Friday’s Fab Five

Hi there! Happy Friday!

How was your week? Can you believe Christmas is in less than two weeks?! I can’t! I’m almost done with my shopping but have a few more people to buy for which is unusual, I’m usually done with all my shopping by now. If you’re like me and still need some ideas for gifts I created a list of my 5 favorite gift ideas. They are all under $30 and I may or may not have bought them for friends or requested one for myself. :)

All gifts are from Etsy.com and I’ve included links for each item. Enjoy!

5. For the Yarn Fanatic:
Yarn bag for knit/crochet projects [SiamSquare]
Yarn Bag

4. For the BFF:
Spray the Bitch Away spray [FrankieandMyrrh]
Spray the Bitch Away

3. For the Marathoner:
Sole Sister bracelet [RoseCreekToo]
Sole Sister Bracelet

2. For the Traveler or Out-of-Stater:
City Skyline Art [PaperFinchDesign]
Pittsburgh Skyline Art

1. For the Photographer:
Camera Strap Cover for DSLR camera [JoyMadeIt]
Camera Strap Cover

A Yinzer Thanksgiving

Hi there!

I know it’s been over a week since Thanksgiving and I’m quite behind in posting this but I thought I would recap my trip to Pittsburgh for the holiday. Mike and I had a great time and it was so nice to see my family and our friends! And in only a couple of weeks we’ll be traveling to see Mike’s family!

The last time I saw my nephew was for his first birthday and he’s grown so much since then! He can walk, say a few words, and knows a lot of baby sign language. :)

Jacob

Jacob 2

Jacob 3

My mom cooked for Thanksgiving and we relaxed at her place watching football, drinking coffee out of cool cups, and more.

Me and Mike Thanksgiving

Mike drinking Coffee

I was even able to go bridesmaid dress shopping with 2 of my 3 bridesmaids. It’s early for them to buy their dresses but I was happy to see them try on dresses!!
Me Allison Marti

Oatmeal Cake

Hello!

How was your weekend? Are you ready for Thanksgiving?

Mike and I decided to get a jump start on decorating for Christmas this weekend since we’ll be out of town for Thanksgiving. Normally we would decorate the day after Thanksgiving but since we had time on Sunday we put up the tree and the place looks great!

This week I decided to try out a new dessert for dinner with some of our friends. I made an oatmeal cake with a broiled nut topping and it was delicious! Mike would place it in the same family as carrot cake but without the carrots and frosting…either way it’s a cake that’s only one layer and is so good! I know everyone will have pumpkin pie this week but the next time you need a cake for celebration, make this one, you won’t be disappointed!
Oatmeal Cake

Oatmeal Cake

Ingredients
1/2 c butter
2 eggs
1-1/4 boiling water
1 c rolled oats
2 c all purpose flour
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Broiled Nut Topping:
1/4 c butter
2 tbsp half and half or milk
1/2 c packed brown sugar
3/4 chopped walnuts
1/3 c flaked coconut

1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a small bowl pour boiling water over the oats. Stir until combined and let sit for 20 minutes. Grease and lightly flour a 9 inch springform pan, set pan aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg, set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and oatmeal mixture to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed after each addition until combined. Spread the batter into the springform pan.

3. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Loosen sides of the cake from pan and remove sides of pan. Cool on wire rack at least 1 hour more.

4. Transfer cake to a baking sheet. For the nut topping: in a medium saucepan combine butter and half and half or milk. Cook and stir until the butter melts. Add brown sugar, stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts and coconut. Spread topping over cake and broil 4 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until topping is bubbly and golden. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Oatmeal Cake 2

Friday’s Fab Five

Hi there! Happy Friday!

Are you excited for the weekend? Thanksgiving is almost here and I can hardly believe it! Mike and I have a busy weekend before we travel for the holiday at the busiest time of year for travelers. Today’s fab five is a special Thanksgiving one with all of my favorite things about Thanksgiving and they all start with an ‘F’! I thought that was cute. :)

I hope you have a great weekend and be safe when traveling over the holiday!

#5 Family and Friends
I’m excited to travel home for Thanksgiving to see my family and also to spend time with my friends. Since I’ll only be home a couple of times before the wedding I have plans for my bridesmaids to try on dresses which I’m very excited for! I’m excited to see them and also to accomplish some more wedding planning!

Best Friends!

Best Friends!

#4 Food
My body is Slowly getting back to normal and I’m having dairy again in small doses but I’m excited for the food at Thanksgiving. One of my favorite dishes is the sweet potato casserole my mom makes that I posted after Easter. Yes,  it’s made with canned yams but it’s delicious!

Last Year's Thanksgiving

Last Year’s Thanksgiving

#3 Football
I love football, it’s one of my favorite sports and even if my team doesn’t play on Thanksgiving I still enjoy having it on in the background while hanging out with my family.
Friends Football

#2 Fashion- Black Friday
I don’t have plans to participate in any Black Friday shopping this year but I have in the past and have found some really good deals. I can’t believe some stores have started opening as early as 6 pm Thursday night!
Black Friday

#1 Fall
Fall is one of my favorite seasons and there are many reasons why- my birthday, Thanksgiving, the leaves changing, crisp but not cold weather, etc. I just hope we don’t have snow on Thanksgiving, the day after is ok!
Fall Tree

Souper Bowl Sunday

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? Did any snow fall in your neighborhood this weekend? We woke up to a couple of inches yesterday and winter has arrived, surely and sadly enough. I dusted off my Sorel boots and while I love how comfortable, warm, and durable they are, I would prefer to not have a reason to wear them. Oh well, the weather made for a perfect Souper Bowl Sunday at least!

As I mentioned on Friday, we made Southwest Corn Chowder, a soup we made last year and loved. (I omitted the cheese in my bowl) The total time to make this soup was 30 minutes, maybe a little more, one reason to love this recipe. When you try it you’ll understand the main reason we love it. It’s so good!
Southwest Corn Chowder 3

Before we made the soup we went to World Market in search of a mail tray/holder. I’ve been wanting one for quite some time because we have little room in our kitchen and I hate clutter. Piles of mail stack up and I’m such a neat freak that it starts to annoy me. But now we have a solution!
Mail Sorter

Now for the chowder:

Southwest Corn Chowder

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth
1 package (10 oz) frozen corn
3/4 c picante sauce
1/2 c chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 c chopped green pepper
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
Pepper jack cheese, or your cheese of choice
Salt
Pepper
Paprika
Garlic powder
Chili powder

1. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and chili powder. In a dutch oven or 3 quart saucepan, heat the oil and cook the chicken and onion until chicken juices are clear. Add the broth, corn, and picante sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Stir in peppers. Combine the cornstarch and water until smooth, stir into soup. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Spoon into bowls and top with cheese.

Enjoy!
Southwest Corn Chowder 2