Thursday, February 25, 2010

Twice Baked Potatoes

As you can see, Im rapidly approaching my cruise in April! However, I have some goals to meet before then, and Im going to share them with you so you can help me along the way!  My goal is to lose 10lbs from today till April 25 or before.  This is NOT an unrealistic goal, but it is going to take some discipline.  My friend Becky and I are hooked on its an app for the iphone, and its pretty awesome.  I have already lost 17lbs since June just cutting back on my portions, counting calories on Loseit, and working out!  All of which I still have major room for improvement! 

One of my very first meals I fixed for Nathan even before we were married is Twice Baked Potatoes.  My first recipe of this was NOT like the one Im about to share with you.  In fact, its probably one of the contributing factors of my having to loose weight in the first place!  It was loaded with butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon.  You know, all the stuff that tastes really good!  :)  So anywho, I decided today that I would try and make a less fat version. it is:

2 potatoes
olive oil
seasoning salt (or salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion flakes)
chopped up mushrooms
bacon bits

First of all wash your potatoes, then stab them all over with a fork and rub them lightly with olive oil.  Put them on a plate and microwave for about 10 min. flipping halfway through.

While they are cooking in the microwave preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine milk, 2 tablespoons butter, seasoning salt, chopped mushrooms, bacon, and cheese in a medium mixing bowl.  Notice I didnt put many measurments out, thats because I dont really measure.  I can usually eyeball things pretty well, but I would start out with a couple tablespoons of milk, you will probably have to add more milk once you add the potatoes.  and the seasoning salt is proably about a tablespoon.  I used about 3 medium mushrooms chopped up, 2 or 3 tablespoons of bacon, and about a small handful of cheese. 

After your potatoes are finished nuking, cut them in half and put on a baking sheet to cool.  Trust me, you want the to cool.... its gives the game "hot potato" a whole new meaning!  Once you can touch the potatoe without wanting to scream and stick your hand in the freezer, take a small spoon and hollow out the potatoe.  You can make the skins as thick or as thin as you like.  I like thin skins because when they bake they get crispy and I eat them along with the other part!  When you hollow out the potatoe, put the insides in the bowl with the other stuff and smash them all up!  this is the part you may want to add a little more milk (I used 2% btw)  You want the potatoes smooth, but still chunky.  Once its to your desired consitancy, spoon the mixture back into the potato skins and then sprinkle with just a pinch of cheese. 

Put in the oven and bake until heated through and it starts to brown on top! Hope you enjoy, and let me know how they turn out if you try them!

Oh, here is an updated pic of CoCo.  She is growing fast and is such a good girl!  She is the definition of a lap dog!  She loves to cuddle and get her belly rubbed! 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Fire Pit

We have made it one week with a puppie!  YAY!  CoCo is also 15 weeks old today and, as we have come to find, she is smart as a whip!  I think sometimes she is smarter than us, and she is still learning.... wow... maybe WE should go to school instead of her! 

This morning we drove down to Hartsville, SC to lead worship at a new church.  The Living Church is a nondenom. church in downtown Harstville at the Center Theatre.  We enjoyed being with them this morning, very nice folks!   We came home and ate some girl scout cookies and relaxed for a couple minutes.  A lady came by the bank the other day selling girl scout cookies, and I knew Nathan liked a kind with Peanut butter in it, but where he's from all the girl scout cookies are named something different than the girl scout cookies where Im from!  Crazyness isnt it?  Caramel Delights are called Samoas, peanut butter sandwhices are called dos e dos ( the kind he likes)!   Just though you'd like to know that bit of information..

But, more to the point of my story...... Today was a BEAUTIFUL day today.  The sun was shinning without a cloud in the sky, with the temps in the 60's.  Im SO ready for spring.  I cannot wait to get outside and work in my yard.  Plant flower gardens, and maybe even a small real garden.  This is what I dream about latley.  The spring and summer months.... So today, we got a little taste of it!  I got my book Captivating and ventured out onto the deck to relax, read and soak up the rest of the afternoon outside.  I was out there for about 2 minutes when I had a brilliant idea!  One of our wedding presents was a fire pit/ice bucket.  When we lived at our house in China Grove we would light a fire in our fire pit and stay outside in the afternoons in the spring and fall.  These memories are some of the BEST that I have of our marriage.  We would work all day out in the yard and then in the afternoon Nate would fire up the grill and we could have dinner outside around the fire pit.  We would light candles on the deck and just sit out there and talk for hours.  When we sold our house we lived in an apartment for about 5 months, and these were probably the worst 5 months of my life!  I was home sick!  Litterally!   Dont get me wrong, Im VERY thankful that we had the apartment as a roof over our heads, but there is just something about having your own house, with your own yard, and your own deck.  I remember I called Nathan at work one day and told him I was home sick.  Those memories of our good times on the deck and our fire pit were just so strong, and I wanted that so bad again.  I knew it would come around again once we found a house, but like I said.  Those 5 months were pretty horrible and they felt like they would never end.  So, when we moved into our new house, we decided to get a new fire pit as well.  The other one never REALLY got a fire going and sat too high to really catch any heat off of it.  So we bought a new one a couple months ago, and the weather and our schedules had just not permitted us to use it until today!  So, back to me on the deck reading, I asked Nathan to build me a fire, and that he did!  This thing is awesome, it kept us warm for several hours!  We sat out on the deck and read our books while CoCo cuddled on our laps.  She is such a lap dog, and very lazy I might but lazy.  This did my soul good like a vacation does your soul good. We sat outside until the fire was out, which was about 2 or 3 hours, and now we are inside in our usual positions on the couch.  Duke is on, and Im halfway through this episode of The Amazing Race,(GO JEFF AND JORDAN!!) we are splitting them up.  Its only fair!  Coco is on Nate's lap, and life is good!  What is the one thing that does your soul good?  What calms you, and relaxes? 

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Nathan and i have been married for about a year and a half.  For the first year of our marriage we lived in China Grove, NC.  Nate already had a house there and so we lived there until we could sell and buy something in a better location for us.  I work in Lincolnton so that was a heck of a drive everyday and with us being so far away we never got any pets.  I've always wanted a dog, not one that is just an outside dog that you just go to feed and not do anything else with, but one that is actually apart of the family, where you see their personality come out and learn to love things about them and they love things about you.  I have to say, we were inspired to get a pet by our friends.  They have dogs and they are so sweet and such a big part of their family now, we wanted to have that too!  So I started looking on  We were going to get a dog from the pound or somewhere like that, but I looked and looked and saw some cute ones, but never THE one.  But one day I stumbled across Coco!  She is from the Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas.  These folks are hard core about their dogs.  They rescue them from really bad situations and put them in VERY good homes.  The dogs are fully vetted once you get them.  Anywho, I found Coco there and immediatly fell in love with her.  So we contacted the organization and filled out the adoption papers.  I personally think their adoption process is a little much, but I understand that these dogs have come from very bad situations and they want only the best for them. 

Our new baby Coco wasnt even born when she was rescued.  Her mommy was found in an old abandoned house along with several other breeds of dogs.  Someone had dumped them there and left them for dead.  Luckily someone found her and send her to the rescue.  Anita, the lady over the rescue, took Coco's mom to the vet just for a normal check up.  She had no idea that she was even pregnant, and she started having the babys in her lap!  She got to help deliver all the babys, but Coco's mom was so sick she couldnt take care of her new babys so they had to be bottle fed and kept up by the rescue.  Coco's mom is a Schnauzer, but we dont know what her dad is.  Were thinking Dotson, or Basset.  She is so beautiful!  She is the only one of the puppies that was light colored, all the rest were dark colors.  She also is the independent one of the group.  She is 14 weeks old today, and she weighs 12lbs! 

When we went to get her today Nate and I didnt know what to do if something was wrong or if we didnt feel right about something, so Nate said, I'll know by the look on your face and if you pick her up and she starts licking you it will all be over!... She licked my face... but not very nasty, just cute. 

We got her home after taking a little visit to petsmart and she is pretty freaked out I think.  We got her a bed and as soon as we sat the bed down, she immediatly went to it and thats where she has been ever since!  Luckily Im off work tomorrow, so I'll get to spend all day with her and get to know her a little better.  I cant wait for her to feel like she's at home! 

Monday, February 8, 2010

But I had tickets to the SUPER BOWL JESUS!

We had friends over for the Super Bowl last night!  Im so thankful for all our family and friends!  About 20 of our friends came over and hung out we had quite the spread of food!  Im still full!  Anyway.... everytime I hear the words Super Bowl I think of this video and it makes me laugh so hard I almost pee!  btw... this is NOT how Christians should be!  :) 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup

I had lunch with a friend today and I ordered their special, which included cream of mushroom soup.  I've never had cream of mushroom soup by itself, so I tried it and it was WONDERFUL!  WOW!!!  It was SO good.   I wanted Nate to taste it today so I decided to make it for supper tonight!  It turned out just as good as I hoped!  Today is also a special day because two years ago today, Nathan asked me to marry him!  It was so funny the way he did it.  We were going to paint his kitchen that day and I got to his house and he called me into the kitchen.  He had this HORRIBEL ugly picutre of jallepenos up on the wall asking me if I thought it would look good there once we painted the kitchen.  I insisted that he was insane but HE insisted that I go take the picture down to try another one... so I finally did, and he had the ring hanging on the nail behind the picture!  I turned around after I saw it and he asked me if I would marry him and of course I said yes, and the rest is history!  Im so in love with him and fall more in love with him every day!  God has blessed me so much, and has blessed our marriage, I thank GOD every day for my life!  Im so blessed....