Thursday, April 29, 2010

Talbot's gift card

I have been doing a lot of surfing the net putting together this really great wardrobe in my mind.   It would be so great to be able to put so many great things in my closet.  And then today Puttin' on the G.R.I.T.S. announced a chance to win a $250 gift card to Talbots.   To enter you must blog about the pieces you love at Talbot's, leave a comment at http://monogrammedlife.blogspot.com/2010/04/giveaway-talbots-gift-card.html   and link to the The Red Door Confessions which is the Talbots blog.

So my favorite items at Talbot's right now.  


Cute enough for work and a afternoon out with the girls.



This outfit is so me.  I am a very casual girl. 





Won't the capris and white tank look so cute together.  And the tank would look great with a red skirt I got a couple years ago.  hmm!!! I might have to go buy that this week. 



Go check out Talbots website and see what you find to fall in love with.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring time

I am so glad we had all the rain this past weekend.  It washed the pollen away.  I don't think I could have handled any more sneezing, itching eyes, and sinus issues.   But at least it will bring me more of these.


I know I have a better shot but can't find it now.  Last year this bush had close to 80 buds and blooms on it at one time.  Of course it is now a little taller than in this shot.  I need to have them trimmed back this year.  I have 3 rose bushes in my front yard.  The other two are a red and a hot pink.  Excuse the nasty looking flower beds (yeah I need some major help on how to handle that).

May is shaping up to be an active month.  I am going to spend a long weekend in Charlotte hanging out with one of my besties, niece, and eldest nephew.  And then when I get back the next weekend will be the DeSoto County Relay for Life (pray for good weather).  I am going to work with S on counting money again this year.  I hope I can stay awake all night.  
I know I am probably boring y'all some with just talking about working out and new recipes.  But bear with me until then because I know I will be cooking a lot more to save money to pay for my trip.

Oh, and say some prayers for me about finding a new job.  I got a couple leads this week.  I am not sure if I am more nervous about interviews or new co-workers.

Have a great rest of the week.  I am off to curl up with Belle and a Southern Pecan beer.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Self Challenge Month 2 Week 4

I finished month two of the Challenge this week.  I can't beleive there is one month left.  I still  never mastered that 8th move from the strength workouts.  After pulling the cards out for this month's strength workout I am worried there might be more that I can't master.  Hopefully after watching the video on self.com they won't be as bad as they look.


Move #5 really worries me as I don't have the best balance.  But I am up for giving it a try.  You can still sign up and do the challenge by going to http://www.self.com/

The next couple weeks I am going to work hard on getting in cardio.  Before my trip next month to Charlotte to see the Southen Lady and family.  

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Orleans Saints Ticket Raffle

Two of my friends have a sweet little girl named Mary Payton that has Batten Disease.  The disease is very rare and is fatal.  They have set up a foundation in her name to raise money to fund research towards a cure. 
They are raffling off two New Orleans Saints (you know the Super Bowl Champs) season tickets for the home games.  The winner will also get a parking pass at the Super Dome.  The tickets are $50 a piece and only 1000 tickets are being sold.  The seats are located in section 302 row 16 seats 11 and 12.  You can purchase the tickets through the website  http://www.marypaytonsmiracle.com/SaintsRaffleTickets.asp
The drawing is being held on June 6th at the Race for A Miracle being held at the Abita Trailhead.  

And if you are like me and are not a Saints fan or unable to go to all the home games send in a donation like me this year.  http://www.marypaytonsmiracle.com/Home.asp   You can donate online or downlaod the form and mail in a check. 

Please pass this information onto anyone who might be interested. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chocolate Dessert Wraps

So while I was grilling out Sunday night I threw these on the grill for dessert.  Okay I only made one.  R had been talking about this dark chocolate peanut butter during our trip to Natchez.  And until Sunday I had managed to walk out of the grocery store without it.  I finally gave in and decided it was the best thing for these.    Oh and the dark chocolate peanut butter is to die for R wasn't lying. 


i got this from thier website


Chocolate Dessert Wraps

1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
4 flour tortillas (8 inches)
1 c. mini marshmallows
1/2. mini chocolate chips


Spread 2 tbsp. of peanut butter on each tortillas.  Sprinkle with 1/4 c. marshmallows and 2 tbsp. chocolate chips on half of each tortillas.   Roll up, beginning with the top side.  Wrap each tortilla in heavy-duty foil; seal tightly.  Grill uncovered, over low heat for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.  Unwrap tortillas and place on dessert plates.  Serve with ice cream.  Garnish with chocolate shavings if desired.



Sorry I only have one after I unwrapped it.  For some reason the picture of before wouldn't load beacuse it said it was a duplicate.    I have also found that when the cravings hit during the winter popping it in the oven at 350° for the same time works great too.  And Sunday night I left off the chocolate chips and just used the peanut butter. 

I call this my ooy googy treat.  And after writing about these I had to go make one. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Self Challenge Month 2 Week 3

I can't beleive that I only have 5 weeks left of the challenge.  This week went great even if I was not able to increase my reps on move #8.  I still got in all my workouts.  Actually worked out every day last week.  Way to go me!!!  I did increase my time on the Precor (this cardio machine that is a cross between a stair master & elliptical) thanks to a co-worker.  She came over and we started talking.  Previously I had barely been able to last 15 minutes on the machine because my legs would start to kill me.  Three days this week I last at least 30 minutes. 
Eating was good this week except for Friday.  We had a breakfast for a co-worker.  At least I brought some fruit.   And then I was craving Mexican so a friend and I went for lunch.  A good thing another friend wasn't able to go to drinks after all Friday night.  And with what I have planned tonight I won't be that good.
Oh and I tried the capris on this morning.  And they are still not loose enough.  ;(  But at least I will be more motivated this week to work hard again. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blue Cheese Potatoes

Continueing on my journey of trying two recipes a month.  I decided a great thing to go with the burgers I am grilling tonight was Blue Cheese Potatoes.  Yep maybe not the best thing for my diet but they sound so yummy!  And of course a thing that matters is that it was easy to make. 


Blue Cheese Potatoes

1 (1 lb 4 oz) pkg. refrigerated new potatoes wedges*
1 tbsp. oilive oil
1/2 c. refrigerated blue cheese dressing
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. crumbled blue cheese

Drizzle potatoes with oil, tossing to coat.  Place potatoes evenly in 13x9 inch baking dish. 


Bake at 450° for 25 minutes.  Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl.  Toss with dresshing and pepper.  Sprinkle with cheese.



*1 lb. 4 oz potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges may be used. 

Feta Potatoes: substitute ranch dresshing for blue cheese dressing and crumbled feta cheese for crumbled blue cheese.


A great alternative to potato salad.  Not to mention a great alternative to fries or chips to go with burgers. 


A great dinner to end a beautiful weekend.  Now off to work on laundry and settle in for The Tudors.





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Pepper Jack Pimiento Cheese

One of my co-workers was talking about making burgers stuffed with pimento cheese this week.  And I couldn't get piminto cheese off my brain.  So this morning I got the stuff to make my favorite pimiento cheese recipe.  I got this one from Southern Living 10 years ago and make it several times a year.  It works great for sandwhiches and as a dip for a party.   The recipe is actually for grilled cheese.

Pepper Jack Pimiento Cheese

4 oz. sharp white cheddar, shredded
4 oz. montery jack cheese, shredded
1/2 (4 oz) jar rosted red bell pepper, drained and diced
1/2 (2 oz) jar diced pimientos, drained
1/4 c. sour cream


Once the cheeses are shredded stir all ingredients together. 




Of course I have found my own tweeks to this recipe.  The first couple times I made this I never used up the jar of roasted bell peppers so I don't even use them anymore.  Instead I use the whole jar of pimientos.  And buy the montery jack with the peppers in it, today I don't know what I was thinking I bought the chunk instead of pre-shredded.  I have yet to ever find white cheddar that is already shredded but I did find last year Chipotle White Cheddar cheese at Kroger (store brand).  By using the whole jar of pimientos and adding the cheeses with peppers I don't miss that extra flavor that the roasted bell peppers added. 

I serve wheat thins with the pimiento cheese when I use it as a dip.

I think this is going to be a great topper for the burgers I am going to grill tonight.   And several lunches this week.  And who knows since the temps are going to be cool this week maybe even a grilled cheese sandwhich. 


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Snack Attack

While in college I saw a recipe on the back of the box of Triscuits for pizzas using the crackers.  I ran with that idea for a snack and made Triscuit Chicken Nachos.  You can use them for a snack or like me a quick lunch or dinner.    All you need is some triscuits, shredded cheese, chicken tenders, and salsa (add anything else you might like but these items I always have around).


Put a layer of triscuits on a pan or a  plate.  And then add cheese and chicken.





I have found that baking them in the oven at 350° for ten minutes makes the cheese less greasy.  Of course you can put them in the microwave until the cheese is melted.



And enjoy!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Apple Enchiladas

I got Apple Enchiladas on my mind over the weekend.  I was down in Oxford Saturday for a garage sale my sorority alum group was doing (made $356) and then a BBQ at a friend's house after.  I made the Cookie Fruit Cobbler and it was a huge hit.  RW and I worked on getting everything together while her hubby watched the Masters.  It was great to help get ready for a party since I rarely if ever host any.
Okay back to the Apple Enchiladas.  One of the parties for May is a Fiesta and for some reason this recipe popped into my head and couldn't get it out.  So I picked up the items needed to make them when I hit the grocery store for the week.


Apple Enchiladas



1 (21 oz) can apple fruit filling
6 (8 inch) tortillas
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. water

Spoon fruit filling evenly down the center of each tortilla.  Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon. 


Roll up and place seem side down, in lightly greased 2 quart baking dish



Bring butter and next 3 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan; reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.  Pour over enchiladas; let stand 30 minutes.



Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.




I wouldn't recommend putting ice cream with them.  Once the ice cream melted it was a soupy mess of the suace and ice cream.   But they were still yummy!!!  I know what I will be having for dessert for the next couple of days.



Monday, April 12, 2010

Workout update Month 2 Week 2

I have made it halfway through the Self magazine Body Challenge.  It has flown by.  And I am seeing changes now.  My saddlebags are really diminishing.  Now if the muffin top will go the same direction.  ugh! 
I am going to get brace and try on my capris this weekend.  And I am nervous about that.  So I am going to really work hard this week. 
I took the tear out cards for the month two workouts and scanned them in. 




I am not going to lie move #8 is kicking my butt.  I can barely eek out two on each side.  The rest I can handle pretty well.  I can't wait to see what month 3 workouts will bring.  I know they will be harder. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series

So my favorite thing to do is read.  And for a couple years S and several other friends and co-workers have talked about and suggested I read the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.  So I finally listened to them last month.  And got hocked really fast.  I finished the last of the numbered set last night in just over a month.  These books are so hard to put down.  Saturday I knew I was getting close to finishing #14 and so I swung by the library to pick up three of the between numbers books and started on one of those last night.   These books are so hard to put down. 

One For The Money
Two For The Dough
Three To Get Ready
Four To Score
High Five
Hot Six
Seven Up
Hard Eight
To The Nines
Ten Big Ones
Elven On Top
Twelve Sharp
Lean Mean Thirteen
Fearless Fourteen
Finger Licken' Fifteen
Sizzling Sixteen (coming out 6/22)


There are four between the numbers books

Visions of Sugar Plums
Plum Lovin'
Plum Lucky
Plum Spooky


The books are about Stephanie Plum who after being laid off and not finding any other work takes a job as a bounty hunter for her cousin Vincent Plum's bond agency.   Being a bounty hunter and hating guns are not a good combination.  But some how she manages to catch the FTA (failure to appear) and get into some crazy mess.  To help her out Vinnie sets her up with the top bounty hunter, Ranger.    Ranger is a complete mystery that slowly starts coming out during the later numbers and is a total hottie and you see a lot of sexual tension between the two of them.  Which isn't good because Stephanie has an on & off again boyfriend Joe Morelli who happens to be a dectivie for the Trenton PD.  And another hottie who has calmed down from his wild youth days.  Joe & Stephanie live together in his house just outside the Burg (the area of Trenton where they grew up). Lula, an ex hooker, who goes to work as a file clerk at the bond agency and rides along with Stephanie from time to time.  The combination of Stephanie and Lula his hysterical.  They get their man or woman by accident most of the time, a lot involves Lula sitting on the FTA.  And probably my favorite character of all has to be Grandma Mazur.  Grandma lives with Stephanie's parents and doesn't realize she is in her 70s (at least)  and always has something hystrical to say and her favorite social activity is to go to viewings at the funeral home.  Watch out if the lid is closed because Grandma Mazur will try to find a way to get it open.   There are also Rex (Stephanie's hamster), Bob (Morelli's dog) and Ranger's Merrymen (Ranger employees for his security firm). 
Between the drama and hysterical moments of each book you they are so hard to put down.  I can't wait for number Sixteen to come out and to finish the between the books.  Give them a try. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cookie Fruit Cobbler

I have fallen behind a bit on the trying two recipes a month.  I think I got in just one in March and not starting off great in April.  I looked through my cookbooks and a few websites looking for something new to try tonight but nothing was really hitting me.  Instead all I could think of were some old favorites so I went with that.  I don't remember where I got the recipe for Cookie Fruit Cobbler.  But I tried it about four years ago for the first time and took it to a dinner at my best friends house.  I don't think any was left and both her mother and grandmother wanted the recipe.  You know it is a good sign when a grandmother asks for the recipe. 

Cookie Fruit Cobbler

2 (21 oz) cans pie filling
1 (18 oz) package cookie bar dough
1 c. old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 375°.  Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan.  spoon pie filling into the pan.  Crumble the cookie dough into medium bowl.  Add the oats; mix well.  Sprinkle over the pie filling.  Bake 24 to 28 or until the top is deep golden brown.  serve warm or at room temperature.



I have tried the apple, peach and now blackberry pie fillings.  I didn't care that much for it with the peach.  And I use the chocolate chip cookie dough or the chocolate pecan cookie dough.  Tonight I tried it with the blackberry pie filling with the chocolate chip cookie dough.  I think the blackberry is my favorite.  And this morning it finally hit me that to keep from throwing so much away to half the recipe.  Yep I don't know why that to so long to figure out.  I have not made it in a while because I end up wasting so much.  Doesn't it look yummy!  And of course what is cobbler without some ice cream.



What a great way to end this beautiful Easter Sunday. 

Happy Easter

I want to wish everyone a very Happy Easter!!!




I hope the Easter Bunny was good to everyone. 



It appears he forgot me this year though.  Oh well. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Natchez Girls Weekend Part Two

We woke up to cloudy skies on Sunday morning that also brought a chill to the air.  There went the plan to walk around looking at houses after brunch at the Might Martini.   Which brunch was just as yummy as the martinis Saturday night.   J, C, and I did get brave and walk to Stanton Hall.  I don't know about the other two but I was happy that W and R decided to drive over. 


I think this pic is so cute.  J forgot her camera and was using her Iphone to take pictures. 



After we got done wandering around the grounds at Stanton Hall we drove around trying to find Dunleith.  It took a bit as we were having trouble figuring out all the one way streets.   And by the time we got there the last tour had already started and the gentleman at the desk said we could wander the grounds.



The steps to the side you are seeing are where carriages would pull up and let passengers out.  We found out later that when a wedding happens on the grounds the carriage will bring the bride to those steps.   While we were wandering around the last tour started leaving the house and who steps out as the tour guide.  Our new best friend David. 
                                            

Yep not the greatest picture.  He told us to give him a few minutes to get a drink and he would take us on a tour.  We got an almost two hour tour of the house and stories from this wondeful man.   On a normal tour you can't take pictures in the house but he let us.  And the furniture is pretty comfortable.  The house has one chandlier that is gas lit to this day and some wonderful wallpaper in the dining room that is simply priceless.


                               

I am not sure why the picture has a funny shape to it.  And below is the wallpaper, it would take to many pictures to get all the scenes in.  The wallpaper shows nature in the different regions of the world. 


                             


The tour was a wonderful way to end our time in Natchez.  It was so sad to get up and leave Monday morning. 


And this statue was in the bar at the Eola Hotel.  I couldn't resist taking a snap of these two guys.


I can't wait for the next girl's weekend.