Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2 Kate's Cheese Ball


Soo. . . it may not be this cold . . . BUT we have been LOVING this "cooler" weather! I have spent as much time as possible outside. . .and it has been BEAUTIFUL! My fall decorations are out, Gus Gus is having so much fun hunting with Daddy or Grandpa, college football is everywhere, and I have a date with a Pumpkin Spice Latte on Thursday!

I served this cheese ball last week for some friends and Parker got so excited when he saw that I had fixed this! It is one of his favorite "appetizers!" This is a perfect "non-dip" for a football party! Chips, queso and salsa seem to be a staple while watching football but this is a wonderful option that the guys (and girls) in my family LOVE!
{pioneerwoman.com}
1/2 lb Sharp Cheddar
1/2 lb Medium Cheddar, Mild Cheddar or American Cheese
1 c. pecans
1 c. mayonnaise (just use enough to hold the cheese ball together)
3-6 chopped green onions
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne
Raspberry, raspberry jalapeno/chipolte jelly, or jalapeno jelly (I always use jalapeno jelly!)
Mix everything except the jelly together. Mold the way you want and refrigerate it (for at least 10 - 15 min) Before serving top it with jelly!
Kate Shaffer
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Friday, September 24, 2010

3 Green Beans, Feta and John Henry's Pecans

Bobbie Whelan is basically Paula Deen, Martha Stewart, and Heloise all rolled up into one amazing woman! She has every cooking/housekeeping trick, tip, and answer known to man! She is also the type of person who can WHIP UP crafty things. . . like centerpieces, wreaths, etc that you see in magazines! I have begged her to write a book about EVERYTHING she knows (because it would be a NATIONAL best seller) and she always just laughs! Needless to say, if Bobbie says a recipe is good. . . that means it is OUT OF THIS WORLD!
Last night we had some sweet friends over (one of whom I have known ever since I was born. . . but that is another story) and I made this new recipe! :-) First off, Nate LOVED this recipe! (remember he is pretty skeptical about vegetables unless they are covered in butter and bacon!) Seriously, as we were going to bed, he still was telling me how good it was! :-) (ok. . . he is pretty precious!)
AND as I was snapping the peas I could not help but remember snapping peas with my Granny on her back porch! It brought back so many sweet memories and reminded me to slow down in life. Now you can buy everything already prepared for you at the grocery store. . . but sometimes, it is nice to just snap the peas yourself and have quality time with someone you love!


So enjoy this recipe with the people you care about and have fun snapping those peas! :-)

Green Beans, Feta and John Henry's Pecans
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (350 degrees for 10 min)
1/2 c diced red onion
1 c. crumbled feta cheese
Cook green beans in a large saucepan of boiling water, about 4 minutes. Drain, immerse in cold water, drain, and pat dry. In the bowl you will serve the salad, combine olive oil, dill, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk to blend. Place beans, pecans, red onions, and feta in serving bowl and toss.
4-6 Servings
Bobbie Whelan
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

0 Easy Enchilada Casserole

My sweet "sister in law" shared this recipe with me a while back! I made it a couple days ago and it is super easy and very good! It is perfect if you are entertaining a lot of guests or if you want lunch and dinner for the rest of the week! :-) Jennifer is a great cook (and comes from a family of amazing cooks) so anything she shares with me is incredible! AND this recipe is no exception!
Easy Enchilada Casserole
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (19-ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (16-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1 (11-ounce) can Mexican-style corn, drained
1 teaspoon fajita seasoning or chili powder (use a little less if serving to kids or if you don't want it that spicy!)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (10-ounce) package 6-inch corn tortillas
3 cups chopped cooked chicken* (I used ground beef. . . see below)
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend
Saute onion in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until tender. Stir in next 6 ingredients. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Spoon one-third of sauce mixture in bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Layer with one-third of tortillas, half of chicken, and 1 cup cheese. Repeat layers with one-third each of sauce mixture and tortillas, remaining chicken, and 1 cup cheese. Top with remaining tortillas, sauce mixture, and 1 cup cheese.
Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Prep: 15 min., Bake: 20 min.
*2 pounds lean ground beef, cooked, may be substituted.
Southern Living, JUNE 2002
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

0 Butter Horn Rolls

A couple years ago, my Gigi gave me The Houston Junior League Cookbook. This is the most special cookbook in my bookshelf because I went through both my mom and Gigi's Junior League cookbooks and wrote down all of their "notes!" So now my cookbook has 3 generations of comments or advice on different recipes! Pretty amazing!

I made these rolls when the Meadow's came over for dinner and they were a hit!!

Butter Horn Rolls
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons warm water
2 yeast cakes (I used 2 packets of Fleischmann's Rapid Rise Highly Active Yeast, one the back of the packets it will tell you how many packets equal a fresh yeast cake)
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup melted shortening (I used the Crisco All Vegetable Shortening sticks)
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups flour
Melted butter
Combine sugar, 2 tablespoons warm water and yeast; stir. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, until dissolved. (Mine didn't really ever dissolve so I just waited 10 minutes and then moved on!) Beat eggs in another, larger bowl; add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup lukewarm water, shortening, yeast mixture, salt and flour. Knead until dough is very elastic. Dough will be very soft and difficult to work with. (It will get all over your hands, but do not despair.) Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Flour a pastry cloth (I used wax paper) and rolling pin. Working with one part at a time, roll dough into a circle, 1/4" thick. Brush melted butter over the round of dough. Cut into 4 pie-shaped wedges, and cut each wedge into 3 smaller wedges. Roll up each wedge, starting with wide edge. Place on cookie sheet with pointed end on bottom. Let rise until double in size (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours). Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. these may be frozen after they are shapped (before rising). If frozen allow appoximately 3 hours to rise. Makes 3 dozen.
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

0 Black Bean Salsa

These are our sweet friends, Erin and Mac  . . .
who got married in Mexico last year. . .

Erin is one of those people who can MAKE UP recipes! She knows what spices to add, she doesn't use MEASURING CUPS, and everything she makes is amazing! I don't think I will ever get to that level!
Anyways, they came over last night for dinner and I made a yummy Black Bean Salsa. . . (I have no idea where I got this recipe from). This is the perfect dip for kids! It isn't spicy at ALL and would be a great addition for a Super Bowl party! 
Black Bean Salsa
one package frozen shoepeg corn
3/4 cup water
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 c. fresh cilantro
2 cans black beans rinsed and drained
1/3 c fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp salt (I used more)
1/4 tsp pepper
2 avocados chopped
a couple dashes of Tabasco (I just chopped up a jalapeno with the seeds)
Thaw and slightly cook the corn in the 3/4 c water. Add all ingredients together in separate bowl and mix. Add corn. Add avocado last to keep from browning!
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

3 Baylor In Great Britain

I have loved reading about my new friend, Carolyn's, life in Austria on her blog, Life in Graz, Kambry, who is currently living in London on her blog, Our London Times  , and Robin who just moved to Edinburgh on The Ince's in Edinburgh. . .and it has made me miss all of my travels!!

One of my favorite memories from college was when I spent a summer in London with some of my best friends! It was incredible! We explored, went to musicals (saw Mamma Mia twice and Les Miserables), shopped (especially at Harrods), had High Tea (at Claridges), visited wonderful places and made memories that will last a lifetime!
We traveled for about a week before we started classes! We began our trip in France. . .
stopped in Monte Carlo and then moved on to England!
Stonehenge with my beautiful friend, Jenni!
We studied at Imperial College! (the perfect location right next to Prince Albert's Hall and across the street from Hyde Park!) Erin Bailey Simpson and I wanted to get the FULL experience of London so every morning we would meet in the courtyard (pictured below) and HAUL it to our favorite breakfast location numerous blocks away! After about a week, they knew our order by heart and we would enjoy our breakfast outside (same table everyday), I would share my butter with Bailey (everyday), and then we would race back to Imperial College to slide into our class just in time for it to start!

That first weekend in England, we went to the coast with a great group of friends! We surfed. . .
and slept on the beach!
Another weekend, we went to Ireland. . .
and then Bailey and I went to Lucerne, Switzerland! (Carolyn, if you haven't been here yet, it is a MUST!)
It was absolutely AMAZING! We stayed in the Palace Hotel and felt like princesses! We swam in Lake Lucerne, shopped and hiked! But one of our most memorable experiences was English riding in the Swiss Alps with a German instructor yelling at me (hey, I grew up in Texas and only knew how to western ride) "UP DOWN UP DOWN!" It was pretty hilarious!
We spent our weekdays going to museums and on day trips around London.
In Cambridge!
Then our last weekend, we all went to Edinburgh, Scotland and saw the Military Tattoo! The next day we decided to travel to the Loch Ness! So, we went to the nearest REI type store and loaded up on gear, grabbed the train, and headed north!
We slept under the stars and looked for Nessie the entire time!
God's creation is MAGNIFICENT!
I am so thankful for the blessing of being able to travel with some of my very best friends! The whole time we were there I truly believe we absolutely LIVED IT UP! We would tell each other we could sleep when we got home but that this would be the only trip like this we would ever go on! When else in your life can you spend a summer abroad with numerous amazing friends? Years later, I treasure these memories and know that I will keep them in a special place in my heart forever! AND I can honestly say this about the sweet friends I traveled with, "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you." Phil 1:3
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Friday, September 17, 2010

3 In Trouble! :-)

Sooo. . . posting what I am making for dinner is getting me in trouble with my family! :-) My dad knows that whenever I make something and have leftovers he gets to have a little bit of it . . . there have been many times since moving in within a 5 minute walk of my parent's house that he has raced over for a "to go" plate of dinner, tin of cookies, etc! One of my particular favorites was one morning when I got an email titled "Double Chocolate Chip Cookies" and it stated. . . "Read your blog this morning! You had better let me sample some of those cookies before you take them to the softball game. I want to make sure that they are good enough to be served to your Sunday School Class. :-)" Pretty funny. . . right?! Well, one night this week, Parker emailed us and asked what our plans were that night. Clark said he was running errands and couldn't hang out. Parker ended up coming over that night and eating dinner with Nate and me! Well, a day or two after that when Clark was over, he told us he could NOT believe that we hadn't INVITED him to dinner! Haha! I told him that I thought he was busy and Parker just stopped by really quickly! Well, he let me know that he could CHANGE his plans if he was invited over for dinner! Cute! ;-) We have loved having both boys in town and LOVED spending time with them! Emily (Parker's wife to be) was in town last week and it was great to spend time with my brothers and BOTH of their significant others! We literally hang out with Clark and Rebecca at least once a week. . . it will be so much fun when Emily lives in town, too!
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

0 BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad

Nate sometimes has the characteristics of a little boy who. . . doesn't like his vegetables! Now he will devour green bean casserole with cream of mushroom, cheese and french fried onions covering every thing that should be green and healthy in the dish! AND if I get him on a good day, he'll eat a salad with tomatoes IF it is doused with ranch dressing! But on the whole, the guy isn't much for vegetables! LUCKILY, he would eat fruit with every meal so he at least gets some nutrition that way! So before I tell you about this wonderful salad, let me say up front that Nate DOES NOT like it! Both times I have made this salad I have also made a HUGE main course so that he doesn't even have to touch the salad! BUT. . . I think this salad is AMAZING and made it for the first time last week (Parker and Clark though it was great) and liked it so much I made it again this week for my lunches!

BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad
1 cup(s) corn kernels (from 2 ears corn)
1 teaspoon(s) vegetable oil
3 skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves
Salt
Pepper
1 tablespoon(s) barbecue sauce
2 limes
1/4 cup(s) light ranch dressing
2 hearts romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup(s) loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 small (10- to 12-ounce) jicama, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1 can(s) (15- to 15.5-ounce) pink or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium ripe tomato, chopped
1 cup(s) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup(s) crushed tortilla chips
Directions
In microwave-safe small bowl, place corn and 2 tablespoons water; cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on High 1 minute; drain and refrigerate.
Brush large ridged grill pan with oil; heat on medium until hot. With flat side of meat mallet, pound chicken (placed between 2 sheets plastic wrap) to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to season both sides. Working in batches if necessary, cook chicken 12 to 14 minutes or until juices run clear when pierced with tip of knife, turning over once. Transfer to cutting board; brush with barbecue sauce. Cool slightly; cut into 1-inch chunks. (I just used canned corn and didn't add the chicken)
Into small bowl, from 1 lime, squeeze 1 tablespoon juice. Cut remaining lime into 4 wedges and reserve. With fork, whisk dressing into lime juice. In large bowl, toss lettuce and cilantro with half of lime dressing until evenly coated; place on serving platter. Top lettuce with jicama, beans, tomato, cheese, chips, and chicken. Drizzle remaining dressing all over, and serve with reserved lime wedges.

Picture and Recipe from Good Housekeeping
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2 Mom's Ziti

I have mentioned before that Nate LOVES Italian food! Parker came over for dinner last night and they both thought this new recipe was great. . . I have no idea where I got this from :-(
Mom's Ziti
1 16 oz package dry ziti pasta
1 pound lean ground beef
1 jar Ragu spaghetti sauce (1 lb. 8 oz)
1 onion chopped
1 - 1 1/2 cup sour cream
3 cups Monterrey Jack Cheese
Italian spices (garlic, oregano to taste)
Boil water and cook ziti. Brown meat in saucepan over medium heat. Drain greese. Add ragu sauce, onion, spices, sour cream to meat.. Simmer. Add meat sauce to ziti. Stir in 2  cups cheese. Place in casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

3 Honeymoon!

Yesterday I coached a volleyball game in a gym that was LACKING air conditioning! We won but the gym being 900 degrees and the Texas weather being hot and humid has made me dream of being on our honeymoon again! Nate and I did not take the normal beach honeymoon where you lounge for a week! Nate's personality is way to "go go go" for lounging . . . he could do it for a day or two but would then need to do something else, like hiking, golfing, etc! Nate planned our honeymoon completely on his own and it was a surprise where we were going. . . I knew that his short list included Hawaii and Canada! We had both been to Hawaii before so I was hoping we were going to Canada and towards the end of our engagement, he told me we were going to WHISTLER! 
We spent a night in Vancouver and the next morning grabbed the Rocky Mountaineer Train and headed to Whistler! It was AMAZING!
Whistler is a quaint little village that we LOVED exploring! We had plenty of time to relax but Nate planned one death defying outdoors activity a day! We rode in a Gondola peak to peak  from Blackcomb to Whistler mountains! (have I told you I am scared of heights?)

We hiked in the snow capped mountains!
we played golf. . .  .
 with bears. .. .
we got a couple's massage.  .
we saw more bears. . . .
went zip lining (remember. . .  I am afraid of heights!!!!!! :-) (but it ended up being SUPER fun!)
 we saw more bears 
we had fun dinners with one particularly lovely dessert!
we saw more bears. . .
we rode a speed boat up the white water rapids of a river . . .
and saw lots of wildlife!
we ate the best ice cream in the world . . .
anndddddd. .. . .saw more BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I thanked God daily that I am married to SUCH a hottie. . . I mean seriously. . . look at him! :-) who. . . loves Jesus and me!
I saw.. . . . a beaver building his dam. . .! :-) they are such hard little workers!
We visited a waterfall
and then Nate took me to walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge. . .
this one about did me in. . . I almost had to TAKE A KNEE a couple times while walking across. . .
we took our time going back to Vancouver (mainly because we were sad to leave. . . .)

We are planning on going back someday with friends! :-) It was the absolutely most amazing honeymoon EVER! Nate planned everything perfectly, picked the perfect location, and we were surrounded by nature and ANIMALS the entire time! I am head over heels in love with my precious husband and it was an incredible first week as a married couple!
Thank you Jesus for Nate!
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