Friday, May 28, 2010

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

The saying goes, "Time flies when you're having fun."  Well, we must be having lots of fun, because it seems like we just got married!

Five years ago today, we got married.  It was one of the most wonderful days of my life.  Lots of fun - family, friends, and topped off with the best honeymoon vacation.  (We stayed at Disney World and on the Disney Cruise for a week.)

Over the next 5 years, we're still just as silly and in love...

We added to the fun by having our first child.  Our son, Peamite Alpha.

 Then we moved to Birmingham and had a new adventure and some fun along the way.

Then we decided to celebrate all the fun we were having by going on vacation...

Then we added to our fun by having another baby.  Our baby girl, Peamite Bravo.

We moved back to Mississippi and bought our first home.  We then proceeded to have lots of fun remodeling the house and getting moved in.

Then we got a dog.  Isn't Comet just so cute playing with Peamite Alpha?
And in the other picture, you can't even see Peamite Bravo because the dog is over her playing.  She was justa giggling. :)


 So, five years have passed, and God willing we will have many more to come.  I'm just so glad it's with the cuties in the pictures below.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Banana ?Nut? Muffins

It always seems to happen.  You buy the beautiful greenish yellow bananas in hopes that you'll get to them before they're too ripe, but before you know it, they have the black spots indicating they're ripe, or in my case, too far gone.  I'm a little strange, I like my bananas just past green.  I mean - they just turned yellow.  So, I had a bunch of bananas that needed using, because I hate to waste.  It's like that Ziploc commercial where they're throwing money in the garbage can when they throw out their old food.  I feel like that. I know. It's sad.

So, this is what I had on hand:

So, I found a recipe for Banana Bread.  But I didn't have an hour to wait on a loaf of bread to cook.  I needed breakfast relatively soon.  So, I cut the cooking time in half by making them muffins.

So, here's what we do.  I just noticed I've been saying 'so' a lot.  Sorry.  :) So, roll up your sleeves and get to work with me.  Mash the ripe bananas.  It's fun!  See my new masher?  I finally got one!  This was it's maiden voyage.  

Cream the butter and the sugar together.  Then, mix in the eggs and mashed bananas.

Add the flour and salt.  And if you desire nuts (Slap Chop anyone? hahaha) fold them in now.  I typically like pecans in banana nut bread, but I didn't have any on hand.  BUT, I did have some slivered almonds on hand.  They tasted great in the muffins!  I bet walnuts would be a nice addition, too. And if you don't like nuts, or you're allergic, by all means omit them.  That's why the title is ?Nut? 'cause it's totally up to you.  Anyway, don't beat the mixture, gently mix together.  Basically just mix until the dry ingredients are moistened.  If you over mix, the bread will be tough. (Ew)

Get your handy dandy scooper (or tablespoon) and dip the lovely mixture into your greased muffin tins.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown.  They smell soooooo good baking.  Warm bananas. Mmm.
Pop 'em out and server 'em warm.  They taste great cooled, too, but there's just something about a warm banana nut muffin that is just so right.

 So, (there I go again) would you like the recipe?  Well, here it is regardless.;)
Banana Nut Muffins
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup nuts, chopped

Mash the bananas. 
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Add the eggs, vanilla, and mashed bananas.
Mix in the flour and salt.  Fold in nuts if desired.  (Mix gently until just moistened)
Pour into greased muffin tin.
Bake at 325 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown.

Monday, May 10, 2010

BBQ Meatloaf Muffins Mmmmm

Meatloaf.  Hmm, doesn't sound that appetizing does it?  But trust me, these BBQ Meatloaf Muffins are sooo delicious.  The inside is moist and flavorful and with these, more of my favorite part of meatloaf, the crusty exterior.  Aaannd...if it makes you feel better, you can just call them BBQ Meatballs, because hey, that works, too.

To get these muffins of yummy goodness started, grab a pound of ground beef, salt, pepper, and Tony's.

Add an egg beaten with a little milk

Mix some bbq sauce, picante sauce, and worcestershire sauce together in a separate bowl.  I really love what the picante sauce offers - spice, onions, bell peppers, and tomato all in one go.

Add half of the bbq mixture to the meat and a cup of bread crumbs.

Here, take your rings off, and use the kitchen's best tools - your hands - to mix it all together.

Form balls (about 2 inches in diameter) and place in a greased muffin tin.  (Makes 10 muffins)

Now is a good time to use my favorite soap.  Fresh Lemongrass from the Pass Christian Soap Co. 
Looks like I need to go get another bottle before I run out!

Spoon the remaining bbq mixture over the muffins and bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.

The whole kitchen will be smelling so good, and you'll just be dying to dig in, and then when you do, you'll burn your tongue because you were just a little too eager.  Oh wait... nevermind. 

I really hope you like these as much as we do!

BBQ Meatloaf Muffins

1 1b ground beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk
1 cup BBQ sauce
3/4 cup Picante Sauce (Pace)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 cup bread crumbs

Season the ground beef with the salt, pepper, and Tony's.  Beat an egg with the milk and add to the meat along with the bread crumbs.
Mix the BBQ sauce, Picante sauce, and Worcestershire together in a separate bowl.  Add half of the bbq mixture to the meat and reserve the rest.
Mix the meat mixture together and form into balls about 2 inches in diameter.  Place them in a greased muffin tin and top each with the remaining BBQ mixture.
Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dear Laundry

Dear Laundry,
Please take care of yourself.  You are always needed, but I'm tired of trying to make sure you are clean, dried, folded, and put away.  You should be able to do this by yourself now.  Take the initiative to get it done, and before I need that particular shirt clean.  Just have it in my closet hanging, waiting for me to wear.

Yours Truly,
I Don't Like To Fold.

Dear Dishes,
See above letter to laundry, and apply the sentiment to yourself.

Thank you,
I Don't Like To Scrub

Monday, May 3, 2010

Good Dog and Good Food

Hiya lovelies.  I had a great weekend filled with lots of laughs and meeting new people.  It was fun and relaxing, but I'm always so glad to see home after a trip.  I was really antsy to get back yesterday because it was the day we were getting our new dog.  I couldn't tell who was more excited - me or my 3 year old. :)

My little brother saved him from being homeless, but since he already has a dog, he called me first to see if I would take him.  We've been wanting a dog, but just kept putting it off because I wasn't fully convinced we could afford one.  What can I say? I was convinced.  He's a pure bred Golden Retriever, which reminded me of the dog on Full House, so I named him Comet.  The first time I saw him, it was at night, so he's not exactly like Comet from Full House, because my doggie is a bit of a red head and the TV dog was more blond.  Even though he's big already, he's still technically a puppy at 10 or 11 months old, and he's very sweet and playful.

Here's a picture of my cutie.

He's saying, "Hi, there!"
"Did that dog just say, 'Hi there'?"  - name that movie.

Onto good food.
Baked Chicken Parmesan - need I say more?  Well, yes, I should tell you all about it.

I had been wanting to make some for over a month now.  I finally got all the ingredients at the store, and then they sat in my fridge and pantry just waiting for me to make it.  They waited a while, but I finally A) had everyone home last night and B) was in the mood to cook it.  (I have to be in certain mood to cook certain foods - don't know why, I'm just weird like that, I guess.)

I don't know what the "traditional" way to make this dish is, but I thought this way was pretty darn tasty.

I started out with an assembly line of salt and peppered chicken, beaten egg with a splash of water, and a plate of seasoned bread crumbs.  (Sorry no pictures of these steps. It gets messy, and I didn't want to handle my camera and then wind up with egg wash and bread crumbs on it.)  Dip the seasoned chicken breasts into the egg wash, and then coat in the bread crumbs.

Coat a pan with just enough olive oil to cover the bottom and fry the chicken until golden (it'll finish cooking in the oven)  My frying pan wasn't big enough, so I had to cook them in batches until they were all done.

Make or pour from a jar your favorite tomato sauce into a casserole dish.  I varied the kind I usually make for spaghetti for this dish, by adding diced tomatoes and omitting the ground beef.

Place your golden brown chicken breasts on top of the tomato sauce...

Slice fresh mozzarella and place on top of the chicken.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

I like to eat mine with noodles, so I cooked up some spaghetti noodles, and piled the sauce and chicken on.  It was so delicious.  The chicken was moist and the fresh mozzarella just oozed - sooo good.  Try it and you will see.

Baked Chicken Parmesan
4 - 6 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 egg
1 tsp water
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 jar spaghetti sauce or make your favorite (mine's below)
*1/2 lb spaghetti or favorite noodles *optional

For The Sauce
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 packet of McCormick Thick & Zesty Spaghetti Sauce Mix (You may think it's cheating, but I always come back to it after trying different recipes for spaghetti sauce - it just makes the best in my opinion.)
 1/2 can of water

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts.  Beat the egg with a splash of water in a shallow dish.  Spread the bread crumbs out in a shallow dish or plate.  Heat just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

In an assembly line, dip the seasoned chicken into the egg, coat with bread crumbs, and then fry until golden brown.  (The chicken will finish cooking in the oven.)

If you're using the above recipe for the sauce, combine and let simmer while preparing the chicken.  Pour the sauce into a casserole dish and place the golden chicken breasts on top.

Slice fresh mozzarella and place on top of the chicken.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes.

If desired, cook noodles in salted water and serve chicken and sauce on top.