May 9, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

I’m a Pinterest stalker!

Ok, so stalker is a strong word. Let me explain. One of my best friends is in the hospital. She is pregnant and at 20 weeks she found out her baby girl has spina bifida. So she is at a hospital awaiting the birth of her daughter on bed rest. She needs someone to be with her 24/7 and everyone in her life is taking a turn. So for the next few days I get to spend time with her and take care of her. It feels really good to be able to do this for her. So to explain why I am a Pinterest Stalker. I wanted to make a treat for her to lift her spirits. So I made her cookies that she pinned on her Pinterest page so I know she would like them. Well she loved them and the proof was an empty container that held these delightful treats.

These treats are called Strawberries & Cream Cookies. I changed a few things from the original recipe from http://lilluna.com/strawberries-n-cream-pudding-cookies/.

Here is recipe:

Ingredients:

2 softened sticks of butter
1/2 packet of strawberry jello (or any other flavor)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 package vanilla pudding
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 16 oz package of white chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat the softened butter, 1 cup sugar, jello, eggs, and vanilla until creamed.
3. In a separate bowl combine flour, pudding, baking soda, and salt.
4. Mix butter mixture with dry ingredients slowly until combined.
5. Fold in chocolate chips.
6. Spoon cookie dough about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Makes about 60 cookies.

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May 2, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Mini BLT’s appetizers

So I love, love, love, BLT’s. It’s a bit of a problem sometimes. So when I was told to bring an appetizer to a party I had BLT’s on the brain and I thought well someone has to have a recipe out there for mini BLT’s. So I went searching. I found small sandwiches but nothing small enough. So then I found a recipe for tomatoes stuffed with BLT fixings. But the sauce was way to intensive and I just doesn’t have that kind of time. So I said I would make my own version. Here is what I came up with and I think they turned out great. I guess the party will be the true test.

Mini BLT Appetizers

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2 pints of cherry tomatoes (the larger the better)
8 slices of bacon
1/2 a cup of Argula leaves
1 cup herb aioli (recipe below)

Herbed Aoili
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsps chopped fresh dill
2 tbsps chopped fresh basil
3 minced garlic cloves
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine aioli ingredients mix well. Refridgerate for at least one hour.

3. Lay bacon on a sheet tray and cook for about ten minutes until its perfectly crispy. (I put a cooling rack on the baking sheet to help crisp the bacon without it sitting in the bacon grease.)

4. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and using a paring knife very carefully cut out the seeds and membrane from the tomatoes to leave a hollow center. Cut a small sliver off the bottom of the tomatoes so it will stand up straight up on your serving platter.

5. Crumbled the bacon and place a 1/2 of a teaspoon in each tomato.

6. Push a small piece of Argula into each tomatoe.

7. Top with about a 1 teaspoon of the herbed aioli.

8. Top the tomatoes with the remaining bacon.

This makes about 40 tomatoes. They can be made up to 1 day in advance Enjoy!

Mar 25, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

All for the love of a dog

So today was my official first day of my staycation. I have so much to do and of course it snows. So for now I’m stuck inside with nothing to do but play with Wyatt and surf the web. Because of my addiction to TV I have nothing on my DVR and I refuse to start watching one more show. So I became nostalgia thinking of snow days when I was young and my Mom would bake. Well I am on a diet and do not need any sweet treats for myself. Tim and Wyatt have plenty of Easter candy to eat so they need no extra cookies or cake. So I look around and see my dog sitting on the couch being good as can be and I think when was the last time she had a treat. A real dog treat; it must be months. Now don’t feel too bad for Lucy she gets plenty of treats (people food-chicken scrapes etc.) But about a year ago I found out through couponing blogs that some of the dog treat manufactures were using ingredients that could be harmful to dogs. So i decided to start making my own homemade dog treats. They were cheaper and Lucy loved them.

Garlic Dog Treats
5-6 Cups wheat flour
1 egg
2 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp parsley
1 1/2 cups broth
1 pk dry yeast (made according to make package)
Vegetable oil Spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix all ingredients except flour in a large bowl.
3. Gradually add flour until it forms a dough ball. I usually cut the dough into 4 smaller balls and knead for 1 minute. Roll out to 1/4 inch and cut into whatever shape you would like to use. I used a dog bone shape. =) Spray cooking sheet with vegetable oil and lay about 1/2 inch apart.
4. Bake for 20 minutes turn over and bake another 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and let your pup enjoy.

Feb 13, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Jackie’s Awesome Bucket List

OK so I know this is a little late but i think I need to start my official Bucket List. I am going to add to this post as I think about things. So here are the things I want to do before I die in no particular order.

1. See the Northern Lights
2. Help build a house for someone in need (i will try my best)
3. Visit the Pyramids in Egypt
4. Eat in a French Pastry shop in France with my Mom
5. Ski Drive (as I get old the scarier this is)
6. Participate in a Marathon
7. Open my own Tea House
8. Go to Ireland and drink a Guinness
9. Get my entire back covered in tattoos of all the constellations (At least the ones I can fit)
10. Volunteer in a soup kitchen
11. Compete in a cooking contest
12. Take a Gondola ride
13. Travel on a train
14. Meet my family in Italy
15. Take a road trip to the Grand Canyon.
16. Be an extra in a movie.
17. Attempt to go Skiing (try not to break my leg)
18. Milk a cow
19. Have tea in England
20. Go to a music festival and camp. (Tickets bought help Firefly here we come.)

Well I’m tired and need to go to sleep but I will add more later. I think that’s a good start. =)

Feb 10, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Super Bowl XLVLL Champions

So I am a huge Ravens fan which makes sense since I live in b-more. I couldn’t be more excited than when the Ravens won the Super Bowl. I mean we were the ultimate underdogs. No one was counting on us winning the Super Bowl. We I have one thing to say to all those people. SUCK IT!!!

Ok so now that I got that out of my system. I want to kind of give a play by play of the Super Bowl party we hosted at our house. We had my best friends Jenn, Kate, Tim, and Mike over to celebrate. I think we have watched the Super Bowl together for at least 5 years or or more. Maybe not always all of us together but some variation. Anyway, my husband Tim was also in attendance as well as my son Wyatt (aka Party Baby). We had tons of food- wings, spinach dip, chips and dips, hot buffalo sandwiches, French onion soup sliders, chili, and pumpkin bread with salted caramel drizzle. Of course a fridge full of booze from beer, wine, purple jell-o shots, and champagne. Had I known we would be celebrating as many touch downs as we had I would have made more jell-o shots. But the wine worked.

The game was going well into half time we had a lead of 14 to 3. We were minutes into the 3rd quarter and boom lights out. During the more than half hour break we were all getting a little testy about how is would affect the game. Lights back on and game resumed like normal. Then the 49er’s started their comeback and I started bitting my nails. But I still had faith my boys were going to win! So with the score 34-29 the ravens were winning but the 49er’s were not giving up. They didn’t make any points and the ravens got the ball back. Then instead of kicking the ball we wasted 7 seconds and ran it of bounds. This does give the 49ers 2 points so now the score is 34-31 ahhhh nails are in bad shape. So all we needed to do was punt and make sure the 49ers didn’t have time to run all the way down the field and score. That’s exactly what my boys did. The time ran out as we tackled the 49ers and the Ravens win their 2nd Super Bowl. Great game played by all but my Ravens played better.

It’s been a few days since the big win and this town is still buzzing over the win. The stadium which holds roughly 70,0000 held more than 100,000 people in it on Tuesday and thousands more lined the streets to welcome back our Team and Champions. My boys the Ravens! Until next year. What do I do on Sundays now?

Jan 30, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

My recipe for Chicken Pho Soup

I remember my first Pho experience. I had never really eaten Vietnamese food before and was a little scared. But my boyfriend at the time (husband now) said it was good so I trusted him. So he told me to order Chicken Pho which he described as a really big bowl of yummy soup. I got my huge bowl of soup with soup fixings. It’s basically a make it yourself. You get this large bowl of broth and add in cooked sliced chicken, noodles, cilantro, basil, lime juice, bean sprouts, jalapeños, etc. I threw it all in and added this wonderful Thai hot sauce called Sriracha? Now if you love hot stuff please try this it will change your world. Anyways I was addicted to Pho and Vietnamese springs after that. I will get to the spring rolls another time. I thought I would try and make Pho at home to see if it turned out. The first few times it seemed like I was missing something. But the recipe below is the closest I can get to the actual thing. So I hope you enjoy.

Vietnamese Chicken Pho Soup

Ingredients

1 lb. cooked sliced chicken breast
8 cups chicken broth
1 clove minced garlic
2 cloves
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger
8 ounces of sliced mushrooms
2 limes (one for juicing and one for garnish)
1 jalapeño slices
1 bunch green onion
Hoisin sauce
Vermicelli rice noodles
Bag of bean sprouts
Cilantro
Basil leaves
Sriracahi Thai sauce

1. Put 8 cups of broth in a large stock pot and bring to boil. Add garlic, cloves, cinnamon, fish sauce, ginger, mushrooms, juice of one lime, whites of green onions and bring to boil. Cook for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add chicken and cook for another 5 minutes.
2. Prepare noodles by package directions. (usually I put them in boiling water turn off the heat and let them sit for 2-3 minutes.
3. Put noodles and chicken soup in a bowl top with green onion tops, jalapeño, sprouts, cilantro, basil, hoisin (2 tbsps or more), wedges of lime, and srirachai (optional) all of these garnishes are optional but I love them all.
Serves 4.

Enjoy!

Jan 20, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

My first ever Pinterest Party

So about two months ago a friend and I were at brunch. We were talking about how we pin so much on Pinterest and make only a small amount of our pins. So we thought maybe throwing a Pinterest Party would help not just us but friends make crafts/recipes/etc. So my friend Abby and I put the word out to see if our friends would be interested. Honestly I didn’t think many people would come. But we had a nice group of about 10 or so ladies who really wanted to partake.

For the party I made 5 different recipes I had wanted to try and they for the most part turned out pretty nice. Here are the recipes I made:

The Salty Chihuahua

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/drinks/healthy-choices/low-calorie-drinks/?page=7

All of the ladies loved these. Watch out they sneak up on you. =)

Bang Bang Shrimp Recipe

http://fakeginger.com/2011/10/02/bang-bang-shrimp/

These were great!! They taste just like the ones from the restaurant. I love spicy things and these were mild to me. Next time I will kick up the heat. But wonderful recipe all around.

“Fried” Pickles

http://www.thevanillatulip.com/2011/11/cilantro-garlic-ranch-fried-pickles-and.html?m=1

These were super easy to make. Next time I will make these on a cookie sheet with a rack in it so the bottoms get toasted too. The bottoms were a little soggy. The sauce was good I didn’t have buttermilk so I used 2% milk and a little sour cream. It turned out great but was very garlicy. Next time I will use less garlic. If you like pickles this recipe is for you.

Orzo Salad

http://www.fortheloveofcooking.net/2011/07/mediterranean-orzo-salad-with-grilled.html

I thought this dish was very refreshing and light. The feta and the veggies had this salty and sweet combination that worked very well together. SInce it’s January I wasn’t going to grill the veggies, but I roasted them and they were delicious. The olives I left off to the side since most people don’t like olives. I love olives and put them in mine serving. They added a little too much salt so I would leave them out or don’t add salt to the orzo or veggies. I also didn’t use all of the vinegarette. I will make this againg. It would be a great summer dish too.

Strawberry Almond Shortbread Cookies

http://www.dulcedough.com/2012/05/raspberry-almond-shortbread-thumbprint.html

These cookies didn’t turn out the way I thought they would. They cracked really bad when I was pressing them and the filling bubbled over and ran down the sides. They tasted great but didn’t look very nice. I didn’t do the iciing because they were honestly sweet enough on their own. I will try and make these again with a little less flour to see if that fixes the problem. They are worth trying again. I also obviously used strawberry jam instead of raspberry just because I had strawberry jam I needed to use up.

That was it for the food I made. But as you know a PInterest Party can’t be just about food and drinks. So everyone brought a craft to make. A few people knitted, some organized photos and other items, others made candles, one person made a calendar, another coasters made from maps, I made magnets from glass beads and scrapebook paper. All in all it was a nice evening with good friends, good food, and lots of conversations. Just a little trivia for you the art of candle making is Chandlering. The more you know right. =)

Jan 10, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Etsy time!!!!! Homemade by a Ginger

Ok so I have been very crafty since becoming a Mom. I should have seen this coming since my Mom was basically Martha Stewart when I was growing up. I have really embraced it and even if something doesn’t turn out at least I tried. So for Christmas I made salt scrub, bath salts (not the drugs in the news as of late), and Hot pepper jelly. So my cousin said her friend had tried some of her salt scrub and loved it. So I decided to try my luck at Etsy and see what happens. I have always wanted to put something on there to see if it would sell but never had the something. So now I do and we will see how it goes. It’s weird thinking someone would buy a product I made but it’s fun to see if people actually like it. I will put a follow up once I get my store up but it’s call homemadebyaginger. =).

Jan 4, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Goat Cheese Pizza Recipe

So tonight I had all this left over goat cheese. I mean who just has tons of goat cheese that needs to be used. Me! So I decided to make a pizza since I have most ingredients to do so.

Ingredients

2-packages of pizza crust mix (made as instructions specify)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup low sodium pasta sauce (i used Ragu)
1-10 ounce jar of roasted sweet red peppers (drained and chopped)
1 1/2 sliced mushrooms
8 ounces of goat cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Once you prepared crust to directions knead in rosemary.
3. Cook onions and garlic over medium heat in oil until soft. Then add balsamic cook on low for about 5 minutes or most liquid is evaporated.
3. Roll out pizza dough to preferred thiickness. I prefer 1/8 inch.
4. Layer on pizza sauce, mushrooms, red peppers, and dot goat cheese
5. Bake for 17 minutes or until crust is brown. * you must let the pizza sit for 5-10 minutes to make sure it’s not soupy*

Enjoy.

Dec 17, 2012 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

My first try at canning!!

Well I have always wanted to try to can jellies or fruits. I think I was afraid of the process and time it takes. But I had my first attempt a few days ago and I’d have to say it wasn’t half as bad as I thought. I decided to make hot pepper jelly as gifts for christmas. I bought all the supplies needed and they are as follows:

1. Canner pot with glasses metal rack
2. Canning funnel
3. Glasses grabber (i’m sure they have a better name for this but oh well.)
4. Plastic measure (this is to see how much room you have left after you fill the glasses all recipes are different.)
5. Magnet wand (to pick up sterile materials.)
6. Jars with lids
7. Regular kitchen tongs with rubber ends

Roughly I spent about $40 for all of these items. Most of these can be used over and over again. (except the jar lids.)

I then had to get the ingredients for the actual jelly. I doubled a recipe I found online and I think I did something a little wrong with the pectin but that I will explain later.

Pepper Jelly
8 Jalapenos (seed and ribs removed)
4 red peppers (seeds and ribs removed)
2 cups apple cider vinger
5 cups of sugar
2 1.75 ounce packages of dry pectin (sure-jell)

Cost about $7 for all of these ingredients and it was supposed to make 12-8 ounce jars

1. First you throw all the peppers into a food processer and blend until completely broken down.
2. Sterilize all your supplies by submerging them in hot but not boiling water (jars, lids, tongs, etc.)
3. Put blended peppers into large sauce pan with apple cider and sugar. Bring to boil then add pectin and cook for 5 minutes or until pectin is completely dissolved. I think I cooked for a little bit longer than 5 minutes. Take off the heat and cool slightly.
4. Remove jars from hot water with tongs and set on clean towel with lid side up.
5. Pour jelly into jars with ladle and using the funnel to 1/4 inch from the top (this is when you use the measuring tool)
6. Clean rim of glasses with a clean damp towel and place lids on with magenet tool to secure. Then put the lid screw peices on tight. ** Watch out those jars with the jelly in them are hot**
7. Lower jars with “glasses grabber” into hot but no boiling water in your canner. Once they are all in make sure they have at least 1 inch of water to cover them. Turn up heat and wait until the water boils. Once it starts boiling put the lid on and “process” for about 5 minutes. By the way process means boil. Not that i’m stupid or anything but for someone who has never canned anything before I wanted to make sure I did it right and nothing explains that processing means boiling water.
8. After 5 minutes remove the jars from the water again using the “glasses grabber”. ***Be careful this part was very stressful. I was afraid I was going to drop them so take your time.*** Set on a clean towel and let them cool completely. As they cool you will hear a POP and that means the jar was canned properly and can be use up to a year. As I told you these were supposed to make 12-8 ounce jars but only made about 7 1/2.

I put the 1/2 jar in the fridge overnight. The jelly didn’t set-up as much as I would have like but it still tastes yummy. So now I am not a canning virgin and look forward to taking items from my own garden next year and making my own jams, jellys, etc. I will post pictures of the final product later.

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