December 30, 2009

6 Years Ago Today...

At the tender age of 23, I took possession of the keys to my first home. I remember how excited I was to get in there and make it my own. The woman I bought it from had lived here for 35 years and it needed some "freshening up". I spent so much time looking at new furniture, paint colors and I think this is when I can pinpoint my crush on Pottery Barn starting.

About 2 weeks before I got the keys, I remembered my good friend Elizabeth was in town for Christmas and I wanted to show her the place. We went and got some ice cream from Alinosi's and came and knocked on the door of my soon-to-be house. Luckily, Violet (the previous owner) was home and was kind enough to let me show Elizabeth the house in the current state. Elizabeth and my parents were the only ones to see the house that Violet had lived in for 35 years (so they can all attest to the decor)...and I think Violet was convinced I was leaving it exactly how she had it.

We did our walk through and once Elizabeth and I got back into our car she said to me, "It has great bones, but you are changing everything, right?". And boy did we ever.

6 years ago today, we started the labour of love of taking down a wall of mirrors in not just one room, but 2, ripping down wall paper in I think every room, ripping up carpet, finishing hardwoods, ripping out plastic tile from the bathroom and painting....lots and lots of painting. And how can I forget the accordion folding interior doors??? Ahh, the memories.

As I type this post, I can't help but get a little nostalgic and my eyes have some tears in them. We have decided to put this house up for sale to move on with the next phase of our lives together. As much as I love this house, it is time to move on. The neighborhood has changed so much, it has gotten to a point where we no longer feel safe. Also, this goes without saying for those that live in Michigan, but we have also lost so much value, to the tune of 75%, it is just time to cut our losses. We can't wait 5-10 years they are estimating for things to get back to 50% of where they once were. No one ever could have expected this to happen. We did what we were supposed to...invest in real estate, you will always gain value! Ha. C'est la vie. As hard as it is to think about what will come of this house both myself and my parents have put so much sweat equity into, I have to let it go. Who would have thought I would have become so emotionally attached to a house? Oy vey...

Anyways, over the next week, I am planning on taking you through a little journey through memory lane and post the before and after pictures. I wish I had more before ones, but in some cases, you will have to take my word for it. Trust me...there was A LOT of wall paper. Did I mention the kitchen cabinets even had wall paper on them? Luckily, I do have a picture of that! Stay tuned!

December 25, 2009

Breakfast Pie

For Christmas, I wanted to make a nice and easy casserole dish for Steve and I to enjoy. I have been finding a lot of good recipes on All Recipes lately, and this one is no exception! It is almost like my quiche recipe, except with potatoes in it. The other added bonus, I had every ingredient in the house already! I love it when that works out.

I was also able to use the "Delay, Bake & Hold" function on the oven so we could have breakfast ready for us when we came home from Christmas morning mass with the Griffiths side of the family.

8 strips of bacon
1/4 cup crushed cornflakes
5 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 green onion, sliced (next time, I might add another stalk or two for more flavor)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
  1. Cook the bacon as you normally would. Reserve around 2 Tbsp drippings. (Steve and I love cooking it in our oven since that is what all the Food Network chefs do. :) ), crumble or cut into small pieces.
  2. Pour the bacon drippings into a small bowl with the crushed cornflakes.
  3. Combine the eggs, milk, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, onion, salt and pepper until blended.
  4. Stir in hash browns.
  5. Pour into a greased 9 inch pie plate.
  6. Sprinkle with cut up bacon and cornflake/dripping mixture.
  7. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, remove from the fridge and set out for 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 325.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

December 20, 2009

5 Minute Fudge

I kind of felt like a failure this past weekend in the baking department. I was all ready to make sugar cookies and break in our new cookie cutters, decorate them and put them into fun little bags for friends and family. Well, the sugar cookie gods were laughing at me after 2 botched batches. I am hanging up my sugar cookie apron for awhile...not only did my cookies burn, but I felt burned too! Sugar Cookies 2, Amy 0.

I did, however, have some success with an easy fudge recipe given to me from a friend at our shower. My wonderful husband, knowing well my bruised baking ego after Sugar Cookie Debacle 2009, told me this fudge was like Mackinaw Island's and that I may have found my calling. Isn't that sweet of him!

I made 2 batches of this fudge and put it into the cute little bags to share with Steve's team and our friends. It literally takes around 5-10 minutes and is so easy!

1 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
16 large marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Line a 8x8 dish with wax paper.

In a medium saucepan, over medium high heat, bring sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt to a boil. Stir constantly for 5 minutes while boiling.

Add the chocolate chips and stir until well blended.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, nuts and marshmallows until well mixed. I left the marshmallows somewhat still intact...some swirled in and there are chunks of them in the fudge.

Pour into 8x8 dish. Cool completely. Cut into squares.

*I would store this fudge in the fridge. The people on Mackinaw say to not store fudge in the fridge, but it was kind of getting melty on my hands when I was cutting it.*


December 13, 2009

Crockpot Meatballs over Noodles

I wanted to throw something in the Crockpot for dinner that was warm, gooey and mindless. I found this on All and thought we would try it. It is kind of like Swedish meatballs, but better. And SO easy. I mean, really easy. No measuring or anything!

The recipe originally called for 24 servings!! I would love to see the size of the Crock Pot you would use for that one! I cut it in half to 12, because that is what took 1 can of each item. So that is what I am listing here. If you want to mess around with the serving size, just follow the link above. This made enough for Steve and I with leftovers...not a ton, but some. It was really good and hit the spot on a cold winter's night!

1 can cream of celery soup (I used Healthy Request)
1 can condensed French Onion soup
8 oz. sour cream (about a cup)
3 pounds frozen Italian style meatballs (I ended up only using 2 pounds)
egg noodles
melted butter

Throw the cream of celery and french onion soup into the Crock Pot, mix well. Add the meatballs. If you choose, you can add the sour cream at this time as well. I followed some suggestions from other readers and added it in the last 3o minutes. I also added 2 small jars of mushrooms.

Cook on high for 3 hours. I cooked ours on low for around 6 and found the meatballs were breaking up a lot when I was stirring it around, so my advice would be to not cook it for too long.

Serve over cooked egg noodles that you can add butter to if you want, I didn't.

Fiesta Lasagna

This is another great recipe we got from one of our showers before the wedding. I highly recommend brides-to-be to do that...we got so many great options from "trusted" friends and family!

I apologize for not taking a picture...but picture your normal lasagna, just without the red sauce. This was so easy and SO good. It required minimal dishes to be dirtied and since we don't have a dishwasher, this always makes me like a dish that much more!

I invited my parents over to help us eat this, because as much as I love lasagna, I don't like to make it for just us because it is just too much! Between the for of us, we ate about half of it. The other half I froze for another day.

Cook and then drain
1 lb. ground beef (I am sure ground turkey would be just fine too)
1/4 cup chopped onion

If you choose to use regular lasagna noodles, then you should be boiling and then draining those as well, at this point. You will need around 9. I tried out the "no bake" kind this time and boy, were they awesome. I highly recommend them.

Add the cooked meat and onion to a large bowl. Add:
1 can refried beans (14 oz.)
1 can mild chili beans (14 oz.)
1 can mexican stewed tomatoes (14 oz.)
1 cup salsa
1 can green chilies (I used a small can of chopped ones)
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix well.

In another bowl mix together:
1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 1/c cup Monterrey jack cheese, then divide in half into another bowl.

In one half of the shredded cheeses, add:
3/4 cup cottage cheese
3/4 cup sour cream. mix well.

Lightly grease a 9x13 pan, preheat oven to 350.
Spread appx. 1 cup of the meat mixture on the bottom of the dish.
Layer with 3 lasagna noodles.
Then layer 1/3 of the cheese with sour cream mixture and more meat sauce. Repeat twice. Your top layer should just be meat sauce, not noodles (like I did :) )

Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Uncover and spread 1/2 cup sour cream and remaining cheese. Bake for 10-12 more minutes. Remove and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

December 12, 2009

Tis the Season!

Where did November go? I realize that it is nearly mid December, but I am confused as to where the fall went and how is it already Christmas time?! Things have been a little chaotic in the Horgan household over the last few months. I am really enjoying weekends where we have nothing planned besides spending time together.

I was able to get to get the house decorated for Christmas the weekend of Thanksgiving before I had to head to Boston for the first week of December...and boy am I glad I did it then! I was borderline on even putting the tree up! Gasp! That is a big deal coming from the girl who had her tree up 2 weeks before Thanksgiving her first Christmas in her new house!

So here it is!

I was hoping to get some new tree decorating ideas at Blumz Christmas Open House, but I was out of town. Next year for sure!

I did find these fun things at Pier One that I am hoping to get more off on the 26th once they go on sale.

Eventually, I would like to have two trees. Once in all red, silvers and that kind of grass green color and kind of funky and the other with all the ornaments I have been collecting since I was born.

My mom started this great tradition for us kids to always get us an ornament from Hallmark (that we got to pick out) each Christmas. Then I worked at a Hallmark for around 6 years in high school and college. Needless to say, I have a a TON of ornaments. Most of which, I don't even put up because I don't have enough room. Next house...

Let's hope we keep the amount of ornaments that Benny breaks this year to a minimum!

December 1, 2009

Awesome and Easy Creamy Corn Casserole

I volunteered to bring a side dish to Thanksgiving on Steve's side of the family. Since most of the basics were covered, I had to venture out and find something easy and different. I got an email from All Recipes with the Daily Dish, which was this. At the same time, my co-worker was suggesting to make this exact thing! It was meant to be.

This was about the easiest thing ever to make and it was delicious! I didn't take a picture on Thanksgiving, so I stole this one from All Recipes.

1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs beaten
1 8.5 oz. package dry corn bread mix.
1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14.75 oz.) can creamed corn
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9x9 in baking dish. I used an oval shaped Corningware.

In a medium size bowl, combine eggs, corn bread, the corns and sour cream. Pour into dish.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


Related Posts with Thumbnails