Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Are all of your Thanksgiving leftovers gone?  We finished ours off except for some cranberry jello goodness.  We also have some extra dressing in the freezer that never got cooked.  Thanksgiving was a success.  We celebrated with linner on Thanksgiving day and dinner the day after. 

Our spread.  Perhaps we need to work on our food photography.

Now, if you aren't burned out on turkey and cranberry type food, you have got to try this sandwich.  Publix, our local grocery store, has a Turkey Cranberry holiday sub. I was a little hesitant to try, but it was awesome.  I have tried to repeat at home. Not quite as good as Publix, but good enough. If you don't have a Publix, you can easily copycat! They even list the kind of turkey and cheese they use from the deli if you want to get serious about replicating.

A loaf of some good bread. I think I bought Italian.
Sliced turkey
Sliced Gruyere cheese
Cranberry sauce. I used my leftover cranberry jello goodness. I am sure cranberry from a can or jar would be just fine too.
2 slices of bacon
A sprinkle of oregano

Assemble and eat. Try it hot. Try it cold. Just try it!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teach Me How To Dougie

Not sure where Wyatt learned his most recent dance moves. Perhaps a little sesame street?  Please enjoy the most out of focus video you may ever see at a reasonably loud volume level so you can get the full experience.

If you would really like to learn "how to dougie", I enjoyed this video very much.    Say it with me...a one, a two, a tree, and a four.

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Christmas Name Drawing

Are you looking at drawing names to save money and time this Christmas?

I used website to generate our list.  This one is not anonymous, but is the easiest I have found when you don't need to keep "who has who" a secret.  Step 1=enter names, Step 2=enter rules (Janet can't get Hunter, Sarah has to get Mom), Step 3=here is your list. No logging in. No emails. No nothing.

Need to have a "Secret Santa" instead?  Try .

Is anybody doing any Black Thursday shopping?   Ugh!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Thanksgiving Plans

This will be our first Thanksgiving away from our family that we actually try to celebrate Thanksgiving.   Wowsa!  Last year, we drove to San Diego and ended up eating at Jack in the Box (only place that was open that would be able to handle a grumpy 3 month old).   Depressing!

We are going to pair up with the Gilliam Family and try to pull of our own feast.   The Gilliam's are taking care of dessert and the turkey. We are doing the sides.  Here is hoping we can have a low stress and delicious meal!

For right now, these are the sides I am planning on.  This might change 10 times before the actual day.

We always called it dressing.  Stuffing.  Whatever.  My family's side does half cornbread/half regular bread.  Hunter's family does all cornbread I believe.  I am going to try the half and half following PW's recipe as a guide, but changing out the seasonings.

My family never did mashed potatoes...always sweet potatoes.  I am going to try and fill up a casserole dish with one side candied sweet potatoes and one side buttery mashed potatoes.  Hope it is not a flop!  The blend in the middle might be the bestest.

Green Beans
Hunter doesn't like the green bean casserole.  Something about the mushrooms.  Going with plain green beans.  I will decide the day of how to cook them.  In a pot with bacon?  On a roasting pan with shallots?  In a skillet with butter and slivered almonds??

Whatever the store has.  I have no winning roll recipe.  I should try to make my own, but I have bad luck with bread.  If I get an amazing burst of motivation, I will make some dough in the bread maker and turn it into rolls.

Cranberry Jello (Karen's Recipe) - I love this stuff!
1 lg raspberry jello
1 lg can crushed pineapple drained
1 lg can whole cranberry sauce
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Use drained juice from pineapple and add water to make 1.5 cups juice. Bring juice to a boil and pour over jello. Add pineapple, cran sauce, and pecans.  Refrigerate!

Cranberry Sangria
I taste tested this recipe and I really like it!

What is left?  Pickles and olives? Cheese ball? That is what we always eat as an appetizer.  We call that fine dining.  Send me your ideas!

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sriracha Lime Popcorn

Planning on watching lots of football today or powering through some movies? You should make this Sriracha Lime Popcorn.  Uhhhh-mazin! Don't like spicy food?  Try the brown butter popcorn instead. 

Happy Sunday!

We finally got around to trimming the mullet.  :)

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I bought some navy skinny ankle pants because I needed more clothes that matched maroon.  I have the Texas A&M Toms, and I can't find much to wear them with.

I can't ever figure out what kind of shoes to wear with skinny ankles or crop pants.  The Gardener's Cottage happened to post a how to wear jeans picture recently.  I am not sure about the rolling of the pants...hmmmm.

I can't wait to try this Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili...even though I am not really a fan of chicken chili.  Bring on the beef!

I am almost done reading Isaac's Storm, a book about the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.  I had no idea it was so horrible.  Apparently Houston and Galveston were in major competition to be the next big city, and this storm blew Galveston out of the running.  Somewhere between 6,000 and 12,000 people lost their life.  So many people were drowned in the 2nd story of their house.  An entire orphanage was wiped out aside from a few lucky kids. A train full of people drowned.  People were stranded in trees hanging on for dear life fighting for a space in the tree along with snakes.  Eek.  I am scarred by the book.  If you would like to read more of the facts, check out the wikipedia page.  The weather service learned so much from this hurricane.

I drank some chamomile tea before I ran today because I read that it is a natural beta blocker.  I was going to see if it helped to keep my heart rate lower while running.  Wellllllll, my Garmin wasn't working so the experiment was a fail.  Maybe tomorrow. 

I made the pumpkin cheesecake recipe I posted recently.  Good, but not amazing.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Heart Monitor Training - 2 Month Update

I have finished 2 months of the heart monitor training plan.  Here are the stats.

Week 1 Paces:
3 Mile Easy Run - 15:02 minute mile
1 Mile Hard Run - 11:13 minute mile

Week 4 Paces:
3 Mile Easy Run - 13:48 minute mile
Hard Run Intervals - 14:46 minute mile

Week 8 Paces:
5 Mile Easy Run - 12:40 minute mile
3 Mile Hard Run - 11:00 minute mile

So what do we see?  Progress.  Yes, progress.  I have been disappointed in my times, but when I look at the progress I have made, I am slightly encouraged.  I have one more month before I complete this plan.  Remember how I said I will be disappointed unless my slow run pace drops down to 10:00 minute mile?  Well I did, and I will most likely be disappointed since I am not even allowed to go that fast for my fast runs.  Heart rate...there is still time for a miracle!  For month 3, I continue with 6 days a week of running, but we step it up to 2 hard runs a week.  Exciting.

Related Posts:
Heart Monitor Training - Why Am I Trying It?
Heart Monitor Training - Part 1 - Max Heart Rate
Heart Monitor Training - Part 2 - Resting Heart Rate 
Heart Monitor Training - Part 3 - Hard vs Easy Runs
Heart Monitor Training - 1 Month Update

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

I have been slacking on my attempt to go through all of the good looking recipes in my 1993 cookbook from the First Baptist Church of Richmond, TX.  Here is a pumpkin one to keep the obsession going (at least in our casa).

This one is from Cheryl Koteras.  She made our wonderful wedding cake!

2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar, divided use
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  1. In small bowl, combine vanilla wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press into bottom and up the sides of a 9" springform pan. Set aside. (I am planning to use a boring old pie dish)
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  Beat in eggs, one at a time. Set 1 cup of cream cheese mixture aside.
  3. Add pumpkin, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to reserved 1 cup of cream cheese mixture. Mix well.
  4. Drop each mixture by large spoonfuls onto crust. Swirl through batter with knife. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. Loosen cake from rim of pan. Cool and then remove from the rim of the pan. Chill for several hours and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

More Fun Every Month

Even though the days are long as a stay at home / work from home mom, every month gets to be a little bit more fun.  Wyatt makes me laugh every day!  I am sure our fun level will have to plateau at some age (tantrums, pushing the limits), but for now I am going to enjoy this.  We even communicate...almost.

Wyatt climbing into the stroller while saying "wok" means he wants to go on a walk.  Easy one.  After we went to the park yesterday, he climbed right into the stroller.  I guess he didn't get enough time outside.

Speaking of parks, "whee" means I want to go down the slide.  This is also an easy one.  He gets confused by the ups and downs. He tries to climb up the slide, but doesn't understand why that isn't whee. I have to park him in front of the steps.  I usually climb up the steps and slide down the slide with him.  He is tooo little and there are big gaps on these toys (said the first time over protective mom). 

Last week, he wanted to climb up the steps on the playground while dragging a stick that was about 6 feet long.  He was so frustrated because he couldn't do both and went ballistic when I tried to explain that he couldn't take the stick while climbing and I took it away.  I am not ready to parent this type of stuff.  It requires more skills.

"Woof!"  Most of the time woof means dog, but sometime woof means shoes.  Not really sure how these got to be the same.

If I am packing up my diaper bag, putting on shoes, or I say "talk to you soon" on the phone he knows to say Bye Bye. 

The most exciting (to me) form of communication....when he is fussing or pointing at something that I don't understand, I can say show me and he will walk over to what he wants and points.  Most of the time, the fridge means drink, the door means outside, etc.  This is so much better than the guessing game we play in the earlier months....clean diaper, just ate, just napped...still crying? I don't knooooowwwww what to dooooo. 

 We went through a few rough nights and bad naps last week.  I assume this happened because of two first molar teeth poking through on the bottom.  The teeth haven't made it all the way through yet, but my good sleeper has returned.  My good sleeper is currently in the mood to play by himself for extended periods of time.  Whaaaa?!?!?  I am not going to complain, but surely this awesomeness won't last for long.   This week he spent 30 minutes unloading and reloading some dresser drawers. He has also spent over an hour stuffing things into a box. 

30 minutes of free time
1 hour of free time

I leave you with a picture of hat baby mullet.  I am considering chopping this over the weekend.  It will not be a full haircut since I will only be cutting the back so there will be no need to get emotional over this one.  OK? OK.

He is looking down in this one so the mullet doesn't look as prominent

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Grillades and Grits

Tonight, we are having Grillades and Grits.  Grillades (pronounced GREE-yahds) are made with Round Steak, of Beef or Veal, although you could use pork. This dish like many other greats from New Orleans, comes from meager times, when a piece of meat needed to be stretched to feed a whole family. A Grillade is a square of meat cut from the Round Steak, or whichever piece of meat that you've chosen (definition borrowed from here).

We watched John Besh cook them on PBS this weekend, and I have been thinking about them ever since.  I found the recipe documented on a Rachael Ray page here.  I am using pork, and I did all the chopping last night so I can cook one armed tonight.  For some reason, 5:00 to 6:00 is still a time of cling to mom...even after the time change.  I think he just wants to watch what is going on.

I made this pumpkin butter recipe, and have been trying to think of ways to use it up.  We have had it on toast.  I put it in our oatmeal this morning.  Maybe I should try it in yogurt?  Any ideas for what to use pumpkin butter in.  Also, pumpkin butter contains no butter or dairy. I am confused.  Does apple butter?

Speaking of yogurt, I can't stop eating this peanut butter and jelly yogurt.  I am also going to attempt yogurt covered raisins some time.  We are back in the yogurt making business after taking a break. 

Did everybody vote?  I am sure that I will be in bed before the winner is announced.  East Coast baby!  Time change baby!  How long til my baby adjusts to the time change?  Maybe another week.  

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Almost Cold Here

We had a few days of lows in the 50s so I have been running in the afternoon instead of early morning.  The temperature in the morning is great for running.  I am just too lazy to figure out how to bundle up a small child appropriately.  I had to dig through all of his clothes just to find one sweater!  I can't stop taking pictures of Wyatt in his cold weather clothes.  They are so cute...and so different from our every day onesie or shorts and t-shirt.

So yesterday, we ran by an elementary school when school was being let out.  There was never ending entertainment.  I might have to repeat this run. 

First, the golf cart pickup line might have been longer than the car pickup line.  Only in Florida!  I tried to get a picture but couldn't quite work one in.   Oh, and if your golf cart is not decorated, you are nothing special. 

First random conversation.  Girl in pink back pack: "Hi".  Me, "Hi".  Girl, "I like your baby". Me, "Thanks". Girl, "You're welcome". 

Second random conversation.  A boy...maybe 3rd grade wearing sunglasses asked how old my baby was.  I told him that he was 1.  Then he said you know what is sooooo much fun....boy scouts.  You have to put him in boy scouts.  He talked my ear off through a cross walk and obviously past his turn.  I had to stop so he could finish telling me the awesomeness of boy scouts.  I heard "cub scouts" and "weblos" and "camping".  This boy is all in.  I finally broke the news to him that my husband and baby's dad is an eagle scout, so most likely we will be participating.  He then said "awesome" and told me that I can be involved too.  Scout Mom here I come.  Hilarious conversation and he is obviously all in!  Good thing he wasn't trying to sell me anything.  I might have purchased.

I saw a boy that was around 6 riding his bike while taking on the phone.  I saw a girl a bit older riding her bike while reading a book!??!?  I saw a crazy 1 foot long trick skate board looking thing.

I swerved around 20ish more golf carts and then completed my 4 mile run.  Good times.  My heart rate monitor wasn't working so I might have gone a little too fast.  I replaced the battery and we are good to go.  I skipped 2 runs while on vacation and I skipped on Halloween too.  Oops!  My training plan has me going up to 6 runs a week now.  I am on week 7 of 12 and losing faith.   I am going to stick with it til the end.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sanibel Island

We made the drive to Sanibel Island, Florida this weekend.  Sanibel Island is a barrier island that has an East to West orientation and this causes tons of shells to wash up on the shore.  You can watch the CBS Sunday Morning show here if you would like to see a 5 minute video about the area. 

The town is fairly small.  The bike paths are awesome.   The ocean view is great.  The shells are amazing....the number, the variety, wow! 

We drove up on a Friday evening.  Wyatt slept most of the way there.  We got to the hotel around midnight and settled in.  Wyatt refused to go to sleep until about 3:45 AM.  Isn't vacation with kids fun?  One of our neighbor hotel rooms even rang our room in an attempt to "support me in my time of need".  I ignored it.  The next day we ran on adrenaline, got in some good naps, and Saturday evening he slept like a perfect angel.

A very windy weekend

The shells piled up along the beach

Wyatt enjoying the shells

Wyatt and Mammaw running on the beach

Riding to Captiva

We didn't find any outstanding food options, but definitely enjoyed our mini vacation!  The town is small enough to see in a weekend.

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