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!