Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween!

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

autumn goodness

So maybe you find yourself thinking "hmm, it's autumn and I would like to eat something autumn-y and healthy". Well you're in luck because I made this and it was freaking amazing!!!!!! The flavors blend together so well, it was like a little explosion in my mouth! I highly, highly recommend this!
(recipe and photo cred go to How Sweet It Is)

festive and yummy

Tell me your mouth doesn't water when you see this picture. If it doesn't, well then, you get a treat--a piece of celery--because you don't deserve something as awesome as this Halloween Oreo Pumpkin Cheesecake. I saw this picture on the Pioneer Woman's blog and I had to see more! The recipe and picture cred are due to Lauren's Latest. If you make some please invite me over, ok? Thanks!

jackie and marilyn

Last night Pallas and I went to see Colonizing the Cosmos at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and of course costumes were encouraged! We had a great time and loved getting dressed up!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

this is my obsession...


As some of you may know, I get on obsessive kicks, especially with food. One month we ate only Mexican, because that's what I wanted and that's what I cooked (only minor complaints from husband). I have also been through a Greek phase, nachos, Chick-fil-a, eggs, orange juice, hummus, french fries, pizza, Mexican (wait, did I already mention that?), guacamole (yes this is separate from Mexican), bruschetta, grilled cheese w/onions and sweet potato fries, just to mention a few. Anyway, I am now obsessed with Thai food! I can't get enough! So when I stumbled upon this simple and yummy looking recipe I decided that I absolutely, hands down have to make it. I plan on making it this weekend so I will make sure to follow up and update ya'll.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

to write love

To Write Love on Her Arms

This is a nonprofit whose mission is to promote awareness for depression, self-injury and addiction. Please take time out of your day and read their vision and their story, it brought tears to my eyes because I think there are so many more people struggling with these issues than we can imagine. Plus they have awesome clothes that support their cause:

eat your greens!

I've been trying to get in my daily amount of veggies lately and let's put it this way...eating a salad every day gets pretty boooooring. So I've learned how to add veggies to certain dishes and how to mix some together to make a creation I wouldn't have thought of before. Here are some:

  • Add chopped broccoli to an omelet
  • Put cooked veggies (one of my faves: spinach, garlic and cherry tomatoes cooked with olive oil) on top of an actual salad
  • can of collards (Glory brand, reduced sodium) mixed with a can of hominy....mmmm mmmm (oh yeah, and I drained both of them because I don't like the juice)
  • When making a casserole or pasta dish sneak in extra veggies such as green peas, green beans, asparagus or broccoli
  • Seasoned, stewed tomatoes mixed with corn, peppers, onions and any other veggie that seems to go well and put it over chicken, serve with shrimp or on top of a salad
  • carrots with horseradish, the only way I'll eat carrots these days!
Side note:
1/2 cup of cooked veggies=1 serving
1 cup of raw veggies=1 serving

turkey sausage and cabbage

We had this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!

  • 14 oz. of turkey sausage (looks like kielbasa)
  • half of a medium head of cabbage, chopped into chunks
  • half of an onion, chopped into chunks
  • 6 oz. of mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • a few dashes of Mrs. Dash (the original seasoning)
These are just guestimates of what I used tonight, I threw in what was in the fridge basically. Get a large frying pan and add a bit of olive oil (enough to coat the surface). Then I added the onions and cabbage and let them simmer (with the top on) for about 5 minutes...I also added about 2 tbsp. of water, because I thought it was a good idea, this isn't necessary...I don't think. Then I sliced up the turkey sausage into 1/2 in. thick slices and threw that and the mushrooms in. Then came the garlic and seasoning. I basically let it simmer on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. I just watched it until the cabbage looked cooked down but still had a bit of crunch to it. It was freaking delicious, enjoy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

precious one

She's clean. She's cute. And no, she's not happy about it. All of these pictures were completely staged. She may hate me but my love for her abounds!
(please note the ball is within mouth grabbing range, just in case...)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

you again

Anna and I went to see this cute little flick today. First of all, it has Betty White in it (what film doesn't have her starring in it these days?). Second, it has Kristen Bell (who I think is absolutely adorable). Third, Kristin Chenoweth makes an appearance and she always makes me laugh no matter how small or large her role is! It was a cute movie, definitely a chick flick and it is a little awkward. Awkward in the sense of "oh my gosh is this really happening, it makes me kinda anxious" kind of way. I do recommend it if you're looking for a cute movie (didn't I already say that? Ok, I did). 3 out of 5 stars.

surprise pumpkin muffins

I saw this recipe on one of the new blogs I'm stalking and decided that I MUST make it. My little 4 year old neighbor was helping me bake yesterday, she had a couple of questions and it went a little like this:

Neighb: why does the icing go in the inside?
Me: because they're surprise muffins
Neighb: how are they surprise muffins?
Me: because if you didn't watch me make them you wouldn't know that there was yummy icing in the middle until you bit in and surprise!
Neighb: oh, ok (insert sweet smile here)

So all of that to say, here is the wonderfully yummy surprise pumpkin muffin recipe:


  • 3 oz 1/3-less-fat neufchatel cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pumpkin pie spice
  • canola oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups sifted whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsulfured molasses
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup raw, unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper cups.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, evaporated cane juice, and 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice until well mixed. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through nutmeg).
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, molasses, oil, and eggs until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin, vanilla, and buttermilk.
  5. Add dry ingredients into wet and stir just until fully moistened.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup a little less than half way full; smooth batter with back of a spoon to even out. Spoon about 1 heaping tsp of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each cup. Top with remaining batter. Each cup will be almost completely full. Smooth tops with back of a spoon.
  7. Sprinkle each filled muffin cup with a few pepitas.
  8. Bake muffins for 20-23 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean (a bit of cream cheese clinging to the toothpick is fine, but there shouldn’t be any raw batter).
  9. Let the muffins cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes. Transfer muffins to a wire rack and let cool completely.
(Chef Jessi note: I did not put the pumpkin seeds on the muffins because a certain someone whom I live with does not like any types of nuts or seeds in food. hmph!)

also, much thanks to recipe and photo are hers :)

tortilla soup

My sweet neighbor, Pallas, made tortilla soup a couple of weeks ago and gave some to us, I loved it so much I had to make it for Mom and Katie. I hope you love it too!

Tortilla Soup

1 pound ground turkey, ground beef, or 1 rotisserie chicken
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can corn
1 can chopped green chiles
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel tomatoes
2 cans chicken broth
1 package Ranch dressing mix
1 package taco seasoning
Tortilla chips
Grated cheese

1. Brown ground turkey or beef. (If using a rotisserie chicken, remove skin and cut up.)
2. Combine all ingredients in a large pan. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
3. Serve with tortilla chips and cheese.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


While Ginny was here she introduced me to this wonderful concoction:

  1. 4 Coronas (or other Mexican beer of your choice)
  2. 1 can of frozen concentrate limeade
  3. tequila
Pour all of the Coronas in a pitcher. Then add the limeade. Then take the limeade container and fill it with tequila and add to pitcher. Stir and enjoy! They are so delicious! mmmmm

Monday, October 11, 2010

things that are awesome:

  1. Mediterranean food, have I mentioned that I love this stuff??
  2. Ear Wax candles...yes, I know it sounds weird but it totally cleans your ears out so you should check it out: Wally's Natural Candles
  3. Outlet shopping
  4. Spending time with my two favorite women in the world, my mom and Katie
  5. Outlet shopping with my two fave women in the world (!!!!!) by the way, can you tell that my mom and Katie visited this past weekend? Ok good.
  6. Thai Food, for you Pittsburghers please visit: The Silk Elephant for a lovely, tasty experience
  7. Girls' weekends
  8. Good deals on clothes, accessories...well basically everything
  9. My best friend from forever (read: Ginny) visiting me in a few days!
  10. Pumpkin spice lattes

Thursday, October 7, 2010

a few new bloggy blogs

Since it is still raining and gloomy I'm over Langston Hughes' poetic ode to rain so I decided to google "pretty things blog" because surely there has to be a blog with pretty things on it which will in turn provide me with positive, happy thoughts. Well lo and behold I found this little gem:

Pretty Little Things
their subtitle is: "because everyone needs pretty things" and you know what I couldn't agree more! So then that led me to this blog:

Healthy Food For Living
which I totally dig because not only did my mouth water at the first picture posted but I'm always inspired by new, tasty, healthy recipes...sometimes they seem hard to come by. So then that led me to this blog:

How Sweet It Is
And not only does this chick love Sweet Baby James (apparent in the blog title), she loves to eat (!), loves to be healthy, has sweet recipes posted but she also lives in Pittsburgh! What?? I am making it my mission to hunt her down so I can be friends with her! I mean she seems real cool and maybe, just maybe I could show up in a food photo that she posts, ha!

You should probably check these places out, I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

let the rain kiss you

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
(Langston Hughes)

And that is just what I will do Mr. Hughes. It's been raining and cold here for a few days (not that I'm complaining). And due to a headache and a chill that runs deep into my bones I think it is high time for some warm tomato soup then I will let the rain sing me a lullaby.