Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fall Festivities

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere you look it's pumpkins.
What a great day we had at a local farmers market.
Noah had a pony ride, fed the goats, picked his pumpkin and tasted the pumpkin jerky.  I must make some soon.  It was delicious.  Have you ever tried it?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Before and Afters of our House

Who remembers the Cedar Rapids floods of 2008 in Iowa?
These events were life changing for many Iowans.  
It was a very devastating experience for many.
The waters crested at I believe 23 feet.  It was crazy to say the least!
Fortunately we were still living in an apartment when the floods occurred.
Once the water had subsided, there were many, many damaged homes that were beyond repair.
The house we bought actually had water that filled the basement and made it's way onto the first
floor and rose until it reached about 18 inches.
Our home was built in 1900.
Shawn and I just love the character of older homes.
Here's what she looked like post flood.
We lived in this house for a little over three years.  We did much of the work inside of the house before we moved in.  The outside of the house was a different story.  It was not until we decided to list the house for sale that we decided to re-side the house.  Our intentions weren't always to re-side the house, but you know, life gets in the way.  It just always seemed to be pushed to the back burner.
Siding this home was quite the feat.
Here are some of the photos during the renovations.
   The first side of the house is done.  The porch has just had the old siding removed and is waiting for blue board (a type of insulation) to be put up.
We found these original scallops when we took off the old siding.  
It was a lot of work to restore these babies, but well worth the effort.
They turned out beautiful!
This is the back of the house.  We also built a deck on the back.

Here is an after picture of the back of the house.
Are you ready for the reveal of the front.  Would you like to see again what it looked it?
We also removed all the windows and opened up the pouch.
And here is
WOW, HUH?!?!
What do you think?
Stay tuned, more before and afters to come.

~Kate Anne

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Catching Up...

I would like to begin by saying that there is no way that I am ever going to be able to catch up on the months and months of blogging that I have not done.  My world has been turned upside down, shaken, and gently set back down since my last post.  My life was just set down in a little bit of a different area...Central Point, Oregon.  Whoa!!  That's a long ways from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  About 1,930 miles. So this is what has been going on...

Shawn and I sold our house on Mallory Street.  Can you believe that we sold our house after only nine days of being on the market.  Praise the Lord and may His will be done in our lives.  And if you can believe this, we got asking price and the buyer bought all of our furniture.
On another date I will have to post the amazing transformation before and afters pictures of the house.  It turned out incredible. 

September 11, 2012 finally came and I graduated Kaplan University with my Licensed Practical Nursing diploma.  Wow!  And my final semester at Kaplan I achieved straights A's.  This was a major accomplishment for me. 
And November 15th I took the NCLEX-PN and passed my boards.

In October, Noah celebrated his 9 year old birthday.  He enjoyed a day of all things Angry Birds.  That's his new obsession.
Love the Polka Dots!
Make a wish sweet 9 year old boy. 
See, I told you.  It was an angry birds kind of day.
Another Thanksgiving has come and gone.  I got to host Thanksgiving in our new house this year.
Everything turned out amazing.  It was delicious.  Here are a few pictures of my homemade pies.
I made homemade apple and pumpkin apple butter pie.
Shawn and I also celebrated our 10 year anniversary this November.
This was Shawn's gift, but Noah wanted to get in on the action too.
I got a beautiful ring.
And for the not so exciting news, my grandma Shirley went home to be with the Lord
November 16th.  Although she was ready to be taken home she will be sadly missed. 
Its very sad to think that I've been gone for the past 14 years and when I finally return home
to be near family, a member is taken from us.
Life is so precious and so short.

~Kate Anne

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Happy Birthday My Love!
To Make This CakeYou'll Need

1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Chicken Double Decker Tacos

Remember these from Taco Bell?!!  Do they still make them?
~6 corn tortilla's
~6 flour tortilla's
~3 cooked and shredded chicken breasts
~3 cups shredded lettuce
~2 diced tomatoes
~1 cubed avocado
~1 can refried beans
~1 cup shredded cheese
~Pam spray
Preheat the oven to 375 to make your own baked taco shells.  Take your 6 corn tortilla's and wrap them in a damp paper towel and place in microwave for 30 seconds to soften so they will not break.  Once they are soft spray Pam on both sides of them.  Next drape them over two bars in the oven and cook for 7 - 10 minutes, or until crispy. 
Idea courtesy of Eating Well.
Next open the can of refried beans and place in small pan with about 3 tbsp of water.  Cook on low till warm.  The water makes the beans a bit thinner so they are easier to spread on the flour tortilla.
Again, place the 6 flour tortilla's in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until warm.
Now to build your tacos
1-Flour Tortilla
2-Refried Beans in thin layer
3-Crispy Corn Tortilla
4-Shredded Chicken
5-Shredded Lettuce
6-Shredded Cheese
9-Sour Cream
Serve immediately so that the crispy corn tortilla stays crispy.

~Kate Anne~

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lemon Lime Chicken

I love to cook, although I tend to shy away from the bird...Chicken that is.   I always seem to over cook it or under cook it.  There never seems to be a happy medium with chicken....until tonight.
I think I found my medium!
This chicken was amazing!  Seriously, this chicken is the best I've had in quite some time.
My mind started to wonder today (happens more than I'd like to admit) but today my thoughts helped me arrive at an excellent idea. 
Why don't I cook the chicken on some tin foil while it marinates and heats on the grill?!
It went a little something like this...
You'll need:
~3 tbsp olive oil
~3 tbsp minced garlic
~Juice of 1 lime
~Juice of 1/2 lemon
~1/2 tsp oregano
~1/4 tsp salt
~1/4 tsp black pepper
~3-4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
Whisk together all ingredients.  On preheated grill place large piece of tin foil on grill with sides folded up like a bowl.  Brush one side of chicken with mixture and place face down on foil.
Set timer and cook for 10 minutes on one side.
Flip and cook chicken for an additional 10 minutes.  As it cooks all the flavors infuse into the chicken and make it extra tender and juicy and the amazing twist of lime.  Delicious!!
Cook another 2 or 3 minutes without the tin foil just to put the grill marks on the chicken.
Remove from grill and let it rest before cutting.
Hope you enjoy this recipe and going in your all time favorites too!

Kate Anne

Friday, April 20, 2012

Baked Beef Taquitos with Guacamole Dip

I've been pinning many recipes for chicken taquitos on Pinterest lately.  Although I'm sure the chicken taquitos are superb I've been craving beef.  I decided to throw some beef taquitos together and they turned out awesome.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~1 can black beans drained and rinsed
~3 oz light cream cheese
~1/4 tsp chili powder
~1/4 tsp cumin
~1/4 tsp paprika
~1/4 tsp pepper
~2 tbsp salsa
Mix above ingredients in Cuisinart food processor until just mixed.
~1 lb lean ground beef
~2 tbsp Worshestershire sauce
~1/2 tsp pepper
~1/2 tsp garlic salt
~1/2 cup water
Cook beef thoroughly.  Drain.  Mix ingredients and continue cooking until all water is absorbed.
~10-15 corn tortillas
~2 cups shredded cheese
Cook in pan turning often on medium heat.
Begin to assemble your taquitos with the meat.  Add about 2 tbsp meat.
Add about 1 1/2 tbsp of the bean mixture.
Add 1 tbsp shredded cheese.
Fold over largest open area of tortilla and pull ingredients into roll. 
Then continue to roll as tightly as possible.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Place rolls with opening face down.
Place in oven and cook for about 10 minutes and them turn them over. 
Cook until golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow them to cook slightly before serving.
Serve with salsa, light sour cream or guacamole.
~1 ripe avocado
~2 tbsp salsa
~1/2 lemon squeezed
~1/4 tsp pepper
~1/4 garlic salt
~1/2 cup light sour cream

Kate Anne

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

"Honey, would you like chocolate chip cookies or cheesecake?"

How about both?!?!

These are a real treat!  I'm positive when I say that these will win your taste buds.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper allowing it to over hang on the pan.

For the Crust:
~1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
(that's about 9 whole squares)
~5 tbsp melted butter

Mix above ingredients and press into pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Place into oven and cook just until golden brown.  About 6 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool.

For the Chocolate Chip Cookie topping:
 ~5 tbsp butter room temperature
~1/3 cup light brown sugar
~3 tbsp sugar
~1/4 tsp salt
~1 tbsp vanilla
~1/2 cup flour
~2/3 cup chocolate chips
Mix ingredients together for chocolate chip cookie topping.  Mixture will be dry and flaky.

For the Cream Cheese Filling:
~10 oz neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese) at room temperature
~1/4 cup sugar
~1 egg
~1 tbsp vanilla

Mix ingredients together with an electric mixer for the cream cheese filling until smooth.
Pour mixture over prepared graham cracker crust.
After smoothing the cream cheese mixture and covering crust, place the topping over the cream cheese filling.
Place in oven for about 35 minutes.  It is done once the top has turned a golden brown.
Cool completely.  Place in the refrigerator for several hours before cutting.
To cut pick up by the parchment paper.

Kate Anne

Recipe adapted from Brandy's Baking