I can’t remember the last time I attended a wedding.
Scratch that, it was two years ago today. My cousin got married, and I was a little over a month of being 21. It was my first wedding I could (legally) drink at and it was a blast!
But after that no one I knew was getting married, until my coworker Jen got engaged last summer.
(Jen, by the way, runs a great DIY/home blog over at Grove Pointe Love. She hasn’t blogged recently but you can’t really blame her as she’s been wedding planning and just got back from her honeymoon!)
Can I just say that I love weddings? What isn’t there to love though, really? You have a reason to dress semi-formal, get your hair done, dance the night away, and drink without anyone judging you. It’s a celebration! And I have to say that Jen’s wedding was absolutely beautiful! Here are a couple shots from the night.
It’s hard to tell in this picture since it’s from my cell phone, but there were little diamonds all over the tables, too. I got to sit at a table of 8 with my coworkers and our significant others/dates. The table right next to us was another table of coworkers, and we were also sat by the Photo Booth and the bar, so we got plenty of great shots! Here’s one of all of us
And that’s just me being silly!
Since after the wedding, things have been a little busier than normal at work because our team of 3 got dropped down to 2 since Jen went on her honeymoon. Tomorrow is her first day back so my fingers are crossed that I will be a little less busy and have more time to blog, and maybe even start reading again! It’s been so long since I’ve read a book.
But for those of you who came with intentions of finding the recipe for the Best Shrimp You’ve Ever Had, I’ll stop digressing and give you what you want!
Best Shrimp You’ve Ever Had
- 1 bag fresh shrimp, with tails and shells
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 lemon
- 1 packet dried Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt the butter and pour onto foil lined baking sheet. Slice lemon and layer on top of the butter. Place shrimp on top of lemon slices and butter. Sprinkle dried Italian seasoning all over shrimp. Bake for 15 minutes.
I have tried this recipe with both shrimp with tails/shells and without tails/shells, and I must tell you that while it is a little bit of a pain to remove the shells and tails while trying to eat, the flavor is much better and the shrimp doesn’t dry out as much. It is really your personal preference though.
What’s your favorite shrimp recipe?
Hello again to my blogging friends! I know that I have been MIA for much too long (has it really been a month?!), but I must tell you that the break was much needed. There have been many changes and developments in my life these past few weeks, among them in my health, relationships with friends and families, and my job. 23 has proven to have just as tough of a start that 22 had, but I’m taking each day one at a time and trying to stay optimistic.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling down or stressed out is to bake some comfort food. For as long as I can remember, one of my most favorite dishes is a casserole that my mom made for my brothers and me. Whenever I tell friends or coworkers about this recipe, most of them turn up their noses at the thought of combining some of these ingredients, so I really must implore all of you reading this to at least try it before passing it by! It is truly one of those warming, feel good, comfort foods that make you think of home. (The best part is that this recipe only takes 6 ingredients!)
I have never actually learned the real name of this dish so I refer to it only as Mom’s Casserole.
- 1 box Kraft macaroni & cheese
- 10 oz. frozen broccoli florets
- 1 ring of Polish or smoked sausage
- 1 can cream of celery soup
- 1/4 cup milk (for mac & cheese)
- 4 tbsp. butter (for mac & cheese)
Make macaroni & cheese according to package. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350° F and chop sausage into round pieces. Run broccoli under hot water to thaw, and cut into smaller pieces if necessary. Combine mac & cheese, sausage, broccoli, and cream of celery into casserole dish, mixing well. Bake at least 30 minutes, or until bubbly.
And I must point out that you don’t want to nix on adding the cream of celery soup to this dish. It is really important in keeping the casserole from drying out while baking. My mom can attest to forgetting it once or twice and having to throw the whole thing out.
Do you have a go to comfort food that reminds you of your mom, dad, grandma, or anyone special?
There’s something about Sunday that just beckons you to be lazy and stay in your pajamas all day. I almost always gladly oblige, and today was no exception. So I knew I needed to pick a recipe for dinner that didn’t require much prep or effort to make. I decided to make one of my favorite meals, Taco Muffins, but I wanted to use chicken instead of beef so I could use my crockpot to cook the chicken.
I found a recipe for Ranch Chicken Tacos and based on the comments, altered the ingredient amounts to make enough for just me (and maybe one more meal) and made everything in the crockpot versus the stove top. It was really easy and honestly I mostly guessed at my amounts since I didn’t want to dirty any dishes like measuring cups (because that would mean I would have to do dishes, and that doesn’t fit in my day today.)
The taco muffin cups were probably what actually took the longest to do, but I enjoy them so much more than just tortillas wrapped up that I didn’t mind doing it. Plus, I got to use a margarita glass and eat all of the trimmings! You can read a little more on how to make muffin cups here.
Ranch Chicken Tacos
- 1/2 packet Ranch seasoning
- 1/2 packet taco seasoning
- two frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 8 oz. chicken broth (or bullion cubes in water, which is what I did)
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing
Pour all of your ingredients (except the ranch dressing) into the crockpot. Cook on high for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, depending on your crockpot’s heat intensity. When time is up, shred the chicken with a fork. Add in ranch dressing and mix well, covering shredded chicken. Turn heat on low and let simmer about 10 minutes.
That’s it! The chicken was so moist and basically fell apart when I shredded it in the crock. You could eat these in soft shells, hard shells, on nachos, on tostadas – pretty much anything. I baked my tortilla cups in a muffin pan in the oven at 350° for about 10 minutes to get them to the desired crunchiness I wanted.
Then I layered in my chicken, some shredded Mexican blend cheese, real bacon bits, a bit more ranch, and sour cream. Yum!
What did you make for dinner today?
Tomorrow is my birthday.
Isn’t it kind of weird how birthdays aren’t really that exciting anymore after 21?
Don’t get me wrong, I am very much happy and grateful to be celebrating another year of life. It’s just there’s no longer than anxious feeling about what that birthday signifies (13 you are finally a teenager, 16 you get your driver’s license, 18 you can gamble, 21 you can drink).
Birthdays used to be a big deal. You’d have parties, your family and friends would all come, and you’d have leftover cake for a week. Now, I live too far from my family and friends to see them, I work on my birthday, and cake is usually much too rich to eat. The joys of getting older!
I will say that 22 was the most challenging year of my life thus far – emotionally, physically, and mentally. All of the things I experienced I truly believe made me a better, more well-rounded, and mature person. My list includes: my first full year living on my own, being single (and happy) after a bad breakup with someone I thought I was going to be with for the rest of my life, adopting and being the sole provider for my first pet, skydiving, running my first 5K, handling and taking care of (most) of my finances on my own (my parents have definitely helped a lot, don’t get me wrong!), actually giving myself a vacation and going on my first cruise, and all of my work-related accomplishments.
Looking back on it all, even though 22 was difficult at some points, I must say it was a blast. And I am definitely looking forward to what 23 has to offer.
I’m heading up north this weekend with some friends to spend time at my friend’s cabin in Houghton Lake. It has been years since I’ve been there and quite some time since I had a relaxing weekend so I am looking forward to it!
One of my best friends, Lauren, is riding up north with me and I spent a good time of my evening yesterday creating the best playlist for our road trip. It should take us about two hours to get there.
What are you doing this weekend?