Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Toaster Oven/Convection Oven Smores

If you're a fellow Family Guy fan, you might remember the episode where Peter and Bill Clinton have the munchies and talk about stealing and eating a pig. It went something along the lines of "We could totally eat that pig, man. It could be in our stomachs in, like, a minute." People, these smores are your one minute pig.

If you're not a fellow Family Guy fan, I've surely just lost you forever as a LambAround reader. Sorry.

These are perfect when you're craving a quick, sugary treat. They work equally well in a toaster oven and a convection oven. Best of all, compared to eating an entire bag of Oreos, (something I have never done!) they're quite healthy.

What's that, you say? You already know how to make smores in the toaster oven? Well, la dee dah for you! Now, sit back and enjoy the ooey gooey marshmallowy photos.

(And if you're someone who works with me, please keep the "I've seen her polish off an entire bag of Oreo cookies" nonsense to yourself.)

 Step 1: Put desired amount of graham crackers on a toaster oven/convection oven-safe pan.

 
Looks like it's time to clean this pan, Sexy Nerd

Optional 1st step, which is Sexy Nerd's favorite: Spread peanut butter on each graham cracker. I'm not much of a peanut butter fan so I skip this step.

Cover with yummy marshmallows.


Top with chocolate chips.


Place in the toaster oven on the lowest setting, or the convection oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep an eye on them. They go from not quite done to overdone insanely fast! About 3 minutes usually does the trick.

How did that marshmallow get there?? Ah, the mysteries of a convection oven.

I've got my one minute pig right here.

I could press each half together into a traditional smore, but then I would only have one.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Puppy Wearing a Cone!

After she was spayed, Sexy Nerd and I requested that Pica be sent home wearing a cone (really, how much can you trust a Jack Russell not to chew her stitches?) The veterinarian thought it was unnecessary, but complied.
 Post-surgery and drugged out of her little mind, we put Pica straight to bed.
After she had rested, the real fun began...
video

I love when she walks into the lamp. Bonk!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Giveaway! 16x20 Photo Canvas from UPrinting

I just created a photo canvas on UPrinting.com and am pleased to report back that it couldn't be easier. I love the "make background' option (perfect when your original photo and your desired photo are different dimensions) and it's even possible to design a collage. A canvas print (ooh, or canvas prints!) with wedding photos sounded good at first, possibly in a variety of canvas sizes, but I soon realized that I was more interested in making a ginormous version of this:

Remember when I dyed my hair blonde and asked if it would be too weird to have this photo enlarged and hung on my wall? I decided to do it anyway, weird or no weird.
(And I think we all know which of the two this is.)

According to Marinelle at UPrinting.com, who contacted me for this giveaway, UPrinting.com is an online printing company that has earned customer loyalty by offering more customizable offset printing and digital printing options than other online printers. They are popular for their Free File Review, a complimentary proofing service which requires no upfront payment.

Want to make your own eclectic, larger-than-life print of your dog wearing a wig? I thought so. UPrinting.com is giving away one 16"x20" rolled photo canvas to one lucky LambAround reader! You can make yours with a 2" border or no border at all. Whatever floats your boat. UPrinting will ship the canvas to you sooo fast - they have 1 business day turnaround! Entering is quick and so, so easy.

Do I sound excited about this giveaway? I am.

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this post. Any comment at all! 
(Any comment at all, but you should probably be warned that "Lamb Sucks" is going to significantly hurt your chances of winning. Random.org be darned.)

Optional Entries (leave 1 comment per entry method): 
1. Visit UPrinting.com and tell me about another product you might like to order in the future. 
(I would choose some LambAround business cards - perfect for when I win that trip to BlogHer!)
2. Follow LambAround via GFC (right sidebar).
3. Follow @LambAround via Twitter.
4. Follow UPrinting.com via Twitter.
5. Follow LambAround on Facebook.
6. Like UPrinting.com on Facebook
7. Subscribe to LambAround via email (right sidebar). 
8. Share this giveaway on your blog, Twitter, or Facebook. 
9. Stumble this post.

The Fine Print:
Open to US residents, age 18+ only. Giveaway ends at 6am (MST) on 8/1/11. Winner can not have won a UPrinting.com canvas within the last 6 months. Prize will be sent by UPrinting.com by 8/31/11 at the latest. The winner will be selected using Random.org and will be contacted via email.


This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting.com. For my participation, I will be receiving one 16x20 rolled photo canvas. All of the opinions expressed in this post and on LambAround are my own.


*This giveaway has ended. Thank you to everyone who entered!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chocolate Pudding with Coconut Milk and Coffee

You know that 1/2 can of coconut milk that's leftover after you make curry? The 1/2 can that is going to go to waste because your Sexy Nerd whined when dinner what served that he hates curry (maybe someone should not have pretended to love it just to impress me when we were dating, but whatever.)

Fellow thrifty-minded bloggers, don't you dare throw that coconut milk away! It's the secret ingredient to making a plain Jane instant chocolate pudding taste fancy.

Especially fancy if you serve it inside a dainty Australian china teacup.

This recipe couldn't possibly cost any less to make. $0.33 a box? You know there are about 20 of these in my pantry.

While creating my fancy schmancy pudding, I decided to throw in a little bit of coffee. There was none left in our coffeepot, so I swiped the rest of Sexy Nerd's morning cup when he wasn't looking.

I then confessed to my crime so that I could share his ridiculous coffee mug with the world.

Is that frog...ummm...nevermind. This was also a gift from my family in Australia. Sexy Nerd loves this cheeky mug!

If you serve this for dessert, no one will guess that it's simple boxed pudding mix. Best of all, you can taste the coconut milk and the coffee but they aren't overpowering. Chocoholics, I'm pleased to report that my Chocolate Pudding with Coconut Milk and Coffee is still nice and chocolatey.


Chocolate Pudding with Coconut Milk and Coffee
  • 1 package of instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1/2 can coconut milk (light is fine)
  • 1 cup milk (again, feel free to use the light stuff)
  • 1/8 cup strong coffee
Whisk all ingredients together. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Easy peasy, right?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Boss Quote of the Day

Hmmm...do I dare risk the job I love to poke fun at my boss?

Yes. It's just that funny.

Here she is throwing my painstakingly organized charts to the ground, while grinning like a Cheshire cat.

I put them away shortly after taking this photo. She has since pulled them all out again, several times.

Anyhoo...

My boss was trying to tell us about a movie sequel that is coming out, but couldn't remember the name of the movie. She said "They made the 1st one a few years ago. 4 or 5 years, I think it was. It's based on a book."

Knowing her, my first guess was correct. Waiting to Exhale. The only thing I remember about this movie was that I snuck out of bed to secretly watch it after my parents rented it. 5 years. 15. Whatever.

My boss continued. "It was written by a black author. Oh, what is her name? I saw her on Oprah. Uhh...Toni Braxton! That's who wrote Waiting to Exhale. And now Toni Braxton is working on a sequel."

I laughed so hard, she was making me high.

Let's all remember that I am laughing with her, not at her.

Especially if she ever reads this post.

And drat! Now that song is going to be stuck in my head all day.

More Quotes of the Day:
 





Lamb Quote of the Day - Another Year Wiser

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lamb's Amazing Homestyle Mayonnaise!

*Update* This post has been featured on TasteSpotting. Woo hoo hoo!!

See the yumminess below?

Ooooh, yummy!

Today, I have a recipe for you that is unlike any other you have ever tried. I owe it all to a teenie tiny tub of concentrated stock.


Make that a teenie tiny CUTE tub of concentrated stock. I adore that sweet chicken on the lid!

My recipe breakthrough came last Tuesday. I had the day off from work and was faced with a long list of things to get done: nap, blog, watch TV, nap some more, read magazines, etc. After reading a blog post about an attempted home robbery, I began to comment about the time I lived alone and an irate intruder tried to break down my front door. Just thinking about it makes me want to double check all our locks. In typical "life has a cruel sense of humor" fashion, as I wrapped up my scary story, the doorbell rang, sending my dogs into a frenzy and me about a foot off the ground!

I couldn't stay mad at the delivery driver though. He had brought me a package of Knorr Homestyle Stock! Big deal, you think? Don't underestimate just how awesome this product is. Behold:

This one 4.66 ounce package of Knorr Concentrated Chicken Stock holds the equivalent of 7 cans of broth! That's just crazy.

(And, yes, 2 of the cans in the photo are actually diced tomatoes, you overly-observant reader. I have a large kitchen, not to mention a tendency to get carried away at the grocery store, but even I don't have enough space for 7 cans of chicken stock!)


Included in my package were details on how to enter a recipe contest from BlogHer and Knorr using the new Homestyle Stock. The prize? A trip to the 2011 BlogHer conference in San Diego! People, I need to win this. I'm much to cheap frugal to pay my own way to California. Winning this would be such an amazing honor and it's all I've been able to think about since the concentrated chicken stock arrived. I dream in chicken.

I scrapped my lazy Tuesday plans and thought about how to create the best darn Knorr Homestyle Stock recipe anyone has ever seen. It had to be something that none of the competition would come up with. A chicken pot pie? Big whoop! I needed something prize-worthy.

Reading through the contest details, I learned that Knorr Homestyle Stock tastes like authentic, made-from-scratch chicken stock. It contains no added MSG and no hydrogenated oil. Each tub of concentrated stock can be diluted to create 3.5 cups of broth.

Bingo!

I decided to create Homestyle Mayonnaise, which would be impossible to make without concentrated stock. After all, if you added three and a half cups of chicken stock to your homemade mayonnaise, you'd have soup!

Don't be scared - making mayonnaise is super easy.

All you need is a handy dandy food processor.
(Or a blender, if you're deprived of fancy kitchen gadgets, you poor dear.)


"But Lamb," you think. "I've heard that homemade mayonnaise always turns out runny."
Nonsense.

All the top chefs create their own mayonnaise. And if you're fearful of a little raw egg, (Sexy Nerd and I are shameless raw cookie dough eaters) feel free to make this mayonnaise using pasteurized eggs.

Homestyle Mayonnaise
(Recipe Yield: 1 1/4 cups)(Total Time: 7 minutes + 1 hour to chill)
  • 1 tub of Knorr Homestyle Stock (chicken flavor)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk (I always save the white to create meringue cookies later. Try as I might, I couldn't think of a good concentrated chicken stock meringue cookie recipe!)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best but from concentrate works too)
  • 1 C olive oil
  • 4 sprigs of parsley, finely minced (approximately 1/8 C)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill
  • 1 Tbsp dehydrated onion
Easy Peasy Homestyle Mayonnaise Instructions
  1. In your food processor (or blender), combine the first 5 ingredients.
  2. With the food processor turned on, very slowly pour in the olive oil. The mixture should thicken. You really can't overblend this - I usually let my food processor run another 3 minutes after the olive oil has been incorporated.
  3. Add the remaining 4 ingredients and blend an additional 30 seconds.
  4. For best results, let your yummy Homestyle Mayonnaise mellow in the fridge for at least an hour before enjoying.
Ta da! Easier than you expected, right? But there's probably a question you're asking yourself. "Now that I have all this chicken-flavored mayonnaise, what do I do with it?"

Well, Homestyle Mayonnaise would certainly perk up a boring chicken salad and, of course, there are all the usual mayo uses:

Homestyle Mayonnaise gives a unique twist to an otherwise dull sandwich.


Homestyle Mayonnaise is delicious served on hard-boiled eggs.

 Homestyle Mayonnaise creates surprisingly good rolls.
(Google "Mayonnaise Rolls". Did you know such a wacky food existed? Now you can make them slightly wackier with a hint of chicken!)

Out of all the ways I've used my Homestyle Mayonnaise, (I've made the recipe 3 times since Tuesday, resulting in almost 4 cups of mayonnaise - I've tried this on everything) my favorite use has been as a salad dressing. It's the perfect compliment to an assortment of veggies, leaving even my carnivorous Sexy Nerd happy to have a salad for dinner. Best of all, it is 100% unique and unlike any dressing you've ever picked up at the store.


It looks so healthy, right? That's because it is.


Potatoes...and sweet potatoes! Together forever.


How hodgepodged is this salad? We're throwing in the celery leaves.

And we're peeling our cucumber in pretty stripes. We're fancy like that.

And egg! And broccoli!

Homestyle Salad with Homestyle Mayonnaise
(Recipe Yield: 6 servings)(Total Time: 30 minutes, including prep)
  • 2 potatoes + 2 sweet potatoes, diced, boiled 20 minutes, and cooled in ice water
  • 1/2 a bunch of celery, leaves and all
  • 1 large cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 3/4 C Homestyle Mayonnaise
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 C grated cheddar
  • Paprika, for garnish
Homestyle Salad Directions
  1. In your largest bowl, (the bigger, the better, as this will make mixing easier) combine the first 5 ingredients.
  2. Stir in the Homestyle Mayonnaise.
  3. Mix in the eggs and cheddar.
  4. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.
 These recipes are both keepers and I owe it all to this charming little product.

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Captain Howie with Above Heaven's Gate Weddings on Oahu

    While visiting Sexy Nerd's family for the 4th of July, the topic of our bizarre wedding came up. No one believed me about some of the things that our wedding officiant, Captain Howie, had discussed during the ceremony. Most of them were there. They must have blocked these things out.

    Luckily, everything was recorded.

    Click the image to enlarge - you won't regret it!

    There are more wedding transcripts coming soon. Blogging gold, that Captain Howie. For now, I encourage you to type Captain Howie into that little Blogger search bar on the upper left. We originally canceled him as our wedding officiant and even planned a new ceremony at Turtle Bay, only to switch back because we liked Captain Howie's location better.

    *Sigh*

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Snow in July

    We just arrived home from our July 4th travels and are worn out. How worn out? A moment ago, Sexy Nerd was asleep on the couch, despite his recorded Nascar race progressing without him. He was sitting up with the remote control for the speakers on top of his head, completely dozed off. He put it there in his sleepy daze.

    You can find a photo here. Yes, I'm a mean wife. The flash from my photos woke him up. Now he's grouchy.

    Anyway...

    We visited Sexy Nerd's family in Colorado this weekend and my parents tagged along. On a whim, we drove up to Cottonwood Pass. We really weren't dressed appropriately.

    Shorts and t-shirts are an ideal choice for a hot 4th of July. But wait! What is that in the distance?

    Snow! And Sledders!!

    Really, who are these people who go sledding in July? You crazy Coloradans!

    Of the four of us, I was dressed the most sensibly of all.

    It drives my mom crazy when she tries to take my photo and I pull out my camera and photograph her.
    So I do.

    When attempting to hike in an unfamiliar location, especially knowing you are ill-prepared to brave the elements, it is important to stick together.

    Hence, my mom and Sexy Nerd hiking to the left and my dad heading toward the right.

    (And yours truly, hanging behind and fiddling with the camera before running to catch up.)
    Off he goes.
    "Uh oh," thinks my dad, realizing he's all alone on the mountain.

    Sexy Nerd told us we were hiking in a very safe place, at least when it comes to snakes. So who lives here?

     Snakes be darned. We made it to the top!

    All of us.

    And, yes, I was freezing my buns off!
    Despite the cold, I'd say the short hike was one of the highlights of our weekend.

    Now, let's all admire my pretty new Shabby Apple Baja dress, which I won (yippee!) from Raising Cubs in a Campground.
    Not that I'm vain or anything.

    Just a bit of a ham.

    Not sure what I was pointing at.
    Once the breeze kicked up, my little photo shoot became kinda racy!

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Gouda 101 for Cheese Simpletons: GIVEAWAY and Recipes

    If you're a cheese simpleton like me, you might see this post and wonder "What does Gouda taste like?" It has a strong, rich flavor. I think the best way to describe it is that Gouda tastes fancy. Old Amsterdam is an aged Gouda cheese made of cow’s milk.  Compared to a younger Gouda, it has a harder texture, more deepened color, and a more intense flavor.

    Have you ever made a sandwich, only to have your slice of cheddar add pointless, wasted calories because you can't taste it among all the other ingredients? This isn't a problem with a slice of Old Amsterdam Gouda. It pairs famously with simple ingredients, like fruit, chocolate, and nuts. What sells it for me, however, is the fact that Old Amsterdam Gouda can take an everyday food and dazzle it up.

    A glass of Riesling or Cabernet Sauvignon would also be a nice compliment for this cheese. Fancy.

    Imagine this: You and your honey are in the woods, just the two of you, having a romantic picnic. Your sweetie is the one who packed the thoughtful lunch; cherries, almonds, cheese, and all, without having to be asked.
    (Sexy Nerd has never and probably will never do this, hence the beauty of imagining.)

    Forget those time-consuming egg salad sandwiches. It doesn't get any easier than this!

    Looking for a casual, yet impressive, snack?

    Place 2 peppered slices of lunch meat on a hamburger bun.

    Add a fried egg, spicy brown mustard, and a slice of Gouda.

    It's the same breakfast sandwich you've made a thousand times, but special.

    "Can Gouda be grated?" you ask.
    Old Amsterdam Aged Gouda grates amazingly. It turns super-light and fluffy.

    I like to grate Gouda directly over a cold salad with lettuce, turkey, and tomatoes.

    "Can I melt Gouda?" you wonder.
    Try this: Sprinkle a handful of Gouda onto a tortilla.

    Top with 4 or 5 tomato slices.

    Sprinkle with dried rosemary and heat in the toaster oven for about 4 minutes.

    Roll up into a scrumptious Gouda Tomato Wrap. Isn't it gorgeous?

    And, of course, there are always Popovers with Onion and Gouda to be made!

    Sexy Nerd, inspired by all my Gouda ideas, snuck out of bed early yesterday morning to surprise me with Eggs in a Basket (aka Bird's Nests, Egg-in-the-Hole, Toad in a Hole, etc. - around here, these are Eggs in a Basket!) made with Gouda.

    You probably think he was being cute and creative by using the star-shaped cookie cutter. Actually, it's the only cookie cutter we own.

    Really.

    Sexy Nerd made this using Old Amsterdam Gouda and Hatch Green Chile. It may not be the most beautiful breakfast, but it was delicious!

    Do I have your tummy grumbling for some Gouda yet? Old Amsterdam is sold in many grocery stores, including Trader Joes.

    Old Amsterdam Giveaway!
    ***Estimated Prize Value = $50! Woo Hoo Hoo!***

    Want to win some cheese (4 packages!) and other fun Old Amsterdam prizes? LambAround and Old Amsterdam have teemed up to make it happen. Yippee!


    The Winner Receives:

    Four yummy packs of Old Amsterdam Premium Aged Gouda, enough to make all of the recipes listed above (and many, many more!)

    A hard-to-find Old Amsterdam tray for serving your cheese, along with a matching cheese knife.
    Fun cheese knife fact: It's actually a mini version of a typical Dutch Gouda rocker knife, which is huge and is used to cut the large wheels of Gouda!

    Crackers and adorable little flag toothpicks to make serving your Gouda extra fancy! Really, how cute are these?

    Not only does the winner receive all of the awesomeness listed above, they get everything shipped to them inside an insulated Picnic Time picnic tote bag. See that Old Amsterdam zippered pouch at the bottom? It includes silverware, a napkin, and an adorable salt and pepper shaker set. So fun!

    The bag came shipped to me full of Old Amsterdam cheese. Even after taking out the Gouda, Pica found the bag irresistible!

    *This giveaway has ended. Thank you to everyone who entered.

    Mandatory Entry:
    Leave a comment on this post telling me how or when you might serve Old Amsterdam Gouda. Wouldn't it be perfect served at a Bunko party or book club? Ooh, or you could have a cheese tasting party (and invite your good friend Lamb!)


    Optional Entries (leave 1 comment per entry method):


    1. Follow LambAround via GFC (right sidebar).


    2. Like Old Amsterdam on Facebook.


    3. Follow LambAround on Facebook.


    4. Follow LambAround via Twitter.


    5. Enter my Crepes Giveaway and comment here that you did.


    6. Link up a post to the most recent Not "Baaad" Sundays blog hop and comment here that you did.


    The Fine Print:
    Open to residents of the US only. Giveaway ends on 7/11/11. The winner will be selected using Random.org and will be contacted via email.

    I was not compensated for this review and giveaway. I received samples to try, independent of writing a review, then contacted Old Amsterdam myself in hope of partnering to provide a giveaway to LambAround readers. The opinions expressed are 100% my own.
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...