Sunday, August 29, 2010

like a kid on christmas

Yesterday I made a quick trip to Target for the essentials like face wash and cleaning supplies, all in all, a not so fun trip to Target.  As always, I ventured to the housewares section, specifically the Giada housewares section.  As I mentioned in this post, I absolutely love her new line of cookware and will often times just marvel at all her pretty, yet expensive utensils and cookware.  To my surprise and delight her 10 piece stainless steel cookware set was $50 off, for a limited time only, of course.  I have been eyeing this set for a few months and have even asked for it for Christmas, that being said I decided to bite the bullet and buy this beautiful set of pots and skillets.  I was excited to say the least, so much so I decided have a mini photo shoot with my lovely new Giada cookware!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

peanut butter chocolaty goodness

I stumbled upon a fun little blog called the Sweetest Kitchen.  Initially I found some fabulous cupcakes that I wanted to try.  I had big plans this weekend to test them out but by Sunday I was officially over cooking and baking so I decided I'd put the cupcake project on hold.  I was perusing the site the other day and found a recipe for homemade peanut butter cups.  I don't know why I felt so compelled to try these but I was obviously compelled enough to make a quick trip to Walmart this afternoon and whip 'em up.  Mine didn't turn at as good as the one's from this post, but they taste great.  Next time I'm gonna try my best to make sure I cover up the peanut butter completely.  Lucky for you I did another illustrative post to walk you through the recipe.  My pictures are terrible, perhaps photography will be my next venture...hmmm.

Before getting started, line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

Chop up 1 1/2 cups of bittersweet chocolate.  Add 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter and a pinch of salt.

Melt chocolate, peanut butter and salt.  Place 2 teaspoons melted chocolate in each liner.  Place muffin tin in freezer and freeze for 20 minutes.

In a bowl, mix 3/4 cups natural peanut butter, 1/3 cup light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons crushed graham crackers and a pinch of salt.

Remove muffin tins from freezer and place 1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter mix in each liner, freeze for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes place 2 teaspoons of the remaining melted chocolate in each liner, ensure that the peanut butter is completely covered. Place in freezer for up to an hour.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

taco night

Last night I ventured into the kitchen for my first cooking venture.  My love for baking started toward the end of last year and since then I've wanted to do some more cooking, it just always seem like a much more daunting task than baking.  Last night I had a friend over for a "tacos and margaritas" night.  I called upon my mom for my great Aunt Jenny's yummy taco recipe.  My family's tacos are a bit different from the norm, we include potatoes and carrots in our taco meat, weird, I know but I promise you it's good and it's what I've grown up with.  I've always wanted to do an illustrative cooking post so I tried my best to capture each step of the process, my pictures are amateur at best, but you'll get the idea.

Chop up a handful of baby carrots and cut a couple of white potatoes in cubes.  I think I went overboard on the potatoes.

Brown one pound of lean ground beef.  Once it's complete, drain in a colander.  Please notice my fabulous new Giada skillet from Target.  PS, Santa I really want the 10 piece cookware set ;)

While the meat is browning boil the carrots and potatoes until soft.

Once the carrots and potatoes are soft, mix them with the browned meat.

Fry tortillas in a skillet with peanut oil, be cautious of the splatter.

Once the meat and tortillas are complete you can build your own taco with any garnishments you like.  I opted to add cheese and lettuce with a side of beans.

bon appetit

Sunday, August 1, 2010

cupcake lovin'

I was scouring the net looking for pictures of cupcakes.  As you all know by now I absolutely adore cupcakes and could probably look at pictures for hours, weird, I know.  It's always amazing what people can do with these tiny little treats.  My favorites are the ones with fondant icing.  Check out some fabulous cakes I stumbled upon.

I know you started humming the theme song the minute you saw this.

Lego lovin'

All I can hear is that beeping...

The iPhone replica may be my favorite

After scrolling through pages and pages of of cupcake pictures (my goodness Google images is so much more user friendly) I stumbled upon this gem...

Are you kidding me?!?  Quite possibly two of my most favorite things together, cupcakes and jewelry, and Tiffany's jewelry nonetheless.  I would be a happy girl if this little concoction was presented to me on my engagement night, just an FYI to all potential suitors ;)

it's bananas

I woke up bright and early this morning and immediately felt the urge to bake, strange, I know but I decided to go with it.  I've had mushy, overripe bananas staring at me from the fruit bowl for a week now so I figured I'd whip up some banana nut bread.  Since I had four overripe bananas I figured I'd test out a recipe from my friend Mary Grace -- chocolate chip banana nut cookies, yum.

After tossing and turning for a few minutes I pulled myself out of bed and headed to Walmart, ugh, I know I hate it too but they have cheap food.  I got home and was ready to go.  If you've read some of my previous posts about baking you'll notice I always have a few stumbling blocks before I can get to work.  Today was no different.  At the suggestion of my friend Marjorie I placed my bananas in the freezer last night, that way the nasty flys and gnats that keep getting into my house would stop feasting on them.  I thought it was so genius.  Well as I started to unpack my groceries I pulled open the freezer and found rock hard bananas.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I imagine I figured they'd be like vodka and just never freeze, no such luck.  Also, while unpacking groceries I dropped the eggs on the floor, ugh.  Luckily I was able to salvage enough to make my desserts.  After a few frustrating minutes I was able to get everything together and start baking.  First on the list, chocolate chip banana nut cookies, behold:

To shorten this post I suggest you visit MG's blog to get the ingredients and directions, please note, I substituted walnuts for pecans.  You can choose any nut that suits your fancy.  Her post is far more illustrative and fun to read.  While the cookies baked I worked on whipping up my banana nut bread.


2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 ripe bananas
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tps. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp. salt
2 cups flour

The directions are fairly simple.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all the ingredients in bowl in the order listed.  Once everything has been mixed pour the batter into a greased and floured 9x5 inch loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.   Let cool and enjoy.

A few posts ago I mentioned that I would try to post pictures of my new digs.  I happened to snap a picture of my cute kitchen, check it out.

Hope you're having a relaxing Sunday afternoon!