Posts Tagged ‘Captain Cavedweller’

grade schoolToday is Captain Cavedweller’s birthday.


There will be cake at our house later today (carrot, of course – his favorite) and maybe a present or two.

engagedBack when I first met this guy 21 years ago, I was so goofy in love with him, I didn’t give more than a random thought to the future. I just knew I wanted it to be with him.

Captain Cavedweller has put up with a lot from me over the years.

A lot.

Back in the days when I was a newspaper reporter, I used to drag him along to all sorts of events and interviews. Once, he ended up being the only male at a fashion show. (I still get reminded of that from time to time!) Thanks to me, he’s been nearly attacked by a cougar, gotten up close and personal with an ostrich, and lost in the hills in the middle of nowhere while attempting to locate a sheepherder. Those were fun times (not so much)!

wheat boy 1More frequently than you’d think, he gets coerced into being part of a prop in a photo. Like standing in a wheat field.

my valentineOr holding a heart (although I think he knows he’s always got mine in his hands).

I guess the point of my rambling is that CC has always been willing to help me, support me, encourage me and love me without hesitation or conditions. He’s got a huge, caring heart and is one of the most honest, upright, kindest people I know. (And I’m not biased in the least).

He’s the kind of person you can count on when the skies are blue, but also when life’s storms hit with full force. In the past year, I’ve been reminded time and again what a blessing he is to me and how blessed I am to have him in my life.

No matter what’s going on in my life, just being with him makes everything better, brighter, and definitely a lot more fun.

July PhotoHappy, Happy Birthday, Captain Cavedweller!

Love you!

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The temps at our house this week have been over the 100 degree mark.

In light of that misery, nothing sounds good to eat except salads and ice cream. (Talk about  balanced diet!).

Here’s one of our favorite salad recipes. It just takes a few minutes to grill the meat so you aren’t left outside melting into a puddle for long.

Flank Steak – can get tough if you don’t cook it quickly.


Season the meat.

Grill over indirect heat.

It takes about two minutes for each side to be done.

Captain Cavedweller’s version of the salad removes any attempt at healthy eating. It isn’t for the faint of heart.

Flank Steak Salad

1-2 flank steaks per person

lettuce (whatever kind you like best is fine – yes I was lazy and used bagged lettuce)

tomatoes (sliced)

cucumber (sliced)

sliced black olives (again, lazy and used pre-sliced)

shredded colby-jack cheese (pre-shredded – lazy and yes, there is a trend developing here)



Mrs. Dash (or whatever meat seasoning you like)

Flank steaks are thin cuts of meat that cook really fast. Season them with salt, pepper and whatever seasoning you like best. Get creative – CC usually does which is why I ask for half-seasoning on my meat!

Grill the flank steak for just a few minutes. CC put these on a hot grill with indirect heat. It took just shy of two minutes per side for them to be done to perfection.

Once the meat is done, let it rest a few minutes before slicing. I made long, thin strips of meat and CC whacked his into bite-sized submission.

Layer lettuce, tomato slices, olives and cucumbers in a dish or bowl. If you want the cucumbers to look fancy, peel and then run a fork’s tines down the outside of it all around. It creates a nice pattern when they are sliced.

Place the meat on top and then finish with a sprinkle of cheese. I added Feta cheese crumbles to my salad and it was tasty. CC added croutons, sunflower seeds and almost everything except the kitchen sink to his salad. My point would be, add whatever tastes good to you.

Stay Cool!

She Who Loves A Good Salad for Dinner

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kim in magazine

This is my brother.

(The mechanically inclined one, not the cowboy one.)

I was born his senior year of high school, so talk about crashing the party…

He has always had a love of cars and began restoring vintage cars way back  before I was old enough to beg him to let me drive his Mustang (which he still has not).

Anyway, he got into dressing the part to go along with the cars he was showing.

Last fall, he competed in a contest for best Era Image and took third place. I thought his costume looked pretty snazzy and we were all excited to see this picture in print.

Although he never let me drive any of his cars, he did let me go with him a time or two.

Kim and I with old carOf course, costumes were required.

The reason I look so particularly happy in this photo is because:

1. It was mid-July and boiling hot.

2. We skipped lunch.

3. I had a hot date that night with Captain Cavedweller and we were running late.

My brother completely restored the gorgeous Model A car behind us. I think the etched glass (and the color) are my two favorite things about it.

Big, hearty congratulations, Kim, for placing in the contest and thanks for all the times over the years you let me tag along.

She Who Still Wants to Drive the Mustang



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50 Dates cover

I have a new book out that I’m so excited to share with you!

Fifty Dates with Captain Cavedweller is the actual, honest-to-goodness details from the fifty dates I went on with my beloved in 2013.

If you’ve been married, or even in a relationship for a while, there comes a day when you wake up and realize somewhere along the way you’ve lost the zing.

I had one such moment at the end of December  2012.

Deciding it was not okay to continue the direction our relationship was headed, I made a plan of attack and informed Captain Cavedweller he was coming along for the ride.

We could count on one hand the number of times we’d gone out on a date in 2012 and that was just wrong.

I fell in love with Captain Cavedweller the first time we met. People used to refer to us as the perpetual honeymooners. Then we just settled into the monotony of everyday and the flames burned down to sparks and from there it was a short trip to old and boring.

What we needed was to carve out time each week to spend together doing something different or fun, something out of the ordinary.

Of course, I decided right away to take notes of each date for later use.

Those notes and photographs turned into Fifty Dates with Captain Cavedweller. The book offers my honest thoughts and feelings about each date. Some are humorous, some are frustrated, but it’s all there. And I will make note this book is squeaky clean so you could let your teen read it without any worries.

Just before Valentine’s Day seemed like a perfect time to share this little labor of love.

For now, the book is offered in e-book format on Kindle only, with paperbacks set to be available in a variety of outlets beginning next week. Oh, and the e-books are only 99 cents.

Check it out and let me know what you think of our Fifty Date project.

And, as promised, I’m doing a giveaway this week. So in the comments section below, share your favorite thing about Valentine’s Day (is it the candy? Flowers? Cupid? Exchanging Valentine greetings?) and you’ll be entered in the contest for an opportunity to win an autographed copy of the book! The contest is open now through Friday at noon (Pacific Time).

I’m also doing contests all this week on my writing blog at shannahatfield.com. Pop on over and check it out for the chance to win more prizes!

Without further ado…

Fifty Dates with Captain Cavedweller – Waking up one day to discover they’d gone from perpetual honeymooners to a boring, predictable couple, author Shanna Hatfield and her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller, set out on a yearlong adventure to add a little zing to their relationship.

This G-rated journey through fifty of their dates provides an insightful, humorous look at the effort they made to infuse their marriage with laughter, love, and gratitude while reconnecting on a new, heartfelt level.

Here’s a little excerpt:


Date Eight

 Blown Away

There are a few things that Captain Cavedweller gets really, really excited about.

One of them is football.

From magazines talking about football to watching games on television to attending local high school games, he can’t get enough. He’s even been known to sit and watch reruns of football games if he happens to find one airing in the summer months.

Because of his football obsession, for his birthday I purchased season tickets to the arena football games that take place an hour away.

Today’s big date, hosted by CC, was to drive to the city to pick up the tickets, visit a couple of car dealerships since we are hunting for a new vehicle, and then take me out to eat.

Picking up the tickets was fun. The team members were so gracious and friendly and let those attending know they truly appreciate the support of the game.

Car shopping also went pretty well considering we never saw a single car salesman. Generally, we can barely get out of the car before one swoops in, trying to talk us into vehicles you would never see me ride in dead or alive.

Apparently, the forty-mile-an-hour winds coupled with frigid temperatures kept them inside the showroom where it was warm and toasty, and their hair wouldn’t turn into a wild snarled mess, resembling something created by Medusa’s own hairdresser.

Once I started crying and begging for mercy from the wind (okay, I wasn’t crying, but the wind did make my eyes water. A lot.), CC offered to take me to the mall. I was not in a shopping mood at this point, much more interested in sitting down somewhere warm.

Since it was late afternoon and we still hadn’t eaten lunch, we went to a barbecue restaurant. That would be my first pick once in a blue moon. However, the moon was not blue that day…


You can find the book on –




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banana pie plated

Yesterday was National Pie Day.

On Facebook, I asked the question “What’s your favorite pie?” and got so many yummy responses, I had to make a pie.

Captain Cavedweller loves banana cream pie, so I decided to make one for him (and I may have eaten a piece, too).

This recipe has a few steps to it, but it is easy to make.




Melt butter and stir in graham cracker crumbs.

Melt butter and stir in graham cracker crumbs.

Press into a pie pan and bake at 375 for about eight minutes.

Press into a pie pan and bake at 375 for about eight minutes. (Be prepared for your family to wander into the kitchen looking for cookies because the crust does create a warm cookie-like aroma as it bakes.)

Whip two cups of heavy cream with a little vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Set aside.

Whip two cups of heavy cream with a little vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Set aside.

Blend pudding mix with one cup of milk and set aside.

Blend pudding mix with one cup of milk and set aside.

Whip cream cheese until fluffy.

Whip cream cheese until fluffy.

Then mix in sweetened condensed milk and pudding.

Then mix in sweetened condensed milk and pudding.

Gently fold in half of the whipped cream.

Gently fold in half of the whipped cream.


Spread a thin layer of filling in the cooled pie crust.

Spread a thin layer of filling in the cooled pie crust.

Top with sliced bananas. (If you want more bananas, cut them into chunks and double the amount.)

Top with sliced bananas. (If you want more bananas, cut them into chunks and double the amount.)

Add remaining filling.

Add remaining filling.

Then top with the remaining whipped cream. Chill for at least an hour. Overnight would be even better.

Then top with the remaining whipped cream. Chill for at least an hour. Overnight would be even better.

And enjoy! We may have cut into this one before it was quite ready, but it was really tasty!

And enjoy! We may have cut into this one before it was quite ready, but it was really tasty!

Banana Cream Pie

For the Crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

4 Tbsp. melted butter

2 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

For the Filling:

2 cups heavy cream, whipped

3 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 3.4oz box instant banana cream pudding

1 cup cold milk

8 oz. cream cheese

1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk

2 ripe bananas, sliced

toasted coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the graham crackers with sugar and cinnamon then blend with the melted butter. When the crumbs are moist and you can pinch them together, they are well blended. If they still seem a little dry, add a dash of water. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a pie pan. (I cheated and melted the butter in the pie pan then mixed the crumbs with the butter directly in the pan. One less dish to wash and the pan doesn’t lose any of the butter in transfer.) Bake the crust for approximately 8 minutes then cool completely.

Using a mixer, whip the cream with sugar and vanilla until peaks form. Set aside.

Mix the pudding mix with one cup of milk and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy then add the pudding and sweetened condensed milk, scraping the bowl and beating until smooth. Using a spatula or spoon, gently fold in half of the whipped cream.

In the cooled crust, spread a thin layer of the filling. Top with banana slices. If you like more banana, cut into chunks rather than slices and use three or four, instead of two. Spoon in the rest of the filling then top with the remaining whipped cream.

Carefully cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour (overnight is even better).

To serve, decorate the top with toasted coconut and banana chunks (or a drizzle of caramel or chocolate).

She Who Had a Very Happy Husband When He Tasted This Pie

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our wedding 1

Twenty years ago today…

• I put on the white taffeta gown I designed and my mama helped me sew.

• My maid of honor kept me laughing the entire morning as we rushed around with last minute preparations.

• I looked in the mirror for the last time as a single, independent girl.

• My daddy  walked me down the aisle to the cute boy who stood waiting – and smiling.

• The cute boy, who would become known as Captain Cavedweller, squeezed my hand and all was right in the world.

• We stood in front of family and friends and exchanged our vows, promising to love each other for a lifetime.

• I married my best friend, head cheerleader, and champion.

Twenty years ago today…

•I had no idea how much love for this wonderful, sweet man would grow in my heart during the next twenty years. He is an amazing husband, a true friend, and an all-around great guy – one I love more every single day.

Happy Anniversary, CC. Love you!

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Have you ever eaten your  way down to the bottom of a bowl of yummy popcorn and discovered some partially popped kernels? You know, the crunchy, tasty tidbits that linger next to the old maids?

What if you could enjoy a whole bag of those delicious little bites?

Sounds pretty good, huh?

Captain Cavedweller discovered Pop’d Kerns a while back and I’m fairly certain he’s addicted. A whole case of them arrived at the front door yesterday, if that is any indication of his love for the crunchy corn treats.

pop'd kern

Pop’d KernsTM (formerly Glad Corn) were created quite by accident. A rural Minnesota farmer and his wife lived in a small, close-knit community where the man grew corn and soybeans on his family farm.  According to their website, this hardworking farmer also happened to be a dreamer and a problem solver. He had a desire to learn more about alternative energy sources, and this eventually led him to do some experimenting. One night he was in the kitchen working on a new ethanol fuel recipe while his wife was catching up on some reading in the living room. He stepped out of the kitchen for a moment while a batch heated up on the stove. Suddenly — KABOOM! They both came running immediately and found exploded corn all over the kitchen! Being the inquisitive type, the farmer was more interested in tasting the pop’d corn than cleaning up the mess. While it didn’t look like much, he discovered that it was about the best tasting stuff he’d ever eaten!

And the rest, as they say, is history. Today Pop’d Kerns are a crunch, salty, delicious wonderful snack. You can get the original flavor or others like BBQ, Ranch and Cheddar.

Although I initially resisted, CC talked me into trying them and now I wish I hadn’t because they are so, so good!

(NOTE: The nice people from Pop’d Kerns don’t know me from Adam’s off ox – we just like their product. A lot).

She Who Has a Case of Treats to Put Away

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