Pork Loin

Pork Loin
2 Lb. Pork Loin
Green Egg Seasoning

Cover meat with the Green Egg Seasoning. Cover the meat in foil and set the oven to 450. Cook for10 minutes per pound and in the last 5-10 minutes,  uncover the meat and finish cooking. In this case the pork cooked covered for 15 minutes and uncovered for 5 more minutes. Slice and serve.

I have a concern that the meat will be dry even if cooking it according to the directions. This was definitely not the case. It was juicy (eh, not sure I like that word) and compliments were given regarding the excellent flavor. The Green Egg seasoning was delicious. It added a great flavor and it was not overpowering with a salty flavor as some seasonings do. Of course if you don't own a crazy, expensive grill (although J & I would LOVE one if you feel like donating to the cause) I'm sure you can purchase their seasoning. And as always, you can make your own seasoning as well.

Green Bean Bundles

Green Bean Bundles
Fresh Green Beans
1 Package Turkey Bacon
2 T Olive Oil 
Cavendars Greek Seasoning 
Lemon Pepper 
Garlic Powder 
Garlic Salt 
Cracked Black Pepper 
Italian Dressing

Trim the ends of green beans and rinse (kitchen shears are perfect for this). Place beans in a large bowl and add 2 T of olive oil, and as much of each seasoning as you desire. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spread green beans in single layer in a baking pan. Bake for about 15-20 minutes turning beans every 5 minutes. Place the strips of bacon flat on a cookie sheet and cook for 5-7 minutes at the same temperature. The bacon should be half way cooked through and flexible. Let everything cool.Take a small bundle of green beans and place them at the end of a bacon strip. Roll the bacon and form a bundle. Place these in a 9x13 baking pan. Once all are completely formed you can cover with italian dressing or whatever dressing of your choice. Cook at 350 degrees and bake for about 10-15 minutes. 
When J & I grilled a lot this was a go to recipe for a healthier option. We also used asparagus in place of the green beans. The recipe sounds complicated, but it is really quite easy. Bacon is great with anything and I promise you cannot tell a huge difference between turkey bacon and regular bacon. Save on some calories and fat! A very complimentary pair.

Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes
3 or 4 Large Potatoes
1 Package McCormick Roasted Onion & Garlic Potato Seasoning
2 T Olive Oil

Preheat oven per directions on season package. Cover potatoes in oil and sprinkle seasoning over potatoes. Shake to cover potatoes evenly. Spread evenly on a baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Yum! Potatoes are such a great side because you can do almost anything with them. Trying to lean towards the healthier side, S decided on roasted potatoes. These were so full of flavor and required no butter, just a tad of oil. A very easy and inexpensive addition to a meal.

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole - Crock Pot Style

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole
2 Packages Thawed Broccoli
1 Can Cream Of Celery Soup
1.5 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 C Chopped Onion
.5 t Worchestershire Sauce
1/4 t Pepper
1 C Crushed Butter Flavored Crackers
2 T Butter

In large bowl combine the broccoli, soup, 1 C of cheese, onion, worchestershire sauce, and the pepper. Mix and pour into the crock pot. Sprinkle crushed crackers on top and dot with butter. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hrs or on low 7-8 hours. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and cook until cheese is melted.

Granted the picture may not seem appetizing, but the taste was fantastic. I love anything with cheese so this was right up my ally. It's an easy side dish that can be cooked in the crock pot. The broccoli literally falls apart in the cooking process and the cheese mixture is amazing, but not to heavy.  

Cotton Candy Cosmos

Cotton Candy Cosmos
1 1/2 Oz. Vodka
1/2 Oz. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 Oz.Cranberry Juice
Pink Cotton Candy
Lime Juice

Place the cotton candy in the martini glass.Mix the rest of ingredients in a shaker and shake well.Pour liquid over the cotton candy.
This idea was SO fun! I loved the creativity and the cosmo was very delicious. Poor R drove around to literally 8 places before she found the cotton candy. I believe she got the idea from TGI Fridays. Forgive the cotton candy in the wine glass. I left my martini glass at home.

HHBC: Black Tie Affair (January)

Before the month ends I will try to get a complete post of this month's HHBC. It was a NYE/Black Tie Affair although we did not dress up. B was our wonderful hostess and I think it was one of the best so far! For our favors we painted HHBC wine glasses. Due to my horrible artistic skills, there will be no picture of this cute idea.

Pork Loin
Broccoli & Cheese Casserole
Roasted Potatoes
Green Bean Bundles
Banana Pudding
Cotton Candy Cosmos

Who knew cotton candy came in a creepy snowman container?

House Divided

I'm sure anyone who has lived in the South (and maybe elsewhere, but since I don't live there I cannot comment) has seen the lovely house divided logos. They are everywhere: on license plates, house flags, T shirts, etc. Here is a lovely example of what I am talking about:
In December I had told M that we could make a gingerbread house for a holiday activity. December was crazy and even though we hung out a few times, no gingerbread house was built. While purchasing a few items for our new home I saw the gingerbread kits were on sale and I had a brilliant idea - we are going to make our own house divided. I was pretty proud of this idea since M appears to pull for the other school and I bleed orange and blue. It was a lovely, messy experience and she really enjoyed it. Then J ate the extra candy. Kids.

I had issues, but the AU side.
AU roof. Check out my little trees from Toomers Corner.

M's roof.

Side of the house for the "other team." :)

M with the final product.


Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake
  • 1 Angel Food Cake - Large


  • 1 Cream cheese -softened, 8 oz.
  • 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk - 14 oz.
  • Cool Whip - 12 oz.

For the glaze:

  • 1C Sugar
  • 3T Cornstarch
  • 3T Strawberry Jello Mix
  • 1C Water
  • 2C Fresh Strawberries - cut in half
Slice the cake into 3 equal layers horizontally. Mix together the cream cheese, condensed milk, and whipped topping for the custard and set aside. In a medium saucepan, stir the sugar, cornstarch, Jello and add the water. Stir on medium heat until it thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Fold in the strawberries. Place the first layer of cake and top with a layer of glaze and then a layer of custard mixture. Repeat layering in this order for the remaining cake, glaze and custard. Garnish the top with strawberries and mint leaves.
Such a pretty dessert! If you have a tall glass dish I would suggest using it as the serving piece. Of course this comes from someone who lacks in presentation so take that advice carefully! I have really started to like fruity desserts and the Strawberry Shortcake started this trend. The texture is very light, but this sweet is surprisingly very rich in taste. I really thought only chocolate desserts could be so rich until I had this. Yummm.

Beef Brisket - Crock Pot Style

Beef Brisket
1 Brisket - 3 to 4 lbs
1 Can Italian Crushed Tomatoes - 28 oz.
1 Red Onion - large & chopped
2T Red Wine Vinegar
2T Worcestershire Sauce
4 Garlic Cloves - minced
1T Brown Sugar
1t Celery Seed
1t Pepper
1/2 t Cumin
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Liquid Smoke
4t Cornstarch
3t Cold Water

Place brisket in crockpot combine tomatoes, onion, vinegar, worchestershire sauce, garlic, brown sugar, celery seed, pepper, salt, cumin, liquid smoke in a bowl. Pour over beef. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until meat is tender.

This is another excellent meal that can be done in the crock pot. Sometimes cooking meat all day can dry it out, but not in this case. It was flavorful and simple to fix. If you need to cook for your husband or boyfriend, this would be a great choice.

Fruity Pebble Cocktail

Fruity Pebble Cocktail
2 Oz. Bacardi Limon Rum
1 Oz Lime Juice
5 Oz. Cranberry Juice

Stir ingredients together in a glass and serve on the rocks.

This was a mixed drink that did not taste like it was full of sugar. It was refreshing and very easy to make. Plus, the hostess gave us the cute Holiday cup to keep!

Scalloped Crack Potatoes - Crock Pot Style

Scalloped Crack Potatoes
6 Baking Potatoes - Large
Bacon Pieces
1 Sweet Onion - chopped
Cheddar Cheese - Shredded
S & P
2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
Spicy Ranch Hidden Valley Seasoning
Pam Spray

Use Pam to spray and coat the crock pot. Pour one can of soup into the crock pot. Cut 3 of the potatoes into thin slices and season with S & P. Place on top of soup and pour half of the ranch packet on top. Pour onions on top. Cover with half of the cheese and half of the bacon pieces. Cut the remaining 3 potatoes into thin slices and season with S & P. Pour half of the ranch packet on top and cover with the second can of soup. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Top with remaining cheese and bacon 1 hour before serving.

I must admit I first attempted this recipe at HHBC and then altered a few things before serving it at the Christmas work party. However, once the changes were made the dish lived up to it's name. There is nothing I love more than a potato with tons of toppings. So delicious. So NOT healthy. I try to make a lot of my recipes in the crock pot for HHBC since we typically have the dinner on a work night. Thus, the scalloped crack potatoes were created. Obviously you can change out the toppings if they are not your favorite, but keep the ranch seasoning. It does not make the food spicy, but it gives it a nice flavor - especially after sitting in a crock pot all day. If you like a firmer texture than beware. The potatoes will be extremely delicate, but delicious.

HHBC: Christmas Elves

I am overdue for the December HHBC considering that it is almost the end of January. What can I say? Things have been crazy busy! For the December HHBC, DJ was the host and decided on a Christmas theme. Dinner was yummy and the holiday decor made it easy to get into the Christmas spirit! Plus, because she and I are basically sisters separated at birth it was no surprise that the music of choice was Hanson's Christmas album, Snowed In. It's just not Christmas without some Hanson. DJ also gave us reindeer head piece things, a stylish business card holder and a festive drinking glass. Without delay, here is what was on the menu:

Beef Brisket
Scalloped Crack Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Strawberry Shortcake
Fruity Pebble Cocktail

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 14 oz Sweetened, Condensed Milk
  • 1 (5 ounce) Package Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • 3 C Cold Milk
  • 1 t Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cool Whip - thawed
  • 4 Bananas - sliced
  • 1 Package Vanilla Wafers

Using a mixer beat the cream cheese until fluffy in a large bowl. Add in the condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk and vanilla mixing until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the Cool Whip and continue to mix evenly. Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish with vanilla wafers. Arrange sliced bananas evenly over the wafers. Spread with the pudding mixture and top with remaining Cool Whip. Place remaining wafers on top and chill until ready to serve. 

Let me start off by saying that I am not a banana dessert person. Honestly, if I am indulging in a dessert it should have absolutely zero healthiness to it and I associate fruit with being healthy.  With that being said, one of our fabulous friends from Abilene made this one night. I decided to try it and I was hooked. This recipe is so simple to make, but it tastes like you spent hours preparing it. I made it for the family for our big Christmas dinner and I made it for the January HHBC meeting. It received positive feedback on both occasions. Definitely worth trying.


My House The Canvas

Artsy craft skills are something that I completely lack. It was a miracle that I kept my job with the girls scouts. My bestest friend for years upon years happens to be one of the most talented people I know and she is very chill which is a great balance for our relationship. Ha! P was so artsy that she would use paint pens to decorate her shoes during our time at a very rule abiding private school. Loopholes my friends. Once she decided to paint every wall in her room a different color. We then proceeded to decorate the wall with quotes, autographs, etc. Bless her parents.

P has started a blog about that will have DIY ideas and showcase her talents as well. She also has started a business. You can rent her for parties. If you have ever been to a Sip 'N Strokes place or somewhere the girls go to drink wine and paint a canvas for a few hours, well this is what she does. She will travel to YOU and bring the supplies. A great idea for any type of girlie party. P is in the Atlanta area so if you are interested in doing this for girls nights, alum events, etc. you should contact her.

Visit her blog to see how creative she is at My House The Canvas.

2011 Recap

A post that is not related to my cooking? Shocking.

I figured it would be typical to give a lovely review of our lives in 2011. Maybe I would have more personal blogs if I wasn't afraid of getting sued by the people I would write about. I kid!

Let's begin with Auburn winning the National Championship this time last year in 2011. An ice storm hit Columbus and I basically cried and screamed at the cable company who had rescheduled THREE times. Therefore, I had no cable for this game but we were able to watch at a local restaurant. WAR EAGLE! This was also the first year we were close enough to travel to all the home games so we decided to become season ticket holders. I will always cherish the times spent in Jordan Hare Stadium and the amazing people we have had a chance to stay with and tailgate with on game day weekends.

J and I knew it was in God's plan to move us to Columbus, GA. Everything fell in line. Everything except for my job (at least according to my standards). I had a hard time adjusting from being employed with a wonderful organization with the BEST coworkers anyone could have dreamed of, to going crazy in a 1 bedroom apartment with the kitten mittens. Luckily, HE still provided me with employment and I am forever grateful for that. Maybe He was waiting for me to realize that I am not defined by a job or defined by my financial contributions to the household (although J would disagree hehe). Lesson learned and I am excited for what 2012 holds.

On that note, we actually found a church that we have enjoyed attending this past year. As a result we have gone to church more times in 2011 than we have in the past 10 years that we have been together. The only problem is that it is a big church so it's hard to feel connected.

This was also the year that we had allergy testing done on our baby kitten mitten, Fendi Foo. I am aware that I now sound completely crazy, BUT when you have a cat that has had allergies for the past three years we decided that its would be a wiser decision to see what her allergies consisted of. Pumping her full of pills is not healthy and the continuous vet appointments could be costly in the long run. We (and by we I mean J) gives Fendi her allergy shots that are made based on her allergies. So far, so good. We will be able to tell how much of a difference it makes when we are on a maintaining level.

With that healthy note, J is now missing a gallbladder. While on USAF orders for the Reserves, he had emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder. Thank goodness for the military insurance, TriCare. More so, we were extremely thankful that he was on active orders at the time.

Although I still have my organs I decided to kick of 2011 with a goal to start running. I have been consistent with working out throughout this past year. I completed a few 5K races and even completed a 10K race this past spring. This is a huge step since the only workouts I did in the past 5 years consisted of the boot camps in Texas.

We attempted my first NASCAR race. I say attempted because it was rained out. Obviously, I am not meant for that sport.

Big Brothers Big Sisters accepted me as a volunteer. I hang out with M twice a month and it has gotten to the point where she calls me to check in. Very awesome. I encourage anyone to get involved with this program if they can.

Britney continue to be my home girl. I cannot write this post without mentioning her concert in July and that fact that she is engaged (again)! Hopefully, this marriage will be slightly better than the other two.

Surprise! At the end of the year, J & I purchased a home here in Columbus. Over New Years weekend we were moving our things from the apartment and from my parents' home in Atlanta to our new house. We did not tell many people as we had been working on this home since September. We decided to do a semi-custom build this time around. I am not sure I could have actually handled a fully custom built home. There are far too many options and choices. Luckily, building during football season kept my mind off it! We are so thankful that God has blessed us with this opportunity and we look forward to making this house our home. The kitten mittens are still not sure what to think of having two floors, but so far we are enjoying it.

This has been an interesting year to say the least and I hope 2012 is a bit calmer. I do not have resolution for 2012; I have never been that type. However, I am always and forever grateful to our Creator who has allowed my family, friends and myself to live another year. Health is something that is often taken for granted until it is gone. So for 2012 I want everyone to realized the blessings they have been bestowed with. And world peace. It has taken a year to discover that I should focus my attention on all that I have been given and not concentrate on the negative because in reality, my negative is nothing to what people are going through on a daily basis. For that, I am grateful.

War Eagle.

Crock Pot: Taco Soup

Photo courtesy of Google
Taco Soup
1 Lb. Lean Ground Beef
1 Can Kidney Beans - with juice
1 Can Corn - with juice
1 Packet Spicy Ranch
1 Packet Taco Seasoning
1 Large Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Small Can Tomato Sauce
2 C Water
Season the beef with pepper and garlic. Brown the meat and drain the fat. Combine all ingrediants and the meat in a crock pot. Cook on low for a few hours. Serve with sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips, etc.
This meal was fantastic. If I had more time I would chop up an onion and a bell pepper for more flavor. I am a firm believer that the longer the seasonings sit, the better it will taste. Great dish anytime.

White Chocolate Cherry Cookies

I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest and decided to walk on the wild side since I do NOT bake.
Like ever.
As most of you faithful readers know by now, the dishes I make taste awesome. However, I severely lack in presentation. For Christmas I decided to make these pretty cookies as gifts and whipped up six dozen or so.

At first this recipe seemed overwhelming, but once you get started it is very simple. J really liked the cookies and he does not like sweets. I also had positive feedback from those who dared to take a bite. It is a different twist to the typical cookie and I even decorated the cookies by coating the tops with white chocolate and colored sprinkles. Edit: Years later (December ’16) I decided to make these for a Christmas Cookie party we attended. Once again, they did not disappoint and I went sans sprinkles on the decorating. Personally, I thought they tasted better a day later.
What are you waiting for? Get to it!
1 Jar Maraschino Cherries - chopped
2.5C Flour
1/2C Sugar
1C Cold Butter - cubed
1 Package White Chocolate Chips
1.5t Almond Extract
2T Cherry Juice
Salt - dash

Fix It
  1. Drain the cherries, but save 2T of cherry juice. Chop those cherries up into tiny pieces!
  2. Mix the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl, then add the cold butter. Cut the butter into the mixture with a pastry blender (a fork will work too) until the mixture turns into a crumby substance.
  3. Add the cherries, white chocolate chips, almond extract, salt and cherry juice.
  4. Dig your hands into the bowl and mix the ingredients together.
  5. Rolls the mixture into small balls and place on a greased cookie sheet (or parchment paper).
  6. Dip the bottom of a glass or mug (I used a juice glass) in sugar and smash the cookies flat.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for roughly 15 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
  8. Cool on the pan for a few minutes then move to a cooling rack.

Onto the super fun part! You have a few options to jazz up these delicious treats! When I first made these, I dipped part of the cookie in the white chocolate then dipped it again in festive red sprinkles. For my most recent batch, I used white chocolate for a whimsical drizzle – ideal for those who lack in craftiness or patience.
  1.  Melt the white chocolate in thirty second intervals. Be sure to stir every so often. I even added a bit of butter, just for kicks.
  2. Once fully melted, use accordingly. If going the drizzle route, try using a fork to splatter the yumminess.
  3. Let the white chocolate cool and enjoy! 


How To: Transport A Crock Pot

Have you ever tried to transport a crock pot by yourself in the car?

My friend DJ is obsessed with her car. I'm pretty sure her feelings towards her car rival the feelings a mother has for their child. It is THAT serious.

She drives a nice sports car that was recently under attack by the contents of a crock pot. She was headed to my home with her squash soup in tow for the premier meeting of HHBC, when the idiocy of Columbus drivers caused her to slam on the brakes. The crock pot could not handle it.

The food found it's way onto the purse, the seat, and the floor board of the car. It was a hot mess and DJ had a breakdown. A few days a little too late, she discovered how to successfully take a crock pot in the car.

The trick? Use rubber bands to secure the lid on the crock pot.

So simple. So effective.

I have followed this advice on a couple of occasions and have had great results - yummy food and a clean car.

I still place the pot in a box or wrap a towel around it just in case it happens to tip over.

Maybe this was something you already knew, but I was fascinated with the idea. Safe travels!


Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark
1 Bag Nestle Semi Sweet Milk Chocolate
1 Bag Nestle Semi Sweet White Chocolate
Peppermint Candy Canes - crushed

Crush candy canes into tiny pieces. Melt the entire bag of chocolate morsels. This can be done in the microwave in thirty second increments. Make sure to stir throughout the melting process and be careful not to burn the chocolate. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and pour the melted chocolate on the foil spreading it evenly across the pan. Repeat the same process with the white chocolate and swirl it into the milk chocolate or spread it on top. Top the chocolate with the crushed candy cane and place in the fridge until completely cooled. Break into pieces when ready to serve and keep leftovers in the fridge to prevent melting.

I know Christmas has passed, but I wanted to share this recipe for next year. I'm sure candy canes are on sale so you could probably make this today! This is another festive dessert that is great for the holidays. As stated previously, I am not a huge fan of peppermint but the chocolate prevents your taste buds from being overwhelmed. A very simple recipe that would be easy and fun for kids.

Cranberry-Pistachio Cheese Log

Cranberry-Pistachio Cheese Log

8-10 oz log of fresh goat cheese
2T Cranberries - dried, chopped
2T Pistachios - chopped

On a large plate combine the cranberries and pistachios. Roll the cheese log in the mixture to coat. You will most likely need to press the mixture into the cheese to make it hold. Repeat as many times as necessary until the cheese is covered. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.

This is such an easy appetizer that can be made a day ahead or even minutes ahead. This is another Pinterest recipe that drew my attention mainly due to the fact that it mostly consisted of goat cheese. Goat cheese has become a staple in my cheese obsession. I also loved this recipe because I thought it was great for holiday parties. I made it for my family as part of our Christmas Eve dinner. I will absolutely be making it again and adding it to my recipe box. Goat cheese tends to be slightly bitter, but the flavor is wonderfully mixed with the sweetness and saltiness from the cranberries and pistachios.