Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bucket List: Kemah Boardwalk and a Summer Night Meal

Oh sweet means so much to our little family. Mommy is free, daddy is more flexible and our baby girl gets her mommy and daddy all to herself. Oh and Garcia gets company at home...can't forget our pup. Jason and I made a bucket list on the very first day of summer and we actually crossed everything off that list! We wanted to be intentional and do the things that the slow days of summer called for. The Kemah boardwalk was on our list so at the end of July we headed there one Saturday morning with our friends caravanning behind. It was a hot day but worth the trip.

None of us had been and it was fun to do it all behind the eyes of our little ones. Oh how times have changed...there wasn't any shopping, lingering at lunch or a coffee break at Starbucks..all of the things I would have wanted to do when visiting a cute little place. Instead, we had to finish up lunch the minute that our sweet little bosses, I mean babies, gave us their cue and then we spent crazy money and time in line to ride the train and carousel.

But it was worth it. It was a sweet way to spend our day with our close friends and make memories with our babies. Mary Rachel and I are always coming up with things that we have to do, making our own little bucket list. We have big plans...pumpkin patches, vacations, renting a cabin on the Frio...and Kemah was another thing that was just crossed off. The babies were out like a light the minute we started the drive home. A great summer Saturday.
The only thing with a big day that exhausted us all was that we were home at 4pm and didn't have a thing to do for dinner. Jason and I wanted time outside grilling something...anything. We are always grilling kabobs or chicken so that was a no go. We came across a recipe for a grilled pizza and that was just the kind of new recipe we were looking for. This was something that we have wanted to do but were not sure how to go about and it turned out to be way too easy to have waited this long. And for a side it was a fabulous Colorful Summer Salsa. Both fresh summer dishes for a great ending to our summer day. And both so incredibly easy.

Healthy Colorful Salsa
15oz can black beans (wash and drain)
1/2 cup shoepeg corn (wash and drain)
2 medium tomatoes (dice)
1 red bell pepper (dice)
1 green bell pepper (dice)
1/2 cup onion (dice)
2 jalapeno peppers chopped and seeded
1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup minced cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper

Mix and marinate in refrigerator. Amazing....

Grilled Chicken Margherita Pizza
1 cup marinara sauce
1 packaged prebaked pizza crust (found near pizza ingredients)
4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Chopped fresh basil leaves
Grilled chicken breasts sliced thinly

Spread sauce on pizza crust, top with chicken and then lay the sliced cheese on top. Grill covered over medium heat, rotating pizza occasionally. Grill for 10 minutes or until sauce is hot and cheese is melted. Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with basil.  Such a delicious and fresh way to do pizza. The crispiness that the grill adds is my favorite part. Enjoy!

Pin It Now!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Celebrating the Upcoming Superman and a Dear Friend

The day I went back to work last year from my maternity leave, my sweet friend Courtney came to check on me before school started and found me all teary. She gave me a big, sweet hug and then shared a little secret to cheer me up. She had just found out that she was pregnant. Well that dried my tears quickly because who can cry when you find out that another precious little angel will arrive and that I also would't be alone in my teacher/momma world anymore! I would have a partner in crime to ride this ride with me.

See, Courtney is a triple blessing in my life. I work with her not only at the same school but we teach  Kindergarten together too. We attend not only the same church but we are also in the same Sunday School class. So we see each other 6/7 days and sometimes every single day of the week if we happen to to be together on Saturday . And now she is expecting her baby boy and he will go to the same babysitter that Collins goes to come January. Needless to say, I enjoy Courtney's  friendship and I love having her around so much. We are pretty much stuck together whether she likes it or not;) And I may or may not have recently prayed that I hope she goes into labor at school. Don't worry, she already knows about this prayer. I just feel that it would make for lots of excitement down in Kindergarten land. Although it would probably create havoc with all our Kinder babies. I can just see those sweethearts going berserk with excitement. Okay, so maybe not the best idea...

So of course I had to join in when Courtney's baby shower was being planned! Not to mention she helped plan two showers for me, one at our school and for our Sunday School class. Again, bless her little heart. So time to shower some baby love on her!

Our very creative friends and fellow co-hosts were more than creative. Courtney's husband loves Superman so this theme just took off. Everything was covered in Red, Yellow and Blue, ceiling to floor. Courtney was glowing and and baby Ross received so many goodies.

We ate ourselves silly. The food was amazing and we couldn't stop eating. Well, okay, I couldn't. Enjoy! And can't wait to see Collins and Baby Ross grow up together. We already know they will be the best of friends and although he isn't here yet, he is already on Collins's first birthday party list:)

I made my favorite breakfast dish, Sweet Bacon Breakfast Casserole.It feeds so many and it is a nice change from the egg and sausage casserole that is the usual breakfast casserole (although that one rocks my world too!) But it is the sweet Hawaiin bread that makes this dish to die for. Not the healthiest thing but I swear that I took out all of the calories before I served it like any good hostess would do. And the best part is that you make this the day before so it will be easy to pop right in the oven the next morning.
Sweet Bacon Breakfast Casserole

1 (16oz) Hawaiian bread loaf, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 cups finally shredded Mexican four cheese blend
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
8 large eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried mustard
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

Arrange bread cubes in a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and crumbled bacon. 
Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, mustard and worcestershire sauce. Pour over prepared dish; press low bread to soak up liquid. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Let stand 30 minutes before baking.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minute or until set and golden. Serve with salsa if preferred.
Chocolate Drizzled Pecan Tarts 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 large egg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. melted chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese and flour and mix well. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
3. Shape cream cheese mixture into 24 1 inch balls and press into ungreased mini muffin plans. Set aside. (I added foil liners into the muffin pans for the tarts to bake in)
4. In a large bowl, combine pecans, brown sugar, dark corn syrup, egg, butter and vanilla. Spoon 1 tsp. of pecan mixture into each cup.
5. Bake for 25 minutes; cool.
6. Dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with melted chocolate. 

Pin It Now!