Wednesday, December 28, 2011

homemade nutella.

Homemade Nutella.

1. 3 oz raw hazelnuts
2. 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
3. 3 oz. unsweetened baker's chocolate
4. 3 tbsp agave nectar

1. Place raw hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and roast for about 10-15 mins on 350.  Once done let completely cool before removing the nut's shell. Add cooled hazelnuts to food processor. Turn the food processor on, after a minute or two you'll be left with very finely ground hazelnuts. After about 2-5 minutes, your hazelnuts should be processed into a liquid. Scrape down the sides and the blade and process until there are no lumps remaining. Set aside.
2. Heat chocolate, condensed milk, and agave nectar on the stove top. Stirring frequently until smooth.
3. Add warm chocolate mix into the food processor with the liquid hazelnut. Process for a minute, until it smooths out. Be sure not to over process.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We did! Dantae loved his Chuggington train set. And I loved my digital picture frame and VS pjs.

More to come soon I promise..

Thursday, December 22, 2011

peanut butter bread.

Peanut Butter Bread.

1. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2. 1 cup quick-cooking oats
3. 1 cup sugar
4. 1 tablespoon baking powder
5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
6. 1 cup creamy peanut butter
7. 1 egg
8. 1 cup milk
9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the peanut butter until crumbly. Combine the egg, milk and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
2. Transfer to a greased 9x5x3 loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

friend photography.

I have a friend, Ashley, who has a up-and-coming photography business.  She took pictures of little man last year that I used as Christmas present for the family. Considering my son looks the other way when cameras are pointed at him and the fact that the particular day we went to have pictures done, he decided to cry pretty much the whole time; the pictures came out amazing.

On her blog,, she was doing a 365 day projects (trying to anyway) where she took photos of someone of importance in her life, one a day for 365 days. I was day 19. I absolutely love the pictures she took of me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

baked lemon chicken pasta.

Baked Lemon Chicken Pasta.

1. 1 lb. of chicken tenders
2. 3 lemons
3. garlic
4. parsley
5. thyme
6. butter
7. salt and pepper
8. sour cream
9. shredded parmesean cheese
10. olive oil
11. 1 lb. linguine pasta

1. Whisk the juice from one lemon, 2 tsp. dried thyme, 1 tsp. minced garlic, and 1 tsp. sea salt to make a marinade for the chicken. Let chicken marinade in lemon mixture for at least 2 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 375. Cook linguine according to directions.
3. In a skillet, melt 4 tbsp. butter with 2 tbsp. olive oil over low heat. When butter is melted, add 2 cloves garlic, minced. Squeeze juice from one lemon into the pan. Turn off heat.
4. Add 2 cups sour cream and stir mixture together. Add zest from one lemon and 1 tsp. sea salt. Taste, then add more salt if necessary. Pour mixture over drained spaghetti and stir together, then pour spaghetti into an oven safe dish. Meanwhile place marinaded chicken into another oven safe dish.
5. Bake both covered for 15 mins. Uncover, check and bake additional mins if needed uncovered.
6. Once done, squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top. Top generously with Parmesan cheese, then chopped parsley. Give it a final squeeze of lemon juice at the end. Serve with garlic or French bread.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

taco stuffed shells.

Taco Stuffed Shells.

1. 1 lb. ground beef
2. taco seasoning
3. 4 oz cream cheese
4. large pasta shells
5. salsa
6. taco sauce
7. shredded mexican "taco" cheeses
8. sour cream

1. Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning (I make my own but a package is fine); add 1/2 cup water and simmer 3 mins. Add cream cheese and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and allow to fully cool.
2. Meanwhile cook the pasta shells.
3. Pour salsa (about a cup) in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
4. Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place the stuffed shells in the baking dish and drizzle top with taco sauce.
5. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
6. Add cheese on top. Cook for about 10 more minutes. Serve with sour cream. (I also garnished mine with black olives.)

Sorry through the rush of dinner and the fact I'm a horrible blogger; I forgot to take pictures. But it was Delicious.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Stumble Upon.

Favorite Friday.

I just love this site. 
So easy to use and provides hours (days) of entertainment.

I've come across many interesting new things. Like petite giraffe's. I stumbled upon a live video of one named Vladimir. Or cute pictures like


or inspirational messages to brighten my day

Sign up and start stumbling yourself.
It becomes addicting.

creamy, cheesy ham and penne.

Creamy, Cheesy Ham and Penne.

1. penne pasta
2. 1/2 cup frozen peas
3. 1 can (10 oz) Ro*Tel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
4. 8 oz cream cheese
5. 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6. 3/4 cup cubed cooked lean ham

1. Cook pasta. Add peas to boiling pasta when there is 2-3 mins. left.
2. Combine all remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat until cheese melts and mixture is bubbly. 
3. Stir in pasta and peas.

Found these with the tomato sauces/diced tomatoes.
 (silly me thought they'd be in the Mexican aisle with the green chilies.)

It was delicious. And ridiculously simple.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

imitation uglydolls.

Heard of uglydolls?

They are so ugly its adorable. (even with a big price tag) I obviously thought it was worth it, cause I still got one for my little man. And I bought the first three "graphic novels" for myself.

look at all the characters..

Not wanting to pay another $9.99 for a small felt "doll" made me kick up my crafting abilities; deciding to make my own, this is how it came out.

Not my best work, but I still think it came out fairly nice.  Think I'll try my luck again with the extra felt.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

my body wash.

It just smells so good.
Red lychee and patchouli oil. 

I had always wanted a body wash like my fiance's old spice ones; where you smell it all day on yourself.   Finally, I found this alluring one. The back of the bottle says that the fragrance, "lingers on your skin long after you step out of the shower." I definitely found that to be correct but more subtle than old spice. It's not a heavy perfume that someone across the room would smell, but someone standing next to you might. I can't wait to try the other fragrance, Sheer Twilight.

Monday, September 12, 2011

taco salad.

Taco Salad.

1. 1 lb. ground beef
2. taco seasoning (my recipe is at the end of this post.)
3. 6 - 10 in. flour tortillas
4. 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans; drained and rinsed
5. 2 medium tomatoes; diced
6. 2 medium avocados; pitted, peeled, and diced
7. 1 medium green pepper
8. can of large black olives; halved
9. shredded cheddar
10. sour cream
11. oil based dressing

1. First make the tortilla bowls. Lightly brush 1 side of the tortilla with a small amount of water.  Coat 6 small oven safe bowls with nonstick cooking spray.  Press tortillas, coated side up, into bowls. Place a ball of aluminum foil into each tortilla cup.  Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 mins. Let cool.
Mine didn't come out great; but you get the idea.

2. In a medium saucepan cook ground beef, until beef is brown.  Drain off fat.  Add taco seasoning and 1/3 cup water. Let simmer 5 mins. Stir in kidney beans. Simmer 10 mins.
3. Layer your salad in the tortilla cups. Beef, then your veggies, cheese, and sour cream. Then top with your favorite dressing. I used:  Wish-Bone® Superfruit Berry Vinaigrette

It was so tasty.

As promised, my taco seasoning recipe; so you don't have to use a packet seasoning anymore.

Taco Seasoning:
Combine the following:

1. 1 tbsp chili powder
2. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
3. 1/4 tsp onion powder
4. 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
5. 1/4 tsp oregano
6. 1/2 tsp paprika
7. 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
8. 1 tsp sea salt

Thursday, June 30, 2011

rotini and sausage casserole.

Rotini and Sausage Casserole.

1.   1 lb. rotini
2.   1 lb. smoked sausage
3.   4 cups mozzarella
4.   medium red pepper, diced
5.   medium green pepper, diced
6.   medium orange pepper, diced
7.   sun dried tomatoes, diced
8.   basil 
9.   1/2 cup butter
10. 1/2 cup flour
11. 4 1/2 cups milk
12. 3 tsp minced garlic
13. sea salt
14. crushed red pepper

1. Cook rotini according to package. Remove the sausage from the casing and start browning it; like ground beef.
2. Melt the butter over medium heat, just until it starts to bubble. Stir in the garlic, crushed red pepper and a dash of salt. Cook and stir for a few minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the milk and cook, stirring continuously, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and set it aside. (This creates the sauce.)
3. Spread a little sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and add a layer of pasta. Sprinkle with a generous amount of mozzarella. Add a layer of assorted bell peppers and sun dried tomatoes. Top with about half the sauce.
4. Next layer sausage, then pasta. Then another layer of the mozzarella and veggies. Topped with the last of the pasta and the rest of the sauce. Tear the basil leaves over the top.
5. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on the cheese to make sure it doesn't get too browned.

 Plus the fourth of july cupcakes..

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

summertime, and the livin is easy.

I just love summer.

Days at the beach.                                                         Brigantine, NJ; August 2010

                                                      Brigantine, NJ; August 2010

Being on the boardwalk.                                           Wildwood, NJ; August 2010

Eating Popsicles.                                                           June 2011 

I'm excited for this weekend.
Fourth of July.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

one pan penne with pancetta, tomatoes, and red peppers.

One Pan Penne with Pancetta, Tomatoes, and Red Peppers.

 1.   1 lb penne (i used multi-grain)
 2.   8 oz. pancetta, diced
 3.   6 plum tomatoes, diced.
 4.   3 tsp minced garlic
 5.   1 red bell pepper, diced.
 6.   1/8 lb sun dried tomatoes, diced.
 7.   2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
 8.   1/2 cup water
 9.   6 chicken bouillon cubes (makes 6 cups) or 6 cups chicken stock
10.  fresh basil
11.  olive oil
12.  1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
13.  parmesan cheese
14.  sea salt

1. Prepare chicken broth as directed on package, making about 6 cups. Keep to the side and keep on a low simmer.
2. In a large saute pan, add a little olive oil and the pancetta. Fry until a little crispy. Remove from skillet, pat dry. (Like bacon)
3. To the saute pan, add garlic, red pepper, sun dried tomatoes and tomatoes. Add crushed red pepper and a dash of salt. Cook over medium heat until tomatoes are tender. (2 minutes or so) 
4. Stir in balsamic vinegar and water. Then add the pasta and stir well. Add a little broth. As the broth is absorbed, add a little more and stir. Continue this process til the pasta is almost done.  (Keep covered during this part.)
5. Tear in a few basil leaves. Add pancetta. Stir together and cook a couple more minutes.
6. Serve with parmesan cheese.

john legend.


Two words. John Legend. 
Whenever I'm blue, I listen to one of his cds and it definitely helps. 
His voice is like gold....and he's not too bad on the eyes either.

Remember Each Day Gets Better.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

gathered clutch.

For my good friend Kristine's birthday I decided I wanted to try my hand at a clutch.  Something cute, crafty, from the heart and purple.  I found this cute tutorial for a gathered front clutch that looked just easy enough to try out.  Mt first attempt (with all same fabric) came out great other than the fact I forgot to do the top stitching so the fabric wouldn't get caught.  Needless to say the first one wouldn't open all the way. But the second one came out fairly well. Even though it may be a little crooked on one side. Oops.

tutorial i used.

Happy Birthday, Kristine!

anyone else want one?

Friday, June 17, 2011

arrabiata-style shrimp.

Arrabiata-Style Shrimp.

1. 1 tbsp olive oil
2. 1 tsp minced garlic
3. 1 can (14 1/2 oz) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
4. 1/2 cup dry white wine
5. 1/4 tsp sea salt
6. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
7. 3/4 lb large shrimp
8. 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
9. 1 package (9 oz.) refrigerated linguine
10. shredded mozzarella

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic. Heat for about 1 min. Then add tomatoes, wine, salt and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, 5 mins.
2. Add shrimp and simmer 5 more mins.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta. To serve, toss pasta with shrimp and sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

homemade beef stroganoff.

Homemade Beef Stroganoff.

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
10.5 oz can of cream of mushroom soup, condensed
3 oz fresh chopped mushrooms
3/4 cup sour cream

In medium skillet, brown ground beef and onion; drain excess fat. Stir in garlic salt, pepper, soup and mushrooms. Simmer covered, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in sour cream; heat through, but do not boil. Served over linguine.

With bustle of my everyday life (giving my sister a ride right after making dinner then getting to eat it cold) I forgot to take a picture of the finish product but I have a picture of the mixture before adding the sour cream.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

capellini pomodoro.

Capellini Pomodoro.

1. 1 tsp minced garlic
2. 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (i used a basil and oregano spiced one and a fire roasted just for added flavor.)
3. 1/4 tsp black pepper
4. 1/3 cup olive oil
5. 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
6. 1/4 cup italian mix cheese (romano, parmesean, and a provolone-mozzerella mix) aka pizza cheese.
7. 9 oz fresh angel hair pasta

Heat olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes and pepper and heat through, stirring occasionally, about 10 - 15 minutes.  (I just left it on the stove while the water boiled and the pasta cooked.) 

Remove from heat. Transfer hot, cooked pasta to large bowl. Toss pasta gently with tomato mixture and cheese.

I like using fresh pasta.

(watching peter pan.)


clorox wipes.


These are just awesome.
Good for all those little messes. I use them to quickly wipe down the areas D touches all day long, since they disinfect. I also use them almost daily to wipe down the bathroom surfaces to help keep it looking great.   They actually work on glass too. They have a clear drying formula so no streaks!

I know I'm a dork but check out clorox games.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Favorite Friday.


This stuff is the best. After towel drying, I put a dime sized amount throughout my hair.  It strengthens and conditions while reviving... and I can actually tell a difference. It also saves on drying time.  Plus it smells amazing. 

Definitely try it out.

Now I'm off to break into my own car since I locked both sets of keys in last night at work. Boo.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

our memorial day.

On memorial day we took the peanut to Uncle Mic and Cindy's.  They live on a farm about 45 mins away from where we live.  Though it was extremely buggy we had a great time.
D and dad.  (All bundle cause of the black flies.)

"Baa" as Danate calls them.

So interested in the sheep.


Enjoying his "pop" after being outside.

We had so much fun. Hopefully its not so buggy next time!