Wednesday, January 30, 2013

FOOD: Cheesy Baked Cauliflower Bites

The Superbowl is almost here and that means 2 things: awesome commercials and snacks. For those of you who are really in it for the football, good for you, but if you're looking for me,  I'll be the one in the corner hogging the bowl of taco dip.

I have married into a family of diehard Steelers fans and when I say diehard, I mean that when they lose, my husband goes to bed in an extremely grumpy mood as if the whole team somehow personally offended him. Maybe if he was into sports for the snacks, he'd be happy all the time like me.

Just sayin'.

If you follow us on Facebook, you might remember how I attempted to make cheesy cauliflower sticks using "riced cauliflower" which is basically a fancy term for cauliflower put through a ricer, or really finely grated or mashed cauliflower (which is what I did with this recipe.) They turned out pretty well, but I knew I could make something even better using the riced cauliflower.

If a head of cauliflower married a mozzarella cheese bite, this would be their love child. These cheesy baked cauliflower bites are crispy, creamy, and you'd never guess that you're eating cauliflower.

INGREDIENTS: 1 small head of cauliflower, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 4 oz cream cheese (at room temp), 2 eggs, 2/3 cup bread crumbs, 2 tsp. italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 cup parmesan.
ONE: wash and cut your cauliflower into small pieces. Cook your cauliflower (I prefer steaming) and let cool. Use a ricer to rice your cauliflower or, if you don't have a ricer, grate or mash your cauliflower until you have fine grains.
TWO: mix together your riced cauliflower, cheese, sour cream and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden your mixture (this will make it easier to form into balls.)
THREE: in a medium bowl, mix together your breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and parmesan. In another bowl, beat the two eggs.
FOUR: roll your cauliflower mixture into balls roughly 2-3 inches in diameter. Dip them into the egg mixture to coat, then roll them in the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes.

Yields approximately 20 cauliflower bites.

They're best warm, so dig in - these little crispy bites are addictive! If you'd like a dipping sauce to go along with your cauliflower bites, a cup of warm marinara works great. 

Now you have a healthier option for game day snacks, or even as a side dish at dinner. Hope you and your guys enjoy :)

Check out our link party page to see where we link up each week!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Guest Posting on Kojodesigns!

I'm sure you all know of the Color Your Summer series that the awesome ladies of Kojodesigns and Delia Creates do each year. Well this winter, they decided to team up again for a new series called Winter Whites, and we get to be part of the lineup! We're SO excited to be sharing alongside such incredibly talented bloggers.

Each person was challenged to create a project using white, neutral or metallic colors, and we decided to share this incredibly yummy recipe for Snowy Road Fudge, which is a wintry spin on traditional rocky road.

Come check out our recipe HERE and say hi!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Nail Polish Shopping, Nike Fuelbands and Lots of Cute Animals!

 Happy Friday everyone!  We are so excited that it's the weekend!  Check out some photos from our week.  It was a fun one!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

CRAFT: Whiskey Tasting Set

My husband is always coming up with crazy "crafts" for me to do that are man-friendly.  This particular project was for a whiskey tasting party he was having with  my brothers.  This so-called party involved tasting whiskey, smoking cigars and playing video games.  I watched scary movies alone in bed (my idea of a perfect evening!)

This set was inspired by one we found at Crate and Barrel.  Of course, as soon as I saw it, I said, "I could make something better!"  I bought the glasses at Marshall's for ridiculously cheap.  The tray was found at an estate sale for $1... and painted with chalkboard paint.  The most expensive part of this project (aside from the whiskey) was the chalk markers.  Seriously, though, they're worth every cent!  If you have chalkboard paint anywhere in your home, you MUST get chalk markers!  

When labeling your whiskeys make sure to include the location of the distillery.  Apparently, this is an important part of whiskey drinking.  If it's on the bottle, include the years aged, as well.  

Check out the photos and get some inspiration for your man and his buds!

Check out our link party page to see where we link up each week!

Monday, January 21, 2013

CRAFT: Lace Back Sweater Refashion

I have some boring clothes. I blame it on my tendency to hoard clothes for so long that they go out of style, then come back in style again years later. It works out for me sometimes, but others not so much. Remember the whole vest and t-shirt fad? During that time, I bought a couple of vests that are really cute (and not cheap), but now they've been hanging unworn in my closet for the past few years. I'm still waiting for some sort of "vest trend" to return. I may be waiting awhile on that one.

Other times, I finally convince myself to give clothes away to Goodwill, only to find a few short months later that a new trend has started and I could have either refashioned, or simply just worn that exact piece of clothing again. I'm still in mourning over a favorite pair of burnt orange pants. On second thought, maybe I did the world a favor by giving those away. Only time will tell.

At least I can say I'm not wasteful though. I love new opportunities to jazz up my existing clothing. This lace back sweater refashion is a great example of that! I'm sure we all have plain, boring sweaters that could use a face lift - and all you need is a little lace.

SUPPLIES: sweater, lace (1/4 yard should do it - check the remnant pile of your local fabric store), disappearing ink marker, scissors, sewing machine and supplies.
ONE: first you'll need to make your pattern. Fold your sweater in half and lay it on some paper. Trace around your sweater using a 1/4-1/2 inch seam allowance. How big you want your lace bodice to be is up to you. I made mine go from the shoulders to an inch or two above the bottom curve of the arm hole. Note: you'll be keeping the existing neckline on your sweater, so take that into account when making your bodice.
TWO: cut out your pattern and place it on top of your shirt to make sure it's accurate. If not, just draft another!
THREE: fold your lace with the right sides together and place your pattern on the fold. Trace around it with disappearing ink marker. Cut out.
FOUR: your lace bodice should look something like this now.
FIVE: turn your sweater inside out and place your lace bodice on the back of your shirt. Trace around it using chalk or a disappearing ink marker. You could use your pattern you just made to do this instead.
SIX: use scissors to cut just the back of your sweater out, making sure to keep the existing neckline of your sweater.
SEVEN: pin the edges of your lace bodice to your sweater and neckline, making sure the right side of your lace will be facing the outside of your sweater.
EIGHT: turn your sweater right side out and press.

Pretty great, right? I have a bunch of other sweaters that I can't wait to try this method on!

Note: I found that the neckline on my sweater sagged a little because of the heaviness of the sweater compared to the lace. It's not bad and it doesn't really bother me, but if you want to play it safe you could always cut out the back entirely (including the neckline) and hem the lace, or go for a lighter weight shirt.

Check out our link party page to see where we link up each week!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Weekly Photo Wrap-Up: Snow Days

Snow. We've had a lot of it recently and apparently there's more to come this weekend. I'm one of those wimps who loves how snow looks when it's freshly fallen, but I don't want to get any on me. I blame it on living in VA for most of my life where 1/2 inch of snow got school cancelled.

Those were the days.

This was the first "big snow" my kids have seen. As you can imagine, living in Tennessee previously meant very little snow (if any) so my kids were thrilled to go out and play in it. Well, Haley was anyway. As it turns out, Haley is just like my husband - the two of them were rolling around in the stuff making snow angels. Connor on the other hand sat with me on the sidelines trying to make sure the snow stayed on the ground where it should be, rather than in his socks or gloves. We were both happy with the arrangement until the snowballs started flying and I took one right to the face. I was pretty much done after that :)

How's the snow where you live?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

FOOD: 3 Cheese Baked Linguine

This recipe is the result of an epic cooking failure.  I set out to make stuffed shells, but after 4 minutes of boiling, I look in the pot and all of the shells had crumbled.  So I had to get creative because I had a ton of cheesy goodness that you stuff them with and I didn't want it to go bad.  This is what I came up with.

1 box linguine (wheat is what I prefer)
2 jars of spaghetti sauce (I fancy anything Wolfgang Puck)
1 bag of shredded mozzarella
16 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz shredded Parmesan
1 tablespoon dried basil
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Step 1:  Boil pasta for 2 minutes less than the instructions indicate.  The oven will finish the cooking for you.

Step 2:  Mix together the 3 cheeses, basil and salt & pepper to taste.

Step 3:  Once pasta is done boiling, drain, then mix 1 jar of spaghetti sauce with the pasta.
Step 4:  Place the linguine + sauce in a lasagna dish, spread out evenly

Step 5:  Spread cheese mixture over linguine, covering as much as possible

Step 6:  Pour 2nd jar of spaghetti sauce over cheese
Step 7:  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
Step 8:  Cut like lasagna and enjoy!

I thought I'd also share with you my favorite wine... Mirassou Pinot  It's the perfect pairing for this scrumptious meal.

It tastes just as delicious as stuffed shells, but is SOOOO much easier because you don't have to stuff anything!  Yay for easy and delicious!

Check out our link party page to see where we link up each week!

Monday, January 14, 2013

CRAFT: Fleece PJ Pants

Comfy pj pants - everybody needs a pair. I, for one, have a magical pair of running pants that I like to wear. They're spandex-y, soft, and make my butt look amazing (which is an added bonus.) I originally bought them with the purpose of wearing them to the gym they never made it out of the house. When I got home that night, I threw these babies on and that's the end of the story. Sometimes, I even wear them out in public (don't tell What Not To Wear.) They're that wonderful.

I decided that my daughter needed to have a pair of heavenly lounge pants, so I grabbed my fleece stash and whipped up these babies. The winters here in PA aren't so kind, so the fleece is perfect for keeping her little buns warm all winter long. Plus, they have a pink giraffe pattern on them. And pink giraffes are just plain awesome.

SUPPLIES: pair of pants to use as a template, paper and pencil to make the pattern, fleece fabric (I got mine at Joann's), 1/2 inch elastic, disappearing ink marker. sewing machine and supplies.
ONE: fold your pants in half longways so that the front of your pants are in the fold. Pull the curve of the bum out like shown in the picture above.
TWO: trace around your pants using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Make sure to add an extra 1 1/2 inches + at the top for the casing, and an extra 2 inches at the bottom for the hem. Cut out your pattern.
THREE: fold your fabric with the right sides together and place your pattern on the fold as shown above. Trace around your pattern with your disappearing ink marker.
FOUR: cut out. Repeat for a total of 2 pieces.
FIVE: place your two pieces with the right sides together and pin from the top of your pants to the bottom of the curve. Sew.
SIX: match up the two sewn curves, and your pants should look more like pants now.
SEVEN: pin from the bottom of each leg to the other and sew.
EIGHT: your pants are almost done!
NINE: hem the bottom of your pants and create the casing for your elastic. To create the casing, fold your fleece over 1/4 inch and pin. Sew all the way around. Fold your fleece over another 3/4 inches and pin. Sew all the way around just below your previously sewn line, making sure to leave an opening to insert your elastic. Measure your child's waist and add 1/2 inch. Cut this amount of elastic out. Use a safety pin to thread the elastic through your pants, then sew the opening closed.

Comfy pants! Perfect for cuddling up on cold, lazy days.

She loves them, and her bum looks pretty cute in them too :) They're so easy, I'll be making a few more soon!

Check out our link party page to see where we link up each week!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Lot of Everything in Photos!

To say the last month has been busy is an understatement.  It's been insane.  And to make it all just a little more crazy, I had to go and crack a tooth in half on New Year's Day at dinner.  It resulted in majorly painful surgery and might lead to even more surgery.  Happy 2013 to me! 

But, that's okay.  I'm focused on finished my sketchbook for the Art House Coop's Sketchbook Project by January 15th... (eek!), getting back to the gym, and attempting to get ahead on DIY projects.  So there is definitely more than enough going on to keep my mind from focusing on the pain in my face.

We also celebrated Jen's birthday this week!  I'll leave it up to her to decide whether or not she share's her age.
We hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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