Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Ohio!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Coming Unpinned: Cooking Edition

Well the holidays are in full swing! We all know this means cooking and stuffing our bellies full is in full swing too. So naturally, I find myself having many a date with my kitchen stove. Here are some great recipes that I found on Twitter and decided to use for parties, family gatherings and gifts galore. Enjoy!

The easiest and best Feta Dip you will EVER make! I keep the ingredients at all times so I can whip it up in a second if someone is coming over.

Turkey cake pops for a Friendsgiving that I went to. Didn't realize how labor intensive cake pops really are, but the "wow factor" at parties when you bring them is pretty great. These are red velvet cake and milk chocolate.

Don't know what I would do without my KitchenAid!

I made this dinner for our 6 month anniversary to surprise Ryan. Except, I changed up the risotto and made creamed corn risotto, it was to die for with the scallops! As you can tell the last picture above is not mine, it is from the post where I got the idea.

Sadly, I use my phone to take all my pictures at this time. Here are some other recipes I tried out from pinterest, but don't have personal pictures of:

Oreo delight!

Always a crowd favorite and SUPER easy to make, gingerbread bites!

Yes, I can make savory things too! White chicken enchiladas, one of my husband's favorites.

Try out some of the recipes above and let me know what you think!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Homeward Bound

It wouldn't be Halloween without a good scare.

Well, maybe I shouldn't say good. I wish I could tell you our scare came from a terribly gory movie, a creepy haunted house or even someone popping out of the bushes, unfortunately it didn't. But never fear, this tale has a happy ending.

On Monday, our precious pups ran free out of our backyard when our gate was left open. Ryan found Cotton on a major road by our house after he was swiped by a car. I zoomed over and took him to the vet where he was checked out, given an IV, xray and some pain pills. Besides a few scratches and some soreness, Cotton is thankfully fine.

Mallie on the other hand, was the always rambunctious puppy that she is, so she went on an adventure for about 8 hours that day. I would have paid bank to have a camera tied to her collar to see where she went. We drove around all day looking for her, contacted every society we could think of, called every vet in the area and went and looked at dogs at animal control.

When our hope was dwindling and I was leaving to make fliers to find her, my co-worker called and said that she had found her! Thank God for all the caring people in our lives because this co-worker took the time to do one more loop around the area on her way home to look and Mallie popped out of someone's backyard!

When Mallie came bolting out of that car, my co-worker was crying, I was crying and Ryan was crying. It was just like when shadow returned on Homeward Bound.

And let me tell you our puppies have been SO incredibly spoiled this week! Here's Ryan loving on Mallie when she returned, Cotton was kind of loopy at this point :).

We wouldn't have been so lucky with all the support we had so I thought that I would share the resources I found with everyone if you run into the same problem (which I hope you never, ever do!).

Our dogs were both adopted, Mallie from Foothills Golden Retriever Rescue, so I contacted all the Golden rescues first. Here are others that we used, and we ended up meeting some great people:

  • Your Vet

  • Humane Society

  • Animal Care

  • Animal Control

  • Area Vet Offices (contact your vet, they can supply a list of names and phone numbers)

  • Fire Station

  • Police Station

  • Postal Service

  • Local Lawn Care

  • Local Trash and Recycling Services

  • Neighbors

  • Anyone Walking or Running

  • Co-Workers!

  • Family

  • Friends

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

Basically, the more people that know the better. We were also going to hand out fliers to all the trick 'or treaters, thank goodness we didn't have to though!

If this taught me anything, it was to love my dogs every single day (and to check the fence). Now go snuggle your little buddies, or go adopt one!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Nothing Warms Your House Like BBQ

I'm pretty new at this, so bear with me...

We had our Housewarming Party this past Friday, which I saw as a perfect opportunity to use my new smoker. It's my (early) Christmas present from Erin, thanks honey!

OK, before we get started, I am going to clear up a few things:

  • BBQ (verb) - cooking "low and slow" using an indirect wood/charcoal fire (in my opinon, no gas or electricity)

  • BBQ (noun) - PORK cooked "low and slow" (commonly known as Carolina BBQ)

  • BBQ = BBQ, not grilling

  • Most BBQ uses a "Rub" which is a blend of spices that you apply before cooking, many recipes include brown sugar, because it carmelizes very nicely on the outside of the meat during the smoking process - creates a real nice "Bark"

  • Some people like to "Mop" or "Baste" their BBQ with a sauce during the smoking process

  • Much like Beer and Tailgating, Apple and Pork go very well together

I use a very basic rub consisting of: brown sugar, chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and onion powder. I also use a "Spray" which you apply during the cooking process (using a spray bottle), it consists of apple cider, apple juice, and bourbon. You can also use that combination as an "injection," which you inject the meat with before smoking.

For this particular occasion I bought 2 hefty "Boston Butts" (part of the pork shoulder), 2 racks of pork spare ribs (AKA St. Louis Ribs), and 2 whole chickens.


We started smoking around midnight on Friday night and finished at 5 PM Saturday. The aftermath:

And for those of you who think you can't smoke without an expensive smoker, here is how I have been making due for the past year. You can rig a Weber Kettle into a smoker by using bricks to separate the charcoal/wood from the meat:

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