Wednesday, April 29, 2009


...on breakfast! Isn't this adorable? I got up on Sunday morning, and made homemade strawberry scones for my dear husband. And when I say "homemade" I clearly mean that I got this fabulous scone mix from Harry & David and mixed it right up - at my HOME. Anyhow, this is what I saw staring at me, the whole time I was getting breakfast together. They are so cute! Coco has to do everything her dad does! They sat there (I would like to think patiently) and waited until the scones were done, and I delivered Darren's plate to him. Coco then preceeded to get an attitude when she was not allowed to have any, or be on the furniture while her dad was eating! Oh well, maybe that face will actually get her something next time!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Favorite Ingredient Friday - Dessert Edition (Old Fashioned Banana Pudding)

I think this might be my favorite "Favorite Ingredient Friday" yet. I mean, who doesn't love desserts? I made this Banana Pudding recipe a couple of weeks ago, for Darren and he loved it!! Both of our moms make banana pudding that you have to bake and although it is delicious - I love the fact that you don't have to bake this one. I don't know anything greater than a delicious, cold banana pudding at a summer bbq or birthday party. It's simple, cheap and definitely a crowd pleaser!
Here is the recipe:
Old Fashioned Banana Pudding
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 (5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 6 cups cold milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (12 ounce) container of Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 (8 ounce) container of Cool Whip, thawed
  • 8 bananas, sliced
  • 1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers


  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.
  2. Beat in condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Fold in 8 ounce container of the Cool Whip.
  4. Line the bottom of a trifle bowl with vanilla wafers.
  5. Arrange sliced bananas evenly over wafers.
  6. Spread with pudding mixture over the sliced bananas and cover with Cool Whip.
  7. Continue this until the trifle bowl is filled.
  8. Chill until time to serve.


PS: It looks beautful in a trifle dish! It's such an easy presentation and everyone will ooh and aah over it. If you don't have a trifle dish, take a look at the one Pampered Chef has - its awesome! It comes with a lid and a removable base, so you can slide that banana pudding right into the fridge with no problems and then put the base on, right before you serve it!

If are interested in a trifle dish or any other Pampered Chef products, let me know and I will mail you a catalog. :)

Grilling Goodness #27

1. When you were in school, did you study hard or cram the night before? A little of both, but mostly the later. 2. What can pull you out of a really funky mood? Talking/hanging out with my mom, or Darren. 3. Do you keep the invoice after you’ve paid the bill? No, I usually shred them. 4. Do you have yard sales? Shop at them? I have never had my own. I mean we had a family one (or two) when I lived with my parents, but I haven’t had once since I’ve had my own place. I’ve never shopped at one – but I always see them in the neighborhood and scope out what I can while I’m driving by. 5. When was the last time you rode a rollercoaster? Oh gosh – probably like 2003 or 2004. 6. Spring cleaning…do you do such things as wash your windows? Yes – inside and out. I have only managed to get a few done so far this year. I still haven’t figured out how I am going to get the upstairs windows clean on the outside. Guess it’s time for Darren to get a taller ladder! 7. How often do you clean out your refrigerator? At the end of every week, I clean out the leftovers and things that I bought that we clearly aren’t going to eat. I take everything out and Clorox it once a month. 8. Have you ever been a victim of identity theft? Yes, unfortunately. A year or so back, when those hackers got into to the accounting system of TJ Maxx and got their customer’s info!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Remebering My Dad (6/14/48 - 4/23/07)

My brain is mush today for many reasons - it's been a long, busy week. And today is not my favorite day in the world. Today is the 2nd anniversary of my father passing way. My dad died on April 23, 2007 at the young age of 58 after fighting Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) for 7 years.

My Sister Melanie and Dad on her Wedding Day (my dad was 51 here) - December 31, 1999.

My Nephew Matthew & Dad - Christmas Eve 2005 (He was so proud of his first grandbaby)
The following is something I wrote on my blog last year. My feelings are still pretty much the same. I don't feel as angry as I did last year, but I still feel guilty and I miss him terribly! As long as we remember those we have loved and lost...they are never truly gone...they live on in those of us that remember them. A year ago, today, my father passed away. I don't talk about it much with other people, somewhat because I feel that it makes other people feel uncomfortable (no one knows what to say), and partly because I don't like being emotional in front of other people. My mom, sisters and I talk about him, and our memories of him quite often. It's not easy and it's still very upsetting, but we decided a long time ago that not talking about him, would be more upsetting. I really thought that I would get through today, much like I have gotten through the last year, but I couldn't. It was just overwhelming today. I can't help but experience all of the same emotions that I did last April 23rd. I feel extreme sadness. I feel dread and anxiety; that the whole situtation is unfair. I feel a level of anger I have never before experienced. I'm angry because it's not fair. I'm angry because my father was only 58 when he died. I'm angry because my children and my sister's children will never get to know their "PawPaw". I'm angry because he was one of the "good ones" and God took him and God left to many shitty ones with us. And I feel guilty. I feel guilty that I'm alive and he isn't. I feel guilty that I just married the love of my life, and my mother lost hers. I feel guilty for being mad about the fact that my husband and my friends still have both of their parents and I don't. I know that he is in a better place. I know that he doesn't struggle everyday to breathe, like he did when he was with us. I know that he doesn't feel bad, or dread, or scared like he did when he was with us. I know that God is taking care of him and that he is with all the people he loved that went before him. I know all of these things. I don't need to be reminded of them. I don't need them to be explained to me. I know all of these things and still feel angry and guilty and I suppose that is just the way that it will be for awhile. That for awhile, everytime I think of him, I will gradually become less angry and more accepting. That God will strengthen me and my anger will subside. Until then, I will pray (and I could use all the prayers you can muster up)!

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 2009 Host & Guest Specials!

If you are interested in hosting a party, or know someone who is, check out the April Host & Guest specials.

I will be submitting an order late this week/early next week. I am working on getting a few different people's orders together to submit at the same time. If I can get at least $150 in orders (pre-tax), I will submit the order as a party, and everyone that orders is eligible for the "guest special" listed below.

Let me know if you have any questions, or if you want to place an order!

April Host Specials!

April Guest Specials!
Happy Cooking!!

Calling on you for help!

Last week I mentioned that I signed up as a Pampered Chef consultant! I am so excited and can't wait to start sharing these great products and some easy and delicious recipes with all of you! But, before I can do that, to the best of my ability - I need some help! So, I am calling on all of you to help get the word out that I am an Independent Consultant with Pampered Chef and I am trying to start building my business. I will be setting up a website in the next week or so, but before any of you can place individual personal orders from my website, and before I can host a wedding registry, I have to sell $1,250 in products! I know, it seems like a lot but if I can get the word out (with your help), I'm sure I can do it in no time. Until I can reach that goal, I am available for catalog shows, parties (that you host), and individual orders (you just have to call me to make them). My consultant number is: 583596 If you would like, I can mail you our newest catalog so you and your friends can look over all of our great products! Thanks in advance for all of your help!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Grilling Goodness #26

1. Do you prefer reality tv or dramas or comedies? Dramas – I am a “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Law & Order” kind of girl. 2. If you could have free cosmetic surgery, what would you have done? I would want to lose more weight first, and then get a breast lift and a tummy tuck. 3. What are you itching to get but you haven’t ‘bitten the bullet’? Probably a Kitchenaid food processor. I have been wanting one and I have a coupon to Bed Bath and Beyond and $75 in gift cards, so it would make the $129.99 only cost me $30, but when I went to get it – they don’t carry it in the store and I didn’t want to order it but they have a bigger, better one for $199.99 but I would have to pay $85 and I don’t really want to. Darren told me to go ahead and get it – its bigger and better for only $55 more, but I haven’t “bitten that bullet” yet. 4. Do you have a bad habit that you hope your children don’t pick up? Occasional cursing. Admittedly, I used to be really bad and I have cut out just about all of it but sometimes, it just comes out. 5. What was your favorite meal growing up? Oh, I don’t know. My mom was such a great cook, but it was probably something simple like Tuna Casserole or something. I could have lived on that as a kid. 6. What meal did you have as a youngster that you don’t have as an adult? Probably the tuna casserole. I have tried to make it a couple of times and its just not the same, plus – Darren isn’t a big tuna person, so we don’t eat it in my house. 7. What is your earliest memory of a “vacation”? Where’d you go? Branson, MO. We stayed for a week in a cabin on Table Rock Lake. We went to the shows, hung out by the pool, went to Silver Dollar City, and rode the ducks!. It was a blast. I remember introducing my mom to “Atomic Fireballs” on that trip. She became addicted and we bought like 100 of them at Silver Dollar City. I also remember my mom dressing my little sister and I in matching outfits EVERY SINGLE DAY, and getting asked about 1,000/day if we were twins! ha! ha! 8. What was the “Best Thing” you ever got for Christmas, before age 12? Maybe a doll house – it played lullabies in the nursery and had lights that turned on and off. It was awesome!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pampered Chef

Most of you know that I am a huge fan of Pampered Chef products. I am constantly mentioning them in my blogs and always tellings friends about them! So, after a LOT of thought - I (finally) decided to join the Pampered Chef team.

I just signed up today, so I don't have my website or my consultant ID number yet, but as soon as I do - I will post them here, so you can have them.

If any of you have any questions about products, want to host a party, are interested in a catalog show, or know anyone getting married that would be interested in our wedding registry, feel free to contact me!

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Doggie Cake!

This weekend we were in Center, to visit Darren's parents. Friday night, we had a crawfish boil and kept Coco outside with us. She had a blast and "explored" EVERYTHING and even tried to sneak some crawfish, but all in all - she was such a good girl. She was really stinky though, from the crawfish and dirt and mud she managed to get into, so Darren and I decided to give her a bath. Being the genius that I am, I had anticipated the coming bath and earlier in the day, had picked up a "treat" for after she got out of her bath. We got all of the grass burs out of her hair, brushed her really good and then got a nice warm bath! She was so soft and fluffy and smelled so good and I was so proud, that she had done so well that I decided to make her a cake!

Have you ever seen these? I hadn't! It's just like those little microwavable desserts for humans. She just HAD to try one of these, I thought so I mixed it up and iced it and instead of following the directions and letting it sit for 20-30 minutes, I was so excited I gave it to her right away. Well, they probably tell you to let it set up so the icing with harden some and it won't be so sticky, who knows.

All I do know is, this is what Coco looked like after she finished her cake. Nice, huh? And by finish her cake, I mean (just like any normal "kid"), lick all of the icing off the cake and just take a couple bites of the cake itself. Now, I'm sure that I don't have to tell you that, that she had a fit when I tried to clean her off! I got the chunks of cake out of her hair but I couldn't get the stickiness out and so parts of her "beard" are hard and you know what - it was like 11 at night by this point, and so I just went with it! At least I learned to give her the cake BEFORE her bath next time!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to your family, from ours!

Favorite Ingredient Friday - Easter Edition (Carrot & Raisin Salad)

Darren, Coco and I are leaving tonight to go to Center to spend time with Darren's family over the three-day Easter weekend, so I wanted to post this early. This is a great salad and if you have ever been to Luby's and ordered the Carrot & Raisin salad - this tastes EXACTLY like it! It's so delicious!
Carrot & Raisin Salad
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 (20 oz.) can of diced pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup raisins


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and brown sugar.
  2. Add carrots, pineapple and raisins and stir until coated.
  3. Refrigerate until serving.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Daddy's Little Helper!

Since we have decided to re-finish the kitchen cabinets, Darren ripped up all of the baseboards around the kitchen, to re-place them with new ones. He was on the floor the other night, checking a few things and his "helper" showed up to watch!

She stayed like this for a little while. Every so often, she would stand up and peer over his shoulder, trying to figure out what he was doing.

It didn't take long for Dad to bore her, so she just decided to lay down and get comfy!

Every time he goes outside, or goes into the garage - she is his little shadow. She has to be right beside him, to "help" him. And I know that he secretly loves it! :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Favorite Ingredient Friday (Creamy Twice Baked Potatoes)

Hope all is well with everyone! Things have been busy around here and it doesn't look like they are going to slow down anytime soon! That being said, even with all the craziness - I always look forward to Favorite Ingredient Friday and I know a couple of girlfriends that would kill me if I missed it, so - here ya go! :) I know with the weather getting warmer and spring on us and summer just right around the corner - the grills will be coming out very soon. With Darren "manning" the grill - I usually take care of the salad and at least one of the sides while he takes care of the meat and usually grills some veggies.

Since he can leave what he is cooking for awhile - we like to grab a couple of glasses of vino, or a couple of beers and sit out back. The only way I know that I can do that - is by cooking something that doesn't require me to "babysit" it. Thus, twice baked potatoes entered our culinary world. They are creamy and lucious like mashed potatoes, but I don't have to watch a boiling pot.

Creamy Twice Baked Potatoes
  • 2 medium baking potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • Paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Pierce potatoes and bake for 1 hour or until tender.
  3. Set potatoes aside to cool, and drop the oven down to 350 degrees.
  4. When the potatoes are cool, cut a thin slice off the top of each potato.
  5. Scoop out the pulp and place in a mixing bowl.
  6. Add butter, milk and salt; beat until fluffy.
  7. Beat in cream cheese and sour cream.
  8. Spoon into potato shells.
  9. Sprinkle with paprika.
  10. Place on a baking sheet and bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and tops are golden brown.
I preheat the oven, and take out my cream cheese and butter and put them on the top of the stove so they can soften with the heat, pierce the potatoes and throw them in the oven and then promptly grab us some drinks and go outside and hang out with my husband. I go inside, take them out of the oven, get us another drink, and go back outside. After about half an hour, Darren starts putting stuff on the grill and I go back inside, cut the tops off, scoop out all the potatoes, mix it together with all the other ingredients, stuff them back into the potatoes, throw them back into the oven, grab us another drink and head back outside. Just about the time my timer is going off, his meat and veggies are coming off the grill. That gives me a few minutes to get out some plates and throw the salad together - perfect timing and it doesn't take a lot of effort. These are great when you are cooking for a lot of people because the ingredients are pretty cheap and its just as easy to make 10 potatoes, as it is 2 - and it looks like you really put some effort into it (while you and I know that it doesn't take much time). Hope you like them as much as we do!