Saturday, February 26, 2011

Week of the Ham

Hi!!! Want to know what one of the perks of living at my address is??

Yep, ham. 

I live where my mom & dad used to live, and where all the Christmas hams used to be delivered. Some of the companies didn't get the address change... so we still end up with 1 or 2 hams! Don't tell Mom & Dad!! Oh, oops!

Yes, that is a lot of butter & sour cream on my potato. That's how I like it! :) Good and buttery.

Today I made ham & bean soup with some of the leftovers. It wasn't bad for ham & bean soup. Its never my favorite, but this was yummy, specially with the snow falling. Made soup fitting. 

If you view the link you will be brought to
Allrecipes is one of my favorite sites to browse. 

This soup was hearty and tasty... although I didn't have brats on hand, but had some Italian turkey sausage. Thought it'd be an easy substitute, but I wasn't a big fan. Aaron couldn't tell and thought it was great. Too "spicy" for me. The brats would have been more "laid back & easy" in the soup.
It really was worth the work, I probably will make this again with brats. :) 

I'll be back soon with a super easy potato soup recipe. You think I'm joking, right? I'm not. And it has ham. We still have more in the fridge. :) And I'm also hosting Sunday dinner tomorrow for the fam. We have a HUGE pork loin to share, so I'm making that 2 ways with cauliflower gratin. Can't wait!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Want to take a dip?

In our basement?!?!


Oh yes, this is our basement as of yesterday. The sad thing? We didn't notice it 'til yesterday, and the melting happened last week like Thursday & Friday.  :) Woopsy. 

Funny story. We probably STILL wouldn't have noticed it if it weren't for our dog Suzie. She came downstairs with me when I was doing laundry. Next thing I hear is her jump into a POOL of water. Not a puddle, a POOL of water.  

Right away- Oh shit!!! Yes, pardon me. But I knew right away what it was. We haven't had a flood like that since I was wee little, but I remembered it! I remembered it because dad said "NO! You cannot going swimming in there!" :) Haha.

Check it out... it's getting close to the "main basement" where our washer and dryer is... then I would have noticed it!

It's all cleaned up now. Well, except for the mold and mildew and that kind of stuff that will probably grow rampantly! :) 
Thanks B & B plumbing! 
Now, I have a product review- Stand & Stuff Taco Shells

You can probably imagine these will turn out pretty well. I mean... it stands up while you stuff it... cool!! 

And it ends up like this-- 
What's not to like?! A+ for me. 

Want to see how Suzie views herself?
She obviously views herself a little smaller than she actually is, and a little younger than she actually is. Haha. She is 2+ years old, she is still a pup.
But look at that spoiled little brat cute puppy!

Now obviously I didn't have to share a recipe for tacos, cuz those are pretty simple... meat and taco seasoning. 

But I do have a little something for you...

I love these, I usually do. But be careful. I have a texture issue, and this time I made them they were a little mushy. But the asparagus was crunchy. It just wasn't right. They are good though, promise! 

You can of course choose whatever veggies you like. I suggest 1 acorn squash, 1 sweet potato, 1 head or frozen bag of broccoli, and brussels sprouts. 

I did not have any brussels sprouts, so I subbed asparagus. But, it just wasn't right. So do the sprouts. I don't normally like sprouts, but roasted they are delicious! 

Ok, you want to keep your squash and potato seperate on one pan. Season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast in 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes. 

Then add another pan in the oven with your broccoli and sprouts. Seasoned the same, with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast both pans for about another 10-15 minutes. Then switch to broil and brown 'em up a bit. 
Be careful!! These times are just suggestions. Pay attention to them and cook them how you like-- well done, or rare. :) 

We serve these as a main course for lunch over brown rice cooked with chicken broth. Broth is really the only way to go with rice. It seasons it wonderfully and gives it flavor! 
Well, I'm off. Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Get ready to FREAK out!

Hi everyone! Happy Friday!!

This has been a looooong week for our household. Aaron was sick all week with a horrible cough... probably a cold. He just absolutely could not stop coughing! Non stop. His poor throat is sore now. He's going back to work today, after about a week off due to illness. Hope he makes it! 

So, since it was an odd week, I didn't cook a lot. I just grabbed easy things to eat for myself, and Aaron ate whenever he was hungry (not often). 

Monday I did cook something new. And here's where you freak out....



Do you Sioux Center peeps even know what that is? Or tastes like? Haha. Ok, I'll stop. 

No, we're not going vegetarian... far from it. But I do like to try new things, and there's nothing wrong with tofu. Although, we did say afterwords, the stir fry would have been better without it. :) It was fine, but it didn't really add anything special. So, cook for yourselves-- keep the tofu, omit it, sub chicken or extra veggies.  We won't tell.

First, I started by putting the tofu in a skillet with 1-2 tsp sesame oil and cook until golden brown. Set aside.


Meanwhile, cook some brown or white rice with chicken broth instead of water. (It really tastes much better!)

Also, in a large sauce pan boil some water, add broccoli and boil for 1 minute. When crisp tender drain water and set aside.

When tofu is finished, add another tsp of sesame or canola oil and cook red pepper for 1 minute. Add ginger and garlic, cook another 30 seconds.

Stir in the tofu & broccoli, cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix together soy sauce, vinegar, honey and cornstarch. Then add soy sauce mixture to skillet, along with cashews and scallions.

That's it! It was quite tasty, and we enjoyed the leftovers for a couple days! 

1 box tofu, drained and cut into pieces
3 cups broccoli florets (frozen or fresh)
3 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp corn starch
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 tsp dry ginger
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup cashews
3 scallions, chopped

See above

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Omaha Weekend Review

Oooo boy did we have a great, relaxing, and fun weekend! Omaha was fantastic... and the beautiful weather helped too! I didn't get to take a lot of pictures, because we didn't do very exciting stuff. Just shopping, movie, and eating. I wanted to take pictures at the restaurants, but they're so dark these days that people would think there is a lightning storm happening! :) Haha. But I did sneak some pictures off of some websites, so the credits belong to the source (Hilton & Lo Sole Mio). 

I'll start with our hotel, the lovely Hilton Omaha. This is where we stayed for our wedding night 3+ years ago on our way to Kansas! It is a great, clean, up scale hotel and we love it! It also happens to be pretty much in the driveway of the Omaha Qwest Center. :) Busy place!

Below is a picture of the "executive lounge" where we got free snacks, beverages, breakfast, and appetizers daily. One of the perks for staying on the 8th (executive) floor!

Below is a picture of the bathroom... nice and luxurious.

Ahh, and here is the beautiful king size bed! :)
My favorite!

 So, there you have our room. Now let's get to the food.

Friday night we ate at P.F. Chang's. Chinese food! The best! We shared the lettuce wraps, had some hot & sour soup, and shared the Spicy Chicken. It was delicious! After that we went to the movie theater and saw "Just Go With It". We laughed so much, it was awesome! You must see it! It is quite a "good" humor movie... nothing raunchy that I recall. 

Saturday night we waited 2 1/2 precious hours for Lo Sole Mio ... the best Italian in Omaha. We would agree, it was delicious! Take a look at what we had-

 For her:

Chicken Florentine
Baked Chicken Breast lightly breaded and
topped with a touch of Creamy White Sauce,
Spinach, Prosciutto Ham & Cheese, served
with choice of Angel Hair Pasta tossed in Olive
Oil & Garlic or Oven Roasted Potatoes. 19

For Him:

Salsiccia E Peperoni (Sausage & Peppers)
Italian Sausage and Sweet Roasted Peppers,
served with a choice of Angel Hair Pasta
tossed in Olive Oil & Garlic or Oven Roasted
Potatoes. 16
Not badly priced either... for the best!! :) This place is a MUST if you visit Omaha, and don't pull up your nose at the 2.5 hour wait either... they have the wait for a reason! And the bar is nice too. It was quite fun to sit at this bar, the place was literally shoulder to shoulder packed. 
This is my new addition to the kitchen. A wine rack and new glasses! I got it at Pier 1 shopping in Omaha. I had a gift card from Mom & Dad Bobier from my birthday... and it was just burning a hole in my wallet!! This rack and glasses are perfect!! 
We don't really have sophisticated wine tastes, but we do enjoy the sweet stuff! And it looks pretty too. We have found Moscato sparkling wines which are wonderful. (Thanks Mom & Dad Dooyema!) We also picked up a couple new flavors from Wine Styles in Sioux City. You should check out that store in the Lakeport Commons. It's very neat!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blueberry Breakfast Cakes

Happy Wednesday everyone! I am counting down to Friday, when Aaron & I are going to Omaha, NE & staying at The Hilton (which is where we stayed on our wedding night). So we are looking forward to a restful & relaxing weekend there! 

I am also counting down the days until I make these Blueberry Cakes again!! Mmm they were yummy! I love blueberries, and putting blueberries in cake cancels out all the sugar... so enjoy!!


These cakes are courtesy of Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
Ooooo just look at that delicious glaze!!! Eeeek!! :)

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup fresh blueberries, tossed in flour

- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix until well combined. Add in vanilla and yogurt and stir. Mix dry ingredients together and add to batter, only mixing until just combined. Fold in blueberries.
- Spray 2 ramekins with non-stick spray and pour batter into them equally. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.


1/2 cup of powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon milk

Add sugar to bowl and stir in heavy cream and vanilla until mixture resembles a thick batter. Add milk (one tablespoon at a time in case you need more), stirring until smooth – about 3-5 full minutes. Mixture may look lumpy at first but just continue to stir and it will come together. Continue to add liquid if needed to get desired consistency. Mash in a handful of blueberries.

Please don't miss out on this recipe. You need to make it! You will thank me eternally. :) I promise. 

Just look at that bite with big fresh blueberries!! MMMmmm makes my mouth still water! 
But watch out! They'll be gone before you know it! (Then you will just have to stop back and repeat the recipe!)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Hello everyone! Happy Tuesday to you! It's especially happy for my parents... on their way to Mexico... warm, sunny, laid back Mexico. Sounds very good right about now, as the wind chill is -20. 

Did you watch the super bowl? I did, by myself. Aaron had to work. I hope you had some good snacks too! The following is a  pizza we made on Saturday... a day early. 


1. Mix together sauce ingredients (1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup buttermilk, 2-3 Tbsp Ranch dip, 1-2 Tbsp buffalo sauce) and spread on store-bought pizza crust (we like whole wheat). Sprinkle on chopped onions.


 2. Toss 2 cooked, diced chicken breasts with buffalo sauce. Just enough to coat it. Sprinkle on the pizza.

3. Sprinkle with 1 cup Mozzarella and 1 cup Cheddar cheese.

4. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly... just like the picture!

6. Cut and enjoy!! Ooo was this ever good! We love buffalo flavored things, and this was perfect! 

Friday, February 4, 2011

So Glad Today is DONE!!

Yes, that's right... today is over!! Hallelujah! Why so happy, you ask? 'Cause I had 3 fillings at the dentist today! Ugh. I was worried before hand, you know? Who likes the dentist? It's just awkward with their hands and tools all over your mouth... and poking a needle in your gums to numb you up. Yuck. I'd had it done before, but a long time ago. I have a very important warning for EVERYONE-- Do not go to Aspen Dental in Sioux City, IA. It was absolutely awful. More awful than it needed to be. Top was a breeze, which the dentist told me it would be. Then 2 on the bottom. One on each side. The dentist went like diving into my jaw with the needle and poked 4 times on each side, way down deep to the main nerve. I seriously jumped out of the seat each time she hit that nerve. OMG! It was awful. Please don't go there. We only went there because I wanted to try it. Had a coupon, thought it would be a nice break from Dr. Addink... nope, I would have given my life for Dr. Addink during those fillings!

Ok, whew... good to vent! :) 

I came home and thought I'd reward myself with some Enchiladas and Pumpkin Butterscotch Blondies. 

 Ahhh... ooey gooey enchiladas! They were not bad for just "whipping" them up with what I had in the pantry. :) 

1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small can green chiles
2 cups cheddar jack cheese
2-3 chicken breasts, seasoned with chili powder & cumin, cooked and diced
1 green pepper, diced

Mix together sour cream, tomatoes, & green chiles. Spread a dallop on each tortilla. Top with some chicken, black beans, green peppers, and cheese. Repeat until your 9x13 pan is full. :) 

I saved some of the sour cream mixture and topped the enchiladas with that and sprinkled some more cheese on top. 

I covered the pan with foil and baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then took foil off and cooked 5-10 minutes more. 

 After chowing down on 2 of those, I needed something sweet & ran upon this recipe for Pumpkin Butterscotch Blondies. I'm sharing the full 9x13 recipe, but you can see in the picture I cut it in 1/2 for Aaron & Me. 

2 cups flour
1½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1¼ cups brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, soda, and salt and whisk together and set aside. In a second mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in egg, vanilla and pumpkin. Mixture may appear slightly curdled at this point but its okay. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in butterscotch chips.
Spread batter in prepared pan and smooth out the top with a rubber spatula. Bake about 35-40 minutes until edges begin to pull away from side of pan and toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Cool completely in the pan. Invert out of pan onto wire rack, peel off foil, cut into squares and transfer to a serving plate.

Your turn (leave a comment)-- What's the worst dentist experience you have?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Snowy Day to you! There's supposed to be -40 degree windchill tonight!! NEGATIVE FORTY!!!! Yikes!!

So, I thought I would share a comforty, cheesy, and warm casserole today! Aaron & I had it for lunch & it's wonderful! And we have looooooots of leftovers! Look at this dish!!


Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Rice Casserole

Serves 6-8

2 cups (uncooked) medium grain brown rice (could use white rice)
Chicken broth
3 cups broccoli
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks & seasoned with salt, pepper & garlic powder
Non-stick spray
5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk, divided
1/3 cup sour cream
12oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

1. Cook rice according to package directions, using chicken  broth instead of water. When rice has 5-7 minutes left until fully cooked, add broccoli and green onions into the pot to steam.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet sprayed with non-stick spray over medium-high heat and cook seasoned chicken until done. Remove to a plate and carefully wipe out the inside of the skillet with a paper towel.

3. Turn heat down to medium then whisk together flour and 1/2 cup milk in the skillet. Gradually add remaining 1 1/2 cups milk while whisking constantly, until mixture is boiling. Turn off heat and add 8oz shredded cheese and sour cream. Stir until smooth. Season sauce with garlic powder, salt and pepper then mix.

4. Combine cooked rice/broccoli/green onion mixture, chicken and cheese sauce, then stir to combine. Pour mixture into a non-stick sprayed 9×13 casserole dish and top with remaining 4oz of cheese. Broil until cheese is golden brown. Let casserole cool for 5 minutes before serving.

You can taste it right??! :) Although this recipe isn't probably labeled "healthy", I like it because it doesn't use any canned soups... you know? Those "cream of who knows what" soups. Don't get me wrong, I like them in my cheesy potatoes, but they are horrible for you. :) So, enjoy the natural cheesy goodness!