Thursday, December 9, 2010

Finally, Pictures of the Big Day

Head on over to my new blog, Everyday Ellis and check out a rundown of our big day.  Sorry it took so long to post!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Making the Jump

I officially changed my name at the social security office. I don't know what it is about government offices, but it never fails.

Screaming baby- check

Some guy hacking behind me and not covering his mouth -check

Being there an hour longer than expected-check

Feeling like I won the lottery when they finally called my name -BIG check!

Geez, two hours later, I finally got to get my new card processed. Apparently, you can call and make an appointment so you don't have to wait. Just a little hint, call ahead and schedule a time! You can also go to and fill out all the forms you will need to do a complete name change.

So, since the wedding is over, its time to move on from this blog. I will come back and post if my wedding gets picked up by any publication and if it doesn't anytime soon, I will post all the pics from my photog. Until, I'm on to my new blog, Everyday Ellis. I'll post all the new recipes I try, projects around the house, my latest attempts at sewing, and anything else I feel like needs posting. Its not ready yet, but I'm sure it will be up and running in the next week.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The last recipe from the wedding weekend

This is the breakfast casserole my mom made for Saturday morning.

Chile-Cheese Brunch Casserole
Active Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Yield: 12 servings

Zesty and cheesy, this casserole is easy to make ahead of time for entertaining.Make Ahead Tip: The casserole will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat before serving.

6 corn tortillas
4 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites or 1/4 cup dried egg whites reconstituted according to package directions
2 16-ounce containers low-fat cottage cheese
2 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
4 4-ounce cans chopped mild green chiles
1 cup prepared tomato salsa

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Toast tortillas: place one at a time directly on a burner (gas or electric) set at medium heat. Toast, turning frequently with tongs, until golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Cut tortillas into 1-inch-wide strips.
Whisk 2 whole eggs in a large bowl until foamy. Add flour, baking powder and salt; whisk until smooth. Add remaining 2 whole eggs and egg whites and whisk until smooth. Add cottage cheese, Cheddar cheese, chiles and tortilla strips and mix with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
Bake the casserole until set in the center and golden on top, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into squares. Serve with salsa.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Crafty women can be hotties too

Did you know Martha Stewart had a brief stint as a model? Geez, really, is there anything Martha can't do? Sigh...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Recipes from the wedding, continued...

Cherry Cheesecake Bites
1 bar of neufchatel cheese or low fat cream cheese
1 regular size tub of Cool Whip
graham cracker crumbs
salted butter
Splenda for Baking
Topping of your choice-we used no sugar cherry pie pilling and canned cherries

Sorry, this is another one I don't measure. It all depends on if you are making a full size pie (in which, you can actually buy a shortbread or graham cracker crust already made) or cupcake size individual pies. Combine graham cracker crumbs, a little splenda, and enough melted butter for the crumbs to hold together. Press on the bottom of whatever baking dish you decide (if you do cupcake size, make sure to use cupcake liners) and bake for about 10 minutes at 350F. While the crust is baking, combine the cream cheese, cool whip, and a little splenda. Beat with a mixer until all mixed and smooth. Since we did ours in cupcake sized pies, we piped in the mixture into the cups with a big icing tip. If you are doing a whole pie, you can just dump the mixture into the cooled crust and make a well in the middle for the filling. You can put whatever filling on top that you like. We've used blueberry pie filling as well. Since I don't like really sticky filling, I added the canned cherries to cut down the thickness and they turned out great.

Cake Balls from the reception
1 box of cake mix, whatever you prefer including ingredients it calls for
1 small tub of frosting (whatever coordinates with the cake you choose)
1 box of almond bark
double boiler
Bake the cake according to the directions on the box. We also did a homemade blackberry cobbler since that is Clay's favorite dessert so use your imagination. Let the cake/cobbler cool after baking. Cut off any edges that get overcooked and are hard. Crumble the cake in a large bowl and mix with the frosting. I found that it is a better consistency to roll into balls if you only use half a tub of icing, otherwise it gets too runny and the balls will crack much easier. Let the cake/frosting mixture cool in the fridge for about 2 hrs. Once cooled completely, remove from fridge and roll into balls about the size of golf balls and place on a baking sheet. Once the sheet is full, place into the freezer for at least six hours. At this stage, you can freeze and put in a ziploc bag for a month before dipping them in almond bark. When you are ready to dip, remove from the fridge a few at a time. If you take out too many, they wil start to thaw and get pieces in your almond bark. Place about six pieces of almond bark into a double boiler to melt. Skewer a cake and dip completely into the bark. Move the ball around as it somewhat hardens so that it doesn't drip. We had a long piece of styrofoam to put the skewers in as the balls dried completley. If you don't have one, you can also use a big tub of rice to stick them in until they dry. If you are doing cobbler balls, the juice will drip out of the skewer hole, so you need to go back and add a little bark to close it completley. Once dry, you can refrigerate for a week or freeze for months. If you freeze them, let them thaw a bit in the fridge before serving. When my mom told me there was a ton of my wedding cake leftover, I joked that we should have made cake balls out of it!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
I didn't make these last weekend, but we talked about them. Soo easy to make and super healthy.
1 cup of oatmeal
1 cup of lowfat cottage cheese
1 dash of vanilla extract
4 egg whites
2-3 tablespoons of vanilla protein powder (I use Lean Body)
Combine everything into a blender and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too runny, I add a little more protein powder just like you would flour in normal pancake mix. Pour onto a hot skilllet sprayed with a little Pam Baking spray. Once cooked, I like to cover a short stack with chopped fruit (bananas, strawberries, etc) and a little sugar free syrup. Yum!

Mom, I'm not sure I still have the link to your breakfast casserole. Could you please add it in a comment or send it to me and I will post? Love you!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Recipes from the Rehearsal Dinner

Per the request of many, here are the recipes from the rehearsal dinner last Friday:

Clean Eating Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

The hard thing is that I don't measure spices anymore so these are an estimate:

1 lb of ground 93/7 turkey

1 cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs

1 whole egg

2 heaping tbsp of finely chopped fresh parsley

2 heaping tbsp of finely chopped fresh oregano

2 heaping tbsp of finely chopped fresh basil

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 tbsp of dried minced onions

fresh ground pepper and sea salt (I like mine a little heavy on the pepper)

for those that like a little spice, add a heavy dash of dried red pepper flakes

spaghetti sauce of your choice

grated parmesan finely chopped- this is up to you, I like about 1/4 cu. in my mix (plus you can use less salt with more cheese

Whole wheat pasta of your choice

Optional- sliced mushrooms

marinated artichoke hearts

Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine all the ingredients until completely mixed. Roll into roughly 1" balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes (until they are brown). Its okay if they are not completely cooked through, they cook the rest of the way when you simmer them with the sauce. I like mushrooms and marinated artichoke hearts in my sauce. If you do as well, slice white mushrooms and cut up the artichoke hearts and cook a bit in a big pot with a little olive oil. Add the spaghetti sauce to the shrooms and hearts and add the meatballs. Cover with a lid and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Boil a big pot of water and cook the pasta. Spoon meatballs and sauce over noodles and enjoy!

Caprese Salad

1 ball of fresh mozzarella

1 bunch of really good (farmers market if available) tomatoes

1 bunch of basil

1 cup of balsamic vinegar

fresh ground black pepper

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella. Layer on individual plates or on a platter with the basil. You can arrange them however you like but here is an idea:

Boil the cup of balsamic down until its about 1/2 cu and drizzle over the salad. Top with fresh ground pepper and there you have it. Pretty easy!

Registry Must Haves

So far, there are three things that have really wowed me as far as performance goes in regards to wedding gifts. If you don't personally know me, I am an OCD clean freak. I love the smell of Pinesol and stock up on cleaning products with every trip to Costco. So, as far as cleaning, here are my top picks:

1. The Shark Navigator vacuum- I have no words. Actually, I do, that's why I blog. This thing is amazing. Its lightweight and like the Dyson, doesn't lose suction. I just thought my carpets were clean, but with two small black haired dogs...its a constant battle. The worst is our microfiber sofa. Microfiber is great when it comes to getting stains out, but horrible with dog hair. It holds it in for dear life. The only way I've been able to get hair off so far is with roll upon roll of lint roller sheets. This vacuum has a pet attachment. Its a smaller little vacuum head that has a lint brush on it and the bristles that go about a hundred miles a minute. It got all the hair off my couch with little effort! I was amazed. The only downside is that the size of the actual vacuum head is smaller than normal, so you don't cover as much area with each pass of the vacuum and the dirt canister is rather small as well, but I still think its awesome. Since its only 15 lbs, it makes it really easy to maneuver too.

2. The Shark Pocket Steam mop. I have lots of tile in the house and I only thought it was clean until I swiped it over with this baby. The steam really gets in there and cleans deep down. You can actually feel the difference when you walk on the floors in bare feet. The extra long cord makes it easy to cover large areas without having to unplug it and re-plug somewhere else. Love it!

3. This one is actually just a side note for all you coffee drinkers. Clay and I went this week to get the cappucino machine that was on our registry. He is a coffee fanatic. I like the occassional latte, but not like he does. One, I think its stupid for him to go buy his cafe mochas and spend tons of money on it each week and two, there is a side useage for us new brides with sparkly rings we'd like to keep that way. When we were ring shopping a couple of months ago, the jeweler had cleaned my engagement ring and it looked so much better. At the jewelers, they use steam to get in all the cracks and crevices. You can do the same thing at home with the steamer on a cappucino machine. Just hold your ring under the steam with some tongs and blast away. My ring looked so much better after I tried it yesterday!