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Loving a Law Student

I am sure some of my readers are sick of hearing about my AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge and I’m sure you are bored with my picture-less reports of food intake that I have been using as a sorry excuse for blog posts. Since I feel your pain, I thought I would write about something that is slightly more interesting and that has a great, easy dinner recipe as well. Some of you may know that my husband is in law school right now. I may have that on my about me page, but I’m not sure. Maybe that means I should update it!? Anyway, that is how we both got over to San Antonio in the first place, because he was accepted to school here and then we got engaged.

Law school is very interesting. I have no interest in most of the academic side of things, but I am interested in how to help and support my husband as he works very hard to do well in school. He studies 6 days a week for an average of 8 hours a day. In that 8 hours he is doing any of the following combination of school related activities: reading, going to class, researching and/or working to gain practical experience. Because he is very busy with school, it means I have a good amount of free time. It might not seem like it, since I am not writing blogs up the wazoo – but I have a lot more time on my hands to do my various activities – running, cooking, baking, working, blogging, napping and hanging out with friends.

Back to helping and supporting my law student. Over the past 5 semester of law school, I have learned that my husband now speaks a foreign language (law) which I do not want to learn. I listen but really do not understand anything until he gives me a practical application of what he is learning. So, I don’t help him study, ever. I do occasionally proofread papers for him, but he hasn’t had to write that many and again, I don’t understand most of the content anyway. So what do I do? I try to keep the house picked up, I try to keep the laundry done, and I try to cook food for him. The most important thing that I do is pray for him, but I’m not real consistent at that either. Basically, supporting and loving my law student husband has boiled down to feeding him and praying that God will help him do great in school. Oh yeah, I do buy a lot of chips and energy drinks for him and keep him supplied with baked goods – what better things to fuel a body than carbs, caffeine and sugar?

On the note of cooking for him, I tried out a new recipe today. I found it on Pinterest and decided to give it a whirl. Of course, there is no way I could actually follow a recipe exactly, so I added a couple little twists. First of all, I have to show you what I bought at Costco:

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Like I really need a huge jar of Famous Dave’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles! So I snacked on these and other veggies while making the awesome new dinner for Ben.

Source: thecountrycook.net via E on Pinterest

 

And now for my version: Put half the 32 ounce bag of tator tots in the slow cooker. Top with some shredded cheese. Chop up garlic, onion and red pepper. De-skin and dice your chicken. I had to do this step because I bought a HUGE pack of chicken at Costco (only $10) but it was not boneless or skinless. You pay for someone else to do it, or you spend a little extra time cooking.

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Throw the chicken and chopped veggies in, top with more cheese.

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Add remaining tator tots, more cheese (I kind of ran out at this stage, oops!) and pour 3/4 cup of milk over the whole thing. Sprinkle with salt, pepper or preferably, Tony Chachere’s seasoning. Turn on the slow cooker to low and let cook for about 4 hours, or until your chicken is cooked through.

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It smells amazing, and Ben is so lucky that I don’t eat dairy or he would have never gotten one bite of this! Even though I ran out of cheese, he thought it was very good. Yay me for finding a good Pinterest recipe.  I can’t remember what the world was like when we didn’t have Google or Pinterest to find quick, easy dinner recipes. Goodness, people actually must have used cookbooks and talked to their neighbors and friends to come up with new ideas! Huh, what a revelation!

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Cooking

 

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Peanut Butter Carmel Snicker Cookie bars

Peanut Butter Carmel Snicker Cookie bars

I asked Ben what dessert he would like me to make over the weekend and his immediate response was, “those peanut butter bars I like.” Now, to most people, that might sound pretty random, but I knew exactly what he meant. No-Bake PB bars which I make with white cookies of some kind, not chocolate cookies as the recipe calls for. But, I wasn’t in the mood to make something I had already done. I wanted to make new, exciting desserts. So, I decided to make a version of Death by Snicker bars, which I had seen on Iowagirleats.com. I didn’t want to make the whole cookie base from scratch, so I used a bag of Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix as my base.

I mixed as directed on the package and then added three chopped up snicker bars. The mixture was a little thick, so I decided to add 1/2 cup of oatmeal and one more egg. After that was well mixed I plopped it into a 9″ pie pan and on the top, I spooned the dulce de leche (mexican caramel sauce) and swirled it around.

I baked it at 350 degrees for about 45-55 minutes. I’m really not sure on the time because I forgot about it until I started smelling peanut butter cookies! When I took it out the middle was a little loose, but it firmed up after sitting in the fridge overnight. Ben said they were pretty good, but he still liked the other ones better. Oh well, I tried to make something new and tasty. I’ll have to make the PB bars after he eats all of these.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Cooking

 

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Mini Apple Pie Cookies

Each Monday, we attend a dinner and bible study and I usually bring dessert. I’m trying to branch out a little from the usual cake or cupcake routine, so this week I decided to find a recipe I could make with the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix. I bought the mix at Christmas-time with thoughts that I would make and decorate sugar cookies, but if you read about our 2011 Holiday season, you’ll see that I did NOT have time for any extra anything! So tonight, thanks to BettyCrocker.com recipes, I got an idea for mini apple pie cookies. The original recipe can be found here, which is actually for Mini Pumpkin Pie cookies. I will be making those next fall for sure!

Pumpkin Pie Cookies

Don’t those look awesome?? Yeah, I couldn’t resist attempting to make something similar because if you read my baking or cooking blogs, you know that it is impossible for me to follow a recipe 100%. So, I’ll tell you how I made my Mini Apple Pie Cookies. I mixed the bag of cookie mix as suggested, 1 stick of butter plus one egg. I then placed muffin cups into my muffin tin and put about 2 to 3 tablespoons of dough in the cups. Trying to press the dough into pie crust-like shapes was difficult, because the dough just stuck to my fingers. I baked the dough about 5-8 minutes in the oven at 350, until the edges were a little brown, but not fully cooked. I took them out of the oven, and added about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of canned apple pie filling to each cup, kind of pressing a hole in the middle. I topped them with a little more dough, which I tried to make like a crumble, but just didn’t get right. That will be a future assignment. I popped them back in the oven for about 10 minutes or maybe more, until the dough on top looked done and the edges were golden brown.

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Although my version doesn’t look as pretty as the Betty Crocker website, I will say that the apple pie cookies were a hit. I was surprised at how good they tasted, and at the flavor combination. You were definitely eating a sugar cookie, but it also was like eating apple pie. All in all, a great, quick dessert (one hour total to make 18 cookies), the only downside is that NONE of it was from scratch.

What is your go-to dessert recipe? What new dessert have you made lately?

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Baking

 

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Blueberry Bisquick Muffins

I had just a little Bisquick mix that had been sitting in the cupboard for way too long, so I decided to make a quick batch of muffins. The blueberries on the edge of going bad got added to the mix because what is better than home-made blueberry muffins? I found an old recipe for Bisquick muffins, which I am curious to see how they will turn out due to the lack of ingredients, mainly, sugar. The modified recipe is below. Click the link to see the original recipe from the 1933 Bisquick Recipe book (http://oldrecipebook.com/bisquick-muffins.shtml):

1~ c of Bisquick Mix (whatever was left in the box)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1/2 c milk
1/4 c applesauce
left over blueberries

Pre-heat oven to 400°. Beat egg and milk together. In separate bowl, mix bisquick and sugar. Add egg mixture and mix well. Since the batter was pretty thick at this point, I added about a 1/4 cup of applesauce and then about 2 more Tbsp of milk. Mix in blueberries at end, so you don’t smash them. Grease muffin pan or place muffin cups in pan. Pour batter into pan, this made six cups filled 3/4 or so. Bake until brown on top and a cake tester comes out clean (about 25 minutes).

I also greased my muffin pan with a homemade grease, which is suggested for use when baking cakes so they don’t get burned or stuck in the pan. We’ll see how that works. I have non-stick pans, but usually use muffin cups so I don’t have to wash the pans as often. I figure that’ll save the non-stick properties. The grease recipe is below:

1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 c shortening
1/4 c flour

Mix all these ingredients together (my shortening got lumpy, so that took a while to smooth out). You can save it for three months in an airtight container.

Blueberry Bisquick Muffins

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2011 in Cooking

 

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