Friday, December 31, 2010

It's time to say goodbye..

It's time to say goodbye to 2010. You have been another crazy year, some good, some bad. Here is a short blog about things that have been accomplished and lost in this crazy, tragic, sometimes always magic, wonderful, beautiful year.

In January, we started seeing an RE in Columbus and wasn't given the greatest news possible, but we worked through it. If there is anything that we have learned from Infertility, it's patience. We may not have become parents this year, but we know it will happen.

March brought another birthday and I said hello to turning 28, I am getting closer to that 3-0 but quite honestly, it really doesn't scare me that much anymore.

In April, Ryan and I celebrated 6 years of marriage. It seems like such a short time ago that we were saying our vows and starting our life together. We also got to celebrate our Nephew's first birthday and it was unbelievable to think that he had just turned 1, time really does go by so fast.

In May, we looked at a house and are pretty confident that it's the ONE that we are going to purchase and hope to pursue it at the beginning of 2011. Sadly, May brought tears for us as well. We said goodbye to our little furbaby, Milo. She was a joy in our life and we still miss her very much. She was with us for 5 years but left such a huge impression on our hearts.

June was another sad time, it was 4 years ago that we lost our first child. I miscarried our first baby on June 23, 2006 and it's still as real now as it was then and it's hard to believe we would have an almost 4 year old had we not lost it.

When August arrived, I took one of the biggest steps yet, I decided to go back to school! On August 16th I started attending Shawnee State University. My major is photography and I can now proudly say that I survived my first semester. I am getting ready to start my second and will be counting down a total of 8 to reach graduation with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts. Ryan also had a pretty big event this August, he turned 30 and he took it well.

Ryan has done a lot of traveling with work this year and even though I don't like it, I appreciate and am thankful that he has a job. We still don't have it all together, but together we have it all. I hope that 2011 brings a lot more progression towards our dreams.

Overall, 2010 has been a pretty good year. There was a lot of time spent with family and friends. We have had a roof over our heads, plenty to eat, good general health and tons more to be thankful for. Here's to 2011 bringing a lot more happiness and good memories.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Baked Apples

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
6 Apples. (I used 3, 1lb honeycrisp apples this time)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 teaspoon size pieces
1 cup apple juice
6 springs fresh mint(optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Peel and core apples, making sure not to puncture the bottom of the apples so that the juices will remain. Fill each cavity with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Top each apple with a teaspoon of butter. Place apples in a casserole dish and pour apple juice around them. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from heat, garnish with fresh mint(if using), and serve.

Artwork Continued

Jack Skellington

Cherry Blossom

Koi Fish

Flower Abstract

1982, the year I was born.

Monochromatic Painting using one of my Visual Multiplication Designs

Self Portrait

"I would die for that"

Abstract Drawing in the showcase. I have made the Showcase 3 times!

Hey Sugar, Hey Cupcake!

Sketches in Journal of Self Portrait. Used to pick best composition for final design.



Some Art Work

One of the reason's I haven't been posting much and also haven't been sewing and crocheting as much as I would like to is because I have been going to school the last 13 weeks, I have 3 weeks left in the semester. Anyway, I have been taking 2D Foundations, a class required since I am an Art Major and thought that I would share some of my work. I have posted it all on facebook and most of them are taken with my phone so it's not great quality. Anyway, here they are.

This is an Asymmetrical Piece using cut outs from a 4 1/2" square.

This is the Symmetrical Design using the same method.

Zentangle (click to enlarge)

Compartmented Design using an object with positive and negative space. My object is a garlic press.

Thumbnail sketches used to get the foundation for the Compartmented Design

Thumbnail sketches of my camera.

Journal Entry; Something that means a lot to me

Journal Entry; A photo that means a lot to me.

Positive and Negative Space

Elements and Principles of Art

Circle of Life Flower

Circle of Life Flower

Circle of Life Flower

3 Symmetrical Designs

Visual Multiplication Design(click to enlarge)

Graphite Powder and Charcoal sketch using "wipe away method"

Illustrating Silence

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day!

On November 10, 1775, the Marine Corps. was born. We celebrate all of the years, traditions, history and all the sacrifices many have given. To all Marines from past and present, Happy Birthday! Semer Fidelis!

Today, we celebrate all branches of the United States Military. Veterans Day is a salute to the ones who selflessly devoted their time and lives to the United States Military so that we could be free.

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations." - President Woodrow Wilson.

There are a lot of Veterans in my family. My grandfather was in the United States Marine Corps. All of his brothers were also Marines, some veterans of the Korean War. My other Grandfather was in the United States Air Force and served during the period of World War II. I am very proud of my family's sacrifice and selflessness in order to provide me with freedom.

Today, I thank all of the men and women who have fought for my freedom. I also pray for the families of those who are still fighting and for their safe return. Never forget those who have lost their lives while serving for your freedom! Thank a Veteran today!!!

*click to enlarge

My Grandfather in the United States Marine Corps. First Recruit Battalion, Platoon 349 - Parris Island, SC on September 17th 1954.

My Grandpa is in the Second row from the bottom, Second from the right.

My Pappaw and Mammaw after they got married. =)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Baby Blanket

Made this for Ryan's cousin. She and her husband had their first baby back in May. It's taken me a while to post it, because I've been really busy with school. Anyway, here it is.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sour Cream and Basil Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 20 min
Servings: 4


3 pounds potatoes, peeled
Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped basil


Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place in large pot. Cover the potatoes with cold water and add salt so the water tastes quite salty. Bring to a boil, thn lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 to 12 minutes until the potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan, making sure it doesn't boil. Set aside until the potatoes are done.

As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander.
Place potatoes in a bowl and mash. As soon as the potatoes are mashed, slowly whisk enough of the hot milk/butter mixture to make potatoes creamy. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, the sour cream, pepper and basil and whisk to combine. Taste for seasoning and serve hot.

Bistro Salad

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 20 min
Makes : 6 servings, 1 1/2 cups each


6 cups torn Boston Lettuce
6 Slices Bacon, cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
4 hard-cooked egges, cooled and chopped
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed, blanched
1 cup Croutons
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing


Cover platter with lettuce.
Arrange bacon, onions, eggs, and croutons in rows over lettuce.
Drizzle with dressing, shake slightly so dressing runs down to lettuce underneath.


Add beans to large pot of boiling wather(I added a teaspoon of butter and pinch of salt for taste); cook uncovered for 3 minutes, Drain. Immediately pluge beans into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process(shock the beans) Cool completely. Drain beans, then paty dry before using as directed.

Balsamic Vinaigrette and Sweet Pear Glazed Pork Chops

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 29 min
makes 4 servings


4 pork chops(1 1/2 lb.), 3/4 inch thick
1 tsp. Olive Oil
1 small Vidala/Sweet Onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing,divided
1 can (15 1/4 oz) pear halves in juice, undrained


Cook chops in oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 3 min on each side or until lightly browned on both sides. Remove chops from skillet; set aside.

Toss onions, garlic, rosemary and 2 Tbsp dressing in a medium mixing bowl and toss into skillet, stir. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Return chops to skillet, add pears and remaining dressing; simmer on medium until chops are done(160ºF)

Serve chops topped with sauce.

You may also substitute the Balsamic Vinaigrette with a Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Meat Temperature Guide

Got this in my email today and thought I'd share for those who are always concerned about the temps of the meat they cook. This guide will also help you to get your steak cooked exactly the way you like it! =)


USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): n/a
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 115 degrees

USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 145 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 120 degrees to 130 degrees

USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 160 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 140 degrees

USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): n/a
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 150 degrees

USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 170 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 155 degrees to 160 degrees

Ground Beef
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 160 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 160 degrees


USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 160 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 145 degrees

USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 170 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 160 degrees

Ground Pork
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 160 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 160 degrees


Whole Bird, Thighs, Legs, Wings, Ground Poultry
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 165 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 165 degrees

Boneless Chicken Breasts
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 165 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 160 degrees


USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): n/a
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 110 degrees to 115 degrees

USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 145 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 130 degrees

USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 160 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 140 degrees

USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): n/a
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 145 degrees to 150 degrees

USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 160 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 150 degrees to 155 degrees

Ground Lamb
USDA Guidelines (Before Resting): 170 degrees
Professional Kitchens (Before Resting): 160 degrees

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Copycat Max & Erma's Chicken Tortilla Soup

Yields approx. 15 servings

4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans cream of celery soup
2 cans cheddar cheese soup
2 cans chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup chunky salsa
1 can diced rotel, mild
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red chili powder
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste


In a large (8-10 quart) stockpot combine and whisk together until smooth all eight cans of soup.

Add chicken broth. Add tomatoes, salsa, green chiles, onion, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper.

Bring all ingredients to a full boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.

Add cilantro and chicken breast chunks. Simmer 45 minutes to an hour.

While soup is simmering, make your soup toppings:

Tortilla Strips

Cut flour tortillas into small thin strips.

Heat oil and deep fry tortilla strips until lightly browned.

To serve: Ladle soup into bowls, top with shredded cheese and fried tortilla strips.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Copycat Olive Garden House Dressing


1/2 c. white vinegar
1/3 c. water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. corn syrup
2 1/2 Tbl. grated romano cheese
2 Tbl. dry pectin
2 Tbl. beaten egg
1 1/4 tsp. salt
t tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. minced parsley
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
Pinch dried oregano
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes


Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend well. If there are flicks of ingredients in the dressing, you can use cheese cloth or a small colander to strain it. Chill at least 1 hour.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fiesta Chicken Casserole

Original Recipe Yield 4 servings
Prep Time:
15 Min
Cook Time:
40 Min
Ready In:
55 Min
  • 1 (15 ounce) package refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar Pace® Chunky Salsa
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup or Campbell's® Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (24 ounce) package frozen whole kernel corn
  • 2 (9.75 ounce) cans Swanson® Premium Chunk Chicken, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bring pie crust to room temperature.
  2. Mix salsa, soup, sour cream, cheese, corn, chicken and beans in large bowl. Spoon into ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  3. Place crusts on floured surface, overlapping about 3 inches in the center. Press seam to seal. Roll into 14x10-inch rectangle. Trim excess crust. Place crust over beef mixture and flute edges. Cut slits in pastry.
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until pie crust is golden brown.