Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spicy Shrimp

We had football practice tonight, so I needed something super easy to make for dinner tonight! I made these Spicy Shrimp and Steamed Artichokes and had dinner on the table within 30 minutes!


1 - 1 1/2 lbs of unpeeled, uncooked shrimp, 21-26 ct or larger (I got the shrimp that was already deveined...BIG time saver! However, if your grocery store doesn't sell them already deveined, click on this link to see how.)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

juice of three lemons

1/3 cup worchestershire sauce

Tabasco sauce

1/2 - 3/4 of a stick of butter (using REAL butter will make this dish so much better!)


Thoroughly rinse shrimp with shells still on. Place the shrimp on a large baking pan in a single layer. Drizzle the olive oil over the shrimp. Sprinkle pepper and salt generously over the shrimp. DON'T skimp on the pepper. I should have used more!

2. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top of the shrimp. (Ok, I cheated this time and used lemon juice...not as good, but works when you need a quick fix!) Drizzle the worchestershire sauce over the shrimp. Drizzle the tabasco sauce over the shrimp. I did 10 - 12 shakes and could have done more! But, I like mine spicy! Just adjust according to your desired hotness!

3. Cut the butter into pats and place the pats on top of the shrimp, spaced out evenly.

4. Place pan under broiler for about 10 minutes, until shrimp is no longer translucent. Don't overcook, as shrimp will get rubbery!

5. Peel shrimp and eat. I like to pour some of the sauce over them, but if you like to sop, you can stick a piece of bread in the juice and eat the sauce like that!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Goldie's Cole Slaw

If you've ever eaten Goldie's Cole Slaw, you know that it is the best ever! As a matter fact, it is about the only coleslaw I will eat. I tried this recipe tonight. It wasn't exact (as I hear they mix some of their bread and butter pickle juice in with their's) but it was pretty darn close...it was YUMMY!!!

8 cups (one small head) cabbage, shredded or sliced thin
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup mayonnaise

Mix all together and allow to stand several hours or overnight.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I've gotten behind on my blog, so I am forgoing the menu plans and posting some of the recipes that I have cooked the past couple of weeks. Since it has been so long, I decided to post something that was quick and easy and one of my husband's favorites: Cowpokes!


4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless and trimmed
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz pepper jack cheese, freshly grated (see my Note About Cheese)
8 slices bacon


1. Take your chicken breasts

and flatten them

and salt and pepper them

2. Take the cream cheese

and soften it in the microwave for about 10 seconds

3. Shred the pepperjack cheese

and mix it in with the cream cheese
4. Form 4 equal logs and place the logs in the center of the chicken breasts.

5. Wrap the chicken around the cheese log and wrap 2 slices of bacon around each breast and secure with toothpicks.

6. Cook at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees.

7. Turn on broiler for 3-5 minutes to brown bacon.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Born in My Heart

Most of you know my story, so I won't provide a step-by step (you're welcome). Some of you may not know that my child is adopted...I don't try to hide it, but honestly, I don't think about it very often. But every Mother's Day is very emotional for me and I feel compelled to write.

Jack and I decided to start a family in 1998. Over the next 7 years, we went through a miscarriage, a bizarre ectopic pregnancy, 2 surgeries to remove fibroid tumors, and hours and hours of expensive fertility treatments including fertility drugs, artificial insemination and 2 rounds of in-vitro. The first round of in-vitro was initially successful, but when I went to a follow up ultrasound, it was discovered that the embryo had planted itself in my tube. My doctor had only seen this one other time after an IVF treatment...it is unusual because the embryo is initially placed in the uterus and it worked it's way backward into the tube. The most devastating thing was seeing it on the ultrasound and seeing it moving, which was it's heartbeat, and knowing that it was not a viable pregnancy. That was devastating. I couldn't understand why God had brought me that far, just to take it away from me in the most heart breaking way possible. My faith was tested, BIG TIME!!!

After the 2nd round of IVF was unsuccessful, we were unwilling to spend any more money on it, when there was no guarantee...and there IS no guarantee...as a matter of fact success rates are amazingly low...15-30%.

Infertility is a very lonely place. As my friends were getting pregnant and having babies, it was a real struggle for me. You want to be happy for them, but my, is it hard. I remember going into the depths of my closet, so no one would find me or hear me and crying my heart out. I couldn't understand why God was allowing this to happen to me. Every time I would hear a story about a teenager having multiple children or a mother killing her child, I would seethe...HOW COULD GOD GIVE THEM A CHILD AND NOT ME???? That was such a lonely and sad time in my life.

Jack and I decided to try adoption. We had spent a lot of money on fertility treatments, so we decided an expensive adoption was out of the question. We decided to go through DHS, which would be no cost to us. Honestly, we weren't hopeful...we did not feel competent to care for child with extreme special needs and we knew it would be unlikely to get a baby, let alone a young child. But, at this point, what did we have to lose? This might be our last shot! We started the process of contacting a social worker and filling out the paperwork. We gave up our Saturdays for a month or so to take classes on how to care for children that had been removed from their homes and might have a multitude of issues. We did a homestudy, medical evaluation and fingerprint and background checks. We made a scrapbook of our lives and submitted everything to DHS. And then we waited...

We got the phone call a couple of weeks later. We had been matched with a child and we set up an appointment to meet with DHS to see if we were interested in the child we were matched with. At the meeting, this was the picture that we were given:

A beautiful, healthy 22 month old boy! I was instantly in love! This child had been living with his great grandparents, who were in their late 70's, and as much as they loved him, they knew it was not fair to him for them to adopt him. So, they selflessly gave him up for adoption. We are forever grateful to them that they made that decision.

Cameron moved into our home within a month and the adoption was finalized on July 5, 2005, one day before mine and Jack's 9th wedding anniversary. It had been a LONG seven year process, but finally, I knew why we had been through everything. God had just been waiting for us to get out of HIS way, so that he could place this precious child in our arms.

Here he is 5 years later, at 7 years old:

And so, on this Mother's Day, I dedicate this poem to my son, who gave me the gift of being his mom. I love him with all my heart and without him, my life would not be complete. I don't know the author, but it says my sentiments exactly...

"Not flesh of my flesh, Not bone of my bone

But still, miraculously, my own.

And never forget for a minute

You weren't born under my heart, but in it."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Oh my goodness, this is some good stuff! It is rich and cheesy and makes a yummy side dish to any pasta! I cut the recipe in half, but will provide the full recipe for a full loaf of french bread.


3 1/2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese (see my note about cheese)
¾ cups fresh grated monterey jack cheese
½ cups grated parmesan cheese
½ cups mayonnaise
4 whole green onions
1 dash salt
1 loaf french bread
1/2 stick butter (4 Tbsp)
4 cloves garlic, pressed

1. Grate the cheeses.
2. Cut up green onions.

3. Mix mayo, cheeses and green onions. Add a dash of salt.

4. Melt garlic and butter together.
5. Cut loaf of bread in half and then cut each half into half lengthwise. Brush each half with melted butter and garlic. Spread cheese mixture onto bread.
6. Bake at 425 until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spaghetti and Cheesy Garlic Bread

I'll be honest with you...I cheat on my spaghetti...A LOT!!! I don't make it from scratch and have found a combination that I like well enough, so I don't feel like I need to put in the extra time and effort to make it from scratch! I can have my spaghetti ready in less than 30 minutes! However, I do a few things different from the norm, so I thought I would share those with you!


8 oz thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 pkg McCormick's Thick & Zesty Spaghetti Sauce mix
1 cup water
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 - 1 lb ground beef
Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain.

2. While noodles are cooking, brown ground beef. I use my micro cooker from Pampered Chef. I can cook a pound of ground beef in 5-6 minutes, without changing the taste or texture of it! When beef is brown, drain grease.

3. Stir together sauce mix, water, tomato sauce and butter.

4. Add ground beef and bring mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occassionally.
5. Serve over cooked noodles and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Find recipe for Cheesy Garlic Bread here!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mile High Mexican Pie

This recipe was created by my cousin, Mollie. I made a few changes and will note them accordingly!


2 lbs ground beef (Mollie uses deer meat...a benefit of having a husband that hunts!)
2-3 cups of freshly shredded cheddar cheese (see my note about cheese)
3 burrito sized Tortillas (Mollie uses wheat tortillas)
1 can of rotel (or diced tomatoes & green chilies)
1 package taco seasoning
1 can of whole kernel corn, drained
1 can of Red kidney beans, drained
1 small box of Velveeta (Mollie uses a small jar of cheese queso)

sour cream, optional

1. Brown beef in a skillet. I use the micro cooker from Pampered Chef. Drain.

2. Melt Velveeta in a microwave safe bowl and add cooked beef and taco seasoning.

3. In a separate bowl, combine corn, beans and rotel.

4. Lay a tortilla in the bottom of a round dish.

5. Layer meat mixture, veggie mixture and sprinkle a layer of shredded cheese on top.
6. Repeat layers and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until top tortilla is crisp and cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

Meal Plan for week of 3/8

Tried a couple of recipes from my cousin Mollie's blog! It's so awesome having friends and family that blog, too...always new things to try out!

Monday ~ Mile High Mexican Pie
Tuesday ~ Spaghetti, Salad and Garlic Bread
Wednesday ~ Jambalaya, corn on the cob, red potatoes
Thursday ~ Pigs in Blankets and Onion Strings

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Creamy Rosemary Potatoes

This is also a recipe from Ree Drummond - The Pioneer Woman. I can't help myself! I love her! But, after this one, I will be taking a break from her cookbook for a few weeks! This recipe was relatively easy and a great side for just about any meat dish. I did cut this recipe in half and it was plenty! I am listing the recipe as I made it, so adjust accordingly!


2 Tbsp butter
1/2 c half-and-half
1/2 c heavy cream
2-3 medium russet potatoes
2 garlic cloves
1/2 medium onion
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 -2 green onions
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried chives


1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease bottom of a pan, approximately 8" x 8" size. Combine the half-and-half and the cream.

2. Slice the potatoes very thinly. I recommend using a mandoline, so that your slices will be even, but if you don't have a mandoline, a sharp knife will work fine.

3. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with half of the half-and-half/cream mixture and set aside.

4. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and onion and cook until translucent, stirring occassionally, about 4 minutes.
5. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and add to the skillet, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and combined, about 3 minutes. Pour in remaining half-and-half/cream mixture and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper and stir. Adjust the seasonings as necessary. Add the rosemary and green onion and stir to combine. Finally, add 1/4 c of the grated Parmesan and stir. (Lots of stirring going on here!)
6. Pour the cream-soaked potatoes into the baking dish.

7. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the top. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top.

8. Bake for at least 1 hour, or until golden brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cube Steak Sandwich

Another Ree Drummond ~ Pioneer Woman recipe! She calls it Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich (named after her nickname for her husband!)

I'll be honest with you...I've made this twice and I'm still working on perfecting it. Don't get me wrong...it is good! But I still think there is more goodness to be found in it! I am writing the recipe to include the changes that I am going to make the next go 'round!

Another warning...this recipe is NOT low fat...it's got lots of butter in it! Use the REAL stuff...it really does make a difference! This recipe will make about 4 sandwiches.

1 small to medium onion
3 Tbsp butter, divided, plus softened butter for rolls
1 - 1 1/2 lbs cube steak
seasoned salt
lemon pepper
black pepper
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce
deli rolls


1. Melt 1 Tbsp butter in skillet over medium heat.

2. Slice the onions. Add the onion to the melted butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occassionally, until it is soft and light brown, 5-7 minutes. Remove the onion from the pan and set aside.

2. Cut cube steak against the grain into 1-inch strips. Season the cube steak liberally with seasoned salt, lemon pepper and black pepper.

3. Add 1 Tbsp butter to the same skillet in which you cooked the onion. Turn the heat to high. Let the butter begin to turn brown, about 2 minutes. You want the skillet to be hot!

4. Add enough meat to the hot skillet to form a single layer. Don't stir. Let it sit for about a minute, or long enough for one side to turn brown. Then, flip the meat over and cook for another minute. Meat is cooked through when the juices run clear. Remove from skillet and set aside. Repeat until all the meat is cooked.
5. Return all the meat to the skillet and add the cooked onion. Pour in Worcestershire sauce and several dashes of Tabasco, according to your taste, and another Tbsp of butter. Simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes to thoroughly warm.

6. Cut rolls in half lengthwise. Spread generously with butter and either brown on a griddle or skillet, or stick them under the broiler.
7. Place the rolls face up on a plate, then place the meat mixture on the bottom half. Spoon some of the pan juices over the top. Top with other half of roll.

Some variations:

*Saute sliced mushrooms with the onions

*Try different seasonings on the meat

*Add a little sherry to the meat mixture

*Melt a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of the meat