Thursday, October 27, 2011

Creamy Garlic Basil Pasta

I'm pretty sure that Dustin wouldn't like the name of this post, because he has a disdain for certain words... "creamy" being one of them. Well, whatever you want to call this dish is up to you- just as long as you make it. If I could live on one food for the rest of my life, it would probably be pasta. Most of my recipes are a bit summer-ish because they are light and involve fresh veggies and  EVOO. But seeing as we are waist-deep into my favorite season right now, I wanted to make a more substantial pasta dish. I made it with shrimp, but you could easily make this with chicken.

Creamy Garlic Basil Pasta
1 pound of pasta (I used fettuccine, but may try with penne next time per the husband's suggestion)
1/2 pound of shrimp (peeled, deveined, but they don't have to be cooked)
3 cups of sliced mushrooms (this is an estimate- I used an entire container from the produce section)
5 cloves of garlic (chopped)
10 oz container of Philadelphia Cooking Creme (I used savory garlic... what can I say, I have a thing for garlic)
4 tbsp butter
4 small tomatoes (chopped- I used Campari, but plum would work too)
Handful of fresh basil (chopped)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta once it is boiling.

2. In a large saute pan, drizzle some EVOO and heat to medium. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

3. Add the shrimp and cook through.

4.  Add the mushrooms and let cook for about 3 minutes.

5. Mix in the Philadelphia Cooking Creme and butter to the shrimp/mushroom mixture.

6. Add a ladle of water from the boiling pasta to the shrimp/mushroom mixture to dilute the sauce a bit.

7. Drain the pasta and add to the shrimp and mushrooms. Turn the heat down to low and coat the pasta in the sauce.

8. Top with the chopped basil and tomatoes, cover and let simmer for about 5-7 minutes to wilt the basil.

This make a ton, so it's great to serve if you're cooking for 5-6 people. Serve topped with grated parmesan. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

If I could write an entire cookbook on slow cooker soups, this one would definitely be included. It was very easy and quite healthy. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed or frozen... doesn't matter)
2 cans of great northern beans (drained)
1 can of yellow corn (drained)
1 can of green chiles (4 oz.)
1 yellow onion (chopped)
1 carton of chicken broth
1 lime (juiced)
Handful of fresh chopped cilantro

1. Place chicken on the bottom of the slow cooker.

2. Pour everything else on top of it.

3. Cook on low for 6 hours (if using thawed chicken) or 8 hours (if using frozen chicken).

4. Shred the chicken with two forks and stir through.

After I shredded the chicken, I added a few shakes of salt, poultry seasoning and cayenne pepper for some kick and then stirred that through. Top it with sour cream, shredded cheese and sliced avocado- DELISH!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Favorite Things: Monday Edition

Monday is quite possibly my least favorite day of the week. Pair that with the fact that the clocks have not gone back yet, so it is completely dark on my drive to work and I thought it would be a good idea to do another favorite things post. So here goes it...

1. Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice Coffee- a hot mug of this paired with Coffee-Mate's Natural Bliss Sweet Cream (mentioned in this post) makes a case of the Mondays not seem so bad.

2. The change of scenery that fall brings. In case you're just now tuning in... I'm quite smitten with fall. The trees are prettier, the air is crisp and it's football season.

3. Winter coats. I know I am a bit premature with the whole winter situation, but I am in love with this coat from JCrew. Now if it will just go on sale...

4. I would love to pair the above jacket with these boots from Steve Madden. I have been obsessed with these for the past couple of seasons.

5. My crock pot. This is the time of year when it really gets its use. I hope to add some new easy recipes this season, so be sure to check out the recipes label on the right side of the screen.
6. While I'm on the subject of my crock pot, these are a lifesaver... or rather a husband-saver. Dustin is so great in that he does the dishes after dinner, so he LOVES when I use these because they keep the crock pot clean. These definitely come in handy when it gets daily use...

7. Clemson football. I'm still not sure that I can hide the shocked expression on my face when people say "y'all are having a pretty good season". As a modern day tiger, I can honestly say that I did not expect to be 8-0 or ranked in the top 5 of the BCS. Here's to hoping that whatever this is that has come over our team sticks around for a while...

8. Our church. Andy has just finished a three-part series called "When God". He basically takes on the subject of  "What do you do when you feel that God is inattentive, uncooperative or late". Given everything that we have gone through over the past four months, this series was what both Dustin and I needed to hear. If you have gone through a tough time, are currently going through a tough time or will be going through a tough time... which should basically cover everyone, I would encourage you to take the time to listen to all three of these messages.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Happenings

So this weekend, Dustin and his friends road-tripped it up to Washington DC for the Clemson/Maryland game. They drove through the night Thursday night to get there and through the night Saturday night to come home... which sounds miserable in my book... but they had a great time. They went museum-hopping, midnight bike-riding and of course cheered on our Tigers through a hard-fought win. Thanks to our friend, Walt, I've got one picture to post from their weekend.

While the guys were running around our nation's capital, Miranda and the girls came to town so we could go see Disney on Ice. It was the perfect occasion for princess dresses, costume jewelry and, of course, sparkly lip gloss... and the girls dressed up too.

Between the three of them, they managed to polish off a tub of popcorn and a $12 bag of cotton candy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Salmon with Mango Avocado Salsa

I realize this is more of a "summer-ish" dish, but salmon was on sale at Publix. I love salmon and really have never had it prepared in a way that I didn't like. This was no different- delish!

4 Salmon filets
Pinch of sea salt
Black pepper

Mango Avocado Salsa
1 medium-sized avocado (diced)
1 small mango (peeled and diced)
1/3 red onion (minced)
1/2 tomato (diced)
2 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice (I used two whole limes... but I love lime)
1/2 tsp fresh jalapeno (diced)

1. Combine salsa ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

2. Salmon can really be cooked any way you like. I baked it in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes, but it would be great grilled or pan-seared as well.

3. Once salmon is cooked, top with the salsa.

Enjoy this rediculously easy recipe! I served it with rice and roasted broccoli, but next time I don't even think I need to serve it with another vegetable because the salsa could really be a side dish itself. The recipe is from here, but I tweaked it a bit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to skin a squirrel

This past weekend, Dustin and I had the opportunity to go to the lake again with his family. We also got a special treat when some of his extended family from Texas came to town. Thank you, Burson, Blair and kiddos for coming all the way here to hang out! We're glad you got to experience Atlanta traffic at its finest on a Friday afternoon. Here are some pictures from our fun-filled family weekend... with just a touch of redneck.

On Saturday morning, my brother in law, Steve, took all of the kids squirrel hunting. Yes, you read that right. They were very excited.

Here is Brooke showing me her camo leggings. 

They didn't catch anything at first, but later in the morning... the girls come running around the corner with this poor little guy. As this picture was being taken, Reese was rubbing his tail saying "it's so soft!" I was scrambling for some Purell. Steve then proceeded to give the kids an anatomy lesson when he skinned the squirrel. It was very educational in a Hannibal Lecter kind of way.

Cornhole was the game of choice for the weekend and Dustin and I won the tournament... not that I'm bragging or anything.

Dustin, Sawyer and I getting ready to watch our tigers play... and win!

Playing with Uncle Dustin!

Hallye cheesing it up before dinner.

Brooke loves being a big sister.

The girls and their cousin, Hallye

We picked muscadines and Reese was very proud of her bowl.

Dustin doing some thinking "How is it really possible that Clemson is 6-0?"

Sawyer might have been tired of the camera by this point. What do you think?

This might be my favorite picture from the weekend!

Happy Halloween, friends!

I am now realizing that I did not take a single group picture of the adults. Good thing we will see everyone again in a few short months at Christmas!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I feel like the one who should owe the most gratitude to Steve Jobs is the lower case "i". It wasn't even important enough to stand alone in a sentence, and now it is associated worldwide with some of the most popular products invented... ever. The fact that most people learned of Steve Jobs' death on something that he invented probably speaks for itself. Like many others, Dustin and I are an iFamily. I partially credit the iPhone for Dustin's organizational skills.

Check out this video of Steve Jobs debuting the first ever Macintosh in 1984 to see just how far we've come in the last 27 years. Seriously, this thing was the bees knees back then. I can only imagine what technology will look like in the next 30...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Look to the western sky

One of our favorite things about living in Atlanta is that there is never a shortage of things to do when we want to go out on a date. The trick is finding the time to go.  I am a huge fan of musicals and Dustin would actually say he likes them too... really, he would.  We try to see shows a few times a year whenever they come to town. Last night, we went to a nice Italian place called Veni Vidi Vici for dinner and then to the Fox Theatre to see Wicked. If you haven't seen it, I would definitely recommend it- even if you're not really a "musical-ish" person. The writing, the music and set design... it was all fantastic!

  Now for one without the flash...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

FALLing for you

October... I welcome you with open arms. Thank you for bringing college football, crisp weather, brightly colored mums, everything pumpkin, cinnamon brooms, scarves, boots and cozy cardigans. Please come in and stay awhile. You are very welcome in our home.

I made this wreath : )