"It's Christmas Time In The City."

Most of my Christmas presents have been bought online in years past and since we are planning for a cross-country move in the next few weeks, online shopping has become my passion for the moment.

My sister (C) recently got married (we will call them C & R - stay tuned for another blog update) and they have decided to use the Dave Ramsey budget to start off their little life together. I recently purchased a cute little wedding gift for them that happened to go along with their Dave Ramsey ideals. Dave is all about using cash and using no more that what has been allotted to that category, but who wants to carry around ugly, beat up envelopes to stay in budget? Not I. While adventuring off in the blog world I came across this:

Perfect! Cute envelopes that won't get destroyed and they can be carried around to help you stay on budget. C (like myself) does not carry around cash so this will definitely be new to her. If you are interested in these for yourself or for others, please check out the shop on Etsy. She has many designs to pick from and you get to pick your own categories. Fabulous.

Thanksgiving part 2 (Cream Cheese Corn, Broccoli Salad, Deviled Eggs)

 Onto more cooking.........These menu choices are more Thanksgivingy (if you will). Some you may have created or some may be new to you. Regardless, enjoy!

Cream Cheese Corn:
8 oz cream cheese
3 cans of whole kernel corn
paprika and pepper to taste

On low-medium heat, cook corn and cream cheese. When cheese has melted add paprika and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

This dish is great because it adds a bit of variety to corn and is very simple. I like a lot of paprika to add a KICK! You can follow the directions above or if you need more space in the kitchen as I did on Thanksgiving morning, I threw all ingredients into my crock pot and set on low for 2 hours.

 Deviled Eggs:
12 eggs
s & p
1T mustard
1/2 C mayo

Boil eggs for 15 mins. Peel shell under cool water (best if the eggs have sat in cold water for a while). Dry on a paper towel and cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yellow yolk from the middle and place whites in a prepared tray to serve. Place whites in the fridge. Mash yolks and mix in remaining ingredients except the paprika. Place the bowls contents into a small zip lock bag and cut a corner of the bag off - viola - you now have a pastry bag. :) Squeeze a little bit of the mixture from the bag into the center of the egg white. Sprinkle paprika over the eggs. Keep in fridge until time to serve.

 Broccoli Salad:
cut up a head of broccoli and cauliflower
1/2 lb bacon & shredded cheese
1C mayo
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C vinegar

In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, cauliflower, cheese and bacon. In a separate bowl, mix the dressing (mayo, sugar, and vinegar). Serve dressing over salad and serve.

The dressing is best mixed a night before so that it has a few hours to mix and set.

Thanksgiving Food (part 1): Pumpkin Cheesecake & Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

I cooked a lot this holiday and I really enjoyed it. I'm not a huge baker (because I will completely eat what I make and don't need the calories), but I love to make cheesecake since it is my husband's favorite dessert!

Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Cheesecake:
• 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
• 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
• 1/4 cup sour cream
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
• 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.

Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

She also has a recipe for the crust, but I was short on time so I just bought the kind already made in the store. Shhhhh!!! I knew I would have leftover pumpkin so I looked online to find another delicious treat and VOILA - chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. I received numerous compliments on both treats. I will definitely use both recipes again.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies:
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla paste (extract will work just fine)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt.

Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in.

Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.

Add vanilla and chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 12 -14 minutes until light and firm.

Tortilla Rolls & A Baby Shower

A horrible picture, but the invitation once again from Jessica at Empress Stationery.
As you can gather from the picture above, I helped throw a baby shower this weekend! I love throwing any kind of parties, showers, etc. I cannot wait to have kids and get all detail crazy (think Tori Spelling on a BUDGET) for their parties. And I absolutely LOVE shower food!

Our display: spiced cupcakes, a fruit tray, spinach dip, ham & turkey pinwheels, a veggie tray, BLT rolls, tortilla rolls and a meat and cheese tray. We served cran-apple juice, cranberry margaritas and water for the mommy to be!

This is the heavenly dip I blogged earlier about. It recieved lovely reviews. You can get the recipe here. I served it with Wheat Thins and the Wheat Thin (honey harvest?) sticks.

Tortilla Rolls:
1 package of large tortillas
16 oz. cream cheese
1 small can of chopped olives

Drain and mix the olives with the softened cream cheese. Evenly spread the mixture on the tortillas. Roll the tortilla into a log shape and cut the log evenly.

*I cannot stand the taste of olives. I don't know why, but this recipe does not taste too olivey for my liking. Very yummy!

Hostesses and mommy to be: Marlena, Becca, Veronica & myself.

Crock Pot Lasagna

Crock Pot Lasagna:

This is such a great meal because it hardly takes any time, it is delicious and will feed a small group. Great idea if you are pressed for time and having company over!
 1 lb ground beef (as low fat as possible)
¼ C parmesan cheese (low fat)
1.5 cups ricotta cheese (low fat)
2 cups mozzarella cheese (low fat)
1 large jar of tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
About 10 – 12 lasagna noodles
S & P

First, brown the beef in garlic and onion. I like to season the beef with a s & p. Mix the cheeses together in a separate bowl. In another bowl, mix the tomato sauce, paste and season the sauce with a few pinches of oregano and s & p. Once the beef is cooked, mix it in with the cheeses.

In a crock pot, place a layer of the cheese/beef mixture. Next, place a layer of noodles (uncooked). You will probably need to break the noodles in half in order to fit. Next, layer the noodles with the sauce. Repeat until you run out of ingredients! You can layer whichever way you desire. Cook on low for 6-8 hours and serve!

"Going To The Chapel And We're Gonna Get Married."

So much to update and absolutely zero time. Such is life. Anyways, one of the best things I got to do during October was fly into GA and surprise my sister for her bachelorette party! It was fabulous. She was so surprised! And I owe a huge thanks to the cat’s meow (Perry P.) for picking me up from the airport with her two young love bugs. I think Caroline had a great time. Here are just a few pictures from that evening. I have more videos on my phone, but I will be sweet and not post them. HEHE.
The bachelorette invitation made by Jessica at Empress Stationery.

Caroline and I at Just For Giggles in Milton, GA.

Our final products! Such a fun time.

Dinner at Cans in Milton, GA.
And now we are less than two weeks away before the big wedding! Aghhh!


Wednesday Night Dinner w/The Bentleys

With being out of town so much and having a crazy work schedule (which has calmed down in the past month), I feel like I have not had the time to actually make my husband a good dinner. This may seem like a dull dinner, but I thought the flavors went well together and it was not too heavy.

Side 1:
Green Beans
Cajun Seasoning Salt

Side 2:
French Bread

Chicken Breast - skinless, boneless
Garlic Powder
BBQ Sauce
Shredded cheddar cheese

Once again I documented our meal with my cell phone. Please don't judge my photo skills.

First start on the chicken. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle garlic powder and pepper on both sides of the chicken. Next, cover both sides of chicken with mustard and BBQ sauce. I usually line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the chicken in the oven to cook for 20 - 25 minutes. *Great time to start on the sides.* When there is 5 minutes left for cooking time with the chicken, sprinkle cheese over each breast (you can also chop up green onion to add) and let it cook for the remaining 5 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, cut up the broccoli and steam for roughly 8 minutes. At the same time, boil the green beans for 5 minutes. *Great time to start on the bread.* Both veggies should be green! Remove them from heat and place them both into a small bowl filled with ice water. While the veggies are chilling in ice water (around 2 minutes), place butter and garlic into a pan on med heat. Remove the veggies from water and place in pan. Season with Cajun seasoning (a little goes a long way) to your taste and mix veggies for 5 minutes. Serve ASAP.

French bread is so useful. It is a quick and easy side for dinner and I have started to use leftover bread for our lunches (subway sandwich designer in training). Cut the bread in half and into the desired number of pieces. Spread butter over the bread and add minced garlic on top. Place bread in oven for 5 minutes.

*I don't use "real" butter. I'm a fan of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.