mysecondcupofcoffee


Why I Need A Penguin…

I need a baby penguin in my life. No joke. I need a penguin in my life… because penguins being tickled may be the cutest thing in the world.


Theme Change

Okay, so i know you shouldn’t change blog “looks” too often because it screws up continuity, but i couldn’t resist. I think i have finally found one that i like! Let me know what you think 🙂


Owls and Bats and Cameras…Oh My!

More than one person has asked me about my bracelet recently, so what better way to share its story than on my blog, right? Right! But first, you should probably know the story behind my bracelet…

It's it lovely!

In college, there is this lovely weekend called Sib’s Weekend. This is the time for younger siblings of students to invade the campus… my siblings are older and therefore didn’t participate, so I enjoyed hanging out with other sibs – Josh’s sibs in particular. Honestly, I’m bad at years and dates and such, so whatever year it was that Katie came to visit Josh on Sib’s Weekend, I had the lovely pleasure of meeting her! And that’s where the bracelet envy began…

She had (and still has) this beautiful silver charm bracelet that was so unique and I fell in love with it. I needed one in my life! However, what I discovered was that her bracelet was a James Avery bracelet and apparently, that’s a Texas thing. So, when Josh and I started dating, I started dropping subtle hints that for Christmas, which was many months away, I wanted a James Avery Charm Bracelet! Well, to be quite honest, I didn’t expect to get one. It is an expensive accessory and habit. But lo and behold, when Christmas in Texas came around, there was a beautiful box containing my very own charm bracelet! Thrilled, was an understatement!

I started with four charms and I have graduated now to ten! But I’m an exceedingly symbolic person; each charm has a specific reason for being on my bracelet. So, what follows is what each charm is and why I have it.

Coffee To-Go Cup: I have a deep love for coffee. If woman and beverage could mate, coffee would be my life-partner, but I would have an affair every summer with Cherry Coke.

State of Texas: Josh is from Texas, Houston to be specific. So, of course, when his family gave me my bracelet, I had to rep Texas!

Holy Bible: I’m a follower of Christ and one of the best ways on a charm-form to depict that is with Scripture.

Camera (complete with film canister!): Okay, so I don’t shoot with film, but this charm is so amazing! Photography is a hobby and a pastime for me. I find it relaxing. I’m completely comfortable in a situation if I have my camera in my hand!

The Bat: Batman is the best superhero. It’s as simple as that!

The Owl: This one takes some explaining, but here goes… I love books. Books can be a best friend, a forbidden treasure, a security blanket, a guide, a companion; books are an escape and a teacher, a lover and a friend. So why an owl? Because owls remind me of Hedwig and Hedwig reminds me of Harry Potter and Harry Potter reminds me of books!

Bride and Groom: I think this one is pretty obvious….

Bridal Bouquet: This was Mon and Dad Fager’s gift to my charm bracelet for the wedding!

Kissing Couple: Again, duh!

So there you have it, the basic breakdown of my beautiful bracelet!



Cinnamon Roll Cookies… with MY icing solution

For those of you that have read my blog about me vs my kitchen (if you haven’t, do! it’s an epic tale…), here is the recipe for the cookies in that blog.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

(Taste of Home, Oct/Nov 2010… with my changes)

1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Cream butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy, beat in egg yolks, 1 tbsp honey and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar and gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix well.

Make cinnamon-sugar mixture with the remaining sugar and cinnamon. Take tbsp-sized globs of dough, roll into a 6-inch rope, roll in cinnamon-sugar, then coil into a spiral. This can get sort of tricky because the dough is soft. The cookies will be a bit bigger then silver-dollars, but smaller than the base of a coffee mug. Place on greased cookie sheet (or, if you prefer less clean-up, use parchment paper on a cookie sheet) and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Caramel Icing

(Mom’s Recipe)

1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup of milk
1 cup powdered sugar

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and boil for 2 minutes (make sure you stir this or it will burn!). After it has boiled for two minutes, add milk. Bring to boil. Remove from heat, cool for one minute, then add powdered sugar. Immediately drizzle over the cooled cookies! If it starts to harden before you finish drizzling, re-heat on the stove for a minute or so (while stirring!) and then drizzle again.

SO GOOD!


And it ended with Harry Potter and Vodka.

Every now and then I find myself feeling VERY domestic. Today was one of those days. This is my story, my epic tale of good versus evil. This is a story of Lynette versus her kitchen!

While sorting through my recipes and cookbooks, I found this lovely recipe for Crockpot Pizza (super yummy, maybe a recipe to come, but this blog has a different focus, though the Crockpot part in the Crockpot Pizza comes into play in the epic tale of good versus evil…but I digress). After making dinner and throwing it in the Crockpot to do its thing, I felt a strong desire to make a new kind of cookies. It made perfect sense to me at the time, though looking back I find my reasoning faulty. The recipe (Mini Cinnamon Roll Cookies) seemed simple enough and I’m a pretty good cook, a new recipe didn’t seem like a huge challenge – more like a fun experiment. Oh how wrong I was. Oh naive child!

The cookie dough was simple enough. Your usual butter, sugar, flour, etc. …Please note as I continue my tale, that my kitchen was spotless when I began my cookie war… Roll the dough in cinnamon-sugar. Wrap them into spirals. Place in oven. Super easy. No problems. The only challenge was finding the right way to wrap the dough into a spiral… it’s super sticky dough! And this is where my kitchen smacked me with the proverbial gauntlet.

I thought that it might be a good idea to check on dinner while the cookies were baking. As I reached to take the lid of the Crockpot, I grabbed the edge of the pot by mistake… oops! Yup, burnt my finger. It was awesome. Super great. That by itself is not big deal. I bypassed that little obstacle with little trouble and went on to make the icing for the cookies. The icing seemed simple: white chocolate and honey. No problem. Oh was I wrong.

In my double boiler I began to melt the remainder of my white chocolate chips. It was all going well, until I added the honey. That ruined it. If a recipe ever calls for you to mix honey and chocolate, don’t do it. So, I dumped the first batch of chocolate and at this point realized that I was out of white chocolate. No big deal again, I’ll just head to the store and buy more. So that’s what I did. En route I called my mom to ask her about a good home remedy for burns. I picked up a package of white baker’s chocolate and headed home.

After returning home I did what any good chef does. I began to melt the baker’s chocolate: heated the double boiler, started melting the chocolate, after the water boiled, turned down the heat to low… and something went terribly wrong. For some reason the chocolate didn’t melt right, it just sort of globbed together. I figured, okay, no matter, I must have done something wrong. I threw out that batch and started again, this time thinking, okay, why not try the microwave to melt the chocolate. The microwave is a tried and true invention that does a wonderful job melting anything and everything. Chocolate went into the bowl, popped it in the microwave, pressed start and 30 seconds later pulled it out of the microwave to check its progress… it was brown! WTF? A cocktail would be so great right about now, but the cookies must be mastered! Okay, white chocolate must not like microwaves on days that end in “y.” No matter, I will try again because I can beat this, but I will move back to the double boiler… it seemed more likely to work, but I changed it up slightly thinking that maybe I did something wrong. So, I heated the water in the double boiler, after the water boiled, I turned the heat to low,  then added the chocolate. It started to melt, then it just stopped. It turned globby and then turned a delightful shade of brown.

Now before you extraordinary chefs think that I let the chocolate burn, let me assure you that I did not. I know how to melt chocolate and not burn it. I didn’t burn it.

My temper was rising, but I was still mostly calm. I dumped that batch of chocolate too and decided to try a FOURTH time.But it was at this point that my starving stomach and starving husband stepped in and begged for dinner. Luckily, dinner was done, but extremely hot and I burnt my tongue. Oh I can’t tell you how much I want a cocktail. Yeah, things were going swimmingly! Oh and to top it off, I forgot to put the garlic bread in the oven until after we sat down to dinner (Betty Crocker would be so disappointed)! As tasty as dinner was, I couldn’t focus. All I could think of was how much I wanted to be the master of those dang cookies! So, it was back to the kitchen for round five!

Boil water, turn down heat, add chocolate, melt.  And yup, you guessed it. Turned gloppy and gross! Cocktail… Now! And it was at the point that Pissed entered the kitchen. How do I screw up melting chocolate FIVE times in a row!? But I was determined (read: stubborn) and I had to finish the damn cookies! So, I went to start again and …. I was out of chocolate.

It was at this point I did what any reasonable woman would do… I called my mom. First, I clarified that I had, in fact, done everything right in my melting chocolate attempts. I had. Then I requested her recipe for caramel icing. I figured that I would master these cookies my way and make my own damn icing (and a cocktail!)! … I promise I’m not an alcoholic, but this was a REALLY long night!

Melt the butter, add the brown sugar, bring to a boil for two minutes while stirring, add milk, add powered sugar… VICTORY! I won. I beat the cookies. I won! Now it was time to drizzle this delightful icing onto the waiting cookies. Ten cookies iced, no issues. Fifteen iced, still good. Moving onto twenty and yikes! the icing was starting to harden already! Okay, it’s okay, breathe! You can do this! Place the icing back on the stove and stir, stir, stir to keep it from burning! Whew, it worked! Rapidly commence drizzling and… COOKIES COMPLETE!

And then I stepped back and looked at my kitchen and assessed the situation. I had washed the same pot (part of the double boiler) a grand total of six times in three hours. I had spilled chocolate, butter, dough, cinnamon, and grape juice (my drink of choice while cooking today) on the counter. I had used five different pots, four different bowls, every wooden and stirring spoon I own, two whisks, a KitchenAide, a mixing bowl, and a host of other things, none of which fit in the dishwasher! Not one to stop until my kitchen is clean (thanks for that curse, Mom!) I started in. After thirty minutes of clean-up I was not only sweating, but I had also managed to splash steaming hot water on my forearm and foot (don’t ask me how I managed that).

And it ended with Harry Potter and Vodka.


Cheese and Chicken Enchiladas … sorta!

My lovely sister gave me a handmade/created cookbook as a bridal shower gift. It’s truly da’ bomb! I use it all the time! But, I’m my mother’s daughter through and through which means that following a recipe is beyond me. I try! I swear I do, but a small little voice in my head always says, “oh but this ingredient would be SO good in there, just try it this once!” So I try it and, alas, the original recipe never gets used again.

(The real recipe will be in yellow, my notes will be in orange!)

Cheese and Chicken Enchiladas (annotated)

1/4 cup Picante Sauce ….. I didn’t use this the first time I made these since, well, I didn’t have it in the house, so I replaced it with Rotel Tomatos)
3 ounces Cream Cheese, cubed….. Though I don’t cube it, I’m sure that would make it go faster!)
2 tablespoons margarine, melted…. this is pretty important
Mix in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken…. on a side note, i wasn’t sure what the easiest way to shred chicken was, so I though, “hey, why not put it in my little food chopper and see what happens.” It worked and worked fast!
It is at this point that I added…. chili powder, onion powder, a dash of nature’s seasoning and some red peppers. What?? Don’t hate! I married a Texican (def: a Texan that is Mexican in his heart) that loves spicy food! 

After that all that is melted together into goodness, pour 1/3 cup into tortillas, roll up tortilla and place in a 9×13 pan and bake fore 15. Sprinkle cheese on top of tortillas in the last few minutes of baking.

Let me just say that the original recipe given to me by my sister is super yummy and I would wholeheartedly recommend it. However, I blame it on my wonderful mother that I can’t follow a recipe to save my life. I just have to tweak it no matter how good it is! There is something in my DNA that stops me and makes me change things! Most of the time this quirk turns into some really great food!


Smoothie Lovin’

Thanks to the summer heat, I have found a renewed love for SMOOTHIES! Here is one of my favorites…

Mango Tango

1 sliced banana
1 cup rainbow sherbet
2 cups mango, sliced
2 1/2 cups of ice
1/2 cup strawberries
3/4 cup orange juice
Directions: Throw it all in a blender! Enjoy!

Mangos are a good source of potassium, beta-carotene, and insoluble fiber, which aid in low blood pressure, strong immune systems and a healthy heart.

Scrumptious Strawberry

2 cups strawberries
1/2 cup of low-fat milk
1 1/2 cup peaches
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 cup ice

Directions: Throw in a blender. Enjoy!

Watermelon Wonderful

2 cups chopped watermelon
1 cup rainbow sherbet
2 1/2 cups ice

Directions: Duh!

So this one is a bit odd, but I love it! And it’s lower in sugar and calories, so it’s “good for you!”


7 word stories (part #1)

7 word stories are just what they sound like…stories told in 7 words.

I’m not particularly skilled at them, but I give it a shot anyway. Here’s what I really love about 7 word stories: you must use your imagination to complete the story. If I only have 7 words to tell a tale, it’s up to you to finish the saga. I know where I intend it to go, but maybe that’s not how you read it, so a new story is created. Or maybe it’s the other way around, maybe I give you the end of the story and I know how I got to that end, but maybe you took a different path! It’s such a great concept! Feel free to add your own thoughts!

Examples that i can’t take credit for…

We’re gonna need a bigger boat.

We came. We saw. We concurred. Winning.

I’m a light unto the world.

Stories original to me…

Who shot the dog? i mean, really?

Probably should have left on time. Damn.

Don’t judge. You know you like it.

Stupid sun. You killed my friend, Frosty!

The dog made me do it! Honest!

Dirt + Rain = Mud. Equation for mad mom.

Me without coffee means a dead you.

Meet me at the club at 8pm.

I’m melting! I’m melting! Damn.

He came. He died. He lives. Woot!


When God Whispers

I feel God moving in our lives (Josh and I = our). There is something happening, something taking place. It’s that amazing feeling that sits in your gut and you know its from God! I don’t know what it is, I don’t know when it will happen… but God is moving. He is preparing us for a change in our lives.

I have to be honest and say I haven’t felt this often in my life. I’m not a good listener when it comes to God. I also haven’t been a true follower for most of my life. A believer, yes. But not a follower. It has only been in the last few years that I have actively sought God. It has only been in the last few years that I have started to understand so much of what has been taught to me in my 24 years.

God is great and God is good. He knows all and is all and I know that HIS plan has got us covered! I just pray that both Josh and I continue to seek Him, both as individuals and as a couple. This song has been running through my head all day… especially the italicized part!

~

I see the King of glory
Coming on the clouds with fire
The whole earth shakes, the whole earth shakes
I see His love and mercy
Washing over all our sin
The people sing, the people sing

[Chorus]
Hosanna, hosanna
Hosanna in the highest (x2)

I see a generation
Rising up to take the place
With selfless faith, with selfless faith
I see a near revival
Stirring as we pray and seek
We’re on our knees, we’re on our knees

[Chorus]

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity

~

There is something in those lyrics! Some nugget that is for us right now, I can just feel it! I have no idea what it is, but I think that God has brought things into our lives and into our focus that He is weaving together for his purpose and soon, very soon, it will all become a reality.

So, with this in mind, I pray that God makes HIS plan abundantly clear to us! I don’t want to move forward without HIS guidance, but I don’t want to miss out on what HE has in store! Please pray with us!


A Pirate’s Life for Me

I’m a youth volunteer at Crossbridge Community Church and recently we hosted a Murder Mystery Night – Pirate themed, of course! The kids (and sponsors) all dress up as pirates and enjoyed a “whodunit” kind of night! Oh and my wonderful husband played the murder victim! But happily, his killer was brought to justice (but I don’t have a picture of that…)!

P.S. I just have to point out that apparently I strike the same pose in every photo I take!

Mild-mannered magazine editor by day...

Hot-blooded pirate by night...

My Poor Murdered Husband!