Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Mac-n-Cheese

As I write this post, I have the most beautiful, amazing, scrumptious glass dish full of deliciousness in my oven right now.  I am so excited that I am practically drooling right now.  Last night on The Bump, on of the ladies posted a link to this recipe on Rainy Day Gal's blog...


It took every ounce of self control to NOT start cooking right away.  I absolutely LOVE mac-n-cheese... Kevin absolutely LOVES buffalo chicken.  This dish is a match made perfectly for us. 

And now.... drum roll, please... it's done!!!  Ta-daaa!!!
Isn't it glorious?

We followed the directions on the website, but substituted skim milk (it turned out just fine, not runny) and used shredded cheese (vs cubed).   We also used 1/2 pepper jack and 1/2 sharp chedder.  A-MA-ZING!!!
We originally thought about just mixing it all together (vs layering it), but we decided to do as it said and I'm glad we did.  While it does sort of blend together, the bites with chicken have a definite kick to them and the bites with all mac-n-cheese still have a hint of spice, but are mostly just creamy, cheesy and delicious!

Overall, an A+++++++  So yummy!!!


Recipe: Crock Pot Crack Chicken

Two posts in one day--- what?!?! 

I know, I'm getting a little over-zealous with this blogging thing, but I had to share this recipe.  A fellow Bumpie posted this last week and since DH is a HUGE Frank's Red Hot fan, I thought I would give it a shot.  I figured it was the least I could do after his awesome surprise for me.

I present to you... Crack Chicken, in my crock pot.
Ok.  This, my friends, is a terrible picture.  But I can assure you that the chicken tasted about a million times better than it looks on here... plus, it might be one of the easiest recipes I have made to date.
  •     2 large chicken breasts
  •     1 bottle of Franks Red Hot
  •     1 package of Ranch Dressing Mix (powder)
Put the chicken breasts in the crock pot, mix the Red Hot and Ranch Mix together and pour over top.  Let it cook on high for about 2 hours then shred with a fork, stirring the shredded chicken so it soaks up all of the yummy sauce.  That's it!!

We were pretty hungry, so we ate this as-is, but it would taste great in a wrap, burrito or sandwich (similar to shredded pork).
DH loved it so much, he ate it straight out of the crock pot... good thing it was just the two of us tonight!


So... I thought yesterday was awesome, and it was.  Slept in, hung out with DH, made chilli, watched football.  It was a pretty darn good day, by my standards.

Well, today just kicked yesterday's ass... and it's only 2pm.  :)

We got to sleep in... again... which is always a good thing.  Then, we decided to finally visit the church close to our new house (prior to this, we had been driving across town because we loved our old church)... anyway, the new church, St. John, is great!  We are very excited to find a new parish closer to home.

Then, we went to Panera for a late breakfast... also always a good thing.  I puffy heart Panera.  After Panera, we ran over to TJ Maxx.  Kev dropped me off at the door and said he work park the car and meet me in the store in a few.  I, naturally, got totally caught up wandering around and didn't notice that he was gone for like 1/2 hour.  Oh well... I was shopping, so no big deal.  Oh, speaking of shopping... I scored this super fabulous Lily Bloom purse below for $25- love TJ Maxx!  I just love the bright, fun colors.  I can't wait to use it to brighten up some of my fall outfits.  Oh- bonus... it is made from recycled plastic bottles... how cool is that??
So I had Panera for brunch and found a cute purse.. big deal, right?  I know I know... BUT I'm not finished yet.  Chill out.

So when we got home, Kevin ran inside to let the puppy out while I unloaded my shopping treasures.  Just when I have both hands and arms packed full of stuff, he pokes his head out the door and asks me to grab some towels out of the trunk (leftover from the softball game last week... eww) because they need to be washed.

"Umm.. my hands are full, ya ass" was my eloquent response.  I unloaded my first round and stomped out of the house thinking "what a PITA... he could have grabbed the dang towels"... I opened the trunk and picked up the stinky towels and SQUEEEEEEEEEEE
There was a Keurig hiding underneath!!!  I had asked for one for a graduation/birthday present (birthday is October 30, graduation is October 31)... but he said he knew I would be expecting it then, so he wanted to surprise me early... apparently while I was wandering around TJ Maxx, he ran over to Kohl's and picked this dream machine up.  I can't believe he surprised me with a Keurig!!!  100 awesome hubby points for DH.  100 super douche-y points for me for being such a brat about getting the towels.  So umm... yeah... he's pretty much amazing and I don't know how or why he puts up with me!!
I pretty much LOVE my Keurig already.  Kiss Kiss!!!  I tested it out as soon as I got it out of the package.  Love it!!
First K-Cup of coffee ever.  I'm a happy girl!!  I can't wait to experiment with all of the different varities.  Any suggestions?
I also wanted to take an OOTD pic, because I thought DH and I coordinated quite nicely for church.  I am wearing a brown and white wrap dress (purchased on ebay for... wait for it... wait for it... $3.99!!!) and DH is wearing a brown polo shirt with khaki pants.  Have to brag a sec, but we do make a pretty good pair, don't we?  :)
I'll end with a cute little family pic.  Oh... and Lucy matches, too!!  She is sporting a fashionable white coat with brown accents... compliments of her personal designer.  :)

Hope everyone had as great a weekend as I did!


Saturdays with the hubby

Thanks to Kevin's crazy rotating work schedule, he only gets every third weekend off.  THIS is that third weekend.  =)

We started off our weekend together by sleeping in (favorite part) then heading out to the Farmer's Market.  The autumn harvest is nearing and the produce is absolutely amazing this time of year.  We stocked up on lots of fresh goodies to use this week then headed out to run a few more errands.

In the afternoon, we whipped up some chili... one of my fall favorites.  I don't ever use a recipe and never make it the same way twice.  It's simmering in the crock pot right now and should be ready in time for dinner.  Yum!!

We bummed around on the couch and watched SU beat Toledo in overtime- Go Orange!!!

All in all a perfect fall Saturday.


A tisket, a tasket

I made an awesome basket... ta-daaa!!!
A coworker at the VA was diagnosed with Stage III Breast Cancer last month and next weekend a benefit will be held to raise funds for her treatment and recovery.  The ladies in my office decided that we would put together a basket for the auction... and by "we"... they meant "me".

TBH, I don't mind much, because I haven't had many crafty things to do since the wedding, so after collecting a few items and some $$, I put together this super fabulous "Cookie Monster" basket, complete with everything you could possibly need for some awesome cookie baking... recipe books, tools, cookie sheets, supplies, decorations and even a cookie scented candle and some Pepperidge Farm cookies (just in case you want the house to smell like you actually made the cookies).  I'm hoping it brings in big money for Crystal.
I also snagged this awesome canvas for our living room (please ignore the cardboard around the corners... I still have to ask DH to hang it).  I just love the sayings... it totally made me giggle in the store and I had to have it.  It isn't exactly the classiest piece of artwork, but you know what... if it makes me smile every day, then it was an awesome investment.  Take that, Picasso!
And finally... a fuzzy "Hello" from Lucy... she has been super cuddly all weekend.  Love her!


Dr. Seuss

I never really pay much attention to this small garden that is between the hospital I work at and the hospital I go to school at.  Since DH and I drove to work together and I had to wait for him to pick me up, I found myself wandering around this garden.  I felt like I was brought here for a reason when I came across this...
It totally made me smile and brought a wave of calm and peace over me.  Well said, Dr. Seuss... well said.


Never forget

It seems like just yesterday I was driving to school when I heard the news.  For a second, I thought it was the radio station (well-known for ridiculous pranks) playing a sick joke.  It was far from a joke... that fateful day, pure evil showed its face in an attack that shook us, as a country, down to the core.

19 hijackers boarded 4 airplanes with the intention of bringing this great country to its knees through a horrendous act of terrorism.

3 of the 4 airplanes successfully hit their targets:
The World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon. 
The 4th- Flight 93- was brought down by some courageous heroes on board the plane.  They were aware of the first set of attacks and overtook the hijackers, causing the plane to crash in a field in Pennsylvania.  Everyone on board died, but they caused the hijackers to miss their intended target and likely saved hundreds or thousands more innocent lives.

2,977 innocent people lost their lives that day. *
Two thousand nine hundred seventy seven.

Mothers, fathers, children, firefighters, police, EMS personnel, military personnel, heroes... Americans.

May they rest in peace.

I remember, like it was yesterday, sitting on my bed with tears streaming down my face as the news channels played scrolling lists of all those that had been confirmed dead.  I will never forget the pictures of the hundreds of missing posters that were taped up outside for months after. 
The whole event changed me and stirred something inside of me.... and not only me, but many many of my fellow Americans.  Patriotism.

Watching those firefighters run storming into the building to save anyone they could...
watching men and women in business suits covered in ashes helping to carry others to safety...
watching the tributes, the funerals, and listening to the heartbreaking stories of the survivors and widows... it moved me... it moved us all.
Their senseless acts of hatred did not bring us to our knees... well... maybe to pray for the souls of those who had perished.  But in the end, we did not cower before the terrorists.  We brushed ourselves off, suited up and headed out with a vengence to kick their ass.
It seems like, unfortunately, over the past few years, that fury of patriotism has somewhat died down.  Our military no  longer has the level of support that it did in the months and years immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001.  We, as a country, have become softer and willing to compromise our own precious freedoms to protect the comfort of others.

I hope and pray that the anniversary of this tragedy will cause us to remember the way we felt on that terrible day, our hearts breaking with sorrow for all that was lost and our fists clenched, ready to protect and defend what is ours.

To the souls lost on that fateful day and the days following,
to our military men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice...

To the friends, family, loved ones or anyone else in any way affected, I offer you my thoughts and prayers for continued healing.

To my fellow Americans... never, never forget.
I love this country.

*You may notice that number is a little low.  The actual death toll was 2,996.  The missing 19?  Yeah... those were the hijackers.  I don't really count them as innocent... nor do I pray that they rest in peace.  They can burn.


Oh I love Saturdays

I got to sleep in today.  This is always a big deal for me.  DH had to go to work at 9 (which is still later than usual) and after he left, Lucy and I just snuggled for another hour.  It was glorious!

A few friends from school came over this afternoon to work on a project for our mental health class.  I love having people over... it makes me clean.  We finished our project, so one less thing to do before the end of this semester.  It feels good to get it out of the way.  Plus, an afternoon with some of my favs is always a good thing.

Also, I got Kevin to try brussel sprouts.  This is HUGE!!!  He actually almost sort of enjoyed them too.  Weird, right?

So... overall... a pretty productive day.  Yay for me!


Yay!! They're here!!!

Yay!!!  Our wedding pics finally came in!!!  I could fill this entire website with the shots I love... it is so incredibly hard to narrow it down to just a few of my fav's... here we go...
**Ok Weebly helped to narrow it down for me.  These are some of my favorite pics that are less than 5mb, since I can't upload anything larger.
I got DH personalized cuff links aas a wedding gift. He had no idea what to do with them. Lol. Love that guy.
My grandmother passed away a week before our wedding. I was blessed to carry her rosary around my bouquet and it brought such comfort to have a piece of her with me as I walked down the aisle.
My groom... the look in his eyes in this picture just melts me
My Dad looks really... unsure... lol. He was actually massively hungover. Love my veil in this picture
Kevin and his brother, Chad... our best man
Our first dance. We took lessons and practiced a TON... but when the day came, I realized I couldn't move backwards... at.all. So this fancy spin was about all we could manage
Such a romantic!
My mom had the time of her life. It was so awesome to share laughs, drinks and... umm... the most important day of my life (so far) with her!
The last dance... so glad we decided to do this. It was such a beautiful, bittersweet moment for us


Spoiled rotten

I just need to brag about DH for another minute...
This morning, I woke up to... (drum roll please)...
He made me a super delish BLT with egg.  Yum!!!
And tonight... for desert... I got a homemade peach and raspberry cobbler.  So amazing!


My hubby loves me!!!

It's been a crazy week.  Actually... it's been a crazy month. ACTUALLY... it's been a crazy year.  Ok, you get it... my life is crazy... blah blah.  Anyway... DH only has every third weekend off.  The past... I dunno... 6 or 7 or his "weekends off" have been packed.  This is the first weekend off that we don't have a full schedule since... April?  Yay for a weekend OFF together!

Last night, thanks to the best brother and brother-in-law in the world (oh crap... I forgot to mention that they left last week.  Yay for a newlywed house again)... yeah so... Mike and Chad surprised us with tickets to see Lady Antebellum at the fair Friday night.  LOVE me some Lady A!
Oh.. and just in general I LOVE the fair.  It's hot, over priced, over crowded... and it smells funny... but I LOVE it!!

We went last weekend with Mike and Chad and I fulfilled my 3 fried things requirement for the year.  My 3 fried things for this year were:
1.  Deep fried bacon wrapped Snickers
2.  Deep fried pineapple
3.  Deep fried chicken wing dip

And (of course) I indulged my ridiculously huge piece of corn smothered in real butter craving... twice.
This morning, we went to the farmers market and Kevin decided to try out some new veggies.  Anyone who knows Kev knows that he is strictly a meat and potatoes kind of guy... so ANY vegetables are a big step.

He then decided to surprise me with Eggplant Parmesean...
It looked beautiful and tasted delicious!!!  I also got a salad with heirloom tomatoes and radishes, all fresh.  Yummy!!!

I am sooo lucky to have a hubby who is great in the kitchen!!!

Oh- PS... I asked DH for the recipe, so I could include it in my blog... but he won't give up his secrets!  P


Facebook.... really?!?!?!

Apparently, some genius thought it would be a fabulous idea to raise breast cancer awareness by creating a game that involved women "faking" a pregnancy announcement on FB.  WTF. 

I could go on for light years on how I feel about this, but instead I will include a link to someone who has already posted a perfect response to this ridiculous game. 

Please take a moment to read what this woman has to say about this stupid "game"... and think before you post.

On a positive note, I have decided to join and share my story with the "I am the face" campaign.   Perhaps you noticed my new badge on the right (copied below).
Did you know that 1 in 4 women have been or will be affected by miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss?  1 in 4!!!!!!!!! 

I am normally not the most sensitive person in the world, nor am I easily offended by other people's stupidity.... but with a statistic like that, the chances are pretty good that someone you know has been touched by such a tragedy.

It's one thing to make a legit pregnancy announcement.  A huge congratulations to you!!!  But to "fake" a pregnancy when so many women would give anything for a "real" one... is just plain cruel.  Not to mention that many women who are breast cancer survivors are now infertile as a result of their treatment.... how's that for bitter irony?

Think before you speak or post.

In the hopes of spreading the word about this silent grief that so many women share, I have decided to share my story with the "Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope" campaign.  You can read it here... http://facesofloss.com/2011/09/3076.html#more-3076

I encourage anyone to browse this site and support this cause.  Chances are, unfortunately, you or someone close to you has or will have to face this sad situation.  Help them or help yourself to break the silence and grieve out loud.

God bless!