Thursday, February 24, 2011

birthday funday

The mark of my 23rd year may have been my best birthday yet.  I woke up to pecan pancakes in bed, had two king cakes delivered to my door, ate a yummy burger from the Greenbrier, played in the park, and had an amazing baked good prepared and decorated by my sweet husband.  : )  

Jason's Cupcake Recipe

-One box of Chocolate Cake Mix
-One can of blue icing
-LOVE ; )

Catching up.. :)

For the past couple weeks, I have celebrated my 8th Valentine's day with my main squeeze, turned 23, and vacationed in New York!  It has been busy and exciting... which left no room for blogging.  ; )

So to Catch up, I thought I would share a little of my recent adventures with you.  Starting with Valentine's Day...

I made homemade sugar cookies for Valentine's day, and set up a little wine and cheese party for my man.  I'm not a huge sugar cookie fan, but honestly Jason and I both agreed that the cookies were heavenly.  I used The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies Recipe from, cut them into different sized heart shapes, and decorated in traditional valentine's day colors.  I halved this recipe, and still had plenty to hand out to neighbors... So unless you're feeding an army, I would definitely cut down on the recipe.

We have a local wine and cheese shop located in downtown Lewisburg called Bella, and with a little help from my father-in-law and the friendly Bella employee; I was able to pick out an awesome bottle of Pinot Noir and some great cheese wedges.  Add a little candle light, soft music, and a  handsome stud... and you have yourself a picture perfect Valentine's Day.  :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Recipes for "Poor Cooking"

Just thought I would add a few recipes to go with the last post, just in case you don't already have a favorite spaghetti, red beans, and pot roast recipe.  Fair warning... I have learned to cook from two amazing women; my mother and mother-in-law, neither of these wonderful ladies practiced the art of measuring the ingredients out.  lol! So, I'll teach you like they taught me... with love and a few taste tests.  : )

Homemade Spaghetti

- olive oil
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 3 gloves of garlic (minced)
- 3 celery sticks (chopped)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 lb. ground beef (I use local organic beef, and I'm convinced it makes a difference)
- 1/2 lb. Italian sausage
- 3-4 strips of bacon
- 2 28oz cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 6oz can of tomato paste
- about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (or to taste)
- salt
- pepper
- red pepper
- Italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves

Drizzle olive oil in a large stock pot.  Add ground beef and Italian sausage; cook until browned.  Drain meat, and return to pot.  Cook strips of bacon leaving grease in pot, and add onion, celery, and both bell peppers.  Cook until onions start to turn clear; then add the garlic.  Add tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and red pepper.  Simmer for an hour; then taste, and simmer for at least one more hour.

*For a sweet sauce, or to cancel out a strong spicy flavor add extra brown sugar.

*I normally start cooking my spaghetti around noon, and allow it to simmer for six hours.  The longer it simmers... the better! : )  

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

- 1lb. of smoked sausage or ham bone (sliced)
- 1lb. of red kidney beans (previously soaked in water over night)
- 1 bunch of green onions (chopped)
- 1 large yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 3 stalks of celery (chopped)
- 1 large jalapeno pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 3 cubes of chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons of Tabasco (or to taste)
- salt
- cayenne pepper

Simply add all ingredients; and top with water until beans are covered.  Cook in a slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours.  Taste; then add salt and pepper if needed.  Once beans are thoroughly cooked, remove lid and continue cooking for 30 minutes to an hour.  This will help the beans thicken.  You can also   smash beans with a wooden spoon to help thicken. Serve with rice.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

- 2 (12oz) cans of cream of mushroom soup
- 1 packet of onion soup mix
- 1 (2lb) roast (eye of round is best)
- baby carrots
- new potatoes (quartered)
- 3 cubes of chicken stock
- 5 cloves of garlic (whole)
- salt
- pepper
- cayenne pepper
- garlic powder
- basil
- Worcestershire sauce

Allow roast to come to room temperature.  Cut slits in roast, and press the 5 cloves of garlic in center (I normally cut a slit near each corner, and one in the center).  Then, sprinkle roast with salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, basil, and Worcestershire sauce.  Rub the seasonings in on all four sides.  In a slow cooker, add the cream of mushroom, onion soup mix,  3 cups of water, 3 cubes of chicken stock.  Then, add the roast, carrots, and new potato's.  Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours. Serve with rice. (jasmine rice is my favorite)

Here's to great dinners, and sexy cooks.  ; )

Good Luck!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Poor Cooking

While I could pull the college kid eating habits out and eat ramen noodles 7 days a week; I'm slightly spoiled to great cooking, and fear I would not be able to stomach that for too long.  Therefore, I've put together a cheap seven day meal plan... with the help of a few of my mother-in-law's great ideas.  :)

Here goes...

Sunday- Roast Beef in the slow cooker ($15)

Monday- Red Beans and Rice ($6)

Tuesday- Homemade Spaghetti (about $9)

Wednesday- Chili
-Mix the red beans with spaghetti, add a little chili powder, and whalaa!    

Thursday- BBQ Beef Po Boys ($4)
-Cut the remaining roast beef and place in a sauce pan with BBQ sauce.  Toast french bread in the oven with butter, garlic powder, and provolone cheese.  Place BBQ beef on toasted french bread, and enjoy a southern style po boy!

Friday- Homemade Meat, Cheese, and Spinach  Lasagna (12$)
-Use the leftover spaghetti as your meat sauce, make a cheese mixture with egg, parmesan, mozzarella, ricotta, and Italian seasoning.  Layer with meat sauce,  no boil lasagna noodles, spinach, and cheese mixture. Repeat, and top with one more layer of meat sauce and a cheese sprinkle.

Saturday- Enjoy a smorgasbord of leftovers and relax!  :)

If my calculations are correct... you officially have a whole weeks worth of yummy food for about 46$.  Which means, your hubby will be so happy you may be able to talk him into a 5$ movie rental!  :)