Monday, December 30, 2013

Ringing Out the Year... With A Cowl and a Recipe!

Hey Y'all!

Well. Luckily the dentist was able to see me at 11 this morning. After a few x-rays it was determined that I have some nerve issues going on from clenching and grinding my teeth at night. I also have some Crohns issues going on with my gums. So the good news is that it is not a tooth, but something that is not easily fixable. Today I went and purchased a new night guard (since I chewed through my last one) and I have a few tricks up my sleeve from my dentist to help with  my gum issues. I also visited the natural health food store and stocked up on sulfate free, everything else free toothpaste as well. Drastic times call for drastic measures! So. There we are!

Today I wanted to share a quick recipe and an easy to make cowl accessory with y'all just in case you had big New Year's Eve plans! I have never been a big NYE party gal, but I do like to go out to dinner and then get home before all of the crazy folks get on the roads. NYE is one of those nights where I like to be in my house still admiring my Christmas tree lights.

First up... a Yummy Recipe! I don't know about y'all... but here in South Carolina we take our New Year's Day meal very seriously. You must have black eyed peas and some sort of greens. You also have a few other sides as well. With the peanut/nut allergy that I have had to face over the past few years, I have to be very careful about what I make. One of my favorite things to eat is a fruit salad or fruit ambrosia. But some folks put nuts in that and then I can't eat it! I found this great fruit salad recipe on Pinterest right before Christmas and Mom and I took it to a brunch we were invited to on Christmas day. It. Was. So. Good! Also. I didn't take any pictures when I made this!

For Cherry Fruit Salad you will need...
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed (Bonus points if you use the Extra Creamy version!)
1 (16 ounce) can cherry pie filling
1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
2/3 bag of  miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional.. obviously I DID NOT INCLUDE THIS!)
First, completely drain the pineapple.Really get all of the juice out. You can save it and drink it later or add to New Year's Day drinks!

Then,  combine all the ingredients except the cool whip and the cherry pie filling. Make sure to mix well. Finally, fold in the cherry pie filling and then fold in the Cool Whip. Be careful not to over mix so the Cool Whip will not fall. Place in the fridge and let the Cherry Fruit Salad chill overnight.
Trust me, it will be hard not to taste this before it is chilled.... but OMG if you wait it is so DELICIOUS!

Note.. this is not my picture... it is from Pinterest. I had my spoon so deep in this concoction that I did not get any pictures!

And... finally a quick cowl for a night out on the town! As I mentioned in my last post, I was very, ahem, creative this Christmas and found a lot of quick to make, great looking presents for friends and family. And this one I promise, even if you are not crafty, you can make!

You will need one ball of Starbella Strata yarn. I found mine at AC Moore. It runs about $6.99 and I had a 50% off coupon and a 15% off teacher discount. This is the Raspberry Jam colorway.

Remove the wrapper from the yarn and pull out three lengths from your nose to the end of your arm extended all the way out. Cut the yarn tube.

Put your hand through the end of the tube like you are stretching out socks or a pair of panty hose.

Stretch the yarn fabric long wise and width wise. Place over your head. INSTANT COWL!

You can make the lengths you measure longer and get a longer cowl. You can get at least 2 to 3 cowls out of one skein of this yarn tube. Nifty!

If you need more help making this cowl... because trust me, I didn't get it at first either... check out this nifty two minute video!

This yarn comes in a few different colorways. I made another one out of the Shipwreck colorway and gave it to my Mom for Christmas.

My Mom promptly went online and ordered ALL of the colors to make cowls for all of her friends!

So that's it for tonight. Go forth and craft and cook! I might hop on tomorrow to do a best of 2013... we'll see!
:) JKP

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Belated Merry, Merry and Almost New Year!

Hey Y'all!

Well, the last time I hopped on the ol' blog it was right before Thanksgiving. And. What I like to call the 2013 time warp. It seemed like right after Turkey Day everything was on warped speed and things had to be done, done, done! Before I knew it, Girls Weekend Christmas Palooza was over and Christmas was a mere 14 days away. Whew. I was busy with school and then right before we got out for winter break, I was hit with the good old sinus infection, plus double ear infection. So. That is how I spent my time through Christmas, getting better! I have also had to go back on some prednisone for various issues, so that has added to the fun too. One of the things that triggered from my sinus infection was a tooth issue that I have been dealing with for a few months. It really hasn't been that bad over the months, but with my sinuses going crazy it has kicked my tooth "issue" and pain into high gear. I am hoping the dentist can fit me in sometime this week because this has not been fun. Tummy pain I can handle any day, tooth pain NOT!

Anyhoo. I am still enjoying my Christmas decorations. Y'all know how I just love the lights! I guess I will take everything down around the first. One nice thing about winter break this year is that we don't have to go back to school until January 6th! So I am able to really enjoy this next week. Except for being in pain, I have quite enjoyed the past few days of watching tv, napping (when I can) and piddling around the house. Here's a pic of the entertainment center with this year's decorations!

I also have a new addiction... no crochet/crochet scarves!

This year was a "pinching the pennies" Christmas. I have had a few expensive months! Mitzi Mazda had to have some service and then my heat went out over Girls Weekend Christmas Palooza. So I had to be really creative with my gifts this year. Since I am a "maker" I came across some really neat crafts on You Tube! I am sure you are well aware of the "ruffle scarves" that have been very popular with knitters and crocheter's over the past year. I think they are so cute, but LAWDY it takes forever and a day to knit one. One night while on Pinterest, I came across an easy way to make them and y'all... I had some great gifts!

I made a silver, gold and white one for my Mom...

This one for my Mom's friend Jean.... She hosted a great Christmas Day Brunch and I had to take something to her!

And a red sparkly one for my Mom's friend Pat... She loves the red and the sparkly!

I have some more colorways to work on this week. Would you like to make one for yourself or someone else? I promise, if you can hold a crochet hook, you can make this scarf! I started out by watching this tutorial on You Tube. I vary the stitches I pick up just a bit, depending on how flouncy I want the scarf to be. If I want it really flouncy I will pick up 12 stitches, less flouncy and I will do 9. I can make a scarf in about 20 minutes. Not bad for a new accessory. The yarn runs about $4.99.. but AC Moore and Michael's usually have it on sale for $3.99. Check out the video to get going on your own scarf!

This is a second video that I watched that really helped with beginning and ending the scarves. This video is very thorough with the demonstration and shows you what the scarves look like with different loops added.

I'll be back tomorrow with hopefully a tooth update (keep your fingers REALLY crossed) and another easy craft and recipe for New Year's!
Tootles y'all!
:) JKP

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Brrrr…. Chilly!

Hey Y’all!

Today was a very cold day. We woke up to temps in the 30’s and the wind was howling! I chose to stay in my jammies as long as I could today! But, I worked really hard! All of my Christmas decorations and trees are up and the house is cleaned and ready for Thanksgiving visitors. I may need some time to recover from all of this hard work! Pitty Pat and I stepped out about 3:30 for a chilly walk, and then back under the covers we went! I only ventured out to change the laundry from the washer to the dryer and then to fold it. In fact, Pitty Pat and I are about to head back to bed for good in a few minutes!

I am really enjoying my Christmas tree lights. I haven’t taken a picture of the whole set up yet, because I am playing around with getting a new garland to go around the entertainment center this year. The one I have is nice, but it is falling apart. So I plan to head out this week to see what my (not so expensive) options are! This year I did have to add little something to my green tree. This tree is very old… at least 15 years. It is starting to brown in some spots and the limbs are not holding up well. I had a fake snow blanket that I decided to break apart to add a snow effect to the branches. I love the way it makes the tree look! I might decide to flock this tree next year (add a fake snow effect on the branches with paint) so it can last even longer. I am enjoying this tree all over again! Here’s a quick pic… remember, I am not done decorating this part!

snow tree

Sadly, I did not get in any knitting this weekend. I really wanted to get my house cleaned and my decorations up. At least I have only two days of school this week and all of my hard housework is done. Now I can kick up my feet and knit over Thanksgiving vacation!



Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy November!

Hey Y’all!

I hope everyone is doing well! I hopped on the blog to make a post this morning and I found myself doing some ol’ blog housekeeping. A little while ago I changed my twitter password, so that in turn caused the twitter widget to stop working. I have also been posting pictures to instagram on a daily basis and I wanted to link that to the blog too. Then I thought I wanted a color change, and on and on. So the blog got a wee facelift! I hope you like it!

The month of  November has turned out to be just as busy and stressful as October. But. I have had some fun! I had a birthday a few weekends ago and celebrated with friends, family and Mimosas. Of course! Here is me toasting to 41!

birthday girlie

Earlier in the month, as a birthday gift to myself, my best friend met me in Charleston at the South Carolina Aquarium. Our treat was to tour the Sea Turtle Hospital. Y’all. We had a private tour! It was so wonderful to see these creatures being nurtured back to health. We had a great time seeing the turtles and hearing about their treatment.

Hospital Sign

JKP and NubHospital InfoJKP Marie and Nub

Just Saying HI


Whenever I don’t feel like getting in my 3 mile walk everyday, I think of those turtles. My miles are helping me get in shape for my sea turtle beach walking with SCUTE next summer!

I am still trying to get in my steps everyday. This week has been a hard one. I haven't had the get up and go. It seems like this past time change was difficult on everyone. I still don’t feel like myself. But the walking has helped me lose 5 pounds, so I have to keep on with it!

Today I got up with the intention of getting my house decorated for Christmas. Mom will be here for Thanksgiving on Wednesday and then the weekend after that is Girls Weekend Christmas Palooza. Y’all know how I love the Christmas lights. But. I didn’t get the trees up today. I did get a great deal at Bath and Body Works on Soap ($2.50!) but that is as close as I came to adding Christmas to the house today. Maybe tomorrow!

As you can see from my instagram feed, I have a new batch of Amish Friendship Bread starter going! With my peanut and nut allergies, I can hardly eat anything that has been baked in a store now. So I thought with the starter I could get some yummy Christmas baked goods that I could keep and give away. I can bake with this starter on Wednesday. I am looking forward to some yummy bread and chocolate chip cookies.

Pitty Pat is doing well and , I think, he is looking forward to having me at home for a few days over Turkey Day! His hair was so long at the beginning of November, I had to take him to Pet Co for a shower and a shave! I hated not to take him to his regular groomer, but she only works during the week and doesn’t groom on the weekends any more. Our situation was dire… Pitty Pat had too much hair and was stinky. But the folks at Pet Co did a fabulous job and Pitty Pat did not act like a monkey. Win, Win!

pp time

Alrighty, it is time to get in the kitchen and heat up some left overs! I do have a wee bit of Christmas cheer going on in the kitchen. This is a snowman magnet that I bought the other day. He is life size! He is so cute! He came with a buddy.. Santa, but I prefer Mr. Snowman! He can stay up longer!

cute snowman

It is supposed to get really cold here over the next few days. I have a few knitting projects for others I need to knit up, but as soon as those are done, I need to knit myself a few hats. My ears get cold on my walks!



Saturday, October 26, 2013

Busy Times!

Hey Y’all!

Wow. This month has dragged by in some ways and flown by in others! Let’s just say that I am happy, happy, happy that this coming Friday is November 1st!

School has kept me busy this month with all sorts of things. Parent teacher conferences, report cards and a ton of work have kept me on my toes. I am also trying to keep up with my 10,000 steps a day. Some days it is easier than others. I have  few more days to go to make my 300,000 steps for the month of October. It helps that everyday or most everyday afterschool I come home and walk two miles around my neighborhood. Although, the weather has cooled down this week and my ears are freezing. It looks like I will be knitting my self some  hats this weekend!

Speaking of knitting, my needles have surprisingly been clacking away. I have had several baby hats to knit up for friends. Last Saturday, I put these cuties in the mail to Columbia. There is a girl explosion right now!

baby hats 

I have also fallen in love with knitting fabric scarves. These are so easy to do and I use a crochet hook. I can make one of these scarves in about 30 minutes.

Fabic Scarf

scarf collage

I have sold several already for holiday gifts! I just love all of the different patterns that they come in! Also, they are light and airy and not as heavy as traditional yarn scarves. With our beach weather that is a plus!

Also, here is some news that made beyond happy. Remember all of the classes I have been taking to gain my Online Teaching Certification? Well, the State Department of Ed finally got around to adding it to my certificate. I am official!

Online Teaching Cert

Of course, I celebrated with a cupcake!

Well, I am off to run some errands, catch up with laundry and maybe switch out my closet today.  I also have some knitting to do. Good thing there is a Good Witch movie marathon on the Hallmark Channel today!



Saturday, October 5, 2013

What Do You Mean it is October?

Hey Y 'all!

Well, as predicted, back to school has me busy, busy, busy. I think I have mentioned before how the first few months back to school, especially October are brutal. This weekend I am just worn out. I had a fantastic visit from my best friend last weekend and we did so much fun stuff! This weekend is going to be about hanging out with the P-man and enjoying being home!

Pitty Pat is doing Ok. He has had an infection in both of his eyes which has been pretty uncomfortable for him. I think this week both of his eyes finally cleared up. The vet is not sure if it was a reaction (allergy) or if it was some type of sty infection. I am just glad it is gone! Pitty Pat has the most precious set of eyelashes. I know. On a dog. And sadly he lost his lashes over this. But I did notice a few growing back, so I hope they will continue to grow. Pitty Pat was really good about  having warm compresses on his eyes to make him feel better. I think he grew to like it a wee bit too much! Spa Dog!

Right before Pitty Pat's eyes got really bad, we took a trip to the beach for a walk. My boy loves the beach!

Other than that, that is all that has been going on. I have a marathon of cooking scheduled for this too! It seems that my freezer is running low on yummy meals. I have not been cooking a lot, so it is nice to come home and have a meal that I can reheat! I noticed this week my stockpile from August is almost gone. Time to fill the freezer back up!

I have also gotten back into the habit of walking my 10,000 steps a day. It has made me feel so much better! Each afternoon when I get home, I also take a 2 mile walk around my neighborhood. I plug in my ipod and go! I have subscribed to some great knitting podcasts, so before I know it I have finished my walk. I may not be losing all of the prednisone weight I have gained, but I think every little bit helps!

So I am off to chill this weekend. It is supposed to be 88 today, so hopefully later on this afternoon I can carve in some beach time. I have a great new Mary Alice Monroe book I am reading and I would love to finish it on the beach.

Y'all have a great weekend!
:) JKP

Sunday, September 8, 2013

It’s Pumpkin Time!

Hey Y’all!

I hope everyone had a great week! I didn’t get to go to any turtle nest inventories this week because of school, but there are several this week that I plan on attending. The last nest in Garden City hatched on Friday, so there will be a nest inventory tomorrow night. I definitely plan on being there. It is the last nest of the season, which is a little sad. I will post pics as soon as I can!

Last night we had a faculty and staff get together at my assistant principal’s house. We had some very yummy barbeque. Everyone had to bring a dish to share. So yesterday morning while drinking my coffee I went on the search on Pinterest to find something quick, easy and delish! Enter the Pumpkin Fall Dip! This is a cinch to make and it is so yummy when you pair it with Gingersnaps! Bonus.. this dip makes A LOT!

To make Fall Pumpkin Dip you will need:

Pump Ingred 

1 15 oz can of pumpkin.. NOT pumpkin pie filling

1 5oz box of vanilla instant pudding (do not make the pudding, just use the pudding powder)

2 tubs of Cool Whip (The recipe calls for plain Cool Whip, but I like to GO BIG OR GO HOME. So I used the Extra Creamy one!)

1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

A bag of Gingersnaps and/or Nilla  Wafers

Combine all of the ingredients except for the Gingersnaps and Nilla Wafers. Mix well.

Mix Well


After mixing, place the dip in the fridge for a few hours. It tastes just like PUMPKIN PIE!

Mixed Goodness

Then serve! Here’s a serving dip…. When you have to go to a party and you need to bring a dish, head to Dollar General! It is one of my favorite stores! For some reason all of my serving dishes are at school. So I headed to Dollar General and picked up a huge serving plate and bowl for the dip for under $2. The nice thing about that is you can always leave the dishes at the party if you need to leave and  you don’t have to worry about getting your serving dishes back! This is great, especially if your dish is still being enjoyed!

Alrighty, I think I am off to the beach to get some reading done. It is so quiet around here because all of the tourists are finally gone. It will be so nice to have some peace on the beach!



Monday, September 2, 2013

Turtle Love!

Hey Y’all!
Well, school is back in session… like you couldn’t tell from my absence on the blog! No matter how hard I try at the beginning of each year, the start of school always gets the best of me. This year has been very overwhelming and some of the pain that I was having last September has come back, which is a little scary. But. I recognized the signs and went into my arsenal and started taking care of myself a little bit better. I am drinking more water and getting lots of sleep. I am also taking my vitamins and trying to eat well. So let’s hope I don’t have a repeat of last year!
I am very blessed this year in that I have a VERY sweet class. I just love my students this year. They love to learn and BONUS.. the love hearing about Paddington, so that just makes my day. My furry baby has been alright with my return to school. During our first two weeks back, during inservice days, I tried to come home for lunch everyday. I think that helped him a bit. Paddington still throws a temper tantrum when I leave in the morning, but he is not licking any hotspots on himself which is an improvement from last year. He is just dropping his toys in the bathtub. But. I will take that!
Over the summer you may have seen on the Reads From the Beach Chair that I keep at the top of the blog that I have been reading several books by Mary Alice Monroe. Mary Alice Monroe is an author from SC and she is very involved in Sea Turtle rescue and Sea Turtle nest monitoring. After reading her books this summer, it helped me realize that this is a project that I would like to become involved in. And. I have!
Y’all know that I am very passionate about animals and I have followed S.C.U.T.E (South Carolina United Turtle Enthusiasts) for a while on Facebook. During Open House a few weeks ago, several of my former students came back to visit with me. One of those parents is very active in S.C.U.T.E. and invited me to a nest inventory that was happening later on that week. A nest inventory happens 72 hours after a sea turtle nest has “boiled” or hatched. During the inventory, they count how many eggs hatched, didn’t hatch and they look to see if there are any turtle hatchlings stragglers. If there are stragglers, then we help them get to the ocean. You form two long parallel lines and watch over the hatchlings. It is very important that the hatchlings walk to the ocean as this gives them time to “imprint” and stretch their muscles for the long swim to the Gulf Stream.
Let me tell you. Once you have seen a turtle hatchling lift their head and get a whiff of ocean air and then scurry to the water, you are not the same person. This has been happening for thousands of years and you are a part of it.  It is a wonderful thing to be a part of! Here are some pics from the nest inventories I have been to.
1Turtle Nest2Recording DataHatchlingsGo babies, GoBaby 3
Next Summer I am going to volunteer with S.C.U.T.E. and walk the beaches a few mornings a week to look for turtle tracks and nests. I wanted to do it this past summer, but couldn’t due to class stuff. I am so excited about this!
Well, let me run!
Tomorrow we are back to school! Tootles!

Monday, August 12, 2013

450th POST!

Hey Y'all!

This is my 450th post on this blog! WOW. That's a lot of posts about knitting, crafts and cooking!

It's official... I am done with Graduate Summer School! Check it out....

A's in both classes. I may not have taken a cool vacation this summer, or done anything else but sit in front of my computer.. but I did accomplish something! As soon as grades are finalized and I get can my transcript, I can apply for my new certification for online teaching! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

I finished last Wednesday, and then I took a few days to chillax. Not really. I went and worked in my classroom on Wednesday and Thursday. Last Friday I did a wee bit of shopping and Saturday and Sunday I took it easy. I went into school today and finished up my bulletin boards and unpacking. I have a good start. We officially go back to work Wednesday. I am a little sad about it, but I learned so much this summer that I think it will be ok.

While I have had some down time, I have gotten hooked on Homeland on Showtime. I just finished the last episode of season two this afternoon. Wow. Now I have to wait until the end of September to see what happens!

I have also been doing some small knitting. With all of this course work, I haven't had the heart to knit. I did pull out a sock I started A YEAR AGO to get it finished. Sometime soon I will get to the toe decreases and kitchner stitch. Then I can start on its mate!

The furry Pressley is having a hard time with our schedule change. I have been trying to leave for a bit everyday so he gets used to it. Paddington Bear is not happy that summer is just about over.

Alrighty. I am off  to hop in the tub! I am meeting my friends for a "Goodbye to Summer" dinner....
:) JKP

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Check Ups and a Quick Trip

Hey Y'all!

This past week flew by! I don't know if it is because I spent most of it behind a computer, but wow. It flew! By Thursday I waved the surrender flag with my classwork and headed to the beach for a much needed beach fix. It was just what the doctor ordered!

Friday was a busy day, Paddington went and had his four year old vet check up! He had to get three shots and was pronounced healthy! He does have to go back in Tuesday for a dental procedure. One of his baby teeth never fell out. It is causing some problems with other teeth, so it has to be pulled. I am a little nervous about this, but I know he will be just fine. He was put under when I had him neutered, so this should be a quick process. I just hate not having him home with me for the day!

Yesterday I made a quick trip to Sumter to have lunch with my Granddady and my Mom. I also got to visit with my Granny too. It was a fun day. It was rainy in Sumter and then most of the way home. But once I crossed the Horry County line, the sun was shining! Here's a pic from yesterday...

I gave Granddaddy a crash course in Instagram and he enjoyed looking at all of my pictures. My mom even decided to download the app!

The weather here is cloudy today. I had hoped to go to the beach, but since it is cloudy I guess I will go ahead and work on some classwork for the week to get ahead. I am really not in the working mood, but my bestie is coming for a visit on Wednesday, so I need to hop on the work train. Too bad all of the housework and laundry are done.. they are great distractions and excuses! Maybe I can cook something up in the crockpot... I can have a delicious aroma while I work!

Well, let me run. Y'all have a good Sunday!
:) JKP

Monday, July 22, 2013

I Survived the Dentist.. and Another Recipe!

Hey Y’all!

Well. I was a nervous wreck, but I survived my dentist visit. I love my dentist. He must be in his 70’s. But he is awesome. And he is very patient and kind with me. You see, the drill freaks me out. A bit. But my dentist talks to me the whole time and keeps me updated. Come to find out I have several things going on, all of which can be the culprit of the pain I am experiencing. Number one, I had a cavity, so he filled that hoping that would take away some of this gum pain I am dealing with. As my dentist was giving me the first of TWO Novocain shots, he also realized that I have very little jaw muscle left. And the bone that I have left is falling apart fast. He also noted that my gums around my molars are receding pretty severely  and that I have bone loss there as well. Now, receding gums are not new to me, I have dealt with this since I was diagnosed with Crohns. But the bone loss is a new thing. So I also earned myself a visit to the Periodontist too. I am going back for a cleaning in a month for another assessment and then on to the gum guy. Tonight my mouth is really sore and my jaw is killing me. But, there is some relief in knowing my dentist has checked me out and I now know what is going on. Whew.

Since I have been having trouble eating these past few weeks (because of my mouth, not my tummy!) I knew when I came home from the dentist that tonight’s meal was going to have to be easy to eat and tummy friendly. You see folks, when I go to the dentist I get sick to my stomach. Oh. Yes. I. Do. So I wanted something chicken soupy, but not chicken soup. While thumbing through my new magazine Southern Plate Classics, I came across a recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. That sounded heavenly to me, so in the crockpot it went this morning! What is really strange is that I am not usually a Chicken and Dumplings fan. Sometimes the dumplings are not good and let’s just say I haven’t had a good experience with this dish. But let me tell you, this recipe hits it out of the PARK!

To Make Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings You Will Need:

chicken and dumplings ingred

3 cups of chicken broth

1 regular can of cream of chicken soup

1 regular can of cream of celery soup

3/4 of a teaspoon of poultry seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper ( I was heavy handed. I LOVE my pepper!)

Now, the original recipe calls for 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs and 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts. I am not a thigh girl. So I just used four skinless and boneless chicken breasts and cut them into 1 inch pieces. If you do combine the meats, just make sure you slice each piece into smaller1 inch pieces.

1 cup chopped carrot. I really chopped mine!

1/3 of a package of frozen dumplings, broken into 3 pieces. * You can find frozen dumplings in the freezer section where the biscuits are kept. I found mine at Kroger. They come in long rectangles. I just broke each rectangle in 3 pieces. I used about 7 long rectangles in my recipe.

I used a crockpot liner with this and I am glad I did. It made my cleanup very easy!

In your slow cooker combine the chicken broth, your cream soups, and seasoning. Stir your mixture well. Add in your chicken pieces and your chopped carrot pieces. Set your crockpot on low and cook for 4 hours.

chicken dumplings crockpot

After 4 hours, add your dumpling pieces. I added mine one at a time and then stirred the mixture several times. Continue to cook your chicken and dumplings for about an hour and a half more. Before I served mine, I added another sprinkle of pepper too!

chicken and dumplings yumm

And, let me just say. Very rarely do I go back for seconds on ANYTHING. But I could have hurt myself on tonight’s dinner. It is SOOOOOO good. It made 6 servings. I ate two. And then froze the other four. But. They won’t be in the freezer long! If you have a large family or you are making this dish to take to someone, it can very easily be doubled. Since I know how good this is, that is exactly what I am going to do next time. If it was this good in the summer, I predict it will be a staple for me in the fall and winter!

I am off to start a new book. I just finished reading Mary Alice Monroe’s Beach House series. OH. It was so wonderful. The perfect summer read! Tonight I am starting “The Girl in the Mirror” by the same author. I am too worn out from my dental adventure today to tackle any schoolwork. I figure if I go to bed early tonight, I will be up raring to go tomorrow morning.

Well, that is, if I don’t get sucked in to watching all of the “Royal Baby” footage on the morning shows!



Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Recipe and a Recap!

Hey Y’all!

Last week I found myself with a few days in between classes. I went to the beach and just generally took it easy! I was pretty pleased with my results from Summer 1..

a grade

Yes, that is an A!! This past Monday I started two more classes. One is a class on creating multimedia objects for online instruction and the other is a continuation from the class above. Whew. These classes are shorter, so we only have 4 weeks of class. But. The work is the same as a 16 week class. Have Mercy!

I took today off and went grocery shopping. Y’all. The state of my kitchen was sad. I really haven’t been eating too much. I am having a problem with my gums (thanks Crohns) and I have to head to the dentist tomorrow. I kept thinking that things would get better, but they haven’t. I don’t think this is a tooth. I am in a lot of pain and my back gums are very swollen and tender. At times the pain goes all the way down my neck. I wear a night guard at night, but I think my teeth grinding and Crohns have a lot to do with this. I have had to have gum surgeries before, so I am hoping this will be a quick and inexpensive fix! We shall see what the good dentist says tomorrow!

Anyhoo. I cleaned out my cabinets and freezer today. I try and do this at least every 6 months. When I was finished, my kitchen was bare. It wasn’t packed to begin with, but WOW. I had to make a BIG trip to the grocery store. From flour, to sugar, spices and meat, I had to make a haul. This is the time of year where I also do a lot of cooking and fill up my freezer. When school starts back, I am pretty busy from August until the end of October. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for cooking. It is nice to come home at the end of the day and have a nice, hot, yummy meal!

This summer I have discovered a great new blog that I like to read. The Southern Plate is the brainchild of Christy Jordan. She is so down to earth and she has great recipes on her site. She even had some of her recipes appear in a magazine this month…

 southern plateI found this at my local bookstore. You must go buy it!  It is worth every penny. While perusing Christy’s site last week I came across a recipe for Chicken and Wild Rice. You cook the chicken in the crockpot and just before you eat, you fix the wild rice on the stove. This recipe is a keeper y’all!

To make Chicken and Wild Rice you will need:

wild chicken ingred.Four chicken breasts (Kroger had a special this week.. buy one get one free! Boy did I!)

1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup

1 box of Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice

An onion (I know. I don’t like onions either. But I promise, these cook way down and you don’t even know they are there! )

I took my chicken breasts and sliced them in to long lengths. With my chewing issues these days, I didn’t want to have to worry about trying to chew a mouthful. So I sliced them and placed them in my crockpot. I am sure you could leave the breasts whole and they would be just fine. I then covered the chicken with a chopped Vidalia onion. After that,  I spread the Cream of Mushroom soup over the onion and chicken. I set my crockpot on low and let it cook for 7 hours. Your house will smell divine!

in da potAbout 30 minutes before I was ready to eat, I cooked the rice according to the instructions. Now. I have never been a fan of cooking rice, but somehow this summer I have become “The Rice Whisperer.” Oh. Yes. I. Have.  And, it is REAL rice too, not Minute Rice or Success in Rice either!

When the rice is done (meaning ALL of the water has been absorbed) place it on a dish and spoon the chicken goodness over it. You may want to add a little salt, especially if you used the sodium free soup.

Dinner plate

Now enjoy this simple yet very fulfilling meal! It tasted great to me and I didn’t have to worry about it hurting my mouth. Tomorrow I am going to try Christy’s recipe for Chicken and Dumplings in the crockpot. YUM! I’ve got a freezer to fill!



Friday, July 12, 2013

Summertime When the Livin’ is Easy.. Well… Maybe

Hey Y’all!

I finished up with a grad class on Tuesday and I have been taking a few days to chillax. Starting Monday I will have two graduate classes on my plate. And. Boy. I will be busy!

I have spent the past few days running errands. Pitty Pat had to go to the groomer for his summer do. Bless his heart, he has been so hot. I have been finding him on all of our tiled covered surfaces. He was so happy to come home yesterday with a short cut. Other than being mad at me for leaving him for 3 hours, he was quite happy! He also has a new collar that he likes. It is red.

summer do

When I am not studying, I have found a new addiction. Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt! Wedding Cake is my favorite flavor. All you have to do is add some fruit and you have a tasty, tasty afternoon treat.

orange leaf

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. Mom came for a visit… where I introduced her to Orange Leaf! I am very lucky in that I don’t have to leave my neighborhood for fireworks. We  have a whole show right above our ‘hood. It is spectacular each  year. This year we had fireworks from two directions. It was quite a sight!

I don’t know about where you are, but this summer we have had a ton of rain here at the beach. Last week I literally thought I was going to need an ark. We received 6 inches of rain over 2 days. This is Lake Pitty Pat in front of our house last week.

noah's ark

Yup. All the way up my driveway!

I may be 12 days late.. but here is July’s Currently! As you can see, I am a little stressed about taking 2 grad classes at a time. Because I am going to seriously have to juggle some work! I am excited though. One of my classes is a multimedia class and we get to make all kinds of things. And, y’all know that is right up my alley! But, it is still a lot of reading and plus my other class too. Say some prayers for me!

July currently


Maybe I should just take Pitty Pat’s approach to something and hide under the bed… this is how I find him sometimes! Notice he leaves a trail of toys!

under the bed


Well, let me run! Pitty Pat is informing me by whining very loudly that it is in fact, supper time!