' November 2011 - Sisters, What!

Applewood Bacon & Eggs Breakfast Flatbread

This is a super creative breakfast recipe that I discovered. Now I will give you the whole recipe but I did make some of my own person changes. 
Roasted Cinnamon Candied Bacon:
6 slices thick-cut applewood bacon
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons McCormick® Gourmet Collection Roasted Saigon Cinnamon
Breakfast Flatbread:
1 package (8.8 ounces) naan (2 pieces)
1 package (6 ounces) baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
6 eggs
McCormick® Gourmet Collection Black Pepper, Coarse Grind (optional)

1. For the Candied Bacon, preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange bacon slices in single layer on foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes or until bacon edges begin to curl. Remove pan from oven. Carefully drain drippings into glass measuring cup. Set aside. Microwave honey and roasted cinnamon in small microwavable bowl on HIGH 30 seconds, stirring after 15 seconds. Brush bacon with honey mixture. Bake 10 minutes longer or until bacon is browned and crisp. Carefully drain any additional drippings into measuring cup. Cool bacon on wire rack. Break into bite-size pieces. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. 

2. Cut out 3 holes from each naan using 2-inch cookie cutter. Place naan on baking sheet sprayed with no stick cooking spray. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon drippings in large skillet on medium heat. Add spinach; cook and stir 2 minutes or until wilted. Remove from heat. Add bacon and 1/4 cup of the cheese; mix well. Place spinach mixture evenly around holes on naan. Sprinkle spinach with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Place 1 egg in each hole, taking care not to break the yolk.

3. Bake 10 minutes or until egg whites are almost set. Remove from oven. Let stand 2 minutes. Cut each naan into 3 pieces to serve. Season to taste with pepper, if desired.
So the changes I made were I did not add the cinnamon or honey to the bacon, I also didn't have any Gruyere cheese so I just sprinkled some cheddar cheese on top. It was really easy to make and is delicious!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ask anyone in my family since I was a small child I have loved bell peppers. My mom used to have to stop me from eating them straight out of the garden. So ever since I started getting into cooking I have wanted to make Stuffed Bell Peppers. The recipe is super delicious and easy to make! 
6 large red or green peppers, rinsed
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1 1/4 cups chicken or beef broth
3/4 cup diced tomato (fresh or canned)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus a little extra for garnish
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 cups of your favorite tomato sauce

 We added probably 2 more cups of rice because it looked like it was pure meat. In the end it was a good decision and we put it in only 3 bell peppers where the recipe calls for 6 so depending on how much meat or rice you want you can make the call.

It may not look super appetizing but I promise you it is delicious. Even if you want to just make the filling it would be great in burritos!


Classic Apple Pie

Thanksgiving is next week. If you are like me then you are busy planning your Thanksgiving Feast. If you are also like me then the most important part of the meal is the desert. Yes, the turkey (or ham), mashed potatoes, rolls and stuffing are delish but what would a Thanksgiving meal be without a beautiful apple pie?

Now we all know that the apple pie starts with the apple. I know there is some serious opinion out there about what apples to use or not use when making the pie. I am here to tell you that with this recipe you cannot go wrong. Why? Well the apples are cooked before you add them to the pie so no matter what apple you use it bakes perfectly in the oven. Trust me, I have tried multiple kinds of apples and while the taste may change slightly, the pie is always yummy.

See...precooked and yummy.

Now I know you are asking how I made such a wonderful looking crust...I didn't! I use good old Pillsbury Pie Crust (in the freezer section at Costco now). The crust has always been the stressful point for me and I have never had a pie turn out well with a homemade crust (except when my good friend Shelly helped me make her fabulous crust) so when I found this recipe in Better Home and Garden one year and it said to use a store bought crust I jumped at the chance to try it and I have been making this pie ever since.

classic apple pie

1 package refrigerated rolled pie crusts

1/2 cup plus one tsp. sugar

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

3 Tbs. cornstarch

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

Pinch ground cloves

2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored*

2 pounds Fuji apples, peeled and cored*

2 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. lemon juice

1 Large egg, beaten with 1 Tbs. water


Heat oven to 400. Unroll on pie crust onto work surface. Roll out slightly with rolling pin to 12 inches. Fit into bottom and up side of a 9-inch deep-dish pit plate. Prick bottom of crust with fork;refrigerate while assembling filling.

In a small bowl, blend 1/2 cup of the sugar, the light-brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Set aside.

Cut apples into 1/2 inch pieces. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add apples, lemon juice and sugar mixture. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pan juices thicken. Cool for 25 minutes.

Pour cooled apple mixture into prepared crust-lined pie plate. Unroll second pie crust and roll out slightly to 12 inches. Cut 1-inch vent hole in center of dough. Transfer dough to pie, centering over filling. Crimp edge together and flute decoratively.

Brush pie with egg mixture; sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cover pie with foil if it browns too quickly. Cool at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

*I used Golden Delicious and Empire Apples. They seemed juicier but still good.

There you go folks. My fool proof apple pie. Try it. Let me know how it goes.

Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom sponsored by Cherokee USA, Le Creuset, Wilton,Bags by Bloom and Harvard Common Press



La Vita e bella - date night in Italy

Friday was 11-11-11, which meant I needed to do something really silly, really bizarre or really amazing. I chose to do all three. I decided the hubby and I were very much in need of an abnormal date. You know the kind you go on in college when you have no money and really want to impress your date? Yep, I bet the memories are flowing for many of you. So I took my hubby to Italy for one night. It was my sister who gave me the idea. She sent me a link to this blog the Dating Divas to a specific date about Italy, knowing we want to to there someday (she probably thought we needed some spicing up in our life ; ). Thus, I decided last minute on Thursday to make it happen for pretend. Even grownups can play make believe sometimes. 

Our Tickets
  I found this awesome website where they make fake tickets for any airline you want. You can enter in the passenger info, the date and destination. Pretty cool, right?
He didn't know we were even going on this little trip until he opened his lunch on Friday. He might have been a little confused by the random tickets, but he was pleasantly surprised when he got home.

I even made a ticket for Luke, but his destination was bed. Although, he somehow ended up going to dinner with us, that stinker. 

Our Italian Cuisine 
I made Macaroni Grill's rosemary bread via  here. So easy and delicious. And then I used Our Best Bites Cheese Garlic Bread recipe . Oh. My. Gosh. You must try; it's to die for!

for the main dish I made Olive Garden's Capellini Pomodoro
The easiest and most delicious dish ever. 
You need: 
Fresh Roma tomatoes (any kind work)
fresh or dry basil
minced garlic
Olive oil
and Angel hair or Capellini noodles

1. Heat up about 3-4 tbls of olive oil and add in the basil and garlic. 
2. Once the garlic is white add the tomatoes. Don't cook the tomatoes to long, just heat them until warm.
3. Then mix in with Capellini or Angel Hair noodles. 

Wala, super easy and delicious.

The Art Museum 
We both love art, so I went online and googled as many famous Italian artist I could think of and put together a little slide show of art with Italian music in the background. It was definitely not the real thing, but it was fun looking at some art together and pretend we were cultured and all. 

Our Entertainment
We were going to do some painting, but it was late and we were both tired. So we ended up just  watching Life is Beautiful. I got it last minute at the library that day, but was regretting it half way through the movie. You see, it used to be my favorite movie, but I haven't watched it for years. And being married and a mother now has really made it a terrible movie for me. 
Needless to say, we were both sobbing through the second half. I guess it's good to watch these type of movies every once and a while to realize all the blessings we have in our life. 

So there you have it. Our date to Italy. It was so fun to do something completely out of the ordinary and I think it caught hubby-bear off guard. I told him that it's his turn next, and I can't wait!


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pinterest sweatshirt refashion challenge - The Black Beauty

My sister challenged me(here) to do to a sweatshirt refashion as done below by Dee
Pinned Image
So, finally I hit up the local thrift store and by luck found a brand new extra large black sweatshirt. I didn't take any before pics, so you'll have to trust me on this one. Also, by more luck, Dee made it easy for me and recently posted a tutorial for her sweatshirt refashion. So, I guess I didn't figure it out by myself, but I'm totally cool with that. Beyond cool actually, because secretly i dreaded the idea. 

And on top of my luck, my sister Sierra came into town just as I was finishing it. Which meant, she had the honor of being my both awesome and awkward (awesomely awkward) model.
 And no one else could have made that sweatshirt look any cuter than she did. 
I think I'll call this sweater The Black Beauty
Below is a sneak peak of the skirt she made in a amateur photo shoot {by yours truly}. Yes you read that right, she made it. I'm determined to get her sewing, one step at a time. 
 She really is the best model. Love her! (stay tuned for more pics of the skirt)
I wish my sister could come visit me more often...actually I just wish I lived closer to her, and to the rest of my sisters and family. But alas, I'll take what I can get. 
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Colors of Autumn

Fall is such a beautiful time with all the variations of yellows, oranges and reds. We didn't want our halloween pumpkins go to waste, so we just added some beautiful foliage to the pumpkins. Happy Autumn!


Padawan Yoda

For Halloween, our little Lukester was Yoda. And let me tell you, it was the easiest costume to prepare! The hat took a couple of days, but if I was to just sit and do it, it probably would have only taken me a few hours. 
I did the base of the hat using this pattern. But you could probably use any hat pattern. To make it not itchy and warmer, I sewed in fleece lining, that way he can wear it all winter. As for the ears, well...let just say I winged it and I'm not sure how I did it. The I simply used a towel for the robe part and just sewed it with arms and tied a tie around it. So as I said super easy. 
He also happen to be 9 months around Halloween so we had to take some 9 month pics with this cute little pumpkin.

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