More Tangerines Than I Know What to Do With

Jeez, you'd think that I'd learn from the first time - husband does NOT eat all the fruit you buy, especially if it's in bulk. Doh!

So I have lots of tangerines and bananas and the hubby is out of town. What the heck am I going to do? Make 10 cakes? Uh, no... I don't think so. I do not own a bundt cake pan.

I will be bringing these to work tomorrow:

Tangerine-Cream Cheese Pastries -

3 tangerines
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits

Grate 1 tablespoon rind from tangerines; set rind aside. Squeeze 1/4 cup juice from tangerines. Combine juice, brown sugar, whipping cream, and 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. Pour mixture into a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish; set aside.

Combine reserved rind, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons butter in a small mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed of an electric mixer just until blended.

Separate biscuit dough into 20 pieces. Quickly roll each biscuit on a lightly floured surface to a 4" circle. Spread 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture onto center of each biscuit circle. Roll up, jellyroll fashion. Place biscuits over brown sugar mixture in dish, seam side down, in 2 long rows.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° on lowest rack in oven for 32 minutes or until browned. Let cool in dish 5 minutes. Carefully turn pastries out onto a large serving platter.

Maybe an orange cheesecake??? Ugh, who knows... please suggest to me what to make! I'm desperate to not waste!



See Jane Work

I've had a request for more organizational stuff. It's kind of exciting!

I want this home desk - mostly because it's so incredibly simple and dark wood and looks easy to keep it clean (okay, as soon as I see dust I use my microfiber cloth with a little water). It's $199 from Target - and online there's free shipping as of today. The one we have is similar, but no shelves on the sides. I want shelves.

If I had this desk, I would have two small baskets on each side on the bottom shelves and then longer, shorter baskets on the top shelf to hold supplies, like calculators, Beemer Man's pointer clicker test taking thingy for Law School and of course, the laptop and desk lamp on top. I've tried emptying stuff into handmade pottery, but it seems to end up on the floor. And I've tried putting pencils in coffee cups, but my man just doesn't see the light of organizing way.

So, I've turned to See Jane Work for help.

I have my files organized. My binders are in good shape. I've settled down to nice, adult patterns instead of using Target My Little Pony folders that I've had since Kindergarten.

These are great for storing stuff like bills, tax information, etc... The Caspari Project Folder is $4.95, well worth the moola - especially for when you go to see your tax man sweat as you pull out the W2's with how little you've really made this past year.

I also enjoy the way they look tucked neatly into their correct spot into their own little file cubby. Yes, I color coordinate but I've only bought the cream, green and blue letter trays. I'm that much of a dork!

If you have time, check out http://www.seejanework.com/, I'm telling you, that website will change the way you think about office supplies and how to organize your home office as well as your cube at work.

Enjoy the shopping! Because I'll be enjoying the organization and the easy finding of the recipes that I'd like to try!



My Celeb Look-A-Likes

But this pic was taken when I was super hot and at the Formula One race in Indy. I feel like I look prettier in other pics... Boo for only one pic on my work computer...


Spaghetti with Green Olive Pasta Sauce

My dearest husband, Beemer Man, hates leftovers. There are only 2 things that he eats leftover.

Turkey/Chicken Pot Pies
Leftover Olive Spaghetti Sauce

And so here's my recipe (and seriously, it's the easiest, I shit you not):

Green Olive Pasta Sauce

3/4 cup chopped pitted green olives, you can use the cheap ones, they're fine too!
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine (that you're drinking while you're cooking)
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Olive oil for the pan
1/3 lb ground turkey or lean ground beef, either works

Soften the onions in a pan on medium heat. Cook them until clear, then add the garlic, meat and olives. Saute until there's no pink left in the meat.

Add the red wine, tomato sauce and 1 large ladle of pasta cooking water. Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, covered while your spaghetti cooks. (I use angel hair pasta because it reheats well).

This makes enough for 4 servings.


Crockpot Chicken Wings with Potatoes

There's none left for a picture. Sorry.

So after a long day of driving through Ohio and purchasing a car, I was so glad to have a hot meal ready for us in the crockpot! Hubby wanted chicken wings, I really didn't care, they were cheap at the grocery store. What I really wanted was a cornish hen in the crockpot but he's never had that before! And so it came to this:

Crockpot Chicken Wings (Not too spicy) with Potatoes

1 package of chicken wings, I happened to buy 6 HUGE wings
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 package chicken gravy (or make your own pan gravy, it was 8:30 am on a Saturday)
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp hot sauce (to taste)
3 - 4 potatoes, cut into wedges
1 medium onion, sliced thinly so they "melt" in the crockpot

Preheat a wide pan on your stove on high heat with 3 - 4 tbsp oil, mixed with a little butter.

1. Mix the flour with cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper. Coat your wings and then shake to get off the excess flour. Sear wings on both sides in the smoking hot pan.

2. Meanwhile, cut your potatoes and your onions. Toss them into the bottom of the crockpot.

3. Once your chicken is seared nice & crispy, toss those onto the top of the veggies.

4. Make a pan gravy with the drippings of the chicken. For me it was too early to even think of mixing & measuring so I used a McCormick's Chicken Gravy packet with 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock. Add the hot sauce to the gravy, taste it, then add more hot sauce or cayenne pepper. If you want your "gravy" thicker, add a can of cream of chicken soup and whisk till blended. Pour over chicken & veggies.

5. Cook on low 6 - 7 hours. We happened to be in Ohio forever, so I think it was in there for about 8, the potatoes were soft and the meat fell off the bones.

I like crockpot meals. They usually turn out no matter what, I would actually make this one again, only with a whole chicken or chicken breast meat but not wings. Or with a roast. Or whatever cut of meat is cheaper at the grocery store.



Refrigerator Organization, Blech...

Ever wish you had just another 10 square feet for your shoes? Your clothes? Your kitchen?
I do all the time! In fact, my kitchen is only about 10 square feet. I have a teeny tiny stove (four burners and only 2 pots can fit at a time), an actual icebox for a refrigerator (open one door for everything and then another door inside of the fridge for the freezer) and NOT ENOUGH STORAGE. We bought a butcher rack at Target and I still can't even find time to organize that.
Talk about me trying to organize anything else!

I finally stumbled upon the Container Store's fridge and freezer section of their website.

Absolutely awesome ideas. Who knew that me, the world's most lazy organizer could possibly actually use some of these things??? The water container my husband will love, the popcan holder my diet mountain dew will go cuckoo over and the freezer bins, I just hope that I'll be able to find them when I defrost the whole fridge...

And so now I'm off to shop online and get some great stuff to organize my fridge.

At least one thing that I use daily will be organized, right???


2008 Resolutions

Yes, even Pattymctatty writes new year's resolutions.

I've started a new blog, a decorating blog actually. Ever since I was younger, I've always loved decorating and for those of you that do not know me well, I started off as an interior design major but HATED my professors. Decorating and designing is very subject to each person's love of style. My style, I think, is normal and relates to people's every day lives. My professors on the other hand, didn't think so. They wanted everything to be expensive and fabulous and great and designer and blah, blah, blah. Especially since the Jack Lenor Larson Gallery was on the second floor (world renowned fabric designer). I say, if you can't afford it, then fuck it.

So www.smallapartmentbigideas.blogspot.com was created out of my love for decorating for a small scale space on a small scale budget. With environmental thoughts in mind. I have everything from organizing your refrigerator to environmental cleaning on a budget listed in my new blog.

I know, I know, Pattymctatty is a gemini and so I can be interested in many things all at once and eventually I stop doing something. This past fall, I stopped doing photography. It just didn't have the appeal that it used to. I started cooking. I started organizing other people. All in all, I've realized one thing about my personality - I jump from interest to interest and drop what I've been doing in an instant, that's a gemini for you (hence the tattoo on my back, which fits me more than anyone knows). That's my personality and at the moment, I'm being incredibly truthful.

And so for this year, I can't change my personality, I can only enhance it. I've decided to continue doing things which enhance my life and make it more meaningful. You'll see that I'll be writing more blogs and trying to change my ways to be more environmentally friendly. So to list my resolutions:

1. Shop at the farmer's market this summer.
2. Become a more creative person - know what's trendy in the design field.
3. Keep in touch with my Minnesota friends. All of you are so important to me, that sometimes I forget that it takes two.
4. Keep my IBS in check, eat less red meat, less raw veggies, etc... I've been horrible to my body and now it's become a HUGE problem. (Eek, sorry, TMI)
5. Drink more water.
6. Bring my reusable bags to the grocery store EVERY TIME I GROCERY SHOP.
7. Donate my time to a fabulous envinronmental cause besides doing all the "free" stuff.

I honestly hope that all of these are attainable. As I get older, the years go by more quickly and so I forget that you only have so much time here on Mother Earth. I still miss my dad, even more than 5 years later, and his death still reminds me that I have great friends and great family and I should never forget that and never, ever take them for granted.

About a month before he died we were talking about gardening and what we were going to do in the garden later that year - those things never happened. I don't want to say that I'm going to do something and never do it, I want to be able to live my life with no regrets and do exactly what I want to do. That same damn garden reminds me of all the pesticides that he put into it. I want to reverse his decisions, but I can't. So, that's one reason why I would like to make earth a better place for our children. My father made horrible decisions when it came to pesticides, but his daughter is doing everything she can to make the environment better for her children (whoops, third person).

In any case, this new year and my new blog will hopefully change people's minds of global warming and make them see that what you do now changes our children's future. So please, recycle, get reusable grocery bags and change your light bulbs. Those three things can make a difference in your children's futures.



Honey Mustard Chicken

Eh, I've had a craving for honey-mustard anything lately. I just can't seem to stop ordering chicken fingers with honey-mustard sauce at any restaurant lately. Must be a protein craving.

I've been doing SparkPeople for about a month now. It's really opened my eyes to what I'm actually putting in my mouth. I've also been reading a lot about proteins and fats, and realizing that I need WAY MORE protein than I've been eating. I do love chicken, I just don't like it everyday and so I need more foods with protein. But here's the chicken I made last night. I usually make chicken with roasted potatoes.

Honey-Mustard Chicken

1 lb chicken breasts (cook all and then use leftovers for another dinner, like pot pies)
3 tbsp Grey Poupon mustard, or any grainy mustard
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, chopped

Whisk all ingredients together except for chicken.

Marinate chicken for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat grill pan over high heat. Sear on both sides for 5 minutes each.

Put in oven for 15 - 20 minutes for super thick chicken breasts or 10 - 12 minutes for thinner chicken breasts.

Every time I finish meat off in the oven, it turns out nice and juicy. If you decide not to use a grill pan, you can make a gravy with all the juices that end up in the pan. Yum!!!!


Christmas Beef Stew

My mom makes beef stew every year for christmas in her dutch oven. I've tried to replicate it several times, but I've never come close. It's been to brothy, so I've had to make gravy to put over the beef and veggies. Or it's been too something or other and just not quite right. I finally buckled and asked her exactly what she put into it. I normally like to get things right on my own, but you just can't mess with the old family recipes. This one was so easy, I just about fell on the floor! I had put too much thought into it...

My Mom's Beef Stew

1 lb beef, cut into bite size pieces
4 large carrots, cut into bite size pieces
5 potatoes, cut into wedges
1 celery heart, peeled & chopped
1 package Lipton Onion soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of beef broth or 1 cup of water, (or both if you want it thinner) whatever you have on hand
Salt & pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tblsp worstershire sauce

(My mom wouldn't write down the ingredients, so the above ingredients are from memory)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Brown the beef in the bottom of a dutch oven on medium/high - make sure you liberally coat the bottom with olive oil.

3. Add all other ingredients and bake for about 3 - 4 hours.

That's all she told me. So I'll have to try it for myself. The only problem, I only have a 3 quart cast iron dutch oven, so I'm going to have to reduce this by a lot to get enough for two people. And the timing, eh, well, let's say that she put the dutch oven into the oven at about 3 pm and then she took it out around 7 pm. And we had been drinking beer for a few hours. So I'm not exactly sure of the cooking time, but I guess I can use trial & error to figure it out.

It can't be that hard to screw up beef stew!!!



So It's Been Awhile

Because I haven't exactly had time to blog!!! I've been snowboarding, hanging out with family and finally, shopping... at the Mall of America!

But what I really wanted to write about is my awesome christmas presents...

A rolling pin (now I can make pizza dough and smash oreos)
A 3 quart cast iron pot (yes, all black and it was only $9.99 at Macy's)
Serving dish with 4 inserts

Other stuff that I got - like clothes and stuff.

In any case, I'm excited for my rolling pin. I even have yeast in the cupboard, so we'll see what I come up with tonight!