Saturday, June 30, 2012

Halfway Homemade: Biscuits and Gravy

I just so happened to wake up before my husband last Sunday and decided to make him a nice breakfast to wake up to. I decided good ole biscuits and gravy would be the best choice. I have never made homemade biscuits (except the kind that comes in a can if that counts) so I looked online at recipes and used the simplest parts of each recipe and made them all in to one.

Things you need:
- 2 1/4 cups of biquick
- 2/3 cup of milk
-Country Gravy mix
-2 cups of water

What to do:

Preheat oven to 450.

Add the bisquick and milk in a large bowl.
Mix it all up
Then knead the dough for about 30 seconds and then pull pieces off that are about palm size and the roll them into balls.

I made 9 biscuits with this dough. 
Spread your dough balls out on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 9 minutes (or until golden on top)
Then you can make your gravy. All you have to do is follow the directions on the back of the pack and you wind up with some yummy gravy.
Cut your biscuits in half
Spread some gravy on em
and enjoy.

One of the recipes I found called for you to roll the dough out to 1/2 inch in thickness and then cookie cut rounds out but, I don't have a rolling pin or a cookie cutter.

I guess a better name for this blog would have been "Biscuit Balls and Gravy" but how appetizing does that really sound? 

These turned out delicious and the hubby was thrilled when he woke up to a delicious hot breakfast and I impressed him with my ability to make biscuits using powder and milk instead of just opening a can!

If you try this out let me know how it goes!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pop Chips

So, while at work last week I went up to the cafeteria to find a snack. On my way up the stairs I was thinking of getting some fruit but then I decided I'd rather have something crunchy but I knew the salad bar still wasn't set up so I figured I'd probably wind up with a bag of chips which sounded delicious but my brain was having a battle with itself since I'm trying to eat better during the day.

*I have tried counting calories, and no carbs, and all kinds of other diets but I just can't make them stick so I have been trying to eat as healthy as I can all day and then make a dinner using low cal ingredients. I use the stairs at work and walk on my breaks.*

Any who, I got upstairs and started looking at all the goodies they had in the cafeteria and to my surprise I found something called Pop Chips. I decided on the Sweet Potato flavor because well, sweet potatoes are good for you...right? I was so excited. They came in this cute little bag.
The chips are $1.19 but most healthy foods are more expensive. When I opened the bag I was a little disappointed though because It seemed like I paid about $1 for air and $0.19 for chips but hey, I wanted to try them.
They are cute little round chips with a great crunch and flavor though!
I finished the bag in about 30 minutes (I had to snag a chip in between transcribing reports when I could) and surprisingly they were a nice FILLING snack and they didn't have many calories. You can find out more about them at . I really enjoyed these and while I was skeptical about paying $1.19 for so few chips, it was totally worth it and I WILL be buying more of these! 

Hope you can find some and try them because I sure am glad I did! If you do try any of them, let me know what you think about them!

(I was in no way compensated for my thoughts on this snack or mentioning their website. All views expressed in this are my own and I only mentioned the website so that if anyone is interested in trying them they can use the site to find a store near them that sells them or order them from the site. I claim no rights to this product or anything contained within the company's website.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Halfway Homemade: Taco Cups

We decided we wanted tacos tonight but I was tired of boring rolled up tacos so I decided to try something out and it turned out AWESOME and it is SUPER EASY AND QUICK!

Things you need:
-Tortillas (the regular sized small ones) (4 for one batch or 8 for a large batch)
-1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
-Taco Seasoning
-1 can of refried beans
-Shredded cheese (approx. 1 cup but it really depends on how much cheese you like!)

Optional Add-ons:
-Sour cream
-Black olives
-Pretty much whatever you would eat on a taco

How to make it:
Pre-heat your oven to 425

Brown your meat and add taco seasoning of your choosing (I made my own for this but I'll save that for another post since I'm still trying to perfect it!)

Warm up your refried beans

*I didn't think my browned meat or warmed up out of the can beans justified taking a picture :)*

Put your meat and beans in a bowl and mix them together thoroughly.
Then cut circles in your tortillas. I managed to get three per tortilla for a muffin pan with 12 openings. The way I achieved the circle was with a normal drinking glass and I "rolled" the rim in a circular motion on the tortilla to "cut" it out.
Aren't they adorable?!
Once you are done you should have 12 (or 24) cute mini tortillas!
The pictures make them look a little big since I have an abnormally small cutting board so here's one of them compared to the size of my hand
Then take your mini tortillas and stuff them into your muffin pan and plop your meat and beans in there. 
Then shred your cheese (or pull out your already shredded cheese)
Then top the taco cups with the cheese
Then pop it in the oven for 10 minutes (or until the cheese is melted)! When its finished and you take it out, let it cool then use a knife or fork to pop them out of the muffin pan. Top or serve with whatever else you would like on your taco cup! ENJOY!

If you try this out or can think of a fun variation of it, feel free to leave a comment and let me know!

This recipe is just another one of those Things I'm Learning From Life!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After

I know I'm posting this a day early but I just couldn't wait! June 19,2010 I had the privilege of marrying the greatest man I've ever met (aside from my daddy). We have been through good times and bad times, we have been on top of the world and we have watched our world fall apart, we have experienced pure joy and absolute devastation and we have made it through everything with the help, love, and support of each other.

It feels so strange that we have been married for two's like the past two years have flown by but at the same time I can't believe that all the things we have done has only happened in the past 2 years. I promised myself that I wouldn't subject any of my readers (if there are any out there) to an abundance of sappiness so all I'm going to do is post 10 pictures with brief descriptions from the story of us. (Some of these are pre-wedding)
This was a couple of months in to us dating.
Derks birthday in 2009. We went to the beach with his family. (Who would have thought exactly one year later we would be married?!)

Not to long after we got engaged (I'm showing off my ring). I think this was in April or something crazy...we got 5 inches of snow in a matter of hours in the middle of Mississippi!
June 19, 2010 I got to marry the love of my life!
This was at one of Derk's cousins baby showers. I love this pic of us...Derk hates pictures so there are only a few where he is actually genuinely smiling! (I love him anyways!)
Our one year anniversary pictures!
One year and 8 months into our marriage and we FINALLY got to take a honeymoon (Thanks to my step-mom and my was more like a family vacation with them and my two step-brothers but Derk and I got our own room and they sent a cake to our room that said "Happy Honeymoon" so by golly I'm calling it our honeymoon!)
We got to go zip-lining in Jamaica
 And we took a cooking class in Mexico!

We have made some awesome memories in the past two years and I absolutely can not wait to see what the future holds for us. I love this man with every ounce of my being and I am proud to call him my husband!
(see I told you it's hard to get him to smile...this was at a joint birthday party/crawfish boil for me and my best friend...who wouldn't smile for that!?)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Halfway Homemade: Frozen Yogurt Drops

Today I decided to try something I saw on Pinterest recently. It is very simple and very delicious! You can pick any flavor you want of yogurt just don't get anything that has chunks of fruit in it!

Here's what you need!

Some yogurt and a ziploc bag and...
a plate covered in tinfoil!

That's it! Yogurt, Ziploc, Tinfoil covered plate!

 (OK so you're gonna need a spoon to scoop yogurt in the Ziploc and scissors to cut a small hole in the bag too)

Just spoon some Yogurt in to the Ziploc...I didn't measure I just spooned some in and I wound up with to much. I would only use about half of what you see in the picture below.
Then I squeezed it all in to that corner and twisted the bag up.
Then cut that little tip off at the end and get to droppin!

 Mine aren't the prettiest in the world but I don't mind! Once you've dropped all you can drop...or you run out of room like I did, ( I wound up squirting the rest of the Yogurt in my mouth if we're being honest!) put your plate in the freezer.
Ignore my rolls and bag of ice...our freezer is home to many delicious things and sometimes it's hard to find room! I waited about 2 hours to go back and check on mine because well, quite frankly, I forgot they were in there. I pulled them out when I remembered and tasted them and BOY ARE THEY YUMMY!
I kept mine on the plate in the freezer until they were all gone...It didn't take very long for them to disappear so I don't really know how long they would keep . Either way, they are a good snack for summer. If you try this out, let me know how it turns out and what flavor you used!

Hope you enjoy reading about the Things I'm Learning From Life!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Halfway Homemade:S'mores Cupcakes

So, a while back I found a recipe for s'mores cupcakes and I thought to myself "Boy, that sounds delicious!" and me being me, didn't get up right away and make them. While I was at the store today I walked past a shelf that had all the s'mores making ingredients and those cupcakes popped in to my mind and I decided I'd give it a whirl. I decided against scouring the internet for the original recipe I had found since I forgot to bookmark it the first time and just dove right in and made it up as I went along. 

Things I used:
 A little box of Devil's Food Cake cupcake mix
1 1/2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
10 marshmallows
3 eggs
4 Tbs butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 vegetable oil
cupcake pan
cupcake liners (12)

 That is EVERYTHING you need!

Start by lining your pan with liners
(I think this pan is older than I am)

Then, cut 6 of your marshmallows in half and cut the remaining 5 in to thirds. It should wind up looking something like this:
I pinched the thirds out to make them flat and a little thinner. Put this in the refrigerator and leave them for now. Next get a bowl and mix up your cupcake mix according to the instructions
except add 1 extra egg to make it more moist. I also added about 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs to the mix to add a little more texture to the "cake" part of the "s'mores".
 You can't really see the little flecks of graham cracker crust but they are there. Set this mixture aside and move on to the graham cracker crust. Put 1 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs in a bowl and add 4 Tbs of butter. (I literally used a Tbs for this so I took a picture of what I am considering a Tbs)
Pour the butter in to the graham cracker crumbs and mix them up until they are all a little moist. Spoon 1 Tbs full(again using a regular spoon like the one pictured above) in to each cupcake liner and begin to press them flat against the bottom and slightly up the sides. 
(*You WILL have some crumbs left over! Don't worry I'll get to those in a sec!*)
I had already pressed one row but I wanted to show you what it looked like before they were pressed so you could kind of eyeball the measurement. This is what it looks like all pressed down and pretty!
Take your marshmallows out of the fridge and take each half and roll it a little between your hands as if you were forming a ball(which it kind of will)
Then plop a little mallow ball in to the center of each cupcake.
Back to those crumbs we had left over, it was only about maybe 1/4 a cup
I decided that since I didn't want to waste anything, that I would sprinkle half of it in to the batter and the other half I sprinkled over the mallow balls.
Then spoon in your cake mix and fill up the liners until they are 2/3 full. (*You will have some batter-maybe enough to make 1 regular cupcake- left over from this due to the graham cracker crumbs and marshmallow taking up some space. I discarded the remaining batter though since I don't have another cupcake pan*)
Bake these at 350 degrees for 17 minutes and then take them out. Then insert your mallow "discs" into the center of each cupcake for a cute little garnish. Put the cupcakes back in the oven for another 5 minutes and let the marshmallow discs toast a little and get a little brown on the edges. This is them fresh out of the oven.
I took them out of the pan immediately and put them on a plate to cool
I think they are adorable!

I am sure that there are a ton of variations you could do on this, I thought about one after I finished everything about how it would have been cute to use a little food coloring and make the disc sticking out of the cupcake look like a little flame or something!

Any who, once we tasted them I realized that the marshmallow inside had melted and just left a slight marshmallow taste on the inside (still tasted fairly similar to a s'more though!)...not the gooeyness I was hoping for so it was basically just hollow so if you wanted to skip that step you could and just add a little extra on top or maybe let them cook and remove the center then add a marshmallow and cook the last 5 minutes. 

You can vary it however you would like, I actually kind of like it being hollow in the middle...almost makes me feel like it's not as fattening! Haha!

My husband suggested that we take the disc topper out and pipe in some marshmallow fluff then replace the disc so we get the gooeyness we were going for...I knew I married him for something!

I guess making something you don't really know how to make is always going to be a learning experience and making these cupcakes was just another one of those things I'm learning from life!

(Special thanks to my husband, who probably won't read this, for writing down the measurements I was hollering out at him across the kitchen so I didn't forget)