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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tropical Rum Punch

Want the recipe for this delicious rum punch? Check out Lyndi's blog the journey... This week I wrote a guest post on her blog because her and her hubby are on vacation in Jamaica. I am sure they are drinking their share of rum punch!
 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Beer Themed House Warming Present

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I took this week off from work, and my family and I used it to reconnect and go on tons of day trips. My favorite day involved wine tastings at several New Hampshire wineries. Don't worry, I took tons of pics and will be sharing about it later on this week hopefully.

On Saturday night, Dan and I were able to get away and visit two of our friends (shout out to Mark and Lindsey) who just moved into a new apartment. We wanted to get them a housewarming gift. Dan suggested getting them a case of beer....I of course had to take it up a notch and create a beer themed basket. Believe it or not, Dan helped me pick out most of the items. He stayed far away as I was assembling the basket though claiming that I can sometimes become a "craft bitch." Is it odd that I find that to be a compliment?

Anyways, I love making baskets! There are endless amount of themes that can inspire you to build a basket. Here is how I assembled the beer basket and some tips that I go by.
Basket Items:
  • Beer (of course!) I used shipyard pumpkinhead. 
  • Beer glasses
  • Bottle opener
  • Pretzels (the perfect snack with beer!)
  • Dish towels (helpful for stabilizing the bottles)
  • Decorative storage bin
Basket Tips:
  • Make the basket out of something practical. I hate making baskets out of actual baskets. If someone gave me a wicker basket I would have no use for it! Make the basket out of something that would be useful to the gift recipient. Be creative! In the past I've used mixing bowls, coffee mugs, and decorative boxes to put the items in.
  • Save up on newspaper and plastic grocery bags. This particular decorative bin was pretty deep. In order to stagger the items so you could see them at eye level, I used crumbled up newspaper on the bottom to prop them up. I simply used tissue paper as the top layer so the newspaper was hidden.
  • Use dish towels! Dish towels are always a great addition to a basket. They really help to stabilize the items so they don't shift around. It is especially useful to tuck them around the fragile items in your baskets like the beer bottles.
  • Personalize it! Think about the gift recipient and his/her likes and needs. Dan and I knew that Mark loved shipyard pumkinhead so we included that as the featured beer. 
  • Have fun! Remember, there is no right or wrong!



Monday, August 13, 2012

Easiest Dip Ever! Cream Cheese and Chili Mexican Dip

I have been making my mexican three layered dip forever. Cream cheese on the bottom, chili in the middle, and shredded cheddar cheese on top. Its simple and easy! I blogged about it here. Someone asked me if it was the easiest dip that I had ever made. I thought it was, until I made this dip today. 

This dip has only TWO ingredients in it. Beat that! All you have to do is simply mix the ingredients together and heat it for 5 minutes. This dip is definitely going to be my new go to recipe, and I am sure my friends will not be disappointed.

I added some chili powder and red pepper flakes for an extra kick. If you happen to not like spicy food or you don't have any spices on hand, this dip would taste delish just with chili and cheese on its own.

Recipe Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Ingredients:
  • 6 ox cream cheese
  • 15 oz can of chili (I used Hormel with beans)
  • 2 tsp red paper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • tortilla chips
Recipe:
  • Place chili and cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes.
  • Mix ingredients together until cream cheese and chili is combined and add spices
  • Microwave for an additional 2 minutes
  • Serve with chips

Friday, August 10, 2012

The quest to find the best burger EVER

http://cheeseburgerfriday.com/
I haven't been blogging for that long, so when I find out someone I know has a blog I get REALLY excited. This happened not too long ago when I found out one of the girls I work with, Victoria, has a blog dedicated to burgers. I could barely control my excitement. The blog is called 3 Girls 100 Burgers. I'll let Victoria and her fellow burger eaters introduce themselves and describe the blog below. The blog is definitely worth checking out. It is incredibly funny and witty, and they have a great taste in burgers if I do say so myself!!



 3 Girls 100 Burgers
Life can be challenging when you have the extravagant food preferences of Suri Cruise, but the income of 2012 Lindsay Lohan. But just because we make less in a week than a homeless panhandler, that doesn't mean we shouldn't eat like royalty. We love food. We love America. Mix those 2 together and not only do you get the 4th of July (our favorite holiday), but you also get 3girls100burgers. Seeing as we are all fans of beef products and bald eagles, we decided to join forces, spend our chump change, risk the potential 20 pound weight gain and embark on the burger tour. Sacrificing our wallets and bodies for our fellow Americans, we have set out to find the best burger. The best bang for your buck. The be all, end all burger.

Side note: You're probably wondering who 'we' is by this point...we're Victoria, Emily and Shannon, three girls from a small suburban town in Massachusetts. We all attend private and rigorous institutions so clearly we have tons of time to eat, blog and eat some more. But actually. While some spend their summers traveling the world, we prefer to travel the world of chain restaurants. Oh yeah we also have overflowing college bank accounts so funding this tour hasn't really been a problem....NOT.

The burger tour consists of a variety of steps. First, we have to decide on a time and place to meet up and indulge. It's difficult seeing as Shannon works the graveyard shift aiding to the senile elderly and drug addicts, Emily works a "demanding" 9-5 schedule and is always running some sort of athletic race and Victoria usually tries to balance 3 jobs (one of them being a plant watering gig which she stole from Shannon after she managed to kill an entire garden last summer; they are no longer speaking).

The second step is the actual experience and eating part. Being grateful we don't live in a third world country, we have no problem taking burgers to our faces. Now it's important to note that during this time we are absolutely judging. How nice is the wait staff? Who are the creatures dining around us? What are our burger options? Can we even read the menus due to the immense amounts of neon lighting? Yanno, the usual.

The third, final step in the burger tour happens post restaurant trip. We collectively blog where we work to include all our thoughts and share our experiences. We write up a little somethin somethin that includes a general pros/cons list, a blurb regarding our experience, some glamorous and undoubtedly flattering pictures (if we even remember to do so, sometimes our hunger sidetracks us), and a rating system. The rating system includes the following categories (on a scale from 1-10): Price (too expensive-1, fairly priced-10), Service, Sides, Size, Presentation, Menu Choice, Deliciousness!/Flavor, Time to Get Food after Ordering, How Much Do I Feel Like I Have to Vomit After Eating (yes-1, no-10), Bang for your Buck. It's important to note that we rate restaurants based on our overall experiences, not just on the flavor of our food. Some may call us harsh and insensitive, but we prefer honest. We keep a running list of all of our ratings in hopes of producing the name of the best place to grab a hunk of grade A all American beef.
So far Five Guys Burgers and Fries is our number 1 with a total score of 84/100. Five Guys is affordable, delicious and most importantly, has a state of the art soda machine. Make sure to find your local Five Guys and pay them a visit! Make sure to let us know what you think via 3girls100burgers@gmail.com!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pinterest Love

I realize that I haven't posted anything this week. Work is getting to be really hectic and crazy. I haven't even had time to step into the kitchen to make anything! The good thing is that this week is going by super fast and next week I'm only working on Monday and Tuesday. It will most likely be my last chance to take time off from work until the holidays so I am definitely going to enjoy my time off!!

Because I haven't had time to cook anything this week, I've decided to post some links of my latest finds on pinterest. If you try any of these recipes let me know how they are! Also, feel free to follow me on pinterest! The link is above my picture on the right.

Cheesy Bacon Oven Chips with Chipotle Ranch Sauce







Sunday, August 5, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I turned 24! Last night Dan and I went out to celebrate with two of our best friends, and today I had a low key birthday celebrating at home with my family. I'm so blessed to have amazing family and friends. This birthday was just perfect!

 My friend Sarah surprised me with these yummy cupcakes last night. My favorite was the margarita cupcake (top left corner). Tequila is soaked into the cake and the frosting is rimmed with salt. It is definitely unique! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Skinny Enchilada Lasagna

I love mexican and southwestern food, and I love anything cheesy. This lasagna replaces the noodles with tortillas and tomato sauce with rotel to make a mexican casserole. It is so easy and tastes so delicious. It was created by Mama Laughlin with fat free and reduced fat ingredients so you don't have to feel guilty eating it. Even with fat free ingredients it tastes so good! Serve with a sign of corn to make the perfect meal for your family.

Recipe Source: Mama Laughlin

Ingredients:
  • 3 chicken breasts, shredded
  • 4 cups reduced fat mexican cheese
  • 1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups fat free plain greek yogurt
  • 8 small corn tortilla
  • These two cans of Rotel:
 Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Combine cream of chicken soup, greek yogurt, and the two cans of rotel. 
  • Layer the bottom of a 8 x 11 pan with 1/3 of the cream mixture.
  • Take 4 of the corn tortillas and submerge into water. Place the tortillas on top of the cream mixture. You may have to tear them in half to fit the pan.
  • On top of the tortillas, place more cream mixture, then 1/2 of the cooked chicken, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese.
  • Submerge the remaining tortillas in water and place them on top of the shredded cheese. 
  • The casserole dish should now look like this:

  •  On top of the tortillas, place the rest of the cream mixture, the rest of the chicken, and then the rest of the cheese.
  • The pan should look like this:



  •  Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is nice and gooey.
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