(BTW- tried to watch the new Melrose Place a few weeks ago, and IT IS HORRIBLE!!)
(BTW- tried to watch the new Melrose Place a few weeks ago, and IT IS HORRIBLE!!)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 12-ounce package small peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped
-Heat oven to 375° F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
-Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the peanut butter cups.
-Drop tablespoon-size mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until light brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.
Now, there are some notes about this recipe that I learned from baking it.
1. This recipe in no way makes the 48 cookies that they say it will! I like bigger cookies, but mine still just made 19 (and no I didn't eat too much dough)! You could literally have to make some teeny tiny cookies in order to get that many.
2. You DO NOT need to chop up an entire 12 oz. bag of Reeses! That is WAYYY too many! I only did about half of the bag, and it was more than enough to give the cookies flavor! (BTW: Don't you love how you can see the crinkled edges of the Reeses in the cookies? This was my favorite part!)
3. My first batch of cookies came out a little dark and crispy at 375 degrees, after 12 minutes. For the second batch I turned the oven down to 350 and only let them back for 11 minutes, and they were perfectly soft and lightly browned!
I highly suggest making these cookies for your next tailgate, party, or chocolate fix. They're really easy and everyone LOVED them!
Gossip Girl (The CW, 9 p.m.)- Okay, the fact that I watch this is mildly embarrassing. We'll call it my guilty pleasure. Now they're out of high school and are still doing things that are WAY inappropriate for their age, but who cares, it's TV not reality. I really didn't think I'd like it now that they're out of their prep school in NYC, and are now braving NYU, but I'm still hooked!
Castle (ABC, 10 p.m.)- This show premiered last spring with only about 8 episodes, and I really liked it! I was so relieved when they brought it back this fall, and it's as good as ever! Rick Castle is a mystery writer and bestseller (think James Patterson) who helps the NYPD solve crimes (although this would never happen, it's somehow believable on the show). This show is actually pretty funny, and takes itself WAY less seriously than other detective shows (Law and Order, CSI).
This year, I've decided not to watch Dancing with the Stars. It's just on way too much, and I'm not really into any of the celebrities that they have (again). Other than DWTS, is there anything else good I'm missing?
Our wonderful photographer, Megan Wynn, submitted our wedding photos to Southern Weddings, and they were recently featured on their blog! She told me they were going to use them, but I kind of forgot about it, and hadn't been checking their website! Luckily, bride-to-be Christina let me know they were up on their website swsmag.net! The title is Indiana details: Peyton + Nick, and has two separate posts! You'll need to scroll down because they were posted a few days ago. If you enjoy weddings, this is a great website for daily wedding inspiration. Southern Weddings magazine is also an awesome read. ENJOY!
Just you wait, you'll likely be disgusted about all of the TV that we really do watch... although keep in mind we DVR all of it, so we save some serious time by not watching commercials. Probably several hours saved a week... hah, now onto my Sunday night faves:
Californication (Showtime, 10 p.m.)- Yes this show is rude, crude, and HILARIOUS! The third season started last night, and will leave you shocked every time that they actually put some of this stuff on TV, oh well, it's great!
We relaxed, caught up on a bunch of DVR-ed TV, watched lots of football, and actually made some progress in the furniture department!!!
Aside from catching up on TV, I made some delicious turkey burgers with goat cheese sauce on Friday night. Saturday, we did some shopping for CAhusband, had lunch at CPK, and then I worked for a few hours. Saturday night we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Cliffhouse, and sat in the bar to watch the Purdue game and enjoyed one of my favorite dinners ever. They have this amazing pasta with tequila cream sauce that I'm about to start scouring the Internet for a similar recipe for (I'll keep you posted).
Yesterday we logged some more TV time, finally found a kitchen table and some bar stools we are getting ready to purchase (still no chairs though, AHH), and cheered the Colts to a victory!!! WOOHOO!
Overall, we were pretty lazy, but it was a wonderful weekend! I hope you all had a great weekend too! : )
The last two weeks I've been reading Cross by James Patterson. As many of you know I've read almost everything by Patterson, and currently actually only have about 5 books of his left to read. I actually read Cross two summers ago, and half way through it I realized that I was reading the newest book in a series and that I really had no idea what was going on. The next day I started with the first book of the Alex Cross detective series (Along Came a Spider) and continued from there.
Over the past two years I've read all of the other Alex Cross books (1-11) up until Cross. I originally planned just to skip it since I'd already read it, and continue on with the next book Double Cross but found myself not remembering what happened, so I read it again (now you're probably really wondering why it took me 2 weeks to read).
Overall, it took me so long to read because it was kind of boring. There was definitely mystery, and not once did I find myself remembering the story from when I read it before, but Patterson books are very predictable. Having read over 30 of his books, it's pretty easy to see where the story is going to end up. I don't' regret reading it again because I like the series as a whole, and can't really read 1-11 and not see it through (I'm kind of OCD about things like that); but I think it's going to be a long while before I read another Patterson book. I really wouldn't recommend this book to anyone unless you've already started reading the Alex Cross series and want to see it through (like me). I'm only giving it a Shelfari rating of 3 stars.
Next week: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (I started this on our drive from Indiana to California and although it's long and I'm at a slow part I can feel it beginning to pick up soon, so I have one week to finish it).
8 servings (serving size: 1 enchilada)
2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
2 cups (8 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
1 2/3 cups plain low-fat yogurt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup (such as Healthy Request), undiluted
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Remove 1 cup chicken mixture; set mixture aside.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, brush oil over both sides of tortilla. Add tortilla to pan; cook 5 seconds on each side or until toasted and soft. Remove from pan; arrange 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of tortilla. Roll jelly-roll style; place filled tortilla, seam side down, in a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining 7 tortillas, remaining oil, and remaining chicken mixture. Spread reserved 1 cup chicken mixture evenly over enchiladas. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese and green onions; bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
This is a wonderful I highly recommend anyone trying! I've made it twice now with great reviews both times. ENJOY!
1. Solid Loulou blouse- JCrew
2. High Speed Cardigan- Anthropologie
3. Diaphanous Tunic- Anthropologie
4. Cashmere Darling Ruffle V-neck Sweater- JCrew
5. Stained Glass Top- Anthropologie
6. Tissue Ribbed Ruffle Henley- JCrew
7. Cashmere Tie-front Cardigan- JCrew
8. Frances Striped Ruffle Tuxedo Shirt- JCrew
I'm not going to lie, buying some of the above items would not make them my first fall purchases because I have in fact already purchased some great fall items from JCrew. Maybe I'll post some of the great fall finds I've already grabbed a little later on!Happy Fall Shopping Everyone...
Patricia Arquette's dress itself wasn't all that offensive, more it was just the way that it didn't fit! Her chest was literally exploding out of this dress!
The main thing we accomplished this weekend was working on adjusting our flights for Charlie and Christina's wedding, which is so close I can't stand it. We can't wait!! I thought this flight changing stuff would be easy.... I was wrong!
Here's the story:
We were originally hoping that CAhusband could claim some vacation days before they had actually been earned and we could make a vacation of it! We originally planned to leave on a Tuesday and return Sunday, but have since learned this isn't possible and CAhusband was only granted Thursday and Friday off. All along we knew this was a possibility though, so we were smart and got flight insurance. Smart... riiiiight, flight insurance....a total crock!!! Due to the fact that I'm looking forward to an escape from the desert and some QT with Christina, I'm still leaving Tuesday, but we still had to change CAhusbands flight. After spending an hour on the phone with Expedia, I learned that flight insurance is only helpful is you die, are hospitalized, or can prove a loss of job (INSURANCE IS A WASTE unless you are dying of an illness). $525, and an hour later, CAhusband's flight is changed... finally, but what a hassle! He'll now fly all night Wednesday, and meet up Thursday morning in Virginia!
Other than that I finally got all of the wedding pictures uploaded to Shutterfly so that people can see them all, and buy some prints if they want. I'm so glad that I finally got this accomplished, and boy did it take awhile. Follow this link if you'd like to see them: nickandpeytonsweddingpictures.shutterfly.com
We also finally got a land line!!!! WOOHOO! Now in 2009 CAhusband and I were nothing but against paying for a land line, but out here next to the mountains we have NOOOO cell phone service. In order to have cell service in our place you have to stand right next to the window. Forget even switching the phone to my other ear... I've already lost you!!! We're hoping this will be a huge improvement, as dropped calls, and missed voicemails have been plaguing our lives since we moved in!
Well, I think that's it for now... I had a really great/relaxing/productive weekend, and am looking forward to the Emmy's tonight! I'll let you know my thoughts in the a.m. before a 9 hour shift at JCrew! How I'm going to stand for that long I'm not quite sure... I wonder how many sweaters I'll board fold???
Seriously, I'm a huge dog lover, but who would really wear a sweater covered in dogs? I normally love almost all of Anthropologie's clothes, but haven't really found anything that I love from them this fall, and this sweater is no exception. Would you wear this, or can you think of anyone who would?
In case you're curious, I'll also be the one to deck out palm trees with Christmas Lights... I wonder if snowmen decor is a joke out here???
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped plum tomato (about 2)
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 avocado, peeled and finely chopped
1. To prepare chicken, combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss and let stand 3 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.
2. To prepare salsa, combine tomato and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a medium bowl. Add avocado; stir gently to combine. Serve salsa over chicken.
This week I had a looming library deadline, so I finished two books! I'll review both!
The Second Opinion
This first book I finished was Michael Palmer's The Second Opinion. Last summer I read Palmer's book, The First Patient, and absolutely loved it. I couldn't wait to read another one of his books!
Here's a synopsis and review from Booklist:
Palmer, a medical-thriller writer who has been producing A-list-quality novels for years, turns in another excellent performance with this story of a physician who uncovers a deadly conspiracy. Dr. Thea Sperelakis’ father is the victim of a hit-and-run; now in a coma, he communicates only with his daughter and only by moving one of his eyes. Slowly, Thea pieces together the truth behind her father’s accident, and behind a series of suspicious deaths, but exposing the villains could mean exposing her to certain death. As usual, the novel is fluidly written—as a stylist, Palmer is head and shoulders above his more famous competitor, Robin Cook—and very suspenseful. Thea, in particular, is a most intriguing character: she suffers from Asperger syndrome, which gives her an obsession with details, a near-encyclopedic memory, and a rather charming awkwardness in social settings. The novel is not merely a thriller but also an exploration of its central character’s unique gifts and her determination to communicate with her comatose father despite overwhelming odds. Another winner from a consistently fine writer. --David Pitt
I couldn't agree more with Booklist's review, and absolutely loved the main character Thea! I enjoyed reading from her point of view so much that I wish he would write a series about her. This book is a great read if you like mysteries, and are at all intrigued by medical issues. Amazon reviewers have given it a total of 4.5 stars, so I think it's safe to say that this is an overall pleasing read!
The next book that I read was FABULOUS! It was due at the library yesterday, and as of Tuesday I had read less than 40 of the 435 pages... YIKES! Needless to say, once I got into it, I finished in 2 more sittings, and just flew through it! I am kind of indifferent about Sophie Kinsella's books, because the only one's I've read have been her Shopaholic books. I do enjoy the Shopaholic series, but at the same time the main character is so out of touch with reality that I get easily annoyed, although I do laugh a lot.
At Borders a few weeks ago, one of the saleswomen, who seemed more into "serious" literature than "girly" chic reads, gave it rave reviews, so I figured it must be a little more serious than the rest of Kinsella's books. When I saw it at the library last week, I snatched it up!
Here's the summary from Amazon:
Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie–a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance–mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the “perfect” man.Sadie, however, could care less.Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from each other along the way. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.
Now though, I rejoice in the fact that Paula is gone, because Ellen is joining the cast! I love Ellen, and I just know she'll bring some serious comedy to the show (unlike Paula's comedy that was more like making fun of her, and was not intentional on her part whatsoever). Ellen has always been a huge Idol fan, and I think she will only make the show more successful than it already is. I can't wait for January now... I think it will be a great season! What do you guys think? Will she make the show even better?
We have not come to a consensus, nor have we found anything we just can't wait to snatch up, but one thing I do know is that someday when we hopefully have room for an office, I want it to look like this. Straight off the pottery barn floor would even be fine, I'd buy the whole set, that's how much I love these beautiful offices (really my craft room). I love how this big desk/table would be perfect for scrapbooking and all of my crafting essentials. During the holidays, it'd be perfect for gift wrapping, and I could keep it all beautifully organized.
Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries
(from Bon Appetit July 2009)
9 whole graham crackers
5 tablespoons butter
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Fold 16-inch-long piece of foil to 8x16-inch strip; place in 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan, leaving overhang on 2 sides. Repeat with another sheet of foil in opposite direction, lining pan completely. Butter foil.
Place graham crackers in heavy-duty plastic bag. Using rolling pin or mallet, crush crackers finely. Melt butter in medium skillet over low heat. Remove from heat; add crumbs and toss to coat. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust until deep golden, about 12 minutes. Cool crust while preparing filling.
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and sour cream, then lemon juice, lemon peel, and vanilla. Spread batter over crust.
Bake cheesecake until slightly puffed and set in center, about 30 minutes; cool completely in pan on rack. Chill cheesecake until cold, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep chilled.
Using foil overhang as aid, lift cheesecake from pan. Cut into 16 squares; arrange on platter. Top each square with berries. Chill until ready to serve, up to 3 hours. Serve chilled.
Bon Appetit's picture
Oddly enough, when you're unemployed, a three day weekend just doesn't have the same appeal! I kind of have non-stop weekends right now, but at least other people will have an extra day to spend with me.
Anyway, my plans for this weekend include:
-Golfing: This could be scary because although I enjoy the thought of golf, I only truly have a good time when it's 70 degrees, I play amazingly well, and every time I hit a really bad shot I'm allowed to pick up my ball and just sit the rest of the hole out. However, not all people share my feelings on golf and take this game very seriously. In all reality, this round of golf should be fun because I'm playing with my grandma, dad, and Nick... the 100+ heat could be my only problem. (I'll let you know how this goes).
-HOUSE: No, not a house, as in home... I'm talking TV here! Nick and I have become obsessed with the show House, and are watching it from Season 1, courtesy of Netflix (who else?), in preparation for the Season 6 premiere, coming soon. Unfortunately, we just got the first 2 disks for Season 3! We have some serious House hours to log before the premiere, because although we watched the second half of Season 5, we're now caught in the story line from 2 years ago. We will just have to DVR the new episodes and save them I suppose.
-Grocery: Since moving into our new place, I have "conveniently" not really made a huge grocery trip to stock up on food essentials. You will learn that I simply HATE going to the grocery (especially here in northern Mexico, where I'm in the Walmart minority because I actually speak English) because it is such a long process, and I inevitably forget something and just have to run back again. However, I've finally gotten to the point that it is a MUST! I WILL get this done this weekend.
-Finish my Book: I have been reading Michael Palmer's The Second Opinion for over a week now. It's a great book, but I just haven't been putting the time into finish it... another goal for the weekend!
-Baking: My parents are having a dinner party this weekend while my grandma is in town. Given that I have a kitchen stocked full of new kitchen stuff, and haven't broken in my Kitchen-Aid mixer yet, I am going to contribute by making Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries. I'll let you know how it turns out... will mine look anything like the beautiful pic in the magazine?? We will see...
I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!-CAwife