Friday, February 25, 2011

{little birdie wreath}

Hello blog world!!

Happy Friday!! I hope you all are dong fantastic, because I have something pretty to show you--made by yours truly of course. I’ve been wanting to show this to you all for a while but haven’t gotten around to it...the whole being sick for almost 3 weeks has certainly put a damper on my blogging and crafting plans.

I made this wreath a couple of weekends ago. I was inspired by these yarn wreaths I’ve seen on etsy so decided to make my own. All you need is a straw wreath {it’s the cheapest kind you can get at a crafting store...I think mine cost no more than $3}, Yarn, felt, buttons, little bird for putting on wreaths, and a hot glue gun. The only things I need to buy was the wreath and the bird since I already have the other supplies on hand.

So I popped in a movie and got started. The first thing you need to do is wrap the wreath in the yarn. This took me the length of the movie to do. I just tired the yarn around and started wrapping, tucking the yarn ends under yarn as you wrapped to hide and secure it. Sometimes I needed to go over a place a few times to get it covered well. Then I made my felt flowers and hot glued them on with buttons in the middle and fixed the birdie in place. I later covered the whole wreath in a water proofing spray {like what you get for shoes, I got mine when I bought a pair of swayed boots once}. Then I hung it up on our front door. Super cute, and super easy--took about 1 and a half movies to complete, a lovely evening activity.

As I said earlier I’ve been sick for almost three weeks. It’s frustrating to say the least...on Tuesday I finally started to feel like I got back to my normal self after being sick for two weeks, then working DanceBlue Pancakes {blog post & pictures coming soon}, and no joke that very night I started getting sinus pressure and congestion and spent the next two days in bed. But with my sinus pressure easing and my energy coming back I’m so ready to be done with sickness!! I’m calling for a sick free March please!! But since the last two days I barely ate anything and what I didn’t was just whatever I could find that didn’t require any effort on my part you can guess that it wasn’t full of much substance. So I went a little crazy {sarcasm implied} tonight!! I went to Kroger, picked up a frozen pasta skillet meal and a little package containing two slices of cheesecake from the bakery. I know what you’re thinking, wild & a splurge--I just can’t help it. But it was YUMMY and it was soooo good to get really full on some really good food that didn’t require much from me. So here I sit, in my bed, eating cheesecake, drinking coffee, watching America’s Funniest Home Videos, and waiting till I need to go work midnight pancakes at CSF.

See you later cyber world--enjoy YOUR weekend!! :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

{valentine's day} 2011

Hello world!! So I’m about a week behind on this post, but it’s been an abnormal past two weeks with things going on at CSF and with being sick and such.

Well last weekend John and I got to celebrate our valentine’s day since he’s in NKY working and such and we weren’t gonna see each other on the actual day. Also neither of us have the ability to have a lavish sort of celebration so we came up with something to do from the heart. I tried to find a fitting meal for us to make and then he was willing to sit through a Jane Austen movie with me--finally!! I decided to make homemade spaghetti and meat balls! Lady and the Tramp anyone?!? And not only was he willing to watch Jane Austen he was willing to watch the 6 hour long Pride and Prejudice mini series one!! He must really like me or something.

It was so much fun cooking together and watching John enjoy Pride and Prejudice! He actually got excited in the end when Darcy and Elizabeth get together finally. Hopefully there will be a lot more Jane Austen in our future. :)

As a side note I actually ran into Kroger after work on actual Valentine’s day and it was a sight to see!! I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a store like that on V-Day before. It was quite the sight to see, mean of all ages rushing in and trying to find flowers and candy. It was a mad house. I even walked through the seasonal aisle with all the valentines candy and stuffed bears and such on my way to check out and was amazed. I saw this man, walk up with a shopping basket in his hands and just start grabbing bags of candy and throwing it in. I don’t even think he was looking at what he was doing because it was so swift and quick. Let it be known that girls don’t want flowers and candy for the sake of getting flowers and candy. We want your heart.

Erica’s Cheese Filled Meat Balls:

-ground beef

-one scrambled egg

-bread crumbs

-fresh oregano, bail, & parsley; finely chopped.

-half of a sweet onion; chopped

-fennel seed

-fresh garlic

-salt & pepper

-some parmesan cheese

-tiny fresh mozzarella cheese balls

1.) Combine all ingredients, minus mozzarella, in a medium bowl. I use my hands, it’s just easier for me!

2.) Take a little of the meat, make a patty in your hand.

3.) Drop a mozzarella ball int he middle and mold the meat ball around it

4.) Put in a baking dish or on a baking sheet and cook till the meat is done. Once done the cheese will start to pop out of the meat ball, so try and catch it before they all do that! And you all know I’m a sucker when it comes to cheese...

Crowder Trifle:

This is the same dessert I made for the David Crowder Band when I did the catering for their concert here in lexington a little over a year ago--hence the name! :)

-chocolate pudding

-fresh bananas

-Heath bar crumbs

-frozen whipped topping

-brownies or chocolate cake

1.) Prepare the pudding, Slice the bananas, make sure you thaw the whipped topping, prepare brownies/cake and cut into cubes or crumble.

2.) Then all you gotta do it layer the ingredients a couple time. We made three layers. Preferably in a trifle dish if you have one, I do not so we used a clear bowl we found.

3.) We layered bananas first, then pudding, then brownies, then whipped topping then heath bar. Then repeat!!

It's safe to say we had some fun cooking away in the kitchen. I enjoy cooking for others and serving them in that way and a lot of the time I insist that I do it all by myself and that John doesn't need to do a thing, I want to prepare a meal for him, but it's also a lot of fun to sometimes work on the meal together. He's gonna be a pro chef in to time!! It's true!!

Busy Stove away. We had yellow squash with lemon pepper seasoning as our side!!

Homemade sauce...yummy. Fresh herb make a HUGE difference.

My Helper!! He's soooo good!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

{comfort food}

There's nothing like some good comfort food when you're at home sick and fortunately my top comfort food is super easy cause it's Ramen. It's true, as much as I love to cook and like all sorts of different crazy foods my number one comfort food is Ramen Noodles. And not just Ramen, but it must be cooked in a glass Pyrex measuring cup int he microwave, as far as I'm concerned that's the only way to eat it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

{Chinese New Year + Whoopie Pies}

Hello world!! I have some super exciting news...*drum roll* LAST load of laundry {after a verrrry long time of not doing any} is set to go in the wash next!! Hurray!! I know, I know I live on the wild side...working in college ministry can do that to you. :) Plus I’m watching Intervention on A&E, I hardly ever watch TV but that boy of mine has gotten me to watch it.

So I believe I’m starting to get this whole blogging under control...I caught myself not taking pictures of something today and then I felt guilty{thank you staff accountability ;)} and so because of that you will have the privilege of seeing them :) Also I have a few crafting idea rolling around my head so hopefully you can see those soooon!! Etsy shop here I come! I promise I will open you soon.

For Chinese New Year I made dinner for John and I, it also happened to be the last time we could have dinner together before he had to go to NKY for his real person job. Our menu: Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Crab Rangoon, White Rice with General Tso’s Chicken. And it looked a little something like this...

First every chef need to be properly dressed...

Then you have to make sure you have all the proper ingredients...

Thanks to my dear friend Meghan Chung for the Lettuce Wrap recipe!!!

John helped give me an extra pair of hands...we snacked on the lettuce wraps as an appetizer.

John wanted to take a picture of this cause it may be the very first time he’s ever seen me use a recipe.

The finished product.

Now I’ll show you how to make Crab Rangoon...

The filling is cream cheese, a little sugar, chopped green onion, and imitation crab meat. You combine and mix up all. You also need wanton wrappers {found by tofu products in the grocery store :)}

Now you put a little spoonful in the middle of the wanton wrapper, you dip your finger in a little water and spread it on the side of the wrapper. Then to fold it you pinch all the middle parts of the four sides together and seal it all up.

Then it looks like this...

The finished product...

Our dinner!!

Tonight I felt like making something so I made Banana Whoopie Pies. I used up the last of my Banana Cream Cheese icing that I made a little while back and a box of yellow cake mix I had on hand.

I made the cake as directed but only used half the water so it wasn’t so runny. I greased some cookie sheets and spooned a little onto them and baked them up. The cake cookies didn’t take long bake at all, and they spread out A TON.

Then I used two that were roughly the same size and spooned some icing on one. I didn’t use too much cause I’m not a huge icing fan, just a little.

Then you smash them together and you basically have a cake and icing tasty!

So dig in!! :)

This weekend John and I are celebrating valentines days so look forward to a post about the yummy meal I’m making! I know all three of my readers will look forward to it with such anticipation :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Andrea's First Cooking Lesson

My friend Andrea asked me if I could give her some cooking lessons and teach her how to cook a few of course I say YES!! Yesterday we had our first adventure in cooking. She was a pro! :) Here's what we made.

Our Menu:
Spinach and Artichoke stuffed Chicken with a cream sauce
Balsamic Asparagus
Rosemary New Potatoes

Andrea was pretty excited to get started!!

We got all our affairs in order!

We thawed a small box of frozen chopped spinach.

Chopping up a few artichoke hearts for the filling!!

What the chicken breast would be stuffed with!! Ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, chopped spinach, artichoke hearts, GARLIC, salt and pepper :)

Cutting a pocket into our chicken breasts, after we flattened them a little.

Stuffing the chicken breast pocket FULL with our filling! :)

Some buttery bread crumbs with salt and pepper to top it off.

Our asparagus!! In a skillet with oil, salt, and pepper...till just about tender then add some balsamic vinegar toward the end and let it cook down a little.

POTATOES!! :) Bake cut up new potatoes until soft and crispy, stirring a time or two with butter, garlic, salt, pepper and a healthy dose of rosemary!

Plating our dinner! :)

We put a cream sauce over the chicken. We started with a rue then added heavy cream, a good amount of garlic and pepper, a little salt and a few pinches of parmesan cheese.

Us with our finished products!!

I was soooooo full I couldn't get it was sooo good!! Andrea is already a stellar chef!