Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Hey Y'all...

Well, you know I am on the edge of my sofa waiting for the Castle season premire on September 19th. As y'all know, it is one of my favorite shows... one that I will dis my early bedtime for every week! Here's a sneek peek of the premire... if you don't watch Castle.. get the show on DVD. You will love it!!!!!! I can't wait! :)

I am off to take some Excedrin PM... today was a rough day!
:) JKP

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Sunday Plate- Creamy Crockpot Italian Chicken

Hey Y'all!

Well, it has been a while since I posted a "Sunday Plate" post and I thought you might enjoy this one. I made this a few weeks ago... you guessed it... when I was going through the Crockpot Apocalypse phase. Little did I know that all that frozen crockpot goodness would get me through what has now become known as "The I Have a Stolen Debit Card Number So I Can't Spend ANY Money While Waiting on My New Debit Card AND To Make Sure My Account is OK And Won't Be Hacked Again" time of my life.  Ahem. Bitter, me??? NOOOOOOOO! :)

This is a yummy treat and one that freezes very well. It was my supper tonight!

To make this creamy chicken you will need....

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 oz each)
1 envelope of Italian salad dressing mix
1/4 cup of water
1 package (8 oz) of cream cheese
1 can of cream of chicken soup undiluted
*1 can of mushroom stems and pieces drained (I do not like mushrooms, so I did not add this.)
Hot cooked pasta of your choice. I chose Fettucine. :)

Start by placing the chicken into your crockpot. Mix together the salad dressing mix and 1/4 cup of water. Pour this over the chicken. Cover and cook for 3 hours.

After the three hours has passed, in a pot on LOW heat, mix together the cream cheese and cream of chicken soup. Stir. The heat will help melt the cream cheese and the soup together and prevent lumps. *Stir in mushrooms at this point if you are adding them. Pour this mixture over the chicken. Let cook for 1 hour longer or until chicken juices run clear.

Serve over pasta of your choice or rice.

It is just that easy! And makes your house smell so good! :)

:) JKP

Sunday, August 28, 2011

AHEM.... Somebody is Being L-A-Z-Y Today!

Hey Y'all!
Well it is nice to know that someone can relax around here! I am busy working on school stuff and Pitty Pat, is well, being Pitty Pat!

:) JKP
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I Want My "I Survived Hurricane Irene 2011" T-Shirt!

Hey Y'all!

Well, Myrtle Beach made it through Irene pretty much unscathed. We do have trees down and minor damage, but my house and neighborhood seem to be fine. The winds got up to about 50 mph last night and Pitty Pat got a wee bit scared, but we are fine. It is still windy here right now. Every few minutes or so after the clouds part, we can even see the pretty blue sky. Horry County officials have asked folks to stay off of the roads until noon just so the cleanup that needs to happen can. It looks like after 12 everything will be back to normal. I am even going to run some errands. Especially after I discovered that I have 12 library books overdue! I don't know how that happened, but I can tell you this whole debit card stolen debacle has really taken over my week. I plan on hanging out at Barnes and Noble this afternoon to catch up on my crafty magazines and have a small treat of a Starbuck's Iced Coffee. After this week, I think I need at least 1 treat!

AND.... don't forget! The Pioneer Woman's cooking show debuts on The Food Network at 11:30 eastern!!!!!!! She is making chicken fried steak. Hmm... that may show up on the blog soon!!! Set your DVR's or watch it!!! She is hysterical!

I also have some craftiness to post here on the blog soon! I plan on spending some time with my sewing machine later on this afternoon... after I give Pitty Pat some much deserved attention.

If you are in Irene's path, stay prepared. She wasn't bad, but we only had the outer bands. Stay safe!
:) JKP

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's Getting a Wee Bit Windy........

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

300th Post! First Week of School! A Stolen Debit Card! AND A HURRICANE!

Hey Y'all!

Well. It is official. I have survived the first week of school. I am absolutely exhausted. Not only because of school, but because it seems for the past 3 weekends I have been at school, working on school stuff at home, or out running errands for school. My class is very sweet and they are really working on second grade procedures. It is always tough that first week because everyone is used to being on vacation. Even Mr. Pitty Pat has had a hard time adjusting!

Last weekend, on my way to school, I stopped at Chick Fil A to pick up some snacks to take with me to munch on. Much to my SURPRISE.... my debit card was DECLINED. I knew I had money in my account, so once I got to school, I logged on and found a scary surprise. My debit card number had been stolen and I had some unauthorized charges on my account. Luckily my bank was on top of it and shut down my debit card once they realized what was happening. So, I spent about an hour at the bank on Tuesday getting everything straight and getting a new debit card. Luckily I have some cash on hand so I can live on it until I get the new card. My bank seems to think that the card must have been copied at a restaurant because they had the secret 3 digit code on the back of my card. The joke was on the idiot who stole my card.... I had only a little money in my account. The thief thought they were about to go on an Internet shopping spree... BUT not so fast. Luckily everything has worked out, but it was scary there for a while!

AND... since last week I have been tracking Hurricane Irene! I know I haven't posted about it, but I have been going to bed at 8:30 and getting up at 5:15.. so I have been way to tired to even think about writing something up! Right now we are getting lots of rain and wind and seem to have lucked out with a miss with this hurricane. We had a full day of school today, while the other school districts around us had early dismissals and even closed. I am just thankful to have some rainy weather so I can get some sleep. I just hope everyone else who is affected gets out as lucky as we did here in Myrtle Beach!

Also.... this is my 300th post! WHOO HEEEE! Who would have ever thought that! Yay for milestones!

Well, I am going to grab a bite to eat and then ride this storm out. Stay dry y'all!
:) JKP

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Kind of Happy!

Hey Y'all,
This is how I am spending my last official day of summer! Ahhhh..... And don't forget.. Track those tropics!
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Saturday, August 20, 2011

This is What I am Up To!

I am leading a glam life right now! I am busy getting my Word Wall Words re-done this weekend! I'll post soon! AND.... Keep your eyes on the tropics! They are a brewin' right now!
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Hey Y'all!

Well, as you can guess from my absence, I have gone back to work! But, it really got off with a bang, and not the way I imagined it! Last Wednesday night, I went out to dinner with my best girlfriends from school and we went to see "The Help." All during the day Wednesday, I noticed that one of my teeth in the back of my mouth was feeling funny. It kind of pinched and it felt like something was stuck underneath the actual tooth. After having a wonderful evening with my girls, I came home, flossed my teeth, and went to bed. For all about 30 minutes. I kept attributing my lack of sleep to my nervousness over starting work again the next day. But, I also felt the side of my face and neck swelling and then my tooth began to hurt. THROB. And, it was a long night. I got to school on Thursday (which luckily was a work day) and tried to focus on all that needed to be done in my classroom. I couldn't eat. I couldn't drink. After about two hours of pain, I finally relented and called the dentist. Luckily, they had an opening in the afternoon and could fit me in. I just could not imagine going through another night in this kind of pain!

After reaching my dentist office in tears, they took an xray and a look. The xray showed that there was some inflammation and infection. My gums were extremely swollen and all around the tooth was red. After a debate, my dentist decided to put me on an antibiotic and pain killers to kill the infection. We haven't ruled out a root canal, but after being on the meds for almost 3 days, I am so much better. I can touch my jaw, eat and actually sleep. I am still worn out from feeling so bad, but each day gets a little better!

So, as you can read, I am on the mend! I haven't felt like cooking and eating, which is OK because my freezer is full! I did pull out some recipes last night to cook up in the next few days. Next week is a busy week for me, I have lots of meetings to attend and I get to meet my new students Thursday night at Open House. Pitty Pat has been great through this. I have been sleeping on the sofa because it is easier for me to prop my head up. Mr. P Diddy has been right there beside me the entire time. I also think a little bit of this is seperation anxiety from me being at work!

Anyhoo, I am going to run and fix some supper! I have been trying to catch up on laundry and cleaning today. I also have been busy running errands picking up things I need for school. I am probably going into work for just a bit tomorrow.My room is basically finished, I just have to add some decorative touches. Sometimes, it is easier for me to get things done when I am there by myself.

:) JKP

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's a Little Bit Country, It's a Little Bit Rock 'n Roll.......Sweet and Sour Beef

Hey Y'all!

Well, the crockpot marathon continues. Probably by the time you are reading this, I am back on the beach reading! Keep those toes crossed!

Today, I give you one of my favorite things I have made all summer. This ranks right up there with the pot roast I made a few weekends ago. I can't get enough of this stuff! I tend to forget how much I like sweet and sour dishes. This one is a keeper!

To make this Sweet and Sour Beef you will need:

2 pounds of boneless beef or chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes. I bought sirloin tips and they worked great!
2 tablespoons of canola oil (or whatever you prefer to brown with)
2 cans of tomato sauce
2 cups sliced carrots
1 onion cut into wedges
1 green pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup molasses (this is located by the maple syrup in the store)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (by the salad dressing in the store)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon of salt
Hot cooked egg noodles (or pasta of your choice)

To start, brown the beef chunks. If you have never done this before, place 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Move the meat around until it is brown all over. You don't want to over cook the meat, but just make sure you don't see anymore pink.

Go ahead and add the meat to the crockpot when it is browned.

Next, go ahead and do all of your chopping! If you have a food chopper, locate it. It will help alot with this next part! Chop the green pepper into 1 inch cubes, cut the onion into wedges and chop 2 cups of carrots.

Mix 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/2 cup molasses, then add 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 2 teaspoons of paprika and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Add this mixture to the crockpot with the meat and then add the chopped veggies. Mix well. Cover and cook for 7 to 8 hours until meat is tender. And trust me, it will be tender!

 Before serving the sweet and sour beef, cook up some egg noodles for about 8 minutes.

Drain the noodles, ladle out some of the beef mixture onto a nice plate, then serve. Trust me. You will thank me. SOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!

Enjoy!!! I am off to the beach!
:0) JKP

Monday, August 8, 2011

Crockpotn' Like It's the Apocalypse!

Hey Y'all!

Well. It finally hit me today. A major meltdown. I always have one right before I have to go back to work after a summer of easy living. Today, I did what any frantic woman in the middle of a meltdown would do, I called my best friend. Who talked me out of my anxiety and reassured me that all would be fine. Whew. I am not nervous about meeting my children or even teaching another year. I think I am in mourning for the nap taking, blogging, cooking, movie watching, sleeping late, traveling, carefree existence I have been living for the past 8 weeks. And, I don't want it to end! But, I need to eat and have shelter. I also have an itty bitty barking mouth to feed. Oh well. I will, however, buy a  lottery ticket tomorrow to make myself feel better!

To prepare for the coming apocalypse of school starting (hee, hee) I have been crockpoting like there is no tomorrow. My goal has been to fill up my freezer so that when school officially starts,  I will have yummy choices for lunches and suppers. I am still going to try and stay away from the premade frozen foods. And trust me, I have gotten a great head start!

Tonight I present you with one of my favorite things to eat. Meatloaf. But no ordinary meatloaf... Taco Meatloaf! This thing was so yummy that I had a hard time putting it away in the freezer. Of course, if you are making this for little people, you can dial down the spciy-ness of this. But for me, OH NELLIE!

Let me preface this by saying, making meatloaf is a slippery slope. Most of the time, it is great, but sometimes you get a yucky loaf. I will have to say that this recipe gives you a moist meatloaf with a kick. I don't think I will make meatloaf any other way after this.

You will need:

2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup salsa (here is where you can add a kick or keep it mild)
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 pounds of lean ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons of hot sauce (Ahem. I may have added more than 2!)

In a bowl, mix the first six ingredients together.

Once you have mixed it well, add the beef. If you prefer, I am sure turkey meat would be fine.

After it is mixed, form it into a loaf. Now, wash your hands and grab some tinfoil. Tear a piece about 20 inches long and then cut it into three strips. Spread them out like spokes on a wheel. Place this in your crockpot. This will help you lift your loaf out when it is done and, BONUS, it keeps your crockpot clean!

Place your loaf in the crockpot. Make the foil into handles. Cover and cook the meatloaf for 3 to 4 hours on low. About an hour before the meatloaf is finished you want to make the SAUCE that goes over the loaf. See below for directions. Your meatloaf is done when it is no longer pink and your meat thermometer registers 160 degrees or higher. Yes. I own a meat thermometer. I don't want to poison myself or others. :)

To make the sauce you will need:

1/2 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons (or more) of hot sauce

Mix these ingredients well and pour over the meatloaf in the crockpot. Cook for another hour. When finished, remove meat loaf and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then slice and serve. YUM!

Best part... little or no clean up!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)
:) JKP

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Ice Cream Diaries... Part 2 Mama Mia Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Hey Y'all!

Well, I made it through my colonoscopy! Things are good and I don't have to go through that for another 3 years! Whooo, hoooo! I have pictures... BUT... they will not make an appearance anywhere on the Internet!!!

I headed down to Mom's house last Friday. We took a short trip to Savannah on Saturday, where I got to visit Joann Fabrics! Their Simplicity patterns were on sale for $1.99! I also picked up some fabric and other sewing essentials. We also wandered over to the mall and picked up some back to school clothes from Belk. I have my first day of school outfit ready to go! Sunday was spent, well. Y'all probably know how Sunday was spent! I felt pretty good after my colonoscopy on Monday, so we did take a trip to Hancock Fabrics. I picked up some more fabric to make Nook and Ipad covers. I can't wait to get started on those this week!

But, sadly, Summer is slowly coming to an end. I am actually going in to school tomorrow to work on my room for just a bit. I don't think I am going to have a lot of time to work in my room before open house, and I would much rather go ahead and get it done instead of stressing about it! Besides, it is WAY too hot to be hanging out on the beach right now. :)

If you are like me and trying to cram as much summer as you can in right now... I thought I would share with you my absolute favorite ice cream recipe from this summer. Mama Mia Mint Chocolate Chip. It turned out great and I am still eating on a batch in my freezer. In fact, I use this base of milk, cream and sugar as a base for all of my other ice cream experiments. It produces a rich and creamy ice cream base. You can't go wrong with it. And it freezes like soft serve. Sometimes, I have found, that if you use too much heavy cream, your ice cream will freeze and it will turn out chalky. Yuck.

Anyhoo... this is what you will need to make Mama Mia Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. (Mama Mia is said with a heavy Italian accent. Touch your fingers to your lips. It is that good!)

1 cup of whole milk
2 cups of heavy cream
3/4 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
1 teaspoon of mint extract

To start, combine 1 cup of whole milk and 3/4 cup of sugar in a bowl. Once mixed, add 2 cups of heavy cream.

Add 1 teaspoon of mint extract. You can add more, but the mint extract is strong. And, you don't want to be all Shamrock Shake. Also, at this point before you add the mixture to the ice cream maker, you can add a few drops of green food coloring. But that was too weird for me! Put the mini chocolate chips off to the side, you will add those in during the last 5 minutes of the ice cream churning process.

Add the mixture into the frozen canister and run the ice cream maker for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, add the 1/2 cup to 1 cup of mini chocolate chips. Yes, I added 1 cup!

Ready for the freezer!

So goooooood! You must go and make some now!!!! It is so easy. :)

Alrighty! I am off to watch Royal Pains and my new favorite show.. Necessary Roughness!

:) JKP