If You Give…

So I am obsessed with the If You Give A series by Laura Numeroff. My favorite is If You Give A Cat A Cupcake, for obvious reasons (I love cupcakes and I love kitties!) Well for one of my education classes I had to pick a children’s book and make a WEB & Curriculum Integration for it (basically had to make an entire day’s lessons around a certain book). I picked, of course, If You Give A Cat A Cupcake. For my assignment though, I have to actually have the book available and have to carry-out some of my lessons. Well I went to buy the book on amazon the other night, and it was $12.95! $12.95! For a children’s book! The paperback wasn’t much less! I was outraged! So I went to eBay! Where I proceeded to find TEN Laura Numeroff books for $46 (including shipping). What a steal. That made them $4.60 a piece! I was so excited! They arrived on Friday and I couldn’t wait to open them and read them! Needless to say I scared my boyfriend with the excitement!

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Copycat Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl

So, I loooove Chipotle! Like, love it. It’s an addiction that an old high school teacher of mine, the wonderful Molly Stillman, got my hooked on during my senior year of high school. Now normally I order the same thing when I go there: Chicken Soft Tacos, and I love them, but I may have to start branching out to the burrito bowl after trying this recipe at home! This was probably one of the most amazing things I’ve ever had and I couldn’t get enough. We had it set up as a make-your-own-bowl type thing and everyone but my mom put everything together and devoured it! It was just that good! The original recipe can be found here. It called for a can of diced tomatoes, but we found that fresh tomatoes worked just fine (especially since we grow our own tomatoes and have them coming out of our ears). It also called for things like guacamole and seasonings, but we didn’t use any of that.

Copycat Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowls
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Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 (14 oz.) can black beans
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz.) can corn
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 1 (8 oz.) Taco rice
  • shredded lettuce
  • 1-2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

  1. Shred the chicken, add taco seasoning, set aside.
  2. Cook the rice according to the directions on the box.
  3. Heat on medium-high heat a large frying pan; add 2 tbsp. olive oil.
  4. Add chicken and cook together.
  5. Open the cans of black beans and corn and put in small bowls (I recommend heating them up).
  6. Once chicken and rice are done, you can start plating.
  7. In a bowl or on a plate (a bowl works better), place lettuce, rice, chicken, and then add toppings of your choice.

Washington Redskins Training Camp

On Friday, Tony and I got to see the Redskins at their new training camp here in Richmond. My dad’s company got a bunch of free passes and then one of the supervisors was given VIP passes from a guy at ESPN Radio. It was pretty sweet to be able to get up close to the field and get some good shots in! I was super excited to finally use my zoom lens for more than just experimenting! After the practice was over, Tony and I got to watch the guys go back to the locker-room and we were able to get autographs and meet some of the players! It was super cool!

Here are some pictures from the day. I know they’re not all great (I’m still getting used to my zoom lens) but I think some of them turned out pretty good. I don’t have any fancy editing equipment so these were just touched up in Windows Live Photo Gallery. I hope you guys enjoy!

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Preview: Washington Redskins Training Camp

Today, Tony and I went to the Washington Redskins Training Camp. It was beyond awesome and I had so much fun. We were able to get VIP passes through my dad’s work so we got to get super close and we got autographs! I took lots of good pictures but I haven’t edited them yet (it probably won’t get done until Sunday sometime). Here’s a preview of the day though!

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the boys at practice
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our VIP passes! yeah ESPN! thanks for the awesome experience!
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my hat with autographs

and the best part of the day!

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I got to meet Kirk Cousins!Image
and Ryan Kerrigan!

so awesome! keep an eye out for the actual pictures!

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake!

Last night I made this delicious Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake! Now the recipe calls for you to make your own cookie crust and then to bake the cheesecake in a spring-form pan, well I didn’t have a spring-form pan, nor did I have any desire to make my own crust, so instead I put it in a pre-made cookie pie crust. This was an absolutely wonderful way to do it (more like a pie than an actual cheesecake), but I then had enough cheesecake mix left over that I got 6 regular cupcake size cheesecakes out of it! Next time I’ll try it in the spring-form pan like it says, but for doing it the wrong way, it turned out pretty well! And then we topped it with whipped cream, because nothing in this family is complete without whipped cream.

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 18 OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups crumbs)
  • 2 Tbsp.  butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 pkg.  (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 can  (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp.  vanilla
  • 1 pkg.  (12 oz.) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks, melted, slightly cooled
  • 4 eggs

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 300°F.
  2. Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch spring-form pan.
  3. Beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
  4. Bake 1 hour 5 min. to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.

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When things get stressful, I freak out. I have horrible anxiety and I get all confused and depressed. But lately I’ve been remembering one of my favorite sayings “I can conquer the world with one hand as long as you’re holding the other.” As I think about this saying it really helps me to get through the tough times knowing that as long as I have Tony by my side there isn’t anything I can’t get through. Whether works out the way I want them too or not, I know that he’s always there for me and that he will always love me. I have never known a love like that, and to experience something so sincere and intense is hard for me; it’s so new (even after 2.5 years) to feel this kind of bond with someone. I am so thankful to have him in my life and I am so excited for us to be starting this new chapter together! Finally! I know that no matter what happens over the next few months that I can make it through all this and be okay as long as he is next to me. I’m ready to take on the world! Watch out!

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I love you baby, to infinity and beyond, forever and ever.

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes!

Today, I made Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes! and let me tell you, they are the most divine things ever! I got the recipe out of my new Better Homes and Garden cookbook, but you can find it here! The recipe calls for you to add frosting to them, but we opted out of frosting because they were wonderful by themselves. I do however, think that they would taste wonderful with a glaze over them, but I didn’t try it this time. The recipe also called for nuts, but we omitted those  too (because I have a nut allergy and my mom doesn’t like them in food). These are so yummy and are definitely better if eaten warm! Even Farmer Jim enjoyed one!

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