Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone

Christmas is a wonderful time for my family and we wanted to share a story that is very dear to our hearts. You could always watch the Nativity Story, which we did, but here's a cute presentation that I've enjoyed this year via my friends. Hope you enjoy it too and may God bless you in the coming year!

One of the many reasons Christmas is such a lovely time to reflect on life past, present and future.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Time For Screaming

I love this character from Hallmark since the first time I laid eyes and ears on her...The Screaming Banshee. She's so lovable despite the fact that she's constantly screaming. So for this holiday I just thought I'd share one of my favorite e-card episodes of her. To be honest, sometimes I feel the same way she does...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Sugar Cookie Christmas Party

One too many cookies ago...
OMG, it's Frosty with the two guests he told us he'd bring. Wow, are those suspenders? I understand green tights and all, that's very elfish, very festive during this time. But suspenders, must be an Italian thing.

     Nice scarf.                                                Nice snow.
Quanto bello ed interessante.
Buddy: I'm Buddy what's your name? Nice gumdrops.
Ginger: Arrrrrrrrr. Rarrrrrrrrr. Arrrrrrrrr.
Buddy: Ooh you're a feisty one.
Santa! SAAAAAANNNNTTTAAA! You're in your long johns...where's the rest of your clothes? Does Mrs. Claus know you're here?  
Is that a Mexican or Italian star? I think she's mixed, so beautiful she makes me sick. I need another candy canetini. Bartender!
I can see a little Suessical influence. Love the purple.
Hey guys is this a Hanukkah star? I can't tell from this angle. Oh it's just the snowflake star that was introduced at the beginning of this blog. Way to go with wrapping all this together, FTW.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh, Apartment Living!

Ladies and some gents I'm sure you know that line drying your delicates is probably better than drying them in the machine. Sooooo when I line dry my lingerie I usually place them by the fireplace, makes sense to me. Well yesterday our pilot light wasn't working so I ended up calling our main office for some help. When evening came, it worked. So this morning I called the office to let them know their assistance would not be needed.

Well, while I took a short nap maintenance stopped by unannounced and left a message:

Wow, what's the smiley face for?!!! I'm really hoping that's female handwriting because I will be so embarrassed to ask for any maintenance help. *ugh* After a couple text exchanges with my husband we both laughed and embraced the fact that at least others know that we keep our marriage spicy. 

So Wives, keep wearing the sexy things you wore when reeling him in! ;) Haha Here comes a reenactment of "Santa Baby"...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nostalgic Toys

I've been doing all my christmas shopping this year online and I'M LOVING IT! I've discovered too many wonderful things that I want to get but would never fit in my apartment. There's a slight chance I might have a little "hoarding" problem if I ever caved in to my "wants". But since this is the time of year we can come up with wishlists I might as well just start one now for next year.

Yesterday I discovered What a fun site to see most of all the classic things our parents or grandparents grew up with! And thanks to Disney Pixar's Toy Story movies our kids can now enjoy these classic characters once more.

Totally unrelated to toys: I know one thing that caught my attention was the Crosley Archiver USB Turntable. Hehe. My collection of vinyl records and their covers are getting a bit crusty. I mean I did buy them in dated condition but now they are hitting the ancient mark, you know what I'm saying? Anyway, I need to store them as Mp3s so I can enjoy them everywhere I go.

Well back to the toys I wanted to show you. I'm sure we've all encountered one or two of these toys before...

Betcha he never thought he'd be THIS famous.

So bad at this game but I liked playing it anyway.

What's with the red clown like nose?

Now the toys above may not have been the ones you preferred so let me see if you liked these toys below because I know I LOVED them...
I like the old school version. 

I screamed when I saw this at Target a month ago. It's back in my life again. 

Countless hours spent testing to see if my little sisters were smart...they passed! 

Tell me you remember the one on the far right.


What's your favorite retro toy? 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

White Lightenin' Chicken Chili

Are you tired of making the same old chili consisting of beans and beef? Would you like to experience something leaner and with a cleaner kick to it? (I sound like an As-Seen-On Tv commercial voice over, "Are you tired of getting your bras scrunched up in the washer? Well try this spherical bra-cage like thingy..." Curious if those things work btw.) Anyway, my dear readers look no further because I've got a recipe that will warm up your tongue, your love life (if it's not already volcanic) and belly during this winter season.

Today's White Lightenin' Chicken Chili was first experienced a couple months ago and made by my friend Debbie. She's an excellent cook when it comes to combining healthy ingredients and still making it flavorful. She does wonders with veggies and pasta and I can't get enough at times. This chili was a must for my recipe trove because it's that good and plus my husband liked it and he's not usually one to enjoy anything with beans in it or not really preferred.

I'm posting my 2.0 version of the chicken chili followed by the original version with cooking instructions varying a little. Also it's because I didn't have chicken breasts in my fridge at the time, there was just a lot in the pantry that I needed to use up. I hope you enjoy making, eating and sharing both recipes as much as I did and continue to do.

White Lightenin' Chicken Chili 2.0

1 Lb Ground Chicken Meat
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Onion diced
1 Entire can of Stewed Tomatoes
1 Jalapeno chopped
1 Red chili pepper chopped (thank you Michelle for the home grown pepper)
5 Cloves of Garlic (large)
2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Oregano
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
2-3 Cups Great Northern Beans
4 Cups of Chicken Broth
  • In large pot, brown chicken in olive oil. Add onions and cook over low heat until browned. 
  • Add jalapeno, red chili pepper and garlic, cook 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  • Add spices and tomatoes. Stir well. Add beans and chicken broth. Bring to boil then simmer low for about 2 hours. Thicken if desired. 
Garnish with cheese, cilantro and sour cream. My husband added some Tabasco Chipotle Pepper sauce to his. Makes 4-6 servings.

Original White Lightenin' Chicken Chili 

3-4 Chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
3 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 Onion diced
1 Jalapeno chopped 
4 Cloves of Garlic 
1 (4 oz.) diced Green Chiles
2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Chili powder
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Salt 
2 drops Hot pepper sauce 
1 Teaspoon Oregano
2-3 Cups (16 oz.) Great Northern Beans
1 Can Chicken Broth 
  • In large pot, brown chicken in olive oil. Add onions and cook over low heat until browned.
  • Add jalapeno and garlic, cook 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  • Add diced chiles and spices. Stir well. Add beans and chicken broth. Simmer 20 min. Thicken if desired.
To thicken chili: you can add a roux (butter and flour) or use cornstarch mixture (add 3 Tablespoons Cold water to 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, mix well. You can go even lighter if need be by going by the teaspoons. Gradually stir in cornstarch mixture and until you've reached desired consistency.)
Enlarged to show texture and because I think it looks cool.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sugar Plums and Buddy the Elf

Hey there, how was your weekend? Did you do anything festive? Get some shopping accomplished? Watch your favorite Christmas movie?

Well, this weekend I bombarded my evenings with all the holiday dvds we owned and there's not much. I started off watching Holiday Inn (for the first time) and enjoyed it immensely. With a duo like Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby you can never go wrong with an evening of entertainment and music. Then I proceeded watched the Burl Ives classic, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Initially I was bit creeped out with the animation and how every male figure seemed to have this loud and obnoxious voice of "daddy-knows-best". But I pushed through it and enjoyed it for the aesthetic purpose of this being a movie enjoyed by many during this time of year. 

All strangeness aside, my favorite movie of the weekend would have to be Jon Favreau's Elf. It's easily one of my top Christmas cheery movies that gets me in the mood for baking and singing out loud. What struck me this time around was when Will Ferrell said he would find his dad and they would make snowmen and eat sugar plums. I thought, yeah, what are sugar plums really? 

After some research on what sugar plums are and how you make them I found one recipe that I will probably try this week or next depending on what I've set out to do and if I can achieve it. Tell you about it later.

This recipe is from If you want more holiday baking ideas that will definitely make you the talk of the table check out their "Christmas" recipes. You'll find recipes showing you how to make your own Alfajores (Dulce de Leche Cookie Sandwiches) to Nutmeg Cake and Mexican Eggnog. Mmmmm happy kitchen times ahead.

Sugar Plums

2 cups whole almonds
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp. grated orange zest
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1 cup finely chopped pitted dates
1 cup confectioners' sugar (the site suggest you redust before serving because the sugar plums absorb the sugar after some time)
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast in oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then finely chop.
  • Meanwhile, combine honey, orange zest, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl. Add almonds, apricots, and dates and mix well.
  • Pinch off rounded teaspoon-size pieces of the mixture and roll into balls. (Rinse your hands often, as mixture is very sticky.) Roll balls in sugar, then refrigerate in single layers between sheets of waxed paper in airtight containers for up to 1 month. Their flavor improves after ripening for several days. 
For a pretty picture of what it looks liked click here

For all you Buddy the Elf lovers here's another YouTube video that I thought you might enjoy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Banana-Pear Bread

It's hump day and I don't even know where that name came from. But I can see what they were trying to get it at...maybe. Anyway, today's recipe is a spin-off from Eating Well's Banana Bread recipe. So essentially we have most likely went from Eating Well to Eating Overly-Well, if you know what I mean.

Here's out it all began. I had this one lingering overly ripened banana just wasting on the counter and then I found a beat up raggedy pear left for dead in the corner of the fridge. I've always wanted to attempt a banana bread but never found any motivation until I met this couple. I knew the recipe called for four bananas but hey, that's not what my kitchen afforded me so a pear had to do.

For the pear I poked a couple fork holes into it and put it in the microwave for about 40 seconds on high. Keep an eye on it. Once that pear was softened, I discarded the stem, core and seeds. I mashed my pear with a fork but next time I will probably pulse the pear into semi-chunks in a food processor because the skin took more time to break apart.

The ingredients for this recipe has been modified but the preparation is straight from Eating Well. Have fun!

Here's what you will need:

2/3 C packed brown sugar (make it 1 Cup if this doesn't sound too sweet for you)
1/3 C hot, strong brewed coffee
1 1/2 C of mashed banana & pear (will be a bit soupy)
1 large egg
1 large egg white
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract (My favorite is Madagascar vanilla)
2 1/4 Cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon of baking soda (and a pinch more)
2 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 Teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 Teaspoon of salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  • Dissolve brown sugar in coffee in a bowl. Stir in banana-pear mixture. Whisk together egg, egg white, oil and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the banana-pear mixture. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the banana-pear mixture and stir just until combined.
  • Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick (a steak knife for me) inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes (baked mine for about 40-42 minutes, you know your oven best). Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Invert the loaf onto a rack and let cool completely. 

Guilty Pleasure tip: Heat slice in microwave for 15 sec, top with Cool Whip!