Monday, January 30, 2012

What's not to love?

The Hubs and I love to embrace our roots, specifically our Irish roots. Even non-Irish folk love to say there Irish especially on St. Patty's Day. But, we took it to the extent of visiting the motherland, and getting engaged on the Cliffs of Moher. You might remember this little beauty.

Yea, that really happened, and it was awesome.

Our love for Ireland brings me to my Hubs' birthday cake, which I created thanks to the help of Smitten Kitchen. The recipe is originally for cupcakes, but I tweaked here it and there to make the Hubs the the most awesomely delicious birthday cake EVA!

The cupcakes are awesome too, but the ganache melts into the cake and it is truly to die for.

 So I made everything the same. Yup, didn't change a thing when it came to the ingredients. It was perfect exactly the way it is. But I did change the way I cooked the cake.

I greased 2 cake pans (cake pans for 2-layer cakes - don't know the exact size) and evenly poured the batter into the cake pans. Then, I cooked the cakes for 40 minutes. Next, I spread the ganache in between layers after letting the cakes cool for 30 minutes. Once the ganache was on the bottom layer, I added the top layer and started spreading on the icing. We immediately cut the cake, ate a piece or four and passed out on the couch. It was the best sweetest thing I've ever eaten. 

So go make it. Like now. You won't regret it. And you're welcome.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

If it ain't one, then it's the other

Well, I'm sick. Not by far what the Hubs had, but I am sick enough to be annoyed by it. I've got a sore throat, headache, and restless legs = sleeplessness. However, I did go to bed at 7 p.m. last night and woke up at 7 a.m. the next day. It was good, but not full sleep. I kept waking up periodically through the night, but was still dreaming while awake. I think the Hubs was annoyed by it because it resulted in me getting up a lot and kicking my legs around. Hopefully, tonight will be a better night's rest, but at least I got some rest out of last night's sleep marathon.

I had a request (YAY!) for my chicken noodle soup recipe, but to be honest, I stole it from the Reames bag and barely tweaked it.

Reames Classic Chicken Noodle Soup
With minor tweaks by me to make it extra fatty for my poor dehydrated Hubs.
  • 1 pkg. (24 oz.) Reames Homestyle Egg Noodles
  • Rotisserie chicken - removed skin, bones and shredded with a fork.
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 8 cups water
  • 8 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • Milk
  • 1/2 cup flour

  1. In a large pot, add olive oil, carrots, celery and onion and cook till tender - about 3 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, boil 8 cups water and then add 8 tsp. of chicken bouillon granules and mix together. (I didn't have any chicken stock on hand, so I made it with what I had :))
  3. Add parsley, thyme and pepper, stir and cook for one more minute. 
  4. Add the chicken broth, shredded rotisserie chicken and bay leaves to the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  5. Add noodles, cream of chicken soup and 1 cream of chicken soup can filled with milk, and return to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and cover; simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until done.
  7. Meanwhile, mix together 1 cup of milk and flour and stir together till smooth. Add to noodle mixture.
  8. Continue cooking over medium heat until thickened and heated through.

And tada! YUMMY Chicken Noodle Soup :) We were done eating it this weekend, so I froze it, per my mother's instructions, in freezer bags. May have to bust some out tonight!

Monday, January 9, 2012

I am sorry for being so awkward today

Today, I have learned that sleep deprivation results in awkwardness.
It began when I decided to roll out of bed at 7:20 a.m. (leaving me with 20 minutes to get dressed, clean and ready for the day), and thought not washing my hair after having slept on it wet was a good idea. I threw my hair into a braid and tossed on a headband, and thought, "I'm going for bohemian." Not a good idea. I also thought not wearing makeup today was ok. Seriously? Am I just trying to look ugly today? Apparently.

Then, it was off to work where I awkwardly talked to someone in the bathroom 
(Note: I hate talking to people in the bathroom, especially when you are doing your thing in there. Just get in and get out, and then we can talk if you still want to talk.).

Next, I found myself in the lunch room heating up my meal, when someone I didn't know introduced himself to me, and I said, "I thought you look familiar." What? I don't know you. Then, I proceeded to stutter and say, "What I meant to say was I thought I didn't recognize you." Nice recovery. Hmm.

Then, I did a few awkward bump into you "dances" with the same person. Third time, I just stopped and put my head down. Go around me and just avoid me for the rest of the day.

I'm sure there will be more "situations" since I have a 2 hour meeting to end the day.

And on that note, I need a haircut. 

Like I said, I'm awkward, random and pretty much anything that makes you feel uncomfortable today. 

That's me. 

I need sleep.

Friday, January 6, 2012

We've got germs, folks

We are sick around here folks. Sick I tell ya! Well, I'm not sick yet, but the Hubs is sick, poor guy. He is never sick and he is all about sucking it up and going to work despite sickness. But on Wednesday night, the flu got the best of him, and he actually asked me to stay home and take care of him - new stage in our relationship. I have never taken care of a sick person before (besides myself), and I was bound and determine to nurse and bring him back to good health. I made homemade chicken noodle soup (a very fatty, but delicious kind), bought 2 things of Pedialyte, Gatorade and Tylenol, changed the sheets and cleaned up after him. Unfortunately, his stomach was only in the mood for Pedialyte, water and Gatorade. Fortunately, he is on the mend, and now let's just pray that I don't get sick because it didn't look like fun. 

On a different note, here is my menu for the week. I'm going to let the Hubs finish off the chicken noodles. Can you freeze chicken noodles? I made a lot. 

Friday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Maple-Thyme Pork Chops  and brussels sprouts

Thursday: Leftovers

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The holidays

{Me, the Hubs and my Sister-in-Love on Christmas Eve}
I am still recovering from the holidays. What a whirlwind of fun and cheer that was! It was my first Christmas away from my parents, and I have to say it was a success! No tears. Yay, I'm a big girl! haha. How old am I again? Oh that's right. I'm 28 years old. 

I worked all the way up to Friday evening, and was ready to hit the road when I got home. Once we arrived at the in-loves' house, we didn't meander too much because there was a lot to do the next day for Christmas Eve. My mother-in-love and I woke up (not so bright and early) to go get our fitness on at the gym, and then we headed home to start cooking. The hubs and I made a quick trip to Red X, an interesting little grocery store that has anything and everything you could want and not want, for some vino and brussels sprouts. Then it was back to the house where I made roasted brussels sprouts and holiday brie en croute. It was my first time making the brie and it was delicious!

My mother-in-love is Italiano and makes some amazing and delicious food for the holidays. She made two types of pasta sauce (puttanesca and a meat sauce with chicken and meatballs), yummy pasta noodles, tons of olives and cheese...oh the cheese. Best Christmas Eve meal I've ever had. And she did all the work. I tell ya, the lady is awesome and has mad skills when it comes to pasta sauce.

After dinner, we opened a few presents, drank some wine and played a White Elephant game. Then it was off to bed so we could wake up at noon to unwrap presents on Christmas Day! I think that was the first time I slept in on Christmas morning and it was glorious! I got a Swiffer Sweeper, some yummy fuzzy socks with aloe in them, fleece pajamas, scarves, candles, a sweater and a jacket! I am spoiled rotten, I tell ya. 

We stayed in Kansas City for two more days, and then it was back home where I got to enjoy two more days off work. 

On New Year's Eve, the Hubs and I were recovering from a cold so we decided to start the year low key and stay at home. I went out and bought some white tuna, salmon and sashimi tuna so we could make our own sushi from home. I also purchased avocado, cream cheese, cucumbers, jalapenos and mango to add to the sushi. It was so good and we had a lot of fun making it together.

Our ingredients.

My sous chef hard at work slicin' and dicin'.

The final product was delish!
After sushi, we played some Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, where I kicked major booty, and finished the evening watching Ryan Seacrest wear way too much bronzer and Lady Gaga dress as a human whisk. What a way to end 2011 and ring in 2012 :)