Sunday, June 27, 2010

Help Please

I'm wanting to set up a side bar with my recipes...sections for appetizers, desserts, etc. I'm totally blog illiterate. :( Can someone help me/guide me on how to set this up? I thought it would be easy for others to find different recipes they've seen on my blog. :)


Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Momma's Amazing Banana Pudding

This is a great summer time dessert. It's light and you can make it completey fat free and/or sugar free (or at least reduced fat! Look for the lower calorie options to make it.) This too is one of Justin's favorites! I've made him a double recipe because HE WILL BE HERE IN 3 HOURS!

-4 ripe bananas, sliced
-1 3.5 oz Banana Cream Jello Pudding Mix
-1.5 cup milk
-4 oz. cream cheese, softened
-1 tsp. vanilla
-1 container Cool Whip
-1 can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
-About 1 box Nilla Wafers (*this is the only item I don't do reduced fat...they don't soften well)

1. Beat pudding mix and milk on medium speed until creamy
2. Add cream cheese, vanilla, and condensed milk. Blend with mixer until creamy
3. Fold in 1/2 container cool whip, blend
4. Fold in bananas
5. Layer Nilla wafers in bottom of serving dish, layer banana pudding, repeat twice
6. Top with remaining Cool whip and sprinkle crushed Nilla wafers on top
7. Let stand in fridge for at least 4 hours before serving

Friday, June 18, 2010

Veggie Burritos and Other News

This is one of Justin's favorites for me to make. (If you really don't want to do veggie, just add lean ground round or ground turkey to the mixture. :))
*It looks like a lot, but it's super easy!

-1 cup brown rice (cook according to box and set aside)
-1 can black beans, drained
-1 can pinto beans, drained
-1 can white corn, drained
-1 can Rotel Original, drained slightly
-1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained slightly
-1 package taco seasoning mix, low sodium
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (2%)
-1 8 count package of whole wheat or spinach wraps
-sour cream (fat free) and salsa to top with are optional

1. While rice is cooking, add beans, corn, tomatoes, Rotel, and taco seasoning in large skillet and let simmer.
2. Add rice to mixture when done and cover. Simmer on low for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Pour into wraps and top with cheese and sour cream. Roll like burrito and eat up!
4. I serve mine with quacamole and tortilla chips! Enjoy

In Other News:
I'm really enjoying my time at home. Mason and I have been really lazy, catching up on my great reading (I've already read South of Broad, The Pact, and Crazy Love. I recommend all of them, but South of Broad was pretty racey at times.) While my parents and siblings are working, I work out, lay out, read, catch up on One Tree Hill shows because for some reason Auburn doesn't air it, and clean up around the house for Mom. We've had great nights playing games and having dinner together. It really has been so good to just be at "home". I've also been able to study more in God's Word and look into some lesson plans for next year. I know, I'm not good at being still.

Good news is, Justin will be completely finished by next Thursday! That's right, he's over 2 weeks ahead. God is soooo good! I read Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O'Martian and I have been praying specifically that God would bless the work of Justin's hands and bless his time in the Outer Banks. It's been amazing to see His faithfulness and we give Him all the glory! I can't wait to see him!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Learning & Praying...

God continues to reveal so many issues of my heart to me as I try to seek Him more. I am currently reading Francis Chan's book, "Crazy Love", and it has deeply convicted my complancency in my walk with Christ. It is so easy to get comfortable in our walk and think we're doing ok, but I need a reality check to remind me of my sin and my great need for Him. One quote that I'm meditating on right now is this, "God does not NEED us, yet He always WANTS us. Quite the contrary is true of us. We rarely truly WANT Jesus, yet we always NEED Him." Oh, how I'm learning to need and want Him more, to love Him deeply and passionately, as He molds my heart to be more like His.

Lord, I know the my circumstances stir deep emotion. Sometimes I worry. Sometimes I obsess over things I cannot control. Yet, my circumstances can be disruptive. I want to have a heart that has no need to fear—anything. I want to find delight in the things you ask of me. So I will begin with what I know and will be obedient to You today, for my faith knows that being blessed is being forgiven. Offering myself to you is the best application of my faith. So I will delight in You! Amen

*This is a prayer that I got off of PC3's devotions last really hit home to what I'm dealing with now and I wanted to share it with you all. Check out their daily devotions at their website: (This is the church I attended while in college.)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Where the Wild Things Are...

My journey to NC has begun. After a wonderful short visit with the family and enjoying Matt and Amanda's wedding last Saturday, Mason and I left to visit Justin last Sunday for a few days. I honestly did not realize how primitive of a place he was in. WOW. Though the "bunk house" is a much better habitation than his 1 room shack from last year, the closest grocery store was 40 minutes away and were were surrounded by a lake on 1 side and corn fields on the other 3 sides with a terribly bumpy road running right down the middle of it. (I promise, pictures will come soon enough. :))

When Mason and I got there on Sunday afternoon, I got to run into Justin's arms. He looks like Noah from The Notebook again and I honestly don't think Mason knew what to think of him. He showed me around the house and we went on a boat ride on the Pungo Lake, which was beautiful. It was Mason's first boat ride and he doesn't typically like water, so we had a fun time. We then went on a nice walk around the corn fields to get our legs a good stretch and let Mason get some energy out and it was so nice to just hold hands and talk with Justin in person. I missed him soooo much! While on our walk, Mason did see his first Timber Rattler though...yes, there is a species of rattlesnakes in Eastern NC.

We enjoyed pizza for dinner and enjoyed snuggling on the couch. On Monday morning, Justin took Mason "in the field" until lunch while I slept in, cleaned around the bunk house, and sun bathed out by the lake. After lunch, we drove to the Outer Banks (with a few stops along the way to see some wolves in captivity and to see some of Justin's work sites). We decided to stay in Kill Devil's Hills at a dog friendly hotel. Mason got to see the ocean for the first time that afternoon as we enjoyed a few hours on the beach before dinner.

At the hotel, we had a king size bed and needless to say, Mason thought he was going to be able to boot us out of it! Keep in mind, at home he stays in his pin at night so on vacation he just sleeps on a blanket on the floor. However, with a bed this big, he thought he could pull one over on us...he was so cute!

On Tuesday, we got to go to Jockey's Ridge, which is a state park of the largest dunes on the east coast. It was so pretty and we all enjoyed climbing and running down the dunes. We then drove to Cape Hatteres to see the light house and spend some time on the beach there. The Outer Banks really is a beautiful and historical place to visit!

On Wednesday, we spent a little time on the beach in the morning before driving to Manteo, which is where our nation truly started. It's where Virginia Dare was born, the first English settler born in America and it's where the lost colony was last located. Beautiful town! We enjoyed some some of the sites there before heading back to the bunk house.

Once we arrived back, Justin decided to take me for a drive to see what he sees every day. Needless to say, we saw black bears, foxes, raccoons, wild turkeys, more was like driving in a zoo! No wonder my husband loves his job. It was so amazing to see all the different wild life literally in their own habitats!

Thursday morning we got up and I went in the field with Justin to help him look for scat. There is a reason I'm not his field assistant. I was bored out of my mind, it was hot as blue blazes, and the bugs were terrible, but I got to spend a little more time with my sweetie. (Mason also enjoyed playing with the turtle he found as well as the dear carcass.)

Now, I'm enjoying the my time in Wilmington with friends Haley and Lee who so sweetly let me stay with them while in town for Kristen and Cam's wedding on Saturday! We had Kristen's Lingerie shower last night at Kirsten's house and it was so much fun! The skies are blue and the weather is perfect, so I am on my way out to Wrightsville Beach!!! More fun is to come!

Blueberry Goodness--Recipe of the Week
*This is the easiest recipe and is absolutely delicious!!!
-1 large can of crushed pineapple (undrained)
-1 carton fresh blueberries, washed
-1 box yellow cake mix
-1 stick melted butter

-Pour and spread evenly all ingredients in 9X13 baking dish in the order in which they are listed above.
-Bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes or until golden on top.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ritzy Chicken Casserole and Other Things

Jillian, Phillip, and Zach all visited me over Memorial Day weekend and we had a GREAT time. I love hosting and having family and friends at our house, so it was a real treat to enjoy the weekend with them. We enjoyed yummy food from Big Blue Bagel, Tutti Frutti, and Whispering Oaks. We saw the campus and went to church. And, unfortunately, because of all the rain, we played a lot of Blockus and Catch Phrase, but it was still great to be cooped up with them. The boys left on Monday but Jillian has stayed with me to enjoy long walks with Mason, some much needed relaxation by the pool, and LOTS OF SHOPPING!

Recipe of this week--Ritzy Chicken Casserole (This is one of my favorite things to make, because it's easy and one of my favorite things to eat, because it's super yummy!)
-1 lb chicken breast (boiled and cut into small, bite sizes pieces)
-1 cup chicken broth
-1 can cream of chicken (Fat Free of course)
-8 oz. sour cream (fat free as well)
-1 roll whole wheat Ritz crackers, crushed
-1 stick melted butter

-Spread chicken on bottom of 9x13 casserole dish (salt and pepper lightly)
-Mix broth, soup, and sour cream well in seperate bowl, pour over chicken
-Mix crushed crackers and butter together. Crumble on top of chicken and mixture
-Bake at 375 for 25 minutes