Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Clever Crocking

My Mom, she's a clever one! She attached the Christmas light timer to the crock pot for an overnight breakfast. What a great idea! When your workday exceeds 8 hours or you need to cook something overnight, use the light timer. The timer can be set to start and stop. All you do it plug the timer in the wall and your crock pot into the timer! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Party Time

We hosted a holiday party this past weekend! It was a lot of fun to get dressed up, clean, decorate, bake, and enjoy time with our friends. I took a lot of food pictures, but not so many friend pictures. Here's a few party pictures and recipes to follow!

Why yes, that is a cardboard deer in our condo! 

Cake Pops 
(Betty Crocker holiday cake mix, almond bark and sprinkles)


Tortellini Pasta Salad

This is basically the same recipe as my summer pasta salad but with fewer ingredients (much easier) and festive too!

Tortellini Pasta Salad

2 packages Barilla 3 Cheese Tortellini
1 green pepper chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 packet of dry italian dressing
1/2 bottle of italian dressing
feta cheese

*NOTE- I made this for a party. If you are just making it for dinner, I would suggest cutting the recipe in half.

Prepare pasta according to package. Drain pasta and let cool. Add a bit of italian dressing to keep pasta moist. Once cold, add dry italian packet, red and green peppers. Just prior to serving add remaining italian dressing and feta cheese.


Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

I LOVE deviled eggs! I can't get enough of them. A deviled egg platter was a "must" on our wedding registry. They're easy to make and great for all occasions. Sometimes I pretend that they are good for you (after I've eaten a few) so I don't feel so guilty. They are eggs after all! To spice things up a bit I added some jalapenos to my recipe.

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

1 dozen large eggs
6 Tbsp Mayo
2-4 Tbsp sliced jalapenos peppers minced
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp salt

Boil hot water. Add eggs for 12 minutes. Strain water and peel eggs using cold water. Cut eggs in half crosswise. Mash yolks and stir in ingredients. Garnish with jalapeno if desired. Sprinkle chili powder for an extra touch!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Italian Soup

I got this recipe from my mom, as I do most of my better recipes. It's pretty easy and quick. As always I made it spicy by using Rotel (Hot) instead of tomatoes. I love that stuff!

Spicy Italian Soup
1lb of Italian Sausage (I used turkey sausage)
1 medium green pepper
1/2 onion
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of Rotel (add another regular tomato, if you don't want it spicy)
2- 8oz cans of tomato sauce
3 cubes of chicken bouillon
2 cups of water
3/4 tsp of garlic powder or 1 garlic toe
3/4 cup pasta (shells or elbows work well)

Chop onions and peppers, set aside. Remove casing from sausage. Brown sausage in a large soup pot. Add peppers, onions, and garlic. Cook until tender. Add tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. Add pasta (uncooked) Cook over medium heat until pasta is tender.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Hoo Hoo Hoo


Last night we went with some friends to an event at the City Market (in Indy) sponsored by Yelp. The event featured all local shops and had lots of free food and drink samples! It was a really fun and kind of inspiring as well. Maybe my minor in business entrepreneurship will come in handy some day! Hmm...

Anyway, Dan bought me this shirt designed by local shop Hayes and Taylor. I can't wait to wear it this weekend to cheer on the Hoosiers in their big game against Kentucky!

I didn't realize how many cool local shops and boutiques Indianapolis has to offer! After last night I am dying to go see a few. Here are some I thought looked fun and want to check out...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

IU Tutu

I had so much fun making this tutu that I wanted to make one for Anna as well so she can cheer on the Hoosiers this basketball season! Go IU!!

Pink Corduroy Baby Dress

Remember my little friend Anna? Anna is my sorority sister Julie's sweet baby girl! I started making her this dress a few months ago and then just kept putting it off. Originally, I was going to just make a jumper and then decided a dress with sleeves would be a piece of cake. Completely wrong on that cake! Sleeves are new to me and baby sleeves are so damn tiny! I made all the pieces and then just couldn't bring myself to attach the sleeves to the dress because I didn't really know how to do it. So the dress sat for a few weeks until my Mom was here this past weekend and showed me how to do the sleeves. Still difficult because they are so small! But I finished it, and fingers crossed it will fit her! Sorry for the delay Anna! I hope you like it.

**Bear with me on the photos here. We got a new camera this summer for our honeymoon and I am just now getting around to trying to figure it out. Not that great at it yet! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chocolate Pretzel Pie

I made this pie for Thanksgiving with my family and it was quite tasty! The recipe came from the Food Network magazine.

Chocolate Pretzel Pie
2 c milk
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
4 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp brewed coffee cooled
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Crust Ingredients:
14 Chocolate Gram cracker sheets or 1 cup chopped
1 cup finely chopped pretzels
3Tbsp sugar
7 Tbsp melted butter

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grind/chop gram crackers and pretzels. Add to a bowl with melted butter and sugar. Mix. Press into a 9 inch pie pan and bake until firm. 18-22 minutes. Let cool before adding filling.
Chocolate Pie Filling:
Heat Milk in a large saucepan until hot but not boiling. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl, then whisk in the egg yolks, coffee and vanilla. Whisk half of the hot milk into the egg mixture until smooth, then gradually whisk the egg mixture into the pan with the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate chips until melted. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly, stirring a few times to prevent skin from forming.

Pour the filling into the cooled crust, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and chill until set (at least 4 hours). Top with pretzel pieces.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Say NO to your Little Black Dress this year for the holidays and kick it up a notch with something new! Step out of boring and into: Lace,Velvet, Plaid, Print, Sequins! Check out some of my favorites.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gamma Phi Pie

I was am a Gamma Phi Beta! While living in the sorority at IU we occasionally had Gamma Phi Pie. The other day I remembered how amazing it was and decided to make it. I googled it and came up with this recipe (if you can even call it that). It tastes as good as I remember! You don't have to be a cool sorority sister to enjoy this dessert and I won't even make you give me the secret handshake! (you wish you knew it) :)

Gamma Phi Pie
1 package of Oreos
2 qts of Peppermint Ice Cream (seasonal)
Hershey's syrup or Magic Shell Chocolate

Crush Oreos into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Let ice cream soften and spread on top of Oreos. Use Magic shell or syrup on top for decoration. Freeze for 2 hours before serving.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winter Shorts

I really like shorts and tights for the winter. Different and fun alternative to a skirt or dress! Could be cute with boots for a casual look or heels for going out. Definitely save the sequins mini shorts for NYE! 

Holiday Dressing: Emerald Green

I could do a million posts on dresses and outfits for holiday get-togethers and parties! I love getting dressed up and sparkly for the holidays! I found this dress online and thought it was something different from the standard red or black. I'm working on getting ideas for dresses to make for the season. What do you think? Green?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Table Setting

I realize this isn't really making anything, but I did use my sewing machine so that counts for something right? I found this fabric a few weeks ago in the sale bin at the fabric store and knew it would make the perfect table cloth for the holidays! Basically I brought it home, measured it on my table and used my Serger sewing machine to sew a rolled hem around the edges. Pretty! Still working on my centerpiece. 

Marinated Shrimp Appetizer

Marinated Shrimp Appetizer 
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic minced
6 green onions chopped
1/4 cup capers, drained
1 lemon quartered
2 bags of frozen medium or large shrimp thawed.

Cucumber slices

Whisk together vinegars, black pepper, dry mustard, red pepper flakes, and salt. Slowly pour in oils, continuing to whisk until mixture thickens slightly. Stir in parsley, garlic, green onions and capers. Thaw shrimp by soaking in cold water. Remove tails. Drain shrimp and combine with marinade and quartered lemon. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. Drain marinade from shrimp and serve with on chilled cucumbers slices.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Easy Rolls

These rolls are great with dinner or even sorta biscuit-like for breakfast too! This is a pretty simple recipe.

Easy Yeast Rolls
1 pkg yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg(well beaten)
3 cups flour
1 Jiffy white cake mix
1 1/4 cup warm water

Directions: Mix yeast, egg, water and salt. Add Jiffy mix with flour. Stir until well blended. Put in a greased bowl. Cover with saran wrap. Let rise 1 hour. Shape into 12 balls and put in greased 9x13 pan. Let rise for 30-40 minutes. They will double in size. Bake 375 degrees for 17-20 minutes until brown.
Use butter to add flavor and shine to the top of your rolls.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Christmas Fabric

Found this gem in the fabric store! What the heck? Seriously what would you make with this? If I could think of something I would use it just because it's hilarious!

Pumpkin Balls

Another way to use your cake ball maker!! Pillsbury makes several bread mixes that will all work in your cake pop maker. Follow directions on package for bread. Use teaspoon to pour batter into maker. Time for 5 minutes and Enjoy!

Chili attempt No. 2

Since my first batch of Chili turned out so well, the following weekend I went for Chili attempt number 2. This time I decided I liked could stand beans well enough and I wanted to try a chicken chili recipe. The first Chili turned out so spicy and wonderful with the beer, I was sure this one would as well.

I was wrong.

Well let me clarify. As I mentioned before Dan is really the beer connoisseur in this relationship and I tend to like lighter beers that are not so *hoppy. Basically, I wasn't thinking or just didn't know what I was doing and I used Flat 12 Half Cycle IPA beer. I kept trying and trying the soup and I just thought it tasted funky. Turns out the beer taste just stuck around and I'm not fond of that *hoppy(ness).  Dan didn't mind the taste and I just added extra salsa to kick it up and drown out the beer taste.

SO, rest assured this is a GREAT recipe. Word to the wise... use a light beer such as a Miller Lite and you'll be fine!!

White Chicken Chili 
1 small onion
3 stalks of celery
1 Tbsp butter
1 "picked" rotisserie chicken
1 package of white chicken chili mix
1 12oz (preferably light) beer
4 cans of Great Northern Beans
3 cans of green chilis
4-6 cups of water depending on thickness desired.

Toppings:  avocado, salsa, sour cream and shredded cheese.

Pick your chicken. Set aside pieces in a bowl. Chop and saute onion and celery in butter in a large soup pot. Add chicken, chili mix, beer, beans, chili's and water. Cook until desired temperature.

Soup is red due to all the salsa I added. :) 

**Hops - The dried blossom of the female hop plant, which is a climbing herb (Humulus lupulus). Hops closest relative is the cannabis plant from which marijuana is derived. Only the seed cones from the female vine are used in making beer. Hops are responsible for the bitterness in beer.
Definition taken from Beer Tutor.

Extra Spicy Beer Chili

Neither my husband nor I are a fan of beans. I just don't like 'em and for the most part can't tolerate them. Baked Beans- absolutely not! Never. But because I'm a "grown up" I have decided to will myself to like them and tolerate them in certain recipes. I have never made chili due to my hatred for beans. I can make a mean Cincinnati Chili (all meat) but never regular chili. So I decided to suck it up and make regular chili anyway.

So far I have made Chili twice, so this will be a two part post. For my first Chili making experience I knew I better go with something spicy, extra tasty and with minimal beans. I found a recipe and tweaked it a bit to my liking and it was SO GOOD!

Over the last few years Dan has really gotten into craft beers and local breweries. I go along for the ride and just let him order for me! I'm not near as knowledgeable as he is, but it's still fun. One of his favorites is Flat 12 Bierworks a local brewery downtown Indianapolis. Flat 12 has a great Tap Room to try beers and also is the home to Byrnes Grilled Pizza- a mobile pizza truck that spends their weekends permanently at Flat 12 and serves incredible homemade pizza! You should definitely check them out!

Anyway... back to the Chili. Flat 12 is open on Sunday for carryout of beer. So Dan picked up a growler  of Pogues Run Porter to drink for the games and add to the Chili. I must say it was definitely a winner! The Chili was super spicy and perfect with the beer in it.

Extra Spicy Beer Chili
2 pounds of ground turkey (or beef)
1 large white onion, chopped
2 cans of diced tomatoes
2 cans of tomato sauce
12oz of Flat 12 Pogues Run Porter Beer
2 cans of spicy chili beans
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
3Tbsp Tabasco sauce
1/3 cup chili powder
3 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
3Tbsp red pepper flakes
3/4 cup of elbow noodles


Crumble and brown the ground turkey until cooked. Drain grease if necessary. Transfer to large soup pot. Add remaining ingredients except noodles. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for one and a  half hours. Add pasta (measure to the amount you prefer) and continue cooking for half an hour or until pasta is done.

Serve with Cheddar Cheese and cornbread! Enjoy!