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Big beef and the windowsill gang

Published on May 31, 2011, by in Update.

Sounds like a great name for a band, huh? I had a very busy day today running errands and packing. Brian and I made a very exciting purchase of a bamboo kitchen island for the kitchen when we move. I wonder what I will prepare on it first? After going to get the island, we stopped at Home Depot and I got a Big Beef tomato plant. I immediately started day dreaming about all the BLTs I would be eating this summer. I also got seeds and a container to grow chives, parsley and basil. After getting home and doing some packing, I took a break to plant my new purchases. After potting them, I wasn’t content. I need more. If it weren’t for space restrictions, I would have had the urge to plant an acre. Fortunately, I was restricted to containers. I headed back to Home Depot for more containers,

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Happy Memorial Day!

Published on May 30, 2011, by in Uncategorized.

While Chicago was enjoying sunny 90 degree weather and barbeques, I was enjoying 16 hours of work. I walked into a bathroom at work today and was greeted by this little guy. It really cracked me up…

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Pizza on the grill

Published on May 30, 2011, by in Recipes.

Pizza on the grill is one of my favorite meals. I think it is so fun to make. All you have to do is make the dough and a toppings station and everyone makes their own. It’s perfect for small get togethers and picky eaters. One batch of dough with make 4 decent sized pizzas. Turn the grill burners on medium and let the grill heat up. While the grill is heating, have each person roll out their piece of dough to desired thickness. Keep in mind that the dough will almost double in thickness while grilling. Once dough is rolled out, carefully spray grill with non-stick spray and lay dough on grill grate. Grill for 4-6 minutes for until dough is golden brown on one side. Remove from grill and place toppings on grilled side of dough. Return to grill(raw side of dough on grates) for 5-7 minutes or until dough is golden

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Fast French baguette

Published on May 29, 2011, by in Recipes.

I am slowly conquering my fear of making bread. Slowly. I ran across this recipe for a fast French baguette the other day and decided that it was probably too good to be true, but I’d try it anyway. It was either this or those pretzel bites everyone has been blogging about lately. Fortunately, I found out that this recipe isn’t too good to be true. My results were a little on the ugly-looking side but excelled in taste. This recipe will give you 2 foot long baguettes. I made mine slightly longer than a foot. I adapted this recipe from Girl Versus Dough, who adapted it from Mark Bittman. Ingredients: 1 cup warm water 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 2 tsp salt Directions: In a large, nonreactive bowl, stir yeast and 1 cup warm

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Iowa: fun, food and run

Published on May 28, 2011, by in Update.

This past weekend, Brian and I took to the friendly skies and flew home on Air Choice One. It is perhaps the only airline that flies in and out of my hometown. Lucky for us, they were having a $25 each way flight sale out of Chicago. We took the 8-seater plane to my parents back yard for a relaxing weekend. I went home to run the Great River Bridge Race with my mom. I’m so proud of her. She just took up running in the past few months and finished first in her age group! Published in the local news and everything. The 6.6 mile race was a little long so we settled on the 2.2 miler. A very fun race that is held once a year providing you with the opportunity to run UP Snake Alley and over the Great River Bridge taking you from Iowa to Illinois and back to

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Bust-a-gut buffalo chicken

Published on May 28, 2011, by in Recipes.

If you like buffalo chicken, this is a MUST MAKE recipe. Why is it called “bust-a-gut”? Well, you won’t want to stop eating it. The best part? Amazing simple. I adapted this recipe from What’s Cookin with Mary. Put on your easy pants, because this easy. And make sure they have an elastic waist band. Ingredients: 2 pounds of raw chicken breast(trim all fat off) 1 1/2 to 2 cups Frank’s wing sauce (or your favorite wing sauce) 3 Tablespoons butter 5 cloves garlic(peeled and lightly smashed) Additional wing sauce for sandwich Place chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker, in a single layer if possible. Tuck garlic cloves around chicken. Cube butter and place on top of chicken. Pour wing sauce over chicken. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. After six hours, shred chicken. It should be so tender that you can

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Easy egg bakes: The perfect breakfast in 10 minutes or less

Published on May 18, 2011, by in Recipes.

I used to hate breakfast. Fortunately, I had a mom who understood the importance of breakfast and would make my brother and I eat breakfast everyday. Even if it was in the form of S’mores Poptarts. In recent years, I have come to love breakfast. I have come to prefer a savory breakfast to sweet. For example, Brian and I went to Flat Top’s make your own breakfast on Sunday and I had an egg white omelette with tons of veggies. Brian had pancakes with Reese’s peanut butter cups and coconut. Combining my love for eggs and simple but delicious recipes, I couldn’t wait to make a variation of Shutterbean’s Egg and Asparagus Gratins. For starters, I needed to get gratin dishes. Lucky for me, they had them at the local Dollar Tree…one dollar for a ceramic gratin dish. Yessiree. I love a bargain. Pre-heat oven to 450. Next up, generously spray gratin dishes

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Monster strawberry

Published on May 17, 2011, by in Update.

I had a delicious mid-morning snack of strawberries and Greek yogurt. In my container of strawberries was this monster! It took up my entire palm and was very tasty.

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Birthday birthday, birthday

Published on May 15, 2011, by in Update.

I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of eating out lately. Not necessarily bad for my taste buds, but not so great for my wallet, blog posts or my waistline. While none of these things necessarily deserve their own post, I would be sad if I didn’t share some of them with you. The weekend of Brian’s birthday, we ventured out and I ate at Five Guys for the first time. The burger was good, but there are places in Chicago to get much better burgers for about the same price. I have heard people rave time and time again about their fries. Disappointing. The best thing about Five Guys was the ultra modern touch screen Coke machine. I LOVE FOUNTAIN POP.  There had 6 different flavors of Diet Coke and six different flavors of Fanta Zero. I can’t say I’ll be headed back for their food any time soon, but

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Birthday cake cookies

Published on May 6, 2011, by in Recipes.

  Don’t say I didn’t warn you about it being birthday central around here. To make things even more intense, it was my birthday this week! Woo hoo! I made these birthday cake cookies for a friend’s brithday. Super simple and fun. Start with a box of funfetti cake mix. I had never used funfetti cake mix before and had no idea until I poured it into the bowl that it just appears to be a vanilla cake mix with sprinkles in it. Is everyone else aware of this? Why do people buy it? Why wouldn’t you just add your own sprinkles to a scratch cake recipe? This was a very shocking thing to me. I felt like there should have been something more in the mix, like some magic. Oh well. Preheat oven to 375F. In a bowl, combine: 2 eggs, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of milk and a

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