Friday, February 27, 2009

Foodie Friday: Individual Buffalo Chicken Pizzas

I told you that I had an idea for the remaining crust that I didn't use. This past weekend I made good on the idea for buffalo chicken pizza. M and I had this one time from Sams and boy was it good. Since I had some left over blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, and hot sauce, I thought that I would give it a go.

I started with the leftover dough I had from my basic dough recipe. I had already rolled the two remaining portions into crusts and had them waiting in the fridge.

1. Put the pizza stone in the oven while it is preheating to 425.

2. Cook one large chicken breast, dice it, and coat it with melted butter (about 1/2 T) and hot sauce (about 3 T).

3. Spread blue cheese dressing on the crust as your sauce.

4. Top with chicken.

5. Sprinkle on some blue cheese crumbles. (Sprinkle to taste. I put a few too many on for M's taste, but it was good for mine. He mentioned something about mold. Blah, blah, blah.)

6. Top with shredded mozzarella.

7. Once oven is up to temp., transfer to pizza stone. (I made a real mess when I did this. I probably should have asked M for some help. At least it all landed on the pizza stone and not the oven itself.)

8. Bake for around 15 minutes.

I know that this pizza has no redeeming health qualities about it. (I take that back, it is on a whole wheat crust.) But it is very good. So enjoy in moderation and you will live to tell about it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Save Us Spring!!

This is what we woke up to this morning:

With a little of this mixed in:

In case you were wondering, this is what it felt like:

I don't know how much more of this I can take. I think that it is time to kick the old geezer, Winter, off his throne and replace him with Lovely Lady Spring. Are you with me?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Bigger I Get . . .

the more useful I find this belly to be.
Being that two complete strangers have commented on me pregnant lately while I am wearing my maternity winter coat, I would say that I am growing and showing more and more everyday.

I have found that I can use by belly as a crumb catcher, a tray, a shelf, a table, and an excuse for being tired or just plain taking it easy. Ahh, this is the good life!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Puzzle for You

What do the above photos, three trips to Menards, one trip to Lowes, and a borrowed pick-up truck mean that we started on this weekend?
The craft nook!!! Which in some way means that we started on the nursery. Which also means that it is getting closer!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Welcome to the Family

M and I have graduated from our first living room lighting which we both purchased shortly after moving out on our own, to real lamps! It is a very exciting day for the Bowl of Cherrys household.
This little guy is from Kohls. I think that it was supposed to be somewhere around $40, but you never pay full price at Kohls. (And if you have been, you have been paying too much.) In the end I think that we got it for under $20.

I found its big brother at IKEA. Now at IKEA you ussually have to pay full price, but the price is ussually also right. (Sorry I can't give you a full head to foot shot. He is tucked between the wall and the sofa. Maybe he is shy.)
Now when we want more ambient lighting, we just turn these two warm beacons on and we are set.
(Don't worry, the old lights have a new home in our lower level. Which I am so, so excited about these days!! I can't wait for us to make more progress so we can show you.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Foodie Friday: Individual Creamy Chicken Pizzas

The basis for this recipe comes from my dad. My mom had recently mentioned that he has been making these pizzas on the grill. While our grill is put away for the season, I figured that I could still give these guys a try.
I started with my basic dough recipe. I then divided this dough into four equal hunks and rolled them out into four individual crusts.

I then took store-bought spinach and artichoke dip and used it as my sauce. I topped the dip with some small cooked chicken chunks and finished it all off with shredded mozzarella.

I baked these at 425 degrees on my pizza stone for 15 minutes.

**Since M was out of town, I only made up two pizzas. I put the other two crusts in the fridge for a different pizza night. (I even have an idea of what kind of pizza I might make that night. ;o)**

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lookie What I Got

Isn't is just beautiful? I have been stalking electric water kettles for about a month now and finally made my move this weekend. I have been loosing that loving feeling for our regular tea kettle ever since we moved into our house. Our ceramic cooktop and the old kettle never really got along very well. I thought about counseling, I thought about buying a new tea kettle, and then I thought about upgrading to one of these guys.

I stopped by the small appliance isle at Target this weekend for a nice visit and what did my eyes behold under it? A Temporary Price Cut sign! I knew that this was the day to bring the Aroma Electric Water Kettle home and to end the relationship with the ordinary tea kettle.

And boy was it worth it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Good Start

As promised, here is a little more detail on the craft nook planning process. I sat down Saturday with a tape measure and graph paper and made a rough sketch of what I wanted in my craft nook. After going over the plans with M and discussing their feasibility, we headed out to Menards and Lowes to see and price materials.

M then sat down and used a computer program to take the "rough" out of my sketches. This is what he came up with:

I am a visual person and love the fact that M has the talent and knowledge to sit down and draw up such great plans. It really helps me to see any changes that I might want to make and how this project will turn out.

The laminate shelving is on sale at Menards through the end of the month, so that may help give us the kick in the pants we need to actually get this project off of paper and into our lower level.

Monday, February 16, 2009

7 Months

Today marks week 28 of my pregnancy! It continues to progress smoothly and quickly. (Both tremendous blessings that I pray continue to the end.) I am definitely getting bigger. Many people comment that they now know I am pregnant. (Like I was trying to pull a hoax off or something. :o) With the bigger girth, I find that it is getting harder to do certain things. It is also harder to get comfortable and stay comfortable (especially at night.)
As I don't have any other pregnancies to compare this with, I can just go by what I think, but I think this is one active little baby. It is one of the most incredible feelings to have this life moving around independently inside of you. The times that it moves enough to make my skin move is a bit surreal.
I have bought a few more adorable baby outfits. I think that it is a good thing that we don't know the sex, it provides a natural curb to my spending. There are only so many gender natural things out there.
The baby fabric stash is getting bigger as well. I think that is a sign that I better get sewing! I will be sure to post some of the finished results when they become, well, finished.

My Husband, My Love

Forgive the mushy post. Chalk it up to Valentine's Day and pregnancy hormones. :o)

M and I went out for a pre-V Day dinner with some friends from church. Good food, good company, and good conversation made for a very nice evening.

Our actual V Day was spent doing nothing in particular and it was wonderful. I did laundry while M worked on some computer things. We were also able to plan and discuss the soon-to-come craft nook in the lower level. (More on that later.)

Many people asked us how we were going to spend our last kid-free Valentine's, and I am betting this is not what they had in mind. However, I couldn't imagine spending it in any other way. Getting to enjoy the blessing of companionship that my husband brings to me was just what I wanted and needed. I find that the longer we are married (I know it hasn't even been all that long yet) the more content/happy I am just being with M. I guess that is what love means to me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Foodie Friday: Chocolate Cookie Dough Brownie

"These bars are just so good. And not so good for you."--M on Betty Bars

"I want that bar recipe--I am still dreaming of them."--Deb H. on Betty Bars

When I saw this recipe over at Bakerella I just knew that I HAD to make these bars. Well I have, twice. They are just.that.good. Bakerella stole them from Betty Crocker which means that they are also easy peasy.

1) Buy a box brownie mix that makes a 9x13 pan.

2) Buy a bag cookie mix.

3) Mix brownies according to package directions. And pour batter into greased (bottom only) 9x13 baking dish.

4) Mix cookies according to directions. Take cookie dough and place tablespoon globs on top of brownie batter. Once all dough has been placed, press down slightly.

5) Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

6) Make Bakerella's oh so good chocolate ganache. (Heat 6 T butter and 3/4 c. heavy whipping cream almost to a boil. Mix in 12 oz semisweet chocolate until melted.) DO NOT USED CANNED FROSTING AS BETTY SUGGESTS. THE GANACHE IS WORTH THE EXTRA EFFORT!!!

7) Pour ganache over bars and allow to cool. THIS WILL BE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, BUT PLEASE WAIT!!!

8) INDULGE YOURSELF!!! (And try not to eat the whole pan in one sitting.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love These Woman!!

This past weekend I was lucky enough to hang out with 10 of my college homies. We met up for some eating, shopping, and chatting from around the country. (Okay, just five states, but give me a little creative license here.) I feel so blessed to call these woman my friends. We picked up right where we left off 8 years ago. (And this week I am sure we all have the bags under our eyes to prove it.) Thank you so much ladies for the wonderful weekend. I can't wait until the next one.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Easter Is Coming

And do you know how I know? I bought my first bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs at Target today!!

Mmmmm . . . Pure milk chocolaty, candy coated goodness in a bag.

(What's that you say, Easter is two months away? Oh well, all the more time for me to purchase the goods.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Moonlight Snowshoe

Two Saturdays ago M and I headed out to a local state park for their annual candlelight c.c. ski/snowshoe. We have participated in this at least one other time, if not two. (The memory goes when you start to get old.) It was the perfect temperature to be out, but the wind it was a-howlin'. We kept the wind to our backs on the first stretch and then went down into the protection of the trees on the way back. Some of the trail was simply illuminated by the light of the moon as the candles had blown out. After snowshoeing we headed to the warming house for some hot chocolate and cookies and then enjoyed a few minuted by the bonfire outside. The only problem was my sore aching legs! My hip joints have started to bother me with the pregnancy and snowshoeing didn't make them feel any better. Oh well, it was worth it.
Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures this year. Good thing we have some from another year!
Before heading out:

M on the trail:

One of the ice-luminaries up close:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Foodie Friday: Buffalo Chicken Dip (Monday Edition)

Here it is, one of my newest most favorite dips. (This is saying a lot as I LOVE dips. Er, that you eat.) I have made this dip twice in a week's time and it was loved by all. I found the recipe in a Campbell's mailing, but it can also be found on the Frank's Red Hot Sauce website.

Here is what you will need:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1/2 c. blue cheese dressing
1/2 c. Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1/2 c. blue cheese
2 chicken breasts (cooked and chopped into small pieces)
I made this by putting all of the ingredients into my Little Dipper Crockpot. I just stirred it occasionally while it was heating up. I served it with Fritos and celery sticks.
Erin can attest to the yumminess of this dip!

Please Excuse Kristi

She had a busy week and feels bad about not posting much. (Especially for missing Foodie Friday.) She will try to make it up to you this week.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

"New In Town"

Anyone gone to see "New In Town" yet? No, well, neither have I. I do feel a strong connection with this movie, however, and will end up seeing it at some point in the future. You see, I spent 9 of my nearly 30 years of life in New Ulm. That's right, the very town where the movie is based--from what I have seen and heard, very loosely based. (It wasn't filmed in New Ulm, much less Minnesota, much less the United States. It was filmed in Canada.)

These facts I know to be true:
1) New Ulm is in Minnesota.
2) It gets cold in Minnesota in the winter.
3) We get snow in Minnesota in the winter.
4) People go ice fishing in Minnesota in the winter.
5) There are several factories in New Ulm.
6) If you were to try and fly into New Ulm you would have to fly to Minneapolis/St. Paul and then drive the 2 hours to New Ulm.
7) People do make hot dishes in New Ulm.

These facts I dispute:
1) While the older generation of New Ulm have slight accents, they are not the Northern Minnesotan accents you hear in the movie.
2) While New Ulm is relatively small, population 13,000, it is not a sleepy little town with nothing to do. (There are a number of small stores and boutiques that I look forward to going to when I visit New Ulm.)
3) The people of New Ulm are actually very welcoming toward new comers. (I should know, I was new in town myself once.)

If I were to write the movie, I would add in these details:

1) Renee's character would go to the mall to buy some new clothes, only to find that the Marketplatz Mall is largely deserted with only a few select remaining stores.

2) Harry's character would take Renee's character up to the top of the Herman the German statue for a cheap $1 date. After climbing Herman, they would go ice skating at the park below Herman.

3) Renee's character would be invited to do a guest reading at the Wanda Gag house.

4) Feeling lonely and sad, Renee's character would go to the Schells Brewery tap room where she would discover the magical powers in 1919 root beer.
5) Harry and Renee's characters would end up polkaing through the streets to the piped in polka tunes.
I give credit to the people of New Ulm for having a great sense of humor about the movie. I am not surprised, though, that is just the kind of people they are.