Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cookies & Zuppa Toscana.

Okay! So the other day I made vanilla chocolate chip cupcakes... my hubby said they were the best cupcake he's ever had! I didn't come up with the recipe myself, but it still made me suuupper duper happy :)
Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.Preheat oven to 350°F Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of milk, beating until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 23 to 28 minutes or until golden and tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.
5. Top cooled cupcakes with favorite frosting.

Bailey's been sleeping in her crib for most of the night ( I bring her in bed with us in the middle of the night for a few hrs and then back into the crib around 6:30 or 7am for another couple hrs) for the past few nights! She started by taking naps in there, and now she always naps in there and actually seems to like it.. wahoo!
For dinner tonight I made a copy-cat version of my husband's favorite soup: Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden! I got the idea from my lovely fried Brie (click her name to got to her awesome blog!), but used a slightly different recipe... I also cut it in half, but I'm posting the original recipe. I also used spicy italian turkey sausage and turkey bacon, and red potatoes instead of what's listed below :)

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
Ingredients (from here):
1 lb. Italian Sausage
2 large Russet Baking Potatoes sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
1 large Onion, chopped
1/2 can. Real Bacon bits
2 cloves garlic minced
2 C. Kale
2 (14.5 ounce) cans Chicken Broth
1 qt. Water
1 C. Heavy Whipping Cream

Directions (from here):
1. Saute Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
2. In the same pan, saute bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
3. Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
4. Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
5. Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
6. Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My "Chicken Artichoke Heart Spinach Pizza Pocket"

I'm pretty bad at blogging every day, I've already said that a couple times I'm sure :) So, since my last post Bailey had her 4 month appointment and she is still in about the 50th percentile for both height and length. She was 14lbs 4 oz and 24 1/2 inches long! Doctor suggested starting to feed her baby oatmeal mixed with baby prunes every other day... so we did that night (03-08-2011) and she loved it! We also got her ears pierced on 03-09-2011... I was kind of traumatized for a bit haha but they look cute and she doesn't even know they're there so it turned out fine :) Last night for dinner I tried to make a kind of pizza pocket thing with crescent rolls. I'll post below the "recipe" but I didn't use exact measurements, so I'll just put what I used and if you like the idea you can try something similar :) Oh, I also decided to post days 7-12 in one picture!
7. Most treasured: my family; husband, daughter, parents, brother, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc... 8. A picture that makes me laugh: Darth Sidious and the Pope haha! 9. A picture of someone who has gotten me through the most: My parents, and now for the past couple years my husband! 10. Someone who I've done the most messed up stuff with: my best friend Nicole, haha! 11. Something I hate: first thing that came to mind was brussel sprouts lol 12. Something I love: elephants - they're so beautiful!

My "Chicken Artichoke Heart Spinach Pizza Pocket"
Ingredients & estimations:
1 chicken breast, boneless and skinless
olive oil
1/4 of a big red onion
about 2 tbsp minced garlic
handful of baby spinach leaves
about 5 artichoke heart chunks (I used Kirkland's)
at least 1 cup of cheese (I used mozzarella and a little cheddar)
about 2 tbsp of ranch dressing (I used Hidden Valley)
salt, pepper & Italian seasoning to taste
1 can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

- Cut chicken breast into cubes and put in frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.
- Chop onion into little wedges, and add that plus the minced garlic to the frying pan.
- While chicken, onions and garlic are cooking chop up the artichoke hearts into smaller pieces and place in a small mixing bowl.
- Grate cheese and add to bowl.
- Add Ranch, salt, pepper & seasonings to bowl and mix it all together.
- Add spinach leaves to the frying pan right before the chicken is done.
- Once cooked, add the chicken mixture to the mixing bowl and stir all ingredients together.
- Roll the crescent roll dough into 2 circles, flatten them out as much as you can.
- Add mixture to half of the dough and fold the other half over top of it - it'll look like a half circle.
- Put the "pizza pockets" on greased cookie sheet and bake in oven on 350 for about 20 minutes - the dough will start to brown.

Okay - I hope my instructions weren't too hard to understand! Any questions please just leave me a comment, and please leave one if you try this (or something similar) out!

Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

30 day picture challenge...

... 6 days late! A lot of my friends have been doing this on facebook, but I decided to blog it instead :)
Day One:
1. I'm 22 years old.
2. I married my best friend on 6/29/2009.
3. My baby girl was born in November 2010.
4. I have a dog named Wilbur, she's half Jack Russell/half Yorkshire.
5. I love the color green!
6. NCIS is my favorite show :)
7. I lived in Florida for over 6 months.
8. I have one younger brother.
9. My parents have been married for 22 years.
10. I'm a Christian, non-denominational.

Day Two: Katrina! We've been best friends since she was 9 and I was 8. We grew up next door to each other, and no matter how much time between us talking we always start back where we left off. She's in the Army & is currently stationed in Afghanistan, and I miss her a ton! :( This was us in June 2009.

Day Three: NCIS is my favorite show!

Day Four: My favorite night: The night Bailey Grace was born! November 5, 2010 @ 6:34 p.m.

Day Five: This is from my first year going on the family houseboat trip... It's one of my favorite memories and since we never had a real wedding, I thought I would use this one! It was a couple weeks before we got married, we were so happy and excited and it was so much fun! June 2009.

Day Six: If I could trade places with someone for the day it would be Cote de Pablo... I didn't think too hard about this one, just thought I should pick someone from NCIS haha. She plays Ziva David, so I think it'd be awesome to get to go to the set :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

One Third of the Year Old...

Some of Bailey's 4 months old pictures! She's been teething pretty bad today, and was pretty fussy most of the day so I'm going to try to get some more tomorrow.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Today Bailey got a "Bounce Bounce Baby"! It's pretty cute, and she seems to like it so far :) She's a tiny bit too short though, her feet don't lay quite as flat as they're supposed to so she probably won't use it all the time just yet... But, she LOVES standing or sitting and we figured it was time to get one. If you couldn't tell, I'm pretty excite!! I'll have to add a picture tomorrow... She also got a little Dumbo stuffed animal - she's so sweet sleeping right now so I thought I'd share a pic (Mom's a little elephant crazy for those of you who couldn't tell haha).
Aunt Cami left today... she was here Wednesday - Friday. We had a lot of fun! Didn't do a whole lot, but it was good to see her and for Bailey to finally meet her :) We had a nice walk at the beach yesterday, Bailey hadn't been to that beach since she was about 2 weeks old with Savta (Grandma)! Today is also my cousin Sarah's birthday :) I miss her a ton and am sad I couldn't be there with her today... We had a lot of fun growing up together making up various creative (but kind of crazy) games haha. Tonight for dinner I made spaghetti with hot Italian sausage - Aj's favorite kind lol. It was yummy & I was happy to see him getting seconds... really wasn't a specific recipe, but it was: tomato sauce, hot Italian sausage, onions, garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, and olives, and a few different seasonings on wheat noodles with Texas Toast (also one of Aj's favorites).

^ At Sarah's wedding :)
Really need to keep up with this blogging thing... Bailey's 4 months old tomorrow! I can't believe how fast time has flown by :( She's already 1/3 of a year old - so crazy! I am sad that I will never have these moments back with her, but even more excited about her growing up and our future together. I'll take some pictures of her tomorrow and hopefully post them too!
Thanks for reading :)