Goals for 2020

Happy New Year!!!!

I hope that everyone had an awesome holiday season and has jumped into the new year and decade with positive thoughts and healthy intentions. The end of last year was a very busy and transitional time for me. There was a position change with my job, I finally got below 200lbs in my weight loss journey and I finally paid off a major medical bill that I had been paying for a few years. Woohoo!!!  This post is getting out a WHOLE LOT later than I wanted, but I’ve been laid up dealing with a Baker’s Cyst that mostly has me sitting somewhere with my leg propped up as much as possible.  Since I normally work in my office/craft room for writing; editing and posting has been a little further down on my to do list.  But I digress.  Please enjoy, and know that tomorrow I start physical therapy and I hope to be back in the writing chair soon.

For the first time, I decided to set and write down goals for the year AND get an Accountability Buddy to help me make a math or pathway on how to achieve the goals as well as to ensure that I am working towards the goals that I make.


I asked my oldest brother to be my accountability buddy and he agreed. My oldest brother and I are pretty close and there are things that I share with him that I feel more comfortable sharing then what I would even share with my best girlfriends, so to me he was the perfect person to share my goals with and someone who will definitely hold me accountable. We have verbally discussed my goal, but have not yet set down to look at the goals and how I’m going to achieve them. Some would think this is NOT good; we’re a month into the new year, and it seems as if I’m already slipping. To this I say, “don’t count me out, I’m working on my goals or at least thinking of them daily”.

Today, I’m going to share some of my goals.

1) In my weight loss journey, I have always had a goal to get down to 185lbs. I’m 5’10.5” tall and I am for the most part happy with my body shape. I have hips and backside that I love, but they are not too much. It works for my height. What I don’t like is the pooch that I carry in the front of me. A lot of it was due to some health issues that I have had taken care of several years ago; but I needed to work on flattening it out. I also wanted to tighten some up and slim down. I have been on WW for almost two years and my weight loss was slow. I don’t feel bad or discouraged by the slow progression, I feel that this weight loss journey was the best way for me to lose weight and keep it off. For me I have changed my way of eating, not just dieting. I’m about 10-15 lbs from reaching my goal weight. To many this seems like a quick goal that I can accomplish, but remember, my weight loss has been slow. Therefore, these last few pounds can take some time. I promise to let you guys know how things are going.

2) In my blogging journey, I want to be better about posting. I know, I know…I say that every year and last year I think I did tons better. This year, my goal is to post at least bi-monthly. I feel the best way to do this is to write down ideas of what to post and write whenever I have the time. It would be awesome if I could find a dictation program to speak to that can type it out for me. Needless to say, I will make the effort.

3) In my financial journey, I want to get to the point where I can spend a check and save a check. With my position change, I have gone from getting paid every week to getting paid bi-monthly. Not every other week, but the 15th and the 31st. It has been an adjustment and something that I will post about sometime in the near future; but I also have gotten a nice salary increase. With my goal to get debt paid down/off; I don’t see why it’s impossible to get to a point where I “spend a check and save a check”. I’m going to be honest, this goal is one that I most likely will not accomplish this year. I think it may be more like “spend a check and save ½ of a check”.

4) Something new for me will be creating and selling planner inserts. What do I mean by this? I have been an avid planner for most of my adult life. I started out with a journal style planner in school (I guess it would be similar to a bullet journal before bullet journals were a thing), then graduated to Franklin Planners until about 3 years ago when Franklin Covey stopped making the huge variety of planner styles (this is because of the popularity of electronic planning). I finally found the disc-bound planner systems. I spent a lot of time and money designing my own pages because I was used to planning a certain way; but finally decided to stick with pages that were already out there. I start decorating with stickers and washi tape, but still needed to keep enough space to actually use the planner for actually…….planning. I also fell in love with “frankenplanning”. This is dividing my planner into different planner type categories and having all my planning needs in one large planner. I have my calendar planner, budget planner, health planner, work planner (a section of my planner dedicated entirely one of my job responsibilities that I need to keep track of), notes, and something new meal planning and grocery planner. I had to create new pages to make some of my sections work better for me. While I was creating these pages, I thought maybe someone else could benefit from these pages. So……I’m going to share. I need to figure out how to do this from my blog page and will spend some time researching how best to go about it. Stay tuned guys, I will share the process and pages soon.

So, that’s the majority of my goals for this year. Tell me what you think? Do you have goals? Do you have an accountability buddy? Comment below and let me know. Also, I would love ideas for post you would like to see. What things/post are you most interested in?

Until next time,


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Did you say Oatmeal?

Happy Monday everyone!

This is a not so quick post that I wanted to share that I finally have time to get out.  It’s been totally busy around here and although I have been meaning to post, it’s just has come to pass.  But I’m back.  Today I want to share a recipe that I made the other day that simply had me bursting with joy.  Oatmeal Cherry Muffins…..


I don’t know if I’ve stated it, but my main job is working in a R&D setting (that’s research and development if you didn’t know).  Occasionally I get the opportunity to interact with people outside of the company; we call them donors.  I love doing this; the “donors” are friendly, you can learn all types of things from them, and they sometimes have the best stories.  Last week while conducting a study a donor stated that they had an oatmeal cherry muffin for breakfast that his wife made.  My ears instantly perked up at the mention of this muffin and I was intrigued.  I make oatmeal cherry and oatmeal cranberry cookies, they are a favorite; but I had not had a muffin.  I have been making muffins on the weekends that Babydoll and myself can grab and have for breakfast throughout the week and this sounded like something I should look into.  FYI, the day I baked these, it RAINED ALL DAY…so my pics are a reflection, in-house lighting, no natural lighting here. Sad smile

Because I’m on weight watchers, I always try to find the healthier, point-friendly version of any recipe that I make.  If I can’t find it, I try to modify the recipe so that it will be healthier and point-friendly.  Something else that I have begun to do is not use sugar and use agave or honey instead (mainly agave because you do not need as much to sweeten) as well as I try to use plain greek yogurt or almond milk instead of dairy, as much whole wheat flour vs. all-purpose white, and applesauce instead of oil.  This has not always been successful (I’m not going to discuss the failed attempts, yes I said attempts, at the citrus poppy seed muffins), but it is something I still strife to do.

I did some looking on the internet and came across a recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction for an Oatmeal Blueberry Muffin that seemed right up my alley.  She used honey instead of sugar and she softened the oatmeal in milk and that seemed like the way to go to have a moist muffin.  I of course wanted oatmeal cherry muffins, so I new right off that I was going to change it up with dried cherries instead of blueberries, but this recipe seemed like a good jump off point. 

The only modifications I made to Sally’s recipe was: 1) I used almond milk instead of regular milk to soak my oats; 2) I added my dried cherries to the oats and almond milk, because I wanted to hydrate the cherries some;


and 3) I used a combination of honey and agave to sweeten because I wanted to minimize the amount of “sugar” that was in the recipe. 


Oh, I almost forgot; I used some vanilla powder as well as vanilla extract.  Vanilla powder is my newest baking obsession. 

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The muffins came out a hit!  Babydoll has had one everyday since I made them (even came home and ate one after having breakfast and coming home from a sleepover).


Something Sally emphasized and I will reiterate it, do not skimp on the butter.  In an attempt to make it “healthier” the temptation to use applesauce instead of butter is there; don’t give in.  The butter/fat makes a difference to texture and flavor.  I think the next time, I will add a little lemon zest to make it a little “brighter” and try adding some whole wheat flour, maybe 1/2 cup.  But these will be made again.  And again, and again. Now just because I made some healthy modification to the recipe, the butter makes a difference and the sugar from the dried cherries is no joke either.  Having said that, when entered into the WW recipe creator, it comes out to be 11 points.  If you made it with the blueberries (fresh or frozen) like in Sally’s recipe it would be 8 points.  For me, I wanted the cherries and most times my breakfast consist of 1/2 grapefruit and either eggs or plain yogurt with a little granola so I’m at zero or 4 points.  If I want the muffin I can eat it and watch my points the rest of the day (or go to the gym or walk if off. Smile)  I hope that you take the time out to enjoy this deliciousness. 



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I’m sinking

This week I want to talk about sinking funds. More specifically the way that I do my sinking fund. For those of you who do not know what a sinking fund is, it is when you take an expense that you know is coming and you break down the cost over a period of time. This could be for car registration/maintenance, Christmas gifts, an annual trip, whatever you want to break up. It is kind of like lay-a-way for expenses because you put money aside for the expense a little at a time. When the expense comes up, you have the money necessary without having to shell out a large amount from your income. People will place the money in a savings account, I’ve heard of people placing the money in envelopes, however you feel comfortable keeping the money making sure that you do not dip into those funds until the expense comes up.

When I first heard about this a few years ago, I thought this was the best thing and thought I wanted to do this. But the way my finances work, I couldn’t see how to do it. Recently, I decided to do a monthly sinking fund for three of my larger bills: car payment, PNC loan, and medical bill. These bills are the main largest bill that I have that I one bill be paying on a while (car and PNC loan) and two I want to get rid of soon (medical bill). As I stated in my last post I want to pay off that medical bill asap (November) so that I can free up that money for something else, so I’m paying an extra $100 monthly that will allow me to pay it off by the end of the year.

What I decided to do is take the payments for each bill and divide them by 4 and that is the amount that I place in an account so that when the payment is due I then transfer over/pay the bill without feeling the bite of the large payment.

So this is how it looks:

Telluride car payment: 679.14/4=169.785

I round this up to 170 and that little extra goes towards balance.

This makes the final payment equal to: 170 x 4=$680

I pay an extra $.86 each month.

Again, that’s not much, but over time it will be helpful.

The PNC loan is 289.03/4=72.2575

I round this up to $73. The amount that gets saved over the month is $292.

The medical bill with the extra $100 is: 229/4=57.25 that gets round up $58. The amount that gets saved over the month is $232.

The PNC loan and the medical bill both get saved in another bank account that I have and the total for the month for both of those bills is $524. The total that needs to be saved to make the payment is $518.03. I have an extra $5.97 each month that I have not applied towards anything yet, but I will do something with it later.

I have several bank accounts; I’ll talk about that in a later post; I keep the money that is for my PNC loan and medical bill in the PNC account. I am currently getting paid weekly, this will most likely change starting at the beginning of next year (God willing, and everything works out okay at my job). I transfer the money for the loan and medical bill weekly from my credit union to the bank. I get a deduction in my interest rate for my PNC loan if I have automatic payments on that loan and that was a quick arrangement with the payment coming from the same bank. I lucked out and got my car loan financed through my credit union, so that money gets transferred weekly into that account, no worries. It is really a relief that to be able to do things this way and I don’t feel stressed out when those payments are due.

So, that’s how I do my sinking funds. After I pay off my medical bill, I will add a new large balance bill to my sinking fund total. Are you a sinking fund fan? Let me know how you are doing your sinking fund or if you have found another way to make the payments without feeling the angst of making a large monthly payment. I’m working on some new inserts for my planner that I want to share with you guys in my next financial post. I think they are going to be really helpful for me, I’m curious to get your opinions. I’ve recently baked some really yummy things that I want to share with you guys, so I’m not sure if my next post will be about those or a continuation of finances. Let me know which you prefer. Until next time.


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6 Month Check-in

I haven’t posted anything financial related lately. I know that I said I was going to do a 3 month check in with you guys to keep me accountable. I have not done that. Should I give my excuse now or forgo it and just say that I’ve done bad. I think I should give my excuse because it’s a good and valid one. First, I will say that the things that I said I was going to do to manage my finances, I did do. I make and maintain a monthly budget, I keep really good records of my spending, and I have been working to pay down my debt. We’ll call this my semi-annual check in.

Now what I haven’t done is completely stop using some of my lines of credit and I have not paid off that medical bill by my previous projection, of August. So let me tell you what happened – yes I’m going to the “See what had happened was” statement. But first….

Last week I created a debt payoff spreadsheet so that I can “see” when things will be done.

Debt payoff

I even figured out how to calculate the monthly interest that I will be charged so that I can accurately see the payoff.   You find out the APR, divide by 365, multiply that number by the end of the month balance, and multiply that by 30 (days in a month).  

Calculating APR

I went to the websites of each card so that I could find out what the interest rates of the cards were.

Interest Rates

I want to print this off and place it in my planner so that I can look at it and highlight the payments and confirm the next balances. I did not complete the payoff dates for all of the items, but I will; I wanted to see where I would be by the end of the year.

Ok, here’s my statement. What had happened was….there are three credit lines that I still have open that should have remained Paid Off when I paid them off at the end of last year – Old Navy, TJMaxx, and Zulily. These cards/credit lines are usually used around the holiday season and the beginning of the school year. Old Navy has jeans that Babydoll loves to where and they actually fit the backside of someone who has one (and we have them, not Nikki Minaj or Kim Kardashian level, but we are blessed). TJMaxx is probably one of my Babydolls favorite places besides Urban Outfitters and Zulily is my go-to when I’m looking for a great deal on shoes or things that help me organize my home and craft accessories. I paid off Old Navy right after I had bought Christmas gifts for everyone. It turns out that some things didn’t fit and they wanted to return them. When we went to return them, they decided that they wanted other items that ended up costing more than the originals. Then there was a sale on jeans – the jeans are $40 on sale, so I wasn’t missing that sale, hence the balance. This should be paid off in October. 


TJMaxx happened because my anniversary and Father’s day came up when I was in the midst of doggie foot crisis and most money was going towards that. I will make my last payment on in a few days in September. 


And finally, Zulily had the foldable sewing table that I have been trying to find, the Cuisinart food processor that I needed to replace, and the organizational items that I have been using to organize my kitchen cabinets. All of these will be paid off by the end of the year.


I thought I would be paying off my Clearbalance medical bill by the end of this month (August). My plan was to take the extra money from the student loan that I have a break from this year and put some in savings, a good chunk on the medical bill and then pay some extra on the student loan. I made that decision at the end of February so that I could start in March. I put it off a month because we went to Paris and I used that money to pay another bill. When we came home my doggie baby started having problems with her foot. The numerous doctor visits we went to trying to get her healthy ended up taking whatever extra money that I had as well as some that I charged. She had surgery the end of June (you can read about it here) and I started doubling up on the medical bills that same month. The new projected date for that payoff is now November.


That’s only about 3 months longer, but that’s a little over $200 that I could be applying to something else.  $600 that I could use for something else; maybe that Nordstrom bill. 

A lot of people use the “every dollar” plan. I have looked at it and I had to be honest with myself and admit that I would not be able to stick with it. I thought about the envelope method. If there is a way that I can make electronic envelopes, then I would do it. But taking out cash and placing it in an envelope will not work for me. I use my bank card as a credit card as much as I can because I get a rebate when I use it that way and I use that money to get some Christmas gifts along with the money that I save using Ibotta. There is something that I started doing that has had some success for me recently that I will share with you in the next post because I’m feeling that this one is getting wordy and I don’t want to bore you. Think sinking fund but with a twist.

If you have suggestions, I would love to hear them. If you would like to send words of encouragement, I will gladly take those as well.  Until next time when I will be discussing my “sinking fund”.


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Unused Fruit

My family eats a lot of fruit. I think we spend just about as much if not more on fruits and vegetables than we do on meat and other things. Having said that, there are some times when something is not eaten before it becomes too ripe (or it was on its way to being too ripe when I bought it and it became too much too soon.) It usually happens with bananas and I have the perfect excuse to make banana bread.

Recently, I had some plums and apples in the fruit bowl that were too ripe or no longer pretty in the apples case, that I didn’t want to throw away.


This is the time of year when people are taking all the wonderful fruits and vegetables and canning or preserving them for future consumption. I didn’t have enough plums to make a batch of plum preserves by themselves. I could take the apples and add them to a cake or fry them up, but I had decided to make a Champagne cake this weekend and I like my apples a little firmer for fried apples so no go.

What came to mind was Apple Butter….more specifically, Plum Apple Butter. I didn’t want to make something full of sugar because I’m trying to drop 22lbs. At the same time, I need this to taste good. I don’t want the after taste of a sweetener; I don’t want to sacrifice favor just to cut back on calories and I can taste the difference. When I’m cooking, I want it to taste just as good as the original, but modifications that are healthier. I don’t do it to everything I cook, but if I can find a substitution that will work, I go for it. Looking on the internet, I found a few recipes that used agave nectar instead of sugar. Ding-Ding-Ding! I have agave nectar. Most recipes call for water as the liquid, but I was looking for ways to add a little something extra – some POP. There was another recipe that used apple juice. I didn’t have apple juice. A quick search of the frig revealed I had 100% pomegranate juice. Let’s go with that.


The first step to making the “butter” is to prep the fruit. I knew I didn’t have 4lbs of fruit, 2lbs of plums and 2lbs of apples; so, I brought out my scale to weigh everything to determine how to modify the recipe that I came up with. I knew I had more apples than plums; but it turned out I had about 1lb 10oz of plums. I quartered my plums and removed the seed. For the apples I decided to remove the skin and seeds and quarter them as well. Once I added the apples, I came up with a little under 3lbs of fruit.


I didn’t want to think in terms of ¾ of the recipe, more like 2/3. I went with that for the recipe.

I had to simmer the plums and apples in the juice covered for 15 minutes.



After that, I used my emersion blender to puree everything. I tasted it to see what I was working with and MAN; it was good. I let Babydoll taste and she was like, “I will eat that as is.” It was a really good tasting apple sauce at that point, but I wanted “butter” so I continued.


I decided to add ½ cup of the agave nectar because it really didn’t need too much more sweetening.


The spices I used were 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp of allspice. I saw some recipes that had cloves and ginger, but I didn’t want to go there.


I needed to let the “butter” simmer for 20-30 minutes on low with the lid off to allow it to reduce and thicken. I made sure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking. (The first time I went in to stir, it began bubbling like crazy; I had to remove it from the burner to get it to calm down).

What I made was enough to make 2 pint jars and about half of another pint. I decided to process the full pint jars so that I could store them in my pantry.


The half pint I placed in the jar and allowed it to cool before closing it up and storing it in the frig. I didn’t have biscuits or bread around for dinner, but Babydoll wanted some “butter” so she toasted a half of an English muffin to go with dinner. She said it was so good, no real butter was needed….just the homemade fruit butter. She let me have a nibble, I agree….it was delicious. I had some with breakfast the first chance I got.  I’m glad I decided to write stuff down, I have to be able to duplicate this one again.


I bought peaches this week. I think I’m going to take some of them and make a small batch of peach preserves. A coworker brought in a peach vanilla preserve that she made. It was like peach cobbler in a jar. I’m either going to get her recipe or play around to see what I come up with. I really want to do it without needing to use pectin. I’ll see what I come up with. If you have any suggestions, please leave me comment below; I welcome them.

When I plugged the recipe to the nutrition calculator, it came out to be:


This is if you cooked it according to the recipe that I would make with 2 lbs of apples and plums. I figured you would get 80 tbsp out the recipe size that I made. The nutrition calculator only went up to 72 servings; this means that the calorie count may be lower, but 14 calories is what I will use in my daily calculation. If you decide to make this, please share how it turns out.

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Working on snacks

Hey Everybody,

This weekend I took some time to out to bake quit a few things, but two things that I really wanted to share with you guys were these granola bars and chocolate fruit and nut clusters.  Both of these recipes I found online, I will not be claiming them as my own although I did make adjustments to them to satisfy my own personal preferences.  I will have the links to the recipes below and tell you how I changed them up. 



I LOVE granola bars.  But I ended up giving them up when I began my weight loss journey.  I started making a healthier version of granola that uses more puffed rice cereal than oatmeal that taste amazing especially with plain yogurt.  When I saw this recipe that uses equal parts rolled oats and puffed rice cereal, I thought it might be a good option and a good way to give me a hit of something sweet and also something that is quick to grab when I’m running out the house and don’t have time to fix a decent breakfast. 

The key to this recipe is the “sauce” that you pour over the dry ingredients.  You have to cook it for a few minutes, and when you pour it over; you should work quickly to make sure that everything gets incorporated properly so that you can press it into the pan and everything stick together.  I switched things up by using pistachios, sunflower seeds, and pecans as my nuts.  I found I didn’t have any apricots (I just knew I did – I put them on the list to purchase), so I used so dried chili mango.  I had a 50/50  mixture or cranberries and cherries instead of just cranberries. 


Once they had a chance to set, I cut them by cutting the length in half, halving those sections, and finally halving those sections.  I then went down the middle.  I should have ended up with 16 bars, but remember I told you that you need to make sure that everything gets incorporated?  Well there was a section of the pan that did not get thoroughly mixed.  As a result, when I went to cut; it crumbled apart and no amount of pressing would get them to stick – so I had 14 bars. 



The recipe author mentioned that the bars were easy to wrap up; so I decided to whip out my Food Saver and vacuum seal them.



Excuse the collar next to things, I was changing the battery for the Invisible Fence collar and didn’t realize where I had put it (I looked around for that thing for near an hour before I found out.  I guess I should have reviewed my pictures and found it sooner Smile). 

This was the first time I attempted to do this and was a little unsure if I should do a super tight seal or leave a little air in them.  Time will tell.P7210322P7210323

At the same time that I was making the granola bars, I put some chocolate clusters together using the crock pot.  I saw a picture of this a couple of months ago but wasn’t able to find a recipe – I think I was on Instagram.  I came across this recipe and near swooned with excitement.  I wanted to make it for two reasons: 1) on the days that I am trying to be low-carb/no-carb and I want something sweet – chocolate nuts is a great option; and 2) I wanted to try them out as a possible Christmas candy that I make for my Girlfriends Dinner.  What’s so great about his recipe is that you dump everything in the crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours.  You come back, stir everything together, set on parchment/wax paper, allow to set, and you have clusters.  YUM!

I modified this recipe by using a trail mix that had an assortment of nuts and cherries along with roasted peanuts and I used mostly 62% cocoa chocolate chips and a little semi-sweet chocolate.  I didn’t use my large crock pot, because I had made some carnitas the day before in it.  It was clean, I just didn’t want to use it again so soon; plus I cut the recipe in half so didn’t feel like the amount was worth messing up the large one.  







I took half of the clusters to work to share with my coworkers.  The results were favorable from them and I really liked them, so I’ll make the full recipe as one of my give-a-way treats.

I highly recommend you give both of these a try.  If you make modifications, feel free to drop me a line and tell me how they turn out and what modifications you made. 

Until next time,


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Hey Chér

As I mentioned last week, I had a whole gang of people over for the 4th of July.  With the help from my parents, we had a shrimp boil, fried fish, grilled chicken, hot dogs, and sausages.  There were great sides (mac and cheese, baked beans, pasta salad, and green salad) and several types of desserts (The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford – or Robert Redford as we call it – that needs to be changed to The Next Best Thing to Duane Johnson; we also had Dirt Cake and finally Apple, Cherry, and Peach mini pies – made with my Bella mini pie maker).  We all had a great time.  I think I had around 25 people in the house. 

Now, if you have ever hosted; you know that it can get costly to do something of that magnitude and ensure that everyone is well fed.  This also caused me to decide that I’m not going to be grocery shopping this week.  Whatever we eat this week will come from my freezers. 

A few months ago, Babydoll was looking on Pinterest and saw Étouffée.  She thought it looked really good and asked me about it.  I told her that it’s easy to make basically a Cajun gravy that you have with rice.  I told her that I would make it for her one day.  Looking in my freezer this week, I found some shrimp.  We keep rice because Babydoll loves it, so I decided we were having Étouffée for dinner.  I also found a lone chicken breast that I pulled out of the freezer to have along with my shrimp.  To complete the meal, I sautéed some frozen chopped kale (I sautéed in chili olive oil) and some French bread that I smeared with Brummel Brown. 

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As I told Babydoll, Étouffée is basically a Cajun gravy; however it takes a little longer to prepare than regular gravy.  It’s all about the roux, and for this version, I decided to make a dark roux. 

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A dark roux took me about 20 minutes to make.  Typically you are required to constantly stir your roux so that it doesn’t burn; but I will be honest, I peeled shrimp while my roux cooked.  I was running back and forth from the sink to the stove stirring with my wooden spoon and whisk. 
After my roux reached the color I wanted, I added my trinity and chicken breast that I had seasoned with Slap Yo Momma seasoning.  I cooked this for another 5-7 minutes. 

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This addition resulted in my roux getting a little darker, but that was cool.  After this had cooked about 5 minutes or so, I added some minced garlic.

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I then I added chicken stock, a can of petite diced tomatoes, and a gang of seasonings. 

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Once this came to a boil, I lowered the temperature and allowed it to simmer for another 15-20 minutes. 
I added my shrimp and cooked until they turned pink, about 2-3 minutes; then added butter – which made it so much better. 

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I could have sliced some green onion – I had it in the frig – but I decided against it, because I was ready to S-N-A-P.
I cooked rice in my rice cooker – if you don’t have one – put it on your Christmas list (or put it in lay-a-way at Walmart this Christmas). 

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One thing that I will beg you to do when you cook rice is to cook your rice with a bay leaf.  It will take your rice to a level that you will not be able to understand.  It makes it amazing. 

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Babydoll said that she really enjoyed it.  Remember I said that I only had one chicken breast?  She asked me where the chicken was.  The next time I make it, I will be sure to add more chicken. 

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Have you made Étouffée before?  Comment below to let me know what you like to make yours with and how dark do you typically like to make it.
The recipe that I used is below.  I hope that you enjoy it. 



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