Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm still here & with a recipe too!

Well, I'm back from chilly Missouri, where I had a lovely Christmas spent with family and friends. Luckily, my morning sickness started subsiding as soon as we landed in the midwest! This newfound energy & the fact that food sounded GOOD for once made the trip so much more enjoyable! I certainly used that to my advantage and ate more than any 5' 2" girl should, but it was so refreshing to enjoy eating again! I'm 14 weeks today and hoping that this new energy level sticks! I'm ready to start on the many baby sewing projects I've been stock piling and maybe even cooking up some new recipes!

Landing in San Diego was quite a shocker... the weather has been unusually cool and it rained ALL day yesterday! So in honor of the weather, I thought I'd give you a good comforting, cold day recipe. I just love soup this time of year and when I say soup, I usually mean Stoup. Stoup is RR word for a cross between stew & soup, and in my book… it’s perfect. This one usually sounds pretty good to me… but after one spoonful, I have to sigh of contentment and submit fully to the goodness. Here’s what you need…

Sausage Stoup                                                                               Rachael Ray (tweaked a bit)
2 small heads of Brocollini (looks like baby broccoli) (cut into bite sized pieces)
1lb bulk mild Italian sausage
1 large onion (finely chopped)
Pinch of nutmeg
32oz chicken stock
28oz diced tomatoes
15oz can white beans (drained and rinsed)
1 1/2 cups of any short cut pasta (I use rigatoni)
Grated romano or parm (to top it off right)

First grab a pot and get some water boiling! Add the brocollini, salt & cook for 3 minutes. Drain it and set aside.

Next grab your big soup pot and cook the sausage for about 5 minutes. Make sure you give it a good crumble. Add the onion and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Season with S&P and Nutmeg. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, and about 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Stir in the brocollini, white beans and get it boiling again.

Now you’ll add your pasta and cook to package directions. When the bubbly stoup is all done, serve it up in a big bowl with plenty of cheese on top.

Mmm Mm!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Breaking out the Cooky Book!

Since it's that time of year... and I just went to a cookie exchange last night, I thought I'd share one of my very favorite Christmas Cookies that my Mama and I have been baking together since I was a little girl! She taught me all I know about the world of cookies, and every year we spend a day making about 5 different kinds and, of course, dipping pretzels in white chocolate too! It's one of my favorite things about the Christmas Season... time spent together in the kitchen.

First off... THIS is THE COOKY BOOK.

In our family, it's sacred. When I got married, my dear Mama tracked down a reprinted copy of the 1963 original Betty Crocker Cooky Book that we used when I was growing up. In my opinion... there are no better cookie recipes out there... and in this book live very special recipes, like this one...

Chocolate Crinkles                          Betty Crocker

1/2 cup veg oil
4 squares of unsweetened chocolate (melted)
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Grab a large bowl and beat the oil, melted chocolate, and sugar. Then add one egg at a time until it's well mixed. Add the vanilla. Sift together your flour, baking powder and salt in a seperate bowl. Then slowly add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture. Cover the dough and chill for several hours or overnight.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into the powdered sugar. Roll into balls and place on a greased or non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Makes 6 dozen of the best little chocolate cookies you'll ever have! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

It is my very favorite time of year! This year, it was a bit of a challenge to get up and at the whole decorating thing. Between the nausea, headaches, sleepless nights and general fatigue, I wasn't sure I'd get much put up... but with the help of my wonderful hubby, it's finally starting to look like Christmas around here! I'm so glad too, because it always does my heart good to sit and admire our tree and see the stockings hung by the fire!

We bought our first tree together last year. I'm a pretty sentimental person, so other than the pinecones and berries on our tree, it's mostly ornaments we've collected the last few years together and a few from my childhood tree.

We got this one on our honeymoon at Walt Disney World... I smile everytime I look at it... such happy memories!

We just love our little country cabinet used to hide the cable box and Playstation. The snowman is from my Grandma Alice. I'm loving my signs that I bought at the Queen Bee Market too!

I was in a pinecone kind of mood this year. Maybe because I miss seeing them out here in Cali... or because they remind me of winter... which we're missing out here too.

We think our stockings are pretty funny... they definitely fit our personality. 

We bought them at Pottery Barn Kids... I like how sassy they are.

They rest of our cozy living room already feels pretty Christmas-y since it's red...

This is the coveted spot during cool nights! I love to curl up on the chaise!

I've been spending a whole lot of time on that couch lately... I have to say it was worth every penny.

This is Bri's chair... he claims it now lines up perfectly with the TV since we moved it for the tree... boys.

I love that I always have a bunch of candlesticks laying around... they make a quick and easy centerpiece.
Are ya'll having fun putting up all those Christmas decorations? Does it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside or are you feeling a bit like the grinch this year? I'm linking up to Lindsey's party HERE today!

P.S. There's an awesome Giveaway Week going on over at one of my favorite blogs... Yesterday on Tuesday! Make sure you stop by!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Big News!

Well folks... I told you I'd be back, and with some very exciting news too! Bri and I are so happy to announce that there will be a little Baby Edwards here by the end of next June!

Baby Edwards' first picture!

We are more than excited about this wonderful news! It's been so hard keeping it a secret until our first sonogram! All I've ever wanted was to be a wife and mommy, and I am feeling so very very blessed right now! I wake up every morning and wonder if it was all a very good dream!

I'm a little over 9 weeks along, and have had some pretty major morning all day sickness. I'm tired a lot, and definitely haven't felt like cooking. Most food smells & pictures make me nauseated... thus the lack of posts on recipes! Bri has been so stinkin' wonderful! He graciously stepped in to help get groceries, and clean up the house. He's been so understanding with my crazy cravings, food aversions, and general lack of energy.

These pesky first-trimester symptoms will be more than worth it when we get to hold our sweet little baby in the spring!

So until further notice ... it's saltines and Sprite for me... and a big ol' smile that won't go away! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thankgiving!

I'm sure some of you have noticed the sudden lack of blogging from this girl here... but never fear! I'll be back at it real soon. Things have just been a little crazy around here... that ever happen to you?

In honor of the wonderful holiday we're about to celebrate tomorrow, I thought I'd take the time to reflect on what I'm thankful for. After all, God gives us so many blessings throughout the year... both big and small! So before I start getting the bird ready or whipping up those ol' casseroles...

I'm Thankful For...

My savior, Jesus Christ... who died for my sins.
My amazing husband... he's so good to me. I'm truly blessed.
My wonderful family... we're super close and I'm so blessed in that way.
My friends back home... who are there for long phone chats & when I need a quick word or prayer.
My new friends out here... we have such a great community... our family away from home.
The way God has provided for Bri & I... he's always faithful. Always.
The answered prayers recently... he's always listening. He loves me and wants good things for me.

I hope you all have a very special Thanksgiving! God bless you and yours!

P.S. Don't forget to eat some pe-can pie! It's my favorite!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

While the Hubby was away...

Bri went away to a Men's Retreat with our church this weekend, and while he was gone I decided I'd better keep myself busy to avoid the crazy quiet and tidyness that was our condo all weekend.
Friday night I headed to Queen Bee Market. It was AWESOME! There were so many more boothes than last year! I came away with a ton of business cards so I can start my online Christmas shopping soon!
Of course I left with a few things for myself.

Adorable signs by Julie @ Joy's Hope:

This Darling Necklace from Allora Handmade:
I bought one last year too! She's so talented.

Here's a few more shops I discovered and fell in love with...

The Paisley Mill... ADORABLE Wood & Paper gifts & Wall Hooks!
Stacey Winters... I just LOVE her Christmas Cards... and her beautiful photography!
The Lovely Letter... Beautiful handmade jewelry!
Pumpkin Pie Originals... The cutest little onesies I've ever seen... and they're organic!
Crystal B... I lover her gorgeous vintage jewelry!
All things for Baby... Teeny tiny little baby shoes... so stinkin' cute!

After my trip to QB, I headed to Whole Foods (where Bri hates going b/c it's too crowded) to get some delicious Mushroom Pizza (which Bri also hates). I also picked up a few non-nessescities that were calling my name... Belgian Chocolate Waffles & an organic version of Lucky Charms... YUM! I'm such a kid... with a huge sweet tooth.

Saturday I spent some quality time at Anthropologie with my birthday money... yay! I love that place.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My favorite place to be... My Kitchen!

It’s taken this girl for-ever to get some pictures of our new condo up the ol’ blog… but slowly but surely, I’ll post’ em. Now that you’ve seen the place where all the food is gobbled up, let’s peek inside the space I spend a WHOLE lot of time… My Kitchen!

Here's what it looked like before we moved in...

And here it is full of all my kitchen things... lots of red, which I just LOVE!

It's not big... but it's cozy and it works.

The chalkboard Bri & I made... still needs something above it.

Notice my beloved red Kitchen Aid Mixer...

This is the sign above the sink (purchased HERE) We love it!

The adorable Anthro kitchen towel my sister got me for my birthday...

So there it is folks. Next up... the cozy living room. Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Burger Friday #13!

Have there really been THIRTEEN @ home burger nights here at our little abode? Kinda crazy how quickly time flies by. Well these little sliders I'm showin you today are just delicious. Rach's mag (which I have almost every issue of) has a great little burger spot... which lately has been my go-to for new burger ideas. At first I was a bit hesitant about combining all these ingredients... but boy oh boy do they come together beautifully!

Here's the cast...

Poblano Popper Sliders                                                                     Rachael Ray

2 large Poblano chilies
Juice of a lime
1 avocado
1/2 cup sour cream
A small bunch of cilantro (finely chopped)
1  jalapeƱo (seeded & finely chopped)
1lb ground sirloin
1/2 palmful cumin
1/2 palmful ground coriander
1/3 cup beer (optional)
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese (1/2 slice per slider)
1 vine riped tomato (thinly sliced)
8 slider rolls

First you'll wanna char those poblanos. You can either hold them over an open flame, using tongs for about 5 minutes, or you can turn your broiler on high, leaving the door slightly ajar and rotate them every few minutes till they've got color on all sides.When they're charred, stick 'em in a bowl with a lid and let them cool for a while.

Meanwhile, you'll mix up the yummy topping! Mash together your avacado, sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, jalepeno, and a little salt with a fork. Then set it aside.

Now grab those poblanos and use a paper towel to rub the skin off. Then seed them and throw 'em into your food processor and give it a whirl.

You'll also wanna toast up your slider rolls under the broiler!

Grab a large bowl and mix the ground sirloin, pureed poblano, cumin, coriander, S&P, and beer if you're using it. Divide the mixture into 8 even patties. Using a large skillet cook the burgers in a tbsp of EVOO for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Add the cheese on top in the last minute or so to get it melty!

To assemble, put a slice of tomato on the roll bottom, top with a patty, plenty of the avacado sauce & a roll top. They'll be gobbled up in no time!

Happy Friday Ya'll!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Whatcha Got Wednesday #9... Just Shopping Around!

With birthday money in hand, and Christmas around the corner... this girl is spending a lot of time surfing the web for all kinds of goodies! Here are a few of my favorite places to browse!

Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy Shop... How will I choose?!

Handmade petal drop necklaces, pouches, petal pushers and posy pins... some of the cutest accessories on the web!

Vanessa @ The V&Co Shop... Patterns Galore!

I just LOVE all of the patterns in Vanessa's shop! Most of them are on my sewing "to-do" list! 

Jessica @ Allora Handmade... Gorgeous Rosette Accessories!

I bought an awesome grey rosette necklace last year @ Queen Bee Market, and EVERYTIME I wear it I get tons of compliments!

Lisa @ Lisa Leonard Designs... Beautiful Handmade Jewelry!

Lisa's jewelry is so incredibly stunning! Each piece is detailed and personal... and just lovely.

Speaking of shopping... this is where I'll be heading this weekend...

It'll be fabulous... and I'll spill all the juicy details later! Happy Wednesday!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tequila-less Lime Chicken & all the Fixin’s!

Being out here in Cali… Bri & I have had our fair share of DE-LICIOUS Mexican food! (It’s probably more like Tex-Mex if you get right down to it) Since we try to keep to eating out to once a week… I needed a way to get our fix on the cheap! THEN… Pioneer Woman posted the most amazing chicken recipe I’ve EVER had! It’s got a fantastic, easy marinade that keeps the chicken moist and FULL of flavor! It calls for tequila, but we don’t keep that around here, so I just omitted it… can’t imagine it tasting any better anywho! I serve it up with melted cheese, homemade pico de gallo with avocado, Mexican rice & refried black beans with jalapeƱos! It’s a plate full of restaurant quality food for a whole lot less!

Here’s what you need…

Tequila-less Lime Chicken Marinade:
4 chicken breasts
2 limes
A bunch of cilantro
2 jalepenos
5 Tbsp EVOO

You’ll want to let your chicken soak in the marinade for at least 24 hours, so make sure you mix it up ahead of time! Just put all the ingredients in your food processor and give it a whirl! I put my chicken in a gallon sized zip-lock bag and pour the marinade in and stick it in the fridge till I’m ready for it.

When you’re ready to grill up the chicken, here’s the rest of the cast…

AND my favorite fixin’s! (I know I cheat, but I LOVE Trader Joes!)

Tequila-less Lime Chicken                                     Ree Drummond
with Avacado Pico de Gallo                                                                                                               
1 lime
2 jalepenos
Small bunch of cilantro
2 Roma tomatoes
4 marinated chicken breasts
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
Refried black beans
Mexican rice

First you’ll wanna whip up your pico. Grab a small bowl and chop up your tomatoes, jalepenos, cilantro & avocado. Squeeze the juice of one lime over it and season with S&P. Then set it aside and heat up your rice & beans. If you wanna go all the way, HERE’s Ree’s recipe for homemade Mexican rice.

Next you’ll throw your chicken on a foil-lined grill over medium-high for about 8 minutes on each side or until the juices run clear. Then put some cheese on top each breast and stick it under the broiler for a minute.

To serve it up, put a generous spoonful of the pico on the chicken (and beans too… trust me!) and a hearty helping of rice!

Happy restaurant meal at home ya’ll!