Thursday, May 26, 2011

No, Dad! Not another bath!

But because Baxter loves to run outside in the dirt and mud, his fuzzy white fur needs regular maintainence!

I just bought him a Goat Milk Stuff Pet Shampoo Bar and we put it to work. And it smells sooo good and leaves his coat super soft. I highly recommend it.

Anyway, we secured Bax to a tire, warmed the water and scrubbed away.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Swenson Ladies have a Garden Tea Party

Last Sunday my Aunt Laurie hosted a garden tea party at her house for the Swenson ladies and a bridal shower for me. She did a fabulous job of preparing a delicious lunch. Aunt Laurie is a wonderful hostess and plans everything perfectly - down to the gardening gloves as a silverware holder to the delicious homemade rose mints.

We had a delightful menu of iced tea and lemonade, green salad with blueberries & strawberries, a bowtie pasta salad with sunflower seeds which I now love!, pickled deviled eggs, chardonnay lemon cream cheese sandwich triangle on cinnamon raisin bread, turkey and berry triangle sandwiches and a chocolate bundt cake with chocolate wine sauce.

Here is the tablescape - set for me, my mom, my sister, my cousin and her little girl, my two aunts and my grandma.

A place setting - beautiful glass bowl and plate, fine china tea cup and saucer, garden glove silverware holer and a cute wedding dress box that held the homemade rose mints.

The drink and dessert table. I just love the milk glass pitcher and glasses. They were a wedding gift to my Aunt Laurie from her grandma, who we were also remembering that day because it would have been her birthday.

Here are the eggs, sandwiches and salad. Behind the food are photos of me throughout the years.

Aunt Laurie gave me the centerpiece. It now looks so cute by my front door. Everyone also gave me gift that were garden related because they all know how much I love gardening. I got some great tools, seeds and watercans.

Thank you to my family for a wonderful afternoon!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Chocolate Honey Almond Tart

Well I must be on a Giada kick! I can't help it though! This is a decadently wonderful recipe. And it's especially good because I had all the ingredients except heavy cream on hand! I bought chocolate graham crackers weeks ago and little did I know I could use them for a dessert crust.

1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

9 chocolate graham crackers

2 tablespoons slivered almonds

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup honey

12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springfoam pan.

Place the graham crackers and almonds in the bowl of a food processor and process until they turn into find crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until incorporated. Press mixture into the bottom of the springfoam pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool to room temperature for about 20 minutes.

In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk the cream and honey together. Heat until the honey melts stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium until the mixture is just below a boil. Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Pour chocolate over prepared crust. Refrigerate overnight. Run a knife along the sides of the pan to help loosen the chocolate from the pan before removing.

From the Food Network

Friday, May 13, 2011

Giada's Meatballs

For Adam's mom's Mother's Day lunch, Adam and I made these meatballs to eat with spaghetti. So delicious and the best meatball recipe I've ever made! Thanks Giada!

1 small onion, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1 large egg
2 tablespoons ketchup
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground veal
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the onion, parsley, Parmesan, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add the beef and veal. Using your hands, combine all ingredients gently but thoroughly. Shape the meat mixture into 16 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs and place on prepared baking sheet. Make a hole in the center of each meatball and place a cube of the mozzarella inside. Reform the meatball so that the mozzarella is completely covered with the meat mixture. Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes until cooked through.

Go here for a recipe for spaghetti sauce to go with these.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bridal Shower Season

Last Saturday Bec threw a bridal shower for her sister Katie, who is getting married 7 days before me on July 16. The shower was BEAUTIFUL! The decorations were unique and the food delicious and quite impressive! The menu included chicken salad on mini homemade rolls, apple walnut pinwheels, lemon and spinach pasta salad, mango and black bean salsa, green salad with mandarin oranges, toffee fruit dip, and for dessert lemon and raspberry cupcakes. I just had to share a few photos!

And of course a picture of the beautiful bride!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Herb and Dijon Salmon

Ok this is a bad picture. It looks like chicken but I assure you it is not. It is but a delicious rosemary, thyme and dijon salmon filet. So good and so simple!! We ate it with rice and mixed vegetables.

I am into anything with whole grain mustard right now!

3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon pepper

1 1/4 lbs salmon filets, skin removed, cut into 4 equal pieces

4 Tablespoons whole grain dijon mustard

Mix rosemary, thyme and pepper in a small bowl.

In a large frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat.

Spread 1 tablespoon mustard on the top of each salmon filet. Top with some herb mixture. Press down lightly to adhere herbs to mustard.

Place fish in hot frying pan, herb side up, and cook until done, about 15 minutes. Just keep a close eye on the filets so they don't get too crispy. You may want to cover them too while they cook. You can flip the fish for the last few minutes of cooking to cook the top as well.

This can also be done on a hot grill. Just spray the bottom of the filets with cooking spray before grilling. Grill herb side down for about 12 minutes.

From Weight Watchers Online

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Take on Tacos

Last night we tried a new twist on tacos. I just love tacos and could eat them once a week with no complaints. Adam, on the other hand, while he will eat them, doesn't like them so often. So I found a recipe that mixed things up a bit and we really liked it!

Introducing Chili Tacos!..


1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb ground beef

1 envelope taco seasoning

a dash of chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

store bought taco shells, heated to package directions

shredded cheddar cheese

sour cream

taco sauce

any other taco toppings you enjoy

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook til soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 more minutes. Add the beef and cook until done. Add the taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, tomato sauce, and kidney beans. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Now build your tacos with the chili meat mix and toppings of your choice!

I really like that this is more filling with the beans and you can add the tomato element without a fresh tomato because while I like just a little tomato with my tacos, I can't eat the entire tomato.

Adapted from Weight Watchers Online.