Sunday, June 26, 2011

We Interrupt Your Programming....

Yep, that's right. No recipe today. Because I want to share my steal that I got from Hobby Lobby yesterday!!!!! 

You are not going to believe all the treasures I got for $99.57! It's quite amazing. And, of course, I bought these items with the new house in mind! 

Look at all that stuff!! I got 13 frames, 2 decorative boxes, 6 candles, & 4 decorative hooks. 

Let's look closer, huh?

Those 2 gigantic frames... $8.80 a piece!! Cheap-o! Love it! Everything I got was in the 80% off clearance isle! Sweet!

So what am I gonna do with all that stuff?? Well, here's one thing I already created...

I had some floral photos that worked lovely in these 3 frames! The one in the middle needs some cool backing paper, and then it's good to go! These frames were just $4 a piece! Cheap decor I tell you. Cheap. :)  

Some other things I'm going to do with my stuff? I'm going to frame our graduation pictures (in our nursing and police officer uniforms), and I'm going to try out making some "stick art"! 

Yep! Those are from my yard and are going to be used to make a sweet decorative piece!! I found this idea on Love!

See? Stick art! Haha. I'm going to use the large frames, the sticks I found, and then I'll probably liven it up with a couple floral accents when I decide what color I want. 

So I'm excited! It's not every day you get ALL that stuff for that price! :) Hehe. 

Ok, there is some food in this post. That was my supper tonight!! Holy guacamole! It was delicious! There is no recipe... it's just courtesy of good ol' HyVee! Steaks, pre-made twice baked potatoes & sweet corn! It was all perfect! I was nervous buying the sweet corn this time of year, but it popped right off the cob and was pretty tasty!! 

Look at that grilling perfection! Thanks Aaron!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tomato & Cream Cheese Griddler

Guess what?!?! We probably get to move sooner! We're probably closing on the house July 29ish... YAY!

I have a quick & easy summer recipe to share today. 

Tomato & Cream Cheese Griddler

I started out by using an "Everything" Bagel Thin. Opened it up and spread on some cream cheese.

Then pile up your toppings. All I used was spinach, tomato and green pepper.

Can't wait to make these with garden produce!! :) 

Then griddle up your sandwich and eat!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Snickerdoodle Blondies & Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Hi! We're buying a house!!!! Yep, yep, yep!! Our offer was accepted on this house-- 

Isn't it darling? It looks kinda lonely and small, but it's wonderful! There's lots of updates inside and it's in a great neighborhood, and there's a gigantic back yard... that's fenced no less!!! YAY! If everything goes as planned we would move in around mid-late August. 

You don't care? You came here for the food? Good, I have some!

Buffalo Chicken Wraps
Chicken breasts
Frank's buffalo sauce
Ranch dip mix

Sorry, I didn't measure anything. Just put a few chicken breasts in a crock pot, cover well with buffalo sauce (close to whole bottle) and sprinkle with some Ranch dip mix (not quite the whole packet, maybe 1/2?) Cook on low for a few hours until done. Remove from crock pot and shred chicken.

Assemble and eat!

Yum! You could drizzle some more buffalo sauce on top... but I didn't. 

Now dessert.

Snickerdoodle Blondies
From In Good Taste
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
3. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan (mixture will be somewhat cookiebatter-ish.) Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.
4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool slightly. While still warm, cut into bars with a sharp knife.

Have a good week!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cupcakes anyone??

Hey there! I'm feeling cupcakes today. The sad thing? I don't have any. I made these a couple weeks ago... and they were gone nearly the same day! :) They were wonderful. 

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
¾ cup cake flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Zest of  1 lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. lemon juice
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. milk, at room temperature
1 cup fresh blueberries

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 1 large lemon
Additional fresh blueberries, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the ¾ cup all-purpose flour, the cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar and lemon zest.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Blend in the milk.  Mix in the remaining dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated.
In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.  Using a spatula gently fold the berries into the cake batter.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾ full.  Bake 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pans 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the lemon juice and lemon zest.  Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. Garnish with fresh blueberries.

Chocolate Chip PB Cookie Dough Cupcakes
For Cupcakes:
3 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
5 large egg whites, room temperature
2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pre-made PB chocolate chip cookie dough (from refrig. section in the store)

For Frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup chocolate peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams- see below, found at Wal-Mart)

Make the Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Combine 3 1/4 cups of cake flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and set aside.  Stir the vanilla into the milk.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter on medium high speed until smooth.  Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture.  Beat until just combined after each flour or milk addition.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Fold gently into the batter.  Coat chocolate chips in remaining 1 tablespoon of flour and fold into batter.  Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.  Place a cookie dough ball in the center of each cupcake (see below).  Bake cupcakes for 18-22 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.

Make the Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, and chocolate peanut butter and beat mixture until smooth. Spread frosting over top of cooled cupcakes, topping with additional chocolate chips if desired.

HOKEY TOOTS-- DO YOU SEE THAT?!?! That is pure indulgence- HEAVEN! :) Yum.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Perfect Summer Day

Hi there! How's the start of your week going? I hope better than mine. Both of our cars are breaking down. Our Sonata had a flat tire yesterday... severe flat... like no driving on it. And we really need a few new tires for that car. So there we have a few $$$. Then our Grand Prix... "old faithful", as I like to call her... has some deteriorating shocks. We hit any bump on the road and it feels like the back end is going to sway/swerve off the road. Lovely!! So anyways, we're gonna get a deal on tires at Sears on Thursday. And dad hooked us up with hopefully a cheap service shop in Sioux Center- Campanas. There's supposed to be a "~" thing over the n. You know? So it sounds like "campanyas". :) Anyways, there's some good guys that work there, started by one of dad's employees... so we're sure they'll get us fixed up and treat us right! I'll give you my full review after service. :)

Whew is it ever hot here! Yikes! Yesterday it got up to like 98 degrees. Or "109" as my car read... haha. HOT! We decided to do some gardening in the heat. Why not, you know?! 

That's Aaron in the back using a delightful garden cultivator for the bargain price of $25/day. Boy did that save our backs! And bodies... from the heat! He just whipped through those rows throwing the weeds out of the way! Beautiful! If anyone has or knows of someone wanting to get rid of a garden cultivator, we're in the business of getting one! :) 

Look at those beautiful beans! They are my favorite. They are so easy to grow, and they grow fast! :)

Let's see, Saturday was the most gorgeous day like ever. It was perfect temperature, minimal wind, and no smell out here on the farm. So we took full advantage. 

We grilled some burgers! You can barely see the burger under all those toppings! Haha. Topped with cheese, caramelized onions & mushrooms, tomato... ahhhh. Perfection. Along side we have baked beans, cherry tomatoes, cottage cheese, and grilled asparagus (hunted by your's truly)!  Mmm Mmm! 

Oh yes, and a beautiful bowl of cantelope. Yum!! 

Aww, look at Suzie wait so patiently. She loooooves cantelope.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken & French Puffs

Happy Friday!! Yay! It's yucky outside though, and as I heard someone say "it feels like the inside of a wet diaper"!!! HAHA! Yes it does, though. 

Well, news here? We are beginning to "house hunt" in Sioux City. Why? Because Aaron is going back to college at WIT in the fall. :) Haha... news, huh?! Ya, we have no news for a long time... and now we have big news! Aaron has decided to go back for Paramedic training. Something he has been involved in in the past, and something he still has a passion for. He's just one big public servant! :) Love him! 

We are definately taking the house hunt a little more seriously and smarter this time around. We kind of jumped in too quickly last time in KS. We know what we need/want, and we're not going to make many sacrifices this time. I am excited to get back to Sioux City... I like the bigger city feel, and expanded shopping/dining options.

So, I'm sure you'll be hearing more about what we're finding, etc. So stay tuned! 

Now, let's eat!

Yes, those are potatoes from a box. I do cave every once in awhile... for a good sale, that is. And they are yummy!

Let's talk about the chicken though. That was quite tasty! Thanks to The Pajama Chef!

Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken
1 lb thinly sliced chicken breasts
~1/2 cup flour
~1 Tbsp paprika
Canola oil
2-3 fresh lemons, juiced
~2 Tbsp Brown sugar

(~ = give or take, guestimate, don't bother measuring exactly)

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-medium high heat. Combine flour and paprika in a small bowl. Coat the chicken breasts in flour mixture and brown on each side, about 2 minutes each side. 

- Place in a casserole dish and top with brown sugar.

- Heat lemon juice briefly in hot skillet, stirring up good bits left from chicken. :)  By the way, you know how to juice a lemon, right? And you know how much better fresh lemon juice tastes than store-bought, right?? It's so easy, just slice the lemon in half and squeeze into a bowl, removing any seeds that fall in. Annnnnd, putting the left-over skins, etc down the garbage disposal makes it smell fresh!

- Pour lemon juice over chicken. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. 

Look at that crusty brown sugar! It kind of reminds me of chinese food! It's good! Along side of boxed potatoes, and asparagus I hunted! :)

Ok, and just because recipes/pictures are backing up in my supply... I have to share this with you!!!!

Simple, sugary, buttery, AMAZING! Pioneer Woman's French Breakfast Puffs! I don't really have any idea why they're french? Or breakfast? Or puffs? They are kinda like cinnamon sugar muffins... or cake donuts! They are to die for though! And easy enough to make quick on the spot, like I did one night! I needed something sweet! And the ingredients are so easy!

So I quick made them! I made 1/2 of Pioneer Woman's recipe, which was supposed to only make 6 muffins... but it still made 12 like her original recipe said it would! 

Cinnamon Sugar Cake Donut Muffins (the name I'm gonna give them, and I'm gonna give you the 1/2 recipe I used, which gave me 12 muffins)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup Crisco shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter (I think I used even less than that)

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.

- In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.

- In a different bowl, cream together 1/2 cup sugar and shortening. Then add eggs and mix again. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.

- Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

- In a bowl, melt butter. In a separate bowl combine remaining sugar and cinnamon. Dip baked muffins in butter, coating thoroughly, then coat with cinnamon-sugar mixture. 

Oh dear!!!!!!!! THESE WERE AMAZING! Like... make them right now!