Jess’s Easy Peasy No-Funky-Stuff Chili

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People are always asking me for my chili recipe. Wanna know my secret? I don’t have one. The chili I make has no recipe and turns out a little different everytime I make it. Just like my gravy, it is a new experience every time…and I like it that way.

When I’m sick, it is hotter (because I believe in the “burn it out” method particularly with sore throats). When I am well, it is less hot, but more garlicky. When the Army sees fit to send me to some God-forsaken place without an Aldi grocery store, my chili suffers until I make a stock-up trip to wherever does have an Aldi (because no other brand will do, seriously). When I am sans hubby, it includes diced green chiles and jalapenos and real tomatoes. But alas, my husband, like so many picky family members out there, doesn’t like tomatoes or chunks of anything in his chili.

I like a bit more flavor in my food. Under no circumstances; however, will you ever find peanut butter, coffee, mustard, ketchup, beer, or cinnamon in my chili. This is very basic, home-cook-style version of a quick chili to warm your family’s bellies on a cold winter’s night…no funky stuff allowed! (Of course if you are into the funky stuff, adjust and make it your own, that is what cooking is all about, but for the rest of us…we’ll keep it simple.)

If left to his own devices, the man will make “chili” with ground beef and ketchup. I kid you not…ketchup. So even my milder batches of chili that I make chunk-free just for him are sometimes a bit too spicy for him. He has taken to chugging large glasses of milk and toning it down with crackers, but at least he stopped the whining. 😉

So here it is, my slightly- wussified no-funky-stuff chili “recipe”. Perhaps you too have a family full of picky eaters who recoil at the idea of onions and veggies in their chili, but you are too proud to serve ketchup-y hamburger and call it chili. If that person is you, here is the solution.

Crumble 2 lbs ground beef into a skillet (or if you are lazy like me, into a big pot that you will later use to cook the chili in).
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Brown and season the ground beef. I like to season it with what I consider the basics + chili powder. That would be salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder. Do not skip seasoning the ground beef or you will have trouble getting depth of flavor in your chili.
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Once the hamburger is browned, drain in a colander and return to the pot. Add 1 small can of tomato sauce. This is how I get tomato flavor into it without using diced tomatoes which my husband would painfully pick out of every. single. bowl.
You may also add 3 cans of Dakota brand chili beans (from Aldi). Some people might say that is too many beans per ground beef…and they would be right, if we were putting other funky stuff in our chili, but we’re not, so go with it.
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Stir to combine and be sure your burner is turned to med-high heat. Add a can or so of water. It will not be a pretty color at this point.
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Now it is time to spice things up a bit! I have no measurements for the spices I use, but I will list them in the order of those I use the most of to those I use the least of in this recipe. The picture also shows them in this order to give you an idea of how much to try of each visually.

Chili Powder
Onion powder (remember you are entirely replacing onions with this)
Garlic powder (you can use fresh or minced if you’d like)
Salt
Pepper
Chile Pequin (also known as crushed red peppers)
Ground Cayenne

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Stir. Your chili should look like chili now, with a deep brick color.
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Once your chili is simmering, you can reduce the heat to medium, stirring occasionally, and continue to simmer for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on your patience level. I recommend tasting your chili at this point and adjusting your spices as needed to fit your tastes. The chili will begin to thicken up a bit with time till it looks more like this:
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Note: The pic above is after 15 minutes of simmering. Longer will truly thicken your chili as the liquid evaporates the longer it cooks.

Ladle into bowls and serve with crackers or cornbread, depending on your style. Or for my favorite application, layer chili in a bowl with shredded cheddar cheese, Fritos, and a dollop of sour cream and enjoy your homemade Frito Pie. Yum!
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Mom’s Best Cake Recipe and Picture Tutorial

I have no idea where Mom found this recipe, but she had it as long as I can remember, and I haven’t found the same recipe anywhere online by the same name or ingredients…so you’re just going to have to trust me on this one. It is named Best Cake for a reason. Not only is it very tasty and incredibly moist, but it is one of the easiest cake recipes I’ve ever seen (that doesn’t include a boxed mix)!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, cake baking isn’t my specialty. Cake decorating? No problem. Cupcakes I can do, but most non-box-mix cakes just fall on me-terribly! This one is almost flawlessly executed every time…and it’s even helped me place at a church cooking contest, so I can assure you it is worth the tiny bit of effort it takes to prepare it!

First, the recipe:
Mom’s Best Cake

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. crushed pineapple (juice and all)
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. plus 1/4 c. pecans, chopped (save the 1/4 c. for decoration)
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan (metal or glass will work). Mix all ingredients together, pour into pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. (Cake will turn from white cake-colored batter to a chocolate cake color during baking, this is normal.)

Frosting:
2 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 stick butter or margarine, softened (shortening will work, too)
1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream butter and cream cheese together, add vanilla and confectioner’s sugar. Mix well until creamy-about 2 minutes.
Ice the cake in pan while still warm. Sprinkle pecans over the top for decoration. (Note: if you don’t like super-sweet cream cheese icing, try using 2 packages of cream cheese, and leave the rest of the ingredient amounts the same.)

Now for the tutorial:

If you didn’t buy already chopped pecans (which I typically do, but not this time), then you are going to need to chop the pecans into small pieces. That’ll take them from this:
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To this:
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Then it’s time to grease and flour the pan. Start with some shortening or margarine in the pan:
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Wrap your fingers in a paper towel like I do, or just use your fingers to spread the shortening around the pan evenly. Be sure to cover the bottom, sides, and corners well.

Once you’ve done this, grab some flour and toss it into the pan:
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Pick up the pan and gently tap it on one side, angling the pan so that the entire bottom of the pan is covered in flour. (The flour will stick to the shortening.) Once the bottom is covered, tilt the pan on one of its’ sides (do this over the sink or a trashcan to avoid a mess) and contine tapping and tilting until you’ve covered the entire inside of the pan with flour. Tap the non-sticking remaining flour into a garbage can, and you’re done with the greasing and flouring. Your pan should look something like this:
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Measure out your pineapple, being sure to include the juices. To accomplish this, I spoon the pineapple and juice into the measuring container. This recipe will use almost all of a 15 oz. can of crushed pineapple, but not quite-so do measure it:
Crushed Pineapple

Measure the remaining ingredients (careful to reserve 1/4 cup of the pecans for decoration later) and throw them all in the bowl. Order does not matter in this cake, I promise!
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Mix until thoroughly combined. Batter will be thinner than a cake mix usually is, so don’t panic. It should look something like this:
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Pour the batter into the pan, and it should level itself out pretty nicely b/c of its’ thin nature:
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Put the pan in the oven and bake the cake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. The cake will darken during baking, so don’t panic. It’s not burnt, really:
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While the cake is baking, you want to be sure to set out the cream cheese and butter/margarine on the counter to soften. I usually just toss them both in the mixer to soften:
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Once the cake is out of the oven, you may begin creaming the butter and cream cheese together:
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Then add in your vanilla and confectioner’s sugar:
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Mix until creamy…about 2 minutes should do it. Then it’ll look like this:
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While the cake is still warm, spoon the icing onto the cake and spread with a spatula:
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Be sure to get the icing to the edges of the pan:
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For a final touch, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of chopped pecans over the cake in a random pattern. Serve warm or cold…either way is good, but nothing beats that first warm piece of Mom’s Best Cake!
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What to do with leftover ham?

Ahhh…the hustle and bustle of the holidays may’ve subsided for now, but the busyness in your fridge probably hasn’t. I, for one, hate dealing with leftovers. I like the idea of using up everything we have and not wasting a thing, but I don’t exactly like eating leftovers. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things I will eat leftovers of, like chili, stew, turkey dinner, and ham dinner, but you can only eat so many meals of high-carbs without becoming slow and lethargic, so something has to be done with those holiday leftovers.

This post will be dedicated to a few of my favorite ideas for using up that holiday ham this year.

Obviously, (as evidenced by my blog counter,) everyone thinks of ham and beans. This is a great idea, especially using the hambone up as well.

Next, I like to cut up (dice) some of the ham and use it in my macaroni and cheese.

Another option would be ham sandwiches, another popular choice. Especially with homemade rolls or homemade bread, yum!

When that gets too familiar, try grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, possibly paired with some tomato soup. A great way to make these is to grill the ham in a skillet, butter one side of each slice of bread, keep your skillet or griddle on medium heat, and place the bread buttered-side down in the hot skillet. Squeeze some mustard on one side of the bread, and add one slice of cheese to each piece of bread. (Velveeta works nicely, too). Then put your warm ham slices on top of half of the bread slices, and make sandwiches. Grill till lightly brown on both sides of sandwiches. Cut in half and serve.
The mustard really adds something to a grilled ham sandwich.

Another option, as with any leftover meat, is to make it into a casserole or other one-pot meal:http://food.yahoo.com/recipes/taste-of-home/114765/hurry-up-ham-n-noodles

This one looks pretty good, how about ham ‘n noodles?

Another one I would try, cheese ‘n ham scallop:
http://southernfood.about.com/od/hamcasserolerecipes/r/bl50610l.htm

An oft-overlooked idea is a nice ham ‘n cheese quiche-we would make this one, sans onions, b/c we don’t like ’em:
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Ham-N-Cheese-Quiche/Detail.aspx
Ham or bacon quiche is often the only kind of quiche you can get a man to eat. The meatiness of it all helps him think of it as “manly food”, so if you’ve ever considered a quiche, but weren’t sure how hubby would react, try one like this, and either serve it as is-name and all, or just rename it to “Ham ‘n Cheese Egg Pie”, and the stigma is gone.

How ’bout a simple chicken cordon bleu? It takes more effort to say the name than make the dish, I promise!
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chicken-Cordon-Bleu-I/Detail.aspx

Don’t forget easy things like ham omelets, or just a simple slice of ham with eggs and toast, either!

Along the breakfast lines, there’s also things like a Ham Breakfast Braid:
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Ham-Breakfast-Braid/Detail.aspx

Throw some ham in your broccoli cheese soup to make it heartier, too!

There’s also baked beans, which benefit nicely from some ham instead of bacon, and don’t forget breakfast burritos or breakfast sandwiches (like at McDonalds). Ham also makes a nice pizza topping, as you’ll see in my previous post about homemade pizza!

Still got leftover ham? How about dicing it into tiny pieces and toss it in your potato salad, macaroni salad, pea salad, etc.?

And here’s just one more recipe I plan to try this year, which uses up leftover mashed potatoes, too:
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easter-Leftovers-Casserole/Detail.aspx

Even with all these fabulous ideas, you are bound to get sick of ham after a couple of days, so be sure to freeze some of the ham in small baggies. Dice some small and put in a baggie, rough chop some larger and put in a baggie (like for casseroles and one pot dishes), Slice some and put 2-4 slices in each baggie (for sandwiches or breakfasts), use a biscuit cutter and make ham rounds and put in baggies (like for McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches at home), and be sure to keep that ham bone for ham and beans! Also, use a sharpie to label the ham baggies, so you know what you are thawing!

Enjoy those leftovers till you can’t be creative anymore, and then just toss them in the freezer for a nice quick meal at a later date. May your leftovers be as yummy as that very first holiday meal this year!

Thou Shalt Not Raise a False Report…

First, let me say this. This is a rant, I’m not writing to seek others’ opinions, nor am I writing to “argue” with anyone. Secondly, if your children are in the room reading over your shoulder, you may want to excuse them at this point. Third, if you do not believe in God, then this does not pertain to you…of course you are welcome to read on, but please understand that this is not directed at you, and I have no intention of trying to preach to you, so please do not become offended if you choose to read on. And fourth, if you are a Christian and you “go with the flow” in today’s society, you are likely to be offended, but really, the Word of God shouldn’t offend you as a Christian, so I’d think carefully before becoming irate.

Okay, warnings over, let’s get down to business. Y’all know me, I don’t “preach” on this blog, I really don’t, but I am so disgusted right now that I had to share my thoughts somewhere, and where else but my own blog, right?

Exodus 23:1 says: Thou shalt not raise a false report; put not thy hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Exodus 20:16

And one of my favorites:
Colossians 3:9-10 says, “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”

Now, of those of you who are Christians, can we all agree that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God? Can we all agree that if God says it, it must be true? Can we all agree that if God calls something an abomination, we should try our best to avoid that thing or behavior? Is it not pretty obvious through both the Old Testament and the New that God tells us NOT to LIE?

I thought so. Now that we have a solid Biblical belief going here, let’s move to the next step. What is a false report? Strong’s Concordance tells us that false means:
emptiness, vanity, falsehood

a) emptiness, nothingness, vanity

b) emptiness of speech, lying

c) worthlessness (of conduct)

and that report means:
1) report, a hearing

So, in conclusion, a false report is a lying report or a worthless report, empty speech, or a falsehood. So it means lying. Lying is bad, we all know that, right?

Okay, so now we have a Strong understanding (pun intended) of what the Lord means when he says “Thou shalt not raise a false report”. By now, many of you are saying, “Duh, Jessica, we know we aren’t supposed to lie!”, but bear with me for a moment, because this obviousness is here for a reason.

The heart of my message is simple. When is it okay to lie according to the Bible? Is it okay to lie to save our lives? Is it okay to lie to make someone feel better? Is it okay to lie to each other? Is it okay to lie for fun? Is it okay to lie because it’s something we’ve always done? Is it okay to lie because our ancestors did? Is it okay to lie to make ourselves feel better?

In case you need a refresher, the Bible says NO, it’s not okay to lie for any reason. In fact, the Bible is clear once again when it says, “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” Mat. 5:37

So there is no reason under the sun that it’s okay to lie in God’s eyes. Got it.

Why, then, do MILLIONS of people claiming to be Christians (many of them legitmately trying to follow Him) lie to their children, while at the same time trying to teach them not to lie to them (the parents)? If you are still in the dark, we’re talking about Santa Claus, folks. Do you believe in Santa Claus? That he is a real magical being that goes from house to house each Christmas delivering toys to all good little girls and boys? Do you believe that he lives and works in the North Pole and drives a sleigh around the skies on Christmas eve? Do you really believe that Santa “sees you when you’re sleeping” and “knows when you’re awake”? If you DO believe this, then you either are reading this from a padded room, need to be reading this from a padded room, or are even lying to yourself-now that’s talent. No, seriously. We all know that Santa is not real, he does not have magical reindeer, he does not deliver presents, he is not omnipotent, omnicient, or any other word ending in “ent”, really. So why, knowing what God says about lying, while trying to instill the value of honesty in our children, do well-meaning parents LIE TO THEIR CHILDREN EVERY YEAR?

I can hear the groans now…hey, maybe I’m santa claus…cause I heard that! But seriously, folks, stick with me for a second. I’m sure you are thinking, “but santa isn’t really a lie, it’s innocent fun, my parents did it and I turned out okay, they know it isn’t real, etc.” I once again would like to direct your attention to when it is okay to lie…found in the previous paragraph. Go ahead and scroll back up, I’ll wait. Patience is a virtue, ya know.

I understand your thoughts and concerns. I know you “just want your kids to fit in”, I know you “don’t want to spoil their fun”, and I know that you “see nothing wrong with it”, but I’d like to remind you that the Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
You can have fun, awesome, joyful holiday celebrations without lying to yourself or your children. And it really doesn’t matter if YOU see nothing wrong with it, the Bible tells us that GOD sees something wrong with it-because it is lying, which again, is not okay. It offends God. Do you really want to offend God on the day we celebrate as His son’s birthday? Then why do we continue this ridiculous man-made charade…really, why?

I’m going to now address those who would say, “but we want to teach our kids about the charity work of St. Nicholas, what a great man he was, and that THAT is the spirit of Christmas”. Your intentions are good, I get where you are coming from more than any other Santa-lovin’ household, I do. But here’s the flaw. We already have an amazing example of Love and Charity in our lives if we are Christians. His name is God. Need I remind you that He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that you and I might have a chance at eternity in heaven? He is the only perfect man to ever walk this earth. He has a pretty cool story, too. Hey, in Revelation, he even has a white beard. He’s not dead-always a plus, right? He wants you to teach your children about Him. He told those around Him to bring the little children unto Him…and He requested this way before this santa dude ever even lived on this earth. He showed us the TRUE meaning of love and gift-giving, He gives us eternal life in a mansion on a hill. Really, God’s the REAL superhero, here folks. He manages to live each day in our hearts while being everywhere at once, answering trillions of prayers each day, and the guy doesn’t even need sleep. Now that’s something to celebrate. Why is it so hard to say, “We give gifts in the tradition of Christ. God gave us this awesome gift 2000 years ago, and we want to imitate that as best we can, so we give you cool toys, and share what we can with others during the Christmas season.” I mean really, it’s a pretty cool reality, so why do we need this fake superhero to have a “fun Christmas”?

There’s one other thing that bugs me about this whole santa thing, and it’s the reason for this post. See, I came across a woman today who has a 20 yr old son, an 8th grader, and another smaller child in her care. She is irate at her 8th grader’s teacher for assigning the teens a journal entry on “How you found out santa isn’t real”. This woman is irate because she, like many other families in the United States, teaches her children that “if you don’t believe, you won’t receive” in reference to santa and his gifts each year. She claims her 20 yr old “still believes” as does the 8th grader, who came home all upset because she believes the whole santa thing. This mother is ANGRY at a teacher for telling her 13 yr old that there is no santa. Did the teacher lie? Was he to expect that a 13 yr old didn’t know that this was all a falsehood perpetuated by tradition? I think not. The parent lied to her kids, who in turn believe that they need to lie to her, saying, “Of course, Mom, I believe in Santa!” even at the ripe old age of 20. She encourages this behavior. I realize that most family’s belief in santa is much more short-lived and a lot less extreme, but this story really gets to the root of the issue. Why does God hate lying so much? Because it leads to pain, sorrow, and MORE LYING. No doubt that not only will these children of hers continue to lie to her each Christmas in order to receive gifts, but they will pass on the tradition of lying to their children, and then someday my grandchildren will be forced to make the choice to either “go with the flow” of American society or to follow their God in His commandments. What a lovely tradition we pass on to our children, don’t you think?

As an additon, I should add that if you choose not to lie to your children as is commanded in the Bible, you should also have the respect for others to teach your children that other kid’s mommies and daddies tell them about santa as if he were real, and that it is not their place to set them straight. You really don’t want to be the parent of the kid who “ruins santa” for the whole class, so teach your children some tact when dealing with this sensitive subject, please. It can be done, really. Just tell them to change the subject or say nothing. Don’t teach them to lie, b/c that would defeat the purpose, just teach them that it’s not okay to go around telling their friends that their parents are lying to them, it’s something that their mommy or daddy needs to tell them, and it’s not our place.

Also, I am not a part of the whole “santa claus will send you to h*ll” group, and I find those type of people to be equally if not more offensive than those who choose to lie to their children. Santa won’t send you there, but unrepentant lying, well, that could.

Published in: on December 22, 2008 at 3:17 am  Comments (8)  

Carnival Family Photos

This last weekend there was a local carnival in town and we decided to stop in for a bit and enjoy the crazy atmosphere. I love when my hubby spontaneously decides to do something fun like this!
In the midst of the chaos, I managed to grab a couple of good photos, so here ya go:
Aren’t they cute?
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K offering me some of her marshmallow treat:
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I managed to get this shot while we were spinning around on the “teacup” ride:
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Ever seen deep-fried oreos before?
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Hubby sliding down the fun house slide-he and K went in together, and I tried to get pics, but most didn’t turn out:
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Published in: on April 23, 2008 at 12:38 pm  Comments (6)  
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Ahhh…a Bake Sale!

Some of you may be wondering why I’m up at midnight posting, and I actually have an answer to that for once! You see, tomorrow is the youth’s bake sale at our church. They do several fundraisers in the spring to raise money for camp, and we fully support their efforts wherever possible. I especially love the bake sale, b/c as y’all know, I love to bake!

This year I chose to make some white bread, apple turnovers, raspberry turnovers, lemon bars, and my famous Ooey-gooey Orange Rolls. I sure hope they help raise money for the kids! Today was a perfect day to get all this done, since tonight was “Daddy-Daughter Date Night”-a long overdue one, I might add! K sure has missed her daddy while he was training in Fort Jackson, but Bryan has done everything he possibly could to find ways to connect with her over the past couple of months. I love that about my husband…that he finds little ways to make us feel special with no regard to how sappy it may appear to his friends. Over the past few months he’s sent flowers, teddy bears, cards, notes, and dog tags to us just to remind us that he loves and misses us. Girls, if you’re looking for a man like this, I’m here to tell you hold out for a good one-they do exist…and if you’ve already got a good one, by all means don’t mess it up, hehe!

Anyway, I think I’m finally wound down enough to go to sleep but before I go, here are a few pictures of my bake sale creations, enjoy!

Lemon Bars-not cut yet
Lemon Bars

Apple Turnovers-I made 2 batches of these and 2 batches of Raspberry
Apple Turnovers

Orange Rolls-I made 2 containers of these
Orange Rolls

White Bread-I made 2 loaves of this also
White Bread

Published in: on April 12, 2008 at 12:15 am  Comments (5)  

Simple Indoor Picnic

So, as they often do, plans for dinner changed. Hubby was more in the mood for burgers on the bbq than for steaks on the bbq, so I created a quick and simple indoor picnic. We enjoyed our dinner on the living room floor, picnic-style. Since it looked so yummy all put together, I thought I’d share a couple pics of our dinner. We had grilled cheeseburgers, potato chips, fresh-squeezed homemade lemonade, and homemade peach cobbler!

 Simple Indoor Picnic 2

Simple Indoor Picnic

Published in: on April 8, 2008 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wondering where I’ve been?

Well, after my surgery, I went out to South Carolina to visit my husband, attend a spouse seminar, his graduation, and the graduation banquet/ball, and traveled home with my hubby. So now we’re home, and it’s back to blessing my family with good cooking and my blog readers with drool-worthy pictures, hehe. Before we get back into the food pictures, though, I often receive complaints that there aren’t that many pictures of me on my blog…well, there’s a reason for that-I’m the one taking all those pictures! But this week I had an opportunity to really dress up and I thought I’d share a photo of me and hubby after the graduation ball:
Banquet Dress Detail
 

Picture of Chili

I was wrong, I thought I didn’t have any pictures of my award-winning chili, but apparently, I just didn’t have any on my computer, when I went to upload some pics from my camera, I found one! So here it is:

Jess's Award-Winning Chili

I also found pictures that I took of the flowers Bryan got for K that weekend…when he saw them he immediately knew she’d love them, because they are so bright and colorful. That’s all she talked about all weekend. She kept going up and sniffing them till I thought her ‘sniffer’ was gonna fall off, lol. I wish I would’ve taken pics of them when they were fresh but I didn’t think of it till several days later.

K's Flowers

Published in: on February 25, 2008 at 7:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

We got to see our soldier!

Okay, so I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but I’ve been busy (and sick), and I just haven’t taken the time to post. Sorry about that! Anyway, I just wanted to share that I got to go visit my hubby a couple weeks ago and it was sooooo nice to spend some time with him and see where he’s living and working, meet his friends, and generally just lock ourselves in the room, lol. I can’t say for sure, but I think his favorite part was that he finally got to eat some of his wife’s cooking! While I was there I made him steak, stroganoff noodles, hm breaded veal patties, hm cheeseburger macaroni and veggies. I even was able to leave him some leftovers, which made him VERY happy. Another cool thing we were able to do was invite another Chaplain who hadn’t had family visit yet to have lunch with us so he got some home cooking, too, one day. That was kind of neat.

Then, while there, I was able to talk one of his superiors into giving him a weekend pass for the weekend of President’s Day, and the Lord blessed us with being able to find a cheap flight to get him home to see his daughter that weekend. The unfortunate part of this all was that Bryan and I ended up sick from the climate changes (from 70 degrees in SC to 20 degrees here), but it was still just so nice to be together.

That weekend I was like supercook, trying to fit in as many homemade meals as possible. I have a few pics of some of it that I thought I would share:

pancakes
These were sooooo much better than the picture shows. As a matter of fact, K said these were the BEST she’s ever eaten! Of course they were from scratch from a recipe I got off of http://www.allrecipes.com

Lasagna
Yummy Jessica-style lasagna (my lasagna has some strange ingredients and does not include ricotta cheese-of which neither Bryan nor I are fans.

Chocolate Chip Brownies
And the incredible Chocolate Chip Nutso Brownies made by Kaylea and I.

I didn’t get a picture of my prize-winning chili, sorry about that! Sunday night at church was our Chili Cook-off, in which I won Judge’s Choice (there were 3 judges and it was unanimous) and Hottest Chili (but one of the judges later told me that there was one chili there that she thought was MUCH hotter than mine). It was nice that my family was there to see me win this, too.

Then after church Bryan got to have roast that I think was my best ever…it was just sooooo good. I also missed getting pictures of the steaks we had that Saturday, but K complimented me on them profusely!

So there’s a little update for y’all, sorry it took so long! I really thought I would blog more while dh was gone, but I guess not. I’ll try to get some pics of us together next time I go visit him at Ft. Jackson!

Published in: on February 25, 2008 at 7:01 pm  Comments (5)  
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