Category Archives: recipes

Mushroom Ravioli w/Hot Garlic Sausage

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My sister and I made a trip to an Italian market in our hometown. It’s called Claros Italian Market and it was AMAZING! The food there was very authentic and I could definitely taste the difference. We ended up buying pretty much the whole store. I love mushroom ravioli so we got that with like 5lbs of hot garlic sausage. My dad grows cherry tomatoes so we didn’t have to buy any! 🙂

Mushroom Ravioli w/Hot Garlic Sausage
1lb of frozen or homemade mushroom ravioli
5 links of hot garlic sausage (I used smoked beef sausage as well as it just didn’t taste the same)
15 cherry tomatoes halved
evoo for tossing
grated parmesan cheese for garnish

– cook ravioli in a medium pan and set aside
– cook sausages and then cut into pieces
– throw ravioli back into pan and toss with evoo
– add sausage and toss again
– add tomatoes last and stir until just combined
– garnish with grated parmesan cheese

I used flavorful ingredients from the Italian market so I really didn’t have to season it at all. The ravioli was frozen and seasoned very well. The hot garlic sausage was also seasoned very well.
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I highly suggest using just Italian sausage. The smoked sausage taste weird with it.
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Prepping for the pasta 🙂
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Blood orange gelato! It’s freakin delicious!! I LOVE blood orange so it was the perfect treat for me.
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Delicious frozen mushroom ravioli
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Box of deliciousness!
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Slice of grand marnier cake and a bavarian creme eclair
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Yummy syrups for my coffee.

We also bought spinach pasta salad, smoked gouda, jarred pesto, homemade chunky meat red sauce, amaretto syrup, 3 kinds of coffee, zabaione syrup, spaghetti pasta, angel hair pasta, a cookbook, greek cucumber salad, and I think that’s it. But seriously…we bought the whole store. Overall it was great! The workers were very friendly and helpful in helping us decide what to get. When we couldn’t decide we got everything. I know, I know, it’s horrible.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

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Different Kind of Turkey Day

I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving filled with love, laughter, family, and lots of yummy food. This year was a different kind of Thanksgiving than I’m normally used to. Usually all of my relatives from my mom’s side come and celebrate. Sometimes my dad’s side jumps into the mix as well. Yesterday, it was just the four of us. It was a quiet day but still interesting. I think this year was the only year that I actually cared about setting the table. I know, shame on me. But when you have like 20 people trying to get food at the same time it doesn’t make sense to do it. For those of you who can keep them away until every dish is ready, I commend you. Teach me your secrets. The big sis and I split the cooking duties. My parents slept in and hung out watching the Thanksgiving parade on tv. They also drank WAY too much wine but that’s a story for another time.

Because it was just the four of us, my sister and I wanted to keep it simple. Leave it to my mom to make it crazy. I made the turkey and my sister made the ham. We split the sides consisting of spinach and feta salad, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Oh and lots of alcohol for my parents.
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That’s my turkey. 3 1/2 hours at 350 and voila. Perfection! It was delicious and juicy.
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Sweet potato casserole. The top layer is a delicious reminder of butter pecan ice cream. One of my favorites 🙂
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My semi-ready table. The ham took too long so we started eating without it.
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My first helping of everything but ham.
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Thick slices of delicious and juicy ham! It was so good!!
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Fluffy mashed potatoes. A Thanksgiving staple at my house. I can have Thanksgiving without a turkey but not without mashed potatoes. Thanks daddy, haha.
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The best spinach and feta salad ever!

For once, there was no dessert. There wasn’t any room left in my tummy for it anyway but I didn’t mind. I usually make pumpkin pie year around regardless. So while people camped out and woke up crazy early for Black Friday, I’m chilling at home with my blanket and a cup of hot apple cider. Christmas baking begins tomorrow with blackberry shortbread cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and white chocolate cranberry pecan cookies. Happy Holidays!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Still Alive!

I’m still alive! I’ve been a super bad blogger lately. School and work have been sucking away my soul for the past few weeks. I just didn’t have time to blog on top of doing everything else. I can’t remember if I mentioned it before but I’m going to school for a vocational program. It certifies me to become a mental health rehabilitation specialist so I can work for the VA when I graduate. I’m also doing an internship and it’s pretty cool. I don’t think I’m allowed to say the site because of all the rules. Yesterday was my last day at work. I tried to do school, internship, and work but it just didn’t work out very well. I found myself lacking sleep all the time and drinking coffee and energy boosts like crazy. In the end, for my own sanity I had to quit my job. It’s bittersweet and I’m still bummed because I miss all my residents. I’ll definitely try my best to visit them and bring them goodies. My best friend sent some frog jam and blackberry jam so I’ll be baking up a storm of thumb print cookies. Frog stands for fig, raspberry, orange, and ginger. There’s no actual frog in it or else I wouldn’t touch it! 🙂 I don’t think I’ll ever finish my Catalina posts but whatever. It’s just too much work to upload all the pictures again. I’ve been on a super lazy kick. In other news, I’m learning a lot in class. Never quit. Treat people like people. Know yourself and own it. Be authentic. More awesomeness to come.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

FSP: Operation Bright – Airmen at Offutt AFB

I’m taking a break from my Catalina Island posts and writing about my baking project with my best friend. One of my best friends from college married an airmen and moved to Nebraska. She asked me to visit her and at first I was a bit hesitate because we’re both SoCal girls. You can totally tell just by looking at us. It was a fun visit. I actually miss Nebraska (Yes Kara, you got me. It really wasn’t that bad lol). Both of us are bakers so I knew we would definitely do some baking. Before I went to visit her we talked about possibly doing a baking project for the airmen there. We ended up baking mini pumpkin cream cheese muffins, mini banana chocolate chip muffins, white chocolate blueberry cookies, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. We packed them into gallon size ziploc bags or plastic boxes and sent them to work with her hubby. Hopefully that brought a smile to the faces of all the airmen.
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One of my friends once told me I was biased against other branches of the military because the big bro is a marine. As you can see, that’s not true. I love all branches. AND I bake for all branches. Actually…I bake for anyone who wants to eat. I think we did a pretty awesome job if I do say so myself. I didn’t get a picture of the banana muffins because I was either too tired or too busy mixing away. We went on base and went to the PX. Since I’ve never been in one it was a bit awkward. There were people just staring but I just assumed they were as curious about me as I was of them. Definitely a different atmosphere then Pendleton where everyone keeps staring. They did have some really good sales. And I made away like a bandit. I got a new sweater that says Offutt Air Force Base. I think my USMC sweater will be fighting for closet space.

If I get the chance to go back I think I’ll be doing a cooking project next. Enchiladas? haha 🙂 Toodles!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

The Fail Sweetly Project (formerly Project Give)

Hi all! I hope everyone is doing well. I’ve officially changed my project’s name. I debated with myself over and over and have finally made a decision. Project Give is now the Fail Sweetly Project. It sounds kind of funny because what I do with my project has almost nothing in common with the name. However, Fail Sweetly is my blog and I just felt that it made more sense to name it after my blog so people will associate it with my blog. I have no idea if that made sense but there ya go. The categories for the FSP hasn’t changed. I’m still working on it. My project is almost at its one year anniversary since I started and I’ve decided to keep on truckin.

Plenty of people have questioned my sanity about continuing but I love helping others. I mean it really doesn’t have to have anything to do with the military. I just like helping out, no matter who they are. Helping others is probably one of my hidden qualities. Strangers see me as a stone faced serious person when I’m kind of the complete opposite. Well, because I like helping others…why stop now? I’ve thought it through and through and it really makes no sense to stop now. I’ve got a good thing going here.

There will be a few changes. The giveaways or events for my project will not be every month. I would love to do something special for someone every month but the cost is just too much for me. As of right now, most of my plans for FSP is for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sometimes the vets I volunteer with will randomly give me donations and say it’s for my project. If that does happen, I will have an event when the funds are in. Toodles! 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Fail Sweetly Project Give Shop

I’m selling some items that I own to benefit Project Give. All of these items are used but still in excellent condition and have only been worn a couple of times (less than a handful). The shop consists of a COACH purse, four cookbooks, and four dresses. Here we go..

#1: brown medium sized COACH tote selling for: $225 (retail price: $325+)
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That’s the outside
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Here’s the inside

#2: Foodista Cookbook selling for: $10 (retail price: $19.95) SOLD!!
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It’s a great cookbook comprised of recipes from many food blogs. Every food bloggers dream.

#3: Peas and Thank You Cookbook selling for: $15 (retail price: $21.95)
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I was gifted this book. It’s brand new, never been used. No disrespect to Peas and Thank You but I love my meat. This just isn’t the cookbook for me.

#4: Emerald Green Windsor Dress size: M selling for: $30 (retail price: $50+)
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That’s the front
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That’s the back! This dress happens to be my prom dress. I’ve worn it twice. Once in the fitting room to see if it fit and once to prom. My cousin borrowed it for a banquet once and it was never worn again.

#5: Brown/Ivory Windsor Dress size: M selling for: $30 (retail price: $50+)
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That’s the front
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That’s the back 🙂 This dress has been worn once. I wore it to my cousins graduation. After that, hasn’t been worn.

#6: Black Party Mini Windsor Dress size: M selling for: $30 (retail price: $50+)
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The front, it’s pretty low cut so definitely a clubbing or special occasion dress.
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That’s the back. It has a nice criscross pattern. I’ve worn this dress twice. Once in the fitting room and once at home to see if it fit. It’s an excellent party dress. Little black dress, little black dress.

#7: Gold H&M Goddess Dress size: M selling for: $10 (retail price: $14.95)
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This dress is brand new. it’s never been worn and it actually still has the tags on it. I bought it with the intent to wear it at my graduation but I found another dress I liked better so this one was put in the back of my closet. It’s shimmery and pretty long (I’m 5’5 and it goes all the way down to my calves).

#8: Perfect One-Dish Dinners Cookbook selling for: $22 (retail price: $32)
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I don’t use this cookbook as much as I thought I would but the recipes in here are fantastic.

#9: Come Home to Supper Cookbook selling for: $12 (retail price: $16.95)
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This cookbook is brand new, never been used. I bought her first cookbook and I loved it but somehow this one is way too much for me. It’s perfect for Southern food lovers.

The selling price does NOT include shipping and handling. If you are interested in any of the items above, feel free to email me at failsweetly@gmail.com with the subject line of which item(s) you’re interested in. I’ll be taking payments via PayPal only. No exceptions. I’m hoping to sell everything posted so I can have enough funds to continue running my project. Thanks in advance! 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

PW’s Dreamy Apple Pie

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You know…I don’t think dreamy even begins to describe this apple pie. Normally I’m not a fan of apple pie. I like pumpkin pie and blueberry pie. I’ve always found that the apple pies I’ve tasted are way too sweet for my palate. Not anymore folks. The PW’s apple pie is so freakin delicious. I made two of them with my residents at work and they were SO SO good. Everyone raved about them and several people asked me for the recipe. That’s how awesome they are!

PW’s Dreamy Apple Pie
2 frozen pie shells

filling:
10-12 regular sized apples, peeled and cut into chunks (I used apples picked from our apple tree at work)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups half & half (recipe calls for heavy cream but all I had was half&half at work)
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

crumb topping:
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (recipe calls for pecans but I didn’t have that)
pinch of salt

– preheat oven to 375 degrees
– place both unbaked pie shells on a baking sheet to avoid any spills in the oven later
– in a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients for the filling (sugars, flour, cinnamon)
– stir in vanilla extract and half and half
– add apples and make sure all the apples are coated in the delicious filling mixture
– pour half of the filling mixture into each pie shell (make sure each pie has equal qualities of apples and juice)
– in another bowl, mix dry ingredients for topping (flour, sugar, walnuts, salt)
– cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs
– sprinkle half of the crumb mixture on each pie
– pat down the topping slightly just so it sticks to the filling below
– bake at 375 for approximately 50 minutes (depending on your oven, you might need to wrap the edge of the pie in foil and possibly the top – check about 30 minutes into the baking just to check)
– let it set before cutting into it and serve with vanilla ice cream!

I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into a slice so I cut it while it was still warm. Then again, that’s how I like my apple pies…warm 🙂 This is by far the BEST apple pie I’ve ever had. I doubled the recipe of the original dreamy apple pie because I have a lot of residents. A MUST TRY and definitely a KEEPER!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina