26.9.12

My nemisis

I love my house, it's cozy, the colors are gorgeous, it's inviting...however there is one nefarious item in my house that I have tried, to no avail, have removed. Somehow it keeps popping back up when I least expect it. If you were wondering how an inanimate object could properly be dubbed as nefarious, there you have it. I'm pretty sure the spirit of Mary Jane's baby lives in this thing. 

As I've said before, Wiki is very involved in how our home looks, ie: decor, towels, etc. This was awesome when we were dating and got married and I moved into what was akin to a Pottery Barn catalogue.  Then, when I fancy my own ideas and things I would like to add...it doesn't always "match" the rest of "our flow" boo. So again, do not complain when your hubs has no interest in what's happening at home. Be relieved;) 

Anyways, a few years ago we were meandering our way through South Carolina and came upon this wood carving store. Wiki was basically in his element. He loves to bring some cool things home and other times, like this critter, the antithesis of cool. It was this big wooden owl and it is creepy. I realize that owls are all "the rage" now but he has loved owls as long as I've known the Wiki. So, he had to have it and I was like "noooooooo" obviously you can guess who won. 

So over the past few years I have tried to "lose" it amongst our homey decor and inevitably, it will reappear front and center. I hid it when I put out the Christmas decor last year and hoped he would forget, he didn't. A few weeks ago my mom was visiting and I was sitting in a chair I normally don't and I looked to the side and let out a loud shriek. My mother was startled and thought something was wrong and I was ranting something to the effect of "that little...." and I picked it up only to see my momma almost falling off the couch in laughter. Apparently it had been out for over a week and I somehow missed it. So this is our contemptuous joke, I hide and he unhides. 

So behold...the bane of my existence and I'm sorry in advance if you have night terrors. actually, I just lied, I'm not. Someone besides me should.

Whoopie Pie Wednesday: Creamsicle

Yes, the first week of Fall and I am throwing the ulitimate Summer treat your way. Well, news flash- they still taste freakin delish, even in Sept. who knew?(actually, I knew) It's 86 today and tomorrow is supposed to be 89' very Fall like. haha So you can wait till next summer or when it's getting blustery outside you can make it feel like you're having a Summer shindig. live a little;)

best picture I got...boooo

Ingredients

1 box orange cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup sprite
filling
cheesecake pudding
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp bourbon(optional)

Preheat oven to 350'
Mix together dry cake mix, oil, eggs and sprite
I normally use a round TBSP to place on cookie sheet, but you can also use a round TSP to make them bite size and get more out of it. Bake 8-9 minutes

For the filling
Cream softened cream cheese on low for 1 minute to get fluffy, add the pudding packet, bourbon and 2 tbsp whipping cream, beat until fully incorporated and slowly add the remaining whipping cream and beat until peaks begin to form. or for alternate version, prepare the pudding w/1 cup cold milk and mix w/cool whip. Place in fridge for hour to let either version set up. 


Once the cookies have cooled, lay one cookie flat, top it w/the filling and then place it's partner on top. 


24.9.12

Food Lion Fail

 Before I started frequently cooking, I never understood people who got worked up over grocery shopping.(oh, but I do now, I do now) I'll never forget when my friend Jessica had just moved here and was grumbling over ours. I was confused, it's a grocery store, right? WROOOOONNNGGG. I then went to Buffalo to visit her the first time and she took me on a life changing adventure to a little place called Wegmans...The heavens opened and I heard the angels sing. I've never seen anything like it. They're finally branching out more and heading South, just not here yet. Sad face. I instead make do with Harris Teeter, Kroger, Super Target  Aldi's(awesome!)Walmart(but only around 1 am) and if I have absolutely no other option: Food Lion. They have the worst. selection. ever. and quite frankly, they are beyond over priced.(and yes, I know HT is beyond expensive, but their sales and the fact of super double and triple coupons, I find it cheaper!)

 But alas, last week I was in Rustburg visiting the parentals and had to go shopping. Food Lion it was and of course half the stuff I hemmed and hawed over getting in Raleigh and just bringing with me...they didn't have. Shocking. Ugh. Anyways, they did give me my amusement of the day...here you go. Can you spot the fail;)

and no...I really do not think the .04 oz count. haha

Funfetti Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies

I've been on hiatus, I apologize. We had a funeral this past week and I've had some other things going on lately and I will touch base on those in the next few weeks. but the real reason you're here..

Yes, it's September and I am well aware it is officially(as of Saturday,woohoo)Fall, but in my world, it's been fall since Sept 1. and only that late b/c Wiki gave me "the look" when I mentioned taking my stuff out before then. To all you ladies who think it would be super awesome if your husband cared one way or the other about decor...think again, it's actually anti-awesome due to the fact that they actually try to have input on your our stuff. humph. Anyways, most of my goodies that have been getting made lately have involved pumpkin, apples and caramel. Buuuuttt, as it is still in the 90's here and I had a few ingredients left over, this week will be "summery" treats. You can still make them now if you want to, I mean...who cares, right? haha 



Ingredients
    1 8 oz brick cream cheese, room temperature
    1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 (18-ounce) box funfetti cake mix
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
DIRECTIONS-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla & finally add in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner's sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 10- 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and "gooey." Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar, if desired. 

and actually, I just realized that the Halloween funfetti mix is out, yay. see, this post is completely on time. Yay me;)

15.9.12

Easy Stroganoff

I am not even a little bit embarrassed that I may have(only eaten) hamburger helper a lot. That stuff is good. haha ok, good for boxed food. I had seen various "homemade" recipes for Stroganoff but none were any I decided to try my hand at. Then, around 4 years ago, I stumbled onto this recipe on the back of some package and decided to venture out. So glad I did as the result is always the same: people gobble it up!

And I am going to preface the ingredients/directions with this...Yes, Sprite!!! Whenever people first taste this and I explain/relay recipe they always have a slightly befuddled look on their face and they ask, as if they're unsure I was serious, "sprite?" I actually use sprite in a plethora of my recipes, especially white/yellow cake mixes that call for water. I feel like sprite just gives it an added oomph. But I can't take credit for this, this was on the back of previously stated box. Live a little people, try Sprite(or if you have an utter aversion to soda, sub lime flavored tonic water)

1 lb stew meat
1 packet onion soup(I prefer the beefy onion)
1 can mushroom soup(I'm allergic so I subbed cream of chicken)
1/2 cup sprite
1 bag egg noodles
sour cream *option

Preheat oven to 225
in a casserole dish, lay the meat evenly in the bottom(you can now season w/any salt/pepper if you like) then open can of soup and pour over meat. Open packet of onion soup and sprinkle over the soup/meat. Then pour the sprite over top & cover. DO NOT STIR!!! This should cook for 4 hours. I like to check the progress around an hour and a half in, I stir lightly. It will all come together, I promise. Don't try to rush the "sauce making" Then I stir about every 1/2 hour till it's ready. Boil the egg noodles and serve w/the meat. You can top with sour cream

This should be pretty adaptable in a crockpot/slower cooker.

Enjoy, this is a hearty meal, especially in the late Fall/Winter, your house will smell decadent...For sure!!!

12.9.12

easy dinner:bacon wrapped chicken

According to Pinterest, this is a popular dinner. Obviously, the world is full of intelligent people(or at least pinterest is)  reason #1) bacon makes everything better. reason #2) did you not see reason #1)? Why could we possible need a reason #2?! Self explanatory. We've been making this dish for years, and it's so simple. I try to mix it up sometimes, just so not to bore Wiki. But for this particular recipe...



Ingredients:
1 lb package chicken tenderloin
1 package bacon(thin slice)
2 oz honey mustard
2 oz mango chutney
1 oz bourbon
Preheat oven to 350'

Wrap chicken w/bacon. In separate dish, whisk together honey mustard, chutney and bourbon. Brush with the sauce Lay chicken in pan( we chose to slice up some squash this time and lay in bottom of pan, the flavors melded together perfectly and the sauce season the veggies, hello, time saver.) Pour any remaining sauce over chicken, cover and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until juices run clear. This won't disappoint, I would promise, but this involves bacon and I fervently believe it unnecessary for me to overtly sing it's praises.

Whoopie Pie Wednesday: Chocolate & Peanut Butter

I would like to be able to properly explain how delicious these were but you have to eat them for yourself to understand. These were yummy to the full extent of yumminess. At least in my world and for right now, isn't that what counts? We'll go with yes;) I could eat PB all day long, I remember being younger and my mom handing me the spoon full of PB and it being the most extraordinary treat! Admittedly, I probably couldn't do that now. And to drop a bomb on you, please have some tolerance and do not completely judge a girl...I don't think I have ever finished a pb & j sandwhich. Gross. My heart belonged to the goodness known as a "fluffernutter" yes, please!

Anyways, being the lover of PB that I am, what better way to pair a chocolate cake cookie than w/peanut butter whipped cream? Exactly...nothing!!



Ingredients
1 box chocolate cake 
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil(canola or veggie)
1/4 cup milk(or water)

Filling
1 box cheesecake pudding
4-6 oz cream cheese softened
2 tbsp peanut butter(melted)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbs heavy whipping cream
(or cool whip)

Preheat oven to 350'
Mix together dry cake mix, oil, eggs, and milk. The dough will be thick, I sometimes put in fridge for 1/2 an hour before putting on cookie sheet. I normally use a round TBSP to place on cookie sheet, but you can also use a round TSP to make them bite size and get more out of it. Bake 8-9 minutes, let cool.

For the filling
Melt PB in microwave for 5-10 seconds(watch this b/c, depending on your microwave, you could burn it and trust me, this is the opposite of goodness) Cream softened cream cheese on low for 1 minute to get fluffy, add the pudding packet, melted PB & tbs of whipping cream, beat until fully incorporated and slowly add the remaining whipping cream and beat until very stiff peaks begin to form. or for alternate version, prepare the pudding w/1 cup cold milk and mix w/cool whip. Place in fridge for hour to let either version set up. 

*notes, I think it would be good to add the mini reese's to the dough and you can add fluff to the filling. How can either addition be wrong? oh, that's right, it can't!!

and sad faced, I wrote this and tried to upload photo and for some reason, blogger hates me, hopefully fix tomorrow. What is it about whoopie pie wednesday that is always uncooperative. The nerve. humph

9.9.12

Pinterest Project: Wine Bottle Vases

oh Pinterest. The things you do to me. Seriously, how did I live before I discovered it? Although I may be the only woman who pins addictively while watching my morning episode of Sportscenter. Every.Morning. It never fails, I will be home watching tv with Wiki and simultaneously playing on my phone and I get the same question over and over "What are you playing?" And almost always my reply is "I'm in the process of pinning our entire future endeavors" He always asks, but don't they all? It's as if they don't even know us. However, it is getting to the point that I have him addicted too. We will be somewhere and he will spot something and quip "Honey, this is Pinterest worthy." Yay! Wiki is learning!

Anyways, I am not sure about you but my relationship with pinterest is a love/hate one. As in I love me some pinterest and hate my inadequacies that it throws all up in my face. Which it happily points out to me on a recurring basis. It's like that mean girl, constantly showing you they dress better than you, decorate better than you, and are DIY masters...yet you can't get enough. This is me and pinterest. I am the antithesis of crafty. but then I saw a few crafts made for pre schoolers and I decided to try my hand at them. ok, not really, but don't judge me if one day I do and act all proud of myself.

Tony and I may drink a little lottle(ok a whole lottle) wine, all the time. We have done Napa, Sonoma, the Chiles Valley, Texas Hill Country Wine Trail, Virginia Wine Trail and the Yadkin Valley in Carolina. Obviously we hate vino;) and with our empty bottles I became so pinspired.

Take empty/dry wine bottles & paint two to three coats in the color of your choice, I used a craft paint from Michael's that I purchased for $1.79. Let dry and then paint from top to 1/2 inch before bottom and sprinkle liberally w/glitter. Let dry and voila, a fancy vase. I decided to use fall colors, Michael's had a 12 pack of glitter on sale and then I had a coupon. I used a burnt orange and then used champagne, copper and gold glitters. 



5 Second Appetizer

This was on a whim. I had made these California Caprese Skewers for our friends one night and had some mozzarella & pesto left over and I had prosciutto bc who wants a fridge that's ever barren of Italian ham?! Not I, for certain. I was trying to figure out what to do with the remaining mozzarella and I thought how simple this would be. I am sure some of you are familiar w/prosciutto wrapped melon and I figured this would be an easy twist to that. And true to it's name...5 seconds was about all she wrote.

Ingredients
8 mozzarella balls
4 thin slices of prosciutto
2 tbs pesto

cut the prosciutto slices in half, place mozzarella ball on prosciutto slice & drizzle pesto over mozzarella, wrap the prosciutto slice around the mozzarella and skewer it w/a toothpick.

Very hard work, I know. I go to added lengths for my Wiki;)

and now, b/c I am not afraid to admit my strange food tendencies...I love cheese but only if it's melted. Yes, I am that person and no pesto for me, you remember those pesky allergies of mine. So these pictures were of mine before I threw them in my frying pan and melted them. haha Yep, it was just as delicious...but no longer 5 seconds. Wiki's however looked just like this only with the pesto and he ate them while I was yelling for him to wait. Men. So these were the best I got. But I do suggest these if you're having a get together. Prosciutto can be expensive but if you get this thinly sliced, 1/4 lb should be plenty to make about 15-20 of these and keeping the cost down. I bet it would be awesome w/pancetta too. I mean, Italian Bacon...Bacon in no form can be wrong. Actually, I just lied. Turkey bacon. I don't trust people who eat turkey bacon;) haha

5.9.12

New Hampshire take 2

Here is the secon part toour NH jaunt. I want to go back in the fall. It was so gorgeous in the summer that I cannot imagine how beautiful it is in the fall. Minus the fact that it was the coldest June they had experienced in 30 plus years. Par for the course when I visit New England. I swear it mocks me.
A tiny shop in Jackson, notice the what the cat dragged inn? Yeah, Those pesky , Red Sox. 

Mt. Washington Inn, hands down coolest hotel ever!

Us from the top of the hotel, me barely noticeable in my 4 inch heels. story.of.my.life.

Loved the flags on this porch

Enjoying some vino before our dinner at the Eagle Mountain House in Jackson.

I just heart this picture, very Americana. See, even Wiki's size 14 feet are patriotic in the right setting;) 

and this my friends...was our view as we sipped our adult grape juice.

and this is what we did almost every night, as it was around 58' every night...in JUNE! BRRRR.

No biggie, Queen Elizabeth stayed at our hotel when she was but a princess.


Whoopie Pie Wednesday: Golden Oreo

Yes, a whoopie pie from one of the original whoopies. I mean...to not would almost be offensive and I try not be be, ya know, ever;) I will admit straight up what was not my favorite about this version...the yellow cake mix base. or the "golden" Oreo version if you will. Can I tell you a secret?! I've never tried the golden yellow version before, so not to offend the original, cause as we established, I am never offensive. like ever. or at least not in the last half hour. So I've just yet to jump the gun and wander to the dark(actually in this scenario, light)side. Maybe one day, is it worth it? I just have yet to meet someone who has excitedly exclaimed how "I must try the golden version" Ok...moving on.

Anyways, I went to the store to buy my ingredients for my Oreo goodness and it was not until I got home that I came upon the realization that on my trip to the inner depths of Hell Walmart, I inadvertently picked up the yellow cake instead of chocolate. And I contemplated going back for roughly .00001 seconds and rectifying the sadness. Then my senses quickly returned and I decided to finally "jump" to the "golden" side. Not my favorite, but definitely tastiness happening all over the place. So, what have we all learned today?! Other than I typed "golden" an exponential amount, we ascertained sometimes accidents work out. Here's to a favorable "accident" happening to you sooner rather than later;)




Ingredients
1 box yellow cake 
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil(canola or veggie)
1/4 cup milk(or water)

Filling
1 box Oreo pudding
6-8 oz cream cheese softened
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbs heavy whipping cream
(or cool whip)

Preheat oven to 350'
Mix together dry cake mix, oil, eggs, and milk. The dough will be thick, I sometimes put in fridge for 1/2 an hour before putting on cookie sheet. I normally use a round TBSP to place on cookie sheet, but you can also use a round TSP to make them bite size and get more out of it. Bake 8-9 minutes, let cool.

For the filling
Cream softened cream cheese on low for 1 minute to get fluffy, add the pudding packet & tbs of whipping cream, beat until fully incorporated and slowly add the remaining whipping cream and beat until very stiff peaks begin to form. or for alternate version, prepare the pudding w/1 cup cold milk and mix w/cool whip. Place in fridge for hour to let either version set up. 

It may not be what I was aiming for...but it is still Oreo, so how can it be wrong when it's oh.so.right. haha yes, I just said that. You'll survive(I hope)