Monday, January 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - January 31st

So...last week Hubs and I failed miserably at our menu plan! 
Here's what happened:
Saturday - Japanese Steakhouse with Hubs and my sweet cousin
Sunday - Cheeseburger Casserole with green beans
Monday - Photography Client Meeting at Chickfila.
Tuesday - Class night!  Hubs will be making BBQ Chicken Sandwiches and Fries  We picked up a $5 pizza from the new Little Caesar's.  That place is going ot get us in trouble!
Wednesday - Chicken Casserole (a recipe from my dear friend Amanda) We had the BBQ Chicken from Wednesday
Thursday - Attending and Photographing a Fundraiser. 
Friday - Kraut and Weinies (our comfort food) and sides Hubs "created" a new recipe so we gave it a try. 
We are going to try VERY hard to stay on plan this week!!!

Here's what we are having -

Saturday - We had a family thing at my parent's house.  We had lots of junk food.  I made jalepeno poppers, sausage balls, and german chocolate cupcakes.

Sunday - Homemade Sub Sandwiches (we used roast beef and turkey)

Monday - Beef & Bean Burritos (Recipe to come)

Tuesday - Class night!  Hubs is making Pecan Pancakes

Wednesday - Amanda's Chicken Casserole

Thursday - Baked BBQ Chicken Melts (new recipe from Bisquick cookbook)

Friday - Heading Out of Town!!

I'm linked up at  Go check out HUNDREDS of menu plans.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Steak Sandwiches and Hand Cut Fries

On Friday,  Hubs was reading a book on his lunch break and was inspired.  The character ordered a steak sandwich and fries.   This idea led to a trip to Publix after work on Friday to pick up the fixings for our own Steak Sandwiches and Hand Cut Fries.

Here's what you need....
 1-2 lbs Sirloin Steak (just use your favorite)
Yellow Onion - Sliced
Lawry's Seasoning Salt
Worcestershire Sauce
Black Pepper
Hoagie or Sub Rolls

First, use a little oil (we use EVOO) and cook up the steak.  Put about a tablespoon of Lawry's and Pepper on the steak as it cooks.

When the steak is done, set it aside on a plate to drain the grease.  Use the same pan and...
Sautee the onions until they are limp and semi-translucent.  Add more Lawry's and Pepper.

Add the steak back to the onions to simmer together.
Add 1/4 cup (or more!) of Worcestershire Sauce.
Let this simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Very flavorful!!

On the other side of the kitchen...start the fries.
Slice of the potatoes with skin on.  This was Hubs' job and he cut a lot.
Save the Kosher Salt for later!

Fry the potatoes at 325 until done.

Drain excess oil on towel and generously use Kosher Salt over hot fries.

We also lightly toasted our buns in the steak/onion skillet.
There you have it.
Hubs and I used a little bit of mayo to "wet the bread" and these sandwiches were delicous!
Very hearty.  Very savory.  Very mouthwatering!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Acoustic Soup

Perhaps I should have blogged about this earlier....but tonight I have the priviledge of photographing Acoustic Soup to benefit VSA Alabama.  I was asked my a friend and co-worker if I would be willing to donate my services for this cause.  I immediately jumped on this idea!  What a wonderful way for me to expand my portfolio, get my name out there, and participate in an awesome fundraisier.

Directly from their website - VSA Alabama
VSA Alabama is a statewide, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to serving children and adults with disabilities and chronic illnesses through the arts. We offer visual arts, drama, creative writing, drumming and rhythm, creative movement, music therapy, and art therapy programming. Annually, VSA Alabama serves over 3,000 people with disabilities and chronic illnesses through our programming in community, educational,
and healthcare settings across Alabama.
VSA Alabama was founded in 1984 as an affiliate of VSA, an international nonprofit organization serving millions of people every year through a nationwide network of affiliates and in 51 countries worldwide. VSA was founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith as an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

This year mark's the fifth annual Acoustic Soup.  The event will be held at WorkPlay tonight from 5:30 until 9:00.  Tickets are available online or at the door for $35 (single) and $60 (couples).  The evening includes soups, breads, and desserts by many local resturants including Ashley Mac's, Barking Kudu, Jackson's Bar & Bistro, Little Savannah Resturant, Lucy's Coffee & Tea, and many more.  There will also be a silent auction (featuring yours truly) and live music by The Big Tasties.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Pawpaw

Me and Pawpaw
Today is my grandfather's birthday.  He passed away in 1996 after an extremely short battle with lung cancer and I miss him everyday.  For the past several years, I mark his birthday with a small donation to the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center.  It is a disease we share - along with my mother - and it feels good to honor him in some way. 

In addition to the chronic illness (meant in jest), we also share a love of John Wayne movies (a trait he passed to my mom and then to me) and Grapico.  Unlike my younger brother, I cannot share his love of dill pickle flavored chips.  My PawPaw owned cows and pigs (Big Momma) and lots of tractors.  He always had a tan line because he spent his entire life working outside.

In all seriousness, I was barely 14 on October 18, 1996 but I can remember so many details like it was yesterday.  Isn't it strange how you can't remember what you had for dinner last weekend but some things are permanetly stored in your memory.  I remember my dad's voice that morning.  I remember the dress I wore.  I remember holding my cousin's hand during the service.  I remember my mom's sadness. 

And it is strange how something so tragic can happen yet the world keeps turning.  We have to keep living.  Call me crazy or a lune or whatever but I feel like everyday that goes by we can still see pieces of that loved one.  When I'm quoting El Dorado or when my brother leans against wall with his arms crossed or seeing my mom smile.  Life goes on but everything we learned and loved from that person goes with us.  Our hearts are no longer complete but they keep beating. 

Until we meet again...

“Talk low, talk slow and don't say too much.” - John Wayne

Wordless Wednesday - My Own Personal Edward Cullen

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

John Wayne was True Grit

*Disclaimer - the following statements are my own opinions.  I have not seen the new version of True Grit so I can not rightfully judge anything about the movie.  This post is meant in jest and should be taken as so.*

When I first saw the trailer for the 2010 remake of True Grit starting Jeff Bridges I honestly thought it was a spoof.  First, why on earth is Hollywood remaking so many movies?  Second, why would you remake a movie as well known as True Grit staring the most awesome cowboy actor ever - John Wayne. 

I have grown up with John Wayne movies.  My "pawpaw" was a huge John Wayne fan as is my mother.  My favorite movie is El Dorado and I quote it regularly (Hubs thinks this is annoying).  So, as an avid fan of The Duke, I was simply appalled that the Coen Brothers would remake such a "classic." 

I can never see anyone attempting to play the part of the rough Rooster Cogburn than John Wayne.  Even now as I read the Oscar nominations and see that Jeff Bridges as been nominated, I cannot bring myself to watch this movie.  No offense to Mr. Bridges just isn't right.

Possibly, the Coen Brothers and the actors are playing tribute to a historic character, and even more, the larger than life actor who portrayed him, but I still don't know if I can handle the pain of seeing Jeff Bridges onscreen as Rooster Cogburn.  Ain't gonna happen.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Another week with Orgjunkie!  Our kitchen officially looks like a grocery store!  Three trips to Sam's over the past few weeks has really stocked my pantry!  It will be nice when I only have to go to the regular grocery store to pick up bread and milk! 

This is a busy week but I still wanted to have my plan in place -

Saturday - Japanese Steakhouse with Hubs and my sweet cousin
Sunday - Cheeseburger Casserole with green beans
Monday - Photography Client Meeting at Chickfila.
Tuesday - Class night!  Hubs will be making BBQ Chicken Sandwiches and Fries
Wednesday - Chicken Casserole (a recipe from my dear friend Amanda)
Thursday - Attending and Photographing a Fundraiser. 
Friday - Kraut and Weinies (our comfort food) and sides

To view hundreds of menu plans - go to OrgJunkie's post.  Great ideas!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My 3-Day Weekend

1.  Hubs and I went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  It was in 3D.  I'm not exactly a huge fan of 3D but once the movie started, it wasn't so bad.  I enjoyed the movie and not to mention that Ben Barnes as Prince Caspian looked hot is my favorite character.

2.  I desperately wanted a road trip on Saturday but that didn't happen.  Instead, I ventured out to Old Time Pottery.  Definitely not Hubs' favorite store so he stayed home.  I love browsing by myself.  I can take my time and not feel rushed.  I bought a fabulous rug set for our bathroom (if we ever get it painted).

3.  I love Ross!  I bought a Polo Beverly Hills purse for $15 (regularly marked $95 then down to $65).  I don't care for brands...I really just liked the size but I thought my find was pretty great.

4.  Ash, Jim, and EK came over for dinner.  This dinner led to Hubs and I purchasing an XBox Kinect (I'm sure a blog or 8 will come out of this).  It is a freaky little contraption that uses your body as the controller.  Scary! 

5.  In other news from that night, EK is HUGE!  She is 13 months now and walking and doing a ton of baby talk and her legs are 8 feet long like her mom's.  Where as the time gone??

6.  Quick trip to our favorite place in the world - Sam's.  I love buying in bulk.  My cabinets look like a grocery store.

7.  It is glorious to have a Monday off work and you get paid for it!  We were closed for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.  A and I spent the day working on jobs for our store.  We Amanda monogrammed all day.

8.  It still blows my mind that Little N (A's baby) can not only talk but make complete sentences and I can understand him and he knows what he wants.  He is growing too fast!  He watched about 95 episodes of Diego (you know...from Dora) while we worked.

9.  Pancakes (made by Hubs) for dinner was great.  Easy.  Fast.  Almost no cleanup.

10.  I almost forgot...the highlight of my day was a nice conversation with the police.  At 10am.  On my off-day.   I can't go into too much detail because... of pending charges  I was bribed to keep quiet  ok...honestly becauseI don't want everyone to think I live in the crazy, redneck capital of the world where I had to "call the law" on someone.  It will be a story for the grandkids for sure though.

Menu Plan Monday

I'm a day late with my menu plan but I did have it ready last week!  I was off work yesterday for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday so I'm having a Monday on a Tuesday.  Here we go...

Saturday - Meal with Friends!  Chili Dogs and Fries
Sunday - Savory Cheddar Chicken and Rice with Green Beans and Shubert Yeast Rolls
Monday - Lazy Dinner!!  Pancakes and smoked sausage pieces
Tuesday - Late class night for me!  Hubs cooks.  Lasagna (Stouffer's) with who knows what!
Wednesday - Hamburger Steaks (in the oven) with green beans, roasted potatoes, and creamed corn.
Thursday - Class night again.  Hubs will start dinner.  Oven fried chicken, baked beans, and veggie (or salad).
Friday - Probably out because we can't ever seem to eat at home on Friday night.s  :-)

Can't wait to read from others at Menu Plan Monday on


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Menu Plan Monday...on Tuesday

Yesterday we had a snow day so I completely have my days all messed up this week!  It is supposed to be in the teens tonight and tomorrow so glad we have some warm foods planned.

Saturday - Dinner out
Sunday - Dinner with inlaws.  Homemade Hamburgers and Fries.
Monday - Snow Day!!  We had leftover hamburgers for Lunch.  Chili for dinner.
Tuesday - Sloppy Joes and Fries
Wednesday - Crockpot BBQ Chicken (recipe later)
Thursday - Baked Chicken with Green Beans, Mac N Cheese, Roasted Potatoes
Friday - Not sure yet!!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Storm!!!

I think we ended up with about 2 inches or so of snow this weekend.  The snow was topped with a nice thick layer of ice . It was a beautiful day and having a day off of work made it even better!!

Our road was covered in snow/ice/slush.  It was very slippery.  I was definitely glad to stay home.

Our old weinie dog does NOT like the snow.   He is not a fun sport at all on these days.  But, we "borrowed" my in-laws puppy (yes...he is only a puppy), Merlin, and he is a blast.  He loves to chase things - snowballs, tennis doesn't matter.  He loves to eat snowballs.
Isn't he pretty?  He used to be scared of cameras but I think we are winning him over.
Merlin waiting for Hubs to throw his tennis ball again.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Special Day

Forget getting ready for a snow is a very special day.  Today is a very historic day - Elvis Presley's birthday!  As I have previously stated, I grew up thinking Elvis was a member of my family.  My dad has always been a huge music fan (most especially an Elvis fan) so naturally that interest in music passed on to me.  Seriously.

Movies -
Elvis didn't make Oscar-worthy movies but I always enjoyed them....well most of them.  My favorite movies are Blue Hawaii and Girl Happy.   In the movie Blue Hawaii Elvis' character, Chad Gates, is a tour guide and at one point he ends up driving a pink Jeep.  As a young girl, that pink Jeep was my dream car!  On a trip to Graceland when I was 5, I had my picture taken with the Jeep.  I was in heaven.  This event took place again at age 23.  I still want that Jeep.  But, I digress...

Music -
Elvis had 149 songs to appear on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Chart and had over 150 different albums and singles that have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum.  I don't know what I have a favorite song because I love so many of them.  But here is one favorite -

My own personal Elvis facts...
1.   I wrote a pop culture on Elvis paper in high school and received an A+.
2.  My mom owns (and uses) Elvis luggage.
3.  My dad knows the names of Elvis' signature suits and the time period in which they were worn.
4.  Hubs and I and my parents all stayed at The Heartbreak Hotel on our last trip to Memphis. 
5.  I can quote several Elvis moves and it annoys Hubs.  It's Fun.  I can do it to John Wayne movies too.

Here are a few Elvis facts....
1.   Until his late teens, Elvis was a blond. 
2.  Elvis won three Grammy awards...for his gospel recordings.
3.  Elvis' birth certificate read, "Elvis Aron Presley" but his tombstone reads, "Elvis Aaron Presley."
4.  Elvis is a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
5.  In the most recent poll, more than 10% of American's think Elvis is still alive.  I do not.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Goals for the New Year

Hubs and I have lots of goals for this new year - some big and some small, some serious and some goofy.  Regardless, here is my current list (they are numbered but in no real order):

1.  Pay off our Cruise by the end of June.
2.  Pay off our car by the end of July.
3.  Paint and redecorate our master bedroom and bath.
4.  Practice my photography way more than I did the last two months of 2010.
5.  Finish the Spring, Summer, and Fall Semesters with all A's (and B's are ok too).
6.  Try at least one new recipe each week.  And blog about it.
7.  Send real birthday cards instead of a text or email.
8.  Read more - for pleasure and not just school.
9.  Get our grocery budget down...we waste (not just money but food) too much.
10.  Stay ahead of the game on holiday gifts - Mother's Day, Father's Day, Bdays, Christmas.
11.  Print and Frame more of my photos.
12.  Be a better friend.
13.  Be a better blogger.
14.  Walk (or run) in a charity race - Diabetes, Susan G. Komen, etc.
15.  Reach weight goals.
16.  Be a better shopper.
17.  Stay organized - home, work, class, etc.
18.  Bake at least once a week.
19.  Stop eating out so much!
20.  Go on a road trip.
21.  Go to the zoo, a museum, new places.
22. be continued....


Menu Plan Monday - January 3rd

I love Menu Plan Monday!  I love looking through the other links on  If you are like Hubs and I...we are almost always in a menu rut.  We get in habits of eating the same things from week to week.  MPM has really helped me to try to recipes and plan ahead.  Planning really makes it easier for us especially since I start night classes tomorrow!

Here goes it:

Saturday - Roast with Potatoes and Carrots, Green Beans, Purple Hull Peas, and Rolls

Sunday - Savory Cheddar Chicken and Rice (taken from, Green Beans, and Cornbread

Monday - Breakfast - Waffles (for Hubs), Eggs, Bacon, Biscuits
Tuesday - Late Night Class so Hubs is making BLT's on Sour Dough.
Wednesday - Shake & Bake Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Baked Beans, Creamed Corn (too many carbs...maybe a salad instead of corn).

Thursday - French Onion Hamburgers, Fries, and Salad.
Friday - Eat Out Night (We are thinking dinner and a movie!)


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Recipe - Savory Cheddar Chicken and Rice

2 cups Minute Rice
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
4 chicken breasts
12 ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Sliced or Shredded)
1 Box Stove Top Stuffing Chicken Flavor (6 oz box)
1 cup Melted Butter

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

In small bowl, mix soups together with rice.  Spoon into 9x13 baking pan and place chicken on top of rice.

Cover and bake for 40 minutes.

Take chicken and rice out of the oven.  Sprinkle (or place) cheese over chicken, covering as evenly as possible.

Sprinkle stuffing mix (dry) onto chicken, rice, and cheese.  Drizzle melted butter evenly over the top.

Bake for another 40 minutes, uncovered, until cheese is melted and stuff mix is browned at edges.

Hubs Review: "Fantastic"

Original recipe taken from