Category Archives: Uncategorized

2013

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Oops….with the holidays and traveling and visiting, I completely forgot about this blog because I’m a terrible blogger. Haha. I still cook, but I’ve definitely lost steam as far as cooking and blogging about it goes. And honestly, aren’t blogs supposed to change direction after a while anyway?

So like everyone else in the world I made 2013 resolutions. Except I only made one really, and it is an all encompassing goal: Better myself physically, financially, and spiritually. I think I may change the direction of this blog to focus more on this goal this year and how I am going to achieve my goal. Right now, I have the flu so I haven’t been working out, spending money, or doing much of anything because I’ve been in my house all year.

Any diet tips (I do NOT want to do a fad diet, but am following healthier food habits : no sodas, no fried food, etc.), work out tips, or money tips would be appreciated! In the meantime, I’ll be recovering at home pinning workout routines and healthy recipes until my airways are clear again and I can breathe enough to run again.

Happy 2013!

Nutella Cookies

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Kurt went grocery shopping recently so of course he bought Nutella. I decided to make these heavenly looking cookies.

Honestly, there isn’t much to tell you besides I followed the recipe exactly (except my cocoa was sweetened and I used white choc chips) and they turned out GREAT! We still have some left over and they’re actually still good. They were definitely best right when they cooled off just enough to eat because the Nutella was still warm and gooey.

Sooooooooo good. I think I’d use this recipe even without the filling because they’re so fluffy and soft.

 

Yumm, go make them!

 

Strings, strings, strings, strings

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I made string art! Woo hoo! It’s so pretty and I lurrrve it.

Here’s how I did it.

You need:

  • nails (small nails)
  • canvas
  • cork board (I used a bulletin board)
  • cardboard
  • hammer
  • glue
  • string
  • paint (optional)
  • I painted my canvas brown and gold to make it look like a piece of wood because my design that I wanted to make was a sailboat and I thought it would look nice against the brown since I chose to do my design in blue and white.
  • Arrange your nails in the design you want to create. I forgot to take a photo of this part because while I was doing it I realized that the canvas was way too thin to hold the nails in place.
  • I then glued cardboard to a bulletin board I had around to create a thicker canvas. I knocked off the frame and then cut the board combo to fit inside of my canvas.

  • I used craft glue and glued the combo to the canvas once I was sure it fit and placed some heavy books on it to let it dry.
  • Then I re-did all the nails, haha. Then start stringing! Tie a knot around one of the nails and just go. With the blue string, I didn’t have a pattern I was following on the body, but I did try to create a mast. With the white string, I was trying to make it look like sails, so I had a pre-planned pattern. Tie off the string when you’re done. Total, mine is made only from 3 strings (They’re just really long!) For instance, there is one continuous white string used and two blue.

This is in our bedroom, but I plan on keeping it as long as it lasts and making more! It wasn’t too difficult and I could make so many other patterns.

 

Also, the title of this post is from Blink 182’s song “Strings” – Check it out

And just for fun, this string quartet performed “What’s My Age Again” and it’s aaammmaaaazing, so you should listen to it

Chicken and Rice CATASTROPHE

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I MIGHT be freaking out a little right now….I decided to make chicken and rice casserole tonight, which I’ve never made, and so I found this recipe. It looks amazing and I’m sure it was delicious because just look at those ingredients.

ANYWAYS, so I didn’t have cream of celery because I didn’t even know that existed, so I just chopped up some celery and added a little bit more milk to make up for fluid amount, and OMG it’s all over-flowing. It was pretty high when I put it in the oven, but I was like eh whatever, but then I REMEMBERED THAT RICE EXPANDS. So I scooped some liquid out, but then all this butter came cascading down the oven door (hence the dirty window) and now it’s terrible.

Staaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhpppp grooooooooooooowwwwwwwwing!

I mean, chicken shrinks when it cooks, so maybe it will even out the growing monster in my oven right now? I can’t even deal right now. I am switching between wanting to cry and hysterical laughing. Welcome to my life.

UPDATE: It’s getting worse. I just took it out to check on it and put some cheese on it, and it is DANGEROUSLY close to completely pouring over the top. Fingers crossed people. And toes. And eyes.

UPDATE 2: It overflowed everywhere! I called my mom like every reasonable adult. She told me to put a cookie sheet underneath it and that is why she’s a mom. Still cooking

UPDATE 3: Omg it’s the most delicious thing ever. Worth it.

Blue Moon Chicken Tacos

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I had no clue what to make for dinner last night but knew I wanted to make chicken and I wanted to use my crock pot. I ended up using this recipe for Crockpot Cheddar Beer Chicken Tacos. The reason I chose this is because I have Blue Moon on hand and I know how tender and moist meat gets when you cook with beer. I altered it a little by adding chopped onion and salsa to the crock pot itself. I didn’t have cumin or chili powder on hand and so I was hoping the salsa would even it all out a little. I also added a little more beer and about half a cup of water to make sure there was enough fluid so the meat wouldn’t dry out. I only used two chicken breasts because the ones I have are about the size of 2 each, so I think I probably have the same amount of meat total that this lady used.  I threw my chicken breasts in frozen, knowing they’d take a little longer, and forgot about them!

When my boyfriend was on the way home, I asked him to pick up taco seasoning and I threw that in with the chicken for about 30 minutes, which turned out to be enough, but if you have it, put it in for the whole time.

These tacos were SO good! So easy too! I heard that Blue Moon is a little tricky to cook with because the beer is actually good (lol) and that using cheap beer is someitmes better, but we loved it! And we had leftovers, which is always a plus for a recipe. Make it!

Me:1, Eggplant: 0

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I had this eggplant and no idea what to do with it. It would stare at me when I opened my refrigerator and judge me. It basically yelled at me everyday to cook it, but I was scared. It’s a giant purple plant! I just didn’t know what to do with something that looks like it could have been a prop from the “Teletubbies.”
I still don’t know why I bought it. It’s not like I love eggplants. I was walking through the produce, saw eggplants, and said “I heard eggplants are healthy- I’ll buy one!” I thought I’d be all impressive and grown up and sophisticated for cooking an eggplant. I should have known it was going to be a problem when the highly efficient (even if not very friendly) Wal Mart cashier couldn’t figure out how to ring it up. Only people who shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Publix buy eggplants I guess. WRONG.
Ladies and gents, I have crossed a new threshold in life. I am now an adult. I can cook an eggplant. Granted, there were moments of insecurity. Moments when I didn’t know if I or that stupid eggplant would make it. But we did. I cooked the hell out of that eggplant and it was delicious!
I combined recipes that I found online and created a monster of cheesy, eggplanty goodness that I doubt I will ever be able to recreate. Introducing….Eggplant parmesan beef casserole. (I just made that name up). Here’s my recipe.
To make this masterpiece you need:
  • 1 bigass eggplant
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • Pasta
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mozerella cheese (optional, but I highly recommend it)
Steps:
  1. Show that eggplant who is boss. Peel that thing. Then, slice it.
  2.  I read online you’re supposed to salt the egglpant. So do that. I soaked the slices in salt water for like 30 minutes. Then, put them in a colander over a bowl and place another bowl on top of the slices. This is supposed to push the extra moisture out of the eggplant. I left it for an hour on accident because I got caught up in the new Taylor Swift CD and forgot about them. Do that if you want, it didn’t matter. That eggplant wasn’t going anywhere. (Sidenote: This is supposed to make the eggplant more tender, but I honestly think you could skip this step. I probably will next time.)
  3.  Ew, wash it off! That bowl had gross brown liquid in it. I know this is probably counter-productive to squeezing moisture out, but I rinsed the eggplant off a little and laid the slices on a paper towel covered plate.
  4. Get 3 bowls. Fill one with a cup of flour, dash of salt, dash of pepper, dash of garlic powder, and some parmesan cheese. Fill the next bowl with one cup of water and whisk one egg into this water to create an egg wash. The last bowl will just have bread crumbs/panko/whatever you have. I ended up using about 1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs in the end, but started with just 1 cup in the bowl.
  5. Start water boiling for pasta and begin browning ground beef.
  6. Dip the eggplant slices in the flour bowl mixture, then egg wash, and lastly coat with crumbs. Repeat until all slices are done.
  7. Once ground beef is browned, pour almost an entire jar (26-28 oz) of spaghetti sauce of your choice in with the meat. Reserve enough to cover the bottom of a 9 X 13 casserole dish. Allow the meat sauce to simmer, just warm enough to heat it all up without burning anything.
  8. Boil spaghetti noodles or noodles of choice. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you an amount. I boiled like a handful? I’m sorry, I don’t know. Anyway, I cooked mine completely through, but you could leave it al dente and allow them to cook in the casserole too. Just get them boiling and mostly done if not completely done.
  9. While noodles are boiling, heat up some olive oil in a pan. This will be used for frying the eggplant, so make sure it covers the bottom, but isn’t too deep. I added more as I went, so less is better in my opinion.
  10. Fry eggplant slices until both sides are golden colored. The eggplant will get very tender. Place on a paper towel covered  late to let them drain. Start preheating your oven to 350 degrees while frying so it’s ready to go when you’re done.
  11. Once everything is cooked, drain pasta and stir in a little olive oil so it doesn’t dry out and stick together.
  12. Pour the reserved sauce into the bottom of your casserole pan. Dump all the pasta on top of that. Pour the meat sauce mixture on top of the pasta. Then, place the fried eggplant slices on top of the meat sauce. Cover with shredded parmesan and mozzerella cheese and put in the oven for 20 minutes.
  13. Drink a lot of wine and pat yourself on the back. Call your mother. Tell her you cooked an eggplant. Call your significant other. Ask him/her to pick up more wine on their way home. You are now a responsible adult.
All joking aside, it was delicious but took FOREVER. When I made this it was raining really hard outside and this was a great comfort food. We had this as a one-dish meal and it was enough. I will definitely try to make this again. So go buy an eggplant (even at Wal Mart) and cook it!

Halloween: 4 Days later

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It feels like Halloween has lasted for like 3 weeks, which I kinda love.  My favorite part of Halloween is definitely costumes.
For my first costume this year, I was Joan Harris/Holloway from “Mad Men” and my boyfriend was Don Draper. We both loved the costumes because we were comfortable, warm, and looked nice without looking stupid. And it was obviously a costume still.  Although, I did have two people ask if I was dressed as a Republican – hahahahah.
Anyway, Joan (played by Christina Hendricks) is a hottie with a body. Seriously. The girl rocks like double Ds, a tiny waist, a big booty, and flaming red hair and lips. I have the red hair naturally, an average physique and red lipstick, so what the hell – let’s do this.
I went Goodwill hunting and scored big time. I found an AWESOME Draper suit, which actually turned out to be a really nice brand, so Kurt will now keep it forever. It also was his size exactly, which was grrrrreat. He wore that suit with a white button up and black tie and we put so much gel in his hair, that pushed back ‘do wouldn’t have even DREAMED of moving.
For me, I found a little black dress (with shoulder pads), that was Joan worthy. I also got an old red purse that looks like one she has on the show. I paired it with some black peep-toe satin pumps and pearl earrings I already had. I also bought a little elephant brooch because it was the only brooch left at the store and I needed one to be Joan.

This is why people thought I was republican. Hilarious.

Then, the pen necklace. This is where the DIY really came in. Joan wears this fabulous gold pen necklace. See it here.  I HAD to have this necklace. Besides her curves, it’s one of the main identifying factors of her character! I decided to make it, and I had ALL the supplies at home! I ended up taking a gold chain from a necklace I don’t wear very much anymore. Then, I found an old pen that didn’t have ink in it since I didn’t want it to get on me. This pen was silver (and from a past internship – holla Greenville CVB!) and it is definitely my fav pen of all time because it’s so cute and miniature. It was perfect. I painted it gold with acrylic paint and put it on the chain through the clip on the pen. Seriously, the easiest DIY ever and it looked awesome. Also, I can now re-use the chain without prying a pendant off! I read about another DIY if you want a more permanent solution here, but for a one-night costume, this was perfect.

This is in the stages of painting, but it really was that easy.

I did my own hair, which took me about 45 minutes. It was a beehive twist type thing that required a lot of teasing, hairspray, and bobby pins. (40 bobby pins to be exact. I counted.) I’m actually planning on wearing my hair like that again for an event. I loved it.
Then finally. it was actual Halloween! Originally I was going to be Ariel from “Little Mermaid” (really putting my red-headed assets to work this year), but it was FREEZING and I didn”t think I’d survive in a little dress. So due to inability to survive in temperatures under 65 degrees without a parka or something, I was Sandy from Grease. BAD DECISION. The costume was cute and easy enough (black skinny jeans, red heels, black top, black belt, red lipstick- all which I already had), but more than one person said “too soon” to me, which I didn’t understand at all until a friend of mine clued me in that they were referencing Hurricane Sandy. Oops? I felt bad for like 2 seconds and then didn’t anymore because I obviously wasn’t trying to dress up as a terrible natural disaster on PURPOSE.
Also, this is totally off topic, but I HATE when people diss girls for dressing scandalously on Halloween. DUDE. It’s HALLOWEEN.  While we were out, I passed a girl who was muttering under her breath about all the “skanks” this year. Girlfriend, these are your people. You should be glad that the girls have the common sense to dress like this only around Oct 31 and not every day of their lives! I will admit, some girls take it a little TOO far (possibly even myself in the past), but don’t hate on betches who can pull it off and look good! As Caty Heron said on Mean Girls: “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it” – HONOR THE CODE.
So I hope everyone had a great  Halloween! And to all the people in the northeast dealing with Sandy, we’re thinking about you! ( And I promise I didn’t dress up as THAT Sandy)