death by coupon.

A few nights ago John and I decided to take advantage of one of our precious coupons. We have to live by them now, ya' know considering the whole young, poor, in love, and married thing.

I was far too tired to cook and I had blisters on my feet from wearing a pair of shoes to school that I really knew better than to wear. More often than not I like to choose something fashionable over something comfortable or practical. So, I did not feel like being in the kitchen on my feet and this sweet guy...

...insisted that we go have a decent meal and count it as one of our nice date nights for the month! YES! So, he threw on his new threads that his thoughtful wife purchased for him, thoughtful wife changed her shoes, and we jumped in the car.

I had no idea this night would end in pain and misery. Bucca di Beppo is a family style dining restaurant. So, when you order one thing, it is intended to feed 2 to 3 people. John counts for about 3 people. He has been known to consume enormous amounts of food. He said that he tried to hide this from me when we were first dating as to not turn me off or away. I'm sure there were many dates that he had to go home and eat a second dinner afterwards. Once he broke a Red Lobster record for the most shrimp eaten during "Endless Shrimp"

(This is pulled from the Murphy archives. Here is the proof...him with the Red Lobster Hostess, in a lot of pain. Probably sometime in 2009)

So, now that we have seen what he is capable of, lets start this adventure. We started off with their homemade loaves of bread, we had two. Then we had their DELICIOUSALECTABLE (delicious and delectable) lasagna. It's about the size of a brick with a little more girth...
Then the true madness ensued. We wanted dessert and the last time we had been there we saw a dessert the size of our heads which was recommended for parties of 6 or more. 6 PEOPLE!! Not TWO! He said, "Lets get it!" I'm thinking, there is no way. I am already having to do the thing where you breathe deeply just to see if you can create room in your stomach for anything else... That is never a good sign. So, he convinces me and we ashamedly order and our waitress, I'm sure, was a little grossed out for us. The dessert arrived...

Spoons the size of our hands. More like shovels.

It was quite the edible task. But we DID IT! We took turns punching each other in the stomach on the way home when the other wasn't looking.

In other news...we got P9OX today.

I wonder how that's going to go.


Garden Roses and Pecan Chicken

What is it about fresh flowers in the house that just makes everything alright? I have learned that simply buying fresh flowers makes you want to keep your home cleaner. Like you want to make your home worthy of these beauties.

I've always thought that roses were sort-of cheesy. But I found these Garden Roses at our grocery and I fell in love. They are so feminine and they look like something I would want to either eat or lay my head on. I can't decide.

We had the best chicken ever the other night. I mean really. I decided to try this recipe because after John went on the guys weekend with my Dad, Pawpaw, and my brothers. He came come raving about a dinner he had in the mountains at the restaurant on the top of Mount Pisgah in Asheville. He said he had Pecan Crusted Chicken.

Whoa! Fancy Shmancy!

I considered this a challenge; I had to make it better than what he had. There was much success. This recipe just rocks. All I would say is add some more cinnamon! (and maybe some more sugar too...)


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 pinch white sugar
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

(OH! Paula!)


1.In a small bowl, mix the eggs with the milk. Put aside.
2.In a medium bowl, mix together flour, seasoning, cinnamon, pecans, sugar, and salt and pepper.
*I used a hammer and smashed the pecans in to little bits so it stuck to the chicken better!
3. Dip the chicken in the egg mix, and press in the pecan mix.
4. Fry in hot olive oil until golden, about 5 to 10 minutes. Check to make sure the pecans don't burn. Place on paper towel to drain.

Well, I'm off to make my husband watch "Baby Mama" with me. Ooooo oooooooo. We are going to have a race to the bedroom and then count to three as we hurl ourselves backwards on to our luxurious down comforter and a mountainous pile of 9 pillows. We are just little kids in big bodies.


Bananas Two-ways

We are going to start a series of posts called "Two-ways".
We are going to be making two completely different dishes out of one common ingredient.
Today we are
Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Sour Cream Banana Pancakes
(compliments of the Flying Biscuit Cookbook)


1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, bananas, and buttermilk. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in separate bowl; add to banana mixture.
2. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
3. Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
3 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

(for the butter I do a half and half mixture of cream cheese and butter, it really makes the difference, and thats what makes it cream cheese frosting!)

Add all ingredients and mix well together. (make sure you taste some for yourself before it goes on the cupcakes, I always like to eat as I bake!)

We had the cupcakes for a dessert for a jam sesh night.

I have made these cupcakes for John to take to work for his coworkers and it was a big hit. He said there was a discussion as to the true nature of the cupcake. The men said it is the perfect cross between a cupcake, banana bread, and a muffin. You decide!


Sour Cream Banana Pancakes

Yes, please! I got this cookbook from a family who I babysit for. She said she hadn't used it in over two years! So, she let me "borrow" it, but I'm going to see what I can do about making this a permanent arrangement.

(If you can't see this recipe very well and you want the specifics, please message me!)

The batter is tres tres tres thick! Beware.

John made some fried bananas to go on top and then garnished with a sprinkle of powdered sugar! The recipe didn't call for that but he is a genius.

We think Jack Johnson had it right...

And these definitely don't have to wait until the weekend.


Hawaiian BBQ Sloppy Joes and Homemade ice cream

Though we are only two little people, we are a family. John and I are going to start having FHE together every Monday, as directed by our prophet.

Family home evening is a special time set aside each week that brings family members together and strengthens their love for each other, helps them draw closer to Heavenly Father, and encourages them to live righteously.

We are trying to get through the Book of Mormon together in the first year of our marriage but tonight we studied how to better become one as husband and wife. (Although we think we do a pretty awesome job at that.)

Then we had what we will call Hawaiian Sloppy Joes with Grilled Pineapple and Bacon.

Holy Crap. Good.

2 pounds of ground beef
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
8 slices bacon
1 can Pineapple Rounds
1 package swiss cheese
Hawaiian Sweet Sandwich Rolls

1. Mix BBQ sauce in to beef. (we also added some breadcrumbs to help it stick together a bit more, but if you want more of a sloppy joe consistency, forget the bread crumbs)
2. Cook bacon til crisp
3. Toast rolls with cheese on them so that the cheese melts
4.Grill pineapple in leftover bacon drippings
5. Assemble sandwich
6. Eat your heart out

(My dear husband after a long day of work and school, he just wants to eat and I am torturing him with photos.)

For our FHE activity we made homemade ice cream! Recipe down yonder...

John added heath and chocolate chunks to his and I added Almond Extract and slivers of real almonds! EEEEEEEE! Rock-salt only $1.69 at Kroger.

It was a blast! I suggest shaking the ice cream in a towel, so you don't get frostbite.

Checking out the final product after 10 minutes of shaking.

We are rock-stars. Rocksalt stars.


One year older and wiser too

For Daddy's birthday this year he wanted to go to the Decatur BBQ and Blues Festival.

No presents. No cake.
No party hats.
Just BBQ and music.

(Daddy in picture numero uno)

Happy 57th Daddy dearest!!!

So, we all met up in Decatur and brought folding chairs (or in mine and John's case folding stools) and planted ourselves under a tree to listen to some tunes. My lovely, favorite sister (my only sister) and her husband Joe came, and Mommee and Daddy. There was plenty of heat to go around. We were all piles of sweat.

My mother never meets a stranger. The lady sitting next to her under the tree was in a wheelchair and controlled her chair with puffs of air through a straw. She got polio when her son was vaccinated at a young age. My mother sat and held an umbrella over this woman's head for about an hour. I am most certain that my mother is the most compassionate person ever. Ever.

Hubs and I took approximately 17 strolls around the tiny park, because somehow it felt cooler walking around in the sun than it did sitting in the shade of our tree. We bought some handmade popsicles that were some of the best I have ever had. The coolness of that treat on the sweltering day was divine. I had the strawberry lemonade and hubs had chocolate seasalt. King of Pops made the most unusual flavors but they were brilliant.

John was quite brave to wear white to a place where he knew there would be plenty of opportunities for me to drop food on him. It almost never fails, if he is wearing clothes I will drop food on him. He has come to expect it though and no longer really minds.

The music was beautiful, the heat was exhausting, but the company was the best.


Our Children

Since we don't have real children yet we have instruments.

Hannah- A Martin DM. John's most prized possession other than his testimony and me. He bought her one summer after working in a harvest in Walsh. He saved up all of his money from the harvest to buy her. She sounds glorious.

Ava Marie- A 1970's vintage Atlas F-111. We purchased her in lieu of a guestbook for our wedding reception. All of our family and friends signed her as they came in. She is tat tat tatted up.

Evie- Mahalo U-50G Ukulele. The newest addition to our family. We purchased her in Tennessee at a music outlet in Pigeon Forge. She has the power to make anyone feel happy.

Here are the girls...

Lately John and I have been on a music writing kick. Maybe someday we will grow up and become real musicians or something. When John blessed our home when we first moved in, he prayed that it would always be full of music. Everyday we fulfill that blessing. Whether we are playing the girls or playing a new record on our record playa, music fills the air in our home. We like to go to Goodwill and get old records for 50 cents to a dollar. Some of our favs...

James Taylor- Mud Slide Slim
BB King
The best of Marvin Gaye
The best of Elton John
Benny Goodman
Norman Lubhoff Choir
Barbara Streisand
Loggins and Messina

(Our record playa. Like gangsta playa not like the Spanish word for beach.)

"When words fail, music speaks."

That's how it is in our house.


Jam Sesh Scheme

John and I have started a tradition. We like to lure our friends to our home with promises of being fed and then we like to make them sit and play music with us for hours.

Our normal crew is Jenna Kimble, Belen Albanes (not pictured down below), and Tim Olsen. Tim, our most peculiar friend, has brought us the most random but wonderful gifts everytime he has come. The first time he brought us a bag of cotton candy...thats a normal house warming gift right? Then he brought us Becky. Becky is a bottle of intense organic chili pepper. Becky is used in a lot of our food. (That's Tim behind Becky)

So here is how the night goes...

Friends come over
We feed them dinner
We laugh and share stories
We feed them dessert
(Normally something delicious like pie in a teacup)

Jenna makes unusual faces while enjoying her dessert

We pile all of the dishes in the sink for later
We light the candles in the fireplace

Turn off most lights
Take out our instruments and our voices
And let inspiration come.

Play for hours
Friends leave

John and I talk about how good it feels to have people in our home

Husband and I do dishes together

I get to stay and kiss John goodnight

(thats my favorite part of the whole evening)

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