10.31.2007

Apparently...

My blog is worth over $1,000. Who knew? How in the world can you calculate that? Truth be told, I guess I'm glad that people are reading my blog! That's kind of a scary thought though - I mean, how many people read my blog and then try out the recipes? Yeah, that's hard to calculate too.

People try and make money on some of the craziest things ever. Take for example my "donate" button on the bottom of this page. I wonder how many people will donate to me to try new recipes. Seriously, that's what the money will go for if anyone ever donates. (Oh, yeah, it's a secure, paypal thingy too) I will wait until I have enough to try something fun and dynamic. But then again. Who knows what will happen?

If someone donates, it may even go to my hubby's tuition - law school takes the cake over being a foodie and a bad organizer. Yes, maybe the money will even go to trying to help me become organized. At this point, I don't know, I'm just doing it for shits & giggles to see if anyone donates.

50 cents is ok too - I can buy one whole twizzler at Kroger for that much!!!

PSH

10.30.2007

Green Cleaning? Anyone???

Ok, so I do admit. I love my 409 and the sweet, sweet smell of bleach cleaning my kitchen. But now that I have a large bleach mark on my favorite pair of black pants that I normally wear to do photography (I'm not wearing them in the picture in this post), I've decided it might be time for me to give up the bleach. Well, the purchased cleaning solution bleach that is.



I have also decided that I hate the smell of vinegar. It's hilarious for me to read about green cleaning and then realize that I have to use vinegar. The stuff made me puke at french camp. Seriously, how can I turn green if I can't stand the smell of the stuff??? (But, I do use red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar for cooking, the smell is still there, but at least it's kinda masked)


Also - http://www.gaiam.com/ is the perfect place to buy environmentally "challenged" people Christmas gifts. I say "challenged" because I still see people who claim to be environmentally friendly using plastic bags and driving SUV's. That does not make me happy. Gaiam also offers stuff for sale that's been fairly traded with a variety of different cultures. I think I enjoy looking at those items the most.

The picture that's not me is from Seventh Generation products. Gaiam sells their products online but they are also available in most stores. Target carries their cleaning products, Kroger carries their stuff too! I can hardly believe it - green products in a Republican state! But, lo-and-behold, Indiana is certainly good for some things. The Dalai Llama visited this past week. I can't complain about that!

10.29.2007

I *GASP* Threw Stuff Away This Weekend

Yes, I did.

I am in shock at myself. Seriously. I'm usually good at giving old clothes to Goodwill, but for some reason, parting with household items is the hardest thing in the whole entire world for me to do.

Yesterday I was watching VH1 and they had a special on the top 25 worst decorating habits. One stuck out in my mind - THROW STUFF AWAY YOU DON'T LIKE.

So I did.

Whoops, there go the old candles since last fall that don't have much wax left in them.
Oopsie, the old yarn that I really can't crochet anything with, and there go the old coasters that I made when I was 14. I hate the scent of one candle, yet I kept it anyway because it was a gift. Well, that went into the garbage as well.

The fajita pans that we don't use very often - those will be on ebay and probably in the facebook marketplace soon. They take up room in my cubboard and I originally and stupidly bought them for CJ thinking that he would cook more. I was obviously wrong. I can let go of those...

Also, I have this stupid fake Santa basket for Christmas cards. That will be going to Goodwill because I found a new one that I like from Pier 1. I love retail therapy.

Also, all of the books that I've read, I'm making a library out of them. I will lend them out. I'm not afraid to do so!

I also need to get rid of two really awesome bar stools. They take up room behind our couch where I could actually be storing stuff. So, those will be listed on the facebook marketplace as well. And probably ebay. Maybe I'll even post 'em on Craigslist. I don't know, whatever. I just need more room in our tiny, one bedroom, 640 square foot apartment. I'm about to go crazy!

Oh, oh... Also, I need to find boxes to store DVD's in. The stupid DVD holder rack is bugging the bejeezers out of me - I'm not one for clutter anymore and I like things put away and closed behind doors. I'm ready to start organizing the DVD's and get those into our entertainment cabinet. That's going to be hard work!!!

10.25.2007

I don't normally post jokes like this...

But being from Minneapolis and hearing this, it's hilarious because I know that it's totally true!

From the county where drunk driving is considered a sport, comes this true story.

Recently a routine police patrol parked outside a bar in MINNEAPOLIS, MN. After last call the officer noticed a man leaving the bar so apparently intoxicated that he could barely walk.The man stumbled around the parking lot for a few minutes, with the officer quietly observing. After what seemed an eternity in which he tried his keys on five different vehicles, the man managed to find his car and fall into it. He sat there for a few minutes as a number of other patrons left the bar and drove off.

Finally he started the car, switched the wipers on and off--it was a fine, dry summer night--,flicked the blinkers on and off a couple of times, honked the horn and then switched on the lights. He moved the vehicle forward a few inches, reversed a little and then remained still for a few more minutes as some more of the other patrons' vehicles left. At last, when his was the only car left in the parking lot, he pulled out and drove slowly down the road.

The police officer, having waited patiently all this time, now started up his patrol car, put on the flashing lights, promptly pulled the man over and administered a breathalyzer test.

To his amazement, the breathalyzer indicated no evidence that the man had consumed any alcohol at all!

Dumbfounded, the officer said, "I'll have to ask you to accompany me to the sherriffs office. This breathalyzer equipment must be broken."

"I doubt it," said the truly proud non-drinker. "Tonight I'm the designated decoy."

10.23.2007

I Need A Meat Mallet

Yeppers, it's that time of the week and I've decided to make stuffed chicken. Last night potato soup didn't go over so well (Ick, it was bland and just not good overall, next time, no broccoli, more salt and good Velveeta cheese). So I'm going to Target tonight to pick up a meat mallet to pound my stress away on the poor chicken that we'll be eating tonight.

Tomorrow it will be chicken pot pie. I don't think I'll be able to pound anything with those ingredients though. Oh well, save for tonight!

Here's the recipe that I'm going to stick to. It's from myrecipes.com (my current favorite website):

Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese & Garlic

4 ounces goat cheese, softened
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (25.5-ounce) jar fat-free Italian herb pasta sauce
3 whole garlic cloves
3 cups hot cooked fettuccine (about 6 ounces uncooked pasta)

Combine goat cheese, 2 tablespoons basil, and minced garlic; set aside.
Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and pound each half to a 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Divide the cheese mixture evenly among breast halves. Roll up jelly-roll fashion. Tuck in sides; secure each roll with wooden picks.
Heat the pasta sauce and whole garlic cloves in a large skillet over medium heat; add chicken. Cover and cook 25 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve over pasta. Garnish with 1 tablespoon basil.

10.16.2007

Freezer Organizing & Stuff

I admit. I'm horrible at precooking meals and freezing them. I think it's mostly because I don't have my hubby's schedule memorized and so I don't exactly know what's going on when I leave work at 5 pm. So instead of freezing meals, I've decided to freeze ingredients instead. Here's what I'm doing tonight (besides making a CD for someone):


  • Chopping onions, green pepper and zuchinni and freezing them

  • Making apple cinnamin bread

  • Making beer bread with Sam Adams Oktoberfest

  • Cleaning the bathroom floor

  • Making calzones & freezing the uncooked calzones (then bake at 400 degrees for like 15-20 minutes or until golden brown)

  • Making potato soup

I am going to be a cooking and chopping fiend tonight, as I'm working ALL stinkin' weekend long for Homecoming and trying to finish up family pics & wedding pics. Jeez, Louise, what have I got myself into?



PSH

10.15.2007

Blog Action Day

Today is the one day in the world where everyone blogs about the environment and helping out Mother Earth, I don't know how beneficial this is but there are so many blogs out there, let's get this started. See this website for more info: http://www.blogactionday.org/.

http://www.nature.org/initiatives/climatechange/calculator/. Calculate your estimated amount of carbon per year. Caution: it will be in the TONS. And that's a lot of carbon.

Talk about the environment and you know how I'm a treehugger!

Let me post about somethings that can save the environment as well as your money!

http://www.seql.org/100ways.pdf

You'll end up being happy that you went to the above address and printed it out. I have a copy tacked to my cubicle (ah man, don't start with me on cubicle living).

Tonight, on your way home from work stop and get the good light bulbs. They really do help. Also, at Kroger they have canvas grocery bags, buy a lot. I think they're only 50 cents. Research household cleaners and how to make your own enviromentally friendly kind. Since they're homemade, they actually save you money too.

Being big on the environment doesn't mean spending your whole paycheck on crap. It means redusing, reusing and recycling. Just remember - for the most part, things that you do to save money mean that they probably also help the environment too.

PSH

Greek Lasagna

9 lasagna noodles
8 ounces lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen, chopped spinach, squeezed dry
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup sliced pitted black olives
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, divided
1 1/2 cups reduced sodium tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a medium baking dish with vegetable cooking spray; set aside.

Cook noodles according to package directions, but do not add salt. Drain.
Meanwhile, spray a medium nonstick skillet with vegetable cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add beef and onion. Cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Place mixture on a paper towel-lined plate; drain.
In a medium bowl, combine spinach, ricotta cheese, feta cheese, olives and 2 tablespoons mint. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce in prepared dish. Top with 3 noodles. Spread some spinach mixture over noodles. Top with some beef mixture. Spoon 1/4 cup tomato sauce over beef mixture. Continue layering with remaining noodles, spinach mixture, beef mixture, and sauce. Cover with foil. Bake until filling is heated through, about 30 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining mint. Serve immediately.

Fettucine Chicken Alfredo

8 ounces Cream cheese - cut in bits
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese - grated
1/2 cup Butter or margarine
1/2 cup Milk
8 ounces Fettuccine; cook - drain, drizzle with EVOO & toss to coat
2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste

In large saucepan combine cream cheese, Parmesan, butter andmilk, stirring constantly until smooth. Toss pasta lightly withsauce, coating well. Top with parsley, season with salt and pepper. Leftovers freeze well.

10.10.2007

Anthony Bourdain

Rocks my socks off. Holy crap, so I was watching No Reservations the other night - I couldn't help myself, I needed a beer to be drinking and watching this at the same time!

My dream job is totally being Anthony Bourdain and traveling the world and eating like crap whilst being thin and smoking and drinking like the fabulous person he is.

I'm in love. With Mr. Bourdain's job.

10.09.2007

Another Idea

Dang, I'm really on a roll with my ideas lately. Actually, I'm trying not to because we don't really have too much money to spend! In any case, I was thinking about publishing my own cookbook for family christmas presents this year too - so not just putting together dry ingredients with the recipes attached, but maybe actually doing a book too!!! We'll have to see how it goes.

Check out this website: http://www.lulu.com/en/products/cookbooks/

It has a TON of ideas, the only thing is, I'd be baking and cooking like no other for the next month trying to get pics of all my food!!! Maybe that wouldn't be so bad afterall...

PSH

10.07.2007

Christmas Gifts

Yeppers, it's almost that time of year already. Here's what people are getting from me:

Cheddar Chive Beer Bread

Ingredients

3 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Preparation

Stir together first 5 ingredients; pour into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Pour melted butter over top. Bake 10 more minutes.



Peanut Butter Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine dry ingredients. Add milk and peanut butter. Pour into a greased 8 by 4 by 3-inch loaf pan. Bake for approximately 50 minutes. Serve with your favorite jam.

I'm combing all the dry ingredients, putting them in a nice jar and then attaching the recipe to the jar. Easy, simple and super cheap! I'm still looking for more good recipes to give.

My Favorite Meat Loaf

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 2-ounce envelope onion soup mix
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups saltines (about 4 ounces), finely ground
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup barbeque sauce (optional)

Preparation

Heat oven to 400° F.

In a large bowl, combine the beef, soup mix, cheese, parsley (if using), eggs, and saltines. Add the water and combine.

Transfer the meat mixture to a baking dish and form it into a 9-inch loaf. Bake until cooked through, about 40 minutes. If using barbecue sauce, remove the meat loaf from oven after 25 minutes and pour the sauce over the top. Return to oven for about 15 minutes more.

To Freeze: Wrap the uncooked meat loaf in a large sheet of aluminum foil and cover with plastic wrap. Store for up to 3 months.

To Reheat: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Cook according to the recipe.

10.05.2007

Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Yes, I do make my own mashed potatoes and gravy. Well, the gravy comes from a packet but I do make the gravy that you had as a kid in school - you know, the ground beef gravy. It's just so good!

Mashed Potatoes
Cube 3 Idaho potatoes, 1 inch cubes
Salt & Pepper
2 tbsp butter or margerine
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp fresh herbs, whatever you have on hand, basil, parsley, etc...

Gravy
1 Brown gravy packet
1/4 lb browned ground beef/sirloin
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tbsp grill seasoning (I use McCormicks)

Boil the potatoes until VERY soft - I think it's about 15 minutes, maybe longer depending on your potato cube size. Drain and put them back into the hot pot. Mash them with a potato masher or a fork if they're very soft. Add in the milk, margarine, cheese, herbs, salt & pepper. Stir to combine.

While your potatoes are boiling, brown your meat, add the steak seasoning. Then add your gravy packet, let cook for 1 minute. Then add your 1 cup of water, whisk all together. Let bubble and reduce down.

Serve with a salad. Yes, my meal does consist of just mashed potatoes because I can't stop eating them. Yum!!!

PSH

10.04.2007

I'm an 80's Baby alright!!!!

1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word SIKE.
2. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton.
3. You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey on Blossom
4. If you ever watched "Fraggle Rock"
5. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
6. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.
7. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.
8. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.
9. You played the game "MASH"(Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House)
10. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.
11. You know the profound meaning of "WAX ON , WAX OFF"
12. You wanted to be a Goonie.
13. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (some of us...head-to-toe)
14. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted
15. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
16. You took lunch boxes to school...and traded Garbage Pailkids in the schoolyard.
17. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets
18. You still get the urge to say "NOT" after every sentence.
19. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets
21. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes.
22. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know you are, but what am I?"
23. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up"
24. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.
25. You have ever played with a Skip-It.
26. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that.
27. You remember watching both Gremlins movies.
28. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.
29. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac.
30. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool...and don't even flinch when people refer to them as "NKOTB"
31. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved By The Bell," The ORIGINAL class.
32. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.
33. You just sang those words to yourself.

10.03.2007

Binder Clip Recipe Holder


Today my goal is to pour over realsimple.com (yes, I do subscribe to their magazine) and find small things that I can do to help organize even more. Yesterday I found this super easy thing to do.

You know those black clippy thingys that hold together your papers instead of staples? What I did last night was what I thought kind of ingenious. I mean, I stole the idea from Real Simple, but I don't really know who else is such a dork that they would do this too.
I took one side of the metal clips off, hooked around our cabinet hardware and then put the binder back together. Then I clipped my recipe to it (I made pumpkin cream cheese muffins last night and I also made homemade chicken noodle soup). That was one of the more fabulous ideas yet!
Ok, I'm done with my "thingy" idea now. I can get back to being an organized foodie.
PSH

10.02.2007

Parmesan Crusted Chicken & Asparagus

I'm famous for my asparagus. Even people who hate asparagus love my asparagus. Ok, so that's totally not true but I can live it up for 5 seconds, right??? Last night was football night, meaning my hubby's gotta play football at 9 pm in the dark and in the cold. So I needed to make something that was light & healthy just so he wouldn't get sick from running around (ick, just thinking about it). And yes, Patty McTatty is now domesticated. She can make everything from pumpkin cream cheese muffins to parmesan chicken (although this is more like fake out parmesan chicken).

Asparagus
Heat your grill pan to high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Drizzle your bunch of asparagus with olive oil, salt & pepper and Emeril's Cajun Seasoning. Grill for approx. 7 - 8 minutes per side. Cover with tinfoil tent until done with chicken.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken
1/2 cup of flour
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 - 4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup prepared tomato sauce/marinara sauce, heated in the microwave.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together bread crumbs, parmesand cheese, salt & pepper and then the garlic powder into a shallow dish. Put the beaten egg in a shallow dish and the flour in a shallow dish.

Keep the grill pan to medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray.

This is like your breaded chicken. Dredge the chicken in the flour first, then the egg and finally the parmesan cheese mixture. Then put the chicken in the grill pan. Brown on each side for 3 minutes, then stick the whole pan into the oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until chicken in done.

Top the chicken with the heated tomato sauce. I like the Prego Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce.

Yum!

PSH