Friday, February 13, 2015

Sending my Love....{Happy Valentine's Day!}

Happy Valentine's Day, Loves!

I'm not super mushy, I'm not super sappy. But I do like Valentine's Day. It's fun, it's pretty, it's delicious. What's not to love??

Plus, Kaydin and I ran into some early presents from our Timmy this year.

The above was laying out on the table when we got home last night. Like she needs any more stuffed animals, but she loves him just as much as her 1,000 others! His name is Frodo the Frog. :)

After dinner we dug into dessert making our pick from each box.

My office sure has a pretty addition as of yesterday afternoon. Sending flowers a couple days early= an even bigger surprise! Two years ago they came one day early. He's so sneaky. Guess he wants the delivery man to have one less to deal with on the 14th. ;)

Who's Sallie you're asking...?? Well, yes, that's me! :) One of my many nicknames that have evolved from yet another nickname. I could make a whole post on nicknames that Tim has for Kaydin and I. maybe someday... :)

Look at that fun addition to the vase! Single rose petals. Never seen that before, but such a fun, pretty idea!

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Now I wanna take a little time and mention just because you are single doesn't mean your Valentine's Day has to suck. Don't get down on yourself! You are strong. You are independent. You are amazing!

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If I didn't have Tim, I'd have my baby girl to shower me with love. If I didn't have her, I have my friends and family. And ya know, I have myself!

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Confidence and happiness in myself! And so should you! ;) No matter what your relationship status.

The rest of our Valentine's weekend is going to involve some heart shaped pizza, maybe some Funfetti Dip, some pancakes made by Kaydin Baby, a show at the Des Moines Performing Arts Center, a nice dinner enjoyed at home (steak for me, cheeseburger request from Kaydin and a "not steak" request from Tim), and some movies.

Have a GREAT Valentine's weekend no matter who's by your side or what your relationship status is! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Crab Rangoon Pizza

Today we're celebrating! It's baby shower day!!

Baby shower day for my friend, Nicole! I met Nicole in 2013 at the Healthy Living Summit. A group of us had dinner the first night before the summit officially kicked off and we got along great. I had a fun weekend spending the weekend getting to know a new friend.  I got the chance to spend more time with Nicole at Blend last June. Again, before the actual retreat started I saw her and Ari (I met Ari at Healthy Living Summit, too.) standing outside the resort while a bunch of us were piling into cars to find something for lunch. I spotted the both of them and jumped out of the car running to meet Nicole with a hug! She learned we were headed for food, and she was in! We crammed her in car and were off to find a lunch spot.

I guess it's only appropriate that we are throwing her a baby shower centered around food! :) More specifically pizza, brownies and other chocolate-y goodness and booze, three of Nicole's favorite things!

So now on to the recipe! 

We have a great pizza place in Des Moines, Fong's Pizza. It's an Asian/pizza fusion place. The pizzas there are great-- and creative! Unique pizza flavors like black bean with cilantro, beef and broccoli, Kung Pao Chicken, and mac and cheese make it a popular place. The pizza that's really put the restaurant on the map is their Crab Rangoon Pizza. 

It's definitely delicious, but when I tried it I thought maybe I could make it even better. I thought the filling was lacking on the pizza. That's my favorite part of crab rangoon, the creamy filling. I wanted to try a version that included lots of the creamy crab mixture.

An easy filling mixture for base of the pizza, sprinkled with cheese and then topped with crispy baked wonton strips makes this is a pretty close match but unique way to enjoy the crab rangoon flavor!

I'd seen a crab rangoon dip recipe on Pinterest in the last few weeks so that was my inspiration to create my pizza. And the final product turned out sooooo well! Yum! I wish I had another one right now! A great replica of one of my favorite appetizers that I don't have too often in pizza form. Winning combo!

Crab Rangoon Pizza

Filling makes 2 large-medium sized pizzas with a small amount of crab meat mixture leftover.

1 8oz package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup crab meat, shredded (reserve 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (reserve 3/4 cup for sprinkling on top)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (reserve 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top)
juice from 1/4 of a lemon
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 1/2 tbsp green onion, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp chives, chopped (reserve a small amount for garnish)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
few cracks of fresh cracked pepper, about 1/2 tsp
1 pizza crust (I use the dough from Trader Joe's)
4-5 wonton wraps, cut into small thin strips
sweet chili sauce, for drizzling
honey, for drizzling (optional)

 1. Cut the wonton wraps in small thin strips. Lay them out on a baking sheet. Spray with non-stick spray and put them in a 400 degree oven for just a couple minutes. Keep an eye on them- they brown fast! Bake for 2-3 minutes or until just golden on the edges. Set aside.
2. Stretch dough to fit your pizza pan. Bake for 5-7 minutes until just slightly brown.
3. Mix first seven ingredients (only 1/4 cup of crab meat, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and a small amount of chives) together in large bowl. Mix until well combined.
4. Spread a thin layer of the topping onto the crust. Top with remaining crab meat and cheeses.
5. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
6. Remove from oven and top with wonton wraps.
7. Drizzle honey and sweet chili sauce on top of the pizza. 
8. Garnish with chopped chives.

*Definitely do not skip the sweet chili sauce! It makes the whole pizza. The honey is optional but  recommended as it added just another layer of flavor among the creamy topping, crunchy won tons and pairs perfectly with the chili sauce. 

Here's the whole round-up of everyone that participated in Nicole's Baby Shower! There's some good ones in the list! Can't wait to try some of the recipes! Click on over to see the rest of the menu!

Boozy Red Velvet Hot Chocolate from Ari's Menu
Boozy Iced Coffee from The Wanderlust Kitchen
Coconut Oil Brownies from Handle the Heat
Raspberry Lemonade Champagne Punch from Eat. Drink. Love.
Chocolate Cherry Brownies from Savvy Eats
Four Cheese Pizza with Sausage and Peppers from The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Crab Rangoon Pizza from Mollie's Sprinkles of Life
Grapefruit Chia Seed Cocktail from Peace Love and Oats
White Pizza with Bacon, Basil & Tomatoes from Eating Bender

Huge shout out and thanks for Ari for organizing! Happy baby shower, Nicole! :)

Let me know what you think when you make this unique pizza flavor!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blueberry Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes {National Blueberry Pancake Day with Driscoll's}

Did you know today is National Blueberry Pancake Day?!?

Pancakes are never my first choice, especially when going out to eat. That is until I tried the pancakes at Mimi's Cafe. I craved those pancakes all the time. Perfectly fluffy, creamy, and didn't turn to mush when drizzled with syrup.

Sadly though, Mimi's in Des Moines closed more than six months ago. I didn't even get a chance to go there one last time. I drove by one day and it was just empty. :(

Since Mimi's wasn't an option anymore, I was back to being indifferent about pancakes. I mean, I wouldn't turn them down, but they weren't my first choice either.

That all changed though when I put this recipe together! These pancakes are the perfect combo of ingredients and are now my new favorite pancake recipe! A great replacement for the Mimi's breakfast I'm still missing.

I knew National Pancake Day was coming up and I just had a basic recipe rolling around in my head. I planned on dressing them up with some props and blueberries to make the pictures pretty. Although when driving the other day, the thought of adding buttermilk to the recipe popped into my head. Directly behind it, the idea of pairing lemon with the blueberries also came. I was sold! Lemon and blueberry is a great combo to bring out this time of year when everything is dreary and gray. The end product turned out delicious!

Blueberry, Lemon, Buttermilk Pancakes
Makes 4 large, thick pancakes.

1 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup blueberries

1. Mix butter, egg, and buttermilk until mixed well.
2. Add vanilla, lemon juice, zest, and sugar. Mix well.
3. Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
4. Fold in blueberries.
5. Add 1/2 cup or so of batter to heated skillet over medium heat. Flip when bubbles appear in batter. Let cook for 2-3 minutes and remove from pan. Top pancakes with powdered sugar or maple syrup.

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Driscoll's. I was compensated for my time and also with Driscoll's berry coupons. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

This Weekend I...{January 23-25, 2015}

This weekend was a great one!

had pizza from one of my favorite places, Casey's! Yes, a convenience store in this area, but they also make some the best pizza around!

stocked up on my favorite Valentine's candies. After getting a text message from my dad requesting I deliver his some cherry hearts the next time I come home, I figured it was time I bought myself some of the seasonal candy that is out this time of year. I have eaten these every Valentine's Day for as long as I can remember. A must-have this time of year in our house when I was growing up.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III on Friday night after our pizza and a walk with the dogs. A couple weekends ago we watched the new remake that was just released. That had Tim and I reminiscing over the old ones from the early 90's. A search on Amazon and I found the set! Last weekend we watched I and II, and this weekend we finished up the series. Such good memories! Josh was more than obsessed with the Ninja Turtles when we were little. So fun watching the movies again. Annnnd I found the cartoons on Amazon Prime!

took the dogs for some play time! Saturday morning it was too nice not to be outside and the dogs definitely need more exercise this time of year so after breakfast we headed out to the dog park so Squeaky and Ciera could run around for awhile.

Before we left the dog park, we explored the beach area by the lake.

met up with some friends, Jamie and Megan, for lunch! Sadly, though, this pic of my salad is the only one I have from our meetup.

saw a dance show, Diavolo, at Des Moines Performing Arts Saturday night. My friend Summer invited Kaydin and I to the show and we happily took her up on her offer. I love seeing shows there and a dance themed one was right up Kaydin's alley.

straightened Kaydin's hair Sunday morning. We rarely time the time since it takes so long, but it's nice to do it in this weather since there's no humidity. Makes it look that much better.

took a quick trip to the mall, Costco, and Home Goods by myself after I dropped Kaydin off at a birthday party.

snacked on perfectly red and juicy strawberries (and unpictured blueberries and blackberries) from said trip to Costco. They have some really high quality berries in our store right now.

made an easy dinner with just these two ingredients. Roasted spaghetti squash topped with a pasta sauce I found at Aldi this fall. The squash had been hanging out on the counter for a few months now and I finally thought it sounded good. Super easy dinner on a Sunday night is always a win!

ended Sunday evening with a nutrient packed dessert, vanilla chia seed pudding. Made with almond milk, vanilla extract, honey, maple syrup and chia seeds. (Based off Cassie's recipe.)

And that was our great weekend with some pretty awesome January weather! Topping out around 45-50 degrees, I will definitely take it!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hello, Hi, Hey There!



Hey there!!!

It's been a long time. Too long. But such is life!

Let's just jump right in and ignore the fact I've been absent for a few weeks, shall we, and I'll let ya know what's been going on!

First and most exciting, I'm headed to Colorado this spring for Blend! So excited already! Can't wait to see everyone! #blend2015

And speaking of CO, I still need to get my act together, upload some pics, and tell you guys about our trip there last summer.

I found this Instagram account, tonight. Follow it. So funny!...and a little disturbing.

Another awesome Instagram you need to follow, yourshittyfamily. Such crazy, but actual texts. Has me rolling!

Ok, sticking with the screen time theme, I LOVE the new TV show, How to Get Away with Murder. So good, so addicting. I had been saving up episodes to watch over the time between Christmas and New Year's. Now that I've seen some episodes, I don't know how I was able to hold off for that long. If you are not watching it yet, start!

I got my seed catalog in the mail a few weeks ago and earlier this week I finally flipped through and made a list of what I want to grow this year. So excited! Soon I plan to get a post out there documenting my 2014 garden.

Another post I owe you is the one for Kaydin's 8th birthday. Yes, this little girl is 8!!
I've been making fruit and yogurt parfaits for breakfast. Super easy and perfectly portable to take to the office every morning. Just some plain Greek yogurt, a little honey and whatever frozen fruit you'd like.

Hmmm, what else can I share....?

Well, I am definitely ready for spring. I'm over winter and ready for some warmer temps, green grass, the growing season, outdoor activities, and strolling through the farmer's markets. Even though it's been pretty warm here in Iowa, I know it's not gonna last and we've still got about 6-8 more weeks of the winter season. Oh well, one of the things I actually do like about where I live is the changing of the seasons and experiencing four distinct seasons every year. I wouldn't be sad though if winter abruptly disappeared a couple weeks after Christmas.

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

How have you all been lately? What's new?? :)