Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chocolate Caramel doughnuts

I wanted to make something special for breakfast. I was sick of the usual eggs, pancakes and waffles. So I asked my husband what he wanted for breakfast and I guess I should not have been surprised when he said doughnuts.

I needed a quick and easy doughnut recipe one that did not require waiting for yeast doughnuts to rise or a huge amount of oil needed in order to fry them. I found a very quick and easy recipe on the internet for chocolate caramel doughnuts, so I decided to try them. They were very easy to make, the dough was a little messy and you definitely need to have flour on your hands to help and prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. Next time I make them I will also leave out the caramels. They did not melt in the center like I wanted. So next time I will use a glaze for the doughnuts. I am excited to try and make a couple of different varieties of this.

I dusted the top with a little powdered sugar. Just a little finishing touch.

Close up of the doughnuts, they were so good hot right out of the pan.

Another close up.

The center of the doughnuts, I wish the caramel melted a little better. I dont think I will do caramel again.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Photo Wall

In the beginning of the year I made a list of items I wanted to get done around the house. Well from the previous posts, we all know the contractor didn’t work out and my front room still remains unfinished. I was a little upset but wanted to make sure I accomplished something on my list. So, I FINALLY ordered my wedding pictures and they were delivered right before Thanksgiving. My goal was to have my picture wall complete before we left for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

For a normal person this goal would not be too hard to accomplish but for me it was. One of my biggest pet peeves (along with 1,000 others) is crocked photos. My roommates used to move the photos in our dorm room because they knew how much it irritated me. So you can only imagine what I had to do make sure the photos lining my entire stairway were straight and exactly what I wanted.

I re-did the photos three times. Haha I thought my hubby was going to kill me. He was not pleased when he came home from a walk with the dog and I had all the photos off the wall in a huge pile. Good thing we are already married. I am very happy with the results and I love that every time I walk up and down my stairs I am able to remember one of the happiest days of my life. I love my husband and am so happy I will be with him forever.

Please ingore the color of my walls. It is just one more thing on my list.I call this the kissing wall becasue all the picutures are of me and the hubby kissing.It looks really cool walking up the staris and seeing all the photos. I cant wait until I can add some baby pictures.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jingle Bell Wreaths

I have had the Christmas feeling since September (my pinecone blog), and I was super excited to begin to decorate the house. We will be spending Christmas with my family this year so we decided not to get a Christmas tree. I was a little upset about the tree so I decided to make sure we still decorated the rest of the house.

I wanted to start off with something simple and small to try and make so I could build up my confidence with crafting. I have the type of personality where if the craft, recipe or whatever I am working on does not turn out perfect I become very frustrated.So, I was very excited when I made the jingle bell wreath and it turned out to be super easy. All you need are jingle bells, wire and wire cutters, that is it!! How much easier can it be! I made a total of four wreaths while sitting in bed with my husband watching tv.

I made four different color wreaths, 3 solid color and one multi – color. Theses will be the cutest hostess gifts with a bottle of wine for all those holiday parties. I was also thinking about making one for the dog as a holiday dog collar. I am not sure if he will wear it haha I guess we will have to see.
This is the sliver Jingle Bell Wreath, it was the first one I made so it is not a perfect circle but they got better as I went on. I love this one because it is red, green and gold and matches all my Holiday decorations.

This one is my favorite. It is gold jingle bells with white paint to look a little like snow. I made two of them and gave one to my Mother-in-Law. I hope she likes it.!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Homemade Snowflake Marshmallows

Some of my favorite holiday memories have happened around the fireplace in our living room at my parent’s home. We have a wood burning fire place and it seemed every weekend in the winter we would start a fire. I just loved the smell of the wood, how the fire looked and the sound of the wood cracking. The memory made me very nostalgic for my family and home. This will be the first Thanksgiving at my in-laws. While I am excited to be celebrating with my new family, I am going to miss my family in NY.

To try and get myself out of my little pity party I decided to make one of my favorite comfort foods hot chocolate and marshmallows. I love hot chocolate, it just makes you feel warm all over and the milk (I like to think) makes it healthy. The best part are the marshmallows on top, they get all gooey and soft from the hot chocolate. There is nothing better in the world.

So I decided to make my own homemade marshmallows. It was so easy!!! I made them while waiting for my husband to finish walking the dog so we could go to the store. The one trick about marshmallows is some non-stick cooking spray. Spray the spatula you use to smooth out the mixture and any cookie cutters you use. Also you must make sure to mix equal amounts of powered sugar and corn starch and sprinkle them over the marshmallows to ensure they don’t stick together when you place them in storage. They were so easy and good I can’t wait to try different variations and flavors. People are so impressed when you make your own marshmallows little do they know how easy they are.

A look at the marshmallows on the baking sheet before they harden.

Cutting out the Marshmallows in the shape of snowflakes to get in the Hoilday spirt

A close up of the finised marshmallows. They looked so cute.

It makes alot, which is good becasue they were a HUGE hit with the entire family (both sides).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hold Tight

I am asking you just hold tight for one more day. I am wrapping everything up at work this week and after that I promise to have some awesome stuff coming your way. Just to give you a little sneak peak of some upcoming posts homemade marshmallows, jingle bell wreaths, pumpkin bars and gift wrapping 101. So stay tuned, it will be well worth it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Butterscotch and Walnut cookies

As always no matter how busy I am I make sure that I make my husband cookies. This week I make some butterscotch and walnut cookies. My husband loves butterscotch, I am not a fan but I make it because of how much he loves them. I decided to put some walnuts in them to ensure that the cookies had a little bit healthy. The cookies make so much; I never know what to do with all the cookies. I have decided that I am going to try and bring in a dozen to work each week to ensure that they don’t go to waste.

A close up of the cookies. This is only about a 1/3 of what the batter makes.

My hubby took this picture. How cute is he, he wanted to make it look like a bakery. I love him so much.

Friday, November 12, 2010

French Onion Soup

It was such a chilly weekend, not as bad as the winters in New York that I am used to but it was still cold. The leaves are changing and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is almost here. Where did the time go! So to get in the cold weather sprit I decided to make some soup. I was debating between broccoli cheddar soup and French Onion. After some careful thought and my husband pretty much telling what to make (haha) I decided to make French Onion.

This is one of my favorite things to make. It is so easy, only a couple of ingredients and you have a great warm family dinner. It is really easy to make and is always a crowd pleaser. The one thing you have to do when making French Onion soup is the onions HAVE to be a deep, deep brown. If the onions are not cooked down, they will give the soup a raw taste. The recipe calls for cooking the onions for less time than I would recommend. I cook the onions for at least an hour and half or two hours depending how much time I have. I cooked the onions for two hours. My husband and I were both very happy with the outcome. It was delicious.

This is what the onions look like after they have been cooked for an hour. The onions are still a little raw (you can see it in the pictures) so I contiuned to cook them for another hour.

I could not get the picuture to turn around, but you still get the idea. The cheese was perfect and there was a great crust on the top. Which I think is the best part.

I think this is my favorite picture. You can really see the cheese and how it melted over the bowl. LOVE THIS SO GOOD!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hot Spinach Dip

So I had my Halloween potluck awhile back and I made a couple of different things for it. One of my all time favorite dips and always is a huge crowd please is my Hot Spinach dip. I only make it for special occasions because of the ingredients. The dip contains mayo, cream cheese, pepper jack cheese and spinach. Haha the spinach is the only healthy ingredient in this dip. I top it off with a little pepper jack cheese to give it a little more kick and it is good to go. It is always a huge hit and can be made the night before and just cooked through that day of you party. I look forward to holidays when I can make it and not feel bad for eating it. This is definitely not a low fat dip.

Here is a picture as soon as I came out of the oven. Please ignore my dirty stove top. I was cooking alot that night and did not have time to clean up until after I was finished.

A closeup look of the dip. It is so good with homemade crackers.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Parmesan Fish Sticks

My husband loves fish sticks, but I rather not buy the ones at the store. So I make my own. Salmon is my favorite fish it is a nice firm fish so I knew it would hold up with all the handing. I used Italian breadcrumbs to give them a little extra flavor because I didn’t have any fresh parmesan cheese. I always drizzle a little oil over the fish sticks so that they come out golden brown.

We just used regular tartar sauce to dip the fish sticks in they taste great. The fish stays surprising moist. The prep and clean up is not too bad you need about 3 bowls but other than that these are a definite keeper. Love them and they make great left overs.

The fish sticks before. I know these are not the best picutes. My regualr camera was not working so I had to use my old one and the picuture quality is not the best. But dont let the pictures fool you these are the BEST!!

The fish sticks after they were cooked. Again dont the picutures fool you these are great.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Scallop Provencal

I have been so busy the last couple of weeks with a huge meeting I was helping to plan for my firm I have had no time to blog. In between my normal client work, I was calling different venues and caterers trying my best to fit our budget and still make the partners happy. As you can imagine it was extremely time consuming. So of course something had to give and, that was my blog. I still continued to cook ( I had to make a whole week’s worth of food for the hubby with all the late nights I was working) but I was not able to write about them. So this weekend, I finally feel like I was able to catch up on everything.

With being so busy with work and planning this meeting I was defiantly neglecting my husband. So I wanted to make him something special for dinner. I decided to make him Scallop Provencal. I have not made it since News Years and it is one of my husband’s favorite. It is very easy to make but scallops can be very expensive. I buy the ones from Whole Foods. The great thing about scallops is they soak up the flavors from the sauce so well, you can taste the sauce in each bite. However, because the sauce is so rich (made with butter, wine, garlic and some flour to thicken) I wanted to make something to cut the richness of the sauce. So I made simple red roasted potatoes with just a little rosemary, to complement the sauce. It is so quick and easy to make I love it, and what makes it even better is that I know how much my husband loves them.

I sprinkle some parsley over the top of the dish to open up the taste buds even more.

The red potatoes before I placed them in the over,

The potatoes after they were roasted. So good love these they are so quick and easy to make.

The Scallops cooking in the pan. The sauce was so good. I am going to try and make the sauce and place it over pasta.

The finished product. Haha looking at these pictures makes me realise I need to work on my plateing. The presentation does not make the dish look any better.