Monday, February 28, 2011

What's Cookin'

Last night I tried out two new recipes and they were YUUUUUMMMMMY!

First up, was a recipe from the Pioneer Woman herself. I took some pics of the ingredients used and the final product.
I am NOT a food photographer. Please don't judge ;)

You will need the following ingredients to make Penne Alla Betsy:
1 lb penne pasta
1 lb large shrimp
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
***I did not have any on hand {shocker!} so I did without the wine***
1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
Milk (for thinning)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
6 basil leaves, chopped
freshly ground pepper

This seems like a lot of steps but it's really not...I promise!

Step 1: Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Cook penne to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Peel and devein shrimp, if needed. I bought mine already peeled and deveined so all I had to do was cook the shrimp. Rinse shrimp under cold water.
***Buy your shrimp is SO much better to just cook it yourself. Do not buy it already cooked...please promise me you'll do this! It makes such a difference.***

Step 3: In a small skillet over med-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Step 4: When the pan is hot, add in shrimp. Stir and cook on both sides until it is just starting to turn opaque. About 2 minutes.

Step 5: Remove shrimp to a plate and cool.

Step 6: Finely chop the onion and garlic.

Step 7: In a large skillet over med heat, add in the remaining butter and olive oil.

Step 8: Add in garlic and onion. Stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent. About 3 minutes.

Step 9: Sip your white wine ;)

Step 10: Pour in rest of wine into pan. Stir and allow to evaporate . About 45 seconds.

Step 11: Pour in tomato sauce and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low.

Step 12: Pour in favorite part!

Step 13: Stir well to combine. Reduce heat to simmer.

Step 14: Remove tails from shrimp and add into sauce. Stir gently to combine.

Step 15: Throw in the herbs and stir.

Step 16: Add in cooked, drained pasta

Step 17: Stir gently to coat. If the sauce is too thick this is where you can use the milk to thin it out, if necessary.

Stir 18: Enjoy!!

You can't have such a delicious pasta dinner without bread.

I got this recipe from my girl Ina aka The Barefoot Contessa.
I mean...let's face it....that gal can cook!

You will need the following ingredients to make Garlic Ciabatta Bread:
6 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lg ciabatta bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Step 2: Place the parsley, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until finely minced.

Step 3: Heat olive oil in a med pan over low heat. Add garlic and herb mixture and cook for 3 minutes. Garlic should be tender but not brown! Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 4: Cut ciabatta bread in half, horizontally.

Step 5: Spoon garlic and herb mixture onto the bottom half and spread butter on the top half. Place together.

Step 6: Wrap bread in aluminum foil and place on sheet pan.

Step 7: Bake the bread for 5 minutes, then remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes.

Step 8: Slice crosswise and serve warm :)

Not the best pics...mainly because I forgot to take a pic of the final product ( I was ready to eat)!
When I did go back to snap a quick pic, most of the bread was gone. Hmmmm.....B seemed to REALLY like it.

It's a lot of food but it's great to have on hand for leftovers throughout the week.
I'm headed to go grab a lil' bowl for lunch right now.

Enjoy ladies!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Getting Excited!

I can not believe that February is coming to an end and another month is getting ready to begin. Is it just me or is time flying by?!?!

For B and I this means another month closer until we're all moved into our new place in Connecticut.

Today was one of those days where I got REALLY excited about our big move (and a little anxious because we have not started to organize our packing strategy)! I'm feeling so blessed that B has such an amazing opportunity at one of the best hospitals in the country...very proud of the hubs ;)

Here are some things that got me all giddy about our adventure up north:

We are a train ride away from some pretty great cities in the New England Area...lots of weekend getaways!

About an hour away?!?! NYC...a city that I hold close to my heart!

I'm really looking forward to decorating our new place and making it "ours"...I gotta add my own flair and dash of sparkle ;) and PS...I'm loving this headboard.

We are close to many beautiful beaches. I can't wait to spend lazy days and summer weekends listening to the ocean and relaxing...New England style.

I can't wait to explore our new neighborhood and find our "place". That bakery/coffee shop that we hit up on those Saturday mornings.

I've heard Connecticut has A LOT of antique shops (I prefer the term vintage)! I'm ready to visit these unique stores and find that special something.

Aaahhh....vineyards and picnics...sounds like a great date to me!

This gal loves good food and the New England area is known for its fresh seafood....mmmmm lobster, crab, shrimp...oh my! Yum!

Hoping to brush up on my photography skills during B's fellowship year.

Fall in Connecticut is supposed to be BEAUTIFUL! Orchards are popular up north so I'm sure B and I will be making a visit during those cool, crisp autumn months.

They had a rough winter this past year but honestly...I can't wait for winter and snow up north. I'm dreaming of a White Christmas...maybe a little more white than I'm used to. Ha!

I can never seem to find the time to read as much as I would like. Hopefully, this upcoming move will allow me more time to read those books that I've been putting off.
{All photos above courtesy of via}

And of course...I am so excited to be on this journey with my wonderful hubby! Words can not express how happy I am for him and this once in a lifetime chance to train at Yale- New Haven Hospital. Should be a fun time and we plan to make the most of it.

Many blessings ladies...
Have a fabulous weekend y'all!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Here's a few things that I'm loving on this beautiful, sunny Wednesday!

I'm loving my daily devotions that I wake up to each morning from Proverbs 31 Ministries
They are so encouraging and it is a great way to get my day started!

I'm loving these fresh flowers that are blooming on our dining room table...

I'm loving that American Idol is coming on tonight.
This season is so amazing and the talent is blowing me away!

I'm loving these long maxi perfect for Summer!
All from Anthropologie

And as always....I'm loving my sweet hubby!
(This is B checking out our wedding cake for the first on our BIG DAY!)

Hoping you have a wonderful Wednesday...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekend Update

Last week was a long one and a very emotional one. My Papa passed away...I have spent time crying and feeling overwhelmed with grief but after a lot of praying I found peace with what happened. He is with our beloved Lord and he is no longer in pain or is suffering. I am certain that he is in a better place and....he is reunited with my Mama. Mama and Papa were my mom's parents and I know this is more than difficult for her. Last week I spent a lot of time with my family....helping with parts of the service and just trying to be there for anything that they needed ! My hubby was amazing...supportive and beyond helpful to my family.

Thank you so much to all our friends and family for their love, support and many prayers during this time.

By the time Saturday rolled around, the hubby had it all taken care of and set up a relaxing weekend. First up on my agenda....a (much needed!) manicure. My new color...Teenage Dream from Katy Perry's OPI collection. I'm in love with it! B enjoyed a fun morning out on his bike....if you see him around town, say hello ;) We have been so blessed with such gorgeous weather the past few days so it's been nice to go out and about with the sunroof open and the windows down.

Saturday afternoon was SO much fun! B and I went and cheered on our CATS down at Rupp. This was B's first time going to see the CATS in action and....he LOVED it! It's official ladies....I finally turned him into a UK fan. Those of you that know B know that he went to University of Louisville for his undergrad AND med school. This is HUGE!

After the game we met my mom and sis for dinner and then headed to Orange Leaf for a yummy treat ;)

Sunday was a day full of rest...we didn't set our alarm...and we didn't wake up until after 10! When was the last time that happened?!?! I can't even remember. After a quick breakfast we did some chores around the house that had been overlooked...B had the fun task of installing a new dead bolt and it was a bigger task than what we originally thought! But he did an awesome job and the new hardware looks beautiful!

Sunday night was family dinner night with my side of the family and it was delicious! Can't believe it was warm enough to cook out! We also all gathered around the tube to catch the season opener for Amazing sure to cheer for Mallory and her dad Gary!

Well gals...that about rounds it up! I'm looking forward to a busy and productive week!

My beloved Papa! So special...

My new nail color....Teenage Dream! Adds a little Dash of Sparkle...

Go Cats! B and I at the game

My working man!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fun Find Friday

Last week I noticed the hubby and I were running low on some of our bathroom basics.

B, being the sweet hubby that he is, volunteered to run the errand to get us re-stocked. As I was going through the bag to put things away, I noticed B's new deodorant and I busted out laughing. So funny! My hubby is just too cool for school ;)

I will give credit where credit is does smell pretty good.

I'm also loving my nail color of the moment ( I have it on in the pic).
It's Techno Girl by OPI for Sephora. LOVE!

Hoping you have a wonderful Friday and find way to add a little dash of sparkle into your day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I am totally taking this opportunity to brag about my wonderful, beautiful and talented LHS girls ;)

Last week we traveled to Orlando, FL to compete at UDA's National Dance Team Competition. We received a bid to compete in July of last year and we have been working hard ever since. After months of practicing and preparing it was finally time to go down and leave it all on the dance floor...and ladies....these girls threw it down!

We flew down last Wednesday night and enjoyed two days of practices, orientation, meetings and some fun times at the parks. Those two days flew by and Saturday arrived before we knew it. It was a long day full of prelims, semi-finals and a lot of nerves. There are hundreds of teams that participate in this competition and they are all SO talented and VERY strong's amazing how talented these teams and coaches are. The girls did their jazz dance first and it was beautiful :) Apparently the judges thought so as well since they sent my girls on to FINALS!!!!! We beat out several teams for that coveted finals spot and I was over the top proud!

***Side Note: Lafayette Dance Team has NEVER advanced to FINALS! My girls and I were the first...EVER!!?! Yes....I think so!***

After celebrating (and people thinking we had lost our minds because we were screaming so much) they went on to compete in hip hop. We did not move on with our hip hop dance but I was happy because it was the best I had ever seen them dance that routine and you could tell they were having fun. Cara...thank you SO much for putting together such an awesome routine for these girls!

Sunday was the day! FINALS! The girls and I were able to sleep in a bit and then we had a quick practice. After getting ready we headed over and it was time to compete. And let me tell you....these girls were awesome. They danced even better than the day before and I was in tears the second their music started playing. It was such an overwhelming feeling and so many emotions were running through me. I was nervous, anxious, excited, proud, happy...etc, get the picture. It was such an amazing opportunity to be a part of history and to help push these girls to their fullest potential. By of the most rewarding experiences and I am so thankful that Lafayette believed in me to get the job done.

We are now a nationally ranked team (18th in the nation!) and these girls worked for it! They put in countless hours and so much energy into working for this goal...and they got it! I could not be prouder.

I'm beyond grateful to have worked with these young ladies and am so blessed to have them as a part of my life.

Here's some pics from our amazing trip:

The girls and I after being ranked 18th!

Getting ready for finals

After being announced as finalists! Such an amazing moment


Enjoying time with some of the girls :)

My LHS dance girlies have certainly added a Dash of Sparkle into my life!