Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Crazy Life of a Pantry Cook: Canning Tomatoes: My First Attempt

If you head over to my other blog, you'll get to see my first attempt at canning tomatoes.  Do you think I failed or succeeded?  The Crazy Life of a Pantry Cook: Canning Tomatoes: My First Attempt: I am still fairly new to canning, so bear with me on this one.  Summer is canning season simply because that is when fruits and vegetables ...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer's Harvest: Blueberries & Strawberries

When I think about summer, I think about BBQ and fruits.  Summer brings us a variety of fruits and vegetables.  Two of my favorites are strawberries and blueberries.  Not only do they scream summer, but they are full of vitamins and antioxidants.  Their sweet flavor makes them perfect to enjoy in desserts, for breakfast, or even just by themselves.  Too often are they overlooked as being a delicious ingredient during your summer cooking.  Here are some recipes that I have found that help bring out the delicious flavor of these fruits!

Blueberry BBQ Sauce
Pickled Blueberries
Spinach, Goat Cheese, and Strawberry Salad
Almond Chicken with a Strawberry-Balsamic Sauce
Blueberry and Cranberry Relish
Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
Blueberry and Peach Chutney

New York Strip with Blueberry-Port Sauce
2 tbsp minced shallots
1 cup frozen (thawed) or fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cups of Port
1 cup beef broth
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp unsalted butter
4 (8 ounce) New York strip steaks
2 tbsp canola oil
Salt and pepper

In a saucepan, combine the shallots, blueberries, port, broth, and sugar.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Boil for about 1 hour, until reduced to 1/2 cup.  Remove from the heat and stir in the rosemary and butter.  Keep warm.
Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat your electric or gas grill to high.  Pat the steaks dry, brush both sides with the oil, and season to taste with the salt and pepper.  Place on grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare.  Remove from the heat and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.  To serve, drizzle each steak with 2 tbsp of sauce.

Originally posted on The Crazy Life of a Pantry Cook.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Joys of Motherhood

So here I am, trying to get my 22 month old son to sleep who will fight you to the death if you give him anything but a bottle of milk to fall asleep with.  I want to hold my ground, but the poor guy fell down the stairs two days ago.  Yep, he somehow got over the gate and opened the basement door as I went down to grab the laundry.  Besides the bruise and scraps, he's been such a trooper.  He even smiled and said "hi Mom" when I frantically ran over to pick him up.  Guess that's what you get when you have a son!  Then there is my 7 year old daughter, who is my everything.  She has been really into this video game for the past week.  Today I told her it was time to play with something else and give the TV and video game a break.  After the stomps and door slam, I notice a sign placed outside her bedroom door.  "Do not disturb."  Between my little man giving me heart attacks with his dare devil acts and my daughter's new found snotty attitude, I have myself wondering how I'm going to survive the next 16 years!  (Maybe put them in the closet so no one gets hurt!)  However, I do get lots of laughs (and plenty of hugs and kisses).  I guess this is what they mean by the joys of motherhood.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ticket Stub Collage Project

I like to keep things.  Ok, maybe I like to keep everything!  But I'm by no means a hoarder.  I know when it's time to let something go.  But when it comes to sentimental objects, there is no letting go.  I have large tubs full of everything from pictures, to ticket stubs, to cards, everything that means anything.  So I was browsing around on Pinterest one day (as I normally do), and I came across a pin for a ticket stub collage.  Of course, I have plenty of tickets, so it had to be done!  This project was so easy, I don't need step by step photos.  All you do is pick out your frame.  Place your tickets in any arrangement on inside of the frame (I used a tiny bit of tape to make sure nothing moved.  You can bend, fold, or cut the edges that overhang before you put the back on.  Then you just hang it up.  That simple!  I gave this to my hubby for Valentine's Day, but I had to add a few more tickets today!  Now to find a great craft idea for all of these cards!  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Crazy Life of a Pantry Cook: Cookies n' Cream Cucpakes

One of my "semi-homemade" recipes I have featured on my new blog.  I hope that all of you take a moment to check out my new blog and become a follower.  Thank you and enjoy!

The Crazy Life of a Pantry Cook: Cookies n' Cream CucpakesOne thing that I am for praised is my cupcakes.  Most I bake from scratch.  Everything from the batter to the frosting.  But I'll admit, there are some that I use boxed cake mix for.  There is nothing wrong with doctoring up a box of cake mix.  In fact, one of my daughter's favorite cupcakes comes from using this method, as Sandra Lee calls it, the semi-homemade method......  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

16 Pounds Down!

April 19th 2012 is the day I decided to change my life for the better.  It's been a slow process, but I am down 16 pounds, and one pant size.  I don't feel the difference or see it when I look at myself, but I can see it when I look at my before picture, and my current picture.  For a few weeks now the progress has been slow, if not halted.  I knew the plateau was coming, but I wasn't expecting it so soon.  My trainer told me my body will get used to the routine if I continue on it.  So now it's time for a change.  Just for now.  Weight Watchers has been a great tool, but I need to get serious.  In addition to Weight Watchers, I have been working out twice a week, mainly doing weights.  For one week (starting July 10th), I am going to stick to water only.  No soda, no juice, and no wine (sigh).  I have also decided on a strict diet.  Don't think for one second I'm going to starve myself.  On the contrary, I'm going to eat more!  However, I will be staying away from processed breads and pasta this week and enjoy fresher foods, like salads, veggies, and fruits!  That week I plan to work out 5 days, and doing more cardio than weights.  Three at the gym and two at home (planks and stairs, he we come!).  Maybe by switching my life up I will shock my body back into gear!
July 1, 2012 - 248 lbs.
Before: April 19, 2012 - 264 lbs.

The Crazy Life of a Pantry Cook: Three Days of Pizza

I have decided to branch off of this blog a bit (don't worry, it will not be neglected).  I just wanted to showcase my recipes in a different environment!  So, for all of my followers, I ask that you head over to The Crazy Life of a Pantry Cook and become a follower there as well!  To start of, I shared my Three Day of Pizza posts that I had posted on this blog!  Hope you enjoy it!

The Crazy Life of a Pantry Cook: Three Days of Pizza: If you are joining me from my sister blog, Motherhood and Money , then you probably read my "Three Days of Pizza" series.  I paid approx. ...