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My Fridge & Menu Planning

Jennifer over at Nutcase 101 challenged her readers last week to show the contents of their fridge. I promised her I would do it, but I am a little nervous about it. No... my fridge is not a scary dirty pit... it is almost the opposite. My fridge is always bare. How can someone who considers themselves to be a good cook have a bare fridge? Well... like all things in life, it stems back to my childhood. (Mom, I'm going to out you here. I don't mean any disrespect at all and since I know you are you and won't take it personally, I'm writing about this)I grew up in a house with a full fridge. Yes... we were blessed with great meals, leftovers and lots of food available. The problem with that full fridge was that you never knew how long something had been in there. My mom cooked almost every single night and we had leftovers almost every single night.  That results in lots of tupperware containers full of food. Sometimes on fridge cleaning days things would get missed. I'd later open up containers that had been in the fridge to discover some sort of science experiment taking place. Because of that, I have a serious aversion to leftovers. I cannot eat them. Whatever my husband doesn't take to work gets tossed out. If something is even near the expiration date, it gets tossed out. I clean out my fridge on a 2-3 times a week basis...scouring the contents for anything even remotely old. The result?? A very bare fridge for a family of five. What can you learn about me by … [Continue reading]

Peanut Butter Chocolate Goodness

 I tend to be one of the first people I know to try new products. Yes…I am a complete sucker for a new idea. I will try something new before the buzz about it hits the streets and the reviews are out on whether the product is great or a bomb. It should come to no surprise then that I snatched up something new to me this week. Reese’s Premier Baking Pieces. These are miniature versions of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup candy bars that are so popular and mini miniature versions of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup miniatures. Got that? Basically, they are really tiny Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that are suitable for baking. They are bigger than the Reese’s Peanut Butter ice cream toppers but smaller than the miniatures. I picked up a couple of bags to take home, anxious to give them a try. I had my doubts though… how could these cute little things bake without melting? Would the peanut butter / chocolate combo overpower the cookies? Would I be left with a blended mess of chocolate / peanut butter / cookie gooeyness? I decided to give these little baking pieces a try by using the basic cookie recipe on the back of the bag. The result? Well…let me just say this. I made these as a dessert for our church fish fry tonight, and I know they aren’t going to last until then. Once my husband comes home and tastes them, they’ll be gone. Not to worry…I mixed up another batch and hid them where my husband and the kids … [Continue reading]

Mousse di Cioccolatto Bianco

We are going on day seven of sick kids. Of course, my children decide to get sick when the weather turns nice. We have gone from freezing temps to mid 60's in the matter of a week. Unfortunately, they have all been too sick to get out and really enjoy any of it. I am also going on day two of no caffeine. I know two days doesn't seem like much, but when you are stuck at home with sick children and aren't getting much sleep at night because of it, two days seems longer than the entire Lenten season!I was needing a little sunshine in my life today. I really wanted to drive down to McCormick's and order one of their chocolate bags. If you haven't had a McCormicks and Schmick's chocolate bag, you are missing out on pure heaven. The chocolate bag is just that... a milk chocolate bag filled with creamy white chocolate mousse and fresh fruit. I would love to have a copy of that recipe or at least something close. Today, I decided to try to recreate the mousse inside of the bag. I browsed several recipes and decided to give this one a try. Unfortunately, it wasn't even close to the one from McCormicks. It was really good, but not as creamy or as chocolatey as the mousse I was trying to duplicate. It tasted just like white chocolate whipped cream. Nothing special, but not horrible either. It may have been better with fresh berries on top, but I couldn't take the kids out to run to the store, so I just did with what I had.From NewItalianRecipes.com, here is the recipe: Mousse di … [Continue reading]

Breaking Up

It's a fact of life that relationships come and go. Some relationships are meant to last forever. Others...not so much.Prior to meeting and marrying my wonderful gem of a husband, I had a few relationships that I imagined at the time would last forever. As time went by it became obvious that forever was a very, very long time and that I'd be lucky if that particular relationship would make it another week. I'm not pointing blame at anyone as to why those particular relationships didn't work out. It is all about give and take and then giving a little more. When it gets to the point where you are giving way more than you are taking, or taking way more than you are giving, you know it's time to let it go.When you go through the often painful process of letting a relationship go (aka breaking up), there are certain things that go through your mind and as an ex-couple you have to figure out. Who gets to "keep" the mutual friends? Who gets the dog? Who gets to keep going to your favorite hang out spot? Who gets to keep the giant movie collection that you purchased together?  As much as I love friends, dogs, hang out spots and movies, in my last relationship prior to my husband I really wasn't worried about any of that. My worries were one sided.... how do I get my hands on his family cookbook before this is all said and done? You see, my "ex" came from a long line of Italian heritage. His mother had 10 sisters and 2 brothers, all whom were incredible, … [Continue reading]

Shovel it In

If you read my food blog, you'll see that I had a bit of a pie flop. The pie ended up being salvaged and turned into vanilla cream pie milkshakes. One little chunkin in our family was very pleased with the resulting milkshake and held her mouth wide open until someone would shovel the next bite in for her! The second that bite was swallowed, she'd hold her mouth wide open again until the ice cream would hit her lips. If you weren't fast enough at getting the food into her mouth, she'd start to inch forward, with her mouth wide open. It seems obvious to me that we have yet another ice cream fan in the family. Nick is so proud! … [Continue reading]