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Friday, February 27, 2015

Nana's Macaroni and Cheese

Ooh! I've been dying to post this recipe since I first started the blog but I'm always too lazy to take the pictures when I make it for lunch. I ate this almost every weekday of my childhood. Nana made a pot every day at lunch for my cousin J and me to share. She's probably made it for me hundreds of times, if not thousands.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Menu for 2/27/15-3/5/15

Man, these mystery afghan projects are so much fun! I'm out of yarn for the knit clue for this week but the crochet clue looks so cool. It's a very elaborate granny square that now has these large chain loops on the corners making the squares look like giant butterflies or flowers. I'm totally confused by it because every time I think I know what it's going to look like they add a new clue and blow my mind.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Peppermint Meltaways

You know those soft sugar cookies with the soft frosting you can always find in the grocery store bakery? I have always loved those! Bailey likes them too but of course she calls them pink cookies because our grocery store almost always has them with pink frosting no matter the current holiday season.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Chocolate Cheesecake

There is nothing in the world better than cheesecake. Every time I have a slice of cheesecake I'm left thinking I could totally eat two more slices. Granted I'd probably get two bites into the second slice before I realized what a huge mistake it was.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Oink, Oink! Pork Rub and Roasted Pork Loin

I was a little late and last minute in pulling together my Christmas gifts last year, as usual. (I remember one year having to knit while Yaya wrapped my gifts because I was so far behind on making my gifts.) I had the ideas in my head of what I wanted to give, but it's so difficult to get everything I need together. It took me forever to find the mason jars I wanted to use, and then when I did find them the store only had one box and I needed three. I looked everywhere for large scrapbooking letters, the sticky ones, but when I couldn't find them I had to go with iron-on letters for fabric which didn't work nearly as well and probably cost a lot more. I spent a week looking for plain white coffee mugs too. Three days before Christmas we found one but I needed two. I wound up with the one white mug and a black one that I prayed would work for my purposes.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Menu for 2/20/15-2/26/15

This has been a really fun week so far. First it sleeted all day Monday and Aaron got to come home from work at noon. Tuesday it looked like a forest of glass outside with everything glazed in ice. Then Wednesday it snowed all day. Granted, a whole day of snow in Tennessee looks more like an inch or so on the ground, but it's still beautiful and exciting and Aaron gets another day off today!

The new clues for the mystery afghans were revealed on Tuesday and I'm super excited about how this crochet afghan is going to look. I'm not a huge fan of granny squares but they've now added a cross to the squares in a contrasting color that makes it look kind of fancy. It's growing on me. The new knitting clue is smaller than the last and goes so quickly that I finished all four pieces in just a couple of hours.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Turkey Lasagna

It's a Valentine's Day tradition for Aaron and I to have lasagna for dinner. It's the meal I made for our first Valentine's Day together, and our second, and a handful in between as well. It's one of my favorite meals to make for special occasions because the layers are impressive but the process (while time consuming and messy) is very simple.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Basic Marinara Sauce

For spaghetti I almost always use Yaya's spaghetti sauce. It's hearty, meaty, and perfectly seasoned. But when a recipe calls for spaghetti sauce I like to use something a little more simple.

Friday, February 13, 2015

My Favorite Turkey Burgers

So it's over a month since Christmas and I'm still loving my new George Foreman grill. I've been grabbing any opportunity to use it, and that includes making lots of burgers!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Menu for 2/13/15-2/19/15

Valentine's Day is just a couple of days away and Aaron's birthday is coming up the week after that. I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed. I've been trying to think of something to give Aaron for Valentine's Day that he would actually use, but I'm kind of drawing a blank. When he wants something he usually just goes ahead and gets it, which is normally fine, but between like Thanksgiving and March it makes things difficult for me. It's especially difficult right now because I have to come up with two gifts instead of just one. I sometimes feel jealous of him because at least he gets an extra three months to find me a birthday gift after Valentine's Day, but then I remember that my birthday sometimes falls on Mother's Day and that has to be difficult for him too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

I always learn something when I try a new cookie recipe. For instance, with this recipe I learned that caramel squares do not melt and spread when wrapped in a ball of cookie dough. The cookie dough spreads as it cooks and the square of caramel remains in the center of a large cookie, chewy and delicious but not exactly evenly distributed.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Broccoli with Garlic and Soy Sauce

It's probably pretty obvious if you read my menu plans that broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables. I've never been a fan of cheese sauce on vegetables. Well, if you asked my elementary school self she'd probably tell you a different story, but let's be safe and say that since I started driving I haven't been fond of it. The one exception is when Yaya makes broccoli and melts American cheese slices on top, but really I just like the taste of the broccoli and I feel the cheese flavor overpowers it.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Cheeseburger Soup

Though I've eaten it many times, I don't often cook cheeseburger soup. Usually Yaya makes it as it's one of my brother's favorite meals. The last time she made it Aaron came to dinner with me and he liked the soup so much that I think he would have licked the bowl if we hadn't been at Yaya's house.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Menu for 2/6/15-2/12/15

Well, Bailey had her yearly checkup with the neurosurgeon this week and he said everything still looks good which is great news! There's no evidence of shunt malfunction and she still has plenty of tubing to accommodate growth. She doesn't have to go back for another year. Nana and I took lunch to Yaya at the school to celebrate.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wishlist Wednesday February 2015

I realized at the start of the new year that I'm way far behind on trying out all of these wishes. I have a stack of post-it notes full of things to try. Some of them might eventually make it to the wish come true list, but now it's time to add a few new wishes to the list. This month I've included a few things that are Valentine's Day themed and also a couple of things I'm hoping to try for Aaron's birthday which is just around the corner.

A Wish for a Happy Birthday:

Dr. Pepper Cupcakes from BS' in the Kitchen

I have seen pins for Dr. Pepper cakes in the past but this is the first one I've seen that included a recipe. I guess the general idea is that you replace the water in the chocolate cake mix with Dr. Pepper, but this also includes a recipe for a Dr. Pepper reduction that you use to make Dr. Pepper buttercream frosting! It sounds a bit complicated (well, lots of ingredients in tiny amounts for all the flavors in Dr. Pepper) but it might just be worth a shot for Aaron. The man can drink more Dr. Pepper than anyone I've ever seen! And while I haven't been too keen on Dr. Pepper ever since I was pregnant with Bailey, I don't think it would bother me in a cake.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Seasoned Oven-Baked Brown Rice

During the SNAP challenge I shared with you my favorite way to cook brown rice. It is still my favorite way to cook brown rice, but I have jazzed it up a bit in this recipe. I've made it twice for Nana and twice it has disappeared! This is my new favorite rice to serve as a side dish.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Cranberry and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

When I was young Admiral would occasionally make us raisin oatmeal sweetened with brown sugar. I learned from him that the trick to great raisin (or cranberry) oatmeal is to add the raisins (or cranberries) to the water at the very beginning. that way they plump up as they soak and come to a boil. And BONUS: They slightly sweeten the water so that you need less sugar!