Friday, September 30, 2011

Crab Rangoons

Today kicks off the annual, kind of expensive but pretty tasty and fun State Fair of Texas!

At the fair in 2007

In honor of the 2011 start to the fair and it's staple of fried foods, today's recipe is my first go at a deep fryer - Crab Rangoons!  I utilized the recipe from Food People Want as my basis, subtracting items that I forgot to pick up from the store.

- 1/2 lb of Crab Meat
- 8 oz of Cream Cheese
- 1/2 Tsp of Worcestershire
- 1/2 Tsp of Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Tsp of Lemon Juice
- Black Pepper to taste
- Package of Won Ton Wraps

Sealing Mixture
- 1 Tbs of Cornstarch
- 2 Tbs of Water
- 1 Egg Yolk

-Oil for frying

I started off by combining the crab meat and cream cheese, adding in the Worcestershire, soy sauce, lemon juice and black pepper.  Create the sealing mixture by dissolving the cornstarch into water and stirring in the egg yolk.

Scoop a small amount of the crab filling onto the center of the wrapper.  Dip your finger into the sealing mixture and paint the boarder of the won ton.  Fold the wrapper over to form a triangle and press the edge with your finger to seal.  For the finished crimped look, carefully press the back of a fork around the edge.

I borrowed Mom's mini deep fryer to fry these bad boys pretty quickly.  In fact it was so quick that I was stalling on filling the won tons fast enough.  Next time I'll probably make all of the won tons and then begin the frying so its faster and more efficient. 

Note for anyone that may try this recipe, it makes a ton of won tons!  You can't fill each one too full or it may prevent it from closing the triangle.  Next time I make these, it will be for a larger group so we won't have so many left over.  I doubt they will reheat well.

Does your state have a yearly fair? What is your favorite fair food?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Guest Postin' Over at Nodakademic

I jumped at the opportunity to guest post for my Weddingbee friend, Mrs. Mary Jane.  Head on over to Nodakademic's blog today to hear about my worst winter weather, Texas Style!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Guest Postin' on Silver Lining

I love guest posting on other blogs, check out Silver Lining (aka Mrs. Ostrich from the Bee) today and learn how to make these delicious blueberry crumble bars!

Home Ideas: Above Counter Sinks

I really love the look of an above counter sink.  They can be elegant, modern or both, and we loved using them during our honeymoon in Mexico.

Not sure if we would use them in our future master bath, but I would love to incorporate one into the half bath (or powder room).  Here are some great inspiration shots from pinterest.

Image from houzz, pinned by Victoria

Image from apartmenttherapy, pinned via Kristyn

Image from houzz, pinned via April

Image from remodelista, pinned by Kelly

What ideas do you have for updating a standard bathroom?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mini Take Over

Looking over my Pinterest Food board, I started to notice a trend.





Look at all the mini food! I don't know why it is, but the food looks so cute and tasty in mini form.  When I started to look over my pintrest board, I realized that I needed to pick up a mini muffin pan to add to our arsenal.

What do you think of mini food? Does it make it cuter or tastier when it comes in bite size form?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets were my childhood favorite on the rare occasion that we ate at McDonald's.  Now I can make them at home, and they're probably a little (just a little) better for us than fast food.  This was another pin of mine, with the original inspiration found on food gawker.  I used the recipe on a blog, Sammyw, and just guesstimated on the amounts.

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Egg
1/4 cup of Bread Crumbs
Garlic Powder, Pepper, Italian Seasonings
Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil

Start off by cutting the chicken into bite size pieces.  In one bowl beat an egg with a little water, in another bowl mix the seasoning and bread crumbs together.  Coat the chicken into the egg then roll it around in the breading mixture.  Saute in a pan with olive oil, flipping over until golden brown. This was my first time to fry with the open oil and did get popped once or twice with hot oil.  Be careful!

Thanks Chris for taking this picture while I was trying to speed through coating the chicken

When you remove it from the pan, it's best to place on a plate with a paper towel to soak up some of the extra grease.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, add a little dipping sauce (we used Pepperhouse Gournmaise) and enjoy!

What were some of your favorite foods at a child?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pinterest Inspired: Canvas States

This past weekend I decided to stop just pinning DIY inspiration and finally actually do a project!

I was inspired by this pin of a canvas painted with the shape of Texas

Source: via Lauren on Pinterest

It was so cute and looks so simple, I knew I could tackle it in one sitting.  Chris (the resident artist in the household) helped me pick out supplies at Micheal's.  Haven't been there in forever...all of those wedding planning memories came flooding back as soon as I stepped foot into the store. Thankfully the art supplies were all on sale AND I had an extra 15% off of everything including sale items coupon.  Score!

With the welcome rain in our area, I took advantage of my Friday night at home and got to work.  Supplies included two 12x12 canvas wraps, acrylic paint, and paint brushes.  A quick Google search and I was able to print out the outlines of Texas and Pennsylvania onto some left over cardstock.

I started off by painting a layer of white paint over the area of the canvas.  I probably didn't need to since it's already white, but I liked the look of the states being painted as well.

Probably one of the longest steps in this project was deciding where to place PA.  I loved TX in the lower right hand corner, but I couldn't pick between the same or opposite for PA.  Thankfully with the cut outs I was able to look at it in both positions, and with Chris' opinion went for PA in the bottom left corner.

Tape the cut outs down and start painting.  Since I didn't tape very close to the edge, some of the paint made its way under my cut out.  A little white cover up after the paint dried helped out that situation.

Freehand a couple of hearts over our cities of birth and project accomplished!

The blue didn't come out as solid as the green, but I'm starting to dig the shading because it reminds me of water.  We don't have much wall space left (those pictures were taken hanging from hooks of another frame), and since we'll be packing up in a couple of months I probably won't do anything with them until we move into our house.

Project breakdown:
-3 Brushes @ .69 each = $2.07
-3 Acrylic paints (normally 3.99 each) @ 1.99 each = $5.97
-2 12x12 canvas (normally 10.99 each) @ 4.39 each = $8.78
-Test canvas pack = $2.99

With tax, this would have cost $42.23.  With the sale prices and extra 15% off I paid $18.22.  Not too shabby! Completing this project has me itchin' to do another project.  Can't wait to get into a house and get back into more DIY projects.

Have you found and re-created any DIY projects on Pintrest?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Married up with Wine, Guest Postin'

My green smoothies from August are making an appearance over on Married up with Wine today :)

TV Time!

What's that I hear?  Could it be the sound of our DVR ending it's summer rest and gearing up to record all of the new fall shows?

Yay!  This week begins the new fall TV schedule and I am so excited to finally see some new shows!  I sometimes get a little overwhelmed at the beginning of the fall trying to figure out what new shows to give a chance, hoping I don't get sucked into a show that will end up canceled in a couple of months (Lone Star or No Ordinary Family, anyone?).

This season I'm looking forward to:

-Up All Night on NBC. This looks like a funny take on first time parenthood, and I've loved Christina Applegate from her days as Sue Ellen.  We loved the pilot last week and can't wait to see more.

Via Yahoo

-Revenge on ABC.  Per IMDb -"Centers on a young woman who is welcomed into a community filled with people who don't know she's only there to exact revenge on those who had destroyed her family."

Via Yahoo

- New Girl on Fox.  I really like Zooey Deschanel's quirky sense of comedy.

Via Yahoo

-Person of Interest on CBS.  This is actually a DVR request of Chris', but it could be interesting even though I was not a Ben fan on Lost.

Of course I have some returning favorites including: How I Met Your Mother, The Office, The Big Bang Theory, The Mentalist, Vampire Diaries, Criminal Minds, Community, Glee, Modern Family (congrats to all of their Emmys last night!) and Happy Endings.  As you can tell, our DVR gets a work out in the Fall.  Good thing we recently learned about the On Demand feature with Verizon Fios, so if we can't DVR it we could still catch it later.

What new TV shows are you looking forward to this season?  What are some of your returning favorites?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Home Ideas: Chandeliers

More pinterest inspiration!  Today we're looking at ways to jazz up the dining room.  Standard builder grade dining room chandeliers tend to remind me of the 70s/80s. Not that we're planning on having a ton of sit down dinner parties, but I would still love to have a statement piece above our table.  The first is my favorite and I started looking online after seeing a similar structure on a sneak peek of  HGTV's The High Low Project with Sabrina Soto.

The next fixtures have a very clean modern feel to it.

Image from abc, pinned via Gloria

We're not the woodsy type, but this chandelier would definitely be a conversation starter 

Image from desiretoinspire, pinned via Kristin

Lots of sparkle in this next one.

Image from overstock, pinned via Elizabeth

Have you changed out builder grade light fixtures in your home?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On The Kindle: The Art of Racing in the Rain

Back in the day, I was an avid reader.  I could spend a whole day in my room (or backyard if the PA weather was nice) reading the childhood classics like The Babysitter's Club and Goosebumps series.  I looked forward to our elementary school's monthly book fairs, trips to the library and the reading reward system for a personal pizza at Pizza Hut.

Somewhere along the road my love of reading was diminished as my required reading for school took over.  After college, I still didn't really pick up a book until the first Twilight movie came out.  My co-worker had seen the movie and was exclaiming that the book was better.  He offered his series to read and I was hooked!  I read all four books in a row and was a little sad when I finished.  That long lost love of reading was starting to sneak back in.

Luckily, I found a great group of local women and joined their book club.  I just finished up Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain, and I really enjoyed it!

Image via Garth Stein 

I don't want to ruin it for those that may want to read it, but this book had me go from laughing out loud to nearly in tears to happy & joyful.  It also made me wonder what's really going through the mind of my dog, Gypsy.

Have you read any good books lately?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Guest Posting - Married up with Wine

I'm guest posting over at Married up with Wine today! It's my first time to guest post and I'm just a little excited  :)

Lemon Feta Chicken

Another new recipe, this week is a quick and easy way to add some flavor to a regular chicken breast.  I found the recipe for Lemon Feta Chicken on Taste Of Home.

4 boneless skinless chicken breast (as you can see, I only used 3)
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon of oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper and swamp dust to season

Place the chicken in a baking pan with cooking spray and pour the lemon juice over it.  Sprinkle with the seasoning (oregano, pepper and swamp dust) then crumble the feta on top.

One of my new colorful stoneware pans

Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 25 mins and you're good to go.  I served it with some angle hair pasta and a side salad.

What are some of your favorite ways to prepare chicken?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Home Ideas: Fabric Headboards

I don't just use Pinterest for recipes because there is such an abundance of inspiration out there!  I thought it would be fun to share some ideas I would love to incorporate into our future house via pins.  Up today, we have fabric headboards.  I would love to tackle this as a DIY project for one of our guest bedrooms.

Image from google, pinned via Mindy

Image from bhg, pinned via Jenesee

Image from curbly, pinned via Jennifer

Image from houzz, pinned via Erika

Image from stephmodo, pinned via Kate

I'm really excited about taking on this type of DIY, it looks like something we could handle.

Have you been inspired by anything you have found on pintrest? 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Frozen Banana Bites

Welcome to all of the new readers clicking over from Weddingbee!  You'll find a mix of cooking, house hunting, travel, and random married life events over here.

Have you heard of food gawker?   It has become my new favorite site when looking for recipes.  Well really, I'm just looking at the pictures of yummy food wishing that someone could just make it all for me. After the day dreaming for a personal chef is over, I click and check out the recipes online.  I pin them to Pinterest so I have a quick link to pull up the details later.  Frozen Banana Bites from the blog (never home) maker were one of the first pins that I tried out.

Pretty easy 3 ingredient recipe: Bananas, Baking Chocolate and Peanut Butter.  This will tell you how warm it is down in Texas.  I purchased the chocolate morsels and left them on the counter over night.  By the next day when I was ready to use them, they were already starting to melt together.  I am SO ready for cooler weather and loving the 80 degrees we're experiencing this week.

Cut the bananas into decent sized pieces.  I ended up using 5 bananas because I wanted to use the whole bag  of the melting chocolate bits.  In the normal world you would only use 1/3 cup of chocolate and 1/3 cup of peanut butter.

Melt the chocolate and peanut butter in the microwave for 1 minute, then mix until smooth.  Don't make my mistake which was to put the mixture back in for another minute and a half.  It started to look dry and you could really smell it, like it was almost burnt.  This was the reason for then making another bowl of mixture and cutting up more bananas, just in case.  Cover the banana in the chocolate mixture, then place on a wax paper covered plate.

I drizzled the extra chocolate on top of the bananas to ensure that they were completely covered. Stick in the freezer for an hour and you have one tasty little snack or dessert.

While taking that last picture I learned how quickly chocolate starts to melt.  I had them in the freezer for 3 hours and as soon as I touched them to plate, my body heat was starting to melt the chocolate.  They taste amazing, but be sure to have a napkin on hand.

What are some of your favorite things to eat with chocolate?