Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pasta alla Awesome!!!

Tonight we made another Pioneer Woman dish....Pasta alla Vodka. It kinda blew our minds. Most favorite pasta dish ever now. We actually added spicy sausage to ours. I love the Pioneer Woman! I think it would be nice to quit my job and stay at home all day creating things to blog about....I should probably tell Ryan about this plan.

And yes...this photo was taken in the fridge. It gave me the best lighting option.

Some more food for current #1 ingredient is fresh garlic. I used to love fresh garlic and always keep it around...then I crossed over to the dark side and starting using minced garlic in a jar. This past week, I discovered my lost love. Fresh garlic just makes food so much better!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My first customer:)

A co-worker asked me to makes some burpies for her first official order:) Here they are...hope you like them Jen!

Leftover Pizza

Tonight we didn't feel like going grocery we made a pizza with leftover ingredients from other meals this past week. We already had the pizza crust.

A list of our leftover ingredients:
Tomatoes, sliced
4 oz Feta cheese
1/2 lb ground hamburger
1/2 cup mozzarella
bacon, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
banana peppers
crushed red peppers

One word...Amazing! I am lovin' leftover pizza:)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

part 3...

American Idol critiques via Katie and Ryan...

  • Ryan: "Hey there Tin Man. Get a heart."
  • Katie: Who really cares about Casey's voice? Just look at him.
  • Ryan: He thinks the theme this week is cheesy, but Lee picked a good song anyway. This is Ryan's #1 pick!
  • Katie: I wish Lee lived in our guest bedroom so that he could sing for us every night!
  • Ryan: The only reason Tim is still on the show is because 12 year old girls rule the world.
  • Katie: After I shave his head, he needs to go home. I don't know how he has lasted this long. Dumb 12 year old girls.
  • Ryan: Seems like he likes the corny songs every week....but if this was the first time I heard this song, I would believe his performance.
  • Katie: Unfortunately for Aaron, I HATE this song almost as much as I hate "I Can Be Your Hero" by Enrique. However, I did like the ending of the song. Freshmen girls across the country, Aaron thanks you for your votes. I really hope no one sings the Enrique song...
  • Ryan: Her friends look like they just got back from a Dungeons and Dragons gathering. She is starting to seem fake when she talks at the end of every performance.
  • Katie: Ok, the crazy notes she claims she learned in the shower were fun at first...but it's starting to look like that is all she has to offer. Might be time for her to go home.
  • Ryan: Hated it. ya'll.
  • Katie: The fact that his clothes are too small makes me very uncomfortable. His tongue reminds me of Free Willy's tongue...and I kinda hate Free Simon, thank you for pointing out the Spiderman reference. Made me laugh out loud.
  • Ryan: Solid performance, not inspired. The ending was a little odd...
  • Katie: I loved the beginning. I wish she would have sang the entire song a cappella.
And we are officially done blogging for the night.

Part 2...

So it seems like tonight is going to be a 3-parter....Blog 1-house. Blog 2-Food. Blog 3-American Idol ya'll.

Tonight's Dinner...another Pioneer Woman find. I started with these ingredients...

and ended with this! Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package!

This is a very light, yet hearty dish...perfect for warmer weather.

Also....the grill is complete! Here he is! I thought it was a she, but Ryan corrected me.

Blog 3 coming later!

More House Tour!

A loooong time ago, I said I would start doing a picture tour of our house. I posted pics of "carpet room" and our dining room....and haven't done much since then. So, today we will tour "wood floor room." For those of you who don't remember, we have two family rooms that we distinguish by flooring...carpet and wood. Wood floor room is probably the busiest room in our has our garage door, patio door, and front door. One of my favorite features of wood floor room is that it opens into the kitchen....or the kitchen opens up into wood floor room:)

Our mismatched couches:) The prints on the walls are photographs from New Orleans taken by my super talented photographer friend, Lisa Gwin.

The shutter doors next to the desk lead to the laundry room. I have big plans for a laundry room makeover involving a fun paint job. It might be a little tricky with the washer, dryer, a/c, and furnace...or whatever the heck is in there.

This is the view of the kitchen from wood floor room. The cabinet in between the rooms actually has two sides, which is nice for storage. And above the cabinet...the infamous chalkboard menu. Some day, I will get wood blinds for the window in the kitchen. Until then, the neighbors get to watch us cook. It's pretty much like we have our own Food Network show.

This is our back door...obviously. I love the curtains around it:) We are actually getting this door replaced in 3 weeks. You can't see it, but in between the glass door and the storm door is a small strip of astro turf. I don't even try to understand it.

And finally, the fireplace. The mantel is fairly unexciting right now. Nothing can really stand up to Mardi Gras decorations. I have toyed with the idea of painting the brick, but some people (aka my husband) are totally opposed to the painting of brick.

FYI, the snickers pie was a HUGE hit today. Poor Ryan didn't get any leftovers...
We had a request this past weekend for another American Idol critique, so look for a post later tonight...Maggie:)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Who loves peanut butter?

I do. That's who. And hopefully the people who I am making the pie for! Here is the recipe...

Candy Bar Pie
3 Snickers Bars (or any other candy bar you prefer)
1 pie crust (I used chocolate)
1 1/2 packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp whipping cream
1/4 cup coarsely chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 325. Cut candy bars into 1/4 inch pieces and place over bottom of crust.
Beat cream cheese and sugar until combined. Add sour cream and peanut butter, beat on low until combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Spoon mixture over candy on crust.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until set. Remove to wire rack and cool for 1 hour. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
Microwave chocolate and cream on high for 30 seconds or until melted and smooth, stirring at 15 second intervals so the chocolate doesnt burn:) Drizzle over the top of the pie and top with peanuts.

Here are my pies without the topping....and a picture of what it will look like. I'm not adding my toppings until tomorrow morning.

I actually doubled this recipe to make 2 pies for the 2 events I have this week. It's going to be so hard to wait until tomorrow to try it! FYI...this recipe came from Southern Living, June 2008.

This past weekend the Easter Bunny gave us our gift...a new grill!!! It is beautiful and blue and I can't wait to use it! Ryan is currently assembling it in the garage. How domestic are we tonight?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A smorgasbord post...

This post is going to get a little crazy...but hey, that's what Sundays are for, right?

A while back I mentioned a Taco Pizza. As is the recipe.

Pre-made pizza crust . tomato, sliced . shredded cheese . 1 lb hamburger meat . taco seasoning . black olives . avocados .

This pizza was super easy and delicious. Cook the hamburger meat and add taco seasoning according to the directions on the package. We topped our pizza with a thin layer of cheese and popped the pizza in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Then, add a layer of roma tomatoes, sliced. Add the meat, black olives, and more cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top off with chopped avocados. You can make tons of variations to this. Other things to add: sour cream, green onions, lettuce, salsa....the possibilities are endless!!!

Last week I shared an amazing guac recipe that we used to top off baked salmon. The next day, we used the guac for this dish....

I actually got this recipe from a Campbell's ad in my recent Martha Stewart magazine. It was the easiest chicken enchilada recipe I have ever made! The sauce is pretty thick, so filling the tortillas is very easy. Here is this recipe:

1 can cream of chicken soup . 1/2 cup sour cream . 1 cup salsa . 2 tsp chili powder . 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken . 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese . 1 pack flour tortillas . guac (if you want it)

Stir soup, sour cream, salsa, and chili powder in a medium bowl.
Combine the chicken, cheese, and 1 cup of the salsa mixture in a large bowl. Fill the tortillas with the chicken mixture and place in a pan. Pour the remaining salsa mixture over the top of the enchiladas.
Cover the dish and bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until bubbly. Top with guac! more recipe. This is what we are eating tonight...and it's too good to not share. I discovered this recipe on The Pioneer Woman's website. She has all kinds of amazing recipes...I have already spent waaaay too much time looking through them:) Our Fancy Macaroni from her website is to die for!!!! We are eating it with baked chicken tenders and I'm pretty sure I'm in heaven. I really enjoy experimenting with macaroni recipes...and this is one of my favorites! Check out her website for the recipe. And in case you need convincing, check this out...

Ok, now on to non-cooking things. The big family baby shower was this weekend. My sister-in-law and 2 of my husband's cousins are expecting this summer! Emily and Lewis are expecting Annabelle in June, Kristie and Scott are expecting a girl in August, and Nicole and Brian are expecting twins in August! We know one is a girl, the other is tba:) The shower was a blast!!! And of course....I have no pictures. I will have to wait for Kristie to post some to share with you.

This shower was for the entire family and the theme was very gender friendly. We had a "Bun in the Oven" theme complete with hamburgers, hot dogs, and all kinds of delicious sides. The adorable invites were designed by my friend and invitation extraordinaire, Melanie Fuglaar. The colors were yellow, orange, brown, turquoise, and pink. I created "diaper cupcakes" for centerpieces. We also had big bottles of baby lotion with fun balloons tied to them for added decoration. And to finish it off, sliver buckets full of brightly colored gerber daisies. Here are the only 2 pics I have...diaper cupcakes and the invites! The diaper cupcakes are kinda abstract...but cute anyway:) I was trying to make a scaled-down version of a diaper cake for the party. I can reveal my first sewing project. Burpies!!!! I spent a weekend mass producing these and they turned out fantastic! Hopefully the mommies-to-be liked them as much as I did.

Now, back to food...kinda. I created this chalkboard for our kitchen when I first moved into our house. I had purchased the window frame in college and never really knew what to do with it. Then one just came to me. A chalkboard! So, we bought a piece of plywood, painted it with chalkboard paint, and my wonderful husband nailed it to the frame for me. We have it hanging in our kitchen and I have used it for many things....a wedding countdown, decoration for parties, a cheering board for a big game...but my favorite use is a weekly menu. So, here is our menu for the week and a preview of recipes to come! I'm extra excited about the Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package...another Pioneer Woman find.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Today was a fun Sunday. We went to a Chicago Cubs game in Cincinnati. It was our first baseball game together and I survived...except for my red cheeks.

When we got home we had the most amazing dinner...and of course I will share the recipes. On the menu....salmon with guacamole and cajun potatoes. The guac recipe came from my latest Food Network magazine...which is the greatest cooking magazine ever!

1/4 cup chopped onions.3/4 cup torn cilantro.large pinch kosher salt.3 avocados.1 diced tomato.

Combine onions, cilantro, and salt on chopping board. Using a large knife, chop and mash until a paste is formed. Chop the avocados and combine in a bowl with the paste. Mash with a wooden spoon until the avocados until mixed in, leaving some chunks. Add tomatoes and salt to taste. Top off with extra tomato, cilantro, and onion...if desired.

I seasoned the salmon with salt and pepper in baked it in the oven at 450 for 15 minutes. Once the salmon was done, I topped it off with guacamole. Delicious!

For the potatoes...I cut up red potatoes and placed in water. Bring water to a boil and boil potatoes until tender. Top with butter and Tony's. Such a great compliment to the fish!

Later this week, I'll share our Taco Pizza recipe. It was a huge hit!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fun Blog!


I have recently starting following this blog and it's become regular reading material for me:) She does a fun link party on Thursdays where bloggers can post their creations! It's a great place for inspiration for new I don't have enough already...

Every week she also hosts a giveaway! This week the prize comes from Lisa Leonard Designs. Her jewelry is beautiful!!! Check it out!

Sea Life last!

I finally remembered my camera today!! Here are the first two pieces of my sea life collection. These paintings are for the halls of our new pediatric outpatient therapy unit. The walls are currently bare and need something to make it cheerful for our kiddos! I have started a starfish and I think a blowfish is next on the rotation.

Some exciting news to share this week.....I have a new job that I will be starting in June! It's a bittersweet announcement for me. I love what I get to do at my current job and my co-workers are like family to me. I moved to Ohio for my current job, so leaving it will be sad.....but I am very excited about my new opportunity. God made things happen at just the right time. I will have a much closer commute and I will be working with my good friend, Amy!!!

Still working on the rolled hem for my ruffles.....I might drive myself crazy perfecting this:)