Thursday, April 30


Well I was planning a post for my 50th official post, but then I got the call that I GOT THE JOB! So instead this will be my 50th post! So yeah, I get to go back out into the workforce with a sweet M-F 7-12 schedule... I do have to thank god that I am able to do that since my husband has a WONDERFUL job and it allows me to only work part time right now at a very low paying job just to get my foot into the door of a new career!

So yeah... not sure when I start just yet... I would guess 1 - 2 weeks, but at least I will finally have a reason to get out of the house!!!

Wednesday, April 29


So a lot has happened since my post this morning... First off, the phone interview went wonderful! So wonderful I actually just got back from a 2nd interview! I should know either sometime this afternoon or tomorrow if I got the job, but I am feeling REALLY good about it. Now this is only a part-time job, just to really keep me busy while I continue to look or until something full-time comes available. I have to laugh at the fact that I could possibly be a Bank Teller by Monday, especially since I have a college degree and 3 years of experience, 1 1/2 of those are in management. But with the economy the way it is and the fact that there is not much of a job market here in Tyler, I have to take what I can get... plus there are great advancement opportunities within the bank. What makes this bank even better is THEY AREN'T OPEN ON SATURDAYS! Seriously how great is that!!! I have to get my foot in the door somewhere in order to move up, so why not? I am lucky enough that Keith can support us while I do make this career change.

What else happened today you ask... well I received a contract extension on my current job until June 11th. It would probably only be to work about 5-10 hours a week on a lawsuit that is going on, but it would give me a little bit more funding which would be nice. I haven't said yes just yet as I am not 100% sure I want to work on a lawsuit and take that risk of being called in about it, but as it is a legal matter I have to legally help in anyway I can and at least this way I can get paid for it.

So that has been my day... along with laundry and thinking about how I need to do some cleaning around here!


I have a phone interview today! It's only for a part-time job, but at least it would give me something to do while I am still job searching. Also in Texas you can still collect unemployment while working part time... this might be something I can get used to!

The interview is at 10, so hopefully I will at least know if I am going to get a 2nd interview shortly after talking with the representative!

Other than that, things are very boring around here. Keith comes back today from being out on a job for 2 days and I am very happy about that. It gets really lonely around here when I am stuck by myself. I think it has finally stopped raining for a little while, so I might actually have the energy to go to the gym today since I have been nothing but lazy the past 2 days! Other than that, I have nothing.

Monday, April 27

Perfect Post...

Here is a perfect post to go along with my couponing post from one of my favorite bloggers, Erin at $5 Dinners

Ahh... Much Better

Well I have finally calmed down from my job search rant earlier and I guess today is getting better. As you can see I redid the background and header... AGAIN! I know you are probably tired of me changing it but I have too much free time on my hands with the job coming to an end and to make it worse, it is raining here so I really don't have much to do. Plus it has been ridiculoulsy quiet on the blog front today so I haven't had much reading material to tide me over! Where is everyone????

So a topic I have always been amazed by and have read so much about through blogging in the past few months is couponing and circular shopping. With the end of my job coming, we have really decided that we need to start doing some cutbacks and saving as much money as possible, and I have found that at the grocery store is the best way. I never thought I would be able to save as much as those hard-core couponers out there, but I am really starting to get amazed at how much I have been able to save. In the past two weeks by reviewing the circulars, shopping the deals (which sometimes means going to multiple stores), using my reward card and using coupons I saved $92.31. I have to say that is pretty impressive! If you also add in my 198 bucks I saved at JCPenney's this past weekend, that is almost 300 dollars that I have saved us in just a few weeks time! I am still working on stockpiling my coupons and also working on where to get the best deals on things, but it is getting easier for me to do and really doesn't take up much time at all!

If you want to read more about couponing you can go to, that is where I learned a lot about how to start. You can also go to this blog to find grocery deals in your area! I really recommend it to anyone out there that is trying to save money and has 15-20 minutes to spare in their week!

More Frustrated Than Ever!

So, it is T-minus 5 days until I officially become unemployed! As much as I can not wait until the day that I no longer have to sit here on a computer all day to do absolutely nothing, I have become beyond frustrated with the job search. Seriously, I just got turned down from a PART-TIME job scheduling surgeries at the hospital. A job that only required a high school degree and absolutely no experience what so ever! So not only did I stoop down to applying for a job that I am well beyond qualified for just to get out of this house, I now feel even less adequate that I can't even get a freaking interview for it!

Now most people would say that would be because I am too qualified for the job and they don't want to put someone in the position that will probably just leave in a few months, I don't care! Someone give me an interview so that I can feel that my 4 years at LSU were not a complete waste... well except for the fact that I had a great time and met Keith there (but that's another post that probably will never get written)... Someone read my resume that actually makes a decision... someone freaking HIRE ME!

I have now officially been looking for a job here in the Tyler area for almost 10 months as even once I was told that I could stay on the program working from home, I continued to look. I have probably applied for well over 50 jobs, many of which I personally feel that I am 100% qualified for, but yet, not 1 interview in those 10 months, just a whole bunch of "thanks but no thanks emails." I am almost to the point where I don't even want to submit another resume! It is a good thing that Texas pays pretty decent unemployment cause it looks like I am going to be taking full advantage of those 18 months that Obama has approved.

Friday, April 24

Thank God for the Weekend!

Finally it is Friday and I am so glad about that... what I am not glad about is the fact that Keith has to work this weekend, oh and probably next weekend, oh and wait the weekend after that too! So yeah my life is going to be pretty boring for the next 3 weeks! But at least I had cake class last night and look what I learned...I am very proud of my clown! I wish I would have had more colors in order to do his shoes and hands different, and maybe even add some buttons! We also learned roses as you can see in the first picture, but I need a little more work on those. I don't know how someone can make hundreds of these, your hand gets SOOOO tired!

I guess this weekend I will try to do some shopping for Mother's Day. I already got half of my mom's present, but need to get the rest and I have no clue what to get Keith's mom. What are you all getting your mother's for the big day? I need suggestions!!!!

Hopefully I will also get more running in this weekend if it stays as pretty as it has been. I found a great trail yesterday that is 2.5 miles long and it was soo pretty and most of it is shaded so it keeps the temperature down. Thank God! There were quite a few people running yesterday and it goes right by a park and there were all kinds of moms out there on playdates with their kids... makes me want a cute little one... but Not Yet! We are definitely not ready yet, maybe another year. I know God will let me know when it is the right time for us!

Wednesday, April 22

Cake Number 2

This week for class we actually had to make cupcakes, but we only needed 2 so I figured I would make a small cake for Keith's work and also the cupcakes I needed for class. I decided to up my baking skills this week and steer away from the regular white cake and incorporate one of Keith and I's favorite things... WHITE CHOCOLATE! So thanks to a little bit of Paula Deen help, here is Cake number 2!

White Chocolate Cake
From Paula Deen's Holiday Baking (2007)
· 1 cup butter, softened
· 2 cups sugar
· 5 egg whites
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 3 cups cake flour
· 3 teaspoons baking powder
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1 cup whole buttermilk
· 6 (1 ounce) white chocolate baking squares, melted and cooled
-Preheat oven to 350°F; grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.
-In a large bowl, beat butter at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy.
-Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
-In a small bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt; sift twice. Add flour mixture, alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in melted chocolate.
-Pour batter evenly into prepared pans; bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and allow to cool completely on wire racks. Ice to your liking!

I decided to mix some strawberries into the icing for my filling and it turned out pretty good. I used Wilton's Buttercream icing for the outside of my cake and I flavored it with their Clear Vanilla Extract. Just a note... this recipe makes A LOT of cake. It is actually for a 3 layer 9 inch cake so if you do not want to make a cake that large, you are going to have left over batter.

Reviews: We both loved it! Very moist with just the right amount of white chocolate.

Here is a picture of my finished product. Of course I had to use some of my cake decorating techniques to finish it off.

I promise that icing is actually purple and not the strange color it is appearing thanks to the camera! That is also supposed to be a fleur de lis, but it appears my cookie cutter was a little messed up. I am sure Keith will be made fun of for his purple fleur de lis cake (a little to LSU/Louisiana for the guys in the office). I could have done a better job on the icing but I figure the guys are just going to destroy it anyway.

Unfortunately after all the baking and icing and decorating, it was pizza night around here. There was no cooking after that afternoon and I was definitely not in the mood to wash anymore dishes! I will have to make sure to make a healthy meal tonight!

Monday, April 20

Just a Relaxing Weekend...

We had a great weekend here in East Texas... not much going on and not much to do around the house. Personally that is a great weekend!

Friday we were lucky enough to meet a few new people thanks to a co-worker of Keith's. We went over to his house and just had a good time relaxing and spending time with new friends.

Saturday it was time for Saban's annual visit to the vet. Man I wish I would have had a camera for this experience! Not only was it storming when it was time to get out of the car, but there were 3 other dogs waiting in the office for their turn. Now our cat as I have said before... is NOT normal. He believes that if you can not see his head, then you can't see the rest of his body. Well this proved true to him once again during this visit. You see, we do not bring Saban to the vet in a carrier as he feels safer in Keith's arms, so as Keith was holding him, he found a little spot to put his head in between Keith's upper arm and forearm and just sat there for his 30 minute wait. In his mind, those crazy dogs could not see him and he was perfectly safe from their attacks. Luckily he was great for the doctor and was sent on with a clean bill of health! Poor little guy did have to get 3 shots and was ridiculously sluggish yesterday, but seems to be much better this morning.

Sunday consisted of a trip to church and this...
Keith playing golf while I drove around in the golf cart. I wish I could have taken a picture of myself though... I had my legs kicked up on the cart with a magazine and just enjoying the day. Unfortunately about 15 minutes after this picture was taken and I had really gotten comfortable, the wind picked up to about 30 miles an hour and the sun went away and I froze... and we were only on hole 5! So for the next 13 holes, instead of kicking back and enjoying the day, I was in a little ball trying to get my shorts to cover as much as possible and being very thankful I had decided to wear tennis shoes instead of flip flops and that I brought a jacket. But it was still a nice day and I enjoyed the time with Keith in the outdoors... he even let me take a few swings... yeah golf is not ever going to be my sport!

But now it is Monday, and we are now T-minus 11 days until I am officially unemployed! Still no hits in the job search department but oh well, just still praying about it and I know whatever is supposed to happen will happen and it will happen with time. So, if you are reading this, say a little prayer for me especially for my patience in this time!

Friday, April 17

The First Real Cake Decorating Experience...

Well it is official! My first cake decorating experience is over and it was so much fun... and I have to say I am pretty decent at it too! But man your arm gets very tired! I don't know how cake decorators don't have one arm like 5 times the size of the other one!

First I am going to share with you the recipe I used for my cake... which tasted REALLY good... I only got to taste a little bit from when I had to take the top off to layer it, the rest went to Keith's office this morning.

Silver White Cake
From Betty Crocker Cookbook

2 ¼ cups cake flour or 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg whites (1/2 cup)

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour baking pan, 13x9x2 inches, or 2 round layer pans, 8 or 9 ½ inches. Measure flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, shortening, milk and vanilla into large mixer bowl. Blend ½ minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 2 minutes high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Add egg whites; beat 2 minutes high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan(s).

Bake oblong 35 to 40 minutes, layers 30 to 35 minutes (my oven it was 28 min) or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.

Now a little bit about the actual decorating...Here is a picture of my cake after baking and frosting.

As you can see, I am not the best froster... but I am working on it. Last night in class the instructor shared a secret to flattening it out. You use a peice of parchment paper and rub it on the cake in small circles. The lady that was sitting next to me already knew that and her cake looked AMAZING!

In class we learned how to make Stars, ZigZags, the Curved Line, and dots. For our cake we only used the Stars and the ZigZags but it was really fun to learn different techniques.

And here is the final product...

I can't wait for next week when we get to start learning the rose and also we get to learn how to make clowns!!!

Thursday, April 16

How I Have Spent My Morning...

If you haven't figured it out yet, I am a food nut! Eating it, Cooking it, Baking it, you name it I love it. Not only that, I love all products that are used in doing these things. And my family knows this... so when my SIL decided that she wanted new pots for Mother's Day, who did she come to... me of course... oh and did that start me on what involved 2 hours of my morning.

So first came an almost page long email on what I feel are the best brands of pots... personally I am partial to Calphalon, as that is what I have and adore. Then I had to go on about Emeril's set as that is what we picked out for my mom last year as she wanted a reasonably priced set of stainless steel. Then of course you always have the Rachael Ray pots, if you want something very bright and not your typical looking pots and I mean she cooks with them on her show so they have to be pretty good.

Next came an email with links to a few different boxed sets. As Kohl's carries basically all of the good brands that is where I told my SIL to go and look. Plus you all know that Kohl's will have a pretty good sale between now and Mother's Day and at least one coupon that will probably allow my brother to buy them at 20-30% off.

Well this review of pots, then caused me to do this... spend the next hour basically looking at everything possible that Kohl's has to offer in regards to dinnerware, serving ware, flatware, you name it I looked at it. Like I need anything else in my kitchen...

I really should be practicing my stars and borders for my cake class tonight... not wasting my time looking at things that are just so pretty but there is no possible room in my house for anything else in regards to the kitchen... Now don't get me wrong, I have also done 3 loads of laundry, ironed shirts for Keith, made him lunch to take to work, and made sure I had everything ready for class tonight, so I guess the past 4 hours hasn't been a complete waste!

Wednesday, April 15

No Catchy Title Today...

Headed to the Junior College here shortly to turn in an application for hopefully a job that I will at least get an interview for... seriously, is my resume not even good enough to allow for an interview!?!?!? Boy this job searching thing sucks! Hopefully my outfit will at least help me win over the secretary enough for her to at least put in a good word for me!
Shirt: Ann Taylor Loft, Pants: Gap, Necklace and Ring: Mignon Faget, Shoes: Nine West

The outfit is a little between casual and business casual, didn't want to overdo it just to drop off an application... wish I had better shoes though! I really need to expand that part of the wardrobe... though I think Keith would beg to differ!

I'm hoping to get to meet Keith for a lunch date, but that all depends on the wonderful oilfield job he is on... never know what is going to happen! He has the weirdest hours when he is on a job... Yesterday he left at 3:30 am and didn't return until 6:15 pm. Today he left at 4:30 and is hoping to be home by 1:00. Really interferes with my sleeping habits!
Had a great run outside this morning! Beautiful weather here in East Texas. Thank god, cause running on a treadmill is really starting to get boring!

Be prepared for a post on Friday detailing my first cake from scratch and decorating experience!!!! Or more like disaster!

Tuesday, April 14

Is It Not Friday Yet???

It has already been too long of a week! I had so much recovering around the house yesterday from our short trip that I am exhausted! Then of course I had to fight the crowds yesterday afternoon in order to get my supplies for the cake decorating class, food for our poor cat, and food for ourselves... I never want to go shopping again! Ok at least not for a few days :)

Today I finally made it back to the gym for Spin Class and I am so glad I did! It was a great workout and I feel so much better. I had been in a funk for about a week cause I just didn't have the energy to make it to the gym, so I had just been a BUM! Hopefully I can get myself back into my routine.

Since I bought so much stuff for my cake decorating class, I had to have somewhere to put it, which meant... I had to either empty out a cabinet or do some rearranging in our pantry. I chose the pantry since it is so hard to get to anything in there!
Here is the Before...
(I had already taken out some of the stuff when I remembered to take the picture)
Here is the After...
(That empty space is where I plan to put my cake decorating stuff... we will see if it all fits)
Hopefully now I can actually get to everything... If you notice, we have like no food in our pantry but lots of other stuff...we had so many wedding presents and not enough room to put them! I think I got everything for the kitchen that I registered for!
Well I am off to do a little more cleaning and print out some job applications... May 1 is fast approaching and I have nothing!!!!

Monday, April 13

Finally A Background I am Pleased With!

Well it took me forever... but I am soo excited about my new background and title! Tell me what you think about it!

Don't Feed the Seagulls

I thought this sign was ridiculously funny for some reason... It was on the boardwalk at Kemah and I just couldn't help but take a picture of it. Keith did not find it as funny as me, but oh well!

We had a great time at the Kemah boardwalk on Saturday with my parents... Here are just a few pictures

The roller coaster Keith and I rode on... it was a great old time wooden roller coaster!

Keith and I on the Boardwalk

Keith and my dad racing the monster trucks... ok well actually Keith racing the truck, my dad yelling at his cause it was broken!

Saturday night we went to the Laff Stop in Houston and saw a great comedian, Claude Stuart. If you are ever in Houston and have a free evening, I recommend going to the Laff Stop. We are yet to see a bad comedian there and we really enjoy it every time we go!

Yesterday we went to church with my parents and had a great Easter lunch with them, then it was time to head home. It was a gorgeous spring day, and this was the sight along the side of the road...

Yes, it is bluebonnet season here in Texas... and oh how I love it. I really think it is the prettiest sight ever. More than once I contemplated asking Keith to pull over so I could take some pictures (I had to get this one off of Yahoo! Images), but I decided against it, maybe on the next trip!

Well lot's of things to do around here today, along with work. Laundry, grocery shopping, and other errands to run. It is going to be a LONG day!

Friday, April 10

In Houston...

Well we made it to Houston about midnight last night and are so glad to be here. Keith and my dad are playing golf right now and my mom and I are just back from our shopping excursion... or more like a blowout! I got some great things... let me just share a few

Pants Gap and Shirt Ann Taylor Loft

I love shopping with my mom... we always find the best deals and the best things! I got a few more things along with those 3 peices but I couldn't find them online. My favorite thing I got was a long short sleeved cardigan that looks soo cute over jeans... but they didn't have it online for some reason!

Tonight is going to be a low key night, but tomorrow we have plans to go to Kima and to the comedy club. We love going to the comedy club when we come, they have some of the greatest comedians!

Wednesday, April 8

New Background...

I am still trying to decide if I like the new background I just put together... I found out how to make my own backgrounds so I was just testing it out... I will have to think about it, so fair warning, you may see a few different backgrounds over the next few days :). Wow I have too much time on my hands!

What A Beautiful Day...

I just had to take advantage of it this morning and go out for a jog. 2.15 miles... not bad. I have to thank for doing the measurements. It was 65 with a slight wind and beautiful sun when I went... now its about 78 still breezy and still VERY sunny. It is just gorgeous here in East Texas!

That is definitely one thing that I have loved since we moved here... I never knew what 4 seasons were until we moved here. My previous residences of South Texas and South Louisiana are 1 1/2 seasons... Summer and maybe a week or 2 of winter! Add in the 100% humidity about 360 days of the year and it's not the nicest weather. Though living there for 24 of my years I never thought I would say that... but back then I didn't know what I was missing!

Tomorrow night is the first night of my cake decorating class and I CAN'T WAIT! I am so excited about learning how to correctly ice a cake and how to make the little flowers. Next I will have to learn how to bake a really good cake from scratch. Any recipe suggestions? I have made cupcakes from scratch once now, but I am yet to attempt a cake... guess that will probably be coming early next week. Oh and we get to learn how to make butter cream icing! MMMMM! More to come about the class, and hopefully some pictures of my creations!

We are off to my parents right after class tomorrow (hopefully barring no work emergencies for Keith) to enjoy the Easter weekend! I can't wait to go shopping with my mom and Keith and my dad are going to try and get in 2 rounds of golf. We always have a great time when we go to my parents, and we both get to do what we want this way! Plus there is always good food to be had in Houston! I mean there are like 4,000 restaurants there! I wonder where I should convince them to take me :)

Tuesday, April 7

What I have learned...

On March 29th, we marked 18 months of marriage... and even though I am about a week late and 18 months may not seem like a long time, I thought I would share with you the few things I have learned over those months.

1. No matter if you don't think you will ever need them, register for more towels that you could ever possibly need in life. This includes both kitchen towels and regular bath towels. You seriously would think that we ate them by how quickly we go through them.
2. Even if you are not an avid drinker always keep beer and wine in your house. One day, one of you or even both is going to need them after a long day of work. This is even more true now that we live in a dry county and can't exactly run out to the gas station to buy beer.
3. Men can wear more clothes in one day than some people wear in a week. I never thought I would see someone change as much as Keith does. In one day I have seen him in shorts and a t-shirt, cover-alls for work, in jeans and a t-shirt, and then back in a different pair of shorts and a t-shirt.
4. Once you are married, men really do forget how to do much for themselves. When I was gone for a week with my parents, I came home to more laundry than I have ever seen (see number 3) and none of it was mine.
5. It will make your life much better if you just do the laundry for both of you. As much as you wish that he would notice that his clothes are piling up, he is not going to, and it will help you to keep your sanity if you just do it.
6. Let him be honest if he doesn't like what you cook. That is all I have to say about that.
7. Men are in charge of the remote... end of story. You will never get control of it unless he is not at home. I still see this in my parents 35+ years of marriage.
8. The house will never be 100% clean... oh god I can't imagine what it will be like when we bring kids into this world.
9. You must have only one person in charge of the finances. It is too complicated for both of you to be dealing with that. He knows I'm in charge of the bills and we must be in agreeance for money spent over 100 dollars. This just really makes life so much better.
10. If we are going somewhere in one car... I'm just going to let him drive. It is just the smart thing to do.

So I hope you have enjoyed what I have learned during marriage. But really the number one thing I have learned is that I love my husband and we have a great relationship and I really don't know what I would do without him!

Now back to the laundry :)

Monday, April 6

On To Monday...

Well the weekend is now over... and I wish it was still Saturday... now it is Monday, and it is 46 degrees outside and windy (like 20 mph). I wanted to go run outside so bad today, so I got dressed made it halfway down the street and turned around. I just was not able to do it with the wind. I guess instead I will do some cleaning and laundry... not really in the mood to drive to the gym.

We had a really great weekend here with the in-laws. I did lots of shopping with my MIL and got lots of bargains.
I got this shirt at Ann Taylor Loft... and thanks to a coupon and a gift card from my mom... only had to spend 13 bucks!
I was so excited to see all the cute spring clothes in the Loft... unfortunately can't spend the money right now, but let me share with you some of the pieces that if I could I would buy!
I tried on both and wanted to buy them so bad... but I let my head win instead of my shopping self. But I do have to say the best thing about my trip to the Loft, was the fact that I would have needed a size 8 in those shorts. Now this might not seem like a big thing to most people, but I have been a size 12 for as long as I can remember. I go into my closet, and I only own 1 pair of size 10 pants, and to need an 8 just makes me ridiculously happy! It feels so good to know that the past 10 months in the gym have really done something for me.

I also bought a new pair of workout capris and Nike zip-up at JCPenney's and had a 15% off plus they were already 20% off, so I got a great deal on those too! I just LOVE getting a good deal!

Sunday my in-laws left, and I had the opportunity to be a greeter for the Tyler Historic Home Tour. Here is a link to the house I was at. I had such a good time and the house was AMAZING! Unfortunately, I was at the front door and decided to wear a dress, and almost froze to death thanks to the wind, but I toughed out my 2 hours and really had a good time. Makes me really excited for when I am in charge of the AAUW Holiday in the Pines home tour in December!

Friday, April 3

Ready for the Weekend!

Ok now that I have finally finished posting all of my recipes, I can get back to work... Right! Work has been so ridiculously slow it isn't even funny. I have done more searching on the internet for absolutly nothing that I can't even handle it anymore. I have decided to sign off at 11 today and go with the in-laws to Canton for First Monday.

If you are ever in the East Texas area the weekend before the First Monday of the month, you HAVE to go to Canton. It is probably the largest open air market in the country and it is just awesome. Here is a link to the website so you can get an idea of what it is. When we first moved here we went and we got all kinds of decorations for the house. The in-laws want to go to get some new things for their house since what they had was not enough for the house! I am hoping to find something for the wall in our extra bedroom and maybe something else fun!

Tonight we are going to our favorite Latin restaurant and I can't wait. We have not been there since before Christmas and I am so ready for it!

Alright since this is the 4th post of the day, I am done...

Grilled Salmon with Spinach with Tomatoes

For dinner the other night I had leftover spinach from the salad I had to make for our Gourmet Group and some frozen salmon (I prefer fresh but it's what I had) so I decided to do some searching and here is what I came up with.

Grilled Salmon

3 Garlic Cloves (chopped fine)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
Cajun Seasoning (we use Tony's)
3 Salmon fillets

In Ziploc bag, combine marinade ingredients and place salmon in bag for 1 hour. Once fully marinaded grill about 4-5 minutes per side.

Spinach with Tomatoes

1 bag fresh baby spinach
1 tomato (chopped)
1 large garlic clove (chopped fine)
1/4 red onion (diced)
2 tablespoons chicken broth
olive oil
Parmigiana cheese

Warm olive oil in pan. Add garlic and onion and saute until soft. Add spinach and cover until starting to wilt. Add chicken broth and cook until all spinach has wilted down until about 1/3 amount. Add tomato and continue to cook until tomato has softened. Grate cheese over spinach and tomatoes and serve.

We really enjoyed this even though it was just thrown together with what I had on hand!

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

This was cookie number 2...

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
adapted from Good Things Catered... adapted from America's Test Kitchen

2 cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until warm
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

-Adjust oven racks to upper & lower -middle positions & heat oven to 325. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
-Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.
-With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter & sugars until thoroughly combined.
-Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla until combined.
-Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in chips and pecans.
-Roll scant 1/2 cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball.
-Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft & puffy (about 11 minutes in my oven).
-Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool.

Peanut Butter Cookies

So I promised Keith I would make cookies for his work this week... so here is what we started with

Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of fine salt
Granulated sugar, as needed

-In an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar on low speed until just incorporated. Raise the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula.)
-Add the egg and peanut butter and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
-Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
-Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the flour mixture. Raise the speed to medium and mix briefly until smooth dough is formed. Form the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm.
-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheet pans with parchment paper. Using a 2-teaspoon-sized ice cream scoop, melon ballers, or your hands, form the dough into about 50 small balls. Put sugar on a pie plate or dish. Roll the dough balls in the sugar to coat lightly.
-Arrange the dough about an inch apart on the prepared pans. Using the tines of a fork, flatten the dough balls slightly, while making cross-hatch marks on their tops. Bake the cookies in batches, turning the pans once, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes per batch. (My oven cooks ridiculously fast so I cooked them 5 minutes then turned the pan and cooked an additional 4) Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheets, and then transfer to racks to cool completely. Store in a sealed container.