Sunday, January 29, 2012

Surprise! Darren turns 25!

For my husband's 25th birthday, I decided to throw him a surprise party. I had his brother-in-law take him fishing at Cocoa Beach on Friday night and Saturday so that I could prepare the house for the party. I spent Friday and Saturday grocery shopping, cleaning, decorating and cooking. I later found out that he had guessed there was a party but nonetheless he still had a great time hanging out with family and friends. The two biggest hits of the party were the buffalo chicken dip and the spiked apple cider.

I wish I had up close pictures of the food but it was too crazy getting everything ready for the party. Here are the recipes!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 cup cooked chicken (rotisserie or chicken tenders work best)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4-1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
3-4 dashes hot sauce
Mix all ingredients together in a baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips and celery. 

Spiked Apple Cider
1 gallon Apple Cider
3/4 gallon Apple Juice
4 cups sugar
6-8 cinnamon sticks
750ml grain alcohol (or spiced rum)

Mix all ingredients except alcohol in stockpot. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 2 hours. Add alcohol and serve.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I finally finished all three books in The Hunger Games series. The books were all great and very addicting, just ask my husband. I had all three books read in a matter of 6 days. Sad that it is over but excited to see the movie!

If you haven't read them I suggest that you do.


Thursday, January 19, 2012


Yay! Today I finished the book Hunger Games and also got my Kindle in the mail! Hunger Games is a great book and I can't wait to see the movie! I recommend it to anyone who enjoys to read. I got the Kindle just in time to download the second book in the series, Catching Fire. If it's anything like the first book i'll have it read by this weekend.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Last night I ordered a Kindle and literally can't wait for it to get here before I start reading the ebook I purchased, Hunger Games. It's been awhile since I've gotten lost in a good book and was surprised how quickly I was intrigued by this one. I'm only on chapter 3 and  don't want to put it down. I can't wait for the movie to come out on March 23, 2012! I will let you know how to book really is once I have finished reading it (probably before I actually get my Kindle).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stuffed Shells

Last week my mother-in-law was on a cooking spree. We were over at her house three nights last week. She made spaghetti, fajitas and chicken with yellow rice. That being said, I didn't get the opportunity to cook much last week. When my dad and step-mom decided they were coming over last night, I jumped at the opportunity to make something I had never made before...stuffed shells. Buca di Beppo has the best stuffed shells my mouth has ever tasted and my goal was to make them as close to their stuffed shells as possible. I found a recipe online that looked similar and decided to try it out. It was delicious. One of my favorite meals that I have made so far.

Here are all the ingredients (excluding spices).

We were so anxious to try the stuffed shells that I forgot to take a picture
when they came out of the oven but took a picture of the leftovers I had for lunch today.
Still just as good the next day!
I will definitely be making this again. Here is the recipe I used.

Spicy Stuffed Shells
1 lb spicy Italian sausage (turkey or pork)
1 box of large pasta shells
1 32 oz carton of low fat Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
12 oz frozen spinach with the water squeezed out
4 cloves garlic minced
2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
2 quarts of your favorite pasta sauce
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Add the shells and cook for 15 minutes. The shells will not be done completely. Drain the shells and run cold water over them.
2. Put a large frying pan over medium heat, add the sausage and crushed red peppers (depending how spicy you want it you can use as little or as much red pepper as you desire) and cook sausage thoroughly, breaking into very small pieces.
3. In a large bowl combine the Ricotta cheese the shredded Italian cheese blend, garlic, basil, sausage and spinach then mix well.
4. Place 1/2 cup of pasta sauce into a 9x13 inch baking dish. With a spoon coat the bottom of the pan with the pasta sauce.
5. Take each pasta shell individually and stuff with the cheese mixture, it will take approximately 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture for each shell. Lay the shells into the pan coated with sauce, open side up. Continue until the baking dish if full. Pour what remains of the first quart of pasta sauce over the top of the shells. You will have enough ingredients to fill another pan so repeat the above steps.

6. Cover each baking dish in foil and place into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fish Fry

Two nights ago Darren went shrimping with the boys. Although the shrimping wasn't very good, Darren caught a 20 pound black drum.

Tonight we fried the fish and it was delicious! Thanks hubby for catching dinner. :-)

Sticky Bun Ring

  So for breakfast this morning I made a sticky bun ring. It is very easy and only uses a few ingredients.

Here are all the ingredients. I didn't have any pecans at the house but I suggest using pecans if you decide to make this.

  All the sticky goodness is in the bottom of the pan so don't forget to flip the pan over onto a plate.

Here's the recipe that I got from pinterest.

         Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring
            2 small tubes refrigerator buttermilk biscuits OR 1 tube Pillsbury Grands buttermilk biscuits
            3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
           1/2 C. syrup
           1/3 C. packed brown sugar
           1/2 tsp. cinnamon
           1/4 C. chopped pecans, opt.
           1/4 C. chopped almonds, opt.
  1. Spray a fluted pan with non-stick spray. Combine the melted butter and syrup in a small bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts (if desired).
  2. Place about half of the syrup mixture in the bottom of the pan. Then sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture on top.
  3. Lay the biscuits on the bottom of the pan, overlapping edges (closely together) to form a ring
  4. Top with remaining syrup and sugar mixtures. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


So I was watching a makeover show on tv the other night and was inspired to dye my hair. I figured that since it was winter, going back to brown/auburn would be a good idea. Here is how it turned out...a little more red than I was expecting but I still like it.


Our names are Darren and Lyndie Bateman. We are a newly married couple who just bought our first house in Osceola County. We have a collie mix puppy, Maggie Mae, and a kitten, Mona. I created this blog to document and share the adventures of our crazy life. Hope you enjoy!