8.29.2011

Yummy Monday: Interesting Combo..

I just got back from Colorado so we are trying to get back in the groove. I have been gone since Tuesday helping Brookie and spending time with her family. I'll post about it later. For now I wanted to keep up with Yummy Monday!

I made this the other night and it was such an interesting combination and everyone that was over gave it rave reviews. I think it was gone in about two minutes.

Sweet Potatoes and Sausage with Lemon Garlic Mayo Sauce

  • - 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and microwaved for about 7 minutes or until soft. Cut into  (1-inch) cubes
  • - 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • - 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • - 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • - 1/2 pound spicy smoked sausage, cut into 32 (1/2-inch) pieces
  • - 32 wooden picks
Directions: 
Cut sausage and sweet potatoes in cubes and place them on kabob skewers and smother with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill until browned. After cooked use toothpicks to put sausage and sweet potatoes together in bite size pairs. Dip in the mayo sauce.

Lemon/ Garlic Mayo Sauce

  • -1 cup mayonnaise
  • -2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • -2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • -1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • -2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • -1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • -1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions:
Mix all ingredients together and chill. 

Happy Yummy Monday!! 

8.23.2011

Babies, Babies, Babies!

First let me introduce you to my new nephew, Hayes Vancura Henry!! How gorgeous is he? This was just a few minutes after he was born. Andrew's brother, Rob and our sister in law Sierra gave birth to this 8 pound 13 ounce cutie. We are so excited to have another nephew and to have a cousin so close to Brooklyn. They will be trouble makers together in no time. We went to Little Rock to meet this little guy and we are already in love. 





Secondly, one of my close friends, Haley just gave birth to a new healthy baby boy, Porter. He looks like a perfect little doll! She pops out some seriously pretty babies.  We took them dinner Sunday night and let Sawyer and Stella play and we got to visit and hold the new baby. We had the best time and I'm so impressed with how easy she makes it look. Gives me hope :)

 Sawyer and Stella have had a love/hate relationship since day one. We knew it was because they secretly had a crush on eachother and the night we went over there they were so precious together. They played happily together and we even caught them kissing a few times. I knew they were just flirting before. 
Here's to hoping we can get half this good of a picture when Brooklyn is born.. Ha! 

Sawyer given out some kisses to Porter (With bribing from me of course, he never pays attention to babies)
We love these new bundles, congrats to all them. 
 I guess that makes me next! AAHHH! Can't wait to see my little girl in these pictures. Getting closer!! 

8.22.2011

Yummy Monday: Strawberry Cake

In July I made this DELICIOUS Strawberry cake for Marc Yount's birthday. It really is an amazing recipe and I have been craving it over and over since having it that night.

 I made this one a double layered cake and learned a trick that I want to pass along.. If you have time, bake the cake the day before and after it cools take it out of the baking pans and wrap them in foil or saran wrap and freeze them overnight. Make sure they are laying completely flat. About 3 to 4 hours before the company arrives take it out and it's super easy to frost and it will thaw out and be very moist and still cold. It really did make such a huge difference. You can also do it several hours before and frost it and then have it thaw in the fridge (That's what I did). 

OKay on to the recipe.. It is from the one and only Paula Deane! When you see the recipe for the rich frosting you'll see why it's a Paula Deane. :) 

Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
  • 1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
  • 1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Strawberry cream cheese frosting, recipe follows
  • Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
  • 1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
  • 7 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) roundcake pans.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
For the frosting:
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the vanilla extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth.
Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.


Happy Yummy Monday!! 

8.16.2011

The jeans that last forever!

 It's funny how babies work. Sawyer was the BIGGEST baby. He was always 75th to 90th percentile and at a year old and he was well into 18-24 month clothes at that age.  NOW he can still wear 18-24 month clothes and he has weighed 28 pounds since 18 months old. He just keeps growing tall instead of wide.
So that brings me to myy favorite item of clothing that he has now been able to wear for over a year... his torn up jeans. These jeans are from Gap and I got them when he was a year old. He still wears them to this day and they fit him better now then they did back when he was a baby. Pretty happy about it since they are my favorite!!



And now for present day... :) 
 When did he turn into a teenager?! 


It will be a sad day when he grows out of these suckers. 

That's all for my random post today! Happy Tuesday! 

8.15.2011

Yummy Monday: The Winning Meal

So first off, I want to apologize for letting the ball drop with some of my regular posts like Yummy Mondays. I am back on the blogosphere and plan to continue Yummy Mondays. In fact, I have several really good recipes that I've tried throughout the summer that deserve a post. So welcome back to Yummy Mondays!

When we were in Florida we had a cooking competition. Sadly we didn't make it through all the couples. Usually Tony (Brother in law) is the professional cook that cooks every gourmet breakfast and anything else he can help with. He even helped his competition (me) with completing my meal. But fortunately I got to cook my meal that I had been planning for a couple weeks.

It's no surprise that I am obsessed with mexican food! For some reason it's always my GO TO genre of food when I am cooking.

The meal really did turn out amazing and I wanted to share all of the recipes that were used. There are ALOT so you may want to refer back to this when you are needing some yummy mexican recipes. (Sorry the recipes look funny, The transferred over weird and I couldn't figure out how to change it.)

FOR STARTERS....


Jalepeno Bacon Cheddar Bites

1. 8-9 Fresh jalepenos cut in half and seeded
2. 1 package of cheddar cheese
3. 1 block softened cream cheese
4. 1 TB garlic salt
5. 1 TB paprika
6. 1/2 cup chopped pecans
7.1  package of bacon (half piece of bacon for every jalepeno)

Seed and halve all of the jalepenos and set them on a baking sheet. Mix together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, spices and pecans in a bowl and then fill jalepenos with one spoonful of the mixture. Wrap 1/2 piece of bacon around each jalepeno popper. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until bacon is crisp. 

The main event....

For the main part of the meal I did Spiced Fish Tacos, Cilantro Steak Tacos and Fried Fish Tacos. With some YUMMY sides...

Cilantro Steak 
For the Marinade: (can be used on chicken too)
- 1 1/4 Freshly chopped cilantro
- 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 5 TB Lime Juice
- 2 1/2 TB ground cumin
- 1 1/4  TB ancho chili powder (Can use regular chili powder too)

Puree all ingredients and add Salt and pepper to taste. Pour 1/2 over meat and marinate for at least 4 hours, grill when ready. Drizzle reserve marinade over cooked meat. 

We used Flank Steak for this meal and it was YUMMO! 


Spiced Fish with Mango Salsa and Southwest Sour Cream Sauce
I've already posted these recipes last summer. Go HERE.


Mexican Grilled Corn


Ingredients

  • 4 ears corn
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Red chili powder, to taste
  • 2 limes cut into wedges, for garnish

Directions

Remove the husks of the corn but leave the core attached at the end so you have something to hold onto. Grill the corn on a hot grill or cast iron griddle pan until slightly charred. Turn it so it gets cooked evenly all over. Mix the mayonnaisesour cream and cilantro together. Grate the Parmesan in another bowl. While the corn is still warm slather with mayonnaise mix. Squeeze lime juice over the corn and shower with Parmesan. Season with chili powder and serve with extra lime wedges.


Ultimate Mexi Salad
For the other side we made the GO TO, MEXI salad, Go HERE for this recipe!


For Dessert.... 
This is the BEST dessert I think I've ever made. My family freaked out over how good this was! Please give it a try, you won't be sorry! (Recipe from, Pioneer Woman)


Tres Leche Cake


Ingredients

  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 5 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar, Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
  • _____
  • FOR THE ICING:
  • 1 pint Heavy Cream, For Whipping
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.
Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.
Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.




Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.



Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries. Cut into squares and serve.






8.14.2011

Hope

My sister, Brooke just posted her first blog post since Lucy's passing. After reading her post and seeing her video you'll see what I meant by how strong and amazing she is. PLEASE go check out her blog and read their testimony and story about Lucy. They also have a beautiful video showing Lucy's memorial. Love you Brookie! So proud to call you my sister. 

Practice...

This weekend we FINALLY got to pay back some of our best friends, Aubrey and Josh by keeping there 4 1/2 month old Shepherd for the weekend. It was there 5 year anniversary so it served as the perfect excuse to be able to spend some QT with their precious boy. We had a blast!

A few things I learned keeping Shepherd..

1. having two kids is going to be hard BUT I feel like I can handle it when I'm not pregnant. Everything is hard when you have a belly in your way and you are physically exhausted. Can't wait to not be pregnant!

2. Sawyer is going to be a great big brother and I think he might be somewhat unfazed (Even though we are preparing for the worst).

3. I wish Brooklyn would automatically come out just like Shepherd. He is the easiest baby ever. Andrew hardly even knew he was there all weekend. He smiles when you look at him and is content when you are busy doing other things.

4. Balancing life with 2 babies is H.A.R.D! I literally felt like a chicken with my head cut off making dinner for company last night. This was definitely a flash forward to what our life will look like in a few short weeks. We are getting ready though! Andrew walked in the kitchen and I was cooking dinner with Shepherd over my shoulder and Sawyer running around at my feet. We will be living out that same scene very shortly! Even though it will be hard, I am getting so excited!! EEK!

All in all we had so much fun keeping this fella! Thanks for trusting us Aubrey and Josh! We love him so much!



He obviously really thinks I'm funny. If only you could drown out my horrible voice in this video. 

8.12.2011

Emma dog replacement!

I was cleaning out Brooklyn's nursery the other day and I came across a big trash bag of old stuffed animals that we packed up in the move. I pulled out, the one and only look alike Emma dog and showed her to Sawyer. Ever since then he hardly leaves her side. Emma goes wherever he does. I'll be in a totally different room and here Sawyer say, "Emma, wanna go watch a show? okay lets go", "Emma, wanna ride my bike? OKay", "Emma want me to cover you with my flanky and u want a binky? okay", so on and so on. He is obsessed! Andrew and I think it's the cutest thing ever b/c  it's actually a sentimental lovey for him to have. We love that he loves her. Here are the last four days documented with Emma dog (as sawyer calls her). Enjoy!