Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year...

That song is nauseatingly catchy, no?
Anyways, it's been way too long. AGAIN. No reasonable excuses here. Although, we did run away to Hawaii for almost 2 weeks (heaven) so I guess that's kind of an excuse. And then when we got back.... VOILA.. winter! With winter comes the best holiday ever. I am, however, a little anxious about this one due to the current familial situation. So my coping mechanisms for the upcoming festivities are to:
1. Craft the HELL out of this Christmas.
2. Drink.  Not in an alchoholic kind of way, but in a take-the-edge-off kind of way.
3. Make a fuck load of *amazing* food and WOW the socks off our holiday house guests.

The three above mechanisms unexpectedly came in to play today.  Far earlier than I expected.  But it was fun.  We put up our first ever "together" Christmas tree.  We covered the exterior of our cute little house in those weird neon-like LED lights (personally, I like the old school Christmas lights) and we drank kind of a lot of wine in the process.  See some of our Christmas sparkle around the house.....
Stockings.  Cute, right?
Let the madness begin.

The finished project!!  OH YAAA!

Not Christmasy at all, but I'm in love with it.  All the shells I collected in Hawaii. 

Cute little homemade garland on the mantel. 

More Christmas.  Just not done.  I need to make that weird hole in the wall look good.

Anyways, I shall be (as mentioned above) pulling a FULL-ON Martha this year... so prepare yourselves for the photographic evidence.  It will be good. 

It's not even December yet, and I kind of hate myself for what I am about to say, but HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday Night Clow Cooker Dinner: Indonesian Chicken

Another good one! I'm quickly becoming obsessed with my slow cooker.  It's THE. BEST. THING. EVER. to come home to a meal that is cooked. And delicious. And ready to eat.

  • 8 bonless skinless chicken thighs
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 soy sauce
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • Crushed hot pepper flakes to your liking
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • Unsalted peanuts or cashews, chopped
  • Green onions, chopped

  • Place chicken in slow cooker
  • Add carrots, onions and garlic
  • In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce and water.  Add hot pepper flakes and ginger
  • Pour peanut butter over chicken and combine to coat chicken
  • Cook on Low for 4-5 hours
  • Add white wine vinegar and peas and cook for another 10 minutes
  • Serve over quinoa, rice or alone.  Garnish with peanuts and green onion
  • Enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I volunteered to take dessert to Lee's parents' place for Thanksgiving.  I decided I would combine two of my all time favourite desserts to make one heavenly and sinful creation: pumpkin cheesecake.  This cheesecake is low-fat, low-cal, no-sugar, ultra healthy and completely guilt-free.  Ok, not at all actually, but it tastes extra delicious if you tell yourself that as you're eating it.  Ignorance is bliss, no?


  • 1 cup crushed ginger snap cookies
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1-2 tbsp. brown sugar (depending on how sweet your ginger snaps are)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 8 0z. pkg. cream cheese (no low-fat crap, please)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 tbsp. dark rum
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice mix or equal parts cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.  Press into the bottom of a lightly greased spring form pan and put in the fridge to chill.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  • Slowly add sugar and continue to beat.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, fully combining mixture before adding the next.
  • Slowly add flour and combine.  Add spice mixture.  
  • Scrape the bowl down with a spatula and make sure everything is well combined.  The bowl will be FULL!  Don't be alarmed. 
  • Pour cheese mixture into spring form pan and bake for 2 hours or until the cheesecake is set.
  • Cool on the counter for 1 hour and then chill for several hours. 
  • Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!  (more pictures of our Thanksgiving feast to follow)

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I want so many house things now that we have a big fancy new house to put fancy new house things in.  The top priorities for our shopping weekend consist of #1. Pretty house things #2. More pretty house things and #3. You guessed it- more pretty house things.  We are only going for 2 nights and will only be driving a little Maxima, so in reality, this trip will not be that epic.  It just seems to be the only thing that is getting me through this day.  This is what I have been daydreaming about......
I want all this..

I want one of these....

I like this...

This is pretty...


I want these too..


I love throw cushions!
Must have!

Breakfast For Tomorrow.... Today!

Due to the stress, changes and craziness of life recently, my mom and I have decided to run away for 2 days.  Nowhere exciting, just Montana.  Target is calling my name.  We will be leaving tomorrow morning, so I thought I'd make us some easy portable road-trip breakfast snacks.  The recipe is almost totally made up (so excuse the approximate measurements) but it turned out quite well, so I thought I'd share.

Muffin Tin Quiche

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • A few tbsp. melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese of your choice 
  • Your choice of veegtable filling:  I chose mushrooms, orange and red peppers, onions and garlic (all that was in my fridge!)
  • Combine first three ingredients in medium sized bowl (should be crumbly) and press into the bottom of 12 muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 5-8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, saute mushrooms and other veggies in olive oil.  Season well with S&P and your choice of herbs.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and cheese.
  • Pull muffin tins out of the oven, and scoop about 1 tbsp. full of veggie mixture on to each crust.  Then carefully pour the egg and cheese in to the muffin tins to (*almost*) reach the top.
  • Sprinkle with extra cheese if you'd like (who WOULDN'T like?) and bake at 350 for another 15-20 minutes or until the eggs have puffed up.  Don't overcook, though!
  • Enjoy!!

Happy weekend!  (Well, it's my weekend, anyways!)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lucky Number 5

I have always hated those nauseating couples that hang off of each other in the grocery store, cuddle in the movie theatre, or kiss in public places.  So hopefully, ME blogging about my amazing Lee doesn’t make me one of those people.  If it does, who the fuck cares?  He is awesome, and today is a special day for us.  We make a point of doing something special on the 5th of every month.  Sometimes simply just acknowledging the day is all it is.  But it’s always special.  So, here are my 5 favourite things about Lee to celebrate the 5th:

1. His willingness to help people.  He is always willing to fix something for someone, make a situation better, solve problems, and generally just lend a helping hand to anyone that needs it.
2. His love of children.  Always an attractive quality in a man.  J  But watching Lee with kids actually MELTS. MY. HEART.
3. His practicality and dependability.  Sometimes it drives me insane, but most times it keep me grounded.  If we were both flighty and “out there” then we would have a problem.
4. His little-kid-ness.  He is like a little kid in a 28 year old body and I LOVE it.  He never takes anything TOO seriously and he is always able to make me laugh.
5. His accepting and easy-going ways.  There are so many times that I catch myself acting like a loonie and think to myself, “If I was with anyone else right now, he would think/do _________.”   But Lee is easy-going and calm and is the most accepting and loving person that I know.  

He makes me feel lucky every day.  And I LOVE HIM!

Slow Cooker Tuesday Dinner: Artichoke Chicken

My routine-making always seems to start with meal-planning.  I always feel better having a week full of dinners planned out.  It’s kind of insane, actually.  Most people would organize drawers, or empty boxes, plan activities or meetings, but me, I plan FOOD.  I decided that Tuesday nights will be our slow cooker nights (as I often work late on Tuesdays).  Plus, cooking in the slow cooker is like opening a present.  You pop a bunch of random ingredients in to a pot, leave the house for 7 hours, come home to delightful aromas and open the pot to a wonderful surprise! A complete and delicious dinner.  Last night’s attempt: Artichoke Chicken and Quinoa.  The recipe was kind of a compilation of a few I had found online.  I wanted to eliminate flour and sugary ingredients, so this is what I came up with.  It was verrrrrry good!

Artichoke Chicken and Quinoa

-1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 cup chopped artichokes hearts (the ones from the deli marinated in oil are especially yummy)
-1/2 cup chopped, pitted olives (for the love of Pete, do NOT use the canned ones)
-1 medium yellow onion, chopped
-2 cups sliced mushrooms
-1 ¼ cup chicken broth
-a splash of dry white wine
-3 tbsp. arrowroot powder (cornstarch would suffice, I’d imagine)
-1 ½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts

-Combine all ingredients except chicken in slow cooker pot and stir to combine
-Place chicken on top of tomato mixture and spoon some of the mixture over the chicken
-Cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Serve over quinoa, steamed rice, or cous cous.