Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Recap

Well, it's nice to finally be back in the blogging world-I have missed it! I hope that everyone had a good Thanksgiving. It's been a crazy week for us, but things seem like they are finally settling down, of course Christmas is just around the corner, so I'm sure it won't be quiet around here for long. Let me give you a recap of everything.

Father-in-law-My father-in-law is doing much better, in fact, he was able to come home today. Thankfully, it was his gallbladder, along with some kidney stones that had given him an infection. He had his gallbladder taken out yesterday, and his infection is getting better. We were so worried that it was going to be something more serious, so we are quite relieved.

Thanksgiving-Our usual plans for Thanksgiving are to go to Tennessee on Thursday, have dinner with my family, spend the night, and come back on Friday afternoon to have dinner at my in-laws house with Mr. P's parents, his sister, and her family. Of course, the whole dinner with the in-laws was out, but Mr. P and I did go down to Tennessee and eat with my family, but we drove back Thursday night instead of staying overnight. I enjoyed seeing my family, and Mom's cooking was wonderful, as always. In addition to turkey and dressing, we had green beans, corn, dumplings, mashed potatoes (can you say carb-fest??), cranberry salad w/poppyseed dressing, broccoli casserole, rolls, and ginger tea. Not to mention all of the desserts! Mom packed up a lot of leftovers and sent them back with us, so we have eaten well all weekend. I wish we could have spent more time with my family, but both of us wanted to get back to check on Mr. P's dad.

Christmas-Can you believe the Christmas season is finally here?? Even though I haven't had time to finish my decorating, I'm already getting in the spirit. Last night, I was in the community parade for the school. It's a night parade, with lights on the floats. It was cold, but that kind of made it fun. There were lots of kids from the school along the parade route, so it was fun to wave and throw candy at them.

Back to school tomorrow...I could really use another day off, but since I've had 5 straight days, I really don't need to complain do I? I'll get back to my regular posting this week...I have some recipes and some purchases that I need to post pictures of, so I have lots of topics to cover.

The weather forecast is calling for light snow/sleet overnight and through tomorrow. Is it too much to hope for a snow day? Oh, the things I could do if I had a snow day! Mr. P says the roads are too warm...he can be such a party pooper sometimes : )

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yes, I am still around...

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I am still here, we just have a lot going right now. I was sick last week, and even into part of this week with a nasty sinus infection. I even took a sick day on Monday, which is something I rarely do. I was feeling better and back at school yesterday, but then last night my father in law ended up sick and in the emergency room. He is still in the hospital, and we still aren't sure of what is going on with him. His blood pressure was extremely low (like 69/27 at one point), and he is having abdominal pains. They ran a lot of tests today, and more tests are scheduled for Friday, and he remains in CCU because his blood pressure continues to be low. Mr. P is such a strong guy, but he's not taking things well. He's terribly worried about his dad, and so am I. Please keep him in your prayers.

Has anyone heard from Hopsy over at Monograms and Manicures? I heard about the terrible attacks in India, and I know that her father and possibly her mother are over there right now. Her family is certainly in my prayers.

Mr. P and I are going to collapse on the couch and watch Top Chef. We are both exhausted!

I wish you all a safe and blessed Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

If You're Planning A Trip to Nashville...

Mr. P and I will be going to Nashville this weekend to visit my family. It's going to be a busy weekend, jam-packed with activities. Between planning this weekend, and watching the CMA's on TV right now, I have Nashville on my mind, so I thought I would blog about some of my favorite places.

1. The Puffy Muffin
First, I have to talk about one of my favorite places to eat in Nashville, The Puffy Muffin. It's located in Brentwood, in the HG Hills Shopping Center. My cousin is the chief operating officer and his wife is in charge of the bakery. She makes the most beautiful cakes...she even made a cake for Elton John once. How cool is that? The restaurant and bakery are both fantastic. Some of my favorite items are the chicken tortilla soup, amaretto chicken, cranberry salad with poppyseed dressing, and the ginger tea. And of course the cupcakes from the bakery are delicious.

2. Hot Pink
Right next door to the Puffy Muffin is a great little store called Hot Pink. (I was so disappointed to discover that they didn't have a website, because I would have loved to post a link here.) Great stationary, monogrammed items, and unique gifts. The last time that I was in there, I bought these cute notecards:

And they have the cutest pink toile bags that they put your purchases in.

3. Shopping

I couldn't list one specific shopping area because there are so many to choose from, so I'll just give you some highlights.

Mall at Green Hills-Dillard's, Macy's, Gap, Sephora, Ann Taylor & Ann Taylor Loft, J. Crew, Pottery Barn & Pottery Barn Kids, Williams-Sonoma, Coach, The Cheesecake Factory, and Tiffany & Co. Need I say more??

Opry Mills-A little more touristy than Green Hills, but still a great mall. Lots of stores and restaurants to choose from, and a huge Bass Pro Shop which is great if your husband has to tag along. It will keep him occupied for quite a while so that you can shop in peace!

Prime Outlets in Lebanon-It's a little ways outside the city, but well worth the drive if you're looking for a bargain.

4. Gaylord Opryland Hotel-Another one that's a little bit touristy, but well worth a visit. Beautiful gardens and conservatories on the inside and it's absolutely beautiful during the Christmas season.

5. Mom and Dad's House-Sorry no link to a website here, just lots of good times and good food : )

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Weekend Recap

Well, it has been a quiet weekend in the Putter household, but those are the best kind, aren't they? I worked late on a report on Friday, so I didn't get home until almost 8:00. Mr. P had brought take-out from our favorite Chinese restaurant home, and it was so nice to eat in and relax for the rest of the night.

Other than church, Sunday School, and lunch out with some friends, it has been a gloriously quiet Sunday. We lit the fireplace for the first time this season, and the great room has been so cozy and comfortable today.

By request here is the recipe for the Green Chile Burritos that I made last week.

Green Chile Burritos

1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
8 6-inch flour tortillas
1/2 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
1 cup (4 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can (4 1/2 ounces) chopped green chiles

Spread refried beans over tortillas. Top each with beef and 2 tablespoons of cheese. Fold ends and sides over filling and roll up; place seam side down in a greased 13 X 9 inch baking pan.

Sprinkle with chiles and remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through.

I used lean ground beef, whole wheat tortillas, fat free refried beans and reduced fat cheese to make it healthier, and I put a small amount of sour cream and some salsa on them when I served them.

I hope that everyone else had a good weekend too!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Positively Positive Post

Tonight's post is about things that made me happy today-namely, my date with Mr. P, an new monogrammed item, and a new recipe!

Mr. P and I weren't able to go out and celebrate our anniversary on Monday, so we decided to celebrate it last night. We went to see the movie Fireproof, and what a great movie it was! If you haven't heard about the movie, it is produced by the church that produced the movie Facing the Giants. Kirk Cameron stars in Fireproof as a fireman trying to save his marriage, and it has a powerful message about love and marriage. It was a great choice for an anniversary date, and I highly recommend seeing it.

New monogrammed item alert! I bought this toile tote at an education conference a few years ago, and I've been using it as my school bag since the spring. I love the black and white lining inside, and it has a lot of pockets and compartments to hold all my stuff.

Recently, I've been thinking about getting it monogrammed. We have a lady who does all of the embroidering and monogramming for our school spirit items, and she happened to come into school this morning. I showed her my bag and asked her about monogramming it, and she said she would be glad to do it. So I emptied my bag, gave it to her, and told her there was no rush in getting it back to me. Imagine my surprise when she brought it back to me this afternoon! Here is the finished product:

I thought she did a great job on it, and I am thrilled with it.

I was browsing through my cookbooks on Saturday and came across a cookbook that I had bought last year and promptly forgotten about.

As I looked through the cookbook, I realized that there were several great looking recipes that I wanted to try. So I've decided to try one new recipe a week, and tonight's recipe was Green Chile Burritos. It turned out great! It was really quick and easy to put together too, so that made it even better. I'll keep you posted on the new recipe each week.

Have a great evening everyone!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy (Belated) Halloween

Hello dear bloggers! I hope that each of you had a happy and safe Halloween weekend. Mr. P and I had a rather quiet one. We both worked late, so we met for a late dinner at a restaurant on the river. We love this restaurant, and it will be closing for the winter very soon, so we decided to eat there one last time for the year. After dinner, Mr. P went home because he had to work on Saturday, and I went to visit some friends. We live so far out, and our house is pretty far off the road, therefore we rarely get any trick or treaters. So for the past several years, we've celebrated Halloween at our friends M and R's house. Mr. P hated to miss the festivities, but he had to be up by 5:00 am on Saturday, so I went by myself this year.

On Saturday, we went over to D and R's house to watch the UK-Mississippi State game. They eked out a win, thankfully. As far as my dear Volunteers, I have no words. This has been a terrible season, and I'll just be glad when it is over. Maybe we'll have a better basketball season, although football is my first love.

Despite my woes over Tennesse and the close game that the Wildcats had, we had a great time watching the UK game. R had made chili, and everyone else brought accompaniments to the chili. I brought Touchdown Taco Dip, a recipe that I found from Pampered Chef several years ago. Here is the recipe:

Touchdown Taco Dip

1 9-ounce can bean dip
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup tomato, seeded and diced
2 green onions, with tops, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
Additional sour cream (optional)
Tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread bean dip over bottom of a small baking dish. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning mix, and garlic; mix well.

Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over bean dip. Top with shredded cheese and bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Sprinkle tomato, onions, olives, and cilantro over dip. Garnish with additional sour cream, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips.

I substituted the taco seasoning mix for the Mexican seasoning mix from The Pepper Palace.

The dip was a big hit at the party, and I wished that I had doubled the recipe. If you are making it for more than a few people, I would definitely recommend making it in a larger baking dish and doubling the recipe.

I have the next two days off from school-woohoo! Tomorrow is FDEA day, and of course Tuesday is election day. I am definitely looking forward to my time off.