Monday, April 30, 2012

Mexican Turkey Meatloaf

What you need:
* 1 pound of ground turkey
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup of rolled oats
* 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
* 1 teaspoon of basil
* 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1/2 tomato (diced)
* Dash of salt and pepper
* Dash or two of lemon pepper seasoning

What to do:
* In large bowl, mix - ground turkey, 2 eggs, rolled oats, cheese, basil, cilantro, onion, tomato, salt, pepper,
   &  lemon pepper
* Spray muffin tin/glassware with cooking spray (very well)
* Place meat mixture into tin/glassware
* Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10-15 minutes

***Here is a sauce that goes GREAT on top***
* 1 can of tomato sauce
* 1 teaspoon of oil
* A few dashes of garlic
* 1 pinch of oregano

* Let it come to a boil, stirring constantly
* Reduce heat to simmer.
* Simmer for 10 minutes
* Drizzle on top of meatloaf

Sunday, April 29, 2012

First Love

It has been said that one never forgets their first love. Some may argue this fact, I, however, cannot. I remember like it was yesterday. My first love...I knew he was "the one" the moment I first laid eyes on him. He was everything a woman could want in a man. He had the hair that was the envy of every man, a voice that made your heart skip a beat, piercing eyes that could see into your very soul, and no matter the situation, you would be safe because of him. Every girl needs a hero...he was mine. I spoke to my mom and dad of him often...I shared with them my dreams and plans for a future with him. I am sure they were thrilled to know that we were going to build a house next to them and live "happily ever after".

 My first love, he was the man that could get out of any situation with just a pocketknife and a string.  He went against the most powerful and cunningest of men...and won, because of his knowledge of chemistry, physics, and technology. His name can be found in many of my diary entries...I just knew we were meant to be...I mean we both shared a common fear of heights, what more of a sign did I need?

Unfortunately, our ways parted. The year was 1992, I remember like it was yesterday. The time came when I no longer could could turn on my TV and tune into ABC, for this was our standing date every week. My heart was broken. I had loved this man since I was 3 years old...6 years was all gone. Time heals all wounds, but the heart never forgets.

I write all this to say, that thanks to a couple of sources, I have once again been reunited with him, my love from long ago. It was awkward at first. Not sure I even wanted to go down that road again. I didn't want my perspective now to change the perfect perspective I had back then. Fortunately, even after all this time, nothing had changed. He is still just as handsome as he was back then, just as witty, intelligent, and his ability to make a weapon out of a piece of gum and duct tape still amazes me just as much as before.

Netflix, thank you...thank you...thank you. Thank you for bringing MacGyver to your instant streaming list. I have already streamed 3 episodes on my iPad...and I am loving every minute of it. Speaking of is time to get back to another episode. We have A LOT of catching up to do.
MacGyver, my first love.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

All In A Day's Work

This was my Friday.

5:30 a.m. alarm goes off. Time to get up....except, wait. WHAT TIME IS IT????? 6:30 This cannot be good. How did I "snooze" for an extra HOUR? I need to leave my house by 6:50 to get  Lil' Man dropped off, get my Sonic drink, and be at school by 7:45 for morning duty. So, yes, this is when I had a sneaking suspicion my Friday could be interesting. I did leave my house by 7:05, hit minimal traffic, dropped off Lil' Man with Miss Christine, and made it to work at 7:44, just in time for my hallway duty. Notice I did not add in my Sonic stop...this is because something had to give...and my Rt. 44 Diet Dr. Pepper had to be it.

Work day was good. Enjoyed some good laughs with co-workers. Seriously, love the people I work with. My students are doing AWESOME at regrouping with addition...Yes, my FIRST GRADERS are not only regrouping...but they are explaining the process! None of that "carry the one" stuff...they are using vocab words and are understanding why they are having to

Speaking of math, here is a story for you. So, yesterday we (first grade) were outside at recess and everyone was having a good time playing and enjoying the great weather. Whistle blows. Recess is over. Kids line up and we get ready to go inside. Well, the grade that comes outside after us was at a field trip and so the playground was going to be free for awhile longer. We let the kids play for 10 extra minutes. EXTRA RECESS the kids were ecstatic...all except one student. One of my boys was NOT happy about this. He went to the corner of the playground and started crying. I went to see what was wrong. I was so worried something had happened or someone had said something. After A LOT of coaxing (not from me, he was so upset I had to have someone come and talk to him) we finally discovered why he was so upset. He did not want extra recess because...he wanted to go back to class and do math!!!!! Now, let me explain to you that it has taken a lot of effort to motivate this student. It was months before I could get in completed work from him. He had no confidence in himself and could not even identify his numbers to 10 accurately. I hope you can feel my excitement, pride, ELATION when I heard he was upset about extra recess because he was wanting to go start our math lesson. This is why I love being a teacher. This little incident today was such an inspiration/reminder to me of the impact we can have on our kids.

Change of pace. I have picked up Lil' Man and we are finally home. It is 6:00. I debate what I should do...clean house, make dinner, "troll" (as a friend once said) Facebook? I went outside to let my chickens out of their house and run around for awhile and decided I was going to mow the lawn. It needed it and I wasn't sure when L was going to have a chance to do it. I learned from my mom if you see something that needs to be done, do it. Don't wait to be asked. So I got the lawn mower out, got Lil' Man, and we sat down, I started the mower and began mowing the lawn. (I was ban from using the riding lawn mower when I lived at home with my parents. I apparently have poor visual judgement when on it...I ran over a stump or two. I was really excited to be using one again.) Lil' Man and I were having a good time mowing and mowing...when out of the corner of my eye I saw this monster sized brown thing scurrying across my lawn. I quickly turned the steering wheel of my mower to head in that direction. (Thankfully I remembered to pull up the blade RIGHT before I ran over the extension cord that was strewn across the yard) As I got closer, a chill ran through my body. I can deal with just about any thing - snakes, mice, certain insects..whatever. There is one thing that can stop me in my tracks and make me feel FEAR. Spiders. I hate them. Hate them. Hate them. So what was scurrying across my lawn...a huge TARANTULA. Ugh. I hate spiders.

Back to better things. Lil' Man and I went into the garden to water all the plants and we had some very exciting surprises awaiting us. Look and see - 
Our blackberry bushes are producing berries

My green bean plants are about to break through

The zucchini plants are really doing great

A closer look at the zucchini plant

Cucumber plants are on their way

My cucumber bed (ignore the outside of the bed...we are still working on everything)


Hot peppers 

Sweet peppers

Bell peppers (green, red, and yellow)


Friday. It was a good day, but by the time it was all over I was EXHAUSTED and fell asleep in no time. I really wanted to post this yesterday...I was just too tired. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Yummy Turkey Enchiladas

What you need:
* 1 pound of ground turkey
* Corn Tortillas
* 2 cups of shredded cheese
* Fajita seasoning
* 2 cans of black beans (drained)
* 1 clove of minced garlic
* 1 can of diced tomatoes

What to do:
* Preheat oven to 450 degrees
* Brown ground turkey with minced garlic and fajita seasoning
* Reduce heat - add black beans and diced tomato
* Let mixture simmer for 15 minutes
* Spray Pyrex dish with cooking spray
* Place strips of corn tortillas on bottom dish
* Scoop out meat mixture and spread evenly onto tortilla strips
* Place another layer of tortillas down
* Sprinkle cheese on top
* Repeat until done
* Bake for 35 minutes
*Garnish with cilantro and a slice of avocado

Yes, I love avocados. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Smothered Mushroom Chicken

I discovered two things today. 1. I REALLY like the spinach artichoke dip that I bought at Walmart today. In fact, a little too much. I ate about 1/4 of the container today...before dinner. I quickly realized I needed to eat something that leaned more on the healthy side after that. I had planned on making chicken enchiladas with refried beans, not a BAD plan...but definitely not what I felt I should eat after the indulgence I participated in with all that spinach dip.

 This brings me to my number 2 discovery. Whilst in the kitchen, I faced the dilemma of what to make now. Since plan A was out...what was my plan B? Now, as I am debating with my inner-self...time is slipping away. So at 7:00, I grabbed a Pyrex dish, my chicken, mushrooms and some lemon pepper. Threw it all together and headed out to water my garden. I figured, "que sera sera"... I wasn't going to worry about how it turned out, after all there is always Frosted Flakes in the cabinet.

 An hour later...a pleasant aroma greets me as I enter the kitchen. I am feeling a little more optimistic at this point. I grab the dish out of the oven and I am pleasantly surprised it LOOKED good too. After adding some cheese and baking for 5 more minutes, I grabbed some rolls out of the freezer and warmed them up, made a yummy salad (with snap peas) and YES...dinner is now served. Just in case you were wondering...this dish was AWESOME!!!

So, to reiterate....1. I love spinach artichoke dip. 2. I love my new Smothered Mushroom Chicken dish. (Yeah, I know I am so original) I hope you get a chance to try this out at your home. I can see lots of variations coming from this dish...Please SHARE.

What You Need:
*4 chicken breasts (thinly sliced)
*Lemon Pepper                                                                      
*1 container of fresh mushrooms
 *Pam cooking spray
*1 cup of Colby shredded cheese

 What To Do: 
*Spray Pyrex with cooking spray
*Place chicken in dish
*Spray chicken with cooking spray
*Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning over chicken
*Dump entire package of mushrooms over chicken
*Bake in oven at 450 degrees for 1 hour
*Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese over mushrooms/chicken
*Place back in oven for 5 minutes.                        
*Remove from oven...ENJOY

In case you wanted a closer look :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Laugh, Laugh, Laugh

Laughter. It can make the most daunting of tasks enjoyable. It turns a 20 minute run from "this is taking FOREVER!!!" to "where did the time go???". Your long 15 hour drive is hardly even noticed when laughter is present. It is a connection with a stranger; It is the bond between friends. Uncle Albert said it best -  "The more I laugh, the more I fill with glee and the more the glee... the more I'm a merrier me." (from Mary Poppins) 

Laughter has been present in my life since I was a young child. It was present at family dinners, game night around the table, it was amidst us as we played outside, and it was even apart of those late night conversations in the family room. Laughter, to me, has great memories. It was never to disrespect or embarrass, but to include and build closer relationships. 

As I think of the things that make me laugh, I cannot help but think of my dad. I love that man so much. He is everything a father should be and more. It was from him I learned to really appreciate a good laugh. It is because of his (what some would call "weird or odd") sense of humor that I developed the kind of humor I have today. Nothing necessarily needs to be said to always make me laugh. Often times, it can just be a simple facial expression that will tickle my funny bone. 

I grew up laughing at comedies from - Bugs Bunny, The Three Stooges (I have no intention of watching the new movie), Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Abbott and Costello, Chevy Chase, Martin Short,  etc. My dad would spend hours "editing" the already "edited for tv versions" for some of these movies so that we could watch them as a family. You can imagine my shock when I was older and I saw the real version of Stripes, with Bill Murray. It really lost some of its humor for me. I love that my dad help develop the kind of humor that doesn't need something to be crude, vulgar, or include many expletives in it to make me laugh. 

Some of my favorites - any three stooges short (preferably the ones with Curly), Africa Screams (Abbott and Costello), Scared Stiff (Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis), The Three Amigos, Pure Luck, Friends...these are the movies/shorts/shows I could watch over and over (and I have) and quote back to you...and yes, I will laugh every time. Even just talking about some of these reminds me a particular scene or line and makes me smile.

Here is a clip that makes me laugh every time.




Thursday, April 19, 2012

20 minutes

It is 7:30 in the evening. We have eaten dinner, the kitchen is clean, Lil' Man has had his bath, we read our bedtime story, sang some songs, said our prayers and now he is tucked in bed. Me? Oh, I am sitting on my back porch with a Sonic drink by my side and nothing but this perfect evening to enjoy. Birds are chirping their evening song, my normally annoying dogs are now settling in for the evening, my chickens have roosted and there is enough light outside for me to just sit and enjoy the view. My Luke Bryan station is playing on Pandora and I could not be more relaxed. Tomorrow is Friday and I am doing good. My lesson plans are done for the coming week, so I can, without guilt, anticipate the weekend.

Does it matter that we had Little Caesar's pizza for dinner? Does it make me squirm that my bedroom needs to be cleaned up? Am I thinking in the back of my mind about the few dishes that did not get washed this morning? Am I wondering why I heard my son's train set being played with as I stepped outside? Am I annoyed by the fact that the moment my dogs see me they feel the need to "entertain" me with their obnoxious noises?

No, tonight is about enjoying this great evening. I hear the thunder rumbling in the distance and it soothes my soul. It is about listening to my son singing "Jesus Loves Me" as he got ready for bed. It is about watching these amazing looking clouds roll by. The peace of nothing but the music coming from Pandora meeting my ears (yes, my dogs have forgotten I am here and are asleep again). This, my friends, is what I consider a great evening.

Why 20 minutes? Well, the good Lord decided that is all I needed of this therapeutic evening. How do I know this? Please read the following bullets:

* The door behind me slowly opens.."hi mama". Yes, my little man decided to see what the heavenly glow coming from his mom was all about I guess. "P-note...pease, mama...note". Translation? Okay, "Please milk...please, mama...milk". Fine. After a glass of milk I was honored to have another 10 minutes of conversation, which included - "Mama, wow...look, clouds...light" (he saw the lightening in the clouds) "Mama, bubbles sleep" (his fish, Bubbles, was floating upside down. Yes. He does this every night. Seriously.) A big thunder boom, "Oh. My. Gosh". As a bonus to my evening, I was treated to a little dance show (just a couple of new moves he has learned from watching DWTS).

* My phone receives a text "KFOR Severe Alert. New Alert. Severe Thunderstorm warning in effect for Grady until 04/19/2012 21:00".  REALLY???  It was time to go check in with my good pal Rick Mitchell (you know, from KOCO). I need to check on how "severe" these storms are and what time it was going to hit since I have NO IDEA when 21:00 is.

* As the storms moved in..."Mama, I'm scared. Pease, Mama's bed?"  

So, here I am, preparing to go to bed. I plan on pulling out my iPad so I can read for a few minutes a book I bought on iBooks the other day as I wait out this storm. Going to bed alone? Oh no. A very content 2 year old is tucked in and already asleep in my bed and a very excited Rick Mitchell is talking about the storms on my TV. As I fall asleep tonight...I will remember those great 20 minutes.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Chicken

Here is a recipe that is sure to please. Anytime you grill, you really can't go wrong...especially if you are using this recipe. It is perfect for throwing together and throwing on the grill; paired with some grilled corn on the cob and a summer salad, you are set.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Chicken

What you need:
*Chicken tenderloin (cut in half)
*Soy sauce
Before the grill

*Jalapeño (cut into quarter slivers)

What to do:
*Soak the chicken in the soy sauce for about 30 minutes
*Place 2-3 slivers of jalapeños on each piece of chicken
*Wrap the jalapeño and chicken with a piece of bacon
*Drizzle each piece with honey and mustard and set in refrigerator for 15 minutes
*Use a marinating brush to brush ingredients all over chicken
*They are now ready for the grill!



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