Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chili Noodle Soup

I'm falling off the wagon here. This is another made up recipe. I've got plenty of excuses, but none that make me feel like a better person.

Anyway, I was originally planning on making chili, but I added way too much beef broth so I decided to soak up all that water by throwing in some pasta. I haven't tasted it but here is my recipe. There is so much, that it doesn't matter if it tastes good I'm just going to eat it anyway.

In a crock pot (because I didn't feel like doing much for dinner):

2lbs ground beef
1/2 small red onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 green bell pepper
1 sm can dark red kidney beans
1 sm can light red kidney beans
1 lg can crushed tomatoes
1 sm box beef broth
3 handfuls of chili powder
2 handfuls of cumin
s & p
and a sprinkle of finely ground red pepper
1/2 box sm shell noodles (later)

cook on high for a bit then when you drop down to low add the noodles.

tada. Remember to serve with some yummy options like: cheddar cheese, oyster crackers or sour cream. These are Justin and my favorite chili toppings. (we usually don't use crackers when noodles are involved though) I also like fresh chopped onion & scallions. (They seem to make your breath smell much worse. --But you're eating chili, hello!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

excuses excuses

Its amazing how nothing gets done when I'm pissed off. I've been pissed pretty much since Monday. I'm trying to be all cool and calm and tell myself that everything will work out and be hunky dory really soon but right now in the thick of everything I'm dealing with I just cant see that actually being true.

Reasons I'm pissed off:

1. Still dont have my W2's and am tired of listening to the lame excuses from my ex employer.
2. Apparently, January 20th I got sent an email about "mandatory" CEU's for work that were due on February 20th. So, when my boss asked me on Feb 21st if I was near completion of my CEU's I simply told her, "I didn't want to do them, so I didn't do them." She was like, "whaaaaaaa?" I proceeded to repeat myself, because sometimes people are slow. She told me that they were mandatory(which I didn't know at the time, or else I would have done them) and were due yesterday(the 20th). SO, why am I pissed?
3. Because now I have to do them by this weekend and since I don't have my W2's yet(which should have been in the mail today,
4. but the mailman is slower than crap and delivers the mail as late as freaking possible)as soon as they come I have to make sure we can get them done asap.
5. But since Justin is so ungodly busy all the damn time(yes you are) we probably wont have time to do them until Monday night(provided you dont get scheduled) which is my next available night to just hang out with Justin and relax and enjoy the fact that I'm not alone with Violet, yet again.
6. So, rather than being all happy and relaxed and enjoying life I get to be stressed out and pissed off for my fun 2 day work week which is everyone else's effing weekend
7. which means I get to be busy all freaking day long and not to mention,
8. I dont get to see Justin either Saturday or Sunday after work because he is working and
9. I have a stupid mandatory meeting to go to where I will probably get to meet all my
10. new bosses because the turnover rate is higher than that of the amount of pancakes flipped in an Ihop on Sunday morning after church.
11. plus I don't have any time to go grocery shopping this week and I know that my mom and sister (who are spending the night Friday night so I can go to Justin's show)
12. are going to eat all the food I have on reserve.

There are about 4 more things that I would whine about but since people read this I probably shouldn't.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nothing yet...

I haven't made anything new for a while. Tonight we're having Tuna & Noodles.

I have a steak that needs some jazzing up and hope to work on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Business Plan

So, not that its part of my New Year's Resolution list, I have been working on a business plan. I'm creating a traveling massage company for corporate & sports massage. I am hoping to finalize my plan before the end of the year. If I can start this year I would be really happy, but I feel like that's too soon for the amount of work I have to do. (not to mention all the knitting, reading, cleaning, working & cooking I have to do)

Lately, I've been feeling a little overwhelmed and as much pain as I feel like I'm in, I'm secretly loving it. Its so fun to have something so big on my agenda. It's almost like I'm planning a wedding. I thrive off of having these big projects. (I honestly cant wait to start on Violet's toddler room!) But, I don't really feel like I'm thriving. I feel like I'm trying to achieve something that is too big for me and I'm going to be knocked down and embarrassed when my plan doesn't work out. I'm sure ll these feelings are just my nerves beating me down. I've only spent a month or so planning and writing and I still have so much more work to do. I'm trying to go through all of my school books and see if there is anything in them that can help me. None of them really touch on how to sell without being too pushy. I have a lot of phone calls and research to do still.

I think my biggest fear as of right now is how I'm going to sell my massages to the big companies. I know I don't have the educational background as the people I will be trying to sell to and that is slightly intimidating. I am confident enough to talk to anyone though(just not on all topics)(--I could go into detail but it wouldn't be nice). I'm not in the right mindset for this kind of sales conversation though. I really hate sales-people. SO MUCH! I hate that they are pushy and relentless. I don't want a phone call every single week(charter communications!). So, at least I know what I don't want and what I do want.

I'm just so sick of seeing companies being formed based on finances that they sacrifice their ethics and standards. A lot of people say not to make business personal, but I feel that the massage business is very personal and I'm having difficulty figuring out how to sell something so personal. I have been writing down thoughts and trying to put them together, but have had no luck so far. I'm sure I will be fine and I will figure out what I need to.

That being said, I haven't really been keeping up with my normal cooking, reading, knitting regime and I have only thought about this quilt I'm supposed to be making for Violet a couple times. My stress level is through the roof right now! Good thing I'm not pregnant!

**I'm not looking for your emotional or business advice, I'm just getting that out of my system.

Vegan Website

I just found this website and I hope to make something from it soon. I've always wanted to cook more with beans and dont have any good recipes.

Violet's Pediatrician recommended that we give her beans since she doesn't eat too much protein.

So, here is the website. Once again, I'm not going vegan. One day I might like to, but not right now.

When I do use this website I think I will probably alter the recipes(because I do that) to fit my needs, but I think I will feel better about whatever I'm making because its from a "vegan" website. :) We have to find little ways to perk ourselves up sometimes.

Becca's Present

I just had the most way awesome idea for what to make for Becca for either her birthday or Christmas.

Except I cant tell you about it. BUT OH MY GOSH!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Chicken & Veggies

So, I was going to try a new recipe tonight but decided I didn't feel like researching anything so I just made up this beauty.

6-8 chicken breast tenderloins
s & p
5-6 cremini mushrooms(for me only)
1/4 small onion chopped
1 handful snap peas
3 small carrots chopped
1 stalk celery chopped
1/2 small yellow squash cubed
2 C broccoli
1/2 red bell pepper sliced
1 cup white wine(I used chardonnay)

Cook chicken in a high rimmed skillet over med-high heat in a couple table spoons of evoo. Sprinkle with salt & pepper

When chicken is done "deglaze" the pan with the wine.

Add in all veggies, s & p, herbs and put a lid on the skillet and let veggies "steam."

I am serving this with pasta slathered in olive oil, garlic & crushed black pepper.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

$5 dinners

So this website is pretty cool. Its got only meals that cost $5. (even though I like Rachael Ray's $10 meals because she usually adds up what you pay in the grocery store vs. this person who adds up what she thinks her food may cost.) Most of the time you have things on hand, seasonings for instance.

Here are 2 recipes I got from her that I may use. I have only looked in the "chicken breast" category so I'm not sure what all else she's posted. I just happen to have chicken breasts in my frigerator-rator right now.

Balsamic Chicken
Homemade Buns

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Violet, Dinner & Ruggles

Alright, here are a bunch of pics that I dont feel like organizing. I used to be able to see actual pictures in the new post window but now all I get is the html which I dont know how to read.

So, the first pic is the Ruggles scarf. This pic is just to show how shiny the yarn is. Its really pretty. The color however is not really accurate in either of the pics. The pattern is so pretty and seeing and feeling it makes me think it would make an awesome baby blanket. I'm glad I blindly tried this pattern.

Next should be pictures of my dinner. I didn't really want potato soup again, although it was awesome, so I made some quick chicken noodle soup. I think all in all it took about 30 minutes to make. I got all my ingredients chopped and ready to go. I put a little EVOO in the pot and then just added all the meat and veggies at the same time. I cooked it until the onions were translucent and the meat was almost done. Then I added about 2 C chicken broth. I also used my new Herbs de Provence with Lavender. Awesome! Violet loved it and ate almost all the carrots and celery. In fact, I have a bowl left and I ended up taking all the carrots and celery out of it so Vi could eat them! I am going to be sad if she stops liking veggies.

Next should be a messy pic of Violet and a cute bunny ear wearing pic of her. The messy pic is after she had waffles with black raspberry spreadable fruit. The bunny ears I bought just to be silly. Daddy loved them on her! (So did grandma Hendrickson when she came over today)

ok, I'm done knitting for the night, and I've watched enough men ice skating for the day too. I'm going to bed.

Ruggles take 2

Ok, so its actually a pretty neat pattern but I totally screwed something up about 8" in and tried to fix it...big mistake. I had to just frog the whole thing. very annoying. The next time I get a good stretch of it done I will take a pic. Its pretty easy to knit, but it does require some concentration & counting. Since its just 30 sts. its not that big of a deal to count. I just count, 2,3,3,2,2,3,3,2,2,3,3,2. or whatever.

Its seriously easy for as cool as it looks.

I'd rather read today though. so :p

Wednesday, February 17, 2010



Normally I don't knit a pattern without seeing a picture of it first. But, I have tried 3 different scarf patterns written by random people online and none of them were mathematically correct. Which makes me want to shake my fist really hard at the computer.

I found this pattern and was hesitant for all of 30 seconds while I read the pattern, counted the stitches and realized it would work. Plus, in my opinion, only the old ladies who don't know how to use a computer post their patterns without I figured it was a winner.

Low and behold, I have knit about 1.5" and think its a pretty neat pattern. So I'm sticking with it.

It is a 10 stitch and 10 row pattern(which I would usually frown upon)that is really easy to memorize.


I will post pics when I get a little further.

I need to finish this scarf before I start anymore projects...which is going to be really difficult for me because I already have 3 more projects lined up.

wink at ya later.

Its 20 degrees out there, bring on the potato soup!

Broccoli, Leek and Potato soup


I'm buying the ingredients today!

I cant wait to eat this. I made something similar to this last year and am interested in trying a new recipe.

I do have a problem...I'm missing half the herbs, so I'm going to have to create my own blend. It shouldn't be too hard. Justin and I aren't too big on coriander(cilantro/chinese parsley) yuck, that will be omitted. And since the recipe calls for fennel and herbs de provence, which usually has fennel, I think I will just buy fennel.

My spice cabinet is really small. I only carry about 10-15 different herbs/spices at a time..

Currently I have:
Chili Powder
Ground/crystallized/fresh Ginger
Ground/whole Cloves

Not a whole lot going on there. But, I only buy something when I'm ready to learn how to use it in different ways. Tarragon is my most recent because of the beef stroganoff.

So, today I will be adding fennel seed. I'm growing. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Reading progress.

I'm not doing too good folks. I finally picked up my book after I'm sure a week+ of forgetting that I was even reading it. lol. I'm terrible.

I've just been up to my ears in everything. I'm also writing a business plan right now so that makes it a little more complicated.

So, right now in the book I'm at the part where they've just started their first day at school, snape is teaching D.A.D.A. and Slughorn is teaching Potions. Harry is currently in his potions class using the book of the Half-Blood Prince..but I haven't officially learned that via the book. I remember that from the previous time I read the first 8 chapters of the book. lol. Anywhooo....hopefully I can get a little further this week.

I have started a couple knitting projects and I'm still trying to cook my heart out. There is nothing like food made from scratch. yum yum. So, I unfortunately have put reading on the back burner. Like my pun? tee hee.

Bye Bye my babies.

First Christmas gift

Well, I've finally found a scarf pattern that I like. Now its time to start her up! Hopefully its easy. It looks easy, but that never really means anything.


I will be using my free Naturally Caron Yarn, color: Sunset.

I cant wait, I've never knit with Merino before! woowee mommee!

I'll post some pics soon enough.

UH--THE PERSON WHO MADE THIS PATTERN IS A DUMBASS. They say that you can recreate this scarf with a multiple of 4 stitches plus 2. So, I wanted to make one way thinner because I hate big bulk scarves. So I plugged in 30 sts (4*7=28+2=30, duh) didn't work. Plugged in 26 sts (4*6=24+2=26, yep...) Nope...

I'm not doing this crap. And I dont feel like figuring it out. Its not that cute of a scarf. Whatever, I give up.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Rach would be proud!

So, here is a pic of me holding my finished Spinach Artichoke Mac N Cheese. I did add little pieces of chicken tenderloin to the dish when I was cooking the onions so as not to brown the chicken. Wow! I am so impressed with this dish. Even with the crappy cheese that I put in it. I can only imagine how yummy Rachael's version is with the expensive cheese.

I loved having this as my Valentine's Day dinner and might just have to make a tradition...well, if I didn't love seafood so much I guess I could commit to that tradition, but I dunno.

Anyway, thanks RR for a great dish!

Justin, Cheryl, and Violet approved.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Mac N Cheese

Ok, so...obviously I dont really have much money so I couldn't justify spending almost $20 on cheese alone. Because that's just crazy. So I bought a italian cheese blend with 6 types of cheese. So here is my slightly altered list of ingredients:

Mini Penne Pasta
3T Butter
1/2 Large yellow onion
3+ cloves of garlic
3T flour
1/2 C Chardonnay
2C Whole Milk(because that's what I have at the moment)
dash of nutmeg
1-9oz box frozen spinach
1-9oz box frozen artichoke hearts
Black pepper
3 C Shredded 6 cheese Italian blend

Here are Rachael Ray's cooking directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta, salt water and cook pasta to al dente.

While the pasta water comes to a boil, place a medium pot over medium-low heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons, and the butter. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook the veggies until very soft, about 10 minutes. Then heat the broiler and position rack in the middle of the oven.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the flour into the pan. Cook for about 1 minute then whisk the wine into the pan, cooking for another minute to burn off the alcohol. Whisk the milk into the pan and bring up to a bubble. Add the nutmeg, spinach, artichokes, salt and pepper to the sauce and simmer until thickened and vegetables are warmed through, 2-3 minutes more. Add 1 cup of each of the cheeses to the sauce and stir until melted.

Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle some more Fontina and Parmigiano over the top and bake until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

In the words of Rach, "That's what's for dinner tonight!" :) I love Rach!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Homemade Vanilla Wafers

Vanilla Wafers

Praise LOVE this website. I cant wait to try these tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mardi Gras food.


This recipe sounds pretty good. I'm going to keep searching though.

As requested...

Here is a list of all the books that Violet got for her birthday. I was going to link them all up to the net but maybe I will later.

Good Night (children's board book)
Little Black Sambo
Paddington (board book)
Mary Had a Little Lamb(poems & rhymes)
Charlotte's Web
What Would Jesus Do?
Where the Sidewalk Ends
No Funny Business
The Goodnight Gecko
The Little Prince
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Treasury of Bible Stories
Treasury of Stories
The Rabbit
The Baby
Where the Red Fern Grows
The Giving Tree
The Golden Children's Bible

Violet is so lucky to have received so many great books from her aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends. She is also very lucky to have received some of the actual books from relatives! How special!

According to some family members, more books are on the way so when they get here I will update this list.

Monday, February 8, 2010

reading and eating

Ok, I updated my previous post with comments about each recipe. The party was wonderful, even though I wasn't too into the whole "first birthday" party idea. It was a nice get together though of all our best friends and closest family members. I only wish my grandparents could have been there and my brothers too! I couldn't believe all the books that Violet got that meant so much to people. I was also surprised that she received some of the actual books that the giver read when they were young! How thoughtful. I know she will love them forever!!

Ok, so now I have more incentive to read through HP a little quicker. Since Vi got some great books for her birthday and I was reminded of how much I love certain books I am excited to read through them again. (Charlotte's Web mostly.) Anyway, I'm 1/4 way through HBP. It's exciting for me to read since its been so long. I cant believe I started the series back in November and I'm still not done yet. But now I have no parties to plan(for a while, Justin turns 30 in November and has requested a "huge ass party.") and just living and raising a baby to do.

As far as cooking is going, I'm loving this resolution more than any other! I was thinking about knocking it off my resolution list and putting it on my "for the rest of my life" list. We'll see. After 1 year I'm sure its going to become more and more difficult. Plus, I will have developed favorites that I will want over and over.

I also think that I'm going to venture into the world of fennel. I've never cooked with it and I see it on every cooking show I watch(all 5-Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, Everyday Food, America's Test Kitchen and Simply Ming). --Could you imagine how many I would watch if I had cable! Anyway, I cant wait to try it. I hope its not gross because a bulb of fennel is huge! I am going to start out where its not really the star ingredient and see if I like it. I love how the fawns smell like anise though! yummy. (though, I don't really like licorice root.--Star anise and licorice smell similar for those of you who dont know.)

I recently went fancy and bought Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla to bake with. Its so funny because I'm so used to imitation vanilla that the Madagascar Vanilla doesn't smell like vanilla to me. I hope I'm not broken in the vanilla dept. :( I have a whole bottle though so maybe by the end of it I will prefer it. I made some snickerdoodles for Violet's birthday party and they didn't taste as good to me with the fancy pants stuff... 0-1. I think I will try sugar cookies next because you can really taste the vanilla in those.

That's all for now...oh wait, no its is a link to of these. Martha Stewarts Whole living website with some recipes that are good for your skin,
I may be trying some of these soon.

That's all folks!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Vi's birthday party food!

OK people, I did a whopping 3 minutes of research online and found a few really yummy recipes that I am going to try at her party. I hope everyone likes them. here goes.

Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Chips

2 kiwis
2 apples(I bought Pink Lady)
8oz raspberries
16oz strawberries
2T sugar
1T Brown Sugar
3T Fruit Preserves(I bought Black Raspberry)

Chop all ingredients into itty bitty pieces & chill 15 min before serving. (slice apples last so they dont brown)

(I did not add any sugar and it was plenty sweet. It was also very good when fresh but once it started marinading it got a little syrupy. Overall, it was delicious and everyone seemed to enjoy it, it was the only thing I had to refill at the party)

Archer Farms(From Target) makes cinnamon tortilla chips, but if you want to make your own....

10 Flour Tortillas
Spray Butter
2C cinnamon sugar

Ok, this is where a bunch of different ideas from people come into play:

You can cut up the tortillas first, spray them with butter and shake them in a bag of cinnamon sugar.
you can spray the tortillas whole sprinkle them with C&S and then break them up when they are done cooking.
There are really a million ways of doing this, but there are 2 ideas.
Anyway, bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. They will get more crispy as they cool.

Bacon & Cheese Frittatas

6 eggs
1C Milk
2T melted butter
1/2t salt
1/4t pepper
1C shredded cheddar cheese
5 strips bacon(cooked & chopped)
Chives(optional garnish)

1. beat eggs, milk, butter, s & p.
2. pour in dish, sprinkle with bacon & cheese(& chives)
3. bake 350 25-30 min in a casserole dish(9x13 I think) or until knife comes out clean.
****I plan on making mini frittatas in a mini muffin pan, I will post cooking time when I figure it out.

(These were AWESOME! I recommend adding some chives or scallions though...and less bacon.)


2 packs smokies
18oz bbq sauce
1C brown sugar
1/2C ketchup
1T worcestershire
1/3C chopped onion(I'm using a yellow)

cook on low in a crock pot for 1 hours.

(These were also awesome! A huge hit at the party, but seriously, when aren't smokies a hit?!)

Veggie Dip

1 package Knorr's Spring veggie soup mix
16oz Sour cream

1. mix together and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving so dried ingredients reconstitute.

(This is a great standby to always have on hand. Justin and I love this recipe. We also love adding Ranch dressing to sour cream and dunking our veggies in it...sometimes we just use Sour Cream)


1 large bag of m&m's

1. pour into a bowl....hahaha. april fools, I mean, February, I'm dumb.

Monday, February 1, 2010

January resolutions

Recipes, check!
Cowboy Spaghetti
Sloppy Joes
Beef Stroganoff
Chicken on a Stick
Chicken Hot Pot

Christmas gifts, um...not yet.
being a wonderful wife and mom, check!

Make a quilt for Vi, I have a couple of ideas brewing....mostly I need to decide on a color scheme or theme.

Read more, eh...sorta.
I finished Order of Phoenix, finally! I've only had time to read about 1 chapter at a time which made the last 7-8 chapters take FOREVER! I started Half-Blood Prince last night. Reading this book will be like reading it for the first time because I've only read through it one time...when it first came out. So, since I was on readers-high when it came out I know I read way too fast and I have forgotten most of what actually happened, other than the death of someone. Except, I can't remember how said person dies so that will be interesting.