Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Dessert

Paula Deen's Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake

My Mom is having everyone bring a dish to Thanksgiving and I got assigned a dessert. I thought pumpkin seemed like a rather obvious ingredient to use but I'm tired of the same ol' pumpkin pie so I plan on making this yummy recipe!

1½ hours | 30 min prep



  • 1 (18 1/4 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin (or use pineapple or banana)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (16 ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. To make the cake: Combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pat batter into a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking pan with hands into an even layer.
  4. Prepare filling.
  5. To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth.
  6. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together.
  7. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well.
  8. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
  9. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.
  10. Serve with fresh whipped cream or cinnamon-flavored ice cream.

I Am Thankful

God has actively molded the hearts of my family this past year as we have both literally and figuratively flown through turbulent skies, each a unique journey, we have been placed outside of our comfort zones and forced to publicly bear the face of vulnerability through our heartaches, losses, grieving, and selfish behaviors. I am thankful for humility.

My Uncle, a master homebuilder, built many beautiful mansions across the state of Texas. He went home to be with the Lord this September. John 14:2 reminds us that. " In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." Sam believed in and followed another master homebuilder, his name is Jesus. Together they now reside in the greatest mansion of all. I am thankful for carpenters.

I fell in love with my best friend, and promised him to to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward. I am thankful for my marriage

We are yet to meet but he has touched so many lives, comforted the sick, and united a family, he is is a miraculous blessing. I am thankful for our son.

Give Thanks TB Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekend Review

Friday, Bryan decided to do something special and take me out on a date. He came home from work with a sweet card and a beautiful Fall floral arrangement. We had a yummy dinner at Red Lobster, did some Christmas browsing, and saw Quantum of Solace. I would like to add that while I do enjoy the new 'James Bond' I really miss the tall, dark, handsomeness Pierce Brosnan brought to the character-Thankfully, my husband makes up for all of that is lost ; ). It was a nice change in pace to just get out and savor some time together before baby boy arrives.

Saturday, Bryan got to sleep-in and unwind from the stressful work week and I ventured out in the pre-holiday shopping madness to run some errands. The official Black Friday ads are yet to be published but the general public has still managed to go mad.

The first stop I made was at Petsmart in search for the allusive top entry cat litter box, only to find that the store made me nauseous. It was so crowded with both humans and animals that there was no way I was going to stand in a 45 minute long line with a thirty-five dollar poop collector in toll. While escaping l was pleasantly pleased to find that Scooby and Shaggy were arriving to investigate the crowding matters and stock up on some serious snackage. The Mystery Machine even parked next to me as seen via my cell phone shot to the left. Next stop Walmart.

Shockingly, Walmart proved to be a pleasant experience as I was greeted with someone pulling out of their first row parking spot, cha-ching!! I managed to grab a few odds-ends without getting trampled and only had to wait in line for a few minutes. Little to my knowledge would the grocery store experience be less than ideal.

I can attest to the fact that pregnant women do not get any special treatment when it comes to the Holiday rush, we still get cut off from good parking spots, I even saw a man with his teenage son park in a "pregnant" lady spot at the grocery store. I'm choosing to assign positive intent to this man(I was feeling the need to go hormonal on his Lincoln Navigator) and that he had a pregnant wife sending him on an emergency errand. I gave up on finding a good spot in the rain and parked in the very back of the parking lot, can't complain because I could use the exercise.

After I got home from all the shopping Hubby decided on a spontaneous trip to Illinois to visit his Grandparents. We just found out this past week about a "cancerous" growth on his Grandpa's lung-please pray for him! We enjoyed spending Saturday Evening and most of Sunday with them and I even got to try Raisin pie for the first time (I'm sure it was a delicious pie for all those raisin lovers out there but I would recommend apple). On our way back home we stopped by Jaime and Brian's to visit their new baby girl, Anya.She's such a precious little bundle!Photobucket

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today In Jennifer's Kitchen: Baked Popcorn Chicken, Roasted Green Beans & Vanilla Strawberries

I'm working really hard to minimize our family intake of frozen meals, food-to-go, and eating out, in an effort to increase a more organic lifestyle. The eating-out part shouldn't be too difficult since we usually eat out no more than once a week but those "easy-fixes", like evil frozen pizzas, keep making their way to my (microwave)oven (Can I use being tired and pregnant as an excuse?).

For dinner tonight I'm making some homemade popcorn chicken, roasted green beans, and some yummy vanilla strawberries.

Garlic Chicken Bites (these make for a great salad topping)

40 min | 30 min prep


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Place chicken in shallow dish.
  2. In small bowl, mix olive oil, garlic, and black pepper.
  3. Pour over chicken.
  4. Cover and marinate 30 minutes.
  5. Drain.
  6. Preheat oven to 475°F.
  7. Mix bread crumbs and cayenne.
  8. Coat chicken.
  9. Arrange in a single layer on cookie sheet.
  10. Bake 10 minutes or until brown.

Roasted Green Beans

25 min | 5 min prep


  • 2 lbs green beans
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil (or just enough to lightly coat beans)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste, may substitute with Mrs. Dash if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (or to taste, omit if using Mrs. Dash)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Wash, dry well, and trim green beans.
  3. Put green beans on a jelly roll pan.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste (I like them salty so I use about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and about 8-10 grinds of the pepper mill). *Mrs. Dash may be substituted for salt and pepper as desired.
  6. Use your hands to be sure all the beans are evenly coated and spread them out into 1 layer.
  7. Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes, until beans are fairly brown in spots and somewhat shriveled.
  8. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Vanilla Strawberries
  • 1 pint stawberries
  • 1 pack instant vanilla pudding mix.
  1. Wash and slice strawberries in halves, place in medium bowl
  2. Add instant vanilla pudding mix to strawberries in bowl.
  3. Set in fridge for 1 hour
  4. Serve chilled.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Marketing's Finest Chocolate

Wow- a creative mesh of marketing disturbia, this commercial brings a mix of joy and disgust to my chocolate lovin' heart.

Annapolis Here We Come

Congressman Brad Ellsworth has appointed my Brother into the U.S. Naval Academy!!!! My Brother has worked very hard to get the nomination and is looking forward to serving his country as an aeronautical engineer.

Congratulation Ken!

blue angels Pictures, Images and Photos

(Go Navy. Beat Army)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

R.I.P Wilson

Over a year ago, on an old myspace blog, I wrote about an encounter I had with a turkey on the corner of Petersburg and Stringtown.
Thud...whack...gobble...gobble...thud" went the turkey that fell out of the sky and onto the hood of my car! "Ahhhhhhh...its a bird, its a turkey bird, Ahhhhh" I screamed, as the discombobulated bird rolled off my hood. It regained footing and the thing began running circles in the middle of the busy intersection. Horrified by the rather shocking experience I sat stunned as the suicidal creature ran about in front of me. Out of nowhere, a man in wrangler jeans and cowboy boots appeared and began chasing after the bird with a lasso down the street. Yee-haw, I was not expecting front row seats to the Turkey rodeo at 7:30 in the morning. Praise the Lord the poor bird got away safely! I was late to class on a test day over this incident and had some explaining to do to my unhappy professor. Thankfully, she was from the North side of town and well aware of the turkey in the area known as "Wilson" that often backs up traffic.."
Today I received sad news that the beloved bird that resides along Petersburg and Stringtown is no longer with us. The local newspaper did a lovely write up on his behalf.

Wilson the turkey dies in traffic

Wilson the turkey, who for nearly three years made it a habit to disrupt traffic in a North Side neighborhood, was struck and killed by a car after 7 a.m. Tuesday.

The irony, said one bystander, was that Wilson — who had many staunch supporters and a few detractors who wished he’d go away — died on Election Day.

He got the name Wilson from children on a school bus who thought his fussy manner reminded them of Mr. Wilson of “Dennis the Menace” fame.

And it’s because of those kids that Connell Jones and his neighbors on nearby Feltman Drive are planning a memorial service “to celebrate Wilson’s life and scatter his ashes on Feltman.” The memorial service will be at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Feltman and Petersburg Road.

Jones said Best Friend Pet Crematorium has offered to cremate Wilson free of charge.

Jones said Wilson showed up on Feltman, a dead-end road near a busy intersection where Stringtown, Campground and Petersburg roads meet in a Y, after a big storm.

“The next morning I woke up and told my wife, ‘That sounds like a turkey.’ She said, ‘We don’t have turkeys around here.’ ”

Before long, Wilson was roosting on Jones’ garage roof and neighbors had made him a “community pet” and were feeding him grapes, apples and birdseed, said Jones.

While some claimed Wilson waded into traffic hoping motorists would throw him some food, Jones said the tom just liked bright colors, including school buses and “my wife’s yellow VW.” He also liked his reflection in bumpers and chrome.

“I’m going to miss him, he brought customers to my store,” said Jim Snyder, manager of the Kangaroo Express at the three-way stop.

Snyder said people would arrive, park and come inside for a soft drink while waiting to see if Wilson showed up during the morning rush hour. Some took pictures and videos and shouted “Hi, Wilson.”

Snyder said a police officer notified him that someone had placed Wilson’s body next to the store’s Dumpster. Snyder said he put Wilson inside the Dumpster, but later some residents of Feltman Drive “came and got him.”

Jones said what happened Tuesday probably was inevitable. Wilson had been clipped by a car last year and had trouble walking for a while.

“It’s a sad day,” agreed Dennis Jon Bailey, who anchors radio station WIKY’s morning show with Diane Douglas. WIKY listeners would call Bailey and Douglas with Wilson sightings. WIKY plans a tribute Wednesday morning.

“He was always holding up traffic,” recalled Snyder. “A police officer tried to shoo him one day and Wilson chased him back into the store.”

He said it was amusing to watch people get out of vehicles and chase Wilson: “He’d circle their car. When two people chased him, he’d do figure eights around their vehicles.”

Mike Robinson, on motorcycle patrol for the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Department, encountered Wilson on a regular basis.

He said the turkey wasn’t dumb and was “quite interested in his own reflection.”

If Robinson aimed his motorcycle’s mirror toward Wilson and drove slowly, the turkey would trot alongside. “I got him to follow me all the way to Engelbrecht Orchard,” Robinson said recently, before Wilson died, “but he didn’t stay there.”

Wilson apparently was too fond of his old neighborhood where his fans called him “an icon.”

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Time Change Salad

This morning we over slept a bit, missed church, and realized our failure to change the time on the alarm clock. We made the most of our lazy morning and enjoyed some delicious left over "brunch cake".

This afternoon I had the craving for something yummy and refreshing so I made a variation of Nanno's layered salad.

Super simple and yummy, I chopped up some lettuce, carrots, broccoli, onion, and Velveeta cheese. Tossed the ingredients together and added some raisins. For the dressing I fried 3 thick bacon strips and chopped them to bits and mixed them with some mayonnaise and olive oil.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Painting The Baby Room

Living in an apartment comes with many advantages but one of the major downfalls is the restricted freedom I have on decorating the area we call home, especially the walls. If I had the liberty to paint the wall I would but my request has been denied and because I don't want my baby to miss out on a cheerful room (the truth is, Mommy doesn't want to miss out on decorating a baby room) I have had to channel my artistic side and make the most of a desperate situation.

To the right is a close up of my adorable baby room theme "clover fields" not to be confused with the movie cloverfield, haha. As you can see its neutral colors featuring a lamb, bunny, and quacky little chick, but oddly enough- no clovers. Anyways, since I can not paint the wall I have begun an extensive painting project involving six canvases. One wide canvas to go above the changing table, an extra large rectangle piece to go above the bed, and four smaller squares that will complement each other on the opposing empty wall.

I finished the first canvas a couple days ago and hope to start on my big rectangle project tomorrow. Below is a photo of the painting I did that will hang above the changing table. I apologize for the poor cell phone photo quality.


Close up of sheep

Tomorrow's painting project (large rectangle) is going to be my attempt at capturing the scene on the comforter from the bedding set.


Today In Jennifer's Kitchen: Brunch Cake

Hubby needed something to satisfy his sweet tooth and attempted to convince his wife to make him something yummy due to lack of Halloween candy. After a rough day of errands, extreme Fall cleaning, and grocery shopping, I decided to indulge his request and experiment with a new recipe behold, the Brunch Cake!


Found this recipie here. It's a combination of a cake and cinnamon roll all in one and the best part is it only takes ten minutes to throw together, try adding in some chopped apples or blueberries, raisins or dried cranberries, this recipe is a blank canvas, so go ahead and add in fruit, nuts chocolate chips whatever you wish!


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar (add in more for a sweeter taste)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk or half-and-half
  • 1-2 teaspoon vanilla (optional) or almond extract (optional)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 large egg


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, more if desired
  • 1-2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • chopped walnuts (optional) or pecans (optional)
Icing mixture
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream (any amount to desired texture start with 1/4 cup, or use 18% table cream)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or almond extract
  1. Set oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish, or two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans (although the batter will seem like it will fit into only one 8 or 9-inch pan, this flop rises very high and will run over the sides if baked in just one pan).
  3. In a bowl mix the 2 cups flour, 1-1/4 cups white sugar, milk, vanilla or almond extract, baking powder, pinch of salt and egg (if using) until just combined careful not to overmix.
  4. Pour into prepared baking pan/s.
  5. Generously spread brown sugar and cinnamon on top.
  6. If desired sprinkle chopped walnuts or pecans over top.
  7. Drizzle melted butter over top.
  8. Bake for about 20-25 minutes for 8 or 9-inch round cake pan, and about 30 minutes for a 13 x 9-inch pan.
  9. In separate bowl whisk icing mixture adding whipping cream until desired texture is achieved, drizzle over cake

four stars Pictures, Images and PhotosThis cake has been 4 star husband approved