Thursday, January 31, 2013

Things I Love Thursdays

Time for Things I Love Thursdays!

1.  Everyone ready for the Superbowl?!
I actually don't really give a crap about the football game part, but I love making fun snacks, having beers with friends, and watching the new commercials and halftime show! Does that count??

I think I will make these delicious little morsels this year. You can't go wrong with crescent roll dough.

BBQ Chicken Crescent Cups w/ Bacon & Cheese

Photo Credit: Nan's Home Cooking

2.  In other news, I recently moved into a new apartment, so, if you follow me on Pinterest, you know i have been pinning an OBSCENE amount of home decor ideas!
Last night I bit the bullet and hung up these 4 floating wall shelves I got from Ikea and Target.
They were heavy, daunting bastards, but me and my glass of wine totally got it done...four hours later! I feel so accomplished!!

Anyway, thankfully I located this gem of a tool, to find wall studs.

Photo Credit:

How to Use a Magnet to find Studs 

It's so easy. You grab the strongest magnet off your fridge, tie it to the end of a piece of string, read: dental floss, and swing it close to where you want to hang your shelves, and it will stick to any spots where there are nails or screws in the wall...aka where the studs are!
Amazing. Saved me a trip to Home Depot to buy one of those actual stud finders, and more realistically, saved me from just trying to hang the shelves in the hollow sheetrock. So good job, internet!

3. So, Girl Scout Cookie season is here!!
I got my box of Tagalongs and Samoas from my co-worker's daughter yesterday!
(I refuse to call them by their 'new' names...Caramel Delites? No thank you.)

But when these boxes run out, and they is good to know we could always make our own!

Samoa Cookie Bars

Photo Credit: Foodologie

4. I am loving these cute lace candle holders, too! Maybe for the patio table! You could use any color lace, and they are super cheap and easy to make with dollar store candles!

5. Lastly, I finally made these crispy, baked edamame, and they're amaze-balls! Similar to roasted chickpeas. And you could season them with anything you'd like.

Crispy Edamame

You just toss some frozen shelled edemame on a baking sheet with olive oil, grated Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 15 min at 400 degrees! Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or more cheese at the end if you like.
YUM! Healthy, delicious snack!

Photo Credit: All

So there!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sweet Potato and Zucchini 'Pasta''

Katie at Yes I Want Cake has a couple recipes for vegetable "pasta" on her blog that I finally tried out!

Photo Credit - Yes, I Want Cake

Photo Credit - Yes, I Want Cake

See the recipes here for: Sweet Potato Fettuccini and Zucchini Noodles.

Now obviously, like spaghetti squash, these don't exactly taste like pasta, but they are super delicious, sort of have the same mouth feel (I sort of hate that phrase...), and are a great vehicle for any yummy pasta sauce.

You just peel/slice the veggie super thin and then saute with other yummy things for about 8 minutes or until tender.
With the zucchini you need to let them sit, sprinkled heavily with salt for about 20 min, to release excess moisture, then rinse, and pat dry. This ensures the 'noodles' won't be soggy.

I definitely recommend trying these out sometime!
So There.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Crescent Roll Bites

My sister came over and I wanted to whip up a fun snack for us.  The fridge was pretty bare, but I had a tube of crescent roll dough, and brainstormed from there!
I put ricotta cheese and tomato sauce with Italian seasoning in the middle of one dough triangle, and pulled the edges up over the filling. I brushed the tops with egg wash and sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top.

Baked according to the package and served with additional tomato sauce for dipping.
Thus, crescent roll pizza bites were born!

THEN, we needed dessert!
So I made a few more with ricotta and pumpkin puree - mixed with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice.

So there.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Cheesy Bake

I love Pinterest.  So many ideas, and not enough time.
Inspired by THIS RECIPE and THIS RECIPE, I decided to make a "Mac and Cheese" bake of sorts, with spaghetti squash "noodles", and a sauce of: butternut squash puree, cauliflower puree, fat free ricotta cheese, and non fat plain Greek yogurt, topped with shredded cheddar cheese and grated fresh Parmesan.
Um, yum, this was delish!!

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds. Please be careful, it is hard to cut through.
If you prefer, you can just stab (dramatic) some holes in the outside and cook it whole - cutting after it is cooked and softer.
Drizzle both halves with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Put in a microwavable baking dish with about a 1/4" of water, cut side down.
Microwave on high for about 10 minutes.
Let cool a bit, then scrape and string all the spaghetti squash strands into another baking pan.

Do the same with the butternut squash.

Steam or Boil the cauliflower until tender.

Blend the butternut squash and cauliflower in batches in the food processor until pureed.  Add 1/8 cup hot cauliflower cooking water at a time with each batch to achieve a thin enough consistency to resemble a sauce, rather than just finely chopped veggies.

Pour pureed squash and cauliflower over top of spaghetti squash.
Add up to a 15oz container of ricotta cheese, and up to 1 cup of yogurt.
Really, this dish would be fine without much of either, so just adjust depending on your likeness of creaminess and richness.
Mix all to combine.
You could also add any additional herbs or spices at this time to your liking.
Add shredded cheddar cheese and Parmesan to the top of the casserole.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

Let set up and cool for 5-15 minutes before serving.

I will say that the taste, texture, and color of this casserole does slightly resemble scrambled eggs, haha, because of the ricotta and yogurt. Use less of both if this bothers you.

Served with grilled chicken sausage and roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower, this was an awesome dinner!
So there.

Spaghetti Squash Cheesy Bake

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 medium butternut squash
1/2 head of cauliflower
olive oil
salt, pepper

15oz container of ricotta cheese (Fat Free)
1 cup non fat Plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Valentine's Day Things I Love Thursdays

In this edition of Things I Love Thursdays, I decided to focus on Valentine's Day!

Um, so, this post from Grilled Cheese Social pretty much sums up how I also feel about the holiday.
Being that I am single, I could easily spend the holiday home alone with my cat eating the box of chocolates my mother sent me, and watching bad romantic movies.

Actually, this probably IS what I will do this Valentine's Day.
BUT, I have spent many past holidays making homemade valentine's, compiling 'manly' boyfriend gift baskets, baking, and just being in love.
I am a hopeless romantic, and something about the holiday just makes me happy.

So, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I have compiled some of my favorite Valentine's Day themed Pinterest finds.

I figured it was high time to get on posting this soon, since Target already had St. Patrick's Day themed stuff in their Dollar Bin. What?! It's January. PS Don't you LOVE the Target Dollar Bin?!

#1 First the amazing Challah french toast with mascarpone, nutella, strawberries and whipped cream! from Grilled Cheese Social. OMG YUM.

#2  A couple years ago I made these adorable Conversation Heart Cake Topped Cupcakes from pound cake, They turned out super cute! 

Almost as good as the original photo idea

 Also featured are my chocolate dipped pretzels, chocolate dipped Oreos, and brownie cake pop truffles.

#3 This adorable felt heart wreath

#4  This quilled paper heart garland

#5 Tiny heart shaped cream cheese mints with glitter!

#6 Sugar Body Scrub recipe This was posted a ton on Pinterest for a Christmas gift, but it could easily be a Valentine's treat, as well. And you can use any essential oil scent, besides peppermint, too! Like lavender or rosemary. These are super easy to make! Just Almond or Coconut oil, granulated sugar, and the scent!

#7 How CUTE is this salad?! Heart shaped beets and potatoes, with a Chocolate Balsamic Vinaigrette

So there you have it! Whether you are spending Valentine's Day with loved ones, single girlfriends, or home alone with your cat, now you have all the dinner, dessert, craft projects, and bubble bath additions that you'll need for a great holiday!

Love You All!!

So there

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Got Limes? Make Lime Meringue Pie!

I bought a ton of limes to make a, that's a lie. To make cocktails.  I ended up having a bunch leftover, so in addition to making fish tacos, and freezing some zest and juice, I decided to make these little mini lime meringue pie tarts!

Photo Credit: Cupcakes & Cashmere

If you guys don't follow Cupcakes & Cashmere you definitely should. Her outfits are to die for, but I particularly like her DIY home decor and recipe ideas! And this is one of them.

I made them in a mini cupcake pan, and when cooled, topped them with a big swirl of meringue!
Too cute!

...I also swore I took photos of my own, but I can't find them! Sorry you guys, one of these days I'll get the hang of being a better food blogger!

So There.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Every Thanksgiving I make this Spinach & Artichoke dip (which is amazeballs, and you should make immediately!) and some type of dessert.
This year I was making a 6 hour drive the day of, (I know, I know...we leave at 4:00am...crazy sauce) so I needed something portable that wouldn't easily get smashed (like cupcake frosting), and didn't need any refrigeration.  I found these White Chocolate Topped Chewy Gingerbread Cookies on Pinterest and thought they'd be perfect.  I also saw these Chewy Ginger Cookies with Cinnamon Chips which gave me the idea to also add the highly coveted and seasonal Hershey's cinnamon baking chips to the tops of the cookies.
These were such a hit at Thanksgiving, I decided to make them again recently.  
I followed this recipe here, except I also added the cinnamon chips.

The first time I didn't have time to refrigerate overnight, so I just popped the dough in the freezer for about 20min. - it worked well enough.
This time, I skipped the chilling all together, and they still come out nice and fluffy.
Don't over bake!!

YUM! Perfect, seasonal goodness!
Um, ALSO, can we please discuss my sadness for the end of Starbucks' winter holiday drinks?! Namely my beloved GBL, Gingerbread Latte.
I have been savoring every last one...they're gone when they run out of the syrup...which seems soon.
Guess we will just have to make more cookies!!

So There.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Featured on Blog Series: Flower Hair Clip Tutorial

Over the holiday season, Frugal Foodie Mama had a wonderful homemade gift tutorial series on her blog HERE, and featured yours truly!

Check out my hair clip tutorial here, on how I make some of my items I sell on My Etsy Site!

I have found babies, little girls, and adult women alike all enjoy receiving these flower hair clips as gifts!
These flowers can also be clipped onto a headband, or look great attached to your handbag, blouse, throw pillow, or anywhere you'd like!

So There.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year, friends!

Happy New Year!

I hope each and every one of you had fun ringing in the new year, and I wish you the best possible 2013!!

My attempt to revamp my blog and really try to post more regularly began in October of 2012, and I am still trying to get into a groove. Some weeks I get to 3+ posts, and other weeks I get busy and don't get to 1!
I want to start using the auto-post scheduling Blogger feature more often, and try to have themes, like my Things I Love Thursdays.

Anyway, I so appreciate you reading and supporting my little blog, so THANK YOU!!!
It really means a lot!

Here are some of the most popular posts of 2012!

Happy 2013!
So there.