27th Anniversary

San Fran PicThis Man….

Stephen and I just celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary this past Friday.  TWENTY SEVEN years folks! We met our senior year in high school. Became fast friends who flirted heavily, but never dated during our high school days. We kept in touch when we left for college. We attended different universities in different cities. We would run into each other on occasion when we were home during the summer months. Ponca City Oklahoma is a small town. You run into everyone you know over the summer months in a small town. We went on quite a few “dates” with some other friends who were official couples. During Christmas break of our sophomore year he asked me to stop by his fraternity house on my way back to my college and say hi. We went to a movie that evening. Our first REAL date. He held my hand during the last 10 minutes of the movie. I was done. I had kissed enough frogs in my life to know I had a prince on my hands! We dated for almost five years before we eventually got hitched. But get hitched we did!

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27 years of wedded bliss and these munchkins came from that union. I love being married to my best friend, love the crazy boys he gave me and all the fun we have as a family. God knew exactly what I needed in a husband. A man who loves the Lord, keeps me in stitches, loves me unconditionally, provides for our family, loves my parents, keeps me young and active, enjoys life in general and exploring our world together!

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I love you more and more every single day that we are together! Here’s to many more years together!

Moving….

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Well, we all have that one friend that we grew up with. I’m not talking about a childhood friend. No, this is the friend that you grow up with as adults. We raised kids together, cried together, fought and made up together, got crazy together (more times than not), learned how to be responsible adults together. You know what I mean. That ONE friend… Well, mine is MOVING away. Granted, she is only moving an hour and a half away, but that seems like 500 miles when you are used to walking over to her house at any time of the day or night.

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Our babies grew up together.

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They are like brothers and sisters. We watched them go off to school together. Graduate from high school together…We traveled with them. Celebrated special times together.

IMG_0295Watched our kids get their hearts broken. We were always there for each other, good times and bad. We celebrated holidays together. Halloween seemed to be our favorite.

We helped at a golf tournament in honor of our good friend who passed away from colon cancer. We had the privilege of praying with, and for that friend during her suffering.

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Even when I am upset with her and want to ring her neck (usually because she is too worried about everyone else and not herself)I can’t help but smile form ear to ear when she walks in the room. We have celebrated 17 years of birthdays together.

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We spent summers at the lake together. We have done LIFE together. Even our hubby’s like each other! You KNOW how hard the “spouse” situation can be. We are like one big family. Our kids fought like cats and dogs as they grew up. Especially Tristan and Kayla, the two oldest of each family. They both wanted to be “top dog.” UGH.

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We were there when Kayla married her prince charming. What a blessing he has been to the family. It was a joy seeing Kayla grow to become such an amazing young woman.

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What a treat to be a part of Kayla’s big day.

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And now Kayla and Lance have done the unthinkable…they had a baby. A beautiful grand baby for my best friend. She is PRECIOUS! I can’t imagine being an hour and half away from a grand child.

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This would be the reason my Tammie is moving. Although my heart is breaking it also is overflowing with joy for my friend. I look forward to the day that I get to experience not just the joy of a grandchild, but the joy of being a mother-in-law. I hope and pray that I can be a blessing, not a curse, to my future daughters-in-law.

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I am so excited for this next stage in life for my sweet friend. I only (for selfish reasons) wish it could be closer to me. Tammie, I love you with all my heart. I plan on wearing out the turnpike between us. Please know how much joy you have brought to my life and how big the hole will be after that moving van pulls out of town tomorrow. Hugs and kisses!

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Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. 10 If either of them FALLS DOWN, ONE CAN HELP THE OTHER UP. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

Thank you for always being there to help me up. I will always be here to do the same for you. =)

 

Spring Break Pancake Breakfast

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It’s spring break here in Oklahoma. =) I have been hanging out with these two munchkins this week. We have watched a movie, slept in, and worked on the fire pit in the back yard. My hubby has been building us a firepit. It is now done and ready for some s’more cooking action!!  I sure LOVE my boys! Looking forward to seeing my oldest munchkin, my Flyboy this weekend.  I fixed cinnamon applesauce pancakes for breakfast yesterday per the request of my medium and small munchkins. This is one of our favorite Weight Watchers recipes. I hope your family loves them as much as we do.

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Cinnamon Applesauce Pancakes

Ingredients:

2 cups of White Lily self rising flour

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

4 teaspoons of canola oil

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup of fat-free milk (I am really loving the Fair Life Fat-free milk)

Directions:

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well. Yes, I know I am using self rising flour AND baking powder. These are extra fluffy pancakes and we like them that way. Set aside.IMG_0248

Combine all of the wet ingredients (eggs, applesauce, oil and milk) in a small bowl and mix well.IMG_0250

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir just until combined. IMG_0252Set aside.IMG_0255

Heat a nonstick griddle or pan on medium high. Spray the pan with nonstick spray. I gently wipe the skillet with a paper towel to remove the excess spray. IMG_0251

Can you tell this is my pancake griddle? There are tell-tale marks that show where I place my pancakes! I cook six per batch. Once the griddle is hot, place about 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake on the griddle. IMG_0254

These will puff up nicely. If you prefer more of a “flapjack” style pancake, just add more milk to thin the batter. We like ours fluffy! Once the bubbles form on the surface, it is time to flip those babies!

IMG_0256They should be a nice golden brown on the other side. Let them cook for about 1-2 additional minutes. I like to sit down with my family when we eat pancakes. I put an oven-proof platter in the oven on 200 degrees F before I start cooking. As they are ready, I place them on the platter in the oven. This keeps them warm and allows us to all sit down together to eat. When I was a little girl, I remember my sweet mom cooking the pancakes as we sat at the table.  We DEVOURED them as they came off the griddle.  She was always the last one who got to eat breakfast. Not fun for the mommy!! IMG_0253 These are great with butter, a nice warm syrup or fresh fruit and vanilla yogurt. Try them out and let me know what you think!

FYI…these babies are 5 Weight Watchers smart points per serving. Serving size is 3 pancakes. I like to eat mine with bananas, blueberries, or strawberries with just a splash of syrup on them. I need just a TINY amount of syrup to get that maple flavor without adding a gaggle of smart points. This recipe makes 7-7.5 servings if made as directed. Happy eating friends!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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My hubby and I spent the weekend at the lake working on remodeling our hall bath. My munchkins were only there for part of the weekend due to activities at home. I got to cook a romantic dinner on Friday night and then a fun, supreme pizza on Saturday night.  I am sharing the recipe for the pizza crust with you. It is made from CAULIFLOWER! The edges were nice and crispy, the flavor was amazing and the veggies were the bomb! I will confess that the slices had to be eaten with a fork. The crust is not strong enough to hold up and eat like regular pizza. I consider this a small sacrifice to pay in order to eat a low carb version of pizza. TOTALLY worth it! Here is the recipe for the crust.

Ingredients:

1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 large eggs, beaten

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place a pizza stone or large cookie sheet in the oven to heat up.

Place the cauliflower pieces in a food processor and pulse until a small rice-like texture is achieved. Pour the cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl. Cover with a paper towel and microwave for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. You can spread it out on a paper towel to decrease the cooling time.

Once cool enough to handle, wrap the cauliflower in a clean, dry kitchen towel. Squeeze the water out of the cauliflower. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze and then squeeze some more! You want to get as much water out as possible. USE your muscles! Place the DRY cauliflower in a clean, dry bowl. Add the cheeses, seasonings and eggs. Combine well.You should have a ball of cauliflower dough in your bowl now.

Place the dough on a large piece of parchment paper and spread out with your hands to form a circle. Press it as thin as you can.  1/4 inch thick will give you the nice, crispy edge. Remove the pan from the oven and CAREFULLY move the parchment paper with the crust onto the hot pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a nice golden brown.

Once golden brown, remove the crust from the oven and top with your favorite pizza sauce, cheese, veggies, meat and more cheese and return it to the oven until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is even browner…about 12-18 minutes. Sprinkle fresh parmesan on the pizza right out of the oven and enjoy!!  DEEEEEELICIOUS!

Secrets to ease and flavor:fullsizerender-105I cheated and used prepackaged cauliflower from Green Giant. You can find it in the produce section of your grocery store. This saved a significant amount of time for me. I also used Penzeys Frozen Pizza Seasoning instead of Italian seasoning. The pizza seasoning and the crushed red pepper really gave it an authentic pizza taste. I order my Penzey spices online at http://www.penzeys.com since they do not have stores in Tulsa. Love my Penzeys spices!! Check them out!  Got a little tickled because I found my pizza slice looking back at me when I started eating….holy jalapeno!fullsizerender-106

Just heated up the leftovers for lunch today. STILL yummy! Heated up the pizza stone, placed the leftover pizza, still on the parchment paper, and heated until cheese was bubbling on the top. =) Had the pleasure of sharing it with my middle munchkin before he headed to school this afternoon. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

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Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Nothing says love like cinnamon chocolate sugar cookies! Here is a sweet little recipe to enhance your hump day. These can be rolled out and cut into fun shapes or just formed into a ball and then rolled in sugar for fun little sweet treats.These are GREAT with an ice-cold glass of milk. I even think they would be perfect for home-made ice cream sandwiches. =)choco-cookie-w-milk-1-of-1

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

2 sticks of butter (room temperature)

1 cup of white sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons of vanilla

2 cups of all-purpose flour

3/4 cup of cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter with the paddle attachment of a mixer until creamy. Add the sugar and mix for about a minute. Scrape down the bowl well and mix again for about 30 seconds. Don’t mix too long. You don’t want this to be an airy batter.
  2. Add the egg and mix on low. Scrape down the bowl and mix again.
  3. Add the vanilla and give it a quick spin, not too long.
  4. In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients together. You can sift them or use a whisk and combine them well together.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix on low just until the dough comes together and sticks to the paddle attachment.
  6. Place parchment paper on a 2 large cookie sheets. Divide dough into half and place one half on each cookie sheet. Cover with more parchment paper and roll out flat. I like my cookies thin so I roll it out pretty thin. Keep in mind you do have to move them from the parchment paper cookie sheet to the cookie sheet you are going to bake them on. After you have rolled them out, leave them covered and place them in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  7.  Remove the dough from the fridge and cut out your shapes. Place the cookies on the other cookie sheet and return to the fridge for at least 10 minutes more.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350.
  9. Remove the cookies from the fridge and cook for 8-12 minutes.
  10. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature and then feel free to decorate.mini-cookies-1-of-1

 

Options:

  1. If you don’t want to cut out shapes you can make simple sugar cookies.Roll  the dough into tablespoon sized balls and then roll in a bowl of white sugar, coating the whole ball. Place onto cookie sheet and flatten with a the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake the same way. As pictured above.
  2. Sprinkle cookies with colored sugar, jimmies, sprinkles etc before baking for a little variety.
  3. If you do not like cinnamon you can just leave it out or replace it with a teaspoon of instant coffee (the powder, not brewed) to deepen the flavor of the chocolate.

I made these for my parents and my in-laws for Valentine’s Day along with a home-made Valentine’s card. Spread the love friends!watts-cookie-1-of-1

Valentine’s Day

img_9498-3Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! What a great opportunity to show someone how much they mean to you and how much you love them.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I Corinthians 13:4-7

fullsizerender-104Do something special for those you love. Make them a valentine. Send a care package to those who are far away. Make some cookies to share with family and friends.img_9439-2

Even the smallest gesture is appreciated when it is done in love. I am a lucky girl. My sweet hubby is fixing us dinner tomorrow night. I love my family and am blessed to have the opportunity to spend special times with them. Spread a little love to someone tomorrow. You never when a kind word, card, cookie or simple act could be just what they need to make their day.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

img_9231-2HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY friends!

 

Sip and See and Oopsie

sip-and-see-invite-1-of-1I had the pleasure of hosting a Sip and See with friends for a precious family this past weekend. We were so excited because everything seemed to be falling in place perfectly…I loved how the invites turned out, the food was the perfect combination of sweet and savory,island-end-1-of-1 the mimosa bar turned out just like I had pictured it in my head,mimosa-bar-1-of-1 the dessert table was a perfect shade of pink….we even had pink popcorn! dessert-table-pic-1-of-1We were organized, unified and ready to open the door to guests with plenty of time to spare. This was truly a miracle! I fly by the seat of my pants in pretty much EVERYTHING I do.  Just when we thought all was well in the Sip and See universe, the ugly truth reared it’s head. Sooooo… you see that sweet little pink cake sitting right there so innocently on the table? It was a masterpiece of Pink Champagne cake, three layers, with two layers of cheesecake delicately placed in between those luscious cake layers. It was topped with a pale pink cream cheese icing. It was hiding a deep, dark secret. As I was cutting into that innocent looking cake, it started to fight me as I got down towards the bottom layers. The knife slid easily through the first three layers and then it just stopped. I was baffled. As I struggled to pull out the first slice it was a mangled mess. I assumed the first piece always looks a little ragged, so I proceeded to cut a second piece. It still fought me. Ok, I thought, third times a charm. Well, that is when the ugly secret was revealed…I failed to remove the layer of parchment paper from the bottom layer of the cheesecake!  How could I have done that? So what was I to do? I improvised and just served the top three layers and all was well. The cake was a HUGE hit. Thanks to a couple of glasses of champagne, I was able to laugh off the mistake and enjoy the rest of the party. The moral of this story is simple…go with the flow. Mistakes are going to happen even when everything is planned out perfectly.cake-table-1-of-1This sweet little family was tickled to share their baby girl with friends and family AND have a little rest for their arms for a few hours. Congratulations Lance and Kayla on your sweet baby girl! I am blessed to have been a part of your celebration. XOXO  Love you!reid-family-1-of-1