Archive for the ‘dinner’ Category

What a week!

This week has been a week of drama…

I had two medical appointments this week.

The first appointment was with a neurologist.  I was very nervous.  For one, it’s just another doctor to explain all this crazy RSD to.  Secondly, I had actually seen this doctor several years ago after I had damaged my left arm during a mission trip to Mexico.  I didn’t really remember much about him, but I definitely remembered the horrifying experience of living through nerve conduction and muscle testing.  I was just praying that wouldn’t happen again.  I didn’t even have the excruciating RSD pain back then. I did visit with this new doctor and to our surprise, he was very curious about the RSD and really wanted to help me.  He had worked with a few RSD patients, and informed me that I had it bad (lol….glad someone agreed with us on that point!), and that it was a very rare thing for it to have developed from stubbing my toe (another point we agreed on!).  He then decided that he really should do the nerve and muscle testing.

What?! What?!  Surely not….

Ok…well, he needed to see if there is any nerve damage.  I understand.  At least this guy is actually doing something, right? I mean there’s been virtually no moving forward with this disease since my diagnosis last July.  My pain management doctor actually seems to be at a loss…which is why he referred me to the neurologist. So, well, ok.  I don’t know if I can handle it, but I’ll try to be strong.

So, I ask the nurse when we’re going to do this thing (the torture).  Right now, she says.

What the ……..?!?!?!

After she had me sign the waiver and she walked out, I literally looked at Mike and then put my head down on the table/bed thingy.  I didn’t realize they meant to do it right then…that day.

So, I dig as hard as I can find within myself to move forward to the next room where they are to do the testing.

I won’t go through what happened after that.  Let’s just say there were electrical currents and needles and a whole lot of crying that ensued.  And then, I was told I needed to go get some blood work done afterwards….more needles. Great.  So, after blood-drawn from both arms and seven (yes, 7) vials of blood later, I was completely emotionally and physically done.

It was a very tough day.

I had another appointment on Thursday b/c this neurologist wanted to see how my veins were responding.  So, I had an ultrasound done on my leg.  It was uncomfortable, but NOTHING like what had happened the day before.  I thanked God for that small blessing.

The neurologist also started me on a new medication called Neurontin…a nerve pain medication.  I’m hopeful this will begin to help with some of the nerve pain. And I truly am hopeful that something good will come from these tests.  I’m hopeful that there will be some answers to this crazy RSD.

Well, in other news…Mike left e.a.r.l.y. Friday morning for his flight to Virginia.  He has had an action packed weekend of meeting new people, going to several youth activities at Fairmount, and (the most important to me…lol) looking for housing.  Still no word yet on that front, but he’ll be looking more tomorrow, and I pray that something will turn up 🙂

Since he was gone, my dear friend Kris offered to bring over a meal…which was a yummy Tator Tot Casserole, some fresh pineapple, some homemade rolls (man, I miss fresh homemade bread!!!), and these oh.so.yummy Easy Apple Dumplings.

Oh my….those are just sinfully delicious.

She also insisted on doing my dishes.  Which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I’m still struggling with pride and letting go of “my” kitchen.  It’s been my domain for the last 13 years, and letting someone else do my dishes was difficult.  Very difficult.  But I’m also profoundly thankful that I have a friend who would do that for me.

Kris….I love you, so much.  My tears were not just of prideful embarrassment, but also of true thankfulness.

You truly mean the world to me!

And that my friends, brings me to today.  I’m thankful it’s the start to a new week.

And new hopes!

❤  Shara

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I know, I know…it’s been a loooooooong time since I’ve posted any recipes.  Quite frankly, I’ve just been making my staple dishes that I’ve already posted.  I just haven’t felt like being inventive or like trying anything new.  My foot can only take standing for so long, and if I’m going to be in the kitchen I want preparation to be as fast and as easy as possible.  One of my first posts was about a great go-to menu plan.  It’s something like this:

And I still use this plan.  My family’s tastes are pretty basic, so instead of stressing about what to make, I came up with this plan and it’s worked really well…especially during the school season.

Since tonight was Pizza night, I made my staple half cheese-half pepperoni pizza but I also made my new favorite:

Fresh Mozzarella & Roma Pizza

  • 1 recipe of Pizza Dough
  • 2 Tbsp real mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced (I buy mine at Aldi here in Hutch and it comes packaged in a round ball shape, but I’m sure you can find at just about any grocery store…just look where the specialty cheeses are sold).
  • 1/4 c shredded pizza blend cheese
  • Italian Seasoning, to taste (I use Pizza Seasoning from Glenn’s Bulk Foods)

Prepare dough and while rising, combine mayonnaise, butter, and garlic salt.  Slice tomatoes.  Slice the fresh mozzarella.  Divide dough in half after rising and with each half, spread out on greased pizza pan.  Prepare one of the pans with your favorite toppings (my family is half cheese and half pepperoni).  The other pizza top as follows:  spread mayo/butter/garlic mixture on top of dough; top with sliced romas, then pizza blend cheese, fresh mozzarella, and lastly sprinkle with italian seasoning or pizza seasoning.  Bake in 450 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until bottom of pizza is golden brown.

Before baking:


And before I close and call it a night, there has been a lot of “firsts” for our family this week.  Today was another one:

You know what this is?  A bike chain.  You know why we need a bike chain?  Because my big 3rd grader has deemed himself old enough to ride his bike to school.  He’s been begging since last year, but I just couldn’t let him go…let go of him.  But last night, a friend down the street asked if Cade could ride with him this morning, promising that they could chain their bikes together, and I couldn’t think of a reason why he shouldn’t.  We’ve discussed it further after school, and came to a compromise of letting him ride 2-3 days a week, depending on our schedules.  He took the deal. 😀  So Mike took Cade to Target after dinner and they picked out this chain.

My mommy heart was hurting this morning.  Standing at the front screen door, as I watched him ride away , I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks.  Letting him go was tough on this ol’ softy’s heart.  I know it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s just one step closer to him taking on more responsibility.  A step towards his independence. One step closer to him becoming a man.  I’m not sure how much more my mommy heart can take this week. 😀

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Easy Chimichangas

Do you still have some Crossroads Burritos lurking in your freezer?  Or maybe you’re just looking for a fresh idea on an familiar recipe….  Give these a try!

Easy Chimichangas

  • CCC Burritos or other store bought burritos or homemade burritos
  • oil for frying
  • favorite toppings (lettuce, shredded cheese, salsa, fresh cilantro, etc.)

Pour oil into frying pan or cast iron skillet until about 1 inch deep.  Heat to medium-high.  Microwave burritos until no longer frozen, but not necessarily all the way hot.  Fry each burrito for about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown.  Remove from hot oil and let drain on paper towels.  Serve with favorite toppings.

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The weather is finally acting more like Spring/Summer, and I’m getting into the mood for salads.  And this one is yummy!

Yummy Chicken Salad

  • 4 cooked and shredded chicken breasts
  • 1 1/4 c sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • dash of onion salt
  • dash of pepper
  • chopped red grapes
  • chopped pecans

Place sour cream, sugar, onion salt, and pepper in medium bowl.  Add shredded chicken and stir well.  Add desired amount of grapes and pecans.  Stir again.  Serve on favorite bread….this is especially yummy on these!

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This is one of my favorite salads.  This is also the salad that inspired the Ranch Vinaigrette that is always in my fridge :0)

Colorful Veggie Salad

  • 6 c fresh broccoli florets
  • 6 c fresh cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 c cherry tomatoes, halved (though I used romas this time)
  • 1 large red onion, sliced


  • 1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
  • 2/3 c oil
  • 1/2 c vinegar

Mix all veggies in a large bowl.  Prepare dressing and pour over veggies.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy

But this, my precious 1st born…thinks this salad is vile and gross (because it’s all things veggie), but what does he know?

Could you believe these eyes?

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Bacon Bread

I’ve been wanting to post this recipe for a long time, but I haven’t had the “need” to make Bacon Bread before today. (I refrain from making it to often because I could, quite literally, try to eat the whole batch…yikes!) I need to have a need to make it…so I can share it.

You see, my best buddy, Kris, is “losing” her baby girl this week.  No, not to death or illness or anything serious like that….  It’s just that Jesse is finally moving out on her own.  She’s spreading her wings and flying off to live in Kansas City with her best friend.

It is a big deal for Kris.

It is a big deal for Jesse.

Kris isn’t ready for her girl to leave.

Jesse’s been ready to be on her own for a while now.

However, I love both of them very much and I know that this is a life altering experience for them.  So, what can I do about it?  I bake!!  But not just any ol’ thing.  I made them Bacon Bread.  It’s always made with a labor of love.  And I do love them.

And I do love Bacon Bread.  Oh, how I love this cheesy, bacony, ranchy, bready goodness.  And what makes it even more fun…it’s a pull-apart bread.  You get to eat with your fingers and then lick them afterwards.  It’s in the oven as I write this, and my mouth is watering from the smell….

Oh man!  Let’s get on with the recipe.

Bacon Bread

  • 1 recipe of Burger Bun dough
  • 1 pkg dry Ranch dressing mix
  • 1/4 c oil (I use vegetable oil)
  • 1 lb bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 3 c shredded cheddar cheese

Prepare Burger Bun dough up to the first rising.  While dough is rising, fry & crumble bacon.  Drain grease off bacon.  In a medium bowl, mix dry Ranch dressing mix and oil.  Stir well.  Add cooled bacon and cheese.  Stir well again.  When first rising of dough is complete, place dough on floured or greased counter top.  Pinch off or cut off 1 inch chunks of dough and place several in bowl of bacon mix.  Roll each dough piece and place on greased baking sheet.  Continue this process, until you’ve piled all the dough pieces.  Let this rise again for another 30 minutes.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Try not to woof it all down in one setting (trust me, it will be hard to restrain yourself!).

Here’s where I’ve cut off pieces with my pastry knife

And in the bowl…

Can you see the yummy herbs from the ranch mix?

All puffy after 2nd rising

Just to make sure it’s done, carefully lift up one piece…see how bread looks done and not gooey?  If it does look a little gooey…pop it back in oven for another couple of minutes.

And now ready for consumption! Man, can you see that crispy bacon and melted cheese?!

Okay, just one more bite….or not….

My taste-tester strongly approves

Jesse, I’m proud of you!  I know that you and Delci are going to do great!  And with your “new” mixer, you better give this try!  lol

Kris, I love you.  And as someone famous once said, “This too shall pass.”  You’re in my prayers, my dear sister from another mister!  Eat the Bacon Bread…it will make you feel better!

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Sweet Lime Chicken

Kris posted her Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal recipe…so go here and check out her recipe.  I’ll definitely be giving this one a go!!
A couple of weeks ago I found a chicken recipe similar to this that I’ve posted.  However, I looked it over  and then tweaked it to my own liking.  Here’s the finished product 😀
Honey Lime Chicken
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oil (I used vegetable)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

In a small bowl, whisk together soy, oil, honey, brown sugar, lime juice, and garlic powder.  Place chicken in a large ziploc bag and pour marinade over it.  Let this marinate for at least 30 minutes, but the longer the better.  Grill over high heat for 6-8 minutes on each side.  (I ended up cooking them in a skillet tonight, though).  Tasty!

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