Friday, July 23, 2010

"All I do is win"- would not be on the soundtrack of my life this week

This week I've had a few "Wow, I'm such a lame-o" moments :)  But it's always fun to look back and laugh!!
1. I was making fried green tomatoes for the residents at work, and the oil got too hot and not only splattered up and burned my arm all over, but I set off the smoke alarm and the fire department had to come up.  Oh- and this is the second year in a row this has happened.  Awesome.
2. Checking out at Kroger, I dropped an entire container of blueberries on the floor.  And not just one of the small containers- a huge one.  (I blame it on USWeekly for having a picture of the Bachelorette, Ally, and Frank on the front, and telling about his girlfriend.  I was so flustered!!  I did not want to know that information!  I've avoided all gossip magazines for the very reason that I did not want ANY surprises on the show to be ruined- and then they just bombarded me with that on their front cover!)
3. My sewing skills are disgraceful.  I understand it takes some time and practice... but really? I can't even sew a straight line?  If patterns were supposed to be zig zags, I'd be a natural.  I'm trying to make an ADORABLE dress for one of my bffs Ashlea whose little girl is now a week past her due date.  I really want to have something to send her when Adisyn (finally) gets here, but it may be a couple of weeks late sadly.  If I ever complete it, you better believe I'm posting it on here because it'll be big friggin' accomplishment!!

On to happier topics!!  One of my next projects is this lovely little piece:

It's a JCrew knock-off, which I've been wanting to recreate some of the great (and way overly priced) JCrew and Banana Republic necklaces anyway- so I loved this!! 
One successful attempt this week was a recipe from the show "Bobby Flay's Throwdown".  Nick, being the southern boy that he is, loves some shrimp n grits.  A couple of weeks ago I tried a recipe, and it turned out really good, but it called for Rotel tomatoes with green chiles.  I still loved it, but Nick would have preferred it a little less set-your-mouth-on-fire.  So we were watching the Bobby Flay show where he challenges a man from Georgia (who was precious btw) to a cook-off for shrimp n grits.  I think it's one of my all-time favorite recipes, and Nick said it's definitely his.  Even if you don't like shrimp n grits very much, don't worry.  I wasn't a big fan either- but this man's recipe is incredible!!!  I'll warn you that the shrimp is super spicy, so you may want to leave out a little of the spices if you don't like that.  Here it is if you're interested!

Joe Barnett's Shrimp N Grits (courtesy of

1 1/2 lbs. shrimp (I only used 1 lb. since it was just Nick and me, and I just adjusted the seasoning measurements)
2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
Freshly ground pepper


2 c. water
2 chicken buillon cubes
2 Tbsp butter/margarine
1 c. quick cook grits
1 Tbsp tomato paste
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream (I used half & half instead)
3 1/2 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese


2 Tbsp butter/margarine
1 Tbsp minced garlic (yum!!!!)
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream (again, I used half & half)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 slice sugar-cured ham (I left this out altogether)

1. Combine all the shrimp seasoning in a bowl, and then toss the shrimp until well-coated.  Set aside.
2. Next is the grits.  In medium saucepan, bring water, chicken bouillon cubes, and butter to a boil. Slowly add the grits, whisking often with wire whisk for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, cream, and cheese. Keep whisking for another 2 or 3 minutes until the grits become creamy.
3. Now saute the shrimp. In a large saute pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add in the spice-coated shrimp, and cook only until they're just done and tender. Don't overcook. Remove the shrimp from the saute pan and set them aside in a bowl.
4. The roux is next. With all those wonderful drippings from the shrimp in the saute pan, add 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and stir with a wooden spatula to make a roux. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until roux reaches a medium-tan color, then slowly add the chicken stock and heavy whipping cream. Whisk together and cook for 2 minutes, then whisk in Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Set aside.
5. (I left this step out) And last, a little country ham. Cook 1 center slice of cured country ham in a saute pan, and cut into cubes.
6. Now it's ready!!!  Spoon out the grits, then the shrimp, then cover in the sauce and if you made the ham, sprinkle it on top.  Enjoy!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I heart wreaths!!

So, right now I'm a little obsessed with crafting.  And especially when it comes to cute, unusual wreaths!  Here's a project I saw months ago on one of my favorite crafting bloggers, and I FINALLY finished my copycat version:



I wish my picture wasn't so fuzzy- but it's from my phone.  And I should have put more circles into the center sides of the wreath- but I'm fine with how it turned out and didn't feel like doing anymore- haha :)
Now I just finished a Christmas card wreath (that's right- it's July and I'm starting on a Christmas project.)  I always get all these fun ideas and have great intentions to make stuff right around November/December, but we all know it's just about impossible to add extra projects with all the craziness and festivities during the holidays.  So I figured I'd get a little done now while I can :)  I love this website and used their tutorial, which is really simple.  They did 2 versions- 1 is for their bags of tea, and the other was for a baby shower to hold gift cards. 
Here they both are:

Seriously- are these not so cute???  And I'm always trying to figure out how to display Christmas cards that we receive, and I thought this was a perfect way to do it.  I finished mine last night, and here it is:

My friend Maggie is an insanely gifted crafter (don't let her lie to you- she's humble like that)- and here's a great wreath she just finished that she found on a website.
Here's her version, and I love it!!

And here's the original from younghouselove:

I figure that's enough wreaths for now! :)