Monday, March 29, 2010

Easy as Pie

If you ever need to carry a dessert to an event, but do not feel like making a mess in your kitchen..then this is the perfect dessert. You do not even have to pull out a bowl. It is super rich and delicious, and looks like you put a lot of time into it!

Brian told me Saturday afternoon that we were supposed to bring something to church that night, and since my kitchen was decently clean, I did not want to make a mess! (because I do not clean on Sundays!) I had piece of this yummy caramel pie at a MOPs (mothers of preschoolers) event, and decided to give it a try. I found the recipe in a church cook book from my MIL.

  • 1 can condensed milk (I used Eagle brand)

  • 1 carton of cool whip (I used extra creamy..yum)

  • 1 prepared pie-crust (I used chocolate graham cracker, but any flavor will do)

  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Put unopened can of milk in pot of water and boil for two hours. (Yes, boil the can for two whole hours!)

2. After boiling, Pour cold water over can for 5 minutes.

3. Open can (be careful, caramel may still be hot!) and pour into pie crust.

4. Add whipped cream

5. Top with chocolate chips or any other desired topping (chocolate syrup or toffee bits would be good as well)

No mess..just Sweet yummy Caramel Pie!

I wanted to take a picture of a slice of pie. But it was all gone once I got into the line for dessert!

Oh, and props to the hubby on the photos...He wanted to make the background to look pretty. :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sissy's house

Well the girls and I took a trip down south to see "Sissy" during her week of Spring Break.  Mom was kind enough to help me out with the girls during her "break" from school.  We all an enjoyed are time together. 
Here are a few pictures to show just exactley why the girls love Sissy's house:

She has THE most comfy BIG bed!

She has fun places to sit outside.

Nanny is always sure to make several visits.

She always makes sure we look pretty, even lets us wear bonnets!

Sissy shares her snacks.

Uncle Jack is a sweet and fun uncle.

Sissy lets us eat chocolate bunnies!

We always get to go to fun places.
(Campbell is trying to carry Adeline in her car seat..)

We always enjoy our stay at Sissy's.  We look forward to seeing her in April along with Aunt Lele!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A woman of noble character

Margaret Campbell Norris

  Proverbs 31 talks about a woman of noble character.  I could not think of better words to describe this woman:

10 [c] A wife of noble character who can find?

She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her

and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,

all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax

and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,

bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark;

she provides food for her family

and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it;

out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;

her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,

and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff

and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor

and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;

for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;

she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,

where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,

and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;

she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,

and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,

but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,

and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

    Two weeks ago today, this precious woman went to meet her Heavenly Father.  She was a very special lady to many people.  Her bright spirit and perseverance to serve the Lord not only touched the lives of her family but to all those who met her.  She had a zeal for life and had a way of making anyone around her feel welcome and comfortable.

    Although I have only known Mam-maw for about 5 years, her spark for life had an impact on mine from the day I met her.  The first time I met Mammaw, Brian and I were dating.  We went to church that Sunday, and she told everyone that I was going to be her granddaugher.  My face turned beet red, but she was as excited as could be.  And I could not help but hope that it would one day be true. 
    It was immediately obvoius to me that this was a woman who served the Lord.  You could honestly feel the presence of the Lord everytime you stepped into that house.  She always let you know that she cared about you and was praying for you.  Although she did not have to tell you this because it was obvious by the way she treated you. 
   I am thankful for the life she lived to honor the Lord because I am able to see the influence that she and Pappaw have had on their family, especially in the life of my husband.  They have been such an example of a couple who loves the Lord and lives their life to serve the Lord. 
  Mammaw loved the Lord and she truly lived the verse Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if for the Lord and not for men." She was funny, a great cook, friendly, outgoing, beautiful and talented in so many ways, and she always found a way to use her abilities to glorify the Lord.
   She had many people that were near and dear to her heart, and I know these hearts are still aching for her loss.  So we will continue to pray for her family and friends that are dealing with this loss. But we are so proud and glad to know that she is finally "home" singing praises for the Lord. 

Mammaw with Campbell on the piano.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Low-Carb Recipes

Well here are those low-carb. recipes I promised.. let me know if you enjoy them as well and I will post more as I go along.

Cajun Tilapia with Steamed Vegetables

• 4 Tilapia Filets (boneless)
• 1 to 2 TB Smart Balance butter
• 1 TB Old Bay Seasoning
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. garlic
• ½ tsp pepper
• ½ tsp parsley
• 1 Lemon

• Bag of fresh mixed vegetables from produce section (comes in a steam able plastic bag)
Salt, pepper and garlic to taste

-Mix Old Bay, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley
-Sprinkle over both sides of tilapia
-Cut lemon into wedges
-Melt 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter in skillet (cast iron if you have one)
-Cook Filets on medium for about 4 minutes on both sides- Fish should be flakey when done
-Sprinkle with lemon juice if desired
-Serve over brown rice if desired

-I prefer to steam my vegetables over the stove because I have a steaming pot; I put water in the bottom pot and then put the vegetables with seasonings in the pot with little holes in the bottom and place this pot on top of the pot with water. I cook on medium for about 15 minutes (I like my veggies still crunchy!) But most grocery stores have a bag that allows you to steam your vegetables in the microwave.
-I also love to serve this with steamed asparagus. I cook the asparagus the same way as the bag of mixed vegetables

Pecan Crusted Chicken with Cranberry Salad


• 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
• 3 egg whites
• 1 ½ cups to 2 cups crushed pecans (I put my pecans in a plastic bag and crush them using my rolling pin)
• 1 TB parsley
• 1 TB basil
• 2 or 3 tsp. seasoning salt ( I use Lawry’s)
• 1 tsp. pepper
• 2 tsp. garlic
• Bag of Fresh green salad mix (whatever type of lettuce you prefer, I like a spring mix for this type of salad)
• ½ Cup dried cranberries
• 8 oz. drained can of mandarin oranges (already segmented)
• ½ cup Blue Cheese crumbles
• ½ cup of roasted and glazed pecans (most grocery stores carry a bag of these or you can use regular pecans…or roast and glaze the pecans yourself!)
• Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

-Turn oven onto 400 degrees
-Have a baking pan or dish ready to place chicken on (I use a pan covered in aluminum foil and spray or drizzle surface with oil)
-Mix crushed pecans, parsley, basil, salt, pepper and garlic and set aside in a bowl big enough to dip chicken.
-Beat egg whites in a bowl (big enough to dip chicken)
-Dip chicken in the egg whites, and then dip chicken in pecan mixture. Repeat the dipping of the chicken, and then place each chicken breast on baking pan.
-Place into 400 degree oven for 25 minutes or until chicken is done (juices should be clear)
-Put lettuce mix in salad bowl
-Add cranberries, blue cheese, pecans and oranges (do not put oranges on until ready to serve or it will make lettuce soggy)
-Serve with balsamic vinaigrette or dressing of choice
-Serve chicken and salad separately or cut chicken into strips and serve over salad

(Note- Fresh sliced strawberries are a delicious addition to the salad if you have them!)

Southwestern Salad with Blackened Chicken


• 10-12 boneless chicken strips
• 1 TB oil
• 2 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

(Note: you can also find pre-packaged blackened seasoning mixes at the grocery store on the isle with salt and pepper and other seasonings- it taste just as good most of the time- I usually end up adding a little salt and garlic if I use the store bought)

• Bag of Romaine Lettuce (You can use iceberg, but I prefer the Romaine)
• 1 Red bell pepper (cut up into strips)
• 1 green bell pepper (cut up into strips)
• 1-2 Tomatoes (cut into slices)
• Small can of sliced black olives
• Small jar of sliced jalapeƱos (only add as many as want..makes salad hot!)
• 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
• ½ cup spicy tortilla strips (find on grocery isle with dressing)
• Spicy Ranch dressing
(Note: you can also add a corn to the salad- but I prefer not to right now because of the added calories)

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Put 1 TB oil in black iron skillet
-Mix all the seasonings in bowl
-Spray or lightly coat chicken in olive oil
-Evenly coat chicken with seasoning mixture
-Place skillet on stove top on high
-Put chicken in skillet as soon as it gets hot
-Cook strips on each side for about 1 minute, or until strips are not pink
-Place skillet in oven for additional 5-10 minutes, until chicken is done and juices are clear

-Mix salad lettuce in big salad bowl
-Sprinkle with cheese
-Add bell peppers, olives, jalapenos tomatoes and tortilla strips
-When chicken is done, place strips over salad
-Serve with Spicy Ranch Dressing- you can buy it in the store or… (I only had light ranch dressing, so I added about 2 tsp. chili powder to 1 cup of ranch dressing, I also had a can of diced tomatoes and jalapenos and I added a little of that to the dressing as well)

Hope you enjoy these recipes! I am no dietician, so do not expect extreme results on these low carb recipe- RESULTS ARE NOT TYPICAL!) I just happened to lose a few pounds and hope I can lose a few more.

Good Day!

Monday, March 8, 2010

7 days...7 pounds!

Well, after being on a diet for a WHOLE entire week. I decided to take a brave step onto the scales. Sometimes this can be a little discouraging, especially after being on a diet for only 1 week. But as I look down to check the numbers, I had to double check, and triple check...I had already lost seven pounds! Yay! Here are a few of the dishes I enjoyed while being on a LOW carb diet.

Cranberry Salad with Pecan Crusted Chicken
Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad

Southwestern Salad with Blackened Chicken

Cajun Tilapia with Steamed Vegetables

Hudson's Baked Tilapia with Dill Sauce

Well, unfortunately I still have a few more pounds to go, but I am switching to a weight watcher diet instead of a low carb diet. That was pretty tough! I'll let you know how that comes along.

On a sadder note, Brian's grandmother has been in the hospital this past week and is still there in the ICU. She went in Monday night with abdominal pains, and then had an emergency surgery the following day for a hernia. She seemed to have recovered well, but then suddenly took a turn for the worse. She had a prior heart condition which contributed to the complications. So, we loaded up the car on Friday to head down to Foley to see Mammaw. There were many people praying for her, and we were relieved to discover she was doing much better by the time we got there. She is is still dealing with some complications such as fluid on one of her lungs. This causing some difficulty with breathing so she is on a ventilator and that has been very frustrating for her as she can not eat or drink or communicate. We continue to pray for her that her body will be able to recuperate. She is a very special lady to many people. She is such a strong woman of the Lord, and we are proud to be related to her. Campbell actually gets her name from Mammaw, it was her maiden name.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Two Big Steps for two little girls

Daddy loves his girls.

Campell loves her baby sis.
I was hoping to capture Adeline roll from her stomach to her back for the first time...

But instead...she rolled from her back to her tummy after a diaper and clothing change!
I would not normally put "jay bird" pictures on here, but these two were just too funny!

Trip to the Dollar General.
My independent little girl!
Campbell has been giving me a bit of a hard time at the grocery store.  Sometimes she likes to walk on her own, other times she wants me to hold her.  She also likes to "help" me push the cart a lot as well.  Well, we went to the Dollar General the other day, and Campbell decided she wanted to walk on her own this day.  I let her pick out some gold fish as I shopped to find the things I needed.  I turn around to see that Campbell had found this little wagon in the store...She then wanted to put "her groceries" in "her cart."  She followed me around the store pulling her  little wagon along behind her.  I let this pass because at least I would be able to get through the store with out a crying fit, but I knew that surely at the check-out when she discoverd that we would not be buying the wagon that she would throw a pitching fit.  But to my surprise, we got to the check-out, she handed me the gold fish and then went to put "her cart" where she found it!  Whew!  I think I may let her push a stroller or wagon around the grocery store more often now.

Well, it was a "momunmental" week at the Norris house-hold.  Adeline rolled over and Campbell made it through the grocery store without pitching a fit! Both were big deals for us! :)

We also baked "Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies" and a "Sour Cream Pound Cake" for a Bake sale at the church. I am sure it was yummy but unfortunately I did not do any taste-testing... I have started a low-carb diet.  
    Diets are my least favorite thing, but it is time to get rid of this baby weight!  I figured I would try to start with a low-carb diet and go from there.  I have actually had some really yummy dishes that I will share with you later such as pecan crusted chicken with steamed vegeatables.

    I also shared some of the brownies for Brian to take to his Home Building event.  He said that everyone came to this boothe just for the brownies!  We just hope the sweet treat may land him a sweet deal. ;)  You can check their site out here- RiverValley Homes. 
They build custom homes, remodel homes and even build homes for some of their selected floor plans.