Monday, March 29, 2010


That's right. This last Friday I home-fried chicken. All by myself! I mean, I have done it before, but not without, what you might call, "adult supervision." Sure, the homemade macaroni I made to go on the side was a complete failure (word of advice: do not confuse "corn starch," "with corn meal") but even that could not qualsh my triumph.

My Mammaw would be proud.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Grocery Budget

Whew! 2 hours, 3 grocery stores, and about $100 later, I have enough groceries to last the rest of the month (with the exception of milk, which is kind of annoying, but nothing I can't deal with). I think I have previously communicated my frustration at keeping on top of things. I am done constantly running out of food when it feels like I live at the grocery store. Done with the 5 o'clock panic when deciding what to make for supper. Done being bored when I get locked into making the same four casseroles over, and over, and over. Done, done, and.....done. So, with a little determination, forethought, and a pinch of elbow grease I did it!!!

I made a plan, got to shopping, and spent my entire grocery budget for exactly what we needed to eat, eat, eat. Sure, I had to shop sales at three different stores, and sure I spent my whole month's budget, and sure it was kind of a hassle to get all the planning done, especially with the knowledge that we will probably deviate from the planned menu. But I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I have a little structure, and a stocked kitchen! So, as it stands now, here is the intended menu for the next few weeks:

Friday: Homemade chicken tenders with macaroni and cheese
Saturday: Tacos
Sunday: TBD
Monday: Chicken on the Ritz casserole with a veggie
Tuesday: Taco Skillet (With leftover taco meat)
Wednesday: TBD
Thursday: Slow cook Cajun chicken with rice (New recipe, so we'll see how it works out)
Friday: Asian chicken rice or noodles
Saturday: Calzones (I'm pretty excited about this!)
Sunday: TBD
Monday: Cheesy chicken and rice casserole
Tuesday: Spaghetti
Wednesday: TBD
Thursday: Pork Chops with mashed potatoes
Friday: Homemade lasagna

That's two weeks, and by then I'll have a new plan. Sundays and Wednesdays are the wild cards because of church, so the options include eating out, paninis, burgers, leftover, etc. In fact, Bama Man is an expert on the grill, so burgers are a worthy substitute any night of the week, if the weather permits.

So, are you proud? I am! We'll see how long this lasts, and I will be sure to keep you posted. Sooner, rather than later I'm sure, as my first step is to make homemade fried chicken, which I have done before, but not without "adult supervision."

It will be blog-worthy, I am sure.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Thursday!

7 o'clock came too early this morning. It's rainy, gray, and a little chilly. It's pretty slow going around here, even Walker is slumming it this morning. I have a cup of french press and two biscuits in me, and it's still not working any miracles. Even watching Chandler (From Friends) sing "I will survive" in a helium voice isn't getting the job done. Good thing I read my Psalms this morning. I highly recommend Psalm 25 - check it out!

Hope your Thursday is brighter and perkier than mine!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Concerning Shopping

I've never been one of those girls who finds the gratification of life within a mall. Don't get me wrong, I have always enjoyed a little shopping. I've just never felt, like so many other normal young women I know, the urge to "shop 'til you drop."
Lately, however, I have really been in the mood for new clothes. Maybe it is the changing weather that triggers my childhood remembrance of buying "vacation clothes." Maybe it's the fact that I am purging and ridding myself of a mountain of previously loved items. Maybe it's the new job, Easter, or just plain want. It's not ungratefulness or anything, just a little craving for the new. Regardless of the reason, I think I am going to have to satisfy my craving soon.
Anyone want to join me?

Last Minute Drop Biscuits

I realize it's been all recipes lately, but I suppose I've just been in that sort of mood. It's been one of those weeks where groceries are starting to run thin, my appetite (unfortunately) is not. That being said, I have taken part in more than one frenzied search of something to munch. So, I did some internet browsing, some tweaking, and finally - BAKING! So, this is for those of you craving something munchable - add butter, jelly, or honey, for extra yummy goodness!

2 cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 shortening (I'm sure butter would be just as good, if not better)
1 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets.

2. Mix dry ingredients. Cut in shortening with a fork (I found this easier than loading up my food processor, but you may prefer to use one). Stir in milk.

3. Bake for 12 minutes until golden brown

4. Curl up with a cup of coffee, Pride and Prejudice, and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Just Like Taco Bell" Quesadillas

Okay, so I wouldn't give something I cooked myself that sort of endorsement (I try to hold on to some shred of modesty), I am merely passing on BamaMan's opinions. Also a favorite with my Daddy, but he still has an obligation to say stuff like that. I am so incredibly blessed by the men in my life! You can make them yourself and see if you agree. (The quesadillas. Not the men. Sorry.)

My recipe was just for the two of us, so you will probably want to double it, in fact the whole recipe is pretty much up to interpretation (I'm almost positive you really can't go wrong) but this is what I used....

1 large (about 1/2 pound) chicken breast
4 8-inch flour tortillas
2 cups of shredded cheese
Taco Seasoning
Salsa, for dipping

1. Boil the chicken breast until cooked through (this would actually be an ideal recipe to use for leftover chicken of some kind - just use whatever you have). When chicken is cooked through use two forks to shred it. Place in medium skillet and follow directions on taco seasoning package to flavor chicken.

2. Heat griddle or skillet and butter surface. When butter is melted, lay first tortilla on top. Layer 1/2 cup cheese, half of chicken, 1/2 cup cheese, and second tortilla. When cheese is starting to melt and the bottom tortilla is browned - flip. When both sides are browned, and cheese is melted, remove from heat and slice however you see fit.

3. Repeat for second Quesadilla!

Admittedly, ridiculously easy. So easy, it was almost difficult to write you a recipe for it :) Perfect for any guys in the house who are biting there manly nails over the College Basketball tournaments.

Enjoy, let me know how it goes!

Dreaming of Sweets

Okay, I gave up all things sweet for Lent and even though there are only a few weeks left,for any of you that know me personally, you now I am battling great cravings. With that in mind, I have been fondly remembering the homemade cupcakes I made several weeks ago, and thought I would share the recipie with you so that someone could benefit from the chocolate-y, creamy goodness!

I found these recipes in a cookbook I have cherished to the point of tattered pages and crinkled cover: "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman - Check it out!

Chocolate Cake
8 Tablespoons of Butter, softened
2 cups flour (All purpose or Cake)
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 & 1/4 cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter muffin tins.
2. I used a double broiler but you can also use a small saucepan to melt the chocolate over very low heat. When chocolate is almost completely melted, remive from heat and stir until smooth.
3. With electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. beat in egg yolks, one at a time, then the vanilla, and finally the chocolate. Mix the dry ingredients and then add them to the chocolate mixture by hand, alternating with the milk. Stir until combined and smooth.
4. Beat egg whites until white and fluffy. Use a rubber spatula to gently, but thoroughly, fold them into batter. Pour into muffin tins, filling over halfway.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool before icing with Butter Cream Frosting - see recipe below!

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting
8 Tablespoons butter, softened
4 cups cofectioners' sugar
6 Tablespoons cream or milk (I originally used milk, but it ended up slightly thinner)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Depending on how soft the butter is, use a firk or electric mixer to cream the butter. Gradually work in sugar, alternating with the cream*.
2. Stir in vanilla. Mix well after each addition, and if mixture seems too thick add milk/cream, if too thin, refrigerate it.
*If you want a double chocolate experience, add 2 ounces melted and cooled unsweetened chocolate to mixture after adding about half the sugar. Make it mocha by substituting 2 Tbs. very strong coffee for 2 Tbs. milk/cream with the chocolate.
Happy baking! (And know I am insanely jealous of you)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

June Goes Nanny

Oh my goodness. I failed to come through on the blog-promises, yet again. I will get around to Irish-ness by April 17th I am sure.

The truth is, time has truly been slipping through my fingers. Between work, and school, and teaching, and keeping my house realatively clean, there jut doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. And I hate cliche terms like that, but it just so happens to hold true in this situation. The mere fact that Iam squeezing in blogging time before running out the door to church should be evidence of this. (And I should actually be using these precious minutes to work on my Spainish.) The unpleasant fact is, my life has been running a little mad as of late.

But I have good news.

I finally found a new, better for my life, will actually work with my schedule, has something remotely to do with my life goals, job! Yep, that dear little wish I have been praying for has finally come to pass, and I feel like a new woman. More money, more time, more being off on weekends and evenings. More happy. Plus, I don't have to contort myself into being a salewomen anymore. June Cleaver is going Nanny! I get to spend my days chasing around a sweet little one-and-a-half-year old girl, blogging - I mean- doing homework while she is napping, and wrap up the whole thing by being home in time to make dinner and spend the evening with BamaMan! Like I said, I am just a touch excited. Just a touch.....

Unfortunatly, every silver lining has some smoggy mass attached to it. The only downside to beginning my new wonderful giving notice at my old one. I've always been close with my managers, and my assistant managers already know I am leaving. They are understanding. They are excited for me. They are not my store manager.

Wish me luck as I head out into the unknown armed with nothing but determination, and my two-week notice....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blog Failure

Well, I have officially become a blog failure. I knew this would happen eventually. As with most of my writing projects, I have managed to push my blog so far onto the back burner that I can't even smell what a horrible neglected mess it is. So, seventeen days ago I promised to spend the month delving in Irish History and culture and to pass on my discoveries. It is now March 16th and I haven't related one "wee" bit of celtic-ness. I have let down my readers who were looking forward to this (read: Miss Deb).

Not that it matters, but I happen to have a couple pretty good excuses. First, due to Spring Break, I've been pulling overtime at work, which has pretty much sucked the life out of my exsistence, plus when I had the time my computer has been really flakey, and, as it turns out, Ireland happens to have a lot of information to choose from. Whew. Okay, now that I am done whining, I actually have a pretty good solution: The Year of Erin Go Braugh!

Starting tomorrow, Saint Patrick's Day, I will feature an Irish tidbit, recipe, trivia, etc, on the 17th of each month, until we meet again on St. Patty's Day 2011! This way, I acomplish my goal of expanding my knowledge of all things Irish in a balanced attainable way I might actually be able to pull off, and you get to be along for the ride. So, that is the plan ladies and...ladies. We'll see you back here tomorrow for our first Erin Go Braugh segment!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Erin Go Braugh!

As it is March, it's time to celebrate my heritage (and actually accomplish one of my New Year's Goals along the way!). Stay tuned for Erin Go Braugh! From now until Saint Patrick's Day, March 18th, we will be featuring tidbits of Irish Culture and History for your enjoyment, and as previously mentioned, the fulfillment of my 2010 goals!
For starters, here is some trivia for you:
The term "Erin Go Braugh!" is an old Gaelic phrase, generally translated as "Ireland Forever!" traditionally used to express allegiance to Ireland.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Okay, so I get that it's practically a month late, but my blogging has been unavoidably detained as of late. Did you have a pleasant Valentine's Day? I hope so. Mine was spread out over the weekend, and quite fabulous! The headliner of the event was BamaMan's gift to me......a Food Processor!

Sure, most women prefer more "sentimental" things like choclate, flowers, and the like. Some might even have been offended by the offering of a kitchen appliance. BamaMan was warned by coworkers, and chastised by friends. But here's the funny thing: I love it!

Sure, part of it is because I'm so darn domesticated. I'm the sort of girl who revels in redecorating, and delights in housekeeping. But it's more than that. I've been mentioning my desire for a food processor for months. I assumed it would be one of those things I would save up for a little and eventually buy. And all the while, BamaMan was listening. He acknowledged my desire, remembered my off-hand remarks, thought about what I really wanted, and made it happen.

Now that's romantic!

Next step: Actually using it! Any ideas?