Wednesday, September 29, 2010

White Chocolate Macadam Nut Cookies

I have not posted any cookie recipes or pictures in awhile. I just have been super busy with work (this new promotion is killing me), studying and just trying to be a “good” and supportive wife. In a nutshell I have been running around and still don’t have any idea what is going on with my life. However I have noticed I like my life busy. I get board very easily (as most people know) and if I am not constantly doing something than I feel like I am being lazy. I need to learn to relax and take some time for myself. Haha there I go off on one of my tangents.

Back on track, when I went to Whole Foods to buy ingredients for my granola post my husband all of a sudden got really excited. He saw that you can buy macadam nuts by the pound. I had no idea that he loved macadam nut cookies so much. So we bought some nuts and I made him macadam nut and white chocolate cookies. They were super easy to make. I just used the recipe off the back of the Tollhouse chocolate chips bag and added my white chocolate chunks and nuts. It was such an easy cookie to make and the fact that he loved them so much made it even better.

Close up of the cookies. It made a ton of cookies. I might be adding this to what I am making for Thanksgiving.

These are the best cookies. Might make them again this weekend becaues they are so easy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pecan Bars

My mother, like myself, loves to cook and bake. We both especially like sweet treats. When I found out my parents were going to be coming to town and visiting I knew what to make for my mother. We both love nuts in cookies, cakes and bars. So I decided to make some Pecan bars. I have to say out of all the nuts pecans are my favorite. Even while eating Pecans raw they still have a sweet taste to them. I have made these pecan bars a couple of times. They only downfall to this recipe is the butter. It is a Barefoot Contessa recipe so you use about a pound and half of butter. It is definitely not a recipe to make on a weekly basis. It is a treat to have once in awhile.

I was excited to make these bars for my parents and was even more excited to later eat them. I don’t have a lot of pictures because I was baking a cake and making the bars while trying to clean the house. HAHA you know I don’t like to make anything easy. Wait until you see a couple of the projects that I have coming up. I may have bitten off a little more than I can chew but you know me if I can’t make it difficult and overwhelming than there is no point in doing it at all.

The bars fresh out of the oven.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

My parents came down last week to do a little sightseeing and to visit their favorite daughter and favorite son-in-law (their only daughter and son-in-law), so I wanted to make sure that I made some of my parents favorite treats.
It was my father’s birthday back in the beginning of September and I sent him some steaks but I also wanted to make him a cake. His favorite has always been yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I have NEVER made a cake other than one out of a box.

Looks good enough to be out of a box.
I found a yellow cake recipe on Martha that looked good so I decided this was the cake I was going to make. At first I was worried the batter might be over mixed. Over mixing is just a reoccurring fear I have. I hope once I become more confident in my baking the fear will subside. I am not there yet so I better keep practicing. I have to say the cake came out really well. It was a little dry because I made it on Sunday and we did not eat it until Tuesday, but what can you do.
I made my mom’s chocolate cream cheese frosting it was so good. It reminds me of my childhood when my mom would make cakes and cookies. I can’t wait to teach my children how to make the frosting.
Chocolate Frosting. I could eat it with a spoon.

The finished product. Look at those layers, they are perfect!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Homemade Ravioli

It has been a crazy, crazy week. My parents came down to VA for a couple of days to visit and fix a couple of projects around the house. So, I have not been able to post any blogs or pictures. I am going to try and post as much as I can, especially because I am in Chicago next week for client work.
Before my parents came to VA I made homemade cheese and spinach ravioli with peas, pancetta and a cream sauce, it’s an easy recipe and makes great leftovers.
At first I was intimidated about making my own pasta. Would I measure everything out correctly, would it cook correctly and then I found a super easy recipe on Food Network. The recipe only calls for hot water, flour and a little salt and pepper. Before you know it you are eating fresh homemade pasta. I made a cheese and spinach fillings (best way to make the hubby eat veggies).
This is the filling for the ravioli, I have added chicken to it before and it is super good.
The cream sauce is a recipe from my mother and to add a little extra I use peas and pancetta. The peas give the dish a little extra color and flavor. Don’t be intimidated and try making your own pasta. It will make the dish even more special.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

So Long Summer

Summer is officially over. I wore a skirt to work this morning and had to turn the heat on in my car because my legs were so cold. I am going to miss the summer. I love the long summer nights when you can just sit outside on the deck and talk. I love the heat so much and hate the cold. The one thing I am going to miss is flowers. This summer was the first time I tried my hand at gardening. Nothing too complicated like veggies or anything like that. Just a couple of flowers here and there, and everything survived. I was so proud of myself. I am definitely going to miss my flowers most of all. My favorite of the flowers I planted were my hydrangeas I plan next summer to plant them all along the perimeter of my home. Just have to get the hubby on board.

I love how much color these flowers have in them. They just brighten up a room. I am going to plant a variety of colors next year.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


This has been a crazy summer. Between getting married, trying to get the house in order, living with a new dog and not to mention work I am surprised I keep it all together (my husband said I barely did). Now that the wedding is over my main goal (besides ordering my wedding photos) is to get the house in order. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. The women who owned the home before us painted all the walls yellow and red and not a pretty soft yellow or red but the McDonalds style yellow and red. After I repainted the kitchen, family room, butler pantry and the master bathroom I told my husband I could not paint anymore and we needed to find someone.

Imagine how happy I was the next day when the monthly advertisement magazine came in. There were a ton of contractors to choose from. I called a couple of places and met with some people and we made our choice. The guy was very nice and what made me even happier was work could be performed on the weekends. We signed the contract before the wedding and I could not wait.

Well after two months of unanswered phone calls and email we got our money back thanks to my awesome husband. Now I am just frustrated because I was thinking I would FINALLY have the front room painted and be able to put the couch in there and the end tables that are still in their boxes and hang up my mirrors. Now I am probably going to have to wait until next summer to have my front room painted ugh so frustrated. If anyone knows of any contractors in the DMV area please please let me know. I might still hang up the mirrors so I can get them out of the extra room not sure yet.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I used to eat two hard boiled eggs every morning, and then we had the salmonella outbreak. The worst part of it was I didn’t even know there was a salmonella outbreak. I get up every day at 5am and leave my house at 6am to make sure I get to work at 7am. In the hour I have in my house I am getting ready, feeding the dog, making a lunch for my husband, making a lunch for myself and quickly starting the dishwasher if needed. I only watch the news for 10 minutes in the morning to catch the weather and traffic report. I listen to my iPod in the car so I don’t really catch the news on the radio. When I get to work, I work I don’t go on news sites, websites etc. I don’t have the time between my client work, meetings and my extra activities with the firm (CVC, planning All Hands, WIN etc) I don’t have time. When I get home I usually try to study, finish up any work and prepare for the next day, workout and then go to bed. I know it sounds unbelievable but I don’t have time to watch the news, and if I do have time I much rather be baking, cooking, playing with my dog, reading or being with my husband.
Haha so the point of that rant was to say I am no longer eating eggs in the morning, instead I have made my own granola. I went to whole foods and was able to pick out whatever nuts and seeds I wanted. I put in pecans, almonds, walnuts, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds and rolled oats. You make a “sauce” of pure maple syrup, a little oil, vanilla and orange zest to spread over everything and then you bake it. It is so good, and makes a lot. I have some at work and mix it with my yogurt in the morning for breakfast, and just to snack on for the rest of the day. The best part is you make it so you get to decide what goes into it, and Whole Foods makes it so easy to choose everything.
You have to make sure you watch it in the oven the edges with burn if you dont shake the pan.
The finished product. It is so good on plain yogurt. I am going to try it with milk this weekend.

Told you it made alot. Good thing I like it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Coffee Cake

With the long Labor Day weekend I wanted to bake some items that are a bit more time consuming that I normally don’t make. One item in practically is my coffee cake. It tastes great but I only make it once in awhile because it takes A LOT of butter. It is pretty easy to make but the most important thing about this cake is not to over mix. The first time I made this cake I definitely over mixed the batter and the cake came out tough, but I have learned the tricks now. You also have to make sure the butter is cold, if the butter is too soft it will not cut into the topping correctly and it wont bake correctly.
The cake right out of the oven. It is soooo good when it is hot.

The finished cake. We ate the entire thing cake that weekend. I could not belive it!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Potato Pancakes

With this week being so crazy I was looking for quick and easy dinner ideas. What is quicker and easier than breakfast for dinner? We bought some awesome bacon from our pork guy at the farmers market. We get everything from him our bacon, pork butt (for pulled pork), and summer sausage and pig bones for the dog. I tastes so much better and I don’t feel as guilty knowing the pigs are fed with organic foods and don’t have any antibodies used.
My husband loves potato pancakes so I whipped up a couple and placed eggs on them and it was the perfect dinner. Plus the clean up was really easy. It was only a two pan meal. I cook my bacon in the oven; it allows for more even cooking and ensures the bacon comes out nice and crisp. We may be having breakfast for dinner again really soon.

The pancakes cooking. I used half the amount of oil the recipe called for and I plan to use even less the next time I make them.

Look at that bacon. I try to buy as much as I can from the farmers market. It is a great way to get the best food and to support the local farmers.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Christmas in September

Sorry I have not blogged in a while. The last two weeks have been extremely busy for me. I have made a variety of items and some crafts but just could not find the time to blog about them with work being so busy. One thing I did last week with the help of my husband is start to make some Christmas decorations. I know it is only September and I am jumping way ahead of myself, but my husband and I have not spent a Christmas in our house. We are always traveling to one of our parent’s homes in NY or PA. I get a little depressed because I see all the other houses on our block with trees and lights and we never put anything because we are going to be traveling. So this year I am going to do easy decorations that don’t need a lot of attention, plus they are VERY cheap.

I went outside and saw all the pinecones and decided to hit the internet to see what crafts I could find. I found some cool ideas to spray paint them and hang them up on my stairs with ribbon. My husband was nice enough to help me with the spray paint. I think he was worried I would get more spray paint on the deck then the pinecones haha. I can’t wait to finish all the ideas I have for Christmas. Make sure you check back later on in December and see what I come up with.

Close up of the pinecones. I was so impressed with the job my husband did.

On my staris. I have not decided if I like the color of ribbon or not.

They might be too low, but they look so cool when the sun hits them. I cant wait to have them going up all the staris.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Anything that combines peanut butter and chocolate is a favorite in my household. My husband and I both love the combination of the sweet chocolate and the slightly salty peanut butter. This weekend I decided to fall back on a childhood favorite. Nothing tastes better then these cookies right out of the oven when the chocolate is slightly melted and the peanut butter is a little warm with a tall glass of cold milk. I feel warm and cozy all over just thinking about them.

Right out of the oven.

Just love close up pictures.