Pure Random

I can’t quite figure out what I wanted to blog about today, so I will talk about different subjects, and give you a peek at what is going on in my mind…

Warning, it is quite diverse and a few different subjects at one time.

Food:

(Not my picture. XD)

I did it! I actually tried baking with the fresh strawberries, and let me say, it was delicious! Let’s just say the cake didn’t last long enough to take a picture. My family (aka: Me, my husband and my daughter) LOVED it and it was eaten pretty quickly.

My daughter’s 2nd birthday is coming up, so I may try something like this again for her cake (I am baking it for her this year to try to save money for the zoo!) so this is definitely an idea that will be shelved and saved for future reference.

Design:

Have you seen this picture going around?

You know what I’m going to point out, right? ….

I hope you answered THE RUG! *laughs* LOOK!

It’s an older style more traditional rug but it fits in this room VERY well! I would have never thought of placing this rug in this room, but look how beautiful it looks? Isn’t it fantastic? So I tried to see if I can find a rug similar to this on eSaleRugs.com

I think I found some close ones… what do you think?

esalerugs.com/22096199

esalerugs.com/22098990

Then I found a colorful version. ;P

esalerugs.com/22129645

Now, the colorful one isn’t exactly the same, but I thought it was interesting!

Kids/Family:

And I am really excited! My baby is turning 2!! It’s amazing how fast time goes by! And we know what we’re doing for her birthday. She isn’t going to get many presents, but she is going to visit…..

*trumpets*

THE ZOO!

We have been wanting to take her to the zoo since the first time she watched We Bought A Zoo! She loved that movie and it was her favorite for the longest time. And now, she gets to see a zoo! We figured that she is old enough now to actually enjoy it and have fun, so it’s the great “First Trip” (besides the cross country drive… but all she saw then was the backseat while wrapped in a blanket. *laughs*)

This is where we are going!

Riverbanks zoo and garden in Columbia, SC! I am truly excited. I will probably be taking a lot of pictures. My facebook friends are going to get a lot of new photos in a new album pop up on their feed soon after this. *wink*

I have been trying to plan this, but I think, in the end, winging it will just be the best thing. See what she wants to do and where she wants to go. Should be a blast.

And….

That is a look at what goes on in my brain at one time. It is quite… amusing how it jumps so quickly to all of it and bounces back between them.

What is going on in your mind today?

Delicious, Here I Come!

Can you tell? I’m HUNGRY! And so I started looking at possible recipes. And would you know that FoodNetwork.com is the WORST place to look! Want to know why? They  have lists and catagories and recommendations and GAH! I am drooling just thinking about all that I have seen. Not fair, by the way. I am STARVING now.

So we’re going to do the same to you. I am going to have a BUNCH of pictures here to show recipes I found, and I’ll post some. In fact, let me do a few entries for different themes. Maybe. But for sure, here are the photos. O.O (And if you want the recipe, CLICK ON THE PICTURE! Or just wait for my entry on the recipe. Yum…)

Main Chicken Entrees:


Seafood and Snacks:


Deserts:




And the topper to my hunger (Now I have HUGE cravings!)

Ingredients

  • 14 graham cracker squares (7 full sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 2/3 cup sugar, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups 1 percent low-fat milk
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.

In a food processor, process the graham crackers until finely ground. Add butter and water and process until the crumbs clump together. Press the crumb mixture into bottom of pie plate and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes, then let cool.

In the meantime, make the pudding. Put the gelatin in a small bowl, add the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Set aside.

In a medium saucean mix the 2/3 cup of sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add half of the milk, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the rest of the milk. Turn the heat on to medium and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in the vanilla and reserved gelatin. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and let set for 3 hours in the refrigerator.

Whip the cream and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Before serving, garnish the pie with the whipped cream.

Old Fashioned Home Style Cooking

I feel… nostalgic. I remember when I was little, my mom or dad cooking up some of my favorite stew or soup in the world:

Beef Stew.

It was so delicious. Once I got older, I realized how simple it was as well.

What’s even better:
CROCK POTS.

Yes, cooking in a crock pot saves time but also creates these delicious flavorful meals.  And seeing as I am a working mom, it makes life WONDERFUL. Throw it all together, and I get the delicious tasting home style cooking that I adored when I was little. In fact, here is my own personal recipe. (Although, there aren’t nice descriptions of how much, etc.)

Beef Stew (YoungMomDecor Type)


Ingrediants:

A Cut of Beef (size depending upon your size of crockpot)
Kernels of Corn
Potatoes (Peeled and cut into big chunks)
Salt
Pepper

Additional/Optional Ingrediants:

Celery
Carrots

Directions:

– Put in the beef but arrange it so there is room around it to put the vegetables (corn, potatoes, etc).

– Spread the veggies around with a nice mixture. Make sure it is not too stuffed so you can add water to make actual stew.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of everything.

– Add a little amount of water, maybe a few cups, that way to encourage the liquid/stew part. The less you do, the thicker it will be, but you do want a least a little.

– Put lid on top and start the crock pot. Let it sit all day.

– Serve and enjoy! The richness and simplicity does wonders and is enjoyable by all! (The kids even eat the veggies!)

I know, simple, but worth the wait. And all you have to do is throw it all together in the morning and have a perfect dinner at night.

Honestly, makes me drool just thinking about it.

I Feel…

Like a Pizza night!

Or to be even more picky, I want a Calzone. A scrumptious, delicious Calzone… (Drooling at the thought.)

I love the ones they have at Pizza Hut, but I don’t want to pay that much for just one when I should share with my husband and daughter as well. Then it hit me: MAKE THEM.

Now here is how I differ from most calzone recipes. I always believed in making with NO sauce in the middle, but rather dip the calzone in sauce.

Very hard to find a recipe with it.

But I found one that I like enough, and I say, you can do it either way. Cook it with sauce in it, or leave the sauce out and dip. Your choice.

(Found at www.5dollardinners.com)

Ingredients
1 cup water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp sugar
1 package yeast
1 cup spaghetti or pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
About 40 pepperonis
1 Tbsp olive oil
Couple shakes of garlic salt

Directions

Place the first 9 ingredients into bread machine on dough cycle. By hand instructions for pizza dough can be found here.

calzones 1 Pepperoni Calzones

1. Once the dough cycle is complete, place the dough on a clean, floured surface.

calzones 2 Pepperoni Calzones

2.Knead into a ball.

calzones 3 Pepperoni Calzones

3. Divide the dough into 2 balls.

calzones 4 Pepperoni Calzones

4. Further divide into 4 balls.

calzones 5 Pepperoni Calzones

5. And divide one more time into 8 little dough balls.  (From here, I took 2 of these dough balls and made them into 4, so that I could make “mini-calzones” for the boys.)

calzones 6 Pepperoni Calzones

6. Roll out the dough balls into rectangular-oval-ish shapes.  Place onto greased baking sheets.

calzones 7 Pepperoni Calzones

7.Place a few pepperonis onto one half of the dough.

calzones 8 Pepperoni Calzones

8. Top with some sauce, cheese and more pepperonis.

calzones 9 Pepperoni Calzones

9. Fold the other half over.

calzones 10 Pepperoni Calzones

10. Pinch the edges together.

calzones 11 Pepperoni Calzones

11. And mash the edges together with a fork.  (This step is not necessary, but I like to do it to prevent the sauce from leaking out!)

calzones 12 Pepperoni Calzones

12. Brush the top with olive oil.

calzones 13 Pepperoni Calzones

13. Sprinkle garlic salt on top.

calzones 14 Pepperoni Calzones

14. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Now, these are simple, but look delicious! Definitely worth a shot! I love how the www.5dollardinners.com site shows step by step. This makes it very useful.

Again, I cook without the sauce in, but feel free to put the sauce in like they did. It works either way.

Now, time to go munch!

In Celebration Of…

I am VERY excited about my new feature “Designer of the Week!”

And as I was preparing the entry, I realized, it’s not fair to my Designers if I do it at the END of the week, so why not wait until Monday to start it with a BANG!

But I still want to celebrate it’s coming, so … here is a recipe!

And as you scroll down and come back up here, you may look at me with curiosity. Why celebrate with WHITE cake? Why? Because all good cakes start with the basics! You can easily decorate this and do anything with it! Add chocolate swirls, add sprinkles to make it confetti cake, you name it! It becomes it!

Plus, White Cake is my favorite. *wink*

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

 

Simple, Delicious, and striaght to the point!

Now I am ready for Some Designers of the Week!

Oh The Weather Outside is … HOT

And when it is hot outside, the first thing I think of is LEMONADE. (Click on the picture for a link to a healthy recipe!) And, when I started thinking about lemonade, my mind started to wander and connect random items.

Lemonade and the sun are both yellow. And yellow is a color that I tend to not use in any type of decor, which is quite a shame actually. So, why not focus on some subtle way to decorate with yellow today!

I found this picture on a blog today (feel free to visit it. Click on the photo!) and it really got me to thinking. What are nice colors to go with yellow that don’t scream too bright!

Perfect examples. Brown, soft shades of white, grey, subtle reds….

The list can go on for quite a bit! And I have to admit, I love! Oh colors, how you surprise me! I am not one for bright colors (as mentioned in a previous entry) but I can take them in small amounts, and I am loving it!

Something I NEVER would have thought of. But isn’t it beautiful? Dark colors, with subtle yellow tones, and you have a great combination!

Here’s another yellow that I like:

It is a variation of yellows that are not too bright and I think can easily fit in many different decors and rooms.

Any other suggestions?

The Fashion Trend That I Like?

I admit it: I am not fashionable.

I don’t have a fashionable bone in my body when it comes to clothes. I tend to not like most of what is going on with clothes, and do not wear what is considered in. But somehow I still got on Bazaar’s Magazine list and still get their THICK magazine haunting and filling my mail box.

But I got to curious about what is to come. And I was pleasantly surprised at what I found: Pale Pastel Colors are BACK!

This is the sight I saw on Style.Com and I was extremely happy:

Spring 2012 trend reports

PALE FIRE

After months of blaring neons and eye-searing prints, the pretty pastels we saw from Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein Collection and the new dut at Valentino were a welcome palette cleanser. Giambattista Valli and Louis Vuitton’s Marc Jacobs embraced the light, too, serving up color-blocked looks in sweet ice cream shades. Two scoops, please.”

Make that not just them loving it!

I got to thinking, why not incorporate that into decor? And to make sure I don’t complicate it too much, I looked into some more solid tones, just to get a room started. That way, you can have other matching or complimentary items that will easily fit around the rug!

Yes, I said it. RUG. It’s been a while since I have shown to my favorite flooring, and so here are some pastel colored rugs to get you started for the season!

(Like always, if you want to see more pictures of these rugs, go ahead and click on them. They will link up their page.)

Good start right? Nice light colors to work with. Love it. And I may even partake in wearing some light colors this Spring Season. *wink*

But looking at those light colors somehow reminded me of sweets. So, here’s a recipe as well.

I’m a mom, I can’t help it. (Gotta love Good Housekeeping!)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon(s) salt

1/3 cup(s) confectioners’ sugar, see step 1

3 tablespoon(s) confectioners’ sugar, see step 5

10 tablespoon(s) butter or margarine, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

3 tablespoon(s) ice water

6 ounce(s) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened

1/2 cup(s) reduced-fat sour cream

3 tablespoon(s) chopped crystallized ginger

1 1/2 pound(s) strawberries, stems and leaves discarded and each berry cut lengthwise in half


Directions

  1. In food processor with knife blade attached, combine flour, salt, and 1/3 cup sugar; pulse until blended. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add vanilla, then ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour. (If chilled overnight, let dough stand 30 minutes at room temperature before rolling.)
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. On large sheet of parchment paper, with floured rolling pin, roll dough into 12-inch round. Using 11-inch dinner plate as guide, and with sharp knife, cut 11-inch round from dough; discard trimmings.
  3. Transfer round, still on parchment, to large cookie sheet. Press one index finger against outside edge of dough round; with index finger and thumb of other hand, push dough around fingertip toward center to form a flute. Repeat around edge to make a decorative border. Refrigerate or freeze, on cookie sheet, about 10 minutes to firm dough slightly.
  4. Bake dough 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Cool crust completely on cookie sheet on wire rack, about 20 minutes.
  5. When crust is cool, in medium bowl, with spoon, mix cream cheese, sour cream, crystallized ginger, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar until blended. Spread cream cheese mixture on crust. Arrange strawberries, wide ends down, in concentric circles in cream cheese mixture to cover.

Read more: Fresh Strawberry-Cream Cheese Tart – Cream Cheese Recipes – Good Housekeeping