Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chicken Taco Soup!

I went from not blogging for awhile to 2 posts in 1 day...wahoo, I'm on top of it!  Last night we had Chicken Taco Soup, and it was really tasty!  I started off wanting to make regular Taco Soup, but I didn't have everything I needed for it.  It was lunch time and I didn't have time to run to the store and get everything put together in the crock pot.  So I opened up one of my cookbooks, and saw a recipe for Chicken Taco Soup.  It had similar ingredients as regular Taco Soup, except for a few things, so I thought that we'd give it a try.  So I got the chicken breasts thawed out and put everything in the crock pot over my lunch break, and off to work I went.  After work, the house smelled so yummy, and I couldn't wait for D to get home so we could eat!!

I took one picture, which was from today (leftovers), so I apologize for that, but I just had to share the recipe with you all!

1 Onion, chopped
1 can Chili Beans
1 can Black Beans
1 can Corn
1 can Tomato Sauce
2 cans Ro-Tel
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning
3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Tortilla Chips (topping, optional)
Shredded Taco Cheese (topping, optional)
Sour Cream (topping, optional)
Jalapenos (topping, optional)

1. Put everything in the crock pot, except the chicken.
2. Lay the Chicken Breasts on top, press into mixture to cover.
3. Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.
4. Remove Chicken Breasts and shred, place back into crock pot.
5. Cook a little longer if you want, or serve it right up!
6. Top it with crushed Tortilla Chips, Shredded Cheese, Sour Cream, and Jalapenos (maybe a couple or all toppings...I personally did Chips, Cheese, and Jalapenos)

Side Notes: My crock pot has a built-in timer on it, so I cooked it on high for 4 hours and then shredded the chicken once it switched over to warm. D wasn't home yet, so I put it back on high for another hour or so and it was ready!  Also, I added in some other seasonings with it: Garlic Salt, Garlic Powder, Minced Onion, and Onion Salt.  If you want more of a "kick" I think adding some crushed red peppers to it, and maybe some Cayenne Pepper would be great!

Chicken Taco Soup!

I still can't believe that Thanksgiving is already here!  Tomorrow we'll be heading out on a long drive to Iowa, which will take us around 8 hours to get to D's grandma's house, and we aren't coming back until Sunday.  I will be missing my family, but at the same time it will be great to see all of D's family that we don't get to see very often.  I'm not too sure about the Black Friday shopping either, but D did say we might be able to go out shopping for a little bit, just not at 4am!  Black Friday shopping is something that has turned into a tradition for me, my mom, and whoever else wants to battle it out with us, so I'll be the one missing out this year.  That's ok, I won't mind getting a few extra hours of sleep!  I am really excited to see family and eat tons of food, until my stomach feels like it will explode!  I seriously do love Thanksgiving!!

Thanksgiving is not only about incredible food, but it's also the time where we remember what we are all thankful for.  I'm Thankful for...our wonderful families (parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc...), my AMAZING boyfriend D, Bernie, incredible friends, our new home, having a job, warm food on the table, soldiers fighting for our country and freedom, and most of all our Heavenly Father.  Be sure to tell everyone what you are Thankful for this Thanksgiving! 

Hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday!

Psalm 107:1 - "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
His faithful love endures forever."

Linked up to...

Girls Weekend...much deserved!

Wow...I just realized it's been awhile since I've posted anything!  Things have been crazy hectic around here, so I haven't had a whole lot of time to blog!

This past weekend my brothers girlfriend, my cousins wife, and I (we all happen to be great friends) headed east for a Girls Weekend!!  We all have been so consumed with life lately and haven't had a whole lot of time to enjoy it much, so we made sure to make the most of it!  Friday we jumped in Jens car and took off to the big city.  When we got there we went to visit Ashley's cousin and new baby.  Little did we know, we were also about to meet the BIGGEST Bulldog any of us had EVER seen!  He's only 3-4 years old, looks and is built like a pig, but the poor guy is deaf.  He was pretty entertaining!  Meet George...

After visiting with her cousin (and George!) we headed to Mom's!  We were ready for some Beer and Margarita's at Mia Ranchito...it had been a really long day!  We went to Bass Pro Shops to check out their home stuff and Jen wanted to look at hunting stuff.  After that we decided we were going out for a couple of beers to wind down; after all we had been in a car all day, getting road rage as soon as we hit the big city, and even got a little claustrophobic!! 

Saturday morning we got up, Mom made us some breakfast, and we headed out shopping for the day.  The plan was to get some Christmas shopping knocked out, and try not to buy anything for ourselves (that never works out!).  Check out this GINORMOUS cheese grater Ashley & Jen found at Home Goods (which is one of my fav stores!)...
Now that's a cheese grater...only $99.99!
We managed to hit up the following stores before it was time to get back to Mom's...Home Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Hobby Lobby, Maurices, Victoria's Secret, JC Penney, Aeropostale, Le Gourmet Chef, and Bath & Body Works.  Needless to say once we were done, we were done!  On our way home we hit up Starbucks for a little "pick me up", and then to the liquor store for a 40 ouncer!  Yep, I said a 40!  So we were loaded with caffeine and a little beer!

That's how we roll!
(just to clarify, we were sitting in the parking garage!)
 We got ready for the LADY ANTEBELLUM concert and headed off to have a great night...this after all was the main reason for our trip!  Lets just say they were AMAZING!!!  So was David Nail who opened up for them...yum! ;)  Here are some pictures from Saturday night...
Us 4 waiting for the concert to start!

We had so much fun!

Daivd Nail...opening act!

Mom and Jen!

David Nail...Lady A came out and sat in the middle
and drank beer while he performed!

Lady Antebellum!!!!
"It's a  quarter after 1, I'm a little drunk and I need you now...!"

Me and Danielle!
All in all, we had such a great time; it was so much fun just us girls, doing girly stuff!  We laughed so hard the whole entire weekend, which is just what we needed!  I can't wait to plan another girls trip!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beef, Garden, and Appreciation Dinner!

First off, I know it's a little late to post about last weekend...it's Thursday and I really don't have an excuse!!  Maybe it's because I've been shopping online trying to find stuff for my Wishlist of this weather we've had this week.  Saturday and Sunday felt like spring, heck almost summer, again...was in the upper 70's lower 80's.  Monday wasn't too bad lower 70's, Tuesday lower 60's, yesterday lower 60's, and today probably lower 50's with random thunderstorms, rain, and yuckiness!  It's been dark since about 2:00pm because of the cloud coverage and rain.  Although, not complaining about the rain at all...we so need it!  It's been super dry and extremely windy lately (that's western KS for ya!), so we need all we can get at this point!  Anyways, back to our weekend last weekend...

Friday we went to get our 1/2 of beef...I'm talking about 430 lbs of beef loaded up in D's truck ready to be thrown back into the freezer!  We split it with D's parents, so we ended up with around 215 lbs of hamburger, steak, roasts, fajita meat, and etc.  Good thing we split it with them, because we had just enough room for our 1/4.

Our tiny freezer that held most of our 1/4
(House is tiny, so this is all we had room for in our pantry/laundry room!)

Not the best picture...but this is probably 98% of our 215 lbs.
All hamburger on the left half, just under those massive T-Bones!

Had to overflow over into our regular freezer!
Beef...it's what's for dinner!!
(sorry, just had too!)

Saturday I pretty much relaxed most of the day, and then we went to D's Firefighter Appreciation Dinner for all of the local firefighters...and our firefighters are all volunteers!!!  So very proud of D wanting to be apart of something so awesome and apart of our community (and I can't wait to see him in uniform, hehe!).  D hates pictures, so I had to fight him to take a good one with me! ;)

We clean up pretty darn good, I'd say!
Sunday my Dad and Grandparents came down to hang out with us, and D and Dad tilled up where our garden will be next year!  It's not huge, but it's enough for what we want and might be able to share a little (fingers crossed) if everything goes as planned.  I made Spaghetti, Green Beans, Salad, Garlic Bread, and Chocolate Chip cookies!  Grandma Jean brought along my favorite Apple Pie too!

Dad and D hard at it!

There might be a problem...

Getting it going again!

Dad tillin' it up!

OMGosh...he's the cutest dog, EVER!

HAPPY VETERAN'S DAY!! Thank you to those who have served and are currently serving for our country!  Also thank you to all of the families!  We appreciate all you do!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cinnamon-licious Pancakes!

Last week Thursday I made some of the BEST pancakes ever for supper (breakfast for supper = pure awesomeness!)...and no they weren't just plain ol' pancakes!  They were these Cinnamon Bun Pancakes, and I found them over at the How Does She blog.  Those ladies are brilliant...go check them out if you already aren't a follower! :)  I loved how when I was mixing the batter up, I could already smell the yummy-ness that I was about to eat!  I love anything made with Cinnamon (like these Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins or this Heavenly Zucchini Bread) and I'm pretty sure I'll be making these any day over the plain ol' pancakes!  D hates pancakes, I mean every time I mention making pancakes he comes up with something else for me to make.  But I didn't give in this time, I told him he had to try them, because that's what I wanted to make.  His first bite went something like *bite* "oh these are so delicious!..." and then he continued to shovel the rest of them into his mouth!  I fried up some bacon (mmm...bacon!), and it was the best of both worlds...Cinnamon-licious sweetness and bacon saltiness!

Ok...my mouth is watering just telling you about them, I better get with the pictures and recipe!!


Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl!

Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl!

Combine both of them together, and mix!

Grease up your griddle/skillet, pour batter in
let it get golden brown, and flip!
Mine looked more like footballs!

Mmm...Cinnamon-licious Pancakes and Salty Bacon!!!
1 1/2  cups Flour
3 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
4 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Cinnamon (I used a little more like the recipe on How Does She suggested)
2 large Eggs, beaten
1 cup Milk (I added just a smidgen more, it was too thick)
2 Tbsp Corn Syrup (I used Light Corn Syrup, turned out fine)
1/4 cup Butter, melted
1 Tbsp Vanilla

1. Grease up your skillet/griddle with Butter, Crisco, or Pam Spray, and heat to medium/low heat.
2. Mix all of the Dry Ingredients in a Large Mixing bowl, set aside.
3. Mix all of the Wet Ingredients in a separate bowl.
4. Combine the Wet Ingredients in with the Dry Ingredients in the Large mixing bowl, mix well.
5. Drop the batter into the heated skillet/griddle, wait until there are bubbles, and flip!
6. Once both sides are golden brown (only takes a few minutes), get them ready on your plate...and I sprinkled them with EXTRA Cinnamon and cover in syrup!  OMGosh so goooooood! 

Side Note: How Does She also has a recipe for Maple Icing Syrup, but I just used my favorite syrup that I had at home.  They were plenty sweet and yummy for us!  Also their pictures are way better looking than mine, our camera doesn't do these bad boys justice!!

Linking up with...
At Home with Haley
It's A Blog Party
Today's Creative Blog
The Girl Creative
What Allie's Making Now

Friday, November 5, 2010

Have a great weekend!

I was going to do a post about some awesome pancakes that I made last night, but it looks like it's gonna have to wait until Monday.  I can't get my pictures to upload on to here for some reason.  But let's just say these pancakes are so yummy and I can't wait to make them again.  Like I might not even be able to make regular pancakes ever again, good! 

Anyways, D and I are off to get a 1/2 a cow (yeah, I said a 1/2 cow), and are splitting it up with D's parents.  I am really excited, because I won't have to shop for beef for a really long time!  There is 400 some pounds, so we'll get around 200 pounds of hamburger, roasts, delish steak, and etc.  My friend raises his own cattle, and they are raised without any hormones or antibiotics, so it's the good stuff!  They used to provide the beef for Laura's Lean meat that is sold (or was) in Target and other places like that.  I am really excited to go get it!!

Tomorrow we'll probably do some housework, yard work, and then we'll be off to a Firefighters Appreciation Dinner.  (D is a volunteer firefighter and I can't wait to see him in uniform ;) )  Sunday my dad and grandparents are coming down to till up part of our backyard for our garden next year!

I hope you all have a great weekend! :)

Winter is on it's way, so we must prepare!!

Winter is on its way and we must prepare!  Burr...  Yes, we've already turned our heater on (last weekend), taken out our A/C units (don't judge, a lot of older homes in the area don't have central air), and getting ready to cover our windows in plastic (you would be surprised on the amount of air that sneaks in and out of your window cracks!). 

Wednesday after work I went home and decided it was time to get our Hyacinth bulbs planted.  It froze here last night, so good thing I got them planted before!  There are already pink and purplish blue Hydrangeas planted and some other flowers bulbs in the front (not really sure what they are!).  So in between the Hydrangeas I planted the Hyacinth...so come spring we'll see how everything blooms out!  Here is the front of our house when we purchased it at the beginning of June (it looks a little different now, it's kinda bare in the picture).  The "bush" looking things are the Hydrangea plants before they bloomed.

Front of our house, June 2010
We planted multi-colored Hyacinth similar to these!

Our Hydrangeas are really similar to this when they bloom, so pretty!

Wednesdays night D normally goes to Poker, and Bernie and I bond!  After we got the bulbs planted and moved our plants from the porch to my office, we snuggled right up on the couch and got caught up on my shows.  He also got his haircut Wednesday, and he looks so cute!  I think he looks like a little puppy! 

looks like he posing for his Senior pictures!

Now that it's chilly in the morning and at night,
you'll find him wearing his camo jacket or little coat to keep him warm! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween Fun!

Last Friday (the day before the Halloween Party) I had no idea what to be for Halloween.  I thought I might be the "sexy devil", but I couldn't find my tights...I thought I might be a nurse, but the I remembered when I wore that costume a few years ago it was really hot...and then I thought I might be a "sexy witch", but that costume wouldn't have completed D's costume. 

Ok so enter in Friday night, we went over to D's parents house for supper and we got to talking.  His mom has a bunch of costumes, and happens to have a few Nun outfits; Dustin has a Priest outfit he wore a few years ago, so I thought that would be perfect.  However, we put a little spin on it and decided to make me into a Pregnant Nun!  (Sorry if this offends anyone, but it was all just for fun!) 

Also, my good friend Danielle came to visit me Saturday (it was a nice surprise!).  We spent most of Saturday afternoon girl talking, laughing, and catching up (earlier in the week she had shared some really exciting news of her own with me)!  We had a lot of fun!  Here are some pictures from Saturday Nights Halloween Party that we went to!

Me & Dani
The Prego Nun and Priest!
(no worries, those are just towels!)
Dani and Bernie!
Bernie the Skeleton!

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy!

Roller Derby Ladies - The Silver Beavers!
(there were actually 4 of them and they won the costume contest!)

Lemon Twist Martini and The "Devil"

Dani kissin' the baby!  LOL!

Sunday was Halloween, and I must say I was a little disappointed...we only had 1 Trick-or-Treater stop by.  He was one of our friends little boy, who made the cutest little monster EVER!  I think it's because #1 we live off of the main highway as you enter town...#2 it used to be a Beauty Shop before we bought it in June, so not sure people are used to us living there yet...#3 there aren't many houses around ours.  The neighbors didn't even stop by, but maybe they don't celebrate Halloween...I don't know.  We aren't scary people, and our porch light was on, so I really don't know what the deal-io was!  So now we have a bunch of candy leftover and we've already been eating it since we got it a few weeks ago...ugh!  D's parents on the other hand live in the "rich" neighborhood, and they had over 150 kids...they ran out of candy and had to start giving out those little bags of chips!

You are probably wondering what Dani's exciting news was...but I'm probably going to have to do a separate post on that another time!  Stay tuned!