Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gnocchi with Bacon and Sweet Peas

I love to watch FoodTV. It's always on at my house (when I can get hold of the remote). So, the other day I saw Aaron McCargo Jr of Big Daddy's House make this dish and I knew I wanted to try it. Plus I had some bacon on hand and I rarely have bacon on hand.

It turned out really well, and was something that everyone enjoyed.

I will say that this is probably not a weight-friendly meal, but it was still good.

Here's the recipe:

Kosher salt
1-pound package potato gnocchi
6 slices bacon, chopped (I had low sodium bacon)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 lemon, juiced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the gnocchi and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. (I added my frozen peas to this pot to cook)

In a large skillet over medium heat add bacon and cook until slightly crisp. Discard the excess fat. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Drain the gnocchi and add it to the pan. Stir in the butter, then add the peas, a pinch of black pepper, and a pinch of salt and mix to combine. Add the lemon juice and allow flavors to blend. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer the gnocchi to a serving bowl and serve.

I normally don't like peas either, but served this way, they were quite good.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Bailey's Birthday Party

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I am way behind on my posting. I have so much to catch everyone up on. I still haven't talked about the Super Bowl, and there's Valentines Day to discuss.

We will start with Bailey's 14th birthday party, she wanted to take a few friends to lunch at the Rainforest Cafe, and then shopping (shopping without her parents - it was a big step for me).

The Rainforest Cafe has all of these cool aquariums everywhere. I just had to show you this picture.
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The girls had a great time.
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The volcano dessert wasn't half bad either.

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And I survived them walking around by themselves. Yeah me!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stir Fry

I subscribe to the Food Network Magazine. I have to say I've been quite pleased with it. There's always tons of recipes and lots of good ideas.

In the March, 2010 magazine, they had a handy stir-fry recipe where you mix and match things to get the dish you want. You chose your protein, your veggie, your sauce and put everything together.

Here's the dish I came up with - a chicken stir fry with asparagus, edamame, onions, snow peas and brown sauce. I served this on brown rice. It was yummy!

I will certainly be keeping this issue for future use.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The last of the snow

This was the snowman that Bailey and her friends made last Friday.

I didn't have coal for the eyes, but I did have some peppermint candies. I loved how they instantly started to melt once they touched the snow.

The candies made the snowman look like he had red eyes. He probably had a rough night, perhaps he was out partying too late.

He is rocking the mohawk though. Not all snowmen can pull that off.

Today the last little bits of the snowman melted away. All traces of the snow are now gone.

Well, except for the dirty scarf and gloves. Those are still here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Easy Muffins!

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Have you tried Krusteaz muffins? There are some days when you wake up and you want muffins, but don't feel like going through all of the work to make them.

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These muffins require you to get a cup of water. That's it. I can handle that early in the morning when Bailey is pestering me about what's for breakfast.


Because they are fat free, they are very low in weight watchers points - if I remember correctly - it's around 2 per muffin. That's not bad.

Anyway, if you happen to see these, give them a try. I think they are pretty good.

And for the record, Krusteaz has never heard of me, even though I'm familiar with them.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It's official!

It's official! Bailey and I are going to London this summer on a Girl Scout trip! We purchased our tickets last night, along with the other people who are going along too. We will have 7 people in total going.

I'm scared (I hate flying - there will be drugs involved) and I'm excited.

I'm scared because I've never been out of the country (except for a couple of hours in Mexico about 2 years ago - and I walked across the border that time).

I'm scared because we will be gone for 13 days - I've never been away from Rominal for that long.

I'm excited because I'm looking forward to a possibly life changing trip with my daughter, especially as she is about to enter into high school.

I'm excited because we will be camping with Girl Scouts (or Girl Guides as they are called over there) for about a week of the time we are over there.

I'm scared because I'll be camping, in a tent, for a week. Me, camping, in a tent, for a week - and I won't be able to hop into my car to go pick up whatever forgot to bring.

I'm excited because I know we will be seeing and doing things that I would never get to experience here in Texas.

It is the 100th year celebration for Girl Guides over in England this year, so that is why we are heading across the pond. We get to help them celebrate all of the wonderful things that Girl Scouts and Girl Guides do for our girls and young women.

I guess I'd better get some passports, huh!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Day!

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Snow is a pretty rare occurrence around these parts, but boy did we get it today! It started snowing sometime in the middle of the night and it hasn't stopped all day.

I took this picture so that you could see the accumulation of snow on our mail box.
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Of course, the schools were closed - which meant that a friend had to come over.

And it meant I got to use my telephoto lens so I could see the girls from far away.
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They were taking their sweet time, strolling in the snow.

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Kenzie and Bailey are loving this.

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Then, we had to get another friend involved, so Emily joined the group.

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And they went into the backyard,

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And mayhem ensued.
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Bailey and Emily are at a standoff.
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Eventually, I bribed them with hot chocolate and leftover birthday cake. It was the only way I could get them inside to get dry and warm.

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They had a great day.

I just heard that they have already closed schools for tomorrow.

Help me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Baby!

Would you believe that this itty-bitty, tiny little creature, born weighing only 4.1 pounds . . .

was so little when she was born that she didn't know how to eat/breath/swallow yet . . .


Eventually she got the hang of it and grew into this most adorable baby. A baby with a smile that could light up a room.


Well, today, this little baby of mine turned 14.

Where did all of the time go?

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Her smile can still light up a room.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Turkey Enchiladas

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I served this dish for my Mom's birthday dinner last Saturday. It's a meal that I make quite often, and each time I make it differently. It's one of those flexible things that you can adjust depending on what you have on hand.

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Here's how I made it this time:

1 pound of ground turkey
1 sliced onion
1 can black beans
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 can enchilada sauce

First I cooked the turkey in a skillet, and added the taco seasoning mix. Once the turkey was cooked, I removed it to a plate, and cooked the onion until they were soft. Then I put the turkey back in, added the tomato and black beans and mixed through. Sometimes I add black olives - in fact, I meant to on this day, I just forgot.

Grease/spray a 9x13 pan. Take a flour tortilla in your hand and pour in some of the meat mixture. Add a sprinkle of cheese, and wrap up the enchilada and put it in the pan. Repeat until all of the mixture is gone.

Pour enchilada sauce over the top and cover with foil.

Here's where you can stop and put it in the fridge if you want to make this ahead of time. If your ready to cook it now - pop it in the oven at 350' for about 30 minutes - until it's all bubbly. Remove the foil and sprinkle cheese on top and put it back in the oven to melt the cheese.

Sprinkle the top with cilantro and you've got dinner!

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Sorry these pictures aren't better - I forgot to take a "pretty" picture of one on a plate.

I served it with my black beans and cilantro rice, and roasted broccoli with cherry tomatoes.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mom's Birthday Cake

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Things have slowed down a bit at work. I only got one phone call today - yeah!

So, I got to have Mom's birthday dinner tonight. She requested her favorite cake - chocolate cake with Seven Minute frosting. It's a pretty simple cake, that turns out really well each time.

I use the recipe from the container of Hershey's Cocoa. In case you need it, here it is:


2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

The seven minute frosting recipe I used was from my old Betty Crocker Recipe book - you know, the old red book we all have.

Here's that recipe:

2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup or Cream of Tartar (I used the cream of tartar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put egg whites, sugar, water and syrup in top of double boiler. Beat until mixed well. Place over rapidly boiling water. Beat constantly with electric beater while it cooks for 7 minutes or until it will stand in peaks when beater is raised. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Beat. Fills and frosts 2 layer cake, 8 or 9 inch.

I actually doubled the icing recipe, because I like a lot of icing on my cake. I ended up with tons extra, which I was quite happy to nibble on.

Here's the beginnings of the cake.
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Here's a picture after I have completely frosted it.
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But I couldn't stop there. My mom likes to have unsweetened (or semi-sweet chocolate in my case, since that's all I had) chocolate drizzled over the cake. It makes a nice crunch when you take a bite.
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Here's a slice - it was a sloppy slice, but it was yummy.
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I'll be posting more from this dinner later, I just thought I would start with dessert first.

Happy Late Birthday Mom!

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday, Monday

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Things have been quite hectic for me.

For the one or two people out there who read this who don't know me in person (Donna, I'm thinking of you - *waves hello*. Anyone else out there, please leave me a comment and introduce yourself! I'm glad you stopped by!) what I do in the "real" world is I am a buyer. I buy electrical equipment for distribution to electrical companies, companies who would then supply your electricity. I buy for the Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas areas. So, when an ice storm hits Oklahoma, as it did last week, that causes me to have to work tons and tons to keep up with the demand for product to repair the downed power lines, etc.

I worked all weekend long. I was so busy this weekend that I even had to cancel the early birthday dinner I was going to make for my mother last Saturday. I've rescheduled it to this Saturday, so hopefully we can do it then. And the Super Bowl is Sunday - so there will be lots of food made this weekend, and lots of things to post about.

In the meantime, I wanted to give everyone a quick update on my kinda-sorta goal for the year of walking/running 365 miles in a year. Here's where I wrote about it initially. Since last week I have gotten in 6.85 miles - and that was done on 3 days. It would have been more, but like I said, I've been working like crazy.

One thing I noticed is that on the days when I didn't get to walk/run on my treadmill I found that I actually missed it. I wanted to go do the exercise, I just didn't have the time. That was a surprise. I've never considered myself to be one who wants to exercise.

So, that's all for now. Thanks for stopping by!