Monday, February 28, 2011


Welcome to the world sweet baby Collins!

On Jan. 3, 2011 the Hardy family welcomed their beautiful little girl, Collins Caroline Hardy. Whitney (her mother) and I have worked together over the last three years and created a special friendship.

Isn't she just a doll?

My first attempt at using my newest cookie cutters--the onesie is my favorite! (I will redeem myself and do a better job next time) Here's my cookie recipe if you've missed it before or here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

This was not my first time making alfredo sauce at home but it was MUCH better than the first time. Paul is actually the one who loves alfredo and I enjoy cooking what he enjoys eating (even though he may not need it since he has high cholesterol--but it's better than eating out, right?). I however can rarely justify the dreaded CALORIES. 

Grilled Chicken

1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the alfredo sauce:
3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour (for roux)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1½ cups heavy cream
1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil for cooking the pasta. While you are waiting, cook the chicken breasts. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Season both sides of the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cook until brown on one side, 3-5 minutes. Then flip and cook until browned on the other side and cooked through, an additional 3-5 minutes. Remove to a plate and let rest for a few minutes. Cut into small strips.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Then add flour to create a roux. Next, add the garlic and cream, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Mix in the Parmesan cheese and stir until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Source: sauce adapted from Annie's-Eats

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Running w/out being Chased

Yes, that's my M.O. You can now officially categorize me into the runner's category = 2nd time half marathon finisher. Yes, maybe I'm crazy--but I had an AMAZING time AGAIN. If you missed my post last year please check out Are We There Yet?

I've been thinking about the exhilaration of crossing a finish line and there really is a "Natural High" that's experienced. I'm not into breaking any world records, but the feeling of satisfaction as you cross the finish line makes you experience life differently. Now, I was the one praying out loud to God 15 min before we got started...Dear Lord, I'm asking (begging) you for strength and endurance--James 4:8 Draw unto the Lord, and He will draw unto you. You must reach out to Him, first...He's already there waiting on you! I found some of these verses true for last Sunday morning's preparations and I want to share with you.

Philippians 4:6 : Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Hebrews 12:11-13: No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Psalm 105:4: Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

Isaiah 41:10: So do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Below are some photos I took during the race. ENJOY!

Mile 6 (1-5 were pretty steady)

Double digits

13.1 miles CHECK!

How will you challenge yourself this week?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

I was thrilled to run across this recipe a few months ago so now that I've made these 2-3 times and they were all delicious I wanted to share. These muffins are puffy, yummy and melt in your mouth good. There's just something about a peanut butter and chocolate treat that makes my mouth start watering! I love this time of year when Reese's comes out with the Peanut Butter egg for Easter! (Oh, I know they invent a shape to match each holiday but the EGG is the best, don’t you agree?) Whip these puffy, dome shaped muffins up for a tantalizing brunch or mid day snack!

You could top off yours with peanut butter or cream cheese for more goodness!

Makes 12
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (or crunchy)
2 large eggs
1 cup milk (I used low fat, it was fine)
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, peanut butter, eggs and milk until smooth. Pour into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Batter will be thick.
Divide batter into your paper-lined muffin tin. Each cup should be filled to the top, not just half way up, to ensure you get a nice dome on the muffin.

Bake for 17-20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the top of the muffin springs back when lightly pressed.

Source: adapted from Baking Bites via Annies-Eats

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Homemade Fudge Rounds

Homemade Fudge Rounds

Is anyone else as obsessed as my husband with the Little Debbie Fudge Rounds? Well, my husband would probably eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner each and every day! He would choose a Fudge Round over most other fresh, homemade desserts (NOT ME!). Since he loves these soft batch, chocolaty, fudge cookies I concocted my own recipe for Valentine’s Day and surprised him with Homemade Fudge Rounds!

Ingredients (Makes 24 cookies or 12 pies):
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
5 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
8oz chocolate chips
2oz heavy cream

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and mix until the dough is nice and thick. Move it to a refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to cool.

While the dough is chilling, preheat an oven to 350 degrees and line baking trays with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and drop them on the tray.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until they expand and crack. Remove them from the oven and let them cool on wire racks.

To make the filling, melt the chocolate in a microwave or over a double boiler. Slowly beat in the cream and continue to mix until it has emulsified.

Pour a spoonful of the chocolate filling in the center of half of the cookies. Then, take an equal-sized cookie and make a sandwich out of the two. Let the filling harden before serving.

I hope you all had a loving Valentine's Day! Major props to my sweet Husband for getting me my fav cake to indulge in!! In case you're wondering it's the Moist Vanilla Buttercream Cake from Olexa's

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Teriyaki Burgers w/Mango Pineapple Salsa

Teriyaki Burgers w/Mango Pineapple Salsa

I have to admit I am EXTREMELY ready for some warmer weather around my neck of the woods! It has been too cold this winter here in Alabama. I've been stuck in the house (obviously) way too much! To spice things up at the Comer household Paul and I crafted a dinner menu to follow this week. So, a few nights ago we went outside our comfort zone and made these delicious burgers. These will def be on the menu come summer.
I hope you enjoy!
Mango Pineapple Salsa:

1 mango, diced
1-1½ cups diced fresh pineapple
½ of one red bell pepper, diced small
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro
Juice of one lemon/lime
Pinch of salt

Teriyaki sauce:
1/2 cup fresh chopped pineapple
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 inch of ginger, peeled & minced
1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. vinegar
1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tbsp. cold water
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 or 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Mango Pineapple Salsa: Combine all the ingredients and let marinate in the refridgerator while you make the Teriyaki sauce and grill the burgers.

To make the Teriyaki Sauce: Combine all the ingredients: pineapple, soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, garlic and vinegar in a blender. Puree in the blender or food processor until smooth. Next transfer the sauce to  saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble (about 1-2 minutes). In another smaller bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until the cornstartch dissolves and is smooth. Next, add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and whisk well until smooth. Continue heating the sauce until it becomes smooth and thick then remove from heat and set aside to pour over your burgers.

To make the burgers: Mix together the beef, garlic, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Then form the hamburger meat into 4 round patties. I cooked my burgers over my gas cooktop and they were perfectly delish! You could also heat up your grill and put your husband to work. Cook the hamburgers on medium-high heat, turning once, 4 minutes per side. 

Assembling your Teriyaki Burger w/Mango Pineapple Salsa: Place the hamburger patty on the bun and spread a hearty amount of the Teriyaki sauce over the meat then add a scoop of the salsa for an extra kick!
*I opted to make my own Homemade Hamburger Buns (you can use store bought) which made them extra delish and homemade. :) Some extra time was involved to prepare the buns but it was worth it! See here for the recipe.
Source: adapted from White on Rice Couple via Annies-Eats

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

4.30.2011: Ben and Heather

I was honored & thrilled when my sweet, beautiful cousin asked me to take engagement pictures of her and Ben. How could I resist a fun, relaxing engagement session with two of my favorite people? They have some AMAZING years ahead of them! :)
Hope you enjoy these photos as much as we did!

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