Monday, August 22, 2011

Recipes for my soups, berry cheesecake and a pear almondine tart. :)

Italian Sausage Soup

1 pound spicy Italian sausage
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (32oz) box of low sodium beef broth
1 (14.5oz) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
2 carrots sliced
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
2 zucchini cubed
2 cups spinach - packed, rinsed and stems cut off

In a stockpot or Dutch oven, brown sausage with garlic on medium heat. Stir in broth, tomatoes, and carrots. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Stir in beans with liquid and zucchini. Cover, and simmer another 15 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.

Remove from heat, and add spinach. Replace lid allowing the heat from the soup to cook the spinach leaves. Soup is ready when the spinach leaves wilt.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 white, yellow or brown onion
3 sticks of celery chopped
3 carrots chopped
3 red potatoes diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 zucchini quartered then sliced
1 can mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 large can chicken broth low sodium
1 small can green chili diced
hot sauce

garnish for the soup:
1 avocado cut into slices
tortilla chips

Place a little EVOO in the bottom of a big stock pot over medium heat, add bay leaf, white onion, celery, carrots and red potatoes and cook for five minutes. Stir every few minutes.

Once the onions become transparent add the red & green bell pepper, italian squash, stewed tomatoes, chicken broth and green chili. Add a little parsley, dill and hot sauce and cook until potatoes, celery and carrots are soft.

Fish out the bay leaf and discard. Ladle out some soup into bowls and top with avacado, chesse and crush tortilla chips.

Chili Soup

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 onion chopped
pepper and salt
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can chili beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can green chili diced
hot sauce
chili powder

Brown beef with onion, salt and pepper in a stock pot over medium heat. Add stewed tomatoes, green chili, pinto, kidney and chili beans with juices. Season with hot sauce, chili powder and paprika until beans are fully cooked.

This soup pairs well with corn bread.

Vegetable soup

Olive oil
1/2 onion
salt & pepper
1 bay leaf
3 carrots sliced
3 celery stocks sliced
3 red potatoes
1 large can of chicken broth low sodium
1 cup frozen peas

Please a little EVOO in a stock pot over medium heat, add onion, salt, pepper and bay leaf and cook until onion softens. Add carrots, celery, red potaoes, chicken broth, frozen peas, parsley and dill. Cook until potatoes, celery and carrot are cooked through.

This soup pairs well with biscuits.

Pear Almondine Tart

2 cups all purpose flour
12 tablespoons unsalted butter cold
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.4 cup to 1/3 ice water

1 small package of blanched almonds
10 tablespoons unsaltedbutter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons flour
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large can pear halves, drained
1/4 cup apricot jam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor place the flour, butter and salt. Pulse until the butter is crumbled into pea-size pieces. With the machine running add the water. Transfer to a work surface and shape into a ball. Flatten into a disc and let rest until filling is done.

Make the filling: In the same food processor grind the almonds finely. Remove the almond and set aside in a bowl. Place the butter and sugar into processor and process until creamy. Add the flour and powdered almond to butter and sugar mixture. Process until blended.

Roll out the dough and place into a 12" tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick the dough with a fork. Spread the almond filling on top of the crust. Slice the pear halves and place them into a daisy pattern on top of the filling. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the filling is nicely browned. Remove from oven. Heat the apricot jam in the microwave for 10-20 secs then brush onto tart.

Berry Cheesecake

1 1/4 graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter melted

Fruit filling
1 package frozen berries
2 tablespoon cornstarch

Cheese filling
3 (8 ounce) package cream cheese softened
1 can (14 ounce)sweetened condensed milk
juice of 1 lemon
3 eggs

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press on the bottom of an ungreased 9 in springform pan. Refrigerate while making the fillings.

In a food processor, combine berries and cornstarch, cover and process until smooth. Pour into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in milk. Add lemon juice; mix well. Add eggs, beat on low just until combined.

Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over crust. Drop half of the berry mixture by spoon fulls onto cream cheese mixture. Carefully spoon the remaining cream cheese mixture over sauce. Drop remaining berry mixture by spoon fulls onto cream cheese mixture. With a knife, cut through the top layer only to swirl the berry mixture.

Bake at 300 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Browns

The Brown’s have a ton going on, but we are very excited! Next week will be the start of our vacation to beautiful WA State. Trust me we will post a ton of pictures after. The highlight of this trip for me will be getting the Nutty latte at the Ittys Buzz, my guess is that Nathan’s favorite spot is going to be Ruby Beach.

I have currently started my quest to read through the bible in one year. So far so good, hopefully I can make it through Deuteronomy and Numbers without stopping; that is where I usually get bored and give up. We are also in the process of cleaning up our condo and going through all our junk to get ready for when we will actually start trying to get pregnant. I know I am OCD, but I don’t want to have the stress of doing all this while I am actually pregnant.

My awesome husband let me buy the Kitchenaid Artisan in Blue Electric. I am so excited and can’t wait until I can use it to make sugar cookies. Below is a picture.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bucket List

So all this talk about the rapture has got me thinking about what I would like to be before I die and my bucket list. Below is my bucket list.

Trip to Paris
Trip to Ireland
Cruise to Alaska
Trip to Florida (Disneyworld and Universal)

Nate and I are planning to try to get pregnant next year so God willing that will be off the list. The trips to Paris and Ireland seem a little out of reach. But an Alaska cruise seems reasonable. The Florida trip we will probably have to wait until we have kids and they are old enough to enjoy it. So we will see if we can get all these trips accomplished before we die. Haha

What is you bucket list?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook!!! The freakin BOMB!

So my awesome parents in law got me a cast iron skillet cookbook for my bday. I am excited to use it and already started flagging the recipes that i want to try. ;)I have plans to make the following recipes from the book.

Classic Buttermilk Pancakes
Overnight French Toast
Mom's Amazing Banana Bread
Brown Sugar Coffee Cake
Stir-Fried Flank Steak
Monday Night Meatloaf
Schultz Sunday Supper Pot Roast
No-Fail Beef Stew
Chicken With Herbed Dumplings
Moist Cornbread
Seafood Bake
Tarte Tatin

I am going to start with the Chicken with Herbed Dumplings. Stay tuned for a picture tomorrow night. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Random things I have learned from other people, or from church! :)

Don’t turn away from the advice of others, as you know more now than you did at 18, you will know more at 30, 40 and 50.

Don’t judge peoples advice by their background for those that are the least are usually used by God.

Don’t over react when people try to guide you and harden your heart to them. You will never learn if you can’t take constructive criticism.

Treat other people the way you would like to be treated, and think about how your comments might be perceived.

Tithe 10 percent to your church. God doesn’t need your money, the church doesn’t need your money, but you need to give your money freely and trust in the Lord. God doesn’t ask you to tithe your time instead of money. To be a part of a church community is to service in addition to tithing.

Don’t deny the teachings of the Lord, every time you do you harden you heart and therefore make it harder to open your heart for forgiveness later.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Line Dances & Couples Dances

Let me know if you think of any others and if some are spelled wrong or need to be corrected.

After Party
All About Tonight
Are You Ready
Baby Rocks
Barn Dance
Black Velvet
Bobbi With An I
CA Cowgirls
Carribean Cowboy
Casper Shuffle
Cha Cha Mixer
Chicken Fry
Chill Factor
Cleveland Boyz
Copperhead Road
Country Boys Roll
Cowboy Casanova
Cowboy Cha Cha
Cupid Shuffle
Denver Cha Cha
Desperado Wrap
East Coast Swing
El Paso Cha Cha
Electric Side
God Bless Texas
Hard Hat & A Hammer
Honky Tonk Attitude
Just Dance
Keep On Going
Kickin Rock
Kinda Busy
Lindy Lou
Lover Lover
Men In Black
My Maria
No News
No Rhyme No Reason
Power Jam
Razor Sharp
Reggae Cowboy
Renegade Stomp
Rock It
She Bangs
Slapping Leather
Sweetheart Schottische
Take It Easy
Ten Ozs
Ten Rounds
The Cowboy
The Neutron
The Walk
The World
Turn Me Loose
Tush Push
Two Step
Umm Bop
Uno Deuce Tres
Walk The Line
Watermelon Crawl
Wave On Wave
West Coast Swing
Wild, Wild, West
Workin For A Livin

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

21 reasons why cats are better than dogs! Written by a biased cat person!

Cats don’t need to be trained to go in the litter box.

Cats don’t wake you up so you can take them out to go to the bathroom.

Cats are independent. You don’t need someone to come over and watch them while you go on a weekend trip.  

Cats don’t piss off the neighbors with howling, crying, digging holes and jumping fences. My neighbors have annoying dogs, so this got added.

Cats don’t need daycare.

Cats clean themselves, no need to give them a bath.

Cats entertain their owners by chasing after laser pointers (tonight, tomorrow, or anytime).

Cats can live their entire life indoors.

Cats don’t expect to be taken for walks.

Cats rub against you to show affection.

Cats snuggle better and smell better than dogs.

Cats don’t usually beg for food. Pierce is the exception, he meows when it is feeding time. LOL

Cats purr.

Cats are usually prettier than dogs.

Cats are quieter.

Cats are less likely to attack random people or dogs and get you sued.

Cats don’t like fancy toys. Give them a glove or a milk cap and they will be happy. They also take better care of their toys.

Cats don’t chew on furniture.

Cats don’t bark at guest you bring to your place.

Cats are funnier than dogs.

Cats are a natural insect or pest repellent. 


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Say hello to the evil toolbox!

Yeah i did everything the directions say to unlock it, and it won't open for me. So from now on this toolbox with be named Damon!!! The Omen. Hopefully Nate will help me open it when he gets home from OT.

Monday, February 21, 2011

SUV hunt :)

Now we are currently looking into getting an SUV for next year; when we plan to start trying to get pregnant. I am sure all the girls in my family are excited to see that on my post. It has been a while since my family has had a baby to play with. Nissan Rogue is the front runner, since it has the same ratings as the Toyota Rav 4 and the Honda CRV, but has more standard features. We are now checking into prices of used versus new.

WOW Pierce just tried to make it into Nate's lap and is so fat he didn't make it and Nate had to catch his butt and pull him up. Pierce is definiately going on a diet. LOL

Thursday, February 10, 2011


A lot going on with me changing my name and trying to renew my notary commission. Everything is harder when you change your name and the DMV is taking forever to issue the license that i desperately need. Work has gotten super busy and stressful. Hopefully it will get better after April 15. I also need to figure out a way to motivate my hubby into helping me with the condo and not playing Legion of Legends.

I can't wait until August when I get to take vacation to WA state. A vacation would be awesome right now, and someone to help me with the changes to the titles of my condo and car. One step at a time I guess.


Friday, February 4, 2011

haha I caught Ivy!

I caught Ivy on camera trying to get into my dresser in order to steal my gloves. :) Bad kitty!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New bed and Ivy's weird fetish

OH so we got our new bed and I found out how dangerous it is. I turned my alarm off at 6:30am and was going to get up in a few minutes to get ready. I end up sleeping until 7:15am. The bed is just too comfortable and awesome! :)

Regarding Ivy's weird fetish, I caught her opening my bottom dresser door last night and stealing my gloves. This is not the first time she has ran off with a pair of my gloves, but this is first time I caught her doing it. OMG it was sooo funny. :)

Monday, January 31, 2011

New Bed

Yay our new bed was delivered yesterday. We got a Tempur-pedic Cloud. I love it. I seriously can't wait for Nate to get home so he can try it. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

RIP Kevin

So Kevin passed away this morning. I am super sad and really feel for his wife and kid.

Going to snuggle my hubby close tonight!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

OK I am sad

A friend from HS has Leukemia and has a month to live. The weird thing is they found out after he was rushed to the ER, he had no symptoms before and now he is going to leave a wife and two month old. The other weird thing is that Taryne knows the wife because she is a nurse in the same department. I had no clue that the person she was talking about on Monday was Kevin until i noticed the status update on Wednesday and put 2 and 2 together. 

I guess what everyone needs to learn from this is to live everyday like it is your last and never take your love ones for granted.

Love you guys


WWF in my living room!

So Nate and I got home tonight and Ivy decided to show Pierce her authority and slap him across the face with her paw. Of course I ran to get my camera so that you could laugh along with me only to find that my camera battery is dead. Sooo it is on the charger so i can capture all the funny cat moments i see every day. LOL :)


Ivy and Pierce's Mom

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Washington State National Parks Vacation August 4-9! :)

So we booked our 2011 vacation to WA State last night. We are super excited! J Our plans are to stay at the Super 8 in Port Angeles, WA for the first night (8/4) and eat at Bella Italia.

Then wake up the next morning (8/5) go to Itty Bitty Buzz for breakfast & coffee. Their Nutty Latte is the best! OMG!
Then off to Hurricane Ridge, Crescent Lake, Marymere Falls, Sol Duc Falls and Forks, WA. We will be staying at the Miller Tree Inn (The Cullen’s House) in the Cedar Creek Room for the remaining days.  

(8/6): We plan on going to Cape Flattery and La Push. La Push finally got a coffee shop in 2009. J It is called Jacob’s Java, I think, it was put in right by the house that is on the tour as Jacob’s house. J

(8/7): Calvary Chapel Forks and random walks around Forks, shopping and all that.

(8/8): Ruby Beach and Hon Rainforest/Hall of Mosses. Ruby Beach is my favorite beach in WA. Sorry La Push.

(8/9): Take a ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle then caught a flight home to So Cal.

It is going to be an awesome trip!! J

Hi All and welcome to our fam bam!

2011 is the beginning of our first year married, and we decided it would be fun to start a blog about our new family.