Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Easy- Peezy and oh so delish!

With the holidays literally around the corner, I thought I might share some of my favorite easy dishes that are great to take along as your contribution to a holiday meal or party. These are also great to make if you are the hostess (or host!) at said party....

1) The easiest fake cobbler you can make!
- This is my go-to dessert, and it has only 3 (yes 3!) ingredients!
  • Yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick of butter (melted)
  • 2 cans of your favorite pie filling
  1. Spread pie filling along the bottom of a rectangular or square baking dish.
  2. Take the DRY cake mix and cover the pie filling (you may not need the entire package of cake mix).
  3. Drizzle the melted butter all over the top of the dry mix. Using a fork, spread the butter so the entire top is moist.
  4. Bake the concoction at 375 for about 30 minutes or until the topping is a golden brown color. Let cool, and serve! This is beyond delish with vanilla ice cream!

2) Cranberry-Barbecue Meatballs

- Again, another 3 ingredient recipe! These will be devoured, so you might need to double up!

  • 1 can of jellied cranberry sauce
  • 2 bottles of original flavor barbecue sauce
  • 1 bag of frozen meatballs (of course, you can make your own if you so choose, but that takes the easy-peezyness out of it!)
  1. Combine the BBQ sauce and the cranberry sauce in a crockpot. Heat on high for about 20 mins.
  2. Once the sauce is mostly melted, throw in the meatballs. Cook in the crockpot for about 4 hours on high. Enjoy!

3) Spinach and Artichoke Dip

- Notoriously addictive, you can make this with little to no fat depending on your crowd!

  • 2 packages of softened cream cheese (I go with fat free)
  • 1 package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained of all water.
  • 1 can of artichokes (forgo the ones that are sitting in oil and save some calories)
  • 2-3 large spoonfulls of sour cream (again, I go with fat free)
  • 2-3 large spoonfulls of Duke's mayo (I go full fat with this baby!)
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese (part skim will melt pleasantly)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Put the cream cheese, the sour cream, and the mayo in the crockpot.
  2. Chop up the artichokes. I prefer a food processor, but if you don't have one, just chop them messily! Throw them into the crock pot with the stuff in step 1.
  3. Throw in the spinach. Stir everything up.
  4. Salt and pepper your concoction, top with the mozz cheese, and cook on high for about 2 hours; make sure you stir occassionally so you avoid burnage!
  5. Serve hot with pita chips or crackers!

4) The infamous sausage dip

- This is not a recipe I've created, nor do I make it. Ryan always makes this, and he got it from someone else! This will be completely devoured about 10 minutes after you serve it, so make an extra!

  • 2 packages of softened cream cheese (go fat free!)
  • 1 can of Rotell tomato stuff
  • 1 package of hot/spicy pork sausage, cooked
  1. Combine above ingredients in a crockpot and cook on high for about 2 hours, or until creamy.
  2. Serve with tortilla chips, or Ryan's way with Fritos!

I hope everyone has a tasty and restful Thanksgiving!! Gobble Gobble!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Right on Target

I'm a huge huge HUGE fan of Target. Not so many people are (for example, Ryan's Nana... who swears she never finds ANYTHING at Target.... impossible, I say!), but I'm an even bigger fan when Target gives me fashion and a great price at the same time.

I purchased this Merona Shawl Collar sweatshirt last week in black. I personally liked how fashionable it was, while still making me comfy... which is always incredibly important at my increasingly stressful job.

Imagine my excitement when one of my co-workers pointed out that it looks just like this beauty from JCrew.

Here are the similarities and differences:
  • shawl collar
  • fleecey cotton material
  • incredibly chic enough to wear with heels and khakis, or casual enough to wear with flats and jeans (or my new fave cords from Ann Taylor Loft)


  • pocket style... Jcrew has the kangaroo pocket, while the Target brand has small side pockets (I prefer the side pockets, as kangaroo pockets tend to emphasize a belly)
  • toggle button... Jcrew has non, while the Target brand does.
  • variety of color... Jcrew's offering is in muted tones (black, light grey, etc).... Target has just about all the colors of the rainbow!
  • price.... You can buy the Jcrew version for a mere $59.99.... or head to your local Target and pick up the Merona version for $19.99!

The verdict.... I say go with the Target brand, and get a couple in your fave colors without breaking the bank! I'm headed back for at least 2 more..... I just have to decide on the colors!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Preliminary Patio Post

Try saying that 3 times fast!

Well, the patio has been in for about 2 weeks now and I just haven't had a moment to post pictures or anything. While the pictures aren't the most BEAUTIFUL things ever due to the backyard still being in recovery mode (the lush backyard was definitely torn up in the process), we are super excited to finally have our patio!

Ryan and his dad are working on putting in new steps on the deck this coming weekend, and hopefully we should start the furniture hunt soon. I can't wait to have the patio all decorated and set up with furniture.... soon, very soon!

So here are the pics... before and after!

Our backyard and deck before the patio was put in (we DID have steps on the deck, but they were torn out for the patio install...)

Another shot of the backyard before the patio...

Detail of the patio design... we went with stamped concrete over paver stones.

The completed patio!

Another shot of the patio... as you can see, the yard is totally torn up! The section that comes up to the side of the deck is going to be Ryan's grilling station!