Monday, October 20, 2014

Beautiful Wedding Recap...FINALLY

The pictures don't do this wedding any justice. It was absolutely perfect. I am still so honored and humbled that my dear friend chose me to stand be side her on her day. I am keeping this short just enjoy the beauty and love present in each of these pictures. Congratulations Matt and Tracy, and thank you for letting me be apart of your day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Copy Cat of Chili's Southwest Chicken Soup

The first time I experienced this soup was a few weeks ago when Charlot and I were having a Sunday shopping lunch date. Chili’s is near Sam’s and Charlot could eat her weight in chips and salsa so Chili’s was the perfect choice. I knew I didn’t want to blow all the good decisions I had made that week so I ordered soup and salad. I thought since this soup was marked as a healthy option it probably would be not so good. Was I wrong…hum Yes! It was chocked full of flavor and spice and just over all deliciousness. Plus it was really filling without being heavy.

I have been dreaming of this soup, I looked online for a Copy Cat recipe but couldn’t find this one. I could find ones for their chicken tortilla soup which were loaded with cheese and I am sure delish but I wanted this one. I knew I just had to give it a go.

This week has been the perfect time for soup, since today is the first day we have seen the sun in nearly a week. I will say for my first shot at it, this was some dang good soup!

Southwest Chicken Soup

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 packet of chicken taco seasoning

1 onion (diced)

1 can diced tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 can corn (drained) (I used our fresh frozen corn, use what you like)

1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)

1 can white hominy (rinsed and drained)

1 box vegetable stock

1 ½ cups water

2 TBSP cumin

¼ tsp red peper

1 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350. Place chicken breasts on a sheet pan and sprinkle with ½ of the taco seasoning. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes. While chicken bakes sauté onion and corn in a large soup pot (I use my dutch oven). Once they get a little color to them add remaining ingredients including the other ½ half of the taco seasoning. Simmer until chicken is done. Dice up your chicken and add it to the pot. Simmer for at least another 15 minutes. Top with tortilla strips if you like!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

Now I will admit yeast and I are not exactly friends. I don’t deal well with it, I know if my friend Amanda is reading she is shaking her head. I am trying to be better I think it is a patience thing someday I will conquer all bread/pastry making, maybe. But who knows. But I love cinnamon rolls and so does one of my co-workers and that is what she seems to request each year for her birthday. Most of the time I pull the amazing daughter trick and swindle my momma into making them for me. If you know my momma you know she makes cinnamon rolls that are so good you will want to slap your momma. Well I don’t slap my momma but you get the point they are good!

This year was no different my co-worker again requested cinnamon rolls for her birthday treat. For some reason I didn’t exactly remember to ask my mom. And as I was driving home from a career fair on Thursday afternoon I remembered I need three dozen cinnamon rolls in the morning. Well fantastic. I’ll just whip those out right quick! NOT. But again like a beacon from above, I remembered a recipe I had saw on Pintrest. Something with pudding, butter and Rhodes Frozen cinnamon rolls. I headed to the grocery store and figured I would give it a go!

I know it sounds crazy dry pudding, melted butter, and frozen cinnamon rolls. But man alive do they make an amazing roll. Moist and buttery not too sweet with a hint of extra creaminess. Yea this one is a keeper. Added bonus they can proof in your fridge overnight and be ready to bake in about 20 minutes in the morning. I think these would be a perfect addition to a holiday breakfast! Or maybe just my Tuesday morning breakfast no I shouldn’t oh but they are so so so good.
Check the crazy good butteryness on the bottom of the pan. I may have eaten it with a spoon!

Cinnamon Rolls

1 package Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls

1 box Cook-n-Serve Vanilla Pudding

1 stick butter melted

In a greased 9x13 pan place your rolls a few inches apart, reserve the icing that comes with (you will use it!). Sprinkle the dry pudding over the top and then pour the melted butter over. This is where you have choices, if you are like me you just let them rise on your stove top the night before and baked at 350 for 25 minutes and then poured on the icing. Or you can get the rolls pudding and butter together and stick them in the fridge overnight, bring them out in the morning and let them finish rising for 20-30 minutes and bake at 350 for 25 minutes and then pour the icing on. Whatever method you choose do not for get to use the icing, it is delish!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thankful Thursday‘s-Plus a Prayer Request

I have gotten away from doing these and the past few weeks have proven to me just how much I truly have to be thankful for. Tomorrow is not promised, health is not promised, and perfection is for sure not promised. With that said I can say that I am oh so very thankful for my amazing life with a healthy and happy child, spouse, parents, and siblings.

The area we live in is a pretty close net place. Sometimes it can be a bit frustrating since pretty much everyone knows everyone and anything that happens pretty quickly becomes public knowledge. But there are for sure some pretty amazing things about this area as well. The most amazing to me seems to be that in times of need all the communities in the area rally around one another. I have seen this first hand over the past week.

With no warning, other than flu-like symptoms, a little boy just 12 year old in our area was recently diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer. In addition, the cancer was tagged as being very rare, having almost never been seen in children. That’s right a healthy active little boy, is now it in the toughest battle, the battle for his life. As a parent this is your nightmare coming true, you should never have to face the big “C” word with your kids. But this is the hand that was dealt to this family. Ayden for sure doesn’t know me and I really don’t know if his parents remember me but I do remember him as a toddler going to church with him. I was always impressed with his parents they appeared to be the most caring and committed parents. The kind of parents I had and the kind of parent I wanted to be. What I have seen through this is these parents are giving this to God and fighting with all they have got.

Over the past week I have watched people from all over our area come together to try and help this family. There has been a Porch Light Prayer on Facebook set up, that has touched nearly every country. A Give Forward Fund has been established to help offset the astronomical amount of medical bills this family is facing. Bracelets are being made, a benefit dinner is planned, a local photographer is doing a shot for Ayden. And above all else more and more people are offering their prayers to this family. Because prayer is a powerful powerful thing.

So today I am so thankful for health and I am very thankful to live right where I do. I ask that if you have a moment to please say a prayer for Ayden and his family. Every single prayer helps!!!

If you are interested in joining the Porch Light Prayer (for Ayden)- Click HERE

If you have it in your heart to help this family financially (every penny helps) - Click HERE

Again please just pray and pray some more.

Charlot supporting Ayden in her Purple and Green!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mexican Spaghetti Squash Bake

I couldn't wait to share this!!! This was dinner tonight at this home!!! I saw a recipe like this on Facebook or maybe Pintrest a little while back. I tried to find it again but in typical me fashion I couldn't.  In an effort to recreate it this was what I came up with. It is so very tasty, with the added bonus of being really healthy! If you have never tried spaghetti squash you really should give it a go.

Back to this dish! It is a great combination of spicy, creamy and very filling. I definitely felt like I was eating a lovely comfort food. You could make this meatless but I knew the hubs would not be on board for that. Mix up the ingredients add different cheese, spice it up some make it your own! Lastly enjoy!!!

1spaghetti squash
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can chopped green chillies 
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
Pinch of red pepper and salt
Juice and zest of one lime 
1/2 lb cooked hamburger
1-2 cups cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Split the squash length-wise remove the seeds and goop. Drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a cookie sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes. Using a fork scrape out the inside and place in a large bowl. Stir in all remains ingredients except 1/2 of the cheese(this is reserved for the top). Pour mixture into a prepared casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Allow to sit for a few minutes prior to serving, top as you wish, for me Greek yogurt. Enjoy!