Christmas Family Picture

Yep, here we are. Wrangled pups and all...

Also, here's the house in the snow... All 14 inches... And it's still falling!!!


Here's Some Link Love

So I'm big into reading blogs and I don't think that I could ever live without my Google Reader. So I'm going to list a TON of blogs and websites that I think are pretty cool and awesome and actually give you insight so here goes:


Digital Photography School - Learn lots of awesome tips & tricks along with the basics
Jasmine Star - Just awesomeness of inspirations and photos and whatnot...
Shine Pet Photos - I want to photograph animals like this. Oh, yes, I do...


Alpine Berry
Bread + Butter (Hi Jenn!)
Eat Me, Delicious
Half Assed Kitchen

Do you notice a theme here? There's Pioneer Woman or Smitten Kitchen (I love them both, but I feel like everyone reads them, am I not correct, here? I'm trying to broaden horizons...)

Ok, and more food:

What's Cookin' Chicago - Joelen's Culinary Adventures
Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen


Apartment Therapy
Design Style Guide
Design Sponge
Young House Love

And the fun stuff:

People of Walmart
My Husband is Annoying
Not Always Right

You know whatever... this is my usual list of reads during the day along with either D-Listed or Perez and then the local MSP headlines.

Happy reading!

Friday Humor

And now enjoy the Food Network Humor.

Because it's Friday and everyone needs a laugh for the rest of the afternoon/work day...

I'm In Love. Again.

Dear Lord,

Please give me the strength NOT to order anything from HERE.


P.S. God, if you could throw a winning lottery ticket my way, that would be AWESOME.


BTW: Here's Horchow's sale section.

Frye Boots: I Want Them

I do believe that I have died and gone to Heaven. If I ever win the lottery or all of a sudden have $400 to spend... I shall buy myself some Frye boots.

Happy Friday. Remember to wipe your chin after you drool.

Fiona Stitch Pull On - $378

Riding Back Zip - $648
Carson Shortie - $318
Campus 14G - $298


Addictive Guacamole

Hi, Nigel! Nigel is a fantastic dog (and remember, you can also adopt him. Click here for more information about Nigel!). If you like to cook, he likes to lay in the same room, but totally out of the way. Nigel doesn't like being stepped on much. (I have to admit that I cut up pieces of cheese and toss them to Nigel & THE MONSTER when I cook...)
And THE MONSTER. He just likes to be in the middle of everything. Seriously. I went from chopping, to going AROUND THE MONSTER, taking a picture, then going AROUND THE MONSTER back to chopping and food processing. I tell ya, the things we do for dogs.

(Oh, quickly, green & eco-friendly tip: I bought a composter for $30 and it came with a small green one for the kitchen. I stick it in the sink when I chop so I can pretend that I'm Rachael Ray, only I compost and not use a garbage bowl...)
So, I use a WHOLE jalepeno. You don't have to if you don't want it, but it'll put hairs on your chest if you're not used to the heat. Trust me. I know how to put heat into food.

2 - 3 avacados
1 teeny, tiny onion, roughly quartered
2 cloves of garlic
The juice of one lemon
Salt & pepper

Add all to food processor and process until smooth.

Serve with good salty chips.

Grown-Up Gouda Grilled (Ok, Baked) Cheese Sandwiches

Bimmer Man tells me that I don't make grilled cheese sandwiches correctly.

And I don't.

I bake them.

On the magical pizza stone. In the oven.


So I guess they're not really grilled, right?

Ok, so ready?

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees - I use a pizza stone so make sure the pizza stone is preheating in the oven too.

Put the sammies together (butter or margerinize the outside, cheese on the inside... you know... like a regular grilled cheese...). BUT, I used Gouda. It's nice and stinky. With a bit of mozzarella.

Now, I have something to confess. I DON'T KNOW HOW TO MATCH CHEESES. I just like cheese so I throw together whatever I happen to have in the fridge that melts well together. Gouda melts pretty well with mozzarella, so why not? It's better than the processed cheese, which I cannot for the life of me actually call real cheese.

And um, well, put the sandwiches into the oven for 6 minutes.


Bake for 5 minutes.

And then they're done.

I made tomato soup to go along with my stinky cheese sammie.

Happy Thursday!


My Best Impression of Sandra Lee

Green Onion Cornbread Muffins:

Box of Jiffy Cornbread Muffin Mix
2 tablespoons of chopped green onions


Follow instructions on corn muffin mix, add green onions to batter before pouring in muffin cups.

Seriously, you can laugh now!

Happy Friday!

Oh, what should I make with the overripe bananas in the picture?

How Do You Get Sticky Tape Off Glass?

Nigel actually poses for the camera. He sits. And then you can ask, "Where's Nigel?" And he tilts his head, he's so cute!
And the MONSTER. He lurves snow, but mostly lurves to eat it. So I cought him snow-nosed. HA! He's a goon!
So I went to Tuesday Morning and found this frame to put up in our house. I was going to make a picture wall on the stairs going up to our Master Bedroom. Lo and behold, I found a black frame. Woo hoo!
But, I, well, um, didn't get the stick off all in one swoop.

So, how do I get the rest of it off???

I have no idea! HELP!


Challah Bread

I love bread.
I love carbs.
But mostly the smell of freshly baked bread in the neighborhood. This was super easy! Trust me!

I followed the recipe from How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman and amazingly it was awesome.

Unfortunately I'm lazy and I don't want to type up the recipe though (but it can be googled!).

I did swap out 1 cup of AP flour for wheat flour though and it was still delicious.

Which brings me to my next project - finding a good wheat bread to make for sandwiches.

Chicken with Olives & Tomatoes

We need to eat healthier. Mostly because it's winter in Minne-snow-ta and it's not like you can run in 8 inches of snow.

So, my fallback is always chicken, mostly grilled with veggies (mostly steamed) and cous cous or rice. This is new because Bimmer Man suddenly likes tomatoes. But they have to be a certain kind otherwise he won't eat them. I don't blame him, I mean I don't like mayo and I don't eat it if I don't have to. It's ended up on a few sandwiches, and I can't say that I didn't like them, but I definitely didn't like the texture. Something about a glob of mayo just doesn't sit right with me!
So, for this it's chicken and olives and tomatoes. Favorites for Bimmer, so score for me!

2 - 4 chicken breasts
Handful of Bushel Boy Baby tomatoes
Good 3/4 cup of green olives (you can use black olives too, but these are tangier)
1 small onion, finely chopped (again, not one of Bimmer's favorites but the sweet onions have the least amount of "onion" taste when cooked)
3/4 cup Italian dressing
Dash of hot sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup water or chicken broth or white wine, whatever
Salt (very little) and pepper
3 tbsp olive oil

So, here goes:

1. In a large pan over medium high heat, cook the chicken breasts *almost* all the way through with a 1/2 cup of Italian dressing and 3 tbsp of olive oil. They should only have about 1 minute left, so the juices should be pretty clear.

2. Take the chicken out of the pan and let it rest while you make the sauce.

3. To the pan add the onions and cook until clear. Add the olives, cook for about 3 minutes, then add the Italian dressing, tomatoes, hot sauce, water and brown sugar. The brown sugar is so the tomatoes won't be too acidic - just like tomato sauce for pasta, always add a spoonful of sugar!

4. Cook for about 2 minutes and then add the chicken back to the pan until heated through again, about 3 - 4 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Then, serve over cous cous and with a side of veggies if you want. It's really that easy!


Roast Chicken with Lemon & Onions

Here's another lazy meal. In fact, I've been so lazy lately that I haven't even been taking pictures of my finished food. Oh, well, not a problem.

You know those bags of frozen chicken breasts that you can buy?

Well, I just toss those into a baking dish with this:

1 lemon, cut in half
2 medium onions, cut into fourths OR smaller, whatever
4 - 5 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp basil
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
Salt & pepper

Mix lemon juice from the lemons, olive oil and herbs/spices together. Pour over chicken in dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until done (generally about 35 - 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven, you can also raise the oven temp to 400 or 425 and it'll be done 10 minutes sooner).

See? Cooking is just so dang easy. And it's good for you. Serve with rice, cous cous, steamed veggies and/or salad.


Spaghetti With Turkey Meat Sauce

I love spaghetti and pasta and sauce and garlic bread and salad. And so does Bimmer Man. He used to not like spaghetti. At all. Now, if I give him a choice of spaghetti or penne, he'll take the spaghetti hands down (but if gnocchi is thrown into the mix, he'll take gnocchi).

And so, I've memorized an easy way to get rid of your leftovers and single cans of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes or whatever else you have. Seriously. Mostly I just throw stuff in the pan and hope that it turns out. I think that's what a lot of people do, so you'll notice that most what I cook for pasta sauce is similar but I like to change up the seasoning. This is my throwback meal when I need to clean out the pantry and take stock of what I need to buy at the grocery store.

So here it is:

1/2 to 1 lb ground turkey (or pork or beef or chicken, whatever)
1 - 2 cans tomato sauce
1 - 2 cans diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes or whatever
1 onion, chopped
1 - 2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, mashed through a garlic press or chopped (do you really want to smell like Rachael Ray tomorrow???)
Couple dashes of hot sauce OR cayenne pepper OR red pepper flakes

And optional:
1 medium eggplant cut into 1 inch pieces
1 summer squash, spaghetti squash or any squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bell pepper, diced fairly finely
Any other vegetable that would hold up to simmer for 15 - 20 minutes without being too mushy

And then spaghetti, cooked 2 minutes AFTER al dente so it swirls around your fork correctly but it still has a bite.


Brown the meat, add the onions and garlic. Then the spices and the hot sauce or whatever you're using to give it a kick. And then the veggies if you're adding those, let brown a bit, maybe 3 minutes or so. Add all the cans of tomatoes.

Simmer 15 minutes or until the flavors have melted together and it tastes like spaghetti sauce.

And then eat over a plate full of spaghetti noodles.

AND then loosen the top button of your pants and sigh with relief that you'll have leftovers for the next few days so you don't have to cook if you don't want to.


Challah Bread & something with pumpkin, I haven't decided yet.