Monday, November 13, 2006

Pecan Pie.

28 Kraft caramels
2 beaten eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. pecans, chopped
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. butter
1 unbaked pie shell (graham, oreo, or chocolate)

Place the caramels in a small boiler containing 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup butter. Heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Combine the beaten eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Pour the caramel sauce into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Add chopped pecans and mix well. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes.

This past Saturday, my good friend Bryan and I made Pecan Pies for a get together he was to attend. The pies came out quite nicely, but I would recommend only using 20 caramels so it solidifies better. Make sure you allow the pies to cool for atleast 1 hour before serving. Serve with French Vanilla ice cream to make it an extra special dessert. This would be GREAT for Thanksgiving!


Friday, October 27, 2006

A Thought For You About Growing Up

I am really close with my Mom. We had maybe a year or so when I first moved out of her house that we didn't get along well. I think we both were just bitter and not ready to move on.

When I was a little girl, I'm talking like 6 or 7, I remember her putting notes in my lunch box saying "hav a great day pooh! love, mom" or some other sweet little note. They would always be written on this colorful lined paper, closed with a sticker. To this day, I still have a bunch of them that I tucked away.

One day Mom bought me a greeting card. This is what it said :

My Child, This Is a Thought for You About Growing Up.

This isn't an easy world
to be growing up in,
and I don't blame you
if you sometimes feel
a little confused about things...

For now, my child, remember that it's
okay to feel the way you feel.
Be yourself, and don't try to
hide what's going on indside.
Just don't forget
that a beautiful person lives there.

Even though you sometimes feel unhappy
with the way things are going,
don't ever stay sad for long.

I miss you when the happy you is gone.

and I'll always be here
to help you when
you need to find
your smile again.
(*Allison Alexander*)

Love Always,

For some reason, even to this day, it makes me get all teary-eyed. I have had this card for 15 years maybe. I will never get rid of this.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

3 Good Fall Recipes

Yesterday I woke up and my car was frosted over... It's time to pull out those tummy warming recipes!

Classic Jambalaya

1 pound medium shrimp*
2 chicken breast halves, with bones (approx 1 pound total)
4 cups of water
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium celery ribs, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ pound andouille or kielbasa sausage, cut into ½ inch thick rounds*
1 medium green bell pepper seeded and chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can peeled plum tomatoes in juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups long grain rice
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the shrimp over high heat just until they turn pink, about 2 minutes. Cool, peel, and de-vein the shrimp, reserving the shrimp and their shells separately.

In a large saucepan, combine the chicken breasts, the reserved shrimp shells, the water, half the chopped onion, half the chopped celery, one third of the garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, until the chicken juices run clear yellow when pierced with a fork, 20-25 minutes. Remove the chicken breasts from the cooking liquid.

In a sieve set over a large bowl, drain and reserve the cooking liquid, discarding the solids. You should have about 4 cups of liquid; add water, if necessary. Remove and discard the chicken bones. Chop the breast meat coarsely and set it aside.

Heat the oil in a 5 quart Dutch oven. Add the sausage and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Then stir in the reserved cooking liquid, the remaining teaspoon of salt, the tomatoes with their juice, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and cayenne. Bring to a simmer, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon. Stir in the rice and return to the simmer. Cook over medium-low heat, tightly covered, until the rice has absorbed all the liquid, about 25 minutes. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat, stir in the reserved shrimp and chicken, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the jambalaya to a warmed serving bowl, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.

*Side Notes:
You can use ½ pound of crabmeat at the end of the recipe to replace the shrimp.
You can use 1 cup chopped smoked ham instead of the sausage.

Yields: a lot. I think about 8 servings.

Texas Chili

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds ground beef (90% or better)
2 medium onions, chopped
2+ garlic cloves, chopped
28 ounces tomatoes, whole
12 ounces beer (I use low carb or something not too dark)
5 tablespoons chili powder
2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon sugar

Cayenne pepper (optional)
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Red onion, chopped
Avocado, sliced

Heat the oil in 6-quart saucepan. Add ground beef, onions and garlic and sauté until meat is browned. Stir in next 7 ingredients and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, about 45-55 minutes. Taste and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper if desired. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with toppings if desired.

Yields 8 cups, about 4 servings.

Applesauce Muffins

1 ½ cups sugar
½ cupbutter or margarine -- softened
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup applesauce (homemade is the best)

In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter by hand. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine dry ingredients. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with applesauce. Mix just until combined. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle some sugar on top. Bake at 350f for 20-22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Where has the time gone??

Wow.. I just realized that it is October 1st. I haven't blogged in forever. My apologies to you all, and to myself. Keeping a blog, no matter how lame, is self-satisfying and rewarding. I find a lot out about myself by reading old posts as well as reading other people's comments. I will try to keep this more updated.

Atkins... I have been on and off the diet. My total now, is down a solid 24lbs. I was as low as -31lbs, but that was right after I was sick for a week. Sometime this week I will be going back to being extremely strict about what I am eating again. Maybe not so much the Atkins diet, but a modified diet where I can eat more fruits and some whole grains. My January first, I would like to be down another 25lbs. This is very reasonable goal.

I got a new haircut in August. It's so short but I LOVE it! Thanks to Cheri at Trade Secret. I am trying to decide if I should keep it short or grow it back out. Any opinions??

School started the 1st week of September. BAH is all I have to say to that! I am no longer at St.Joseph's College of Nursing. I am attending
Onondaga Community College to finish my Math/Science degree. After that, I will finish my Registered Nurse degree. Currently, I am taking Advanced Composition/Literature, Intermediate Algebra, Biology of AIDS, and Modern American History. I don't mind all but the history. I feel as though I have not learned a damn thing in that class.

I am still working the night shift at
St.Joseph's Hospital. I have only been working the weekends so I can free up my week for school, but I am thinking of changing back to more weekday so that I have some sort of a social life. It is really hard when all of your friends work during the week, AND the evening shift. Not many of my friends understand the Night shift concept. I lose my job in either December or January because I am not enrolled in a RN program. I will either find another position here, or apply to Upstate Medical Center- they pay more and have better benefits due to the fact that it is a State job. I would hate to lose the time invested into St.Joseph's, but I have to do what I have to do. Having a paycheck is important to me :)

The thought of moving to Seattle, Washington, is still fresh in my mind. Part of me would like a fresh start. I have been single now for over 6 months. Although I like being able to date, I wish I had the constant guy in my life to share everything with. I am afraid of finding someone here in NY, and then moving to Seattle and losing them if they do not want to move. I am unsure when I want to move. Maybe next winter after I finish one of my degrees...

Since I have been back from Alaska, I have been quite busy.
*Liz and I drove to Boston, MA for the annual Where's George BBQ at Dr.Ask's house. What a blast. All I have to say is... thank goodness I have medical background.
*Jeff and I went to GreenLakes State Park for the day.
*My Aunt, Uncle, and 6 cousins from Indiana came up for a visit and we had a picnic at my sisters house.
*My friend Walter and I went to the Turning Stone Casino in Oneida to see Chris Isaak perform. He was wonderful! I can't believe he's 50!
*Joe and I went to Buffalo for a weekend. We went to Darien Lake for the day and saw Rob Zombie and Godsmack in concert! woohoo!
*I went to the New York State Fair twice. I got to see Joan Jett (yay!!!), the 4 Tops, eat pizza frites, eat fries with cheddar, play with the baby chicks, checked out the Photography display in the Women's building, and bought my parents tickets to see James Taylor.

I think that sums it up.

Last weekend I made a day trip down to Ithaca, New York, with my friend Ben. We hiked the trail at Robert Treman State Park, from top to bottom. Word to the wise... Start at the bottom if you plan on hiking the whole thing. You will be happy you did! Here are a couple photos (pardon the extreme sweatiness). Go to
My Flickr page if you would like to see the rest.
Ben and Me. Sweat and All. Me

For those of you on MySpace, come check out my profile and add me!

I have been doing minimal updates on Jill Rachel Photography and Bean's Stock lately due to lack of time. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. I am hopeing this month will give me more time to work on them. I do still have quite a few of the Hawaiian Chocolate Knitting Needle Cases available- made to order.

On to knitting... I haven't finished a project in a while. I did start my girly version of the Dr.Who scarf. Pictures will be up once I have enough of it done to even take pictures of it. I have been working on a sock, but I will be taking it apart because it is too small. I was using a size 0 needle and forgot to add extra stitches to the pattern so it would fit me. Good job Jill. I have been thinking of things to make for Christmas this year, but I am running out of time! Any ideas of good quick gifts?

Alright... Time to get going. I hope to be blogging more often.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Alaska, part I.

Hi guys- I made it to alaska last night. It's gorgeous here! The mountains are absolutely breathtaking. Right now I'm in a parking lot in downtown Anchorage where I just happened to come across free wireless that's connected to a hotel 2 blocks away. SCORE!! Check out my flickr! for some pictures. Blogger isn't letting me upload anything!! Ugh.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Japanese Star Festival

Today, July 7th, is the day of the Japanese Star Festival. Not that I ever really knew what this holiday was, but it's also another very special day. On July 7th 1993, my step-father Gene, adopted me, my brother Ben, and my sister Betsy. I don't think anyone even remembers that this was the day, but I've always remembered it because mom used to say "you know, it's the 7th day of the 7th month. You can't really forget it!" So I called mom on that day, and she had no clue. Maybe I just remember the little things in life :)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Ahh, the famous Evil Day. I like the way SpiteSpright decided to do her post. So, here is my version.

Here is what Evil things I did today.
1. I F'ing woke up. Grrr.
2. I took out the evil garbage.
3. I washed the evil EVIL dishes.
4. I wasted time on the not-so-evil internet.
5. Oh- the evil addicting MySpace too.
5. I weighed myself and found out I lost a total of 21 EVILEVILEVIL pounds. Woot!
6. I washed some evil laundry.
7. I arrived at my evil job.
8. I was called a "fat ass" by a WITCH, who we had to put in restraints in the hallway, who was continually yelling "THE DEVIL IS GOING TO KILL YOU! You have SATAN in your eyes! What did I do to deserve this? The DEVIL is taking my soul!!!"
Yeah, um, this was an interesting night :)

Goodnight Mr.Devil.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A little bitter... A little skinnier... A little greener

Yeah, so, I'm a little bitter. WHY THE F*** IS IT SO MUGGY OUT?!!?!? I can't take it. I feel my skin starting to crawl. UGH. I can't wait to go to work tonight just to get out of this heat! I definately can't live in NY forever. I've made my mind up. I want to try other places. I really feel that Seattle will be my next move. Maybe next year, maybe the year after. I don't know. I was looking at their average temps out there, and it's much better than here. I'd rather be cold than hot. Although I do like tanning, there are always booths for that :)

Plane tickets for Alaska were bought this week! Horray! I'm leaving July 17th and coming home July 27th. I'm hoping Fun_with_cheese will let me use his fancy 2000 cubic inch backpack he just got for his Czech Republic trip. I was thinking of making a stop in seattle on the way there so I can visit, but there's not enough time. I'd rather go with someone, and spend atleast a week or so. Maybe I'll go in October to break up my semester so I don't go stir crazy :)

Look what came in the mail!!!

10 balls of Rowan Polar is color Jaffa. It's such a soft yarn!

10 skeins of Rowanspun 4-ply in Turkish.

and 10 skeins of Rowanspun dk in Drizzle.

I'm in heaven :)

On another good note, I'm now down 19 pounds. Woot!

This month was Project Spectrum's GREEN month. I figured that I would be my own inspiration. This is my new awesome shirt from old navy. What a nice lime green :)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

buttons, atkins, and a+p

Alright. Eveyone has to respond to this. I am debating on whether or not to buy a button maker! I can't decide between the 1" and the 1 1/4". Would anyone be interested if I did little button workshops for a very minimal fee giving you the use of the machine and the supplies? Machines are around $200 or less. I plan on making a line of buttons and maybe a line of magnets too. I could also take this machine to craft shows with some clip art or magazines and let kids make their own buttons. What do you all think?? I want to buy it in the next week if I'm going to get it at all. Just let me know if you'd be interested in using it. Thanks!

So my weekday class, Anatomy and Physiology is OVER. THANK GOD!! I was so sick of going to school 2x a week during the daytime. Not really fun when you work overnights. Here's a pic of my best bud Penny during our final exam.... I'm happy to say that we both passed. I don't know my letter grade yet though.

By the way- now I'm down 17lbs. YAYNESS. Here are some recent pics of me and some of my friends.

Me and Chase , and then Me and Tom- aka Bam Bam

So it's now my rule- you come over to my place, and you ARE getting a picture taken with me. Goofy or serious, doesn't matter.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Drunken man in pink pants???

It's 1:00am and I'm spackling my bathroom so I can paint it in the morning.

**knock** **knock**
(Who the hell is knocking at my door? )
Me: umm can I help you? (don't recognize this man)
Man: Yeah, well, did you know someone is beating on your car?
Me: Huh?
Man: Yeah- I just watched him try to smash your car in with a shovel. He looked drunk.
Me: Okay?
Man: Your car looks fine but I wanted you to know.
Me: umm okay. (apparently he lives below me)
*we proceed out to my car, both of us in pj's and slippers*
Me: Well, atleast he had the courtesy to leave me the shovel.
Man: I called the cops for you. They're already looking for the man.
Me: How far can a drunken man walk without the sherriff's finding him? I mean, he can't even walk straight.
Man: I don't know. He was walking really slow but I came in to call the cops.
Me: oh well. Hey- here come the cops.
*6 sherriff cars pull in- not just B'Ville police, but the sherriffs.*
Me: you think you sent enough cops?
cops: Well we're just doing our job.
Me: oh okay. well my car is fine. here's the shovel.
cops: atleast they left you the shovel.
Me: that's what I said!
cops: did you see the man?
Me: no- I was spackling my bathroom.
cops: At 1am?
Me: yes at 1am. I do things like that. (do they think i'm LYING??)
cops: ummm okay.
*cops took our information and inspected the car*
cops: We're going to have someone drive around all night to keep an eye out for your car. This usually doesn't happen in your neighborhood.
Me: Yeah whatever- I'm up all night anyways.
cops: We'll find this man for you.
man: He's in pink pj pants and a white shirt.
cops: What?
man: pink pants.
cops: umm okay.
Me: Well, I'm done out here. I'm going inside. If you need to talk more come inside cause I'm too cold.
*cops sat there looking at the undamaged car for another 30 minutes*

What the hell just happened? It's like something out of a retarted dream. Cops are so challenged sometimes.

Yeah so, you F***ing man in pink pj's, get a life and new pj bottoms cause you look like a girl, and leave my car the F*** alone. You're lucky I didn't see your ass cause I would've chased you and kicked you in your head - or better yet, smashed your skull in with the shovel. HAHA. Loser.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Last night Cheryl and I went to the Turning Stone Casino and saw the Pussycat Dolls and the Black Eyes Peas. I had such a great time! The opening band, Flipsyde, just wasn't good. I could've easily missed the first part of their crap. I was so mad though. There are a ton of signs that say "do not bring cameras, etc". NOONE was checked before the concert! I had seats 15 rows or less from the stage- GREAT SEATS- and no pictures. I'm pissed. Next time I'm bringing my camera in no matter what! So, these are the only pictures I got.

I'm really glad that Cheryl and I developed such a good friendship. It's nice to have her as a friend and a classmate! Nothing like a good concert, great wine, and great friends. :)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Project Spectrum April Wrap-up

April was Project Spectrum's YELLOW and ORANGE month. I failed to post anything that was related to these colors because Blogger is once again, challenged. So here we go - better late than never, right?

Ahh.. Things that I love in Orange or Yellow. :)

No more Navy

I got tired of my old blog template. So, I have changed it. The links and everything were lost in the change, but hopefully I will be getting it all up soon. I also have to figure out how to change the picture on the top since it's actually something like 4 pics together, and how to make this template into 3 rows like my last blog. I find that 1 sidebar is just not enough!

I also put together one of the Music Lists that everyone is posting. It's hard to come up with what artists you want to put here, so I picked the last few CD's that I have either bought or listened to in the car.
Create your own Music List @ HotFreeLayouts!

Yeah, I know I have weird taste.