My 2010 blog review…

•January 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Even though our baby girl arrived this year, I did find some time here and there to keep up with my blog. I want to thank you for being so supportive of my blog and sharing my blog with your friends. May 2011 give us great new ideas and recipes to share with all! Happy New Year!

Miss Audrey Vaughn

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 14 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 67 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 86mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was January 7th with 188 views. The most popular post that day was Yes, ANOTHER food blog….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, mail.yahoo.com, mail.live.com, sweetmarysunshine.blogspot.com, and quixoticagony.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for jenna knows, jenna knows best, jennaknows, chocolate popcorn, and boiled pasta.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Yes, ANOTHER food blog… January 2010
8 comments

2

Meatloaf, Jenna Style January 2010
7 comments

3

Steak Salad with Gorgonzola Crumbles and Dried Cranberries January 2010
4 comments

4

About Me January 2010
2 comments

5

Mixed Berry Slump November 2010
2 comments

Mixed Berry Slump

•November 6, 2010 • 2 Comments

I do not claim to be a baker by any means. Can I bake? Yes. Do I enjoy baking? Eh, not overly. But sometimes, just sometimes one needs to warm up the oven, mix up something yummy and fill the air with delicious smells. Tonight was one of those nights. Once a year or so I dig out my berry slump recipe and enjoy a warm bowl! Hope you enjoy it too!

Mixed Berry Slump

4 cups of fresh (or thawed frozen) berries of your choice (I went with blackberries, blueberries, raspberries)

1/2-3/4 cups of sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit)

1 cup of flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup milk (I used 1/2 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of half and half)

1/4 sugar

2 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Begin by adding your berries into an ungreased deep-dish glass or ceramic pie pan or a 5-6 cup gratin dish. Sprinkle evenly over berries 1/2-3/4 cups of sugar, depending on berry tartness.

Next, sift together your dry ingredients into a small mixing bowl. Add in your milk and melted butter. Whisk until smooth.

Pour mixture over berries. Don’t worry if berries aren’t completely covered.

Bake slump until golden brown, approx 45 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or half and half.

Savory Sweet Potato Soup

•September 11, 2010 • 2 Comments

Fall is in the air and there is nothing I love more than the shift from grilled hotdogs and salads to the cozy comforts of soups and baked goods. There is just something about that crisp air that makes my heart jump for joy. I am a true fall lover.

I was inspired this morning to make up a batch of soup. I wanted something that smelled like fall, tasted like fall, felt like fall. I came across a delicous sounding recipe from a great cookbook from The Farm Chicks, http://www.thefarmchicks.com/ I was introduced to these gals by my dear friend. Their cookbook has a ton of delicious recipes, but this one was the winner for the day. It is a pretty simple recipe and really did the job of filling my kitchen and belly with the beauty of fall. Enjoy!

SAVORY SWEET POTATO SOUP, 6 generous servings

4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick)

2 C finely chopped onion

1-2 cloves finely chopped garlic

6 C chicken broth

5 C peeled and cubed fresh sweet potatoes (or yams for more color)

5 C peeled and cubed russet potatoes

1 C peeled and shredded russet potato (to help thicken)

½ C heavy cream

3 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried parsley

½ salt

¼ black pepper

Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add in onions and garlic, saute until tender.

Saute onions and garlic in butter

Add in diced sweet potatoes ( I used yams) and broth. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Peeled and chopped yam

Add the potatoes, diced and shredded. Return the soup to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.

Diced and shredded russet potato

Stir in seasonings while simmering

Seasonings

*Optional Step- Puree some or all of the soup with a hand blender or a standard blender. I like a bit of the creamy, along with some chunky.

Immersion Blender

Finally stir in the cream. Cook over low heat, stirring often until heated through.

Serve and enjoy!

Iced Lattes

•June 22, 2010 • 1 Comment
Yes, my last post was months ago. BUT… I am four and a half months pregnant!

Baby and I

 

So get used to it! It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.🙂

I’ve had such good intentions to get new posts put onto my blog, but by the time I am home from work, nothing looks better than the couch/bed. My husband may be fading away from so few meals, but I seem to be growing just fine.

However, now that my energy is back up and my cravings are in full force, MAYBE you will get a few more posts in the next couple months.

Today we are nearing 90 degrees outside with a whole lot of darn humidity. Everyday I could drink an iced latte (of course, decaf for me). But these trips to Starbucks are starting to make me feel pretty guilty when I know that money should be going into the diaper fund. So, I decided to just start making my own. It is super easy to do and, I think, tastes just as good as Starbucks.

ICED LATTE, makes 10-12 servings

1 pot of your favorite coffee, strong brewed

1 cup of simple syrup

half and half

ice cubes

Start by making a full pot of coffee. Make it twice as strong as you typically would, it will be diluted by some  ice cubes and dairy. And in my opinion, why bother with a wimpy coffee. When the coffee is brewed, let it cool down a bit. Once cooled, transfer to a pitcher and place into fridge to chill.

Transfer strong brewed coffee to pitcher

While coffee is chilling, make a batch of Simple Syrup. I prefer simple syrup for my cold drinks, especially my iced lattes, because if you just add granulated sugar to a cold beverage it will not completely dissolve. You will have a heap of sugar at the bottom of your glass. Yuck.

Put equal parts, 1 cup water and 1 cup granulated sugar, into a pot. Bring to a boil. Boil until all sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. When mixture looks like water again, remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled transfer to a container to store in the fridge. I like to use a glass jar. This will keep for a long time, all summer if not longer.

Make a batch of Simple Syrup

Once your simple syrup and coffee has cooled, grab yourself a tall glass of ice. Add in your dairy of choice. I prefer 1/2 and 1/2, because…why not. Fill the rest of the glass with coffee and add in simple syrup to your desired sweetness.

Add dairy, coffee, and syrup

Stir and enjoy iced lattes for days to come!

Of course your imagination is the limit with this recipe. Brew a flavored coffee, use no dairy, use soy, add some chocolate syrup instead of simple syrup, put in a splash of Kahlua for an adult-only beverage, use decaf coffee so you can enjoy a glass in the hot summer evening…use your imagination!

Chocolate Cranberry Quesadilla

•March 7, 2010 • 3 Comments

Here is a very quick, easy, AND DELICIOUS treat to enjoy while watching the Oscars tonight! I think this can easily serve two people with as rich and decadent as it is! This recipe is a great one to use your imagination with when creating. Use peanut butter chips and bananas instead. Or how about dark chocolate chips and strawberries. The sky is the limit with this one! Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 tortillas, white or wheat (8″ diameter)
1/4 cup chopped semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoon dried unsweetened cranberries

sprinkling of cinnamon

Directions

Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Place the tortillas in the pan. Toast for 1 minute on each side or until warm but still pliable. Sprinkle on the chips and cranberries onto one tortilla and top it with the other. Gently press together and cook for 30 seconds or until the chocolate starts to melt.

Add toppings to warm tortilla

 Dust lightly with cinnamon. Cut into 4 wedges and enjoy!

Enjoy!

Korean Beef in Lettuce Cups

•March 6, 2010 • 1 Comment

Now you can’t expect to get an apron for your birthday, from me, and not expect it to be put to use…right away. My dear friend Lindsay quickly found this out. I believe Lindsay likes to over-think cooking, in turn making it scary and intimidating for herself. When I told her what we were making, immediately she was certain that she would not be able to make this recipe, but I think I was pretty successful in showing her how easy (and not scary) it was to create a delicious meal! I think she even had fun making it! Thanks for the help Lindsay!

Korean Beef in Lettuce Cups, serves 4 (1 serving 3 cups)

3 tablespoons 100% fruit orange marmalade

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 cup canola oil

1 pound 93% lean ground beef

8 scallions, sliced

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped

12 Boston or bibb lettuce leaves

1. Whisk together the marmalade, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.

*Tip: Peel fresh ginger with a spoon!

Gather ingredients for sauce

Grate ginger or buy in the jar "fresh" ginger

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the beef, scallions, carrots, and pepper for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, or until the beef is browned and cooked through. Add the soy mixture and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until well blended.

Saute until beef is cooked through

3. Spoon the beef mixture into the lettuce leaves and serve, or roll like a wrap to eat.

Enjoy!

Chocolate-Drizzled Popcorn

•February 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I just can’t help it…another recipe with popcorn! I LOVE POPCORN! The best part of this recipe is that it is from the diet I am currently torchering myself with, The Flat Belly Diet, but you would never guess that because it taste SO sinful. Yes, it is a diet, but really its more of a lifestyle change. You really don’t have to suffer too much. Heck, you get to have chocolate popcorn after all and one serving is 3 cups, not 1 Tbsp. like many diets would be. The main belief with this diet is portion control, calorie watching, and changing out what you normally would eat with a healthier version.

Anywho, sorry, this isn’t a blog about dieting, its a blog about delicious food. So, here’s another delicious recipe for you to try tonight while hunkering down with a movie….

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLED POPCORN, serves 4 

12 cups air-popped popcorn
1/2 cup roasted cashews (MUFA), unsalted
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (MUFA)

1. Spread the popcorn and cashews on a large baking sheet. (I just used a big bowl)

2. Bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer over medium heat. Place the chips in a small bowl and set over the simmering water, being careful to keep the water from touching the bowl containing the chocolate. Stir often until the chocolate is melted. (OR do what I did, toss them into the microwave, stir every 30 seconds until melted.) While hot, use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn in a back-and-forth motion.  (I stirred my in the bowl, coating all of the popcorn in chocolate) Let cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes or until the chocolate sets. (I wanted chocolate and I wanted popcorn NOW, so I grabbed a big spoon and began to shovel. No waiting for chocolate to set for this gal!)

 Nutritional Info Per Serving: 392 cal, 7 g pro, 51 g carb, 6 g fiber, 22 g fat, 9 g sat fat, 0 mg chol, 9 mg sodium

Chocolate Popcorn!

 

Photo belongs to http://www.michelesweetshoppe.com/

 
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