Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving week recap

Thanksgiving has come and gone again.  It's one of my favorite holidays, and this year, I cooked for Marc's whole family.  Dinner turned out fabulously; my turkey was tender & juicy with crisp golden & buttery skin.  So delicious!  I was really glad, since I ended up not having any help on Thanksgiving Day.  Marc was supposed to be off work, but got called in at the last minute.  He made it home in time to greet our guests and eat dinner though, so it all worked out in the end.  We had plenty of food, which is truly something to be thankful for, since there are many less fortunate than we are.  The only thing I didn't get to do was take pictures of the Thanksgiving feast.  I was too busy to stop and find my camera. Oh well, there's always next year.

I watched the Arkansas vs LSU game on Friday.  I was disappointed that we lost, but I'm a die-hard fan and am still proud of the season we had this year.  We will still have a bowl game and a 10-2 season is definitely something to talk about.  I hope Alabama gets to play LSU in the national championship game, and I hope they win this game!

Maximus is acclimating well to his new home.  He has been to the vet twice in the 1 week and 1 day that he has lived with us, and is thriving.  The first visit was to ensure that he was indeed healthy after flying from the breeder, and today he had to get some booster shots.  He is such a good boy.  He never barks, and only whines when he needs to get out of his kennel in the morning to go outside to take care of business.  He's doing well with housebreaking and getting used to walking on a leash.  We were having issues with him chewing.  He was becoming fond of the furniture, and we really wanted to nip that behavior in the bud.  We got him some rawhides and he is in heaven!  We just love him so much, he's the sweetest puppy.  We totally got lucky!

Just updating my facebook status...

big rawhide bone he got today at petsmart

a bone for me to grow into!!

This morning, I made bacon and scrambled eggs with smoked chipotle gouda cheese.  Oh my goodness, y' have to get some of this cheese.  Our eggs were SO good! The cheese added a nice smoky flavor and just a tiny bit of heat, not much at all.  We will definitely be having them again!

We've been enjoying our Thanksgiving left-overs immensely! Marc took the last of the turkey to work yesterday for dinner, and he didn't feel like having stuffing again today, so I took our leftover mashed potatoes and corn and decided to use them to make Shepherd's pie.  It's such a great stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal, and super easy to make.  I browned 2 pounds of ground beef with one large chopped onion, seasoned with garlic, salt & pepper, stir in the corn and 2 cans of campbell's cream of mushroom soup, pour into a baking dish, and top with mashed potatoes.  I baked it for 20 min and served it.  It's really simple, and really tasty.  I had some of my homemade applesauce and cucumber salad with mine, and now I need a nap!

I hope y'all have a great week! I'll be getting my Christmas decorations down soon so I can get the house all set up.  I love decorating my tree and making the house festive.  So much fun!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Puppy breath!

I went to the airport today to pick up the newest member of our family.  Meet Maximus. 

He is a purebred Bullmastiff, he is 10 weeks old, and just the sweetest baby I've ever seen!  He is so, so soft and still has puppy breath!  

He is getting acclimated to his new surroundings.  He had a really long day, the breeder drove him to Tulsa for his flight, which took him to Houston before heading to New York.  I'm taking him to the Vet either tomorrow or Monday to get his well puppy check-up.  I am so, so, so happy that he is finally here!  There will be a lot more pictures to come of my sweet baby! Welcome home, Maximus!!

Hope y'all are having a great weekend.  Mine can't get much better, My puppy is here and my HOGS stomped Mississippi State!  Now, we've got to prepare for next week Vs. LSU.  We have got to beat them, I can't stand LSU!!! GO HOGS GO!!!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Busy, busy, busy...

So since we've been back from Vegas, we haven't done much besides work. I picked up 2 extra shifts last week to make a little extra cash and haven't had much free time until today.  

Monday, Marc and I went to get him a new(er) car.  He had been driving a 2000 Honda Accord coupe.  It was a gift from my mom & step-dad after Marc was in a minor accident a few years ago.  He has driven it every day for 3 years, but it was starting to give him a lot of trouble.  He had the transmission rebuilt this year, and then it started overheating.  Marc took it to the mechanic and he said the issue now is the head gasket.  It's a really expensive repair, so we talked about it and decided to sell it privately and get what we can for it, and get Marc a newer and more reliable vehicle.  I looked online and found a few small SUV's for him to check out.  We decided to get something that he will fit into well (he's 6'5", remember?!).  We found a 2007 Kia Sportage that had only 1 prior owner, only 53k miles and it had been very well maintained.  Marc fits in it with more than an inch of clearance between his head and the roof! Yay!  It's comforting to know that he has a reliable vehicle to go to and from work now.

As I previously mentioned, we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner here at our house this year.  I think I've finally got the menu completed.  We will be serving Oven roasted turkey (a 23 pounder), cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, homemade applesauce, green beans with bacon & shallots, green bean casserole, asparagus with remoulade sauce, savory pull-apart bread, pickled beets, corn, peas (YUCK! but Marc loves 'em so I'll make them for him), cranberries, homemade gravy, dutch style cucumbers, Apple crumble, and pumpkin trifle.  Marc's mom is bringing the pumpkin pie and his sister is bringing the wine.  Cross your fingers that everything goes well!  I kinda figured since I cooked for 125 people this summer, I can make dinner for 12-13 for Thanksgiving.  I'm really looking forward to it!

I went out today and picked up a few things for the puppy, who will arrive here on Saturday!  I can't wait to pick him up.  I got him some food, a bed, a food & water dish, and some toys.  I hope the flight isn't too traumatizing for him!  We can't wait to bring him home and give him hugs and a name!

I decided not to go to the cake tonight.  It's been raining for 2 days and that makes me incredibly lazy.  I just want to curl up with a book and/or sleep, so I decided to just stay home and make dinner.  Marc worked a long shift and wanted dinner at home anyway, so it all worked out.  I made cajun spiced beef roast with new potatoes, carrots & celery in the oven instead of the crock pot because I want the nice crust on the meat that you don't get if you make it in the crock pot.  The house smells amazing, I'm ready for Marc to get home so we can eat dinner together.  Trust me, that in and of itself is a rare occurrence!

Betcha want smell-o-vision right about now!

I hope y'all have a great weekend.  I am cheering for my HOGS as we play Mississippi State this weekend, Whoooo PIG SOOIE!!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Vegas vacation!

We had a fun little adventure last weekend to Vegas! We flew out Saturday morning at 7 am...I am NOT a fan of getting up at 4:00 am, so I just stayed up all night Friday and tried to sleep on the plane a little.  We arrived in Las Vegas at 9:30 am and got to go straight to our hotel, the MGM Grand.  We have stayed there before and really liked the accommodations, so we stayed there again.  My friend, Kevin drove up from California to join us, and Marc's sister and brother-in-law arrived on Friday.  We were there to celebrate Jennifer's (Marc's sister) birthday.  She and Jason (her husband) had never been to Vegas, and I'll take ANY excuse to go! 

Saturday was spent walking around, gambling, and watching football.  Marc watched both the Arkansas vs South carolina game (which we won...GO HOGS!!!) and the Alabama vs LSU game.  We wanted Alabama to win, but they ended up losing by a field goal.  Oh well...

In the afternoon, we went to Sugar Factory for happy hour.  I had their jolly rancher martini, and it seriously tastes exactly like a watermelon jolly rancher! Yum! Since that was a really sweet drink, I followed it up with a margarita.  Happy hour is the way to go, because cocktails were buy one, get one free!! The bargain hunter in me was THRILLED!

Kevin and I went and saw David Copperfield live! He was performing at the MGM.  I have to say, it was REALLY cool! We've all seen him do the tricks on TV, but to be right in the audience is really awesome.  You have no idea what is going to appear next, like him showing up on a motorcycle in a formerly empty box! Very cool. 

We went to dinner after the show at Craft steakhouse.  My Ribeye was one of the best steaks I've ever had.  If I had the appetite for it, I could have gnawed on the bone eaten the whole thing!  SO delicious, and great service.  I highly recommend it.  It's in the shops area at MGM.  Since we hadn't slept, Marc and I went to bed after dinner.  It was around midnight in vegas, so 3 am for us.  

Sunday, we went to breakfast and then to the older part of Vegas to Main Street Station casino.  It's closer to Fremont Street, the old Vegas strip.  I entered a slot tourney with Jennifer & her friend Laurie and won 3rd place! It a lot of fun and I never complain about winning some money!  The guys lined up at the Craps table and both Kevin & Marc won some money there too.  We decided that we really like Main St Station casino and will definitely be returning there!  

When we finished up at Main St. Station, we went back down Las Vegas boulevard and I got another *gasp* tattoo.  I now have 4 and three of them are from trips to Vegas.  I do believe I have found a pattern... I wanted a memento of my alma mater, the University of Arkansas, so I got a Razorback (our mascot) tattooed on my right foot with the words "Wooo Pig Sooie!" above the razorback.  It's cute and I LOVE it! 

When we finished at the tattoo shop, we went straight to the Bellagio to see Cirque du Soleil's "O".  It was SO cool! It's a water themed performance, and they do some AMAZING stunts! I had never seen a Cirque show, so it was neat to do something new while we were there.   We went to a few other casinos before heading back to eat dinner at Wolfgang Puck's grill.  We ate pretty light and went to sleep for a little while.

Monday, we went to IHOP (gourmet, I know) for breakfast, then the guys went to the Gun Store to shoot at the indoor range.  It's a cool place because you "rent" the guns you want to shoot, then target shoot them in the indoor range.  Marc and I have been there before, and he wanted to take Jason & Kevin.  They got there and there was a long line, so they decided not to wait and just came back to the hotel.  We had a mostly lazy Monday. 

We were looking forward to Monday night for dinner at Rao's! It is one of my very favorite restaurants in the world, and we love to "introduce" our friends to it also.  Marc and I go to Vegas solely to eat there!!! Their Veal Parmesan is one of the best dishes I have EVER eaten. So good.  Kevin, Marc, Jennifer, Jason, and I enjoyed our meal then went back to Main St. Station casino to play some more.  I had forgotten to cash in my winnings before we left on Sunday and didn't want to leave my money there.  I played the Wheel of Fortune machine and hit it for 500 quarters, so that made my night.  I left with the same amount of cash I brought with me to Vegas!  

We walked down to Fremont Street to see all the old casinos and the light show that was playing.  There were 2 different bands set up and playing, and lots of people out milling about.  We walked around then went back to our hotel to get our bags packed, since we had to leave at 5:30 am to go back to the airport.  

We had a great trip and can't wait to go back!!! 

I found out my puppy will arrive here on the 19th, so I have one more week to wait for him.  I can't wait until he arrives, I want to snuggle with him!

Have a great week!

Friday, November 4, 2011

A festive wreath, football, and other randomness

Yesterday, I had some free time so I made a new autumn wreath for our front door.  

if you look closely, you can see Marc creeping in the window...

I went to Michael's and bought most of the items on 70% clearance!  Gotta love a bargain!  I sat at the kitchen table with my wire cutters and hot glue gun and went to town! It was fun and didn't take too long to do.  I am trying to get the house decorated since I will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for all of Marc's family this year.  

I am really interested in what your must-have Thanksgiving menu items are.  Since I'm trying to plan this menu, I'm looking to friends and family far away to lend me some more ideas.  I'm about 85% done with the menu and just want a few more suggestions.  Let's all hope it goes as well in reality as it is going in my head!

We hosted some friends for Football this past Sunday also.  It was a lot of fun, and good food too.  I made cheesy sausage biscuit balls, jalapeno jelly with cream cheese, deviled eggs with bacon, sausage dip, onion dip, and cut up a bunch of veggies for snacks too.  We had a great time and watched A LOT of football.  We love entertaining friends here at our house.  I really love to cook for people who love to eat.  
cheeses, pepperoni, sopresata, & jalapeno jelly with cream cheese

Veggies, biscuit balls, & deviled eggs with bacon!

Sausage dip

visiting &watching football

This weekend, I am of course cheering for my beloved (#7!) HOGS as we host South Carolina at home, and in the HUGE SEC matchup tomorrow, I am SCREAMING ROLL TIDE!!!! Go 'Bama, stomp LSU!!  I just can't stand those bayou bengals!!!

Hope y'all have a great weekend.