Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Night's Dinner

Today we ventured back to the local farmer's market for the first time since June.  We like that we can support local vendors, and typically find most of the items to be fresher and cheaper.  Since we have a few rolls in the freezer, we purchased some yummy ground beef and planned on grilling up some burgers tonight.  We also picked up some Asian pears that I can't wait to try, some spinach and other veggies and fruit for the week ahead.

Then the Hubs saw the fresh bread stand.  The bread these people make and sell is out of this world.  Like seriously, whoa.  It's that good.  We picked up a huge Focaccia roll that was covered with tomato slices and cheese.  Let's just say dinner plans changed drastically.

The Hubs gets points for suggesting this one.  I cooked up some of the hamburger meat that we purchased, sliced the Focaccia bread down the middle and sliced little pouches in to stuff the meat into.  Then I thew them in the oven for about 10 mintues and wha-bam!  We had ourselves a yumm-tastic dinner that didn't take longer than 20 minutes and was less than $10 to make.

Here are some pics of what I did...In order, because Picassa collages knew exactly how I wanted to order my photos tonight.

Full list of ingredients:
  • 1 loaf fresh focaccia bread
  • 3/4 lb. ground beef
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper
  • Italian Seasoning

Seriously, it's that easy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What I've Been Working On...

Yo-yo's...lots and lots of yo-yo's.  No, not the toys that you do fun tricks with, but little circles of fabric goodness that look adorable pinned onto sweaters, jackets and purses, headbands and even baby headbands and hair clips.

They'll be appearing on my Etsy shop in a few weeks, along with some other things I've been working on.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Same Old Cookie, Yummier Twist

Yesterday I felt the insane need to bake something.  I looked in our pantry and saw a big bag of Craisins that I knew I could do something with.  So I thought...hmm, muffins?  Nah.  Too messy.  

And then it hit me.  Oatmeal craisin cookies.  I'm not a fan of raisins at all so this seemed to be an acceptable substitution.

Just use your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe and instead of adding raisins put in the craisins.  It's really easy and is a great cookie for upcoming fall picnics and even a new alternative to Christmas cookies (I will definitely be making a batch or two of these for friends).  Not to mention your place will smell so yummy after your cookies will done.

That's my favorite part of baking.  Enjoy.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Super Sunday

This morning I woke up around 10 am to cloudy skies and rain.  Though I knew I had a few things to do I was hoping I would find some motivation to get things done.  The more I got done the sunnier it got.  Now it's a beautiful day and my house is pretty much spotless.  Here's what I did (not to brag..haha):

  • Cleaned the bathroom, kitchen, dining room and living room
  • Packed up all of Belly Boo's bottles and bottle warmer that we haven't used in over a month
  • Cleaned out some things from Belly Boo's dresser :-(
  • Folded and put away mounds of laundry
  • Dishes
  • Dusting
  • Special cleaning treatment for the hardwood floors in the living room, dining room and entry hall
I feel so accomplished.  

Sunday's aren't always lazy days.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Cooking Adventure: Tomato Sauce

A few weeks ago we were given quite a good amount of tomatoes.  I love them but couldn't eat them as fast as they were given to us, so I decided that it would be a good time to try making my own homemade tomato sauce.  I would call it a success.

Here's what I used:
10 tomatoes (4 plum tomatoes, 6 vine ripe)
1 medium white union, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, sliced thin and chopped
1 small can of tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine (I used a Shiraz) *you don't have to add the red wine, it just adds an extra touch of yummm to the sauce
1-2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. Oregano
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Here's what I did:
I started by blanching my tomatoes in boiling water and placing them in an ice bath.  Blanching the tomatoes made the skins so much easier to peel off and also cooks them just a bit.  While the tomatoes were cooling off in the ice bath, I finely chopped my onion and placed them into a deep pot with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Let the onions cook until they are translucent and tender.  Next, I cut the tomatoes into quarters and de-seeded them.  Then I chopped the remaining tomato pieces into smaller cubes and placed them into a blender.  Using a strainer, I ran the remaining juice from the seed bowl into the blender to add some liquid before pureeing the tomatoes.

After the tomatoes were pureed, I added the garlic to the onions and let that cook for a few minutes.  Then I added puree mixture, red wine and tomato paste.  After everything was mixed well together I added the oregano and Italian seasoning in and let the mixture simmer for about an hour.

A picture of the end result.

I made Ziti and hand-breaded Chicken Parmesan to go with our freshly cooked homemade sauce.  Yummy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Weekend

This past weekend Belly Boo and I traveled back to good ole Berks County while the Hubs was at drill doing his thing for the weekend.  It was the first time that I was home since the beach in June, so it was nice to be back.

On Saturday morning my aunt came to visit.  I always love getting to spend time with her, she is totally awesome and someone that I really look up to.  She's got great taste!  Later that afternoon we picked up my brother from work and went shopping.  We got two pairs of shoes for Belly Boo.  She hates wearing's a disaster.  Things have gotten better with them though, and she wore them for almost two hours today.  We stopped in for a quick visit at my Nana and Pop-pop's house where I took so pretty photos of her flowers.  I hope that I can be half the green thumb that she is one day.

Sunday was a major baking spree.  I made 3 chocolate cakes with peanut butter icing, all from scratch.  I substituted Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder for the regular cocoa powder and it was so much better.  Yum.  Then later that night we met up with my friend Meg from high school for some drinks.  Please note: Not a fan of the Washington apple shot.  

Monday morning we packed up and made our way to Maryland to spend the day with the Hub's side of the family.  I drove from Lancaster to our final destination which was so much fun and learned how to drive "manual" on the Passat.  So much fun.  

Pictures from the weekend!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oh My Gosh I LOVE This Show

Direct quote from the Hubs after we've watched  about 20 episodes of Grey's Anatomy on DVD.

He always told me he was never a fan of the show, because he picked the episode from season two that has to do with the ferry boat accident.

You know the one where Meredith tries to drown herself.  Real uplifting depressing episode.  Haha

Anyways........I started watching season one and a few episodes in the Hubs gets all perky and interested.  Now he's addicted.  After every episode he gets all excited and says, "Oh my gosh I LOVE this show," over and over again.  He asks me a bunch of questions that I already know the answer to but won't tell him.  Then he asks if we can watch another episode.  He's like a kid in a candy store.

But now we'll be starting episode 16 of season two, which is the one he watched a few years ago.  Maybe now it'll all make sense to him.

Edit:  Whoops, my bad.  The episode I thought we were going to watch is season three, episode 16.  We're watching the bomb episode. Equally as depressing as watching her try and drown herself.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

During summer 2008 I was visiting the hubs (then simply the boyfriend) in Philadelphia for a weekend of fun.

I have a thing for book stores.  I tend to seek them out where ever I go.  Not the giant chain bookstores but the ones with stacks of books everywhere you look, second hand and old kinda book store.  While on our walk we found one, and I drug the hubs inside to see if I could find anything that just needed to be in my collection.

I looked up and there it was, a beautiful old copy of Gone With the Wind.  For only $5.00.  That's it.  Five stinkin' dollars.  I wish I knew how old the copy is exactly.  The pages are so thin and delicate and it just has that wonderful old book smell.  For me, it was 689 pages of amazing writing, so much so that I felt like I was right there at the wonderful parties on the plantations or on Peach Street in Atlanta during the thick of the Civil War.

I couldn't put it down that summer.  It went with me work, to the beach, the pool, shopping.  It went anywhere that I thought I might have just a minute of downtime to read a few pages.

I remember finally finishing the book and being so distraught at the ending.  It wasn't happy and perfect I wanted it to be.  It was real.  It was harsh.  It proved that life isn't a fairytale.  Horrible things happen, people aren't always meant to be together and sometimes things just aren't going to work out for the better no matter how hard you try.

Life isn't all about the d├ębutante ball.  It's real.  Sometimes it's perfect and picturesque, but most of the time it's gritty, stressful and ugly.  And it's crazy how I had to read through the entire book thinking I was escaping my stressful and gritty life to figure out that I was just placing myself in Scarlett's shoes and becoming her.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

1st Birthday....

On Saturday our little Belly Boo had her first birthday!  It's really hard for me to believe that she is a year old already, and it's crazy to look back and see how much she has changed in the past year.  She's gone from lots of eating, sleeping and pooping to eating a lot more, almost walking and though she still sleeps, it's not as much as before.

Her party was a blast, though she wasn't feeling her smash cake too much...she was hardly messy!  Anyways, here is my favorite picture from the day!

Mmm, get the cake in my belly!