Saturday, January 19, 2013

30 by 30

Today is my half birthday. This isn't something I generally celebrate, or even notice, except when its the half birthday preceding a BIG birthday.

Six months from today, I will be turning...THIRTY.


Insert panicky face.

I haven't decided how to feel about it. People keep telling me that their 30's are/were the best years of their lives. And my ever growing "skunk stripe" makes me aware, daily, that I am growing older. But I don't FEEL like I am six short months away from kissing my 20's good-bye.

The day is coming nonetheless, so instead of avoiding it, I'm preparing for it. I've decided to construct a list (cause you all know I LOVE LISTS) of things I'd like to do before I cross over into the next decade of my life. I'm not promising I will be able to cross off every single item. But I'm sure going to try.

THIRTY things to do before turning THIRTY:

1. Start a bucket list. (Check!)
2. Start making concrete plans for future things that I can't talk about right now. (I know, I'm terrible.)
3. Chase a storm.
4. Visit JFK Memorial Plaza (Yes, I've lived in Texas my entire life and I've never done clearly it needs to happen before I'm 30, right?!)
5. Learn more about wine. Besides "it tastes good".
6. Weigh less on my 30th birthday than I did on my 29th.
7. Learn a new skill.
8. Go to one concert a month. (Well on my way - I have January, February and June in the bag.)
9. Record music with Ryan.
10. Create a coffee table book with photos I've taken in Instagram.
11. Do one Pinterest craft a month.
12. Read three books.
13. Take a yoga class.
14. Step out of my fashion comfort zone.
15. Take a completely spontaneous day/weekend trip.
16. Learn how to grow something edible.
17. Donate to 3 organizations I love. (One for each decade of my life!)
18. Conquer something difficult in the kitchen - like souffle or crepes.
19. Put an unnatural color in my hair.
20. Say "YES" to everything for an entire day.
21. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet.
22. Ask my parents for each of their 5 favorite movies. Watch all 10.
23. Buy a record that came out the year I was born.
24. Give up sodas for an entire month. (Diet too!)
25. Spend more time exploring Denton. (I go to the same handful of places all the time.)
26. Try two new recipes a month.
27. Once a week (or so?), write a different friend to tell them how I truly feel about them.
28. Get a tattoo.    Maybe.
29. Participate in 5 truly random acts of kindness.
30. Make a list of everything (EVERYTHING) I want to accomplish in my life.

I'll post updates monthly on what I've knocked off my list. What's on YOUR list?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cheesy Bacon Pull-Apart Breakfast Casserole

I am a lover of all things breakfast related. I could eat breakfasty foods any time of day, and have been known to do just that. We have a life-long tradition in my family of ordering a Christmas tree shaped coffee cake from one of the oldest/best bakeries in Dallas (Stein's) but my darling husband isn't a big fan of anything with "cake" in name. (Unless said word is preceded by "cheese".) So, I have started making a more savory dish to go along with the coffee cake. And in keeping with the whole must-try-new-things phase I'm in, I opted for dish I'd never made but had spent some time drooling over on Pinterest.

I give you...Cheesy Bacon Pull-Apart Breakfast Casserole.

Here's what you need: 
1  egg 
2 tbsp milk 
1 can Pillsbury Grands Biscuits 
1 pkg. bacon, cooked and chopped 
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 
1/4  cup green onions, finely chopped

Heat the oven to 350°F. Spray 11x7 or 2-quart glass baking dish with cooking spray. (And spray it WELL.) 
In large bowl, whisk egg and milk until smooth. (I added some black pepper into this mixture.)
Separate the dough into 8 biscuits; cut each into quarters. 
Gently stir the biscuit pieces into the egg mixture to coat evenly. 
Fold in bacon, cheese and onions. 
Spoon the mixture into your sprayed dish; arrange the biscuit pieces in single layer. (See below.)

Then, bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

I couldn't have been happier with how this dish turned out. It was unequivocally comfort food. This one may have to make an appearance more often than just Christmas...


Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Only Cheeseball I'll Ever Make

Oh HEY! Remember me? I'm the girl who used to blog around here! I was in a blogging rut, friends. Remember how I said I was going to post some recipes? I didn't even have the inspiration to blog about a darn cheeseball. But, guess what? I do now!! ;)

One of our family traditions is to have a nice dinner on Christmas Eve and then munch of leftovers and finger foods on Christmas Day. This year, I wanted to make some new things. Break the mold a little. Well, that worked out great this year - but may never work again because this cheeseball was SO GOOD (and SO EASY) that it may become a staple! I sort of took parts of a cheeseball I'd seen online and added my own twists. (Like bacon.)


Here's the breakdown:

1 8oz package of cream cheese, brought to room temp (or close)
1/2 lb of shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp sour cream
1/2 a Ranch dressing mix packet (you can use a whole packet if you want...but I just wanted a subtle ranch flavor)
2 tbsp green onion, chopped
1/2 package of bacon, cooked and crumbled
Crackers, chips, whatever you want to serve this with

Mix sour cream and ranch packet together. (I did all of the mixing in my stand mixer.) Once that is fully mixed, add the cream cheese and cheddar and mix until fully incorporated. Then add in the green onion.
Cover your mixing bowl and pop it in the fridge for about 5 minutes. (Long enough to cool it without hardening it.)
After 5 minutes, empty the mixture onto plastic wrap and use the plastic wrap to roll/form it into a ball.
Spread the bacon bits on a cutting board and roll the ball o' cheese until its completely covered and serve! 

*Now, here is the best part. I made this on Christmas Eve to eat on Christmas Day, so I popped it back into the fridge in the plastic wrap. I had also cooked and crumbled the bacon the day before, so it was in a tupperware waiting for me, too. When everyone was ready to snack, I just pulled it out of the fridge, rolled it in bacon and BOOM - ready to devour.

I also want to add (for my non-bacon eating friends) that you can roll this in whatever the heck you want. Jalapenos, cracker crumbs, traditional chopped pecans, etc. But for me and my house? Bacon. Rules. All.