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Made with Love





Updated: 2018-03-05T09:07:52.136-08:00

 



MIA

2009-03-08T19:27:06.864-07:00

I know I have been MIA from the blogging world, and I can't really say that that is going to change anytime soon. There will be random posts just to save some recipes that I am loving lately, but that will be about it. This is just something that I do not have time to keep up on. So thanks for following, and you never know, life may change soon and I may get some time back, in which case this blog will get a lot more love. Happy Spring everyone!



Mini Muffin Mania

2009-02-09T21:00:12.383-08:00

Yep, here I go on a muffin kick again. These little muffins were such a yummy bite-sized treat, something about tiny food makes it so much cuter and tastier. The recipe came out of my Totally Muffins Cookbook, which is like totally awesome! Enjoy!

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Almond Poppy seed Muffins

2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup poppy seeds
1 1/2 cups ap flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease tins or line with paper cups.
Heat milk to scalding. Pour over poppy seeds and set aside to cool
In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add almond extract and cooled milk mixture.
Fold in dry ingredients and almonds and stir just to blend.
Divide mixture among muffin cups, bake 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Notes:
If you choose to make many muffins I crushed the almonds smaller and I only used 1/4 cup. I would also add a little more almond extract, but I really love the flavor. Also, next time I am going to try these with lemon extract and zest, to make a lemon poppy seed muffin.



Snickerdoodles!

2009-02-09T20:45:34.611-08:00

These cookies were a hit at the office today, the perfect little afternoon pick me up! I followed the recipe exactly, and my only suggestion is to bake them no longer than 7 minutes. They go from undercooked to overcooked in the blink of an eye!

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Snickerdoodles

2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup Crisco® Butter Shortening
OR 1 stick Crisco® Butter Shortening Sticks
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1.HEAT oven to 400°F.

2.COMBINE 1 1⁄2 cups sugar, shortening, eggs, milk and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer. Beat at medium speed until well blended.

3.COMBINE flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Add gradually to shortening mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.

4.COMBINE remaining 1⁄2 cup sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

5.BAKE 7 to 8 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheets. Place on cooling racks to cool completely.



Another nice Winter Soup

2009-02-06T19:37:59.600-08:00

This recipe caught my eye on picky palate the other day, so I added a couple of items to the grocery list and cooked up a batch of this soup. It makes a HUGE pot, you may want to half it so you are not eating leftovers forever. I ended up freezing quite a few tupperwares for lunches later on down the road. It was a great soup though, and we will add it into our rotation. We served it in some sourdough breadbowls, which were the perfect accompaniment. If you are craving some delicious comfort food, give this soup recipe a shot!

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Herty Queso Chicken Soup with Black Beans and Potatoes

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 cans of chunk chicken from Costco, undrained (or use 2 Cups cooked, shredded chicken breast)
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon Lawry’s garlic salt with parsley
3 ¾ Cups chicken broth
1 10 oz can cheddar cheese soup
1 10 oz can cream of chicken soup
15 oz can black beans, drained
10 oz can Mild Rotel Tomatoes
2 Cups diced baking potato
¼ Cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 additional 10 oz can cheddar cheese soup
Garnish
Fritos or tortilla chips
Cilantro leaves

Heat oil in a 5 qt dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery and carrots until softened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in garlic and chicken. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
Add cumin, salt, pepper, garlic salt, chicken broth, 1 can cheese soup and cream of chicken soup, beans, tomatoes and potatoes.
Cook over medium heat until potatoes are fork tender.
Reduce heat to low and stir in cilantro leaves and additional cheese soup to thicken.
Simmer on low until ready to serve. Garnish with chips and cilantro leaves if desired.



Favorite treat to date!

2009-02-06T19:27:54.763-08:00

These rice crispy treats were gone fast. And unfortunately, one was not enough. We brought them to a superbowl party and then to work the next day, and didn't have a singl one left. I wanted to make a 9x13, but when I saw how much butter that would include, I couldn't do it. (No one needs to explain to me that the butter ratio is the same in the 9x9, I get it, I still ate the same amount of butter, but it was just a principle thing to me!) That said, do no let the butter dismay you, these little gems are so worth it, you will love them! Also check out Nicole's blog for a ton more deliciious treats.

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Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Bars

2 tbsp butter
5-oz marshmallows (1/2 large bag)
3 cups rice krispies/puffed rice cereal



Peanut Butter Filling
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (natural or regular)
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp milk



Chocolate Topping
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup semisweet/dark chocolate chips

Lightly grease a 9×9-inch pan.
In a large, microwave safe bowl, combine butter and marshmallows. Heat until butter is melted and marshmallows are soft. Stir to combine. Fold in rice cereal with a spatula, then pour mixture into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Allow to cool and set at room temperature.
For the peanut butter layer, combine all filling ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. The consistency should be like frosting. If it is too crumbly (consistency may vary slightly by type of peanut butter used), add an additional tablespoon or two of milk until filling is spreadable. Spread onto cereal layer.
For the chocolate topping, melt chocolate chips and butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Stir until smooth. Pour over peanut butter layer and, using an offset spatula or regular spatula, spread chocolate to cover entire surface. Let chocolate set up at room temperature before slicing.

Makes 20 rectangular candy bars.



Football treats!

2009-02-06T19:11:32.729-08:00

These are super chocolately, but soo good. They were the perfect addition to our superbowl party, all the girls just kept saying how cute they were. I have seen this recipe pop up in a few blogs lately, but I originally saw it on Katie's. Check out her website for way better pictures! As soon as football season rolls around again whip up a batch of these, you are sure to impress quite a few people! As a side note, they were a bit too chocolately for me, next time I think I may try to make them more like a traditional rice crispy treat with marshmellows.

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Chocolate Football Crispies
Kraft

Ingredients:
6 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
½ c. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp butter
½ tsp vanilla
4 c. Cocoa Pebbles Cereal
white decorating gel

Directions:
- Microwave chocolate, corn syrup and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high 2 1/2 min., stirring after 1 ½ min.
-Blend in vanilla.
-Add cereal, mix well.
-Let cool 10 min and then shape into football shapes on parchment with moistened hands.
-Let cool completely and use decorating gel to add lacings.
-Let stand until gel is firm.



Make these now, you won't be sorry!

2009-01-25T11:47:36.734-08:00

Or maybe you will be sorry, because you will eat them all by yourself and then have terrible guilt for the days to come. But they are worth it, they were so easy, and sooo good! I got these from Lauren who got them from Brooke, so thanks to both of you, these were gobbled up! I didn't use the coconut, but only because I forgot to mix it in, next time I will use it for sure.

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Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® Create 'n Bake® refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
1/2 cup of coconut (optional)

Heat oven to 350°F. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in coconut.

In ungreased, 9- or 8-inch square pan, break up half of cookie dough. With floured fingers, press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust. Spread cream cheese mixture over dough. Crumble and sprinkle remaining half of dough over cream cheese mixture.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until chilled. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Store in refrigerator.



Tortellini Primavera

2009-01-25T11:33:51.715-08:00

We loved this dinner, and I can not wait to make it again! It was simple, with ingredients we always have on hand, and it was so flavorful and delicious. The leftovers were great for lunch the next day also, which doesn't always happen with pasta. Head on over to Annie's Eats for hundreds of other great recipes just like this. Seriously, I love her blog, she is always posting something that I just have to make!

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Tortellini Primavera

Ingredients:
1 cup mushrooms, chopped (omitted for Michael's sake)
½ cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp. margarine
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tomato, chopped
¼ cup milk
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 t. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
family size cheese-filled tortellini, cooked and drained
1 large chicken breast cooked and cut into bite size pieces (not in original recipe, I added for Michael)

Directions:
Heat margarine in a skillet. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic and saute. Add all remaining ingredients except tortellini. Heat until all have melted together and are well blended. Cook until the mixture just begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in tortellini.



Yummy dinner from Elly says Opa

2009-01-25T11:15:11.859-08:00

This was a great dinner, though a little time consuming for company. I should have gone with some stuffed chicken breasts that I could have just popped in the oven, but this recipe was so good I didn't want to make anything else! Everyone enjoyed this dinner served over some goat cheese mashed potatoes with the pan sauce drizzled over the top. I doubled everything to serve our group of 4. Yummy!

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Chicken with Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Sauce

INGREDIENTS:
2 chicken breast halves, about 5 oz. each
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp sundried tomatoes, chopped and drained, if they are oil-packed
2 ounces herbed goat cheese (this is what I had on hand; if you have plain you may want to saute a clove of garlic and add a fresh herb like basil to the sauce)
salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Sprinkle chicken breast halves with salt and pepper.
Heat skillet over medium heat and add oil.
When oil is hot, add chicken breasts. Cook through, about 3-6 minutes per side depending on how thin they are. Set aside and keep warm. Drain the pan if there is a lot of excess oil.
In the same skillet, add wine and chicken broth. Increase heat to medium-high and cook liquids down until reduced by half, being sure to scrape up the browned bits from the chicken.
Add in sundried tomatoes and heat through. Take skillet off the heat and stir in goat cheese



Barefoot Contessa's green beans

2009-01-25T11:00:32.765-08:00

I know, you are thinking what is exciting about greens beans, but trust me, when you use this recipe, lots! I got this recipe from Barefoot Contessa's Family Style Cookbook, and it did not disappoint. If you're looking for something a little bit different for your green beans, try this!

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String Beans with Shallots

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound of french string beans (haricots verts)
salt
2 tbl unsalted better
1 tbl olive oil
3 large shallots, large-diced
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Blanch the string beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 1/2 minutes only. Drain immediately and immerse in ice water.
Heat butter and oil in a very large saute pan and saute the shallots for 5-10 minutes, tossing occasionally until browned.
Drain the string beans and add them to shallots with 1/2 tsp salt and the pepper, tossing well. Heat only until the beans are hot.



More Comfort Food

2009-01-25T10:43:08.445-08:00

This is another one of those comfort foods that is nothing special or fancy, but in my mind it always takes me right back to my parents house, which is as comforting as it gets for me anymore. Enjoy!

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Tuna Noodle Casserole

INGREDIENTS:

1 pkg of egg noodles, cooked
2 cans of tuna
2 cans of cream of mushroom (I use cream of chicken because Michael won't eat mushrooms)
2 cans of milk (we use FF)
2 cups of frozen peas and carrots
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350.
While noodles are cooking, mix tuna, cream of mushroom, milk measured in the empty soup can, and vegetables together in a 9x13 pan.
Drain noodles and mix together with sauce in 9x13, cover with cheese, and bake for 35-40 minutes.



Amish Cake

2009-01-25T10:30:35.286-08:00

This cake is one of my favorites, because it is easy, and it always impresses. If you like coconut you have to try this cake, don't let the sour cream frosting scare you off, just try it. You will be grateful you did. I always use a box cake for this, but for those of who do everything from scratch, feel free to make your own cake, okay. Also, the photos do not do it justice, white on white on white doesn't make for a great picture, especially when the photographer is no good either.

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Amish Cake
Recipe from my mom, who got it from Grandma Will in Indiana

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz sour cream (I used FF)
1 pkg coconut (5 1/2 cups)
2 cups of sugar
1 french vanilla cake mix, prepared as directed (I can't find french vanilla here in
CA, so I just use a white cake)

DIRECTIONS:

Mix together the coconut, sour cream and sugar and let sit in fridge for at least 12 hours!
Prepare cake according to directions on box and pour into two rounds (8 inch is best, but 9 inch works fine, you'll just have thinner layers)
After cake is cooled slice each round in half so you have two layers, ending up with four layers total.
Frost between each layer lightly, and then cover the whole cake. Refrigerate for another 12 hours, and then enjoy!

I make this frosting in the morning before I go to work, the cakes right when I get home from work, and then frost it all before I go to bed so it can be enjoyed the next day.

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Happy 29th birthday to brent!



Banana Crumb Muffins

2009-01-17T22:12:52.617-08:00

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This recipe has been popping up on quite a few blogs lately, and for good reason. It is a great banana muffin, although it doesn't quite edge out the banana coconut muffins that I love just a little bit more. They got rave reviews at work, the crumb topping definitely makes them a bit more special. Check out Brooke's blog Desert First for this recipe and many other great ones!

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not a great picture, sorry

Banana Crumb Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.



Chicken Pesto Farfalle

2009-01-17T22:05:41.756-08:00

This was a Dinner Divas recipe that was too good to pass up. It was Carrie's choice, and it really delivierd an outstanding meal. I stumbled upon it on Bettylou's blog, a fellow dinner diva. I loved it for dinner and lunch the next day, and I honestly can't wait to make it again!! I thought that it was a bit time consuming, but in the end, worth it.

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Adapted from Cooking Light

1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves ( I used 2 chicken breasts)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
20 ounces uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta) (I used the best garlic basil pasta from TJ's)
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided (I used fat free)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (3.5-ounce) jar commercial pesto (about 1/3 cup)
3/4 cup half-and-half (I again used fat free)

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
4 cups halved grape tomatoes (about 2 pints)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (I omitted)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grill chicken however you prefer, I threw mine on the panini press, which I wouldn't recommend, it dried out a bit

2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain,reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid (I forgot this, oops). Place pasta in large bowl and set aside.

4. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Combine 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in pesto. Gradually add remaining 1 cup milk and half-and-half, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 8 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1 cup cheese; stir until cheese melts.

5. Add chicken and sauce to pasta, tossing well to coat. Add tomatoes and basil; toss gently. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Serve immediately.



Make your own calazones!

2009-01-10T21:40:45.858-08:00

This has become a regular in our dinner rotation, and for good reason. There are very few meals that Michael ever requests, but this is one of them, and I am happy to oblige because they are really easy and quick. I save time by using Trader Joes pre-made pizza dough so all we have to do is roll it out, but if you want to go the homemade route, knock yourself out. Calazone fillings can be whatever you want, be creative, the possibilities are endless. Just don't skimp on the ricotta, that is my favorite part!

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Calazones

1 container of part skim ricotta cheese
2 TB Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
pizza dough
grape tomatoes halved
mozzarella
green onions diced
olives diced
red and green peppers diced
pepperoni
sausage fully cooked
1 egg white
marinara sauce for dipping

To start roll out dough and cut into two halves. Please realize now that this does not make traditional shaped calazones, more like funky circle/squares. If you want them shaped traditionally divide your dough into two pieces before rolling out into 2circles. I just don't have time for that!
In a small bowl mix together ricotta, Parmesan, egg, basil, and oregano.
On one half of your pizza dough spread 1/2 cup or so of ricotta mixture. Top with ingredients of your choice, leaving just enough room to fold one side over the ingredients and seal, like making a little pocket.
When all your edges are securely sealed brush with egg white and then bake in 425 oven for 15-20 minutes, until crust begins to brown. Let cool and then enjoy with a side of marinara for dipping.



Delicious Dinner

2009-01-10T21:24:16.343-08:00

These stuffed chicken breasts have been popping up on quite a few blogs lately, although I first saw it on Brooke's blog. I just made a few small changes based on what I had on hand. The original recipe is from Rachel Ray, you can check it out here. Unfortuately I was not able to wrap it in bacon, because I had none thawed in time, next time though, and there will be a next time, it was certainyl good enough to make again!

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Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, softened ( I used 4 oz of laughing cow ligh garlic and herb cheese)
A handful baby arugula, chopped (I omitted but I will add next time!)
A handful baby spinach leaves, chopped
8 slices bacon ( I used just about 2 TB of bacon bits as my bacon was frozen :()

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a small sharp knife cut into the thick end of the chicken and make an incision reaching 2/3 the way down the breast. Loosen up the incision with your fingers to make a hole. Combine the cream cheese with arugula and baby spinach, season with salt and pepper and stuff into the breasts. Wrap the breasts with the bacon tightly to cover the meat evenly. Place chicken on a nonstick baking sheet and roast 20 to 25 minutes until bacon is crispy and chicken is firm.



Happy Birthday to Michael!!

2009-01-10T21:09:21.393-08:00

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So my wonderful husband celebrated his 29th birthday earlier this week with a wonderful dinner at a BBQ restaurant that he has been wanting to try out since we moved here. Everything about it was excellent, we both loved our dinners of tri tip and ribs, complete with mashed sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and baked beans. We saved dessert for at home though, because I had gotten up early Sunday morning to make him his favorite dessert, Pecan Pie. I find pecan pie disgusting, and I hardly want to blog about it, but for Michael, I will. He says it is the best Pecan Pie, and that is tastes just like it is supposed to. Sorry for the lack of picture, maybe if you look close you will see that the candle he is about to blow out is sticking in a piece of pie!

Pecan Pie
From Pioneer Woman (who else would I turn to for such decadence?)
Check her out for great step by step picture directions as well as the finished product!

1 unbaked pie crust
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup melted butter (regular, salted)
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 heaping cup chopped pecans

Mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.
Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the pie shell. Pour syrup mixture over the top. Bake pie at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, being careful not to burn pecans and crust.
Allow to cool for several hours or overnight. Serve in thin slivers.



So much better the second time around!

2009-01-10T20:56:04.219-08:00

These have pretty much become our new favorite side dish. I am not too sure how my waist line feels about it, but I know my stomach is happy. These are really simple and just so much better than a regular baked potato. Give them a try, and load them up with whatever you fancy. I went the traditional route with these, but they would also be great with some salsa and jalapenos for a Mexican flair.

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Twice-Baked Potatoes

2 large baking potatoes
1/4 cup crumbled bacon or bacon bits
1/4 cup of cheddar cheese
2 green onions finely diced
1/2 cup of cour cream
about 1/4 cup of milk (depends on the size of your potatoes)
salt and pepper to taste

Wash the potatoes well and prick all over with a fork.
Bake the potatoes until soft in the oven (about 1 hour at 350) or in the microwave (about 8 minutes in our little microwave)
Remove from heat and let cool. When they are cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half length wise. Scoop out their insides being careful to leave the skin in tact, kind of resembling a hollowed out boat.
Combine the potato's flesh with the bacon, cheese, onions, sour cream, salt and pepper, and enough milk to make creamy. I like to mash these together by hand so they retain some of their texture, but if you want them super creamy you can use a hand mixer.
Fill the potato skins with the potato mixture and sprinkle a little cheese on top. Bake in a 450 oven for 10-15 minutes, or until tops begin to brown. Enjoy!!



Beef...it's what's for dinner!

2009-01-10T20:57:36.813-08:00

So we finally got around to trying out our BBQ here in pereptually warm SoCal, and these steaks were the perfect meal to break it in. I wanted something a little more fancy that just a steak though, so I conjured up memories of an Italian restraunt at home in Washington that serves a steak covered in cheese and then drizzled with a balsalmic reduction. I am proud of myself on this one, it was my first time making a reduction (sooo easy), and it really lived up to my memory of it. So delicious I can not wait to make them again!

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2 sirloin steaks
montreal steak seasoning
balsalmic vinegar
goat cheese/blue cheese/gorgonzola (your choice)

Heat the BBQ until it is smoking hot and then place seasoned steaks on the grill. Now do not touch them for about 4 minutes. Gingerly flip them over and once again leave them alone for 4 minutes.
Remove to a plate and sprinkle with cheese of your choice ( I choose goat cheese, so creamy and it pairs so well with the balsalmic) and do not cut into them.
While the steaks are settling, heat 1/2 cup balsalmic vinegar in a saucepan. Bring it to a light boil stirring constantly. You shoudl notice the vinegar getting thick and syrup like. When it is too your desired consistency, remove from heat and drizzle over steak. Enjoy!



Birthday cake!

2009-01-02T22:06:09.826-08:00

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Alright, so truthfully, this cake came out of the box, which therefore renders in no longer blog-worthy, but I just loved the way it looked, and I did make this homemade cream cheese frosting, so I thought I would at least share a picture. (and that is the longest run-on sentance ever, I hope my 4th grade teacher Ms. Wedul never sees that!)



I've been tagged!

2009-01-02T21:59:38.553-08:00

My friend Brooke over at desert first tagged me the other night, so my job is to share seven random things about me with you, and then tag seven other blogs that I follow. Make sure you stop by her blog and check out all of the great looking goodies on her blog, she has some great chicken recipes that I have starred in my reader to try, and those banana crumb muffins are on my agenda this weekend! Enjoy these seven bits of randomness, and thanks for stopping by!

These are the rules that I found on Brooke's blog:
1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag several random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So here they are, all sorts of seven things that you don't really need to know but I am putting out there anyhow!

1. I was born and raised on an island of just 15,000...then I moved to LA. talk about culture shock!
2. I am very allergic to bee, which happens to include "lip venom" a lip plumper that has bee venom in it...and yes of course I learned that the hard way on a night out in Vegas.
3. I am a licensed cosmetologist who much prefers working at a bank than cutting hair, but I keep my license just for the cheap hair products.
4. I am the oldest of 3 sisters, if you spend 10 minutes with me you will know that without a doubt!
5. I am a total Daddy's girl, who is trying very hard (and successfully I think) to become my husband's girl. But there will always be something about my Papa.
6. I want a Wii sooo bad I sometimes have dreams about the games I would play if I owned one (super freak, I know)
7. I read avidly, like everything that I can get my hands on. I swear there are almost no books left in the library that I haven't read. And yes, sometimes I do read the last chapter first!

Now I get to tag 7 other blogs that I frequently read, so head on over to these girls and check them out!

1. Kayla at Central Cooking
2. Brooke and a cookie for dessert
3. Julie and Jewels in the Kitchen
4. The Milkman's wife and Milk and Honey
5. Amber at Amber's Delectable Delights
6. Bridget over at The way the Cookie Crumbles
7. Lindsay over at Love Deliciousness



Happy New Year!

2009-01-02T20:45:29.367-08:00

I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season and that this new year is already off to a great start for you. We spent the holidays in Washington with my family, it was my first time up there since our wedding, and it was so great to see my family and friends! So much good food while we were there, and Chirstmas treats galore. It was good to come home just to leave my mother's kitchen though. We spent New Years in Palm Springs with our friends Brent and Katie, who just got engaged, and had a great time. I had my first experience with fondue, and I LOVED it all! I have added a fondue pot to my birthday list (did you hear that mom, I would love an electric fondue pot!)

This year I have a lot of New Years resolutions, but topping my list it this blog. Keep your eyes open for more posts, I have resolved to update at least 3 times a week, help keep me accountable, okay. Also, I want to get a little braver in the kitchen and move out of my comfort zone. I hope to churn out a lot more baking this year, and be willing to try lots of new things. Namely, homemade pie crust! I have also vowed to workout at least three times a week to makeup for all the extra baking I plan on doing. Again, Happy New Year to you all, I hope that your year is full of many blessings!
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Cheers to a great New Year!



Raspberry Almond Thumbprints

2008-12-23T12:01:57.799-08:00

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I got this recipe from this amazing blog, seriously check her out, talk about some serious inspiration. I keep telling myself that when we are in a house instead of an apartment, I am going to entertain just like her. She is something else. Anyways, I love the use of almonds instead of walnuts, which is how we always made them growing up. Mine spread a little much, so they aren't too beautiful, but they make up for it in taste! Enjoy!

Almond Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 almond extract)
3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. almonds, ground coarsely
1 c. raspberry preserves

DIRECTIONS:
-In bowl of stand mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy in color, about 3 minutes.
-Add eggs and beat to combine well.
-Add vanilla and combine.
-Scrape down sides of bowl, slow mixer to low and add flour and almonds.
-Beat to combine (mixture will be coarse), remove bowl from mixer and scrape down sides, making sure all mixture is thoroughly combined.
-Scoop dough out into tsp sized rounds, rolling into balls. Place on cookie sheet at least 1 inch apart.
-Place cookie sheet in fridge for 15 to 20 minutes.
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line cookie sheets.
-Make an indentation into top of cookie with finger.
-Using a spoon, place a small amount of jam into indentation of each cookie.
-Place into oven and bake until starting to turn golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
-Remove from oven and let cool before serving



More soup from the crock pot

2008-12-19T22:04:37.799-08:00

I LOVE this soup, and I love that it sits in my crock pot all day while I work and I come home to an awesome filling meal. This recipe makes a lot of soup, but I love to freeze it in individual tupperwares so I have lunch for work. This recipe is supposed to be like the Olive Garden's Pasta Fagioli, but mine is always thicker then theirs, even more like a chili I guess. So anyways, I prep everything at night and just put it in the fridge, so in the morning before work all I have to do is put it in the warmer and let it do its magic.

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Pasta Fagioli

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb cooked ground beef
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup of chopped onion
3 stalks celery chopped
40 0z can of tomato juice
14 oz can of beef broth
2 cans of kidney beans with liquid
1 can of white kidney beans with liquid
26 0z can of tomato sauce
8 0z of cooked macaroni noodles
oregano, basil, paprika, and garlic to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Add all ingredients except for noodles to crock pot and let simmer on low all day. 1 hour before serving add cooked macaroni noodles.
Serve with Parmesan cheese and bread sticks for dipping.
And if your married to a husband like mine, he will need a sandwich to go with it, because soup is not enough to fill him up, or so he says.




Fall Food

2008-12-19T21:43:09.902-08:00

Alright, I know it is winter now, but it is just starting to feel like fall here in California, and I am sooo behind in posting, that this fall favorite of mine is just now going up. Super easy, everyone has a version of this, but just in case they don't, I have to post this, everyone should enjoy this side dish. Michael had actually never had squash like this, and he was pleasantly surprised. He did give it a bit of the once over when I put it in front of him though. :)

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Fall Squash

INGREDIENTS:
1 acorn or butternut squash, cut in half
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp honey
2 heaping! tbsp brown sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Place squash cut side down in a glass baking dish with about1 inch of water, cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes, until sides of squash are soft to the touch
Remove pan from oven, turn squash over and fill with the honey, butter, and brown sugar (1 tbsp of each per squash, but isn't that kind of obvious) Place back into oven uncovered and bake an additional 10 minuter. Now put it on the plate and enjoy.
These are also really good mashed, but why bother, I think the presentation is cute as is!