January 31, 2010

Seafood & Corn Chowder

Since I absolutely love soups and I have been into this new cooking thing lately... I decided to start making soup! It has proven to be a bit more involved than I imagined. But hey, that's okay, I am currently unemployed so I have the time to learn. Hoping to post a new soup a week. But since I will be going back on the road in March don't get too attached.

Anyhow, don't you worry I didn't make this today during the Harry Potter-athon. Just found the time to post.

Seafood & Corn Chowder
(recipe from Soups Magazine)

1 14 ounce can chicken broth
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced carrot
1 14.75 ounce can cream-style corn
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound peeled, de-veined cooked shrimp

  • In a medium saucepan, combine broth, celery, onion and carrot. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover & simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Cool slightly.
  • Place half of the broth mixture in a blender or food processor. Cover & blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining cooked mixture. Return all of the mixture to saucepan.
  • Stir in corn, cream, thyme, black pepper and a dash of hot sauce. (I used Cholula but you may like Tabasco). Bring to boil; reduce heat. Stir in shrimp and heat through.
I somehow forgot to take a final look picture! But I can assure you that it tasted Mmm, Mmm, Good.
One thing I did not show was all of the stupid chopping that I had to do. I am horrible with a knife so that part was tedious for me. Other than that. Pretty easy!
Oh, and while it was delicious on day 1, it was so much better the next day! And, yes, I ate the cream! Ooops!

These are a few of my favorite things...

So I have decided that Sundays will be my day to list 5 things that make me happy. Each week will be something different and quite possibly random. I love a lot of things and really love lists so this should suit me quite well. Not too mention, you might really get to know me and my strange ways through these little Sunday Happy Posts.

Today's list of my loves... 5 things that make my sick day better.

  1. Stud Muffin. Unlike most men who go running for the hills when people begin to cough, Stud Muffin goes to the store for soup and things. He also closed all the shades to make sure my eyes didn't hurt. He is a fantastic nurse!!
  2. Harry Potter. I plan on sitting here with my 6 Harry Potter movies and not moving. I am smiling just thinking about it. Don't get me wrong, I like the books much better than the movies but on a day like today movies are the way to go.
  3. Herbal Tea & Honey Bear. I have a love of most all hot beverages. I would drink hot tea all the time but today... My tea choices are Throat Coat or Gypsy Cold Care. They do not taste awesome but I swear they cure everything!! Add a little of my honey bear and we are good to go.
  4. Chicken Noodle Soup. Ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you that I could live for the rest of my life off of soup. All soups. Never met a soup I didn't like. I love em! In high school my friends thought I had an eating disorder because that is all I ate. Nope! It is just all I wanted. I blame to sodium for my addiction. Anyhow, chicken soup is my savior on sick days. The smell makes me feel better.
  5. Hot Bath with Muscle Soak. I am obsessed with baths. I could really lay in them for hours and read. But when my whole body aches (which is also from hard dance days) I love to get into a steaming hot bath and pour a little muscle relax salt in. It is amazing what a hot bath or shower can do to make you feel better.
Well, this was not the best of my loves because I am a little under the weather today. But I thought I would share the things that make my day better. Now, off the computer and on to Harry!!

January 29, 2010

We Don't Need No Education

Please be aware that you may be offended by the following post. Also know that it is just my little opinion and just because we differ on the matter, it does not mean we cannot be friends. If we are friends, you already know that I am full of opinions and don't mind that yours is different. I just felt this needed to be said.

Remember when I said that I would post a list of "500 reasons having children scares the crap out of me"? Well, add this to my list soon to be published. "I think the educational system in America stinks!"

Why? Well, let me step on my soap box.

  1. Our teachers are not respected by the public. I have heard people in my life that I love adore say the phrase "Those who can't do, TEACH!" That helps. It takes a special skill to want to teach people. It takes patience, which most people that get things on the first try do not have. It takes the willingness to go that extra mile for the kid in the back row. It takes a very special kind of person to see the potential in a child that may be struggling because of a learning disability or bad home. Teachers can change the lives of children for the good and the bad. It is our responsibility as a society to help them by treating them with respect.
  2. Teachers are not paid well and it shows. This should really be 1a. on the list because it boils down to our country's obsession with the almighty dollar. We have inadvertently taught our children that money means success and without money you are nothing. Everyone knows teachers do not make nearly enough money and the children treat them like they are less because they make less. It is easier with younger children because they have yet to become so jaded. However, I very rarely see a high school or junior high teacher that is happy at 4:00pm. I know that teachers get 3 months off and spring break and all but when the future of your children is at hand... maybe we should rethink the paycheck.
  3. Tenure. Almost anyone who knows that their job is safe barring harassment or something crazy stops working as hard. They do the same thing in Broadway shows. If you no the gig is yours and there is no one waiting in the wings to take your spotlight (or paycheck) you get by with as little as possible. I am not saying everyone does but I just don't believe in tenure for any job. Ever. A teachers job has got to be one of the hardest jobs there is. If they are doing the job with the thought that each kid that steps into their classroom is one day going to be out on their own raising a family, running a business, or possibly running our country then I imagine that is a lot of weight to carry around. So naturally, there will be a day when you just don't care anymore. Unfortunately, I think anyone that has a child's future in their hands should never take a day off from caring. I had a teacher that made me hate English in the 6th grade and one that changed my life with English in the 8th grade. If we had more teachers in this country like Mrs. Graham the world would be a better place.
  4. Arts. Everyday the music programs are being cut from our school systems. It has been proven time and time again that students who have a music program at school have 2 times better tests scores than those schools that do not. Music, and all the art forms, are also called disciplines. Discipline. Hmm. Correct me if I'm wrong but maybe it is the discipline learned from music and other arts that help these children to succeed in school. You cannot learn to play the guitar without practice. You cannot learn algebra without study. I realize that schools are hurting for money and that this seems like the easy thing to let go. But music kept me eligible. All my activities were outside of school, so grades did not matter. Maybe if children had a fun reason to keep their grades up they would try harder. Because not everyone can be good a sports.
  5. Athletics. God bless my hometown... but GEEZ Never in my life have I seen a place where you are nothing without sports quite like Ardmore. I mean, all my lovely little dance girls come rolling in wearing those ugly basketball shorts. Ugh. I have never, ever, played sports. If you know me, you know why. But sadly these programs are actually disappearing in some inner city schools and that terrifies me. Almost every guy I knew kept his grades up for one reason and one reason only. To be eligible to play in those Friday Night Lights. We weren't even that good when I was in school but those boys sure did want to play. And that drive that they had gave them skills to succeed in other areas of their lives. Sure none of them are professional athletes but a good portion played sports in college and now have great jobs. Many of those guys would have never gone to college without the sports scholarship and a coach that made them keep their grades up.
I could go on for days but really these are the highlights of my soap box today.

All in all, I think that 3 things could really change the way our youth are shaping up today. First, they need teachers who care. Second, they need to be told that they are worth it and they will succeed. And last, they need to be given a reason to succeed. A drive. Something that makes them want to better themselves. Our generation has got to stop blaming the one before and start to take action and we must begin with the children in our lives.

January 27, 2010


First, I would like to apologize for my lack of posts! My parents don't have wireless internet (gasp!) and I cannot type on their computer. Not too mention, the Debbie Show took over my life last week.

Speaking of... This is the year of the prop at SCD! I mean, really! What in the world were we all thinking?! Miss Michelle has a BIG, I mean BIG, Box in her contemporary piece. I have a rolling piece of scaffolding with a juke box attached in my musical theater routine, Mom has a chain link fence in her lyrical and let's not even talk about the number of props in the production number! I left out some props too!

Michelle and I painted numerous days last week. I glittered everything on Friday. If you know my mother, you know that we LOVE the glitz. It makes it all so fabulous! I even glittered the girls tap shoes!

I wish I had a picture of all the props at once. It took a trailer to get them to the theater! I was too busy setting lights once we got to the theater to get those shots though. :(

The show went great! I love my kids and cannot wait to see them compete in February.

January 13, 2010


Well, I told you all that I would reveal the answers to the gift riddles today. I must say that I am a tad disappointed in the lack of answers I received. I mean, come on people... you just have to guess...

Anyhow, for my gift with the clues being...
Saffron, Egg, Berries & Bark, Chalk and Led.
Told to think of something you would give a woman... and after shaking my box. I guessed nail polish. You know... all these things but the egg were once used as color so I took a stab at it. Stud Muffin's Sister In Law guessed it had something to do with a spa.

We were both pretty close but the answer was...
Sephora Gift Card!!! Well, Make-Up was the answer really. SO FREAKIN CLOSE!!!

As for Stud Muffin's gift the clues were:
Shells, Playing Cards, Fish, Cow, Fur and Whiskey.
Brian said it had something to do with trading but that was all he could come up with. I first guessed (please no one be offended) it had something to do with Native Americans... Whiskey, fur and playing cards!! I was then told we were on the right track so I said... Casino... then I guessed that he was given a lottery ticket.

I was close but the answer...
COLD HARD CASH!! (all the things that were given as clues were "traded" for cash at some point)

My goal is to stump Miss Joan next year for Christmas. First... I have to figure out the gift and then, I will be doing research all year!!

January 12, 2010

How I found my Stud Muffin (part two)

Remember how I said I sent the text message to Stud Muffin when I got home the night we met...

Well, that was the last bit of communication he had with me for the next 2 weeks. Sort of.

I have phone anxiety issues. (When I post the 500 reasons having children scares the crap out of me, I will explain the phone issues in depth.) He called. He left messages. He called some more. I never answered. I never called back. And, yet, he kept calling. This is where our stories begin to differ.

See, Stud Muffin says that he called me for (well, his answer to this goes up every time someone asks) a month. I say, he called me for 2 weeks. I keep a very detailed journal so I would know how long it was between the time I met the love of my life and the time I actually spoke to him on the phone.

If you are wondering what made me finally answer the phone... I didn't look at the caller ID before I answered. I was holding a couch (rearranging the furniture in the apartment) and just grabbed it. This does NOT mean that I didn't want to talk to him! I tried calling him back several times. I would pick up the phone and stare at it for a few minutes, type in the numbers and stare some more and then eventually chicken out and say I will do it tomorrow. I really liked him! I just couldn't seem to get the courage up to call or answer. I mean, he was the hottest guy I had ever seen!! I had to be prepared to talk to him!

Back to the story at hand... I answered, realized that Stud Muffin was on the other end and freaked! I was holding a couch and the potential love of my life was on the line! I told him that I would have to call him back when the furniture was in place. Um...me? Call him back? CRAP! I then spent the next several minutes pacing around my living room and telling myself that if I didn't call back he was NEVER calling again. I am nervous just thinking about how it made me feel! There was a lot at stake here people! I knew that I couldn't screw this up! He was HOT AND NICE!! Those 2 things almost never go together! Not too mention that he, for some strange reason, was still calling me!

I eventually got it together and called him back. He asked me to go out that night! What? I need preparation for these things! I had to work anyhow so that wasn't going to happen. We made plans to go out when he got back from his beach trip on Sunday. This was Friday... Awesome, 2 whole days to freak out about what I am going to wear!

Stay tuned for the first date story!


Well, after the numerous emails, facebook messages and comments from yesterday... I have decided to give you some hints that may help you figure out what Stud Muffin and I received for Christmas.

First... a good rule to remember when looking at both puzzles is that the clues all relate to the gift (or answer) but not necessarily to each other. And second, remember the answer was a gift so nothing too crazy!

Now... for the first puzzle... (which was my gift)Here are some helpful hints!
1. I was told think of something you would only give to a woman.
2. Stud Muffin noticed that all of them had been used for color of some sort once upon a time.

2nd puzzle(Stud Muffin's gift).
1. I was stuck on the playing cards and fur. Which made me think Native Americans.
2. Stud Muffin said all the things related to trading.

I will be posting the answers tomorrow morning but would LOVE to see if you all have any guesses now!

January 11, 2010


This past weekend Stud Muffin and I went to his mother's house to do our Christmas with her.
I will be posting more about the weekend soon but I just had to post this ASAP!
Stud Muffin's mom always makes getting your Christmas gift a game or puzzle rather. I cannot wait for you to see what we got and if you can solve it as well!

First my gift...

The clues are Saffron, Egg, Coal, Berries, Bark, Chalk and Led.

The verbal clue I was given was to think of a woman.

Next Stud Muffin's gift...

The clues are Shells, Cards, Fish, Cow, Fur, and Whiskey.
The verbal clue... not sure if he got one.

Now it is your turn! Can you guess what we each received for Christmas?

January 7, 2010

Mommy's Chicken Pot Pie

Anyone that knows me, knows that cooking is not my thing. So, when I became an unemployed stay at home girlfriend... Stud Muffin suggested that I start cooking. Hmm... I wondered if he was trying to kill himself or something. I mean, seriously, there are national disasters when I am in the kitchen! But, I did what any other prissy, semi-spoiled, non-domestic girl would do... I called my Mommy!
This is now one of Stud Muffin's very favorite meals... and it is so easy I could do it!

2 Cans Chunk White Chicken*
1 Large Can Veg.All Large Cut (or 2 small cans)
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup*
1 tsp. Celery Seed
1 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese*
1 Can Frozen Biscuits

Drain all cans.
Pour into bowl and mix all.
Mix in 1 tsp. Celery Seed & 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar.

Pour into a 2 quart pan.
Add frozen buscuits on top (not touching)

Bake at 425 for 30 minutes.

*My Substitutions:
I normally cook 2 chicken breasts and chop them into some cubes instead of using canned chicken.
I use the 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken (The day I find a lactose free version I will be SUPER HAPPY!!)
I also go without the cheese. I know it tastes better with cheese but I try to stay away from dairy and Stud Muffin prefers it this way as well.
Also, if you have a round dish... the biscuits seem to fit just right. My apartment does not allow for me to have more than one pan so I cut the biscuits up to cover the entire pan.
I normally cook at about 375 as opposed to 425 but that is just my crazy oven.
Keep in mind that the biscuits get crispy on top and stay really gooey on bottom. Its the BEST PART!!

January 6, 2010

How I found my Stud Muffin (part one)

Meet Stud Muffin.
(Well, really he is just Brian, but I call him Stud Muffin.)

He and I have some differences in opinion about how we came to be a couple... I thought I would tell my side of the story first... because, as I am sure you already know, my version is the correct one!

First a little back-story:
I was working as a restaurant manager at a sports bar/ BBQ place in NYC's Murray Hill area. I was a whopping 23 years old and the restaurant was not the most seem-less place I had ever worked. I was cranky and unhappy 90% of the time I was there. There were several issues that made me crazy but my personal favorite was that the televisions in this place were a nightmare!! Every man that walked through the door assumed that he knew what channel it should be on or had a very good reason for why I should change it to what he wanted to watch. No one ever believed that I knew how to work them or what games were on each day. (I am a HUGE sports fan! I know what games are important!) But the real kicker with these TVs was that they lost signal when it was raining or windy! You can imagine the horrible things said to me when we lost signal during a huge 3rd down conversion or bases loaded-with A-Rod up situation! I thought theater people were dramatic... Nope! Men and their Fantasy Football... DRAMA!!

Moving on to July 24, 2009
A hot rainy evening at the sports bar. The Yankees were set to play the Red Sox at 7pm and the place was pretty empty. (Summers in NYC are normally pretty slow as most people are in the Hamptons.) So, at about 6:30 the normal chatter of men asking me to change the channel began. This really attractive guy comes over and shyly asks me if I am going to put the Yankees game on. Apparently, I was a bit short with my answer of "Oh, the Yankees are playing? I had no idea!" Can you blame me? He was about the 8th person to ask! After that I explained that I was and what TV it would be playing on. He then asked me if I could put the Mets on the other TV! I replied with "Nope! I don't like the Mets." (I put it on of course!)

I went back to my business and then... naturally... the TVs lost signal! The restaurant cleared out! I noticed that shy guy and his friends were still sitting at their table and I needed some customers so... I bribed them to stay until the TVs came back on with some free beer. (A bucket of free PBR works every time!) Then I went back to chat up my bartender who was really bored. She and I may have possibly spent the next 20 minutes or so talking about the shy guy (Stud Muffin) and his friends. We may have discussed his resemblance to that guy from the O.C. and that he seemed to be really hot! I mean, we might have noticed.

Then, I don't know how I missed it but suddenly Stud Muffin and one of his friends were sitting at the bar! And my lovely bartender decides she needs to go to the store... immediately... can I watch the bar for her?! What?! The rest is a bit blurry to me... I chatted with Stud Muffin until my bartender returned. I had a job to do, so somewhere in the night I managed to be a manager and close down the place, count the money, lock the doors and... I may have happened to tell the 2 boys at the bar they were welcome to hang out with us while we waited for the staff to clean.

Here are 2 of the highlights from that evening... or maybe they are low-lights not too sure.
1. I tell Stud Muffin that I am a dancer... he responds with the typical guy "Can you do the splits?" Hmmm... tacky I think but he doesn't seem tacky. I, of course, tell him that response is tacky and now to this day he denies ever saying this to me!
2. We have a drink together. He decides... he'll have what I am having. Ha! His face when he was given a mason jar with an inch worth of booze at the bottom... priceless! (I was having a martini... but at this classy joint we didn't have the correct glasses. So, you got it in a mason jar!)
The night came to an end about the time the sun came up. Yep! (That really wasn't all that odd for me. I had to stay at the restaurant until they were finished cleaning. That was normally 5:30am or so. Stud Muffin, however, I bet he was tired.) We exchanged phone numbers and went our separate ways. When I got home I sent him a text message that said "Boston Sux". This text may be the reason I still have Stud Muffin in my life.
Stay tuned for part two!

January 4, 2010

The Great Debate

This past weekend Brian and I attended a wedding here in NYC. And, like every wedding before, we had a heated debate over what the proper gift giving procedure should be. This may, in fact, be the only thing we cannot seem to agree on.

For those of you that have not figured out yet why we debate at each wedding... let me explain.

In Oklahoma, couples register for gifts and then we mail them to the couple. You can take it to the wedding but most gifts are mailed ahead of time. You receive things that you will need to make your home together. Sure, a blender and new dishes may not sound awesome but you will need them at some point. And, of course you will receive some interesting things that you never registered for or probably don't need but you may be pleasantly surprised! Even if you are not happy with what you were given it was a gift! Maybe just say "thank you" and move on.

In NYC, (and I am sure many other places) wedding gifts are a "cash only" policy. This "cash only" thing doesn't bother me so much, it is the how much that really gets me. $100 per guest + $100 for the gift. That makes it about $300 just to attend the wedding. (I cannot afford to give everyone I know that gets married $300. So chances are, I am just not attending your wedding.) I mean, that is before I pay for hotel and transportation and everything else. That is asking a lot from your guests!

Here is where the debate at our house begins...
Brian: You pay $100 per guest because you pay for your plate. Whitney: Why am I paying for their wedding? The gift is supposed to help start their lives together.
Brian: Exactly, that is what the last $100 is for.
Whitney: Oh, so I am paying for their wedding & giving them money for the future?
Brian: This is how it is done.
Whitney: I understand giving a gift of cash. I do not agree with paying for your plate.
Brian: Then they can't even cover the wedding costs.
Whitney: Why not throw a wedding you can afford then. Or hey, charge a cover at the door! That is the same thing right!
Brian: No! Now you are being unreasonable.
Whitney: Unreasonable is asking people to pay for your wedding and then asking for a "gift" on top of it!

This debate continues and continues...
The thing is, I can see parts to his side of the story. I mean, couples are older these days when they marry. They may have lived together and have the things that they need in their home. I also realize that a very good number of our friends paid for their own wedding and gifts of cash are greatly appreciated. Not too mention, when I someday get married... I can see really wanting cash! I get all of that. Really, I do, I love cash...

The real kicker for me is the way I have heard some people speak about friends and family after the wedding. The way that they judge what someone gave them and could not believe that they only sent them X amount when they came with a guest. Or how they knew how much the plate cost and they couldn't even cover that! People shouldn't feel obligated to give $300 when invited to your wedding. Gifts should not be the reason that people stop hanging out with dear friends. Money tends to be a sore issue with a lot of people these days and I think friendships are more valuable.

In all honesty, I know that this is just the difference in our cultures. And we solve the problem by Brian giving the gifts at his friends weddings and me giving to mine. FYI: My NYC friends, you know that I am a starving artist and cannot afford to shell out $300 when I come to your wedding. I will do my best to give you a wonderful gift but please do not make me call you to tell you about my financial situation so that we can remain friends.

So friends: what are your thoughts? Am I completely out of touch and need to step into the new millennium?

January 3, 2010


A little late with the Christmas post but better late than never, I guess.

Last year I was in Ohio for the holidays singing Elvis tunes 8 shows a week. So it was nice to know that I was going to get to see the family for Christmas this year.

Christmas was a bit strange because Oklahomans do not deal well with snow. Not because they don't like it, but because they do not know how to drive in it. At all.

So, what is normally, Crites Family on Christmas Eve and Sadler Family on Christmas Day turned into a mix a families and other stranded friends on Christmas Eve and just the four of us (mom, dad, my stud muffin and me) at home alone on Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve was festive as usual. We didn't go to church because driving across town seemed a bit scary. Gege didn't get to come over either because it was just too slick for her. Cousin Ross got stuck in a ditch on the way over and Cousins Josh & Blake got to spend the night with us because it was impossible to get to Edmond.

Dinner was grand and Mom's table looked fantastic. The front porch also looked super festive with the snow.

Christmas Day was nice and quiet. Missed seeing the OKC family but I am going back soon. We watched movies and sat by the fire. Mom and I got pink fishing poles for Christmas!! I am pretty excited about it to be honest. Dad got lots of new clothes... hint... ditch the digital camo please! Brian was given the usual Sooners gear and his fav gift... Yankees 2009 Champs Tervis Tumblers.

We got to see Gege the last day we were there and she was a hoot to be around. Just love her!! Cannot wait to go back!!


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