Our little Aydee Bug came to stay with us for a couple of days while her parents took a short vacation to the mountains. We had lots of fun playing, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, visiting with MawMaw and PawPaw Melton, Uncle Clint and cousins Aubrey and Delaney, and MaMa and PaPa Massey. Ayden was super sweet! I did find out pretty quickly that you don't get much opportunity to snap a photo of her! She is so busy all the time! She is getting so independent these days and is just a bit on the mischievous side. She has started going to bed without being rocked and does so well! But we still rocked her at nap time! She will just look at you with the sweetest smile and fall asleep quickly when you start singing to her. All I know is that you sure do miss her when she leaves!!!!!!!!!!
Poppa and Ayden getting ready to watch the Texas Rangers
Well, I guess it is obvious that I am going to share probably my most favorite dish of all, Pasta Jumbalaya!!!!
The recipe we make is pure deliciousness! It is VERY spicy, and I LOVE spicy food as everyone knows! Greg and I actually got this recipe off of a show on TV. They were showcasing the Cheesecake Factory's 'Pasta Jumbalaya' and Greg recorded it so we could back it up and see what all they put in it. We have never been to the Cheesecake Factory to try their recipe to see if ours tastes like theirs, but we like our version pretty darn good. We make this quite often, and one of the best things about it is that 9 times out of 10, Greg and I cook it together. It is nice every once in awhile to spend some time together cooking. Now, mind you, this recipe is NOT written down. This will be my first attempt to write it down and explain how we do it. Here are the ingredients:
And below are the ingredients I forgot to picture with the others!
And don't forget the chicken! This is cut up and dredged in the spices!!
Okay. First you cut up the chicken (we usually use two chicken breasts or one package of chicken tenderloins)... chopped up and dredged in cayenne pepper, chili mix, creole seasoning, and red pepper flakes. We don't measure the spices we just put them in a bowl with the majority being the creole seasoning and chili mix then red pepper flakes and last the cayenne pepper. I mix these spices while Greg cuts up the chicken. Then he coats the chicken in the spice while I chop up 2 or 3 bell peppers. I usually use red and yellow, sometimes orange... sometimes green ( but I prefer the other colors).. it just depends on what I found at the store! I slice them up length wise (the way you would cut them for fajitas). I put a little olive oil in a skillet and throw in the bell peppers to saute. This is where Greg takes over cooking the peppers. You want to cook them to where they are soft, but not TOO soft where they start to fall apart. Greg usually adds a little more of the spices to the peppers. Just a dash of this and a dash of that. I slice up an onion and we add that in with the peppers. We add them after the peppers cook for a few minutes because we don't want the onion to cook down to nothing.
This is usually where Greg reminds me that I need to start cooking the noodles. We use linguine and spinach noodles. We throw them together in a pot and boil them. I'm not a good judge on how much to cook so I just do how much I think we need. Sometimes it is too much... Sometimes not enough.... we usually make it work though! Now we add a little garlic to the pepper/onion mix.. (about a teaspoon or more). When the peppers and onions are nice and sauted, we remove them from the skillet and cook the chicken in the olive oil and juices from the peppers and onion. When the chicken is done (it doesn't take very long! Just a few minutes... the chicken is going to continue to cook while you are adding the rest of the ingredients)... add the peppers and onions back to the skillet. Greg now adds chicken broth to the mixture... you can add as much as you like... we like ours pretty juicy so adjust this according to your taste... I mix up a thickner of corn starch and chicken broth and add that after the mixture is brought back to a boil... I then slice up cherry tomatoes and make sure that either the crawfish or shrimp we are going to add is ready. The crawfish tails I buy are fully cooked and most of the time the shrimp is too... so if it is crawfish I cut the bag open (1 pound) and if it is shrimp (1 pound) i cut off the tails..... When the mixture is at the right thickness, we add the crawfish or shrimp ... cook it long enough to heat it through ... then add the tomatoes. Cook just a couple of minutes and it is ready! Drain your noodles and either mix together or place desired amount of noodles in plate or bowl and spoon jumbalaya on top. I usually have either garlic bread with cheese to go with this (frozen) .. but I had bought an italian french loaf bread the other day, so I sliced us a few pieces, buttered them and added a little cheese on top.... cooked them in the oven and it was soooo good with the jumbalaya!
Here is the finished product!
Hope everyone has a great Wednesday! I am excited because it is Game 1 of the World Series!! GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday mornin, it was all I hoped it would be........" ~~~~~~~~
Well, at least some Mondays are that way.... a perfect example would have been last Monday morning.... a holiday........ but not only was it a holiday, it was the day of Game 2 of the ALCS ... Texas Rangers vs. the Detroit Tigers in Arlington, TX. Now, remember, this game was supposed to be played the day before... but was delayed because of rain. Much needed rain... Rain that was supposed to come our way.... and a little of it did... but most went further east toward DFW... thus explaining the rain delay. Game 1 had two almost hour long rain delays before the Rangers came away with the win. So it was no surprise when Game 2 was delayed to give the weather a chance to clear. So, there we sat on Sunday evening... no game to watch.... Then, I very impulsively said to Greg: "we should go to the Ranger game tomorrow".. the rest is history. We bought tickets, left around 9 Saturday morning, and headed to The Ballpark. We had amazingly good seats... about 13 rows behind the bull pen... It was THE most exciting sporting event I have ever attended. It was a nail biter.... tied up 3-3..... extra innings..... Nelson Cruz at bat... bases loaded ... bottom of the 11th..... then Cruz sends the ball flying over the wall!!!!! GRAND SLAM! Not only was it a grand slam, it was the first walk off grand slam in postseason history, EVER! ......... Rangers win 7-3. The crowd went wild!!!!!!!!!!... We headed out to find our car.... took us a few minutes.... Monday ended with us driving back to our little town to get ready to start the week.
Later on in the week, I noticed several people on Facebook talking about http://www.pinterest.com/. I decided I would look and see what all the fuss was about. I am officially addicted. Thanks, ladies. I especially love looking at the craft ideas and the recipes. I decided that I would try some out and then share on here what I thought about them.
The first thing I made was Jalapeno Dip. I got the recipe from pinterest with a link to the blog of "Plain Chicken". Here are the ingredients:
Jalapeno Dip Ingredients
I must admit that my little magic bullet was almost two small to hold all of this! I made it work though, next time I will probably get out the bigger one. This was really good! It is pretty spicy, and I only used the seeds of half of one pepper! This dip is really good on chips! It is pretty good on veggies, you see that I opted for the veggies. Yay for me choosing the healthier option!!!! Click on the link for the recipe!
Jalapeno Dip with Veggies
Here is a main dish recipe that sounded really good, and I just couldn't wait to try. Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti. I also got this recipe off of pinterest with a link to the blog of "How Sweet It is". Here are the ingredients:
Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti ingredients
I followed strictly followed the directions except I ended up using about 1 1/2 cans of enchilada sauce. I wanted it a little saucier than what it was. I also used 'canned chicken'... next time i will definetly prepare my own chicken for a better flavor..... other than that this was a good meal and fairly quick to make!
Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti
I have lots of other great recipes to try and will share about them as I make them! I have some other "crafty" type projects that I am going to start working on pretty soon. Ayden is coming to spend a couple of nights this weekend, so I am going to see what I can come up with for us to make together!
~~~~~ "Every other day, every other day Every other day of the week is fine, yeah..."