Sunday, January 31, 2010

Our Love Story Part 3

We had been dating for 3 months. GT was beginning his big boy job at Eastman. I was starting a new quarter alone. With no best friend or boyfriend there with me. GT bought me a dog, Allie. First off, I have theories about dogs. 1) Many women get dogs to fulfill their baby fever. I did. 2) many women get a dog with a man to make it a little more of a commitment. I did this too. Ok, that said. He bought me the dog. And he kept saying, she is YOUR dog, not OUR dog for like a month. Then, it became OUR dog.

We talked on the phone every night and saw each other every weekend. I spent Thanksgiving with his family, he spent Christmas with mine. The boy would not tell me he loved me. We were obviously in a serious relationship. I couldnt hold it in any more. At my bestfriends wedding, I told him. I couldnt contain it. He didnt say it back. Awkward. He said he wasnt ready. I was like, really, we have known each other 17 freakin years and your not ready??????

We both knew, I would be graduating in March, but we didnt talk about it. I had forgotten about being a therapist because I wanted to be with GT. In January, GT said, we could look at engagement rings, but we would just be "pre-pricing" them to see how much money he would need to save up. For a future a long way away. We went and looked, it wasnt magical :(   I was sick and didnt feel like it. Not sure what was wrong with me. BUT we were on our way in his truck and he looked over and told me he loved me. And I responded "I know". Not very romantic, but for G it was a big step.

At the end of January, we both knew we wanted to get married to each other. We went and looked at rings again. The store we had found the ring I wanted was out of the style and would get one for a month. We were like no way. So we went to Zales. I found the ring, they were having a sale, he was approved for a credit the ring was bought and sent off to be sized.

GT picked up the ring on a Thursday and came to Ruston. We were going to Birmingham to surprise Allison for her birthday on Friday. I had originally told him I wanted him to propose in Bham, so Allison could be there for it. Well, when he got to Ruston, I knew he had the ring, so I couldnt handle it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had to have it on my finger. I have no patience. After eating at the dawg house, I was like, "you wanna go to the park? hint hint" And about 30 minutes later we were engaged.

To be continued...

Friday, January 29, 2010

A birthday week at the Nehls home!

My hubby turns 25 this SUNDAY! Yay! He says the best thing he ever did was marry an older woman...I think he is RIGHT! I mean, I am just 2 months older! :)

So because his birthday is Sunday...this whole week has been birthday week! Which has included (mostly food):

Monday night-- Cajun Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes,  Sister Shubert Dinner Rolls

  • Reviews:
    • GT loves meatloaf. I dont like it all. So I thought I would meet in the middle and try a recipe for meatloaf from the Pioneer Woman. It was ok. I think it had tooo may bell peppers. I mostly at potatoes and rolls.
    • The recipe for mashed potatoes from PW are AMAZING! Please make them! You will never make mashed potatoes the same again! (or at least I wont)
    • You can never go wrong with SS rolls. Never. Ever.
Tuesday night-- Sonic 99¢ hamburgers...Love me a sonic burger. And I have a coupon for 99¢ onion rings---EVEN Better!

Wednesday night- Chicken Fried Steak, Gravy, Mac n Cheese, Green Beans, SS dinner rolls
  • Reviews: I tried Paula Deen's recipe. It calls for buttermilk ...I liked the one with eggs better.
  • I had a happy, full husband! 
Thursday night-- GT' choice of restaurant-- he picked Olive Garden. We both had the new dish from the commercial, I had the chicken, he had the sausage. It was really good! 

Tonight-- we are going to my parents then Audries 6 month pictures in the morning, Lunch with Laura O, Doing our taxes...then....

I am throwing a surprise party for him! He has no idea. Like really. And he doesnt ever read my blog, so I am not worried...

Today I went to Lynzies...made Potato Salad and a Sheath Cake...and she is going to put some pork in the crock pot for pulled pork sandwiches... I cant wait!

Recipe for Potato Salad


Potatoes (Peeled, cubed, boiled)
4 or 5 eggs depending on how many taters (boiled)
Mayo ( the real stuff, not light, not fat free and not miracle whip!)
Hamburger Dill Pickles

  • Peel your potatoes, cut them in cubes, put them in water and bring to boil (I throw my eggs in there too)
  • I boil mine for usually like 25-30 minutes. You know they are done by sticking a fork into a a cube. If it is soft and the fork goes all the way through, they are done.
  • Drain potatoes. Put in a large bowl.
  • Dump in some mayo. I use 1/3 of a large jar. Squirt some mustard. You want it to be a medium yellow when mixed together. Dont go light on the mustard!
  • I put my pickles (ab 2 cups) in a small food processor and get them diced really fine. I have tried it with dill pickle relish and didnt like it. It makes a difference.
  • Peels boiled eggs, chop them really fine.
  • Throw in a little salt and a little pepper to taste. You can always add more!
  • Mix all ingredients.  I use a whisk.
  • If not creamy enough- add more mayo. If the color is pale yellow- add more mustard.
This is like the only thing I cook without a real recipe with real measurements. But it is sooooo good! 

Happy Birthday to my honey bear! (Even though he doesnt read this) 

He sure was cute! And still is! 


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baby Socks and Conditioner

This is going to be a random post. I have a few things on my mind and need to get them all out.

First, baby socks. I have admitted on FB a few times, I have an addiction to buying baby girl clothes. And along with my addiction comes with bows and socks. Mostly bows, but I do like matching socks. I bought some socks at JcPenny this weekend (buy 1 get 1 50%) and they are the only place I have found chocolate brown socks for a girl. I found some chocolate brown "bobby" style socks at Old Navy....but...look....

On the left- Circo 0-6 month  On the right- Old Navy 0-6 month


Really? Please show me a 6 month old that has that big of a foot. Where do their measurements come from. Ridiculous.

Here is Audrie's sock drawer. I am pretty excited about spring and all the spring colors.

And I saw these cute shoes. Audrie hasnt worn them yet...they're a little too big. But I love them!

Next subject: Conditioner. I have really thick hair. Like real thick.. Like everytime I go to a new hair dresser they always tell me they have never seen hair as thick as mine. And it naturally curly. And its course. So conditioner is very important to my hair.

After, I gave birth to Audrie my head itched alot... So, I bought head and shoulders smooth and silky. It worked, kept my hair looking good, smelt good. It was a good conditioner. This week I ran out and went to get more, but I just couldnt bring myself to pay so much for it. Its like 6 or 7 dollars for a bottle! I was looking at the cheap ones and picked this...

It was like $3.15. And it is WONDERFUL! My hair is soft, smells good, and looks decent ( I need a haircut bad, so it is doing the best it can). I thought I would share this with my blogger friends. If you would like good, cheap conditioner, here you are my friends.

And my head stopped itching...Those pregnancy/after-birth hormones are nuts.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cooking, Chicken Pot Pie and Peach Cobbler

When GT and I first got married, I hardly ever cooked. We were in a small apartment and it wasnt worth it to me. Then when we moved into our house, I cooked more but not much since I worked and was exhausted. Plus, I got pregnant the month after we moved in so...yeah...we ate alot of frozen meals and fast food. Needless to say, I cook alot more now.  1. Because I stay at home so we need to save money any way we can, 2. It is like my hobby now, 3. I love cooking, 4. I love food, 5. I love food. Seriously.

 The other day before I went grocery shopping, I decided to look at some of my cook books and try some new recipes. I stumbled upon the "ABS" cook book that was given to GT and I when we got married. It has some good recipes! I got sooooo excited! Some of them I have been looking for for awhile and they are in this book! Man, I have been missing out. So last night I made Mrs. Karan Eddy's Chicken Pot Pie and my mom's Peach Cobbler Recipe.

Before I give you the Pot Pie recipe, I thought I might shared something I was just enlighted with. How to correclty dice an onion. I use to cut my onion in chunks then put them in my little food processor. Not anymore! And now I am excited about cutting an onion???? I am sure my mom thinks, who is this, and what did you do with my daughter?????

I bought this cool cutting knife. It's called a Santoku knife. I got it for like 5 dollars! I learned how to chop an onion from Pioneer Woman, you can learn too, just click here. I did cut my finger. It is hard to figure out how to do things left handed. But good thing, I burnt the first onions I was sautéing, so I got another go at it, and didnt cut my finger the second time!

Chicken Pot Pie
From: Karan Eddy


  • 1 Box of Pillsbury Pie Crust (found in the refrigerated section next to the biscuits)
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1/3 cup (2/3 stick) of butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 3 chicken breast, boiled and chopped
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 can of Veg-All


  • Pre-Heat oven to 425
  • Take pie crust out and let it sit to become room temperature
  • Lay crust in bottom of pie pan
  • Melter butter in a skillet (dont get it too hot like I did, I burnt the first batch of onions!)
  • Add onions and saute´ until wilted
  • Add flour, stir, let cook for about a minute or two
  • Add broth and milk gradually while stirring with a whisk
  • Add Veg-All and chicken
  • Continue stirring and let it cook until it is pretty thick
  • Pour filling into pie crust
  • Place 2nd crust on top and fold edges under
  • Crimp edges with the side of your thumb
  • Cut 5 slits in top of crust
  • Bake for 30 minutes
This was the best chicken pot pie I have ever tasted! It was soooooo good! And pretty easy to make. I dont like vegetalbes for the most part, but I didnt mind them at all in this!

Things I did wrong: As I have mentioned before, I burnt the first set of onions, because I still have not learned the hotter does not mean the better or faster. I am learning. Also, I dont own a pie pan. So I used a round pan. When I placed the top crust on, I let it hang off, I should have cut it to make it fit. The sides burnt, but we just peeled it off.

Peach Cobbler (or any other fruit you would like)
From: My Mama! Leslie Allen

2 cups of Sugar
2 cups of SELF-RISING flour...must be self-rising or it wont work, believe me, I have tried!
2 cups of milk
1 large can of sliced peaches (or whatever fruit you prefer)
1 stick of butter

  • Melt stick of butter in pan (I just pop it in the microwave for a minute or so)
  • Mix flour, sugar and milk in a mixing bowl
  • Pour mix on top of butter
  • Dump in can of peaches
  • I arrange the peaches to make them evenly distributed
  • Put in the oven
  • Cook on 350 for 45 minutes
I could eat this for every meal. Seriously. It is so bad for you, but so tasty! And EASY EASY EASY!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner

I had some buttermilk in the fridge that was going bad and these days I dont like to I decided to try Paula Dean's homemade biscuits recipe! 

Homemade Biscuits:

2 cups self-rising flour
2 teaspoons of sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup of buttermilk

  • Mix flour and sugar in a mixing bowl
  • Paula's directions is to take two knifes and work shortening into mixture...I used my Kitchen-Aid mixer with the paddle mixer
  • Pour in buttermilk while mixing
  • Roll dough 1/2 thick onto a floured board
  • Use a biscuit cutter (or the top of a cup, which is what I used) 
  • Place biscuits on a greased pan
  • Cook at 450 for about 12 to 15 minutes
These were great! Kinda flatter than I had wanted, but I didnt follow the 1/2 inch rule :) 

And I finally made real sausage gravy! I LOVE the iron skillet. If you dont own one, you need to. For real. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Making Delicious Cornebread

I love corn bread! I wasnt until a few months ago I discovered this. I knew I loved bread, but I didnt love cornbread to much. Until I met Mr. Jiffy. Jiffy cornbread is so sweet and delicious and CHEAP! I love sweet food and I love bread, but them together and I am happy.

I keep trying to think of things to cook in my iron skillet. So last night, of course I thought of corn bread. Audrie isnt feeling well (which means she wants to be held constantly), so I asked GT to cook some Jambalaya. Audrie ended up falling asleep while he was cooking, so I decided to venture into the land of corn bread.

My iron skillet still scares me a bit. Possibly because you have to cook with grease and my mom didnt cook with grease much. Or because I burnt my first chicken fried steak in it. Or because the handle gets hot and that scares me that I am going to accidently grab it. But all in all, I think its because I am not used to it. My mom never cooked with one and so its new to me.

I "googled" how to make Jiffy corn bread in an iron skillet. I got a lot of different ideas. I put some of them together and made my own...This is how it went down:

Pre-Heat Oven to 400
Melt a stick of butter in your skillet on the stove. (Low Heat)
Mix together Jiffy Mix ( I did two packages, bc my skillet is medium size)
Mix in 2 eggs
Mix in 1 cup of Buttermilk (I had buttermilk left over and didnt want to waste it, you can use regular milk, but this is more milk than the recipe on the box calls for)
Let the mix sit until butter is melted
Once butter is melted, pour mix in
Put skillet in the oven
Cook for 25 to 30 minutes

This was soooooo stinking good! I was like forget the Jambalaya, Im having cornbread for dinner! It was  a little crispy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. Delicious. I mean I am sure it has quite the calories, but who cares.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Life of a 5 Month Old

Since my last "Audrie" posts....this is what has been going on:

  • We are finished trying out all the veggies! (and one fruit-Avocado). She is such a good eater. So much better than I ever even imagined! The peas caused her to have a small rash on her cheek. I guess this would mean an allergy, but do I stop feeding her pees? It didnt seem to bother her and it would disappear with hydrocortisone cream...
  • We have started fruits! So far...peaches and pears! Both are kinda sour so she makes a strange face, but likes it. 
  • Here is what her typical food day looks like:
    • Wake up- 6 oz Bottle (Usually this is 8 am-so thats what I am basing the time frame off of)
    • 9:30-  3 tablespoons of oatmeal/rice and an ounce of fruit or sweet potato
    • 12:00  6 oz bottle
    • 1:30 3 ounces of veggies (or 3 ice cubes, same difference)
    • 4:00  6 oz bottle
    • 5:30 or so depending on when she wakes up from her evening nap-- 2 oz of veggie with rice cereal mixed in, and 2 oz of fruit
    • 8:00 6 oz bottle
  • I thought I would share that since I have been doing alot of research on baby food menus. Sometimes I feel like I feed her too much and sometimes I feel like I feed her too little. But this is what works for us right now!
  • Audrie wants to crawl so bad! She can get up on all fours, but she doesnt know how to "go" yet! For some reason in my head, I thought she would crawl around 7 months, so now I am in shock and I would rather her wait to become mobile. But what can you do?
  • She doesnt sit up yet by herself. I am not sure why. I was told she has to sit up before she can crawl, but I dont know if thats the case with her. 
  • Today, she said mama! I know she doesnt know what she is saying and she is just babbling, but it sure was fun! When I feed her, I say yum alot. So she says a form of yum when she wants to eat. While I was making baby food, she was in her high chair and was "yumming" which turned into "mama". She did it like 5 times! 
  • She is loosing her hair in the back, however, her hair in the front is growing like crazy.
  • Audrie has developed cradle cap. It happened just a few weeks ago. And I cant get rid of it! Thankfully, its not that noticeable since she has so much hair and her bow covers it too! It doesnt seem to bother her, but it bothers me!
  • I cant believe she will be 6 months in 2 weeks! 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Holy Burnt Cow

GT bought me an iron skillet for a late Christmas present. If you read in my previous posts, I was attempting gravy (sausage gravy) and was not successful. SO, from my lovely facebook friends, I discovered it was probably my pan. When GT and I picked up his brother from the airport, his grandparents wanted to take us to eat at Cracker Barrell. I did a little looking around and saw an iron skillet for just 20.00...and the best part is already seasoned!

Here she is in all her beauty:

Then I decided, what should I cook for my first meal in the iron skillet? My husbands favorite...chicken fried steak. I run to Brookshires and pick up all the things needed for it, including some potatoes, green beans, and the meat of course. I did have to ask the meat guy, what kind of meat I used for such a thing. I had already made these homemade rolls the night before. They were my favorite part.

So, I get my new lovely skillet, pour a little oil in the pan...then I am waiting for it to heat up. ***Sidenote, Let me tell you how I cook. I am quite impatient. I like to turn the heat up as high as it can go, because in my mind, it will cook faster...however, this is not always the case.*****
Of course, I turn the heat like on an 8, where the highest is 10. The recipe I was going off of, said the grease should be 360 degrees....well, how in the world do I know when its 360 degrees?

As you can guess, my grease was too hot. And this happened:

I was scared to do the next three until GT got home. When he got home from work we finished the other 3, with a smokey house. I got lucky since there were only 3 of us eating! Then I attempted gravy with my left over grease. It was kind of black due to the burning. Luckily, I had picked up a gravy mix package just in case.

Last night we got to all go to Texas Roadhouse! I was grateful for a little cooking break! :)

Then tonight...I made spaghetti in the crock pot for 8 people! This is what I did: 3 lbs frozen hamburger meat, 2 packages of McCormick spaghetti mix, 2 cans tomato paste, 2 tsp oil. 2 1/2 cups of water. 6 hours on high. It was pretty delicious. Mamaw made a beautiful spinach salad (which I didnt eat-not too crazy about salads or spinach), and I made this bread. Oh my...this bread is where it's at!  Can you tell, I love bread? I sure do!

For my guests last night and tonight I made a "Holy Cow Cake". Holy Cow, it's delicious.

Holy Cow Cake


1 box of Devils Food Cake mix (or german chocolate depending on preference)- make sure you get/have ingredients needed to make the cake
1 can condensed milk
1 jar of carmel topping (can be found by the ice cream cones)

1 block of cream cheese (optional)
1 container of cool whip
2 smashed up butterfingers or heath bar ( I used butterfingers)


  • Follow directions on back of box to cook cake. Once cake is cooled poke holes in cake with a fork.
  • Pour condensed milk and carmel topping over cake.
  • Chill in refrigerator for at-least an hour.
  • Mix cream cheese and cool whip (with hand blender). If you arent a cream cheese fan you can just use cool whip as topping.
  • Crumble up butterfinger or heath bar. 
  • Sprinkle on top.
  • Eat. Say, "Holy Cow"
  • Store cake in refrigerator. 


Monday, January 11, 2010

Our Love Story Part 2

As I was trying to fall asleep last night, I thought to myself, well I didnt tell how GT and I met. Here is our history:

GT and I met in Mrs. Barksdale's class in 2nd grade. I do remember him pretty vividly from then. I remember seeing a nail shop and asking my mom if GT's mom worked there since their last name was Nehls. Haha. I guess I didnt know how it was spelt. Then in 3rd grade I had Mrs. Sims and he had Mrs. Welcher, so I dont remember him too much in that grade. Well, we moved. I returned to Calvary in 6th grade. I dont remember much about 6th grade, but it was quite an awkward time in my life. And I dont remember much about GT either. So then 7th grade I went to another school, and 8th grade returned to Calvary. This is when I had the BIGGEST crush on GT! I sat by him in homeroom everyday and tried to flirt with him, but he was real oblivious. I found my old diary where I just talk and talk about how much I like him! Nothing happened in 8th grade with GT, besides the fact I started dating his best friend. Next we start high school. We went to the same high school and church. We ate lunch together and passed notes often. We were always "best friends". He had a girlfriend, I had a boyfriend. Then I move again. Then I came back junior and senior year. We picked up right were we left off. Eating lunch together and passing notes. Everyone thought we were dating, to which GT's reply was "good, that way no one will want to be with me"--HAHA! For GT's 18th birthday, his mom wanted to throw him a surprise party. I was the diversion. After school, we met up with our friends Nathan and Candy to go see Final Destination 2. During the movie, GT and I held hands. The only problem was, I had a boyfriend at the time. :(   Then, when we got to the party, the girl GT liked was there, and he talked to her the whole night and ignored me. This was in January so I didnt talk to him right up until then end of the school year. I was very hurt.

We ended up going to the same college. I remember during the first few weeks of our freshman year, I went to his dorm room. It was like on the 9th floor of Neilson in the last dorm room on the right and we had to take the stairs! Ugh. We watched Mothman Prophecies. I feel alseep in his recliner so went home without finishing it. GT was starting to get involved in the ABS (Association of Baptist Students) and I was involved in the BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministry). And not to mention he lived with my x-boyfriend. We didnt see much of each other. But every now and then we would call each other and hang out. Especially when we started dating someone new. He would always talk bad about whoever I was dating and I would do the same for whoever he was dating. If we were both single at the time we hung out alot more until one of us begin dating someone else...Anyway, this continued all 4 years of college...and we pick up to where I started the note yesterday...

Back to August 2007...

So, GT was graduating. I remember the night before he graduated. He said he wasnt sure what would happen to us. He just wanted to move and see if we missed each other. ( I agreed with him, but in my heart I wanted to cry. Which I did when I went home. )  He graduated. His mom, step-dad, sister and I helped him load up all of his things, move them to his new apartment. Then we went and ate at I-HOP. The waitress asked us if we were married. I kinda liked the thought, but the look from his mother quickly changed the idea in my head :)   So we went back to his mom's house for a few days. GT was supposed to work for someone until his real work started and I had a few days off until Fall Quarter started.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had to leave and go back to Ruston. I had to go to work. The whole drive I cried. I got to work and I couldnt stop balling. I got up and went to the bathroom 100 times. I went to check the mail and I cried. I got home from work, went in my room and cried. Finally, that night I talked to GT, crying again, and he was fine. Well, we were supposed to spend a week apart before we saw each other again. We met in Shreveport the next day. I asked my dad to let GT work for him...and we both did. I never cut grass in my life, but was desperate to be with this boy! I knew then that I loved him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. The only issue there is we had been dating 3 months.

To be continued...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

More Food Talk...

Review of the Taco Soup in Crockpot:

Again, I am not a bean person. Personally, it had too many beans for me. So next time I make it, I will put 1 can of kidney beans and 1 can of pinto beans. The actual liquid was reallllllyyyyyy delicious, but there wasnt enough of it. So next time, I will add more water. Or my mom adds chicken broth to hers...She says its a secret ingredient to her Taco Soup. Oops. I let it out :)

I finally made GRAVY!

Well, I was pan frying link sausage for this recipe. GT happened to be in kitchen at the time...I showed him the grease it had made, and he said he thought it was enough. So I plopped in 2 tablespoons of flour, a cup of milk. And the result is this:

He LOVED you can see here:

But I still have gravy questions. Why didnt my patty sausage make any grease? And this grease only made enough for one person to have gravy, what if I am cooking for alot of people? Is it weird, I am wondering how to make grease????  

Oh, and I bought this cool wisk for the gravy. It is fun!

From my status last night on fb, many people want to know about this oh, so delicious sheath cake....yummmmmmmmm...Well first off, my first experience of Sheath cake was at my good friend Robin's house. Her mom likes to make it. And Robin doesnt like it---IS SHE CRAZY? She would rather have cookies. Crazy. Because it is probably one of the best desserts I have had in my whole life. As promised here is the recipe...which I found on Pioneer Woman. You can also google it, but all the recipes are pretty much the same. 

Sheath Cake
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Pecans (optional, but it is delicious with them)
  • 1-¾ stick Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 6 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar
Preparation Instructions
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.
While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake. (Make sure you pour the icing as soon as the cake comes out of the oven).  
This is what mine looked like. It also has alot of steps, so you might want to get someone to help you. GT helped, some. Except he freaks out when I dont measure things exactly...He says its because he is an engineer, I say its annoying.  But I am sure you can do it by yourself, I think next time I will try it solo.  If you want to see the recipe on Pioneer Woman go here, she has step by step pictures. 
\Who knows what this week of cooking will bring. GT's brother just got out of the Marines and he will be here this week/weekend. He is going back to to Japan on Sunday, where he has gotten a job for a year. We are excited about him coming, and I am slightly nervous about providing food for alot of people. 

HELP! Im trying to make gravy!

I need HELP! My husband loves some gravy. Any kind. Me, not so much. But while I am on my new cooking kick, I wanted to try some gravy with biscuits for my honey bear.

Also, let me say, I have just discovered the Pioneer Woman blog...WHERE HAVE I BEEN? It is fabulous. So, she really inspired the gravy thing. I used her instructions on how to make gravy, you can find them here.

I went to the grocery store, got me some Jimmy Dean regular sausage. She used Jimmy Dean HOT in her pictures. I am not too firmilar with sausage, but I dont really like "hot" anything, so I got regular. This morning went to cooking my sausage. Cut it in slices. Put it in a pan. Followed package instructions. And no grease... I couldnt make the gravy because the sausage made very very little grease.

What did I do wrong? These are things I can think of:

1) I used a non-stick skillet. It looks like she used a iron one. ???? Mine is a pretty large skillet to...and her seemed to be smaller.
2) the kind of sausage. I cant imagine that this mattered, but like I said, not too familiar with sausage, so it is possible. Although, I used regular ole' sausage, no turkey sausage, no low fat...
3) How I cooked mine. Maybe had it too hot because the sausage kind of burnt a little. But there was never alot of grease at any time.

I am not giving up! I will make my man some biscuits and gravy! Please help this 25 year old that has no idea what she is doing!

Once I master gravy...I will attempt homemade biscuits...I know, brave, right?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Crockpotting some more...

Yesterday, I tried Ashley Todd's red beans and rice recipe that you can fine here. It was a great recipe...There is alot of prep to it and I couldnt find barley leaves. Plus I didnt use ham, I used hamburger meat. I just dont like beans really. GT liked it alot, however, I just picked out the sausage. If you are a red beans and rice fan...Try It! I am sure you will like it!

Awhile back, I saw this chick on Good Morning America who cooked in her crock pot everyday for a year! It wasnt until this week I found her blog. She has many many crock pot recipes and I cant wait to try alot of them! Right now, I have taco soup in the crock pot! It is from her blog, but I will still post it here:

Taco Soup in Crock Pot


2 cans of kindey beans
2 cans of pinto beans
2 cans of corn
1 large can of diced tomatoes 
1 can tomatoes and chiles (Rotel)
1 packet taco seasoning 
1 packet ranch dressing mix 
1 lb browned ground turkey or hamburger (optional.)
shredded cheese and sour cream for embellishment

The Directions:
  • brown meat if you are going to use it
  • drain fat and add meat to crockpot
  • sprinkle seasoning packets on top of meat
  • drain and rinse the beans and add
  • add the ENTIRE contents of the corn and tomato cans
  • stir

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5.  the longer you cook soup, the better, so if you have the time, opt for cooking on low. Stir well, and serve with a handful of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream. When my mom makes hers (not in the crock pot) she chops an onion and bell pepper. I didnt want to do the extra work. Also, I might had some water in a little bit to make it a little more "soupy". Currently, it smells delicious. 

I used a crock pot liner for the first time! I was a little disappointed how much I still had to clean the pot, but maybe it was just because of the red beans. I will let you know how much I had to clean when the soup is done.

I will continue crock pot cooking or normal cooking and share recipes which most I will get from the blog I shared above. I will tell you how it worked for me. Usually, I do a crock pot meal once or twice a week. Then, a hamburger helper (or tuna helper, yes, we like it) once a week, then frozen pizza once a week. I am really enjoying new recipes. Things I hope to cook in the crock pot soon: Lasagna, Meatballs, Meatloaf (for GT, not me) and possibly some chili. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Our Love Story Part 1

Like most women, I am a sucker for romance. I began my boy-craziness at a pretty early age. I often wonder why, but who knows. I had many broken hearts and drove my parents (and brothers) crazy. I love to hear a love story. I was telling Lynzie the other day, my parent's they met, how they fell in love. I might share it one day with my moms permission! I love hearing it and I love telling it. But for now I have my love story.

In college, I date a guy off and on for a little over a year. When it was officially over in February of 2007, I had pledged to myself, that I would not date anymore but would focus on my future career as a therapist. The summer was fastly approaching and everyone was going home, or working, or just leaving Tech. The only people staying were my bestie Allison and my male bestie GT. We all decided we would be hanging out alot since we felt like the only people living in Ruston.

In May 2007, the day of Tech graduation (most of our friends were graduating) GT and I went to a graduation party for John Elmore. I remember riding in GT's geo metro (the whee whee, as I call it) and he was blaring rap music he knew every word to. I was like really? really? Anyway, we go to the party. Then after all of our friends had other plans but the night was still young. So GT suggested we go to his duplex and watch  a movie. I was like ok why not. He is my bestfriend. It is good to hang out with your bestfriend when you dont want to date anyone.

Oh was I wrong. So it just so happened his roommate had moved out, so there was no furniture and we had to watch the movie on his laptop on his bed. (We sat up on his bed). We got about 1hr 1/2 into Donnie Darko and I knew it was coming. I was like he is going to kiss me. And he did. And it was awkward.

Then I went home. We went to church the next day. He came over as usual and we rode together. Acting like nothing happened. Then we were making Hamburger Helper after lunch and we kissed again.

So...I didnt know what to think. I remember telling my mom, "I kissed GT, but we are just friends." Her response was, "Oh, brother".

On May 30, 2007, we were watching a movie again, this time on a couch. And GT kissed me again. I had had enough. I was like, "look, I am 22, I dont go around just kissing boys. I did that in high school." To which he replied, "I think we should date." To which I replied, "I dont think we should."  But he talked me into it. (I am sure it was real hard)

Then came GT's graduation from Tech. He had gotten a job with Eastman in Longview, TX. I still had 2 more quarters of school left, and still wanted to pursue a graduate degree.

To be continued...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Crockpot Cooking

Recently, I have been cooking in my crockpot alot! This is a picture of my actual crockpot! It is a good one, but not fun to clean.

So in honor of my crockpotting, I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes!

Chicken Tacos


2-4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 package taco mix for chicken


Put ingredients in crockpot. I usually have frozen chicken in mine so I put my own high for about 6/7 hours. If your chicken is thawed you might want to cook it on low for 4-6 hours. It will begin to shred. Take a fork and shred the chicken. Serve with your favorite taco "fixins". I like mine on soft tortillas but also can be served with hard taco shells.

Beef Tips
This is GT's favorite. Not mine so much. 


2 small packages or 1 large package of beef tips or stew meat 
1 package of Lipton onion soup mix
1 can of cream of mushroom


Dump everything in crockpot. I also put my beef tips in frozen so I keep them on high for about 8 hours. If your beef tips are thawed, you might want to do low for 8 hours. Serve over rice.

Zesty Italian Chicken (From


4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 square margarine
1 packet zesty Italian seasoning (can be found with the McCormick seasoning packages)
Pasta noodles of choice or rice

Place all ingredients into crock-pot and cook on low 3-4 hours. After about an hour open crock-pot and stir everything together. When complete, shred or cut chicken into chunks. Serve over steamed rice or pasta of your choice. (Bowtie is really good.)

**This was sooooo good, however, the sauce is kind of thick. Next time I make it, I think I will add a cup of water.**

I just recently found out they make crock pot liners! I have no idea! I am going today to get some. My crockpot is sooooo hard to clean (especially when I burn rotel dip in it....oops.

ALSO, McCormick has recently put out "slow cooker" packages of spices with recipes on the back. I have tried the pulled-pork and honey mustard chicken. Both were good. The honey mustard chicken isnt for the crock-pot, but I made it that way. 

Since I love cooking in the crock-pot, please share some of your favorite recipes!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy 5 Months and 1 Day!

I missed an Audrie 5 month post. Boo. And I posted 2 things! Oops. Well, yes she is 5 months old! I really cannot believe it! It does make me sad as she grows but excited to see what she will learn tomorrow.

Here are some things she is up to:

  • She started carrots yesterday and loved them. Of course. I have a feeling she will eat anything.
  • She has been super fussy. Ugh. I have a theory why. She figured out how to roll over so now she is on to a new task: sitting up. When I am cleaning house, doing laundry, etc..I put her on her play mat or in her jumper. Neither of these include sitting up. So she fusses. As soon as I put her in sitting position she is fine. The problem is she cannot sit without me supporting her, and I cant hold her up all day. I hope her "learning" to sit up comes quickly! 
  • We had a few off-schedule days since New Years. I am not really strict on her schedule, however, I enjoy when she goes to be around 9 or 10 and wakes up around 7 or 8. Well on New Years Eve, we went to some friends house. She went to sleep around 10, but we were being really loud playing games, so she woke up around 11 and didnt go back to sleep until we got home at 2 am! And so she slept until 10:30 am. You can imagine the past few nights havent been too fun. But tonight she was asleep by 9:15. I hope we are back into the good sleeping schedule!
  • She has been extremely vocal the past few days, and I even heard some but only once.
  • We have officially transitioned to 6-9 month clothes. :(
  • I measured her tonight and she is 27 inches. Which when I looked it up says it is more than 97th percentile. This means she was grown 7 inches since birth. At this rate when she is 10 months she will be 34 inches. This couldnt be. I hope she will slow down. 
In lieu of turning 5 months and going up a clothing size, and because she is just so darn cute, I took some pictures:

My two loves

To the inventor of the bumbo: I love your invention. It is very smart. However, it is not useful to my child because when she is in it all she does is look at her feet. We tried for about 15 minutes to try to get her to look up at the camera. She would not. Her feet are wayyyyy more fascinating. :) 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What's in a name?

People have asked me why I named our little girl Audrie? And why did I spell it A-U-D-R-I-E?

There is history in our family with the name Audrie. My great grandmother (my dad's grandmother) was named Audrie Powell. She had a great influence on my dad's life. When he was little, she would hold him tight and sing "Jesus Loves Me" with tears running down her face. It is one of my favorites stories he shares in some of his sermons. She also asked him to read a chapter in the Bible a night when he was in the army. He made that promise to her and my dad says she is alot of the reason he is who he is and the reason he became a preacher. Anyway, she was very dear to my dads heart.

When I was looking through some old pictures my Uncle Mickey gave my dad, I noticed on some of the pictures, her name was spelled A-U-D-R-E-Y and some spelled A-U-D-R-I-E. I found out the correct spelling was A-U-D-R-I-E. My middle name is Audrey and my neice Claire's middle name is Audrey. So I thought to make it unique, I would spell it Audrie.

If GT and I have a son, his name will be Allen Eugene. Allen from my maiden name and Eugene from his middle name. If we have a girl...who knows...right now, I kind like the name Beatrice and call her Bea. I think Bea is soooo cute. Its my grandmothers name, well Bertha Beatrice. I dont think I want to pass on Bertha. GT isnt too crazy about Beatrice, but I will work on it! :)

God is OUR Comfort!

Today our pastor shared a verse I had never heard before...

As a mother comforts her child,
       so will I comfort you.   -Isaiah 66:13

I love this verse! It is such a relief that God is our comfort. My mom is such a big comfort to me. When I am sad, I call my mom. When I am happy, I call my mom. When I am sick, I want my mom. When I am hurting, I want my mom.

Everyone knows how different the comfort of a mother and father are and how sometimes you just want your mama. Sometimes my mom and I call each other just because we need to hear someone's voice who loves us. Not matter what. Such an amazing thought to know we can talk to God at anytime and know He loves us no matter what! 

I thought I would blog this because I figured if I hadnt heard it before maybe someone else hasnt either! 

Friday, January 1, 2010

What will happen in 2010?

What I hope happens in 2010:

  • Serve More. We have attended Mobberly Baptist since GT moved here. We joined shortly after we were married. We were in a small group (Sunday School) until the wedding and we just got so busy we stopped going. We didnt join another class or start volunteering because I was preggo and we thought we would moving sometime. Since I am no longer preggo, we arent moving and I am comfortable putting Audrie in the nursery, I would like to serve more in our church and be more involved. Through Mobberly, I would like to get connected with the crisis pregnancy center starting and volunteer. I want to join the choir, but I am a BIG chicken to do it by myself. I love to sing and I love to sing in a choir...but like I said, I am a big chicken!
  • Get pregnant again. If you dont know my plan already, here is: I want to have 4 children and have all of them before I am 30 or be pregnant with the 4th when I am 30. So to do that, I have to have one every other year. So around when Audrie turns 1, we will be trying again. I have this fear it will be hard for me to get pregnant again. I know thats probably silly because we got preggo pretty easy the first time.
  • Make some home improvements. GT and I want to do alot of projects around our house, including: ripping up carpet and either laying laminate wood or staining the concrete, painting, redoing bathrooms, put up a privacy fence, do flower beds, power wash house and garage, get bedroom furniture, etc... I know this probably wont all happen in 2010, but I would like for it to. 
  • Lose weight. This is something I want to do every year. I like to eat. And I like food that isnt for good me. But I need to lose weight. 1. Because if I dont before I get pregnant again,  I dont feel like I will ever! 2. If I dont, I am more likely to have gestational diabetes when I get preggo again. 3. I am more likely to get type 2 Diabetes since I had gestational and because most of my family has it--and being overweight is like asking for it. 
  • Take a vacation. We missed a vaca in 2009 since Audrie was born and lack of funds. We even missed out on taking one we had planned for our 1 year anniversary. 
  • Be a better wife and mother. Both of these could always use improvement and I want to read more/ learn more/ pray more and be always striving towards being a better woman. 
I dont do "resolutions" because they never happen. And when they dont happen it is a disappointment. But this way, it is just things I would like to happen.