Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cheesy Zucchini and Mint Risotto

I had an emotionally trying day today so after church and a bowl of mac&cheese (seriously, that stuff is comfort food to me!) I took a long nap. I had a friend coming over with zucchini today and I really wanted to see her, but I just couldn't stay awake anymore! Seriously, why does crying drain a person so much?! 

I woke up to the delicious smell of zucchini cooking. I couldn't place the other smells but I knew there was zucchini in there and that was enough to get me out of bed! Ian wouldn't let me in the kitchen, not even to clean up afterwards (win!!) so I waited in the living room trying to figure out what it was. I couldn't do it. All I had was zucchini haha!!

I found this on my plate. (Ok, not really. This is a picture I jacked from someone else's blog because I was too hungry to take a picture.)

And as long as we're being honest, I'm just grabbing what she typed about it too. I'm tired and it's already there!!

You'll need:
1 small zucchini
1 small bunch of fresh mint
1 4oz. of buffalo mozzarella
1 small red onion
1 stick of celery
5 oz. risotto
1 3/4 c. vegetable broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 medium fresh red chili
1 oz. Parmesan cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

Place a large saucepan on low to med. heat.
Dice onion and celery
Add a tablespoon of butter to the hot pan with the onion and celery, a splash of olive oil and a splash of water.
Cook over a low heat for around 5 min., stirring occasionally, until softened.
Bring the veg. broth to a boil in a med. saucepan, the turn heat down to low.
Trim the zucchini ends and dice.
Pick the leaves off the mint stalks and put them to the side. Add the stalks to the saucepan of the broth.
Finely grate the Parmesan.
Once the veggies are soft (not browned) add the risotto to the pan.
Stir and fry the risotto for a min. until translucent, then add the wine and keep stirring until all the wine has been absorbed by the rice.
Turn the heat under the rice up to med. then add a ladle full of hot broth, avoiding the mint stalks (only in there for flavor).
Stir constantly and continue adding brother, a ladle at a time, waiting for the risotto to soak it all up before adding the next ladle full. Contunil until you've used 2/3 of the broth.
Finely chop the mint leaves and the chili. (keep seeds if you like it spicy)
Stir the diced zucchini into the broth and keep adding the broth by the ladleful until the risotto is just cooked and had a nice oozy consistency. If you run out of broth, use boiling water.
Take the pan of the risotto off the heat.
Tear the ball of mozzarella into pieces and stir into the pan with half of the chopped mint.
Stir through half of your grated parmesan.
Taste the risotto and season well with pepper and a pinch of salt.
Serve onto plate and top each one with the remaining parmesan, a sprinkle of chopped mint and fresh chili and then tuck in.
(photo credit:
(recipe credit: Jamie Oliver 20 Min. Meals iPhone App)

Ian made some obvious edits to the recipe, like leaving out the wine, and he didn't know we had any broth so he used cream of chicken soup plus some water. He's so cute :) He also didn't have mozzarella so he used cheddar. He left out the onions because he hates onions, and we don't have any celery. And no chili because I can't do spice. And we don't have risotto rice so he used regular long grain rice. OTHERWISE it's exactly the same haha!!

I love my husband...he's such a good cook. He just doesn't do it very often! Maybe I'll start taking more Sunday naps!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mmm pasta salad

Today was a bit of a disappointment: I got rejected again from donating plasma! Every time I go in there is something else that happens. This time they said my pulse was too high. I HAD TO PEE!!! I was anxious because something always happens and I really had to go but they wouldn't let me! And then I was getting upset...not great ways to relax haha!!

But a great friend is staying with us so that's awesome, and tonight I made lemon pepper chicken pasta salad, so that's awesome too.  So overall a great day!

Pasta salad

Lemon juice
Pasta (I used rotini, I think)
Frozen peas
Cheddar cheese
Lawry's Lemon pepper marinade

Dice the chicken up into small bits and cook on medium heat, covered, in a couple splashes of lemon juice.

In a large bowl add the frozen peas with a couple spoonfuls of the pasta water to warm them up. Don't use too much water though!

Make pasta according to directions but rinse on super cold water. Like COLD!! Add to the peas, and drain of the liquid from the chicken. Add it to the pasta and stir quickly to cool it off with the COLD pasta.

Cut the cheese (hehe) into small, tiny, itty bitty pieces. Make sure the pasta and chicken are not hot and add the cheese. Squirt in some marinade and toss it all together. Chill it all for about 10 minutes our until you can't stand the wait anymore!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


So I haven't found another job yet...I'm a little nervous but it's only been a week and a half.

In this week and a half I have laughed more, smiled more, and enjoyed more time with Ian. We made a promise to each other that we will have gut busting laughter everyday and we have. Sometimes it doesn't come until 10 pm (sorry neighbors) but it comes and that's what is important. I'm so happy now. I've been feeling better about myself and better about life.

And I made DELICIOUS chocolate chip cookies the other day. I don't remember if I posted about the cookies I made after we moved here....they were awful. They were basically paper thin and all formed into one giant cookie. Very unpleasant!

Ian and his friend are doing storage auctions and won a couple this weekend and we've been moving stuff around and getting things sold. They have a website and are selling things on craigslist too, so if you need stuff for the house check it out :)

I'm thinking we're really going to enjoy this summer break....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pineapple Rice and Pork Chops

Yeah, that stomach bug SUCKED! I lost six pounds though!

Sunday to Wednesday...ugh had barely any food! But things are getting back to normal; I'm eating so that means I'm cooking!!

Today for lunch I made broiled pork chops and pineapple rice! I found out that broiling is basically indoor grilling (you get the same cooking results) so that is our cooking method of choice lately!

The sauce we got at the store a few weeks ago and I wasn't too sure about it at the time but it sounded delicious today. It's from Kikoman (my favorite brand of sauce) and it's the garlic and green onion flavor. And call me superficial but I think the bottle makes it look fancy too. What can I say, advertising works on me!

Mmm, doesn't that just look delicious??
thank you kikoman website for the fancy picture

Pineapple rice is easy to do! I learned how to do it with mandarin oranges when I was a kid. I make my rice at a 2:1 ratio of water to rice. I use a can of pineapples (fresh pineapples are great but canned come with the juice, unless you want to buy that separate) and separate the juice. Just replace the water with the juice until you reach your ratio or run out of juice, then use water. I use a rice cooker, I don't know how to cook rice on the stove without destroying the rice and the pan. 

Like I said, I've done it with other juices like mandarin, and I really want to try different ones. A friend suggested coconut milk but I've had a bad experience with coconut rice. It was at a restaurant that was a semi-fast food place so it was not even made to order rice, but it was a little scarring. I bet lemon would be good, and a peppered steak or chicken breast. Mmmm. Or I wonder if I could do something like an apple rice for rice pudding?? Hmm, that would be good I think. Nice thing about rice? It's CHEAP! So if it doesn't come out well get rid of it. Or have your husband that tries anything eat it while you pout and have a bowl of cocoa's happened a few times. 

And for dinner? Boxed mac and cheese. Yeah. It was delicious. Deal with it ;)

Monday, July 11, 2011

So sick...

Yesterday I made that yummy gorilla bread, but since I woke up at 5:30 in the morning I figured that's why I slept during church.
I felt a bit nauseas when I got home so I had some pasta. Then I took another nap and was out cold for like 3.5 hours. I couldn't figure out why my phone said it was 6:30 pm, I really thought I slept through the night.

Then the stomach cramps started. I won't go into the details but it was a long night! I fell asleep at 4 this morning. Went to my nanny job because she had a final to take but dropped her kids off with her after her test. Then I slept more this afternoon and had fevers off and on all day.

I have been trying to drink water but it cramps my stomach every time. I tried some soup, not good. I tried crackers, better than soup but still not good. When I realized it'd been 36 hours since I really ate anything I tried a slice of bread...the verdict is still out on that.

Sorry, not a happy or pleasant post, but thats life. Any suggestions on what to do? When should I go to the doctor, if I should?

Sunday, July 10, 2011


So I updated some posts with recipes.

Go here if you want a filling dessert-for-breakfast Gorilla Bread!!!

Easiest Pizza recipe EVER can be found here!!

My mom's amazing homemade bread that I thought was going to be the hardest thing to make but it wasn't!!

Delicious lemonade can be found here!!

I'm sorry if I've messed anyone's readers up with reposting things. I thought I could tag posts without having to republish. But hey, it's all good right :)

Gorilla Bread

So this morning I woke up grumpy as all get out. I decided that the only thing that was going to make me happy was if I started cooking. So this morning I made monkey bread. Complete with pictures for your viewing pleasure :D

I don't know what my computer is doing, but it said the pictures weren't actually on my computer after I uploaded them so these are unedited from my phone. Sorry!!!

So I took a couple recipes from online and made them my own. I got the dough here (baking bites) and the topping here (pioneer woman). I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post their recipes in here, so just go there and find it!

I added honey to the dough, just a squirt, because I think that yeast works better with a little sugar. Everything (and everyone) likes a little suga' hehe!

Our house is COLD in the morning! We leave the windows open at night and needless to say, it is not the ideal dough rising situation first thing in the morning! So while I was making the dough I preheated the oven to 200º and then when the dough was mixed I turned off the oven and put it in. It wasn't too hot to cook it but warm enough to get the most amazing rise ever! Oh, and don't forget to grease your will stick!

If you're anything like me and you have a hard time with yeasty breads actually rising, take a moment to ooh and ahh over your bread. It's going to be amazing. Knead it a few times and think to yourself, "Dang, I did such a good job!"

Tear the dough into small bits and flatten. Then grab a little piece of cream cheese (use a knife if you're a wimp) and slap it in the middle. Then roll it up and stick it on the counter.

The recipe I used made about 35 dough balls, and almost an entire package of cream cheese.

In a gallon size bag mix the cinnamon and sugar like the pioneer woman recipe says and toss the dough inside. Be careful not to squish any of the balls too much, you don't want to squish the cream cheese out!! You'll have extra cinnamon sugar at the end, but that's okay. Just save it to put on top of toast!! 

You're supposed to use a bundt pan, but I don't have one so I tried a loaf pan. Yeah, you should try two loaf pans or something else. Or a bundt pan haha! On top of the dough balls goes a mixture of butter and sugar (and the little left over bit of cream cheese). It boils over so you have to put a pan under. A smart idea would have been to line the pan with aluminum foil so I don't have to figure out how to scrub all that caramelized sugar off of it!

I HATE OUR OVEN! It burns everything, no matter the temperature, the height of the racks, the time I cook it, or anything! But yeah, it's okay. It's only the top that burnt.

Anyway, that is it. I loved the look on Ian's face when he bit in. He thought it was GRAND!! And it is!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Doubly dute (I messed up but kept it anyway haha)


So how are you all? I am doing well. Yesterday was busy! I took the kiddos out for the boy's birthday, which is today. The big 5!! He's so excited about this; it's adorable. We did the splash park and the play land at McDonald's. Then I went to work at the daycare and there were only 14 of the kids there which was a pleasant change! I got home and Ian went to a movie with his man friends haha. I don't like going to sleep without him!

Today I worked in the morning and had an important meeting afterwards. But at work we did painting with straws, potato slices, yarn, pipe cleaners, and paint brushes. It was a lot of fun!!! I should have taken pictures but it was awesome to say the least.

Now we're just chilling for the rest of the day. It's nice to have some time with Ian...oye! It's already 7 pm! Well, it's been nice haha!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pizza night!

I decided today that it was a baking day. I had the day off and started to make banana bananas were dead. Graveyard dead. (Funniest quote from an old tv show. It was like COPS but for ambulances. A mom calls another mom saying that the girlfriend killed her son dead, graveyard dead. Sad situation, but really, is there another level of dead I was not aware of??)

Anyway, after watching some Ugly Betty, LOVE THIS SHOW!, I decided brownies were a safe bet. And they were awesome! I love making them in a slightly smaller pan then suggested and have less thicker brownies. Why have more if they are wafer thin?!

For dinner I still wanted to cook but I didn't want to heat up the house too long so I made homemade pizza! It was amazing! I didn't wait the full hour for the dough to rise but it did great in the 30 minutes I gave it. We didn't have lots of toppings, ok any, so I did bbq chicken and pineapple. It was yummy! I've never cooked at such a high temp though and ended up burning the crust. I will try again though, it was so good and easy!

Well, I'm going to go read some more of my book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. It's fantastic and sad!!!

Oh and cross your fingers and toes and eyes and whatever else, Ian happened upon a really great opportunity for me that would be life changing. I'll keep you posted if anything comes of it!

Recipe: (from

Printed from COOKS.COM
3/4 cup warm water or flat beer (105-115°F)
4 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 to 2 1/4 cups bread flour

Combine the water, sugar, and yeast together, then then salt, oil, and flour (I only use 2 cups), and let it rise. Spread it on a baking sheet and top. Bake at 455º for about 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the dough is cooked.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Oh you prickly evil plant....

I saw this plant today...

This evil....


noxious weed...

This plant, thistle, was the worst part of my childhood. We would spend our summer days going out with loppers, garbage bags, and weed killer, and hitting the fields. We would have to lop off each purple head and put it in the bag. Then we'd have to chop it down to the roots and fill it full of weed killer. Over and over and over all summer. 

Oh yeah, we had 160 acres!!!

I swear, if we left just one plant, shoot, just one purple head, the whole field would blow up in purple by the next week. And then we'd lose another few years off our lives. 

I saw some today near my apartment, across the street. I drove by and immediately thought of those awful summer days when we'd have to carry those bags around--our hands sweating in the leather gloves that protected our hands--and walk all those feet of land. I swear, we'd walk back the same way we came and find a billion more plants.

So please Mr. Farmer, please chop down those plants and make them go away. You need to do it before I come do it. I don't want to do it, but I don't want to see them even more. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


So today I got burnt twice!! Once by flaming hot cheetos haha (those actually burned so good...a spicy food that didn't make me sick!!!). U also got a weird sunburn on my legs...complete with white patches. No, it's not like blister white, just like something was on my knees and I didn't burn there! Very odd...I'll try to post a picture.
Today our friends came over to play Quelf...a fun party game for those of you that didn't know. It was just 4 of us and it didn't get too wild because of the cards that were drawn, but I think everyone had a good time!
Afterwards Ian bought me a sno-cone because my legs hurt haha (who has seen the movie Evolution? "I need ice cream...for my butt" hahaha).
After that I found out another good friend of mine got engaged. I'm not sure when but congratulations to then and especially to my Cheeseburger and her Cheese for yesterday (don't worry of you don't get it haha).
Back to the daycare tomorrow...

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July

Today we woke up late (ps, I didn't fall asleep until 4 am!! Not cool!) And then we had pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Ian made that while I made my very first loaf of bread! It's my mom's recipe and it was seriously the easiest thing ever!

Recipe from my mom :)

2 c milk, scalded
6 TBSP butter
4 tsp salt
6 TBSP honey
2/3 c boiling water
2 TBSP yeast (2 packets at .25oz)
8 cups flour

Combine scalded milk, boiling water, butter, salt, and honey. Cool to 100º (warm to the touch). Add yeast and let it get all bubbly. Add 4 cups of flour and mix with spatula. Add dough hook to mixer and add remaining 4 cups of flour. Oil the bowl and let rise for 90 minutes or until you just cant stand it anymore haha! Beat the bread a few times with your fists and separate into two loaves. Rise again for 30 minutes. Bake at 325º for 28 minutes. Don't mess with the time, my mom has perfected this over the years!! Butter the tops when they come out of the oven.

This is amazing, thick hearty bread. Try with some cinnamon sugar (like the extra from here) on toast in the morning. Or afternoon. Or middle of the night. It's PERFECT!!!

We were going to make burgers today but we filled up on fresh hot delicious bread :) Things could be worse haha! Tonight we are going to watch the fireworks from a spot I think my friend brought me a few years ago, but I don't remember exactly. But it looks like a good spot from the map anyway! I'm excited to go because Ian is...I personally don't like fireworks that much! But they weren't bad last year and Ian was there, maybe he's my good luck charm for fireworks too...he is for everything else!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sleep is my frenemy

I went to bed early last night, but I had a hard time falling asleep. I woke up late this morning and after I ate breakfast I went back to bed and slept like 3 hours!!
I don't know why I am so tired! I think I'll go to bed at a normal time tonight too. But at least tomorrow is a day off too! I'm not sure how Tuesday is going to go though...late night fireworks and then work! Ian might skip work since we are going to get home a couple hours before he has to work! I wouldn't blame him at all. I'd be surprised if anyone shows up haha!!
Today we went down to the duck pond and fed the cute little ducks. They came up really close to us! Then we sat in a gazebo there and talked about how much we loved each other hahaha.
We caught up on America's Got Talent tonight too. I think last season was better than this one is going to be!! But I'll keep's what I do!
I just saw a commercial for The Lying Game on ABC Family. It seems like a knock off of Pretty Little Liars but I'm ok with that!!
I guess thats all for me, sorry. Boring day equals boring post haha!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

4th of July flags!

Ok, so I wanted to do the chocolate covered strawberries, but these are cheaper!
7 popsicle sticks
White paper
Blue paper
Silver anything (I used present bows that I cut up)
Red crayon
Color 4 sticks red on one side
Leave the other 3 plain, or color them white if you want.
Glue then onto a piece of white paper the same size as the sticks.
Glue a blue square in the top left corner.
Glue on silver *stars* onto the blue paper.
Add a stick in the back across the top for support and one as a flag pole.
They are easy and quick, especially if you have the pieces cut out before you start.
Yup, thats what we are doing at the daycare this weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011


I guess it should really be fry-day because I'm slightly lobstery today! Took the kiddos to the park to meet their mom and stayed to chat with mom and watch the baby (10 months old) down a piece of pizza!
I raced to work, thinking I was 5 minutes late, but I ended up 25 minutes early! Oh well, i'll take the extra couple bucks!
It wasn't as bad today, at least when I had my older group. Sure, some of them have attitude, but I appreciate the fact that they can go to the bathroom on their own!
I came home exhausted and my feet hurt, so I let ian rub them. For those who know me well, thats a BIG deal! They really hurt!
I posted that I wanted to do the chocolate covered strawberries at work tomorrow but unfortunately we are going to not be doing that. Maybe i'll think of something else (aka cheaper) before tomorrow. I saw some cool things on other blogs I read, like a popsicle stick flag, but thats just not as cool :( We will do food coloring fireworks though! And it well be awesome haha!!