Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recipes #9 Ham and Potato Bake and #10 Bread Machine White Bread

Ham and Potato Bake

{borrowed and enjoyed from Better Homes and Gardens}

This potato bake was easy and pretty good :). Kyle liked it more than me, but we both enjoyed it. He thinks its because he's a "Meat and Potatoes" type of guy. But there is asparagus in it {so he was eating some veggies :)}. I am not going to post the recipe, BUT if someone wants it just ask and I will send it your way or if enough people want it I will post it! :)

We also tried out our brand new bread machine :)

It worked great though we made a bigger loaf than we needed! It was impossible to store well since it was so huge.. so we will keep working on that :)

But it was good and easy! :)

Again if anyone wants this recipe feel free to ask :)

All for now,


Monday, January 30, 2012

National Pie Day 2012 Pie/Recipe #8

January 23rd was National Pie Day.

This year I wanted to try something brand new. {I love my Heart's Desire Cherry Pie and Cranberry Apple Pies but I wanted to add another favorite to our recipe box!}
I was having trouble deciding what kind of pie to make though. I finally asked Kyle "Do you like banana cream pie?" He said "I've never had it." To which I exclaimed, "Really?!? I have to make it then!" 

I am SO glad I did. 

For one, it was my first cream pie. 

and two, Kyle LOVED it. :) We had a piece each and then split one the first night. Then every night after that we each had one until there was only one left and Kyle finished it for breakfast the next morning! :)
So, here is the recipe!

Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

{Borrowed and Enjoyed from: Easy as Pie by: Benjamin Darling, A really cute book!!}


1/2 recipe pie crust {baked blind, I will explain!}
1 crumb crust

1/2 cup sugar
5 T flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks {slightly beaten}
1 T butter 
3 ripe bananas

Blind Baking:

1) Make 1/2 my double crust pastry or all and freeze half for another pie later!
2)Roll out dough and press into 9-inch pie pan.
3) Dock {prick a few holes} in the crust. OR fill with pie weights {but who really has pie weights?}
4) Bake at 425 F for 15-18 minutes.


1) Combine dry ingredients in a double boiler. {or if you don't have one, like us... put a glass/ceramic mixing bowl on top of a boiling pot of water}. Add milk slowly, mixing well. 
2) Cook over rapidly boiling water until well thickened {a while, be patient} stirring constantly.
3) Cook 10 minutes longer after thickening, occasionally stirring.
4) Stir a little bit of the mixture in the double boiler into the lightly beaten eggs. Then put egg mixture into double boiler mixture. BEAT VIGOROUSLY! :) 
5) Cook for 1 more minute.
6) Remove from heat and mix in butter and vanilla.
7) Let cool! {on the counter, then once the bowl is less hot put it in the fridge to chill}
8) Peel and slice the bananas into the bottom of the pie shell {or 1/2 in the bottom and layer with filling}. Cover immediately with cooled filling. Layer {if you chose to} and/or top with whipped cream/coolwhip. 

Enjoy! :)

Note: I would let it all chill in the fridge again for a little while to let it become a little more cohesive. You can also top with fruit or banana slices, which I tried to do... haha but ran out of banana :) :)

What is your favorite pie recipe?

All for now,


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Recipe #6: Upside Down Chicken Pot Pie and #7 Reese's Brownies {Ala Rudy's}

This recipe is easy and delicious, perfect for a cold wintery day! :)

Upside Down Chicken Pot Pie

{Borrowed and Enjoyed from The First Real Kitchen Cookbook by Megan and Jill Carle}

Serves 4

1 small onion
1 carrot
1 russet potato
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken
4 cups chicken broth {low sodium is best}
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 tsp. dried thyme {or less if you plan on having leftovers, it gets stronger over time!}
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
3 T. cornstarch
cooking spray {or butter or oil}
One 9inch sheet puff pastry {THAWED, overnight!}

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Peel onion, potato and carrot, then cut into bite sized pieces along with the chicken.

3) Put the broth, veggies and chicken in large pan {we used our dutch oven} and bring to a boil. Cover over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the peas and thyme to the pan, season with sea salt and ground pepper and cook for 5 more minutes. 
4) Combine cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water with a whisk in a small bowl until smooth. Add the mixture to the pan, stirring constantly and cook until mixture bubbles {a few minutes}.

5) Meanwhile, cut puff pastry into 6 rectangular pieces and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

6) Place a piece of puff pastry on a plate {or in a bowl!} and top with the chicken mixture. Serve immediately!


Note: leftovers are best heated on the stove, or stirred after heating. Otherwise it has a sort of gelatinous texture! :S


Reese's Brownies

{if you've ever been to Rudy's downtown you've possibly seen or tried their Reese's brownies. They are fantastic! So we decided to try making our own :)}


Brownie Mix/ Brownie Batter (from recipe)
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Cooking Spray

1) Grease glass baking pan {9 X 13}
2)Prepare brownie mix according to box directions or recipe.
3) Bake according to box, but take out about 5 minutes early.
4) Before brownies cool, press in Reese's cups.
5) Let cool, if you can wait!


Hint: plan out your Reese's pattern BEFORE you start placing them! Or you may not have enough and end up with some awkward half-Reese's brownies . . . :)

All For Now,


Friday, January 27, 2012

Recipe #5 Chicken Sausage Crock Pot Meal

Wednesdays are busy nights at the Consolver "homestead" as Kyle calls it. 

His schedule is 9-5 and mine is 9-4:15 with a few short breaks. 

On top of that, my chemistry class has night exams on Wednesdays. Awesome. 

Needless to say, Wednesday nights are crock pot nights.

Here is our first crock pot meal :)

Chicken Sausage Crock Pot Meal

{borrowed adapted and enjoyed from: Crock Pot Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes}

Serves 4

1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 yellow onion, minced {about 1/2 cup}
1 lb sweet or hot Italian chicken sausage
1 {28 oz} can whole tomatoes {drained and seeded}
1/2 red bell pepper {cut into 1/2 inch slices}
1/2 yellow bell pepper {"   "}
1/2 orange bell pepper {"    "}
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
crushed red pepper flakes {to taste}
sea salt and ground pepper {to taste}
hot cooked whole wheat pasta

1) Heat oil in a skillet until hot. Add garlic and onion. Cook until fragrant and translucent. Add sausage {removed from casing and cut into 1/2 inch chunks}. Cook 5 minutes or until starting to brown.
2) Put mixture into crock pot, add tomatoes, peppers and seasonings. Stir.
3) Cook on high for 2 1/2 or 3 hours. 
4) Add basil in the last 20 minutes for best flavor.
5) Cook pasta. For whole wheat pasta, its sometimes better to cook it for the longer amount of time, or even a tad over, because it softens the texture that some don't like.
6) Serve chicken sausage and veggies over pasta.


Note: This recipe is easy, fairly cheap and pretty darn healthy! You get your veggies from the peppers and onions. The chicken sausage is very flavorful, but not nearly as high in fat as traditional pork sausage. The whole wheat pasta is full of fiber! This meal is tasty and filling. We added a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese on top because we had some. 

Bonus: you can use the leftover bell peppers to cook into your morning eggs or as an easy pizza topping in one of your next meals. :)

What are your favorite crock pot recipes?

All for now,


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recipe #3 Granola & #4 Bean Burritos

I eat a lot of granola. 

I go through it quickly.

So I thought I would try making my own. 

Unfortunately this recipe was just ok. 

I like a sweeter granola and this was not as sweet as I prefer. 

So, the search continues! :) 

But wasn't it pretty?

Also tried a black bean burrito recipe. It was over-spiced and unimpressive. More of an easy lunch. Very little actual cooking involved. 

I didn't even get a picture. :( 

Any great granola recipes I should try?

All for now,


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Recipe #2: Pancake Pizzaz

We received many lovely gifts for our wedding!

We are so spoiled!

One of the gifts we received is a pancake griddle set.

It came with a griddle pan, a nylon flipper and a pancake mix.

So one night we decided to make pancakes.

Now, I've made pancakes before... but I'd never experimented with adding anything to the mix, or making my own. Plus I'd never used a griddle pan before.. so I've decided to count this as one of my 100 new recipes. 

Cinnamon Vanilla Pancakes

Desired amount of pancake mix {homemade or store bought}
-prepare according to mix directions or recipe
pure vanilla extract
In our case:
1/2 cup pancake mix
1/2 cup water or milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
You wouldn't think that a change so small would make such a difference, but these pancakes were fantastic! We topped them with Real maple syrup. Which can sometimes be a little too bitter... but with these tasty sweet pancakes its perfect! Plus you can use things you've already got in your pantry! No money spent! :)

Check out our cute Le Cruset Maple Syrup container. We picked it up in Quebec! 

Mix it up and experiment, add toppings and mix ins that you love! Or what you've got in the pantry! Use what you've got :) Serve it with your favorite breakfast sides. We kept it simple and just had sausage links on the side.

What are your favorite pancake mix-ins and toppings?

All for now,


Monday, January 23, 2012

Recipe #1: Garlic-Basil Shrimp

Hi Everyone. How is 2012 going for you so far?

For me its been pretty great.

Busy honeymooning, moving in and doing LOTS of cooking! :)

As you might know, one of my resolutions for the year is to try 100 new recipes. {that's a little over 8 per month!} I thought I would blog about them for you! {at least the good ones ;)}

Recipe #1

Garlic-Basil Shrimp

{borrowed and enjoyed from Better Homes and Gardens}

{see notes at the bottom! This was incredible! Its really adaptable as well, for veggies or those who don't like seafood!}

Serves 4


6 oz dried whole wheat fettuccine or linguine {we used basil linguine from Target, Archer Farms brand}
2 T Olive Oil
1 1/4 lbs. frozen large shrimp {THAWED, peeled, de-veined}

Tip: buy the shrimp already cooked, peeled and de-veined, then all you have to do is thaw and cook with the rest of the meal.

3 cloves of minced garlic
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper {or more if you like spice}
3/4 cup of dry white wine
1 1/2 cups grape {or cherry} tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup finely chopped FRESH basil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1) Cook pasta according to instructions on package; drain and keep warm.
2) Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the shrimp and cook until cooked/heated through. Turn the shrimp over once during this process. 
3) Transfer shrimp to bowl with slotted spoon. {Leave oil in skillet}
4) Place garlic and crushed red pepper flakes into skillet with remaining oil. Cook until fragrant {not long at all!}. Add the wine and cook over high heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomatoes and the basil. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Return shrimp to pan and heat through. Serve over the pasta. {make sure to spoon over a lot of the sauce! Its the best part!}


This recipe is incredible! It was sort of a quick decision but it is incredible! We gave it 7/10 {granted we have nothing to go off of since it was the first}.

If you are a vegetarian, or if you don't like seafood this recipe is very adaptable. In my opinion the sauce is the best part! So you could make it veggie and serve it over pasta. You could add tofu or cooked chicken and it would be delicious as well.


All for now!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snapshots of Quebec City // Honeymoon // January 2012

This is Quebec City 

{New Place #1 for 2012: See 2012 Goals for details}

It is a beautiful place, a winter wonderland. 

The Chateau by day.

The Chateau by night

The Chateau Frontenac was once the military headquarters of "New France" but is now a luxury hotel, or "the castle" as some call it. It sits inside the walls of the old city overlooking the St. Lawrence River. Its a spectacular view both looking at and looking out below the chateau. Its a must see on a trip to Quebec City.

The food in Quebec City is particularly good. It all has a very European feel to it which is really fun! The French influences are particularly notable for obvious reasons. We had MANY delicious meals while on our trip, but the most impressive was the one at the cafe in the Chateau. 

We decided to get lunch in the Chateau on our last day there. There was a buffet that was $35 a person so we decided to go for it. Thank goodness we did! We had so many delicious foods! The seafood was excellent, Kyle loved the prime rib and I was infatuated with the tiny French desserts {pictured above}. I got chocolate, coconut and raspberry, they were all fantastic!

One day we decided to go dog sledding!  

Here is our team of energetic huskies! :)

At first you get to meet and play with the dogs which was so much fun! This particular dog was very fond of me.

But there were 100 in total! Each had their own tiny houses and name tags!

They were SO excited to get a chance to go out in the sled! It was pretty cute!

This one Loved me too! :)

In a pin at the side of the area there was a dog on top of a large box, and we couldn't figure out what it was... until we looked closer!

Husky Puppies! :)

Aren't they adorable??

Us with our whole team! 

We were the only ones from anywhere close to Kansas! :)

There is an area of the city called Lower Town where there was a beautiful little shopping area called Le Petite Champlain. I love to shop so we ended up down there many times in our 5 days. 

To get to Petite Champlain you have to walk down A LOT of stairs and then down a steep downhill sidewalk. {we noticed later that this area was labeled on the map as "breakneck stairs" - pretty accurate in the winter at least!} 

The other option is to take the Funiculaire or the outdoor elevator/escalator. It is an enclosed box about the size of 4 telephone booths that takes you from the top by the chateau down to petite champlain. It costs $4 per person to ride. Which is often worth it! Plus the view of the St. Lawrence was incredible! {the picture above is the view from the funiculaire box!}

Here is a picture of Petite Champlain at night! All lit up and beautiful! 

The shopping as I said was great! My two favorite stores: a store just for pearls {!!!} 

and a really cute kitchen store called Pot en ciel {Pot in Sky}. WE LOVED IT! We went about 4 times! We bought lots of fun gifts and souvenirs for ourselves and for others there!


As you can see we had a great time!

We would definitely recommend Quebec City to anyone. It is gorgeous and full of adventures ranging from culinary to canine. There is so much to see, and we are certain that it would be beautiful at any time of the year!

All for now,