Saturday, November 29, 2008


I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! Sorry for the lack of blog updates. The holidays are slowly sneaking up on me and we've been busy this week preparing for Thanksgiving. I decided to undertake the bird this year for some reason, and it actually turned out pretty good. Word to the wise, almost every single turkey that is frozen is already pre-basted even though it won't say so on the turkey anywhere. Pre-basted turkeys are not supposed to be brined. I brined mine for a shorter amount of time. It turned out juicy, but the whole time I had this huge fear that this big 23 lb salty bird was going to give everyone high blood pressure as an early Christmas present. I also made deviled eggs, pumpkin rolls, sweet potato casserole, and mashed potatoes. I enjoy cooking obviously, so I didn't mind at all. The food was good and I have a ton of leftovers leering at me from my refrigerator. I actually just had a piece of pumpkin roll for breakfast and I feel no shame.

I think that everyone, regardless of what you have going on this time of the year, should really think about what you're thankful for. I know I tend to think about all the things in my life that could be better, or that need working on, or if only I didn't have this to deal with etc.. You realize what a good position you are in life when you think about all of the positives. I have a huge list of things in my life that I couldn't begin to be thankful enough for. I have a savior that loves me unconditionally regardless of my mistakes. I have a loving husband that I'm thankful for every single day that I get out of bed. I have a family that I enjoy seeing and that I look forward to seeing on the holidays. I feel sorry for those people that dread the holidays b/c of their family. I don't consider myself unlucky that I was horribly homesick when I went away to college. I consider myself lucky that I have a familiy that I'm lucky enough to miss instead of the people who were glad to be getting away from home. I have an awesome puppy that loves me and shakes because he is so happy to see me everyday when I get home =) I'm thankful that I *do* have a job right now in this awful economy. I'm thankful that I have a home to go to everyday and that Casey and I never have to go without. There are so many things that I listed above that sooo many people don't have. It's nice to look at what you do have instead of constantly looking at what the person beside you has that you don't.

Well that ended up being a little more long-winded than I expected. I guess I could post some pictures from my holiday. I didn't take as many as I would've liked, but I tried to remember to take them when I could!

In attendance of our family dinner was: me, casey, mom, dad, my sister, her husband, my aunt and uncle, my grandma, my sister's lab (Maddy), Tuck, 3 cats, and Lillian.

This is my mom with her brother and his wife

My sister and her family

Miss Lillian

My turkey!

The inside

It's kind of blurry, but you can see Tuck, Maddy, and one of the cats swarming the dinner table

Me and Casey

These aren't from Thanksgiving but they were on my camera

I was on the phone one day after work and Casey decided to throw all of the baskets of laundry on top of me. This is why things don't get accomplished in my house if I'm not supervising ;)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Dog Has More Friends Than I Do

I was looking at pictures from this weekend and I realized as I was going through them that on Friday Tuck went to go see his buddies Sox and CatDog and then he had a date with Mason at the park on Saturday and we just brought him back from seeing Coal a couple of hours ago. Dude, how does he have more of a social life than I do? Well, since I apparently didn't do as much as he did this weekend, I'll post some pictures of his exciting weekend.

This is from his trip to visit CatDog and Sox on Friday evening. He was still sniffing out the parameters at this point.

It didn't take him long before he started sprinting around the yard with Sox. Sox would be the black blur in front of him. My dog is a sprinter, definitely not an endurance runner. Sox has somehow nailed down sprinting and endurance.

The ears! They shoot up in the air when he runs and it makes him look like Mickey Mouse.

CatDog didn't get in on the fun very much, but she kept an eye on her little brother. That would be Adrienne, my co-worker, holding her.

They played until it got dark and then they just hung out like old homies.

Switching over to Saturday... this is from our day at the park with Mase-diggy and Kara

Tuck doesn't really know a lot about tennis balls, but he knows to run after Mason when he chases them until he's tired. It works for him.

The Mickey Mouse ears kills me

Mason with his pointer tail being kind of crooked =)
Both of them checking out this man in the background
This is Kara. I kind of love her. She keeps me sane and she loves me back, what more could I ask for?

I feel like I've managed to photograph my whole weekend. I also realize that people might think I'm a big loser once they realize what I do on the weekends but that's ok with me. Friday we actually did go to dinner with a couple of friends after my dog's playdate, and we did go see a movie and do some shopping on Saturday. We went to see The Changeling and I would recommend it to you if you were thinking about going to see it. It's different. I think it's different in a good way though. The movie does a good job of placing you in the time period that exists in the movie and Angelina Jolie does an amazing job as Christine Collins, a woman who rebels against the LAPD when they try to return a child to her that isn't her son when he goes missing (holy run on sentence). It's a true story and an interesting one. It's also a little liberating to see what one woman accomplished by refusing to by quiet. So women, just remember that ;)

Today we had my family over for some of Pioneer Woman's lasagna. We have a few slices left over so hopefully I can get some pictures of that to blog about. I was supposed to blog about my last TWD recipe which was rugelach but I deleted the picture of the cookies and gave the cookies away. Dumb.

This morning at church we also made the decision to become a member at the church we've been going to off and on since January. It just felt right this morning and we're really happy with our decision and have really enjoyed our time there. So that's a step in the right direction!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Lazy Saturday Morning

This is what happens when my boys don't want to wake up in the morning. I crawl back in bed and blind them with the camera until they wake up or until Tuck starts to bark insanely at the red light on my camera which then wakes up Casey and achieves the desired effect. Before you think I'm a harsh wife waking up her husband, it was noon. Come on people, I can only entertain myself so much in the morning. Well actually, I did entertain myself at least for an hour doing this.

My puppy is lazy and that's my arm he likes to sleep on in the morning, and that's my ratty VMI t-shirt that I'll never get rid of.

"Seriously mom? Is it hurting anyone for us to be sleeping in a little later?"


I then opened the blinds in hopes of brightening the room even more and I received just a pure look of scorn.

Then he thought about it and came over to my side. Waking dad up won't be too bad of an idea.

"Dad, are you up?"


"Oh well.. I'll just sleep on your face for a little bit until you wake up."

I lost him back to the dark side of the late sleeper inners.

::sigh:: I guess a few more minutes won't hurt...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Grandma's Hard Rolls

I recently went through a lot of my grandma's recipes and transferred them over to my own recipe box so that I wouldn't have to call everytime I wanted to make something of hers. I remember her making these rolls when I was little. They were little oval rolls of heaven. That might be a little dramatic, but I really do like these rolls. I feel like she used to always make these with italian dishes and they complimented really well. When I decided to make this recipe for the first time I decided that instead of making 24 rolls like the recipe called for, I would make a dozen and turn them into big fluffy rolls. We made these into meatball sandwiches and they were sooooo good.

The instructions aren't very specific because this recipe was passed down and I'm sure was written down from memory. I'm no expert roll maker, but I haven't made a mistake with these rolls yet so they seem pretty foolproof.

(Source: Grandma)
Servings: 24 rolls (or you can make 12 big ones like I made)

4 c. unbleached flour
2/3 tsp. salt
2/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. of warm water
2 pkgs of dry yeast
2 eggs
Vegetable oil

Add yeast to water and let set until you see the yeast start to work and then add the two eggs. Combine dry ingredients. Pour yeast mixture into dry ingredients and mix well. Knead dough. Coat bowl and ball of dough with vegetable oil. Cover bowl and let dough rise until it reaches the top of the bowl.

Divide dough in half by squeezing in the center to get two balls. Divide those two balls in half to get 4. Divide those 4 to get 8. Divide those 8 into 1/3 to get 24. Shape these into oval rolls and place on greased baking sheet to rise again. When dough has risen bake at 450 degrees until tops are brown.

Since I was slaving away at bread, I made meatballs the lazy way. I bought a bag of frozen meatballs and added a couple of jars of Prego. I topped the meatballs with provolone and banana peppers. These rolls aren't meant to be subs, so they're very messy to eat with meatballs, but it's worth it and I make them with meatballs everytime =)

Easy Cheesy Beer Bread

I've seen this recipe floating around and I've been looking for a good opportunity to make it. I recently got the chance to take it to dinner at a friend's house and everyone really enjoyed it! It was sooo easy to make and I know we'll make it again. I got this recipe from Katie over at Good Things Catered.

(Source: Good Things Catered)

2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar
12 oz. bottle of lager or stout (I used Sam Adams Oktoberfest)
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare loaf pan for baking.

In large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder. Whisk to combine well. Add cheese and whisk to combine. Slowly add beer to dry ingredients and stir lightly until combined. Knead dough lightly until it just comes together.

Place into prepared loaf pan and pour melted butter over top. Place in oven to bake for 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

Jay's Jerk Chicken

I used to search for a jerk chicken recipe and Jay's Jerk Chicken got a lot of good reviews. I was kind of skeeved out at first by having to use a food processor to chop all of the liquid and vegetables together but it gave the meat a great flavor. I ended up marinating this over night so the flavor infused really well. I served it with pineapple and rice and the sweetness of the pineapple really balanced out the flavor nicely. I think we would definitely have this again.

(Source: Allrecipes)
Servings: 4

6 green onions, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

In a food processor or blender, combine all of the above ingredients besides the chicken. Mix for around 15 seconds. Place chicken in medium bowl and cover with marinade. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.

Preheat grill, grill pan, or broiler. Lightly oil grill grate. Grill chicken for 6 to 8 minutes or until juices run clear (I ended up grilling mine for longer than 8 minutes but I used a grill pan and my chicken was pretty thick).