Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Decorating in the mix.. More to come!

Now that Thanksgiving is over the tree can go up! I'm sure after visiting the Christmas markets over the next few weeks my house will be decorated to the max!

Lugged the boxes up out of the basement...

How exciting!! :)

Bare tree is up and ready!

in the works..

Warm and cozy... can you smell the apples, cinnamon, and pine?..

Perfect place to sit.. listen to some music.. and read a book or chat with friends.
Lots more to decorate, so stay tuned!

Free Signature Generator

Painting Progress.. (Warning.. house is a mess under construction!)

The first chunk.

Moving things around as I go..

I'm liking the color so far.. Warm at night and neutral in the sunlight.

Moving on to the next wall..

Hello door.

Ugh.. will the painting ever end?

YAY! Starting the next wall..

This is where I stopped for now. A little over half a wall to go and I'll post a final pic!

Free Signature Generator

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!! :)

Here are a few pictures from the cooking....

Prep stage... Turkey's ready for a bath!

"Help! I'm naked!"
Fresh and towel dried!

Throw a few things into the bottom of the pan.. onion, potato, garlic, rosemary.. Dress it up with some olive oil.. MmmmMmm.

Butter it up allll nice!

Added some delicious seasonings and stuffed it up..:)

Oh buddy, my Martha Stewart pan looks lovely!


When your overseas for the Holidays, webcam cook with fam!! hehe

What would I do without olive oil and my tong ta tong tong toooongs??

I need more space!

Hot from the oven! The aroma is *delightful*!

This thing was SUPER juicy!

Here's my baby.. waiting next to my candied yams.. 10 minute rest and then time to carve and eat!

Hope you all had an AWESOME Thanksgiving! I know we did!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas Shopping.. A couple of gifts so far.. :)

Little German Lady! "Hallo!"

These are smokies! You place the incense cone inside of the bodies and the smoke comes out of their heads... Super cute! :) These two cost about $60.00 (or 39.00 Euro) They are gorgeous and so detailed. Handmade and hand painted! <3 I'm sure these will make the day of the people who get them! Can't wait. (Luckily neither person reads my blog.. hehe)


" Hello little mouse on the elephant's head! "

Friday, November 20, 2009

Buffalo Wild Wing's 'Asian Zing' Sauce Copycat... :) YUM!

*Positives-- I am in Europe living an amazing life..
*Negatives--- No B-Dubs! (Buffalo Wild Wings)
Back in North Carolina, Mike and I would eat at Buffalo Wild Wings weekly. He'd indulge in his boneless wings and I'd get my basket of traditional. We'd get every combo under the sun and always enjoyed picking new flavors... Even after chomping down some of each, I was always drawn back to the Asian Zing Sauce. There is something amazing that happens in your mouth when you consume it. lol. The sweet, spicy, bold flavor just kicks you straight in the tongue! Mmmmm Mmm how I miss it!
     So what do I do when I don't have the pleasures of home near by?.. -You all know me wayyyy too well! hehehe-... I figure out a way to do it myself!
Here is a recipe that tastes almost EXACTLY like BDubs Asian Zing. :) Enjoy!

1 Cup Pace Picante Sauce (medium is *perfect*)
1/4 Cup honey
1/2 Teaspoon ground ginger

Chicken (Breasts, wings... thighs..) I used boneless skinless breasts; cut in half.

First, rinse your chicken, dry it, and then put it in your (Pam sprayed) baking dish. Sprinkle with a little salt and pop into the oven at 400º. After about 20 mins your chicken should be starting to cook up...  flip it and let it cook about another 10 mins.
During this time.. go ahead and whisk your ingredients together.

*swish swish*

Now open your oven and begin basting your chicken with the sauce. Do this periodically after turning your meat for about another 30 mins until it's fully cooked and you have a nice glaze on your breasts. :) When your chicken is done, remove it from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes. During this time you can take your leftover sauce and place it in a saucepan.. Bring it to a boil and let it thicken up for a nice dipping sauce or as extra sauce to pour over your meat :)

OMG.. Hits the spot and fills that BDub void! If you want to use wings, I suggest frying your wings up a bit before hand to give them a nice crunch.. then tossing them in the sauce or basting them with it in the oven.

Hope you like this as much as I do!! <3


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Painting is to begin!

I went to the U Fix It store today..(so exciting! hehehe) Here's a picture I snuck of the color selection! (Sorry the picture is kind of blurry... The board was at the other side of the warehouse and it wasn't the best lighting) These are our 8 colors to choose from. Number 3 is what we currently have.  1 is a light blue; 2 is a gold-ish, mustardy color; 3 is white and boring; 4 is yellow; 5 is a light pink; 6 is a peachy color; 7 is a light yellow; and 8 is a light green.
I picked up number 6 for our living room. It's the most neutral color of them all and will probably work with the things I like. I painted a patch in the living room and so far it's not bad.

See, not hideous, right? A little color but nothing crazy. I'm considering the green for my kitchen.. but one thing at a time for now! :)

I'll most likely have a good chunk done tonight, so keep your eye out for the finished product and progress along the way.

-- Almost Friday!

Oh the task of decorating!!

I've been working on making our new house a "home" but my choices are so limited here! We can't do much of anything to change the appearance of our (very old and outdated) housing. We're allowed to paint, but have to repaint when we leave. They urge us to use their (the military's) color choices.. but I'm not really feeling the selection. They are pastels--not cute pastels either--and not really anything I like. I wish they had some neutrals to choose from, but no luck there. I am to the point of desperation though... I don't know If I can stand the plain white walls in this place for the next 3 years!!!
Tomorrow I plan on going down to our 'You Fix It' building and grabbing some paint. (It's free!) We'll see what I come home with.. At this point, anything is better than my hospital walled living room!!

I will keep you posted and maybe we'll get some creative juices flowing. :)

Any suggestions for decorating without altering my housing too much?? I will take any help I can get! lol For now, I'm off to google apartment living decorating..

Ciao my friends!! <3


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fabbity Find! Rain boots that look like Converse Chuck Taylors!

I saw these tonight and almost died! I am SO in love with them!! lol. I am really tempted to buy them for my little sister. They are so funky yet an awesome idea! Her little feet would never get wet! They were about 35.00.. and I only saw black.. but rainboots that look like Converse Chuck Taylors?!!?! Too cool for school! :0D

*UPDATE*-- Here's the info on where to get YOUR pair :) *CLICK*

Sunday, November 15, 2009

* The BEST Pumpkin Cheesecake! * (Cheesecake Factory Style!)

I found my new favorite recipe!! It's a copycat recipe for The Cheesecake Factory's Pumpkin Cheesecake! (Which is my absolute *dream* cheesecake) Here's the recipe.

Ingredients you'll need:
1 1/2 Cups graham cracker crumbs (I used the cinnamon ones to give the crust a good flavor.. you could probably use gingersnaps as well.. Mmm!)
5 Tbsps melted butter 
1 Tbsp sugar

3 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese
1 Cup sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Cup canned pumpkin
3 Eggs
1/2 Tsp cinnamon 
1/4 Tsp nutmeg
1/4 Tsp allspice

Optional Topping.. Whipped cream.... etc


First thing I do is preheat the oven to 350º and create my water bath. You can do this by covering your springform pan in  foil and submerging it halfway up the side in a pan of water. The water surrounding your pan will help the cheesecake cook slowly at an even temperature....  OR, you can do like I did and place a pan full of water on the bottom rack of your oven to keep the air moist. (Just make sure there is plenty of water so it doesn't all evaporate) If you're taking the second route, go ahead and place your water pan in the oven to get the moisture going!

Now let's get started on the crust! Crush up your graham crackers until they are fine crumbs. I either put the crackers in a ziplock and smash the crap outta them, or use my blender attachment. While smashing the graham crackers let's get our butter melting!

I usually put the butter in the bowl I'm going to mix the crust ingredients in and pop it in the microwave for 30 sec.

Your crumbs should be done now.. Throw them in your bowl with the butter and 1 Tsp sugar.

Mix until moist. (with the pale dead hand you have in your utensil drawer)

Now, spray your 8in. springform pan with Pam.. or oil it however you feel. Pour the crumbs into the pan and pack into the bottom and sides. (About halfway up the sides)
Pop your crust into the oven for 5 mins.. then, take it out and set it aside.

Grab a bigger bowl and begin on the filling! Blend your cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth...


Now measure out your pumpkin and plop it in the bowl!


Measure out your spices and toss them in! (I don't think they need to be adjusted, but feel free to experiment!)

Toss in your eggs and gently mix until combined. Don't over mix or you will end up with a mess of nasty!

Pour your filling into your crust...

Place in the oven above your water bath....

Bake for about 60 mins until just the very center jiggles!

Stare at your full sink and laugh... because it's ALLLL gonna be worth it! ;0)

Yay! It's done! shut off the oven and let it sit until it cools to room temperature!... (A couple hours)

I took mine out a little early (after about an hour) and it felt the cold draft in  my kitchen.. cRaCk! *Tisk Tisk* You must have patience!

The next Morning after it cooled and was put in the fridge over night.


See.. just cut down the big ol crack and no one will know how impatient you were lol

Hope you enjoy as much as I did! ... It really hit the spot and filled the craving I had for The Cheesecake Factory! I should be good while we are stationed in Germany now! (Not too mention the money I saved making it myself .. YAY!)

Any tips?.. Mods... suggestions?...