Tuesday, March 26, 2013

blt salad with homemade light ranch dressing

This salad was SO good. I know I say that everything I make is "SO good" but here's a little secret - some of what I make in the kitchen is mediocre and I just don't share it.  There, now you know all my secrets.

But this salad, is good.  It is like a huge BLT but healthier.  Feel free to add any extra veggies or even a little grated cheese.

blt salad {serves one}
-a big plate of chopped romaine
-a handful of chopped tomato {I used baby heirlooms}
-2 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
-1/2 an avocado, diced

Toss all together and top with ranch dressing {recipe below}.

light homemade ranch
-2 heaping tablespoons of low fat may
-2 heaping tablespoons of light sour cream
-1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
-2 tablespoons low fat buttermilk
-2 tablespoons chopped chives
-1 teaspoon all purpose seasoning {I used Trader Joe;s brand, but any will do}
-3 tablespoons vegetable broth {optional - if you like a really thick dressing, skip this}

Put everything in a jar or plastic container and stir or shake until well combined.  This dressing will last in the fridge for a few weeks.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

diy doggie bowtie

Dogs look cuter in accessories and a holiday is the perfect time to dress them up.  I love little more than an animal in clothing so I created a few super easy St. Patrick's Day bowties for my dogs.  We are heading to Cincinnati for the weekend and I need to remember to pack these bowties for their stay at doggie daycare.  They need to wear their green on Sunday!

What you will need - green felt, gold sequined trim, craft or fabric glue, elastic, scissors, and clothespins.

~Cut the felt into a rectangle.  I cut a 6"x5" rectangle for Finn's bowtie and a smaller 5"x4" rectangle for Gordita's bowtie.
~Fold the rectangle in half and cinch the felt together in the middle.  
~Add a dab of glue and secure with a clothespin while the glue dries.
~Let the glue dry for about 10 minutes, then wrap the gold sequin trim around the center, gluing as you go.  Secure again with a clothespin and let dry for about 10 minutes.
~Once the sequins are secure around the felt bow, glue a piece of elastic on the back.  Once again, allow the glue to dry and then tie the lose ends of the elastic {after measuring the elastic around your dog's neck} in a knot.

That's it!  SO simple and cute.  

I think Gordita and Finn love their bowties :).

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

guinness ice cream float

You guys.  I think I found my new "thing."  Boozy ice cream drinks.  I had a root beer float the other night with whipped cream vodka in it and I was SOLD.  My mind starting churning with possibilities.  

In honor of St. Patrick's Day this weekend, I decided to sacrifice one bottle of Guinness and a few scoops of vanilla ice cream in the off chance that a Guinness ice cream float might be the best thing ever.  Well guess what??  It is.

Not too sweet, not too strong, just right.  The smooth Guinness is made even creamier when the ice cream melts and the chocolate on top is the perfect little addition to the float.

Before your mind goes "this looks gross....." try it!  

Two scoops vanilla ice cream, one bottle of Guinness, and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.  If you want to get crazy, throw in a little Baileys.

This was my attempt at making a shamrock out of chocolate syrup.  No, I am not three years old, I am really just that bad at drawing shamrocks.

What do you think?  Will you try it?

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

nutella chocolate chip cookies

Yesterday my niece helped me make nutella chocolate chip cookies.  She's three, so she  spent most of her time licking out the nutella coated measuring cup.   It was a big help as it prevented me from standing over the sink, licking up all that nutella.

The cookies we made are amazing.  Like seriously amazing.  I cannot stop eating them.   My family left this morning so I have two dozen cookies left to eat.....and no help.  It is kind of dangerous and I feel a little sick from all the sugar.

These cookies are rich and should probably be eaten with a glass of water or milk, if you're a milk drinker.  I am not a milk drinker.  Never have been.  When I was a kid and wouldn't eat my dinner my mom would sometimes make me drink a glass of milk in order to get some nutrients.  This happened often as I rarely ate my dinner.  I would sit for hours refusing to eat until I was threatened with milk or some other punishment and then I would shove down bites of cold fish or meatloaf or whatever else was being forced upon me that night.  The torture!  

Sorry, where was I?  Oh yeah, nutella cookies - make them.  Use them to bribe your kids to eat their dinner.  Eat them all yourself and feel sick.  Whatever, just make them.  You won't regret it.

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies {makes about three dozen}
-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup butter {at room temperature}
-1/2 cup nutella
-1 teaspoon whipped cream vodka or some other flavored vodka or vanilla extract
-1 egg
-1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.
2. Beat the room temperature butter with an electric mixer until fluffy, about two minutes.  Add the sugars and continue to mix until well combined, about another three minutes.
3. Add in the nutella, egg, and vodka or vanilla extract and mix for another minute.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix on low until just combined.   
5. Fold in the chocolate chips and put spoonfuls onto the cookie sheets.  Bake for eight to ten minutes, remove from the oven and let sit on the cookie sheets for about five minutes, then move to a plate or wire rack to cool.   

The cookies might seem under baked when you remove them from the oven, but they will finish off while sitting on the hot cookie sheets.  The end result is a perfectly chewy cookie.  Resist the urge to leave them in the oven for any longer than ten minutes or else you won't end up with a chewy cookie.


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