Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Favorite Things

Who doesn't love enjoying their favorite things?  At our house, Tom and I aren't picky about many things.  If you asked us our "favorites" we might say we don't have them.  Well, not many.  But there are a few things that we are particularly enjoying as of late.  I thought I'd share them here.

1.  Hannah's sweet smile.  She always makes us smile.  Even at 5:30 in the morning when we're both a bit to groggy to totally enjoy the wake-up call.
2.  Seattle's Best Coffee. Yum.  Tom and I both really enjoy coffee.  Black. Nothing added.  We both enjoy our coffee in the morning.  Tom as he drives to work & me as I enjoy some breakfast and my quite time.  Speaking of breakfast...

3.  Sour Cream Coffee Cake.  I blogged about this yesterday, but yes, I like it so much I'm going to include it again today.  With the recipe (from Southern Living Christmas Cookbook).

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Cooking Spray for Bundt pan
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (toasted if you like)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
14 cup butter, softened
1 (8-oz) package 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup egg substitute
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 (16 oz) container light or fat free sour cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. fat free or skim milk

Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray. Combine pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon, set aside.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar at medium speed with a mixer until creamy. Add egg, and beat until blended.  Add egg substitute and vanilla, beating until blended.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beating at low speed just until blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat on high 1 minute.
Pour one-third of batter mix into prepared pan. Sprinkle batter with half of pecan mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining one-third batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Run a knife around edges to loosen sides. Gently turn cake out onto a rack. Cool 1 hour. Transfer to a serving plate. 
Whisk together powdered sugar and milk.  Drizzle over cake. 
Yield: 10 to 12 servings

4.  Amazing Race.  We always enjoy vegging Sunday night and watching this fun show.  What makes the vegging complete?  Kettle Corn Popcorn.  Two bags, please.

5.  Morning Walks.  Ever since Hannah was about a week and a half, I have enjoyed morning walks towith her in her stroller (thanks to her Nana and PawPaw - My parents).  We usually go 3 to 4 times a week.  We both love it.  Especially when the mornings are cool.

6.  Hannah's book: Peek-a-boo! Love You I picked this little book up at Wal-Mart one day.  Hannah loves it.  She always smile when we pull it out to read.  And now that she is becoming more vocal, she tries to read it to us, too.  So cute.

7.  Parmesan Crusted Tilapia.  We've made this several times over the last few months and love it.  Simple but delicious.

8.  Our new Traeger Grill.  Tom's parents gave us our Christmas present over the weekend since they were here.  We tried it out Saturday night by grilling chicken pieces.  Yum-O!  Wowzers!  This stuff was good.  I don't normally cook or eat chicken with bones in it.  Maybe its the "lady" in me, but I've never been fond of picking meat off bones.  So I was a bit hesitant at first, but by the time I took the 3rd bite of chicken and realized how delicious it was...I was chewing that meat off the bones!  Probably not the prettiest site and definitely not the cleanest fingers after I finished, but totally worth it.

9.  Video Camera.  My parents got us a video camera for Christmas last year (even without knowing that we were expecting a baby).  It was perfect timing.  I love being able to record all of Hannah's milestones.  She's such a sweetie.

10.  Natural Peanut Butter.  Okay, so maybe this one is just mine. :)  My mother-in-law and I went to Whole Foods a couple of weekends ago and discovered that they have a machine that grinds peanuts into peanut butter for you.  Um, Hello!  If you haven't ever tried this, I think you should.  No oils, no preservatives, just good ole natural peanuts.  And I must say, I think I have eaten some of this peanut butter just about every day since then.  Yep!  (I tend to go through periods of time where I like a particular food and eat it a lot...so I'm guessing that's the REAL reason, but it is good).  I've enjoyed it on whole wheat buttermilk pancakes on Saturday, Banana and honey sandwiches for a quick lunch during the week, Kashi whole grain crackers or Apple slices for a snack.  Yummy stuff and good for you, too!  Its super filling and keeps you full for a long time!

Okay, there's our list of 10 favorites we are enjoying right now.

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!

PS - I made a new panini sandwich for our lunch Sunday. It was so good that I had another today so I thought I'd share in case anyone out there is a panini lover like me! :)  Here's the recipe:

Ashley's Turkey Pesto Panini
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
Mayo (made with olive oil)
Prepared Pesto
Dijon Mustard
Turkey slices
Gouda Cheese - sliced
Tomato slices
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Strips
Romaine lettuce (or spinach)

Spread mayo on one slice of bread.  Spread a small amount of prepared pesto on top of mayo.  Layer Roasted Bell Pepper, Cheese, Turkey, Tomato.  Spread Dijon Mustard on the other slice of bread and place on top of sandwich.  Place in a Panini maker or George Foreman Grill.  When sandwich is done (cheese slightly melted), Add the lettuce.  Cut in half and enjoy.  I like mine with either apple slices or when I want to really indulge - Lay's Baked Cheetos.  Yumminess!

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