Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

If you need us this weekend, we'll be here!

We're headed down to Steinhatchee today with both of our families for boating, fishing, and 'laxing! I want to wish everyone an early Happy Memorial Day! I'm so excited for summertime!

Before I go, here's a great little Memorial Day recipe that goes great with anything you put on the grill! I made Paula Deen's Tomato Pie when we went to Blue Ridge last weekend, and it was fantastic! (Pretty much anything Paula Deen makes is, right?!)

I didn't take pictures of me making it, but here's Paula's Pic and Recipe! Enjoy!

Tomato Pie Recipe

  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 (9-inch) prebaked deep dish pie shell
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes.
Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
To serve, cut into slices and serve warm.

P.S. My blog got a little summer like?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fisherwives Unite!

This weekend I didn't have to play the role of fisherwife by myself! I had the privilege of sharing the duties with one of my best friends, Brittany Hutchinson!

By duties, I'm referring to the following:

  1. Give the fishermen (aka Clayton & Spencer) company by coming along for the ride!
  2. Paddle the Kayak down the river, so the fishermen can cast from the boat!
  3. Attempt to dock/park the kayak when the fishermen want to put on waders and fish outside the boat!
  4. Read US Weekly's until they catch a fish Encourage them continually until they catch a fish!
  5. Serve as the Fishermen's photographers when they catch the big fish! (Oh, so someone doesn't mine the paparazzi now, huh?!)
  6. Feed the fishermen snacks and beers the whole way home!
In all seriousness, we had the best time out on the Toccoa River with the Hutchinson's! We wrapped up the day with a cornhole tournament and a grilled meal on the Egg! Mmmm!

Brittany - Thanks for the invite, the sweet company, and my new book!
Spencer - Thanks for keeping my boy entertained and giving him a glimpse of his personal heaven this weekend! What was the total, about 20 fish in 2 days?!
Mr. & Mrs. Hobbs - The cabin is gorgeous! Save the Cabin!

The adventure begins!
A adventure it was!
Up close and personal with the herd of cows!
Fish on!
Nice one, Wells...

These two both caught fish at the exact same time! Happy boys!

Big one!

Old railroad tracks...

The Wells.

The Hutchinson's.

Fat Fish.

Jackson & Ellie.

We'll come back, whenever you need us to! :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

And the Nominee Is....

If there were a "Husband of the Year" Award, I would nominate this guy:

(Yes, this is an old picture, but I love his big grin!)

While I was puttin' back wine at the Vineyard yesterday afternoon, this guy was working on some surprises for me! I came home and was greeted with the following:

1. Sweet little Jamie.
2. The smell of the grill with my favorite dinner on cooking on it.
3. A clean house.
4. A clean husband.
5. A pot of lilies, my favorite flower.

Keep up the good work, Wells!

We Won't Get Attached.

...Too late! What were we thinking! Our neighbor's dog spends most days and weekends with us! We promised ourselves, we wouldn't get too attached. Clearly, she's become a staple part of the Wells clan.

She greets us everyday as we drive up the road to our house...
She loves on us...
She waits for Clayton to get home from work...
She gladly accepts treats...
She lays out with me...
She loves to cuddle...

She actually can't get enough cuddling...
She and Vern have to lay down after eating a big meal...
She poses for my camera... (that a girl!)

She gets along with Allie (the Wells dog)...
She likes fresh flowers...
She likes a good dog bone...

She likes to read the Bible with me in the morning...
She likes being dried off after a bath (or running to our house in the rain)...
I've almost talked her into staying for a pajama party!

We love you, Jamie!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Walks, Eggplants, and Wine!

...That's what I've been up to lately! Now let me see how I can tie these bad boys together!

I woke up to a beautiful morning up here! The sun was shining and it was 52 degrees outside! I jumped out of bed and put on my staple outfit for a morning like this - my Nike shorts, my Auburn hat, and a fleece. Ready to head out for a walk! I drove over to a park in Blairesville...and look what I found!

Pretty fantastic, huh?

I felt like I was one with nature at good ole Meek's Park! I saw catfish, birds, geese, butterflies, frogs, and some old ladies feeding the squirrels. I know, random! 

So why did I go on a walk this morning? 

To pray and talk to God? Yes. 

To get outside and enjoy this beautiful weather? Yes. 

To work off this bad boy below? Ummm, yes. Guilty.

That brings us to Eggplants. Vern and I were driving in the car on Sunday and decided that eggplants are underrated. We eat lots of broccoli and corn, but never do we do anything with eggplant. (Yes,  when you are married you start to have conversations about things like this. I'll spare you the detailed reciprocation.)

That got me thinking! I wanted to find a recipe so I could cook with an eggplant. Our family of two has gone about as far as you can go with spicing up spaghetti... so I decided to try out this twist on Italian with (you got, it) eggplant! I found this recipe on and it was awesome! And... it really isn't that bad for you either...I substituted turkey ground beef for the real stuff!

Eggplant Lasagna


  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (or if you're like me, turkey ground beef)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 eggplants
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (I used croutons and threw them in the food processor!)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I recommend sticking with grated - I went a little crazy and used grated and shredded. The shredded got a little crisp on top!)

To start, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Then in a LARGE saucepan on medium high heat - mix the beef, the 2 chopped onions, and the minced garlic (I used the garlic in a jar rather than fresh garlic, and that worked fine)!

After the beef is thoroughly cooked, drain it. 
Then place it back in the saucepan and add these guys!
Diced tomatoes, tomato paste, dried parsley, dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, and the 2 1/2 cups of water! These seasonings brought SO much flavor to this dish!

After after you've stirred the beef mixture together for a few minutes, you can reduce it to low heat. 
Then chop your eggplant into 1/4 inch slices and arrange them in a lightly GREASED baking pan.

Pour half of the beef mixture over the eggplant. Then top that with the sliced onion.

Top the sliced onion with half of the breadcrumbs and half of the parmesan cheese! Second verse is same as the first! Layer with another set of eggplant slices, remaining beef mixture, sliced onions, bread crumbs, and cheese!

Cover that puppy with foil and bake it for 1 full hour. After the hour is up, remove the foil and bake it for 20 more minutes! By this time, the house is smelling pretty darn good!

Clearly, the "after picture" was taken after we ate dinner! We dug in immediately! 

The best part part about this meal is that you don't even need to serve it with sides! It's got everything you need in one - veggies and protein. The only side I served with this meal, was wine!

Speaking of wine... (great segway, eh?)


Remember when I told you that I had my own plans today? Well don't call me between 4:30 and 6:00, because I will be here

That's right! I have a Girl's Day planned and couldn't be more excited! Clayton's coworker Frances (the Friendship Bread girl) emailed me yesterday inviting me for a Girl's Day! We will be relaxing on a deck, sipping on vino, just us girls. 

Don't wait up for me, Vern!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stuffed Crust Strawberry Cream Pie Recipe

Ever since Strawberry season began, I have been on the hunt to find the perfect Strawberry Pie recipe! So far, I have tried several and have had a hard time finding "the one". This version was the best I've made so far, if you want to try it at home! I'm not a huge fan of Pillsbury pie crust, BUT it's a stuffed crust so it didn't taste too "Pillsbury-ish." 

The Ingredients:
1 box (15 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1 package (7 oz) almond paste
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 egg white
Strawberry Filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
Homemade Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
8 fresh whole strawberries, if desired

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees...
In a food processor, mix the Almond Paste, Cornstarch, and Egg white.

Scoop the almond paste mixture onto one of the pie crusts. Spread it out over the crust so that it's 1 1/4 inch from the edges. Then cover it with the second pie crust (like an "almond paste mixture sandwich")!

Place the "sandwich" in a pie dish and cover the edges with foil.

Place another pie dish (or if you're like me, a cake pan) over the crust. Bake for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, remove from oven. Remove the top pan and prick the top of the crust with a fork about 15 times. Then place it back in the oven to bake for 15 more minutes! Remove it when it's a light golden brown and let cool for one full hour!

The cooling period is a great time for your kitchen staff to take a break. Or nap.

For the strawberry filling, mix the sliced strawberries, sugar and cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Heat it until it boils, stirring constantly. Lower the temp a bit, and keep stirring until it's almost a thick jello-like mixture. Pour the filling into a clean bowl and cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Stir it a couple times during the 30 minute time to help the entire contents cool quickly! on to the homemade whipped cream part! Mix the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla on high speed with a mixer. Mix it a couple minutes until it thickens. You'll start to see small peaks in the mix, like this picture below!

After the crust and the strawberry filling cools, introduce the two to each other!

Then spread with the whipped topping! Decorate it as desired! (I wish I would have had a little greenery or mint leaf in the house to add some color!)

Grab a fork and dig in! Caution: Once you start, it's difficult to stop!

Recipe compliments of Pillsbury.