Thursday, January 31, 2013

Caramelized Apples

I'm still stuck in Autumn.  It's obvious by the things I've been making in the kitchen lately.  I mean, caramelized apples?  Totally fall-like food.  To make things worse, I'm still using my pumpkin spice tarts...so our house smells like Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  It's all I can do to cope with the wacky weather here.  Yesterday I was sweating bullets and today I'm wearing a scarf.  I thought the weather was only moody in Indiana, not Alabama!  It's supposed to be HOT in Alabama.  None of this "freeze warning" going on.  I'm not going to tolerate that.

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I decided to make these caramelized apples for two reasons.  One:  I bought apples and I didn't know what to do with them.  Two:  I haven't been to Cracker Barrel in forever and they have AWESOME caramelized apples.

I have gone to Cracker barrel before and only ordered a diet coke and a small bowl of caramelized apples and called that my dinner.  I'm sure you're laughing right now.  But hey, I spent less than five dollars on dinner.  Who's laughing now?

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These are spot on.  They taste like caramelized apples should taste.  I'll admit, I was doubtful....mostly because I made last minute decisions on what I wanted to add to the skillet while it was on the stove top.  That's what I do.  Regardless of the recipe, I think I know better and I change things up.  The only difference today was that it WORKED.  I was so excited I wanted to text Mr. Pribs right then and there and tell him about the revolutionary new recipe I made.  But then I remembered that he was 14,000 feet in the air and not allowed to text while flying a helicopter.  I don't know why...I mean, it's not like he's busy or anything.. those things pretty much fly themselves, right?

Anyway, back to the apples.

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It just so happened that when I lived in Indiana, my high school was only about a mile or so from Cracker Barrel.  There were some mornings I would get up before the birds, just so I could go to CB before school with a friend and engulf those caramelized apples.  That's true love.

Where I live now, the closest CB is 30 minutes away.  Ugh.  And it's right across the street from Chic-fil-a, which we allll know Mr. Pribs loves, so the only time we pass CB is when we're on our way to Chic-fil-a and there's no way of talking Mr. Pribs out of going to Chic-fil-a just to go to CB...I've tried, and it didn't work...it.will.never.work.

And there's no logic in driving 30 minutes, just to order a diet coke and a bowl of caramelized apples.   Or is there?

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But wait!  Mine are better.  You know why?  Because they come served with a scoop of ice cream.  CB doesn't do that.  Only the people at the Prib Crib do.

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[recipe]

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Alright.  Time to do a face-plant into these applesss.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Apple Cobbler

What do you do when you know your apples are going to go bad any second now?

You make apple cobbler and you make it fast.

Hope you weren't thinking you would simply just eat the apples.  Because at this time of the year, making apple cobbler is the only answer that makes sense.



Yes, even those of us who are in Alabama (where there currently is no snow) still want some apple cobbler.  Some of us still get cold when it's 50 degrees outside and would appreciate something hot and yummy to warm our insides.


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*Above photo credit goes to my photographer husband, Rob.

If you don't want to eat the apple cobbler, you can at least make this so that your house can smell SO GOOD for a couple of hours.  It will remind you of when you were a kid and how after a long hard afternoon of playing out in the cold, you would come inside to be greeted by the warmth of the house and a sweet smell coming from the kitchen.

Please tell me you have those memories too.

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[recipe]

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Regardless, it's that time of year and your house should be exploding with baked goods.  So go make this.  Now.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Project Life Week 4 + a look back

Here's week four of my 2013 Project Life album.  I'm still waiting to receive my Seafoam Core kit, so for now I'm just finding free downloadable 4x6 & 3x4 cards to put in my album and I'm also using some cards from my Turquoise core kit.  For this week I used two free cards from Kimberly Church.  AB

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While I was taking pictures, I decided to pull out some old scrapbooks that I've been keeping in my hope chest.  The two pictures below are from my very first scrapbook ever.  I made it when I was in 8th grade and using either a film camera (which I still have) or a one time use camera.  My method was pretty simple - I found 8.5''x11'' scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby or Jo-Ann's, glued pictures to the page and wrote a caption under each picture with my fancy colored gel pens that everybody in Junior High had back then.  Gel pens were the thing in 2000.  If you didn't have one, you weren't cool.  DE

Once in high-school, I upgraded to scrapbooking with 12''x12'' albums.  I remember spending hours on my bedroom floor piecing together layouts.  Every page had to be perfect.  If a page wasn't perfect, I would throw it out after a few months.FWhen scrapbooking with 12''x12'' layouts, I would try to find quotes or phrases to type out on the computer and print on matching paper to add to the layout.  I used a lot more stickers and embellishments.GH I JK

Once in college, I stopped scrapbooking for a while.  The only complete scrapbook I made was the 8''x8'' book I made for Mr. Pribs.  It took forever for me to finish that book, but I like the way it turned out.  I liked that I only had to use one pictures per page, which made the process easier.L

 

I'm glad I have saved most of my scrapbooks (I have about 8?), because it's fun to see how my style has evolved - both with scrapbooking and with my hair :P

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Irish Soda Bread

The stories you read here on the blog are usually pieced together in my brain while I'm in the kitchen baking away.  I had a hard time deciding on what to write about when posting this soda bread.  The reason being because it brings so many ideas to mind.  Should I post about the buttermilk I used to make this with and how Rob hates buttermilk?  Should I post about how Rob's grandfather loves buttermilk and drinks a glass of it everyday?  Should I post about Nine Irish Brother's restaurant (NIBR)and how they serve soda bread and our obsession with eating there?  Should I post about Rob's group of friends, known as "The Legion" and how they would always eat at NIBR and everyone would fight over the soda bread?

So many choices people, SO MANY CHOICES.  I could write about everything, but then it would be a 5 page post, and none of us have time for that, so I'll hold back.

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I've decided I'll tell you about "The Legion", because honestly, those memories were running through my mind when making this bread.  The Legion consists (consisted?) of a small group of friends that Rob met during his freshman year of engineering at Purdue.  During that first semester, they all became good friends and all enjoyed eating at NIBR.  Fast forward to Rob's senior year of college and their friendships were still going strong.  Shortly into the Fall semester, I entered the picture.  I remember Rob inviting me to go to dinner with him and the rest of the Legion.  I didn't really know what to expect, but I was nervous because I knew all eyes would be on me - the newbie.  I was also nervous because I had already met one of the legion members (Named RJ) a week before, and the first impression I left him with wasn't a good one.  He met me right after I found out my car had been towed (what's a college career at Purdue University without your car being towed a few times?)….and I was ticked.  Soooo, going into this dinner, I knew I had to bring my A-game.

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Luckily, everyone was really nice, even RJ who up until that night probably thought I was a jerk.  I didn't say much while we were there - I had a hard time getting a word in as it was 4 guys and 1 other girl there….people kept interrupting people, people were asking for each other's soda bread, people were joking around about things that had happened in past classes with each other.   Let's be honest, most of the time I was lost.

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I do remember having finished everything on my plate, except for my soda bread and it was at that time when RJ leaned over and said to me "Hey, are you gonna eat your soda bread?" and I responded with "No, you can have it".  Everyone else gasped and had the look of "NO FAIR!" on their faces.  I didn't care though….at least I knew RJ liked me now and I didn't have to worry about that bad impression anymore.

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[recipe]

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Overall, the night was good.  Samantha, the single girl in the group, announced to everyone near the end of dinner that she liked me and that Rob did a good job.  PHEW.

So that's what this soda bread is all about  - good friends, good food and a lot of memories to reminisce over.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baked Chicken & Pasta

I'm finally getting a hang of this "cooking for two" wife thing.

I used to dread preparing whole meals.  Like, my senior year of college, I didn't even know how to prepare chicken.  I bought a chicken breast, chopped it into pieces, cooked it in a skillet and then took a picture and sent it to my sister asking what I was supposed to do next.



The next phase was when I was talking to an older lady at church and somehow we got on the topic of domestic-ness.  I told her that "I, like, don't know how people make meals every single day of the week with things that they find in their kitchen!"  She then said, "Well, you plan out your recipes ahead of time and then go grocery shopping for the ingredients".

Oh..right.  DERRRRR.



I'm pretty sure I saw her roll her eyes while I was pondering her profound explanation.



You'd think I would've gotten it then, right?

Nope.

I started looking up recipes and buying the ingredients.  But I didn't notice the fine print in the recipes where it stated the serving size.  I ended up cooking meals for a party of 8 when I only needed enough for 1 or 2 people.  It resulted in ALOT of extra food and weeks later something mysterious growing in the back of my refrigerator due to me not eating the leftovers.



Thank goodness I'm married to a math genius.  Mr. Pribs can convert ANY recipe you want so that it serves two people.  Talk about HANDY!

I'm probably going to get all messed up when we have a kid and it's (he?she?) old enough to eat real food.  I'm going to end up cooking for 7 people and trying to feed the kid a serving size big enough to satisfy a large man.

Oh well.  It's all about the learning process.

Recipe from here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Project Life: Week 2

 

Two things happened on this particular week.  Cooper turned one year old - WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?  And I participated in Aviation Spouse Day - where I got my wings!

Other than that, there's a random picture of Rob working on his lego VW bus and a shot of us together…because you can't never have too many pictures of you and your husband together.  Ever.

I used my newly created mini calendar for this spread.   I unintentionally went with a  B+W theme when putting things together.  It all worked out and I think it looks GREAT!

The quote card is from Elise Blaha's collection - I resized it to make it fit in a 4''x6'' slot.  The other blurb cards are ones that I made in photoshop myself.  Pretty simple week.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Simple Baked Sandwiches

Today we're making sandwiches.  Really simple sandwiches.

Why are we making sandwiches, you ask?  Because it's pouring rain outside and Joy doesn't feel like going to the grocery store to get the two ingredients she forgot to get yesterday when she was grocery shopping in order to make something cooler.  It's okay.  We're going to survive.  We'll make something cool tomorrow.


These are good sandwiches though.  I promise.  Here, I'll walk you through how to make them, step by step.  The bread you use is the most important part for making these things.  You're going to want to buy sweet rolls.  I used King's Hawaiian sweet rolls.  The "sweet" part is the key.  Without sweet, you're just eating regular ol' bread, which don't get me wrong.  I love me some bread.  But if we're going to make simple sandwiches, we're going to have to add some sort of zing to it.  The sweetness is our zing.  Got it?IMG_9993



Next, you're going to want to cut each roll in half, smother it with mayo, or honey mustard, or…I don't know…peanut butter?  Some sort of dressing that you like.  I chose mayo because we didn't have any honey mustard and I'm not the biggest fan of peanut butter lately.  Once you get that on, put some sort of meat on it.  Again, I chose honey ham.  I love honey ham.  And I'm gonna guess that you do too, so go ahead and put some honey ham on there.  IMG_0003

To finish the sandwich, put cheese on it.  You can go simple and just put american Kraft cheese on it, or you can switch things up and try provolone.  I made two variations because I wasn't sure how these would turn out.  Next, you pop them in the oven (preheated at 350 degrees F.) for 7-10 minutes.

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The results will be a slightly toasted roll with melty cheese and warm meat inside.  In other words, amazing.

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Make sure you eat it all up before someone else walks into the room and asks if you made them any.IMG_0015

Afterwards, tend to your dog who's been stuck inside all day due to the rain and is crying out for attention.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Project Life: Freebie

It's official.  I've gotten tired of writing the dates for each spread in my project life album.  My handwriting stinks and it always gets lost amongst the rest of the glitz and glamour that are my photos.  So, I did what any slightly photoshop savvy individual would do.  I made something to use in place of my handwriting.

I decided to make 3''x4'' mini calendars that I can easily highlight or circle the week that my spread is documenting.  I wanted something simple (no fancy fonts) and small (leaves my 4''x6'' slots open for pictures).  I made two versions:  

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colorful

And after making both sets, I decided that the only thing I could do to make this whole thing better would be to SHARE them with other Project Lifers.  So here you go.

You should be able to click the links below to view the files and save them.


Black and White 3''x4'' Calendars






Color 3''x4'' Calendars







ENJOY!

 




Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Taco Soup

I got my dose of snow for the season.  How about you?  I went through a period of days back in November where I thought I might be missing the snow and cold.  As soon as we stepped off our plane in Indiana in December though, I knew that my mind had only been playing tricks with meIMG_9983

Packing for a winter vacation when it's 70 degrees outside is not an easy task.  I only packed one sweater because I assumed I would be hot if I didn't pack any lighter clothes.  Turns out I was wrong and I wore my one sweater as much as I could while we were gone.  34 degrees and a short sleeve shirt do not go well together.  Especially when the ground is covered in snow.  I now remember what it feels like to be cold all of the time.



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Luckily we were back home in Alabama before I turned into an ice sculpture and I can now go back to wearing one layer of clothes and not feeling like my fingers are going to fall off any second.  And if I ever do get cold I can always snuggle up with Cooper and make this soup for dinner.  This soup is a hit in the Prib Crib.  One, because it's easy to make.  Two, because it's delicious.  You literally open up some cans, dump everything in the crockpot, forget about it for 4 hours and then enjoy the best soup ever!

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[recipe]

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So, grab yourself some cheese, chips and the cans required for this soup and knock yourself out!

Flight School & Life Update

Rob has officially started the Blackhawks portion of flight school.  He was in simulators for a little over a week (which, by the way, I flew a simulator by myself last Friday as part of Aviation Spouse day).  As of yesterday (Monday) though, he is flying the real deal!  There was a little doubt in the morning as to whether or not he would get to fly, with the weather being so dreary, but luckily he did!  Right now, he goes in around 9:00am and is supposed to get home around 6:00pm.  Last night he got home around 8pm.  Fortunately we live right near the Blackhawk airfield.  You turn right out of our neighborhood, drive a mile or so and then turn left and you will see the airfield as you drive up to the stop sign.

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I don't know if the above helicopter is the exact model that Rob is flying.  I simply googled UH-60 Blackhawk and chose the coolest picture that came up.



He will continue on this schedule for about 12 weeks and then he will fly at night.  I believe students fly during the hours of 8pm-12am when doing night flight.  As soon as the sun sets, they go out and fly.  Once that portion is done, he will graduate from flight school (in April or May).  But hold on, Rob won’t be done in Alabama quite yet!  He will still have to learn how to fly a fixed wing airplane.  Apparently, the fixed wing training happens in Dothan (a city/town that is about 30 minutes away from where we live).  We may or may not be moving to Dothan in April.  We have researched apartments online, but still have yet to set foot in any of them.  It would be great if we could move there because it would be less time on the road for Rob and I could potentially take classes at a college in Dothan.  In fact, the airfield where Rob would be flying and the college are only 3 miles apart!

After Rob finishes his fixed wing course (probably in September), we will be moving to California.  We don’t know where we will live or where Rob will work.  Nothing is set in stone right now.  There are a lot of unknowns.  We talked about possibly me going out to California a little earlier to find an apartment and get settled, so Rob can just come out once his training is over and it won’t be such a big move for everyone.  Looking online for a place to live is hard.  Especially when that place is many states away from where you live now.  If I think too much about the unknowns, I get stressed out.  But when I get stressed out, I just think back to another time in my life when I’ve been stressed and didn’t know about my future and I remember that everything worked out fine....in fact, things worked out better than I had hoped they would.  When I wasn’t sure I would graduate from college, I did.  And when I wasn’t sure if I’d have a job after college, I got one the same month I graduated.  When I quit my job without warning, I got a better job within a month.  When Rob didn’t know if he would graduate from Purdue on time to go to flight school, he did...and with more than decent grades!  When no one was calling Rob back about flight school dates and housing, things worked out there just fine.  And now, we’re just right back where we have been many times before.  In a time of unknown where we can only see so much of the picture.  And let’s be honest.  It sucks.  Instead of getting stressed out though, I’m going to take God up on His promises.  His plan for me is greater than I could ever imagine, regardless of my plan for myself.  And just as our pre-marital counseling Pastor told me, God will never leave me in the dust.  There is no reason, what-so-ever, to get stressed out.  That will not change the situation.  I need to simply do what I can with what’s going on now and God will take care of the rest.

So, right now, I’m working on getting into a CNA (certified nurses assistant) program in Dothan.  It’s my long term goal (right now) to do a Nursing program.  Becoming a CNA is a baby step towards that goal.  And with a CNA certification, I will have a better chance of getting a job when we first get to California....that way if it takes Rob a little longer to get a job, I (hopefully) will be able to help us out financially.  My Etsy shop is doing great and actually contributing quite a bit to our finances, but I don’t trust it enough to be the sole provider for a few months.

So that’s the update.  My husband will be a pilot with wings in about four months!  EXCITING!  And I will hopefully have completed the CNA program by then as well!  EQUALLY EXCITING!!

That's my update for now.   "Above the best!"

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Etsy Shop: Update

I've added a few more digital designs to my Etsy shop!  My digital save the dates have been popular ever since I added them over the summer, so I've decided to branch out and start making baby shower and birthday invitations.  I've created some of those along with more save-the-date designs.

Enjoy!

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pinkusa ohboy girlshower nautical digitalgood bridal

 

You can view the entire JoyInspiration collection in my shop.