Thursday, June 23, 2011

Any Night Can Be A Party

Last night, I had three of my favorites that I don't get to see often over for dinner. I didn't take the first picture, but I want to share the recipes. They were fantastic, in that quick and easy sort of way. I had never made either before, which is risky, but I knew these wouldn't let me down.

First, I made Ham and Cheese Crescent Rolls. I got them from a Pillsbury email. You buy crescent rolls, Cheddar slices, and sliced ham. Unfold your crescents and roll them up with the ham and cheese stuffed inside. Just lay 2 pieces of ham in it then cut the cheese to lay on top of that. Bake for about 15 minutes at 375. They were delicious! We even discussed how easy they'd be to swap up with other ingredients.

Next, I made Paula Deen's Pasta Salad. It called for a lot of things that I didn't even entertain the thought, but it was probably one of my favorite pasta salads ever. It was one lb of pasta with a balsamic vinaigrette based dressing. I even bought a block of Parmesan cheese to shred myself. That was a big girl step... I had never done that before, but it was totally worth the four dollars. She suggests adding tomatoes, olives and mushrooms.

Dressing: 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing (I used Newman's and probably will next time, too) 1/4 c of mayo and 1 Tbsp of sugar. Whisk this together then pour over the noodles. Then, shred the Parmesan on top.

I was so nervous about having friends over on a weeknight, but it made everything so friendly and casual. My house may not have been perfect, and the food wasn’t the fanciest, but we all enjoyed each other’s company.

Moral of the story: invite friends over on a weeknight even if it’s for hotdogs! It leaves less time to plan, but also leaves less time to stress. I will definitely be having more weeknight dinners!
Forgive the terrible quality, and it is obviously not a recent picture

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Reality Check

Yesterday, I had to buy gas.

I'm making an amendment to my rules.

Gas doesn't count.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Coupon Failure

Yesterday, I went grocery shopping for a few items. Only a few, I promise. I had one small buggy full. You know those half sized, double-decker things? Anyway, I had already mapped out the sale items, and I had my coupons ready. I didn’t have pockets, so I took my coupon organizer-thingy. {That is a technical term.} My previous grocery shopping experiences with coupons I’ve always had Stephen with me. I’d hold the coupons, he’d push the buggy and then I’d hand him the coupons we were using to put in his pocket. This method works great. Yesterday, I went it alone.

So, I’m pushing the buggy, holding my organizer-thingy and scanning the aisles. I start to go through my coupons {while still in the organizer-thingy} and it starts to open on me because it’s an accordion type folder. Next thing I know, most of my coupons go flying to the floor. They go everywhere. Thinking back on it, it was quite hilarious. At the moment, it was not. I almost panicked. So, trying to remain all calm and cool, as I usually try to do when in public, I grabbed them (after a few minutes of crawling around on the floor) and stuffed them back in. I guess I’ll spend this afternoon re-organizing.

I’m not getting the hang of coupons, but I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

(Saving) Dollar Days

With the economy where it is I thought I’d challenge myself to saving more money (or not spending any- but that sounds lame, so I’ll say saving).  A friend gave me the idea of giving myself $50 a week to spend, then saving the rest… but I am going to take that one step further and allow myself $25 a week.  What?! Twenty.Five. Dollars. For. One. week?? Is that to include gas, food and life, you may ask! Yes. I am as nervous as you are. It may not be possible, but then again it may. Now, the rules: If I don’t spend the full $25, it can carry over. Keep in mind I’m on the road for one hour every day, and I have a gas guzzler.  Get a smaller car, you suggest?  This one was given to me by my wonderful parents= no car payment.  Case closed.  That’s it. It’s June 13th. I’ll do this for the rest of June.  Here goes nothing! I’m scared!  I’ll keep you updated on my progress. This doesn’t mean I’ll start living a boring life; it just means I’ll have to be more creative in my activities and meal planning. By meal planning I mean sandwich making.
What are your saving money tips?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Not Ashamed

I have poor taste in TV; just ask anyone who knows me. I love Home Improvement. I love The Nanny. I especially love Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. These are without a doubt the very best shows to go to bed to. For your enjoyment, I will share with you one my favorite clips. I laugh every time.

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I don't like basil.

That feels good to say out loud. I feel so much better. Thanks for letting me vent.

I really enjoy the smell of basil, but I can't eat it. I tried. I was shocked, because for so long I figured I liked it. I really had never had it though. This weekend, Stephen and I went to a concert in Atlanta, and we went to a restaurant called The Big Ketch.  It was great. I discovered I do like raw oysters, and they brought boiled peanuts to lightly munch on while we waited. Boiled peanuts. Free. I was in heaven. There wasn't much light munching, but there was a lot of throwing peanuts toward my face. I caught most of them. I ordered a shrimp salad. They brought me orange-basil vinaigrette. It was horrendous. Next year, I think I'll figure out a different herb to plant.

This was afterwards; please excuse the sexy hot, sweaty look.
We love this hotel. They offer a free limo service to and from the show.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Disappearing Blueberry

Oh, this summer heat is fantastic isn't it? I just love how all my plants act like big babies in this weather. I water them thoroughly (daily), and by the next afternoon they're all acting as if they're about to die. All withered over.  I can just hear them crying out to me, "Mama, waaaaah, I'm hot! I'm tired! I'm thirsty!" I mean come on, grow up already!  It's true. They cry.

So, (daily) I go out and water them. I snip back pieces that need snipping. I drag the water hose from one end of my house to the next, then carefully roll it back up (daily), and all without complaining.... I did get to try my first blueberry the other day.  It wasn't ripe; I was too eager. I spit it out.  However, the last few days I've had one blueberry that looked to be just about ready to pick. The just about ready to be picked part was key, so I left it out to ripen a wee bit more. The next day it's gone. Every time. Not parts of it eaten; it just disappears. Maybe someone is coming by and picking it?  Maybe my yard bunny jumped up and picked it? I keep hearing it's the birds, but I feel that the birds would leave some sort of evidence. I think it's my plants playing tricks on me. Or, there is a blueberry snatcher on the loose. Either way, I don't think I'm going to get my baskets of blueberries this year as I had hoped.