Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chicken Empanadas

When I visited Julie in PA a few weeks ago, one of the best meals she made was Chicken Empanadas. I haven't stopped thinking about them, so I decided to make them tonight.

Here's how:

Chicken Empanadas

3 cups chopped chicken

1 bag (8oz.) shredded Colby & Monterey Jack cheese

8 oz whipped cream cheese

1/2 diced red pepper

1/2 can diced green chilies (or jalapenos)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 (15oz.) refrigerated pie crust (or make your own biscuit dough!)

Preheat oven to 400*.

In large bowl, combine all ingredients, setting pie crusts aside. Cut 3 inch circles out of the dough and place a tablespoon of filling on each circle. Dab water on the edges of the circles and fold over, crimping the edges with a fork.

Bake 15-20 minutes until golden (I spread butter on the tops during the last few minutes of baking to help them brown).

I ended up with extra filling, so I baked it in a small casserole topped with cheese. Serve with sour cream and Mexican rice.


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Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Update

What a fun weekend we had! To start off, my dad and I had lunch at Happy Tummy and I loved their Infidel sandwich...yummy!

Friday night, I spent some time with my high school friend, Bethany, her sons Isaac & Jude and mom Debbi. Bethany lives out of the country, so time with her is super special! How cute is Isaac?!?!

Saturday evening, my mom and I went to a beautiful outdoor wedding at a plantation in Belle Mina. We enjoyed visiting with some BSF friends at the wedding!

Sunday morning, we three girls headed to Athens to hear the Dugger family (of 19 Kids and Counting fame) at a friend's church. The kids were so cute and we enjoyed hearing Jim Bob's testimony!

Here I am with their bus!

For lunch, we ate at my fav Athens spot, Sweet Peppers! They play Christian music, serve Coke Zero and have a delish Cuban sandwich!

Sunday night at church was also really great, with a message on end times by guest revivalist, Len Turner. I don't have pics, but I do have the sermon series on CD, if anyone wants to borrow!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I ♥ Decorating

I’m passionate about a lot of things in life, but one of the most consuming is my passion for interior design and decorating. I find such fulfillment in nesting my own home or helping someone else beautify their home on a budget. I’d love to one day be able to work in the industry full-time, so to that end…

…a few weeks ago, I decided to go back to school to get my Interior Design Certificate at UAH!

Because classes meet weeknights, including Tuesdays, I had to make the tough decision to take a year off from BSF. My BSF friends are super supportive of my decision and I told them to hold my spot for next year!

The certificate program can be spread out into two years or squeezed into one. I’m a squeezer and plan on being finished in June 2012! This term, I’m taking Architectural Drawing and Interior Design I and I’ve already had a blast buying my supplies and doing my first round of homework.

Monday night in Architectural Drawing, we learned how to use our supplies and started practicing our architectural lettering. How fun is that!?!!? Here are some pics I snapped when the teacher wasn’t looking!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Food Network Find in Huntsville

Have you all discovered the Great Food Truck Race on Food Network? It’s such a fun show and last season I learned about a new sandwich- the Vietnamese Banh Mi. I so craved one, that just last week I goggled “Banh Mi, Huntsville AL” but only found shady-looking Vietnamese restaurants I wasn’t willing to try.

Today, I joined two friends for lunch at Shea’s Express and discovered a new, seasonal menu with…you guess it...a Banh Mi!

Here’s the menu description:

Banh Mi on a Toasted French Baguette

Grilled Boneless Pork Rib, Pickled Carrots & Daikon, House-Made Pickled Jalapenos & Cilantro

I just googled “daikon” and it’s a mild flavored, very large, white East Asian radish. The daikon was shredded with the carrots, so I couldn’t really pick out its individual flavor, but it’s a winning combanation with the mayonaise-type sauce! I quickly realized the jalapenos were too spicy for me and was glad I had gotten them on the side.

Not only did I enjoy my friends and my Banh Mi, but I enjoyed finding a Food Network treat in Huntsville!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

NQC 2011

My family and I just got back the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, KY- three solid days of Southern Gospel! You all know that Southern Gospel is in my blood, so getting to see my favorite artists under one roof was unbelievable!

Our days were filled with sessions like the Gaither Vocal Band Reunion and a Gaither Sing-a-Long. I’m a major David Phelps fan and was thrilled to get to see him perform so much! He brought the house down each time he sang!

The evening concerts were from 5:30-11:30pm each of the three nights we were there. Artists like Jason Crabb, the Hoppers, the Perrys, Gold City, the Kingsman, the Booth Brothers, Greater Vision, GVB, Ivan Parker, Signature Sound and Brian Free and Assurance filled the 18+ hours with much celebration and worship!

Southern Gospel has such a strong heritage and it was an honor to see the legendary writers who wrote many of the church standards we all know by heart. A lot of these guys- Ray Dean Reese, Gerald Wolfe, Bill Gaither, Larnelle Harris, Tim Riley, Brian Free- are the guys I’ve listened to my whole life, so I was having major flashbacks! Not only do I love Southern Gospel, I love that my entire family loves Southern Gospel and that we can share such great experiences together.

Yes, this is a self-portrait with Bill Gaither & David Phelps

Steve Green...remember "Hide 'Em In Your Heart"?

GVB Reunion:Gary McSpadden, Bill Gaither, Micheal English, Steve Green & Wes Hampton

GVB Reunion: check out David's red plaid shirt and red belt buckle...He wins the style award in my book!

Signature Sound

GVB: Wes Hampton, David Phelps, Bill Gaither, Micheal English & Mark Lowery

I wish I had taken this pic, but with the restraining order... :)

{If any of my friends need help loading up their iPods with "God's music", I'll be glad to offer suggestions!}

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Will Never Forget

As America pauses to remember the great loss of September 11, 2001, I wanted to record my memories of that horrific day as a tribute to those who lost their lives and for their loved ones who live daily without them.

Ten years ago, I was in my sophomore year at Pensacola Christian College. On that Tuesday morning as I left my sewing class (a Home Ec major’s plight) and headed to chapel, my sister caught up with me with the news that an airplane had crashed into one the skyscrapers in New York. I assumed it was a small plane and was saddened, but continued on my way.

By the time chapel started a few minutes later, the seriousness of the events was becoming clearer and the entire student body sat in stunned silence as updates were read. Many students were desperate to contact their loved ones in New York and Washington, DC.

The next day’s chapel service was quickly adjusted into a patriotic rally, ending with a red, white and blue balloon drop. I remember so clearly singing “America the Beautiful” but couldn't choke out one of the verses, because the emotion was overwhelming.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Even in the darkness of those first days after the attacks, it was obvious that America was going to stand united and would be undimmed by all our tears. How we pleaded for God’s grace to cover those whose lives were shattered.

That night at church, my pastor, Jim Schettler, preached on Psalm 11. It was as if the Lord had given us that special passage on the very day we needed the reminder of God’s sovereignty. Where was God on this horrible day? He was on His throne.

Psalm 11

1 I trust in the LORD for protection.
So why do you say to me,
“Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety!
2 The wicked are stringing their bows
and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings.
They shoot from the shadows
at those whose hearts are right.
3 The foundations of law and order have collapsed.
What can the righteous do?”
4 But the LORD is in His holy Temple;
the LORD still rules from heaven.
He watches everyone closely,
examining every person on earth.
5 The LORD examines both the righteous and the wicked.
He hates those who love violence.
6 He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked,
punishing them with scorching winds.
7 For the righteous LORD loves justice.
The virtuous will see His face.

In the weeks leading up to the tenth anniversary of the attacks, I have found strange comfort in reading the stories of loss and heroic acts. They humble me and break my heart, but I can’t stop reading them. I feel it’s my patriotic duty to relive and never forget.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wreath Craze

I had a blast Thursday night crafting with Jennifer and Brittni, two of my craftiest friends!

We each created burlap wreaths we've seen on Pinterest. Here's the one I made:

It took just a couple of hours and just cost a few dollars...

I think one of my love languages is burlap, so learning how to make this wreath and the rosettes thrilled my soul!

Let the wreath craze continue!

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Bama Football Wreath

Football season is upon us and I wanted an Alabama football wreath but didn't want to shell out the big bucks to buy one, so I decided to make one!

Here's my shopping list:

-1/2 yard each of four coordinating fabrics

-straw wreath form

-wooden football decal

-ribbon for hanging

Here's what I did:

-Cut fabric into 14 inch strips of varying widths

-tied knots, alternating the fabrics and making sure the knots were pushed close together

Here's how I finished it up:

-hot glued ribbon to an over-the-door wreath hanger

-hot glued the football to the ribbon

Luckily for me my door was already crimson so my wreath totally coordinates! What I love about this craft is that it's easily made with any fabric choices for any event....and it only took 2 hours!

Roll Tide!

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