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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Packin' and Cleanin' and Wishin' and Hopin'

Today's agenda is doing laundry, cleaning the house, and packing!  Tomorrow we leave very early in the morning to head to Oklahoma then Texas on Saturday!

Tomorrow we are leaving just before the butt-crack of dawn so I can make it to Norman in time to see my coworkers.  I'm looking forward to hearing how the school year is going and catch up with them!  We'll then spend the night with the Smiths and hopefully see the Devero's as well.   

Saturday we will leave a little later, thankfully, just after the butt-crack of dawn to make it to DFW for Scott and Susanne's baby shower.  I can't wait to see them and celebrate the new arrival!  Afterward, a good group will hopefully hang out, and will get quality time with all of my friends down there. 

These two locations hold the bulk of my heart friends.  I will get to see 6 of my 8 bridesmaids this one weekend, not to mention other close friends.  And the whole trip, I will have my handsome husband at my side. 

Relationships are so important to me.  This one trip will fill my tanks for weeks to come.  I am truly, truly blessed!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Missing College

School started yesterday.

I went to OU and after 5 years of study, I graduated.  I loved college and Norman, so I stuck around.  I lived in a college town for 16 years.  I worked with college students as a career for 9 years.  This is the first time that I am not working with college students.

Today I got an email from one of my former students.  It made me smile and encouraged me too.  But it made me a little sad as well.  I do miss my job and my students...and I even miss living in a college town.  My identity was very much connected with that unique subgroup of people. 

Although I miss it, I am very thankful for this new chapter.  I have so many new lessons that I am learning about being a wife.  Jacob is my best friend, and we have so much fun together.  He makes me laugh, he supports me unconditionally, and he makes me a better version of myself.

I miss you Norman, but this Kansas boy has my heart. 


Monday, August 22, 2011

Dr.......I Have an Appointment!

If you know me, you know I LOVE Dr. Pepper.  The full-octane, full calories kind (although I respect the DDP and DP 10 versions).

When I saw this picture, I almost fainted.  These. Were. Made. For. Me.  I cannot wait to make my own version of these little beauties.

Dr. Pepper Cupcake Recipe List of Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup boiling Dr. Pepper

How to:
  • Cream the butter and add the brown sugar.
  • When well blended, add the eggs one at a time, beating well.
  • Add the chocolate, slightly cooled
  • In a small bowl, add one teaspoon of the baking soda to the buttermilk.
  • Mix the remaining dry ingredients in another bowl.
  • Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture alternatively.  
  • Add the vanilla.  Finally add in the Dr. Pepper.
  • Pour into cupcake molds and bake at 375-degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Frosting:
  • 1/3 C soft butter
  • 3 C confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 C dark cocoa
  • 4 Tbs heavy cream
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 can cherries in syrup (or in liqueur)

Cream the butter, cocoa and sugar together and stir in the cream.  Add the ginger and enough cherry syrup to create the desired consistency.  Refrigerate if necessary, and spread over the cupcakes when they have cooled.  Top each cupcake with half a cherry.

 

PS....I have had a lot of people asking how to cut the cans.  These were the smaller cans, 8 oz, version.  The best tool I have found to remove the lid is the small, super light-weight, camping style can opener (see attached pictures).


Friday, August 19, 2011

Kabobs...that's what's for dinner!

I come from the land of butter and cast iron skillets for frying.  My mom's version of low-fat cooking was frying one thing.  That's how I learned to cook.  And it tastes goooooood.  If our last names came from our favorite food, my name would be Holly Gravy.  I am southern through and through.

My husband, however, doesn't want to weigh 900 pounds, so I am learning.  I'm learning...use less butter.  Don't fry.  Be healthier.

I am lucky that he is not a picky eater (minus the whole "healthy" thing), and he will eat the same thing day after day.  However, I like variety.  So coming up with a variety of healthy options has been a challenge since we got married.

Today I succeeded....a work of art really.  Kabobs.  Mostly veggies, grilled and filling.  Yum.  Here is the yummy marinate I used....it was a hit with my southern soul and my hubby!

Honey-Chicken Kabob Marinate
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground pepper