June 30, 2010

It's HERE!!

Last night I was at my Sisters for our First Book Club meeting so I was so ANXIOUS to get home because we were getting our "New" Dining Room table :-)

Chuck was home and they were delivering so we didn't have to do anything but wait!

I was so excited when I got hom because it's BEAUTIFUL!! Granted it doesn't look super great right now but when I get through with it, it will be GORGEOUS! I am so excited for a new project to work on, not that I don't have enough already, but I really do find joy in refinishing furniture! And this will be my biggest piece so far :-)

Check out some pictures:

June 28, 2010

I Love Sunday Night Dinners

Usually we cook great dinners throughout the week but it seems that Sundays are the BEST dinners of the week! And this past sunday was no exception.

I hardly ever buy bacon when I go to the store. I like it but I don't love it and I can live without it. Well Chuck LOVES bacon, his whole family is hooked on it! But since I usually do the shopping I never remember to pick some up. Well I guess I was a good girlfriend this week because not only did I buy bacon and make him breakfast saturday before he left for work. I also used the leftover bacon in our sunday night dinner!

I decided to try bacon wrapped asparagus. You just simply wrap up some asparagus and then we popped it onto the grill with....

Our yummy Hawaiian seasoned Chicken!!
Okay so the only portion that threw our meal off was the Kraft Mac N Cheese...yes that is Kraft Mac N Cheese! LOL Chuck really wanted a starch and decided that Mac N Cheese sounded good. It didn't quite mesh well with the rest of the meal but it was pretty yummy...

And because I thought his Sister was coming for dinner I made the Hungry Girl Cream Puffs for her...
She didn't show which was a bummer for her because Chuck and I enjoyed these little desserts all to ourselves...It was so HOT yesterday and these cream puffs came fresh out the fridge and were a perfect light and refreshing dessert.

We had a great sunday afternoon and evening together. And despite the heat I did get quite a bit done this weekend! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

I've Finally Done IT!!

I have finally found a scone recipe that turns out AWESOME! I feel like I've tried so many different scone recipes but have never been able to achieve the same Scone texture as you can in Cafes!

It was so simple and the only ingredient I needed to get at the store was some buttermilk, which is fine I have that on hand almost all the time :-)

You will need: Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Flour, Sugar, Egg, Butter, Milk, Buttermilk, and Salt!!

Combing all the dry ingredients and then cut in your one stick of butter...blend until you reach a crumble mixture!
Then add in the buttermilk and blend just until the dough starts to stick together!

Then take it out and gently knead it 4 or 5 times. Roll out into a circle and cut into 6 "pie-shaped" pieces".

Place two baking sheets on top of each other and place "parchment" paper (I used wax paper) on the top sheet. Then place your scones on the baking sheet.

Bake in the oven! Once removed from oven sprinkle with powdered sugar. Then turn your broiler on to High. And pop them back in for just a few SECONDS!

The recipe actually calls for the scones to go in for a few minutes but look at what happend...

Needless to say I was CRUSHED!!! I finally thought I'd found the perfect scone recipe! After I let these cool I cut off the top just to try the inside and see how it was! IT WAS GREAT! After a quick bike ride I came home and baked a whole 'nother batch and this time I did not broil anything! I just left the sugar off...who needs it anyways?

Yum...these were so good! I took a couple down to my sister and mom, who I was meeting up with that night to go to a fundraiser....

Next time I am going to add in some fruit...probably some blueberries and then maybe I'll make some raspberry scones too! This is a recipe to hang on to and it's SUPER easy!!

Recipe coming soon............
P.S. This is by no means a Hungry Girl recipe...

Joe Cool Java Freeze

Awhile back I decided I wanted to try one of Hungry Girl's coffee drinks because I was B-O-R-E-D with regular coffee everyday!

I decided to try the very first one in the Shivering Sips section (From Hungry Girl's 200 Under 200) which was the Joe Cool Java Freeze!!

You will need: light vanilla soymilk, splenda, instant coffee, Sugar Free French Vanilla powdered creamer!

First you mix together the powdered creamer, coffee granules (a.k.a instant coffee) and sweetener with some hot water until all the ingredients are dissolved. Then add in some cold water and put the mixture into a blender.
Add the soymilk and ice and blend!

Voila!! It sure looks good!

And it tasted good! Next time I will have to put less Splenda because it was a little "Sweet" but overall it will be a great summertime coffee to go :-) I highly recommend for all you coffee nuts out there!!
1/4 cup light vanilla soymilk
4 teaspoons Coffee-Mate Sugar Free French Vanilla Powdered Creamer
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 no-calorie sweetener packets
1 1/2 cups crushed ice or 8 to 10 ice cubes
In a tall glass, combine powdered creamer, coffee granules, and sweetener with 1/4 cup hot water. Stir until ingredients have dissolved. Add 1/2 cup cold water and stir.
Transfer coffee mixture to a blender with soymilk and ice. Mix at low to medium speed until shake is just blended, but not liquefied. Pour into your glass and slurp it up!!

June 27, 2010

Just a Little Updating!!

After I got done with everything with the wedding for my Bestie, I developed an itch to do a little updating to our place....I didn't want to do anything drastic so I just decided to put a little extra in the dining room!


I went to Target to pick up a few items and saw this nice neutral color tablecloth and knew it would work perfect with our coloring! It was such a great deal!!

Now while I originally thought I was just wanted to do a little uplifting but that was not the case my friends. We have now found our screen door that we want, the top part of the mantel, and a NEW DINING ROOM TABLE!!
I was cruising around on the Craigslist because my girlfriend Alycia and I started talking about redecorating her place and I was looking for futons, couches with pullouts, decorative tables, etc etc...and then I stumbled across a really beautiful table and chairs that may need a little TLC and a quick seat pad fabric change but they would be perfect. Seats 6 people and is in a dark color!! I emailed them with fingers crossed that they'd be willing to deliver and while I sat here just waiting for the new mail at the top of toolbar.....
THEY CAN DELIVER!! WOO HOO...For a small extra fee we are getting the table and chairs delivered!! The total cost for this baby is such a steal! $85!!! Which includes delivery!! They even sent us more pictures of the table and the top of the table! It's going to be a great steal! As soon as they deliver it this week I will of course post pictures!
Anyone looking for a kitchen table and chairs?? We should have our old one up on Craigslist by Wednesday :-)

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs!

Okay maybe it was EXTREMELY SUNNY with a Gurantee of Meatballs!!

Awhile back I had found a recipe for crock pot meatballs that sounded simple and quick!! Luckily we had all the ingredients I needed: Sugar, Quick Oats, Milk, Onion Powder, Apple Cider Vinegar, Ketchup, and Ground Beef!!

Start by combing milk and oats..................
Then add the ground beef and mix well. Then roll the mixture into individual meatballs! Throw them in the crock pot.

Then combine the sugar, onion powder, ketchup, and apple cider vinegar in another bowl.

And pour over the meatballs....then refrigerate overnight. The next morning you turn them on low and let it sit for 8 hours....
Needless to say, the meatballs never stuck together so it turned into a meat spaghetti sauce. After a quick call to my honey to get help on turning it into a sauce, I left it on low and went for a quick bike ride....

It was actually really good. I also tried out Whole Wheat Pasta, which I'm not so fond of, but with the meat sauce it was really yummy!! I just wish I had some garlic bread to go with it....Next time I think I'll add more oats until the mixture is thick and I can make the meatballs stay together!

June 26, 2010

Lemon Squares Anyone???

Oh yes I'm back at it! I am back in the kitchen trying out recipes and it feels so good!! Not only am I trying new recipes but Hungry Girl is now back in my life after a few weeks break!

Last week while Chuck was working one night I decided to make myself a new dinner recipe AND a new dessert recipe! I wanted to use a Hungry Girl recipe for dessert so I pulled out the trusty 200 Under 200 Calories book and flipped to a flagged recipe...that recipe was............Fluffy Lemon Squares!!

You will need: Fiber One Bran Cereal, Splenda (or in my case Ideal), Whole Wheat Flour, Egg Beater Mix, Butter, Lemon, Lemon Juice, Sugar and Baking Powder.

First you "soften" your butter, then you put the fiber bran cereal into a food processor and grind away. Combine the two together and then pat it down in a greased 8 x 8 pan, Pop it in the oven for a few minutes.

While the "crust" is in the oven combine all your other ingredients. Only use part of the lemon rind, not the whole lemon.

Yum...it smelled so GOOD!! I just love the smell of lemons!

Pour the mixture into the pan over the crust.
Pop it back in the oven and wait for your kitchen to feel with a wonderful lemon aroma.

I was super stoked that my sister suprised me and stopped by because I got a second opinion!! And the verdict is......

The filling was AMAZING!! The crust not so good. We both would prefer a original crust for lemon bars but the filling can stay! I highly recommend anyone who loves lemon bars to try it!! Thank You Hungry Girl!!!
Recipe coming shortly............

June 22, 2010

Hissy Fit

Another book down ladies and gentlemen and I LOVED it!! I read the book Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews and it was quite a refresher from the ones I've been reading. First of all it takes place in the South, not in New York or London where I tend to gravitate to in my reading selections!! Second of All....there is no way you can dislike the main character.

This book is a simple "beach" read but it's so cute and it leaves you with a light fluffy happy feeling :)

I give this book an A!! And I recommend it to any of you lovers of Chick Lit! It's light and refreshing!! Thank you Mary Kay Andrews!! I look forward to checking out more of your books!

Step 1 of Master Room Complete!!

Boy has it been a busy couple of weeks for me! I just got back from my best friends wedding up in Washington and decided I needed to catch up on my blog!!

While we were on vacation Chuck decided to install new flooring in our Master Room! YAY!! I was so excited when we were able to pick up our flooring, btw took us FOUR HOURS to get there and back because of traffic...sometimes I hate living in Cali just because of traffic!

The flooring we bought matches the downstairs flooring :-) and all three bedrooms upstairs will be getting the new floor!!

Go to Lumber Liquidators for all your flooring needs....seriously the prices are unbeatable and the service has always been great for us!

First we had to rip out all the old NASTY carpet! I couldn't wait to get this ripped out....

Next we ripped out the padding....

Ahhhh so much better! Although see that big ol spot down at the bottom left corner...that would be from where Roxy peed on the carpet and it soaked through...Can't even believe I'm admitting it but we totally let her ruin out carpet cause we knew we were ripping it out....

After a quick run to KMart for a small fan to blow on the damp area Chuck started laying the underlayment and flooring....yes I said Chuck....I was just getting in the way so while he handled business upstairs I handled the business downstairs, I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, picked up the living room, and watched some recorded shows :-)

He did such a good job considering last time we put in this flooring was over a year ago and we had my Paps who is an amazing handy man and guided us through it!
Almost done.....
Doesn't it look so AWESOME!! Chuck did such a great job and I was so happy to walk in and not smell nasty carpet or even have to touch our carpet!!
A shot of the baseboards...oh yes everything matches to what we did downstairs...We wanted it all to match because the tile downstairs matches the tile upstairs as well.

We had to buy new thresholds and I am so happy we went with a wood one instead of a metal one. It's not very noticable when you look at the floor which is nice. I wanted it to blend.

Now we had to sleep downstairs for one night because Chuck didn't do the baseboards until the next morning....but it was worth it.....We took the rug from downstairs and moved it upstairs to provide a little warmth for our feet in the morning....and then moved all the furniture back in..............

It looks so awesome and now I can't wait to get our room painted and redecorated...I think we've finally picked a theme LOL now it's just waiting until we can have a crew come in and paint. I don't trust myself to not get it on the floor AND I don't feel like climbing up and down a a ladder in order to do the walls....we have vaulted ceilings in our master!

Not only did Chuck get our Master Room done but he also did his Mancave. Once we get it rearranged then I'll be posting those pictures because that made the Mancave seem so much more open! I am loving our new floors. Next up to get the new floor treatment is my scrapbook room! I can't wait for that day :-)

June 7, 2010

Evolution of a Birthday Cake

My Sister's birthday is one week after mine (we are a year a part) and this year I wanted to make her a special cake! I started preparing for this cake a couple weeks in advance by looking up pictures and making a list of what I would need to make it!

On Friday June 4th I begin my preparations! First I made the cake (from a box mix of course LOL) which was a Yellow Butter recipe that I made for the bridal shower that my Sister loved!!

I had to use two boxes to make each part of the cake!

And we made a trip to Nancy's Fancys to get supplies: Food Coloring, Dark Chocolate Fondant, Buttercream frosting, sprinkes (that we didn't use) and some cupcake wrappers for the back up cupcakes I made (just in case the cake didn't turn out)!!

Our house smelled so good once these got baking! I can't wait for next year around Easter so I can make a nice size Easter Egg Cake with those oval pans!

Let the molding began! The hardest part of making this cake was that it was so hot and humid that the fondant wasn't behaving that well. But I had no other choice because I really wanted to make it! Doesn't it look like a big gigantic piece of Tootsie Roll?

I started by making the C's for the cake...I only made four before I had to stop and put the fondant in the fridge!! Are you wondering what the C's are for yet??

While the fondant was cooling off in the fridge I began shaping the cake. I leveled out the tops of each layer and then started to frost!

First I frosted the two oval pieces and stacked them!

Yum look at that frosting! It was SO GOOD!! I love buttercream frosting, is there any better frosting?? I think not!

After I got the two ovals frosted, I went ahead and frosted the base of the cake and covered it in the fondant! And then I added a little frilly "ribbon" to the bottom of the ovals!

Now it was time to add the few C's I got done on friday! And into the fridge it went to cool off overnight!

And saturday I finished it off!! While it may look more like a hat (lesson learned LOL) it is actually a Coach Purse cake! My Sister LOVES Coach and I thought it'd be really cool to create a purse cake for her! Keep in mind this cake was made from my own imagination and it was the first time I had ever made something like this....not bad for the first time! I did check out other Purse Cakes online but overall the idea in my head was better than what I found....only problem I ran into was the strap. I wanted it to stand up straight but it wouldn't!!

And here is a view of it from the back :-)

My Sister loved it and I am pretty proud of it. I think I could have done better (Aren't we all our biggest critics LOL) but all that really mattered was that My Sister liked it!! And I know Chuck was happy that it was over because I kept asking him "Are you sure it looks okay?" "Do you think she will like it?" "Does it look like a hat or a purse?" "What if she hates it?" "What if she doesn't know what it is?" LOL In the end my worrying was over nothing because it was a huge success!! And I am actually really anxious to make another cake...perhaps for Chuck's birthday party (yes about 6 months late LOL) coming up :-)

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