Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Joe wanted to dress up as Alice from the Brady Bunch this year, this is my attempt at being Sam. That's a package of ground beef in my arm.

Other than the huge boobs, it was scary how much Joe resembled Alice!

Hope you have a safe and fun Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

The Girl Who Stopped SwimmingThe Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The rating is more of a 2.5, but not a 2, so I rounded up. There were parts that I enjoyed, but then other times I found my self driving with my jaw open. I couldn't connect to any of the characters. I feel like some of the character's actions were swept under the rug, and that's just not acceptable to me. I could tell Jackson had a good message she wanted to deliver, but I think she fell short. I finished it though, and it wasn't complete torture to finish it, so three stars it is.

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Death and Denial

This weekend Joe and I saw the movie Hereafter. I didn't really like it, but that's not here nor there. The movie dealt with the afterlife.

I don't deal with death very well. In fact, I don't deal. I'll be the first to admit that I almost live in a state of denial for several months. Yes, I know denial is one of the stages of grief, but sometimes I feel like it takes me ages to get to acceptance. Other times, I'm there when the person passes.

I visited my grandfather in the nursing home the day before he died. I don't know how, but when I left that nursing home, I knew it would be the last time I saw him. I went back to my dorm and cried and bawled, and wrote in my journal about my memories with him. The next day he passed. I don't know how I knew it, but I felt I had done the majority of my grieving before he even passed.

On the other hand, when I was about 19, a close high school acquaintance died in a car accident. I went to the viewing to help support my other friends. About a year later I was scrapbooking a New Year's Eve party and it hit me, "Amy will never have another New Year's." I had to stop scrapbooking and grieve. This was such an opposite experience from my grandfather's.

Today is my in-law's 40th wedding anniversary. The problem is, Mr. Joe's not here any more. I know it's been 3 months, but I keep expecting to see him when we go watch the football games with Joe's family. Between the movie last night and time, I'm realizing I can't be in denial anymore. I'm almost afraid to grieve because then I accept the hurt I have and realize Joe and my mother-in-law are experiencing it ten to hundred times worse. I'm a fixer and I know I can't fix this. I want their pain to go away. I want my mother-in-law to have her best friend back. I want Joe to have more time with his father. I want to have another dance with Mr. Joe. I want to go back to my phase of denial, because it didn't hurt as much.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

I'm a little of a pumpkin fanatic. Joe hasn't succumbed to the joys of pumpkin yet, but my brother loves it, so he loves when I bake with it and share. These pancakes were good, but not OMG good. Truly, I felt I could hardly taste the pumpkin, but I loved the added spices. I topped them with apple butter, and was in Heaven.

Recipe from Annie's Eats


1¼ cups all-purpose flour - 5.31 ounces
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves
1 cup milk
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter


In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and spices and stir with a fork to combine. Mix together the milk, pumpkin puree, egg and oil or butter in a liquid measuring cup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together just until combine. (The batter may still have a few lumps – that is okay.)

Preheat the oven to 200° F. Have an oven safe plate or serving dish ready. Heat a greased skillet or griddle over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add a 1/3 cup scoop of batter to the pan. Let cool until bubbles begin to form on the top surface. Carefully flip with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown, a couple minutes more. Transfer the cooked pancake to the oven safe dish, and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the rest of the batter until it has all been cooked, regreasing the pan as needed. Serve with cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, apple butter, and/or whipped cream.

Source: Annie's Eats, adapted from Joy the Baker, originally from Martha Stewart

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Tarts

When I saw these, I immediate loved the pumpkin feel. What a great idea to use a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter!

Taste wise, they were only OK for me. My favorite part of pumpkin pie is the filling, and these tarts were mostly crust. That being said, the filling was still delicious! Some of my other friends didn't mind all of the crust.

Recipe adapted from Picky Palate


1 Cup canned pumpkin
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/4 Cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 sheets (2 boxes) of puff pastry, thawed - I used one box and got creative with spacing my pumpkin cutter. I had some filling left over, but only spent money on one box.
3 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl mix the pumpkin, sugar, heavy cream, egg, cinnamon and nutmeg until creamy and well combined.

2. Place puff pastry onto a lightly floured countertop and cut out 4 pumpkins per sheet of pastry (I got five and then rerolled the scraps to get a sixth). Place pumpkin cut outs onto silpat or parchment lined baking sheets. Brush each pumpkin lightly with butter then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Spoon about 2 Tablespoons of pumpkin pie filling around center of pumpkins leaving 1/4 inch border around edges.

3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown on the edges and pumpkin pie is cooked through. (This is hard, cook a little longer than you think they actually need). Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to cooling rack. Serve room temperature or chilled. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired before serving.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

White Chicken Chili

The seasons have started to change again, and that means it's time to break out some new soup recipes. I wanted something hearty that I could take for lunch and have heard tons of great things about white chicken chili, so I decided to give it a try. I find I tend to think I like my foods spicier than I really do. I added a jalapeno and a jar of diced chilis, and it was just a little too spicy for me. Other than that, definitely nice and hearty, and delicious of course!

Recipe adapted from Le Petit Pierogi


1 lb. BS chicken, cubed (about 2 large breasts)
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1-1/2 t. garlic powder (I used 3 cloves of freshly minced garlic instead)
1 T. oil
2 15 ½ oz. cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
14 ½ oz. can chicken broth
1 4 oz. cans green chilies (I used 1 can which I thought was the perfect amount of heat for me)
1 t. salt
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. dried oregano
½ t. pepper
¼ t. cayenne pepper
8 oz. container sour cream
4 cup whipping cream


In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté chicken, onion, jalapeno, and garlic in oil until no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilis and seasonings; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and whipping cream. Serve immediately.

Monday, October 11, 2010

PW's Blueberry Crumb Cake

Delicious, delicious, delicious! Just blogging about this makes me wish it was still blueberry season so I could mix another one up. The crumble is very rich and buttery, but that just makes it all the more delicious!

Recipe from Pioneer Woman


* ½ sticks Butter
* 1 Tablespoon (additional) Butter
* ¾ cups Sugar (5.25 ounces)
* 1 whole Egg
* ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
* 2 cups All-purpose Flour - (8.5 ounces)
* 2-¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
* ½ teaspoons Salt
* ¾ cups Whole Milk - I used 1%
* 2 cups Fresh Blueberries

* ¾ sticks Butter
* ½ cups Sugar
* ½ teaspoons Cinnamon
* ½ cups Flour (2.125 ounces)
* ¼ teaspoons Salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking powder, and a salt. Stir and set aside.

Cream 1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter with sugar. Add egg and mix until combined. Add vanilla and mix. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until totally incorporated. Do not overbeat. Stir in blueberries until evenly distributed.

Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Pour in batter.

In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients and cut together using two knives or a pastry cutter. Sprinkle over the top of the cake.

Bake cake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut into squares and serve with softened butter.

Share with friends so you don't find yourself eating the whole thing!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Nutella Brownies

I saw this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and knew I had to give it a try. Can we talk about yumminess! I think I could have skipped out on the peanut butter and just added the nutella. The nutella gives the brownies such a rich, decadent taste. If you're craving chocolate, go make these now!

Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen


* ½ cups All-purpose Flour - 2.13 ounces
* ½ cups Cocoa Powder 1.5 ounces
* ¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
* 1 pinch Salt
* 1 cup Sugar - 7 ounces
* 1 stick Butter, Melted
* 2 whole Eggs
* 1 teaspoon Vanilla
* ¼ cups Peanut Butter
* ¼ cups Nutella


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Measure flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a small bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Stir the sugar into the melted butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time until each is combined. Then stir in the vanilla. Then add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Put the Nutella and Peanut Butter in a small bowl and microwave until runny (about 30 seconds). Fold into the brownie mix.
  • Pour batter into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until top forms a crust. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes, then cut the size to your liking.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...