Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Travelling Scarf

This scarf has journeyed around the US and Canada and is about to make its final trip home!

My addition was the row of knitting and shell stitches in dark blue (middle picture). I think the scarf looks great and hope the owner will like it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

What's for Dinner?

I was talking to my coworker Karen the other day and I found out that she's never made a soup before in her life! I couldn't believe it! To me, soups are one of the easiest and most satisfying meals to make. The ingredients are usually simple and hard to mess up. Plus, they're light in calories too; as long as its not cream based of course! So, if any of you out there are like Karen, give this soup recipe a try! What's the worst that could happen? =D

This soup is quick, easy, cheap and oh so yummy! The recipe is from Gina at Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes. She's got some amazing recipes on her site, all the ones I've tried have been delicious! The soup is called Spinach Straciatella Soup with Orzo. It caught by eye because a) I love spinach b) mmm orzo! and c) it sounds Italian! lol Here's how mine turned out:
Simmering in the pot
Paired with Ritz of course!
And for dessert.... Strawberries with Cool Whip! I put them in our wedding champagne flutes =)
My presentation and layers aren't as nice as Gina's here, but that's a-okay! It still tasted great! In case you missed it before, the soup recipe can be found here.
What did you have for dinner?
From my kitchen to yours,

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Seriously? Why??

Last night while watching 16 & Pregnant on MTV (one of my guilty pleasures) I saw a preview for the upcoming season of The Hills. I will admit, I've never watched an episode of that trash show, but couldn't help but notice how horrible Heidi Montag looks! I know there was a big hullaballoo a while back about all of the plastic surgeries she went under. I didn't really think much of it until I saw this trailer. I quite literally shouted "woah" (think Joey from Blossom) and had to pick up my jaw from the floor during the scene with Heidi and her mom. Why would a beautiful girl subject herself to more than 10 procedures in one day?? Hasn't she ever heard the saying that "beauty is skin deep?" Apparently not.

I honestly think she looked WAY better before... what do you think??



I've seen prettier transvestites! Her bra cup size has seriously overpowered her brain size!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Update/Where Does the Time Go?

Hi all my blogging friends! I'm still here... I haven't posted much lately, but I've certainly been keeping up on reading all your blogs. What's going on with me? hmm... well I've been doing lots of yoga, lots of cooking, and not a lot of crafting. I've got 5 travelling scarves piled up and waiting for me to work on, as well as a tea box I've got to add things to and get back in the mail. It seems like as soon as I'm out of work, I rush off to yoga, hurry home to make dinner and my evening just flies by! I rarely even get on my home computer during the week.

Yesterday I woke up with a terrible sore throat. I went to work in hopes that it would wear off throughout the day. It didn't. In fact, it got worse, and then came the aches. I went home early and stayed home today too. I mean, a day off work to watch movies and sleep all day isn't terrible, but being sick is never fun, and I hope it doesn't ruin the weekend. Is this a sign that I should slow down? I love being able to watch instant Netflix movies through the Wii, its truly an amazing thing! Today I watched Seven Pounds and The Life Before Her Eyes - both really good movies. Anywho, i'm now on antibiotics and am already feeling a bit better. I had a great cuddle buddy all day. Izzie was very happy to have me stay home with her. Gotta love that smushie face!
I have lots of pictures to share with you all. Some from a gorgeous Saturday morning hike last weekend, new garden flowers I planted, and a trip downtown with my mom to see Alice in Wonderland at the El Capitan theater. I also have some yummy new recipes I tried last week that I want to share: Spinach Stracciatella soup with Orzo, Almond Scones, and Manicotti. mm mm mm! Soon to come =D
I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Brandon's Birthday

This year Brandon and I turn 24, but he's first! Last Saturday we celebrated with a BBQ at our casa. He got to use his new grill (bday present from moi)! We grilled some tri tip, and eggplant, paired it with baked potatoes with all the fixings, fiesta salad, sangria, and fruity jello shooters!

We play beer pong the real way!
I made my first ever cheesecake for his birthday cake. He chose a recipe for toffee apple cheesecake. It was delicious!
We then watched the UFC fight (snooze fest), and played some wii games (yay Mario Kart!). Good times!
Happy Friday! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, April 12, 2010

To-Die-For Breakfast Gravy

Literally. To die for. It's not the healthiest of breakfast choices, but once you take a bite - you won't care! Biscuits and gravy is my husband's favorite breakfast, so I made it for him on Saturday for his birthday(used his father's recipe). It is incredibly simple, the ingredients are inexpensive and it is SO SO SO good! 100% comfort food. Try it - you will love it!
1 tube of Jimmy Dean's spicy breakfast sausage
1 tube of regular sausage OR a pack of bacon. (for this one, I used the bacon because we had it on hand. I cut the bacon strips into tiny pieces)
Half & half, heavy whipping cream or milk. I used half & half. You can go lighter if you want, but to reach the best flavor and consistency, the heavier stuff is better.
1/2 onion
red pepper flakes
2-3 Tbs flour

It's very simple. First throw the meat in the pan and start to brown it on med-low. Grate the onion over the meat. Use the side of the grater you would use for zesting an orange. You want the onion to be so fine and almost like a mush. Break up the sausage into small pieces. Once the meat is about 3/4 of the way cooked, add the flour and brown it (about 3 minutes). Add the half & half/milk/heavy whipping cream to the pot until you have your desired consistency. I used the whole thing. Add red pepper flakes to taste. Let it simmer for as long as you can. It will condense a lot and thicken up.

I made my gravy the night before and let it simmer for about 3 hours before I put it in the fridge. The next morning I put it back on the stove and added a little more milk because it had thickened up even more. The flavor had doubled overnight! For the biscuits, I just used the Pillsbury canned biscuits. They're quick and easy.
I topped the biscuits with eggs over easy:

And then smothered them with the delicious gravy:

We practically licked our plates clean, it was that good!

If you try the recipe, let me know how you liked it!
From my kitchen to yours,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Party Time!

Its Party Time!
Ultimate Blog Party 2010

So, I may be showing up a couple days late, but I'm ready to party! who am I to turn down a party that sounds like so much fun?! What a great opportunity to meet new blogging friends. I've got the jello shooters!! The party started on Friday and goes until the 16th. Who wants to join me? Make sure you check out 5 Minutes For Mom!

I am supposed to tell you a little bit about myself, so here goes nothing!

My name is Ashley and I've been married to my wonderful husband for almost 3 years! He and I both currently work for his family's company - but it's only temporary for me. I've been on the waiting list for our local nursing program for 2 1/2 years!! As soon as my number comes up - I'm going back to school! In the meantime I've become a craft junkie! I discovered my love for yarn crafts a few years back and have been hooked ever since (no pun intended). In addition to knitting and crocheting, I do a lot of cooking and baking. I truly believe that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I try and post recipes and pictures of my baking endeavors here on my blog.

My husband and I actually had 2 weddings which were almost exactly a year apart. You can read about them here, here, and here.

Even though our parents like to bring it up every chance they get... we don't have any kids. I've got to finish school first, that's the plan at least. We do however, have the most wonderful dog! She's my little Izzie pup and she stole our hearts from the minute we brought her home. She was a rescue dog from the pound - I truly believe she knows it and is more appreciative because of it. She is my little shadow, always in my lap or following me around the house. She is incredibly spoiled and yes, she does sleep up on the bed with us. She gets half the bed and my husband and I share the other half ;-)

Last year I started an etsy shop where I sell some of my knit & crochet items: Knots by Ashley. I blog about them a lot on here and share some of my original patterns.

My other loves include the Lord, black tea, Yoga, movies, dance, red wine, crime shows, and lazy-do-nothing-days.
Thank you for stopping by! I would love to read your blog as well, so be sure to leave a comment and have fun!! :)

There are so many cool prizes to be won at this year’s Ultimate Blog Party, but my top four picks would be:
US6 – Hand Stamped Personalized Necklace valued at $48 The Double Stacked A Lot Of Love. Provided by: Kristen’s Custom Creations
US11 – A $100 gift eCertificate to, immediately redeemable online at over 13,000 restaurants nationwide.
US7 – Tupperware Prize Pack – the winner will receive a box filled with funTupperware goodies. Provided by: Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads
USC 23 – A sample pack of 3 25g bags of premium loose black teas (Earl Grey de la Creme, After Eight, Monk’s Blend), and a tea ball all from Steeped Tea, Inc.
My other choices would be 20,13, 68, 7, 18, 20, 29, 76, 27, 32, 36, 40, 46, 62, 105 (or ANY for that matter!)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Meet Mrs. Robot...

She is lonely and looking for her mate. Hopefully he will appear soon! =D

pattern from Crochet Today

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yummy Macaroon Cake

I made this Macaroon Cake over the weekend for Easter - it was a hit! Just thought I'd share the recipe with you all. It's out of Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Magazine. They take a heavier recipe and lighten up without compromising the taste. It's dense like a pound cake, yet still light and great with coffee or tea! If you make it - let me know how you like it.
(I forgot to snap a photo until after we dug in)
6 egg whites
4 egg yolks
1-1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I think the one I used was sweetened)
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup fat free milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
1-1/2 cups cake flour
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup flaked coconut
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp confectioners' sugar

1. Let egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, applesauce, and oil until well blended; beat in milk and extract. combine the flours, coconut, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into egg yolk mixture until blended.
2. In another bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
3. Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan (I used a circular springform pan). Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on the lowest oven rack at 325 degrees for 65-75 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan (whoops -I didn't do this); cool completely, about an hour.
4. Remove cake to a serving plate and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Enjoy!

Nutrition facts: 1 slice = 287 calories, 7g fat, 51mg cholesterol, 155mg sodium, 52g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 5g protein. Or 6 weight watcher points. Yields 16 slices.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Date Night Gone Awry

Saturday was a no good, very bad day. Here's why...

Saturday night, my hubby and I had planned to eat a nice dinner at home and then go see a movie together.

I had just made the chicken with fresh salsa and then was taking down the salad bowl to toss a side salad. With limited cupboard space, we keep the salad bowl up high, above the oven. I need a stool in order to reach it. So, I had already put the oil and vinegar on the counter behind me and then stepped down with the salad bowl in my hands...the dog was RIGHT behind me (as usual)- I tripped over her, and in what felt like slow motion, my elbow knocked over the ENTIRE bottle of balsamic vinegar (the Costco size!!). Stickiest. Stuff. Ever.

After laughing at my clumsy self, Brandon and I cleaned it up with bleach and ate our dinner. By this time we already missed the movie. Bummer right? It gets worse....

Since were cutting back financially, I've been painting my own nails. I decided to paint my nails while we relaxed and watched TV together. I got my fingers and toes all trimmed, prepped and put on the base coat. I picked out my favorite shade of hot pink - but couldn't open the bottle. Being the kind husband he is, Brandon tried too, but also couldn't open it. You know how the old nail polish dries up under the cap and makes it impossible to open? That's how it was. One quick tap on the armrest in an attempt to dislodge the cap, quickly turned into this awful mess:
It-was-everywhere! On the cushions, on the wall, on the carpet, on the armrest, and even on Izzie's head! At first I was shocked, and in disbelief. Then I laughed. Then I cried. As we sat there scrubbing our new-ish (about a year) couch and carpet with nail polish remover and Resolve I couldn't stop the tears. Taking it off the walls took off the paint too. But hey - I've wanting to repaint our living room for a while now anyways... We both felt like crap, we were overwhelmed with frustration, and were grumpier than a 5am Saturday morning without coffee or food. The picture above it how it looked after we scrubbed. That's the best we could do.

Anyone have a cleaning tip? We got some strong acetone from work and will give it a shot today. In the meantime, I covered it up. Turned the cushions around, threw a blanket over the armrest and covered most of the carpet spots with a slab of extra carpet.
After we realized that there was nothing else we could do and that we'd have to live with it, we dealt with our stress in a very "healthy" manner. Baskin Robbins, 31 Flavors Bananas Royal: 2 scoops of ice cream (Rocky Road and Cookies & Cream of course!) with banana, caramel, whip cream, and a cherry on top.

Moral of the story: Glass is breakable ;-)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fingers Crossed!

I've entered in 2 giveaways with chances to win a beautiful Lisa Leonard necklace such as this one:

I've been drooling over metal stamped necklaces for a really long time - I really hope I win! Wish me luck =D

First Entry was at the outdoor wife - unfortunately, this one has already closed.

You can still stop by The Tarr Pit for your own chance at winning this lovely necklace too!