Monday, November 28, 2011

Mmm Mmm Mondays #2

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I had a great time getting together with my mom's side of the family, whom I don't get to see that often. When we all get together it is like a madhouse, but I love every minute of it! I have been fighting a terrible cough/laryngitis for about week now, but am starting to feel a little better. I have been bummed because I am one of those crazies that LOVES to sing in the car, but since having no voice I haven't been able to. (boohoo!)

Sweet pea and I did a little holiday decorating today, and I hope to show you all once we get our big tree put up. We have a wooden reindeer in the living room that has a light bulb nose, and sweet pea is mesmerized by it. We will see if things stay where they are with little curious hands. (She has literally started getting into everything!!)

Well on to why your really here, the second installment of Mmm Mmm Mondays. Today I am featuring a recipe that I found via pinterest. There are some awesome recipes out there and this one really caught my eye. I am an Italian loving fool, so I could probably eat this everyday if I had too. It also contains my other favorite food and staple, chicken. Here ya go.

Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Roll-ups

You will need:
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp white pepper
8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained (I boiled mine for about 10 mins)
2 cups spaghetti sauce

(milk not pictured)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl combine chicken, cheeses, milk and white pepper. I added a little black pepper as well, because pepper just makes everything taste better, and I told you how Hubby loves his food seasoned. This is what you will have once everything is mixed.

Spread 1/2 cup mixture on each lasagna noodle and roll jelly-roll style like so.

Spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce in bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Once all rolls are complete, arrange them seem side down into the sauce.

Top the rolls with your remaining sauce. Cover and bake for 30 minutes or until hot.

Serve with a salad and bread and ENJOY!

Don't they look delicious??

That is it, quick and simple just like I like. This meal took me no time at all and and was delicious. Like I stated last week I am one of those cooks that likes to be in and out of the kitchen (especially trying to cook while watching a curious 18 mo. old), so this was the prefect recipe for me.

Hubby rating: 4
He said next time I make this I need to try and make my own sauce.

Well that is all that I have for you today. I hope you all are having better weather than we are, because it has been raining non-stop for the past few days. Ugh! Until next time, BYE!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

From All of Us Here at Simple and Sweet Pea!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Soggy Day At The Track

Today we invited hubby's boss, his wife and some other co-workers of ours to the track (Churchill Downs) for one of the last weekends of the Fall meet. Hubby and I try to always go at least once during the Spring and Fall meets. Growing up in Louisville, I have gone to the track since I was little, so it is nice to share this with my hubby, who did not grow up here, but still enjoys going as much if not even more than I do! It was not the prettiest of days outside, but we still made the best of it and had a good time.

The horses were very unpredictable today since the condition of the track was SLOPPY, so needless to say we didn't do too well in the betting department. Hubby and I lost every single race we bet on, which I don't think has ever happened before. Hubby did come real close to a couple trifecta's though.

I hate that the poor horsey's had to run in the rain and mud, but it didn't look like they minded too much. The horse ambulance did have to come out once today, which always scares me because if you have ever watched a race where the horse gets severely injured and it's life threatening you know they euthanize it right there on the track and it makes me so sad every time, but luckily they just loaded this one in the back, and I am hoping it was ok.

Tana and Emily both had winning tickets from the day, so we took a picture with them. I was holding one of Tana's winning tickets (she had 2).

(clockwise: Me, Emily, Tana)

The boys didn't fare so well for the day, but a good time was still had.

(left to right: Josh, Hubby, Bruce-hubs boss)

The track closes next weekend for the winter and will re-open a couple of weeks before Derby. We will definitely be going again as soon as it opens. Hopefully the weather was better in your neck of the woods today, but if not I hope you made the best of your Sunday.

I am starting a series for the first time on this little blog of mine tomorrow, so stay tuned and come back and see me. BYE!

Mmm Mmm Mondays #1

Hope everyone is having a good day today. I had to take sweet pea to get her flu shot this morning, and I am not feeling the best either, so needless to say we are kinda puney in this household. I am trying to fight it off , because I DO NOT want to be sick for Thanksgiving. It is the one day a year I get to indulge in all kinds of wonderfulness (is that even a word?) and I want to be able to enjoy it to the fullest! I can already smell the turkey and stuffing and boy is my mouth watering. YUM!

Any who, after many months of enjoying others' blog series and link parties, I have decided to start a series of my own. It probably won't be as exciting as some of the others out there, but I thought I would share anyways. I am calling it Mmm Mmm Mondays, and I am going to be sharing recipes that I have been trying lately. Most are going to be other people's recipes that I have found via pinterest or just the plain old world wide web, but I am going to try to throw in a few of my own every now and then. I haven't always enjoyed cooking in the past, but this has given me a little extra boost and excitement on the matter.

Since Hubby is usually the only one that eats my cooking besides myself, he will be the one to rate each dish. The ratings will be as follows:

1-Terrible, Disgusting, don't ever put that in front of me again!
2-Needs a lot of work, but might eat it again once it's tweaked.
3-Has potential to be a good dish.
4-Pretty darn good, make that again please!
5-DELICIOUS! I would eat that everyday!!

The first dish that I am going to be sharing is one that I saw made on the Rachael Ray Show. It is Emeril's recipe for Turkey Club Casserole. It wasn't a very hard recipe to make, but it took quite a while to prepare, so if you are a get-in get-out kinda cook like me, I would not recommend this recipe for you, unless you are wanting to make a special dish one night. It was also A LOT of food and very filling, so not the ideal dish for a two person (+baby) household. I would recommend making this if you were inviting some friends or family over for dinner. Here is what you will need to get started.

Turkey Club Casserole
You will need:
8 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp spicy brown mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
5 tbsp unsalted butter
thin sliced sandwich bread (about 48 pieces)
1 lb thin sliced turkey
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 lb bacon, cooked
8 slices ham, cut in half
16 slices sharp cheddar cheese
bechamel sauce

Bechamel Sauce:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp white pepper
pinch of nutmeg

In medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes. DO NOT BROWN. While whisking constantly add milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook mixture, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until sauce thickens and flour taste is gone (about 8 mins). Remove from heat and transfer to a heat resistant bowl. Place piece of plastic wrap on surface of bechamel and set aside to cool.

*I recommend making this first and letting it cool while you prepare everything else.

Your next step is to start making the sandwiches. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, milk, salt, mustard, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Set mixture aside while you prepare the sandwiches. Grease bottom of 9x13 dish with 1 tbsp of butter.

Cut crust off of all slices of bread. Arrange 8 sandwiches in this order bottom to top: bread, bechamel, turkey, tomato, bacon, slice of bread, bechamel, ham, cheese, bread spread with bechamel (side down). Place in dish.

This is what it will look like. I ended up only making 6 sandwiches since my pan wasn't big enough for 8.

Once you have the 8 sandwiches complete, repeat the steps and make 8 more. Place the second layer directly on top of the first layer. Here is what it will look like.

Once you have done that, grab your egg mixture that you put aside earlier and pour it over the top of the entire casserole. It should look like this.

You then place a piece of wax paper on top of the sandwiches, and then place a second casserole dish on top of the wax paper. This will help compact the sandwiches so they are able to soak up more of the egg mixture. Refrigerate your casserole for 1-2 hrs. Bread should absorb most of the mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove paper from casserole. Slice 4 tbsp of butter into 8 slices and place on top of each sandwich. Bake casserole uncovered until puffed and golden, around 40 mins. This is what it will look like when it comes out. Set aside briefly to cool. Serve and Enjoy!

My casserole didn't soak up as much liquid as I thought it would, so it was a little eggy around the edges. I think part of the problem was that I only made 6 sandwiches instead of 8 so there was less bread to soak up the mixture that was meant for 8. That was really the only complaint that I had with the dish. Hubby on the other hand thought it needed to be seasoned more. He likes his food extremely flavorful so this was a little on the bland side for his liking. I wasn't sure what to serve the casserole with, so I just threw some tater tots in the oven that I already had in the freezer. (Not the healthiest choice I know)

Hubby's rating: 3 1/2
With a little work this dish could be pretty good on the taste buds.

Well there you have it folks, the very first edition of Mmm Mmm Mondays here at Simple and Sweet Pea. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and I hope you enjoy this recipe as well. If you end up making this dish, come back and leave me a comment with how you liked it, or if you have any ideas on how to make it better. Until then we will see you next time, BYE!

Linking to these link parties:

Monday, November 14, 2011

No Sew Turkey Shirt Tutorial

When I was little my mom made me the cutest Halloween sweatshirt, out of that material where everything is there already and all you have to do is cut it out and use iron-on backing to attach it to the shirt. You know what I'm talking about right? I loved it, and my best friend even had a matching one! I decided that since Emma was old enough now I wanted to make her one. Since I didn't get around to making her a Halloween shirt, I wanted to make her a Thanksgiving one. There are just not that many Turkey Day shirts out there for kids. My original plan was to make her a sweatshirt, but I could not find one in her size, not even at Walmart (I know right?), so I got her a turtleneck instead.

Here is what I started with. I originally wanted to find the fabric cutouts like my mom used, but apparently they don't make them anymore, so I had to get creative. Mom suggested I used felt, and so I did.

I then quickly decided that I did not like the look of these colors and had to rethink my plan.

I remembered that I had this ribbon leftover from sweet pea's birthday party, and I knew there was some way that I could incorporate it, but how? Finally a light bulb went off in my little brain and I decided to use it as the feathers of the turkey.

I did end up using the brown felt as the body of the turkey and a little piece of the orange for the beak. Here are all the pieces cut out and ready to be laid out on the shirt. I used some things found in the kitchen to trace for the head and body so I could make perfect circles. If I hadn't done that who knows what they would have looked like!

Like I stated in the title of this post, this was a no sew project. I am learning to sew, but still need A LOT of practice and many more lessons. I picked up this sewing glue from Hobby Lobby to attach everything to the shirt. It goes on white but dries clear, which was a good thing because I got a little sloppy when the gluing process started.

I went ahead and glued the feathers together and let them dry while I attached the rest of the body.

I then laid everything out on the shirt so I could make sure I got it in the right place before I started gluing.

Here it is after I glued most everything down.

I then added wings on top on the feathers so it would look more finished and you wouldn't see the ends of the ribbon.

Here is a close up of the wing glued on top of the feathers.

I then added googli (sp?) eyes for a little character, and thought sweet pea would think they were fun.

Here it is all finished. I had hoped to get a picture of sweet pea modeling it, but haven't gotten around to it since finishing the shirt. Once I do I will take a pic and share. I have also since added a waddle to the turkey, since I forgot to add one before taking these pics.

I have another Thanksgiving craft project in the works, but am not sure if I will be able to finish it before next week, so it might have to wait until next year. I still can't believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away, and Christmas will be quickly upon us. Where did this year go?

Until next time, BYE!

Linking to:

Touches of Thanksgiving

It's been a little hectic around my household lately, so I haven't been able to post as much as I would like, so I will be playing catch up this week once again. I wanted to share with you some of the change that I have made to my Fall decor to make way for Thanksgiving that is quickly approaching.

I decided that the dining room table would be the prefect place to display my pilgrims (purchased at Hobby Lobby a few years ago) and my new cornucopia that I got from Michael's for only $7!

Isn't it pretty! I like it much better than my old one because it is way bigger and allows me to fill it with more things.

I filled it with real and fake gourds this year, to give it more texture and color. I am so glad that my real gourds have not rotted yet, because I have had them for over a month now.

I also purchased a bushel of wheat from Hobby Lobby. I love how natural and simple it is, but still so pretty. I filled the wire container with pine cones from my yard (we have 3 pine trees in our front yard, so we have plenty of them), and they will probably get recycled for some sort of Christmas craft.

The glass cloche is from Arhaus and was a birthday gift from my best friend Amanda. I placed a metallic pumpkin from Hobby Lobby underneath it, and then put in on a book that I ripped the cover off of. I really like the look of the cover less books and it seems to be very popular now in the home decorating catalogs.

My entry table got a face-lift as well.

I like decorating with natural elements, because then it seems less staged that way. Corn is definitely a symbol of Thanksgiving.

A printout that I found at dear lillie. It is a line from Anne of Green Gables. I loved those movies when I was a kid.

The printout sits next to my very favorite picture of my sweet pea and my 2 nephews from the pumpkin patch last year. She was so small (*sniff *sniff).

I found this pumpkin turkey kit at Home Depot and just had to have it. What a great way to re-use your pumpkin from Halloween (that is, if you didn't carve yours). I know sweet pea will love doing this project every year at Thanksgiving.

Well that is the end of my Thanksgiving tour. I hope you enjoyed yourself. Until next time Gobble Gobble!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween and Fall Color

Hopefully everyone had a very Happy Halloween. I know I did, and loved every minute of taking my little poodle trick or treating! I was also very grateful that it ended up being a little chilly last night, because A) It made it feel more like Halloween, and B) Sweet Pea did not burn up in her costume. She was such a trooper and walked a LONG way but once her legs started giving out on her we knew it was time to bribe her with some candy and put her in the wagon. She tries so hard to keep up with the big kids, and just doesn't understand that she is only 17 months.

Here is a picture of the crew from last night. We had a Perry (from Phineas and Ferb), sweet pea was a poodle named "Fifi" and my nephews were Boba Fett and Jango Fett from Star Wars.

I love this picture of sweet pea and her daddy. It makes me happy :)

Now that we have all this candy in our house I can't seem to stop eating it. I even went to Target today and bought more. Someone help me!!

I shared in an earlier post that I had added a bit of Fall to my flower beds out front, so I wanted to share a few pics. I was sick of starring at the pink begonias I had planted this summer and wanted to add some color that would stand the cold, so in one of my beds I added some pansies and ornamental cabbage.

I got my inspiration for the cabbage from the October issue of Southern Living. They had the most wonderful porch on the cover all decked out in gourds and cabbage. It was beautiful! I just love the colors of these plants and thought they went well with the pansies.

I like the mixture of the two different leaves together.

Here is the other bed out front. I just popped a few mums in between my hastas to add a little fall color around my little scarecrow family. Aren't they cute??!

In other news, can you believe that it is already November 1st! Where did the time go? I cannot wait for Thanksgiving, I can already smell the turkey cooking! (On a side note, I have not bought a single Christmas present yet, and it is slowly but surely creeping up on us, so I better get on the ball).

Well until next time, Happy Fall Ya'll!