Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Florida Family Christmas

First of all, Merry Christmas!! I hope you all had (are having) a wonderful time with your friends and family. I know we certainly are!

Today was such a nice change of pace. We've always loved our Holidays with family, but on my side of the family it's always been go-go-go. Open gifts at home, lunch and gifts at Nanna's, gifts and dinner at Nanny's. This Christmas, we were unable to fly home, so my parents came to Florida for our first Southern Christmas. We opened gifts in the morning, and Tyler and my dad went golfing in the afternoon. I think my dad thought he'd died and gone to heaven. I actually convinced my mom to stay in her cute winter pajamas with me and just relax around the house until late afternoon. It was wonderful.

This was also my first time being able to host any type of Holiday gathering even though it was just the 4 of us, so I was ready to cook! For breakfast, I baked a sausage, egg, and cinnamon apple casserole and French toast casserole which was to die for. I also baked red-velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for dessert (my dad's favorite), and a holiday ham with green bean casserole (a family classic) for dinner. It was a lot of fun to prepare, especially in some of my new aprons and with my mom by my side. :)

Hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Cookie Favorites

Hello friends and family! Hope you're are gearing up for Christmas. We're REALLY looking forward to the arrival of my parents this Friday for the Holidays.

On to the cookies! This weekend was designated as "cookie baking weekend" for the Redick household. I included Tyler in this, as well, because he is the best husband ever and insists upon helping me A LOT with dishes....and boy did I create some serious dirty dish piles in the process.

I found so many overwhelmingly yummy Christmas cookie recipes in my search this year, but settled on four. I think the photos speak louder than my words ever could, but believe me when I tell you that they are all amazing, easy, and make wonderful gifts. Here are the Christmas 2010 cookie selections. Enjoy!


M&M Cookies for Santa
-Sing for Your Supper blog

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, light or dark, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons milk, optional
2 cups Holiday M&M’s

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment. Beat together the butter, sugars, salt, vanilla, baking soda, and baking powder until well combined. Add the egg, beating until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and beat again until smooth.
Add the flour, mixing it in completely. Stir in the milk, then carefully stir in the M&M’s.
Drop the cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2″ apart. A cookie scoop works well here.
Bake the cookies for 14 to 16 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown, and a bit darker around the edges.
Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the baking sheets.

Cranberry Delight Oatmeal Cookies
-Sing for Your Supper

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups self rising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 bag of dried cranberries (6 oz.)
1 cup grated milk chocolate bar
1/2 cup melted white almond bark

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Mix flour, oatmeal, salt and cinnamon together and add to butter mixture. Stir until ingredients are well mixed. Fold in pecans, crasins, and grated chocolate bar. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Move to cooling rack until completely cooled. Drizzle melted almond bark over cookies (I used both a fork to drizzle and a plastic bag with a small hole cut). Serve after almond bark has dried. Makes approximately 40 cookies.

Oreo Peppermint Bark
-Sing for Your Supper

1 pound milk chocolate bark
1 pound white chocolate almond bark
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
10 Oreos, roughly chopped (I used the green mint ones!)
1/2 cup crushed peppermints

Melt the milk chocolate bark in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Pour out onto a large sheet of wax paper and smooth it out into one even (thin) layer with a spatula (an offset spatula works perfectly for this). Let sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes, until hardened. Next, melt the white chocolate bark.
When the chocolate is hardened, stir the peppermint extract into the melted white chocolate bark. Pour over the dark chocolate layer and spread out evenly to the edges with a spatula.
Sprinkle the Oreos and crushed peppermints in an even layer over the top. Let sit until completely dried and hardened, about 20 or 30 minutes.
Break into pieces and serve.

The last recipe I used was a simple Chocolate Dipped Pretzel recipe. It was basically 1 tablespoon shortening to 1 pound chocolate (1 bag chocolate cups), melted in the microwave. I used both white and milk chocolate chips, dipped, decorated, and hardened in the refridgerator.

Have a Merry Christmas y'all!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Meringue Meltdown

First of all, happy Friday! I hope you all have some fun weekend plans. Monday is our 2 year wedding anniversary, so Tyler surprised me last night by saying we're going to explore St. Augustine on Saturday :).

On to the Meringue...

Thursday, my unit at work (group of case managers) was assigned to make a snack for the office, in the theme of "white". My mom gave me the advice to make Meringue Cookies. Wednesday night, I had 5 eggs on the fridge and all of the other necessary ingredients, so I went to town. Unfortunately, those eggs just did not want to separate, and I ended up having to send my sweet husband out for another dozen. As if that wasn't enough, I didn't realize it was going to rain all night into the next day, creating a very humid environment. Let's just say, Meringue does NOT want to thicken or stand up in humidity. So, after over an hour of adding more ingredients, and beating the heck out of the batter, I finally got some thickness to the Meringue, and in went my cookies. The way Meringue works, is you preheat your oven to temperature and then put your cookies in, turn the oven off, and keep them in the closed oven till morning. Hence, it was a long, anxious night as I was just hoping they would turn out. And...They kind of did. Everyone at work really enjoyed them and they did taste well, but they definitely were not the Merriest Meringue I've ever seen. ;) Anyway, here's the recipe I used. I got it from and just changed the quantity to 24 and the website adjusted the ingredients accordingly. Here is the basic recipe for 12 servings. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!



2 egg whites (best at room temperature)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions: (adapted from
Preheat oven to 275 degrees
Beat egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla until VERY firm
Gradually add sugar and continue mixing until Meringue is able to hold its form
Fold in chocolate chips
Drop teaspoons of batter onto greased, foiled, or parchment papered baking sheets
Place in preheated oven, close door, and turn off oven
Leave overnight, do NOT open the oven, and Meringue cookies will be ready in the morning. Enjoy!

*Tip* If you decide to double the recipe, do not double the chocolate chips.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Baking Blunders

Last night, in a kitchen full of flour and a face covered in dough, I came to the realization that while I may have some small semblance of a knack for cooking, baking is an entirely different story.

I enjoy baking, very much! But I have definitely had more baking failures than successes as of late. My mom always said that most people are EITHER a baker OR a cook, and I am starting to believe her. Oh well. I will keep trying. Maybe baking is just an acquired skill, and I have had some successes thus far which make Tyler very happy.

In other baking news, I tried out a new cookie recipe last night as a trial run for a cookie baking competition at work, and they were delicious! Yes, I learned I need to make them smaller, round the dough into tighter balls, and cook them for 2 minutes less, but nonetheless they tasted like little bits of heaven. I will post the recipe and other Christmas Cookie favorites in a few weeks.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. This cold I have is definitely keeping me from being as productive as I was hoping, but I am looking forward to a relaxing pedicure and lunch with my friend Kristy this afternoon and our Sunday School Christmas party this evening.

Love always xoxo,

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Giving Thanks

This post was originally supposed to be about my Cranberry Apple Stuffing, Cranberry Walnut Salad, and Pecan Pie. However, considering I haven't yet made any of these items, clearly I will wait to discuss them.

As many of you know, my grandmother was on the brink of death this week. Literally, she was shocked back to life six times and worked on for five hours before finally having a pulse. She remained on life support for a few days, and I flew home Wednesday evening, thinking I was there to assist my family in funeral preparations and to comfort my mom. This week, my family witnessed a miracle. Nanny is definitely not out of the water yet and she continues to have cancer and suffer from complications of it, but once again, God wanted Nanny to have more time to touch the lives of others and allowed her to continue living on Earth.

This Thanksgiving week, I am so, so incredibly thankful to God for giving us more time to love on Nanny and how once again, tragedy brought my family even closer.

Emily xoxo

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Pasta

Hi friends and family! As some of you know, I am not good at sitting still. Therefore, as I was home sick today, I decided to make up a new recipe for fun. I took a recipe I had been wanting to try, and changed pretty much everything but the mushrooms and cream sauce.

The ingredients I used were:

1 box penne pasta (minus about a cup and a half cooked noodles, depending on how wet you like your pasta)
1 small to medium butternut squash
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 package sliced mushrooms
3/4 of a medium sweet onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup milk (the original recipe called for heavy whipping cream)

What I did:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, saute the onion, butternut squash cubes, mushrooms and garlic in the butter until tender.
2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, seasonings, and milk until smooth then add to the vegetable skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Drain pasta and add to vegetable mix. Cook 2-3 minutes until heated through.

Nothing too exciting or difficult, but very yummy and perfect for 3-4 people. Enjoy :)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Buttermilk Pie, Oh My!

As those of you who have looked at several of my posts might have noticed, I am a big fan of the blogger Amy and her recipes listed on her Sing For Your Supper blog. She is just so sweet and genuine! Last night, I decided to try her recently added recipe for Buttermilk Pie. She stated in her description that it was a Southern tradition, sure to please any man! So, I gave it a try, and sure enough, both Tyler and I love us some Buttermilk Pie. I did not take any pictures of it, and honestly, it's not the prettiest pie around since it doesn't have many colored ingredients, but trust've got to try it. (Edit: I went ahead and posted a picture I found on Google Search that looks very similar to mine) The only thing I can even remotely compare it's flavor to is a Creme Brulee based on its very sweet nature and sugary/buttery crust. Give it a try, trust me. Thanks Amy!!

Baba’s Buttermilk Pie
-Sing For Your Supper Blog
*makes 2 9-inch pies

2 9-inch pie crusts, unbaked (I used Graham cracker)
3 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
**a little lemon zest and a squeeze of juice is a nice addition and also cuts down on some of the sweetness**

Mix sugar, flour and salt. Add eggs, butter, buttermilk and vanilla. Pour into two unbaked pie crusts and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees (check them at 50 minutes- if they’re too jiggly put them back in for a few more minutes. They shouldn’t jiggle very much at all when they’re done). If the tops are getting too brown, cover loosely with foil for the remainder of baking time. Let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Holy Sweets, Batman!

Ok, so I realize it's the day after Halloween and therefore my title is not so funny, but that's really how I feel! For some reason, October was THE month of sweets for me. Cupcakes, muffins, brownies, cookies, and finally, Apple Nachos. Here is the recipe for this evening's dessert.

-Found in Taste of Home, adapted by me :)
-Photo by Taste of Home magazine
24 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 20 min.
36 caramels (I actually used the fast melting, small caramel balls - 1 bag)
1 tablespoon water
30 large marshmallows (I used some Strawberry and some plain)
1/3 cup butter, cubed
4 medium tart apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices (I used Granny Smith)
1/3 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts (I used Walnuts)
1/3 cup HERSHEY’®S Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (Ghiradelli for this girl)
3 tablespoons Halloween sprinkles
•In a microwave-safe bowl, melt caramels with water; stir until

•Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt marshmallows and butter. Arrange
apple slices on a large platter. Drizzle with caramel; top with
marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle with peanuts, chocolate chips and
sprinkles. Serve immediately. Yield: 24 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving equals 149 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 76 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic
Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1 fat.

This fun, sweet treat turned out soo yummy!!! But, a word of caution...a little goes a long way. This girl's got an aching, but satisfied belly.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Orange Scented Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Orange Buttercream Icing

These cupcakes turned out deliciously. The first time I made them, I simply smoothed the icing over the tops of the cooled cupcakes. This time though, I decided to try and make them a little prettier. :) I bought the Wilton Cupcake Decorating set, and used piping to make them at least a little prettier. It will definitely take some more pratice though. Anyway, these cupcakes have been tested twice and loved both times. Enjoy! :)

Orange-Scented Cupcakes
-Sing For Your Supper Blog
*Makes 24 cupcakes

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, or any orange liqueur you like (I just used OJ)
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees. Fill cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisk together the milk, orange juice, liqueur and egg whites in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar and butter in the bowl of a mixer and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Using a small spoon, fill each cupcake liner 1/2 full with the batter.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the tough – a toothpick inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to cooling racks and cool completely before frosting them.

Vanilla-Orange Buttercream

1 stick butter, at room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
splash Grand Marnier (again, I used OJ)
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of the sugar and then the orange juice, Grand Marnier and vanilla. On medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading or piping consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. Refrigerate until needed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Up for a Challenge

Hi friends and family :) Sorry it's been awhile since I've blogged. I am in the midst of my 10 week Child Welfare training, and let's just say it takes up a very good portion of my day. On top of that, this month is absolutely crazy for Tyler and I. We are really looking forward to all the events we have in store, but are starting to feel a bit run down. SO...what does any OCD/control freak/Type A personality do in a time of crazyness?...Add more crazy to the mess!

No, but really. I need to do something to relax myself, and for me, that is cooking. So, I have decided to set myself up for a series of cooking challenges. Based on a list of of challenges from an actual food blogging project, I am going to create some for myself. If you have any suggestions, let me know! In the meantime, I will work on starting a list.


P.S. THANK YOU to my friend, Miss Courtney Nickerson, for my amazing apron and oven mits which I cannot wait to cook with!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Easy, Cheesy, Enchiladas

To use up some chicken breasts that expire today, I decided to try out a recipe I've been eyeing up. Tyler and I love Mexican food. Pretty much all kinds. BUT, both of our favorite dish of all? Enchiladas, of course! This recipe is actually quite simple, but for some reason, I decided to make it more complicated than was necessary. Yes, I'm still learning, and we all make mistakes, right?!

I totally forgot to cook the chicken. *blushes* I made the sauce, pre-heated the oven, treated the baking dishes, and then...I remembered. I had no cooked chicken! At this point in the process, I realized that this recipe could be altered to make it much, much simpler. It calls for 4 shredded, cooked, chicken breasts, so my advice would be to save time, either use leftover chicken or turkey, or pick up a Rotisserie chicken at your grocery store. Anyway, mistake aside, this meal turned out wonderfully. I made 12 enchiladas, and stuffed them pretty full of cheese and chicken. Tyler and I were both able to eat 2 each, leaving us 8 (yes, I can sometimes do math)for leftovers.

One extra side note, I did an experiment. The recipe calls for this dish to be cooked in one 9 x 13 dish, but I'm not sure how that works as it only fits about 6 or 7 enchiladas. Hence, I divided the 12 into 6 per dish. In one of the cooking dishes, I used a thicker layer of cheese and sauce, and in the other, a lighter topping of both. The thinner covered dish came out with a perfect crunch to the outside of the enchilada, and a soft, moist interior. The other dish turned out some great enchiladas, as well, but they were much softer all the way through. Any way you cook them, enjoy!

Salsa Verde Sour Cream Enchiladas - seen on The Novice Chef, originally from the Homesick Texan, discovered on Sing For Your Supper Blog, modified by me!

4 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 Jalapeno, seeded, minced
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups sour cream (I used reduced-fat and it was really rich)
16 oz jar Medium Picante Salsa
1 & 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
12 flour tortillas, small fajita size
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack
1/2 medium onion, diced
Preheat the oven to 350. Melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute onions and Jalapenos until soft and then add the garlic, cooking for 1 minute. Stir in the flour and let cook 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth until smooth and let cook until bubbly. Stir in the sour cream, salsa, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, and garlic powder until the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat.
Spray/grease two 9×13 baking dishes. Add 1 cup of sauce to the bottom of each pan. Add chicken and cheese to the center of each tortilla and roll, placing seam-side down in the dish. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas, top with leftover cheese, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until top is brown and bubbling.
Yields: 12-15 enchiladas


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thankful (almost) Thursday

This is a non food related post, but I feel like God has been laying it on my heart to remember what I am thankful for, both in times of joy and in times of trial. So, in response, here is a list of things I am most grateful for right now, at this point in my life. (In no particular order)

1. Salvation
2. Forgiveness/Second chances
3. My husband
4. Resiliency
5. Companionship/Love
6. A fresh start
7. A new job
8. Good friends/developing positive friendships and connections
9. My newfound interests
10.My chosen profession

Hopefully, random posts like this will inspire you to take a little time out of your day to remember what you are thankful for, and even thank those of whom you think.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

I love my Kindle, yes I do, I love my Kindle, how 'bout you?!

This weekend, my darling husband decided he was worried about my upcoming commute. Starting Monday, I will be driving a company vehicle about 3-4 hours round trip, daily, for 10 weeks in order to attend required trainings. Tyler realized he was concerned about me staying awake while driving, and decided we should go ahead and purchase something to distract me. He brought it up to me at dinner Friday, and I got really excited, obviously! We spent that evening and all day yesterday researching and shopping in store for anything to occupy my time. We looked at MP3 players, Ipads, etc. WELL...seeing as two of my favorite hobbies are reading and listening to music, I brought up the idea of the Kindle. Oh my word. Best idea of my life. ANDDDD...thanks to a leftover Visa gift card, and part of my birthday money from my sweet mother-in-law, we only ended up paying about 40 dollars out of pocket for my sweet baby Kindle. I am in LOVE. I've already downloaded about 6 books, all but two of them free of charge. The two I paid for were the Bible (1.99) and a Healthy Living cookbook with 500 recipes (6.00). I am so looking forward to tomorrow morning when I can plug my Kindle into the car and listen to it so sweetly read to me on my morning commute. Thank you, husband!! :)


Friday, September 17, 2010

Kung Pao Chicken and Fried Rice

Hi all! I've had several requests for this recipe, so I thought I'd type it up on my blog and put the link on facebook. :) It was reallllly good. I read the ingredients at first and didn't think it would be something I would enjoy, more for Tyler, but it ended up being delicious. It's not a very difficult recipe at all, my only advice is just to make sure you prep everything ahead of time. There are very specific time directions in this recipe, i.e., 15 and 30 second stir frying, and if you have everything out in front of you, it makes it a lot easier to follow. Well, here it is...enjoy!!


Kung Pao Chicken -Blog Chef
1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” pieces)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons chopped green onions (I bought the pre-cut ones in the produce section)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar(Asian section)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
Combine chicken and cornstarch in a small bowl and toss to coat. Heat sesame oil in wok (or large deep-dish skillet) over medium heat, add chicken and stir fry 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Remove chicken from wok.
Add green onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger to the wok and stir fry for 15 seconds.
Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and add the sauce to the wok.
Return chicken to the wok and coat with sauce. Stir in roasted peanuts. Heat thoroughly. Top with additional green onions if desired and serve over white rice. (Or fried rice, in my case!)
Fried Rice
2 cups enriched white rice (I used brown Minute rice)
4 cups water
2/3 cup chopped baby carrots
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
soy sauce to taste
sesame oil, to taste
Cook rice according to package directions. In a small saucepan, boil carrots in water about 3 to 5 minutes. Drop peas into boiling water, and drain. Heat wok over high heat. Pour in oil, then stir in carrots and peas; cook about 30 seconds. Crack in eggs, stirring quickly to scramble eggs with vegetables. Stir in cooked rice. Shake in soy sauce, and toss rice to coat. Drizzle with sesame oil, and toss again.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spinach, Zucchini and Mushroom Quiche

I found this delicious recipe, and many of the others I have been trying lately, on A GREAT blog and full of easy, filling, healthy recipes. Today, I tried a recipe for Quiche and it turned out absolutely delicious!! The recipe does call for only using 1 9inch pie crust, but I opted for 2 and added some extra vegetables.

Spinach, Zucchini and Mushroom Quiche
1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked (store-bought works just fine here!)
7 large eggs
3/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 medium zucchini, cut in half and sliced into pieces
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 small box frozen spinach, thawed and drained of all water
1 small can mushrooms (fresh would be even better)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Press the pie crust into a quiche pan or a pie plate. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the half and half; stir in the salt, black pepper, white pepper and cheese. Add in the vegetables and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pie crust and bake for 35-55 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted comes out clean. It shouldn’t be too jiggly when you pull it out. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Moving Day!

Hi there,

My name is Leche the Guinea Pig, and Mommy wanted me to tell you all about my big move. Mommy and Daddy(mostly Mommy)were getting so tired of hearing me cry when it was time to go back in my teeny tiny pet store cage, and decided it was time to do some research! Mommy discovered that a lot of good guinea parents were building their own 2 x 4 sized cages using materials such as wire storage cubes. Mommy and Daddy did some number crunching, and headed to Lowe's last night. I missed them very much! But soon, they came home, and with some strange looking materials! An hour or so later, Mommy and Daddy had laughed a lot, yelled a little, and bled some, too! (Tyler, surprisingly.) BUT...look at the finished product!! A nice, safe cage, placed in a social room of the house, where I can get lovins from both my people and cats, alike..anytime of the day! I am so happy. Mommy and Daddy made the base for this cage using a rubber backed,indoor/outdoor mat, 2 layers of old beach towels, and a fleece blanket. Mommy says she still needs to cut the blanket to fit the cage, but I sure don't mind it the way it is! Mommy says the way she layered the bedding materials and prepared the fleece with 3 washes and 3 dries will keep my bottom dry and smelling fresh! I am soo happy. I keep jumping in the air and reaching through the cage to kiss Mommy and Daddy's hands to thank them. Oh, guess what else?! Mommy even ordered me a mini-cat bed type thingy called a Cuddle Cup to snuggle in when she's not around. Can life get any better? I think not.

Leche Redick

Friday, September 10, 2010

Feeling Crafty

My creative juices were flowing I used Fall decorating as an outlet. I had purchased a few items at Home Goods this week (another gift card, woohoo!), so as a a reward to myself, after cleaning each individual room of the house, I allowed myself to decorate them. Here are some pictures from my decorating thus far. I also created my own wreath for the front door, which I was pretty happy with. :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy 24 Years to My Love

Happy 24th Birthday, Love!

I wanted to use this opportunity to not only wish you a Happy Birthday at midnight, but also to clue you in a bit to what's in store for you. For the next 24 hours, it is I have prepared several surprises for you...24 of them to be exact. You will be given 24 birthday surprises between now and midnight tomorrow. I Hope you enjoy them. This is the first of them...a blog entry dedicated to the love of my life. Happy birthday, baby!!!


P.S...come find me for the second surprise!;)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fallin' In Love with Autumn

Even with the hot, humid weather, a few recent changes around our house have gotten me excited for Fall, nonetheless. I used a gift card to Marshall's (thanks Mom) to purchase a brown table runner with cream, olive green, and burnt orange leaves for the foyer table. I also purchased a bouquet of faux flowers in Fall colors and placed them in a black vase on the table. To really make it feel like Fall, I purchased my FAVORITE Febreeze Plug In Autumn Spice and Warm Apple. But wait, I'm not finished! In fact, I'm just getting started. In order to make sure our first Fall in Florida is enjoyed, and...well, Fall-ish, there's more to be done. Here are some photos inspiring me right now.

Have you decorated yet?


Tuesday, August 31, 2010


First of all, do Bison "Moo"? I'll have to ask my dad. Anyway, I have never been a very big meat eater, but lately, with our stricter diet, I have been eating even less. However, I do get an occasional craving for some good red meat. This time, I happened to be at the grocery store, wandering in the meat section when I laid my eyes upon the most beautiful Bison I have ever seen. Okay, so I've only eaten Bison once, at a really nice restaurant in Atlanta, BUT, it looked good. I decided to splurge a little as it is kind of pricey, but ended up with 8 large, juicy, delicious Bison Burgers. Here's what I did:

Added Onion Salt, Garlic Salt, 1 medium chopped yellow onion, Ketchup, Worcest. Sauce, and Pepper to ground Bison, and mixed with hands. Formed mixture into 4 large patties. Grilled on George Foreman indoors (it was dark outside) until brown all the way through. The patties ended up so large, that we halved them. Served the burgers on Whole Wheat buns, topped with fresh tomatoes. YUMM! Needless to say, we WILL be making these again. :)


Monday, August 30, 2010

Last Minute Meal

Hi, friends and family :) Just wanted to share one of my classic, "Tyler's on his way home, last-minute, what's in my cabinets" meals. It turned out very well! I used Whole Wheat noodles, seasoned with olive oil and parm. cheese, my favorite trifecta of Oregano, Basil, and Parsley, Organic diced tomatoes, Chick Peas, frozen Steamfresh peas, and lean, ground turkey breast. Tyler commented that it reminded him of college, just more grown up. :) Pasta with peas and ground beef was a staple of ours in school, so this is just a quick, easy, more sophisticated alternative.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

One 'n Only

For some time now, I have been wanting to try Moroccan Oil for my hair. I have read many, many blog posts reviewing this product for months now, but it does run a little pricey, and I just hadn't bought into it yet. Well, thanks to one, wonderful fellow blogger who decided to post a public service announcement this week, I found an amazing,affordable alternative.

Two words: Argan Oil. Argan Oil is derived from Moroccan Argan Trees, and is basically the generic version of pure Moroccan Oil. I purchased the brand One 'n Only this week at Sally's Beauty Supply for around 10 bucks. I apply about a nickel sized (maybe even slightly smaller)amount of the oil to my hands after towel drying hair post shower. Then, I rub the oil between my palms to get it nice and even, and apply it to the ends of my hair first, starting at the nape of my neck, and work my way up to the top and front of my head.

Here's my review of the product, although, from my description in the previous paragraphs, I'm fairly sure you can surmise my opinion already. ;)

•Non-greasy, alcohol-free formula
•Creates shine without leaving an oil residue
•Reduces drying time
•Smoothes cuticle for silky, conditioned and healthy looking hair
•Eliminates frizz and leaves hair more manageable
•Helps protect against damage caused by the environment or heat styling
•For all hair types
•UV protection

Now for the Cons.....drum roll please....

I have only two, and this is after giving it some serious thought. 1)I don't know how to explain the scent of the Argan Oil in any other way, but to compare it to your grandmother's perfume**. However, it is pleasant enough, just very girly, and it does absorb instantly and the scent is almost completely gone upon drying of the hair. 2) Cost - the bottle is only about 3 ounces, so for 10 bucks, I suppose it can be considered a pricier product, BUT, you only need to use so little of this product at a time, that I find it completely worth it.

Enjoy! Let me know if you try it, and what you think :)


**Disclaimer: I love Grandmothers, I do not think they stink, some just smell very, very girly at times, and I think both of my grandmothers smell wonderful.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Polyvore Please!

I discovered the coolest website. Basically, it has links to millions of brands, store websites, etc., and it allows you to choose individual items to create your own outfits/ensembles. SO.MUCH.FUN! Here is my creation :)