Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Recipe Time: Parmesan Honey Pork Roast & Brussel Sprouts

Hi! Today I wanted to share with you another recipe that I found on the best website EVER, Pinterest. I actually bought the food to make it two weeks ago, but my hubby accidentally left the pork roast in the shopping bag on the counter all night. Oops. So, I had to buy another one.

Anyway, both these recipes were really tasty. I definitely recommend giving them a whirl.

Parmesan Honey Pork Roast
original recipe pinned from Six Sisters Stuff

1 (2-3 pound) boneless pork roast

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup honey

3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp dried basil

2 Tbsp minced garlic

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place roast in slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, honey, soy sauce, basil, garlic, oil and salt; pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.

Remove meat to a serving platter; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices; transfer to a small saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice roast; serve with gravy

I thought I had garlic on hand, but I didn't and didn't realize it until I was already half way through preparing things, so I substituted with garlic powder. I'm sure the flavor would have been much better with the real thing.

I thought the roast was really delicious, however, the next time I make it, I think I'll cut the amount of soy sauce in half. I would've liked it to be a little sweeter. I tend to like sweeter sauces over pork. But it was soooo tender and had great flavor. My husband loved it too.

Brussel Sprouts
original recipe adapted from Elise Blaha

As I mentioned before in this post about my One Little Word for the year, I chose the word Nourish. Part of the reason I chose that word is because I wanted to become more aware of the kinds of foods I was putting in my body and make positive changes in my diet. So that's where this recipe comes in to play. I wasn't raised on vegetables. In fact, the only two vegetables that were ever served in our house were potatoes and corn, so over the years I've been trying to acquire a taste for more vegetables, especially green vegetables. It's still a work in progress. So far I've learned to love asparagus...

I've been seeing lots of recipes that make brussel sprouts look so delicious, so I figured why not give them a try?! I came across a new blog that I'm totally in love with, and that's where I found this recipe.

Fresh or frozen brussel sprouts, chopped
About 2 tbsp olive oil
Garlic powder
Unseasoned, chopped pecans
Large pinch of shaved parmesan cheese

Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.

As that gets warmed up, chop your sprouts. The smaller you chop them the better. Cut them in half or fourths if they're big. The frozen ones I used were pretty tiny, so I just cut most in half.

Toss the sprouts into the pan and add a bit more olive oil. Stir them up and sprinkle with kosher salt, pepper and garlic powder. This is an add to taste situation.

Let them cook for about 5 minutes then add chopped, unseasoned pecans. About a handful.

Stir the pecans with the sprouts and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes or so.

Right before you turn off the heat, sprinkle with a big pinch of shaved parmesan cheese.

Turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan.

I've never eaten brussel sprouts in my life, but let me tell you, I really liked these...a lot.

In the original recipe she used garlic salt and pepper. I used garlic powder, kosher salt and pepper. So good! I think it's pretty much just a matter of taste.

Today I'm linking up here:

*images are from the original posts*
I tried to take my own photos, but it was dark outside by that time and they didn't turn out.


Monday, January 23, 2012

December Daily Final Pages & Thoughts

I'm back with my final post about the December Daily project. I know I'm kinda dragging this out...considering it's almost February, but there were a lot of pictures, so I really needed to break up the post. Today we're starting with:

Day 13:
Harper turned 6 months old, so that was the big story. It has nothing to do with Christmas, but that's what's so great about this project. Not only do you document all of the holiday happenings, but you also capture the everyday happenings. Although, I think turning 6 months old is a big deal, and I love that it happened during the holiday season!

The silver chipboard "H' is from a letter pack that I found in the Target scrapbooking aisle.

The "fantastic memories" is another digital brush from Ali Edwards and the journal card is from bananafish

Day 14:
Here is another example of a day when there wasn't really a "big" story to tell. I decided to document the weather because it was so unseasonably warm around here this year.

The background is some wrapping paper I was using for our gifts and wanted to include it in the book. This was the perfect page for it. The journal card is another one from bananafish studios.

Here I simply went to our local news channel's website and printed out the week's forecast. Normally the temps are about 30 degrees colder!

Day 15:
The story for this day was about wrapping presents. I added it because we didn't have any gifts under the tree yet, so we had lots to do and I forced Jeremy to help.

This photo includes another one of Ali;s brushes.

I used more of our wrapping paper under the photos and a journaling card from bananafish studios.
Day 16:
This story is about our Christmas lights tour.

All the little embellishments on the photo were part of a 12x12 piece of cardstock and another digital brush from Ali Edwards.

Day 17:
I caught Jeremy in a very sweet moment with his baby girl, so I snapped a bunch of pictures and turned them into the story of the day. LOVE these pictures...minus the filthy dirty windows...

Digital brush from Ali Edwards.

Here I created a pennant banner out of some leftover scrapbook paper from my advent calendar project and some Martha Stewart baker's twine. Oh, and some star brads from Archiver's that I bought a long time ago. The journal card is yet another from bananafish studios.

Day 18:
For me, this was the best day of the season. We made gingerbread houses. Well, actually graham cracker houses, but that doesn't matter. It was so much fun! I had never done that before, but it's now a annual tradition.

I created the 8.5x11 collage in Picasa and then transferred it to Gimp. The little round tag came from a garage sale signage kit that I bought from Target a few years ago. I figured they would come in handy at some point and I loved them for this project.

I used another circle tag on this page and another digital brush. Not only was this my favorite day, but it's also my favorite spread in the book. I really love all the colors.

Day 19:
Today I wanted to highlight the handmade projects that I made for the season.

The cream ribbon is from a package I ordered from West Elm and the circle tag is from bananafish studios.

All the tags are from bananafish and the red & white paperclip is from Smash.

Day 21:
One of Ali's prompts was to take a self portrait and since I'm always, well almost always the one behind the camera, I thought this photo suited me perfectly for the season!

I got the green paper at Archiver's and the words are cut from the back side of a different piece of cardstock from Archiver's.

The "T" is from Target.

Day 21:
I wanted to write a letter to each kiddo as one of my stories, so I did it for today.

The Christmas stickers are from Archiver's and are a little more cutsie than the rest of the embellishments in the book, but I liked them for this layout since it's about the kids and adds some playfulness and color to the page.

The "happy holidays" tag is cut from a Trader Joe's paper bag and the letters are from Target.

The tag and star strip are also cut from a Trader Joe's bag and the paperclips are from Smash.

Day 22:
Today we had a picnic by the tree which was one of our Advent activities. Loved it and will definitely continue to do it every year!

All I did here was add some journaling over the photo. The font is Garamond.

On this photo I created my own text strip to divide the photos in half.

Day 23:
This day was incredibly busy and then we made the trip to my parent's house for Christmas, so that's what I wrote about.

I simply typed out the journaling using Remington Noiseless for the font and then cut it into strips to add a little interest.

Here I used an Instagram photo taken with my iPhone and the holly berry sticker is from Michael's. The letters are from Target. 

Day 24:
This is the day when we open our family gifts, so that was the story. We took some pictures of all the grand kids and we took another family pic and a pic of our kids by the tree.

I used another digital brush and added journaling. 

The letters are from Target.

Day 25:
This page is all about Christmas morning and the visit from Santa Claus.

The pennant flag is from bananafish studios.

The Santa's are from a bit of leftover paper I kept from a previous page and I just cut them out.

So there you have it!

I have a few thoughts to share about the project now that it's complete.

First, I knew this project would be a lot of work, and it was, but SO worth the effort. Sure there were some days when I felt like I didn't have a story to tell, but now that I look back at those days, I'm glad those stories are a part of the book. Somehow they just work.
Second, this is by far my favorite project ever! I've done tons of scrapbooks over the years, but this one takes the cake. I loved the holidays when I was young, but for a while I went through I period when I wasn't loving them so much. However, now that I have my own kids, I'm loving the season more than ever and this is such an incredible way to document it all. I plan to tackle this project for as long as I'm enjoying the process.
Third, I learned a lot about my new scrapbooking style and how I have a completely new approach to story telling. When I used to scrapbooking religiously back in high school and college, I didn't add much journaling. It was all about the photos. I may have added a few sentences here and there if I thought it was something I might forget over time, but mostly I just added lots of photos and lots of patterned paper and embellishments. Now, I care more about the journaling and recording the stories and emotions surrounding the photos.
I'm so glad I stumbled upon Ali Edwards blog and took the time to complete this book. Her creativity is inspiring.

If you have any questions about my project or would like more details about the products I used, please leave a comment or send me an email. I'm happy to help!

I'll be back tomorrow with a couple of recipes that I tried for dinner last night. Loved them both!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Recipe Time: Better Than Sex Cake

For my husband's birthday, I told him to browse my Pinterest recipe board to find a dessert that sounded good and I would make it for him. He chose Better Than Sex Cake. I know this is a very popular cake and most people have had some version of it. My mother-in-law has made it before, but her version is a little different. I've never made it myself, but it was soooo easy and incredibly delicious! I'm sure this is one I'll be making again.

This version of the recipe originally came from Barefoot and Baking.

Better Than Sex Cake


1 box chocolate cake mix (+ whatever it calls for on the back)

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 jar hot fudge sauce

1-8 oz container of cool whip

4 Skor Bars, crushed (I used Heath bars, but if I when I make it again I plan to use Butterfinger instead)


Make and bake cake according to box directions. As soon as it comes out of the oven, poke holes with the handle of a wooden spoon (I did this, but would recommend using some other utensil to do poke the holes; the holes were big and I didn't want to make too many causing the cake to sink in the center, so I didn't think the condesed milk was distributed evenly enough.) all over the cake. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top.

Let cool completely.

Next spread fudge over the cake, and put in the fridge to set.

When it is cool, spread coolwhip over the top and then top with crushed candy bars. Refrigerate leftovers.

The recipe didn't say to, but I had to microwave the fudge in order to get it thin enough to spread over the cake without tearing the top. I can't remember how long it was in the microwave total because I had to keep taking it out, stirring it and putting it back in for longer. It was probably close to 3 times for 30 seconds each time.


linking up at 33 Shades of Green for Tasty Tuesday.