I came across these photos I took last summer and I wanted to share them with you. It made me smile and reminded me that there is life after a very snowy winter. This year in Michigan we have been slammed with snow. Not that I don’t mind it, but sometimes you just need to be reminded that it WILL melt soon. =)
Every year I plant hundreds of sunflowers for my grandmother. My whole summer revolves around those silly flowers and how they are doing. Who ever is visiting her at the time I ask very nicely for them to please check on my flowers and give them a nice drink of water. This past year I started the seedlings in a plastic bowl and let them germinate before I stuck them in the ground. I may have let them grow a little to long..
Oh Summer – I miss you!
Many of you had Monday off for President’s day… unfortunately I did not. But luck was on my side… Thank you Michigan weather, I got a work from home day (adult snow day). After working all day in my PJ’s the last thing I wanted to do was run out to the grocery store and pick up ingredients for dinner, so I checked the pantry and freezer and this is what I came up with:
Jar of Spaghetti sauce
Red Wine Vinegar
Mozzarella cheese (Actually string cheese, but it still worked!)
I decided to make a light version of chicken Parmesan (minus the deep fried breading). It was really simple!
First I sliced the 2 chicken breasts in half the long way (they were thick, by slicing they cooked faster). Next I created two little foil “boats” in each foil “boat” I added a bit of pasta sauce from a jar, the chicken breasts with Poultry seasoning on them, Olive Oil, and a big splash of Red Wine vinegar. I baked the chicken for 35 minutes at 400. Added some cheese on top and baked the chicken for 5 more minutes.
I was a bit nervous of my first bite because I truly just threw together what I could find… I served the chicken on top of some pasta and it was good! Dave actually said it was my best chicken ever. A proud moment for me
I made the best dinner the other night. It was light, fulfilling, healthy, and the best part, tasty!
I started with a sauce pan full of water for the Asparagus.
The secret to making amazing asparagus is lemon. Yes, I add lemon. I did not have any fresh lemons this time so I used lemon juice. (In the little squeezable lemon shaped bottle.) Squeeze just enough so the water is tart or a whole lemon sliced, squeezed, and dropped into the pan. I also added salt and pepper. Depending on how crunchy you want your asparagus will determine how long you boil it. I go for approx 10 minutes.
Next, I preheated the over to 425, seasoned 2 thin slices of pork with salt/pepper and a seasoning salt. Bake for 15 minutes.
Finally, I made an amazing salad with a cup of apple sauce. I used roman lettuce and chopped it into small pieces. I added black olives, chick peas, artichoke hearts, croutons, topped with Kraft Light Parmesan Asiago Balsamic Vinaigrette (amazing).
The end result was AMAZING! Very quick dinner, yet very healthy!
Today 5 years ago I was introduced to my Hubby. I would say that it was love at first sight, and I told several people after our first meeting that we would be married ( I didn’t tell him that)! I do have to give a shout out to my BFF Stace, I owe our introduction to her. (They were co-workers) We dated for 2 1/2 years, engaged for 1 year, and now married for 1 1/2 years.
Having Valentine’s day and our anniversary in the same week usually makes for a very romantic time. Nice dinners, wine, gift exchange.. This year he is traveling for work, but the first message I got this morning was from him wishing me a Happy Anniversary. Ahhh, he remembered without any prompting.
I am not sure the exact date the we decided that we were officially boyfriend/girlfriend, but that does not matter. What counts is the day we met and that it was the beginning of our lives together.
So my question to you is, do you still celebrate the first date or the first time you met your loved one?
Driving home after work Monday I called my boyfriend and we decided that we were going to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Tuesday because we both weren’t prepared and were tired after a long day. On Monday’s I teach a dance class after work so straight from work I went to the studio. On my way home from dance I decided it wouldn’t hurt to be a bit romantic… I didn’t expect anything from the boyfriend but figured I needed to acknowledge the holiday a bit, since I am very lucky to be in love. I stopped by Baskin Robins on my way back to the apartment and picked up a little ice-cream cake, it was red velvet cake with red velvet ice-cream yummmmm! To my surprise when I walked in the apartment my boyfriend had bought me a beautiful bouquet of red roses. Sitting on the table was an adorable display of the roses along side a big bag of salt and vinegar kettle chips and a new bottle of ketchup (my FAVORITE snack). I laughed when I realized that despite our attempt to be anti-valentines day and to celebrate on our own terms we both had wanted the other to feel special on the Hallmark holiday.
Oh man, heading home after a log day at work and all I can think of is the chicken turkey burger in the freezer.. What can I do with that? I guess I will stop at the grocery store on my way home. Well, I should probably Google something quick before I pack up.
Do you have any suggestions?
I like to think that I am a romantic… I love love there is not doubt about that! This Valentine’s Day I am going to make a special meal for my boyfriend. Now don’t get any ideas when I tell you what I’m going to cook… It’s not quite a meal it’s more of an appetizer, I’m going to make some Hanky Pankies!
P.S. if you are a cheese snob you might not be a big fan of this dish, Velveeta is a main ingredient. Don’t be fooled by the fake cheese, this dish is addicting!
1 LB. Ground Beef
1 LB. Sausage (Bob Evans spicy)
1 Lg. Velveeta Cheese
1 ½ TSP. Garlic Powder
1 ½ TSP. Thyme
1 Loaf Mini Rye Bread
Brown ground beef and sausage together then drain grease off. Add thyme and garlic powder to meat. Next add Velveeta cheese (cut into small chunks). Cook this with the meat mixture until cheese is melted. After meat and cheese are cooked together, put on rye bread and bake for 10 minutes or until brown, at 350 degrees.
This is a simple dish and so mouth watering! Hanky Pankies are perfect for parties, you can make the meat up the night before and toast the meat and bread right before serving.
I am not an expert on marriage and can not offer any sort of knowledgeable advice seeing that I have been married for only 1 1/2 years. BUT, I have been fortunate enough to be surround by many marriages that have lasted a long time. My parents just celebrated 35 years, my husband’s parents are still happily married, both my grandparents had long loving relationships. Even my friends growing up, their parents are all still married.
As I enter into this journey called marriage, I often think about what it takes to make it work. (In no particular order.)
- Family Values
If you could describe your marriage in 5 words, what would those words be?
It seems that when ever I go to the grocery store I always walk out with the same things. I am looking for some help and recommendations: What can I add to this list to spice up my pantry and fridge?
Must haves for the cupboard:
Spaghetti sauce and wheat pasta
Canned chick peas, mushrooms, Black olives
Pears and Crushed Pineapples
Fat Free Pudding.
Must haves for the Fridge:
I really appreciate the advice!
Here is a very simple and very fast chili recipe that will for sure win the crowd over! At first sight (due to the color of the spinach) your guests may pass over it, but I guarantee that it will be gone at the end of the night! This would be great to make for your Super Bowl party.
- White Northern Beans (big jar)
- Jar of Salsa
- Block of Pepper Jack Cheese
- Frozen spinach
- 1 can of Chicken Broth
- 3 Chicken Breasts
I usually use a slow cooker and start it a few hours before the party, or you can combined it on the stove if you are running out of time.
What you are going to want to do it….
Start with boiling the chicken breasts until cooked.
White beans into slow cooker. (I will usually drain most of the juice from the jar)
Can of chicken broth soup
Jar of salsa ( You can decide which kind you like, I go with mild)
Add Spinach once thawed. (I usually use frozen spinach in the bag and squeeze extra water into the sink.)
Chop up Pepper Jack and sprinkle 1/2 the block into the slow cooker.
Once chicken is cooked shred it and add to cooker.
As it heats add more pepper jack.
Cook on high until ready to serve and turn heat to low.. Stir often.
I must tell you that this recipe has won several firsts place awards in Louisville cooking contests.
Let me know what you think!