A Year in a Nutshell

•March 1, 2015 • 1 Comment

I took a break from blogging while I was planning, doing and recovering from our wedding…ok…even more of a break than that. I started up an offshoot of this blog January 1st and I’m finding I miss the free-flowing blog I had here. So I’m going to fire this baby back up. Since I last posted, almost a year ago, these things have happened:

1. I made a ton of stuff for our wedding. Here’s some of the projects:

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2. I started playing with beer brewing in the hopes of serving home brew at the wedding. My first batch didn’t come out at all. It was overly fizzy and bitter. I think I missed sanitizing something. My bad batch would have been a grapefruit honey ale. I tried a Mr Beer kit to make apple cider, but it was gross too. I also made some nettle beer, elderflower champagne and mead. Those projects came out better, but I’m still working on it.

3. In June we had our Bachelor/Bachelorette parties. We went up to Denver with my sister-in-law-to-be and her husband. The boys went to Shotgun Willie’s Show Club (a.k.a. strip club where my fiance’s best friend works) and the ladies went to Femme Fatale of Denver where we got dolled up and took pinup photos. It was so much fun!

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We joined the boys at the strip club (we were welcome, we enjoy the occasional pole trick!) and got to see the special bachelor’s dance. I should have known something epic was coming when our best man handed me a pile of ones. They pulled my fiance up on stage and started off with a normal lap dance with four girls. He was grinning from ear to ear, until they took his glasses and used their heels to rip his underwear off. They borrowed his brother-in-law’s belt to beat him with. He came out of that complaining for weeks about the welts they left on his ass. We all had an excellent time to remember.

4. I celebrated my 28th birthday at Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs, CO. What can I say, I’m a rock geek. It was much larger than I expected and had great history in the tours.

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After our cave adventure, we had dinner at Summit at the Broadmoor. I tried frog legs, escargots and swordfish.

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I don’t think I like frog legs. I’ve tried them several times now and I never like them. Escargot have a few tries left. These weren’t very good. The swordfish was amazing. They wrapped it in thin potato slices and baked it. The dessert was kind of forced on us, but it was beautiful.

5. My best friend won tickets to the Antiques Roadshow, so I brought a few things my mom’s been wondering about. It was pretty disappointing. They hardly looked at our things and WAY under appraised them. They told me a leather trunk in pristine condition was only worth $50. I have my doubts. They didn’t even notice her book was a signed copy. We had fun anyway.


6. In August, we got married! Everything looked amazing, but I somehow managed to forget to shave my armpits before the wedding and had a panic attack making us start 30 minutes late for the ceremony. My cook didn’t show up or give me any notice after I’d paid him. We found a replacement that did a great job.

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We decided to have a little bit of a carnival theme with a bb gun star shooting game, cotton candy, popcorn, etc. I wouldn’t change anything about it though. It was a perfect day, even with a couple trip ups.

7. I was drawn for a muzzleloader elk hunt in October. It was a hard hunt and we didn’t see much, but at the last minute on the last day, I managed to get us a small elk. I had a lot of great hikes and saw a lot of wildlife.

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8. We had Thanksgiving at the Hyatt Tamaya resort and Christmas at my mom’s. We had our own Christmas at home. I made us Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with strawberry syrup. My hubby managed to tell me he didn’t like pancakes as he wolfed down the whole thing. When I questioned him about it, he decided he likes pancakes like that.

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We got Chinese takeout for New Year’s Eve.


The 365 Dinner Project

•January 16, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Check out my new project; https://the365dinnerprojectdotcom.wordpress.com/

Ranch Meatballs

•April 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment



  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine


  • Combine ground beef and dressing mix. Shape mixture into 24 meatballs. Melt butter in a skillet; brown meatballs on all sides. Add broth; cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with pasta and sauce of your choice.

Crawfish Beignets

•April 4, 2014 • Leave a Comment



1 egg, beaten

1 lb cooked crawfish tail meat

4 green onions, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/3 cup flour

oil for frying

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 teaspoon horseradish (optional)

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce


  1. In a large bowl, combine the egg, crawfish, onions, butter, salt and cayenne. Stir in flour until blended.
  2. In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 375°. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter, a few at a time, into hot oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish if desired and pepper sauce. Serve with beignets. Yield: about 2 dozen (3/4 cup sauce).


Girls Weekend

•April 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I won a trip to Taos Ski Valley and decided to make it a girls weekend for myself and a friend who hasn’t been on vacation since her school aged child was born. We stayed at the Edelwiess Lodge and had a blast. The first day we went on a yarn shopping spree in Taos, which is actually a pretty yarn-savvy place and ordered pizza to our hotel room. We didn’t have any cups, so we were left drinking moonshine out of coffee mugs.

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It didn’t matter. We were a little tipsy by the time the pizza guy arrived and ended up making up a theoretical missed connections post on craigslist, which I wish we’d posted because it was hilarious. I remember coming up with “We don’t ski, but you can ride our slopes” and worse.


On Saturday we explored a little, looking for a shop called Chocolate Xtreme, but settled for Margaritas for breakfast when we couldn’t find it.


We drove the Enchanted Circle through Red River, where I did what I was told specifically not to and attempted to get up to the family land to check on wedding sites. I actually almost got there, but got stuck within sight of the cabin. We had to call my soon-to-be sister in law to get us out. Once we got out, we headed back to Taos for dinner at the Gorge Bar & Grill. It was amazing. Best steak in town, I dare say. We also tried something I’ve never heard of; a blackberry gimlet. We got back to the hotel just in time for a soak in the hot tub.


On Sunday we had breakfast at Michael’s Kitchen in Taos, which was a huge letdown. I love their baked goods, but the burrito my friend got was lame. It’s especially surprising because there was a line out the door the whole time we were there. All in all it was a fun weekend. I’ve been in high gear the last few days trying to catch up with chores and work after being gone a couple days.

Crab Rangoon

•March 26, 2014 • 1 Comment



Original recipe makes 48 pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 (6 ounce) can crabmeat, drained and flaked
  • 2 green onions with tops, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 48 wonton wrappers


  1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Combine garlic, cream cheese, crab, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce in a bowl. To prevent wonton skins from drying, prepare only 1 or 2 rangoon at a time. Place 1 teaspoon of filling onto the center of each wonton skin. Moisten the edges with water and fold the wonton skin diagonally to form a triangle, pressing edges to seal. Moisten one of the bottom corners. Create a crown by pulling both bottom corners together and sealing. Arrange the rangoon on the baking sheet and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.


Penny Ball

•March 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I read somewhere that pennies help to keep hydrangeas blue. In other projects, I’ve seen people use bowling balls. I couldn’t find one, so I used a ball and chain kids toy I found at the thrift store.


I used some marine adhesive called Goop to glue the pennies on. It’s supposed to put up with rain and sun longer than most. Just spread the glue on and stick the pennies. You’ll have to do it in batches to keep them on there.


Once it’s dry, in my case 72 hours, put it next to your plant.




My hydrangeas are still dormant from winter, but the tulips have started to come up…


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