Wednesday, January 28

A video spot? You don't say!

The Cooking with Courtney (CwC) journey continues...

North Texas Farm & Ranch Magazine is starting a series of CwC video spots to be featured on their website. Friday is the first shoot and my mind is filled with...well...void...vast spaces of nothingness!

What to wear? (Funny how that's my first thought.)

What to say?

Does the camera really add ten pounds?

How many cameras will be on me?

Do I look down...look up...blink?

In reality, it's extremely informal...

But should I clean off the counters to resemble Giada's kitchen?

No, nobody's kitchen is that white in real life..

Should I wash windows and polish floors to resemble Pioneer Woman's kitchen?

No, nobody's kitchen is that clean in real life.

I guess that's my answer.

No matter what I wear...or say...or have sitting on my counters...S&S/Cooking with Courtney is about real life.!

Having said that, I want to hear from you. What topics would you like BRIEFLY covered? Meal prep? Menu prep? Shortcuts? You name it...I'm all ears!

Friday, I'll be cool...calm...and partially collected on the outside. On the inside, I'll be channeling my 2009 Halloween highlights and doing this...


Tuesday, January 27

Laughter Burns Calories

I recently asked S&S readers to send some of their favorite jokes. As I began reading...well, let me just say...

Bahahahahahaha haaaaaaaaaa ha ha!

Whoosh, I needed that!

Today, since it's been the longest week in history and it's only Tuesday, I thought I'd lighten things up a bit. Go have my full permission to laugh until your side aches, your cheeks cramp...and you pee a little (yes, I love you that much).

Silly jokes are my are a few that are sure to get a giggle.

PS. Laughter burns get busy!


When my son becomes wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When he calms down, I crawl out. - Erma Bombeck


What do you call a bear without any teeth?
A gummy bear!


HEARSAY: What toddlers do when anyone mutters a dirty word.


I tried to get in my house the other day and I couldn't. Wanna know why? 
I had gnocchi!


What goes up must come down, except for bubble gum, beloved balloons, and slightly used Rice Krispies.


Johnny: Daddy, are caterpillars good to eat?
Father: Johnny, I've told you not to mention such things during meals.
Mother: What makes you ask, son?
Johnny: I saw one on daddy's lettuce, but now it's gone.


What did the fish say when he hit a concrete wall?


To Mom: I'm hot...I'm cold...I'm hungry...Can I have...Can I watch...Heeelllppppp!
To Dad: Where's Mom?


Do you ever wonder if soy milk is just regular milk, introducing itself in Spanish?


What do cats call mice on skateboards?
Meals on Wheels!


Did you hear the news about corduroy pillows?
They make headlines!


And my favorite...

What did the "0" say to the "8"?
Nice belt!


Happy Tuesday, friends!

Monday, January 26

Beard vs. No Beard

I've heard it said, "Behind every clever girl is a guy with a beard and glasses". While it took a few years for Super Hunk's No Shave Novembers to "grow" on me, I can now say with certainty...I love my bearded husband.

I'm all about that beard, 'bout that beard, 'bout that beard, no stubble!

Beard season usually begins when the weather turns cold, he claims it's God's way of keeping his face warm. I like to think he lets his follicles free because he knows how the red (and silver) tint makes my heart go pitter patter...which he will neither confirm nor deny. I've accepted the fact that an element of mystery comes with the beard.

No beard?
My beloved man scruff appeared late this year. It took a seven day vacation, and a lack of motivation to shave, that finally did the trick. Whoosh, that was close!

My unhealthy anticipation of Super Hunk's facial hair made me I the only one on Beard Island? How do you feel? Are you pro...or NO?!

C'mon, ladies...I want to know!

Disclaimer: No matter what Super Hunk's facial hair is doing, that smile consistently makes my heart melt!

(Super Hunk approves this message and no beards were harmed in the writing of this post.)

Saturday, January 17

The crumbs are mocking me!

With beautiful weather in our forecast, today was my scheduled car cleaning day.

I know what you're thinking...and the answer is YES.

Yes, I put "cleaning the mommy mobile" on my calendar.

Yes, I work around the somewhat accurate predictions of the weatherman.

Yes, as a cracker-crumbling-toddler's Chauffeur, the process takes most of the day.

Don't judge! Until you've witnessed a little boy spray milk on the window and remove it with his tongue, you'll never grasp the joy this day brings!

Stop #1: Pre-wash wash (per Super Hunk's request). Apparently driving through with three layers of dirt only seems to make matters worse...and you paid $10 for mud.

Stop #2: Actual wash. The line was long so I opted to vacuum first. Learning my lesson from the quarter-eating machine in bay #2, I proudly pulled in bay #1. As I clinked my two quarters in the slot, I waited...and waited...and waited. I soon realized that bay #1 and #2 were conspiring to steal all my pocket change and ruin a perfectly good car wash day. As I repeatedly took out my aggressions on the "quarters here" sign, a beautiful brunette bombshell pulled in bay #2 and emerged from her spotless white Mercedes. As she began inserting her quarters, I felt compelled to speak up but decided against it...misery (machine vandalizing) loves company. And then it happened, two quarters later, bay #2 began humming like a kitten on a new couch...only confirming my suspicions that Mercedes do in fact have more fun.

Stop #3: 2nd car wash, with seemingly operable vacuums. However, the change machine was a different story (because after the first debacle, I was fresh out of quarters). It took my perfectly crisp dollar and rejected it...over...and over...and over again! I was suddenly having flashbacks from childhood summers at the public pool when all I had was a dollar with a torn corner and desperately wanted a Zero bar.

Stop #4: 3rd car wash...because I'm no quitter. At this point, the crumbs are mocking me and Little Man is wondering why Mommy is going all "gorilla" on every machine in town. The vacuums are promising, as three other people are frantically racing to beat the 50 cent clock. In goes my first quarter and you guessed it...this happens.

That little booger rolled right on through like it was covered in butter and returned to me, its frustrated owner. 67 more times of trying (surely I inserted it incorrectly the first 66) and I finally decided to move on. At this point, I was the crazy lady, laughing uncontrollably at a machine that refused to take her money. Can you make my straight jacket with designer buckles, please?

I may be crazy, but I'm no quitter...

Stop #6: Whoosh, finally my intense desire and psychotic determination for a clean car prevailed! I'd never been more happy to experience that deafening suction in all my life (weird sentence alert)!

The point of this story is not to take you along for my daily chores but to remind you that sometimes all you need to do is press on to your "Stop #6"! Keep laughing, don't give up, and be sure to take lots of quarters! The reward is shiny satisfaction for a job well done!

Happy weekend, friends!

Monday, January 12

My Favorite Road Trip Snack

I always enjoy hearing from you and answering your questions. Today's post is addressing the always popular topic of road trip snacks.



Trail mix...

Beef Jerky...

Bubble Yum (with the mandatory bubble-blowing contest)...

Where do I start?

How about I introduce you to one of my favorites? Two words...HAM & CHEESE! Yes, readers...these will make your miles so much more merry (and they're super easy)!

I hope you'll add them to your list of future road trip staples and keep those questions comin'!

1 can crescent rolls
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon mayonnaise 
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 can chopped green chiles
Slices of cooked ham
1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven at 375 degrees.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface. I recruit help, Little Man is a maniac with a rolling pin...and a sack of flour!

Place ham slices on dough.

In medium mixing bowl, add cheese, mayo, green chiles, and salt. Mix until combined.

Spread evenly over ham slices.

Start along edge and roll horizontally until long tube forms. Pinch ends together to prevent your goodies from oozing out (weird sentence alert).

Once rolled, slice 1 1/2 inch thick with sharp knife.

Recruit little hands to assist in placing rolls on foil-lined baking sheet. Believe me, you'll want to line the pan. The cheesy goodness on the inside tends to become cheesy crispiness on the outside.

Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. 

These are also excellent for school lunches, parties (Hello, Super Bowl), and no special reason at all! I give you permission to make them "just because". Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 7

The Christmas Card Blues

At the risk of sounding like a huge cliche, I love Christmas.

Stop it, I know you're rolling your eyes. Most likely because you're repulsed by people that count down the days until Christmas, starting December 26th. Maybe it's because your senses are flooded with holiday cheer as soon as the Halloween decorations are removed from the retail shelf and by the time it arrives, you're on Christmas overload.

Either way, the general population likes Christmas a socially acceptable amount.

Then there's me.

Crazy, giddy, gaga for December 25th!

The birth of Christ...woo hoo!

A world covered in glitter and twinkle...yippee!

Finally, my favorite part...happy, festive mail as colorful as their senders!

Greeting cards galore!

Every day, Little Man and I would rush to the mailbox to see what colorful envelopes were hiding inside (confirming the Mailman's suspicions that I'm an ornament short of a full tree).

It's a colorful display of greetings from near and far. What could be better?

Much to my dismay, as they do every year, the festivities come and go. Decking the halls becomes filling the tubs and I enter my annual state of Christmas card blues.

One by one, the cards come down and I'm reminded of all my many blessings. I also take a moment to be thankful for the plethora of people that make our days a real life "Oprah's Favorite Things" episode. You get a card, you get a card, you get a card, and you get a card!

This is also when I make a conscious effort to stay more connected to people throughout the year, creating this feeling of receiving meaningful mail more than once a year. I think this is a resolution worth keeping and an excellent cure for my Christmas card blues.

How about you?

Monday, January 5

Zesty Roast Tacos

We are the home of leftovers, a place where recipes come to be savored...over and over again. Our ability to consume the same thing, three days in a row, is remarkable. Super Hunk is even convinced there are dishes that get better overnight.

He's drop dead serious.

I love him!

Roast is a staple around here. It's also nostalgic for me because my mom used to make it every Sunday of my childhood.

She's the best.

I love her!

While I embrace a good roast repeat, I also enjoy the art of repurposing. Here's a family leftover favorite that's almost as good as the original.

I love them!

I'm confident you will too!

(Makes 4 tacos):
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons onion, chopped
2 cups roast, cooked and chopped
1 can green chiles
1/2 small lime
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup colby jack cheese
4 corn tortillas
Salsa (optional) If you need a good recipe, here is mine.

In large pan, over medium heat, melt butter and add onion. Cook until translucent. Add meat and green chiles to pan and stir. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until meat is heated.

Add spices, lime, and stir.

This isn't the prettiest dish I've featured but the taste makes up for it.

Melt butter on skillet over medium heat. Throw on tortillas and top with a sprinkle of cheese. When cheese begins to melt, flip tortilla. Remove when cheese starts to brown (as seen on the right).

Stuff with meat mixture and go crazy with the toppings...chopped cilantro, diced avocado, and don't forget the rest of your cheese (even though I did)...the world is your taco, the possibilities are endless!