Monday, December 13, 2010


Today is December 13, Christmas is in 12 days. I have yet to order Christmas cards. I have yet to purchase, much less wrap, the vast majority of my gifts. Christmas cookies, candy and the like? Yeah right. As much as I try to pretend I'm not, I'm a procrastinator at heart. I've been that way since I was a child, maybe it's time to embrace it, or at least come to terms with it.

Seeing as I dropped the ball big time and never ordered any birth announcements, I knew I had to get on it and order photo cards for Christmas. Thank God for Shutterfly. They have such amazing products and at a great price too. Because I procrastinate, I've only ever ordered prints from them before. But there are a ton of things on their website I'd like to purchase. I always buy my Mom a calendar for Christmas, and can't wait to order her one from here next year. She'll love the pictures of her Grandchildren and I'll love the price!

This is the design we've decided on for the Christmas cards, just need to put the last photo in and hopefully they'll arrive before Christmas.

And while I'm ordering stuff on their site, maybe I should order Fiona's first invitations. Maybe if I order them six months in advance they'll arrive on time! They have some super cute invitations, like this one or this one.

Shutterfly is running some amazing deals right now, perfect if you still need a couple of last minute gifts. Free shipping on products over $50, buy one get one 50% off on photo books & 20% off cards. But the best deal is over Wednesday, so hurry if you'd like to take advantage of this offer. Shutterfly is offering 50 free photocards when you blog about their products! What an amazing deal!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Be Still My Beating Heart

I was browsing Tastespotting, which I don't recommend you do if you are even the slightest bit hungry, and ran across this. Holy sweet mother of everything that is good and sacred. Macaroni & cheese, check. Pulled pork, check. Barbecue sauce, check. All grilled between two slices of bread and even more cheese. Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard.

And to make it even better this glorious sandwich hails from the Grilled Cheese Truck. Are you kidding me, the Grilled Cheese Truck? Can it get any better? And in case you're wondering, it can. Check out their menu and drool.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Product Rave!

I've never really been a fan of processed teriyaki sauces. To me they're just way to salty and leave a lot to be desired in the flavor department. Awhile back someone was telling me they felt the same way, until they discovered Soy Vay's Island Teriyaki sauce. Not exactly your typical teriyaki sauce, it's pretty much exactly as described - your basic teriyaki sauce with a touch of Hawaii thrown in. And let me tell you it's delicous, I could eat it on everything! It's perfect as a marinade for just about any meat or vegetable and would also make a delicious dipping sauce. We finished off our bottle earlier this week and I'm going to need to add it to the grocery list, it's perfect for summer grilling!

For recipes using this delicous sauce check out the following (I've only done a version of one of them, but the rest sound delicious!) -
Soy Vay Recipes - recipes for all of their products
Magic Meatloaf - this sounds delicious!
Grilled Teriyaki Shrimp Kebabs - I've done a version of this recipe before, very good!

Photo obtained from Soy Vay.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

M&M Cookies

These cookies are good! Nice and soft, with just the right amount of sweetness. Not that I didn't think they would be, but I've had my fair share of bad M&M cookies - you know the type, they show up every Christmas and would in a pinch make perfect hockey pucks. I personally don't like M&M cookie recipes that call for a cup or more of shortening, so when I saw this recipe and remembered my leftover bag of M&M's from my baby shower, I knew I needed to try them. The addition of pecans to this recipe was really nice, though any sort of nut would work. The goal is to freeze these cookies for a quick snack once the baby arrives, though I'm not going to hold my breath that half of the batch doesn't make it to the freezer! Especially considering I've already eaten four, but really that's only two for me and two for the baby!

M&M Cookies

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/3 c. M&M's, divided
1 c. chopped pecans

1. Heat oven to 350.

2. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Add eggs; beat well.

3. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in 3/4 c. M&M's and all the nuts.

4. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet. Press 5-6 of remaining M&M's on each cookie before baking. Bake 9-11 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool slightly, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack; cool completely.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies (depending on cookie size)

Source: Beantown Baker (via Delish via The Cookie Bible)

My thoughts: Initially the batter is pretty dry, but don't worry - when you add the eggs it makes it easier to mix. Adding 5-6 additional M&M's to the top of the cookies seemed like a lot to me, but the cookies spread out some, so it's really not a lot and you could probably add even more if you have them. I didn't quite have the 1 1/3 c. of M&M's called for, so they're a little skimpy - but still delicious! My cookies baked for closer to 13 minutes, again all ovens are different so just watch them - you could be under or over the estimated time.

Monday, May 10, 2010

White Bean and Sausage Rigatoni

I've had this recipe saved for quite awhile and I'm really glad I got around to finally trying it. The dish comes together really quickly and makes an excellent and quick week night meal. This isn't your typical sauce & noodles dish, so if you're looking for more sauce you'll want to add more tomatoes. While it was cooking it reminded me more of a stew, which you could easily adapt the recipe into. I really enjoyed the flavor profile, despite the fact that I got a little heavy handed with the pasta and added way to much!

Just saw an updated version of this recipe on BHG's website which adds spinach and some more liquid to the original recipe. While I really liked the flavors in the original recipe, I think the addition of spinach as well as chicken broth and tomato paste would make it even better. Try it either way.

White Bean and Sausage Rigatoni

8oz. dried rigatoni (2 cups)
1 15oz. can white kidney (cannellini), Great Northern or navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz. can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
6 oz. cooked smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 c. snipped fresh basil
1/4 c. finely shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese (1 oz.)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; return pasta to saucepan.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine beans, undrained tomatoes, and sausage. Cook and stir until heated through. Add bean mixture and basil to pasta; stir gently to combine. To serve, sprinkle each serving with Asiago cheese.

Yield: 4 servings
Source: Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

Nutritional Information (per serving): 399 calories, 8 g. total fat (3 g. sat. fat), 36 mg chol., 813 mg. sodium, 64 g. carbo., 7 g. fiber, 23 g. protein

Thoughts: Any tube shaped or larger ridged pasta will work, I used a combination of rotini and fusilli. I used a pound of lite smoked sausage, again either sausage or kielbasa would work fine. I added one 28 oz. can of stewed tomatoes, chopped them up a bit in the skillet and added dried basil, oregano and garlic. Obviously fresh herbs would have been better, but don't stress about it and just use what you have - it still came out delicious.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Simple Sweets Bakeshop.

Sitting outside with my Dad this morning at Cup o Joe in Clintonville, he noticed a new bakery sign across the street. Now if you know me, you know my parents used to own two bakeries back in the day. And if you know my Dad you know the man likes his baked goods, hell hath no furry like a doughnut shop that doesn't have his favorite in stock! He tells me he has to check this place out and proceeds to race across High Street. He came back a few minutes later with a chocolate chip cookie and a piece of whole wheat pumpkin bread - both he scored for free! The cookie was soft and full of chocolate, not too big and not too small. The slice of pumpkin bread was large about half-inch thick and pretty tasty too.

Simple Sweets Bakeshop - 2991 North High Street* - grand opening this Saturday, July 11th. Make sure you stop by after you hit up the Clintonville Farmers Market!

* Simple Sweets is located right next door to Hungry Howie's Pizza, in the same strip as Lavash Cafe - directly across the street from Cup o Joe. Pattycake Vegan Bakery, Don Patron - this area is really starting to boom!

Sorry I don't have pictures of the store front or what we sampled. Normally I carry my camera with me all the time, I took it out of my bag this morning and of course needed it later. Such is life.

PS. I just saw a couple coming out of the store carrying a big bag of treats & they look happy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Free Food On Tax Day.

Tomorrow, Wednesday April 15, is tax day and if you still haven't filed your taxes you should get on that. Several businesses are offering special deals tomorrow to help ease the pain of having to deal with the IRS. Wonder if they can write off all these freebies?

Maggie Moo's will be giving away single scoops

Cinnabon will give out free Classic Bites from 5-8

McCormick & Schmicks- Wednesday diners will get a $10.40 certificate for future use. There'll be $15 - $20 entrees discounted to $10.40. And bar patrons can choose themed drinks, such as a pint of Samuel Adams Deduction Draft.

The P.F. Chang's -15% discount

McDonalds - Buy One Get One Big Mac's and Free McCafe's

Dunkin Donuts - Free Donut with Coffee Purchase

Papa John's is also offering "a large cheese pizza and up to three free toppings for $10.40 when you order online". Code is 1040M.

Taco Del Mar is also giving away a free taco, but there aren't any located in the central Ohio area.

T.G.I. Friday's will give Wednesday customers $5 Bonus Bites gift cards for food and beverage purchases of $15 to $25 and $10 cards for those who spend more than $25. Members of the 1,000-outlet chain's frequent-customer program also will get double points.

Fifteen (15) free prints from Walgreens Photo: Orders must be placed by 11:59pm (Central Time) on 04/15. Enter code TAXDAY at checkout.

As always freebies are at the discretion of participating stores, so don't kill the messenger if the store nearest you isn't participating. If you know of any other specials for tomorrow please leave them in the comment section.