Saturday, September 26, 2015

Italian Beef Stew

It's pretty much Fall y'all.......... FALL Y'ALLLL!

 I don't know if you can tell that I am just a little bit excited or not, but in case you couldn't...

Don't get me wrong though, I have seriously enjoyed this summer but I can't be the only one ready for Fall, can I?
I mean, I'm ready for pumpkin spice EVERYTHING, UGGs, and nights by the fire-pit roasting marshmallows! Oh, and we can't forget football! Mr.Hooah thinks I am crazy because I have already started dragging out my ceramic pumpkins my Ma gave me! I told him, it is official, it is Fall because Bath & Body Works announced it and released all their Fall scents already! LOL. Anyways, I made my first "get into the season" mood food for dinner today... the only time Mr.Hooah doesn't complain about my cray-cray shenanigans! 
And it was AHHH-MAZ-INGGG as usual!
 My Italian Beef Stew recipe is absolutely my favorite cold weather yum! It is hearty and healthy. This stew will hit the spot and warm you to the core! And did I mention it is easy and it tastes like it has been cooked all day? Uh, EXTRA BONUS! This would also be great to serve at a bonfire or for yums while watching football! It makes a pretty good bit (I freeze leftovers when we have them!) so there is plenty for hungry football fans!
 I did this in the crockpot this go round because it was a busy day and I had a final that I had to make up, but it still turned out great. 
(You just throw it all in your crock pot, give it a stir, and then cook it until the veggies are tender and your beef is cooked through! Easy, right?) 
Below is the recipe. I hope you enjoy it at some point between Fall & Christmas, which by the way is only like 3 1/2 months away! Ha Ha, OK, I'll stop now! 

-XO dolls & Happy Fall Y'all! ;)

Italian Beef Stew
1 lb. beef tips (I use 2lbs...we like it meaty lol)
1 (15oz.) can tomato sauce
2 (15oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
1 large can of sliced mushrooms, drained.
1 can tomato soup
2c. beef broth
1/2-3/4c. red cooking wine
4-5 small potatos, peeled & diced.
3 large carrots, sliced.
1 large onion, diced.
3 stalks celery, sliced.
1 TBSP. Italian seasoning
1 TBSP. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt & pepper
  • Put all ingredients, except potatoes & carrots, into large pot. 
  • Simmer all on stove top, covered, for 3 or more hours, or until beef is cooked through & tender.
  • Add potatoes & carrots. Bring to a boil then reduce heat & cook over low heat 1hr or until the potatoes & carrots are tender.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Bacon and Garlic Green Peas

As I sit here, right after dinner, blogging...
(Oh, you know, because I didn't want to put this off and not get back around to doing it lol)...
I looked over at the clock and realize it is only 8:32PM people!!!  
Is it just me or has this past week felt SO LONG?! And of course, the weekend not long enough! Now, let's be honest, I AM ALREADY READY FOR BED! Like, for real. 
Hmmm, maybe it's just that I am getting old. If I have learned anything from spending my late nights studying and watching Golden Girls, it's that a woman should never reveal her true age... so I won't tell you how old I am, but just keep in mind that it is under thirty... for now! Lol. 
Speaking of aging, I have noticed that my tastes have changed since I have gotten older. I like things that I wouldn't even dream of touching when I was little. Like, the brussels I used to only pick the first few leaves off of then push them aside...or spinach or anything with raw coconut in it... and the worst of all, GREEN PEAS! 
Now, I love all those things, especially peas! Which brings me to this post! I found this recipe over at Little Dairy On The Prairie and I am actually a new fan of her blog! This is absolutely my new FAVORITE way to fix green peas now! And well, bacon just makes everything better, am I right or what?!
I hope you guys love this as much as we did.
 Even if you don't like peas, give this a try, it might just change your mind!
-X's & O's....and P's! :)

 *I made a few slight changes to make it a little healthier!*

1 pound frozen green peas
2 T. light butter (I used Move Over Butter)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. lemon pepper
¼ tsp. season salt (I used Cajun seasoning here)
1 c. turkey bacon, fried and crumbled
½ c. Parmesan cheese, grated (I didn't have any on hand so I opted out)

  • Put green peas in a skillet and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until peas are tender.
  • Drain and return peas to skillet.
  • Add bacon, butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Add Parmesan cheese and toss to coat.
  • Serve these yummies warm.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

That Hiatus Tho...

So I'm not sure if some of you noticed by now or not, that I had went on a little hiatus? 

Probably? Yes? No? Maybe? Lol...well, for those of you who did, thanks for noticing I was gone! :) 

I'm back now & recharged. It has NOT been easy with Mr.Hooah being away (oh the life of an army wife...and any other military spouse!)...I seriously wanted to turn down the blinds, throw my phone in a drawer, & stay in bed with the covers pulled over my head until he returned. For whatever reason, this was THE HARDEST separation we've ever been through thus far...and there has been a lot, lol... let's see...two deployments, lots of fielding weeks, lots of training in different states for a month at a this definitely wasn't our first rodeo! Ither way, the state I found myself in was one where I was not myself and found myself to be extremely alone this go 'round... so I went back home to surround myself with family & friends until it was time for Mr.Hooah to return.

It was an absolutely AHHHH-MAZ-ING trip that I honestly wish could have lasted a little longer...

 I haven't had internet to blog, so I saved several things to blog about for y'all once I returned home...which is technically all up in the air right now...home, that is. For those of you who did not know, Mr.Hooah came down on orders so we will be PCS'ing soon and at the moment, the "where" is unknown! He was supposed to already be done with everything but if you know the Army well like we do, you know that they never do anything when they're "supposed to", Lol. So here we are, middle-endish of the year and just almost finished with the whole process, which should have started back in February...the Army had other plans for him though! But I honestly cannot complain because stepping away from the work-world once again, allowed the time I needed to fully focus on school and spending time with the family. I really loved what I was doing before I stepped away but the hours/extra-ness of that job was not a good fit for me for the pay. So with being all freed up, and changing my major one last time, I am so happy and proud to say that I am, thissssss, close to finishing up and being done with school for good!
 Ok, Ok... for the moment, but I really want to get back into school to further my education so the possibilities of our future are endless! 

As I mentioned before, I went home to the beautiful Alabama... 
I am from a little dot on the map. It is all countryside and I honestly had forgotten just how beautiful Alabama is.
 I didn't have my camera with me all the time, so my trusty ol' iphone had to do the job... 
I'm sorry for some of the quality but you get the gist. The pups and I stayed with family, which was a treat!
And I was blessed to have been invited to go on a beach vacay down to Gulf Shores, AL with my was my FIRST time in Gulf Shores and I must say I absolutely fell in love with that place! 
The people that neighbored us were extremely friendly and I met some awesome people while we were down there. It was so nice to sit back, enjoy the view, and doing so all with a drink in my hand and my toes in the sand! 
I seriously didn't want to leave! 
I'm not quite sure why I never did this as a kid when we would beach it up, but, I went crabbin' for my first time ever while we were down there... look at all these little crabby-babies! Lol, we were pretty sure the German lady with the big net had caught all the big ones! But it was a fun time running amuck with flashlights and friends!

  Oh, & did I mention I discovered I must've been a bartender in my past life?! Lol :)
And the sun, oh man, soaking up that amazing sunshiny goodness was amazing!
That sun-bunny life tho!!!! 
Which eventually led to a nice glowie red but toasty sunburn...and this:
And I FINALLY got the seafood I have been craving! If you've been here and haven't checked out Live Bait yet, I highly recommend it because its not just a place for some awesome foodage, but also a nightclub with live bands & such!
Haha, this little guy was grubbin out too! Like, who'd have thunk it, a raccoon at the beach! 

We also ventured out to the huge outlet mall for a little shopping and look what I found...BE STILL MY BEATING HEART! 
You do not truly know me, unless you know my love  OBSESSION with Michael Kors! I treated myself to a new bag and wallet, my heart is perfectly content! Lol.

It is truly a gorgeous low key place that is a must see if you haven't already! 
When I came home, I spent all of my time with family...enjoying the country view, my Momma's homemade biscuits, my Aunt's sweet tea, AND I even rolled up my pants legs (OK, so maybe I had on shorts, LOL!) and picked fresh veggies from the garden. I brought back some pretty sweet eggplants, that I'm roasting up now btw! Maybe I will do a little post on that too, it's so simple you guys...and the taste! I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE roasting veggies! Any who, the husband will finally be on his way home sometimes this week and I AM STOKED! Please send up some prayers for safe travels and that he makes it home safe and sound! Also, a huge thanks to those of you that called, texted, and sent positive vibes my way...they were appreciated more than y'all know! :)

P.S......I GET MY HUSBAND BACK SOON!!!!!....can you guys tell that I'm a little excited?!

I may be under the radar when Mr.Hooah gets in, but I'll be back I promise!

-XO's for now y'all!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Starbucks CopyCat Egg Salad


(I apologize in advance for my crappy iphone photo, I was too lazy to drag my camera out...the struggle has been real these past few weeks!)
 I know I'm not the only one who loves all things Starbucks... I seriously have a problem when it comes to that place! So far, I love EVERYTHING I have gotten from there. I do have to just throw it out there that my favorite time of year is CHRISTMAS CUP time!!! BUT, two of my absolute fav's from there have to be the iced Caramel Macchiato with a shot of flavor syrup (whatever flav I'm in the moodsie for that day....sheesh, is moodsie even a word?...It's been rough without Mr.Hooah being here!), and then the other is their Egg Salad sandwich! I have never really been an "egg salad" lover until I had theirs! It is so much more flavorful than the normal ol' egg salad because of the Dijon mustard they use in place of regular mustard...OH MAN! It makes ALL the difference, I tell ya! I found this copycat recipe over at Cincy Shopper and I knew that this was a MUST TRY! I do not make this often, but when I do, it sure is a treat! Mr.Hooah actually loves this recipe too! He is away for training at the moment and I felt the need to make myself some of this because I was missing him, man would he be super jealous if he knew I made this and he wasn't here to eat it all! Lol.
Until next time...

3 Eggs
1 tbsp light Mayo
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp Chives
Salt & Pepper
(I also added some cajun seasoning & hot sauce to mine, YUM! lol)

  • Place eggs in a boiler, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil.
  • Cook eggs on high 10-12mins then remove from heat.
  • Pour out the hot water and then fill with cold water to stop cooking.
  • Peel eggs, roughly chop and place in a bowl.
  • Add mayo, mustard, chives, salt and pepper.
  • Gently mix.
  • If mixture is too dry, slowly add a little more mayo.
  • Place half the mixture on each sandwich (This makes 2 sandwiches).

Friday, July 24, 2015

Basil Pesto Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken

OH- EMM- GHEEEEE guys! This recipe isn't crazy healthy but I found this in a cookbook and decided to try it for dinner tonight since it was so stinkin' easy! It is ooey-gooey, cheesy goodness! We recently went on a mini getaway to Williamsburg, VA with my Aunt and Uncle...if you guys haven't at least visited there once, you should, it's packed with history and really beautiful. We actually closed on a vacay home there (Mr.Hooah is a SUPER NERD, so of course he was stoked to do so!) and this was our second trip up. We all went exploring and shopping (there are SO MANY little shops there that you definitely do not want to miss out on!!!), which led us to our favorite store there... The Wythe Candy Store! Not only is it filled with wall-to-wall candy, they have gourmet goods there as well. We are samplers, if there is a sample out, heck yeah we'll try it! And one of those samples happened to be their Basil Pesto. All I can really say is OH MY DAMN! The first bite I was SOLD! Mr.Hooah, however, said he didn't have sophisticated tastes like I do...?... Like, what does that even mean?! I said, "IT'S JUST PESTO!"...Lol. 
Ok, but no, really....THAT BASIL PESTO THO!!!!
 Sheesh, enough of my rambling!!! When I saw this recipe I knew this pesto just HAD to be involved! And boy was it a great idea...THIS WAS AWESOMELY DELICIOUS! Even Mr.Hooah was on board the pesto train. I lightened this up as much as I could, the recipe below is my own version. (I really just changed the cheese and instead of leaving the chicken unseasoned, I spiced it up with some Cajun seasoning! POW!!! haha!) Anyways, this recipe is quick, easy, and you honestly can do NOTHING to mess it up! And it actually comes out kind of pretty too.. You all know that this is my kind of recipe! ;)

Basil Pesto Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken

1 pk. (3-4pieces) of boneless, skinless chicken breast, butterfly-cut
4 (1 per piece of chicken) WeightWatcher Mozzarella cheese sticks, cut each in half
4 TBSP (more or less to suit tastes) Basil Pesto
  • Preheat oven to 375'... Rinse chicken and butterfly each chicken breast. Spray a baking dish (or a foiled baking sheet) with a little non-stick and spread your chicken out on it. Now is the time to season it if you are going to do so!!! 
  • Spoon 1 TBSP of the pesto onto on side of the chicken, add your mozzarella sticks, then fold the chicken up and bake for 20-25mins or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.