Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Menu 11/2

Tuesday: Quiche, More Than a Cook Book. I love Quiche. But I suck at making it. I didn't think to chop up the filling really small, and it turned out watery. Oh well, maybe I can try again some other time.

Wednesday: Tuscan Soup, Taste of Home. This was great, spinach, tomato, butter beans :)

Thursday: Rice Dinner

Friday: Chicken Pieces w/ Lemon and Rosemary. This was one of the only good recipes from the user's manual of our crock pot.

Saturday: Chicken nuggets, No More Than 5 ingredients. This is my favorite chicken nuggets recipe, because it mixes Parmesan cheese into the breading :)

Sunday: Tomato Bisque: from Rumford's Complete Cook Book. It was fun to make a soup from tomatoes :) I really enjoy cooking things from scratch that I thought had to be started out of a can!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Italian Spices Bread

I love making bread :) And since every recipe makes two loaves, I've been able to give away one of them when I made bread :) It's a lot of fun. This time, we're taking the second loaf to Mr. Nicholas' Mama :)


Aren't they beautiful? This one is Italian spices! I even used whole wheat flour :) So much fun.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Menu 10/26

Tuesday: Taco Beef Skillet Dinner: More Than a Cook Book. This recipe was funny-- it was exactly like hamburger helper, except we made it from scratch instead of out of a box :)

Wednesday: Baked Omelet Roll., Taste of Home. This recipe was terrible, I'm sorry. It was supposed to be a baked egg dinner with cheese rolled into it. It was super bland. Super super super bland.

Thursday: Chicken w/ Raspberry Balsamic Reduction. I don't remember where this came from, and it's a good thing. It was awful.

Friday: Leftovers

Monday: Manicotti. This was our special celebration dinner-- while we were writing this menu, I got an offer for my dream job :) So we made Manicotti to celebrate how amazing things can be sometimes :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pecan and Oat Bread

I forgot to take a picture before we ate it all. So here's the last slice.

It's this same recipe I've used before, but with rolled oats and crumbled pecans.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Menu, 10/18

Happy day after Thanksgiving! I hope you're not too food-ed out, because here's the menu we made way back in October for your reading enjoyment:

Monday: Chinese food. No, I did not make Chinese, we just had leftovers in the fridge from going out one night. I have never successfully made Chinese food, just so you know. Some day I might give it a try.

Tuesday: Roasted Chicken and Veggies: More Than a Cook Book.

Wednesday: Italian Meatball sandwiches, No More Than 5 Ingredients. This is that one time where we made our own meatballs. It was so much fun :)

Thursday: Ravioli Soup from Taste of Home. I really do love my Taste of Home cookbook. It has some pretty amazing things in it.This soup actually started with store bought ravioli, and then added a tomato sauce and some yummy Parmesan on top :)

Friday: Apricot Glazed Chicken. This recipe came out of the user's manual for our crock pot. I should learn to stop using these recipes, because they never come out very good.

Saturday: Macaroni and Cheese. I made this the way my Daddy used to make it for me and my brother whenever my Mom was at school late. Every time she was gone, he would make us macaroni and cheese with peas for dinner :) Makes me smile to think about it!

Sunday: Meatloaf. We didn't really have a recipe for this one, except for a general idea of what goes into a meat loaf. So we added some bell pepper and spices and tomato-ness and baked it and it turned out pretty good, if under cooked. So we ate the cooked ends while it baked some more. And then I forgot about it and burned it to a crisp in the oven. Fun times, fun times.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Thanksgiving! Here's some chocolate chip cookies that I made using a bar of dark chocolate that have literally nothing to do with Thanksgiving :)

I also used whole wheat flour instead of white...and I love how these turned out. They were a lot less sweet than usual cookies, and I think I could probably have eaten the whole tray without feeling gross. But I still would have felt a little bit guilty...

Oh, and I only added 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla. Not for any reason, really. I just ran out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Menu, 10/13

I forgot to post the last, like, bajillion menus. I'm terrible, I know. So I'll try to spread them out over a few days so you're not inundated with how awesome my meal planning skills are :D

Monday: Pasta with tomato sauce. This meal was particularly  awesome because I made my own pasta sauce from scratch. Using tomatoes. Yeah, I'm that cool sometimes.

Tuesday: Baked ham, from More Than a Cook Book. This was kind of fun, because I had never made a ham before, but it was pretty simple. I just covered it in honey and threw it in the oven. Ta-da, honey baked ham. (It was pre-cooked, so there was honestly no skill involved).

Wednesday: Leftovers. :)

Thursday: Sausage Pecan Stuffing from Taste of Home. Honey-baked ham on Tuesday, stuffing on Thursday. It's almost like I was celebrating Thanksgiving in October. I loved this recipe because I got to use pecans given to us by Mr. Nicholas' Mom :)

Friday: Rice dinner

Saturday: Artichoke Chicken. No More Than 5 Ingredients. We took all the ingredients for this meal to my Mom's house to cook. It turned out being really fun to come into her home at 6pm and take over her kitchen to make her, her husband, and my brother a dinner from scratch by 7 :) I highly recommend taking over people's kitchens!

Sunday: Focaccia. We did rosmary, olive oil, and olives :) Delicious!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cat Treats

So me and Mr. Nicholas have a new family member :) (no, not a baby, silly)

Her name is Lady Grey, and my goodness what a sweetheart she is. She loves catnip and she loves to scratch and she loves to lay on my back while I sleep. Silly girl.

And recently I found a bunch of cool recipes for pets, so I decided to try one (the "Kitty Treats" with bullion). They ended up looking like this:


And, as it turns out, my cat could not care less. Yup. And I made a double batch, too. Fun.

So I'm taking half to Mr. Nicholas' Mom, who has two cats (and maybe they'll like them?) and the other half to my Mom's, who also has two cats. I'm thinking about trying another recipe, but I need to go buy some tuna. Or sardines. Or canned salmon. So Miss Lady will have to wait until we go grocery shopping.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fried Apple Pies

I went to my Mom's house weekend before last to visit Yosemite (which is beautiful in the fall, take a look:

...I love it when evergreens and fall colors are right next to each other :) )

So anywho, one of the things that almost always happens when I go to visit my Mom is we cook something. I mean, it's hard to avoid cooking when you have to eat three meals a day, but we make a point to cook something special, somehow (am I making much sense?).

And this time, I had been looking through my Taste of Home magazine and saw these amazing apple desserts, including stuffed apples, apple sauce, apple pie...and texted my Mom that we should make something apple. (Yes, my Mom texts. Is your mom that cool?)

And it turns out that she was in the mood for fried pies. So we made fried apple pies :) We cored and sliced some apples and cooked them down with some spices and added in a rue to make it thick...and then we wrapped them in egg flour wraps (like what you use for egg rolls) and fried them in a hot skillet :)


They smelled so delicious and fall-like, and they tasted pretty wonderful :) It's like a rule-- I have to cook something when I go to see my Mommy :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cinnamon Chips

I love these things :) They're super simple, just egg roll wraps fried plain and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, but they're completely delicious :)

They're being served with an apple pie glaze-- I'll tell you about that later :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Potato Bread

I really wanted to make potato bread. I was out of my other homemade loaves, and we were cooking baked potatoes that day for dinner, and potato bread just sounded like a lot of fun. So I looked up some recipes, and found that most of them call for dry potato flakes. Which I find very sad. So I searched a little harder and finally came up with one that uses a real potato.


Aren't they beautiful?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Trunk or Treat

So our Halloween celebration was to go to my Mom's church's Trunk or Treating party, and it was a blast :) Remember our Fortune Teller? Here she is all set up:


The chandelier lit up, and there were lights and sound effects and it was great :) We had a lot of fun!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pumpkin Seeds

So everyone knows how to bake pumpkin seeds, right? We soaked ours for awhile in salt water, and then spread them out on cookie sheets and sprinkled them in seasoning salt. Then we baked them until they popped.

But the cool thing is, since we had several types of pumpkins, we also had several types of seeds, which had completely distinctive flavors! I highly recommend trying this, it's pretty cool :) So here's our three types:


The pale ones still tasted the best, but it was still cool to try the two darker types. And I've been told that the seeds will taste different according to how old the pumpkin is, too. Very interesting...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I love Jack-o-Lanterns. For the last several years I've done scenes or pictures (a cat on a fence, a fireplace, an owl) and so this year I wanted to do something a little more abstract. I picked the prettiest of the pumpkins with some great coloring, and I gave my pumpkin stripes and polka dots :)


It looks a little more like a fall home decoration than a jack-o-lantern, huh? So of course it didn't win the competition. You know who did?


My silly brother. He won the Gingerbread House competition last year, too! Not fair :(

When he and I were kids, we always used toothpicks to give our Jack-o-Lanterns extra features like noses and ears, and my step dad even did that for his this year (pinning the broken stem in place for the nose-- it was perfect). This year most of us didn't know what we were going to do till we saw our pumpkins, and that's one of the most fun ways to do it. And even little little kids can have fun with the pumpkin goop and baking pumpkin seeds. And I've seen some super cute variations with little pumpkins decorated with paper features!

Go Crazy :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Cups

This was actually my Mom's idea, but it was such a good idea I had to share! We used this recipe to make peanut butter filling, and then coated candy melt molds with a layer of chocolate...added a dab of the filling, and then put a layer of chocolate over the peanut butter. After a brief stay in the freezer, we had...


Peanut Butter Cups :) Aren't they great?? Some of them are even pumpkin shaped :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Halloween Cookies

So one of the days I was at my Mom's for Halloween, I came home to see Halloween cookies set out to decorate! At first I thought she bought Halloween cookie cutters just for that day, but it turns out that her grocery store was selling undecorated sugar cookies to take home and decorate, and I think it's brilliant. I mean, sure, home made sugar cookies are great, but who wants to store Halloween cookie cutters all year for one day? Christmas cookie cutters make more sense, because Christmas is a season (yes, yes it is. Proven by science.) but no one wants to decorate Halloween cookies on October 17th.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Jack Skellington

So of course, since I was Sally for Halloween, Nick had to be Jack Skellington!


Here, Mr. Nicholas is pinning tails to his tux jacket (we were lucky he already owned a tux from high school).

I added chalk stripes to his tux pants, and we took them in with safety pins so his legs would look longer.

And here's his bow tie-- we used a hanger for the main structure, a black cloth cut to shape and drawn on with chalk, and backed it with black paper so it would be stiff.

Here's the tie with his jacket (also with chalk lines) and a white tee. 

And here's Mr. Nicholas working on his mask, which is just a piece of jersey with ties on it.

I'll be sure to add pictures from the day of Halloween a little later so you can see us both together :)

Friday, November 5, 2010


We made our own meatballs the other day :)

1 packet of onion soup mix
1 pound of ground meat

mixed and rolled into balls...browned in a pan...pour sauce over the meatballs and boil until done :)

We served them on sandwiches, but they would also be yummy on pasta :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Want to see the one Halloween decoration I put up?

Yup, candy corn lights :)