Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sweet Eats

We are getting a little more snow tonight so I am curling up and trying to keep warm. And of course we needed some comfort food. I was craving something sugary so everything I made had slight sweet taste. We had barbeque chicken sandwiches, potatoes, cornbread salad, and okra salad. I know – two salads – but I wanted them both and we are just real lucky that I decided against making potato salad, too (which actually sounded good to me). The recipes are below…

Pulled Chicken

Ok. I cheat. I never have time to smoke a chicken. Especially during the week. I boil it like this:

1 whole chicken
2 boxes of Swanson chicken broth
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder

When it is starting to fall off the bone I remove it from the broth, pull it off the bone and shred it with a fork. Then I toss it in Sticky Fingers “Carolina Sweet” barbeque sauce. I use it because it seems a little thinner than other brands and it’s quicker than making my own! It’s pretty good, too :) It also tastes better if you sing "Sweet Caroline...Bah bah bah" while stirring.

Then I serve it on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

Potatoes. Kinda a mix between Scallop Potatoes and Jackson Potatoes.

Here’s how:

4-6 gold potatoes, sliced very thinly

In a bowl, whisk together:

1 pt whipping cream
½ C sour cream
1 tsp salt
½ tsp coarse pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
1 C cheese (I use marbled cheddar

Lay one layer of potatoes in a greased baking dish and spoon a small amount of liquid. Make sure you get some of the cheese – it tends to sink to the bottom of the bowl. Repeat layering until you are out of potatoes. Then pour whatever is left over of the liquid on top. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for one hour.

Remove the foil after one hour and top with roughly another 1 C of cheese. Let that melt and then finish the dish off by sprinkling Club cracker on top. I chop mine up into a fine powder in the food processor until it is extremely fine. Dust like. And then broil it for a couple of minutes until it is brown.

Cornbread Salad. A whole bunch of whatever I have. This changes a lot depending what kind of vegetables I have. This is one of Derrick’s favorite things I make…Thanks for turning me onto it, Katie!

2 boxes of Jiffy Cornbread (baked as instructed)
½ green pepper, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
¼ of one of those enormous red onions, chopped
Mayo, as much as you want, as long as it is Duke’s

And of course sprinkle some bacon on it.

Break the cornbread into large chunks and toss in the peppers, tomatoes and onion. Then coat it all with Duke’s. We personally like a lot. It is very creamy when I make it, but it doesn’t have to be. The cornbread makes it really sweet and the Duke’s compliments it perfectly.

Okra Salad
Oh yes. You can make this one sweet, too.

2 pkgs frozen okra, breaded and fried
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 green onions, chopped

While your okra is cooking you can take

¼ C apple cider vinegar
½ C sugar

Bring these to a slight simmer until it makes a thick syrup. If you let it cool before you use it all it will harden up and it tough to get out of the pan – just reheat it and a splash of vinegar and it will soften again.

After mixing all of you veggies together, drizzle a little syrup on to coat them. This obviously doesn’t reheat well. Once again, sprinkle some bacon on top.

So everything on the menu was sweet…no dessert needed but maybe an appointment with the dentist :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snow Dogs

Last Saturday we woke up to this….

The dogs loved it! Well, Maggie and Annie loved it.

Charlie prefers not to get dirty or wet. He was a bit of a grouch about Maggie charging full speed at him.

The girls thoroughly enjoyed wrestling in it. They are always a little rowdy, but with this white pillow on the ground they were allowed to be even rougher than normal.

Mag used her hound dog nose to sniff out some toys she had left outside before the snow...

Charlie just needed to get away and check things out on his own.

It was beautiful and gone quickly!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Weekend With The Barbers

A couple of weekends ago, Katie decided to bring the babies up for a quick visit. Yay!! We don’t get to see each other as much as we would like, so I love weekends when we get to spend time together, especially if Amelia is there for entertainment. We can just lay around the house and that little girl will find some way to put on a show.
Sadly, I do not have any pictures form the Mexican restaurant. Amelia decided to clean the entire booth with napkins, make bracelets out of napkins, and fashion me a hair bow out of a napkin. She also salted the chips, the table, the chairs, me, baby Jack and so on so on. Everything was covered thanks to her salting style, which resembles someone throwing a lasso. The next day she pulled out that same skill to “sprinkle” dirt on my living room floor. Totally my own fault. I had a plant that somehow died….apparently I thought it didn’t really need water. So now I have a pot of dirt that for some reason I have forget to take out. Seriously. A pot of dirt in the living room. I should have known that it would be highly intriguing to her. After Katie removed the hair brushes (who were pretending to be a family in the dirt for Amelia) I walked in the room and saw both of her hands digging. She totally knew it was a “no”. And when I came closer I got two handfuls slung at me. It was so funny I absolutely could not keep from laughing, which resulted in more dirt being thrown. After I got in trouble for laughing and Amelia got in trouble for throwing she cleaned it up with my new vacuum. It works better if yoiu clean in your big girl panties with half a wedgie...

More about this vacuum. It is the best thing I have ever bought. Since we have multiple pets, we are constantly sweeping and swiffering and dusting. It was out of control. This baby picks up everything – even dust. It is the Oreck pet canister. Everyone should have one. I also got the steamer for the floors. It’s the second best thing I have ever bought.

Anyway, Amelia and Jack completely took up with the dogs. Maggie is really scared of them and pretty much stayed hidden under the table. Amelia tried her best to get her out but it just was not going to happen.

Despite Amelia's best attempts...

Charlie prefers Jack...maybe because the child has a Cherrio hidden between his little fingers at any given time...

Amelia and Charlie did bond over some Teddy Grahams, then all 95 lbs of him was in her face...

Annie, however, really loved Amelia. She would follow her around (food or no food) and let Amelia do pretty much whatever. Whatever includes pulling whiskers, tugging on her nose, swinging her tail like a jump rope, sitting on her cowgirl style and yelling “Yee-haw” but most of all Annie loved the kisses and cuddles.

We did get to take them to their first basketball game, which was the first time I have ever seen Amelia awestruck.

Jack looked pretty impressed too…

She kept creeping closer and closer and begging to go play basketball with the boys. Too cute! And it made Uncle Derrick so happy.

She made sure to wave at him from the stands…

And clap and dance…

And play with her gum…

And love on Jack…