Thursday, January 31, 2013

Well Read Individual

I love to read.  The imagination of it all is great.  Sadly, sometimes I feel like I just don't have enough hours in the day to get everything done that I want and still get sleep.  So when I read about bloggers who go through 100 books a year, etc, plus they're married, have a job, etc etc etc, I just am in shock and awe as to how they do it all!  I struggled it felt like getting through 10 books for this challenge.  Part of my problem is I have quite a few books I've started, just not finished.  Apparently patience or ADD or something kicked in and no I don't have ADD although I sometimes think that everyone has a very mild case because people are so easily distracted.  I dunno.... I'm no expert by any means!  Anyway, Here are the 10 books that I read cover to cover and considered for my 101 list.  One more thing to check off.  yehaw!  They were all good reads and brought different things to the table, although there is a definite pattern between cooking and photography, don't you think :)

Book's read for the 101 List:

1.  The Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl
October 2010 (yes I read it cover to cover)

2.  The Everygirl's Guide to Life by Maria Menounos
April 2011

3.  The Pioneer Woman Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond
June 2011

4.  The Digital Photography Book Volume 1 by Scott Kelby
July 2011

5.  How to Photograph Your Life by Nick Kelsh
August 2011

6. Julie & Julia, My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell
August 2011

7. The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
October 2011


8. Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell
November 2011


9. Recipes for Life: My Memories by Linda Evans
December 2012



10. Under the Table: Saucy Tales from Culinary School by Katherine Darling
January 2013



I have a cold & Soup {recipe}

I have a cold.  Bummer right?  Monday night when it was still 70 degrees outside (before the cold front blew in) I had the start of the cold, therefore I was cold :).  It wasn't cold outside, just I was cold.

When I went digging through the fridge & cabinets looking for something for dinner, I decided I wanted soup.  That's the best thing for a cold, right?  Yup, that's what I thought!

I remembered I had this PW recipe sitting in my drafts for Corn & Cheese Chowder.  I decided that's soooo what I wanted, but I had to improvise a little, so here's my version that is adapted from hers! (adapted via this PW recipe)
Ingredients
  • Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into pieces
  • 3 whole bell peppers, finely diced (red, yellow, orange)
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 3 large tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 8oz bag of 4 Cheese Mexican Blend cheese (about 2 cups)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
In a large pot add a couple turns around the pan of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add the onion and peppers and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the bacon and cook for a couple of minutes. Finally, add the corn and cook for a minute.

Sprinkle the flour evenly over the top and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken stock and stir well. Allow this to thicken for 3 or 4 minutes, and then reduce the heat to low. Stir in the milk, and then cover and allow to simmer and thicken for 15 minutes or so.


Stir in the cheese. When the cheese is melted and the soup is hot, check seasonings. Add salt and pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.



I can sure tell you it hit the spot!  It was mighty tasty too!



linking up with: Showcase your Talent Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friend's Friday,

Corn & Cheese Chowder with Bacon

by Nicole
Keywords: stove top entree cheese corn bacon American fall winter
Ingredients
  • Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into pieces
  • 3 whole bell peppers, finely diced (red, yellow, orange)
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 3 large tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 8oz bag of 4 Cheese Mexican Blend cheese (about 2 cups)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
In a large pot add a couple turns around the pan of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add the onion and peppers and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the bacon and cook for a couple of minutes. Finally, add the corn and cook for a minute.
Sprinkle the flour evenly over the top and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken stock and stir well. Allow this to thicken for 3 or 4 minutes, and then reduce the heat to low. Stir in the milk, and then cover and allow to simmer and thicken for 15 minutes or so.
Stir in the cheese. When the cheese is melted and the soup is hot, check seasonings. Add salt and pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Shack: Bacon Night


Ah, well I just want to announce this weeks theme was "Bacon Week".  Holy cow!  All the dishes were focused around BACON!

And truthfully all I see is the dog running around in that commercial yelling Bacon!!  You know like bacon bites or bacon strips or whatever that bacon dog treat was....  anyway...

Supposedly Americans eat on average 18 lbs of bacon per year... now I'm not sure if this statistic is on a per person basis or more because Rachael Ray on Monday had a show all about bacon and said that number was up over 1Billion... so anyway take that for what it's worth!

Now, on to the food that was served last night!!

Tasha brought these little gems.  I have no idea what they're called or even where she found the recipe.  Help me out please!! But they were yummy! Inside the crescent was cream cheese, jalapeno, bacon, and I even heard cheddar but the one I got had cream cheese so I can't validate the cheddar.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Patty graced our presence with spicy chicken bacon wraps. They weren't spicy at all but sweet and savory.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Lissa is a gal after our own heart... she brought what we thought about bringing... cream cheese stuffed jalapenos with bacon! Oh yeah! In fact she brought 2 pans, when I went to get the picture, one pan had almost been devoured!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

My Mother-in-law knows the way to my heart... Mac and cheese. What makes Mac & cheese better? Bacon!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

She also brought brownies with a chocolate ganache with bacon but I didn't get a picture of that. Fire the photog!

I brought Cheese & Corn Chowder with Bacon. It was a nice chilly rainy night, chowder is the bomb!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos





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Weekend - Better Late than Never!

Friday night started off with date night with hubby.

After that we headed over to A's house for a Thirty One party.  Yup, I drug hubby over with me :).  He agreed.  We I He bought me this bag in purple paisley to keep my sewing stuff together since right now it's all in a Wal-Mart bag with a hole in it :)

Then we went home, took showers and went to bed.  By the way, wondering how I take a shower without getting my hair wet?  Photos:

Saturday morning hubby woke up and went to help my dad move hay while I went to my grandma's to take some material and patterns I had bought for a skirt and a shirt.

Then we met up at my parents house along with hubby's mom and all 5 of us headed to Tulsa to see Tbug's Cheer competition, where we're happy to announce, they received second place!

After she was finished performing but before the awards she went with us to eat lunch/dinner.  When I jumped up into the back seat of my dad's truck I was taking my camera off my neck and it cracked me in the head.  Camera -1 Nicole-0
Instagram

We went to Longhorn Steakhouse

Then we took Tbug back to her mom and step-dad and we headed off into the wild blue yonder.  Actually Pokey had called and asked hubby if we were near a Wal-mart if we could look for something that no one around home had.  Sad to say 3 Wal-marts later no luck.  But we did walk away with an extremely awesome 9x13 Paula Deen Stoneware pan that matches my pie plate I got for a wedding present.

We also had to go to a Reasors grocery store, btw, if you're from Reasors and here on this blog, please open these up back home STAT!  While at Reasors though, we found Tastykakes.  Now if you are a Stephanie Plum fan, you know what these are!!!

Then we were home bound.

Sunday we woke up and while hubby did homework, Marlie and I hung out in the kitchen making Breakfast & Lowfat Banana bread & Ham wrapped Pickles (recipe to come)
I promise I'm not holding her down, I was rubbing her belly.

Then I took down our Christmas tree (don't judge) and watch Julie & Julia while hubby went over to friend's house.  Then I got a phone call I needed to come over because there was a great blogging opportunity - Wings.

And then some fun target shooting practice

and now we're at Wednesday and I have a cold.  I think tooo much running this weekend... lol.  Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Catch that Kick Back

A topic that is pretty hot and heavy right now is Guns and or Gun control.

Growing up my dad had a bebe gun and a couple shot guns that I know of.  I shot my first gun when I was 16 at FFA Camp shooting at clay pigeon's.  Let me tell you, I suck!  Out of 100 rounds, I broke 2 clay pigeon's but, that was also the first time I'd ever shot a gun so I definitely get an A for effort.

I respect guns.  Point blank.  I'm not going to lie, they even scare me a bit because I know what they are capable of.

I'm not planning on debating gun control issues with you, but I can tell you, just because it could potentially be a law to not own guns someday, doesn't mean that people will follow it.  There are many drugs out there to be had that are illegal.  That doesn't stop a person who is addicted to them and still wants them.  So what would make someone think that if they took away guns, the bad people wouldn't get them?  I personally would at least like to know how to use a gun properly in case I ever had to, hoping I never do!

My husband, being a veteran from the United States Army knows the ins and outs of guns.  Last weekend some friends of ours are working on their permit to carry concealed (they are search and rescue people) and they were shooting targets at another friend's house and we were invited over.

This was the first time I'd ever shot a hand gun and it intimidated me just a bit.  Remember, all I've ever shot is a shot gun...  Luckily hubby was there to walk me through the process.

The first rule to gun safety - ALWAYS treat the gun as if it were loaded.  NEVER point it at a person, rather point it at the ground or down range.

This was my friend A's revolver. It's pink, do you see that?

When I turned around from shooting, I noticed I had an audience.

So out of 20 rounds I got 18 on the actual target.  My first 10 I got 9 out of 10 on the target.  I was told that was an A.... whatever that means :).

You stand at 20 feet from the target.  Earl is demonstrating here for all to see.

And then we were ready to battle it off, sister to sister, target to target.  Who won??  Guess we'll never know...



And just in case you're wondering what he's referring to when he says "Like the lady in Texas" click on the phrase for the link.  Snopes proved it false, but it's still a good story :).





Monday, January 28, 2013

Japanese Steak House

One day last week hubby told me he was feeling the Japanese Steakhouse and that we should go there again soon since we hadn't been there in a while.  I said, ok sounds good to me.

Friday one of my friends was having a Thirty One party and invited me, however when I got home from work I was ready to crash on the couch and not wake up until Saturday.  Hubby walked in and asked me, first off if I was going to make it, and secondly if I was going to the party or not.  I told him I was really undecided.  Finally I thought, no, I don't think I am.

So he told me to put on my coat and go get in the truck.  I was like really?  I want to sleep!  But he told me there was time for that later so I grabbed my jacket and we piled into the truck.

We were driving down the road and I was telling him about different restaurants (no idea how that came up) and finally I was like, where are we going?  He wouldn't tell me but finally said if I thought hard I'd figure it out.  Finally I realized where we were going - Tokyo Japanese Steak & Sushi.

When we got there, there was a 20 minute wait, although I'm fairly certain we didn't wait that long.

Oddly enough hubby and I ordered the same thing, which doesn't generally happen all that often :)

We started off with California Roll Sushi.  I'm not always so sure about Sushi but the first time I had one of these, some guy was on a date with his girlfriend/fiance/wife/significant other and they conned me in to trying one.  I didn't even know these people, and before you judge too much, you sit at a table with multiple people unless you have a huge party and I watched the waitress bring them out.  Plus I was with my parents and of course my parents thought I had flipped my lid trying sushi, but oddly enough those weren't bad.

This time, still A-ok in my book :)

Then when you order  your entree, they bring you Salad with a Ginger dressing & a Japanese Onion Soup to start with.  The salad dressing was exceptionally good Friday night and I didn't want to quit eating the soup, but knew I needed to or I was going to over stuff!

They bring you ginger sauce & shrimp sauce.  The hubs and I prefer the shrimp sauce so we just ask for double shrimp sauce.

When the chef comes out they light the cooking stove on fire.  I think it scared the people sitting next to us :)

Then everyone who orders an entree (as long as it isn't an early bird entree) receives 2 shrimp as a starter.  This is really when I decided I might just like Shrimp, as long as it's cooked this way :).  If you get a comical/good chef he throws shrimp tails at people or in his hat or his pocket or D all of the above.  Ours was throwing them at people :).  Our Chef also commented that the Shrimp appetizer was from Long John Silvers... no no just kidding - Neosho River :).  It was funny!

Then you get Hibachi vegetables.  Super yummy!  When he started chopping on the veggies he told us they were from WalMart








 Then it was time to light the onion on fire.

And wow these guys work fast!  The vegetables include but not limited to: Mushrooms, Carrots, Broccoli, and well other things :)

You also get these wonderful noodles!  I swear sometimes I think the noodles are my absolute favorite!  Friday night, superb!

We also got fried rice which I obviously didn't take a picture of because seriously who would do that?  haha.  I'm always sooooo impressed because they can do the Egg Roll where they spin it around and flip it on their spatula and he put one in his hat and one in his pocket.  He swore they weren't hard boiled.  Some of them will actually crack them open with their spatulas.  Anyway this guy was amazingly talented!

Hubby and I chose to order the Shrimp (I know right) and chicken combo.  I really wanted shrimp but sometimes the shrimp doesn't taste like the appetizer shrimp so I got the chicken to be safe.  OMG, the shrimp was amazingly out of this world!  Fantabulous!  And the chicken, superb!

Although sadly or maybe not sadly (you know for my waistline) hubby and I both had 2 boxes of leftovers a piece.  Hello leftovers this week!

Sometimes it's a crapshoot on what chef you get, but the one we had Friday night was excellent!  And the food was fabulous!  I hated not being able to eat more but you get sooooo much that....

And then after that we headed to the Thirty One party. Ha!  So much for my night of sleeping until Saturday! :)  Oh well sleep is overrated sometimes.... lol



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