Monday, January 30, 2012

apple&cinnamon dessert squares

i rip out pages of books. 

yes, you read that right.

somehow, i end up with countless strips of paper with recipes i've ripped out of magazines, pamphlets, packages, and yes, actually cook books.

all these pieces of assorted recipes get stuffed into my recipe box. and every once in a while, i'll pull one out to try. 

well, lately i've been on a roll. this week i made 4 different recipes i've never tried before. mostly desserts. you should have come to visit. i would have fed you.

this recipe was better than i expected it to be. and a lot easier too.

this recipe originally came from a really old pillsbury mix and match meal book. i changed and added a couple ingredients and it turned out delicious!

i ended up eating a square or two (and sometimes three) for breakfast. it goes really well with coffee.

to make these apple&cinnamon dessert squares you will need:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large sliced and peeled apples (not granny smiths. i used a mix of gala and macintosh)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon


preheat oven to 350F. Grease your 9x13 pan. 
in a large bowl combine: flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg. mix well.
add milk, egg and vanilla. blend well.
pour into greased pan.
in a small bowl combine: 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon. mix well.
sprinkle sugar mixture over top.

bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes or until edges are light golden and a fork goes easily through an apple slice.
approximately 12 servings. or 6 if your name is jessica ronnevik.


 cut up your apples into slices that are not too thick.

the batter. 

lay down your apples.

all done and out of the oven! 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

p h o t o s h o o t

it's pretty traditional to send out a christmas letter in my husband's family. you know-it's where you mail friends and family a recap of your year with a picture and christmas card. it's good for getting updates from family members you don't see too often's just fun to get!  

they (christmas letters) are also a way to keep track of your memories and life events.

when i married Karl, his mom gave me a binder with all their christmas letters- about 20 years worth.
it was pretty cool to read and i felt like i knew my husband a little bit better!

anyways, last year our christmas letter didn't get out until around valentine's day. we hope to do better this year! 
the letter is written, the picture is taken and even some of the envelopes are addressed!

we thought it would be fun to take some new pictures- especially when we got a surprise little snow storm. since out budget was exactly $0 we got one of our friends to snap a few picts on my dying little digi cam.

it was pretty funny. when our friend arrived at our apartment to help us out he said "these pictures aren't going to be like for a christmas card or anything, right? cuz you know i'm like the world's worst picture taker." what a great start! ;)

i think they turned out just fine and am super thankful for his help!
we are only using 1 for our letter/card, but i thought it would be fun for you all to see them all!

 most awesome christmas gift from Karl! a new viola case!!!! 

happy new year!!! (p.s. we love jumping pictures. we take them everywhere.) 

this pretty much sums up our relationship. yup.

 you can't really tell, but the only in focus part is our hands. i should have done better editing this one. maybe black and white with color in the focal area....
i look so submissive here. i'm not.

any guesses on which one we choose for our christmas letter?
which one is your favorite?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

what a sandwich isn't....

a sandwich isn't just 2 pieces of bread with cheese and turkey. 

a sandwich isn't only mayo and mustard.

a sandwich shouldn't be boring or dry or tasteless or small.

a sandwich should be an exPloSioN of flavors you can hold in your hands.

i'm a fan of sandwiches. not all sandwiches and in fact, not most. i feel like sandwiches are the unsung heroes of lunches (no pun intended).  

there is nothing more boring than a boring sandwich. you know- white bread, american cheese (it's not really cheese!!!!), iceberg lettuce, mayo, turkey, etc... 

the only thing i can think of more boring than a boring sandwich is a boiled plain potato. 

getting back on track.

when i make a sandwich, i can go a little bit crazy. here's my latest one. it was soooo good!

toasted sweet crunch bread, avocado slices, a fried egg, red onion, roasted red peppers, bacon and olives. 

you will not be hungry in an hour. promise.

what  are your favorite ingredients to put in your sandwiches?

Friday, January 27, 2012

i know it's late, but.......

love from our family to yours!

we're working on our christmas may get out before valentine's day this year :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

big-batch, tasty pasta salad

i'm not a fan of pasta salad. at all. if i'm at a picnic and there's NOTHING BUT pasta salad, i may try some. it's got to be that serious of a situation. 

i also know that pasta salads are not traditionally the most tasty thing on earth.
i am here to change that fact. 

you can alter this recipe to fit what your tastes. if you don't like olives, leave them out and swap in diced red pepper. (and so on)

this recipe makes a big batch. i usually keep it in the fridge and then just pull it out for lunch. 

to make this pasta salad you will need:

1 lb. of pasta cooked according to the package, drained and cooled. (medium shells and small ziti work well)
1/2 a red onion, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 apple, chopped
1/3 cup crasins (i only had mixed dried berries so i used that)
1 TB of mustard
extra virgin olive oil
powdered garlic
olives, sliced in half
dill (fresh or dried is fine)
8 oz feta cheese

directions: in a large bowl combine the olive oil and mustard and a bit of juice from the olive jar.
whisk until combined. 

add drained pasta to large bowl. toss to coat. add the apple, onion, crasins, olives, feta, parsley, dill, and garlic. 

toss again. (if the pasta seems dry add more olive oil until it is well coated but not greasy)

season with salt to taste. 


 are you a fan of traditional pasta salads?

Monday, January 23, 2012

pumpkin roll

i know october has come and gone, but i like to stash up on some of my favorite ingredients that can't be bought year-round. like pumpkin. the best, most flavorful way to get pumpkin to bake with is to (unfortunately) go through the work of roasting a whole pumpkin and then scooping out the meat. however, i can be lazy. and also busy. so for those times, i buy canned pumpkin.

this recipe is very simple. only 15 minutes of baking time. however, because you need to cool the cake for 1 hour, you must plan ahead if you're going to make this. you won't be disappointed. it's delicious.

Pumpkin sheet cake (which you will later roll):

3 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (i go heaping on this)
2/3 cup of pureed pumpkin

preheat oven to 375F. mix all the ingredients in the order listed. beat until smooth. line a 9x12 pan with wax paper and grease generously. bake for 15 min.  prepare a tea towel with powdered sugar and turn out the cake onto the towel. remove the wax paper. roll and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Cream Cheese Filling:

1 (8oz) pack of cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup of confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 TB. butter

cream all ingredients until smooth. unroll the log cake and spread evenly. (you can go up to the edges). roll up again and refrigerate until ready to serve. sprinkle top with powdered sugar. slice and serve.

makes about 8 good sized slices.

my roll cracked a bit when rolling up. 

 plop the filling on the sheet cake and then smooth it out. try to get as much of an even layer as possible.

i didn't think i was in the picture. (can't waste any of the frosting!) 

i hope you make this pumpkin roll. it's super delicious and looks beautiful when sliced into. (like a pinwheel) 

i would have more pictures of this, but we ate it too fast. :)

what's your favorite thing to make with pumpkin?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

ideas (for lack of something better)

i have so many ideas for my blog.
 i would be blogging every day if i could. 
sometimes twice a day. 

where does the time go? there are some days i feel like i've run around the whole day doing things and at the end of the day it looks like i've accomplished nothing at all. i can't even imagine how much more i'll feel that way once i have kids. (no, not pregnant. not planning to be any time soon) 

there are so many things i love to do: cooking, crafting, blogging (duh), shopping, rearranging, bargain hunting, reading, decorating, and traveling, just to name a few. i also love music. i feel extremely blessed to be making a living doing what i love. today i (and about 20 other people) spent 5 hours recording music for a cd entitled "lullaby." it will be given out to families whose babies spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital. i love the idea of that. i would have even done it for free. but i got paid to do it. i'm not bragging here or trying to sound all proud. i'm not. i'm just so grateful for my job. and the fact that i love it.

even though i have all these distractions of what i like doing, i can't do them all. that's pretty much a fact. and right now, my music must take priority. i desperately need to go back to school and i have to take spending time with my instrument seriously. like at least 4 hours a day kind of seriously. 

i won't be blogging as much as i like. 

but know that i want to be. 

and keep on reading, cuz it makes me smile.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

craft fair fun

i recently had my craft fair and boy was it an adventure!   i never really realized how much work goes into just preparing everything to be "customer friendly." it was a long day but really fun!

the event wasn't really technically a craft fair. it was a "fashion 4 u!" event hosted by the Girl Scouts of Southern Mass. there was a stinky $20 admission fee (which i didn't know about until after i had signed up for the event) and it was mostly pre-teen girls running around screaming. not ideal.

however, there was free food (that always gets me) and really cool people to meet. the vendor to my left was this really sweet lady in a burka doing henna tattoos. she offered to do one for free on me. (!!!!!!!! I LOVE HENNA TATTTOOSSSSS) but since i had a Doctoral audition/interview the next day, i thought it would be best not to have one. (boooooo!) the girls to the right  were doing tinsel-in-the-hair type of stuff. they were a big hit. (who doesn't like sparkly hair?!)

i didn't sell as much as i wanted to, but that's ok with me. my button bobbies and feather headbands were quite a hit. yay!

i'll be posting the headbands and a few other things i didn't sell on my etsy. (so look for that soon!)

here's my craft fair journey:

my living room the night before. total chaos!

 reversible throw pillows.  i like them so much i didn't want to bring them with me. 

more headbands. displayed on my quaker oats painted container.

 my actual table at the event.

lots of accessories. 

my vintage section.

oh so many tote bags!!!

 set of pink and gold wall art.

burlap candle holder.

my old roommate from college came to help me with the set up. loved seeing her and she was a real help.

seeing my old college roommate: priceless!
thanks for all your help k-girl!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Cold, Hard Truth

The past week there have been somethings i have realized.

 i've been stressed out about a bunch of things and my hair is falling out more than usual. (eeww, gross i know, but i won't be going bald anytime soon thanks to extra-thick hair) 

 this weekend (tomorrow actually) is my first ever craft fair. while i'm excited, i'm also worried i may have misspent money and time preparing for it. auditions are coming up soon. for those of you who don't know, both Karl and I are preparing to go on for more school. He's auditioning for DMAs (doctor of musical arts) and I'm auditioning for a number of different programs at various schools. Finding the time i need (at least 4 hours a day) to practice has not been happening. for a while.  my students are driving me crazy (who comes to a violin lesson without a violin??!!?). i painted my fingernails yellow. (who does that!!??)  forgive my randomness and possibly crazy-personness right now. (yes, that is a word. no, don't look it up, just trust me ;p )

despite all of this, i still feel completely blessed, fortunate, and rich. i am constantly reminded of how grateful  i need to be for my health, a safe and comfortable apartment, an amazing husband, how God has continued to provide for all our needs.

what i have realized throughout the week:

+ everything on my list will not get done. stressing out about it doesn't help. (surprise!)

+ my house will not be as clean as i like. get used to it. 

+ having my personal devotions first thing in the morning will be the most important thing i do. if i've spent my time with God, that day is successful no matter what the outcome.

+ drinking water will really help keep headaches away. it will also reduce stress.

+ remembering to drink water is essential.

+ yelling at the idiot driver in front of me is not good. he can't hear me.

+ i can kill a scary spider if i put my mind to it.

this awesome e-book is just what i needed. i've always known i have so many clothes i don't really use  them to their full potential. 

+ blogging is cathartic. (thanks to those of you who stop by for a quick read and a huge thanks for your comments!)

+ i love to cook. and eat. both go together well.

+ smoothies make an 'ok' day awesome.

+ i met my mailman today. he asked if i was the violinist. i didn't bother to correct him, but just nodded. (besides who needs or wants another violist confession or explanation?) he told me his daughter plays the violin.  cool. 

thanks for reading and wish me luck for the craft fair tomorrow!

Friday, January 6, 2012

it's the little things: new year.

today i'm linking up with lindsey for "it's the little things"- a post where we share a couple of the little highlights that made our week. here are some of mine:

after weeks of deciding if i wanted to do it or not, i finally decided to spray paint this fake birdcage gold. i'll bring it to the craft fair i'm doing as part of the display.

 vintage teacups. oh to be dainty again.

my morning cup of joe. this mug has become my favorite one for morning coffee. it holds just the right amount. 

 one of my little students invited me to her sleepover-ice skating birthday party. 
so. adorable.

i discovered these and there is no going back. dark chocolate. mint. fluffy. 
and possibly the only chocolate candy i will ever eat again.

tonight the hubs and i have no obligations or teaching. what a treat! we can actually hang out and have fun being best friends. 
lately we've gotten into the show LOST,

*sidenote:  i'm always one to be slow hopping on the popular bandwagon. for instance i waited almost 10 years to read harry potter. case and point. 

and since we're both late night snackers, a bag of popcorn usually goes perfect with that. maybe tonight we'll have some more of the pumpkin streusel muffins i made earlier. cuz they're so yummy. 

we're really enjoying his time off from teaching. it's nice to homebodies every once in a while.

now excuse me while i go hang out with a cool dude and make some pizza!

happy friday!