50. Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

Last night we tried another new recipe and it was delicious! Thank you, Pinterest.

Orzo with Parmesan and Basil from Tasty Kitchen

Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 1-1/2 c. Orzo
  • 3 c. Chicken or Vegetable Stock (we used Veggie)
  • 6 Tbsp Fresh Chopped Basil
  • 1 c. Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Pepper

Instructions

  1. Melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add Orzo and sauté until it starts to get golden brown.
  3. Add broth and cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until all the broth is absorbed.
  4. Remove from the heat, add basil and parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

It was quick and easy and very yummy! The basil gave it great flavor. We will definitely be making it again soon!!

Tastefully,

C

Advertisements

50. Butterfinger Blondies

Back in November, my youth group had a pie auction. It wasn’t just pie, it included all sorts of baked goods. I contributed two items, a French Silk Pie and Butterfinger Blondies. The Butterfinger Blondies were another Pinterest recipe. They were very yummy. The icing was almost too sweet, but overall, they were delish!

Butterfinger Blondies

Butterfinger Blondies from Six Sisters Stuff

Ingredients

  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 c. coarsely chopped Butterfinger Bars

Instructions

  1. Preheat overn to 350°F
  2. Cream butter and sugars in mixing bowl.
  3. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated.
  4. On low, add your dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking soda) until just combined.
  5. Stir in your chopped Butterfinger.
  6. Spread in a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 25 mins until center is just set.
  7. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Butterfinger Buttercream from Six Sister Stuff

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. room temp butter
  • 1/2 c. vegetable shortening
  • 2 1/2-3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. chopped Butterfinger Bars

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and shortening together until smooth.
  2. Add in powdered sugar on low speed. Turn speed up to medium and mix until smooth.
  3. Stir in chopped Butterfinger.
  4. Spread on cooled Blondies.
  5. Enjoy!

They would be really good to take to a party, but a bit much to just keep around the house for 2 people.

Sweet tooth girl,

C

50. Brownie Batter Dip

My little sister from my sorority in college had a Christmas party and we took Brownie Batter Dip, another Pinterest recipe. It’s a keeper.

Brownie Batter Dip from Our Everyday Dinners

Ingredients

  • 1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 c. butter (room temp)
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • heaping 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • heaping 1/4 c. flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tbsp milk (to desired consistency)

Instructions

  1. Mix cream cheese and butter with electric mixer.
  2. Add powdered sugar and milk slowly.
  3. Add cocoa, flour, brown sugar, and vanilla. Mix well.

We served it with pretzels, graham cracker sticks, and strawberries. It was a big hit at the party!

So, what about you? What do you take to parties?

Batter up,

C

50. Mini Corn Dog Muffins

One of my favorite snacks at Walt Disney World the the Corn Dog Nuggets from Casey’s Corner. So, when I saw a recipe for Mini Corn Dog Muffins on Pinterest, I just had to try it.

Mini Corn Dog Muffins from Iowa Girl Eats

While the original recipe has you make your own cornbread, I just used a box mix.

Ingredients

  • 1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pkg. hot dogs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 375°F.
  2. Mix Corn Muffin mix according to box instructions.
  3. Slice hot dogs in one inch slices.
  4. Line mini muffin tray with paper cups.
  5. Fill muffin tray half full with batter and stick a hot dog slice in the center.
  6. Bake for 8-12 minutes.

This is a super easy meal. Maybe childish, but very tasty. We eat them with mac and cheese. The first few times we made them we didn’t use the paper liners for the muffin tray and they stuck really bad. But since using the paper cups, we haven’t had any problems.

Childhood calling,

C

90. Run a 5k

Running long distances has never appealed to me. I know a 5k is not a long distance for real runners, but it was for me. In high school, I ran track, and I was definitely a short-distance guy. I ran the 110 and 300 meter hurdles. The furthest race I ever ran was 400 meters, and that was plenty. Too much, really. We had to run longer distances for some workouts, but I’m confident that I never ran further than 2 miles during the first 26 years of my life.

About a year ago, Courtney started running (she describes that process here). My lack of desire to run distances continued, so I left that pursuit to her. Around the time we moved back to Oklahoma, though, something changed. For some reason, I wanted to run. I think the barefoot running craze had something to do with it, because I bought a pair of Vibram FiveFingers (aka, the shoes with toes) to run in.

So I started running with Courtney last July. And gradually, we built up our time and distance. In August, we were really good. We broke 2, then 3 miles. Then in September, Courtney found a job, and it got harder to find a time to run. After 21 miles in August, I logged just under 4 in September. Then in early October, we decided we needed a concrete goal to work toward, and there was a 5k at our alma mater November 3 – the annual Race for the Stars – so we signed up.

With a race coming up, it was time to get serious about training. Except, it didn’t happen. I ran a total of 5 miles the first 25 days of October. Then, a week out, it hit me that I was not in sufficient shape for the race. So, I hit it hard. And overdid it a little bit. 9 miles in 4 days was a lot more than I was used to, and my body didn’t like it. Fortunately, I overdid it early in the week, so I had a few days to recover, and I felt fine by race day.

When Saturday, November 3rd rolled around, we got up very early and made the 75 minute drive to OCU, where our friend Nick met us. The weather was colder than it had been, but the morning was clear and nice. We warmed up, lined up, and when the gun went off, we were off! Trying to start a run in the middle of a large pack of people was a new and frustrating experience. I got stuck behind people going slower than I cared to go, and opportunities to pass them were minimal. Eventually, I passed them and was able to get into a groove. The course was mostly flat, but there were a few small hills, which thankfully  were confined to the first half of the race. In the end, all three of us finished (goal met!) and none of us had to stop running and walk (bonus!). Courtney and I even set personal bests, which might also have something to do with the fact that we’d never run that far before. The Race for the Stars was a great experience.

Since the race, we’ve continued running, alternating between consistency and inconsistency. Our goal is to run a half-marathon before the end of 2013, so the clock is ticking! If we don’t start tending toward consistency, it may be painful. Hopefully, the coming of warm weather will help. We hope.

See you at the half,

B

50. Spicy Pretzels

Over Christmas, Brandon and I spent time with both of our families. My mom is big on making Christmas candy so I thought I’d bring something as well. I found a recipe for spicy pretzels and they were great! Everyone seemed to like them. And we did too!

Spicy Pretzels from All Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 (1 oz.) pkg dry Ranch-style dressing mix
  • 3/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 (15 oz.) package mini pretzels

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, garlic salt, and ranch-style dressing mix and vegetable oil.
  2. Place pretzels in a large, sealable plastic bag.
  3. Pour mixture from bowl into the bag of pretzels.
  4. Shake well.
  5. Allow pretzels to marinate in the mixture approximately 2 hours before serving.
  6. Shake occasionally to maintian coating.

Feeling spicy,

C

50. Fall Vegetable Chili

A few years ago, Brandon was a vegetarian. During that time I found a recipe for Fall Vegetable Chili in a Good Housekeeping magazine so I pulled it out and sent it to him. 3 years later, we actually tried it.

fall vegetable chili

Fall Vegetable Chili from Good Housekeeping

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 med. carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. pieces
  • 2 med. parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. pieces
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 2 cans (15-19 oz. each) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1/4 c. loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Instructions

  1. In 5-quart sauce pot, heat olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add carrots, parsnips, and chopped onion, and cook 6-8 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, on a large plate, with fork or potato masher, mash 1 cup drained beans.
  3. Stir chili poder into vegetables in sauce pot; cook 1 minute, stirring. Add tomatoes with their juice, whole and mashed beans, and 2 cups water; heat to boil on high, breaking up tomatoes with side of spoon.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro to serve.

It was so-so. I’m not a huge fan of carrots and the parsnips were a stronger taste of the carrot flavor (or it seemed like it to me). Brandon wasn’t wild about it either. It needed some salt and pepper. Not sure we’ll make it again.

Still hungry,

C

50. Pumpkin Pie Granola

I have a bit of a sweet tooth. So, to help my snacking habits, we made some homemade granola. It’s not fruit, but its a step in the right direction! I found a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Granola on Pinterest.

Pumpkin Pie Granola (Nut Free)

Pumpkin Pie Granola from Dashing Dish

Ingredients

  • 4 c. Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 c. Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 c. Pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. Applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 3 tbsp Sugar Free Maple Syrup
  • Optional: 1/2 c. white chocolate chips, 1 c. honey teddy grahams lightly crushed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or foil and spray with non-stic cooking spray.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the way ingredients in another.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients to the dry using a spatula until everything is well combined and oats are coated with wet ingredients.
  4. Place granola on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, then stir granola around.
  5. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the granola is golden brown and is crisp.
  6. Take granola out of the oven, and let it cool completely on the baking sheet.
  7. Stir in additional white chocolate chips and/or teddy grahams.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

It was delicious! A great after lunch snack to take to work! I highly suggest it for a fall treat!

Snackster,

C

Unexpected Snow Day

I got an unexpected snow day today. I say unexpected, but it probably wasn’t if you watch the weather, but, I haven’t watched the news in a while. NPR has become my news source. Anywho, Harvey and I are enjoying this snow day together while Brandon is at work.

Well, it seems that we’ve failed over the last couple of months at keeping up with our blog. We’ve still be marking things off of our 101 list, just haven’t been so good at posting about them.

The most recent thing we’ve accomplished from our list was learning a new card game. This past weekend our dear friends and former housemate, Neal and Joanna, came to visit us from Nashville! They even came bearing gifts, Ivey Cakes Cupcakes!!!!

Ivey Cakes

Ivey Cakes

A Nashville Favorite

A Nashville Favorite

We had a great weekend full of food, movies, games, and laughs! We took them to the Stafford Air and Space Museum in Weatherford. For all you Okies, if you’re into being a local tourist, add this place to your list! It’s incredible how many artifacts they have from Gen. Stafford’s trips to space!

Air and Space Museum

Air and Space Museum

While they were here Joanna taught us a new card game, “Nerts.” It’s a speed game and very addictive.

Nerts

Nerts

Sorting the cards

I’d type out how to play but that would make this post even longer than it already is. But if you’re interested in learning how to play this game, check out the rules on this website.

Nerts layout

What the table looks like during play.

Overall it was an GREAT weekend! We were so happy to have them make the incredibly long drive to come and see us. We LOVED having them stay with us and can’t wait until May to see them again!

Well, this post is long enough for now. I’m going to go make some hot chocolate and join my puppy in staring out the window!

IMG_1137

With a warm and happy heart,

C

50. Butternut Squash Penne

I bought a butternut squash last week. We made butternut squash soup a couple of times last winter and when I saw them at the store I got excited about soup. Well, the weather has warmed up since then and I decided it wasn’t soup weather but knew we needed to cook our squash soon. So, I got on Pinterest today and found a new recipe to try!

Butternut Squash Penne from Cookstr

The Veggies

Ingredients

  • 1 Butternut Squash, peeled and seeded
  • 1 Red Onion, cut into eighths
  • 3 T. Olive Oil
  • 2 T. Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 lb Dried Penne Pasta
  • 1 c. Shredded Gruyere
  • 1/3 c. Creme Fraiche
  • 1 T. Chopped Sage
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan, to serve

Pasta Time!

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Peel the squash and cut into 1 inch squares.
  3. Toss the squash, onion, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a roasting pan.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender. During the last few minutes, stir in the garlic.
  6. While that is roasting, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted water over high heat until al dente.
  7. Drain the pasta and return to the sauce pan.
  8. Add the roasted vegetables, gruyere, creme fraiche, and sage. Stir.
  9. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with olive oil and parmesan cheese passed on the side.

(From Cookstr.com)

The Finished Product

It was VERY tasty and very filling. A unique combination of flavors. It tickled every part of the palate!

2 new recipes down, 18 to go!

Happy tummy,

C