Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Onion Potatoes & 2/23 What's Cooking Wednesday

I LOVE these potatoes! My mom has been making them since I was little and they are SUPER easy to make!



First, peel and cube some potatoes (4-5 medium size).


Add some butter (about 1/4 a cup).


Season with salt and pepper.


Then add chopped onion... the best part. I used about 1/2 an onion. You could also use dehydrated onion if you wanted.


Cover with plastic wrap and cook in the microwave for about 10-15 minutes or so until potatoes are soft. I had to toss mine in the microwave for a few more minutes to get as soft as I wanted.


Stir and enjoy! We also had steaks and green beans with them.





Alright, now for a few favorites from last week!


Check out these Cookie Dough Truffles over at Food, Folks, and Fun... Don't they look DELICIOUS?


And here's another variation... Sugar Cookie Truffles from Mrs. Bettie Rocker... MMMM!


And another sweet treat... Triple Chocolate Brownies from C + C Marriage Factory! Can we say YUM!




I can't wait to see more great recipes! So now it's time to see what you've been cooking up!

Add as many recipes as you'd like! Look for featured ones next week too! Yours could be a favorite!


Grab a button and share with others!









Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Name's Courtney....

The name's Courtney....

Nurse Courtney.


And I have a license to heal!




Ok, so that was really corny but I thought it was funny and I came up with it myself. Don't hate. Especially since I'm SUPER excited to tell you guys that I passed! It was so worth the $8.00 to find out early!



See that "Pass"? Best. Word. Ever!


EEEK! I'm a real nurse now :) Well, I still have to get my card and stuff in the mail. But still....



I PASSED!

2/20 Spotlight Sunday & BLOGHOP with Some Sponsor LOVE

I've been WAY TOO BUSY lately! So I failed to get someone lined up for today. So I thought I'd take some time today to show my LOVELY Sponsors some LOVE :)


Have you checked out Stuck on a Cloud yet? An AMAZING etsy store with the CUTEST handmade cards and other GREAT creations!





Or how about the AWESOME blog Saturday Mornings? There's always the BEST giveaways, tutorials, and reviews!




And Saturday Mornings is doing a giveaway for an Initial Card set from Stuck on a Cloud! Be sure to enter!



So be sure to head on over and show them some love :)




Are you interested in being featured on Spotlight Sunday? Shoot me an email at: notsohomemade{at}gmail{dot}com.



Now for today's Spotlight Sunday Bloghop...



Add your blog to the list! Be sure to check out other blogs and leave them some comments or even become a new follower! (We all love comments and new followers right?)

Please....

Be sure to add the button to your blog so others can join in on the fun!











Want to add the blog hop to your blog?

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's OVER!


Yes, it has finally happened.

My NCLEX (nursing boards exam) is over.
Took it this morning.

Worst. Test. EVER.

I swear, I felt SO incompetent.
I don't know how many times I thought to myself,
"Is that even a real disease/real side effect/real word???"

Oh, and no pressure or anything...
But if you don't pass, you can't work until you do pass.
But again, NO PRESSURE.

And I got a TON of "Select All That Apply".
Really? They ALL look right to me!
But they can't be all right?
Or can they?


Here's kind of how the test goes...
You start at basic questions.
If you get it right, you move to a harder question.
You keep moving up until you get one wrong.
Then it brings you down a difficulty.
It keeps doing this and you eventually get a right-wrong pattern.
You get a minimum of 75 questions.
At that point the computer analyzes your pattern and compares it to standard.
If you're well above the minimum competency, it shuts off and you pass.
If you're well below the min. competency, it shuts off and you fail.
If it's too close to call, it keeps giving you more questions until it can determine.
You can get a max of 285 questions.
You have 6 hours.

I shut off at 75.
35 minutes into the test.
"What??? I can't be done yet?? It's been 75 already?????"
No one else was even near finished.
So basically I either did well enough to pass.
Or bad enough to fail.
And I felt horrible about that test.

So I gathered my things and walked out the door.
I didn't even cry.
Even though I really wanted to.

The bad thing is I can't see my official score until next week.
If I pay $10 or so.

But SUPPOSEDLY, there's this trick.
The Pearson Vue Trick (PVT).
You try to reregister for the exam.
If it lets you get to the screen where you input credit card info...
You failed.
If it pops up and tells you you've previously registered, contact Member board...
You passed!

I tried immediately after and it wasn't processed yet so it didn't do anything.
I tried a few hours later.
I got the pop up screen.
I've tried it again like 5 times.
Pop up every time.
I REALLY hope this trick thing is right.
Because if so, I PASSED!

I'm not going to celebrate yet though.
I need official results to put my mind at ease.

Can I self diagnose myself now?
Because I definitely had a bad case of tachycardia the entire time.
(For those non-med people out there- tachycardia = fast heart rate)

Knowledge deficit related to too much information, too little time.
Social Isolation related to too much studying.
Fatigue related to too little sleep.
Severe anxiety related to
RIDICULOUSLY HARD TEST.

I'm glad it's over.
And hopefully I passed so I don't have to go through that again.



In other news...
(in my best news anchor voice)

I got preapproved for a home loan this week!
Which is really exciting!
I'm only 21 so I have little credit history.
I do have good credit, just not a lot.
And I have NO bills so that's not always good for loans.
But they checked it out and approved me :)

I've got my eye on a home that's across the street and 2 houses down.
The owners foreclosed and moved out a while ago.
My cousin (a realtor) is working to help me get it.
It would be SO nice!
Fingers crossed!

And then someone can get me one of these SUPER CUTE Welcome Wall Hangings over at Stuck on a Cloud!


LOVE IT!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Banana Smoothies... 2 Ways!

So a few weeks ago, I post about how I'm a picky smoothie lover. And Susan, over at Days at Buttermilk Cottage, posted a comment about a smoothie recipe she enjoys. Here's how she says she makes hers:

"I do have a favorite smoothie and I make it at home. It's healthy and good. Before you start, you need a banana, cut into about 2 inch sections, frozen. One cup of skim milk, 1 packet of Equal and 1T. cocoa powder in the blender. As it's blending, drop in a section of the banana at a time until it's all in and you've got a thick chocolate shake-like smoothie!"


It sounded so yummy, and I had a few bananas that were super ripe, so I decided to spin off my own version :)




First, I cut up my banana (pictured is 2 bananas) and stuck it in the freezer for a while. I probably should have let them freeze longer, but, yea, I'm impatient.


I added a cup of milk (whole milk- I'm not a super huge fan of any other kind).


Then 2 teaspoons of sugar. 1. We didn't have any sweetener packets. 2. I don't really like sweeteners. So I googled it and 1 packet is like 2 teaspoons.


Also, couldn't find the cocoa powder so I used chocolate syrup instead. Just about a tablespoon or so. Until my heart's content :)


Then I added 1 frozen banana (4 chunks)...


And blended until smooth. I used this small personal serving size blender we have. Made by Hamilton Beach, I believe. I love it. Don't have to dirty up the big papa blender.


I poured it in some cute margarita glasses we have. At least I think they're margarita glasses. We don't drink. We just had them from when some moms made us a meal for a prom and we had virgin drinks. Makes a good "presentation" dish :)


Here's an in-your-face close up...



I also made another variation. I made it just the same except I added about a tablespoon of peanut butter...


And a tiny bit of honey. Because I can :)


Mmmm.... SO delicious!



Oh darn. No one else was home to test them. So I drank both. Don't judge me.


They are more on the liquidy side (probably because I was too impatient to wait for the bananas to fully freeze), but OH SO TASTY! It was a close judge, but I think I like the first recipe better. Hopefully you can try it and love it too!

Definitely a good stress relief. I take my boards exam tomorrow to get my permanent license for nursing. I'm super nervous. I take it at 8 AM. In a town that's a good 2 hours away. So we are leaving at 5 in the morning because I'm super paranoid about being late. It will be a long day. And then I work Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday. So wish me luck on that!

So anyways, thanks to Susan for the great recipe! I've found a good make-at-home smoothie I LOVE!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Guest Post: Mrs. Bettie Rocker & 2/16 What's Cooking Wednesday

It's time for another What's Cooking Wednesday! And if you caught last Sunday's Spotlight, you'll know today, Becky, from Mrs. Bettie Rocker, is graciously guest posting! Check out this AMAZING recipe :)





Hey everyone! It's me again, Becky from Mrs. Bettie Rocker.
Today, I am sharing a recipe for the best enchiladas in the world. I know, bold claim right? But seriously, these are SINFULLY good.
I'm adding a couple of variations at the end for my Veggiesaurus friends and people who don't have all day to spend in the kitchen. These are pretty time consuming but I promise, they are so totally worth it!
I also tossed in my recipe for Spanish Rice at the end.



(How cute. His & Hers Enchiladas ready for the oven!
Chicken on the Left, Veggie on the right)




Ingredients
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cut into chunks
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
1 (1.25 ounce) package mild taco seasoning mix
1 bunch green onions, chopped, divided
1 cup water
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
5 (12 inch) flour tortillas
3 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded, divided (I buy the blocks and shred it myself. I swear it tastes better!)
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives (optional)


Directions

1.Place the chicken in a large pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken pieces are no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Shred chicken by placing two forks back to back and pulling meat apart. Set the shredded chicken aside. Meanwhile, combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and chili powder in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, then turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.
2.Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, chopped green chilies, taco seasoning, half of the bunch of chopped green onion, and water. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, onion powder, and garlic powder; simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
3.Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Stir 1 cup of the soup mixture into the skillet with the chicken mixture. Spread the remaining soup mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
4.Fill each tortilla with chicken mixture. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over the chicken filling before folding the tortillas, reserving half of the shredded cheese for topping the enchiladas. Fold tortillas over the filling and place seam-side down in the prepared pan.
5.Pour enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas. Cover with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the reserved chopped green onions and the sliced olives on top of the cheese. Bake in the preheated oven until filling is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 25 minutes.



(Chicken. I took this after it chilled so it would set up for the photo.)

Variations
For Vegetarians (Ovo-Lactos): Just sub the Cream of Chicken Soup for Creamed Corn, and instead of chicken, sub in Rice and Black Beans. Rinse and drain the beans, and cook them on low-low, and follow the directions for seasoning and simmering the chicken. Once they are finished, toss in about 2 cups of cooked rice, mix and fill enchiladas as you would with chicken.





(Veggie)


For the Slow Cooker: Put the chicken in a slow cooker with the taco seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, chopped onion and add just a little water in the morning on low. The chicken is easily shredded by late afternoon. Shred the chicken, place back in the crock pot and add half the green onions and the lime juice. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes. Prepare soup and sour cream mixture on stove, and add to crock and stir well, cover and simmer another 20 minutes. Then just assemble the enchiladas and bake.


Serving Suggestions:
These have some heat to them so I usually serve them with shredded lettuce and sour cream on the side to cool the palate. Bill is also a huge fan of Spanish Rice which you can get from Rice A Roni for a buck, of if you're feeling froggy, use this recipe.


Spanish Rice
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/4 cups rice
1 Tbl butter
2 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin

1. In medium saucepan, combine all ingredients (I usually mash tomatoes with potato masher or give them a quick spin in food processor).

2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low.
3. Cover and simmer 25 minutes or until rice is done. (Unless you like sticky, gooey rice, don't take off the lid and stir at all until it is done).

That's it! Enjoy =)



Doesn't this look fantastic?? I can't wait to try it... YUM!

Thanks SO MUCH Becky for guest posting TWICE this week :)

Everyone, be sure to check out Mrs. Bettie Rocker where you can find some AWESOME recipes!


We had a pretty low turnout last week... probably because I got it out so late! But here's 2 AMAZING recipes you've got to check out :)



Look at this Egg Bowl over at Sunshine & Smile. It looks FANTASTIC and so easy to make! And it looks fancy too so you can impress everyone with your schnazy cooking skills :)


I LOVE stuffed jalepenos so this recipe for Jalepeno Boats over at Small Town Life looks SO DELICIOUS! Very simple and would be a great appetizer or dish alone!




________________________________________________________

Alright, now it's time to see what you've been cooking up!

Add as many recipes as you'd like! Look for featured ones next week too! Yours could be a favorite!


Grab a button and share with others!










Monday, February 14, 2011

2/14 Meet Me Monday- The Best Valentine's I Ever Had

The best Valentine's day I ever had was the first Valentine's day el boyfriend and I celebrated- in 2005. He was barely 16, I was 15 (about to be 16). He wasn't allowed to drive into the next town yet (where all our restaurants are) and he wasn't allowed to drive with me in the car yet either. So my mom drove us :)

First we went to see the movie Hitch. Then we went to eat at a local Mexican restaurant. My poor mom, she just had to drive around town until we were finished with each thing. So I gave him his gift (a basket full of Dr. Peppers and candy) at the restaurant and he said he would give me my gift later.

So we get back to my house where we were going to watch a movie. I had been in a skirt so I walked back to my room to change clothes... where I saw this:


Balloons. Everywhere.


On my bed was a heart pillow, a chocolate rose, and candy.


I was ecstatic! Skyler (the boyfriend) had gotten some friends and my dad and brother enlisted to blow up all those balloons and fill my room. It was the greatest gift I've ever gotten. Oh and did I mention the homemade card he got someone to help him make? It was the cutest thing ever. Considering he has no artistic ability or penmanship for that matter.

The balloons stayed in my room for about a week before I had to just pop them all. I was kicking them around everywhere I went.



I look so YOUNG in this photo! And my room is definitely not blue anymore. It's brown. And I have hardwood floor not carpet. And a new dresser. And desk. And bookshelf. And bedspread. Oh how things change!



So there's my story of the best Valentine's day I ever had.



So what's the best Valentine's gift YOU ever got?

NEW Winner for the Necklace Holder Giveaway

Well, our second winner never contacted me within 48 hours and I couldn't find an email address to get ahold of her. So we have a NEW winner :)




Congrats to Jen from Sweet Reads! I'll be shooting you an email today :)
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