Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas from us to you!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

And so I'll make some soup!
Chop up half an onion

Warm up some olive oil in the bottom of a big pot.

Toss in your roughly chopped half onion and let it sizzle a little but not caramelize

Chop up a few stalks of celery (after you have washed it of course)

Chop up last night's left over chicken. And throw in 2 cartons of Chicken Broth

Rinse a can of Garbanzo Beans

Throw in all the ingredients 

And add a few bay leaves because that is what dad does... 
Let that simmer together for about a half hour, stirring occasionally... and serve! This soup lasted us for a while, and even warmed up a few times ruled the school. Perfect for a sack lunch (if you have a microwave like I do!)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Christmas Tradition

Even though it is only my second year with this tradition, it is a tradition that screams family, love, togetherness, and, well, Christmas. Even though we were missing most of the usual suspects (Helen was sleeping most likely, Jessi in MN, Pete in Heaven), we still were able to sing Christmas Carols and have some laughs.

Mustang Man and his Ma
Everyone, choose your favorite cookie!

Here is a pic from last year when Pete was with us. I am so grateful to have spent my first year with Pete serving the cookies and regulating the "Don't Eat Cookies 'til We are Done" rule. (Mustang Man has been the the first to break the rule both years I have been involved, and probably years before that.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

A thing of the past?

I think not! For those of us that rocked the 90's, mix tapes were an awesome, very personal gift! There were often many meanings behind the songs, because we were a deeper people back then. (Flashback to the Cranberries and Mazzy Star). Mix tapes could range from Love Mixes, to Music-You-Should-Be-Listening-To, I think I even gave an "I HATE YOU!!!" mix tape.

Well, if you are in a creative mood this Christmas, how awesome would this gift be for a music lover?

It is a USB drive that you fill with songs that you want to share, then personalize the case. Super sweet.
Available by Seltzer Studios.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Baking... Day 1

I slept in later than I have since college. So I started my day a little later than I anticipated. I chatted with my lovely sister and baking coach first thing after a rolled out of bed and headed to the store with my list of needs. Now, baking and wine don't generally mix, but I picked up a bottle, just in case something went terribly wrong. Good thing I got the wine because I forgot the flour.

Also, one needs Christmas socks while baking! These were sent to me by TPs. They have grippy decals so I don't slip and fall while baking. 
Also, generally my sister/baking coach is my supervisor because I don't follow recipes, which is my baking downfall. I thought Buddha was a good supervisor for the day!
My baking day has now become 2 days. I only go to the store once a day. It's an Emily law. It was already broken once this season, and I didn't see any reason to become Grinch-like, so I made my chocolate goodies today.The fudge recipe I borrowed from How Sweet Treats. It was to only take 3 minutes. Everyone has 3 minutes right?
This is all you need!
1.5 cups chocolate chips (almost a whole bag)
1/4 cup of peanut butter (how about trying this with crunchy??? Never thought of that until now!)
1/2 cup Sweetened and Condensed Milk (Not to be confused with evaporated milk.. which is what I did initially)
1 tablespoon water.

Mix everything into a microwave safe bowl:
Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for 30 more seconds. Everything should be completely melted by this point. If not, Microwave again for 30 seconds. You don't want to burn the chocolate though.

Place in a 9x9 baking dish and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes or more.

I did another batch but without the peanut butter and added walnuts. Just roughly chop them and throw some of them in the mixture. I just took a few little handfuls, but not all of them.

Yes, darling sister. I didn't follow the recipe. If it doesn't work out, I will only blame myself, for you have warned me.


I used 1 bag of chocolate chips
4 candy canes
Smash them up with a rolling pin but leave some chunks
Microwave them the same way as with the fudge. The bowl was MUCH hotter with just the chips. (I had to microwave 3 times for 30 seconds.)
Spread melted chocolate onto waxed paper pretty thinly.
Sprinkle the candy cane pieces onto the still warm spread chocolate.
I also have a side for the walnuts that were remaining from the fudge.
Once it has cooled break it into smaller pieces and give as gifts or eat all by yourself, because hey, you did all the work! 

Stay tuned for cookies tomorrow!

Baking today...

But I need a little Christmas Spirit to get things movin!

My older and wiser brother sent me the link to this photo on this blog.
It is an OCD's person dream...

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Blogger's Realization

So, in my fit of not having any sort of Christmas Spirit, I discovered another problem. I look at so many other blogs and sit in the awe of their creativity that I am doing just that... letting the creativity pass me by and what have I to show for it? Nothing awesome that is for sure. So here it is. My Early New Year's Resolution: I will be creative! Monthly... if not daily! Mustang Man *will not hold me back with his CRAZY cleaning antics! I would rather live in a mess than not be creative... and that is what I have decided today. So here goes.

*He would rather this too. I couldn't be luckier to have a man that supports me always and I love him dearly.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Feeesh and Noodles- From a Girl that Doesn't Follow Recipes

What you need:
A bottle of wine (for drinking only)
2ish cloves of garlic
1 Shallot (not illustrated below)
4 white fish filets (White Roughy)
Enough Basil
A Lemon
3/4 cup of chicken broth (or white wine)
some Olive Oil
Salt for seasoning the broth
A side dish.

First things first. Pour a glass of wine... your preference. I prefer reds, but I am an equal opportunity drinker of wine. Then preheat the over to 375ish...
Next: Chop some garlic... 2 cloves is generally safe. (Shallots REALLY make this taste amazing too... the grocery store I went to didn't have any though. 1 shallot chopped is perfect)

Then get 3/4 cup of chicken broth warming up...You can also use white wine and butter, the choice is yours.

Toss in the garlic and season with salt. I am using the Sea Salt mixture my ma bought for me at the TF Farmer's Market. *You should wish this was a scratch and sniff screen because that shiz smells GOOD*
Now find yourself a lemon like this one.
And roll it with your palm pressing ever so slightly... gets the juices flowin'
Squeeze most of the lemon into the Chicken broth mixture.(I save a little for the end product)  And add a touch of Olive Oil.
Let all the flavors mingle and get warm...
In the mean time... wash some basil. In the past I have made this with the basil from my herb garden, but the basil isn't looking very basilly so I purchased some. I was blown away! $3 for that thing! I need to get a new basil plant asap!
Lay your white fish (pictured is tilapia, but I prefer white roughy) atop of the basil in a glass baking dish.
Then cover with your warm chicken broth mixture.
Toss in the oven for 30 minutes or until the fish is flaky. Now make whatever side you plan on making. Tonight I made Pasta Roni Angel Hair with Herbs and added some broccoli.
Top with a few fresh basil leaves and squeeze a little lemon over the top and serve. (Again, I liked this recipe better with White Roughy, so I suggest cooking with that! Maybe even monk fish *yum!*)


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Des's Italy

My BFF and her hubby ventured on an Italian Vacation I can only dream of... they went all over and drank oodles of wine... and saw beautiful things and fell in love all over again. The images are so spectacular I had to share them. Her camera takes fantastic pics... I think she said there were settings that made them look this way, but regardless, amazing shots.

Here are a few postcard-esque photos.

Two of my VERY favorite people doing one of my VERY favorite things.
I think these are the colors in the are the colors dreams are made of.
I am sure he was singing "Emily, we wish you were here in Italy drinking wine and eating food with us!"
This is what I see when I think of Romantic Italy
She will conquer the world...
Perhaps after she conquers the world she will be able to Vacation to Italy with her best friend. What do you say miss Gar?