"Growing up Southern is a privilege, really. It's more than where you're born - it's an idea, a state of mind that seems imparted at birth. It's more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, high school football, country music, and acoustic guitars. It's being hospitable, being devoted to front porches, magnolias, the good Lord, and each other. We don't become Southern - we're born that way."


Asian Night!

Last night was Asian Night in the Dysfunctional household.
No recipes provided, because I made it from a bag from the frozen section! PF Chang's and Wanchai Ferry - both very good. We had orange chicken and General Chang's chicken & broccoli, and I also made Lo Mein noodles.


But the best part was, I made everyone eat with chopsticks!
They were skeptical at first, but they were good sports and got the hang of it almost immediately.



{You'll notice we're very formal at the dinner table around here. The kids had just gotten out of the pool. Elayna's in her bathing suit, Tim didn't bother with a shirt, and Shelbie's got a towel on her head. Classy!}

We topped it all off with fortune cookies!




{Apparently, it's "Take a totally unflattering picture of your mom stuffing her face" month. I must have missed the memo.
Purple neon seems to help a little!}


"Through food, we learned that there were other people in the world." Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


Sloppy Joe Pizza

I found this recipe at Recipe Shoebox. I made it this weekend when the kids weren't home, and John and I LOVED it. In fact, John pronounced it "Off the Chain", which is the equivalent of a 5 Star rating at our house.
I made it again tonight for the kids, and they loved it too, although the girls were skeptical. They said it sounded gross. *eyeroll* But - they loved it! Tim just inhaled it, typical of him.
Anyway, I just had to share it with y'all!

Sloppy Joe Pizza
From the Recipe Shoebox.

The ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 medium onion, diced
1 can (16-oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1+ cup favorite BBQ sauce (add until you get to your sauciness level)
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 (12-inch) prebaked pizza crust
1-1/2 cups shredded colby-jack cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In large skillet, brown meat and onion over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in corn, BBQ sauce, green onions, and heat through. Spoon beef mixture over prebaked crust on baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!

I actually used a can of Manwich instead of BBQ sauce, but I only used about 2/3 of the can because John doesn't like it super-saucy. (I guess I'm saucy enough for him. HA!)


My Kitchen

Today, while baking (yet again), I was thinking about my cooking habits.

I have always liked to cook, but lately I've been cooking more than ever before. I thought back to the time in which I cooked the least, which was a few years ago. John and I were on a kick where we went out for dinner often or had take-out. I was wondering what had changed between then and now.

And I realized...it was my kitchen.

Back when we were at the eating-out-all-the-time stage, we lived in a townhouse. I loved it; 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, it was beautiful.

Except for the kitchen.

It just wasn't conducive to real cooking. It was tucked way back in the back of the first floor. It was a windowless little cubby. There was barely enough room to turn around. And in the back of the kitchen was the stacked washer and dryer. So yes, it doubled as a laundry room!

The rest of the townhouse was very roomy, but the kitchen was absolutely claustrophobic.
Since then we've lived in a few different homes, but this one is by far my favorite, and so is this kitchen.

It's very big and open. There's room for a table, which we don't have yet but plan to get soon, and there's a seperate dining area outside of the kitchen. It has a huge, deep double sink. Plenty of cabinet space.

It has two windows, and it's right in the front of the house. It's very conducive to cooking, and most importantly, to hanging out. There's always a kid or two hanging around, snacking eventhoughI'veaskedthemnotto, and chatting with me while I cook. Usually, they're helping too, or at least getting in my way. =)

And Sofie the boxer is always hanging around, waiting for me to drop goodies.

It's an old fashioned kitchen that I'd love to update one day. But it's not about the style of cabinets or the flooring; it's the size and the feel of it. It's the kind of kitchen we can all hang out in. Like tonight, while I made chicken & yellow rice, white acre peas, biscuits, and peach cobbler for dessert! {I told you I cook a lot now.}

And I love it!

{I found this picture while browsing around, and this is a very similar layout to my kitchen. But, the stove is actually opposite the window. Where the stove is in this picture, is where one of the doors is in my kitchen. And this one is a little more modern and prettyful, and my appliances are black.}


Homemade Dog Treats

So, let me just get this out of the way right off the bat.
YES, I cook for my dogs.
Not all the time, not all of the dogs.
But I cook for Sofia on a regular basis. She is the most recent addition to our family, a boxer mix we adopted back in February. When we adopted her she was thin, and then she lost even more weight. So I went on a mission to get her up to a healthy weight. In the morning she gets regular kibble, but at night along with the kibble she gets rice, scrambled eggs, or sometimes some of what we are eating, mixed in with her food. Sometimes I even buy liver and cook some of that up for her. She is looking WONDERFUL, and it makes me happy to see her healthy again.
My poor Sofi also has a dental problem. She has a condition with a long name which I can't remember, but basically, her teeth break very easily. So she can't eat anything crunchy or chewy. Also, my old dachshund, Suzie, is very old and just has terrible teeth which cause her discomfort. For general feeding, I just soften their food with warm water or give them canned food. But the problem was, treats!
Every dog deserves treats, and these two dogs are the sweetest, best dogs ever. I've looked for soft treats for them everywhere, but they are just nearly impossible to find. Everything is either super-crunchy or super-chewy.
So, finally, yesterday, a light bulb went off - make them yourself!
I even found recipes in a cookbook I've had for years.
So this weekend I made two different types of soft treats for my canine kiddos, and I'm going to share one of the recipes with you today.

Puppy Cookies
3 small jars of baby food, chicken or beef flavor
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup dry milk
(I also added a tablespoon of peanut butter because my doggies LOVE it.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients and drop with a tablespoon onto a well-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

So simple, and the dogs LOVED them!