Saturday, January 30, 2010

Curious

I love to blog...so I would probably do it even if nobody ever read it. But I love to look and see where all my blog is being read. Help me out please. If you read this post please comment I try to comment on peeps blogs just so they know I read it...anyway it isn't hard to post..just do it... Thanks...oh and if you aren't in ms...tell me where you are from

Oh Pioneer

Well, I have posted as of late about my new cookbook that I am in love with. I have yet to pinpoint why I love it...all the photos, the yummy recipes...or possibly that I feel like an accomplished wife when I make something that Cullen likes to eat, and I have enjoyed cooking. If you try the great peach crisp recipe..let me know I can't wait to hear about it.

I have tried a few things and I will credit the Pioneer Woman for pulling me from my comfort zone.


One of the recipes I tried first was Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwhich. Oh my! Until making this sandwhich I will admit that I never before had bought and cut up an onion. Usually I would leave them out or I'd buy and onion and take it to my mom to cut for me, and she would and place in a nice ziploc. Cullen put his after church hunger on hold long enough for me to try my hand at this sandwhich. As I sat and watched him take his first bite...the man was happy...Cullen has dubbed this Felicia's Philly Steak...but we love it...


Next from her cookbook I should tell you I made her her brisket...it was good...it could have been better but I'll try it at least one more time and if it is WONDERFUL I will never attempt brisket again...it takes too long.

To accompany the brisket I also tried The Pioneer Woman's Mashed Potatoes...and from that I realized that too many more recipes from this woman and I'd need stock in the butter company, the flour company, the sugar company and more time in my day for my gym membership...she loves the heavy cream and half and half shelf at the grocery.

It was about Thursday that I attempted her 'perfect pie crust', well I can tell you first hand it ain't perfect...I made it exactly by the recipe and then put it to fast use in her Flat Apple Pie and it was the most horrible thing that I have ever made...it fell apart, the crust, the apples, the whole thing. I though to myself...well presentation isn't everything...and tried my hardest to scoop it onto the plate and salvage my first ever pie crust...nope no hope it was a loss. Even Cullen asked, 'So what is this supposed to be?' What a let down...

Today in an effort to bring myself out of my pie crust depression I decieded to try out P.W.'s Pizza Crust...This too was out of my comfort zone...I mean who under the age of 40 knows how to use dry yeast to make a pastry...I didn't but ooo... guess what? I do now! My curse of cooking was short lived...and apparently only affective on my pie crust...BECAUSE my Tomato Basil Pizza was AWESOME.
Feeling extra good after my Pizza Success... I decided to cook some dessert that I had searched out online. I gave the recipe to Ms. Connie Ramsey at www.mealplanningwithconnie.blogspot.com so she would cook it and report on it, but she hasn't yet...so I did. Since it was supposed to be low cal I thought that was a plus, too. It was good, but after so many buttery recipes and absolutely nad for you recipes...this one tasted a little too low cal. I'll sugar it up next time. Check over at www.lime-a-beans.blogspot.com to see whatelse I have been doing today.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Did You Know

Did u know that u don't have to sell State Farm Insurance to be on a
billboard? Did u also know that u do not have to give your permission
before u are put on a billboard? Did you also know that to a second
grader this picture of me looked like I was in a pageant? Did u know
that if u drive down south on Highway 15 right about Butcher Block u
will find this ad! Did you also know that my husband is extremely jealous, and that my father in law words for Renasant Bank? Did you know that I love them both to pieces and think that life in a small town is pretty hilarious?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happiness

It has been some time since I have seen this sweet little face, so I thought y'all might like to smile, too.



Yes, their love is mutual...and I am so freakin jealous






Next on the list to make me happy....my new cook book "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" Yes many have laughed at me because reading her cookbook makes me want be a rancher's wife. I love that she homeschools her kids...not that I don't value my job in the Public Schools...I love love love my job....but if I lived on a ranch I wouldn't mind good old homeschooling...


Now there a few things that I might have to do if I lived in the middle of a ranch...like deal with animals....and as you know...I don't like to embrace nature...also it was pointed out to me that I would have to clean my own floors...which as you know...I don't do (praise the Lord for a wonderful husband and a merciful mother) Also I don't cook or eat or buy meat on a bone and I am pretty sure the Pioneer Woman does...since they raise their food...

Okay so if you get this I am not outdoorsy- but a girl can dream...right?

Back to what makes me happy because I am pretty sure none of that stuff in the last paragraph does lets move on. I love my cookbook and the Woman's recipe for Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce....oh my..


Ingredients
5 whole To 6 Whole Fresh Peaches (best When Not Overly Ripe Or Soft)
1 cup Flour
½ cups Sugar
½ cups Light Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
½ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 stick Butter (1/2 Cup)
½ whole Lemon
7 Tablespoons Real Maple Syrup, Divided
1-½ cup Whipping Cream
3 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup

Preparation Instructions
In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt using a fork or pastry cutter. Cut butter into small pieces and gradually add to flour mixture until evenly mixed.
Peel peaches into a bowl. (I used a bag of frozen peaches- great value- and I just thawed them in a microwave safe bowl)Add the zest from half a lemon. (I used a little bit of Lemon Juice- not fresh squeezed) Squeeze juice from lemon half and stir in with peaches and zest. Add 2 tablespoons real maple syrup to peaches, stir well.
Pour peach mixture into a small pan (8” or 9” square) and cover evenly with crumb topping. Cover with foil and bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until crisp and brown on top.
Maple Cream Sauce: ( Just keep this on hand you will want to drink this with a straw)
Pour whipping cream into a saucepan. Add 5 tablespoons real maple syrup, 3 tablespoons corn syrup and stir over moderate heat until thickened and reduced by about one-third, (be patient this will take time) approximately 15 minutes. Refrigerate mixture until it is cold and thick, or set the saucepan into a small bowl of ice (the ice will melt and turn into ice water). Stirring your mixture, it will cool and thicken in about 15 minutes. Drizzle sauce over peach crisp. Serve warm.






Next time I make this I will make a double recipe...one recipe is not enough...especially if you have to share.


I should add that this very recipe could be the reason I gained two pounds on my diet. I would not say for certain, but will say it is a possibility.


And since I am stating things that make me happy...let's go with my latest shoe purchase...I think anyone with feet needs these shoes...I LOVE LOVE LOVE them


Would you like to hear how we met...my shoes and me? I thought you might....so it was love at first sight, I'll admit it.


Picture this romantic setting...seriously...it was in Dallas on New Year's Day, I had awakened that morning with high hopes for what the day held. I donned my Christmas Jessica Simpson's boots, referred to from here on out as the towering boots of death or TTBOD. It was the perfect outfit for a visit to the Grassy Knoll. TTBOD trampled on what was left of the Grassy Knoll, they walked me through Downtown Dallas and even made my toes think they were no longer on my feet...As I walked through the mall I realized that TTBOD were not friends with my feet...in fact there was a war going on between the two...each fighting for valuable space for my toes. Well, as my feet tried to swell, squish, and play nice....TTBOD did not play fair...they squeezed and pinched and as everyone knows...pinching is not allowed in war...right? Well, somebody tell TTBOD.

Into Dillard's I marched. Innocent bystanders had no clue war was being waged only inches away from them...and if a truce was not going to be called soon fatalities would occur. Praise the Lord I spotted a pair of shoes that looked comfortable

No...not just comfortable, they looked like an oasis, a wellspring in the desert...did I mention when my feet were hurting so badly they also did that burning...pain...aghhhh!!!

Just as I almost waved a white flag...the sales clerk said, "yes, this is your size" I am not telling a fib when I say at that moment...the heavens opened and the angels sang the Hallelujah Chorus... or I may have been humming it...I don't know which, anyway Once the transaction was made...I bypassed introductions and flung those TTBOD into the bag and to date they are still grounded...until they decide to be more comfortable.

As for my new best shoes...I have found myself wearing them all day everyday, they are truly a perfect pairing with my tired teacher toes!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sister/Friend

Let me tell you about my sister/friend. As many of you know I have always thought I would have been a great ONLY child...funny because I am the baby and had no real say in the matter. Well, the Lord works in mysterious ways...and while I have always enjoyed being the baby...In the last 13 years He has shown me that while being the baby is a great and wonderful place in the birth order there is nothing like 'siblings'. Oh, I have three- a half sister (39), a half brother (37) and a real brother that I grew up with (30) but it is Meagan, my sister/friend that has really been the sibling I didn't know I needed until I realized I wouldn't be me without her. I call her my sister/friend. She is an only child...lucky dog :) and since she was 6 and I was 15 she has been my summer 'responsibility'. I use that term very loosely. As I write this I think I should save this post for closer to her graduation...but what the heck...I'll keep writing. For a few summers it was a job...I babysat her from 8-5 two or three days a week...she was like no other child I had ever babysat...while I floated around on a pool float she would ask if I wanted the radio station changed or if I need anything...she won me over in a week flat ;) As summers moved on in years I realized that it was like having a shadow a person who thought I could do no wrong...and who doesn't appreciate thier own fan club...right? Well into college I realized that it was the 9 year old on the phone just calling to say hi and she missed me that helped me through. Well I would say it was somewhere during that time that we transitioned into a more family like relationship. Family vacations and Christmas nights spent together, grandparents that aren't mine by birth but that I adopted in as my own Mimi and Didi, and all the other fun that comes with family...


Well, now that you know about her let me say that she is a senior this year, and that Thursday night I bit the bullet and put aside my natural aversion to anything sportsy and went to her Senior Soccer Game. Did I pay attention...well, not really, but was I there...yes and even Cullen came. And did I jump at the chance to take pictures...heck yeah I did...

National Board Update and Other Juicy Confessions

So get ready for some truthfullness from me. It pains me to say this but I am a procrastinator. Oh yeah...I know you are shocked about this, but pick up your jaw, swallow and know that while I may run wide open all the time doing little tasks...most of that is me putting off what I am really supposed to be doing....Praise the Lord for a God who SEES me in the middle of my procrastination and distress and loves me anyway...oh and if you like that little shout out to the BIG MAN I can tell you the Hebrew for the God Who Sees Me is El Roi...yeah I am learning a bit in my Beth Moore bible study...

That bible study is even a way in which I am procrastinating...this blog- yep another way. Here was another way On MLK day I decided to clean my sewing room. I have been very blessed in having a room devoted to my hobbies, but I must confess that in my blessing I also have more room to spread out my supplies...sometimes I don't spread out so neatly...And because I do have some pride left I can't show you the before picture, I'll show you the after and leave you to your imagination...and the knowledge that I spent 8 hours cleaning and sorting....you guessed it another way I put off doing my boards...

On Wednesday I finally sat down and got to work. But guess who came by to watch me work? Well my sweet sister/friend Meagan...and she was able to catch me in the madness. While you look at these pics...you may ask yourself why is she sitting on the floor in what looks to be her formal living room. Well, friends, let me confess yet again- in order to work up to my true potential I have to position myself in a room with little to NO internet connectivity. If I don't I will sit for hours just blog stalking and being worthless.
Another Confession...this box came in the mail...postmarked national board...still not opened as I type...it becomes to final once I open...can I get a prayer please..


So here I am with Meagan laughing at me. Yes she took that one of herself. Must be nice to be a senior...footloose and fancy free. Weren't those the days? Let me jump to another subject now...aging...if you are over 25 reading this when did you just gasp as I did when I wrote this??? Kermit the Frog has a book "It Ain't Easy Being Green" well I may write my book "It Ain't Easy Getting Older" I have come to a few conclusions about aging lately...get out your pencil because you want write these down.



1) Wrinkles are coming for you...get a good eye cream

2) The Real World on MTV is not getting more ridiculous...we are just getting older and realize it now.

3) I may have passed my "good" years

4) Friendships are better the older you get.

5) My Bucket List keeps getting longer, and I gotta get moving on all those things I wanna do someday.

and finally

6) The Older I get the Older I want to be when I have children. We are just too young for all that responsibility.

and back to my main confession of procrastination...let's just think about how aging works with that....well to quote one of my mom's former teachers...."I got old before I meant to"

I hope this has brought joy to your day!

MLK




So for the King's holiday we had family over and Cullen was able to use his new grill. I realize this is the second post about this grill...prepare yourself for many more. On this particular night we had grilled pineapple, hamburgers, and for dessert a really great recipe I'm saving for another post....start salivating now...it is that good!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Post Christmas Post II

Right as I was posting the other post holiday post...my mom brought over her camera and I had to get her pictures from Christmas, too.




So these are the only three that made the cut...basically because it was all I had time to post. Can you tell that I love Jason's gift probably more than he did...that is always the case.

Post Christmas Post

So when going through my camera I forget to post some pictures that never made it to the memory card because I forgot to put it in the camera...so these were stuck on my camera

First let me start with this picture of Cullen and his dad...oh wait you couldn't tell them apart. I know they look JUST alike to me, too. Note the same stance, same smile, I chalk it up to same DNA.




Next, let me show you this equally cute picture of Ms. Debi, Wyatt and Stephanie at the Christmas Eve Service. Okay prepare for a little family tree branching...Stephanie is the grandaughter of Pop, Cullen's step grandfather, who passed away about two years ago. Wyatt is her son and I think looks just like Pop...to cute!



Do you know what this is? Yes, Cullen who I think never listens to me, surprised me with a dress form. Well a few months ago...like six to be exact while we watching..correction I was watching Project Runway, Cullen was suffering through it and asked me why I didn't have one...for one reason I sew children's clothes mostly and the next reason they are kinda costly...so what to my wondering eyes did appear...neath my tree a dress form...yay
Now I need to tell you I am now taking donations for books on how to sew with a dress form...because that is a whole different style than what I do...but I will learn.




Move Over Bobby Flay


There is a new grilling man intown, and yes I get to call him mine....

Cullen wanted a new grill for Christmas and his promise was he would cook all the time if he got one...well, that was a slight understatement but as the task of finishing my National Boards looms over me I think it sounds good that he wants to cook more.

And so he did

Isn't it wonderful


I sat back and watched and played with Pollyanna




and then....ooo I enjoyed his grilling.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Patriarchs


So I have started this bible study this week. A group at my church is doing it, not I'm not sure if I am going to do it in a group setting or just by myself. Anyway four days in to week one and once again I'm in awe with how Beth Moore can make the Bible so easy to read. If anyone is wanting to get a start to the new year with a bible study I can recommend this one.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Help!

I need an intervention! Since hearing of our snow days Thursday I have not left our comfy couch for longer than 4 waking hours at a time. No this is not being slothful...ask any teacher snow days are like God's little gifts not to children but to teachers. It is a time for hibernation and renewal.
Cullen stayed home and also needed an intervention from the couch.
I spent all of Thursday with Cullen on the couch watching tv, blogging, or napping. Friday I repeated the Thursday fun to only leave and get the soup my mom made for us and then returned to the couch. Saturday I spent the morning on the couch entertaing Cullen's sister and her boyfriend Dave...did you even know one could entertain guests without leaving the couch....well you can when your husband fixes breakfast and everybody plays Tiger Woods on the Playstation....No Martha Stewart here... Then my mom and I made our way to Tupelo for some shopping...yes I got what I have been wanting for sometime the Pioneer Woman Cookbook. I have been stalking her our for sometime now on her blog and I braved 'icy' roads just to get this cookbook...She makes me want to live on a ranch and homeschool kids I don't even have or want...and cook and take pictures of cows and mustangs...I know crazy how a cookbook can make you want to do that...
...oh but don't worry...I was back on my couch in less than four hours...because it was cold and I needed to be lazy in the comfort of my home...where was Cullen oh, he was having fun underneath our house... we had a frozen pipe that my very own Bob Villa and his lovely apprentice (his dad) braved the cold and took care of...
a woman's work is never done...because as I called to check in while they were working and I was being called by my comfy sofa to come home...I found that while they warmed the pipe...all of our water had been cut off....so what is a girl to do...call the mayor that's what... he wasn't home so I then called the water department and left a message...then I called a coworker who told me to call the fire department...so I called my friend and teaching partner Ms. Bridget whose son is a fireman and got their number...then I called Mr. Floyd and made fast friends and he let me know four pipes had busted in town so it would be on a little later when they were finished working....I asked how come they didn't tell folks the water was being shut off and he said...because it would be too much trouble to let everyone on the block know about it... I smiled and said thank you...I am the only house on the block...but don't worry because by the time I was home...they had turned it back on...and I didn't have to be busy with that worry anymore...I just got to go and sit on the couch and lounge around...nice very nice... then Cullen and I went to dinner with Leslie and Bill and then came home right back to our comfy sofa until 8:30 when it was time to go to bed....because I am not sure if I have told my faithful readers all two of you this before but even though we live smack dab in the middle of the city we go to bed with the chickens...Stay warm on comfy sofa near you!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pollyanna

Even Polly got to lay on the couch for the snow day!

A Little Bit of This


a little bit of that...so with a snow day Cullen andI have spent our day...on the couch watching t.v., blogging, playing playstation, watching it snow, and sipping hot chocolate for two. Stay warm and be safe...

Oh the Weather Outside

Oh the weather outside is frightful? Not so much, but since we've no place to go...let it snow,
let it snow, let it snow....

Dallas and Dexter




















Cullen and Cole trying our their theory of the Grassy Knoll.


This is Cole being a Cowboy Heartbreaker. He took a serious picture but he looked more like a young gun taking his first drivers license picture. This one is much more "cole"

















































Don't be jealous of this picture with John Wayne. My dad has always thought he was the best actor to EVER live so this one with the Duke is for my pops.

Here is our first picture of 2010 together.
















This is our last picture of 2009.

Must Read


I've already handed this book off to a friend to read. I am not a faithful reader. I read when I have time, that would be summers and holidays. I just finished reading a book that was an impulse buy at Barnes and Noble during Christmas. I liked the cover and thought yeah I need something to read during my travels here we go...so here it is, finished in the final days of 2009. It is a great book about how God uses rich and poor together for his purpose.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009


This is a recap of our year, with credit to Darby at Fly Through our Window who gave me this idea. Yeah she is an awesome photographer, mom, housewife, and creative mind....but back to the Pollard Year...please enjoy
January-Took us to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Kala and Preston's Wedding, and to the gym for increased fitness




February- We celebrated Cullen's 26th birthday, and my grandmother's 85th birthday.



(These are my siblings Brett, Scott and Tonya)

March- was spent enjoying the company of great friends and running a 5k


April we welcomed our niece, Elliot, home and spent Easter loving on her. We also were able to be a part of our friends' wedding weekend. We said goodbye to the Pollard Matriarch, Cullen's grandmother, Nanny.





May- We began our work trying to have the staircase situation resolved. I read my way into summer, and Cullen took up the game of golf


June- we wasted the Summer days away sewing, swimming, and sweating and loved every minute of it. We went to the beach with friends and enjoyed life together celebrating our 2 year anniversary.




July, brought us to Huntsville to have a patriotic weekend with our pals. I went with Leslie to Gainesville to see our friend Molly. We celebrated my 26th birthday.




August was the start of school, and the annual Bodock Festival Backyard Party.


September was slow, we celebrated my mom's birthday and Cullen went on his Walk to Emmaus.



October was fun with Ole Miss Football in full swing. We enjoyed more time with friends in the grove.




November we celebrated another Thanksgiving in our home gathered with friends and family.



December- Took Cullen to the woods and me to New York with the Meagan and Ms. Julie!