Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Emily.

This cake I did make.
It was an Italian Creme Wedding Cake,
from this book. A goodie.

It was my little sister Emily's birthday on Saturday! Now I hated turning...(27)... but something about the fact that my 'baby' sister was turning 20 was harsh. In fact, I was picking up balloons and the sales girl said, "so who are these for?" And I said, "my little sister". Then I thought about it for a second and said, "and by little, I mean twenty."

So on the big day my sister and I were commenting about the fact that while EVERYONE complains about holiday weight gain, or at least holiday diet destruction, they have no room to complain. Check out this schedule: Halloween, two weeks later - my birthday, one week later - my little sister's birthday, then one week later Thanksgiving, one week later - my brother's birthday. And by that time we're in the full swing of the Christmas season. Pity me! I deserve your pity, because you see it's not really my FAULT, it's just a series of unfortunate events, not my lack of self control.

And finally, in what has turned out to be kind of a random post...

For all of you readers out there that might want me to make you a cake, I WILL! Just one thing, buy me either this or this book, and then name the cake you want and when you want it. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sharing is Caring

Had a super yummy, perfect for a cold fall day chili the other night, and I thought I'd share. It's Steak and Black Bean Chili, and John had been wanting a steak chili.

This chili is a bit on the spicy side, for those that bothers. My recommendation, if you can't tolerate heat is to carefully remove the ribbing and seeds from your jalapeño before you chop and add it, and perhaps just buy a smaller one from the store. Ours was medium in size and since I LOVE heat I put the whole thing in, ribs, seeds and all. Even with that, I would only classify it as 'pretty spicy' though, not really spicy.

Nice thing about chili, make it early, and just let it simmer!

Garnish with a little sour cream.
(Especially if you wanna cool it down a degree or two!)

I made just a few changes, I used two 10 oz cans of diced tomatoes w/ juice, probably more like one pound of steak, and I added a 15oz can of 'small red beans'. I like my chili, bean heavy. Call me a masochist. We also like to eat our chili with corn chips. Mmmm.

So enough blabbing, here you go...

Steak and Black Bean Chili

Yield: Makes 6 servings
This hearty chili, featuring steak and black beans, proves that it doesn't take magic to serve six with only one steak

1 boneless beef top sirloin steak (about 3/4 pound)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 cube beef bouillon
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup chopped tomato
2/3 cup sliced green onions with tops
6 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream


1. Trim fat from steak. Cut steak into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat oil in large nonstick saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add steak, onion and garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Add beans, diced tomatoes with juice, bell peppers, jalapeño pepper, bouillon, chili powder and sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, 30 to 45 minutes.

2. Top with chopped tomato, green onions and sour cream.

Nutritional Information:
Serving Size: about 1 cup chili
Sodium 790 mg
Protein 26 g
Fiber 12 g
Carbohydrate 40 g
Cholesterol 37 mg
Saturated Fat 1 g
Total Fat 7 g
Calories from Fat 18 %
Calories 277

Monday, November 17, 2008


I'm really into themed events this year. And tacky party decor... which actually goes really well with the aforementioned issue. I went for this menu. So therefore we were having a fiesta! I've been really into Mexican food lately, and the shredded pork tacos looked awesome.

Here's our shredded pork, getting groovy.

For dessert baked mango and ice cream.

And of course, my tacky and delightful decor.

Everyone loves a fiesta.

Yikes! I hate getting older, but I love me a party weekend!
Don't look for crows feet, you might find them!

Using One Camera, To Take A Picture Of Another Camera. Weird.

I'm a weirdo, because even though I have this camera:

I asked for this camera for my birthday:

There is some method to my madness however. The thing is that the big camera is fantastic, but you don't just carry it around any old time. I wanted to get a camera I could just have in my purse for those unexpected snapshots that are so great.

My great hubby obviously decided I wasn't nuts, cuz he bought it for me. (Thank you Johnny!) Or if he thought I was nuts he didn't care, he was just glad he knew what to buy!

Happy Birthday ME!

Friday, November 14, 2008

This Is What Happens When...

...You mention to your co-workers how you're really sick of this packaging project you've been working on (the EZ-Open) for a million years just before they make your team jersey for the company soccer team.

...You visit your friend you haven't seen in a million years, but it's really cold outside and she's desperate to find the box labeled 'winter clothes' in her storage unit.

...You leave your son in the care of his grandma while his Aunt is around and bored.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


So John & I slept forever this morning, got up, wandered around, slept some more. When I did hear the gentle rumblings of my niece and nephew (oh yes, your suspicions are probably correct, it was about noon) I wandered outside to see my dad mowing up the leaves on the lawn, and Caden helping. It was so super cute that my mom had out the camcorder, and I had out my camera.

Halloweenies and More.

(No, this isn't mine, I don't make pumpkin pie... ICK! But the face we put on...for festive-ness)

Last minute my mom and I decided to have a festive Halloween dinner. I saw these super cute bread bowls at Lee's shaped and colored like pumpkins, and they were just asking to have soup put in them. I was also making it a day off for my diet, and since we don't get any 'real' trick-or-treaters (people we don't know) I decided it would be fun to have a sugar cookie making station instead of candy. (I LOVE sugar cookies.)

Well the little dinner we were planning kept getting larger as we invited people and as we thought up new ideas. Finally it ended up as a fairly large dinner.

We put dry ice in each of the goblets to make them steam and bubble, it was super cute.

While my mom was out shopping for items for the soup and cookies, etc. She picked up this leaflet with halloween ideas. One of them were these adorable little 'halloweenies'. They were a huge hit, and we scrapped the platter of them clean.

We also didn't have a drop of taco soup left. John was super bummed to find that out this morning! He thought that was what he was having for lunch.

While we were eating these two little monkeys (well, technically one monkey, and one cat) dropped by from their party to see us!