Monday, January 31, 2011

0 Slow Cooked Black Eyed Peas with Ham

We had these on New Years Day and I cannot believe I have not posted this amazing black eyed pea recipe yet! :-) Gina from Gina's Skinny Recipes gives these black eyed peas a kick with different spices and jalapenos! These peas would be a perfect addition to a meal during this week's arctic blast!
Slow Cooked Black Eyed Peas with Ham
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 161.4 • Fat: 1.6 g • Protein: 9.3 g • Carb: 29.2 g • Fiber: 6.7 g
8 oz smoked lean ham steak, diced (or a ham bone would be perfect)
1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and soaked overnight
2 bay leaves
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 tsp chili powder (I used chipotle)
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
salt to taste
1 tsp ground black pepper
    Soak peas overnight in 6 cups of water. The next morning, drain peas and add to slow cooker. Add 4 cups of water, bay leaves and ham. Cover and cook on high 6 hours or until the beans are tender.
    After 6 hours, in a large frying pan, add oil and sauté onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and tomato until soft, about 6 minutes. Add to the slow cooker and season black eyed peas generously with salt, cumin, chili powder and black pepper. Cover and cook on high 1 to 1 1/2 more hours. Discard bay leaves and serve.
    Picture and recipe from Gina's Skinny Recipes
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    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    0 Vanilla - Apple Muffins

    My sweet friends, Bex and Justin, gave me the Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook: Recipes for Cooking Together at one of our showers! Clearly, they know me well! :-)
    Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook: Recipes for Cooking Together
    I found a recipe for Vanilla-Pear Muffins in the cookbook and thought they sounded AMAZING. I didn't have any pears but had a bagful of apples. Since I didn't feel like going to the store, I just substituted apples for pears and the muffins turned out delightful! 
     The "wet ingredients"
     "dry ingredients"
     The delicious end result!
    Vanilla-Apple Muffins 
    (recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma's Vanilla-Pear Muffins) 
    For the Topping: 
    3 Tbsp sugar
    2 Tbsp finely chopped walnuts
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
    For the Muffins: 
    2 cups flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tsp ground cinnamon 
    1 tsp nutmeg
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 large eggs
    1/2 cup canola oil
    3/4 cup buttermilk
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
    1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large 6 cup muffin pan or regular 12 cup muffin pan. (I also made mini muffins, but unless you chop your apples into very small pieces, the mini muffins don't turn out as well as the regular sized muffins.) To make the topping, combine the sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside. To make the muffins, stir together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla until blended. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just until evenly moistened. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Using a large silicone spatula, gently fold in the apples and walnuts just until evenly distributed, no more than a few strokes. Take care not to break up the fruit or over mix. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them level with the rim. Sprinkle the muffins with the topping, dividing it evenly. Bake until golden, dry, and springy to the touch, 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Turn out the muffins. Serve warm or at room temperature, with butter!
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    Saturday, January 29, 2011

    0 Mexican Chocolate Cake

    This recipe is from the Star Spangled Recipes for Campaign Cookin' by the Daughters of Liberty Republican Women! I loved looking through the different recipes and seeing numerous Houston friends who contributed to this cookbook as well as Lieutenant Governor of Texas Rick Perry and Governor George W. Bush (well that dates this cookbook, doesn't it?!)This is another great cookbook that I would normally pass up to just "google search" a recipe! But sticking to my New Years Resolution, I have found a wonderful and easy Mexican Chocolate Cake recipe!
    I made two different sized cakes (as explained below) and the "sheet cake" was devoured in about an hour at school and the 13x9 inch cake was also thoroughly enjoyed at a friend's birthday party! Overall, this cake got many compliments throughout the day!
    2 cups flour
    2 cups sugar
    2 sticks butter
    5 Tbsp cocoa
    1 c water
    1/2 c buttermilk
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp vanilla
    Sift together in a large bowl flour and sugar. Mix in saucepan butter, cocoa, and water. Bring to a rapid boil and pour over the flour and sugar; stir until well mixed. Add buttermilk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well and pour into greased 11x16 inch pan. (this is personal preference. I made two cakes one like a sheet cake in a 11x16 in pan and one more like fudge or brownies in a 13x9 inch pan. Both turned out beautiful!)  Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees. (if using a 13x9 inch pan cook for 25 to 30 minutes) Frost cake while still hot in pan.
    1 stick butter
    4 Tbsp cocoa
    6 Tbsp milk
    1 box powdered sugar (3 3/4 c)
    1 tsp vanilla
    (this takes about 10 minutes to make. So start making frosting when there are only 10 minutes left of the cake's baking time) In saucepan, melt together butter, cocoa and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add and mix powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour over hot cake.
    Amy Jones "Star Spangled Recipes for Campaign Cookin' by Daughters of Liberty Republican Women"
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    Friday, January 28, 2011

    6 The Stylish Blogger Award! :-)

    Sweet Katie, from Life in the Fulmer Lane, gave me the Stylish Blogger Award today! What an honor! :-) But the real credit should go to Carolyn, who is the designer behind Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box! :-)

    When receiving this award the rules are
    1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you
    2. Share 7 things about yourself
    3. Award to 10 great bloggers
    4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about the award
    Seven things about me. . . 
    1. I became a Christian when I was seven and He has blessed me more than I could ever imagine! :-)

    2. I don't say my "g's" in words ending in -ing unless I really think about it. For example, when I say the word "king" it sounds like "keen!"

    3. Texas. I adore teaching my kiddos about Texas History and the character, strength and stubbornness it took to make this great state . . . and then going home to the my cowboy, who exhibits all of those traits today!
    {disclaimer- "Don't do this {pet bulls} at home!"}

    4. I love to read. I have always wanted a library in my house with floor to ceiling bookshelves on all the walls of the room with a ladder like in My Fair Lady! Right now, I have a pretty neat "sitting room" (that I LOVE) with two bookshelves. . .but maybe one day. . .

    5. I only like exercising outdoors (and hate working out at the gym) because being outside with Gus is half of the fun. 

    6. I love baseball. To expand on that statement, read here or here.

    7. Camp was the highlight of every summer from age 11 to 20! I still get sad that I can't go back one more time! (yes, my hair does turn white in the summer. . . and yes, it looks like I don't have any eyebrows or eyelashes! I love being a blonde so if that is the price I have to pay, then I'll take it!)

    AND (drum roll please. . . ) here are my picks for the Stylish Blogger Awards . . .
    Christi is the epitome of style whether in clothes, decorating a house or planning a party!

    3. April at A. Liz Adventures
    April is a jewelry designer and exudes style in every part of her daily life!

    I love looking at how Ashley stays sane and stylish while raising a four year old and triplets!

    5. Kambry at Our London Times
    Cute Kambry and her husband are living in London and I have loved following their adventures from day trips to cooking classes!

    6.Jessica at Party Box Design
    Jessica is a very talented designer of all things paper! She is constantly making new invitations and thank you notes that make me need to keep my wallet in another room when I am visiting her blog!
    Party Box Design

    7. Emily and Nick at The Culinary Couple
    I love how Emily and Nick incorporate their secret ingredient for the season into their logo! Super stylish!

    8. Casey at The Wiegands
    OF COURSE one of my "stylish blogger awards" HAS to go to my beautiful artist friend! I am mesmerized by the way Casey leads her life! She selflessly emulates the "I am Third" life by putting our Father first, others second and herself third!

    9. Carolyn at Life in Gratz
    Talented Carolyn designs such amazing blogs! I am constantly blown away by her combination of colors and patterns! (and she lives in Austria so there are always pretty pictures like this one on her blog!)

    10. Heather at Pirates and Princesses
    Heather makes the most STYLISH cupcakes and put together the most amazing Dora party for her 3 year old! 

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    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    3 Super Bowl Party

    Super Bowl Sunday is coming up! Here are some great ideas from Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box to serve at your get together!
    Of course, appetizers are the focal point of a successful Super Bowl party!! So in my opinion, the more the merrier! :-)
    Avocado Dip
    When hosting a Super Bowl party, I like to keep everything very casual and easy. Which is why I love these "main courses"! They can be eaten in front of the TV or standing up! 
    BBQ Chicken Pizza Braid
    BLT Wraps with Herbed Mayonnaise
    I love to serve "team themed" dessert like cupcakes, rice crispy treats, or cookie cake! 
    No matter what you serve or who wins, the best part about Super Bowl Sunday is the friends and family you get to spend time with! :-)
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