Monday, March 31, 2008

Our Veggie Garden!!! YAY!!

I am soooo pooped out right now, but I can’t wait to tell you about our garden. I have an inherited interest in gardening...check out my mom at and you will see where I get it from!

Robby and I love anything outdoors, so a vegetable garden sounded like the perfect Spring past time. Until Robby got in control of the tiller. Have you ever seen a four year old make their own plate at the buffet restaurant?’s not pretty. Their eyes always tend to be larger than their bellies, and they over-load themselves with pasta salad and burger bites. And so did my little honey in the back yard. I thought that we would make a quaint little 5 foot by 5 foot patch to plant a few tomatoes. But Robby thought differently. He thought we needed this:

Yes, it is beautiful! It is BEAUTIFUL! But it is also HUMONGOUS!!! So, sorry friends- I can’t go to your weddings, baby showers, family vacations, or backyard grill outs because I will be weeding our garden for the rest of my life.

But the good news is that I have amazing help! Hoss brings all of the weeds right back to me when I try to throw them out of the garden.

And Robby sits here and makes funny faces at me to brighten my spirits as I toil my life away pulling weeds. Always to the first to offer words of encouragement. Thanks Hun...really.

Easter weekend with Ali

I was fortunate enough to spend Easter weekend with my sister. Although we both live in Alabama, our busy schedules make it pretty hard to spend time together. So I was totally excited when she decided to come visit for the weekend.

She had grand plans to stay on the beach and in the sun for the majority of the time, but Mr. Weather and I both had different ideas for her! We had a crafty weekend and definitely caught up on our sister time.

On Friday we stayed at the hizzy, had some wine (duh...), and played Cranium. If anyone of you has not tried MUST go get it right now. We have a blast every time we brake it out!

Here is Ali enacting a “Cocktail Dress”...just think of charades. Have I told you yet that I love love love this girl??

And here is the after shot. (Hence the empty wine glass!)

Here we are in our shopping dresses the next day:

We crafted out bee-hineys off because Mr. Weather would not cooperate enough to head to the beach. So we made these instead. Take that Mr. Weather; my booties beat a sunburn any day!

And I made this to help me keep track of my jewelry. I am so excited about it:

I can’t wait to see her again...she’s my soul mate. I miss her everyday that she is away.

Saturday Breakfast

Well, Robbu and I had a pretty busy weekend. We practically did all of our Spring planting in 2 days. So to start off the weekend of dirty hands and sun-kissed shoulders, I made one of my breakfast favorites...a frittata! Can't beat this for a boost of energy!

I tend to find that most frittatas are too dense for my taste; so this version is more of a baked omelet. But I just like saying "frittata" sounds more fancy-smanchy than "baked omelet." I served it with garlic-cheese grits and strawberries.

Broccoli and Parmesan Frittata

The players:

1/2 c steamed broccoli florets

1/2 c grated Parmesan

1/2 tbs butter

8 eggs

1/4 c milk

Here we Go!!

Pre-Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Alright...first I separate all of the egg whites from the yolks. The I beat the crap out of the whites until frothy. Add the yolks and milk, set aside.

Place butter into a pan on stove over medium heat until butter is melted. Be sure the the pan used is oven-safe. Then Place steamed broccoli into pan, and stir to coat the florets. Add milk and cheese, sir and let sit for a few minutes.

Cover and place pan into oven for 10 min.

The frittata should rise slightly. When finished I invert the pan onto a serving dish and serve pie-style!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Priorities First People!!

Ok...I was reading through old emails between Kris-tan and I and found the passage below. I then proceeded to fall out of my chair into the fetal position and start crying because I miss my girls so much. (k is the one on the right...after a few glasses of wine)
Kris-tan: "I did get a lot done at my house. I think this is the first time in a while that I have no clothes in the washer or the dryer or stacked in laundry baskets. I was a big girl and folded them all. Whew...but I do have a headache today. Eventhough the wine wasn't that great...somehow I manage to choke down the whole bottle. gotta be good at somethin' huh?"

Me: "I truely believe that it is our duty to drink an entire bottle of wine at a time- especially if we don't like it, to determine exactly what tastes wrong!! I do it all of the time. I should be a professional bad-wine drinker. I want to drink some wine tonight, but I have to be productive and get my house ready for company over the weekend. "

Me: "Guess what I did last night?? I drank some WINE and did absolutely nothing productive!! HeeHeeWhatcha doing this weekend?? "

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Crack.

So I think that I owe all of my loyal readers an explanation of my behavior lately. (Sorry Mom.)
I have an addiction. There, I said it.

Hello. My name is Katie. And I am an addict.
Here is my drug:

It is called Rock Band; a video game where you can start a band with real-toy instruments and tour the WORLD! HAHAHA (laughing like Mike Myers in Austin Powers)

Our band is called Lesion. Pretty rockin’ huh? We have band practice a few nights a week, but I can’t stop thinking/dreaming/breathing rock band. And I am good too!! Who-da thunk?!

So…here are some lovely pictures of my band LESION:

Robby, love of my life, the drummer!! Probably the best drummer in the world of rock!! He is concentrating pretty hard.

Some times he likes to rock out on the vocals! Can anyone say "multi-talented"?

This is George on the lead vocals. I just call him Axel.

Ryan on Lead Vocals. Ryan is definitely our top performer on the guitar. Definitely. But...he likes to mix it up with the mic on occasion. Man he is super serious folks...yes-he is breaking a sweat!

I told you he was serious! Ry-dog is practicing his serenading techniques on his roomie George. Now that is dedication.

And last, but certainly NOT least. Our groupie Frank! We just couldn't do it without him. He is always the first to offer words of encouragement, or in this case...a Natty Lite. (Only real rockers drink cheap beer.)

And If you are wondering...I play a mean bass guitar!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kingery...Is that you?

Drum roll, Please….TA DA!!

I know, I know ladies. I am super late with putting this recipe up, but it has been crazazy around here. Here is a list of my excuses:

1. My oven was broken…I was preheating it for my bread that I bake every Sunday when a piece of metal broke though the heating element. It looked like I had a welder working in my oven. Yikes!! Anyhoo- it’s all better now.

2. My best friend was married this past weekend in Birmingham, AL and I was out of town.

3. Robby and I visited my folks in Louisiana the weekend before that and I was 2 states away from my computer.

4. I just plain didn’t want to. Because every time I do…I eat them ALL and gain 25 pounds, and then enter a state of grief for a very long time…about a minute and a half to be exact.

But, the sweetest friend asked me for the recipe and I really think she would make them! I have had the pleasure of seeing Katie Kingery twice this month, the first being a bachelorette party where she fell in love with these. So I am FORCED to make Cheese Straws for Katie. I don’t have a choice. We Katie’s have to stick together. So I hope you realize how painful this is for me…especially when they melt in your mouth. Darn you Katie…these 25 pounds are for you!!

I used a fancy cookie press for these, but I really like the cut ones better!!

Cheese Straws

Pantry Players:
1 and 2/3 c un-bleached all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces at room temp
14 oz extra sharp cheddar, grated at room temp
2 ½ tbs water

The Main event:

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Sift together the flour, salt, dry mustard, & cayenne pepper.
3. Mix together the butter and grated cheddar for several minutes using a standing mixer. (No fingers Kristen!) Mix until blended
4. Gradually add the dry ingredients into mixer until completely incorporated.
5. Add water and continue mixing for another minute.
6. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead several times. Roll dough (like a pie crust) to about a ¼ inch thickness.
7. Cut strips about ¼ inch thick and 5 inches long. (sometimes I like mine a little thinner.)
8. Place strips on un-greased cookie sheet about ½ inches apart and bake for 12-15 min or until browned.
9. Cool before serving!! And then stuff your face and blame Katie K for obscene weight gain!!

This is what I drank while making the cheese straws...beware- no one should ever attempt these without a bloody mary!! you are warned!!

So I hope you all try them out. I tend to make mine a little spicy, so if you are a wimp just add less spicy stuff!! Let me know how they turn out!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy 23rd Birthday Alison...Again!

My ever-so-talented older sister, Alison, turned 23 on February 5th for the 6th time!

I was in Birmingham celebrating with a few friends this past weekend, and was so very lucky to see Alison for lunch on Sunday. Ali and I are rarely in the same city, and when we do see eachother it is usually at our parents house in Louisiana. So with us actually being within driving distance of eachother we met at Zapata's Mexican restaurant off of Valleydale Road and both enjoyed their famous chicken soup.

My mother ( has perfected this soup recipe, and if you are lucky and behave yourself I might post it early next week. So you better watch your p's & q's!!

It was such a treat to spend time with her and her wonderful husband, David.
Being that I somehow always make the world revolve around myself, I politely pointed out that I love her only for the sole purpose that I will always be younger than her, and she will always be old. She replied only that she has felt 23 for the past 5 years, and has not aged a bit. Which is the truth...darn it. And I am NOT jealous of her inability to age...not even a tiny bit. I swear.

So...HAPPY 23rd MY LOVE!!

Enjoy some pics from Sailing at The Grand Hotel, Fairhope, AL.

Alison was completely enamored with her feet and refused to take a picture with me...

Then I threatned that I would bite her on the nose if she she didn't smile for the camera.

I often have to revert to violence with her- she's a fiesty one!

In complete fear of losing her nose she agreed to smile for the camera!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Coming Soon...

Coming Soon to a Computer Near You...
Spicy Cheese Straws, Sausage and Cheddar Biscuits,
& Gettin' Hitched-Texas Style-Chicken and Stuffing Casserole!!

Ok, will probably be coming soon to a computer RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. But it just sounded better that way!

All of these are compliments of my dear friend Melany (soon to be hitched) Burton. Actually, none of these recipes are from her. Wait just a sec, I'll explain it all!
This past Saturday all of the girls celebrated Mel's last night of freedom by having a shower and going out on the town. I made my infamous cheese straws and sausage and cheese biscuits- and again, they were a hit! Due to the overwhelming demand for the recipe (Katie and Kristen asked me...and hence the overwhelming-ness), I will post it for ya'll.

However...a small dilemma stands in the way. I must make them again to take my beautiful and professional pics for the page. I mean really...who would ever want to read a recipe that did not include pictures?? This is how I judge all books really; even my Bible has the cartoon pics in it. It's a necessity.

The chicken and stuffing casserole is courtesy of Mel's totally hunky soon-to-be husband! What a doll. And I am saying this solely on the basis of his picture...he's a cutie-patootie! For some odd reason Mel has not allowed me to meet Rob, the fiancé. Surely she is not embarrassed by me?!! So...I am accepting this recipe as an offering of peace. Thanks Rob! I will make your yummy casserole and share it with my friends, and I will let you marry by friend without too much of a fight, and will not interrogate you in the middle of the ceremony.

Ah..who am I kidding! I would let any of my friend marry a guy as hunky as Rob!!

So, after all of my rambling, the point is: Stay tuned peeps, I am working on some of my faves and will post them ASAP!!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just Call Me Sandra Lee!...Wait, NO , PLEASE don't call me that??!!

Don’t we all wish that we didn’t have REAL jobs, that we had organic farmers markets around the corner…and that we all have the time (& money) to make new, and creative dishes every night?

Well…I certainly do not have those luxuries, so I occasionally find my self cooking “semi-homeade” meals. (please stop throwing things at me!!) I try to always use the freshest ingredients in everything that I cook…but sometimes it just ain’t gonna’ happen!!

So…here is a go to meal that I make quite often, especially when it is raining and I can't get to the grill! Peppers stuffed with spicey goodness is sure to warm up these cold nights, it won’t empty your wallet, and is quick to table!

We had the peppers with boiled cabbage...not a great picture, but it was DELISH!! Did someone say CABBAGE??? YUMMMM

Stuffed Peppers

From the Pantry:
10 Roma tomatoes
2 cloves of Garlic minced
1 onion diced
1 box of Dirty Rice Mix (I use Tony’s)
1 lb ground Beef (try using ½ beef and ½ Turkey for a lighter fare)
1 lb grated Sharp Cheddar cheese
***ok…nevermind the Turkey- there’s a lb of cheese here!! Kinda like ordering a diet coke with your whopper***
5 Bell Peppers of assorted color (‘cause is festive!!)
1 tbsp Olive oil

Here we go:

1. Using a pairing knife carefully slit the tomatoe skin around the tomatoe's circumfrence...trying not to cut into the meat.Boil the tomatoes for a few mintutes until you see the skins pulling away from the meat. Drain the tomatoes and let cool.

2. Once the tomatoes are cool to the touch, peel off the skins and discard. Cut tomatoes in half, discard seeds, and dice.

3. Warm the olive oil in a saute pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the diced onion, and let sweat until onion begin to appear transparent. Add garlic and gound beef and saute until the beef in browned. Be careful not to burn the garlic- you may need to turn the heat down a little!

4. Drain the fat off of the saute pan, and add the diced tomatose and the dirty rice mix. Cook per the directions given on the dirty rice box.

5. Cutt the caps off of the bell peppers, and clean thoroughly. Be sure there are no seeds left inside. Once the rice mix is finished, stuff the peppers and place in a cassarole dish. Any of the extra rixe mix can be placed in the dish itself to help stabalize the peppers as they cook.

6. Top with grated cheese and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Now enjoy this yummy goodness!! You can take all the credit..I swear I won't tell anyone where you got the recipe!!

I love using the different colors!! I cannot wait to grow my own this summer!!

Here are the beautiful tomato skins before they were trashed!! I HAD to take a quick pic...too purty!!

Tell me what you think if you try it!! P.S. My spell check will not work,,,so please forgive me. :)


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

No George, You don't eat the whole thing!!

The Stuffed & Grilled Artichokes...looming in the background are the infamous
Sausage & Cheese Biscuits, and the BEST Cheese Straws EEVVAAAAH!!

It seems as though everyone has their own traditions to celebrate the New Year. This was actually one of my first times to feast on the traditional southern staples of black eyed peas, turnip greens, cabbage, rice, etc. and it was all delicious as usual. I think I could survive on stewed cabbage alone if I was stranded on an island full of cabbage foliage- oh how my mind meanders when day dreaming of leafy greens…Mmmmm

I decided to add a new traditional food for New Year’s Day because, well, I am just so darn creative. THE ARTICHOKE!!!! Haha…who thought I was going to say rutabaga?? Robby and I decided to have a New Year’s Eve bash, with way too many fireworks mind you, and the hit of the evening was definitely the stuffed and grilled artichoke!! Although, for some it took a few lesson’s to learn how to properly consume the artichoke leaf. GEORGE THIS MEANS YOU!!

Our dear friends, George and Alana, enjoying the artichoke. If you look close you can see tears in his eye!! HeeHee.

One of our very polite friend was excited to try the artichoke leaf for the first time and proceeded to take one leaf and devour the entire thing without a second thought. After chewing the rubbery leaf for about 10 minutes he looked straight at me and proceeded to tell me how great it was as his eyes began to water- although I think he was really crying! We all began laughing, not at George- we are not that mean- but because we have all done it before! So word to the wise when eating a stuffed artichoke- only the “meat” at the bottom of the leaf is the yummy part!! Just scrape it off the tough leaf and enjoy!!

Below is the recipe for my stuffed and grilled artichoke, I hope you enjoy! I hope to get the recipe for MOM’s marinated artichokes which are great on the grill- especially with grilled tomatoes in the summer…I will keep you updated on my coercion techniques to get it out of mom…and will post it too!!

Stuffed and Grilled Artichoke

Pantry List:
1/2 c Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (I always use Progresso...'cause I am biased like that!)
1/4 c Ricotta cheese
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp dried Basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 Lemon
1 Artichoke

Here we go!!!:

  1. Start your grill (I always use charcoal...because I am addicted to carcinogens) for a medium-low temp.
  2. Wash off the artichoke and pat dry with a towel. Using kitchen scissors, trim the tops off the leaves, and cut the stem at the base leaving a flat bottom.
  3. Prepare your steamer on the stove...(Kristen- grab a pot with the holes in it, place in in another pot without holes. Add water, not enough to seep through the inside pot, cover with lid, and place on stove over medium-high heat.)
  4. Mix the 1st six ingredients in a small bowl, then add the juice from 1/2 of the the lemon.
  5. Stuff the mixture in-between the leaves of the artichoke, and drizzle remaining juice over the top.
  6. Steam the choke for 25 min, then place on the grill over indirect heat for 20 min.
  7. To test for doneness- the leaves should pull easily from the base of the artichoke.

    I hope you all try this and enjoy!! Please let me know if you do!!


Every One Buckle Up!!! Here We Go!!

Ok…so I have come to realize that there are way too many food bloggers in the blogosphere, that I am absolutely NOT productive if I am in a 3-block radius of a computer with access to the blogospere, and finally that I am surrendering to my everyday idea that “Hey…I could do this! No one will read it or understand it, but I COULD do it!!!” I think that my mom might print it out and stick it on her fridge along with the turkey hands and finger paints I did as I child…which I know is more of a comfort to me that a huge shining achievement!!

I think to myself about the types of blogs that I would want to write, to include personal stories or not, to offer advice or not (who am I kidding…I am such an amateur…this will probably end up as someone’s one moment of condemning laughter as I fumble my way through the kitchen!) But, I am SOOO excited to start this process, to share my learning experiences, and definitely provide some comic relief along the way!!

I have decided to add a more personal touch to this blog…to include personal stories and memories (Gasp, gasp…I can hear all of the serious foodies desperately reaching for their mouses, or is it mice? to exit this page.) I believe that the love of cooking, food, and entertaining is such a personal reflection and journey that I must divulge a snippet of my life. So please excuse my rambling on about other non-food issues, and I hope you stay tuned for my next foodie fiasco!! Check out the REAL website for more serious grilling info...

As I have been feeding my food blog addiction, I am completely amazed at the professionalism and gourmet styling of these people…I mean artists, because in my mind I have let my addiction spotlight these cooks/chefs/everyday peeps into celebrities. ( I swear there is paparazzi staring at me right now through the window…man that didn’t take long!!! I’m ready for my close up!!) Just a joke folks! I am hoping that this blog can become a source of self expression (you should be thanking your lucky stars I didn’t decide to become a painter right now…yikes!!), and that it will document my passion and journey through the culinary world!!!