January 31, 2009

Who can't delight in a great give-away? Suzanne of Just Another Hang Up is giving away one of her adorable bags. I must confess I saw her blog quite some time ago and I've enjoyed seeing her creations. Every so often she does a give away - and this one is probably my favorite. Go on over, check her out and enter for a chance to win!

January 26, 2009

A friend called this morning to ask for my P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps recipe. It's a perfect recipe for today's celebrations! I've tried this recipe myself and while it is a bit of work it is absolutely worth it for those special occasions. You can get the recipe for yourself here.

Some changes I made:
  1. I used apple cider instead of the dry sherry.
  2. To make it just like P.F. Chang's get ground chicken (or turkey). That way it's really tiny bits.
  3. I used 1/4 tsp dried ginger instead of fresh.
  4. Those cellophane noodles are so fun to cook, but make sure you put enough oil in the pan to cover them when you place them in, break it up into small sections and be ready to pull it out quickly. It's so cool to watch it puff up, but too long in the oil and it burns.
By the way - if you're wondering how I knew what to replace sherry with, it's not that I have a clue at all. It's all about my resources. This one is a list of nonalcoholic substitutes for wines, spirits and liqueurs. I wasn't really sure how I stood on alcohol in cooking until I did the research and found charts showing how little actually burned off. I'm not trying to make up anyone's mind on this, just properly inform you that it doesn't all burn off!

January 19, 2009

OK - it wasn't very bad, but the hair was getting long in the back (and on top too). So the little boy got his first haircut this weekend. I know it was needed. Trust me. It just broke my heart to part with something that was keeping him baby.

He behaved perfectly. I've heard stories so I was prepared for screaming, biting, crying, escaping, the works. He just stood there and played with the things in front of him and acted as though it was nothing out of the ordinary! I'm so proud!
Love Olive Garden? Have you had their delicious Zuppa Toscana? Link over and get the recipe.

One of my friends shared this with me, and I just have to share it with the rest of you! I made it but with a slight variation.

I'm not a huge sausage fan so instead of the sausage I used 1lb ground turkey with 1-2 Tbsp Paprika and 2 tsp garlic powder mixed in. Also - I just used Whipping Cream (not heavy) and halved the amount called for. It really didn't need so much to taste amazing.

I've recently discovered that the bacon bits expand a little too much for my taste by the next day. (As in you will find large fat chunks in the soup.) My recommendation on that is to either use your own cooked and crumbled bacon or to use bacon bits on the side and not actually in the soup.

Bon Appetit!

January 11, 2009

I have owned the Kodak Easyshare 5300 printer for almost a year now. I must confess I love it, I love the price, the ease of use, and the fact that I have a tray loaded for printing photos at anytime. It's also an excellent print quality. There's just one thing that frustrates me to no end. I can't print on transparent paper with it. At least not easily. You see - they designed the printer for regular paper and photo paper, and that's it. So every time I tried to print on vellum for a craft project (I like to use transparent paper for several things) the printer told me a paper jam.
So I contacted Customer Service, tried all the updates possible and they told me sorry, it just doesn't work with transparent paper. How can they design a printer that's nearly perfect in every other way for the crafter and miss that one? I don't get it.
So my get around is to tape the vellum sheet to a regular piece of paper and print on it that way. I wish there was one printer that met ALL my needs that had the same ink prices as the Easyshare.

January 7, 2009

So my other niece got a bed with bedding for her American Girl doll. Santa had a little bit of help on this one (ahem). Note the matching fabrics. Anyhow - Santa's helper discovered a doll bed that was an awesome price! Then the day before Christmas she took some measurements, a peek on the for ideas and spent a long time sewing the bedding from scraps she had to match. And by bedding I mean: mattress, pillow, pillowcase and quilt! I still can't believe how well it turned out and how well it all goes together. Santa sure keeps on top of things - matching fabrics and what not.

I honestly can't wait to have my own little girl to make things like this for.