Wednesday, June 22, 2011

5 reasons as to why I haven't blogged this week.....

Once again, I have failed to make blogging a priority this past week.  But, just in case you are interested, here's a look at what's been distracting me: 

1. I have been keeping my youngest sister, Maire, on the regular.  We play beauty shop, bank,
and swim alot!  This picture captures her personality perfectly!  

2. Babysitting for these two precious girls!  I have kept them twice in the past 5 days and they are so sweet  :)

3. Enjoying the first rainfalls of the summer!  But, since they were thunderstorms, of course we had to take safety precautions!  Maire made me light lots of candles, get her flashlight for her to hold, and she even put on her robe to protect herself from the thunder.  

The "it's thundering" pose

But, Ashton wasn't scared!

We may have gotten a little carried away at this point......

 4. Father's Day!  

Daddy, Papa, and Uncle David on Father's Day!

5. My parent's 25th wedding anniversary!

My parents and my Aunt and Uncle have the same anniversary weekend, so my grandmother had a cake made to celebrate both.  My Aunt and Uncle have now been married 7 years, and my parents 25!

 My grandmother got my parents 25 roses for their 25th!

the happy couple...we get really lucky if Daddy smile in a picture

they're too cute  :)

Well, I'm off to the beach again tomorrow with my best friend and roommate, Allison!  
Hopefully my next post will include a good recipe to share with you! 
Have a great rest of the week  :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake

My younger sister Ashton adores cheesecake.  I am convinced she could eat it every day and not get sick of it. Needless to say, I have made quite a few for her so I have got cheesecake down to an art.  That's why this time when she asked me to bake one for her, I decided to try something a little bit different.  I found this recipe in A Taste of Home magazine and loved the pictures, so I had to try it!  We just cut the cheesecake last night and it is already almost half gone meaning I must have done something right!  This cake would be perfect for any party or get together, especially the approaching 4th of July holiday!

What you will need:
Crust:  1 1/2 c. all purpose flour, 1/2 c. sugar, 1 tsp. grated lemon peel, 3/4 c. cold butter, 2 egg yolks, 1/2 tsp.     vanilla extract
Filling:  5 8oz. cream cheese, softened, 1 c. sugar, 1/4 c. half-and-half, 3 tbsp. all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 eggs, lightly beaten, 1 egg yolk, 1 c. crushed strawberries, 1 c. crushed blueberries, assorted berries for the topping

If you have made cheesecake before, you know it can be a lengthy process.  But, you also know that it is well worth the effort too!  :)

1. Preheat the oven to 400.  Combine flour, sugar, and lemon peel for the crust.  Cut in the butter.  Whisk the eggs together and add to the mixture,  Using your hands, work with the mixture until it forms a dough ball.  Press the dough onto the bottom and sides of a greased springform pan.  Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
2. IN a large bowl, beat the cream cheeses and sugar together until creamy.  Beat in the cream, flour, lemon peel, salt, and vanilla.  Add the eggs and 1 yolk, and continue beating until blended well.  
3. Divide the batter in half and fold in the crushed blueberries and strawberries to one of the halves.  (Hint:  I crushed the strawberries and blueberries in a vegetable chopper, which worked really well) 
4. Pour the half of the batter with the berries in it into the pan first, then add the remaining batter to the top.
5. Place the springform pan back onto the baking sheet and bake at 400 for 10 minutes.  The, decrease the oven temp. to 300 and bake for 60-70 more minutes, until lighlty brown on the edges.  
6.  Let the cake cool on a wire rack for half an hour, then loosen the outer edges of the pan.  Refrigerate overnight. 
7. Top the cake with berries of your choice, serve cold, and enjoy!    

 p.s. I promise I did not make this pie three years ago in 2008--the date/time stamp on my camera was messed up and I didn't realize it until after these photographs  :)

Can you tell we like it!?!!

I hope you will share this recipe with your family and enjoy it as much as my family and I have!

Monday, June 13, 2011

I Want to be a Beach Bum.....Forever

Well, I have made it back from paradise and back to reality.  I could have stayed in Destin,FL, at least another week but unfortunately didn't have the option  :(  I have never been to the beach and experienced better weather or clearer waters.  I didn't pour sweat while attempting to bronze myself which meant I didn't have sand sticking to me which meant I was a happy camper! I also didn't have to try and dodge seaweed, or worse-jellies-, while floating in the bright blue/green crystal clear ocean.  It was honestly the most beautiful beach trip I have ever taken.  It was made all the better because I got to see my grandparents too!  My mom is from Oklahoma and my grandparents and her entire family live there so it is a treat to get to see them.  We usually only see them about once or twice a year.  We are all hoping that we can go visit for Christmas or Thanksgiving this year.  But, back to the beach trip.  In addition to the lovely waters, we also had a splendid view from the balcony of our condo.  We have stayed in the same condo for 3 years now because the location is absolutely perfect and the views are unbeatable!  Here are some pictures from one of the best vacations I've ever had!

Searching for "sheashells"

Our condo

If you look reeaaaaallly hard next to the American flag, you can see my grandparents enjoying some peace and quiet.  

Theresa built at least 3 sandcastles during our trip

What's the beach without putt putt?!

It was even more perfect in person

My sweet sweet sister

plus the other two


We ate at Cheeseburger in Paradise after a day at the outlet mall.  A perfect end to the perfect vacation!

Oh, did I mention that we got to go parasailing!!!  It was so incredible!  I had been once before with Theresa, and my cousin, Sarah, but this was round 1 for my mom and Ashton.  If you have never been, I highly encourage it!  For 10ish minutes you get to float 1200 feet up in the air and marvel at the beauty of sea and land.  It really made me think about how awesome our God is and how His creation is so perfect and breathtaking.  You really should try it if you haven't!

Ashton and I about to be dunked in the ocean on the way down

Mom and Theresa almost back to the boat

1200 feet high off the boat I was sitting on

The End!
I hope you and your family get to enjoy some time together this summer  :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chicken and Tomato Baked Pasta

Things have been busy as usual here at the Scott residence.  This is what most of us look like after these exhausting few days.....

Theresa didn't know about this photography expo, and probably won't be thrilled to find out!

Since last week, I have had a couple of babysitting outings, spent some time catching up with two great friends, driven 4 hours for a 30 minute doctor visit for Daddy, and tried to squeeze in a little bit of cooking.  I made some Oreo pudding last week for my sisters to enjoy, but it is not much to brag about.  I simply followed the 1 step directions on the pudding box.  However, with that being said, it doesn't mean it wasn't tasty--according to Ashton anyways.  She ate 3 of the 4 cups of pudding the box makes, and licked the glass clean each time!  

ok, ok, on to the real recipe!  I made this for dinner last night and I do believe everyone in my family liked it.  Since we have 6 mouths to feed, it is quite rare to have all 6 mouths agree on something.  Especially food!   My mom cooks supper every night, and always gets an earful of complaints.  I felt accomplished last night not having any....this dish seemed to be a real winner! (notice the use of the word dish.  I hate to admit it, but I don't think it was my amazing culinary skills that won over the family's taste buds.  It was simply the meal itself.)  It was also not to hard to prepare, but it did take me about 30 minutes or so to get everything ready.  

Chicken and Tomato Baked Pasta:
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken breast-cubed
  • 1 box whole wheat pasta 
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, in juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups grated mozarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated/shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • butter
Preheat the oven to 400.  Cook the pasta according to directions on the box.  While the pasta is boiling, cube the chicken into 1 in. cubes, dice the onion, and mince the garlic (for me, this is the longest step).  Add enough olive oil to a frying pan to cover the bottom.  Add the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes.  Then add the onion and garlic cooking until the onions are soft and the meat is cooked through, about 5 more minutes.  Once the pasta and chicken are done, combine them in a large mixing bowl.  Add the mozarella cheese and can of tomatoes to the bowl, combining and mixing all of the ingredients well.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Once well combined, pour the mixture into a buttered glass baking dish.  Sprinkle the top of the mixture with bread crumbs, and then parmesan cheese.  Finish it off with a few dots of butter to help the top brown.  Bake the dish for 30 minutes, or until golden brown on the top.  Serve and Enjoy!         

As I mentioned earlier, this was a great meal for our family!  We only had one small bowl of leftovers--enough for my dad's afternoon snack today--haha.  We also enjoyed some garlic bread with the pasta.  That's sortof a given though in my opinion.  How in the world can you eat Italian and not eat garlic bread?

Hope you will try out this recipe.  Have a blessed rest of the week.  I am off too the beach for a few days and hoping to get my tan on.  


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kickin' it in the Styx......literally

HI!  Well, I have successfully made it back from all of my travels last week and over the holiday weekend!  I hope that all of you had a great weekend and remembered all of the brave men and women that have fought and are fighting for our country.

Last Wednesday, my sisters (minus one) and I headed down to the Styx river campground with my grandparents.  We had an eventful three days full of basketball, volleyball, American Idol, thunderstorms, outlet malls, food, So You Think You Can Dance, ladderball, food, swimming, and card games.  It was a great trip to get away from town for a bit.  The weather was gorgeous minus a rainy Thursday.  My grandparents have been dying to take some of "the girls" to this campground and see the cabins that they have recently built there.  Well, they rented one for us while we were there, so when I use the word camping, I am actually referring to living in an air conditioned, hard wood floored, full kitchen equipped, adorable log cabin!  While each room may have been a bit on the small side, as you will soon see, it was so cute!

Our view for the 2 hour drive.  My grandparents' camper. 

Our view from the back porch of our cabin

Comfortable camping!

the kitchen that never got used  :(

the loft where the girls and I played board games


our spacious bedroom

When we got back on Friday, we had only 15 hours until departure for our next adventure!  Our family spent Saturday on Lake Martin with one of my Dad's co-workers and his family and friends.  We swam in the lake, went on a boat ride, and ate so much crawfish/shrimp/potatoes/corn and brownies that we practically rolled all the way back home!  It was a beautiful day to spend on the lake!  I don't think it would take me long to adapt to the lifestyle of a mansion on the lake.  Their home was absolutely gorgeous!  Oh and did I mention that they had over 200 guests for dinner that night?!!  I don't think I even know 200 people that I could invite to my home....haha.  Needless to say it was quite the block party as they even hired their own DJ.  My family was quite out of place (if you know us, then you know why), but we all had a really great time and enjoyed our day on the lake!    

View of their home from the their back yard.  So jealous!

Ashton after enjoying some crawfish!

You can't really see all of the people here but there are at least 100 behind those gorgeous cannas

Just the view we had while sitting in the back yard........

the dock.....and the cook!  lol

me!  after my crawfish  :)

Well, that was my weekend in a nutshell. 
 Hope yours was as great as mine was!