8.23.2010

a work in progress

we are so determined to get rid of this horrible yellow... it's not so horrible, it's horrible that they did that much wall with it! we are cool and fun people, we need cool and fun places!!!
notice we didn't go orange... probably a good idea...


 
so this is "coffee pot" not looking so coffee like to me... but it is working so well with colors and purchases we've made I am eager to see what else we come up with... and next? the hallway, and then the offices... I can't wait!!

 
Please ignore the mess!

Keep coming back for progress reports!

8.20.2010

Alfredo Sauce plus Fettuccine

This is a slight detour from my series currently... but enjoy!
Oh, trying to be creative... My husband asked me what was for dinner... I told him I had green noodles somewhere... and I was serious. I love free leftover food from people... don't worry I got them uncooked!
But seriously, what's in them to make them green?
My hubby voted for seaweed. uh. no. I'm sticking with spinach. it's sounds better, plus it was on the box.
Interesting fact though: Fettuccine (apparently) literally means "little ribbons" in Italian.

Alfredo:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp of pepper
1/4 tsp of salt

Directions
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low hear. Add cream; simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cheese and whisk quickly. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes to thicken. Stir in salt, pepper, and parsley. Serve over fettuccine.
How easy is that? Doesn't taste quite like they make it in Italian restaurants or like the chemical rich alfredo sauce available in stores now!  Sorry had to... but it has a great homemade taste.... so Bon Appetit!

8.10.2010

Little Cooking Shortcuts 101- In-a-Pinch Salads

This one can be done by anyone... It's a great little something to throw together quickly. There are several methods to my madness and different ways of throwing this together. The reason why I do this is because I would end up buying a head of lettuce and a package of carrots and a bag of tomatoes, etc. and most of it would wilt or go bad before I was able to use it up. If this isn't the case for you, you can read this for your own amusement. I did this for the convenience of it saving money, of it being right around the corner, and of it only being $4.99/lb at the Salad Bar.

browneyedbaker's pic
1 package of precut lettuce
A Dillon's or other supermarket with a Salad Bar

If in a hurry or late also grab on your way out the door:
~Cute (and large) plastic bowl with lid**
~Serving utensils
~Salad Dressing

Go through the Salad Bar picking out your favorite veggies- tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, onions, etc. (sky's the limit, or your pocketbook)
Method 1. Scrap remembering the dressing as you are running out the door. Buy some at the store when you are there. Especially if you can't read the expiration date on your bottle at home.
Method 2*. Use the dressing at the Salad Bar. Cover the veggies with a lite Vinaigrette. (Good idea if you don't know who is going to be at this party)
When you get out to the car toss the package of lettuce and the veggies  (*and dressing) into your cute bowl, cover and shake.
You are now ready to party!

P.S. This is a good one to teach the guy in your life. Show him once or twice which veggies you prefer and he can stop on the way home and pick this up! Then you can toss it together at home for your own party or before you head to someone else's party.


**Good thing to invest in... you never know when it will come in handy.

8.06.2010

Little Cooking Shortcuts 101- Quick Desserts

Tiramisu Knock-off
This post starts a series of posts I am going to do on Cooking Shortcuts. I have a special few that I use in times of trouble, or in times of poor timing, or in times of needing something QUICK!
This one I invented in my head after I picked up one ingredient at the store.
Mascarpone. If you know anything about this ingredient it is the "killer" ingredient in Tiramisu (the most incredible dessert in the world.) So my thought was a "crazy american's" tiramisu knock-off.

Method 2 minus optional toppings and ice cream.
1 Pound cake or angel food cake (or hazelnut crunch kilo cake from Lidl's)
Mascarpone (6-8 oz)
Sugar
Nutellla (or equivalent) (4 oz)
Ice cream (vanilla, preferred)
Optional toppings* - Strawberries (sliced with a little sugar)                or  - Instant coffee granules
The coffee granules are for the tiramisu effect. Strawberries, for the chocolate and strawberry effect. Use either one....

1. Warm the mascarpone in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds, just enough to soften it. Add a few tablespoons of sugar to sweeten it a bit. I also added a smidge of vanilla sugar.
2. Warm the Nutella for 15-20 seconds. (might need to add a fraction of a teaspoon of milk to get it to a drizzling consistency.

3.This is where we split into separate methods.
Method 1. Cut the cake in half horizontally.
Spread the mascarpone onto the top of the bottom half of the cake. (* Sprinkle with coffee granules)
Top with other half of cake. You can add another layer of Mascarpone on the top half if you like.
Drizzle the top with melted Nutella. (*top with Strawberries.)

Method 2. Slice the cake (vertically) into individual pieces. Lay each piece on it's side and top with a layer of mascarpone and Nutella. (*Sprinkle on coffee granules or strawberries)

Serve with a scoop of ice cream.
P.S. This is a good one to serve up at home. If you would like to take it to a party, I recommend Method 1. And if doing strawberries- wait until you arrive at the party to top with strawberries. (and of course wait until it's being served before adding the ice cream) ::wink::

Enjoy! and Bon App├ętit!

8.04.2010

oh, give me the simple life...

listen to this as you read...
it seemed as if the days of drying the laundry on a clothesline were far gone. I absolutely loved washing my sheets and blankets. Load up the washer with detergent and fabric softener (absolute must) and then wait. and wait. and wait. then finally I could take them all out to the clothesline.
thank you to someone on google for this...
oh the days of clothespins. the funness of trying to get everything to stay as they flapped around in the Kansas wind.
and the flapping. the most beautiful sound. it was if they were dancing, at last free to dance in the breeze. not to blow away mind you, but to dance nonetheless.
and the sun-soaked, leafy grass smell (aka that outdoor smell) that was now deeply embedded in the fabrics. Hints of that outdoor smell mixed with the lingering smell of the fabric softener or detergent is a beautiful thing.
then the weirdest thing of all... i ironed my sheets. it's for the crispness, that's all. I have since given this up because the crispness doesn't last long with my husband around.
but the days of the clothesline were not far gone. it's not quite the same, but the days of laundry racks instead of dryers are in my present, the days of the clothesline are hopefully in my future.
the simpler things, a tiny dishwasher that allows me to take a few moments of quiet as I do dishes by hand or load the 12 items into the dishwasher. A few moments of quiet you wonder? Ha! People know better than to come in my kitchen while I'm cleaning to try to bug me! I will put them to work! My hubby has tried to invade a few times, only to leave when I comment "you volunteering for something?"
the days of the simpler life. i think that's how i would prefer it... it seems nowadays we spend all our time trying to squeeze the minutes out of the day, when really we are squeezing the life out of our days. we should take the time to be quiet, be still and be relaxed... life will go on.
Oh, give me the simple life!!!!