Thursday, December 18, 2008

This makes me sad.....

and happy. Sad that it's continuing to rain and I'm tired of flat hair, walking through mud and puddles to get inside my office and I hate my windshield wippers, they just smear! But happy because Christmas looks like it's going to beautiful, not white but at least sunny!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just call me Katie Chang

wife.... or something to P.F. Chang. I have now mastered the recipe of PF Chang's Spicy Chicken (this is comparable to General Tso's Chicken). Mmmm, it is so good. Mark and I love this dish and I just wanted to learn how to make it at home so I went searching online at different recipes and actually found one from PF Changs. We took a trip to the Asian grocery store and got to cookin. It tastes just like it, I just can't get enough of it. I too have tried the crab wontons, haven't mastered but I sure am getting there!
PF Chang's Spicy Chicken

10 ounces chicken breast
Potato Starch
Canola Oil
3 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon garlic
1/4 cup green onions
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 ounce house white sauce (chicken stock with a touch of oyster sauce)
1 ounce Chang's sauce (sugar and vinegar combined)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Dice chicken breast and lightly coat with potato starch.
Fill frying pan with enough Canola oil to fry chicken. Fry chicken for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Drain chicken. Rinse out frying pan.
Add oil back into pan. Add garlic, green onions, chili paste, house white sauce, Chang's sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch. Mix in fried chicken. Sauce shoudl bind to the chicken. Serve with rice or noodles.

I haven't tackled the lo mien yet, I'm sure it's easy but we just go take-out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

From 85 to 35....

degrees. Whew, what a change coming from 85 degrees, sunny with a slight breeze to 35 degrees, windy and snowy. Brrrr.....where is my blanket and hot chocolate?!?!?! I wish work was called off tomorrow.

All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan

But I ain't gonna get it! Earlier this week I was in Los Cabos, Mexico on a site visit for an incentive trip I'm planning for March. It was so very nice, as you can imagine. There's nothing like wearing flip flops and sunglasses for 3 days in December. I didn't get the tan but did have a great time. I have to say it was very weird seeing Christmas trees and poinsettias at the beach. The property is spectacular and the weather was perfect. Mostly we ate but we did tour the hotel, ride ATVs in the desert and on the beach, went inside the famous Cabo Wabo, visited Cabo San Lucas and enjoyed the nice breeze. We can't wait to go back in March. The attendees should be very pleased.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Saturday night we had our company Christmas Party. It was held at aVenue on 3rd Avenue in Nashville. The venue was great, however the band was a bit too loud. You could barely hear your conversations. And......there were so many food stations, I didn't even get to try them all.

:( We did have a great time but somehow I managed to only get these two pictures.

Cookie Marathon

Yesterday I baked cookies ALL afternoon, trying to decide which to take to the cookie exchange Mary Leigh is having next week. I had several recipes that I wanted to try so I bought up all the goodies and went to work. Wouldn't you know that every recipe I chose, you had to freeze or chill for like 30 minutes after making the dough. But it all worked out and I couldn't choose between the two best so I think I will make both of them. :) I did test them but no I didn't eat all of them, I sent them to work with Mark today. I just love this time of year. I seem to bake goodies more in December than ever. I can't wait to have all the other cookies this weekend! Happy Baking! (Sorry there are no pictures, for some reason they won't load)

Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies
2/3 cup butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Sugar for rolling
24 large marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350F. Beat butter and 1 ¼ cups sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in corn syrup, egg and vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in medium bowl; add to butter mixture. Beat until well blended. Cover and refrigerate dough 15 minutes or until firm enough to roll into balls.

Place sugar in shallow dish. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar to coat. Place cookies 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 – 12 minutes or until set. Remove cookies to wire rack; cool completely.

To assemble sandwiches, place one marshmallow on flat side of one cookie on paper plate. Microwave on HIGH 12 seconds or until marshmallow just begins to melt. Immediately place another cookie, flat side down, on top of hot marshmallow; press together slightly.

Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies.

Cocoa Kiss Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 bag (9 ounces) Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses
Powdered sugar

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until creamy. Stir together flour and cocoa; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Add pecans; beat until blended. Refrigerate dough about 1 hour or until firm enough to handle.

Heat oven to 375F. Remove wrapper from chocolate pieces. Mold scant tablespoon of dough around each chocolate piece, covering completely. Shape into balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 – 12 minutes or until set. Cool slightly, about 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Roll in powdered sugar. Roll in sugar again just before serving, if desired.

Makes about 4 ½ dozen cookies.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

This Thanksgiving weekend was a very fun yet busy one.

Thursday was a great Thanksgiving with Mark's family. I have never seen so much food and so many people at one Thanksgiving dinner. There were (4) six foot tables full of food and (2) six foot tables of desserts. Needless to say I did not leave there hungry and if I had, it would have been my own fault. I met many people that I had not yet met and it was great to see others that I had met. It was a wonderful dinner and great family fellowship.

Thursday after lunch, we went shooting. Last year I went hunting with Mark and his nephew, this year we just went shooting at a target. I had never shot a gun before and to be honest I am a little scared of guns. But I gave it a shot (ha! no pun intended). I shot a 357 Magnum and a 270 calibar rifle. The magnum almost made me deaf. I couldn't believe how loud it was and it certainly had a kick-back. I'm surprised I wasn't laid out on the ground afterwards. As far as hitting the bulls eye, I did ok but I did not feel very stable at all. I just need a little practice. If I didn't kill the man I shot at, I would definitely scare him to death. :) The rifle was hard because there were a lot of things to keep in mind. I had to keep the scope away from my eye so I would black my own eye - boy that would be a story. And I had to keep it rested against my shoulder and I had to balance the gun on the tree and line up the target - whew, there was a lot to it. It was an experience, that's for sure.

After our shooting extravaganza, mom and dad came out to spend the weekend. We had big plans for their stay. Mom and I went on our annual shopping spree while Mark and dad painted and put down hardwood floors in my living room and down the hall. I really appreciate their hard work. It was definitely a weekend project. They worked each other to death but it definitely paid off. They painted the walls green (which I just love, I really have an eye for green lately), pulled up the carpet, laid the hardwood and rearranged our new furniture that came on Saturday. We still aren't finished decorating. I have yet to find the pillows, curtains and wall hangings that I want but the entire room surely looks different. I just love it. I would like to go with greens and browns but Mark is afraid he is going to be sitting in a forest. Thanks guys again for your hard work. It's great to have handy men in your life. Sunday mom and I put up my Christmas tree and some decorations outside. I can't believe we only have three weeks until Christmas! Thanks for a great weekend.



And after.....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

5 months........

.....from today I will be Mrs. Rogers. Whoa! I just can't believe it. It continues to go by faster and faster. Just think, after the new year, it will be here before we know it. We are still very excited and enjoying every minute of this planning process. We are looking forward to coming home after work and being together at night, me cooking dinner (more nights than not), sharing with each other the details of our day, traveling, continuing to make each other laugh, saving and spending money, building a house, starting a family, making memories with family and friends, learning about and loving each other. Yes, we are doing some of these things now but not as a married couple. How exciting!

With marriage comes a lot of change and I'm experiencing one of those for Thanksgiving. I will not be spending Thanksgiving with my immediate family. I will be joining Mark and his (our) family on Thursday. I am a little nervous. It's just that I have thoughts of how Thanksgiving should be or has been (watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, helping/watching mom cook, eating, chatting with family, playing with Drew, visit the Grandparents, eat, looking through the paper to map our shopping route on Friday, eating again) and it's just going to be different this year. I will miss spending time with mom, dad, Bradley, Casey, Drew, Mike, Lori, David, Daniel and Amanda. Will you call and leave me on speaker phone while you spend the day together? :) Even though Thanksgiving will be a bit different I will celebrate and be surrounded by people that I love and that mean so much to me. I have also taken the challenge to be thankful for the small things, the little details, not just the big picture. My friend Mary Leigh shared a bit from the sermon on Sunday so each day I am trying to acknowledge those details for which I am thankful.
Details that I am thankful for:
I am very thankful that I have the money to gas up my car and be with family this week.
I am thankful for my job even though I hear it feels just like an episode of "The Office."
I am thankful for my parents health and that they are able to come visit me this weekend.
I am thankful for the surgeon that operated on mom's foot so she can walk on it while shopping all day Friday.
I am thankful for Mark in that he makes me laugh when he has really ticked me off.
Even though I drive an hour to work, at least I am able to work and have a car for transportation.
When I think there is nothing in the house to eat, I am thankful that I am not really out there starving. Same with clothes, when I think I don't have anything to wear, I am thankful that my closet if full.
I am so thankful for the socks on my feet right now, because they are freezing.
I am thankful that my family and friends are really just a phone call away.
Are you thankful for the details?
Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One thing that I love about this time of year...... the Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cake. Mmmmm.

Tagged, Tagged and Tagged again

Ok, ok, ok, so I have been tagged by Casey, Jessica and Amanda, so I'm on it.......

Go to your fourth picture folder and then go to the fourth picture in the folder.Write four things about the picture and then tag four other people.It's amazing what you'll find!!!

4 Things About This Photo

1. WOW! This was from the 2006 company Christmas Party at the Sheraton Music City.

2. In this picture is JuLee, Matt, Karen, me and my friend, Katie

3. I did not have bangs and Karen no longer works with us.

4. Last year's Christmas party was on the General Jackson. So it seems the parties get better the longer I'm with the company. At least let's keep our fingers crossed for this year. :)

4 People I Tag
1. Mary Leigh Brown
2. Mary Dove
3. Susanna Custer
4. Denira Williams

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Craig's List Junkie

My new obsession is Craigs List. I have posted a few things for sale myself and I have gotten several bites, hopefully to get rid of some stuff this weekend. I have also purchased a high chair that looks new for mom to have for Drew. Now I find myself on there all the time. They have everything! With the economy the way it is, I think people are looking for deals all over the place. Now let's see what else I can find to buy.........or sell. :) Remember another man's junk is another man's treasure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Coast to Coast

Last week was spent traveling coast to coast. Wednesday I flew to Jacksonville, FL then drove to Amelia Island for a meeting through Friday. We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island..........I know, la-tee-da. :) That was my first time staying at a Ritz, I must say it is a little too frou-frou for me. I will stick to my first love, the Marriott. :) However, the service is amazing, everyone calling you by name and willing to help or provide for you at the drop of a hat. It was a great experience and the meeting was a success. Even though it was cloudy except when we were in meetings I did manage to get picture of the pool.

Friday afternoon I flew to San Francisco, CA, then had a two-hour drive to Monterey. Mark was actually able to fly and meet me in San Fran. We drove up a curvy mountain, with for some reason a 60 mph speed limit. I have never driven a more curvy street, it was even worse than Lombard Street in San Fran. It was pitch black and we had no idea what we would wake up to in the morning. Monterey was beautiful! The room looked over the golf course and the weather was perfect. They say it is pretty temperate throughout the year, never getting below 50 or above 85. Now that's my kind of weather. The reason for this trip is that I was invited to a FAM trip and the Great Wine Escape Weekend. The Hyatt Regency hosted this event and gave me an opportunity as a planner to see the city and all the hotel had to offer. Saturday we had breakfast with the group and then toured the Hyatt Regency. We spent the afternoon touring the vineyards and tasting local wine. We finished off the day with a very classy dinner. The kind with five courses, one tiny serving each, that probably cost $300 per plate. All Mark wanted to do was order pizza. :) I thought everything was very good. We met two great couples, Paul and Amy and Kent and Kim. We had such a great time, I wish we were able to spend more time with them. Sunday we finished with breakfast and drove through Monterey. We were so disappointed that it was raining. We thought we would run out of it and it just kept following us. :( We then drove to San Francisco so Mark could see the Golden Gate Bridge. I felt like I had been gone forever. I am so glad to be home. The flight was rough, flying from Charlotte (I had to connect here both flights) to San Fran is about a six hour flight. I have a very hard time entertaining myself for that long. However, it was a very nice long weekend. I just love traveling and especially with my soon-to-be hubby. But now I'm least for a couple of weeks.

Fun Fact: It takes 600 grapes to make one bottle of wine.

MR for Mark Rogers. Who knew he was a wine maker?

Cannery Row
We just could not get away from the rain. I was soaked and cold.

Next time we are staying at this Bed and Breakfast. It looks like a doll house.
Riding the cable cars

Lombard Street - the crookedest street


Thursday, October 30, 2008

More Engagement Pictures

We received some of our engagement prints and I can't help but keep looking at them. I am so excited to go frame shopping. Here are just a few more of our favorites. Again, we had such a great time and the park was a perfect spot. I am so glad we have some professional casual pictures. The next time we take pictures like this will probably be when we start having babies. And that will hopefully be a while...........

Congratulations to A Bride's Storey for receiving the Ruthie's Award for Favorite Bridal Shop for Rutherford and Cannon counties.