Thursday, October 27, 2011

catching up

Things have been busy lately!  October and November are crazy-busy months for me at work so I have not had much free time.  Brad has been working on his appraiser's license and has been staying up until 1 or 2 in the morning to take his online classes for about two months now.  He only has one test left and he will be licensed!!! 

We are tagging along with Megan/Adi and some friends for a wedding on Kiawah in a few weeks and I am treating him to a stay in the Sanctuary on Thursday if he passes.  This is as much for me as for him - love that place!  :)

I did attend a baby shower for Michelle Collins last week.  She and Steve are expecting little Ann in December.  So exciting!

Also, Natalie and I hosted a party at Swank here in Augusta.  Swank is a cute little store with kitchen items, clothing, well - just tons of great stuff!  If you host a party with ten or more girls, they put everything in the store on sale.  It was so much fun.

Of course, I have no pictures of these fun times.  On Saturday, we are having a party for UGA/UF so I will take some pictures then.  GO DAWGS!!

Oh, also, we are hard at work at finding some land to buy for our future dream home.  Things are looking good but I am keeping that on the DL until it is done.  Don't want to jinx anything.  :)

onion chicken and rice

This is a great one-dish dinner.  Stick it in the oven and, an hour later, you have dinner.  I did roast some asparagus in olive oil and sprinkle it with S&P and shaved parmesan.

Btw, I have gotten lazy and started using my phone to take pictures. Not attractive.  Mom, I know, I want an SLR for Christmas.  :)

1 1/4 c rice
2 tbsp margarine
1 can cream of onion soup
1 can soup water
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp salt

In frying pan, brown the rice in the margarine.  Cover bottom of baking pan with rice.  Place the chicken on top of the rice.  Mix the soup, water and salt together and pour over the rice.  Cover pan with foil and cut a 3/4" slit in it.  Bake at 400 for an hour. 

*Jami's notes: I browned the rice right in my dutch oven and added all the ingredients on top of that.  I only used two breasts and it was still wasn't over-flavored.*

white bean-pancetta pizza

This is a yummy alternative to fattening Pizza Hut.  :)

4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1-inch-by-1/4-inch strips
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 pocketless pita or naan
6 ounces thinly sliced Fontina cheese

Preheat the oven with a pizza stone to 450°. In a skillet, cook the pancetta in 2 tablespoons of oil over moderate heat, until crisp; transfer to a plate. Add the garlic, rosemary and crushed pepper to the skillet and cook for 20 seconds. Mash in the beans. Stir in the pancetta; season with salt. Brush the flatbreads with oil and spread with the bean mixture. Top with the cheese. Bake the flatbreads until the cheese is bubbling, 7 minutes; transfer to plates and serve.

*Jami's notes:  I actually didn't change this one too much.  I did halve it for just Brad and me.*

penne alla vodka

This was a quick and yummy dinner for a Monday night.  I added some sauteed turkey sausage for Brad.  :)

And, it's Weight Watchers!

2 c uncooked penne
2 Tbsp reduced calorie tub margarine
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 plum tomato, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup reduced fat chicken broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp vodka
1/4 c diced tomato
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley

Cook the penne according to package directions; drain and keep warm.  Meanwhile, melt the margarine in a medium nonstick skillet, then add the shallot and tomato. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomato paste, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, then add the cream and vodka. Cook, stirring constantly, until just heated through (do not boil). Pour the sauce over the penne and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the diced tomato, cheese and parsley and serve at once.

*Jami's notes: I used shells instead of penne.  I used 1/2 of a large can of crushed tomatoes instead of the tomato and paste.  I used my trusty onion flake instead of shallot.  And, as mentioned above, I added some turkey sausage for my meat-lovin' husband.If you don't have cream or want to cut more calories/fat, you could try milk instead of cream.*

Sunday, October 23, 2011

pork tenderloin

I usually buy those premarinated tenderloins but decided to season it myself this time.  This recipe is so easy and it yielded the most tender tenderloin.  Foil is the key!!!

Weight Watchers Recipe
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

A simple blend of herbs and spices, with a touch of olive oil, transforms an ordinary pork roast into an exceptional main course.


1 spray(s) cooking spray
2 tsp dried thyme, or 2 Tbsp freshly chopped thyme
2 tsp dried oregano, or 2 Tbsp freshly chopped oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 tsp olive oil
2 pound(s) lean pork tenderloin

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat a shallow roasting pan with cooking spray.  Combine thyme, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl; set aside.  Rub oil all over pork. Sprinkle thyme mixture all over pork and transfer to prepared pan. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of pork reads 160ºF, about 30 minutes. Let roast stand 10 minutes before slicing crosswise into thin slices. Yields about 3 ounces per serving.

* Jami's notes: I used onion flake instead of onion powder.  I roasted this wrapped in foil in a small casserole dish and that helped keep it tender.  I cooked a one-pound roast and still used the same amount of spices. *

Friday, October 14, 2011

peanut butter 'cheese' ball

Ok, go ahead and hate me now because this is not going to help your diet!  :)

This is another pinterest recipe and might be my favorite yet. 

8 oz softened cream cheese
1 c powdered sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
3/4 c peanut butter chips
3/4 c milk chocolate chips
graham cracker sticks, apple slices or shortbread cookies for serving

Beat the first 4 ingredients together in a mixer.  Spoon the mixture into a large piece of saran wrap, wrap tightly and freeze for several hours to harden.  Once hard, roll in the chocolate and peanut butter chips.  Freeze again until it is ready to serve.  It will thaw out in about 30 minutes.

*I recommend using reduced fat peanut butter (at least) as the regular kind makes it very greasy.  I had a hard time finding the graham cracker sticks so I used Lorna Doone short bread cookies.  They were amazing and I think a better option.*

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


These ain't pretty but they are darn yummy and about as easy as it gets!

They're like sloppy joes but classier.  :)


1 lb ground beef or venison
1 can chicken gumbo (drained of most of its juice)
ketchup and yellow mustard to taste (1/4 to 1/2 c each)

Brown the meat and drain.  Drain most of the liquid off of the gumbo and add to meat.  Add the ketchup and mustard.  This will take a lot more than you think.  Start with 1/4 c each and then go from there.  Serve on hamburger buns. 

One night I served with my fave spicy sweet potato fries and the next with this great broccoli and white cheddar mac & cheese

Sunday, October 9, 2011

molly hopkins

Got to meet the precious Molly Hopkins the other day!  Her Daddy, Walker, is my brother's oldest friend and like a brother to me.  Walker and Melissa welcomed Mary Lyals 'Molly' about 4 months ago.  She's the cutest!  Congrats guys!

*Why are my pictures doing this???*

balsamic roasted chicken

Here's another favorite from Gena Knox - balsamic roasted chicken

It was super easy and very tender!  My veggies weren't quite done so make sure you cut them small enough. 

One dish and dinner is done.  Yes, please!

pinterest dinner

Last week, I made a dinner entirely of recipes I found on Pinterest.  I made Pioneer Woman's country fried steak and gravy, parm asparagus and broiled potatoes

* Side note: If you are not on Pinterest - do it today!  It is a virtual pinboard that lets you 'pin' various items to your board for future reference such as recipes, house ideas, fashion, crafts, etc.  I love it!*

Not sure why this picture won't post right-side up.  Ugh.

The country fried steak was A-mazing.  The cuts I got from Publix were, by far, the most tender I have ever bought.  And, the spices and double-dipping were definitely the way to go. 

I got a hold of the asparagus so make sure you don't overdo it.  Flavor was good but mine was a little dry.

Again, love the flavor of the potatoes but they needed a little more butter.  I think I am going to try olive oil next time. 

And, today, Brad had the leftover gravy on some biscuits.  Yum.  Here's a quick, fail-proof biscuit recipe for you.  

2 c SR flour
1 c buttermilk
1/2 c shortening

Cut all ingredients together to make a wet, sticky batter.  Drop on greased cookie sheet and bake at 450 until slightly browned and done through.  They will be crumbly but fantastic.  I half the recipe for just me and Brad. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

evelyn jane adams

Katie and Shelby Adams of Birmingham welcomed Evy on September 21.  What a doll!

Congrats guys - I hope to meet her soon!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

cajun chicken

Cajun chicken recipe to go with spicy corn casserole and red beans and rice.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp onion powder (I used dried onion flake)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp skim milk
1/4 tsp each white, black and red pepper

Place chicken on foil (with enough to cover it afterwards) in small casserole dish.  Brush chicken with milk and sprinkle with combined herbs and spices.  Cover chicken with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour. 

*I felt this dish could be a little juicer.  I may try it with an onion soup in the oven or a crockpot next time.*

spicy corn casserole

I made a cajun-themed dinner last week that was very good.  Cajun chicken (recipe to come), spicy corn casserole and red beans and rice. 

This recipe is from my 'Uncle' Joe, very good and very easy.

3 pints fresh creamed corn (I use frozen or canned in a pinch)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 lb butter, softened or melted
seeded, chopped jalapenos

Mix all ingredients together and cook at 350 in casserole dish until hot and bubbly.

*For just Brad and I, I use one can of creamed corn with less than 4 oz of cream cheese, a few tablespoons of butter and 1/2 a jalapeno.*



Last week we had some folks over for the Ole Miss game.  Melanie and Eric's daughter Tensley was sucking on her toes.  Too cute to not document!!  :)

smoked trout hash

I made this last week and it was delish!  I can't imagine what it would taste like stream-side with fresh trout. 


3 ounces smoked trout fillet
2 teaspoons canola oil
6 scallions, chopped
4 cups diced cooked potatoes, or frozen hash-brown potatoes
1/2 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

Remove skin from trout and flake fish, removing any bones. You should have about 2/3 cup.

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions and sauté until they start to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add potatoes and cook, stirring, until they brown in spots and become crusty, 7 to 8 minutes more.

Stir in milk and cook, scraping up any browned bits, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in trout and 2 tablespoons dill and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, topped with sour cream and remaining 1 tablespoon dill.

*I got my smoked trout at Fresh Market.*

mema's birthday at lake burton

After the game, we picked up Levi and went to Lake Burton to celebrate my grandmother's 84th birthday!  My Dad's family had a house there when all the kids were younger and they love going back for this special occasion. 

Toasting the lady of the hour!  Aunt Kelly (Uncle Stan's wife), Levi, Uncle Scott, Uncle Stan, Mema, Uncle Jeff and me.

Mom and Dad were there earlier but left before dinner.  Uncle Scott lives in Alaska (of which the Uncles say, "where men are men and women are too") and always comes home for this week.  My cousin Amy and a friend were there as well but they are in high school so did not participate in the toast.  :)

The dock had this great little diving area.  Brad always jumps off Dozier's dock during the 4th so he was fooling around out there. 

View from the dock.  It was beautiful but a little chilly!

View of dock from house.


Levi and Uncle Stan watching South Carolina/Auburn.

Mema with Uncle Scott and Uncle Jeff.

Daddy is the oldest of 6 kids born in seven years!  Uncle Tim and his family (in PA) and Aunt Karen and her family (in LA, KY, OR and Athens) were not able to make it. 

The upper deck of the dock has a firepit and the fam made smores after we left.  It was so great to see everyone!!

Happy Birthday Mema!   We love it!

We left Banjo in Thomson on the way to the game so that she wasn't in the house ALL day.  We picked her up at about 11 last night and she slept all the way home.  We were in Brad's truck so she had her front feet on the floor in the back and her head on the center console.  Sweet pup!!!

uga/miss st

Brad and I had a busy Saturday!  We started our day in Athens.  Since it was a noon start, we didn't get to do much tailgating.  Walking from downtown to the stadium, we were able to stop and see Court, Mark, Will and Adam for a short while.  It is always great to see college friends!

The Chapel Bell was ringing - Go Dawgs!!