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Please excuse the lack of photos in some of my older posts as I am trying to slowly go back through and add the photos that were accidentally deleted

January 31, 2012

WWDB? Ben & Jerry's Late Night Snack

Ok one more WWDB post for today.

This is one of my favorite Ben & Jerry's flavors. It isn't the best vanilla bean ice cream I've ever had. Personally, I could probably do without the vanilla bean ice cream. But that salted caramel swirl is to-die-for. I wish there was more of it throughout the ice cream! Or if the ice cream were entirely salted caramel flavor instead of vanilla bean, that would be THE best. Or at least this Dulce Delish ice cream base rather than vanilla bean.

I should get into the ice cream-making business.

Oh and my favorite part about this ice cream is the chocolate-covered potato chip clusters. Because I'm all about the sweet and salty mix. I love salted caramel for one, and the addition of these salty potato chip clusters really sets it over the top and satiates my salty-sweet craving. 

Now I just need to contact Ben & Jerry and either a.) plant the seed in their heads about making the whole ice cream a salted caramel flavor or their Dulce Delish flavor  OR  b.) convince them I need a job in the creative flavor-making committee.

Either way, eat this if you love ice cream and saltiness and caramel and potato chips. Because really, is there a good excuse to ever pass up those things? Didn't think so.

Peace, and bacon grease!

WWDB? Berry Burst Ice Cream Oreos

These are the best Oreos EVER

So much better than the regular Oreos. Even better than the double stuffed. 

That's saying alot. 

I made my Oreo Truffles using these and man were they scrum-diddly-umptious. Amped them up a bit with that extra berry burst flavor.

I don't think I'll ever go back to a regular Oreo again.

Oh, and I have seen them in stores for awhile now so I don't think it's a seasonal thing, and hopefully not a limited edition kinda thing. These must remain in my life for a long time to come.

Peace, and bacon grease!

WWDB? Ben & Jerry's Dulce Delish Ice Cream

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaack. Man I never post anymore! It's that dang school that's holding me back, I tell ya! I've got to find a way to balance work, school, and this amazing hobby I love.

So here's a super quick post. 

If you love caramel like I do, go buy this.

Caramel on caramel.

Nuff said.

Hope you all are doing great! I sure have missed you :)

Peace, and bacon grease!

January 23, 2012

Menu Planning - Week of 1/23/12

Why hello there, my pretties! I've been slacking a bit on my recipe posts. Seems like all I ever blog about lately are my menu plans, which don't fully come to fruition lol. But I've missed you all! I'm having some blogging withdrawals.

Not a very eventful weekend. Went to class Saturday morning, only after falling down the icy front steps and busting my butt, then having to scrape like an inch of ice off my car windows. I'm still sore today from falling.  PJ and I spent Saturday together going to Target, and later had a little date night dinner at Mitchell's Fish Market. Yummy in my tummy! Can I eat there every weekend? Sunday we went grocery shopping, watched football, I did some homework while PJ cleaned the house, and finished up a great weekend together. Love spending time with that guy.

Monday 1/23/12:  Asian Pork Tenderloin

Wednesday 1/25/12:  school night, eat out

Thursday 1/26/12:  Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

Saturday 1/28/12:  lunch or dinner and shopping with friends!

Sunday 1/29/12:  Chicken Alfredo Biscuit Casserole

Here's to an awesome week! I just got my student loan refund check, so time to buy that lens I've been coveting :) That will seriously make my whole week. Waiting on swagbucks to award me my Amazon gift card though to put towards the purchase. So excited!

What did everybody do for the weekend? What did you think about the results of the football games? And what's on the schedule for this upcoming week?

Peace, and bacon grease!


January 20, 2012

Lemon Sour Cream Pie {Improv Cooking Challenge}

Lemon desserts.

I used to never be a fan of them. Then I got older and I became less of a picky child and more of an openminded adult, and I discovered that my taste buds have changed. I thank that magical lemon bar from BonBonerie that I tried a little while back. Oh, with its shortbread-like crust and its tart, creamy filling... I found a piece of heaven I had been missing for so long. Now I'm all about the lemon desserts. Always open to try one.

Now I was on a mission to change PJ's mind. He said he'd worn himself out on lemon desserts and thought he didn't like them anymore. Just like he thought he didn't like pumpkin until he tried this. I've got to let him try that lemon bar from BonBonerie. But until then, I wanted to make him  us {ok me!} this pie...

You see, this months Improv Cooking Challenge theme was lemons and sour cream. I searched high and low in my 'must-try recipes' word document (yes, I have a document saved with millions of recipes listed that I want to try), searched on pinterest, and finally discovered the perfect pick: this Lemon Sour Cream Tart. Oh snap, I was all over that.

I used a 9-inch graham cracker crust rather than an ordinary pie crust because I'll snatch up any opportunity to use a graham cracker crust. I chose to bake mine for a little bit according to the package directions, but you don't have to bake it at all if you don't want. Completely up to you.

Lemon Sour Cream Pie
slightly adapted from One Perfect Bite
  • 1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
If you want to toast the graham cracker crust a bit, preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake according to directions on package. Cool to room temperature.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and juice, egg yolks, and milk in a heavy saucepan. Cook on medium heat until thick, stirring constantly. Add butter and let mixture cool to room temperature. Stir in sour cream and pour filling into tart shell.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Top with dollops of whipped cream just before serving. Yield 8 to 10 servings.

I just realized I forgot to take a photo with the whipped topping. Oopsies. Oh well, look at Mary's... her slice is beautiful especially with that dollop of whipped topping! And the slice (ok, many slices) I had were so delicious even without it.

Loved this pie, and PJ even liked it when he had a slice, especially with that graham cracker crust. See, that's some good stuff. Can't wait to make some more lemony treats!

Be sure to check out other lemon and sour cream goodies from the Improv Cooking Challenge in the blog hop below:

Linking up here and here.

Peace, and bacon grease!

January 16, 2012

Menu Planning - Week of 1/16/12

Keeping this short and sweet today. Strictly menu plan. Sorry if you'll miss my weekend recaps :)

Monday 1/16/12:  eat out, maybe Chick Fila

Tuesday 1/17/12:  4-Minute Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Wednesday 1/18/12:  school night, eat out

Friday 1/20/12:  date night, movie and Dewey's Pizza 
(or Mitchell's Fish Market if I can talk him into it!)

Saturday 1/21/12:  Mashed Potato Bowl

Happy Martin Luther King day to you all. How come I didn't get off work today?

Peace, and bacon grease!

January 9, 2012

Menu Planning - Week of 1/9/12

Hey there, friends. 

I made two of the four recipes I planned for last week's menu. Not the best start to a new year of menu planning, but decent enough. We made The Great White Chili and the Creamy Mushroom and Potato Soup, but didn't make the other two so I'll move them over to this week. Recycle them recipes. I have all of the ingredients already for the Chicken Pot Pie topped with Mashed Potatoes so we'll have that tonight, maybe. Don't hold it against me if not, because PJ will have to cook the whole meal while I'm at school! Yes, my first class is this evening! So if he feels up to it, he'll make this chicken pot pie (and I'll love him dearly for cooking), or I'll just pick up something for us on my way home. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday 1/10/12:  Chili Cornbread Bake

Wednesday 1/11/12:  pick something up, class at 7 PM

Thursday 1/12/12:  4 Minute Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Friday 1/13/12:  Oven Baked Frito Pie

Saturday 1/14/12:  out to eat

Sunday 1/15/12:  Crock Pot Chicken with Black Beans and Cream Cheese

I'm trying not to be too intimidated about starting school today... I'm a mix of excited and nervous. I'm trying to tell myself that it's going to be more exciting than anything else. Plus, it's only the first day so at least we'll start out today with introductions and going over the syllabus and such.

It's gonna be a long day... Wish me luck :)

(Oh, and can I just say that I'm shocked and thrilled that the Steelers lost their first playoff game! My Bengals lost to Houston, unfortunately, but having the Steelers lose kind of makes up for it. Sorry Pittsburgh fans, you understand the rivalry!)

Peace, and bacon grease!

January 5, 2012

Best Desserts of 2011

Woot woot, two posts in one day. Go me!

As you know I've been linking up to SnoWhite's Countdown to 2012 series. So far, you've seen my best soups, main dishes, and now I'm bringing you a collection of my favorite desserts from 2011. You're welcome.

Most of these delights came from the last half of the year.... guess I got more into my baking and dessert groove. And I hope to keep at it.

Thanks for checking out my "Best of 2011" series. It's been so fun re-capping all of the tasty recipes I've made on this blog this past year. I'm so excited for the upcoming year and all of the possibilities ahead.

Peace, and bacon grease!

Best Main Dishes of 2011

I'm back participating in SnoWhite's Countdown to 2012 (though it's already 2012 now). This time we're focusing on the best MAIN DISHES of 2011, and boy were there some good ones. Looking bad though, I didn't make as many main dishes this year as I'd want. Maybe because the second half of the year I started to bake a lot more desserts and treats. Not sure, but hopefully in 2012 there will be plenty of main dish recipes, as well as an array of desserts, sides, sauces etc. 

Let's get started!

We've got a nice mix of mains here... Mexican, Chinese, pork, beef, fish, and pasta. I need to make all of these again, asap! Maybe I'll have them show up on some menu plans here soon. Oh, and I know my Zuppa Toscana made my best SOUPS
of 2011... but seriously people, it is definitely one of my favorite main dishes of the year.

Looks like you and I have got some cooking to do.

Peace, and bacon grease!

January 3, 2012

2012 Resolutions... in Writing!


That's how I feel sometimes, not gonna lie. Why make resolutions that I'm probably not gonna stick to? Plus, I like me. I think I'm pretty cool. Do I really need to change?

The answer is YES! We all can always use a little bit of change. Of course I could afford to lose some pounds and inches, drink more water, work out more, yada yada yada. And I will attempt those things, at my own pace, you see. 

But I've decided to skip the obvious resolutions that resurface every year and focus on ones that I could actually achieve and stick with throughout the year.

So here's my 2012 Resolution List, in no particular order:

  1. Purchase at least 2 major house items
  2. Plan a vacation
  3. Host at least one giveaway on my blog
  4. Go to Findlay Market for the 1st time ever
  5. Read at least 5 books
  6. Learn how to use my new dslr camera
  7. Volunteer

#1 was also on my resolution list last year... and we did purchase a new couch and tv. Our house, however, is always in need of fixing up, so I decided to add it to my resolution list again this year... and this time I'm going for 2 major items! Hey, last year we did it so I know we can again this year.

Last year we had planned to go to Gatlinburg or somewhere in South Carolina, but money just wasn't right so we decided against it. This year I must have my vacation!

I really have a lot of goals for my blog, and hosting another giveaway is one of many. I had fun hosting my first (and only) giveaway last summer and hope to come up with some great giveaway ideas for my readers.

Last year I was supposed to go to Findlay Market. Dunno what happened there... 
This year, this year.

In 2011 I also urged myself to read more. Again, dunno what happened there. I literally didn't pick up my first book until I think maybe August of that year, and then slowly read that one, and finally finished my 2nd book of 2011 at the very end of the year. That's no good! I want to read at least 5 books this year! I see some of my blogger friends setting a goal of 52 books in 52 weeks and I'm in awe. If I can read 1/10th of that, I'll be good :)

Obviously, I'm gonna have to seriously read up on how to use my new dslr camera. That means learning new terms like ISO and shutter speed and aperture. It also means busting out the handy dandy manual and playing around with the cam a little bit until I get some great shots. I want to master this camera, mostly for my food photos, but also for my personal family photos. I've always had a thing for photography...

Oh, and my last resolution is to do some kind of volunteer work this year. Hopefully being in the counseling program at Xavier will lead to volunteer opportunities. I want to get my hands wet and dive into the counseling world, and this especially means doing volunteer work to better assess my skills and to see which path I want to follow in my career.

Man I can't wait to cross some of these off my list. Have I told you guys before that I'm a list kinda gurl? Well I am... it feels so good to cross stuff off those lists. Can't. wait.

I've got a year to get er done. Which, as we all can relate, will probably fly by. Guess I better get started soon.

Oh, and this made me laugh.


That's so me, besides #4 and #5.

That is all.

Peace, and bacon grease!

Menu Planning - Week of 1/2/12

It's a new year folks, and I'm trying to start it out right. That means menu planning! I usually like to do my menu planning posts on Monday (or Sunday if I'm really good) but today's is falling on a Tuesday, which gives me one less meal to plan. Woot woot! 

I've thoroughly enjoyed my breaks and they didn't last long enough. I'm officially back to work this week with no holidays in the near future. You too? How will we survive?! Not sure, but we will.

Oh, and next Monday I go back to school. WHAT?! Seriously, next Monday?! I remember when going back to grad school was merely a thought that crossed my mind. Then it became more real as I applied, took my MAT, endured interviews with the staff, and dealt with financial aid. And now the time is just about here to actually start the program. I almost can't believe it. It always seemed like so much work in my mind to take the steps to go back to school, and now I've taken the steps. I'm pretty proud about that, I must say. I'll be even more proud when I finish the program, or at least make it through my first class, do well on an exam, and finish some pages-long essays that I'm sure will be in store for me. Wish me luck?

This Thursday I'll be doing the orientation thing... picking up my All-card, purchasing textbooks for my classes, and getting a tour of the campus since it's changed immensely since I've attended 4 years ago. I'm nervous!

But enough of psyching myself out and complicating the issue. I've got some menu planning to do. 2012 is gonna be a menu planning year... I can feel it!

Tuesday 1/3/12:  The Great White Chili

Wednesday 1/4/12:  Chicken Pot Pie topped with Mashed Potatoes (more like a shepherd's pie)

Thursday 1/5/12:  pick something up, orientation night

Friday 1/6/12:  Chili Cornbread Bake

Saturday 1/7/12:  dinner out, use a Groupon

Sunday 1/8/12:  Creamy Mushroom and Potato Soup

It's a new year, so hopefully that means I actually stick to the menu plan for once and make all of these delicious recipes. I still need to purchase a lens for my new camera... I hoped to have it by now for my food blog photos, but it just didn't happen quite as I anticipated. Call me uppity, but I just can't bring myself to take photos with my old point and shoot knowing that I've got a dslr just waiting to be used. Oh well, guess I shouldn't forget what I started with and how far I've come!

Here's to a great first week in 2012. Good luck in sticking to all of your resolutions!

Peace, and bacon grease!

Best Soups of 2011

It's 2012!! I'm gonna need time to slow down a little bit. Don't you wish we could control it? Just press rewind and go back to the beginning of 2011 (or when I was 16 for that matter!). Yet it doesn't go that way, so instead I'll just have to try to make 2012 even better than 2011.  You with me?!

I know it's already a couple days into the new year, but I wanted to participate in SnoWhite's Countdown to 2012 series. What a great way to round out a year of delicious food. So technically we're no longer counting down to 2012, but it's all good. I know you still wanna see all of the SOUPS I've shared with you in 2011! (though #4 and #3 weren't exactly met with much praise from the man).

(don't mind the overly-photoshopped picture)

and the absolute best soup of 2011 is....

One of my new loves from the past year. Zuppa, I'm so glad I've found you.

Linking up to Mangia Mondays

Peace, and bacon grease!