Monday, October 31, 2011

Shiver Me Timber and Scratch Me Belly!

Hey Y'all!
I hope you have a fantastic Halloween!
Love, Julia and Pitty Pat
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Happy Howl-a-Weenie!

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dear Mother Nature, Please Send Snow!

Hey Y'all!
Pitty Pat wants to get in on SNOWTOBER. Like his hoodie?
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Zesty Is My Bestie Beef Stew

Hey Y'all!

Sorry, long time no blog! But, as many of my readers know, October is a HIDEOUS month for teachers in my school district. I just wrapped up parent teacher conferences, report cards, benchmark tests and about 100 other things going on at school! The good thing is.. October is almost over. And NOVEMBER is almost here!

These past few weeks have been rough. I have been fighting the Dizzy Lizzies and I am still incredibly tired. In fact, it is a miracle that I am still up right now and it is 7:22! I am hoping that the time change next weekend, along with that extra hour will help. But. I am going to miss the sun! Anyhoo... let's get a move on with our recipe! Of course I am going to reward you with a recipe... I mean I have been gone for weeks it seems! Here we go!

This is the perfect dish to throw together, and I mean THROW together if you are having a football party or even if you are going to a game. Besides going out and buying the ingredients, it will take you all of 6 minutes to put this together. In my book that is a "WINNER, WINNER CHICKEN DINNER" kind of meal!

You will need the following to make this Zesty Is My Bestie Beef Stew

1 pound of beef stew meat cut into 1 inch or 1/2 inch cubes. I have a fear of choking on meat, so I cut my pieces tiny. Also. If you have EVER had an intestinal blockage... you cut everything INTO SMALL PIECES. I know. TMI!

1 package (16 ounces) of frozen mixed veggies- thawed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 and 1/2 cups of water
1 can (8 ounces) of pizza sauce
1 tablespoon of dried minced onion
2 teaspoons of beef bouillon granules (you can find this on the soup aisle)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (this puts the zesty in the stew. I added 1 teaspoon, but I don't have children. Well, human ones. You may just want to add a pinch if you have kiddies.)
**This is not called for in the recipe, but a dash or two of salt is good too!

Don't forget to cut your meat into 1 to 1/2 inch cubes. It makes the stew better and BONUS if you are a teacher and take the stew for lunch, you won't have to find a way to cut up the meat pieces. Ahem.

Now. This is the HARDEST part of the entire recipe.

COMBINE ALL INGREDIENTS INTO THE CROCKPOT. Cover and cook on low for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours. Bake up some cornbread. Or not. ENJOY!!! :)

This makes about 6 servings, but I put mine in smaller containers to freeze and I got about 8. I am still eating on this and it is YUMMY. Perfect for a chilly night.

ALSO, I was lucky enough to score a copy of Debbie Macomber's Christmas Cookbook from my library this week. Y'all. I have enough inspiration recipes to keep us rocking 'til the new year! This weekend I am cooking up (well, crockpoting up) a white bean chicken chili. Oh yeah. I will post when it has been Julia approved.

It's almost time for the Bing Bang Theory... here's hoping I stay awake!

:) JKP

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday So Far!

Hey Y'all!
This is what I am up to while Pitty Pat is at the doggie spa! Ahhhh.... :) I am also overhearing the Nook class! Wow! I wish I had one!
:) JKP
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater's 3 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins!

Hey Y'all!

Well, this is a recipe that has swept blogland and Pinterest like wildfire. I first saw it over at the blog Monograms and Manicures a few weeks ago. I knew we had a school munchie day coming up, so I filed the EASY recipe away in my brain to use!

Seriously folks. If you need something quick to make to take to a dinner party or just to be fabulous... This is it!

All you need, I swear is....

1 box of cake mix (you can use yellow mix or the Duncan Hines Spice Cake mix. To me the spice cake mix was the best!)
1 can of pure Pumpkin. NOT pumpkin pie filling.
1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips (if you want them!)
Decorative muffin cups with a fall or Halloween theme. (This is an after thought... I didn't have these, but it would have been a nice touch! )

Combine the cake mix and pumpkin in a mixer. Mix for two minutes. With a spatula add the bag of chocolate chips. The batter is a thick one, so I used a 3/4 cup measuring cup and scooped out the batter into the muffin cups. You want to fill the cups almost to the top. This is not like a cupcake batter, these muffins will not rise much.

Once all of the batter was in the cups, I took the back of a spoon and smoothed out the tops.  I did this before I placed them in the oven to make them look nice. :) Bake in a 350 degree oven for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. When you take the muffins out of the oven let them cool in the muffin tins. Some folks drizzle cream cheese frosting over these or sprinkle on some powdered sugar. To me, these were great by themselves. And if you are a Weight Watcher.. without the chocolate chips.. these are only two points each. :)

So, brew up a cup of hot tea and enjoy!

:) JKP

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Oh My Golly... Tamale Pie!

Hey Y'all!

Well, this is a long overdue cooking post! I have been so busy at school, that most of my nights have been spent knitting to get to my happy place! And... since the latest debit card debacle... AND NO my money has not been returned yet.. I am kind of saving my cash reserves, so I haven't made a trip to the store to cook up anything yummy this week. But, never fear.. I have plenty of recipes in reserve!

So let's get to it!
Today I bring you.. Oh My Golly... Black Bean Tamale Pie! And it is sooo easy.... and sooo good! Here's what you are going to need....

1/2 pound of ground beef
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup of salsa... I used a medium heat
1 package (8 1/2 ounces) corn bread/muffin mix. I went for the sweet stuff! I am not a fan of regular cornbread. I prefer it sweet! You can use what you prefer!
1/4 cup of milk
1 egg
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese... divided
Go ahead and set your oven to 375 degrees.

Begin by cooking the beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Drain the fat. Stir in the black beans and salsa. Set this mixture aside. AND.. a funny thing happened to me when I opened my can of black beans. My beans were not black! They were red beans! Oh well. I used them any way. Although, I did think that I might end up on an episode of House. :)

Next, in a large bowl combine the muffin/cornbread mix, milk, egg and 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Pour this mixture into a greased 9 inch pie plate and bake at 375 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes.

Carefully spoon the beef mixture over the cornbread crust leaving about a 1/2 inch edge. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese over the pie. Bake for 1 to 2 minutes longer until the cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream and enjoy a full belly! :)

Whew! Alrighty peeps. I am off to bed. I have early morning duty tomorrow, which means a 5:15 am wake up call for me and the PittyPadster. Don't forget... Brad Meltzer's Decoded has a new season and it is airing on Wednesday's at 10 pm on the History Channel. You need to watch this show!!! The conspiracy theorist in you WANTS to watch this show!


Monday, October 10, 2011


Hey Y'all!

This past Saturday my family got together to celebrate a very special birthday! My Great Aunt Alice turned 98. She is such a wonderful and inspirational woman. And, she taught me to knit! We all gathered for lunch at the School House Barbecue restaurant in Scranton, SC. It is right outside of Lake City, SC where most of my family still lives. Here's some snapshots of the day.

 This is me with my Granddaddy and Aunt Alice. Sorry for the blurry photos, I used my phone!

This is a picture of me and my mom! Notice the yummy goodness on her plate!

As of today, I am more than halfway through my conferences. I have 5 after school tomorrow and two to reschedule. Here's hoping they will be done soon!

I don't have anything on the needles right now... I think inspiration will strike once school calms down a little. I am also putting off going to the grocery store until everything settles down with my bank account. All of the money hasn't been returned yet. If it is not there by Wednesday, I am pulling all of my money out and going to another bank. Well, I plan on doing that anyway. Keep your fingers crossed!

Well, let me run. I am so tired and this heavy rain outside is really making me extra sleepy.
:) JKP

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Candy Corn Hat!

Hey Y'all!
Here's a Pic of my latest knit I finished tonight! I have Parent Teacher Conferences tomorrow. Think kind thoughts for me! ;)
:) JKP
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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's The Great Pumpkin Pitty Pat!

Hey Y'all!
I finished up my pumpkin hat from the last post tonight. I thought y'all might like a peek. Pitty Pay doesn't know what to think! See y'all tomorrow!
:) JKP
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Just Stewing.......

Hey Y'all,

Well, if you have been reading the ol' Twitter feed on the left side of the screen, you know that once again, in less than a month and a half.. my debit card number has been stolen again. This time the damage was about $2,000. Talk about making your heart stop. I tried to make a purchase at Costco for a measly $10 yesterday and my card was declined. I rushed home and logged on to my bank account. I literally watched as money was stolen from my account. Luckily, Wells Fargo stopped the massacre. It did wipe out my account, but they reassure me that all of my money will be returned by Monday. So. YUCK.

On a lighter note, this is what is going on at my house today!

As you can see... a pumpkin hat is in progress and I have all of the holiday knitting magazines! There are several C-U-T-E patterns that I can't wait to knit up. Also, notice the cute Mickey Mouse magnet in the middle? My sweet friend Dana went to Disney World over the weekend and brought me back a sursie! This is a magnet for my fridge with common cooking measurements and their equivalents! YAY for sursies! Especially cooking ones!

Tomorrow is field day at school for grades K-2. This has been such a stressful week... my car had to be serviced, we had PTA last night and then the whole debit card debacle... AGAIN... I am looking forward to a fun day with my kids. This coming Monday is a holiday for the students, so I have scheduled some conferences to get that ball rolling. Hopefully by this time next week all of my conferences will be done, or at least almost there. I am more than ready for things to calm down a bit.

Luckily before this latest theft I did a bunch of cooking so the freezer is stocked and I have several great recipes to share. But y'all, I am exhausted from the past few days. Forgive me, but I will post them tomorrow. I am in need of a hot bath, jammies and a cup of hot tea.

Later gators!
:) JKP