Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Such a GREAT way to start out the day!

Biscuits and Gravy
source: the pioneer woman
  • 1 pound Breakfast Sausage
  • 1 can (16 Oz.) Canned Biscuits
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Slice the breakfast sausage and place in a warm pan. Cook the sausage according to the instruction (thoroughly cooked inside). Remove them to a paper towel to drain.
  2. Place your biscuits into the oven to cook according to the instructions on the can.
  3. Pour grease out of the skillet/pan you used for the sausage, adding back in only what you want to use to make the gravy. For one to two people, use about 2 to 3 tbsp. of grease. Over low to medium-low heat, add about 2 tbsp of flour to the grease and whisk immediately. If you add in a little more grease so it’s smooth and stirrable. You want to find a good balance between the flour and the grease.
  4. Once you find it, just keep stirring with the whisk and allow the mixture to brown for a few minutes. As you whisk, scrape in the anything from the bottom of the pan as you go.
  5. After 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly, pour in about a cup of milk. IF the mixture is dry, lumpy or pasty, add in more milk – again, drawing a balanced mixture. Add salt to taste. Add some crumbled up sausage to gravy-you can add all of it or none or it. As much as you want! Let the gravy warm up over low heat, stirring occasionally. Cut prepared biscuits in half pour gravy atop them.


Broccoli Cheese Soup
source: the pioneer woman
  • 1 whole Onion, Diced
  • 1 stick (1/2 Cup Butter)
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 4 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 4 heads Broccoli Cut Into Florets
  • 1 pinch Nutmeg
  • 3 cups Grated Cheese (mild Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar, Jack, Etc.)
  • Small Dash Of Salt (more If Needed)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Chicken Broth If Needed For Thinning
  1. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes, then sprinkle the flour over the top. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or so, then pour in milk and half-and-half. Add nutmeg, then add broccoli, a small dash of salt, and plenty of black pepper.
  2. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Stir in cheese and allow to melt.
  3. Taste seasonings and adjust if needed. Then either serve as is, or mash it with a potato masher to break up the broccoli a bit, or transfer to a blender in two batches and puree completely. (If you puree it in a blender, return it to the heat and allow to heat up. Splash in chicken broth if needed for thinning.)

On the Street Where you Live

On the Street Where you Live ***
by Mary Higgins Clark
Book Type: Mystery
Summary: Following a nasty divorce, attorney Emily Graham buys her ancestral home, a Victorian house, in Spring Lake, New Jersey. The house was sold by Emily's ancestors in 1892 after a young girl disappeared. During renovations, the skeleton of a woman who disappeared a few years go is found. In her hand is the finger bone of another woman wearing a ring. Emily is determined to find a connection between the two deaths, but she becomes a threat to a seductive killer.
summary found on goodreads
My Review: It took me a while to get into this book. It starts out kind of slow, and there are so many characters that it takes a long time to really feel connected to the story. BUT once you do, it gets interesting. You just want to know what's going to happen next and who the murderer is. By the end I couldn't put the book down and I couldn't wait to find out who the murderer is. Everyone in this book had baggage so they seemed likely suspects. It was a very fun book in the end, I'm glad I read it!

Pinnacle Peak

Pinnacle Peak
location: Tucson, AZ
We have this little old fashioned Western town here in Tucson called trail dust town and they have this little restaurant that is casual, casual. In fact, they cut off your tie if you wear one! There were ties pinned to the walls all around the room. The atmosphere is definitely what you go to this restaurant for. The food was decent, but they over-charge you for all their worth. I think we spent about 40 dollars or so? So... Kinda pricey. It was a fun restaurant to go to once, but I probably wouldn't go there again.

Forbidden Sea

Forbidden Sea ***
by Sheila A. Nielson
Book Type: Y/A, Fantasy
Summary: A mermaid haunts Adrianne's dreams . . . is she coming to warn her, save her, or drag her down into the depths of the briny sea forever?
When Adrianne comes face-to-face with the mermaid of Windwaithe Island, of whom she has heard terrible stories all her life, she is convinced the mermaid means to take her younger sister. Adrianne, fierce-willed and courageous, is determined to protect her sister from the mermaid, and her family from starvation. However, the mermaid continues to haunt Adrianne in her dreams and with her song.

summary found on goodreads
My Review: I used to volunteer at the Provo library, and one day when I was there I started talking to one of the librarians about books and she mentioned that she had written one that would be coming out soon. I have been thinking about reading it ever since! And it took me 3 years but I FINALLY picked it up at the library and I'm glad I did. I had never read a book about mermaids before, but I know that they are generally portrayed as being mischievous, dark, maybe even a little evil...ish? In this book you don't know what to think about the mermaid that is haunting Adrianne's dreams. She is creepy, eery, and she seems to have bad intentions. But keep reading, the turn of events was not what I expected! I enjoyed reading a new type of story. It was fun and different for me. The main character drove me a little crazy at times because she never stood up for herself. She was TOO selfless. I think for a character to be realistic they need to be a little bit selfish at times. I'm just saying... but other than that... It was a very fun story.

Just another way to eat PIZZA

Braided Pizza Loaf
source: Six Sister's Stuff
  • 1 roll refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1/2 c. marinara/pizza sauce
  • 1 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Pizza toppings of your choice: ie, ham and pineapple, pepperoni slices, sausage, etc.
  • 2 Tbl. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil or melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll pizza dough on a greased baking sheet.
  2. Spread marinara sauce down the middle of your dough. Add mozzarella cheese and toppings of your choice.
  3. Cut 1 inch diagonal strips up each side of the dough. Fold 1 inch strips up and over pizza filling, alternating sides to get a braided look. Brush the tops of the braided dough with olive oil or melted butter and then sprinkle with the garlic, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.  
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes then cut into slices and serve.

Duct Tape Wallet

I have always wanted a duct tape wallet. I think they're way cool. So Russ and I decided to make one and it turned out pretty good. We used a smaller roll of duct tape so it wasn't as easy to put together as the regular duct tape would be. It is starting to fall apart a little bit. BUT it's still really cool and I think it will be easy to fix. :) here is the tutorial we used to make these suckers: duct tape tutorial. The girl may come across as a bit of an airhead. Okay, maybe more than a bit... But she explains everything really clearly, so her tutorial is very easy to follow! Good luck!

The Strain

The Strain ***1/2
by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan
Book Type: Horror, Fiction
Summary: A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Ephraim "Eph" Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold.
In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing.
So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets. Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save his city - a city that includes his wife and son - before it is too late.

summary on goodreads
My Review: "Imagine that you’re reading one of those Twilight books as Edward is whispering chaste sweet nothings into Bella’s ear, and it was oh-so-romantic-and-couldn’t-you-just-die-OMG-OMG-OMG. Suddenly Edward’s head flips back and his throat opens up like he just became a Pez dispenser. A six foot stinger/sucker thing flies out, and it zaps that silly girl right in a major artery and drains her dry in about twenty seconds while parasitic worms take over her corpse and turn her into a mindless bloodsucking meatbag." I read this review on goodreads and thought it as hilarious! And SO TRUE. This book is seriously creepy. I'm used to reading young adult novels where the focus is on love and drama! This book is anything BUT. If you want to read this book, DON'T read it at night. It will give you nightmares :). And be aware that it does swear. A lot. And there is some inappropriate material at the beginning of the story. This is definitely a novel written for a more mature audience. So if you are up for insanely creepy vampires that are blood sucking monsters with no human semblance left in them, this is a great novel for you. :)

Mi Nidito

Mi Nidito
locations: Tucson, AZ
This restaurant my be in the scary part of town but OH MY GOSH  IT IS GOOD. SERIOUSLY. Man, we ordered a cheese tostadas, enchilada, tamale, and taco. All of it was delicious!! Oh my goodness. This place has been on a few cooking shows on t.v. because it is incredible! And apparently famous. Haha. Anyway, it is to die for! I would definitely go there sometime! The prices are fairly average for Mexican food. I'd say about 10-15 bucks a plate! Good stuff. Mmmm... Now I'm craving My Nidito. YUM.

Dirty Little Secrets

Dirty Little Secrets ***
by C.J. Omolohu
Book Type: Y/A, Realistic Fiction
Summary: Everyone has a secret. But Lucy’s is bigger and dirtier than most. It’s one she’s been hiding for years—that her mom’s out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame. She’s managed to keep her home life hidden from her best friend and her crush, knowing they’d be disgusted by the truth. So, when her mom dies suddenly in their home, Lucy hesitates to call 911 because revealing their way of life would make her future unbearable—and she begins her two-day plan to set her life right.
With details that are as fascinating as they are disturbing, C. J. Omololu weaves an hour-by-hour account of Lucy’s desperate attempt at normalcy. Her fear and isolation are palpable as readers are pulled down a path from which there is no return, and the impact of hoarding on one teen’s life will have readers completely hooked.
summary found on goodreads

My Review: This was a very interesting and enlightening book for me. It was a sad story about a young girl who is SO embarrassed of the way her mom lives that she pretends that everything is okay even though her mom is dead. It was really intriguing to read about what it would be like to live with a hoarder. The house they live in is a disgusting wreck. I couldn't believe the girl didn't tell anyone what happened to her mom! But, I can understand why she's so ashamed of the house she lives in. It was very interesting reading about that type of life.

Well these are just GOOD

Chocolate Chip Cookies
source: Cassie Jones
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 c flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 c chocolate chips
  • 1 c chopped nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine sugars and add butter. Beat until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs.
  3. Sift flour, soda, and salt.
  4. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix well. Add chocolate chips and nuts.
  5. Use small ice cream scoop to drop dough onto cookie sheets.
  6. Bake about 10-12 minutes. Pull them out when they're still a little gooey... YUM.

The Host

The Host ***
by Stephanie Meyer
Book Type: Sci Fi, Romance
Summary: Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.
When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

summary found on goodreads
My Review: My first attempt at a Stephanie Meyer book... It was alright for me. It was a little too dramatic, it was dragged on a bit. BUT, it was pretty fun to read a book from the alien's perspective. I would say that the story was fun but it just felt kind of blegh to me. There was too much of the boring, fluffy details and not enough of the interesting exciting details. I got through the book, but barely. A few times I was bored and frustrated with the story. Other times I couldn't put it down. Okay, maybe I never felt like THAT but there were some parts that I really enjoyed. I liked how selfless the main character was. I liked how you never knew what the humans would do to the alien. You were just waiting for someone to try and kill her again. So... It was WAY too long and the story dragged out too much for me, BUT the basic idea, the basis of the story was good. It was fun. I feel like Stephanie Meyer has a lot of good ideas for her stories, she just doesn't quite come up to par when she puts its all together.

My Fair Godmother Books

My Fair Godmother ***1/2
by Janette Rallison
Book Type: Y/A, Fantasy
Summary: Finding your one true love can be a Grimm experience! After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she’s only Fair—because she’s not a very good fairy student—Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight.
summary found on goodreads
My Review: I decided to read this book because I fell in love with "Just One Wish" by the same author. Also! Because I love fairy tale books, they're cheesy... But I seriously like them! This book was clever and cute. I enjoyed the twist of a modern 21st century girl being thrown into a few of the original fairy tales we all grew up with! Rallison's version of Cinderella and Snow White were different from the story I grew up with. But I just re-read the Brother's Grimm stories and Rallison was pretty spot on! Haha. Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. It was cute, fresh, funny.

My Unfair Godmother ***
by Janette Rallison
Book Type: Y/A, Fantasy
Summary: Tansy Miller has always felt that her divorced father has never had enough time for her. But mistakenly getting caught on the wrong side of the law wasn't exactly how she wanted to get his attention. Enter Chrysanthemum "Chrissy" Everstar, Tansy's fairy in shining, er, high heels. Chrissy is only a fair godmother, of course, so Tansy's three wishes don't exactly go according to plan. And if bringing Robin Hood to the twenty-first century isn't bad enough for Tansy, being transported back to the Middle Ages to deal with Rumpelstiltskin certainly is. She'll need the help of her blended family, her wits, and especially the cute police chief's son to stop the gold-spinning story from spinning wildly out of control. 
summary found on goodreads
My Review: This book was fun in the same way that the first book was, but it was unique enough that I really enjoyed it. Instead of Cinderella and Snow White this character has to deal with the evil, manipulative Rumpelstiltskin. I enjoyed this book just as much as the first one. I just love how cheesy and fun Janette Rallison's books are. These books are ridiculous and outlandish but because a fairy is involved, it's to be expected. :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gimp Project

So the other day I decided to use my straightener for the first time and I wanted to document the results, but the picture quality wasn't that great... SO Russ and I experimented with gimp to try and fix the original. I also wanted to bring out the color of my hair and eyes more because let's be honest, red hair and green eyes... The one thing I really have going for me... So anyway, check out the results!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Another Chinese Date!!

Chinese Lemon Pepper Shrimp
source: blogchef
  • 1 lb medium raw shrimp (peeled and deveined with tails removed)
  • ½ c cornstarch
  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 4 lemon slices
  • 2 green onions (sliced)
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 2 T fresh garlic (chopped)
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger (minced)
  • 1/3 c soy sauce
  • ¾ c water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ¾ c dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp course ground black pepper
  1. In a shaker bag or sealable plastic bowl coat the shrimp with ½ cup of cornstarch. Let the shrimp sit for about 5 minutes so that the cornstarch will adhere better. 
  2. Heat 1 cup of vegetable oil in a wok (or large skillet) over medium heat. Add the shrimp to the wok and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until the shrimp are lightly browned and fully cooked. 
  3. Remove from the wok with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Dump out the oil.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, and lemon slices and stir-fry for 15 seconds. 
  5. Add soy sauce, and then dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in ¾ cup of cold water, and add to the wok. Add brown sugar, lemon juice, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Toss the fried shrimp with the sauce and top with green onions.
Chicken Lo Mein
source: allrecipes
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 c reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 T chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 c hot water
  • 6 oz uncooked linguine
  • 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 lb snow peas
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, julienned
  • 2 green onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 T canola oil, divided
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  1. In a large bowl, combine the cornstarch, ginger, soy sauce and broth until smooth. Add chicken and stir to coat; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve bouillon granules in hot water; set aside. 
  3. Cook linguine according to package directions.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry mushrooms, snow peas, red pepper and green onions in 1 tablespoon canola oil for 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. 
  5. In the same skillet, stir-fry chicken mixture in remaining canola oil for 2-3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in dissolved bouillon. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. 
  6. Return vegetables to skillet. Drain linguine; add sesame oil and linguine to skillet. Toss to coat. Cook 1-2 minutes longer or until heated through. 
Tempura Vegetables
  • Vegetable oil
  • Zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
  • Broccoli florets
  • Flour
  • Carrots, 1/4-inch dice 
  • Onion, Sliced into big chunks
  • 1 c of flour
  • 1T cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 c seltzer water
  • Salt
dipping sauce
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 c soy sauce
  • 1 T fresh ginger, grated
  1. For batter. simply combine all ingredients.
  2. Heat oil to 375 degrees in electric fryer or in a large, deep heavy pan on stove top. Roll vegetables in flour and shake off excess. Dip vegetables into batter and carefully place in oil to fry. 
  3. Remove from oil when golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain. Serve with dipping sauce. 
  4. For dipping sauce, simply combine all ingredients and stir well.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Avengers

The Avengers ****1/2
OH MY GOSH. This movie is AWESOME. Seriously. It is SO cool. It is funny, the special effects are insanely cool, the characters were developed really well. It was fun to see all of the super heroes in action. The hulk was WAY cooler in this movie than any other movie they've made. The actor did a way better job. In the end, we LOVED this movie! And would totally go see it again and again! Definitely see it on the big screen! It's so worth full price!!

How to Take the Ex out of Ex-Boyfriend

How to Take the Ex out of Ex-Boyfriend ***
by Janette Rallison
Book Type: YA, Realistic Fiction

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Giovanna Petrizzo finds it hard enough to fit in. Three years since her family moved to Texas, she's still the newcomer compared to everyone around her. It doesn't help matters when her twin brother, Dante, takes on the mayor's son by running for class president. The least she could expect, though, would be for her boyfriend, Jesse, to support their cause. But Jesse's apparent defection triggers Giovanna's rash emotional side, and before she knows it, she's turned Jesse from the boy of her dreams to the ex-boyfriend she dreams of winning back.
summary found on goodreads
My Review: I read this book because of my love for Rallison's "Just One Wish". This book was not AS good, but it was still pretty fun. Cheesy, silly, kind of ridiculous... But it has it's moments that make you smile. If you're looking for a really light, fun, summer read, this just might be a good choice for you. :)

LeBaron Name Plaque

So when Russ and I went on our AWESOME trip to California we went to Knott's Berry Farm for a day. It was a blast! And, while we were there we decided to give in to the touristy gifts and pay some guy to write our name with his little paint brushes... Sigh, how romantic! :) So we buy this painting of our name and bring it home, just to realise that this picture is a ridiculous size and they don't make picture frames the right size! So... After a lot of thinking and contemplating and finding out it would cost over 200 dollars to get a frame made... REALLY?? We came up with a brilliant plan. We bought a mirror (for 4 bucks!) and we used sand paper to scrape off the back of the mirror. Then we just taped our picture to the back and voila! A beautiful picture frame. Shabam. We are awesome. :)

Poco and Mom's

Poco and Mom's
location: Tucson, AZ
This is a New Mexican style Mexican food restaurant. I had no idea I would LOVE New Mexican style Mexican food so much! Seriously, the chile relleno is seriously delicious! Everything else we got was good too. The enchiladas, tacos, everything! It was all good. I would most definitely go back to this restaurant again and again! The pricing is comparable to any other Mexican restaurant you'd go to. About 8-10 bucks for a combo platter I believe. Super awesome! And the service was great. The waitress that took care of us was ridiculously sarcastic and funny. It was a great experience!

Dreamhouse Kings Series

Dreamhouse Kings Series ***1/2
by Robert Liparulo
Book Type: YA, Fiction, Fantasy
Summary: These books follow the cliffhanging, time-traveling adventures of the King family after they move to a new house in a new town, only to find the home contains eerie portals to other times and places.  What should pose great adventure for the King children turns quickly to terror as a trespasser from one of the portals kidnaps their mother…beginning one of the most harrowing rescue missions ever!
My Review:I picked up this series kind of by accident. And I have to say, I'm glad I did! It was a very fun series. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, characters, and events. You never knew what was going to happen next, which portal the kids would end up going through and what adventures they would find on the other side! The kids end up on the titanic, in China during the Hun invasion, and even in the streets with Christ. Adventure after adventure, injury after injury, it is just one thing after the other! The poor children lose their mom in the first book and they desperately search for her the rest of the series. In the end I liked this series a lot, but it definitely had imperfections along the way. The characters were annoying at times, not being very smart about what they were doing. If you're looking for a fun summer read, this series would be a great choice! Suspense, adventure, unlikely heroes... Great!
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! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...