Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Simple Guacamole!

Simple Guacamole


1 ripe avocado
2-3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 small onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves garlic, grated
1 small jalapeno, finely diced
salt and pepper to taste


1.  Cut, peel and remove the seed from the avocado.  Quarter each half and stick the pieces into a small food processor.

2.  Add cilantro, onion, garlic, jalapeno and S&P. 

3.  Use the pulse setting, until everything is well combined.  Dip will be lumpy.  For a creamer version add 1/4 cup of sour cream. 

4.  Refrigerate immediately, until you are ready to serve.  To keep your dip from turning brown, place saran wrap over the bowl and press it down in the middle so that it touches that guacamole and there is no air under the plastic wrap.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Peach Brandy Glaze

Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Peach Brandy Glaze

Description:  This dish is full of flavor and great for lunch or dinner.

The Topping:
1 cup of shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp of butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
2 cups of bell pepper, finely sliced
1/4 tsp ground dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste
The Chicken:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a few turns of the pan
1 pound chicken tenders, 1/8 inch thick.  You can do this three ways, buy chicken tenders pre-cut, buy chicken cutlets and then just slice them into tenders, or turn a chicken breast into a cutlet by cutting it in half crosswise (so you would get 4 chicken cutlets out of 2 chicken breasts) and then cut them into tenders
1/2 cup of Peach Brandy Glaze (I used Tastefully Simple, I will give you the ingredient list at the end if you would like to try to make your own)
1 Tbsp spicy brown or Dijon mustard
For the bottom:
1 loaf of Artisan bread (I used Vienna), sliced in 1 1/2 inch angle slices
1 Tbsp melted butter
2 gloves of grated garlic


1.  Melt butter and olive oil in a skillet.  When butter begins to foam add onion and pepper slices, dry mustard and salt and pepper.  Saute until onions are translucent and peppers are soft.  When they are done set aside.

2.  In the same skillet that you cooked the onions and pepper, hear your EVOO, then add your chicken tenders, peach brandy glaze and mustard.  Cook until chicken is brown and cooked all the way through.

3.  Melt remaining butter and grated garlic together.  Brush over one side of your sliced bread.  Toast under your broiler until nice and golden brown.

4.  Top bread with chicken, then with onions and pepper and finish it off with grated cheese.  Stick it back in the oven under your broiler until the cheese melts.  ENJOY!

Peach Brandy Glaze Ingredients:
Red chili puree
cane sugar
brown sugar
distilled vinegar
dehydrated minced onion
tomato powder
natural peach brandy flavor
dehydrated roasted minced garlic
crushed red pepper flakes
natural smoke flavor

If you come up with a good combination of these things please let me know!

Mary Jane's Pasta Salad

Mary Jane's Pasta Salad


2 Bottles of Kraft's Zesty Italian Dressing
1 box of Garden Rotoni Pasta
2 Cucumbers, peeled, quartered and chopped
1/2 cup Tomatoes, chopped or 1 container of Grape Tomatoes
1/4 cup Green Onions, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste


1.  Cook pasta according to the directions on the box for al dente firmness.  Before draining the pasta keep 1/4 cup of the starchy water.  Drain but do not rinse.

2.  Add 1 1/2-2 bottles of dressing depending on how runny you like your pasta salad, the strachy water and all vegetabels.  For the cumcumbers:  peel, slice them in half, long ways, then slice that slice in half, long ways, then chop each quarter into bite size pieces.  For the tomatoes, you can either buy grape tomatoes and leave them they way they are or slice them in half, crosswise, or you can buy regular slicing tomatoes and chop them up into bite size pieces.

3.  For the best results you should cover your salad and let it marry in the fridge overnight.  The longer it sits the better incorporated the flavors will be.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Granny's Fried Apples

Granny's Fried Apples

Description:  A decedent way to serve apples, southern style!


8 small Fuji Apples, 4 large Fuji Apples (I usually do 2 apples per person.)
1/2-1 cup of water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
3 Tbsp butter
Ground Cinnamon


1.  Peel, core and thinly slice the apples.  I peel them and then use my apple corer/slicer and then cut each slice in half.  If you don't have a tool like that, just do it by hand

2.  Place butter in a large frying pan.  Add apples and water. The apples should be submersed in the water. 

3.  Fry the apples on medium/high heat until they are soft.  You may have to continue to add water, once all the water has cooked out and evaporated.  It is very important not to let your apples go without water, because they will stick to the bottom of the pan and caramelize.  Stir frequently.

4.  Once the apples are soft and semi-translucent, add both sugars and cinnamon.  Add as much or as little cinnamon as you want.  I usually use about 2-3 Tbsp.

5.  Cover and simmer until sugar melts and thickens.  Stir frequently.

Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice


2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Small onion, chopped
2 large or 4 small cloves of garlic, grated
2 cups of long grain white rice
4 cups of chicken broth
15 oz can crushed tomato
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 small jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)


1.   Put equal amounts of butter and olive oil in a skillet.  Melt butter and when it begins to foam add chopped onion and grated garlic. Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.  Stir occasionally.

2.  Once the onions are translucent add dry rice.  Cover rice well with butter and oil, mixing onions and garlic in thoroughly.  Cook for 3 minutes.

3.  Add chicken broth and crushed tomatoes and jalapeno pepper and spices to the rice and onion mixture.  Cover skillet and simmer on medium/low for 25-30 minutes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cooking for Two;Tuesday!

So yesterday was a cooking day in the Humphrey household.  I have been reading some articles lately on the bpa lining of aluminium cans and how bad the sodium content is in canned soup and people just going on and on about how bad canned soup is.  So I decided, I would make my own. 

I started out making Cream of Chicken soup, then Cream of Mushroom, then Chicken Noodle Soup, then Cream of Celery.  Surprisingly they were all very easy to make.  I have included the recipes just in case you decide to go out on a limb and try them yourself.  I think you will be very satisfied with the end result.  Stick around until the end, because I have a little surprise for you all!

Condensed Cream of Whatever Soup

Description:  In this recipe I advice you to use organic ingredients.  It is a personal preference, but if I am going to take the time out to make homemade soup, I would at least like it to be the best it possibly can be.  This recipe will make any kind of condensed soup you would like.  You can use this soup in any recipe that calls for a condensed creamy soup! 

Yield:  6 cups

3 cups organic stock*
3 cups organic Skim or 1% milk
1 tsp poultry seasoning (if you are making a chicken based soup)
1/2 tsp onion powder or you can use finely chopped onion if you wish, if you do so use 1/4 cup of onion**
1/2 tsp garlic powder or you can use freshly grated garlic (3-4 cloves depending on the size of the cloves and the family's preference to garlic)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp of kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1 1/2 cups of organic or unbleached all purpose flour
fresh veggies**

Additional Notes: 

*:  If you want to make Cream of Chicken soup, use chicken stock.  If you want to make Cream of Mushroom soup, use Vegetable Stock.  Or you can use whatever you have on hand!

**:  When you are using fresh vegetables, you should always boil them in the stock until the become tender. 


1.  If you are using fresh vegetables, mix broth, seasoning and veggies together in a saucepan. Cover and bring stock to a hard boil.  Allow broth to boil for 7-10 minuets or until veggies are tender. Add milk and the continue to step three.

2.  If you are not using fresh vegetable, mix all ingredients together, EXCEPT THE FLOUR, in a large saucepan.

3.  Whisk in flour.  Whisk until completely combined.

4.  Place saucepan on a medium heat burner and bring to a boil.  Whisk every couple of minuets.  Once the soup boils, keep whisking until the soup gets to the desired consistency.

5.  Allow soup to cool completely and then freeze in 1-2 cup increments. 

Chicken Noodle Soup (Minus the Noodles)


1 1/2-2 cups of chicken (raw or cooked/cubed or shredded)
1/2 cup of leeks, finely chopped
3-4 cloves of freshly grated garlic
1 liter of chicken broth
1 cup of diced carrots
1 cup of diced celery
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp freshly chopped or dried parsley*
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 cup egg noodles (I like the super fine ones)

Additional Notes: 

*: If you use fresh herbs, add them to you soup after it is done cooking.  If you are using dried herbs, add them at the beginning of the cooking process.


1.  Add all ingredients, EXCEPT THE NOODLES, to a medium size saucepan.  Cover and bring to a hard boil. 

2.  Once soup beings to boil, reduce heat to around medium/low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until veggies are tender, and if you used raw chicken it is thoroughly cooked.

3.  Remove pan from the heated surface and ladle out soup into a 12 count muffin tin.  You should make 24 soup disk total.  Fill each hole with equal amounts of chicken, carrots, onions and celery and then top it off with broth to the rim. 

4.  Place muffin tin on a cookie sheet in the freezer overnight.

5.  To remove the soup disk and store them in a plastic Ziplock bag, run warm water in your sink, just enough to warm each cup to allow the disk to slip out easily.  Store disks in a ziplock bag in the freezer

6.  When you go to cook the soup, boil salted water and add the noodles.  Cook until they are al dente, follow the directions on the package.  You will not need a cup of noodles for each disk.  Probably more like 1/4 of a cup per every 2 or 3 disks.  Drain noodles when cooked.  DO NOT RINSE.

7. Heat the soup and serve!

I told you that I had a little surprise for you at the end of this post...WELL earlier this week I posted about my hashbrown waffles, well last night for desert I made Brownie Waffles.  They are absolutely devine.  They are the perfect crispy/fudgey/gooey ratio.  It is like one large corner brownie, but better.  Here take a look for yourself....

Next time I make these they will be topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream!

They are so easy to make this is what you need:
1 Box of Browine Mix
Melted butter or non-stick cooking spray
waffle iron

1.  Follow directions on the box to make the brownie mix. 

2.  Heat up the waffle iron, spray generously with cooking spray or brush grates generously with melted butter.

3.  Fill grates with browine mix and allow waffle maker to cook through one cycle.  They won't feel crispy until they cool a little bit. 


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hashbrown Waffles Inspired by Rach!

So for all of you who do not watch or DVR The Rachel Ray Show, she does a "Waffle Week"  every once in awhile.  Last week was "Waffle Week" and she made hash brown waffles, Go HERE to see all of the waffles she made last week.  SO I decided to dust off my waffle maker and try to make my own version of hash brown waffles.  Man oh Man they were good.  Take a look.........

So I used freshly grated potatoes because I was out of frozen.  Next time I will use frozen because you can drain the liquid when you defrost them, where in a fresh potato it come out with time.  I also grated a small onion, Rachel says that in things like this a grated onion is better 1.  because you the juice from the onion which gives the dish more flavor and 2. they are in such tiny pieces you would never know they were even there.  
Then I added some chopped up green bell pepper.  Salt, pepper, 3 cloves of freshly grated garlic.  Gave it a big stir.  Filled the waffle iron just enough to where all of the hole were filled to the top of the notches.  My waffle iron needs to be traded in for a new one, so I had to flip and rotate my waffles to make sure they cooked evenly, but if you have a nice waffle iron they should be done in just one round.
Tada!!!!!  A hash brown waffle with melted cheese!  I melted the cheese with a little milk while my waffle was cooking and topped it off after I plated it!

Hash Brown Waffles


4 Medium potatoes, or one pound per person freshly grated or 1 bag of frozen hash browns
1 small onion, freshly grated
1 bell pepper, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, freshly grated
2 Tbsp butter, melted
cheese, I used Velveta

1.  If you are using fresh potatoes, grate them in a large bowl.  If you are using frozen hash browns, they will need to be thawed and drained.  

2.  Grate a small onion into the same bowl as the hash browns.

3.  Add a finely diced  bell pepper and grate three gloves of garlic into the hash brown/onion mixture.

4.  Plug you waffle iron in to get it preheated.

5.  Add spices.  

6.  Mix well.  Once everything is mixed together and you iron is preheated, generously brush the grates with melted butter.

7.  Fill each grate until all the crevasse are full up to the notches.

8.  Close and let the waffle iron do its job.  When you iron is done if you see any inconsistency with your waffle flip and rotate the waffle for even cooking.

9.  Melt enough cheese for each waffle, probably around 1/4 of a cup.

10.  When the waffle is done, plate it and pour your cheese on top.

11.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Things I love!

Happy belated Valentine's Day.  I hope everyone had a day was full of fun, love and happiness.  As I was reading through my blog list this morning I found this post by The Pioneer Woman and was inspired to write something similar. Since this month is all about love I thought it would be nice to be able to reflect back next year and the years to come and see what was on my heart at this point in my life.  So here we go, mine will not be as long as hers but...in no particular order here are some of the things I love......(I would love her hear some of the things you love)







Home Decor






My Mom

My Dad

My Sister

My Friends


Baby Ella


Growing Gardens

My In-Laws

Grey's Anatomy

The Real Housewives


Girl's Night

A cold glass of Riesling




The Holiday

P.S. I love you


Fresh Herbs

Sauteed Onions and Squash

Flat leaf parsley

Freshly ground pepper

Date Night




Great Vacations!


Tyler, Bill and Marley

Sweet Tea


Joan Rivers

Trying new food

Mary Kay Eye Make-up Remover

A new pair of shoes

A good dress


Slatkin candles..............

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!  My loving husband had these waiting for me last night when I got home!  We don't really do much, this year is actually the first year we are going out for dinner, since we have lived in our house.  Most of the time I will just cook something nice and out of the ordinary.  I was very surprised to see roses when I got home!  I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Weekly Wrap UP!

So this week was suppose to be dedicated to deep cleaning.  Well, things changed.  Josh and I own a rental property with his parents.  We have finally found tenants, after along drawn out process, so I had to deal with all of that stuff this week.  We have become incorporated to protect ourselves legally, so we had to finish all of that paperwork, open a checking account.  I had to type up a contract and then go and have a friend of mine take a look at it, since I have no legal background!  Finally on Wednesday we sealed the deal.  I slept GREAT last night!  Hopefully next week I will get down to business and get some of my goals complete!  I hope you all have had a wonderful and productive week!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Day Decor

This past week I spent sometime putting together my February decor.  Monday when we were out of town and Josh was gone all day, I had a craft day.  Here is my first craft.......
I got the doilies from The Dollar Tree and from Dollar General.  I used glue dots to give them some depth!  Then I just used some twine and thread it through some of the holes.

I found this cloche at the T J Max and then found the stand at Home Goods when I was out of town Monday.  I am totally loving this piece!  
This is another one of my favorite spots.  I am loving the simplicity of my decor this month.  I got this heart wreath last year at Michael's.

I ended up adding some books to the basket with the fabric ball.  I added The Five Love Languages, Before the Ring and The Love Dare.
I am loving this gum ball machine!  I made it and my conversation heart on my crafting day.  You can find tutorials of how to make both these projects here and here.

You can find the printable here.  I also made this flower ball on my crafting day.  You can find instructions here.

I have fallen in love with framed printable pictures!  I am loving the small vintage touches that they give the house!  You find print the picture here.
I filled this jar with the conversation hearts I had left over from my picture (seen above) and just added some larger ones.
This is the little touches I added to the spare bathroom. 

This picture has little vintage stamps, you can find it here.

I was originally going to hang this wreath on my front door, but I decided that it was too cute to be wasted on the door no one ever uses!  This is the blog I followed for the instructions.

Sorry for the bad pictures, the sun was glaring something awful! 

I hope you all are enjoying your holiday decor as much as I am!

Nashville Bound!

This weekend we are spending time in the Music City with Josh's cousin Brent.  He lives and works in Nashville, so we decided to come visit and get some good quality family R&R.

Friday we went to dinner at McGuinness Irish Pub.  They are known for their tasty fish.  Let me tell you their reputation stands true.  Josh got blacked Maui, it wasn't over the top blackened, which I actually prefer, but it was delicious!  Then we hit up Barefoot Charlie's.

(I accidentally hit my video camera, rather than just my regular so here is a video of their sign!) 
Barefoot Charlie's is a beach bar away from the beach.  If that makes any sense.  When you walk in it smells like there should be a large swimming pool in the center of the room.  The whole place is decked out in beach decor.  Bright colored signs and easy laid back quotes.  There was a Bob Marley statue at the bar.  Beach stuff in the middle of the country!  It was great.  If I lived around here and needed to go just relax, Barefoot Charlie's is the place to go!

Saturday was a girls kind of day!  Even though I am the only girl, they are VERY good sports!  We headed down to the American Picker's store, Antique Archeology.  That was an awesome experience, we saw some really neat things.

We made too many stops to even talk about, so I will sum it all up in one paragraph.  We stopped at Hillsborough Village and Hillsborough Center.  We did some antiquing on 8th street.  Hit up Hard Rock Cafe for lunch.  Made a pit stop at DSW and then went home to watch the game!

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a great weekend! 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dying Regrets

I was reading a friends blog and decided that when I read this article I should copy and paste it for all of my friends to read.  I think that this a very powerful article and it is really something that you should think about.  It is a very difficult thing to live for yourself and live the life that God has set out for you to live but at the same time not live in a selfish manner and be hateful and cold to others!  I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.  Have a great weekend!
This is from a memoir of a Hospice nurse in Australia. . .
Top five regrets of the dying
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
“Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”
What’s your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pantry and Freezer Inventory

So part of my Home Maintenance Binder, is a freezer inventory sheet and a pantry inventory sheet.  I knew that this would take a better part of my day, but I also needed to make a monthly menu.  So I took the time today and took an inventory of all the food in our house.  

We have more food in this house than I ever realized.  I was able to make a whole months menu without ever repeating the same meal.  This is a whole new process that I am trying out so hopefully it works.....we will soon find out. 

I also have a goal for this month and hopefully I will roll this goal over into next month, I am trying to use up all of the food that we have (even if that means getting creative), and just go to the grocery for produce.