Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree!

Hello All! I am sorry it has been so long since my last post - we have been busy busy! I am so excited though because we got our first Christmas tree last week! We wanted to get it early because we are going to Atlanta a week before Christmas, so we'll only be able to enjoy it for a few weeks. 

I decided to stick with red, gold and silver as the main colors for the tree. I found these really pretty silver and gold leaves, and I used some of my gold pine cones to give it a rustic feel. Of course my favorite part is adding the sentimental ornaments that have been collected throughout the year!

This is the ornament I got for Johnathan and my first Christmas together. Its an old piece of wood that says "Better Together" - I thought it was cute because we love the Jack Johnson song!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

{Recipes} - Crab Risotto

Last night I made Crab Risotto for dinner. I had bought all of the ingredients on my last trip to the grocery store, but we have been so busy I just got around to making it! I absolutely love risotto, but I was nervous about making it for the first time since it is kind of a tedious process. It turned out really good though! 

Here are all of the ingredients

Bring the chicken stock to a low boil in a separate sauce pan - meanwhile, brown the garlic and shallots in the olive oil and butter.

Add the risotto to the sauté pan, and gradually add the chicken stock one cup (or one ladle) at a time, stirring constantly.

Finished! It was so good and creamy, definitely a good dish!
2 cups Parmesan Cheese
2 cloves Garlic
½ cup (2) shallots
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 pound Arborio Rice
8 cups Chicken Broth
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 Tablespoon Chives, Chopped
1 lb. fresh, lump crab meat
Juice from 1 lemon
Salt And Pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions

Peel and finely dice 2 cloves of garlic. Dice 2 shallots.
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil. Then add 1 tablespoon of butter. Throw in the garlic and shallot and sauté for a couple of minutes until the onion is translucent.
Add 1 pound of Arborio rice and stir to coat the rice thoroughly. Adding 1 cup at a time, add 7-8 ounces of chicken broth, stirring constantly after each addition. As soon as it appears that the rice has absorbed each helping of broth, add in the next helping. Do not stop stirring. This process will take at least 20 minutes. Rice is done when it no longer has a hard bite.
When more of the broth is absorbed pour in 1 cup of heavy cream. Next add the Parmesan cheese and stir thoroughly. Gently stir in the crab meat. Add in plenty of fresh cracked pepper, lemon juice and about 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped chives. Add salt to taste.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Holiday Decorating {Part 1}

Can you all believe that Christmas is only 40 days away? It seems to have come up out of no where! As I was flipping through some of my favorite catalogs and browsing on websites, I saw the cutest decorations done with pine cones! I loved the way it looked so simple and clean, but I couldn't believe how much these places were charging for something I can find in my own back yard! So, with that being said, I started my own DIY project. I made a trip to Michael's to get some silver and gold spray paint, and then my lovely husband was kind enough to get some great pine cones for me when he was hunting in Blackshear! I decided to do a combination of pine cones and magnolia cones since both are from our yard.

Silver and Gold Spray Paint (aka, my new best friend for DIY projects!)
Beautiful pine cones from Blackshear

Just  simple, subtle touches around the house! Check back as I attempt to make a garland for our fireplace mantle! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Framed Prints

I saw this picture on House of Turquoise today and absolutely love these prints! Getting pictures hung on our walls is my next project. Any ideas or suggestions of where I can find some fun pictures or prints like these? 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

{Recipes} - I've caught the bug ...

The cooking and baking bug! It all started last Sunday when I decided to make a huge batch of homemade minestrone, and since then I haven't been able to stop! On Monday I made the Chocolate Pumpkin Bars that were featured on Bakin' and Egg's, along with Renee's blog, and I made banana bread from Sister Scheubert's cookbook. Last night I made a chicken a rice dish in the crockpot, and Monster Cookies, which I found on Pioneer Woman's website!  I love searching for new recipes online and through my cookbooks. I think one of my favorite things has been tweaking the recipes to make them my own. 

The monster cookies have been my favorite so far! They were so fun to make, you literally throw everything into the recipe except for the kitchen sink! I think I was most excited about FINALLY opening my Kitchen Aid Mixer! My parents gave it to me a few years back for Christmas, and I am just now using it for the first time! 

Yea! Finally I have a kitchen for my mixer!
Here are a few pictures of the preparation process and the final result!

Mmm, butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla mixed!

Flour mixture, M&M's, quick oats, chocolate chips, and raisins mixed in!

Rice Krispies added - mmm!
The final product!


  • 2 sticks (1/2 Pound) Butter (salted) Softened
  • ½ cups White Sugar
  • 1-½ cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1-½ cup Oats (either Quick Or Regular)
  • ½ cups M & M's (more To Taste)
  • ½ cups Pecans, Chopped (more To Taste)
  • ¾ cups Chocolate Chips (milk Or Semi-sweet)
  • ½ cups Peanut Butter Chips
  • 2-¼ cups Rice Krispies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter with sugars until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt. Add to mixing bowl and mix till combined. After that, add in remaining ingredients in whatever quantity you prefer. Add more nuts if you’d like, or more M & M’s, more peanut butter chips or chocolate chips. Add Rice Crispies at the very end, mixing until just combined. Do not over mix! Use a cookie scoop to scoop balls of dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown (approximately 12 minutes), then cool on a rack.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

GA/FL Weekend

This past weekend Johnathan and I were so excited to spend the weekend with friends for the annual GA/FL game in SSI! We started off the weekend by heading to Brogan's on Friday afternoon right after work. We met up with some local friends for a few drinks and then headed to dinner at The Red Barn. Johnathan and I were so excited to get a text from Lauren and Ryals telling us that Ryals had passed the bar exam! After dinner, we headed to Ziggy's to celebrate with them. (I think I am Ziggy-ed out! 3 times in 7 days, I may need a break!)

Saturday morning we got up and left around 9 am to head to Jacksonville! Our friends, Stacy and Dustin Paulk, came with us to the game. We were kind of nervous about not having a parking spot, but we ended up getting in a great lot right by the stadium and set up to tailgate! We had a lot of fun just hanging out and enjoying the nice fall day before going to the stadium. 

The game was a lot of fun, despite Georgia's loss! The game was exciting and it kept us on our toes the whole time. 

After the game we were able to get out of Jacksonville pretty quickly which was nice! We were all starving so we stopped at this little hole in the wall Mexican Restaurant which was really good! We got home at about 10 pm and crashed from such a long day!

Sunday morning we woke up from our 10 hour coma (how we slept that long I do not know!) and began our lazy day of no plans! Lauren and Ryals, along with James, John and his girlfriend Kelsey, stopped by on their way out of town to see us for a bit. It was nice to see all of them one more time before they headed back to ATL! That afternoon I made some minestrone soup and I was pleased it turned out so well! I made so much that we will have plenty for this week and even more to freeze! Sunday evening I was prepared to have lots of trick-or-treaters, and no one ever came! Wah waah waaahhh! So sad! I think a lot of the local kids go to bigger neighborhoods, but I couldn't believe we didn't have one!

Alright, that's about it! This weekend I have absolutely nothing planned, so I am trying to brainstorm on some fun things to do! Any suggestions??

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