Yep, it's ANOTHER asparagus recipe! I can't help it...I could eat asparagus with every meal and am always on the lookout for different ways to prepare it. Never before have I pan fried it, but was it ever delicious! I'm pretty excited, too, because my parents had given us a Foodsaver, which we just got around to using for the first time, the other night. I intend to stock up on asparagus over the summer and freeze it, so I have it readily available year round :) By the way...if you don't have a Foodsaver, it's truly wonderful!!!
Pan Fried Asparagus
1/4 cup butter 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon coarse salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed (I didn't trim mine as nicely as I should have!)
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Stir in the olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook garlic in butter for a minute, but do not brown. Add asparagus and cook for about 10 minutes, turning to ensure even cooking.
"Biting off more than I can chew" is something I tend to do rather frequently! As I was multitasking yesterday, my husband happened to notice one of my cookbooks open on the desk in the kitchen. I had some pretty ripe bananas and had found a recipe to utilize them...I wanted something a little different than traditional banana bread or muffins. Realizing that I was a little overwhelmed, he set out to make this cake--I always get a kick out of watching him make things, because he's so "methodical" and does not deviate the slightest bit from the recipe :) (Not to mention the fact that he always seems to use ten times more pans/dishes than I do!) I'm fairly certain this was the first layer cake he's ever made and he did a great job! The cake was baked perfectly...it was so moist and the frosting was a nice change! I honestly don't know that I have ever had peanut butter frosting, but it was very good! I'm actually planning to have a slice here shortly, with my cup of coffee...hopefully I can accomplish that before the kiddos wake up!
Triple Layer Banana Cake
3/4 cup butter, softened 2 cups sugar 3 eggs 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium) 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3 cups all-purpose flour 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup buttermilk
Directions: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.
Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting, in a large bowl, beat the peanut butter and butter until smooth. Beat in confectioners' sugar and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Frost between layers and over top and sides of cake. Garnish with peanuts if desired. (Here's a picture of him diligently working and another of his finished cake!)
And now...onto the award! Kathy from Three on Food put a smile on my face this morning when I saw that she had passed along this award to me! I would highly encourage you to check out their blog, as they post fantastic recipes...the latest is a pizza casserole that would be very kid friendly! There are rules to this award, so here they are: 1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award. 2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog. 3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award. 4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting. 5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers. 6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate. 7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.
Seven things about myself that you may (or may not) find interesting!
1) I make lists for EVERYTHING and find it extremely therapeutic to cross things off! 2) I am a nurse and have no problem giving shots, but am TERRIFIED of receiving them! Don't get me wrong...I don't like to inflict pain on people, but the needle itself doesn't bother me if it's not going into me, personally! 3) I worked as a server at BW3's when I was in nursing school. 4) I'm a "retired" BeautiControl consultant and a "semi-retired" Pampered Chef consultant. Along with that, I own probably every product ever made by Pampered Chef! 5) I love boardgames...Scattergories and Loaded Questions are probably two of my favorites! 6) I'm one of three sisters and we each had a boy first! 7) I love romance and all things "romantic"...movies, gestures, etc!
I would now like to pass this award onto the following bloggers:
The stomach "bug" has been going around my house and I haven't had much energy to cook. I decided to go ahead and marinate these pork chops yesterday morning and then figured I'd wait and see if anyone felt up to eating dinner--worst case scenario, I figured we could always have them tonight. Dinnertime arrived and I figured I probably should try to eat something, so I had my husband go ahead and grill these chops. My stomach was still a little queasy, but they still tasted so good and smelled wonderful while they were grilling! I don't buy pork chops often, probably because I wasn't overly fond of them growing up--I love my Mom to death, but she likes her meat VERY well done and there's nothing quite like dried out pork chops! The original recipe called for 1 inch thick chops, but I used the assorted pork chops that were on sale for $.97/lb...hard to beat that! The listed grilling time is for 20-25 minutes, which was what the original recipe called for, but if you're using thinner chops, as we did, you will likely need to decrease the cooking time.
Marinated Pork Chops
3/4 cup vegetable oil 1/3 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup vinegar 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon prepared mustard 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes 1 garlic clove, minced 6 pork chops
Combine the first 10 ingredients in a large resealable plastic bag or shallow glass container; add pork and turn to coat. Seal bag or cover container; refrigerate overnight. Drain and discard marinade. Grill, covered, over medium coals, turning occasionally, for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear.
I'm fairly certain this isn't the proper name for this recipe, but it's what we've always referred to it as! The first time I ever had these "packets" was back when my sister, Sarah and I were in girl scouts...probably about 20 yrs ago! We were having a camping event of some sort, in order to earn one of those girl scout badges and they had each girl scout make their own individual dinner over a campfire. My sister and I each made our own, but somehow, one of ours magically disappeared and since we were both extremely reserved back then, we politely shared the one packet that we were given. (I'm not going to lie...it really pisses me off to this day!) Anyway, on with my story! We greatly enjoyed the tiny morsels we were given, so we attempted to recreate the recipe for my Mom, who in turn, absolutely loved it! The flavors of the beef, carrots, onions and potatoes, all cooked in the same individual packet are wonderful and again, this is something that reheats well! I have made a few changes over the years, because I'm fairly certain they didn't season the "packets" before grilling them or do anything with the meat, other than shape it into a small patty, but I definitely think they need salt in some form!
2 lbs ground beef 1 egg, beaten Kosher salt Ground Black Pepper Onion Powder 3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks 1 large onion (we prefer vidalia!) 3-4 potatoes, cut into chunks (peeling optional!) Garlic Salt
Break apart ground beef in a medium-sized bowl and add egg, Kosher salt, pepper and onion powder; mix well. Form into 6 patties.
Tear off (6) 12x12 inch pieces of aluminum foil. Place one patty on center of each piece of foil and surround with carrots, onions and potatoes (equal amounts around each patty). Sprinkle garlic salt over the veggies and pull foil up tightly around ingredients to form a "packet". Place all of your packets on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until potatoes and carrots are tender.
NOTE: You can also grill these packets, although I haven't done that in forever and can't recall the exact cooking time!
Okay, so I know everyone tends to think that their own mom's or family's recipe for meatloaf is the best, but I honestly feel as if my mom's is hands down, the best I have EVER tried! My husband is the world's pickiest eater and never ate his own mom's meatloaf growing up, but he LOVES my mom's :) This was another recipe enclosed in my bridal shower cookbook, containing favorite recipes of my family and friends and I think it's probably the one thing I have made more than anything else since I have lived on my own. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes are my all-time favorite comfort food! I love the addition of applesauce...I think it gives the meatloaf a wonderful consistency and I am also a big fan of the green pepper! This reheats so well and my Mom has tried to convince me time and time again that it would make wonderful meatloaf sandwiches. I know I really need to give them a try--I don't know why cold meatloaf doesn't appeal to me?!?
3 pounds ground chuck 3 large eggs 2 medium to large onions 1 small or 1/2 of a large green pepper 25 saltines, finely crushed 3/4 cup milk BBQ Sauce (I only use Sweet Baby Ray's!) 1 cup applesauce (optional) Garlic salt Ground Black Pepper
Break apart ground chuck in a large mixing bowl. Place eggs into a food processor and add onions and green pepper (both quartered). Process eggs, onions and green pepper until finely chopped. Add egg mixture to meat, along with crushed saltines, milk, BBQ sauce to taste, applesauce (if desired) and seasonings. Mix well and place meat mixture in a 9x13 pan. Form into oblong loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes.
Note: The meatloaf can be baked adding nothing or you can choose one of the following options: 1) Brush top with BBQ sauce and also placed sliced onions on top or 2) Mix one can of tomato or cream of mushroom soup with 1/3 can of water and pour over meatloaf before baking. I, personally, just add some BBQ sauce to the top!
I must say...Donna (My Tasty Treasures) has one of my favorite blogs! Not only are her recipes fabulous, but she is very much her own person and provides my daily entertainment! She's so "real" and while she may rub some people the wrong way, I very much respect her individuality :) I've never been disappointed by a recipe that Donna has posted, so I knew this cheesecake had to be wonderful. Besides, everyone seems to be raving about Tyler Florence! Normally I'm not a huge fan of lemon, but the lemon in the filling mixture was a great addition! I searched high and low for my springform pan that I was sure I had purchased, but was unable to find it. I ended up making the cheesecake in a round cake pan, so my picture is not near as pretty as Donna's! I also am wondering if I didn't need to bake the cheesecake just a tad bit longer, because it didn't seem to firm up as much as it should have. This is definitely a recipe I will make again and I look forward to trying different toppings! I used fresh strawberries (mixed with sugar), but I bet it would be great with cherries, too! (Again, please excuse the picture, as it was taken pretty late at night and the lighting in my house is just awful!)
Crust: 2 cups finely ground graham crackers, about 30 squares ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 stick butter, melted
Filling: 1 pound cream cheese, softened, (2) 8oz blocks 3 eggs 1 cup sugar 1 pint sour cream 1 lemon, zested (I only "zested" half of the lemon) Dash of vanilla
For the crust: Preheat oven to 325. In a mixing bowl, combine crust ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8 inch springform pan with non stick cooking spray. Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup, press the crumbs down into the base , and 1 inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 -10 minutes.
For the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add sour cream lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not over beaten. Pour the filling into the crust lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Set the cheesecake on a large piece of aluminum foil, and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan and pour boiling water into the pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. This foil will keep water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 45–50 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle. It will firm up after chilling. Be careful not to overcook. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the fridge for 4 hours at least. Loosen the sides of the cheesecake by running a knife around the inside rim. Unmold and transfer to plate. Spread on your choice of topping or eat plain.
I saw this posted on Heidi's blog (Tried-and-True Cooking with Heidi) and love that she always has a way of posting recipes for ingredients that just so happen to be on sale :) My one regret with making this recipe was that I didn't allow it to marinate longer--it was only in the refrigerator for about 3-3 1/2 hours, but I would like to try it again soon and leave it overnight. The chicken was unbelievably moist and had wonderful flavor...I can only imagine how much better it would have been if I had remembered to get it going earlier in the day!
I would very much suggest checking out Heidi's blog for any of you who haven't already and I would also highly recommend looking at Krista's blog, as that's where the recipe is originally from. I'm constantly looking at new blogs (especially when other bloggers post links) and was very excited to "meet" Krista. It turns out that she and I have a lot in common...we both grew up in Indiana, both got married in June 2003 and both have two small children--small world! Enjoy this chicken...it's sure to please!
Kentucky Grilled Chicken
1 cup cider vinegar 1/2 cup canola oil 5 tsp Worcestershire sauce 4 tsp hot sauce 2 tsp salt 6 split chicken breasts (it would probably be great with legs or thighs, too!)
Combine first 5 ingredients to make marinade. Place 1 cup of marinade into large ziploc bag and add chicken. Swish around to coat chicken and let refrigerate at least 4 hours. Reserve remaining marinade for basting. Spray grill with cooking spray. Cook chicken over indirect heat for 20 minutes. Turn and grill 20-30 more minutes or until juices run clear. Baste occasionally with reserved marinade.
I came across this recipe several years ago, when I was up visiting my parents around their anniversary. I had decided to make them dinner and wanted to find something that they would both enjoy. I remember scouring the internet, in search of that "perfect recipe" and knew immediately that this would appeal to both of them. I don't know if any of you are aware, but if you go to Olivegarden.com, they have a link to many recipes on their site. I actually kind of forgot about that, until I was typing out this post! My parents both seemed impressed with the quality of this dish and my Mom has said that it's one of her favorite recipes. My Mom was in town this past week, so I decided to make it for her. Again, everyone said they enjoyed it! My youngest sister has actually ordered the Garlic Tuscan Chicken at Olive Garden (after trying my version) and she said that she honestly preferred this recipe. The original recipe calls for one red pepper, but I think the addition of the yellow pepper is nice in terms of adding a little color, but trust me...I understand how expensive red and yellow peppers can be, so I would think that it would be just as good with green peppers. I also have been itching to try adding mushrooms and/or onions, but I'll have to wait for a day when my husband isn't around :) The recipe I'm posting includes several revisions that I have made over the years, but by all means, feel free to refer to the original recipe and you can tailor the recipe to suit your tastes. I'm sure it will be delicious, most any way you make it!!!
Olive Garden Tuscan Garlic Chicken
(6) 6-8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded to 1/2 inch thickness) 1 1/4 cup flour, plus 2 tablespoons 2 tablespoon salt 2 teaspoons black pepper 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning 1 lb fettuccine pasta (I've always used penne) 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped 1 red pepper, julienne cut 1 yellow pepper, julienne cut 1 cup white wine 1/2 lb whole leaf spinach, stemmed 24 oz heavy cream 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
Pre-heat oven to 350ºF and start boiling water for pasta. Mix 1 1/4 cups flour, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in the mixture, shaking off any excess. Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a large skillet. Cook chicken breasts 3 at a time over medium-high heat until golden brown and crisp (2-3 min). Add more oil for each batch as necessary.
Place cooked chicken breasts on a baking sheet and transfer to preheated oven. Cook for 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp oil in a sauce pan. Add garlic and peppers and cook for approximately 1 minute. Stir in 2 Tbsp flour, wine, spinach and cream and bring to a boil. Sauce is done when spinach becomes wilted. Complete by stirring in parmesan cheese.
Coat cooked, drained pasta with sauce, then top with chicken and remaining sauce. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese. Adapted from recipe posted on Olivegarden.com
This has been a very crazy couple of weeks, so please excuse my lack of postings! I've still been busy in the kitchen, but am a bit behind on posting all of my recipes :) You'll have to excuse this picture, because it was next to impossible to photograph--I can't tell you how many times I tried and each time, it just looked like a big glob of some sort of yellow substance! Rest assured, it tastes WAY better than it probably looks and is quite well liked by all who have tried it. This is a great summer jello recipe, as it's very refreshing. I'm not a huge lemon fan, but I do enjoy this recipe and the rest of my family absolutely loves it...both my husband and son and the rest of my extended family! This is super easy to throw together the night before--especially if you need something quick to take to a BBQ or potluck the next day!
Double Lemon Salad
(2) 6 oz packages lemon jello 5 cups boiling water 12 ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate 12 ounce carton cool whip
In large mixing bowl, dissolve jello in water. Stir in lemonade concentrate. Chill several hours or until nearly set. Beat with electric mixer until frothy. Add cool whip and continue mixing until well blended. Pour into serving bowl and cover and chill overnight.
There's nothing particularly "fancy" about this recipe--I found it on the back of the Knorr Vegetable Soup, Dip, Recipe Mix box and it is now one of my favorite spinach dip recipes! I'm always looking for new appetizer ideas, because it never fails that I need something quick to take to someone's home for whatever gathering it may be and spinach dip is certainly one of those things that always goes over well!
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained 1 container (16 oz) sour cream 1 cup mayonnaise (they suggest using Hellmann's, which I am partial to anyway!) 1 package Knorr vegetable soup, dip & recipe mix (I'm sure you could substitute another brand!) 1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional) 3 green onions, chopped
In a medium bowl, stir spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, soup mix, water chestnuts and green onions until well mixed. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours to blend flavors. Stir well. If desired, spoon into round bread bowl and serve with cut up vegetables or chips.
Variations: (I have not tried either, but thought I'd include them!)
NOTE: I keep meaning to thank two fellow bloggers (Project Mommyhood and Jonas Family) for passing along an award to me! I apologize that it's taken me so long to make mention of it on my blog, but I've just been so preoccupied lately with different personal issues...PLEASE know that I sincerely appreciated you both thinking of me!!!
I enjoy eating pasta salad all year round, but especially in the summer! I believe I first tried this at a bridal shower for either myself or my sister, Sarah and everyone loved it! It's since been made for several events and I actually made it for my grandfather's birthday party this past weekend...I thought it would go well with the deli tray that they were having. I actually doubled the recipe, which I would suggest doing for a crowd--it's really good leftover!
Greek Pasta Salad
3/4 cup olive oil 3/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 1/2 teaspoons dried basil 2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon white sugar 1 pound box pasta (cooked and drained)
3 cups fresh sliced mushrooms 15 cherry tomatoes, halved 1 cup sliced red bell pepper 2 cups broccoli florets, cut into small pieces 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese 1/2 cup chopped green onions 1 (4 oz) can whole black olives, sliced 12 ounces sliced pepperoni, cut into strips
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, basil, oregano, black pepper and sugar. Add cooked pasta, mushrooms, tomatoes, red peppers, broccoli feta cheese, green onions, olives and pepperoni. Toss until evenly coated. Cover and chill 4 hours or overnight.
Well, I've been a little overwhelmed lately, so I figured a nice "cocktail" at the end of the evening (after putting all of the kids to bed, my nephew included) sounded quite good! We're watching my nephew this week, which will be interesting, to say the least! He's an absolute doll, but when you get he and my son together (they're 5 months apart), there tends to be quite a bit of bickering. I knew it would be pretty irresponsible on my part to have a nice, strong drink (as I needed), so I chose to have an Amaretto Stone Sour--just enough to take the edge off :) This is a great drink for those of you out there who don't care for beer (like myself) or who don't care for a real strong liquor taste (as something with tequila may have). While my husband probably won't admit this to many people, it's one of his favorite drinks! Oops...did I say that out loud?!? It's probably not the most "manly" drink, but it's so good and easy to make! (Please excuse the picture...it was taken pretty late last night!)
Amaretto Stone Sour
2 ounces Amaretto 2 ounces Sweet and Sour Mix 2 ounces Orange Juice
Fill glass with ice and add all ingredients--you can add more of each, if you want a taller glass...just make sure to do equal proportions! Stir well and garnish as desired.
I had mentioned in a previous post that my grandfather's health has been declining, but thankfully, he seems to be stable at the moment. His 80th birthday is this coming Tuesday, so my family threw him a surprise party last night. He was transferred to a rehabilitation facility on Friday and they allowed him to leave for a few hours--just enough time to allow us to get him out and about for a bit and remind him how much we all adore him! My grandfather is always telling stories about his childhood and has made mention on several occasions of certain things his Mom used to make when he was a young boy. He always raves about the peanut butter cookies I make (he says they taste just like the ones his Mom made) and has made mention of how his Mom used to make some type of butter cookie that he just loved, so I decided that I wanted to make him both the peanut butter cookies and these snickerdoodles. I found the recipe on Allrecipes--it was the top rated version and had over 2000 very positive reviews. Per several of the reviewers suggestions, I used butter-flavored Crisco and let me tell you...the cookies just melt in your mouth!
1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup shortening 1 1/2 cups white sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons cream of tartar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons white sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Note: I ended up having to use an extra tablespoon of both the sugar and cinnamon to roll the cookies in!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.
I recently picked up a copy of EVERYDAY with Rachael Ray and immediately marked this recipe! I love pasta, bacon and asparagus, so I figured I couldn't go wrong--I was just praying that this recipe wasn't as much work as the last Rachael Ray recipe I tried! There was a bit of prep work involved, but not too much, by any means. My husband and I both really enjoyed this dish...it was unlike anything I have ever made, but a dish I will certainly make again! There was one major "issue" I had with the recipe--perhaps I'm just paranoid, but I'm not a fan of eating raw eggs. The original recipe stated to mix the pasta and asparagus into the egg/cheese mixture and then add the bacon at the end. I decided (after conferring with my sister) that I would add the pasta mixture (already mixed with the egg/cheese) to the skillet and simmer it for about five minutes to cook the egg. It was delicious!!!!
2 large eggs 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 3/4 pound spaghetti 1 bunch asparagus, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 12 ounces bacon, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup dry white wine Salt and Pepper
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and cheese. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, adding the asparagus during the last minute of cooking. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the hot pasta and asparagus to the egg mixture; toss to coat.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp; stir in the garlic. Add the wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add the pasta mixture to the skillet and simmer for approximately 5 minutes, adding the reserved pasta water to moisten. Season with salt and pepper.
Source: Adapted from EVERYDAY with Rachael Ray (June/July 2009)
Heidi from Tried-and-True Cooking with Heidi passed along an award to me and I can't begin to tell you how much it meant! This has been one of those weeks in which anything and everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong, so I very much appreciated the little "pick me up". I just found out this evening that my grandfather's health is declining, which is extremely difficult for me to come to terms with. Being a nurse, I'm forced to deal with patients passing away, but it's a whole different story when it affects you personally. It certainly puts everything into perspective and makes you realize just how precious life is and that every day truly is a gift.
On a happier note, I now have the privilege of passing this award onto seven other bloggers...several are blogs I have only recently started following, but greatly enjoy!
Do you ever have one of those "blah" days and then all of a sudden something happens that turns it around?!? Well, my husband is out running errands with my son and I'm just home, hanging out with my daughter and decided to pull up my blog while my daughter is practicing walking with her cute little pink walker :) I was pleasantly surprised to see that Chrissy, from A Lil' Dash of Diva had left me a sweet message, letting me know that she had an award waiting for me at her blog. I don't say this enough, but I really appreciate everyone taking the time to look at my blog and for all of the comments that you guys leave! It really meant a lot to me that she thought enough of my blog to make mention of it and pass this award on to me. I, in turn, would like to pass it along to a handful of fellow bloggers! I really do love each and every one of your blogs for different reasons and I apologize that I've been so horrible about leaving comments lately--my computer has been SO slow and when I finally do have a chance to get online, it seems as if one (if not both) of my little rugrats distracts me before I have time to remember to comment! Please don't think it's because I don't care or enjoy your blogs!
Now, onto the awards...
1) Sarah at Delectable Dining--my dear sister who also is currently having a giveaway that I would encourage you all to check out! She is VERY talented (as is her friend, Christy, who is co-hosting this giveaway) and they are EACH giving away 9 hand painted, personalized Father's Day cookies. Trust me...they're very cute!
2) Heidi at Tried-and-True Cooking with Heidi--she's going through a rough time now and while this obviously won't take away her troubles, I was hoping it might cheer her up a bit :) I visit her blog regularly...she has great recipes that are typically easy and economical--two things I really appreciate!
3) Donna at My Tasty Treasures--talk about entertainment value! Her blog always keeps me intrigued--by both her recipes and her commentary! You're always in for a surprise when you visit Donna's blog!
4) Katy from Food for a Hungry Soul--I actually feel like an absolute jerk, because I just realized that I hadn't signed up to publicly follow her blog! I check it often, but she must think I'm the most rude person EVER! I love your blog, Katy and greatly appreciate the fact that you always take the time not only to comment, but to offer suggestions regarding my recipes!
If you were to look up the word "picky" in the dictionary, you would see a picture of my husband off to the left. Growing up, I was exposed to all sorts of different foods and encouraged to experiment with different flavors, but after meeting my husband, I somewhat locked myself into an eight to ten meal rotation and was reluctant to deviate. I have since given birth to two of the least picky eaters on the face of the Earth, thus inspiring me to transform my cooking style. I know many people, like myself, lead such hectic lives, so I strive to find recipes that are quick and easy--especially those that you can whip up with ingredients that you ordinarily have on hand!
A bit about me...I married my husband, Marcus, on June 1, 2003 and we welcomed our son Jacob on March 22, 2005. Our daughter, Madeline, was born on March 1, 2008. I stay home with the kids for the most part, but also work occasional shifts as a registered nurse at a local hospital. I truly hope you enjoy my blog. A special "thank you" to my sister, Sarah, for giving me the idea! Her creativity is hard to live up to, but I'm a very determined person and hope to make her proud :)