Sometimes Thing Don’t Go As Planned

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week. While you know I’m not the biggest fan of turkey, stuffing, especially not deviled eggs, and just Thanksgiving food in general, I have to admit that I had a magnificent time with family. Any day that gives me the excuse to see my family is a good day to me.

This year my mother (and her hubs and mother-in-law) provided us with turkey, ham, green bean casserole (the one Thanksgiving food I truly love), corn casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, homemade noodles, stuffing, sweet potatoes, two kinds of jello creations, chocolate pie, and of course pumpkin pie with the option of whipped cream. And I’m sure that I am forgetting something here. What did she ask me to contribute to this feast?

Pickles and olives.

Aside from the green beans, pickles and olives are probably my second and third favorite things to eat on Thanksgiving. I do appreciate the fact that my mom didn’t assign me a food that I’d have to spend hours preparing and cooking. That was very considerate of her. But I think that little fact might also have something to do with the fact that she didn’t want me or the guests to have to endure some sort of Angela creation, a.k.a. disaster.

It’s no secret that I’m not Mrs. Betty Crocker. In fact, I actually wanted to cook yesterday, and while I did end up with some very tasty soup and a delicious fruit pizza, I spent approximately five hours in the kitchen dirtying about seventeen different knives (all steak in style), boiling over pots (yes, plural) of water, spraying powder sugar everywhere, and I can’t forget, breaking the garbage disposal.

Sorry. No Rachel Ray here.

However, there is one place in life where I usually feel right at place and truly confident in my abilities. That would be in my art studio…which happens to be the living room floor at the moment.

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I’d say that November has been a pretty darn creative month for me…in the craft category, not food. I love creating things. No matter how busy I become as a wife, as a student, as a nurse (someday), and mom (someday), I will always find some time to be creative. It may not be very often. My families’ grumbling bellies may have to suffer, but it will be worth it.

Because being creative makes me whole.

I love finding paint dried up and hidden on the side of my hand a day later (and on Tia’s tail). I don’t mind cleaning up tiny scraps of paper, and I don’t mind when my fingertips are numb from being burned with hot glue.

However, as in the kitchen, sometimes things just don’t go the way I expect. Remember that cute fabric that I was excited about a couple of weeks ago? Well, sadly, that didn’t go as I expected.

It was supposed to be a Christmas ornament for my most recent Dinner Club get-together’s ornament exchange. I stayed up really really late the night before and made it while my husband played his video game. At one point he stated that it didn’t look like an ornament. I gave him a dirty look, told him he was mean, and insulted his own creativity…all the while I should have listened to him. Seventy-five percent through I looked at the thing myself and thought it was ugly, but decided that it’d be better when I was finished. When I was finished, the husband’s statement was confirmed.

I went to the store the next day before the party and bought a real ornament.

My creation did not look like an ornament, and there was no way in the world that I was going to give that to someone, let alone a friend. It did have some nice elements to it. I loved the colors and the combination of patterns. I adored the raw edges of the fabric and how it was rolled up into little flowers. I couldn’t let the thing go to waste…so I gave it to Tia to use a play toy.

She still needs some convincing.

Now these pieces of wood? I’m not even going to get into that. Aside from the five hours spent in the kitchen, part of which I was cleaning up to grossness that was supposed to be in the garbage disposal, I spent several more hours trying to salvage these babies.

I’m starting over tomorrow.

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Sometimes things aren’t going to go as planned. Sometimes you’ll have to scrap certain things and start all over.

And it will all be okay.

ang

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Dinner Club

A little over two years ago my best friend came up with the greatest idea.

She’s an organizer and a planner. She always makes sure that there is time penciled in to see each other. We have dates set out months in advance. She always has to remind me to update my planner. Frequently.

She came up with this idea that once a month all of our friends would get together and have dinner together. One couple will host the party and provide the main course. Every other couple will bring an accompanying side dish…and of course, B.Y.O.B.

Hence, dinner club.

I, not being the greatest cook in the world, usually just bring chips and salsa since that is the one thing I’m pretty darn good at making, but for tonight’s dinner club I decided to step out of my box!

Homemade Smashing S’mores, recipe via Jessica, a recipe-maker of all things ridiculously delicious looking! Mine don’t look quite as nice as hers, and when I was finished I had chocolate just about everywhere…even on the kitchen walls…don’t ask me how! I’m hoping they’re a hit tonight!

Back to dinner club…

I think that everyone should be a part of someone’s dinner club. It is a great way to learn new recipes, eat good food, but best of all, it is the best way to stay in touch with all your good friends (and even make new ones!) It is also a time when it is okay to act like a teenager again (at our very first dinner club get-together we ended up going and tee-peeing another friend’s house…true story!)

We have had so many different dinner clubs over the past two years and each one is as exciting as the last. We have had italian themed and mexican themed dinner clubs, we’ve had barbecues, I hosted a pizza bar dinner club, we have had tailgating dinner clubs, and we even brought dinner club to Mexico this summer!

The truth is, it is easy to put your friends on the back burner when you have so much going on in your life. I know that I’m guilty of that a lot. I love my friends, and I know that they love me, but when you have so much going on it can be hard. Dinner club gives us an excuse to forget everything else that is going on and see each other. It gives us something to look forward to every single month. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve counted down the days until a dinner club!

…and now in just nine more hours I’ll be in some good company! 🙂

ang

 

Laugh in my Kitchen

This morning has been spent killing a few birds with one stone.

First of all I have practiced what life might be like when I have a child someday. No, I’m sorry, this “someday” is not going to be any day soon, but when I am a mother, I will be forced to be somewhat domesticated. This means that I might actually have cook for my family and occasionally vacuum the kitchen floor. Yes, I vacuum linoleum.

True story: I cut all my vegetables with a steak knife. In fact, I cut everything with a steak knife.

Oh dear, my  poor future little family.

Secondly, I have started the process of redeeming myself with my mother…and aunts and uncles…

Um, I think you get the picture.

However, don’t let me fool you. I am not being creative and making my own recipe here. That typically ends up as a failure that only the raccoons outside at night would enjoy. My husband now knows that he needs to have a plan B in mind if I ever decide to “get creative” with food, but he knows to talk some sense into me before I hit up the kitchen.

Thirdly, I have had the opportunity to talk to my mom on the phone this morning, which I know she appreciates more than she lets on, even if it was just to ask her how long to boil the chicken. (I have another question about her recipe, but she is not answering her phone!)

Fourth of all, I have learned that even though Tia adores carrots that does not mean she likes celery. And in fact, I have also learned her secret hiding place for the foods that I drop that she does not like…under the kitchen table on the dark rug where I cannot easily see it.

And last but not least, I have created what is going to be a delicious dinner for tonight. My family will be so proud!

I think it’s very fitting that I have decor that says “laugh” in my kitchen.

ang

 

I Adore Jalapenos

When I saw this jalapeno chicken recipe, I knew I had to try it!

I’ve recently become obsessed with jalapenos…and well, cream cheese, too! I guess with my undying love for salsa, especially hot salsa, I was bound to fall in love with jalapenos.

The recipe calls for:

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I cut them smaller and made 10 small pieces.)
  • 1 bottle Italian dressing (I skipped this. Italian dressing = condiment. YIKES! Instead I used onion salt and greek seasoning.)
  • 3 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded (I used 5 halved jalapenos to accommodate for my 10 pieces of chicken.)
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 6 slices bacon (I used more than 6, and I used turkey bacon.)
  • toothpicks

The recipe states to cut the jalapenos in half and remove the seeds.

I tend to leave a lot of the seeds so my food is a little spicier!

Then stuff each jalapeno half with cream cheese.

Season the chicken breasts with onion salt and greek seasoning. Then roll them around the jalapeno peppers. Wrap each chicken breast with a slice or two of bacon. Secure with toothpicks.


Cook for 20 minutes, turning frequently, or until bacon is browned and the chicken juices run clear.

We cooked them out on the grill, but you can cook them in the oven, as well!

Enjoy!

ang

Crab Rangoon Minus the Crab

Oh my goodness, call my momma! I’ve created something delicious…again!
Crab rangoon…minus the crab!

This can be eaten as an appetizer or as a side item…the hubs and I like to eat them as a side when we have hamburgers. It doesn’t make any sense at all…burgers and rangoon…but oh well! 🙂

First you will need wonton wrappers…

…and cream cheese (I prefer to use cream cheese with chives and onions for this).

Put a dab of cream cheese in the center of the wonton wrapper, then fold it up (you can get creative here!) and pinch the edges together.

Dip your fingers in water before pinching…the moisture will help the edges stick better.

While you are creating your little masterpieces, start to boil a pot of oil (or turn on your small deep fryer) to get ready to fry these little babies.

Once your rangoons are shaped and your oil is ready to go, drop in your rangoons upside down so that the lighter ends get fried. They will flip by themselves when they are ready.

Have some kitchen tongs handy to pull the baby rangoons out as soon as they start to brown. Be ready, because they cook fast!

Let them cool…then enjoy!

Yummy!

ang

I Ate a Mushroom, and I Liked It

I’m definitely not a food blogger, a food expert, a chef, or even a good cook. I’m sure my mom and my husband can both attest to this. In fact, I recall one evening when I first lived with my hubby when I had cooked up an experimental dinner. I think it was just chicken breast and a can of rotel in the crock pot…maybe some other ingredients, who knows. As we were setting up the tv trays to start eating, the hub’s tray just “happens” to fall over, spilling all his food onto the floor. (Yes honey, I do still believe that was intentional!)

Joke was on him, though…because I wasn’t looking forward to eating that dinner anymore than he was, so I just offered him my plate, and I went to find something else in the kitchen (probably cereal).

But, when I do create something spectacular to eat, I would love to share it with you!

The evening started with this:What better way to start a nice, hot summer evening out on our new deck!

Then this:…tomatoes

…onions

…green peppers

…mushrooms

…steak

…potatoes

Which turned into this:Oooh lah lah!Then it was time to eat!

Yummy!
Double yummy!

Okay, so I have to admit it…I can’t take all the credit for this meal. In fact, the hubs cut the steak, seasoned the steak, and then did all the grilling. My chef abilities didn’t go beyond cutting the vegetables. Oh well…still a success!!!It was the perfect way to celebrate moving to a new home and break in our new backyard!

ang

‘Fraidy-Pants Friday

“Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.” ~Baby, Dirty Dancing

I thought I’d start out this post with the lovely quote from Dirty Dancing.  Today’s post I’m going to list fifteen things that I am afraid of right now.  It’s kind of a weird list, but I wanted to get these off my chest since a lot of them are related to the weekend.  There are a lot of things (many that are unreasonable…like this one published here) that I am afraid of!

Number One: I am afraid that I will not complete my 10K tomorrow under sixty minutes.  I used to have sports dreams all the time that I was in slow motion and as hard as I tried I couldn’t move any faster…what if that happens?!  I know that I have trained very well, and I know that I am completely capable of making it happen…I just don’t want to disappoint myself if it doesn’t!

Number Two: This race has over 6,000 runners!  I’m sure that probably isn’t all that large compared to other races around the country, but it is WAY bigger than any of the races that I’ve ever done.  I’ve always been afraid of getting lost or separated from my group…like when I was little and shopping at the mall with my mom, I would be the one to flip out if I couldn’t find her!  How will I find my friends after the race?!?!  Maybe I should just have some sort of GPS device implanted in me so that they will always know where I am!

Number Three: What if when I’m running, I get too cold…or too hot.  What am I going to wear?  The last race I did I was absolutely freezing because I underdressed because I didn’t want to be too hot during the race.  It is supposed to be a beautiful day tomorrow…sunshine with a high of sixty-three (finally some sunshine…knock on wood), but what will the temperature be at 7:45am?  I know that I’m going to wear my new running capris…but what do I wear on top?  Long sleeves, a t-shirt, a jacket…?!?!

{So what do you think so far…are these fears unreasonable or normal?}

Number Four: It’s time for a weird one.  I am afraid of drains.  Yes, drains…and all different kinds of drains.  Sink drains.  Shower drains.  Pool drains.  Bath drains.  Sewer holes in the sides of roads.  Manholes. I get this weird anxious feeling inside my belly if I get too close to one.  In the shower, I have to tilt the shower head way up so that it sprays as far from the drain as possible.  Eek!

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Number Five: While I’m on the subject of showers…I am also afraid of when the shower curtain sticks to my legs.  I just hate it when it blows in a just suctions itself to me…gross!

Number Six: While I did already speak to this in an older post, it is such a big fear that it must be discussed again.  I hate condiments and I literally fear them.  I was reminded of this yesterday when I went up to the concession stand and the baseball game that my hubby was coaching.  All along the counter where customers placed their orders, there sat ketchup, mustard, relish, horseradish, and all the other lovely {sarcasm} hotdog items.

Number Seven: This is kind of the same as number six, but I’m afraid of the frozen barbecue chicken in the freezer.  My hubby likes to eat it on his salads or by itself…but I usually have to cook it (i.e. microwave it), but I still hate the smell of it.  {Ridiculous…I know!}

Number Eight: I’m scared that I won’t do well on my next Microbiology exam.  This is a silly fear, because I am always scared…but I always do well.  The being scared just makes me study more…so I guess it’s good.

Number Nine: I’m afraid that I will run out of time.  There is way too much on my to-do list today…even though a lot of them are small, silly tasks.

Number Ten: Spiders.  Duh.

Number Eleven: Actually, all types of bugs.

Number Twelve: I am afraid of getting wrinkles!!!  I already have laugh lines (I guess if you’re gonna get wrinkles, those are the best kind), and I’m starting to see signs of crow’s feet!

Number Thirteen: I am afraid of turning twenty-six…for two reasons.  The first reason is that I really don’t like even numbers…I don’t know why…but having a two and a six in my age doesn’t sound like a good time.  The other reason is that it is on the downhill slope to thirty.  However, I do think the thirties are going to be good for me.

{I have a lot of weirdnesses about me…let me get a little more serious.}

Number Fourteen: I am afraid that I will be in school forever.  I do enjoy learning and being in college…but now that I know what I want to make out of my life and what career I want…I just want to get to it already.  Tying in with number thirteen, I am afraid that I will be thirty before I even get to BE a nurse.

Number Fifteen: …and tying in with number fourteen, I am afraid that I won’t be able to start a family as soon as I would like to.  I got married when I was twenty-two, and I had in my mind that I would be pregnant when I was twenty-five.  Well, I’m twenty-five now…NOT pregnant…and with all the changes we’ve made to our lives, we are not even close to being ready for a baby.  I know now that one of the reasons God put me on this earth was to be a nurse…to care for people…but I’ve ALWAYS known that I was meant to be a mother. I’m not very good at waiting.

What are you afraid of on this delightful Friday?!

ang