Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Big Girl

So Charlee is growing again :) She started walking a few weeks ago, and she can now walk all over the apartment. She doesn't need to hold onto anything anymore...she cruises right along on her own. Every now and then she still gets overly excited and will take a tumble, but for the most part she's become a little pro at it :)
Her appetite is back up...to monumental proportions now. She loves everything we eat, and the only time she eats baby food now is sometimes for breakfast. For the most part, she is eating "real" breakfast foods, but some mornings Daddy is too tired to mess with cooking, so she has her yogurt or oatmeal from a jar instead of a bowl LOL
She's babbling pretty good now, and has learned to share from Lexi. She'll bring things to us (sometimes even imaginary things) from the floor or table and say "Ere go!". She'll let you look at it, and then wants it back, though, so we're still learning.
We decorated the Christmas tree on Friday and she "helped" Daddy put the ornaments on. She watched John hang them, so she would take one and sit it on a branch and then couldn't figure out why hers wouldn't stay on the tree! It's adorable, and I have a video of it posted on my facebook page if you want to take a look.
She's done surprisingly well with the ornaments. I went and bought new shatterproof ones to have at least around the bottom because I was terrified of her smashing one and getting shards in her. She will go up and point at them or bump them, but then will 99% of the time stop when we tell her no. She does like to sit in front of the tree with her sippy at night before bed, though, and watch the lights blink.
She has ignored all the presents but hers. Hers is the biggest box, and in a different colored paper from everything else because it was the first wrapped...so it attracts her. I'm thinking about re-wrapping it in a paper that is a little closer to the rest of the ones under the tree. She IS leaving it alone when we tell her to, but I'm waiting for her to find it when I'm out of the room or something!
Nana is down again, worse than she has been in a long time. They cancelled the rest of her chemo..said she was too sick and too weak to handle any more, so I guess it's just a matter of time now. I bought a book for her on Amazon that is about her life. It has guided pages where it will ask a question about her life from birth til now and then she has a page to write about it. I bought it for her to give to Charlee for Christmas. I'm afraid she won't be here much longer, and I want Charlee to know as much as she can about her Nana...and there are things in that book that I have NO CLUE as to what the answers are...so it will be great for both of us to sit down and read.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

So, let me start off by saying I HATE WHEAT BREAD. It's always so grainy and dry and GROSS. I always thought I'd be a white bread girl til they buried me in the ground.
Then, John & I decided to start trying to eat healthier. So, we're eating more turkey instead of pork and beef (PS-Turkey Italian Sausages=soooooo much better than pork!) and eating lots more veggies, etc. So, I found this recipe and figured, hey, what can it hurt.
WOWZERS! I made 3 loaves of this bread (what the recipe makes) on Sunday night, and we've ate more than 1/2 of it already. It's soooo simple, and smells like Heaven when it's both raising AND baking :)


  • 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
  2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bacon Wrapped Chicken w/Bleu Cheese from Rachel Ray

One more recipe that I wanna try...then I'm heading off to dreamland. Going home to visit the family tomorrow with Charlee....need to rest before I try to survive that drive with her :)


  • 4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 scallions, sliced on bias
  • 4 slices good-quality center cut bacon
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half or cream
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • Special equipment: toothpicks


Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butterfly the chicken breast pieces by cutting across the breast but not all the way through. Open the breasts up and pound lightly between parchment paper. Peel paper away and season the meat with salt and pepper.

Cover the seasoned chicken cutlets with blue cheese crumbles and scallions in equal amounts. Roll the chicken, wrap each roll with bacon and secure with toothpicks. Season the outside of the rolls with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken evenly all over, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a small baking sheet, place in the oven and cook 10 minutes more.

Melt the butter in the same skillet pan the chicken was seared in over medium heat. Whisk in flour, cook 1 minute then whisk in stock. Let thicken a minute then whisk in the half-and-half and grain mustard, season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to warm.

Halve the chicken and stack to show off the center. Set chicken in gravy or pour over top. Serve with rice and greens, if desired.

World's BEST BEST BEST Cookies...*Monster Cookies*

3 large eggs
1.25 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
12oz jar creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup M&Ms
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
2 tsp baking soda
4.5 cups quick-cooking oats

*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
*In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars. Mix well.
*Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well.
*Stir in the chocolate candies, chocolate chips, raisins, if using, baking soda, and oatmeal.
*Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
*Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool. When cool, store in large resealable plastic bags.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Party Pooper

We went down to Mom and Dad's Friday morning early, early, early and had a great visit...Nana made Steak & Gravy (John and I's favorite) and then proceeded to bake 96 cupcakes (THANK GOD Mom has TONS of counter space in the new house)
It took Charlee FOREVER to get to sleep that night though. Her teeth were hurting (four molars and bottom two canines are starting to poke through and her poor mouth is KILLING her) and the fact that she wasn't in her own bed with her family of stuffed animals was just really ticking off the princess. She finally fell asleep at about 1130 and then slept until 730 the next morning.
She got up and only ate a few bites of oatmeal and two or three drinks of her milk. Since none of you are here every morning for breakfast....this girl usually eats a whole jar of Stage 3 Gerber oatmeal with apples and bananas...plus a sippy of milk, and sometimes another of juice. I was concerned, but thought it was just because of the excitement in the house and since she was still so tired.
We got all the stuff ready for the party, made a quick trip to Power's to buy tape to hang stuff and a bag of ice....then stopped on the way back to hang signs and balloons on the road signs going back to Mom and Dad's house. Had some lunch, finished decorating, sat up all the cupcakes, and Mom finished cleaning house.

People started arriving, we stacked up all the presents and then ate some dinner...grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and Nana's homeade baked beans.
Charlee was EXHAUSTED by now, so we opened presents really quick and then she went down for a nap. She got a couple outfits and a bunch of toys. Pap gave her $20 and Mimi &Papaw sent her a Wal-Mart gift card.

That night John went to the movies, Katie went out with her friends and Dad had to work, so it was me, Mom and Nana...we worked a puzzle and snacked around on party leftovers
Charlee started running a fever and I tried giving her Tylenol, but it wouldn't bring down the fever. The only thing she ate all day was the oatmeal and three bites of a hotdog...and two sippies of juice. The next morning she was still running the fever but she did eat a little bit.
Ran the fever all day, got up over 102 and I started freaking out. It finally did break right before she went to bed.
Monday she finally quit the fever but still wouldn't eat, so I called her doctor. He said he thought it could be H1N1 because of some of the other symptoms she was having, and needed to be seen immediately...when I asked to set up an appointment though, he said they were full til at least Thursday...gee thanks!!!
So off to the ER we went....when they weighed her, it scared me to death. She had lost 4 pounds and 2 ounces since her check=up last Wednesday.
after sitting there for 12 hours, and having to file and refile her paperwork because people can't READ....they spelled her name wrong TWICE and then had her down as a male!!!! GRRRRR.....they finally told us it was an "undescriptive virus"...a.k.a....they don't know what it is....so they sent us home with no meds or anything...just to wait it out.
Now she's got a horrible cough. She's eating pretty good, but she's choking on a lot of stuff...even the stage 1 foods...so if it's not better tomorrow, I guess I'll call back the pediatrician and sit up an appointment for Thursday.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Birthday Baby

So, yesterday was another big step in the life of Charlee Jean Stewart. At 4:19pm she turned ONE YEAR OLD!

It's so hard to believe that a year ago, I was sitting in a hospital room holding this teeny tiny baby in my arms...trying to figure out what it meant to be a mommy. All I knew at the time was that she was perfect and my heart was so full of love for her...I didn't think I could love anyone more!

Now it's a year later, and we have been through HELL with this child. So crazy to think she was only sick one time while we were in the hospital and acted fine even the first few days we were home. Then on came the puking. EVERYTHING that went in her tiny tummy would come right back up. We called the doctor, she said it could be jaundice......then wanted to run tests on her because she actually weighed less at three weeks old than she did at birth. (I'm thinking...Gee...if you puke up everything you put down your mouth, you're not going to GAIN anything!!!) Sure enough things were wrong...so off we went for a week at Kosair's Children's Hospital. They gave her some meds and sent us home...and she was better for all of about a week..then the throwing up started AGAIN, worse than before...we went to the doctor multiple times and she wouldn't do ANYTHING, even though Charlee still wasn't gaining any weight. To put it this way..she weighed 5lbs 11oz...she only weighed 6lbs 4oz at her two month check up. In January it got to the point that she was vomiting blood. So off we went to Kosair's again, without even caring what the pediatrician said. Obviously blood in vomit=bad! Especially in a baby!
Another week in Kosair's...our last day there, we were visited by a partner of our pediatrician who told us that Charlee would be doing MUCH better if we were giving her the medicine for her condition.
Ummm.....hello?!?!?! What condition?!??!?!?! No one ever told us ANYTHING. Turns out Charlee had reflux...and it was in her charts since the first time she got so sick..and she was supposed to be on medicine for it, but someone forgot the most important part...TO TELL US!!!!
After going home, we were supposed to have a check-up in a week, and we changed pediatricians.
The new doctor put her on medicines and changed her over to Nutramigen formula and she started doing so much better....she became immune to the medicines pretty quickly, so we ended up using FOUR different ones, and just a few days after we changed to the fourth one, she started throwing up her Nutramigen....gave her a bottle of plain formula and she kept it down fine....and the same with cow's milk. So....she just outgrew it :)
We were told she had problems with her head and neck...referred to a physical therapist for it and the therapist pretty much told us the NP was crazy and Charlee had nothing wrong with her. Said the only place she was lacking at was in skills interacting with people other then John and myself.
So now, every few weekends, we get together with BJ, Jessica and Lexi for a playdate. The four of us adults all have a blast and the girls love each other too...so Charlee has a friend..and someone a few months older to start to learn things from :)

She's starting to try to walk on her own now. She's cruising around holding things REALLY well, and now she can stand for about two minutes by herself, but she's still scared to let go of things..so we're working with her on it.
Things can only get better from here, and we love her more every day...she is our little miracle baby and it's hard to believe how she's growing :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Where does time go?

Wow!! I can't believe it. In five days Charlee will be a year old. It seems like only a few weeks ago that I brought that tiny 5lb 11oz baby home....and now, today, she's a 21lb 6oz chunker who is into EVERYTHING! I know Mom always told me that time speeds up once you have a child, but I never believed it could go this quick.
She's starting to feed herself really well, and walking like a little pro, as long as she has something to hold onto!!! She says "mama", "dada", "nana", "bye", "bahbah", "hi" and "gaga" for my mom. She's starting to make up her own little words for things, but so far those are the only REAL words she is saying so far.
We've got a HUGE party planned at my parents' house next weekend...there are about 50 people coming...and I can't believe we've got so many. I was figuring we MIGHT have about 25-30 people that would ACTUALLY come, because well, Mom and Dad's place is out in the middle of absolutely nothing. Of course, just because they SAY they're coming doesn't mean they will.
One of dad's friends raises miniature ponies and donkies and he's loaning us a pony, so we're having pony rides for the kids that will be there. Thank God I was able to buy a camcorder a few weeks ago on Ebay! As much as Charlee likes animals, I can't wait to see her reaction to the pony...she sure got a kick out of the cows that their neighbors have :)
We're grilling burgers and hot dogs, having chips and soda...and then I'm making white cupcakes with fudge icing and chocolate cupcakes with pink icing and alternating them around a silver sheet to make them look like polka dots...can't wait to post lots of pictures

Hazlenut Brownies from Two Peas and Their Pod

Hazelnut Cinnamon Brownies

Recipe from Sugar Plum

(Printable Recipe)

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I used mini-chips), plus additional for sprinkling on top
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup Nutella
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon hazelnut extract
1/4 cup finely hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch square baking dish with foil; grease foil.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt; whisk until combined.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; remove pan from heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Beat together melted chocolate and granulated sugar, in a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on high speed, for about 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium and beat in Nutella, eggs, vanilla, and hazelnut extract. Beat until smooth and well combined.
Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined; scrape batter into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle batter with chocolate chips and hazelnuts.

Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until set. Cool completely before lifting foil out of pan and slicing into bars.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Princess Playdates

Charlee had her phsyical therapist session and evaluation on Tuesday and Wednesday last week. They said that they see NO reason why the nurse practitioner even REFERRED Charlee to them.....you see, this is why I DO NOT LIKE this practitioner...but does the Dr office listen to ME?!?!!? Nope, sorry about my luck :(
They said the only thing that they could tell was wrong with her is that her social skills are a little lacking, but that is common in only children. They DO want us to get her hearing tested in her left ear, just to make sure there is nothing wrong there, but they said they think she just wasn't paying attentiont because she was busy playing :) Nonetheless we are going to have it checked when we go in for her check-up in three weeks.
Jessica and I were talking and decided that since we all had such a good time last weekend, we'll just starte setting up weekly playdates with the girls. That way, Charlee is getting the "social interaction" she needs and we can ALL have fun.
We went over there last night for about 8 hours. BJ grilled us some hamburgers and Jess made corn and a new homeade macaroni and cheese...which was amazing...think I'm going to have to beg the recipe :P Jess and I went shopping at Once Upon a Child, while the guys played Xbox360 and watched the girls. We came home, made dinner and BJ let John play Guitar Hero for the first time......and when they got tired of that game, we all got to play on the Wii.
Speaking of the Wii, this is what I'm begging Santa to bring me for Christmas.....I really enjoyed that :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jessica's Recipe for Dump Cake

Jessica, BJ and Lexi all came over for dinner/ play-date for the girls on Friday night, and she brought this YUMMY YUMMY cake for dessert, I had it before once at John's aunt's but hers was even better LOL....so I had to ask for the recipe. She made hers with apple filling and it tasted just like a great apple crisp!!! It's so easy and I'm SOOO glad....we had it for dessert today when my grandparents came up from Kentucky.


2 cans pie filling, any flavor (I've had cherry, but the apple Jess made was the BEST!)
1 yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted

Spray a 13x9 pan with Pam.
Pour in pie filling and spread evenly in bottom of pan
Pour dry cake mix evenly over top of filling.
Drizzle melted butter evenly over the cake mix.
Bake at temperature and times on cake mix box...or until cake mix is browned :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Best Ever Coconut Cream Pie


1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
4 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt

*Heat oven to 350*
*In a 1-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch.
*Stir in water.
*Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and then boils.
*Boil 1 minute. Cool completely while making filling for pie. (To cool quickest, put in freezer for a few minutes)
*In a large bowl, beat egg whites and salt on highest speed til soft peaks befin to form. Gradually add in sugar mixture until stiff peaks form.
*Spoon meringue onto hot pie filling. Spread over filling, sealing meringue to edge of crust.

*Bake 15 minutes or til meringue is lightly browned.


Shortbread pie crust
4 egg yolks from large eggs (save whites for meringue)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups milk
2 Tbsp butter/margarine, softened
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flaked coconut (I use the sweetened)

*In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks with a fork; set aside.
*In a 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt.
*Gradually stir in milk.
*Cook over medium heat. stirring CONSTANTLY (this sticks VERY easy), until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
*Take 1 cup of sugar mixture and add to egg yolks....mix well.
Add egg mixture back to man and stir well.
*Boil mixture for 1 minute; remove from heat.
*Stir in butter, vanilla and coconut; cool filling slightly.
*Pour into pie crust and put in warm oven to keep filling warm.


Frostings :)

Fudge Frosting

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup baking cocoa
1cup milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2-3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

*In a 3-quart saucepan, mix granulated sugar and cocoa.
*Stir in milk, butter, corn syrup and salt.
*Heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Boil 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
*Cool 45 minutes
*Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla with spoon until smooth. Frosts 8- or 9-inch two layer cakes or 13x9 cake

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1lb box powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter/margarine, softened
1 Tbsp vanilla
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1/4 cup milk

*In a medium bowl, beat sugar and buter on low speed until blended.
*Stir in vanilla and chocolate
*Gradually beat in just enough milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.
*Frosts an 8-inch 3-layer cake.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1lb box powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter/margarine, softened
2 tsps vanilla
3 Tbsp milk

*In a medium bowl, mix sugar and butter with mixer on low speed.
*Stir in vanilla and 1 Tbsp of milk
*Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


So, I'm not pregnant again. I was really hoping I was, but well....we waited for 3 1/2 years to conceive Charlee, so...I promised myself I wouldn't get my hopes up, but well, it's hard not to.

Charlee is doing really well...she's talking our ears off. She'll take a few steps holding on to stuff...and loves to walk if John or I will hold her hands to do it...but she's terrified to let go and try on her own. She calls "Dada" and "Nana" a lot...and actually knows what they mean now. I, Mommy, am now important enough to be called by name too....sometimes...when she's really desperate LOL

I went shopping Thursday and bought the biggest part of Charlee's birthday decorations. I got the banners, invitations, and even a set of high-chair decorations. I found a little headband with a stuffed "tiara" on the front with a big "1" on it and a little "award" ribbon that says Birthday Girl on it. I got her a cute little pink and chocolate striped onesie and am buying a little pink tutu for her to wear over it :) I'm cheating and leaving her naked to eat her cake, and then will take her inside to dress her before we actually do any of the party stuff.....so we don't ruin the outfit.

It's so hard to believe that its been almost 11 months since I had her. I was looking through her baby picture on Myspace while ago, and it only seems like a few weeks ago that she was that tiny little 5 pound baby. It's been a rough year, seems like she's had SO many problems...but she's finally caught up on everything she needs to be.

We found out at her 9 month check-up that she's actually growing TOO MUCH in some areas. She is right at 50th percentile in her weight and height but her head is too big. The dr told us that her head is almost the size of a TWO YEAR OLD's!!!!
She has a tightening in the muscles on the left side of her neck and also favors her left leg. It was scary to hear them talk about her like there's something wrong with her. I think she's perfect...but I do notice these things now that they've told me.

So, on the 15th we have an evaluation with two therapists from First Steps. If she is behind more than 25% in any one developmental group, or 20% in two groups, she qualifies for free therapy, physical or otherwise. I hate to think about her needing anything...but I'd much rather find about some kind of delay NOW than further out in the future. I want to make sure everything is okay with our princess!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Update on Charlee

So, we spent 5 hours at Kosair's hospital yesterday. After spending the last three weeks arguing with our pediatrician over the phone...I called in about Charlee's problems, he kept saying it was nothing and wouldn't see her....and gee, lo and behold she was SICK!!!
Turns out she's about 3 weeks into pertussis. So, they did the nasal something-or-other test and sent us home with a prescription for whooping cough. It's pretty much a baby version of a Z-pack.
He says she's beyond the contagious stage, so now she just has to take her medicine for 5 days and then she has to stay at home for five more days afterwards. She can have visitors, just can't go out anywhere where she could be re-exposed to the disease. Since there is an "epidemic proportion" outbreak of pertussis in our area, she has to stay home for awhile. It's so touchy she's not even allowed to sit on the porch or go out to get the mail with me like she always does. Poor monkey can't understand why she can't go....she stood at the door watching while I went out to get the mail earlier..it was SO SAD!

We've finally got all but about one box unpacked (and that's just a junk box that really has nothing in it)...and everything except our room is straightened up. It's still pretty much a disaster, but only because we're getting ready to put a BUNCH of stuff in John's mom's yard sale in two weeks.
Mom and Nana came to see us last Saturday and Elise and Steven came up last Sunday. Now we're waiting to set a date for Jessica and her husband BJ and their little girl Alexis to come over for a dinner/playdate :) Charlee loves other little kids so much, but doesn't have an opportunity to be around others, so we're really looking forward to it.
Before we moved back up here, I took her to Brittany and Logan's house one night and she played with the twins. They're 3 so...older than she is, but she really hit it off with Noah and Brittany and I were laughing we're going to end up in-laws LOL
Well, off to do some more laundry! Oh joy!

Monday, August 31, 2009


1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/2 lb penne pasta
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
8oz can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
6-8 fresh basil leaves chopped (I just used a cap-full of dried basil)

*Rinse chicken breasts in cold water.
*Place between sheets of wax paper and pound to even thickness
*Season both sides of chicken with Montreal Seasoning
*Heat oil and butter in skillet over medium heat
*Once butter is melted and oil and butter are heated, add chicken and cook 5 minutes each side or til chicken is cooked....Set aside
*In a large pot, boil water and 1 tsp salt. Add penne to pot and boil til cooked
*In same skillet you cooked chicken in, add more butter and oil if needed.
*Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until garlic is tender, but DO NOT BROWN (should be 3-5 minutes)
*Add chicken broth to pan and reduce by half
*Meanwhile, slice chicken. Once broth is reduced, stir in tomato sauce.
*Add heavy cream and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.
*Turn heat to low. Chop parsley and basil; add to sauce and mix well.
*Drain pasta and add to sauce.
*Toss well and top with chicken.

*****I added a little of the Montreal Steak Seasoning when i added the cream, it added some extra flavor :)


1 Tbsp chopped green onion
1 Tbsp snipped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 stick chilled butter
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine, dry bread crumbs (I liked the seasoned ones, but plain are good too!)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp cooking oil

*In a small bowl, combine first three ingredients; set aside
*Cut butter in half lengthwise and then again (so you have 4 long strips)
*In a shallow bowl stir together egg and water
*Place flour in a shallow bowl and bread crumbs in another
*Place each chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper and pound to 1/8" thickness
*Remove paper and season with salt and pepper.
*Divide garlic mixture among chicken breast.
*Place piece of butter inside, turn in sides and roll up bottom.
*Coat chicken with flour
*Dip in egg mixture, coat with bread crumbs; repeat egg and bread crumb step
*Place in 2 quart baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 1-24 hours
*In a skillet, melt butter; add oil.
*Once heated, add cold chicken. Cook 5 minutes or til all sides are browned
*Return to baking dish.
*Bake uncovered in 400* oven for 15-18 minutes or til chicken is no longer pink.


2cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda 2 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp salt 2-1/3 cup mashed overripe bananas
1/2 cup butter

*Preheat oven to 350*. Lightly grease a loaf pan (It took 2 small aluminum foil pans, so would probably be one regular metal loaf pan!)
*Combine flour, soda and salt.
*In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
*Stir in eggs and mashed bananas til well mixed.
*Stir this mixture into flour mixture; just enough to moisten. DO NOT OVERMIX!
*Pour into loaf pan.
*Bake for 60-65 minutes or til toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
*Cool 10 minutes in pan and then turn out onto wire rack.

******You might add a little cinnamon or vanilla to this for a little extra kick!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tater Slabs...Tater Skins for Lazy ppl :)

These are tater skins for lazy people like myself....who love the taste but hate the time it takes to make the dang things :)

Tater Slabs

2 potatoes
real bacon bits
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used the sharp cheddar)
sour cream

*Preheat oven to 375*
*Clean and scrub potatoes well.
*Slice oven in 1/4" slices.
*Place on greased baking sheet.
*Season with some kind of seasoning salt ( I sprayed the potatoes themselves with the Pam before seasoning, so it stuck to them better)
*Cook for 30 minutes
*Flip potatoes and cook additional 15 minutes.
*Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese and bacon bits
*Return to oven until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Finally some good news!!!!

So...Nana's chemo actually DID do her some good. Five weeks ago (I know...I know...I'm wayyyyy behind here) she did a CT scan to see what the chemo was doing to her cancer. We were all terrified the five days we had to wait to get back her results, but turns out the fear was crazy, because all we got was good news!!!
Nana was diagnosed with Stage 4 colo-rectal AND liver cancer. As of the day of her testing, the chemo had shrunk the tumors on her colon FIFTY PERCENT!!!!!! Her liver is already pretty much destroyed....we found that out when they did her iliostomy surgery (the night we found out about ALL of this cancer) back in March. But the tumors that were on her liver shrunk by about 15% and have softened.
They say this cancer will still most likely be what kills her, just because so much damage was done before we even knew about it, but at least it is not spreading or growing anymore!!!

She was hospitalized right before the test because her chemo had made her so sick. She told the doctor it didn't matter if it was CURING her, if she was going to be that sick, she wasn't going to take it any more. Well, the day they went back for the test results was her first day BACK to chemo. The drug she is on is a 5 medicine combo....and the oncologist removed one of the drugs, ....don't remember the big name for it, but it was something platinum....and now she is back to normal.
It's so crazy, she came home from chemo, never got sick, never got weak, never felt bad. Within a week of receiving all the good news and taking away that drug, Nana was back up on her feet, cooking dinner, dusting, doing the dishes....SHE WAS NANA AGAIN!!!!
We started discussing it, and since Mom has lost her job, she is staying with her part-time now, and she's staying alone the other half.

Last week I came back to Lanesville to stay with John's at his parents again. They offered to lend us enough money to do a deposit on an apartment or house or whatever to rent until we can get a mortgage, and what do you know, last Monday we found a condo that we fell in love with, and moved in Saturday :)
It's soooo great to be back together as a family. The three of us have NEVER been alone, and Charlee turned ten months old last Thursday.
When John went to work last night, it was so eerie. I was trying to figure out what it was that had me so nervous when I realized....it is the VERY FIRST TIME I've ever been alone with my OWN DAUGHTER for more than a few hours. It was so exciting...even though I've been a mommy for 10 months and 6 days, I've never had to rely solely on myself to take care of my child. There has always been someone there. When she was born, we lived with John's parents, and then, just when we started looking for a place of our own, Nana got sick, and we've lived with her the past six months......
Now things are only looking up. John's job is getting ready to renew its contracts, we finally have a place, we have our cars paid off, and we are all three together again at last!!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Simple Shrimp

bag of small shrimp, peeled &deveined
bottle of italian dressing
1/2 cup butter
french bread

*Rinse shrimp and place in a 13x9 pan. Pour dressing over shrimp and put butter in middle of pan.
*Bake in 350 oven for 15-20 minutes.
*Serve with risotto (I used lots of Parmasean cheese and some Creole seasoning in mine) with extra sauce for dipping bread into

This is REALLY good. I'm not a crazy seafood person, but this was DELICIOUS

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Organic Teething Biscuits...Charlee looooooves these

1.5 cups white flour
0.5 cup whole wheat flour
0.5 cup organic maple syrup
3Tbsp organic applesauce ( I actually just used a jar of stage 1 organic applesauce baby food)

*Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms.
*Preheat oven to 300
*Roll to 1/3" thick, use biscuit cutter to make round shape, or use pizza cutter to slice into strips (these were easier for her to hold)
*Place on ungreased cookie sheet.*Bake for 25-30 minutes or til browned. Cool completely. Store in a Zip-Loc bag.

ECLAIR CAKE..>This is John's favorite..really easy

2 pkgs (out of 1 box) honey graham crackers
2 boxes instant French vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
1tsp vanilla
9 oz Cool Whip
tub of chocolate frosting

*Mix pudding with milk. Add vanilla and beat to thicken. Fold in whipped cream and refrigerate.
*Place whole graham crackers in bottom of a 9x13 pan and cover whole area.
*Pour half of pudding mixture over the crackers and spread. Repeat layers.
*Cover top layer of pudding with layer of graham crackers. Frost with as much icing as desired (I find it easier to frost them BEFORE I put them on!!)
*Refrigerate several hours or over night.

Whitney's Strawberry Bread

3 cups flour
1tsp salt
2cups sugar
3tsp cinnamon
1tsp baking soda
2 10oz pkgs frozen strawberries
4 eggs
1.25 cups oil
1.25 cups pecans

*Mix all dry ingredients together, sifting if desired for less lumps. Add moist ingredients..
*Stir well. DO NOT USE A MIXER!!!!!!
*Bake at 350 for 1 hour in a Bundt pan or two loaf pans.


So I've been a bad girl. I've started drinking more pepsis and sneaking in the occassional sweet. When I slowed down to 1-2 a day, I lost EIGHT POUNDS in one week. So now I'm hoping I can do this again. I've fought so hard with my weight for so long, but I'm tired of it.
I have this beautiful little girl that I am going to watch grow up. But I want to see it all first hand, not sitting off on the sidelines because I'm too big to be able to play and have fun with her. Just the little bit I've lost so far I can already tell a difference. I'm able to wrestle around wtih her longer and not be out of breath. I think Charlee's amazed cuz Mommy actually spends a little more time on the floor with her.
She's getting SOOOO big now. At her checkup last month, she was up to 16lbs 13oz, was 24.25 inches long :) The doctor said her weight was nearly perfect (FINALLY!!!) but her length was a little short. I looked down at myself, looked at John and then looked at the doctor. He finally got what I was saying and laughed "Yeah I guess genetics COULD play a part in that!"
She's saying Nana and Dada pretty good now, and there is FINALLY the occassional Mama thrown in now. We laugh she's a "cave baby" cuz she grunts and growls at everyone.
She LOVES Nana's two chihuahuas. Jake is a little wary because of the flailing arms, but Jacie will just lay there and let her pet and pull and hug. I guess that litter of puppies broke her of any inhibitions of yanking things.
Charlee has discovered the ability of getting up on all 4s now and rocking. She can go a "step" or two on crawling but then she falls. I'm terrified of when she starts cuz it'll be twice as hard to keep up with her, but then again I can't wait to see those little chubby legs going across the floor LOL
She loves other little kids and finds them endlessly amusing. Whitney's little niece Braxton is Charlee's BEST FRIEND. She sees Braxi and her face just lights up and she starts giggling. Nana is the only other one that can get her so pumped up.
Well I'm off to type some more recipes. ...anything you wanna talk about....you can hunt me up on Myspace or Facebook.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Barefoot Contessa Parker Beef Stew...lots of steps but COMPLETELY worth it

2.5lbs chunked beef
750 ml good red wine (you'll only use 1/2 this)
2 whole cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
2 cups flour
2 onions, cubed
1lb carrots, chunked
1lb small potatoes, halved or quartered
3 cloves garlic minced, or 1Tbsp of the jar minced garlic
(2) 14.5 cans chicken broth
1 lg branch fresh rosemary or 2tsp dried
2 Tbsp Worcestershire

*Stir 1/2 bottle of wine, 1 can chicken broth, 2 whole cloves garlic and bay leaves in a large bowl. Put in beef. Place in refrigerator and marinate overnight.
*Preheat oven to 300
*Combine flour and salt and pepper. Lift beef out of marinade with a slotted spoon. Discard bay leaves and garlic..>SAVE MARINADE!!!!
*In batches, dredge meat in flour and shake off extra.
*Heat 2Tbsp oil in large pot over medium heat and brown meat; turning to brown evenly. Place in a large Dutch oven
*Once done with meat, heat additional 2 Tbsp oil in same pan, add onions, carrots and potatoes. Cook 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 5 more minutes. Place veggies in Dutch oven with meat.
*Add 2.5 cups marinade to empty pot and heat on high to deglaze pan, scraping up brown bits. Add the chicken broth, rosemary, Worcestershire, 1 Tbsp salt and 2 tsp pepper and cook 2 minutes.
*Pour sauce over meat and veggies in the dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium heat over the stove. Cover pot and bake for 2 hours. If stew boils rather than simmer, reduce heat to 250.

My recipe for Pecan Pie

1 cup white corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans

*Microwave butter until completely melted
*Add syrup, brown sugar, salt, butter and vanilla.
*In a seperate bowl, slightly beat eggs.
*Add eggs to batter and mix til batter looks the same as before; pour into pie crust.
*Sprinkle pecans on top of pie. Bake in preheated 325 oven for 30 minutes
*Take out and put foil around crust. Cook for additional 30-40 minutes or til knife comes out clean.

BBQ Green Beans

3 cans french cut green beans, drained
1 cup ketchup
4-5 strips bacon fried crisp and crumbled

*Mix all and bake at 350 for 2 hours OR
*microwave 10-15 minutes; stir; 5-10 minutes more

Nana's Raisin Pie

2 cups raisins
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Golden Delicious apple, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp lemon juice
pastry for 9inch pie and strip top

*Combine raisins and water and boil for 5 minutes
*Blend together sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add mix to hot raisins and cook and stir until clear. *Remove from heat and stir in apples, butter and lemon juice. Cool slightly.
*Pour into pie crust and top with strip.
*Bake at 425 for 30 minutes.

Nana's Robert Redford Cake

2 graham cracker pie crusts
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powder sugar
12 oz Cool Whip
small box instant vanilla pudding
small box instant chocolate pudding
2.5 cups milk

*Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1/2 of Cool Whip and spread in pie crusts.

*Mix pudding mixes and milk until thick. Spread over cream cheese mixture.

*Top with rest of Cool Whip and sprinkle with shaved candy bars

Nana's Hershey Syrup Cake

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla
1lg can Hershey syrup

*Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, flour, baking powder, vanilla and syrup.
*Pour into a 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or til done.

1 cup chocolate chips
2Tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
1.5 cup powder sugar
1/4 cup milk

Put all in a pan and stir til chocolate is melted. Spread over cake.

Easy Easy Loaded Baked Potato Soup

1lb baking potatoes cubed 14.5oz can chicken broth
1 cup milk 1/3 cup real bacon pieces
1 cup shredded cheese 1 green onion, sliced
1/4 cup sour cream

*Microwave potatoes in a large microwaveable bowl on high 5 minutes. Stir. Microwave another 5 minutes. or til fork tender. Stir in broth and milk.
*Microwave 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes. Carefully crush potatoes with a potato masher.
*Stir in cheese and bacos, stir untl cheese melts. Microwave up to a minute til desired. Top with additional cheese and bacon, onions and sour cream.

Bourbon Chicken

1.5lb chicken, chunked 3Tbsp brown sugar
2Tbsp teriyaki 1Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp Worcestershire 1 cup white grape juice
1/2 tsp garlic salt 1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 tsp ginger powder 1/4 cup water

*Mix teriyaki, Worcestershire, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and half of the juice and bourbon. Stir til thoroughly blended. Pour 1/3 of the sauce on top of the chicken and mix. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Save remainder of sauce and refrigerate.
*Braise chicken with marinade on medium low heat until cooked. Remove from frying pan. In a 2-quart sauce pan heat remainder of bourbon sauce and add the remaining 1/2 cup of juice and sugar and water. Bring to a simmer until sugar is dissolved.
*Add chicken to sauce and stir until chicken is coated. Serve immediately.

First Recipe...My Fave....Tangy Ribeyes and BBQ Roasted Potatoes w/Sour Cream Sauce

1/4 cup whole grain mustard
1/4 cup steak sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp dried parsley
4 rib-eyes (1.5-2lb total)
2 Tbsp steak seasoning

*In a large resealable bag. Combine first four ingredients and massage to combine. (((I"M WARNING YOU THIS STINKS!!!!)
*Place steaks in bag and coat steaks. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes or overnight is best.
*Remove steaks from bag and sprinkle both sides with steak seasoning. Place on well oiled medium high heat grill. Cook 8 minutes per side for medium-well.

3Tbsp olive oil 1 cup sour cream
2Tbsp BBQ seasoning 1/4 cup crumbled bacon
1Tbsp crushed garlic 1Tbsp Worcestershire
2tsp lemon juice 1tsp dried parsley
1.5 lbs quartered baby red potatoes (skin on)

*Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except potatoes. Then add potatoes and toss to coat.
*Place potatoes in almuminum foil pouch and seal. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

*For the sauce combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Put potatoes n a large bowl and pour sauce over. Toss well to coat.

Starting Out

So I've been thinking about doing a blog forever now, but just finally found the time and effort to sit down and actually do it. Between Charlee getting bigger and Nana getting sicker, I've been pretty busy. This will be a combo of my musings and some yummy recipes I find, since Nana has me experimenting to find new stuff she can eat.
I finally got back into school. I'm taking classes online through Penn Foster. I'm going for Medical Coding and Billing, so it's something I can do either at home or in an office. Yes, it's true, I'm too big of a wimp to put Charlee in a daycare just yet :)
Well, she's crying as we speak, so I better run.


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About Me

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SAHM to a beautiful, wonderful, miracle princess named Charlee Jean. Married to my high school sweetheart for over 6 years now, and expecting another miracle baby in October 2011