Friday, October 28, 2011

Oh Where Oh Where Will Our Home Be?

On Friday, Kevin and I had just returned home from the base when my neighbor came over and said that her husband just received a call that emails went out with base assignments. Kevin and I decided not to go until Saturday and check because just because our neighbor received an email didn't necessarily mean we would too since they are different jobs. I started cooking supper and flipped open my email. I replied to an email and when I clicked back to my inbox a new message came in right that second. All I saw were the words "SrA Hollis" "base" and "selection". Kevin was in the kitchen and I screamed and he came running in. I showed him the email and we opened it. Unfortunately, it was just telling him that HAD received an assignment, but it would need to be checked on a gov't computer. We tossed the idea around for a good 20 minutes, and then gave in and decided to go back to the base.

So now you're wondering.... Where will our next home be????

The verdict is.. BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA!

We are both really excited with this. It was actually our #4 on our dream sheet. Our #1 and #3 were bases that didn't have a single opening for Kevin's job, but we figured it didn't hurt to put them on there. Our #2 was a base that had an opening for Kevin's job, but not his rank. Birmingham was actually our compromise base. I wanted something on the east side of America and he wanted a guard base. There were 2 guard bases available on Kevin's listing. One was Birmingham and the other was March, California. Kevin wanted to go to March, so we agreed on Birmingham since it was on the east side of America and was a guard base! We have to be there by no later than April 15, 2012. We're going to take leave in between our 2 bases so we'll be back to the states in March!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nutella Cookies

Before arriving in Europe, I had no idea what Nutella was. Sure it's an European product, but it is available in the US.. it's just not widely advertised like it is here. We actually lived here for a good year before ever trying it. It's like a hazelnut chocolate. SO yummy. Nutella tastes great on just about everything! Rosalie likes it on bagels and animal crackers. If you've never seen it or heard of it, if you are in PA, I'm pretty sure Giant Eagle carries it. In our grocery stores it's found near the peanut butter.


2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c SOFTENED butter (don't melt it in the microwave! It'll make your cookies flat!)
2/3 c granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c Nutella
1 c semi sweet chocolate chips (you could probably use milk chocolate chips if you prefer, but I used semi sweet and they turned out perfect.. so I can't vouch for how they would taste!)

~Preheat Oven to 375
~Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside
~Cream butter, sugar, & brown sugar
~Add eggs and vanilla
~Add flour mixture to sugar mixture
~Stir in the nutella. I swirled mine through... it gave my cookies that black/white appearance!
~Add chips
~Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes. I found that 9 minutes was perfect in my oven. Pull them out when they look like they aren't quite done, but almost. Let them cool on the sheet. They'll be PERFECT!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs

I was really unsure about this recipe. I really only eat plain foods.. and I absolutely hate pineapple, but dear lord it was yummy! I did change a lot of things about the recipe. One major change I made was marinating the chicken and the pineapple separately. Putting raw chicken and fruit together for 3+ hours just didn't seem the least bit safe to me.


  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 2 inch pieces ( I only used 2 huge breasts and 1 little breast)
  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks
  • skewers
  • Cornstarch

-If you are using wooden skewers, SOAK them half an hour before putting the chicken on. This will prevent the chicken from sticking!
-Cube chicken
-Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ground ginger, & garlic powder. Drain the pineapple juice into marinade and also throw in a couple chunks of pineapple. Although Kevin was adament on having fresh pineapple for this, CANNED is the way to go. Fresh pineapple is entirely too tarty for this recipe. I wanted the chicken to have the sweet taste from the pineapple, so that was why i put the juice and a couple pieces of pineapple in with the chicken.
-Place the cubed chicken in the marinade.
-Since I didn't want my chicken and pineapple together, I mixed up ANOTHER batch of the marinade and put the pineapple in it.
-Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
-Don't forget to soak those skewers!
-These can be done on the grill (Actually the recipe calls for it that way), BUT it was only 55 out and we weren't about to stand out in the cold to grill.. sooo my change..:
-Preheat oven to 350 (or roughly 190 for you European folks!)
-Line a baking sheet with foil. This is just my lazy trick for an easy clean up! :)
-Alternate the chicken and pineapple on the skewers. DO NOT use the couple of pineapple pieces that were in with the chicken!!!
-Bake for about 20 minutes (or until juices run clear)
-In the mean time, take all your marinade (minus the couple of pineapple chunks that were in with the chicken) and mix it with about 2 tbls of cornstarch. You may need to add a little bit more
-Bring to a boil, and let simmer. This will make a nice thick paste
-When chicken is pretty much done, pull it out and baste the marinade paste on the chicken.
-Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. I served these with rice and the 2 complemented each other perfectly. I started the rice, pulled the chicken out and marinaded it, and put the chicken back in until the rice was done.

Enjoy :)