Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Dinner...

We had a great time last night celebrating Valentine's with the Simmons, Brazeals and Rectors! Here are a few pictures from the evening....

The menu...beef tenderloin, stuffed blue cheese potatoes, green beans, chopped salad and heart shaped brownies and cookies with ice cream! It was delicious!
Place cards/Hot Tamale favors...
The Simmons...
The Rectors...The Brazeals...With my Valentine...The girls with Kaci and Sophie (one of the Simmons pups)...The boys playing some dominoes...Sweet baby the PJ's I got him for Christmas. Isn't he adorable?! The Simmons haven't had power since Thursday, so we had fun house guests last night! Thankfully, their power is back on today!

Guess what I got for Valentine's from my sweetie....a Cooking Light cookbook and a subscription to the Cooking Light Magazine! I'm so excited to try lots of new recipes! And here is the lovely poem that was in my Valentine's hubby is so creative...he cracks me up!

It's been a while since my last rhyme,
On Valentine's Day I think it's time.

I love you more thank you know,
Like Pete Delkus loves the snow!
(Pete Delkus is the super intense weather man on Channel 8 news)

Enjoy the book on Cooking Light,
Its made your buttocks firm and tight.

Every month for a year,
An issue will be delivered here.

I am the luckiest man alive,
Unless you cook from page two-oh-five!
(Page 205 is the start of the vegetable section)

I'll love you, my dear, for all my life,
Thank you for being my wife!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Treats...

When I think of Valentine's treats, I automatically think of chocolate. But, this year I decided to do something a little different. Instead of the typical chocolates and heart shaped goodies that I usually give, our family will be receiving homemade bread! This is the Kindergarten Bread recipe that I posted last's so good, it's like you're eating dessert! Josh and I have to pace ourselves when I make it. Hopefully our family will enjoy it as well! After all, homemade treats are best....especially when they're made with L♥VE!

Enjoy the weekend!!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Shrimp and Grits Casserole...

OK, so I promise that this is not becoming a food blog....I've just been cooking a lot lately and when I find something good, I must share! I made this shrimp and grits casserole last night for dinner and it was so good...actually, insanely good! I found the recipe on Cooking favorite new website to browse! This casserole is a must try...especially on a chilly night! I followed the directions to a tee. Super easy, so tasty and just 340 calories per serving! I promise this recipe will not will definitely become a staple in the Rives household! The grits (minus the shrimp and probably the lemon juice) would be a great side dish with steak or chicken too!

I also want to wish my brother and sister-in-law a very happy 10 year anniversary today!! Happy Anniversary Jimmy and Jill!! We love you!!!

Record Snow Fall...12.5 Inches!!

It snowed big, beautiful flakes all day long yesterday! I've never seen anything quite like it before in Texas. A record setting 12.5 inches!! Here are a few pictures from the aftermath around our house....

Happy Friday....Happy Snow Day!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Day!!

What a sight to wake up to! The snow was coming down like crazy when I first looked outside at 7am this morning...and it's still coming down 4 hours later! So fun! I'm working from home today....with a smile on my face because the view outside my window is so beautiful...and my coffee is so yummy!! What a great day! If you're out on the roads today, stay safe and warm!

S'more Brownies...

I've been on a big time cooking spree lately. And to be honest, I'm loving it!! I'm having so much fun diving into this new hobby of mine! I'm really enjoying learning how to "cook lighter" and figuring out how to make my normal "go to" recipes healthier. But every once in a while, I like to splurge on something sweet and not-so-healthy! Everything in moderation, right?! My friend and co-worker, Alison, introduced me to s'more brownies. She made them for our Super Bowl party on Sunday and everyone went wild over them. Now, Alison is a fabulous cook and baker (actually her new last name is Baker!) and I would never want to compete against her in the kitchen, but I just knew I could make these! So, I came home and did a little research on the Internet...and found this recipe for s'more brownies on Food Network. I read a lot of the comments that others had left and figured out how I would "tweak" the recipe to my liking. So, here is my version of the recipe....


6 tablespoons butter melted
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs (I used the pre-crushed kind you can buy in the box)
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt

Your favorite brownie mix...I used Ghirardelli's Brownie Mix
{Food Network's recipe says to make the brownies from scratch...but I'm all about semi-homemade!}

2-3 cups small marshmallows
{Food Network's recipe says to use large marshmallows, but that doesn't make sense to me.}


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8x8 inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.
Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
While the crust is in the oven, follow the directions on the brownie box to make the brownie batter. After crust is finished baking, pour batter over crust and bake for 45-50 minutes. I kept the oven on 325, so it took a little longer to bake....closer to 50 minutes.

I let the brownies cool for about 15 minutes, then I pulled the brownies out of the pan using the foil edges/flaps. I used a sharp chopping knife (sprayed with cooking spray) to cut the brownies so they wouldn't get messy. Then I put the cut brownies back in the baking pan. {A lot of the comments that I read mentioned that the marshmallow topping was difficult to cut and looked really cutting the brownies before adding the marshmallows was the way to go for a prettier looking finished product.}

Sprinkle marshmallows on top of the brownies and toast under the broiler (on low) until golden brown...about 2 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them because they will brown quickly! Let cool for about 20 minutes. Gently remove the brownies from the pan using the foil edges/flaps. Separate any marshmallows from the foil. Use the same knife (sprayed with cooking spray) to re-cut the brownies.

And this is how my first batch of s'more brownies turned out...

So, when they were ready to eat, I said to Josh, "Hey, Josh, you wanna s'more? He replied, "Some more of what?" I said, "No, do you wanna s'more?" He said, "I haven't had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing?" I said, "You're killing me Smalls!"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Plans...

I do LOVE Valentine's Day (especially all of the cute decorations, candies and cards)....but Josh and I are completely over spending lots of money on gifts and eating out. It's just too much. We still exchange cards with funny (and sweet) messages, but instead of wasting the time and money to go eat out somewhere nice, we've started staying in on Valentine's evening. We either cook or order in and usually end up watching a movie. To us, it's more fun and of course, cost effective. And I really hate when restaurants have pre-fixed menus for Valentine' just drives me crazy! Last year we had some of our good friends over on Valentine's...we all had so much fun that we've decided to do it again this year. We all pitch in on the cost for food and have a great time being together. I love decorating the table cute with Valentine's decor and dishes and I always make everyone go around the table and share what they love most about their spouse. They make fun of me for this....but I know deep down inside that they all love it. What are your plans for Valentine's day this year? Do you have any fun traditions?

I'll be sure to post pictures from our Valentine's dinner party on Monday!


Friday, February 5, 2010

Easy Apple Pie Cake Recipe...

My cousin, Gail, introduced me to this super easy apple pie cake. I made it for the first time last night for our home group....and it was devoured! When I say it's easy, I mean easy! It has 3 ingredients....

1 Box of spice cake mix
1 Can of apple pie filling
3 Eggs

Mix together and bake on 350 for 40-45 minutes in a greased and floured bundt pan. You can sprinkle the cake with powder sugar after it cools if you'd like. I forgot to do this step last night, but the cake still looked pretty and tasted great. This cake is not too sweet, so it would be great served for breakfast or brunch.....or served with cinnamon ice cream for a yummy dessert.

Here is a similar recipe I found online that has a few more ingredients in it....this version may be a bit sweeter...and definitely heavy in calories! The version I made with 3 ingredients has approximately 155 calories per slice (18 slices). Thanks for sharing your recipe, Gail!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blog Worthy...

I hate those weeks when I really just don't have anything interesting or fun to blog about. It makes me feel like my life is boring. This gloomy, rainy day in Dallas probably isn't helping my feelings much either! Any whooo....enough of my ranting or complaining...whatever it may be. {Sorry you had to read that}

With all that said, I do actually have something blog worthy to post about today....are you ready for it?! My mom, the beautiful and talented Raedean Popelka, IS COMING TO ZAMBIA THIS SUMMER FOR WEEK 3 OF CAMP LIFE!!!! Mom has been considering it for a while now (and we've been praying that the Lord would place a heavy desire on her heart to come), so we are beyond thrilled that we'll see her in Zambia this summer! My mom has been the biggest advocate and supporter of Josh and I's work with Family Legacy...thank you, mom. You have no idea how much that means to us. We cannot wait for you to see the ministry in action this summer! It's going to change your life. What a blessing that we get to experience that together.

Now, for all of you out there who have considered coming, but are just too nervous, fearful, scared, don't think you can raise the money...whatever your excuse may be. Know this....if my mom can do it, anyone can! :) It's not too late to sign up for Camp LIFE! Come join us in Lusaka, Zambia this summer!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Blog!

Today is Peanut Butter & Poptarts 2nd birthday!! Two years...really?! I've said it before and I'll say it again...time flies when you're having fun! I really have enjoyed blogging over the past 2 years and I look forward to many more posts to come. And a special thank you to all of my loyal readers out there. Truly, I'm so thankful that you stop by to visit my little piece of space on the Internet! To celebrate this special day, my dear friend, Marina, over at Penny Lane Designs spiced up my blog with a fancy new design! Thank you Marina!! I just love it!!

If I could serve you all a Sprinkles Cupcake via our computer screens, I would. Happy Birthday Peanut Butter & Poptarts!!!