Saturday, April 24, 2010

My inspiration.

About a month ago, Garrett's office signed up to run in a 5k. G told me I could come and cheer him on! I was pretty excited but I resisted the urge to make a t-shirt that said "Run Pookie Run!" We did dress up the Kuddle Bug and brought her with us!

Garrett seemed pretty excited too! He told me his goal was to run the 5k in under 22 minutes. A pretty reasonable time for someone who used to be able to run a 5k in 17ish minutes, back when he ran track in college. He didn't run at all before it was time to go out for the 5k, he was just gonna wing it.

Saturday morning before the run he thought he should get some carbs for the race, so we headed to La Baguette and he got his normal order of two sides of French Toast (but didn't eat the entire basket of french fries).

He took off at the start and I excitedly waited and waited and waited for him to cross the finish line, as his goal time came and went. Finally, I saw him in the distance!

It was pretty exciting for me to see all those people running and sweating and they all seemed so happy to be crossing the finish line. I thought to myself, that looks like SO MUCH fun!

As Garrett got closer he looked a little tired, I think at this point he saw that his time wasn't quite what he expected.

But, still it looked like so much fun!

Does he look like he's going to die?

I'm pretty sure he felt like he was going to.

He was pretty disappointed with his time so I didn't take a picture as he crossed the finish line.

I was proud of him, and I got a great idea. Maybe you could start running and so could I and then we could run another 5k!!! So, the plans started forming and the next thing I knew we both had one month to get ready for this race.

Next Saturday Garrett tries to improve his 5k time (and not feel like he's going to die), I'm going to try to not be the very last person to finish, My cousin Blake is coming along and he will either be running next to me "encouraging me and pouring water on me" as he said last night or trying to win his age division, and two co-workers from Garrett's office will try to beat their times (to which my response was GREAT more people to see me finish last!)

I seriously have never ever run for any extended period of time in my WHOLE life. I once told a PE teacher I wasn't made to run I was made to "walk and talk" And, I'm starting to think I was crazy and that my decision was a result of contagious runner's high (from all those other crazy people).

But, I'll do it, and I'll finish (even if it's last) and then I'll start trying to improve for the one I've signed up for in June.....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Chicken and Rice


This is before it's been cooked

I originally got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman she uses spaghetti instead of rice. I made it for Garrett in my first attempt at making a bunch of food and freezing it, he loved it and was super impressed because I took the chicken off the bone to make it (I will not eat chicken on the bone, so to take it off is a pretty big deal around here). I loved it because he would tell anyone that would listen that it was so much better because I used "real" chicken and any kind of praise goes straight to my head and pretty much gets you whatever you want! He did ask that maybe I try rice instead of spaghetti and I obliged. It's a staple around here now!

  • 2-3ish cups Cooked Chicken on the bone remember!
  • 1 bag Brown Rice Changed what PW does
  • 2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Finely Diced Green Pepper PW does less, I say load up the veggies
  • 1 Finely Diced Onion We LOVE onions so I again used more than PW
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
  • 2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoons (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 cans Rotel PW doesn't use this I just added it on a whim (or by accident)
  • 1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Cook 1 Chicken-on-the-Bone (whatever kind you want). Since I'm a lunatic and buy free range vegetarian fed chickens I just got a whole one it was (slightly) cheaper, then I had to even cut it up (which is amazing since I would NEVER ever eat it like that). I boil the chicken, easy peasy! I'm scared to death the chicken will be under cooked so I think I cooked it close to 3 hours. It was probably a little long, if you have cut up chicken you can for sure do it shorter like an 1.5 hours I would say.

Pick out the meat to make two cups (if whoever you are cooking for is around remind them taking chicken off the bone is true love).

Cook the rice in the chicken broth I swear this makes it SO much better! Do not overcook or you will have mushy rice ick! Half the time it says is what I find to be the best about 20 minutes I believe. When this is finished combine it will all of the ingredients (except the additional 1 cup of cheese)

For all of my freezing stuff I buy the foil pans from the Dollar Store (I think these are 9 inch cake Pans). Evenly distribute into the 3 pans add remaining cheese cover and freeze! PW says they will last up to 6 months!

When I am ready to cook them I take it out of the freezer the night before and into the fridge I bake it at 350 for 45ish minutes if the cheese starts to burn put the foil back on for the rest of the cooking!

If you forget to take it out the night before you can still cook it (just bump it up to 400 and it will take awhile longer!)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cooking and Freezing

I love cooking and freezing! First of all it really cuts down on the eating out I do with Garrett if there is something already made. Second, I know what's going into everything so that helps me not eat things I try to avoid, and lets me count the WW points. Third, I only have to clean the kitchen once! I HATE cleaning the kitchen!

With this one trip to the grocery store (and one trip to the place I buy my meat) and $130 I made the following things:

  1. Chicken and Rice
  2. Manicotti
  3. Mexican Casserole (for lack of a better name)
  4. Lasagna
  5. Meatloaf Muffins
  6. Black Bean Burgers w/ Mango and Avacado Salsa
  7. Spinach Pesto
  8. Cream Spinach
  9. Twice Baked Potatoes
It doesn't look like so much when I type it out but, the Chicken and Rice and Mexican Casserole make three pans full (each pan is one meal for the two of us, as well as leftover lunch for one). The Manicotti and Lasagna make 4 pans full (the Manicotti might not be enough for two people but I only eat one with lots of veggies as a side and that leaves three) Meatloaf Muffins makes about 12 muffins. Black Bean Burgers make 6. The Spinach Pesto this time was my first time and it made a TON! I have no idea how long we will be eating that! The Cream Spinach I did not freeze but we ate it like 4 or 5 times with meals (dinner and lunches). And I made 22 Twice Baked Potatoes so that's enough for a small army.

Okay tomorrow I'll post the first recipe!

Monday, April 12, 2010


This morning Kuddles went to the groomers, I was pretty scared for her because she hates everyone, and she does not feel like she should have to associate with other animals, and she hates getting her toenails cut.

But, sometimes we have to do things we hate. Sometimes we have to get a bath. I dropped her off and she seemed okay. So, I left.

Let's remember what Kuddles looked like before I took her to the groomers....

She's cute and furry like a lion. My personal favorite thing about little Kuddles is her toe hair. I just love it. She looks like the Grinch. And since she is very Grinch like I think it is appropriate that she has Grinch toe hair!

Now let's look at her after.....
All of her toe hair is GONE! :(
I know it will grow back, and I know that this is what her toes are supposed to look like but I do love that toe hair! :(

At least she still looks like a lion!
And, she smells so clean!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


That's the groceries for this month's shopping trip. I like to buy everything and cook everything at one time. Then to the freezer it goes! I'll have to make a few trips to the store throughout the month but this lasts quite awhile!

Recipes coming soon!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Two years.

Today is my 2 year blogiversary.

Can you even believe it?

Ya me either.

What should we do to celebrate?!?!

Also, does the black background and white letters drive you to want to poke your eyes out?

Let me know.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


This is the story of one of the scariest nights of my life.

I was a junior in high school. It was a Saturday night, I was at home in my pajamas (probably watching Lifetime). I don't remember what the day consisted of but I remember it was a busy day and I was tired and I just really wanted to veg out at home. My friends had other plans....

Kristen (my bff) called and she was hanging out with some of our other friends, Warren (her boyfriend), Matt, and Brain*. They really, really wanted me to come over and watch a movie with them. I said no. I was tired. I was in pajamas. I was in for the night. She insisted. She was coming to get me I could stay in the pjs if I wanted we were just gonna watch a movie. Matt was sad about his girlfriend breaking up with him and just really wanted us all to hang out. It didn't sound like I had much of a choice so waited for them to come and get me pajamas and all.

A little while later Matt comes to the door to get me (this is before cell phones, can you even imagine?), he gave me a big hug and told me how glad he was I was hanging out with them.

We started out towards Kristen's house, which was maybe 3 miles from mine. Matt was whining about his breakup he was really heartbroken. We were all trying to be sympathetic but really knew it was probably for the best. Kristen turned into an old established neighborhood with big trees (like the one to the left**) Matt started getting really emotional...

And before I even knew what happened he had a gun in his hand and he said he thought the world would be better off without him. Kristen turned down a side street and Matt was getting angry, maybe if he was going to go we should all go.

He ordered that we all get out of the car. Brian and I were sitting in the back seat with Matt and we obliged. Once we were out Kristen and Warren drove off! (What the heck kind of best friend leaves you like this?!?) I told myself she was going to get help.

My heart was pounding, I was trying to tell Matt he was being ridiculous and that we could just talk about this. No girl was worth any of this. I was standing tucked into the roots of those trees trying to figure out how I could get to one of the front doors that was probably less then 100 yards behind me. All the while Matt was telling us if we ran or if we yelled he would shoot us. I didn't want Matt to go to jail, but I also didn't want to DIE! I didn't know what to do. Damn you after school specials, why didn't you teach me what I should do!

Matt was flailing that gun around the air crying and carrying on like a lunatic. I didn't know what to do. I was praying for someone, anyone to come out of their house. I couldn't understand why they weren't. Brian finally got close enough to me that we could talk without Matt noticing and tried to form a plan to get to a door. It felt like we had been standing on that street forever. Why wasn't anyone helping us. I remember being amazed that I wasn't crying, I was actually still standing like a normal person. About this time Kristen and Warren came circling back around the block, I started to think maybe I could jump in the car with them.

But, I didn't need to because they stopped. And opened the car door. And Matt put the gun down to his side and said come on lets go watch the movie. And he and Brian went towards the car. And me, well I thought everyone was NUTS and I was still thinking about running to a door and knocking so we didn't all die.

But, before I had the chance Matt looked at me and said April Fool's Day Ashlee! Hahaha.

I was not impressed, I was mad and scared and worried and pissed off. He could have been arrested! We are so lucky no one came out of their houses. They are so lucky I didn't freak the heck out. Did they even know me? It's completely out of character for me to be calm. I wasn't crying, I wasn't screaming, I was trying to stay one step ahead of my psycho, irrational friend. I was trying to figure out why my best friend left me with this lunatic.

Apparently, they never thought I would get out of the car. Apparently, they thought I'd know the gun was fake. Apparently, they thought I'd know it was April Fool's Day and I'd figure out it was all a big joke. Obviously they were WRONG! You see of all of my friends in all of my life it was not surprising to me that Matt was the one who flipped out, he was really upset about the breakup. He was a little bit crazy (just usually in a good fun, hey let's go steal Brian's mailbox kind of way). Even though it caught me off guard I could see it, it was believable.

I am very gullible. To the point I whipped out the dictionary to prove it was in there. As a result I do not like April Fool's Day and I try to be on the look out for those jokesters.

When my Mom called me this morning and told me she was arrested last night, I believed her.

Stupid April 1st.

* I thought about changing the names but they are all fairly common so I didn't
** I stole borrowed this picture from We the Kings Travis Clark
in case you don't live in the town we grew up in and understand the massive roots I had to tuck into