Friday, September 30, 2011

Need Some Quick, Easy Desserts?

I need to start gearing my blog more towards healthy foods, this stuff is killing me. But in the meantime, here are 2 dessert recipes that are great for when you're in a rush, don't want to buy a gazzilion ingredients and want to impress for less!

Pumpkin Cream Pie

You will need:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 packages vanilla pudding
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups crush gingersnaps
  • 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Food process the gingersnaps and mix with melted butter and brown sugar. Pour into pie dish and press out the mixture to evenly cover the sides and bottom. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Let cool.

Whip together pudding mixes, milk, pumpkin puree, whipped cream and spices for 2 minutes on low speed. Pour into cooled pie shell and let it sit for 3 hours in refrigerator.

And you have a super delicious pumpkin cream pie! Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. I didn't have enough whipped cream left over but I would have piped out a pretty border on the top if I did...oh well, tastes just the same:).

Next up is an Apple Tart that I've made a ton of times. I found it on The Pioneer Woman and I love making it. It looks really pretty, requires only a handful of ingredients and is so fast to make.

You will need:

  • 1 whole sheet Puff Pastry, cut into thirds or halves
  • 4 whole apples, cored, halved, sliced thinly but not peeled (this seems to be a lot of apples to me, I've cut down to 3 and had more then enough)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Pre-heat oven to 315 degrees. Thaw puff pastry on baking sheet for approximately 20 minutes, or until you can unfold it without breaking it. Meanwhile, core and slice your apples and mix in a bowl with salt and brown sugar. Let them sit for a few minutes. You may want to throw your pastry back in the freezer on the pan for a couples minutes if it's getting to soft.

 Slice the apples as thinly as you can. Watch out for your fingers!

Place the pastry on parchment paper and layer the apples down the center. I cut the recipe in half for this and only made one that was a little bigger then half of the pastry. Bake at 315 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Keep on eye on them towards the end, they tend to bake quickly once they get going.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

I hope these are helpful for anyone in a pinch, looking for an easy, tasty dessert to make:).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Not Quite a Can of Pumpkin

I had a surprisingly hard time finding a recipe that uses less then 1 whole 15 oz can of pumpkin. After the lattes I didn't want the leftover to go to waste. I finally came across one yesterday. So, if you have a tupperware container sitting in your fridge of leftover pumpkin puree that normally would just be thrown out when you find it in there 2 months later (oh wait, that's just me), make this instead!

Pumpkin Pancakes

You will need:

  •  1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp veggie oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
Combine the milk, egg, pumpkin, oil and vinegar in a bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.

Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture just enough to combine. It's pretty thick for a pancake batter, but don't fret:).

Pour about 1/4 cup of batter at a time on a heated and oiled pan/skillet. *Sidepoint* I'm in the market for a nice cast iron skillet, if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations. After I poured the batter it was just a blob so I spread it around a little with a spoon.

They took about 4-5 minutes on each side on medium heat. You'll think they are done after 2 but they aren't, so just leave them on the pan. Hah the first one I did I said, "oh this is totally done by now". I cut it open and it was batter inside:(. They fluff up so much that it takes awhile to cook through.

It made 8 (minus the one I messed up). I threw these in freezer bags by 2's to have as a quick, yummy, filling breakfast. They reheat nicely and are sooo good:).

 They are best when eaten on classy paper plates:)

Source: So Tasty, So Yummy
I want to make the pumpkin donuts she has on her blog so bad but I don't have a donut pan:(. It's on the list:).

Okay, this weeks nail color is Oui Madame by Essie. It's very bridal (matt agrees), I like it. Last pedi I got I choose Anniversary by OPI and it's very similar to this but this has more of a pearl look to it, as opposed to Anniversary, which was glittery. This one wins because the OPI polish was killer/impossible to get off and ended up murdering my poor little toe nails because I gave up and left it on for a very very...very long time.

Liane and I just went Saturday to Blu Spa and got pedis. The September specials are good, there's not much time left, but check it out if you have time before the end of the month. Anyway, I got French Quarter for Your Thoughts. It's a really nice gray color, I like it.

Ok, I'm going to finish eating my pumpkin pancakes before they get cold!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Matt and I are watching Baxter for two weeks while Rose and Al are out of town and I thought I would share some pictures of him because he's soooo cute!

He pretty much gets spoiled out of his mind while he's here, and we are happy to do it:).

He loves to snuggle under blankets. If there's a blanket, he's under it.


He loves hanging out with his best friend Matt:).

We love you Baxter!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Welcome Fall, Welcome!

I know it's not officially Fall yet but I think the season is to short, so I start it early. Really, I just start it whenever Starbucks decides to start it by bringing back the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I know there are a lot of Pumpkin Spice haters out there and they're all like "what's the big deal? it's not that good!". But we're not friends:). (just kidding!)

Anyway, I decided to try and make my own at home so I'm not shelling out $3.50 for a PSL every day (no I don't actually have one every day). Here's what I ended up with.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree (canned and not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup whole milk (you can use any milk really, I just had this on hand)
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, plus more for spinkle
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • whipped cream

Combine milk, pumpkin, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon in a small pot. Whisk together over low heat until heated.

Meanwhile, make your coffee. I sort of cheated here and made instant espresso. I was going to use the french press and make coffee but the thought of having to clean the french press changed my mind. I need to dirty as few dishes as possible here people. So anyway I did about 2/3 cup boiling water and a heaping tbsp of instant espresso. Voila!

Once your pumpkin milk is heated through transfer 1 cup of it to a measuring cup. I used our Bonjour Primo Latte Milk Frother and frothed it up. You can also just use a whisk if you want and give it a good last mix.

Pour your coffee into your mug of choice and sweeten to your liking. The pump-milk isn't going to add any sweetness to your drink so you will have to add sugar. Pour the pumpkin milk over top. Add a cinnamon stick just for fun:).

Top it with some whipped cream and a little sprinkle of cinnamon.

Lean in and enjoy the aroma...

The recipe makes enough pump-milk for two drinks so you can either make double the coffee for two drinks, or refrigerate the rest and use it in the next day or so. You can taste the difference between this and a Starbuck PSL for sure, but I think it's in a good way:). It's nice to be able to control your ingredients and how much goes into your drink. You can buy the Pumpkin Spice syrup from Torani and use that but...I'm going to stick with this recipe. It may be more work but it's worth it!

Enjoy! And Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pork Tonkatsu and Painted Nails

I saw this recipe here and it looked so good I had to make it. I give it two thumbs up!

Pork Tonkatsu

You will need:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 boneless center cut pork chops, pounded to 1/4-1/8 thickness
  • vegetable oil

Combine egg and mustard in a bowl and dip the pork in the mixture.

Follow by dipping it in the the Panko mixure (panko crumbs, salt and pepper). Press to adhere.

Heat a few tbsp. of oil in a pan and cook pork until golden brown and cooked through. About 2-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness of pork. I couldn't find my meat tenderizer so I used the handle of my can did not have the desired affect. I had to cook mine for about 8 minutes per side.

But look how golden, crispy and delicious it turned out!

We had it with white rice and a tomato-cucumber salad with basil, parsley, one clove minced garlic, salt, pepper, o.o. and red wine vinegar.

Source: So Tasty, So Yummy

Warning: If toes/feet gross you out do NOT proceed!!

Okay, on to some non-food related things. Nail Polish! For the past 4 years or so I've pretty much worn pink or red nail polish, with the occasional silver just for kicks.  I decided I need to spruce up my nail polish collection so today I went out and got a couple Crrraaazy colors. I live on the edge. Essie nail polish is on sale at Walgreens right now for $7.99 a bottle and then I got an extra $1 off each bottle at the register from a manufactures coupon (coupons are awesome).

The first color is Merino Cool. I kind of love it. It looks a bit more purpleish in real life but in a really good way.

The second color I got is Trophy Wife. It's a really fun color. I've been wanting a teal nail polish color for awhile now. Apparently it's a hot fall color this season, oh boy, who am I?!? I really don't know if it is??? I think I heard that somewhere. I bet you never thought you'd get up close and personal with my toes:)

Okay, enough of this. Go cook something:).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I Need An Excuse To Make These Things

Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight

Nutella-Mallow Pillow Pocket

Vidalia Onion Dip

Apple Pie

Chocolate Cupcake with Cherry Icing

Martha's Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

PSA: As of September 7th you can shop online at ZARA!!! woo-hoo:)
I'm also really liking Oasis
That is all:)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Beans Beans, They're Good For Your Heart


Garden Three-Bean Salad with Fresh French Dressing

You will need:

  • 2 cups Green Beans
  • 8 cups Mixed Greens
  • 2 cups frozen shelled sweet Soybeans (edamame), thawed
  • 1 cup canned Cannellini, thoroughly rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup radishes, quartered or sliced
In a microwave safe bowl combine green beans with 1/4 cup water and 1 tsp salt. Toss to distribute salt among beans. Microcook, uncovered, on 100% power for 3-5 minutes or until just tender. Set aside and allow to cool.

Place salad greens in a large salad bowl; add green beans, edamame, white beans, and radishes. Add about half of the dressing. Sprinkle with pepper and toss gently. 

Fresh French Dressing: In a blender combine 2 medium tomatoes, halved and seeded; 1/4 cup olive oil; 2 to 3 tbsp red wine vinegar; 2 tbsp tomato paste; 1 tbsp snipped fresh tarragon; and 2 tsp Dijon mustard. Cover and process until thoroughly blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Tomatoes vary in juiciness; if dressing is to thin add in more tomato paste. Store in refrigerator.

Each serving with 1 tbsp dressing- 175 cal, 9 g fat, 380 mg sodium, 18 g carb, 7 g fiber, 8 g protein.

Source: Healthy Living Magazine

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

What exactly does that saying mean?

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
The legend tells that years ago every casino in Las Vegas had a three-piece chicken dinner with a potato and a veggie for $1.79. A standard bet back then was $2, hence when you won a bet you had enough for a chicken dinner. !”

Urban Dictionary told me this, so it must be so.

Anyway, you guessed it right, today's recipe calls for chicken. It's chicken salad sandwiches! Now, I'm not one to toot my own horn but these were really really good. I guess if I'm tooting anyone's horn it's Ina Garten's horn (as much as I hate to because I find her totally uptight and snooty). But, she makes good chicken salad!

Chicken Salad

You will need:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • "Good" Olive Oil (the snootyness ensues)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3/4 cup "Good" mayonnaise (see what I mean? my hellmans isn't good enough for her)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh Tarragon
  • 1 cup small diced celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 1/4 cup craisins
Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken on a pan with foil, rub them with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. roast for 30-40 minutes, or until cooked through. When the chicken is cool cut it into 3/4-inch dice and place in a bowl.

Add the mayo, tarragon, celery, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, craisins and toss well.

To assemble, spread a little mayo on bread and top with chicken salad, lettuce and tomato. Then top it off with another slice!

This was a little messy but awesome, especially when put on tomato basil bread from Panera! (thanks Liane:)) That salad will be my next post so stay tuned!

Source: adapted from The Barefoot Contessa