Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
For this week's edition, I'm bringing back one of my favorites - the Potluck Potato Casserole! It's what I plan to make and bring for my side-dish contribution at Thanksgiving dinner.
Re-visit the recipe here.
It's soooooo goooooood!!
Monday, November 23, 2009
"What every set of stairs need."
I'm such a carpet snob, I guess that comes with my job! But I always think stairways look better with a runner. It makes me sad to see a beautiful set of stairs left bare.
Friday, November 20, 2009
One of these days, we'll tackle and re-do our kitchen. The cabinets desperately need a new coat of paint, they need new hardware, our appliances (except for the dishwasher) have seen better days, and our countertops are older laminate. Boo.
Previously, we've purchased some tile on sale for the counters, but the longer we wait, the more I start to think about other options. Due to our teeny-tiny budget, things like marble and granite are out of our range, but butcher block counters are a surprisingly affordable option.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
My new glass canisters from the Crate and Barrel outlet.
After I bought the ornaments, I used part of the gift card that was left to buy these. My old ones from Ikea were ready to retire, and I have had my eye out for some that were a bit larger and a little nicer.
Here is a better picture from their website:
Now my question is: Do I leave the tops as they are (silver), or should I paint them?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Today's recipe IS low cal, I swear! But it doesn't taste like it at all. It's very good, filling, and easy to make. Great for a weekend lunch or a casual dinner.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups presliced onion
2 cups green bell pepper strips
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1 cup presliced mushrooms
3/4 pound top round steak, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 (0.6-ounce) slices reduced-fat provolone cheese, cut in half
4 (2 1/2-ounce) hoagie rolls with sesame seeds
1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add mushrooms to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Sprinkle beef with salt and black pepper. Add beef to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in Worcestershire sauce; cook 1 minute.
2. Place 1 cheese slice half on bottom half of each roll, and top each serving with one-fourth of beef mixture. Top with remaining cheese slice halves and tops of rolls.
Calories: 384 (23% from fat)
Fat: 9.8g (sat 4.1g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.4g)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
One year ago today, right about this time, this was us walking back down the aisle as a married couple! Happy anniversary sweetheart!
*Image from Melanie Johnson Photography
On another note, I am now able to access all of my wedding pictures!! Recaps to be coming very soon....
Friday, November 13, 2009
The sofa with some new throw pillows and one of her 2 new side chairs (which are really comfortable by the way!). The lamp is kind of temporary until we can find one that she likes and is in her budget. Also, eventually, she'd like to get a new coffee table (which normally isn't crooked like it is in the picture).
... that will look kind of like this! James Dean will be replaced with another picture, and there are a few frames in need of repair.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I'm trying to go through all of my wedding photos (all via Melanie Johnson Photography), and they aren't all copying from my thumbdrive to my computer. On top of that, it seems that they aren't even all on the thumbdrive...
They are on an external hard-drive, but my not-super-computer-saavy self doesn't know how to access them there from my laptop. Grrrrr.....
But, this IS one of the photos that made it to my laptop, so I thought I'd share!
And, if there's anyone out there that might know how to access an external hard-drive through a wireless network via a laptop, please let me know. :-)
Today's recipe is brought to us by Stephanie O'Dea, once again, from the blog A Year of Slowcooking. It is sooooo good. And, when made with fat-free sour cream and garnished with low-fat cheese, it is low in fat and calories.
Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup
--1 pound chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts cut up into small pieces)
--1 cup dried black beans (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
--4 cups chicken broth
--1 cup sliced mushrooms
--1 cup frozen corn
--1 jar prepared salsa (16 oz)
--1 1/2 tsp cumin
--1/2 cup sour cream (to stir in at the end)
--shredded cheddar cheese, avocado slices, cilantro (all optional)
(If you know you are going to make this the night before soak the black beans in enough water to cover and another 2 inches overnight. In the morning, drain the water and rinse the beans. If you don't have super hard water or live in a super high altitude, you can quick soak the beans by pouring boiling water over them and let them sit for an hour or two.)
Drain and rinse the beans. Add to the crockpot. Put in the chicken, and add the broth and salsa. Pour in the corn and mushrooms, and add the cumin. Stir, but don't disturb the beans---let them stay at the bottom of the pot, closest to the heating element.Cover and cook on high for 9 hours. Yup. High. For 9 hours. It took a crazy long time for the beans to soften, but they did. If you are using beans you soaked overnight, canned beans, or pre-cooked beans, you can cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5--similar to normal soup-cooking time.For a thicker broth, you can use an immersible blender to blend a bit of the beans and chicken. If you don't have one, scoop out 2 cups of the soup and carefully blend in your traditonal blender. Stir the mixture back into the crockpot. Or, instead of doing that, you can also substitute 1 can of refried black beans for one of the cans of black beans - this is what I did!
Stir in the 1/2 cup of sour cream before serving, and garnish with shredded cheese, avocado slices, and/or cilantro. (For a lower calorie meal, I skipped the avocado slices)
Thursday, November 5, 2009
... for the weekend, and she's coming in tonight! So I am sorry that I don't really have much to post, I have been cleaning like a mad woman trying to get things all ready for her.
We're going to have a fun weekend, and I hope y'all do too!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Of course, we've already seen the Christmas decorations, all ready to spring forth and be totally in our faces as of today (you know, now that it's November).
I normally don't think "Christmas" at this time of year. But, I am kind of in a quandry. I received the Crate and Barrel Holiday catalog last week, and in it were these ornaments. I actually saw these at Crate and Barrel last year and really liked them. I love the colors, and I like that they are hand-painted.
But, with the wedding and all going on, they weren't top of my priority list. Plus, they're not the cheapest. $40 for a set (although, you do get the lovely red storage box included...). So, I thought I'd wait and catch them on sale after the holidays - but that didn't happen. Since this is something they sell every year (I'm assuming here), I guess they hold whatever they don't sell for the next year.
Earlier this year, we received a late wedding gift.... a gift card to Crate and Barrel that we've been holding on to.