Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Baking Ep 6



Russian Teacakes. These are a family tradition. My grandma used to make them along with fudge, divinity and all sorts of other goodies. While I don't make them near as well as she did, I have carried on the tradition. I only make them at Christmas, I want to keep them special, not to mention they are a lot of work lol.

Ingredients:
1 cup soft butter (must be real, not margarine.)
1/2 cup powdered/confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F

Mix together thoroughly the butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix together the flour and salt. Slowly combine it with the butter mixture. Then Mix in the chopped nuts. Mix thoroughly.

Chill dough. Roll into 1" balls. Place 2 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until set but not brown, (7-12 mins depending on your oven). While still warm roll in confectioner's sugar. Cool. Roll in sugar again.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies

Cooter approves of this blog. :P

Christmas Baking Ep 5



One of my all time favs!!

Snickerdoodles

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Margarine at room temp
1/2 cup Real Butter at room temp
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Topping: Also sugar and cinnamon for rolling the balls in later. I use about 9 tsp of sugar & 3 tsp of cinnamon. Mix those in a bowl for rolling the balls just before baking.

Directions:

Beat margargine, butter and sugar together until creamy. Mix in the eggs.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Mix well.

Shape into 1 inch balls. Chill 1 hour.

Combine the topping (cinnamon & sugar) in a small bowl.

Drop balls into mixture, coating well. Then place on a greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375F for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool, then enjoy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Update to my Zesty BBQ recipe

I posted this recipe a few months back, the Zesty BBQ Chicken. It has quickly become a favorite around here and amongst some of my friends as well. :D The first couple of times we had it, I served it on buns. But lately I have taken to using it as a baked potato topping. I cook the chicken the same. I bake a few potatoes, but them open, put a little butter, then when the chicken is done I scoop a few spoonfuls onto the potato and top with some shredded cheese. Its soooooooo good. :D


Christmas Baking Ep 4



I am not a fan of these, but I made them last year and hubby LOVED them. He specifically requested them this year. I do have to say they smell divine when baking.

Just a word of advice on these. Mix by hand only. Do not use a mixer. Too much mixing leads to flat cookies. :P




Ingredients:


3/4 cup REAL butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup of raisins

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375f
2. In large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth.
3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy.
4. Stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually beat into the butter mixture. Stir in oats and raisins.
5. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven or until golden brown. Cool slightly, remove from sheet and place on wire rack or wax paper to cool completely.

Makes about 48 cookies.

Christmas Baking Ep 3



I have a love hate relationship with brownies. Some recipes I have tried are too rich, too chocolatey, too sweet, too dry etc. So when a friend (Jess) raved about her brownie recipe I thought I might give it a try and wow!! I am so glad I did. These are perfect. They have the perfect mix of chocolate, sugar, moistness. Big Thumbs up!!!

Brownies

Ingredients:


1 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnut halves

Directions:

preheat oven to 350F

1. combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Melt butter and mix with vanilla and eggs. Then combine with the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined. You can add the walnuts now or if you are like me and want less nut influence, wait until you pour the mixture in the pan then place a few walnut halves on the top.

3. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes in a 9x13 greased pan (I just used pam baking spray.)

4. Let cool, then cut up and enjoy. Nom!

Thanks again Jess for this recipe!

Christmas Baking Ep 2



I decided to try something different this year. I always make chocolate chip cookies. But decided to try the cookie bar recipe. It turned out pretty good. The dough, which is my fav part, I would almost rather eat it than the actual cookie, was soooooo tasty.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

1 cup butter or margarine (I used margarine)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts, chopped, optional (I didn't put any nuts in mine.)

Directions:

Cream together first 7 ingredients.
Mix in remaining ingredients.
Mix til combined well.
Spread batter evenly in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan.
Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Let cool then cut up into 24 bars.

Christmas Baking Ep 1


I tried a new Peanut Butter cookie recipe this year. I really like it, it's not too sickening sweet or overly peanut buttery. Nice consistency and easy recipe. Thumbs Up!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Butter or Margarine (I used margarine)
1/2 cup Peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour


Directions:


1. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter or margarine and peanut butter with an electric mixer on med to high speed for 30 seconds.

2. Add the Granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat until well combined, scraping the sides of bowl occassionally.

3. Beat in the egg and vanilla til combined.

4. Beat in the flour. (if using a hand mixer you may have to mix some by hand. I used a stand mixer and was able to mix all the way with it.)

5. Chill dough for about 30 minutes to make dough easier to handle.

6. Shape dough into 3 inch balls, Roll in additional granulated sugar to coat.

7. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten by making crisscross marks with the tines of a fork.

8. Bake at 375 for 7 to 9 minutes or till bottoms are lightly browned.

9. cool then eat. nom nom

Fuzzy Friday on a Thursday...



Because I will be busy as a bee this Friday and weekend I am posting a long overdue Fuzzy Friday today. Enjoy!

Every night around midnight. I log off the computer, choose a movie, and snuggle on the sofa with the dogs. Well the other night I let Jake and Cooter "choose" a movie. Cooter is a big fan of the animated holiday movies. Jake on the other hand prefers a good Will Farrell holiday comedy. :P We watched Elf that night and The Year Without Santa the next night.



New Camera, Rejection Letter, Canceled Trip..

So I am sure some of you guys have noticed I haven't posted any recipe blogs or Fuzzy Fridays in a while. I was having technical difficulties. My rechargeable batteries stopped charging. So I couldn't use my camera to take any pics. I got that taken care of then got kinda preoccupied with life and got a bit lazy where my blog is concerned. But I am back, kinda. :P I also, for Christmas, got a new vid camera. It's a Flip Ultra HD. I am so in love with it. I took some pics, the day I picked it up from the mail box it was sooooooooo cold. You can see the fogginess on the screen of the camera in one of the pics. Was out in the cold mailbox, then I brought it in to a warm toasty house and it got all foggy. :P





So now I can take some really awesome quality videos on it and save my digi camera for photos and not use up so many batteries. :D

Let's see, what else has been going on. Oh sooooo I finally sent in the query letter to some of my A list Lit. Agents and the next day I got my first rejection letter. Was nice, said they read my query and it wasn't the right project for their agency but encouraged me to not give up and to submit to other agencies. Still waiting to hear from the others. One of my a-listers isn't taking queries until after Jan. 5th. So will def be hitting them up asap. Kind of exciting actually, and I didn't get upset at the rejection. It is all part of the process and hey they didn't say YOU SUCK don't ever write again. So that's a plus. :D

We were supposed to be going to Thunder Bay for Christmas. Hubby's mother and sister's family live there. But with the cost of putting our two dogs in a kennel as well as the gas we just couldn't swing it financially. So we will be spending another Christmas here with Hubby's Dad's family. I like most of them, but some give me the creeps. Hubby doesn't seem to understand my sixth sense about people. He just thinks I'm being picky. But I seriously can tell within minutes of meeting someone if I like them or not. I don't try to do it, it just happens. It is hard to explain the feeling I get but it is pretty strong one way or another.

Well I am in the middle of my Christmas baking so I will end this hear. I have some cookie recipe's and pics to post in a bit.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken BBQ

I know it's not Tuesday, but hehe just pretend. Also there will be no pictures with this entry because my camera batteries are out of commission. I have to get new rechargeable batteries since mine wont charge anymore.

The recipe calls for 6 frozen chicken breasts I used 5 and after Ed having 3 sandwiches and me 2 we still have a ton of leftovers. Also make sure you use a molasses based bbq sauce, not the cheap stuff from Kraft. Famous Dave's or I think Jack Daniel's has a molasses based sauce.

The only thing I added was a pinch of salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion flakes.

Also I let the chicken cook in my crock pot for 5 and a half hours on high. I took the chicken out shredded it with my fork (was easier than I thought) then I put the chicken back in the crock pot for an additional 45 minutes on low setting.

Ingredients:

6 Frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast.
1 (12 ounce) bottle molasses based BBQ sauce.
1/2 cup italian salad dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
Buns of your choice. We used whole wheat hamburger buns. You could also use hoagie buns.


Directions:


1. Place chicken in crock pot. In a bowl mix the BBQ sauce, italian dressing, brown sugar and worcestershire sauce. Pour over chicken. (this is where I added in my salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion flakes, just about 1/2 tsp of each).

2. Cover and cook 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low. I cooked 5 1/2 hours on high, shredded my chicken then put back in the sauce, cooking on low setting for 45 additional minutes.

3. Spoon mixture onto buns and serve. I served Ed's with some pickles. You could also serve with chips or a side salad.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cooooooooooooter...






Cooter is very nosey. :P

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My fav football season snack.




It's not a healthy type snack I know but it's my fav snack to have during fall football season. It can be combined with some raw veggies and some healthy dips if you would like. And I operate on the rule, everything in moderation. So as long as you don't eat the whole batch yourself in one sitting then it's all good.

The recipe I followed said to bake for 10 minutes but I had to bake for 16 minutes total. I also wish I would have put some pam on my cookie sheet as the balls stuck like crazy and I had to pry them off.

A side note if you only need a few or you want to pre-make them for a later date, follow the directions, once you roll them into balls put them in a freezer container and freeze until you are ready to bake them.

Sausage Balls



Ingredients:
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used lowfat cheese)
2 cups biscuit baking mix



Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the sausage and biscuit mix, then add the cheese.
3. Form into walnut size balls and place on a baking sheet.
4. Bake in a preheated oven 15-25 minutes, until golden brown.



Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yes, I know it's Sunday but...


Okay so it's called Fuzzy Friday because I am suppose to post it on Friday. However, I got distracted and forgot it until Saturday afternoon. Then thought ooo I will post it now and maybe no one will notice. Then I discovered my camera batteries were dead dead dead. So they spent the rest of Saturday charging up. So now here we are on Sunday. :P Better late than never right?




This was taken in our outside stairwell, the door they are standing by leads into the kitchen and is the door we use all of the time to enter our house. We do have a front door but the stairs are all rotted and after watching a uninvited sales person almost fall through one of the stairs when it crumbled under his feet, yes funny story I might share later, I will not go up those stairs.

Anyway this is about the dogs so, this is what they do every time we are coming back in from playing outside. They both run up the stairs and stand there waiting ever so patiently for me to come in close the door and come up the stairs. It also usually signals feeding time so Cooter is especially excited =D.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cheddar Broccoli Chicken and Mashed Potatoes




I am trying something different this week. Instead of just taking one picture of the finished dish, I took multiple pictures along the way. So anyone who is reading let me know which way you like better.

This recipe was super easy and quick. I needed no modifications and everything was pretty straight forward and came out perfectly. I got this recipe off of allrecipes.com, its a Campbell's recipe.

Tender chicken, broccoli flowerets and a cheesy sauce are served over creamy mashed potatoes for a one dish supper.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 (10.75 ounce) can campbell's condensed broccoli cheese soup or campbell's condensed 98% fat free broccoli cheese soup. (I used the 98% fat free soup)
1/3 cup milk
2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli flowerets (I used frozen)
4 cups hot mashed potatoes



Directions:
I started off peeling, cutting up the potatoes and putting them to boil. (I prefer real mashed potatoes but you could also use instant.)



Heat oil in the skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned.



Add the soup, milk and broccoli. Heat to boil.



Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes or until done.



Serve over potatoes.

Pills make Christina a happy girl...

I am so bad at making titles for my blog entries. I seriously sit at my desk for a good 20 minutes, trying to decide what the heck to name my new entries.

This past Saturday I was able to finally get my thyroid medication and I am starting to feel like a semi normal person. I have to go back in for a blood test in a month so we can see if this dosage is the right one for me. For right now it seems pretty darn nice to me. The Dr is also going to want to revisit my high blood pressure issue. I am anticipating being put on BP meds as well. We just want to get my thyroid under control first, then work on other stuff.

Canadian Thanksgiving was yesterday. Ed is on the road and I just stayed home, which suited me just fine. I'm not a big fan of the holiday, it wasn't a particularly fun holiday growing up and I don't have many happy memories. Also being the picky eater that I am, I do not like most of the traditional foods.

Anyway, not much else is really going on. I took the weekly fall pic in my backyard this morning. So I hope you enjoy that. Over the past several days it felt like summer again. Blech, I was really enjoying the fall temps, when I woke up this morning it was noticeably cooler than it had been and leaves were falling like rain past my bedroom window, I was pretty stoked. I gladly welcome Fall back. :D


Friday, October 8, 2010

It's Friday!!!!!



A HOT fall day...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wha??? Another post today??

Yep that is right. Three posts today as I am behind and trying to catch up.

So let's see, what new stuff do I have to comment on today. Ooo okay, this past Friday I went to the dr. They did all the usual stuff, weight, height, blood pressure. My blood pressure was super high so I now have to monitor it for the next couple of weeks. If it stays high on a regular basis I will more than likely have to be put on meds and I'm pretty much counting on that happening. Saturday Ed and I went to Wal-mart and I took my blood pressure twice both times it showed up as higher than it had been at the dr's office. yippee :|.

They also took my blood so that they could test my thyroid. He said he would call me back on Monday with the results and call in a prescription for me. I haven't heard anything back yet. I called this afternoon, cause after 3 years of not having meds, I am a wee bit impatient. A message has been sent to the dr's nurse to call me back asap with the test results. So I am sitting here at almost 3pm, still waiting and anxiously watching the phone.

I haven't been in the best of moods lately and people are starting to get on my nerves. I am constantly biting my tongue or sitting on my hands to keep from snapping. There are a few in particular that are driving me to drink, not literally, just a figure of speech. :P Hopefully though this will pass and I can get back to just the usual level of people annoying me.

Anywho, I took the weekly fall picture of the backyard yesterday. It's less pretty now as the leafs have started falling at a quick rate. Hope you enjoy the picture and have a great rest of your Tuesday.


A tad bit late...



Yes I know, It is suppose to be Fuzzy Friday, Not Tail-wagging Tuesday. But in my defense I was kinda busy on Friday with dr's appointments and what not. That and with all that excitement, I sorta, kinda, umm, forgot *blush*. So better late than never huh? And ooo Just look at it this way, you will get two Fuzzy Fridays this week!!! Two for the price of one. :P



Here are my boys enjoying one of Suz' favorite past times. :P

Simple Beef Pot Roast



I love a good pot roast, especially when the weather starts to cool down and we head into fall. This recipe was in the little cookbook that came with my slow cooker, so I thought I would give it a try.

It came out nice and tender, no need for a knife. And it tasted good, it could have used a bit more something, I'm not sure what, but some sort of spice. Maybe garlic? Other than that Ed and I both LOVED it.



Ingredients:
1 (3-4lb) Boneless beef roast
1/2 cup water or beef broth (I used the beef broth)
3 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, thinly sliced (I just got a bag of baby carrots and put a generous handful in)
1 onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:
Put vegetables in bottom of stoneware, salt and pepper meat, then place in pot on top of vegetables. Add liquid. Cover and cook on LOW 10 hours or HIGH 6 hours. (I did the low setting.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Simple & Quick Brunch



I was looking through my recipe collection hoping to find something to make for Sunday brunch, when I came across this recipe; Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-ups.

Like last week, before I give the recipe and picture what mine looked like, I will be listing any modifications, problems or tips I might have had.

The only problem I had was getting the slice of ham to fit so I could roll up the crescent properly. You will see in the picture how badly I did at making a proper looking crescent roll. I think the next time I make these I may, instead of folding the ham over as the recipe suggests, I will cut the ham into two triangles.

while baking the cheese does sort of leak out but I cant think of any way to prevent that and there was still plenty of cheese left in the crescent roll even with the bits that melted out.



Ingredients:
1 can (8oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
8 thin slices cooked ham
4 thin cheese slices, each cut into 4 strips

Instructions
Heat oven to 350F. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Place 1 piece of ham on each triangle, place 2 strips of cheese down center of ham. Fold in edges of ham to match the shape of the dough triangle.

Roll up each crescent, ending at tip of triangle. Place with tips down on ungreased cookie sheet. (I still sprayed mine with some olive oil pam)

Bake 15-19 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekly Fall Photo



Hey guys,
I took this picture this afternoon. I can't remember when I usually do the fall pic but I noticed how red the one tree was and the other one is losing its leafs pretty quickly so I thought I better get a pic soon before all the leafs were gone off both those trees in the back.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What if?

I usually try not to play the what if game. Because really, what exactly is the point? It won't change anything and you could what if any situation for a 100 years and not really ever know how life would have been if you chose the other road.

Sometimes though I can't help it. There is one event in my life that I regret. Yes just one, everything else, whether it was good or bad, I learned something, I became stronger, I survived. I try and look at the positive side of pretty much everything, usually I succeed, for the most part. People always say I did something totally selfless etc etc. I just smile, nod and say yep you are right, while inside I disagree completely.

Now that October 15th looms closer with each passing day, I cannot help but play the what if game.

June 1993, I had just turned 18 and graduated from high school. I was also 6 months pregnant. There were family things going on that weren't pleasant and I felt kinda like it was me against the world at that time. My aunt was wonderful and so were my grandparents. But I still felt alone.

I moved into my own apartment shortly after graduation and prepared to have and keep my baby. Not exactly sure how I was going to do that, but I have always been resourceful. None of my family knew about the pregnancy, I intentionally hid it from just about everyone except a couple of close friends.

When I was about 8 months pregnant a friend suggested I look into adoption, this was not something I seriously considered. It was my baby and I wanted to keep him but I told her I would call around and just get info. I called one agency that wanted to fly me to some office in New England. I was like umm yeah no that's okay. The next office I called was located in San Antonio, the town I lived in. They sent a taxi to pick me up and bring me to their office. I stressed that I just wanted info on how adoption worked. They were very friendly and said of course.

When I got there, they stuck me in a tiny room, and put some papers in front of me and told me to fill them out. I said again, I just want some info on how adoption works. The lady said oh we understand but go ahead and fill that stuff out just in case and then left the room. Well I arrived in a taxi cab that worked for their company so I felt trapped, if I refused to sign I figured they would refuse to get me back to my apartment. So I filled out several papers on my health history and family history etc.

When that was done they brought me into one of the case workers offices and handed me a big book. It was filled with pictures of couples looking to adopt along with letters the couples had written to prospective biological moms. They were filled with tales that made you want to cry. While they talked to me about adoption they had me look through this book. They said things like if you back out of an adoption you are responsible for paying back any and all legal fees, medical fees, fees incurred by the adoptive family etc etc.

I was 18, naive, scared, and alone. I thought omg I don't have that kind of money and I filled all the paperwork out earlier, are lawyers going over it now? How much will that cost me? Do I have to pay for an office visit here? Taxi ride? Probably not all logical, but I was overwhelmed. Then having to read all the stories about the people looking to adopt because they couldn't have kids of their own.

They had me pick three couples from the book, who they would have call me so I could ask questions and the people would be come real living breathing people, not just pics on a page. So I reluctantly picked 3 couples and then asked to go home.

Over the course of 3 days I talked to the different couples. I didn't want to give my baby away, but I felt like I didn't have a choice any longer. I couldn't afford to pay anyone anything. I kept thinking lawyer fees?? OMG those guys charge you out the wazoo. I can only imagine how much I am going to have to pay. The adoption agency called me after I had talked to each of the couples and wanted to know what I thought. They were all very nice people, I didn't want to hurt any of them, but I didn't want to give my baby away. I was told to really think about what a baby would mean to them.

Yes sitting back now thinking about 18 yr old me, I can see how I was so, umm not really stupid, uninformed? naive? innocent? inexperienced maybe, yeah. But I felt alone, I didn't feel I could go to anyone and say hey, help me, what do I do here? Maybe I was too shamed? scared or too proud to admit I needed help? I think most of it was just fear, fear that the rest of my family would completely turn their backs on me.

So I picked out one of the couples from the 3 I talked to. They only wanted the baby if it was a boy. If it was a girl they would back out. One sonogram later, where I was desperately hoping it was a girl (but I had known in my heart the whole pregnancy that it was a boy) I saw my baby boy for the first time and I sobbed on the table as I watched him on the screen.

The adoptive parents were there for the birth of my baby on Oct 15th and right away started making demands, shortly after which they were told not to return to the hospital by the Dr's and adoption agency. I had developed high blood pressure while I was pregnant and it would spike after the baby was born. Usually the spikes occurred while the adoptive mother was in the room. So for my health and theirs they were made to stay away.

I had my baby all to myself and I wanted to keep him desperately. A nurse tried to talk to me and tell me that I shouldn't give my baby to those people and that I could raise him on my own. I thought wow, I totally could. I picked up the phone and started to call my aunt. I got the first 3 numbers dialed and hung up. This happened a couple of times before I started thinking about lawyers, fees, taxi cab rides and how hurt these hopeful adoptive parents would be if I backed out.

On October 18th, I went to the adoption agency with my son, who I named Christopher, and sat in a tiny office with papers I was suppose to sign. They left me alone in the room with the baby and my boyfriend. I wanted to call my Aunt and say help. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. I signed the papers and then went into the room where the adoptive parents were waiting.

I had to hand the baby to my boyfriend because I couldn't physically hand Christopher to these people. I don't remember much except crying, I couldn't breathe, and my heart broke irreparably. There are no words I can use to describe the pain. I wanted to snatch him back and say I change my mind.

I spend the next several years just living. I smiled, I laughed, I lived, but I never really felt happiness deep inside. I just went through the motions and tried to put on a brave face, while inside I was empty. I still feel that emptiness to this day, maybe I always will?

But this is where the "what if?" game comes into play. What if I had not given my baby up? What would my life have been like? I would have had to tell my family and I would have found that some of them would have been supportive and helped me. I more than likely wouldn't have married who I married. Maybe I would have met a really nice man. Maybe I would have met another loser. I think I would have been a good mother, I think he would have been my joy.

My Grandma would have met and had a relationship with him. He would have loved her and she him. Same goes for my Grandpa. My Dad would have been a wonderful Grandpa. My aunt would have had fun too. I think I have a lot of guilt there as well, not only did I deny myself the chance to raise Christopher, I took him away from my family too. They never had a chance to see him once when he was born. He may come looking for me when he comes of age. But my Grandma will never get to meet him and he will never get to meet her.

In my what if game, it always comes out happy. There are tough times but we are all happy together. Maybe that would be true. But I have to keep reminding myself that unless I invent a time machine, it doesn't really matter how I think it would have been. We have to deal with reality, there is no other choice. Christopher will be 17 next month and only one more year until he comes of age and the adoption file is opened to him. Then, if he wants, he can come find me. That both excites and frightens me.

This is truly, my only regret in life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wha?? It's Friday?? Already??



Does anybody know what time it is?? Oh hehe yeah, the heading kind of gives it away. That is right!! It is FRIDAY and time for my fav blog of the week. Fuzzy Friday!! *waits for confetti and noisemakers.* Hmm okay, maybe work on that for next week. :P

Today I am featuring Cooter. Three years ago I decided Jake needed a companion. From the time I got Jake there has always been at least one other animal and when I moved in with Ed, Jake became an only "child". When we left Jake home alone I felt big time guilt because he was all alone. So I talked it over with Ed and we decided to get a puppy. Ed's friend Darien, had another friend whose dog had just had puppies. We put in our name but had to wait until October when the puppies were old enough to be weened. I wanted a girl dog, but the girls went fast and by the time we went to see them, there were only boys left and only two to choose from.

A yellow lab and a black lab, Ed fell immediately for the yellow lab and me for the black. We got the black. :P We went right to Walmart and got puppy supplies (food, collar, leash, crate, toys). Then we were invited to Tim Hortons for a quick coffee. So the new puppy was put into the crate, where he happily laid down to take a nap. When we came out of Tim Hortons, Darien and his daughter Sarah wanted to see the puppy. I opened the door of the truck and looked into the crate. I heard thump thump thump, Cooter's tail wagging happy to see me, I think that is when he claimed my heart, although there were times I doubted that during training lol. Ed and I went back and forth on names. We considered: Luke, Vadar, Chewbacca, Buddy and some other goofy ones. Then while we were driving back from Tim Hortons, Ed busts out with Cooter, as in the mechanic off the Dukes of Hazzard. It fit and we both loved it.

When Cooter was a puppy, he was adorably cute, but looks are deceiving, he was a hellion. He did not like to be held, cuddled, or pet. He was stubborn but extremely smart. There were times I was ready to give him back to the people we got him from. But never one to give up, I stuck to it and now he is a very loving 3 yr old dog, who loves to cuddle and make me laugh. Jake and Cooter after a rough start are wonderful brothers and the best of friends. Cooter still frustrates me at times but I cannot imagine my life without him.

The picture for today is Cooter with wide eyes watching a carrot, one of his fav treats. Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to tell winter is coming...

How do you tell winter is on it's way?


Ed went and got those from the storage shed, so that we are all ready for SNOW! :P

I wasn't going to post another blog today but when I went outside with the dogs this afternoon, I took a few pictures I wanted to share. Today, weather wise, is my favorite type of day. It's cold, a bit rainy and the sky is gray. I love a gray sky, most people love the sun, not me, I will gladly take a gray sky over sun anytime.



See? Isn't that beautiful?

And last, I want to try and take a fall picture of the same trees each week, so you can see the changes.

Something Tasty...





Today's recipe is: Country Breakfast Casserole.


I found this recipe at one of those little displays in the grocery store by the spices. It looked pretty tasty and being the collector of recipes that I am, I quickly grabbed it and put it in my purse. Anywho, before I give you the recipe I would like to briefly go over my experience while making this casserole.

1. The recipe calls for 6 slices of bread, I only used 2 and a half or 3.

2. It says to bake for 40 minutes, I did that and the middle was still uncooked, I had to add an additional 12 minutes, then for the most part all but the very middle was done. By that time my husband was whining that he was dying of hunger :P So I served up the finished parts and put the middle portion back in the oven for 5 more minutes.

3. The picture on the recipe card is not what mine came out looking like. I realize that it's rare for that to happen, but for some reason their cheese acted as a barrier to the egg and kept it all nicely layered. My egg took over and went past the cheese and into sausage territory. Not really a problem, I was just hoping it would look all neat and orderly like the picture.

4. My husband LOVED it from the first bite, he was making sounds of great satisfaction the whole time he was eating it. I thought it was okay, I wasn't really sure how I felt about the consistency of the eggs, but I think I would make this again.

Now on to the recipe and picture of my casserole.



Ingredients:
1 roll (12-16 oz) sausage, regular or reduced fat
6 Bread slices
6 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 package McCormick Sausage Country Gravy Mix
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter, optional
paprika

Directions:
1. Crumble sausage into a large skillet; cook over medium heat until brown, stirring
occassionally. Remove sausage and drain on a paper towel. Spread sausage over bottom of a lightly greased 11 X 8 inch baking dish. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. set aside

2. Whisk together eggs, water, milk and gravy mix. Sprinkle Cheese over sausage, then pour the egg mixture over cheese. Arrange bread cubes evenly over mixture. If desired, drizzle butter over bread. Sprinkle with Paprika

3. Bake at 325F, uncovered, 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fuzzy Friday!!!!



Today I choose just Jake. He is my favorite afterall, but shhh don't tell Cooter. Jake has been my baby since the day I brought him home. I had gone to the local pound with the intention of just seeing what kind of dogs they had, but no intention of coming home that day with one. I was also looking for a specific breed. Well that all went out the window when I saw baby Jake. All the other dogs were barking and jumping around making a fuss. Jake just simply stood up and put his front paws on the fence and looked at me with the sweetest big brown eyes.

I asked the lady to bring him out, she went to get him and then put him down on the pavement, where I sat down to pet him. He looked so sad, I asked what his story was, they had found him on the side of the road scared and wet, she said he was a terrier mix and was 4 months old. I said I will take him, so much for not picking a dog that day. In Texas, when you get a dog from the pound, before you can take them home they bring them to the vet to be neutered and have their shots done. I had to wait a couple of days but then I was told I could pick him up at the vet.

I raced to the vet office and they brought Jake out and placed him in my arms. From that moment on he was my baby. Jake will be 9 this December and he is still the same lovable, sweet, playful dog that he was when I first brought him home.