December 31, 2008

A Little Something

to bring in the new year. This is something that my roommates and I started doing a couple of years ago, and now we drink this on any and every special occasion. It's so simple and so yummy! All you need is a bottle of Welchs sparkling white grape juice and a can of peach nectar (this can be found in the Mexican food aisle of your grocery store, or Walmart, or possibly with the juices). Also, you might want some cute champagne flutes or wine glasses. Just put about a tablespoon and a half of peach nectar in each glass and fill the rest with the sparkling white grape juice, then toast to the new year! You can also use any cheap champagne instead of the sparkling white grape juice if that tickles your fancy. Happy New Year everyone, and enjoy a peach Bellini!

December 15, 2008

Baby its Cold Outside

When its cold outside I like to eat something thats warm, so that's what we did tonight. My mom made chili tonight and it was so good! Here's the recipe:

1 lb. hamburger meat
1 Tbsp minced onion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 8oz can tomato sauce or stewed tomatoes
1 12oz can kidney beans

Brown hamburger meat, add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer 20 minutes.
Couldn't be easier, and it so good!

December 4, 2008

Tagged again

I was tagged by Jessica!
8 Things About Me

8 TV Shows I Watch

1. Grey’s Anatomy
2. Desperate Housewives
3. Dancing With the Stars
4. Brothers and Sisters
5. Private Practice
6. American Idol
8. The Office

8 Favorite Restaurants

1. Zen
2. Chicken Fil A
3. Egg Roll Express
4. Café 501
5. Olive Garden
6. Teds/Poblanos
7. Chilis
8. Outback

8 Things That Happened Today

1. Packed up some of the office
2. Got an oil change/carwash
3. Ate lunch with Anna
4. Jammed the printer at work
5. Printed off maps to Kansas City & Arrowhead stadium
6. Read the Pioneer Woman
7. Thought about Christmas shopping
8. Did laundry
8 Things I Look Forward To

1. The Big 12 Championship game on Saturday
2. Christmas
3. Buying a house
4. Changing into sweats when I get home from work
5. Buying a brand new car
6. Friend’s Christmas party
7. Going on vacation
8. Making the trek back to Vienna someday
8 Things I Wish For
1. Leopard Uggs
2. My own house
3. To be the Pioneer Woman
4. To have a child/children someday
5. To own a restaurant/dessert shop
6. To get married someday (I guess that should go before having children)
7. A digital SLR camera
8. A Land Rover
8 People I Tag (I don’t think 8 people read my blog!)
1. Amanda
2. Gena
3. Summer
4. Lita
5. Anyone else who reads this and has a blog…haha

December 1, 2008

You might be next...

I've been tagged by Lita to post the 4th picture in the 4th album of my computer. I was wondering what it might be, figuring that it was either a picture from Disney world or an OU football game since that is what I have the most pictures of and I was right. Here is a picture from the OU-UNT game last year on Labor Day weekend.

This picture was taken at my first game as an OU season ticket holder, and what a wonderful game to kick it off. The final score was 79-10, we almost left early because we were so far ahead, but decided to stay for the whole first game of the season. I took the picture after the game was over and the players were headed back into the locker room, fans were huddled around the edge of the field to maybe have a chance to high five one or two of the players, and I was a little behind them. My dad and I have now been through 2 seasons as season ticket holders and I don't see that ending any time soon. I love me some Sooner football!!! BOOMER SOONER!
I guess now I have to tag some others to keep this going. I choose Amanda and Jessica. Lets see what pictures you come up with!

November 26, 2008

A nice alternative to turkey

Last night was our annual "Friends Thanksgiving" and I was in charge of bringing the main meat dish. I decided that I didn't really have time to make a turkey or a ham, so I had to think of a great alternative. What I came up with was roasted pork tenderloin and it was a hit, very flavorful and juicy! I'm not really a fan of turkey or ham, so I knew at least I would like it. I bought 3 packages of tenderloin, with 2 pieces of meat in each, which ended up being way too much food for about 12 people. I marinated the meat over night and then cooked it last night when I got home from work. I put a little bit of a Cajun twist on the marinate, so I'll call it Roasted Cajun Pork Tenderloin. Here's what you need (the measurements aren't exact because I just threw a bunch of ingredients into a Ziploc bag):

1-1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin
1/2 cup orange juice (or grapefruit/tangerine if that's what you have, I'm just saying)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1-2 tsp hot sauce (Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce)
3-4 Tbsp honey
1-2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and place the pork tenderloin in, make sure you mix it around after putting the tenderloin in so it is all covered in the marinade. I let mine sit in the marinade for about 16 hours in the fridge, but it probably only needs to marinate for 3-4 hours. Heat your oven to 325 degrees and place the tenderloin in a roasting pan and cook for 45-50 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. You can also grill the tenderloin 8-12 minutes per side. After cooking remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes then slice and serve! Its great for a Thanksgiving alternative, or an easy meal any night of the week.

Have a Happy Turkey Day everyone!!!

November 21, 2008

I'd like to place a take out order...

I cannot explain to you my love of Chinese food, it is a very deep and consuming love, actually it's a little embarrassing. I could probably eat Chinese food for every meal, or at least once a day. Give me sweet and sour pork, Pad Thai, fried rice, lo mein or beef and broccoli, I love it all. Stir fry has always been a pretty common food at our house growing up and yesterday I took it to the next step, I cooked beef and broccoli in the crockpot, no stirring involved with that friends. I have to be honest when I tell you that it was no comparison to the 'real' stuff you can get at your local mall food court, but it was a good substitute AND it was so easy! Here's what you need to get this meal cooking:

1 lb thin beef, I used flank steak
1/4 C soy sauce
2 Tbsp white wine
2 Tbsp rice wine or apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bag of frozen broccoli florets, thawed

I started by slicing the beef into thin strips. Then I put a handy dandy slow cooker liner in the crock pot (if you haven't been introduced to these babies, you need to check them out!) and added all the liquids and spices and mixed them up. Toss the sliced beef into the crock pot with the sauce and mix until the beef is coated thoroughly. Cook this on low for 6-8 hours (I cooked mine for 5 on low and the beef was falling apart). Stir in the thawed broccoli about an hour before serving. Serve over steamed rice. Delish!

November 9, 2008

Crockpot - my new favorite appliance

I have kind of been in a cooking slump lately. I haven't been in the mood to get in the kitchen, so last week I took the 'lazy' way out and used the crock pot to make an entire dinner. Well maybe not the entire dinner, but pretty close, all I had to do was make a salad to go alongside the steak and baked potatoes that cooked in the crockpot while I was at work. I won't lie, I was a little hesitant at first, I mean steak cooked in the crockpot, its kind of weird. But it was a success! So when you need something simple and good, give this one a try. Here's what you need:

1 1/2 lbs. steak
1/4 Cup beef broth
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. your favorite steak rub
1 small onion, sliced (or you can use 1 Tbsp. dried onion flakes)

You'll also need:
2-4 potatoes
2-4 ears of corn
aluminum foil

First put the steaks in the crockpot and season them on both sides. Then add the onions, Worcestershire sauce and broth (if you use dried onion flakes rub them on the steaks with the steak rub). I put extra broth in with my steaks because our crockpot cooks things fast and I didn't want them to burn.
Then clean and scrub the potatoes and cover with foil. Add the potatoes to the pot. Shuck the corn and wrap each ear in foil, then add those to the crockpot.
The recipe said to cook on high for 5-7 hours, or on low for about 8. I cooked it on high for 2 hours, then on low for 3 more hours, but mine cooks fast and I already knew that. So you be the judge on how long to cook it.

October 28, 2008

I LOVE Chex Mix

For some reason I only like to eat it in the fall/winter though. So last night I made my first batch. I usually go with the quick and easy microwave version so I can get to the eating part faster, but for some reason I decided to cook it low and slow in the oven. I also used the Chex Mix seasonings packet for the first time and let me tell you, its FABULOUS! All you have to do is melt the butter, then open up this little packet of seasonings, mix in your favorite ingredients and voila, you have Chex Mix. It takes all the measuring a teaspoon of this and a tablespoon of that out of the equation, so easy!!! I would highly suggest to all you fellow Chex Mix lovers out there to go out and buy a few of these mixes to have on hand so you can mix up a batch anytime. Here is what I usually use in my Chex Mix

4 Cups Rice Chex
4 Cups Corn Chex
1 Cup Cheerios (they soak up the flavor, yum)
1 Cup Goldfish
1 Cup cashews (or mixed nuts, whichever I have)

That is my favorite mixture of ingredients for Chex Mix, but as long as you have the same amount of ingredients you can mix it up however you want!

October 24, 2008

Nacho Bar

So this isn't exactly a recipe, just an idea for an easy dinner. We got back from vacation on Saturday and didn't have many groceries in the house, especially veggies, so I ransacked the kitchen and pantry to see what we could have for dinner on Tuesday night. I found hamburger meat, chicken, Velveeta cheese, rotel, and chips. I had some great nachos a few weeks ago as an appetizer and have been craving some since then, so I figured it was the perfect time to recreate them. You can use any and all toppings that you want, here is what we had:

Ground beef cooked with taco seasoning
Shredded chicken, seasoned with fajita seasoning
Refried beans
Sour Cream
Chopped onions
Diced tomatoes
Sliced jalapenos
Tortilla chips

These toppings were GREAT, and everyone got to pick what they wanted on their own plate of nachos, so everyone liked it. So easy to make, and an easy pleaser. For your next family dinner you should give it a try!

October 10, 2008


My favorite dessert is creme brulee. I am leaving for Disney World in the morning and will eat my weight in creme brulee if I can, I'll definitely have it at every place possible. I made my first attempt at this dessert tonight and it came out so so. I think I'll do a few things different next time. But here's the recipe:

2 Cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1/2 Cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 Cup brown sugar, give or take

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Whisk the cream, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until nice and creamy (this is where I made the mistake, I didn't whisk it long enough, next time I'll use the KitchenAid). Evenly distribute the creme mixture into ramekins, or into a small casserole dish. Place the ramekins in a baking dish and fill halfway up the ramekins with hot water. Place the pan with the ramekins in the oven for 45 minutes. Check them every 10 minutes after the initial 45 to see if they are done. You will know they're done when you stick a knife into one and it comes out clean. Set them on the counter and let them cool for 15 minutes. Cover and place them in the fridge overnight.

Spread a thin layer of brown sugar on top of each ramekin. Either use a torch to harden the sugar or place them under the broiler until the sugar hardens.


Since I'll be gone all next week hanging out with Mickey Mouse, I won't be able to update. I'll try and take some pictures of the fabulous food I get to try at EPCOT Food and Wine Festival.

October 4, 2008

My Favorite Salads

Thursday night was my night for dinner again and I decided to try out BBQ pulled pork. I always get that at any BBQ restaurant I go to so I figured I'd give it a didn't turn out as well as I would have liked, so maybe I'll try it again and then I can share the recipe. Along with the pulled pork I made oven fried potatoes and Chinese coleslaw. I absolutely LOVE Chinese coleslaw and if you haven't ever tried it, you should. I don't like the regular kind (mayonnaise makes me gag) but this one is vinegar based and fantastic. Here are the ingredients you'll need:

5 Cups pre-shredded coleslaw mix
4 green onions, chopped
1 (3oz) pkg. Ramen noodles
1/2 Cup slivered almonds
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

1 Cup oil
1 tsp Lawrys
1/3 Cup rice vinegar
1 tsp pepper
1/2 Cup sugar

Mix dressing , store in refrigerator. Toast almonds and sesame seeds in a small amount of butter until lightly toasted, let cool. Mix sesame seeds, almonds, cabbage and green onions, add dressing then add crushed ramen noodles just before serving.

Another of my favorite salads uses basically the same ingredients, just substitute green leaf lettuce for the coleslaw mix. Also you will need 1 pkg. of sliced almonds and 1/3 Cup of sesame seeds for the large green salad. Toss all those together and serve with the same dressing as the Chinese coleslaw.

And my last salad recipe for this post is a Spinach salad. Here's what you need:

6 Cups baby spinach
3/4 Cup sliced strawberries or granny smith apples
1/3 Cup blue cheese
1/2 Cup pecans (broken and sauteed in small skillet with 2 Tbsp. sugar and sprinkle with 1 tsp chili powder

1/2 Cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1/3 Cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp onion flakes
3/4 Cup vegetable oil

Put all dressing ingredients in blender and mix well. Mix salad ingredients and toss with dressing.

These are my 3 favorite salads and I highly recommend them all! I could probably eat the whole entire bowl of each of them.

September 27, 2008

Cheese Enchiladas

Let me start by saying that I am a HUGE Mexican food fan, so you will probably be seeing a lot of enchiladas, casseroles and soups of the Mexican persuasion. Cheese enchiladas seemed like a fun challenge, something I had never made before and something I can't remember having homemade before. Here are the ingredients:

1 (8oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (16oz) can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 C water
1 large onion, diced
10oz Monterey Jack cheese
10oz Cheddar cheese
12-15 corn tortillas

I began by sautéing the onions in a skillet with butter, I wanted them to be nice and soft when I put them in the enchiladas. Cook until the onions are translucent. In a wide shallow bowl, mix enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, chili powder and water; set aside. Shred both cheeses and mix together in a bowl (don't use pre-shredded cheese, it won't melt right). Line up the bowls of cheese, onions and enchilada/tomato sauce by the stove to make it easier when assembling the enchiladas. Warm a skillet with oil just covering bottom of skillet. Soften tortilla in the pan just until it becomes a little limp, just a few moments. Then dip the heated tortilla into the enchilada/tomato sauce mixture and place into a greased square or rectangular casserole dish. Fill the tortilla with cheese and onions, probably about a 1/4 cup of cheese or a handful. Repeat this process until the dish is full (I made 14 enchiladas with this recipe). Pour remaining sauce evenly over the enchiladas and top with remaining cheese and onions. Bake at 35o degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, it took longer than 12 minutes for me!

These enchiladas were delicious! Even my sister who isn't usually a fan of cheese enchiladas liked them. The whole process of making the enchiladas was a little bit messy, but it was worth it. If you have leftovers, make sure you heat them until the cheese inside is melted again. We had chips and salsa, refried beans and guacamole with the enchiladas.

September 26, 2008

Swift Rascals...Taylor Flatts???

I know I said this would be a cooking blog, but I need to write about this amazing concert! Last night Avery, Maddie and I made the trek to Tulsa to the new BOK Center to see Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift. We bought the tickets for Maddie for her 16th birthday back in April, needless to say we have been anxiously awaiting September 25 since then! So we left Edmond yesterday around 4:45 and made it to Tulsa in time to go eat at Olive Garden in Utica Square before the concert. We headed over towards the BOK Center, not exactly sure where to park, but we made it!
Here we are in front of the BOK center, you can't really tell but its HUGE and one side is entirely glass!
I didn't expect much from Taylor Swift because I had heard she wasn't great live, but she totally impressed me. She was very, very humble and so thankful to all her fans for supporting her. And she was very energetic on stage, here she is 'playing' the trash can. Then there was intermission, and we took a few pictures... we were laughing in this one
Then, the climax of the night for me was Rascal Flatts. I have wanted to see them in concert for years now and have always seemed to miss their concerts (I am what some might refer to as a 'concert junkie' I go to them all the time). So this was it, I have been waiting for this moment for over 6 years. And they certainly did not disappoint. Theirs was the coolest entrance to a concert I have ever seen.
They came in from a set of stairs descending from the top of the arena, it was fantastic! They sang ALMOST every song I wanted to hear, but for some reason did not sing Oklahoma-Texas Line, I thought that would be a given since we're in Oklahoma, but oh well! It was a great concert. And then we got lost on the way home...I'm still not exactly sure how we ended up in Stillwater, but we finally made it home at 1:30am. Good times!

September 23, 2008

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake

I kind of created this recipe the other night from what I had on hand. It is a combination of two of my favorite pasta dishes, Cheesy Mostaccioli and Chicken Parmesan Bake. Here are the ingredients you will need:

2 Cups cooked chicken, diced
1 can/jar of pasta sauce (I used the garlic flavor)
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
3 C Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
16oz penne pasta, cooked and drained
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C Italian bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking dish. Combine chicken, pasta sauce, Cheddar soup, Mozzarella, pepper and Italian seasoning. Then stir in the cooked penne. Pour into greased baking dish and top with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Cook for 40 minutes, or until heated through. I like to serve this with garlic bread and a salad.

Sorry no pictures this time, I made this recipe before I decided to start the blog, and now its all gone! It was a big hit at the house.

September 22, 2008

New to the blogosphere...

Welcome to my blog! I have been blog-stalking for a while now and have decided to start my own. I wasn’t really sure what I would write about since my life as a young, single woman living at home with her parents and sisters isn’t all that exciting when compared to those who have children to write about. But I decided to jump on the bandwagon anyway. I love cooking and baking, they are my passions right now, so I thought I would start this blog to pass on some of my favorite old recipes, as well as some new ones. I have ‘dinner duty’ on Thursday nights now that I am back at home so I will most likely be adding new recipes to the blog on Fridays and Saturdays (and hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with taking pictures as I am cooking to help out those visual people like me). This week on the menu is a Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake that I made for lunch yesterday (sorry no pics of this one), so be looking for that recipe tomorrow!Thanks for reading and check back soon for my first recipe post!