Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mini Crustless Pumpkin "Pies"

Today I made a pumpkin pie for G's daycare Thanksgiving feast. And as you may know, last time I made a pumpkin pie, it didn't turn out so well because I over-filled the crust. Well, this time, I made sure NOT to over-fill the crust and ended up with about a half-a-second-pie's worth of filling. Now, I don't like to let things go to waste and my wonderful husband loves pumpkin pie so much that I came up with a little solution to my too-much filling problem on the fly.....individual pumpkin pie souffle things. Ok, not such a great name for these, I know (hence the revised name in the title of this post) and I'm not even sure this qualifies as a souffle since I've never really had one. BUT, I do know that they were pretty freakin' delicious (I have a second opinion to back me up). Here's the "recipe":
- about 3 ramekins worth of pumpkin pie filling (exactly how you would make it for the actual pie)
- 1 1/2 graham crackers (1 for each "pie")

I buttered the dishes, crushed 1 square of graham cracker into the bottom of each, and evenly distributed the filling. I baked these about 40-50 minutes on 350 (similar to the pie baking temp and time) until they were done. Then, I let them cool and topped with whipped cream before eating them. I do have to say, if I were to make these again, I would eliminate the graham cracker part because it didn't add anything to the flavor for me (Justin liked it though). Otherwise, they were really easy and really yummy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I need to give this blog a makeover.

It's been a loooong time since I've updated the look of the blog. I definitely need to change the banner picture but I'm kind of feeling a total overhaul of the look of the blog. Any ideas?

I went ahead and tried out the new template's OK. I wish I knew how to make blog templates...that's not on my list of skills quite yet but I'm sure I can teach myself how to do it. That would be awesome if I can figure it out! We'll see though. Branding and logos are more of my thing...I'm not so skilled when it comes to html coding.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recipe Review: Tilapia w/Peach BBQ Sauce

I decided to mix it up this week and make something totally different from what I usually make during the week for dinner. I found this Paula Deen recipe online and decided it sounded pretty yummy. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as it sounded. The first thing that should have caught my attention is that the BBQ sauce called for oil. Now, I don't make many BBQ sauces from scratch but I don't think BBQ sauce usually has oil. Leave it to Paula Deen to add oil to something that really doesn't need it. Instead of trusting my instinct and leaving the oil out, I put it in because, frankly, I thought if I didn't I might somehow mess up the recipe. ....I should have left the oil out.....I spent most of the cooking time skimming oil off the top and I now feel like I swallowed an oil slick. Awesome.

Besides the oil, the BBQ sauce was pretty tasty. I added a few more spoonfuls of brown sugar at the end to make it a bit sweeter but overall, if I left out the oil, I'd probably make it again. I served mashed potatoes and green beans on the side which brings me to fail #2 for this meal.....Note to self, never buy Betty Crocker mashed potatoes ever again. They tasted OK if you can get past the rubbery texture. Honestly, I expected more from Betty Crocker.

So, verdict is, I won't be making this one again. Better luck next time.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sock Monkey 1st Birthday

For G's first birthday, I wanted to do something small because I knew he wouldn't be ready for a crazy party. Plus, he couldn't walk at that point so I didn't want to go somewhere like My Gym. So, we decided to have a backyard bash and theme - Sock Monkey.

It was really hard to find decorations to go along with the theme so I went mostly with a sock monkey-esque color pallet.

The food table. We did banana and chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese icing and red sprinkles. I think they turned out pretty well!
It's hard to see but we put all of the presents in a red wagon. We did presents inside because it was a little too hot to be outside the whole time.

My sister came up with a great idea to do a scrapbooking table where everyone could make a scrapbook "memory" page for Gareth.

Like I mentioned before, it was really hard to find sock monkey themed things. So I ended up doing monkey masks, bubbles and red kazoos as favors.

 Carly from Bloom made this super cute "1" shirt for him too. Thanks Carly!

July 4th and New York Trip

OK, I really have been trying to find time to update the blog and it just isn't working out. One day, I will be caught up to the current times. Anyway, I'm going to try and power through the Summer/Fall pictures so I can start talking about what is happening now instead of what happened months and months ago. Here goes...

July 4th
We decided since this was G's first 4th that we would stay close to home in case it didn't work out. We almost missed the fireworks but saw a few and G seemed OK with it. Here are some pictures.


A couple weekends after that, we went to NYC to see Hunter and Nikki! It was Justin and Gareth's first trip to NY and I hadn't been in a very long time. I'm really glad we got to go because we got to see my brother AND got to celebrate his 21st birthday with him!

Brooklyn Brewery
The gun show is that way
Authentic NYC subway rat!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Father's Day

For Father's Day this year I thought I'd try something crafty to give to Justin that Gareth and I could do together. So, I came up with the idea to get some letters and take some pictures to spell out "Daddy".  It took me a really long time to get the right pictures! Gareth didn't want to look at the camera or hold the letters. Seems like an easy task, to get a baby to hold some letters for a few seconds while you take a picture, but it was really really hard. First, here are the bloopers and then I'll show you the finished product.

Take it back Mommy
At first he was happyish

Then he got an attitude
Then he crawled away
Then I got his monkey out to try to make him happy worked!
And then we were at square one again...
"All done...right?"
"Yeah, I'm not sitting on that blanket"
I finally got him to hold the "D"
I decided I wasn't sure I liked the inside pictures so we tried outside....

Afterwards, I picked the best ones and edited them a bit. Here are the finals!

This Summer

So I haven't really posted much this summer because frank;y, I haven't had the time. So now, I will play catch-up with what we've been up to this summer. Here is our summer in a nut-shell:

After we moved into our new house, we didn't do much for a little while...
...Then it was Father's Day
...Then it was 4th of July
...Then we went to NYC for Hunter's birthday
...Then it was Gareth's 1st birthday!
...Then it was Justin's birthday
...Then we went to a New York Red Bulls game
...Then we went to Dogfish Head Brewery and the beach!

I'll post pictures and details from all of this in the next few posts. Hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My New-Found TV Addiction

This week for some reason, I have not been able to sleep. Maybe it's just that I'm getting use to this whole mommy thing and I don't need to go to bed as early as I have been the past 10 months. Or maybe there's another reason. I don't really know why. What I do know is that while I have not been able to sleep, I have taken to browsing Netflix on-demand and have found a new "old" show I've kind of become addicted to....Roswell.

Yes, I know, it's a stupid teen drama from the late 90s about Aliens. But, it is actually a very captivating show. I don't think I would say it's a good show...the acting is iffy and the plot is strange. But there is something about it that just pulls you in and now, I can't stop watching it. Good thing there are 3 or more seasons for me to watch! Anyway, I thought I would share this with you all in hopes that someone else would might also say they like this show and then I wouldn't feel so dumb for getting hooked on it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Show Us Your Life - Things That Make You Happy

This week's show us your life on Kelly's Korner is about things that you love and/or make you happy. Some things that make me happy are...

1. Justin

2. Gareth

3. Zoe

4. Creating new designs
5. Learning new Illustrator/Photoshop tricks
6. The beach (wish I was there right now!)

7. And last but not least...snowcones!

Of course, there are many more things that make me happy but in general, these things make me really happy! Plus it's late and my brain is kind of shutting down for the day. LOL

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Recipe: Asparagus & Penne with Pesto Cream Sauce

When I started thinking about making dinner tonight, I wasn't sure what we were going to have. We didn't really have any "meat" (meaning a meat that Justin would find acceptable as a meal) and I really really didn't want hot dogs again. I remembered we had some pesto that I had bought a while ago, some pasta and asparagus. And somehow, I came up with this Asparagus and Penne with Pesto Cream Sauce. I think it was pretty good and Justin said it was good too! I forgot to take a picture of it but, here's the recipe. I hope everyone likes it as much as we did!

- 1 bunch asparagus, rough chopped
- 4 slices bacon , crumbled
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1/2 a jar of pesto (I think it was about 3/4 cup and it wasn't pesto sauce...just thick pesto)
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese (or to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste

Put a pot of water on for the pasta and bring to a boil. Wash and cut the asparagus into thirds. Fry the bacon until crispy and remove from the pan. Drain most of the grease. Add pasta to boiling, salted water and cook to al dente. Add the asparagus to the pasta water in the last 3-5 minutes and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining. In the same pan that you cooked the bacon in, add the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the pesto and the pasta water and stir to combine. Once the pesto is heated through, add the sour cream and parmesan and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste and add more parmesan if desired. Toss sauce with the pasta and asparagus then fold in the crispy bacon. Makes about 6 servings.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A New Recipe

I've decided that since I like to cook so much I should start posting some of the new recipes I try out to share with everyone. I promise, I will only post them if they turn out well! This past week, I decided to try out French Onion Soup. My mom made it when she came to visit last time and she also bought me oven-safe bowls for Christmas so I decided I needed to try this one out.

I used Paula Deen's French Onion Soup recipe as a reference but I changed and added a few things. It turned out pretty well and I think Justin even liked it (he's not a big fan of soup)!

 Here's how I made it (this makes about 4 bowls but you can double it to make more):

4 Vidalia onions, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, grated
A drizzle of olive oil (I don't measure this)
2 tbsp of flour
4 cups of beef stock
1/2 cup of white wine
1/2 tsp of dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
2 slices of swiss cheese
1 baguette
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil over low heat for about 20-25 minutes until golden. Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes then add the wine, beef stock, thyme, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and the bay leaf. Bring to a bubble and then lower the heat to simmer. Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. While this is cooking, slice and toast the baguette and then spread with a little butter. Ladle the soup into oven-safe bowls. Top soup with 3-4 baguettes and 1 slice of cheese. Stick it under the broiler for about 5 minutes and serve!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Books We Like

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

This week on Kelly's Korner, the Show Us Your Life theme is Books. I have to admit, I used to read a lot and now, I find I don't have much time for reading (and I have a hard time getting into books I do read). But, when I can find the time to read, my favorite books lately are the books in the Sookie Stackhouse series. You know, the books that True Blood is based off of? Right now, I am on Book 8. I never thought I would be able to get into books about vampires but these books are really good. If you are skeptical, I urge you to just try to read the first one and I bet you'll be hooked!

I also really liked The Time Traveler's Wife. This is another one that sounds silly when you read the synopsis on the back but it is really really good! I couldn't find a picture that would work for this one. Sorry!

And finally, I wanted to share Gareth's favorite book right now. He loves That's Not My Monkey. He just likes to turn the pages really but he does seem to favor this book. He also seems to like anything with monkey's so maybe that's why he likes this book!