• My Love and I

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 16 other followers

  • August 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Mar    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031  
  • wordpress visitor counter

The Best Day Of My Life

It really requires no words, just my favorite pictrues from our wedding day!

Cinnamon Rolls

PW’s Cinnamon Rolls

January 1, The Winter Classic, Pittsburgh Penquins (best hockey team in the world!!!) vs. a red team (I forget). We had plans to meet another couple for dinner so I decided to nap a bit later in the afternoon. WHAT?!? Gestating is tiring business, naps are required. Anyway, after I woke up and got ready our plans changed.

CRAP! Now I’m wide awake during a hockey game, something I try never to be. Now I’m cranky because I need to find something to do and quickly. Then I realized that after Monday I might have to give up carbs and sugar and everything else amazingly good so I figure I’ll go out with a bang and make the Pioneer Womans (PW) Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Coffee Icing. Best. Decision. Ever.

Of course I didn’t start them until 8pm and they required 2 hrs of rise time and the recipe makes 6 pans so I didn’t finish until after midnight. Still the best decision ever.

PW always has the most AMAZING pictures of her rolls and everyone who tries them raves about them but I held off on making them because it makes 6 trays! WTF would I do with all those rolls! Then I learned they FREEEZE! At any point in the process, which was all I needed to hear!

Oh and clearly, loosing weight was not one of my New Years Resolutions, it never is so just smile over the amount of butter used. Butter makes the world go ’round.

INGREDIENTS

ROLLS

  • 1 Quart Milk
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Packages Active Dry Yeast
  • 8 Cups (Plus 1 Cup separated for a total of 9) All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • Plenty of Melted Butter (like 5 sticks, for real, it’s 6 pans of rolls, shush and just do it)
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • Tons of Cinnamon

ICING

  • 1 Bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Maple Flavoring (I couldn’t find so I used 3 tablespoons maple syrup)
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Melted Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Brewed Coffee
  • 1/8 tsp Salt

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix the milk, oil and sugar in a pan, heat until just before boiling
  • Cool for an hour, until warm, not hot. I needed to speed this process up so I lidded up the pan and moved it outside for 20 minutes.
  • Once warm, sprinkle in both packages yeast, let sit for one minute
  • Mix in 8 cups flour, it’s really gooey. I gave my wooden spoon a spritz of PAM to help with sticking
  • Cover and let rise for 1 hour
  • After rising, add additional cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix well. It will still be really gooey and sticky.
  • GENEROUSLY, seriously GENEROUSLY flour your rolling surface and take half the dough and roll into a rectangle.
  • Drizzle with 1/2-1 cup melted butter (just go for the cup at this point)
  • Sprinkle with 1 cup sugar and cinnamon to taste
  • Beginning with the long edge furthest from you begin to roll tightly. Pinch to seal
  • Slice into 1 inch pieces
  • Drizzle a tablespoon of melted butter in the bottom of 6 foil pans and arrange rolls in each tin
  • Repeat w/ second half of dough
  • Allow to rise for 20-30 minutes
  • Bake at 375 for 18 minutes

ICING

  • Mix all ingredients until smooth.
  • Pour over warm rolls, don’t be stingy

Cover iced rolls with plastic & foil and freeze until needed.

I have two big meanie head dogs and an alarm system don’t come near my freezer!

Stop by The Growing Gibsons

A Review

A new year a new decade. So what happened during this one?

I graduated high school.

Tried out 4 different colleges, decided they all blew.

Met the love of my life.

Got my real estate license and a fab job, with a great Realtor at Keller Williams Real Estate.

Bought my first new car.

I moved out of Daddys home in a vain attempt to be  a grown up. Someone should have stopped me.

Got a crappy job in commercial real estate.

Got a dog and had to be responsible for something other than me for the first time ever. Someone should have stopped me.

Got a great job in financial management.

I got engaged.

Bought a house.

Got another dog. I should have stopped him.

Married the love of my life at the most amazing wedding ever.

Gained some awesome friends.

Quit smoking.

Started smoking.

Quit smoking for good. (33 weeks free)

Got pregnant.

And here I am. Married to an awesome guy, expecting a gorgeous little girl and working in financial management. I wish in 2000 I had made some predictions and sealed them away somewhere. I can’t even remember where I thought I’d be when I was graduating high school.

2011 holds so much promise and good I can’t say I’m sad to say goodbye to 2010. I’m welcoming this New Year with excitement and without any hesitation. 2010 can kiss my ass.

Check out The Growing Gibsons for whats happening with the pregnancy and my more whiney look at our year.

Gooey Chocolate Butter Cookies

Paula Deens Chocolate Butter Cookies

On Sunday we had a few family members over for a bit of pre-holiday visitation. We opted for  pot-luck appetizer kind of food and everyone brought something. I was not in charge of dessert but could not resist making these cookies as an extra treat. They were so easy and any cookie with “gooey” in the title is sure to be a win.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (18-ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat Oven to 350
  • Beat cream cheese and butter together
  • Once smooth beat in vanilla & Egg
  • Mix in cake mix. The batter will be thick, it will want to eat your beaters up and climb up them, it will stick to everything do the best you can with a hard spatula to help combine everything
  • Chill in fridge 2 hrs
  • Roll tablespoon size balls in powdered sugar and place on ungreased cookie tray 2 inches apart
  • Bake 12 minutes
  • Cool completely and dust with additional powdered sugar.

Our Newest Improvement

A FENCE!!!!

Room To Run

Look at all that space!! It looks a bit drab at the moment but we’ll get on some grass and a bit of landscaping come the spring.

HAHA!

They are on one side, I am on the other. They are free to roam and I don’t have to worry about dislocated shoulders anymore.

Franklin

Frankie is so excited! He pushes in front of you and opens the screen door himself because we humans just move way too slow for his tastes. He runs around the edges sniffing and checking things out. Hes a bit apprehensive about coming back in through the back door but we’re working on it.

Sport

Sport is not quite so enthusiastic. This is him refusing to look at me this morning.

And Again

He’s hautily ignoring my kissy noises and whistles to attention here. Can you feel his displeasure as well?

You see, Sport and I had an agreement. He asked little of me and in return I asked little of him. He didn’t mind that his only time outside in freezing or burning weather was the 30 seconds it took him to pee. It worked, I could only stand the temps for that long anyway. He sleeps on our heating and air conditioning vent, he has luxury to return to.

This fence is a violation of our agreement. While I sit happily on my couch with my slippered feet up, Sport is forced outside with his annoying baby brother who just wants to play.

While Franklin bounces and leaps from end to end, Sport pranced out with his nose high in the air to the furthest corner and parks it. He wouldn’t even budge when we called him from inside the fence. He’s pissed.

This morning Paul got up, let them out to run and left them out while he showered. Sport was not impressed. He barked once and I opted to ignore it, trying to let him self soothe. I watched out the window for a bit. Sport in the corner, Franklin bouncing happily along. Figuring they were fine I went back to bed for my extra 15 minutes. No, Sport thought otherwise and started barking non stop. At what, I don’t know, but it was only 6:45 and our first morning with the fence so I was worried about the neighbors as I flew downstairs to let them in.

He didn’t run to the door that I help open with freezing bare feet. He walked slowly, looking at me the entire time. As if to say, “Bitch you left me out here. To deal with not only the cold but that overly chipper daft Franklin. This isn’t over.”

We have some work to do! I have hope that Sport will get used to it and Franklin will continue to enjoy it. As usual I have some apprehensions to let go of too. We’ll get there, Sport and I.

Check out The Growing Gibsons if you are interested in whats happening with our pregnancy and our growing little Squish, Riley!

Freezer Meals

Are you done with me today? I know 5 (maybe 6) posts is a lot for one day. I’m sorry. They all go together though!!

Before we got pregnant and I was doing tons of reading and chatting with other ladies about all things newborn and what not. Many of them suggested stocking our freezer full of meals that we could just throw in the oven and not worry about any prep or clean up. I thought they were genius. Such a simple idea but it hadn’t dawned on me at all.

I started looking for different things to try and the best ways to freeze and how long things would keep. I came up surprisingly empty on the details. I live for details. I want specifics, I struggled to find them.

Then I happened upon The Illustrated Quick Cook, LOVE. Filled with recipes for saving time, freezing, saving money, tips, tricks the whole 9. I read through it twice already. Yes, I read a cook book. I’m cool like that!

Then one of our friends was nearing the end of her pregnancy and I found the perfect test subjects. One afternoon I made 4 complete 8 serving meals in 2 hours. Kept 4 servings for us and 4 servings for them. It was a perfect experiment!

CLICK HERE to see the meals that we have made and enjoyed.

If I make one freezer meal a week until Riley shows her beautiful face I will have nearly 3-4 weeks of meals saved up and ready to go! Thats a tall order for a procrastinator like myself so I will surprise both myself and all who know me if this actually happens.

What freezes?

Food Packaging Storage Life Defrost & Reheat
Soups & Stocks Freezer bags. Liquids will expand, so you need room for this. You can also freeze in ice cube trays and once frozen transfer to zip top bags Soups 3 months Stocks 6 monts Thaw Overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in a pan on the stove until hot
Sauces & Gravies If recipe called for egg or cream leave out and add before serving Freezer bags. Liquids will expand, so you need room for this. You can also freeze in ice cube trays and once frozen transfer to zip top bags Up to 3 months Thaw Overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in a pan on the stove until hot
Stews and Casseroles Remember to choose lean cuts of mean because foods with high fat will go bad after a couple months freezing Freezer bags or foil containers or even tupperware with tight lids. Be sure to cover meat with liquid Up to 3 months Thaw Overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in a pan on the stove until hot. Should not be reheated more than once
Pies and Pastries Pastry can be frozen cooked or uncooked Uncooked – Freeze in blocks layered with wax paper then wrapped in plastic. Cooked – shells and pies should be double wrapped in plastic Uncooked – 3 months.             Cooked – 6 months Uncooked – tart shells and pastries can be cooked frozen @ 400 for 15 min       Cooked – thaw overnight and reheated @ 350 for 30 minutes

What doesn’t Freeze?

  • Cream Cheese, Cottage cheese and cream. They separate and become watery (a.k.a. gross)
  • Mayonnaise & Hollandaise sauce will freeze but fall apart at defrosting time
  • Fatty Foods get fattier and turn rancid
  • Cucumber, lettuce, celery and tomatoes will turn to water when defrosting

Things to remember

  1. Use colored bags or boxes to help distinguish what is what in your freezer
  2. LABEL! What is it? When did you make it? How many servings? How do you reheat it?
  3. First in first out. Make sure that you are using in the order you froze so that everything gets used in time
  4. Freeze in portions. We won’t eat 8 servings at once so I’ll divide it in half and we’ll each get a dinner and lunch out of one portion.
  5. Air tight is key in keeping out the freezer burn.
  6. Don’t leave food on the counter to defrost, always overnight in the fridge. The counter is a quick way to pick up something unpleasant.

 



Pork with Fennel and Mustartd

Pork w/ Fennel

From: The Illustrated Quick Cook

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Lg Onions, sliced
  • 3 Fennel bulbs, sliced
  • 2.5 lb Lean Pork cut into cubes (I used boneless pork chops)
  • 8 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2/3 Cup Dry White wine
  • 2 Tbsp whole/coarse grain mustard
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • Handful flat parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 3 Cup Milk

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat oil and add onions & fennel cook for 5 minutes
  • Add pork and cook 5 minutes
  • Add garlic, wine and mustard. Bring to boil and allow to bubble for 3 minutes
  • Stir in paprika, parsley, sage and rosemary.
  • Whisk in flour
  • Add in milk
  • Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes
  • Let cool and transfer to freezer safe container
  • Stores 3 months
  • Defrost in fridge overnight the microwave on high for 2 minutes, stir and microwave 2 minutes more.