January 27, 2010

It's all good . . .

Good game. My boys pulled out a win over our rival (although unranked) Michigan Wolverines last night. The boys in green looked pretty good (Hellooooo Raymar). Just in case you're not keeping track, we're now 8-0, undefeated in the big ten!! Oh and ranked 5 in the country, no big deal. :) I love college basketball season.




Lucas celebrating the win, he made a shot with 3.5 seconds left to give us the lead.




Raymar Morgan, my favorite and the other star of the night. He had 20 points, only missing one of his shots all night!  








Images from www.msuspartans.com.









Good weekend. Enjoyed some bubbly with friends this weekend before heading out on the town. This is my favorite sparkling wine and it hails from Suttons Bay, MI. I visited the vineyard a few summers ago and I've been hooked ever since. The only wines they create at L. Mawby are sparkling! Bring on the bubbles. Pleasantly surprised to find they sell a variety of this at the Whole Foods in Chicago. Visit the vineyards website here.



Good food. Tried my first Pioneer Women recipe on Monday. Turned out pretty good, although I should have halfed it, I have enough enchiladas for a small army! I made this after work and then after grocery shopping for the ingredients, so I apparently lost my energy to take a nice shot of the enchiladas all served up with a dallop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro. Sigh. But, here they are a bakin' in the oven.

Words for Wednesday


From my kitchen :)

January 23, 2010

good morning sunshine

Have you ever had these? This has been one of my favorite breakfasts since I was a little kid, my Mom would make these as a special treat. Here's one of the reasons I like them so much, I mean look at that box! I love the retro styling and how it hasn't changed in years, if ever. But most if all, I love Jiffy because it is made right in Michigan, Chelsea to be exact.



Jiffy makes a lot of different mixes, but you have to get the Apple Cinnamon! The only store I have found right in the city that carries this is Treasure Island. Pretty easy to whip these pancakes up and oh, so delicious when they're ready!






January 22, 2010

damask

I will admit I have a crazy obsession with anything done in a damask pattern. I don't own much in the pattern besides a table runner, but I'm looking to add to my collection. Apparently I am not alone. I went to Esty, typed in "damask" and got over 12,000 items back. Here are a few I really liked!

Love these, my favorite black and pink!


What a cute idea. This lady has a really cute shop on etsy too, I saw some awesome reusable lunch bags I really wanted.

Alright, this is beyond adorable.

And last, this little gem. Would love a couple of these for my living room. That's the great thing about damask, you can use it everywhere! In your home, on your kids, on your invitations, at your wedding...it just doesn't stop. Shoot, I can use those gloves in my garden!

January 21, 2010

In the Kitchen: Stuffed Peppers


I tried a new recipe! I found this on All Recipes.com, I really love that site, I like how it shows you actual reviews of the recipe and people's comments, very helpful. I varied this recipe slightly and I would even recommend making a few more slight changes. Here's the original recipe. I cut the recipe in half, but went a little overboard on the veggies, so I ended up with extra of the mix. Below is the halved recipe, which makes 2 peppers.


What you'll need:
2 Green peppers to use for stuffing
1/2 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 small zucchini, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup fresh spinach
Half (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Salt and pepper to taste



Preperation:
Wrap both of the green peppers completely in foil, place in a baking dish and put them in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 15 minutes.


While those are heating up, begin to brown the ground turkey in a pan. This was definitely a healthy recipe with the turkey instead of beef, but I would strongly suggest heavily seasoning the turkey or even using a lean cut of ground beef. I felt my turkey could have had more seasoning. Once it is fully cooked, set aside.



Gather up all the veggies. Put olive oil in the pan and throw all the veggies in the skillet except for the spinach. Cook until tender. Season with the garlic, salt and pepper, italian seasonings and anything else you think sounds good!




Once the vegetables are done, add the turkey back to the skillet along with the spinach. Now mix in the tomatoes and the tomatoe paste. Side note, I bought the same brand tomatoe paste we always had in my house growing up, Cantadina. I was extremely disappointed when I read the ingrediants list (once home) and the second item listed was high fructose corn syrup. Are you kidding me?? I passed up the all natural Meijer brand because I thought cantadina was so special, will not be buying that again.

Now get the peppers ready for stuffing by coring them. I edge around the top with the knife and pull that section out by the stem, then shake out all the seeds. You'll end up with this:



Now, get stuffing those peppers! Once stuffed, bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 350. Immediately after removing from the oven, sprinkle on parmesan cheese. The nice thing about this recipe is it's a full meal, all stuffed in one little pepper.




January 20, 2010

Words for Wednesday



I seriously wish I owned every single card quotable cards makes. I could keep myself occupied for hours.

A little bit goes a long way

I have heard about this on a few different blogs and think its a great way to support relief efforts in Haiti. As a crafter, you can donate items to be sold on etsy, as a shopper (me!), you can support their efforts by purchasing something from the store! All proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders in Haiti. I have my eye on a little something, but I think I will use it as a gift, so I can't tell :)




You can visit the etsy store here.










One more place to donate that you may not have initially thought of, Catholic Relief Services. They are already on the ground in Haiti distributing food and supplies. I felt very comfortable giving to CRS, 93% of the money they spend goes directly to help the poor overseas. They also meet all 20 of the strict Charity Standards set by the Better Business Burea's charity rating arm, the Wise Giving Alliance. You can visit them here. 

January 13, 2010

Words for Wednesday

A little inspiration and motivation as I try to get back in shape, because I need to for my health -- and also for my upcoming trip to St. Thomas! Gym tonight. First time in awhile. I'll keep you updated on my progress...

Everything you need is already inside.

January 12, 2010

Gingerbread tradition

Every Christmas my sister and I make gingerbread houses with our little brother. We always joke about who our judges will be for the year and which one of us will win first place, although we never really officially judge! My sister captured the houses in the making, here they are. For more details on how to make the gingerbread, see my big sis' blog here.

  The Village in all it's glory


My Pink Palace





I thought my little brother's was so precious. Look at those little square windows! "Kris, can I make windows with hubba bubble like you?" Bless his little heart. He kept get frustrated and at one point said, "Well, I guess I won't be able to do a gingerbread house this year." But he managed a come back and I thought his turned out wonderful, definitely a win in the 8-year old category! (My sister made the snowman)



My sister, Ali's house, quite the comeback from last year...ahem.

In the Kitchen: Pasta w/pesto & olives

Tonight for dinner I made a simple pasta throwing together ingredients that I mostly keep stocked in my kitchen. You could vary this adding or deleting any ingredient. That's the nice thing about pasta, once you've got your patsa and sauce down, just about anything else will go! Another great thing about pasta, so easy! Especially when you come home from work (in the dark), exhausted and slightly unmotivated.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Pasta, I used Barilla Plus (love that stuff and no its not just becasue we do their advertising at my agency)
1 cup - Kalmata olives
2-4 Teaspoons - Pesto
1 - Bell Pepper, halved
1 cup - Parmesan cheese

Extra:
Crusty Bread
Olive Oil

Spinach for side dish



PREPERATION:
Begin to boil water for the pasta, while you wait for that to boil slice the bell pepper and place on a baking sheet or broiler pan. Turn the broiler on high and place peppers in for about 8 minutes, watching them carefully and removing when they are charred. When the peppers are done and look like the below, take them off the baking sheet with tongs and put them into a ziplock bag and seal. Set aside.



Meanwhile, begin heating a saute pan and add olive oil. Then toss in fresh spinach. Stir occassionally, should only take 4-5 minutes to fully cook.



Once pasta is al dente, remove and drain. I then returned to the original pan since I was going to serve my pasta hot. Then mix in pesto to taste, I used around two tablespoons, but for more pasta use more pesto. Then, slice olives and throw into pan, followed by a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Next, for a pure carb overload, slice up some nice crusty bread and sprinkle will olive oil and a bit of parmesan cheese, broil this on low until cheese begins to melt.




Now, remove the peppers from the bag and peel off the skin, then chop and throw in with pasta. Spinach and bread should be done now as well. And voila, you've got dinner! Grab a glass of wine and you're all set :)


January 7, 2010

Christmas Cactus

My little christmas cactus bloomed for the first time! And the name's not lying, they seem to bloom right around Christmas! This plant was an off-shoot from my Mom's big plant. It "summered" on my deck all summer and really loved it. I think that's what gave her the final push to bloom!

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