Saturday, March 31, 2007

White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Cookies

Mix recipe:
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. macadamia nuts
1 c. white baking chips
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

1 Jar White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Cookie Mix
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl. Add cookie mix and stir until the mixture is well blended. Drop by rounded tbsp and bake at 375 for 12-14 min. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

This is another mix recipe from my mom. Probably my favorite cookie recipe from her books so far.

Crispy Pesto Chicken

4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb.)
1 pouch SHAKE 'N BAKE Original Chicken Seasoned Coating Mix
2 Tbsp. pesto
1/4 cup KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

PREHEAT oven to 400ºF. Coat chicken evenly with coating mix. Place in 8-inch square baking dish.
BAKE 20 min. or until chicken is cooked through (170ºF).
TOP chicken evenly with pesto; sprinkle with cheese. Bake an additional 5 min. or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

This is a recipe from

New Meal Plan

Thanks to Ken and Natalie, I have set up an account at They have some cool ideas for weekly shopping lists and recipes. Because we have been so busy lately, I thought that I would give the week 5 shopping bag a try.
Dinner tonight was crispy pesto chicken, cheesy broccoli and minute rice.

What did you order?

Jason and I went to a Cantonese restaurant with a couple of friends last night. It was called Nam's Noodles and the food was very good. I love crab rangoons but I think there was a bad misprint on the menu.. I was scared to order the crap rangoon. However, they were still crab and very good.

Then we went to see Blades of Glory. It was a great movie! Very predictable but so funny that I didn't care.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Feast number 137

What are you proud of?

I am proud of many things. My family.. not only Jason but our parents and brothers and sister, my education, and our home.

What is the best thing you’ve ever won as a prize?

Won? That would have required me to win something. Oh wait! I remember at a state FFA convention in 1995, I won a shirt autographed by Ross Perot. I thought it was really cool at the time.

Name something you do that is a waste of time.

Well depending on what you consider a 'waste', I could be doing it right now:)

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In what year of your life did you change the most?

I think you could throw just about any of my undergraduate years here and it would work.

Where is a place you consider to be very tranquil?

The North Shore of Lake Superior at Lutsen. I can remember just sitting there with Jason for hours.

The Friday Feast is a weekly meme intended to "feed your mind by asking thought-provoking, mind-stimulating questions."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Trip Pictures

For those of you who are interested in viewing all of our pictures from our trip to New York click here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tuna Fish Cakes

1 pkg stuffing mix
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup mayo
2 cans (6 oz each) tuna, drained and flaked
2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix stuffing mix, water, mayo, tuna, relish, and cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spreay on medium heat. Shape 1/3 cup handfuls of the stuffing mixture into patties; add to the skillet in batches.

Cook 3 min on each side or until golden brown on both sides, turning over carefully.

Makes 6 servings, 2 cakes each.

This recipe is from the Winter 2007 Kraft food and family magazine that Natalie gave me while I was in New York. I have ordered my own (its free) but I haven't started receiving them yet. The recipe was very good and there we options for other fish like salmon and crab. Also, I didn't refrigerate for 10 minutes (not at all, actually) and they turned out great.

Home again....

I have been terrible about posting. I apologize but in my defense I was at a conference last week and then this weekend, Jason and I went to New York for his father's surprise 60th birthday party (the surprise of course was the big reason that I couldn't post anything about it)

The party was great. It was good to see people and the food was great! I had the eggplant parmesan and Jason had chicken parmesan. Here is a picture of Jason's father with his (very delicious) cake.

Then we headed back to Ken and Natalie's for an afterparty. I guess I decided to have a drinking contest with Jason's uncle Bob....
I hear I won but I wouldn't say that from this picture.

On Sunday we went to a St. Patricks Day parade in Patchogue with Ken, Natalie, Ethan, Stepanie, and Gage. We saw lots of bagpipes and even some tractors!

I think everyone enjoyed themselves including Ken and Natalie.

On Sunday night, we went to dinner with Jeff and Christine at Todd's restaurant... again I had eggplant parmesan but Jason had gnocchi bolognese. Then we relaxed on Monday and flew back that afternoon. Then back at work for today and for dinner we had tuna fish patties and cheesy broccoli.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Feast number 136

It has been another crazy week.. I will try to update the recipes from this week sometime during the weekend.

Who is your favorite news anchor/reporter? Why?

I miss Tom Brokaw... just a believable guy.

Name 3 foods that are currently in your freezer.

Beef, french fries, and pie crusts.

If you were to have the opportunity to name a new town or city, what would you call it?

Waunakee.. so that the Waunakee that we live in wouldn't be the only one in the world anymore and they would have to change the signs!

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What will most likely be the next book you read?

I think I will read something called About Alice, I am not sure of the title and also not sure when I will have time to read it.

What's the first thing you notice about the opposite gender?

Eyes and smile.

The Friday Feast is a weekly meme intended to "feed your mind by asking thought-provoking, mind-stimulating questions."

Monday, March 19, 2007

Eggplant Antepasto

2 eggplants (medium size), cubed
1 sliced yellow onion
1-2 small cans of sliced ripe olives
1/2 cup of golden raisins
1/3 cup olive oil

Mix eggplant, onion, raisins, olives, salt, and oregano in a greased pan. Add the olive oil and mix again. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and put in a 450 oven for 30 minutes. Mix the antepasto and let it cook again for 45 minutes. Mix once more and allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator.

I received this recipe from a friend from Brazil. It is very good and it best the day after it is made. It can be used on top of salad or just on crackers. Also, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product but the picture above is the cubed eggplant.

Monterey Sausage Pie

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
3 tsp minced garlic
2-1/2 cups (10 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese divided
1-1/3 cups milk
3 eggs
3/4 cup biscuit/baking mix
3/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large skillet, cook the sausage, onion, red pepper, mushrooms and garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Stir in 2 cups of cheese. Transfer to a greased 9-in. deep-dish pie plate.
In a small bowl, combine the milk, eggs, biscuit mix, sage, and pepper. Pour over sausage mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese; bake 1-2 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

This recipe is from the March/April issue of Simple and Delicious. The recipe was great.. and it made great leftovers!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Colorful Corn 'n' Bean Salad

1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 jar (13 oz) corn relish
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup sweet orange pepper
2 tsp minced fresh parsley

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

This recipe is from the July/August 2006 issue of Simple and Delicious. It also called for 1/4 cup sliced pimento stuffed olives but I didn't have any... I am sure they would be great in the salad as well.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Chive 'n' Garlic Corn

1 pkg (16 oz) frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup minced chives
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp salt
pepper to taste

In a large skillet, saute corn and onion in butter for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Stir in chives, garlic, salt and pepper; heat through.

This is a recipe from Taste of Homes Simple and Delicious March/April 2007 issue. It was a good compliment to the Honey Lemon Schitzel

Honey Lemon Schnitzel

2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 pork sirloin cutlets (4 oz each)
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup honey

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Add pork, two pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a large skillet, cook pork in butter over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side or until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.
Add lemon juice and honey to the skillet; cook and stirr for 3 min or until thickened. Return pork to pan; cook 2-3 min longer until heated through

This is a recipe from Tast of Home's Simple and Delicious March/April 2007 issue. The sweetness of the honey was a perfect compliment to the pork. I am sure we will make this again!

New video

as requested by Anil.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Today has been rather uneventful. I slept in, didn't go to work, and watched lots of basketball on TV. I think it is a good way to celebrate the holiday. Since I don't really like corned beef and cabbage or anything with lamb in it, we did not have a traditional Irish dinner. Instead we had Honey Lemon Schnitzel, Chive 'n' Garlic Corn, and cornbread.

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday Feast number 135

Name two things that made you smile this week.

Taking a long lunch on Thursday to watch basketball.
The fact that it was actually warming up... until today when it snowed again... but at least there are signs of spring!

Fill in the blank: Don't you hate it when ________?

people drive like idiots?

When you can't go to sleep, what is your personal remedy to help yourself drift into Lullabyland?

Sometimes I count sheep.. outloud, which usually makes Jason laugh hysterically... other times I just watch TV.

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What is something about which you've always wondered but have not yet found a good answer?

I once started a calendar for a friend with questions like these.. of course I cannot remember any of them now.

What is your favorite pasta dish?

I am not sure that I have ever had a pasta dish I didn't like. If Ian's mac & cheese pizza counts as a pasta dish, I think I pick that as my favorite.

The Friday Feast is a weekly meme intended to "feed your mind by asking thought-provoking, mind-stimulating questions."

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Girl Scout Cookies

While I was shopping this weekend, I ran into some Girl Scouts selling cookies so I picked up a box of Jason's favorite.. peanut butter patties (formerly Tagalongs).
I am slightly upset with my purchase. Although they taste very good, the cookie is about twice as thick as I remember and there is about half as much peanut butter. I know they are trying to make the cookies more healthy and all but I like the peanut butter!
The cookies were obviously good because we don't have any left!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Turkey Baked Chimichangas

1 lb smoked turkey breast
1 tbsp chili powder
2 cups shredded slaw cabbage
1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
3 scallions
salt and pepper
6 12 in flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 400. Place turkey in a bowl and season with chili powder. Add shredded cabbage, chipotles, tomato sauce, and scallions. Toss filling to combine and season with salt and pepper. Place tortillas in a kitchen towel and set in microwave. Microwave on high for 1 min. To build, place handful of cheese near edge of tortilla. Pile 1/6 of filling in tortilla. Tuck in sides and roll tortilla tightly. Repeat to make 6 large stuffed tortilla wraps. Brush baking try with vegetable oil. Brush wraps with oil and bake until deep golden, about 15-17 minutes. top with sour cream (salsa and cilantro if desired).

This is a recipe from Rachael Ray. It is fast and a lot more healthy than restaurant chimichangas. The original recipe says it makes 4 chimis but I always make 6 or 7.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Crunchy Noodle Salad

Kosher salt
1/2 pound thin spaghetti
1 pound sugar snap peas
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded, and thinly sliced
4 scallions (with and green parts), sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring another large pot of salted water to a boil, add the sugar snap peas, return to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes, until crisp tender. Lift the sugar snap peas from the water with a slotted spoon and immerse them in a bowl of ice water. Drain.

For the dressing, whisk together the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, peanut butter, salt, to taste, and the pepper, in a medium bowl.

Combine the spaghetti, sugar snap peas, peppers and scallions in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the spaghetti mixture. Add the scallions and the parsley and mix again.

This is a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network. Her recipe called for 1/3 cup of soy sauce but the reviews said it was very salty so I only used 1/4 cup and omitted the salt. I also omitted the parsley since the grocery store hasn't had any for a while. It was very tasty, I took some of the leftovers for lunch.

Sunday Grill

Because it finally warmed up, we decided to use our grill!
We grilled hamburgers and a steak. We had our friend Anil over for dinner and since he is a vegetarian, we also grilled a mushroom cap for him.
I made some crunchy noodle salad and Anil made some shredded potato patties. It was a very good meal!
Here is a picture of Jason with the grill. I should have taken the picture when it was still daylight so you could see the snow that is still on the ground.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Anyone need a new identity?

I picked this up from Nichole.. who picked this up from Alison..
Here is your dose of humor...
A. Follow the instructions to find your new name.

The following is excerpted from a children's book, Captain Underpants And the Perilous Plot Professor Poopypants, by Dave Pilkey, in which the evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names...

1. Use the third letter of your first name to determine your New first name:

a = snickle
b = doombah
c = goober
d = cheesey
e = crusty
f = greasy
g = dumbo
h = farcus
i = dorky
j = doofus
k = funky
l = boobie
m = sleezy
n = sloopy
o = fluffy
p = stinky
q = slimy
r = dorfus
s = snooty
t = tootsie
u = dipsy
v = sneezy
w = liver
x = skippy
y = dinky
z = zippy

2. Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first half of your new last name:
a = dippin
b = feather
c = batty
d = burger
e = chicken
f = barffy
g = lizard
h = waffle
i = farkle
j = monkey
k = flippin
l = fricken
m = bubble
n = rhino
o = dotty
p = hamster
q = buckle
r = gizzard
s = lickin
t = snickle
u = chuckle
v = pickle
w = hubble
x = dingle
y = gorilla
z = girdle

3. Use the third letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:
a = butt
b = boob
c = face
d = nose
e = hump
f = breath
g = pan ts
h = shorts
i = lips
j = honker
k = head
l = tush
m = chunks
n = dunkin
o = brains
p = biscuits
q = toes
r = doodle
s = fanny
t = sniffer
u = sprinkles
v = frack
w = squirt
x = humperdinck
y = hiney
z = juice

Thus, for example, George W. Bush's new name is: Fluffy Chucklefanny.

Following these directions, I would be:
Sloopy Chickenhiney (I guess at least its not sloppy chickenhiney, that might be gross)

and Jason would be:
Snooty Chickenhiney

Friday, March 9, 2007

Friday Feast number 134

Sorry I have been so bad about blogging this week. I haven't even cooked that much.
Don't worry, nothing much has happened. The weather is finally warming up, we didn't win the megamillions (or whatever you call it), and we have been working too much.

What is your usual bedtime? Do you like that, or would you rather it be different?

It completely varies. I would say somewhere between 8 and 12. I wish I could be on a better schedule but there are usually too many things I need to do at night (and yes, watching TV is a need)

When it comes to advice, do you give more or receive more?

Hmmm.. I would say that at least lately I have taken more advice than I have given.

Describe a memorable meal you've had.

I have lots of memorable meals... the one that sticks out in my mind is our anniversary dinner in Chicago. Jason surprised me with a trip and we got a recommendation from the hotel concierge. I can tell you the whole meal. I had pumpkin souffle for an appetizer, gnocchi and ragu for the main course, and creme brulee for dessert. It was all wonderful but the pumpkin souffle was amazing!

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Name a work of fiction that affected the way you think about something.

I don't know that it necessarily made me think differently about something... but 'My Sisters Keeper' definitely made me think about life in general.


What is your favorite type of fruit juice?

Orange juice.. no pulp. I would also say that sometimes crave tomato juice... I will leave it up to everyone else to decide if that is a fruit juice or not.

The Friday Feast is a weekly meme intended to "feed your mind by asking thought-provoking, mind-stimulating questions."

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Rich N' Cheesy Macaroni

2 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups milk
8 ounces Velveeta
1 1/3 cups small-curd cottage cheese
2/3 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Place in a greased 2 1/2 quart baking dish. In a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Stir in flour, salt, and sugar until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Reduce heat; stir in Velveeta cheese until melted. Stir in cottage cheese and sour cream. Pour over macaroni. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Melt remaining butter and toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown

Sunday, March 4, 2007


On Friday night we braved the weather to try a fish fry. We have been seeing this new pub called Mid Town Pub on the way home everyday so we stopped. We went in, ordered some beer, and then invited some friends. It was pretty good EXCEPT when we were done with dinner I asked what they had for dessert... they said they didn't have dessert. I couldn't believe it! I wasn't really upset, just really confused. Couldn't they just buy a tub of ice cream and some chocolate sauce... anything! I am sure it won't keep us from going back and they did just open so maybe they are looking for desserts.

Saturday we worked most of the day, watched some basketball (Iowa won and so did Wisconsin), and went back to work. On the way home, we were both starved. I had wanted to stop at Perkins and get a slice of french silk pie so we just stopped to eat. I haven't eaten there for a long time. I had eggs benedict with pancakes and Jason had an omelet with a chocolate muffin. I brough a piece of pie home but I couldn't finish it.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

couch to 5K shuffle

We went to the gym on Thursday but I forgot my stopwatch. I didn't forget it today and I did workout 2 from week from week 3. Again this time I did 4 minute intervals instead of 3. It wasn't too bad!

Sittin on the Dock of the Bay... Ottis Redding
She Hates Me... Puddle of Mudd
Home... Marc Broussard
Who You Are... Pearl Jam
Who do You Love... George Thorogood
You Oughta Know... Alanis Morissette
Mysterious Ways.... U2

Friday, March 2, 2007

Friday Feast number 133

What does the color pink make you think of?

Now this is a bad start to questions. I hate pink. Jason will tell you about the Christmas he bought me an iPod mini (I think it was 3-4 years ago). They were the original version minis and came in four colors: grey, puke green, gold, and pink. Now Jason knew I didn't like pink but he thought I would like it more than the other colors...... needless to say that as soon as I opened the box, we were headed back to the store for the silver one I have today.

Name something you thought you had lost, but later found.

This happens to me way to many times for me to remember.

In 3 words, describe this past week.

Snowy, dreary, busy (the first two describe the weather, not life in general)

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What are you obsessed with?

As you can tell by my blog, I think I would have to say food.

What kind of perfume or cologne do you like to wear?

I don't wear perfume. I have a bottle of something Jason bought for me a long, long time ago and its nice but I hardly wear it. I usually stick with bath and body works lotions... my favorite scents are gardenia, cherry blossom, and moonlight path.

The Friday Feast is a weekly meme intended to "feed your mind by asking thought-provoking, mind-stimulating questions."

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Ancho Tortilla Soup

Tortilla chips
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ancho chile pepper (1-2 dried peppers chopped)
1 tsp garlic powder (or 2 fresh cloves)
1 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1 carton (32 oz) chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes - undrained

chopped avocado sprinkled with lemon juice
shredded cheese (Monterrey Jack or mozzarella)
chopped fresh cilantro
sour cream

In a large saucepan, heat oil. Add onion, cook 2-3 min. Stir in ancho pepper, garlic, cumin, and bay leaves. Cook and stir for 2-3 min.

Add broth and tomatoes. Remove bay leaves and add all ingredients to a blender and puree. Add back to a saucepan and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

To build soup, crush tortilla chips in a bowl, add cheese, sour cream, and cilantro. Top with hot soup.

I found this recipe online, I don't remember where but it reminds me of a friend's recipe