Soup To-Do List

It might be more appropriate to call this post a “To-Cook” or “To-Eat” list, but in any case, now that  winter’s just around the corner it’s time to start eating more soup. Some of these are recipes I’ve shared before (or need to share) and some are recipes I’ve pinned and want to try.    (Just click the recipe names for links to the full recipe.)

First, my own Spicy Corn Chowder.  I wish I had frozen some fabulous New Jersey sweet corn to make this with, but frozen will have to do because I can’t wait until next summer to enjoy this soup again! Read more [+]

{Menu Monday:} Week of December 3, 2012

WOW! I can’t believe it’s December! The last month of 2012! Are you ready for Christmas? I think we pretty much are.  The house is decorated inside and out, gifts are purchased and wrapped (a few need to be shipped still), cards have gone out. I’m looking forward to having the rest of the month to enjoy the fun activities on my Christmas To-Do List.  Oh, and looking forward to going here…

I’m not sure it’s settled in that we’re going yet (and the trips only be in the works since last spring!) I’m very excited and so is Lauren.  She keeps saying, “Who wants to go to Paris? Meeee!!!!” Gotta love a two-year-old asking rectorial questions to herself (and answering)! Back to this week though…

Andy’s traveling, and Lauren and I have a busy schedule (meetings, playdates, gymnastics, storytime, crafts and activities).  It’s always good to spend time with friends stay busy while Daddy’s away.  Even though I should, I really don’t feel like cooking.  I’m also torn between wanting to eat “easy” things (because cooking when Andy’s gone is pretty much just cooking for me since Lauren doesn’t eat-anything) and wanting to eat healthy.  I see a lot of Lean Cuisines (and maybe a trip to Panera Bread) in my future… I have an idea of what we’ll eat for lunch and dinner each day, but I haven’t prepared a real menu like I normally would.  Sorry.  To make up for it keep reading for my “Soup To-Do List.”  It’s a collection of nine soups I hope to make this winter.

Happy Monday (and December), Everyone!

{Menu Monday:} Week of November 19, 2012

Another Monday’s here.  The weeks just seem to be flying by.  Next week the Christmas season will have officially begun and the countdown to 2013 will be on! I can’t believe it!

Monday: Beef Stroganoff

Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner

It could be pancakes.  It could be waffles.  Something easy and different to shake things up.

Wednesday: Hopefully, Carmine’s Italian Restaurant, one of our favorites

We’ll be spending the night in the city so we can watch the parade in person Thursday morning! Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, and I am SO excited for Lauren to experience one of my favorite traditions! Wednesday night they inflate the parade balloons and it is a site to see.  We’re hoping to squeeze in dinner at Carmine’s either before of after checking out the balloons.  We tried making advanced reservations, which are very hard to get.  Believe it or not, 11:00 PM was the only time available! In our pre-Lauren days, we’ve eaten dinner in the city, post theater, that late, but I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t be such a good idea with a two-year-old.

Thursday: THANKSGIVING!

I’ll try to share our full Thanksgiving menu tomorrow.  Gobble gobble! I can’t wait!

Friday-Sunday: Leftovers!

Thanksgiving leftovers are the best! I think I might like them more the actual Thanksgiving day meal. We’re hoping we’ll have enough to get us through the weekend!

{Menu Monday:} Week of November 12, 2012

Oops! It’s Tuesday! Yesterday’s holiday, and all the time Andy’s been home lately (which I am really thankful for), really has me confused on what day is.  I still can’t believe it’s NOVEMBER! Here’s this week’s menu:

Tuesday:  Hot Tuna Sandwiches with Tomato & Avocado

(I can’t remember why, or what we had instead, but we didn’t have this last week as planned.)

Wednesday: Chicken Spaghetti

Thursday: Buffalo Chicken Salad

Friday: Salisbury Steak (<—- Click for recipe.)

Lots of easy meals coming up this week.  We’re getting excited about Thanksgiving though! Have a great week everyone!

Student of Martha: October 2012-Caramel Corn

I haven’t been diligent in my studies lately, but for the first time in a while, I tried a recipe from Living.  As soon as the October issue arrived in my mailbox I knew I had to try making homemade caramel corn.

Who could resist that beautiful picture? It just seems like the perfect fall treat!

I know I’ve probably eaten caramel corn before, but I’ve never made it.  Something about using hot oil and popping my own corn really scared me, not to mention the hot boiling sugar.

Well, I faced my fears, with Andy help at the stove and I’m so glad I did.  This recipe is absolutely delicious and it’s very fun and easy to make.  We made a first batch just before Halloween and then we ended up making a second batch to enjoy.  Yum!

The ingredients are super simple. I love the POP KIT I found at Target-premeasured kernels and oil!


Read more [+]

2012 Halloween Party

It’s almost a week after Halloween, but because we just trick-or-treated here on Monday it really doesn’t feel like it.  In any case, I wanted to share some photos from this year’s Halloween party with you all.  With Hurricane Sandy on the horizon just days before the party, I wasn’t sure if we’d even be able to pull the party off or if friends would be able to safely get here to celebrate.  Luckily, things worked out.  I really like the way everything turned out, but I love that we were able to spend the day safe, warm, and dry celebrating with our friends.

For a long time (since before last Halloween even), I’d been planning on a candy corn themed Halloween party.  I had no shortage of ideas, and I even have Pinterest board devoted to it.

Then, the weekend before Halloween, I came across this adorable (and free!) Halloween printable set designed by Stephanie Creekmur for Pizzazzerie. I’ve always been a fan of traditional black and orange for Halloween.  I’ve also always loved accenting with lime and purple, so I just fell in love with this set and I knew I HAD TO change my theme.
Read more [+]

{Menu Monday:} Week of November 5th

Happy Monday! Here’s what we’re cooking up this week:

Monday: Hotdogs and Chili

It’s Halloween here in New Jersey, so we’re having our traditional Halloween dinner.

Tuesday: Election Day BBQ Brisket Sandwiches with Baked Potatoes

  Read more [+]

{Menu Monday:} Week of October 29, 2012

Happy Monday! I’m not sure how well we’re going to stick to our menu this week due to the crazy weather we’ll be having, but here’s what we have planned and purchased.

Monday: Tacos

This a favorite!

Tuesday: Copycat Chick-fil-A Nuggets

This is one of the first recipes I pinned on Pinterest.  Andy LOVES Chick-fil-A.  Actually, we all do, and when I saw it I knew we had to try it.  The recipe is from the blog My Name is Snickerdoodle, and while they don’t taste exactly like the original they are still darn good.  The only drawback is in order to keep it authentic you have to fry the nuggets in peanut oil, which is (1) unhealthy and (2) pricey.  (A small bottle costs about $5.) All in all, if you’re looking for something new to try you should check this recipe out and don’t forget the waffle fries!

Wednesday: Hotdogs & Chili

Growing up we always at chili on Halloween.  We keep that tradition alive.  Who doesn’t love a “frito pie”?

Thursday: Chicken Fried Chicken

A Southern favorite complete with cream gravy!

Friday: Pizza “Muffins” & Salad

This is another Pinterest recipe (from the appropriately named blog All My Good Ideas Are Really From Pinterest)  and it’ll  be our first time trying it out.  If you know me, you know I love anything mini and these little pizza are just too cute!

Thanks to our generator, we be able to cook as we normally would.  It’s nice to know we won’t have to worry about eating cold food or about everything in our refrigerator going bad.  I’m very grateful for that.

Have a great week!

Skelton Bones

One of the things on my Fall To Do List was to make fun Halloween food and treats.  We’ve been trying out lots of new recipes and our favorite so far has been these “Skelton Bones.”  They really couldn’t be much easier to make, Lauren love “helping,” and they’re good enough to eat even when it’s not Halloween. (I know we will be.) Read more [+]

Pinterest Party

A couple of weeks ago I hosted my first Pinterest Party.  I invited ladies from my MOMS Club for an evening of eating, crafting, and chatting.

Everyone prepared and brought a dish from Pinterest.  For dinner, we had delicious Reuben Dip, Watermelon Salad, Tomato Basil Cheddar Soup, Chicken Pot Pie Bundles, and, after much deliberation, I prepared Baked Cheese Tortellini with Spinach (I’ll share the recipe soon.).  We were all so eager to dig in that I forgot to take a photos of the food.  I did manage to get a shot of some of our dessert choices.

We had Caramel Pretzel Crunch Brownies, Deep Dark Chewy Chocolate Cookies, and Tiramisu Cupcakes! Everything was so, so good!

After eating we worked on making yarn wreaths.  They turned out to be the perfect project because, as you know if you’ve ever made one, they’re not hard to make, but they take some time. All that time wrapping (and wrapping and wrapping and wrapping) yarn around wreath forms gave us lots of time to visit and laugh. By the end of the night everyone had a beautiful finished wreath to take home.  Here are just a few I remembered to get pictures of. (I was in party mode-not picture mode.)

I love this brown speckled fall yarn!

I love the combination of berries and feathers on this white wreath.

Ah, burlap and and bunting-two of my favorite things!

And this is my gray snowflake wreath.  The yarn reminds me of a warm winter sweater.  The snowflakes are Christmas ornaments I bought at Hobby Lobby.  It still needs a ribbon hanger, but it’s going to be my January “Wreath of the Month” so I have some time.

Of course, I couldn’t host a party without favors, especially a Pinterest Party! I saw a picture of repurposed pull-top cans filled with goodies a long time ago and I’ve been saving cans ever since, and because Andy was just about ready to throw them away I figured this was the perfect time to use them.

I covered them with scrapbook paper and filled them with some tasty treats for the road.  (I’ll post a photo how-to and the recipe soon!)

We had a great night! It was the latest I’ve stayed up in a loooong time, but I can’t wait to do it again.