kalvin has a warm smile and an easy laugh.  He's a pretty cool kid.

Kal gets a HUGE gold star for this little pancake secret.  I'm not going to say what it is, I want you to look at the recipe.  I am weird and like to taste batters, and this one was delish. I added bananas to the batter & they went very well with all the other flavors.  The pancakes tasted like banana nut muffins.  Well, breakfast is done, and it's 30 minutes to game time, so I have to go get my game face on.  War Eagle y'all!  Thanks Kalvin for sharing the secret.  :)

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,
ps~for my non-tech friends, click on the word recipe to be directed to the we gotta eat website where I put all my recipe.  <3

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Precious Nothings

I love Saturdays in the fall.  Thankfully there is nothing for me to do, but hang with my family & friends and watch college football.

Today has been great.  Hopson took:  Harry, Elizabeth & Henry (with a friend) to the lake.  Hoppy had his football workout this morning at 7am so he and I stayed home.  I love staying home, I think I would have made a great hermit, and good, bad or otherwise, I think Hoppy could be a great one too.

Anyway, back to today's events....He came home & we hung out and watched ESPN Game Day.  I decided to go through some different recipe books to see if there was anything that sounded good.  I kinda liked challenging myself last week by cooking things out of my cookbooks.  I was bouncing different recipes off Hoppy & we came across Lemon Raspberry Squares.  Ok, one word, yum!

I'm sure a lot of y'all have made them before, but as my family will attest, I don't bake.  You have to be exact when you do, and I'm a dumper.  GiGi, my mother-in-law, and my sister, Amy are great at baking.  Amy will make the stuff that takes forever and she loves every minute of it.  She always makes it look pretty too, showoff.  :)  Amy also lets the children get involved, and I'm selfish when I cook.  (the children tend to make a mess.)  GiGi makes the hard stuff.  For one of my birthdays she made me a homemade chocolate cake.  Even the icing was homemade.  It was absolutely beautiful!  I wanted to swim in it because it was so yummy.

Hoppy & I made the lemon raspberry squares.  I think we had more fun licking the bowls and just hanging out talking.  It will be one of those memories that is a precious nothing.  Just some time and something sweet that was made.  Like I said, I love Saturdays in the fall. 

Here's the link for the recipe to Lemon Raspberry Squares.

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not cho' daddy's ribs

I have been hyping these ribs with the fam. for a whole week.  We were going to all sit down, watch the Thursday night ball game, (which is a very big deal in our house because we have no TV during the week) and just spend some time talking and hanging out together.

That's a big fat not.  I'm not going to bore you with details because it has happened to all of us.  I felt like I was in a movie...you know where the wife spends time preparing this elaborate romantic meal & her husband works late.  That was me, just with kids.

I started preparing these ribs 2 days ago.  I was in the grocery store a few weeks ago looking for some spice & came across different meat rubs.  (I found mine at the local Wal-Mart grocery store.)  I have quite a few men I know who are wonderful at cooking meat on the grill, and from what they say, the rub plays a big part in the taste of the meat.  You know, they are right.  (Pop, Robert, Steve & Coach Dennis)  I coated these ribs generously with my new found rub.  I was kinda giddy about it.  My kitchen & fingers smelled great all day I can imagine how they will smell cooking.  I decided to let the ribs sit for 24 hours...but then I remembered that it was only Tuesday & I wanted to serve these Thursday, so they had the privilege of sitting for 48 instead.  Does that happen to anyone else?  Wishful thinking...

I know a lot of you purists are going to poo poo on me, but I say talk to the hand....I cooked these bad boys in the crock pot!  WooHoo, no-think cooking, the best kind for crazy moms on the go.  I hope it will make  you feel better that I cooked mine for 11 hours on low.  They fell apart before I could get them on the plate.  All kids gave it a thumbs up & definitely a do again.  Everyone fed, everyone happy, my kitchen cleaned-up for the most part & one more easy recipe on the books.  It's official...for tonight...the kitchen is closed.

Y'all enjoy the ribs.  Click the link below to see the recipe.  It's truly a no brainer.  If you don't see the recipe pop up, click the recipe tab at the top of the opened page.

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The awaited 5th recipe

I have made the 5th recipe.  Very easy & full bodied.  (that doesn't sound very nice...)  I was watching Rachel Ray with my mother-in-law, GiGi, and I had to write this down because it sounded so wonderful and different.  Of course I tweaked it...heaven forbid I follow a recipe to the letter.  This is how my rebel side manifests itself, because I am extremely anal retentive. (so much so that my monogram is ANL.  As you can guess, I don't have too many things monogrammed in my house.)

Tuesdays are a come and go day, so we have to eat in shifts.  The first shift had 'the picky one', Harry, aka the crippled child, aka Crippleboy Swag.  He gave himself the last name, can you tell?  Well, the picky one ate it!!!  Hey Mikey, he liked it!  Bing!  Score 1 for the home team.

Next up was Hopson, I just wanted him to taste it to let me know if he liked it or not.  He stood over the pot and ate his.  Peggy (GiGi) I didn't really just write that, you just think I did...  :)  Score 2!

Henry, the bottomless pit, was the next one in line.  I have never seen a skinny 8 year old eat as much as he does.  He almost eats as much as Hoppy, it is kinda gross, but he's like a little heater so I know he's burning it off.  He ate it, but left the tomatoes.  That's not a full point only half, but he asked for his fruit & veggie, because I didn't have it ready.  He ate 2 servings of salad...and I'm giving myself another half point for that.

I have eaten and like it, but I don't think I count because I cooked it.  (I knew I would like it while she was cooking it.)  Let me know what you think.

Elizabeth is the next victim. She liked it, but took a break from eating it because she said it was a little too spicy.  It has a ton of pepper in it from the bacon. 

Hoppy is last, as usual, on Tuesdays during football season.  He had 2 huge helpings...but was this because he was hungry or because he liked it?  It's both.  He's my honest to a fault child.  It's my fault he is like this.  When I would ask Hopson if something I wore was ugly or made me look fat, he always says 'it looks great', so I would ask Hoppy & he would always tell me the truth...nice some days, not so nice others.

Ok, so that's home team 5 for 5.  I asked the kids if they would like this in the rotation of foods I cook.  They all said yes, but next time I will take some of the pepper off the bacon so it's not so spicy.

Click the link below to check out the recipe, if it doesn't come up, make sure you click on the recipe tab at the top of the page:

Since this recipe's main ingredient is bacon, I've included a link to Jim Gaffigan's bit in his comedy routine that is about bacon, it's absolutely hilarious!!! I think it's on King Baby.  He's clean, so your kids can watch it too.

Enjoy the laugh & be blessed beyond measure

Crippleboy Swag...looking fly

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just for You

Here is me, stepping out of my comfort zone just for you.  Why you might ask?  Because I love you...and I'm tired of cooking the same stuff.  Cooking out of a cookbook for me can be heinous.  Strange ingredients, labor intensive...who has the time? 

Well, I've found 5 recipes that are not so bad.  The appetizer recipe I have posted was a variation on a recipe I have had for years, but it was sightly different so I tried it and I gave it a Mexican flair. The original I have is better, so I have posted that one, but will include the Mexican tweak.  The chicken dish I made last night I will convert into a crock pot recipe for all you cp'ers out there. 

The two recipe books I used are Food for Thought  by The Junior League of Birmingham & Absolutely a la Carte from the restaurant, A La Carte, in Cleveland, Mississippi.  (they have the best blackeye pea soup, I'll do that recipe in the future once it turns cooler!  If it ever does...)  I'm only posting 4 recipes today instead of the 5 I told you.  I'm posting the 5th one tomorrow.  It has made my kitchen smell wonderful, and of course, I'm tweaking it.  (I actually did do something the recipe called for & used fresh garlic..gasp here.)    I'm letting the flavors come together in my fridge for a little while, so I'll let you know tonight what the fam. thinks about it.

All the recipes and the tweaks to them can be found on my recipe blog.  Just click the link below & there you go!  :)  I'm excited about what I've cooked the last 7 days & hope it helps you find something a little different too that your family will eat...even the picky ones. 

Here's the link...make sure you click the recipes tab at the top of the page:  http://wegottaeat.com/ashnance

Y'all be bless beyond measure,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stepping out of my comfort zone

I decided to challenge myself, because stepping out of my comfort zone is good, right?  I am actually cooking stuff out of some of my recipe books.  So, I've gone from just reading to cooking from them.  One condition, no weird ingredients.  I wanted the recipes to be something I could add into the rotation of what I cook for the fam. & something 'the picky one' would even eat.  Is anyone else tired of what they cook for dinner & need some new ideas besides me?

Tomorrow I'm going to post 4 entrees and 1 dip.  Of course I changed them up a little & didn't really measure anything, but they turned out great.  There's one recipe that the kids thought was ok, but Hopson & I liked it.  (I'll let you know which one it is.)  I'm serving a new recipe tonight & one tomorrow for dinner, so I'll let you know how that goes.  I think the weirdest ingredient I bought that I usually don't keep on hand is heavy whipping cream. 

Watch for tomorrow's post...it will have the recipes & what the children thought of tonight's meal. 

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Well, here I am sitting at the computer when I should be cooking.  Tonight we are having an oldie but a goodie.  Hamburger quiche.  It's not a girly quiche by any stretch of the imagination.  (my clan would not come near it with a 10 foot pole if it was.)  It's hearty and is as good in the summer as it is in the winter.  I just change up what I serve with it.

This is another one of my mother's recipes.  I still have the original recipe card with her handwriting.  You may think I'm weird, sometimes I'll get her recipe box down just to look at her handwriting and think of her cooking.  It makes her feel just a little closer.  No more sad things for today...  This blog is about joy, and sometimes from the least likely place, joy wells up. 

Did you ever notice that Jesus loved a good meal and/or party?  I think he knew that when food was present it was easier for people to talk, ask questions, and listen to what He had to say.  Maybe that's why meal time is so important for our families.  It gives us a chance to do the same thing.  It's gotten hard for us to do this every night, but we try to have family dinners as often as we can.  If you can't do dinner, do breakfast.  If you need conversation starters b/c you're tired of hearing your kids say everything is fine, play a dinner game.  We have a blast every time we play.  Go to the following link to see some:

Well, it's time for me to go cook now.  Joy is mine!  I've included some verses I came across this week while I was doing my bible study.  I think they are perfect for today! 

Acts 14:17  "Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."

Acts 2:28 "You have made known to me the paths of life;
      you will fill me with joy in your presence."

Here's the link for my momma's hamburger quiche recipe.  It's easy to double and freeze part to have for later.

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dinner under 30?

30 what though?  Ingredients, dollars, minutes which one?  Minutes tonight for sure. 

I always joked that after I was done working at my little part-time job was when my real job started.  If I was to get paid for my mommy skills, I wonder how much I would make?  Some experts say around 130K, well that comes close to what I spend to fill up my gas tank and groceries.  (not really, but close)   Today was a day that I spent the better part of the day in and out of the car.  You know those days...when it sure would be easier to just pull through a drive through, but for us that's a no can do so, what to cook?

I had 2 pounds of farm raised catfish that we needed to eat & I'm thinking how in the world should I cook this stuff without frying or grilling, and what do I serve with it? You ever have nights like that? You know what you have to cook, but how to prepare it?  I get so sick of eating the same stuff over & over. 

Fish is not my family's favorite dinner, unless it's fried.  When I'm in a very generous mood I'll fry stuff, otherwise, no way hoseman.  I can feel the grease caking my face & it takes forever to cook & clean-up.  Sorry, rabbit trail.

Ok, this is not gourmet meal, but so far my younger two have scarfed it down, so here we go. The joys of eating in shifts.  Update:  the older ones are home and inhaled it, even the picky one!  Success and utter joy is mine!

I have posted the fish recipe on the following link:

Now onto the rest of the meal.... You're going to laugh, and my mom is going to roll over in her grave when I admit this.  My children love fake mashed potatoes.  You know the flakes you get in the box & heat water and margarine to boiling, add in the milk & flakes and salt & viola...you have mashed potatoes.  Not.  I can taste fake mashed potatoes from a mile away, but hey this is dinner under 30, so doctored fake mashed potatoes is what we had.  I'll include how I doctored them below.  I think they all liked this part of the meal the best.  Crazy kids.

The veggie was an oldie but goodie, pea casserole minus the Ritz crackers.  Most excellent when you need something in a hurry (and are out of frozen broccoli) and it needs to be green.

Well, all in all, I would say dinner was a success, and a very easy clean-up to boot.  I can now go to bed with a smile on my face knowing that just for today everyone was satisfied & I didn't have to coerce anyone into eating.  A good day indeed!

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Here's the fake mashed potato recipe I promised!  Remember I have big eaters so I used 6 servings of fake mashed potatoes even though Hopson only had a tasting & I didn't eat any...

Follow directions on the box to make the 'fake' mashed potatoes
Once potatoes are made:
Add DiGiorno grated Parmesan cheese.  Use 1 oz for every 2 servings of mashed potatoes you have.      (this was the only stuff I had on hand, but you can use fresh if you want)
dried Italian seasoning (I had publix brand in my spice cabinet, use generously)
2 pinches per 2 servings of Kosher Salt 
You will need to tasted the potatoes to make sure you have enough seasonings, so alter to your liking

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

lazy cookin'

Ok, I admit it...I'm a lazy cook.  If there's a way to cheat & make a recipe easier, I'm going to try it.  Sometimes I just don't feel like chopping up onions & garlic, so I'll use the (add gasp here) frozen onions & minced garlic in a jar.  I know it will make what I cook taste differently, but it seems every time I take the time to chop, mince, crush fresh herbs, my family turns their noses up at what I cook.  Go figure.  I dump a bunch of 'stuff' in a pan and they love it.

I've taken a recent recipe from The Pioneer Woman & changed it, of course to make it easier, and cooked it in the crock pot.  Love some crock pot cooking! 

This was so easy & is so tasty, my kitchen smells wonderful. 

Click on the link below to go to the recipe.

Thanks KP for turning me onto The Pioneer Woman, she actually has pictures as she cooks stuff, and simple directions, so it's really idiot proof.  If you haven't checked out her site it's  http://thepioneerwoman.com/.  She also has really cool giveaways.  Oh to one day be able to do that, maybe since I'm unemployed now I'll look into it...it can't hurt!  Who likes free stuff, um, that would be me! 

Let me know what you think of the beef tips & me trying to do a free giveaway.  Maybe if you leave a comment or become a follower, I'll give y'all stuff first!  :)

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Friday, September 3, 2010

Because Football Season is HERE!!!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!!  FOOTBALL!  I like watching all kinds of football, but of course having a high school football player has placed Rebel football at the top of my list.  It's hard to believe that I have a child old enough to play, I keep looking for my little brother, Cotton, instead of my son.  (Cotton is not so little anymore, he turned 31 in May.)  For your viewing pleasure I've included pictures of Hop as he was leaving for his game tonight. Check out the happenin' black socks he's sporting. Nice aren't they?! (he looks like Hopson does when comes home from work & decides to workout in his dark work socks.)  Running a very close second with watching the Rebels play is Auburn football!!! War Eagle, Hey!    

Friends, fellowship, food & football, some wonderful words that start with f.  We love to have parties and watch football, literally all day long. If you're in the area, just call & find out what we're doing, our policy is:  the more the merrier.  Is there anything better than the food?  Oh, it makes you want to stand up and slap your momma. (not recommended of course)  I think I like the grazing aspect of it.  You eat a little, take a break, eat a little, take a break; and on top of all that you get to have wonderful fellowship and make memories with friends.  (I'm always sneaking around with my camera taking pictures, because everything must be documented.)  The joy that football brings to our household.

One of my favorite dishes for football season is actually made by Hopson.  You may have had this, but on the off chance you haven't, happy eating to you my friends!  I asked Hopson who showed him how to make them, and he thinks it was his former boss, Norman Gayle.  Norman is a great hunter, and throws a pretty good party himself.  The first time I had these, they were made with quail and dove, but if you're fresh out of those you can use chicken.  Hopson wanted me to remind you to pound the chicken as thin as possible.  On the recipe I put 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch thick, but you can do it thinner.

I'm trying out a website to list all my recipes, so if you can't get to it, please let me know & I'll post it here.  :)   Well, it's time to go get pumped up for some football!  Go Rebels & War Eagle!!!

For the recipe go to the following link. 

Be blessed beyond measure!

Hop in his great lookin' black game socks.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

College, Roomates & Chicken

I had great roommates & neighbors in college.  We were friends in high school & are still friends today.  My freshman year at Auburn we all lived in the dorm. (shout out to dorm 9!) Our sophomore year moved into College Park II when it was brand new. I have so many wonderful memories of that time.

Kim, Monte, Malia & I would cook dinner & sit down together and eat & watch our soap or a movie together.  It was great, we were a little family.  Have you ever noticed how food brings people together & spreads happiness? 

There are two things that I always try to keep in my kitchen:  chicken & rice.  These 2 foods are so versatile, and so good for you.  A few months ago we accidental bought chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts, and I'll be honest, I like them so much more.  It's easier to control portion size, but still get lots of flavor.  We have to buy meat in bulk (2 teenage boys, 1 tween daughter & an 8 year old who eats like the 16 year old).  We plow through 2 pounds of any kind of meat in one sitting.  It's kinda scary, but at the same time, it makes a momma smile.

Momma's Chicken is one of the first recipes my mom gave me when I moved to Auburn.  I remember cooking it for my roommates.  It's so easy, but so tasty.  Even though it's chicken & rice you can really change the flavor by what you use to cook it with.  I made this for dinner last night & was out of one of the ingredients, so I improvised.  That's what's so great about Momma's Chicken.  I'm going to include the original recipe that came from my mom, the way I changed it the 1st time & then how I served it last night.  The versions I'm giving are the 'small' ones, so if you have big eaters, double it.

I'm so thankful for the memories I have from Auburn with my roommates.  We had a lot of laughter, a few tears, but tons of fun.  They mean the world to me! 

Be Blessed Beyond Measure,

Momma's Chicken (original)

1 pound chicken breasts
1 cup rice
1 cup water
1 package Lipton onion soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 350
Mix last 3 ingredients until well blended
Pour rice in the bottom of a baking dish
Wet the rice with some water
Place chicken on top of the rice
Pour all of liquid mixture on top of chicken
Cover with tinfoil & cook for 1 hour.

Momma's Chicken (1st tweak)

1 pound chicken breasts
1 cup rice
1 cup water
1 package Lipton onion soup
1 can golden mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 350
Mix last three ingredients until well blended
Pour rice in the bottom of the pan
We the rice with water
Place chicken on top of rice
Pour all liquid mixture on top of the chicken
Cover with tinfoil & cook for 1 hour.

Momma's Chicken (2nd tweak)

1 pound chicken breasts
1 cup rice
1 cup beef broth
1 cup sour cream
1 can golden mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 350
Mix last 3 ingredients until well blended
Pour rice in the bottom of the pan
Wet rice with water
Place chicken on top of the rice
Pour all of liquid mixture on top of the chicken
Cover with tinfoil & cook for 1 hour.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

delicious sadness

I remember a time early in my married life when Hopson & I didn't have 2 pennies to rub together.  He was a brand new CPA & low man on the totem pole at one of the big 6 firms.  Roughly that means he was slave labor.  There were weeks when he worked 7 days a week for 10-12 hours a day.  We were on a very tight budget, and I was always looking for ways to stretch the food I bought.  This is not a sob story, I'm an Auburn girl, and 'I believe in work, hard work'.  War Eagle to all my AU peeps, but I'm digressing.

Little Hopson, I will call him Hop or Hoppy from here on out, was almost 2, I was pregnant with baby number 2, Harry, and we were about to be hit with news that would change my life forever. We were excited to be going on our 1st family vacation, thanks to Ashley & Jim Moss for letting us tag along with them to the beach.  Being pregnant, I didn't sleep very much, and found an interesting cookbook at the beach house.  It was the Taste Alabama Tradition II; a cookbook by The American Cancer Society; Alabama Division, Inc. 

Once you've had a family member die from cancer, you almost do a double take when ever you see or hear that horrible word; so, I noticed the cookbook when I saw who it is by & wondered what's in it.  I start flipping through it, because, as you know from 'Peppa Chicken' I love to read cookbooks, and I come across an interesting recipe.  It's called Porcupines.  I liked it immediately!  No fancy ingredients, nothing too hard, it's perfect. 

I have done some variations of it over the years & have shared it with many on the go moms.  I'm going to list my children's favorite version 1st & then the original will be listed below.

The ending of our 1st family vacation was not what we wanted it to be.  We had to leave the beach the day after we arrived.  We were devastated because we found out my mother had melanoma, and we didn't know it yet, but it had already started to metastasize.  She lived for 1 1/2 years more & passed away December 30th of 1997. (big Hopson's birthday & the day before Harry's 1st birthday.)  It was a very rough time, but I always remembered when I found this recipe & am happy that from something so sad came something my family loves.

Be blessed beyond measure,

I'm going to give you a 'small' version of the recipe, if you have big eaters like I do, you will need to double it.

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 can Franco American beef gravy
1-1 1/2 cups Italian dressing
1 cup beef broth
a couple of dashes Worcestershire sauce
minced garlic

preheat oven to 350
mix ground beef & rice in a bowl.  shape individual meatballs & place in baking dish
in a sauce pan over medium heat mix gravy, Italian dressing, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic.
cook to just boiling, don't let it boil or it will scorch
once mixture is heated, pour over meatballs
cover with tinfoil & cook in preheated oven for 1 hour

the original recipe taken from Taste of Alabama Tradition II
1 pound group beef
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

mix ground beef, rice, onion, slat & pepper.  Shape into meatballs
combine undiluted soup, water & Worcestershire sauce in saucepan.  heat just to boiling.
pour sauce over meatballs.
cover with tinfoil & bake at 350 for 1 1/4 hours, or until rice is tender, baste occasionally with sauce, if desired.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Peppa Chicken

Here is a recipe I posted a few weeks ago.  I never did put the name of it.  It's Peppa Chicken and my kids loved it, even Harry, my picky one.  If you can't find the McCormic's 'It's a Dilly' seasoning, you can use dill weed, lemon peel (from the spice section) and salt.

I love to read recipe books, the key phrase being read.  The food always looks so good & I know tastes great.  One minor problem...I don't keep duck pate in my fridge.  I hate going to the store to buy random ingredients for a recipe that I know I'll never use again.  I keep my kitchen stocked with everyday stuff & am somewhat lazy in the fact I don't like going grocery shopping everyday.  ;)  You may find it hard to believe, but I actually had the pick-a-pepper sauce (I think my mom bought it.  That means the stuff is way old, she's been dead since 1997.) and the It's a Dilly seasoning in my spice cabinet. 

I have the pleasure to have some amazing cooks in my family.  I learned first from my mom & MeMaw.  If you have any recipe that you love from your parents, get them to show you how they cook it & write it down!  There are so many recipes I wish I had, but didn't have the foresight at 25 to think about documenting them.  Other cooks in my family that are great are:  Sandy, sister-in-law; Peggy, mother-in-law; Amy, sister.

I hope you enjoy the Peppa Chicken & going to the grocery to pick up random ingredients like pick-a-peppa (which is good over a block of cream cheese & served with crackers) and the It's a Dilly seasoning.

Be blessed beyond measure,

Peppa Chicken
‎1-2 pounds chicken

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 to 1 1/2 cup(s) sour cream
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup pick-a-pepper sauce
Kosher salt
It's a Dilly seasoning
Garlic salt

Mix all ingredients except chicken
Coat bottom of crock pot with mixture
Place chicken on top
Coat with the rest of mixture
Cook on low for 4-5 hours
Serve with noodles (the sauce is good on top of the noodles)

heaping teaspoons of life

Ok, I must admit, I'm a little nervous.  I've read others blogs, but never blogged about, well...me.  I'm just a mom, so here goes nothing.  Many of you have commented on the recipes I put on facebook, so instead of putting them there, I'm going to put them here.

 I have loved cooking since I was little.  I remember sitting to watch my mom & paternal grandmother,  from here on out known as MeMaw, cook things that would melt in your mouth.  Both of them are in heaven now, but when I cook, they are always in the back of my mind. 

We are all busy.  Families, jobs, homes to take care of, who has time to cook anymore?  Well, I'm taking it back.  (for my family at least!)  I hope this blog will help you do that too.  I may offer some parenting tips, love tips, or ask for some in return.  This is just me, exposed.  (in a good way) 

One of my favorite verses in the entire world is 2 Tim 1:7  "For the Lord did not give us a spirit of fear, but one of love, power, and a sound mind."  I don't know about y'all, but I need those on a daily basis.  My prayer is that you may feel the love of the Son today.  I'll be posting some of my FB recipes if not today, then sometime this week.  It's crazy~ 2 school open houses down...2 to go!

Be Blessed beyond measure,

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