Spaghetti Saturday

Today was a classic lazy Saturday, which meant we were not leaving our apartment for anything. However, we still needed to eat dinner but didn’t want to put much effort in. So what’s easy to make but still delicious? Spaghetti. Always spaghetti.

The last time we had spaghetti was back in December and I had made a ton of Italian meatballs. I packaged and froze the remaining meatballs to use at a later date. Well, today was the day for those meatballs to shine. All I had to do was thaw and fry them. All in all, dinner was ready in 15-20 minutes when it looks like I spent hours.
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For the sauce I chopped up some red onion and cooked it in some Malbec. After that I added in some of my favorite sauce (Newman’s Own Fire Roasted Tomato & Garlic). I also decided to make some super easy garlic knots to complete the meal.

JC

Recipes!

Italian Meatballs
Ingredients
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground beef
1 ¼ cups Italian Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp kosher salt
1-2 Tbsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp ground pepper
1-2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 egg
2-3 Tbsp parmesan cheese

Directions
1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Roll mixture into balls.
3. Either fry on medium/high heat or package to freeze.
(This should make 18-24 meatballs, depending on size)

Garlic Knots
Ingredients
1 can Pillsbury biscuits
garlic powder
¼ cup margarine, melted

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Roll out biscuits to 8-10 inches and rub with garlic powder.
3. Tie the biscuit rope into a knot.
4. Brush with melted butter and top with more garlic powder if desired.

Bake with all Your Might

It’s a Sunday evening with nothing to do. Everything entertaining closes early. Grocery stores are filled with people who put off shopping until they absolutely had to. There is absolutely nothing entertaining on tv. So what’s a girl to do for a little bit of excitement? Bake with all her might.

Now that I knew how to entertain myself, I had to rummage my refrigerator and cabinets to decide what to bake. The options were very slim (yes, I am one of those people who put off going to the grocery store) but I found almost all the necessities for zucchini bread!

I found a recipe online from AllRecipes.com that had decent reviews so I decided to give it a chance. I read through the ingredients and gathered everything I had. Since the recipe calls for two loaf pans, I had to use my meatloaf pan so I ended up with two different sizes of bread. I also decided to mix things up and add chocolate chips to one. The results:

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As I’m adding ingredients I realized that I should’ve gone to the grocery store because I was a cup short of sugar. I also realized I didn’t have enough chocolate chips so I chopped up some Hershey’s kisses from my chocolate stash. With all the short comings, these two breads turned out deliciously. They weren’t too sweet and had perfect flavors.

JC

Recipes!

Zucchini Bread (with revisions)
Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
½ cups chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour two loaf pans.
2. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients. Stir in zucchini until well combined.
4. Pour batter into prepared pans. (if you want chocolate chips in one, pour batter in one pan then mix in chocolate chips in the bowl, mix, then pour into second pan)
5. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Let breads cool completely.

Simple and Sweet

This was the first Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend. For months, we had said we weren’t going to do anything special for the artificial holiday because we should show our love everyday, right? Of course we should, but I kept seeing the potential crafts I could create so I just had to do something. I didn’t want him to be upset about going back on our promise, so I kept it simple with a homemade card and strawberries for dessert.
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I got the idea for the card from Pinterest, of course. The card was relatively inexpensive – all you need is a piece of scrapbook paper, cardstock, something to glue the two together, and stickers of your choice. I will warn you that arranging those hearts took absolutely forever to find the perfect fit and flow. So if you like puzzles, this is a perfect craft!

Now the strawberries. I originally planned to core the berries and fill them with my homemade cream cheese frosting, but that took forever and the boyfriend was eating them faster than I could fill them! So we went to just dipping them into the cream cheese frosting and then into crushed vanilla wafers. They ended up being the perfect little strawberry cheesecake bites!

JC

Recipes!

Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients
4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup confectioners sugar

Directions
1. Mix together the cream cheese and and unsalted butter until creamy. Add vanilla.
2. Add in the confectioners sugar. Use more or less for desired consistency.

Creatively Display Your Wine Addiction

I, like many people, absolutely love wine. But what am I supposed to do with all the wine bottles I go through? Sure, there’s recycling, but what’s the fun in that? The solution is simple: make a cutesy decoration for the house. You can find many different ideas on Pinterest. I decided to make something to go on top of my refrigerator to add a little pop to the kitchen.

I set off to Hobby Lobby to get some supplies, which included a hot glue gun, lace ribbon, silk ribbon, buttons, a huge flower, some beading, and twine. All it takes is some determination, a little creativity, and a few hours of your time. Here’s the result:
LOVE
The most difficult and time consuming part of this was creating the lace flowers for the “l” bottle. I found this tutorial to be most helpful. It’s also helpful to put a dab of glue on the bottle every once in a while to help keep the twine in place. Best of luck creatively displaying your wine addiction!

JC

Cake Because You Can

Ever had a craving for something sweet and lemony and blueberry and heavenly? Well, I did and I knew the only way to fulfill this craving was to bake a cake. Thanks to my boyfriend’s mother, I now have a fantastic baking set that’s been patiently waiting to create delicious desserts. After searching for what seemed like hours (realistically maybe 10 minutes) I found the perfect recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction!
Yay Cakes!Finished product
This cake was AMAZING and hit every single craving we had. I have two pieces of advice: 1) make sure you don’t over mix the cake or it will be a bit dense and 2) don’t eat the cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

JC

Recipes!

Lemon Blueberry Cake
Ingredients
CAKE
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
zest + juice of 3 medium lemons
1 and 1/2 cups blueberries
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
8 oz regular cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 – 2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

For detailed directions, please visit Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Pizza Pizza Pizza

I’m pretty sure my boyfriend and I have pizza at least 2 times a week. I’m also pretty sure we are addicted to pizza. But hey, why not when it’s so easy to make? We recently went to a nifty restaurant/brewery called Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company in Indianapolis, IN and we absolutely fell in love with the Snow Bunny Blonde glaze they had on their pizza.

A few weeks later we were craving that delicious glaze again and since we live in Viriginia, we had to find a way to taste that heaven again. I found a Rachel Rae balsamic glaze at the grocery store and thought we could give that a try. We found heaven. We tweaked our classic margherita pizza from before by adding chicken and the glaze. Man, oh man. It was perfect and my new favorite kind of pizza. I think we’ve made it three times now and we might get a little carried away with the glaze…

Heaven

JC

Recipes!

The Best Pizza Dough Ever
Ingredients
1 packet of yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
3-4 cups flour
2 Tbsp oil

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place pizza stone in the oven while it preheats.
2. Mix together the yeast and water. Let it sit until foamy.
3. Add honey, 1 Tbsp oil, and Italian seasoning. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time until barely sticky.
4. Knead dough then form into a ball. Place in oiled bowl and let rise for 30 minutes.
5. Spread the dough out onto the hot pizza stone to desired thickness.

Margherita Pizza with Chicken
Ingredients
pizza dough
3-4 chicken breast tenders
1/2 – 1 cups of marinara
dried basil
2-3 sliced roma tomatoes
fresh mozzarella
balsamic vinegar glaze

Directions
1. Spread out pizza dough and let bake for 5 minutes. This will help the dough crisp up.
2. Cut chicken into chunks and cook in frying pan. Add seasoning to taste (I usually use onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and oil).
3. Spread marinara on half baked dough. Add toppings.
4. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar glaze all over that bad boy.
5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Perfect Date Night

I’ve come to realize that pizza is the best meal in the world. Other than it being absolutely delicious, it’s also extremely fun to make and can be the perfect date night. I recently put this to the test with my boyfriend who doesn’t have much cooking experience, loves pizza, and loves me (obviously).

We originally planned to make one tasty pizza but made too much dough so we decided to make a BBQ chicken pizza and a classic margherita pizza. I let him take over the margherita pizza since that’s his favorite. The results of the evening were perfect.

Boyfriend!                                     BBQ Chicken

Margherita Pizza
 
As you can see, the boyfriend wasn’t completely happy with the original cheese-to-sauce ratio, so we added more halfway through baking! These may not be the most eye catching pizzas, but they were delicious and we had a ton of fun cooking together.

JC

Recipes!

The Best Pizza Dough Ever
Ingredients
1 packet of yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
3-4 cups flour
2 Tbsp oil

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Mix together the yeast and water. Let it sit until foamy.
3. Add honey, 1 Tbsp oil, and Italian seasoning. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time until barely sticky.
4. Knead dough then form into a ball. Place in oiled bowl and let rise for 30 minutes.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Ingredients
pizza dough
4 chicken breast tenderloins
1/2 – 1 cups BBQ sauce
1/2 red onion
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Directions
1. Spread out pizza dough and let bake for 5 minutes. This will help the dough crisp up.
2. Cut chicken into chunks and cook in frying pan. Add seasoning to taste.
3. Spread BBQ on half baked dough. Add toppings.
4. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Margherita Pizza
Ingredients
pizza dough
1/2 – 1 cups of marinara
basil leaves
2-3 sliced roma tomatoes
fresh mozzarella

Directions
1. Spread out pizza dough and let bake for 5 minutes. This will help the dough crisp up.
2. Spread marinara on half baked dough. Add toppings.
3. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Best Daughter Ever

After getting a “big girl” job, I was finally able to buy Colts tickets for my parents and me. It was supposed to be a surprise Christmas present for my dad, but I’m terrible at keeping exciting secrets so I gave him the tickets in September. He was just as excited so I suppose the date didn’t matter! Anyway, when I flew home for Thanksgiving, we became crazy Colts fans.

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I’m a huge daddy’s girl. Always have been, always will be. But more than that, my mom, dad, and I have always been the perfect trio. They’re amazing parents who would do anything for me, and I would do anything for them. Even if that means treating them to sporting events. 🙂

JC

Stockings for Everyone!

Since this was the first year my boyfriend has joined my family for Christmas, we had to get him a stocking for Santa to fill. Shopping for the perfect stocking is just torture – there are rarely any cute ones that match what you’re looking for. For my family in particular, we have a certain theme we like to go by. Mom and Dad’s stockings match. My sister and brother-in-law’s stockings match. Naturally, mine and Korey’s needed to match.

About 8 years ago, Mom went on a creative kick and made mine and my sister’s stockings completely by hand. Luckily she kept all the spare fabric so that all the stockings would coordinate when the time came to add new members. However, making stockings from scratch is so incredibly time consuming, so Mom and I came up with the idea to tweak a plain, store bought stocking from Walmart (spent maybe $8 total on supplies).

Here’s what we did: we cut the toe off the plain stocking and replaced it with a similar pattern from my stocking. This was super easy to do with a sewing machine, just be aware of the layers and make sure it will flip out correctly. Then I took a hot glue gun to the fabric, balls, and fringe to create the perfect stocking for my perfect man to fit in with my perfect family!

Stockings

JC