February 25, 2013

Homemade Monster Cookies

I felt like baking today so I made Monster Cookies.  My friend, Kristen made them back in December and I've wanted to make some ever since.  There are so many recipes for Monster cookies all over the internets.  I figured I would make mine with my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and add whatever I felt like.

I mixed up the cookie dough.  I used my homemade vanilla and my last two farm fresh eggs.  :)  Once the cookie dough was ready, I then added a 1/2 cup each of Chocolate chips, Peanut Butter chips, Plain M&M's, Peanut Butter M&M's and Craisins.  :)

Mix well......

I scooped the dough onto my cookie sheet and then baked in the oven for about 13-15 minutes.

Cookies all done.  :)

So soft and yummy.  Store in a tupperware container with a slice of bread to keep cookies soft.

February 18, 2013

New Zombie Gnome

My last birthday, I got a zombie gnome from my friend, Kristen.  He was so awesome!!   I put him outside in the gnome garden and after a few months his paint came off.  :(  I contacted the creators at Chris and Jane's place and they kindly sent me a brand new one that came earlier this month.  I was happy.  :)

The Zombie gnomes together.  The new Zombie Gnome will stay in the house on a shelf only watching the gnome garden from the window.  :)

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies with Farm Fresh Eggs

I decided to use 2 of my farm fresh eggs, that I got from my friend, Melissa.  I made my Chocolate Chip cookies.  

Here's my adorable farm fresh eggs.

I mixed up the wet ingredients.  Look at that beautiful yolk!!!  It's so much richer in color than store bought eggs.

The batter all ready for scoopin'.  :)

I always scoop the dough into 3 rows (long ways) of 4.  

Here's the cookies cooling.  They always come out 'go big or go home' size.  :)

I decided I had to take a picture of the cookies with farm fresh eggs and my homemade vanilla extract.  (Note: the little garden gnome in the background)

MMMM.....cookies.  Now who gets them?

Oh......I decided I would save my eggs shells for my garden.  I rinsed out the shells and I'm letting them dry.  I plan to put some soil in them with seeds to start some plants.  I'm thinking grape tomatoes.

February 16, 2013

Pesto Penne Chicken Pasta with Asparagus & Bacon

While at my favorite place on earth, (SUPER TARGET), I saw some asparagus on sale.  I picked up a bundle and decided to make it with dinner tonight.  I've made this dish before, here.  It turned out delicious and I even have enough asparagus left over to use for another dish.  YEY!

Farm Fresh Eggs

I took my friend, Melissa out for birthday dinner this past week.  I worked a different shift so I had the nights off.  :)  Anyways, we had dinner at Pancho Villa.  Sooooo good.  :)  We stuffed ourselves silly.  Melissa and her husband recently purchased a farm that they are fixing up to live at.  They have chickens and have been getting about 6 eggs per day.  She brought me 4 farm fresh eggs in a cute purple egg crate and I can't wait to make something with them.  :)  I also gave Melissa this adorable kitchen towel and a big bottle of Homemade Vanilla for her birthday present.  :)

What to make?  I know I will use 2 of them for my Chocolate Chip cookies.  I think I might cook up the other 2 for breakfast.  We'll see.

Awesome little brown egg.  :)

How cute are they?  I kinda wished I had my very own chickens laying fresh eggs for me.  But my HOA would freak out.  haha

Thanks so much for the Farm Fresh eggs, Melissa.  :)

Valentine Yum Yums

At work this past week we had a pot luck.  The theme was '50 shades of Red'.  Whatever dish you brought had to have red in it and it had to be visible.   I brought yum yums.   They are so easy to make and they are the perfect sweet and salty.  :)  Next month is '50 shades of Green'.  :)

I normally, use the pretzel snaps but my store was out of them and I got the regular homestyle pretzels.  They kinda look like hearts.  :)

I saw these on the pretzel website and want to try them.

February 10, 2013

Creamy White Bean and Bacon Soup

For dinner, tonight I got my recipe from Table for Two Blog.  The table for two blog might be one of my new favorite blogs.  I'm seeing so many things on there I want to make.  

For the soup, I changed it a little for my own preference.  It was a hit!!  :)

2 can of Cannellini beans (I did not drain)
3 cans (from beans) of water
8 strips of bacon (baked in oven, cooled then crumbled)
minced garlic
3 tbsp bacon grease
medium yellow onion (chopped)
2 large carrots (washed, peeled and cut into tiny pieces)
2 tbsp of tomato paste
parsley flakes
black pepper

In a pot, add your beans (do not drain bean juice), water, parsley flakes, black pepper and a tbsp of tomato paste.  Let it come to a simmer.  While your waiting for the beans to come to a simmer, cook up 3 tbsp of bacon grease, minced garlic, 1 tbsp tomato paste, carrot pieces, chopped onion and bacon crumbles into a hot skillet.  Cook up for a few minutes.  Stir bacon mixture into the bean pot.   Add a little more black pepper and parsley.  Cover with lid and let it simmer for about 40 to 45 minutes.  Serve with some bread slices.  

Homemade Vanilla Extract (2nd batch)

Kristen and I bottled our second batch of homemade vanilla today.  :)  We got this process down!  So fun and easy.  (first batch)

Here's the straining process to get the beans out of the liquid.

Once we got each bottle filled, we put on our labels and ribbon.  So cute!  :)

And of course took a ton of pictures.

We are never buying Vanilla Extract again.

750L- Vodka=  4 Vanilla Beans
1.75L- Vodka= 8 Vanilla Beans 

French Macarons

My little sister, Ashley and I made French Macarons yesterday.  They are a Martha Stewart recipe.

We followed the recipe exactly but we only ended up with 10.  (20 singles then sandwiched together to make 10).  We saw a comment on the site that someone else only ended up with 10 as well so we know it's not only us.

Ashley got gel food coloring to add to the batter so we could experiment making certain colors for an idea she has for a upcoming celebration.

Here's the macarons cooling on the wire rack.

Here's the sandwiched cookies.  They are very delicate.

We liked them but they are very SWEET.  I would try to make these again but I would use a better buttercream.  The recipe we used was not up to par for me.


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar

  1. Pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.
  3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.
  4. Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)
  5. Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.