Saturday, October 29, 2011

Family Matters

UPDATE! A lot has been going on in my world lately and I thought I would update you on what has happened!

This past weekend I met the most awesome man on the Food Network! I'm going to let you guess.............

I'll give you a hint...
Good Eats
Iron Chef

Any guesses? OK I'll just tell you, Alton Brown!!! Oh my goodness I was super excited to meet him! He came to Oklahoma for his 3rd cookbook signing tour. When my mom and I found out he was coming, we were so excited!!! If you are unfortunate and don't have good taste in food network shows and don't know who Alton Brown is, look him up! He is funny, smart, and his show is excellent! I kind of have a secret crush on him! His recipes are awesome and you need to try them!

OK, so the other thing I need to tell you about is that my Uncle Mark and his family came over to watch Dexter and we ate and had a good time. We ate an amazing dinner that almost everyone contributed to. My wonderful dad grilled steaks, my beautiful mother baked potatoes, my Uncle Mark created a wonderful salad, and my Aunt Rene made a home-made apple pie! By the end of the night I thought my stomach was going to burst because I was so full, but it was worth it!

My Uncle Mark's salad consisted of: grilled romaine lettuce, walnuts, feta cheese, purple grapes and a fantastic dressing. This salad was amazing and very artistic looking. My Aunt Rene's pie was a fabulous Paula Deen recipe and it was the best apple pie I had ever eaten. It was so yummy and what made it even better was that my favorite aunt made it from scratch and it had apple sauce in it! Sounds weird, but it made the pie even better.

I love my Uncle Mark, Aunt Rene, my cousins Megan, MariBeth, and Seth so much! They are awesome and I'm so blessed to have such great family and I can count on them for anything! Have a great Halloween! Be thankful for your family!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pepper Jelly on a Lazy Day

      This past weekend, my three best girlfriends and I went to a Taylor Swift concert! It was so fun and I wish I could have a Taylor Swift concert every night with my best friends! So the concert was on a Saturday night and I didn't get home and in bed until after midnight! I was exhausted! So I didn't go to church the next morning and I felt really guilty, but I know He still loves me even though I skipped church!ha
         So on my lazy Sunday my family and I made Pepper Jelly!!!! We have the best time making it and we are eating it like crazy!! So I took some pics for you guys to show how easy it is and how you can do it too!

         AMAZING Pepper Jelly
        recipe from Putting Up

Canning Notes:
  • This recipe can be doubled but not halved.
  • Makes 7 plus pints of jelly
  • This is a hot pack, sugar saturated recipe
1 1/2 cups small dice green bell pepper (seeded)
1 1/2 cups small dice red bell pepper (seeded)
1 1/2 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
6 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 pack liquid pectin (Certo)

Bring all ingredients except pectin to a rolling boil in a pot. Add pectin return to a boil. Time for 1 1/2 minutes and begin checking for jelling.  Take pot of burner and start putting the ingredients equally into 6 pint jars. DO NOT GET THE JELLY ON THE SIDE OF THE JAR OR ON THE RIM. After you have distributed the jelly equally into the jars, put the lid on tight and turn over for 2 minutes and then turn back over for 2 minutes and keep repeating until it is firm enough for you!!!

Enjoy your jelly on crackers with cream cheese! Happy Canning!!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I don't know about you, but I LOVE hummus! Hummus is my go-to snack after school. I normally just buy the organic hummus from the store, already mad. BUT today I had the brilliant idea to make it myself! I don't know if you know this about me but last spring break I was was "vegan". I put vegan in quotations because I didn't stick with it:( My whole family is big on hunting, I mean I have dead deer hanging on my living room walls. I couldn't do, I felt like the deer were really staring at me and my chickens wanted to peck my eyes out for not eating their eggs. Let's just say it was difficult.

Back to the hummus! So the whole story about me being a vegan had a point, I bought a vegan cook book. I never use it but I knew it had great hummus recipes, so I dug it out of my growing shelf of cookbooks. I looked through the chapter about hummus and I found one that sounded yummy. Chipotle Lime Two-Bean Hummus! This recipe seriously took me maybe 5 minutes to make! Super easy!

Chipotle Lime Two-Bean Hummus
Eat Drink and be Vegan-Dreena Burton
1 cup cooked kidney beans
1 cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
4-4 1/2 tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 medium garlic clove
2- 2 1/2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 tsp. agave nectar
1-2 tbs. water (depends on how thick or creamy you want it)
1 tsp. lime zest,grated
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except water, lime zest, and cilantro. Puree until smooth, gradually adding water as desired to thin dip and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add lime zest and cilantro and puree briefly to incorporate cilantro.

Refrigerate and enjoy! You can eat with pita, crackers, anything. I'm spreading the love of hummus to you, so try this recipe!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Things I love about my brother

My brother is 18 years old. He is 2 years and 2 days older than me. We weren't that close when we were in  middle school, but since we have out grown all of our "your touching me" or "he's looking at me" phase, we are the best of friends. I'm not going to lie and say "Oh we are the perfect siblings and we never fight" we fight sometimes, but not as bad as it was when we were younger. We have become closer because we have both matured and realized that we are all we have. That's my only brother and that's that.

Some things I love about him are, he is very kind and helpful(when he wants to be). He does a lot for me and he appreciates me. He is the best brother. I mean there are some down sides for having a big brother. He is very protective, mean at sometimes, and he thinks he has a say over what I do. But don't get me wrong, he is great.

About a month ago my brothers girlfriend and I made dinner for Keith. My brothers girl friend emitted to being....... lets say "helpless" in the kitchen, so I promised her we could make dinner for Keith and I would teach her some things. I got out my new cookbook and we found a recipe that Keith would LOVE. Beef Volcano! Sounds fun huh?!?! Well a beef volcano is a huge thing of mashed potatoes covered in beef that is cooked in wine, bacon, little onions and other yummy ingredients. One thing about my brother that I don't like is his metabolism. He can eat WHATEVER he wants and he won't gain a pound. It's depressing:(

Beef Volcano
Rise to the Occasion
Yields 4 servings

1 cup water
10 ounces white pearl onions,peeled
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbs. sugar,divided
4 tbs.+ 1 tsp. butter,divided
1 pound beef tenderloin
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. white flour
2 cups red wine (Merlot)
2 cups veal stock
4 ounces bacon, crisped and diced
8 ounces button mushrooms, quartered and sauteed

To caramelize onions, boil water in a small pot. Add onions, salt, pepper, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon butter. Simmer over medium heat until the onions have absorbed all the water, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Cut the tenderloin in large rectangles measuring 1 1/2" x 1". Season with salt and pepper. In a large pot over medium heat, sear beef in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Remove beef from pot and set aside.

In the same pot make a roux be combining 4 tablespoons butter with flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add the wine, veal stock and 1 teaspoon sugar, stirring often.

Simmer gently over medium heat, uncovered, for 20-22 minutes.

Add the onions, beef, bacon, and mushrooms. Serve hot over mashed potatoes.

This recipe sounds involved and super long, but its not. Give it a chance and try it. You will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The perfect sugar cookie

       This is weird. I haven't blogged since August. I have missed this. Last year as I was signing up for my junior year classes, a couple of people told me that junior year is easy! I was excited, but my excitement soon came to a holt after the first week of school. This year I am taking AP language, AP US history, Physics, & Algebra II. During the first week of school I had a total break down after school one day. It was horrible, and I cried and said I didn't want to go to school like I was four years old or something. But finally after the SIXTH week of school, I am finally getting the hang of college classes and that I actually have to plan ahead for the week  to come.  Lets just say lesson learned.
      Since I haven't blogged in so long, I was trying to think about what to blog about. Since fall is around the corner and Halloween is fast approaching, I thought of sugar cookies. For some reason fall makes me want to make sugar cookies. It's something about making a cookie and then decorating them in the most artistic way. Sunday's are my cookie day. Drinking my pumpkin spiced coffee and decorating cookies in my comfy clothes. Sound like a good day doesn't it.
     Now to the cookies! I feel like my Nana has perfected the art of making sugar cookies. The recipe is very simple, but you will never use another recipe after this one.

1 CUP  soft margarine
1 1/2 CUPS powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tarter
1/4 tsp. salt

    Cream together margarine, powdered sugar, egg, and vanilla. While that is being creamed together, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, salt. After the wet ingredients have been creamed, pour the combined dry ingredients in the mixer, a little at a time, until it is all combined.
    Chill until hard. Then roll out about 1 to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake on 375-400 oven for 8 minutes. Watch the cookies as they bake, don't let them get too brown! Just a little golden around the edges. Let cool and decorate!!!