Wednesday, March 23, 2011


So, I am a total disaster today. I decided to cook a pork tenderloin on the grill tonight with Pioneer Woman's rosemary rolls. So, after thawing out the pork from my handy dandy deep freeze, I seasoned the pork and threw it on the grill. After a few minutes of grilling, I flipped the meat over. I had it on high so it would get a good sear. I went to the living room and was working on a scrapbook page. (Us cutting our cakes at our wedding.) I'm pretty sure I was only in the living room for 3-5 minutes. Pretty sure. Anyway, I looked out the window and I see LOTS of smoke. So, I hurry outside and notice that the grill seems to be melting a little on one side. I turn off the gas. I don't want to explode. I did my nursing preceptorship at the trauma burn ICU. I know too many of their nurses. I cannot be burned. They will see me naked. So, after turning off the gas, I open the lid. Oh man! The pork is crispy! And, on FIRE! I move the meat to the NOT  ON FIRE side of the grill with the grill brush and try to blow out the fire. Uh, not working. I debate on getting the fire extinguisher or the hose, but I like my grill. I don't want to have to buy a new grill. And, I don't know if these things will ruin my grill. So, I just kinda stand there and watch. Looking back, the propane tank still could have exploded since the grill was still on fire. Good thing I didn't think of that then. Good news is nothing exploded. Bad news is dinner was WELL done on the outside and very RAW on the inside. I should have taken a picture. It wasn't funny at the time. I threw it away in disgust. Sorry. 
Well, just because I burned dinner (round 1) doesn't mean that we are not eating. I decided to make pepperoni stromboli. Problem. I have cheese. I have sauce. I even have pepperoni. But no pizza dough. So, I get on Pioneer Woman's website and find a quick pizza dough recipe off the tasty kitchen tab. I'll post it. After making the dough, I preheat the oven. Two minutes later I remember that I put my rosemary rolls in the oven (covered with a dish towel) to rise. I pull it all out of the oven and barely miss attempt #2 to burn down my house. I love my house. I do not want to burn it down. So, I made stromboli  and the rosemary rolls. And, I forgot to take pictures of both. (I will include pics of the last time I made it) I did, however, remember to second degree burn my left forearm trying to get the stromboli and rolls to fit in the oven together. I took some pics of the burn for your viewing pleasure, although they are not very good. Moving on. I still had half the pizza dough. So I made a pizza too. And, forgot to take pictures. Until after we ate half.  Better late than never.  I will try not to burn down my house for the rest of the night. Nick is home. He will protect me. 


the pizza

Rosemary rolls

I swear there is a burn there.

Roast chicken and new flowers

Yesterday I made a roast chicken. It was delicious! See recipe and pictures below.

Roast Chicken, potatoes, and garlic
1 5- to 6-lb chicken
2 tablespoons butter, melted
kosher salt freshly ground black pepper
aromatics for the cavity
half a lemon
half an onion, quartered
garlic cloves, peeled
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
6 red skin potatoes, cut in pieces
1 head of garlic, cloves separated
1/2 onion

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Allow the chicken to rest at room temperature for a half hour prior to baking.
  2. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Insert aromatics into the cavity and tie the drumsticks with kitchen twine. Tuck wings under the bird. Using a pastry brush, butter the skin evenly and thoroughly. Season the skin generously with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large roasting pan, toss the potatoes and garlic cloves, and onion in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the potato mixture around the chicken, creating a nest around the bird.
  4. Roast in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of the chicken breast is 170°F. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes before carving.

Also, I bought some plants this week. They are mucho pretty. See below

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Last night, I made my first attempt at homemade loaf of bread. I DID IT. And, it was delicious. 
Here is the recipe and website I found it on.

Basic Bread Recipe

By: erin,


1 1/2 cups warm water

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

1/4 cup honey

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

3-3 1/2 cups flour 

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the water, yeast, and honey.  Stir  once or twice and let sit until yeast becomes active (5ish minutes.)
2. Stir in oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour.  Start stirring/kneading bread with the dough hook.
3. Add 1/4 cup of remaining flour and continue to slowly add flour (1-2 tablespoons at a time) until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.  Let mixer run for 8-10 minutes.  This will give you time to adjust flour and let the dough knead.  Remember- you can always add flour but you can't always take it away.  The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.  Cover with a damp towel and set aside to rise for 1- 1 1/2 hours.
4. Once the first rise is over, knead a couple of times into the form of a log.  Place in an oiled bread pan, cover again and set aside for about 1 hour.  With 30 minutes left, pre-heat your oven to 425˚.
5. Once the loaf has risen the second time, brush with oil and place in oven.  (if you have a bottle of water, mist the bottom of your oven a couple of times to get some steam going.)  Shut the oven door and let bake for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 375˚ and continue to bake for 30 minutes.  Bread should have a golden crust and sound hollow when tapped.  Remove from pan and try to let it cool before slicing. I couldn't. 

After the first rise

Ready to bake

Couldn't wait

Speaking of bread, Nick and I are doing a New Testament challenge that our church is doing. See for reading plans etc. We are reading the entire new testament and will finish on Easter. We have been doing a really good job and are learning quite a bit. I wanted to share a verse that stood out to me last night during our nightly reading.  The verse is in  1 Thessalonians, which is written by Paul to the new believers in Thessalonica. It is chapter 3 verse 11-13. Paul writes, " Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones." 
This just stood out to me because this verse shows how we should love and support each other, and build each other up in Christ so we can all be ready when He comes back. So, this will be my prayer for the week. That I can love overflowingly (is that a word?) so that Christ will be evident in me.  And for encouragement, Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 2:18-19, "May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." 
So be encouraged. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Flag football game 1 and 2

Nick is playing on a flag football team that plays on Sunday afternoons at Spain Park high school. Yesterday was their first (and second) game. They won both games! Poor Nick had to buy his own shirt to play in because they did not have a jersey big enough for my gigantor husband. Since I have a new camera, (nikon 3100) I took WAY too many pictures. I will get better ones next game because I have ordered my zoom lens. Anyway, here are a few of the pictures. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What's for Dinner

Since we have been married, I have really gotten into cooking. I am addicted to a food blog website (, and I have been cooking lots of recipes from here as well as the pioneer woman recipes ( and my food network magazine. Tonight, I am making one of Nick's favorites. The pioneer woman's cajun chicken pasta. And, if you know my sweet, sexy, bread lovin, husband you would know he needs bread at every meal. So, I am making rosemary bread, kind of like macaroni grill, only made in my kitchen. With love. And my kitchenAid. See how pretty.
First, the bread.
After the first 2 hour rise

After splitting the dough in 1/4

4 loaves
On the pizza stone

See the rosemary?

Baked and ready to eat!

Rosemary Bread
1 packet or 1/4 oz of active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup warm water

 1. Stir yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup of warm water in bowl of stand mixer. Let sit until foamy. (About 5 minutes)
2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, the flour, the rosemary, the fine salt, and 3/4 cup warm water. Mix with dough hook on level 2 until dough forms. 
3. Knead with dough hook for 8 minutes on level 6 of kitchen aid mixer.
4. Brush large bowl with olive oil. Turn dough out into bowl . If dough is too sticky, add a little flour and hand knead a few times until elastic and not so sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand 2 hours to rise.
5. Brush 2 baking sheets or pizza stone with olive oil. On floured surface, divide dough in 4 balls. After shaping dough into 4 balls, place on baking sheets and let rise 2 more hours so that the dough doubles in size. 
6. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.  Bake 10 additional minutes. 

The Cajun Chicken Pasta
All the veggies

The chicken

Chicken covered in delicious Mr. P cajun seasoning

Chicken after the first turn

The veggies getting nice

Waiting on the sauce to get ready


You know you want some

Cajun Chicken Pasta found at

3 Chicken Breasts,  cubed
Cajun seasoning about 3 tablespoons. I don't measure it.
1 pound noodles. I use linguini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 large red onion, Sliced
3 cloves minced garlic
4 roma tomatoes, diced
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
 Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt to taste
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. 
2. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spice over chicken and toss to coat all sides.  
3.Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer and leave it alone. Let it get nice and brown on one side before flipping. Flip to the other side and cook until that side is nice and brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate.
4.Add remaining olive oil and butter. Add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on rest of Cajun spice. Salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 1 minute, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add tomatoes and cook 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan.
5. Over high heat, pour in the chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or salt to taste. Sauce should be spicy!
6. Add chicken and vegetables to sauce, include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained pasta and cook until mixed and looks delicious. 

 Of course, it was delicious and Nick ate lots of the bread. Then we took Poo on a quick walk. Here is a pic of Poo playing outside earlier today. Ignore the grass on his face. His daddy had just cut the grass.

The Poo dog helping me cook by eating anything I drop. Even if it isn't food.