Left Photo

Left Photo

Middle Photo

Middle Photo

Right Photo

Right Photo

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Puppies Don't Care...

The past few days have been miserable for me. I've been sick since noon on Sunday and I am just now starting to feel better. Thank God! There is absolutely no food in the house, I did 2 loads of laundry today in between sleeping, and Irie has zero sympathy for a sick mommy.

I intend to go back to work tomorrow (thank God it just so happens to be a half day) and hopefully life turns back to normal. Its amazing how much a fever can throw your world off.

With all that said, I haven't done much cooking, but I was in PA over the weekend (yes....I was stuck there for an additional 48 hours contrary to original plan and drove home sick Monday - although, I had my good friend Alicia and her mom taking care of me while there) and I learned soooo many quick and easy recipes! I can't wait to try them and share them with you!

First and foremost, I must say, if you don't yet have a crock pot and you think you can't cook....go out and buy one. If you can, invest in one that comes with a meat probe, a timer, and will automatically shut off/on when you want it to. I promise you....people will love your food. Justin even claimed my roast was better than his mom's! I begged him not to tell her...

Looking forward to a better week now that I've kicked the fever and will be happy to share more then.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Words of Wisdom

Prior to getting married, my best friend told me that she made menus each weekend so that she knew what she was cooking for the week. I've stolen this advice from her and I must say its the only way Justin and I get a decent meal on weeknights! I read cookbooks, make my grocery list, and therefore have a menu for the week! If not, it would be chicken nuggets and frozen pizza. Blah.

However, I have discovered some amazing, organic, and vegetarian frozen quick fixes that I love! And Justin will eat them - even after I told him they weren't real meat! That's quite an accomplishment for those of you that don't know my carnivorous hubby. Morning Star is usually in with the breakfast food and makes amazing tofu nuggets among other frozen delicacies. Amy's is an organic product and some of the food is even lactose free (I am lactose intolerant so this is exciting!). We particularly like their burritos. And just last night I introduced the in-laws to edamame; a fancy word for soy beans. We prefer to steam them in the pod and add some salt before squeezing them into our mouths. Delish!

A few weekends ago, we had dinner with our cousin (he's mine now, too!) Adam and his girlfriend, Mandy. She made the most amazing salad ever! It was full of spinach, tomato, onion, avocado, you name it! Many and her brother manage Samson and the Lion in Asheboro. I am still one of the unlucky few that haven't visited the store, but fully intend to once payday arrives again. It is organic and very healthy, but best of all...tasty! Before me, Justin would have never believed a salad could be a meal. I taught him different with spinach, tomato, feta cheese, bacon, onion, and vidalia onion dressing. Greens.....its what's for dinner!

Our house has been tore up for the past week as we have had hard wood floors installed so cooking and groceries were on hold. Next week I'm planning a big trip to Sam's Club with my mother in-law (MIL) so we can get back on track with some big kid meals again! Looking forward to that.

Exciting weekend ahead of me - getting together with one of my best friends to go wedding dress shopping and meeting up with some other good friends from college! Short weekend, but yet, very much worth the sleep deprivation.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No Snooze for Me

So all summer long I've heard nothing but how horrible this group of kids is coming up to 8th grade this year. All I gotta say it, this ain't nothin'! Last year, I struggled to get out of bed in the morning, hit snooze multiples times before dragging my feet to the shower. This year, total opposite. On top of all that, I'm super excited about my masters' classes and all the fantastic ideas they are giving me to try with these kids!

Already this year, we have started reading The Outsiders (if you haven't read it, shame on you and go pick up a copy). The kids are loving the 1960s setting and this Friday will start working on our "graffiti wall" where the kids will include quotes/pictures/etc. in a graffiti type format all relating to the book. Little do they know the connections they are making and the higher level thinking involved.

So many wonderful things are happening in our lives right now (thank you, Jesus!) Last weekend I completed my second half marathon with my wonderful friend, Alicia Walsh. I shaved 13 minutes off my first time with a finish of 2:17 - so happy with that! Justin and I are currently getting hard wood floors throughout the house and they are already looking gorgeous! And....dun dun dunnnnnhhhh.....football/tailgating season is here!!!

ECU is off to a fantastic start of their season winning their first game last Sun. (yes, I am crazy and yes, immediately after my half marathon I showered and jumped in the car to drive from VA Beach to Greenville, NC to watch the game) 51-49 with a touchdown with 24 seconds left on the clock. One of the most exciting parts of every football season is the tailgating and this year, Justin Squared (as I lovingly call my Justin and his best friend, Justin Shaw) have acquired a brand new grill just to get the job done. We are already conjuring up all sorts of goodies to create while pregaming.

We have had various "trial runs" (a.k.a. excuses to hang out) at respective houses and have quite a solid menu thus far. I must say the more we experiment, the better the food tastes! I took a wing sauce that I concocted and coated shrimp skewers with it - awesome! All it took was some butter, Texas Pete, and some minced garlic. Slather it on the shrimp and grill on each side for about 3 minutes each. Mmmmmmmm! We've also mastered tuna kabobs with homemade mango salsa, steak, mexican sausage, and camp potatoes - a North Country staple.

Ahhhhh.....life is good.