Sunday, February 26, 2012

Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

I love chicken and dumplings. I have since I was a little girl. My great-grandmother made them for me every time we visited her, and I would always gets seconds (and sometimes third helpings). I learned how to make chicken and dumplings last year, and I've tweaked the recipe so it would resemble my Mamaw's.

INGREDIENTS:
1 cut up fryer chicken
3 c. all purpose flour (W&H brand is the best)
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 t. salt
salt and pepper to taste
heavy whipping cream (amount varies based on your preference)

1. Boil the pieces of chicken in water.
2. Combine the flour, milk and salt until the flour is completely mixed in.
3. Roll out the ball of dough on a floured surface until it's very thin, and cut it into small pieces.
4. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the meat and put it in a bowl. Let it cool a bit, and then shred into small pieces.
5. While you're waiting for the chicken to cool, drop the dough strips into the boiling broth. Let cook for about 15 minutes.
6. Add chicken back to pot, season with salt and plenty of pepper. IF you want to make it creamy (which is what I did), add a splash of heavy cream.




It is DELICIOUS! It tastes like my Mamaw's... and kind of like Cracker Barrel's. :)

Enjoy!

xoxo
Les

Project 52.8



Cabin Fever.

This barn is well over 100 years old, and it's on the Jacks' family property. I have read and heard many stories about this barn, and I enjoy picturing Daddy Lou playing in this barn as a young boy. My husband has so many sweet childhood memories at the "Old House". Although this barn isn't a cabin, I think it beautifully represents the theme this week.

xoxo
Les

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Yesterday, I was THE ultimate Betty Crocker. I made Creamy Chicken & Dumplings (with only 5 ingredients!!!), Popeye's Biscuits (and they are even better than the originals... they don't have that preservative taste to them), and these guys.



Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars. They are TO DIE FOR. And they only take a few minutes to make (and about an hour to set).

Here's how you do it!

Melt the following ingredients in a sauce pan, stirring constantly.
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 stick butter
1/3 cup honey

Take off the burner. Add
1 c. Oats (NOT quick oats)
2 T. Wheat Germ
1/2 c. Mini Chocolate Chips
3/4 c. Coconut (optional)

Stir until completely combined.

Line a baking dish (8x8) with foil, and pour the mixture into the dish. Let it set in the freezer for about an hour. Cut into bars.

I'm addicting to these. I'm pretty sure that you will be too!

Enjoy!

xoxo
Les

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Project 52.7

This week's theme was "true love". I had this AWESOME photo idea, but unfortunately, my "models" and I could not find a time where we could meet. So instead, I decided to submit a photo of DJ (who is my true love). THAT was cheesy.



xoxo
Les

My week(end)

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Arkansas All State Music Conference. I was able to listen to some incredibly talented high school students do what they love the most- make music. It was so refreshing to be around students who are passionate about the same thing as I am. One of the most frustrating things about my job is that there are only a select few (out of my 150-160 students) who put a lot of effort into my class. However, this weekend was a reminder that there are hundreds of other students in this state who care about music. What an encouragement they were to me.

If I figure out how to post a sound clip on my blog, I will share it with you!

Get excited about some very delayed (sorry about that) project posts! Woohoo!

xoxo
Les

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Project 52.6

The theme this week is "Drink Up" (I wish she would have added "buttercup" at the end of the theme... oh well). Tonight, I made stuffed pasta with a champagne cream sauce (and it was DIVINE. I will post the recipe later this week), and I had a ton of champagne left over. I realized that I STILL haven't done my Project 52 entry for last week, and thought that it would be a fun picture with all of the bubbles and the shape of the glass.



So there it is! Drink up, buttercup! ;)

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!

xoxo
Les

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I'm still alive... I promise!!

Hello there!

If an award for the worst blogger existed, I would be the recipient. This week was definitely "one of those weeks" in so many different areas of my life. However, I am getting right back on track, and I am excited about all of the little projects that I am working on! I have to admit that a lot of the time that would have been dedicated to DIY projects have gone to reading. I read 2 books this week, and I HAVE to tell you about them.

The first book I read was "Same Kind of Different As Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. This true story is about a modern day slave & convict who crosses paths with a multi-millionare and his wife. Their relationship evolves into a brotherhood as they encourage each other through life's struggles. It's a beautiful story of unconditional love and friendship, and definitely a must-read.

The other book I read was "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. I have always been one of those people who is very hesitant to hop on a bandwagon (I don't think I will ever have the desire to read the Twilight series). However, the overwhelming response towards this series sparked an interest. I gave in and bought the first book at Wal-Mart several weeks ago, and I started reading it on Friday. I could not stop reading it. Up until this point, "Redeeming Love" was by far my favorite book. After reading the first book in this trilogy, I am hooked. I am dying to get my hands on the second and third books. There is a very good chance that these might become my new favorites.

Are there any books that you recommend?

xoxo
Les

Monday, February 6, 2012

Project 52.5

The theme: Shadows.



Hello, Leggy.


xoxo
Les

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge my3boybarians.com

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Burn, Baby Burn

This has nothing to do with any home projects, whatsoever. This just a glimpse of what happens in our life. We have almost caught our house on fire twice this week. Yes. Twice. Here's what happened.

I found this awesome recipe for Moroccan Chicken Kebabs. It was exactly what we wanted to eat, and we were super excited. DJ remembered that we had gotten these awesome kebab kits as a wedding gift, so we decided to try those out. We checked the information, and everything was "high heat resistant". So we threw those babies on the grill, and came inside to continue the closet organization process. Within 5 minutes, my beloved husband says (in his thick, southern drawl): "Dang, the smoke smell is REALLY comin' in the house." We decide to check on the chicken, and a thick cloud of black smoke is coming out of our grill. He opens the grill, and the "high heat resistant" handles had melted. Into our grill. Talk about false advertising. We threw a wet towel over the fire several times, turned on all of the fans, opened front doors to get the smell out. Crisis #1 averted.

Last night, one of my sweet college roommates Whitney came over because DJ was going to be gone all day & night. We decided to make homemade spaghetti (yes, I even make the pasta from scratch) and "Knock You Naked Brownies". The recipe looked like it was really easy and delicious. So we followed ALL of the instructions (except I didn't have a 9x9 baking dish... we used 8x8 instead). We walked into the living room, ate chips and homemade salsa, and talked about girly things (we will never grow out of talking about "girly things"). Suddenly, we smell smoke. We run into the kitchen, and SOMEHOW, the brownie batter overflowed (especially the caramel), and the caramel was BURNING at the bottom of our oven!!! I immediately turned off the oven, turned on all fans, and opened all of the windows in our house (yes, smoke filled the entire house). We then opened the oven, and a cloud of smoke fills the kitchen. We pull the "brownies" out of the oven, let the oven cool off, and scrape all of that nasty burned caramel off of the bottom of the oven.

The lessons I learned are:
1. Stay VERY close to the kitchen so you can monitor these things.
2. Sometimes, things don't go as planned- and it's okay.
3. I seriously need to replace the batteries in our smoke detectors. They didn't go off once.

xoxo
Les

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Closet Makeover

My husband is one of those tidy people. At the beginning of our marriage, I was the slob. However, I've completely transformed my thinking (and my house), and now I am slightly obsessed with organization. The one place in our house that was left unorganized was my husband's closet (disclaimer: We have absolutely zero overhead lighting in our bedroom. And we have teeny tiny windows that don't let any light in. So I apologize for the quality of some of the photos).



Look at that.... It's not fun. There were piles of junk everywhere, "like" items were nowhere near each other, and it was just one big hot mess.


Here's a picture of the top of his closet. No bueno.

So we pulled EVERYTHING out of the closet and threw it on the bed (actually, not all of it fit on the bed!).



Then we started sorting. He parted with a ton of clothes that he didn't want anymore. We put all of the duffel bags in a stack, and were able to store them with our fancier luggage. All of his shoe stuff went together in one box. All of his pictures went into our photo box (a post that I'm already looking forward to!).

The final result was this!



Yes, I must say I'm very proud of myself. I even color coordinated his shirts (and sorted them into solids and prints... I told you I've gotten OCD!). And the entire project took less than an hour.

xoxo
Les

3/3/12 update: I'm submitting this (and another project) to iheartorganizing's link party! You should link up too! :)

IHeart Organizing

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fun Project Reveal!

Okay folks, this project has been a VERY long time coming... This is my finished result for my bedroom decor!



I made this piece out of toilet paper rolls. So glamorous, I know. Right after DJ and I got married, I wanted to make a wreath out of toilet paper rolls. It was a fun little project, and the wreath hung in our guest bedroom. However, it looked kinda misplaced in there- so I decided to continue collecting toilet paper & paper towel rolls, and finally, after almost 6 months of marriage, we had enough to do this project!



I began by cutting the rolls into 3 parts. Then, I used a hot glue gun to make little "flowers" (I am only calling them that because I couldn't come up with another name). Then, I glued 5 of the flower thingies in a row. After that, I finally attached them all! We went to Wal-Mart, spent $2 on 2 cans of black spray paint, and $1 on tarp. It took me two days to paint it, because after I used the first can of spray paint, the torrential downpour began (it seems like we've had a lot of those lately). So I finished painting it today. Even though the spray paint seriously messed up my really pretty manicure, I would say that this project was worth it.




Here's the before....



And the after!




I finally feel like our bedroom is complete. Who knew that toilet paper rolls would fix that problem? :)

xoxo
Les