Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Firefighter's Wife

I saw this poem online and it hit home. Glad to know I'm not the only one out there who's felt this way, so I put it together with some pictures I found & made this post....I'm very proud of my FF hubby!

A Firefighter's Wife

It takes a special kind of man to do what our husbands do….but if you think about the way we live, you'll see we're pretty special too.

With 24 hour shifts, investigations & all the calls we've learned to fix our own cars, repair bikes & patch the walls. We calm the children's fears at night, battle gremlins, ghosts & gnomes. Dad would be here to do it, but he's saving lives & homes.

Now please don't get me started on what it takes to raise our kids. I get enough advice from Mom on do's & don'ts & did's. I mean, really, what kind of threat is this for a kid who's being bad: "It might be a couple of days from now, but just wait til I tell your Dad!"

We communicate by texting, sticky notes, cell phones & voicemail. On Valentine's Day he e-mails virtual roses without fail. Interrupted family dinners, he's working yet another Christmas Day….you sigh as you think of all the years that things will be this way.

Tonight Mom's got the kids, your coats are on, you're almost out the door. This time you're really going out, unlike all the years before. You think of all the fun you'll have when from his hip you hear a tone. Oh, well, maybe next year…another birthday spent alone.

You wave & yell, "I love you" as he rushes past, memorizing the smile he gives you for fear it just might be your last. You smile until he's out of sight before you let the teardrops pour because even on this special night, there's folks who need him more.

You're our heroes & we love you, never get us wrong. We know your days are rough, they're challenging and they’re long. But it takes a different kind of woman to marry into this way of life. You think it's tough to be a firefighter? Try being a firefighter’s wife.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Crockpot Mac & Cheeeeeeese!


This is a dish that I would make every day, but I rarely do because I simply can't be alone with it! I love macaroni and cheese, and this recipe is the bomb (thank you Trisha Yearwood...no wonder Garth loves you!). After the time is up, and you open the crockpot lid for the first time to see the cheese and butter just bubbling on the top, you will fall in love. Be prepared to eat the entire dish -- and don't say I didn't warn you!

Serves 12.

8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
2 10-ounce bricks sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 5 cups)
Dash of paprika
In a large 4-quart crockpot sprayed with cooking spray, mix the macaroni, milks, eggs, butter, salt, pepper and all but ½ cup of the grated cheese. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top of the mixture and then sprinkle with paprika. Cook on low heat for 3 hours and 15 minutes. Turn off the crockpot, stir the mixture, and serve hot.
If you don't have a crockpot, grease a 9x13x2-inch pan with butter, add the mixture, and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Bacon Bowties

Saw this on Pinterest (duh!) and definitely going to try soon!  Sounds easy and delish!  It's bacon - how can it be bad???

  • 1 lb bacon – cheapest/thinnest cut you can buy (thick cut will not work)
  • box of Waverly/Club type crackers
  1. Prepare cookie sheet with foil. Then place a cookie cooling rack into the pan. This will allow you to cook the bowties and let the grease drip away. A broiler pan would work also.
  2. Cut the bacon into thirds.
  3. Take a cracker and wrap a piece of bacon around it’s middle tightly. Place on pan (Brown sugar sprinkling is a possibility at this point – it’s your preference.)
  4. Cook at 250 degrees for approximately 2.5 hours. You can watch towards the end to keep the crackers from getting too brown. The bacon should cook nicely and draw up the middle of the cracker making a bowtie.
  5. Serve either hot or cold. These are great for a tailgate or make ahead appetizer.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Housemade Ranch

I'm from Texas - we use Ranch like regular folks use ketchup.  Why let Hidden Valley corner the market?  Here's an easy recipe to make your own! 
  • 5 tablespoons dried minced onions
  • 6 teaspoons parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 teaspoons salt (I use Celtic)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • Mix together and store in an air tight container.

Who needs chocolate when you can have Ranch? 

For dressing: Mix 2 tablespoons dry mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream.
For dip: Mix 2 tablespoons dry mix with 2 cups sour cream.
Mix up a few hours before serving, so the flavors all blend.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Nini's "Paula Deen in a jar"

I love banana pudding....and my favorite is Paula Deen's recipe. I have taken Paula's famous "Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding" and put it in a perfectly portion-sized Mason jar.  This gives me the decadent delicious recipe AND portion control at the same time.

Ingredients:  Bananas, Cool Whip, Chessman cookies, cream cheese (I used Neufchatel), condensed milk (I used fat free), and French Vanilla pudding.

This is my cat Cody....he is sunning himself while I'm making my delicious pudding concoction.

Whip up the pudding mix with two cups milk.

In a separate bowl blend cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth.

Fold the Cool Whip into the cream cheese/condensed milk. 

Fold the pudding into the cream cheese/Cool Whip blend.

Get your jars ready - making sure they're nice and clean.

Break up the Chessman cookies and sliced bananas and put into bottom of each jar.

It only takes one cookie and 2-3 slices of banana.

Pour banana pudding on the top. You will need to tap the jar on counter, allowing the pudding to get air bubbles out and slide down over the cookies and nana's....yum!

Pop the lids on and place them back in the carton. Great for storage in the fridge and easy to transport.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Turkey Legs

As hubby is working (fireman) July 4th, we plan to venture out July 3rd and find some fireworks and enjoy our independence a day early.....and we need a picnic.....and I thought of turkey legs....mmmm....

We buy our meat & eggs from a fantastic local farmer...(www.rehobothranch.com) and one day saw on the menu he had turkey legs....while they're not the healthiest option for you  they're definitely perfect for a summer evening July 3rd picnic!  I rubbed some butter flavored olive oil, and doused with lots of spices...Slap Yo Mamma, bit of salt, and garlic powder.....

Going on the grill...wood chips have been soaking up some water....

Done & ready for the picnic.

Flag Cookie Pizza

Working in a doctor's office - I have an entire gaggle of ladies I can try recipes on....with our two grown, and hubby working shift work (one on, two off - fireman), I do not have the mass audience I need when I get a cooking bug....thus the girls at the office are my laboratory. 
Today's creation is a Flag Cookie Pizza....a great way to celebrate; gives everyone a bite without going overboard, and lets me try my talents in the kitchen.  I of course found this lovely idea on Pinterest. 
This is what caught my eye -- gorgeous right!?! 

I went yesterday and picked up my items.  Tube of sugar cookie dough, can of cream cheese frosting (sorry, didn't make my frosting), and fruit (strawberries, blueberries & bananas). 

Here's how mine turned out:

Bought huge pizza pan at Walmart (less than $4).

Frosted that baby up! 

Started loading the fruit.

Ready to serve!

Happy Birthday U.S.A.!!!