Monday, December 31, 2012

Butter Dinner Rolls

 I made these delicious dinner rolls for our Christmas dinner. This recipe is a simple one and it is great because it can be prepared in advance so as to lessen the load on Christmas dinner. What's nice is that they are very buttery delicious and there really is no need to butter the rolls once they are done.

Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions

This is a traditional appetizer that one of my Aunt's makes every Christmas. It is an absolute family fave and so I could not let this Christmas go by without making this appetizer, even if it was only for two. Everyone should give this appetizer a try, it is just too good.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Horseradish and Garlic Crusted Prime Rib

Our first Christmas dinner alone and so I wanted to make it special. I came up with a menu for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving:  brie and onions appetizer, traditional Oplatki, creamed corn, sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, dinner rolls, roasted potatoes, and prime rib. Once this menu was settled it was literally all I could think about until we finally cooked everything up on Christmas day. This prime rib recipe was absolutely wonderful and the crust was quite tasty.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

One of Nick's family traditions is enjoying this lovely breakfast casserole on Christmas morning. It is a delicious hash brown and sausage casserole that can be prepared ahead of time so that all that needs to be done Christmas morning is to bake it in the oven. It can be served alone or with scrambled eggs and/or rice. It's also good with a drizzle of hot sauce. This is a great recipe that we will continue to make an appearance every year for Christmas morning.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!
This is the first year ever that Nick and I are spending Christmas away from our families. Although we miss our families and friends back home very much, we are managing pretty well. Both our families mailed us some great Christmas packages and we have been Skyping with everyone all month and on Christmas day. One thing we have noticed since we've moved here is how small the world is now with technology like Skype, email, and google chat. It has been very easy to keep in close contact with all of our family and friends no matter where they are now, whether it is back at home in CA or in Africa, and so it doesn't really feel like we are 2,000 miles away. Therefore, it has been less difficult than expected, to not be with family this year.

Since it is our first Christmas alone, we are starting some new traditions. We started by making a quick one day trip to Chicago so that we could check out the city and all the Christmas decór that the city has to offer. We also have started a new Christmas tradition of making homemade pizza Christmas eve and watching The Grinch. Tomorrow, Christmas morning, we will have Nicks family tradition of breakfast casserole and then my family tradition of prime rib for dinner, I'm looking forward to it. Another new Christmas experience for us is enjoying some snowfall outside of our very own house, even if only a little. So far this Christmas has been quite pleasant, but we do still wish we had some family here to celebrate with.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Pretzel Caramel Bark

 Okay, it's official, I am addicted to baking. I seriously cannot stop baking things. I spent this weekend baking Nutella cups, chocolate peppermint Andes cookies, brownies and this delicious pretzel caramel bark. This bark is great and tasty, a perfect treat to bring to any holiday party. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mini Corn Dogs

 I will never buy frozen corn dogs again, no need. This was such a simple recipe and since it is homemade I can guarantee that the corn bread being used is as healthy as it ought to be. I think they would also work great for mothers who want to make them ahead of time and then stick them in the freezer to warm up on a moments notice.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Turkey Tetrazzini

 I was searching for recipes that I could use for leftover turkey. I found this recipe and knew it was perfect, especially since it is made with regular household ingredients. I love Thanksgiving and all the food it entails but when it comes to leftovers sometimes it is great to eat something with the leftover turkey that is not so Thanksgiving-y. This was perfect, a pasta dish with turkey and mushrooms, it was great! This recipe will definitely be added to my arsenal of Thanksgiving leftover recipes. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

In my office we take turns providing cake for our co-workers on their birthdays. It was my turn this week and I knew my co-worker loves cookies, hence my decision to make this lovely cake. While this cake is quite time consuming, it is well worth the effort. It is absolutely delicious and there are ways to simplify the recipe so that it is not as time consuming as the complete original, shared here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

So good! If you are a fan of salted caramel items then you will love these. Start by making your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, like this one here. Just cut-up caramel chews into eighths and add them to the cookie dough along with the chocolate chips, being sure to make sure the caramel pieces are completely covered with cookie dough. Next, form cookies on baking dish a add a pinch of sea salt to the top of each cookie. Bake and enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving and Leftovers

Hello everyone, it's that time again. The best time of the year. Time for loads of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, veggies etc. Nothing is better than enjoying a fresh baked holiday meal and then having enough leftover to eat it again the next day and sometimes all week. My fave is leftover turkey sandwhiches. Here are a few ideas for your turkey day meal and for ideas for the reaminder of the week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Creamed Corn and Mashed Potatoes

Turkey Sandwich (turkey, cranberry, gravy, stuffing on sourdough)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

This is a great alternative to regular pizza. It is just as delicious but much cleaner. If your favorite part of pizza is the crust then you will love this recipe, it is lots of yummy and fluffy crust. I made these last week and now after creating this post, it makes me want to make some more. In our family, you can never get enough pizza.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Orange Oatmeal Muffins

 My friend Megan shared this recipe with me years ago and it is one of my fave muffin recipes, the combination of orange and oatmeal is delicious. Since I have my new mini muffin pans, I decided to make some mini orange oatmeal muffins. This is a great recipe and it can be great as a bundt cake too.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Creamy Ham Pasta

 My co-worker and I were talking about our interest in cooking with alcohol and the lovely tastes some alcohols give to certain recipes. She then shared this recipe with me and it reminded me of something my Senora would make me when I was living in Spain. It immediately brought back good memories and my love for this dish. I decided to make it and it was just as great as I remembered. This is a great way to mix it up with pasta. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas

I was craving enchiladas and so I decided to find a healthier version, although in the end this recipe may not be healthier it does provide more nutrition with the addition of spinach. These were quite delicious and will definitely be added to my enchilada rotation. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nutella Cups

Happy Halloween!!!
I made these for my works Halloween luncheon today. They are fairly easy to make and they are very delicious! Once you've started, it's hard to stop eating them. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


 Tiramisu is so delicious! I have been wanting to make it for quite awhile but never had a reason too. Nick's parents visited last weekend and so I used it as the perfect excuse to make some. It was quite delicious and probably one of my most favorite desserts, I would probably make it more often if ladyfingers were easier to come by.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Butternut Squash Risotto with Spicy Shrimp

'Tis the season for squash. I bought some butternut squash to make Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese and had some left over. I have bought frozen butternut squash risotto from Trader Joe's before but since I had some squash left over, I decided to go for it myself. This was absolutely delicious, very rich in flavor and that is why the spicy shrimp is a perfect contrast companion. This is a great meal to impress others with.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sugar Cookies

 I have never made sugar cookies before but I saw a recipe that had the cute idea of adding candy corn to a sugar cookie to make it festive and so I just had to make them, because they are adorable. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Asian Pork

 Nick decided to make dinner the other night, he chose a recipe out of the cookbook I bought him, CookWise, that explains the chemistry involved with cooking and the hows and whys about cooking. This recipe was very delicious and he cooked it perfectly. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Zuppa Toscana

 One of my most favorite soups is Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden. I love the overall flavor with the kale and sausage. Recently after I did a brief cleanse for 4 days, I begged Nick to take me to Olive Garden to get some endless soup and salad. I ordered Zuppa Toscana and I was a tad disappointed because my first bowl was from the bottom of the barrel with barely any kale and my second bowl had way too many potatoes. After that experience, I decided the best way to get this soup from now on is to just make it myself, especially since a bunch of kale is much cheaper out here in the MidWest than it is back at home. Anywho, I made it this time around and it was the perfect soup to ring in the Fall.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Salmon Cakes

 When I was unemployed I enjoyed watching Food Network and getting all kinds of ideas for new meals. That is where I found this recipe. I watched

Monday, October 1, 2012

Shrimp Chow Mein Fail

So the truth is, I kinda failed at making this well but I really like the picture I took of this meal and so I thought I would share it anyway. This meal still turned out ok, but I failed at frying the noodles enough and adding enough soy sauce to make it taste like real chow mein. So my recommendation is to cook the noodles well and don't be afraid to season well. Once I find a better recipe I will post it.

Honey Soy Chicken (Slow Cooker Recipe)

This is a great recipe I found somewhere. I think a friend had it linked somewhere and I kept it on my computer for a week until I finally decided to make it. This is a delicious crock pot chicken recipe with some Asian flair. In the end with all the components in place, we had some Teriyaki chicken bowls. This is definitely a keeper, especially since I am a working woman again. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Unemployed Life

 So I have technically been unemployed for over 2.5 months now.  Although the first month included packing, our road trip to Indiana, and unpacking, this is the first time since before I graduated high school that I have had completely no responsibility, with no job or school work.  13 years, since the summer of my Junior year of high school, I have not had the freedom to do what I wanted to do everyday. It’s interesting because when you work full time you think about how nice it would be to not work.  You could do what you really want to do.  Sleep in, clean the house, rest, cook elaborate meals, work on crafts, exercise, etc.  Once you really have the time off and you don’t have to get anything done on any given day, that sense of “how great it is to be home and have nothing to do” kind of fades fast. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed my break from getting up Monday through Friday at the butt crack of dawn and not having to get dressed and go to a place to work to earn money. But, it turns out there are 24 hours in a day, 14 hours if you get a proper night’s sleep. Honestly, 14 hours was more than enough time to get things done. In the past month and a half, I managed to get us completely settled in our new home in under 3 days (with Nick’s help), make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for my working husband most days, clean the house weekly, do the laundry, keep our home tidy, scrapbook, and workout more than 3 times a week.  I have even managed to interview for numerous jobs. But, all those things together don’t really take 14 hours a day. So what have I really done with my time? I’ve slept a lot, I’ve annoyed my studious husband, I’ve read some books and I’ve figured out the best and most comfortable position to be in for 10 hours a day on the couch.  I swear I have never watched so much TV in all my life. I have truly caught up with all the non-basic cable shows that I have missed out on during the past 3 years. The truth is, I have bored myself crazy. I have come to the realization that I need a job.  I mean I NEED a job! I miss the routine, the human interaction, knowing what day of the week it is, the feeling of accomplishment, doing things, and getting out and interacting with people on a daily basis. I have gotten to that place where I wish I had a reason to wake up at the butt crack of dawn. Luckily for me after declining 4 previous offers, I was offered a fantastic job in the nick of time. I am ecstatic about starting work again after my 2.5 months of complete relaxation. Thank God!
My new office and the view from our building

Thursday, September 13, 2012

West Coast vs. Mid West

We have been living in West Lafayette, Indiana for just about a month now and so there have been a few things that I have noticed that are quite different from living in Southern California. 
So here's my list of the differences I’ve noticed in West Lafayette during our first month here:
Steakburgers not hamburgers
Pop not soda
When it rains there is usually a thunder storm too
No Costco, Sam’s Club instead
No In-n-out
Frozen custard is more popular than ice cream (it's basically the same thing)
Deep dish pizza is a regular not a novelty
Hardee’s not Carls Jr
No Trader Joes
It is illegal to sell alcohol on Sundays
Average speed limit around town is 35 MPH
It is illegal to text while driving but not to talk
No ocean
Corn fields are everywhere
No sourdough bread
Bears’ games are played on local tv channels
We are more likely to have a tornado than an earthquake nearby
There are squirrels everywhere
Each city has it's own marked water tower
There are lots of crickets, cicadas, fireflies, and mosquitos
Eastern time zone (so 3 hours later than our family and friends back at home)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Boot Tracks

I found this recipe online when I searched for low calorie chocolate desserts. It's a really easy recipe with a cute looking result. I think these would be great for kids since it is easy to bake and they look neat afterwards. I topped mine with some Nutella and powdered sugar and it was delicious.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Beef Stroganoff

For some reason I was really craving Beef Stroganoff, which is weird because I do not have a history with this meal at all since I did not like mushrooms growing up. Maybe it is my newer love of mushrooms and my continuous love for egg noodles that made me want it so bad. Of course I wanted to find a great recipe and who better than Paula Deen's recipe to follow. In the end, this was a very easy meal to prepare and it was quite tasty, perfect for my craving. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Banana Muffins

Ever since we moved to Indiana I have been cooking and baking a lot. The main reason is because I am unemployed and looking for work. I have been making all kinds of goodies and a lot of repeat dinners since we had been eating fast food or camping food for a couple weeks before we settled in here. So being the good wife I am, I decided to make Nick some breakfast muffins so that he would have something nice to eat before going to class or work. I have made banana muffins before but I remember I did not like the previous ones very much and so I decided to search out a new recipe and I am glad I did, these were great. Delicious, moist, super banana-y and not too sweet. Although I am addicted to sweets, I really do not enjoy eating sweets first thing in the morning, but these were yummy and not too sweet (don't get me wrong though, they are sweet but more banana than sugar). 

Yellow Cake

I just realized I never posted the recipe for yellow cake that I used on Nick's birthday. It was a really great recipe and so if you are a fan of yellow cake and you want to do just a little extra work than needed from a boxed yellow cake then this recipe is for you. It was a super delicious and moist cake. I made cupcakes because making a cake seemed kinda crazy to do for just the two of us. Therefore, the recipe below is only for 12 cupcakes or 1- 8" or 9" round cake (I actually halved this recipe to make 6 cupcakes).

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Cookies

I made these for Grandma Huber since she had a nice garden fresh zucchini from her neighbor that needed to be used. They were super chocolatey good.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Food Ventures

Over the past month as we drove cross country, we have had the pleasure to eat and enjoy food at many tv famous restaurants. Here is a quick recap of our noteworthy food ventures from our trip (we had lots of burgers). Each place was delicious and worth the trip

Burger Bar in Salt Lake City (appeared on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on Food Network)
Burger Butcher in Chicago

Giordano's Stuffed Pizza in Chicago (award winning)

Molly's Cupcakes in Chicago (appeared on cupcake Wars on Food Network)

Triple X Root Beer in West Lafayette, IN (appeared on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on Food Network)