Friday, November 30, 2007

Splish! Splash!


What a wonderful sound to wake up and hear it raining. I was excited to see that it was raining this morning. We so desperately need a good rain but unfortunately this is no where near enough. I figured my drive to work would be worse this morning so I left a little bit early. Surprisingly traffic was actually great and I got to work extra early. According to it is only supposed to rain today and I will be stuck inside for the most of it. Booo! I wish I was at home in front of the window with a good book and a hot cup of tea!

Luckily it's Friday and the weekend is upon us. It will be another busy weekend for David and I, as tomorrow night we have my work Christmas party. I need to go after work to look for something to wear to the party. I was thinking about trying to find a black dress as I don't have one. Yes, you heard me I don't have the staple item of every women's wardrobe, the little black dress that every women should have! For one thing, I am not dress a person! When I do have to dress up which is on rare occasions, give me nice slacks and a nice top and heels any day over a dress! Normally, the only time I will wear a dress is to weddings and that's about it. We actually have 2 weddings coming up in the next few weeks and I should probably get a dress that is more suitable for a winter wedding, thus the black dress. We shall see what I find on my shopping excursion today. Don't be surprised if I just buy a new top to go with my slacks!

All this talk about the little black dress got me wondering. How many women actually have one hanging in their closet? According to my co-workers most women do and they were shocked to hear I didn't have one. Soo, my question is how many of you have the little black dress in your closet?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Decorating the Office

My co-workers and I decided that we were going to decorate our little room in the office. We went with a "Winter Wonderland" theme. I made tons of paper snowflakes. We hung them from the ceiling along with the ball ornaments in different shades of blue and also silver ones. I think it came out pretty well. I took a picture from my cell phone but since I don't have a snazzy IPhone the quality is pretty bad. I think you can still get the idea of what it looks like though.

I love making the paper snowflakes because they bring back so many childhood memories of Christmas and the snow. All through out grade school, each year we would make the paper snowflakes and I got pretty good at making them. I grew up in an area where when you woke up in the morning you immediately looked out the window to see if it had snowed while you were asleep. If it did you ran and turned on the radio and waited with your breath held to hear your schools name on the list of schools that had canceled class.

For me its not really Christmas unless it is cold and snowy. This is something that I struggle with because here in California it can be in the 80's and sunny on Christmas day. Hopefully, next year David and I will be able to spend it in Indiana with my parents and I can give him a tour of Chicago.
When I hear the word Christmas, I think about walking down the twinkling Michigan Ave(also called the Magnificent Mile) in Chicago along with all the other shoppers with their big shopping bags while passing carolers on the sidewalk. You stop to look at all the window displays decorated for Christmas and you can see your breath in the air. Everyone is bundled up warm with their cute gloves and scarfs while sipping their hot coffee or hot chocolate. Hmmmm, what great memories!

So since you have heard about some of my favorite memories, what is one of your favorite memories of the holidays? Blog about it or leave a comment.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My little curious friend

Whatever I do while at home I am always being followed by our two kitties. They watch me get dressed, brush my teeth, cook and clean. Cali's favorite is to watch me wash dishes. Now Ella isn't as interested in what I do as Cali, but when she does she gets a little more involved.

See below a picture of her in my kitchen cabinets. Now these aren't the cabinets down near the ground. Nope, these are the high ones!

So Cali won't be jealous here is a picture of her.


So I know I am a little late to be posting about Thanksgiving, but David and I have been so very busy. The four days off from work were great. I was sad when the alarm went off on Monday morning.

Anyways, I started the holiday off by heading to the grocery store the night before Thanksgiving. I braved the grocery store throngs and picked up everything I needed for Friday. Stater Brothers was so very busy with people. They had every check out open, so my wait in line was actually not that long. I went home and made a pumpkin pie and Double Layer Cheese Cake. The cheesecake was delicious. I didn't take any pictures, so I might make it again so I can write up an official post about it. On TG day, we went to Mimi's for lunch with David's family and I would say the food was average and the wait was long. Everyone else enjoyed it but it's not my cup of tea. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful as David was filming his last race in Irwindale. :(

On Friday morning, we woke up at 8:30 which is quite early for us. We got ready and headed out to get our Christmas tree. We stopped at McDonald's for breakfast as it is right next to Home Depot. I got an Egg Mcmuffin and an orange juice. I'm not a big breakfast fan but I love Egg McMuffin's! Since it was still early, we were one of the first few people to go through the trees at Home Depot and had first dibs on the ones. The hubs is pretty particular about the kind of tree he gets. He will only have a Noble Fir which of course is the most expensive kind. I am kinda glad he is picky because growing up my parents would never spend the extra money to get a Noble.

After getting the tree and setting it up, the LSU & Arkansas game came on. Both of David's brothers came over along with his dad to watch the game. It was such an amazing game and I can't believe that Arkansas actually won it in overtime. When they won the guys were screaming and jumping in the air. It was quite amusing. After the game, I decorated the tree while listening to Christmas music and the turkey cooked. When dinner was ready everyone came back over including Melissa and Davids mom. This was my first turkey so I was glad that it came out really good. I really had no clue what I was doing, hehe.

Picture of me in my tiny kitchen

The spread: very simple but oh so good.

The mashed potatoes were amazing. I used two whole sticks of butter, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and Monterrey jack cheese. Yumm!

Well this is getting long so I will post pictures of the tree and decorations in another blog.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hustle and Bustle of the Holidays

I am getting excited about the holidays, especially since this is our first real Christmas since getting married. The hubs are I are going to be extremely busy this year. We have lots of Christmas parties to go to and having one of our own. We also decided to do a Christmas movie night. Starting after Thanksgiving, each Thursday till Christmas we are going to watch a different Christmas movie. We have invited friends and family to join us as well. Here are the movies we are going to be watching.

I would have to say my favorite Christmas movie is a tie between Christmas Vacation and Elf. What's your favorite Christmas movie?

Our Christmas party we are having is a "Tacky Sweater" theme. We are going to go caroling, watch the Disney movie Snowball Express and have a contest for the tackiest sweater. We are also going to have wassail which I love. It's one of my favorite things about Christmas. It's so good!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am a little sad because we are going to go Mimi's for lunch with David's family. Not exactly my idea of Thanksgiving, but we don't have enough room in our place to host it and because of other circumstances. It's a long story. David also has to work that evening. Booo! Anyways, we decided that I would make a small turkey on Friday for dinner. Friday morning, we are going to go get the Christmas tree! Mid morning David and his brothers are going to watch the LSU vs. Arkansas game. They are big Razorback fans along with also rooting for USC. What I think I am most looking forward to is officially being able to listen to Christmas music, decorate the tree and you can't forget having two days off from work. Wohoo!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cinnamon Rolls


These are semi home made cinnamon rolls, that I made by using Pillsbury's Hot Roll Mix. One of the girls on the What's Cooking board, on the made these one day and they sounded good, so I figured I would give it a try. I call it semi home made because you still have to kneed the dough and let it rise. I am not experienced in any way when it comes to rolls or bread. I once tried to make pretzels and they were a flop. Ever since then, I have kinda stayed away from making anything bread related. I had a lot of fun making this and they came out really well except the box states they need to bake for 20 to 30 min and at 15 minutes mine were already darker brown. As for making these again, I might not as I personally thought they tasted like the premade kind in the pop can and those are much less work. I am just going to post pictures as the recipe is on the side of the box. Overall, I am glad I made them though and I am considering taking a stab at making some bread. You just might see a bread recipe on here soon!

Here is the dough after I rolled it out and sprinkled on the cinnamon and sugar.

Ready to go into the oven.

2 Forms of Cute: Babies & Clothes

I have been slacking in the blogging department lately. One, I didn't cook that much last week and two I have just been lazy. First off, Melissa had her baby almost two weeks ago. I have been bad aunt by not blogging about my new nephew sooner. Jackson was born on November 7th and was 7 pounds and 12 ounces.

Here is a picture of my hubby holding Jackson at the hospital. For more pictures you can read Melissa's blog.

Proud Uncle and Dad

On Saturday, David and I got lunch at Nordstroms Cafe. We both got the Lime & Cilantro Chicken Salad. Very good! We then went shopping for some winter clothes as I realized the other day that I barely have any. We stopped by the new H&M store at the Riverside Mall. Oh boy, they have some cute clothes and such great prices! They took over the old Alley store and have women's, men's and children's clothes. I got a new sweater and two new shirts. I definitely need to go back though because as we were walking out, I saw the most adorable cardigans!

Friday, November 16, 2007

6 Years!

6 years ago today David and I started dating! I know since we are married now we aren't supposed to celebrate our dating anniversary anymore, but I figured I would post some pictures of the two of us through our journey! I seriously can't believe that we have know each other that long. It has gone by so quickly. I look back at some of the pictures when we first got together and I am amazed at how young I look. I forget sometimes that I was 19 years old when we met. So here are some pictures. Enjoy!

Please excuse the quality as some of these photos were taken before we had a digital camera.

This one was taken about a month after we met.

We took a trip back to Indiana to see my parents and we visited Chicago as well. David was very excited to go to a Cubs game!

Lake Michigan

Our 1 year anniversary: We went to Santa Barbara

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Chicken Tortilla Soup


This is another recipe that I can check of my list. I had been craving it for awhile and decided that I wanted to try and make it myself. I made a couple of variations and it came out great.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Source: Tyler Florence on the
Yield: 4 servings

2 tbls olive oil
1 medium white onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 roma tomatoes, chopped and seeded
2 cans of Rotele tomatoes
4 cans of reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups of water from boiling chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
Canola oil, for pan-frying
8 corn tortillas, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips (I used flour tortillas)
1 1/2 cups boiled and shredded chicken (about 3 chicken breasts)
2 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced (optional)
1 cup shredded Jack cheese (optional)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
1 lime, cut in wedges, for serving (optional)


In a large pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Cook over medium heat, stirring for 15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked down and pulpy. While vegetables are cooking, boil chicken breasts in 4 cups of chicken broth over medium high heat for about 10 min until thoroughly cooked. Once done, pour the liquid into the vegtables. Shred the chicken and then add to the vegetables. Add 2 cups of water, season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1-inch of canola oil in a skillet over medium. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until they are crisp on all sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined platter and sprinkle with salt while they are still hot.

Pour soup into 4 soup bowls. Top with the diced avocado and fried tortilla strips and cheese if using. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


I have been dying to make something with pumpkin as I have read some many great food blogs with recipes that look amazing. This afternoon, I felt like baking and decided that I would finally make this recipe I saw on my friend Courtney's blog. I decided I would make as cupcakes so they would be easy to take to work as there is no way the hubby and I could eat all of these ourselves. I also wanted a little bit of chocolate in them. I considered just adding chips to the batter but decided against it as the recipe already seemed pretty rich. I put only a couple of chocolate chips on the tops of the batter before popping them into the oven. They came out so good! Once you put the frosting on you don't see the chocolate chips so its nice little surprise when you bite into them. I gave one to David to try and the first thing out of his mouth was, "Are you trying to kill me". :) Also, I got to use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this recipe! I don't use it enough but when I do I love it!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Source: Courtney
Yield: dozen and half

2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
1 cup of oil
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin
2 cups of flour
2 tsp of cinnamon ( I did 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of pumpkin spice)
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt

Cream sugar and eggs together, then add oil and pumpkin and mix together. Sift all dry ingredients together and add gradually into pumpkin mixture. Pour into greased cupcake pan. Add some chocolate chips to the tops of the cupcakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until knife comes out clean from center.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz of cream cheese (I used fat free cream cheese
1/2 cup of butter
4 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla (I used 2 tsp.)
Cream butter and cream cheese together with a mixer. Add in gradually the powdered sugar. Add vanilla. When cupcakes are cool, frost with frosting.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Chicken Sour Cream Enchiladas


In my little room at work, I share this space with two wonderful women, Patsy and Janet. I am consistently prying their minds on how to make authentic Mexican dishes. On one occasion, we discussed cooking Mexican rice and I decided I would go home and make it. Well, lets just say even with their advice it didn't come out very well. I don't do rice, never have and thus the reason I have never blogged about it! The other day, we were discussing enchiladas and they looked me like I was nuts when I said I had never made them. I knew right then that was the next thing I had to try and make. They looked pretty easy and I didn't think I would be able to mess them up. David loves enchiladas especially his moms recipe. I would have asked for her's but she has been up in Oregon helping his grandparents, as they have been sick. So, I resorted to my good ole friend the Internet. I knew he liked his enchiladas creamy and with green chilies and I found this recipe on The recipe was really easy and David loved them. He said they very close to his moms so that made the recipe even better. I made some modifications and they are included in the recipe below.

Chicken Sour Cream Enchiladas
Source: Southern Living
Yield: 6 servings

1/2 medium onion
1 tbls of olive oil or spray pan with Pam
2 cups of chopped chicken
1 (16-ounce) carton of sour cream
4 cups (16 ounces) of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
3 (4.5-ounce) cans if diced green chilies
1 1/4 cups of milk
2 tbls of flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium, pan cook onion and chicken over medium high heat for about 5 minutes.

In medium bowl stir together chicken and onion mixture, 1/2 cup sour cream, and 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese. Spoon the chicken mixture evenly on one end of each tortilla, and roll up. Place tortillas seam down in a lightly greased 13 by 9 baking dish.

Whisk together 2 of the canned green chilies, milk, and flour in a saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add remaining 2 1/2 cups cheese and stir constantly, until cheese is melted. Pour sauce over the top of enchiladas. Spread remaining sour cream over sauce.

Bake enchiladas at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly. Drain remaining can of green chilies, and spread evenly on top of enchiladas.


I can't believe I am sick again! In the last 6 months this is third time I have gotten sick. I have heard from several people that the first year you are married, you will get sick more often than normal. I told this to David but he then said it wasn't true because he hasn't been sick at all the entire time we have been married. Whatever!

I was feeling stuffy on Thursday and David said I needed to stay home from work the next day. I never stay home from work unless I am dying or throwing up. Well, that entire night I was coughing up a storm and didn't sleep. Friday morning came around and I felt like I was dying. I like to be stubborn and I really wanted to go to work to prove him wrong but I felt too sick. So, I slept almost all day. I was hoping that by sleeping all day, I would kick this cold in the butt. Well, I feel basically the same so Zicam has become my best friend. I just hate having to spend such a wonderful weekend inside. Hopefully, tomorrow I will feel somewhat better and can enjoy part of the weekend. Until then, I can catch up on my reading!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween at Disneyland


David and I have had passes to Disneyland off and on the last couple of years. While planning the wedding we did not have them and we missed going so much. Thankfully our good friends the A's bought us passes as a wedding present. This was the best present we received! I had never been though to Disneyland when it was decorated for Halloween. I can't believe I had never been considering how much I love fall. It is my favorite season, well I love fall in the midwest. Not the fall we get here in Ca! That's another whole topic. We went to Disneyland on two different occasions in Oct with friends from church. Basically we had a blast. The first time we had a scavenger hunt which was so much fun! The second time we just hung out and tried to hit as many rides as we could, which we don't normally do. Any pass holder knows you can always come back and ride the rides when there is no one at the park. It was great to change it up a bit. So here are some photos of our two adventures.

Our list of questions we had to complete for the scavenger hunt

One of the scavenger hunt tasks was to take a picture of our group in each of the cars in toon town.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup


I love this recipe! I have made it several times for friends and family and everyone has loved it. It is perfect for a cool fall or even cold winter evening. It takes a little while to make but oh so worth it. I have caught a cold and I thought soup would be perfect for dinner. When I heard that Melissa was sick as well, we invited her and Troy over to join us for dinner. Anyways, I don't make any variations on the recipe, except I do not blend the mixture as I like the broccoli to be chunky.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Source: Emeril Lagasse on the
Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Weight Watchers: 10 points per serving

3 tbls of unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup of yellow onions or sliced leeks (use only the bottom white part)
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of ground pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp of chopped garlic
1/2 tsp of chopped fresh thyme or 1/8 tsp of dried
3 tbls of flour
3 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed & separated or 2 to 3 cups of fresh
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 1/4 cups of shredded medium Cheddar

In a medium pot, melt 3 tbls of butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook until soft about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme. Stir frequently for 20 seconds while it cooks. Add the flour and stir until throughly mixed for about 3 minutes. Slowly add chicken broth while whisking constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened for about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for 10 minutes until tender.

This next step I do not follow as I want the soup to be chunky. If you like yours more smoother follow this next step.

Remove the pot from heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender or blend in blender.

Add the cream and barely bring to a simmer. Then add the cheese and lower heat till the cheese is melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter. Stir until it is mixed throughly.

I forgot to add that I use leeks instead of onion. I find it has a milder flavor then the onion and goes better in cream soups. Just my opinion though. Try it yourself.



Bliss ~ Félicité Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved Baby Blog Designed by Ipietoon | All Image Presented by Online Journal