Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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Peanut Butter Cookies

I can’t believe it took me this long to share this recipe – and that this is only the fourth dessert/sweets recipe I have posted on my blog. I bake a lot. I have no excuse. Anyway, this is literally the easiest cookie to make. If you are not a baker you can make these, and if you are a baker you will love how easy these are. And many of you may recognize these cookies. My mom made these a lot growing up and you can easily find the recipe online. Some call them Magic Cookies – not because of any “special” ingredient – but because they are that easy and they are that good.

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You start with your ingredients – only 4 of them. Well, technically 5, but the flour doesn’t go in the cookies. And you don’t have to have a Kitchen Aid mixer. You can use a hand mixer or you can even use a blender or food processor.

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Mix the peanut butter and sugar until combined.

 

Go ahead and beat the egg a little with a fork. Add an egg and vanilla. Dough will be moist but slightly crumbly.

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Roll dough into balls. I usually make them pretty small – max the size of a golf ball. Place onto cookie sheet.

 

Pour a little flour into a cup or bowl (just a few tablespoons). Dip a fork into the flour, then flatten the cookies with the floured fork.

Bake ’em up and sit back and enjoy! Little time, little clean up. 1 recipe makes about 20 cookies, give or take, depending on what size you make them.

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Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 C peanut butter
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • flour (~2-3 Tbsp.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°

In food processor or mixing bowl, combine peanut butter and sugar. Mix well.

Stir in egg and vanilla.

Roll dough into ~3/4 inch balls and place onto ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with a floured fork.

Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes.

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Dollar Shave Club Review

It’s bad enough to have to spend so much time shaving, but to also have to spend SO much money on razors ($4-$5 per blade) makes it ten times worse. I’ve heard a lot about Dollar Shave Club so I decided to do some research. I checked out the website and I read numerous blog reviews by women who had tried it. And I really didn’t find anything negative. So I decided to try it out. Everything definitely has a masculine look to it, but who cares. If this service had been made for women it would probably be at least twice as expensive.

There are 3 different blade options. I went middle of the road with The 4X ($6 per month – $1.50 per blade – and free shipping). I definitely didn’t want just one blade, but don’t think I need to deluxe, and I think most of the reviews from women I read were for the 4X. I also ordered the Easy Shave Butter ($8) because, again, it got great reviews and it sounded like some shave cream I used to love. I don’t like the foamy shave cream so I usually don’t use any, or just use a little conditioner (did you know that trick?). But I figured why not since I was ordering a new razor anyway, and I won’t need that every month.

Everything came in a cute little package (I realize it’s ‘manly’ and cute is probably not the appropriate adjective…but I think it’s cute).

I’ll start by saying I wasn’t quite as impressed as I hoped to be, but my expectations may have been pretty high to begin with. This is all in comparison to my Venus Embrace razor that I’ve had for years. For thing to remember is that it is a men’s razor, so it doesn’t have any kind of protective material (moisture ribbons or whatever they call it) around the blades like many women’s razors have. Really all this means is that I have to go slower when shaving….[long sigh]. Again, as first stated in this post, I hate how long it takes to shave. If I had a dollar for every….sorry, preaching to the choir, I know. Anyway, my first shave was hurried so got a couple nicks like a teenager shaving for the first time. But it was a good shave. The more sensitive areas women have to get to aren’t quite as easy with a men’s razor, either, but just slowing down helps. It’s definitely not so much worse than my women’s razor that I’ll give up spending less and having them delivered to my door! I may move up to The Executive blade but I’ll give this one some time first. It is also a little harder to grip in the shower than a woman’s razor. I haven’t actually dropped it yet but have had to readjust my grip and have almost dropped it.

The Shave Butter was definitely worth the buy. A little goes a long way, so you won’t have to buy it every month, and especially because I don’t use it every time I shave (hellloooo – that takes more time), I won’t have to buy it often at all. It definitely leaves everything smooth and softer than not using anything.

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PROS: cost, home delivery, good shave, shave butter

CONS: less protection around blades (have to shave slower), harder in sensitive areas, grip

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If you want to try it out for yourself, use my referral code and try it out! Then let me know what you think!


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Nicaragua Wrap Up

I am back from an incredible trip to Nicaragua! I’m not going to post specific details because I already did that during our trip on our group blog: https://nicaraguanadventure2016.wordpress.com

But I did want to give a little overview here. I definitely had some expectations going into the trip because I have done mission trips in other countries, including Central America. I expected the work projects to be similar. I expected the lodging and food to be similar. I expected the overall experience to be good, but not as great as my other trips that were with good friends and some that were return trips to the same place. I now know better than to hold to expectations.

The people of Los Robles, Nicaragua blew me away. They are humble and grateful despite having practically nothing. They welcomed us into their homes, gave when they had little, and chatted despite our broken communication (minus our fluent leader). The children laughed and played and openly gave hugs to strangers who couldn’t communicate with them. And the people in our group REALLY blew me away. Most had not done a service or mission trip before. But everyone had a heart to serve, was easy going and flexible, and ready to have a great time, which is exactly what we did. God placed each one of us on this trip for a reason, and as our trip leader said, if just one person had not made and kept that commitment, the week would not have been the same.

I do hope to make it back to Los Robles, Nicaragua one day and also hope to see more of this beautiful country, which we got to see a little more of on our last day as tourists in Granada. Adios – until next time!


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Spinach Orzotto

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law a long time ago and just rediscovered it in my recipe box. It is very easy and delicious – a great side to go with anything. You do want to make sure to prep everything before starting because it goes pretty quick once you start. And you kind of need to watch it closely, so I recommend making it when you have your main meat/dish cooking in the oven or someone around to help. This is a very basic recipe and would be easy to modify – add some different veggies, add some Parmesan, add some meat to make it a meal on it’s own – go crazy!

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Gather all your ingredients – pretty easy stuff, too – nothing strange. And yes, that is white wine. Make sure you have a glass ready because you only use 1/3 cup for the recipe…

ingredients

ingredients

You’ll want to go ahead and prep everything, including measuring out everything. Trust me, you will be glad you did. Chop your green onions and spinach.

Measure out your liquids – use a glass measuring cup for the chicken broth as you will heat it up a little in the microwave before adding it.

prep, prep, prep

prep, prep, prep

Time to cook! Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add green onion, garlic, and orzo. Toast, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until orzo has started to toast. Watch carefully or the orzo will burn.

toast it up

toast it up

Add the white wine and stir until absorbed. While the white wine absorbs, stick the chicken broth in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to warm it up a bit.

add white wine

add white wine

Add ½ a cup of chicken broth and cook, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Repeat 2 more times with ½ a cup of broth at a time until all is absorbed.

add chicken broth

add chicken broth

Turn off heat and add chopped spinach until well incorporated and wilted.

add spinach

add spinach

Season with salt and pepper and serve it up!

serve it

serve it

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Spinach Orzotto

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/3 C white wine
  • ½ C orzo
  • 1 ½ C chicken broth
  • 2 C spinach, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Prep all ingredients (chop and measure).

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add green onion, garlic, and orzo and cook for about 3 minutes or until orzo is slightly toasted, stirring frequently.

Add wine and cook until absorbed, stirring frequently. While wine cooks down, heat chicken broth in microwave for 1-2 minutes (want it at least warm).

Add ½ cup of chicken broth and cook until absorbed, stirring frequently. Repeat 2 more times with ½ cup of chicken broth each time until all broth is absorbed.

Turn off heat and stir in chopped spinach until wilted and incorporated into the pasta.

Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Makes about 2 servings


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Fairhope, AL

Although I visit Alabama regularly to see family, I realized I’ve never posted about it! Granted, a lot times we are just hanging out at home, which is totally fine, but we do some fun stuff too!

My last trip down, we had some amazing food. My brother and sister-in-law live in Daphne, AL but her parents live in Fairhope and we spend a lot of time there as well. Especially because Fairhope has an adorable little downtown on the bay and has some great restaurants. That’s also where my last triathlon was a couple years ago!

We had a kid-free dinner on Friday night at Camellia Cafe. Their website is down (and has been), so I apologize for not remembering everything we ordered (which was a lot), but it was all delicious. We started with beverages and appetizers (yes, multiple appetizers). My sister-in-law and I got a delicious drink (sorry, can’t remember what it was!), though it was maybe a little sweet to have more than one. For appetizers we got fried green tomatoes and pot stickers (I can’t remember what was in the pot stickers – I think it was pork belly – but they were very good). My entree was amazing: pan seared duck breast served on polenta (I think it was cheesy) and asparagus.

 

Saturday morning, we took a girls morning and went out for breakfast and errands. The Warehouse in Fairhope is my new favorite place. If you know me at all, you know that breakfast/brunch is my favorite meal, so that is saying something. They have a great menu, whether you want a quick coffee and donut, or to sit and enjoy a filling breakfast. I had chicken and waffles that were to die for. The chicken melted in my mouth and the whipped sriracha butter was a perfect little kick. Highly recommend. Oh and the cold brew coffee was also great – you can have it with milk, chocolate milk, almond milk – pretty much whatever your heart desires.

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Beef & Cheese Enchiladas

Apparently I had a one track mind last week to re-make Home Chef meals. My next recipe to tackle was Beef & Cheese Enchiladas. I remembered these being VERY good and I was not mistaken. In fact, these may be the best homemade mexican dish I’ve made. And that’s saying a lot considering how much I love my crock pot taco chicken that you can do a million things with. Obviously this takes a little more work, but it is totally worth it. And you can easily modify it for different amounts, likes, and dislikes!

Full recipe is below – enjoy!

Pretty basic ingredients – modify as you wish! I used wheat tortillas instead of corn, taco seasoning instead of enchilada seasoning (I don’t think this exists – even Penzeys doesn’t have one), and a generic Mexican cooking sauce instead of enchilada sauce (I got Herdez traditional chipotle sauce and highly recommend it – it is delicious. A fajita sauce or taco sauce would be fine as well). And I used a Mexican blend cheese instead of cheddar-jack because I had it already.

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Prep ingredients first, which is pretty much just chopping a jalapeno. I remove the seeds and always use gloves when chopping these – if you’d had jalapeno in your eye you would do the same. Or better yet, don’t risk that and just do it because I would not wish not on my worst enemy.

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Cook your meat next and drain the fat. Add the seasoning and stir until coated.

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Remove seasoned cooked meat to a bowl, then add jalapeno, corn, green chiles, and about half of cheese. Mix together (this is your filling).

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Soften your tortillas. You can do this on the stove (wipe out the meat pan and heat each side over low heat), or place tortillas on a plate between two damp paper towels and stick in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. You just want them slightly warm so they break when you fill and roll them up.

Then assemble! Fill each tortilla with beef mixture, roll and place, seam down, in greased baking dish.

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Finally, pour sauce on top and top with cheese!

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Bake then serve with some rice, sour cream, and cilantro (fresh is ideal). Or whatever other sides and condiments you want!

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Beef & Cheese Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. taco seasoning
  • ¾ C frozen (or fresh) corn
  • 2 oz. (½ a can) diced green chiles
  • ¾ to 1 C Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 6-8 tortillas
  • 1 C Chipotle cooking sauce (or enchilada sauce, fajita sauce, taco sauce, etc.)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. water
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Sour cream for serving
  • Mexican or Spanish rice for side

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop jalapeno.

In a medium pan over medium heat, brown ground beef, breaking up with spoon as it cooks. Cook 8-10 minutes or until browned. Drain fat. Add taco seasoning and stir until coated. Remove to a medium mixing bowl.

To mixing bowl with beef, add diced jalapeno, corn, canned green chiles, and about half of the shredded cheese. Mix well.

Soften tortillas in microwave between 2 damp paper towels, about 20 seconds on high.

Spray a baking dish or baking sheet.

Fill tortilla with some of beef mixture. Roll closed and place seam-down in baking dish. Place enchiladas against each other snugly.

In a small bowl, mix the sauce with the water. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining (or desired amount of) cheese.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted.

If making rice, make while enchiladas bake.

Serve with fresh cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.

[modified from Home Chef recipe]

 

 


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Watch

The Oscars are right around the corner and talk of movies has come up a lot. Generally, I dislike ‘favorite’ questions – favorite movie? favorite food? favorite book? Those are impossible questions to answer. No one can have just one favorite anything. I don’t believe you. There is too wide a variety of genres and options. It depends on my mood, it depends on the company, it depends on the time of year. So many factors! But these are some of my favorite movies. These are go-tos that I never really tire of watching. I own them on DVD.

 

princess bride

 

 

The Princess Bride. Classic. Quote-able. I remember watching this as a child and remember being terrified at certain parts. And I love watching Mandy Patinkin (i.e. Inigo Montoya) today on old seasons of Criminal Minds.

 

 

 

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prestige

The Prestige. I love a good drama with a twist. Bet you won’t be 100% sure what happens, even after you see it. I saw it twice in the theater. Because I had to. My mind was blown. It’s like a story with a hole. Love it.

 

 

 

 

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once

Once. I love music more than anything. But a movie with music might just take the cake. This drama was shot with very little money (€112,000) and shows a story of two people in Dublin who love to make music. It’s sweet, it’s sad, and the music is incredible. It earned an Oscar and a Grammy so you should probably check it out.

 

 

 

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pitchperfect

Pitch Perfect. More incredible music but a much different tone in the form of comedy. I don’t think I’ve met a single person who didn’t like this movie. Again, incredible soundtrack and very entertaining. I can literally watch this movie over and over. And the sequel is actually not horrible.

 

 

 

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despicable me

Despicable Me. Last but not least, everyone needs a favorite animated movie. And although it’s hard to beat the classic Disney that I will always love, the newer animated films are pretty great. Sure, this movie has a great message and is sweet, but the minions are what make it. Characters who can communicate and convey feelings with grunts and chirps and wordless sounds? Genius.