Tuesday, August 30, 2011

grandma's pumpkin bread

so here i am again with the food. i love pumpkin bread any time of the year. i don't keep canned pumpkin on hand normally, but always wish i had some. i was on the sweet-tooth aisle at the grocery store today and my eye met the canned pumpkin. i automatically grabbed a can. and from the time i put it in my cart to the time i got home, i had been dreaming of pumpkin bread. warm, out of the oven slathered with butter, pumpkin bread. that's how we eat it, anyway! 

my grandma and sister were here recently and i had asked my grandma for a few recipes. a few days after they left, i received her hand-written recipes. then a few more days went by and she sent more. i will treasure those in the years to come..something about them being in her writing. when i was younger, i used to think she had the prettiest writing :) although i had only asked for a few recipes, she sent many more than that! i have a really good recipe for pumpkin bread, but grandma's stuff is always better, right?! :D

here's grandma's recipe:

  •  i can pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup oil (i use canola)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • a little salt..like 1/2 tsp or so
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (i didn't measure but probably used more) i omitted the nutmeg and cloves--as does she :)
i used a mixer to combine the eggs and sugar

then used a spatula to add the pumpkin to the mix.

combine all dry ingredients

alternate mixing the flour and water into the pumpkin batter

the end batter

 this recipe makes 3 loaves of bread! bake @ 350 for 35-40 min-until toothpick comes out clean from the middle. i put the leftover batter in 2 containers and then in the fridge for later use..as in tomorrow :)

this is only the beginning of the butter :)

the only person i shared with was crew :)

cajun shrimp pasta

so i haven't blogged for awhile..we have been super busy.  my august has been wonderful, but somewhat of a blur! in the meantime, i have joined the world of pinterest. i must admit that i love it. i'm all about crafting and d.i.y. as is the hubs (the d.i.y. that is!) i love all the artsy pictures of everything on that site from actual photography to FOOD :) as previsouly mentioned in another blog post, when i'm searching for a new recipe, i look with my eyes first. always click 'images' on google..then choose the recipe that looks the most appealing to me. has worked every time. now that i'm on pinterest, i'm going to gain a massive amount of weight..besides the growing baby in my belly of course ;)

so tonight...ahem..4:00 today (i was starving!) i decided to go ahead and make a recipe that i found on pinterest. i searched for shrimp pasta last night and there was this one image that had been repinned a lot..and for good reason. the recipe was called, 'crsispy shrimp pasta' it looked delish..and had a cajun/creole spice in the sauce..i was drooling. was glad i was in dire need to grocery shop today bc i never keep shrimp, cream or cajun season on hand.

here's my spin on this delish, and oh-so-easy pasta:

  • 1/2 cup half & half (the orig. recipe called for heavy cream--but every pasta dish i have made with it leaves a residue of fat on my lips..ugh! that and 1/2 and 1/2 is way less fat and calories..not that i'm counting them :)
  • 1 cup chicken stock (i use bullion cubes--cheaper!) so 1 cube to 1 cup hot water
  • 2 T butter--orig. recipe called for 1 T
  • 1 T oil (i use canola and didn't measure)
  • creole/cajun seasoning--i used weber new orlean's cajun seasoning and didn't measure..just to taste
  • parm. cheese--not in the orig. recipe
  • salt/pepper on shrimp
  • frozen shrimp..the un-cooked. i used half a bag. thawed
  • flour to cover shrimp
  • 1 roma tomato--optional (not in the orig. recipe)
  • cooked pasta--i used angel hair spaghetti
first, melt the butter and oil in skillet, add shrimp. cook on both sides 2-3 min. or until brown
remove shrimp from pan.

deglaze the pan by adding the chicken stock, cream and cajun seasonings. simmer for a few minutes. add parm. cheese stir. taste to see if you want more seasoning, salt, etc.
add the tomatoes, then the shrimp.
Add your cooked pasta to the skillet and viola!

i enjoyed every bite!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

3 men & a little lady

yes, that little lady will be me! i never thought i would be the mom to have boys. i am such a 'girly' girl. i was for sure God was going to give me girls! my heart was set on a girl from before we had tag. i have to admit i was slightly upset when the u/s tech pronounced it was a boy. of course that feeling only lasted a slight second. i saw him moving around and thought, "that's our baby boy!" and as soon as he was safe in my arms on february 22, 2010--i knew he was perfect in every way and can't believe i wanted a girl for even a second!

tag has changed our lives forever! i never knew the joys of having a child until he was actually here. i now completely understand and comprehend the feeling of actually giving your life for you child. i would do that in a heartbeat! just as God did with his son. and now, God has blessed us with another child!

when pregnant with tag, he was the ONLY thing i ever thought about. it was exhausting! i worried about every little thing while pregnant. with this one, i am so occupied with tag, i sometimes forget i'm pregnant! i had thought it would be great to have a girl this time around. but i also kinda wanted a boy. i couldn't believe i wanted a boy this time! i kept on imagining tag with his brother--his best bud. getting into trouble together all the time; tag teaching him all his tricks :) let me tell you, tag is ornery! sooooo ornery! but i love every ornery bone in that little boy's body! there isn't a singe day that goes by where he doesn't make us laugh. he has so much personality and sweetness in him. i can't wait to see what this little guy will be like!

i'm not the kind of person who can wait the entire pregnancy without knowing the sex. i am a planner! that and i have no patience :) i had read in a magazine about the parents getting the sex of their unborn child in a sealed envelope. they give that to their baker (how nice to have a baker, right? although i love to bake so i'd rather do it myself!) then the baker makes a blue or pink cake. they frost the outside so when the parents cut into the cake, they will be surprised. i just loved the idea. and as soon as i finished the sentence, i knew i was going to do something similar. i love to surprise people. so i was set out to make my own surprise reveal in a dessert.

and speaking of surprises, on saturday evening, i getting ready to go to a photo shoot in town when i was scrambling around getting everything together. i looked out the window in passing by and see a van pull up. i thought, "who is here?" then i realized it was my dad and mom! i was in shock for a second before i realized it was real!! thanks mom and dad for coming to surprise me!!

as the big day was approaching, i kept on thinking, "this baby better show itself!" that would be bad to have planned for a big reveal party and the day of he show, he/she decided not to show. but then i thought i would just do yellow instead of pink or blue and just make it a surprise! now that would teach me some patience!
the day came and within a minute of that little scanner rolling around in the gooey warm stuff on my tummy, i saw what i think i saw! i didn't say anything..just waited impatiently as my bladder was about to explode! then the tech. finally said, "would you like to know the sex of the baby?" i said, "is it a boy?!" :) i had seen it a few times already and knew what i saw wasn't the umbilical cord! sure enough, there was our baby boy! crew thomas. he was all over the place--just as tag was. the man who scanned tag commented on how he didn't stop moving the entire time--doing flips and whatnot.  the lady who scanned crew said the same thing about him. my first thought was--"am i in for some trouble or what?!" i have to admit..i can't wait! i can't imagine a more busy, crazy, yet fun-filled and joyous life with my 2 boys!! oh what joys await our family!

i wanted to do something special for our baby. and the surprise, "it's a..." party was just what i wanted to do for our little crew. i was so excited. i made a list of all the little details i wanted:  a flag banner, wild flowers, pics of me and crew (in he womb of course) and some tasty treats! not a lot, but just enough! i think i spent a total of less than $10 in decorations! i got the yellow plates and cups from dollar tree along with the white ribbon to hang the banner. the flag banner was made from scrapbook pages bought from hobby lobby--.59 each! the flags in the cupcakes were from the same scrapbook paper. the balloons were from hobby lobby. the 2 pictures i had of crew/i and tag kissing crew were all free from a printing company throughg my photography business-perfect timing, too because they had just come that day!! the flowers were wild-growing right next to our house and the glasses they were in were ours. then the final touch was the ultrasound pics of crew--all but the one saying , "boy". he was in fact our guest of honor ;)

 the cupcakes :)

 the main attraction

 yummy, white chocolate covered pretzel rods

i loved the wild flowers & that pic of crew and i :)

everyone was here and it was time to pass out the cupcakes. i told everyone to take a big bite into the cupcake and they would see what we were having...i must say, their reactions were priceless and exactly what i was hoping for..pure joy!

grandma & grandpa byrd

 aunts, cousins & tag

 great-grandma byrd & don

great-grandma & great-grandpa bardon

the evidence :)

 my handsome hubby, beautiful son & crew & i ;)
i LOVE my little family!!
thank you, God! :)

he is going to be one awesome big brother!!

i just love how this picture turned out!! his expression is priceless!!

we can't wait to meet you crew! you are such a blessing!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

don't you hate it when God proves you wrong?

don't you hate it when God proves you wrong? it's happened to me so many times, you would think that every time i have a bad attitude about doing something or about someone i "think" i know, i would remember that God is in control--and to not be too quick to judge the situation or person. so i try not judge, but by nature, i complain. and what do you know, He goes and proves just how wrong i am!

i don't know when i exactly came to this realization--but i remember after realizing this for the first time, that i wouldn't have negative thoughts towards something i didn't think i wanted to do. and to not judge people only after meeting them for brief second. not everyone makes a great first impression. i remember someone once told me they didn't think they would like me when we first met--they thought i was a snob! i remember being so hurt because i came across that way.

so even thought i realize this and try to put it into practice, it's usually far from what happens. and it always happens right after the fact. right after i think i don't like that person, or right after i am dreading going somewhere to help out, etc. it's like God is right in my face telling me, stop judging!! have patience and do my will. proving me wrong, thus again. the person ends up being one of the kindest people i have ever met, or what i'm doing has me as the perfect person to do it.

ok, ok, i get it, God! it has helped me several times when going into a new situation, remembering--don't be too quick to judge. then i think, remember that one time...and then the bible verse comes to mind:

my dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..

and that's exactly what happens..i am slow to listen--only listening to automatic reaction--my bad attitude, slow to speak--well that's def. not me. i am always giving my opinion a little too soon--and slow to become angry--yep, i hear something without thinking about it, open my mouth to complain and then become angry. the more i think about this, the more i realize i  do it.

it's one of those things i say i hate, but really i love. i don't like to not like people. i love people. i love talking and getting along with others.  i dis-like doing things that i'm nervous about--things for the first time, but love how God shows me how wonderful new things can be! it also is another way God proves He is real.

i think i really needed this today!