Category Archives: Uncategorized


In honor of finally having nice weather, we grilled our ENTIRE dinner last night – chicken, potatoes, asparagus, and DESSERT!  Yes, grilled dessert!!!

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Dinner was grilled chicken cordon blue – Ryan’s invention (much better than his last . . . fritos and peanut butter) – with potatoes and asparagus.  Dessert was strawberry peach cobbler.  It was fantastic.  I didn’t keep track of the recipe, but I will have to make it again soon so I can write the recipe down.

Today we are trying pulled pork on the grill, and I am trying to find a way to make buns for the pulled pork on the grill instead of inside in the oven.  Thoughts????

Also, not that long ago I posted about the magical power of pancakes.  In case you want additional proof of the mind control powers of pancakes, Ryan has spent the last 2+ hours doing yard work non-stop.  Murphy has spent the last 2+ hours sleeping non-stop.  Apparently pancakes only have a brainwashing effect on husbands, not dogs.

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Ryan’s Peanut Butter Cookies

A few weeks ago Ryan and I were grocery shopping, and he decided he needed peanut butter cookies.  Instead of buying pre-made dough from the store, I promised Ryan that if he found a recipe online I would make him homemade peanut butter cookies.

So, when we got home off Ryan went to his office, with Murphy close on his heels, to research peanut butter cookie recipes.  Twenty minutes later my boys came back downstairs with a marked-up recipe.  Not only had Ryan found a recipe, but he had made revisions!!!!!  This had the potential to be truly horrible — the last “recipe” Ryan came up with was mixing Fritos with peanut butter for a snack.

Nevertheless, being the “good” wife I am, I followed his recipe as requested (and he says I am incapable of “obeying”).  Here is the recipe he found as a starting point, here is what we ended up with:


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup Reese’s Pieces


  1. Preheat the oven to 340 degrees.
  2. Mix together butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter until smooth.
  3. Add egg, milk, and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix tougher flour and baking soda.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the to the peanut butter mixture.
  6. Mix in Reese’s Pieces.
  7. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets (Specific Ryan Instruction: use parchment paper to make clean-up easier).
  8. Press down with a fork in a criss-cross pattern (also a Specific Ryan Instruction because apparently peanut butter cookies must have a criss-cross pattern).
  9. Bake 8-10 minutes.
  10. Let cool for a few minutes before moving to a wire-rack to cool completely.
  11. Eat a few (or all of them) while they are still warm.


Ryan and Murphy were both pleased with the end-product.  I am thinking I should put Ryan in charge of finding more recipes!!


Recipe Notes:

  1. You may need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  I use dark, non-stick pans, so I always turn the oven down about ten to fifteen degrees.
  2. I intentionally omitted the salt because we are trying to use less salt.
  3. I like to refrigerate my cookie dough for at least 30 minutes before baking, but this isn’t necessary.
  4. Ryan thought that the cookies were better they next day when they were cool from being in the refrigerator.


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For four months, we lived at my parents or, as Ryan affectionately called it, the “Country Club.”  There were pros and cons to living at the Country Club.  For Ryan, one of the pros was my mother’s love of cooking.  This was both a pro and a con for me, especially when it came time to fit into a bridesmaid dress – the horror!

Since moving out, I made an effort to cook healthier foods and less food.  We all lost weight after moving out – Murphy included.  But the Country Club is still open for business.

Here is Murphy on moving day:

Mom, please don't make me leave the County Club.  I love it here!

Mom, please don’t make me leave the County Club. I love it here!!!

Last weekend, my mother invited us over for breakfast – pancakes and bacon.  I declined in favor of making smoothies at home.  Big mistake, because everyone wanted to know what was in these smoothies.   Spinach!!!! You can imagine the shock and horror, when they learned there was spinach in the smoothies.  Everyone decided I was torturing poor Ryan and making him eat mulch.  Ugh.

So, I decided to prove them all wrong.  I would make the most delicious smoothie ever by using fresh fruit instead of frozen fruit.  The flavor was good, texture, on the other hand – straight up mulch!

Fast forward to this weekend.  After we get home from dinner last night, Ryan informs me that he “may” have made a stop or two running errands, and he “may” have gotten “us” a surprise.  I know my husband well enough to know three things: (1) the surprise is not flowers; (2) the surprise is not something shiny; (3) and the surprise is not for “us.”  What was it you ask?  Buttermilk and sausage, so “we” could make pancakes and sausage instead of  mulch for breakfast!

It was a delicious breakfast, and Ryan did the dishes after so I declare this mulch free breakfast a success!


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Sick Husbands Are Big Babies

Ryan has been sick for the last few days.

I have been less than sympathetic. I think I may have told him to drink some tea and to hurry up and get better.

In an effort to make up for my horrible nursing skills, I made him homemade chicken dumpling soup.


Yup, best wife ever.

In other news:

Sorry for not blogging. We are coming back with a new theme for this football season. Stay tuned.

Ryan is in seven fantasy football leagues, yes seven. I am overjoyed. And overly sarcastic.

Murphy has apparently conquered his fear of the rumba vacuum cleaner and loves walking on treadmills. In case you are new here, or forgot about Murphy, he is a dog and he blogs on Mondays.

Murphy the Poet

Hello Friends!!! Murphy here!

I got some big news  . . . I am becoming a poet.

I have been working on impressing the ladies, and apparently, looking cool in your sunglasses only gets you so far.

Murphy Shades

The ladies want good looks, the smarts, and sensitivity, so I asked mom to help me write some poems.

Here is what we have come up with so far, be prepared to be wooed.

Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

You have pretty hair.

We would make quite the pair.

Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

I don’t mean to be cheesy.

But I hope your day is breezy.

What do you think, guys? The ladies are going to love this stuff.

Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

I got so much game.

All of the ladies know me by name.

Too far?

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Happy Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo!! Hope everyone had a wonderful day!


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Coupon Rules

I only have two coupon rules:

  1. Have a budget for how much you will spend each week.
  2. Don’t clip coupons for items you don’t need to eat or buy.

These don’t have to be your rules, but without these rules, I had several shopping misadventures that were not good for my wallet or my waistline:

  • I once asked Ryan if I should buy Prilosec because it was on sale and I had a coupon – neither of us have heartburn or indigestion (I am actually guessing that is what Prilosec treats, because I honestly have no clue what it is used for), but I thought we should have it “just in case.”  That was when I first started couponing, and two years later no one has ever asked me for Prilosec.
  • On another occasion, I put together a shopping list that included frozen pre-made garlic bread and Gushers.  I know, I just got done telling you that we generally do not eat processed foods.  But I had coupons, so I haaaaaddddd to buy them because they were on sale and it was going to be a good deal.  Luckily this was around the same time I started taking Ryan to the grocery store, and he talked me off the cliff.
  • Candy.  Unless it is Halloween or I am buying candy for someone else, I do not clip coupons for candy.  Why you ask, because candy is expensive and well, its candy, so some (not me) would argue that it lacks in nutritional value.  Having a coupon is all the excuse I need to buy myself a bag of candy – hmmmm chocolate.
  • I haven’t bought lotion in over a year, and I still have at least six bottles under the bathroom sink.
  • For the record, I never went so far as to buy cat food for the cat that we will never have.

I should also add that I am somewhat brand loyal.  For most things I will happily buy store-brand products, but there are a few areas where I will only buy certain brands.  For example, laundry detergent and fabric softener.  I only use one brand, and it is the expensive brand.  I know this goes against some couponing mantras, but every other brand of detergent and fabric softener makes my skin itch, so to me, it is just wasting money to buy a brand, because it is cheap, that I will never ever use.

So what, if any, coupon rules do you have? And what coupon rules do you break? Anyone else out there with coupon misadventures?

p.s. Tonight I am making burrito bowls with quinoa instead of rice and crock-pot honey garlic chicken.  I will post recipes, cost, and nutritional information!  And, of course, because no food post would be complete without Ryan’s review, I will be asking him to rate each meal.

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Redish Velvet Brownies

Ryan declared these the best brownies that he has ever had, and immediately gave them a 10 out of 10.

A picture for your drooling pleasure . . .


Recipe to follow!!

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Wedding Debate – To Duet or Not to Duet

Newsflash – Ryan and I will be singing a duet at the wedding.  Or not.

Actually, what I am talking about is serving a “duet” for dinner.  Instead of giving people only one option, or asking people to RSVP with their menu choice, I am considering serving everyone chicken and beef on one plate – something that is apparently referred to as a “duet.”

Who knew there was all of this random wedding terminology. Speaking of random terminology, I was recently introduced to a bubble veil and my Dad asked me this morning if I intended to wear a buster (he meant a blusher).  If you are curious, I intend to wear neither.  The bubble veil reminds me of a funny cardigan that starts at your head instead of your shoulders, and   I am obsessed with getting a birdcage, so that means no blusher.

Okay, back to the point. I need to decide what to serve people.  I am opposed to asking people to respond with their choice, because then I have to keep track of it, and make individual namecards denoting people’s choices.  But I do want to offer choices.  So, I suggested a duet.  Ryan is not sold. So, blogosphere, I ask, to duet or not to duet ?  That is the question.


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Girl’s Night – The Recipes

If you are looking for the recipes that led to these mouth-watering pictures, look no further than other people’s blogs!!!

I finally got around to making some of the recipes on my need to try list!!!  Here are some of the recipes:

We tweaked each of the recipes a little.  I just cannot help myself when it comes to cooking.  No drastic changes. All in all, every recipe was delicious.  Ryan is currently obsessed with the Butterscotch Bacon Cookies.  I asked him if he thought they needed more bacon, an he said NO!!!!  Who are you and what have you done with my honey????  He then went on to eat three cookies in one sitting.  Oh okay, there is the Ryan that I know and love.

For the other recipes, we made them up! Who is surprised by that!  I will post the Cinnamon Glazed Almonds this weekend.  I am planning to make  spicy version this weekend, so I will post both recipes at the same time.

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