Friday, February 10, 2012

If I could eat a website....

Pinterest hit the Carver house again tonight!  This was the meal that Joe picked for this week off of my Pinterest boards.  It was super simple to make and turned out soooo delicious!  When we were done eating...and Joe  had gone back for a third helping...he said, "If I could eat a website, I would eat Pinterest".   Haha!!

Cheesy Chicken Lasagna - click HERE to get the recipe from the What's For Dinner? Blog

I used Tyson Frozen Cooked Diced Chicken Breast, and that took out over half the time it took to prepare the meal.  It worked out great and tasted spectacular.

In the recipe it says that you need to simmer the sauce for about 25 minutes, but because I used the frozen chicken I simmered it for about 35 minutes.  The sauce is two cans of evaporated milk and a packet of ranch dressing mix, add the chicken and simmer until it thickens slightly.

Make sure you butter your pan really good so that your noodles don't stick.  You will layer noodles, then chicken mix, then half a bag of each cheddar and mozzarella cheese...twice.

Bake at 350 for 35 - 40 minutes and then let sit for 10 minutes before serving.  YUMMY!  I didn't even have to add extra cheese to the recipe (which I usually do to appease Joe - the cheese monster).

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Simple Sunday

What an amazing day!  We slept in and then got to enjoy the pretty weather and some yummy cooking today!

We started by having an E-mealz breakfast.  First, you have your hubby cook up some turkey sausage and fried eggs while you toast come plain bagels.

Then you put a fried egg on each bagel (I like the yolk broken in my egg so it isn't runny) and then cover the egg with cheddar cheese and put in the oven under broil until cheese melts.

While we were cooking, the girls got to sit outside and enjoy the amazing weather.  I mean really, 70 degrees on February 5th...whats that all about?!?

After a yummy breakfast we went to Meme's house to help Eric with a science project.  Joe helped with the 3 laws of something another, and Vickie, Cody, and I went shopping.  We went to Sams for dog bones (since they are MUCH cheaper there) and I couldn't resist buying these dog toys.  Roadkill skunk and roadkill possum!!

Of course my rotten girls loved them, but really the possum was their favorite.  They tried to share, but Willow is still bigger  (not by much) and she is still the boss.

While the babies played and Joe worked on the 50, I baked...because you know I LOVE to bake!  First I started with the Honey Bun Cake.

Just a few ingredients and really simple to make.  Basically you just put yellow cake mix with cinnamon and brown sugar layers.  It was the homemade glaze that really tops it off.  I was excited about the homemade glaze because I am finally perfecting it!

After you bake this bad boy, it it like heaven on earth (at least I thought that until I tasted the cupcakes - see below).  When you take a bite it just melts in your mouth.  Joe even said, "Don't share that with anyone!". :)

To finish off my day I made some cupcakes that I have been dying to try!  Andes Mint Chocolate Cupcakes!!  YUM!!  Now this is really Heaven!  It took a lot more supplies than usual, but it was totally worth it!

I had to occupy my sweet girls while I cooked, so they chilled out in the living room and shared some bones.  Aren't they the sweetest!?!

OK - back to the cupcakes.  This was the first time I tried a cupcake with a filling.  I am surprised how easy it was since I had scared myself a little about it.  These particular cupcakes are filled with a chocolate mint filling.

I even got to try out my new frosting tip, and I think they turned out beautiful.  The taste test got two thumbs up.  This recipe will definitely go on my "Make Again" list!

Here are the recipies for the Andes Mint Cupcakes on the Your Cup of Cake Blog (I followed it exactly) and the Honey Bun Cake at the Eat Cake For Dinner Blog (I put 4 Tablespoons of milk in the frosting instead of two).

A Very Blessed Woman

I must say that I am very blessed in my life.  I got to have the most wonderful day yesterday with the most wonderful hubby on the planet.  We just wanted to spend the day together enjoying each others company and laughing at each other's goofiness!  We thought it was supposed to rain all day so we went down to the Mall of Georgia and shopped! (what more could a girl ask for?? ) 

We went on the hunt for a scarf...yes a scarf...and it took us to just about every over-cluttered accessory store in the mall (since I wasn't going to pay $200 for a scarf at Nordstrom).  Joe was such a trooper, and only complained of the "girly smell" one time.  We ate at a supper yummy place that we didn't know existed...Fuego.  It was supper yummy mexican (my favorite!) and the perfect atmosphere to rest a bit.  We walked out of the mall with a new purse, new ring, two new scarves, a pair of Toms shoes,two new books, two sweaters and two t-shirts for me....hmmm...poor Joe!  So, we stopped by Joe's home away from home and spent a little money on him too!  We walked out of O'Malley's Auto Parts with some primer and base coat paint for the 50.  What a great day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yep - It's me again!  Two posts in one, I am on a roll. :0)  So I just got back from the doctor and she has informed me that apparently my body and my brain were on two different wavelengths.  I thought that life was running pretty smoothly right now, with no extra stress (at least not any more than usual).  Well, I was wrong!  I was having some physical symptoms that were really worrying me, and the doc has assured me that they are all related to stress.  I have Joe on the hunt for some herbal remedies and I am going to really work on my exercise routine and diet to see if I can fix this without prescribed meds (or as I call them "alien chemicals" that I don't like putting into my system!).

So why not start off with a healthy snack!?  I have seen a lot of posts about different kinds of roasted chickpeas (garbanzo beans) so I figured I would try them as something different to add to my list of snacks to fix my salty cravings.

Here is some nutritional information I found on about Garbanzo beans.

This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein and Copper, and a very good source of Folate and Manganese.
Read More

I have never had Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) but they seem like a much healthier choice than downing another cupcake or a tube of Pringles. :0)  To make these particular roasted chickpeas you will need:  Olive Oil (or cooking spray to have less fat), a can of garbanzo beans, sea salt (or use imitation salt, or if your spice has salt in it you may could skip the extra salt all together), and a spice of your choice (I used McCormicks Perfect Pinch Cajun, but any spice you like would work fine...I may do Taco seasoning next time).

So how do you make 'em you say??

1.  Rinse your beans and pat dry with a paper towel.  Make sure they are really dry or they won't get as crunchy in the oven.  I mean REALLY dry.  I thought mine were dry but they still turned out a little chewy with only a few crunchy ones (the crunchy ones are much better).

2.  Toss the beans in olive oil (or spray with cooking spray) with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of your seasoning.

3.  Arrange your beans on a jellyroll pan and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes...or until you taste one and it is nice and crunchy.  Make sure you shake the pan a few times during cooking to roll the beans around and avoid burning them (I shook mine every ten minutes - no burning).

4.  Roll your beans out onto paper towels to cool a little (they cool fast) and then enjoy!

My house filled with the spell of spices in like two minutes!  They are actually pretty yummy!  Even though one can doesn't seem like a lot, it would have been more than enough for Joe and I to snack on (if I hadn't eaten them all already! - hey its the only thing I have had to eat all day). :0)

So I have taken the steps towards making a small change.  Hopefully I will keep the ball rolling!!

Something New & Interesting

So I know it may sound bizarre, but whenever I feel stressed I like to pull out the KitchenAid stand mixer and bake!  I think it is something about the sound of the mixer, and the sense of accomplishment when something turns out so good.

Joe doesn't really like anything chocolate, so I thought I would try something along his lines of deliciousness. :0)  I found a recipe on Pinterset for Mountain Dew cupcakes and figured I would try them out.  After reading posts from other bloggers I decided to take the lemon and lime zest out of the batter recipe to tone down the flavor a bit. I must admit that the finished cupcakes looked beautiful but they were a little boring in the flavor department.

Since the cake part was a little boring I went ahead and kept the butter cream recipe as is on the blog and it was FULL of flavor!  So yummy!  This was my first time making butter cream frosting and I think it turned out fabulous!  I did give the frosting a green tint (which was hard to capture in the pictures) but didn't make them flourescent green like the recipe calls for since I didn't really want fluorescent green teeth after eating them. :)

Unlike the Oreo cupcakes, which taste fabulous with or without the frosting, I wouldn't eat these without the flavor of the butter cream frosting.  They have a very different and interesting flavor that I guess is about as close to Mountain Dew as you are going to get in a cupcake. :)

If you are interested in trying the Mountain Dew cupcakes, you can find the recipe HERE on the All Things Cupcake Blog.  It doesn't tell you the temp to cook them, but I did 350 for 18 minutes and they were perfect.

I am glad the cupcakes turned out so good, but unfortunately they didn't help ease the stress and anxiety issues I am having.  Hopefully a trip to the doctor will get me some answers and some relief from this anxiety.