Friday, September 30, 2016

Happy 23rd Birthday Baby Girl~

It's true what they say, "The days are long, but the years are short."

It seems like just yesterday you were sitting on the front steps crying because "the mean yellow skoo bus took your sissy away."  You hated that she got to go to school and you were left behind without a playmate.

Well, it wasn't long before you too were riding that big yellow bus and entering Kindergarten.

And, that is when time really started to fly...

Before we knew it you had finished Kindergarten, then Elementary school.  Middle school came all too quickly.  And just like that, you were a Freshmen in High School.   

I remember praying with my Core Group at church your Junior year about college choices.  They still remember.  So when I now tell them you are months away from graduating from GRAD school, they just cannot believe it.  Sometimes I can't either.

Life has not always dealt you a kind hand.  You spent two of your high school years when you should have been loving life, with debilitating migraines.  Missing over 50+ days of school.  But, you still managed to graduate with honors.

You went on to do great things at Baylor, and in just 3 short years graduated again with honors.

And, just a few short months from now...I have NO DOUBT you will do it again at Tennessee.

The best part is getting to see all of your dreams come true.  You've worked hard, held your head high, persevered when times got tough, and have continued to be a light to Him and all those you come in contact with.

We could not be more proud of you and the woman you have become.   We cannot wait to see what God has in store for you in the coming years.  We know your gonna do great things.

Love you to the Moon and Back!
Mom, Dad, and Sissy

You can also find me over at Amanda's Dixie Delights today, where I am sharing a yummy recipe for Ribeye Steak with Chimichurri Salsa.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What's for Dinner Wednesday~Summer Fresh Corn and Zucchini Chowder

Yes, I's now officially fall.  But, this chowder is perfect for cooler months as well.  It is very hearty.

My youngest shared this recipe with me after raving about it.  She was is delicious.  We've adapted it to make it dairy free.

Summer Fresh Corn and Zucchini Chowder


1 TBS butter (we use Earth Balance dairy free)
2 strips bacon, chopped (hubby said to add more next time ;-)
1 C chopped yellow onion, about 1/2 large onion
2 celery ribs, chopped (1/3 cup)
1 medium carrot, peeled + chopped (1/2 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 medium (1 lb) russet potatoes, peeled, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
4 ears of sweet fresh corn, husk + silk removed and kernels cut from cob (2 3/4 cup corn) *we used a bag of frozen
1 medium zucchini, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup half and half (our daughter used coconut milk, we used flax milk)
salt and fresh ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
cayenne pepper, to serve, optional (it adds a nice kick)


1. In a large heavy-duty bottom stockpot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium-heat.  Add bacon and cook until bacon, renders its fat and begins to brown, about 3-4.
2.  Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and thyme; cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring a couple times, about 5 minutes.
3. Add potatoes, water, and bay leaf.  Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer, then lower the heat back to medium, and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are halfway cooked.
4. Add zucchini and corn; season with salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer for additional 8-12 minutes or until the vegetables are completely tender.
5. Discard the bay leaf and then transfer 2 cups of chowder to a food processor or blender; puree until smooth.  Stir the mixture back into the pot.  Add half and half (or substitute) and cook just until heated through.  Taste for salt and pepper.
6. Serve garnished with fresh chopped parsley and sprinkle of cayenne pepper, optional.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sweet and Sticky Chicken~

The name says it all...sweet, sticky and oh so yummy!  The combination of molasses, ketchup, honey and maple syrup make for a great fall dish.  I love that the vegetables are cooked in the same pan, making this a one pan meal.

Sweet and Sticky Chicken


2 carrots, cut into 1" pieces
2 medium potatoes, cut into 1" pieces
1 onion, cut into 1" pieces
1 bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
4 pieces chicken (your choice, we chose thighs)
2 TBS molasses
2 TBS ketchup
2 TBS honey
2 TBS maple syrup
1/2 TBS Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 TBS butter, cut into small pieces (we use Earth Balance dairy free)
1 TBS cornstarch + 3 TBS water (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an 8x8 oven-proof dish, layer the vegetables.
2. Combine the molasses, ketchup, honey, maple syrup and all seasoning in a medium bowl.  Place chicken in a separate bowl.
3. Add about 1/4 cup of liquid mixture to the chicken and stir to coat well.  Place chicken and the sauce it was in on top of the vegetables.  Place butter on top of chicken.
4. Bake for 25 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat remaining sauce in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl.
5. Add cornstarch slurry to sauce and stirring constantly bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
6. Add this thickened sauce to the top of the chicken and continue to bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  You might need to remove the chicken so it doesn't overcook, yet continue to bake the vegetables until they are done. (this will depend on the chicken pieces you use)
7. Enjoy the sweet and sticky chicken!

Original recipe can be found here.