Thursday, December 25, 2008

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

I've personally tried this recipe and it's one of my favorites. It's delicious!

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion
2 cans stewed tomatoes, with juice
1 can kidney beans, with juice
1 can pinto beans, with juice
(if you don't like the starchy liquid at the bottom of the bean cans.. you can substitute chicken or beef stock for the drained liquid from the beans, I'm sure.)
1 can corn kernels
2 can black beans
2 packages taco seasoning (i make my own...)
2 packages hidden valley ranch mix

1. Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet. Drain.
2. Combine tomatoes, beans, and corn together and pour into crock pot.
3. Stir in taco seasoning and ranch mix.
4. Add browned meat and onion mixture to crock pot mix.
5. Simmer for 3 hours.
6. Serve over Frito Corn Chips and top each bowl with grated cheese and sour cream.

(I'd also ad a few chopped chives to the bowl as well)


Friday, December 19, 2008

Doctor's Update

After I left yesterday, I had to head out to pick up the kiddo and decided to head to my husband's office to see if I could sneak him out of there early... (side note: he's the manager of the office so he can leave whenever he wants.. but I was trying to convince him that it'd be a good idea to leave early... it worked!)

While at his office.. I got a call from the Neurologist.. he reviewed my case and he does think that the herniation is causing an issue.. (ya think?!) so he does want me to come in to get it handled. How we're going to do that, I'm still not sure yet... but at least he took my case.

The only problem now... my left leg is starting to go numb every once in a while and I keep getting a shooting pain down the rear of my right leg.

I don't know if it has anything to do with the herniation but I am guessing it does as I've never had it happen before.

Please continue to keep your fingers crossed for me as I am not guessing that this is a good sign.

Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes that you've given so far, it really means a lot that you're taking time out of your already busy schedules (and busy HOLIDAY schedules) to think of me.. Thank you!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

MRI Results

After waiting a couple days to get my results, they've finally come in.

I have two herniations on one disk, in my back.

It's the L5 disk which is the one right above your tailbone... and it's herniated, on both sides of the disk. So I have a herniation between disk L4 and disk L5 and between L5 and S1.

So... what to do, I am not sure. The nurologist that read my MRI isn't sure either. He wants a specialist to look at it to see what to do. So off I go, to the speicalist.

Problem is.. it's been at least a week and I haven't even gotten a call from the specialist to schedule an appointment yet.


My dr said it could be as easy as giving me sterroid injections in my back to relieve the pain and pressure or it could be as complicated as having back surgery to fix the issue.

So.. I wait.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Updating A Tradition

Everyone has their holiday traditions, I am sure, as do we. Every year for Thanksgiving AND Christmas we usually have the same thing for dinner. Most people probably have turkey on Thanksgiving and Ham on Christmas... but not us! We have both... ON both!! We usually have the whole set up on both holiday's, even if it is just Hubz and I.

We usually have turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing (although we do NOT stuff our turkey with it - I know, I know, then technically it's dressing), hot buttered corn, cranberry sauce (jellied!), rolls, and candied yams.

This year, we've changed up a recipe of ours and boy am I happy!! Usually, every year, we use the can of yams and throw some butter and some marshmellows on top and throw it in the oven... done!

Well this year, we're changing it up!!!

Here's a new recipe that makes a WONDERFUL substitution to the "boring" tradition.

Homemade Candied Yams/Sweet Potatoe Pie

This is NOT an exact recipe.. I don't use measuring cups, unless I am baking, so do it to your taste and don't be afraid to taste it as you go, it's the best way to learn how to cook.

3-4 medium sweet potatoes (yes, the orange ones!!)
1/2 stick of butter (yes, real butter, and unsalted please!!)
1 tsp. salt (I use kosher)
1/2 to 3/4 cups brown sugar (light brown, please!!)

1. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.
2. Boil over medium high heat until potatoes are fork tender (easy to poke with a fork or knife)
3. Place the sweet potatoes in a mixer safe bowl. Add butter, salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar.
4. Use a blender, stand mixer, emersion blender, or a hand mixer to blend the sweet potatoes and spices to your consistancy.
5. Use a spoon to taste the sweet potatoe mixture. If it needs more brown sugar, add more, if not, don't. Also think about salt too, does it need any of that?
6. Place in an 8x8 baking sheet and top with mini marshmellows.
7. Bake at 350*F until marshmellows are golden brown.


This recipe made enough for 4 people with not much leftovers so please feel free to adjust it to as many people as you need.

I freaking LOVE this recipe!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Cross Your Fingers

Last night before going to bed Hubz reminded me that I had a doctor's appointment this morning around 10. THANK GOODNESS he reminded me because I completely forgot!!

I was going to the doctor because I was in a car accident 2 months ago and was rear-ended by a lady who was NOT paying attention and to make matters worse, when she did finally see that I was stopped (in front of her) at the stop light... she went to slam on the breaks, her foot slipped off and she slammed on the gas, instead. Lovely.

Since then, I've had HORRIBLE back pains that have proceeded to get worse and it's not migrating into a daily migraine. No pun intended.. if that was a pun. I am not even sure at this point. After so much pain, my brain is shot.

You may think that I am retarded for waiting for 2 months but you see.. if you go to the ER right after it happens they just tell you that you pulled a few muscles and to let it rest for a few weeks.. total waste of time. I had the appointment set before the accident to establish care with my primary care (whom my husband has been going to see for a while) so it just made sense to keep the appointment and just give my back time to heal before going in and wasting my time.

So now my doctor sent me for X-Ray's... all which came back normal. Next step is an MRI to make sure there aren't any hairline fractures or slipped disks, or any of the like. If all results normal, then we'll proceed with sterroid injections in my back in hopes that it will calm down the inflamation and go away. If the MRI results come back abnormal.. we're going to have to do surgery!!! Yes, surgery on my BACK!! My spine!! The thing that holds my spinal cord that connects to my BRAIN!! Nervous, yes, you could say so, that'd probably be a good guess at this point.

We'll see what the MRI results show.... until then, I just sit, in pain, and wait.

Happy Holiday's,

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Traditions

Since the big move, we've settled in, unpacked, kicked up our feet, and enjoyed a few minutes of "us" time before we got back to the daily grind that we call "L.I.F.E.". We were fortunate enough to spend quite a few days hanging out with our Besties.. and as my loyal followers know, our Besties would mean the Evan's. If you can't get ahold of us, get ahold of them because they'll be able to tell you where we are, what we're doing and most likely when we'll be done. We're that close.

They spent Wednesday evening up here while I watched my gorgeous niece for an hour and a half, and can I tell you, this child is now dubbed the "octopus". She's got Octopus arms and she will NOT hessitate to use them. She'll grab something and when you try and get it away from her, she'll grab 5 more things in the other hand. You just CAN'T keep up with this child. But, BOY, isn't she the cutest?!

We spent Thanksgiving Day at their house, enjoying the festivities and all the delicious food. It was a joy to watch Brynlee run around in her beautiful little dress and jabber up a storm.. man can this girl talk.... and talk.... and TALK!

Then on Friday, we always spend the day after Thanksgiving, getting our Christmas tree up and getting the decorations set.. so that was fun..

Then, yesterday, our Besties came over for another Thanksgiving dinner at our house and got to take Christmas pictures together.. well of each other, but we all were in the same room.. so it was quite funny.. here are some of the photos:

(they haven't been edited, yet... but I love them!)

Happy Holiday's!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wasted Time

Since the accident yesterday, we no longer have an oven. Since we no longer have an oven (or a stove, for that matter!!) we can no longer cook. Since we can no longer cook, we can’t eat!!!

Well we can but it takes some practice.

You have to realize, in our house, we don’t used boxed dinners. We don’t buy pre-made things and rarely do we buy things that you just pop in the microwave to cook. But today, we were forced to go buy some pre-made dinners that you just “pop in the microwave”.

I also had plans to make some Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes for Hubz’ office that he could take to work and now that I look back, maybe I should have just left them at the Evans’. It probably would have been better that way.

Since our oven is broken, I had to go over to my BFF’s house to use her oven to make the cupcakes. (fortunately I didn’t burn that one down too). So I made them all pretty, orange icing to math the pumpkin flavor and halloween sprinkles, to boot. They were perfect, just perfect.

That is.. until I tried to get in my car with all 12 muffins in my hand, holding the plate one handed and and my elbow hit the carseat in the middle of the backseat. That sent all 12 of the cupcakes flying. Fortunately I caught all of them in the muffin pan that I had them sitting on in the first place, but Murfey’s law… buttered bread always lands butter side down, well so does frosted cupcakes!!!! All twelve of them.

Even the sprinkles couldn’t pretty this mess. I had frosting all over my nice leather jacket, all over everything.

But, hey, I didn’t get ANY on the car. I just closed the door and came home.

So much for that idea.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not what I had planned..

Yesterday I was planning on baking Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes in celebration of Halloween and I was going to top them with matching icing and festive Halloween Sprinkles.

So I go in the kitchen and turn on the cleaning cycle to the oven to clean the oven since it’s been acting a bit funny lately. I thought that maybe it was because there was old icky stuff burnt on the bottom of the oven. Well about 10 minutes into it, the oven starts to smoke, as usual as it’s burning all the old stuff out of the oven.

Then about 30 minutes into it the smoke is starting to pluck the eyes from our sockets. It was horrible. To say the least. Then about 45 minutes into it, Hubz walks into the room and says;

“You realize there is a fire in the house, right?” As if he had just walked in and told me that he was going to vacuum the floor.

“Really, where?” As I was SURE he was kidding.

“Turn around.” He says with calmness.

As I turn around, there are 2 foot flames coming out the front and top of our stove.

“HOLY SH*T!!!!” I screamed as I was running to get a front shot of the stove. (I was around the otherside of the breakfast nook, in the dinning room)

So then once I get to the middle of the kitchen, the flames start to rise to reach the cupboards above.. and with SUCH calmness, and I’m not being sarcastic(!!) Hubz turns to me and says;

“Baking Soda?”

Okay, trying not to die laughing, and pee my pants at the same time, 1) we have a fire extinguisher in our garage and 2) I REALLY don’t think baking soda is going to help on a fire that is now reaching over our heads!!

I then yeld, quickly, “Fire Extinguisher?”

Hubz went out to get the fire extinguisher and as I sat and waited, I did about the dumbest thing that seemed to work out differently in my mind. Mind you, the flames are now about 2.5 feet above our stove and what did I do, while waiting, I blew on it like it was a tiny little birthday candle that would have gone out with a small gust of wind. Yes, you heard me right. I was blowing on a 5.5 foot fire. Did it go out, no, but at least I did something while I was waiting.

Then Hubz came running back in with the fire extinguisher which suddenly looked so small that you would have been lucky if it put out a match stick. The extinguisher was a dry chemical extinguisher and soon as he let loose there was a cloud of smoke that quickly covered us as if we were the ones on fire.

Did it help, no. The problem was, was that since the cleaning cycle was on in the oven, the front of the door was locked. So we couldn’t get to the fire iteself, so spraying the “fire” with the extinguisher was only spraying the glass door which was shooting the extinguishing dust back into our faces.

Hubz runs and grabs the phone and calls 911 and yells at me to get Annabelle (who at that time, was napping) and get her outside. Fortunately her room was completely clear of all smoke and fortunately she had a blanket in her crib as I was able to wrap that over her head to get her out safely. All the while Hubz is standing out in safety in the front yard. Don’t worry about us honey, we’ll be fine!!!

The fire department came and actually picked up the oven and took it out into our driveway, then used an ax to pry the door open and hosed the whole oven.

Was it fun, no. Is it comical now, yes, very much so.

So needless to say, we no longer have an oven as the glass was shattered due to the extreme temperatures of the fire and the plastic melting.