In The Kitchen: Week 4: Veggie Pizza

I'm sort-of cheating on this one. You see, I technically skipped week 3, so I made the loaded potato soup early on in the week, and then made this later on in the week. (Hey, I made this darned New Year's resolution and I'm stickin to it!!)

This is a favorite for get-together's in my family, so of course I whipped it up for the shower today!

Veggie Pizza
   -2 packages refrigerated Pillsbury crescent rolls
   -2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened

   -1 c. mayonnaise 
   -1 pkg. Hidden Valley ranch dressing powder mix
   -1 c. fresh broccoli, chopped
   -1 c. fresh cauliflower, chopped
   -1 c. carrots, shredded or chopped
   -1 c. cherry tomatoes, sliced
   -1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Roll out the crescent rolls onto a baking sheet (I always use a Pampered Chef baking stone, but I'm sure any cookie shoot would work fine!). Pinch all the seams together and form a "crust". Bake according to the directions on the package. Let cool once finished baking(I use this time for veggie chopping).

Mix together, cream cheese, mayonnaise and ranch dressing mix. Spread "sauce" onto crust, and top with veggies and cheese. Cut into squares and serve. See, I told you it was simple!  Feel free to use whatever veggies you like (I've had it with peppers, pea pods, even different cheeses!) 


Salt Lake on the Brain

Once upon a time, a good friend of mine packed up herself, her little boy and her boyfriend and moved to Salt Lake City. We all thought she was crazy, crazy in love! A few years later, boyfriend proposed and they were married in a helicopter over the Vegas strip! I promise, this is RIGHT up Jenn's alley! Well, I've been lucky enough to visit her a few times since she's moved out there, and let me tell you... it's gorgeous!

It's snowy here today, but nothing like the snowy mountains of SLC. And today,  I've got Salt lake on the brain. Jenn taught me to snowboard, or should I say Jenn strapped boots and a board on me and said "Ok follow me!" and now I love it!

I haven't gotten the chance to go out this year, and I'm a little sad. So I'm sharing pictures today to cheer me up a little!

Here's Jenn & I on our way to Sundance last year. I know I know, I have the prettiest friends! Wait til you see her son, he's a doll! 

And this is Caleb! We were trying to teach him to ice skate on this particular night. He decided being carried was a lot easier!

Ok. Enough reminiscing.... 
Hi Jenn - I miss you! I'm sorry I didn't make it out for Sundance this year... but soon hopefully! Maybe even in time to do a lil boarding, eh eh??

T-1 to Papaya's shower

The noodle has a nickname. She's not even here yet, and my niece is called Papaya by nearly half of our family friends! It started as a joke when I threatened mama-to-be that they didn't choose a name soon I was going to name her, and it was going to be something outrageous and CelebriTot-inspired!

That's where Papaya Rose came in. It was either that or Boisenberry Blou! We started referring to Courtney's bump as Papaya as a joke, and now it's kind of stuck! You have to admit, there could be worse nicknames though!

Anyways, Papaya's shower is tomorrow! I have LOVED planning this, like seriously I've had so much fun. I wanted to share some of the goodies with you.

Candy bar! We sort of lucked out, and with the Valentines day right around the corner we found TONS of options of things that match the shower colors - pink, dark pink/red, and a springy green (these colors, and brown, are the colors of the nursery!)

These are part of the favors - aren't these little jars ADORABLE?! We filled them with 3 shades of pink M&M's and tied a green ribbon around the top.

Jones Soda's that will be going in a bucket full of ice - I can't remember the exact flavors- I want to say .
we got Cream Soda (clear/white), FuFu Berry (pink) and Apple (green).

I just wanted to give ya'll a sneak peek! I've got a TON to do today, and will be taking lots of pictures tomorrow so I will definately have a lot to share! EEeeee -I can't wait! I am so excited there will be a little one in the family!

Here's a cute picture of the parents-to-be from a few years ago. Aren't they so cute?! Since I've never "introduced" them on my blog; that's my brother, Brandin and his my sister-in-law, Courtney.... they're so excited for lil noodle to get here!


Saying ByeBye to the Friendship Stars

I have this little problem of getting myself into WAY too many things at once! I've always been this way, and I don't see it changing anytime soon! I'm not one of those people who can lay around on a couch all day, I HAVE to be doing something otherwise I get really anxious.

I finished up one of the projects for charities earlier this week -
My friendship stars for Cancer is Sew Done that I wrote about here. These lil cuties are getting sent off in the morning!

Now I'm off to finish up sewing the knickknacks on my apron for the Martini Madness Apron swap. This thing has been stressin me out for sure! I will post pictures soon. A few of the girls had added pictures of theirs to the Martini Madness blog, and let me tell you... I wouldn't be upset if I received any of those!

I better get to work now!


In The Kitchen: Week 3: Loaded Potato Soup

This should probably be titled something more along the lines of week 3 and a half, since I cooked nothing last week! Oops. Baby steps, people, baby steps!

Last night after work I really just needed some comfort food. With the Colt's making it to the Super Bowl, my job has been hectic. Every bar and restaurant in the state now wants blue-white-alcohol-induced posters and banners! Chrischris & I decided to make an O'Charley's-esque Loaded Potato Soup. Let e rephrase, I decided to, he got dragged into dicing potatoes and frying bacon.

The recipe came from this gem. My mom has this thing chock full of handwritten recipes from great grandmas, aunts, cousins, friends and a fair stash of 'just-printed-off' newbies that are sticking out the side. It's my favorite!

Loaded Potato Soup
   -3 lbs red potatoes
   -1/4 c. margarine, melted

   -1/4 c. flour
   -8 c. half-and-half (the half gallon size carton)
   -32oz. block Velvetta cheese, melted
   -Cracked black pepper, to taste
   -Garlic powder, to taste
   -1/2 pound bacon, fried crisply
   -1/2 c. fresh chives chopped
   -1 pkg shredded cheddar cheese

Dice unpeeled red potatoes into 1/2" cubes. Place in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Let the potatoes boil for about 10 minutes (they will be about 3/4 of the way cooked).

In a separate pot (This is the pot all of your soup will be made in), combine melted margarine and flour, mixing til smooth. Place over low heat and gradually add half-and-half, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until smooth and liquid begins to thicken.

Dice Velvetta into 1" cubes and add to half-and-half mixture. Stir well and let the cheese melt down. Drain potatoes and add them to this pot as well. You can now stir in your garlic powder and black pepper.

Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Serve soup in bowls and top with crumbled bacon, shredded cheese and chives.

This is one of our favorite soup recipes - the best part is that it has the chili factor, and tastes even better the next day!   


Top 2 Tuesday : Top 2 Favorite Recipes

Taylor over at Jimmy Choos & A Baby Too offered up her Top 2 Favorite Recipes, and I decided to play along.

My number 1 new favorite recipe is for the Bow Tie Ziti dish that I posted about here . It was sooo good, we've been waiting for an occasion to make it again (because it serves way more than the two of us can eat!!)

My second favorite recipe is my Red Velvet Cookies. Sounds intimidating right? Not at all. All the deliciousness of red velvet cake, in a cookie form. With the cream cheese icing too.

Simply take a box of red velvet cake mix, add 2 eggs and a 1/3c. of oil. Mix together in a mixer and then roll into about 1" balls on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten them down a little (depending on how thick you want them), then just bake at 375F for 8-11 minutes (the tops will crackle slightly)

You can use any ol cream cheese icing recipe or even buy a tub of it at your grocery store. These literally take me about 20 minutes to bake, and I just come back and ice them later after they cool. SUPER simple, and everyone is always asking for the recipe because they are so good!


Back to South Beach!

Our boys in blue have done it again!

My mom & I at the game Sunday night. We've been lucky enough to be at both championship games where the Colts advanced to the Super Bowl! I love it!!

They deserve a second trip back to Miami! Go blue!!


Sneak Peek

Check out these lil lovelies...

They're going to be making an appearance on my apron for my Martini Madness Apron Swap!

I got the fabric a few days ago but am just now finding time to work on it. I'm all giggly with excitement! I can't wait to swap, I hope my partner loooves what I come up with!

Do you have Words?

I have a new obsession, it's an iPhone app of course. First Farkle, then TapTapFarm now Words with Friends!

It's basically scrabble, you can play with your friends who also have iPhones (or random opponents if you so choose)

If you close out the app it doesn't end your game, which is the best part. My friend Allison and I just finished a game we played off & on yesterday and last night.

If you wanna play my username is ChelseaRayHey just invite me! It's so fun ha! (And yes, I did just get 57pt word!)



Craft Hope for Haiti Shop Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time
I was checking out Craft Hope's blog and noticed a tweet stating that as of 17 hours ago, they have had 745 sales on their etsy shop, and have raised...

wait for it...

$15,350 for Doctors Without Borders!

This is AMAZING! They still have a ton of beautiful stuff if you haven't checked it out, go to their etsy store now!

I snagged a print from BrookLit (I mentioned her work back here),

These handmade soaps by Sonata Soaps and also...

This adorable lil guy by Henny Pennys Jumble. I can't wait to put him in our tree next year!

I heard this morning that another earthquake hit Haiti this morning. Those poor people down there, I'm glad I have been able to help out, even if it is just a little bit - I know every single penny goes towards the awesome work that Doctors Without Borders is doing down there.


In The Kitchen: Week 2, recap

Hello, airhead here. I can't believe I left you all hanging on my In the Kitchen: Week 2 dinner! If you remember it was a yummy Italian bow tie ziti with sausage, tomato and mozzarella. And delicious it was. I've been craving it every day since then! And seriously, quite easy.

The lovely ladies, Michelle & Susan, over at You've Got Super have some fantastic recipes and I can't wait to tackle some more of them!

I wish I had pictures to share - we had a great night with friends, good food and a ridiculous board game called Quelf. We were all in tears from laughing so hard!

I highly recommend the game (we picked ours up at Target for $24ish I believe), and also the recipe too! 

Don't uncross them just yet!

Thanks for the finger crossing. It worked. Well, sort-of. You may need to continue for the next two weeks!

You see, my mom has been a hairstylist all her life, and a salon owner for a little over 10 years now. Great, awesome, fantastic huh? Not so much. She still cuts hair, she has a full clientele, so while she spends normal business hours behind the chair, she also has to go home and manage the business. It's wore her out, and while she wants to continue styling she's over the whole 'owning the business' part of it.

We've had her salon up for sale, and while we've had quite a few bites... most people seem to flake out and never call back or what not. She met with "really interested potential buyer" #4 last night to talk about things. 
We were hoping the new lease papers would be signed and my poor overworked momma could finally breathe a sigh of relief but apparently this lady is still working things out, and is aiming for the end of the month. So please, keep us in your thoughts! I'm really hoping my mom can be free of the added stress by the time her first grandbaby gets here!


Keep your fingers crossed

Hey all,
I'm asking you to please keep your fingers crossed for us. I don't want to go into detail right now, but it would be much appreciated. Thanks!!


Insights of ChrisChris

While eating dinner at one of our favorite lil 'home-cookin' diners....

Me: "Is their ranch dressing good?" (reaching over to dip my bacon into his salad dressing and try it)
(Long pause while I enjoy and he just shakes his head)
Him: "I swear you are a fat kid stuck in a skinny girls body"


CraftHope for Haiti

I won't waste your time explaining the tragedy in Haiti, I'm pretty sure everyone is already aware and most are already helping in any way they can. Emily over at So Much For My Plans mentioned a beautiful quilt she picked up yesterday through the CraftHope etsy store, and of course I had to get check it out. I think it's awesome that all of these crafters are donating their handmade goods for this cause.

I snatched up a set of three handmade soaps for only $10! There's some really lovely things, if you haven't checked them out I highly recommend it!

While I have never visited Haiti, I have been to the Dominican Republic, which shares the island with Haiti. It's truly one of the most gorgeous places I have ever been! The people who lived there were all SO kind and welcoming, and always had a smile on their face. I can only hope that the Haitians pull through this with that same hope and joy for life.


In The Kitchen: Week 2: Bow Tie Ziti with Tomato, Mozzarella and Sausage

I think me following through with something like this (weekly obligations alwasy get the best of me) should be a fulfilled resolution in itself!

This week I'm channeling my inner Giada and taking a stab at an Italian dish. Not that I could even begin to compete with that girl. She's gorgeous AND she cooks, ay could you give the rest of us a chance!

I'm actually not making this until tomorrow night, so I will have to follow up with how it goes. If you notice this post mysteriously disappears between now and then, I probably butchered the recipe, had to order pizzas for our guests and didn't want to face the humility of it!

   -1 lb farfalle bow ties, dry
   -2 tbsp olive oil
   -1 yellow onion, chopped
   -2 cloves garlic, minced (I'm not using fresh garlic in mine)
   -1 lb Italian sausage, thinly sliced
   -35 oz whole tomatoes, peeled (I found Rold Gold tomatoes that had basil, garlic and onions already in them hah cheater, yes I am)
   -1 tbsp oregano
   -1 cup ricotta cheese, low fat
   -1/3 cup basil, chopped (also not using fresh - sorry but lets get realistic here)
   -1/2 lb mozzarella cheese (the recipe called for cubed... we're going with shredded)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook pasta according to package and drain.
2. Heat 2 swirls of olive oil in a large saute pan. Heat over medium - high and cook onion until soft (about 5 min.). Add garlic.
3. Slice sausage into thin circles. Add to saute pan and cook until brown.
4. Add tomatoes with juices (I chop them with a knife right in the can) and let simmer for 10 - 12 minutes. Add oregano.
5. Combine ricotta. 3/4 cup parm, basil, and a little S&P. Add to pasta and mix together (I used my hands). Add tomato and sausage and mix again. Toss in mozzarella. Pour into greased baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining parm.
6. Bake for 20 minutes until bubbling. Serve.

(Recipe modified from You've Got Supper).

We're having 7 or 8 friends over for dinner and games tomorrow night. I sure hope this turns out well! We'll probably just serve it with Caesar salad and garlic bread (we LOVE Cugino's spread, it's so good but soo not good for you!).

Wish me luck!


Prepping for the little noodle

If you have followed my blog for a lil while, you know that this lil macaroni is on her way.

And with the noodle coming in February, January brings a baby shower and lots of cutesy baby gifts! I've been scouring the web to find original, meaningful gifts for her. With the pre-req that they are absolutely adorable of course. What kind of aunt would I be if I got her non-adorable things!

Since it seems every third woman I meet is a pregger, I though I would share my finds!

1. Girard Alphabet Blocks

Eco-friendly, non-toxic and a great color combo. What more could I ask for?! These are available at the Museum of Modern Art's webstore for $120.

2. Birth Date Print 

This would go great on a nursery wall! It's available for $25 in gracehesterdesign's etsy shop.

3. BabyLegs' leg warmers gift set 

Who doesn't love those chunky baby thighs in cute lil leg warmers...  plus it's MUCH easier to change a poopie one with these on then having to take whole tights/pants off! This gift set comes with 3 pairs, and are on sale for $30 from the BabyLegs' website (different color combos available!)

4. Suprise Sock Monkey 

This little charmer isn't your typical sock monkey. These lil guys are handmade by artists at Fresh Art, New York-based non-profit organization that provides personal development and entrepreneurial opportunities to people with special needs. The fact that no two monkies are the same makes them even more appealing! I originally saw these on Anthropologie's website but have looked into the organization and the monkeys are also available for purchase through FreshArt's website as well, for $30

5. My Little Button boots

Originally, I wanted to get the lil squirt a pair of baby Uggs, however seeing they were a tad pricey, and would probably get grown out of rather quickly, I thought these (while slightly cheaper) were equally as adorable! They are available in six different colors from HipKnotz for $24-$28 (depending on size)

Well, I don't know about you but that's all the cuteness I can handle for one day. HA only kidding, unfortunately I need to get to work on the invites for said shower, otherwise the little peanut will be very upset when she's born and her mommy & daddy have no supplies because Auntie Chelsea didn't follow through with the party!


A Spoon-ful of yum

Have you ordered from Spoonflower before or are you one of the swooners like me who just lurks around drooling on everything (good thing it's an e-store... I'd probably be banned from a brick&mortar store due to leaving a trail of saliva!)

I'm thinkin of placing an order one of these days. I know, first I overcame my fear of ordering fabric online, now I'm talking about ordering custom created fabric. YIKES what the heck has gotten into me!? I kid, I kid, but really... $18/yard isn't the sort of party I waltz right into, it requires a little standing shyly in the corner first.

You better believe I've picked out some favorites though!


I really love the houses and the numbers, they're so dang cute!


In The Kitchen: Week 1: Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

One of my New Year's resolutions this year was to become a better cook, or maybe you could call it "learning to cook" but I took every Home Ec class offered in high school! I know all of the basics, and I enjoy cooking, I just never had to do it much. So with the new year I decided I was going to cook one meal a week (I might even get ambitious and do more, we'll see!)

I'm not trying to get all Julie & Julia on you, I just thought it would be fun to share what I tackle and of course I'm always open to helpful hints and new recipes!

Last night I made Chicken Pot Pie Casserole. It took about 20min to cook the chicken breast and prepare the ingredients, and had to bake in the over for roughly 50 minutes. It served 4 people with a little bit of leftovers for lunch today!

   -4 chicken breasts, cooked & cut up
   -1/4 c. chicken broth
   -1 (12oz) can cream of chicken soup
   -1 (12oz) can cream of mushroom soup
   -1 bag frozen vegetables (I only had individual bags on hand so I used about 1/3 bag of green beans, broccoli & peas)
   -1small onion
   -2 medium sized potatoes (I cooked these in the microwave & cut them up before adding them)

   -1 stick butter, melted
   -1 1/4 c. Bisquick
   -1c. milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all of the "filling" ingredients together and pour into a 9"x13" greased pan. In a seperate bowl mix "crust" ingredients, pour over chicken mixture and bake for 45-60 minutes.
(Recipe modified from Big Oven).

We LOVED this, it was the perfect comfort food for a freezing cold Indy night like last night! The only recommendation I have is perhaps adding more biscuit mixture to the top, which I plan on doing next time!


Chelsea is SEW done procrastinating

Well... I'm starting to be done procrastinating! I dug out my ziploc baggies of Lotus-love to start working on my charity blocks for Cancer is Sew Done (blogged about here).

These pretties will soon be part of friendship stars.... and you already know that since I'm a newly self-diagnosed Kona Cotton Addict, I've already picked out my coordinating solids and am cutting my heart out (wait... not that way. I mean, I'm cutting to my heart's content) just as soon as I close my Mac.

By the way, Tracey added new groups today, so if you haven't joined yet there's still time! You can visit the site today to find out more.

I'm a little late, but thanks Santa!

They're pretty aren't they? Santa brought em for me this year. Two big bundles of Kona Cotton love, straight from his heart! While I can't wait to cut into them... I am also hesitant because they look so pretty and colorful as sit on my table! That and I can't decide what exactly I want to turn them into yet... ideas are welcome!