The Bombshell of the Year!

Hello!

It’s Catie today. And I’m here to break the news…

About the end of October, my husband and I, and therefore my parents, took in a sweet orange and white, little, long-haired tabby that wandered up to our house. She was so loving and playful that we all immediately fell in love. Well…all of us but Daddy, but he came around pretty quick, I think. We spent weeks laboring over names and we finally settled on a perfectly sweet name, Sydney.

sydney

Yesterday as she turned 6 months old, we took our baby kitten in to get fixed…

An hour later, my husband receives a phone call.  I was out shopping at the time so he gives me a call and it goes something like this…

Devin: “You are not gonna believe this babe, but Sydney has already been fixed.”

Me: “What??? That’s Crazy. I wonder whose baby she was? We asked around, but no one claimed her!”

Then, because the connection was kinda bad, we had to hang up. Later, when I get home, Devin and I exchanged the usual Howdy do’s, and then he said…

Devin: “Baby, there’s more about Sydney…”

I thought, Oh Gracious! Did the vet want to keep her because I unknowingly had somebody’s baby for the last 2 months? I swear, she just walked up on our porch just starving as can be!

He says, “Sydney’s a little Dude!”

Yep.

That happened.

So there you go, the Bombshell News of the Year, my little baby girl, is a Boy!

Welcome to the fam/crazy farm kitty!

Until next time,

Catie

10 Steps to the Best Stuffed Stocking

Hello there!

It’s Catie today. My mother is currently very busy with her extensive duties as head elf preparing for Christmas, so this helper elf must step in.

As I’m sure you have experienced, the Christmas stocking is both a joyful gift to receive and a real booger to stuff. I mean, what a weird shape. Right?

However, I want you to have no fear, because, here, at the Davis house, we leave no inch  unstuffed. We are expert packers and pack it all the way to the top!

Therefore, without further ado, I give you our 10 step guide to stocking stuffing!!!

[Yay! Applause!!]

1. I’m going to start off  with the most important of stuffers, the Christmas Orange. You may be puzzled right now, and while I can’t promise I’m not crazy, I can promise that an orange is the perfect fit for that ever puzzling toe end of the stocking. Try it out! It works every time. It has been a family tradition for well past my lifetime. It fills out that space as well as, providing some balance to all those extra sweets we’ve all been eating! (Don’t lie.)

2. Next, after the orange, is the perfect place to stuff those Christmas socks that everybody secretly loves to get and we all need. If you have any boys in your life, you may not even bother with themed socks just stuff it with everyday white, you know they need ’em.

3. After that, comes the fun stuff like “Silly Putty” or “Play-Doh.” If you’re a kid, you’ll love it ’cause it’s fun! If you’re a grown up kid, you love it ’cause it’s fun!

4. Then, comes the part where you can get creative based on the recipient. My sister-in-law and I, for instance, tend to get fun things like new mascara, nail polish, or pretty bracelets.The boys get gadgety things like key ring tape measures, themed ear buds, or shaving accessories.

5. Now, you should be nearing the top of this stocking so the gifts should get lighter at this point. Generally, this is where each member of the family receives a carefully handpicked Pez candy. My past Pez’s include a Cinderella, a Minnie Mouse, a Sleeping Beauty, and a Yoda. (I’m a diverse person.)

6. Next to the Pez, if you know of a favorite candy bar or treat, here is a good place to slide it in. It’s Christmas, so a king size version is acceptable.

7. Now is when I suggest placing any DVDs or Cds you might have purchased, as you should be able to securely slide them along the side of the stocking at this point. (I told you we were experts at this.)

8. At the top of the stocking, the best things are gift cards!! They’re best at the top, because you don’t want them getting lost or misplaced during the un-stuffing process.  My suggestions for sure winners are Amazon gift cards or Itunes gift cards and there’s no need to go crazy here, everyone loves a $10 one just as much as any other one. (Though I know I wouldn’t say no to a little extra…)

9.  At last, now is the time to fill all the holes that have emerged between all these fabulous gifts in your stocking and what better way to fill them in, but with candy! Sweet, sour, hard, soft, or minty, as long as it’s small, it will work!

10. At the very top, and this truly is saving the best gift for last, spread a little love to wish the special ones in your life a truly blessed and Merry Christmas!

Until next time and Merry Christmas,

Catie

Advent Season

Hey!

This morning, I’m beginning an Advent series @Sweeter Than Honey Ministry.  I hope you’ll click over and check it out.   Here’s a sampling below:

This past Sunday, the Advent season began.  Advent is a time of preparation and expectation as well as the beginning of our liturgical year.   The word is the anglicized term of the Latin word, adventus meaning arrival, visit, or coming.  During this season, we remember and reflect on the hope of a Messiah to come foretold throughout the Old Testament, we rejoice in His birth as the Christ-child, and we eagerly look ahead full of the hope of Jesus Christ’s return and all things made right.  I hope that you will join me in the celebration of Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah and our Savior.   Read more ….

Blessings,

Mimi

“…the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”  Isaiah 7:14  NIV Bible

A Nibble or A Choke

Hello!

It’s Catie (I know…I’m still here….but no worries, my Mom will be back soon!)

So recently, I heard this quote and immediately felt that it resonated with my most recent cooking endeavors.

“Someone once told me not to bite off more than I could chew. To which I replied, I’d rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity.”–unknown

I’ve already mentioned that I have a flair for the dramatic. (Yes…you should feel for my husband and parents.) So, I attempted to make the very ambitious Chicken Marsala recipe from the cookbook, SkinnyTaste by Gina Homolka.

IMG_1952In my defense, I had very noble intentions for being so ambitious. You see, Chicken Marsala is one of my mother’s favorite dishes and as you’ll see, she’s SuperMom–What can I say? I live to please.

For any of you who do not know, Chicken Marsala is an Italian dish that involves a breaded and fried chicken that is covered in a creamy Marsala wine and mushroom sauce. Yum!

Actually, the whole endeavor started off rocky. First, I had never tenderized chicken before nor witnessed chicken tenderized in my life. So I was completely unprepared when I got out the breasts, cut them, and proceeded to attempt to wrap them in plastic wrap. However, all I succeeded in creating was a Salmonella ridden wadded mess. I recovered though with the thoughtful guidance of SuperMom.

Next, came the actual hammering of the chicken or “tendering” of it. Apparently, I’m something of a wuss. According to some, I was using about as much force to pound the chicken breasts as I would’ve used to bat my eyelashes–you could say, I was getting nowhere. All was saved though (again), when SuperMom came in to show me how it’s done, and let’s just say she’s no wuss….<>.

Then, I began the actual cooking and frying up of the chicken breasts which was no sweat because I am Mississippi born and raised after all.  I could probably fry just about anything up in my sleep. It’s in my blood. However, the tricky part came after the frying.  I’m using an iron skillet, ( is there really anything better??), but what I didn’t account for was the fact that an iron skillet takes a little longer to cool back down than other skillets. So, when I started making the marsala sauce, I ended up, not with golden and tender shallots and garlic, but burnt unrecognizable pieces of what use to be shallots and garlic glued to the bottom. Cue SuperMom back with her magical powers to fix it!

She cooled and cleaned down the skillet in enough time for me to re-chop the garlic and shallots. (Bet you wish you had a SuperMom!) In the end, despite the fact that apparently I had bought imitation Marsala wine instead of the real stuff, and used beef broth instead of chicken broth (what? I’m learning…) it ended up pretty good (or so SuperMom said…she could be biased though).

We paired it up with baked sweet potatoes (which I forgot to spear before putting in the oven –almost had some ‘splodin spuds…whoops!) and collard greens. Delizioso! (Delicious! For those of you who don’t speak I-talian)

Until next time,

Catie

From Disaster to Delicious

Hello!

If you’re just joining in, my mom usually blogs on this site but I’m guest posting for her for a few weeks.  I’ve been chronicling my adventures in perfecting my art of cooking.  You can find the first post of my challenge here, if you’d like to start at the beginning.

Since the last crock pot recipe went so well, I decided to try my hand at more slow cooker recipes. I just can’t help myself.  They are just far too convenient.

I ventured out and tried a different cookbook this time, Fix-it and Forget-It Cookbook: Feasting with your Slow Cooker by Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good. It’s a cookbook that my mom found at a second-hand store. The recipe I used was for a southwest soup.

The recipe was…strange. The soup could only best be described as a kind of salsa soup with potatoes…weird, right??

So in order to salvage it, mom came to the rescue. She’s pure genius.  Thank you, Supermom!  I’m incredibly blessed to have you as my guide.

We cooked some ground meat in fajita seasoning and added it to the soup along with a can of rinsed dark red kidney beans. (The problem with the recipe before was the soup was only potatoes and crushed tomatoes. — Just too thin. ) Then, we added some sour cream, avocado, and shredded cheddar cheese on the top.  The soup turned out to be one of the best taco soups I have ever had!

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Until next time,

Catie

The Battle of Meal Planning

Hello!

It’s Catie, blogging for my mom!

This will be my third week now of cooking meals every night (or most nights) and I’m gong to be blunt here and say, it’s hard! Who knew being a grown up would  require so much work?!!

I equate this work much to how I imagine it’s like to prepare for battle.  First, you must plan your strategy (the week’s menu). It must be detailed enough that you know exactly what you are going to do, but flexible enough to accommodate the dietary preferences of your allies (the family members).  You know … don’t schedule a week of meaty meals when someone is going vegetarian. Keep thy allies happy! (or you will find yourself washing your own dishes..)

Next, you have to check the supplies and decide what must be bought. This step is by FAR the most crucial. Just as you wouldn’t want to go to battle without a sword (this is more of a medieval battle than a modern one), you  don’t want to find yourself elbow deep in marinating meat searching for that supposed bottle of thyme (Can we say Salmonella hands….Ew!)

Once you know what supplies you need, you must be cunning and quick in the grocery store! Dodging the slow or aisle hogging shoppers and quickly choosing the products needed, all while remaining on budget and on point.

Finally, you arrive home, and the battle begins!

Kinda Dramatic….I know.

Anyways, the results of my little battles have been very yummy!  For instance, a couple of days ago, I made this delicious Columbian Steak with Aji Picante sauce from the cookbook SkinnyTaste by Gina Homolka. Gasp! A non-Mexican food meal you ask? Yup…and it was good!

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Mmm mmm!

Until next time,

Catie

Fish Tacos for Challenge 4

Hello!

It’s still Catie here, guest posting for my mom!

I’m sorry for the absence in posting, but this past weekend was Fall Break for me, and I took the break part very seriously!!  However, I did manage to pull it together for some pretty awesome (if I do say so myself) fish tacos! Did I mention the Mexican food addiction problem I have? But it’s just so good I can’t help myself!fish tacos (790x800)

(Sorry for the picture quality. I was working with a camera phone. I gave my trusty photographer a break–Thanks Mom!)

The recipe came from the book SkinnyTaste by Gina Homolka, who I now feel is a sort of animal spirit guide leading me through this new world of cooking, because every recipe has been mouthwatering-ly delicious!

This recipe was a little bit more involved than I was anticipating, as in it took MUCH longer than the 30-40 minute prep time I’m used to.

The fish is, and I quote, “gently” poached over Rotel, onions, and chiles while the shredded red cabbage marinates in lime juice and cilantro.  I also prepared the blended jalapeno and avocado cream to top the tacos.  And getting all fancy with it, the tortillas were toasted in the skillet so that they could better hold the delicious filling. Whew, I’m a bit tired just remembering it and my mouth is salivating!

Although these tacos were very good, I think I’m gonna stick with the quicker recipes for now!

Until next time,

Catie