Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wedding dresses, cowboy boots, and tiaras

Today was my first time trying on wedding dresses. It was exciting and scary all at the same time. I went by myself and I'm actually really glad I did. It was a very stress free experience. That is until I found my dress and realized I didn't have the money to buy it right now. I'm hoping that work starts giving me more hours or I won't be having a wedding at all. After getting injured at work, I had to take some time off to heal and now I'm not getting many hours.

Anywho, I tried on 3 dresses. The first dress was beautiful but not really my style.
The second one, I liked and I thought that it might be a contender. I loved the front but I didn't really like how the back looked. The girl assured me that it wouldn't look so bad once it came in my size and was altered, but I wasn't so sure.

The third and final dress I tried on was beautiful. It was simple and short. It looked perfect with my boots. I wasn't quite sure about it still, so my consultant put a veil and a tiara on me. I stepped in front of the mirror and almost cried. It was so perfect for me.
I felt so pretty. But then she put a belt on me and I knew that this was the dress. I was so happy.
So, now I just have to get the money to buy it all. I can't wait to marry the man of my dreams and wear this beautiful dress.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Eliza No More

Hey everyone. This is a short story I wrote a few months ago for a writing contest. I didn't win but I wanted to share it on here. Hope you like it.

Eliza Ripper didn’t have much in the way of friends. She was one of those girls that nobody really cared about. She didn’t even get picked on in school because no one really knew she existed. She wasn’t really a talker. She kept quiet whenever possible to avoid the inevitable look that she liked to call “the crazy look.” She always ended up saying something that warranted that look so she chose to keep her mouth shut. She lived alone in a one bedroom apartment and hardly left her apartment except to go to work, stocking shelves at the local bookstore. It was the perfect job for her. The only time she ever had to talk was if someone asked her where a book was. Although Eliza wasn’t good at making friends or talking, she was good at one thing. It was really the only thing she thought she could do. That was writing. She would write till her fingers hurt and she couldn’t think anymore. Then she would put her writing on her blog. She used a fake name. She was Penelope Benson to the online community. Eliza wasn’t loved by many, but Penelope was adored by 100’s, maybe even 1000’s of people. She had sent her book out to publishers and had gotten letter’s back from half of them saying how much they loved the book and how they would love to sign her on. Her stories were on their way to the best seller’s list. Eliza didn’t think anything could ruin the life she was leading.
One day when Eliza came home from work there was a note taped to her door. She ripped it off the door and unfolded it. It said, “I know who you are pretending to be. I will make sure that you never go anywhere with your writing again.” She scrunched up her nose thinking this was some stupid joke one of the kids in her building was pulling. She opened her door and stepped inside to find her apartment trashed. Her jaw dropped. Who would do this? She walked to her room and found her computer laying on her bed. Another note was on top of the computer. It read, “You probably didn’t believe me before. So I took the liberty of deleting your writing for you. Hope you don’t mind.” Eliza started to cry. She wrenched her laptop open and went to her blog. It didn’t even exist anymore. She went to her documents to find all of her writing gone. Her life was over in her eyes. She was never going to get that back. All that writing, gone just like that. She grabbed her house phone and dialed the police. She silently vowed to never let anyone walk all over her again. She would grow from this and no one would dare mess with Eliza Ripper again. She swore that no one would even know her as quiet little Eliza ever again. She would become Penelope.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday dinner: Chicken Pot Pie Crumble

Tonight we went to my future mother-in-law's house to watch The Big Game. So, I made dinner at her house. It didn't go so well first try. I was not used to her oven and burned the crumble and had to start over again. But I got it right the second time and it turned out so good. This is definitely something you should try. You can find the original recipe here.

  • 20 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast halves 
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup peeled and diced carrots (I use canned carrots. Me and my canned veges....)
  • 3/4 cup diced celery (about 2 large stalks)(I didn't use this because we forgot it at home. haha)
  • 3/4 cup finely diced yellow onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme (I didn't use this because we thought we had it and didn't. It turned out just fine without it.)
 For the crumble:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup butter, cold and diced into small cubes
  • 2 oz. finely shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup packed)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream
Place chicken in a slow cooker, pour chicken broth over chicken. Cover with lid and cook on low heat about 5 - 6 hours until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from slow cooker, dice and set aside. Strain broth from slow cooker through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and reserve broth (if you don't have a fine mesh strainer just try to remove the pieces of fat). 

To prepare crumble
Preheat oven to 450 degree. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder and optional cayenne pepper. Using your finger tips, cut butter into mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (I actually used a pastry blender the second time and it worked a lot better than my fingers.) Stir in Parmesan cheese. Pour in heavy cream and mix just until combined. Break and drop mixture into pieces onto a wax paper lined baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and set aside. (This is the part where I burned it. If it's not golden on the top but it is on the bottom, it's okay. It'll cook more later.)

To prepare filling
Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add diced carrots, onion and celery. Saute vegetables, stirring occasionally until lightly golden and tender, about 5 - 6 minutes. Pour vegetables into a bowl and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, melt butter in saucepan (I like to brown it a bit for and extra layer of flavor), then add in flour and cook, stirring constantly for about 20 seconds (it will be very thick). While stirring, slowly add in milk followed by reserved chicken broth, lemon juice, parsley, thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture just to a boil, then slightly reduce heat and allow to cook about 1 minute longer until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove sauce from heat and add sauteed vegetables, frozen peas and diced chicken to sauce, then toss to evenly coat. Pour mixture into a 9-inch pie dish and sprinkle with baked crumble topping (mine fit perfectly in my pie dish but if yours is coming close to the top edge you may want to sit it on top of a cookie sheet to prevent spills in your oven). Bake in 400 degree oven until nicely golden about 12 - 14 minutes. Serve warm. Enjoy!!

Let me know if you tried this and what you thought!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ice cream sandwich cake

This cake is absolutely amazing. It's also extremely easy to make. You can find the original recipe here.

Ice cream sandwiches
cool whip
caramel topping
your favorite candy

Lay the ice cream sandwiches down in your baking pan. The amount of sandwiches used will depend on the size of the dish. Cover the sandwiches in cool whip, then cover with the caramel topping. Break up your candy and sprinkle it on top of that. Then add another lay of ice cream sandwiches, cool whip, caramel, and candy. Put it in the freezer for several hours or overnight. You may have to let it thaw on the counter for a little bit afterward, depending on how cold your freezer is. Cut it up and enjoy!

BTW, I made this awhile back and don't have a picture from it. The picture above is from the original link.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A day off and good food

Today was Martin Luther King Jr. day. Many people had either work or school off. I however was expected at school at 8:30 this morning. I planned on getting up at 6:30 and then making the hour drive to school. However, I woke up at 7:30 to a text from my mom. I jumped out of bed and yelled at Josh that we needed to get up right now! I ran around the apartment trying to get ready. Josh, not being used to getting up so early, was moving very slowly, so I checked my email. The first email in my inbox was from my instructor saying that she was sick and class was cancelled. Josh was happy that we wouldn't have to make the drive because the roads were getting bad. I was happy to get an extra day off this week.

Now on to the good food. I made Tator tot casserole for dinner tonight. This is one of my personal favorites. It is very easy to make and it tastes so good. You can make it two different ways. Both ways are delicious.

burger or chicken
1 can of corn
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
tator tots

If you use burger spread it flat in the bottom of a casserole dish. If you use chicken, cut it into small pieces and lay it out on the bottom of the dish. Both ways the meat should be raw. Spread the cream of mushroom soup over the meat. Drain the water from the corn and spread it over top. Cover the corn in a single layer of tator tots. Set the oven on 350 degrees. Stick it in the oven and leave it for about 45 minutes. When the meat is cooked pull it out and cover it in cheese. Stick it back in the oven until the cheese is melted. Pull it out and Enjoy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday dinner: Crock pot chicken chili

Since we moved into our own apartment, I decided that, on Sundays, I'll try a new recipe that I found on Pinterest. It will give me a reason to make something new and to try all those yummy looking recipes I see. This Sunday is the first day I'm trying this. I did chicken chili in the crock pot. This is the original recipe. I made some changes as I went along. It turned out a lot spicier than I had expected and I had to add things to make it less spicy. Next time I will just cut things out of the recipe. It was very delicious though and I will definitely be making it again. This is what I did.

1 onion, chopped
1 16 oz can of black beans
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 16 oz can of corn, drained
1 can of rotel (I used the original kind with chile peppers in it. Unless you like things extremely spicy, only use 1 can instead of 2.)
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
3 chicken breasts (the original recipe says to leave them frozen but I let them thaw just to be safe.)
(I also added a can of diced tomatoes but that was to make it less spicy. If you want more tomatoes I'd suggest adding it.)

Combine onion, beans, sauce, corn, rotel, and seasonings in crock pot.
Place the chicken on top.
Cook on high until chicken is cooked. Pull the chicken apart with a fork and then mix the pulled chicken into the crock pot. Cook on low until done.

I only cooked it for 4 hours and it was done. The recipe said 6 hours on high but I didn't think it needed that long. I think it might have been because my crock pot is small. I'm feeding myself and Josh off of this recipe and we will most likely have left overs. If you try the recipe let me know what you think or if you did anything differently. Enjoy!

P.S. The picture doesn't look very good but it tasted and smelled very good.