Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mildred's Pound Cake

...or at least that's what I am calling it.

One reason I love my job so much: Patients appreciate you making them feel better so much that they bring you yummy desserts!

When they taste so good, I'll ask for the recipe hoping that it's not a family secret!

And since they share with me, I'll share with you :)

Clearly, Mildred wrote this down. And it shall forever be stored in my recipe collection!


All you need is:
*Duncan Hines Butter flavored cake mix
*4 eggs
*3/4 cup oil
*1/4 cup sugar
*1 small sour cream


Preheat your oven to 300 deg. Mix all the ingredients in one big bowl. Spray Pam on your bundt pan and sprinkle the whole thing with sugar (the more the better in my opinion).



Bake for 55 min. Mine wasn't quite done so I put kept in the oven for 5 more minutes and it was perfection. Let it cool and then flip it over!


I don't think I let mine cool long enough, because when I flipped it over, some of the cake broke off. Cake + cold glass of milk = Delish!

Mildred said I had to make this before she finished PT so we could see whose cake was better!

Tomorrow will tell all...

Strawberry Glazed Cheesecake

The other day while I was checking my email, there sat a recipe from myrecipes.com for a homemade mac and cheese. So when I clicked for the recipe, this deliciousness of a picture was staring me in the face from the sidebar. I was drooling...


After reading the recipe, I decided it sounded like some work, but overall not too difficult. So for the sake of having to search for the steps to make this awesomeness here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
*Spring form pan (A MUST! $14.99 at Macy's, but I'm sure you can find them cheaper)
*1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
*4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
*1 1/4 cups sugar
*1/4 cup all-purpose flour
*5 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
*1 tablespoon vanilla extract
*5 large eggs, at room temperature
*1 cup sour cream
*2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
*1 1/2 (16 oz) packages fresh small strawberries, hulled
*1/4 cup sugar
*1 tablespoon lemon juice
*2 teaspoons cornstarch

*Position a rack in middle of oven preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch spring form pan.

Part One:
1. First you want to make your crust. So in a bowl, mix together your graham cracker crumbs (you make these by mashing them up in a big Ziploc bag), the melted unsalted butter, and 1/4 cup sugar. Then press this mixture into the bottom of pan.

2. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Then wrap outside of pan with two sheets of aluminum foil.

Part Two:
1. Mix 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugar mixture and vanilla; beat until blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Mix in sour cream and lemon zest.

2. Transfer batter to spring form pan; place in a roasting pan. Pour hot water into a roasting pan to 2 inches deep. Bake until set but still jiggly in center, 1 hour and 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set spring form pan on rack to cool. When cool, run a sharp knife around edge. Remove foil and refrigerate, loosely covered, for 8 hours.

Part Three:
1. 1 1/2 hours before serving, arrange 1 box of strawberries (pointed ends up) on top of cheesecake. Slice remaining berries.

2. Take the sliced remaining berries, 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, dissolve 2 teaspoons cornstarch into 2 teaspoons water.

3. Stir cornstarch into berry mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, 1 minute. Strain mixture (using a fine strainer) over a bowl, pressing on solids.

4. Let glaze cool. Brush berries with glaze. Refrigerate cake for 1 hour.

I didn't take too many pictures, because I figured I was going to flop this one.

So here are a few of mine...





Definitely not as pretty as the picture from myrecipes.com, but it sure was tasty. I made it Tuesday night, and I am proud to say there is only about a 2-inch thick piece left!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Shag-tastic!


Way back I told you about the rug we ordered from Macy's. Well it was out of stock, and then back-ordered, and then finally delivered six weeks later. And then about six weeks after that, we finally quit procrastinating and got it under the bed!

This was the one they had on display at Macy's:


And this is the one we purchased for our bedroom! It looks much darker in the picture than it really is, but its a nice neutral color that we can use with any added color in the future {and please excuse our naked bed, it was sheet-washing day}


It's amazing how much bigger it makes our bedroom look!

Thanks Dad and Kim for such a great gift!

Weekend Update

This weekend we have covered all the bases...

Friday night we had a great double-date with the Siscos. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, so we decided to have dinner at the Bosco's patio. We ate way too much. But not enough to keep us from heading across the street to Yo-Lo for some dessert.

Kyle and I are huge ice cream lovers, so this was right up our alley!

The McShans weighed in at 0.8 pounds and cost around six dollars or so...


The Siscos on the other hand, weighed in at 1.18 pounds {if I remember correctly} totaling around nine dollars...Haha! On a normal day, I could have topped them :)


Kayla and I {hate this picture of me, but after multiple attempts, they weren't getting much better}


And our silly husbands {who we think are studs}


After a long day of cleaning {me inside and Kyle outside}, we headed to the Grizz game. Kyle bought me a Rudy Gay jersey for Christmas, and I am embarrassed to admit that I haven't worn it yet! We have been so busy, my super fan skills have been on slack.

My boy Randolph in the bottom left corner


One of my favorite places with my favorite person


Hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend...Enjoy your Sabbath tomorrow, however you may spend it!

D is for...

...Declan, of course! I cannot get enough of this baby!

Wednesday after work I got to spend a couple of hours visiting with Pat and Alicia and holding Declan. Just a few pictures:


He is so comfy in his Aunt Courtney's arms {at least I like to think so}

And then today, mom and I took some dinner over and got to hold him some more. Mom and I have trouble sharing babies. We both love them so much! Today began lessons on things he shouldn't do...Like pick his nose! Haha! I mean, how stinkin' cute is this little thing?


Friday, March 18, 2011

Why I Love My Mother-in-Law...

...well, one of the reasons :)

Yesterday, I decided to scarf down a chili-cheese coney from Sonic for lunch {See Facebook status post below}


And seeing as how Kyle's parents own a Sonic, the McShans were proud {See encouragement to my excessive intake of heart-clogging calories below}


And because she loves me so much (more than Kyle-just kidding), I opened up a tax document today that she had mailed me to find pictures of my sweet pup taken when he went to visit and Sonic gift cards!!!! {one is for Kyle but we may just not tell him}


Isn't she great??? You should all be so jealous!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quick Dinner

I'm learning to improvise when making dinner. I've come to notice many recipes just seem to make things much more difficult than necessary...

Like our dinner last night for instance...It called for a baguette and instructed you to put it in the food processor to make bread crumbs. Really???? Why not just use the kind that come in the canister?

So that's what I did!

Three chicken breasts sliced into 1-in thick pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Dip into a few beaten eggs and then drudge in the bread crumbs. Bake at 375 deg for about 15 minutes or until chicken is done.

Cook some rice and whole green beans and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.


The sauce is what made the chicken so yummy. I am not a huge fan of chicken. It usually tastes really dry to me and never has enough flavor. So I dip. The sauce was super easy and the best part, calorie-free! Not so much... 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon water. Stir till blended and then drizzle over the chicken. I didn't try this, but I imagine it would have tasted really good on top of the rice!

Quick, easy, and tasty!

Declan's Big Debut

This weekend was a big one!

Saturday morning, I had to go to a class at Baptist Memphis. About an hour into the class or so, Alicia texted me to let me know she was at Baptist Women's (which is right next door) and thought that this was it....that Declan was on his way!

As soon as my class was over, I called security to come pick me up and take me to the women's hospital!

They had admitted Alicia, given her her epidural, and when I got there she was relaxed and waiting. Only three people were allowed in the room at a time. So why not enjoy a petit four in the meantime. Side note: Alicia was supposed to have a baby shower on Sunday!


Pre-Declan's grand entrance...


While visiting with Pat and Alicia before the delivery, they asked if I would stay and take pictures of Declan once he was out and all...Of course, right!

Well that stand-by job turned into the most action packed two hours of my life! Without going into details (which I am sure Alicia appreciates), I got to witness the birth of my best friend's first child!

And when I say it was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced, I mean it! I absolutely cannot understand how those who do not believe in God can continue not to believe in Him after witnessing the birth of a child... To see their perfectly formed little fingernails and tiny delicate eyelashes just reminds me of the perfectness and intention that God designs us with!

Enjoy some pictures. These are all off my iPhone. I was so busy taking pictures with their camera, I slacked on taking my own. Once they share their pictures with everyone, I will post a few...

Proud Mama shortly after delivery


After getting a bath...So fresh and so clean!


So happy!!! He has his momma's dimples!


Proud Aunt Courtney! And proud Godmother Courtney! Later that night, Pat and Alicia asked if I would be Declan's godmother...I was elated! What an honor to be responsible for assisting in the spiritual growth and maturation of this sweet boy!


Babies make me happy!


Kyle's going to be such a good daddy one day!


Needless to say, this weekend was incredible!!!!

Pat and Alicia, I am so proud of the two of you! I love you both dearly and I cannot wait to see how your wonderful new addition enhances the love you have for each other and the love for family!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Shop Around

While returning some things at Macy's the other day, I ran across a Martha Stewart blanket that looked exactly like one of my favorite blankets that I undoubtedly found at WalMart. So I decided to take a look at Martha's price tag. My mom always did a great job of teaching and showing me how to bargain shop and how to get the best deal possible. So now I like to boast in my great deal finds!

Here's Martha's blanket for the price of what I remember to be $69.


And here is my blanket bought at Walmart (same fabric mind you) for $15.

You could buy FOUR of the blankets like I have to the price Martha charges. And not to hate on Martha because I do love all things home from her! Just showing you how it pays to shop around...Or should I say save?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Unstuffed Peppers

Excuse the poor quality of the iPhone photos, but it's all I got right now...

Sunday was time to be productive and get organized. I feel like when I go to the grocery, I buy way too much, spend too much, and end up tossing too much. So Sunday I planned out our meals for the week, made my ingredient list, cut my coupons, and headed to the grocery store.

Definitely didn't spend near as much as I typically could have. And more importantly, we won't be wasting perfectly good food!

Tonight's dinner: Unstuffed Peppers.

Super easy. Rather quick. Definitely tasty.

Here's whatcha need:
-2 green peppers
-1 onion (I only used half)
-1 10 oz bag of sliced white mushrooms
-1 pound of Italian sausage
-1 cup of long grain rice
-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil


In a pot: bring 2 cups of water, 1 cup of long grain rice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to simmer. Leave simmering and covered for approx 30 or until tender. Remove from heat.


Meanwhile, heat skillet on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and sausage to skillet. Brown sausage and then with a slotted spoon, add sausage to rice. Keep covered to stay hot.

Then in the same skillet, add another tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and the mushrooms, peppers, and onions. Salt and pepper to your liking. Cook until "crisp-tender" (whatever that means).


Then add your veggies to the sausage and rice!


Lots of flavor! Meat and veggies in one dish. Perfect. Easy. Even more perfect.

No idea why these turned out so small but you get the idea...

P.S. TOMORROW'S FRIDAY!!!!

Preparing for Little Declan

A couple of my very best friends are getting ready to let sweet baby Declan enter the world. In only 4 more weeks!!! Last weekend, I had the pleasure, along with four other of Alicia's friends, to host a couples baby shower for the soon-to-be mommy and daddy!

The hostesses with the spread
Take another look at our awesome spread!
My creation and part of my gift to them. You would never guess that there are literally 100 diapers making up that cake! Declan's nursery bedding has jungle animals on it so I went with the same theme on the diaper cake in case they wanted to keep it together in his nursery for a while...
Funfetti cupcakes just make everything better!
Mommy and Daddy
We were unsure if we should incorporate games into the shower, but decided to go with the one game that Alicia was hoping we wouldn't...The Dirty Diaper! Warning: the pictures below may make you a little green...

10 diapers filled with 10 different melted candy bars...
The Crawfords getting in on the action!
Pat taking it just a little too far!
Mike (Pat's brother), Kyle, and Jeanette (Pat's mom) contemplating...
Gift time!!!! Alicia so excited about the swaddle blankets I got her. She literally had a dream where she was freaking out because the baby came and there were no swaddle blankets to be found. I suppose this is why we are such good friends: we know how to calm each other down! :)
Monkeys all around.
Just so happened that Mississippi State was playing UT in basketball last Saturday night. And it just so happened that it was Jack Cristil's last game to announce. And it just so happened that they were several State grads there. And it just so happened that the game was on during the time Pat and Alicia were opening gifts. GO DAWGS!
Maids of Honor (and Declan)
Hostesses: everyone needed to rub the belly!
Our husbands are silly... And we like it that way!
Besties

Pat and Alicia, we cannot wait to meet our nephew!!! You guys are going to be wonderful parents! I am so glad that we live so close to each other too so we don't get to miss a moment. Well, at least the ones where he is crying in the middle of the night, explodes in his diaper, and when Gidge and Wiley freak out when the attention isn't all on them! Just kidding! Thick and thin!