11/30/12

A Few on Friday :: Christmas Parade Edition!

Hello fine friends!! How are you?  Me, I'm well.  Fired slap up for the CHRISTMAS PARADE!  Good stuff.  Here's some other good holla-day stuff. 

1. Did anyone catch the SNL Christmas edition Wednesday night?  Oh buddy.  I lurved it.  You may or may not know this but SNL makes it extremely difficult to post clips of their show on your blog so I'll just use a simple bullet format to describe my favorites:
  • The one that's spoofing the NPR cooking show...Mr. Schwetty is the guest?  You know the one I'm talking about.
  • The one where Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Katan and Tracy Morgan sing that song about Christmas coming?  Here's an image to jog your memory...

  • The one where they've got Michael Buble promoting his Christmas album...it's him singing duets with people like Ke$ha, Thom York and the Biebes?  Oh freaking A it's hi-lar-i-ous.  That Jimmy Fallon.  Let's be friends. 
2.  In keepingn with our Christmas theme, I can't get enough of the following songs:




All three of these are on my holiday mix that I recently pulled out.  I do some good solid car singing to and fro Ruleville....

3.  I'm really bad (like really really bad) at painting my nails. However, I get itchy for loud and sparkaley color every holiday season!  Well last night at a holiday open house I picked myself up a bottle of On Her Majesty's Night Watch or something like that.  It's shimmery and ridiculous and I love it...check it out, second one on the bottom

I should probably just pay someone to polish my nails.  I set out to paint my nails thinking "Ah! Such an easy way to add some zing to this outfit that I've already worn 8 times in two weeks!" but then I get all bummed when I wind up with polish er-where BUT my nails.  'Tis the season to not let things steal your joy...especially things like nail polish.

4.  Look at this Christmas Miracle:

5. Ok so that has absolutely nothing to do with a Christmas Miracle. 'Tis only a hound on a couch.  But I wanted to share it whilst keeping with my holiday theme.  Is he still the cutest Browne hound around in all of town?  Yes.  Yes he is.  Turns out that hound hangs out on the couch when we aren't home.  What else do you think he does?  He doesn't sweep.  Or run the vacuum.  

6. I end today's post with three wishes.
  • For the Sonic Boom to be at the parade today.
  • For a trip to a battle of the (marching) bands. 
  • For a shot at being a J-Sette.      

     
Happy Friday!  If you are anywhere in the vicinity of Greenwood, come on and join us downtown for the Christmas parade!  It's an absolutely joy...you will not be sorry you came.

Hugz.   

11/29/12

Chicken Enchiladas with White Chili Cream

Y'all.  We have to talk about something.  We have to talk about the fact that there ain't no party like an enchilada party as an enchilada party don't stop.  

But wait.  There's more.  

What if we proclaimed that this enchilada party be smothered in a cheesy creamy white sauce?  

Well.  That would simply rock.  
SIDEBAR:
 
Things that are hard:  eating only one of these, keeping super down whilst watching the lighting of the tree in Rockafeller Center and taking pictures in my dining room. 

Things that are not hard:  surrendering to the couch after eating supper, making Brussels sprouts from the steam and fresh line of green giant, making these enchiladas.
   
Seriously chick-a-dees.  I didn't just make these on a weeknight (ie last night) BUT I made them on a week night after taking a final exam. They are that easy. 

Enter dramatic sigh and hand thrown across forehead.  

Don't ask me about that final exam.  Alls I can say is whoops

Oh well.  The fact that there are six five of these delicious jewels in the fridge right now make everything a-ok.  
Chicken Enchiladas with White Chili Cream 
adapted from Chapel of the Cross

4 chicken breast cooked and shredded (I made mine the night before in the crock pot, BAM)
1/4 cup of butter
1/4 cup of flour
2 cups of fat free chicken breast
7 oz chopped green chilis  
16 oz light sour cream
8 flour tortillas
2 bunches of green onions
1 1/2 cup of Monterrey jack cheese 

Preheat the oven to 425.  Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl.  

In a skillet, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour, whisk constantly for about 1 minute.  Slowly stir in the chicken broth, continue stirring until it thickens up a bit.  Stir in the green chilies and the sour cream.  

To the chicken, add about 1/2 a cup of the sour cream mixture, the green onions and 1 cup of the cheese.  Combine. 

Add about 1 1/2 cup of the sour cream mixture to the bottom of a large baking dish.  Take 1 cup of chicken and place it in one tortilla.  Place seam side down in the baking dish; repeat for the remaining tortillas and chicken.  Pour the remaining sauce on top.  

Bake for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. 

Serving size 1 enchilada (makes 8)
Points plus 11   
  

11/28/12

Super Spicy Buffalo Chicken Soup

If you've known me for any length of time then you are probably aware that I have an aversion to meat that is on a bone.  I don't love a rib, a wing, a drummett...none of it.

Despite not loving a wing, I do love (like L-O-V-E) the buffalo chicken taste.  Buffalo chicken dip?  Hello, old friendBuffalo chicken salad? Dying to make it.  

Not sure where the love comes.  I don't really like hot food.  Maybe, just maybe, it's just an excuse to eat blue cheese.  

I do love that blue cheese.... 

Sooooo.  When I found a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Soup in my favorite little cookbook, I knew that I just had to give it a try.  While it doesn't contain blue cheese AND it's hotter than the Delta in August...it's a keeper!  Just make sure that you've got celery and sour cream to cut the heat.  And a gallon of water.  And maybe some milk.  And some ice cream.  And a friend/significant other/acquaintance around just in case some spice gets caught in your throat and you think you are choking like I just did.  That Big Browne Hound, he doesn't know the universal symbol for choking

Seriously, folks.  It's that hot...
Super Spicy Buffalo Chicken Soup 
adapted from Chapel of the Cross

2 bunches of green onions, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1/4 cup of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of flour
3/4 cup of milk
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 chicken breasts, chopped and cooked
1 cup of chicken wing sauce
1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt.  

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the green onions and the celery and cook until its soft.  Sir in flour until smooth.  Slowly add milk and chicken broth.  Transfer to slow cooker.  Add remaining ingredients and cook on low for 3-4 hours.     

 
    

 

11/27/12

Grilled Cheese Love

Oh wow!  Look at that! 
A grilled cheese! Hello, old friend. 

Why am I so excited?  

Because of all of the things that are transient and nutty about this world we life in, a grilled cheese is one of the constants.

When that buffalo chicken soup is so hot that one bite makes you think your eye balls are going to fall out?  

Make a grilled cheese.  

When you get bitten by the lazy bug and have no interest in working on a plan B to deal with the heat of said chicken soup? 

Make a grilled cheese. 

When you'd rather stare at your Christmas tree than your skanky stove?  

Make a grilled cheese.  

And make it with real bread (no light bread, over that shiz) and two (2) different types of cheese....thin swiss and thin sharp cheddar.  Only 6 pp.  AND.  Don't forget the spray butter.  

Squish squish!  

Who doesn't love spray butter?  
Well.  Probably not this guy.  Turns out, moving from under the house into the house can turn a hound into a slight snob.

But I love him.  Equal to, if not more than I love a grilled cheese.  

And that's a lot.    

11/26/12

Back to Reality!

Well hi!  How was your weekend?  Mine was good, thanks.  

I did some football watching, running, decorating, addressing, small business supporting, shivering, coffee drinking, reading, lounging, eating. 

What I did not do, though, was make food and take pictures of it to share with you.  I've been doing that a lot lately, it seems.  
    
For example, I made the BBQ Chicken Dip pictured below for a festive night before Thanksgiving gathering.  Did I snap a pic?  NO.  Why?  I DON'T KNOW.  Probably because it didn't get cooked until it got to the party and I felt a little sheepish about whipping out my phone and snapping pics of the dip mid gathering. 
 
Image from How Sweet It Is 

ANYWAY.  You should probably head on over to this site and grab that recipe.  Whoa, it was good.  Like put it on the gratitude list good.  Perfect for your holiday gathering!

I also made some pretty good chili.  It was from the Chapel of the Cross cookbook and it was awes.  Ground beef and turkey sausage, lots of veggies.  Pair it with 8 fritos and some shredded cheese and sour cream?  Done.  Not only did I not take a picture of it but I didn't even measure it out correctly to calculate the points.  

It's getting wild over here....

You know what else is wild?  The dip I made for Thanksgiving.  Wild in an easy and delicious kind of way.  Take some pimento cheese and some bacon that's been cooked crisp...combine it well.  Spread it out into a cake pan lined with saran wrap, let it hang out in the fridge for a bit.  When you are ready to serve, invert it over a serving dish and top it with one jar of plum jelly.  Serve it with wheat thins.  I tried this dish after having it at Turnrow Books the night of the holiday open house.  

Sooooo.  Now it's Monday aka the day of starting over.  I'm going to cook and calculate and snap pics and do what works for me.  I'm also going to remind myself that just because there is a pie in my fridge doesn't mean that I have to eat it.  I mean, I can, it's a free country.  But I don't have to.

Eek.  Pie.  Love it.  

Have a great week!!           

11/23/12

A Few on Friday

For starters, guys, hope your Thanksgiving was good stuff.  I know mine was.  

1. You know how sometimes you don't realize how awesome something is because you are up in it?  Like how upon driving home from Luckett Lodge yesterday, the Brandon he says to me "Gah your family is amazing.  On both sides.  You are so lucky."
He's right, the Brandon.  I'm a lucky lucky lucky girl.  

2.  I'm so full.  Still.  Big girl ate well....

3.  If you love adorable Christmas music I'd like to recommend you go create a Sufjan Stevens Christmas station over on the Pandora.  Freaking love it.  And I can't say for certain but Sixpense None The Richer (remember them?) might have some of the best (modern) stuff out there these days.  Check it.  

4. Are you working today?  I'm working today.  Sitting at my desk as I type, waiting on groups to get started.  I'm not upset, though.  Kind of part of the job.  The up side is that it's really really quiet around here and I'm pretty much in pajamas.  The down side is that I think the Subway (the only place to grab a sandwich in Ruleville) is closed today.  I couldn't wrap my brain around having leftovers for lunch. 

5.  Sooooo in the spirit of the holiday season, let's all put our dogs on leashes.  My 115 pound Akita hound is never outside without his leash on.  Why?  Because he's huge.  And my responsibility. And not to keen on male dogs.  Our morning walks are usually very calm, this morning it was anything but because of the two little hounds that were following us around.  While I found them to be rather cute, the Browne Hound deemed them annoying and snarled at them every time they got near.  They also almost got hit a few times and harassed a jogger.  Leashes, guys, leashes.  This guy says "please." 
 
Happiest of weekends!  Hope you have a good one!

11/22/12

Gratitude 2012

I am grateful for: 

Faith.  My very most favorite husband.  My mom, dad, sisters, brother in laws, nieces, step moms, step siblings.  My ratty friends.  My sweet Akita hound.  My home.  My healthy body.  My challenges.  My job.  My community.  My cozy warm biscuit.  My cookbook club. Books. Therapy. Yoga. Running. Homegrown lettuce. Forgiveness. Prayer.  Baked goods.  Greek yogurt.  Weight Watchers. Headphones. iPhones. Church of the Nativity. Giardinas. Online college.  My lessons.  Runderunders. My nalgene bottle.  Nature trails.  Caldrea. Difficult people.  Blog readers. Military Service People.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmothers. Educators.  Instagram.  Bubbles.  Bird themed yoga classes. Cheese toast.  Anne Lamott.  My degrees.  Good office managers.  Wedges (not wedgies).  Fritos. The Book of Common Prayer. Pandora.  Hob Nob and other cheap wines. The snooze button.  Freedom of speech, of religion, of assembly, of the right to bear arms (not just in a tank top). The Today Show.  Spell check.  Sewing machines.  Cease-fires.  You.  The Luckett Lodge.  Half Marathons.  Changing tree colors.  Pinterest.  Icouldgoonandonandonandooooon. 

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!  Take care, eat seconds of your favorites, take pictures, have a blast!   

11/21/12

Just A Little Egg Taco....

I must confess.  I thought that with this being the day before Thanksgiving I'd have a post with a little more pizazz.  A little more umph.  Hell, at least something with some pumpkin in it.  
Nope.  Not here, not today.  

Today we're keeping it basic.  Eggs.  Ham. Salsa. Tortillas.  A little something blah in the middle of the whew  that can quickly become the holiday season.  

Over here at the Elevator we are going to center.  Take some deep breaths.  Practice mindfulness.  Be present.  Eat eggs.  

Amen. 

Tomorrow we're doing turkey and gratitude, today we're just having some eggs. 

Tasty eggs but just some eggs none the less.        
Simple Egg Taco

1 egg
onions and bell peppers, diced small
1 piece of deli ham, diced small
salsa
1 flour tortilla

Heat small skillet over medium heat, spray it with cooking spray.  Add the onions and peppers, saute until soft.  Add the egg and the ham, scramble it all together.  Layer it all up in the tortilla, top it with some salsa.  

Points plus 6

11/20/12

Turkey Day Memories

Here we are.  Coming in hot to Thanksgiving aka one of the most awesome days of the year. 

Thanksgiving holds lots of good stuff memories for me, one of which being listening to Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant in the car with my dad every year on our way to Utica.  I've loved it since I was a kid and still laugh outloud at most of it.  

Please.  

Shovels and rakes and instruments of destruction.   

A-May-Zing.  

Not familiar?  Check out this video for the whole song.  
Familiar with this little jewel?  I'd love to hear your memories of it!

Gobble, gobble boys and girls.  Turkey day, she's near. 
   

11/19/12

Crock Pot Pizza

Y'all. It's been a minute since we've had a good, solid, slightly trashy crock pot creation.  

Let's change that right here, right now. 

This meal is coming at you hot, just in time for the business that is the holla-day season.  It's easy, it's quick, it's yummy...it's on.  

I got this recipe from my sister, JenniferShe made it recently for her family + Chickey.  Chickey loved it so much that she talked about it on social media.  She's not one to over use the SM (like me someone else you might now) so if it was posted then you know it was good. 

But, sorry I'm not sorry, it's freaking pasta, marinara, veggies and cheese all piled up into a crock pot party.  On what planet is this not good? 

FYI, a crock pot party is my favorite party after a dance party and a dip party.   

If you don't know, now 'ya know..... 

That's from a song (not sure what it is) and now I can't get it out of my head.   
Crock Pot Pizza
 adapted from Cooking with Joey

1 box (13 1/4 oz) wheat pasta
2 jars of tomato sauce
1 tbl dried oregano
1 lb lean ground beef, cooked
8 oz italian turkey sausage, cooked
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
3 cups part skim mozeralla cheese 
25 turkey peperonis

Layer as follows in the crockpot:
pasta, sauce, oregano, beef, sausage, veggies, cheese, pasta sauce, oregano, beef, sausage, veggies, cheese, turkey ronis. Cover.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours

Serving size 1 cup (makes about 12)
Points plus  8