Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I made these for a work party before we moved to OKC.  I told the hubster I would bring home the leftovers but there were NONE.  These were a huge success and great for any gathering or potluck.

Cream Cheese Pinwheels

Large spinach tortillas
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup chopped black olives

1) Mix ingredients well.
2) Warm tortillas so they are easier to roll.
3) Spread the mixture thinly across the entire tortilla.
4) Holding one side of the tortilla, roll it into the shape of a log.
5) Press it firmly together while maintaining a circular shape.
6) Slice it as you would a sushi roll.
7) Repeat until all mixture is used.
8) Serve as is or with your favorite salsa.

Garlic Chicken

I'm going to be quite honest- I did not feel like going to the grocery store tonight and just threw some random things together for dinner.  It actually turned out pretty good! The sauce from the chicken is fabulous drizzled over steamed rice.

Garlic Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
4 tbsp brown sugar
3 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
2) In a small skillet, saute garlic in olive oil until bubbly.
3) Remove from heat and add brown sugar.
4) Generously season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
5) Place chicken breasts in greased casserole dish and cover with brown sugar mixture.
6) Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until tops are browned.

Pair with rice and veggies

The Shins- "New Slang"
The Shins- "Simple Song"
Death Cab for Cutie- "A Lack of Color"

Beef Stroganoff

This is one of my favorite favorite favorite dishes my mama used to make.  In 6th grade, I was in a World's Culture Fair at school and was assigned Belarus as my country.  My mom made a giant batch of this stuff and I handed it out in little dixie cups dressed in my little Russian outfit.
This time around, I got a little adventurous and used a different cut of meat- don't do it y'all! Stick to the recipe; it's so much better. 

Beef Stroganoff

1 1/2 lbs round steak, cut in 1/4 inch strips
2 tbsp onion soup mix
1 (6 oz) can sliced mushrooms
8 oz reduced fat sour cream
egg noodles

1) Brown steak strips in skillet.
2) Add soup mix and mushrooms with liquid.
3) Heat until bubbly.
4) Slowly add sour cream and cook until thoroughly heated.
5) Serve with noodles.

Modest Mouse- "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes"
Flaming Lips- "Do You Realize?" (Representin' OKC!)
Arcade Fire- "Wake Up"

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mashed Red Potatoes and Garlic Green Beans

Mashed Reds

8 red or new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp butter (hey, I didn't say this was low-cal)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp sugar
zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley for garnish

1) Place potato quarters in large saucepan and add water until covered.  Add salt and bring to boil.
2) Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 15 minutes.
3) Drain water and set aside, covered.
4) In a small saucepan, combine milk, butter, and sugar and warm until butter is melted.
5) Add butter mixture to potatoes and mash until desired consistency is obtained.
6) Stir in lemon zest.
7) Salt and pepper to taste.
8) Garnish with parsley.

Garlic Green Beans

1 package frozen Italian style green beans
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1) In a skillet over medium heat, combine beans, olive oil, and garlic.
2) Saute for about 10 minutes.
3) Cover, reduce heat and simmer for another 5 minutes.
4) Remove cover, stir and cook another 3 minutes or until liquid evaporates.
5) Season to taste and top with parmesan cheese.
Serves 4

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

This recipe is super easy and budget friendly with only 4 ingredients!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken
(Recipe from The Enchanted Cook)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 tsp Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2) Mix mayo and cheese together in a small bowl.
3) Lay chicken on baking sheet and spread mayo mixture evenly on top.
4) Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of mayo mixture evenly.
5) Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly and juices run clear.
6) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Paired with mashed red potatoes and garlic green beans (recipes to follow)

Soundtrack: (I was feelin' some show tunes, y'all.  Don't judge.)
"Mama Who Bore Me" from Spring Awakening
"I'm Still Hurthing" from The Last 5 Years
"I'm Not That Girl" from Wicked
"Out Tonight" from Rent
"The Wizard and I" from Wicked (I'm sure my neighbors just love my belting! Ha!)

Balsamic Crusted Pork Tenderloin

As much as I hate the word, this dish is so MOIST and can be prepared in the kitchen or on the grill.  This time around, I cooked it in the oven but you best believe come summertime, it's goin' on the grill.  If you have the time, marinate over night; if not, no worries; a quick rub down will do just fine!

Grilled Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin
(Recipe from kitchenconfidante.com)

4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 lbs pork tenderloin
2 tbsp canola oil

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Combine garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil in baking dish.  Rub paste all over pork OR place pork in dish and let marinate overnight.
3) Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pork and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes.
4) Transfer pork to casserole or baking dish and roast for about 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
5) Remove pork from casserole or baking dish and let sit on cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing.

I paired the pork with sauteed collard greens and pasta salad

Mary J. Blige- "I'm Goin' Down"
Alicia Keys- "If I Ain't Got You"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wedding Pics by Simpli Photography

October 1, 2011 was the best day of my life.  It was as beautiful as a fairytale; I felt like a princess marrying my Prince Charming.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures from that perfect day.

My beautiful bridesmaids; Hillary, Julie, Ashley, Madelaine, and Deena

My Mom and my Grandmom in 1979, Me and my Mom in 2011

I'm a Texas girl-of course I wore boots!

My dad made the arbor we got married under

Mr. and Mrs. Childers

Love my dress; Maggie Sottero Ambrosia w/ handmade shoulder strap

My handsome hub

On my 16th bday, my dad gave me a half heart necklace and kept half of it.  My half was attached to my bouquet.  At the reception, he surprised me by giving his half to Chris. I still can't think about this moment without getting choked up!

My half of the heart necklace
The way every bride should feel on her wedding day, pure bliss!

I'll always be a daddy's girl!

Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies

Silly hormones, makin' me crave chocolate like no body's business.  My mom used to make these for my little brother and I all the time when we were growing up. So much for trying to eat "healthier" - ha!

Chocolate No-Bakes
(Recipe from my childhood)

1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
2 tsp vanilla

Everything you need (except for the milk...forgot to include that in this pic)

1) Add butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder in a saucepan.
2) Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.
3) Remove from heat and add in remaining ingredients.
4) Drop spoonfuls onto wax paper.
5) Refrigerate until set.

Stoney LaRue- "Idabel Blues"
Reckless Kelly- "Ragged as the Road"
Cross Canadian Ragweed- "Carney Man"

Chicken Piccata and Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Butter

Call me a country bumpkin, but typically, I stick with southern, soul-healing, homestyle meals.  Tonight, I decided to step outside my comfort zone and get fancy.  I was a little nervous at first, but this actually ended up being one of my husband's favorite meals to date! Don't be alarmed by all the directions; it's really not time consuming or difficult at all.  I just separated all the steps to make it easier to follow.

Chicken Piccata
(Recipe from http://okilleatthat.tumblr.com/)

2 large lemons
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chicken broth or stock
2 tbsp small capers, drained
3 tbsp butter softened
fresh parsley

1) Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, set large heatproof plate on rack, and heat to 200 degrees.
2) Halve one of the lemons pole to pole and trim the ends of one of the halves.  Cut trimmed-end half into slices and set aside.  Juice the remaining half along with the other lemon and reserve juice, 1/4 cup juice.
3) Sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper.
4) Measure flour into baking dish.  Coat each chicken breasts with flour and shake to remove excess.
5) Heat heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes. 
6) Add 2 tbsp oil and swirl to coat.
7) Lay 2 of the chicken breasts in skillet and saute, without moving them, for 1 1/2-2 minutes.  Turn and saute another 1 1/2-2 minutes, without moving.
8) Remove pan from heat and transfer chicken to plate in oven.
9) Return skillet to heat and repeat steps 6-8 for remaining chicken breasts.
10) In same skillet, add garlic and return to medium heat.  Saute until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
11) Add broth or stock and lemon slices, increasing heat to high, and scrape skillet with spatula to loosen brown bits.  Simmer about 4 minutes.
12) Add lemon juice and capers and simmer another minute.
13) Remove pan from heat and add butter.  Let sit until butter melts and sauce thickens.
14) Spoon sauce over chicken and top with parsley.  Serve immediately.

Asparagus with Lemon Butter

Juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp butter
salted water
1 bunch of asparagus
olive oil
salt to taste

1) Wash asparagus and cut off bottoms and tough ends, lining up the tops.
2) Fill a large skillet half full of salted water and bring to a boil.  Dump in all asparagus and return to boil, cook for 3 minutes. Drain.
3) Return asparagus to hot pot and squeeze lemon juice on top.
4) Fry with olive oil and butter.
5) Add salt to taste.

Soundtrack: (it's a 90's kinda night, y'all)
Sixpence None the Richer- "Kiss Me"
The Cardigans- "Lovefool"
Gin Blossoms- "Hey Jealousy"

Baked Garlic Lemon Tilapia and Stuffed Baked Potatoes

The hubster was wanting some fish, and of course my southern mind immediately craved fried catfish, but we're trying to eat healthier.  So I found this recipe for baked tilapia on Pinterest and it was A-MAZING.  I paired it with my stuffed baked potatoes, steamed veggies and Crown Valley Royal Blush

Baked Garlic Lemon Tilapia
(Recipe from skinnytaste.com)

4 tilapia filets
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tsp fresh parsley
salt and pepper

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Melt butter on low heat in small sauce pan.
3) Add garlic and saute on low for about 1 minute.
4) Add lemon juice and turn off heat.
5) Spray bottom of baking dish with cooking spray and place fish on top, season with salt and pepper.
6) Pour the lemon butter mixture on the fish and top with parsley.
7) Bake at 400 degrees until cooked, about 15 minutes.

Stuffed Baked Potatoes

2 baking potatoes, baked (I totally cheated and bought the kind that comes in cellophane that you microwave)
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (plus a little more to sprinkle on top)

1) Cut baked potatoes in half lengthwise.
2) Scoop out the potato halves, leaving the skin intact.
3) In a mixing bowl, mash the pulp with milk and butter.
4) Stir in cheese.
5) Refill the potato skins with mixture and reheat at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes or until tops begin to brown.
6) Immediately top with more shredded cheese.

The Black Keys- "Lonely Boy"
Lloyd- "Dedication to My Ex"
Grouplove- "Tongue Tied"

Chicken Fajitas and Cilantro Lime Rice

After watching Anthony Bourdain go on a rampage about fajitas and how they're not an authentic Mexican dish, I was jonesin' for some.  Authentic or not, they're dang good.  Plus, this is a dish you don't need a recipe for; you can saute up any kind of veggies you want and stick 'em in a flour tortilla.  This is what I happened to have on hand; feel free to use whatever your little heart desires!  Along with the fajitas and rice, I served Ranch Style Beans with jalapenos.

Chicken Fajitas

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 packet fajita seasoning
1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 orange pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
2 tbsp canola oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
flour tortillas, warmed
sour cream

1) Heat the oil in a heavy skillet; add chicken strips and MOST of the seasoning and cook over high heat, constantly stirring, for 5 minutes, or until cooked.  Set aside.
2) In the same skillet, add garlic, onion, peppers, and remaining seasoning and saute over high heat for about 5-6 minutes or until onions are translucent and veggies start to blacken around edges.
3) Return chicken to skillet and heat until sizzling hot.
4) Microwave tortillas for 10 seconds and stuff with hot chicken mix.
5) Top with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa

And now for the rice:

Cilantro Lime Rice

1 cup Minute Rice
juice of 1/2 of a lime
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp canola oil

1) Prepare rice as directed on box.
2) In a separate bowl, combine cilantro, lime juice, rice, and oil.
3) Toss until well mixed.

And of course, don't forget the cervesa!

Zac Brown- "Where the Boat Leaves From"
Jerrod Niemann- "One More Drinkin' Song"
Eric Church- "Drink in My Hand"

Monday, March 12, 2012

Orange Chicken

This was my first time trying my hand at Asian cuisine.  The hub had been talking about Chinese food all week and I figured I'd give it a whirl.  Once again, I whipped out the ol' Crock Pot for this one.

Orange Chicken
(Recipe from Six Sisters' Stuff)

4 boneless chicken breasts, chopped into small chunks
1/3 cup flour
olive oil
1/2 Tbl. salt
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 Tbl. ketchup
6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate (half can), thawed (I don't use the full 6 oz because it's a little too strong for my liking)
4 Tbl. brown sugar

1) In a large bowl, mix the orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and ketchup.
**With all the leftover OJ, I made Tequila Sunrises!! Mmmmm ;)**

2) In a smaller bowl, pour in the flour and add uncooked chicken chunks.  Cover the chicken in flour and shake off the excess.
3) Pour a small amount of olive oil in a skillet and brown the flour-covered chicken.  The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked since it's going in the crock pot.

4) After the chicken is done cooking, pour the pieces into the crock pot. Then cover the chicken with your sauce mixture and stir.
5) Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3.

Serve with steamed rice or throw some rice in a skillet and fry it up (don't forget the egg!).

"We Are Young"- Fun.
"Moneygrabber"- Fitz and the Tantrums
"Go Outside"- Cults

Homemade Chicken 'n Dumplins

This is hands down my favorite meal to make.  It's southern comfort food at it's finest.  Plus, I get to use my Crock Pot which is the best thing since sliced bread!  I don't know what I would do without that bad boy...

Chicken 'n Dumplins
(Recipe from Disney Family)

2 cups cooked chicken
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 soup cans water
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits)

1) Mix all ingredients (except biscuits) in slow cooker.
2) Rip biscuits into quarters and GENTLY stir into mixture.
3) Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

It's meals like this that make me PROUD to be from the south. 

"Oklahoma Sky"- Miranda Lambert
"All Your Life"- The Band Perry
"Closer to You"- Stoney LaRue

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

I'm not very good at this daily blogging thing.  I'll try to make up for my absence by posting several recipes tonight.  The thing is...I always forget to take pictures of my finished products!

I'll start with one of my favorite casseroles.  This is super easy, incredibly tasty, and is one of those meals that's almost better the next day as leftovers!

Chicken Broccoli Casserole
(Recipe from Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour)


3 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
2 cans of reduced fat cream of chicken soup
1 cup of miracle whip
1 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
1 cup Colby & Monterrey jack cheese
1 bag frozen broccoli,thawed and chopped
salt & pepper to taste

That's all it takes, folks! Tip: They sell frozen broccoli that's already chopped but they didn't have any in off brand. That would save a little bit of time if you're in a hurry but not much.

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Cook the chicken and shred.
3) Chop broccoli if you're like me and preferred to save a few cents on off brand :)
4) Mix ALL ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
5) Dump mixture into a greased casserole dish.
6) Cook for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Serve by itself or with rice.  I top it off with more shredded cheese and of course....*drum roll please*...FRANK'S!

"Shame"- The Avett Brothers
"God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise"- Ray LaMontange & The Pariah Dogs
"White Blank Page"- Mumford and Sons