Saturday, November 30, 2013


I will share the Rachael Ray recipe I used as inspiration for this. I made my own sauce for this and added carrots, pancetta and a mix of ground meat. Kyle likes the cheese like this, but you can cover yours so it doesn't get the same way.

  • 2lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 12oz tomato paste
  • 15oz tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 20 lasagna noodles
  • 32oz ricotta
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp minced flat leaf parsley
  • 1 lb shredded mozzarella
  1. In a 6qt dutch oven combine the beef, onion, tomato paste, tomato sauce, 2 cups water, sugar, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper and bay leaves. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and smooth. Stir in the vinegar and cook another 30 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and extra virgin olive oil and lasagna noodles. Cook, stirring often, until al dente. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water.
  3. In a bowl mix the ricotta, parmesan, eggs, parsley and 1/2 tsp pepper.
  4. Cover the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish with a thin layer of sauce. For the first layer, start with 4 noodles and then spread with half the ricotta mixture and sprinkle with a handful of mozzarella. 
  5. For the second layer top with 4 more noodles and sprinkle with mozzarella and sauce.
  6. Repeat layers till done, cover the lasagna with foil and bake until bubbly. About 1 1/2 hours. Let stand 30 minutes.

Friday, November 29, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Besides shopping on Black Friday (I waited till after midnight, I refuse to shop on Thanksgiving) I'm a big supporter of family time and think stores should be closed on Thanksgiving. In the end are you going to remember that day at work you may or may not have gotten holiday pay for or are you going to remember that silly story or thing that happened spending the day with family? So off my soapbox,I always decorate inside when I get back from shopping. So wanted to share a few pictures of what I've done so far.
 Love this reindeer I found at Home Goods, behind the candle holder is a huge glass container I filled with ornaments.

 I love lanterns so of course had to display some of my favorites.

 My new advent calendar I made and my favorite Charlie Brown Christmastree

 My dining room table

 Since our fire place is in our dining room I usually put our stockings in the living room by the tree. This year I decided to change it up a little.

 Our Tree

 Another picture of our tree

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Pecan Praline Topping

Made this for Thanksgiving and had to share this recipe, didn't take much to put together so you still have time to make for tomorrow. Here's the link to the recipe:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie

I've been on a pot pie kick lately so I tried a new recipe. The recipe I used they used turkey, but since Thanksgiving is this week and I'll be having turkey in a few days, I substituted it with chicken. I also added some diced potatoes to mine. Here's the link to the recipe that inspired me:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Scrapbook Pages

 Love my family, these pics were taken this summer

 Grandma, Will and George in the UK

 George and Will, love this pic!

 A selfie I decided to scrap

Friday, November 22, 2013

Creamy Garlic Pasta

This was a great side dish and didn't take long to make. Tasted 10 times better than the boxed pasta mixes. I put a little less cream in mine. Here is the link to the recipe so you can make it also:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nutella Swirl Pumpkin Pie

I used biscoff cookies for my crust of this pie and it was amazing. Figured I'd post this early enough so you can still add this to your Thanksgiving menu. Here is the link to this wonderful pie:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Captain Crunch Chicken

Once a year we act like kids and instead of using breadcrumbs on our chicken we bread them with crushed up captain crunch cereal. We got the idea from a local market who sells this in their deli dept. Just take the captain crunch and put in food processor. I like to do this with chicken tenders. Next time you're feeling like a kid you should try this out.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Scrapbook Layouts

Wanted to share some layouts I recently did that are for Christmas gift albums.
 My brother Will and sister Kate

 My sisters pups Layla and Khloe

 My little brother Aaron playing baseball

 Princess doing what she does best, sleeping

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chicken Milanese with Lemon Butter Sauce

This was a great chicken recipe, I served mine with risotto. Kyle went back for seconds so you know it was good. Here's the link to the recipe:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

These were really good and definitely hit the spot. I love salted caramel and after having a salted caramel drink at Starbucks I had to make these. They weren't that hard to make and you should definitely add this to you must bake list. Here's the recipe:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

These were awesome, I added some mini chocolate chips to them. They tasted amazing and didn't seem like they were healthy at all since they were so delicious. Here's the link to the recipe:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat

I changed this up a little, added some carrots I had, added spinach and made on the stovetop. This was a great soup and warmed us up. Here is the link to this recipe:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Turkey Pot Pie

I'm excited for Thanksgiving so I decided to make some turkey pot pies along with the homemade cranberry sauce I posted yesterday.

I used this recipe below, I also added in some mushrooms. These were delicious and will make again.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Apple Cranberry Sauce

I figured with the holidays coming up it'd be the perfect time to share this recipe, you can add a cinnamon stick to this while it's cooking and take out before you use the immersion blender. I didn't since Kyle isn't a fan of cinnamon. This comes together pretty quick and would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving meal.

  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • orange zest
  • 3 apples - peeled and diced
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 bag cranberries
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • optional cinnamon stick
  1. Combine cranberry juice, cranberries, sugar and cook over medium heat until boiling. Let cook 5 minutes.
  2. Add apples and orange zest, let cook about 5 minutes till apples are tender.
  3. Remove 8oz liquid and combine with cornstarch. Whisk till combined. Slowly add to cranberry sauce, stirring the entire time. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, remove cinnamon stick if used and let cool slightly.
  5. Use immersion blender and puree the sauce, leave a few chunks in it. Puree to your favorite consistency.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Chicken Marsala

This was a little different than the usual chicken marsala I make since this recipe used bread crumbs. This recipe was so tasty and I made it with whole wheat spaghetti. Just made a little extra sauce to put on pasta and was delicious. Here is the link to the recipe:

Friday, November 8, 2013

Biscoff No Bake Cheesecake

This was a great and easy no bake dessert, if I was making it for a dinner party I'd pipe it pretty in the cups like the recipe showed. But since it was just for us I used a spoon. These were so tasty and featured one of my new favorites - biscoff. Here's the link to the recipe:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

This recipe is from the November 2013 Food Network magazine and was perfect in this cold weather.
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches scallions, chopped
  • 3 cups frozen diced potatoes (I used regular potatoes from a local farm)
  • 3 cups frozen corn (I got fire roasted at Trader Joe's)
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • kosher alt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 qt low fat milk
  • 1lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • paprika for sprinkling
  1. Melt the butter in a dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the celery, scallions, potatoes and corn. Add the thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper and cook, stirring for 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the four until incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the milk, then cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium low and gently simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  6. Transfer 1/3 of the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth, then return to the pot.
  7. Return to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in the shrimp and cook until opaque, about 4 minutes.
  8. Season with salt. If the soup is too thick stir up to 1 cup water.
  9. Divide among bowls and sprinkle with paprika.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Braised Turkey

Got this recipe from the latest Food Network magazine and since my mind is on Thanksgiving right now this was the perfect recipe. Once you get it started it's nice that you leave it cooking for a few hours and can get other things done. I was able to get some scrapping done while this was cooking. I made this with mashed potatoes.

  • 2 skin on turkey drumsticks
  • 2 skin on bone in turkey thighs
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 lg leeks, whites and pale greens, chopped
  • 6 celery stalks, thinly chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 sprigs flat leaf parsley
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 8 carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  1. Season turkey with salt and pepper, heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Working in batches, cook, turning occasionally until browned on all sides, 15-20 minutes per batch. Transfer to a large plate.
  2. Add onion, leeks, celery and garlic to pot and cook. Stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-8 minutes. Add wine, parsley, thyme and sage sprigs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half, 8-10 minutes.
  3. Return turkey to pot and add broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer until meat is tender and cooked through and liquid is reduced by half, 2 1/2-3 hours.
  4. Add carrots and cook, uncovered, until carrots are soft and meat is falling off the bone, 35-45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer turkey and carrots to a platter. Strain sauce, serve alongside. Top with chives and 1/2 cup chopped parsley.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Scrapbook Layouts

Was able to do some scrapping today and did two summer layouts from this past summer and three layouts from last Christmas. Felt good to have a little time to work on some pages and hope to work on some more this week.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Advent Calendar

I have an advent calendar I made years ago, but when I saw this one from Kaisercraft I had to make a new one and update the old one. I ordered it off ebay and after figuring out how to put it together I glued it together so it stayed. I then painted the entire calendar red with two coats of paint. I put the drawers together, added paper and used modge podge to seal the paper. I customized them with white numbers in a mix of fonts I had and added a few decorations to embellish it. Can't wait to fill it and use it for Christmas