Thursday, December 17, 2009

Homemade Spinach Dip

As I looked into the fridge- I noticed that it was nearly empty.  Emptier than I have really ever seen my fridge.  I needed to come up with some delicious food for friends (who didn't come- boo (hope you are feeling better!)).  How does one make magic deliciousness out of nothing?  Homemade Spinach Dip is the way to go.  It was great the first day- but that is about it.  Don't even try to keep it- it isn't worth it in my humble opion.  (But I am sure I will keep it next time I make it anyway- because that is just who I am.)

Enjoy!



Homemade Spinach Dip
adapted from M Cubed

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened (or the remnants of two tubs in your fridge- check for mold first)
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) package tortilla chips (about 16 cups)
Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350°. 

2. Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and next 5 ingredients (through spinach) in a large bowl; stir until well blended. 
3. Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. 
4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chicken Spaghetti with Rotini

I was unable to post yesterday because Chris took my laptop to school with him for his final.  It is so nice to have him done with school for the semester.

Here it is- Chicken Spaghetti with Rotini.  As you can see- it is not the prettiest dish- but I most comfort casserole aren't lookers anyway. 



This super fast and easy dinner is awesome.  It will definitely be made again sometime when I need dinner and haven't gone to the store in weeks.  Or maybe I will make it next time I want some delicious cheesy goodness.

Lucy used spaghetti- but I didn't have any . . .  so rotini it was!  I think it turned out fine- with the advice to "use what you have" I left out carrots and celery in favor of tons of red, orange and green peppers and 3/4 cup of corn.  Yum.

Chicken Spaghetti with Rotini
adapted from Lucy's Kitchen

Ingredients
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups peppers, chopped
  • 3/4 cup corn
  • 1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can tomato soup (Oops- I forgot this!  It was fine without it- but I can only imagine how awesome it would be with it)
  • A few shakes of Worcestershire sauce (I added some soy sauce and white wine vinegar instead)
  • Pasta 
Directions
1. Satuee veggies in olive oil until tender. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.
2. When pasta is cooked, drain and rinsed. Add sauteed veggies and chicken.
3. Add cheese, soup (or soups), Worcestershire sauce (or substitute), salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
4. Transfer to a lightly greased casserole dish. Bake, covered, at 350 for 30-45 minutes until cheese is bubbly and casserole is heated through.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I am working on it

Yesterday it was so nice to get back into the kitchen.  We had dinner plans with my bestest bud- but she had to cancel due to a fever (ick- hope you are feeling better Mandy!)

However, I had already planned out the meal so I just made it anyway.  (It was a lot easier because I didn't have to clean the rest of the house too.)

I will post about the meal tomorrow: I made Homemade Spinach Dip for Fatties (found here), Lucy's Chicken Spaghetti (here), and some No Bake Peanut Butter Balls (from Cabin Cooking).

I had forgotten how much I enjoy the challenge of trying new things and creating good food.  (Confession- we have eaten quite a bit of fast food and convenience foods from the freezer these past few weeks.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh my gosh- the one where I got the best deal ever on chairs . . .

Let me start by telling you the situation: We are in the market for some chairs. We have 4 from our kitchen table and two solid ones from the dumpster.  We also have two more dumpster finds that are less than solid- not fun to wonder if today is the day they will give out.  I would like to replace those wobblers and get more chairs since we now have two tables to eat at (thanks Mom and Dad!)

I have been scoping out craigs list hoping for some stellar buy on simple wooden chairs that I could stain or potentially paint white.  But I am super cheap (read: lazy) and $25-50 for a chair that is an hour away didn't seem worth it. So we have continued to be sparse on chairs . . .

. . . until now.  Here comes my story: I was at Target the other day just perusing the clearance like always and came to the furniture section.  Low and behold- there was a set of two chairs and a set of two stools on clearance.  Hip hip hurray!

But I told myself not to get too excited- often clearance stuff isn't that cheap.  But you will not believe what I found . . .

The chairs:


Originally $169.00 - reduced to $10.64  I kid you not.

And the stools:


Originally 119.00- reduced to $10.64

I am in heaven.  I checked them out as best I could at the store: the stools do have a minor scratch on one of the seats, and the wood on the underside of one of the chairs is a little rough.  Hopefully that is why they have been returned- because I am willing to work with those imperfections!  I just hope all the pieces are there when we try to put them all together . . .

images from target.com (here and here)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

First Things First- The Turtle

When we first saw our house, it was evident that the owners loved sea turtles.  Turtles were in the entry, the bathroom and even the living room.  The crown jewel of the turtles was this- what seemed to be a painted faux stained glass sea turtle.



Splendid, right?

But since I did not plan on having sea turtles be one of the major decorating motifs in our home, the turtle needed to go.

After much consideration, it looked as though we were going to need to buy some sort of paint thinner and apply it to the window to get the turtle off.  But my mother, the genius, discovered that it was actually a huge sticker.  With the help of a razor she was able to rip it off.  And wow- just so you know- that stuff smelled wicked.  Thanks mom!



With the sticker gone, I just needed to clean off the vinyl residue.  This has proven to be fairly difficult, and I still have not gotten it all off.  But good enough for baby Jesus.  = )



Now we just have to deal with the new problem of looking right out at the neighbor's deck . . . any suggestions?  Maybe I need to get a sticker made of Chris and I . . .  Or maybe PeeWee . . .

Friday, December 4, 2009

As if life couldn't get more complicated . . .

 . . . We got a dog!


His name is Pee Wee.  He is a 5 year old Jack Russell Terrier/ Dachshund mix.  We adopted him last Friday from the humane society in Boulder.

He is slowly coming out of his very subdued state- showing a bit of personality if you will.  Awesome.  The last week we have been keeping a close eye on the little guy and giving him lots of loves and walks.  So fun!

Now that the circle of trust is mostly in place, I can move on to taking pictures of the new house - focusing on what we have done and not what we have left to do. = )