The happy life of a happy wife…











{October 29, 2010}   Five Question Friday

Click here to visit Stay Calm, Have a Cupcake for a chance to win a cupcake kit!  I’d love to win this cupcake kit because she is always posting such yummy ideas that I’d love to try  :)  Go check out her blog!
 
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1. If you could be a fly on any wall, which would you choose?  Hmm…  I guess I’d like to be a fly on the wall of my coworker’s house.  I want to see if her marriage is really as “perfect” as she tries to make it sound.
2. Do you budget your Christmas shopping or just get it done without budgeting?  We don’t have kids, so I don’t really budget… just buy buy buy! :)

3. What is the craziest fad diet you have ever done?  I don’t really do fad diets, I just do my own thing.

4. Is there a TV show that you have seen every episode/season of?  Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, Judge Judy (yes – I’ve seen all the episodes since 1996 lol)

5. What one song always pulls at your heart?  Only Hope, Mandy Moore


{October 26, 2010}   Mozzarella Sticks

Recipe from: the Confident mom

I adore mozzarella sticks… and that’s about the only intro I need for this one!  These are simple and fantastic.  And the crunch?! OMG  Let’s just say I could actually hear it when Shane bit into one!  Amazing.

Disregard my picture though.  Flour -> Egg-> Breadcrumbs.

I do have a funny story to tell though.  I was much more comfortable frying things on the stove after making these cheese fritters, especially since I have a thermometer to use now.  So I get the oil in a pot, turn the heat on, and get it preheated to 350.  I drop a couple in and they are sizzling beautifully and I start bragging to my husband about how awesome I am.  We were playing with the new thermometers and watching the temperature rise (yes, we are dorks).

So after the first batch comes out, hubby crunches into one and declares that yes, I am amazing… I glance down at the recipe I had printed and said, “Oh $h!t!  I was only supposed to have the temperature at 175!  Turn the heat off quick before I catch something on fire!!”  At which point hubby questions how I rely on recipes to cook anything but yet not actually read the recipes.

So I remove the pot from the burner and watch the temperature gradually go down, all the while continuing to cook more mozzarella sticks.  Coincidentally, the lower the temperature got the harder a time I was having.  By the last mozzarella stick, all I had left was a big blob of cheese stuck to the bottom of the pan and a big mess on the plate.

Turns out that the recipe I had printed just had a little typo on the required temperature.  They meant to say 375, not 175!  What I’ve learned is that 200 degrees makes a big difference :)

Oh — and get this picture in your head — I didn’t have a slotted spoon that I could use, so we opted for the potato masher.  It worked, kinda…


These are the four that turned out amazing!  (The rest of them we just won’t talk about anymore lol)

Ingredients:

  • 8 piece of string cheese
  • 1/2 cup flour (AP)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 tbsp milk (I used fat-free half & half because I had some leftover)
  • 1 cup Italian-style Panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil, for frying
  • Marinara Sauce (for dipping)

Directions:

  1. Cut the string cheese in half so you will end up with 16 pieces.
  2. Arrange your prep bowls – 1 for flour, 1 for the eggs (whisk the eggs and the milk together), and 1 for the panko.
  3. Roll the string cheese one at a time in the flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.  Make sure you completely coat each piece of the cheese and pat the bread crumbs on so they stick.
  4. Place the cheese sticks on a plate and put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes to chill.
  5. Heat oil in a large pot (or deep fryer) until it reaches approx 350-375 degrees.
  6. Carefully place the cheese sticks into the hot oil and gently roll them around until they turn a golden brown.  Remove them from the oil before the cheese melts through the breadcrumbs.  I did them 2 at a time so as not to overcrowd the pan.
  7. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and let them rest on a paper towel covered plate.  (Put them directly on the plate if the cheese has leaked out though, otherwise they will stick to the paper towel)



{October 26, 2010}   Peanut Butter-scotch Bars

Recipe from: the Confident mom

I’m always amazed by how quickly time passes.  It seems like it was only last week that I saw this recipe and hit that Print button.  However, now that I go back to copy the link over I see that it was posted on June 14th.  Where has the time gone?

And I’m not even kidding when I tell you that these things are ridiculously easy to make!

The ingredients

Mix 'em up

Spread it out...

Top it off...

Let it chill

Serve it up

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup light Karo syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
  • 7 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips  (I only used 3/4 cups of the butterscotch chips because I wanted a more mild flavor)

Directions:

  1. Combine brown sugar, Karo syrup, and peanut butter over medium heat until melted and blended together.
  2. If you use a large pan, remove it from the heat and then you can add the Rice Krispies straight to the pot… otherwise transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir together.
  3. Spread the mixture in a 9×13 pan.
  4. Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together and spread evenly over the Rice Krispies mixture.
  5. Cool in refrigerator until the chocolate hardens and then cut into squares.  (I did brownie-sized squares, but I think next time I’ll cut them into smaller bite-sized cubes.)



{October 25, 2010}   Broccoli Cheese Soup

Back when I worked at T.G.I. Friday’s I fell in love with their broccoli cheese soup.  I could eat it every day and be happy!  Mmmm so good.  But now we live about 15 miles from the nearest Friday’s, so I don’t get to go there very often.

I don’t know if anyone actually reads my blog, but if you do, and if you noticed my lapse in posting recently, it was due to an illness.  I’m still alive and getting better each day  :)  But while I was sick, I decided to make some of my favorite soups.  (And it tastes just like the one at Friday’s!)

Very simple, very easy.  And while I know some people may prefer fresh, I used the shortcut of frozen broccoli.  Tastes just the same but with less work :)

The ingredients

Make your creamy base...

Partially thaw the frozen broccoli...

Simmer away...

And serve

Garnish with some cheese and serve HOT

That’s just the right amount of cheese on top because it perfectly thickens the soup as you stir it in.  :)
I will be making this again!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large package frozen broccoli florets (about 4-5 cups)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half & half  (I used fat-free half & half and it was fine)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 slices Kraft Sharp Cheddar singles
  • Shredded cheese for garnish
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Set your frozen broccoli on the counter to partially thaw.  I just added some warm water to my measuring cup and then drained it off before adding to the soup.  You don’t want to add the broccoli straight from frozen because it will bring the temperature of the soup down too quickly.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the chicken broth, water, half & half,  flour, onion, and pepper.  Whisk to combine the ingredients and to break up any lumps.
  3. Quarter the cheese slices and then add to the saucepan.
  4. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
  5. Add the broccoli to the soup and simmer for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve hot in a bowl and top with some of the shredded cheese.  You’ll want to serve it right away while it is piping hot!


{October 25, 2010}   Ore-Ida Ultimate Baked Potatoes

Are these things new or did I just now find them?  I’m in love!

They even look good straight from the box:

I’ve never tried them in the oven because ——- they can go in the microwave!  4 minutes!

Maybe they look better while they are still frozen, but they taste great!

I’m totally going to make these again.  There are two in a box and I ate both of them!



et cetera
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