Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm Out...

...well peeps, I'm done for 2010. It's been a really awful, horrible year. Yeah there's been some perks but when I look back at it, it was no bueno. I know this totally isn't me but it's what I feel right now so I'm rolling with it.

I do hope everyone has a great Christmas and happy 2011. 2011 has GOT to be better than 2010 that's for sure. I won't be around commenting or blogging for awhile but I hope to return soon. Thanks for being such great and awesome people.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Feeding the Wildlife... started innocently enough, Matt brought "me" home a bird feeder he bought at Wal-Mart. I say "me" because it was really for him but he tried to pass it off as for me. It was just one bird feeder, then corn for the squirrels, then this year he's built a "cross" for lack of a better word and put it in concrete in our garden. He now has two bird feeders and puts out four ears of corn. Sunday afternoon it was "feeding time" and I had to go help him.

Here he's switching out the corn:
Yummy fresh corn!
This is for the "big" birds and the other bird feeder is for the "little" birds. However, they all seem to like this stuff best.
Now I don't mind that my husband likes to "feed the wildlife" in his words. I enjoy watching the birds and squirrels from the kitchen so I don't really mind BUT I DO mind that my dogs want to go outside 4-5 times a night so they can gobble up all the stuff the birds and squirrels drop on the ground and then Shadow has REALLY stinky farts all night. Sigh...that's what I get for marrying an outdoorsy man, huh?
OH! And one last pic of me and my hubby, please don't mind either of our hair, we'll definitely blame it on a bad hair day for both of us!
Happy Wednesday everyone! Christmas is right around the corner. If it's not too much to ask, say a prayer for Mattie and I today. We're going to be getting news today and we're really hoping and praying and wishing it's good!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chicken Enchilada Dip...

...can you tell I didn't have a very exciting weekend since you're getting two recipe posts in a row? Everybody goes crazy over that Buffalo Chicken Dip but I love my recipe for Chicken Enchilada Dip which I think is pretty similiar. This is my go to recipe for Trivia Nights, whenever we go to Trivia Nights I try to bring a sweet and a dip, so this is always the dip I make. Ready?

Chicken Enchilada Dip by Jenni (Jenni is my friend that gave me this recipe)

8 oz mayo

8 oz shredded cheddar

8 oz cream cheese

1 can Rotel

1 can cooked chicken drained

Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes, stir, then bake for another 15 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

See? Easy peasy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Busy Night Turkey Taco Soup Recipe...

...Okay, so Angie and Cece had asked me for this recipe and I never got around to sharing it with them so I thought I'd share it with you all. I'm not sure about you guys but I love chili but sometimes it can be a bit overkill with how often we make it. So taco soup is a good, warm, filling alternative to some nights with mainly the same ingredients just a few extras. Of course, I found this recipe from Allrecipes, my go to recipe place.

Busy Night Turkey Taco Soup with Avocado Cream


1 (11 ounce) can Mexican-style corn

1 (16 ounce) can chili beans

2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth

1 (16 ounce) jar chunky salsa

2.5 cups cooked, chopped turkey meat

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup low-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons guacamole


1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine corn, chili beans, broth and salsa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and stir in cooked turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook 5-10 minutes more until heated through. Stir in cilantro.

2. In a bowl, stir together sour cream and guacamole until smooth.

3. Ladle soup into bowls and top with guacole mixture.

Okay, now for Alyssa's side notes:

1. It makes a TON!!! For us, that is a good thing because then both Matt and I can have it for lunch the next day.

2. I don't use the cilantro (because I just don't keep fresh cilantro in stock in my kitchen) or the guacamole. Instead we just top with sour cream and shredded cheese.

3. I have trouble finding the Mexican corn, I've only found the Southwestern-style corn (which is whole kernal corn, black beans, onions and red bell peppers) and Green Giant is the only one I've found that makes this. Of course, Aldi's doesn't carry Green Giant so whenever I go to Schnucks, I pick up a couple to have on hand.

4. It doesn't have to be ground turkey. We've used turkey, beef and deer burger-all are yummy.

This is one of our favorite but we always forget about it recipes. Hope you enjoy it on a cold winter evening!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our Christmas Card...

...Thank you Shutterfly for our 50 free Christmas cards. Here's how they turned out:
Matt hated the picture from Christmas last year, said his hair was too short. I agreed and reminded him that I told him that LAST year. The second pic is the only picture I had of both doggies!!! And the last pic is a great one (in my opinion) of Mattie and I at a friend's wedding. I was pretty impressed by myself with the captions I wrote under each picture. In case you're like me and squinting to see what they say, I'll help you out.

"Wishing you the best of holidays with your family and friends"
"Hoping that 2011 brings you a year of good health & love for all" (I could NOT get all on the line with something or something on the line with it and it drove me NUTS)
"Awaiting to hear all your successes of the new year"

I thought 50 would be WAY too many but actually it was probably just about right! So happy holidays to you all. I can't believe Christmas is just a week away. I swear, the older I get, the faster time goes!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Leftovers & Apple Juice...

...I love my husband, I really do but if eats my leftovers one more time I'm going to SCREAM!!! This is a rant. You would think my poor husband isn't fed but I mean look at him, does he LOOK like he's starving???

After we lived together for awhile, I realized that if I wanted something and didn't want to eat/drink it right away then I was going to have to hide it. So I found a great hiding spot and then he found it. So then I started telling him, "Hey, I'm planning on having those leftovers for lunch tomorrow." That worked...for awhile. The other night I came home with leftovers and told him, don't eat the leftovers in the fridge, I'm going to eat them for dinner tomorrow. I come home and pull over my leftovers, hmm...I thought there was two pieces of chicken. I call Matt at work, make some small talk and then ask him about the leftovers. His response, "I might have had a bite or two." UGH!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ATE HALF OF THE SANDWICH!!! Sigh...moral, if I don't eat it right away, I don't get it for later.

I won those Lucky Charms last week, remember? I was so pumped because I was taking it easy around the house last week so cereal was an easy snack, lunch, dinner, breakfast. I get up Friday morning and go to make some cereal. No Lucky Charms, hmm...okay, well, there's Trix. Wait-check the fridge, no milk! Really???

I rarely EVER drink anything other than water, mainly because I don't want the calories and partly because it would never last long in the fridge. I've been drinking two-three 32 ounce cups of water the past couple weeks (doctor's order) and people that's A LOT of water and I can only stand so much water. The doc had told me I could drink juice too. I asked Matt to pick up some apple juice for me. He forgot. I got some the next day. Friday night I went to bed knowing I had just enough for a cup left. I get up Saturday morning, go to get my cup of juice-GONE! Grrr...he bought me more later Saturday, I drank one glass on Sunday and there was maybe 1/4 of it left on Tuesday. Seriously?

I'm at my wits end. I just want ONE little thing that I know will be there when I want to eat/drink it. Come on Mattie!!! Just give leave me my apple juice, you get your Powerades and I don't steal them from you??? I love you pretty but keep your paws off my leftovers and apple juice!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dishpan Cookies...

...another cookie recipe! This time it's Dishpan Cookies. I got this recipe from the cookbook my dad's bank sells. Talk about a vague recipe! Here's a pic of the massive amounts of dough!!!

And the finished products!!! I think we made at least 4 dozen cookies!!!
Dishpan Cookies
4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Sift together. Then combine:
2 c. sugar
2 c. brown sugar
2 c. oil
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
Blend well. Stir in 1 1/2 cups quick oats and 4 cups cornflakes. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes on a greased cookie sheet.
As a last minute decision, we added in chocolate chips. Good call or else they would be BLAND!!! We left a whole bag for my stepsis, froze a whole tin for us and I had plenty to share with the blogger girls. The bad thing about these cookies is that they are crumbly. They are okay but nothing too spectacular. If you need an easy recipe that makes A LOT, then go for this. Happy baking!!! What's your favorite Christmas cookie?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snickers (or Reese's) Cookies!!! Sunday, Jen invited a few of us STL Bloggers over for a cookie party! I was so pumped, we were all going to make different cookies then head home with a big variety. Well, the snow came and the party got cancelled. My mom had come up and helped me cook them and she even made fudge for the girls! Mmm!!! So this week, expect a few cookie posts, ok?

So when we decided to do this cookie party, the first place I went was to the church cookbooks! The first recipe I picked was from the cookbook put out by my church in Cape and it just so happens that the recipe I picked was from my high school chemistry teacher! Here's a picture of the finished products which were Snickers and Reese's Cookies:
Let's discuss before I get to the recipe, shall we? The recipe is basically peanut butter cookie dough wrapped around a Snickers. My lovely hub who knows me so well went to pick up some more apple juice for me and brought home some minature Reese's with the suggestion to put those in the middle on a few. He's so smart (and knows the way to my heart-peanut butter!) because the Reese's ones were fabulous!!! It may have also been because I burnt the Snickers one if you can't tell (Snickers on the left, Reese's on the right). I think I burnt them because they were on the bottom rack. I even know they'd cook faster but I ALWAYS burn them. Note to self-just always cook on the top rack even if it takes longer. OH! Did I mention that my Mattie made up the dough for me? Yep, he sure did and then I just sat at the table and wrapped them up and popped them in the oven. Okay, enough commentary (plus I have to make more so Mattie has some when he gets home because his sis, my mom and I ate all the Reese's ones-oops!), on to the recipe!

Snickers Cookies by Bonnie Strack
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. firmly-pakced brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened, firmly packed
1/2 c. peanut butter (YUM!)
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
10 Snickers (or Reese's) brand fun-size candy bars
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mixing well. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar, brown sugar, butter, peanut butter, egg and vanilla, beating well. Stir in flour mixture until mixed. Shape about 1/3 cup dough smoothly around each candy bar, making sure bar is completely covered. Place 4 inchesapart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool about 10 minutes and transfer from baking sheets to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 10 large cookies.
NOTE: For smaller cookies, cut bars in half (or buy minature) and reduce baking time accordingly.
Be sure to let me know if you make these!!! Happy Monday everyone!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day!!!

...yesterday is snowed in the STL! I never believe it when weather man calls for it because it usually doesn't but it did! First off, my mom came up on Saturday and pampered me. It was great!!! However, we had lots of things planned to do on Sunday but Matthew called and said, "You girls aren't going out anywhere!" My mom was pretty bummed and kept wanting to venture out, I told her that my Matthew said no so we were staying in!

Next, Matt had to go in to push snow. He gets sooo excited over that! So does his brother who calls all day before it snows then at the first drop of snow, he calls to see if Matt's company needs help pushing snow. Last night the phone call came at 2am! So not only did he wake us up but my mom too. I told Matt that his brother and I were going to have a little heart to heart because we know you want to push snow, you don't need to call us at the first site of snow and if you wake me up'll be on like donkey kong!

Now moving on to how we entertain ourselves at the G house when it snows...

Shadow tries to eat sheets...
Emma likes to frolic in the snow...
Then she gets scared and barks at the snow truck driving by...
Shad and I sit by the door while Emma begs to be let in and tastes the snow falling...
And here's my pups, Shad on the warm inside with me and Emma outside in the snow. Shad can't go play in the front yard because he won't come in when I call him!

We spent the rest of the day organizing, baking and just chilling out. Snow days are great!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winner, Winner!!!

I won a giveaway from Alaina over at Three Ladies and a Dad. For the longest time, I thought the three ladies was her, her two sisters and THEIR's not-oops! Anyways, on to the goods:
A box of Lucky Charms and Trix AND four free movie tickets!!! I'm super excited, now I just have to look to see what movies I want to go see. I'll be honest, I've eaten most of the Lucky Charms while I've laid around in bed all week...for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack. They came at the perfect time! Alaina has lots of giveways all the time so be sure to check out her blog. Happy Friday everyone!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Exchange???

...last spring, Chelsea over at Roots and Wings did a book exchange. It was fabulous! Basically, everyone mailed her a book with a note inside and a couple dollars to mail a book back to you. Once she got them all, she mailed the books out to everyone and when you finished the book, you put a post on your blog about it.

I have a stack of probably 8 books sitting by my bed and no desire whatsoever to read any of them. I thought I'd try the book exchange so I could get a good new book to read. You, my fellow bloggers, always pick the best books!

The book I'm going to throw in the exchange is "Love is. A Four-Legged Word." I did a book review here about it and the author found the review and left me a comment!

So here's the deal if you want to participate. Pick your favorite book off your shelf, leave me a comment with your email and I'll send you an address where to send it. Be sure to write a note in the book including your name and blog and send a couple bucks so I can mail you a book back. Also, let me know the name of the book if you have an idea so we don't get all the same books.

I know with the holidays being all crazy, it'll be tough to do, so we'll make the deadline January 5 to have your book to me. When you're finished, type up a book review with a link to the person who sent you the book and let me know. I'll figure out a McLinky or something so everyone can read all the book reviews.

I should be a good time and give us all lots of book reviews to choose from. I hope you all participate!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Grandma's Cookies & Cupcakes...

...last Friday at work, I think I was trying to see how high I could get my blood sugar. I'd brought some cookie dough for dessert with my lunch, Holl brought back some DQ ice cream cupcakes and Jesse brought in cookies from Grandma's Cookies & Cupcakes. Decisions, decisions!!! I went with the cookie dough (I'd already eaten it before I knew about all the other yummy stuff!) and the cookies...the cupcakes can wait until Monday!
Look at these things! They are chocolate chip cookies but don't they kind of look like a pastry mix? Apparently, they use an ice cream scoop to put the cookies out with.
These things were SOOO good! They were crunchy on the outside then so soft on the inside. I think I could have eaten the whole box myself! So what are you...crunchy or soft kind of cookie gal (or guy-Slam!)?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Downtown Cape and My Family...

...last week was the end of the month and I was going through and deleting pics from my camera. I found these that I forgot to post from our weekend in Cape.

First up, the old courthouse. Minus the wires, I think this paints a good picture of the holiday time. It just feels like "home" to me.
We got to lunch early so we walked along the river (one of my favorite things to do). Here's a picture of the Emerson Bridge. Whenever I'm in Cape with one of my parents with nothing to do, I always suggest driving across the bridge...not that there's anything fun and exciting on the other side except Illinois!
Matt, me and the Mighty Mississippi
Shadie trying to get every last drop of PB...don't know WHERE he gets that from!?!
My pretty pretty princess Emma, I got lots of snuggles and cuddles with her that weekend.
And now THAT really concludes our trip to Cape!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa & Ms. Claus...

...look I met Santa and Ms. Claus!!! Hopefully I'm a good girl so they bring me what's on my wish list!!! Ms. Claus requested this picture by saying, "Got any film left in that camera to take a picture of the four of us?" OH! Ms. Claus-I love her!
Tell me...what are you asking Santa for this year???

Friday, December 3, 2010

Baby Aubrey is Here!!! co-worker, and really more friend, Paula and her hub welcomed their daughter this past Monday. Aubrey Marie arrived at 9:16pm on Monday evening after 24 HOURS of labor. Okay, mom got induced at 8pm on Sunday night, broke her water on Monday morning and still nothing at 8pm on Monday night so they decided to do a C-section. Here's the beautiful little girl:
The proud momma and her daughter:
I was at work on Tuesday morning and the phone rang about 7:15am. I grumble and put on my Angry Alyssa voice, "THIS is Alyssa." I figured it was someone calling in sick so I was pleasantly surprised when it was Paula calling to tell me everyone was happy and healthy. I headed to the hospital after work on Wednesday and got to visit with the family. Good luck Paula and Nathan and Aubrey! Hopefully, I'll see you before you come back to work in three months!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brashares...

...Hilary did a book review of "The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brashares awhile ago on her blog. I put it on my to-read list but never followed through. Then she had a sale and I snatched the book up and I loved it!

The general overview from the back of the book, "Riley and Alice, two sisters now in their twenties, and as fiercely different as they are loyal, have spent every summer at their parents' modest beach house. And every summer growing up, there is also Paul, a close friend to both girls. Now, after three years away from the island, he's come back. But his return marks a season of change, of unspoken attractions, tragedy, and deep secrets that will launch three friends into an unfamiliar adult world, from which their summer haven can no longer protect them."

Okay, so the book started a little slow then got hot and heavy then slow again and I found myself skimming to find out what was going to happen with Paul and Alice! I hate how books have two characters that are interested in each other but afraid to go after it then they do then they get ripped apart only to wind up together in the end but I guess if it didn't have the conflict and drama then it really wouldn't be a book now would it? Sorry I just kind of gave it away. Brashares did a great job of getting the reader interested in the characters. I found myself wanting to yell at them-quit being so stubborn!!! Or, for the love, just tell him! I would definitely recommend this book but remember, it goes a little slow at times.

I'm debating what book to start next so let me know what you're reading and if you'd recommend it. I have a lot of time off in December so I'm hoping to knock out a few books on my book stand.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Whipt Cream...

...last Wednesday, Aimee and I were in Chesterfield. I was supposed to be dropping off fliers for Hospital Hill Run at Fleet Feet (they weren't open yet) and Ghisallo (apparently they'd closed). We were about to head back to St. Charles when we saw Whipt Cream. Aimee had been to a wedding who had these cupcakes. They weren't quite open yet so we sat in the car chatting for a few minutes waiting for them to open.
I wanted to get a picture of the storefront. This was the first attempt. It was raining, can you tell?
Attempt #2, turned off the flash. Now you can see the storefront...kinda.
Look at that spread!!! I wanted to try them all. I had the second from the end on the right. Any guesses what flavor I got? Yep, you guessed it PB!!! Apparently the PB was in the PB Banana spot and vice versa so there was all sorts of confusion for a second. I don't know who was more confused, Aimee and I or the lady that worked there.
They had all sorts of other cute displays. Totally reminded me of all the cake shows on TV. I definitely looked like a tourist snapping all these pics.
When I got home, Matt was off work early because of the rain. I was busted and had to share with him. He's a good hubby though and let me enjoy both of them. The cupcake was good, moist but not PB enough for me. I've had a PB cupcake before with a Reese's cup inside-oh, be still my heart! I would definitely go back if I was in the area but I don't think I'd make a special trip to go there.

I'm thinking I should take a tour of STL and try every PB cupcake I can find. Who wants to join me???

Rabbit, rabbit!