Friday, October 23, 2009

Nothing Cures A Bad Day Like A Good Margarita

School was a little rough today. When the bell rang to change from first to second period, a fight broke out in my room. I teach 7th grade, and most of my students are bigger than me. However, I have been able to break up all fights that I have seen so far. Today I could not break up this fight. I did not even try because I knew I would be unsuccessful. It was intense and upsetting to see one little (young but literally not little) boy holding down the other and just punching away. This fight set the tone for how the rest of my day was going to be. To make matters worse, the temperature in my classroom was really hot. So I was frustrated, angry, and hot all day long. My students were also hot, so complaining to me was their top priority (forget about the test they have on Tuesday, if they are hot, they can't work on a review sheet) Therefore, when the bell rang at 2:45, I was out of there.

On my way home, I could not decide if I wanted to go walking or drinking to relieve my stress. Then Nick came home, and we went to the grocery store. I decided drinking would be better because I'm already exhausted. At the grocery store I bought some limes so we could make our fantastic margaritas. Now, I don't always drink away my bad days, but it's Friday, and it has been a while since my last margarita. So if you are having a bad day, sit back, relax and make a really good margarita.

Nick and Lucy's Really Good Margarita
2 parts tequila (make sure it is 100% blue agave tequila)
1 part orange liquor (must be 40% alcohol by volume; our favorite and the best is Cointreau, pictured below)
1 part lime juice (we normally squeeze a few limes and then add some Real Lime to it; it takes a lot to squeeze all those limes)
As always with fruit drinks, shake vigorously and strain over ice.

You can adjust alcohol levels to be as weak or strong as you like.

We also rented a movie and ordered some really good pizza to help me feel better about my day.

So, next time you have a bad day, a really good margarita might make you feel better.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chicken Soup

I love to watch the Food Network. Up until last summer, I had never watched this channel before. However, it has good cooking tips and gives me good menu ideas. Since I really enjoying cooking, this channel is fun to watch (even though my husband does not care for it). One of my favorite cooks is Paula Dean. She is entertaining to watch, and she makes some good food too. One of Paula's recipes that I really like is the The Lady's Chicken Noodle Soup. It is easy to make, and it taste good too.



1 (2 1/2 to 3-pound) fryer chicken, cut up
3 1/2 quarts water
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 bay leaves
3 chicken bouillon cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups sliced celery, with leafy green tops
2 1/2 cups uncooked egg noodles
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/3 cup cooking sherry
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup grated Parmesan, optional
3/4 cup heavy cream, optional
Seasoning salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Crusty French bread, for serving

For the stock: add all ingredients to a soup pot. Cook until chicken is tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Remove and discard bay leaves and onion. You should have approximately 3 quarts of stock. When chicken is cool enough to touch, pick bones clean, discarding bones, skin, and cartilage. Set chicken aside.

For the soup: bring stock back to a boil, add carrots, and cook for 3 minutes. Add celery and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add egg noodles and cook according to directions on package. When noodles are done, add chicken, mushrooms, parsley, sherry and rosemary. Add Parmesan and cream, if using. Cook for another 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning, if needed, by adding seasoning salt and pepper. Enjoy along with a nice hot crusty loaf of French bread.
This would serve about 12- 15 people. I recently made this for a crowd, and I added more noodles in order to make sure I had enough food. Instead of French bread I served grilled cheeses. I used Havarti cheese, but any kind of cheese is good!

Enjoy the cooler weather. Make some soup!

I also recieved one more birthday present this past weekend. My sister gave me these pretty green place mats. They look great with my china, and they look good on my table. Thanks SB!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Birthday Fun!

I have already received several birthday gifts, and it isn't even my actual birthday yet! However, I'm not complaining. I have gotten some really fun things!

The first gift came two weeks ago. I received a crock pot and boots from Nick's parents. I picked out the boots while we were up in TN, and I wore them last night when Nick and I went to eat dinner at Jubilee (a fish restaurant in Montgomery). We went to celebrate both of our birthdays since we were out of town on his birthday.

Nick's sister gave me this cute note pad with an "L" on it and some fun magnets.

My parents came in town the next weekend. They gave me a beautiful serving dish in our Christmas china. Also, (a few months ago) they gave me some gumbo spoons in my silver pattern. These are great! We used them for the first time the other night to eat some Chicken Noodle Soup (recipe to come later).

Then Nick's grandmother, who we call Tutu, and my aunt Lynn gave us money. This is always a great gift! We used some of it towards our dinner last night!

Earlier this week I was able to celebrate with some friends by going to eat at La Zona Rosa (Mexican restaurant). I received some sweet cards and gifts!

And I received my last gift Friday afternoon. Nick gave me these pearl earrings! He picked them out to match my necklace, and he did a great job. They are beautiful! I'm gong to wear them for the first time to church tomorrow (my actual birthday).

It has been really fun to get these great gifts throughout the month instead of all at one time! Thank you everybody for these wonderful gifts and birthday wishes!

We will finish off the birthday festivities tonight by grilling out and watching the Auburn game. War Eagle!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall, Football, and Birthdays

Just like my sister, I love October too! When October comes, it feels like fall is finally here. I love fall colors, pumpkins, and the nice fall weather. I also like October because it is both mine and Nick's birthday month! Besides being a fun month celebrate our birthdays, it is also a good month for football.

This past weekend Nick and I headed up to Knoxville, TN to watch the Auburn/Tennessee game. We met most of Nick's family up there, and we had a great time! The weather was perfect. It was warm in the sun, but it would get pretty cool when the wind picked up. The game was not until 7:45 p.m. on Saturday. So we had most of Friday and all day Saturday to tail gate.

The fun thing about being at UT is the setting of our tailgate. Both Nick's dad and uncle brought their motor homes up and parked them right on the TN river. Even though we drove several hours to get there, a lot of fans came to tailgate by boat! It was fun to watch all the boats come in and park close to the stadium. This was such a fun day, eating, drinking, and socializing. We even played the bean-bag game (I don't know what it is really called). What made the day even better is that Auburn won!

Here is our setup! Thanks to Nick's dad and uncle for setting everything up.

Next time we are coming in a boat!

The bean-bag game: You try to get the bean bag in the hole, but you also get points for just getting them on the board. It is a fun game even it was covered in UT stuff!

This is Nick's Uncle Mark and his UT jacket. He is walking one of the many dogs that was with us this weekend. This particular dog also ate more than half of a pork loin that was supposed to be for dinner one night.

Fun scenery pictures! Some of these are right by our tailgate, and others are closer to the stadium where the boats parked.
I thought the game was over, and then UT scored at the last second of the game. Oh well, Auburn won! War Eagle!

The weekend ended with these boys' birthday. Nick and his twin brother, Jeremy, turned 24 on Sunday, October 4th.
Happy Birthday boys! This was a fun weekend to celebrate!