Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I scream .. You scream .. We all scream for homemade ice cream!

Alex and I purchased an ice cream maker this weekend and i was able to put it to use yesterday and today. I made chocolate covered strawberries with cream for me and chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough for his. They turned out wonderful! With both recipes i churned the ice cream in the machine for 30 minutes, poured it into a Tupperware container and then stirred in the add-ins.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Cream

2 cups fat free half and half
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons sugar (add more if you like it sweeter)

1/2 cup chocolate chips
10 strawberry's sliced and macerated in 2 tablespoons for sugar for 2 hours

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

2 cups fat free half and half
1 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup Hershey's chocolate syrup

for the cookie dough i simply halved my go-to recipe and did not add the eggs

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Potato Pancakes

These were so yummy. My family always eats potato pancakes with butter beans on top, weird i know but so good!

  • 3 large potatoes, peeled
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • vegetable oil
Finely grate potatoes. Drain any liquid. Add eggs, onion, flour, salt and baking powder. In a frying pan, add oil to the depth of 1/8 in.; heat over medium-high (375 degrees F). Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls in hot oil. Flatten to form patties. Fry until golden brown then turn and cook other side. Serve immediately.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Waffle Waffle Waffle

Alex and I recently purchased a waffle dipper maker over the internet for a steal ... only $20 ! Alex told me to make myself some waffles for breakfast today .. so that i could perfect them for this weekend when he and i have our weekend breakfast feast! So i put it to the test and they came out wonderful. I used a basic waffle recipe that i adapted from allrecipes.com

Soft and Fluffy Waffles
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.
  2. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot and enjoy!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Cinnamon and Sugar Crepes

Cinnamon and Sugar Crepes
adapted from allrecipes.com

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups fat free evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, melted butter, flour sugar and salt until smooth.
  2. In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  3. Heat a medium-sized skillet or crepe pan over medium heat. Grease pan with a small amount of butter or oil applied with a brush or paper towel. Using a serving spoon or small ladle, spoon about 3 tablespoons crepe batter into hot pan, tilting the pan so that bottom surface is evenly coated. Cook over medium heat, 1 to 2 minutes on a side, or until golden brown. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture and roll into a log. Serve immediately and Enjoy!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Beer in the rear chicken

Alex and i made our first beer can chicken last night .... and it was amazing!!!! I used Weber Grill dry rub on the outside and Sam Adams summer ale as our beer of choice.

Pasta, Heirloom Tomato and Chickpea salad with a Lemon Basil Dressing

I created this recipe in my head during the day and was so excited to make it for dinner last night. I was so sure that i moved the orzo pasta i had from PA to IN but was wrong ... i improvised and used the bucatini pasta that i had on hand but next time i will make sure i have orzo.

1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
7 basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper

6 cherry heirloom tomatoes
1/4 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup orzo pasta - cooked, drained
salt and pepper

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Newlyweds move to Indy

Well there we were married only nine days and picking up to move to Indiana ... over 600 miles from home. Saturday the 17th we packed and packed and packed the budget truck ... we slept at Alex house that night and headed out early in the morning, just around 8 am. We arrived at the apartment in State College around 10 .. ,just as it started to rain, to pack up the last of our belongings ... it was torture ... we ran back and forth from the apartment to the truck in the pouring rain ... with a pissed off cat trying to hind in, behind, or between anything she could shimmy her little body into. Finally soaked and sore we got back into the car/truck and set out for a seven hour drive .... through Ohio we hit 60 degrees and sunny then 44 (no lie) and horrible hail storms. We finally arrived in Indiana around 8 pm, 12 hours after we had left PA.

I tried to get Kinsey somewhat settled but she was having none of that. Alex went to the house to pick up his dad and uncle who had dropped the truck off, they then went to dinner at TGI Fridays and he finally got back to the room at 11:30 .... Kinsey in the mean time had found a hole in the wall under the sink and became obsessed with trying to hide in the wall ... for her own safety we put her in the bathroom (which was separate from the sink area) only to realize within seconds the door didn't latch and she pulled it right open ... so we strapped her in ... it honestly looked like we had caught an alien in the movie Signs and trapped it in the bathroom. We used Alex bag strap and hooked it around the handle and then pulled it tight and hooked it to the ironing board ... within minutes and the breaking of our hearts from her crying i decided to spend the night in the bathroom with her ... minutes seemed like hours ... my hips felt like they were going to break from the few moments of sleep i got in the tub... finally at 6 am i couldn't take it anymore, i needed a bed and i needed sleep. I stuffed the hole as tight as i could with bags and pillows, i hit the bed and thats the last thing i remember .. we woke at 8 only to not find kinsey anywhere ... crap! i started pulling out the pillows from the hole and out drops kinsey. I have no idea how she wedged between two pillows or why she didn't go further but thank god! We again strapped her in the bathroom, quickly went to the lobby to eat breakfast and were on our way to closing!

The closing went very well, we met Joe the owner (now old owner) of the house we bought, he was so nice and funny ... we all laughed the whole time during closing. Both the real estate agents commented on how alex and i for jayne and joe for karen had been amazing to work with and mentioned that they are not usually as fortunate to have such great clients :-) Around 11 we walked out, keys in hand and home owners!!!! We went back to the hotel picked up the family and kinsey and headed over to the house.

I was amazing, better than i remembered and everyone was floored and so proud! We put Kinsey in alexs closet, which is the size of a bathroom and has a window .. and we began the unloading ... within two hours the truck was empty! Amazing !! Alexs dad and uncle spent the night at the house and left the next day to fly back to PA. My parents came over around 10 my mom and i set up the kitchen and my dad and brother went to Ball State for the day. That night we all went to Weber Grill in downtown Indy and walked around for a bit. We came home and had a little birthday party for my dad. They left the next day at 8 am ... and Alex and I sat around and relaxed all day. The next few days consisted of organizing and shopping trips. I took my first solo shopping trip on Friday, and drove around the round about all by myself ... oh and i did it all GPS free!

So far Indy had been great, they weather is nice but breezy, and the neighborhood is quite. Kinsey is finally relaxed which is a great relief to alex and i , she is running around, sleeping on her house, and adventuring all over. Her favorite spot is the screened in porch she rolls on her back and just just loves life out there.

We still have touch up painting to do and pictures to hang but we are getting there. I really do like it here, i think once we are settled and make some friends we will have a great time but right now i am filled with so many emotions.

Alex and i were engaged for three and a half years .. i spend so long planning our wedding and thinking/dreaming about our day ... we found our we were moving to Indy in August so i spent 9 months planning our decor and thinking about the move and our new town, plus Alex, after six years in college graduated the Friday after the wedding ... then one two three it had all happened and there we were ... left thinking .. now what...?

I feel like i have planning withdrawal because it all happened so fast, may 10th was the wedding, 16th was alexs graduation and 19th we moved to Indiana ... phew... I just wish i knew what i do next ... i feel a but lost like everything i was looking forward to for so long had happened and now i am just living...

Wedded bliss was great .. i wish i could go back to Atlantic city when we were still on the wedding high ... It ended shortly after we got back when alex picked up the xbox controller ... now we are back to normal, he yells over xbox live, plays for hours on end without the slightest realization of the time lapes and i sit, usually on the internet, but its different now, its harder now, because he is the only one i have within 600 miles and he play and plays... wedded bliss was so much better or should i say no xbox on the mind was so much better.

But all in all i have nothing to complain about! I have an amazing husband with a great job, a wonderful family and in-laws, a great brother and sister, beautiful and funny 4 year old nephew, the cutest and funniest cat you'll meet, and an amazing house ... my life is pretty darn good!

My next task is trying to find a job ......


Hello from married world! So much has happened in so little time that my mind is still spinning. Here is the tale of our wedding ... and then some.

Friday, May 9th, it poured and poured all day .... in the morning Kerri and i went to The Beauty Shoppe to get manicures and pedicures, french on both. We had a great time that morning, there was two girls getting their hair done for prom, which was fitting for my day because Alex and I met by being set up for prom, who knows maybe in six years one of those girls will be marring their date.

We also saw Katie Savner who was a cheerleader at Crestwood too, it was exciting to tell someone that we were getting pampered for my wedding the next day! We also saw Alex's Aunt Becky getting her hair done. After we got our nails done we went for lunch at the sushi place, which of course, as always, was amazing. Then loosing track of my schedule i went with Kerri to get one of her acrylic nails fixed at Mountiantop Nails, there we saw another wedding guest, Denise getting all gussied up for the next day. My sister dropped me off at my car and i began to drive home thinking about the day ahead, suddenly i realized that Alex and I were suppose to pick up our room key for the Bischwind at 3 and it was now 3:05, CRAP! I called Alex in a panic, drove to his house and we made our way to Bear Creek in 30 minutes. We toured the Bed and Breakfast which was so amazing words could not describe it! If anyone is ever looking for a weekend get away, without putting miles on your car, go to the Bischwind in Bear Creek it will not disappoint!.
When I got home i got ready for the rehearsal ... and the nerves began to set in. I wore an amazing Liz Claiborne dress that i got on clearance during the winter at TJ Maxx (an $80 dress for $20 .. it was a steal), i also wore my new black sandals my mom bought me the day before which i LOVE! At 5:30 my Aunt Chris arrived just in time to jump in the car and head to the church with us. At the rehearsal Cristen gave me the an amazing memory book she made on shutterfly, with all pictures from when we met in kindergarten, it was a very special gift. Alex showed up a bit late because Joe didn't know what to wear and came late to Alexs house, i busted him that i thought he had changed his mind.

The rehearsal began and i was so nervous ... walking down that little aisle seemed like a mile uphill but we got through it and thankfully headed to dinner. The dinner was awesome, it was hosted by Alex's parents at the Stagecoach Inn, we had the surf and turf buffet, amazing!! We handed out our bridal party gifts, robes, personalized totes, handmade jewelry, and flip flops for the girls, a flyers jersey for jer, a dvd and gift cards for matt, and a gnc gift card for joe, the readers (my aunt and his) received beautiful lenox crystal bowls. Everyone had an great time and before we knew it it was time to go home. Alex had Jer, Jeff, and Heather over to play rock band, and i went home with my family. We gave my mom her mothers day present that night, an ipod which she was very excited about! Then with a little help from Nyquil i headed to bed for my last night as a single gal.

Wedding Day May 10, 2008

I awoke early, shocking i know, and went on the Internet to pass the time. I checked theknot to see if any of the other 5-10 girls had posted about it being our day ... around 7 my Aunt came up and we chatted for a little while. I then went downstairs and had tea and some breakfast with my mom, dad, and aunt and we all read the paper. My Aunt was surpised to see how calm we all were, it seemed like any other day .... oh yeah except for the fact that i was getting married in a few hours. At 8 i went to pick Ashely up at Edgewood where she was leaving her car, we got a peak inside and the room looked amazing!!! When we got back Ash had some breakfast and my sister came over, soon enough we were on our way to Sapphire in Pittston to get our hair done. GPS in tow we still managed to get lost.....we finally arrived just in time and were all sent to different parts of the salon. Luckily Ash and I were next to each other. I got my hair done like Jessica Simpson had for her wedding, simply curled and pulled half back, i had a single pearl stranded barrette that i wore, and decided at the last minute that i didn't want to wear the veil, i just didn't feel comfortable in it. My stylist commented that i was the calmest bride she had ever seen. And yes i was calm, on the outside, and i guess half of the inside, i couldn't eat that morning but other than that i was relatively calm. We then got out make up done and i loved the way mine came out! Soon we were on our way home, running 40 minutes late , oops.

We ran in the door and i ripped off my clothes and threw on my dress. Ready, Set, Smile ... it was picture time. We took the basic wedding pictures with the bridal party and my parents and were on our way to the church. The limo ride was a blur, my nerves had set in and i was freezing, a combination that turned my arms blue ... no joke i turned blue ... outside the church stood a few guest and i was bound and determined not to let anyone see me before the ceremony. I don't know why i became so demanding that no one see me, i think it was because i was so nervous. We made it into the pre-ceremony room aka a day care room and within 5 minutes the photographer came in and said i needed to go back outside to get a picture coming out of the limo. At this point i didn't care what pictures i had or didn't have i just wanted to sit and breathe so i didn't pass out, but being passive as i am a headed out for the picture. After coming back into the "waiting room" Pastor Bob came in with the news that the florist had brought two roses for the rose ceremony thinger that alex and i decided not to do .... i have no idea why the roses came but they were there and without a choice in the matter i was made aware that we were going to hand them to our mothers during the end of the ceremony. So against my will i said fine .... i didn't want to walk around during the ceremony i only wanted to stand up there with alex and do our thing ... but hey whose wedding was this anyway ... The girls and i waited in the room about 10 minutes before the ceremony ... those 10 minutes felt like 10 hours, i sat in the corner on a wooden rocking chair just waiting for our cue. And then it was time.

The music started and the girls because to walk down the aisle, holy crap this is really my wedding day... after a three and a half year engagement we were finally getting married. And then it was my turn, i saw two faces during my walk down the aisle my grandmother lil and karen kutz a long time friend of my dads from work, that was it. I felt warm and the air was thick, i saw Alex and things got better, we locked eyes and i smiled the whole way down thinking "this is it!". Alex got a bit teary eyed during that walk down the aisle and that was all that i had wanted! From day one of planning i had hoped it would be such a special moment that when he see me he get chocked up...and it happened. Pastor Bob asked 'who presents this women to be married to this man' and my father replied "her mother and I" and handed me off, the second i grasped the hand of my soon to be husband it was like no one was there but he and i.

The ceremony was a blur and we went through the motions .... but it was unlike any other ceremony i had ever witnesses, yes i am partial but there was something different about our ceremony. It was so special and emotional, not in the crying sense but in the spiritual and soul mate sense. I loved the fact that we included everyone at the church in our ceremony with the response from the friends and family. For months i had been so nervous about saying our vows in front of all those people but it was by far the most special moment of my life thus far, eventually that will be taken over by the birth of our children but for now that was it, the heart felt connection i felt at that moment brings tears to my eyes as i type this thinking about it. My favorite part of the ceremony was our ring exchange "..i give you this ring as a sign of my vow and with all that i am and all that i have i honor you.." it was beautiful. And then those words i had been waiting so long to finally hear filled my ears .. "I now pronounce you husband and wife" .... Alex was my husband ...... the joy i felt in that moment i could never put into words. We lite the unity candle and handed out the peace roses (my heal got stuck under my dress during all the walking (see i knew there was a reason i just wanted to stand up there and do our thing).. and were introduced at Mr and Mrs Alexander John Pawlowski Jr.... i was a Mrs ... we walked out to The Beatles "All you need is love"!! I funny note about our ceramony is that from our inital meeting with Pastor Bob he said "if nothing goes wrong no one will ever remember your ceremony" ... obviously saying this to make us feel better about something going wrong .. never did we expect that thing that went astray to be the Pastors cell phone going off ... he quickly went to turn it off but could not find it in his robe ... it was really funny and i was relived that was our thing to remember.

We headed out the back door and did our receiving line as the guests left. After the receiving line we headed back into the church for bridal party and family pictures. One by one family and the bridal party took off for the reception and Alex and I were left alone to do some bride/groom pictures. When we were done we headed to the limo, popped open a bottle of Verdi, which even Alex had a glass of, and toasted to our lives together. We arrived at Edgewood and took more pictures outside, then headed in to join our guest for cocktail hour. The appetizer table turned out great, my mom and i worked hard with Allen to make our vison come to life and he did it! Next was the introduction of the bridal party, they walked into 'Detroit Rock City' by Kiss and Alex and I to George Harrisons 'Got My Mind Set On You' we then had the best man speech by Jer which was funny and heartfelt at the same time, it was perfect. Alex and i then cut the cake to "When i'm 64" by The Beatles. We chose to cut the cake before dinner so that it would be served right after dinner before people started dancing and never came back to their seats to eat it.

Dinner was great we had a choice of beef tenderloin, chicken franchise, or flounder almondine served with twice baked potatoes, and butter pasta with broccoli. The lead server commented to us that she had worked every weekend here and done many weddings but never saw a combination and set up like ours ... she gave up major props and made me feel really good about how perfect the reception came out. Our favors were a candy bar which was a hit with the guest and staff alike, it was perfect, my moms turned our better than the Martha Stewart one we had taken our inspiration from.
After dinner Alex and I danced our first dance to "love of my life" by jim brickman, alex at this point had run to the bathroom and missed the initial introduction of he and i .... my brother darted to get him and my groom met me on the dance floor .. we laughed the whole dance because that was so us. The next dance was the father/daughter and mother/son. My dad had no clue which song we would dance to and when it started to play he was floored. My mom helped me pick out the song weeks before i knew it would be perfect but i never thought it would touch him as much as it did. My mother who rarely cries .. cried the entire song ... and my dad was more than teary eyes as well ... oh i guess i should mention the song was "tender years' by eddie and the cruisers. When i was a baby my dad wore the record out rocking me to this song. Then the real party started.

Thanks to a few white russians i was dancing the rest of the night, even if it was by myself i didn't care it was my day and i was living it up! During the planning process i did not and i mean did not want to do the dollar dance .. yuck but was peer pressured into it by everyone ... Alex told me that all the money i got i could use to buy whatever i wanted ... so it was then coined the kitchen aid mixer dance. I am so glad that i ended up doing the dance, not for the money, but because it was so much fun!

The rest of the night when way to fast and i wish it would have lasted hours longer but soon enough it was time for the last dance which was "God only Knows' by the Beach Boys .... After the last guest had left and all our belongings had been gathered we headed out .. only to find the car toilet papered, thanks boys.
We headed over to my house to get changed and then to Alexs. Then he and i headed down to bear creek with a pit stop at mcdonals for chicken nuggets. That night we sat on the floor and counted money all night ... gosh are we luck to have such generous people in our lives. Relief came over us when we realized we had enough for our closing on the house!!! And that was it .. the day was over and our new lives had begun.

Then next day we had an amazing breakfast, honeydew, omelet, sausage, bacon, hot croissants, hash browns, and strawberry shortcake ... once again that is the Bischwind ... call .. make reservations it is amazing!

We then headed to Atlantic City. Alexs Aunt made us a cute welcome basket for our room with treats and a cute card welcoming me to the family.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fish Tacos

I have never had fish tacos before but have always been intrigued by them. Tonight Alex and my brother when to a concert so i had the liberty to make a dinner that Alex would never in a million year try .. so i decided to make fish tacos. I looked up a few basic recipes and decided to just wing it with what i liked and they came out amazing!!!!!!!!

1 fillet white fish
taco seasoning

mix 1/4 cup of flour with 1 tablespoon taco seasoning, pan fry the fillet until done.

I topped mine on a flour tortilla with black beans, guacamole (mixed with a little salsa), fresh tomatoes, and colby jack cheese.

Creamy Coconut Fruit Dip

I love the flavor of coconut but do not care for the chewy texture of the meat. When i saw this recipe i knew i had to try it! I had the chance to make it this past weekend when friends visited and it was amazing, it will be perfect for the upcoming warm months!!

8 oz cream cheese , softened -- i used the 1/3 less fat
15 oz cream of coconut (stir well)
12 oz whipped topping -- i used the fat free sugar free
1 t vanilla

In a large bowl combine cream cheese and cream of coconut, whisk together, fold in whipped topping and vanilla. Cover and chill several hour. Serve with fruit or graham crackers.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Rolo Turtles

I made these over Christmas time but did not find the time until now to post. They are so easy and amazing!!

RoLo Tutles

Pretzels (i used butter crisp checker pretzels)
Rolo candy

Preheat oven to 350. Place rolo on top of pretzel and place in over for 3 minutes, take out and squish a nut into the middle.

Chocolate Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

The superbowl was this past Sunday and even though i was rooting for a Pats victory .. i was happy because Eli made Payton happy and that in turn makes me happy (Colt fan). I have tried making so many different recipes for chocolate cake/cupcakes from scratch and have yet to find one as light an airy as the boxed (which i hang my head in shame to say i prefer). So i used a box .. again.. i put a half on an oreo on the bottom before filling with batter.

Banana Crumb Muffins

Every Friday we have about 15 RIPE bananas that the staff can take home because they will be to ripe to give the subjects the next week. So last Friday i took four home with me. I spent all weekend searching for the perfect banana recipe and decided on Sunday to try a Banana Crumb Muffin from allrecipes.com. They turned out wonderful. Alex even text messaged me Monday " morning while i was at work saying "Your muffins rock" which was so exciting because i did not even think he would have tried a ...banana.... muffin.

Banana Crumb Muffins
allrecipes.com (with a few changes)

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 canola oil

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
  2. 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.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chicken and Dumplings

1 T butter
1 T flour
1/4 onion (i have a picky hubby)
1 clove garlic
1 box chicken stock
2 chicken breasts - cooked
1 carrot
1/2 cup peas

3/4 c flour
1/2 T baking powder
1/4 cup + 2 T half and half
pinch of salt
1 T butter

Melt butter and add flour - cook for a minute then whisk in chicken stock.

Dumplings: melt butter into half and half (i did it in the microwave) stir into flour, salt, baking powder. Gently kneed into a ball. Form into small balls.

Add chicken, carrots, and dumplings and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add peas and serve.

Cream of Chicken and Wild Brown Rice Soup

2 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk or cream (i used a mix of 1% milk and fat free half and half)
1 chicken breast
1/3 cup wild brown rice
1 T butter
1T flour
salt and pepper

Cook chicken ... you can roast it, poach it, what ever you like.
Melt butter in a soup pot, add flour and cook for a minute or so. Whisk in chicken stock. Bring to a bubble and add brown rice, simmer until rice is tender. Add chicken, cream, and season as desired.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Little Chef

Ratatouille is one of my favorite movies; a Disney movie, plus a cute little rat .. who happends to be a foodie ... how can you not love it!

So without further ado let me introduce to you my very own little chef, she is there with me whenever i fix dinner or bake, and always the first in line for the first taste (when applicable of course). This is Kinsey my little fluffernutter sammie. She is a two and a half year old Maine Coon she is the love of my life and such a joy to be around. She has the personality of a dog, she runs to the door to greet you and rolls on her back in the middle of the floor whenever we have guests, she loves being the center of attention, and is spoiled to an extreme with a hand built cat house and two huge crate and barrel boxes that we made into the ultimate fort.

Department Store Cookies ... huh?

I have been wanting to make Neiman Marcus Cookies for months now and finally got a chance to make them this evening. I didn't have any chocolate chips and it was below 0 outside so i settled for adding Valentines Day colored M&M's which look super cute! If you have yet to make these cookies i highly recommend making them .... right now!

Neiman Marcus Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter (soft)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup ground oatmeal (measure out then grind into a fine powder)
6 oz chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 t salt
5 oz grated chocolate bar
1 egg
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t vanilla

Cream butter and sugars together. Add egg and vanilla. Mix together dry ingredients and add into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate. Roll into teaspoon size balls and place an inch apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.


Friday afternoon Alex joined me in bed while watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay - Jambalaya. At the end of the show he says "oooh that looks good , what's in it?" i said "just rice and meat" and he said "oh i'd eat that" internally i say "woohoo finally another food i can try that you will actually eat". So Saturday night i made this version of Jambalaya for us and he loved it!

1 T olive oil
3 oz ham steak cut into cubes
3 oz kielbasa cut into cubes
1 glove garlic
1/8 t chili powder
1/8 t red pepper flakes
1/8 t black pepper
1/8 t salt
1/8 t onion powder
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 c uncooked jasmine rice
1 t Worcestershire sauce

Heat oil, add meat and brown (heat through), add garlic and seasonings and saute for about 1 minute. Add rice and stir. Add stock, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Add Worcestershire sauce and serve.

Ziti for my Sweetie

My hubs absolutely loves food sweet, chili, ziti, spaghetti .. you name it i have to add splenda to the sauce ... weird i know but if he enjoys it i am happy. Here is my recipe for ziti which has become his new favorite food, i swear he could eat it everyday.

1/2 lb pasta cooked
1/2 lb ground sweet sausage (i use the tube of Jimmy Dean)
1 (26 oz) jar marinara sauce (plus 6 spenda packets)
3 oz provolone cheese

3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t Italian seasoning

3 oz mozzarella cheese
1 T Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta. Brown meat then add sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.
Mix the sour cream with the garlic powder and Italian seasoning, (i am so add a half pack of splenda).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
After simmering add the cooked pasta to the sauce. Layer in a greased (spray with Pam) baking dish: 1/3 pasta/sauce - layer of sliced provolone - sour cream - 1/3 pasta/sauce - mozzarella cheese - 1/3 pasta/sauce - Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.