Monday, May 30, 2011

Friend Making Monday!

Come join in and add your link HERE so everyone has to opportunity to be seen.  The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it's time for this week's topic! 
FMM: ABC's of Me
Here's how it'll choose topics about yourself, your likes, dislikes, etc.  according to each letter in the alphabet, and share a little with us.

A) I use ATMs I do not like to carry much cash on me, but I do not use credit cards usually. I have my ATM/ Debit card and a couple of other credit cards and that's all. I rather find a bank to use the ATM. I will not use random ones in clubs/bars/gas stations etc.
B) Baking is one of my favorite creative activities. I also like crocheting and scrapbooking.
C) I DO NOT like Chinese food from buffets or counter service places. I don't mind it made from home or at a nice sit down restaurant. If it is one of the other 2 I know my stomach is going to hate me.
D) I drive a lot. My hubby usually does not drive. Road trips, daily errands- I love it.
E) I am a Entertainment news junkie. I watch the celebrity news shows in the evening and check out blogs and tweets to see whats going on.
F) My family is pretty big but all I have contact with is my mom's side. I am the oldest of the 7 1st cousins. My Grandma had 7 siblings and there are a lot of kids, grand kids and siblings from that. I love Family parties and BBQ's.
G) Greg is my hubby! He and I have been together since 2002. We are married 2 1/2 years and have a Pug. Greg is a graphic designer. We have a blast together.
H) High school was a lot of fun for me. I had a lot of friends and participated in many activities like, softball, student government, year book, orchestra and musical productions.
I) Lack of iron almost ended my life last year. That is what it all came down to. Being anemic was just the start of it. I will never ignore symptoms in my body again.
J) I drive a Jeep for a year now and I love it! I have had a few different cars since I started driving and this one is hands down my favorite.
K) My name is Kimberly Patricia. The Kimberly part was a favorite name of my Mom. I was almost named Tabathia (after the show Bewitched). Patricia was my Grandmothers sister who passed away before I was born.
L) Some of the 'social media' outlets I love: twitter, facebook, flickr and blogs.
M) Mornings are pretty simple for me. I lay out my clothes and jewelry for work the night before, that way in the morning I do not have to look for anything. I pick up Starbucks and have a yogurt or something small for breakfast.
N) Nights are early for me especially during the work week. I like to be in bed by 10:30pm the latest.
O) I was an only child / grandchild until I was almost 18. It was fantastic. Then my mom had 2 more daughters in the coming years. I love them so much. But I am glad that I was an only child for so long.
P) One of my favorite snacks are Rold Gold mini pretzels! Love them!
Q) Can't name a quarter back. I am barely able to name a few football players! I am not a fan. My dad never watched football, my husband rarely does and I never got into it.
R) To relax give me a book, Starbucks and a comfty chair. Or a car with a full tank of gas on a nice day. Another way nice long HOT shower.
S) My maiden name started with the letter "S". I knew 100% I wanted to be married but was scared to change my last name. I loved the way it sounded and it meant a lot to me. I knew I was going to change it but was reluctant to.
T) There are a ton of places I want to travel to. I want to see America. Every state! I want to travel to England, France, Spain, Italy ... etc.. I want to see it all.
U) I am a member of the United Methodist Church.  
V) Varicose veins... I got them. LOL They run in my family.
W) I write a lot of notes down. I keep list on my phone, in my wallet and in a note book. I write on my calendar and like to write hand written notes to people. I joined a Pen Pal group and now have 9 people to write to.
X) I like to see Xrays! I always want to see the ones of my teeth at the dentist or any I have done on other parts of my body. I find it interesting. (that is all I can think of for X)
Y) I use Yelp! I check into places and write mini reviews sometimes. I love being coming the 'Dutchess" of an establishment. It is a little addicting. Ha!
Z) Z-pacs are the best thing for me when I have a nasty cold. They seem to clear me right up!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kim in the Kitchen

I love French Onion Soup. If it is a choice at a restaurant, I am going to try it! I have never made it myself, but made it a part of my 30 while 30 list and planned on giving it a shot this year. After seeing a simple recipe from Smitten Kitchen, I knew I had to try it soon. This was a GREAT soup! 

1.5 lbs of onions
Before the bread and cheese was added

Hot from the oven!

Here is the recipe right from Smitten Kitchen:

Onion Soup [Soupe à l’Oignon]
Adapted from 
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
1 1/2 pounds (680 grams or 24 ounces or about 5 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
3 tablespoons (42 grams or 1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt, plus additional to taste
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) granulated sugar (helps the onions to brown)
3 tablespoons (24 grams or 7/8 ounce) all-purpose flour
2 quarts (8 cups or 1.9 liters) beef or other brown stock*
1/2 cup (118 ml) dry white wine or dry white vermouth
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons (45 ml) cognac or brandy (optional)

To finish [Gratinée] (Optional)
1 tablespoon grated raw onion
1 to 2 cups (to taste) grated Swiss (I often use Gruyere) or a mixture of Swiss and Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon butter, melted
12 to 16 1-inch thick rounds French bread, toasted until hard

Melt the butter and oil together in the bottom of a 4- to 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over moderately low heat. Add the onions, toss to coat them in oil and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to real low and let them slowly steep for 15 minutes. They don’t need your attention; you can even go check your email.
After 15 minutes, uncover the pot, raise the heat slightly and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook onions, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes until they have turned an even, deep golden brown. Don’t skimp on this step, as it will build the complex and intense flavor base that will carry the rest of the soup. Plus, from here on out, it will be a cinch.

After the onions are fully caramelized, sprinkle them with flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the wine in full, then stock, a little at a time, stirring between additions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 more minutes, skimming if needed. Correct seasonings if needed but go easy on the salt as the cheese will add a bit more saltiness and I often accidentally overdo it. Stir in the cognac, if using. I think you should.
Set aside until needed. I find that homemade onion soup is so deeply fragrant and flavor-rich that it can stand alone, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the graitinéed top once in a while. Here’s how to pull it off:

Preheat oven to 325. Arrange six ovenproof soup bowls or crocks on a large, foil-lined baking sheet. Bring the soup back to a boil and divide among six bowls. To each bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon grated raw onion and a tablespoon of grated cheese. Stir to combine. Dab your croutons with a tiny bit of butter and float a few on top of your soup bowls, attempting to cover it. Mound grated cheese on top of it; how much you use will be up to you. [Julia Child, in another era, felt that 1/2 cup of grated cheese could be divided among 6 bowls. I can assure you that if you'd like your gooey bubbling cheese lid to be anything like what you get at your local French restaurant, you are looking to use more, such as a generous 1/4 cup.]
Bake soups on tray for 20 minutes, then preheat broiler. Finish for a minute or two under the broiler to brown the top lightly. Grab pot holders, and serve immediately.
* Porcini or mushroom stock are a robust vegetarian substitution.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I'm Obsessed~

I am obsessed with a few things lately:
Essie's new Summer 2011 line. I really want to pick up Braziliant (bottom right)

Having my hair colored more. This is Haley Hasselhoff . I think she is very pretty and my hair only has highlights not full blonde. But we will see..
My 31st Birthday next month and what I want to accomplish in the coming year.

Omg.. I have no idea why but I am loving this show. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kim's Cookies!

What have I been up to? Baking of course! I have been reluctant about saying I would like to start a business or to consider taking things further than just making cookies for family or friend events. But the more I learn the more I want to share what I can do. I have decided to start moving into the promoting of my business and think about moving forward in this field. As of today you can find me on Facebook and on Twitter at @KimsCookiesNY.  Please come check out my new Fan page and follow me on Twitter! Below are a couple sets of cookies I have made this month so far.

Mini Cookies for a Baby Shower

80 Communion Favors baged and tagged
All cookies had edible sugar rosettes

13th Birthday Funky Platter

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jaclyn Rose's 1st Holy Communion

This weekend was my sister Jaclyn's Communion. We had a family party in the backyard at my parents home. I made 5 different quiche, all the favors (which there will be a blog post about later this week), vegetable dip and a salad. Mom made a lot of brunch style food and my husband made muffins, they were a hit! Good job babe! The weather was not the best but we had a tent to combat the dampness. My Uncle provided the music and neighbors chip in to let us use their patio furniture. It was a really nice time and Jackie had a blast hanging with all her cousins for the day.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Friend Makin' Monday!

Friend Makin' Mondays: What Makes You Awesome?

It's Monday, and if you read my blog, you know what that means! It's time for Friend Makin' Mondays.  And this week, I want to talk about what we love about ourselves.  We all have our own set of strengths and weaknesses that make us unique, and I think it's time for us to celebrate those things, and find out what makes you Awesome!! 
Come join in and add your link HERE so everyone has to opportunity to be seen.  The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it's time for this week's topic! 

What makes you awesome? List at least five qualities/hobbies/habits make you cool and unique?

1. I am crafty! I love making things and take classes to further what I learn. I scrapbook, crochet and knit. 

2. I am a good cook and great baker!! Cookies, cakes, soups, Crock Pot meals, meats, veggies, etc... I can follow recipes and try things in the kitchen. 

3. I am a very positive person. I try my best to keep my spirits up and be a positive influence on others.  I have read The Secret many times and do my best to live a positive and happy life.

4. I am a giving person. I give my time and energy to people and causes I believe in. I make list of goals and things that I want to accomplish and I try to inspire others with that. 

5. I know how to entertain myself and have a good time. I can do things on my own. I have no problem doing things alone. I think it has something to do with being an only child until I was 18. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Friend Making Monday!

If you've taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you're new, please take a moment to answer this week's question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: All the Weigh so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. By linking back on Kenlie's blog, everyone will have an opportunity to be equally heard. Join in! It is fun!

FMM: If you could meet someone famous today, who would it be? And why?

I had to pick 2. I have been in a cooking and baking mode lately and these two people are really inspiring me in the kitchen.
 First is Bakerella she is an amazing and talented baking artist. She makes things that you can make at home. She is known for her Cake Pops and has a "how to" book out. I have tried making cake pops once and have plans to try again this weekend.

Secondly is Michael Symon. Chef Symon is a Food Network star. He host a couple of his own shows on Food Network and Cooking Channel; Food Feuds, Cook like an Iron Chef and is featured as an Iron Chef on Iron Chef America. Symon is a restaurant owner of multiple establishments in Ohio. I had the pleasure of eating at Lolita in September when I visited Cleveland. Symon also has a book out which my husband and I are looking forward to cooking our way through.

Road Trip!

In April Greg and I took a road trip to Tennessee. We planned this trip around a Sugarland concert in Nashville and the premise of seeing my In Laws new home in North Carolina.
Below are a some photos from the trip!

I love seeing "State" signs pop up when driving. After 12 hours of driving seeing that we have finally made it to our destination state I was thrilled! The drive was beautiful and easy. With stops for food and gas it took us almost 15 hours. We hit no traffic and had beautiful weather. Plus you can not beat the gas prices as you go south! We paid 30-40 cents cheaper per gallon down south!

Ahh, BBQ at the Neely's (from Food Network) restaurant in Nashville. This is the meal we shared: pulled pork, brisket, ribs, wings, coleslaw, baked beans, mac n cheese and sweet tea! It was inexpensive and delicious. No sighting of the Neely's ;-)

The next day we drove a few more hours South-East to Memphis. We toured the Graceland area but did not go inside Elvis's home. There was plenty to see around the area of memorabilia, his 2 planes and lots of gift shops. We signed our names to the Graceland fence near the horses (don't worry there are millions of names on it already). We past Sun Record shop, then made our way to Beale Street.

 Beale Street was fun for a Friday Afternoon. There was a lot of people around sight seeing  drinking and eating. Including Greg and I. We ate a place called Pig On Beale. More BBQ and some big beers. We walked up and down Beale and over to a fair at the end of the block. There is no car traffic permitted on Beale Street, you are able to walk freely up and down it. There is one intersection to cross over. But there are plenty of police to make sure every one is safe.

Finally on Saturday after a day of sight seeing, eating, drinking and shopping in Downtown Nashville we went to the concert. There were 2 opening acts. This is Little Big Town. We love them. Such a fun and talented band. This is our second time seeing Sugarland with Little Big Town.
 Ahhhh, Sugarland- My feel good music. Any time I listen to Sugarland I just feel good. I left this concert feeling like a million bucks! Such great music and wonderful performers. LOVE them!

Sunday we drove from Tennessee to North Carolina to visit with my In laws. We did some sight seeing, shopping and eating there. We left loving the area and just planned another trip for July to visit with them again. Wahoo! Another road trip for a concert and sight seeing. Next up is Zac Brown Band in Charlotte!

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Goals

1. Read 3 books
2. Gym 8 days
3. Donate some clothes and books
4. Complete 2 orders of cookies
5. Use pantry and freezer items
6. 3 Crochet or Knit items
7. Complete 2 items off of my 30 While 30 List (see below)
8. 10 or more blog post for May

1. Knit/Crochet Gloves 
2. Hat 
3. Black & White Cookies 
4. Roast whole Chicken or Turkey 
5. Baby Blanket 
6. Scarf 
7. French Onion Soup 
8. Apple Pie 
9. "Filled Cupcakes" 
10. Homemade bread 
11. Honeymoon Scrapbook 
12. Apron 
13. Jack O'lantern 
14. Christmas gifts (in jar) 
15. Inspiration Board 
16. Sangria
17. Ina's Ginger Cookies
18. Pasta Fagioli 
19. iPod Case
20. Cake balls/pops 
21. Baked Apples
22. Pizza 
23. Kabobs
24. Tie Dye Cake
25. Scrapbook paper Artwork
26. Headband / Clip
27. Chicken Soup 
28. Banana Bread
29. White Chocolate Blueberries 
30. Table runner

Friend Making Monday!

Being that I have a BOOK BLOG I love this FMM! Great choice by Kenz over at All the Weigh. If you have participated you know the rules Copy and Paste this to your blog with your answers. Then post the link to your blog on the comments on Kenz blog. Come meet some new bloggers!
1) How often do you read?  At least one book a month.
2) What's the last book you read and loved? The last book that I loved was The Help. What an amazing book. There is a movie for it coming out soon.
3) What book(s) are you currently reading?  I just started The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

4) Share a few of your favorite authors.  I love love love Adriana Trigiani. I have met her at her book signings a couple of times and she is so nice! She has written a series called Big Stone Gap and that is being made into a movie also! I think her books Very Valentine and Brava Valentine are my favorites.
Other Authors I enjoy are Charlene Harris (True Blood series) and Jodi Picoult.
5) What's next on your list of must-reads? 

  1. House Rules - Jodi Picoult
  2. Uncharted Teritori and Mommywood - Tori Spelling
  3. The Harry Potter Series - J.K Rowling (rest of series - 4 more books)
  4. True Blood Series - Charlene Harris (rest of series - 8 additional books)
  5. Second Chance - Jane Green
  6. My Fair Lazy - Jen Lancaster
  7. Winter Garden - Kristin Hannah
  8. Friday Night Knitting Club - Kate Jacobs
  9. Fly Away Home - J. Weiner
  10. The Shack - W.P Young
  11. The Other Woman - J. Green
  12. Queen of Babble Series- M. Cabot (rest of series - 2 more books)
  13. Something Blue - E. Giffin 
  14. Memory Keepers Daughter - K. Edwards
  15. The Janet Evanovich books (heard she is good)

April Goals Recap

  1. Read 3 books  Books Read: Stori Telling, High Heels to Tractor Wheels and Something Borrowed
  2. Bake 50 cookies Baked over 300!
  3. Bake 200 mini cupcakes for Easter Sunday Done!
  4. Try making Cake pops (trail run for next month) Fail- just never got that done
  5. try 4 new recipes Not sure about 4, but I covered a few
  6. Bring lunch from home 4 days a week to work Fail: I think I brought about 3 a week
  7. Complete 1 crochet or knit project 2 crochet projects finished
  8. 12 visits to the gym Ehhh I am giving credit for this one. I had 10 gym visits and then other home work outs
  9. Get some $$$ into our savings account if possible Done!
  10. Complete a menu for my sister Jackie's Communion Party Done!

This afternoon I will know what my May Goals will be. This month creeped up quickly.