Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chili, again?!

Before I actually leave the house today... (I know, right?), I thought I'd blog about dinner last night.  It's really not all that impressive and I could have definitely done some things differently, but I totally experimented and made my own meal.  Here are a few pictures:

What?  Are you surprised that it again looks like chili?  You shouldn't be.  We like chili here.  It was actually a combination of Confetti Spaghetti, Turkey Tetrazzini, and several kinds of chili... and it sort of came out to be reminiscent of a casserole made by Hamburger Helper

Basically, it's ground turkey, onions, chili seasoning, tomato sauce, kidney beans, chickpeas (yay!), garlic salt, pepper, and onion powder mixed up, cooked, and served over whole wheat noodles.  Add mozzarella cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and some cilantro to garnish it.  The boys ate it!  Keep in mind, that may not be saying much about my cooking.  I'm pretty sure at this point that they'll eat anything. 

Boys playing "Portal"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I heart Brussels sprouts.

Not to make you envious, but I'm still in my pjs.  :-) 

I ripped myself away from the mindless television that I was watching to come and blog about what I made for lunch.  Aren't you lucky? 

So, who likes brussels sprouts?!  Me!  Me!  *waves hand around emphatically*  I love them.  I never have them, though.  My grandmom used to make them on holidays for me and my mom (she liked them, too!) and that was the only time I ate them all year.  It's about time I change all of that.  My cousin-in-law (I suppose that's what you would call her!) told me how she makes them and I couldn't wait to try it out.  I love brussels sprouts... and they are ridiculously simple to roast.  If I'm the only one eating them, so be it. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

All I did was spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, chop the brussels sprouts in half, coat them with a touch of EVOO, and sprinkle them with pepper and garlic salt.  They roasted for about 20 minutes and looked a little brown and crispy in some parts.  Still amazing.  Well, if you like brussels sprouts.  :-) 

I also made an Open-Faced Tuna and Artichoke Melt.  I've never used artichokes before... it's on my to-do list.  I kind of cheated this time because the recipe called for canned artichoke hearts.  Hey, still something new.  Below is the pretty onion I chopped.  I've decided if onion is minced enough, I'm okay with it being in my food. 

Open-Faced Tuna and Artichoke Melt

This was actually a lot better than I was expecting and I somehow had all of the ingredients to make it in my newly organized pantry.  I topped it with a little shredded mozzarella and instead of broiling it, because I was busy roasting my brussel sprouts, I used my fancy schmancy toaster oven.  Next time I'll have to brave the broiler.  I'm still a little nervous about that. 

Happy Tuesday!  :-)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Aftermath.

Ah, the Monday after Christmas.  Not too shabby at all.  It might be the best Monday of the whole year!  First things first, I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas and that you got everything your heart's desired.  I got to spend time with some of my family... second Christmas to be had this coming weekend, I believe. 

I'm finally able to speak at a decent level again, no thanks to you, Strep Throat.  My meds have officially kicked in and I was able to sleep through the night again!  Amazing how much you miss it when you can't actually do it. 

Sleeping in = good. 

Awesome hubby of almost a year (can you believe it?!) took off today instead of Thursday and we've been all kinds of productive.  I reorganized our pantry.  It really needed it.  I should have taken before pictures because it was all kinds of terrible.  All kinds.  At the very bottom I found, in no particular order, a giant bottle of EVOO, a fire extinguisher (yep), an enormous bag of mini marshmallows, about 5,000 plastic bags (roughly), and an old can of sardines.  That was just at the bottom.  This is what our lovely pantry looks like all organized!  Don't be jealous. 

The bottom is still a little rough... but only because we have no place to put snacks.  I should tell you that this whole reorganization started because we had to clean out our cabinets full of tupperware so that Jimmy can fix our tub.  Long story.  

Anyway, that's enough about that.  

Here are a few things I got for Christmas:

Alissa's Pineapple Lamp <3

Alissa's Tool for Avacado Destruction
***Warning!!!  Avacados and potatoes beware.  I'm not sure what else I can mash up with my new potato masher, but I can't wait to try! 

I was so excited about being able to find these taco shells in our pantry and eat them (thank you strep throat meds!) that I tore open the bag from the wrong end of the ziploc.  Botch.

Haha, we had a yummy lunch.  :-)


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve!!!  :-) 

I hope you've done all kinds of fun things today... shopping, baking, wrapping presents, spending time with family and friends, and watching Christmas movies.  Fun times.  :-)  I got some of those Christmas movies in due to the fact that I spent most of today being incredibly sick with strep throat.  My wonderful hubby took me to the emergency room super early this morning because I was seriously in the most pain I've ever felt with a sore throat.  For those of you who've had strep recently, I feel for you.  I know at least one of my kindergarten kiddos had it, not to mention all the others with random ailments.  That's how it works in kindergarten!  To quote Robert Munsch, "They share everything!"  (Sorry, that was an awesome children's book reference.  Love Robert Munsch.)  But seriously, maybe next time keep your strep to yourself! 

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit better and want to take a minute and thank everyone for being so awesome.  I really do have some fabulous friends, even if I can't see or talk to them all the time.  My family is pretty amazing... and I happen to have the best husband of all time.  (Sorry girls, he's mine.)  :-) 

Unfortunately, I will be spending Christmas Eve with my darkling beetles because I am currently contagious!(Yep, the beetles came home from school with me so they wouldn't die... and for some reason, they freak everyone out.  Why is that?)  Hubby will be home soon and hopefully with some soft snacks for me.  *hint hint*

I shall leave you with a picture of my germ-infested classroom and me with my gargantuan bear, Garbanzo.

Merry Christmas EVE!  :-)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Potato Fail.

I had a massive potato fail tonight. 

So, a while ago I got this giant bag of potatoes because I have all these potato recipes I want to try.  There's Baked Potato Soup and Crash Hot Potatoes and Stuffed Baked Potatoes and Potato and Bacon Pie.  I haven't made any of those yet... but they do sound good, don't they?  (That reminds me, I think I need a potato masher.) 

I went for an easy potato recipe tonight.  They were going to be a side anyway and I was itching to use some potatoes from my gargantuan bag.  I grabbed a seasoning packet and some potatoes and followed the directions on the packet.  Sounds easy enough!  Here's what they looked like when they were done:

See all that brown stuff around the potatoes?  Yeah, that's the seasoning that dripped off of the potatoes, covered the foil, and then started bubbling. 
And bubbling.  And bubbling.  None of it actually stayed on the potatoes.  Fail.

This is what they looked like as I attempted to scrape them off the foil. 
Scrape.  Scrape.  Scrape.  Fail.  Fail. Fail. 

I have no desire to make these particular potatoes again.  They didn't taste like "Toasted Onion & Garlic".  They kinda tasted a little like foil.  Fail.  Haha, and they are all mashed up crazy-like.  I left Jimmy to the task of removing the rest of them while I started blogging because they were frustrating me that much!  Thank you, Jim.  <3  He's a keeper. 

For those of you who are looking for a good seasoning packet to use, try this one.  I've made it several times and it's been a hit.  It always comes out yummy and without foil coating.  Very important.  Now I know this.

Onion-Roasted Potatoes

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Chickpea Invasion...

I'm gonna need some good chickpea recipes.  Send them my way if you have some!  :-)  I think they might be my new favorite thing.  Quite by accident, mind you.  I don't even know what they really are... are they peas?  Beans?  Garbanzos?  Chicks?  They better not be ground up chicks.  Chickpeas.  Go.  Whatever they are, they're delicious.

Look what I made:

Yes, that is indeed White Chicken Chili... but it has chickpeas in it!  I may have accidentally opened a can of chickpeas instead of cannellini beans.  Then I proceeded to freak out about whether or not I should use the chickpeas in the chili or not... and then I tried one.  Yum! 

So, in went the can of chickpeas as well as the cannellini beans.  It made for some awesome chili.  fyi. 

Since then, I've been eating chickpeas in lettuce wraps.  Here's one such creation:

Besides the chickpeas, there may be some Roasted Pine Nut Hummus, light sour cream, RF cheddar cheese, and mushrooms on that wrap.  It may sound a little weird, but don't knock it til you try it. 

I added chickpeas to my fish tacos tonight. 

I may have a problem.

In the meantime... what else can I add chickpeas to?  Hmm.  :-)

(Chickpeas Continued...)
Okay, so I wrote this chickpea blog a few days ago.  I thought I'd add on some other things that I added chickpeas to tonight!  Did I mention how delicious chickpeas are?  How did I not know about them?!  I linked the captions back to my original blog about them... just add chickpeas! 

Chili Cheese Chickpea Corn

Guacamole Chickpea Burgers

Here's my latest concotion:
Chickpea Breakfast Mess

1/2 c. Egg substitute
Shredded cheese
Old Bay
*You can add just about anything to this combo, so I figured why not chickpeas? 

Check back often for more chickpea updates!  :-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Masters of Chocolate?

Today was a good day. 

It was just a fun day full of chocolate building.  For those of you who know I've been trying to cook healthy, please look away.  You won't find anything healthy in this particular blog entry!  Just pure sugar.  I think we may have used the most baked goods and candy that we've ever used.  For anything.  Period.  Though, we had some help this year.  This year my brother, Neal, and a friend, Kerri, joined Jimmy and I for the craziness. 

When I say "craziness", that's what I mean.  We took a ton of pictures and looking back through them is pretty insane.  Insane, yet fantastic.  :-)  Here are some pictures to prove it:

Supples :-)

Yeah... we may have used 4 batches of brownies, 4 tubs of icing, 1 cake mix, 36 3 Musketeers bars, M&Ms, marshmallows, 2 pans of rice krispie treats (made by Kerri, Master of Marshmallow), nutella, marzipan, chocolate graham crackers, 3 kinds of Hershey kisses, chocolate chips, peanut butter, oats, pretzel sticks, dots, and the list goes on and on...

Neal and Kerri's CAKE House

Alissa and Jimmy's BROWNIE House

It pretty much took us all day... and it was awesome.  Thanks for joining us this year, Neal and Kerri!  :-) 

I'm exhausted.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Just Desserts

I decided that I'm going to make this blog just about desserts that I've made.  Everyone likes dessert, right?  You really can't go wrong.  Unless you call it desert.  That's where camels live.  Get it right.  ;-)  (Does that bother anyone else?)  Hehe. 

I made this tonight to bring to a little book club party I'm going to tomorrow:

Pumpkin Pie Dip

I used my little handheld mixer!  :-)  Love when I can use the right tools.  You're supposed to put it on gingersnaps... I don't know how I feel about that.  Gingersnaps are okay, I guess.  Eh.  Not my favorite.  Maybe this dip will change my mind.  Pretty tasty.  Hopefully everyone else will think so!

Here are some other great desserts that I did NOT make tonight.  I repeat, did NOT make tonight.  What do you think I am, insane?  (Don't answer that.)  I think I already blogged about the third one, but it bears repeating... it was delicious.  These are all WW recipes and got rave reviews, so don't knock them til you try them! 

Mixed Berry Crumble

Lemon Raspberry Bread Pudding

Apple-Pear Crisp
Enjoy!  :-)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bread Crumb Bonanza

Good day!  :-)  Slept in, cooked an awesome breakfast, got a new headlight, did some Christmas shopping (almost all done!), got our Christmas tree, updated a lot of my recipes to the new WW point system (pain in the neck!), and used a massive amount of bread crumbs in dinner.  I'm also doing laundry right now.  It's all about the multi-tasking.  After this blog, I'm going to go write some Christmas cards, think about watching the game (I might just cause there's been so much hype...), trim the tree, and have a little dessert feast with my honey.  <3

So, back to the bread crumbs.  What did I use them for, you ask?  Good question, my friend. 

Spinach with Parmesan-Bread Crumbs (WW recipe)

Lemon Herbed Salmon

Now, I have to say that I scraped the majority of the bread crumbs off of the salmon because it was just too much!  No one needs all of those bread crumbs.  I do have to admit that when you follow the link to the original picture, there are a lot less bread crumbs on that salmon.  I think the recipe calls for way too much.  ...but they were mighty tasty in the spinach.  I didn't know spinach could taste like that!  Yum! 

Overall, a successful dinner.  :-)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fun with Chocolate!

Feeling kinda blah.  Not sure why exactly... had a good time with some friends last night, a fairly lazy day today, and even got one of my last projects for my grad class finished today.  I should feel happier than this?  Ho hum. 

I know what's wrong... I didn't cook anything today!  Haha.  I have all these recipes I want to try, but lots of leftovers in my fridge.  It seems kind of pointless to bake an Apple Cider Crisp (WW recipe) when I already have a Tastefully Simple apple cake chillin' on my table.  There's a giant pan of Turkey Tetrazzini and leftover Green Bean Casserole from Thanksgiving (...that I didn't even make!).  That's one of my favorites ...and I'm not even hungry. 

Oh well.

So maybe while you're here (if you're here)... you could give us some ideas about what you'd like to see made out of chocolate?  We're having a little chocolate party and there's going to be some chocolate building going on next weekend.  :-) 

What do you get when you cross a kindergarten teacher with an engineer?  This...

Chocolate Castle (2008)

Snowman Village (2009)

I think I need some other hobbies that don't involve food of any kind.  Suggestions welcome!  :-)
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