Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stuffed Pepper Soup

We've been having crazy cold temperatures lately, so what better to warm you up than a fabulous bowl of soup?  This week's new-to-me recipe is Stuffed Pepper Soup from SkinnyTaste.  My friend Yvonne made stuffed peppers last week - and I loooove stuffed peppers.  But they're a lot of work, especially if you're making them for one person.  But Stuffed Pepper Soup?  Come ON! 

Here is a picture of the ingredients.  (Ignore the Thyme, I had another recipe in my brain when I was pulling everything out from my cupboards).  The recipe calls for green and red peppers, but I had an orange pepper that needed to be used up, so I used that instead.

Browning up the hamburger - yum!

Soften up the peppers and onions, and the garlic cloves.....

 Served up!  The recipe calls to add the rice to each serving separately, but since I'll be freezing most of the portions, I added the cooked rice to the pot just before serving.  I also added some extra marjoram at the end, and salt and pepper.
It's not even dinner time yet, and I've already had two partial bowls.  So I'd call this recipe a success!  A huge thank you to SkinnyTaste!

Until next time (which MAY be tomorrow, as I have another new-to-me recipe tugging at me, wanting to be made).  Stay warm!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Still going!

I think this is honestly the longest I've stuck with a New Year's Resolution, LOL.  So we have another week, another new-to-me recipe, and (gasp!) another new-to-me food.  What the heck has come over me?

This week, my new-to-me recipe is for breakfast, and comes from  I've never had Steel Cut Oats before.  I love oatmeal, but I knew that this would have a different texture, so I was a little nervous.  Here is the recipe: Slow Cooker Oats.  Yep, oatmeal in a slow cooker.  I wasn't so sure, either.

The ingredients:

I cooked the oatmeal during the day yesterday, mainly because I hope to get more than 8 hours of sleep on the weekends, and I didn't want to wake up to mush.  The house smelled great (hello, cinnamon!).  And when it was done last night, I portioned it out in single servings and put it in the fridge.  This morning, took one out, nuked it in the microwave for under 2 minutes, gave it a stir, and voila! 

I have to admit, I didn't eat it the way it's in the photo.  I like my oatmeal pretty much drowning in milk, so I added a touch more brown sugar, and then surrounded the oats in milk (the strawberries were eaten already at that point, LOL).  Thumbs up from me!  Yes, the texture is different from regular oatmeal.  There is a bit of a bite to it, if you know what I mean.  But now I have easy breakfasts for the week, yay!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Scrapping and a Broken Heart

** OOPS!  I had this post written the other day and forgot to publish it! **

I had a busy but fun weekend this weekend.  There was a fundraising crop at my local scrapbooking store, so I went to that on Saturday.  For those of you not in the 'scrappy' world, a crop is where a group of scrapbookers get together, and you work on your craft. Sure, you can do it at home, but sometimes getting together with a group of friends makes it just that much more fun!  I worked on a few layouts, but didn't actually finish any of them because I didn't pack for it until the last minute, therefore leaving a few important things home.  Oh well.  I'll get them done!

Of course, it was also a weekend of football playoffs.  Yes, I'm a football fan.  Have been since I was a kid.  I learned the rules and everything about football from my Dad; I'd go in to the living room while a game was on, ask my Dad and brother who they were rooting for, and cheer for the other team just to make it interesting.  Yeah, I'm like that.  Anyway, I started barraging my Dad with questions about the game, and pretty soon, I was hooked.  I've been a fan of three teams in my lifetime:  The Chicago Bears (I started watching the year of the SuperBowl Shuffle, William "The Refrigerator" Perry, etc.).  Then a few years later, I caught a glimpse of John Elway as Quarterback for the Denver Broncos.  I thought he was super-cute, so I switched allegiance. (Hey, I was like 14 at the time).  I stuck with the Broncos for many many years.  Then, once Brett Favre left, I became a Green Bay Packers fan.  Oh, my Packers.  They broke my heart this weekend.  But I can honestly say that the 49ers outplayed them on Saturday night, and deserved to win.  Sigh.

I took Rudy to the dogpark Sunday morning, as the weather was AMAZING.  We hadn't been there in quite a while, and since I was at the crop all day Saturday, I thought he deserved to go.  It was so funny, there was an 8-month-old Great Dane there who was desperate to play.  She was all legs, and three times Rudy's height.  But play they did!  Rudy wrestled with her for a while, and then had a few good sprints around the park chasing other dogs.  It was fabulous.  After an hour, he was ready for home.

Then I had to figure out what I was going to make for my new-to-me recipe this week. I ended up making this Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin recipe from  When it was done cooking, I took the tenderloin out to shred, tasted it, and was.... underwhelmed?  So I threw some cornstarch into the pot to thicken the juices a bit, along with another 1/3 cup of Teriyaki sauce with the shredded pork, and let it cook for another hour.  THEN I was happy with it!  I served it with boiled potatoes, and broccoli.  In fact, I'm having that same exact meal for lunch today.  See?  I liked it!  And I blanked and forgot to take pictures.  Oh well.

How about you - are YOU trying any new recipes lately?  I have to say, I'm really enjoying trying new stuff on a regular basis.  Until next time!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Power of a Photograph

Seriously, have you ever thought about photos, and how powerful they can be?  They can evoke serious emotions (sadness, laughter, hunger...).  Yep, I said hunger.

My resolution for 2013 is to make at least one new-to-me recipe per week.  More than likely, those recipes will be made on weekends, because let's face it - cooking for one is a pain in the you-know-where, and doing that on a weeknight is just NOT gonna happen.  Anyway, I was surfing some of the foodie blogs that I've been following lately, and I saw a picture of this one dish, and I thought "That's the one!  That's what I'm going to make this weekend!".   Seriously - check out the photo that caught my eye (and the recipe) on and you'll understand.

Now - let's be honest - raise your hands if you know what a butternut squash is.  I didn't.  I even had to google it to find out what it looked like so I wouldn't be a doofus in the grocery store.  Pretty brave of me, huh?  Not only trying a new recipe, but trying a new food at the same time?  Yep, I'm patting myself on the back for that one.

The ingredients:  I had to buy the butternut squash, the coconut milk, and the garam masala.  I had everything else.

Prepping the butternut squash:

Squash out of the oven - my house smelled SO GOOD!!

Then I threw everything into the blender like the recipe says.  After that, I put the soup into a saucepan and simmered it for another 15-20 minutes to heat it through and to meld the flavors.  Served it up, drizzled some coconut milk on top, and added a few croutons. (My photo isn't as nice as the Novice Chef - I think I want that VERY pretty bowl that she used, LOL).

The verdict - VERY tasty!  And the soup is nice and thick, the way I like it.  This recipe is going into my recipe book, and WILL be made again.   Thanks for the inspiration, Novice Chef!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Jumping Back in with Both Feet

Hi everyone;
I had a blog for a short time, mostly dedicated to my scrapbooking layouts and the occasional blurb about what was going on in my life.  I deleted it after a couple of years.  I felt like there was little point in keeping it up, since traffic on the blog was really low.

What I've come to realize, though?  It was something I enjoyed.  It was cathartic for me some days.  And I've missed it.  So I'm jumping back in to the fray.  There will still be posts about the scrapbooking layouts I'm working on; and posts about my loveable (but sometimes annoying) pooch, Rudy.  And life in general.  Oh, and posts about my New Years' Resolution for 2013.

Did I just say New Years' Resolution?  Yep.  I normally do not MAKE resolutions, so I'm not sure what came over me THIS year, but I decided to run with it.  I'm in a cooking rut.  Being a singleton, cooking for one is a pain, so I've been making the same old recipes and meals for a long time now.  That's about to change!  For 2013, my resolution is this: make at least one new-to-me recipe per week.  I'll post details and photos of the successful ones; and mention the failures, but not dwell on them. 

Welcome back to my life!