Jan 30, 2011

Just another Sunday night

Finally, I have accumulated enough photos for a blog (well I guess I could have done multiple posts but I was lazy).

My days off now are Wednesday and Sunday, so that puts a slight limit on how complicated or long my recipes can be. I sorta feel like I am outta practice! But 2 Friday's ago, after arriving home from work, Mike and I decided to head to WalMart to pick up a few essentials. Having no dinner plans and not wanting to spend money on going out, I browsed their food section and found day old Cubano bread. Cuban sandwiches tonight! Now granted they were not like my Grandma made them (rest her soul), but they had the basics all Cuban sandwiches should have:
I do not have a flat press, so I had to use my indoor grill (what do you call those things? They look like George Foreman grills, but they are a different brand). They were so good!! I didn't realize how much the bread makes the sandwich. I have had "Cuban" sandwiches in the past that didn't use Cubano bread and they pale in comparison. Next time I will make them just like Grandma did.

6 cans of pumpkin fill my cupboards and I was trying to use them in ways that weren't pumpkin pies. I found this recipe and decided to try it:

Sorry the picture is blurry. It was quite good and an interesting take on coffee cake. To top the whole pumpkin day off I made pumpkin spice lattes in the slow cooker (sorry the pictures of it did not come out very good). I am still apprehensive about trying a recipe with pumpkin that isn't sweet, but I need to since I still have 5 cans left!

With all these decadent foods I need to be running (well I am, I am training for another half marathon). While Mike and I were out running one night we were talking about chocolate chips cookies his mother used to make paired with ice cream. All the talking about cookies made us hungry so when we got home I started the ice cream maker (sorry, no pictures) and made some chocolate/butterscotch/white chocolate chip cookies:
They were so-so. I am still not used to butterscotch chips in cookies, maybe I need to try them in a different cookie recipe.

Like I have said before, chicken leg quarters are really cheap at Aldi. So after removing the skin from some pieces, I decided to make chicken and dumplings from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook:
Oh, it was so good! Homemade gravy and homemade dumplings, so delicious! And I made it lower calorie than what the original recipe called for, so seconds aren't too bad for you.

While I was at the grocery store I thought to myself "We haven't had homemade pizza in a while". So I picked up some fresh tomatoes and some mushrooms. I even made dough with yeast it in (unlike my yeast- free, quick dough) and then I realized, I forgot to buy mozzarella at Aldi. Fudge! Here's what happened:
My half had no cheese, but Mike decided to take what was left of the Havarti cheese in the fridge and covered his half in it. It was still pretty decent without the cheese, but next time I won't forget!

After working a open to close shift on Thursday, I came home to Mike making dinner:
I had purchased potatoes, celery, and carrots at the store the day before, so Mike wanted a bisque of some sort. He make potato bisque with chicken. It was really good! He thinks I didn't like it since I added a little Molly McButter to mine to add a little more butter flavor, but I really did. And I am always happy when he makes dinner!

Tonight's dinner was nothing fancy. I just mixed some steamer clams I got at Aldis with some vermicelli, but it looked pretty with the clam shells:
The lime garlic sauce the clams came in was really good too! And believe it or not, the sauce (per the package label) only had lime juice, garlic, corn starch, salt and spices in it. Not too bad.

Until next time, please enjoy this photo of one of my babies Charlie wearing all the "booty" we got at Gasparilla yesterday:

Jan 13, 2011

Full time

I have only been back in Florida for 6 days and only worked 3, but I have already worked 40 hours! I don't know how I am going to make time write my blog, let alone train for my half marathon coming up in less than 2 months! But I digress....

The first night I was home it was just simple pot-stickers:
Not homemade, just made at home. I just wanted to show off my pretty plates and napkins :)

Sunday morning is waffle morning, but I thought I would be cool and throw some fruit into the mix:
Why am I taking full tablescapes now? Well we got a new table from Ikea. It is smaller than our old table, but it has neat hidden leaves. Plus it gives us more room in the kitchen and we actually sit down for meals now since it's no longer our desk (we got little fold out desks for the walls in the back room). Just maximizing our space!

The one night this week I got out semi on time I was able to make some pork shoulder steak tacos:
I got the idea from this recipe, used what I had in the cupboard, and a paired it with homemade cilantro lime rice and warmed, corn tortillas. Delicious! The one thing it was missing was some dairy, either sour cream or shredded cheese would have been nice, but we need to crack down on our budget again so I used what we had on hand!

I enjoy following some crafting websites (as you might have noticed from my Blog roll). After enjoying Craft Fail, I decided I would share my one Christmas present this year I would consider a craft fail. I had a pattern for how to spruce up dish/hand towels. To start, I did not have any towels to spruce up, so I had to make my own out of scrap terry cloth I had on hand. Reading the instructions also proved to be to challenging for me....granted it was Christmas morning and I had to have the present ready to take to my Grandma's by lunch time. Here is my first towel:

Note the bad stitching and the un-matched ends. After doing it wrong once, I got it right the second time:

By this time, I was so frustrated that I just decided to give my Aunt both towels (like the original plan) and just apologized for my crappy work. I guess she still loves me :)

Until next time.....well I got nothing for ya......sorry.....my bad.

Jan 1, 2011


Not only are we renovating the house, but it's the new year and it's time to renovate my new years resolutions. Like everyone on the planet, of course I want to get in shape and eat healthier. I am pretty much forced to because I am running another half marathon and I don't want to die! But one resolution I never think of is to strengthen all of the meaningful relationships in my life. If losing my Grandma has taught me one thing, it's to cherish the things that you love. And the side resolutions that aren't as important revolve around making more homemade goods (food and presents alike) and sticking with my budget (since obtaining a job I have let it get a little out of control!).

Our back room (the guest, reptile, junk, workout room) was covered in carpet when we moved in. Now carpet isn't so bad except for the fact that I think the carpet was 20 years old and the only way to the backyard was through the back room. The issue was a lot of mold building up under carpet between the concrete and the degrading carpet padding. The carpet was also off white and the area near the back entrance was starting to look a little brown. After much research, Mike decided on natural slate tile. My Aunt and Mike hard at work:

The floor is now finished, but the room finishing touches (fixing and painting the moldings, painting the walls, and fixing the thresholds) are not done yet. It will all look amazing once everything is cleaned up and put back together. More to come in the future....

Even with my hectic schedule from switching jobs I managed (barely) to make some Christmas presents. Granted, everyone got the same things, but they were each different. The gathered clutch:

I got the pattern from Noodlehead's blog site. Only 2 of the 6 I made had this inside pocket style, the other 4 just had a single credit card pocket.

And the final four:
Yes, two were the same pattern, but I liked that style a lot (plus I had a lot of the fabric). They weren't very complicated, they just took a little while since it was a lot of small pieces. Hopefully they people who got them will use them at least once!

No food today, sorry :(  Until next time, please enjoy this photo of Pineapple I took with my new camera (yes, after 6 years I finally got a new digital camera!):