Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Us!!!

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wedding day flowers from patrick

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we did it!






I apologize for all the pics, but it was great to look back! It has been 4 wonderful years with my best friend and looking forward to many, many,many more!!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The end of an era.....completed...

As you may recall, I got a new car in January, http://,
and I am still loving it! Of course I could not let you forget about my previous car- and you might be wondering what happened to the Mazda. (ok, maybe not, but i'll tell you).

No discussion of vehicles is possible, without talking about "My First Car".

yes, folks, here it is- a 1989 Plymouth Voyager. It could seat 7, had lots of storage room, a radio AND a tape player. I think it had air conditioning, but it may have not worked during part of the time I drove it. I do remember that at one point the tape deck finally stopped working and I was very disappointed b/c at that time it was very popular to use a cassette adapter for a walkman-type of a cd player in order to have a "cd player in the car". Now that i think about it, the radio itself finally died at some point as well.

My dad drove this car and then passed it down to me when i was in college. I drove it for most of high school once I had my license as well. SO i have a lot of memories in this car. Many kids would have been unhappy to drive a van, but i was just glad to have a vehicle. I moved home for the summer several times in this car and was able to fit all of my belongings in this car. It was perfect for late night trips to Walmart with my roomies. We had no limitations on what we bought as we had TONS of room!!!! (this is not always a good thing :)

I also transported myself and Wendy to Camp Woodmont several summers, and my campers affectionately called it "trash can on wheels". I think they were just jealous :)

(this is not an actual picture, as there were no digital cameras around while i had it, but let me assure you it is a very good representation. I like how the driver's side window is open, which makes me think that this vehicle does not have working ac either).

Anyway, my van finally bit the dust during my first month in med school. So here I was, in a brand new city in central Georgia 4 hours from my family and without a vehicle. Great. I did have a roomie and was able to carpool for a little bit with people but i needed a car, badly.

My dad found the 1997 Mazda Millenia on ebay and I got a loan through the bank in my hometown. I still have that little booklet and every single month I wrote that check. I paid it off right before our wedding. (and got a new timing belt a month later!).

I have had so many memories in the mazda.
I drove it in the middle of the night so many times to and from the hospital in Macon, drove it SO MANY times up and down interstate 75 to visit Patrick and my family, I put many many many miles on it driving to residency interviews in the fall and winter of 05.
I got my first and only speeding ticket in that car.
I carried around Bella (my cocker spaniel) in the front seat up and down the highways of Georgia many times. She had a little harness. She actually stool on the one and only cup holder in that car and broke it so I learned to drive holding a cup of coffee in my lap.
I learned my way around Greenville in that car, and packed it full to move several times from apartment to apartment and finally from "our" apartment to our first house.
I drove myself to many, many high risk doctor's appointments when I was pregnant with Connor, and spent many, many lunches pumping in that car.
Anyway, the time had come. I had over 140,000 miles on that car ( I bought it around 68 I think). It was getting to the point where i didn't feel safe with Connor in the car and we made the decision to get me another vehicle.
I've had the Pilot since January, but we didn't have anything immediate to do with the Mazda. It sat in our driveway for a couple of months which was a real pain b/c we had to manuver around it to get out of the garage. We didn't really want to try to sell it because it needed a lot of work, and it can take a really long time to sell a car that is that old. Patrick has a friend that runs a singles ministry here, and we decided to donate the car in order to help their ministry. It was sort of a win-win. We can write the money off in our taxes next year, and the ministry gets the money they make off selling the car as a donation. A couple of weeks ago they were able to sell the car. I hope somebody else can get some mileage from it, and I will continue to remember it fondly (most of the time :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Buffalo chicken tenders..yum!

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I promised I would blog about these because they are so yummy! If you like buffalo chicken tenders at restaurants, you'll love these buffalo tenders, and they're healthier, cheaper and easy to make on a weeknight!!!

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.

You'll need to assemble your ingredients:

Chicken breast: I forgot to take a picture. Basically, you'll need about a pound, give or take.

I usually use the skinless boneless chicken breasts that you can get in a pack in the deli, but you can also use the tenders, or use the frozen breasts and defrost them first. Whatever works for you!

If you're using the full sized chicken breasts- you will want to cut them into tender-sized pieces, makin about 3 or 4 strips from each one.

Spicy Sauce:
I usually make these with Frank's Red Hot Sauce, but I had a coupon for this Wing sauce so we got it instead.
If you're using hot sauce, you'll want to put about 3/4 of a cup in a mixing bowl, and add a couple of tsp of olive oil. For this wing sauce, I just poured it on in.

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Bread crumbs: again- your call. We had these plain ole bread crumbs. Just pick whatever looks good, or use what you have. Dump about a cup into a pie pan.

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Now for the actual "cooking".

Put your chicken breast in the bowl with the sauce. You can let it rest for a few minutes. You want them to covered so you may need to stir everything around so it is well-coated.
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Prepare your pan: I have a large cookie sheet, lined with aluminum foil. Then on top we have an ovensafe cooling rack. Spray the rack with cooking spray.

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I'm sure you've figured this part out by now.

Dip each chicken piece into the bread crumbs so it will be coated. You can use a set of tons or your hands. (hands works better, but I wanted to be neat for this pic!)
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Then place on the cooking rack.
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Bake about 20 minutes (on 450). You may need to adjust the cooking time for the size of your chicken pieces. You can flip them halfway through baking for the most even crispness!

Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice- i like ketchup on everything, but Patrick likes ranch, blue cheese or honey mustard. We like to have them with baked sweet potato fries.
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