Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mary got a pasta maker

Mary decided that during one of those amazing Williams-Sonoma sales this year that she was going to get this:

We played with it this weekend.

You can watch a video on how it works here.

We made macaroni.

Added sharp cheddar cheese and cream.

And put a cracker crust on top.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Amazing food

With the holidays comes amazing food here are some of the highlights from this weekend:

homemade marshmallows, can you imagine a smore with these?

Dijon anchovies dip.  

Peppers stuffed with goat cheese and herbs that were roasted.


Little biscuits.

Ham, spinach, and Brie phyllo dough sandwiches. 

*I was in such a food frenzy I forgot to take pictures of Christmas dinner. 

I had a wonderful Christmas

I was a very relaxing couple of days which was much needed. We spent time with lots of family, slept, ate amazing food, and hot tubbed. On top of that we were given wonderful gifts:

A penguin from Williams-Sonoma, Mikey and I very rarely drink soda but we really missed the carbonation. We were going though many bottles of sparkling water every week which even though we recycle felt very wasteful. This allows us to make our own sparkling water at home with out batteries or electricity you can see a video on how it works here

Brownie mix, a smore kit and a trio of cocoa.

All sorts of crazy candy, I think I will smash up the candy canes and put them in rice crispy treats. 

A Smore ornament!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Beef Pin Wheels

Post the pinwheels recipe! It doesn't sound familiar to me, and it sounds like something I would love!
By Cindy on HAPPY DAY!!! on 12/17/10

Sorry Cindy I have been a little behind:

Beef Pinwheels - Itallian
  • Steak 8oz one for every three people look for a long thin one if you can
  • Mozzarella, cut into thin rectangles
  • Fresh Basil leafs
  • Red peppers look for a tall one
  • and elastic circle for each pinwheel
Beef Pinwheels - Mexican
  • Steak 8oz one for every three people look for a long thin one if you can
  • Cheddar cut into thin rectangles
  • Cilantro
  • Red and green peppers
  • and elastic circle for each pinwheel
Steam or roast peppers until they are tender. Take all of your ingredients and wrap them in a circle, make sure that you use a pepper in the middle since they are already cooked. Then go through your ingredients, after the pepper use the herbs, cheese and then wrap it in meat, then put the elastic around it,  make it be fully expanded when wrapped, so that it can shrink with the pinwheel as it cooks. Spray a little olive oil in to a glass pan. Cook at 350 for 20-25 minutes until it browns on top.  You can add bacon or onions pretty much anything, They are also great on the grill. 

Cuddlebunny and other cute homemade gifts

The other day I was having a horrible migraine and I wished I had already had one of these that I could use. I used to have one but my ex-boyfriend got it wet and that just ruins them. This year I decided to make them for my girls (and myself).


  • rice
  • lavender
  • bowls
  • sewing machine
  • cotton
  • outer material
I wanted to make these with a cute towel material that had moons on them. I used some cotton for the inner layer to make sure there were no leaks. So with the cotton cut to an inch larger than desired size. Hem on three of the sides, trim the sides, turn inside out. Repeat for however many you are making. In a bowl combine seven cups of rice and twelve tablespoons of lavender, mix, transfer rice/lavender mixture in to bag, fold sides inward hem twice.

 for the outer layer of fabric if you are using one repeat the steps for the cotton fabric. Insert inner bag in to outer lining fold sides inward and hem twice. 

These are great and they smell wonderful, I have some culinary lavender and I might have to make some lavender rice. Anyway then you can put these in the microwave. These can not be washed and if they get wet they are ruined, I always put a towel down in the microwave just to make sure they stay clean. For one this size I microwave for two minutes then flip it over and microwave for one. 

They are great for aches and pains, babies like them too, just make sure and decrease the microwave time.

It was also my plan this year to give everyone cookie jars as well but then I realized after buying all of the supplies that I only had one quart jar, which you kind of need to make this work, so only one luck girl got one. Here is how you make them, directions via Williams-Sonoma.

This one-of-a-kind, do-it-yourself layered glass cookie jar comes with all the necessary dry ingredients already measured out! It is a "just add butter, eggs and vanilla" kind of gift, which will delight grown-ups and kids alike. Any favorite cookie recipe will do; however, we chose a recipe with walnuts, dried cherries and chocolate chips for a festive look and delicious taste!


  • 1-quart wide-mouthed jar (with a lid) in glass or clear plastic
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3-by-3-inch piece white card stock
  • Hole punch
  • 16 to 18 inches narrow ribbon or kitchen string


Add each ingredient into the jar in the order listed. After each addition, use a large spoon or a small fist to level and pack down each layer. Attach the lid.

On the white card stock, make a gift tag that includes the following instructions: "For scrumptious holiday cookies in a flash, preheat the oven to 375°F. Beat together 3 ounces (3/4 stick) softened unsalted butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 egg in a large bowl or mixer. Add the contents of the jar and stir or mix until well blended. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Makes 2 dozen cookies. Enjoy!"

Punch a hole in a corner of your gift tag, and thread your ribbon or kitchen string through. When the tag is centered in the middle of the ribbon, tie the ribbon around the jar's neck, or secure it under the threads of the lid. Makes 1 jar.

Adapted from Kids in the Holiday Kitchen, by Jessica Strand & Tammy Massman-Johnson (Chronicle Books, 2007).

Saturday, December 25, 2010


I love to wrap presents almost as much as I enjoy receiving them:

Everyone loves ribbon, and even if they did not I would use it anyway.

I always try and wrap the boy presents and the girl presents in slightly different wrapping paper. 

If you don't have a box that fits and you are only going to be giving one gift at a time cover a shoe box in wrapping paper and give it open like a basket. 

I don't like to give the exact same thing to multiple people, so with these gift baskets some of the main components are the same but they have personalized items for each person as well. 

I usually don't use bags but this person is going to be flying home and I am not sure if they will be taking a checked bag. When using bags I like to jazz it up a bit, instead of just adding tissue I also used some silk flowers that no longer go with our decor and a pin that came on a sweater that I was not going to wear, it does however make this package look very festive. 

I hope you got just enough of what you wanted this year, have a happy and safe holiday!

Home tour of holiday decorations

Merry Christmas!!!

Being that it is Christmas I thought it would be a fun time to go through all of my holiday decorations:

Of course the paper tree. 

Another way to hang holiday ornaments.

My vintage typewriter ball ornament. 

Ernie's area even got some snow. 

Little area.

My holiday "Mantle" 

Our dinning room, the boys are finishing the leaves as we speak. 

Happy snowman.

Our stockings hung with care.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Vita mix pies

I am a die hard smore enthusiast, I know it is not smore season right now, and admittedly every time I have been spinning my lazy-Susan to look for something my heart sinks a little when it would pass the smore section (yes, I had a smore section in my lazy-Susan). So I did two things, one I rearranged both of my lazy-Susans, they needed it anyway. Two, I made two gram cracker crust pies with my vita mix blender today so that I just would not have to look at the gram crackers anymore. First off I took three packages (one plain and two Cinnamon) of gram crackers and put them in the blender, I used the tamping tool to make sure they were all finely processed then I followed the directions from this recipe:

Graham Cracker Crust I

By: Carol 
"This goes great with many pies."

10,627 people have saved this | 5 custom versions


  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)


  1. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and cinnamon until well blended . Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.
  2. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7 minutes. Cool. If recipe calls for unbaked pie shell, just chill for about 1 hour.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 176 | Total Fat: 10.2g | Cholesterol: 23mg

I baked mine. 

I used Banana Cream and Chocolate Caramel Pudding, which when I was doing resurch on the diffrent things you cold make on the vita mix website the other day I found that there was a way to make cooked pudding in the blender. I love this because I never want to just stand there and stir and it almost always gets burned on the bottom of the pan. Here is the recipe from the vita mix website:

Cooked Packaged Pudding

Speed: Variable to High
Time: 5 minutes

3 cups (720 ml) skim milk, steaming
4-ounce (112 g) package cooked pudding mix
3 tablespoons (24 g) cornstarch
1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
* I have the higher end model so I just selected the hot soup setting and walked away, this pre-program will bend for 5 minutes.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
4. Blend for 5 minutes
or until heavy steam escapes from the vented lid.
5. Pour into serving bowls. Pudding sets up as it cools.
* I just poured in to the pie crust.

Then I used the smothie setting which lasts a minute to clean the blender and then did the chocolate pudding. All in all it look me less than thirty minutes and I was able to do other things almost the whole time. 

Guest Room Update

I am so glad that after the get together at my dad's house tonight we will be at Mikey's parents house for the weekend. We have a lot of projects to work on. We should be able to bring the leaves for the dinning room table home and fix the broken door so I can complete the hutch. Here is some of the progress so far:

This is one of my favorites. It makes it kind of look like moldings, and I was able to recycle the wrapping paper that was in the back of the old bookshelves. 

My lamp and inspiration board.  

This was a scrapbook paper for $.96

A platter that will probably be on the wall

The long awaited hutch, minus one door.  

Ribbon picture awaiting friends...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Simple Rosemary Spaghetti Squash

Hey here is a quick way to prepare spaghetti Squash:

Cut the squash in half, pull out all of the seeds and discard. Put in a handful of rosemary in each side (I used some of the rosemary I had frozen this summer since Mikey installed lights so we could grow herbs all year long. Add a tablespoon of butter, add salt and pepper. In a 9x13 pyrex dish add a half of an inch of water.

Bake for an hour at 375, spoon out, serve hot. 

My life in Christmas Ornaments

The other night my wonderful step-dad was in town. We met up to exchange somethings and visit. One of the things he had brought with were all of my Christmas ornaments (and some candy cane sugar cookies my mom had made!) I was looking through them and found it kind of humorous, so here without further delay my life in Christmas ornaments:

Baby's First Christmas.

Being raised Catholic I have a lot of angels, the sand dollar I do not recall being mine, but I have and extra one from our trip to San Diego that might be getting a similar treatment soon, it is gray and I would use blue or silver glitter.  

I love to shop, write/blog, purses and movies.

These were some of my favorites as a child, every time I look at them I start singing it's a small world in my head. I love to travel. 

Photography, the wagon (my brother and I are in it, says Tiffy on the front from the only person allowed to call me that without getting slugged my Grannie), and love.