When the (future) husband is away, girls will play (video games and cook their favorite foods!)

Brandon has had the dumbest and craziest work schedule for a very long time. He is leaving his current job soon for one that treats him better and pays better, but in the meantime, I’ve had to deal with lonely nights at home. One of the worst parts about it is being hungry but not wanting to cook because it’s just me in the house until after midnight. So I end up perpetually munching, which is bad for my health and boring, instead of cooking up something yummy and fun. Tonight I decided to say screw it and cook something out of my big book. 

Image Here’s the big book- AKA, one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever received. Brandon’s mom filled this book with a bunch of family recipes and an amazing tear-jerker of a personal note for us inside. There are plenty of pages for us to add our own recipes and then pass it down to our kids. I’ve added a few dishes, but month’s of Pintrest searching for recipes doesn’t stack up to this book of goodies. One of my favorite recipes in it is Cheeseburger in Paradise Casserole. To me, this is one of the yummiest meals ever. To Brandon, it is gross. Nobody ever talks about the part of relationships where you disagree over the tasty levels of food. It could be because we are both food obsessed chubby kids, but food is a big part of our lives and has embarrassingly caused some fights! I decided to make it tonight for that reason. Not the fights, but because he isn’t here and I love it. 

Image I’m going to post a picture of a blogging professional who made this so you can actually see how good it is, because my picture obviously doesn’t do it justice. The egg in it gives it a very quiche feeling, which is my favorite part and Brandon’s least favorite part. I have to stop myself or I will eat the entire thing in one night. Here’s the recipe:

 

CHEESEBURGER IN PARADISE CASSEROLE

Ingredients:
1 lb. hamburger
Small onion- diced
½ t. seasoned salt
½ t. garlic powder
Dash Worchestire sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
½ cup original Bisquick mix
2 eggs

Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cook hamburger and onion – drain
Return meat to pan and add worcestrire, salt, and garlic powder
In a bowl whisk together milk, eggs, and Bisquick
Spread the meat in a 9” pie pan
Sprinkle cheese over meat mixture
Add milk mixture over meat
Bake 25 minutes or until knife comes out clean

 Cheeseburger In Paradise Casserole Recipe

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Stuffed Peppers!

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. It’s mostly because I forget to take pictures of my food until my plate is empty, and other than eating, my life is pretty boring. Really, though. Speaking of food! My dinner tonight (Brandon’s working a 12 hour shift, so I’ve been alone all day sitting in silence) was pretty delicious. I made stuffed peppers, but before I give you the recipe and all the dirty details of cooking the peppers, I’m going to talk about my mommy!

So my mom is the General Manager at the Arby’s in my town. She’s been the GM for nearly a decade, ever since the store opened. She runs an amazing store. I’m not just saying that because she’s my mom. The store is spotless, the food is fast and always right, the employees are nice, and the environment is wonderful. It’s such a fun place to be. I spend a lot of my time there even though I don’t work there. She works so many hours that the only time I get to see her is if I go and hang out. Everyone there is goofy and cares about each other.

Because my mom is such a caring lady, she always tries to hook people up with deals. She noticed one family was in constantly spending tons of money, so she offered them coupons and as we call it “worked her magic” to get them some sweet deals. It turns out that they worked at the muck (the muck refers to the farmland just outside town where a few dominate family owned farms have crazy huge operations). Anyhow, they have been bringing my mom extra veggies for a few weeks. There are boxes and boxes of fresh vegetables for her and her employees at Arby’s every week. Today, I decided to take some of the peppers to make a quick dinner for myself. 

Image I started out by putting my peppers in a pot of water on the stove to soften them up a bit. I put my rice on (I used 2 cups of brown rice) and started browning my meat. I seasoned the meat with chili powder, paprika, and some onion flakes. I kept the peppers on all the way until I had the rice and meat done and combined together in the skillet with some mozzarella cheese. 

Image I know people stuff their peppers with all sorts of stuff, but Brandon and I are both picky eaters. I just went with a simple mix of cheese, rice, meat. My mom adds tomatoes to hers, but soggy canned tomatoes are both bad for you and they taste gross, and Brandon doesn’t like tomatoes. I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and started to prepare my peppers. I use tongs to take them out of the hot water and ran them under cool water. I know stuffed peppers generally are made with Bell Peppers, but I used long greens. I cut the top and bottom off, made a slit down the middle, and spooned out the insides. 

After I had all the peppers ready, I stuffed the big portions of the mixture in, lining a small baking dish with the almost done peppers. I poured some tomato juice along the peppers and around the pan, then topped it with a little more cheese. 

Image I kept the peppers in the oven about 15 minutes, but they honestly could have gone another 5-10 minutes. I was just really impatient and ready to eat! I admit, I have never been a fan of stuffed peppers. But today I just had an insane hankering for them. I still don’t eat the peppers all the way, I know, I know, but I’m getting there. On my quest to eat healthier- and to try to get Brandon to enjoy food that isn’t completely terrible for him- I guess I’ll have to get over my weird texture thing with foods. 

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I forgot how filling stuffed peppers were until I was finished with one and was ready to put the leftovers away. I made sure to send a picture to my mom to show her that I’m an adult and know how to cook (and to make her jealous of my dinner). Now I’m back to sitting by myself waiting for Brandon. Is this something all fiances/wives do, or just super clingy ones like me? 

On an unrelated note- I ordered the wedding invitations today! EEEEK! 79 days. 

Steak, Potatoes, and Salad

 

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I love meat. All types of meat. You don’t even have to tell me what it is, and I’ll most likely eat it if there isn’t hair on it. If I’m hungry enough, leave the hair on. In the past 7 months of living on our own, Brandon and I have ventured into a lot of meat cooking areas. But there has always been one that has been off limits- steak. Not that we don’t like it. We love steak. I could seriously eat steak for every meal and not have it lose the allure. But we’d never cooked it before, and didn’t want to spend a ton of money just to mess something up.

While shopping a week ago we happened to find some small steaks for a good price. Knowing that cheap meat isn’t always good meat, we still decided to get it to experiment with. Two days ago we thawed the meat and put it in a pan, coating it with soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. We then rubbed both sides down the paprika, chili powder, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion flakes, salt, and pepper. We then let it marinade in the fridge for a whopping 27 hours. 

We would’ve loved to cook outside on the grill, seeing as it was over 80 degrees, but we are grill-less. So we pan cooked them on the stove. While they were cooking, I made up some of Misty’s (Brandon’s mom) diced/fried potatoes that I fell in love with when we lived with her. I put some oil and butter in a pan and let it heat up with paprika, garlic powder and chili powder cooking in while I diced the potatoes. Once I added the diced potatoes, I put in some more butter, and salted the potatoes. 

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We had salad and bottled orange cream soda with the meal. YUM. We both like our steak medium, so it was definitely an experiencing trying to figure out how to cook them the right way. The steaks were delicious, even with the quality not being so great. It was extremely fatty, but once we trimmed it up, the steak was so well marinated and cooked that- mmm… I want some more! Now that we have a little more experience, I think we will definitely be buying some quality meat. 

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A Look into VHS Madness

I mentioned before that we have recently started collecting VHS tapes. Well that fun little “collection” has turned into a complete addiction. Every time we go out we think, “Where can we find some VHS tapes?” Every Buybacks in a 45 mile radius cowers when they see us walking in. Thrift stores, unaware of our madness, call in back up when they see us unloading a pile of dozens of tapes on their counter. I wish I was joking. These have all happened.

We have two full size bookshelves in the living room, and one three shelf-er. The smaller of the two full size one houses my books and our comics, and on the top is our preserved pig heart, skulls… the creepy stuff we own. The next bookshelf had two rows of Blu-Rays and our PS3/Xbox360 games. The rest of the shelves were for our action figures and nerdy stuff. The mini bookshelf held our record player on top. The first shelf had our records and the rest was also  full of geeky stuff. 

These VHS tapes have completely ruined the structure of my living room. I have organized. Reorganized. And then threw a tantrum because I’m out of room. We have called in another smaller bookshelf for all our nerdy stuff that was on the original first one (the clams don’t fit on the new one). Our big media/bookshelf is now a row of VHS tapes. It’s madness. 

I’ve decided to list all 172 VHS tapes we have somehow acquired over the past two or so weeks. 

40 Days and 40 Nights
Ace Venture Pet Detective
Ace Venture When Nature Calls
The Addams Family
Amazing Sports Bloopers II
American Pie
American Pie 2
Austin Powers International Man of Mystery
Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me
Austin Powers Goldmember
Back to the Future II
Batman Forever
Batman Returns
Batman and Robin
Barney’s Best Manners
Bevis and Butthead Do America
Bebe’s Kids
Big
Blair Witch Project
Black Sheep
Blade
Blade II
Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey
The Brady Movie
Bring it On
Bubble Boy
Cat in the Hat
Conan the Barbarian
Conan the Destroyer
Clockstoppers
Christmas Story
Charlotte’s Web
The Craft
Daredevil
Dazed and Confused
Doc Hollywood
Dogma
Dude Where’s my Car
Dumb & Dumber
E.T.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Final Destination II
Freddy’s Dead
Frankenstein
Flinstones
Friday
George of the Jungle
Girl, Interrupted
Godzilla
Godzilla vs Gigan
Godzilla vs Space Godzilla
Gothkia
Gone in 60 Seconds
Hackers
Halloween
Hannibal
Heavyweights
Horror Hotel
Hollow Man
Hook
Independence Day
Indian Jones Temple of Doom
Indian Jones Last Crusade
Iron Giant
Jason X
Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park Lost World
Jurassic Park III
Land Before Times
Little Vampire
Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Rings
Lord of the Rings Return of the King
Mallrats
Mask
Men In Black
Mission Impossible
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Mrs. Doubtfire
The Muppets
The Muppets Take Manhattan
Newsies
Old School
The Others
Pirates of the Caribbean
Predator
Prom Night
Psycho
Raiders of the Lost Arc
Road Trip
Rock and Bullwinkle
Romeo + Juliet
Rush Hour
Rush Hour II
Sailor Moon Birthday Blues
Sailor Moon Sailors Unite
Sandlot
Save the Last Dance
Scooby Doo Space Ape at the Cape
Scooby Doo Haunted House Hang Ups
Silence of the Lambs
Sixth Sense
Snow Day
South Park Volume I
South Park Volume II
Spawn
Speed
Star Wars New Hope
Star Wars Return of the Jedi x2
Star Wars Phantom Menace
Star Wars Attack of the Clones
Starship Troopers
Stigma
Superstar
Tales From the Crypt Demon Nights
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
Terminator
Terminator II
Thirteen Ghosts
Tommy Boy
Troy
Urban Legends
Vanilla Ice Ninja Rap
Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: Birthday World
Wayne’s World
The Wizards
WWF In Your House
X Files Movie

CLAMSHELLS:
Aladdin
Antz
Bambi
Cats and Dogs
Casper
Chicken Run
Cinderella
The Dark Crystal
Flubber
Harriet the Spy
James and the Giant Peach
Land Before Time
Land Before Time II
Land Before Time IV
Land Before Time Big Freeze
Holes
Matilda
Monsters Inc.
Mulan
Nightmare Before Christmas
Osmossis Jones
Pagemasters
Princess Diaries
The Rugrats Movie
The Rugrats in Paris
Scooby Doo Vampire Island
Scooby Doo Witches Curst
Sleeping Beauty
Toy Story
Toy Story II
Tarzan
Space Jam
We’re Back
Wild Thornsberry Movie
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

LIBRARY CASES:
Casper: A Spirited Beginning
Zoboomafoo
Haunted Mansion

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What. A. Mouthful. I get to experience movies from my childhood all over again. Nostalgia to Brandon is the best part of VHS hunting. I guess it is for me too. I love how it brings the two of us together. Not that we don’t have similar interests or anything. But there’s a common joke/fight in my house that I never want to watch or go to the movies. I don’t see the fun in theaters, and when it comes to picking out a Blu-Ray, I have no interest. My motto is put it on and I might pay attention. But with VHS tapes I love figuring out what to watch, and groaning as we rewind because someone didn’t rewind. It’s just an experience. I can tell you one thing- I’m super stoked garage sales are starting to pop up! More tapes and other goodies for me. Hopefully I can find a bookshelf somewhere, too, because we are 100% completely out of room!

Pulled Pork & Corn on the Cob

It’s been a while since I’ve made a recipe post. I haven’t stopped cooking and forced Brandon to eat a diet of cookies and frozen pizza, if that’s what you’re thinking… he went down that path on his own. I’m joking. Sort of. I have been cooking, I just always forget to take a picture until the nummies are in my belly. So today I made sure to document my food-ventures.

I made BBQ pulled pork for the first time ever today. I forgot how much it stinks when it’s in the crock pot! Yuck. I put it in the crock pot around 10 this morning with some chicken broth and water. I gave it a good rub of paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I added some spices to the broth/water for good measure as well. At 4:30-ish Brandon shredded it for me as I put our corn on the cob on the stove to boil. We had some leftover biscuits from a big yummy breakfast two days ago, so I warmed those up as well. We smothered the now pulled pork with Sweet Baby Ray’s, the only BBQ sauce worth talking about, and let it warm up. Voila! 

 

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Where oh where did my hair go? (featuring my wedding is right around the corner)

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My hair is gone. G-O-N-E. And though I don’t 100% love it yet, I’m pretty sure I’m over the hyperventilating because it’s way too short phase. Now I’m left with this cute hair that is so easy to manage and is finally curly again! My long hair was such dead weight, it took out all the bounce to my curl. Having my curls back is the best part of this new short hair. And I have bangs again, which is pretty strange adjusting to. 

So today marks 98 days until the wedding. I remember when we got engaged in May 2013 and decided to wait until the summer of 2014 to get married. We had originally picked out September 13, 2014. But a month later we were like… no that’s too far away. Ha! If only we realized how far August 10 still was… as if shaving off just over a month was going to help our eagerness. We wanted it to be that far away so we could have time to save money and plan. Which we did none of. So now it’s 98 days until we get married… 98 days… and we have nothing done. I’m just kidding. We have a lot done. Almost everything, actually. But I feel like nothing is ready. I think that’s just how a bride feels? 

The one thing that I am extremely frustrated with for the wedding is the cake. I had wanted just a one or two tier cake and a bunch of cupcakes, but I changed my mind and now just want a cake. And I had planned on going to Walmart to save money. But after evaluating Walmart’s cake prices I decided to get quality cake from an actual baker because it would be the same price. So a week or so ago I started emailing all the local bakeries and ladies who do cakes from their homes, etc. And somehow everyone is unavailable. Either because they’re on vacation then or my favorite, just unavailable due to other obligations, nowhere around me has the weekend of my wedding available. So I’m slightly freaking out and just a tad bit upset that I might have to go back to Walmart. 

I’m also irked with my dress alterations. I bet everyone around me is tired of hearing about it. I bought my dress at David’s Bridal so just decided to get it altered there. Simple enough, I thought. And it won’t be that much because my dress fits perfectly and all that’s wrong is the train is just a little too long. Two excruciatingly long hours later of me standing and being poked by a new girl later… she told me my dress was too tight (I said I’d lose a few pounds and she got so angry at me and said, do you realize how much weight 5 pounds is?!?!), pressured me into a corset even though I explicitly said I hated them and didn’t want one on my casual dress, and put about a thousand bustle points later in, she slapped me with a bill for over $300 dollars. Luckily for me, a senior tailor came in and heard my corset complaints and said just to let it out an inch, so that eased my mind on the god awful corset that didn’t even come in the color of my dress… yes, they tried putting a white corset on the back of my off white dress? Anyhow. The bill came out to over $300 dollars and they told me I had to pay then or take my dress. After they had poked me, poked my dress, and made me feel terrible about my weight I just wanted to be out of there. I didn’t have the money, so I had to borrow it from my mom. It honestly was one of the worst experiences of my life. 

But the point of weddings is to celebrate, not complain. So despite all the bad stuff that happens with wedding planning and all the unexpected costs, I am truly blessed. I have a wonderful supportive mother, actually, just a wonderful supportive family in general. But especially my mom. Brandon’s family is just as supportive. I have a beautiful ring that Brandon works hard for. He works hard for all of what we have, and I am so grateful for it. My dress, however much they made me hate it during my fitting, is stunning. Our venue is amazing and perfect for us. 

Just remember, the wedding isn’t about all the extra junk, it’s about two people becoming one.