Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Sunday was a beautiful, wonderful day! We had a fantastic service at church and then had lunch. I forgot to take any pictures until after everyone had already left and most of the food had been eaten...


However, it was a really fun time and these are the dishes I decided to make (mostly eaten):

Rachel at The Atwoods had posted about these Loaded Potatoes and Broccoli Cornbread. They looked like they would make plenty of food for the amount of people we were having over so I started there. The other thing in the picture was a failed attempt at baked okra. It turned out alright, but I know what to do next time to fix it. I'll let you know when I try it again, haha.

The broccoli cornbread was a big favorite and I was really pleased with how these potatoes turned out and of course, I love potatoes period. Thanks for the recipes Rachel! =]

I had to make some veggies and I chose to go with green beans and corn (because they were in the fridge and I was doing this Easter meal on a budget =)). I just heated up the corn in the microwave and then added a little salt and pepper. The green beans I heated up for a about 5 minutes in the microwave and meanwhile I poured a little olive oil into a pan and added a can of vegetable broth to it. I let that heat up on the stove and when the green beans were done I added them to the pan. I let them simmer for about 15 minutes and once the broth was absorbed, I added a little garlic salt and some pepper to season them and then let them simmer for 5 more minutes. Easy Peasy.

And here's the one piece of brownie that was left, haha. We had those for dessert while we played Cranium (awesome game by the way). =] 

Easter was really fun and everything went off without a hitch (well except the okra). But more importantly, we took some time to reflect on the reason we celebrate Easter and the amazing gift we've been given.

P.S.- next holiday, I will actually remember to take pictures (hopefully)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Want Tips!

Can we just talk about coupons for a minute? I know most people don't use coupons (at least from what I've seen when I'm in the store and from talking to co-workers, etc.), but I have been attempting to for a little over a year now and I finally feel like I'm getting the hang of it... Sort of... But I want more tips. If you coupon and you have any hidden coupon secrets, then please share them with me =]

I've been very pleased with the results I've seen so far.

I shop at Publix almost exclusively now and I follow I Heart Publix and Southern Savers as they post the weekly deals for Publix with coupon matchups. I attended a coupon class about a month ago and since then my coupon-ness has kind of taken off. I go to the store once per week (as that's how often the deals change for Publix) and my personal goal for each trip is to save more than I spend or to spend less than $40. So far I've either met that goal or come under it! So that's pretty good to me. Of course, it does take a little work to prepare for a trip now. When the weekly deals are posted on I Heart Publix, I go through and write down what I need/want out of that list and print out the associated coupons. I also go through my personal coupon collection (coupons from the paper or that I've printed out previously) and get what I need. I clip them together and then take my list and coupons to the store. When I get there I always go to the customer service desk first and ask them if they have any new coupon booklets and then I look through that in case there might be a coupon for something I want.

These are the main things that I do and so far it's been going well, but if you have any couponing tips, please share! =]

Sunday, April 10, 2011

14 and Rainbows

So my little sister McKenna turned 14 on Friday! I asked her how it felt and she said, "Pretty much the same as 13." Haha.

On Friday we went out to dinner and then she opened her presents.

Last year for her birthday I asked her what color scheme she wanted for her party (yes, I am dorky) and she said rainbow. I made her blue cupcakes because I am mean. Well, mainly because I didn't have much time. Anyway, this year I wanted to honor the rainbow request for her sleepover Saturday night. Better late than never. My BFF Sharon was in town on Saturday so she came over to my mom's to help me get everything ready for the part-ay.

My made a mess of my mom's kitchen and it was really fun. We made queso blanco for the girls.

And we made this rainbow cake as her birthday cake.

For dinner, we made Pioneer Woman's tomato basil pizza. Always a favorite and really fun to make.

The finished queso blanco

The cake all put together and waiting for frosting.

And the finished product! Sharon and I were so proud of this...

Candles in the shape of 14. When we put the candles in, Sharon informed me that there we 14 candles... How ironic!

After the first piece was cut:

McKenna was so amazed by how the cake looked. That's the reaction Sharon and I were going for.


And Sharon and I with our creation! =] That's my other sister Mallory over there on the right.

Super fun night! Happy Birthday McKenna!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Queso Blanco!

Hola! My friend Parneet whose still in town until Tuesday, invited us and our friend Matt over last night for Taco Night! I wanted to try making queso blanco so I searched for a recipe to try and of course I picked the easiest one and that one with the least amount of ingredients.

You can access that recipe here if you're interested, but here's the skinny:

Get yourself a pound of white American cheese, 2 4 oz. cans of green chilies and 3/4 cup of heavy cream.

We put the chilies and cream in and once it warmed up, we added cubes of the cheese in slowly. Once it was melted, we heated it up a little more and that was it! We, of course, had tortilla chips with it and it turned out really well for a 3-ingredient recipe.

We brought cayenne pepper to put in it if it didn't have enough kick, but I was OK with it the way it was. Everybody else ate jalapeno peppers with it anyway sooo that's kick for ya right there.

And here's the queso up close and personal. It tasted just like the dip you get a Mexican restaurants around here where we live.

Oh, and this recipe makes a LOT of dip. As in, the four of us could not finish it all even though we were snacking on it all night. So if you have a Taco Night any time soon, this is something for you to consider. =]

Muy bueno!