Monthly Archives: December 2011

A Boy and His Dog



Wow! New Year’s Eve already! The year actually flew by. I find that the older I get the faster the time goes…that is just so sad! We don’t usually go out on New Year’s Eve and this year is no exception. We were supposed to go to the Lights at the Zoo yesterday, but the weather just wasn’t cooperating. It was rainy and wet. Maybe today will be better…it’s going to be almost spring weather. They are predicting 47 degrees…that is just crazy in Chicago in December. I will be making a big pot of Pozole to celebrate the new year with my family.

On to Scrapbook Saturday…

My son loves our dog, Lady. She is the best dog ever. We have had her since she was 6 weeks old and she is now. She will be 13 years old in May.

It’s hard making a masculine/boyish scrapbook page!

I always love the small details in scrapbook pages.

Happy New Year! I hope that 2012 brings everyone love, happiness, good health and all the wonderful things in life!




Cinnamon Roll Cake



So it’s been a lazy couple of days. Not too much excitement going on. Just the usual stuff here at home. Yesterday we were home all day. I crafted like crazy while my nephews and my daughter ran around in their pajamas all day. How do they do that? I need to get up, shower and get dressed for the day because you never know what can happen! Be prepared, people!

I took a break from crafting to make this delicious cake! Don’t worry I also fed the kids some delicious chicken soup.

It was sooo good..just like a cinnamon roll except a big pan of them! This is what everyone snacked on after lunch and after dinner. If you are going to try a new recipe make it this one! It uses very basic ingredients and you just mix and pour…it’s that easy.  Try it. I promise you will like it!

3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9×13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Recipe from cookinupnorth.blogspot .com
via Pinterest

Franks ‘N’ Dawgs



I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. I hope that you have all had some time off. I have been getting up pretty late…I am almost ashamed…almost but not quite. I’ve been hanging around the house doing pretty much nothing. The weather is so wonderful for December though I really missed having snow for Christmas!

A while back (back when I had cable) I had seen one of the food shows visit a place named Franks ‘n Dawgs in Chicago. We’d talked about going, but just never did until yesterday.

They are known for their gourmet hot dogs. Don’t you just love seeing my reflection in the pictures?

The buns were delicious…toasted on the the outside to perfection, but perfectly soft on the inside. It’s not a regular hot dog bun, has kind of flat sides…perfect.

Here’s a sampling of their menu…these are the delicious dogs we ate…

Roaring Buffalo Chicken. Look at the beautiful color of that sauce!

Bayou Dog. I love anything that has to do with cajun cooking!

Peking Duck. Just right for my hunter husband!

The “sausage” hot dogs were delicous. I had a plan of action that we would taste each others dogs to try them, but nobody would go for the idea! I must admit at an average of $7-$8 each (without fries!) it was a bit on the steep side and was a big splurge for us! They should include fries with their hot dogs…I’m just sayin’! It took us longer to drive there and home than the time we spent at the actual place. It was a nice drive to go back through the city.

It was just a nice break to get out and spend some time together. So if you are looking for something a little different, this might be a good place to try.



Frittata with Potato and Prosciutto



I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas surrounded by family and friends! I am sooo tired! We celebrated on Christmas Eve and yesterday I was exhausted and my body hurt! Too much bending and checking the food in the oven maybe…

For Christmas Day lunch I made a delicious Frittata. I t was so good and pretty!

It’s a great and easy but elegant meal. Definitely better than pancakes!



Heat the oil in a heavy 9 1/2-inch-diameter skillet over medium heat. Add the potato, onion, and garlic. Season the potato mixture with salt and pepper, to taste. Saute over medium-low heat until the potato is golden and crisp on the outside, tender inside, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Whisk the eggs, cream, Parmesan, prosciutto, and basil in a medium bowl to blend. Stir the egg mixture into the potato mixture in the skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until the egg mixture is almost set but the top is still loose, about 3 minutes. Place the skillet under the broiler. Broil until the top is set and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittata from skillet and slide the frittata onto a cutting board. Cut the frittata into 12 wedges.

Split open each bread piece. Toast the bread on a grill pan until golden. You can also broil the bread cut side up until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes, keeping a careful watch on the bread since they can easily burn. Butter the cut sides of the toasted bread. Arrange a frittata wedge on each bottom piece of bread. Cover with the bread tops and serve.

I used chopped prosciutto instead of sliced and used dried basil instead of fresh. Instead of using the broiler I just baked it for about 10 minutes. I always burn things when I use the broiler so I wanted to avoid that! Of course I didn’t have any bread either so we just ate it without. If there is any left over it is delicious and hearty for breakfast the next day.

Have a wonderful Monday!




Recipe from


Downtown Chicago




Here we are already, Christmas Eve. I won’t be doing Scrapbook Saturday today because I wanted to share a few pictures of my Christmas Gift. My husband and I don’t go out together too often and yesterday I received the best gift ever! We hopped on the Metra and spent a few hours together downtown…we ditched the kids!

We went to State Street to check out the Chrsitmas windows at Macy’s, did a tiny bit of shopping and had a late lunch. It was the perfect day with him!

There weren’t as many “decorated windows” as other years and they seemed a bit different. They were very modern, kind of goth I would say, but all white. What I loved the best about them were the sayings they had on the windows. They were such magical sayings.




We went into Macy’s so that I can t least drool over all the things I would love to have. Love these humongous ornaments!

Gotta love Chicago in December!

Now the good stuff…this pub style restraunt is the BOMB! Their food is delicious. I have been there a couple of times with my girlfriends and their food is always a “10”.

My hubbie had the Fish and Chips and they were delicious! You know I tried it!

I had the Curry Chicken  (with a Mango Chutney) which was delicious. I figured I should try something different…I am hooked!

We also had some beer battered onion rings, but by the time I remembered to take a picture they were gone. But trust me, they were awesome.

I hope you get a gift as awesome as mine…time with your loved one whether it’s your significant other, your best friends, your kids, parents or anyone who you love! There is no gift more precious!

We are celebrating tonight, Christmas Eve. Awaiting a special birth! Christmas Blessings to you and your family! May the spirit be with you all year round!

Feliz Navidad y Besos,


Last Minute Home-Made Gift…


Hola! Buenos Dias!

Yesterday was such a great day! I was able to clean quite a bit of my house and even did groceries for Christmas Eve dinner. I even relaxed and watched TV for a bit…I could really get used to this!

In previous years I kind of felt like if I gave someone a home-made gift I would feel like a big DORK. Now I feel totally different. I am in the frame of mind that if it comes from your hands, it comes from your heart. Don’t misunderstand me, every one appreciates a gift whether it is store bought or hand-made. I am feeling more confident about my crafting skills and have found that many of my friends (not all) would prefer hand-made/home-made gifts. I did some shopping at the mall, but also made hand made gifts like cards and these awesome cookies in a jar mixes…

I layered the ingredients in a mason jar and decorated the jar. The recipient just needs to add the fresh ingredients and bake the cookies!

Super easy gift to make and super easy for the recipient to bake!

So if you need any last minute gifts to this is a great idea. You more than likely would have the ingredients on hand, just find some mason jars and stuff to decorate the jar.

I had seen the original idea on   but just adapted it for christmas.

Go ahead…give them your heart!



Baked Potato Soup




Joy to the world vacation is here. Hmm hmmm hmmm la da da da da da da da…I promised myself I would get some things done while I am home. Maybe clean some drawers or closets…maybe. I have been thinking about all the food I’ve been eating lately and it has been quite a bit. It all started around Thanksgiving. I need to get a game plan in order and just do it again…my weight issues have been a roller coaster my whole life. I sometime wish the good Lord would just take my crafting and cooking skills away and make me skinny (like overnight).

I made this delicious (and healthy) Baked Potato Soup. There is a slight trick  involved.

Can you guess what the trick is????

Cauliflower! It’s hidden in this delicious soup loaded with bacon and cheese! When I made it I tried tricking my husband but he guessed right away what it was. I am not  a big cauliflower eater, so I couldn’t even taste it. It tasted just like potato. It’s a great tasting and filling soup. I may have to make more recipes like this in the new year.

I need to remember that I need to eat to live not live to eat…

Baked Potato Soup

  • 2 russet potatoes, washed and dried
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, stem removed cut into florets
  • 1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% reduced-fat milk
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 10 tbsp reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 tbsp chopped chives, divided
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (you can use turkey bacon if you prefer)

Pierce potatoes with a fork; microwave on high for 5 minutes turn over and microwave another 3 – 5 minutes, until tender. Or if you prefer to use your oven, bakeat 400° for 1 hour or until tender. CoolPeel potatoes.

Meanwhile, steam cauliflower with water in a large covered pot until tender. Drain and return to pot. On medium heat, add chicken broth, milk, potatoes and bring to a boil. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Add sour cream, half the chives, salt and pepper and cook on low another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Top each serving with 2 tbsp cheese, remaining chives, and bacon.

I didn’t have any chives so I just omitted that. I put a little extra bacon and cheese on as you can see in the picture…next time I will use less!






Recipe from