Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I don't wanna

I just made an appointment to get my eyes checked. It has been way too long. I haven't been to the eye doctor since before my senior year of college. Which means, my poor glasses have seen their day. A huge reason I haven't been to the eye doctor is because of the cost of glasses. I am still wearing the last pair my parents bought me. I never really realized how expensive glasses are. I know I could have insurance and all that, but I didn't really think I would need it. (In hindsight, I guess I was wrong.) Anyway, I am going tomorrow to get my eyes checked and then I am going to order my glasses online. I have been a little wary of this, because I don't want to end up with some cheesy pair of huge glasses, but Jason said I could order as many pairs as I wanted until I was happy. How am I going to do this, especially when I just said that glasses were way too expensive? Well, I am going to try out Zenni Optical . I have been fighting Jason on this for about a week, but when he said I could get as many pairs as I needed until I was happy, I gave in. I like the shape and size of my current glasses, so I am going to order a cheap pair that is similar to the ones I already have. I am also going to get some rimless titanium ones to try out. Those will probably be a little more "out there" for me, but I tried some on the other day and I liked them. I am also going to get some sunglasses! This is most exciting for me because I have only had one pair of prescription suglasses in my life. I am going to do some fun plastic frames or something for those. The only problem I now face is actually going to the eye doctor and having them look at my eyes. I have issues with this, especially when they want to blow that air in your eyes. I really wish I could get away from them doing that to me. I will report back on my experience with ordering glasses online. Maybe it will really work out and I will save a ton of money on glasses. Who knows?

Monday, July 27, 2009

School's Out and I Have Been in the Kitchen

Since I am in the three weeks that ultimately makes up my summer vacation, I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen cooking. I have missed cooking. With both of us in school, cooking dinner and anything else was pretty much out of the question. Yesterday, after we got back from our camping trip I made a lot of yumminess. So, without further ado, my recipes from last night (and of course the changes I made to them).

Five-Cheese Skillet Burgers

Five-Cheese Skillet Burgers
Prep Time:
10 min
Total Time:
20 min
4 servings, one burger each

What You Need

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 cup KRAFT Finely Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend, divided
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 pkt. SHAKE 'N BAKE Extra Crispy Seasoned Coating Mix
4 hamburger buns, split

Make It

MIX meat, egg, ketchup, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the Worcestershire sauce and coating mix. Shape into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.

PLACE patties in nonstick skillet on medium heat; cover. Cook 5 min. Turn burgers over; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cook, uncovered, 5 min. or un

til burgers are cooked through (160°F).

SERVE in the buns.

Now, the first time I made these, I actually had everything on hand to m

ake them. Yesterday though, I didn't have any more Shake n' Bake (or the Kroger brand). What I did have was an old biscuit, so I put it in my tiny food processor and made bread crumbs. I added these to the hamburger mixture until the mixture wasn't sticky anymore. These burgers were definitely good and I have now made them twice. I think that they will become a regular at our house.

Now, on to the side dish. After we went camping, I had a whole bag of red potatoes that I needed to do something with. So here is what I came up with.

Crash Hot Potatoes

This is yet another Pioneer Woman recipe. You can find the recipe here.

I actually did follow this recipe nearly perfectly. I didn't have the herbs though, so I used some Italian seasoning. It would probably be just fine without anything but the salt and pepper. These potatoes are so yummy. They are soft and crunchy. They did take a long time to make. I'm not really sure how long it took my potatoes to cook in the boiling water, but they pro

bably should have cooked longer. I also don't have a potato masher (I guess I need to add that to my list of things I need for the kitchen), so I used a glass. It worked pretty well.

Now, on to dessert.

After sending Jason to the grocery store, I made yet another Pioneer Woman recipe. I have made these before, so I know they are good.

Oatmeal Crispies

You can find the recipe here.

In the recipe, it says to refrigerate or freeze the dough and then cut it into slices. I haven't done that any of the times I have made it. I just use my handy dandy cookie scoop and scoop out the dough onto my stoneware cookie sheets and bake them. Because I use stoneware to make my cookies, I have to cook them a little longer. The first batches probably cooked 15 minutes and the later batches cooked for 12 minutes (because the stoneware was already hot).

Here is what I am planning for tonight. I am going to use boneless chicken breasts though, because I am not in the mood to deal with bones.

Italian Chicken Simmer

Italian Chicken Simmer
Prep Time:
10 min
Total Time:
45 min
4 servings

What You Need

1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 chicken leg quarters (1-1/2 lb.), skin removed
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 small red peppers, chopped
1/4 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup KRAFT Finely Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend

Make It

HEAT oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, cut apart chicken legs and thighs. Add to skillet; cook 10 min. or until lightly browned on both sides, turning occasionally.

ADD tomatoes and tomato paste; mix well. Stir in peppers; cover. Simmer on medium-low heat 20 min. or until chicken is done (165°F), stirring occasionally.

REMOVE from heat. Stir in Parmesan; sprinkle with shredded cheese. Let stand until cheese is melted.

I will probably make some rice to go with this and if the salad that I bought last week is still okay, we will have that as well.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum......or Dallas

So, yesterday we took to motorcycle to Cartersville and met my parents for lunch. We had plans to go on a ride with them for about an hour or so. Yesterday evening, we ended our ride at my parents' house and had dinner. Around 7:00, we had to go, because we wanted to make it home before dark. So, off we went. About the time we got to White, the bottom drops out. There is thunder and lightning and torrential rain. We had pulled over at a closed gas station and decided to try to wait it out there. While huddling under the metal awning, a lady stops and asks us if we are okay. Of couse, we said yes, but I was not really enjoying being under a metal roof in a lightning storm. She told us to get in her car and she would take us to her brother's house around the corner. Now normally, I would not ever, ever do this, but when you are in the middle of nowhere stuck in a storm, you pretty much do whatever it takes to take care of yourself. So, Jason and I piled into the front seat of her mustang and went to her brother's house. We spent the next hour and a half waiting out the storm. They were so nice. She offered to drive us all the way home (about an hour's trip) so that we wouldn't have to ride in the rain. We didn't want her to do that, so we just sat around for a while and talked to some people we probably never would have had the opportunity to meet. Around 10:00, we finally made it on our way again and we finally made it home around 11:00. So, a trip that normally would take about an hour and a half took us 4 hours, but it was definitely interesting. We arrived home cold and wet, but not necessarily regreting the experience.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I passed!

So, my orals were today. Prior to today, I was pretty well freaked out by the whole process. I was supposed to go in front of a panel of three of my professors and basically tell them what I learned. This is not high on my list of fun things I would like to spend my time doing. So anyway, I went and talked to my profs for about an hour about various aspects of my schooling and my portfolio. After that, I left the room for them to decide my fate. After what seemed like an eternity, they opened the door and told me that I had passed. After that I filled out all of the paperwork so that my transcript and everything could be sent off to update my certificate. I won't actually get my diploma until December, but I will get my pay raise as soon as all of the paperwork is finished. Needless to say, I am quite excited and relieved. Now I just have to write a research paper, write my autobiography, complete some fact cards, do a presentation, finalize a notebook, write a final paper, and go to my last 4 class sessions. Easy, huh? One week left and it will all be over!