Sunday, July 25, 2010


This post is for my sister!  As promised... pictures of the new place.  Be sure to look for Carl... he was in a Where's Waldo kind of mood during the townhouse photoshoot...

Let Them Eat Cake

The following recipe has been flying around my family's e-mail accounts this week...

 It's a chocolate cake you make in a coffee cup!  It only takes about 5 minutes in the microwave...

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 4 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT! This is definitely enough cake for two! 

Now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Grill Frills

Joe got a charcoal grill a few weeks ago and I think it's safe to say this is where the majority of our food is coming from!  Here is what I ate tonight (that's your broccoli Dad!)

After spending about an hour reading the grilling issue of Every Day with Rachel Ray I decided to throw together my own vegetable marinade.  Here's the recipe- if you can call it that- Jackson hodge-podge might be a little more accurate...
Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh Mushrooms
Green Pepper
Red Pepper
Kalameta Olives
Now for the marinade:
Splash of Kalameta Olive juice
A few splashes of Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of ground mustard
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of garlic salt
2 teaspoons of sesame seeds

I mixed everything together in a gallon freezer bag and threw it in the fridge for about 45 minutes.  Joe cooked it in a grill wok for about 15 minutes.  The result kind of reminded me of the something you would have at a HuHot or Mongos.  Super flavorful and tasty!

If you're not into a completely vegetarian meal... here is something else you can try.  Joe made these a few nights ago with all the vegetables I mentioned above + pineapple...

He added small pieces of round steak marinaded overnight with this...

My favorite part was the pineapple chunks- super juicy and fresh! 

It's so nice cooking supper together every night in the summer!  It makes me realize just how many late nights I worked this past academic year.  This coming year should have definite improvements in that arena.  Only two more weeks until I start my new job in Student Affairs- woot!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Project Corner with Katie

Super fun, super easy DIY project I put together for our new kitchen!  Here's what you do...
1.Find a picture frame or a mirror... doesn't have to be anything too pricey.  I found mine at Goodwill for about $7.
2.Buy some chalkboard paint.  I found mine at Wal-Mart although the lady in the paint department told me they are going to stop carrying it.  They should have it at Lowe's or Home Depot although our Lowe's was sold out the day I went to buy some.
3. Remove the glass portion of the frame and apply 2 coats of chalkboard paint.
4. Let dry 24 hours.  Season your new chalkboard using the wide side of some white school chalk.
5. Chalk away!  These are great for posting dinner party menus or welcome messages!    

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's the Freakin' Weekend Baby...

This three day weekend was exactly what I needed!  It's been a busy year to say the least.  Between Joe and I having to travel for work as soon as the academic year ended and then moving into our new place, I feel like we haven't really stopped moving for the last month or so.  We're finally unpacked and settled and we had a chance to entertain ourselves this weekend rather than just trying to get things done before work started up again.  I planted some flowers on our new patio and we got a grill and some new furniture.  I think Joe grilled something every day this weekend.  Tonight- he grilled french fries wrapped up in aluminum foil- they were actually really good!  Who knew you can grill a french fry. We went to see Grown Ups- we weren't too impressed... I don't know how they ever roped Adam Sandler into that script.  I was a little sad for him walking out of the theatre!  We had a BBQ with some friends and shot off fire works in the street.  This was a new thing for me since fireworks are mostly illegal in MN.  I kept on screaming- and I am sure I made a skittish name for Minnesotans in general- sorry all!  I finally finished the novel Joe gave me for Valentine's Day and I watched about 10 episodes of The Hills on Netflix on demand (ridiculous- I know).  I did some long workouts at the gym, which I guess isn't too entertaining, but it was nice not to rush for once!  I tried to talk the cat into venturing outside on the harness, but he was not having it.  Can't really blame him- he's got it pretty good right where he is.   I gave our new kitchen a work out too with these fun recipes you should try if you want a sweet or savory treat...

Peanut Butter and Banana Mini Oreo Cheesecakes
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
16 Oreos
2 medium bananas, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1.  Heat oven to 350˚F. Make the peanut butter cheesecake by beating together cream cheese and sugar with a mixer until fluffy. Mix in egg, peanut butter, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
2.  Line 12 cups of a muffin pan with paper cups and place an Oreo in the bottom of each cup. Add three slices of banana on top of each Oreo. Pour peanut butter cheesecake batter on evenly on top of the banana layer.
3.  Crush remaining 4 Oreos in a bag with a rolling pin or pulse in a food processor until crumbled. Sprinkle Oreo crumbs evenly on top of peanut butter cheesecake layer. Bake at 350˚F for 25 to 28 minutes or until set. Remove from pans and let cool to room temp, about an hour, and then place in fridge until chilled, about 1 more hour. Remove mini cheesecakes from paper muffin cups. Makes 12 servings.

Applebee's Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 cup shredded Parmesan-Romano cheese mix
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
10 ounces prepared Alfredo sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 ounces softened cream cheese
pepper (optional)
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and spread mixture into a small baking dish (I used an 8" X 8" dish).
3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheeses are bubbling and melted.
4. Serve with chips or bread and enjoy.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!