Friday, February 25, 2011

A Good Start To A Good Day

Breakfast Potatoes 
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Grate the potatoes and onions into a bowl. Mix in seasonings of choice and fry. Grate cheese on top. Serve hot.
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • seasoned salt
  • pepper
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • parsley
  • butter
  • onion
  • bell pepper
  • cheese
  • mushrooms
  • ham
  • zucchini
  • tomato
  1. Whip the egg and water together. Add seasonings.
  2. Put butter in pan and heat up. Put whipped egg in pan. As the egg cooks, push in sides and tilt pan to get uncooked egg on pan. Once the egg is fully cooked on the beginning and is partially cooked on top, flip. 
  3. While egg is cooking, fry up fillings if desired.
  4. Put fillings on top and fold omelet in half. Put extra filling on top.
Scrambled Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ground black pepper (to taste)
  • parsley
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)

  1. In a large bowl whisk the eggs with milk, baking powder, salt, and black pepper. Whisk until well combined. Let stand at room temperature for at least 5 minutes.
  2.  Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add butter and melt until sizzling. 
  3. Whisk eggs again briefly then mix in the cheddar cheese (if using). Pour the egg mixture into the hot skillet. Stir constantly with a spatula until the eggs have reached desired consistency.
  4. Put on plate and enjoy! 
Source: kingarthurflour
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk*
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted, or oil
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  1. In a large bowl, beat together the egg yolks, buttermilk and butter or oil till well combined. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Gently stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. 
  2. Beat egg whites till stiff. Gently fold them into batter. 
  3. Bake waffles in a preheated, oiled waffle iron till done.
Buttermilk Syrup
Source: allrecipes
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda. Bring to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes.  
  2. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla.

The Help

The Help *****
by Katherine Stockett
Book Type: Historical Fiction, Drama 
Summary: The novel is told from the point of view of three narrators: Aibileen Clark, a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children, and who has recently lost her only son; Minny Jackson, an African-American maid whose back-talk towards her employers results in her having to frequently change jobs, exacerbating her desperate need for work as well as her family's struggle with money; and Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, a young white woman and recent college graduate who, after moving back home, discovers that a maid that helped raise her since childhood has abruptly disappeared and her attempts to find her have come to nought. The stories of the three women intertwine to explain how life in Jackson, Mississippi revolves around "the help", with complex relations of power, money, emotion, and intimacy tying together the white and black families of Jackson.
summary found on wikipedia
My Review: This book was FABULOUS. At least I really liked it. It is just so... real and sincere. The characters are so full and engaging. I loved all of them. I cried and cheered as I read this novel. Seriously well written and very fulfilling. 
Note** There is some cursing and one thing that is kind of disgusting that I guess offended some people but seriously, I was sad when the story finished, I wanted more.

Does Anybody Else Crave Pizza Every Other Day?




  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 c warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 1/3 c all-purpose flour
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour. 
  2. Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky.
  3. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour.
  4. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes before topping and baking it.  
(It’s also a good idea to stick it in the oven for about 10 minutes before putting on the toppings if you do it this way) 
  1. Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Note: This dough is really good for bread sticks too.  Just throw on some parmesan, garlic powder, onion salt, and oregano.

(we don't have a real recipe for this... It's all about what you like! But this is what Russ likes to do...)
  • Tomato Paste
  • Water
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Sugar
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  1. Put tomato paste and some water (until desired consistency) into a small pot. Season to taste and cook on low heat until heated through. :)
Clearly the toppings are entirely your choice, but... Some of our favorites include:
  • mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • olives
  • pepperoni
  • sausage
  • bell pepper
  • onion
  • mushrooms

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader ****
It was very different from the book. But, I thought overall it was very well done. The only thing I didn't like was them pulling the witch back into the story and Edmond not being as AWESOME as he is in the book. They kind of gave him attitude at the beginning... But other than that, I thought that they did a pretty decent job. I'd see it again :)

Perfect Side For Those Burgers

Homestyle Sweet Potato Fries
  • 4 sweet potatoes, cut into large French fries
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Place the cut sweet potatoes into a microwave-safe dish with the water. Cook on in the microwave for 5 minutes on full power. Drain off liquid, and toss with Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Arrange fries on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once, or until fries are crispy on the outside. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Megamind ****
I saw this movie with my sister-in-law and was pleasantly surprised! The movie looked funny, but it was more creative and clever than I expected. It had an unexpected twist, for me anyway! And I really liked it!


R E D ***1/2
Action packed, really funny. We enjoyed this movie. "Can I kill her now?" This movie is about a bunch of old retired CIA agents who are Retired and Extremely Dangerous. This movie is witty and clever. Very entertaining! At least we liked it. :)


Tangled ****1/2
FABULOUS. A great combination of classic Disney and new Disney. SO funny and a wonderful soundtrack. Maximus is fabulously funny and I ADORED Flynn Rider. The voice, the character, everything. I was pleasantly surprised by how wonderful Mandy Moore did as the main character. This movie is one of my new favorites!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Knight and Day

Knight and Day ****
Can I just say that I kind of really loved this movie?Tom Cruise is hilarious and Cameron Diaz played off of him perfectly. It is SO funny. Lots of action, lots of laughs, and a cute ending to wrap it all up. Overall I can't get enough of this movie!

What's Your Favorite Comfort Food?

This is one of mine... YUM.
Hearty Bacon Potato Chowder
  • 8 slices of bacon, chopped 
  • 1 cup chopped onion 
  • 1 cup chopped celery 
  • 2 med. potatoes, peeled and cubed 
  • 1 cup chicken broth 
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup 
  • ½ cup sour cream 
  • 1 ½ cups milk 
  • 1 T. dried parsley 
  • Salt and pepper 
  1. In a saucepan, cook the bacon until slightly browned. Add onion and celery and cook until tender. Pour off the drippings. Add potatoes and broth, salt and pepper if needed.
  2. Cover, simmer 12-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Stir in soup, sour cream, milk, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Heat Through.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Good Homestyle Dinner

Pork and Sauerkraut

  • 1 pork roast
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 can of sauerkraut
  • 1 T. oil
  • ½ c. water
  1. Rub the roast with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Brown the roast on all sides in the oil. Put the roast on the crock pot.
  3. Chop up the onion and fry it in the remaining oil and grease from the roast. Add more oil if necessary.
  4. Once the onion has browned, add the sauerkraut. After a minute or two add the water and scrape off the remains from the bottom of the pan. Pour all over top and around the roast and cook on low for 4 – 5 hours.
Nummy Mashed Potatoes
  • potatoes
  • cream cheese
  • onion
  • garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • butter
  • oregano
  • milk
  1. Wash, peel, and chop potatoes. Add potatoes to pot of water and boil until fork tender.
  2. Drain potatoes. Add next 7 ingredients and mash the potatoes up until creamy using fork, potato masher, or hand mixer.


A sketch I did...
And... My first attempt at using color pastels. I drew it with pencil, I think next time I'll try pen. The pencil just kept smudging and I couldn't use the pastels very well... Hmmm...

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice
Recently I decided to over indulge myself in Pride and Prejudice. I read the books Pride and Prejudice and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I also watched the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice and just happened to catch the new version of Pride and Prejudice on t.v. PHEW. I am done Done DONE with Pride and Prejudice. But! Here's a look at what I thought of all of the above... :)
 Pride and Prejudice ***1/2

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies ***

Pride and Prejudice ***1/2

 Pride and Prejudice ****
 I think I've decided that the new movie is my favorite of them all. It is shortish... Has a FANTASTIC soundtrack. And I thought that it was acted very well. But, I didn't love the book, so that's probably why I preferred it over the BBC version. It is JUST like the book. SO, if you LOVE LOVE LOVE the book, the BBC version will rock your world. But, I do have to agree with the rumor that Collin Firth is a fantastic Darcy. :)


Just a homemade scarf I made for Russ!

A Delicious Valentine's Day

Sliced Steak with Green Olive and Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tsp. hot sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless shoulder steak or top round steak
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 c. chicken stock
  • 1/2 c. large pitted green olives, chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
  1. Preheat the broiler on high. 
  2. Combine the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, a liberal drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and smear this mixture over the steak. 
  3. Put the steak on a broiler pan on the rack closest to the flame. Broil it for 6 minutes per side. 
  4. Remove it from the broiler and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes, loosely covered with a piece of aluminum foil.
  5. While the steak is broiling, make the green olive and tomato sauce.
  6. Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat with the 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, twice around the pann.
  7. Add the onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. 
  8. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes; let the onions take on a little color. Add the chicken stock and cook until it has reduced by half.
  9. Add the olives, parsley, lemon juice, and tomatoes. Stir them to combine, turn off the heat, and add the cold butter, stirring until it is completely melted and incorporated.
  10. Slice the rested steak very thin against the grain and on a slight angle. Serve the sliced steak with some of the green olive and tomato sauce.
Sauteed Artichokes and Mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 1/4 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until they take on a little color. 
  2. Add the garlic and season the darkened mushrooms with salt and pepper, cook them for 2 minutes more, then add the artichokes and chicken stock to the skillet and cook them together to heat through. 
  3. Add the parsley to the skillet, toss to combine, and serve.
Charred Asparagus Tips
  • 1 bundle asparagus
  • olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Hold a spear of asparagus at both ends, then snap it. Where the asparagus breaks naturally can be your guide to trim the bundle of spears. Save the tough ends to make soup, if you like.
  3. Dress the spears with oil, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Scatter the spears on a thin pizza pan or baking sheet and roast them for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they are charred at the edges.
We originally found these recipes in Rachael Ray's 2,4,6,8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds cookbook. It's FABULOUS.

Leftover Chicken, or not!

So a SUPER quick fairly cheap dinner when you just don't feel like making anything is a roasted chicken. You can get one at pretty much any grocery store (Wal*Mart is cheapest, BUT they stop selling them pretty early.) Anyway, whenever Russ and I pick up one of these roasted chicken we always have a ton of extra chicken! So, this is one of our FAVORITE ways to use up those left overs. It's probably even better with fresh chicken... But it is still great like this!
Chicken Enchiladas
source:  Sarah Fuller
  • 1 lb. chicken, cut up into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cans diced green chilies
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put chicken and next 3 ingredients in frying pan and heat through. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix ingredients in sauce. 
  4. Add 1/3 of sauce to the cooked chicken and mix. Cover the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with 1/2 of remaining sauce. 
  5. Spoon chicken mixture into tortillas. Roll up tortilla and place in pan in a row. Mixture should fill about 1 package of tortillas. 
  6. Once all of chicken mixture has been used, pour the remaining sauce over top and place in oven.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until sauce begins to bubble. 
  8. Once the enchiladas are heated through, put grated cheese on top and let melt. Serve with shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, fresh tomatoes, olives, green onions, and extra cheddar cheese.

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Gentlemen Broncos

    Gentlemen Broncos ...
    BUH. PAINFUL. I don't even know how to rate this movie. Seriously. So bizarre. But, if you like Napoleon Dynamite or Nacho Libre you MIGHT like this one. SERIOUSLY weird... Yeah. It's kind of like stabbing yourself in the eye with a pencil. Repeatedly... Kinda :) 
    **According to Russell on the Napoleon Dynamite scale, it's a 10 out of 5. :)

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Happy Valentine's Day

    Happy Valentine's Day!!! Here are the crafts that I made for the holiday this year! :)

    I found the original heart crochet pattern here. She has smaller and bigger ones. I did the small and medium sized ones. I also made up some of my own based on the basic pattern. They're super easy, and super cute! :) I also thought about making this pattern, but I haven't gotten around to it yet...

    Simple BUT Delicious

    Baked Potatoes
    • Potatoes
    • Olive Oil
    • Salt
    • Cheese
    • Olives
    • Green onions
    • Sour cream
    • Ranch Dressing
    • Butter
    • Salt and pepper
    • Chili
    • Bacon or bacon bits
    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Clean your potatoes with a stiff-bristled brush and cold water and remove any bruises or miscolored spots.
    3. Take a fork and stab about 6-12 holes deeply into the potatoes flesh, depending on the size of the potatoes you are using.
    4. Dribble oil on the potatoes and use your hand to coat the whole thing. Lightly sprinkle salt on all sides.
    5. Arrange them in oven directly on the rack. Place a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any drippings.
    6. Cook potatoes for about 45 minutes. You'll know they're done when the skin is puffed up, golden-brown and crispy, and the potato should squish easily and be very soft on the inside.
    I got the idea for putting oil and salt on the potatoes from this website.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Looking for Something Délicieux?

    How about some French Onion Soup? We've tried to make French Onion Soup MANY times over the years, but this is the first one we've ever made that we actually LOVED. YUM. You should definitely try it out! :)
    French Onion Soup

    • 2 Tbsp. butter
    • 1 Tbsp oil
    • 3 large onions, thinly sliced
    • 1 tsp. brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
    • 2 x 10- ounce cans condensed beef consomme
    • 2 Tbsp. medium sherry (we replaced this with 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar + 2 tsp. sugar + dash lemon juice)
    • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    • 8 slices French bread
    • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1 c. grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
    • salt and black pepper
    • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
      1. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions and brown sugar gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions start to turn golden brown.
      2. Stir in the flour and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour in the consomme plus two cans of water, then add the sherry and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer gently for another 25-30 minutes.
      3. Preheat the broiler and just before serving, toast the bread lightly on both sides. Spread one side of each slice with the mustard and top with grated cheese. Broil the toasts until bubbling and golden.
      4. Ladle soup into bowls. Pop croutons on top of each bowl of soup and garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Serve immediately. 
      This recipe was originally found in 500 All-Time Great Recipes.

      Monday, February 7, 2011

      Despicable Me

      Despicable Me *****
      Pleasantly entertaining. Very cute, very funny. We REALLY loved this movie. Great for anyone of any age! There is a great message, funny and cute characters, and a really well developed cute story. "SQUID LAUNCHER!" "Oh poop." Go rent it on redbox! Now! :)
      If you ever try one of our recipes we would love to hear your feedback! Let us know if you like them or if you make any changes! We love comments! :)


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