Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My How Time Flies !!

Wow I cant believe how quickly time goes by.  It has been almost 8 months since my last post....sure doesnt seem that long ago.  I guess I have been a little busy...LOL.  Last time I blogged here, I was right in the middle of nursing school...and now I have three days left in my preceptorship which is where you go to work in a medical facility with a nurse...without your instructor...for a total of 120 hours.  And what an experience it has been!!

The facility I chose is not close to my home...I have to be at the hospital by 6:15 a.m....and I am definitely NOT a morning person.  Good grief...I dont even want to think about what time I would have to get up each morning! UGH  Sooo....I have been staying at a hotel there...alone...I thought I would enjoy it WAY more than I did.  LOL  I thought I would enjoy having the place to myself to watch TV, read, pig out on junk...lol..whatever.  But honestly...it wasnt all that great of a feeling.  I tried to lay down at night and just go to sleep, but I was restless, the room didnt feel or sound the same as at home...there was no ceiling fan above my bed.  It was too quiet...and funny as it may sound...I would have loved to hear my husband's snoring right about then.  LOL  I sorta tossed and turned, kept waking up and looking at the clock.  Thankfully, that is over, and the last three days I have left are only 8 hour days, so I can just leave the house the same morning and not have to get up extremely early.  The countdown has begun...24 days until graduation!!  On to a new subject....hehehe

The summer has been a blast!!!  John was able to reconnect with a cousin that he had not seen in 30 years and it has just been a wonderful thing.  We were all able to go to Branson together....have taken several trips to the lake...and have even floated the Illinois river.  I'm hoping everyone doesnt get tied up with life now that summer is winding down...it seems so easy to lose touch with people when you live a busy lifestyle.  Below are a few pics from the summer fun! We have several things planned for the upcoming Fall...but I'll save that for a different blog...its past my bedtime.  LOL  Anyway...just wanted to post a blog since it had been a while. 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Connor and Braidyn

As I stated before, so much has been happening around here.  If I didnt carry my daily planner with me everywhere....I wouldnt know where I was supposed to be from hour to hour! I wish I had more free time on my hands to spend with two precious little boys though...and I will be so happy when things slow down in late summer.

This lil' guy is our oldest grandson Connor.  He belongs to my daughter Lacy and her husband Scotty.  Connor will be 3 years old in just a few weeks and boy is he a character!  I can tell already that he is probably gonna be a class clown...cuz he is hilarious!  Just when I think I've heard it all...the funniest things come out of this kid's mouth.  LOL

And this is our youngest grandson Braidyn.  He was born 2 weeks ago, and belongs to John's daughter Sarah and her husband Lonny.  Just when I thought my heart was as full as it could get with love for my husband and the rest of my family, along comes this little guy....and my heart grew just a little bigger! 

I have been blessed to be able to see both of my grandchildren born...and I think that creates an even stronger bond.  What is it with grandchildren?  They have this power over you that your kids didnt have....they can talk you into anything just by batting their eyes, cocking their heads to the side, and saying "pweeze".  Connor is only 3 and he knows that he can have whatever he wants when he is with Mimi.  LOL  I'm sure Braidyn will be the same way. 

I just hope that my life slows down some...very soon....so I can spend more time with them than I have recently been able too.  They grow up so quickly...gotta get as much time with them as I can...before I am too old to keep up with them.  I'm looking forward to having them both this summer...and envision many hours of fun in the pool!

Cherokee Casino Concerts

Just catching up on some posts...it has been months!  I guess that goes to show how busy I have been lately.  With school, study time, hospital clinicals, and my job...well honestly...some days I just have to decide what is the most important stuff for that day...and the rest gets left to another day.  One thing is for sure though....Saturday is my OFF day! Saturday is the only day that John and I have the day off togther.  Nobody is allowed to work.  So thats usually when we go with friends to do things....or just hang out.

One thing that we really enjoy doing is going to the occassional concert at the casino.  The picture above was at the Bellamy Brothers concert.  We had a great time with Rhonda and Mike.  We all decided we had the munchies, so Rhonda and I went to the restaurant section and ordered chips and salsa.  Honestly, that was the WORST salsa I have ever tasted...and I normally love salsa.  It needed something...so I thought SALT!?  I went up to the bar and asked for some salt...he poured some in a cup and I proceeded to sprinkle some in the salsa.  BIG MISTAKE!!  Now I'm not a big drinker...so how am I supposed to know that margarita rim salt is different than regular salt?  Honestly, I didnt even realize he had given me margarita salt!  LOL  I might as well have dumped an entired box of table salt in the salsa....it was horrid! Needless to say...we ate salsa-less chips! LOL  Oh well...lesson learned.  We still had a great time with great friends....not so much great food though!

This one was also taken at the casino....the Chris Cagle concert.  John was taking pictures...cant you tell?  Its all blurry...as was he!  LOL  He and Captain Morgan were hanging out that night!  And here is the link to a video that shows all the excitement that night. 

Apparently, two women got into a fight over a guy...then one of them ends up giving Chris Cagle the bird!  Chris Cagle stopped his concert long enough to tell them off and kick them out! LOL   Can we say....TACKY ???  LOL  Women...never fight over a man!  If you are fighting over him...then obviously he did something questionable in the first place....so why would you bother?  Geesh...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

RECIPE - Homemade Mozzarella Sticks With Marinara

Who doesn't love mozzarella cheese sticks with a bowl of marinara dipping sauce?  Yummmmm   Been trying to watch what I eat...and this would definitely NOT be on the diet.  LOL  However, when I saw this recipe, it looked so good that I thought I should make a batch and sneak just one!


Oil for frying (any kind)
1 8-ounce package of mozzarella cheese (in the form of sticks)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs (you can find these on the bread aisle)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese (you can use the kind in the shaker can)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Marinara sauce or other dipping sauce

Pour oil into a heavy saucepan or deep skillet to a depth of 1 inch.  It takes about 12 minutes for the oil to reach frying temperature, over medium heat.   

While the oil is heating, open your cheese and make sure the sticks are about 1/2 x 1/2 inch (in thickness...not length).  Line a baking sheet with paper towels for draining.  Place flour on a plate (this will be used to roll the cheese sticks in).

In a shallow bowl, combine the egg and water.  In another shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and garlic powder and mix well. 

One stick at a time, roll the cheese sticks in the flour, then dip them in the egg wash, then roll them in the bread crumb mixture.  

Once you have a few cheese sticks ready to fry, carefully put them in the hot oil (cook them in small batches).  Cook until golden brown, about 30 seconds.  Remove with a slotted spoon and let them drain on the paper towels.  

Let the fried cheese sticks sit for a few minutes before eating to make sure that all the cheese inside has completely melted.  Also, if your oil is too hot...you will end up with very brown cheese sticks that are not melte in the middle.  Oil should stay about 365 degrees...you can use a cooking thermometer to test it if you have one. 

When you have taken one batch of cheese sticks out of the oil, give the oil a few minutes to heat back up before placing the next batch into the oil.

Serve with marinara sauce or any dipping sauce that you want.

Friday, October 23, 2009

RECIPE - Trisha Yearwood's No-Baste No-Bother Turkey

I had this recipe last year well before the holidays, but I just didn't have the nerve to try it.  It just seemed too easy, I was having a lot of people over, and I didnt want to end up with a turkey that didnt turn out well.  So, I just didn't mess with it.  But this year I thought I would try it out!  This is a recipe that Trisha Yearwood uses every year, and her husband Garth didn't think it would be good either, so he made her do a "trial run" before the actual holidays so he could try it out.  Apparently, he loved it!


1 (12-pound) turkey, completely thawed, all giblets removed
1/2 cup salted butter (not margarine), softened
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 stalks celery, cut in lengths to fit turkey cavity
1 medium onion, cut in half
1 large carrot
2 cups boiling water

Adjust oven racks so covered roasting pan fits easily inside oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees (yes I said FIVE HUNDRED degrees).

Rub butter on the outside and inside cavity of the turkey.   Sprinkle salt and pepper on the outside of the turkey. Put the celery, onion, and carrot in the cavity. Place the turkey, breast side up, in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the bottom of the pan. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and put the pan in preheated oven.

Start a timer as soon as you put the turkey into the 500 degree oven and bake EXACTLY ONE HOUR and then TURN OFF THE OVEN (I know...sounds crazy...but just DO IT).  Do NOT open the oven door...not even once.  You will lose your heat and the turkey will not cook.  Leave the turkey in the oven until the  oven cools completely.  This may take 4 to 6 hours. Reserve the pan juices  to make gravy or stuffing, and refrigerate the turkey if it will not be served immediately after roasting.  You can reheat (or brown it more if its not browned enough for your taste) the turkey in the oven just before serving.  It should be perfect and juicy. 

I'm gonna try it and see how it turns out!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Just about everyone loves hot cocoa, right?  Do you have an elderly neighbor or a coworker that you would like to give some sort of small gift to over the holiday season?   Decorate a jar and fill it with hot cocoa.  You could paint it like the ones above and tie a Christmas ribbon or bow to the top of it...but to make it even simpler, you can buy jars that are already decorated with holiday themes.  You can get them on the holiday isle at Walmart for one dollar!  Here's a GREAT recipe for hot cocoa.  Its sweet and creamy. 


4 cups instant nonfat dry milk powder
1-1/2 to 2 cups sugar (your preference on sweetness)
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 package of instant store-bought vanilla pudding mix
If you like a mocha flavor, you can also add 1/4 cup of instant coffee to the mix.
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, making sure you get all the lumps out of the unsweetened cocoa.  Once it is mixed well, store it in a jar or a coffee can with a lid...somewhere so it will stay very dry.  This will stay good for 6 months if kept dry.
To serve, use 1/3 cup of the mixture in a mug, and fill to the top with hot water. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Perfect Punch For Any Party Or Event

Ever needed a good punch recipe for an upcoming event?  Well here you go!  You could even use this for the upcoming holiday parties if you wanted too....its not just for baby and bridal showers!

Punch bowl
1   2 liter bottle of Sprite or 7-up
2   12 ounce cans of frozen cranberry juice
12 ounce can of frozen yellow lemonade

Take ONE can of cranberry juice, and mix it up per package instructions.  Pour it into a ring jello mold and freeze completely.  If you dont have a jello mold, you can just pour the juice into ice trays and freeze.   

Once your mold or ice trays are completely frozen, pour the bottle of Sprite or 7 up into the punch bowl.  Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the frozen juice from the second can of cranberry juice and the can of lemonade into the punch bowl.  Then dump your ice mold or ice trays into the punch, so you have ice floating.  There you go....all done.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

RECIPE - Dark Chocolate Walnut Caramel Pie

Well, this is my final recipe for today, as I've got some studying to do this evening.  But, I've enjoyed pulling these recipes out and sharin them today.  As you can see, my collection of recipes does NOT contain very many low-calorie recipes! LOL  I might have to start getting some of that kind of recipe from some of you who might have them....cuz I have no clue on how to cook low calorie meals that are still satisfying.

Anyway, you might as well enjoy these recipes since I cant!  Actually posting these, while knowing I can't eat them myself once I make them, is sort of my way of preparing myself for NOT being able to endulge.  Well, I guess a bite or two at the holidays wont hurt....but normally....on Thanksgiving night after everyone was gone....it would be nothing for me to curl up on the couch and finish off whatever was left of the pie! LOL   No wonder my butt is getting big! LOL   This pie is to die for, but is very rich so you can only eat a small peice.  I also have a recipe for Chocolate Pecan Pie that is my husband's favorite, but I'll save that for another day.  Hope you try this!

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1-1/4 cups heavy or whipping cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut up
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1  9-inch Baked Pie Shell

Prepare 9-inch baked pie shell per package direction,  until deep golden. Cool pie shell on wire rack at least 15 minutes.

In a heavy saucepan, heat sugar and water on medium until sugar dissolves and turns amber in color, ab0ut 15 minutes, swirling pan occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat 3/4 cup of the heavy cream in the microwave, about 45 seconds, or until warm. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream in the refrigerator to keep cold for whipping later.

Remove the saucepan of sugar and water from the heat.  Stir in the warm cream until a smooth caramel forms (caramel will stiffen when cream is added). Stir in the chocolate and butter, stirring  until completely melted. Stir in the vanilla extract and 1-1/2 cups of the walnuts. Reserve the remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts to sprinkle on top of the pie later.

Pour the warm chocolate filling into the pie shell. Cool for 1 hour, then cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or until set.

When ready to serve, beat the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream with a mixer until soft peaks form. The cream is unsweetened, as the pie filling is VERY rich.  However, if you prefer the cream on top of the pie to be sweetened, you can add sugar to you own preference when whipping.  With a spatula, spread the whipped cream on top of the pie, leaving 1/2-inch border all around. Sprinkle with reserved walnuts.

RECIPE - Dried Beef and Green Onion Cheese Ball

I've been going through my recipes for several weeks now when I get a little free time.  I have had this project in mind for awhile to separate and organize my recipes, get them all in one container, and then make a recipe book for my daughter of all our family favorites.  She's a great cook and I know she would love to have all the recipes in one big book made especially for her, but  I just havent gotten around to it yet. 

But, I am finding some great recipes and am getting some ideas on different things I would like to have at the upcoming holiday meals!  I'm planning a "friends" get together sometime a few weeks before Christmas complete with dinner, dessert, holiday drinks, etc.  Who knows what else will be involved...I've just started planning it. 

I ran across this recipe, which is one that my grandmother makes EVERY year at Christmas, mostly because we beg her to make it! LOL  It's not a dieters recipe but a little wouldn't hurt anybody...the only problem is that once you get started....you cant stop! LOL


2  8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
2 jars of dried beef (you can usually find this in the same area you find tuna,  Spam, etc.  Its in a small clear jar with a metal lid)
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
Garlic powder, a couple of good shakes
1 bunch of green onions
Chopped pecans or walnuts

Chop your dried beef into tiny peices.  Chop green onions and part of the onion tops.  Add the dried beef, onions, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce into a bowl and mix.  Add the softened cream cheese to the bowl and mix it very well.  Roll the mixture into  a ball and then roll it in chopped nuts.  Refrigerate overnight before serving.  I like to serve this on a tray with some crackers, summer sausage, and  raw veggies lik carrots, celery, cucumbers, etc.

If properly wrapped/sealed up, this will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.  If you have several holiday events to go to...you can make several of these ahead of time and freeze them!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

APPETIZER RECIPE - Grape Jelly Meatballs

Okay, so here's my last blog for today...the other appetizer that I said I would post.  Again...this might sound awful to you...but just trust me because they are really good!  When I first tried these, if someone had told me they contained grape jelly, I never would have believed them.  I posted a picture of one of the ingredients, as maybe some of you just dont happen to have a bottle of chili sauce hanging around in your cabinet! LOL  You can find it at any grocery store.  Also, you can put as much or as little effort into these as you want...I like to make my own meatballs but you can buy the premade frozen meatballs if you want to.


Ingredients for the meatballs (if you're making your own):
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 envelope dry onion soup mix (I use Lipton)
2 eggs
1/2 cup cracker crumbs

1 bottle of Heinz chili sauce
1 10 ounce jar of grape jelly

Mix all ingredients for the meatballs well.  Form into bitesize meatballs.  If you are using the premade frozen meatballs, check to see if they have already been fully cooked.  If so, you will want to thaw them completely and then warm/brown them in a skillet.  If you're making your own meatballs, saute in a skillet until completely done. 

Mix the bottle of chili sauce and the jar of grape jelly together in a bowl, mixing thoroughly.  Pour the mixture into a crockpot.  Add the meatballs to the crockpot and simmer for 2 hours.  You can serve these right out of the crockpot....or you can take them out of the crockpot right before serving and stick toothpicks in them to serve.  They are messy...but they are GOOD!