Thursday, April 26, 2012

Changing Life, Changing Blog

Hey all!!!!
I'm back. Since the last post I have ran my very first 5K and went on vacation. I really enjoyed my 5K mainly because my husband did it with me. It was the most fun I have had in a while.
My cute new skirt. (sorry for the bad iPhone photo)

Me after the 5k.
I'll be blogging more often and creating more things. I have made a really fun skirt and enjoyed the whole process. I will be creating more things and I'll post pictures.

Tell me what you have been up to lately? Creating? Cooking?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blood Orange Italian Soda

I had never had a blood orange before so I decided that I would try them and also try making Blood Orange Italian Soda. I found this recipe for the soda and went out and bought some blood oranges. Well they sat for a couple days because I became really busy with work and home stuff. So one day my husband said lets make some! So while I did the dishes he made the soda.

 First cut the oranges in half and juice them.. (we also strained the pulp to maximize the juice amount)

 We used a strainer...

and a homemade paper towel strainer. You don't have to do this, but if you want to minimize the amount of pulp in your soda you should at least use a strainer.

Next, make the simple syrup. I stirred until the sugar was dissolved and then took the pot of the burner.

Once that is done you can combine all ingredients and chill. Then taste and adjust the flavors as needed.

Ingredients:

9 blood oranges medium to large
1 c simple syrup (1c water & 1c sugar)
1 bottle of Italian mineral water (about 1L)

That's all you need. It is sooo good!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shrimp Parmesan

My husband and I have been eating a lot of chicken. David doesn't mind at all. Me on the other hand, I get bored with it and get bored with trying to make it exciting for me. One of David's favorite meals is Chicken Parmesan so I decided to change the meat and make it the same way. Man, that was a great choice!!!
The shrimp I bought were the large shrimp. They were frozen, uncooked with tails. So the first thing I did was to thaw them out and then take the tails off. Next thing to do is dry them. I put a paper towel on a plate, put the shrimp on the towel and then put another paper towel on top of them and press it dry.

They don't have to have every last bit of water off them but they need to be dry enough so the butter will stick to them.

Next, prepare your butter and your bread crumbs.
The best bread crumbs to use (my opinion of course)
Take the bread crumbs and the cheese and combine in a bowl. Also make sure you have your cookie sheet ready. I lined mine with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
 Put the shrimp in the butter...
And then into the bread crumb mixture...
then onto your pan.
Once you have a full pan put it into the oven at 450 for 5-6 minutes. Not much longer or the shrimp will become rubbery.
Once they are done you can put them on top of pasta or eat with veggies. You can even put a red sauce with them and enjoy.
It was late and the hubs was hungry so we just ate with some pasta and of course more parmesan!



Ingredients:
Shrimp 16 oz large shrimp
1/2 c Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs
1/2 c Parmesan Chesse
1/2 c Butter melted

Enjoy!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Surgery Can Be Fun

Well sometimes in the right circumstances. This past Thursday I went in to have some large cysts removed off my ovaries. I was not too excited about the actual surgery but I was excited about all the pampering that I would receive from my wonderful husband in the days after. I have not been doing much cooking or crafting because of it. I have played a ton of Lego Pirates of the Caribbean on the PS3. and that is about it. I am itching to get some crafts done so I may work on some tomorrow. It all depends on how I feel. I do have a couple photos to share with you from the day we were at the hospital.

My husband always likes to makes silly faces.

I hope you all are doing well and having fun. Tell me about some of your crafting adventures or cooking adventures.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Giveaway

My favorite online handmade jewelry store is having a giveaway. Check it out at thevintagepearl.com! I am having surgery tomorrow so I will be out of commission for a little bit but I will be back with some yummy foods for you to try! :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

5k

Sorry I haven't posted in a little bit. I have been extremely busy. David and I were trying a bunch of different restaurants this past weekend for Triangle Restaurant Week. It was fun and we tried a bunch of great food! I have decided to sign up for a 5k this April and I have been training for that. I am extremely excited to see my progress for that. I think my biggest set back will be my surgery (more on that to come). I am hoping to at least be able to run half of it. I am training using the Couch 2 5k program and I am enjoying it very much! I like the Christian Indy version and find it to be helpful to worship as I am working out. It definitely helps the time go by much faster. So keep me in your prayers for this new goal I have for myself. I am very much excited and am enjoying the exercise very much! (We'll see if that changes) :)
I will be putting up another post either this Thursday or Friday. When I get the chance.
Next topic making a meal plan and sticking to it!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The BEST Apple Butter You WIll Ever Have!!

I enjoy trying new recipes and also making things with fresh and local ingredients. I made apple butter and it was gone in the next 2 days. I bought a 1/2 bushel of seconds apples and peeled and cut and cooked them until they turned into DELICIOUS apple butter. I use this recipe. She is simply the best! :)

The thing in the middle is an awesome corer!
First get your dutch oven or crock pot out and gather your tools. I used a corer, knife, peeler and a cutting board.  

 If you start peeling horizontally it works better and you can get more peel off of the apple.
Peel a bunch at a time, it goes faster.
Core the apples.
Punch out the core

Coreless apple ready to cut.
I then cut the apples in half and then chopped them into small sections.

Add spices and let simmer on low or warm for a LONG time!

Finished apple butter
I then canned the apple butter to give away to family, friends and coworkers. I ended up with 36 half pint jars. If you have any questions about he process of the apple butter or canning you can email me.

Friday, January 20, 2012

How to Prepare Peaches and Peach Sangria


I know peaches aren't really in season right now but I have had these photos and decided to post them!

First thing I suggest is to buy seconds. Don't buy the pretty peaches. Look for seconds at your farmers market. Seconds are the peaches that have a little bruising or blemishes. They are the best for this recipe. The first thing you want to do is to make sure that you go through your box or lot of peaches that you bought. Any peaches that have mold or spots just cut it off and use what's left of the peaches.

Then Score the peaches so they are much easier to peel. You don't need to peel the peaches if you cut them.
We made X's on the ends.



Place the peaches in boiled water for 30 seconds and then into an ice bath.
Peel the peaches and then set them aside and do a bunch at a time to make the process go faster.

Then slice them....

Find your favorite cobbler recipe. We haven't found a good recipe. Any suggestions would be great!! 

To make the sangria:
Take your favorite sangria or wine and add the peaches. Let soak for a few hours and let cool. Enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Learning Lesson from Lentils

My husband liked the Lentil Soup so much that he asked me to make another batch. But this time he wanted me to use the ham bone that we had. So I tried it. Made the exact same recipe but added the ham bone in first and the liquid and then the lentils and a ton of water because I also made a double batch. Well I should have only made one batch of this because the ham that we bought had a sweet glaze on it and that went into the soup and did not make it taste like lentil soup at all. Here are the photos anyway.


I only added water to the soup because I really wanted to taste the flavor of the ham. Well I ended up adding 6 total bouillon cubes to the soup to reduce the sweetness. 
I added the Lentils and the water and let that cook for about 30 mins and then added the spices and let that cook until the meat falls off the bone. About 1-1.5 hours. Season to taste.

Advice: Don't use a sweet ham for soups.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chef John's Bison Balls and Rice

I have been wanting to make something with the bison meat I have in my freezer for a while but not sure what to make. I was browsing foodwishes.com and thought I would try his version of bison. This was a really good meal with rice. I also poured the sauce over the rice and it was so good. The spice was great with the orange marmalade. Thank You Chef John!


I have more photos but Chef John's video is way better than my photos. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday to You!

Today I My Daddy's Birthday! Happy Birthday! Enjoy Your day. Thank You for sharing mom on YOUR Birthday!

You have been such a wonderful influence in my life. I greatly appreciate all that you have done for me/ with me in my life. Thank you for being so loving and caring. I am so thankful that God chose you to be my dad.


I miss you daddy and I wish we were closer. I enjoy all the time we get to spend together. Happy Birthday!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Time To Get Crafty!

Well this is my first post on the crafty side of things, so here goes.... I found this website from a pin on pinterest and I have really been interested in making my own letters but not willing to pay the $3-$5 for the letter. I was so happy to find the website. I decided this afternoon to make one and place it on a really cute mirror I got at my FAVORITE thrift store. I am not going to walk you through all the steps since Jen does it on her blog.

My letter before the yarn

My letter on the couch (I'll post pictures on the mirror once I get it on the wall)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Razzleberry Pie!

My favorite pie of all time after Pumpkin Pie is... you guessed it.... Razzleberry Pie. I was feeling "healthy" a couple weeks ago and so I bought some blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Well I only ate a few and they sat in my fridge. The last time I did this the berries went bad. I wasn't going to let that happen this time so.. I found a recipe for my favorite pie and made it. It was so much better than the Mrs. Smith's brand at the store. I was so happy!

I got the recipe from here. I modified it a little and didn't use strawberries because I didn't have any fresh ones on hand.


They tell you to put slits in the pie crust for the steam to escape and I always see people do cute things with theirs so I felt like being creative and did a teacup shape on mine. In the picture it is sideways. This pie was so good my husband even liked it!

Sorry!

Sorry Blog readers. I have been so busy preparing for my mom's arrival that I haven't been able to blog. I do however have a bunch of recipes for you and I will be posting them tonight. I also have something yummy in the oven right now that I will post about as well. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chunky Beef Stew

I made Beef Stew tonight. I didn't really know how to make it but I knew I didn't want to use a recipe. So I "winged it"! I called my mom about what type of meat to use and she also recommended the McCormick Beef Stew spice packet.


I really didn't want to use this seasoning but it was already 3:30 and I was irritated because the beef I bought had gone bad so I had to go out and get some more. Next time I will be using my own spices and seasonings. I did add some other things to this stew but the base was this spice packet.

The first thing you want to do is put about 1tbs of butter into your pot and chop your onions. Don't turn the pot on yet but just have it in there waiting. That way the butter is on the bottom and then your onions are on top. Sweat the onions while cutting the beef.  Homemade butter post coming soon!
Chopped onions with Homemade butter
 Next take the stew meat and chop it in half to get more meat into your stew.
 Add the beef to the onions and saute until most of the sides are brown and the center is just about cooked through.


 Wash and chop your potatoes, celery, and carrots. Remember not to cut the veggies too thin because they will soften and reduce.
 Add all ingredients to the pot. Add the 3c water and the seasoning packet. (I did not follow the directions on the packet because I wanted this to be my beef stew not McCormick's)
 After adding the water and the seasoning packet, I added my favorite seasoning.... BAY LEAVES! 3-4 will suffice. I also added basil, oregano, and some garlic powder because I somehow forgot to add minced garlic.  Cover and bring to a boil on med high heat and then reduce to low and allow to simmer. If you want a thicker sauce add the flour as suggested on the seasoning packet at this stage.
Let simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour on low-med heat.
Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.