Flea market fun

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I haven’t done too much research into this yet. I was trying to find out the estimated year of this awesome photo album I found one Sunday morning at the flea  market.

I bought it for $20 from a really cute old man selling all sorts of stuff. I asked him if he knew the year, and he said, “before 1940’s, I’m sure of it.” But he was just so darn cute, and everyone that was coming up to the table kept looking at it, and I knew it had to be mine.

Its in really good condition, and it looks hand painted on the inside. There is no film, but I don’t care, I just love it. With the gold pieces attached, and the mirror on the front, I will treasure this for many years.

I think I will start collecting vintage photos they have been selling at the flea markets, and carry over the vintage feel. Not just that, I think I’m going to reach out to family, and try to get vintage and old photos of my family. That will be a great to honor the family, and I’m sure we can get some of my husbands family too!

I will make sure I document the process as it goes along. And if anyone knows anything about this photo album, or point to me any leads on how to research this, please let me know!

Thanks for stopping by!

Bacon & Cheese Potatoes, and Garlic tip

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Hey there! The hubs, my dad and myself joined forces to make this amazing dinner one night! We made bacon cheeseburgers, roasted potatoes that we saw Guy Fieri  make one night.

So I really love using my mandolin for all things possible! Not only is it my name (Amanda Lynn, ha ha) it is great for getting the same sized veggies for when cooking. This makes sure that it all cooks at the same pace. Its extra great for potatoes, and I use it all the time…. I got this really great one for only $10 from Wal-mart, and it can go right into the dishwasher, which makes it easy clean up.

POTATOES:

We sliced them with the mandolin, and let them soak in salted cold water for about 30 minutes. They need to soak for at least 30 minutes, its the key factor for getting crispy potatoes! Bc we’ve all been there, roasting potatoes for over an hour bc they aren’t getting crispy! Darn you potatoes!

Next after their little soak, you will want to dry them off really well, and get rid of the moisture (another key step in potatoes baking plan). SO make sure you dry them off really well.

We then seasoned the potatoes on the baking sheet with some EVOO with some cajan seasoning, chopped up garlic, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, a little bit of sea salt, and pepper

Baked in the oven at 450 for about 30-35 minutes, did a little flippy of the potatoes, then covered with cheddar cheese, that I shredded myself from a large block of NY state sharp cheddar, and bacon that I baked before the potatoes in the oven. You can check out how I bake the bacon on a previous post, under “GET INTO MY BELLY”

Finished baking once I liked how the cheese looked, maybe 10 minutes, or like 5 minutes on broil, to whatever your preference

But these are OMG good!!!!!!!

 

GARLIC PEELING TIP!!!  I got this one from Martha Stewart’s cooking school show on local access t.v.

*Get 2 metal bowls about the same size, you want to be able to hold it together

*Put the garlic cloves in the bowl, and place them together, and SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE! For about 30-45 seconds…… and….. Poof! Peeled garlic cloves and you didn’t need to smash anything with a knife. Just pick out the cloves, and throw away the skins.

 

Shed the old to make way for the new

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So, this was from a few months ago that was left pending in my drafts, and never published. It has since grown out, and I am thinking of getting it trimmed up again. I really liked the way the hair in the back laid down for the most part, and I can either go really curly, or straighten it in the front. I am thinking of trimming it once more short, and then letting it grow out again. I am thinking it might be time for some color too….

Cookie cake! From Easter! I’m a little slow

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So I’ve been a little behind with cooking, since I got a job working full time. The hubs has been doing all the cooking, since he graduated from college in May with his bachelors, so he’s been helping out. I start a new schedule next week 11 am-8 pm, so we have to try to get into a new schedule. I am going to try to cook on the weekends, and have leftovers for lunches/suppers that are quick and easy. It feels really good to be working again, and I like the job a lot, I work in a call center for a really great and large locally started company. So, now the new task of learning to be a housewife and working full time. I will be getting into a new schedule to work out in the mornings, since I don’t go in until 11 am and its only 10 minutes commute time, so I have no more excuses.

SO! That’s why posts have been delayed, and I haven’t been cooking as much, but it will be changing again, so Hopefully I can keep up with pictures and such too!

So here’s the cookie cake I made for EASTER, yes, EASTER!!!! The long delayed cookie cake
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Pintrest Recipe! You can always find what I’ve completed on my Pintrest page, http://www.pinterest.com/panda1585/done-it/

This recipe came from a pin I found, and I wanted to try out my new mixer that we got for Christmas. http://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/2013/02/10/chocolate-chip-cookie-cake/

I followed the recipe pretty close, since I’m not a baker, and I am worried I’ll not make something edible.

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups m&m’s and 1 1/4 cup of chocolate chunks
I baked it per the recipe, after allowing it to chill in the fridge overnight, might not do it that long in advanced next time, it took a while for it to be shape-able in the round 9 inch baking pan.
350 for 18-20 minutes
For the frosting, I really followed the recipe, since I’ve NEVER made it before. This is really sweet, and good, however it made a freaking TON of frosting, that got wasted 😦
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp water
*I added color to small portions before putting it in a piping bag and decorating for the first time! I had fun with the different tips, and just kept going. I am really looking forward to making more desserts, and I have a goal to try making one recipe every other week!

Healthy food/lifestyle changes

So, for the most part, this is what I’ve been drinking for breakfast/lunches at work. I’ve been doing the nutri-bullet shakes since February. I’ve lost about 2 clothes sizes, and about 15 lbs, along with changing my eating habits. We stopped going out to eat junk all the time, and we are making more conscience decisions about our choices when we do. We stopped buying as much processed foods, and try making everything else as fresh as we can. Coming up in a later post, we made a tasty homemade salsa.

I really like the choices that you have with this program, in the manual it comes with, it gives guidelines and recipes. I am going at a slower pace, bc I am working my way up. With my health problems, I am trying to work into it, and it seems to be helping with my overall health. I feel better than I have in years.

For the blends, I use generally 50% veggie and 50% fruit, most of the fruit is frozen, bc they tend to spoil quickly, I either by fresh and cut them up myself and freeze, or just buy the frozen.

Some examples of what I am making…. the fruit/veggie combo makes the colors change!

EXAMPLE ONE:

1 cup of fresh spinach

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Fill to “max” liquid line in nutri-bullet, about 8 oz of water, or almond milk/soy milk (I alternate frequently between all three)

EXAMPLE TWO:

1 cup fresh spinach

1/2 banana (fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup strawberries

Fill to “max” liquid line in nutri-bullet, about 8 oz of water, or almond milk/soy milk (I alternate frequently between all three)

EXAMPLE THREE:

1 banana (fresh or frozen)

2 teaspoons of coco powder, un-sweetened

2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

8 oz almond milk

EXAMPLE FOUR:

1 cup fresh spinach

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup peaches

Fill to “max” liquid line in nutri-bullet, about 8 oz of water, or almond milk/soy milk (I alternate frequently between all three)

EXAMPLE FIVE:

1 cup fresh spinach

1 apple, cored

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Fill to “max” liquid line in nutri-bullet, about 8 oz of water, or almond milk/soy milk (I alternate frequently between all three)

SOME ADD IN’S THAT I WILL THROW IN WHATEVER, WHENEVER

*flax seeds

*honey- organic

*ice cubes- if I’m not using a lot of frozen fruits

*peanut butter

*cinnamon

*I WILL BE GETTING MORE ADVENTUROUS IN THE COMBO’S SOON, AND I WILL BE ADDING DIFFERENT VEGGIES!!! So stay tuned for more results and recipes! I might even post before and after photos! That’s a large maybe!

Check out the http://www.nutribullet.com to learn more! It has really changed my life for the better.

 

 

 

 

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Spring has sprung in upstate NY

 

It was a long winter in upstate NY this year…. we broke records with -9 degrees in March…. we got huge amounts of snow in numerous snow storms…. mother nature couldn’t make up her mind if it was spring or winter, we would have a 50 degree day, then a foot of snow the next day, then 70 degrees and sunny, then chance of snow storms and 30 degree weather the next…. CRAZY!!! The snow picture below is the amount of snow we had gotten on one of those snow storms when it had been sunny and spring like less than 24 hrs before. This was the roughest winter in a few years, so we are all very excited that spring is finally here (and hopefully stays).

So, I was looking around the townhouse, when I started noticing LOTS of cobwebs in every corner of the house, and we have seen a good amount of spiders coming out of winter hibernation, yay, mother nature must of tweeted to them that they are ok to come out again…. So I had an idea (and when I say “I” I mean my dad helped the final concept develop) and I put a wash cloth on my old Swiffer (remember b/c I had gotten a wet jet, and I took that picture hugging it, haha) and spritzed it with some window cleaner so the webbies had something to grab onto. It was the PERFECT height! I was able to reach the spot where the wall and ceiling meet along the whole house, I was able to get all the nasty little cobwebs! I also cleaned all the windows and window ledges, house feels a little more clean, I have to finish vacuuming and dusting, but that is a normal chore. I don’t do it all at once, I like to be able to spread out the torture, haha!

We are also starting to get out little green thumbs out, and we bought little mini green houses at Target for $1 for Cilantro and Sweet Basil, then we bought some more seeds at Lowe’s and they are currently soaking to get the process started. Since we have been fluctuating with the weather so drastically, we are keeping them in doors for a month or so to give them the best chance. We have a little folding table in the front window where they will all get some sun, and start the happy process. This year we are trying to grow: Jalapenos, Lavender (that’s for me to make it smell good and have some color in the front of my house), Tomatoes, Cilantro, Basil, Zucchini, Dill, Snow Peas, Italian Parsley, Beans…. Lets see how this will work out! We bought an attachment to split the water line for the washer in the mud room to hook up a hose…. which will help tremendously!

Yay to SPRING!!!!!!

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Pintrest recipe: Chicken & spinach pasta bake

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So, i got this from Pintrest, and I tweaked it a little, and made it my own. There wasn’t any directions, just pictures, so this is what I did.

I chopped and diced the chicken, and sauteed with some onions and garlic in a pan with a little bit of EVOO.

I should have used the whole thing of spinach that we got, but I’ve never cooked with raw spinach, so i wasn’t sure how much. I did a rough chop of the spinach after i rinsed them.

I made my own cheese sauce with a rue of butter and flour and garlic, then mixed in some 2% milk, and a little heavy cream, bc I had that on hand, and stir until it gets thick, keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. Once its thick enough, I add about 2 cups of NY sharp cheddar, chopped, and melt it through, and keep stirring. I taste, and then add some salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste, and whatever I think it needs, I think i added some paprika.

I was supposed to use the bow-tie pasta, but I was distracted and grabbed the wrong package and used the mini macaroni, whatever, it still tasted rocking. Cooked it mostly through, left it slightly hard, and then mixed the pasta, cheese sauce and the chicken together, reserving some sauce.

I put the pasta and chicken mix in the glass casserole dish, put the spinach and cherry tomatoes on top, pour the rest of the cheese sauce on top, and then sprinkled with mozz cheese and italian seasoning.

Baked it at 425- for about 30 minutes, add a salad and some bread on the side, and yum-o!

 

What I would do it it if I made it again, add more spinach, cut up the tomatoes, and maybe not as many, top with breadcrumbs, and try a different type of cheese, maybe something smokey flavored.

Enjoy!- Let me know what you think!

Follow me on Pintrest- search for panda1585

Tattoo cover-up for work

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So I have to cover up my tattoo, so I found this at ulta and decided to give it a try. It works crazy good, I have a hard time taking it off most nights! Water proof, rub proof and it works well. The pictures didn’t come out well, one with flash one without, most days you can faintly see it, but it’s more covered than not wearing it. I haven’t between told to cover it up yet, this is a better alternative to wearing a bandaid everyday! I give it two thumbs up

Sriracha green onion burgers

 

 

 

imageSo this is normally what Tony likes to make in the summer on the grill, but we had the special treat and he made it indoors!

 

So, in the hamburger, he mixes in a GOOD amount of Sriracha, some green onion, garlic powder and some garlic cloves (we LOVE garlic), some salt and pepper

He makes half sized patty, and stuffs in smoked gouda cheese, and then takes more hamburger and forms the patty. This makes it really gooey and tasty, as you can see in the one picture where i cut my burger in half, and it just oozes out…. oh…my…god…. heaven in a bite!

It’s really easy, and really tasty, and you can choose whatever cheese you want, make sure it is a cheese that melts well so that you get that heavenly melted cheese in the middle! You can make it as hot as you want, he makes mine not as hot, but with the great taste of the Sriacha. He usually makes the hot ones pretty hot, and then him and others add more on top (crazy men). I really like it with some mayo ( I love me some burgers with mayo) and some romaine lettuce. Yumm-o!

You can make whatever you want on the side, we had salad and baked frozen french fries, this time was the shoestring type. We also lightly toasted the buns for the burgers. Can’t wait for summer to bust out the grill…. and update NY girl can only dream about warm weather.

We’ve been having a rough winter, very cold, setting records for the lows, one day in the beginning of March, we set a record for the lowest temp since the 1800’s, at -9 degrees….burrrr….. and not to meantion the huge storm we had where we got 16 inches of snow, 40 mph winds, all within 24 hrs on March 12th. COME ON SPRING!!! WE’RE READY!!! 🙂

But you should try making these burgers, you will not be disappointed!