Quinoa Caprese Salad

Tomorrow I’m running my first 5K. Eeek!! I’m really nervous even though it is not a timed race. I am not as prepared as I’d like to be, but we’ll see what will happen.

After running a couple miles yesterday in preparation for Saturday, I wanted something healthy, delicious and fresh to munch on. I’ve had a bag of quinoa in the pantry for a while and finally had a chance to use it.

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Oreos + cupcakes = delicious

Hello, friends! I have been crazy busy (a post coming on that later) but I wanted to tell you about the delicious cupcakes I made for our Super Bowl party.

Oreo Cupcake with Cream Cheese Icing

Oreo Cupcake with Cream Cheese Icing

I found the recipe on Pinterest and kind of had to change it up a bit because the Oreos did not go as far as they should have. Hmmm…

Also, I got to use my mother-in-law’s cool Pampered Chef icing thing to decorate. That was cool and made the process so much fun!

Here’s the recipe with the simple changes I made: Continue reading

Cornish hens with rice stuffing – Christmas Eve with the Spencers

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Like I said earlier this week, TK and I had a great first Christmas together. We had dinner on Christmas day with my parents, so I cooked a fancy meal for the two of us on Christmas Eve. I got the recipe for my hens with rice stuffing from this website, but I changed it quite a bit for my taste. We also had roasted okra which was a big hit. Yay veggies! Continue reading

Red velvet goodness

Last week TK and I went to a Christmas party hosted by our Sunday School class. We had a ton of fun! We usually get together once a week and each bring a side item to go with the meal our host makes, but for the party we each brought steaks and a side dish. The guys grilled the steaks and we had a fantastic meal.

Someone requested I handle dessert, so I felt just a little pressure to make it exceptional. Luckily, I found this recipe for red velvet cookies and they were a hit!

Red velvet cookies

Red velvet cookies

I’ve never made red velvet anything from scratch – it always intimidated me for some reason- but these turned out pretty good if I say so myself. The original recipe called for white chocolate chunks but I used white chocolate chips because of cost and ease. And I like chips better 🙂

I also made peppermint cupcakes so I’ll do another post on those in a few days. They were pretty delicious too! Continue reading

Foliage and feasting

The leaves they were crisped and sere –
The leaves they were withering and sere;

-“Ulalume,” Edgar Allan Poe

We’re officially past October and I have decided to embrace the fact that I will be waking up to cool mornings and chilly weather for a few months. It is officially time for boots, sweaters, soups and festivities.

Our apartment complex has become a beautiful spattering of fall colors as the leaves turn from green to yellow to bright oranges and reds. I’ve enjoyed walking to my car while crunching the leaves, reminding myself of my 10th grade literature class where the Venerable Mr. Friedman littered the floor with leaves as we trounced around reciting Poe’s “Ulalume.” Continue reading

Happy [pumpkin-spice-cupcake] birthday to you!

As a 4th grader, I was not very high up on the list of popular kids at our local elementary school. I’m not sure why – my permed hair, braces and wire-rimmed glasses should have won the rest of the 4th graders over – but alas, I would have been left to sit alone with my Furby had it not been for this wonderful girl named Lauren.

Lauren and I met that year and we have been best friends ever since. Our one fight did stem from a discrepancy over a Furby dictionary (now those horrid little animatronic creatures are back, but we won’t let them get between us!), but we resolved the problem quickly and have maintained our friendship through thick and thin. She took my phone calls when we were miles apart and I went through my first heartbreak, I helped her talk through life decisions about school, work and family and most recently she stood beside me as my maid of honor as I married my other best friend, TK.

So what is one to do when one’s best friend  – who is now the Starbucks goddess of north Georgia – has a birthday? Well, one bakes pumpkin spice cupcakes, of course!

Pumpkin Spice cupcakes with cream cheese cinnamon icing. Appropriately decorated for my BFF Lauren.

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Crock Pot: Baked Potato Soup

In my last post I said I had some goals for this month, and this post I’m going to give you an update and then a couple yummy recipes. I know, get excited.

So here are my goals:

1. Start running again – Well, I was going to start that this afternoon, but we had thunderstorms all around us and all the running websites I’ve visited said not to risk it if there’s lightning. And for some reason our apartment complex’s “fitness center” doesn’t have a treadmill. Hopefully the weather will clear up and I can start tomorrow.

2. Learn at least two healthy crock-pot recipes – TK and I just finished eating a delicious baked potato soup. Usually I’m leery of potato soups because they tend to be so creamy, but I eliminated the milk (which was kind of a mistake while reading the recipe but it still turned out great!), so it was better than I was expecting. Plus it was very tasty. Look below for the recipe (plus the recipe for the cheesy biscuits I made with it!).

3. Watch some football – I’m currently watching the UL- Monroe/Arkansas game. Did you know a pass interference gets 15 yards and a first down for the team the pass interference was performed against? I learned that tonight.

4. Continue learning more about HTML/CSS – Totally did that this week. I started writing code! I can now write a heading for my website. That’s a start, right?

5. Join my church in reading the New Testament – TK and I have been keeping up with this and I’ve already learned a lot. It’s interesting to read through the book of Matthew (for example) and keeping the author in mind. He had a much different perspective and audience than other writers such as Luke.

And now, the grand finale, the delicious recipes from tonight’s meal! I adapted the soup recipe from 365 Days of Slow Cooking and the cheesy biscuits came from Plain Chicken.

Baked Potato Soup

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