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Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Decorations

I am so excited to be in a house this year. The past few years spent in apartments were void of trick-or-treaters making Halloween decorating rather pointless. This year we picked up a few things at Target.

Candy bowl (Target has all sorts of cute monster-themed Halloween items this year):

Monster candy dish (also from Target, they had these in several different monsters/colors):

We decided to decorate our front window since we weren't sure how much to trust that outside decorations wouldn't be stolen (spider web, skull, and skeleton window sticker from Target, orange light from HD):

From the inside:

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pioneer Woman Cookbook is here!

My Pioneer Woman Cookbook arrived today, I am so frickin excited! If you don't know about PW go to her site now! She is a truly amazing person, great writer, mother of four, rancher's wife, gorgeous photographer, home schooler and home cook who lives on this huge cattle ranch in Oklahoma. It is so easy to get sucked in to her world. I have made many of her recipes and have yet to be disappointed.

I can not wait to go home and run my hands through the gorgeous, glossy pages full of pictures, recipes, and stories.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Kitchen Items

*Shopping info can be found in this post.

Dog Food Containers - They are working out quite nicely as they are airtight and keep the food fresh.

Dog Food Bowl - Love that it is unique and goes with our statement color (mat is from Target):

Pendant Lights - ET2 Caps Mini Pendants from I was a little worried about buying these over the internet since I like to see things in person to get a feel for them. But, these turned out perfect. They look especially nice when turned on (they don't look yellow like in this picture, more green). Plus, the price was right as pendants can be expensive.

As you can see in this next picture, we still need to paint the trim.

Belmont Kitchen Island:

Cannisters (mugs and mug tree also from C&B):

Love the new Joy of Cooking cookbook. Amazon says PW's cookbook is on the way, can't wait to get it!

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Au Gratin Potatoes

There is just no way that I can stay away from cheesy potato-y goodness when I am on a diet. Potatoes + cheese = double weakness. That is why I love this WW recipe. It makes a satisfying potato dish and makes a ton so we can eat it all week long. Works great as leftovers, too. This was one of my first dishes using the broiler and I didn't realize how FAST my range cooks so the potatoes were a little crisp on the edges. But, you know, I kind of like it that way.

1 spray cooking spray
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free skim milk
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 2-quart covered baking dish with cooking spray.

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour; add milk slowly, stirring. Add potatoes and stir to mix. Bring to a boil. Stir in 3/4 cup of cheese, salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and level out surface. Bake for 1 hour, uncovered. Cover and bake until potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes more.

Change oven temperature to broil. Sprinkle remaining cheese over potatoes. Broil 6 inches from the heating element until the cheese is golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing into 8 pieces.

Servings: 8
Points: 3

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dog Love


Matilda (aka Matty)

*Note: I promise I love Gunny just as much, he just happens to be deathly afraid of the camera so getting pictures of him is hard.


Baja Fish Tacos

I made these as part of operation: eat more fish. They were soooo good. The paring of the cool slaw with the spicy fish made for a great dish. Served them with some doctored up refried beans (which taste better than they look). Recipe from Cooking Light.

Update 7/26/10: These are still delicious! A great weeknight meal because they are super quick and easy to make. This is a definite keeper for my arsenal.

2 tbsp taco seasoning
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 lb mahimahi or other firm whitefish fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used frozen mahi mahi)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups presliced green cabbage
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
8 lime wedges

Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add fish; toss to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish; sautê 5 minutes or until fish is done.

Combine cabbage, onions, and sour cream in a medium bowl.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/4 cup cabbage mixture down center of each tortilla. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; fold in half. Serve with lime wedges.

I added some extra heat to the fish with some chili powder and hot sauce. I also included chopped cilantro in the slaw. I served them with fresh salsa and cheese.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 327 (26% from fat)
Fat: 9.4g (sat 3.3g, mono 1.3g, poly 2.8g)
Protein: 26g
Carbohydrate: 35.8g
Fiber: 4.6g
Cholesterol: 98mg
Iron: 2.4mg
Sodium: 624mg
Calcium: 182mg
Serves: 4 (serving size: 2 fish tacos and 2 lime wedges)

Linked to Home Sweet Farm Delictable Tuesdays, Beat the Winter Blues and Remodelaholic Recipe Swap Sundays.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Winter Reno Projects

Renovating the kitchen took so much out of it that we have been pretty much on hiatus from big projects for most of the summer. Now that it is getting cold again and our outside activities will soon become less numerous, we need to get back on track and begin some more renovations. We still have a lot to accomplish before we tackle our next major project which will be the basement. Here is what we are looking to accomplish over the winter:

Spare Bedroom #1 Reno
- paint ceiling
- replace parquet floors with laminate wood
- new base boards
- patch holes in walls
- paint walls and closets
- replace light switches, outlets, and covers
- replace carpet in closets
- new shelves in closets
- new closet doors

Upstairs Hallway Reno
- new baseboards
- new crown moulding
- paint walls and ceilings
- new light fixtures
- new doors for each room including door jams, trim, and knobs

Staircase Reno
- replace stairs
- patch wall behind old stairs
- paint wall behind stairs
- paint metal support system
- stain stairs
- stain bannisters
- paint railings

Living Room/Entryway Reno
- finish off fireplace with mantle, stones, etc.
- knock out part of wall for built in shelving
- hang supports over fireplace for tv, arrange spots for wires behind the wall
- knock down walls surrounding entry way
- re-paint accent wall with new color
- paint entryway
- add moulding to entryway
- replace tiles in entryway

I feel that this is more than enough to get us through to the spring. Perhaps too much. After these projects are done we still have the following left: backyard/deck, entire basement, spare bedroom #2, upstairs bath, replace windows, paint exterior and add new trim, new front door. Let the fun commence!
C + C Marriage Factory: October 2009

C + C Marriage Factory