Who I am.

A year ago, I honestly could not stand who I was. 

I hated that I wasn’t the person everyone wanted to hang out. That I wasn’t a favorite. That I wasn’t like everybody else.

I go into a room full of people, and when I am talking, I am totally awkward.

I hated that about myself.

I was in a room full of people though today, and I noticed something had changed.

I no longer hate that I am awkward. 

When I’m talking to people, I talk so fast that I mess up my words. I’m now okay with that.

Sometimes, I am completely different from people in the room. I am now okay with that.

I have people who love me for me. A husband who laughs at the things I say, who loves me for being awkward. A family who thinks that I am the funniest person alive just because I am awkward.

Another thing I have realized: 

I love food.

I know this seems like a no brainer, but seriously I love food.

I say to someone, ” I love cooking” and they say, “Oh, me too!” and I want to say, “no, no, I LOVE cooking!”

I love reading about the science of food, the nutritional break down of food.

I love reading about people who have turned their passion into food and made into helping people.

That’s what I want to do.

It inspires me so much. 

Maybe someday, my awkward self will be cooking for people in Africa.

Maybe someday, my beautiful awkward self I’ll own a raw chocolate factory that only uses fair trade cocoa beans.

Someday, if I want it to happen, it will. 

Thankfulness

Today I am thankful. 

Being thankful doesn’t always mean happy, but I do have joy.

I heard so many sad things today. A young couple getting a divorce, a mom of 3 having all of her young children in the hospital. So sad.

It does make me look around and see how blessed I am. Not everything is perfect, but I have joy and have all I need. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

I know not everyone believes in God and that is okay. But right now, I just want to thank him. Thank you, Thank you.

Keep those going through hard times in your thoughts and prayers. 

Chicken Salad Recipe

Who loves sandwiches?! I know this girl does! I remember when I was a freshman in college I would always stop by this tiny coffee shop and eat their chicken salad sandwiches! It was the best! Usually I was the only person in there and I actually quite liked getting some alone time. After I got married I decided I had to create a recipe of my own because I missed those sandwiches! Now I eat it on lettuce or bread!

Chicken Salad
1 Chicken breast- cooked and cut into cubes
3 tbs Mayo (I try not to put too much)
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (I like spicy things so you can lessen this if wanted)
1/2 an Apple – Cut in the cubes
1 Carrot – Diced finely
1 Celery- Diced finely

Basically, just mix all of this together! Yum!!!

Most Awesome Roast Recipe

So one day I really wanted to cook a roast! I love roast! Most people do, right? Well… it was almost a sad day because I didn’t have onions or tomatoes to go in my roast, but I did have Pico-De-Gallo. So, I thought, eh why not? It turned out to be the most amazing roast I had ever had! Hubsy liked it too and said I had to make all the roasts that way from now on. So I do & you can too-too!

Most Awesome Roast

1 Roast (Whatever size fits your family)
1 cup Pico-De-Gallo
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 cup baby carrots
1/2 cup red cooking wine
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash- like seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste (I put a lot of pepper!)

1. Rub spices on to roast. Drizzle olive oil in skillet, brown all sides of roast.
2. Place roast into crock pot with everything else!
3. Cook on low for 8 hrs or high for 3-4 hours. Serve!

Easy peezy right??? Try it! And the left overs make really, really, good enchiladas.

Mauritz Family Honey Apple Chicken

This is a recipe I received from a family friend when my husband and I first got married. It is now a favorite in our house and so so easy. I have adapted the recipe a little.
 
Mauritz Family Honey Apple Chicken
Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts, trimmed and ready
3 cups apple juice, or just enough to cover the chicken breasts
1/2 cup of soy sauce
½ cup of honey
2 apples, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Put chicken into crock pot. Coat the chicken with the honey and top with apples .Pour in apple juice, soy sauce, and spices.
Heat on high for 4 hours until chicken in fully cooked.
This is really good with stuffing and green beans, or over brown rice. So good for a fall or winter day.

Southern Style Green Beans

OK. I know, I know, sugar is bad for you. I am doing good lately on lessening my sugar intake but for some reason, I can’t do it on this recipe! I think the next time I make this recipe I may try a more natural sweetener, but for now! Here are the best green beans ever!

My grandma always made these for us when we growing up and I loved them! When my sister and I moved out and wanted the recipe, she said she made it up and had no recipe! So, for the past year I’ve been trying to remake them and this is what I have came up with. You want them to taste a little sweet. If you add a little too much sugar, just had a little more salt and it should even it out, but personally I like a lot of sugar! They are seriously so good!
Southern Green Beans
Your preferred style of green beans (I get two cans of French style)
4 pieces of bacon cut into cubes
1 and 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the bacon into cubes and brown in skillet.
Drain the bacon leaving a very small amount (1/2 teaspoon) of the grease and add the juice from the green beans to the skillet and simmer, just to mix the flavors. Add the green beans and let them simmer awhile until heated through.

Spaghetti Carbonara

My mom learned this recipe while my dad was stationed in Italy. It is the only recipe she learned from there. It has no sauce but don’t worry, it’s gooooddd!
Spaghetti Carbonara
4 oz. dry spaghetti
5 slices of bacon, cubed
3 eggs beat
Salt and pepper to taste
Make spaghetti as instructed on package
Meanwhile, brown the bacon and in a separate bowl beat the eggs together
After the spaghetti is finished cooking drain and immediately add the eggs. Stir until the eggs are fully cooked and not runny. Drain the bacon and mix in with pasta.

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

My husband and I have tried to be eating less meat for health and money reasons. I grew up in a family who LOVES meat, so eating meals with out it just seemed wrong to me. One day though I decided I would try to create a recipe for chili where you wouldn’t miss the meat, and it turned out great! Jesse even said he liked it better without meat! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Make sure you add the banana pepper! It gives it a great taste. This recipe makes about 6 servings.
Vegetarian Chili
1/2 cup carrots, chopped coarsely
1 medium onion chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
minced jalapeno to taste
3 tablespoons minced banana pepper
3 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoon cummin
cayenne pepper to taste
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of water ( more or less depending on how thick you like your chili)
1/3 cup of frozen corn
Chopped cilantro to taste
Sour cream to taste
Cheese to taste
Green salsa to taste
 
1. In dutch oven saute onion, carrots, celery, bell, banana, and jalapeño peppers on medium heat until onions are translucent.
2. Add cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper, stir in for about 1 minute.
3. Add tomatoes and paste and stir for another minute.
4. Add beans, can of water, and frozen corn, bring to boil.
5. Bring heat down and simmer, covered halfway, about 15 minutes or until flavors are combined.
6. Scoop into bowls, top with cilantro, green salsa, sour cream, and cheese!
 
 

Salmon Cakes Recipe

My friend Amber and I first made these awhile ago and I loved them! She actually fried them, but I bake them and I think they are just as good. It’s super easy and really filling.
Baked Salmon Cakes
Makes 7 medium sized cakes
Non stick cooking spray
4 Packets of Pink Salmon
1/3 cup of Mayo (just enough to LIGHTLY) coat salmon
1 and ½ tablespoon of capers
Half an onion
A few dashes of cayenne pepper sauce to taste
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Egg
1 tablespoon milk
¾ cup Italian Bread Crumbs
Cilantro
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 and coat baking sheet with nonstick spray.
1. Put salmon in large mixing bowl, break apart with a fork. Add mayo just enough to lightly coat the salmon. Add Capers, onion, cayenne pepper sauce, and salt and pepper. Mix well.
2. In separate bowl whisk egg and milk together, pour and mix into salmon mixture. Add about 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs and mix.
3. Divide the salmon cakes evenly to make seven to eight salmon cakes. Shape into mounds and coat with bread crumbs . Put on prepared baking sheet and put in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
4. Bake salmon cakes in oven until golden on the bottom around 10-12 mintutes, carefully flip them and bake until golden. Feel the cakes to make sure they are a little crispy on the outside. Top with cilantro to taste.
I serve these with a tobacco mayo mixture as a sauce.

Sausage Tortellini Soup Recipe

One day I was literally in the mood for soup with sausage. I have no idea why or how but I ran across a recipe and it turned into this. It is my favorite soup of all time now! You can add more broth depending on how “soupy” you like it.
Sausage Tortellini Soup Recipe
2 carrots chopped into big chunks
1 onion diced
1 Zucchini
1 pound ground sausage (I prefer hot)
3 cups of beef broth
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 pound of tortellini
1. Brown Sausage, drain and set aside.
2. Sautee onions and carrots until onions are translucent.
3. Add the can of tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, beef broth, and sausage. Bring to boil, and then turn to low and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming any fat that comes to the top.
4. Add the tortellini and zucchini, simmer for about 15 minutes or until zucchini is soft and tortellini is cooked. Serve with parmesan cheese