Wednesday, February 18, 2009

recipes, as requested :)

For our little Valentine's dinner I came up with a menu that I wanted, then used good ol' google to do the rest (well...almost the rest). Here are the recipes I used:

Balsamic Bruschetta:
servings: 4

4 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 loaf French bread, toasted and sliced

**In a bowl, toss together the tomatoes, basil, Parmesan cheese, and garlic. Mix in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Serve on toasted bread slices.

Tomato-Basil Soup

1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 c. apple juice
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. diced red bell pepper
4 c. chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
1 c. vegetable stock (I used chicken broth)
1/3 c. orzo pasta (Sadly, I couldn't find any at the walmarts around here...the only grocery went without)
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 c. butter

In soup pot, heat oil and apple juice over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic and pepper 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is soft but not brown. Add small amounts of water if mixture becomes dry). Remove from heat. Add tomatoes and broth. Stir. Puree in blender and return to the pot. Add pasta; cook 10 minutes, stirring. Add butter and cream. Stir in. Simmer 15 min. do not boil. Add basil and serve immediately.

Tomato, olive and artichoke pasta

1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped small
1 (2 1/4 ounce) can black olives, chopped small
1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped small
1/4 cup capers (I left these out)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt & pepper
8-16 oz. angel hair pasta

Mix all ingredients (except pasta) in a bowl. Set aside to let flavors mix while you cook the pasta. Cook 8-16 oz.of angel hair pasta. Drain and immediately toss into tomato mixture. Serve with grated parmesan.

Chocolate Dessert Bowls

I placed a glass mixing bowl that fit perfectly on the rim of my pot over about 1 inch of simmering water and filled the bowl with a small bag of nestle chocolate chips. Stir the chocolate chips constantly as they melt, until smooth. Once completely melted, dip blown up balloons into chocolate. I used 7 inch balloons, but would like to try it with smaller ones. (I found that if I didn't blow the balloon up completely, so I could have a smaller bowl, the balloon would pop while in the chocolate. Not fun to clean up.) Set the balloons on wax paper that has been sprayed well with pam. I let mine sit for a day. After set, loosen the edge of the chocolate from the balloon before deflating, otherwise the bowl may collapse in with the balloon. Cut a small hole in the balloon to slowly let the air out.

I filled my bowls with red velvet cake mixed with a package of vanilla pudding and topped it with strawberries and this delicious sauce:

White Chocolate Mousse Drizzle and White Chocolate and Almond Cream

3 cups chilled whipping cream
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 pound good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1. Bring 1 cup cream and butter to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat. Add white chocolate and stir until smooth. Whisk in vanilla. Pour 1 1/2 cups white chocolate mixture into a small bowl; cover and freeze until cold, about 1 hour.
Let remaining white chocolate mixture in saucepan stand at room temperature until lukewarm, about 20 minutes.
2. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 2 cups cream and almond extract in large bowl until peaks form. Working in 3 batches, fold in lukewarm white chocolate mixture. Refrigerate whipped cream just until medium peaks hold, folding occasionally, about 3 hours.

(I don't think I completely followed this recipe and I only made a third of it. I think if you even just melted the white chocolate and drizzled it over the cake it would be divine.)

Well, there you go. I would love to know if any of you try this! I hope you do.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ok, how funny is this?

The perfect sandwich bag to prevent the bullies from stealing your sandwich. I so wish I had these growing up--not that bullies ever stole my lunch. Ok, actually it probably would have grossed me out and I wouldn't have eaten my lunch, but still...these are pretty cool.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Look how creative/cute my husband is!

On Valentine's day I woke up to this cute breakfast...

(he came up with this idea on his own!!)

and was given this wonderful gift (which I have been sampling at banana republic for like 2 years...)

Valentine's Dinner

Since we don't know all the good restaurants in the area and because we didn't want to be surrounded by a 100 others people eating on valentine's day, I made a nice 4 course Italian dinner for us at home. It was SO much fun to prepare but took a lot of time--But, so worth it. If I may say so myself, it all turned out fabulously! {MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE WONDERFUL DESSERT AT THE BOTTOM!!}

family favorite, grape-lemonade, with a heart-shaped strawberry

Balsamic bruschetta over toasted french bread

Homemade tomato basil soup
(this took forever but was so rich and tasty!)

Tomato, Olive and Artichoke with Angel Hair

Chocolate covered Strawberries

(pre-dessert, dessert)

Chocolate bowls with moist cake,
White Chocolate Mousse Drizzle and White Chocolate and Almond Cream


ok, these little desserts were so fun to make! I dipped balloons in melted chocolate, let them sit for a day, then popped the balloon. The trick was figuring out just the right amount of air to put in the balloon. When I didn't have enough air in them, they popped while in the chocolate sending chocolate ALL OVER my kitchen.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

still employed

We had quite a scare in our little area yesterday when Wal-Mart announced it is cutting 700-800 jobs from its headquarters. Luckily, Colby is still safe and has been told he shouldn't worry about being let go. Colby let me know that the Wal-Mart situation is unfortunate, because they planned these current cuts a year ago when they began reorganizing some of the depatments. It just happened to fall in a time when the whole business world is cutting jobs. Thankfully many of the jobs being cut from the home office are being transferred to work with the rest of the apparel office that was moved to New York a year ago.

Well, that's all. Colby is still employed (and so am Gap) and I continue to look for a job I can use my degree in! Ha. I don't think folding jeans is using much of the marketing education I received.

Friday, February 6, 2009


So, I have tried to get caught up. I hate having things out of order, so I changed the date on all my new posts to match when they happened. Feel free to go back and see all about Vegas, Disneyland, our snowboarding mishap, bringing in the new year, Wyoming, and my parents visiting. Enjoy!

new blog header

created by yours truly.

Ice storm pictures

Though the storm caused several problems, Colby and I loved driving around and seeing the beauty the storm left.

there was ice on everything. here each blade of grass in the field is iced over individually.

Of course, the storm wasn't all beauty. . .

Colby's car was encased in about a half inch of ice. luckily mine was in our garage.

6 of the 7 car ports collapsed. Management frantically ran around knocking on doors when the first one collapsed and most (including us) ignored the warning. After the 2nd (and 3rd, 4th...) we took it more seriously.

Trees were down all over the place and several knocked out electric lines.

but, its sunny now and all the ice is gone... :)

Amazing Husband

Look what Colby brought home 2 days ago. . .

12 roses, 12 days before our 6 month anniversary.

He said I could throw one out each day as a countdown, but of course I decided against that.