Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Mama said there’d be days like this…

Days that make you feel good and accomplished! Today was one of those days!

I played hooky from church and slept in. We were expecting snow and I really didn’t feel like going to church. Ever have one of those Sundays? Well, I did. So I didn’t get up. Instead I woke up refreshed and HUNGRY!

I made a super delish Black Bean and Sausage soup for Jon and I. I was impressed with my skillz in the pantry. It was made with all things I had on hand. Love when I’m able to do that!!  A little summer sausage crisped up in the cast iron skillet, cans of veggies, some beef broth, and some spices from my growing collection. I think my favorite part of lunch was the garlic and cumin flavored sour cream I dolloped on top with some shredded colby-jack cheese! I love me some sour cream!!

After lunch was done, I got to making the crock pot Macaroni & Cheese a la Paula Deen. I made it with just a tad more sauce because I used a whole bag of uncooked elbow macaroni instead of just the two cups the recipe calls for. I was worried the sauce was going to be too loose, but it turned out just right. Rich and creamy! Next time I make it, I will cook the noodles for like 5 minutes instead of the 7 so they’ll hold their shape more. Just a tad soft, but still very good. It cooked in the crock pot for about 2.5 hours and then I dumped it into a square baking dish and topped with with buttered panko bread crumbs and threw that baby into the oven! Everyone thought it was the!! I served it with pan fried polska kielbasa. I enjoyed it very much, as did the whole family!

I did the dishes in between cooking and straightened up the kitchen. I let the counters get so cluttered! I am surprised I can even cook a whole meal with all the jars and boxes spilled all over. As I was cleaning up, I washed out 8 more IKEA spice jars and filled them with all the spices and herbs I use the most. It’s so nice to get those off my counter and into one place!

I love these little jars! Only $2.99 for a pack of 4!!

When I was transferring the spices/herbs, it dawned on me that I could re-use the plastic jars with flip lids in my craft area. I could fill them with glitter, beads, buttons, or notions. I had an epiphany! When I buy more spices from Aldi, which by the way cost about a dollar, I can just keep re-using the jars! Thrifty organization! Can’t beat that!

When I clean up my craft space {which is on my major to-do list}, I’ll take some pictures and show you how I put them to use! I can’t wait. I have some re-organizing plans up my sleeve too! Those little glass jars would also look awesome lined on a shelf in the craft room with ribbon, buttons, or even paint!

After the spices were in place and the counter cleaned off, I went to work making dessert. Chocolate dipped Oreos!!

I wanted to make these for Christmas, but never got around to it. I also wanted to make Peppermint bark, but that didn’t happen either! I’m making up for lost time.

It’s a super easy method of chocolate dipping. Just put the chocolate bark in a bowl/container and microwave 30 seconds at a time until smooth and melted. Dip cookies and pick up with a fork to remove excess chocolate. I recommend putting them on parchment paper to decorate/harden because the dinner plate I put them on wouldn’t let me pry them off without breaking them! I also stuck one of the bark chunks in a ziplock bag and melted it, snipped off the end of the bag and made the white drizzles, then added crushed candy canes for a little extra flavor!
I made 15 oreos and with the rest of the chocolate I dipped pretzel rings and did the same treatment as the cookies. The salty and the sweet are so good!

I LOVE it!! Probably a little too much! I ate 3. I tried not to think of how many points they were, until my Sister asked. {6 points each.} Good thing I’m not tracking my points. Or is it?

Anyway, all in all I had a great day and felt like I got something done. It always feels good to make a meal for my family and stick with the menu/plan.

Tomorrow: Italian Pork Chops, rice pilaf, and green beans. Can’t wait!!

Have a great week!

Love and Oreos,