Thursday, September 30, 2010

salmon stew....

ohhh yeah...this kind of salmon...

photo credit

i actually don't know the measurements of this stew either...i just grew up eating it. my granny made it. my mom made it. now i make it. sadly, brad doesn't love it like i do. i called my granny last night to tell her the horrrrrible news that brad doesn't like salmon stew. she laughed. i just don't know if it's funny. ha. kidding. i love brad even if he doesn't like salmon stew. :)

okay, here goes...

get a large potato- peel it and cut into small pieces.

boil the potato pieces until soft.

cut (small pieces) some onion (as much or as little as you would want) and toss it in with the boiling potatoes.

after the potatoes are soft, drain them. and put them back in the pot they were cooked in.

add 1 can of boneless, skinless salmon meat

cover with milk. i like mine a little runny so i can add lots of crackers...but its up to you. sorry i can't give you measurements...i just eye-ball :)

heat until warm.

serve with crackers. (i eat mine with saltines)

the end! amazing. love.

so, i know this isn't a fancy reciepe or anything. but i love it and wanted to share. i have made it 2 times this week b/c i'm pretending it is winter. did i mention, i hate winter?...but at least i get salmon stew!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

pumpkin pecan bars

beantown baker calls them thanksgiving two-fer bars. i called them pumpkin pecan bars. whatever tickles your fancy. thank you jen for this amazing pumpkin pecan pie in bar form. ammmmmazing.

i made these for my friend hannah's birthday. they were amazing. i ate them for breakfast,lunch, dinner. i wanted more. yummm.

so here goes:

pumpkin pecan bars

Crust Layer:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp pecans, ground
2/3 cup butter, at room temperature

Pumpkin Filling:
2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 1⁄3 cup heavy cream
1 cup (packed) brown sugar (light or dark)
3 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp. ground ginger
1⁄2 tsp. salt

Pecan Pie Filling:
1 cup light or dark corn syrup
1⁄2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp. salt
3 cups (about 14 oz.) pecan halves or pieces

For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350ºFC.

Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, mix all of the crust ingredients together until coarse crumbs are formed. In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, press down the crust.

Bake at 350ºF for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. The crust will rise slightly after baking. Let the crust cool completely at room temperature.

For the pumpkin filling: Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor Leave filling in bowl.

For the pecan filling: In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients except pecans until smooth.

To assemble: Preheat oven to 450. Give the pumpkin filling one last quick pulse, then remove bowl, rap it on counter to debubble batter, and pour filling into crust. Top pumpkin filling evenly with pecans, then pour over pecan filling. Poke down any pecans that float to the top and aren't covered with filling. Bake bars for 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300° and bake for another 55-65 minutes, or until it is evenly puffed and a slender knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer bars to a cooling rack and let it stand until it is just warm or until it reaches room temperature.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

it's britney! tonight! ahh!

are you ready?! i am! i am!


i am thankful for many things. many many things. here's a few things i am thankful about in the blog world.

i am very thankful for my best friend, you know her... HAYLEY. she helped to make my birthday FABULOUS! we had sushi...we danced all night long at trio...we ate too much food...we had a sunday funday...the list goes on & on... check out this amazing birthdy cake. (you know us south carolina people... we are obsessed with our flag. i have many many things with the palmetto tree & moon on it. what can i say, we are proud carolinians, i guess?)

i am thankful that sweet michele gave me my very first blog award...

* i have known michele since elem school...i am thankful we are back in touch through facebook and blogs! she is an insanely adorable person.

i am SO thankful that i won a giveaway!! i found out last friday and was soooo excited. so, thank you to jen!! check out her blog :)

okay, and speaking of michele AND a giveaway...
make sure you follow michele and enter in her giveaway! who doesn't want a $50 giftcard to anthropologie?!?! i am so in love with anthropologie and the crazy expensive shower curtain i got there one time:)
so, enter!

that's all for today. happy tuesday!

Monday, September 27, 2010

menu monday.

monday. salmon stew. yayyyy! first time this it's been raining (cold rain) & now i just cant wait for the stew i grew up eating:)

tuesday. chicken pesto shells.

wednesday. baked spaghetti

thursday. leftovers!

friday. black bean and quesadillas (are amazing)

uhhh. can we talk about this?

From: Manda Ala
To: Bradley Ala
Sent: Mon Sep 27 1:47:08 2010
Subject: (no subject)

hows your rainy monday??

should we have salmon stew tonight?! :)

From: Bradley Ala
To: Manda Ala
Sent: Mon Sep 27 1:56:08 2010
Subject: Re: (no subject)


uhh..really? how could you one person not LOVE salmon stew? i am still making it. i guess i will have to make husband something else! :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

i love tag :)

My new blogger friend, rach, tagged me… so here goes… you should really check out her page. she's fun!

1.) What is your favorite childhood memory?
Ooh. That’s such a hard one. I have so many wonderful memories. But, the one that comes to mind right away is… I stayed with my great grandparents when I was little and I would sit on the top of my papa RL’s chair and comb his hair with a black comb... I remember making it stand up and I thought it was the funniest thing ever. You know…one like this… they always make me smile

2.) Who is your celebrity crush?
Omg. I have so many. But without a doubt its adam brody. Have I ever mentioned how OBSESSED I was/am with the OC? Yeah.

3.) What would your dream bedroom be like?
A bedroom straight out of the pottery barn catalog. Very anthropology though.

4.) What is your favorite clothing item?
I love shorts. Love them. Oh, and my jack rogers. Wait, does my Michael kors watch count? Cause that too! Ha.

5.) What is one thing that you have been looking forward to this month?
My birthday!!! (it’s Saturday. and HAYLEY will be here!!!!)

6.) What was the best year of your life and why?
I think 2009. I married brad and got pepper! They are both pretty spectacular.

7.) What is your alcoholic drink of choice?
Vodka tonic or vodka water or red wine…a cab please.

8.) What was the best piece of advice you were ever given?

Can I use a quote from the OC?? …

"And if I could leave you all with one final word of advice: Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don't let the bastards get you down." -The O.C.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

current obsessions.

soooo delightful.

and a new great read...

from the cover: Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Despite her mother’s warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life.

Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie---a boy who has never known his father. After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance---and even, to some degree, friendships---believing that it is always safer not to expect too much.

Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children. But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined.

In alternating, pitch-perfect points of view, Emily Giffin creates a moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most.

oh and i'm having a hard time saying no to these...

that's all for now.


let's talk about tv.

okay, if you know me...or have read my blog- i think you are fully aware how much i love tv and hollywood in general. i may not know what's going on in africa or that there are pirates off the coast or that there is even a coast in africa but i can tell you everything that is going on in hollywood...who is dating who...who just got arrested for drug charges, beating their wife, falling down...whatever. i know it. and even if you don't like it...i think i'm proud of my knowledge. whatevs. we all have our thing i guess. i should have been in pr.

so, let's talk about tv!

if you remember this then you remember my love for gLee. and tonight it is bacccck!!! yayyyyy! omg, do you know britney music will be featured this season?! i can't wait. i am a 12 year old girl singing to her first cd right now.

tomorrow my other & order, special victims unit is back. oh, oliva & stabler...can you pllllease just make out? i know you want to. as nike would say, just do it. already. geeze.

thursday, friday and saturday there is nothing for me. that's okay, i have plenty in the DVR but i like to think this is because i am mentally preparing for my true love...

and, that's all for now. but i will tell you i did watch DWTS last night and didn't hate it. i love anything and EVERYTHING on e!, too. i'm not going to bore you with all of that :)

a girl shouldn't watch this much tv. or make her poor husband sit through it. although, i swear...he loves the shows, too! haha.

Monday, September 20, 2010

menu monday.

monday. grilled cheese

tuesday. veggie burgers at ashleys!

wednesday. shrimp & grits w/ our neighbors

thursday. chicken pot pie

friday. orange chicken

saturday is my birthday so we will obviously have...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

snickers cupcakes.

are the

seriously. you are in for a great surprise (but not now since im about to ruin it) when you bite into this yummy chocolate cuppie...CARAMEL on the inside! what?! i know, right...amazing.

we had them at the girls night on monday. take a peek:

Chocolate Cupcakes

What you need:
• 2 cups sugar
• 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup milk
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 cup boiling water

What you do:

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared cupcake pans.

line cupcake pan with baking cups. Fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22-25 minutes at 350° F until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans about five minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

When completely cool, use a paring knife to cut a small cone shape out of the top of each cupcake. Add caramel sauce (i just get the caramel sauce that is the icecream topping) as desired. Add what the part that you coned out back to the cupcake. So, it's like a taking a small piece out of the center and then filling with caramel & a small piece of snickers and putting it back on. Just make sure you cut up the snickers to really small pieces so it all fits!

Caramel Buttercream

what you need:

1 cup unsalted butter, cold
1/4 cup caramel sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb powdered sugar
mini Snickers bar for garnish

What you do:

*I use the kitchen aid paddle attachment!*

Beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about two minutes. Add caramel sauce, heavy cream and vanilla and mix to incorporate. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated to reach the right consistency. Increase speed to medium-high and whip about one minute until light and fluffy. Frost as desired.

Coarsely chop candy bars and sprinkle over the top of cupcakes.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

pesto pizza

ashley and i made this pizza the other night. all we did was take pizza dough and roll it out (i still havent attempted to make my own!) after the dough was rolled out we cover it with pesto (yumm) mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and mushrooms. bake until golden.

give it a try. you will love it. im offically in love with pesto.

Monday, September 13, 2010

menu monday.

monday. having the girls over! we are having: tomato brushetta, cucumber hummus cups, turkey pesto sliders, caprese salad skewers, cheese & crackers, and snickers cupcakes. oh, maybe some popcorn, too! RECIPES TO COME! :)

tuesday. leftovers.

wednesday. bbq sandwiches & beans

thursday. chili & salad

friday. out to eat! its restaurant week! check it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

cupcakes. dog friendly.

so, as i mentioned before...pepper's birthday was august 18. i wanted her to have a treat so i decided to make her cupcakes. humans can eat them...but i wouldnt suggest it. they are pretty gross.

someone gave me this but it was from rachel ray!

cupcakes for dogs.

2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 carrot, grated, plus more for garnish
1 large egg
1/4 cup honey
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces softened cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease two 12-cup muffin pans. In a large bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, carrot, egg and honey; stir in 3 cups water.

In another large bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and baking powder; mix into the carrot mixture.

Fill each muffin cup about three-quarters full. Bake until firm and dry, about 45 minutes. Let cool, then top each cupcake with more grated carrot and smear with cream cheese.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

mexican night

our neighbors and good friends, jennifer & elise, have decided that one night a week we would cook for each other. this week was my turn, next week is their turn. i decided to do a cute mexican night. the food was delish!

i used lesie's guacamole. which is so so amazing. i also used leslie's homemade tortilla chips. im pretty much in love with her blog at the moment.


2 ripe avocados

1/4 onion, finely minced

1/2 large ripe tomato, diced into small pieces

a handful of cilantro, chopped

the juice of half a lime

a pinch of salt

Place the meat of the avocados in a medium bowl and roughly mash with a fork.

Add in the onion, tomato, cilantro, lime and salt. Mix together.



cooking spray


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tortilla in strips or pie shapes (whichever you prefer) Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and lay the tortilla strips down on it. Spray the tops with cooking spray too and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until starting to turn golden. Eat warm.

for the adorable taco bowls, i found this cute idea on annie's blog.


place a warmed, lightly oiled tortilla in between the cups of an overturned muffin tin. Bake at 425˚ F for 8-10 minutes. fill it with taco stuff after! :)

and i just used fresh shredded cheese, lettuce, onion, and tomato!

it was super fun and pretty cute!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

no bake peanut butter pie

joythebaker has this on her site but as a no bake peanut butter tart. i cheated. i had a graham cracker pie crust that had been sitting in the pantry i used it!

peanut butter pie

here goes:

if you want to make your own crust:

12 double graham crackers (the kind that measure about 5 x 2 1/2-inches)

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

pinch of salt

Crust the graham crackers in a food processor, in a plastic back with a rolling pin or with your hands in a bowl. Make sure they are very well crumbled with no large chunks remaining. Add the melted butter and stir thoroughly, making sure all of the crumbs receive some butter love. Pour the graham cracker and butter mixture into a 9-inch tart shell with a removable bottom. Press the mixture along the sides of the tart pan and along the bottom until evenly coated. Carefully place the tart pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.


1 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided

1 cup natural peanut butter

3/4 (6 ounces) cup cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

To make the filling combine the peanut butter, softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment. You can also use the food processor if you’d like.

Blend the three ingredients until thoroughly incorporated, but don’t over blend or some liquids will separate.

In a separate bowl, whip 3/4 cup of heavy cream to soft peaks. Add the whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture and fold together until well incorporated.

Remove the tart pan from the freezer and spoon in the peanut butter filling. Spread evenly. (if you made your crust.)

Whip up the remaining cup of heavy cream to stiff peaks and add to the top of the peanut butter filling. Refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

rotisserie crock pot chicken

fact: rotisserie crock pot chicken is fab.
fact: pulling the chicken off the bone is not fun if you feel bad for the chicken like i do.

this is the chicken whole- (obvi)

and then you pull it apart to make this fab-ness.

i make this all the time. it's great b/c it's easy to do and it makes many, many meals! one time i skinned the chicken before putting it in the crockpot. i would suggest NOT doing that as it makes no different and skinning it first is SO least i think so.

rotisserie crock pot chicken
source: a year of slow cooking

what you need.

-1 whole chicken, skinned (or not...whatevs) (4-5 pounds)
-2 tsp salt
-1 tsp paprika
-1 tsp onion powder
-1/2 tsp dried thyme
-1 tsp Italian seasoning
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-pinch of chili pepper (probably not necessary)

-4 whole garlic cloves (optional)
-1 yellow onion, quartered (optional)

what you need to do.

skin the chicken and remove the other grossness from inside the bird. it takes a while and you will say eww at least 5 times. remember not to touch anything. cause its GROSS. (keep in mind you dont have to skin the chicken)

combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. rub mixture over the bird...inside and out. put bird into crockpot.

put onion and whole garlic cloves in the bird if you want. i did.


cook on low for 8 hours. (or high for 4-5 hours) longer you cook = more tender the meat.

ps. i cooked mine for like 9-10 hours. it fell apart when i took it out of the crockpot. delishhhhhhh!

make it. now. :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

EH. those are my thoughts. maybe i should have read the book first? idk. all i know is it didn't impress me much. but i will take julia's clothes. thanks.

what does impress me... CINEBARRE! on tuesdays tickets are only $5! so 2 tuesdays in a row we have had girls night. do you know about cinebarre?? you can eat & drink while watching a movie. the fried pickles are insane. the wine is fab. and having both of this while watching a girly movie with my friends is the best.