Monthly Archives: November 2011

thanksgiving recap

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. I sure did, I plied myself with lots of whiskey and beer 🙂 That’s how we do it at my house! This was the first year that my sister tried to make the turkey. I wasn’t all that impressed at first but wowzers! It was some mighty delicious turkey. I’m used to the kind of turkey that’s a bit dry and a bit juicy. The turkey she made was 100% juicy. I’m kind of sad that there’s no leftovers. I did stuff myself with a good amount of turkey. I think overall I gained about 10 lbs from stuffing my face with turkey and mashed potatoes. I would have updated this pretty little thing yesterday but I spent the entire day in the kitchen cooking. I spent my day cooking, eating, and down as much Jack Daniels and coke as I could get my hands on. It was a pretty spectacular Thanksgiving. Definitely one to remember. I’m just going to share a few dishes that were my favorites. These dishes have been a staple in my Thanksgiving rotation as long as I remember.

What’s Thanksgiving without the turkey?! My sister’s awesome turkey 🙂 She used the William Sonoma brine and rub. DELICIOUS!
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My mom slathered the ham with pineapple puree for a more Hawaiian taste. I don’t think it did any justice because the ham didn’t taste like pineapple at all. The outer pieces were a little sweet. It was strange. I think I’ll stick to my brown sugar glaze next year.
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My special mashed potatoes. I love these mashed potatoes. I haven’t found a recipe that comes close. I think this recipe is ideal because it doesn’t call for too much ingredients but not too less either. It’s the perfect match.
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I detest making my own stuffing. Usually my sister and I split the Thanksgiving cook list. She made the turkey and ham this year while I made the side dishes. Since there were many side dishes, I don’t bother trying to make my own bread for the stuffing. It’s too much of a hassle and not enough time. The box kind is just as good. This is my favorite sausage stuffing recipe. It has celery, onions, and hot sausage 🙂
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The last beauty is from the Pioneer Woman herself. I’m so in love with her. She’s ah-mazing. I actually told my sister I wanted her next cookbook for my birthday present! 🙂 It comes out at the end of March next year just in case you’re wondering. Anyway, back to the garlic cheese bread. Oh heavenly, garlic cheese bread. Always goes out fast because the kids munch on it. Well, I guess we’re not kids anymore but we munch on it. Especially this year since there was a lot of whiskey involved.
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What did you eat for your Thanksgiving? 🙂 I’ll post recipes hopefully next week. I have a 17 page research paper due and a 10 page personality paper due next week. I also have finals coming up. I’ll try my best to squeeze in some blog time. If you don’t hear from me that’s most likely what I’m doing.
Oh and if you’re wondering why my stuffing isn’t in the turkey it’s because my mom wouldn’t let me do that..yeah, enough said.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

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packers fans

I’m not a football follower. Never have been, never will be. So why the heck did I title my post packers fans? Well, as you all know I’m pretty in love with my organizations. I only support those I have strong ties too. I guess I should be supporting everything but that’s too big for me to handle right now. I would like to share a clip with you readers about my brothers friend Jake Wood who happens to be the president of Team Rubicon. Yes, you’ll be seeing that name a lot. Anyway, he did the intro to Monday Night Football last Monday. I loved it. It was probably the most inspiring thing I’ve seen tied to the NFL to date. I don’t watch a lot of football unless it’s the Superbowl so maybe I haven’t seen a lot. Regardless, this intro’s the boss 🙂 Hope you like it!

Hopefully all of you can see it. For some reason my page doesn’t do links. It shows up while I’m typing it out here but not on the actual page.

Go Marines! 🙂 Need I say more?

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

libbys pumpkin pie

I’m no expert about grocery stores but usually around Thanksgiving Albertsons and Ralphs will have lots of pumpkin puree on sale. They’re amazing for catering to the lazy bakers (like myself) who don’t want to go through the hassle of making their own pumpkin puree. I was driving back to school yesterday when I was thinking about Thanksgiving. I didn’t know what to make. My sister had signed up for making mashed potatoes, garlic cheese bread, and sausage stuffing. Now if you haven’t already figured it out, I’m quite the sweet tooth. I love desserts. In fact, I thrive on them. They’re my sense of purpose. So to be honest..mashed potatoes, garlic cheese bread, and sausage stuffing sound delicious. I love those three foods. They’re a staple to my Thanksgiving festivities ever since I learned how to make them. They’re amazing yes, BUT they are not DESSERTS. I love pumpkin pie. Call me old fashion but you can always wow me with some good ole pumpkin pie. It comes second to my favorite pie which is chocolate mousse on an oreo crust. Since Thanksgiving is around the corner, I wanted to post my second attempt at pumpkin pie. My first attempt using store bought pumpkin puree. I was really craving pumpkin pie but I didn’t want to cheat too much. Being a baker, I take pride in my baking..so I bought pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, and a frozen pie crust. The results? De-li-cious! Taste like the pumpkin pies at Marie Calender’s. It’s called Libbys famous pumpkin pie because it’s the recipe on the pumpkin puree can. Can’t go wrong with those.
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Here’s the recipe..
Pumpkin Pie (Libbys)
1 can pumpkin puree 12 oz
1 can evaporated milk 12 oz
2 eggs
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
a pinch of salt
1 9 inch pie crust (frozen or make your own!!)
disclaimer: please don’t be like the lady I met at the grocery store yesterday..she thought you could make pumpkin pie with store bought graham cracker crust and libby’s pumpkin pie filling..that is NOT okay!! You will burn your crust to smithereens before your filling is cooked! Pumpkin pie with graham cracker crust are usually made from scratch crusts and the filling is pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs together (scrambled).
3. Add pumpkin puree.
4. Add all dry ingredients and stir.
5. Pour in evaporated milk and stir to combine.
6. Pour pumpkin filling into your pie crust.
7. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes and then reduce to 350 and bake for 50 minutes.
8. Let pie cool for about 2 hrs on a wire rack before cutting into it. The filling has to set. If you cut into it too early it could become quite mushy in the middle. The filling might not hold together because it’s still hot.

It’s really amazing. I love it. I kind of regret telling other people I would share with them o_o Enjoy 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

veterans day

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Happy Veteran’s Day to all my lovely vets out there. You guys are amazing. Thank you for everything you do. Keep in mind that Green Beans Coffee is donating double today. For every Cup of Joe you donate they’ll add another one. You pay for one but the troops get two. How awesome is that? 🙂 While today is a holiday I hope that some of you guys take time to reflect on those who have served and gave the ultimate sacrifice. I was on Facebook today and I saw this quote my bruhder had on his page. It said “Most of those who died in defense of our country were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives – the one they were living, and the one they would have lived. They gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up everything for their country, for us. All we can do is remember.” – Ronald Reagan
Please remember that quote when you see a veteran. It speaks volumes. More recipes to come. I did end up giving my bruhder the chocolate chip cookies I made. I know, what was I thinking? Well, it was veterans day so he got a pass. He took them to work with him. I even put them in the pretty cello bags for him. He raised both eyebrows at me. Yes, we are a comedy show. Hope you enjoy your day!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

chocolate chip cookies

I’ve been searching for a good recipe for chocolate chip cookies and I finally found it. It took me a long time because I’m super picky about my cookies. Especially my chocolate chip cookies. I found the recipe on allrecipes.com and it was pretty crazy. The recipe had over 3000 views and like thousands of people saved it. So here it is 🙂
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Here’s the recipe..
Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from allrecipes)
2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup oats

1. In a mixer, mix butter and sugars together.
2. Once it’s fluffy, add eggs one at a time.
3. Add vanilla extract and salt.
4. Mix baking soda with hot water and add to mix.
5. Add flour one cup at a time.
6. Fold in chocolate chips and oats with a spatula.
7. Put dough into fridge for at least 2 hours to chill.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
9. Drop dough by tablespoons and bake for 10-12 minutes.

These hold together really well so you can make ice cream sandwiches if you want to. Or you can put them in cello bags and tie em and give them out like I did. Enjoy em! Happy reading 🙂
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Fail Sweetly,
Justina

charlie palmer

Yesterday it rained. I hate rain. I guess I shouldn’t be complaining because it stopped for awhile but rain and I do not get along. Sprinkle rain or pouring rain..they hate me. Yesterday my roomie and I decided to go to Charlie Palmer for lunch. Yes it’s a person but it also a restaurant. If you’re super into foodies and restaurants you’ll know that the famous Charlie Palmer is a chef. A mighty good one at that 🙂 I loved the decor of the place. Although I’m 100% sure that my roomie were the only “young ones” in the restaurant. Everyone else had to be older than us by 10 years or more. The food was absolutely delicious and very filling. I’m dying of happiness from my dessert. Dessert is my favorite course of the meal btw. The waiter laughed at me because I couldn’t decided between my dessert, creme brulee, or panna cotta. I wanted chocolate mousse too.
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This is the table arrangement. It’s fancy but very earthy which I like.
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The cutest and best bread I’ve had. It was crunchy yet soft and chewy. Definitely wanted more!
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This was my roomies dish. She got the red orecchiette pasta. It has braised pork, argula, brie cheese, and bechamel.
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This was my dish. Mushroom crusted scottish salmon! Best darn salmon I’ve had. It came with smoked mushroom consomme, sauteed bok coy, and seasonal veggies.
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This was the side we ordered. Truffle mac & cheese ladies and gents. If you’ve never had truffle mac & cheese you’re missing out. It’s the best mac & cheese I’ve had too. The only thing better than truffle mac & cheese is truffle mac & cheese with lobster! 🙂
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This was my roomies dessert. Red wine poached bosc pear. It came with vanilla creme anglaise, orange blossom cake, and walnut streusel.
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This was my dessert! Molten black forest cake! 🙂 It came with kirsch ganache, cherry ice cream, cherry sauce (the red dots), cherries, and white chocolate mousse. I was in heaven to say the least..yum!!

That was my amazing lunch yesterday. If only I had lobster 😦 Anyway, thanks for coming by!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

green tea macarons

My macaron attempts are starting to amuse me. This is my fifth time making them and my second time using the french method. I’m pretty sure I overbeat the egg whites because my batter was stiffer than usual. I thought it would be okay since it was as stiff as the first time I tried making green tea macarons but it didn’t have feet! I was pretty disappointed just in case you can’t tell.
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Please don’t be afraid of my creepy hands 🙂 Thanks! Haha

Here’s the recipe..
Green Tea Macarons With Buttercream filling (Cake Journal)
1 1/8 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 egg whites
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1/8 cup green tea powder

1. In a stand mixer, beat egg whites till foamy. Add the pinch of salt and then the sugar one tablespoon at a time.
2. While the egg whites are beating, mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl.
3. When the meringue is ready, add in the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Do NOT mix more than 50 strokes.
4. Put the batter in a piping bag and pipe 1 inch circles onto parchment paper.
5. Let it dry for an hour.
6. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
7. Bake for 12 minutes at 300 degrees.
8. Once the cookies have cooled, use whatever filling you like. I had leftover buttercream so I used that. You could try a white chocolate ganache.
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These are pretty simple. Just don’t over beat the egg whites like I did 😦
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This bag is for my friend Jenny. I told her I was making some and she specifically said not to share them with anyone..I thought that was pretty hilarious 🙂 Thanks for reading

Fail Sweetly,
Justina