Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Best Gift Ever!

The day before Thanksgiving we received an email from our adoption attorney about a possible adoption situation.  There were some details that she needed to disclose to gauge our interest.  Ad after discussion and prayer, we told her we were still interested.

We put together a paper profile and she presented our profile (along with a few others) to the birth mother.  After what seemed like FOREVER, our attorney called us to let us know that the birth mother chose us!!!!!!!

So, if all works out, we will be parents in February!!!

Best.  Christmas.  Ever!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Creamy Chicken Piccata

I love finding new recipes.  I was looking for something to make dinner and couldn't think of anything, so I turned to the internet and found this dish.

My husband REALLY liked it, (honestly, so did I).  It is another keeper recipe.

The blog I found it on adapted this recipe from the Pioneer Woman.  I adapted it yet again.

The marinated chicken.  Can you see the basil and pepper???  Ohhhh... the goodness!
The "juice" is some of the marinade and water from the chicken.
The excess liquid does evaporate.  

See??  The extra liquid is gone.  

The sauce was REALLY lemony and that is why I adapted the recipe.
It's not that I don't like lemon, but it totally took over the flavor of the sauce.
I also omitted the capers.  I am not a fan of them.
Here is the finished product.  OMG!!!  

Creamy Grilled Chicken Piccata
inspired by The Pioneer Woman

6 Tbsp lemon juice
6 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp basil
8 hand trimmed thin cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Pasta & Sauce
1 package penne pasta cooked

4 Tbsp butter
12 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 pint half and half (or heavy cream)
½ tsp nutmeg
4 tsp dried basil
2 Tbsp capers
2 cups grated fresh parmesan cheese
2 tsp chicken base

Combine first 6 ingredients in Ziploc bag and mix well.  Place chicken in the bag with the marinade Marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator. 

Start pasta about 5 minutes ahead of everything and cook according to directions.
Cook chicken in a frying pan.  Once chicken is done, remove chicken and let rest.  In same pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Whisk in chicken base, garlic and lemon juice.  Pour in half and half and nutmeg then whisk until hot.  Add the parmesan cheese, basil and capers, then heat until cheese is melted.  Toss in pasta.

Slice chicken into strips and serve over pasta.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Baking Has Begun!

The past two days have been filled with the aroma of Thanksgiving. oh yeah.

Pies, cookies and cakes.  Oh man.  I love the holidays!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Snickerdoodle Blondies

I have been cooking and baking for years.  I have read all sorts of blogs are all about baking and cooking.  I got to thinking, why not put the stuff I make on my blog.

I am not as organized, sophisticated or good at photographing food as many others, I usually don't even think about taking pictures until I am done,  but oh well.

Here is the finished product:

Although they don't taste exactly like a Snickerdoodle cookie, they are delicious!!!

Snickerdoodle Blondies

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 9×13-inch pan with nonstick spray, line pan with parchment and let it hang over the sides, then  spray the parchment with nonstick spray too. (The parchment is optional but creates nice handles to lift the bars out for easier cutting.) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cream of tartar and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer (3 to 5 minutes). Mix in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla, beating until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until well blended. The batter will be thick. Spread it evenly into the prepared pan. Spray your hands with cooking spray and use them to pat the mixture down evenly. Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly on top of batter. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Let pan cool completely. When ready to cut, use ends of parchment paper to lift out baked bars. Place on a cutting board. Use a large, sharp knife to cut into bars.

Makes 20 to 24 bars

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Braised Chicken with Tomatillos and Jalapenos

I was watching the Food Channel and Ann Burrell was on making this dish.  I normally don't make things I see off the food network, but this looked too good not to try!

This is the chicken simmering in the tomatillo and jalapeno mixture
This is the sour cream with the lime zest and lime juice.
The finished product!

I had to make a few slight adjustments to the recipe, just because of what I had in the house.  I only had 3 tomatillos, so I used 2 tomatoes.  I also used boneless, skinless breasts.   I left the seeds of both jalapenos in there.  It gave it some heat, but not too much.

Now, I have not perfected my food photography.  It looks so much better in person.

Whenever I make a new recipe, I always have my husband take the first bite and wait for his reaction.  If it was really good, he'll shake his head and say "oh man".  I got my "oh man".  It was delicious!!

So, without further ado, here is the recipe:

Braised Chicken with Tomatillos and Jalapenos
From Ann Burrell


6 tomatillos, husked
2 jalapenos
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and skin
4 chicken legs
Kosher salt
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 limes, zested and juiced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus a few more leaves for garnish

Lime Sour Cream:
1/2 cup sour cream
2 limes, zested and juiced
      Preheat the grill.
·         Place the tomatillos and jalapenos on the grill and cook until the skins char and blister, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the tomatillos and jalapenos from the grill and let cool.
·         Coat a large, wide straight-sided saute pan with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat.
·         Sprinkle the chicken generously with salt. Add the chicken legs and thighs, skin-side down, to the hot pan. Brown the chicken well on all sides. Remove from the pan and reserve.
·         Ditch the excess fat from the pan and add a few drops of new oil. Add the onions, season with salt and cook until the onions are very soft and aromatic, 7 to 8 minutes.
·         While the onions are cooking, coarsely chop the tomatillos and reserve. Chop the jalapenos into 1/4-inch dice and reserve with the tomatillos. If you want to tone down the heat, remove the seeds from the jalapenos before chopping.
·         Add the garlic to the pan with the onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
·         Add the reserved tomatillos and jalapenos. Stir to combine and add the chicken stock, lime juice and zest. Taste and season with salt if needed (it probably will).
·         Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.
·         Remove the lid and let cook for 15 more minutes. This will allow the stock to reduce. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

For the sour cream:
·         Combine the sour cream with the lime zest and juice and reserve.
·         Remove the chicken from the pan and stir in the cilantro.
·         Spoon the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve with the lime sour cream.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When You Fall Off The Horse...

Even though our original adoption plans didn't work out as we had hoped, we have decided to "get back in the saddle" and try again.

Many months ago, I deleted our adoption blog.  I have spent half the night trying to build another one.  Luckily for us, the blog address that we had used previously was available again!

I wanted to approach it differently this time.  This new design is an extension of our profile on It's About  I won't be posting on it very often.  I will mostly just be adding photos and information.

So, my friends, we are asking that you please help us spread the word that we are hoping to adopt.  If you would like to link our adoption blog to yours, please feel free.

Our adoption blog address is:

Thank you for all the support you have shown us.

Much Love,

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

If You Need Anything, Just Let Me Know...

How many times in our lives have we said the words: "If you need anything, just let me know" to friends or family members that are going through a difficult time?  I have said those words many times.

Yesterday, a friend in need called me and took me up on that offer that I had made to her just a few days ago.  I have to say, I was so glad she did.

In our church, we are taught that if you are having troubles of your own, serve your fellow man.  I know that may sound weird to some folks, but I tested that theory today and, it's true.  I have been down about our failed adoption, and it is so easy to hide myself away and become a hermit, letting my heart be consumed by sadness over this.  My friend calling me was the smack upside the head that I needed to remind me that other people are going through trials and have needs too.

In the midst of helping her today, it gave me a reprieve from my sorrows and gave me a resolve to look for opportunities to serve others.

So, if you ever need anything, just let me know....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Empty Arms and Broken Hearts

As you all know, my husband and I were in the process of adopting a baby boy.

Unfortunately, our birth mother couldn't go through with the adoption and decided not to place her baby.  The worst part is the way she did it.  There was no discussion, no explanation.  She more or less took the baby and ran.  We haven't heard from her since.

Needless to say, we are angry and devastated.

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's Almost Time!

In just about two weeks, my life is going to change forever.  If all goes as we would like it to, I will have a new title.... Mother.  

It is so close and yet still so far.  I can see the finish line, I am exhausted, my nerves are shot, but we are still full of hope and anticipation.  Until papers are signed, I will not be able to relax or even breathe. 

I will be taking a break from posting for a while.  We need to finish preparing both our house and our hearts for baby.  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Do Re Me Fa So La Ti Do....

Last Sunday I had an appointment with my Bishop.  During that appointment, I asked for a calling, an opportunity to serve. 

He looked at me and said he felt inspired to extend this particular calling, but it would shock me.  Boy, was he right!  I was called as our Ward Choir Director.  All I could do was laugh.  I mean REALLY laugh.  I accepted, of course, but oh man. 

The funny part.......I have NO training in music AT ALL, except for my 7th grade band class. 

Even though I can't carry a beat in a bucket, I have faith that the Lord has a reason for wanting me to have this calling right now.   I feel a sense of peace and excitement about this calling and I am looking forward to this new adventure.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tammy's Bookshelf

Books have always been part of my life. I cannot remember a time when I wasn't engrossed in a book. Going to the bookshelf (whether at home or the library) and choosing a new book or one that I may have read many times has always been a source of enjoyment. 

Now, with a baby on the way {through adoption} it is more important than ever for me to have books around that our little one can treasure.

That being said, I decided to become an Independent Consultant of Usborne Books & More to share with others the joy that can be found in books.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blank Canvas

We are finally starting to get the baby's room ready. And by getting the room ready, I mean going through all the crap we have thrown in there that we don't want messing up the rooms in the house that people actually see.

I am wondering how much we should decorate. Do people still create nurseries?

I am asking all of the parents out there, what did you do? Did you go all out or did you feel like you were fine with the bare necessities?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Want My Mommy!

I called my mom last night. We talked about this and that. We talked about my impending adoption. The more we talked, the more emotional I became.

Our baby's due date is right around the corner. Our birth mom lives in a different state and due to all the legal hoops we need to jump through after the birth, we will need to be there for about 4-5 weeks. Due to hubby's work schedule, there is also a strong chance that I may have to be there for a few weeks by myself. with a new baby. by. my. self.

As I was telling my mom all of this, I realized how terrified I am. I also realized how much I need my mom during this time in my life.

I just wish she didn't live so far away.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

If You Read My Blog... You'll Win a Trophy!!!

Well, not really, but it brings me to my point.

As some of you know, my husband and I are finally going to be parents. We were matched with a birth mother and our baby will is due in a few months.

I made a comment today at work about how if our child wanted to play on a sports team that gave out "participation trophies", that I would not let him play for that team.

The reaction to that statement would make someone think that I killed a puppy, and the "discussion" became very intense. I won't go into the gory details, but I felt that no matter what I said, I was just not going to be understood.

I still stand by my opinion. I think that participation trophies are ridiculous. I guess I grew up during a time where trophies were earned, something that you worked hard to get and if your team lost, it made you want to work that much harder next time.

Have I changed my mind about letting our child participate on a team that has participation trophies? I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Miracles Happen When You Least Expect Them

It came out of no where. It was unexpected and COMPLETELY shocked us.... and it came at a time where we had finally let go.

Our BIG news.......Mike and I were recently matched with a birth mother. We are going to be parents!

If this is a dream, please... don't wake us.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Cutest Dog Ever!!!

I found this picture and went into cute overload.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

In Memory

Lenore Denna
1917 - 2011

On Thursday, March 17, 2011, my grandmother passed away. She was 93. This picture was taken in 1987, 10 years before her husband of 62 years passed. Although it breaks my heart that she is gone, I am comforted that she is reunited with her eternal companion, the love of her life, my grandfather.

I am standing by the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch
until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says, 'There she goes!

Gone where? Gone from my sight - that is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar

as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the places of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says,

'There she goes! ' ,
there are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout :
'Here she comes!'

by Henry Van Dyke

Until we meet again.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's Not the Car, It's ME!!!!!!

I am not thrilled to admit that I have been in MANY car accidents since getting my license. I have to say, though, that MOST of them were not my fault.

Well.... I added to my streak. (I'm ok and no one else was hurt)

I decided to run to the store to get some things I needed for dinner. I parked my car next to one of those cart corralls and after turning off the engine, started playing on my phone. Out of nowhere, I am jerked violently in my car while hearing a loud sound.

I GOT IN AN ACCIDENT WHILE PARKED!!!! This is the second time since we bought our car that I have gotten hit and I wasn't even moving.

Apparently, this particular accident happened because this lady lost control of her truck and it hit the cart corrall, which then in turn hit our car.

I used to think that my car was the bulls eye, but no matter what car I drive, I attract accidents.

I have included some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Race is Over

There comes a time when tough decisions need to be made. We made one tonight.

We have decided that we are not going to move forward adoption.

Thanks for all the love and support you have shown us through out this time.

Much love,

Friday, February 11, 2011

Heart Attack!

Yesterday evening, as I was sitting peacefully in my home, my doorbell rang. I opened the door and couldn't help but grin from ear to ear.

I found this on my porch:

There were also paper hearts taped to our door and all over our front yard.

Thank you to those who took the time to think of us. It warmed our hearts and made our day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's On!

This semester is not as fun as last semester. Part of the reason is my English teacher. I have had this assignment that has been a thorn in my side. I have turned it in 3 times and even enlisted the help of a friend who is an English professor and that version STILL wasn't good enough!!

After my last submission, he graced me with a "C" and said that I have the option of resubmission for a higher grade. A "C"?????? To say I was miffed is putting it mildly.

So, it's on!! Every class I have taken so far, has produced an A. I know I am not stupid. I have written essays and have gotten good grades...ON THE FIRST TRY!! I will get an A!! I guess this is the whole point and all... to make me a better writer and student. I could appreciate the whole "Stand and Deliver" thing if he weren't being such an ass about it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Groundhog's Day!!

According to Punxsutawney Phil, Spring will be here before we know it. Actually, I am a little disappointed. Snow came to our neck of the woods, thanks to this freak winter storm and I am not ready to let it go!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

No Offense But....

Many people have caught whatever creeping crud that is going around. SO FAR {{knocking on wood}} I have not caught it. So, I would like to put out a special message to all my sick friends:

I am sorry you are sick. I am sending some virtual hugs your way. I love you and I hope you get well soon, but I will be avoiding you until you get better. So far, I have managed to go 4 months without getting sick and would like to beat my previous record of 7 months.

That is all.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Need a Change

For the past year or so, we have had our adoption blog. I have been very schitzophrenic about posting, because for a while I had been in a really bad funk about my infertility and the whole adoption process. I am working my way out it.

As part of this process, I want to give our adoption blog a facelift.

I would like some suggestions as to the design. Colors, themes, etc.

(if you would like to look at the current design, clickety here.)

Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Has it Been 20 Years Already????

I recently reconnected with someone I went to high school with. I am so glad I did. It brought back a lot of memories. Then I remembered that my reunion is this year.

It just blows my mind that my 20 year reunion is in a few months. Really??? 20 years have gone by since I graduated high school???


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