Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wonderful Things

This time of year I can always think of wonderful things. Well, actually, throughout the year I can pretty much always think of wonderful things but there is just something about this time of year I love. I love the change in the weather and watching the leaves fall on the ground. I love to wear coats and my hand knitted scarfs. I love to watch Vickie Howell on Knitty Gritty to learn new things that I can make for gifts. I love to drink hot chocolate with marshmallows. I love to sit on the couch in my P.J's and knit. I love to lay in bed all warm under the covers on Saturday mornings and watch the Food Network...thank you Paula Deen for all your festive holiday cooking! I love receiving my fall and winter editions of Cottage Living and Cooking Light magazines in the mail.

I really could just keep going but I won't :-)

I think I am going to make homemade marshmallows on Saturday. I have always wanted to do this but just have never really gotten around to it. I love the marshmallows from Williams Sonoma...oops, there I go again with things I love. I better stop talking about Williams Sonoma because I am likely to never stop! However, there is something so fluffy and wonderful about those gigantic square marshmallows. They look like little clouds floating on a river of Chocolate. You just really cannot beat that!

Wouldn't the marshmallows make cute Christmas gifts? Maybe for the co-workers. We will see. I may just eat them all myself!

I lied, I am going to keep going. You know what else I love this time of year? Chili! Maybe it is the Texas in me but I do love Chili! So...on that note, all you non-Texans...I leave you with my Chili recipe!

1 small onion chopped
1/2 green bell pepper chopped
1-2lbs ground beef or turkey
1 can diced green chilies and tomato's
1 can black beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 8oz. can tomato paste
Chili powder
fajita seasoning

In a large pot cook onion and bell pepper for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Add ground meat. Cook until meat is almost done. Add can of diced green chilies and tomato's, black beans, kidney beans, and tomato paste. Stir together. Cook on medium to high heat for about 5 minutes then reduce. Add cumin to taste and fajita seasoning to taste. Add a TON of chili powder. Stir and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Scoop in to bowls and top with monterrey jack cheese.

Serve with whole wheat tortilla chips.

To make the chips...too easy! Cut up about 4 or 5 whole wheat tortillas into small triangles. brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Broil until golden brown!
Cheers and Happy Wonderful Things!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Never Ending Popcorn Chain

First off all, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I had a great Thanksgiving. My sister, brother-in-law, and niece came into town this holiday. It is the first time they have joined us on Thanksgiving, it was very special.

Having them here has given my Christmas spirit a jump start! Last Sunday my mother, sister, niece and I did a little Christmas shopping in South Lake at the Town Square. I must say this is the mother of all shopping centers, a veritable one stop shop! Then, my sister and mother shopped Black Friday. To my extreme disappointment, I was not able to go because of work. Fortunately, I did a little Black Friday research, and gave my sister my shopping list. I am a sucker for good deals! Friday evening I started getting out all the Christmas decorations and watched The Holiday and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation while decorating. Yesterday, my sister and I did even more Christmas Shopping! It has been alot of fun!

So, this year I am trying out a few different decorating techniques. I am going to make some Christmas ornaments for the tree and also for the first time ever, construct a popcorn chain. I have always thought the popcorn chain was cute and provided a cozy " down home" Christmas feel. So, I am giving it a whirl. I had thought about putting gum drops on the chain too but, I think the kitty's may be too attracted to that. I don't know, they may also be a big fan of the popcorn too, we will just have to wait and see!
Here is the beginning of my popcorn chain:

I have about half the tree left to finish but I think it looks too cute so far!

My niece helped me put the ornaments on the tree. She adored this little Christmas tree ornament that plays Christmas music when you open it.

Keeping in the spirit of Christmas here are a few fun things to check out. This blog is just so festive year round...can't go wrong. I love the colors and that cute little dog. The blog certainly is a favorite of mine. Over at Sew Mama Sew, there are fantastic Christmas gift ideas. I happened upon this by reading one of my favorite blogs, Angry Chicken. She has an awfully cute Holiday Penny Rug on display at her site. Then, there is Jenn Maruska, who makes these adorable Christmas ornaments. Now, you can't go wrong with chocolate during the holiday season, at least I think so. Check out these delicious cupcakes that you may want to make for your next holiday party! Can you believe this!! Wreaths, real wreaths! My mom would always purchase a real wreath and when it arrived in the mail is smelled so wonderful! I love the smell of pine. I think I may have to get one of these wreaths for myself, you just can't beat that price!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Soup of The Day

I have been craving soup with the change of the weather. I also am feeling a bit under the weather. I crave soup more than ever when I have the sniffles. The cafeteria at work has been less than stellar in the soup department...the broccoli cheese looked at bit gross really, and I am not a big fan of chicken noodle. So, I came home from work, put on my P.J.'s, and made myself Chicken Enchilada Soup! It hit the spot! Now it is time to go watch Hero's!


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater

I have a pretty good idea it is my little bushy tailed friend who has been hanging around the house eating pecans from the pecan tree. He made the great pumpkin discovery last week and has been nibbling away ever since.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Little Hen

So, I have been bored with cooking. I have been making the same things over and over and over again and feel like I am in a bit of a rut. I wanted to change things up a bit so I grabbed my October issue of Cooking Light, thumbed through it, and came up with some great ideas! I have never eaten or even tried to cook a Cornish hen. They are so tiny and cute I thought I would give it a whirl. So, here is my go at it.

I stuffed it with rosemary, thyme, and sage sprigs. I also put the herbs under the skin of then hen along with salt and pepper. Then I drizzled the top of the hen with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

I made a side of creamed corn and a nice little salad to go along with it. It was mighty tasty if I do say so myself. My latest issue of Cooking light, November, has a recipe for an Apricot Glazed Cornish Hen, now that sounds yummy! Ah, the possibilities.
Cheers and Happy Fall!
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