BBQ Chicken and Commitment Issues

So about a week or so ago I posted that I was going to be doing the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. Well turns out, I have commitment issues and don’t want to do it anymore. Not because I can’t but because I simply don’t want to. I got bored with it way too quickly. And once I get bored with something that has some what of a deadline I just get irritated and frustrated for the remainder of the time. So instead of nagging myself into finishing it I’m just going to quit it all together. This probably explains why I have yet to actually start any kind of workout program, which by the way is something I seriously need to do, but I digress. So yeah, I’m not doing the 30 day challenge anymore. It didn’t feel natural to me.

I like blogging about whatever the heck pops into my mind, when it pops into my mind. I’m not real keen to itineraries either or things with lots of structure. That is why I love being my own boss and will do my best to never (have to) work for anyone, but myself, ever again. I’m a free, independent thinker, who can also be slightly conservative. Any personality test I’ve ever taken has always shown that I’m equal parts introvert and extravert. Maybe just displaying either side a little too strongly at the wrong time! Ha!

So from here on out I’m giving you me, whatever that is. I promise to always be honest and speak out of love from my heart. I may not always be right, and I may not always have all the facts, or even make sense, but I also promise to admit when I’m wrong and accept it. I promise to always learn from others and to listen to every side of the story. I’ve always tried to live my life empathetically, and imagine walking in someone else’s shoes.

Mom and dad, I know you read my blogs, and I love it. I may not always have positive posts but I don’t want you to worry. I’ve survived a divorce and a miscarriage. And neither of those times did I ever feel like I was truly alone. So if a post seems a little depressing don’t freak out and stage some kind of intervention, just trust that I’m working through whatever it is with God. I’ve figured out how to manage the things that stress me and the steps I need to take to get through it.

I also wanted to let everyone know that I have signed up for Amazon Affiliates for my blogs posts as a way to make a little extra cash on the side. I don’t know if I have it set up right on my page but it’s there. (I may also sign up for an ad provider thing as well, I don’t know). I’d like to make enough money to at least purchase my own domain name for my blog. I don’t plan on becoming some kind of “Gadget of The Week” item hawker, although I will post about some of my favorite things in my blogs. I just won’t be posting just to advertise an item.  I’m not going to promote anything I don’t actually intend on using myself. Anyway, I think there’s some kind of HTML coding or whatever and I’ll have to reteach myself how to do all that mess since I haven’t worked with it since my Myspacing days. Remember Myspace? Don’t you kind of miss it? I know I do. I miss finagling with the HTML codes and pimping out my own page. Oh well. I don’t miss the spam though.

::::Big sigh of relief:::: Moving on…

Now that my introvert self got that off her chest, my extravert side would like to share a dish that I made on Sunday. I posted it on Instagram (@thekajunkween), asked if anyone wanted the recipe, and I had a couple of takers. So here it is, Oven Bake BBQ Chicken from the Cooks Illustrated Cookbook. I highly recommend getting this cookbook for yourself or for anyone you know who loves to cook. There is a wealth of information in there that helps you make the dish perfect. Every. Single. Time.

OvenBBQchicken

Oven Baked BBQ Chicken  Sweet and Tangy Oven-Barbecued Chicken (my bad!)

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbs molasses
  • 3 tbs cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs finely grated onion
  • 2 tbs Worsestershire sauce (I use this stuff all the time and for the life of me still can’t pronounce it right!)
  • 2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs maple syrup (the REAL stuff yall!)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 ts cayenne pepper
  • 4 (6-8 ounces) boneless/skinless chicken bewbs (LOL Just seeing if you were actually reading this)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • Now watch this video before beginning. You’re welcome.
  1. Preheat oven to 325, position rack to upper middle.
  2. Whisk all ingredients except salt and pepper and set aside (replay video now if you like, I just did). Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. (Replay one more time just to make sure this song is permanently stuck in your brain for the rest of the day).
  3. Heat oil in a 12in skillet. I used cast iron because it’s how I roll, and because its oven-safe. Heat on medium- high heat until it starts smoking. Add chicken and brown on both side. About 2 minutes if you want to get technical about it.
  4. Remove chicken (from skillet) and pour off any oil that was left behind. In same  skillet add bbq sauce, scraping up all of those beautiful brown bits that were stuck to the bottom. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often, and cook for about 4 mins.
  5. Turn off heat, and add back to the sauce. Coating it oh so graciously. Spoon some sauce over the chicken so that it creates a deliciously thick layer while cooking. Or don’t, its your prerogative. Just don’t come crying to me when your chicken tastes funky. (Tried to come up with a clever funky chicken joke here but couldn’t, sorry.) Bake chicken for 10-14 mins, or breasts register 130 degrees… or until juices run clear. For me it was closer to 14-15 mins, but you do you.
  6. “Using pot holders (because skillet handle will be hot) remove from oven.” It actually says that in the cookbook. And while I rolled my eyes at this obvious instruction and thought “What idiot just grabs a hot skillet out of the oven with out a mitt?” Oh yeah, thats right, me! I’ve grabbed a cookie sheet without an oven mitt before. Good times I tell ya! Fun for all! So take it from me kids, oven mitts are essential!
    Adjust oven rack WITH AFOREMENTIONED POT HOLDERS to just 5 inches from broiler. Broil chicken for 5-10 mins, 160 degrees. Transfer chicken to a platter and let rest. Meanwhile, stir sauce left in skillet to combine then pour into a gravy boat or small bowl. Serve chicken with extra sauce on the side.

So there you have it, dinner and a show story. Thanks again for reading, please subscribe for future recipes or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Werrrrd to ya Father!

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(Probably one of the most stressful times for him. I was pregnant, we had just bought a new house and he was still pretty new at his current job!)

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Earlier this year I decided to read a book called Praying God’s Word for Your Husband by Kathi Lipp because I could sense that Joe was having some struggles, internally and externally. And it was really starting to stress him out, which was also stressing me out. The saying “If momma ain’t happy, no body’s happy!” applies to husbands as well, particularly if they are the ones bringing home the bacon (and its a single income household)! There is a lot of pressure and weight on our husbands shoulders, along with worldly their own expectations and personal goals! I also learned quickly that the more I offered suggestions, or bitched about his negative behavior, the less he listened and the further apart we grew. 

No bueno! And not the way I want my marriage to go! Then it clicked! Of course I can’t “change” him, and I don’t like using that term because I wasn’t really trying to change him necessarily, but more like wanting to help “fix” his problems. And of course, everything he was dealing with was way beyond my control or ability. So I called on the one person I knew who is in the fixing business. God. He led me to this book, through Pinterest of all places! (I seriously find the coolest God stuff there!) I bought it the next day and began reading it immediately! 

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Hold on to your hats ladies because I started seeing a positive change in Joe that week!!! He came home feeling a little lighter and lighter each day, began smiling more, complained less, and started saying things like “I’m just giving it to God!” I did mention to Joe that I had started reading the book and he said he could feel the power of prayer and it actually gave him a special peace through out his day. 

Now, I don’t know if anyone actually follows my blog, and I’m cool if they don’t, because I’m doing this more for me anyway, but I thought I’d post some things from the book for those that do follow. It’ll also benefit Joe for me to start praying these things again for him.

And I’m sorry if future posts aren’t super formal or are just a quick line or two from the book, I just like to keep things super simple between God and I, cause I feel like thats how it should be. I don’t feel like I need to put my pearls on just for a 2 minute prayer. But I do pray often, even while I’m doing other things. I don’t really know how to describe it but if you were in my head you’d probably hear a low, constant hum. Thats me praying. I think I keep a “pot of prayers” simmering on my mental stove all day. Hey, it keeps things feeling fresh!

On to the book….

Here’s just a few key points from the book on how and when to pray.

Everyday Prayer: Have a time, a routine, a spot, and some stuff! 

What that means is, make it a point to pray the same time, same place everyday. If you have time do it while you’re drinking your coffee, do it then, and bring some stuff. Like pen and paper. I kept a prayer journal while doing this and it was so awesome to go back and see how God answered the prayers… or didn’t! It’s also an awesome reminder to have when you find yourself in a funk, you can go back and see how God showed up and carried you through that particular time. Its also an easy reminder of his unconditional love for us! Thats my favorite! So whatever time is a good time that you can devote just a few minutes of quiet time is perfect! It could be while you’re making that stupid ugly mascara face when you’re putting on your make up, it could even be in the shower or while you’re taking your kids to school. And again, don’t feel like you have to get all crazy formal with it. It about starting a conversation. You could just start by thanking him for one more day on this earth! Or thanking him for even willing to listen to your hot mess of a life! (We’ve all been there!)

Simple Prayer

That speaks for itself I think, and I think I just covered that in the previous paragraph! Oops! Oh well! K.I.S.S it! Keep It Short and Simple or my favorite, Keep It Simple, Stupid! I think often times we complicate our personal relationships with God because we over think it. We also get in the way of our own happiness and accomplishments for that very same reason, we other think it. Praying to God is just as simple as cereal and milk. All you need is 2 main ingredients, you and God. I talk to God like I talk to any other person I interact with on a daily basis. I even get mad and cuss. **GASP** But guess what, he still loves me and he still desires a relationship with me! He still wants me to come to him for everything, big or small! I love that about him! I love how easy it is! I love that I don’t have to fill out some 20 page form or know some secret handshake to hang out with him. I can do it anywhere, anytime, day or night. “God is not looking for us to impress him with our prayers, but he does want us to be open to letting him impress our hearts. He delights in simple prayer”

So my prayer today, for myself, you can pray it with me, is that God begin to prepare our hearts for prayer. Let him free up any unused space in our hearts for him to use as a place to come and be with us. And to open up any unused space in our husband/spouse’s heart as well.

Credits: Praying God’s Word for Your Husband by Kathi Lipp

 

Books and Blogs

Here are some of my favorite reads.

Books:

Shattered Dreams:  Gods Unexpected Pathway to Joy by Larry Crabb. This book was a total life changer! I learned more about living my life and experiencing Gods greatness through this book than anything else in my life. I also read it at a time where I was completely broken, and honestly, shattered. This book restored everything! I’ve read it several times and will recommend it to anyone and everyone I meet! I don’t care who you are! And its not just for brokenness, this is just a great tool to keep in your back pocket for when life gets really craptastic!

Praying Gods Word for Your Husband by Kathi Lipp. I read this at the begining of this year as a New Years resolution to myself and Joe. It covers every area of hubby’s life and daily what not. I immediately saw great changes in Joe, and an overwhelming sense of peace. I still pray some of these prayers over him or refer back to the book for problem specific prayers. (There’s even one for the hubby’s to read for their wives.)

And of course any gardening book or magazine I can get my hands on, but I’ll spare you the eye pain of seeing that! 😉

Blogs:

I found her on Pinterest believe it or not. I love her short stories. To Love, Honor, and Vacuum by Sheila Wray Gregoire.

Laugh til you cry, pee, fart, and whatever else! The Bloggess

Do you blog? If so post a link below, I’d love to check it out! Also what have been some of your favorite books to read?

My Partner in Crime

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First things first, please excuse my ghetto, chewed up finger nails! Its a disgusting habit that I can’t quit!

Now on to what, or should I say whom, I want to really talk about. My husband!

My husband truly is an incredible man, he really is. People tell me how awesome he is all the time and I’m like “I KNOW RIGHT!!!!”. But seriously, he is! He’s been the icing on my cake since day one and continues to make my life sweeter and sweeter everyday. He’s also an amazing father! (And makes a pretty cute baby if I do say so myself.)

Beau

Beau

Ironically, we met several years ago through a mutual friend, ok actually the friend was my boyfriend at the time but that was forever ago. Joe and the friend were in nursing school together so we all hung out together every once in a while. The friend was even in Joe’s first wedding, which I attended, with said friend. Thats right, you heard me, I was at my husbands first wedding.

Anyway, the friend/boyfriend and I eventually broke up and I married someone else and moved to California for a couple years. ( I miss Cali by the way. The people are, lets say different (different than what I’m use to I guess), but the state itself is incredibly beautiful!!!) Then I moved to Texas to be closer to my family. I eventually divorced and entered the single world yet again. I hate dating by the way. Not because I just *have* to be in a relationship but because I’m just the type of person who enjoys being in a relationship, specifically a marriage.

Well, while I was playing the field and kissing some serious toads, Joe was going through the exact same thing and the EXACT SAME TIME! I guess he had had enough of the small town feel and was ready for a new adventure in “the big city” of Houston, Tx. (We’re not really in HOUSTON Houston, we’re just outside of it). So he packed his little bags and crossed the state line. Now both of us, I guess, had given up on the old fashioned way of dating by either meeting someone through a friend, work, grocery check out line, where ever and decided to give on-line dating a try. Yep, we met on Match.com. I had been a member for a couple of months, Joe, less than 24hrs. While “searching” through my list of possible suitors (we’ve been watching way too much Tudors… I constantly find myself talking TO myself in old English) I came across Joe and thought/said to myself…out loud… “He looks really familiar, I wonder if thats “so and so’s” friend??” So I sent him a message asking if he knew “so and so”, he replied back yes, I’m sure pretty creeped out as well. We messaged a few more times and the rest was history! We’ve been together since our first date!

My life truly changed on that day. The overwhelming since of peace that I felt has been one of the most memorable feelings, next to giving birth to our beautiful son, Beau. Joe has been a great provider of many things for our little family, and I’m not just talking bringing home the bacon. He really does take care of us the way you would hope a husband would. I wake up every morning knowing in my heart, without a doubt, he chooses me above all others. I am the one he desires to be with each and every day. He brings so much peace and certainty to our little home, which is such a great relief in such uncertain times. And the best part about Joe, he’s a godly man. I think that says everything. Actually that IS everything. Thats what all the others before him were missing… the God particle, if you will. (Ladies, if you’re reading this, know that that makes a world of difference in your relationships with men, and people in general! If they don’t have it, it won’t last) Joe truly loves me the way Christ loved the church. He puts me (and Beau) before himself always, and I do the same. By doing this, we’ve made a constant circle of giving to each other, we never feel like we’re missing something.

Another one of the things I love most about Joe and his willingness to provide for me, and his patience towards my crazy, whack-a-do, fly off the seat of my pants, totally random, hair-brained ideas! If you know me, these come a mile a minute, and never stop! Thankfully he understands that most of what I express is just merely a day dream and that I don’t have any solid expectations of it ever happening. (And if they do, then wooo-hoo!) But he really makes an effort to try and help me accomplish those day dreams, whatever they may be. He supports them and constantly encourages me to get out there and DO! He believes in me, and tells me so all the time! And if he doesn’t think my idea is possible, he’s thinking about a way to make it possible. He’s definitely a problem solver. (Does that make me a problem….creator?!!? Don’t answer that!)

So there you have it folks, a little insight into whom I gave my heart to. My baby daddy! I really could go on and on about him but I think I’ll save some for another day!

XOXO

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And here it begins…

Lately I’ve been feeling a new shift in my life, a good one. One that has brought on an intense feeling of peace within myself and where I’m supposed to be.

I’m quickly approaching my 32nd birthday and I finally feel I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in life. I have ARRIVED!

My son is a little over 1yo (I try not to speak in months, its annoying!), my home barbershop is here and there but I feel good about everything else. The world within my home anyway. The outside world, yeah not so much… I’ll save that for another post.

My marriage is solid. My core family had gotten a lot tighter, maybe to do with some outside disturbances. But in general, all is well. It truly is.

I can’t take all the credit to all my awesomeness though. God is the one who’s constantly been the one providing the avenue to my dreams. I can’t deal with life for even a nano second without checking in with him. Its not even an option at this stage in the game (of life).

He’s blessed me beyond my wildest dreams and I hope to share it all here with you!

Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog. Its nothing exciting but I love the idea of having a way to write down special memories or deep thoughts so that I won’t forget them!

Riding around with the windows down.

Riding around with the windows down.