Thursday, June 25, 2009


hello lovely friends!!

so ... i love it when i find inspiration in random places.
today it was TUESDAY MORNING!

so ... i'm looking forward to when my sister gets engaged someday.
so much so that i've already been dreaming about the special touches i will implement into the parties! yes ... i said partieS!

today i was inspired by a cute book at tuesday morning!

The Best Bake Sale ever Cookbook!

so it's something simple ... and it's probably not the most original idea.
but i've never heard of this idea! so it's new to me!!

i want to have a shower or party of some sort with a table set up like a BAKE SALE!!
i just thought it would be cute to have a handpainted sign that says "bake sale"
and the separate items will be either piled on trays, or individually wrapped with "price tags" or something cute like that. of course i won't really CHARGE the guests for the treats. it will just be for effect ;) a special little touch, if you will.

anywho ... i like the idea!
so i wanted to share it with the blog world!!

let me know if you have any more ideas for making the bake sale table at the future party! :)

good night, fair maidens :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

my new friend

so ... matt is away at camp this week.
and i'm so jealous that i wasn't able to go :(
and i'll be at home all week (well, when i'm not at work, that is!) ... booooooring!!
so i hope that i am able to make the most of this week and get some much-needed stuff done at home.

my aspirations are high - but i'm afraid to put it my week's goals in writing in case i get NOTHING done this week. that would be depressing!

but ... that's just a little background info to tell you about what this post is REALLY about!
so, my friend aleen bought a new little puppy recently.
his name is luigi and he's a bolognese.
matt is going to kill aleen for asking me to dog-sit this week.
because i don't want luigi to go home!
he is the cutest, most mild mannered little dog and we've been hanging out all day.
i don't think woody is too keen about him being around.

but ... he'll have to deal with it this week.
sorry matt! we're going to have to have a luigi around here someday!!
this isn't really luigi - because i'm too lazy to take a picture and download it right now.
and he's currently sprawled out in his little bed so it wouldn't be the best picture anyway.
but the funny thing is - not only does it look JUST like him - but he also has a little pink heart tag like this too!! too cute.

luigi says hi!!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

its june ...

once again it's been far too long ...
this time i really DO have an excuse though!

my new work schedule has been crazy!
mondays alone are 12 hour days!

but ... and don't think i'm criminally insane ... i LOVE it!!
i get to talk to people all day every day and i get to HELP them at the same time!

the tradeoff?
i check my email about once a day - at 10pm or later usually.
and i NEVER blog anymore!!
even worse? i don't really even have time to cook/bake ...
thus, nothing to blog about :(


but, we took a trip to the cabin in flagstaff for memorial day weekend.
so i do have some pictures to share in the near future.
and we even had a supper club meeting while we were there!
so even MORE to blog about!

stay tuned ... for real!!

Friday, April 24, 2009


it's 2:38 am
i really shouldn't have had that coffee at 9:30pm ...
but it was SOO good.

Monday, April 20, 2009

yahoo grandma johnson! :)

so - i REALLLY should be studying right now.
tomorrow - bright and WAY-TOO-EARLY i have my 3rd and final (provided i pass) test!!

however, here i am.
hmmmm ...
wonder if i have a procrastination problem.

so - i made the worlds best mac & cheese tonight.
matt's grandma johnson has THE easiest and THE most delicious mac & cheese recipe of all time!

and when i am feeling lazy or bogged down with studying, work, life, etc - i just add chicken for a little protein and it's the perfect quick dinner!!

here's a picture of said mac & cheese.
man, it's good.

here's the recipe.
i probably should have asked matt before i posted it for the world to see.
but i've always been a big believer in sharing recipes - why not share delicious food with the world?? yeah - i'm sure matt doesn't mind ;)

1 lb elbow macaroni (or any other smallish pasta), cooked al dente
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese (sharp, medium, whatever you like!)
2 cans evaporated milk (you will only use about 1 1/2 cans) - use the rest for tomorrow's coffee!
salt & pepa

boil water and cook macaroni until al dente
in a 9x13 glass casserole dish, place 1 layer of cooked macaroni (about 1/2 of the mac) in dish
sprinkle 1/2 of the cheddar cheese on top, sprinkle salt & pepper on 1st layer
pour about 3/4 of one of the cans of evap. milk over the first layer
layer the rest of of the mac as the 2nd layer
layer the rest of the cheese on the 2nd layer
salt & pepper the 2nd layer
pour the rest of the 1st can of evap milk, then pour about 1/2 of 2nd can of evap milk.
(you should have about 1/2 of the 2nd can of evap milk left.

bake in 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

and if you want to put chicken in it - mix the shredded cooked chicken with the cooked macaroni and follow the directions the same as above.

check out the finished product!

I mean, come on! are you so hungry now!?!?
trust me - it's great! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

well at least it's not MAY yet!

in my last blog i said "i hope to be posting soon, hopefully before may" (in so many words - i paraphrase b/c i'm too lazy to go back and get the actual words) ;)
well ... it's not may - but it's certainly not SOON after the last blog ...

but, the good news is - i have pictures!
those last two blogs were BOOOOORING without something fun, pretty or delicious to look at.

let's see, what has happened lately?
well - the most exciting (and time consuming) event is that i got a new job!
i decided that there was definitely a reason the man upstairs didn't want me working on the education "plan" i have had for the last year or so ... too bad it took me so long to figure THAT out! i guess i need to be told "no" more times than smarter people :)

anyway - the job seems to be coming along nicely - except for the fact that i'm currently studying for my THIRD test in 2 months. i'll be licensed in just about everything possible before long! but i've decided to have patience with it ... and so far it's working out just fine! i have two "passes" under my belt. and hopefully by tuesday i'll be moving on up in the world with a third "pass" on that scary computer monitor in the testing center.

i'll be an "investment professional" as soon as i officially start my job. it's sounds so generic. but, i'm really looking forward to helping people plan for their future, whether it's retirement, college funds for their kids, or their first home! i feel like it's going to be very rewarding!

well, let's get to those pictures! the most "available" right now, are the pictures from puerto vallarta! first, i'll start with a picture from the balcony of our hotel room.

we are officially in love with puerto vallarta, which we affectionately refer to as "PV" ...
and we can't wait to go back. we traveled with Danielle and our friend Traci was supposed to be with us ... but she couldn't go at the last minute. well, now traci has a ticket to PV and we really want to go back with her!! :)

before gabi & max's wedding all the girls/women got together in gabi's hotel room to pray with her. it was a really cool time. even though i didn't really know anyone other than gabi, danielle and their family - it was great to see women who cared so much about gabi & max and their life together. here's a picture during that time, with the comon girls.

here is a picture of gabi & max at their wedding.
the wedding was picture perfect ... the weather was beautiful - and it was RIGHT on the beach. i've never been to a beach wedding. and now i don't understand why everyone doesn't have one!

and here's a picture of us with the happy couple at the reception (also right on the beach!!)

we stumbled across a cuban bar while we were out exploring downtown PV one day - the funny thing is ... danielle's friend, or boss, can't remember which had actually recommended this place! we weren't even looking for it - but we found it! and we were SO glad we did. we stopped in that afternoon for a couple of appetizers and mojitos. and, of course, matt had to have a cuban cigar! so, here's a picture of us during our FIRST stop to la bodeguita del medio

i don't know if you caught it, but i said "our first stop to la B del M" ... well, we liked it so much we wanted gabi & max to come back with us!! so, we went back to our hotel, freshened up for a night out, and went back! it was so fun! everyone was writing their names on the walls, and this is what gabi did - i think it's going to be there for a while ;) maybe even by the time we go back with Traci!

and some more pictures from our SECOND trip to la B del M in the same day :)

the lengths people will go to get their name in print! :)

danielle definitely caught the eye of our waiter. every time the band played a dance song, he was teaching her the moves!

boys & their cigars ... yes, that's matt's SECOND cuban cigar in a day. it must be vacation!

danielle tried it too!

another cute gabi & max photo from La B del M

on our last night in PV, we went to a "party on the beach" (imagine that phrase stated in the voice and accent of Pedro from napoleon dynamite and you'll be golden) ... they had LOTS of delicious food, and entertainment. oh - and there was also this REALLY random cupid. from a distance matt & max thought it was a teenage boy in a diaper dressed as cupid. so it's not nearly as exciting when she gets closer and we realize it's just a really small girl. but it still made a funny picure.

so that's our trip to PV in a nutshell.
i currently cannot find the little piece of equipment that helps me easily download my pictures, so until i find it - there will either be NO blogs or blogs without pictures = boring! :)

thanks for reading!
now i'm wishing for that mahi mahi ceviche from La B del M!!
and the yellow rice!!
and a mojito!!

:) J

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Erin's Baby Shower

ok - i'm FINALLY getting around to blogging about erin's baby shower.
lacy (our trusty photographer) was SO on top of things when she gave me a CD of all the lovely photos about 3 months ago!! too bad i just got around to uploading said pictures :)

so - let's get started ...
although, its been a while since the shower (in mid november) so i hope i can remember everything!

the shower was held at debbie's house. she has such a great space for a baby shower, birthday party, whatever! we've even held events such like an olympics party ... it's just a really great house with a beautiful backyard. i wish my backyard was 1/2 as nice as theirs - and i'm rather fond of our yard! but i digress ...

the party was a saturday afternoon at debbie's house ... mostly held in the beautiful backyard. but, we kept the food and candy buffet inside. but, more on that later.

here are a couple of photos of the backyard space.
we had 5-6 tables set for 4, complete with rented tablecloths in the shower colors of blue, green & brown; a drink station with personalized wine glasses (i personalized them with wine charms i made with each guests name, as well as the origin and meaning of their name - this was one of my favorite "touches"); we also had a little area with a comfy chair for the mother to be and a present table in close proximity to her. we also set up a table for the activity of the day. since i'm not fond of "shower games" and thankfully neither is erin (mom to be) ... we did an activity instead and it was a real hit.

ok - enough chatter - here are the photos of the outside space and other various "touches"

and now about our "activity ... as i mentioned, erin is not a fan of shower games.
thank goodness for that - i really can't stand 99% of all shower games i've ever played.
and that's terrible of me - b/c EVERYONE plays them! i'm just a brat, i guess :)
anyway - so i had to get pretty creative when it came to filling our time with something fun to do. so i scoured TJ Maxx for WEEKS to get inexpensive onesies ... and i purchased fabric markers in various colors (from Michael's - with coupons of course) :) ... and we had a little "craft time"! i think everyone had a good time with it ... and they really turned out great!

the last picture shows the "winners" that erin chose! very cute.

and here are some pictures of the food table ...
the menu consisted of:
grilled chicken breasts with chimichurri sauce
orzo with asparagus & pistachios (one of erin's favorite "jeanine's kitchen" dishes) :)
prosciutto wrapped melon
fruit salad cups
green salad with cranberries, almonds & citrus vinaigrette

for dessert we had:
yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting (and blue sprinkles) :)
mini cherry cheesecakes
onesie sugar cookies (i WISH i would have gotten a picture of those!)

and here's the candy buffet table.
instead of a party favor that would probably be thrown in the trash, or collect dust in a closet, i set up a candy buffet and the guests filled up little paper bags with color coordinated candy! here's a picture of that ...

i also made a banner that read "How Sweet" to hang over the candy buffet. it didn't make it into this photo - but you can see most of it in this one!

and here is my favorite part!
the dum dum centerpiece! you can't really tell, but this dum dum ball is on top of a vase filled with color coordinated M&Ms ... a layer of brown, a layer of green & a layer of blue.

and that's about it!
it was a great time - and a beautiful fall day!
can't ask for much more than that!

so i'll leave you with one last picture ...

aren't these girls so cute? :)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

aaaaah!!! it's march

that's a "scary" ahhhh ... not an angry one.
i just can't believe 2009 is flying by so fast!
i just read my last blog from january. man, am i a slacker or what??

i have so much to document!

since supper club january 2009, we have had a supper-club-slash-super-bowl get together, we have traveled to puerto vallarta for gabi's wedding and i have spent a week with my siblings - acting as mom/sister, chauffeur, teacher, etc. (very exciting) ;)

however - i STILL haven't downloaded pictures from the first supper club.
what a slacker!!

so - i'll use this post as an "in-between" post.
and the next post (hopefully not in MAY!) will consist of details from the above-mentioned activities, as well as photos!!

oh ... and i gave up sweets for lent.
so i'm anticipating being super cranky for the next 2 supper club meetings.
please forgive any not-so-pleasant posts about the desserts from the next 2 get-togethers!

hope to be posting again soon!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gourmet Club 2009 (January Edition)

we finally did it!
we started a gourmet club ... i started calling it a "supper club" but danielle dubbed it "gourmet club" and i liked it better ... so "gourmet club" it shall be!

so last night was our first meeting and it was a fabulous time!
the goals of this "club" are the following:

1. for good friends to make some great food, preferably something you haven't made before
2. don't stress about your dish ... if it doesn't work out, stop at safeway on your way over! (just make sure it's something good!) :)
3. relax and forget about any stresses or troubles we may have

and our first night accomplished all of our goals!

here's the rundown.

we decided to do the gourmet club while at the cabin over new year's weekend, so we didn't have a set plan for our "january meeting". so this month was thrown together rather quickly and dubbed "cocktail party" night. danielle hosted the soiree at her place and we were all quite glad - because she is THE.BEST.HOST.EVER! we all love parties at her place. and she also made a dessert (more on that later). adam was the "barkeep" (nicknamed by heather - hilar!). heather made a savory dish, traci and i also made savory dishes and lyndsay made a dessert. while eating all the superb food, we shared our successes and horror stories about our dishes, why we chose them and whether we have made them in the past. after eating we played a game of apples to apples. traci and heather caught on VERY quickly - a little too quickly because traci cleaned up! we had to extend the game b/c she won so fast. but she ended up kicking all our butts anyway. and then we moved on to a NEW(ish) game at danielle's casa ... and i just realized i really should have taken a picture of this ... but she has a set of 8 chalkboards (i think - maybe it's just 6) and they're all lined up together to make one big chalkboard. so we played PICTIONARY! and danielle had the great idea to use the apples to apples cards. it worked perfectly and we had a blast! all in all a GREAT first get-together for us foodies.

now here are the details on the food!

heather - a delicious terrine made with goat cheese, pesto (homemade pesto!), sundried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts. this was served with pita chips and displayed with kumquats on the plate. it was so beautiful! it looked like a mountain or volcano! and it tasted SO good!

traci - rolls with barbecued beef. VERY good! traci had the first "horror story" of the gourmet club. she tried to make bbq beef but said that it didn't look quite right :). those of you who know traci know how funny she is ... so of course it cracked all of us up that this was her explanation for why her dish didn't work out :). but she made a fabulous recovery by bringing store-bought bbq beef. i told her she could have gotten away with telling us she made it ;) ... but i guess that's the fun of the club! we'll all have successes and horror stories at some point!

jeanine - i made roasted shrimp cocktail (a barefoot contessa recipe). i followed the recipe but i also added 3 cloves of chopped garlic and i think it made SUCH a difference. it would have been too boring without the garlic. the recipe comes from ina's latest book - back to basics!! i was really happy to get to use my new cookbook. the recipe also calls for a homemade cocktail sauce but it was still VERY easy and delicious.

danielle - not much of a "horror" story, but her original idea didn't work out as she planned. she wanted to make mini napoleons. if you don't know what a napoleon is - here's a picture of the delicious pastry. napoleon's - how i LOVE napoleons! (or anything with pastry cream for that matter!) anyway, danielle thought she cut the puff pastry too small so she baked tiny little mini puff pastries and baked them and we had deconstructed napoleons. i still couldn't stop eating them! even if they weren't what she originally planned to make.

lyndsay - molten chocolate cakes. i need to find out where she got this recipe b/c she made them in a muffin tin! and the reason i rarely make molten chocolate cakes is that i don't want to deal with all the individual ramekins! so i will certainly welcome a muffin tin recipe for these delicious concoctions! they were VERY good and very rich (although i managed to eat the whole thing) and lyndsay had the bright idea to serve them with a scoop of coffee ice cream on top.
d'lish! ;)

adam - aka barkeep (per heather) ... adam made a fantastic cocktail! first a short story ... adam got an iphone for christmas. it was ALL he wanted so basically EVERYONE (including yours truly) who bought adam a christmas present most likely contributed to adam's iphone and/or his many interesting applications on the iphone. one of the coolest applications is "bartender" (at least i think that's what its called). so adam chose something with bourbon (yum) and decided to make a bourbon smash. however he re-named it "EVERYBODY IN THE POOL!" and i will admit that if it had not been january, that's how we all may have ended up if we had one more of those babies! it was SO GOOD! and it has been "favorite-d" on the iphone for future use.

the drink consisted of blackberries (the original recipe calls for raspberries, but blackberries were on sale - and i prefer them ... so i'm thankful for safeway's sale of blackberries) :), lime juice, & mint leaves muddled in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. then adam added a little simple syrup, bourbon and cranberry juice. it is all shaken with ice and poured (not strained) into a glass. SO good!

i think that covers the evening!
i took a few pictures - but as usual, i left thinking i should have taken more!
i don't have pictures of apples to apples, pictionary OR the group! :-/
bummer summer.
i will post the pictures a little later and maybe by then i will think of something i left out of the above description!

danielle also offered to host for february ... hooray for danielle and her fabulous hosting abilities - and DESIRE to host us crazy folks! we are having a RECORD PARTY!! i am so excited i can hardly wait for february! danielle's dad got a record player for christmas so we are going to have a 70's party ala swingtown (minus the swinging) ;)

we will make fondue and dress in costume and arrive with dippers and records in hand.
i am pumped! can you tell? ;)

thanks for reading this NOVEL ... but i am so excited we have kicked off the gourmet club so well! i decided to document every detail!
let's see if we can keep the momentum going for the next few months of 09! ;)

happy inauguration day tomorrow everyone!