Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bloomin' Onion Bread [PCL]

PCL = Pinterest Come to Life

One of the appetizers I made on Super Bowl Sunday was the Bloomin' Onion Bread I found on Pinterest.  It was really good! Not as cheesy, buttery good as I thought...but that is probably my fault. The deli I stopped at didn't have Monterrey Jack cheese like the original recipe called for, and I probably should have left it in the oven a tad longer. I WILL be making this again, though! 

Here is what I did:
- cut a loaf of Sourdough bread criss-cross. Don't cut all the way through!! The original blog said it best: "Cut the bread lengthwise and width wise without cutting through the bottom crust". I was paranoid and didn't cut very far, so we had to take a knife to it after. 
- stuff pieces of thinly sliced provolone cheese in the cracks (figured provolone would be a decent substitute to Monterrey time I might try something else)
- mix together 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup sliced green onion and 2 tsp poppy seeds. Pour it over the bread. 
- cover in tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 min
- uncover and bake for 10 more minutes. This is where I wish I would have done 15 min.

Easy stuff! Give it a try!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bird Nest Breakfast Cups [PCL]

PCL = Pinterest Come to Life

I made Bird Nest Breakfast Cups this morning - inspired by this. They were super easy, pretty good and Bella was able to help (always a plus). Mine don't look as good as the picture from Pinterest, but they still tasted good! Hubby approved, too. The only thing I would try to change next time is cooking the hashbrowns a little longer to see if the bottom gets crisper.

They turned out to be 200 cal each. A little high for me - so next time I'll omit the sausage in mine or use ham.
Bird Nests with Sausage
If you want to make them, you could follow the recipe from the blog I found it in. Or here's what I did and I ended up with 9 cups.

  • shred 2 large potatoes 
  • shred 4 oz reduced fat cheese
  • cook 1/2 lb of breakfast sausage 
  • spray a muffin tin with Pam
  • place some potato and cheese in each tin. save a handful of cheese for later.  
  • bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees
  • remove from oven, turn heat down to 350
  • crack an egg on top of each cup. Break the yolk a little.
  • Sprinkle some sausage on each cup. Top with a little more cheese.
  • Bake for another 15 minutes (or until egg is cooked).
  • use a knife around the edges of the cups to remove.
  • enjoy!

Pan Pic

Monday, January 23, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Not long ago, JT made some awesome lettuce wraps with ground beef. I was in charge of stopping at Cub to get lettuce on my way home from work. For some reason, I thought two huge bunches of bibb lettuce is what we needed. We used about 1/4 of what I bought. 

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe

I decided that tonight was the night to use it up and found an awesome looking Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wrap recipe. My verdict? Super easy to make, but cut back on the lime juice. I love lime, but it was too much even for me. My husband, however, loved it and even ate the last of it up during dinner - unheard of for a guy who loves leftovers more than stuffing himself at dinner. So I guess overall it was a winner and will be made again (with about 1/2 the lime juice).

I didn't think to take a picture of our final product (the one above is from Taste of Home), but I served it with white rice. I mixed in carrots and celery with the chicken but served the shredded cucumber on the side since I don't like it. We had crumbled blue cheese so I made the sauce in the recipe, but regular blue cheese dressing would be fine as well.

The Psychology of Pinterest

It's no secret that I am one of many who are addicted to Pinterest. Since I've posted a few original pins, I now realize the pure satisfaction that comes out of other people finding your items pin-worthy. It is validation that what you like or did was awesome/interesting enough for someone to want to save it and share it with their friends.

It feels good even if something you 're-pin' gets 're-pinned', but when it is something that originated with you it's even more gratifying. I modified a chocolate jello shot recipe and posted about it recently and have to admit that I love all the repins! 13 and counting. Go, ego, go!

What to blog about?

My blog is one of those things that I wish I invested more time on. I have lots of things in my head that I often wish I could just write down. Not anything revolutionary or even all that interesting, but I think it is human nature to want an outlet. Someplace to try to sort out all the nonsense. A place to share your story. A way to document memories.

I do my best thinking in two places: the shower and laying in bed at 3am after getting up with Addy. Unfortunately, neither are conducive to hopping on my laptop and pounding out a thought-provoking or entertaining post. Instead, I'll think myself through it in the middle of the night - swearing I'll remember word-for-word and write it out the next day. I never follow through. I never even really remember what I was thinking about.

I'm going to try to be better at writing more. Again, not because I necessarily have life-changing things to share. But because I think it will help me let go of some of the things that clog up my brain and will help alleviate some guilt that I won't remember EVERY SINGE MINUTE of my girls' growing up.

To help with the latter - here's a short recap of our weekend:

  • All day Fri and Sat, Bella talked about going out to eat for tacos. Sounded good to me, so Sat night we went to El Toro (one of my favorites!). After looking at the pictures on the kid menu, what did Bella decide to order? A hamburger, of course!! She did get rice with it, though. 
  • Going out with the two girls can be hit or miss. We used to take Bella out to eat with us at least once a week. And when Addy was small enough we'd continue to go. But we've been limiting eating in public because Addy is in that middle stage where she wants to be able to run around and be loud. She did really good at El Toro, other than a phase of SCREAMING (with joy) at EVERYONE who walked by. And since we were in a booth by the door, that was a lot of people. Granted, she got a lot of smiles but it still stressed us out as we didn't want other diners to be annoyed.
  • Sunday we bundled up and played out in the snow. Addy's first time! We tested out Bella's new sled. The sad thing is that one around the yard and more grass was showing than snow. I'm not much for hanging outside in the winter, but if we have to be outside there might as well be snow to play in! 
  • Visited my Grandpa Sunday and had a good time looking through old pictures. Even took one home of my Grandma and Grandpa on their honeymoon and one of before they were married. They look so happy, I just wanted to have it. My Grandpa passed away several years ago, but my Grandpa is 89 and still energetic and sharper than a lot of people half his age. Even though there are the stories he tells over and over, I realized that I don't spend enough time just sitting and listening. He has more stories to tell - he just needs pictures to remind him sometimes. And it's so awesome to hear him talk so fondly of my Grandma and still be so proud of things like her being the lead in her school play or saying things like "I bet you can find Grandma in these pictures. Just look for the prettiest girl". Love it. 
  • Our bathroom is painted! Three years later, there is color on the walls. It's been functional for a while, but in usual Trafton fashion it not only took us a while to decide on a color - but the paint can sat around for a while before it got on the walls. I'll post pictures soon!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How Piglet and Bella Met...

Bella: "Mom! Do you remember before Addy was born?"
Me: "I sure do. Do you remember before Addy was born?"
B: "Oh yes... before Addy was born I met Piglet"
Me: "Oh? How did you and Piglet meet?"
B: "Well, Piglet lived far, far, far, far away. But she had a motorcycle. A motorcycle with big breaks that she could press really hard."

I was kind of disappointed when Addy interrupted our conversation by trying to put a "pretty" (hair clip) in Bella's hair. Which is completly unacceptable becuase Bella doesn't need clips anymore ...becuase according to her "my bangs grew out while I was taking a nap!". But I digress - maybe I can get Bella to continue the story of how her and Piglet met tonight. I know you are all waiting on the edge of your seats.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chocolate Mocha Jello Shots [PCL]

PCL = Pinterest Come to Life

Every year our group of "married friends" has a belated holiday party in January. This year's  I made some fancy Jello shots inspired by a blog I found on Pinterest, That's So Michelle. She has a lot of fab jello shot recipes, but I thought a modified version of her Peppermint Mocha Holiday Jello Shots would be perfect for the party.

I. Loved. Them.

I did make some modifications and doubled the recipe:
  • brewed 2 cups of Keurig coffee - I had Green Mountain Breakfast Blend on hand.
  • let it sit until warm, but not hot. Then pour into a sauce pan. 
  • sprinkled 2 packages of Knorr gelatin on top and let it sit for 2 min
  • added 1/2 cup of sugar and stir
  • slowly stired in 2 cups of Pinnacle Whipped Chocolate vodka. They were pretty strong, so you can add less if you want...or the original recipe calls for Godiva Liquor, but vodka is cheaper! 
  • poured into small cups. I found mine at Walgreens. 
  • let sit overnight. Once ready to serve, topped with Redi Whip and added a chocolate wafer straw (something like this) as a garnish. The original used a mini-candy can, but since it wasn't really Christmas anymore I thought a cookie was more appropriate. 
They are best eaten with a spoon and cold. Once they sat out for a while they started to get runny, so put them back in the fridge if you don't eat them all. The above made about 18 shots. And like I said,they were  pretty strong... but that's how I like them :) They do have a strong coffee flavor, so if you want to cut that down maybe only brew 1 cup. In the end, I enjoyed them and will make them again!