Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My first blog award!!

Thanks Dianna!!! You are so sweet!!

My 'acceptance speech' consists of 35 quickly answered questions ... meaning concise answers, and not my usual rambling ones.

1. Where is your cell phone? in my purse
2. Your hair? ponytail right now
3. Your mother? in heaven
4. Your father? probably at home
5. Your favorite food? seafood, especially sushi or shrimp
6. Your dream last night? none that I remember
7. Your favorite drink? diet wild cherry pepsi or champagne if we are venturing to the drunken side. :)
8. Your dream/goal? to finish nursing school
9. What room are you in? playroom/computer room
10. Your hobby? cooking, reading, scrapbooking
11. Your fear? losing another loved one
12. Where do you want to be in six years? a nurse
13. Where were you last night? at home doing school work
14. Something you aren’t? co-dependent
15. Muffins? take em or leave em
16. Wish list item? new bedroom furniture
17. Where did you grow up? the ville
18. Last thing you did? discussion boards for Nutrition class
19. What are you wearing? sweatpants and a t-shirt
20. TV? foodie shows, medical dramas and too much reality tv
21. Your pets? Daisy & Slyvester, my fur kitties
22. Your friends? totally fab of course!
23. Your life? crazy beautiful
24. Your mood? happy
25. Missing someone? my mom
26. Vehicle? Chevy Blazeer
27. Something you’re not wearing? socks
28. Your favorite store? World Market
29. Your favorite color? blue
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. When was the last time you cried? last week
32. Your best friend? so many for so many different reasons
33. One place that you go over and over? Wal-mart
34. One person who e-mails me regularly? Jenny
35. Favorite place to eat? seriously depends on my mood, but generally I can always go with Ramsi's

I get to bestow this award on 6 others .... be sure and check out these wonderful women.

Deanna- because she is definitely a fun mama!

Smitten Kitchen

The Denia Interlude

Chasing Cheerios

What do you want for Christmas?

So, I'm making my list and checking it twice....

Okay, so not a year goes by that I don't put some kitchen/foodie stuff on my list for Christmas. Anyone else? What are you asking for for Christmas for the kitchen or otherwise?

My foodie Christmas wish list...
- a new wok(mine has a dent and I can't take it anymore...I'm throwing it out!)

-saffron(most expensive spice ever but so darn good...I can't wait to get creative with it)

-Barefoot Contessa, Back to the Basics cookbook (sometimes her personality gets on my nerves, but I love her recipes! I love her use of fresh ingredients!

-And for the stocking...silicon muffin cups and some chocolate. I specifically requested the chocolate bars from World Market this year...chocolates infused with chili peppers, green tea and honey and sea salt...yum yum!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Festive Fall

I always get festive with the fall cooking the week of Halloween. Here were my adventures this year.

Dinner in a Pumpkin
2 lb. lean hamburger
1 (8-12") diameter fresh pumpkin

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 med. onion, chopped
12 sm. mushrooms, sliced
1 med. bell pepper
1 1/4 c. uncooked rice
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
5 tbsp. butter
1 #303 can stewed tomatoes
2 c. beef broth
1/4 c. grated Cheddar or Longhorn cheese
Parsley sprigs
8 to 12 cherry tomatoes
Wash the pumpkin and cut the top stem out to create a lid. Scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers. Melt the butter but only 2 tablespoons and take a plastic sandwich bag to dip into the melted butter to oil the inside of the pumpkin. Turn the pumpkin on its side and remove to sprinkle inside with 1/2 teaspoon salt.Saute onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and garlic in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add the 2 pounds lean hamburger, brown, and drain. Then add the rice and stir until thoroughly mixed. Add the remaining salt and pepper, the stewed tomatoes, and the beef broth and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes then fill the pumpkin with this mixture. Replace the pumpkin lid and place the pumpkin in a shallow greased baking pan. Bake approximately 1 to 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. Pumpkin is ready when tender and should remain firm enough to hold the filling without danger of collapsing. If necessary, more beef broth can be added as needed. When baked, remove from the oven, lift lid and sprinkle inside with the 1/4 cup cheese. Return pumpkin to oven, lift lid and sprinkle inside with the 1/4 cup cheese. Return pumpkin to oven without lid until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, replace lid and garnish around the bottom of the pumpkin with fresh parsley and cherry tomatoes. Serve from the pumpkin, scraping some of the pulp into each serving. Serve with green salad and French bread. Serves 12.

Maryland Pumpkin Seeds
4 cups pumpkin seeds, raw, rinsed and dried on papertowels
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
a good drizzle of olive oil

Drizzle the oil over the seeds. Sprinkle with the Old Bay and toss well to coat. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees.

And lastly here are the "kitty kat" cookies me & my 3 year old son put together...

Two Childhood Favorites Combine

I of course like every other kid grew up eating macaroni and cheese and with my mom it almost always was homemade instead of the blue box powdered stuff. I also grew up eating plain macaroni and tomatoes. Still one of my favorites today. So I decided to combine the two for a retro rewind with a twist.

I don't really have an exact science to my mac and cheese. I also used boiled noodles, topped with a little cracked black pepper and butter. Mix in 2-3 cheeses of your choice and a little milk and bake. So in addition to that I added some stewed tomatoes. I thought it was pretty darn good actually, but I think I still prefer both dishes separately.