Monday, December 12, 2011

BIG Changes Coming Soon...

I have decided that in the interest of my health, that I will challenge myself to be completely vegetarian over the course of a year, beginning January 1st. I will be blogging my feelings and ideas on this, along with any tasty recipes or foods I come up with. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Adoption Day To My Orange Ball of Fluff!

Dear Corbin,

This is you the day we brought you home last year:

We knew we wanted an orange kitten. We saw a few other hopeful candidates but none touched our hearts the way you did when you came up to your cage window and said hello to us. You had a little cold but you were super rambunctious. You were 2 and a half months old when we brought you home.

Here you are a year later:

You are still cute but we are now convinced that you have no soul and that you are possessed by some destructive demon monster. You get on the counters and knock things down and you love to chew through expensive things, like cell phone headsets, Wii sensor bars and Sperry Topsider shoelaces. You leave you cat hair everywhere and you love to put your little all over the bathroom floor. You also have expensive taste in cat food and you are the pickiest cat I've ever met. You refuse all cat foods that do not have fish in them and scratch at things you do not like as if you had just taken a dump all over them.

However, we would not trade you for the world, even though we would like to throw you across the room sometimes. You are always happy to see us when we get home and you love to snuggle when we are watching TV. You make us laugh more times than we are angry with you. AND if you have a hairball, you try your darndest to make it to the litter box rather than puking on the floor. Thank you for being our kitty child.


Your Mommy and Daddy

Catch up post

These last two weeks have been super busy. Work has not been easy, but I will say that I am thankful to have a job and to be employed for a good company. The one year anniversary of Grandpa's death came and went, along with a visit from Grandma. I still feel like I'm carrying around some guilt regarding his death and wish I could at the very least go back and say goodbye. Ah well...c'est la vie I suppose.

I've been cooking and baking a lot lately. Made some of these the other night and they came out fabulous:

I ate them with a side of mustard and I was in heaven. They were even great the next day (I love cold soft pretzels.)

Also made this yesterday:

Apple walnut cake topped with salted caramel. It was absolutely amazing and was also great the next day.

This dish though, has to be my favorite dinner item I made this week. It's maple glazed apples and chicken on top of mashed sweet potatoes. was as good as it looks.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I Am The Shadow of the Moon At Night

This is the pumpkin I just carved. He's pretty cute (yes the pumpkin is a he lol):

Took the picture with my new iPhone, which I absolutely adore! I think I am in love with Hipstamatic. Also, on a completely unrelated note, I am also now in love with "Mad Men," which I was introduced to this week. Yeah yeah, behind I know.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ding dong the week is done

Look what I found at work today by the backdoor inside my classroom. The kids almost squished the poor thing, though his little back toes look all gnarled. Quite cute though, and we let him go just outside the fence before he sustained any further injury. I might have kept him if I knew about how to care for geckos, but it was probably best for him to be outdoors.

Anyways. It is now 8:45 on a Friday night and I am in my pajamas ready for bed already. Sad, no? I did, however, download a few songs from the new Everlast and Switchfoot albums, and also a few from Skrillex. Quite good, though I am sure my neighbors aren't pleased with the volume levels as loud as I like them. Aside from the music though, I am quite glad today is Friday. It hasn't been a horrible week, just kind of long and I was more than ready for it to be over with. I sprained my ankle last Friday and it's been interesting hobbling around in a walking brace all week. I think I may be out of it in another week or so. I really hope so because driving back and forth to work has been a pain (both literally and figuratively.)

Currently I am helping my husband study for his final skill test for his paramedic certification. It certainly takes a special kind of person to do this sort of thing because I have absolutely no clue about anything on the papers he needs to study. I have banned him from talking for ten minutes as he reads over the information there and I will quiz him when he is done. I know he will do well tomorrow.

Perhaps tomorrow I will have some amazing culinary creation to post about. Who knows. Will check in later.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

It's 2:16 am and my brain just absolutely refuses to shut down tonight. Thank goodness it's a weekend. I got up to sit at my computer for a while, hoping to get a little sleepy, and was looking at a few pictures of things I've cooked and thought I'd share them here.

This one to the left is from a recipe I found on from Bobby Flay, found here. It was pretty amazing and everything in the recipe went so well together. I would even be inclined to use the vinaigrette as a marinade for steaks or chicken.

I cannot remember where I found the recipe for this one, but this was the bourbon pumpkin cheesecake with toasted pecans and bourbon caramel sauce. The original recipe was for the pumpkin cheesecake itself, and it just turned into this monster. It's very sloppy...the result of me having never made homemade caramel before. I ALMOST burned it, but thankfully I didn't. I will try to repeat it this year for Thanksgiving, but will definitely attempt to make a prettier cheesecake.

This is one of my husband's favorite things I make for him. It also comes from, courtesy of Melissa d'Arabian, and can be found here. We love the spiciness and all of the flavors of the dish. The recipe calls for regular cous cous, but the pearl cous cous is so much more hearty in my opinion and pairs well with everything. I also substitute the beef for ground turkey (we try to eat as little red meat as possible.)

Just one of my made up meals, and a super easy and delicious one. Turkey burgers with bacon, blue cheese, red onion, roma tomatoes, and chipotle mayo, fresh corn on the cob, and an ice cold beer to wash it down. One of my favorite summer time meals.

Another made up of mine, and probably one of my personal favorites. This was a salad of mixed greens, dried organic cranberries, and walnuts that I had candied. I tossed the mixture in a red wine vinaigrette (olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a TEENY TINY smidge of dijon) then topped it with chicken that I rubbed in various spices, then grilled. On the side I sliced a baguette super thin, toasted the slices (a bit too much as you can see but not inedible), then topped with camembert and freshly cracked black pepper. It was so delicious.

I think that's about it for now. I am still not sleepy, which is incredibly frustrating. I suppose I will go and watch a movie and see if that helps. Goodnight all.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Ultimate Comfort Mac 'N' Cheese

I am a culinary genius. It's true. This entire week I have been thinking of how I could concoct the perfect macaroni and cheese. Today I decided I would go through with my masterful plan, and invited my friend Ashlee to be my taste testing guinea pig (evil laughs). Bear in mind that when I am cooking I usually don't measure anything. I just add a little of whatever spice I'm using at a time until it tastes good, so forgive me because I don't really have exact measurements for this recipe. Anyways, here it is.

Bacon and Mushroom Smoked Macaroni and Cheese

-1 Box of a pasta of your choice (I used radiatore because I wanted a pasta that would hold the cheese sauce well.)
-Chicken broth, enough to cover your pasta
-A splash of olive oil
-1/4 white onion, chopped
-1 tbsp chopped garlic (approx.)
-8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
-4 Strips of bacon, diced
-1 8oz. block of Velveeta cheese (I know, I know...but hear me out. I prefer the creaminess I can get with Velveeta, as opposed to making a beschamel based cheese sauce, because I like leftovers. Doing it this way keeps the pasta from getting smushy when you reheat it.)
-3 cups of grated cheese (I used an 8 oz. block of smoked cheddar, which grated to about two cups, and then about another cup of smoked gouda and regular cheddar. You do not have to use these cheeses, this is just what I wanted to throw in there.)
-4 tbsp butter
-About 1 c of Panko breadcrumbs
-1 3/4 c milk (approx.)
-Salt to taste
-Fresh pepper, to taste
-Cayenne pepper to taste (use more if you want yours a little spicier)
-Cumin, to taste (it adds a nice smokiness to the dish)
-Garlic powder, to taste
-Parsley, for garnish (you can leave this off if you want. I think it added a nice pop of color at the end.)


Preheat your oven to 425

1. Begin by rendering your bacon in a pan over medium-high heat. While you are cooking your bacon, grate your cheeses and set aside.

2. Cover the pasta in chicken broth, drizzle in some olive oil and a bit of salt and bring to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, drain and set aside.

3. When the bacon is crisp, remove it from the pan and set it aside on a paper towel to drain. Pour off all but about two tablespoons of the bacon fat.

4. In the bacon fat, begin cooking the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent. Toss in your mushrooms and season with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and cumin. Cook until the mushrooms are browned.

5. While the mushrooms are cooking, heat the milk and 2 tbsp of the butter over medium heat in a sauce pan. You do not want the milk to boil, you just want it to become hot. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Whisk in your cheeses until they are melted and the mixture is smooth.

6. In the microwave, melt the remaining butter in a microwave safe dish. Mix in the breadcrumbs, season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and cayenne pepper. Set the breadcrumb mixture aside.

7. YAY! You are now ready to assemble this macaroni and cheese of epicness. Pour in the mushroom and onion mixture to the pasta and mix. Next pour in the cheese sauce and thoroughly mix until everything is combined. Pour the whole thing into a 9x13 baking dish. Top with the bacon crumbles and the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Garnish with parsley.

8. Invite a friend over and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Woke up today in a pretty sad mood. I have been sleeping really soundly, and as a result, I've been having really odd/upsetting dreams that last all the way until my alarm goes off. I've been having a harm time waking up because of this, but this morning was especially hard because the dream was about my Grandpa. I don't remember the specifics, but I couldn't shake the sad feeling until around my lunch break.

Really it wasn't a particularly bad day. The kids were good and we made it through all of our rotations in good time. I have the best assistants I've ever had and they both help to make the day go by so smoothly. I think I might lose my mind if I lose either one of them. I am concerned about the class though, because we are supposed to be getting a new child tomorrow who is severely autistic. I am kind of worried about being able to provide for his needs adequately with the number of children we already have in the class. However, I have met his mother on a number of occasions and she seems like a genuinely caring and helpful person and I think things will be okay after some adjustment.

But I digress. Lunch was fabulous. I got to stop in to my favorite little Greek restaurant today and ordered the best chicken and dumplings you can get anywhere (I know...not really Greek, but you have to understand...these dumplings are a little slice of Heaven.) Miss Ellie (the owner) was in the back cooking away and her son always remembers me when I come in (he should by now, I've been going there for five years now.) I felt much better after that meal.

The rest of the afternoon went well until the washing machine in the laundry room at the school decided to start leaking everywhere while my class's laundry was in the wash. Luckily I had my work for the day already done...I had wanted to get a head start on a few things before I left, but that didn't happen. Ah well.

Got home and sat down to watch T.V. for a bit. Corbin came up to snuggle with me on my chest while I sat there, which is always nice. He is a total mama's cat. I made beef and broccoli over rice for dinner and had a slice of my mother-in-law's awesome amaretto cheesecake for dessert. Corbin sat with me while I decorated some pumpkins afterwards and watched "The Green Mile" with me for a little while.

So that was the day in a nutshell. I'm looking forward to this weekend because I have some crafty things up my sleeve and I'm pretty excited to get started on them. Headed off to dreamland. Goodnight all :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Corbin the Kitteh Monsta

Here is my sweet and innocent fur child as he snuggles down on his bed for the night. See those teeth? That is no yawn my friends. Those are canines of impending doom, of which I will undeniably meet if I should attempt to move him from his (my) bed.

The Wonderful World of Rice

I consider myself to be a great cook but there is one thing I have always had trouble with for some reason, and that is rice. I usually end up resorting to using the Uncle Ben's 90 second rice in a bag (a WONDERFUL product, by the way.) My rice always ends up being squashy, and never fluffy. But I'll be darned...I just made the perfect rice! It's a new variety that I've never tried before called black japonica and it's quite delicious. I boiled the rice in chicken broth, a little butter and a variety of some of my favorite spices and it came out great.

Let's Try This Again...

Hello all! After having been on a long LONG hiatus from the blogging world, I've decided to give this a try again. Way back when I was on Journalspace I remember this being really therapeutic and I think this will be fun. I have lots of ideas and projects in the works, and a crazy cat and awesome husband to keep me company along the way, so let's see how this goes, shall we?