Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi y'all! Oh how I am getting behind in my reading!  I had to return unread books to the library to keep from getting a huge fine.. So sad.. I am finally starting to get caught up though. My TBR pile is a bit smaller and all those books are not due until well into April.
What I read:

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
I really enjoyed this book! I can't wait to read the next in the series.. Sadly thats one of the ones I had to return to the Library..

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
I enjoyed this book as well.. I'm starting to get into the whole Faery books. They are quite interesting!

What I got from the Library:

Shimmer by Alyson Noel
Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen
The Forrest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

What I'm Reading Now:

How big is your TBR pile?


Monday, March 28, 2011


Hi y'all! Well.. my giveaway didn't go as planned.. I only got one person to enter..

 So the winner is

Jennifer Marquez!

Congrats! I will get your gift set out to you as soon as possible!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Coconut Macaroon's

Hi y'all!  Continuing with the bake something new week.. Once again I have another baked good that the hubs said I could make better. He's been wanting something with coconut in it, so we decided to try coconut macaroons.

Coconut Macaroons:

 2-2/3  cups  flaked coconut (7 ounces)
2/3  cup  granulated sugar
1/3  cup  all-purpose flour
1/4  teaspoon  salt
3    egg whites
1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
4  ounces  semisweet chocolate (optional)
1  teaspoon  shortening (optional)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a large cookie sheet or line with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine coconut, sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in egg whites and vanilla extract.
 Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
 If desired, in a small saucepan melt chocolate and shortening over low heat. Dip bottoms of cookies in melted chocolate mixture.
Makes about 30 cookies

Tip: To drizzle chocolate over macaroons, place melted chocolate mixture in a resealable plastic bag. Snip a small hole in the corner of the bag. Pipe chocolate mixture across each cookie in a crisscross pattern. Unless you have on of those fancy piping bags that I long for..


 Eat and enjoy!

Is there an item you've been longing to bake?


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cream Cheese Kolaches

Hi y'all! To continue my week of trying to bake new things.. The hubs and I stopped recently at our local Kolaches bakery. They had all kinds of different flavors of Kolaches. I got the strawberry cream cheese ones and the hubs got the sausage filled ones. As we were driving along to wherever we were going that day, the hubs looks at me and says " You can make better Kolaches". So there you have it. After we got home that day I searched all our cookbooks for the perfect Kolaches recipe. These were so good! This recipe makes quite a lot though.. I only used half the dough and still got about 2 dozen Kolaches. I'm going to use the other half of the dough for sausage Kolaches.. Should be yummy!

For Dough:

3 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2 3/4 cups milk(scald and cool to lukewarm)
7 1/4 cups flour (more or less)
3 teaspoons salt

 To Make Dough 
 Dissolve yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water in a tall glass, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar and set aside to proof.

 In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter, add egg yolks and salt and mix well.  Add the dissolved yeast, 1 cup of the flour and mix slowly with an electric mixer.
 Add the milk and continue adding as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a wooden spoon.
 Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough.  Continue kneading until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turn once to grease surface.

 Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Punch dough down and turn out onto lightly floured surface.
 Pinch off egg size portions and roll into a ball using the palm of your hands in circular motion.
 Place about 1 inch apart on greased pans.  Brush kolaches with melted butter, cover with a cloth and let rise until light, about 1 hour. Use your fingers to make an indentation in each ball and fill each opening with about 1 tablespoon of Cream Cheese filling. 
 Sprinkle with posypka topping (optional) and let rise again for 20 minutes.
 Bake in a preheated 425ºF oven for about 10-15 minutes.
 Brush kolaches with melted butter as they come out of the oven.

Cream Cheese Filling:
16 oz cream cheese
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

Posypka Topping:
 1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon melted butter

Mix all ingredients together until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Eat and enjoy!

Do you have a favorite bakery?


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Raisin Scones

Hi y'all! I thought I would spend this week baking some new things. I made scones once about 17 years ago when I was 11 or so. That was a huge fiasco! My older sister was suppose to be "helping" me. I miss read the measurements on an ingredient. Normally that would be no big deal.. a little extra flour or sugar here and there no big deal, right? Yeah.. I miss read the amount of salt! instead of 1/2 a teaspoon I put in 1/2 cup of salt! No one would eat them.. Even my brother who eats everything! I've been scared to try them again, but its time to get over those fears and try making new things!

Raisin Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup raisins (or dried currants)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in raisins.

In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.
Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)

Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Eat and enjoy!

Do you have any baking fears?


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi y'all!  This week was another slow week in getting books and reading..

Here's what I read this past week:

Awakened by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast
I Have been looking forward to this book for so long! I'm not really sure how I feel about it though.. I was excited to read it. but once I was done reading it I was left feeling a little disappointed and saddened.. It felt like the story didn't really go anywhere and what took the whole book to say could of been done in a few chapters.. But once I start a series I'm in it till the end.. Can't wait for the next book to come out!

Life's That Way: A Memoir by Jim Beaver
It feels wrong to say that I really enjoyed this book because of all the sadness involved with Jim's story. It was sad and I did cry severely, but I also enjoyed getting to see into the life of a great actor.

What I got from the Library:

Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen

What I'm reading now:

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

I've also started a new challenge!

The 1st In a Series Challenge 2011 is being hosted by Katy over at A Few More Pages, and it's a challenge I can complete! Very simple, to read a certain number (or more) books that are the first of a series. Any genre, any publication year, they just have to be the first book of a series.

Guidelines for the 1st in a Series Challenge 2011

There are four different levels for this challenge that each participant can choose from:
  • Series Novice: Read 3 books that are the first in any series.
  • Series Lover: Read 6 books that are the first in any series.
  • Series Expert: Read 12 books that are the first in any series.
  • Series Fanatic: Read 20 books that are the first in any series.
I've already started this challenge, but have not gotten around to posting it yet.
Here are the books I plan to read for this challenge:

Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Fallen by Lauren Kate
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Blood Song by Cat Adams
Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen
My soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Black Moon by C.L. Bevill
My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Demon Girl byPenelope Fletcher
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Elixir by Hilary Duff
Kat Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
The Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
Dilirium by Lauren Oliver
GLOW by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Wildefire by Karsten Knight
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
I will probably end up adding more to this list..

What about you? What challenges are you trying to complete?


Monday, March 21, 2011

Cinnamon Breakfast Puffs

Hi y'all! This recipe come from Tanya over at Sunday Baker. I have been a follower of hers for quite some time now and love all of her recipes! I decided to give this one a go the other night. Not only are these cinnamon puffs yummy for breakfast, they make an awesome late night snack!

Cinnamon Breakfast Puffs:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 large egg
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (mix together with the sugar)

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg, beating well. Slowly add in the flour and milk, alternately, starting and ending with the flour.
With a small melon scooper, fill a greased mini muffin pan (each to 3/4 full). Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
Remove from oven. While warm, dip each puff in the melted butter, then the cinnamon/sugar glaze.

Eat and Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite cooking blog?


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tagliatelle & Meatballs

Hi ya'll! this week we've been on kind of a pasta kick. First we had the chicken and basil pesto and now this. We weren't very good cooks this time though. We used store bought pasta instead of making our own.. As much fun as it is to make our own pasta, we just didn't have the time for it this time.. The hubs had some tests coming up so he didn't have much time for cooking.
Tagliatelle & Meatballs in a red wine sauce

2 cups white bread crumbs
2/3 cup milk
12 shallots, chopped
4 cups ground beef
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper

Red wine sauce:
2 tbs butter
8 tbs oil oil
3 cups slice wild mushrooms
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
7/8 cup beef stock
2/3 cup red wine
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper

Put the bread crumbs into a bowl and pour over the milk. Let soak for 30 minutes.

To make the sauce, heat half the butter and half the oil in a pan over low heat. Add mushrooms and cook for about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the stock and wine; cook for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato past, sugar, and basil. Season to taste with salt an pepper then cook for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix shallots, beef and paprika with breadcrumbs; season to taste with salt and pepper. Shape into 12 meatballs.

Heat remaining oil and butter in a skillet, add meatballs; cook until browned. Transfer to casserole dish, pour sauce over meatballs, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove meatballs from oven and pour over prepared pasta

Eat and Enjoy!

Whats your favorite pasta dish?


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Basil Pesto Chicken

Hi y'all! I know its Saint Patty's day and all.. But we are not making our Irish meal until tomorrow.. Earlier this week we decided to make our own pasta! We have tried our hand at it before, and have had fun with the whole process. We don't have a proper pasta rack, so just ignore the wine rack substitute..

Basil Pesto Chicken

2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste


1 2/3 cup shredded fresh basil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To make pesto, put basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and a pinch of salt into a food processor. Blend till smooth, scrape mixture into a bowl and stir in cheese.

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken breasts, turning once, for 8-10 minutes. Cut into small cubes. Add chicken and pesto to prepared pasta, season with pepper. Toss well to mix

Pasta Dough

1 3/4 cups flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp olive oil

Stir together, flour and salt onto a counter* and make a well in the center with your fingers. Pour the eggs and oil into the well, then using the finger of one hand gradually incorporate the flour into the liquid.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured counter until smooth. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes. Roll out and feed through pasta machine. Hang pasta on rack to dry.

Eat and Enjoy!

*Chef's note: The hubs has yet to master the art of making pasta straight on the counter.. So we use a bowl to mix the flour and eggs.

Have you ever made your own pasta before?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi y'all! This week was kinda slow for getting books, which is good since I already have a huge stack in my TBR pile!

Here is what I've read in the past week:

Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs
I love the T.V. show 'Bones'. Kathy Reichs is the author that created Dr. Temperance Brennan. This is the 2nd book I have read by her and I love how book Brennan differs from T.V. Brennan. There are some similarities, but the T.V. show is completely different from the books. It threw me for a loop when I read the first book. I was so accustomed to everything being  all about Brennan and Booth.. I really enjoyed this book and it was a nice break from my paranormal romance/YA reading.

Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Oh how I loved this book! I could not put it down! I have not read too much in the paranormal romance/ YA that deals with Dragons. Its a nice change from Vampires.. I'm so sick of Vampires.. I read this book in 1 day. So needles to say I highly recommend this book!

The Eternal Ones by Kristen Miller
My honest opinion of this book.. is not very good. I struggled to read it. I felt like this story has been done many times before. And the religious aspect of it was a bit much.. But don't take my word for it. If you live stories about lost loves and past lives, this might just be the book for you.
What I got from the Library:

Fallen by Kate Lauren

What I'm currently reading:
Awakened by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast

What are you reading?


Sunday, March 13, 2011


Hi ya'll! Okay so I've decided to do my first giveaway. Of course it has nothing to do with cooking, or books! When I'm not baking, reading or blogging, I sell Avon.  Reese Witherspoon just released a new fragrance, exclusivly sold by Avon called Love to the Fullest. Its being sold in a gift set that includes a fullsize bottle of Love to the Fullest, Glazewear Lipgloss in Tickled pink, Nail pro nail polish in Sheer French Pink, and a cute cosmetic bag. I will be giving away a Love to the Fullest gift set to 1 lucky follower!

To enter:
Leave a comment for each

Be a follower (one entry)

If you are familiar with Avon, tell me what your favorite product is. If you don't know much about Avon, you can  go to my Avon site here. (one entry)

Bonus entry if you buy something from my website (worth 5 entries)

Open to U.S. only. (Sorry, can't afford the shipping anywhere else at the moment..) Giveaway will end on March 25th  2011 at Midnight. Winner will be announced on the 28th of March . They will have 48 hours to contact me. If the winner does not contact me in time, a new winner will be chosen.

Good Luck!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Gotta Love Tillamook!

Yesterday I got an awesome package in the mail from Tillamook Cheese! In my Cheddar Bacon Waffle post I mentioned a contest that I won. My prize? Cheese of course!

 They sent me a baby loaf of Colby Jack cheese and a button that says I Loaf You. I just love the box they sent my cheese in.. 
 I already have plans to make my dad's baked macaroni and cheese with it!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Banana Bread Cobbler

Hi ya'll! I got this awesom recipe from Ann over at Apples and Twinkies. The hubs really loved this dish. He said I need to make it more often!

Banana Bread Cobbler

1  cup  self-rising flour
1  cup  sugar
1  cup  milk
1/2  cup  butter, melted (I used ¼ cup.)
4  medium-size ripe bananas, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 11x7-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Whisk together flour and next 2 ingredients just until blended; whisk in melted butter. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Top with banana slices, and sprinkle with streusel topping - recipe below.
Place dish in oven and bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Streusel Topping

  3/4  cup  firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2  cup  self-rising flour
1/2  cup  butter, softened
1  cup  uncooked regular oats
1/2  cup  chopped pecans

Stir together brown sugar, flour, and butter until crumbly, using a fork. Stir in oats and pecans.

Eat and Enjoy!

What's your favorite dessert?