Monday, October 24, 2011

I made this Goulash last night and it was a HIT! I think I may try with venison... if my hunter man get's his deer. 

Spicy Goulash


  • 4 pounds chuck, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch cubes 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 4-6 cups finely diced onions 
  • 2 cups peeled and diced carrots 
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and finely diced 
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded (I left the seeds in) and minced 
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste 
  • 2 tablespoons whole caraway seeds, toasted and ground 
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika 
  • 2 tablespoons hot Hungarian paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced marjoram leaves 
  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced thyme leaves 
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 4 cups chicken stock, low-sodium 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 
  • Season the chuck with the salt and pepper, to taste. 
  • In a large oven safe Dutch oven (prefer porcelain coated cast iron) over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat until just smoking. 
  • Add the beef in batches, being careful not to crowd and be sure to brown the meat on all sides. 
  • Remove the meat from the pan to a baking sheet, or something that can catch the juices. 
  • Add the onions and carrots to the Dutch oven and pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, the moisture from the onions will loosen the fond, so stir often. 
  • Add the peppers and the shallots and cook until caramelized and all of the liquid is evaporated. 
  • Stir in the tomato paste and allow to cook out the raw acidic flavor, about 1 minute. 
  • Add in the caraway, sweet and hot paprika, the red chili flakes, the marjoram, and thyme. 
  • Deglaze with the balsamic and let reduce for 2 minutes. 
  • Slowly add the stock, then add the beef and any juices collected from the meat. 
  • Add the bay leaves, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir gently to combine. 
  • Cover and cook in the preheated oven for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. 
  • Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste
  • Serve with rice or pasta

Friday, October 21, 2011

Healthy reminder :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

O.A.R. on the Today Show

Saturday, August 27, 2011

One week from today

This is where I will be 1 week from today... What a beautiful sight...
Last week the Wildcats hosted an open practice session at the stadium. They installed new turf this summer and it looks AMAZING!!! The purple will be sure to impress on TV.

The man himself... Coach Bill Snyder :)
The Brown Brothers

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Girls weekend!

I have been a BAD blogger lately. Hunting season is coming up, so I am betting I will have a bit more spare time to devote to it. About a month ago my friend & spinning instructor, Stephanie, hosted a girls weekend at her lake house at Council Grove lake. We had a blast! I even went tubing... First time in decades?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Halfway Cookies

This seems like a long recipe but it is a super easy and VERY detailed recipe.

Halfway Cookie
Chewy Cookie on the bottom, marshmallow-like meringue on top, and with a layer of chocolate sandwiched in the middle... YUM!


2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar, separated
2 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks


9x13 baking dish
aluminum foil
parchment or wax paper


1. Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Pan: Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut two pieces of aluminum foil and fold them to match the width of the pan. Press one piece into the pan lengthwise and the other into the pan crosswise with the ends hanging over the sides of the pan. This makes it easy to lift the bars out of the pan once they're cooled. Spray the foil with nonstick coating.

2. Make the Cookie Dough: Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside. Using a standing mixer, a hand mixer, or by hand, cream together the butter, the granulated sugar and just 1/2 cup of the brown sugar until this looks like smooth frosting.

Separate the eggs, reserving the whites. Mix the yolks into the butter-sugar mixture one at a time until they are completely absorbed, then mix in the water and vanilla. With the mixer at a low speed, add the flour mixture and beat gently until all the flour has been absorbed and the dough looks crumbly.

3. Add the Cookie Layer: Press the cookie dough gently into the pan with your hands, making sure the surface is even.

4. Add the Chocolate Layer: Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough and use your palms to press them slightly into the dough. This will help keep them from moving when you add the meringue.

5. Make the Meringue: Using a stand or hand mixer with a clean bowl and a clean whisk attachment, start whisking the egg whites. Gradually increase your speed to medium-high. When the egg whites are very frothy and look like loose foam, start adding the remaining cup of brown sugar a little at a time. Continue increasing your speed to the highest setting. When all the sugar has been added, continue whipping the meringue until it holds a soft peak. It should look like glossy, soft-serve ice cream.

6. Spread the Meringue on Top: Scoop the meringue down the middle of the pan. It will be very sticky! Use a spatula to gently spread the meringue from the middle to the edges. We found it helpful to skim meringue from the top and gradually push it outward.

7. Bake the Bars: Lightly press a piece of parchment or wax paper on the top of the meringue (this makes an even layer and protects the meringue from scorching). Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment. Continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the edges look toasted and are pulling away from the sides of the pan.

8. Allow to Cool: Wait until the pan is completely cook before lifting out the bars and cutting them into pieces.

Additional Notes:

• To make a crunchier meringue layer, use granulated white sugar instead of brown sugar and beat the meringue until it forms firm peaks.

• You can also reduce the amount of sugar in the meringue down to 1/2 cup (minimum) if desired.

• Other ingredients can be used in place of or in addition to the chocolate chip layer! Consider things like peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, toffee bits, dried fruit, and fruit preserves.

Saturday fun

This past Saturday Aaron and I rented a tandem kayak, packed a picnic lunch and floated on Tuttle Puddle. I was elated that we never tipped.... And I only screamed when a fish jumped out of the water once. It was a perfect afternoon.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Millons of Peaches..

I love summer time fruit. Here is the newest recipe I made this week...

Peach Cake


· 2 (15 ounce) can sliced peaches, undrained

· 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix

· 1/3 cup vegetable oil

· 3 eggs

· 1 (8 ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed

· 1 (6 ounce) container peach yogurt


1. Drain peaches, reserving juice. Add enough water to juice to measure 1-1/4 cups. Cut peaches into 1-in. pieces; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cake mix, peach juice mixture, half of the cut up peaches, oil and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into 9x13 inch greased baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

3. In a bowl, combine the whipped topping and yogurt; fold in the remaining reserved peaches. Spread topping between layers and over top of cake.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Just when you think you have seen it all...

I shop at Target...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Food for Thought...

I check out Yahoo! Health on a weekly basis. Click HERE to see this weeks article about the Top 10 Dirtiest Foods...

I am not a big ground beef eater.. Not sure why but it isn't what I cook with, but I will eat it, don't get me wrong. This was the caption under the beef picture. Got to give props to K-State :)

"Add fresh oregano to your burgers and meat loaf. When researchers at Kansas State University mixed a variety of common household spices into ground beef to test their antibacterial properties, oregano tested as one of the best at wiping out E. coli. Use at least 1 tablespoon per pound of meat. Just as important, flatten your patties—thick burgers will char on the outside before the interior reaches the required 160°F."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I Can't WAIT!!!

Exciting news for Manhattan, KS... Click HERE!

Friday, April 22, 2011

My gift to you... Happy Easter :)

Macaroni & Cheese

- 16 oz Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, cut into small cubes
- 16 oz Mild Cheddar Cheese, cut into small cubes
- 16 oz Mozzarella Cheese, cut into small cubes
- Milk
- 1 stick of butter
- 3 large eggs
- Salt & pepper
- 16 oz of elbow macaroni

- Bring water to a boil for macaroni noodles, once water is boiling add noodles, 2 T of butter, and salt. Cook until the noodles are almost al dente, and drain.
- Add the ingredients in this order to the noodles. You will need to have a continuous motion of stirring while mixing everything together. Try and be quick so the noodles are still warm when you place in baking dish.
- 3 eggs, mix well
- 6 T butter
- Gradually add the cheese. While adding the cheese the mac will beco
me hard to stir, add milk in small amounts to help with stirring. Do this until all the cheese cubes is incorporated.
- Place into a baking dish, no need to butter the dish... there is plenty in it already :)
- Bake 45-60 min at 350 degrees until bubbly & the top starts to brown.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cookies 'N Creme cupcakes

A few weeks ago I hosted a dinner party for my brother and his Collegiate golf team. I knew the boys needed a dessert but what... I came up with this creation by putting about a half bag of oreos in my food processor & mixing that up with vanilla buttercream. They were an absolute hit b/c there were none left... 24 cupcakes and 5 boys.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I LOVE Manhattan!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don't look at him in the eye :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Photo booth!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shrimp & Rice

Today is Ash Wednesday, so I have been abstaining from meat and fasting all day. Well if you know me at ALL I think partly with my brain, partly with my heart but mostly with my stomach... So I have been thinking about what I was going to have for dinner ALL DAY. I saw this recipe on the Food Network not once but twice. Is it odd that I watch reruns of cooking shows I have already seen? It is Giada De Laurentiis' grandmother's shrimp & rice recipe. If you make it, you will not be disappointed. However, for some reason I feel super guilty about having such an amazing meal on a day of fasting... Guess it is my Catholic guilt coming out in me ;)


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature
  • 2 cups parboiled long-grain rice, such as Uncle Ben's
  • 4 cups chicken stock, not broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (1- 2 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper


In a medium nonstick saucepan, heat 1/2 of the butter and 1 minced clove of garlic over medium-low heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and salt. Bring the

mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 20 to 25 minutes until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. DO NOT LIFT THE LID. Remove the pan from the heat and rest covered for 5 minutes.

In a large skillet, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes until aromatic. Add the shrimp, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Stir in the cream and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Using a fork, fluff the rice and arrange on a platter. Spoon the shrimp cream sauce over the rice and serve.

Mardi Gras in the Little Apple

This past weekend the Krewe of Allegawaho put on an amazing Mardi Gras party at The Wareham. I had a blast getting dressed up and partying the night away. Here are some pictures.

The scene.
Aaron and me without our masks
We were just getting ready to eat. He could not eat with his mask on but I tried my best at keeping mine on. It was a bit of a challenge b/c it decreased my field of view but I did my best and kept it on ;)
Some of the girls from the Krewe doing a little dance to kick things off. They were amazing! My friend Dina is the gorgeous one in red.
Me & Ellen

Ellen, Mark (a mutual friend and attorney in town) and me
More pictures to come of the photo booth!

Monday, March 7, 2011


Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Slow Cooker Creamy Italian Chicken

- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 pkg Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 8oz pkg low fat cream cheese
- 1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
- 3 cups cooked white, long grain rice

1. Place chicken in crock pot
2. Mix together Italian dressing mix and water. Pour over chicken.
3. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours OR low for 8 hours.
4. Mix together cream cheese and soup in separate bowl.
5. Carefully remove chicken from crock pot to plate.
6. Pour cream cheese/soup mixture into crock pot and mix together with dressing in bottom.
7. Return chicken to crock pot and mix gently to shred the chicken.
8. Cook on LOW until heated through. Serve with rice or noodles.

**You may add skim or low fat milk in very small quantities to thin the sauce a little.**

Makes 6 servings. Approximately 2/3 cup mixture with 1/2 cup rice.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

OH Happy Day!

My first shipment of wine... Click HERE to go to the website I got this wine from. It was seriously a steal and I had to only pay $10 for shipping. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thread anyone?

I finally was at Hobby Lobby and got a vase to display (some of) the wooden spools of thread that came with my grandma's sewing machine. I love them so much! And the thread seems much sturdier than what is made today, of course. And yes I am that neurotic and separated out the colors before I filled the vase. I knew I should have gotten the bigger vase...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Starbucks Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake recipe

3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips


2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1 cup margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips
OVEN: 350 Grease and flour a bundt or 9" tube pan.

TOPPING: Combine sugar, cinnamon and 1/3 cup chocolate chips in a small bowl. Set aside.

BATTER: Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In an electric mixer, cream margarine and sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in sour cream, vanilla, and bananas. Gently stir in flour mixture til combined. Fold in remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips.

Pour 1/2 of the cake batter into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the topping.

Spoon remaining batter into the pan; sprinkle with remaining topping.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center come out clean.

Cool on a rack for 10 minutes; remove from pan and continue to cool.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Adult Truths

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 0.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time, when it's pitch dark.

24. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So cute! And creative

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Dry Hands? I have the remedy :)

Here is a recipe I got from a nurse... It is wonderful for your hands and feet!


1 bottle (15 oz) Johnson's baby lotion - whatever scent you like
8 oz Fruit of the Earth Vitamin E creme
1 jar Vaseline

Mix first two ingredients together, soften Vaseline in microwave (2-4 min) and add to the rest of the mixture.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Even more great pieces!

A few weeks ago when my family moved my grandma out of her apartment, I was lucky enough to get some great furniture pieces. So I had to finally, sort of, organize my "office" so I could make room for my grandparent's bed & dresser. Here it is in my now 2nd guest room.
The dresser is an amazing piece.
I thought it was fitting to hang up my grandparent's marriage certificate. Dated July 23, 1947

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Winter wonderland... Not really

When I was a child, I LOVED snow... But now since I am a homeowner and have a job I have to be at by a certain time everyday, I think of it more of a nuisance... Sure it is pretty but a pain to get around in.

Earlier this week, we got about 8 inches. This is what it looked like.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thank you!!

This post seems fitting for today... For years I have been admiring the old sewing machine that my Grandma has. I would always ask about it and she would always tell me that my Uncle Kelly was getting it. Well a few weeks ago when we were moving my Grandma out of her apartment, my Uncle Kelly informed me that he was giving ME the sewing machine. You can imagine how happy I was, not to mention shocked! I am not 100% of the history, I need to do some research, but I do know it is beautiful. Thank you Uncle Kelly for this beautiful gift and piece of our family's history. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNCLE KELLY :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Visiting Grandma

A couple weeks ago, my Dad and his siblings got together to help move my Grandma out of her apartment. She unfortunately suffered a fall last year and broke her pelvis, not hip, but pelvis. Since then she has been unable to live on her own and has moved into an assisted living community.

Sadly this is the first time I remember getting a picture of all my aunts and uncles in years. They are a loud, but loving, bunch. :)

Front: Joe (my dad), My beautiful Grandma, Uncle Bruce
Back: Aunt Connie, Uncle Tim, Aunt Lora, Uncle Kelly (my godfather)
And then my mom and Aunt Deb & Aunt Kathy stepped in.
I had to get a picture with my Grandma & little brother.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas morning

This is what Christmas morning looks like for me :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy 2011!

About 5:30 on December 31, 2010 I made a decision on what to do for my NYE 2011... Typically I am a very pre-planned type of person but not this day. Maybe this is just the beginning of a new leaf for 2011, flying by the seat of my pants?? Anywho... I sent out a few invitations, via text, and had great responses! So I quickly came up with a menu and headed to the grocery store, along with everyone else in Manhattan apparently.

Here is the table of food, all ready for guests ;) Ellen completed the look with a beautiful bouquet of flowers!
The wine table...
Kimmie & Ellen
Me, Kimmie & Ellen
Kimmie & Nick, they really do love each other, promise :)
Roomies ;)
Ellen, Kimmie, Sally & me
New friends & Abigail & Nate
It was their anniversary
Doctor & Doctor :)
Taking the picture themselves, can you tell? The first pic was priceless, tops of their heads
Alesana & Martha
Me & Aaron
Sally & Casey
Nearing the end of the night. Pretty sure Ellen had gone to bed at this point...
The boys
This is what was left the next morning. I was disappointed that no kitchen fairy came thru during the night and cleaned up my kitchen. Oh well. It was a great party and I can't wait to host the next one.