Wednesday, November 16, 2011

quiet hill ranch

This week my grandma turned 80!  To celebrate, my family and I went to Quiet Hill Ranch just outside of Fredericksburg, TX.   

There was so much cool stuff at this ranch.  Like horses...

Uncle Mike, Raul the ranch hand, Aunt Lana, and Uncle Rick--giddy up!
Pot bellied piggies...
Priscilla is really, um, cuddly.
and longhorns!

This was the view from our cabin:

 On Saturday morning we went into Fredericksburg to eat and go shopping.  It was quite the outing...

Me with my cousin, Shane--we can pull those off, right?
 Come Saturday night...

It was time to party!

We pigged out on salad, lasagna, chicken spaghetti, and garlic bread.  Then, it was time for some family competition.  We played a bunch of minute to win it games...

The ultimate winners were my cousin, Jessy, and my other cousin, Brandon.  My sister and I were on a team together, and we got second place.  

On Sunday morning we had a family photo shoot!

Everyone looks so pretty...
The photographer thought Austin was my brother...awkward.
It was a really great weekend...I love my family!  And my grandma!!

Happy 80th birthday Mimi!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

dinner and a show

I’ll start this post with the good stuff…here’s what we had for dinner last week:

On Monday I made my version of a margherita pizza…

Recipe from here
On Wednesday I made some chicken enchilada soup…

Soup is from this

And on Thursday we had chicken potpie…

Recipe is from

My favorite dish this week was the chicken potpie.  Next time I think I might try and do little individual pies though.  How cute would those be?!

In other news, yesterday I almost had a heart attack in the dining room/office of my apartment. 

I went in there to print a form that I needed for school, and in the middle of printing the paper got all jammed up, and I got one of those lovely “error” messages on my screen.  “Oh, thank you HP message center.  I had no idea there was a paper jam, even though the machine is making some of the strangest sounds I’ve ever heard and there’s a half-printed half-crinkled mess stuck in the depths of my printer.”  I digress.  So, I opened the little door that leads to the ink cartridges, and attempt to un-jam the paper from those little roller things (very technical term, I know).  After a good 3 minutes of fighting with said roller things, I finally freed the paper.  Hooray for me!  Little did I know that the paper freeing was going to be the easy part of this tale.

Upon further examination, I realized that there was something wedged in between all of the mechanisms of my printer/ink cartridge holder.  It looked like dust, or maybe little fibers from the ink cartridge—no biggie.  I swept the area with my fingers only to realize that it was not dust or fibers, but instead a giant, scary, total-freak-out-inducing cockroach.  Sweet baby Jesus.  I screamed and screamed to no one in particular, and then came to a startling realization.  I was going to have to get rid of this creature on my own because if I left it for the man of the house I would have to sit by myself with the fact that there is a live cockroach somewhere in the apartment looming in my mind for about two hours.

Armed with a letter opener, I stabbed Mr. Roach and quickly deposited him in the toilet.  It might have been one of the scariest moments of my entire life. 

I don’t think this is what most people have in mind when they hear the phrase, “computer bug”...

If you need me I can be found lysol-ing every inch of the apartment...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

winner winner...what's for dinner?

Alrighty, I'm a little late on the dinner post this week, but better late than never, right?  Right.

First up was a little something I threw together before we could actually get to the store this week.  It's kind of a cross between chicken picatta, chicken parmesan, and chicken tenders.  I like to call it: chicken picatta Tenders over pasta.  

To make this I just breaded the chicken tenders in Italian bread crumbs/parmesan cheese and then baked them at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, turning them halfway through.  Once the chicken was done I just slapped 2 tenders on top of some spaghetti and marinara sauce and then topped the whole thing with more parmesan.  Yum!  Oh, and I served it up with some of the sparkling red wine that my sister gave me a few weekends ago when I puppy sat for her.  It was the perfect combo.

The next thing I made for dinner was this:

Chicken Pesto Pasta
This is another fairly simple meal to make.  First, I cut up two chicken breasts into one inch cubes and cooked them in a sauce pan for about 3 minutes per side.  While that was going on I was also cooking up some pasta.  It doesn't really matter what kind you use...penne, shells, rigatonni, angel hair, whatever.  I chose a mixture, and it was delish.  After the chicken and pasta are done and drained, mix them together and add in some pesto from a jar.  Or make your own pesto.  I'd like to try that at some point, but right now I don't gots that kinda time.

I served the pesto up with this yummy greek salad that I make all the time.  It was, as always, a hit.

I also made this wonderful Mexican lasagna...

I found the recipe for this here
Last, but not least, I made this lemon basil chicken with shells and cheese and broccoli.  The chicken is my own recipe that I wrote about a few months ago, the shells came from a little blue box, and the broccoli was just steamed.

Shoutout to Ina (aka the Barefoot Contessa) for inspiring this lemon basil chicken!
I love this chicken.  It's kind of my "go to" recipe when I'm out of ideas or can't find anything that's jumping out at me on the Internet/in my cookbooks.

On a completely unrelated note:
Justin Bieber's Christmas album came out on Tuesday.  I recommend that you go out and get it immediately.  That's all.