Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Doing more of what makes me happy - Scrapbooking

I have been working long hours lately, so when I get home I am pretty much exhausted. I have decided this week to do more of what I like. Afterall, I think I deserve it, right?

This week I have accomplished completing all but four pages in 'My Trip to Boston 2012' Scrapbook. I wanted to share 4 pages with you. The pictures are not good quality - hoping to get a new camera soon ;)

As most know, I love cupcakes :)


We visited this absolutely wonderful bakery...


I snuck a few menus and pictures ;)

And Cheers...who doesn't love the show Cheers - well, I have only seen re-runs as this is out of my era. However, this place was very COOL!



My local scrapbooking store went out of business. I plan to make some trips to Iowa City soon to stock up on some paper and embellishments. The supplies in these photos are all from Walmart. The paper and embellishments were fairly cheap. There is just not enough variety there for me.

Please notice the layouts of these pages. I will continue to share different layouts from Creative Memories...

I look forward to the future and sharing more of what makes me happy! I would love to hear what makes you happy, don't forget to comment!

I encourage you to join blogger and be a follower of your favorite blogs. Even if you don't have your own blog! More followers and interaction can lead to winning more give-a-ways! The give-a-ways range from a cookbook to free things!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Berry Yogurt Cups

Looking for a way to jazz up your yogurt? If you are like me and can't eat just plain yogurt, use this combination of fresh fruit or add your favorite. Plus this time of the year fresh fuit just sounds so good!! The grocery store around the corner from our house has such good fresh fruit!

Raspberries


Blueberries

Vanilla Yogurt


Berry Yogurt Cups

1-1/2 cups sliced fresh raspberries
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Divide the raspberries and blueberries among four serving dishes. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar and cinnamon, spoon the mixture over the frest fruit.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Subs - Toasted Italian Sub

While at Fareway yesterday, I walked past their Italian Sausage and thought an Italian Sub sounds awesome! After 10 minutes of gathering random cheeses, veggies, sauces and breads - I had the perfect meal - easy and delicous.

I was quite proud as this is my first 'just wing it' recipe! So here goes nothing!!


This one is loaded - Italian Sausage, Romano Cheese, Kraft Italian Five Cheese, Red Peppers (freshly picked from our garden), Black Olives, Emeril's Roasted Gaahhlic Sauces and French Bread


Italian Sausage, Romano Cheese, Kraft Italian Five Cheese, Tomato, Alfredo Sauce (cheated here)and French Bread

My mom doesn't eat red sauce so I wanted to make Alfredo for her. Dilema = no milk or heavy cream to make it...Fareway is closed on Sunday's...hmmm

I looked through the pantry to see what I else I had, finding only a bag of Lipton Garlic Alfredo Shells. Decided to take the shells out and use the sauce :) - Dale ran to the gas station accross the street to get milk and it ta and added some corn startch to thicken it without the noodles, tasted great :)

Toasted Italian Subs

2 lbs. Italian Sausage
1/2 jar of Emeril Roasted Gaaahlic Red Sauce
Shredded Romano Cheese
Kraft Shredded Italian Five Cheese
Red Peppers
Black Olives
Tomato
Alfredo Sauce
French Bread loaves

Brown the meat, cut the veggies, warm up the sauces. I used our Panini Press to Toasted the bread and just assemble!! Enjoy

Mommy and Me time and Chocolate Apple Granola Bars

Yesterday started off with a manicure and pedicure with my mom. Usually, if one goes the other goes :) It's kind of nice to have a buddy to go with. After all, the nail people sometimes speak in a different language and make you feel slightly awkward...
Normally when I get a pedicure, I LOVE the water burning hot. I stuck my foot in, finding it really hot. I thought I will be okay. I then lifted my foot out to find my feet and calves were beat red! I then had to ask to add cold water...my nails turned out great so it was worth it :)


As I am getting tired of buying granola bars at the store, I decided to try making homemade granola bars...The adventure was quite successful, I loved them!
Twisting the recipe a bit I added some chocolate chips..just add these to the mixture with granola (1/2 cup)

Chocolate Apple Granola Bars
7 tablespoons butter - softened
1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 apple jelly
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 cups reduced fat granola - fruit and nut

Line an 8 inch square pan with wax paper, grease that with 1 tablespoon of butter, set aside. In a large saucepan, remaining butter, marshmallows, apple jelly and brown sugar; cook and stir over medium heat until blended.

Stir in the granola. Press firmly into the prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours. Pull out of dish and cut into bars.


Until next time...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Last night my husband made a trip to the vegetable stand by our house to purchase some fresh peppers to stuff. We do have pepper plants we are growing but they are not quite ready yet, so we are still purchasing from the fresh stands. I have a funny story about our pepper plants.

My husband went to Germany for a week last month and it was my job to water the peppers...I was so busy that week, as I was in a wedding that weekend, that it completely slipped my mind to water. When Dale returned one of the three was completely wilted. He initiative was to nurse it back to life. Turns out that wilted one has the best sized peppers of the three plants!


Here is the plant :)


Cut the tops off of 2 Red Pepper and 3 Green Peppers - directions below

2 lbs Ground Beef
1 yellow onion
Tops of 2 red peppers and 3 green peppers
4 cloves of garlic
1 jar spaghetti sauce
5 cups of chicken stock
Zataran's Dirty Rice Mix
Simmer for 25 minutes
1 cup of grated asiago cheese
1/2 cup of shredded smoked mozzarella
Brown up all the meat with the onion, peppers and garlic. Mix one jar of spaghetti sauce, 1 cup of asiago and mozzarella with the cooked meat and veggies. Cook the Zatarans's in the chicken stock. Mix rice with meat.


Place open peppers in a baking dish with sides...fill the peppers with rice and meat mixture. Pour 2 cups of water in the bottom of the baking dish. This will steam the peppers. Cover with foil and cook at 400 for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, pull out uncover, grate more asiago on top and cook for another 15 minutes (uncovered)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

For months I have heard about people reading this book, blogging about it, facebook and twitter. I live a busy lifestyle and never MAKE time to read. Although I should, I buy books in the store because I might read them someday. That results in a whole drawer of books I still have yet to read! As most have figured it out, I am reading....Fifty Shades of Grey. On my Ladies Getaway to Galena, two of my girlfriends were raving about this book. I said okay, I am ready!!

I have made the commitment to start and finish this series. and already looking forward to seeing the movie!!
I have started reading and so far through three chapters and it is harder and harder to put down. I look forward to finishing the series...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Perfect Day

Well today was record temps here, 102 without heat index. It was definitely a stay inside kind of night. I pondered and pondered what to blog tonight without much effort or cooking. :) Besides I just started reading 50 Shades of Grey and I need time allotted for this!!! Priorities right?

I thought this is a perfect opportunity to share our story and some of our wedding day photos.


From 5 years ago when we met in a racing garage, I would never have known our lives would have changed this much!  An apartment, a promise ring, buying a house, Dale getting moved to another position, my lay off, new jobs and marriage....


A good friend and mother assisting me get dressed.


The one time I tell my husband not to be late and I am running late with hair and makeup...he waited on the front porch of his own house :)


<3


My Dad


My Mother


Dale's Dad
Precious moments with our parents :)


The Tetmeyer's Wedding Party - well some :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

RumChata Martini

While in Galena on Saturday, we stopped to have a Martini at Jamie's Wine Studio. This place was so quaint, we just loved it. Check it out at http://jamieswinestudio.com/index.html .

I had a RumChata Martini. It was absolutely wonderful! You know when you have Cinnamon Toast Crunch and when you eat the cereal ? All that is left is the milk...full of cinnamon sugar....


This RumChata Martini is liable to knock you down...It was so good that there is almost no way you can drink just one!



RumChata Martini
2 parts RumChata
1 part Vanilla Vodka
Sprinkle Cinnamon on top

Shake with ice and strain into a Martini Glass. I hope you enjoy!

Go State!


So many people come to me with a cake order and give me a theme and flavor and say do what you can. I think that is the part of this hobby I absolutely love. To each person that comes to us and has total confidence in us - we thank you for giving us the opportunity to make things like this. I have to say we are very proud of this one....



The only instruction we were given was white cake, double layer and Iowa State for Kevin. I might be boasting a bit when I say, I think we rocked this one!!


So after we decorated this cake, we had dinner prepared by my wonderful husband (meatloaf burgers - see my Mom's Meatloaf and Cheesy Hash for the recipe) waiting.

On the 8 minute car ride the frosting completly fell of the cake. While we look to find the Cyclone completed squished in a ball on the cardboard tray, all the yellow dots on the bottom were like a big glob of yellow - we had to redo the entire thing!! Despite having to redo, we did conquer and it is completed... :)


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday's Style

Today is inspired by the scarf I purchased in Galena yesterday. I am slowly learning how to put different items together to create the perfect outfits. Today was Day 1 of my new fashion experience. I purchased this vibrant orange, pink and white scarf at a little shop.


Thank you to my wonderful husband for being my photographer today :) He is such a good sport!
Scarf - Galena, White T - Target, Shorts - Banana Republic, Hair - inspired by Kate from www.thesmallthingsblog.com

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ladies Getaway to Galena

 Today was Ladies Day,  3 of my friends and I packed up and headed to Galena, Illinois for shopping, eating and laughs. In Galena, there are shops with jewelry, antiques, bakeries, gelato, clothes and much more. Anything a girl could dream of. Ally and I are foodies so we frequented all of the food shops. Check out Sweet and Savory Food for more pics...thanks Ally!! http://www.sweetandsavoryfood.com/


We had lunch at the Golden Hen Cafe. Every meal comes with soup, coleslaw and fries - talk about family style. We were stuffed for hours, but it didn't slow us down!



 I had the Golden Hen Gourmet Burger and it had peppers (red and green), mushrooms, and onions. It was absolutely delicious!!


Next we hit a Barbeque Sauce joint, it had hundreds of BBQ sauces. The image above is just a section of the Taste Test Bar. It had all homemade BBQ sauces that you could try before purchasing.




Above is our 'Vana White' showcasing the racks of Sauces. These are only two walls of the 7 racks in the store. This is not even half of the BBQ sauces they sell! You can't even imagine this shop!


For those who watch Oprah, you will know that a Moscow Mule is her favorite drink.
Moscow Mule Drink:

1 1/2 oz Jigger Vodka
Juice of 1/2 Lime
Ice Cubes
Cold Cock and Bull



The chef checking out a new apron...


We were hungry for lunch...:)

If there is a bakery around, I am there. I insist on trying any kind of sweet I can.


'We Dough it Right'


Homemade Canoli - we had this best service in this little shop!! Thank you Sweetheart Bakery

Blue Moon Cucakes and Orange Cheescake with Red Velvet Swirls

Another joy of mine is entertaining, for any occasion. I am always hosting some sort of party. Along with that comes having different kinds of snacks, normally a cupcake or two :) For a racing party we had I made two gourmet cupcake recipes which don't even need an explaination.They're cupcakes that look and taste like little Blue Moons. The cake has that faint citrus and wheat taste, and the frosting is light and airy and barely there, just like the foam on top of a beer.

Blue Moon Cupcakes

These cupcakes taste and look just like Blue Moons. The cake has a faint citrus and wheat flavor, the frostin is frothy just like the foam on a beer.


Blue Moon Cupcakes
3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c sugar
2 1/2 c flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 drops red food coloring
10 drops yellow food coloring
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 c Blue Moon beer
1/4 c milk
Frothy White Frosting [recipe follows]
small orange slices, for garnish
Directions:
Line 24 cupcake trays with liners. [Use white liners if you can, they become translucent during baking and really sell the mini Blue Moon image]. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking power and salt. In a large bowl beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar a little bit at a time, beating well. Once it's all added beat for 2 more minutes. Add eggs, beating after each. Add vanilla, food coloring and orange zest and beat. Mix beer and milk in a measuring cup. Alternatively add beer / milk mixture and flour mixture to butter mixture in the large bowl, beating after each. End on the flour mixture. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 18 minutes at 375 degrees F until cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Once cool, frost each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting. Just before serving, garnish each with a small orange slice.

Frothy White Frosting
 
2 egg whites, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp orange juice
1 c sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 c water
Directions:
In a saucepan, mix sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly. In a large bowl, beat egg whites, vanilla and orange juice until soft peaks form. Slowly add hot sugar mixture, beating continuously. Beat for 7 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Orange Cheescake with Red Velvet Swirl


Red Velvet & Cheesecake Marbled Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 325F and put muffin papers or silicone cups in 12 muffin cups.

Orange Cheesecake

1 four oz package of cream cheese (not low fat)
2 tablespoons of freshly grated orange peel
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat together until creamy and well blended. Do not whip because you don’t want to incorporate air.

Red Velvet Cake

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
4 tablespoons food grade red food color
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk buttermilk (do not get skim or low fat)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar (it has less flavor than any other type)

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Use a rubber scraper to pull any remaining butter mixture off the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Mix again until well blended. In a separate bowl mix the food color and the cocoa until it makes a paste. Add the cocoa mixture to the butter mixture and mix until it is evenly blended. Spoon through to check for streaks. Add 1/4 cup of the buttermilk and beat on low speed until blended. Add half of the flour and blend. Add the remaining buttermilk, blend and then add the remaining flour. Now stir in the baking soda and vinegar until blended.

Assembly

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 the way with the red velvet batter. Add a tablespoon or so of cheesecake batter to the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cupcakes are firm to the touch. Don’t overbake. Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter
8 oz cream cheese
Pinch of salt

Mix butter, salt, and confectioners sugar until cumbly. Add the cream cheese and beat until creamy, add a little cream if you need to to get the right consistency. Swirl a good layer atop the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with cocoa, edible glitter, or orange zest. Keep any remaining cupcakes (as if!) in the refrigerator.
Makes 12

Friday, July 20, 2012

Things I love Thursday with Asian Cuisine

Well today, a day late is Things I Love Thursday!! My day was crazy busy - given the day late!
Pinterest :) nuff said, right? IF you have not checked out Pinterest...DO IT! http://pinterest.com/

I was a DIY Bride so a lot of things were done by me and my mother and girls. I wanted to make my own wedding programs - there were SO many ideas and as normal I wanted them to be perfect!! Thanks to Pinterest, I found the perfect design! It was a time consuming chore but well worth it! I loved them.

 I ordered Metallic Black Cardstock Paper from amazon.com, 200 of Dale and I's engagment print (4x6), 100 - 8.5 x 11white Cardstock, about 6 rolls of white Satin Ribbon from Amazon, and had our local printing company print the inserts to go inside
Along with the supplies I listed above you will need scissors, a million and one glue sticks. Every things is by hand - but really simple. You just need time!

Directions: Glue picture to white cardstock and trim around, leaving enough room for a border. Fold the metallic paper in half and glue the white cardstock with print onto the middle. Glue your inserts to the inside. Fold the program shut, using scissors cut two slits in the top for ribbon. Open the program flat and feed ribbon through, tying a bow to finish!

So given the day, it was definetly a take out night. Muscatine has a new restaurant called The Yacky Shack, it is Asian Cuisine. I am a fan, check it out - www.yackyshack.com
We had some great dishes, mine was Seasame Chicken and Fried Rice....



Crab Rangoon