Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Recipes: New Year's Party Appetizers!

Baked Brie
Brie Round
Pilsbury Crescent Rolls (canned dough)

Wrap Brie round in crescent roll dough. Baked as directed on the dough directions. Serve warm with fruit and crackers. I also think canned cranberry sauce goes well with it! 

This is SUCH a simple recipe and completely delicious! 

Bloomin' Pizza Bread

I found this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, The Girl Who Ate Everything. Check it out! This recipe is SUUUPER easy and looks amazing!

Buttery Soft Pretzels

I know I have spent my fare share of cash on mall pretzels... Ive made these a few times for super bowl parties and other get-togethers and they have been SUCH a hit. Especially with nacho cheese for dipping!! This recipe isn't QUITE as simple as the other two but it's worth it! MMMMmmmmm....

4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp white sugar
1 1/4 c. warm water
5 c. flour
1/2 c. white sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tb vegetable oil
4 cups hot water
baking soda
1/2 c. baking soda
1/4 c. kosher salt (for topping)


In a small bowl dissolve yeast and 1 tsp sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy (about 10 min.

In a large bowl, mix flour, ½ c sugar, and salt. Make a well in center; add oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If mixture is too dry add 1-2 tb water. Knead dough until smooth (7-8 minutes).

Lightly oil a large bowl and place dough in bowl. Flip to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 C). In another large bowl dissolve baking soda into hot water.

When risen, turn dough out into lightly floured sufarce and divide into about 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into pretzel shape. Once all dough is shaped, place on greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes until golden brown.

I will be sure to update some of these pictures with MY OWN now that I have my camera up and working!! I think the BF finds it weird and obsessive quirky when he sees me taking millions of pictures of all the food I make... Haha!

Happy New Year's!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oh! How Pinteresting Wednesday! Link-up

Welcome to another Oh! How Pinteresting Wednesday! Link-up!

I hope that you all had a good Christmas, surrounded by family and friends! Everyone ready for New Year's now??

Another New Year's dress I am coveting
Cute idea to put in a frame!
Cute and casual... I need some boots!!!

I totally do this...
Bora Bora! So beautiful!! Someday I WILL go here!!!
Love the makeup!! 
Beautiful colors. I want to get into photography when I'm out of school and have time for hobbies!!

Family tree! Great way to display old photos!
Rainbow Jello shots for new years!? Yes Please... Possibly labor intensive but totally worth it!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sunday Quote of the Week


I hope that everyone is having a very merry Christmas!!
Something inspirational seems appropriate this week for our Sunday quote I think...

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, but by the obstacles which they have overcome to get there."
-Booker T. Washington

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Recipes: Herb Baked Eggs

These baked eggs are awesome and quick! We are having them for Christmas Eve breakfast with french toast... I'll add my french toast tips as well!!

I originally found this recipe on the Food Network Website
Serves 2.



  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted French bread or brioche, for serving


Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat.
Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and Parmesan and set aside. Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 2 small bowls or teacups (you won't be baking them in these) without breaking the yolks. (It's very important to have all the eggs ready to go before you start cooking.)
Place 2 individual gratin dishes on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Quickly, but carefully, pour 3 eggs into each gratin dish and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked. (Rotate the baking sheet once if they aren't cooking evenly.) The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oh! How Pinteresting Wednesday! Link-up

So I FINALLY got invited into Pinterest.... Needless to say this was not a very productive week for me!

There are only a few days until Christmas!!! Is everyone as panicked as I am!?? I will be taking a short Pinterest break today to actually wrap presents! Wish me luck!!!

So here is my first Oh! How Pinteresting Wednesday! Link-up (aka: how I wasted time this week):

SUCH a cute couple picture

Great holiday gift for a teacher!


I'd love this for a New Year's/ Birthday Dress!
Both are coming up! 
Another amazing dress with potential...
Must learnt to waterfall braid! Beautiful!
Love this color
Funniest Christmas Decorations EVER! Hahaha!

Happy Holidays!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

No More Useless Souvenirs!!

           A new tradition (that I am SUPER excited about) has been started by the boyfriend and I with our Christmas ornaments. This is our first year together and we wanted to start some of our own Christmas traditions.

            We both love to travel but have come upon the same problem involving souvenirs... You know how when you take a trip you feel like you should get some kind of keepsake but you aren’t sure what to get so over the years you manage to collect an entire cabinet full of shot glasses and various other useless trinkets? Well not anymore!!!

            From now on every trip we go on we will be getting a Christmas ornament as our souvenir! They are surprisingly easy to find at any touristy destination and even if you can't find an actual ornament it is simple to pick out a fun keychain and turn it into an ornament by replacing the key ring with a hook!

Our Sombrero Ornament from a vacation to Cabo this fall
            So our ultimate goal is to replace all the generic store ornaments on our tree slowly with souvenirs to commemorate our travel experiences! I am super excited about this and we already have our first Ornament from Cabo San Lucas this past fall!

            Happy Holidays!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Quote of the Week

This week's  quote is one that just made me smile... mostly because I can relate... Especially with all the upcoming holiday cooking!

I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.
-W. C. Fields

Haha! Happy Holidays!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Recipes: AMAZING (EASY) Pulled Pork

I tried this recipe for the first time this week and it turned out FANTASTIC!! The original recipe I found  here. The version below is a slightly modified version (using a less expensive cut of meat and making slightly more)



4lb pork shoulder

16oz root beer
12oz Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce, this is mine)

Directions: Put pork and root beer in crock pot on low for 10 hours. (Turn after 4-5 hours.) Drain and pull apart with a fork. Mix in BBQ sauce. Keep on low for 1-2 more hours. Serve on sandwich rolls. (optional: add cheese and/or horseradish sauce to sandwich)

*Leftovers make fantastic cold sandwiches.

This recipe was SO simple and easy. Definitely a keeper!! You MUST try it if you like BBQ!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Words...

So originally I had wanted to do a Pinterest post every Wednesday. Alas, I have not yet received my invite. Sad face. I already know that I will be addicted as soon as I join so be prepared!

Anyhow, That leaves me with an open Wednesday so I have decided to do "Wednesday Words". Polish words that is. Like I have said before I am trying to learn Polish. I have a HUGE fascination with languages in general and speak German pretty well, I speak enough Spanish to get by at work, I have an impressive vocabulary of Italian cuss words, and next on my list is Polish. 

My boyfriend's family is all Polish and that is what the speak at home. So I would LOVE to be able to understand what is going on AND I'll have willing participants to practice with so this should be simple... right? No.

Some of the first words I learned (from my man's family at a barbecue) were the words for beer, wine, water, and vodka. Be advised: they all sound somewhat similar... it may get confusing.

pic found here

pic found here

pic found here

pic found here

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Quote of the Week

This week I wanted to do something motivational for the quote of the week. I have a ton going on between and work and the holidays and have been pulling my hair out and wanting to scream REALLY trying to stay positive and keep on track! I came across this quote and think it is just what I needed to stay motivated this week!

"What great things would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?"
-Robert H. Schuller

I know that sometimes I lack motivation just feeling overwhelmed and worrying about getting EVERYTHING done that I have on my 'to do list'!

Hopefully with the holiday chaos it will be of some help for you as well! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Friday Recipes: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mmmmmmm... pic found here

Chocolate chip cookies are the ultimate comfort food and one of my favorite indulgences. I have tried so many recipes over the years but I always go back to the one on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chips package!

They always turn out perfect and never last long in my house! I made them this week and for the first time tried using the dough to make white chocolate macadamia nut cookies! SUCCESS! They turned out awesome as well. 

With the holidays approaching these are some recipes that will be sure to impress.


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
picture found here


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
* Dough may be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks. 

The finished profuct! Pic found here
** For my white chocolate macadamia nut version substitute 2 cups white chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet chips and add 1 cup macadamia nuts.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Let me introduce myself...

On a recent cruise to Cabo I LOVED our daily towel animals! This was a frog I named Fred.

My name is Ashley and I have decided to start a blog. Easier said than done. I had a failed attempt in the past at a fitness blog but I think I just have so much more to talk about than that… I have always loved writing and feel like this will be a good way to express some of my thoughts and feelings and have an outlet for my creative side.

I also think this will be an alternative way for my friends and family (and anyone else who’s interested) to see what is going on in my life and keep updated.

I love snowboarding even if I fall a lot!
I plan on writing about things that interest me or catch my attention. I consider myself adventurous and spontaneous. I love cooking, travel, shopping, all things outdoors, fitness, especially running, and spending as much time as possible with the people I love!

Backpacking part of the Tahoe Rim Trail
Where am I at in life right now? Well I feel like I am at a place where a lot of really exciting things are about to happen for me which is maybe why I wanted to start this blog at this particular time. I am 24 years old… 25 next month! I am a licensed nurse, and an EMT on an ambulance and am about to start Registered Nursing school. I am currently living with roommates who are a couple of my best friends. For the past about 5 months I’ve been dating an amazing man and I am realllly excited to see where things go there! I speak English and am almost fluent in German and have begun to try and learn Polish as well.

About to cross the finish line of the Nike Women's Half Marathon in October
There is a lot on my plate and life is crazy right now but I am loving every hectic minute of it and looking forward to things to come!!