Friday, December 31, 2010

suzie's version of franks 'n beans.

to quote my 32 year old sister, "yummalicious!"  this is a delicious rendition of the played-out franks 'n beans and so much more feeling.  this is a man's meal :)

the top secret, easy-peasy recipe:

1 14 oz package of sausage (i used a hillshire lite sausage link)
1 15 oz can kidney beans (drained)
1 15 oz can of chickpeas (undrained)
1/2 box of your favorite pasta (i used penne)
2 tb of BBQ spice
2 tb brown sugar
1/4 molasses or syrup
1 minced onion (optional - cook this first if used)
1 cup ketchup

brown sausage in frying pan.  in a pot, combine all other ingredients, add sausage when browned (should only take about 5-10 minutes); bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

serve over pasta.  i served it with cornbread (prepackaged)  - SO GOOD!

this is about 4 servings.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

practicing santa's cookies.

who doesn't love a chocolate chip cookie?! 

the recipe i used was from harris teeter's chocolate chip bag.  though they came out good, i definitely need to tweek the recipe to my own taste.  i'll have it perfected soon and will share my remake with you all when it comes.


baking beauties.

the cookie monster!
pics still to come of my christmas decorations.  i love my kid-friendly christmas tree; it makes the house feel so warm :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

festive goodies.

the only thing i love more than a delicious treat is a super festive delicious treat.

here are a few that i did this week:
rice crispy treats - the easiest NO BAKE goodie of all time.  making them christmas-y is even easier:  just add a touch of red or green dye!

the recipe:
(p.s. - this can be found on the side of the rice crispy box!)

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
6 cups rice crispy treats cereal

just melt the butter on low heat, add marshmallows and stir continually until completely melted.  remove from heat and add the rice crispies!  after everything is evenly mixed, transfer the goods to a pan lightly greased.  the easiest way i found to spread the rice crispy 'batter' (credit to my bf for coming up with the idea and actually spreading it out) was to sprinkle water on your hands and press it down quickly - that way it didn't stick!

my next recipe was my first ever attempt at shortbread cookies, and they were a huge success; i brought them to work and everyone loved them!

the basic shortbread recipe:

1 cup butter
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
red & green sprinkles

preheat the oven to 350.  first mix the first 3 ingredients until evenly blended.  add the last 3 until completely smooth.  break batter into 3 sections and roll them into logs.  put in the refrigerator for about an hour or so.  when the batter has chilled, cut each log into smaller, 1/4 inch cookies.  sprinkle your best festive sprinkles over them and bake for only 10 minutes!

disclaimer:  this recipe is not my own - i read it about a week ago somewhere and jotted it down on paper; as soon as i figure out where i got it, i'll let ya'll know!

CHRISTMAS IS ONLY A WEEK AWAY!  Are you done shopping?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

i daydream a lot.

i noticed that today.  i find myself just sitting there at work, daydreaming about stuff.

i think i'm in love with baking.  i just keep looking for the next great recipe to make.  i haven't had a hobby in a long time, so this is good for my soul.  it is not, however, good for my belly!  i do a good job at working out most nights.  i do at least 30 minutes at least 5 times a week, but eating these sweets is taking a toll.  i will have to push it up to 40 minutes a day.

anyways - here is what i made last night :

i call them 'ooey-gooey goodness'

loneliest snowman ever.
these were the most delicious, gooey brownies i'd ever tasted and CERTAINLY the best i've ever made.  i was so proud of them!  evidently, stenciling with gel is not effective - hence why i did one snowman and quit.  the top secret trick (by top secret, i mean i never knew it) is to line the pan with foil and butter the foil up reallllllllly well.  that's what makes them ooey-gooey.

favorite christmas item right now:

santa take along mug!  perfect for my morning tea :)

"santa baby, slip a sable under the tree for me, i've been an awful good girl."
that mug was $4.99 at harris teeter!  special for VIC club members.  YES!  i love their little holiday section.  this is the only thing i've gotten because i'm frugal, but it is so worth $5.

what shall i bake next?  hmmm....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

ahhhhh, sweet christmas time!

christmas is my favorite time of year.  despite the fact that i despise cold weather, i just love all the joy christmas brings.  i love the lights, the tacky sweaters, and (perhaps most of all) the yummy plethora of treats associated with christmas.

since i was little, there is one cookie that has ALWAYS made me think of christmas - the beloved crinkle cookie.  my grandma used to make them when we visited around the holidays as children, so it's really more than just another delicious cookie to me; it symbolizes family and love and all the things that have made me such a christmas-aholic.

i made two batches so far; the second - pictured in this blog- i altered to make them more fudgy.  they're not quite right but, let's be honest, it'll never reach grandma's crinkle cookie status.  it does, however, serve as a good stand in for now.

perfectly crinkled!  hello, ultra cute snowpeople in the background.

close up of my cute snowfolk.  how adorable?!
my stove and all of it's cuteness/slightly tackiness.  i adore my rooster filled kitchen.  we'll leave the details for another post.

merry christmas, grandma :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Here it goes...

i became a mom 11/3/2009 to steven, jr., who was a very pleasant surprise.  since then, life has been wonderfully crazy.  we are not the traditional white picket fence family, but a lot of love makes things work.

i work full time and recently left a job i loved for one that is allows me to have a work/life balance and somehow make some time to focus on my studies; i start school in january 2011 to become a nurse.

i love wine, cooking, music, and am in the process of learning to bake and make my home cozy.  food and wine to me are very social 'hobbies' and i love being around people and having a good time.

i'm not as crafty as i'd like to be, but you gotta start somewhere.  the goal is to learn to decorate on the cheap because i'm pretty broke.  broke but happy - not a bad deal.

i believe in pursuing dreams and choosing to be happy.  i believe in people and i believe people can change.

"There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts."
Elizabeth Gilbert

i probably think i'm more interesting than i am.

it has, by no means, been a cakewalk, but it's sure been a fun ride.