Monday, November 28, 2011

Three Little Turkeys

So I got crafty right before Turkey day, and after seeing this Onesie Tie How-to on pinterest, I concocted a plan....

Onesie Tie How To

Turkey+onesie tie=LURVE.

These are 3 of the sweetest little turkeys you will ever meet!!

Don't you just want to squeeze them till they gobble? 

Using Wonder-Under and different patterern-ed, fabrics I cut out the turkey's little eyes, beak, and gobbler (idk if that's what its called).

I had some problems with my fabric fraying so had to ad-lib...but they still turned out precious!

Next time I will cut enough fabric to fold the fabric under and THEN sew for less ad-libing, and extra cuteness.

Hope you had a fabulous turkey day!!

"Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done." 1 Chronicles 16:8

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day-After Buffalo Turkey Salad

When I was growing up, the days after Thanksgiving were some of the most terrible of days for me.

Because we had to eat leftovers.

And I do not love leftovers.

Especially after stuffing ourselves silly the night before and then mom and dad expected us to eat the same exact thing all over again. Ugh.

Mom tried to mix it up. She made turkey salad with the leftover turkey.

But I would whine and say, I don't like turkey salad. I don't even like chicken salad.

But then I always had a secret bite and it was delicious. But instead of liking it, I wanted to pout instead, because we were having the same thing for dinner. Again. Like 3 days in a row.

Now that I'm older, and much much wiser, I actually relish the after-turkey day turkey salad making. I think because I understand that its just plain not cool to waste that much turkey.

And because I get to be in charge of what I eat the day after thanksgiving. Even if I give myself the same rules. {Leftovers}. I still get to decide. So it automatically becomes more fun.

This year I added some Franks Red Hot. And it was a great choice. One that I made all by myself.

So put your sweatpants back on and have some fun with your leftovers.

Buffalo Turkey Salad
2 cups leftover turkey, chopped
1/3 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/3 cup mayonnaise with Olive oil
Seasoned Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
Franks Red Hot, to taste

Combine all ingredients, stirring until creamy and chunky. If too dry, add more mayonnaise. If not spicy enough, add more Franks!

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:17

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Today is a day for giving thanks.

For gathering around the table with the people you love, or the people you've just met, and invited into your home.

For appreciating the people in your life and reflecting on the year that you've had.

I thought about my family and the year we've had. And it was a doozie.

My big sister and her family moved to Texas.

I found out my little sister is also moving 1.5 hours away in January.

My in-laws had a house fire and had to vacate their home.

I lost my job.

And yet, I am so grateful amongst all of these trials that happened this year.

Because, you see, God didn't just stop there.

There was a mountain after the valley.

Last weekend, I went to visit my big sister in Texas, and she loves it there. And I can see her building a beautiful home away from home in Texas.

My little sister is moving 1.5 hours away to follow her dreams of becoming a nurse.

My in-laws got the okay to move back into their upgraded and dazzling RENEWed home, yesterday.

I got a brand new job. And it rocks.

God doesn't just bring a valley into our lives and then walk away. He has a plan. And the plan usually involves a lot of time on our knees, begging. And it involves a lot of people in your life coming together and surrounding you with love. And then we find ourselves, once again, on our knees, in thanks.

I am so thankful life isn't easy.

And that, amidst all the heartache, pain, and trouble in this world, there is beauty. Beauty so grand, that it can only be seen from a mountaintop. A mountaintop that we could only find, on our way up out of the valley.

Happy Thanksgiving!

"In everything give thanks." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mediterranean Hummus Dip

Where WAS I this past week?

I know, I know, I'm a total slacker, and haven't blogged in a week. I'm having withdrawal. I hope you are too.

I was away for work and then made my way off to visit the lovely city that features these:

Yup. Those are the World's Largest Cowboy boots. And they're in San Antonio, TX.

Fun Fact: They are 40 feet tall and 35 feet wide. And I couldn't stop staring at them as I was driving by. Like, craning my neck backwards to watch them.

I was visiting my big sis who just moved semi-cross country to San Antonio.

And it was a blast.

We went to a wedding, which a) served Margaritas for FREE, and b) the guests stood up and broke out in applause when the bride came in??

So, it was basically what I imagine traveling to Mexico might be like, but with the Texas logo stamped on everything.

And mi amigo, let me tell you, it was quite the place. I can't wait to go back.  OR to break out into applause at the next wedding I am at, just to test it out.

So... this hummus has absolutely nothing to do with Texas.  Or mexican food. Or weddings.

But its delicious and you'll thank me for being random later. And you'll thank my mom for introducing me to this heavenly mediterranean dip. And then you will thank the plate after you lick it.

And as this is the week of thanks, and of being thankful, it may just be the perfect appetizer to kick off your Thanksgiving feast! {Look at me covering all my bases.} Yep. That's what happens when I'm gone for a week.

I promise I'll get my act together shortly.

Mediterranean Layered Hummus Dip

8 oz. Pine Nut or choice hummus
1 small vine ripe tomato, diced
6-8 Calamata olives in brine, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles.

Spread hummus evenly over a serving dish. In rings, add tomatoes, calamata olives, onions, and feta cheese.

*You can also add cucumbers, but I forgot.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Almonds

Let's talk about blonde moments.

Everyone has them right?

Even if you have just ONE stray piece of blonde hair on your head, you have them. [This is where you nod in agreement.]

Well yesterday I had an entire blonde day.

Everything that came out of my mouth should have stayed inside my head and swirled around in my confused brain of blondeness.

i.e. Asking a MEDICAL STUDENT if she was in nursing school. Really?

Ok moving on.

I was standing in line at Fresh Market and you know how they have those little sample boxes to tempt you to buy more? Well there was this delicious mix of sugared almonds, yogurt covered rasins, and seeds n such.

And I thought...dang these are GOOD. What is that flavor I taste. {All happening inside my head.}

And the lady behind me went to check out as I walked away and the cashier said "Would you like to try our Pumpkin Spice mix?"

I took that opportunity to turn around and tell him, OH, THAT's WHAT I TASTED. Before walking out. Like the two of us were having a conversation. That we weren't.

Anywho, It was like having Target's Archer Farms Cinnamon Sugared almonds {which I already love to eat by the handful thankyousomuch LivetoLoveplus enabling my obsession with pumpkin.

Welcome to Reason #852 why making things that taste like pumpkin is cool.

I also didn't have to spend $15 on said "Pumpkin Spice Mix" from Fresh Market. {I love you Fresh Market, but you're kind of a snob for charging designer prices for food.}

These are much more savory than cinnamon-sugared almonds. Less like candy, more like pumpkin pie + afternoon snack jumping in your belly and having a party.

BONUS: They make your house smell Ah-Mazing. So if you really want to pretend your house is clean, throw these in the oven before you invite someone over.

It'll be all you can do not to lick the oven door.

{But wait till they leave.They'll think you're weird.}

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Almonds
1 egg white
1 tsp cold water
1 cup whole plain almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray.

Beat egg white and water until slightly frothy (~30 seconds to a minute).  Toss almonds in egg white/water mixture.

Combine sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Toss sugar and spices with almonds until liberally coated.

Pour on jelly roll pan and bake in oven at 250 for 60 minutes, tossing occasionally with spatula until golden brown.

"...since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you." Colossians 1:9" 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken

I LOVE Thai food.

However, I never know what to order when we go to a Thai restaurant because its got a slightly more confusing and crazy menu than your typical chinese.

Tom Yum Goong. Pad See Ew. Beef Panang.

Huh? The only word I got out of that was "beef."

My brother-in-law and his gf however, are Thai experts.

Experts, as in, the people at the restaurant they took us to, know them by name....

Experts, as in, one night my bro-in-law decided to cook us some Thai food. And he went on and on about how hot the Thai chili peppers are and telling my husband NOT to rub his eyes after touching them.

And then some manly competition ensued about who could eat a whole pepper by itself. Whereby, my husband bit into a particularly hot pepper and started to yell and flap his arms like a bird.

Which made my bro-in-law laugh himself to tears and then WIPE the tears out of his eyes. After touching the chilis.

Needless to say, for the rest of us it was a hoot.

Them, notsomuch.

So from bro-in-laws highly cultured advice, during our last visit to a thai restaurant, I ordered Spicy Thai Basil Chicken.

All of which is in English, thankyouverymuch.

It's made of deliciously crunchy chicken, which is swimming in a spicy gravy-like sauce riddled with the taste of basil.

And Oh-my-Thai! It was delish.

So last night I set out to recreate my own. And I literally had to stop myself from eating it for breakfast.

Where's a padlock when you need one?

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken

1 lb chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 2'' cubes
1 1/3 cup coconut milk
10 basil leaves
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp Siracha Chili Sauce
2 Tbsp Red Pepper flakes
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ginger paste
Dash white pepper
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 large shallot, diced (or small onion)
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 Tbsp butter
1 cup jasmine rice
Dash salt and pepper
2 cups water

1. Mix together marinade. Add coconut milk, 6 basil leaves (torn), red pepper flakes, soy sauce, fish sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil, and ginger paste, and divide. (Add more red pepper to your desired spiciness.) Coat chicken lightly in white pepper. Marinate chicken in half of marinade for 1-3 hours.

2. In a large pot, sauté peppers and shallot in 1 tbsp butter until translucent and tender.  Remove vegetables and place off to the side.  Add vegetable oil to pot and heat at Medium- Medium High until the wrong end of a wooden spoon placed in the oil produces rapid bubbles around the handle. (This tells you the oil is ready for frying-if you have another method, have at it!)

3. In a separate pan, bring to boil 1 cup rice and 2 cups of water with dash salt and pepper and 1 tbsp butter. Once boiling, reduce to simmer, and simmer on low 20-25 minutes until rice is tender and water has evaporated.

4. Toss chicken in flour, and add a few pieces at a time to the oil, lightly frying the chicken 1-2 minutes on each side until cooked in the center.

5. Set chicken aside, and cook remaining marinade in a pot on medium heat for 4-5 minutes until thick and creamy. Stir in vegetables and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add chicken and remaining basil leaves, and coat with sauce.

Serve over rice.

4 servings

Printable Recipe

"How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!" Psalm 139:17-18

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Do the Mashed Potato

Check out the fancy footwork:

Seriously Mr. Ned, if you were my dad I'd dance with you. C'mon Alex. Do the mashed potato with your father.

Maybe over the holidays I can challenge my dad to a mashed potato dance-off.

He can wiggle his legs off, I will cook.



How do I mashed potato?

With LOTs of cheese and bacon of course.

Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potato

4 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" peices
Water, for boiling potatoes
Salt & Pepper, to taste
2 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
3 tbsp. butter
2 tsp garlic powder
4 slices of bacon
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Place bacon on a slotted cookie sheet over a jelly roll pan to catch the grease, and place in oven for 20-25 minutes until bacon is crispy.

While bacon is cooking, submerge potatoes completely in water. Add salt and boil for 20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.

Once potatoes are fork tender, drain off the excess water and place them in a large bowl. Using a potato  masher, add heavy cream, cream cheese, butter, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and mash until you get a creamy consistency. {You may need to add extra heavy cream to get them to the desired fluffiness.}

Once potatoes are mashed, put in a baking dish, top with cheese and chopped bacon, and BROIL on high for 3-4 minutes until cheese is melted.

"The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease." Lamentations 3:22

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

All in a Sticky...

So I've been seeing tons of Random Acts of Kindness ideas all over Pinterest lately.

And I've had a stirring in my heart, a desire to do something.

Something random.

Something that shows God's love for someone.

And today, I was inspired by a sticky note.

More specifically by the Love Revolution that is starting over at Live to Love.

My dear sweet sister and blogger had a wonderful idea to post sticky notes on bathroom mirrors, books, anywhere and everywhere, with encouraging words and scripture on them to leave behind for unsuspecting people.

People that might just need to hear what God thinks of them today.

Words of grace. And love. And hope.

I did my first sticky today. And left it on a bathroom mirror at a large Medical Complex.

And it was exhilarating. Trying to leave a sticky and not getting caught. Cause what's the fun in that?

So I challenge you.

Find a sticky note. Write encouraging words on it, and sneak it somewhere anonymously. Somewhere where someone, somewhere, might just need to hear that they are beautiful, loved, and that God cares about them more than they could ever imagine.

Good luck on your sticky note challenge.

Make sure you visit and add your pic of your sticky so we can help start this Love Revolution.

"The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Monday, November 7, 2011

Roasted Apple Butternut Squash Risotto

So my husband went to work on his car with a friend.

I told him I would miss him dearly and cook a vegetarian dish in honor of his absence.

Because he gets confused when dishes don't have meat.

And I LOVE risotto.

And he does not.

So when he is gone, I get my risotto on.

This one involved some produce browsing, brainstorming and finger crossing.

And if you know risotto, you know it's not a short process.

So if it was a bust, I would be left hungry. And tired from all that stirring.

PTL {PraisetheLord} it wasn't. A bust. It was A Mazing.

Have we talked about my obsession this fall with roasted vegetables? We're practically going steady.

And they are the perfect accouterment to this risotto. Did I use accouterment appropriately? Good.

So the next time your husband sneaks off to do manly things, make this creamy dreamy risotto.

And stir to your hearts content, with confidence.

Roasted Apple Butternut Squash Risotto
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2'' cubes
1 apple, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1/2 Red onion, cut in wedges
2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic
3 TBSP butter
1 cup Arborio Rice
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Roast Butternut Squash, onion, apple, and garlic cloves in EVOO, nutmeg, salt and pepper at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. (Turning once).

Pour 2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup wine in a small pot and put on the stove at medium heat, keeping warm while rice is prepared.

Once vegetables are done roasting, add to a big pot. Add butter and rice. Cook until butter has melted, about 1-2 minutes, toasting the rice slightly. Pour in 1/2 cup of wine and cook for 2-3 minutes until reduced and liquid is almost gone.

Add broth/wine mixture to rice one ladleful at a time until liquid is almost gone, stirring fairly continuously on Medium heat. This process will take about 15 minutes until all of the broth/wine has been used up.

At this point, the rice should have a moist, creamy consistency.

Stir in parmesan cheese and serve!

"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sometimes God cracks me up.

I had dinner with a sweet new friend this week. Who coincidentally got put in my small group at church.

And we have lots in common.

What a nice little reminder that God is orchestrating something CrazyWonderful up there.

And that there is no such thing as a coincidence with God.

So this week when I stumbled across these Healthy Sweet Potato Skins at Pinch of Yum I knew it was no coincidence.

In my fridge sat one half of a sweet potato I had cooked 2 nights ago.

It was sad and lonely and needed some excitement.

So, rather than the usual brown sugar and butter topping, I added some crazy to it.

And when I saw some of the ingredients: sweet potato, spinach, chickpeas.... I thought, this sounds kinda funky.

And it is. Funky. Like nothing you've ever eaten before.

In all the best ways.

Creamy and savory, with a little kick, it is the perfect thing to make with your sweet potatoes.

AND according to Pinch of Yum its healthy.

Everyone wins.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
adapted from Pinch of Yum

1 whole sweet potato
1/2 cup frozen spinach
1 tbsp butter
4 TBSP garlic hummus
4 tsp sour cream
2 oz. cream cheese
Red Pepper flakes
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 slice mozzarella cheese

Bake sweet potato in aluminum foil at 375 for 35-40 minutes until fork tender.

Cut sweet potato in half. Scoop out inside of sweet potatoes.

Coat sweet potato skin in oil and BROIL on High for 3-4 minutes, each side.

In a sauté pan, add frozen spinach in butter and cook on Medium heat until tender and wilted. Add pinch red pepper flakes and salt and pepper, to taste. Add in sweet potato middles, hummus, cream cheese and sour cream, and stir over medium heat until cream cheese has melted and mixture is creamy and consistent.

Stuff Sweet Potato Skins with filling. Add Mozzarella cheese and BROIL on high for 1-2 minutes until cheese has melted.

Makes 2 stuffed sweet potato halves.

"And we know thatGod causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Snickerchip Cookies

I can't believe I'm showing these to you.

Remember how I told you I can't bake? Now you will believe me.

Pay attention to the concept here people. Not the upcoming visually confusing cookies.

Raise your hand if you have leftover Halloween candy.

Raise your hand if your trick-or-treaters cleaned out all but 3 pieces of candy in the bowl by 7:50pm and your husband told you that if we didn't go get more candy our house would be egged. Because thats what he used to do.

Then Raise your hand if you went OUT, got more candy, and 5 more teeny weeny children came. Who are not capable of egging houses. And wouldn't have noticed one bit if our lights were out.

So, yes, now we have a huge bowl of Halloween candy left over.

So I wondered how the above candy bars would taste in cookies.

Only problem is I can't make cookies from scratch. I've tried and tried and tried. And they get too poofy, too flat, too burnt, or too weird tasting.

So, again, follow the concept  here not the visual.

I tried Snickers, Peanut Butter cups, and Butterfingers.

I highly recommend the Peanut Butter cups (but that's SO been done before), and highly do NOT recommend the Butterfinger. Yes, in theory it should be spectacular! But in reality, it's just sticky.

{Sticky as in stick-to-the-pan-so-bad-you-scrape-for-days-to-get-it-off}.

The winner....Snickers. These Snickerchip cookies are creamy in the middle and crispy on the outside. With bits of chocolate and peanuts and Snickery goodness. And no, they may LOOK like pancakes but  they are not. They are cookies. Give me a little cookie grace people.

Find your favorite chocolate cookie recipe {or figure out what's wrong with mine} and add your leftover snickers!!

And one more thing. Pleaseexcusetheflatcookies.

Snickerchip Cookies
adapted from my Tiny Oven chocolate chip cookies

  • ½ cups Butter, Softened
  • ½ cups Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 cup Chopped Snickers Candy Bar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and blend well. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda and salt, blend until combined. Stir in the snickers. I put my dough in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill.
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line your cookie sheets with Silpat mats or parchment.
When you are ready, spoon by the tablespoonful onto the prepared sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms are lightly browned. Remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.
"I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus." 1 Corinthians 1:4

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lasagna Soup

What to do with leftover Spaghetti Bolognese?


I've tried making lasagna. Re-heating the Spaghetti. Making more lasagna. And then throwing it out when I get sick of it.

No more.

I discovered this beautiful pin on Pinterest for Lasagna Soup, but when clicking on it, discovered the link went nowhere. {A true Pinterest tragedy.}


So I did it. I made my own. I made Lasagna soup. And it was heavenly.

And now I want to make spaghetti every night. So I can have leftover's to make Lasagna Soup every day after that.

It is Ah-mazing.

Lasagna+soup = <3

Lasagna Soup

1 cup leftover Spaghetti Bolognese sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup broken lasagna noodles
2 slices mozzarella cheese

In a pot, combine sauce and chicken broth and bring to boil.

Add lasagna noodles, and cook according to package directions 8-10 minutes.

Add soup to oven safe ramekins and add mozzarella on top. Broil on high in the oven for 2-3 minutes until brown and oozy.

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18