Monday, December 30, 2013

Recipe of the Week!

Stuffed Peppers & Zucchini
This was an experimental recipe. I have been venturing into the world of peppers - of which I have never been a real fan - but I am starting to like some stuffed peppers. I LOVE stuffed grape leaves. My freshman year roommate had a grandma that would always send her back to PSU with a bunch of them...I have never had any as good as those. I have made them myself in the past and the filling is so good. I will have to debut them on the blog at some point. Anyway, I tried to make a similar filling for these. If I ever make these again, I would cook the peppers for a little bit before stuffing them, since I completely cooked the filling first. Overall, though, I thought the zucchini was better than the peppers.

5 or 6 Green peppers and/or zucchini halves
1 lb ground beef
2 cups rice, cooked
1 onion, diced
lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Hollow out green peppers, half zucchini and remove the seeds to have room for the filling. At this point I would probably roast the peppers for 15 minutes before stuffing them. Begin cooking rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, for the filling, coat a large pan with olive oil, saute onions and garlic until translucent. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Season mixture with mint, salt, and pepper to taste. Add cooked rice to the ground beef mixture. Stuff peppers/zucchini with meat and rice mixture.

Add about a half inch of water to a baking dish. Place peppers/zucchini in the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place in oven for about 20 minutes to a half hour. Transfer cooked peppers to plate and serve.

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Friday Love

In honor of the year 2013, I want to recap it's top ten moments for this {Friday Love} post. Overall, it's been a big and fabulous year, and we should end it on a positive note. I can only hope 2014 trumps 2013. I'm crossing my fingers. Happy New Year, friends!


New Orleans. In January, Matt and I traveled to New Orleans. He was there for work, and I went along to have fun.


THON. Penn State Dance Marathon raised a record breaking $12,374,034.46.


Bowling. I can't even begin to describe my involvement with the bowling league. Looking back it was a great decision. It kept me busy while Matt was at class, it brought me closer with some great friends, and it was all around comedy every. single. Thursday. {THREE} also goes to Game Nights! I have never wrote a game night only post, but I have mentioned it in many posts. Game nights took over for bowling and I love it!


Buying a House! This is probably the top moment of 2013. Definitely a big accomplishment!


BurlingtonBoston, and Maine. Summer vacation.


One Year. Matt and I celebrated our first anniversary. We went to Ray's the Steaks and ate cupcakes at home, like our wedding :)


30. I had a big birthday.


Oktoberfest. We started a tradition of holding an Oktoberfest. First in Pittsburgh, then in Virginia.


Penn State vs. Michigan. My whole family traveled to Penn State and saw one of the greatest games in PSU football history!


Running. I wouldn't have though I would be posting this as ten on my list in January, but I decided to train for a half marathon. Let's hope it makes the top events of 2014!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Love


Winter Break. In September I never thought I would make it to winter break. It's been a long time coming. I'm so thankful it's here.


Semester Break. I'm pretty sure that I get happier for Matt's semester breaks than I do for my own breaks. When Matt's in school it's painful. This semester he had to write his major paper for his program. Extra painful. I'm so happy he is done and that he got a good grade! I'm even happier we are one class away from graduation!!!


Hark the Herald Angels Sing. I just like too many Christmas songs. This is my pick for this week. When I was little this and The First Noel were my faves. I'm pretty sure I am going to make Matt listen to Christmas music the whole way to Pittsburgh...I'll probably sing for him the whole way too. He's so lucky!


Joy to the World. I had to do two Christmas songs this week because I have a special version of {Friday Love} coming up next week to celebrate 2013. I think Joy to the World might be my current fave for Christmas songs :) It makes me think of going to church on Christmas Eve with my family.


BES Holiday Sing Along. This has been a tradition at Bennett since I started, and I think it's a lot of fun. Right now I could provide some inappropriate commentary, but you can just watch the video instead! My fave part of the video is when I start laughing so hard in the background and the little friend in the white shirt who is looking at me like I have 7 heads because I can't control it. After I turned off the video he started yelling my name and asking what in the world was so funny.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Recipe of the Week!

Pasta with Sausage & Peppers
I made this so long ago. It was summertime. I have made it a bunch of time since. Both Matt and I really like it. I think the trick to this (especially if you aren't into tomato sauces), is to just barely coat the spaghetti with the tomato sauce. It really adds to the flavor, but isn't the main flavor. The fresh mozzarella is really key too. I highly recommend this dish!

1 green bell pepper
1 yellow onion
2 spicy Italian sausages (1 for each person)
spaghetti (desired amount)
marinara sauce (a few spoonfuls)
fresh mozzarella

Thinly slice both the pepper and onion. On the stove top, simmer the pepper and onion in olive oil until caramelized. Meanwhile cook spaghetti and grill sausages. Once sausages are grilled, slice into bit size pieces. Drain spaghetti and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add sausage slices, the desired amount of peppers and onions, and coat with a few spoonfuls of marinara sauce. Serve with fresh mozzarella cheese on top.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Blog readers...I have to say I am a little disappointed. There were hardly any votes on my poll. Eight, to be exact, which is funny because I know that 56 people viewed the {Friday Love} post where I told you about the poll, and 250+ people have visited my blog since I put the poll up. Hmmm.

Anyway, the winner (with 4 sad votes) was Life: One Plate at a Time. Since I posted the poll, though, two people have mentioned an alternative title with the same thing in common and I actually think I like it the best. One friend suggested "Life With a Little Flare" and another, "Food with a Flare." What I think I am going with is "With a Little Flare" and the subtitle of "life one plate at a time." Obviously, it's making it's debut today at the top of the page.

Matt tried for a good hour to rewrite the HTML to make it look like I want it to, but neither of us can figure it out. I had to change my fonts to get rid of some of the gigantic spacing between the two lines of text at the top, and I really want the subtitle to start more under the H in With. Any advice on how to remedy this problem?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Love


Snow Days. Does this really need explanation? I think not! Who doesn't love a snow day!?!? An unexpected day off is always amazing! It's one reason living in Virginia is better than living in Pennsylvania.


Online Shopping. For the past couple of years I have only done Christmas shopping online. Have you ever been to Tyson's Corner on a regular old Wednesday in the middle of April? It's like the biggest cluster I have ever seen. There's no way I'm going during the holidays. Online is the only option in my world.


Christmas Cards. These little surprises in my mailbox make getting the mail exciting again. Thanks for sending us fun mail, friends!


O Holy Night. This is the first of my top three of favorite Christmas songs. My fave Christmas songs are church hymns. I couldn't find a version on YouTube I was completely satisfied with, but this will work.


This Color Test. I saw this test online a month or so ago. I took it and got a 7. I had Matt take it and he got a 62. The lower the number, the higher your "color IQ." Somehow it came up when we were in Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving and my parents took it. My mom was so so funny when she was doing it. She scored off the charts bad. Try it and see how you do. No one has beat my 7 yet, can you?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Happy Snow Day!

I'm very excited to share come pictures of our first snow day of the 2013-2014 school year. One reason living in Virginia is beneficial :) We did a couple of Christmas decorations on Saturday night before the snow and ice came. This morning everything is coated in ice so I went out to take a few pictures. I hope we get a lot more snow this winter!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Love


New Blog. Obviously there have been some changes around here. I think how it is formatted right now is mostly the way it is going to stay. The last thing that will change is my blog's name. I am adding a poll to the right side of this page. There are 5 options: Life By the Bowlful, What's Cooking on Lednock, Life: One Plate at a Time, and Now Serving..., and What's On Our Menu. Please vote for what you think is best! I'm really looking forward to the results :)


Starbucks Holiday Drinks. I just love when the Starbucks red cups come out! And strangely enough for someone who doesn't like sweet coffee drinks...I love the gingerbread lattes. I wish I could buy one everyday!


Bows. How cute are these hair bows? Cute, as in tacky-cute! My talented friend made them for all of our Girls on the Run this season. They are made out of duct tape. I shamelessly sported the one below all day on Monday at school.


Night the Cat. This is a little bit of a long story, I'm going to cut it short. Another friend and I share a silly student. She's in first grade and she's obsessed with lip gloss, cats, and cupcakes. She's always getting her lip glosses confiscated at school. Well one day this cat (who has a long backstory of his own) showed up in the classroom with her lip gloss and a cupcake nose. He's taken on an elf on the shelf role. The kids named him Night and wrote him letters. Night will be writing them back this weekend. I'm so excited about my new pen pal project!


Salt & Vinegar Chips. This is possibly one of my most favorite foods. The problem is I never really get to eat them. If there is a bag near me I will consume the entire thing. Well, actually, I will consume enough to make my mouth hurt so bad I have to take a break and come back as soon as I have feeling back in my tongue. Therefore, these are not allowed to be in our house. I sometimes text Matt and tell him he should buy them for me on the way home. He never does.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Recipe of the Week!

Spicy Italian Stuffed Peppers 
These are so good, and so super easy. I can't believe I just started thinking about making stuffed peppers at home. I have recently started making two kinds. This is my favorite of the two. You can short cut the recipe by stuffing the raw peppers with the sausage mixture and not roasting them beforehand. Both ways turn out just fine.

6 Anaheim Peppers, with stems and seeds removed
2 spicy Italian sausage links
shredded mozzarella cheese

Make a slit down the length of each pepper. Place the peppers in the oven at 450 and roast until skin starts to separate. Meanwhile mix the sausage and cheese together. Remove the roasted peppers from the oven and allow to cool. Peel the skin off each pepper. Stuff each pepper with the sausage and cheese mixture. Place the stuffed peppers back in the oven until sausage is cooked through.

Monday, December 2, 2013

New Pages

With the updating of my blog I have added new pages to the site. You can see the addition of new pages in the header at the top left of the screen. The tab "About Erin" includes a little biography about me and about the blog. There is now a recipe index as well. That was quite a project. I am seriously hoping people use it. At least I probably will. It was fun to go back through almost everything I made in the last three years and revisit some of the disasters and remember a lot of the things I made only a couple times...and should remake soon.

Some things I don't like about my updates that I still can't figure out how to fix: the 'gadgets' on the side of the page and the links posted on my pages. My links use to open up into separate windows, but now they open using the same page. This annoys me and I want the old system back! My gadgets are now on a tab that moves in and out when you scroll over it...I want the gadgets to actual be in a right column on the page like they use to be, but can learn to live with this annoyance if I have to. I also use to be able to click a button to automatically link to Facebook and I can no longer figure out how to do that. I would love to have that convenience back as well. On a positive note I do love the new search which give a little drop down snippet about any keyword you search. So any tips on my problems? If you have a remedy please share.