Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The One Where My Car Started Smoking

This post could alternately be titled, "I Need Coffee".

Or maybe "It's Only Tuesday."

But probably a better one would be "God Is Good."

Because He is. All. The. Time.

This weekend was glorious - beautiful weather, a walk-slash-run with the Mister, and a little bit of house hunting (WHAT!!!!).

We had a nice spread, too, on Saturday for breakfast. I mean, can you PICTURE cinnamon roll French toast?

I didn't think so. So here's a fancy schmancy picture for your eyes to enjoy.

((fooled ya! picture coming soon!))

On Sunday, the weather was so gorgeous we decided to take a drive over to a nearby neighborhood and rolled the windows down to enjoy the sunshine. I love how our conversation primarily centered around how pretty it was that day despite the stink of our city.

I distinctly remember it going something like this:

"Wow this area smells bad. Is that really outside or did we leave food in here last night? It smells like eggs!"
"It smells like maple syrup!"
"Like BURNED maple syrup!"
"Did we eat anything with syrup?"
"I spilled shrimp and grits on pants last night." (<- seriously)
"But it doesn't SMELL like shrimp and grits!"
"Was there syrup in the grits?"
"No, but there was honey on your chicken!"
"I ate all my chicken, though."

Detectives, that we are.

Let me tell you how GOOD the Lord is. This neighborhood was right across the highway from AutoZone. The car died at a stop sign but we were able to crank it enough to coast into the parking lot as smoke started coming from the hood.

My poor little car. Poor, poor thing.

Our AutoZone guy checked it out and was able to help us fix it enough to get us home, but told us there was a bigger problem and that a mechanic needed to see it ASAP.

Monday's verdict? (according to Joe the Mechanic)



Basically, my little Honda baby needs a whole new engine. So back and forth we went, weighing the options, trying to decide what to do. Hubs so graciously offered to be my chauffeur so OF COURSE I immediately picture a scene from Driving Miss Daisy because THIS IS HOW MY MIND WORKS:

Feel free to click HERE if you'd like some audio to go along with this visual.

UPDATE: I've JUST DECIDED that the Miss Daisy tune is the theme song for our morning commute. Things are about to get crazy, people. We know how to party.

So needless to say, it's been an interesting couple of days. Those of us that do not fully understand the language and the workings of the car (read: me) and those of us who better understand such things (read: Hubs and Joe the Mechanic) have had some decisions to make. Nothing really felt like the right thing to do, and it's kind of stressed Those Of Us Who Do Not Understand out.

Earlier today I just said a quick little prayer, asking the Good Sweet Lord if he would show us what to do, because I sure didn't have a clue.

And then I called my dad, because he's a pretty swell guy. And because that's just what I do when I'm confused. He talked me down, told me to get back to work and everything would be fine.

And you know what? It was fine. Things got better than fine.

Because less than an hour later, we find out that my car has an EXTENDED WARRANTY that will cover the replacement! Despite the overall warranty being expired, there's a place in it that says the engine is covered for things like this.

God's timing is perfect. PERFECT.

Stay tuned for the rrrrrrrrrest of the story in the next update.

I hope you have a happy Monday Thursday Tuesday (or whatever day it happens to be now).

But for everything else, let's remember to take our burdens to the Lord. And leave them there.

Joey+Rory: Leave It There

***Side note: If your car ever starts running hot, it helps to roll down the windows, then turn the heater on. Wise words from my padre.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Crawfish & Corn Bisque

My friend Tony is HOT.

He's also tall.

And Southern.

And a HUGE help in the kitchen.

You totally saw that coming.

Don't mind me. It's the end of the day and I'm kind of struggling with productivity right now because THIS is how I feel:

I don't really hate everyone. Just pants right now, I think. But really. Can we all agree that this crazy-cloudy-cold weather calls for stretchy pants and oversized shirts only?

I just re-read that sentence and WOW I sound like a slob. But Christmas is over, a new year is here, and I'm MORE THAN READY for my 75-99 -degree weather. Bring on SUMMER and sunshine!

Anyway. Back to Tony the Kitchen Boyfriend.

Was that weird? Let's just go with it.

One of the best things about this cold weather is the requirement to stay in and eat soup at night. I've made more soup over the past two months than I have all year. LOVE.

I've only made this twice this year, because crawfish is out of season and therefore $$$$$$ --- but when I DO make it, it lasts us for at least 2 meals (with seconds).

This is actually my sister's recipe - she made this years ago for an event at our church and I VIVIDLY remember one of the older men of the church telling her: "Honey, if you make this for any man, he will be yours for LIFE."

She got married in April last year. I guess it worked.

The other key ingredient in this dish? Behoooooollld the Crab Boil:

You can get this in either liquid or powder form - either works fine. I prefer the liquid but bought the powder when my grocery store was out. But be careful -- just a little bit of this stuff goes a LONNNG way. You won't be sorry! :)

And BONUS: If your crawfish is already thawed, this comes together EASILY in under 15 minutes.

I don't have a pretty picture of this dish because we always INHALE it. But trust me on this, okay? 

This dish reminds me of home. AAAAAAND it's going to knock your socks off. JUST YOU WAIT.

Jenn's Crawfish & Corn Bisque

Serves 4-6

What you'll need:
1 lb of frozen crawfish tails, thawed (or fresh, if they are in season)
1 stick of butter (I use 3/4 stick)
2 cans of cream of potato soup
2 cans creamed corn
1 pint half and half
1 tbsp of chopped onion
1 tbsp of chopped green onions
1 capful of liquid Crab Boil (or 1 tsp of powder form)
Tony's, to taste

What you'll do:
Saute' onion and green onion in butter until clear. Add crawfish tails and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add cream corn, potato soup, half and half, and crab boil, stirring after each addition. Sprinkle with Tony's, then simmer for about 20 minutes.

Cupcakes Times Two

Happy belated New Year party people!

Let's get down to business.* Sometimes you just need a cupcake.

And if you're anything like me, sometimes you just have to bake. Most of the time, when I really want to unwind I have to do one of two things: A) Bake B) Take a nap.

Life is GREAT if I get to do both.

I don't know what it is, but baking is really relaxing for me. I'm not that great at it - and I'd love to get better - but I just love it. Just taking time to not have to think about anything in the world except for mixing, stirring, piping, etc., is very calming. I'm in my "zone" when I'm in the kitchen.

A day or two after Christmas, I was feeling a little homesick and sad that the holidays were basically over. Our apartment was clean (for once), and I wasn't quite ready to take down the Christmas tree, but I just had to DO something.

So I baked.

And you know what? It felt GOOD. It felt happy.

I'd recently stumbled on this recipe from Jessica at "How Sweet It Is" that made only two cupcakes, which was perfect considering we were still coming off of all of the holiday meals and snacks :)

But the trick was making the icing. I wanted to bust out the decorating kit and skills from my class back in August, but WITHOUT having to make icing that would cover an entire cake.

So, after a little digging, I used Jessica's vanilla buttercream icing with the measurements from Dessert for Two.


I'll admit, I was pretty happy with how they turned out.

That is, until this happened.

But that's another story for another day :) At least it gave us a nice laugh.

Happy Thursday, friends! Let's rock on into Friday :)

Find the "Cupcake for Two" recipe HERE.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing for Two
recipe from How Sweet It Is, measurements from Dessert for Two

What you'll need:
4 tbsp butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp of milk (or more, if you prefer a thinner texture)
sprinkles -> A MUST

What to do:
Cream butter with an electric mixture until smooth and creamy. Slowly add in powdered sugar and slowly continue to mix. Increase speed slightly and add vanilla, keeping everything in the center with a spatula (with such a small amount, it will spread very thin, very quickly). If the mixture gets a little too thick, add milk a little at a time until satisfied. Frost onto cupcakes once they are cooled.

*To DEFEAT...the Hunnnnzzzz!!!!