Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Christmas Decorations

Well, the Christmas hangover began yesterday morning. I slid my groaning body out of bed around 6:00am so that I could ready myself for a morning of competing with other crazed shoppers for the best of what's left of the Christmas decorations. I've recently redecorated my living room and dining room so I of course needed some new decorations that would work with my new color scheme. Shooter was excited, as you can imagine. Well, my Mom and I hit Target a little after 7am with my Dad and Shooter in tow. We'd missed the mad dash to the farthest corner of the store holding the decorations....and therefore missed out on the opportunity to get a regular shopping cart. We had to settle on the one that will seat two kids....ha! Anyway...we were a regular army going in there. I knew what I wanted and accomplished it in grand style. Mom did pretty well too. From there we were off to the mall....then a sporting goods store....then Best Buy. Shooter's now headed back to the ATL since he has to work tomorrow. I'm staying with my parents a few more days before heading back. I plan on nursing my hangover a bit....perhaps with wild and crazy Wii tourneys at my cousins house? :-)

Here's a peek at some of the things I luckily landed this morning.

Whew...hope your hangover is better today. :-)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Family, Fun and Food

My Mom's side of the family has always done something fun on Christmas Day evening. Sometimes it's going to a movie, a lot of times it was bowling, and last night we had a Wii tourney at my cousin's house. We had a blast and by we, I mean me and I have to say that I really must get a Wii for myself. That thing is addictive and way fun! I had thought I wanted I know I have to have one. Shooter agrees with me. So, we'll see what we can scare up over the next few weeks.

I made a new dip for the fam last night and it was very well received. It's the second time I have made it and everyone seems to really like it. Unfortunately I have no pictures, but I'll give you guys the recipe.

Laura's Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 - 8oz packages light cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup chunky blue cheese dressing
1 package Perdue Shortcuts, shred chicken into smaller pieces
3/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
celery sticks
Fritos Scoops

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and blue cheese dressing (I use Marie's brand that you get in the produce section) together with a hand mixer on low speed. Pour that mixture into an 8x8 baking dish. In a medium size bowl, combine chicken and wing sauce (I use Texas Pete Buffalo Wing Sauce). Pour the chicken over the cream cheese mixture. Cover with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 min or until bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and Fritos.

I hope that your holidays were filled with as much fun, food and good times with family as mine.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Me, Shooter, Morey and Leah

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Elvis has left the building!

Woo Hoo! Today is Thursday, December 20 and I am officially a free woman. Today starts my vacation and I won't return to work until Friday, January 4. I haven't had a vacation this long for quite a while. I so need this time off - the last couple of months at work have been really hard on a lot of us. Just really busy and lots of change.

I get to head home to Knoxville and spend the time with my parents and extended family. It's hard being away from them all, but it just makes the time we get to spend together all that more special. My brother and sister-in-law will be coming in as well so my parents will have a house full - just like they like it.

I snapped a pic of Leah this morning, I couldn't find her and called her name and she popped her head up from this little burrow she made. Let's play, Where's Leah??

Well, tonight we'll have some friends over for dinner and I'm making my take on chicken pot pie. It's absurdly quick and delicious and easy!

Laura's Chicken Pot Pie

1 package Pillsbury Pie Crust (from the refrigerator section)
2 C shredded chicken (I use a store bought rotisserie chicken)
1 small can Veg-all, drained
1 can cream of chicken and mushroom soup
4 oz cream cheese
salt, pepper, garlic powder and poultry seasoning to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take one of the pie crusts and roll it out a little on a lightly floured surface. Place carefully in a 9" pie crust. Crimp the edges as you'd like. In a medium sized microwave safe bowl, heat together the soup and cream cheese for about 2 minutes. Stir to combine. Add the Veg-all and chicken to the soup and cream cheese mixture. Stir well to combine - if it seems too thick, thin out with a little chicken stock or milk. Taste and add salt, pepper, garlic powder and poultry seasoning to taste. Pour into pie shell. Roll out second crust a little and do whatever you want with it. I usually cut out crazy shapes and what not...cause I'm kinda crazy like that. Place pie plate on a cookie sheet and place in the middle of your oven. Bake for about 30-45 min until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Let cool for about 5-10 min before serving. this pot pie was so delicious I didn't even have a chance to take photos. We literally ate the pan clean. Thanks to Dusty. ;-) I did however snap a photo or two of the table before we ate.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas. Postings may be erratic over the next couple of weeks as I'll be hanging with the fam. Count on early morning pics of my brother to make it on here. He's completely embarrassed me by putting up a pic on his Myspace page of us two years ago on Christmas morning....just wait, bro.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

MMMmmmMMMmmm...Peanut Butter Cookies!!

AAAhhhh...can I tell you how much I loooooooove Peanut Butter Cookies. I actually tried to make some this weekend...they fell flat....literally...they were like coasters. It was horrible. Of course I chalk up the failure to a faulty recipe and nothing that the baker did. :-) So, I was poking around in my fave blogs, and lo and behold, shining like a beacon in the night was Deb from Smitten Kitchen and her Magnolia Bakery Peanut Butter Cookies. I immediately texted Shooter and told him what I needed from the store. I was committed to trying these that very night.

Ohhhh...were they good....I use past tense as I consumed entirely too many of them. And boy howdy wasn't that batter delicious....I can say that because Shooter and I ate one scoop for every three we put on the pan. I was in Peanut Butter Cookie heaven. So were the stalking snowmen...

Oh, and my female schnauzer was dying to get her little paws on one. She sat right under my feet as I was rolling them and putting them on the pan. She's a booger that one. She's also a lover of all things peanut butter (not all bad for a dog) and chocolate (VERY bad for a dog). She wasn't happy when I banished her to the living room...

Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Pound of Pure Sinful Bliss!!!

Ahhh....poundcake. For Southerners, the mere word poundcake invokes memories of their grandmothers (or mothers), and bundt pans, and tons of butter....and more butter.

Cream Cheese Poundcake

3 Cups Sugar
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
8oz Cream Cheese, softened
6 eggs
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 package Toll House Chocolate Chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pan by liberally greasing it - I use Baker's Joy. Cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar. Add in the vanilla. Add in the eggs and the flour, alternating additions of each. Add pinch of salt. Toss the chocolate chunks with a little flour and then stir into the batter. Add to the pan and bake for 90 min.

I decided that it was time that I try to perfect Shooter's grandmother's recipe for Cream Cheese Poundcake. Shooter's Mom makes the best poundcake and try as I might, I just can't get it down. I blame it on my gas oven...hear that Shooter...I need a new oven, STAT!!!! I baked a couple plain ones that were pretty darn good. I then got a wild hair and decided to try adding in chocolate chunks. They were getting better each time....until this last one....the one I had to take to Shooter's Family Christmas Celebration. Yup, the Christmas gathering with all the fam...including Shooter's Mom. GULP. Shooter volunteered me to bring the poundcake...I coulda shot him...hehehehe. Not really, baby! ;-) Anyway...I thought, sure! I'll do this! Umm...not so much....I overbaked it....badly. It wasn't horrible, but by far not my best. So I got home and crawled into the corner and cried. Not really...but I felt bad about baking such a disaster. are my little snowmen stalking the least it looked good...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Do I look fat in this? I looked at the last post I put up in November and I've been sick for approximately one month. It sucks. I kinda got over it and Shooter got sick....then he made me sick again. Gotta love men...anyway, I'm back on the road to recovery and feel better every day (I know my podmate is so glad that I'm not blowing my nose every other minute and coughing nonstop during the minutes I'm not blowing out my brains out.

Anyway....I have been pondering something that crazy (and also nasty, mean and vile) Janice Dickinson said the other day. She was being interviewed by Al Roker and he asked her about whether she thought Jennifer Love Hewitt was fat (a reference to pictures taken by the papparazzi of her at the beach). Janice didn't even address the question, but took it as an opportunity to jump on the "let's beat up Tyra Banks" bandwagon. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge Tyra fan...she definitely gets on my nerves...but please, I'm so sick of the tiny portion of the population deciding that normal sized women are fat.

I read a blog posting about how women should take ownership of the word fat. Personally, I still struggle from enough self esteem issues to want to crawl into a corner and suck my thumb and pick at my toes at the thought of owning the word fat. Calling myself fat is something I do when I'm in a self hating mood...not when I want to celebrate how talented I am. I hate the other terms we use though...we call ourselves "curvy", "volumptuous", "bbw", and "fluffy". All endearing terms for the same thing....we're fat.

Well, perhaps one day we can lessen the sting of the word fat. After all, it is just a word....

Saturday, December 15, 2007

New Camera!!!!! I finally got my new baby, my new gadget and techy toy. I bought a Nikon D40 yesterday. I thought I'd show off a few of my pictures.

Ahhh...more objects of my obsession to come...