Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Adventures in Cooking

Getting in a food rut is all too easy for me, so in attempts to prevent this I've been trying to incorporate new recipes into our routine. My sister made this Cajun chicken pasta recipe not long ago and her family loved it, so I'd been dying to give it a try as well. I made it last week (or the week before?) and it was so tasty I made it again last night. I think I've found a new dish to add to our list of favorites. 
The first time I made it I totally screwed up the last few steps which has you make a cream sauce. I didn't have two or three of the needed ingredients for the sauce and when I tried to improvise with other options, the result was awful. Disgusting. Thankfully I tasted the cream sauce before pouring it over the noodles, and was able to dump it out (while gagging) and start a new. I believe my accidental revised version is quite tasty and probably much healthier. In lieu of the cream sauce I added a wee bit of extra virgin olive oil to the drained noodles and plenty of fresh ground pepper, then put them in a pasta bowl with a heaping serving of the chicken and veggies.
Yummy! (I'm actually eating the leftovers as I type this).

Even though this dish is super easy and not too time consuming (I'm slowly getting better at my knife skills), it's amazing to me the amount of mess I still make. I don't think I can pour a glass of milk without getting the entire kitchen dirty.

These pictures don't even do this mess justice. It's crazy. I need help.
At least the food was good.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Weekend Update

After a day of work for the hubs, and a day of window shopping for me, we spent our Saturday night taking in some basketball as Dickson hosted Wilson Central for a regional playoff game. I'm always up for a little small town sports action, especially when it involves supporting friends. (My friend's husband is the assistant coach) This is the second game we've attended this year in efforts to support him and cheer on the Cougars, but sadly they've lost each time. And considering they've only lost a handful of games, I'm thinking we are the bad luck charm.
Afterwards as we were heading home to enjoy a super gourmet frozen pizza, Jameson was struck with a wonderful idea..... Dairy Queen.
I haven't eaten at Dairy Queen in years, but looooove it. Its a very nostalgic restaurant for me;I feel like I'm going back in time when I eat there. (That was definitely the case up until a few years ago, I don't think they'd redecorated the interior since the 70's). It was hot, slightly greasy, and super tasty. Perfect small town Saturday night.

waiting with great anticipation

Saturday, February 18, 2012

my sweet girl

A few weekends ago I took some pictures of my sweet littlest niece for my sister and brother-in-law. This child is so precious; her temperament is gentle, quiet, inquisitive, and happy. She looks at you with such wonder and calm expressions of contentment.

And of course I couldn't help but snap a few pictures of my soft spot girl...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Dinner

I once heard Paula Deen say, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach". This may not be the best (or most healthy) logic, but it was a source of inspiration when deciding what to do for the hubby for Valentine's Day.

My husband has a real weak spot for hot wings, and since he's not able to travel to his favorite wing spots often, I decided to attempt a homemade version.
Here is the menu I came up with:
Buffalo wings
Asian style wings
Potato fries
Celery with homemade blue cheese dressing
And red velvet cake (his favorite)

After much research I found a recipe for baked buffalo wings; my main goal was to avoid deep frying them. My little brother provided the basic guideline for the Asian style wings. (And speaking of which, my brother is turning into a fantastic cook and I'm not sure how or when that happened...). His recipe didn't have any exact measurements, so I had to wing it (pun intended) as I went along. This made me nervous, as I haven't had a lot of experience with Asian flavors, but it turned out way better than expected. The blue cheese dressing was another first, and surprisingly my usual I-only-eat-honey-mustard-with-everything hubby loved it, and ate it instead of his normal choice. (shocker!).
The red velvet cake was tasty, and although it's not my favorite, it added a sweet ending to a fun evening.
I believe Valentine's day may become a holiday for us to celebrate love and food!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Febuary 1st!!!!

Well hello blogging world. It's been a while, I know. I strongly believe January is the most boring month in the history of months. I hate it. Even though some pretty cool people were born this month, (Happy Birthday Laurel and Vickie!) it's still my least favorite month of the year. We've been a very boring couple lately, thus leaving me with absolutely nothing note worthy to blog about.
But today is Febuary 1st, a new month, and surprisingly even though it's only been a new month for a few hours, it's already been very eventful in the Bouldin household. For you see today is National Signing Day, a day almost more worrisome and anticipated than Christmas for die hard college football fans. My husband most definitely included.
Last year I blogged about the drama associated with this silly day so I thought it very fitting to share it again, as it seems that not much has changed in a years's time.
Even though this isn't new material (sorry Jess), I hope you enjoy it just the same!
National Get My Husband Back Day

Oh and GO VOLS!!!!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

My sparkle girls

Earlier this month I took pictures of my nieces for my sister and brother in law to use on their Christmas card. We had such a blast!!
Tessa is so smiley and expressive, taking her picture is a breeze. And Sadie has personality for days; put a camera in front of her and she turns into such a ham. I felt bad because I ended up having quite a few more pictures of Sadie than I did Tessa, but Sadie and the camera were in a groove and I didn't want to interrupt her creative genius.
I strung up Christmas lights behind the girls to add a festive touch. Plus I thought the "sparkles" would be fitting for a girl (Sadie of course) who named her two goldfish Allison and Sparkle-Twix. That's right folks, Sparkle-Twix. Now you have a better idea what kind of fun personality I was working with!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Years food revolution

So lately I've had a love/hate relationship with food, well not really food in general, just the process of deciding what to eat and then fixing it. (And don't even get me started on cleaning it up afterwards sans dishwasher.)
I really like to cook, I do, and have been doing so much more of it since getting married. I find myself reading countless food blogs and watching shameless hours of the Food Network and the Cooking channel. But lately I've felt burdened with the task of deciding what to cook. There are so many choices, and with many of the choices requiring extensive ingredient lists, I just give up and have something simple and boring. Like last week I found myself watching back to back episodes of Everyday Italian while eating frozen pizza. FROZEN PIZZA! That is just not acceptable, and really doesn't make any sense.
So I've decided I need a food revolution. I'm tired of the same old food routine rut the husband and I have been stuck in. I need some fresh ideas. I need to spice up my recipe list, restock my pantry, and be prepared to make fun, different, and inexpensive meals in the new year.

To help you see what I'm working with, here is a list of the common things we eat. Now keep in mind that I married into a cattle-farming family so we are blessed with lots of beef. And we are on a grad-school budget.  I'm positive this list is not exhaustive, but it gives you an idea.

Main dishes:
Hamburger steaks
Steaks-  I don't really want to change this staple, just find better things to pair with it.
Spagetti- with meat sauce of course.
Tacos- ground beef, salsa, chips, cheese, rotel..etc, etc, etc..
Frozen pizza. Honestly we probably eat a frozen pizza once a week. It's so nice to not have to wash dishes.
Chili. I'm actually not tired of my chili yet because we don't eat it very often.
Baked chicken

Side dishes:
Baked potatoes
Boiled potatoes
Potato fries. Or that's just what we call them. Baked potato wedges covered in seasoning salt and Cajun seasoning. Really one of Jamo's favorites. 
Baked beans
Black eyed peas (occasionally)
Cheesy bread or garlic bread
Mac and cheese- sometimes homemade, sometimes from a box (I know, I know. Trust me I'm embarrassed)
Fried okra. (in the summer)

Things I make occasionally:
Stuffed shells with meat sauce. Tasty, just time consuming.
Mushroom and Swiss sliders
Bow tie lasagna
Muffaletta sandwiches. (Just for me, Jamo won't touch these)
Pot roast with carrots and potatoes

Uuugghhhh. Just reading that list makes me so bored. I need new inspiration.
What is a dinner favorite at your house? What is your go-to meal for ease and flavor. What side dishes are usually in your repertoire? What does a week's worth of meals look like for you?