Tuesday, February 23, 2010

great blizzard of 2010...

Dallas got more snow today!
Ha Ha Ha... I laugh, only because it was just a little flurries...
NOTHING compared to the "Great Blizzard"!

Twelve days ago Dallas got "some" snow.

I took this shot with my phone on my way to
drop the big kids off at school. The roads weren't bad,
but it was coming down heavy and fast.
It snowed ALL DAY. And by the time 3:30 rolled around
the roads were BAD. Really!
JB had to come home to help me pick up the kids!
I know. I know. I know what you're thinking... "Look at the Indiana
girl turned wimpy". What can I say. Most Texans don't do well with
snow and vehicles. I'm just sayin'.

This was taken with my phone in the afternoon...
I think around 2:00ish.

I forgot to close the umbrella. And, well, um, it didn't make it.

By the time it stopped snowing and all was said and done,
my hood got a whopping 12 inches of snow. Tons of homes
were without power (for days even... I overheard a woman in the
grocery say they went five days without power). The news
reported that it was "the biggest snow fall in a generation".
Schools closed and the kids had a blast. I even saw my
neighbor take her little girl across the street to the hilly
field with a cookie sheet tucked under her arm! How
creative is THAT?!

Here she is standing next to her snowman...

Having fun with her pal, "L"...

Just having a grand ol' time!

The snow was the best kind too... fluffy and heavy.
Great for packing... Awesome for snowball and snowman making!

EVERYONE was out having the time of their lives playing in the snow.

Everyone that is, except me... and my baby.

Now, before you go and judge the snow depriving momma that I am...
even being from Indiana and all, let me explain.

My baby didn't have proper shoes for snow playing. And I'm
a freak about keeping his little piggies warm and dry.
I did however, on several occasion's, take him outside
to let him touch and see the snow...

AND, I even let him do this...

In the warmth of his kitchen!

Hey, I plan on taking him skiing... some day!

Hope you're keeping your piggies warm wherever you are in the world!

Peace and Love

Friday, February 12, 2010

chocolate molten lava cakes...

Happy Friday Friends!

I'm sure you know Valentine's Day is just two days away.

Um, well, 'cause if you don't, then you must be living in a cave...
and if you're living in a cave then you probably wouldn't have
internet access and wouldn't be reading this blog post and well...
um, never mind.

I'm sorry. I ramble sometimes... but you already knew THAT.

Anyway, if you want to make your Valentine (or Valentine's...
if you happen to be making a"romantic family Valentine's Day dinner"
or something like that), and you want
them to think you're a Goddess and worship you forever,
then you need to make THESE!

These little babies are so scrumptious and super easy to make.

I promise.

Alright, lets get to bakin'...

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Then, gather up these six ingredients...

4 squares of semi-sweet baking chocolate

1 stick of butter

1 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs

2 egg yolks...

6 Tablespoon flour

4 to 6 custard cups

Throw the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl.

And microwave on high until slightly melted, then whisk.
If you need to, melt-whisk, melt-whisk, until blended.
That's what I did.

Stir in the sugar...

Until blended.

Whisk in the eggs until well blended.

Stir in flour.

Ahhh... perfect.

Now, what you need to do is...

Spray your custard cups with a non-stick spray.

And divide the chocolate goodness between the cups...
I measured out five.

Then, pop 'em in your preheated oven and bake for about 13 to 14 minutes.

Just until the sides are firm and the center is soft.

That's it! I told ya they were super easy!

Let them cool for just a bit... but you'll want to serve them warm.

Now comes the fun part...

Invert them onto a pretty decorated plate for your sweetie...

But wait, we're not done just yet...

Sprinkle a little powdered sugar over them with a dollop of
whipped cream or ice cream (chocolate or vanilla
would be tasty) on the side.


Heavenly, I tell ya... just heavenly.
The "molten" chocolate is warm and creamy and just oh so divine.

Happy Valentine's Day!


*Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes*

4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 stick butter
1 c. powered sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
6 T. flour

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spray custard cups with a non-stick cooking spray.
Melt chocolate and butter in microwave and whisk until blended.
Stir in sugar until blended.
Whisk in eggs and egg yolks.
Stir in flour. Blend well.
Divide between custard cups.
Bake for about 13-14 minutes, until the sides are firm and the center is soft.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

italian meatball soup...

I'm not gonna say much about this soup, except this...
You need it in your life!

Trust me!

It's hearty, flavorful, comforting, and it will warm your soul! No joke.

So, lets make it!

First, you need to mince up 4 tablespoons of fresh Italian Parsley.
Regular parsley will work just fine too.
Measure out 1 teaspoon of Peppercorn's.
And grab a couple of Bay Leaves... 2 to 3 depending on their size.

Cut a square of cheesecloth.

Place the parsley, peppercorn
and bay leaves on the cheesecloth.

And tie it up in a cute little bundle.

Next, get some heat going under your pot.

Pour in 7 cups beef stock.
And 2 cups (1 can) beef broth.

Add 2 cups water... I realize this photo only measures 1 1/2 cup,
but I added more after I snapped it.

What can I say, I was distracted by a certain toddler.

Add 1/2 tsp. salt.

Please don't pay attention to my un-manicured hands... to bad
I can't measure with my toes because I just got a pedicure
and my tootsies are looking pretty good, if I do say so myself.

2 Tablespoon tomato paste...

And your cute little herb/spice bundle.

Give it a good stir and bring it to a boil.

After it's boiling, turn your heat down a bit and let it simmer
for about 30 minutes.

This is going to make your house smell wonderful.

Now, go ahead and pour yourself a nice glass of red...
because you deserve it by golly!

Then grab your cutting board and knife...
We're gonna do some choppin' baby!

Chop up half of an onion (I used yellow)... you can certainly
use more if your family loves onions. But remember, I'm
married to a guy who's not a big fan... "it's a texture thing".

Chop up about 4 cloves of garlic...
use more if you love, love, love the stuff!

Chop up about 3/4 cup carrots and 3/4 cup celery.

And about 1 cup potato...
I told ya we were gonna do some choppin'!

Whew! Now have a sip of your red stuff and inhale the goodness...
because right about now your mouth should be watering.

Now, put all the chopped veggies and garlic in your
simmering pot, and give it a good stir.

Bring it back to a boil and let it simmer for about another 30 minutes.
Just until the veggies are fork tender.

While the veggies are simmering go ahead and chop
up about 1 to 1 1/2 cups cabbage.

OK friends, here's where *I* cheated. The original recipe called
for homemade Italian meatballs... but who has time for THAT?
Well I, most days, don't... especially with all the choppin' this
soup calls for. So, I just picked up a bag of pre-made meatballs
and called it day!

OK... so now, we're gonna remove the little herb bundle
and toss it out. It did its job, and now it's old and tired.
The goodness it left behind, our taste buds will rejoice!

After the veggies are tender, throw in your chopped cabbage
and about half the bag of Italian pre-made meatballs...
more if you want more!

Now let everything meet and greet, simmer, and
get all happy for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Go ahead and light a candle, and have a few more sips of your red stuff.
It's the right thing to do on a cold winter night.

Ahhhhhhhh... smells heavenly.

Sprinkle some grated Parmesan and minced parsley over the top.

Serve with crusty Italian bread.


Italian Meatball Soup

7 c. beef stock
2 c. beef broth
2 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T tomato paste
3/4 c. onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 c. celery, chopped
3/4 c. carrots, chopped
1 c. potato, chopped
1 to 1 1/2 c. cabbage, chopped
About 20 to 30 meatballs
Parmesan Cheese, grated... to serve

Tied in a cheesecloth:
4 T fresh minced Italian parsley
2 to 3 bay leaves
1 tsp. peppercorn

Bring beef stock, beef broth, water, salt, tomato paste, and herb
bundle to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and potato's and simmer for
another 30 to 40 minutes... or until the veggies are fork tender.

Remove the herb/spice bundle. Discard.

in the cabbage and meatballs and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve with grated Parmesan and minced parsley over top.