Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to Bradley!! 
Now that we're both 24 I'm not a "cougar" anymore!

St. Paddy's Day Edition: Shepherds Pie and Waking Ned Devine

First of all, I apologize for the lack of posting this week but here is one that will hopefully make up for it. 
As you all know, St. Patrick’s Day was this week. Despite the fact that my last name is about as Irish as it gets I’m only somewhere between 25-50% but who cares? We’re all Irish on St. Patty ‘s Day. The crowded bar scene isn’t something I like to do often let alone on one of the biggest drinking days of year. However, I still wanted to be festive and celebrate the little bit of Irish heritage. What's a gal to do? We opted for a quiet night with Brad feasting on some homemade shepherds pie and watching Waking Ned Devine. 

I had never made shepherds pie before and actually had no idea how many ingredients and steps were involved so it was an interesting adventure for Brad and me. After work we picked up everything we needed and came home to get started. I don’t think we even started eating until after 9:00PM which is unheard of for us. Regardless when it was finally ready, it was pretty delicious!
Much to Brad's dismay, I had actually never seen Waking Ned Devine. After a Netflix and Comcast On Demand search, we found it and I LOVED IT! It was such a feel good, cute, funny movie and I was so happy that we watched it. I highly recommend it if you haven't already seen it. After the movie was over, we decided that we would make this our St. Paddy's Day tradition because we had such a great night :) 
How did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
If you aren't Irish, how do you celebrate your heritage?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pancakes don't have to be pretty to taste delicious

Not going to lie, I typically make my pancakes straight out the Bisquick box with a little added cinnamon and brown sugar when I'm feeling fancy. Much to my dismay I realized this morning that we were all out. I broke out my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and found a recipe for Buttermilk Pancakes (also found here). Fortunately I had all the required ingredients in the kitchen so I decided to make them scratch with a few extras: cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and vanilla extract.

I'm not a huge fan of measuring things and that becomes all the more difficult when you wing it and add things all willy nilly so I just hoped for the best. The consistancy was a little thick so I did add a few tablespoons of milk to thin it out. Fortunately for my sake (and Brad's) they were delicious. You may not have guessed that based off the photo below but TRUST ME... they were great!

Do you like to experiment with classic recipes?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jam Packed Schedule? I Think Not.

While most people love making weekend plans in advance and look forward to those plans for days, I myself am the opposite. I love having a weekend where I have nothing to do, however, few and far between they are. Not only can I choose to just bum it on the couch with my dog but I can also wake up and do WHATEVER I want.
For example, this weekend’s only plan is to attend a family birthday party on Saturday evening. This leaves me with oodles of uncommitted time to do whatever I please in the moment. Last night consisted of testing out the new grill (thanks to Jackie and Joe) by making some steak and mixed veggies. Unfortunately I didn’t snap any pictures but let’s just say it was delicious. Fortunately, there was only one mishap and that was taking off the steaks too early. After popping them back on for a few minutes they were delicious and good to go! Promptly after dinner, the boyfriend and I watched some episodes of The Office on Netflix and passed out around 9:30. Awesome night, right? I know I thought so too.
 Saturday: Woke up around 6:30 (thank you, Mable) and drank my weight in coffee all while doing laundry and some general sprucing. Around 9:00 Bradford work up (thank you again, Mable). After some chocolate chip pancakes and a little walking, Mable made her first debut off the leash in a nearby park. To my relief, she came back when I called her and didn’t get a hold of any birds (not for a lack of trying). Now as I’m blogging, she’s snoring away on her favorite couch. How cute?

If she could talk, I'm guessing she would be saying " WTF Mom? Atleast turn the flash off."
 And yes, this all happened before noon on a Saturday.

Are you an early riser on weekends?
Do you prefer to make advance plans or leave your schedule open?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

What is your middle name? Anne, how original?

Favorite type of Food? Hmm, it’s definitely Mexican food. Tacos, burritos, nachos, you name it.
Do you want children? Eventually... 

Hair color? Natural blondie and I fully embrace it :)

Do you wear contacts? Nope, but I probably should. I have glasses but I rarely wear them. I bet I wouldn’t miss as many turns if I did…

Favorite holiday? Christmas! I have to force myself to allow Thanksgiving to pass before decorating and making cookies. Something about the scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, snow and pine filling the air just makes me happy.  Plus my pup loves the snow. She could play out there for hours (so cute).
Favorite Season? Despite my love for Christmas, I would have to say that fall is my favorite season. Maybe it’s just the anticipation of the weather changing, days off of work and approaching holidays, no?

Last Movie you watched? Oddly enough, it was the Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. This “documentary” was recommended to me by a coworker with the disclaimer that it was WV’s answer to the Jersey Shore. Let me tell you that while this documentary was “interesting”, it was also disturbing, sad, and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It really made the Jersey Shore kids look like saints. 

What books are you reading? I’m currently reading book 2 of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. I’ll admit the series is somewhat kid-ish but it’s entertaining and I’m a big fan of series books in general (Harry Potter, Twilight Saga – I’ll admit it) so I’m going to keep reading them. 

Favorite Movie? It’s a toss-up between Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Remember the Titans and Anchorman. All completely unrelated movies but I love them all the same.

Anchorman 2 movie sequel with Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and Steve Carell

What is your favorite season?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pumpkin Pie with Shout Outs Crust

Today I was feeling a little adventurous and decided to experiment with some random ingredients I had on hand for a family dinner the boyfriend and I were going to at his parent’s house.  As it was monsoon raining all day, making a special trip to the store was absolutely out of the question. I found a can of pumpkin pie mix in the cabinet and figured who cares if it’s not exactly in season. I LOVE anything with pumpkin, especially pumpkin pie but how do you make a pie without pie crust? This is where the creativity started. After a lengthy search, the new cookie from the Girl Scouts, Shout Outs, seemed like a good substitute. They are like a cross between the shortbread cookies and gingersnaps… pretty delicious and nice compliment to the pumpkin. The final obstacle was finding a replacement for the evaporated milk which I do not regularly keep in the kitchen.

Well, turns out a mix of buttermilk and half and half will do the trick because everyone seemed to love them (or stomach them until I turned away and they could quickly spit them into a napkin)! Either way, I thought they were pretty good and even second blog post worthy. I will admit they are not the most picturesque dessert I have ever made. When I removed the wrappers from the tins, the pumpkin pie mixture pulled away from the wrapper a bit. Maybe a little more cooling time next try?
Please excuse the iphone photos. My camera battery decided to die right after I began prepping.
PS - Mable had the right idea on this rainy day...

Pumpkin Pie with Shout Outs Crust

Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 can Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix
2 eggs
1 can evaporated milk
3/4 cup half and half
3/4 cup butter milk

1 sleeve of Shout Outs, crushed
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together all ingredients for the filling and set aside. Place Shout Outs in a large ziplock bag and finely crush. I recommend using a rolling pin here. Set aside. In a separate container, melt the butter and mix in the sugar. Stir in the Shout Out crumbs, mixture should be crumbly.
Place cupcake liners in tin and add a heaping teaspoon of crust into each. Using the teaspoon, flatten the crumbs into the bottom of each liner. Add the filling leaving a little space at the top for expansion. Pop in the oven for about 30 minutes, allow to cool, and enjoy!!!

Is a pumpkin dessert acceptable after December?
Do you ever experiment with recipes in the kitchen and just hope for the best? 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Welcome to Leon as in Napoleon!!!!

Hello everyone and welcome to the inaugural post of Leon as in Napoleon. You may be asking yourself “Gee, where did Kim come up with that name?” but that’s a story for another post. Right now I want to tell you a little about myself and why I decided to start a blog.
I am a twenty-something college grad in her first year of full time employment as a Civil Engineer and living in the greater Philadelphia area. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time at work. Fortunately, every day I get to come home to my boyfriend and our daughter (and by daughter I mean our dog).  To balance the seriousness of work, I enjoy cooking, exercising (mainly running), hanging with my family/friends, reading/collecting books, reading tons of blogs and watching my favorite TV shows.

Speaking of reading tons of blogs, I think I have become addicted to them in the past year. I will be online paying bills or checking emails and all the sudden I find myself clicking on the bookmark tab to check out the daily blog posts from bloggers I have grown to love. Over the past few months, I have been doing some serious thinking to figure what I could possibly blog about… Finally, I came to the determination that I can blog about pretty much whatever I want! Recipes I’ve perfected (or failed), events I’ve attended, products I like/dislike, random funny moments, my family and my life in general. With that said I hope you like my blog and please comment on the posts as I would love the feedback and interaction!!