Friday, December 31, 2010

Did I mention I love OneKingsLane?


- see my post from October. So, I FINALLY got around to ordering something (a SIGG bottle, I've always wanted one in the turquoise Maha pattern!) from OneKingsLane, only to be told that the shipment they'd received was damaged and they'd have to cancel my order. Bummer.

BUT, one day later, I get another email telling me they'd found ONE bottle that was in sellable condition and they'd send it to me completely free (and add some credit to my account for the "trouble", ha!). Got it, nicely packaged, with free gift wrap and free little notebooks, only 2 days later, how awesome is that!? And the bottle is just GORGEOUS!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Lasagna.


Yummy. And totally worth the 2 hours of work I put into it (but only once or twice a year!).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day


Who ordered the BOX OF EVIL?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Not in the Xmas spirit...


Yes, yes, nice Christmas tree, but GOOD GOD, people, move it so I can watch the birdies outside!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lemon Drop Cookies & Nighty Nights


Tried these out for the first time and they were SO yummy. They do get stale fairly quickly, so eat them within a few days. You'll definitely want to use untreated lemons.

Lemon Drop Cookies (makes about 4 dozen):

1/4 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, 1/4 cup shortening, 1/4 cup cream cheese, 3 cups granulated sugar, zest of 3 lemons, 3 egg yolks, 1 T lemon juice, 1/2 t vanilla, 1 t baking soda, 1 t cream of tartar, dash of salt, 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In the bowl of a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, shortening and cream cheese at medium speed until smooth, about two minutes.


In the bowl of a food processor, combine granulated sugar and lemon zest. Pulse several times to combine.

Add two cups of lemon/sugar combination, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt to the mixer bowl and beat for several minutes to combine. Add eggs yolks, lemon juice and vanilla and beat to combine. Turn mixer to slow speed and gradually add flour.

Roll dough into 1” balls, roll balls in remaining lemon/sugar mixture and place, 2” apart, on a baking sheet fitted with parchment paper or a silpat. Bake 12 – 14 minutes until just barely browned.


If you like, drizzle with a lemon glaze after they're cooled (2 c powdered sugar, 2 T water, 1 t lemon juice).

Another new recipe I tried for the first time is for little meringue cookies called

"Nighty Nights":

2 egg whites, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 t vanilla, 1 6-ounce package chocolate chips, 1/2 c nuts - preheat oven to 375 degrees, beat egg whites to form peaks. Gradually add sugar, beating constantly. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Put in the oven and turn off oven. Leave in oven overnight. Store in a tightly lidded container.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Greek Feta Tart


Thanks to a new Costco membership, I found myself the proud owner of a huge block of awesomely delicious Feta cheese (and an even bigger, but oddly quickly disappearing, tub of pine nut hummus, but let's not talk about that right now).

Anyway, I was looking through my recipes and found this super easy one for a Greek tart (Alevropita) from
Saveur magazine. I baked it a little longer than indicated and it was SO good, cut into pieces and eaten as an appetizer:


Feta Tart (Alevropita)

6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tsp. vodka, 1 egg, 1 1⁄4 cups flour, sifted, 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt, 1⁄8 tsp. baking powder. 10 oz. feta, crumbled. 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened.

1. Heat oven to 500°. Put an 18" x 13" x 1" rimmed baking sheet into oven for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together 2 tbsp. oil, vodka, egg, and 1 cup water in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, salt, and baking powder. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and whisk until smooth.

3. Brush remaining oil over bottom of hot pan and add batter, smoothing batter with a rubber spatula to coat the bottom evenly, if necessary. Distribute cheese evenly over batter, and dot with butter. Bake, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until golden brown and crunchy, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

FiberOne Prize Pack GIVEAWAY and Free Cereal Coupon!!!

This is the awesome kit I got for free from Fiber One thanks to MyBlogSpark! A water bottle, diet scale, cereal-on-the-go container, and a notepad to keep track of your diet (yah right), and they even included a full size package of yummy & fiber-rific Fiber One cereal (did you know that one serving of Fiber One Original cereal provides more than half (57%) of the Daily Value of fiber?).

AND you can win this kit, too! Just leave any comment below until the end of Wednesday, December 22, 2010. I'll randomly draw the winner (U.S. only, please!) and email them Wednesday night, since I need to submit the winner's shipping address by Thursday to MyBlogSpark. MyBlogSpark will then take care of sending the gift pack to the winner!

ALSO, go click on that nifty little microsite below - the first 15 entrants win a coupon for free FiberOne cereal! Woohoo! More FIBER!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

New stop-motion animated episode of "Community" tomorrow...


Ooh I feel so special; thanks to One2One network, I got to preview NBC's "Community" Christmas special online, one day before it officially airs on Thursday! It's a very funny, stop-motion animated episode where Abed searches for the meaning of Christmas... very cute (especially Pierce/Chevy Chase) and Christmas-y!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Most favorite thing ever!


It's a little table lamp with exotic leaves glued to it, from Eangee. I got it thru my theFoundary.com account (one of those "exclusive", designer, flash-sale websites).

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Homemade Limoncello...


Made Limoncello according to Chow's "Lemon Digestif" recipe. Oh boy. It's, how shall I say it, a tad bit strong (clean-out-your-sinuses strong), and now it looks kinda muddy since I ruined the nice yellow color by adding brown cane sugar instead of white. Oh well...

Friday, December 03, 2010

Not so good at picking up on the insults...

*Tard...*
*
*

"wait, whut?"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

One Kings Lane


I love the stuff they're selling on One Kings Lane. For those of you hopelessly out of the loop, it's one of those pseudo-exclusive websites that you have to be signed up for and that host awesome, private 2-day sales of various home decor brands and designers.

Some of the stuff is almost affordable, with shipping at $7.95 (AND, if you sign up thru my invite link and order something, I get $25! How awesome is that!).

Today I noticed these beautiful tapestries by Parvez Taj. This one's called "Halifax Dreams". Love!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Awesome.

Bedazzled Jimmy Choo UGGs. Now if only Target carried the knockoff brand for $19.99, I could die a happy woman.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Disapproving Cat, Part XXVI


"Clearly, she has gone off the deep end."

Couscous salad


Mmmh... I could eat couscous, just like quinoa, about three times a day. There's something extremely satisfying about it. Couscous with tomato, kidney beans, radishes, and parsley, served over lettuce.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Elmer's Crafters bzzkit



I got this crafting kit from bzzagent to test and keep for free. Great quality, zig zag scissors and a paper punch made by X-ACTO, and various Elmer's CraftBond glue products. I especially like the glue spots - they are extremely strong (take-the-paint-off-your-wall strong, but who cares - they actually work very well for sticking pictures and photos on the wall if you're one of those picture frame haters).

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Pizzaaaa

Note to self: Self, if you make pizza dough from scratch, roll out the dough really, REALLY thin. This one puffed up in the oven like nothing I've ever seen before.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower


This is my new favorite recipe. Roasting the cauliflower with soy sauce, sugar, and pepper elevates it to something that even the hubster was willing to eat!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fun!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Santa-Cali-Gon Days in Independence




We ventured out to Missouri to visit this giant craft fair/carnival with lots of food booths ("Walking Taco", anybody?), live music, contests and all the Kevin Federline - lookalikes you can stomach (I really, honestly had thought that the whole "pants on the ground" look had become outdated, but was proven terribly wrong...).

Santa-Cali-Gon, of course, stands for the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon trails that the early settlers departed on from Missouri (duh!).

It was fairly crowded, but manageable, the weather was perfect, and the four large craft tents were actually quite interesting - lots of affordable jewelry, and weird, random stuff like painted coconuts made to look like puffer fish. I had an Italian brat with onions that was fairly tasty, so I'd call this venture a full success!

Another cool thing we saw on our way out of Independence was an awesome spirally temple; too bad it appeared to be closed.



Monday, September 06, 2010

Happy Labor Day!


... made perfect with large amounts of grilled food....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Guess I'm NOT a country girl...


These are tomato hornworms. Over 3 inches long. They ate my tomato plants. And pooped. A lot. I looked them up and found that they turn into something called HAWK moths (!), with a wingspan of 5 inches (!!). Holy Mother of God. (Fortunately, The Hubby saved me from certain death by tossing them far, far away. I hope.)


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another MyBlogSpark Giveaway: $25 Walmart Gift Card!


Yay! I get to host another giveaway!

Thanks to General Mills through MyBlogSpark, I received a $25 Walmart gift card, and can host a giveaway for a second one (which will be sent directly from MyBlogSpark once I draw the winner). This is to drum up support for the Box Tops for Education program offered by General Mills.


"Throughout the month of August, you can find 4 box tops on participating brands at Walmart, among them Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel pastries, Trix Yogurt, Hamburger Helper skillet meals, Totino’s Pizza Rolls snacks, Nature Valley Granola Bars and Betty Crocker Fruit Roll-Ups snacks. Be sure to keep an eye out for Box Tops on great products from Kleenex, Ziploc, and Hefty too!"

To enter, leave a comment below stating which General Mills Box Tops item is your favorite! Deadline for entries is the end of Sunday, August 29th. I'll randomly draw the winner (U.S. only, please!) and notify them on Monday, since I need to submit the winner's shipping address by August 31st ;-)

EDIT: CONGRATS to Wendy in KY, your comment has been drawn as the winner! Please contact me with your shipping address, and Happy Shopping!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Arancini? Gesundheit!

Yummy rice balls: day old, cooked jasmine rice, parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper, and a little beaten egg. Mix, shape into balls, put a cheese cube inside, roll in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, deep fry until golden. Serve with Marinara sauce (hey, the tomatoes in the sauce make it practically health food!) =D

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I've been waiting for you...


...now FEED ME!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bunneh!


It's a coat hook! With a bunny! And a cupcake! Aaargh! *keels over from cuteness*

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mmmh... Pesto!


I love pesto. I could eat it by the spoonful. Thanks to a generous donation, I received a huge amount of fresh basil and happened to have pecans & parmesan around. Add some olive oil and garlic, WOOT! bad breath for the next week or so...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Grill season is open!


Finally... grilled corn on the cob, marinated chicken breast, grilled zucchini with cumin, and tomato bruschetta (made from yummy seasoning mix). Yay!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Minibreak in Colorado


Cabin above Estes Park. I love mountain views, but they need to pump some more oxygen into the air *cough, gasp*...



Friday, June 25, 2010

Yep.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Yoplait Greek Yogurt Review and Giveaway!

I received an awesome "Nourish your inner goddess" gift from MyBlogSpark and Yoplait for reviewing the new Yoplait Greek yogurt - a spa package with slippers, a spa wrap and various brushes and sponges, and two free yogurt coupons. Mind you, that was in back in March - I had a REALLY hard time actually finding this yogurt in my stores until recently, when my SuperTarget finally jumped on the bandwagon. So, I bought a container of Yoplait Greek Honey Vanilla yogurt.

Now, I've had plenty of other Greek yogurt (like Fage, Chobani, Oikos and Dannon) before, and just LOVE the stuff. Greek yogurt is yogurt that has been strained, so it's thick, creamy, fat free, all-natural, high in protein, yummy! That's why I was a little (very) surprised at the texture of Yoplait's version when I finally bought it - it was totally, weirdly chalky, and the honey wasn't a separate layer but instead all mixed in and didn't really taste very much like honey. Also, a look at the ingredients was rather disappointing - gelatin? added vitamins? weird "milk protein concentrate"? blargh. Anyway, Yoplait Greek comes in three flavors (Strawberry, Blueberry, Honey Vanilla) and plain, so I'll be sure to test out the other ones... maybe.

Aaanyway, the spa gift pack was REALLY nice, and MyBlogSpark allowed me to have a GIVEAWAY for a second package (including two free coupons) on my blog!

UPDATE
: Congrats to winner Karen! Sorry to everyone else who left a comment or emailed me; keep an eye out for other MyBlogSpark giveaways in the blogosphere; they ROCK!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cooking lesson #113:


"Homemade Pad Thai tastes better than it looks!" (fried carrots, onion, garlic, cabbage, mixed with rice noodles & [peanut butter/ soy, fish & hot sauce/ brown sugar/ hot water], topped with coconut oil fried cashews and cilantro)

Mmmh


Heaven: Freshly baked Yogurt Oat bread, slathered with butter and German Tartex "Primabella" vegan paté. Wish they'd sell that stuff here at Whole Foods.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Happy Memorial Day...


Grilling season is officially open!

Monday, May 31, 2010

One eskimO...


I got a cool CD to review thanks to One2One network: "One eskimO" by One eskimO, an English indie pop band with a unique ambient-acoustic sound.

LOVE the first song on the album, "Hometime" (including the animated video above), LIKE the second one, "Astronauts" (can be downloaded free via
Twitter here), don't MIND the rest of the album (although it gets a little too mellow for my tastes; I like ambient stuff like Massive Attack, but this kinda puts me to sleep).

The video, though, is adorable - they also made a full-length animated film called "The Adventures of One Eskimo" to accompany the album!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Gentle encouragement...

Well, right now things are actually growing okay, even the seeds I randomly threw into pots and that I have no idea anymore what they are, but once the 90+ days start out there, my plants are going to get all yellow and wilt-y again because I either under- or overwater them... dammit! ("Grow, Dammit" Garden Stone from Target).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Aww...


Online store Spring Hill Nursery had an awesome sale for first time customers back in April, $20 off a $20 purchase! And the first two of the four plants I ordered arrived today: A yellow angel's trumpet and a Russian sage plant! So cute... they look a little dazed and shaken coming out of the box, I wonder how well they'll grow...

SOMEbody likes my new door mat...

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Birthday gifts! Bwee!




and a care package from Germany!