Monday, May 30, 2011

Herbed Chicken Patties and Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sage Sauce

As you all know, I'm growing a little container garden with a lot of herbs and it's doing really well. Minus a little roughing up in the beginning by the cousin of Mr. Mutant Squirrel from our last house, I haven't had many issues. 

I realized I had an abundance of herbs and needed to get them into my cooking ASAP. So I made up this little recipe with ingredients I had on hand. You can substitute for dried herbs, but this is perfect if you have a little garden like mine! 

Herbed Chicken Patties and Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sage Sauce

Chicken Patty
1 pound ground chicken
1/4 cup chopped sage
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sage Sauce
1 pound short cut pasta (I used Farfalle) 
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream (or fat free half and half to make it lighter)
1/4 cup chopped sage
Salt and Pepper

For chicken patty, mix together chicken, herbs, salt and pepper and for into patties. Coat with breadcrumbs. Heat oil in a pan and add chicken patties. Cook through on both sides. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Cook pasta according to package minus 1 minute of cook time. Add oil to pan with drippings and add mushrooms and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes. Add chicken broth, scraping bits off bottom of pan. Cook 3-4 minutes. Add cream, sage, salt and pepper. Cook through. Add pasta and cook for another 1-2 minutes in pan. Serve with chicken patties.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reality TV...You Know You Watch It

It's no secret that I love me some reality TV. I am one of those people that perpetuates the drama. I'll try any reality show on for size at least once or twice, and it's rare I meet one that I don't like. 

I'm currently enjoying...

  • Any and all of the Real Housewives. Orange County - Tamara's my fave. She speaks her mind and gets shit done. New York - Luanne's my girl. She tries to stay neutral on most drama. And she doesn't pull many high school stunts. Jerz - Jacquelin for sure. She's so sweet and doesn't have that God-forsaken North Jersey Italian vibe. 
  • The Voice - I had all but given up on reality singing contest shows...until this one swept me off my feet. The combination of CeeLo, Blake Sheldon, Adam Levine and Christina is genius. CeeLo makes me laugh and Adam makes me swoon. 
  • Mob Wives - I'm still trying this one on for size. Once it comes on though, I'm usually glued to the TV. These women are for real. Cross them and they'll cut ya. 
  • Extreme Couponing - This show amazes me. Literally leaves me drooling at the TV. Hence why I started a coupon binder. Because I need to get in on that action.
And of course, these are all in addition to my faves, like 16 and Pregnant, Bethany Ever After, Chopped, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, etc. 

Also, I see that Paris Hilton has her own reality show again. This time on WE. Looks like she dropped the baby talk, extreme partying and drunk driving, for a little more responsibility. I'm not sure about this one, but hey, I'll try anything once. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Tale of Mr. Slithery

Tonight was a traumatic night. Let me weave you a tale.

I had a much-needed haircut appointment at 7:00. On the way, I figured I'd hit up Kohls to make a return and Old Navy, because, why not? 

With my Kohls return in hand, I walked into my garage and turned the corner to go around my car into the driver's side door. Then....I saw it. A slithery, slimy, giant black SNAKE. Flopping around. Standing at attention when he saw me. Did I mention, flopping? 

I'm not sure how, but I didn't scream. Instead, I ran back into the house and shut the door. Then ran over to my neighbor's where I asked if I could "borrow" her husband to kill the slithery reptile.  

He came armed with a garden shovel, rake and hedge trimmers. And his 8 year old son, who thought it was cool. My shrieking drew the attention of the neighbor across the street (who I hadn't met yet...finding a snake is a great way to meet the neighborhood.) So they both went to it. Poking Mr. Slithery out of my garage and into the rose bushes. Where, after a struggle, he met his demise with a pair of hedge clippers. 

He was a black snake. About 3 feet long. Girthy. Wriggly. And I realize karma may come back to bite me in the ass someday for orchestrating the murder of an innocent snake...but he WAS breaking and entering. So, I think it's self defense. I'm just saying. And don't worry, I paid the neighbors in wine. Because that's all I had to offer.

And now? My car is NOT parked in the garage. My dear, sweet mother stayed on the phone with me as I ran into the garage and dove through my passenger seat. I made it to Kohls (I do have priorities), but I did miss my hair appointment. And now, the car is in the driveway. In case Mr. Slithery told his friends. Or they're coming to avenge his death. Or he's a she and she had babies. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Like me, I'm sure there are many of you that have watched the TLC show "Extreme Couponing." It fascinates me. Intrigues me. Makes me jealous, yet slightly annoyed. Because, really, who needs 37 bottles of mustard? 

But it made me think of possible savings I could be missing out on by not cashing in on my Sunday paper's coupons. You see, I used to clip them. Right out of college. When I was a lot poorer. But let's be serious, everyone could use some savings during these tough times. And the fact that you can get staples like TP, paper towels, toothpaste, etc, on the cheap, got me thinking.

Will I become a deodorant hoarding crazy lady? Probably not. If I do, it's time for an intervention. But I did make a binder. Yes. You read that right. A binder. Go ahead, judge me, but it's a lot easier when you can see your coupons rather than rifle through a file. 

So over the next few weeks, I'll be seeing what kinds of deals I can drum up and share them with you all. It'll either be fantastic or a fail. 

If you're interesting in joining me, I suggest heading over to They give you some how to's, deals, suggestions, etc. Pretty handy, I think.  Go get 'em. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Elevator Awkward Moments

I've blogged before about my hatred for awkward moments. I mean, who doesn't hate them, right? 

But you know what the worst kind of awkward moments are? Those that take place in an elevator. Because there's nowhere to go. 

Case in point. Today at work, I was walking around with a gentleman I had just met, interviewing him for a story. We got in the elevator and suddenly we were trapped in a blanket of putrid stench. Yes. Someone had found the elevator a perfectly acceptable place to drop a bomb (for lack of a better term.)

We both noticed it. I mean, how could you not? It was the kind of smell that takes your breath away. But neither one of us wanted to say anything. So I started babbbling to diffuse the situation. Asking stupid questions. Four floors felt like an eternity. Awkwardddd.

How about the person I like to call "The Singer." The guy/gal who was has big dreams of being the next Whitney Houston/Usher (first two names that popped in my head), so they sing wherever anyone will hear them. What do I say to said singer? "Wow, you're really good. Why don't you have a record deal?" Or "You should try out for American Idol!" Please tell me this happens to someone else. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? 

Or the person that really wants to be your friend. I'm all about being friendly, but do I really need to know that your mom just had surgery for her urinary incontinence and you, yourself, believe you are developing the same issue? 

Or the person with no regard for your personal bubble. The one that has plenty of room in their area of the elevator, but needs to somehow step into your space.

Or the person with BO that could gag a rat. The kind that smells like onions...and a bad Italian hoagie. 

Next time you're in an on the lookout for these people. They're everywhere.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Recipe Roundup: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

This past weekend was my sister's bachlorette party. For the party I decided that we she should make cupcakes, because she's an awesome baker. 

I did act as baking assistant though. I definitely handed her ingredients, taste tested, put the icing in the bag and frosted them. But the ingredients/mixing was all her. Because I tend to not measure things properly. And it all turns bad. 

This recipe is long and a little complicated. Not for the novice baker. But they are deeee-licious and totally worth the time. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate mini chocolate chips (semisweet)

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each is added. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Add to butter and sugar, mixing well and adding milk at the same time. Add vanilla, fold in chocolate chips. Divide into 24 cupcake liners and bake at 18-20 minutes. 

 Mmm, cupcake batter.

For the filling:
4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
6 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
1 cup, plus 2 tbsp flour
7 oz sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar. Add flour, milk, vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. After cupcakes have cooled, fill cupcakes by cutting a cone-shaped hole out of the center and fill the hole with cookie dough mixture.

For the frosting:
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in flour and salt. Mix in milk and vanilla extract until smooth. Frost with a pastry bag and top with mini chocolate chips. And you'll get these:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Getting My Craft On

This past week, I've taken on a few crafty projects. A little trip to Michaels and perusing Etsy gave me the crafting bug. 

I like to paint. It's usually my craft of choice. Fact about me...I took Folk Art Painting when I was in 4H (yes,'s more than showin' cows.) I used to sell my stuff, but I got out of it. However, I'm thinking it's about time to set up a shop on Etsy. I'm looking to dig out the pics of my old projects, so stay tuned. 

Anyway, I digress. I found these letter cutouts, so I decided I just had to have our initials for the kitchen.

They jazzed up my windowsill a bit. And didn't take me that long to make. 

My second project was painting some wine/champagne glasses for my sister's bachlorette party to give to the girls. Painting glass was a new thing for me. You do have to buy special paint formulated for glass, then bake them in a 325 degree oven (put them in the oven before it warms up so they don't crack) and leave them in for 30 minutes. I forgot to take a pic of them all together, but here's mine:

I did them in her wedding colors (yellow and blue), and did everyone's first initial. They were a great favor for the party and would also make a great bridesmaids gift. 

Anyone else have any good craft projects? I'm getting the itch to do something else. 

New House Tour: Part 2

Let's continue on the new house tour, shall we? Come on in.

Our second living room. To the right when you walk in. Still not unpacked.

Dining room

Another view of the living room and entryway. Complete with a Wiggle butt. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New House Tour

Some of you have been asking to see pics of the new house. Ask and ye shall receive!

I have to do it in pieces though. Because I don't want to overwhelm you with pictures. And not everything is unpacked (and might not be for a few more weeks, ha!)

Today, I bring you the kitchen and the main living room!

Yes, that's Iron Chef on the tube.
 Check out my new pet on the shelf. My beta fish!

View from the dining room through the kitchen into the main living room. We have an eat-in kitchen AND a dining room. Love.

More to come! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pretty Posies

It's that time of year again! Time for me to try and garden! 

Here's part of last year's deck garden that was attacked by Mr. Mutant Squirrel:

And here's my attempt this year. Here's what I've got on the deck:
Herbs in the back (left to right) Parsley, Basil, Thyme (2 of from last year.)
Then in front is grape tomato and lettuce.

In the back, Sage and Spinach. In front, Chives and Pink Polka Dot Plant.

Now for some what I planted in the ground:

There's some spinach, lettuce and two jalapeno plants. I just watered...hence the weird pattern.

And some flowers from my momma. Dahlias, Gerber Daisies, Pansies.

And some Petunias too.

And I still have more to plant. My mom kind of went overboard. 

Here's to hoping I have a green thumb this year...and no killer squirrels. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fun Fridays!

Today, I'm linking up with Jen over at A Girl in Pearls & A Boy with Toys for...

This weekend, the parents will be coming down for a visit. My mom hasn't been here since I moved a few weeks ago so I'm excited for her to see the new place!

My dad has been kind enough to hitch his trailer up to the Durango and bring it so we can go pick up my brand spankin' new tractor tomorrow.
Oh yeah! Are you jealous yet? I'll be riding this bad boy around the yard until hubs gets home to take over lawn duty. Lord help us all because I've never mowed grass before. I know. I was spoiled.

Then we'll probably do a little shopping, a little grilling and a little relaxing. And on Sunday, we have reservations at a local restaurant for a Mother's Day brunch. And for my momma? I got her this:

Not only is she Vera crazy (like her daughter), she is always looking for something small and easy to carry when she goes shopping. This should be perfect. 

Happy Mother's Day to all you mommas out there! Hopefully, next year will be my first as a momma :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

When You're Talking in Your Sleep

Let's talk about sleepwalking/talking. My husband is a primo sleepwalker and talker. And for some reason, I was thinking about that today. 

When we first moved in together, I remember waking up one night to hubs wondering around the room. I didn't think anything of it until I saw him make his way to our walk-in closet, pull his pants down and his manhood out. I realized then that he was going to take a pee...all over my shoes! I shot out of bed and woke that man right out of his peeing slumber and led him to the bathroom. 

And that's not the last time I caught him with his pants down...literally. In our next place, I woke up to what sounded like a faucet running. Nope. Just my husband. Taking a leak in the middle of the bathtub. At least he went somewhere that was easy to clean up, right?

And yet another time, in our new house in NJ, I woke up to him standing on his tippy-toes peeing in our pedestal sink outside the master bedroom. He looked right at me and I asked "What the hell are you doing!?" 

He frankly responded, "Taking a piss. What does it look like I'm doing?" 

And yet the man was still fast asleep because he knew nothing of it the next day.

Then there are the things he says when he's sleeping. One night, he frantically woke me up. 

Me: "OhmyGodwhat'sgoingon!?!"
Hubs: "We have to alert the royal family!"
Me: "What????"
Hubs: "We must tell the royal family. It's important!"
Me: "What the hell are you talking about?"
Hubs: *Angrily* "Why are you arguing with me? We have to tell them!"
Me: "Ok, honey. We'll tell them."

Then, his head hit the pillow and he was right back to sleep. And we still have yet to figure out what he was dreaming about. But it was obviously a matter of royal security. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Gym: Day One

Today was my first day at my new gym. It's a Bally's and I don't like it nearly as much as Golds for a few reasons:

1. It doesn't have a cardio theater. In Golds, I could watch a movie on a big screen and hide in the back of a dark room where no one was looking at me. Because I'm self conscious.  And I always think I have butt sweat. You know exactly what I'm talking about too.

2. It doesn't have a women's only section. I'm all for gender equality, but I also feel uber intimidated lifting my 8 pound weights in front of a gorilla juicehead (thank you, Jersey Shore) lifting dumbells the size of a small child. 

3. I can't tune in to the TVs with the FM tuner on my iPod. So you're forced to listen to the craptastic music on the Bally's fitness channel and watch the subtitles on CNN. 

4. The parking situation leaves a lot to be desired. Tight spaces and not many of them. I'm bound to back into something...or someone. 

On the plus side:

1. It's cheaper than Golds at $21/month.

2. It not only has an indoor pool, but an outdoor pool that will open May 31. This excites me. 

3. They still offer Spin class (except the don't start until 6:30...which is when my motivation starts to wave buh-bye.)

4. It's 5 minutes from my house. 

Today, I worked it out for 40 minutes on the elliptical (yay, me!) And I didn't get terribly bored. Although tomorrow I think I'll be bringing a magazine for a little more entertainment. I have 15 pounds to lose before hubs comes home at the beginning of June. I've got 2 down. 13 to go!