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  1. Thursday, February 14

    A Chocolate Valentine for You!

    Time for your chocolate valentine! Seriously, what is Valentine’s Day without chocolate?


    Adrianne made this beautiful Chocolate Ganache Tart (click for recipe from Martha Stewart) today. She even shared a few slices with us! Adrianne and I did a little taste test during the photo shoot…it’s sooooo rich and sooooo good. I’m going to be a good girl and eat ALL of my dinner tonight…don’t want to miss dessert!


  2. Happy Heart Day!


    May your Valentine’s Day be filled with loved ones…love notes…


    …and pretty paper hearts.


  3. Wednesday, February 13

    Featured Recipe: Banana Crumb Muffins

    My friend Adrianne sent me this awesome Banana Crumb Muffin recipe. Cate and I made them last night. They’re awesome. Nuf said.

    Banana Crumb Muffins
    From Lisa Kreft via AllRecipes.com
    Ingredients
    * 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    * 1 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1 teaspoon baking powder
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 3 bananas, mashed
    * 3/4 cup white sugar
    * 1 egg, lightly beaten
    * 1/3 cup butter, melted
    * 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    * 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    * 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    * 1 tablespoon butter

    Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
    3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.


  4. Monday, February 11

    ProFlowers Giveaway!!

    Remember my yummy chocolate covered strawberries from this weekend?


    Now’s your chance to get some of your own! I’m so excited for today’s giveaway!

    ProFlowers is giving away TWO $50 gift cards that can be used for any of their amazing products. That’s right, two of you lucky readers will get to shop to your heart’s content! Flowers, plants, gift baskets, yummy treats…including those awesome strawberries! What could be better?

    To enter the giveaway, simply enter a comment on this post by Sunday, 2/17, Midnight PT. I will randomly select two names and announce the winners on Monday, 2/18. Make sure you let your honey know about the giveaway…if they enter and win, you still win! πŸ™‚

    And in case you still need a gift for your Valentine this week…be sure to visit www.proflowers.com/pr for a 15% discount! Just in time for the big day!

    Good luck to all on the giveaway!!

    Make sure to leave your name on your post.


  5. Week 55 Menu

    No reason behind today’s picture except the oranges are pretty. πŸ™‚


    I apologize in advance…but I need to do just a LITTLE venting… mostly because I didn’t get the opportunity to vent AT the person who deserves it. Actually, I may not even need to vent. I just need to describe what I saw today: a person driving a Prius throwing trash and a cigarette butt out their window. I guess littering doesn’t hurt the environment?!?! Oh wait, that’s venting. Sorry. I’m done.

    Okay, a menu. Hmmmm. I am having “cooker’s block” today. Here goes nothing!

    MONDAY:
    – Squiggly pasta, as Cate likes to call it…probably with the Knorr packet for Herb & Garlic pasta sauce, and chicken
    – Salad
    – Bread

    TUESDAY:
    Pat’s Oriental Chicken Salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Breakfast for dinner…Panckaes
    – Fruit
    – Hashbrowns

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Hamburgers
    – Chips or Homemade Fries (if I’m feeling adventurous)
    – Salad

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    Beef Stew (Cate’s current favorite)
    – Yummy bread

    Can’t wait to see what you’ve got!


  6. Saturday, February 9

    The Goods: Awesome Chocolate Covered Strawberries

    Oh my goodness. My friend Karen is the best. She sent me a dozen chocolate covered strawberries from ProFlowers this weekend. Chocolate covered strawberries are one of my greatest weaknesses when it comes to dessert. Seriously, if I have a good chocolate to dip them in, I can eat a whole container of strawberries no PROBLEM. It’s healthy if it’s fruit, right?


    Since I am a connoisseur of this delectable treat, I thought I’d let you know these puppies from ProFlowers are DANG GOOD. Huge sweet strawberries, good quality chocolate. And since they look so pretty on the plate (plates that Karen gave to me, by the way…that girl has good taste), of course I had to share them with you. Enjoy!


  7. Friday, February 8

    Why Backing Off Pays Off

    Cate and I spent the morning making Valentine’s Day cards. That is one good way to spend a morning.

    I thought her cards were too cute. I started to take a picture of her chubby little hands working on a card that was lying on the table. Cate grabs the card right when I get the camera, ruining my otherwise perfect shot.

    Mom: “Cate, I would like to take a picture of that.”

    Cate: “No, this way is better, Mommy.”

    She was right.


  8. Thursday, February 7

    Featured Recipe: Stuffed Shells

    Last night we were spoiled big time. Our good friend Brittany brought us dinner because we had a baby…8 weeks ago. She felt bad that she didn’t get dinner to us sooner, but that’s silly. It was AWESOME getting dinner now. What a treat, and still a huge help. Just because Anna isn’t a few days old doesn’t mean we’re not tired or in need of a yummy meal. πŸ™‚

    ANYWAY, Brit made us the BEST stuffed shells I’ve ever had. You all really must try them! (recipe is at the end of this post.) Brit also brought blueberries & whipped cream for dessert. She added a bit of hazelnut syrup to the cream in addition to sugar and vanilla. It was AWESOME. Good tip, Brit!

    BIG THANKS to Brittany and all of our friends who have brought meals over since Anna was born. I can’t tell you how GRATEFUL we are and how great all your food was!!!

    I also need to share another Brittany creation with you today. We went to her house for the Super Bowl, where we had lots of fun (despite the game) and lots of great food. What I really wanted to share with you was Brittany’s table runner: real grass! That’s right, in honor of the Super Bowl, she actually bought sod and put it on her table. It was an adorable and affordable idea for a Super Bowl party. I forgot my camera, but Brit let me borrow hers to grab a couple shots…much to everyone else’s annoyance. “Hold on! You can’t eat yet! I need to take tons of pictures of the food that’s quickly growing cold!” Yup, I think everyone was wishing Brittany didn’t have a camera for me to use. πŸ™‚ Oh, and that’s my guacamole and chex mix!

    Β 

    Featured Recipe: Stuffed Shells
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish
    Notes
    SHELLS:
    - 1 pound jumbo shells(about 20) (cook to package directions)

    - Olive oil
    - ½ pound pancetta, ¾β€³ pieces

    Cook..and add to…

    - 2 pounds spinach-washed and drained
    - 15 ounces whole milk ricotta
    - 1 cup asiago
    - ½ teaspoon pepper
    - ¼ teaspoon fresh nutmeg

    Put a large spoonful of mix in each shell..

    SAUCE:
    - 1 tablespoon butter
    - 1 clove minced garlic

    Cook one minute in saucepan..or until fragrant..Then add…
    - 1 cup cream

    Turn to low…
    - 2 cups asiago cheese (1/2 c. at a time)
    - ¼ cup fresh parsley
    - ¼ teaspoon pepper

    Top shells with some asiago and cook 25 minutes @ 350. Drizzle some sauce on shells before cooking and more when its done!! Fits in two 8Γ—8 pans.

    Β 


  9. Monday, February 4

    Here Comes Lindsay Claus…

    Okay, I know that title was DUMB. Couldn’t think of anything better. I just wanted to wet your whistle with this pretty picture and a promise of great things to come…


    Enter Lindsay Claus. Okay, that’s not really her last name, but it may as well be with the gifts she has to share with us. My new friend Lindsay recently moved in next door. She loves to cook and does crazy things like grind whole spices and make her own corn chips. Yes, I consider that crazy. Come on, you guys know me by now. I doubt sincerely I’ll ever fry up even one homemade corn chip in this lifetime. But that doesn’t change the fact that I think it’s AWESOME. She has some great recipes to share, and her cooking makes for some even greater photography, what with the beautiful ingredients and cookware galore.

    I have a few Lindsay features lined up, however, I need to go through the hundreds of pictures I took and pick just a few to share. Until then, I thought I’d share this shot of her beautiful spices in their beautiful containers.


  10. Week 54 Menu

    WHAT THE?!?!?!?. Where are those black armbands anyway? We haven’t needed them this bad since the 86 years before the Red Sox broke the curse!

    Since we are in mourning, Funeral Potatoes every day this week. Okay, not really. But honestly, how am I going to cook in these circumstances?!?!

    I will say this for today’s “festivities” – the food was dang good and the company better. I’ll report on that later this week. πŸ™‚

    Here’s my menu for the week. Bring it on, folks. I’m getting boring. Inspire me! Wait, no pressure. Post whatever you want! πŸ™‚

    MONDAY:
    Chicken Piccata
    – Mashed potatoes
    – Salad

    TUESDAY:
    Chili
    Corn Cake Toppers

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Leftovers

    THURSDAY:
    – Homemade pizza (w/Trader Joe’s 99 cent pizza crust dough, of course)
    – Salad

    FRIDAY:
    – Squiggly pasta, as Cate likes to call it…probably with the Knorr packet for Herb & Garlic pasta sauce, and chicken
    – Salad
    – Bread

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    – Breakfast for dinner…Waffles? Pancakes?
    – Fruit
    – Hashbrowns