Thursday, March 29, 2012

bacon chocolate chip cookies

raise your hand if you like bacon.....


now raise your hand if you like chocolate chip cookies.....



now mix it all together and you get a salty sweet snack that will rock your world :o)


does it sound a little gross?  well let me just tell you that this combination is actually very yummy.  my husband's "cousin in law" is a phenomenal cook.  she can take the most basic recipes and turn them into something amazing.  the other day she told us that she was going home to bake some cookies and said she needed to go to the store to get some bacon... for breakfast right?  wrong... for dessert :o)

she brought me some the next day and they were awesome!  she put some cayenne pepper in them with the bacon and the spicy, sweet and salty mixture was to die for.

she brought me the recipe, however i failed to bring it with me today so i found one online from "The Craving Chronicles" blog that i am going to share with you.

Ingredients

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) AP flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips, at least 60 percent cacao content
6 slices crisp cooked bacon, chopped

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using a mixer with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating completely after each addition. Add vanilla. Reduce mixer to lowest speed and carefully add flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips by hand.
Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 – 36 hours, up to 72 hours.
When ready to bake, set dough out at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.
When dough has warmed enough to be pliable but not too soft, fold in chopped bacon. Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, measure 8 cookies out on a baking sheet. Bake one sheet at a time, 15-20 minutes or until edges are starting to brown. Cool 2-3 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

the cookies that I had actually had about a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper included which really made the flavor pop.  up to you if you want some spice or not!

i hope you enjoy these cookies, because i sure did :o)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

boot camp and casinos

let me update you on my weekend. yes i know i'm about 2 days too late, but hey today was monday and well, we know how mondays usually go...

so with bikini season quickly approaching it's time to get my booty in shape. i have to admit that married life has gotten way too comfortable and my favorite jeans no longer fit over my pooch... yes I said pooch.
i've been going to the gym about 3 times a week which is huge for me. well this weekend I decided I would try something they call "boot camp"



now this isn't boot camp where you wear army uniforms and get yelled at my men who scare the crap out of you... this is a boot camp for women like me, who are trying to get in better shape.  my first "boot camp" was very interesting.  9 am on a saturday comes very early...  i woke up in an insanely horrible mood and my husband left the house terrified of me.  as much as i wanted to stay in bed, i put on my big girl panties and drug my butt to the gym.  i can't tell you how proud i am of myself for actually going to the gym that early on a weekend.  i'm walking around in pain right now, but I know in the long run i will greatly benefit from it. 

now after my insane workout saturday morning, i went home and relaxed, then got ready for a night out on the town my my sweet hubby (who got over being mad at me finally) and my girls.  i rarely get nights like these, so when one comes around I take it and run with it!  i don't gamble (i'm way too scared to) so when we go to the casino, we actually go because it is the only decent bar close enough.. so when it was all said and done,  what started out as a groggy "boot camp" kind of morning turned out to be a fun casino kind of night.



sunday was our usual get stuff done around the house day.  we didn't make it to church (shame on us), but overall the day was very productive. 

we did our weekly grocery shopping


we did our laundry

i wish i had a laundry room like this...   


anyway... so the weekend turned out pretty good.  now it's tuesday and i still feel like it's monday :( hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Friday, March 23, 2012

rainy day moments

tgif!! it's friday, it's friday... ok i'm not going to sing like that annoying girl in that friday song :-)

but it is friday, and what a rainy friday it is... blah

wouldn't it have been nice to have stayed in bed all day instead of getting up at 6 am to get ready for work?? ugh! and of course i didn't realize it was raining until i stepped outside to leave this morning.  because i wasn't aware of the rain i definitely didn't dress for the rain, so now i have a huge wet ring around the bottom of my jeans... nice one jennifer!

anywho... so with it raining today and a good chance of rain tomorrow i thought i would share some rainy day moments with you all... enjoy :-)

oh to be a kid again and enjoy playing in the rain

um... oops

i need these for my dogs :-)

haha where can i find an umbrella like that?

ok dude... at this point i think the umbrella is unnecessary

nobody wants a rainy wedding, but this is pretty cute

too adorable

<3

love this rainy day outfit

i love everything about this picture

do you know it's raining outside?

ok this one... i have no words.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Strawberry Sangria

warm air, sunshine, light breeze... spring is in full bloom and what better way to celebrate then to be outside enjoying the sunshine and a cold refreshing drink?

this weekend marks the first weekend of spring and i plan on celebrating with a few girls, lawn chairs, good music, magazines and some cocktails...

follow this fantastic recipe for strawberry sangria!





what you will need...
  • 1 Bottle (750 ml) of Rosé wine (to keep to the Spanish origins of Sangrias you may opt for a Rosé from Spain, a Rosado)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberry lemonade
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (may use frozen strawberries in a pinch)
  • 2 cups ginger ale 
how you will make it...

    Pour wine in the pitcher and add sliced strawberries.
    Next add sugar, strawberry lemonade and stir gently.   
    Add ginger ale and ice just before serving.
    If you'd like to serve your Sangria right away, use chilled white wine and chilled ginger ale

now girls... go grab your lawn chair, ipod, sunglasses, spf and a good magazine and enjoy the heck our of you new drink :-)

Monday, March 12, 2012

God's little signs

i consider myself a baby christian.  i am still in the learning process.  you know that saying "everything happens for a reason"?  well i am a firm believer in that.  i rededicated my life to Christ in may of 2011, and ever since that day i have been sent small signs that remind me that yes God is really there.

one of the most amazing stories i have is the story about a man that i worked with.  we were discussing religion one day and he said to me, "i don't really believe in God".  this really hit home with me.  i felt so up set by this conversation i had with this person and i wasn't sure how to handle it.  i went home and talk to my mother in law about it and she said that i need to pray for him.  i never said anything else to him after that and about two week later we were watching the news and he turned around and said to me, "you know what? i am starting to think that God is real".  i was so overwhelmed with joy when he told me this.  i looked at him and told him that i had been praying for him, and his response was... "wow, nobody has ever prayed for me before". 

this to me was a definite sign from God.  about a month later my friend tania and I were on our way to charlotte for our sorority sisters funeral.  we had been up since about 4 am and we had her 8 months old son in tow.  we were exhausted and to make matters worse the temperature that day decided to sky rocket to about 97!  we were about half way there when my air conditioning decided to break.  we suffered for about 20 minutes and finally we couldn't take it anymore.  jokingly we decided to pray for the air conditioner.  we were at a red light and i bowed my head and tania touched the dash and prayed (keep in mind that we were doing this jokingly).  she lifted her hand off of the dash and i turned the knob to the air conditioner and to our surprise it was blowing ice cold air :o)

now you can't sit there and tell me that God was showing off just a little bit lol :o)

God is always there, and he cares for us and loves us unconditionally.  this past week has been hard on me.  i know that everything happens for a reason, but it is still hard to be confident.  this past week has made me realize that i am also blessed.  i am blessed with a wonderful family, true friends, and an amazing husband.  i truly couldn't ask for a better life.  i may not always have a great day, but in the long run those bad days don't even matter anyway.  always trust in God.  he will get you through, and remember: everything happens for a reason...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

shrimp scampi- it's whats for dinner

i have been in a shrimp mood lately, so i found this amazing shrimp scampi recipe that 
i'm sure everyone will love!

      

 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound linguini
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

Directions

For the pasta, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it has come to the boil, add a couple of tablespoons of salt and the linguini. Stir to make sure the pasta separates; cover. When the water returns to a boil, cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the pasta is not quite done. Drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

obstacles that we CAN overcome

i'm sure everyone has had something in their life go wrong.  i don't know one person whose life has been just peachy everyday. 

god puts certain obstacles in our life that we may not understand at the time, but we must trust in him to get us through.  they say everything happens for a reason and at the time of a tragedy we may not understand what that reason is.

my husbands father passed away last june.  do we know why?  no we don't.  i have lost many friends in the past year.  why have they faded away?  no idea...

i have wasted so much time sulking about lost friends and upset that things don't always go my way.  what i really need to start doing is focusing on the many blessings i do have in my life.

               1: my wonderful husband.  we may not always get along but we love each other!
               2: my family
               3: our dogs
               4: the few close friends i do have
               5: my job
               6: my relationship with christ
               7: my house.  i have a roof over my head and i shouldn't complain.
               8: my car.  i may not like the way it looks, but it gets me to where i need to go.
               9: my health
            
i'm sure everybody can name numerous things about their life that they may not like, but can you name at least 9 things that you are thankful for?  we find ourselves complaining about every little detail in our life, but what we need to realize is that there are so many people out there that are far less fortunate than us.  take a few minutes our of your busy day to say a prayer for those you love, those  you don't know, and those who are struggling.  and while you are at it say a prayer for yourself.  let god know how thankful you are for the many blessings in  your life.

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