Thursday, March 31, 2011

The rest of March

Recipes listed First. Life updates listed second.

I don't have to cook that often, so maybe thats why I enjoy doing it. My husband is really only home on the weekends which means I only have to plan a few meals each week. With traveling to CA and Adam's birthday this month, my oven didn't get much lovin'. Here are the new recipes I tried:

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

2 Whole Chicken Breasts
1 12oz bottle Buffalo Sauce
1lb Elbow Macaroni
1 Cup Sour Cream
8 Ounces Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
8 Ounces Montery Jack
4 Ounces Blue Cheese (not a huge fan so unless you like it I would recommend leaving this out)
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
3 Cups Milk
1 Cup Breadcrumbs

Prep ahead of time:

Cut chicken breasts into very small pieces. Toss in a bowl with enough buffalo sauce to coat plus a little extra, and let sit for at least an hour. Stir it every now and then. The chicken will start to look like it’s just slightly cooked; that’s the acid denaturing the proteins. It’s normal.


Simmer the whole bowlful in a pan, sauce and all, on medium heat until the chicken is cooked. Drain the cooked sauce/chicken liquid from the chicken and toss the chicken bits with a little more buffalo sauce. Set this aside to cool some while you do the sauce and pasta.
Shred the extra sharp cheddar, Monterey jack and crumble the blue cheese into a big mixing bowl. Set aside about a half cup of the cheeses in a separate bowl to make the topping later. Stir the rest in the big bowl together with sour cream and some black pepper to taste.

Heat the oven to 350F. Start a pot of boiling salted water for the pasta.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and when melted, whisk in the flour. Keep whisking while it cooks and bubbles for about 2 minutes. (This is called a roux.) Whisk the milk into this mixture and stir often.
When the mixture is starting to get hot, put the pasta in the boiling pot to cook for about 8 minutes. During this time, keep whisking the milk sauce until it’s thickened. (At this point, you’ve now made a bechamel sauce!)

Mix the sauce into the cheese and sour cream in the big bowl and stir well to get the cheese mostly mixed into the sauce. Stir in the pasta. Fold in the chicken. Pour into a 13×9 casserole pan.
Using a fork, mix the breadcrumbs, the small bowl of cheese and a drizzle of buffalo sauce, adding more sauce as needed until it has a crumbly texture. Sprinkle this topping over the macaroni and cheese.
Bake for about a half hour or until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and the topping is starting to get browned.

Chicken Crescent Rolls ( Definitely going to make these again! My huband loved them)

2 Whole Chicken Breasts
1 Can (8 oz) Crescent Rolls
1 Cup Colby Montery Jack Cheese
3 Ounces Cream Cheese
1/4 Cups Diced White Onion
2 Tablespoons Milk
3 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the chicken, either by baking or boiling it, and cut it into cubes. Combine the cream cheese, onion, milk, 1 tablespoon of butter, and seasoned salt and mix well. Add the chicken and shredded cheese and mix until chicken is well coated. Add pepper to taste.
Prepare the crescent rolls to make four squares. Fill each square with the chicken-cheese mixture. Bring all four corners together over chicken-cheese mixture and pinch until closed.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and spread over the crescents rolls. Sprinkle with paprika
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Bow-tie Lasagna  (failed to take a pic)

1 Pound Ground Chuck
5 Cups bow-tie noodles
3 Cups spaghetti Sauce (used Prego with sausage)
1 Tablespoon Oliv Oil
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 Cups Sour Cream

Fry ground chuck in small pan. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.

Can't believe tomorrow is April!  I think I will try out our pool. It is suppose to be 90 degrees :)
After noodles are cooked, drain and drizzle with olive oil. Mix in your spaghetti sauce. (I can’t guarantee your results on this, because I’m spoiled; I am a “home canner” and have the BEST sauce on my shelf, a home canned marinara sauce that I use for lots of stuff—pizza, spaghetti, and of course, THIS.)

Add your fried hamburger, seasonings, cheese, and sour cream. Fold together and allow it all to combine and melt together, over low heat, for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Easy Mexican Crockpot Meal

2 Cans Black Beans
2 Cans Whole Kernel Corn
1 Jar Salsa of Choice
3 Pieces Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

Dump everything in and place chicken on top. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours. Add sour cream, avocado, chips, cheese, etc and you can turn it into tortilla soup.

Chocolate Silk Pie


Dough for 1 9-inch pie crust
For the filling:

1 cup heavy cream, chilled

3 large eggs

¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp. water
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened and cut into 8 pieces

Freshly whipped cream, for serving


Roll the chilled pie dough into a 12-inch circle. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough. Trim, fold and crimp the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F and adjust an oven rack to low-middle position. Line the chilled pie shell with parchment paper so that it lays over the edges of the dough. Fill with pie weights and bake until the surface of the dough no longer looks wet, 20-25 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper and return the pie crust to the oven. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 10-12 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

To make the filling, add the cream to the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate.

Combine the eggs, sugar and water in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (the water should not touch the bowl). With a hand mixer on medium speed, beat until the egg mixture is thickened and reads 160˚ F on an instant read thermometer, about 7-10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to beat until the egg mixture is fluffy and cooled to room temperature, about 6-8 minutes.

Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla to the cooled egg mixture and beat until well blended. Beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until well combined. Using a spatula, gently fold in the chilled whipped cream until no streaks remain. Transfer the filling to the baked pie shell. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours. Slice and serve with freshly whipped cream as desired.

Life Updates:

Adam is planning on going back to school. He is thinking about studying Criminal Law. We just talked about it the other day, and think that would be a great fit. I am pregnant! Well, I just thought I would throw that out there for fun. I really am not, but I am getting more comfortable with the idea. I actually just quit my job on Tuesday. It was an okay job, but the responsiblities just kept piling on. The atmosphere was pretty stressful at times, especially when I was left by myself to cover everything (my job+ my boss's job). When I was told that I could no longer plan church things or anything else on my days off that could keep me from filling in last min for my boss, I threw in the towel. This was just a part time job for me, not a career. I was told this after I covered everything myself Monday b/c my boss couldn't come in. Instead of a thank you, I got scolded b/c I handled a stituation differently than my boss would have (even though it was a more efficient choice). I couldn't come in the next day b/c I had visiting teaching (couldn't reschedule b/c it was the end of the month) and my mother in law was in town (we had made plans). The other girl who has the same position as I use to came into work (b/c it was her day), but wasn't up to speed on how to run everything. My boss had been leaning on me, instead of training her. When she called me after the work shift had already started and found out I couldn't come in, I was lectured. Needless to say, I am relieved I don't have to work there anymore. Glad I don't have to deal with the stress anymore. Plus, my boss was a nice person in general, but got upset really easily. When she was mad, she would say things that were hurtful in a condescending way to customers or whoever upset her. I really liked her, but the pattern of blow ups were hard to deal with. Especially when she took her frustrations out on me. I think she is a great a person, and that this job is just too stressful for her too.

On a happier note, here is the pretty flower Adam got me for Valentines day. We bought it after our CA trip b/c we weren't sure what plant we would end up with, and didn't want to worry about it while we were gone. We could have got this Orchid beforehand though, because they don't need much care.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A novel worth reading

I finished it today and now I want to see the movie. I thought it was well written and compelling, once I got past the character set up. I enjoyed the mystery of the story, but it had some graphic parts.  Heard the movie is pretty graphic, so I am still debating whether or not I should see it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Twenty Seven.

The love of my life turned 27 on Friday. He thinks he is old, but I demur. I think its just because he is no longer in his early twenties, and getting closer to 30. Its okay babe, I am right behind ya. I'll be turning 25 this year. Wow, that means I am almost half way to 50. Is is weird that we still feel extremely young. I thought you were suppose to feel older/wiser and stuff with age. Adam and I both feel the same. Are we going to feel this way when we are 50 (young at heart)? I think that would be totally weird.

Here is my birthday boy! (Keep in mind its 11:00pm) I had just picked him up from the airport, so he was still in his dealersocket attire.

I was pretty impressed that I was able to fit so many things in that bag.

He has been wanting new gym shorts. I also crammed some Rusty shorts, Levi Jeans, and Four shirts on top of the rest of the goodies.

Some of the fun stuff. Didn't want to take a picture of everything.
Giant Gummy Bear

Erika would appreciate this. We use to eat it all the time as kids. I know Adam did as well, so I knew he would enjoy some.

Adam LOVES licorice. This put a smile on his face. A whole Yard! We ate a piece of licorice together. He started at one end, and I started at the other. We met in the middle and kissed, and it reminded me of Lady and the Tramp :)

Taffy Stash : ) This was to remind him of Orem, UT and our days living on BYU Campus

And the CAKE!!! My first Ice Cream cake that I have ever made. I was going to use regular cake, but we aren't the biggest fans of cake. Instead, I made a giant ice cream cookie cake. It was SOO good.

It was after midnight after we enjoyed a slice of his cake, so we went to bed.

Saturday we went out to eat for his birthday. He wanted to eat at Jersey Mike's, so we split a giant Chipotle Cheese Steak Sandwich. It was very good.

After lunch we went and saw

Adam had wanted to see it for a while, so we finally got around to it. We both thought it was okay. It was entertaining enough, but I had higher expectations.

Then we watched the BYU game with some awesome friends. Too bad they did horrible! Oh well, we had fun none the less. Overall, I think Adam had an okay birthday. We just wish we had more time to celebrate. This weekend we are planning to go out again :)

Adam I just need you to know that I will love you Forever, For always and no matter what, even when you REALLY get old :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

California weekend stay :)

I flew in Thursday night. Thursday was a long day for me. My first flight was delayed about and hour, so I had to change my connecting flight. This meant a lot of wait time at the airports. I got to the dfw airport around 11am and didn't get to California until 6:38pm,  which was 8:38 my time. I basically spent my whole day in airports, and next to a screaming baby on the flights. I must be a magnet for babies or something. Even with a headache, I was so happy to be in CA. My dad picked me up at the Ontario airport and we headed home. It was surreal to be back home and to know my brother was flying in the next day. Erika came down and helped us paint his welcome home banner. I was so tired and went to bed at midnight which was 2:00am my time.

Friday: We headed over to the San Diego aiport to pick up my brother. We got there 30 min before his flight came in, and my mom wanted us to roll the sign out then. My dad and I refused to hold it for 30 min. lol. We should have just listened to my mom, because his flight came in 10-15 min early. As soon as we were about to roll the sign out, I spotted Blake on the escalator and yelled, "There's Blake!" My parents frantically started to roll the sign out. It was pretty funny. They rolled it out in time for him to see it, but felt bad we didn't have it rolled out before he came down the escalator. We all hugged and enjoyed the moment. It was so fun to see Blake for the first time in 2 years. It kinda felt like he had never left, as we started hanging out. He is the same Blake, just better. His personality is exactly the same. However, he is less shy, more mature, and definitely more spiritual. Oh, we just love Blake!!! Its good to have him back home. He is the postitive, optimistic one in the family, who would never say one negative thing about anyone else. He is such a sweetheart.

Blake had us try on his cowboy hat. It was kinda fitting for me since I live in Texas!

We grabbed some lunch at Kono's in San Diego. They have really good breakfast food :)

Blake and I got some yummy breakfast burritos. Mine had a lot of avocado :)

Walked down the pier. It was extremely windy. I was sporting my Jessica Simpson aviator looking sunglasses.
Enjoyed driving by the beautiful San Diego temple!

On our way to pick up my sister we stopped at the Rainbow Sandal outlet, so I could get a new pair :)

We did a lot of driving on Friday! My brother didn't know that my sister and I were going to be in CA for the weekend. He thought we were flying in the following weekend for his homecoming talk. He was very surprised to see me at the airport, and we tried to play it off that we were going to a fancy fish place in Longbeach, instead of picking up Brooke from the Longbeach airport. He eventually figured it out, and was very excited to see her too :)

We got home intime to change into church clothes, before we went to the Washington building for Blake to get released.

It was fun to hear Blake's testimony and hear about his mission.

We put up Blake's sign after we got back. It was getting pretty late. Guess who showed up as my parents were putting up the handsome husband! No one knew he was coming. I thought it would be a nice surprise. My mom was SO happy :)

Saturday: I got my hair done at 8:00am. Leslie did a fantastic job lightening up the bottom. After that Adam and I hung out with his parents for the afternoon.

Soon after we got back, the Martin's came over.

 The Martin's are like family. Love them :)

We headed over to Chandler's wedding right after their visit. They looked so happy :) It was great to see old friends and people we have grown up knowing in the church.

We went to Aubrey's wedding after. She had hers at Harveston, and it brought back a lot of memories for Adam and I :) I saw some old friends there too which was fun.

Sunday: We went to the high council meeting as a family, at 7:30am. Wow, talk about super early. It was really neet to go to that. I am glad we all went. We went home and then went to my parents ward, but we only stayed for sacrament. We came home and relaxed a little bit. Then we sang to my brother, made some treats, and went to a photo shoot.

We sang "Happy Returned Missionary to you!" haha. Then ate some Marie Calendars Pumpkin Pie (My brothers favorite)
We took a couple pictures by the sign before we left for our photoshoot taken by Kristin Fuller :) Will post those later!

After the photo shoot we had a yummy home cooked meal: shrimp and chicken alfredo pasta with ceasar salad and garlic bread :)

Then we had a little get together!
A lot of people showed up!! My mom has pictures of everyone who came. I only posted some pictures with my friends.
We had a lot of yummy desserts for the party. Judy made her famous cheescake, Brooke made oreo truffles, my dad made scotcheroos, Sheila made Pecan pie bars, The Bishops brought lemon bars, and Matt brough some chips and salsa.
Adam and I were able to meet Brooklyn :) and visit with Cameron and Celine! Brooklyn is adorable!

We were able to hang out with Sheila and Steve on Saturday and Sunday. They got Adam some new pants and shirts for his birthday which is this coming Friday, and we also went out to eat at Manhattan on Saturday. I got some yummy blueberry blintzes.
I was also able to meet Cade and visit with Heather!! :) He is such a cute baby, and looks so much like Heather.
Kristin took some awesome pictures of us earlier that day. I will post some of those later! Kristin don't tell anyone what happened to me at the photo shoot. haha. j/k I am still grossed out by it though!

Monday was another all day airport affair. There was a screaming baby on the first flight, but it wasn't sitting next to me, and the baby stopped crying 15 min into the flight. One plus! My second flight was delayed and we sat on the plane about and hour and 25 min before it took off, because they had to de-ice the plane. My layover was in Salt Lake. It just happened to start snowing right before the plane was suppose to take off. Then after we landed it took a long time to get our luggage. It was a big plane and everyone had carry on luggage they tagged. I ended up getting home at 11:30 instead of 9:45. I was so excited to see Charlie!! I had missed him a lot. My family would know. I probably brought him up every single day during my visit.

Its good to be home, but I wish I could have stayed a little bit longer!

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