Monday, December 26, 2011

Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Chicken

We had just got back from our whirlwind tour of the midwest for Christmas, I mean I had barely gotten my shoes off or the heat turned back up from being gone when Ott, E asked..... Whats for dinner?  Honestly, it was probably the last thing on my mind, with the unpacking, laundry, and mail to get through.  But, I went to the fridge and found 2 chicken breasts.  I looked at the clock and there wasn't enough time to fix them in the crock pot.  I looked outside and it was cold and rainy, so I knew we wouldn't be grilling them.  So I looked over at my oven.... back at some items I had in the fridge..... and set out to make these Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast. 
In a small bowl I mixed together; 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. garlic salt, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup Swiss cheese and 1/4 cup chopped fresh spinach. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winner of the 2011 Iron Chef Challenge: Champions Edition Bake-Off

Well the recipes have all been posted, the ovens are turned off, the judge has reviewed the entries and all the contestants are anxiously awaiting the results of the 2011 Iron Chef Challenge Bake-Off against our monthly champions. In case you missed each previous winning Iron Chef Blogger received a Taste of Home recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Bread.  They were to bake this bread and follow the ingredients and then make something else with the bread.  This great collection of recipe creations can be found here. (Go check it out!) 
Our guest judge from Taste of Home had quite the time selecting a winner.  They told me that they loved the entries and showed them to their Test Kitchen Staff and they were impressed as well.  In the end the winning recipe and title of 2011 Iron Chef Blogger went to.......

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

my holiday home tour

Today I am showing off some of my holiday decorating in our house. So step right in, here's a cup of coffee and come enjoy these pictures of my holiday home tour.
My mantle is done up with snowmen.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ummmm.... Chocolate Peppermint Doughnuts

Normally I would blame my cravings on the pregnancy.  But this time of year, regardless if I'm pregnant or not I crave peppermint. Peppermint Hot Cocoa, Peppermint Ice Cream, Peppermint Candy, Cookies, Chocolates and Cheesecakes.  And today I'm craving Chocolate Peppermint Doughnuts, which are sure to be a hit at your holiday breakfast table.  Simply mix up your chocolate doughnut, then drizzle with a peppermint glaze and top off with some crushed candy canes as a sprinkle.
I bought this new pan at a department store and it worked great for the doughnuts.  And the recipe I'm about to share with you is fool-proof for an easy and perfect tasting chocolate cake doughnut.  Besides the peppermint glaze recipe I'm sharing with you; one could easily do a chocolate or vanilla flavored glaze to put on top as well.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Iron Chef Challenge: Champions Edition

Today is the big day for our Iron Chef Bloggers.  Each of these bloggers won a monthly contest held throughout the year and today they are baking against each other to determine who is the 2011 Iron Chef!  For this contest each blogger was given the same recipe from a Taste of Home Cookbook for Cinnamon Raisin Bread.  They were each to use the same ingredients as the recipe called for.  Then take the bread and turn it into something else.  So we have here a collection of 9 ways to use Cinnamon Raisin Bread.
Photo by of Taste of Home
Taste of Home has graciously agreed to be our sponsor for this contest and will judge the entries and award a copy of the Taste of Home Baking Cookbook to the winner.  So without further delay lets look at what are champion chef/bloggers have come up with for this Challenge.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Iron Chef Challenge Winners Recap

This month will conclude our year of monthly Iron Chef Challenges, and today I am showcasing the winners one more time as tomorrow they will bake-off against each other to determine who is the 2011 Iron Chef Blogger.  Each blogger will be given the same Taste of Home Recipe to make; then they will need to create something else with that product.  Taste of Home has graciously agreed to be the sponsor and judge for this Champions Edition and the winning blogger will receive a Taste of Home Baking Cookbook.

But before we get to that match-up I thought we would start with recapping the winners who will be battling it out for the 2011 Iron Chef.  Each month we have had some challenging ingredients for bloggers to cook with and each month they have risen to the challenge and come up with recipes to please their families, as well as the judges, and won some fabulous prizes along the way.  So without further ado; here are your monthly winning recipes and bloggers.

My recipe for chicken, artichoke Lasagna

Ott, E and I have been on an Artichoke kick lately.  I don't know why but we eat it as appetizers, on pizza, and anything else we can find.  I found this recipe for an Artichoke Lasagna.... and I tweaked it a little to turn it into a Chicken, Spinach & Artichoke Lasagna. It's pretty quick and easy to make so in about 40 minutes you can have dinner on the table.  And let me tell you.... it tastes great!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Decorating with Longaberger for the Holidays

It's no secret..... I'm a basket case when it comes to Longaberger baskets. I love to decorate with them during the holidays, but before I get to showing you ways I do that I wanted to be sure and let you know that I am guest posting today on the Real Farmwives of America & Friends Blog about a traveling Longaberger Basket for Charity.  You see The Longaberger Company has graciously agreed to donate one Medium Market Basket to the Farmwives to criss cross the country doing good deeds this holiday season.  Then the first week in January we are going to auction the basket off on E-Bay and donate the proceeds to the Melanoma Cancer Research Foundation in honor of our fellow Farmwife Leontien from the blog; Four Leaf Clover Dairy.  So stop by and see what charity I donated to and how I put the basket to good use!

Now on to my post about decorating with Longaberger.  For one of my Christmas Trees I use the Large Ficus basket as my tree stand.  This works great to hold up my tree and gives the room some country charm.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dressing the Bump

As I continue on in "Pregnancy Week" on this blog; I would be re missed if I didn't talk about clothes. At 9 weeks my pants were getting tight. By 11 weeks I was down to only two pairs of pants that fit. So I headed off to do some maternity clothes shopping. And I gotta admit.... it was a little hard. The few stores that carried clothes only had 2 or 3 racks to select from and for me that was not nearly enough. I went to Old Navy, Target, Gap, Macy's, H&M and Destination Maternity; and between those stores I was able to find some of the basics to get me started. I'm trying to keep wearing as many tops as I already had as possible for as long as I can, but even those are starting to get reduced.

Here I am at 18 weeks and you can see my baby bump is showing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Parsnip Chocolate Chili (great recipe for expectant mothers)

In case you missed yesterday's post you might not know that we are celebrating "Pregnancy Week" on a Latte' with Ott,A is week and today I'm sharing a recipe for Parsnip Chocolate Chili that is supposed to be great for expectant mothers.  Parsnips are high in folate and fiber, which help both mother and baby.
Ingredients: 1 T. vegetable oil, 1 medium onion, finely chopped, 1 lb. ground beef, 2 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced, 1 red bell pepper, chopped, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 tsp. chili powder, 1 T. dried oregano, 1 tsp. cumin powder, 1 (29 oz) can crushed tomatoes, 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste, 2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans (drained and rinsed), 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed.

Monday, December 5, 2011

No more Latte's for Ott, A!

Now don't fret, I'm not giving up blogging, I'm giving up caffeine.  And let me tell you that was no easy task. I started out by making the coffee weaker each morning and then dropping from one cup to two.  Then I switched to half calf, then I tried to fool by self by drinking decaf, but finally I just went cold turkey.  It was probably a 3 month process and I'll be honest I still crave coffee each and every morning.  I smell it in the break room at work and long for a cup.  As all the fun holiday flavored creamers come out this time of year, I stand in the dairy section of the grocery store and stare and long for a cup of Peppermint mocha flavored creamer in a hot cup of black coffee.  

But my sad story of withdrawal still doesn't give you the reason as to why I went off coffee.  I will let the shutterfly card below explain.
Classic Black 5x7 folded card
Modern shower invitations and holiday cards by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.