Friday, July 29, 2011

time flies when your are having fun

i was leaving work
when kenneth called
and said,
"how do you feel about living in italy?"
it's hard to believe
that it's been a year
i was looking back at some of my old posts
so much has changed in this year
the obvious
i'm in italy
many friends have welcomed {new additions }
to their famileis
we've said goodbye to a {beloved pup }
we've met { new friends }
i've learned a lot about {myself
would i do italy all over again
and i wouldn't change the headaches
the tears
the moments where i felt like i was going crazy
for anything
i've had many 'favorite posts'
over the year
which i've included
for your reading pleasure
happy year of blogging anniversary to me
thank you for reading
tolerating my moments of insanity
moments when i think i can cook
moments when i just feel
like babbling

Monday, July 25, 2011

cowboy leftovers to pasta cuisine

last night i made 
it's a great reciepe
and i highly recommend it
and i had some of the 
meat mixture
left over
i didn't want calazone
and didn't want to throw out the meat
i thought
and thought
opened my cabinets
to see what 
if any groceries i had
today is the must go grocery shopping
or starve to death day
i saw this
  and thought
"hmmm... backed penne with cowboy calazone meat mixture..
why not"
i cooked the pasta
you know
boil water, add pasta, cook 8-10 minutes, drain water
if i can make pasta without looking at directions
so can you
used my 8x8 pan
you can use a 9x13 but
i didn't have that much meat to cover a 9x13 
layer it
meat, noodles, meat, noodles, etc
top with parmasean
and shredded mozzarella
place it in the oven
i did 350*F for 20 minutes
you have a new dish
made with leftovers
it wasn't half bad either!
i would definitely make it again if i had left overs from cowboy calazones     



Thursday, July 21, 2011

thankful thursday: it's her birthday!

during our chat this week
she said
"i miss your baking blogs"
wow! really! someone reads them?!
cupcakes make me happy
she loves summer
and these are the perfect summer cupcakes
because i have new kitchen island
just waiting to get dirty!
and because
birthday is today
i tackled a new recipe
first like any good american
cooking in italy
open a bottle of wine!
now we are ready to bake!!
mix your dry ingredients
the flour, baking powder, and salt
set that aside
and whisk four egg whites and buttermilk together
set that aside
prepare your lime zest
yep, the grater still scares me
grate away
then step back and take a moment to smell the aroma in your kitchen
lime smells delicious, fresh, crisp!
now pull out your stand mixer!
i'm going to digress here so bear with me!
or skip down three pictures
pull out my mixer?!?
in italy i have yet to use my stand mixer
mainly because it ain't easy 
and counter space was limited
but now i have a new island!
so i lug out the 2000 watt transformer
it's heavy and ugly
so i usually hide it
i mean who wants to answer the question 
"what's the theme of your kitchen"
"electrical conversion equipment"?
then i found my stand mixer
plugged it in to the transformer
and prayed i didn't blow the breaker
i still have lights after turning it on!
ok back to the cupcakes!
add your sugar and lime zest in the stand mixture 
then blend it together
i used my hands it made my hands smell like lime all day
beat in your butter
 your lime juice
and your lime extract
i could NOT find lime extract at the commissary
so i squeezed some of the lime from the lime zest into the batter
the recipe breaks down how to add in your dry mixture 
and your egg/milk mixture that you set aside
because i'm not good in math
and i become overly anxious
wondering if i added in 1/3 or 1/4 
i just alternated adding in the two different mixtures
a little dry, then a little of the wet, a little more of the dry
well you get the idea
and after it's all combined
it looks something like this
this is where i do the 
"make sure it doesn't kill you"
taste test
really i just like batter
and trust me folks!
this is good batter!!
before you eat all the batter 
remember you have to make cupcakes
so fill those cupcake pans
put it in the good ol' oven at 350 for about 18-20 minutes
or until they look like this
and your kitchen smells heavenly!
while they cool
and trust me you want the cool before you frost them
i tried rushing the frosting bit 
and it melted off the cupcake
i'm impatient i wanted to eat one!
make your frosting
and you get to use your stand mixer again!!
take your chilled heavy whipping cream
whip it with the balloon whisk attachment
until it has a peak
this takes a little while
be patient
then add your sugar
and lime zest
the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of sugar
i didn't like the consistency of the frosting 
so i 
added another 1/2 tablespoon
and still not pleased
i remembered that
uses powdered sugar a lot in frostings
so i added 1/2 tablespoon
a minute later
i was pleased
then ice your cupcakes
and garnish with more lime zest 
or fresh lime slices
and enjoy.

i will say this
the cupcakes were a little dry for me
this could be baker error
but next time
i might try a stick and a half of butter
i'm not a professional
i'm a trial and error kind of gal
i know anything with butter is usually very moist
so why not try more butter?!

 so for my dear friend
happy birthday
i am so thankful that you are in my life
i wish i was there to enjoy your day with you
i miss you 
and will see you very soon!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


so i finally did it
a month and a half later
i uploaded my pictures from rome 
to my computer
if i only had time to edit all 700 plus photos
but alas 
i must work
so here are some of my favorite
actually a minimal amount of my favorites
due to the slooooow internet in my little italian village
if i haven't said it before
i will say it now
i love the colosseum 
it amazes me!
a candid moment of two of my favorite people
trevi fountain
another one of my favorite places in rome
a simple picture
yet it's one of my favorite

i am not a 'big-city' kind of gal
there is something about rome
that i love
despite it being a large city
i find myself 
dreaming about living in an apartment
looking over the trevi fountain
spending countless hours 
walking the streets
finding new wonders
eating a lot of gelato!

more rome pictures to come soon! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

mail call!!!

you get the piece of paper in your mailbox 
that says
"please go pick up your parcel"
actually it's quite rude and says
"first notice"
you anxiously wait in line
with all the other hopefuls
you check facebook
you text whoever you think will listen
you do something to make the time go buy
its your turn
you hand your "notice" over
and the mail clerk
slowly walks around
acting like he or she just started yesterday
and you wanna scream
"come on man! get my stuff! don't you know today is my day! i got a package"
then you get not one
but two boxes
and it isn't dog food food!
yes we mail order our dog food
the pups have to have their special food
spoiled yes
and in those boxes
a book!
support the military!
find a military family living overseas,
send them your expired coupons!
all for you!
nothing, nada, zilch for the pups
ok, i admit i am jealous the dogs get more boxes than i do
my dad
sends me boxes routinely!
filled with magazines
tidbits of stuff
to make me feel like i'm still stateside
but today
was clothes
and i need clothes
i was surprised with the bottle of cream soda
from pops
that had the whale in oklahoma on it
we use drive past that whale during family vacations
and the book
this book is hilarious
and just what i needed
after last month!
so thank you daddy
for all the time
and thought
you put into the boxes
they make my life just a little bit easier.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

how many blondes does it take to change a lightbulb?

actually the past few weeks
i've been trying to change a light bulb
seriously folks, don't laugh!
but my kitchen light went out three weeks ago
it is summer so it stays light outside longer
i have a big window in my kitchen
my first attempt was to buy this
it's circular
and i knew the lightbulb at home was circular
and it was the only circular light bulb at the store
this was the wrong choice
the wrong 15 euro choice mind you
that's equivalent to about 18-20 american dollars
so i thought i would do the smart thing
and take the light bulb down
only to find 
that it has a battery!
this is my ah-ha moment
but then i forgot to take the battery to the store
at the store i had two options
and since both were relatively inexpensive
i bought both
the battery fit
but the light just flickered
kenneth said
"hun, i think it's the light bulb"
emphasizing light bulb
so i did the thing i should have done to begin with
i took the light bulb out
took it to another store
found it!
when i got home
opened the box
i realized it didn't come with batteries
but wait!
remember i had already bought some
guess what
they fit!!
with a click of a switch 
i had light!
to answer the question
it only takes one blonde to change a lightbulb
one very persistent blonde

Friday, July 8, 2011


when the restaurant decor looks like this
and this
love this table
the menu looks like this
and most importantly
they serve beer like this
you would think
i'm in germany
but my friends
we found 
"beer angel"
 now my vino love 
must compete with my husband's 
love for beer
who will spend more nights being dd
that is to be determined
another great evening
with friends
wonderful food
in italy!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

thankful thursday...hope

i said it yesterday
and i am going to say it today
and probably tomorrow
and the next day
june sucked
and after every disappointment
i would find something
to hope for
to try and remain optimistic
i thought hoping
was helping
a part of me 
wanted to throw up my hands 
"really!!! not again!!!"
the good news
i still have a roof over my head
that has amazing views!
food in my belly
good food at that!
pups who think i'm the best thing since the dog bone
i think they are biased
i am the hand that feeds them
old and new 
love group skype!!
and they threw up their hands and said "really?!?" for me!
bring it on july
june may have roughed me up
i still got hope!