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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The BEST chicken

I made dinner tonight.  Between being sick and dealing with the holidays for the past week, this is a feat worth noting.  I still don't feel that great, but we wanted something that tasted wholesome and comforting.

Enter: Honey Pecan Chicken.  It was delicious.  Easy, fast, flavorful.  Neither of us could get enough.  You can't beat that for a weekday sort of meal.  I have no idea where I got the recipe, but if you know who created it, I owe them a thank you.


Honey Pecan Chicken
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons cornflake crumb
Garlic salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 pound chicken breast tenders

Preheat oven to 425F.  Line a baking dish with foil and coat with cooking spray if not nonstick.  Sprinkle pecans, cornflake crumbs,and garlic on wax paper. Whisk together honey and soy sauce.  Dip both sides of each chicken tender in the honey mixture and roll in nut mixture, placing on baking sheet when well-coated.  Continue with remaining chicken.  Bake chicken 15 minutes, turning each piece after 10.  Serve immediately. Enjoy!

I would think that the leftovers would be delicious cold on a salad or in a wrap, but we had no leftovers, so you'll have to tell me!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Let's Fall in Love: With Drinks, Dancing, and Celebration to follow (part II)

The celebration continues!

Bartender ... BFF


And I'm not gonna lie ... there's probably going to be a part III!

In case you missed it ...
I bought a dress and completely changed it.  We had a marathon final week of engagement.  I giggled my way through our rehearsal.  Kenny got grilled at our rehearsal dinner.  The groomsmen ran amok in downtown Springfield. The girls got gorgeous.  We exchanged mushy wedding-day gifts.  The guys got fancy and then got dancy.  I became a Bride.  There was a first First Look. I shared my Somethings.  The boys made the most of trolley-time. And did their thing on the Capital grounds. The girls took photos at the hotel. Everyone arrived at the church. We walked down the aisle. We declared our intentions and my cousin preached. We exchanged our vows. Our hands were blessed. Kenny put a ring on it and kissed his bride. We were pronounced Mr and Mrs! We left the church in a blizzard of confetti, and took a "just-married" trolley ride. We made it legal. We took pictures with our families, followed by wedding party portraits. I hit a low point and poured over reception details. We received our guests. The wedding party was introduced. My Dad checked his toast off of his to-do list. Our Best Man and Maid of Honor shared toasts as well. The we cut our cake and had our First Dance. We shared a dance with our parents. And had an Anniversary Dance to celebrate all the marrieds. The photobooth opened for business. I serenaded my husband. The dance floor opened. Kenny's grandmother rocked the dance floor. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Five for Friday, vol 28

1. You don't get annoyed when I ask really stupid questions about basic basketball rules ... through the entire game.

2. You let me put the dogs in festive holiday sweaters (and I think you secretly think it's cute too).

3. Your terrible grammar and spelling are rubbing off on me, but my handwriting still wins.

4. I love watching the relationship you have with your mom.

5. You dared to try a Guinness ice cream float, and insisted on finishing the whole thing (even though it was seriously foul).

I love you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Let's Fall in Love: Grandma Gets Down

Our reception ended up being a really great party, and everyone was on the dance floor at one point or another.  Some guests never left it.  Kenny's grandma was one of those people.  She cut a rug nearly all night.  She was the hit of the party.



Having our grandparents at our wedding was truly an honor and a memory we will cherish forever, but seeing Grandma V dance the night away was icing on the cake. 


In case you missed it ...
I bought a dress and completely changed it.  We had a marathon final week of engagement.  I giggled my way through our rehearsal.  Kenny got grilled at our rehearsal dinner.  The groomsmen ran amok in downtown Springfield. The girls got gorgeous.  We exchanged mushy wedding-day gifts.  The guys got fancy and then got dancy.  I became a Bride.  There was a first First Look. I shared my Somethings.  The boys made the most of trolley-time. And did their thing on the Capital grounds. The girls took photos at the hotel. Everyone arrived at the church. We walked down the aisle. We declared our intentions and my cousin preached. We exchanged our vows. Our hands were blessed. Kenny put a ring on it and kissed his bride. We were pronounced Mr and Mrs! We left the church in a blizzard of confetti, and took a "just-married" trolley ride. We made it legal. We took pictures with our families, followed by wedding party portraits. I hit a low point and poured over reception details. We received our guests. The wedding party was introduced. My Dad checked his toast off of his to-do list. Our Best Man and Maid of Honor shared toasts as well. The we cut our cake and had our First Dance. We shared a dance with our parents. And had an Anniversary Dance to celebrate all the marrieds. The photobooth opened for business. I serenaded my husband. The dance floor opened.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Five for Friday, vol 27

1. Whole Foods is your happy place.

2. You were completely blown away by your surprise birthday party and it was really cute to see how pleased you were.

3.  You ingratiate the dogs to you with peanut butter.

4.  You constantly leave work late because you physically cannot leave one things undone.

5.  You text your dude friends about beers you like.

I love you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chocolate Chunkers

It's that time of year ... cookie season.  I am not usually one to make a ton of Christmas cookies.  There is just too much temptation during this season without adding to it on my own.  I cannot resist cookie dough, you see.Regardless, these are phenomenal cookies.  Fully loaded.  I've never thought to add craisins to chocolate cookies, but the result is delicious.  This is one of those cookie recipes that puts the chocolate at center-stage, so it's worth it to buy high quality bars and chop them yourself.  I am a fan of the bagged chocolate chip, but the added effort is worth it for this one.

CHOCOLATE CHUNKERS
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks
6 ounces premium-quality milk or white chocolate, chopped into chunks
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans
1 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the butter, bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate and heat, stirring occasionally, just until melted -- the chocolate and butter should be smooth and shiny but not so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the heat and set it on the counter to cool. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until they are pale and foamy. Beat in the vanilla extract, then scrape down the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the melted butter and chocolate, mixing only until incorporated. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl, then, on low speed, add the dry ingredients. Mix just until the dry ingredients disappear into the dough, which will be thick, smooth and shiny. Scrape down the bowl and, using the rubber spatula, mix in the semisweet and milk (or white) chocolate chunks, nuts and raisins -- you'll have more crunchies than dough at this point. Drop the dough by generously heaping tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about an inch of space between the mounds of dough. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes. The tops of the cookies will look a little dry but the interiors should still be soft. Remove the baking sheet and carefully, using a broad metal spatula, lift the cookies onto a cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Repeat with the remaining dough, baking only one sheet of cookies at a time and making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches. Adapted from Dorie Greenspan - Baking from My Home to Yours
Yes, Craisins and chocolate.  I was skeptical at first too, but I am telling you, it's really good.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Let's Fall in Love: With Drinks, Dancing, and Celebration to follow (part I)

Up to this point, it had been a very long day.  The best day of my life, but still, a very long day.  Everything we needed to do was done.  Every bullet point on the wedding day timeline had been satisfied.  It was finally time for Kenny and I to just kick back, relax, and celebrate.

The flowers may not have been right, my dress may not have been perfect, but I can tell you this much: our wedding reception was fun.  I cannot begin to explain how gratifying it is to have people comment on how great the party was, even over a year later.  I loved it when some of the following photos started to surface on facebook in the days immediately after the wedding.  I loved seeing that our guests plain old enjoyed themselves.  And we did too, which I suppose is also important.

I owe it all to a great DJ, an even better must-play music list, and an open bar.

All of the Graham Hall alumni.

2010 Kappa wedding triathlon, complete!

And don't worry, I'll have more reception photos for you.  I just love them all too much not to gush.

In case you missed it ...
I bought a dress and completely changed it.  We had a marathon final week of engagement.  I giggled my way through our rehearsal.  Kenny got grilled at our rehearsal dinner.  The groomsmen ran amok in downtown Springfield. The girls got gorgeous.  We exchanged mushy wedding-day gifts.  The guys got fancy and then got dancy.  I became a Bride.  There was a first First Look. I shared my Somethings.  The boys made the most of trolley-time. And did their thing on the Capital grounds. The girls took photos at the hotel. Everyone arrived at the church. We walked down the aisle. We declared our intentions and my cousin preached. We exchanged our vows. Our hands were blessed. Kenny put a ring on it and kissed his bride. We were pronounced Mr and Mrs! We left the church in a blizzard of confetti, and took a "just-married" trolley ride. We made it legal. We took pictures with our families, followed by wedding party portraits. I hit a low point and poured over reception details. We received our guests. The wedding party was introduced. My Dad checked his toast off of his to-do list. Our Best Man and Maid of Honor shared toasts as well. The we cut our cake and had our First Dance. We shared a dance with our parents. And had an Anniversary Dance to celebrate all the marrieds. The photobooth opened for business. I serenaded my husband. He tossed the garter.