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!