Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night







This Christmas

was spent with just our immediate family. It was fun getting together and enjoying each other's company but the boys were with their Dad for Christmas break this year and it just wasn't the same without them. Every other year seems like an off year at Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dreading Holiday Eating

I recently found this list of weight watchers points for holiday food from the wwchick's blog - thewwchick.blogspot.com.

I have been eating so bad lately - I'm not even going to weigh myself. I know the outcome will be bad! All I can do is try to eat with caution on Christmas - thank the Lord that I'm not a sweets person. But it means that I'm a turkey and oyster dressing person. I can't wait for my Mom's oyster dressing!

TURKEY LEG (WITH SKIN), 4 OZ, 6
WHITE MEAT TURKEY (NO SKIN), 4 OZ, 4 POINTS
♦HAM WITH BROWN SUGAR COATING, 3 OZ, 2 POINTS
SPIRAL SLICED (BONE IN, HICKORY SMOKED), 3 OZ, 4 POINTS
SPIRAL SLICED (BONE IN, HONEY CURED), 3 OZ, 3 POINTS
BLACK FOREST (SMOKED), 3 OZ, 2 POINTS
MAPLE GLAZED (HONEY COATED), 3 OZ, 2 POINTS
VIRGINIA HAM, 2 OZ, 1 POINT
GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE, 1 CUP, 5 POINTS
GREEN BEANS (STEAMED), 1 CUP, 0 POINTS
♦CORN CASSEROLE, 1/2 CUP, 8 POINTS
CORN, 1/2 CUP, 1 POINT
♦CANDIED SWEET POTATOES, 1 CUP, 8 POINTS
MASHED SWEET POTATOES, 1 CUP, 4 POINTS
♦BAKED SWEET POTATO, 1 LARGE, 3 POINTS
♦GARLIC MASHED POTATOES, 3/4 CUP, 6 POINTS
PLAIN BAKED POTATO, 1 LARGE, 3 POINTS
♦SCALLOPED POTATOES, ½ CUP, 4 POINTS
AU GRATIN POTATOES, 1 CUP, 13 POINTS
CANNED CRANBERRY SAUCE, 1/4 CUP, 3 POINTS
HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE , 1/4 CUP, 2 POINTS
BREAD STUFFING, 1 CUP, 8 POINTS
WINTER SQUASH, 1 CUP, 1 POINT
♦PUMPKIN PIE, 1 SLICE, 9 POINTS
PECAN PIE, 1 SLICE, 12 POINTS
APPLE PIE, 1 SLICE, 7 POINTS
PLUM PUDDING, ½ CUP WITH 1 TBSP SAUCE, 9 POINTS
WHITE ROLL (WITHOUT BUTTER), 1 ROLL, 3 POINTS
WHEAT ROLL (WITHOUT BUTTER, 1 ROLL, 2 POINTS
WHIPPED BUTTER, 1 TBSP, 2 POINTS
LIGHT MARGARINE, 1 TBSP, 1 POINT
BROWN GRAVY, 1/4 CUP, 2 POINTS
WINE, 2 OZ, 1 POINTS
MULLED CIDER, 1 CUP, 3 POINTS
EGGNOG ( HOMEMADE WITH OR WITHOUT LIQUOR) ½ CUP, 4 POINTS
EGGNOG (REDUCED CALORIE, STORE BOUGHT, NO LIQUOR) ½ CUP, 3 POINTS
EGG NOG (STORE BOUGHT WITHOUT LIQUOR) ½ CUP, 5 POINTS

Saturday, December 20, 2008

T's Birthday - The Big 10!

T and His Nana

My oldest baby turned 10 on the 13th of December. What a wonderful little boy he has turned into in the last 10 years. He was my first born and I still remember the amount of love I felt for him the minute I saw him. It's like I knew all along what he would look like. I instantly thought that my heart would burst. I still can't even put into words what a privilege it has been to watch him grow. He's everything I thought he would be - sweet, sensitive, affectionate, intuitive, smart, and the cutest little redhead on this earth. His little freckles on his face just melt my heart!


Today was the officer installation at the York Rite Lodge for Mr. H. He's an officer in the Scottish Rite and the York Rite. The ceremonies for the installation are really neat to watch. It was nice to see the lodge brothers that Mr. H is with every other week. They seemed like a great group of guys. I couldn't help thinking about the Flintstones and Fred Flintstone going to his lodge meetings or Mr. Cunningham on Happy Days and the Grand Puba.

I found a recipe I'd like to try. I think the boys will really like it. I might just whip it up for Christmas.
Blueberry Delight
1 (3) oz. pckg. blackberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 (15 oz.) can blueberries
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (8 oz.) pckg. creme cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 - 2 cups chopped pecans
In large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Drain liquid from blueberries and pineapple and stir into the gelatin. Pour into 2 quart mold (or large pyrex dish) and refrigerate until firm.
Mix together softened creme cheese, sugar, sour cream and vanilla and spread over the congealed gelatin mixture. Sprinkle creme cheese layer with chopped pecans and chill for approximately 30 minutes. Invert (or cut into serving size pieces) and serve.
*NOTE: I add the creme cheese mixture AFTER the gelatin has set up and become firm. It makes it much easier to spread. I also add the pecans in with the creme cheese mix and then add MORE pecans on the top.


So far, here is our menu for Christmas Day:

Turducken - it's a boneless duck stuffed inside a boneless chicken stuff inside a boneless turkey. It is soooo good. The duck keeps all of the meat so moist.
Ham - Mr. H's ham from work
Oyster Dressing
Collard Greens
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato Souffle
Rolls
Pies - Pumpkin, Pecan and Chocolate
Iced Tea and Cokes

I made a spreadsheet for the holiday planning. When I figure out how to do a screenshot, I'll post a pic.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

More Christmas Parade of Homes Pics







More pictures of my soon to be mother-in-law's house. Such beautiful decorations. I think I might "borrow" some of the ideas for next year. I'm hoping the economy won't be so horrible and I won't have this horrendous guilt about buying any unnecessary decorations this year.
For some reason, I am especially in love with anything glitter. The little glitters balls that she put in the garland on her light fixture in the kitchen are beyond adorable!




Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Parade of Homes
















My soon-to-be mother-in-law was on the Christmas Parade of Homes this year. She decorated her house so beautifully. She already had most of the decorations but had this wonderful little floral shop in town called Stems help with the embellishments. The most unique thing she did was the Native American ornament wreath. She actually had purchased some indian ornaments from a store in Tulsa and had them on a little tree in her master bath. I loved the tree. What a great way to showcase her heritage. The tree turned into a wreath and look at the beautiful bronze color. I adore it!
More Christmas Parade of Home post soon.....

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween fun

I got creative and made myself a Happy Halloween shirt. Look at me...I'm definitely channeling Martha Stewart!

Nana and her little guys! Oops....I mean gangstas!

Checkin' out the loot!


The boys and some random other boys that jumped in the picture. Our nephew Little J is in the pic too.
The boys were inspired by my love of hip-hop this Halloween. I know, I know, I'm a small town Mom that should like country music or something....but I should have been born in New York City and become a female rapper. I think that's what I should have been. Hmmm...anyway, the other night I was watching Hip Hop Honors on VH1 and the boys were diggin' it. So.. they decided they wanted to be old school rappers for Halloween. I personally thought it was a cute idea. I mean, come on, how many red headed, freckle faced and platinum blonde boys do you know that look really gangsta. Pretty cute if you ask me! We searched high and low for the right outfit and decided on the mix between white boy Eminem and old school Run DMC. A white shirt and baggy jeans that they already owned worked for the clothes. We went to the Halloween superstore and found some *Bling* - gold chains and big blinged out gold emblems or whatever you call them. They already had the little beanie things so the thug rapper look was born. My kids are about as far from thug as you can get - maybe that's why I thought it was so funny.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A quote from thewwchick blog

There is greatness in doing something you hate for the sake of someone you love.
—Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Everyone loves a small town parade!










Yesterday was Pioneer Day in our little town. Everyone goes to the parade in the morning to see the marching band, cheerleaders and all of the different groups that march in it. Hunter recently joined the Cub Scouts and got to march in the parade with his pack. He was so excited. I told Jim that the talk the Cub Scouts did this year at the elementary school was a good one because Hunter is so pumped to shoot bb guns, use a knife, camp out and all the good Cub Scout stuff.



Hunt looked adorable in his little uniform. Sadly, I had to ask my cousin Vicki to sew the patches on his shirt because I have no idea how to sew. I really need to work on that.

You have to look closely at one of the pics of Jim and Hunter walking along - I was watching them walk by me and noticed they were holding hands. That's a sweet little boy-he doesn't care if he's walking with all of his friends.....he stills holds our hands. So cute!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Meal In Honor of My Family In the South & Hurricane Gustav


I thought I would make a southern meal that my family typically eats.........just to honor Hurricane Gustav, which is heading right for the coast of Alabama, which is my favorite place in the world. I have family all over the South and I'm really worried that the hurricane will affect them. My Mom is in Birmingham, Alabama right now with her sisters (T calls them "Them Nanas"). She said the wind is gusting but other than that they haven't seen much from Hurricane Gustav.

I keep 3 big jars of pinto beans, split peas and mixed bean soup on my counter in the kitchen. It's a great go-to meal when I don't want to be bothered with cooking something for dinner. I just throw the beans in a pot with water and some ham or ham bone and dinner will be ready in about 3 or 4 hours. Pure heaven. Make a little cornbread and you've got a meal fit for a special family like mine.




Black Bean Brownies????

Found this recipe on the blog Dietingiswishfulshrinking.blogspot.com. They are only 3 points and apparently the black beans keep it super moist and healthy with tons of fiber. They sound horrible but I'll have to try 'em.

Black Bean Brownies
1 box Betty Crocker Low Fat Fudge Brownie mix
1-15oz can unseasoned black beans in water, drained and rinsed, pureed in
¼ cup water
I pureed the black beans and the water in my Magic Bullet food processor then mixed it with the brownie mix then dumped the mix in a greased 12 muffin tin. You basically follow the baking directions on the package. I just so happened to use the muffin tin as it’s more accurate as far as a serving size. Sure, it turned out my muffins were 3 points each (I found out that the gentleman in my meetings makes these one point by cutting the brownies into very small servings- my cavities are bigger than what he is dishing up so I went with the muffin tin).
162 calories
2 grams of fat
5 grams of fiber = 3 points
So not only were they brownie/muffins DE-LISH (there is not even a hint of bean taste) but they are packed with fiber and super low in fat making them great even for people not on Weight Watchers. And one of the very, very best parts of these brownies? You can lick the bowl clean without fear of salmonella from the raw eggs typically used in other brownie recipes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Brother

Last weekend my Mom, Mr. H, T-man, H-man and I got the chance to drive an hour and a half away and meet my brother for dinner. I hadn't seen him for about a year. He now works for a company that's about 3 hours from our house and he was traveling to his new company for some business meetings or something fancy sounding like that. We split the difference and met him in between his company's town and ours. He lives in Georgia so this was a much closer drive for us. Thank goodness for brothers who telecommute a thousand miles away from their house and have to go to the company headquarters sometimes.

Actually he's my BIG brother - he's 12 years older than me so my earliest memory of him is probably close to the time when he was in college. That makes him more like a second Dad.


I just remember being really young and thinking he was the greatest thing in the world. I would call him on the phone as a little tiny girl and I would always call him Snowman and he would call me Boogerbear. I thought that was so fun. He was always a big muscular guy so I guess I associated it with a big snowman. Who knows!


Anyway, it was a nice dinner and we got a chance to catch up before having to head back home. I really wish we could have spent more time but that's how the cookie crumbles.


I did have one thought about the dinner - don't ever meet at Texas Roadhouse if you plan on talking during the meal. It was the loudest stinkin' place on God's Green Earth!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fun at the ballpark!
















The other night we ventured out to the Drillers game. We usually go 4 or 5 times during the summer but with Mr. H getting his Master's degree, it's really cut into our summer fun. Unfortunately, we went on a night when it was 100 degrees outside. Whew! If you ever want to feel hot and sticky - go to a baseball game when it's super hot outside. Once the sun started going down, it got a little better. Still not cool enough that I could cross my legs though. Everytime I tried to cross my legs, my leg would slip off of the other one due to the minor sweatage going on on my legs. Please note:**Never put lotion on your legs when going to a baseball game as it makes you sweat even worse.








T and H love to watch Hornsby, the Driller mascot. They even have their baseball gloves signed by him. That's pretty cool, man!






Mr. H always likes going because they have really good hotdogs.....that is the All-American food, isn't it??? Wonder how many Weight Watchers points a Driller dog is? Well, actually, I don't want to know.








Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hash How Eggs

Today the Pioneer Woman has a post about this wonderful breakfast, heck, anytime, food. I copied the picture from her site, so go check her out. Pioneer Woman is my favorite blog in all of blogland.
In my family we have always called them Hash How Eggs. I have no clue why. They were a speciality of my Dad's. Gosh, I miss him being able to teach the boys about all of the great things we did when I was a kid.

The best part of a Hash How egg is the soft yolk. Yum! All you have to do put some butter in a skillet, tear a hole out of the middle of a piece of bread, crack an egg in the middle and fry until your egg yolk is runny but the white is done.

You also put the middle of the bread in the skillet to fry all nice and golden brown too. So good.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Old friends


Do you have a friend that's been around forever? A friend that, when the going gets rough, always knows what to say and do. I have that friend and her name is Becky. I met her on the first day of Rush in college. We were lining up in the hallway and I noticed this little girl with huge blue eyes and really pretty blonde hair. We started talking and have been the best of friends ever since. We even pledged the same sorority. She was from a small town in southern Oklahoma and I was so intrigued with her small town life. I loved to go home with her and visit. It was such a novelty to get to hang out down home with her family. So comforting and relaxing. She had parents that adored her as much as mine adored me. That's a rarity to find. We were both spoiled little daddy's girls and we loved it.

She eventually left college to go home and marry a local guy. It was such a devastating time when she went home. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. Now, years later, she has 5 kids with that guy she left me for.......so I guess it wasn't such a bad idea after all. I actually love the guy and he couldn't be any better to my friend. I hate it that we live a couple of hours apart but it seems like we live right next door to each other whenever we get together. We are as close as ever and I can't even tell the distance.

I'm so glad I have her as a friend....she's the friend I never want to lose.

Pure Heaven....in sandwich form





When I was a very small child, my brother and sister (who are 12 and 10 years older than me) would babysit me during the day in the summers while my Mom worked. I have the most vivid memory of my brother making a tomato sandwich with tons of mayonnaise and garlic salt. Soo, sooo good. You cannot get any better than that. I'm talking soul food. So healthy, yet so sinfully fattening.
The problem is...my family is from Alabama. In Alabama, mayonnaise is another food group and I adore it. I'm not sure it adores me but I worship mayo on any kind of sandwich; turkey, ham, veggie, it all sounds good to me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wedding ideas











Monday, July 14, 2008

An exciting life......not really

I found a sorority sister's blog on the internet the other day. She had moved to New York City with her husband and two children. It was a really great blog-describing how many Broadway shows they attend every month, the importance of getting your child into the right summer camp in New York City, their supper clubs, etc. I was reading with such admiration. They are doing so much and seeing so much that my family doesn't, living in a small town in the middle of America. In some posts, I could feel a hint of jealousy springing up because there is a little part of me that's mad at myself for not moving away to an exciting big city and experiencing everything that it has to offer.

Maybe I want to be a mom who just worries about what private school my child should attend or what supper club to attend this month! Dangit! I deserve to be able to shop on 5th Avenue and eat at the most expensive restaurants! I mean, in our family, the choice for dinner is either Sonic or Mazzio's pizza. Oh, or a bbq place. That's about it. In a small town with no choices, it makes us eat at home an awful lot. But then I read on to one of the last posts in my friend's blog and she had a list of the things she misses most about living in New York City and you wanna know what two of the things were.....................Sonic and Mazzio's Pizza.
Just goes to show that sometimes being in the big exciting city just isn't what it's all worked up to be. Maybe I should just be satisfied that we have those choices and appreciate the life I have. Sure puts things into perspective when you read that all your friend wants in New York City is the only thing you have.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My favorite baseball player


This is my nephew Brett Butts, in his current player profile and when he played baseball for Auburn University in Alabama. Last summer he was drafted in the 19th round by the Atlanta Braves. One of the prouder moments for my family. He is a good guy and has worked hard to get where he has already. He currently plays for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He's really enjoying himself and I hope living in every moment. I wish him all the success in the world. And.....I just don't want him to forget me when he hits the Big Leagues!









Lunch with an old friend

Yesterday I went to lunch with an old friend of mine, Jenny. She brought her little 3 month old baby and he was absolutely adorable. Jenny is at a place in life that is so awesome for her. I couldn't be happier. You see....I've known Jenny since we were in the 8th grade. We would run to Sonic with our friend Lisa and order the exact same thing everyday. We did that forever. It was so much fun and we thought we had so much freedom getting to run off campus to eat lunch at a fast food restaurant. Oddly enough, we went to the same college together but were in different sororities, and I dated her now ex-husband before she did. So we have that in common also. Granted, it did seem kinda funny when I would visit their house and her husband was a guy I dated. That's an odd feeling to say the least.

But, it's so much fun seeing where all of our old friends end up. My favorite thing is looking at MySpace or Facebook at pictures of everyone's kids. I love kid pictures. I guess it just makes me happy for all of my old friends that they have found peace and joy in their lives. Some of my friends from high school have really turned into very successful people, and I don't mean that in the business sense only, I mean it in the family, good person sense.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Cooking for two meals




I'm trying hard to figure out how to cook once and use the leftovers again for another meal. The cost of groceries are making it so depressing to go to the store anymore.
We had a huge 4th of July cookout and grilled chicken and pork chops. Well, as I planned, we cooked too much and had a lot of leftover chicken (about 4 breasts) and 4 thin cut porkchops.

While at the store, I tried to think of a way to reuse the chicken without Mr. Hautemama knowing it was leftover food. Mr. H hates leftovers....as in completely despises leftovers. But, I also know that he doesn't pay that much attention to me when I'm cooking. He just leaves me alone to do my masterpieces. So, he would never know that I used chicken from the fridge and not cooked fresh tonight.

My great idea for the leftover chicken and porkchops was fajitas. I bought some Laury's fajita seasoning packets, onions, green peppers, flour tortillas and I was good to go. I just cut up the meat into thin slices, diced some jalapenos (my secret weapon), put it in a skillet with half of the fajita seasoning (too much sodium in the whole packet) and about a 1/4 cup of water to saute. I made some Mexican rice that I had in a box in the pantry, warmed the tortillas and when the meat was sufficiently warmed we were ready to go.

I also cut up one breast of the chicken and cooked a packet of Lipton Chicken Fried Rice and stirred the chicken into the pan with a little of my jalapeno pepper (yum). Great idea for lunches this week. That's also a cause I'm trying to champion. The eat leftovers for lunch and don't go out to eat for lunch cause. I hope I can stick to it.

What ideas do you have for cooking one time and using it for other meals?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Dogs do love the sun




Our dog Allie really loves to lay out in the sun. She's definitely a sun worshipper. The problem is...she's a white boxer and if she's really going to partake in the sun for any amount of time, we have to put sunscreen on her. Not only do we have to slather the kids with sunscreen, now we have to worry about the Diva Allie and her wicked suntanning.


I've never actually seen a dog sunburned but I guess it's a true ailment that can afflict white dogs. But she does love to lay out in the yard right next to the boys when they are playing in their Bonzai pool and slide.



Don't you love summer and watching dogs and cats just enjoying the heat from the sun's rays? It makes me want to just lay down on a towel in the yard and not move. Makes the worries of the world seem so irrelevant.

My favorite casserole-squash casserole a la Paula Deen



I made one of my favorite casseroles for the 4th of July party we hosted. It's squash casserole a la Paula Deen. My friend has celiac disease so I didn't put the Ritz crackers on top like I have in the past but it was still sooo good.









Squash Casserole - Hautemama version
4 yellow squash and 4 zucchini
Cavender's Greek Seasoning (to taste)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. margarine or butter
1 medium jalapeno - minus the seeds
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz. sour cream
8 Ritz crackers - crushed
more cheese as needed
Saute the yellow squash, zucchini and jalapeno pepper minus the seeds in the olive oil and butter until softened. Add the Cavender's Greek Seasoning during the sauteing process. When veggies are softened sufficiently, add the cheese to melt. It will become an ooey-gooey, yummy mixture. Turn off the heat (burner) and then add the sour cream, top with more cheese and crushed Ritz crackers and put in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until bubbly. Pure heaven with a little spice!