Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tasty Tuesday--Chicken Bog

or you can call it "Chicken Boggy Bog" if you're a dork like me.

This is a Paula Deen recipe that I've been making for years. I only make a few small changes. It has become quite famous.
Chicken Bog might sound gross, but trust me on this one, it is freaking awesome. 

1 chicken, quartered
1 pound smoked sausage
1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 an onion)
1 stick butter
2 teaspoons Seasoned Salt
*2 teaspoons House Seasoning
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
3 bay leaves
8 cups water
3 cups raw white rice

Slice the sausage into 1/2 inch pieces. In a large stockpot, combine the chicken, sausage, onion, butter, seasonings, and bay leaves. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook at a low boil for 40 minutes. Remove chicken from the pot and let cool slightly. Pick the meat, discarding bones and skin. Meanwhile, add the rice to the pot and bring to a boil, stirring well. Boil for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the rice is done and most of the liquid is absorbed (it should be "wet", hence the name "bog"). Remove the bay leaves and stir-in the chicken.

*House Seasoning: 1 cup salt, 1/4 cup black pepper, 1/4 cup garlic powder
Store in an airtight container--is good on almost everything...especially potatoes!

It's a bog eat bog world out there, so go eat some bog. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Am I the only one who has noticed

the eerie similarity here...

Bachelor Ben Flajnik

Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal

Um, are they the same person? 
Obviously not, but they seriously look like they could be related. If I were given the choice between the two, Nadal would win....hands down.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Few of my {New} Favorite Things

1.  These new flavors of Chobani. 
My favorite is the apple cinnamon. The flavor of apple cinnamon really compliments the flavor of the plain yogurt. Second favorite, passion fruit. I wasn't all too crazy about the blood orange. It was good, just not as good as the others, in my opinion.

2.  So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer--Hazelnut
I love hazelnut flavored coffee creamer, but I'm trying to be more mindful of what I eat. I know that those non-dairy coffee creamers (good as they may taste) are full of unnatural junk. 
This stuff totally solves my problem! It tastes better than the fake stuff. 
Finally, I can have my hazelnut and eat it too! 

3. BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 4.0 in "The Truth"
I've always used BareMinerals foundation powder, but this is my first try at the eyeshadow. It blends really well and stays on all day, even when I rub my face in frustration at some of my more "challenging" pupils throughout the day. And I love the browns...good for green eyes.

4.  Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred
Okay, so this isn't "new". I've used it in the past, but just started using it again this month. This is such a good workout if you're short on time--it's only 20 minutes but you are moving constantly the whole time. I've only made it to level 2, Jillian kind of scares me. I'm worried about what level 3 might look like!

5.  Yankee Candle in "Green Grass"

I am usually a "Sage and Citrus" girl, all the way. However, a girl in the Yankee Candle store talked me into trying this scent. I'm so glad I did. It's so clean and light--I can't stand a candle that is so heavily-scented it gives you a headache. This smells just like fresh cut grass with a hint of.....clean laundry. Weird description? Maybe. 

6.  These fancy sheets I found at TJMaxx
I fell in love with these sheets as soon as I saw them. I also bought an off-white Cynthia Rowley quilt and a pretty blue afghan to pull it all together. Perfect "make-over" for my guest bedroom.

These are a few of my favorite things. What are you loving lately?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Five {Seven} Song Friday--All About Etta

I'm a huge fan of Etta James and am so saddened by the passing of a true legend. She was incredible.
The best, in my opinion.

My brother, a fellow music lover, asked if I was going to do an Etta James tribute. To be honest with you, I hadn't even thought of it. But what a better way to tribute Etta than to share with you some of my favorite Etta James songs.

Hope you enjoy!

1.  Sunday Kind of Love

2.  All I Could Do Was Cry

3.  If I Can't Have You
(with Harvey Fuqua)

4.  Something's Got a Hold on Me
This version is live and amazing. Gives me goosebumps!

5.  Stormy Weather

6.  Spoonful
(with Harvey Fuqua)

7.  At Last
(the one everybody knows)

What is your favorite Etta james song?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Classroom

So, I just realized that I never posted my classroom pictures. Yes, school started in August and it is now almost February...better late than never? 

 This is probably the first year that I am truly happy with the way my room turned out. Last year I was in Montana the week before school so I felt rushed to get things ready, and every year before that I've had to switch rooms, which is always chaos.

Here is the finished product.

Reading Area with a Dr. Seuss poster that I made.

another view of the reading center.
Reading Goal Bulletin Board with Chic-fil-A cow.
As students get closer to their goal, they put a clothes-pin
with their name on it on the ladder.
Encouraging students to be "bucket-fillers"--give compliments.
Not sure where this idea first came from, but a lot of teachers at
my school do it with their classes. The buckets now have students'
names on them.
Stole this idea from pinterest.
Grammar Island sentence. Our mascot is the marlins.
After students read a book, they fill out a recommendation card
for the board.
Writing Center
Agenda Board. It's a little different now.
Calendar, "student center" (where they turn their papers in), and my desk.
My favorite thing in the room.
 I've had this for a few years now. Pretty sure I first
saw something similar to it in a book somewhere. I love it.
cubbies with printables found on pinterest.
Welcome to 3G!

Ask me if my room is still this clean. When I left today, I couldn't even see the wood of my desk.

Any of you educators have any teacher organizational tips??

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tasty Tuesday--Fluffy Pancakes

Sunday morning was a pancake kind of morning. Tired (maybe a little hungover?) from the night before, cold and dreary out, and there was no bacon in the house. And I was NOT going to the store to get some, either. Luckily, I had everything needed to make these yummy pancakes.

This pancake batter is my go-to. It makes perfectly fluffy pancakes every time. I don't even remember where I first found it, but I'm glad I did!

Fluffy Pancakes
Dry Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
Wet Ingredients
1 large egg
2 cups minus 1 tablespoon reduced fat milk
2 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled
1 tablespoon high quality vanilla extract

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients with fork, set aside. In a separate bowl, beat egg and add milk, vanilla, and butter and mix well. Make a well in the center of the dry mix. Slowly pour the wet mix into the well, gently mixing as pouring with a fork. DO NOT OVER MIX. Batter should be thick and lumpy. Heat two skillets over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add oil and brush to coat (or use nonstick spray). Drop batter by 1/4 cups, cook for about 2 minutes--until bubbly. Flip and cook for about 1 minute more. 

I sprinkled blueberries on my pancakes as they cooked.
I like to keep my pancakes on an oven proof dish on warm in the oven while I make the rest. Also, I sprayed the pan in between each batch to ensure that they didn't stick.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

birdie got her hair did, and we went bowling

Birdie had to go to the groomer this weekend, or as I like to call it, the doggie salon. As much as we love her messy curly locks, they had gotten too matted and impossible to brush. 

Here's my precious daughter a few weeks ago with my scarf.
I mean, seriously, cutest dog in the world.

Keep reading for the after picture....

While Birdie was getting her hair did, Andy and I enjoyed a day in Mt. Pleasant.

We went to Barnes and Noble first. I could spend hours in Barnes and Noble...especially in the children's section. I love children's literature!

I got this book for me
 this one for Lucy

and this one for my class
I'm reading the book Bud, Not Buddy to them right now and they LOVE it, as do I.  Deza Malone is a character in
Bud, Not Buddy.

We had lunch at P.F. Changs...yum.
lettuce wraps and spring rolls

egg drop soup

we walked on the beach on Sullivan's Island for 0.2 seconds. it was cooold and windy.

The house we *think* Reese Witherspoon used to own when she lived on Sullivan's.

We stopped at Vickery's on Shem Creek for a drink.
my muy deliciouso margarita

And then it was time to pick up the Birdster...

Here's the reveal.

Meet our new dog, Daphne.

Later, we took our Daphne to Megan and Cameron's for some cornhole 
megan and cameron

emily and david

Which then turned into bowling...
Then "Cosmic Bowling/Dance-off Bowling"

Today we're ending the weekend celebrating my daddy-o's birthday. Can't wait to spend time with family and eat some of my momma's famous chili!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tasty Tuesday--Sounds Gross...

...but is oh so good.

Turkey Slaw

See? Sounds gross, right? That's why I didn't want to put the name of this dish in the title. I promise you, if you make this yummy, healthy salad, you won't be disappointed!

I had this salad at my mother-in-law's house, which she bought prepared from her local Publix, and immediately I was trying to figure out how to duplicate it. My Publix here doesn't carry it in their deli, so I started working on finding a recipe that seemed close. And what do you know, I found the recipe on the Boar's Head website. However, I made a few changes to make it a little healthier. I made it for my family when they came to visit and it was a big hit!
This is a great healthy salad to make for lunch throughout the week--filling and tasty.


1 1/2 lb. green cabbage, cored & shredded coarsely
1 lb. Boar's Head turkey breast (not sliced too thinly), julienned
3/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/4 cup green onion, diced
3/4 cup rice wine white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive oil (or canola oil)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, turkey, green onions, and almonds.
In a separate smaller bowl, add the sugar to the rice wine vinegar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Whisk in olive (or canola) oil and sesame oil. 
Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to coat.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

So, don't judge a book by its cover title, folks. Think outside the box and make this healthy salad for your weekly lunches and you won't regret it!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Whoa" Part Two

I had too much to post about with our whirlwind holiday season for one post. 
As I said, the day we got back from our week in Hotlanta, my cousin, Blair, and her two sweet kiddos came in town to spend new year's with us and the family. Her son, Nate, is 5 and is a pretty awesome kid. He knows more about football than most grown men. 
In the morning, we'd ask, 
"You want to see what cartoons are on?" 
His response: 
"Nah, is Sports Center on?" 

Every dad's dream, right?

Nate was the ring bearer in our wedding back in 2009. 
That's Nate on the left. Brandon, on the right, is a family friend who I used to babysit. He was the bell ringer.
Blair was also in our wedding. She's like a big sister to me and I'm so happy they've moved a little closer so we can visit more often.
Blair and me at the bridesmaid luncheon
Emery is a cutie, too. She's 1 1/2 and full of spunk! Which she has to be to keep up with her big brother! 
At Nate's 5th Birthday Party

My wonderful Aunt Nita (Blair's mom) came along, as well. We are very close and I love her so much! She stayed at my parents house but they all came over early everyday with Lucy.
At our rehearsal dinner
We had a blast with all the kids. They all love each other and spent lots of quality "cousin time" together. I would say the highlight of the visit was taking the kids to the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry. If you have kids, or even if you're just babysitting some kids, this is a GREAT place to take them. It's only $7 per person which is good for the whole day. You can even leave for lunch, and come back in later. Which is good since it's right across the street from Rue de Jean!

I took LOTS of pictures of the weekend.

Children's Museum of the Lowcountry
Such a hipster.
 Princess crown and purple and pink Toms. SO CUTE! 
She LOVED the water section at the museum. 
Watching the boat go down the river with daddy.

Nate's ready to play.

Emery lovin' the water exhibit. 

Lucy got a little freaked out by the moving floor on the pirate ship!

Lucy and "Bear" (Blair)

Nate checking out groceries at the supermarket.

speed shopper!

When we left, Lucy's first words were "Go back?"

Hanging out at the House
Emery at the park.

Ladder golfin'.

Birdie waiting on her football opponent, Nate.

Laughing at Nate and Birdie playing football.

The kids opened their presents from us on New Year's Eve.
Emery loved her Birdie dog!

Nate REALLLLY loved his gift from us...Cars 2!

Lucy got a cute hoodie from "bear".

Then we ate our traditional New Year's Day dinner on New Year's Eve, since everyone was leaving in the morning. It was gooooo-ooood!
Hoppin' John (for good luck), Collard Greens (for money--I ate A LOT of these!), crockpot mac-and-cheese, and boston butt.

It was a great way to start 2012. We all had a blast and I'm so happy that the cousins love each other so much.
I would love it if there was one more cousin in the mix for 2012. 
We're working on that. :)